Friday, March 31, 2006

This is a RED letter day

No, the red letter day isn't about taxes....our appointment went better than expected so we're doing the happy dance today. But there's even more to be happy about today. The specialness of this day is all about HB.

I'm stealing a line from DebR to tell you that today is the 29th anniversary of HB's 29th birthday! Yep, the word is out....I'm married to a younger man! Robbed the cradle, and all that stuff.

Here is a photo of HB and his little brother. The back of the photo says HB is 6 years old. It must be Easter time since he's holding an egg. I don't think he went around holding eggs just for the fun of it! I love the hat and the sport coat....very grown up. The only hats I've ever seen HB wear are baseball caps and the occasional cowboy hat so this is a treat.

Happy birthday HB....and many, many thanks for being the wonderful guy you are.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ah...the joys of tax time!

Around "Chez bee-cause" things are in a bit of a whirlwind! It's almost tax time and we're getting ready for the accountant! Tomorrow is D-day....or make that T-day for us.

Papers are strewn from one end of the house to the other, hair-pulling, and teeth gnashing are the order of the day. The only family member not concerned with any of this is LuLu. Look at how peaceful she is surrounded by all this chaos....

And outside these trees are in blossom trying to cheer us on....

It's difficult to get a good photo since there are two trees backing up to each has white blossoms (it belongs to the neighbors) and ours is a nectarine tree with "pretty in pink" blossoms. Two years ago there were so many nectarines on this tree that branches started breaking! The sad part is....they don't taste very good! Very bitter and seldom do they get soft enough to eat. I think it's an old tree that hasn't been properly maintained but I love it anyway for the lovely shade it provides in the summer and for these gorgeous blossoms in the spring.

I guess seeing pink is a lot better than seeing red!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Tumbleweeds in the storm

This morning I had to go to the post office. I like to take the back road and avoid traffic, and I noticed all these tumbleweeds piled up against the fence. It made me think of the tumbleweed story.....what do you mean you haven't heard the tumbleweed story!! Well, let me tell you....

Throughout our years of RVing, HB and I have met some great people. One particular couple, Rob and Katie, we met one summer in northern Illinois. They are from Alabama and travel to Illinois each summer, spend the fall in Alabama and part of the year in Florida. But they have never traveled out West.

Katie was particularly inquisitive about tumbleweeds and asked me all kinds of questions about them. She had only seen tumbleweeds in movies or on TV and for some reason was fascinated with them. I explained to her that they were very common in the West and that sometimes they would blow and gather along fence lines completely forming a wall.

Well, HB and I left Illinois and Rob and Katie went back to Alabama. We stayed in touch as we had all become good friends. A few years later HB and I were traveling in the West and we stopped at an RV park for the night. After being cooped up all day it was nice to get out and stretch my legs. We were walking around the park when I realized that there were tumbleweeds all around. They made me think of Katie, and I wished that she was there with me to see the tumbleweeds blowing, tossing and turning in the wind.

Suddenly I remembered that I had a fairly large box in the RV and a lightbulb went off in my brain! I would send her an authentic tumbleweed! I found the box, gathered a tumbleweed that just barely fit, taped it shut and the next morning we mailed it off to Katie.

It just so happened that at that very time there was a rather nasty storm brewing in the South....I think they refer to them as hurricanes! Now Rob and Katie have some property way back in the woods of north central Alabama where Rob goes to hunt. (Katie usually goes along even though she doesn't hunt.) It's back down a long dirt road. When the weather is good, no problem but if it rains, the road gets muddy and there's one place where it gets a little dicey and sometimes floods out.

The package arrived a few days later, right in the middle of the storm! The mail carrier, who knew Rob personally, called to say there was a package but that the mail truck wouldn't be able to get back into their property to deliver it. So Rob arranged to meet the mail carrier out on the main road to accept the package.

The drive out the dirt road was pretty bad....rain was blowing and swirling all around the truck as Rob made his way, and then he came to the bad area and sure enough it was beginning to flood. He decided to chance it anyway because he didn't know what the package was or who it was from....the mail carrier hadn't said.

Meeting up with the mail carrier, Rob got the package into the truck and drove back through the rain and through the flooding area. He arrived back at their RV, drenched to the bone, dripping water everywhere, holding the package in his hands.

