Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two Peas in a Pod

These two are perfect companions for each other.

Crazy, funny and silly.

Why is sticking out one's tongue the universal go to pose of all children?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Holiday Snaps

One Sunday afternoon during my recent trip to Texas, one of the grands and I went on a photo taking outing. Georgetown, known for its fine Victorian commercial architecture, is not far from their home. It is the county seat of Williamson County. The town's commercial center is laid out as a square of buildings with the courthouse in the middle. The San Gabriel river runs through the city just blocks from the square. Georgetown is also home to Southwestern University, which was founded in 1840 and is the state's oldest university.

EG was my companion and was sweetly willing to wander with her crazy picture taking Gramma.

She amused herself by finding all sorts of sidewalk treasures. 

I amused myself by taking photos of treasure of this kind.

I love it that this old movie palace has found a new life as a local community theater. 

On our way into town, we drove by the San Gabriel Motor Court. I had to turn around and take a couple of photos. It is just the sort of retro place that would be a fun overnight spot to spend the night. The river is just steps away. 

I hope you've enjoyed taking this little glimpse into Georgetown with me.

Be sure to pop over and see Jean's Holiday Snaps today too!

Monday, September 27, 2010

My To Do List

I'm going to break out the watercolors one day soon and paint this bowl of tomatoes. I love the vibrant colors and patterns on the bowl and salt and pepper shakers.

But not today. I got a good start on aqua baby sweater #2 last night and I want to finish it. I've also got more bunting in the works as well as sewing up some cute pincushions.

Then there is my next big project....a baby quilt for grand #10. I bought some sweet material from Anna Marie Horner's Folksy Flannels and Little Folks collections.  I've never made a quilt before so it will be a learning experience. I want to incorporate some embroidery into it as well. I've got lots of planning to do on this project.

We finally got some rain this weekend so I expect I will have to mow grass soon as well.

What about you? What's on your to do list for the week?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Randomly Creative

I finally put pictures in this cute coaster set....I only got it for Christmas 3 or 4 years ago. Yep, that's right....I've had a terrible time cutting up perfectly good images to fit it. I've bought cards more than once intending to use them, but wasn't able to do it. These images are part of a set of Kort cards I picked up in Ikea when we were in Austin. I like the outcome. I'm glad I conquered this phobia.

While watching TV, I finished this baby sweater. It was supposed to be a 6 months size to fit grandchild #9, but it turned out being closer to a 12 month size. It won't be the right size for baby #9 this winter or next, so by default it will be for baby #10. It will fit her just right next year since she is due in November. And now I get to start over again on a sweater for grand #9.

When the "girls," my beach buddies, came for supper on Wednesday, one of them brought a basket of supplies for card making. We had a good time stamping, gluing and being generally creative.

I even did a little sketching, which I haven't done hardly any since I was laid off.

Speaking of laid off, I'm still looking for a job. So far none of my applications or contacts have turned into anything. I'm okay for now, but will really need to find a job shortly after the first of the year. Hopefully something good will come along before that point. I have an appointment with a personnel agency Monday afternoon.  So keep your fingers crossed. In the meantime, I'm having fun having plenty of time for friends and hobbies.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Short Trip Down Commercial Memory Lane

My favorite pain killer. I took some today....for arthritic aches and pains.   I think the barometric pressure is on the rise. Can anyone else feel it in their bones when the weather changes?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Message in a Bottle ....Literally

Look what I found in my mailbox the other day!

I've read before that you can mail any number of unusual items as long as the correct postage is affixed to them. This is the first time I've received one.

Being the mechanical genius that I took me a bit of experimenting to figure out how to get the message out without cutting the bottle open.  (I'm not the brightest bulb in the box)  I tried to jab it out with a pencil...just broke the lead off. Next I tried retrieving it using my tweezers...not long enough. Finally in desperation I took a better look at the bottle and discovered that it was made so that the bottom of the bottle could be twisted off...a solution that was almost too clever for me.

It was my invitation to this year's murder mystery dinner....Murder in Margaritaland. (remember last year's old west theme?) The bottle contained information about the character I will be playing as well as the date and time of the party. Fun way to get an invitation, huh?

