Friday, February 29, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Your questions answered


Okay - so I am sure gonna make a freakin' hillbilly doll - from a 1970' era needlework magazine my mom saved for me.

On yesterdays post - I asked for questions you would like to see answered by me. Roxanne was first so I am attacking in that order. If you have more questions please just leave them and I'll be getting to them in the next few days.

Roxanne over at craft addictions asked me --- Here's something I struggle with, so I thought I would ask what you think...Do a lot of people you know in "real life" read your blog? And do you find yourself censoring your words here because of it? How do you get past worrying about it? Can't wait to hear your input! Thanks!!
I refuse to hide my blog from anyone. Early on it was a secret, known only to a few in my real world. Then as I became more encouraged by people I did not even know, I started to share the URL with those closest to me. Local Best Friend was the first person I told. He read and was encouraging as well. He has even commented that this blog helps him to know me even better.
As I became more comfortable with both my writing and my message, I shared it with more people. Abby's softball team has a website and the man at my address added a link to my site from there.
My family and friends are readers, my in-laws are readers and regular commentors, my girls are readers, and as I have team pictures or group pictures to post, I have added to the reader list by asking permission to use their childs photo. Co-workers - different story - one of them found a post I was working on in my draft folder. I have endured much teasing about posting things about skinny dipping and hot showers.
In short - yes almost everyone around me is aware and may read at any time.
Censoring words -- I prefer to use the phrase choosing words carefully. I want MaggieGrace World to be a positive place that I can be proud to share with anyone. So I do tend to choose words carefully. My life is not always bright and shiny. Things happen that I have chosen to never share. Other things have affected me and I have shared them in condensed versions. If it is a sensitive issue - I more than likely will not use names. I have yet to have anyone in a situation be confused. Those who are outside a situation may be and may make assumptions that are not true. If that happens and I find out, I am quick to clear that up one to one. If others choose not to continue reading a post, I would not be offended by that knowledge.
Basically - I come to this keyboard and allow myself to spill onto the pages. If a subject may be hurtful or sensitive I will save it as a draft and call Local Best Friend to preview it for me. He is - blatantly - often stingingly - honest with me - and has the outside point of view that allows objective feedback. He also has so much respect for me and my family - that he will not allow me to be hurtful if he knows that I will have regret later. (Love ya buddy.) So yes I guess I do censor some words.
Do I worry about the words I write? How do I get past it? Sometimes I do worry. If I am about to share something crude, rude, and obnoxious, I try to make that clear in my early paragraphs so that church friends - or my inlaws - can choose not to continue reading. I am very real with everyone I deal with - my children included - and I am careful to be just as real here. Like I said earlier this week, sometimes it is just too hard to put on a mask. How do I get past that worry, by only writing what I would be willing to say even in public or face to face.
I have found this to be an effective place to really figure out what I feel about some issues. What you won't find here EVER - graphic sexual detail, tattletale stories on others just because I could, claims that a piece of work or a photo is mine when it isn't, made up stories to make myself look better or worse than I am (or others are for that matter) or detailed political discussion. What you may find here - a cuss word on occasion, controversion subjects, true life stories about those around me, a thank you, a prayer request, and other things as life throws its drop pitch and curve ball at me. What you will always find here - me - trying to make a way through this crazy life, honesty, appreciation for those who read here and for those who inspire me, a sharing of my information in the event that it may help some one else, my creations, my family, my home, my friends, in a predominately positive environment - I hope.
To sum all of this up MaggieGrace is a fairly complete, honest picture of who I am and how I relate to my life. Roxanne - hope that answered your question.
Have a wonderful day all.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Piddly things....

Mrs. G is doing a series of posts based on questions her readers asked. I am going to jump on with her series - because the MaggieGrace item I am working on is hush-hush top secret.



Hope these confessions don't bore you to tears - I love to read these kinds of things because it really let's me get to know others so much better.



Here we go - While I have a degree that qualifies me for more technical career pursuits, the local job market does not have those opportunities. The man at my address is a government contract employee and does nothing all day - so he dang well is not moving to another location to look for a "real" job. Reality - I sell toilets for a living - and some of my customers are pictured here. These people could afford very nice plumbing materials.





Dave Schools - Widespread Panic. Way cool shower system in his house. Fabulous man to work with. Super nice and unassuming in his manner - if I wasn't a fan - I would have had no idea even who he was.


All of the R.E.M. boys and several of their support staff. Mr Stipe here has the most adorable sister, a porcelain and tile artist with an incredible eye. He also has an incredible art collection that would surprise many many of their fans. These boys are smart businessmen too. They own and manage property here and are huge supporters of indie arts and small indie businesses as well. Each of them have totally different styles in their home.
John and Robin Berry - such a cute couple - great parents too. Shhh... I got to stand in the shower with him (lucky me) - too bad we were fully clothed and he was cussing about a problem created by the plumber. Sigh........ Easy to work with - I have helped them with several homes over the years.




This man is the only one I have ever been completely tongue tied with. Author Terry Kay. He is funny and stubborn and likeable - and his wife will leave you rolling in the floor - hysterically funny.


PET PEEVE #1 - I have a set of scales in the showroom and one of the guys weighs himself before going to the bathroom AND after coming out. (Look dude - I do not care if the crap you just took makes your pants fit better.) I really believe men are secretly much more vain than women.


PET PEEVE #2 - the left lane is for those going faster than you are. If you are driving 40 mph - move over. I am driving faster than you are.


PET PEEVE #3 - getting my order wrong at a drive through window. A number one combo ordered by the number just cannot be that hard to do.

There are those three just from today.

SKELETON IN MY CLOSET - I have more than one body piercing scar. There is the public one that everyone knows about and ....... seems like I had a mid-life crisis.

Now for the fun part - do you have any questions you would like for me to answer? Leave them in the comments and I will print them off and answer them as my posts for the next few.

Have a really great afternoon.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Letting People In.......

I have a split personality. Not not like a medical diagnosis - more like an alter ego. Very few people that I work with know the "real me". The me that all of you who read here are very familiar with. Dennis - who's gorgeous picture of the view from his home was in yesterday's post - knew very little about the real me - and has been a surprise encouragement for me to continue this blog in the early days - he still reads and I want to thank him for that.

