...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's June and time for a new calendar

With all the to do's of the summer season upon us, it's time for a quick and easy project for the June calendar.

Quote by Gertrude Jekyll: What is one to say about June, the time of a perfect young Summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months and with as yet no sign to remind one it's fresh beauty will ever fade.

Die cut the center circle from solid cardstock. Emboss with a swirl embossing die or folder. Brush a green die pad lightly over the raised embossed areas. Outline with the same green ink pad. Adhere to center of DP on which the saying has been printed around all four corners. Outline the center medallion with a black pen for a sense of depth.

Ink the outside edge of the calendar piece with green ink. Adhere two die cut leaf shapes and a ready-made flower to the lower corner of the center medallion.

Doodle underneath the saying with a black ink pen. Insert into your CD case and enjoy.

Be Creative!

Friday, May 29, 2009

good friends, good music, and a short lived daylily

It what we do every Thursday afternoon/evening. We head downtown to the Buddy Holly Center for some free music, overpriced drinks and a visit with good friends. While I was on the road, it was a rarity for me to partake in this event. But now that I work and live in the same city in the same state, it has become our "ritual". A rite of passage from spring into summer. For most, Memorial Day is the day that marks the first day of summer. For us, the first concert is the official first day.

First concert was by Wendy Colonna. She's got a sultry voice, Louisiana charm and a guitar that reaches your inner being.

Friends Laura, Carolyn, Eddie and Sue.

Friends Justin and Laura whom we met last year at this event.

Finally. But the German is more of a definitive. Entlich. The first daylily. There are hundreds more to come.

Although the calendar isn't in sync. It is summer. These are the true events of summer. Enjoy.

I have a few projects on which I'll be working tomorrow.

Be Creative!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

silent proof of a busy weekend

Painted. Which means take it down, paint, clean it, put it back.

Rehang pictures. I did have a fiber art piece framed and am pleased as a peach how it turned out.

Bought plants and planted containers for yard art.

Cleaned my art space. My friend Charlotte sent me an email with some quotes from Charles Schultz (you know Peanuts fame) and I found this spoke to me. So I took out my QuicKutz Silhouette and die cut the saying from vinyl. Let me just say, follow QK's directions. It will save you lots of frustration! :)

Had a birthday party for our now 33 year old son.

So here is how the age thing went down:
I say 33
husband says no he's 34
I change blog to 34
Son says he's 33.
And I do the math.
I was right the first time.
I was wrong to listen to husband. :( LOL

Graciously gave in to husband, sons and grandchildren. We now have colored lights up. You know, it was the adoring faces of the grandchildren that made giving in easy. And it's not as bad as I thought it would be.

And I worked on some art. Instructions to follow when the big piece is completed. Can you guess what I used to create this look?
Thanks be to God, for without His guidance none of this would have been possible.

Be Creative!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memories, Memorial Day and Me

Growing up in France, I was privileged to have lived much of American history overseas. We traveled across Europe stopping at sights around every turn of the road. Among Nice, Paris, Milan, the Rhine river, the Black Forest, Switzerland, Austria there were those excursions that Dad would take because it was something he wanted to see.

I saw the Marginot line along Germany and France were the French held off the German attack until the German broke through in Belgium. I remember walking these lines of bunkers seeing left over dog tags, helmets, and guns.

But more than those memories, I vividly remember the American cemetaries in Europe. White crosses and perfectly manicured lawns pepper the landscape. There was one on the way to school in Orleans, France. The notible ones on Omaha and Normandy beaches. And every year on Memorial Day the pristine white crosses were adorned with flags. Every single cross had it's own flag. I used to wonder who went out and planted each one so perfectly. I know now. It is those who are left behind and who remember. As a token of thanks for giving their lives so that others may live.

This year, our trip to the cemetary will be most difficult. There is a new grave in the family plot. Our nephew, 26 year old Micah, went to be with Jesus this past January. So along with a few flags, I'll be taking a white rose for a young man who left us too soon...

Have a wonderful Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What color are you going to paint the bedroom?

I painted the living room on Friday. Saturday I paid for it. However, now that the living room looks so "clean", it makes me want to continue to do more decorating. My husband said it would happen, "Nobody just buys one can of paint." And I quote.

I didn't start until noon on Friday and by 11pm, the entire room had the furniture back, the pictures hung, the tv moved, the rugs back. However I saved putting the china cabinet back together until Saturday. It was time for bed. Before the lights went out, my husband asked "What color are you going to paint the bedroom?". I did just want to bop him with something, but it hurt too much to move.

