Thursday, October 30, 2008

More studio pictures

I worked on ATC last night, I'm not going to bore you with that picture today. I'll be working hard on those this weekend. I decided how I am going to finish them off last night.

I love slipping out to the studio for "just a few" minutes in the evening and morning. I need some sort of heat out there and it has been cold in the south - so it gets a little uncomfortable to work out there. The ATC project fits in an easy to carry box - so I have been parked in my recliner - smelling and basking in the heat from a wood fire - covered in a granny square lap blanket - stitching away. All I need are a butler and a full time housekeeper/cook/chauffeur for the children and my life would be almost magical.

College Freshman is enduring her first "real" wave of homesickness this week. I'll be sending a few extra care packages in the next few - just so she can feel some extra parts of "home"

Now studio shots....

This wall is over my little sit down work surface. I have an old vanity that was missing its mirror. You can get a glimpse of it at the top right of one of the photos here. This piece of furniture was FREE. I came home from work to find it on my front porch with a note that said "thought you might enjoy this." I gave it a quick strip with some furniture refinisher and repainted the top. It works great in this little studio space. The boxes are little crates that various gifts have come in I always need little nooks and crannies for stuff so as I come across more of these - I'll just attach them to the wall.

The two square wall art plaques are from my lovely blog buddy - MaryAnn - I love them and had to find the perfect place to hang them. Since I normally stand at the work surface facing these - I get to see them and lift thanks for the friends that are my blessings. The center plaque is a mounted ATC that I got in a swap.

This little chest of drawers is a cheap find as well. We had an import warehouse near where we live and these 10 drawer chests were 9.99 unfinished on clearance several years ago. hey MaryAnn --- I used spray paint from the dollar store to paint this. The drawers will hold 3x5 index cards easily - but I just have it full of beads and bottles and other junk. I just moved it into the studio when I realized how perfectly it would fill this space at the end of the work island.
I get to "officially" meet the College Freshman's new boy tonight. She won't be there so the Softball Princess is in charge of the introduction. He is younger than Molly - we live in a VERY small town - this partnership is the talk of the area - because of the age difference and the fact that his mom is freaking about her high school baby boy wanting to go out with a college girl. College Freshman has sent an email requesting that I be on my bestest (least embarrassing) behavior. -------- I'll try.
I'm headed off tonight. I'll be hanging with folks at the church trunk or treat event, including my friend, Lannae. It will be loads of fun.
Have a great night ....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Yesterday, I brought the flowers into the store with me to take the pictures. My boss - a funny man (no sarcasm there - no way) - looked at them.

Here is the conversation (condensed and edited for appropriate language)

Boss - "what are those?"

Me - flowers

Boss - Don't you have a barn?

Me - uh-huh

Boss - A good sized barn

Me - uh-huh

Boss - where you could make table sized things?

Me - uh-huh

Boss - you have a barn where you could make big things and you work on tiny little stuff like that? I can't even see those without my glasses.

Me - uh-huh - I wear reading glasses when I work.

Boss - crazy

Me - one of the criteria for working here - I just brough in proof to validate my employment status.

Boss (walking off) - uh-huh

Lst night found me spending a couple of hours measuring and making thread lines on linen. I made these "boxes" 2x3 inches and left space between for the trimming to ATC size. It was getting late, but I had to get one of my silk ribbon pieces stitched in.

The flowers are just laying there for now. I'll stitch them on last. Each of these will be a little different, but the idea will be the same for all of them. I'll show you all of them when I get done. I think I am on track to be able to demonstrate the inspiration to completion process.

Next is for my buddy JenB.

Shoe shot of my favorite boots. Got these on today - I finally have them where they are comfy enough to wear all day and walk - dance - play. Love me some cowboy boots. Wear them a lot this time of the year.

Have a fabulous day ------

I've been certified as nuts - how about you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Roses ....

Look at the sidebar at the quote from Ellen - boy did that get my attention this morning. I'll be keeping that quote in the book to use again and again.

More like fall posies -Roses were too complicated to make a bunch of. These are the floral embellishments for the ATC project. Go back here to look at the inspiration for these. I am making 15 ATC so I crocheted 48 of these (6 in each of my colors). I'll be using three per ATC and I have randomly sorted them into a working tray.

