Monday, December 29, 2008

Friday Playdate Update

Some of you may have read the post a couple of weeks ago when I took a day off and went to visit my friend Pat. Now I don't work, all I normally do is play, babysit some, read and do stuff in my studio, so taking a day off is not quite right.
Pat and I visited for a while then we decided to go out and eat lunch. There is the neatest flea market where Pat lives that has a variety things. I am always jealous of what she finds there to do her work with, so off we went. You know friends should share their sources and their bounty sometimes.

These are the pictures of a few of the wonderful things I found. At the top are 2 beautiful floral handkerchiefs. Hankies take me back to the days of my grandmother and my aunts. They never used "tissue" and a lady always had a hankie with her for any emergency.
Don't you love the second picture of the wonderful leaves and rose? The colors are so vibrant and these are soft. They are definitely going into a future media project or a crazy quilt, which I have been wanting to do again. The other picture is - I think- they used to call them candy dishes, not sure if that is right - you sure weren't generous with you candy if that is what you offered. Anyway, I remember my Mother had one and I loved the little wagaon with the horse pulling the wagon.
This last picture is some cut up hexagon quilt blocks. The dealer either cut up a very bad Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt or she bought it in pieces. Pat got some of these too, so we will probably do something with them in one of our "old fabric" creations. I also got an old Needlework and Crafts book with an article about buttons and trims and there was an old single volume of an encyclopedia from 1937. Pat got a copy of another book in the set. We loved the artwork on the cover. Not sure what to do with it but it begs to be used with its yellowed pages.
Pat and I had an enjoyable day and plan on having many more to come in 2009.
I hope that everyone has a creative and happy New Year too. Just remember to "have fun"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas and Family

Do you ever come up with a last minute gift idea? Well this picture of my two sisters, my brother and my Mother has been sitting on my desk. This is the last picture that we were all together in July, 1997. In the back is me, the youngest, the middle is my sister Dotty, then my sister Martha. In the front is our Mother and next to her her is the eldest, my brother Eddie. I took the picture and scanned it, ironed it to 10 1/2 inch piece of fabric and made these little pillows to give them as an additional present. Our Mother passed away on December 15, 1998. My brother lives in the house that was Mother's home and we still have Thanksgiving and Christmas there.
What is funny about then and now. When Mother was alive everyone of my siblings would bring a dish or a dessert for Thanksgiving and Christmas. All they would EVER let me bring was cokes and the stuff to make cheese dip. During the 54 days that Mother was in the hospital before she passed away she told Martha and Eddie not to worry about the food at holidays - Brenda will take care of making the food!!! Now I was floored when they told me this, but just as Mother said, I have been very involved with the preparation of the holiday food. I go to Eddies at 7in the morning and prepare most of the dishes we eat - using Mother's recipes that she gave me before she passed away. Now that is a Christmas miracle!!
The greatest miracle of all is the greatest gift of all - the Baby Jesus - that God gave us - God's only son. But then Jesus gave us the greater gift by dieing for our sins - not His sins- but ours. He took our place so that we would not have to die in our sins. May you all have a blessed Christmas and remember "The Reason for the Season".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December Bead Project - Tease

This is a tease for the project I am working on for December. The beading on the seahorse has been started, but like many others I am wayyyyy behind. Now if you wonder what seahorses have to do with December, again it involves my granddaughter Gianni. In December last year right after Christmas I drove her Mom and her to Dallas after Christmas so her Mom could work on an out of state project for her company. Gianni and I got to do fun stuff while Mom worked. Her and I went to our very first (for both of us) aquarium in Dallas. Seahorses were one of our favorite things.
November is not even an idea so I will have to back up and figure that out later.
Now to share a bumper sticker I saw today:
"Things only get better with age;
I'm approaching magnificent"
Have fun and laugh a lot.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Giveaway and Busy Day

No pictures today - I have been busy working on Christmas gifts for my beading group friends.
They aren't much, but I wanted to make everyone something. My tree is up and partially decorated, but I still have work to do. Got to get out my candy recipes and work on them, but tomorrow I am going to spend the day with a friend. That is part of having fun, spending time with friends and I want to make more time to do just that.
Now to the giveaway.
Go to and see a very neat giveaway. I hope she picks my name.
Before I go I want to tell you about last night. It was my husband's company Christmas party. The owner of his company usually picks a very nice place for us to eat. This year it was a place called The Butcher Shop and Steakhouse. My favorite thing to eat out is Prime Rib. However, since my daughter-in-law is appalled at watching me eat what she considers "raw meat", I have not had one in quite awhile. I respect her wishes (that is why I am a much loved mother-in-law). Well lucky me - it was on the menu - it was as good as I remembered. It was a good night.
Not as much fun as I would like to have, but you can always find fun whereever you are.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanksgiving, Christmas & All That Fun