I wear many masks for people - I have worn many more in the past. The "party girl" mask, the "i really don't care what you think" mask, the "I am strong enough to handle anything" mask, Hell I even have a mask that proclaims "total BITCH and proud of it". How many of us put on that"you can't hurt me", "I got it all under control" and " I know exactly what I am doing here" mask with even our family - only to disintegrate into a blubbering mess behind closed doors. I think I wanted to fit in everywhere, so I developed all of these persona for whatever situation I found myself in.

Cancer changed things, being with loved ones as they suffered and died changed things. I think as you approach your 40's you start seeing a change in the diligence of putting on your mask(s). It is sometimes just too much work to wear the damn things.



Who am I? I am a wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, employee, church member, volunteer, cancer survivor, caregiver to many. I am the chauffeur, part time cook, part time maid, accountant, engineer, troubleshooter, receptionist, and banker. I am the tutor, part time nurse, personal shopper, seamstress, stock clerk, guard, psychologist. I am an encourager, the listener, the sympathizer, vet, animal rescue expert, exterminator, secretary, cheerleader. This list can go on and on forever. Good ol' Teresa - she will take care of it. Don't worry - she'll make it happen.

I can make a decision in a flash and stand by that decision with no problem. I can drink with the best of them. I am not afraid of hard work or difficult situations. While I do not like conflict, I will stand my ground and not back away from it. I am the one in charge of emotional well being for my children. I can solve technical problems for customers, I help lead them through the decision making process for their now homes, and I am good at all those things.

But that is who I am to all the other peole in my life and with that statement - I come to the part about the masks. Why do I hide the real me for so many of those people? At what point did that person become lost? What do I have have to do to find her? Did all those other people bury her alive somewhere in the shadow of their life?


I pretend everything is wonderful sometimes and that I am okay too. Well this space has helped to destroy some of those masks. You all have been so absolutely wonderful to me in my creative soul. The real me is emerging again. You know who she is, the child inside who can play for hours, squeal with glee at the smallest gem of pleasure. The child who colors with every crayon in the box with no caring of whether they match or not. Who runs and jumps and swings and twirls without worrying about who is watching. the one who has no parameters of what is "acceptable" in this situation. Kids ask questions with no embarassment. The true child in us has no hurtful desires against others, they just want to play and have fun.

I am finding her so much more often now. I chose MaggieGrace as the name of my blog in memory of the child not meant to share time with us here. I has become the name of the studio space. As I start over on etsy - that will be the name of the shop over there.

MaggieGrace is the true ego of me and with encouragement from so many of you guys and one very special local best friend, she is becoming much more open to allowing others into her world. I see it happen in many ways. Especially in the not worrying too much about what others think. Sure - I want people to like me - but I have found that I cannot make that happen. Last night, as I was painting in the studio, stepping back and looking at the results, I was overtaken with complete joy over that project. The man at my address has no clue about the look I was after. Rustic, beach cottage, okay to get sand (or paint or glitter) all over the floor. Not to worry about splatter on the walls - they are worn and faded anyway. The man has helped me with the heavy labor part of this little building, but it is mine - all mine. I can decorate it to suit me. It has been built for me - for MaggieGrace - using many of the ideas I want to live by. Recycled, repurposed, a little rough around the edges still. But let me tell you - when you enter this space - you will feel good. You may even ask for the whole box of crayons. Knowing that I am nearing the ability to move all my stuff in feels incredible.

And the beauty of the items that are being inspried here is amazing. Why - because there is not one "mask" allowed in that room. The side effect of that is filtering out into the other parts of my world. Customers are beginning to know that I am a creative soul. People around me are being subjected to looking at what my latest creation is or will be. I am amazed at the result of taking the masks off. The response has been almost all positive and is encouraging me to remove even more of the masks from my self. That is very empowering.

Sorry this is so long. I wanted to thank you all for the part you have played in the emergence. But I also wanted to work through the thoughts that I had while working on the studio last night. I hope some of you will someday visit MaggieGrace Studio for real. We will sit and talk or create. We may eat or drink - laugh or cry. Just remember - when you come to visit, bring your authentic self - you will have to leave all your masks lying in a pile by the door.

All of these photos were taken from my moms albums. Me - before the world gave me all of that baggage.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fun stuff ...

Good Monday morning. Yet another activity filled week and weekend to come. The Home and Garden Show for my local area is this weekend and we will have a booth. I'll be setting everything up on Friday and then be there all weekend working. At least I do not have to be Mom at all for the weekend - the monsters and the man at my address will be gone snow skiing with the church. Looks like a Chinese takeout kind of weekend.


Look at this picture. Some things are just not fair. After I posted this last week, I received an email from the man's relative - Dennis - with this picture as an attachment. Seems this is the view from his bedroom window at sunset - I would have a terrible time leaving this view at anytime. This is just beautiful. My dream home has a view of water from a sitting area. Dennis, thanks for sending me this - it really is pretty - we need to see it in person really soon.

More fun - the WIP for the Quilting Arts challenge. A scrap of Aida cloth. Rug canvas that came in a box from this generous soul. Black floss left over from a stocking kit. So far every item qualifies for the challenge. I have finished the center beading with seed beads rescued from the dress trims - I did clear/slightly tinted beads for the center. OMG I love the way it turned out. The canvas gave the "leading" of the stained glass just enough extra loft to make it pop. The clear beads have just enough variety in color to make you think that you are seeing shadows and sunlight from the outside. Sometimes (not too often) the outcome is even better than the idea.

Last night at the church we finally accomplished the Winter Wonderland event. If anyone out there is looking for a cold weather event for your young ones - this was quick and easy. We had "snowball catch" games - snowball races (think egg on the spoon but with cotton balls) - made icicles from plastic wrap and glitter - made a card for the pictures - and did ice fishing (for candy prizes). Served hot dogs and roasted marshmallows. A family in the church had this fantastic snow machine.


My Molly - posing with Frosty the snowman. Biased mommy opinion here - but this is one of my favorite pictures ever of her. We took all the kids picture with this snow machine. Printed them out on the Kodak easy dock and they each took home a card with the picture in it. We had such a great time. (oh and Molly's volleyball team won their bracket - never mind it was the aluminum bracket - really the bronze - she personally had a wonderful day.) I am going to miss her so much this fall.

If you are a regular reader you will remember the weekend it snowed at the beach. Here are the pictures of how I used those paper snowflakes. All around the ice fishing lake (the lake was made from white sheets and that blue styrofoam insulation over the serving tables.) This was really very pretty - I kept everything with the idea of using the branches and snowflakes for a Christmas in July event at the studio.