I do love how they look all lined up. The colors are wonderful and I made them using that tiny yarn I got at a thrift store a year or so ago.

Right now I have artistic ADD. I have so many things I'm trying to complete for the year and I have made that commitment for the Art Show in 2009 - so I really want to get this list checked off. Then I can make my list for the art show.
Tonight will find me and the softball princess making an apron for her US history project. More on that as we progress.
In addition to completing these last night, I cleaned out the shoes part of my closet. I have found extra storage in the house because of clearing the creative goodies into the studio. Now I am taking the same care with putting things away in the house. Trying to make sure the storage areas are as easy to put things away as it is in the studio. (Maybe then I can approach some level of being domestic - one can HOPE right?)
This last picture is just for size comparison - 48 tiny little posies.
The pattern for these is a variation/combination of several that I have in my references. Chain stitch - slip stitch - single, half double, and double crochet. - 5 stitches - two rounds - easy enough for a beginner. If anyone would like a tutorial - I'll be happy to complete one. Please just let me know. I'm thinking a string of these in Manos Wildflower Yarn would make a beautiful scarf. (the mermaid #122 would be pretty too.) This is one of those wonderful motifs that can be adaptive depending on yarn choice - I like easy and adaptive.
I hope all of you are having a joy filled day.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Abby went to a friends house after school last week. I showed up to get her and Miss Katie fell in love with my soldered pendant. You know you have mastered something you can sell when a teenager wants one.

Well Miss Katie has a birthday coming up and the softball princess remembered the pendant. She asked me to make Katie one. Off to the sudio (like I needed an excuse to go). And about an hour later I have the gift finished.

Katie's pendant. She loved it. My soldering is still rough, but getting better. I strung this on leather cording (no findings required) with a slide adjustment knot and made two teenagers so very happy. (sorry - those nails look horrid) Doesn't the paper behind the "k" look like a map. Happy accident.

My weekend was low key and included a delicious nap snuggled up with the college freshman on Sunday afternoon. She did say that I snore (don't belive her, I have never heard me snore).

I also finished all but 18 of the little flowers for my ATC seminar. Those will be attacked tonight.

Upcoming agenda items - those ATC, goodie bags for same seminar, a CIP mailer, and maybe finishing the cowboy quilt. All that and a fun school project with the Softball Princess - something involving the word apron.

Hope this finds you having a great day

Friday, October 24, 2008

So I sang.....

And danced. and did this thing she called "rock". Later in life we played fruit basket beds. We all slept in one room for an extended period of time too.

Retrospective on a life well lived and positive thoughts for living well in the future.

It was a chore to get our Molly. We were married a long time before she joined us. I could easily have died during the labor process (I was very sick). She was so worth all the effort. Abby was a surprise blessing - one of those OMG the thing is pink moments - while standing in the utility room door holding the home pregnancy test. She took us by surprise - she still takes my breath away.

When Molly was just learning to talk - I taught her to call her daddy's name first. In the middle of the night, she would stand in her bed and call him. Of course he got up with her. They would eat grill cheese sandwiches and watch Barney videos...... midnight snacks during a life well lived. (note here - he was on to me when Abby was learning to talk - he taught her to call me in the middle of the night and we ate pop tarts)

Molly would ask me to "rock" and add "quarter song" -- that did not involve a chair at all - it meant hold me and dance me to sleep listening to Travis Tritt's Here's a Quarter playing over and over on the cd player (thank God for the repeat setting). For hours we shared those moments in the course of a life well lived.

Molly had a ton of jet black hair at birth. The one thing everyone commented on. When she finally caught up in growth with the hair, she would preen and run her hands through it trying to draw attention back to the hair. An early moment of vanity in a life well lived.

Molly helped us name Miss Abby. Her middle name is Victoria and Molly came up with that all by herself because a little girl at daycare had that name. Moments in a life well lived.

Abby was 4 days old when the new big sister shared her potato chips with her. It did not hurt the Abbs at all and it gives us a fun story to tell about a life well lived.

