Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There is no dignity

Boot Camp - kicked my butt last night. Running hills - sounds simple enough. When you look at that hill from the football field, it doesn't look THAT bad. Then you walk DOWN to the starting location and look up to the cone that is to be the "top" of the hill - where you will do a series of ab or leg workouts at each hill crest before jogging back down the hill.

I had my babies naturally. I had both of them with no epidural (actually no pain meds). The drill instructor (her name is Kayla) tells us we will do this for 45 minutes. Recalling my girls' birth experiences - I feel like I can do anything for 45 minutes. We jog to the start - we run to the top - we do 30 squats - we jog back down. (less than three minutes) - We jog to the start we run to the top - we do 30 flutter kicks - we jog back down (less than 6 minutes) - this is where I uttered a string of 4 letter words the first beginning with F*(^. Because I am now seriously thinking that I might die before 45 minutes pass.

25 women - various ages - various athletic abilities - various fitness levels - encouraged each other to face the demons of hell and endure this punishment. I did not die - I finished - yes there were moments of walking just to survive - but the feeling of finishing it went a long way. The last 15 minutes were ab workouts and stretching - I left with a sense of accomplishment - then I lost all dignity as I pulled off on the side of the road home and puked - in public - its a small town and there is mostly only one road home - so lots of people in those passing cars know me.

Get home and the College Girl is working on this picture frame. (pretty isn't it ) Cheap dollar store frame and more paper scraps from Beth. It is a gift for a friend of hers.

I drag my sweaty, trembling body into the house. Collapse into my chair. College Girl looks up and sees what kind of state I am in and calmly says.

"Most fat people don't start with boot camp."

Thank you my firstborn - when I muster the muscle control to actually swing my arm, I may smack you.

Going back tonight for a weightroom workout.

Stupidity - or determination -- let's discuss.

Have a great day.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sorry about disappearing

Lannae asked yesterday about me. We had serious computer issues at work and most of my blogging takes place from there. We were completely without computer service of any kind for two days. Then once we got everything back up, there was the catching up to accomplish. But we are back in operation today --YES.

Saturday found me at a craft show in Hartwell, GA. I was mostly disappointed. Out of the 156 booths only about 10 had true handcrafted wares. Another 10 were food. The rest were cheap knock off purses and cheap imported junk like plastic toys, sunglasses, hats and such.

This make me feel like juried shows are absolutely the way to shop.

Anyway - the few days of no computer have not been without MaggieGrace goodness. I am building inventory for the art show in November.

Soldered charms. The red bird features hand marbled paper (a giftie from Beth) and vintage hymnal scraps.
More of the charms - the "praise butterfly" is the back of the red bird. The grey that the butterfly is punched from is more handmade paper. The bluebird is my favorite of these. The lace one will have a button charm added to it - that is vintage lace that I picked up somewhere

I did something last night that had never happened - I broke one of these charms. I am making one for a friend of the College Girl and it broke when I was soldering it. It was late and I was tired and irritable yesterday, so I unplugged everything and just went to bed.

I have my list of inventory pared down for my booth - and I am working away at it. It is so difficult to crochet scarves and blankets when it is 90+ in the shade and 70+ % humidity. But that's where I'll focus tonight. I bought a gorgeous pale green yarn at the yarn shop Saturday for a scarf. I also need to punch some tags for pendant charms.

I do hope this post finds all of you enjoying your day.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Local Best Friend calls it like he sees it. We have been friends for a long time and he is the one person who will be blatantly honest with me. He respects me, my family, my time, etc and so on. (As all best friends should) When I need an unbiased opinion, that's who I go to. We are comfortable speaking our mind and even when we disagree, it's okay. We also tease and challenge each other mercilessly.

So, when I let him in on the diet program (again) and then confided the boot camp attendance to him (another exercise plan). What did he do??? He baited me. Two simple words. Flung out in the context of here we go again. The words....


The result -- one pissed off woman now on a mission to prove him wrong. But how to keep that reminder in the front of my brain because you know - time takes away some of that "piss and vinegar" as my Nanny would say.

Here's my solution.

A cute little tag tied to my rearview mirror with a vintage hankie. What cha think - I'm going with the "it works for me" explanation and he will laugh when he sees it.

Now - since it has turned off hot -- really really southern summer hot - here. There has not been much MaggieGrace goodness.