As you can see my grandchildren get to have a conversation with Santa Claus one on one long before Christmas. Thanksgiving Eve we have a meal here at Mawmaw and Pawpaw's house then on Thanksgiving we go to my brother's house (which happens to be the house I grew up in ) and eat and get together with the other family members as they pass through. This good looking
Santa Claus is my brother-in-law and he does Santa gigs from Thanksgiving until the Christmas Day. My Gianni and Will think it is wonderful that Santa (aka Uncle Donald) is there for them. Gianni wrote a story for her class about having lunch with Santa. She had a picture to prove it.
To my bead project friends - I am working on December - need to go back and figure out a November and bead, bead, bead. This time of year is so busy for all of us. My tree is up, but undecorated. No candy has been made and I have been sick with a bug. Why do we stress ourselves out??????
Well tomorrow is another day and maybe I will get to feeling better and get more done. To be honest - I am not having fun - but my mind is made up - that will change tomorrow. A new day!!
Ya'll have some fun for me and I'll catch up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

October Bead Journal Project - Finished At Last

Here is my October Bead Journal Project - finished in November. Now you know what is next - start November. This year I am learning that a 5 inch square may have been overly ambitious, but I am committed. The size at least gives you a larger prospective to work with, but it also takes more time. However, I usually do my beading at night while watching TV with my husband and that makes it more enjoyable.
This project was obviously about fall - one of my favorite seasons. In Arkansas we have a wonderful display of fall leaves from one end of the state to the other. They sparkle as they show their last "hurrah" before winter.
I did not limit to just one bead size or shade. I threw a couple of different types in the same colorways on my surface and just started echo beading. It sparkles more than the picture tells.
I can't wait to start on November.
I am so glad I started this project - it is FUN!!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quilt Classes Can Be Fun!!

Yesterday I took a wonderful quilt class from Tom Russell. Above is the quilt that Tom made and that the class was all about. Tom taught us how to relax and string piece on freezer paper. The picture is of me holding up 2 of my blocks - I actually got 9 - 6 1/2 inch blocks done by lunch time using this method.
This is a picture of the flowers he also taught us to make from fabric we made by just sewing pieces of fabric together. Around the perimeter of the big circle we stitched jumbo rick rack to really make our flowers pop. My colors are from feedsack reprints because I wanted a really scrappy look. Others did some beautiful purples, greens, oranges, browns - there is no limit to what you can do by using this string piece method.
If you take even your smallest scraps of fabric and sew them together you can make wonderful pieces of fabric to cut other things out of the results. No waste - in the style of the Amish who use even the smallest pieces.
Tom is a good friend and is a wonderful and fun teacher. There were 18 to take the class and everyone went home satisfied and wanting to do more.
I have challenged myself to have fun and learn. So far the classes I have taken have not disappointed me in any way and have made me want to continue to do more and to keep up the quilting and mixed media.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Time with Grandson

This little fellow is my grandson Will. You know I told you I only have 2 grandchildren. Will and I are pretty tight and I count myself as one of his #1 people in his life. One of his favorite things is just coming over to Mawmaw's house and playing all day. Sleepovers are a good thing too.
This picture was taken at our favorite (well his favorite) place to eat - McDonalds!!!! We went yesterday after I helped out at MOPS at church. No I didn't go to church and help mop. MOPS is an organization to help out mothers of preschoolers. The mothers can drop their little ones off with a group of caregivers for 2 hours. They eat, talk, have a speaker on an important topic to them and a devotional. The important thing is they can relax for 2 hours and not worry about children.
Back to Will - we go to McDonalds because one of the few things he will eat is fries and chicken nuggets. Second he can play and run around inside and his Mom and I can talk and continue to get to know each other better. Megan is my daughter-in-law and we get along really well. We both love my son and my grandson and each other. It works out really well.
Yesterday I played my first game of air hockey - I got thoroughly trounced at 10 to 3. The reflexes may want to have fun, but the reality is they are really slow. Of course Will would not had as much fun if I had beaten him, so it works out well.
Any day spent with Will or Gianni is a good day. Yesterday was one of those days.
Remember - have fun!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Special Times with Gianni

One of the things that I enjoy more than anything is spending time with my grandchildren. Recently in October Gianni's 1st grade class took a field trip to a place called the Family Farm. It is a wonderful place to go and see all the things that children love.
This is Gianni at their petting zoo. She captured a baby chick. At this place they tell you all about miniature and Shetland ponies, they have the little farm train pictured above. A real Indian tepee where the youngest daughter tells stories. You can ride a wooden merry-go-round that is twisted on a pole and then let go. They have a swing that they push up a hill and let go - it hits a barrier and bounces you up and down. The kids got to do a hayride and pick a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch. It is a wonderful fun place to take kids.

