Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Prayer blanket.

Way back in time (March 2010) I started a striped afghan. No method to my madness. I had a big bag of thrifted yarn and needed a new travel project. I grabbed some of that yarn - threw it into a canvas tote and away I went (softball and soccer were the sports of choice at the time.)

Method - crochet a long,long chain. Double crochet until I ran out of the color I was working with. Tie a new color on crochet some more. Repeat.

Now this is not a "pretty" fancy, showplace type of blanket. It is functional and made up of a hodgepodge of the yarns. Short pieces - whole skeins - some was knotted and had to be untangled. There is nothing exceptional or special about it. Just a very useful and purpose filled blanket that will see lots of memory making moments.

I crochet a lot of blankets as gifts. I crochet beanie hats for the homeless. When I am working on those things, I pray - it is mindless and easy crocheting so I can lift my prayers for the one who receives it. As I crocheted on this blanket in the early stages, it had no owner. It was to be one I tossed in the car or grabbed from the back of the sofa. So I prayed for myself and my family.

Can you say eerie prophetic timing?

About 6 inches into this afghan, I began passing blood in my urine, Go back - read the posts from that march date. Kidney stone suspicions quickly became the road trip now known as "SURPRISE - YOU HAVE KIDNEY cancer."

I continued the SURPRISE TOUR. With transfusions, major surgery, missed work, recovery, and there were many hours now spent in my recliner with this blanket. The owner and creator of this blanket now praying fervently for herself. Many times I was praying without even realizing it. If you look at me on facebook - or even read between the lines here - you will find that it seemed like a non ending supply of that dang yarn. Just as I thought I was getting through to the bottom of the pile, I would find another bit of the stuff.

So, I continued on. And I prayed. And others prayed. And the prayers became as real as the blanket piled in my lap when I worked on it. In the moments when I didn't or couldn't pray - I know that many others were. Guess what - those others praying for me were not fancy - showplace kinds of people either. Just a hodgepodge of honest faithful people who's prayer knees get a lot of memorable use.

And April came and went - then May June and July. I returned to work, but at night I was so very tired and I would sit in the chair and add stitches and prayer.

My recovery was predominately uncomplicated. Each appointment with the docs added better news to my outcome. And that bag of yarn kept on having skeins in it.

August brought a committment to finish this dang blanket before I started any major new projects. So I worked hard again - focused on finishing. Guess what - I kept right on praying.

Then my followup scan brought fear again - and tears - and more visits with new docs. More tests. So what did I do in waiting rooms and in those long horrible days while you wait results, I crocheted on this dang blanket and prayed some more.

I used the very last bit of the yarn on this baby on Spetember 14th - watching the 11pm news. I was even a bit surprised when a visit to the yarn stash didn't leave me with more of this two ply yarn. I tied it off - sent my wonderful friend MaryAnn a text message and picture that I had finally finished it and went to bed.

The following morning found me in the Oncologist's office. Without my blanket to work on. (not without a project - just not this blanket) you can read about the great news I got that day here.

I really didn't think about the timing of that blanket until after the fact.

I'm thinking Someone who knows me so very well - knew that I needed my own prayer blanket. In God's impeccable plan for my life, I had made my own prayer blanket.

This blanket saw many hours of prayers. It was theraputic for me to make it. It is already seeing a ton of use (in the picture below, we had spread it and many other things out for the girls to relax on between games). Tonight it will warm my feet as it spreads across the foot of my bed.

All things a handmade blanket would be used for.

But the biggest is thing it will do for me - be a reminder that I was never alone in the darkness of cancer. I had God beside me - friends and family surrounding me - and a serious blanket of prayer softening the journey through that canyon.

I'll wrap that kind of prayer blanket around my shoulders any day.

My name is Teresa - you may know me as MaggieGrace - I am a survivor - You are a blessing to me - my life is beautiful - I do hope you recognize the beauty and blessings in your life too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ready or Not

And just that quick - she's a high school Senior. Last night was our final regular season home game ever. The program recognized 10 seniors.

The Man at my Address, Softball Princess, and me.

The Barefoot Boy (and his dad and brother) were there too. Also Nomi (my mom) and Grandmother and Granddaddy)

But because this is supposed to be a crafty blog, I thought I would toss in some things I am making. Gotta get busy on them too -- show times a coming.

Lace edged cameos

These still need to let me know if they wanna be brooches or cuff bracelet accents.

This one is an odd yellow green color. But isn't she pretty.

