Thursday, September 27, 2012

On being their unorthodox mom...

I LOVE being Mom. As I am working on wedding stuff, I am pondering the life and times of the Bride-to-Be and her little sister. It's been a lot of fun to remember things.

I fall into the category of being a very unorthodox mom.

My children are aware of it.

This is why this e-card is so funny to me.

Let's talk about some of the more unorthodox moments of family memories ---

I had a serious accident while I was pregnant with the Bride. Rolled my car several times down into a ravine. Not a scratch on me - just a seat belt bruise. Then When I was pregnant with the Softball Princess, I had a little fender bender. Well, here is the unorthodox response to these incidents 


Fast Forward a bit - the Bride-to-Be is learning to talk ---- I work so hard with her to master her first word ---- that word was DADDY!!!!!! I was thrilled beyond all measure that this went this way. Why - you might ask? Because at 2AM when she was awake and wanted to watch Barney Video's, she would stand in her crib - rattle the side - and scream DADDY!!!! I would calmly roll over in the bed and say "Honey, she wants you." Then I would go back to sleep while he learned the Barney Songs. Didn't work with the Softball Princess - Daddy was onto my deviant behavior then.

We called the Pacifier --- the STOPPER --- Why? Because when B2B would cry -- one of us would say as we gave it to her --- STOP HER. Thus the name.

Softball Princess wanted to go to B2B daycare so bad, they did not take children under 3. Well she didn't know that, and we were having a little delay in our potty training... Unorthodox Mommy says --- when you are potty trained we will see if they will let you go to busy box. Bingo --- three days --- potty training DONE.

Oh -- school memories are far too numerous for this writing. But here is where collusion started. They had been taking notes all these years. But there are a few worth talking about. Projects --- we are a project family.

Creating the sea floor. ---- Princess and her Friend Cort - had to do this one --- Of course MOM finds out THE NIGHT BEFORE --- so here we are building the sea floor in my dining room ---- needed some kind of "backing" to shape the paper mache. Search - search - search - find NOTHING. Realize that screen wire will work and take the screen off the window and cut said screen into shape. YES I DID....... Unorthodox - that's me.

Then there was the Valley Forge Project --- Build a diorama of the area. Little log Cabins, a tiny little boat, River --- all fairly accurate. Actually started ahead of time for this one. Project is due on Friday. At three AM Friday morning, the B2B (maybe 10 at the time) appears at my bedside (anybody else freak out at being awakened because someone is staring at you) and when I creak open one eye she whispered "Mama, it was snowing at Valley Forge." So at 5AM ---- Mom is in the driveway in her t-shirt and underwear, with HER toothbrush, white paint, and a butter knife "SNOWING ON VALLEY FORGE"

Then there was my personal favorite --- the family tree project. Not another last minute --- Oh yea mom - project. YUP. Had to have information for four generations removed. Mom gets on the phone -- and starts gathering information --- (thank you Grandmother and Aunt Becky) and we start filling in the tree information. Tree gets all filled in and the B2B then informs me that "pictures give me extra credit". Unorthodox Mom - who has no access to these family pictures - promptly goes online and proceeds to print random pictures from FLICKR. We stole those relatives -- blatantly stole those relatives. That project has now become known as the ADOPTED RELATIVE project.

Now there are thousands of these kinds of stories. We drive each other batshit crazy. We laugh at each other and ourselves. But above and beyond all that --- we love and we love and we love.

Guess there is not too much you can say that is unorthodox about that.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back to rest....

 We have a saying here at work ---- dang I'm glad it's Monday, I had to come back to work to rest.

Well this past weekend was one of those kinds of weekends.

A serious wedding work weekend.

I finished these ------- almost a hundred of them. It took Friday night work and ALL DAY Saturday but this little detail is done.

As I added the beads to the very last one, I proclaimed it to be MY FAVORITE ONE. Bride-to-Be and Future Groom were at the house watching the GA football game. She pops over to the table where I am working and says "why, it looks just like this one." 

My answer to that ---- IT'S THE LAST ONE. 