Yesterday Gianni and I went to see Madagascar 2 and had a wonderful time. She misses seeing me everyday now that she goes to a different school and I don't pick her up everyday. With her softball and other sports she stays really busy during the week. Gianni has a lot of sleepovers with friends on the weekend. We are super close, but we do miss each other now that she is growing up. It just makes our time together more precious, because she is precious to me and has been a total joy in my life since the minute she was born.

Next time I will tell you about my other grandchild Will and how much he means to me. You will be glad to know I only have 2 grandbabies. But this "blog" is really for me and you are invited to come along for the ride.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Houston Trip Over

I am combining my Friday and Saturday time in Houston to one post because I don't want my readers to fall asleep and be totally bored.

This bag is my Friday half-day class taught by Jenny Rayment from the U.K. She is funny, fast paced and totally organized. This was a whole day class that she taught us in 3 hours and almost everyone got the bag done, even me!! It is a small elegant tote bag and is so fun to make.

Friday afternoon it was my time to begin shopping. Now with all the vendors there you can spend a bundle - unless you get organized and pace yourself. My object was to look for those things I could not buy locally at home and I would have to pay shipping to get them to Arkansas. This is a picture of some of the wonderful beads, threads and other things to work on in the upcoming year. Angelina fibers, Angelina film, Lutradur, TAP, beads and some variegated threads. My friends Jim and Tom encouraged me to be creative and get "out of the box". Tom recommended Sharon Schamber products (

to help me get free with my machine quilting and to make it easier. She should know what works with her Best of Show win at Houston. Pictures DO NOT give the quilt true justice.

I purposely made a picture of the bowl of beads - actually "bead soup" The artist who create these ideas are so generous in sharing their ideas. Quilting Arts magazine had a "Make -It University", which I did not attend, but during the day they would have different artist from their magazine demonstrating their articles or books. During the week
I had the opportunity to meet a few of them. One of these artist Frances Holliday Alford shared her love of "bead soup" with me. You can find her Christmas wreaths Quilting Arts Gifts magazine Holiday 2008-09. Thank you Frances for you assistance.

I hope you have had fun on this trip with me to Houston. Maybe you will get to go someday too. But if not there is so much out there to play with and even in your own back yard. That is where these artist sometimes got their start. So "have fun" - you know it is never too late.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day Two at Houston

Day 2 at Houston I took a class. If you ever go to Houston Quilt Festival there is a class for every technique imaginable. You can bead, applique, paint, quilt, and best of all to me this year - mixed media. The class was an all day class hosted by Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine and the instructor was Lesley Riley of the magazine. It was a perfect opportunity to PLAY and have FUN!!! Use mixed media things in the right way and not have to buy everything that I wanted to try.
We painted on watercolor paper, fabric and Lutradur. Let me first of all say Lutradur is the bomb and paints so well. It adheres to Angelina fibers and can be burned and melted in a controled way. Just a plug for Lesley. She has book coming out in January, 2009 entitled "fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur" A must have book to play and use this wonderful stuff in your art.

There were several other products I was introduced to that are so versatile and fun. TAP is a transfer artist paper that can run through your copy machine. You use a gel medium to transfer from the paper to fabric, Lutradur, watercolor paper,etc. The transfers come out in color or in black and white depending on how you printed them. The lady in dark green was transferred to cloth. The flowers are done with a molding paste, stencil and watercolor paper. Let them dry and then paint them. The little shapes are a combination of Kunin felt, chiffon, Lutradur Wonder Under together, burned, accented with gold and cut into shapes. I want to put a backing on this piece and do some beads.
Lesley told us something that I appreciated about gold - she said "it is only an accent, it should not be your main color". Another new item I used, that I had never used before and will use again is oil pastels. They give you controled color and can be blended with just a damp application of water. You can use them to color the TAP and then use the gel medium to transfer onto your base.
The picture at the very top of my page is all of the leftovers that I still can play with on another day.
Still more to come about my wonderful trip.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Going to Houston Day 1

Welcome to my view of The Houston International Quilt Festival exhibit hall. This is taken from the round windows on the 2nd floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center. Let me assure this is is just one section of the hall. It does not include all
of the vendors and shows none of the beautiful quilts on display.
The hall starts at Section A and goes through L or M - from the front door to the back of the hall.