I am making some of these again because they are easily completed and aren't all in my lap at the ball field. I am also working on a Christmas gift for a reader and can't show that. Maybe later.

I really like these little tags/embellishments and they really are easy to do. If anyone wants instructions, please let me know.

I did go back to boot camp last night. The fingers and toes are working, but the parts in between are seriously compromised today. Since when was the toilet deemed a torture device. I'll be back next Monday ready to go.

Have a great afternoon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Confession is good for the soul

Way too many years of this activity (as modeled by the Softball Princess)

And eating meals like this (Zaxby's Club Sandwich basket) - 1221 calories

Have me looking like this (Rosalyn Sue took this photo at the art workshop. I do like the photo but it has triggered the subject of this post) I am terribly overweight.

Seeing that picture and being very self conscious of my weight in certain situations, finds me going on weight watchers, counting points and eating more of these - fresh fruits and veggies. (Apples on one of Grandaddy's trees.)

And making one of the most excruciating decisions of my life. Starting summer workout bootcamp at a local christian school.

When the outdoor temps are like this (factor in that sweet southern humidity too)

In the shade.
I didn't die. I didn't quit. I did sweat, and almost puke. And I am going back tonight.
Good God -- I have lost my freakin' mind.
TIP JAR - any of you have any great ideas for keeping my best friend from the satisfaction of seeing me quit ---- again? You know - staying motivated - good recipes - ect and so on....
Because he said this phrase to me last night ------ "WE'LL SEE"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Driving Mom (crazy)

A wonderful Fathers Day meal. Since my dad is gone, we spent the afternoon with The Man's family. Visiting, laughing, teasing, sharing, loving. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Softball Princess drove us home. This is the view from my seat in the second row of the Expedition. We only had a little issue - namely a turn taken way too fast for Mom and Dad. Even he grabbed his "oh SH*&" handle on that one. I must have been more comfy, because I took pictures and video while she drove. She still has to take her Joshua Law driver ed training before she can take her final exam.

We do have rules that go with her driving me. She can't roll her eyes and say "I got THIS" ( every mother of teens has heard that phrase with the eye roll, right?) - I can say anything I want to. The two most common phrases that I utter are "Abby - Brakes" and "YOU ARE TO CLOSE TO THE EDGE".

I also utter (scream) those phrases to the man when he drives too.

Another Mom was talking about this stuff on Saturday. She thinks we have got it all together since we have an older child. Here is an open comment for Belinda - "go ahead and start praying now, the easiest day was the day you brought her home from the hospital. We don't have any big secrets, we have just cussed more, yelled more, been scared more, and prayed more prayers than you have at this point."

Enjoy the video - have a wonderful day.

Friday, June 19, 2009


It is a planned publication from the Stampington Family of publications. I am so excited about this one.

I have already mailed off two small submissions. I also duplicated a submission and mailed it off to Green Craft as well.

We will see.

Didn't mean to drop off the earth of late. Summer activities, the construction business has picked up. and we are busy from early am 'til late night.

I have been creating - building stock for November.

Round do-dah pendant charms. Soft colors. Not pastel, more earthy than that. The above picture shows them with just the crochet finished. After I crochet a few, I dump the shank buttons (or marbles or round stones) out and dig. These are shank buttons.
Then I attack with E6000 and glue my baubles in. I have some woven leather buttons (somewhere) that I want to do some with. The last step is to add the jump rings. Then I need to figure out a way to attach these to some sort of card for display. Still perking that in my mind.

You saw this the other day. I have a few of these made. It is crocheted from a highly textured yarn called parfait and a few balls were in a thrifted bag. Not sure what these will be used as yet. I thought about sewing them to the bottom of some baby girl onsies, but I'm not sure. They also might work as brooches. I do know they are easy enough to make sitting at a softball game and small enough not to be too hot to work on in this heat.
I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend. I'll be at the ball field.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's my Party.....

One of the icebreaker questions we covered at the En Le Jardin workshop was "what is your blog name and would you change it." My answer, was that No, I would not change my blog name.

MaggieGraceCreates is my alter ego. She's my muse. I am comfortable with her. I like her. I love her. She is me and I am her. I am not promoting a business here. This is a personal blog. I do not have a plan. I share things with you as if you and I are sitting down and having a meal or a few margaritas together.

