Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy Sunday

We are sunburned. We are tired. It is hot. We are happy. There is lots of water. There is lots of activity. There are moments of sheer bliss. There are moments when this much togetherness is a challenge.

Sound like vacation -----

NOT -- we are at a softball tournament --- won everything yesterday. Have to win two today to take first.

Of course we have a craft bag with me - I'm sweating and cheering kids on.

Have a great Sunday.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Can you say D-A-M-N

We are out of practice. Suddenly and without warning, construction and plumbing picked up. We are all over each other, and tempers are short. Whew.

Image above is a scan of a fabric I thrifted. This image will reappear in a project I am working on, but for now you guys are welcome to right click and save it if you would like to.

I finished my other En Le Jardin project. The fairy ball. I took mine back apart and started over, because my fairy image had raindrop marks on it.

The finished ball is perched on my McCoy vase. I like it. Sorry about the picture -- it has stormed here for about 6 days - dark and gloomy.

Here is a better close up of my precious little fairy. I love that the monarch wings match my vase. The fairy nest is lace bits, tulle, and that fab crinkly copper wire stuff. The gold heart charm was a goody from a friend.
Hope you guys are having a great day - I like being busy at work. Tonight the Softball Princess has two games and we have concession duty for two hours.
Then home and hope to get a little creating done.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Not a Farewell

Just a pretty vintage image. Cause I hate posting without a pretty something.

We are busy - yes the economy is being stimulated. This is a good thing.

FYI - if you are going to set up a SECRET facebook account under a false name (for any reason) do not use your normal email address. Your wife will find it because she has her facebook set to recommend friends based on her email address book. She is smarter than you are. I'm just saying............

See ya'll tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I finished it

Happy Tuesday - I had a wonderful weekend. Hope all of you did too.

We cruised Stone Mountain on Saturday - it rained - kids showed up with no long sleeves - no rain gear. By the end of the Laser Show, I was soaked. I gave up my gear to less than appropriately dressed teens. (FYI - white tank tops + pouring rain = too revealing for teen girls attire)

OKAY - off the soapbox.

One of the En le Jardin projects was an embellished flowerpot. Because of the weather and the decopage medium not drying, I didn't finish mine. I finished it this weekend.

I kept everything packed from the weekend and limited myself to what I had with me or purchased or received there. I punched medallions and glittered them with Martha Stewart glitter.

I stamped and glittered silk flowers - Added buttons and some wonderful crinkly copper wire stuff.

Some rhinestone "bling" for the fluttery critters. (I also folded these to give them dimension. )

Added paper flowers, lace and tulle to the rim.

Set mama bird to watch her nest of tiny eggs.

This will sit by my red recliner and hold the current crochet project yarn. I love it. It looks like me.

Additional accomplishments for the weekend. Printed the pretty vintage images to use on my memory book pages. Completely disassembled and recompleted my fairy ball. Crochet some on a brick patterned sofa throw. Crochet some on a doiley throw. CLEANED AND CLEANED AND PUT CRAP AWAY IN THE STUDIO.

It was a good weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Beautiful ......

One last En Le Jardin photo. Also one of my favorites. A clothing tag. Kind of strange you might think. I'll explain.

Attention to detail. I am not easily impressed by worldly things. Losing a pregnancy. Hearing the "C" word come across a doctor's desk. Being a mom and watching my children make decisions that I do not agree with. Watching my Mom bravely deal with her stroke recovery. Dealing with the challenges life throws. Can make you cynical. I like to think that it has not made me that way.

I talked to my mom last night. She asked how my weekend went. I tried to explain how being surrounded by beautiful, loving, empowering women has made me feel. I described the homes we were in. I described the event details that Jenn put so much of herself into. I describe an hour sitting and talking to Sherry about everything and nothing. I tried to describe how, instead of wanting a bigger home, more time in my day, more money to travel, being able to leave my grown up girl job and just play, my weekend was simply restful, relaxing and FULL.

Full of beauty.

Full of grace.

Full of empowerment.

Full of acceptance.

Just FULL. I came home with my reserves refilled.

Why is this picture my favorite detail? Because of the quote. "A beautiful garment is only as beautiful as the woman who wears it."

Every en le jardin fleur and those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes was beautiful.

