Saturday, February 28, 2009

I won! (And a Max update.)

I've been completely focused on Max for a while so imagine my surprise when I logged onto Etsy this morning and found I'd won KristieG's pendant giveaway. Isn't it lovely?

So...I decided I needed earrings to go with. I found these at her shop. Such a bargain! Sterling ear wires too. Had to have them. (Of course, I bought the last pair. Sorry, y'all. But she has others equally as beautiful.)
Check out her blog at Insomniac Scrapbook.  She's got a Creative Challenge going on here, in which she invites you to create something different than your usual craft. Winner gets to choose something from her shop, up to $20. I'm thinking I'm gonna try for this, if I can get my head in the game.

Check out KristieG's shop too.

On another front, the past couple of weeks has been an emotional rollercoaster. As I mentioned, we've already had one diabetic cat, but Max is reacting different than Murphy did.

We've learned how to check his BG at home, which is good. And he's finally eating again, which is also good. He's acting like himself too, another good thing. But we thought we were going to lose him a couple of times, and he's still not completely out of the woods. His not eating caused fatty liver deposits, but as I understand it, as long as he eats those fatty cells in the liver will disappear. 

There are other issues I won't go into. I'm just thankful for the good things and hopeful we can work through the bad.

Thank you all for your good thoughts for Max.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Texas Etsy

The Texas Etsy team has a monthly design challenge and this month I decided to take part. With a theme like No Brainer, how could I resist? "By definition, a "No brainer" is doing something that is simple, easy, obvious, and/or totally logical." I try to make everything I do one of the above. ;-)

This month's entries are shown at the Etsy Texas website, which also has a link to vote: 

Take a moment to cast a vote for your favorite entry. (I have three--hey, I like my chances fudged! It's also called ignorance; she'sa my first time.)

Stop by and check out some creative crafters.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Thrift

I've been working in my studio most of today and didn't have chance to walk through the house with a camera. Instead I wandered through my photo albums to find something thrifty to show today. 

The first two pics are tassels I made a number of years ago. My friend had a booth in an antique shop in Durango CO and we thought, or rather I did, that I might sell some of my tassels there. I was wrong. Margie still has some of the tassels--with my blessings. I'm sorta proud of these two though and actually have made two more along the lines of the second to offer on Etsy.

I can't even remember what I used for the head of the one above but I believe it was some kind of plastic cap from, I dunno, a hair product or perhaps face cream.  I did a faux-leather treatment on the head, cut a star from some leftover copper and made the skirt of leftover denim. Then I added real leather shoelaces as the hang cord and a tie in the front.
This was the first western type tassel I made. I stuck a couple of deodorant caps, one on top of another to make the head longer, then did the same faux leather treatment. The embellishment on front is an old earring. I used the same leftover denim for the skirt and some kind of twine for the cord.
Here's another trash to treasure,  though these are a little more functional. Both of the tins originally had tea in them. The tall one I used for wipes on my countertop. (Notice the past tense. After we did the kitchen, I put all cleaning supplies out of sight and the tin is now in my studio. I need wipes there too!) The second I kept a plastic bag in and filled with vegetable scraps for my compost heap. It too is now in my studio, though I'm not using it for anything right now. I keep my scraps in the fridge, but I still think it was an excellent idea and perhaps if I weren't married to Mr. Tidy I might still keep them on my counter.
This last isn't T2T but rather a bargain.  A couple of years ago I had a store credit at T.J. Maxx for something like seven bucks; not enough to do anything with but too much to forget about. My SIL and I stopped in one day when we were out and about and I found this vase. And fell in love. It was marked 75% off for a grand total of $15. As much as I loved it, I probably wouldn't have bought it at that price simply because I'm vase-poor already. But $8? I couldn't pass it up. And haven't regretted it one day since.

And that, my friends, is the best I can do this Thrift Saturday sans camera. Have a good rest of today and a better tomorrow.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

I wanta play!

Nester's having a party! She's been doing a series about 10 Minutes to Rooms You Love and for a finale she's linked to a lot of make-overs. Her dictates? Turn on lamps, remove clutter, use what you have. I chose the kitchen this morning, mainly because it  needed picking up--and that's about all I did. Sorry, no magic here. :)

Here's the first before, with packaging from something I got in yesterday's mail cluttering the bar. 
Another before--I hadn't put away pots from last night. 

Yet another before pic: I'd just gotten home with groceries. 

And still another view of the mess. And now the afters: 
All I did was put away the pots, 
Pick up the mess, 
Put away the groceries, 
And cut some greenery from the yard.  Tidy makes a world of difference! So would flowers have done, but I only had a bit of lavendar, some red bush tips and African iris leaves. 

