Thursday, December 22, 2011

Unexpected Gifts

I live in a small town in central Texas, and, perhaps because of its size or maybe because I'm retired and home all the time, we've come to know our delivery people more than we ever did back in Dallas. Each year at Christmas, we tip them: the postman, the alternate post-lady, the UPS guy, the newspaper delivery-person, and the garbage pick-up guys. The hub's mother did this when he was growing up so it's intrinsic to who he is. (My family didn't, but we barely had enough to make ends meet back then.)

All that to say that this year our post-lady (alternate) gave us a lovely thank-you gift: an aerial photo of our house.

We're the house at the bottom right of the photo. See the little building with the roof the same color as the main house? That's my studio. Behind it, with a different color roof (that was intentional, btw), is the hub's workshop. The metal roof covers where he parks his pick-up truck. To the side, or top as it appears in the photo, is the greenhouse. Our property goes from the street on the right (out of view) and the dirt road in the back.

Here's a cropped version of just our property.

I know the little thingies (actually they're trellises with vines) that appear to be in the middle of the back yard look odd aerially, but hey originally marked our property line. We bought the second lot several years after we moved in.

To the north of us is the golf course--see that outcropping of granite? Magnificent, innit? It looks even prettier from my back porch.


IMHO, the thank-you gift is worth far more than the gratuity we gave. What do you think?

I realize I've been very lax about posting and I can't promise that will change significantly anytime soon. So, those of you who are still reading this blog, thank you. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all of you.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Billie's Padded Hanger

My sister, Billie, recently bought a silk nightgown at the thrift store. She says it's in perfect condition and made of silk so sheer she could pull it through a hole the size of a quarter. She doubted she'd wear it, but at something like $1.99 she couldn't pass it up. It's blue, as is her bedroom so if she ever changed her mind, at least she'd match the decor.

When she decided to hang it on the outside of her closet door, I offered to make her a padded hanger. She was down here a few weeks back, and she brought a favorite worn silk shirt for me to use.

I made it using directions I found in the newspaper in the late '70s. (I was just remembering the other day how newspapers used to have a Women's section, and it didn't include the funnies! I miss that.) It's really nothing more than padding a wire hanger with batting, tracing the outline to make a pattern, stitching it together leaving an opening big enough to insert the hanger, then stitching up the opening. This one I put the hanger in through the bottom, but with the ones I made in the '70s I used a seam down the center.

It went in the mail yesterday. I'll get her to take a pic once she receives it so I can show how it looks in place.

Speaking of Billie, her daughter has started a blog called My Mom Texts.  It's some of Billie's funniest texts to her daughter. IMO, Amanda's equally as funny as her mother. I thought I'd share some of them here.

Me:  Gonna have to up my dosage on crazy meds. Everyone on the planet is pissing me off… Common denominator. Being crazy sucks!
Mom: So so sorry you’re crazy.  I’m relatively sane today and they’re pissing me off too.
Me:  Okay… So maybe it really is everyone else.  Either way more meds can’t hurt!
Mom:  That’s my motto

Me: Jadon just told me that high school is going to suck bc he’s so small and there will be kids there with mustaches.  Let’s pray for a growth spurt!
Mom: He has inner mustache.

(Regarding Washington earthquake)
Mom: If you hear about pentagon its not end of days… Probably fracking in the area.

Mom: I have frking cataracs. And I don’t even care if spelld wrong. Am so mad. Don’t want an old people eye disease
Me: Oh no…. Idc about old I don’t want u to have any disease. And it’s not an old ppl disease. Bai’s friend has cataracts. Can’t u get a weed prescription for that though? Wish I had cataracts.
Mom: I think that’s glaucoma. Damn, was getting excited.

Me: I’m the worst daughter on the planet… I have no idea where u are. :’(
Mom: That was my plan. South of France. Cabana boy. Ring a bell?

Mom: I didn’t get out of bed yesterday except to open door for Chinese food delivery. Watched 26 episodes of Stargate. Why am I so tired?
Me: Lack of exercise. And sunlight.
Mom: Piss on ya.

Mom: Just realized I haven’t eaten since 11:30 yesterday. Tuna salad. I may be hungry. I shld be a lot goofier
Me: Wow… You really should. You’re almost totally lucid (relatively speaking of course).
Mom: I know! Wonder how long I cld go. Ok banana smells good. Nvrmnd

Mom: Just saw man running across parking lot toward open door. Yelling as ran. Thght what if someone w gun in there. Then thght no nvr happens if you think of it. Wonder if he knows I just saved his life?