I'm loving these - there will be more to come very soon.
Back to the grown up girl job. Hanging faucets for display today.
It's beautiful here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

a scan of an old grainy picture of me taking something apart - using my daddy's tools.
Today would have been my Daddy's 69th Birthday - for the first time in 30 years I am not sad.
However it is also Senior Night for the Softball Princess. About that - I am emotional.
But somebody's daddy will be home from Afghanistan today. About that - I am so freaking happy.
My mama will be there tonight for the Senior Night Activities. About that - I am grateful, happy and blessed.
I don't have cancer anymore - word absolutely cannot express how I feel about that.
Sorry I have been MIA here of late. Been doing some quickie visual processing over here. But we are close to finishing the new showroom at work and I'll be back to regular business soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Finished .......

I'll will elaborate more on the striped blanket tomorrow. But for today I am super busy at work and celebrating the FINISH of the kidney cancer surprise side trip today.

I took this picture this morning - a filet crochet sign at the check in desk of Northeast Georgia Cancer Care center. I loved this detail.

My Oncologist gave me the lowdown on the future for me. There is a 70% chance that I will have no more cancer. Follow up scans for 5 years (every 6 months). No need for a prevention drug. Watch the cysts in my pelvis - if they grow then deal with them - otherwise just watch 'em.

It is done. On with Teresa's life.

They cheered me out of there. Nurses - staff - patients in the waiting room.

I'm calling that my most successful FINISH - since our word for September is just that.

But I also FINISHED crocheting the striped blanket last night. Got a bit more I want to do to this, but I'm giving you the cell phone picture I snapped this morning.

It is a beautiful day - I have a beautiful life - I do hope you have beautiful in your life too.

Monday, September 13, 2010

warning - too funny --- but it is not me.

This was me in May 2009. the picture that triggered a whole new lifestyle.

This was me on September 9, 2010. Others have noted differences - I struggle to see them.

But here is the reason for the post title. This morning, my lovely inbox contained comments on an old post that include the links for MaggieGrace Nude - MaggieGrace Topless - MaggieGrace Naked. At least my commentor was not named ANONYMOUS. This one's name is BEST. The comments even say Great Quality.

Normally - I would simply delete these comments and go on. But considering my quest for my health and fitness, I'm addressing this quite honestly.

1 - I have never been drunk enough to forget what I did. I have wished for that to be the case, because I have done some pretty stupid things in years past that I wish I could forget. (old old news)

2 - so unless there is footage out there that I am completely unaware of (unlikely) - this type of video has not been made of me.

3 - I have seen the above person sans clothing. Great quality is not a very accurate description of that. For starters - right now there is an UGLY bright red scar that used to read FEAR, but now is simply interpreted as live-saving. (Still - it ain't pretty)

4 - I am still significantly overweight. Headed the right direction, but still not worth this kind of attention.

5 - I do not know where the comment links take you, but I am terribly sorry Mr or Mrs Best, those videos are not of me. While some may have been very flattered by this comment - I am not. And while some may be excited about these links - if they were of me, counselors everywhere would be getting "OMG help me get that image out of my brain" phone calls.

Thus ends my commentary on Mr Best's links to the internet netherworld.

Please do not follow such links. This is a public service warning.

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

100 affirmations ......

Last night / yesterday I undertook a little self imposed challenge. Nothing fancy, I was just counting blessings and realised how full full full my life is with them. I decided to send out 100 affirmations in some way. I sent texts - I sent emails - I wrote a few personal notes - then I wrote some non personal ones that I could leave for discovery. I had no expectations from this exercise. It was all about letting people know that they matter.

Wow - I got texts back - I got emails back - I got email from the random cards I left places. (I used a freebie email account that I set up just for fun stuff. ) Try it - with no expectations. It was fun - I am so glad I did it.

Now for more of my weekend' s progress.

Remembering that September' s word in my collaboration with MaryAnn is FINISH. I am still working on the softball princess room redo. We are close.

This desk - an old college dorm room desk that my mom thrifted when I was a pre-teen - has been in the room all along. It was okay - functional - but hellooooo - it was ugly. That 70's brown stain finish. And brass pulls. Stunning. We had discussed painting it, but never gotten around to it.

Well, I headed to HD on Sunday afternoon and bought some of this paint in black. Picture below is another look at that lovely finish.
Because I spent hours of research time, I knew exactly what to do -- hehe. Did you see the workbench in that first picture - the man's toolbox on the front porch? Now that is a dream workshop if I ever saw one. (the weather was gorgeous and the temps perfect to be outside)
I took the hardware off and kinda sanded the shiny spots. There weren't many after all these years.
Then.... again because I have that dream workshop....
I poked the hardware through a holder (aka a cardboard box) and spray painted the hell out of it.