Check out Nester's blog for some cool makeovers.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Opinions wanted

I made my first bag and would like opinions please.  This one I sorta did by gosh and by golly. Next will be made with a pattern. So here's the front with the flower pin in one position:

And moved to another position:

And here's the inside:

First opinion: Should I list the purse now or wait until fall? Should I even list it? Does it look like something someone might actually carry? What about the flower? Should I include it? (BTW, for those interested, the closure is a vintage Bakelite button.)

Here's another flower I made with the intention of attaching it to a bag, maybe something a lighter blue, more springlike. So am I on the right track? What do y'all think?

TIA for any who dare to comment! :)

P.S. If anyone's interested, Max is back at the vet's today. I have to pick him up in a couple of hours. I'm not a hypochondriac for myself, but I sure can be one for my cat. Turns out nothing was wrong with him--beyond the diabetes, of course--but he's barely eaten anything since we brought him home nor has he used his litter much. For all that, he seems to be feeling better; he actually woke me up this morning, and I was actually glad for it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Didja ever wish...

You could go to bed and wake up yesterday? 

If not, you will. Someday. I guarantee. 

I won't even think about which yesterday I'd sleep to. Right now, I'd settle for the one before today, a yesterday when I didn't know Max was diabetic. No, that wouldn't work, would it? He'd still be diabetic and feeling pukie, but we wouldn't be caring for him.

He just had his first at-home Vetsulin shot. Vetsulin, how about that? My last diabetic cat had to take insulin. And there was no way we could check Murphy's blood at home, but now there are pet blood monitors and vets have figured out a place to get blood from an animal without going into a vein--his ears. We haven't tried that yet; we still have to order the monitor. And I'm sure they'll demonstrate when we take him back to the vet next week.

I can't go back to yesterday and it's selfish to even want to, though I do, sorta kinda. But...we just have to get through our todays one step at a time. We took our first one this morning.

So think about my baby kitty today, won't you?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Go ask Alice

I found a lovely shop in Etsy I'd like to share with y'all. Alice in Paris's shop is filled with the whimsical art I adore. Ginger kitty? Surrounded by my fave polka dots? You gotta know I'd like this one.  

Pink Polka Dot Cat Print can be seen here.

Looks like this lady's a kitty-lover too.  Check out Nova Scotia Landscape with Cats here

How's this for a view? See Ocean Window here.

And The Red Shoes? This is what drew me into her shop; she's using it as an avatar. Don't you want to be that little girl with red shoes on a blue chair?

Red Poppies in a Striped Vase.  I'd love to have a glimpse inside the mind that created this. :)

And this--Now this really looks like Alice in Wonderland, which I guess is why she called it Alice and the Psychedelic Dream.

I have a print of Van Gogh's Sunflowers on my breakfast area wall. Wouldn't it enjoy keeping company with this? Six Sunflower Cats

I couldn't stop looking at her shop--and she has 5 pages of prints! It's just what I love, the whimsy, the humor, the bright colors. They make me happy. Thank you, Shelagh. Oh, and check out her blog. I'll be adding that to my list of faves as well.

Last week

Was a busy one. I fully intended to post something, even started a post Wednesday, but life interrupted. Wednesday, a neighbor called Tom away while Maria was still here, so once she was gone I had the house to myself. It gave me a moment to feel the peace and, yes, the wonder of it. 

Wonder? When you think where I started from--and no I won't go into the details of that here--then wonder's the right word. Forget about the beginning of it all, and it's still pretty darn amazing. I married at 19; Tom was 21. I worked in a loan office and he was in the Air Force. I can't even remember what we made but it was pretty darn little. Our first apartment was barely bigger than my master suite now. It was a garage apartment for which we paid $89 a month. One teensy bedroom, a living room and kitchen no bigger than a sneeze and a bathroom with no space to spare after the essentials. 

Now? It's not a mansion and it's not large, but it's a whale of a way from where we started, and it's paid for. I took pics on Wednesday and yunno most people who post pics are 1) better decorators and 2) better arrangers and 3) better photographers than I, but I am who I am and I thought I'd share anyway.

This is my foyer. Yes, I know it would look better with a table rather than a bench, but a bench is what I have. So deal.
This is my living room from several different angles. The first looking toward the kitchen. (Okay, I said I wasn't a good photographer. I know I didn't say I suck, but hey some things go without saying. And the recliner--well, Tom has to have some little bit of himself in our home. Just look past it.)

Here's a corner of the room. I like this corner. It's got Max's scratching post, the rocking chair Tom got when he retired, the parrot that's his donation to our decoration and a wedge of my fave vases. (Remember, Maria moves things around when she cleans. Sometimes I don't get things back where they belong until just before she comes back the next time!)