(While Amanda flies over Georgia)

Me: What do they mine here? We flew over some huge hole right bf we landed.
Mom: Really? Pretty sure it wasn’t there yesterday. For serious only associate georgia w peaches. Pretty sure they grow on trees. Ok wait. Cracking myself up. Maybe its a peach pit.

Enough of that. Time to go. Have a good day, y'all.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blah blah blah

I've had the blahs lately when it comes to creating, starting many things and finishing few. Still, I thought I'd share one of the things I've almost finished and some of the things I've barely started.

This took forever! Something like 121 rolled roses, all stitched by hand. I used a wool blanket I felted several years ago and by the time I got to the end I was down to bare scraps of the fabric. And yes, that's the reason for the red rose. I still think the pillow looks a bit bare in places but without my resorting to more red roses it'll have to stay as is. The unfinished part? It's an envelope pillow and right now the back looks like a full-figured woman in a blouse she bought to fit her shoulders. In other words, it gaps. I think I'll put on a couple of buttons and strap buttonholes to hold it shut. I should have enough scraps left for that. One of these days.

As for the projects not quite started, a couple of weeks ago I bought some vintage lampshades to redo. Two of them are octagonal,

Actually one is octagonal. The other is this round one with eight panels, not really octagonal. For the round/eight paneled shade above, I'm embroidering some white linen, a work still in progress.

My intention is simply to do rings in white crewel wool, some intersecting, some free-floating.This shade will be for a lamp in my guest bedroom, an old openwork brass lamp. The real octagonal I'll use here in the office

The lamp is green and cream openwork porcelain, and I thought this fabric would work perfect as a shade. I bought it from Avenue 55 on Etsy.

The third is hard to describe so I'm not even going to try. It reminds me of the lampshades you see in those old movies with Myrna Loy.

 For it, I would love to find some black and white striped silk but so far haven't found what I'm looking for.

This is a Dr. Seuss-inspired cotton stripe from I'm liking it, but I'm unsure if it would work for a lampshade. It's for "quilting and craft projects as well as apparel and home decor accents." (The green newspaper print I bought sight unseen as well, but it's a linen cotton blend so I have faith it'll work.) What I really wanted was more of a cabana stripe in a silk.

Like this one, which is actually a beach towel from Ralph Lauren. (At $95 a pop, even if it would work as a lampshade I'd have to pass.)

I do have a Scalamandre silk onhand, but it's just not what I'm looking for. (As in, not black and white.)

It's a lovely silk, and I may use it anyway. Just have to get my mind to stop focusing on the cabana stripe.

That's all from here, for now. Ta.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Good Gravy!

Last night I made one of the hub's favorite dishes, city chicken. As I was making the gravy, it dawned on me that there might be people who haven't learned the tips I picked up over the years for making good gravy.

I was nineteen when I married and didn't know diddly about cooking so it was pretty much OJT (on the job training) for me. And it's been a long haul getting to the good gravy stage.

Tip number one: Make sure the flour is well-cooked. You probably already know that, but I didn't until I was in my thirties. Cook until it turns a nice golden brown, taking care not to burn it.

Tip number two: Remove the pan from the heat to add your liquid. This I learned in a cooking class about ten years ago, and I was amazed at the difference it makes. It keeps the roux from clumping when you add the liquid.

Tip number three: Bouillon cubes. Okay, don't wrinkle your nose; just do it. It really deepens the flavor. For chicken, I keep both regular and salt-free and try to use both together. That way, they're not as bland as salt-free, nor as salty as regular. With beef, I only have regular on hand is what it is. The beef is actually a cube, and I use one for about two cups of gravy. The chicken is granules, and, all told, I probably use about a teaspoon and a half for one recipe.

Tip number four: Potato water--or the liquid of whatever vegetable you're cooking for dinner. I use regular water to start, but whenever the gravy needs thinning, which always happens for me, I thin with the liquid from whatever vegetable I happen to be cooking. Better that you take advantage of nutrients you'd otherwise pour down the drain.

Tip number five: Browning sauce. Depending on how brown I got my flour, I may or may not use browning sauce. Made of caramel color, vegetable concentrates and seasonings, it adds a nice color to any gravy that might be lacking such. (You could also use a bit of instant coffee if you have that on hand. Me, I prefer the browning sauce.)

