Sunday, September 19, 2010

Don't miss this giveaway!! Wildwoods Art Studio!

Run over and check the wonderful giveaway going on at Wildwoods Art will be glad you did!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oh Fibro..why do you love me so??

It should be nice to be loved, unless of course it is this awful thing called fibromyalgia! It has me in it's grip today and a gentle hug it is not!!
All we did was go shopping, stop at a couple of yard sales (which I got a few great things), spent about 30 minutes at Hobby Lobby and off to Wally world for groceries. I at least got the groceries all carted and had to park the cart and go get Ross to stand in line and pay. I just could not do it!
We stopped and got a couple of BBQ sandwiches and some fries and I could hardly eat anything. I laid down for about an hour, but it did not help at all. Might be a long night!
Yes I love to be loved but I wish fibro would go love a door or a stick, maybe a rock..something it could not hurt!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

An Era Ends Today..

Hello, my name is Genelle and I am a soap opera addict..I admit it!! It is genetic, I got it from my mother and I passed it to my children. When will this madness stop?? Never I hope!
But today sadly a very long running soap opera comes to an end.."As The World Turns" makes it's last stop in Oakdale first aired in 1956..they say it is low ratings and it probably is as it competes in most areas against "General Hospital" and that soap is always in the top of the ratings.
But still I will miss Dr. Hughes and Lisa and all the good and the bad people of Oakdale. They promise the last one will be a doozy and I hope so, as so many soaps just kind of ended with a thud. It joins a long line of soaps to end.."The Guiding Light", "The Edge of Night", "Another World", "Search For Tomorrow", "Ryan's Hope" and many others.
You can find a history of soaps here. One thing is for sure soap operas have spawned a ton of stars and led us into some really bizarre happenings. But I love 'em!!  I will be there to see the finale of this great long running soap and while watching it today I will recall my mother crocheting away as she watched what the fine folks of Oakdale would do that day.
This is the original cast of  "As The World Turns"

Feathers and Lace

I design and make a series of things I call "Feathers and Lace" is one of can be used as a brooch, a large "Go Bold or Go Home" style pendant, in your hair or as an adornment on a hat.
In outdoor is hard to see the glittery effects on the rose here..
On a light background in daylight
In night lighting..the feather is coppery looking and glossy..the rose rolled and glittery and the lace black with a pattern

Simple and Easy Beef Stew

I love comfort foods, but then who doesn't!! But I am not one to spend all day in the kitchen... so here is my quick and easy beef stew for those chilly and cold days ahead. I use a large electric skillet for this..
2 pounds cut up beef stew cubes..try to get them without much fat or trim most of the fat off
Flour..enough to dredge the beef cubes with
salt, pepper, garlic powder to your taste preference
Mix spices into flour and dredge the cubes in the flour mixture
Put about 1/2 inch of a good cooking oil in skillet, I use canola oil, heat until hot but not smoking hot
Brown the beef on all sides to seal in juices, try to do this rather quickly
Drain excess oil from skillet

Put beef back in the skillet
1 large can tomates, I like the seasoned ones with onion and garlic myself
1 package baby carrots
4-5 medium size peeled and cubed potatoes
1 package beef stew seasoning mix..if you can get low sodium I recommend that as these can be very salty
1 large diced onion..if you do not like onions just leave them out.
You can add other veggies you might like in stew celery or turnips, etc.
Simmer on a low temp for 2-3 hours or until veggies are tender and meat is tender, stirring occasionally to make sure it does not stick or burn.
As I said I use an electric skillet but a cook cast iron skillet or dutch oven can not be beat for this stew.
Actually this is even better the next day!
Serve with a good crusty hot bread  or even in bread bowls! Yummy in the tummy!! Warms ya right up!

Bread Pudding Cake

I do not know where I ever got this recipe from, I only know I have made it for years and my family loves it as a different type of a very rich bread pudding, so I only make it around the holidays. I must confess I leave out the raisins as I am not a big cooked raisin fan!

Bread Pudding Batter
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins, plumped
1/2 cup dried cherries, plumped
2 cups finely diced apples
6-8 cups soft bread cubes, (such as challah or a rich white bread)
1 cup minced soft caramels

Warm Vanilla Toffee Sauce
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons, approximately, dark rum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Place the pan on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
In a mixer bow or food processor, blend the butter and sugar and then add in the eggs, heavy cream, evaporated milk, cinnamon, and vanilla, and process until blended.
Remove to a large bowl. Fold in the raisins, apples and bread cubes and toss gently to combine. Let stand 30 minutes and allow bread to soak up batter (pushing down cubes if they keep floating to the top). Fold in caramels. Spoon into prepared baking pan.
Bake for 55 to 70 minutes. Or until cake is browned on top and seems set.
To make the Warm Vanilla Sauce, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat in a saucepan, and take off the heat. Add confectioners' sugar to the melted butter, with the vanilla and about 2 tablespoons of rum to make a pourable glaze. Add more rum if required.
Pour the sauce over the cake and allow to soak in before serving.
Serves 10-12

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quick decorating/craft idea..FRAME IT!!