The view toward the breakfast nook, which also is our dining area: 

And finally, a pic of a chair I bought at a junk shop many years ago. I repainted it and recovered it and still love it. Five bucks? Such a deal.
Now it's time for me to make Tom's Sunday breakfast. Ta!

Monday, February 9, 2009

And the winner is...

Audrey Friesen! 

Thank you all for taking part. I wish I could have made every one of you winners--as you are in real life, I know. 


Did I say...

I'm not much for bling? Notwithstanding that, I found a seller on Etsy whom if I were into jewelery I'd definitely buy from. The shop name is Boss Studios. Apparently, bc (before children) she was a costume designer in films as well as a wardrobe stylist for, among others, Madonna and Michael Jackson. Cool lady, huh. And she makes beautiful bracelets. (Beautiful other stuff too, but I'm a bracelet girl myself, or would be if I could remember to put them on!)

Is this not gorgeous! I love the stone floating in the hammered oval. Love the whimsy of the stone dangling at the end of the chain. And for my taste the chunkier the chain the better. You can see London and Sky Blue Topaz Sterling Hammered Oval Bracelet here

This too caught my eye: the delicacy of the pearls, the artistry in the design. Besides, I love amethysts! Check out Faceted Amethyst Nugget, Silver Bali Bead and Pearl Asymmetirical Bracelet here.

As it happens, today's also our featured seller's birthday. How's that for serendipity? Hope she has a terrifical one!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Another blog giveaway

Kristi at Insomniac Scrapbook Theater is giving away a lovely pendant. Just click to follow her blog and post the giveaway on yours, as I just did.  :) I'm not much of one for bling, but I love this pendant! Also check out her Etsy shop; she has some great items!

I won't be doing thrift stuff today. Ginger and I went to a thrift store yesterday where I picked up a couple of wool sweaters to felt, but beyond that, I didn't even want to look. Even a packrat has to know when enough's enough, and I think I'm there. Next week I'll share some things I already have cuz from now on whatever I see has to be super outstanding for me to even consider it!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm an Idealist Counselor

What are you? 

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality inventory based on the  Myers Briggs model of personality. According to Myers, "Whatever the circumstances of your life, the understanding of type can make your perceptions clearer, your judgments sounder, and your life closer to your heart's desire."

Take the test at   

Per, we Counselors make up about one percent of the population and can be hard to get to know.  We tend not to share our innermost thoughts or our "powerful emotional reactions" except with our loved ones. We are highly private people, with "an unusually rich, complicated inner life." Yup. Gotta love that inner life!  

Keirsey goes on to say, "Friends or colleagues who have known Counselors for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that they are flighty or scattered; they value their integrity a great deal, but they have mysterious, intricately woven personalities which sometimes puzzle even them."  

Don't I sound cool? Heck, I'd like to know me better!  

Something I've found--not surprising, just interesting--is that most people read their Myers- Briggs profiles and go, well, yeah, who wouldn't choose to be like that? It's sorta like the supposition that if all the ills of the world were put in a hat and you could pick any one, most would choose his own. Your burden, your ill, is something that's familiar, something you know you can deal with because you already are.  And your personality is mostly what it is because that's what you're comfortable with. Or do you become comfortable with it because that's what you are? Chicken, egg? 

I truly believe that, genetics aside, much of our personality traits we choose, one of those choices you don't realize you're making. You are who you are, yes, because of genetics but also because of the experiences you've had in your life. I believe the fact that I was one of eleven children was a contributing factor in my preference for solitude. If you were to ask my siblings  you'd find most also prefer solitude. Well, except Ginger. Ginger's our special one. (Not special that way. She's just special.) 

I like being with my siblings, I like being with my friends, but I love coming home! I call myself an isolationist. Keirsey calls it being a private person. But what easier way for an isolationist/private person to connect with people than through blogging?  

Thanks for letting me connect with you today. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"There is a crack, a crack in everything...

"That's how the light gets in."

This afternoon Tom played poker, and I listened to Leonard Cohen while I putzed around the house. I get lost in Cohen's lyrics, lost in the sound of his voice. (When Tom's home, the tv's on. That's why I wait until he's gone to play LC.)

It's all my sister Billie's fault. She introduced me to Cohen last year. Some of his lyrics I remember from other singers: Suzanne for one. When I checked the songs on this CD, I couldn't think which I remember from the past, which from listening to the CD so often. But anyway...

If you've never heard Cohen, try his song "Anthem" on YouTube:

I think the lyrics apply to so many creative types (I know he didn't mean us; I don't care.):  

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack, a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in. 

(A lot of his lyrics are vaguely political, a lot very Zen-ish. They suit me.)