And finally, tip number six: When you're making gravy from a liquid base, as in last night's city chicken dish or a pot roast, pre-mix your flour and water in a small container--I use an empty jelly jar. Just put in a couple of tablespoons flour--or whatever's required for the amount of gravy you want-- add a third cup or so of water and shake that thing until the flour's fully dissolved. Then add this to your liquid base. Works a charm.

That's it for my gravy-making. Hope it helps with yours.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Another Lamp Shade

I've finished my second lamp shade. I won't say I'm getting good, but I think I'm improving.

It took me a while to make this one. First I traced the panel size from the lampshade itself and then drew it onto the linen using a water-erasable pen, then worked up the embroidery design--as shown in the photo, I alternated designs on the panels.
It's just a chain stitch, done in wool crewel yarn, but it took me awhile to finish. Then, using my machine, I stitched five of the panels together. On the sixth panel, I messed up--it seems to happen at some point in every project I do. At any rate, when I was cutting out that last panel, actually the last side of the last panel, I began to cut on the stitch line instead of the seam allowance line. :^P

I was so disgusted I put it aside for a couple of weeks. I didn't want to redo the embroidery. I mean, it wasn't hard; I didn't mind doing any of it--once, but re-doing something irritates me. Finally I decided to move the panel up on the fabric--I'd only mis-cut an inch or so--and fill in the embroidery with a leaf and a curlicue, Then I put that panel at the very back of the lamp.

See. Not a disaster after all.

A closer look at an alternate panel.

This is the lamp with the shade in place--not a great shot, I know. I didn't feel like bringing the natural lamp inside. Bear with me please.

The lamp's a cheap-o I'm thinking of repainting, but I do like the re-made shade on it. (I used the shade that came with the lamp, which is why it fits so well.)

That's all for now, except for a note on the next shade I've decided to do. Kathleen Mullaney is my inspiration, and she showed this lampshade on her blog.

I'm working from ignorance and trying to recreate a pleated shade similar to the one Kathleen did. It's not going well right now, but I'm nothing if not determined. Perhaps in another month or so I can post a completed lampshade, cuz, you see, I have a back-up plan in case the method I'm working on now doesn't work out.

We'll see what happens. 'Bye, y'all.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Ten years ago next month, hub and I were having dinner with my sister Ginger, her hub, and my brother and SIL. Ginge had two cats, Miss Doofus and Mimi, and I had none. We had to put my Maine coon down a year earlier, and my heart broke so I couldn't even think of having another. Not forever, just for a while. I always called Murphy my soul-cat.

In the middle of dinner that night, Ginge let Miss Doofus out, and then we heard a bunch of caterwauling. (Did you know that caterwaul means "of a cat"?) Ginger went out to make sure Miss Doofus was okay (All right, I know Miss Doofus was a heckuva name for a cat, but she was loved so--what the heck?) Ginge came back in to tell me Miss Doofus was fighting with a yellow stray. Long story short, I took a scrawny flea-ridden Max home with us.

It didn't take long before he ruled the house. We lived on the lake back then and moved to this house a few years later. Originally our back doors were french, which we replaced with sliders. Max quickly learned to open them. To keep him in the house, we either have to lock it or remember to close the screen. Thankfully, he hasn't learned how to open that.

He's not allowed out by himself. We're surrounded by pasture on two sides, a golf course on a third and a street on the last, none of which are good places for a cat alone. So I corral him with a water gun. I don't spray on him, just around him, but it works--usually.

He's used to being mostly with the hub and me and doesn't take kindly to strangers. I had a cleaning lady who was terrified of him, and one day we came home to learn she'd hidden in a bathroom for half an hour before venturing out to find Max had totally forgotten about her. She didn't stay my cleaning lady long after that. (Her choice.)

Later, I learned how scary he could be. One night, the middle of the night, I couldn't sleep and decided to work in my studio for a while. On the way out, I managed to navigate the backyard with the light from the kitchen window, but returning a few hours later the night seemed darker, and I couldn't see a thing. When I got to the back, I reached for the screen door, and Max went wild. He'd opened the slider about four or five inches, and he was guarding it like Cerberus. I tried talking to him, tried letting him smell of me so he'd know who I was, but there was no getting past him. Luckily we have a key pad on the garage door so I could get in the house 'cause there was no other way. Butter wouldn't melt in Max's mouth when I came in the front.