Shh thats an extra drawer pull - more on that later.
I held the box upside down so the loose part of the hardware would dangle and give me the coverage I needed. (Krylon spraypaint in brushed nickel)

A Sunday afternoon well spent. Looks great against the wall in her room. Oh yeah - I forgot - after I painted all of it but the top - we decided to paint the top with chalkboard paint - I may become obsessed with black furniture and chalkboard paint.

Anyway - one FINISHED desk checked off the list of projects I just never got around to completing.
I am blessed. You are beautiful. I love my life.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Lets get out and play

It was a stunning long weekend. Hints of fall in the air. My favorite time of year. Cool mornings, warm afternoons.

On Friday morning, the loverly medical people that gave me a new lease on life in April, blasted the stone that was lodged in my remaining kidney. This went really well and in full crude rude and obnoxious me fashion - I say - "I have pissed a beach." They broke the stone into small pieces - some resemble beach sand. Once I slept off the anesthesia on Friday afternoon, I was good to go. Only tylenol for the discomfort.

I had finished up some pretties that I always envisioned in my trees outside. On Saturday morning, I headed out and strung these - it immediately looked like a party. Aren't they fun.

Handpainted words. Strung together in threes. Hanging in my eucalyptus tree. Poor tree had a rough start in life, the man repeatedly ran it over with the mower. We persevered and she has rewarded me with about 30 feet of growth. I cut this for arrangements all the time and during cold season, I hang a few in the shower to rub and release that oil. mmmmm.

See the little curly cues that I crocheted out of the yarn from my stash. The dapple light is simply wonderful. I handpainted the lettering on scraps of muslin.

There is the whole lot of them - looks so happy to me.

The dream - plan - act set is painted with the most gorgeous chocolate color.
I stitched the words onto some fabric samples that are in the stash. I didn't even trim the paper edging off the fabric. It stiffened them perfectly

Paisley - fun words of wisdom - curly cues - simple things make me so happy these days. And this was a completely stash driven project.

The rest of the weekend was productive too. More on those as the week progresses.

I'll be making a few more of this type of banner.
They were fairly quick steps. If anyone wants the directions for the curlies, just let me know. Like everything I do, they are step by step easy easy.
Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Cuffed (again)

IT'S NOT CANCER.... Those words will also echo in my brain. The masses in my lower abdomen are scar tissue and ovarian cysts. Watchful waiting right now - I will be reevaluated in 6 weeks. I have homework to do in the meantime. Decisions about hormones and ovary removal and long term whole body health (I had no idea that hormones could affect dementia and your heart health). So we breathe. On Friday, I have my lithotrypsy and then move on.

Now for fun stuff.

I played in the cuff swap and received beautiful cuffs from my partner. I have sent off her package and I hope it is loved by her as much as I love mine.

In addition to her cuff, I included a Belle Blanc inspired bottle.

Not a vintage bottle, still pretty. I created a "stopper" using rolled up lace. Tied it off with Tulle and a silk flower and bead. The bottle contains a few vintage pearls from a thrifted necklace and some gorgeous german glass glitter. I spritzed everything with some Glimmer Mist in a shell color.

Here is a view of the finished cuff. I crocheted the medallion backing for the cameo. Glued the cameo into place and then hand stitched the creamy glass beading. I folded linen into the cuff and crocheted the tiny ruffles down each side. The lace is vintage and I wove in some silk ribbon that matched the color of the backing. The lace was then stitched to the linen.

The backing is crushed silk in a golden color. I interfaced it for some extra rigidity, but I used a light weight collar interfacing so it is quite comfortable to wear. The buttons are non working, I actually used snaps as the closure. Everything is hand stitched together (no sewing machine was harmed or verbally abused in the construction of this.)

Another view of the parcel.

See that rose medallion. A crochet rose. I love making these and often will do those with a remnant of yarn.

Here is how I used it.

A pretty little package.
Linda - I really hope you are happy with this.

I am having a wonderful, low stress day.

I won't be back here before next week - I'm spending my weekend recuperating.
Enjoy yours.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


This is her yearbook casual picture. She sure is pretty.

Last night was spent looking through mountains of old pictures. Softball end of season stuff includes a dvd and blast from the past pictures of the seniors. Narrowing those down to 4 pictures was a serious trip down memory lane. I'll post the others later.

These 10 softball senior mommies have been together a long time. Abby (and molly) both went to a daycare here called The Busy Box. 30 kids graduated from the K4 program at the daycare. Of those 30 kids - 27 will graduate from MCHS this spring. One from OCHS in a neighboring county. Leaving two unaccounted for.

Since we all have cried during the dvd presentation every year, I know this one will be a tear festival. I have placed an order for extra kleenex.

Softball Senior night is 21 days away.