Then you begin with aisle 100 through 1200. Each aisle is jam packed with vendors from antiques to embellishments. If you want it you can find it here.
This is one of those things you have to experience for yourself. I am sorry I cannot show you the quilts, but copyrights prevent me showing you the great pictures I took. The DAR had an exhibit on some of the earliest quilts ever made. There were traditional quilts, art quilts, mixed media quilts, miniature quilts, etc. You get the idea.
Going with my friends also made the trip memorable. I have not been since 2004 so it was almost like the first time I ever went - 1996 I think. Jim, Kelley and I flew from Little Rock to Houston together with Nancy and Ann. We stayed at the wonderful Hilton Americas that is attached to the convention center by a skybridge. Tom joined us later at the Hilton. When we arrived our rooms were not ready for occupancy - that seems to happen no matter when you get there or where you stay. We had the bellhop service watch our luggage and went to the hotel restaurant to eat supper. It began our time of talking, laughing and just having an all around good time. The show actually previews at 5,but it was close to 7 by the time we finally got to the show. It seemed as if the crowds were down this year, since it was easy to see the quilts and get up and down the vendor aisles. You just can't go from vendor to vendor or quilt to quilt with someone, so we would start out together and eventually part to go our own way at our own pace.
I will continue my story later. There is a lot more to show and tell.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Have Been Tagged

Now this is not what I wanted for my first blog after coming back from Houston Quilt Festival, but I have been tagged. Carol and Sabine I am sorry that this is late, but I have been gone for 4 days.

To be tagged you tell 7 things about yourself and tag 7 others. So here goes - you know it is suppose to be fun.

1. I was born in St.Louis,Missouri at an early age. After 6 weeks my mother brought me to Little Rock, Arkansas.

2. My brothers and sisters are my cousins!!! Let me get this straight - my great uncle adopted me - well you figure it out.

3. At age 50 I found out I had a half brother - we met that year and have stayed in touch ever since. His adopted Daddy wrote about us in his book published this year.

4. My favorite color is blue, but lately I have been buying green and yellows to make bead soups.

5. I love to read and have (when I was younger) read an encyclopedia. Mom would buy one each week at the grocery store and I would read it during the week.

6. I was a quilter before I was a beader, but don't the two mix well. I also knit in the winter.

7. Because I enjoy being around people so much - I never get a lot done. If someone says let's go,I'm gone - I love to travel.

Well that is 7and I hope I never get tagged again because that is all I know.

Next I will be blogging about the Houston Quilt Show- all I can say is WOW!!!!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

These pictures are a tease for my October bead project. Since the Arkansas Ozarks are known for their beautiful fall foilage, I chose a leaf to bead for my project this month. I have auditioned my beads after making my base. This is also another sentimental journey for me. My Daddy has been gone now for 25 years, but when the leaves began turning we would get in the car and head for Hwy 7 (The Pig Trail) to see the fall foilage. He dearly loved the state of Arkansas and all it had to offer for him. His love made me love it also. In my previous post on the trip with my son's family, I tried to instill this love into another 2 generations. It is never too late to have fun with someone!!!

The base is a piece of canvas gessoed, and painted with Lumiere Metallic Gold paint. Then I cut the leaves from a fall napkin that I had been given. After decoupaging them the small ones changed color, but they are just a base for me to bead to and the beads will change their color. Looking and experimenting with different stabilizers to use, I added a quilt batt scrap to the back of the canvas. This is not recommended by me, because I have had problems of the batting coming through the bead holes. A little frustrating, but I have pressured on. The center leaf is 1/3 done, so you can see there is a LOT of work left for me to do. Alas, the October project will not be completed because I am going to Houston Quilt Show on Wednesday. My beading time was spent with doing my grandson and granddaughter's Halloween costumes. Well my priorties are straight, just my timing is off!!! My goal is to be caught up by the end of the Holidays, which means I get to do 3 by the end of the year. Will that work? It works for me - LOL

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In October my son, daughter-in-law and grandson went with me on a trip the Eureka Springs. On the trip up there we stopped at The Natural Bridge, a local tourist attraction. The bridge is shown above. We had a pleasant quarter mile walk on a beautiful fall day. This is the first trip we have taken together since Will has been born, he is 4 1/2. Will was fascinated by the caves, but was very careful about bats - not that we saw any bats.
The leaves were not totally turned to their fall glory, but they were beginning to change just enough for it to be a beautiful drive up Hwy 65.

This picture is of Will and I on the trail.

Below is one of the big cats from the Turpentine Wildlife Refuge. They take in cats who have been abandoned or abused, as well as other wild animals. Some people get these animals and don't quite realize how large or "playful" they can become. The stories are really sad for some of the animals.

