Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009, bye now...

My duplicate daughters have been bugging me to post, so here 'tis, the final one of the year. Talk about cutting it close! It's 10:45 p.m., still an hour and fifteen-minutes away from shoutin' in the new year. No party, just sitting in the living room with Dawn (Valerie's at work, Deni's watching TV in the bedroom), listening to her excited comments about the nifty journals she picked up along the way. She's struggling to stay awake and I'm thinking she may not make it to Midnight. Party on, Dawn.

I can't say 2009 was a great year, but it surely wasn't the worst. My family is in-tact, I still have all of my brothers and sisters, and most all of my friends. I lost a newly-discovered aunt whom I never had the opportunity to meet face-to-face, but we came to know and love one another through phone calls. I lost a long-time friend of over 20 years, but she left behind a bundle of fur who's kept us on our toes and made losing Thistle (our baby-dawg of 15 years) a bit easier on the heart. My husband was off of work for several months because of a second back surgery, but he recently returned, something I am rejoicing in because I wasn't sure he would heal well enough to make that happen.

The last major happening of the year was Valerie's surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. Although it wasn't the most pleasant of things (all went well) to endure, it turned out to be a source of answers as to why she's had such fierce monthly pain and nausea: the discovery of endometriosis. Another important positive from this negative has been the light shed on what may be the source of Dawn's health issues as well, just one of the many benefits of having an identical twin, eh?

Although a lot of other "stuff" went on throughout the year, God provided lots of ups and protected us through those downs, and I see no reason to believe life will not continue being a mixture of the two. As ol' blue eyes and Michael Buble croon, "That's life!"

I like where I am this very moment, glad not to be fretting about finding a designated driver after a night of Crown Royal and Coke (although I'll admit a little Electric Slide would have been fun!). I'm watching the new year arrive as quietly as it left, but I can't resist one more shout-out to friends and family alike...


Monday, November 23, 2009

To Dye For

As I've mentioned before, I absolutely love SisterDiane of CraftyPod, and every day I am reminded why. She tweeted about a nifty tissue paper craft she spotted over on Things to Make and Do. She said she was "Ready to blow off my entire to-do list and spend the day making tie-dye tissue paper," so I knew it had to be extra-good. I tweeted back, "I will if you will," and she took me up on the deal. The race was on and I went straight for the finish line! Here is the result of all that tweetin':

Even though my folding prowess stinks; I was too lazy to put the dye into bowls and took a short cut by dripping the dye directly on to the tissue paper; got it a little too wet on one corner so it ripped;

and I have multi-colored fingers;

I would say the results were not too shabby.

Cool, eh?

Oh, yeah! The tissue paper was recycled from the packaging of a prize I won by entering a contest on Diane's mother's (Pam) Web site, Gingerbread Snowflakes. So in a way her unintended gift will keep on giving because I'll be wrapping someone's Christmas present with it.

Thanks, Diane, for getting me off my duff and inspiring me to go make some art!

Friday, November 6, 2009

What to do with those sample books?

I come across these fabric sample books ALL THE TIME, and every time I do I think, "Banners, bags and pillows, oh, my!"

I have accumulate quite a few of these and only made one thing, a little bag with a handle (I'm embarrassed to post a picture). Wait, I lied. I did try a small rug once, but that was a disaster. I think the best idea for these large fabric swatches came from a woman who was shopping at my favorite thrift store. I spotted her with a couple of them and simply had to know what she had in store for them, so I asked.

She told me she was an activity director at a nursing home and likes to use the pieces to make those nifty banners everyone seems to be hanging these days. It touched my heart when she went on to explain how she puts them to use. Besides using them to spruce up the residents' rooms or to decorate for parties, there are times when the residents need to stay in their rooms temporarily, while the hallways are being mopped or vacuumed, for instance. Some of them don't have all of their mental faculties, and it doesn't take much to get them turned around to where they should be, so the banners are placed across the doorways (with tape so they easily fall away and not hurt anyone). When the resident sees the "barrier," they stop in their tracks and go back the other way. Clever.

This particular sample book measures 10" x 11", which seems perfect for banners. There is usually cardboard adhered to one side, but it can be sewn through and act as a stabilizer of sorts. Then there's the sometimes difficult task of taking the book apart. But with names such as Red Pepper, Coral Sea, Sunglow and Buttercup, it's well worth the effort!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Passing on the Crafty-Goodness

I have been itching to find the time to post something so it wouldn't look like I've abandoned the blogosphere! On the contrary, I'm trying to educate myself on how to do it better. My first step was to purchase two e-books by Sister Diane of CraftyPod, the podcast & blog all about making stuff.

The first one is Making a Great Blog, A Guide for Creative People, the second is Creating a Blog Audience, An Unconventional Marketing Guide.

Since I haven't been able to read them fully yet, I can't review them for you in-depth right now. I can tell you, however, just from the sections I was able to skim over, along with the many reviews I've read, I am confident I will be able to apply some of Sister Diane's wisdom to my own thing I've got going here. She writes in such a way that it can be easily translated into just about any type of blog.