Saturday morning I got the crystal and the china put back up. We were having a birthday party that evening. And sore as I was, I still had to get a cake and a gift. Our eldest son turned 33. So I was really feeling my age, and it wasn't pretty!

More tomorrow, if I get the urn painted and my office overhauled so I can ....

Be Creative!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Sometimes life is just funny. Really funny. Just makes me smile.

Charlotte sits proudly in my kitchen. On a shelf of antique kitchen cabinet. On top of a small table square my mother made when she was 16. Next to a tea cozy that I made for a magazine article. Along side a candle stick my youngest son brought home from Holland when he was 11 years old.

I love Charlotte. She brings me happiness and is the cutest chicken in the coop! So I'll share Charlotte's story.

A long time ago in a land far away, Charlotte arrived at my doorstep via a world wide shipping company. She had traveled from Florida to Texas unharmed and in pristine condition well packed in bubbles. She arrived with a tiny necklace made from letters spelling out her name. She came from a very dear lady whom I met in Huntsville. I've since lost track of her, but that is entirely my fault. However I did see a picture of her recently. Brandi surprised me with this awesome gift. I did nothing to deserve it, but I am so thankful and so grateful for Charlotte's cheery good morning and somber good night and most of all for Brandi whose thoughtfulness is kindly remembered each and every day.

Now here's where funny comes in the door. I was just looking through a notebook in which I've collected ideas for my perfect house. Maybe one day. And I came across a torn out page from a catalog from Rue de France. Sadly, it's no longer in business. Guess what is circled on that page? Charlotte. Life takes many funny turns!

Ironic is that Charlotte is my BFF and lives in Huntsville... So I have two priceless Charlotte's in my life. Aren't I lucky?

The lights are not up yet. Still hoping for a change of heart. Either of us. Both of us stubborn though. Votes are dead even. Friday I have a date with blue painter's tape and some buckets of paint. The color is not up for vote! That's why I'm doing it while husband is at work.

Be Creative!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

When husband takes over the decorating...


Until this afternoon I had tiny white Christmas lights strung over the backyard patio. Until this afternoon I was perfectly happy with the white Christmas lights strung over the backyard patio. Until this afternoon I never thought sweet husband would really put up colored Christmas lights and like them.

So although the picture is a bit fuzzy because I was too lazy to get out a tripod and the other camera, I want you to vote. You can still see the charming little white non-twinkling strands of lights. They aren't completely down - yet. But now we have a strand of C7 size white lights and a strand of C7 colored lights strung. Sweet husband wants to string colored lights above the patio. Until this afternoon I was perfectly happy with the white non-twinkling, little lights over the patio. Now, I don't know when sweet husband thought he could decorate. Or that he had taste. Or why he would want to put up colored Christmas lights over the patio.

So it's up to you, please leave a comment and vote. The lights strung in the front and up are colored (we did insert one white one every 5 colored lights). The one strung sideways is all white.
Do we go with the colored lights? Do we go with the white lights. I was perfectly happy.........
Do you think the colored ones are "more festive"? Do you think I could grow to love them? How do you think I feel about all this?

update 5/19/09 - thanks Brenda, good thought. Lights are going up... guess which!

Be Creative!

Saturday, May 16, 2009



The act of reflecting, or turning or sending back, or the state of being reflected.

The return of rays, beams, sound, or the like, from a surface. See Angle of reflection, below.

The reverting of the mind to that which has already occupied it; continued consideration; meditation; contemplation; hence, also, that operation or power of the mind by which it is conscious of its own acts or states; the capacity for judging rationally, especially in view of a moral rule or standard.

Shining; brightness, as of the sun.

That which is produced by reflection.

An image given back from a reflecting surface; a reflected counterpart.

A part reflected, or turned back, at an angle; as, the reflection of a membrane.

Result of meditation; thought or opinion after attentive consideration or contemplation; especially, thoughts suggested by truth.

Censure; reproach cast.

The transference of an excitement from one nerve fiber to another by means of the nerve cells, as in reflex action. See Reflex action, under Reflex.

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.
Leonardo da Vinci

Today was a day of reflection.
The long line in the craft store that isn't open on Sundays whose manager wouldn't run a register with over 20 people waiting making me almost late for class. Why did I think my hurry was his concern?
The husband who wanted lunch, called it in and it was going to be ready in 14 minutes and I wasn't out the door yet. Why did I feel I had to hurry?
The person who threw up a rock with their car, the rock that found my windshield, chipped out a piece and cracked it. Why did I think he was really at fault?
The nursery who had absolutely horrid plants that made me feel as if I wasted gas and time. Now they really should have culled out their frost bitten plants...and I got the rock chip on the way there!
Calmer now. None of it was on purpose. Just none of it fit into my plan for my day.