We went through the wildlife refuge on Sunday morning. We had time before we needed to head home to go to another zoo we heard about. This one is called the Promiseland Zoo and is located in the opposite direction as the refuge. You drive through this zoo and some of the animals will walk right up to your car. Caution is written all over the park to NOT roll your windows down more than 2 inches. That was not always the case with the brave boy and man in the car. We did not have any problems. We saw all kinds of animals. The bison and the emus were the most likely to come to your car, in fact we had to sit for awhile until a Mama Bison and her baby decided that we could proceed.

There is nothing like spending fun times with your family and this was definitely a fun trip. Will got to spend time with his MawMaw and Mommy and Daddy - off on an adventure - all on his own personal time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A few weeks ago I did a little flea market searching and found these lovely postcards. There are a lot of floral cards, which I couldn't resist. Included in this lot are two old black and white photos. I guess I should have printed a closer picture of the postcards so you could see them better. I hope to use copies of them in future projects - I refuse to use the originals - that is why my wonderful husband Bill bought me a wonderful new printer, scanner so I can print from the originals. The oval one on the left side is an old card of a Geisha riding on a rickshaw. It is called "A Pleasant Ride" and is a copyright of an 1905 print. This one should make lovely art.
The two black and white photos are my beginning of unknown relatives like my friend Pat at
The boys look like brothers and one appears to be afraid of the camera or he is an extremely serious young man. The one sitting has a grin on his face. The other photo is a family - their names are on the back. Reva, Enirich and Earl Nicholson - if they belong to you, please let me know.

There was an estate that was at the flea market in North Little Rock. This is a few of the buttons and belt buckles that I came away with, aren't they nice?
Next time I will try to take better and more detailed pictures, but I wanted to share my finds with you. Flea marketing is a great way to have fun, don't you think. It is a wonderful way to relieve stress.
Today I had more fun by being with my friends - the Knot Krazy group that I have written about before. We met in Morrilton at Jim's house. He has a new sunroom/den and it has completely opened up and changed his whole house. He has moved some of his pieces around and it has lightened up the whole house. It is still a work in progress. We had show and tell from each member and went to lunch. There is a local diner called The Blue Diamond and if you want the BEST fried dill pickles in the world -that is the place to go.
Driving back to Little Rock several of us stopped at a Hobby Lobby in Conway and shopped together - another great way to have fun.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just Wanted To Write

Just felt like writing tonight. It is a cool October night. Bill and I just got home from watching my daughter Tonya and son-in-law Jack playing a game of co-ed softball. Adults are really hiliarious when they play and are having fun. By the way their team won.
Today I began making Halloween costumes for Will and Gianni. It has been forever since I have put on a collar on a shirt. It will be along time before I do it again!!! It took 4 times to get it right and figure out what the devil I was doing wrong. Will is going to be a pirate and the shirt has a collar - not a good collar, but it is on the right way.
Tomorrow I promised my brother Eddie that I would come help him do our yearly "pear preserve" making. That means I get to peel and cut pears up all day. Eddie is 74 and travels often because he is responsible for doing all the ABA conventions every year. That means he has to travel a lot to view convention sites. But it gives him lots of miles and reward points. He was able to go to Vancouver last week and had a wonderful time. He saw some beautiful sights and went to Victoria for the gardens. That was the highlight of his trip. I get to see the world through his eyes and his pictures.
What I really want to do is begin my October Bead Project, but it is going to be put on hold to finish my Halloween costumes. This month is so full of things I am scheduled to do it is scary. And best of all - this month I get to go to Houston to the International Quilt Festival.
Well thanks for listening. Have fun - remember it is never too late!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September Bead Journal Project - Done

Well if you look at this you know that I am a newbie to beading, but
I had a great time doing it and hope that those who see this enjoy my efforts. I have already (in an earlier post) noted why I picked the Twin Towers for my September project. The more I beaded the more I wanted to bead. All of the picture was beaded except the buildings surrounding the Twin Towers. I wanted them to remain in the shadows. Two problems I have are (1) the size and getting it right (2) finishing the edges. Right now I am going to call this one done - at the end - hopefully - I will have plan for what to do with my bead projects and finish them in an appropriate way. This one has ended up being 4 1/2 inches square, not the 5 inches I had intended.
The back is ultra suede. My friend Keri gave me some fabric she bought after 9/11 that had the New York skyline. I used a piece of that for the back to cover my stitches. It looks really good with the piece.
The top is done to simulate a US Flag and I thought that it added a lot to the piece.
Hopefully I will approve as we go along. Now I have 2 days to concentrate on Halloween costumes before getting started on October. Ideas are in my head for that one already. See ya'll in October.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mail Art & Having Fun - 2

