Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

I have been tagged twice in the past week, and I feel awful that I have not listed my Seven Unknown (Wierd) Things. Two of my farmgirl sisters are the culprits- Amy, from Life in Kansas, and Tina, from The Garden Goose. Thank you, girls.
Okay, here goes:

1. I am a toad killer. When I was younger, my brother and I found dozens of baby toads in the field next to our house. We got a box, filled it with grass and a small dish of water and observed them for an entire morning. Leaving them in the box, tucked up against the back of the house for protection, we went off to play for the rest of the day. Coming back to the box, we found, to our horror, dozens of dehydrated, dead toads. They had baked in the sun. We never did that again.

2. When I was 10, my friend Patty and I did something completely unexplainable. It must have been because it was summer and we were bored. One afternoon, I went in the house and got a large pitcher of water and a bar of Dial soap. Patty and I went to the side of my house, wet our hair and soaped it up with Dial. We each shaped our hair into odd shapes (sticking up all over our heads) and, this is the unexplainable part, we ran up to the stone wall next to the road and scared drivers as they passed by. I wonder what they thought of two ten-year-old girls with soapy, stick-up hair waving their arms madly at them? I hope I never find out.

3. I would love to be a grandmother. And I don't want to be an old grandma, I want to have fun with my grandchildren! I do not want to be the grandma that sits in the rocking chair with a withered finger poking at them saying, "Come closer, I can't see you.", and scare the heck out of them.

4. I love Boston Baked Beans. The candy ones. Yum!! I eat them until my mouth turns red and I have a tummy ache from all that sugar.

5. I love oatmeal, with brown sugar and bananas, for breakfast. I could eat it every day. That's how much I love it. :)

6. I have not wallpapered my craft room with that fabulous Cath Kidston wallpaper my children gave me on my birthday last year. I cannot bear to cut into it. How silly is that?

7. I collect rocks. Not just any rocks, but rocks from places that I visit. They're cheap (free), small and I can put them in a jar and look at them and remember where I have been.

Ok. There they are, seven more things you probably did not want to know about me.

I am going to make my tags later. I am off for a full day of visiting, creating and going to see my dad at the hospital. But that is another story for later. He's ok, we think. The adventure never stops!

'Til later!

Dawn @ The Feathered Nest

Tracy @ On the Shores of Carpenter Creek

Beth @ Gathering Dust

Colleen @ Main Street Memories

Cindy @ For Love of Home

Five is going to have to be enough!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Observation

Have you ever walked into a building or room and felt it's energy? Actually felt it as it wrapped around you and made you feel alive? That is how I felt yesterday walking into the Plum Tree.
Cindy and her friends have been working hard making the Plum Tree one of the cutest shops in Georgia. ( Actually, I think it is the cutest shop. )
Remember I told you about Dawn and her incredible generosity? Well, yesterday we met at the shop and put some things in her room. I had just a few things to put it in; a few bags of clothespins, chalkboard tags (modeled after tags I saw on Ciel D'orage- scroll down to Jan. 10), two altered vintage plates, and a few other things. The wonderful thing is that all of my things melded well with Dawn's. Yay! (I am still cameraless, else I would be showing them to you!! I would also show you the adorable apron that Dawn gave me. As soon as I get a camera, there will have to be a post with nothing but pictures!)
The whole time we were there, I felt my heart beginning to lift. I felt inspired and connected. Dawn and Cindy have that effect on people. They just make you smile. And that has pervaded into every nook and cranny in the shop. I can tell that this is going to be a good place for me, surrounded by wonderful women who encourage each other.
Thank you, Dawn and Cindy, for who you are- warm, kind, open and generous. I think we are going to have a lot of fun together!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Farewell