We decided to redo our bedroom and Abby was just a toddler. All of us slept in one room while we did this. A toddler bed, a baby bed and a double bed - all in one room together. How great for birth control were those moments in this life well lived.

We also lost Abby during that renovation - she climbed a 10 ft step ladder and annouced just how "high" she was. A moment of fear in a life well lived.

Later each of the girls wanted one of us to lay down with them at bedtime. It goes without saying that all of fell asleep in beds that were not our own. At some point during the night, me and the Man at Our Address would move sleeping princesses into the correct beds and crash back into ours. Fruit Basket Beds - part of my life well lived.

Abby disappeared in the Louisville, KY airport on a Friday night in August of 1996. Frantic searches by all us adults and one very sweet old lady who said "are you looking for the little girl behind that column." Seems she could scoot around and stay just out of site of us - she was giggling, but I was not amused. Fear - replaced by joy then anger - a moment in a life well lived.

We as a group of girls set on torturing the Man at our Address - have a theme song. I Feel Good - by James Brown - not on cd or any other media - must be sung loud and proud at random occasions but especially in the car so he cannot get away from the noise. Lots of moments in a life well lived.

The College Freshman is now off creating her own moments - some she will share as stories with us - some she will share with those who are a part of the action. Her own chapters in the book of a life well lived.

The Softball Princess in no way can appreciate how important the friendships she shares with classmates and teammates are. She is slowly preparing her support groups for her own life well lived.

Here we are right in the middle of it - looking back with fondness - looking forward with anticipation. Millions of moments lived and to be lived in this thing I'm calling a LIFE WELL LIVED.

Sorry no MaggieGrace goodness today - I just wanted to celebrate a few moments for me and my girls.

Come on ya'll celebrate some moments - leave your blog link in the comments so we can all join in your celebrations.

Have a life well lived kind of day.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The bounty of fall

I snipped several papery dry blooms of hydrangea off the bush at work yesterday. I love these when they are in full bloom and I love them when they dry. I have an idea for these on my dining table.
I also took a few sheets of pattern tissue - got lots of this around - and made a quick tissue flower. This one is a tiny bit too large for my liking but I am happy with how it turned out. I thought they would look great together and I was right.
Thank you all so much for the feed back on the bracelets and the angel. I am on the look out for silverplate and silver spoons and forks. I bought some Saturday for 1.00 each. I have orders locally for 10 bracelets so I will be drilling and polishing these to get the orders out.
I have been finding myself spending a few minutes every morning in the studio. Maybe just long enough for a quick picture for here. Some mornings I piddle and put a few things away. This morning found me pulling out more tissue for these flowers and bits of lace and old book pages for the idea in my brain. I really enjoy those few minutes before I go to my real world job. It sets the tone for knowing that after all is said and done, I can easily slip out there and have some time for me.
Ladies if a studio space is a dream for you, it is well worth the time and effort to make that a reality. My space is not at all fancy. It is not even completely finished. But it is usable and I cannot tell you how validating it is for me to have a dedicated space to work in.
I hope today is a wonderful day for you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

She paid me with a chair....

Last night found me laughing and sharing with my mama. She had asked the Man at my Address to check her furnace before she fired it up for the season. (HVAC is his chosen field). This week of no softball is allowing us to catch up with these visits so off we went.

While he checked the furnace, she and I visited. We looked at quilts (her new table top sized ones are wonderful), cross stitch, thrifted finds, etc.

He also fixed the vacuum cleaner for her and I reprogrammed her tv for the extra cable channels she purchased. Note to CATV providers, please send service personnel who are sensitive to older people not as comfortable with technology as you are.

After all that we just visited and talked across the baseball show he was watching. Yes, that drives him crazy, but he should have just moved to the chair closer to the tv. I was working on the first lace wing button angel - there will be more of these - and mom noted that I was using mother of pearl buttons.

I have buttons - lots of buttons, she asked if I would like a few of hers to go on the angel. Okay - as sick as I am about "stuff" - I cannot hold a candle to this woman. She emerged from her sewing room with 5 (yes I said 5) gallon sized glass jars full of assorted vintage and new buttons. OMG - it was like button heaven. The Man just rolled his eyes and settled in for a really long visit.