I just had to share this story with ya'll regarding my mail art envelope. Today I took it to the post office. I requested that it be hand cancelled so it didn't have to go through any machines. The lady at the post office just stared at the envelope. She ask "do you want a regular postage label or do you want to use stamps?" Well being an agreeable person I told her whichever was easiest for her. She opened her stamp drawer and took out several stamps, held them to the envelope and then suggested which stamps would go best with my colors. It was too funny. It cost a whole 7 cents more to put the stamps on, but it was so worth it for the experience of seeing how the post office enjoys an artsy envelope. I hope during the journey a few more people get to smile along the way and most of all I hope my friend Mary Lou smiles when she gets it next week.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mail Art & Having Fun

My friend Pat ( does envelope art. If you buy something from her on her site you might get an extra surprise. I can't promise, but you never know. Her items are wonderful in themselves, but she is a sweet person that will go that extra mile. Anyway she got me interested in doing some mail art.
I took gesso and base coated 4 envelopes. While I was at it I gessoed (is that a word) 2 books that I bought for $1 each at the used book section at Savers. They still need more gesso and lots of work. Back to the mail art, I digress. The fun part was using different paints - the one I completed was done in #565 Metallic Bronze a Lumiere Paint by Jacquard. The colors are shiny when they dry and just glow. The side paper is a copy of a paper out of one of the Stampington Magazines by Somerset Studio. I like to copy my images and use the copies in case I want to use them again. The picture is a postcard "Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec - A La Mia, 1891. On one of my flea market searches I found a book of Postcards from the Museum of Fine Arts. It contains 32 French Impressionist painters art work, so I have a wealth of cards to work with for future art. I added the woman in the oval frame from some other pieces of art I collected. My idea was the men in the picture had to be talking about something - what better for 2 men to talk about (especially French men) than a beautiful woman????? The papers were added with Mod Podge. Haven't we been using that for years. I used it in the 60's and it is still a good product today. You can use white glue with water, but I like the consistency of the Mod Podge.
This envelope will be sent to my friend Mary Lou with some information she had requested about paper piecing a quilt. I could give it to her in October when our Beaders group meets again, but I think she might enjoy a little regular mail. She used to be the Postmistress in her town so mail seemed like a good idea. I hope she has as much fun with the envelope as I did making it.
The other envelopes are painted and ready to be decoupaged. Inspiration for another day!

Monday, September 22, 2008

More Beading Comments - Part 2

This is part of my work in progress. The main clouds are done in the crystal beads, accenting clouds will be done in a flat ivory. The towers are done in irridescent multi-colored beads to give them main stage in the story. I outlined in black between the buildings and the water. The piece was not working out to be a size I want to work with the rest of the year. At this point it was 4 x 5 inches when trimmed. I have thought all along that I wanted a 5 inch square piece to work on. It seems like a good size. The bottom water is beaded - not in the picture - but still quite a bit to go.

Since October is looming over the horizon, that means October and Halloween. There are only 2 grandchildren in my life. Every year since Gianni (she is now 7) and Will (he is 4) have been born I have made their Halloween costumes - except last year when I was having additional problems with my health. Gianni has been various things from a fairy to a witch. When Will - her cousin - was born I had 2 to do.
The first year Will was here Gianni was a witch and he was a scarecrow. Next year they were Raggedy Ann and Andy. This year Gianni will be a red devil and Will will be a pirate. October is also the International Quilt Show in Houston and for the first time in 4 years I am going again. My October project will be 5 x 5, but may not be totally beaded - maybe accents for that one, but who knows. On to September finishing.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bead Journal Project 2008 - Part 1

It is time for me to do a little posting on my 2008 beaded project. This project has been refreshing and relaxing to do and I can't wait until it is finished. Anyone who has read my blogs knows that September 11th has a dearer meaning to me -not just the tragedy of that day, but of going forward and building friendships. My personality does not dwell on the negative and tries to be positive as much as possible.
The picture below is a tour/postcard book from 1976 that my daughter found for me while we were on one of our infrequent trips to an estate sale together. She not one to accompany me on these days, but this was one of the rare ones that she decided to go. Now surprising to me she has started going every Saturday morning with her friend Amber to yard and garage sales. Go figure!!! She calls to let me know of her finds.

I chose the bottom picture for my beading project. I printed it on 100% cotton transfer sheet - not the quick fuse kind. Now I am beading directly on the fabric. The colors are varied colors of irridescents, crystal for the clouds, white for one of the lower clouds and blue crystal beads for the water. The other buildings are staying gray and in the background to make the Twin Towers stand out from those buildings. There are some other touches I plan on doing a little later.