The one below is actually my very favorite one. The center is a Bridal Accent that I bought on clearance somewhere many years ago. I'm telling you guys I have pulled out the stops and am really using my good stuff for the wedding. 

Just in case anyone is interested there is a tutorial here for doing these. The steps I used were the exact same except I just cut my fabric into simple circles. And rather than a bucket of water - I just kept a really soaked kitchen towel on a plate on the table. 

How did I accomplish this finish?

Well the weather here in North Georgia is absolutely beautiful. Anyone who reads here regularly knows that I am a huge fan of fall. So early Saturday morning -- I took a blanket (made by my mom) and all the stuff for these to my "outdoor studio" space aka the front porch of my house.

I took this picture later in the day.

As I finished each flower I dropped it into the box and moved right along.

They all just look so pretty hanging out together. Many are similar, but many are definitely one of a kind. Thrifted buttons. Saved buttons. My Nanny's buttons. The Man's grandmother's buttons. Beads. Embellishments of all kinds.

Many Prayers for that girl and her soon to be hubby. Reflected in each stitch.

Saturday evening found me realizing I needed a gift for a shower.

It also found me completely unwilling to leave my house and go get something. So I decided cash was to be the gift. But how to give cash in a way to not make it look like I didn't take the time to shop.

By making it the beginning of a "Nest Egg".

I have several crochet nests that I have used for this type of gift in the past.

I took a library pocket and a shipping tag. Stamped the tag and added a lace pull.

Glue the cute little nest on some coordinating fall leaves. Add nest filler and  tiny bird to the pocket.

Tuck in the cash and we are good to go.

All from the stash.

The big flower project being finished, I now start the last HUGE (I REALLY ME HUGE) wedding production items.

We have this image pinned.

I own one of these and bought the Spellbinders heart dies. (smooth and scalloped sets)

Last night I started the process of punching the cardstock bases for some 600 of these hearts. Some on sticks and some not. I have ideas to use these all over the areas.

I punched 150 of the large scalloped ones from white cardstock. Tonight there is be more.

The Bride-to-Be and I attended the bridal shower for our friend Holly.

Every now and then I get a decent picture of myself. She, on the other hand, is always beautiful.

She was almost married with out her mom though. I went into my studio the gather up some fabric for a Sunday School Craft.

I found this in my studio fabric cubby. A 4 foot long snake shed. (I also found the snake this belongs to)

I am not afraid of the snake and my studio is an old barn, but I had let my guard down and he startled me.

It was a fantastic weekend.

Hope you guys had one too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


This post is a bit out of order. It's all about inspirations. Particularly of the wedding inspiration variety. 

You can find lots of inspiration boards out there on the net. 

and my personal favorite ---- snippet and Ink

But at the MaggieGrace house, we do things a tiny bit different. 

College Girl -- became Engaged Girl -- became Bride-to-Be and we started talking about what she wanted her wedding to "FEEL" like. 

Words like VINTAGE - RUSTIC - LACE - BLUE - MIDDAY - and such were tossed around. 

So we started our own version of an inspiration collection........

It soon became known as THE JAR. 

As she found inspirational items, we collected them in an old glass mason jar. I put it in the china cabinet and the phrase became "ok, I'll add it to the jar"

I have carried this jar all over northeast Georgia.

All of the blues coordinate with these ornaments.

There are some desilvered white ones as well.

After the jar was started, we both started pinning -----

Let's just say pinterest is a magnificent way for she and I to communicate.

Here is the link to Molly's Wedding Pinboard

Here is the link to mine.

She would pin - I would pin. there have been multiple repins.

I took these pictures against the wood of several pallets - since the signs for directions and such are going to be rustic wood. Above you see some of the jar contents.

And a close up of the mercury glass looking desilvered ornaments.

There are a lot of little bits in there that filter to the bottom Some will be used on button flowers and such.

After defining the colors and such -- we booked the venue.

Just look at this interior. That Light Fixture goes against this rock wall.

A bit of rustic - a bit of lace  - vintage and pearls

She also picked this dress --

Very classic --- simple --- beautiful. And it has pockets.