By the way - the tag was on a gorgeous top made by my new friend and tiny little dynamo - Cheryl Dack. Please go see her and grab links to her etsy shops and flickr sets from her sidebar.

Two more things, please pray for Sherry's husband and Sherry. He had surgery than suffered a heart attack. He is now back in the hospital. Also, I am not a huge golf fan, but the news about Amy Mickelson (Phil Mickelson's wife) has come to my attention. Please pray for their family as well. Those of us who are in the breast cancer sisterhood, can sympathize with what they are going through right now.

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Reality + a thrifty find.

I brought my bud vase to work. This little vase was in my gift box last weekend. Jenn took supplies to Aloha Land to make these adorable little treats (I always pack a trip kit when I go anywhere) . I wanted to savor the feelings that I brought home with me, so I snipped a little bit of my Japanese Maple (the color is perfect) and put my tiny fairy on my desk at work.

I want to again publicly thank Jenn and Suzanne for their hospitality. I know that I appreciated every tiny detail. Only those who "get it" understand the time and effort that goes into all those little bitty treats. I went through the Flickr set for our little soiree and the one thing that struck me is how many of us took pictures of the details.

There is another thing that has surprised me about giving myself permission to pursue my passion. Maybe it is that I am finally maturing, or maybe there is just security in where I am, but I am quite comfortable in my skin and my surroundings at home. My style of creative expression fits me. I am about recycled works - I lean heavily toward muted, neutral colors, vintage fabrics or those that have that appearance - I am still Mom first and that is a great feeling - rustic old furniture is a great fit for me and my lifestyle. I really appreciate the work involved in handcrafted items. I am most comfortable in flat shoes (although I do love a skinny heeled pretty shoe) and I want to dress comfortably.

But, there are some things that need to evolve. I am now in the right frame of mind to lose some weight. I am ready to feel "pretty" again and I don't right now. This is a good thing. I am ready to proceed with some changes to our house and property. All of this kind of "gelled" in my mind this weekend. I will also give myself permission to take these kinds of trips and retreats again and again.

Pretty heavy feelings to come from such a light hearted and fun weekend. But it is what it is. And although they may be heavy feelings - they are positive feelings. Just what I needed in my life right now. The discussions around our circle on Saturday night simply confirmed where my mind was drifting. Carol used the word "evolve" and that may become a focus for me in the next few weeks.

Enough ---------

Time for thrifty stuff.....

I took a big bag of old books (not vintage, just junk) to the thrift store yesterday. Even though I only was going to drop them off, I ended up cruising the aisles and I found these.

Bowls, salad or dessert plates, and dinner plates. They are not fine china, I do not want them to be. I am now on the lookout for cheap pink, blue, or green glass candle holders to make three tier trays from these. They are plain in the middle and the entire stack cost me about 15.00. Now - how do I glue these together. I normally use E6000, but will that hold glass to glass effectively if they are handwashed? Help......

Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Here's the wireless bars commercial photo (completely by accident) . Left to right - Andrea , Tiffany, Suzanne, and Lorraine (no blog). This was taken Saturday night BEFORE the drinking and blog stories and riotous laughter began. Suzanne and her wonderful bartender husband welcomed us into their beautiful home for an evening of food and fun. In the very top left corner you can see the blue ceiling in her kitchen ---- loved that detail.

As a part of conversations during our work time, JennG (no blog) confirmed that she and I have the same mental disorder, only she has a name for it - ADD-OP. We both have creative ADD - start another project - the OP stands for Oh Pretty. So yes I have ADD OhPretty. Thank you Jenn for identifying and diagnosing my problem LOL.

I came back from Macon - rested and inspired. My face hurts from lauging and smiling so much. But I needed to "do" something. So I made quick pendants on Sunday afternoon.

Crocheted with buttons - the burnt orange and brown one is mine -- all mine (I only had one of those buttons)

A soldered "e" charm for a friend's daughter. I made one for Emily's big sis and Miss Emmie wanted one too. Hope she likes it.
Then there is this..... inspired by a bracelet that Carol had on. The bracelet had buttons surrounded by silver mountings. I had this huge black button.

So solder - a few jewelry findings and a lonely orphaned earring and the result is this button pendant. (The button was a vintage coat button that I found in an antique shop. It is huge about 2 inches across) I love this one.