I also would like to say that not touching my computer all weekend was not as difficult as I had imagined. There won't be many more of those - because now we are in the real decision process on college and the emails are flying as we try to get more information together.

Have a wonderful evening - the man at my address is sick(you know the cold that only slows mom down and stops dad dead in his tracks) and the girls have school stuff tonight. You'll find me in the barn painting floors and touching up walls. Right after I scrub a shelf that is going there. Volunteers for help welcome.

See ya tomorrow --


Friday, February 22, 2008

Why do they have to be teens????

The normally cheerful Miss Molly is having a bad day. She woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. That sets off a series of events that can really be stressful. Played a soccer game in the cold cold rain last night, then had two hours of volleyball practice. I undersatand tired, but as I pointed out early this morning, that does not mean the rest of us should suffer.

Off to more cheerful subjects. We have very few problems with our monsters. Generally they are respectful and fun to be around. I am a fairly indulgent mom and they know it. We are not wealthy by any stretch, but they get to go and do and wear most anything they choose. I just bought Molly a - new to her- Jeep Cherokee. She has driven a Mazda Protoge (we called it the wind up car) and has wanted something more SUV all along. She is very happy with that.

The beanie hats - that took on a life of their own - resulted from a request to make them one. As did those legwarmers from the post on Wednesday. Well here is that live action shot I promised you.

'80s flashdancy legwarmers. My own pattern, everything I found online was knitted. I only frogged once - the bottom opening was too tight to get over the heel so I had to make it a little bigger. (Every time I see a picture of my floors I love them even more. ) She is happy with these. I really cannot believe that I'm seeing this fashion trend return. What do you think?

In my post about the QuiltingArts Challenge, I mentioned beads off dress trims. Mom and I found a "stuff a bag" bin at the fabric warehouse. This thing was full of various "ends" from those high fashioned beaded, fringed, sequined trims. Some only about an inch long. I bought three baggies full for 1.00 each. I dumped them into a pickle jar. Every now and then, I decide to grab a handful and sort them out. I have a little jar of ribbon bits. One of sequins - all kinds of beads. Just bits that were saved from the dumpster.

Since I do a lot of cross stitch and was continually buying seed beads for various things, when I noticed that there were huge amounts of those at the bottom of that bin, I tilted the bin and made a scoop from my grocery card and topped off my baggies with seed beads. I wish this was all of them. That da*& jar is still 1/2 full of unsorted trim bits so there is more to sort. But these will be used in the challenge quiltlet.

According to the rules - I am not supposed to post the entire piece, but I'll be giving this kind of update as I work on it. I am really excited about everything that is going on in my world right now.


For all of you scrimping-saving friends and storage freaks - altoid tins and prescription pill bottles are fabulous storage devices. (aren't all those mixed beads pretty)

This morning everyone in our community is breathing with joy and relief as Madison Kerr has been found and safely reunited with her Mom. She was kidnapped by her biological father and they were found yesterday in Franklin, Tennessee. Miss Kerr was a teacher at the girls school, and while you think this kind of thing only happens elsewhere, this reminded everyone that no one is really immune to violent irrational behavior. I thank God that she is safe, I thank God that my children have been raised in a safe home with both parents, I thank God that he has protected little Madison and that this horrifying experience is over for her.

Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Good Morning - a view on my world

I know - I know - I am supposed to have a real shot of the leg warmers. Congratulations again to Lori for putting the clue together. Last night turned out ot be way more influenced by outside sources than I knew. Soccer game - teach at church - set up chairs - laundry - then the family needed me too. So the second leg warmer is not finished. (tonight it will be) then I'll be making Lori a set of tags.

As a pacifying post - I show you the view from my bedroom - bathroom - and kitchen window this morning. It would also be from the laundry room but I am too short to see out that window.



As the sun was coming up there was this gorgeous shade of soft orange and pink to the clouds. The picture does not do this any real justice. I grabbed the camera - no time for the tripod - and ran outside to try and capture the color. I used the top of the gas grill to set the camera on - this is the best shot of several I took.

Mind you - we live in the country and this scene is often populated by wildlife. Deer graze here without fear of the dog - we regularly see them at night and have seen them lying next to the dog pen. We have visits from possums (hideously ugly creaturesbut they love dog and cat food) . We have seen fox and coyote. The scrub we leave in this field serves as food and habitat for many birds.

I love living in the country. I love being just far enough away from town to really relax. While we live close to the road, traffic is not very heavy late at night - so no street noise to keep us awake. We do have all those brainwashed baptist neighbors around. (No malice intended in that statement people - Elizabeth has posted about those perceptions over at her place) Elizabeth - please do drop by to see me. And we still need to make a date for that dinner or coffee.

I love the fact that I know my neighbors. That I know its okay to leave Mickey a check under the bucket for cutting the grass. That I know who Linsey is when Mrs Sarah is talking about her granddaughter going to college. That I can leave the house unlocked and that the well pump man will check what he needs to and then lock it for me. That my kids are reasonably safe when they do stay home alone. (I say reasonably because with two teenage girls - the fight over a tshirt could be ugly) - I love my home.




Look at that - on the floor under my desk at work. A leaf that I brought in on my shoes. Look closely. What do you see????

Wait - I'll give you a better look......



I think this would qualify as a hug from the universe. It at least could be called a surprise heart. Or a hidden heart. It sure did brighten my day.

(yeah - I kept it. To put in my journal. You never know when a girl might need a reminder that a higher power cares about her)

Have a great Thursday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What a feelin'..... a guessing game ....


eta - Lori over at Laeroport gets the tags. Thanks for playing - guess I'll have to be more clever next time. I'll give an in use picture tomorrow. Teresa




What could this be? Sumptious grey and a soft soft yarn. Quite obviously I love this stitch, it is the same one from the pink blanket I just finished last night.

We are hammered at work - so I only have a minute to post.

I will send a pack of 10 handmade by me gift tags to the first person to guess what this may be. These will be all purpose tags created by me just for this post.

If there are no correct guesses - I will put all the entries in a bowl and draw one name. All of this fun will end tonight at 10pm eastern time - when I get home and check the comments - so hurry. Note - read carefully - there is a clue here too.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Inspirations

A sketch for the Quilting Arts Green challenge. I am posting this since the finished item will more than likely not look anything like this.

For more than a year I have had a phrase written down. Stonework and stained glass - the phrase has repeatedly echoed through my brain. This photo by Corey Amaro triggered the initial thought process and I have been waiting on the cycle to complete itself. Funny - the sketch looks nothing like the photo.