I get very few negative comments and emails from here. I reserve the right to delete them if I am offended. It's my party.... You are invited as long as you want to play nice... You start badmouthing anything or anyone here and I am apt to tell you to get lost.... The problem is that often you hide behind the anonymous name... Back to the post ---- this is not a rant.

I went through some old posts this morning and I want to point you in the direction of some old favorites with explanations of why I like them.

Stroll through the memories if you choose.

I posted this list of things specifically for my girls. Every line is still appropriate.

I answered a few questions here about my ideas on blogging. I still get teased at work about being a skinny dipping bohemian.

I found a way to build myself a studio. Those posts are sprinkled through the last three years but the beginning is here. I have no debt in that project. MaggieGraceWorld is so satisfying to me. It is not this polished and chic studio, but it is mine.

The top of this chest still looks exactly like this. Damn -- that hurt.

I challenged myself. I have learned to quilt. Iwrote a tutorial. I wrote poetry for the first time in many years. I learned to solder. I submitted art to a magazine.

I vented. I asked for prayer. I have poured out my heart.

I even confessed to helping my child "cheat" on homework.

I have shared what a special friend is to me.

I have shared things about my children that you never really asked for. Sorry.

I shared advice that I found for women and daughters.

I proudly proclaim that I am a tequila drinker. I even told where the beer bottles live after they are empty.

However my favorite post ever was about one but really could apply to both my girls.

You may not always find what you think you will here. But you will find me - gritty - down to earth - sharing life as I see it happening. It was fun to go back through all the posts and see where I have been and how much I have grown.

We will talk about life. Faith. Friends. Family. I'll share inspirations. We will chat like old friends and get to know each other. I glad to call you all my friends. I won't deliberately hurt anyone here, but I also will not apologize if the truth is painful at times. This is my blog for all the different parts of my life - the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly. I hope you enjoy my company.

I thank you all for coming back again and again. Please comment today and just let me know you were here. If you do link back to the memories and want to comment - leave those here too. I love you all.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

She's finished...

After being inspired by this (actually everything she has made speaks to me), I dug out a doiley pattern and some thrifted wool. The wool was vintage and had some moth damage, but no eggs, so I used it for the experiment. I simply tied it back together at the damaged spots.

I love this -

It came out about 48 inches diameter. Perfectly sized for shoulders or a lap. I'll be making more of these for baby girls too.

This one will live on my porch swing or rocker. It's mine - ALL MINE - sounds like a two year old doesn't it. Honestly, it has already been used by the girls. I finished it at the softball tournament last Thursday and one of them grabbed and used it in the car as they cooled off on the way home.

This was a very successful test run. Makes me happy and I can't wait until the painter finishes at my house, so I can work on some outdoor living spaces.
Have a wonderful day everyone......

Monday, June 15, 2009

Unintentional blog break

Sorry I went MIA. Life took over. I have a ton of completed projects to show you.

First off my pages for the en le jardin memory book.

The assignment - create 11 front and back pages in the colors of the event, but in your style. Leaving room for photos - or add ins by the final owner of the book. Not being an "assembly line" kind of person, I made 11 similar pages, just in different color combos (I did add some brown for mine - just cause).

Kim will be assembling these and making her covers.

Here is one side of my pages. Punched and glittered butterflies and three stamps from the same scrolled set, I used in my swap bags for the event. Each of these butterflies can be folded up for a dimensional effect. There is room for thoughts and adding more embellishments on the page.

The other side -- it rained on us that day -- so the cutout image of the friends chatting just seemed to fit. I made this into little booklets with blank pages for journaling or pictures. There is also enough room across the top to add a photo.

I love how the image of the girls pops against the booklet cover.

Now for the real reason I have been MIA.

Softball Princess has played 8 softball games since my last post. Winning 7 of those 8 - we did however get the crap beat out of us by what we refer to as The University of Greenbriar. This is a private school with at leat two players committed to D1 colleges.

It was miserable. 97 degrees in the shade and well below what we in Georgia call the gnat line.

The picture below is of some of the girls on the way home. These two -- Olivia and Abby -- tortured (entertained) us the entire two hour drive home. Miss Renee (asleep) had too much pain med and crashed so she missed the concert. Notice they are covered up - the AC in the car was fabulous after two days in the sun.

Tonight they have two games - I got the project bag ready.