Last night, at seven o'clock, President Gordon B. Hinckley passed away. This sweet man, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a prophet of God who loved the Savior, will be greatly missed.
Finding the words that would adequately describe this gentle soul is easy. Sweet, warm, humorous, faithful, focused, beloved, humble, loving, compassionate, friendly, spiritual, witty, profound. The list goes on.
The one undeniable fact about him is that he knew his Heavenly Father and the Savior on a deep, personal level. Not knew of them, but knew them. Daily communications in deep, personal prayer gave him the opportunity to receive counsel from them for himself and for the world.
He was a friend to everyone he met. He loved people, all people. His example is one to be followed by each of us, because he followed the greatest example, Jesus Christ- never judge, extend a hand of friendship, embrace the needy, teach. And he did it with a grateful heart and a smile on his face. Always.
How I loved this man and things that I learned from him. I am so grateful to have been taught by him with the strength and power that comes from the Spirit, that touched my heart with a chord of familiarity, testifying of the truth he spoke.
While he will be missed by his family and us here, I am certain that there is great rejoicing in Heaven as he reunites with his family there, especially his wife. And I know that he was welcomed into the arms of Heavenly Father and the Savior with an embrace that cannot be imagined.
This lovely man, a friend to all he met, now knows and can feel the true depth of love that they have for him, the gratitude for his leading with humility and honor and the wash of joy at his return.
Beloved Prophet, friend of the world, farewell.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Miracle of Friendship

Yesterday my husband was let go from his job, one that he had held for close to twenty-four years. Clearly, all of his hard work and loyalty to the company that employed him was for naught. Without even a "Thank you." he was told he was no longer needed. It was cold, impersonal and unfair.

For us, when things like this happen in our family, we rally around each other. Immediately we sat down and went over our plan. Yes, unfortunately we had an idea this may have been coming.

Just not this soon.

My first thoughts were of how I could help. Being a stay-at-home mom does not offer me much of an opportunity to earn a living. Our children are grown now, but with a disabled son, I have to be available to get him back and forth to work and be here if he becomes ill. What to do? What to do?

I don't know about you, but when I get stressed I head to the craft room. Something in my brain turns on and ideas come pouring out. I really should be the most creative person on earth at the rate I become stressed. Glancing over all of the piles of things in there inspired me.

A quick e-mail to my friend, Dawn, inquiring about the availability of space somewhere, anywhere, that I could take things to sell solicited a response that took me by surprise. "Come share my room at the Plum Tree." Such generosity and sweetness from this woman left me speechless. "Are you sure?" "Yes." And that was that.

I am so grateful to Dawn for being willing to share her beautiful room and open her generous heart to this friend in need. It is indeed a miracle to have a friend like her.

This is going to be a whole new adventure for me. I'm glad I get to take it with Dawn.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Could Not Wait

I had to share what I finished today. This is the hexagonal medallion from MaryJane's Stitching Room book (pg. 73). Her mother used to make these and according to MaryJane, they have magical powers. I believe her.
It looks very complicated to make but in reality, it is easy-peasey. Just chains and triple crochets. Lots of them.
The magic comes in the form of wonder as you take trips around and out from the center circle seven times and watch the shape unfold before your eyes. Just don't look at the mistakes. :)

I see lots of fun projects being made from these. Beautiful projects made into gifts for all sorts of occasions. Or maybe to keep.
If you like to crochet, you need to make these. If you don't yet know how, this medallion would be a good reason to learn. Trust me. If I can make one, you can too!

Making Laundry Day More Pleasant


I've been making these clothes pins for a while now.
They make great gifts and are quick and easy to do.

Each one is stamped with a word that describes laundry day. Good or bad.



The backs have a sweet vine stamped on them.
Then all sides are clear-coated with acrylic spray and package in small muslin bags, six to a bag.
I use them for all sorts of thing other than laundry. They close bags of chips, hold papers together on my desk, hang pictures up in my craft room. Plain pins can do the same things of course, but why would you want plain when you can use these?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

While Mother Nature Was Making Snowflakes....