All along - I knew I wanted 3d texture and had an idea of making the stained glass window from wire and floss. Now I am expanding this idea into the art quilt for that challenge. Here's a list of what I have gathered so far -- see what you think.

linen scraps ----- pea gravel ------ seed beads off of dress trims ------ wire mesh ------ rug hook canvas scraps ------ paper in shades of green ------ twine ------ cotton yarns ----- old postage stamps with flowers and birds ----- upholstry yarn remnnts.

Now to figure out how to attach those stones using something recycled or repurposed. Any ideas. I was kind of thinking shrink wrap but I am just not sure.....

Help - feedback - confusion - please.

Also - I want all of you to go over to see Bill at Loving Her Beautiful . He has a wonderful project that I will be participating in and with his permission I am inviting you to look at and join with us.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, February 18, 2008

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT...

As an 80's teenager, this was a favorite song. The BayCity Rollers - "gonna keep on dancing to the rock and roll. " Now I have that song stuck in my head and trying to stick it into yours. Was I successful?

This first picture has nothing to do with Saturday. It is all about Sunday. The Freshman dorm at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia. Coincidences abounded in our day there. We arrived early and enjoyed 50 repeats of the powerpoint video about the school. The President and his lovely wife were there (he is quite a character) - we met their dog "Rosie" complete with her ponytail to keep her hair out of her eyes - the chair of the math department looks like Sammy Hagar (I Can't Drive 65) - then went to lunch. We chose our table at random and ended up with the chair of the chemistry department as our table leader - quite the science nerd - but funny and likable - and he would be Molly's advisor because he is the Pharmacy advisor (Coincidence #1). Our table mates were a young lady (named Abby - same as little sis at our house) - and her mom. (coincidence 2). Then off to the seminars - separated. Dad and I hook up with some other parents and hit it off immediately. We decide that Molly and Allison (their daughter) need to be roomies. At the end of the day - we all are to hook up again - Molly comes into the room walking with another young lady - I point her out to the mom we have hooked up with - she laughs. Why - because - her daughter is the one Molly is coming in with - they have hooked up without us knowing and decided that if they are coming here - they will be roomies. (coincidence #3) .


Molly loved the campus. She says it "feels good". Meets our academic and student life requirements. She is already talking to the coach and has an opportunity to play volleyball. The funny thing - this was our lowest option for a school at the beginning of this search. We have others to investigate, but while that happens she feels like this is it. We will also go back during the week and meet with the coach.

Enough about that - Saturday - that is the real reason for this post. It was a gorgeous day - and we worked in the studio - all day. That never happens. We had no where for the kids to be on Saturday. I was up early and worked all day.

Since I still have not figured out how blogger loads pictures, I will simply describe these as I go.

Above is the floor color. Against that back wall. A deep rich grey - this is only one coat and we only painted 1/2 of the floor. I moved some things in here before Christmas and will have to rearrance in order to finish. I do have to touch up the bottom of the walls all the way across. Again - I love the look of a beach shack that this gives me. The floor will get another coat. I will be able to sweep and vaccum this clean - hopefully - very easily. (glitter fairies do make messes you know)

The man at my address put up a lot of the ceiling and hung two flourescent light fixtures. I can turn on the lights with a switch and I do not have to find the extension cord and a place to clip that halogen shop light. The plan is for two more lights to go in. There will be plenty of work light available.


The picture above is simply to record that green trim. Remember, we are reusing the materials we tore out of our house. Well see it - yes - the glow in the dark green stripe there - that is trimming my cork design wall. My bedroom was THAT color of green when we bought this house. The walls, the ceiling, the trim, and there was matching green and yellow shag carpet on the floor. I thought all that trim was gone and I did not take any pictures of that room - so when this appeared, I was determined to capture that memory.

The gable ends of the barn have been a disappointment to me. I really wanted to leave the rustic wood there, but the gaps in the siding prevented that. all of the caulk and spray foam are hideous and I just could not live with that. Then I saw Pam Garrison's closet and I knew what I was going to do.


My sweet sister gave me a huge box of vinyl wall paper scraps years and years ago. (You know I keep everything)


I had (have) several things to pull from that were meaningful to me. Since you will see this one from the entry to the studio, I am putting those things on display. A TO DO list that accompanied a package from JenB, A postcard and other things from the Professor , some ephemera from the Queen, and then some various cards and notes from people. Again, you all know I keep everything.

I also have a scripture that has meaning to me. the pages out of a deteriorating hymnal for Amazing Grace, The Old Rugged Cross (I used to hum these to the girls as I rocked them) and Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (the first song Molly learned to play on the piano) and the dictionary page with the definition of absorb because I hope to becomed absorbed in my work when I move in there.

I worked on the tailgate of my truck for about 6 hours - the sunburn proves it. My Mom stopped by to help and visit. She brought Flopsy - her little dust mop dog - who had a blast just running around our feet. That was fun.

This is the outcome --------

Now doesn't that look better.

I will have to repeat the process in the front. However, since you will not be able to see as much of it, I will use bigger, less random pieces of wallpaper and gift wrap.


I am so happy with how it turned out. I can see a theme of collage beginning to emerge and I'll say, I would rather work with wallpaper paste then paint any day. There will be more of this process used in shelves and cabinets.

These studio is getting there quickly. Having lights will be wonderful and since the weather is nicer, I can work without freezing to death. It's happening.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ahead in the game ......

Not me -hardly ever. But right now I feel as if I might be. So many times we are rushing from activity to activity. The girls have their stuff. We have ours. I am sure this will be that way again soon.
Why do I feel ahead? Well - these pictures is why.
Way back last fall, I made MaryAnn an altered book. In her book I added the EMERGE page.
Described here. Those butterflies were fun to put together and that was one of my favorite pages.
On Friday I was catching up on my blog reading. I actually was amazed to see this photo.
Butterflies - all lined up in pretty rows. Different from mine, but similar enough that I was happpy to feel ahead in the game.

My take on the repetitive project was directed at a friend and I hope she has added text and altered that book I made even more. I do like the look of Ali Edwards layout as well and I may make some pretty - tiny hearts in a row for a set of thank you notes - each heart a little different. What a fabulous way to use up those scraps - that I keep.

FYI - wait until Monday to see what I was up to on Saturday.

