Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pay It Forward- FULL

I still have two slots available so that someone else can begin spreading joy. :)
Thank you, ladies- I am busily working on your gifts. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Errand of Angels

My family has been greatly blessed this week. While my father has been a patient at the Atlanta VA Hospital, he has been treated with incredible kindness, respect and tenderness.
His mind has wandered in and out if lucidity, his body is challenging him in ways he
(or we) never would have expected and yet he retains his sweet sense of humor, his accomodating manner and attitude of gratitude. He is ever so thankful to those who care for him. And so am I.
I watch as he is carefully assisted, bathed, fed, spoken to and watched over.
I do not think I will ever be able to express to them in a way that will match the enormity of thankfulness I feel towards these men and women, angels on Earth.
In the few minutes I had this afternoon to read a few friend's blogs, my eyes locked on Dawn's ( post "Paying It Forward". Here is my chance to fulfill the adage "One good deed deserves another."
She has taken the challenge from The Inspired Room and will be spreading joy to three lucky women. I anxiously left a comment so that I may be able to spread kindness to another.
So, the first three sweet commenters to this post who are willing to partake in this incredible opportunity will receive a little token of love from me.

Below are the rules of the game (copied from Dawn):
1. You comment on this post.
2. You receive a handmade gift from ME.
3. You post this message on YOUR blog and offer THREE more handmade gifts to the first three commenters.
4. Thus, the cycle continues and everyone has fun and beautiful crafts to display in their home.
I will contact you for your addresses.

Please leave a comment if you choose. Spread your wings. Sprinkle joy. Lift another. Pay it forward.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We Interrupt This Blog.....

For a little while. My dad is in the hospital and I will be there sitting by his side, along with my mom.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Joy-ful Progression

Please pardon the pun, but I am hooked on rug making.
I cannot seem to bring myself to stop tearing strips and crocheting
them around in a seemingly endless spiral.
Joy is now 58" in diameter. I have placed a pair of scissors on her in
order for you to see how big she really is.

I believe that my friend, Lucy, and I have just about cleaned out our area thrift stores of their sheet supply.
Yesterday found us with baskets full of lively colors and patterns
that will be made into yet more rugs. It is a sickness of the productive kind.
I would say that this type of craft is one of the more satisfying that I have done.
When Joy is finished, she will provide cushioning and warmth for my family.
Purposeful, practical, pretty. Those are the things that were made by women in the past.
Our reviving these simple, useful things create a continuing thread that connects us to them.
My grandmother had an incredible knack of being able to turn one thing into another. She saved everything; nylons, fabric, sewing supplies, yarn, tins, greeting cards, you name it. And all of it would be put to good use in one way or another.
Nylons and fabric were hooked or braided into small chair pads. Greeting cards were cut up and glued to matchboxes and sold by my father and his brothers for ten cents each. They were raising money for the war effort. I still have a few of the boxes and a lot of the cut-up cards.
She was a Navy Knitter, and used the yarn to make scarves for those who were fighting for our freedom. You could always count on having an endless supply of things to create with when you went to her house.
I am grateful that I can connect with women like my grandmother. Those that were willing to subscribe to the adage "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."
It makes me feel good to use things that I have, or are in need of recycling, to create items that we can use for years to come. Perhaps these things will cause the creative genes to be stirred up in my own children and they will do the same. Only time will tell.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Round and Round and Round She Goes.