I went on a search to find out other kinds of things have found their odd little ways through the postal service. This is one of my favorites:

Sound-emitting toy. A monkey-in-box toy that, upon shaking, shouted, "Let me out of here! Help! Let me out of here!" Addressed in big letters to LITTLE JOHNNIE. Sound toy was equipped with a new battery. Delivery at doorstep, 6 days.
I've read about people writing a message on a flip-flop and mailing it. Rubber ducks too. Wouldn't it be fun to send all snail mail correspondence attached to an unusual object instead of using standard envelopes from now on?  Perhaps a note to an old friend on the fly page of a book you'd like to share with them. Rubberbnd the book closed, put postage and an address label on the cover and off it goes.

Please try this and let me know what you mail and if the recipient got it. I think I will do the same. Be may find a surprise in your mailbox one day soon!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Magpie Equation: t (c + exp) = ME

Time applied to
character and experience
combine to squeeze
us into who we are
leaving me with
few regrets, but one.

Sadly, time chose
not to twist 
me to match
its curvy figure eight.

I've become round
probably from rolling
with life's punches.     

To read more Magpie tales, click here.                                                                               

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Weary World

I'm mostly introverted. I love people, but can only be with them for so long before I must escape and hibernate for a while. My friend Nancy is an extrovert. She loves fun, adventure and parties. She never calls me Eeyore and I try to keep up with her boundless energy for as long as I can take it.

She needs a part-time job (in addition to the full time one she already has) to keep up with her bills. It is a crying shame that a woman who is nearing retirement age has to look for a second job...just sayin!  Anyhoo, she told me two hilarious stories last week, one which inspired this cartoon.

The other story inspired the title. One of her co-workers mistakenly called a worry-free loan weary-free.  Isn't that just the opposite of what so much of life is like ....weary-free?

Sometimes ya just got to laugh about it all!

Click to view in a larger format.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Gramma Title

When I first became a Gramma ten years ago I really had no idea what my role would be.  Would I be one of those cookie baking grandmothers....probably not. Would I be one of those grandparents who shower their grandchildren with gifts....probably not. Would I be the type who would always be up for a romp outside...not really. Who would I be?  How would they see me?

Eventually, I found my identity in a question asked by the oldest.  She, younger sister and parents were on their way to my home. When the girls were told they where they were going, the oldest asked a question to clarify which grandparent's home (they have lots of g-parents, step g-parents and great grandparents, so it can be confusing).  Her question was this, "You mean the crafty grandmother's house?" 

Yes!  That's me to a T. I'm the crafty Gramma. It is the role I was made for and I love it.

The past week before my recent trip to Texas, I busied myself making bunting and dolls to take with me.

These are the Wu sisters. They are Chinese adopted babies. Their names are Wu Li, Wu Su, Wu Lui, Wu Gee and Wu Nu. I used the same pattern I used when making dolls with their two Alabama cousins. The idea for the doll's nationality came from something one of the TX grands told Rachel and I earlier this summer. When asked how many babies she was going to have she told us none....she was going to adopt Chinese baby girls instead.

After going through my years old stash of fabric a few weeks ago, I remembered a project that I'd seen on Etsy and wanted to make.  I realized that many of the fabrics that I had in the give away bags would be perfect.  I went to work cutting out triangles and sewing them together with quilter's binding.  Easy peasy!  I hung them on the wall above Rachel's old Fisher Price kitchen set. (It came down from the attic when grandchild #1 was a toddler and has been a favorite play toy at my house ever since) to take photos. I have plans and dozens of triangles of fabric ready to make a set of bunting for every grandchild's bedroom.

After telling them a story about their favorite made-up heroine, Anna Louise Spotty,  the girls decided to put on a circus for their parents. It was hilarious to see how they worked out costuming issues fashioning them out of things around the house. EG is a clown. She is wearing a puppy purse on her head for her wig. I quickly made the nose from a red pom pom and the stretchy black stuff that I made MK's ringmaster hat from. They both are wearing Daddy's clothing.  The bunting was hung in the dining room archway with a  push-pin. They assured me they would get Daddy to film the production and send it to me when they are ready to put on their circus.

