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Friday, June 30, 2006

The Land of "L"....

Oh, my gosh!! It's time for wordplay again. I'm having so much fun with this! If anyone out there in blogland wants to do this, just jump in and give it a go. You can click on the link above or the button on the right side of the blog to learn more about how it began.

I'm also looking forward to the movie by the same name. I like doing crosswords and playing Scrabble....although I haven't done either in quite sometime. Maybe I'll have to change that!

This week we will be traveling to the land of "L"....

L - is for Los Angeles. I don't live in the city but I do live in LA County. It is a city where you can find just about everything, and somethings you might not want to find! Its exciting, beautiful, ugly, clean, dirty, fast-paced, slow,....well you get the picture. It just depends on which part of the city you're in and what your interests are.

L - is for LOST!!! My favorite TV program. I love this show! Molly and I watch each episode and then call each other and talk about the show. She likes Locke and I like Sawyer, Jin, and Sayid (I like those Bad Boys!!) So far I've only missed one episode!

L - is for lavender. The plant and the color....like them both.

L - is for lemons....a nice thin slice in a glass of ice cold water is heaven! And I just discovered Trader Joe's Lemon Curd on crumpets. Oh, so very English!! And yummy!

L - is for lines. When I was a kid my mom always wanted me to stay in the lines when I colored. Maybe that's why I have such a hard time being creative now.

L - is for lines, again....I hate to stand in them most of the time but gladly stood in a looooong line, in the freezing cold to see an Elvis Presley movie when I was younger!

L - is for LuLu, our sweet, little, spoiled rotten, indoor kitty cat.

L - is for lady. No matter what, when I hear that word I always hear Jerry Lewis saying it!!!

L - is for late. I don't like to be late, in fact I'm usually early if anything. But I like to stay up late.

L - is for Letterman, David. I think he's mellowed somewhat since becoming a father and I like him much better now and usually watch him rather than the other L guy!

L - is for left-overs. Since I hate to cook, I like to make something that will last for more than one meal! And some things get better after a day or so, such as chili or stew or ham and beans etc. I don't actually eat any of those things anymore but HB enjoys them.

L - is for loafers as in penny. I wanted a pair of them so badly when I was a kid but since I had skinny feet I had to wear shoes that laced and I hated them!

L - is for lace. I don't wear it (not a lacey kind of gal) but I like it on pillowcases, or old hankies, or little snippets of it on a fabric collage.

L - is for LOVE. I love everything about this word! And I use it way too much! That doesn't mean I use it loosely because I don't. I just love lots of things. And lots of people! And life in general.....

And I love blogging!!!! Thanks to all of you for making it a pleasurable experience. I value every visitor and every comment and look forward each day to new ones.



Edited: I can't believe I left this one out!!!!

L - is for Led Zeppelin....one of my all-time (or is that old-time!) favorites.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I've got the blues....

I love cruisin' around the web. When I don't have anything to do (??!!) that's my favorite pastime. It's amazing the things you can find....and some of them are even things that I might actually want to see!!

I was doing that very thing when I came across this blog. She has some very interesting crocheted items, and I like her handmade shoes.

Another intriguing site was this one with spirit dolls. I love her work. Be sure to check out the ones made with dollar store corkscrews!

This is always a fun way to spend a few minutes each day. A bit like meeting new people when I'm out and about.

Now, on to another subject....I'm starting another project! I know! I know....I can just hear everyone! But I mentioned a couple of days ago that a dear friend of mine is facing some serious surgery and I want to make something special for her.



These are the fabrics I chose for a spirit doll to help in healing. I chose mostly blue because that is my friend's favorite color. And she loves flowers so I included a flowered fabric. I thought the green went with it all, and it made me think of leaves.



And these are some of the beads and other little things I've pulled together. I may or may not use any or all of them but they're what I have in blues. I'll probably try to get some other colors in there....maybe some greens and a tiny bit of purple. I think I need some different sized beads, too. But this will get me started....One Bead at a Time!! (Have I mentioned how much I love this book!!)

I saw this idea on Robin's blog and the timing was just right. I decided to make a healing doll for Kathy. She is not online so there's no chance she will see this. Kathy is just about the most creative person I've ever met, and now she's just stuck in depression over the impending surgery. I'm also working on a little memory book for her and will post some photos of that when I'm finished.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

L.A. Freeways Take Their Toll

This is what HB's left hand looks like! Apparently he has strained his "freeway driving" finger and has to give it a rest for the next few days!!



Sorry....I just couldn't resist that! Out here in Southern California it seems that the middle finger gets a more-than-usual workout when driving the freeways. People flip the bird over just about anything!

That's not really what happened to HB though. He cut his finger while shopping at Home Depot!! He was searching for that just perfect piece of lumber, having had a salesperson cut the metal banding that held the bundle together. One piece wouldn't come out and HB gave it a jerk, lost his grip, and somehow made contact with the metal banding. Ouch!!

At first he thought it was just a scratch, headed to the men's room to wash it off and discovered it was quite deep. So he drove to the emergency room after calling to let me know what had happened.

I met him there and kept him company until he was able to have his finger attended. When they finally got him in to stitch it up, the stitches wouldn't hold! They were trying to put five stitches in his finger but had to eventually use "super glue"....

Now all I have to say is "Aawww, poor baby!"

Vintage, Baby!!

Once in awhile I actually get the urge to clean and organize things! Don't laugh. It does happen. So while doing that very thing last week, I came across a box of stuff labeled "keep" that I decided to go through. Hey, anything's better than actually cleaning!

Well, as I rummaged through all sorts of little bits and pieces of memories, I came across a small box that looked very old. Curiously I peeked inside and found this...



What a find!! A real antique!! It's my very own Baby Book....lovingly done by my mom, oh, so many years ago.