I saw a mirror like this years ago in a high end store. Lots of buttons hot glued onto a frame. Since I was on the road at the time and the mirror was too big and I certainly couldn't have lugged it home, I made one in a size that is just an accompaniment to a room instead of a statement in the room. Hot glue, an inexpensive framed mirror and loads of button. Go raid the button jar of the singles, the fun ones, the cheery ones and put them up. Much more fun to see them then to have them buried in the jar.

Be Creative!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

QuicKutz club 5/16/09

Welcome to yet another issue of QuicKutz club page for your Year of Ideas album.

After much pleading and me finally giving in, we are going to create the title page for the album this month. Since this has to fit "your" album, not mine, you will need to provide:

1 yd of ribbon
3 double-sided designer papers (Cloud 9 Design Cinnamon Stick shown)
glue dots
adhesive runner and/or wide Cheetah
font of your choice - Flirt pictured
butterfly die of choice to fit a 2 1/4 x 2 1/2" piece
scallop border die
Your favorite embossing die
your favorite edging punch or decorative edge scissors
Liquid Pearls to coordinate with your papers (I'll bring silver)
Sharp scissors
Paper Trimmer
Pen for lettering and edging letters
1/4" corner rounder
black ink pad

DML will provide:
white envelope
1 sheet solid cardstock
Die cut white leaves (you can change the color with your Distress Ink Pads)
For the Record ledger sheet
2 1/4" x 2 1/2" pearl metal
sanding block
Pattern for the page

I'll show you some fun tricks for the new clear elasticized ribbon in the store right now. I'll also show you how to work with the metal sheets in conjunction with your cutting dies and your embossing dies.

And Dallas has a very special "special" for us on Saturday... but you must be there in person.

Be Creative!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

by Maria Mazziotti Gillan

I imagine them walking down rocky paths
toward me, strong, Italian women returning
at dusk from fields where they worked all day
on farms built like steps up the sides
of steep mountains, graceful women carrying water
in terra cotta jugs on their heads.
What I know of these women, whom I never met,
I know from my mother, a few pictures
of my grandmother, standing at the doorway
of the fieldstone house in Santo Mauro,
the stories my mother told of them,
but I know them most of all from watching
my mother, her strong arms lifting sheets
out of the cold water in the wringer washer,
or from the way she stepped back,
wiping her hands on her homemade floursack apron,
and admired her jars of canned peaches
that glowed like amber in the dim cellar light.
I see those women in my mother
as she worked, grinning and happy,
in her garden that spilled its bounty into her arms.
She gave away baskets of peppers,
lettuce, eggplant, gave away bowls of pasts,
meatballs, zeppoli, loaves of homemade bread.
"It was a miracle," she said.
"The more I gave away, the more I had to give."
Now I see her in my daughter,
the same unending energy,
that quick mind,
that hand, open and extended to the world.
When I watch my daughter clean the kitchen counter,
watch her turn, laughing,
I remember my mother as she lay dying,
how she said of my daughter, "that Jennifer,
she's all the treasure you'll ever need."
I turn now, as my daughter turns,
and see my mother walking toward us
down crooked mountain paths,
behind her, all those women
dressed in black

The little girl on the far right is my grandmother with her family. The lady in the chair is the great-grandmother I never got to meet.

The second picture is of my grandmother for her Confirmation.

The dancer is my mother. Way before she met my father and had me.

This last picture is at my godmother's wedding. She is also my mother's cousin as her mother and my grandmother were sister. The gentleman on the very far right is my grandfather.

Oh, and my relatives are very much German instead of being Italian, but I do still think of the women who came before me.

Happy Mother's Day to all....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Repurposing -

Sorry for the bad picture... But it's all I could find on the web. This is a magazine cover from Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine, Winter 2002.

Moving along. Repurposing. To use or convert for use in another format or product: repurposed the book as a compact disk. (from Answers.com) When you have as many samples as I do, it's impossible to use them for their intended purpose. The purpose of the chair covers was for a magazine article. I could make just one. And with the amount of time spent embroidering the floral wreath, in all honesty, I was only going to make one.

So I took this lovely silk fabric chair cover apart. Not really stitch by stitch, but you know scissors will cut about anything. The only item with which I was careful, was the black lace. I couldn't get anymore.