And where she stops? Well, I know. It will be when I run out of sheets that are suitable for tearing into strips. :)

This is my crocheted rug that I have started using the very easy directions from MaryJane's Stitching Room. I love how it is turning out. I have decided it will be a circular rug. The only thing not decided upon is where it will live when I am finished with it.
It could possibly be used in the family room, if I make it about 8 feet in diameter.
Or it could live on the floor next to my side of the bed, providing me the softest cushion underfoot when I hop out of bed in the morning. (Or middle of the night. Whichever the case may be.)
There is something very satisfying about tearing fabric into strips, joining them together and making them into something both useful and beautiful. Made from things that have been tucked far back in the linen cupboard. Or the linen bin at the thrift store.
I wish each of you could have heard the symphony in my home on Monday. We have all commented on it. As each strip of fabric was torn, strips of friendship were being tied together, creating a soft, beautiful place for each of us to land.
I will think of that each time I step on this little rug of mine. It will release memories of that day, of those women, the time we spent together and the happiness we all felt.
I am naming my rug. Her name will be Joy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tea Towel Treasures

How's that for alliteration?
I am still finding things from Fabulous Monday!
Teddie and Barbara each gave me a tea towel, embellished with the most beautiful embroidery.
Barbara's was made on her sewing machine in reverse embroidery. How cool is that? All you do is press a button and POOF! it does all the work for you.
Teddie's is a perfect example of tradition. If you click on the photo, you will be able to see the fineness with which she stitches. That is patience and talent all wraspped into one sweet package.
Thank you, ladies, for your incredible generosity.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

To Whet Your Appetite...

Needle Tatting 101

Under a patchwork sky, we filled ourselves with farmgirl goodness!

The fabulous Kathie from Florida made each farmgirl a beautifully patched tote bag, and for me- one of her incredible reversible aprons! Were we spoiled or what?

The Patchwork bathroom- for those who have been dying to see it. :)

Keep reading- there's more to see about our day with MaryJane!!

A Gathering of Women

It is always much more fun to share good things with friends. That is why there were 25 women at my house yesterday. They became part of the joy of winning "Best of Show" in MaryJane's pinkeeper contest.
Beginning at ten o'clock in the morning, friends old and new came to my front door, were greeted with a hug and welcomed into my home. The effect these women had on each other was instantaneous.
Smiles, hugs, exclamations of delight as a face was finally placed with a name, laughter and pitching in were abundant in every corner.
There was an energy in the room as these women bonded in friendship, tying hearts together with apron strings. The power that came from them as a result was undeniable. These are women that will remain in each other's memories for a lifetime and beyond.
This opportunity came from a slender, elegant farmer from Idaho. MaryJane Butters has created an environment that fosters these kind of solid, enduring friendships. She knows the strength of women who are connected to each other. We are kindred spirits of the eternal kind.
Bringing her beautiful daughter, Meg, sweet son-in-law Lucas, granddaughter Stella Jane, a precious angel, and the darling Katy King, tatting queen, MaryJane wrapped us up in her sweet, easy-going way and brought out the inner farmgirl in all of us.
We ate. A lot! Baked potato soup, taco soup, broccoli cheese soup, onion pie, rolls, salad, dips. And that was just lunch!
We filled ourselves with Gateau au Chocolat, Banana Bread Pie (from Jane's Apron), English trifle and Butterscotch Apple Bars. And added a few bits of padding to our hips in the process.
Then we crafted. Everyone put forth their best efforts with talents just emerging or finely honed. Help was offered, encouragement given and admiration bestowed on the work that came from each of us.
From a crocheted rag rug to a delicate tatted edge on a handkerchief, we all learned that sharing these kinds of gentle crafts together is the best part of all.
Thank you, MaryJane, for giving us the opportunity to meet, share, restore our spirits, fill our hearts and understand that beyond the small differences we have, the common things about us are strong and viable.
It will be a day that we all will remember with fondness and gratitude for the love that you have shown to all of us.

A sweet gift- the new, hot-off-the-press 2008 MaryJane's Farm calendar and a Saffron-Pear candle that smells divine! (And will be available soon at Belk's!)
A framed photograph that describes the Farmgirl Sisterhood stands behind.

MaryJane graciously signed personal copies of her books, aprons, laundry soap lids,

whatever we could find to keep as a memento of the day.

Katy King's expert tatting instructions, and my first attempt at needle tatting.

Needless to say, I am hooked!!