Yep, crafty Gramma is the perfect title for me. I feel perfectly capable knowing I have lots of crafting know-how to pass along to each of them. It doesn't hurt that I also have the equivalent of a craft store of supplies in my basement.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Texas Sized Means Real BIG!

Check this link out to see five better photos of my son and his Texas sized family than I will ever be able to make myself.

It has become their tradition to have family photos made each year by this local (Austin, TX) photographer. If 15 people leave comments they will earn a free photo....and you'll get to see some sweet faces that are dear to me.

I'll be posting some photos of my own real soon, so stay tuned.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Magpie Tales

Far Sighted

Outside in, inside out
Someone please tell me
What to think.

Confusion mirrored
In the window's
Mindless reflection.

Stories embedded
Deep within
A lost imagination.

The present
Slips quietly away
Replaced by reflections of the past.

The undefined image in the window set me to thinking about my ex husband's grandfather's losing battle with Alzheimer's. How he slipped away bit by bit. How he needed someone to define the world he could see, but no longer understand.

I'm still away on vacation, but had a few quiet moments this morning to try my hand at another Magpie Tale. To read more click here. I will be traveling tomorrow and visiting you as I am able this coming week.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bye for Now

I'm going to be away from my computer for a little while. See ya later!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Magpie Meal for Thought

One delicious bite,
so began the fall from grace.
From perfection to perdition,
From friendship to shame,
From trust to distrust,
A cover lifted,
so that it became clear,
the change one singular bite wrought.
One hope to restore that which was lost
....Mercy alone.

To read more Magpie Tales, click here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Might be Shabby, but I'm Real

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.

But the Skin Horse only smiled.

except from -The Velveteen Rabbit

Why is this book only for children? Isn't it a lesson we should all take to heart?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A List of Lists

favorite snacks:
(not in order of most favorite to least fave because that is subject to change)

1. potato chips
2. potato chips and dip
3. cold pizza
4. fresh cherries
5. almonds
6. cashews
8. poppycock
9. Homestyle popcorn
10. pimento cheese scooped up out of the container with snack crackers

favorite hobbies:
(also not in order of most to least fave because again I change my mind a lot)

1. reading
2. cutting and pasting random bits of paper into collages or books or recipe cards
3. sewing
4. crocheting
5. painting
6. scrapbooking
7. photography
8. drawing/doodling
9. embroidery
10. jewelery making

favorite books:
(apply above disclaimer here as well)

1. To Kill A Mockingbird
2. Cold Sassy Tree
3. Hunt for Red October
4. The Bourne Trilogy
5. Lonesome Dove
6. Shopaholic
7. The Help
8. East Wind West Wind
9. Jane Eyre
10. Dear Papa

favorite comfort stuff:
(you know the drill)

1. my children
2. chocolate milk
3. good movies
4. friends
5. pajamas
6. listening to the sound of chirping birds or crickets
7. icy diet cokes
8. cut and pasting (see favorite crafts)
9. listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons
10. listening to rain

favorite things to dream about:
(yada yada)

1. a summer-long road trip
2. being able to retire (which is sort of what being laid off is like :)
3. being naturally thin (my favorite fantasy of all)
4. getting a fantastic job which I LOVE going to everyday
5. seeing the Milky Way/shooting stars/aurora borealis
6. having my grandchildren remember me as a wonderful gramma after I'm gone
7. having my children remember me as a wonderful mother
8. all the sorts of houses and locations I would like to live in
9. having beautiful beds of cutting flowers
10. being more productive (which I probably would be if I didn't waste time dreaming about being it rather than just getting on with it)

This list of lists could go on and on, but I need to get up and get productive. I'm busy making bunting and dolls....rather, I should be busy making bunting and dolls.....Ciao for now!

I'm back because I just realized that I didn't list food as one of my comfort stuffs. Even though it's true, I'm happy that it didn't immediately come to mind....because it's one of those habits I would like to break.

Ok, back to sewing.....ciao again!