Sunday included a trip to Piedmont College for a Premier Scholarship Competition. Please pray that Molly was memorable enough to receive money. After the trip today, she feels like this is where she wants to go and we need financial help to make this one happen. We met with the pharmacy advisor over lunch - she had competition interviews - we had financial aid seminars. The school has a volleyball program and she has met the coach. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY - there is a Mexican Restaurant close by the campus.

Have a wonderful Sunday evening. We are hunkered down in anticipation of rough weather here in the south.

See you tomorrow.



Thank you Kristen

On Wednesday when I was resting on the sofa with the crud, one of my monsters handed me this package. It was my heart full of supplies swap package - Hosted by Kari over at ArtsyMama. I was paired with an old friend - Kristin. Hey there mommy and baby Julen.

Kristin is anamazingly talenteded felt, fiber, and stitch artist. I am always tickled to receive packages from her.

Please don't be jealous when you see the goodness bestowed on me.

These adorable felted mushrooms. Look how tiny they are. (That is the box cover in the background) These will be displayed in a print drawer cubby in MaggieGrace world.

The enclosed card - added to my favorite art cards. I have a question - how do all of you keep your cards? Do you display them? If so - then how? I have a sewing machine drawer full of cards from various people. I thumb through them and drool again and again - but I would like to be able to see them at a glance.
My- my - what could be in this squishy little package with the bakers twine (thank you kristin - for all of that stuff you sent) and a wonderful textured button.

It's a pincushion. I saw this over at her place and loved it. What I did not realize from her picture was that each of those conversation hearts is an individual pin. Waaaaaay cool.


The actual box of goodness - just look at how much fun I get to have. There was also a felt heart pin - wore it yesterday - and received many compliments. Even a plumber, who properly used the word brooch, commented on it.

I forgot to take pictures of the package I sent her. I hope she gets as much happiness and joy as I did when I opened mine.

Go over and tell her congrats on that new baby boy too. He is beautiful.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

I found it....

Yesterday I was sick - flat out sick - what we call "snottin' and sneezin'" at our house. Low grade fever - the works. I called in at the church and begged someone to cover for me. I went home and went to bed. By 7:30pm I was crashed and burned and today I think I might be human again.

The mail had left a lovely package from Kristen - I'll update about that tomorrow. Goodies galore. Thank you sweetie. I knew I was going to try and get a little rest, so I had picked up some of my favorites at the book store. Did not read anything -- but I brought this in with me this morning.



Wow - what an issue. See right there in the middle of the front. GO GREEN! I will not even pretend that my carbon footprint is small, but we are trying to be more aware and make better choices. I read the article this morning at my desk in paragraph increments between job duties. Heart racing - ideas abounding - one of those articles. Featuring the work and writing of an artist named Natalya Aikens. Hop over and read about her at her cyber blog home -- Art by Natalya .

You all know that I repurpose many items for storage in my home. I recycle some items - cannot tell you the last time I bought small trash bags. I use pattern tissue for wrapping and packing items. If you have ever received a boxed package from me - I can almost guarantee the box was reused from the pile at work. I even recycled the lumber for the walls in my studio. And I have made no secret that I am USING WHAT I HAVE instread of continuing to fill the stash.

Well the page just past the article was the issue challenge - and it is perfect for me. A 5" x 5" art quilt that uses the techniques from the article. Go here to read about this challenge. This fits my unwritten artist's statement for the moment and it also fits a personal challenge to submit something to a magazine. I will be gathering the materials immediately for this one. Wish me luck here. I already have an idea for this one.

In addition - the new Somerset Life -has a couple of challenges that I will be submitting. I will be sending the CIP pennant kit to them -including duplicating January and then mailing them one through the rest of the year. I will also be making more button fairies for a challenge there too. Wish me luck on these as well.

I'll be digging through my materials tonight after I get home and over the weekend as well - no activites planned for Friday/Saturday. Molly has scholarship day at Piedmont College on Sunday. Work will be happening on the studio and I will be working this art quilt in my brain and creating a tray of materials for it.

See - I got a challenge and my creative mojo is back.

See ya'll tomorrow - have a great day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Paying it forward

Hey everyone - Wednesday after a long Tuesday. I have been feeling icky for several days - but last night, one of those migraines that requires the phrase "stop the car I'm gonne puke" took hold of me. And while I never actually threw up - I prayed and begged God to please let me so I would feel better. Thank you for lovely prescription drugs that will take care of those headaches.





Soccer season has started - last night's game was almost two hours from home. Molly scored the only goal - from her midfield position - GO MOLLY. I did get a few rows done early on the pink blanket.





Back in July - I posted a pay it forward challenge . Suzanne from the JuneAugust blog was one of the commentors on that post. Well I am finally mailing her materials.





I had this light and lofty yarn - one skein only - in the stash and decided to use it. I love the colors. I made a beanie hat - of course - cause I have been the queen of beanie hats. This stuff is a nightmare to work with - the thick and fuzzy bits make it hard to see what you are doing. I used much profanity in public while making the hat AND I had yarn remaining. That would never be used unless I simply buckled down and used it.



Here is the second half of the gift.






Wish I had made this first. There was NO cursing. The neckwarmer/cowl/cervical collar was easy to finish. Double crochet around the previous rows post. So Miss Suzanne has on the way a lovely hat and neckwarmer set. Lucky for her - she lives in Canada - and in my impression it gets cold.






Look at the close up -are these colors wonderful or what. I had the best time playing in the buttons too. Vintage coat buttons sewn on with wonderful heavy cotton upholstery button thread. Honestly - I almost kept this for myself.






As everyone who knows me can vouch for - I love a pretty package. I have posted gift packing and tagging ideas over at CIP and I used one of my favorites for this package. Old pattern paper and lace. The really pretty tag was a gift from JenB.



This lovely will be going in the mail this afernoon.


Tonight is church - then a little decorating for the winter wonderland next weekend. The man is supposed to hang ceiling in the studio (that is what Iwant for Valentines day.)


MaryAnn asked what I was going to call the studio - I have referred to it verbally as MaggieGrace World all along - but do any of you have ideas. The blog and the soon to be opened etsy shop both go by MaggieGraceCreates - I am open for suggestions. Please throw your ideas in or simply vote if you agree with the direction I am off on.


Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I am a happy happy girl ....

This is the vision of pink goodness that I am working on. I'll share the full scoop. Last year during soccer/volleyball season I was really working on the use what I had idea. I had a huge box of miscellaneous yarns that had accumulated at the house. I carried those everywhere we went and finished this afghan. I am so happy with it. It is bright - colorful - fits perfectly across the bed - and I used up a ton of yarn. Successful stash busting it was. I was excited to see the empty space where that bag of scrap yarn was.