I discovered Sister Diane through iTunes by subscribing to her audio CraftyPod podcast. My job is such that it allows me to listen to my iPod while scanning the hours away, and Diane's is my all-time favorite, hands-down. I encourage you to give her a listen, I guarantee you will learn something new each time.

Really quickly, a lot of "stuff" has been going on that's kept me way too busy to blog, but I hope to be able to ramble a bit by touching on things such as the loss of a dear friend, my beloved 15-year-old dawg and, on the lighter side, the start of the new hockey season featuring our San Jose Sharks (Gooooooo, Sharks!).

That's it for now. As Sister Diane, one of THE most crafty guru-mentors-most-awesome-human-beings I have had the pleasure of knowing signs-off, "...and in the meantime, craft on!"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One of My Favorite Photos

This Ozilicious photograph is my wall paper on the outside of my cell phone, I love, love, love it! Taken by my daughter Dawn, her photos never fail to impress me, she's a natural, got an eye for things others don't even notice.

For this particular photo she used a piece of fabric printed with an image of yellow bricks along with four of the little Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz dolls McDonald's put out a while back (sure was fun going McDonald's hopping for all of 'em!). She surprised me with a set of note cards she had professionally printed, all with this image on them, really super impressive. As if that wasn't special enough, she had a large print made of another of her ozzy shots and framed it herself. It's an image of the bottom of Dorothy's blue gingham dress and those fabulous ruby reds, of course, walking on The Yellow Brick Road. Again she used one of those tiny dolls and placed it on doll stand made for our Oz dolls by Tonner.

I'll get some photos taken of those, but for now I just wanted to post this one. It makes me happy to see it and I wanted to share my joy.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I'll Take Those Wooden Nickels

I am happy to admit that I am a Twitter addict! Some people don't get it, which I understand because I used to not get it either. But now that I am "hip to the jive," I wonder how I ever found out about the latest craft or FIREFLY-SERENITY news without it.

Some of my favorite tweets come from fellow crafters, most of whom are way beyond any expectations of what my crafting abilities will ever be. CraftyPod's Sister Diane is one of my main sources of crafty goodness, and one of her tweets about playing with a sort of decal or rub-ons got my attention. (

I had played around with some rub-ons to make WIZARD OF OZ egg cups, so I knew the fun of doing some rubbings myself. And then I came across these: (I believe it was another tweet from Sister Diane but I can't be positive.) I don't know why I love these so much but I do. I thought next time I go to Michael's I'm going to see if they have any or see what other shape might be conducive to rubbings.

Given enough time my daughters and I can usually find the crafty things such as fabric, yarn, thread, miniatures, books, whatever, at one of the thrift shops we like to haunt. I was at The Discovery Shop the other day and made the most timeliest of finds, ever!

I know, huh?! Most of the wooden pieces to this "Bottle Cap" game are the color of wood, but there are pretty red ones as well, yummy!

Of course the best part of the whole deal is that I only paid a dollar for the entire box! Woot!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Egg Cups

This will not be a lengthy post, just wanted to share a photo I took with my cell phone. I help maintain an egg cup collector's board ( and a couple of the things I try and do is change the colors and Home page photo every now and again. I was feeling too lazy to go out and set up an egg cup display, so I thought I'd take a silly one.

Thistle yawned and, well, as my daughter Valerie always says, "I'm happier than a bird with a french fry" with the results.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Father's Day

Gosh, it's already upon us! Happy Father's Day, Deni, my wonderful hubby, father of our duplicate daughters. I am remembering what an involved daddy you were when the girls were little, always willing to get up in the middle of the night, changing every sort of diaper they presented, teaching them how to play tic-tac-toe at the age of two-and-a-half, allowing them to put your hair in little ponytails (not just one or two, but a whole head-full!), helping them with their math homework, teaching them how to swing a hammer. So much of you are in them.

My own father passed away 26 years ago come the 18th of July, cancer, first of the throat then it spread to his lungs. It was difficult for an old 1st Sargent to lose his voice, yet he was humbled by this and rose to the occasion. I was blessed to be able to come home and fill in to help my mother and brother out with the foster boys while he recovered from his first surgery at Letterman Hospital in San Francisco. During his first hospital pass home, I was amazed at his new outlook on life. Instead of being depressed and withdrawn he was light on his feet and so happy to be alive! He was anxious to get back to living his hectic life, what a man. At this point, I thought there wasn't anything he couldn't overcome.

There wasn't much my father could not do for himself, which always made it difficult to surprise him on Father's Day and other holidays. So I was thankful to be able to sew him a variety of stoma covers (to cover the opening in his throat when he was out and about...he didn't want to startle anyone). It is something that sounds like nothing, but it brought him much delight.

My dad was nearing his 5th year of remission when cancer was discovered in his lungs. After the removal of one lung he was never the same. It was a tough surgery, even for an old dog-faced soldier like him. He'd had enough and went home to be with the Lord, surrounded by my mother, my sister Martha and her husband Larry. They sang hymns and prayed, and then my mom finally let him go.

When all is said and done, if I have been loved and respected half as much as my father, then I will have lived a full and honorable life. Happy Father's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day

This has been a tough one since losing my mother 6 years ago. I can still smell the beautiful long-stemmed red roses my dad would send my mom and see the sheepish smile on her face as each of us discovered them in all their glory.