You know how we love to get those beautiful roses from our gardens or a sprig of lavender or some sweet smelling goody from your yard and never can find a vase to display them. Or maybe all your vases are way too large for just one little is a quick idea for was not my original idea as I saw it on a craft show a long time ago..wish I could recall who did it!!
Okay, maybe you have some left over ribbon and you have no idea what to use it for..and just maybe you are like most of us and have old frames or frame mats and they just take up space..well let's put them to work!!
What you need:
any size frame or frame mat
ribbon..enough to go around your frame at least one time, I like to go around mine at least twice and I use 1.5 inch width
a small flower vial that holds water
some pins or a glue gun
Okay you can start by taping or gluing your ribbon to your starting point on your frame or mat and begin to wind the ribbon around the frame in a spiral pattern until it is completely covered..leaving a tail long enough to make something to hang it with..if you are using a regular frame you may not need to do this as it probably has a hangar on the back of the frame. Now I use pins as I might want to use the ribbon again for something else, but you can of course glue it down if you prefer.
Stick the flower vial with the water in it in one of the opening of the wound around ribbon, put in a flower and Viola!! Hang it up and enjoy.
You can of course add other embellishments to your frame or mat or hang it over a picture or photo. If you use a frame maybe you can add some hooks on the bottom of the frame and place it by the door to hang your keys on or something such as that. By the way I also like to use wire edged ribbon. Following are some pics..please understand I am not a photographer by any means!!
 Ribbon wrapped mat with flower holder
Ribbon wrapped mat with polymer clay butterfly pin as embellishment. I made the pin!
Ribbon wrapped mat placed over a framed pic..that is my cutie grand daughter!

Something Sweet with No Baking!!


* 1 cup peanut butter
* 1 cup white corn syrup
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 6 cups cornflakes cereal
* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* 2/3 cup peanuts
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the peanut butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and white sugar. Cook stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and quickly mix in the cornflakes, chocolate chips and peanuts until evenly coated.

2. Press the entire mixture gently into a buttered 9x13 inch baking dish. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
(image was from Google)

I Went To The Fair...and Won!!

I used to enter the county fair and the state fair every year..I so wanted to this year but it just did not work out that way. But below are some of my past entries and winners, most of my ribbons were lost in the fire but some things I gave my daughters still have the ribbons attached:

My specialty was christening gowns..this one won a blue is made from a very find baby yarn
Close up of top of above gown
This one is made from size 10 thread and won a blue ribbon and then Grand Champion!! You see both front and back here, plus it has a bonnet and booties.
I do have some other photos and will try to show those to you some time soon. Hope you like these!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scary Ghostly Chips

so quick and easy to make and you can either use a sweet or spicy or whatever your heart desires as a topping on them!
Take either corn or flour tortillas, but I do suggest flour works the best and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes, such as ghosts or pumpkins or bats or whatever you would like to use!
I like to do some with sugar and cinnamon and some with dry packaged ranch dressing  or you can use whatever spices you like. 
Spray with some light oil on each and then sprinkle your topping on and bake until lightly browned and crispy.
Powdered sugar would be nice on the dessert ones too!

Wordless Wednesday

Tricked Out Candy Apples

Tricked-Out Candy Apples:

A tricked-out the classic Halloween treat. But it is... tricky. Candy apples don't really like to be refrigerated, and caramel apples don't really like room temperature. Make the candy apples, let them set up and then really, really quickly, "decorate" them with a quick dunk in the caramel (just the bottom part) and the chocolate pretzels.

Here's what you'll need:

3 cups white sugar

1/2 cup white corn syrup

1 cup water

Red food coloring

8 candy apples

8 wooden sticks (decorated with acrylic craft paint)

Bowl of ice water (just in case)

Wash and dry the apples. Insert the sticks near the core and check the stability when they are inverted.

In heavy saucepan, place water, sugar and corn syrup. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Don't stir! Resist the temptation. You can swirl the pan as the ingredients start to melt but put that spoon away.

Allow the mixture to come to a rolling boil - it will reach 300 degrees on your candy thermometer.

After the mixture has reached hard crack stage (300 degrees) remove from heat and stir in food colouring until you have reached the desired tint. Don't be stingy, either. If you are using liquid drops from the grocery store, you'll need about 1/2 teaspoon. If you're using gel paste (ie. Wilton) you'll need about 1/4 teaspoon.

Working quickly, dip the apples, rolling them thoroughly in the hot sugar mixture. When the entire apple is covered, allow excess to drip back into the pan. Place them on a sheet of waxed paper or silicone pad. Repeat with each apple - if your mixture gets too thick, place it back on the stove for a minute to thin it out again.

~ Caramel Apple Topping ~

32 - 34 Kraft caramels, unwrapped
2 tbsp milk

Place caramels and milk in a heavy small saucepan. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, melt the caramels until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and continue to stir, allowing the mixture to thicken slightly. Dip apples as you see fit... but if they are already covered in hard crack candy, you will be limited to just dipping the bottom of them for the effect. Otherwise, the candy will soften too much. Place the caramel-bottomed apples on a bed of coarsely granulated white sugar. The caramel will stick into the sugar and harden but the layer of sugar will help prevent the caramel from sticking to the platter or wrapper bottom.

If you're a microwave fan, substitute 2 tbsp water for the milk and microwave on high for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, stopping to stir.

To decorate your tricked-out apples with a chocolate pretzel, warm chocolate candy pieces (I like Wilton Candy Melts) over a double boiler. Dip the pretzel into the smooth melted chocolate. Add sprinkles and immediately place on your candy apple. The chocolate will harden and "stick" to the apple surface.

