Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31 Weather Forecast (According to The Afghan Hound)

Hello, Blu2 here. Since everyone is a weatherperson today, I figured I'd throw my leash in the ring. So here's how I see it. First, gotta stretch. I've been lounging around alot in my chair lately.
Oh yeaaaah. That's better. Now, back to Snowmageddon. It hasn't actually started yet. These pictures were taken last year. Beats me why she never uploaded them. Because, well - just look at me! Pretty gorgeous, huh?So here's whatcha do after the first sprint around the yard.Not bad.This is one of my favorite spots. I can keep an eye on the birds and that durn possum that drops in uninvited sometimes. I ran that varmit off last year but I think he might have a rascal cousin. Anyway I can also watch the weather from this great bench AJ built for me.Yep, pretty good chance it's going to snow. So do what I do. Run around the yard like a crazy dog. Roll around in it some. Mark a few favorite spots (that yellow shows up real good on the white). Have another good stretch.Then get'cherself a nice warm quilt & curl up in your favorite chair.
Before you know it, it'll be spring again! Y'all stay safe out there.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Studio Tour: Before & After

Isn't she cute? I found her at a junk shop but she's a fairly recent Hallmark creation. Do you wonder what she sees from her little perch?I think she's in shock at the incredible mess stewn out before her!This is my sewing/craft room, my "studio" if you will. Before the holiday busyness began, I decided it was time to clean & reorganize. It was messy but not quite as bad as you see here. Almost. But not quite. This was after I began to empty out the closet where I had been carelessly stashing things. You know - open the door, toss in & slam shut before anything could escape. The picture quality is pretty bad because I was rather uncomfortable documenting this disarray for anyone to see.One of our friends in Tulsa Dolling Dames had her studio featured in a magazine. I thought it would be fun to take a tour of the doll club's creative spaces and volunteered to go first. So, here we go! This is a re-purposed metal bakers rack. I painted it white & washed it with tinges of pink. Cute containers hold a variety of tools, brads, punches & doo-dads. The wood bucket was on clearance in the garden section at the end of summer. I painted it & added the polka dot ribbon for trim. As you can see, I like polka dots. I made the skirt to go around my L-shaped work table. I'm so thankful for my hubby who gladly made the table for me, set up my computer & keeps it in good working order.The skirt hides the computer, wastebasket, and the sewing machine tote.There are shelves which hold white baskets of patterns, embroidery hoops, etc. The bakers rack holds all my scrapbook supplies. Next to it is a plastic shelving container with wide drawers for holding paper. I have two 4' folding tables, convenient to move around as needed.I have tons of scrapbooking supplies. I don't scrapbook - but I do like to make cards. There used to be a scrapbook store in town that had a quarterly garage sale where my friends & I would pick up all kinds of loot for next to nothing. I think I enjoyed the pillaging more than the actual crafting. However, when the card making inspiration hits me, I've got all I need right at my fingertips! For example - all my glitters & embossing powders are stored in this former-spicerack, painted white to match the bakers rack. Notice the crown? It's a large jewelry pendant, on sale at MFCS* (my favorite craft store). You know I couldn't resist.
At another junk store, I recently got one of those old boxes that used to hold print blocks. I've always thought they were so neat with all their little cubbies. It's holding about 1/8 of my stamps. The closet is outfitted with wire racks and this is where you'll find the Mother Lode. The Fabric Stash. Oh my goodness, you wouldn't believe the visions & dreams just waiting to be realized behind those bi-fold doors!! Clothes, banners, embroidery projects, art dolls, curtains, table runners, pillows.... You see, I used to work at a fabric store. Who can resist using their employee 20% discount, especially on things that are already on sale?! Should some dreary global catastrophe happen, I will at least have fabric to make throw pillows and dolls!!!And here's a wide shot of the clean & organized room. I have one more thing in mind to add - a long shelf to display future dolls, with a rod under it for holding bolts of ribbon.

The dresser was my son's when he was growing up. I painted it some fun colors & put colorful knobs on it. It's a sentimental piece that I can also use to store ... more stuff! The top drawer stores stabelizers and thread cones for the serger. The middle drawer holds silk painting supplies (yes, another hobby whim). The bottom is hiding a bunch of mementos and little knick-knacks that will probably be seeing a garage sale this spring. And finally, I have a shabby-chic chair for Blu to curl up in and keep me company.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to my hideout!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Gift of Winter

I have to remind myself today that winter, especially January, is a gift. It's the In-Between. The Deep Rooting. What do I mean? Without the distractions of holidays or outdoor activities, January is a great time to rest and re-charge. Read a frivolous novel. Daydream a spring project. Make plans. Journal. Take a class. Do your crafts. Cook comforting foods. Enjoy magazines and movies. Cuddle under piles of quilts. Savor hot teas and special coffees. Just give yourself time to ... well, just give yourself time. Guilt-free!
"Open up the gift of your minds
and free your talents
from the inevitable,
but temporary,
period of dormancy,
for your Spring is coming."