While browsing Mother's Day cards for important women in my life, without fail, I end up with something in my eye. By the time I've read cards for every imaginable form a mother can be portrayed, it's all I can do to make it out of the store without an audible sob.

That said, I am gratefully blessed to have women in my life who have filled the empty places that still need a mother's nurturing and/or another woman's attention: Twila, Phyllis, Carol, Virginia, Velma, Jackie and...

JOYCE, my mother-in-law, a gracious woman who has never been one of those meddling in-law joke-types people so often laugh about. When we visit, which doesn't happen as often as we'd like as she lives more than 5 hours north of here, we just about shop till we drop. We are thrift-shoppin' buddies and do a good job at attempting to make up for lost time. We fill her van with all of our finds, stuff our faces at the local Chinese buffet then head home and melt. For all intent and purposes, I am her daughter.

MARTHA, my precious sister, best friend, teacher, mentor, confidant and prayer warrior. She is a major source of emotional strength and one of my biggest cheerleaders. I need not explain things to death for her to understand. Her wisdom comes, I'm sure, from her close relationship with the Lord. She is a living example of grace under fire, health-wise. Three kidney transplants and all that goes with it (including the meds that are meant to help), well, all I can say is that something hurts every day. Her faith and belief that God will heal keep her keepin' on, and I constantly stand amazed.

LAURI, my bestest friend in the whole-wide world! Although we live in different states and are lucky to see one another every few years, we talk almost daily. It is quite wonderful to have a friend of over 40 years, very uncommon for Army brats as military families tend to move around a lot. Her mother is the closest thing to an aunt I had growing up, something Martha and I have always treasured. I admire how much Lauri's three sons love and care for her, what a great relationship they all enjoy. The fact that we both have twins still blows me away...but I had mine first!

DAWN and VALERIE, my duplicate daughters, my fountain of youth! They keep me interested in life, always pushing me to learn new crafts, make new friends, and even got me off my butt and back to work part-time. They actually like to spend time with me, imagine that. Their love for me is constant and without it, well, let's not go there. I only dreamed I could be such good friends with my own adult daughters, it's almost, I say almost, more than my heart can hold.

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gotta get this blogging thing down pat

My daughters keep reminding me that I have a blog, thanks, girls!

I have discovered that blogging is like crafting, you don't know how much goes into it until you try it yourself. I so admire people who update their blogs on a regular basis. Of course, it helps if you have something to say that others will actually find interesting. My life is on the ho-hum side, witnessed by my only two followers here, and they're following just because I'm their mom. Gotta work on getting more of a life, I guess.

Other than working and piddling around the house, there's not much going on. I've done a bit of crafting for an Oz swap on Craftster (the pendant you see if from my last Oz swap, I love it!), but even that has tanked. My swap partner, who lives in Spain, flaked, haven't heard hide nor hair of her since the end of February. I was just about ready to mail the stuff anyway (because I'm like that, yo), when I decided, no, dern-it, I'm not gonna do it. So I posted on Craftster to let everyone know I was flaked on and was just gonna keep the stuff I made. The organizer stepped up and volunteered to do a personal Oz swap with me, so I'm stoked again, yet still a bit cautious about the whole thing. I'll exhale when I receive in about a month.

I had a pretty good week, made better by the fact that I was able to enjoy lunch with my sister Martha (and Dawn, too!). AND I got paid on Thursday, so that's always a day-brightener. Dawn and I attended her church's Easter service last night and I really enjoyed it. I sure miss hearing and singing those good ol' hymns from real hymn books, though. Got to see Martha again along with her hubby, who sang his heart out in the choir.

Oh! And I had a wonderful conversation with my best friend Lauri's mom who lives in Missouri. (Picture is Lauri, her mom and 3 boys.) She's the closest thing to an aunt that we had growing up, more like a second mom now that mine is gone.

Hoo-kay, That's it for now. This Easter bunny has to hop to it and find something to feed the family. I'm sure enjoying the sunshine!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Butterflies and Craftster

Some of you know about Craftster, but for those who don't it is a
place where people gather to share what they've crafted, be it sewing,
jewelry-making and everything in-between. We even do craft swaps,
where people makes things (such as Oz stuff, that one was fun) and
swap with a partner that's assigned to you. Anyway, according the, there are, literally tens-of-thousands of projects posted
each year on this site, so you can imagine how excited I am about
sharing this with y'all.

The big news I'm soooooooo excited about?!

One of my projects was amongst Crafter's Best of 2008! I posted
pictures of a butterfly coil pot and a couple of pinch pots I made in
a ceramics class I took a while back, and low and behold it was chosen
as one of the top 5 projects amongst the "POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER
CLAY > Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects" category.

I'm not sure if this link will work, but here 'tis. Scroll down until you reach the pottery category and you'll see my butterfly pot. I am so excited that one of my pieces is worthy of this honor and I am giddy as a little girl!!!

This the award Valerie made for me, isn't it the bomb?! It's a replica of the little icon on Craftster and it's spot-on! Thank you, Valerie, for making me feel so special!