Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Fall Hayride

Is there anything more fun in the fall than a church Hayride? We had perfect weather and wonderful, generous, fun people. Add good food, a blazing fire, amazingly clear stars, and . . . well, you get the point. It was a great evening.

The blur in the picture is Sweet Daughter. This is how she usually looks. Constantly in motion.

I won! I won!

Shannon over at Rocks in my Dryer hosted a fabulous Fall giveaway last week! Sweet Man saw me spending way too much time at the computer entering all the giveaways and wryly observed that I was just wasting my time. And he was probably, technically, right. I didn't win in, oh, approximately 664 giveaways. But I did win in one!

If you haven't seen all the great things that The Glam Boutique sells, then you really ought to take some time to check them out. I won my choice of any paper goods, and even though it was really hard to decide, I settled on some adorable Christmas cards. They will personalize the cards for you, inside and out. I knew I wanted a Bible verse for the inside, but not the same verses that everyone always associates with this time of year. So it was great fun to be able to have the verse that our family wanted for the inside of the cards. (We chose Galatians 1:3-5).

So a BIG Thank You to The Glam Boutique for hosting the giveaway, and for their generosity in such a neat prize!

I can't wait 'til the cards come in the mail!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Beads! Beads! Beautiful Beads!

Here is a sneak peak at my latest work in progress.

I love the mix of colors in this!

Finished product should be ready for pictures in a week or two. It's always exciting to have a project this close to completion!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Mystery Destination

Last weekend, my grandmother called to invite us on a surprise getaway. It was Sweet Daughter's 7th birthday, and her great-grandmother wanted to "make a memory" for her. I don't know how much Sweet Daughter will remember, but the rest of us certainly made a lot of very special memories!

Half the fun was trying to guess where Mam-Maw was going to take us!

When she came to pick us up, she announced we were going to stay at the new lodge on Mt. Magazine!

If you've never been to Mt. Magazine in Arkansas, plan to stop by next time you're in the neighborhood.

It is the highest point in Arkansas and for many surrounding states as well.

The Arkansas State Parks system has recently built a beautiful lodge on the mountain. Every room has it's own balcony overlooking one of the amazing views.

And it's 10 degrees cooler than the rest of Arkansas! (I really like that part!)

Here is Sweet Son (age 10) and Sweet Daughter (just turned 7!) looking at one of the views from the lodge.

As wonderful as our little getaway was, the best part of it for me was getting to go with my 82 year old Grandmother! And she even insisted on keeping the kids in her room so that Sweet Man and I could have some time alone! She is an amazing lady!

Mam-Maw with her great-grandson.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


ABC 8 = Arkansas Bead Cave, 8th year!

The Annual Arkansas Bead Cave will be taking place this year the first weekend in October. I can hardly wait! I learned so much last year, and this year they have asked me to teach a class on French Beaded Flowers.

I am planning to teach the flower pictured above. It's my own creation, and while it isn't the prettiest flower, it should lend itself to being easily taught and easily learned. I'm hoping that my students will be able to take what they have learned and use it to make more aesthetically pleasing flowers.

The center of the flower is not my creation. It is actually a vintage earring that belonged to my Grandmother.
Here are other flowers made using the same pattern, but these have traditional beaded flower centers.

I'm hoping my students will get creative with these little flowers, using buttons or earrings or other items for their centers.

And I can't wait to see more people get hooked on making beautiful flowers out of little, tiny beads!

I need some company in this crazy hobby I have!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday --- Parenting Advice

I have long enjoyed the "Works for Me Wednesdays", hosted by Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer. I'm thrilled to finally participate! And today is the "Great Parenting Advice Edition"!

My parenting tip today is one that many of you will already be familiar with, but maybe some need reminding. It is simply to allow your children plenty of free play time.

We live in a society that is always on the go. We teach our children from the time they are toddlers that WE are on a schedule and it is time to GO! Children spend all day at daycare, then preschool, then school, then college, then work. What little time they have in the afternoons is often taken up with extra curricula activities or homework.

I would encourage parents to create an environment for their children, where they can just be children! Give them days on end of unstructured free play. This is the only time in their lives that they have an opportunity for time to go slowly for them. They will be busy enough in just a few years and for the rest of their lives.

I used to worry about my children being bored. And sure enough, I've heard "I'm bored", more times that I can count. But given enough time to be bored, that boredom turns to creativity. It took some time to deprogram ourselves from always having to have something to do, but I have enjoyed watching the progress my children have made in being creative and imaginative.

So that's my "Works for Me" thought for today. Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more great ideas!

Our $1000 Dog

We have a Puggle. Have you ever heard of a Puggle? It sounds like some kind of strange creature from another planet. But really, it's just a dog. A cross between a Pug and a Beagle.

Puggles are part of the growing trend of "designer dogs". Like the Labradoodle. Puggles can be quite expensive, from $600 to $1000. But we got ours for free. That's right. FREE!!!

And then we learned the hard way . . . There's no such thing as a "free" dog.

This lonely little puppy was abandoned to roam the wilds of rural southeast Missouri, where my sister lives. As the dog was spending way to much time at my sister's house, (and eating her chickens), she called me to see if we might want to drive up and adopt him.

To make a long story short, we did.

We took him to the vet for the routine shots and to be neutered. His little boy parts looked a little funny to us, but we didn't think anything about it. Until our vet said "I've read about animals like this, but I've never actually seen one in all my years of practice."

You don't want to hear that from your vet, or any other Dr. for that matter.

The next words out of his mouth were, "You need to take him to a specialist."

I didn't even know they made such a thing as a veterinarian specialist. I thought the vet was the specialist. Shows what I know.

What followed then was a series of trips out to a Vet School in Oklahoma, surgery, and a lot of money.

And when it was all over, I thought The Big Question could finally be answered, so I asked one of the surgeon-specialists, "Would you consider this a male or a female dog?"

He hesitated, then breathed out, "I don't know."

Seeing the look on my husbands face, he hastily added, "But I would call it a male dog."

That's good, because his name is Buster.

The Women in My Family

As you can see from the photo above, I come from a long line of strong women. They are my inspiration, my goal.

In the photo, I am the 3 year old girl in the front. My sister is the baby. Holding me is my mother, then her mother, then her mother, then her mother! My mom, my Mam-Maw Jim, my Mam-Maw Tillman, and my Great-Great Grandmother Smith.


I often feel I am not worthy of their blood coursing through my body.

Then it pushes me to keep going, to try harder, to never give up.

Just like them.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Victorian Wedding Bouquet

Here is my passion . . . French Beaded Flowers.

If you've never heard of French Beaded Flowers, you are not alone. This is an art form that dates back to the 1500s, and consists of stringing tiny glass beads onto wire, and then shaping the wire into petals, leaves, and flowers.

I've been learning how to do this for the last 6 years (I'm a slow learner when it comes to anything artistic or creative!)

The picture is of my Lily Bridal Bouquet.

Here is a top view:

It's so much fun to have a passion for a certain craft or art form!

In all the years that I prided myself for being a left-brained logical Spock, I never realized how much I was missing!

Now I know . . . .

Beaded Doily

My most recent summer triumph --- A beaded doily!
I've been working on this on and off since last February, and finally finished it last week. The pattern came from the February issue of Bead & Button Magazine.
I love the feel of it. It has weight and substance and beauty. I am always amazed to find that I can create something beautiful! What a gift from God!