Well, I couldn't resist. I sat right down and went through everything. The envelope contained these items....



the instructions for making formula!....a card listing the visiting hours, and on the back my mom had listed the names of the people who came to visit her each day from Tuesday until the following Wednesday. Then there was a small gift card and two little tape bracelets, one for me and one for my mom....the bracelets put on us at the hospital! There was also a Certificate of Registration of Birth (not in the photograph above)....all these items were in the envelope. At the bottom of the little box, underneath the book I found this....



little piece of vintage (!!!) gift wrap paper. No mention of who it was from or what gift it contained but it must have been mom's favorite because she kept it.

The book itself contained all the appropriate bits and pieces of information about the new arrival. I weighed in at a healthy 7 lbs 11 oz and was 19 1/2" long. The doctor and four nurses names are listed, there's the newspaper clipping telling of my arrival, and the birth announcement that was sent out so everyone could know I had landed! Apparently I smiled for the first time at two weeks, got my first tooth on July 3rd (at 9 months, 1 week, and 5 days old!!) crawled at 6 months, stood alone a month later and took my first step at 8 months! Obviously I was eager to get going!



Photos shown here were taken at three weeks, two months, three months, five, and six months....I must have had a zit or something during the fourth month and didn't want to be photographed! On the facing page are some tiny snippets of my hair. The little bow is still intact for "two years" but the hair has either disintegrated or fallen out because it's missing and I'm pretty sure I had hair at two years of age!

The book contains stories about my first birthday....I had chocolate cake with pink lettering and a pink candle, and mom listed all my gifts and who they were from....my first Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas, and all major celebrations and holidays. I must have had a very busy social calendar!!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Old King Cole was my favorite nursery rhyme but I said Old King Cone. I apparently liked the song Let it Snow and when I heard it on the radio I would say "Kay's song"....I find that one very intriguing because to the best of my knowledge no one ever called me Kay! Janet Kay, but not just Kay.

Anyway the traipse down memory lane was enjoyable and I had a good laugh over some of the entries, plus learned a few things I didn't know about myself!!

The last page contained these photos of me up to three and a half years....

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

K time....

Time once again for wordplay. If you would like to play along or just know more about it, you can click the "wordplay" button on the right side of my blog or you can go to Laume's website. There is also a movie with the same name. Join in....it's fun!

K - is for me again!! Kay is my middle name.

K - is for Kansas, where my father was born and raised. My grandparents lived on a farm south of Minneola, Ks and in later years had a cattle ranch near Mullinville, Ks. I spent a couple of weeks a year in Kansas when I was a kid.

K - is for Kentucky, where my maternal grandmother was born. She was one of Martha's daughters. I think she was born in Springfield, the County Seat of Washington County. At least that's what the information I have tells me.

K - is for kitties....I love them all. Cats are my favorite pet. I love Harley Dude and LuLu Baby.

K - is for Kingsolver, Barbara. I enjoyed "Poisonwood Bible"

K - is for Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, two celebrities in the news recently.

K - is for Kris Kringle....we all love him, right!

K - is for Kool-aid. I probably drank gallons of this when I was a kid! Grape was my favorite, then strawberry. I haven't had Kool-aid in years!!

K - is for Coach Kiick. When I was in high school he was the Director of Athletics and he taught mental hygiene. I had such a crush on him!!! He was also a counselor and I used to make up problems just so I could talk to him! I took mental hygiene (?) only because he was the teacher, and I sat in the front row.

K - is for Keyes, Francis Parkinson I read her books when I was in high school and in my very early adult years.

K - is for Old King Cole. This was a favorite when I was a little kid. My baby book (more about this later) tells me that I had trouble saying it and called him Old King Cone!

K - is for knitting. I just learned to knit earlier this year. I enjoy it but have not done a lot of it lately.

K - is for Kathy, the name of the person who taught me to knit. Since then she has become a good friend; and also Kathy is the name of a dear friend in Illinois who is facing some serious surgery.

K - is for kiss, the real kind and the chocolate kind, too!

And last K - is for Katrina....don't even get me started on that whole mess!!

HB gave me a word he thought I should include - kinky!! But that's just him....not me!! I guess that concludes our tour of the letter "K"....

Monday, June 26, 2006

Backyard Bloomin'

The grapevines in the backyard are beginning to show signs of a yummy summer for me. I love grapes and when I can just walk out the back door and pick my own....well, that's just about heaven!

HB and I put some netting over the vines a few weeks ago in the hopes of keeping the birds out of them. Ha!...fat chance! Those birds are determined little devils. I've seen them get down on the ground and wiggle under the netting! Then they get caught inside and don't know how to get out....so they just gorge themselves on grapes!

Harley, our outside cat, usually keeps the bird population down but somehow he misses the ones that attack my grapevines. Guess I'll have to re-train him!



And I tried to photograph these glads yesterday but it was too sunny and bright. Today it's a bit cloudy and they came out better. They are the most gorgeous peachy salmon-y color. I can't take credit for any of the things blooming in our yard. They were all here when we bought the house!



Here's Harley on patrol!! Somehow he doesn't seem to be keeping an eye out for birds....what do you think??

An apology....

Well, once again I have screwed up big time! Yesterday I posted something I wrote using a one-word prompt. I got the idea from oneword.com but I didn’t take the time to actually READ the instructions. I just jumped ahead, hit the go button and got a word....then I went to my blog and wrote what came into my head about that word.

But according to the comments, I did it all wrong. I have a bad habit of jumping ahead and doing things out of sequence. I went back and read the instructions and realized my mistake. Now I am embarrassed!!

So consider this my official apology to anyone who was offended by my inability to follow instructions. And I won’t be doing this again. I will stick to things I know something about.

Here are some flowers that are blooming in my yard right now....enjoy.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

one word....locked

While cruisin' the web Saturday afternoon (HB and I had a lazy sort of day) I came across some interesting links on Kim's blog. She must have been doing the same thing! The very last one took me here.

I don't usually do this kind of thing but it was such an intriguing idea that I had to give it a try. My word was "locked"....

