Monday, May 31, 2010


Today we remember the fallen, and pay them tribute. Our family is among the lucky; as many of us as have served in the military, none of our family died in war.

My brothers, husband, uncles, and dad--all did their service. Dad was a twenty-year man, and was retired when he died, two and a half years ago, but he served overseas during World War II.

We were, as I say, lucky, and kept Dad until he was nearly 90. We remember him, with love, every day.

I wish that all families were so fortunate, and that their heroes walked with them, held their hands, carried their children, smiled into loved ones' eyes. We honor the fallen, and grieve with the ones left behind.

Last night I had the strangest dream, I never dreamed before.
I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war.
And I dreamed I saw a mighty room, and the room was filled with men,
And the papers they were signing said they'd never fight again.
And the people in the streets below were all dancing 'round and 'round,
And guns, and swords, and uniforms, were scattered on the ground.

Last night I had the strangest dream, I never dreamed before.
I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war.

words and music by Ed McCurdy
The last photo is from

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Okay, truth in titling: My friend, Buddy, did the smokin'.

Then he gave me the cigar boxes to prove it, and they were the awesomest cigar boxes I've ever seen, bar none.

Never have I been so glad that someone I knew was a smoker! Unfortunately, never, also, have I been so busy, so the Big Bag o' Boxes lay in my sewing room floor for several weeks, lurking in the corner of the room, and tiptoeing into my head whenever they saw fit.

Then, the other night, I was sitting with my laptop, minding my own business, when DH declared his intention to go to sleep. I shut my laptop, and the thought was there, instantly: Okay. I have to make something now. ( If I go too long without creating, I get kinda itchy inside, somehow. Do you ever have those moments, when you just have to make something, have to let your creative impulses hold sway?)

Downstairs I trooped, and this is the result of that "make something now" moment:

This is, as it were, a prototype, and there are a few things I'll do differently next time, but on the whole I think the bag turned out really cool. I'm looking forward to doing one with lots of lace, a plaid one, a polka dot one, a floral....

Friday, May 28, 2010


Went trolling for a fence this afternoon, and got a good one.

Also had the somewhat disconcerting experience of being questioned as to what I was doing, one of those, "Can I help you?" questions from a passing motorist who turned out to be a neighbor and wondered what the strange woman (I admit it!) was doing, kneeling in front of his friends' fence. (Trying to get the shot that got away, dang it.) I love when neighbors care about each other enough to go out of their way to make sure everything's on the up and up. And I'm glad I "didn't look like a tagger", the other bit of information Man-in-Pickup offered. (Must've been the graying hair and bun hairstyle that saved me from that, lol.) (Wow, three, make that four, parentheticals in one paragraph. Am I on a roll, or what?!)

Enough with the verbiage, except to say that a red fence with pink/red/white flowers spilling over it is an awesome sight. Take a look:

After taking those, I wandered around in the car a bit more, went to the post office and bank, and then headed home. I was sitting at the light just down the street from our house when I spotted another fence. How could I have missed this, all the hundreds of times I've been by it? It's so poster-esque:

You know, it's funny. Part of the reason for Friday Fence Posts is to show what interesting and/or beautiful scenes surround us, if we'll just notice them, and my latest fence is one I've driven by countless times, and not noticed!

As usual, click on the photos to see them full-size.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I love old architecture, and was fortunate enough to have a show this weekend in the parking lot of a vintage grade school. During a quiet spell, I got some shots of the weathered building, and when I opened them in my photo editor it struck me that the old, peeling paint on one of the doors would make an interesting background image for collage or scrapbooking.

I've changed up the colors, so there's a variety of looks and possibilities. Just click on the image to see it large, right click to save, and print. These are very large files, and you may not get to see them as big as they really are, but to increase the chances that you will, press the F11 key. It will get rid of all the stuff at the top and bottom of your browser, and the photo will increase to fill that new space. Then just press F11 again when you're done, to get the tool bar, etc., back.

Hope you get some use from these!

Friday, May 21, 2010


I spotted this fence just today, on a street I've driven dozens of times. It must be new, because I can't believe I'd have overlooked it all those times!