Ta, y'all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Etsy featured seller

I came across this seller last week and thought he'd be perfect to spotlight. (I am a lover of vases.) Greg Gallegos of makye77 says in his profile, "The wood chosen for my turnings are selectively gathered from renewable sources around Michigan. It is amazing how much beautiful wood you can find in people's fire piles! It is in my wood shop in Haslett, Michigan that a tree becomes a true art form."

Beautiful and recycled!

Monday, February 2, 2009


I've decided to clear out my Etsy shop and list completely new items by the first of next month. To do this, I'll start reducing prices, but I thought I'd kick this off by having a giveaway here. Just add a comment on this post between now and next Monday noon. I'll put all names in a bowl and draw one. Blindfolded, I promise. The winner can choose anything currently in my shop, completely free. (That means no shipping either.)

Good luck.

P.S. Oops! I forgot to ask you to leave contact info if you don't have a blog or Etsy account. Most of you have--guess you're more experienced at blog giveaways than I am. If you haven't, I'll post the winner here next Tuesday so at least check back then.

Thanks, y'all.

Tagged again!

A while back, Jennifer of Random Ramblings tagged me. Sorry it's taken so long to post this, Jen. I've wondered since then if I could come up with another 7--or is it 8?--weird things about me. Of course, I can. Anyone can. (I mean about themselves, of course. Not about me.)

1.) I am super-clumsy. I have fallen onto my butt on ice so many times I can't even count that high. Once, living in Pittsburgh, circumstances were such that I wound up in my regular shoes after a snowfall--don't ask. Tom dropped me off at a bus stop on the corner--he didn't drop me off at the corner, understand; he was turning left, so I had to cross the street to get to the corner. Not a big thing, right? I only made it halfway before I went down. And--another don't ask--I had on pantyhose with no underwear. Honest, it was only because of a weird set of circumstances. So the pantyhose were sheer, all the way to the top. It was the '70s, okay? Plus, it being the '70s, I was in a mini skirt. And this time I didn't fall on my butt; I went face down.

Enough said, right?

2. I used an aka--Kate Maguire--for many years on the 'net. When I decided to switch from writing romance to mysteries, I figured it would be better to change names--because of course I'd sell a book immediately rather than...well, never so far, and that readers would identify my name with romance. Some of the friends I made back then still call me Kate, some 'Ancy Kate.

And that takes me to number 3, the 'Ancy part. I once had a dear friend many years my elder--she was only a few years younger than my mother. (I'd still call her friend but she died several years ago.) Inez gave me a place to stay when my marriage was breaking up, and her grandson--2 years old--called me 'Ancy. And he did it a lot. I'd hear him coming up the stairs to my attic bedroom, calling me repeatedly, then when he got to the room, he'd sigh and say, "'Ancy."

My sister still often calls me that.

4. While divorced, I set two goals for myself, the first to go to Europe, the second to go back to school. I did both--at the same time. My English lit class spent two weeks in England, a week on the continent. I was poor as dirt, but I never regretted making one payment on that three-year loan. Food and lodging were included in the cost of the trip and I so very much miscalculated what I needed for incidentals. In this, as many other things, Tom saved the day for me--he wired money to London. I still made it back to Dallas with only a quarter in my pocket, just enough to pay the toll to get home.

5. Though I probably don't tell him often enough, my husband is my hero. I walked away from him once, but I'd never do it again, even though he can still push my buttons. I just see him better now.

6. I dearly love my cat Max, but the love of my life--my soul cat--was a Maine coon named Murphy. For almost a year after he died, I could feel him jump onto the foot of my bed, feel the weight of him as he tucked himself next to my feet. And I'd pray not to wake. Dreams were a better place for me that year. Finally, when he was gone almost a year, Murphy came to me--in my dream--nudged my face, then jumped off the bed. I think he said goodbye that night. I never dreamed of him again that way.

7. I'm a morning person, but sometimes--like tonight--I just can't fall asleep. Back in the day, that's when I'd write. Now I get on the 'net. Writing would be so much more beneficial, but it would also be more wake-making. Even retired, I need to get some sleep cuz I'll be waking six-ish tomorrow morning regardless.

8. My mother's family came to the colonies from England in the mid-1700s. Tom's grandparents on both sides came to the States from Germany in the late 1800s--he's a second generation American. By the time my siblings and I came along, my family had really become an example of the melting pot, with Dutch and Irish and Scotch and American Indian all mixed in. Tom's straight German all the way back. I was the first speck of foreign matter in his family tree!

That's my eight. Now I'm supposed to tag eight. Since it hasn't been that long since I tagged people, I think I'll just do three:

Jenny at ArtsAfire
Heather at Misty Ridge Designs
Daynodos at I Rob Banks

Check back tomorrow for an Etsy spotlight.