Wrap and present or serve immediately! Booking your dental appointment prior is recommended.

Black and Red Candy Apples

Perfect for Halloween!!
Red & Black Candy Apples

8-10 medium sized apples
8-10 wooden twigs, trimmed
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup of water
several drops of cinnamon flavored oil
1/4 teaspoon of red food coloring
1/4 teaspoon of black food coloring

Clean and dry the apples. Try to remove as much of the wax as possible. If you purchase them from your local farmer’s market then chances are they have not been treated with the food grade wax that makes then shine. Remove any stems or leaves and insert a twig into the end of each apple. To facilitate easier twig entry you can carefully sharpen the end of the twig or use a candy stick to create a guide hole. Set apples aside.

Heat and stir sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan until sugar has dissolved. Boil until the syrup reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer. Don’t go over 310 degrees or your candy burns and then you’ll be sad.

Remove from heat and stir in flavored oil and food coloring.

Dip one apple completely in the syrup and swirl it so that it becomes coated with the melted sugar candy. Hold the apple above the saucepan to drain off excess. Place apple, with the stick facing up, onto a baking sheet that’s greased or lined with a silpat. Repeat the process with the remaining apples. If your syrup thickens or cools too much, simply reheat briefly before proceeding. Let the apples cool completely before serving.

A note about the black apples: Lighter colored apples (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious) work well in making the red appear bright and glassy; darker apples like red delicious help the black candy appear as dark as possible. Muy spooky!

You can make one batch with red food coloring then re-heat the candy mixture and add black food coloring. Adding black to red will make it darker. Repeat the dipping process. Black food coloring can be found online or at specialty baking stores.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Once in awhile even I rant..

Every week I make a trip to my nearest hobby and craft store to restock and replenish my craft stash. Now mind you that is not a 15 minute 5 mile trip, but rather an hour over back-roads and 45 miles. A trip that is not often easy on me due to the extreme heat we have had and how it affects my fibro. Granted that is not the store's problem and of course we usually grocery shop at the same time.
I hate to complain about any business and at this time the store shall rename nameless, but I know you guys are smart and can figure it out quickly.
Why make the trip to the hobby and craft store on a weekly basis? Well since our fire, we live in a 5th wheel and while it is not really small, it sure is not big and I have limited space in which to store things. So I "need" certain things weekly to replenish the stash. and the store has great weekly sales and a good coupon almost every week.
That is if the clerks would actually give you the sale prices or the clearance prices! I place the items on the belt in order, findings together that are on sale, regular priced items, fabrics, clearance get the idea. I always even mention that a item is on discount and usually get told, I KNOW. Oh really, you do know? Then why do you have to look at the sales flier on every item? Why do you charge me full price?
This past week, I bought several sheets of scrapbooking paper to be able to start my holiday cards. I found some great papers marked down to 6 for a buck! I even mentioned to the clerk how I wish they would not put a red mark through the price when discounting the papers as the red mark bleeds through. He agreed. I laid the papers out as to the 6 for a buck and the regular price papers and told him which were which.
Now maybe I should go through each item and compare it to the sales receipt before I leave the store or do it in the parking lot..but why should I have to dump out all my bags to double check what I just told the clerk about? So sure enough I get home check the receipts and bamm!! I was charged full price for all the paper..I was over charged by about 6 bucks!
So, it being not the first time I was overcharged on something and already having called the store to talk to the manager about it and being told bring it back and we will adjust it..not likely we will make a 100 miles round trip back to town that day..telling the manager that..they say oh any time is okay. Meaning I can now not use the items until it is looked at and adjusted, which will be next week. But every time I go back that manager in not there and I have not once got my price adjustment or I needed to use the stuff right now and could not take it back for the adjustment.
WHEW!! So I call corporate this time..get a nice young man who insists on calling me Miss Genelle..tell him my woes and he says he will look into it..calls Miss Genelle back and says I know you do not want to have to go back for such a small amount (I do not consider 6 bucks a small amount actually) and that he spoke to the manager and they will speak to the employees.
Matter not resolved in my  mind at overcharge in past 2 months is around $20!!  But apparently they do not really care! and the store shows it too, as they is leaks all over the place and barriers up and do not enter signs, so you can not get to some of the items they sell. That has gone on for many months. makes me wonder if they plan on closing this store.
But you know what a new store for crafts and hobbies has opened up and they are no longer the only game in town and it is right next to where I buy groceries too!!
True overcharges do happen from time to time, but with this store it is consistent and they don't really care or so it appears. I do hope they finally resolve this matter, but I am not holding my breath until they actually do..

You Wanna Be Cuffed?

I love to make cuffs of any kind, crocheted, knitted, leather..for the wrist and or the ankle..I just love cuffs..well maybe not the "Go to jail' kind!
Here are some I have made:

This one is a soft brown fleece with a rolled pink organza rose and pink buttons, pink tulle and all have my own special feature!