Now as we go forward --- MaggieGrace and Molly continue to add to those pinboards. New details everyday. But there is a new board over at my place. A very personal board. 

As we finish things --- as we finalize things --- as there are details to absolutely remember about this process, I pin them to the Wedding For Real board.

The DIY details are here in my blog. 

I am not one of those "rockstar" pinners or bloggers. I am simply using amazing tools to communicate and personalize a timeline event for my oldest daughter. 

I am amazed that the internet and other communication tools like texting and bluetooth sharing are there. Sure makes the visual communications easy. 

Have a wonderful day. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Escape into the secret garden

That sounds like a fun trip - right?

Well fun is relative. I'm just saying.

I'm feeling a constant level of agonizing stress right now. Push me into a place mentally that I have not been in many many years. Some of it is self inflicted (the result of bad decisions). Some of it is economic (I am employed in the construction industry). Some of it is due to all this wedding prep (which really should be a joyous thing to celebrate).

Too many things on my little plate right now. 

Oh well ----- the secret garden ----- aka getting away for some much needed time to just "BE". is not going to happen anytime soon. 

So we just keep plugging away at those wedding details. 

Over the last several days - and for a trackable 22 hours and 46 minutes over the weekend (Friday included), I have been creating flowers. 

The process included marking 100's of graduated circles on fabrics of synthetic materials. These were assorted white and blue fabrics.

Then hours of cutting --- going round and round. And making piles of these circles.

Leaving piles of scrap bits (the significance of those scraps will become evident in a few)

Then candle lit romance (not even).

Expose those fabric circles to heat ------ over and over and over.

Resulting in things that look like this......Blue flowers.

Stack five graduated ruffled "petals"  and sew on a button or some beads.

The amazing part was that the different fabrics reacted entirely different to the heat, giving me different plant varieties. All beautiful -- just very unpredictable.

Real flower petals are not allowed on the gorgeous wood floors of the wedding venue. The reason being that walking on them and crushing them can cause stains on those floors. So -- being the creative soul that I am (actually BEING COMPLETELY NUTS) --- after I melted all those flower pieces, I attacked the pile of scraps.

Trimmed and melted a gallon ziploc bag full of fake flower petals that match the colors of the wedding.

Cool?? Crazy?? You tell me.

Now on a simply beautiful moment frozen in time ---- if you hook up with me on facebook you have already seen this.

I took a picture of the white ones - not sew together - simply stacked and waiting.

Look how delicate this is. How fragile it looks.

That's how I feel. Delicate and quite a bit fragile right now. But as you handle these and stitch them together, you realize there is so much strength in them ---

Hopefully I have that much strength in me, because today I feel like I may come apart at the seams.

Love -- Olympic sized love.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Faking it........

Oh come on ... we are all adults.

Last night found me crashing ---- slept thru three alarms this morning too. Work. Wedding. Life. Busy. Busy. Has kept me up late and rising early and it all caught up with me. 

Wedding DIY continues. 

There must be thousands of little details to think about. 

One thing for sure - this wedding will be personal - very personal.

We are using a vintage typewriter as a prop and to continue the theme, I wanted / needed some of these. 

Although they are not super expensive, when you are doing all the wedding on a seriously low budget, you have to watch every penny.

Besides -- I happened to have this paper in the hoarded pile of stuff. It's a little over scaled from the real thing, but it has the look I want. (this paper is discontinued but I found a link for some similar on ebay)

So -- under the influence of the beverages consumed during phase one of the matchmaking project. (see previous post if you are confused) ---- I put my thinking cap on.

Then I proceeded to dig in the hoarded piles of stuff I call my stash.

And I found these. Big silver buttons. (Thank you Crusty Old Guy for befriending the button man at the flea market)

Note - I did not have enough of one style to finish the word I am attempting to use, but I had two styles that looked ok together and I was able to alternate my letters,  thus solving that little problem.

I cut out the letters I needed -

Adhered them using some Alene's Paper Glaze. (another note - the paper glaze will react and oxidize to green some things so proceed with some caution when using this medium)

I also covered them completely with the Paper Glaze.