This is an exciting challenge for me and hope that it turns out well. My goal is to improve my beading each and every month as we go along.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Vanished Memories and Old Friends Revisited

There are no pictures for this blog - hope ya'll don't mind. Recently a dear friend who I had lost contact with emailed me out of the blue. Vona and I have spent the last few days catching up via email and I hope that we get to see each other soon. You see back in the 70's and early 80's Vona, T.E., their son Tommy, Jr and daughter Teri lived across the street from me and my family. She was there when I had my babies, through my divorce and then when I remarried and moved away we lost touch - my fault - it is sad when you get too busy and don't take time for old friends. But I have never forgotten her and her family and how close we were all those years.
Our kids have all grown. Her daughter Teri was my favorite babysitter when the kids were little. I always felt safe when Teri and her friend Suzanne would keep my kids because they were so responsible and their Mom's were right next door. Now Teri has a little boy of her own.
Do you remember when neighbors were neighbors? I hope some of ya'll out there are still having those kind of neighbors. You visit over coffee, you share things with each other, you even sometimes take trips together. Ahhhh nostalgia!!!! Vona I do miss you living across the street.
During one of her emails she told me the house on our old street was gone. I knew that the neighborhood had run down and that a couple of houses had burned, but I didn't realize that the house she was talking about was MY old house - until today!! I drove down our old street, the street where I lived for 10 years with my then husband, where my babies came home from the hospital to that little house and where I lived for almost 5 years after the kids Daddy walked out one day. So many good memories in that house, some bad memories, but mostly good. Well the house is gone but I still have the memories and old friends. Thanks for reconnecting Vona.
God is good and just keeps on blessing me every day.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Button Group Friends

A hobby I was encouraged to pursue is button collecting. Keri the one in the yellow started our group. On her left is Kathy, then Sally, Pat and Barbara. Jim is not there he was away in Oklahoma. Button collecting is a very addictive hobby, but the fun we have sorting through buttons is immeasurable. Do you know you can sort through a "poke box" of buttons thoroughly and the next person will always find a treasure or two that you missed. I don't do this for the value, but more for the joy of a beautiful button that was on someone's clothing a long time ago. Now Jim loves the new modern buttons and there are some unusual and beautiful ones, but I love the old ones. Especially the ones that tell a story or depict a story or character or a building. Being a lover of historical novels makes the button collecting more applicable. Keri provides her home each month for us to meet. We bring a lunch and visit and share. It is a wonderful group to be in.
You can sometimes find great buttons at flea markets and antique stores, sometimes you even can find them at yard sales. Of course with all things collectible the "hunt" is most of the fun. We put (well they do, mine are a mess) them on acid free cardstock to display them. Buttonbytes is a group that collects and shares buttons and has a wealth of information. They are on Google.
Also you can go to and get lots of information. Join and you get a wonderful booklet in the mail a few times a year.
Most of all you get to spend time with friends and isn't that what it is all about.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Traveling from Mississippi

My friend Pat says I should post pictures, but I don't have any for today's post. Friday I went to Columbus, Mississippi because my husband's sister had surgery. She was able to go home on Saturday and is doing well.
Today I came home. It reminded me so much of 3 years ago when my husband and I were coming home from Gloria's house (my SIL). Cars flying by us - most with Louisianna tags. Those were the few people who were fleeing Katrina. Today was the same way. People with what belongings they could gather, going to where they did not know, and not knowing when they could go back home. My prayers are with these families this weekend - waiting for Gustav to do what Gustav will do. As I drove along alone I saw RV parks filled with campers trying to get in. Motel parking lots were filled with cars, with still more going into them. People in the small towns in the area were putting up signs and directions for shelters.
When I checked out of my motel in Columbus this morning the phone was constantly ringing. The poor young lady at the desk couldn't check out those who were leaving for having to answer the phone and say "I am so sorry, we are booked solid for 3 days. We don't have any rooms." I ask her if they had a recording for her to use. She told me that Best Western firmly believes in customer service and that they only want a person to answer their phones. What a wonderful concept. She also said that they do not believe in No Vacancy signs, so she would have to turn people away all day. Bad though it was for her she said she always tried to remember - especially the people who would get angry with her - that in their cars were their families and their few belongings. So she tried to be as nice as possible - no matter what. What a wonderful person she is. May God bless her.
Not meaning to get "heavy" with my blog, but sometimes you just have to remember that it isn't always about "fun".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Treasures That Find You

I have already told ya'll that Friday was a good day and that my friend Kathy and I found lots of good treasures. The 3 items in this picture were found at a place called SAVERS. It is like a Goodwill, but they price their items a little higher. The 3 items in the picture above are a little tin with flowers, a little purple pig and an orphan quilt that was on a miniature stand.
The tin I thought would be cute to put sewing items in and use the embossed lid as a texture for doing a paint rubbing later. The little pig has already found a home with a friend at church. She loves 2 things besides God and her family - pigs and purple. You just don't see both real often in the same pig. It called to me from the shelf when I walked by - I swear I heard it say "Take me to Lisa - Lisa is looking for me". How can you deny a purple fancy pig.