Some days I feel as if I'm locked inside my brain with no way out. No matter how hard I struggle against the padlock there's just no releasing it. Thoughts and ideas just fly by me, banging up against the walls, falling into little heaps of debris to be swept away by the wind. Creativity has never come easily to me.

I'm locked in this struggle to become who I am....me against my brain....it keeps telling me I can't do it and I keep trying to focus on just doing it. The key to all this is hidden somewhere deep in my soul and I haven't been able to find it. But still, I keep trying new things, learning new techniques, searching, always searching for that one thing I can create because I cannot stay locked inside. I must create....something....anything.

I manage to find little cracks in the armor where I see slivers of daylight shining through. The light dances across the darkened, dusty recesses and glitters as it reflects off ideas left behind on the walls.

If my creative abilities can just manage to widen one of those little cracks, then I can pick at it as a prisoner secretly picks at an escape hole. And I'll be able to break free and my ideas and creative thinking will no longer be locked inside my brain. Then I'll be an artist. Then I'll be me.

But in the meantime my ideas remain locked inside, and here I sit with my nose pushed up against the computer screen, peering out at all the creative people and trying to learn their secret. How did they find the key? How did they break free?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

June 24th....A Very Special Day

On this day in 1990 I spent the day with Molly but I had promised the manager of the apartment building where I lived, that I would join her for a drink late in the afternoon....so reluctantly I left Molly, went home, spruced up a bit and met Inez at the appointed time. The apartment building where I lived at the time (I was single back then) was across the street and down a bit, from Rusty's Hacienda, a popular Mexican restaurant/bar.

I was promptly introduced all around because Inez was a regular and everyone knew her. She was a Cajun woman from Louisiana and it was absolutely a hoot to listen to her tell stories.

We sat at the bar and I had a glass of white wine and just mostly sat back and took in the scene. Inez, who I might add, was about 80 years old at the time, was having a very good time talking and entertaining the others around us.

At some point I went in search of the little girl's room. When I returned, there was a guy seated right next to my space. When I sat down, he said something to me and we began talking. He was polite, charming, handsome, and told me he was from West Palm Beach, Florida. He was in California working on a project in downtown L.A.

We ending up talking and talking, and finally exchanged phone numbers. He called me four days later. That's how I met HB, and that was the beginning of the best part of my life!

He later told me that he had been on his way somewhere else that evening but when he passed by Rusty's a "little voice" told him to turn around and go back there. He actually had to go several more blocks because it's a divided street with a center island, but he got to the next place to make a turn and he decided to follow the little voice. I'm sure glad he did!!

Five years after our meeting, on the same exact day of the month, we were married on our property near Cripple Creek, CO. HB chose the day. He's very romantic....much more than I am! He used to pack my lunch for me when I still worked in an office and he would always put little notes and drawings in my lunch bag. I still have all of them! For the first three years after we met, he used to give me a card each and every 24th day of each month! After 36 months I thought we could stop doing that....I still have many of those cards, too.

Here is a photo taken when we first knew each other....and before we had gray hair!



He's my sweetie, and the best thing that has happened to me. Happy Anniversary, Hubby Bubby....I love you bunches.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Treasure in the Mail

Don't you just love to get stuff in the mail? I haven't done swaps or exchanges but I see other people post about participating in them and the excitement of getting a package in the mail. I guess we're all still just kids at heart.

Even when I know what's in the package, it's still exciting to open it, take out the contents and carefully examine each and every thing tucked inside.

I didn't walk down to the mail box today. HB went. And he casually sorted through the bits and pieces that we received, placing them into "my" mail and "his" mail. I wasn't paying attention but then he handed me "my" mail and there was one of those very distinctive priority mail envelopes.

I quickly glanced at the front and let out a squeal of excitement....it was
this book that I ordered from Robin Atkins!!

She wrapped the book in some lovely tissue paper printed with delicate dragonflies, and even tucked in a little bag of pretty yellow flower beads, and some Interleaving paper. Sorry the photo isn't better but my little camera is limited.



I danced around the office (not much dancing as the office is small!!) and sat down to look through the book....gorgeous....beautiful....inspiring....I'm sure I will devour this book tonight!



I'm also sure this will become one of the books on my "keepers" shelf....one that I will look at many, many times, read over and over again, and I will look back on this day as the beginning of a fun-filled romp through beadland.

Thank you, Robin, for putting your knowledge into a book so that I can learn and grow and create more and better things. So that I can keep track of my progress and improvement, I'm including a photo of a couple of little bits I did yesterday.

I'm Hot!!



Bet you thought I was gonna show you some skin or something like that!! Nah... just the thermometer on the patio, in the shade, at about 11:00 this morning. But it's a dry heat! LOL I was afraid to look again so don't know what the high was but I'm sure it made triple digits.

I managed to work on a few things early in the day but mostly I've just been staying quiet and drinking lots of water.

We had fun in Burbank yesterday. I got to spend some time with Molly at Dekorum, and then we all went out for dinner....kind of a late combined celebration for Ryder. We ate at this restaurant. It's one of Ryder's favorites, and it was a lot of fun....good food, nice ambiance, good service. And they even had veggie burgers for me!

Molly is starting a blog for Dekorum so when it's up and running I'll let you know. She has so much "new" stuff that I spent quite a bit of time just wandering around the store looking at things. And she has a very cool new sign on the roof of the building. That should help attract customers. Plus there's a new coffee house opening right next door to her in a couple of weeks so that should also generate some interest.

Now I'm headed back to the cool of the family room. See you all tomorrow.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

There's someone new in my life!

A few months ago a little guy showed up in my workroom. He was shy and wouldn't show his face. But finally, I guess he got used to me and decided to reveal his personality. And he trusted me enough to tell me his name....Ned.

Ned is a bit of a daredevil. I caught him climbing the apple tree this morning! He hasn't been outside much so he's a bit pale and difficult to photograph. And he is in desperate need of a haircut!! His hair keeps falling into his eyes. But he's totally against doing anything with it.