Have a great afternoon.

btw - College Girl has adapted her behavior to be more in line with what has now been defined as appropriate. Thank you all for your comments and emails. About my parenting - I really have no idea what I am doing - I just try and react the best way I can as situations arise. I have a very wise friend and I lean on him all the time for advice from the outside looking in. It helps.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Laws of Nature (and Moms)

My morning started with this on my Facebook

Please tell me that our girl was at home this morning?!?

This entry courtesy of College Girl's Boyfriend's Mom.

She was at home when I got up late to go to the bathroom.

Seems there has been some curfew "stretching" and other irresponsible behaviors by the young couple.

I woke said College Girl up to discuss the matter(s). I expected "re-entry" issues when she came back from college for the summer. We have all been playing nice - but today - MOM HAS SPOKEN. It was time - it was not fun - it has "ruined her day". Oh well - this too shall pass.

Just like the stamens falling off my magnolia blossom, life happens. There are good days and challenging days, but the cycle must continue. Teens and young adults have to learn life's lessons. Moms and Dad's have to grow and learn to parent at each new level of maturity the child gets to.

This is a learning experience every day. It's exciting to see my girls grow and change and mature.

A later message included this comment about College Girl --
"She is perfectly well-behaved with me--respectful and helpful, and if I tell her something directly, she is compliant.And she does a damned fine job of sweeping my floors, btw! "

She may be a young adult, but it is nice to have good feedback about how she treats others.

Time and gravity have are starting to show their effects on these gorgeous blooms .(the same thing is happening to my body - LOL) They are still beautiful to me. Look at the detail in those stamens (don't they look like wooden matches?) Time is moving on in my children's growth. I'm choosing to try and enjoy every new experience (and challenge) as a mom and to remember that this is a beautiful cycle in life.

Have a wonderful day ---

Monday, June 08, 2009

Bits and bobs

edit to add: I completely forgot to add a "you rock" comment to the man at my address. On Saturday, the softball girls were in a tournament (I was not there) and they had a break. Softball Princess spent that break with other teen girls and the daddy picking out a new swimsuit at target. That gets brownie points with all the women at our address.

The view from my desk chair just a few minutes ago. A stunning magnolia blossom brought in by a friend for me. Smells like lemon and this thing is almost a foot across. I think I like having flowers on my desk a lot.

Look at the contrast in the stem of the maple leaf. I stopped and took a few snapshots over the weekend.
I want to sit at that table and enjoy an afternoon. I want to sleep with the windows open and hear the sound of running water. I want to feel the breeze change directions and suddenly fill the room with the smell of salty air. I really like the sound of the tide going out of the salt marsh.

I want ---

An embrace to become a slow dance in kitchen just because the mood feels right.

To listen to soulful music in the dark.

Flowers on my desk more often.

To be aware that these small joys are what really matter in my life.

To suddenly realize how relaxed and happy I really am when I am creating.

To remember to be thankful no matter what the situation is.

To sing with out worrying what others may think. Dance just because it feels good and my body wants to move. To laugh those deep heartfelt belly laughs. To walk and see the beauty around me.

To live this life intentionally always ready for sacred surprises like these.

I am so happy.

Have a beautiful Monday ya'll

Friday, June 05, 2009

Daisy Chain

Vintage handmade trim - I thrifted yesterday for a dime. 4 feet of it for a dime.

I follow links. It's how I met most of you that I now call blog buddies. I try to share inspiring links.

And I try to share links as well.

Whimsical - beautiful - fun. A Fanciful Twist is all those things. Yesterday when I went through my Google reader feeds, I found this post about letting all aspects of your personality out. This post resonated with me in a way it would not have 6 weeks ago.

When I left home this morning, I was angry and hurt at a situation with another family associated with the Softball Princess team. My post was entirely different in my mind then. I was full of anger and that's okay. Things have occured since then that have worked on my attitude and the above link is one of them. I felt my anger, figured out why and what my true feelings are about the situation and allowed positive energy to return around me.

Then I read Mother Teresa's words over at Andrea's, and was reminded that I fired all those negative energy drainers from my life a long time ago.

I thank both of these ladies for sharing their hearts and allowing me to look into their worlds. And I want them to know that they had a very positive influence on me today.

And to the parents who have caused so much discord in our softball program -- I bid you good riddance. But I do continue to pray that one day you find peace within yourself and realize that being positive and building others up is a much better way to live.

I am traveling this weekend. Be back on Monday.