All of that I've told you in explanation of the following poem. My sis, same one as above, wrote it for me for my birthday. I've read it over and over and still cry and laugh in the same places. I hope you like it.


As darkness fell
I knew that I must
Try to find some food.
I crossed the road and down I went
Into the neighborhood.

First house was dark, 
As was the next
One sitting right next door
So on I trudged with hopeful heart.
Oh, my, how many more?

I finally caught a glimpse of light.
It was just down the way.
So off I went to see if it
Would serve me food today.

It was October, long ago,
When I ventured out
One lonely night to find some food.
Who knew how it'd turn out!

They sat behind their dinner plates
O'er at the sister's house.
I heard the laughter from inside,
Stayed quiet as a mouse.
Then all at once, I saw the thing
Its hair was long, and then
She ran for me, and I was scared;
Around the house, I went.

We hissed and spewed
And meowed and pffffft,
Made lots of noise, and then
I heard the door;
It opened wide,
And then it shut again.

Oh, yes, it closed...most right away,
I heard the whisperin',
"This door, I will not open 'til
You promise to take him."

How could she know,
My person, then,
That I would be just right
To change her world and curl right up
Within her bed each night.

She'd lost her love of many years.
He was her soul-mate fellow.
Imagine her surprise to see...
Came in yellow.

Well, it was tough to get to go
Home with my chosen one.
Her family begged and pleaded with
That grumpy, big ol' one.

He finally let her take me home.
I tried so to stay calm.
I later learned to love him, though.
You know, his name is Tom.

Well it was tough to get them trained
To do just as I bade.
But now it's sweet and happy times.
Oh, meow, I've got it made.

We've moved just once,
But that's okay.
I really love it here.
Although they tick me off sometimes
By sitting in my chair.

It didn't take me long to get
That door to slide my way.
And now when they're not looking
I'll slip outside to play.

They do their best to keep me close.
You oughta see that gun.
That water squirts at least a mile.
Oh, my, oh, my, it's fun.

I run inside to get away.
I hope that I can make
It to my chair before they do
Cuz then I'm finally safe.

They think it scares me, but oh, no.
No better time have I.
Water stream is closing in.
Oh, me, oh, my, I'm sly.

And even when they let me out
I have to stay real close.
I wave my tail high in the air
and sniff with my pink nose.

The morning is my favorite time.
The land is cool and still.
I'll slip away if there's a chance.
I know I'm such a pill.

She just won't let me go out far.
Imagine her dismay
When I sneak off
All by myself;
It really makes my day.

Don't think it's always easy, though,
That I live without a care.
Sometimes I have to get real tough
When there are strangers there.

There was a little lady that
used to come to clean.
She came into my person's room
I had to act real mean.

Geez, I wouldn't really hurt her,
But she sure got really sore.
It took her thirty minutes to
Come out that bathroom door.

She's no longer with us,
Killed two birds with one stone.
Maria comes and shines our place
I'm never left alone.

One time I thought my person
Was a booger bear that night.
I saw her walking to the back.
She gave me such a fright.

I growled and hissed and scared her off.
Imagine my surprise
To see her coming through the front.
Could not believe my eyes.

I felt a little bad for that.
Was I wrong? Oh, I suppose.
But when I think back on that night
I get to laughing so darn hard
That milk comes out my nose.

Oh, yes, I love my persons,
My mom and big ol' dad.
I am the luckiest yellow cat
This world has ever had.

I'll be sitting right here forever.
Nowhere I'd rather be
Than sitting at my window sill
Just him - and her - and me

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Faux Stone

I've been admiring the paint finishes created by Rosemary at villabarnes and thought I'd try the stone finish myself. The pot I worked on was just a plastic pretend-clay pot. Sorry, no before pic, but this will give you an idea of the beginning color.

The hub repotted some spider plants that almost died from too much water. I know, we're in the middle of a drought, but--what can I say?--overcompensation. After saving what was saveable, we wound up with one pot too many. So I decided to faux finish this one.

I followed Rosemary's tutorial for the stone finish with one exception: where she used wax for the final finish I tinted some Annie Sloan wax with gray, painted it over the pot, then wiped it off.

Not half bad for a first effort, huh? Good enough to warrant this second post in one day? Don't get used to it. I'm liable to go MIA for the next month or so.

In the meantime.... Ta, y'all.

End of Summer Lament

Summer's almost gone, and I've barely accomplished a thing!