What could it be? It didn't weigh anything! They were both surprised at the light weight of the package and couldn't imagine what was in it.

When Katie opened the package to find the tumbleweed, she laughed and was completely amazed that I was able to send it to her.....Rob, on the other hand, exclaimed "You mean I risked my neck in a hurricane to get a damned TUMBLEWEED?!"

Rob never lets me forget this little episode, and over the years we have laughed about it but I'm sure at the time he didn't find it too funny.

P.S. I think Katie still has the tumbleweed! She threatened to put Christmas lights on it but I don't think she ever did.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

HB creates....

HB worked on the little shelves he's making to hold the small speakers for the surround sound system in the family room. They'll be painted to match the walls so they'll blend into the background. Here is HB holding one of his creations....

Here they are all lined up on the work bench....

Here's a closer may not be able to see but they have decorative routered edges.

I think he did a very nice job.

An update on my project

I added a few rows of Homespun in a blue/purple/green mix but it doesn't show up very well in the photo. Now I'm working several rows of blue and lavender alternating in 5 stitch increments. I haven't decided how many rows of this I'll do. It's not much progress but I said I would post photos as I went along so here is the next one....

I didn't actually work on it very much yesterday....only a bit in the evening. I was messing around with a knitted vest that I had thrifted. Its an Arizona brand and the pattern is used inside-out. This is what it looked like before....

This is what I ended up with....I turned it right-side out and made a small tote. I'm trying to figure out an easy way to attach the leather belt to make a strap.

Here is another of my purse projects. The colors are off on this one. I need to find a strap that is more of a hot pink rather than red. I haven't sewed it on yet so no problem. I love the colors in this one.

I had another "flash of brilliance" this morning so if I can get it into some form to show you that will be next....hopefully! That's my biggest problem....too many ideas and not enough time to do them. Plus as I mentioned previously, once I see that I can actually do something then I lose interest in following through with it. Very bad habit!!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Fun on the weekend....

This is going to be a fun day! HB is beginning the process of crown molding in the family room! I may help, if the need arises. I'm very good at handing things to him while he's on the ladder. I'm also good at reading directions, which he seldom does. I keep him supplied with water and just generally stand on the side-lines, cheering him on.

He will also be installing speakers for our surround sound system. I don't worry about anything electrical as that is his area of expertise. It's nice to have a guy who knows how to fix things or make things or just do things around the house. The very desk that holds my computer, as well as too many other things, was designed and built by HB. It's very functional, has several levels/shelves and is two-sided so that we each have a side to ourselves.

We have a very small office space so he designed the desk to take up most of the center of the room. He also designed it with rounded corners so that we wouldn't be bumping into a sharp edge when we walked around it. He's always thinking..... I'll try to get some photos to show later but it's a bit cloudy right now.

Now, for my project. I began another tote bag that may or may not include some tapestry crochet! I'm winging this one....making it up as I go along. Dangerous, I know! I'm using worsted weight yarn and a "D" size hook. I tried to go with a "C" but my hands just didn't like doing that! It's very tightly crocheted and so far this is what I have to show....

And another view....

Of course, it's in shades of purple....what else! I'll continue to show my progress each day or so. Hopefully, that will be my incentive to keep going with it. Another of my bad habits is to start something and as soon as I know I can do it, then I lose interest! Bad, I know.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Plain and Fancy

The tale of two sisters. One was plain, wore very little make up, very little jewelry, dark colored clothing, had a plain hairstyle (and natural color), was a stay-at-home mom, devoted herself to her home and family, and was a very scheduled person. The other was flamboyant, wore lots of make up, lots of jewelry, bright, colorful clothes, always had the latest hairstyle, and a different hair color, worked outside the home (but was also very devoted to her family.)

Here are the sisters as young teenagers.....

The plain sister stayed near the town where she grew up, the other sister moved away to California. They each had one child, a daughter.

I am the daughter of the plain sister but my heart always belonged to the flamboyant sister, my Aunt Dotti. She was the person I looked up to most, while growing up. I wanted to be just like her. To me, she had a glamorous life....she lived in California! She got to see movie stars just walking around in everyday life. She got to wear beautiful clothes and go out to dinner in fancy restaurants. She was idolized by me (shown below at about age 15), a skinny (yes, in those days!), shy, girl in a Midwestern town.