I love polka dots of any colors! This one is done on a stretch type material with a rolled white rose made of an embroidered material with glittery stars, white feathers, buttons and again with my own signature touch added!
This is my helper..Dolly:
Have a great day!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

It Don't Come Easy

I am so reminded this morning, as I made my daily status post on Facebook of the words of this song:
"Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don't come easy
You don't have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy"
Now I am no expert on interpretation of what Ringo had in mind, but this is what it means for me:
Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues:
I pay my due respect every day to the God who made me and gave me what I have, but some days I sing the blues and then I remember what I do have and that none of it came easy to me, but for me I do want to shout and leap about and share it with the world and those I admire and love.
"Open up your heart, let's come together
Use a little love and we will make it work out better"
Do we really open our hearts or do we just say we do? It is amazing what a little love shown for fellow man can do and how it can make your own life so much better.
"I don't ask for much, I only want your trust
And you know it don't come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it don't come easy"
Trust never comes easy and so many times one gives trust and gets tread upon and fears ever giving trust again. But let the love within you grow and trust can come again..oh yes it is human nature to be leary once our trust is broken, but you can do it if you just try.
"Peace, remember peace is how we make it
Here within your reach if you're big enough to take it"
There is so much unrest in our world and some times it seems if it will never be peaceful. But, and let me tell you that is a big BUT... we can find peace if we try to reach within ourselves and then extend that branch of peace to someone else who has touched us in some way. Forgiveness and trust are hard things to earn and to keep giving to one who may discard your trust and one who may not be easy to forgive. But do we really need to live with these things eating and gnawing our souls and our health away?
Most of us believe in a higher power and that higher power does not want us to be constantly at war within ourselves and in our daily walk with others of the world.
I would love simpler times and would love to buy the world a 'coke" and 'sing in perfect harmony' that even possible? It don't come easy but maybe, just maybe if we go back to a simpler concept and find peace within our own hearts and souls and maybe I am an idealist, but I wonder if we could find things do come easier. The world is huge place maybe not just by mileage but by our differences, but as it is said a journey begins with just one step, one step in the right direction would be to trust, love and extend your heart and hand to one person each day. I feel as artists and crafters we can touch the world together. How will you start your journey today?
Thanks for letting me be philosophic this morning!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

National Day of Encouragement

Did you know there is a National Day of Encouragement? I think this is a day we should try to promote every day..never hurts to give encouragement to those you know..someone who might just be needing some words to help them along the way.
I know being a person with fibromyalgia that encouragement is a big help to me. Sometimes I give this encouragement to myself, just a small pep talk to get me going in the morning. Maybe just a small prayer or a little "You can do it!". I know others can benefit from some great words of hope also!
I have found some great encouraging words as of late in a great community I have joined in the way of a site known as TheHive. It is a wonderful group of artists, crafters, retailers, cooks, consumers and people from many walks of life. These folks post projects they have done or things they might be selling or have bought. They talk to one another in an encouraging way with openness and honesty whether it be about their craft or about problems others have. And there is groups within the site you can join, groups that may pertain to you and what you like. It is without a doubt the best social media group I have ever joined and you can find TheHive here.
Many long years ago when I was on the road selling outdoor electrical display signs to businesses I got a bit down after a long spell of no sales. I was in a town in New Mexico, named Portales, I went into a Christian bookstore to try to sell them what we called a marquee sign and a glow ball for the business..well this man could tell I was down and needed some spiritual commitment to myself and a boost to my pride and ego. He gave me a book by Dr. Robert Schuller of Crystal Cathedral fame.." Self Love"( I know many do not agree with Dr. Schuller and I am not a follower but found this book helpful)..the book suggested standing in front of the mirror and speaking words of encouragement to one's self and I did that for a few days. well I went out and sold all but one business I visited signs that weekend!!
So you never know what or who might encourage you and who might encourage with just a few well chosen words. so to all of you I say this:
"In this great big world, you make a difference. I'm so thankful that one of the many lives you've touched is mine. I pray God multiplies back to you the blessing you are, many times over."
Try watching this positive child Jessica or this great video on making life simple..
I pray for all of you a great day of ENCOURAGEMENT each and every day!!

Happy Grandparents Day!!

I am a very blessed lady with 8 grand kids and 2 great grand kids!! and I just want to say a "Happy Grandparents Day" to all those who are grandparents!!
My grandson Daniel
My great granddaughters Kayla and Kyrie (Daniel's daughters)

Grandson Zachary and his wife Christine
 grandson Kyle
Grandsons Jerry and Jamison
Granddaughter Paige
Granddaughter Brittany
 Granddaughter Forrest..the one I talk about all the time!!
 I feel truly blessed as a grandparent!!
Bless you all today and everyday!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More recycled tube jewelry

Sorry for the poor photos..I do not have really great lighting:

the first one is a bracelet..the next a necklace with handmade paper tubes beads and the last one a bracelet also

The necklace has green, pink and yellow colors on a black/copper background..wish it showed just how highly glossy it is..then the beads are hand rolled painted and mod podged paper beads

The bracelet is pink and black background with silver letters spelling "believe"
I love to reuse and recycle!!

How Toxic Toiletries & Chemical Overload can lead to Fibromyalgia Symptoms-FREE Tele-/web- seminar

 From my Facebook friend and nutritionist   Deirdre Rawlings:
Hi there,

I'm so glad you may be attending my FREE Tele-/web- seminar

"How Toxic Toiletries & chemical Overload Can Lead to Fibromyalgia Symptoms"

-- on Thursday, September 23rd @ 7p.m. (Eastern) / 4 p.m. (Pacific)!

Did you sign up on my preview call page --

If you haven't, you really need to go do that. We'll be emailing you the dial-in information plus we'll be sending you a link to download the recording after the call.

Here's that link again:

Hope to "see' you on the call!