As we were leaving, she offered to pay us for the work he did. Of course there was no money exchanged, but this chair was on the front porch and she was taking it to the barn to store.

Look - its perfect for the studio. She bought it at a yard sale for a couple of dollars and recovered it. She had just found another one she likes better, so this one gets to come live with me. So many rocking hours have worn the rocker bottoms, that it won't even rock any more. I am so happy about where it fits in here.

The fabric draped on the back is for the ATC project. The addition of this will allow 4 or 5 of my family and friends to join me in the barn for drinks and snacks -- way cool in my opinion.

The next picture is od the button angel. Carrie had given me some wonderful antique lace and I immediately saw angel wings. I stiffened and glued the lace to the words and music from a Christmas book and added glass glitter. I love how the sheer lace lets the music show through. A stamped serene face and a string of buttons for the body.

She is pictured with the buttons I snatched out of the one button jar we played in. I'll get her completely assembled and hang her for a final portrait in the next few days.

I have a feeling today could be a little trying. I left my cell phone at home. When I went back to get it, I locked my keys in the house. Abby left her key in the house. AND the spare was used because she had left hers so it was in the house. The Man was in the shower, so we had to wait for him to let me back in. Crappy start to my day, but the girls got a great laugh about it.

Hope ya'll have a better start to your day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What I have been up to ...

Besides playing with buddies in MaggieGraceWorld, I managed to make a few spoon bracelets. I sold some over the weekend and took orders for a few more. . I still need to learn to solder the little jump rings for a more secure finish to these.

I found a few more silverplated pieces on Saturday in Kennesaw. Abby was playing in the state sectionals for softball. I had a little spare time so I looped back to an open air market and antiques mall.

The rest of these pictures are purely eye candy shots that I sneaked.

Ribbon photo holders - I have a tutorial printed for these in my notebooks from somewhere, but this was the first time I have seen one in "real life." Love this.
I also love these little tags punched from copies of pictures.

One last picture of pure eye candy - luscious velvet ribbon - slightly over exposed.

We spent last night with my lovely inlaws - the softball princess had to complete an interview with a veteran. Grandmother cooked - Abby and I copied pictures and Granddaddy and she went over things about the Korean War. It was a very nice evening.

Hopefully I'll have a new button angel to show you guys tomorrow. I am so tickled with how this one is coming out. I'll have to sneak peek her - because I am thinking on sending this for submission consideration. Then I may keep her as a tree topper -

Have a great day all.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm wearing it.......

I have a soldered charm on a chain around my neck....again not a difficult thing, just a technique thing.

Lannae and I spent part of yesterday in MaggieGraceWorld learning how to solder. SO much fun and she is such a joy to be around. I hope she will want to come back again

And for some more fun --- I mentioned an ATC presentation on Nov 17th. Here is the inspiration for my ATC that I will be giving everyone.

Cute dress huh - the colors are the inspiration and my presentation will be focused on both the what of ATC and the why and the how -- (college freshmans fingers)

I'll be pulling and making little inspiration kits for those attending as well.

After I found my muse - I piddled around the studio and pulled together this little pile of goodness.

I'll be doing fiber art ATC in a variation on a traditional form for these --- what cha think?

Sorry this is so rushed -- been super busy at work today.

Have a great evening.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I learned somethng new last night - pg rated

Look at the color in the photo below. Yummy.

I got home at a decent hour last night - like 6:30 pm. The first thing I noticed was this package of yummy on my side porch. Love the colors on that paper. My buddy Jen sent me inspiration - even the note gives me a wonderful idea for a baby quilt.

I immediately grabbed a water bottle and took off to the studio to accomplish something I have been intending to try. One of the items in this package was a fabulous soldered bird charm/ornament/pendant.

I keep picture frame glass when I mount mixed media work. I had it all in a file box. I had already aquired the little glass cutter thing. I bought the SallyJean book way way long ago. But apparently was afraid of the entire thing.

