Tuesday, February 27, 2007

the three sisters

Soooo, the day after the three sisters made the "thread catchers" (see post below) they awoke to freshly fallen snow and 6 degrees outside! So what do the three sisters do? They go to a farm auction! I know, what were they thinking! Well, they are thinking layers, lots of layers! You know, underwear under the jeans, double socks, boots, the works! They sip coffee and hot soup. They still freeze! So they go back to their Mom & Dad's home to regain feeling in their toes... and play "home makeover"!

We really did! We reorganized all the closets, helped Mom weed out stuff, looked through her old pink jewelry box (I still love to do that!), went through an old trunk of plaid wool skirts and pants from high school, rescued them for future craft projects. We had so much fun. Every time I go home, I bring back a piece of my past... something that unlocks a memory that was maybe forgotten or that I want to recapture and preserve in some way. Comforts me. Makes me stay connected to my roots. I'm like that... if you didn't know.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

pin cushions

My sister Ginny taught Kathy and I how to make these "thread catchers" a year ago when we were together for my Dad's 80th birthday celebration! Don't you just love them!! (I made the blue one) Let me tell you about these guys! The pin cushion is filled with fine sand to keep needles sharpened and give weight to hold most anything you put in the bag. It can catch loose thread & fabric... scrapbookers love it for photo/paper scraps... nursing moms use it for pacifers, a diaper & wipes... also for holding yarn as you knit & crochet... have one hanging off an end table or recliner for a water bottle, tv remotes, notepads & tissue... so handy when mending or near your sewing machine for scissor, needle & thread, seam ripper and measuring tape. You get the picture! One is not enough!
OK, so talk to me now... have any of you seen these before? Are they out there? Would they catch on? (pardon the pun) Cuz I am planning to make more and eventually make them available in my future Etsy shop.

The picture above is me and my sister Ginny. And the picture below are my sisters Kathy and Ginny. The three sewing sisters! And by the way, my sisters are incredibly talented, so creative at making anything! I'm serious! One of these days I am going to devote an entire post to Ginny and all the things she has made for me & for my kids over the years!!

The tote bags and coin purses were made by my cousin Shelly. My sisters and I are proud owners of a Shelly original!! She does such fabulous work!! Be sure to click the pics to enlarge and you'll see what I mean!

Friday, February 23, 2007

my Dad

My Dad is 81 years old today. Let me tell you about my Dad...
My Dad's a farmer. He retired from milking many years ago... but he still gets up every morning at the crack of dawn and goes down to the barn to scrape the gutters, clean the stanchions, lime the floors, feed the calves. He is a thoughtful, kind and hard-working man. He is well respected in the community, loyal and very patriotic. He is a man of few words but when he does have something to say, people listen. It matters what he says. He loves to read. He's always learning. He likes to be well informed.
He was a smart farmer... a successful farmer. He took chances. He was progressive, ahead of the times. He also takes great pride in how the farm looks... his beautiful lawn, gorgeous flowers, his many birdhouses. He is from a family of nine brothers & sisters. He served in World War II. He is one of the most honest and integris men I know.

How do I thank him for the many ways he has influenced me just by being who he is? How do I let him know I appreciate his commitment to my Mom, us kids, his community, his country?
I guess, by doing my best to be like him... to be good and kind and grateful.
Yes, my Dad is a farmer... but he is much more than that... he is my Dad... and a good, good man. Happy Birthday Dad!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

spring has sprung

It's here. Spring is in the air. So what did I do? I went to the Zoo!!
My friend Kathy & I took four adorable little preschool boys on a field trip to the Zoo today... and the weather could not have been more perfect! I love the Phoenix Zoo! Oh and everyone, listen up! Awesome new attraction! The Stingray Bay exhibit!! A 12,000 gallon touch tank filled with 30+ Stingrays for your viewing pleasure! Heck, I did more than that! I actually played with them! They are so friendly & playful and cute & slimy! They love to be touched! And no need to worry, they have had their barbs painlessly trimmed... so we were safe.
And yes, I said cute! (found this cute pic online)