When Aunt Dotti came back for a visit, usually about once a year, it was wonderful and it was terrible, too. My mother always had my aunt give me a permanent and I hated that part, but it was a little sacrifice I was willing to make to spend even more time with Aunt Dotti.

She was always so full of life....wonderful stories, jokes, and always the clothes. I thought it was the best thing in the world to help Aunt Dotti unpack because then I could discover all the beautiful goodies she brought back to my little corner of the world. My mom and I did most of our shopping at JC Penny's so you can see how I would be impressed by anything vaguely exotic or unusual!!

The photo below is one of my favorites of Aunt Dotti even though it is rather subdued. She looks so happy and vivacious.....

When I became a teenager, it was even better! She actually let me wear some of her things to school. Oh, I thought I was Hot Stuff on those days. I was wearing "California" clothes! My mother would just be a basket case worrying that I would spill something, or tear something, or otherwise mess up whatever Aunt Dotti gave me to wear....but Aunt Dotti just didn't seem to worry one little bit. She calmly turned over her beautiful sweaters, and coats, and even some jewelry for me to wear. She made me feel special. And I don't think I ever spoiled any of the clothes.

The first time I saw the movie "Auntie Mame" starring Roz Russell, I thought the main character was so much like my Aunt Dotti. Dotti wasn't quite as kookie as Mame but she was every bit as flamboyant, at least in my eyes. I still keep an old paperback copy of "Auntie Mame" in my night stand because it reminds me of my own real life version.

When my mother died, I moved to California to be near Aunt Dotti. She took me into her family and became like a second mother to me. We spent many hours sitting around her dining room table talking and laughing. By then I was a grown woman and we could talk as two adults. I'm not sure if she ever truly knew how very special she was to me. I tried often to tell her, and to show her in different ways but I don't know if she actually knew the depth of my love for her.

She made a lasting impression on a shy, little girl....and I'm sure there are many other people out there who were touched by her. I could tell you so many stories about Aunt Dotti but I'll save those for another time.

And, please, don't misunderstand this entry....I loved my mother very much. She, too, was a wonderful person but in a much quieter way. I miss "both" my mothers and think of them often.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My thrifty finds

Today was a beautiful, warm Spring day and I decided to get out and make the rounds of my favorite thrift least, the ones that are close to me. Where I live, the choices are very limited. But I managed to visit three smaller shops and found a few goodies. First, of course, some books....

The "Folk Toys Around the World" was published in 1972. The entries include a thumb piano from Uganda....that sounds interesting....a prisoner's lock from Finland....a tumbling man from Austria....a balancing fisherman from Portugal....and lots of other little interesting items. They all come with instructions, and many of them are wood toys.

Then I found six adorable mugs with dragonflies, lady bugs, butterflies, and bumblebees....I couldn't pass them up! They looked so fresh and Spring-timey. (I make up my own words now and then.) I only photographed three of them.

I also found several fun, bright, colorful pillowcases. Can't pass them up either. I use them to make other things. I especially like the pale pink gingham check with the ruffle although it doesn't show up too well in the photo.

All in all it was a fun day. I managed to find a few goodies, and got out of the house so what more could I want.

A visit to Vegas....or was that Venice?

The other day I came across a blog I hadn't seen before. It was presented in a little different set-up....and it just looked interesting. So I ventured in and found the most delightful young woman. I left a comment that day, and she wrote back to ask if she could use my comment in her next entry! She did, and here is a link to vegasandvenice. Isn't that an interesting blog title? It's what drew me in the first time and it won't be the last. I've added her to my list of daily reads.

I think she did an excellent job of incorporating my comment into her entry.

I wanted to show you what I did yesterday but blogger isn't taking my photos for some reason! I'll keep trying and maybe later today I can post them. Until then, my entry today has to be "naked" photos!

Monday, March 20, 2006

100 Things About Me

I've noticed many other bloggers do a "100 Things About Me" list. So I decided to do one, too. That way you can get to know a bit more about me. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to wait for someone to ask me but I'm just plowing ahead! Being new to blogging, I may make mistakes but that's the way I learn things.