Well last night, I decided it was time to learn. And learn I did, and heck this is easy. I did kill one 8x10 piece of glass in the process of learning. But after several tries I finally figured it out. Tonight - I'll try to get back out there and attack the soldering.

Here is where I left it last night. Handmade paper, vintage lace and sheet music, a leaf punch -- this is the intended "front" of the charm. It is approximately 1.25 inches square.

The back still looked unfinished to me - so I dug in the little jar of labels (yes, I have a problem - I keep "trash") and found this old floss label. I like how it finished. I did get it all copper taped.

I have my jump ring taped on, but I did mine turned "the other way" than most people do it. I often thread my pendants on and off chains and ribbons and the ring turned this way means I don't have to use an additional jump ring that often comes open. Am I breaking any kind of jeweler's rule doing this????

Last photo - a new embellished compostition book cover started. I'm going to try and spray paint (hey MaryAnn) those metal snowflake brads gold to work better in this design.

My friend Lannae is giving away a new piece of her stamped jewelry. Mention that I sent you and she will put me in a bonus drawing too.

Have a fabulous day everyone.....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My real name is Mom

eta ----- Holy shit ya'll go look at this.

If you have been here, you know what the Softball Princess does with her time. This - lots and lots of this.

She plays ball for the school - she plays ball for her travel team - she practices with both - she hangs out with these teammates - she eats, sleeps, and breathes softball. All of these girls do. It is a year round occupation for us all. She also plays Basketball and soccer for the school - but - in her words- those are just conditioning sports. She wants to play college softball and there is a great chance that will happen.

This post is not about the game of softball.

Abby and all of her teammates are also good students. A little of a rarity in the athletic world, these girls are quite disciplined and academically adept as well.

The following two photos were taken last night at about 8pm. I dropped her off at school at 7:45am and she has not been home yet. School - then practice - then team dinner - then this recognition - then home for homework, shower and bed. The life of an athlete requires time management and discipline to get everything done. But we all know that busy people are the ones who get things done.

This weekend, the girls play in the State Level playoffs. Last night they were recognized at our local board of education meeting, not for making the state level, but for a National Award.

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association lists our little rural Georgia high school softball team as the 3rd highest GPA in the nation. With a non weighted average of 3.734, these girls desreve this award.

Softball Princess is the 2nd from the left. The way cool thing about this is we are a public school and the two teams that beat us out are private schools. This makes MCHS Softball the number one academically ranked public school team in the nation.

Go Raider Softball - beautiful, well coached, competitive, smart, respectful, wonderful young ladies. You should be very proud of your accomplishments on and off the field - we are.

Have a wonderful day --

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Run - to etsy - to her blog - to her mom's place

I read a lot of blogs. I look at a lot of photos over at flickr. I get a ton of magazines. I drool and wish at etsy. Yesterday - I happened onto a post on my google reader about Miss Caitlin Holcomb. The lampshades below are from her flickr set.

I gasped. My heart raced. I drooled. I want - I want - I want - and I have sent the etsy link for these to the people who most likely can buy this for me for Christmas.

What I did not know - and cannot figure how I missed it - is that she is Mary Holcomb's daughter. Yes Mary Holcomb - you know the one featured in many magazines - like Somerset Life and many others. She is the creator of one of my favorite blogs - Merci Notes.

I did not follow Mary's links out because I have around 200 blogs on my google reader and I was getting sucked farther and farther into the internet world. Finding this genius has changed that - I'll be following links again.

In addition to the accent lamps I have fallen for - Caitlin has paintings and banners and other fun stuff at her shop. I got a serious crush on this girl and her stuff.

No MaggieGrace goodness because I spent last night snuggled on the sofa watching tv with the College Freshman who is home on fall break.

Have a wondeful day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

really IMPORTANT life questions...

And thoughts to ponder.

I teach Sunday School - 3 and 4 year old kids. The pastor's teenage daughter, Robin, helps me. I love this part of my week. I love these kids. Breaking the Bible stories down to a level that kids understand and that will keep their attention is sometimes very difficult. I have learned so much doing this for the last 15 years.