To your health and wellness,


Friday, September 10, 2010

Here are some of the ways to tell if you might have Fibromyalgia

Here are some of the ways to tell if you might have Fibromyalgia:
 When you visit your doctor tell them about your specific pain areas, if the doctor really pays attention they will know to press on certain "tender points" in your body. Generally there is 18 tender points on your body and they become highly sensitive to people with fibro..these are based on criteria by the American College of Rheumatology. People without fibro are not as generally sensitive in these pressure points or tender points.
There is over 75 other tender points in your body but generally only these 18 are needed to define fibromyalgia.
While the symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia fluctuate from person to person, there is one common symptom that all agree on - they ache all over. The pain can feel like a deep bone ache, pains and needles, or a stabbing or burning pain. Muscles may feel like they have been pulled or overworked. There are times this pain is mild, others when it is so severe that it becomes unbearable. Along with pain, many Fibromyalgia sufferers report headaches, poor sleep, fatigue, depression, and irregular bowel habits. Many others simply describe their symptoms as "flu-like."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Duck!! Projectile Jewelry May Be Headed Your Direction!!

Nah, not really..I do not often throw things, even if I do feel like it. You know they say that creative people are temperamental, well right now I just feel mental!!
Let me start by saying, I hate air conditioning and will turn it off and open the windows every chance I get. And yesterday with lower temps and the rain seemed like a good day to open those windows and get some fresh air. So wrong!! Because apparently every piece of jewelery I made yesterday does not share my enthusiasm for fresh air !! Well at least not the humid rainy part!
What was I thinking? Or was I thinking at all?? Most likely not as I sometimes just tend to bull ahead and do things. Yesterday being one of those and man was I on a roll! So I make all this stuff and set it next to the window to dry and set up..oh dear Lord girl, you know better than that..resins, plaster, glues and whatever else I used do not like humidity at all!! They all look like a experiment gone wrong! Holes, cracks, air bubbles, bleeding of the papers I used...things that usually never happen to me!
All my handmade and designed and painted papers cracked too! The only thing that seemed to go okay was the cards I made..thank goodness for Aleene's Tacky Glue!! It did it's stuff and the cards at least look good!!
So in summary there is about 6 pieces of  gooey, cracked and weird looking jewelry and 5 pieces of large cracked, crackled looking paper...
Oh WAIT!! Humm do I see a rainbow at the end of this story?? Humm maybe I am seeing some real altered art in the making here?..okay nothing is flying except the little wheels inside my head..I remember Lisa Fulmer once saying do not throw away anything that has gone awry..okay what shall I turn this tragedy into?? So I guess if life hands you lemons, you just need to suck it up and make altered art!! That is my version of altered art..lol1
Have a blessed day!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Walkin' After Midnight

I go out walkin after midnight, not in the moonlight, but in my head..partly because I can not sleep due to my fibro and partly because so much has happened in the past 18 months, that walkin through those doors is the way I deal with everything.
I was diagnosed with my fibro quite sometime ago and actually have dealt with it fairly well, mostly because I have a strong faith and belief in the good Lord and partly because I learned long ago to deal with adversity and how to stay strong and steadfast.
I have had several surgeries over the past 15 years and most have not gone as they should have due to the fibro complications. But I made it and dealt with those too and carried on..
But on March 27th, 2009 (the day before my birthday) was hard nut to cope with..
I was watching my precious little grand daughter at my daughter's house and about 4pm my mother in law called to inform us that my father in law had passed away. They had been divorced for 40 years but remained in contact, so she delivered the news to us..Ross is like me and he deals well with bad news. He took the baby for a wagon ride and read her books.
Being that the next day was my birhtday and we most likely would not make the 45 mile trip back to Fayetteville, they had a cake for me and a couple of gifts. Shortly after that we headed home to Winslow..we chatted as normal on the way home about news in our area and even talked about a home that had burned and how the "foundation was saved"..a bit of a joke in these rural areas.
It had rained hard all day with lots of lightning and thunder..I even saw on the noon news a report of 100's of lightning strikes in the Boston Moutain/Winslow area. It was kind of foggy as we approached our area of the world..a world that was about to be shattered!
I saw it first and knew right away, but told myself it was fog. I just gasped, "Oh Ross"..he said, "I see it". The driveway was very muddy and slippery and he pulled my side of the car almost flush to the root cellar, he did not want me to get out of the car. But I will be damned if I was going to stay in that car and slid out the drivers side. My first thought was of my pets...all were safe except one who had just had a litter of kittens and we never saw her again. She was on the second floor of the house and she was a devoted mommy and I am sure she would not leave her kittens. A distant neighbor met Ross around what was our back yard and said she saw it around 2pm and called the fire department, but it was alrady a total loss by the time she saw it and the volunteers got here. She handed him a was all she knew to do. That was a nice gesture from this young woman. We never saw or heard from another neighbor or anyone else in our tiny town for that matter. So much for that small town friendly feeling!
Ross had stopped smoking, but this made him have to have a smoke! We had a small camper that was my mothers and I went into that and let the cats come in with me. I about smothered them with my loving on them. When I knew Ross was gone to get cigarettes, I began to scream and cry and pound the walls and ask God, why, why, why?? In my tears and anger I looked up and saw what I call my mother's "Jesus fish" on the wall and above it a painting of a small old cabin out in the woods all snowbound. A peace of sorts came over me and Jeremiah 29:11 entered my head. I stopped crying and my next thought was I did not even have any clean underwear!!
Ross came back and all he could say was he was sorry, over and over, I told him it would all be okay, even if I did still have some nagging doubts and fears.
He found wire from the telephone and like in Green Acres he climbed the pole and reattached the phone wires and took an old phone from our little junk shed and told me to call my daughter to come get me..
He would not ever leave the property..he would not leave the pets or what little we had left in some storage containers and the camper. He had no clean clothes or running water or power, but there was no way he would leave for a minute. It kind of scared me to leave him alone. We held each other and cried and said goodbye and I left with my daughter. We lived apart for 4 months while we got something to live in again with the help of some good freinds of my daughters and some help from some good folks at the church. My daughter brought me out to see him often and he came into town to work and stopped every day to see me.
We had no insurance..they had stopped underwriting many houses in our area due to no fire hydrants and only a vlounteer fire department that was always in chaos. Everything we had was gone..all our belongings, our photos, our clothes, our wedding photos, all the things I had saved of my childrens, my sewing machines..all gone.
Everyone seemed to be waiting for the other shoe to drop and for me to go into shock, but that would not happen..I knew God would see us through, some how. So that first night alone, I began walkin after midnight through my home and I would and still do visualize just how everything was..what was on the walls, on the tables, on the floor... everything in the house, even the cobwebs I last saw and thought how they needed to be brushed off..I even wrote it all down in a journal.
Some may say tht is total denial, but not for me, to me it is a coping mechamism that God put in my head that first night and even now if I can not sleep I go walkin and everything feels okay..and you know what it actually is okay! I am blessed with the love of a powerful God and a good man and a loving family and the help, love and support of the good freinds I have met online thse past months. I praise God everyday I can breathe and feel, even if it is pain..yes it will always be a hard loss, but praise God we have each other.
PS..Please do not feel sorry for us..I just want to point out just how strong the human being can be in some really adverse situations..but prayers are always welcome!!