Here it is....
"100 Things About Me"

1. I grew up near Decatur, IL.
2. I'm an only child.
3. I was a very shy child.
4. I never got to participate in extra-curricular activities.
5. I wanted to play the piano but never learned.
6. My paternal grandfather came over from England.
7. I have no idea about the rest of my ancestry!
8. My mother’s maiden name is my married name.
9. I use my maiden name.
10. I have been married three times; once to a man of Irish descent, once to a man from Thailand, and to my sweet Hubby Bubby who has a German background.
11. I have two children and two step-children (a boy and a girl each)
12. I have three grandchildren and four step-grandchildren (5 girls and 2 boys)
13. When I turned 18 the first thing I did was go blonde!
14. My natural hair color was light brown but now it's silver gray!
15. I have hazel eyes.
16. I wore contacts for many years.
17. I began wearing glasses in the sixth grade.
18. My parents were both dead by the age I am right now.
19. I am basically a vegetarian....I occasionally eat a bit of turkey and fish but no red meat.
20. My grandfather was a cattle rancher.
21. My first job was as a telephone operator for Illinois Bell.
22. I sold real estate back in the late 70's.
23. My daughter is my biggest inspiration.
24. I love quirky clothes.
25. I seldom wear anything quirky anymore.
26. Purple has always been my favorite color.
27. My mother was a good cook but she never taught me.
28. My mother washed my hair for me until I was a senior in high school.
29. And I never thought anything about it.
30. I love books.
31. I don't read romance novels or science fiction.
32. I love the artwork of Mary Engelbreit because it's bright and cheerful.
33. I would love to be an artist.
34. I have worked as a bartender.
35. I wanted to be an interior designer when I was younger.
36. I talk to myself....and sometimes answer!
37. I don't like to cook.
38. I do like to eat!
39. My favorite aunt taught me to crochet.
40. My mother taught me how to do embroidery.
41. I love embellishments.
42. I've always been fascinated with gypsies....the romanticism and all that.
43. I have been to a fortune-teller.
44. I am a Virgo on the cusp of Libra….I say I'm a Vir-bra.
45. I lived in the same house until I left home at eighteen.
46. I lived in the same town until I was 36 years old.
47. Since 1990 I have lived in eight states, some of them more than once.
48. I have lived in my current home since 2001.
49. I do not tan in the skin is very fair.
50. I can not sing or dance….except when I'm all alone and no one can see or hear!
51. I love details.
52. I do counted cross-stitch and find it relaxing.
53. I love to draw and paint.
54. Paper dolls were my favorite things as a child, closely followed by crayons.
55. I like cats....we have two; their names are Harley and LuLu.
56. I have only had one dog in my life and it belonged to my first husband.
57. I had a Vespa motor scooter when I was younger.
58. I don't like February.
59. I sometimes get depressed around the holidays.
60. I was not an athletic child.
61. I love small sports cars....low to the ground and haulin' a--!
62. I hate to drive on freeways or interstates but love back roads.
63. I do not participate in a structured religion.
64. I believe in a Higher Being.
65. I think of myself as spiritual rather than religious.
66. I love to laugh but hate jokes about ethnicity, race, religion, sexual preference or anything that is a put-down of some group or individual.
67. I tend to be liberal in my thinking.
68. I can be alone and it doesn't bother me.
69. My checkbook always balances to the penny.
70. I love thrift shops and second-hand stores.
71. I sold books online for several years.
72. My son lives in Alaska.
73. My daughter lives in Los Angeles.
74. My son-in-law is older than I am by seven months.
75. I like most kinds of music but no Rap or Hip Hop....guess I'm getting old!
76. I love ice cream but seldom eat it.
77. My favorite flavor of ice cream is coffee, then butter pecan.
78. I think I could live on fruit.
79. I like raspberries but not anything raspberry flavored!
80. I never smoked and never did any drugs.
81. I don't like taking any kind of medication, even aspirin.
82. Frozen grapes are one of my fav summer-time treats.
83. I am not high maintenance....sometimes I wish I was, but then not.
84. I wear very little jewelry.
85. I used to wear a lot of jewelry.
86. I wear very little make-up.
87. I used to wear a lot of make-up.
88. I like Pepsi rather than Coke but drink neither anymore.
89. About the only alcoholic drink I enjoy is a good margarita.
90. I have a sweet tooth.
91. I never had a store-bought cookie until I was an adult.
92. My dad and I never got along....I regret that.
93. I love Led Zeppelin's Trampled Underfoot but it has to be cranked up really loud.
94. I was nuts about Elvis Presley.
95. I don't like scary or gory movies.
96. Stephen King and I have the same birthday but not the same year.
97. Autumn is my favorite season.
98. I like to go to the beach when it's cloudy and stormy.
99. I have lived here for about five years, and only know one neighbor.
100. I'm sure glad this is the last number I have to do!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Peaceful Sunday, Not