We have a dresser bench that was my husband's grandmother's. And it had pretty horrid fabric on it. So I decided it needed some spiffy-ing up. I did have to sew a bit of fabric to each end to make the chair back fit the bench.
Tip: Don't add the fabric in a straight line, add a curved piece on each end and then it looks like it was on purpose.
I adhered the lace to the top of the bench seat frame with a few discreetly placed staples.

Instead of a sample that would be stashed away in a box, now I can enjoy both the embroidered wreath and the bench a bit more. See what you have hidden away in a drawer and give it some new life.

Be Creative!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Someone has a birthday....

Someone has a birthday this weekend, Sunday to be exact. Tomorrow this little package will be on it's way. From Texas eastward ... to a state synonymous with heirloom and lace.

I'd tell what was inside, but that would ruin the surprise. I will tell that I found it in an antique store. And that as pretty as it is, it pales in comparison to the beauty of it's new owner.

The box in which I'm putting this is heavy, but the little box inside is not. It's being cushioned by some wonderful wool fabric, some lace and a few other goodies that were unearthed in the move.

Enjoy and Be Creative...

Okay so my old brain is showing it's age.. this special person's birthday is this Friday... and she guessed anyway! Now that is what good friends are all about.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

More things that bring a smile.

Fuchsias. They come in many color combinations. This is my favorite color combo. My grandmother always had planter boxes of these along the stairs that went to her basement. One of my memories of my grandmother was going to the market to pick up the young plants and bring them home. She didn't drive, so it entailed a bus ride into town to the market square and walking and walking and walking. And then having to carry the purchases home. I remember her wanting to plant the red/purple combo in all planter boxes. But when I told her that these were my favorites, she planted each planter box half and half. The next year and every year after that, when we would visit, the planter boxes were planted half and half. I knew right then and there how much she loved me.

Columbine. The very first time I encountered Columbine was at our cabin in New Mexico. We were riding our 4 wheelers up a trail and we came across a break in the thicket seeing these growing in the wild.

As I was buying yet more plants the other evening and my dear husband was rolling his eyes and trying to be patient I came across this plant. To buy or not to buy. In my heart I know that the climate is too warm here for this plant to thrive. Where to plant it? Is this just another foolish purchase? Thought of all the reasons why I should leave it at the store. But my sweet husband said get it, you love it. So now when I look out the great expanse of kitchen window, into a little wooded area, there is this beautiful face looking up at me. He loves me.

One of my hidden reasons for driving to Santa Fe was to go to Jackalope's to shop for pots. They have such a wonderful assortment and the prices are extremely reasonable.

So after much negotiating with sweet husband, we settled on the ones with the sun. They are happy and large but not too big, and I got a pair. Just like shoes, most things are just better in pairs! Next time we go, I'll bring home a couple more.
These make me smile because sweet husband didn't gripe about driving to Santa Fe to buy pots, because he didn't gripe about schlepping them home, because he didn't gripe when we had to buy soil and plants to fill them, and because he just smiles when he looks at them.

Plants: geraniums, yellow verbena, a variegated Vinca, and some gray silver fuzzy stuff. Obviously a seasoned gardener, I'm not. I figure those might get big and be replaced...

Sweet husband thinks I take walls too seriously. Especially blank ones. But he didn't even bat an eye when I brought this wire outdoor art home and his skill was need to hang this - outdoors and on a brick wall. He rolled is eyes only once but knew that I would be happy if he just did it. You think being married just short of 35 years doesn't have it's benefits? Come talk to me.

Asparagus fern in an antique watering can. I wonder if this will thrive inside over winter? I love to plant in unusual containers.

Plants outside are wonderful! Turn on the hose, they all get watered. Only drawback is that in a semi arid area such as the High Plains with a bit of daily wind (but no pollution), you have to water more frequently because they dry out sooo quickly.

Quick tip: instead of filling up a container with all soil... try using some non biodegradable packing peanuts to fill the bottom. Not only will the container be lighter, but they will also provide more drainage.

Begonias. I don't know why I love Begonias. Is it the waxy leaves? The little flowers? Who cares, they make me happy.

Recipe for success with a strawberry pot: 1" plastic pipe the height of the strawberry pot. Cap off one end (this end goes in the bottom of the pot). Drill offsetting holes all around the pipe up to about 3" short of the top. Plant with the pipe centered in the pot. Make sure the top of the pipe is above the soil line. Water the pipe! Keeps the soil moist all the way to the bottom of the pot!

It was National Scrapbook Day today. Did I buy anything? yes... Surely I might have something to show tomorrow. Although I really have a sewing project in mind. We'll see in which toy box I play tomorrow. Stay tuned and....

Be Creative!


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