Went to bed and hoped for the best.

There were giggles and squeals of glee the next morning. My FAKED typewriter keys were great.

Some days you get rewarded for risky behavior.

I have also been involved in a huge CIRCLE OF LOVE part of this project.

I've cut 100's of circles of all kinds of blue fabric.

Then I lit candles - needing a touch of romantic lighting. (just joking)

I used the flame from the candle and

Applied heat ---- lots of heat. To the edges of those circles.

I made little stacks of those circles again and they look like this.......

I'll be doing lots more of this over the weekend --- and then adding button centers to them.

I sure hope you all have a fantastic weekend.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

matchmaking Details ------

Getting my head back into the wedding details.

There have been 200 "Sparkler Sendoff" tags completed --- 

Easy to make, just lots of repeated actions.
Cut lots of rectangles of various papers. 
Stamp "L" monograms over and over. 
Get a margarita made. 
Gather glue sticks.
Drink Margarita. 
Glue papers around three sides of matchbox (leave a strike strip)
Drink more margarita. 
Drink - Glue - Drink - Glue. 

PHASE TWO (next night) 
Cut lots of rectangles of various papers.
Gather Flea Market Find shipping tags, papers, and glue sticks.
Tonight we drink wine (because upon opening the freezer we find that tequila is in short supply)
Glue papers to shipping tags. 
Trim overhanging edges. (leave this task to the Bride-to-Be since her hand is more steady - she's NOT drink wine)
Punch tiny holes to stick the sparklers through.
Make two extra rectangles because Bride-to-Be is convinced that you miscounted.

PHASE THREE (third night)
There is NO DRINKING tonight since I have reached my three drink per week limit at this point.
Lay out 50 tags on table (this is easy. 5 rows of 10 tags)
Start match making boxes to tags.
Use glue gun to attach boxes. 
Curse glue gun for deciding tonight is the time to die.
Get the tiny mini stick glue gun. (easily found by the way) 
Organize a massive search for the dang mini glue sticks (yes I know - if they were stored together) 
Find glue sticks and resume process of match making.
Four tables full of 50 adds up to 200. 
Look in your hand and discover that now there are two extra tags. (see Phase 2 for details)
Text Bride-to-Be that yes you can count and that SHE was the mistaken one. 

Pack these up with the sparklers and move that project index card from the top of the stack to the "later I will attach the sparklers and figure out how to display these" pile.

Several days ago I posted the picture of the ADVICE CARDS. Well as we are deciding how to display and where and such we are packing things up by table and by area. (An attempt at being organized -- MaryAnn Abbott please stop laughing at me)

Well I had this glass relish tray that was the perfect size for the cards. I tried it with lace strips. Nah -- that wasn't what we wanted. Then I dug in the vintage hankies and doilies that I have stashed (hoarded) and found one.

Looked for the iron (yes I had to hunt it) and starched and ironed the hanky. (right on the kitchen counter with a towel as an ironing pad) Squeal with glee because the Bride-to-Be is so very happy with this detail. Bag the whole shebang up in a ziplock bag. Pack it into the Guest Table Box and be happy that one detail is completely finished.

One last detail for today. I found this really pretty vintage light fixture globe at the thrift store. It had a dark antique brass finial on it, but since I am not afraid of spray paint - I had to have it.

I also had thrifted blue Christmas ornaments (not vintage). The Bride-to-Be has said repeatedly that she doesn't want Christmas decor. So I have been experimenting.

 I tried it with tiny LED lights. Didn't like that.

I tried it with a tiny battery tealight candle. Nope too orange toned.

Then I stacked some of the Christmas balls in it. OOOOH - I like that.

So I scrubbed it up and painted the finial parts with satin nickle spray paint.

I restacked the balls in it for Bride-to-Be to look at. This will make a reappearance in this form. I don't quite know how we will use it, but it will be utilized.

Hope you all have a great day.

I'll be learning about tankless water heaters this afternoon -- then later tonight I become the Wedding Event Maker again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

He Stole My Heart

He stole my heart ...... 