Sundays are supposed to be relaxing and peaceful....aren't they? Mine has been anything but. First thing today, HB and I had computer problems or I guess I should say "connection" problems. Everything was going sooooo s - l - o - w that we couldn't get anything done. And we have DSL!

Later I tried to do a new entry on here and for some reason when I posted it, it changed my entire blog! Took away all the things on the right side of the page, changed all the fonts and was horrible looking. So I deleted the entire entry, turned off my computer and went upstairs to my work room.

Before I could do anything in there, I had to spend over an hour just clearing off the table so I could maybe start working on something. I never have learned how to put things away as I use them! And when I'm doing some project, I usually have all kinds of things pulled out so I can test to see if I want to use them.

Just about the time I finished cleaning the space, wouldn't you know....I decided I was hungry! That never happens! So downstairs I went to raid the fridge. I think you get the picture....not much got accomplished. I did finally get out one of my finished projects and proceed to take it apart because I suddenly had an idea to make it better. Time will tell!

So long story short....I don't have anything to show you today. Hopefully tomorrow.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Yarn, Yarn, and More Yarn....

My best friend and I have known each other since we were 9 years, I'm not gonna say how long ago that was! Each of us is an only child so she's actually more like a sister to me. She now lives in Florida and I live in California but somehow we have always managed to keep in touch through the years.

A few days ago she asked me if I would like some free yarn. Silly girl! She had access to some and would send it my way if I could use it. Mostly I immediately thought of Heartmade Blessings!

The package arrived this afternoon! It was a huge box just packed to the brim with pretty, bright colors. So, Drew, if you see this entry you can see the colors that will be coming your way in the form of more 12" squares.

My friend enclosed a beautiful card she made for me...sorry the photo isn't better. It's cloudy today...even got a little I'm having to take indoor photos.

She just learned to crochet and those are little crocheted flowers on the front. I love it....and of course, one flower and the vase are in lavender. Oh, she knows me so well!

The Wearin' of the Green, Pink, Purple, Blue....

I came across this "flower lady" that I did awhile back. She is mostly done with colored pencil on regular drawing paper. I purposely left her face blank as I wanted the focus to be on her dress. Now I'm wondering if I should put in just a hint of her face....I very lightly drew in closed eyes. Don't know if you can see them but if you can what's your opinion?

HB says "Dance the Fandango" comes to mind when he looks at this drawing. When I look at her I think of flowers.

I'm sorry I don't have anything green to show today since it is St. Patty's Day. But I am wearing my green jammies as I write this!!! So does that count?!! Plus my children are half Irish. I used to be married to a man of Irish descent but that was back in the Dark Ages!

Ok, enough of's my flower lady....Ta Da.....

And here's a close-up of her head....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Books and Muscles and Dolls....Oh my!

I still remember my first library card. My mother took me to the library in my hometown as soon as I could print my name (that was the requirement) and I got that magical bit of paper that opened up the entire world to me. I've never been without a library card since that day.

The reason I tell you this is because that's where I spent part of my morning. At one of my favorite places. The library. I came out with so many books that HB had to carry my book bag. Awwww....just like back when we were in school except we didn't go to school together. Here's just a few of the books I got today. There are too many to fit in the photo. Have I said that I LOVE BOOKS!!

The "Family Circle Easy Accessories" had several interesting hats and scarves, some mittens, several ponchos (I don't wear them), a pretty ruana, and this

....I think it should be called Cape Fear instead of Cape Fearless since that's what it struck in my heart! Fear that I'd ever have to wear it! I can't imagine anyplace I'd go where I would want to wear this....unless it was very, very dark and no one would see me.

