Saturday, July 30, 2011


     I had to work this morning. My end of the month bookkeeping doesn't do itself. Just before I was going to head into town, just by chance, I looked through the local newspaper (Friday's edition) and checked out the classifieds. Mind you, we don't even get the newspaper. Jeffrey had picked it up for his dad. I found an ad for an interesting estate sale. It had started the day before and was running through today. I thought maybe I'd check it out.
   Like (most of) the rest of the country, I prioritize my spending. You know, sort of like a food chain with food, clothing, and shelter being on top, then fuel, then....well non-necessities. But I thought a little therapy before the office would be good. I didn't expect to find much anyway.  I was so wrong.
   It was the estate of a lady who died ONE DAY before turning 100. She had been a crafter/seamstress/ crocheter and had actually grown up in this house. Admittedly, I was disappointed to find out that the day before many, many old buttons had been sold, but there remained boxes of tatting thread and old wooden spools and tatted and crocheted edgings. I found stacks and stacks of linens and handkerchiefs with crocheted edgings. There were even old doll clothes. So I had to use my noodle and think about what would I make use of. How many of those old childrens' books should I take? Should I take linen table cloths, or table runners? About 1/2 hr. later I left happy.
   I don't really go to many estate sales but when I do, I feel a little sad and guilty. I always think that I'm handling things that were once someone's treasures. You have to wonder why you were led there and are seeing these things. Think about it. What are the odds that I'd go to the estate sale of a woman who once did what I love to do? It's the second day of the sale and there are still tons of items left that I can only dream about finding! So, now I have wonderful stuff for projects. And somewhere in that GIANT craft store in heaven there is a 99-year, 364-day old lady smiling to herself and thinking "I knew there was a reason for saving all that stuff".

Thursday, July 28, 2011


     I (finally) saw the last Harry Potter movie. No, I didn't dress like a wizard, go with a bunch of friends, and buy a large soda and popcorn WITH butter. I went alone, held my purse on my lap, crossed my arms over it, held on to my tissue, and SUCKED it all in. I loved it. For you non-Harry Potter, muggle-to-the-bone people who wonder why a 59 year old woman would do this, I'll explain.
   First of all, it's the J.K.Rowling story itself. I'm not easily impressed by people, but this author, truly, impressed me. During the midst of a huge struggle in her life, she creates this entire series of books. Now, not to get out the violins or anything, but I, like a lot of baby boomers out there, know what it is to struggle for something that you really, really want. I worked my way through college AFTER spending a year getting certified as a lab technician so that I could earn more than the minimum to pay for it all. At the end of it I had a degree and a good job, but I didn't CREATE something as wonderful as she did for practically the entire world to enjoy!!! I think she IS a wizard!!
   Next, there's the story itself. The good vs. evil. The love for and of friends and family. The tiny stories within the big story. The lessons. Harry Potter knew what to do with that Elder Wand. I asked myself, honest to God, how many politicians, world-wide, would know what to do with that wand?  And Professor Snape. Almost my favorite. I had my suspicions about 3 or 4 books ago about him. Who could do what he did? And what about all those wonderful magical apparatuses! A Time-Turner!! How about the Mirror of Erised. Get it non- followers?? E-R-I-S-E-D.......D-E-S-I-R-E.  Mirror???  Yes, Rowling is a wizard. Then to top it all off, in the movies we had the absolute eye candy of all the costumes and scenery and special effects. How the heck can those grey steeples of Hogwarts with a grey background be so beautiful!?
   Of course the biggest reason ( and the need for the tissue while watching this last movie) is the fact that it's all over. Not just the books and the movies, but the entire decade. Done. My youngest sister and her kids introduced me to  Harry Potter. You see, without children of my own, I really miss out on a lot. If not for them, I'd never know what a muggle is for Pete's sake! Or a Whomping Willow. I remember laying on Callie's bed (goddaughter) reading Harry Potter. I remember reading HP in the Twin Cities airport. I remember buying a book at a grocery store in Carson City, NV and another in North Dakota somewhere. I remember sewing wizard robes and trick-or-treating in Carson with the kids. For me it's been magically wonderful.
   So now it's over. I have all the books, a Harry Potter lightning bolt rubber stamp, a Hogwarts necklace, and a millllllllion wonderful memories!! (wish I had a Time-turner) ! Thank you J.K. Rowling. The End.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


     Early evening on Friday, Jeffrey walked down to the mailbox to check mail, something I'd avoided, as I didn't care to look through bills and junk mail. He walked into the kitchen and handed me a piece of mail and said "For my "published girl". "Told you so, told you that jacket was a keeper". It was my complimentary issue of Altered Couture. I'd been published for the second time within a year. They liked the jacket that I'd altered and submitted back in December. I was thrilled.
    Exactly 2 years ago this very month, I'd reached a point where I knew I wanted to do more with my art. For years I'd dabbled in lots of different crafts. By summer, 2009, I'd made hundreds of greeting cards for church and had made a few scrapbooks. I liked paper crafting and decided I would take it to the next level. Maybe mix it up a bit and play with  mixed media art. In various art books and magazines, artists were referring to their experience as a "journey", as "taking flight". Well, if it was going to be a journey, I had no road map, just a desire to try new things and a lot of encouragement from family and friends.
    Well, now it is 2 years later. I've been published twice, doing a second art exchange, taking 2 on-line art classes, doing soldering and encaustic, got a Facebook account and made this blog! Go figure! The artists were right, though. They were right. It is a journey of sorts, though at this point I STILL don't have a map.  I still make cards for church, still love my sewing machine, have a WIP scrapbook. My only real goal is to some day have the time and money  to attend an art retreat....oh, and to learn to solder better. For  now I'm just doing what makes me happy. I encourage others to do the same. You just never know where it will take you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


    Sometime, back in the 1970's, my mom bought a clematis plant which she planted on the south side of the house in a sunny spot. Weeding the flower bed, watering it everyday with soapy dish water, and occasionally cutting it back a bit was the extent to which it was cared for. It flourished and my mom always took great pride in it.
   In the late 1990's, shortly after my parents both passed away, my brother decided to raze the house and rebuild on the property. What was to become of the clematis? It grew right up against the house. So, I GUESS before the excavators with their heavy equipment arrived and demolished the house and everything in their way, Jeffrey and I went and dug out mom's clematis.
   Recently my youngest sister, Letty, and I were comparing clematis photos. She brought it to my attention that my clematis is actually mom's clematis! I totally forgot about moving mom's plant! I suppose it was the craziness of the time--dealing with a lot of "stuff".
   I found a photo of mom's clematis which she had taken probably sometime in the 1980's. It's a little faded. At first I thought that this couldn't be same plant, but Letty assured me that I had told her about rescuing it. The recent photo of my plant is actually 2 different species of clematis. The darker one is mom's and the lighter buds are from a plant I bought about 3 years ago.
   Needless to say, I'll be handling these two plants with TLC. I'll maybe even use a little bit of soapy dishwater on them.