Farmgirl theoanne (Teddie W.) helped by putting together the table centerpieces-

flowers set in chicken feeders!

(How nice! Now Cilla and I have three feeders for our future flock of egg-laying hens!)

Gifts from friends- the coveted Vidalia Onion Pie recipe from Tif, a gourd spoon from Tamara, a sweet memory book from Dawn, a felted flower pin from Jill, Amber lotion from Jess, lemon-dill dip from Jeannie and Julia, farmgirl bumper stickers from Meg.
Such divine goodness to remember these women with!
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
There are more pictures to follow! Please read all of the other posts, as well as visiting to see the lovely photos posted by Dawn!!

Craft Day with MaryJane

Jess and Kathie travelled from Indiana and Florida, respectively, to spend the day with MaryJane Butters and fellow farmgirls!

The "Farmgirls" in attendance with the Queen Bee, MaryJane!

Ayako (UrbanChick), Kathie (Kathie), Amy (nitere), Jess (smoothiejuice),Teddie (theoanne), Karin (mumof3), Meg, Jeannie (jpbluesky) and MaryJane.

"It is sooo easy!! Anyone can do this!" Rip, tear, shred!

Angie will make a rug for her sweet husband,

who let her spend the day with us on her wedding anniversary!

Generating enthusiasm in the farmgirls!

The end of the day.
Tif, Kathie, Jess, Jess's darling baby!, Karin, MaryJane, Katy, Tamara, Meg, Angie, Cilla.

More MaryJane

MaryJane describes how to make a crocheted rag rug.

MaryJane's daughter, Meg, demonstrates how to attach the lengths of fabric,
as Jill, Dawn, Julia, and Jeannie look on.

Dawn ( ), left, and Julia (jujubee), right, rip into this activity.

Tamara is enjoying ripping this sheet to shreds.

That's because she knows how cute the finished product is going to be!

Tiffany and Amy (nitere) choose their fabric to make colorful rugs.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

I Am a Neglectful Blogger....

But I have been as busy as a bee getting ready for this gal and her family to come to my house on Monday for Craft Day with MaryJane!!

I promise I will take lots of pictures and post them here for you to see. :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Seven Things You Do Not Know About Me (and may not want to)

Colleen, the wise and witty writer of Main Street Memories has tagged me to share Seven Unknown Facts About Myself. I am having a bit of difficulty trying to come up with seven things that will make you want to keep reading after Number 1. But, as a designated tagee, I will do my best to honor the request from this dear tagger. Here are seven things no one reading this knows about me:

1. I have a fear of roosters. Not just a fear, a morbid fear of them.
When I was twelve, my father asked me to feed leftover corn cobs from our family barbecue to the chickens. No problem. HA! Breaking the cobs in half, so all of the chickens would have some, and tossing them over the fence, I hit the King of the Coop. In the head. Don't ever do this. Turning around and locking his gaze on me, he started for the fence. It's 6 feet high, he can't get me. At least that's what I thought. Running as fast as his little chicken legs would take him, he runs UP the fence, over the top and down to the ground where he proceeded to chase me. Running as fast as my little girl legs would take me, I ran from the back of the barn to the front of the house, screaming at the top of my lungs, as he, that stupid rooster, would rear up behind me trying to claw me to death. Reaching the front yard, I spied my parents. Safety at last! Not. (Note: When observing a child running from roosters, parents lose all sense and wet their pants laughing.) My father did have enough presence of mind to put his foot out as the rooster approached, and trip the wretched bird, thereby saving me from certain disaster. I refer to all roosters now as "Sunday Dinner", and will not have one when I finally have my own flock of chickens.