What I did do, and what has kept me entertained through the heat wave we've had here in Texas, was become involved in reading the current projects of a couple of writer friends.

Patricia Burroughs--or Pooks as she likes to be known--was published the same time I was and stopped writing romance shortly after I did. We belonged to the same critique group back then and became good friends. She made the transition from romance to screenwriting while I was switching to mysteries. I failed horribly at writing mysteries, but she went on to win a number of awards for her work, one being the coveted Nicholl Fellowship. She's back to fiction now, her present work being a compelling fantasy about a magical England during the Regency period. I'm on my second reading and find it equally as exciting this time around. Actually it seems I'm spending more time with my rear glued to the chair now than I did when writing myself!

 Patti's first novel, which she adapted to the screenplay that won the Nicholl

Another author whose work I admire and whose books I recommend is Linnea Sinclair. We met in a writer's forum in 1999--same place I met Maire of Procrastination Diary (Hi, Maire!). Linnea was a private detective who gave me great insight into that profession for a novel I was working on at the time. In exchange I critiqued her finished novel: Finders Keepers. (It's still one of my favorite of her works. Another I also critted for her back then: Accidental Goddess. I think that is my very fave of all her books.) She has since gone on to publish eight novels and has been included in two anthologies. Yay, Linnea!

Linnea's first published book

She writes scifi/fantasy with a touch of romance. If you're looking for something to keep you warm this coming season, check her out.

And now, like summer, I'm gone.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Etsy Spotlight

I know there are some lovely shops on Etsy, and many deserve spotlighting. Why then do I save my spotlights for my sister? Because she does such lovely work and she's totally changed directions since I last spotlighted her.

Anyway, her shop is Little Sassy Mini. She's done a gorgeous collection of miniature bedding, like this black quilt.

Lovely, innit? She sells the pillow too. See the vase of roses beside the bed? The vase was a bead and she filled it with handmade roses, which she details here on her blog Little Sassy Sews...and paints...and crafts...

But my favorite thing she's doing lately are the pitchers.

Is that gorgeous or what? She talks of the process she uses here.

This gives you an idea of the scale. She says they're not difficult to make, but the work looks intricate to me. Think I'll stick with my stitching, of which I'm not doing much lately.

Check Daisy out, even if it's just to admire the work she's doing!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My First Lampshade!

I can't believe it's been a month since I posted! Blame it on the heat. I do. I've become lethargic, escaping for hours into the pretend world of books.

I've only done a few things since last I posted. Back then, I promised I would finish the lampshade I was working on within a matter of days. Took me quite a bit longer to get it right. It was the first I ever covered that wasn't simply cutting and gluing. But my first effort left me with wonky trim and the shade just a bit too short for the lamp.

So I ripped off the trim, replaced the bit that covers the spokes, and added a 1" pleated trim at the bottom, then used gimp as the finishing touch.

Here's the end result. Still nothing I'd enter in the county fair (if we had one), but it's better than a sharp stick in the eye! (The glass lamp is a vintage one I found at a thrift store in Eureka Springs AR.)

An up-close shot:

The back:

Hoping that practice makes perfect, I'm currently working on the embroidery for a second lampshade. I should have that completed by tomorrow, then we'll see how well I do with the rest.

What else have I been doing, did you ask? I had lunch with my oldest sis a couple of weeks back and she brought me two vintage brooches to use in my crafting. One I've already put to use in a flower brooch.

I'm kinda liking the look of it. I think it'd be spiffy on a winter coat.

The final thing? I mentioned losing myself in fictional worlds. Well, those worlds were expertly crafted by a dear friend, Linnea Sinclair. I first read her work back in '99 when she and I critiqued  each other's work. She was a great deal of help with mine, but I was blown away by hers. While I finally put away my dreams of being published again, she's become an award-winning author of sci-fi romance for Bantam. Check out her website here. And her list of books here.

I hope this hot, hot summer is keeping all of you well. Take care.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Thrift Store Finds

I've found that as the years go by the things I search for in thrift stores change. While working, I often looked for clothing, finding lovely designer outfits at one store in Dallas. I bought a lot of other stuff back then too. Back then, it was easier to find good stuff, like my pottery vases. And back then I had room to display them.

Now I look for pieces I can sell on Etsy, vintage items and stuff I can upcycle. Recently, I've come across a number of down throw pillows in excellent condition at great prices. At first I picked them up simply because it's the cheapest down pillow forms I've ever seen. Once I got the pillows back to the studio though, I realized what a find the covers were as well.