I no sooner turned my back and he was over in the star jasmine! I guess he was enjoying their sweet smell.



I didn't think I would have time to introduce you to Ned today but as it turns out, I was able to get the photos uploaded before we left for Burbank. See ya tomorrow....and if you see Ned getting into trouble someplace, tell him to get back home!

A Fun Trip Through Blogland

From an early age, I've always been interested in making something from nothing. It fascinates me, intriques me, frustrates me, and amazes me. I've discovered a lot of other people are just like me. I regularly read Swapatorium, a blog listed as "a journey through junkland"....my kind of place. A few days ago the blog featured several artists who are selling their handmade items on etsy. Some of the items were made from recycled things such as junk mail. Anytime anyone can find a use for junk mail, I'm all for it!

If you haven't already visited these two sites, take a few minutes and check them out. This is another cool site that has recycled art. I especially like these baskets and these necklaces. There are lots more interesting items on this site and I could probably spend too many hours and too much $$ without half trying.

And speaking of spending money, I would like to know if anyone reading this has any experience ordering from here. I was looking through the "crafts and hobbies" section and they have a couple of magazines I might be interested in but I always wonder about places if I haven't heard anything about them! So I'm asking....any experience with this place?

Sorry this is so short and no photos, but HB and I are going to Burbank to spend the day at Dekorum and then later we'll have dinner with Molly and Ryder. And I think Molly is starting a Dekorum blog soon!!!

And just one more thing....Happy 35th Birthday to Laurie!!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Letter "J"

Once again it's time for the next installment of wordplay. If you want to know more about this you can click the "Wordplay" button on the right side of my blog or you can go directly to Laume's blog and read about it.


J - is for me....Janet! And also for "just bee-cause"

J - is for James....One of my uncles, and my paternal great-grandfather.

J - is for Joseph, my maternal great-grandfather. He was married to Martha

J - is for jacket. I love jackets and coats and sweaters and live in a climate where I seldom wear any of these items.

J - is also for jeans, blue if you please, and I wear these almost daily. I prefer the boot cut and I don't like the low-rise. I'm way past the time of wanting to show my belly button!!

J - is for jam and jelly and jello, all of which I eat occasionally. Flavors would include grape, blackberry, or apricot for jam or jelly and watermelon for jello!!

J - is for jambalaya. I didn't know what it was until I was older. I just thought it was something funny that Hank Williams sang about, along with a crawfish pie! Hey, I'm a gal from the Midwest! What can I tell ya!!

J - is for jig saw, the tool not the puzzle. I like doing the puzzles but I'd really like to have a jig saw (tool) and learn how to use it.

J - is for jealous. This is a waste of time as far as I'm concerned.

J - is for junior. Hb's son is a "junior"....even though HB doesn't like his name he gave it to his son!`

J - is for just for fun....the reason I do most of the things I do!!

J - is for jardiniere. I just like this word! And I like containers of all kinds so this works for me.

J - is for jingle jangle. Jangly jewelry always reminds me of my Aunt Dotti

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Birthday and a Graduation

I couldn't show you these things earlier....this is the card I made for my grandson, Ryder's, 14th birthday....



Here is the inside, complete with a pocket holding $25 in gift certificates for his favorite ice cream.




Ryder graduated from middle school the day after his birthday and this is something I made for that celebration....book not included!!



No, it isn't a card. This is what's on the inside....



It's like a "notepad" but it's all dollar bills! I did one of these for Ryder last Christmas as a little extra and he really liked it. He can just "tear off" a dollar or two whenever he wants to buy something.

Here are a few recent photos of Ryder....I love the one in the bottom corner where he's wearing a jacket that says "flip" (it's a skateboard logo) and his hair has a little flip on the side! And how about that cool tie! He's a handsome guy! By the way, Ryder is (SWHP) Molly's son.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Beauty....

I just received the latest family newsletter from my granddaughters in Hawaii. Here is another poem by the youngest, Willow, who is 15.

What is Beauty?

What is Beauty?
Asks the mother, stroking her baby's hair
What is Beauty?
Asks the sheperd, tending his sheep with care
What is Beauty?
Asks the child, dressing her dolly in lace
What is Beauty?
Asks the maiden, dancing with flowing grace
What is Beauty?
Asks the widow
Bringing flowers to her husband's grave
What is beauty?
They all ask,
Expecting an answer to the question they gave
But don't they know?
Don't they already see?
Beauty is there
Surrounding them
Around them
Beauty is them
For all is Beauty
Beauty is all
Invisible to only beauty itself.


Speaking of beauty, I recently saw this photo on Jill's blog and I thought it was a hoot! Where do you think I'll have to go to get one of these mirrors for myself?? I doubt if Wal-mart carries them!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Remembering my dad....

After having given it much thought I decided to say a little something for Father's Day. The reason I hesitated is because I didn't really have a good relationship with my dad. Not everyone's remembrances of dads are good and happy.

When I was born my dad was serving in the navy during WWII and we didn't "meet" until I was about two years old. I guess when I was a little kid we did ok but by the time I hit my pre-teen years and from then on, we barely spoke to one another. It only got worse as time went on.

One vivid memory I have, took place in a restaurant in my hometown. My husband (my first husband, not HB) and I were there with our new baby son. We were seated at a table right near the front, and as I looked up I saw my dad walking straight towards the front door! He caught my eye at almost the same time that I saw him, and then he quickly looked away. He walked right by our table - within inches of his new grandson - and never even blinked an eye.

That day pretty much solidified the anti-relationship I had with my dad. My son was his first and only grandchild (at the time) and he didn't even stop to see him. That told me a lot about my dad.

He did some other pretty weird things in later years but that one always stayed with me. So I envy all of you out there who have or had wonderful relationships with your dad. Treasure them. I wasn't lucky in that department.

And just as I promised....Eureka!! Success at last! Here is the vest I tried to upload in the previous post. Please keep in mind this was done years ago, and with stuff I had on hand at the time....and with very little sewing experience either!!