I think it was while I was at the Zoo, basking in the sunshine, petting the Stingrays that I got this overwhelming desire to dig in the soil, trim & prune, hose off everything in sight, rake the dead leaves, sweep the patio and wash windows! Just kidding on that last one. Spring is here!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

my front entrance

We had rain most of yesterday, so taking pictures outside this morning gives such a fresh, clean look to any subject... even my dirty front entrance to our home. Our home is very Southwest on the outside, but very Midwest on the inside. People are always kinda surprised when they see the inside of our home, because it does not match the outside at all.

I wasn't planning to share a story today, but I just couldn't pass this up!
Ok, get this... I was brought up sooo Midwestern/ Scandinavian that the first time I had ever had Mexican food was a year out of high school, back in 1976. I was visiting a friend in LaCrosse, WI... we were out with friends and they all wanted to go for Mexican food. Because I had never had Mexican food before, they said... and I kid you not... "Linda, then you had better order your taco on a bun!" A BUN! And seriously, it was no different than a sloppy joe! But they didn't think I could handle the taco shell! It still cracks me up!

Went to an estate sale a few weeks ago and bought this old green rickety step stool for a dollar... and then later found this green wooden thingy... and put the two together. I'm thinking bird seed... garden tools... whatever.

When you walk through the front entrance, you will see this courtyard on your right. A cute little atrium patio area. Koda & Wiley (our dogs) love to hang out there. Nice & peaceful.

Monday, February 19, 2007

24/7 prayer

This week our church is hosting a week of 24/7 Prayer. It began at 6 PM last night and will continue through Sat. the 24th.
I was so moved by the various prayer stations that various gifted artist put together to draw us into a deeper understanding of the Lord and our time spent with Him in prayer.
I wanted you to see what my artist friend Angie made from a gourd. Isn't it sooo beautiful!! Be sure to click to enlarge so you can read what she wrote.

Angie writes "The gourd represents a vessel to be filled.. The hands signify not only a releasing to Him but a recieving from Him. The red color inside this piece represents fire symbolic for burnt offerings. The Hebrew writing are various names of God." (in case the top part was too hard to read)

Don't you just love that art can be expressed in all kinds of ways... crafting, quilting, sewing, writing, painting, scrapbooking, photography, cooking, decorating, collecting and on & on. Our gifts and talents are unique to who we are and they give us that inner peace, joy and contentment when we are doing what we were created to do. What is your creative passion?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

the girls

Lucy * Evelyn * Hayley

Lucy was found at a yard sale for 3 dollars. I named her Lucy after those famous "I love Lucy" lips. Evelyn was named in memory of Randy's Aunt Evelyn. She was a gift from her daughter Sharon. And Hayley was found in the bottom of a box I bid on for a dollar, at an auction in WI. I named her after seeing the movie "Pollyanna". I have a thing for groupings of three so I am so glad to have these three girls in my home.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

lost & found finds

Have you ever gotten home with a thrifty find, only to have gotten more than you bargained for? Well, I have.
One time I bought a pair of Levi jeans for Randy. Because they were fairly new and $7.00, I asked if I could return them if they didn't fit my husband. So when I got home I had him put them on right away and low & behold he finds $11.00 waded up in one of the pockets! Oh and they fit too!

Another time I had gone to a ton of yard sales and when I got home my daughter started playing with this metal purse that I found for a dollar. Well, get this, she pulls out a marquise diamond wedding ring set! Both the engagement and wedding band! I was floored! Was it real? Were we rich? What would we do with all that money? Oh, and it had 14 ct. white gold stamped inside! I had no way of knowing where I got it... I had gone to those huge neighborhood sales.
So, for 2 days we imagined it to be worth a pretty penny and that we could be sitting on gold. And yes, it was gold... but the million dollar question was yet to be answered... was it a real diamond?
So Monday morning we went to our local jewelry store and found out it wasn't the real deal. It was zirconiun. But they did get out an actual marguise diamond from their vault for me to see just how hard it was to tell the difference between the two! They told me someone paid around $300.00 as apposed to $2000.00!

