Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break ~

Spring Break has been wonderful so far . . . days full of nothing special - but making the days special!  Getting a lot of things done around the house - but taking time to have some fun too.  Just some random pictures from yesterday.  I have some dolls in progress . . . hopefully will have them done tonight or tomorrow.  I had hoped to have them done - but got sidetracked . . . I tend to do that.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hearts ~

These hearts are made from my old used tennis grip.  Richard changed my grip tape for me the other day and while we were sitting there he cut out these two hearts from the grip that he had taken off.
So then I had to cut out some more . . . notice the old Adidas emblem at the top . . . love Adidas :)
It was a fun afternoon . . . playing tennis, going for pizza and beer after, and then we went for a ride in the country.  Often the simplest of day are the best!
"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."  ~ Robert Brault

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thank Heaven for Little Girls ~

We had a very special day with Lily last week . . . we picked her up from school, took her to lunch, walked her through the pet store, and then ended up at the park.  I was looking at my "Wacky Holiday" website later - and found out it was actually "Incredible Kid Day" - we spent the day with a very incredible kid! 
She's a tough little girl . . . all girl - but loves to get dirty and play hard . . . and work hard - her new thing is to help Papa work.  They wash the car, she helps him glue and pound nails if he is building something, she helped him carry sticks and branches the other day.  They highlight of that day was finding a toad and scaring me with it - she thought that was hilarious . . .
 . . . and for some reason she decided to clean the driveway . . . this picture reminds me of Cinderella.  I told Jennifer she should take a picture of this - and then one in one of her dress-up dresses and scrapbook a Cinderella page.  She is out of town for a couple of weeks - and we are missing her terribly - love our Lily Bug! 
And this little pixie has to be one of the happiest babies ever.  This photo is from St. Patrick's Day.  She has grown so much - and such a fun age . . . smiles and giggles, rolling over, starting to eat baby food and getting more on her face than in her mouth . . . I just love watching her!

"What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories."   ~George Eliot

Richard sent me this picture the other day when I was at work.  I love the toys . . . which include a baseball of course . . . Grandpa will make sure that she doesn't throw like a girl and one of her sign language cards . . . love our Charlotte!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lunch with O.P.

Good weekend . . . lunch with O.P. is always fun!  Even better weekend - knowing I have this whole week off . . . time to relax, play with the kids, stay up late sewing, sleep in, play some tennis, and enjoy every minute of my vacation. 
He is just too cool in his shades . . .
"Children make your life important."  ~Erma Bombeck

Friday, March 22, 2013

Look and Listen . . .

I have a few daily devotionals.  I can't say I am always good about reading them daily, but when I do they make such a difference.  When I reach for them because I need them . . . they can make all the difference.  I can't tell you how many times I have picked them up when I have been struggling with something and I read that days devotional and it is exactly what I need.  God talks to us . . . we just have to listen.  Today was one of those days . . .
I mentioned in an earlier post that I had to have a CT scan.  I had my appointment with the oncologist today - decided to read this daily devotional this morning . . .

     You wonder if it is a blessing or a curse to have a mind that never rests.  But you would rather be a cynic than a hypocrite, so you continue to pray with one eye open and wonder:
                                     about starving children
                                     about the power of prayer
                                     about Christians in cancer wards . . .
     Tough questions.  Throw-in-the-towel questions.  Questions the disciples must have asked in the storm.  All they could see were black skies as they bounced in the battered boat . . .
     Then a figure came to them walking on the water.  It wasn't what they expected . . . They almost missed seeing the answer to their prayers.
     And unless we look and listen closely, we risk making the same mistake.  God's lights in our dark nights are as numerous as the stars, if only we'll look for them.

This is what I needed to be reminded of today.
  Life isn't always what we expect it is going to be . . . but I know the hardest things that I have had to go through have made me the strongest.  They have made me understand that I have to trust God to take care of things his way . . . that isn't always easy for me - I like knowing what is going to happen and I like some control of my life, but like I said life isn't always what we expect it is going to be . . .  