Speaking of tubes...

Speaking of tubes, here is some of the jewelry I make from tubes:

Don't Throw That Tube Away!!

I use tubes from paper towels and toilet tissue or gift wrap for lots of things but I sure wish I had thought of this one:

Sunday, September 5, 2010



Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.

Creative individuals have a great deal of energy, but they are also often quiet and at rest.
Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naive at the same time.
Creative individuals have a combination of playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.
Creative individuals alternate between imagination and fantasy at one end, and rooted sense of reality at the other.
Creative people seem to harbor opposite tendencies on the continuum between extroversion and introversion.
Creative individuals are also remarkable humble and proud at the same time.
Creative individuals to a certain extent escape rigid gender role stereotyping and have a tendency toward androgyny.
Generally, creative people are thought to be rebellious and independent.
Most creative persons are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.
The openness and sensitivity of creative individuals often exposes them to suffering pain yet also a great deal of enjoyment.

From Creativity - Beyond the Myth of Genius, by Robert W. Weisberg.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Let's Hear It For National Sewing Month!!

Give me an S, give me an E, give me a W..well you get the idea!! A huge cheer for National Sewing Month and all those with needle pricked fingers who so love to sew!!
As I said before I started sewing at age 5 by hand and got my very own first sewing machine at age 8..and from there a life long love of sewing machines became a collection.
I could never part with a sewing machine and had every one I ever had for many years. But due to divorce and moving a few times, most got displaced along the way. But when we moved out to the country to a huge house with 25 acres, I began my obsession all over again. I had a very nice Janome machine, but all I ever really wanted was another old timie Singer. Well to my amazement I found a sewing machine stash right on our new property that would be hard to equal!
The former owners had made themselves quite a dump over the back of the hill behind the out shed and over that hill I found a treasure trove of the past 50 years, the former owners had dumped there. For one thing they must have burned through appliances, large and small, like no bodies business! There was a ton of toasters from days gone past, waffle irons, crock pots, phonographs, cameras, hair name it, it was down there. I found old peddle cars, even one like the fire truck I had as a child! At that time you could find those in very bad shape going for over 500 bucks at flea markets down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, which is about 50 miles from us.
I was digging in that wonderland of dumped treasures one day, trying to pull out some old galvanized tubs to use for flower beds, when I saw what was the best find ever for me! A very old Singer sewing machine!! I was so excited I could hardly breathe! I dug for hours, ignoring cuts I was getting from many pieces of buried broken glass to go after my rewards. At the end of my burrowing on that first day, I had found 3 very old Singers, an old Kenmore and an oldie from Montgomery Wards. I was giddy and talking a mile a minute about my finds when Ross got home that night!! You would of thought I struck black gold! To me I had found Fort Knox!!
Ross made me a shelf from some very old almost petrified wood to place them on in our Keeping room. Most where pretty messed up and the graphics were about gone and could probably never actually run again without many hours of labor. I made one into a lamp and used 2 of the old Singers as bookends with some of my crochet and tatting work draped over was quite lovely, if I say so myself.
Of course by now I had my newer machines with a ton of doodads on them in my sewing room and did use some of the finds (I found about 6 more before I stopped digging) as decoration in my sewing room. I would sew and look at those old timers and think of the wonderful things that someone may have made on them and of Aunt Myra and her old treadle machine.
Sad to say but we came home one day to find our home gone, struck by lightning and burned to the ground! We lost everything we had, 50 plus years of my life now gone.
After the shock and tears my thoughts go often to those old machines, maybe someday I will have the physical and mental and emotional fortitude to go up to the remains of the house and see what of those old iron machines are still surviving..