Sorry about the crease down the center but this vest has been stored away for years.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I had a lazy Saturday afternoon...

Most of the day Saturday was taken up with cleaning -UGH- my office. I don't know how it gets in the mess that it does but after awhile I can't take it any longer. That's what happened Saturday morning.

Later in the day I cruised around the web and discovered some more fantastic sites that I want to share with you. First up is Amiglia. I learned about this site from Sharonb. She always finds such interesting websites.

Then while cruisin' around on my own, I came upon this jewelry site. I must warn you that there are some absolutely gorgeous pieces (IMHO) on this site. I drooled all over my keyboard.

I got to the jewelry site from here and this also had some jewelry that I liked. And I'm not even much of a jewelry person anymore but these pieces are more like wearing art.

Wearable art has fascinated me ever since I came upon my first book about it way back in the early 80's. It wasn't jewelry. It was clothing. I scanned the cover below and as you can see, I've had this book for awhile! The edges are worn and there's a small corner crease, and some of the pages are beginning to come loose. I love this book!



I can still remember the day that I found the book in a bookstore in Pasadena, CA. I had never seen anything like it before and was completely mesmerized by it. At the time I really didn't have a lot of extra money to spend on a book but I had to have it. I bought it - the back cover lists the price as $9.95!! - and took it home and just devoured it. I just knew the woman who did all the clothes was a genius.

I had grown up around women who sewed - my mom used to make most of my clothes. In high school I was voted one of the best-dressed girls in my class and it was mostly thanks to my mom's abilities at the sewing machine. Her sister, my Aunt Louise, could look at a picture in a magazine and then create that very dress without a pattern. So I was no stranger to people who sewed - but this was entirely different.

I tried my hand at a vest, using a ready-made vest as my basis and then adding fabric that I had on hand, along with other embellishments (there's that word again!) but it just never quite worked out right. (NOTE - I TRIED TO INCLUDE A PHOTO OF THE VEST BUT BLOGGER WOULDN'T LET ME. I DIDN'T THINK THE VEST LOOKED THAT BAD! I'LL TRY TO POST IT IN A SEPARATE ENTRY LATER TODAY.) I only wore it a couple of times. Now it's much too small for me!!

If I had to flee my home, this book would probably be one of the things I'd want with me! Yes, I'm really THAT attached to it! The style of the clothing is all out-dated by now but I still love to look at it. Do you have books like this - ones you couldn't part with, no matter what?

An emerging new/old interest....

I'm really getting inspired by a couple of blogs I've recently discovered. I especially like Bead Lust. I have dabbled with beading but don't know too much about it....although the whole process fascinates me. It's that embellishing thing. I'm one of those "more is always better" kind of people!

I decided to order one of Robin Atkins'books so that maybe I can learn a little more about beading. She has some amazing examples of beading on her blog, as well as spirit dolls that were made by some visiting Japanese ladies. I like that kind of artwork....spirit dolls are so individual and so "ouside the lines"

I made my first spirit doll last fall. It was for my cousin's birthday. It was the first time I ever tried anything like that, and I made it up as I went along. I wanted it to represent "family" so I used spirals to represent the spiral of life as in motherhood - bringing life from a central point.



And since my cousin is a person with a heart of gold, I made a heart using gold beads to represent that aspect of her personality.

I'm hoping that with some further information from the book that I can improve on my beading and thus also improve my spirit doll skills. I've always liked the idea of spirit dolls or art dolls ever since I saw my first one. If you have an interest in them you might enjoy these photos that I found on google.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A little bit of potpourri....

First of all let me thank all the wonderful people who dropped by my blog yesterday. And they left comments, too. I guess it's silly to constantly look for comments but I still do. I visit so many blogs on a fairly regular basis, and leave comments each time....I just think it's common courtesy. It's one of the things I've learned from blogging.

Now on to some other things! Lest you all think I've forgotten about the black and white afghan for my daughter....not a chance! I haven't got as much done on it as I would have liked (too many other things going on recently) but I have still beeen adding a few pieces every few days. In case you've forgotten what it will look like when I (finally) finish....



And here's a little progress photo so show I have made a few more pieces....



Only four more circles to do; eight more of one section; and 19 of the other! I sure hope this goes together without too much trouble. I've made afghans in pieces before but they were always squares! These are all either circles or parts of circles. Oh well, it will certainly be a learning experience!

On the subject of crochet, I saw an interesting scarf on whipup and it led me to the website of a very interesting crocheter. Check out Twinkie's Fridge for some fun, food-related crochet. It may not be your thing but you have to admire the creativity involved. I think they're cute and if I were younger I would wear them! Naturally when I saw the Peas and Carrots you know who I thought of!!

That reminds me....SWHP (She Who Hates Peas) has given me permission to reveal her real name....Molly. I didn't use her name until I got her permission. And I always forgot to ask her about it until just the other day. I guess with her store open, and lots of advertisement happening it's ok to know her name. I happen to like her name (that's why she has it!)

Lots of random bits and pieces today but sometimes that's just how my brain works. I'm just thrilled that I was able to upload a couple of photos!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thoughts on blogging....

Wow!! Just WOW! That's all I can say after visiting this site. I found the site by my usual wanderings from one person's blog to something they linked to, to something they linked to, etc. I love doing that when I have the time and this morning I did. This site is well worth a visit if you haven't been there before.

Blogs are just the most amazing things. You can wander in and out of people's lives at random, look at what they've created, or just read their thoughts for that day.

When I visit blogs that I've just discovered, and I find them interesting, I usually go back to the beginning and see how they started off. I like to randomly stroll through their entries and that way learn a bit about them.