Have a great one ya'll.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The View from My chair

My office smells wonderful and this is the view from my chair as I write this. The gardenias are in full bloom here and a friend always brings me a vase of them. Aren't they oh so very pretty (I like having my little bottle here too)

If you could see the rest of my desk you would understand why I need this oasis of calm.

I stumped my toe on a chair during the night on Saturday night and stuck a corner piece of plastic under the nail of my big toe. I had hoped to avoid any long term effects, but that was not to be. Today finds me with swelling drainage, and inflammation around the nail from potential infection. I am in open toed shoes and treating the nail with antiseptic and soaking. Now I just hope I do not lose my toenail.

I continue to crochet and work on the WIP's I have already shared, so the next few days will feature details and other nonsense.

Have a great day -- Teresa

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Warm - late spring evening.

Dressed perfectly for the weather.

A light breeze channeled through.

Crab cakes with Mango Salsa. Tomato bruchetta. Margarita. Sweet tea.

Under a patio umbrella.


Great night.

We sat in the courtyard - just outside the huge rollup garage doors for the concert.

Just enough people to encourage the band to put on a great performance.

They left out my favorite song - Fat Man in a Bathtub.

The night's version of Willin' was absolutely fabulous.

I sang - danced a little - relaxed.

The Man at my Address talked to the other coaches on his cell phone about a softball issue we are having. People who act like diva's and thrive on drama put a serious damper on my evening. Thank you so frickn' much. (insert all the sarcasm you want here)

I don't need that in my life.

99% of my night was wonderful. I am so glad we decided to go.

Hope yours was too.

Tonight involves one of the things I don't like to do. Gotta go grocery shopping. Hate it.

Softball Summer League on Thursday.

Friday a work trip out of town for the weekend.
I need to rest.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


I am working in the house again. Creating in the house. It's 90+ here and although I have an AC unit for the studio, I do not have enough power out there yet to run it and the lights. So I haul the C.R.A.P. (Creative Resource Accessories and Parts) into the house and work at the dining table.

However - out of respect for my new found organized dining room, I am taking things back to the studio and putting them away as I finish with them.

Glimpses of the collaborative memory book some of the en le Jardin participants are putting together. I'll show you my pages in full later. You can see the corner of the fabric image in these pictures. That was a tedious undertaking. I cut the image from the fabric - including the center parts - so that the background paper shows through. Love how they look.

That pile of paper scraps has resulted in these little clusters of flowers. Our assignment 7"wide x 11" tall pages in our style using the colors from the event. I have left open space for adding a picture or notes on mine - but I tend to work a little more open and minimal than some of the others. I can't wait to see all the pages bound into one book.

I will say how relaxing it was late last night to pick papers and buttons for this project. I opened a button bottle and poured them out and had the best time.

More than likely - no crafts tonight. We are going to see Little Feat tonight at the Melting Pot in Athens, GA. So much fun.

See ya'll tomorrow.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Major and Minor -

After our weekend of sand and water - LOL - we came home late last night to this.

That is the end of my house closest to the driveway. On the night of the soccer senior recognition activities, we had horrible storms. The hail that night literally blasted paint off the house. Oh joy - now repainting begins. So exciting. Not changing my colors at all - the house is about 130 years old and needs to be white with dark shutters and grey porches. But there is now more money and time available to complete some outdoor living spaces that I have wanted for many years.

Please take note of the blue tape on the left of the picture. That is one of my most sentimental things at my house. We have marked the girls and their friends heights at various times on that corner trim. I told my painter that we would kill him if that got painted over. So I will have this bright shiny new paint job and one dirty marked up corner board. Tell me, do any of you have a similar anything at your house?

That's the major WIP

Here's the minor.

I am using a beautiful pineapple doiley pattern to make this. Instead of the normal "tiny" crochet cotton, I am using some thrifted wool worsted weight. I want it to be "throw/shawl size" and I am really happy with it. This is an irish potato brown, and in this picture the yarn ball even looks like a potato. This wool has some minor moth damage that I discovered too late, but I fumigated it and packed it away from everything else for several weeks. This project is an experimental item and will be used by me outdoors on my porch swing anyway - so as I encounter damage I have just been snipping it out and retying the yarn. I bought a huge pile of yarn in a bag and this was part of it - so I'm glad I found some use for it.

I'll probably make more of these in baby colors too. I love the round shape.

I am sunburned - I am tired - and I have a migraine that keeps breaking through. Hope your Monday is going well.

Love ya'll.