I didn't take a before picture on this one. I'll have to remember to do that in the future.
The pillow I bought was a plain yellow corded cotton pillow from Crate and Barrel, similar to the one pictured above, though where this has a simple knife edge, the one I bought had welting.

Here it is, finished.

A closer look. I made the flower out of the last of a fulled ivory wool blanket, twin-size, that I bought in Fredericksburg last year.

I found the directions for the flower in a B&G DIY magazine, though the directions given in the magazine weren't clear and didn't work. It said to cut twelve layers, each a half-inch smaller than the last, beginning with a 15" circle, and, though they didn't give the size of the middle piece, the pictures showed it to be no more than 2". Silly me, I didn't do any calculations before I began cutting. I was on about the fourth circle and it no smaller than a foot wide when it dawned on me those directions weren't working. So-o-o, I adjusted my sizes. Can't remember now how much smaller I began cutting them, but in the end, it turned out fine. (If you click on the shot, you'll see how I've needle-felted color in the center of the first few circles, as they did.)

This one sold already, actually in the first few days listed. The buyer was enthusiastic about it once she received it, which really warms the old heart cockles!
Here's her photo of the pillow in her room. Looks great, dunnit.

 This one is pleated on the front...

And tucked on the back. There wasn't a lot I could do to upcycle this one, but once I got started, I decided to try. So I needle-felted a couple of buttons...

And stitched them on each of the top two corners...

Along with a couple of beaded tassels.

Now for the last one:

This is the back, but it gives a good idea what the pillow looked like when I bought it. It's a lovely dupioni silk with a hidden zipper closure. Its problem? There was a small stain on the front.

So I sprinkled bullion roses all over. Bet you couldn't guess where the stain was!

I have three more I plan to do: one is a gray denim Ralph Lauren flanged pillow; another a lovely deep red velvet, on which I need to first fix the zipper; and the last is a deep red silk. On the gray denim and the red velvet I've decided to do button designs--the gray denim I've already started on.

I'll post those once finished. Tomorrow though I'm hoping I'll have completed the lampshade I'm making. See ya then!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

After the weekend...

Our sisters' getaway is gone. Over. Done with. Nothing but memories remain. Well, maybe one little booboo, but that too will pass.

We had a mahvelous time. If anyone is ever thinking of visiting Salado overnight, you must go to Inn on the Creek. Besides it being delightfully luxurious, the staff were fabulous and the food fantastic.

The Inn is a compound of four historic homes moved to Salado from other places in Texas. We were in the Holland House--moved from Holland, Texas, doncha know.

I didn't take photos, and of course now I'm regretful, but a couple of my sisters did. I'm hoping Daisy will post some on her site soon. (Above and below are shots from the Inn's home page.)

The first night was the night of my booboo, a squishy-squashed finger, and I lay down with a book around eightish because of the throbbing. When Billie came in for the night, she was bubbling over. She and Ginger and Alice went down to the creek. There are hammocks there, and it was just the three of them and Alice, our sedate little Alice, got a little kooky. That, I hated missing, as well as the fact that They Saw Fireflies! I've not seen one in ages.

This is a shot I found on the 'net of Salado Creek viewed from Inn on the Creek. Looks as if it's set up for a wedding. Gorgeous, innit?

The second morning we were there, we were sitting on the front porch of the house where our rooms were...

When a lady and her two darling golden retrievers came by. The dogs made a dash for the porch where we were. Who couldn't love someone that glad to see you? Their owner was delightful as well, but I'm afraid she had to take second place to the girls. While I'm not that much of a dog person, if I could adopt either Brisa or Belle, Max would have to make room.

This lady is a boot collector, as is Daisy's hub. Wish I could have recorded their conversation about boots, but then I wish I could have recorded the entire weekend.

The lady came by again the last morning we were there, bringing cookies as a traveling gift. How sweet was that? So I decided to make a card as thanks.

I needlefelted the boot.

Inside I wrote a line from a Jim Reeves song, A Stranger is Just a Friend, with a tad bit of artistic license taken. I'm wondering if I should stamp Thanks on the first page. Secondly, should I print the saying out on paper and glue it on? While I have a passable handwriting, and as is it certainly says personal and handcrafted, it lacks a certain professionalism.

What say you? I'd love to hear comments. (And thanks in advance.)