That's what happened this morning. I came across several very interesting blogs that I had never seen before (I'm sure there are millions!) and one entry on one blog caught my attention because it said just what I feel about blogging -

25 March 2006
beginnings - this time it isn't a test...
what is the protocol for blogs? how many times do i get to ‘begin’ again….? and, is it just me, or did everyone feel that they have invited themselves to a really hip party, came without a hostess gift and are wearing fashions seriously out of date?
since beginning this journey - three whole days ago - i am, by far, my most frequent visitor - i can count on one hand the others…. that is if i don’t include ‘site meter’… i didn’t invite him, i don’t know how he found me and since he hasn’t left any comments it is hard to know his intent…often encouraged to get the things i’ve made out into the world and beyond the occasional local show, i resolved that 2006 to be the year to accomplish just that.


This was from ruby crowned kinglette's March 2006 archives. I wasn't able to link directly to that one entry so decided to copy and paste, as I wanted to share those poignant thoughts with you.

I felt, and still feel, just like that! Like I'm the only one in the "group" who doesn't get it....like everyone else is in the clique and I'm the butt of the joke.

There are so many gifted, creative people out there in blogland that no matter what I create, it never seems to be up to snuff. I will work on something for days, be so happy with what I've done, and then look at some random blog and realize that I've just created crap! It can be very frustrating as well as discouraging....but then it inspires me to try to do better.

So with that in mind, thank you to all the blogs out there, many of which I haven't discovered yet (give me time!) that inspire us all to create something....anything ....to just create!

The other thing mentioned in her blog was how important comments are to bloggers. I so agree. It is most discouraging to put your life out there for the world to see and read, and have visitors drop by from all over the world but they don't take the time to comment. It's like peeking in someone's window to watch what they're doing rather than knock on the door and be invited inside to chat.

My site meter tells me there have been lots of visitors from Canada, England, Ireland, and even Bangkok, Thailand!....not to mention all the different places right here in the US. But most of them have not left a comment. Is it because they didn't like what they saw, or was it because they were in a hurry, or simply because they didn't want to comment? How can a blog grow and expand without the comments, both good and bad, from the readers?

The Circle of Life....

Yesterday I wasn't able to upload photos. Today I'm having better luck!! This is what I am currently working on...



It's a felt book, edged in yarn, with embroidery and beads used as embellishments. That's a needle and thread laying across the front. I was mid stitch when I decided to take the photo!

Inside there are two pages with the word "love" and more circles. I like working with felt and embroidery. Both come in such an array of colors that it makes it easy to be creative. Here is a photo of my work space during the process....



That's the back of the book on the table. I just covered the back cover in random stitches using several shades of green embroidery thread. I should have this book finished in a couple of days. I'll show the inside at that time.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Whiplash competition!!!

Just a quickie post (second of the day) to say I got brave and entered the baby book in whiplash

I know I probably don't have a chance against all the crafty and creative people on there but I just thought it would be fun.



whipup


Update: This was a spur of the moment decision to enter and now after thinking about it, I'm not so sure....but I've already done it! Oh, well....

The ABC's of Me

Since I am STILL unable to get photos to post on here I will once again have to resort to boring you with more information about me!! This meme has been going around so I finally decided to give it a try. I don't think my answers will be nearly as good as some I've read on other blogs. I saw this meme here and here and here.

The ABC's of Me

Accent – I'm not sure what my accent sounds like! People have asked me what part of New England I'm from (never been there!)....I grew up in the Midwest but have lived all over the western part of the US. HB thought I was a nice Jewish girl when he met me!! I'm not. Jewish, that is. I am nice.

Booze - I'm not much of a drinker. I like a good margarita when I have Mexican food, and I will occasionally have a glass of wine. I have NEVER liked beer, and I think most of the hard stuff tastes like crap!!

Chore I hate - COOKING!!! I'd rather clean toilets than cook.

Dog/cat - We have two cats, Harley and LuLu. Mostly I've had cats as pets....only a couple of dogs for short periods of time when I was married to my first husband.

Essential electronics – My computer, digital camera, cell phone (mostly just for safety reasons...I'm not a phone person.) And I'm not a gadget person either.

Favorite perfume – I like something very light and unobtrusive. I usually buy summery fragrances at Bath and Body or someplace like that. I'm not into heavy perfumes.

Gold/silver - Silver. I can't wear gold with my coloring. I'm very fair and gold looks yellow-y on me....plus since my hair is gray, silver looks better. I don't wear much jewelry anymore. Wedding ring and earrings usually does it for me nowadays since I don't go to too many fancy places. Michael's, Joann's, and Wal-Mart don't seem to require too much jewelry!

Hometown - Decatur, Illinois....left in 1979 and haven't been back.

Insomnia - Not usually but if I have something exciting happening the next day, I cannot go to sleep the night before. I'm just like a kid.

Job title - Retired!! I worked for several years in the coffee import business and coffee services. My last job was in a managerial position with a company in Seattle that was affiliated with Starbucks.

Kid(s)- Two....a son and a daughter. Plus I have a step-son and step-daughter.

Living arrangements - I'm married, and we live in a four bedroom, three bath, two-story house on a quiet street.

Most admirable trait - I look for the good in people.

Number of countries visited - Not many. Just Canada and Mexico. I'm not a good traveler. Now if we were talking about states I've visited there would be a lot more. I have been to 31 of the 48 contiguous states, and I have lived in nine states in the past 13 years, and some of those states, more than once during that time.

Overnight hospital stays - When my kids were born, and once when I had chest pains.

Phobias - Anyone who knows me, knows this one....SNAKES. I can't stand anything having to do with them. I don't like snakeskin items, I don't want to see photos of them, I don't even like fake snakeskin! I had my friend, Gail, put paper over all the snake photos in my high school biology book because I couldn't look at them! I don't even like to pick up a book or magazine if I know there are snake photos inside. I once stood outside in the pouring rain at the St. Louis Zoo because the nearest shelter was the Reptile House. I wouldn't go inside! I actually break out in a cold sweat when I even see a photo of a snake. I also have a bit of difficulty with heights especially if I feel unprotected as on an open, high stairway or in a glass elevator or anything like that.