My CT scan showed that my lungs were clear.  (melanoma tends to spread to the lungs, brain, or liver).  So that was good news.  I also found out today that it can spread to the adrenal glands.  The CT scan showed that I have a nodule on one of my adrenal glands.  It could possibly be benign - but because of the enlarged lymph nodes and the size of the nodule the oncologist is somewhat concerned . . . I really prefer to see my oncologist smiling and nodding - rather than frowning and shaking his head . . . anyway he ordered a PET scan.  I thought I would be having it done in a few days - but thanks to insurance companies needing 5-6 working days to approve things like that I have to wait a little longer.  The good news - I will get more definite answers as to what is going on.  I'm not very good with the waiting part . . . I'm working on that . . . 

So this is one of those times when I have to look for God's lights - and trust in him
 and count the blessing that I have -  EVERY DAY!
and make the most of EVERY DAY!
and be silly, and say I love you, and forgive, and dance and sing,
and see the beauty in everything around me . . . and so much more. 
We think we have so much time . . . but the truth is we never know that for sure.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shabby Charlotte Dolls - Margie & Lanier

I finished these two dolls for a girl that I work with.  In total I have made her five dolls and they are all making a trip to New Orleans this week.  Here is a close up of Margie's knitting bag . . .
She has a little bit of gray hair . . . and a silly smile!
Margie is a wise little doll.  She has been around long enough to know that life is short and you have to enjoy it when you can.  She likes to travel and isn’t afraid to try new things.  She also likes to keep busy and one of her favorite pastimes is knitting.  She carries a bag of yarn and her needles with her – even when she travels . . . who knows when she might find time to knit a couple of rows.  Margie has a great smile and finds that the more she smiles the better she feels.
I have a little trouble with boy dolls . . . they always seem to look too cute to me.  But hey - what's wrong with a cute boy . . . right?
Lanier is a voodoo doll - ready for his first trip to New Orleans.
Lanier is an odd little voodoo doll – in that he really likes people and doesn’t like to see anyone get hurt.  He just wants to party and have a good time.  Although he is loyal to those he cares about and if need be – he will do what a voodoo doll is made to do.  He likes old horror movies and spicy food . . . very spicy food.  He even carries his own bottle of hot sauce in case the food he orders isn’t quite hot enough.  The ladies really like Lanier - they thinks he’s hot . . . hot . . . hot!

Shabby Charlotte doll - Miley

I finished Miley late last night . . . early morning actually . . .
I enjoyed making this little doll once I got started on her.
Although I had a little trouble getting started on her story . . . Finally I started thinking about my "country/western" loving friends and that helped.  I guess I am more "rock & roll" . . . which gave me another idea for a doll. 
Miley is already sold - she was a special order.  I have a few more special orders to fill and then hopefully I will get some dolls listed on my ETSY shop over Spring Break. 
SPRING BREAK!!!!!!   A week off!!!!!!  Love that part of my job!
Miley is a fun loving little doll who is all country.  She likes country music, pretty boots, and she loves going to rodeo parades.  She likes to hang out with her friends . . . listening to music, laughing, and just having fun.  She can be rather silly at times, but also is a good listener when someone she cares about needs someone to talk to.   She loves to get dressed up and if the right song is playing she can’t help but dance.  She has a horse named Penny - so she carries a lucky penny in her bag . . . and frankly her lucky horseshoe is just too heavy to carry with her.
I am anxious about my doctor's appointment tomorrow.  I had my CT scan done on Tuesday - I think the not knowing is just hard for me.  I received some great advice this week in regards to worrying about melanoma - and trying to be prepared for what "might" happen . . . that it is possible to be optimistic and realistic at the same time.  I am working on that.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

vintage suitcases . . .