Isn't it wonderful? You know, I'm going to Have to do something like this! It appears the creator has used mirrors. Would cut or broken Cd's work? I wonder....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Iris: The circular, colored curtain of the eye
Iris: The goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the Gods
Iris: Plants with sword-shaped leaves and erect stalks bearing bright-colored flowers composed of three petals and three drooping sepals

Amazing how prosaic that last definition is. The iris are in bloom. Flags, my Aunt Charlotte called them today as we exclaimed over them, and they do wave and sway like exotic banners in the late spring rain and gusts we're having. My eyes have been full of them for days.

Iris are so beautiful seen at arm's length that it's hard to believe they'd be even more lovely up close, but I think they are....

To see them in even more detail, click on the pictures.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I found this photo of two lovely boys caught with surprised amaze on their faces.

What had just been said to them? Did the photographer tell them to "Watch the birdie"? What birdie? Where? We'll never know, and I will always wonder.

But here's a fact: If you'd like to use this photo in your collage art, click on it so it shows up full-size on your screen, and then right-click on it to save. (Mac user? I don't know what you do to capture images, but I trust you do!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010


This is Love a Tree Day. As an official, card-carrying tree hugger I thought it only right to blog that, and put up a song featuring an oak.

The song is "Wood", performed by my partner in music, Paul Lerman (vocals & bouzouki), and myself (flute & vocals). Paul wrote the music; Gabriel Steevenz wrote the lyric. I did the photography. Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Tomorrow is the DH's birthday. What better way to celebrate than to gather as many of our kids and grandkids as we can, and barbecue?

In preparation, I've been cooking all day--macaroni salad, ribs (baked now, to go on the grill for finishing), Patsy's fruit salad (recipe here: "It's a Salad! Honest!"), fresh veggies to dip in ranch dressing, and a chocolate-cherry-peach dump cake. I don't gave to actually cook the chips and salsa, but they're on the menu, too.

The DH is doing his own brand of preparation--repairing a bench that had a few broken slats, and repainting the whole thing. Bless him, he's using the colors of the original bench, which he isn't fond of, but I love--yellow and pink!

Between recipes, an Etsy search seemed in order, for barbecue items. Etsy and the artists there did not disappoint! I found these (not to mention a ton of others there isn't room to show):

A recipe book is a great place to start. TracyAnn did this one:

Barbecuing is Fun!

You'll need place mats, and these by FreshlySewn are really pretty:

And you don't want your little sweetie's hair getting in her food. BowInHairos' has got the perfect solution:

Barbecue Picnic Fun Set of 4 Hairclips

Here's a great print of a slightly edgy lady barbecuing, by GraphiteGirl:

Barbecue Belle

And last, surely not least, one by LewiesPlayhouse that takes me back to my childhood, in a very strange way:

Atomic Barbecue

Next up, I think will have to be bowling, as our son John called earlier to ask if everyone could meet up at noon tomorrow for a pre-barbecue line or two. Yay! to working off the calories even before we take them in!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"TIME FOR DINNER!" Recipe Tins Tutorial

Okay, admit it. You were so sure there’d be a way to use those spiffy metal tins you used to get in the mail from AOL, the ones that held a CD, that you saved every one of them. Do you still have them? Because I finally found a way to use mine, and I’m so excited about it that I’m going to show you what I did!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • CD tin
  • Gesso
  • Fabric
  • Cut outs from old magazines
  • Alphabet Stickers, or the word “Recipe” cut from a magazine or book
  • Small adornments–Lace, Buttons, string, etc.
  • Glue
  • Every pair of scissors you own (Just kidding, but you’ll be cutting paper and cloth a variety of ways.)
  • Sheet of paper or plastic for template

First, protect your work surface, then paint your tin on all sides with the Gesso. You don’t need to paint the inside.

Let that dry. If you have a second tin you haven’t painted, you can go ahead and trace around it to make a template/pattern. (Or you could do this step before doing the painting.) There’s a bit of a bead around the rim of the tin where the top goes over the bottom, so be sure you don’t use that edge to draw around, or your pattern will be too big.

