Friday, August 31, 2012

Creative pursuits...

Today was the last workday for my retiring coworker.  Though we had her party last weekend, she was still scheduled to work this week.  I wasn't scheduled to work today, but no one else was in the office (one was off or and one out sick), and I couldn't stand the thought of her locking the door at closing time and walking away with no fanfare whatsoever.  So I made her another card.  She loves butterflies, and I had this brooch that is really pretty, but that has never been out of my jewelry box.  I put it on the card front carefully, so that it could be removed later if she wants to wear it or something.  I also went armed with cupcakes, and tossed a handful of confetti in the air.  :)
And this is a birthday card that I made recently.  Now that I know it has been received, I can show it here.  :)  I was really pleased with how this one turned out, and it got some good reviews.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Just starting Gertruda's Oath by Ram Oren.  As war breaks out in Poland, a Catholic nanny is devoted to the Jewish family she works for.  When the mother suffers a stroke, the nanny promises to escape with her three-year-old ward and raise him as her own.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Making it Monday...

I don't think this is my best work.  Procrastinating Waiting for inspiration, it got left till the last minute, and when the last minute came, my back was killing me, so I'm afraid the execution suffered.
This is actually a retirement card.  And you wouldn't think it from the outside, but it's just a little bit naughty.  But I wanted that to be a surprise, so the outside looks very prim.
The inside is based on a bit of an inside joke with this particular co-worker.  In case you can't read the sentiment, it says: I can't believe you're leaving us 'behind'!

Inspiration and template were found here.  Thanks Stamp Owl.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I'm reading Wednesday...

I have been reading a LOT this week, but I am having a LOT of trouble uploading photos, so we'll see if I can get them all in this post.

Right now I'm reading Ladies With Options by Cynthia Hartwick.  Kind of cute, about a group of small-town women who begin an investment club and develop a lot of skills and a lot of luck.

I finished Before the Poison by Peter Robinson.  Composer makes good in Hollywood, is widowed, and moves back to his native England.  He buys a big old home, and becomes intrigued by the mystery of the former residents...a doctor who is poisoned, and his wife who was convicted for the poisoning and hung.

Also finished Precious Bones by Irina Shapiro.  Sixteenth century skeletal remains are found inside the walls of an old house. When the story hits the news, a viewer is overcome with the sense that she knows whose they were and how they got there.

And finished yet one more...All My Love, Samples Later by Craig Vetter.  Based on the WWII letters of the author's parents.  Another reminder of the importance of the handwritten art form that we are rapidly turning our back on these days.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thank you...

I really appreciated the nice comments yesterday.

The visit to the surgeon went fine...he was glad to catch up, as it has been several years since I've darkened his door.  He said come back in a week...and get that mammogram I keep putting off before I do.  That way the visit will kill two birds with one stone.  LOL

Tomorrow it is back to work.  I was really exagerating about my boss rethinking my going full time just because of this.  He's really the best, and he wouldn't penalize anyone because of a couple of sick days.  His sweet wife even called me as I was driving home from the doctor's office today to see if I was okay.  :)


Monday, August 20, 2012

Making it Monday...

Making my way back...last week was filled with a nasty painful cyst.  Ouch!  Could barely uncomfortable.  I managed to get to work, but came home early one day.  And when I was home about all that I felt up to was soaking in a warm salt bath, and then lying in bed reading.  The pain has diminished a lot, I'm on antibiotics, but it still needs further attention.

Making appointments...called surgeon about the cyst...they said to come in tomorrow at noon.  Wow.  I wasn't expecting such a quick appointment.

Making excuses...had to call work and tell them I wouldn't be there tomorrow.  I was already off schedule because of yet another doctor's appointment on Thursday, so this is really throwing my week out of whack.  And I'm supposed to go full time within a couple of weeks!  My boss has got to be having doubts right about now...but I'm trying to get things taken care of before the full-time change.

Making cards...but the photos won't upload.

Making my exit...goodnight!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A busy summer for a cardmaker...

When the kids were little, and Jared started preschool, I started volunteering at our church's office.  Susan (not her real name) was the financial secretary there.  She was about twenty years older than I, but treated me like a contemporary.  She taught me the processes with patience and smiles.