I have discovered as well - the writers of programs for this age group more than likely have never attemped to complete the list of songs, lessons, games, and projects that are recommended every week. I pick and choose from the mix and attempt to get just one or two points across.

Every now and then we have a Sunday where I think those kids may be the real teachers and I come away wondering what happens to the "fun stuff" when we all grow up.

Take yesterday -- I left with these thoughts to ponders

Why do they call it a safety pin? Complete with lessons on sharp points and protective covers.

Yes - we took pictures of the bottoms of the shoes ---- a little different take on the shoe photos that Jen loves so much. The smaller ones on the left have words on them reminding kids that you need to run - jump - play. Yes ELI we all need to do some of that every day. The larger ones on the right - those are scoopers and dumpers accoording to owner WILLIAM. Upon noticing these bottoms -William came up with the question of "what do your shoes have on the bottom?"

My shoes were just plain - Robin's have running shoe type treads. The next question was the one that floored me and have really had me thinking - "Why don't big people's shoes have fun stuff on the bottom?" I don't know. Maybe because we are too busy to notice. Maybe because we won't appreciate the appearance of scoopers and dumpers. MMMMMMM. pondering. Maybe because we have often forgotten to just have fun???

How much more difficult could it be to add a word to the bottom of a shoe tread? Maybe a word like - smile - beautiful - magic - special. Or a flower - or a truck - or a fish - or a deer. Who knows - how about a command - like - maybe -- GO HAVE SOME FUN.

Why do you think big people shoes don't have fun stuff on the bottom?????? Does it even matter to you? Would you even notice?

One more life lesson - little cups of rocks are worth saving and sharing with mom and dad. It really does not matter what you choose to share with others - it only matters that you do share.

Watch out for little ones - if you pay really close attention to them - you may relearn to have enthusiasm for life. How scary could that be? Me - I can't wait to see what I learn next Sunday.

There you go, Lannae, my conclusions on what we learned yesterday. Oh and the SS lesson was about the Tower of Babel (also known as the Eiffel Tower to two 3 years olds).

I spent some time making stocking stuffer type paper goodies last night in MaggieGraceWorld. I found these instructions over at the Artful Gathering Blog. Quick and easy to make, I finished mine off a tiny bit different. I stapled them and then covered the end with a "sleeve of paper" held in place with double stick tape.

I made two of these to include in a very late birthday gift. Ready for notes or recipes or embellishing or whatever. These were made in the exact dimensions given in the tutorial.
Then I went digging and found some long skinny paper - 2.5 inches strips. I thought would make wonderful phone list or Christmas gift list sized ones. Imagine a tab for work - kids - friends - emergency - foods - all those number that we write on the marker board. Or a tab for those Christmas gift lists. These will also glue into scrapbooks to add additional journal space on a page. Or use as a bookmark and take your notes as you go. Versatile and quick and easy to make.

I made this many in about an hour. Thank you so much, Elizabeth, I kept several of those paper scraps that you gave me to disperse. You will recognize some of these as coming from you.

I'll be making some of the larger ones for the Embroidery Guild and putting my ATC for each person on the first page.

Note - I did make some with paper that was just printed on one side - I just doubled it and folded in a front/back arrangement. This gives a few extra pages and some variety in the patterns that show in the stack. I like those too.

Have a wonderful day - - - how about you take just a few minutes and PLAY.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It was not chosen .....

"Stonework and Stained Glass" a 5x5 inch art quilt made using recycled, repurposed, and unconventional materials

With a lot of encouragement from many of you, I submitted this project to Quilting arts as a part of the "go Green challenge". The results were published in the last two issues, but this was not chosen. I am a little disappointed, but still, this is a work that I am incredibly proud of. I will also be submitting many many more pieces to magazines.

I posted some sneaks while I was working on this, but I wanted to share the final piece. I will frame this and let this one be all mine. Not much of my work is displayed in my home, but this one will be.

What did I learn from this process? My work quality is better with every item I create. My ideas can be translated from my brain to whatever medium I choose to work in. In comparing this to the published ones, I am not at all embarassed by this piece. I can do this.

I have other things in the works right now, but the year 2009 will be a year for pushing my art and craft out for people to see. That will be my focus. Maybe some sales and definitely some viewings - I'll see.