How To Sew With '54 Chevy!!

It is National Sewing Month!! I love to sew and learned how when I was 5 years old from my Great Aunt Myra (she was the artist in a previous post). She taught me how to make a perfect straight running stitch with the tiniest needle and red embroidery thread. I did not know at the time I was learning "Redwork" and how to sew a seam together at the same time! I still hand sew many of my projects to this day.
My mother was not much of a crafting type person and did not like to sew too much either. But she was a crocheting fool and she would sew and made us three girls these adorable little pinafores. My favorite one she made us was red with white polka dots. I love that material to this day! My grandmother posed us in the garden among the lilies and took wonderful photos of us with her old Brownie camera, of course that was a hot camera back then.
My father worked part time at a cemetery and all year round there was the most beautiful ribbons thrown away in this huge dump on the grounds. He brought home tons of ribbons, such beautiful colors too! Purples and passionate pinks, pure whites and lemony yellows, rose reds and brilliant blues!! He hated to see such beauty just tossed aside. So he brought them home!
Mommy and Daddy would sit and take the ribbons off the dead flowers and put the like colors together and make huge rolls of ribbons. My mother them took those ribbons and sewed them into sheets of ribbon fabric and then make us girls dresses with them! I think I would give a million bucks to have one of those dresses today, but how I despised them then knowing they came from "death flowers"! Humm now that I think back Mommy was pretty crafty after all!
I made my first full skirt for myself at 5 years old in 1955. Material was so inexpensive back then too that my father was glad to buy the fabric for me so I could learn to make my own clothes. Just a simple gathered skirt with a small placket and handmade button holes all in red gingham. I loved to wear it to church with my simple "Peter Pan" collar crisply starched white blouse. I thought I was Giselle Mackenzie from "Your Hit Parade" twirling around in my little fancy (Well I thought so!)skirt!
But the thing was I wanted to use a sewing machine!! My mother had an old Singer that had been a treadle machine, but Daddy converted it to an electric machine. The problem with me using it was I was a speed demon at everything I did and Daddy was afraid I would sew my finger or hand right into a skirt!! But actually I was in awe of the machine and would start out going quite slowly. So to solve the dilemma Aunt Myra taught me to use her old treadle machine and I did very I was allowed to use the electric machine.
My father felt my mother needed a new machine to make clothes for us girls, so he bought her a very expensive Necchi sewing machine. That thing was a master piece of design. It had a gazillion cams that turned all different ways to make stitches of all kinds, some looked like embroidery! It was a modern marvel! But I was not allowed to use it!! Bah!
Well, Daddy had bought me a 1954 Powerglide (orange in color (yuck)) Chevy! I was 8!! But he figured he would drive it until I was old enough to see over the steering wheel and learn how myself. People tend to drive at a young age back on the farm. It was an okay car, but it was not a sewing machine!! I wanted a sewing machine darn it!!
As luck would have it he had a friend who had a teenage boy who wanted a car, my car was what he wanted..well I had no idea it was considered a hot car back then!
And what with more luck this friends wife had a Anchor sewing machine she never used! So without me knowing Daddy came home one day with my very own Anchor sewing machine!! I was in heaven, twirling around and making up a song about how my '54 Chevy was now a sewing machine and I was going to name it my '54 Chevy and sew on it forever and ever!! Of course it was not forever, but for many years I did use my '54 Chevy and made clothes and curtains and whatever my mind could come up with all with no patterns! I never used any patterns until Home Ec in Junior high school.
So that my dear folks is how you sew on a '54 Chevy!! Happy National Sewing Month!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Please, please ladies go for pap smears and men please encourage the women in your life to go see their doctors. Here is some signs and possible symptoms, but do not self diagnose go see your doctors!!