Here's a 'lost' thrifting story... kinda sad.
Several years ago I went to Goodwill to get a pair of jeans for a retreat. I had taken about 15 pairs of jeans into the dressing room and with each pair of jeans I would put my hands in each of the pockets to flatten them out.
Well, a couple hours later we were on our way up to the retreat.... when I looked down at my hands and my diamond was gone! Two of the prongs must have broke off when I was reaching in and out of the jean pockets and my diamond just popped off! GONE... like on the floor of the dressing room GONE... or in one of those jean pockets GONE. I was in shock!
I called the Goodwill and they said they'd look, but they never found anything. I even went and looked myself when we got home 2 days later. Can you just see someone finding a diamond in a pair of jeans they bought at Goodwill! Now there's a find!

And no, I never had the diamond replaced, nor did I ever wear the yard sale wedding set. I realized I didn't really like rings that stick out. I like band rings. I wear the wedding band from our wedding day, the actual band that was exchanged at Randy's grandparents July 15, 1918 wedding ceremony! What a treasured heirloom.

Hey, tell me about your unexpected thrifty finds!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

pin cushions & buttons

Yesterday I realized I had a pin cushion collection going on. Who knew!
I have discovered some of the sweetest pin cushions out there... like Heather's... and are these not the cutest pins ever! I gotta get me some! All of these pin cushions were found at yard sales for around a quarter each, except for the red magnetic one in the top pic, bought brand new.

I have also had a thing for buttons. Probably one of my earliest childhood memories are of playing with my Mom's basket of buttons. When we would go over to my Grandma's house, I'd play with her buttons too. I still love the feel of buttons running through my fingers... all the various shapes & sizes... separating them by color and design. I especially love big, old coat buttons. Some are hideously big and gaudy, but that only makes them all the more desirable!

Monday, February 12, 2007

my guy

The retreat went so well. I was sitting in the back of the room... watching Randy teach at the Level 3 Marriage Retreat over the weekend... and I felt such a peace knowing that God was using Randy and the other teachers in a powerful way. I was humbled by these truths... by the twelve couples that were willing to make their marriage a priority and set aside the time to focus on the health of their marriage. I was reminded that there is nothing that makes our children feel more secure than knowing their parents love each other and are committed to each other NO MATTER WHAT!
As Randy & I were sharing our story at the retreat, we mentioned that his parents have been married 64 years and my parents 57 years... we both grew up in homes where we had supper together as a family at 5 o'clock sharp... and we both grew up never hearing our parents argue! (not that they didn't in private) Wow, that's pretty amazing... cuz Randy & I can't always say that about our marriage! But we always tried to reassure our kids that we were resolving the conflicts, that we were sorry they had to hear some of our arguments and that we were committed to whatever it takes to work through our differences. And God has been faithful to see us through those hard seasons and I can honestly say, we are now more in love than we ever thought possible!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

my plethora of PYREX

Slow news day... so I thought I'd post my PYREX collection. If you love PYREX, be sure to check out Pyrex Love and Pyrex pics. Cool sites! If you want to read about how my Pyrex collection has evolved over the years, check out my September archives for the colored Pyrex and the October archives for the Pyrex cookware.

She's alive! She's back! My sewing machine seems fine... alive and kicking. So, what happened? Well, I'm thinking she got fed up and sorta said "hey, what are you doing? Showing off to the ladies! Come on, you've never sewed that fast and for that long. And I've just about had it!" So she stopped.
Well a few days later when I got her out... I nervously pushed her peddle and we had contact! It seems all was forgiven and she let her rip! I was beyond thrilled! So now I've slowed her down a tad... treating her as one that is coming along in years. A "motor attack" seems eminent so I will treat her with loving care and get the most from her while I have her.