Well the universe is so very generous. Immediately after finishing that blanket and being so excited about using up the excess, I was gifted by the pastors wife with two big copier paper boxes of yarn. A customer rescued two lawn and leaf bags full from the garbage and gave them too me. I found a box full in my attic. Add all of that to the still massive pile that I still had and you still have a ton of yarn. I have finished three baby blankets - made some 40 beanie hats - bunches of bird nests - and made a neck warmer. Have I made a dent in the pile???? Maybe - but it is still massive.



There was one yarn in particular that I passed over and over time and again. A red heart brand in varigated dusty rose. I really did not like this yarn. I used a little of it in the big blanket, but I had several skeins still. I was just flat tired of looking at it. Crochet is so easy to travel with. For me, once I get started, I can pick it up and put it down easily. So here is the result. A "random" stripe lap blanket. Simple, single crochet then chain. The next row is an opposing pattern crocheted in the chain one opening creating a fairly dense but lightweight blanket.



I found some more pieces of skeins in pinks and am using those to break up the varigated yarn. This will not be perfectly symmetrical but still eye catching. I have twin cousins and this one will be a Christmas gift for one of them - I'll do something similar for the other one. oth of my girls have similar scrap blankes on their beds or carry them in car for naps. I'm just happy to be checking more stash busting off the list.



In other news - I registered for my etsy shop this week. Paypal setup completed. Now I just have to figure out some stock for that shop. More to come. Just having the addresses and accounts open is huge for me. Making that step makes me happy.



The bottom picture is making me the happiest of all. One whitewashed wall in MaggieGrace Studio. Way back in November - we started hanging walls from the lumber recycled when we remodeled the house. It was so dark in there that I decided I wanted a whitewashed effect for this. I finished one wall last night. Look at this. To me it looks like a beach shack and I am so in love with it. This is rough cut lumber so in reality it is very textured and irregular. Did I say I am in love with this?? The peak of the roof will be filled with syrofoam insulation board and will have a patchwork of wall paper scraps glued to it. ( Thank you Pam Garrison and Alicia Paulson). I do not have vintage wallpaper, but I do have two big boxes (boot boxes) of 80's wall paper pieces. I have used wallpaper paste on a test piece and discovered that covering the styrofoam needs the paste designed for pasting border over vinyl paper. I think because the foam insulation has some sort of vinyl or plastic protective coating one it.



Is it just me or does this look like a beach shanty to you too? And did I say I am so in love with this?

I AM A HAPPY HAPPY GIRL.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lost it ......

And I feel awful about it. I have lost all control of my life. Between work - kids - church - sports - house - and on and on. I have NO control over what happens right now. Spent the weekend in Birmingham, Alabama (really Moody and Alabaster). There are rumours that this is a great place to visit and do things. I cannot vouch for that because all I saw was interstate and gyms.

We were there for 2 days and played 4 games. Understand this - we have played 6 games in one day and not been terribly fatigued. This was one of the most disorganized and poorly run tournaments I have ever attended. The two venues we were at never even offered tournament tshirts - Saturday afternoon we played late - not too horrible - but Sunday we arrived at the gym at 9:30am and did not play until after 3pm. It would have been wonderful to sleep in - I was feverish and miserable. Too long to take the girls shopping - Sunday movies don't start until later. So really no way to kill time. Luckily the weather was stunning - and warm - the girls lounged on blankets in the grass and I sat in the sun and crocheted. I'll share photos of that project later in the week.

A college recruiter was there to watch Molly - let's just say what a disaster that was - it is hard to pump up for playing and then sit around and wait for endless hours. The entire team was just flat.


We did not get home until around 11 last night. I snapped these few shots as I was waiting on showers and unpacking the truck. Just a few images that make me happy. God knows after this trip I need something else to focus on.


My spool rack - bought at an antique mall in the north Georgia mountains. I love this piece. Right now it hangs on the wall in the hall - by the bedroom door. It will be moving to the studio very soon.

My vintage cola crate. Hanging over the computer table in the living room. (Having the computer in here keeps me aware of what the girls - and the man at my address are doing) The black and white photo on the top is my Nanny Frances - my mother's mother. That is a naked baseball sitting on the jar candle opening - don't ask - I do not have a clue as to why I have this - but it is handy to tack notes to.

My little stairstep drawers. That is one of my Daddy's knives. I bought this at a festival. Love the contrasting stain on the drawer fronts. This is hanging by the front door (the one no one uses) and I keep matches in one drawer, those buttons that come off clothes and such in one(the kind you find in the washer and dryer) , and random assorted junk in one.

There you have just a few "spots" of happiness at my house.

Hope this finds all of you having a wonderful day.

Teresa

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Twisties........


This is an image from Heather Bailey's blogsite. I giggled when I saw it. Twisties. Bread ties. Bag ties. What ever you choose to call them.
I am sharing mumbo jumbo here this week - because late nights and long days have the result of nothing happening in MaggieGrace world. Tonight is even a dinner night with a customer. Trying to capitalize on the demise of a competitor. I have mixed emotions about this situation - I had friends who worked there - with families - and now they will be looking for work in a very tough economy.
Anyway - back to the ties. I have a special affinity for them. Many years ago - as a young girl - dating the significant other who was to become the man at my address - there was an opportunity to make HIS grandmother happy. I loved Mama Norvan like my own grandmother - and she loved me. She had a tiny Japanese Maple tree in the corner of the yard and we decorated that tree for Christmas - tiny white lights - not just draped in the tree - but following every branch out to the tips. We tied the lights into place with recycled bread ties. This first decorated tree became part of our Christmas tradition and was continued until the Christmas after she passed away.
As we took the lights off every year we saved these ties and reused them. As the tree grew, we added lights and I saved these ties and Mama Norvan saved these ties. Actually several people saved these ties. We all straightened them and I saved mine standing in a baby food jar. It really never crossed my mind that anyone would make light of the habit.
Years passed - the tree grew and eventually required its own circuit to carry the electrical load of the lights. Mama Norvan loved that tree and me and the man at my address were the only ones who could do it right. I miss you Mama Norvan.
Fast forward to a dinner party at my house. Close friends. Kids everywhere. Laughter. Stories. Good food - good fun. The conversation somehow turns to cleaning out houses after people die. My friend Melissa brings up a question "what is the one thing you always find when you clean out an OLD persons house?" The answer from EVERY PERSON there was bread ties - and to prove that I was OLD the man immediately retrieves the damn baby food jar from the cabinet and announces that obviously I am old. (Cue roaring laughter here) And the twisties took on a life of their own.
It started at Melissa's 40th surprise party - I made her a crown from these and made her publically wear it. For my birthday the same year - note she is older than me - my gift was a very special mug full of twisties. These things arrive at unusual times - in a thank you card from her - I left them in her car for a birthday gift. Random acts of friendship - cemented by laughter - a stupid tradition shared between two special friends.
We are both busy moms - working - raising our kids. For a time we were a team at the church and saw each other a lot. Since we no longer work together - I don't see her near often enough. So when I saw this picture of Heather's little one - I giggled - and I am in the process of posting this in the hopes she will have time to read it and for her to know that I miss her - I miss us - and we really need to take time to catch up. Melissa - thank you for being my friend - I miss you.
Please share some of the crazy traditions you share with those around you. When my comments drop - I miss you guys too. I need to take time to sit down and catch up with all of you cyber friends too.
Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Whipped cream and sprinkles.....