The Hooker, The School Marm and The Artist

They all walk into a that is not how this story goes!!
The Hooker:
My Great Grandmother Kate Hamilton Torrey was some woman and by that I mean a great woman. She was a tall proud woman who always seemed very stern, but had a heart of gold. She came to Bonner Springs, Kansas from Enid, Oklahoma in a covered wagon as a young girl. She was truly a pioneer woman, but she was also a "Daughter of the American Revolution" and a member of "Descendants of the Mayflower". She had some funny but endearing habits, such as she believed that a roll of orange Life Savers a day gave her vitamin C and she ate cashews as a replacement for meat. But who am I to second guess her habits as she was 93 when she passed away.
I so recall the huge loom in her wonderful bedroom of my Grandmother's house. It was at the foot of her huge four poster bed. In front of the loom was a beautiful brocade sofa with a triple huge sized picture window that looked out over my Grandmother's expansive gardens and the neighbors homes across the small creek she called "The Wash". Over in the corner next to a door that led to no where but was about 6 feet up from the ground, was her beautifully carved desk. At that desk she sat and practiced what her education was in, Genealogy. People from all over the world would contact her to trace down their family roots and history. At that desk she would write down in long hand, in the most beautiful and remarkable penmanship, with quill pen and an ink well,on parchment paper, the branches of a family and their ancestors. She even drew the most beautiful and elegant tree to place each name upon!
But it was her loom that drew me to that room the most..she would first sit for days taking apart old woolen clothing and carefully cut them into strips she would sew together. I could never see a rhyme or reason as to how she pieced them together, but she had an artistic eye and she knew exactly what was going to go into the canvas on her loom. She would have already either drawn out on the canvas or a pad what rug she intended to hook. Then magically with this huge wooden contraption she would weave into that canvas the most gorgeous rugs you can ever imagine!! Breathtaking flower designs, eagles, huge evergreens and sometimes someones portrait all done in wool on a rug. Yes, my great grandmother was a hooker.
The Artist;
My great aunt, Myra Belle Kerns, was a wisp of a lady. She never had any children and was so in love with her husband, Grant, that when he passed away she grieved to the point she almost joined him. She was one amazing seamstress and had an old treadle Singer she made hum as if it was a motorized model. Her tiny feet moved back and forth so fast it was sight to behold!
Her tiny bedroom was off of the kitchen in my grandmothers house and in it she had a twin bed with a white canopy.. she made that only covered the top part of her bed. In her bedroom she also had her sewing machine by the large window that overlooked the garden and a part of the backyard, which was loaded with apple trees. Next to her Singer machine she had her easel. An easel that always had a canvas on it ready to start a painting or one being worked on..sometimes it was on a regular canvas and sometimes she painted on felt or wool scraps she pieced together into a wonderful painting. The house was filled with paintings she had of Uncle Franklin, her brother, was over the mantel in the living room..another of Abraham Lincoln was over her bed. Many small paintings were found all around the house on little gold easels. The churches in Bonner Springs had her religious paintings hanging in them. They were in later years found in the Agriculture Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs. She painted portraits of JFK and the first lady and you actually saw them on the first lady's tour of the White House! She was featured in The Kansas City Star as a renowned Midwest artist who painted on felt. She painted the most beautiful portraits of my sisters and myself, one for each of us and one of the three of us children together. My oldest daughter still has that painting. She did a huge felt wall hanging depicting Noah and the Ark with several animals down the sides, my oldest niece still has that one.
She was a very spiritual lady and loved to sing hymns as she sewed or painted. She was one of the most beautiful persons you could have ever known.
The School Marm:
My grandmother, Lois Torrey Greene Washburn, was a educator. ALL THE TIME!! She taught school in Bonner Springs, Kansas and was one of the pioneers in education development in the state of Kansas. Eventually she became a superintendent of schools there in Bonner. A very eloquent and very well spoken woman so much that people listened when she spoke! They had better listen! She loved her massive gardens, her church and her dog and of course her family and probably in that order! She was married to Hugh Greene and they never had any children. But they adopted my mother who was 6 at the time of her adoption, having been placed for adoption as one of the children who were victims of the "Great Depression". They later took in a foster child, who my grandmother called a companion for my mother. Always seemed odd to me!
My grandfather passed away just before I was born so I never knew him. But my mother told me all about him. He spoiled my mother which irritated my grandmother to no end. He had a room in the walk out basement next to the garage that he was allowed to have his things in and a place to smoke his pipe and listen to the radio. My mother spent most of her time with him. She did that as my grandmother was always the teacher and if you were around her you had to be reading and be learning all the time. Besides which she really felt children were a nuisance and always under foot. My mother was only allowed her toys in the basement. Grandmother was quite stern to say the least!
She so loved to garden and had massive gardens with what she called "our man" who lived on the property in a garden house made of stone. He mowed the yard and kept the trees trimmed and did things like till the soil for her. The gardens had about every rose you ever heard of and the tallest most magnificent lilies of all varieties. She had dahlias the size of dinner plates! More flowers than I ever have seen except in a botanical garden!! Vegetable gardens too! Apple and cherry and peach and pear trees and many huge strawberry flats, all of which Aunt Myra made jams and jellies and apple butter with..the front yard was all huge evergreen trees. In the garden was several rain barrels with which we used the water to bathe and wash our hair, wonderful soft water that left your hair and skin so soft!
The walk leading to the front porch was this huge hand carved stone walk way with all stone steps. I can never forget the coal bucket on the steps which held beautiful polished stones from all over the world, as she traveled a lot. And in every yard there was a flag pole with the American flag and in the front also a Kansas flag.
My grandmother never drove a car and when I was a child they still had an old Model A Ford that only Aunt Myra would drive. Grandmother used to take me to Kansas City on the bus, to shop for myself and my sisters. we would go to Robinson's and buy Mary Janes and then to the Forum cafeteria and I would have Chicken Ala King which was to die for!! Then sometimes she would take me to the opera or to hear some great singer of her day that was still performing. My appreciation of music came largely from her.
She was a gifted cook too and made marvelous gourmet meals for her friends, but rarely for her family. We had hot dogs, way too many times, off of paper plates at the picnic table in the back yard. Again with children not to be seen and or heard. By the way we had to wash those paper plates and use them over and over until they became way too thin to even be useful anymore.
She remarried in 1954 to an author, traveler and construction man, George Washburn, who took his place in the basement room! But he also traveled a lot. He was a funny and well spoken man and wrote poetry and songs and he loved Alaska!! But he is another story!!
Some day I will tell you about Christmas at my grand mothers house..a beautiful, beautiful time!!
So that in a nutshell is The Hooker, The Artist and The School Marm, hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed recalling those days in Bonner Springs!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wonderful blog with a really sweet give away!!

Come check out this beautiful wonderful blog and get a chance to get a very beautiful and sweet give away!!