Now the little miniature quilt was the prize of the day. Made in love for someone named Sue in 1996 for her birthday by Terry. The tiny pieced triangles in the miniature flying geese pattern are done so well, they all have their pointed little heads. It is hand quilted. Now I have a friend Kelley who loves making these little miniatures and if she ever made me one I would treasure it forever. But this one from an unknown person has a good home now and will be displayed with care.

You know treasures are everywhere and when you go with you friends to look, the treasures will find you.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Searching for Treasures

One of my favorite things to do is to search for treasures. Friday I took a break from Gianni (her Daddy was in charge on Friday) and went to look for treasures. I took my friend Kathy. We love to check out the Goodwill and there is a place called Savers, which has bargains. On the way we saw a sign that said Garage Sale. Being a rainy day there weren't many and not many people out. Above is what I found at the garage sale. A purse, which is always a good thing. Now let me explain the bug picture. It is Kathy's fault. It is a Green Nymph Stick Insect. Now the plan is to take this apart and put insect buttons around it. I hope it doesn't come alive when I open it - kind of scary. And the quilt is a wonderful lap quilt. It was made for someone by their aunt and they were selling it. On the back it says:

To: Name ( I won't publish it)

From: Name (ditto)

"A heart full of love

And wings on which to fly"

May 20, 2006

The colors are bright reds, pinks and the back is a batik. It appears that some of the reds have faded onto the whites, but it is still a wonderful little orphan quilt that now has a home. It makes me wonder what will happen to the quilts I make years from now. Sold in a yard sale?? Oh well - you have to look at how much enjoyment you got out of giving the gift -not the final home of the gift.
We found a lot more treasures that day and I will share them later. Don't want anyone to go to sleep while reading my post you know.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Knot Krazy - Beaders

Yesterday was the monthly meeting of a wonderful group of people who mean a lot to me. We meet once a month in one of our homes - now on the 3rd Thursday of the month.

This is the month that we met at Kelley's house - her picture is the one below (I hope). She is a dear friend and we try to see each other more than once a month. Going left to right is Sherry, Jim, Marylou, CarolAnn, Susan and Jean. Keri was there also, but somehow I couldn't catch her in the camera. Our dear friends Pat and Bibi were absent. We are a multi-talented group. Some of us quilt, bead, embroidery, creative mixed media, creative quilting, knitting, crocheting and anything else we can think of to do. Jim has a website , CarolAnn has a blog at and Pat has a blog at . We love to share with each other. This group has been together since 9-11-01. What a date to remember, that days events happened personally, as well as internationally and will always be in our memory. We have one member-at-large. Her name is Nancy Eha at and she started it all.
9/11 was a beautiful day. We had just finished a retreat at a beautiful facility on the outskirts of Little Rock, Arkansas called Ferndale. Nancy was our out of state teacher and she taught us the joys of beading that weekend. A dearly loved friend Sharon Heidingsfelder and her friend Marylou had already left that morning. Pat, Kelley and I were going to get Nancy and join them for a day of fun and site seeing before Nancy had a flight out that night. As we were carrying suitcases to the car we saw everyone sitting around the T.V. You know what we saw and as we sat there in total disbelief we didn't know what to think. Nancy, being a stranger realized that there were no planes to fly her home, didn't know when there would be and could not drive herself all the way to Minnesota alone. She had no idea what we would do. Well we bundled everyone up and went to Sharon's house to make decisions. We decided to get Nancy home - of course 4 women traveling together would be perfectly safe - ????? Nancy finally got in touch with her husband who was waiting to hear from her as he was packing his car. We agreed he would drive until he was tired, let us know where he was and we would make the rest of the journey to him. The next morning he called from Fayetteville and off we went to get Nancy home. We realized coming home together that life is too short not to spend it with friends and loved ones, so we formed our group and have been meeting ever since. It is - for the most part- a top priority in our lives. Some dear members have come and gone, but as a whole we are still together. Still having fun and still sharing it all!!!!