Sorry to do this (Lannae I'll share so don't get too jealous)

I decided that I would use only what I took or received in Macon to finish my projects. So I fondled (carefully unpacked) all my SWAG goodies and added the bits I bought. I stacked them on a tray and this now proudly sits on the dining room reading chair. Last night I tea stained some white bits to use and tonight I will start the process of finishing my pieces.
Til tomorrow.
Have a beautiful day.

Monday, May 18, 2009


This was the marker at the turn into the neighborhood. The beginning of a weekend worshop and retreat southern style. EN LE JARDIN

Work obligations kept me from enjoying the entire weekend, but the parts of it that I did get to participate in were life impacting.

There was apprehension. Doubt. Fear.

It lasted about 28 seconds - only because that's how long it took me to walk to the door. I was then immediately swept into the generous, gracious, talented, funny, beautiful world of a small gathering of creative women.

The details were stunning.

Jennifer's home was beautiful.

The gardens and tent - amazing.

Several of the ladies were SilverBella friends. Others, like myself, were new to the group. After introductions were completed, we are immediately all friends. There is not a man in my circle who understands that.

This was the best thing I have done for myself in a long time.

Creative energy.

Warm, friendly, empowering people.

Beautiful locations.

Finding that you are being true to yourself.

Knowing that you don't need a man to fix a fairly major plumbing problem. (Go Tiffany)

Refreshed. Renewed. Revitalized.

All this and so much more.

There will be more posts and pictures this week as I try to find the words to describe intelligently. Links to my new group of friends. I know that Karla has a post up already.

I have one word that covers so much of it.


Friday, May 15, 2009

excited ----

I so stole this picture from Andrea's place. These are the SWAG tote bags for this weekends little soiree. Gorgeous. Several of the girls are headed to Savannah right now in a hummer limo for a day off shopping. I am jealous.

I didn't sleep well last night. I was afraid I would forget something that I need from the tool box. Or that I would forget my toothbrush or something stupid like that. Well as fate would have it - I forgot my cell phone and my blood pressure meds and had to go back home and get those.

I have been so excited (and nervous about this) until the College Girl (aka Speed Demon) said this to me. "remember when I went on that cruise and you told me - even if you are not really enjoying the food, activities, whatever at this moment - enjoy the experience. You will always have great moments even when things are disappointing. Mom - I had a great time on that cruise and why don't you take your own advice." It's nice when you find out that your kids were listening.

So now the nerves are settled. And weekend of fun for me is about to occur. I looked at Jessi's pictures on her post and realized that all of the girls were strangers too and are all great friends now. Going tonight - relax - enjoy - play hard tomorrow - relax enjoy - party tomorrow night - relax enjoy - leisurely drive home Sunday - relax enjoy --- All good

And yes Lannae - I know you are jealous. But think of how much fun we are going to have planning our event.

Have a great weekend - I'll be back on Monday with pictures.........

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New art for the mantle.......

I made this today. Although it is not one of my best pieces ever, I do believe that is has a message worth displaying proudly in our house..........

I plan to display this in the middle of the mantle along with baby pictures.

What do you guys think??

Bet I get a look like this one when she sees it.......

We went to court this morning - enter and scan for weapons - quick and dirty - 11 minutes (including the waiting area) and HER 140.00 later - we are out of there. Violation reduced to driving too fast for conditions - no points - no insurance reporting.

LOVELY -----

have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I can always tell when my stress level has improved. I feel more creative. I have ideas - sometimes I even have good ideas. Even though this is a busy week, I feel like things are somewhat under control.

I finished this - you can tell those are not "my" colors if you read here regularly. However; they are the colors in that baby bedding and I am tickled that this one is finished. The green has increases in the stitch count that make this a ruffle edge blanket down the two long sides - I like how it turned out. All but the colors. Oh well.

Last night at quilt group - which we are renaming Hands to Work - because I did not quilt - I crocheted. Edging. Really pretty. Can't wait to use it this weekend. This is a group from my church - but my mom is going too - she does not attend the same church. I love the fact that she is "playing" with me on this. They even save all the scraps for me - thinking I might make a few yoyos out of those rather than let them pile up.