Quote - I love quotes so to pick out just one is almost impossible. This is the one I use on my email...."Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found." James Russell Lowell

Religion - None. I don't like organized religions. Too restrictive and exclusive for my taste. I am more of a spiritual person.

Siblings - None. I'm it.

Time you usually wake – Between 6:00 and 7:00 AM and this is without an alarm clock. I like being up early but then I also like staying up late.

Unusual talent – I have no idea!! I asked HB and he said "Oh, that thing you do with the tassels is pretty cool!" That's a joke, people!!!

Vegetable I refuse to eat - Okra, hominy, and that's about all. I like veggies.

Worst habit - I used to bite my fingernails but finally quit. I have never smoked or done any kind of drugs so those are both out. I guess my worst habit is procrastination....sometimes!

X-rays - A few dental ones, I also had x-rays of my foot....there is a sewing needle, broken in two pieces, in the ball of my left foot! They have been there since I was about 13 years old. In 1990 a doctor tried to "find" and remove them but wasn't able to....he said the needle pieces were probably completely imbedded and unless I had problems caused by them, to just leave them alone. Oh, and I broke my wrist and had x-rays then.

Yummy foods I make - None!! See above under Chore I Hate!! I do like to bake and make good cookies and cakes. HB loves my pineapple upside down cake.

Zodiac - I'm on the cusp of Virgo and Libra....I say I'm a Virbra! I have Libra rising and my moon is in Cancer. SWHP had my chart done and it's quite odd....all my planets are in one small section of the chart. They aren't spread all around as most people's are. I'm not sure what that means but it sure looks strange on the chart!

Ok, now you know all there is to know about me!! If anyone wants to do this meme feel free to take it and run.

I TRIED to insert a photo here to show you that I really am being crafty but I guess blogger didn't agree! So no photo but I am working on things.

And last but certainly not least, Happy Birthday Ryder!! My grandson is 14 today ....on the 14th.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"I" Day....

Once again the time has rolled around for the next installment of wordplay. If you want to know more about this you can click the "Wordplay" button on the right side of my blog or you can go directly to Laume's blog and read about it. Or you may want to learn about the movie of the same name. If so, check it out here.

I - is for Illinois. This is the state where I was born and lived until I was 36 years old. HB and I lived there for a few months while he was doing a job in Chicago but other than that I have not returned. I have not been back to my hometown since the day I left.

I - is for interesting, innovative, impossible....all words that seem to apply to my affair with "art"....it's definitely interesting, usually very innovative, and totally impossible for me to do!

I - is for incredible. I use this word way too often.

I - is for Ivan. My dad had a friend named Ivan when I was a child. I always thought of Ivanhoe when I saw him. He was a big, burly man....lived in a remote cabin-like house, and kept raccoons as pets! I thought he was fascinating.

I - is for impulse. I can be impulsive at times but usually I'm not. Unless it's when buying art/craft supplies!! Or books!

I - is for Irish. My children are half Irish. I love to hear people speak with a brogue. My ex-husband's grandmother spoke with one so thick I could barely understand her.

I - is for inquisitive. I am, even though as a child my mom told me it wasn't nice to ask questions!!!

I - is for Israel....not the country! My high school principal was Mr Israel. It's the only time I ever met anyone with that name, and I've always remembered it.

I - is for ironing. Are you kidding me! Only when I absolutely HAVE to. I've already told you I'm not very domestic.

I - is for immaculate. Again, are you kidding me? My favorite household quote is in my photo collage below....it explains this word!

I - is for internet. I love being "connected" and use the internet for so many things. I would be lost without it. Any time I hear about something that sounds interesting I look it up online.

I - is for independence. Probably the one thing I taught my kids....how to be independent. I wasn't taught that when I was growing up, but learned it later in life.

I - is for indigo. It isn't purple but I still like it!

I - is for illuminate. I like good lighting. Too many times lighting is overlooked when decorating a room. And in my workroom I have several different types of lamps for different things I do.

I - is for illness. I have had very little illness in my life, and I'm very thankful for that.

I - is for ice and I like lots of it in my drinks. I hate getting a glass of water with one or two tiny ice cubes floating in it!

I - is for ice cream! YUM!! I love it. I like to make my own in a little Donvier ice cream maker. My dad worked as an ice cream deliveryman when I was a kid, and he was able to bring home free ice cream once a week. My favorite then was butter pecan. I still like that flavor but maybe coffee flavor is my favorite now. Or strawberry, blackberry, peach....I think you get the idea.


Monday, June 12, 2006

A gift for the new baby!

As promised I can now show you what I've really been working on! I will be making some things for my grandson's birthday and graduation but that isn't what I've been busy with....I just couldn't say anything until after the party for the new baby.

I wanted to make something personal and special for the baby....something that shows I took time and effort and put some thought into the gift. So many times people just run to the nearest store, buy some cute little outfit and call it a gift. Those are ok but they don't really say "I care"....at least, that's my way of thinking. The little outfits are cute and sometimes baby even gets to wear them once or twice but then that's it.

I wanted to give something that was more than that. So this is what I came up with. I decided to make a cloth book with the baby's name spelled out, one letter per page. Thank goodness she has a manageable length name!!

Since I've never done anything like this before it was a lot of trial and error, not to mention I'm not much of a seamstress! But in the end it turned out ok.

I started with this....



I bought fat quarters (?) and began brain-storming and trying to come up with easy to do images than relate to the letters of the baby's name. I ended up using felt, doing lots of embroidery, and some machine stitching. I also "cheated" in some areas and used fabric glue!!

The end result....



And here are the pages....



The photos don't show much of the details....the nest is made from felt and lots of little snippets of yarn....the elephant has a fuzzy yarn tail....and the yo-yo has a yarn string.

I had so much fun making this. Don't get me wrong....there were some "bad words" said at a couple of times (hope baby doesn't pick up on those!!) and as I said earlier, a few mistakes that had to be corrected but overall I really enjoyed the process.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Sunday Quiz Thingie...