So I got to spend fun time at the library and I also got to sneak in a little shopping. Look at my bargain exercise equipment!! One was marked down to $2.49 and the other was $7.97....such a deal!

When I returned home I had the package that I ordered from this art doll site that I mentioned a few days ago. I don't know what to do first!! Life is good.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Ten Balls of Yarn

My daughter is the best thrift store shopper. She came by today to bring me ten balls of yarn she recently found at a thrift near her home. She got all the yarn for $3.99! It's a beautiful red raspberry (the label calls it cerise) wool and mohair from France. In the photo it looks shiny but it isn't. I'm pretty sure this is an older yarn that's been discontinued. I love it. Can't wait to find a pattern and get started.

Here's a close-up....sorry you have to look at my old hand!

On another note, I painted most of the day. I've been working on a couple of watercolors. Here's one. What do you think?

I haven't finished it still needs something. I'm thinking about putting my images on cards. My daughter thinks tee shirts and tote bags. Decisions.... decisions!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Squares to go

I have two more 12" squares ready to mail off for charity. You may have noticed my new, bright pink button under the clock....If you would like information on Heartmade Blessings you can find it here.

I'm sending these two out today....

Monday, March 13, 2006

Hard Crochet

About ten years ago I discovered this book at the library. At first I thought it referred to the difficulty of the projects but learned that it referred to the fabric created by the method described in the book.

The general premise is to use worsted weight yarn and a very small hook....for instance a "B" or a "C" hook....and to tug on the stitches as you make them so that they snug up really tight.

The result is a very stiff fabric that is most suited for structured items such as baskets, purses, or Fedora-style hats. In fact, there is a fantastic man's hat pattern in the book that I still would like to make one day.

I began messing around with this technique and combining it with Tapestry Crochet (another book I like) and made a couple of tote bags. My only problem was getting my hands to co-operate! The constant tension and tugging combined with the very small hook made for painful crocheting. I began wrapping the hook as suggested in the book, and then I bought those foam covers to slide on the hook.

My hands still hated it! I finished the totes but didn't like the strap on the second one. Recently I ripped it out and now am trying to decide what I want to do for a strap. Here is the second tote I made. This is partly a pattern from one of the books (the horse design) and the rest is my own design.

I wanted it to look like those Western jackets that are made from blankets. What do you think?

Here is a look at the inside.

Sorry that the photos are so bright. I don't think today was a good day for picture taking! The colors are actually deep, jewel-like blues, greens, and dark rusts. I basically used whatever odds and ends I had at the time.

That tail hanging off the side is what's left of the original strap, and will eventually be cut off and replaced.

Here is the first one I did. It's from a pattern in one of the books. I call it "I've Got My Ducks in a Row."

Little Traveling Purses

When HB and I were full-time RVers, space was always a factor followed closely by weight. No, not mine! Although I guess it was a factor, too. But the things we carried with us had to be light weight. Did you ever try to find "lightweight" books??! I used to hide things in every little nook and cranny of that RV. To this day I'm not sure HB knew of all the things I had in there! If you're old enough to remember, think Lucille Ball in the "Long, Long Trailer" and the rocks. That was me!

One of the things that I began doing was lots of crochet. But one can only make so many afghans and then all your friends and family start hiding when they see you coming with another one. So I began messing around with smaller things. Doilies just don't do it for me. I'm not a doily kind of gal. I can't actually remember how I struck on the idea of little purses but that's what I started making. I wanted intricate color designs so I began improvising with counted cross-stitch patterns. I also modified some knitting patterns to get the designs I wanted. Finally I had to start making up my own designs on graph paper.

These little purses are made by carrying the extra color at the back. And I always had to tell HB when I was working on one of them...."don't talk to me while I'm counting"....basically I counted every stitch of the design on every row. I didn't want to get confused! I think these were made using a #4 or 5 steel crochet hook.

I don't have many of these left. I did give some away and bartered a couple for other things. Here is a plain red one that is about 5" tall excluding the decorative edging. This one is just a simple "make-it-up-as-I-went" purse with no design in it.

Here is a smaller black one I did. It's one of my favorites because it has PURPLE in it. Anyone who knows me, knows that purple is my all-time favorite color. If it's purple, I like it. Back to the is about 4" tall excluding the edging at the top. The photo isn't the best. The small band at top and bottom is a gold metallic thread. I love this little design. I modified this from a knitting book.