College Daughter has her speeding ticket court appearance tomorrow morning. I'll be there with her. Softball Princess has a presentation on Thursday afternoon at school - be there for that too. Then Friday right after work - I am Macon bound. Cannot wait. Today finds me attempting to make my desk coworker friendly.

I also notice more details when I am not in survival mode. Like the one below. This is between a power distribution box and a mailbox.

The lawnmower will not fit - so the man who owns the property braided the long grass.

Noticing this made me smile. Another thing I noticed happen this morning. I have a habit of going into the studio every morning - sometimes just to breathe. Well this morning when I opened the outer door - a snakeskin fell on me. Mr. Black Snake is in there somewhere. Gonna have to find him and move him again.
After this weekend - I will be doing a big cleaning and completion then I'll get a full tour of the studio space for you guys. In all honesty - I could have a studio three times the size of mine and it would still be full of Creative Ritual Accesories and Parts - C.R.A.P.

Have a great day all -----

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's all good......

Good Monday morning. I do hope you Mothers had a blissful day celebrating and being celebrated.

We took a time out Friday night and spent a night on the town. I blew the weight watchers points and had wings and Patron margaritas - Yummy.

We went to see Reservoir Dogs. It was a good night. Just before we left to go, I took the time to make soldered pendant with the header from the bands website.

Just a fun little accessory to wear.

Up early on Saturday morning - the alarm went off at 4 am - and off to a ball tourney. The full moon was breathtakingly beautiful and there were just a few moments of being able to see the sunrise and the full moon set at the same time. I got a little antiquing in during a break in the tourney - I bought some beautiful vintage buttons - and 3 saucers that work with my china pattern.

I finished a baby blanket too. Have you ever made things that you really do not like? The colors in this blanket match the bedding, but they are not "my style". Many times in the last two weeks, I have wanted to just put it down and start something else. The mom loves it and as one of my friends said "it was wonderfully made" - but I am so glad it is DONE.

Now I can pack and plan for my weekend away.

I snatched these two project photos from the workshop blog. I am gathering and making some items to customize the pot for myself. This includes crocheting trim for the top edge of the pot. I have this long list of fun items to take with me. Many of the attendees are bring vintage milinery items with them. That isn't one of my things - and God knows I do not need another "thing". So as I pondered my projects, my packing evolved. I'll be taking lots of notes and photos though, so that you guys can "see" some of everyones projects.

See the dried topper on the fairy ball - I'll be topping mine instead with the item below.

I crocheted the rose last night - sorry for the color in this picture - it is horridly stormy here this morning.

Now if all this just turns out like I picture it in my brain - it will be all good.

Hell - meeting new people, making new friends, a day of basking in a creative energy field, even if the project is a huge disaster - it will all be good.

Have a great monday -

Friday, May 08, 2009


More of my mama's crochet lace. I love the rusty orange color of the one behind the yellow flower.

Last night was a very pleasant step back in time. At the last minute, I was informed by The Man at my Address that we had to go meet some parents to pick up a Fury Uniform. We drove to Carnesville, GA and met these parents, then decided to eat at the ECHO restaurant.

I worked there in high school - very little has changed - even Mr Henry still sits on a counter stool every evening (has now for almost 30 years) - he is now well into his 90's and called me by name when he saw me. When we walked in, one of the girls that was with me the night I met The Man was there. Our conversation picked up like there was no gap in seeing each other. I saw several people that I went to high school with and we compared notes about our lives, our kids, our parents, other people we had bumped into. Amazing - many of the people that graduated from high school with me are new grandparents - being old has slipped up on me. What initially was perceived as an inconvenient trip turned out to be a very pleasant evening.

About yesterday, and insecurity ---- That fear and insecurity has been what kept me from having a go at making the MaggieGrace part of me more public. When I decided it was time, I knew that was one of the biggest barriers that I would face. It is a feeling I have, but is no longer a roadblock. Thank you each and everyone for the kind and encouraging comments and emails you sent me.

I started my "pile" of items that I will box up to take with me to the workshop. Jenn sent us a list of what she is providing and some suggestions for adding our own touches to the items. I am so excited.

Tonite, the Man's family is having dinner together in Athens for his mother. We have a ball tourney to sit through tomorrow - then Sunday is Mother's Day and I hope to make a few embellishments for my workshop goodies.