Thank you, Anita, for this bit of inspiration on a cold, January morning!

To anyone reading this who needs a touch of color and creative inspiration in their lives today, visit Anita's blog Castles, Crowns, and Cottages. She has links to many other beautiful blogs, too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Rose

Three beautiful roses. Three beautiful women. Many years ago they shared the same last name. Their childhood was not easy. In those days, it wasn't easy for anyone. But they credit that time for the closeness they shared all their lives.Oh sure, they had occasional spats, like all sisters do. They didn't agree on everything. But they looked after each other. Celebrated special occasions. Stood together in the face of adversity. Rejoiced over each other's good news. Supported each other in times of disappointment and lately, health challenges.
Three wonderful women. Now there are two. My mom was the first to go home to heaven.
Phyllis was a strong, spirited, dynamic woman. She loved life and lived it with gusto. You may not think so because she didn't have a college degree and a career, or live in a fancy house. But once you read the rest of her story, you'll see.As a young woman, she loved gymnastics, riding motorcycles and in convertibles, Elvis, and hanging out with friends. No matter what her age, she was up for a motorcycle ride anytime and, if possible, would have hopped on a bike last summer. She loved cooking and good, home style food. She enjoyed parties and especially planning them. She dreamed of having her own catering business. She liked fast cars and road trips. Grandpap nicknamed her "Barney" after a race car driver. She loved hats, jewelry, and a bit of glitz, especially when it came to holiday decorating.Mom collected antique glassware (which she called "my treasures"), liked her coffee, and talking on the phone. Oh, did she love to talk on the phone! So much so that Dad teased her it was her telephone habit that caused my brother to be born with a misshapen ear. She was definately a night owl and enjoyed watching old movies or anything with Patrick Swayze in it.

Mom was the keeper of our family history. She absorbed the stories she heard and passed them on. Now we need to keep those stories in our hearts and pass them on to the next generation.

The Phyllis we knew loved her independence. She worked very, very hard all her life to help support the family but let's be honest: she also enjoyed that sense of freedom and, as she would say, "the jingle in my pocket" she got from working.

She was absolutely fearless. She stood strong through the challenges that life threw at her and she faced them down like some Warrior Queen. Even when faced with losing her leg, she took hold of that decision and made it her own and didn't look back. She hated to be told what to do!

More than anything, Phyllis loved her family. She was a devoted daughter - and she raised one just like her in my sister, Lynn. She loved her brother and sisters and was very close to all of them. She was a wonderful daughter-in-law, looking after my grandparents, Ed & Isabelle, as if they were her own parents. She adored babies and had five of her own, plus treated everyone else's like they were hers, too. Her grandchildren were a great joy and blessing to her and she was so proud of all of them. Most of all, her husband was absolutely the love of her life and she was "hopelessly devoted" to him. She fell in love with and claimed him for herself at age 11 but it was a few years before she got him to the altar. That adventurous marriage lasted nearly 57 years.

She instilled the belief in her children that their dad was a king. That we could do anything we set our minds to, that we were wealthy (even though we were far from it) and could hold our heads high with anyone, anywhere. She instilled a strong sense of family values, honesty & integrity. She did it by example. And also with "The Look." Oh yeah, that look could drop a kid at fifty paces!

Phyllis was always there for anyone who needed her. A listening ear, a dispenser of wise advice, a helping hand, a comfort in time of trouble. We found a poem in her high school scrapbook that a friend wrote about her during study hall in 1951. It talked about her selflessness and generosity and just demonstrates that she was always a compassionate, giving person.

Her biggest fault was in neglecting herself. And maybe her salty language. *smile*

She didn't talk about spiritual matters very much. She was a private person. But she did believe in Jesus Christ as her Savior and today she is in heaven.....

Dancing on both legs. Talking endlessly to her mother and not needing a phone. Listening to Isabelle's stories and telling a few of her own. And no doubt, she & Ed are racing across heaven just to see how fast they can go.

Mom, we love you. You will be so missed by many people, but most of all your family.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Psalm 116:15

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Shiny New Year

The wacky, whimsical Christmas ornaments have been packed and put away. Everything has been put back in order, dusted & clean. When you first decorate for the holidays, it's so warm and cozy. But when all the festivities are over, there's something nice about starting the new year with the house clear of extra clutter.

Elaborate centerpieces and pretty tablerunners replaced with a simple glass plate of various glass globes.
Hmm....look into my "crystal ball."What will the new year will bring?