2. I believe in Borrowers.
Some of my favorite books as a child were The Borrower series by Mary Norton. I practically fell into the lives of Pod, Homily and Arietty Clock. Living under the floorboards of an old English manse, theirs was the home I would most like to visit. A climbing hook fashioned from a safety pin was how Pod would maneuver about the house, collecting his 'borrowings'. A small nail file, borrowed from a night stand easily cut through a borrowed potato from the kitchen. Blotter paper lined the floor like a velvety carpet, soft under foot. Empty spools, matchboxes and cigar boxes, became elegant furniture in their hands. Who wouldn't want to believe in them? In my bedroom, there was a small stairway that led down to the hall that connected my father's office to the family room. Coming down the steps one Saturday morning, I discovered a line of perfectly formed, miniature horseshoe prints. A tiny horse had carried a Borrower through the white paint in Dad's office and left concrete evidence of their existence. I am not joking here. Leading down the hall, they disappeared at the carpet of the family room. Well, of course they did, the paint had dried before they reached it. I have yet to find any evidence that I have Borrowers living in my own house, but that is fine by me. I know they are here.

3. I Do Not Like Snakes!
When I was five, I had a pair of Keds sneakers with a little hole in the side. They were my playing-outside shoes. One afternoon, skipping by the small, round garden my mother had planted, a little milk snake slithered over my right foot and disappeared. IT HAD GONE INTO MY SHOE!! Well, not really. But that is what I thought. Running screaming inside (I did a lot of running and screaming as a child apparently) I could barely get out the words that IT was in my shoe and needed to be taken out now, thank you. My mother, between trying to pry my shoe off and laughing hysterically, (something she did a lot of when I was a child) was unable to convince me that it was not in there. Finally, removing the shoe, shaking it out, reaching her hand inside of it, I realized that the snake, probably now somewhere near Boston, had slithered over my foot, and not in my sneaker. It doesn't matter though. I still lift up my feet when I see one.

4. I am a closet rock star!
On the rare day that I am here alone, left to my own devices, I turn on the radio and sing. Loudly. I'm hip. I'm cool. I'm awful. But I don't care. It's what gets me through the drudgery of cleaning the house. As a result, we have no fine crystal, dogs begin to howl for miles around (for seemingly no apparent reason), and I have feigned a sore throat more times than I can count because my voice was not designed to sing rock. Now you know.

5. I had a pet bat. For about five minutes.
The house I grew up in was built in 1668. And no, I was not there when it was built. Behind the house stood a creepy, grey barn. Typical New England styling, it had huge doors that slid across the front. It was the greatest place to poke around, discovering hidden treasures. Well, one day, the hidden treasure was a small, sleeping brown mouse. No it wasn't. It was a bat. But my brother and I thought it was a mouse and put it in the dusty wire bird cage that sat in a dark corner. We were completely frozen in fear as it awakened and spread its wings. We ran out of the barn very quickly. Coming back the next morning, we found one empty bird cage and no evidence of the bat. Anywhere. But I think it was the same one that got into the house and flew around my parent's bedroom one night. Payback, you know.

6. For my fortieth birthday, I decided to have braces put on my teeth.
After going through life being called "can opener teeth" by my evil brother, I came to the conclusion that I really did need to do something about my crooked smile. Three years , a huge amount of pain, and a loss of 35 pounds later, they came off. And now I have beautiful, straight teeth. But my brother still has the stinkiest feet East of the Rockies. And he can't do anything about it.

7. I love being alone.
And when I am not caught up doing my best Pat Benetar impersonation, I relish a bit of quiet solitude. It is the time when ideas are allowed to flow freely through my mind because there is no one here to place a stop sign in front of them. It is when I do the things I choose to instead of the things I have to. I think everyone needs that time to be by themselves every now and then. It is restorative to the soul. Unfortunately, my alone time is coming to an end and I have to go pick up Number 2 Son from his first day at work. It was fun while it lasted.

I am to choose seven others upon whom this task of revealing 7 unknowns about themselves will fall. Be sure to pop back and see who they are!!

Well, I could not choose just seven, so I have tagged all of you. If you feel compelled to share your own seven unknowns, leave a comment and I will surely stop by to read them. :)