Thank you all from the very bottom of my heart for your encouragement and inspiration.

Hoping that tonight I can finish the lacework crochet edging on a baby blanket. This one is so very pretty. I'll share it on Monday.

I would like to hear/see your thoughts about this art quilt.

Have a gret weekend.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I got mine --------

ETA - this took on a much more political and personal tone than I intended - the book is beautiful and well worth the purchase as a luxury. Remember that word - this book was a want - not a need and I spent money I had put back for this type of item to buy it. Luxuries are important but it is so important that you clearly identify wants and needs.

I love Magnolia Pearl. I clipped a photo of a bag years ago and still go back to it on occasion. I have drooled over articles about Robin's home and lifestyle. I have even posted about her site and blog here. So when I saw she was publishing a lifestyle book - it was a had to have one for me. I preordered my copy from Barnes and Noble. It came yesterday.

I have only had the opportunity at this point to quickly thumb through and look at the eye candy. There is a gracious plenty of it. The quote above will be added to my collection of quotes. I was thirty five years old before I figured out this bit of wisdom for myself.

I needed my mothers approval and company. We were so uncomfortable with one another (for so many reasons) that much of the time we spent together was centered around shopping - the distraction of pretty things was just enough to keep the disagreeing and nerve grating to a minimum. Her stroke a few years back has made such a difference in how we interact - in a good way.

Filling voids with buying stuff is such an adder to the budget strains many people are facing. Guilty. Me. Yes. But so much less of that occurs now than in the past. My studio is a prime example there. Spending only what we had available - finding ways around the budget constraints. Satisfaction of having all that knowledge and a place to call my own.

I have some beautiful frames that I'll be adapting this idea to.

I am glad Mom and I spent all that time together - and I am so happy that we have advanced to a better place that does not require all that distraction. Now that the studio is where I can work in it instead of on it, we can spend time there with the only distaction being the making of fun things.

Look at that shirt/jacket. Vintage embroideries. Yes the vintage is beautiful, but unfortunately expensive. But what is to keep me from finding a plain white shirt and embroidering my own - there may even be a shirt hanging in either a closet at home or local best friend's closet that can be repurposed? Nothing. I have the skills. God knows I have the floss. What will I get out of the deal? An item I will love to wear and the knowledge that I made it. Economic gains - very little spent on the item except time.

Shredded - tea dyed - muslin. Got tons of muslin at my house - time spent with my mom - I have some outdated tea bags too. MMMMMM - see things there. And no need to worry about what others think about the new curtain toppers in my bedroom. I like the look and I have the stuff already - see how this new thought process works.

Economy issues abound because we were living so far beyond our means. This was the American way. The banking people told us (misled us is a better way to say it) that we could pay the minimum and still have what we wanted. Notice I used the word wanted. We used to joke about how Mama Norvan kept tinfoil - washed and reused it. Now everyone in America is conserving and trying a "green" approach. Personally - I have not used a credit card in at least 9 years. The scary part - I just paid of my last individual one. We have some joint accounts to go. NINE YEARS OF FOCUSED PAYING. OF ADDING EXTRA MONEY TO PAYMENTS. NINE YEARS TO PAY OFF A STEAK DINNER ON A FRIDAY NIGHT THAT I CANNOT REMEMBER. NINE YEARS TO PAY OFF A DRESS THAT I CANNOT WEAR NOW. NINE YEARS TO PAY OFF THINGS I WANTED. The banks made those little luxuries become so common that I cannot even remember what we spent money on.

An outdoor sitting space would be a luxury - but instead of instant gratification - how about spending some time with my Mom and others cutting the trees off of our property - then assembling them. I have so many fabrics (remember the spending sprees) that I can easily duplicate the fabric accessories without spending any MORE. Sure I would love to buy some more pretties, but I have plenty of stuff I can use.

This is a luxury I have longed for. An outdoor bathing space. I have several clippings of outdoor tubs and showers. And I wait. I have a great space for one, but the money is just not there. And I wait.