I have also decided what I want if it's available at the vendor tables - I want one of Kim's totes. I have loved them since I first saw them on her blog. All those little compartments. Yummmmmy.

Another busy weekend. Into another busy week next week. Then a weekend of BLISS and FUN.

I hope all of you have a great weekend - and for all of you Moms and Grandmas _HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Lace ruffles

A soft ivory lace ruffle crocheted by my mom. Cotton. Washable. Durable. She has no idea where she got the pattern nor where she put it. Seems some things run in the family.

I did get a pattern for a crochet irish rose. I will attempt it this weekend while sitting at a ball tournament. I want to use it as the top of my garden fairy ball that is one of the workshop projects next weekend. Wish me luck - I know that crochet is one of those needle arts that just requires practice, but that little stuff and lots of intricate detail intimidate me.

Speaking of intimidated. Now that I have fully absorbed the list of lovely women that are signed up for the en le Jardin event in Macon, I am basically frozen with that "what was I thinking?" feeling. Go ahead, click over there then cruise the links in the sidebar. Now do not get me wrong, I am sure these are wonderful, sweet, generous, kind, women along with being incredibly talented. I just feel like me and my have to work a real day-to-day job to make ends meet lifestyle, may be in a little out of my league with these lovelies.

I do have to say that after reading Elizabeth's post about the setup for the barn sale, I feel a little more at ease.

Wish I could explain my feelings of inadequacy to myself. I tend to come across as confident, assured, and capable, but inside I am often terrified that I will let people down. It isn't about being shy, I can stand in front of a crowd of people and speak with no problem. It is about comparing myself to the image I form in my mind about how others have it all together. Or that they are more ______ than I am. Not jealous either, I am quite happy with the life I have. I just really don't want to disappoint anyone. Those "what if they don't like me" feelings emerge easily too.

Sorry, this got to be a deep emotional post. Enough of all that.

I'm going. I'll meet and befriend lovely ladies. I'll have a great time. So there.....

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Arcs and Sparks (smoldering flames too)

I was in the shower. The phrase coming from the vanity area went like this (SHIT ---- MAAAAMMAAAA). There was an awful noise and smell. Then all was dark and quiet.

I ripped open the curtain and stand there dripping to see smoke (I missed the sparks).

Softball Princess and College Girl were at the mirror getting ready and somehow managed to plug a straightener with a necklace tangled in the prongs into the outlet. This will now require a new outlet and a new straightener and a replacement necklace chain. This one is now welded to the prong. No one was hurt in this incident - just hysterical giggles and then tears.

On my desk -- old fashioned yellow roses (they smell like tea) and Japanese maple leaves from my yards. An unusual but really pretty combo. They came to the desk with an inchworm.

I visited with my mom last night. Took some things to the attic for her and spent some time in her Easter egg lavender sewing room. I have some great pictures to share with you over the next few days. Starting with a small (and I do mean small) sample of her button collection.

And this box is FULL of crochet trims. All made by my mom. She is so talented. I am slowly learning some of these patterns.

I'll share some more things as the week progresses. I took a few things with me - gotta find two of my girls old Barbie dolls - I'll be displaying a couple of crocheted dresses she made - they need the final finishes - hooks and embellishments - that kind of thing.
Have a great day.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Weekend recap

The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show ( is normally this huge event held annually and is the key show for most Plumbing showroom managers. That is where I have been. However, the economy put a serious damper on the show this year. Many of the major players in the industry were not represented at all.

The light fixture above is designed for Baker Furniture by Laura Kirar. I did not see this fixture, but I did spot a sculpture in this design at the Ann Sacks booth hanging over a kitchen island. It was stunning and it was fun to watch people enter that booth looking up at the sculpture.

I have no photos (the show has a fairly strict policy about photography) but I did make several sketches for ideas that I will interpret in my displays.

To name drop a bit. We sat through a cooking demonstration by Martin Yan , one by chef Brian Duffy (he taught us how to cook the perfect scallop -- yum), drank hawaiian shooters at a booth, and the young lady at our statesboro store managed to get a picture with Eric Stromer from HGTV. It was exhausting - but informative and fun.

Now back to our regularly scheduled goodness for the next few days.

Have a wonderful Monday.