I visited Rita (my craft room) and created a little bobble. I am sorry about that darn blurry picture. A camera, a camera! My world for a camera! OK. Enough of the dramatics.
Friday proved to be a very good day for travelling to Griffin for an estate sale. The house, a Craftsman kit-built home, must have been beautiful in its day. Someone with a very heavy Victorian hand had gotten a hold of it in recent years and, I am sorry to say, did it no favors. But inside were treasures galore!
Along with linens and hankies and a granny square afghan (for $1!), I found a broken pair of 14k gold wire glasses. They were $2 and I could not pass them up. Immediately an idea popped into my head. I love it when that happens.
One of the lenses had broken off the nose piece so I removed the other one. I traced each lens onto the page of an old spelling book (bought at the same sale) and on the front side stamped a cute little nest filled with eggs. The back has randomly chosen sentences about spring. I glued each piece of paper to each lens and trimmed away the excess. Then I placed the lenses on top of each other with the earpieces going in opposite directions. I trimmed the wires and wrapped them around the hinges, creating a loop with one and cutting the other off flush. A simple, thin ribbon trin was glued around the sides and Voila! Two small mother-of-pearl buttons for a little dimension and I was done.
I haven't decided yet what I will do with it. Possibly a necklace or just a little doo-dad stuck onto something. But I sure do love it to bits.
Now I just need to find more broken glasses. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Floating, Swirling & Falling Gently

We have snow. Beautiful, soft flakes quietly turning things white.
These are the type of winter days we hope for here in the South. They come all too rarely lately, so the minute a flake falls, excitement fills the air.
We will be staying in, tucked up in our warm house, watching movies and playing games as long as it continues. Like I said, this is a rare occurence and you do not want to be on the roads with drivers who think they can steer through anything.
Nor do you want to go to the grocery store, because everyone else will be there, clearing the shelves of milk, bread and every snack food known to man. I'm not sure why. Tomorrow it will be back to the same old weather. How much can one eat in a day?
Nope. We are staying in. Unless we get enough to make a miniature snowman, of course.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sweet Treat


This is my recipe page for Beth and Karla's Sweet Treats and Roses Swap. I apologize for the horrible picture. I had to scan it as I am still cameraless. (Insert great sigh of despair here.)
As I chose to submit a recipe for Gateau au Chocolat, a French chocolate cake, I tried to make my page look as French as possible. I think it might be a miss.
I printed my recipe out twice in my chosen font and applied each copy to a hand-stamped background. Then I added the ribbon trim and scanned the page. The button trim and stamped bird border were added after the fact.
I rather like the look. The background reminds me of an old-fashioned brocade curtain.
I cannot wait to see the completed cookbook, with the incredible covers that Beth and Karla have made for us and the tags that each of us has made.
On the ankle front, things are looking up!! The swelling has gone down, I only use the crutches to pad to the bathroon during the night and the bruises are disappearing. I feel so much better in fact, that I am going to an estate sale on Friday. I am either very brave or very silly. I'll let you know which when I return.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

That's how I feel lately. Is there anything more boring than laying on the couch with your foot in the air? I don't think so.
Yesterday my friend, Lucy, took me to Hobby Lobby for a little excursion. Little? Ha! We were gone for a few hours. As I was hobbling in a lovely woman told me to stop, she would get me a wheelchair. I thanked her profusely and sat down, quite relieved.
Then, out popped a cashier who had been watching us, and she asked if I had someone with me to help. I answered that I did, and thanked her. I do believe she would have wheeled me around the store if I hadn't.
Those were the only two angels I encountered for the remainder of my day out. Other than Lucy, of course. I have gained new perspective for people who have to rely on this mode of transportation on a permanent basis. It's a whole new world.
It is difficult to maneuver down the 80% off Christmas aisle when there are carts and people everywhere and you are in a wheelchair. Note to self- When perusing the clearance item aisle (or any aisle), leave the cart parked at the end. It is easier for just you to move out of the way than you and your cart together. Plus, you will get more exercise bringing things back and forth.
The other thing you cannot do when in a wheelchair is to reach thing hanging higher than four or five feet. From now on, I will always be more observant and ask if I can reach those cute little jars of beads for someone else sitting in one.
I did purchase some supplies for Beth and Karla's Sweet Treats and Roses Swap. My tag is almost done, and I am finishing up designing my page. I hope they like it. In fact, I think that is just what I need today. I'll find a chair, prop up my leg and get back to creating.
In the meantime, I will leave you with some more pictures of Oakland Cemetary, including the resting place of Margaret Mitchell Marsh. I miss my camera.

Beauty is found wherever you turn your head.
Even in the most humble of things. Perfection not required.

Inside and out.

It always surprises me that someone who left such a

monumental work is laid to rest in such a plain, unassuming place.