This book is a serious eye candy book. But the lifestyle and look are so achievable for me. Maybe that is a sign that I am finally overcoming the demons that create the hole in me that needs to be filled with new stuff. The demon that needs instant gratification has been quieted too. Maybe that is why the look and lifestyle featured in the book are appealing to me - with patience and hard work - I can have it too.

Now to find a white shirt.........

Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Just Once ......

I was ahead of the game. Oh yea - I was ahead. That never happens, especially on trends. Look at the picture above - it is from the new Pottery Barn Kids catalog.

AN adorable kids bedroom.

I love the tree branch and the butterflies and OMG check out the owls. But look at what is on the bed, the quilt and then look at what I posted in - December06

To me this is so very cool - to be a trendsetter - can I pretend that Pottery Barn saw my MaggieGracePost and came up with this? I'm going to.

We watched the Softball Princess for two games last night, but still got home early enough to finish a couple of embellished compostition book journals. I'll be selling some of these locally and some will become gifts for the Holiday Season.

The first, features one of my crochet medallions and a favorite vintage sheet music strip. Those tiny stars over the angel trio are sequins and add just the right amount of glitz to this cover. This one was my favorite.

JenB - friend and inspiration has send a couple of small "just because" packages my way. One had a note on a wonderful ShimandSons notecard that looked like a hopscotch game. Jen had no idea how much I adore Sally's work, but I immediately knew that the card was to be used on a journal.

Very Mary had a giveaway several weeks ago of circles. Circles - punched out of fun papers. inspired by those circles, I combined the colors in the notecard, about an hour digging through the scrap paper box and punching circles that coordinated, and then some glue time and the new John Fogerty cd. (a must have people)

Here is the very fun journal I came up with. It's my new favorite.

I love how all the colors work together. I added a wire word from somewhere too. Again I was using what I had. Recycling at it's prettiest.

On the upcoming events news fronts - I have been asked to complete a presentation on ATC for the local embroidery guild. I'll be making kits for the few ladies attending and making each of them an ATC from me. This all happens on Nov 17. I have questions. Should I make the kit as a pattern and then give the supporting materials - or just include a few materials and encourage artistic freedom. The lovely lady who asked me to do this informed me that these are very traditional crafters and do not understand the sudden increase in mixed media artworks like ATC and art quilts. I will be taking my magazines and a notebook full of ATC to display. I would love to add some embroidered/quilted/stitched new ATC to the mix. If anyone is interest in swapping some with me -- please let me know. Leave a message in the comments or email me at

Thanks so much for everything- have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

More studio Pictures

Okay - the floor is not completely painted. Maybe Sunday afternoon.

But I wanted to share the work surface. The chest we cut the legs off of. It is a quality recognized brand of furniture, but I bought it at a yard sale fo 30.00.

See the blue foam on either side of the door. I have a ton of pallet wood and my idea is to have friends complete art on those pallet slats in the dimensions to fit there. My wall will then reflect the people who have supported and continue to support and inspire me. I'll stack them and attach them. Anybody interested???
I stand on the drawer side most of the time to work. The bottom drawer holds the Sizzix and my paper cutters. The 3rd drawer holds gift boxes and other assorted gift wrap supplies. The scissors are sitting there in a tooth brush holder. I hung large sheets of paper on the "back" of the drawers. Being a full blown paper whore - I have another area with big sheets hung too. Easy storage - using those large clips - we call them bulldog clips.

Contents of the top drawer - punches and stuff in those desk drawer dividers. I have them double stick taped to the bottom of the drawer. There is an embellished composition book in progress on the top.
The second drawer - another of those scrap pieces of insulaton board with holes cut in it. Assorted bottles and plastic containers. I adore those lab bottles.

I've had a few here visitors of late. I still need a comfy chair - I think I'll just use a folding one. It is fun to have my local friends there.

I love having my things in one place. I love having a system to put things back. I can tell now that the sewing machine is more than likely going to live in the house - and just move out here for temporary work sessions. (More because of humidity than anything.) I should have committed to this space years ago.

Hopefully I can share the completed composition book tomorrow. We'll see. The Softball Princess has two games tonight.

Have a great afternoon.