Since Sundays are a bit lazy for me (and I like it that way) I'm keeping my blogging to a minimum. Today I'm doing a little quiz thingie I got from DebR. I think most of this sounds like me.


Your Dosha is Kapha

Calm and grounded, you are not prone to mood swings or anger.

However, once you do get angry, it takes a lot to cool you down.

You tend to think a little slower than most people, but your logic is astounding.

Overall, you're very loyal and trustworthy. You're not scared of being who you really are.

With friends: You enjoy their company, but often listen more than talk.

In love: You crave connection and affection. It's hard for you to be single.

To achieve more balance: Exercise vigorously (especially in the sun) and let go of attachments.



Hope you all have a nice, lazy Sunday, too. P.S. - HB and I had a great time at the open house on Saturday. I'll share a little something with you on Monday!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

A fun day and some old drawings

This will be a short post. HB and I are off for another family day. We're going to an open house for the new baby....little Kaelyn was born on May 25th. She is my cousin's new granddaughter. And even though most babies are cute....she is adorable!

I'm sure there will be much food, soft drinks, and lots of fun. And thankfully the weather has cooled off so it should be an enjoyable day.

I will have some photos to show you in the next few days....of some of my recent projects. As I mentioned, my grandson has a birthday and a middle school graduation coming up. I'm making some things for those celebrations. Since he doesn't read my blog I feel confident I can show what I'm working on.

And just bee-cause I don't have anything else to show you today I'll post a couple of old drawings I did when I was trying to learn to draw in pencil.



Here's another one....



I finally gave up on pencil drawing and moved on to other things. Recently while going through some old papers I found these tucked away. The date says they were done in 1994.

That's it for today....sorry it isn't more exciting but stay tuned for more crafty stuff coming up.

Hey...is it time for H

Here we go again....today's letter is "H" If you would like to know more about this personal dictionary/alphabet thingie, you can click on the wordplay button on the right side of this blog or go to this site and read about it.

H - is for happiness. It's the one thing that everyone wants....although each person's vision of happiness is different.

H – is for home. Home is where the heart is.

H – is for history....a subject I always enjoyed. I love old things and like to know the history of people, places, and things.

H – is for holidays. I love them all. If I had the time (and energy!) I would decorate for each one! As it is, I’m lucky to get the house decorated for Christmas!

H – is for hair....I've finally realized that my hair is straight and will never be curly without a LOT of time, effort, and moola. Too many years spent striving for the unobtainable. I guess it could also be said I have hoary hair!!

H – is for hot rod. Never owned one but I think I'd like to!!

H – is for hominy. Hate this stuff! My dad used to eat it and always wanted me to try it. YUK!

H – is for hot pants. I hate to admit it but I used to wear them!

H – is for handiwork. There's something very comforting about making something with your hands. I usually have lots of projects going at one time so I can switch from one to the other if I get bored. I crochet, knit, embroider, do a little beading, draw, paint, and just about any other crafty thing.

H – is for Hogsbreath Inn in Carmel (formerly owned by Clint Eastwood). I just like the sound of this! Doesn't sound very appetizing but definitely has a certain ring to it.

H – is for HGTV one of my favorite tv channels. I love all the decorating shows, but I wish they had more craft related programs.

H – is for Hollywood....or as we call it, Hollyweird. Ya gotta love it!

H – is for hot and humid....two things I don’t like.

H – is for….last but certainly not least....Hubby Bubby (HB) and he’s the best!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Potpourri today

We are whirling around here at Chez bee-cause. I'm working on several projects but I'm not able to share them with you right now. My grandson has a birthday coming up ....he will be 14! And then there's Father's Day. And once it gets to be June it seems as if time just flies by around here. We usually have company for the months of June and July.

All of this is why I haven't been posting each and every day recently. I'll try to do better. But please don't hold my feet to the fire on this!!

First, I'll share one of the photos I took at the recent cook-out. I took quite a few but sadly, many of them didn't turn out. I think I had the flash turned off and as the day turned into evening I forgot to switch back. Anyway, here is HB relaxing in a papa-san chair....does he look relaxed, or what???



And here is our little LuLu doing the same thing....I snapped her yesterday afternoon on the family room couch. NOTE: She did not have a beer!!



I wish I could show you a photo of me doing something like that but I've just been too busy! Here's a shot of my workroom right now. This will give you an idea of what I'm talking about....



Once again my work space is a MESS!! I have sooooo much stuff crammed into that little room that when I start pulling things out to create something....then I have no room left to work! I've re-done this room numerous times and it just doesn't work for me. It's a small bedroom (I think it's only about 10 X 10 or somewhere in that range) right off the upstairs hall. HB wants to put cabinets on the walls and maybe install a counter top with underneath storage. That would be nice but it means emptying this room....and that's no easy task!

This post is kind of a catch-all! I'm also going to include a photo of the squares I sent off to Drew for Heartmade Blessings. These are the ones I made using the purple yarns....the ones I told you about several days ago.



That's all folks!! I'm back to the workroom.....see ya tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Secret Revealed!!!

We have all been on pins and needles around here. I was so excited this morning that I could barely think! And why, you ask? Well, as promised....I can now reveal the "secret" about SWHP.

Last week she got a phone call from a woman connected to this program on HGTV!

They had noticed the ad SWHP put on Craig's List! The contact person from the program came by a few days later and absolutely loved the shop. She called a bit later and asked if the show could come by this morning and FILM in the shop!

SWHP was actually on camera with Lee Snijders. She said he was really nice, and funny,.....and cute!! I love this show. I watch HGTV quite a bit....especially when HB isn't home! I love watching all the decorating shows and seeing what they do with just a little bit of money.

Here is a photo of SWHP on camera with Lee.....she said it was weird to have Lee standing right next to her but then having to talk to the camera.



And here's another one of the two of them in the shop....



The bummer is....the show won't be on the air for 6 - 8 MONTHS!!!! They will send her a tape, and will let her know when it will actually be shown but it won't be anytime real soon.