This people is a random post - like the sprinkles on the whipped cream specialty drinks at my local coffee shop -- The Buzz. Owned by Marc and Tracy Ingram. A wonderful place, welcoming and fun. The photo below was one of Tracy's for the message of hope journal we created.

The picture just does not show how special this page is. The picture in the middle is embellished with metallic gel inks -- fabulously done. Beautiful.




MaryAnn - posted a photo of one of her craft closets this morning. Her trick for keeping it all together - and we all know she has it together - take the doors off. I am guilty of "sticking" things behind doors - so this idea will work for me beautifully. She also asks what our storage "vessels" of choice are.

My favorites - cigar boxes ( I have a friend who keeps the wooden ones for me from her hubby's habit.) These stack so wonderfully and I have two big open shelf units planned for the barn. Using her idea. If you are a regular reader, you know that I repurpose many many things. Old bottles, jars, boxes. This seems to fit my style and organizing ideals. The boxes on the shelves will have tags on them. There is one big kitchen style cabinet in the studio - I will put big plastic totes of yarn, felt, silk flowers, etc in that cabinet. It will also hold the spray paint and other bigger items. The drawers are another thing. More on that later.

For lack of a way to pull all of this post together. I am sharing some road trips for all of you. Please go and visit these places. You will have a wonderul trip.

I recycle, reuse, repurpose so much stuff. People bring me leftovers. People give me things. I save even the smallest scraps of paper, yarn, fabric, ribbon. I collect ideas from everywhere. I have a cigar box labeled "funky cardboard" that contains some corragated bits and even some bits of boxes that caught my attention. Those coffee sleeves go in that box too. I have flats of square spaggetti sauce jars and this next post has my attention - go see ArtsyMama today and look at the valentine ideas she picked up at a demonstration. I really like the jar mobiles and the cowboy card (slighty naughty). See if you think one of these reminds you of the work over at Janes Apron. I have every thing in my stash to adapt any of these ideas.



I adore paper - fabric - ribbon - yarn - metal - stamps - buttons beads - on and on. List it and I probably got it in my stuff. I also am very sentimental. I made boxes for a friend of mine telling the story of a relationship. I must retreive some of those pages and take pictures. I like giving gifts that mean a lot to me while I make them and to the recipient when they get them. When I saw this screen, I knew that I had to star it and share it with all of you. A canvas scrapbook screen from Donna Downey. Oh my - how much fun would something like this be. In the making and the giving.

I am unconventional. I love all kinds of people. We have very well off friends. We have truly poor friends. We have friends who have built their own home - literally. We have friends with decorator assisted homes. Farmers, bakers, lawyers, brick masons, plumbers, electricians, sales people, business owners, waitresses. Again you name it - we probably have a friend in that type of work. I refuse to dismiss a person, because of a preconceived notion. Race is never a factor. Economics either. Culture - not even a consideration. Creed - where you came from has no impact on where you might wind up. I posted something the other day that may have offended some. I refered to artists as often being "fringe" people. That is not a derogatory statement in my life. I have friends in the arts - perfoming, written, and visual. The lifestyle they chose is beautiful to us. Most are married and a spouse picks up things like insurance. They choose to live the eclectic lifestyle and I love that fact. Molly made the decision to NOT pursue art as a major, because she wants to pursue a more mainstream lifestyle accented by her loves of the arts. She does not want to teach in a school system at all. This decision was personal and I hope no one was offended by my choice of words.

I first saw this name - Sandra Evertson on my comments many months ago. I was more than a little starstruck. I love her stuff. I love her blog. I have not seen one thing that I didn't like at her place. This link takes you to a caged habitat. Look at the variety of inhabitants. An illustration of all kinds of people - representing what I adore. It takes us all to make it interesting. This is the kind of project that would be a fun collaboration/swap to participate in. Everyone making a different inhabitant and putting it all together.

I love poking around in thrift stores. The mountain areas around where I live have tons of junk shops. Rural north Georgia has an abundance of antique malls and flea markets. My idea of a great vacation would be to drive from small town to small town and just poke around in all those shops. My hometown has a lady who yard sales every Saturday. I am not talking goes to yard sales, she has one at her house every Saturday. The mix of items is wonderful, you have to dig through heaps of junk for treasures though. Way fun. Mom and I love to include a stop here when we go out and play on Saturdays.

Recycling is the theme of this link. Just look at what you can do with true junk and garbage. When I first got into swaps - via swapbot - haven't been over there in months, my favorite swaps were challenge swaps. You were given a list of materials and then expected to create something from them. MaryAnn and I swapped items in the past just for the purpose of using them to make something and returning the completed item. One of my favorite inspirations (sorry I could not find a link and I am not going to post the photo without references) is an address card file made from those crazy cards that fall out of magazines and the like. If anyone has seen this type of item (etsy maybe) and can give me a link, I'll add it here.

I love vintage fabrics, ribbon, lace. I never know exactly what is becoming of some thing I pick up. I know all of you thrifters often do the same thing. Those with vintage pillowcase fetishes take a look over here. Calamity Kim gives us cool instructions for a pillowfight bag.