I will post more photos in the next few days. Hope you enjoyed these little purses as much as I enjoyed making them. There may even be some new ones coming soon. I feel that urge to work little again. I love details.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Snowy Sunday and html

We woke to snow again this morning. It wasn't much but I like seeing it. I ran outside to snap some photos before it all melted away.

You may have noticed some changes to my blog. I added some links to a few of my favorite blogs. I won't bore you with my trials and tribulations trying to deal with html code....let's just say things got ugly! There were a lot of these floating around my head: @%*?!#*

HB had to step in and pull me out of the quagmire. Thank goodness for a hubby who understands all this computer geek stuff! I'm learning but it's a slooooow process.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Blizzard of '06

It was Hell. How would we survive this onslaught of Mother Nature? We only had hot chocolate to warm our insides while outside the blizzard of '06 dropped snow on our small yard. We shivered and hugged each other to stay warm. The fire in the fireplace was roaring, sending out sparks, and dancing light around the room. Would we have enough supplies to last until we could get out to a store??? Would we have enough firewood to keep us warm? This is the way it began yesterday, here in the Antelope Valley of Southern California! And here is what all the hub bub was about!

I grew up in the Midwest so believe me when I tell you I know about snow. This was NOTHING! But the weather announcers out here were having a field day with it. I guess it's because most of the time their job is so boring....warm and sunny today... warm and sunny today....warm and sunny get the picture, so when ANY kind of weather shows up they jump on it and milk it for all it's worth.

I had to take a photo to send to friends all around the country because many of them don't even believe we get rain, let alone snow! (Hi, Dotti!) But here's the proof even if it is just a dusting. For a few minutes the snow was really coming down, and it did bring back memories of childhood when I prayed for lots of snow so school would be closed. I'm older now and don't want to deal with drifts up to my you-know-what anymore so that's why I live here.

I have to admit though, it was exciting for a couple of minutes. Now let's get back to reality! Sunny and warm....

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Is There a Doctor in the House?

I don't know about you but my mind spins at an alarming speed! I'm surprised I haven't had a string of "brain speeding" tickets by now. The problem is that it does spin so fast that I think of so many things to do I get confused and start and stop and start again until I have fifteen projects going at once and no hope of getting to all of them. And yes, I do like to have more than one project at a time but I get carried away.

HB and my daughter have both told me to slim down (HA....not in my vocabulary on any level) my interests and focus on one or two. Easier said than done!

Recently I've been doing those little felt brooches which are mostly beads and thread. (The one above is a closeup of the brooch I put on the pink hat from my earlier post.) Then I'm almost always doing some crochet in the evenings, and I've been doing some drawing again....and trying to do watercolor painting. Notice I said "trying" hasn't been a complete success so no photo yet!

In the midst of all that, yesterday I came across this website. Art dolls are just one more thing I'm fascinated with at the moment. So I was lost for a couple of hours.

I ended up ordering some things....yes, I know, I know....I already have too many things but what can I say. Everything was so beautiful and so "right up my alley" in the embellishment sort of way.

Hopefully in, oh, I don't know....maybe six or seven years! I'll have a doll to show you.

Then I discovered this website which opened up a whole new avenue for my brain to travel down. So I'm really spinning now. Anyone know a good spin doctor? Oh! I bet Bush or Cheney could HUNT one up for me!!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Joy of unfinished projects

The quote on my calendar today is "Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it" - Greg Anderson

That means I have LOTS of joy in my life! I have so many unfinished projects that I may never get to all of them. And yet I still continue to begin new ones. Maybe I'm just trying to keep that joy around a little longer.

There is something to say for just knowing I have a project to work on. Something that I've started, maybe several months ago (or maybe even years ago) and it feels like an old friend by now. I've spent so many hours with it that I hate to see it finished because then what will I do. A bit like a good book I don't want to end.

I have a needlework project that I started sometime in the early 80's. I still haven't finished it but I know one of these days I'll look at it and say "Ok, it's your turn" and I'll get busy on it again. I'm not even sure what I'll do with it when it's finished but I can't leave projects undone forever. It's like giving up. Failing.