Margaret Mitchell was my age when she died.

Her parents are buried opposite her, a family together forever.

Even in this land of death, life springs forth.

It gives us hope.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Reign of Sprain

Thank you so much for all of your well-wishes! It is a comforting thought to know that there are friends from all over the world hoping for your quick recovery.
As you can tell from the title of this post, it is a severe sprain. I have some small tears in the ligaments on top of my foot, so I am wearing an aircast for the next four weeks. Between it and the crutches I am quite a sight hobbling about the house! However, the crutches should be gone by the end of next week. That is a happy thought.
Tina, from the Garden Goose, has tagged me to reveal seven unknown things about me. Let's see if I can come up with seven more bits of wierdness for you.

1. I have lost six pounds this week. It might be from the fact that I have been using the crutches which have exercised parts of me that I did not know I had, or it could be that I have given up drinking diet soda and have been eating better. Whatever it is, I'll take it.

2. Once upon a time I studied organic chemistry. For fun. I spent a lot of time at the Sarasota library when I was 19, picking up anything that interested me. The study of organic chemistry lasted about 6 months. Then it was on to art. I'm a bit fickle.

3. I'm a bit fickle. There, that's a good one. I can change from one interest to another at the drop of a hat. Or could that be ADD? I think I like fickle better.

4. I think fickle is a great word and is highly underused. :)

5. I did not send out Christmas cards last year. As in 2007. I am still hiding in the corner.

6. I have a little crush on Jamie Oliver. And lucky for me, he's coming back to television this year. Whoo-hoo!

7. I received the seeds from my wish list from my husband for Christmas and you would have thought he had given me diamonds. Only seeds are better. They actually do something on their own and you do not have to worry when you lose them in the dirt.

Okay, there they are- seven more odd things about me.
I am supposed to tag seven more people to make their own list. I will do that later. Right now, my foot needs to go up in the air for a bit.

Toodles!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Head on Over...

To CatieAn's blog to enter her giveaway celebrating her birthday and her 75th blog post.

I head to the doctor tomorrow for the final verdict. I hope my foot and ankle are just sprained.
If anyone is wondering if they are in shape or not, try wielding a pair of crutches for a few days. Yikes!! My body feels like I have been through the Crucible at Parris Island. When all of this is over, it's back to exercising for me. Oh, how I dislike that word. But do it I must.
Back to bed for me. I'm off to watch Last Holiday. I need some comedy right about now.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hoppy New Year

This is not a reference to Hoppin' John, the popular New Year's day dish here in the South. No, it is a reference to Hoppin' Karin, who somehow either severely sprained or broke my ankle yesterday.
How did this happen?! I went here:

To the historical Oakland Cemetary in Atlanta. My brother and I thought a nice walk through the cemetary and taking a few pictures would be a great way to start the new year.

And for a while, it was.
Parts of this cemetary are so beautiful they take your breath away. Like a small city, monuments and mausoleums rise up above the ground, a testament to the love of their family and the wealth the deceased possessed.


The ironwork in Oakland is exquisite. Filigreed and aged, it stands guard over small, family plots.


The statuary, sublime, softened by years of exposure to the elements. There is such emotion and life found here in this most unlikely place.

Not long after taking the above picture, I fell from a wall, rolled my left ankle in a culvert and landed unceremoniously on my backside in the roadway. My foot immediately began to swell up like a balloon. My brother went to get the truck (I hope he took some more shots on the way.) and I waited, my leg propped on the wall I had just fallen from. A quick call to my husband and we were off to the hospital where we sat for five hours.

I now have a rather large splint on my leg and orders to see an ortho this week to be reexamined to determine if I have a hairline fracture or not. Apparently my foot was much too swollen to tell from the original. Oh joy, oh rapture.

Nothing chips at your ego like doing something silly, and I sure did that yesterday. I would show you a picture of my big, fat foot, but my camera flew through the air like a trapeze artist and landed on a monument, bouncing back onto the soft grass. It has gone to its great reward I think. Above all else, that is the saddest thing to me. I feel as though I have lost my best friend.

Ah, well, that's the way things go sometimes. Hopefully the remainder of the year will go a bit more smoothly. Hopefully.