And now so that you guys can really see what I love. This lady literally lives in the boondocks of Texas, in a most magnificent location. I would wear her clothes everyday if I could afford them. Take off and see and if you have several 100 dollars in spare change, email me and I'll provide my personal way too big measurements for you. Robin is publishing a book this summer - I cannot wait. There is new news as well - she's started a blog.

I am also a beginnning quilter. I love quilt shows and can waste hours on Flickr using the search term quilt. Well this blogger attended a quilt show with some of the most magnificant work I have ever seen. Take a look the the ruffled majesty of the very first picture. Moonstitches is a new blog for me. I discovered it while following links. I have added it to my GoogleReader list along with a ton of others.

The last link is to a lady that I have read almost since the day she started blogging. Lovely lady. Lovely home. Lovely work. Look what she did to her closet. Pam's closet is adapted from another lady's idea (follow the link from pam's place) and this will be morphed again in my studio. I saved a bunch of J.Peterman and Anthro catalogs -surprise surprise - and with the paper stash and old books that I have will be covering a shelf (free) in the studio.

Please let me know what you think of this loverly road trip. Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Update on the secret project.....

Becky was touched by the sentiment behind this project. She is terrified. The news she continues to be hammered with is increasingly negative. Please pray for her as she endures this journey.

My Abby has the flu. High fever - headache - none of those other symptoms - but still in Mom's educated opinion - its the flu. So we wash and sanitize and segregate items. Molly had the headache this morning - drugged her up and sent her right on to school. I am also feeling a little fatigued - hope that is nothing - I'll take a dose of tamiflu myself tonight if there is any fever at all.

I am terrified of getting sick - Molly has coaches coming to watch her play on Saturday and Sunday. Really need to be there for that and she needs to be at the top of her game.

Also - work has had a huge opportunity come up - I may be a little scarce as I negotiate my way through this one. A major competitor has suddenly closed their doors. The customers have flooded the counter and showroom - we are looking at displays - how to handle this sudden influx of business - inventory - etc. People in the building are stressed. The bosses in cooperate are stressed. Customers are stressed. Can we all say d(*%? Everyone is stretched to the limit as we try to put this all together.

The picture below was one of the pages from the secret project. This one was created by Marianne Boggs (her hubby is the guilty culprit on Abby being sick - he has it and Abby spent the weekend there). I picked this one because I'm singing anyway --- whew.

Have a wonderful day everyone.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Top secret can be revealed

We get by with help from our friends. I know this first hand. I have been on the recving end of many many gestures of kindness. In times of stress and dismay. Of loneliness. Happiness. Sometimes "just because". My friends (and I include all of you bloggy buds) have supported me -- encouraged me - inspired me. I have tried to do the same.

My friend Becky has been diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer. There is no protocol for her treatment. They have no way to give her a prognosis for recovery. In all the research the many of have attempted, we have found only 3 cases worldwide and very little follow up on those 3 cases. To say this is scary is an understatement.

I am fortunate to have had support all along my journey as a survivor. It is now my turn to support a friend who is afraid. How do I reach out in a tangible way? Give her something to hold in her hands - something to focus on when those nights are long and dark (if you are a survivor you know what that means) - a small object of beauty when your world is bleak and grey - some beacon of hope. With art of course. And you mention it to five other creative friends - and they all jump on it.

The result - a gift package we call "Messages of Hope."

Becky has 35 radiation treatments to the side of her face. This group of friends, Nancy, Margaret, Marianne, Tracy, Jeanne, and myself, each put together pages of quotes and encouraging words. One to open the day of each treatment. A notebook with sheet protectors is included to compile these sheets.

I want to say a special thank you to Jen Gray and Corey Amaro for being so very generous with permission to use their words. Both of these women are incredible writers and so very encouraging in their messages. Corey has asked for prayers for her Father in the past few days and I will be praying for him along with so many others.


This is one of my pages. It says "i am hoping that peace, comfort, healing, forgiveness, hope, understanding and love find you..... at the exact moment you need it. JenGray" I actually hope this for all of my readers. God will send these things just when you need them. Just watch for them.

I did not buy one thing in this project. I was able to provide the others some of their supplies as well. Stash busting on top of creative support.

This next picture is my favorite of the ones I completed.


The "nest" was fun to make. I used a coffee cup sleeve - a doiley - some shredded sheet music, and ribbon. MaryAnn that paper and those blue feathers came just in time. The tickets in the first photo too. You are so good to me. The flowers at the top are from JenB - thanks for those as well. That package has been used from over and over.

We are giving this to Becky tonight - I'll update the outcome tomorrow.

Love all of you for reaching out to me. You have picked me up so many times. If I have failed to thank you - I apologize - I appreciate everything that each of you do.

Have a wonderful monday.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Scrummy

That is a shabby chic word. Straight from her books. A combination of scrumptious and yummy. That is what this yarn is. Manos del Uruguay color 72 pumpkin. Let me just say this is my favorite yarn in the world to work with. It feels wonderful across my hand.Lofty without too much bulk. I have been told that it felts wonderfully. I am not a huge felting fan - so I cannot verify that fact at all. 100% hand dyed wool but not at all itchy. I picked this up to make Miss Abby a beanie hat.

I also bought some clearance Suri Merino to try. I'll see how I like working with it. Yea - I know I am supposed to be using what I had. I did not have any of the soft orange for Abby's - nothing like it and she had requested a hat in this yarn and in this color - so this is her indulgence and not mine. The other is for a project I have had in the back of my mind since I bought the "bend the rules" book.

The book has an adorable baby jacket pattern that you cut out in one piece and I am goin to try and adapt that to a crochet pattern. I'll be doing the first one in worsted weight acrylic. If it works out I'll do one in the wool. I am really excited about it and that is going to be the next sit down and concentrate project that I tackle.

We only have a basketball game tomorrow. There will be work ON the studio. Tonight I'll be working on some pages for a special project I am doing with some local friends. The recipient is a blog reader so I am being incredibly cryptic about this until next week.

It is Friday and that is always something to be grateful for

Some other things I am grateful for / inspired by

-- migraine medications that work and do not wipe me out entirely. thank you imitrex and midrin

-- super duper bloggin buds - way too many to list.

-- I am wearing my jeans today - a first since my surgery. (and I did not have to stretch out on the bed and suck in hard to zip them.)

-- irs refunds - the taxes are done and they owe me money.

-- scholarships - easing the stress of that college fear.

-- coffee and donuts for breakfast. a really rare treat for me.

-- checking things off my list. at work - at home and for swaps/gifts.

-- hey all the weekend is here...

Have a great one.