I found these great old suitcases at an antique store last week . . . very reasonable and in pretty good shape.  I am using them to store some of my fabric.  There is a story about how I got them home.
My hairdresser moved to a new shop which is near some antique stores.  I was early getting to my appointment so decided to go into one of the shops that I like - and I found a couple of small items and then these suitcases.  No big thing - right? . . . except that I had planned on walking home after I had my hair done since it was such a nice day.  I debated for a second about coming back to get the suitcases later . . . but they were so reasonable - I didn't want someone else to get them before I got back.  So I get my hair done and start walking home.  My husband even called me to see if I had changed my mind about a ride . . . but I really wanted to walk.  I happened to be wearing a long pink hippy type skirt on this day.  So there I was - walking down the street in my long skirt with a suitcase tucked under my arm (luckily the smaller one fit inside the larger one - so I wasn't carrying them both by the handle - that would have looked even sillier).  It was about a two mile walk home - and it was about 5:00 so there was plenty of traffic.  I actually had an older lady stop and ask if I was ok and if I needed a ride - (I guess I must have looked like I was running away from home with my old suitcase)  My family just laughed . . . they are pretty sure that my picture is going to show up somewhere online . . . oh well - the suitcases are great and it was a beautiful day to walk home. 

Saturday Seven . . . and 52 lists (better late than never)

I missed last week's Saturday Seven from planettreasures.  The two weeks before that I think I did them on Sunday . . . even worse - this week I am a week late, but better late than never???
Things I need to do . . .
1. Catch up on my list challenges
2. Work on my Shabby Charlotte dolls - I think I have 7 of them ordered.
3. Play tennis - the weather has been beautiful and I want the exercise
4. Get my photographs in order (A project for Spring Break)
5 Spring cleaning . . . (thank goodness for Spring Break)
6. Get my garden started
7. Make a t-shirt quilt for a friend's daughter.

And now to catch up on the 52 list challenge from Meet Me At Mikes
Favorite Words and Good Stuff to Eat for Breakfast . . . nothing fancy - just typing my lists to get caught up. 
Favorite words . . . don't know if I have ever thought about this, but let me give it a try.
favorite words . . .  for one reason or another
                                                                 apocalypse (just fun to say . . . sort of a family joke)
                                  Ooola  (not be a real word)
                                   bastard (another family joke)
Good Stuff to Eat for Breakfast
Coffee - unfortunately usually what I have for breakfast
English Muffin and yogurt
Leftover with Eggs
Mixed Fruit
Bagels w/Cream Cheese
French Toast
Breakfast Casserole
Toast and Eggs
So I am caught up on my list challenges . . .
I saw this sign yesterday while out shopping . . . thought it was funny.
Busy day today . . . but mostly doing the things that I want to do.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Shabby Charlotte Doll - Susan . . .

I wrapped up a shabby little gift today . . . Shabby Charlotte Doll - Susan.  A gift for a very special woman that I know.  She really is a remarkable person!
Shabby Susan has a little sewing bag that she carries . . .

 . . . and her own little pin cushion.

Susan is a little doll as sweet as they come.  She is very thoughtful and believes in being kind.  She also has a strong side to her – that gets things done.  She really enjoys a cup a black tea and on occasion will treat herself to a margarita.  She loves to sew  . . . and carries a spool of thread and a button in her bag just in case she needs them.  Susan has been known to work too hard . . . so she comes with a little purple flower pin to remind her to stop and smell the flowers and to take time for herself.
When I first started dressing this doll - I didn't like here.  (I do that quite often.)  But after I keep trying different ribbons . . . laces . . . charms . . . and whatnot - they usually come together and by the time I write their little story - I end up liking the doll.  I think I had a hard time with this one - because it was for someone special and I wanted it to be a certain way. 
This weekend I have to make another voodoo doll (a boy doll having something to do with hot sauce . . . I'm still thinking about that one).  I have to make a cowgirl doll and a grey haired knitter/seamstress doll.  I am going to be busy.  I have a couple more orders on top of that and I have some ideas for an Easter doll.  I think I better lock myself in my room . . .
I have one more week until Spring Break!!!!!!