This Rusty, grungy, absolutely loverly piece of wrot iron is hanging on the wall above my desk.

Stolen off a remodeling job site. I spied it on a walk through and  before I knew it, this lovely came to live on my wall. 

Now if he would just steal the stunning building that is also on that property. The building that I took 4 steps into and screeched to a halt with a sharp intake of breath. I immediately whispered --- this is MaggieGrace World. My dream space for a studio. Oh well, guessing it will remain just that ---- 

No onto reality. 

Friday night found us - The Bride-to-Be and myself - gluing stuffs together. 

I managed to drip hot glue from my commercial glue gun and give myself 3rd degree burns between two fingers. 

Wedding prep hazard I guess. 

Oh and to really screw up the weekend, that same glue gun decided it was time to give up and die.

Hope you guys have a great day.

We are still diligently working for on details for the wedding ---- more to come.


Monday, September 10, 2012

more fun stuff

At the Dacusville Farm Days Festival there were flea market goodies - and there were farm equipment vendors. But there were also craft booths. 

It is rare to see something new and totally different in the crafting world but I spotted these. 

Fell head over heels ---

Adorable ---

In the "wow, would have never thought of that one." category.

There is more wedding goodness happening, I just had no time to edit pictures today.

Have a great afternoon.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


We will start with today's wedding goodness.

These are advice cards --- so if you are a friend of Molly's or Ben's. please consider your best advice to write on one of these at the wedding. I certainly don't want any of these to go to waste.

They actually turned out beautiful --- white cards with silver ink -- stamped one at a time with a stamp I thrifted for a buck fifty. Whoo Hoo. 

No for the fun stuff --- 

We took off to Dacusville, SC on Saturday. Dacusville Old Farm Days. There was a roadside flea market. Of course we stopped and shopped. 

I really did well on some of my purchases -- but the funniest thing we happen on, I did not buy. 

It's a metal chastity belt. Guessing its age to be from the middle 1800's. My Mom said she didn't think she was shaped like that. There was a lot of laughter over that discovery and I had to really fight myself not to buy it to hang in my bathroom as a conversation piece.

The pictures were made with permission.

This was a complete belt - working lock and keys included.

My girls are now adults, but there was a time in the not so distant past that one of these might have been ideal to have around....... just saying.

Have a great afternoon.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


Way back here, I posted the start of the first really decorative element for this wedding. I have posted details of the project all along since then.

Well that danged light is now finished. I put the final touches on it this long weekend.

Above is where we started --- sorry, I was really bad blogger and that was the only before picture I could come up with.

Hope you want to take a look at the final touches.

 Above is the very basic area that was just way to "flat" looking for me.

I thought and thought about adding pearls or rhinestones to this but then I happened on some magnificent pearlized paper.

So welcome Modpodge. I love it. Subtle from a distance and it simply adds to the overall wedding look of the fixture.

The next thing that bothered me was that all the cups were plain -- remember I removed the electrical from  this fixture so it will be all candles.

Again I dug through the stash. I thought about lace - then ribbon with dangly stuff. Then I found another stunning paper - a creamy iridescent paper. And I punched enough scallops to cover all the cup edges.

They needed just a bit of extra - and I had ordered these tiny rhinestones. That is sitting on my pinky fingernail for size purposes. I glued and glued - picking them up with a tiny little microbrush  using the lick and stick method  (the same kind of method my Nanny used on her hanky to wipe a spot off my face)  . Lee Valley Hardware rocks.

 This is a close up of that detail work.

There were lots of them.  It took hours to glue all those tiny sparkles.

Then I glued them around the cups. It dressed the candolier just the final amount of perfect.

One more little detail - a removable one, because the fixture comes apart to be moved.

I added some vintage embroidered trim to the top. It attaches with velcro to the top cup of the fixture. It fills in the open space at the top nicely.

It is now hanging in the bedroom and simply waiting for the next part of the project --- the arbor to hang it from

Here is a picture of the finished fixture -

What cha think folks????