Choose the fabric you’re going to use for the background, if you haven’t already, and lightly trace around you pattern. (Placement is easier if you’ve used something transparent for the pattern–the lid from a take-out box works well, or a sheet protector.) Use pinking shears to cut fabric out.

You could glue the fabric to your tin now, or do what I did, which was to cut an identical piece from an old book and sew all the way around. I find it’s easier to glue the paper down flat than fabric, to tell the truth, but I also liked the look of the stitching.

Now the real fun begins. Go through your old magazines and/or cookbooks, and find images and slogans you like. If you can’t bear to cut the actual book, you can make copies to use.

Arrange the pictures and words you’ve found on the fabric-covered tin lid. Leave room for “Recipes” if you want to include that. Glue everything down securely.

Last, use your paper pattern to cut a piece for the back of the tin from the index of an old cookbook.

Put recipe cards inside to finish. I made my own, but store-bought works just fine.

These are like potato chips for me. I just can’t stop, and I’m thanking my lucky stars these are no-calorie treats!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


MizMollye has been busy again, this time organizing a Bottle Swap! Before I say what a Bottle Swap is, I'm going to tell you it was so much fun I think I'll need to host one myself, to keep the fun rolling, lol.

Bottle Swap: Each swap partner takes a plastic bottle (we used 2-liter pop bottles), cuts a trap door in it, and stuffs it with as many goodies that match the theme of the swap as possible, seals up the flap, addresses the bottle and mails it. Simple!

This swap had a Mother's Day theme. The idea was to stuff our bottles with things our own moms would love, and send them to our swap partners, including a bit of explanation and tribute to our moms.

My swap partner was Ragamuffin Gal. I had a great time choosing the things to send her, and she obviously had a good time, too, selecting the things she'd send me, because my first question was...

How on earth did she get all that in there?!

Just look at all those goodies! My daughter was looking over my shoulder when I opened the bottle, and I think she had a serious case of envy going on, especially when she saw this:

It was all I could do to get her to relinquish that bracelet, once she'd put it on. I Am Mama, though, and that is my wrist the bracelet is on. Oddly ESPish: I was wearing a tee shirt just exactly that color when the bottle arrived, and it is not one I wear frequently.

I adored these lovelies:

The little girl by herself is a tile pendant I can hardly wait to wear, she's so sweetly pretty and pensive.

And I think stickers are so wonderful, I have to force myself to actually use them, so the sight of these plastic packets drew an excited, "Stickers!" from me.

Other items you might not have noticed in that tray--tea bags, ribbons, a number of small adornments, a delicate hankie, and a gift card for Michael's craft store, which I plan to use indulging a guilty pleasure, magazines. Oh, I am such a sucker for a good magazine.

Last photo is of Ragamuffin Gal's (Katie's) moo card, which I consider a treasure in and of itself:

Now I'm going to reprint the note Katie wrote about her mom. She sounds and looks like such a fun and adventurous woman, and Katie clearly knows how special she is!
Last Mother’s Day On her 80th Birthday at 18 when she married dad

Introducing ~ My Mother ~ Millie

I am so fortunate to not only have the best mother in the world but also to still have her a daily part of my life. She is 81 years young and she has truly taught me that “the best is yet to come.”

She has a very full and active life, still lives on her own, drives, and has a very full social calendar. She loves to play Bridge and all sorts of card games. She works out at a fitness facility 3 days each week. She belongs to several Bridge Groups and has season tickets to the Symphony and several Theatres. She has traveled and cruised to many exciting places, including Spain, Italy, The Cayman Islands, and most recently Ireland. She loves to read and go to the movies. She is very stylish and likes lots of bling (totally opposite of her daughter on the bling part).

Despite having Lupus, and having endured cancer and a heart attack, she has faced and overcome these obstacles with grace and dignity. She nursed my father during his last days in such a loving, humane, and compassionate way that it was a lesson to all of those around her on tender loving devotion . She has taught me many other great lessons, but this one is probably the most important one!

Much Love to you Anitra and many blessings ~ Katie

If I sound like I love my mom then I have succeeded because I really really do! I am looking forward to this summer when we will have lots of ''Girls' Days Out''!

What a lovely tribute Katie wrote!

Happy Mother's Day to both my mom and Katie's!

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