I did finish a hat project over the weekend. "Hedy" is my model. She looks good in anything!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Me and, not THAT one!

There are many times when I sit and wonder about the women in my family who came before me, and what they would think of my life today. As a child growing up in the Midwest, I was taught not to ask questions!! So consequently there are many huge gaping holes in the things I know about my own family.

I was cleaning out a closet this morning and came across a crumbling photo of one of my great-grandmothers. It's a rather large oval shaped photo and the edges are all beginning to chip off. (I cleaned it up a little in one of my photo programs.) The frame fell apart long ago. Anyway, I stopped to really look at the photo of this woman who is part of me, and wondered if I could find any kind of resemblance. I could not. She is a very stern looking woman, with a dark dress, hair pulled back....most likely in a bun at the nape of her neck. She has what looks to be a small brooch at the collar of her dress and that's the only ornamentation I see anywhere.

I know very little about her. She was my mother's grandmother on her maternal side of the family. I think her name was Martha and she lived in Springfield, KY. At least that's where she lived when my grandmother was born in 1893. Then the mystery develops! Martha's husband was killed, leaving her with seven young children, and she moved herself and her children from KY to IL....and no one knows why!! There doesn't seem to be any reason for her to make the move. She didn't remarry so it wasn't for that kind of reason. There weren't any other family members living in IL at the time. It just seems strange that in that time period (somewhere in the very early 1900's) a widow with seven children would make a move to another state for no apparent reason.

In today's world, no one would even find it remotely odd if that happened! In fact, I did that very thing in 1979 when I moved myself and my two children from IL to CA. Even then there were people who were horrified that I would even think of doing such a thing! There were doom and gloom predictions that I wouldn't make it, that I'd turn around and go back after a few hundred miles but I didn't. But I had the convenience of a car to drive, motels to stay the night, restaurants where we ate, and phones to call if I needed help....and once I arrived in CA I had family living there. Martha would not have had all those things! And yet she made the trip anyway. She must have been a strong, determined woman. And her photo shows that.

Don't you agree? (When my daughter was a little girl she was afraid of this photo.)

I know my life is much different than Martha's but I must thank her for being a strong woman and handing down those traits so that other members of her family would also have them. Isn't it interesting how a chance encounter with a very old photo can change how I will approach things from now on? I hope I can be as strong as Martha.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

My latest project

For several weeks, I have been creating small brooches using felt, embroidery thread, beads, buttons and whatever I find. Some of them are made using craft felt while others are made from heavier felt that I made by recycling 100% wool sweaters. I love finding wool sweaters and then turning them into felt. My only problem has been the color selection hasn't been great which is why I resorted to using some of the craft felt. I'm a sucker for all those bright colors! I can't walk into a fabric store (I'm not a quilter) or a yarn store (I do crochet and knit) or anyplace where there are lots of things displayed in large blocks of color without going into a meltdown! I'm nuts for color! And add in some texture and I'm in big trouble.

It's like getting that big box of 64 crayons when I was a kid. I loved them....I mean I really loved them! I wanted to color with each and every one and yet....I didn't want to mess up all those nice points.

Lowe's and Home Depot will probably have my mug shot pinned up in the paint department before long because I can't go there without taking paint chips! I'm not planning to paint anything right now but I have a small box full of paint chips....just in case!

So now without further ado may I present "My Heart Belongs to Daddy....Sugar Daddy"

And this is "Turquoise Trail"

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Spring is just around the corner....

I think Spring is almost here! I just took this photo a couple of days ago. It's some kind of decorative plum tree that resides in our front yard. Most of the time it's ok but for a few weeks in the summer, this tree is my worst nightmare! It gets these small, cherry-like fruits that drop all over the ground, and when they do they kind of squish with purple-ish juice that stains like crazy. I would dearly like to get my hands on whoever planted this particular tree....I think I'd wring their neck!! The tree is planted between the driveway and the sidewalk so that all those little fruits drop right where everyone walks up to the front door. And no matter how careful I am, a few of those stains end up on my carpets. All summer long the sidewalk is this yukky purple spotted mess no matter what I do. Each day I take a small pail and crawl around the yard picking up those little fruits....and each day there are just as many as I picked up the day before. So pretty but messy is how I would describe this tree....and I hope I never live near one again!