Randy & I will be going up north this weekend to do a Marriage Retreat. I am looking forward to getting out of the heat and experiencing winter weather. I know, some of you are thinking "what! I would give anything to experience some heat!" Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

this & that

I finally have it...right here on my desk and it was well worth the wait! The March Romantic Homes issue... featuring Alicia's colorful home... so beautiful!
My daughter Miranda has a collection!! She is finally showing signs of being like me. Not! She is so her Daddy's daughter.
Have I told you Miranda (she's 22) is truly a Disney Diva Princess... loves Disneyland like no other! Soooo... she is collecting the Disneyland Pictorial Souvenir Guides. If you have any laying around, she would gladly take them! She found the 1981 Disneyland guide at a thrift store a couple years ago... and decided yesterday that she wants to collect them all from years past. I'm just thrilled to have yet another excuse to go to more thrift sales!

Have you seen the Bridal Shower pics on Heather Bullard's blog? Oh my gosh, the most elegant Bridal Shower ever! She had a contest for those that left comments on her blog. She would have a drawing for the Bridal Shower gifts she gave to all her guests. And I won!!! So yesterday a package was delivered to my home and inside were these lovely gifts. I don't know if I will ever open them! They are just too pretty, too sweet... simply delightful. Thank you Heather!

One more thing... my sewing machine died. I am so sad. She was 30 years old and seemed to be going strong. I oiled her yearly and spent time with her weekly. But Saturday, I think I pushed her too far. I was sewing costumes for Tyler's high school musical "Copacabana" and she started to sputter. It was not how I wanted her to go... in a room full of strangers. I would have prefered her to take her last stitch alone... in the comforts of our home. So when she had finally stitched her last, I told the ladies that I had to leave. I needed to take her home. We needed to be alone... give her the dignity she so deserved.
You see, I brought four things with me when I came out here to Phoenix 30 years ago. My 13 inch TV... my bike... my neon green & purple Arctic Cat snowmobile jacket and my sewing machine. All bought with my own money. The sewing machine and jacket are still with me. Don't ask me why I still have the jacket... I just do.
So now, I need to decide whether to take her in or let her go. I will keep you posted.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I got it!

I got the cathedral window quilt half-off... for $22.50!
Here's the story... got to my little thrift store when it opened... went to the quilt/blanket section... no quilt. But I was ok with that, wasn't meant to be. So I find this full-size embroidery State bird quilt top for $3.50 (I'm thrilled!)... go to pay for it... I say to Amy "the cathedral window quilt is gone"... she says "no it's not, I hung it up last night, so you'd see it first thing this morning, in the clothing section"! Is she sweet ot what!! Sure enough, there it was... in all it's glory! ALL MINE!

Love my aqua square! Oh and this is a final sales, no return, no money back thrift store. Fine with me.

The embroidery work is simply amazing! The sewing on the poly knit is kinda irregular... may have to take apart and fix here and there. But I LOVE and appreciate the time, the talent, the patience and beauty of this stunning work of art!

Friday, February 02, 2007

SUNS game

Last night Randy and I got to see the SUNS beat the San Antonio Spurs!! YEH!! Randy called me in the afternoon and said that he was just given two tickets to the game!!! OH MY GOSH!!! I'M GOING TO SEE THE SUNS!! Yes, went a little crazy! And let me tell you, we had the best time! Seriously, the best time! And come on, who doesn't just love Steve Nash! I got all these cool close-ups of Steve. So fun!
The game did not even start till 8:30... so I got me some caffeine. Oh, have I not mentioned that I have my jammies on by 9 and I'm sleeping by 10! YA, but last night I was still going strong when the game ended! We had such fun walking back to our car and taking pictures of the whole downtown scene. I love downtown Phoenix! Got home at 12:30 AM. To bed at 1, up at 6. What a memorable night! I am still flying high!!