Her husband, Leo (not his real name), who was quite a few years older than she, owned a frame shop where I took all of my cross-stitching to be framed.  He loved to talk and share stories.  And though I don't think handwork was his favorite thing to frame, he took a lot of care to make sure the weave of the fabric and the stitching lines were straight and the borders were even.  He always did a beautiful job.  And he would say things like, 'I see a lot of handwork, but I can tell yours, because it's as pretty on the back as it is on the front.'  Not quite true, but rewarding nonetheless since I strive to keep the backs tidy.

In 2001, I was temping at an attorney's office.  One day I answered the phone and it was Susan.  By then she was working for an investment firm in town, and was calling to check on one of their client's estate documents.  Before we hung up, she said, "Kathleen, do you know anyone who is looking for full-time work?"  I said, "Yes, me!"  And that's how I came to work for the same company as she, but at a different branch.  Through the years we've maintained a sort of peripheral friendship...not a lot of contact, but mutual respect and regard.

A few years ago, Leo passed away right before Susan's planned retirement.  As a couple they were always busy around town, and since Leo died, Susan has continued volunteering at the hospital and library, taking exercise classes at the wellness center, and recently travelled to Europe.  One of my coworkers is a good friend of hers, and since my coworker just got back from her own trip to Europe, she called Susan to tell her about it.  After listening for awhile, Susan said she had something to tell too...she's getting married on Sunday!

She's marrying her next-door neighbor of umpteen years who was also widowed awhile back.  Over the years, how many times do you suppose they said hello over their front lawns without ever dreaming that their futures would be entwined?  I am so happy for them.  She is 75, and he is 83.  Love is forever young.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I'm reading Wednesday...

photo credit: Amazon

Through the Door (The Thin Veil) by Jodi McIsaac

I gave up on last week's selection.  I made it about halfway through, but I'm not going to go any further.  That's why I had alternates on the challenge list.  :)

The one I'm reading this week is quite different for me.  Celtic mythology and Druids and such meet modern-day single mother.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sorting and winnowing...

Preparations for a garage sale have begun.  These are rubber stamps from my crap craft room.  Barely a dent has been made, but it's a start.  I'm shooting for mid to late September. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Special delivery...

I think that I shall never dig
a fruit as tasty as the fig.

Fig preserves are my absolute FAVORITE, and my friend Laurie Beth knows and shares her homemade love!  This arrived in my mailbox over the weekend.  You are the best, LB!!!  Thank you SO much.

Since I had a huge healthy salad for lunch today, I'm thinking that homemade biscuits are on the menu for supper, slathered with real butter and figs...glorious figs.  :)


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dressing the big brown wall...

It took me awhile to get back to the big brown wall.  I finally went back to it on Friday. 

I've loved the arrangement below since I saw this photo over a year ago.  And I had all the elements to recreate the table.

I didn't want to use a mirror for a focal point though, so I started looking for art inspiration.  The space needed something LARGE and bold.  And since I had a pretty specific idea in mind, and since funds were limited, and since I'm a DIYer, I thought I'd attempt to produce an art piece myself.

Here's  the finished piece.  It's 36 x 48 inches (91 x 122 cm).  I've had the canvas for ages.  I bought it at half price, intending to staple fabric over it to hang behind the bathtub, but it had different plans for itself.

And here's its new home.  The table legs are actually legs from my quilt frame.  I suppose I'll let Carey stain the boards that make the tabletop, otherwise I think it will drive him crazy.  I've had the vintage suitcases for quite awhile hidden away in my crap craft room.  I will be playing around with the tablescape for awhile until it's to my liking.

If we get tired of this configuration, all the pieces can go back to their previous homes.

And I could always staple fabric over the canvas after all.  :)


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Over halfway there...

I haven't shown the progress of my Sky Scarf in awhile.  I haven't even seen the progress as a whole for myself in quite awhile, as I keep it rolled up on the tray with the yarns.  So unrolling it to take this photo was very interesting for me.  I'm happy to see all the grays, as it reminds me that we have had quite a few damp days.  And seeing the dark charcoal grays shows that we have had quite a few thunderstorms this year, some of those dumping heavy rains, even though we are still terribly dry.  At the end nearest the needles, you can see a bit more bright blue...those are the days over 100 degrees F.  Ugh! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Paula by Isabel Allende

I've gone back to make another attempt at this one.  It's not an easy one.  It's a memoir written while her daughter was in a coma and dying, as a way of coping with her fear and sadness.

I'm not sure I'll be able to finish, but it's one of my 2012 Reading Challenge selections, so I really want to give it my best shot.
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