* * * * * * * *
On a completely different subject - I had an appointment with my oncologist today.  When I saw him back in December - he found a swollen lymph node under my arm.  This time it was bigger and there is also one in my other armpit.  It has been about a year and a half since I had surgery to remove melanoma . . . because of that - he ordered a CT scan.  I will have that done on Tuesday, and then go back and see him next Friday.  So this is one of those things I have to turn over to God . . . Maybe being busy making dolls is exactly what I need to keep my mind off of it this week. 

If God Brings You To It. He Will Bring You Through It.

I picked up some buttons, a rusty old key, and this cute wool heart pin at an antique store last week.  I also found a couple of old suitcases that I will get a picture taken of this weekend and post about.  I found a place to set them - but the light never seems to be good when I am home to get a good picture taken.  I thought this key would be great on a Shabby Charlotte doll.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Drive in the Country . . .

What a great weekend it was.  Yesterday was warm and sunny . . . after playing tennis and grabbing some lunch we went for a ride in the country.  We haven't been by this fence/gate in years.  We used to take the kids to look at it when they were small.  There are actually two separate gates to the property - so this is just a part of this wonderful creation. 

This is one of my favorite things as far as items used in this fence.
If you can't tell - this is an airplane . . . It must have taken so long to make all of this.  I had forgotten how wonderful it was . . . it has been years since I have been by it.
There are quite a few spider webs throughout the fence . . . along with spiders, snakes, dogs, coyotes.  We are going to have to go back and take some more pictures.  
It's Monday morning . . . let's get this week started.  Only two more weeks until Spring Break! 

Friday, March 8, 2013

When Pigs Fly!

I came home from work the other day . . . late and somewhat tired and found this on my counter . . . It was a complete surprise - and it took me awhile to figure out who it was from.  One of the reasons that I started blogging was to meet new people.   I happened upon a blog one day written by a woman who worked in an elementary school office.  It caught my eye because I too work in an elementary school office.  She posted once a week about something that happened at her school . . . I looked forward to reading her post every Friday and usually ended up laughing out loud and sharing the story with my principal.  I later started following her other blog Paper Vernissage . . . . where last March I took part in her Pigs on Parade
This year Lorraine celebrated National Pig Day by sending out these wonderful tin mailboxes . . . sealed with pig duct tape (wonderful touch) . . . It contained a flying pig (so cute - it has a solar sensor on top and the pigs wings move when it is under light., some candy, and a adorable card that Lorraine created herself.  The flying pig stamp is so cute!!!!!
The card is wonderful! 

Lorraine's message . . . inspiring!
I set my flying pig and card on my desk at work . . . I told Lorraine that when I am having one of those crazy school office type days - it will remind me to that the world is full of wonderful people and I just need to remember to laugh.  Thank you again Lorraine - for making my day!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Shabby Charlotte Doll - Kate O'Shabby

Kate O’Shabby is as friendly as they come and very lucky. She is very proud that she is Irish and not only is green her favorite color – it is the only color that she will wear. She believes in leprechauns and sets traps for them every St. Patrick’s Day. She loves to be outdoors and is always on the lookout for lucky four leaf clovers . . . but she really believes that a person makes their own luck. Although it can’t hurt to keep her close to you . . . so maybe some of her luck rubs off on you.

It has been awhile since I have had a doll for sale on ETSY - I have been selling them - but to people local - so I haven't been getting any listed in my shop clarehelen  I decided I had to get an Irish doll listed for St. Patrick's Day.  I had hoped to have it listed before now . . . but life has been busy. 
I have some other things I really want to post about . . . some wonderful flying pigs that arrived in the mail earlier this week and a funny story involving some old suitcases that I bought at an antique store.  I will try to get those posts done tomorrow.  I also am behind on my list challenges - but I will try to get back to that next week.