Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life Happens...

How could it possibly have been this long since I've posted??? There has just been too much going on and some things had to give–this blog was one of those things. And it all comes under the heading "life happens and we go on." As requested, I'll try to give a brief update and then hopefully I'll be able to do some posting soon.
We've had company a couple of times—my two grandchildren from Alabama were here for a month. We had lots of fun together and talked and laughed. I showed them my early Zentangles and they were as fascinated as I am so we did that too. Our friends from Bakersfield (CA) have been here twice. It's so nice to have some time to visit. Debbie, her friend Vicki (also from CA) and I (yes, we had fun with Debbie, Vicki and Vicki!) hit a couple of quilt shops in the OKC area and went for tea at Inspirations Teahouse & Gifts in Edmond. Grand fun!!! They got as far as Dallas on the way home--Lloyd (my best friend since 6th grade) ended up in a Dallas hospital and we almost lost him. He's still not out of the woods but is slowly improving. With another 6 to 8 weeks in the Dallas/Ft Worth area expected, I'll be making some trips south.
As we all know, everything changes and my job with Business Connections is ever-evolving so that is always interesting and too-often challenging.
In mid-August, my darling hubby had a stroke and that really took over my life! He is doing much better. He is now very careful about his blood pressure and not over-tiring himself; either one will set off an episode of dizziness and his left eye going off to the left corner.
I went for my annual eye exam and was looking forward to new glasses--there was less change than in previous years. Due to family history, I made sure to have the glaucoma range-of-vision test and we discovered that I have lost more than 1/3 of my range of vision in my right eye (of course, that's the "good" one), getting very close to 1/2. I've had the opportunity to meet more outstanding eye specialists than I had ever expected (or wanted) to but so far, no one can figure out what is happening or why. They all say my eye is very healthy and they are puzzled. We are now waiting for a three month follow up to measure speed of change. This is the hard part... along with paying the doctor bills.

Now for good news... I am now a Certified Zentangle Teacher and plan to teach it as a stress management tool for some people (and just plain fun too)—since I got started, I do not need blood pressure medication! Even with all the crud above, my bp is good.
I have been creating some unique Zentangle-inspired art cards and I have been encouraged by some artist friends (thanks to all) to take them to a couple of art gallery gift shops. My final packaging is almost ready (just a "detail" label to make) and then I'll be taking them to the galleries they've recommended.
Debbie (CA) and I co-authored an appendix on grammar and punctuation for a textbook on teaching for teachers; it is being printed now--my first time to be published. Very exciting!
I've been asked to be honorary Mother of the Bride for Kelsee, a daughter of my heart... is that cool or what?!?!
Our families are doing well and so are we. Thank you to so many who have asked how and where I was.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Etsy Store is Now Open

Well, this has been one of my goals for a while and I have now posted my first project (the Garden Serenity Apron) on my Etsy store, A Richer Life at Etsy: Garden Serenity Apron. Whoever purchases the apron will also get some added goodies (in this case the oven mitts and hot pad) as a thankyou surprise.

For anyone not familiar with Etsy, it is an online store; you cannot post anything that is not homemade, so this is where you can get some top quality items and support independent crafters and artists. You can find my Etsy store by going to http://www.richerlife.etsy.com/ or by clicking on the Etsy button to the right. I am going to be posting a wide range of things on my store and am very excited about this! In the very near future, I will have some of my greeting cards, lunch totes, coffee cozies, aprons, children's clothes and clothes for 18" dolls (American Girle, Goetz, etc.). The children and doll clothes and most of the aprons will be my own patterns so I've been having fun doing this.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Serenity Garden Apron Set

Well, I'm ready to start posting beginning items to my Etsy store this weekend. The first item that I'll be setting up is my Serenity Garden Apron set. The apron is a medium size and it has a matching set of oven mitts and a hot pad holder. I just fell in love with this fabric line and some of the sentiments on it...

"Nurture your garden, nurture your soul."
"Serenity... A cup of tea in the garden."
... and so many more.

I like pockets big enough to hold what I try to put in them so I make them nice and full.
Carolina Elizabeth designed the original oven mitt pattern and then I adjusted (very typical) it to use piping, one of my great loves. They are smaller than most oven mitts but very flexible—that means that they will work well in the microwave as well as in a conventional oven. I find that the standard size mitt is just too big for my comfort level pulling stuff out of the microwave. The hot pad holder is 6" square and just a nice place to put a hot dish.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

An interesting week...

Well, it's been an interesting week, to say the least!
Saturday was the Deluxe independent crafters show at the state fairgrounds. I was able to go and was very excited to meet the girls from SheezKrafty and see their beautiful work... even spent a little money! I had fallen in love with their switchplates on their blog and like them even more in the real world!

Sunday was Mother's Day and I got a wonderful gift in hearing that my two grandchildren in Alabama will be here for the month of June. Now that is a gift! And we got to talk to the kids! I also heard from our kids, grandkids and greatgrand kids in South OKC. All in all, a wonderful day!

Monday night (of course with lots of work to do) my computer started acting up. It looked and acted like the left arrow key was stuck so I ran to the closest Wal-Mart and picked up a new wireless keyboard & mouse set. Got home... set it up... still a problem. The only way to shut it down was power then I couldn't get anything so into the shop the computer went. I got it back and was able to set it up last night.

About 10 minutes after turning it on, we took a power hit and it burned out the CPU. Yup, it's been a grand week! I hadn't really planned on a new computer but looks like the good Lord had other plans for me.

Well, as you can see, I'm up and running again and hope to put up some new items soon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Photos from the Land Run re-enactment

Well, here are two proud great-grandmas! These photos were taken after Mackenzie's class did their re-enactment to celebrate the Oklahoma Land Run. All the kids in the class had their lunches and most had a blanket and they started off from the start line to select and stake their "claim" (in this case it was the "plot" they were going to eat their lunch). Madison (pink gingham outfit) is in pre-K this year and so her class did not run but we all trooped around the entire schoolyard, each of the grades in order. Then each grade lined up and ran to stake their lunch space. A lot of great fun and a wonderful way to teach state history. Mackenzie's dress, apron/pinafore and bonnet were made from reproduction patterns and fabrics. It was not the bright cheery prints and colors that she usually wears but was very typical of the children's clothes at the time. Last year many of the kids were in costume but this year, Mackenzie was the only one in full costume. A couple of the kids had on cowboy hats and neckerchiefs but that was about the extent of it. I was very proud that she would want to wear her outfit when the others were not costumed. We sure had fun and it was great that Janis and I were able to join Kenzie, Maddie, little sister Kenadie and momma Anna for a fun lunch outing--such a great break from the office!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Good morning!

Spring is here! and hear! I hear some birds singing and other chirping; the wind (ever-present in Oklahoma) is blowing so I hear the leaves rustling; it rained last night, I went to the car and a gust of wind emptied the rain from the leaves... on me. So I changed. But it is so nice out and we really have needed the rain so I just can't bring myself to complain. I love it when it has the decency to do the raining at night!

I've been working on many projects but my camera gave up on me so I haven't been able to show you anything recently. One of the things I can show you is two more of the zentangles I've done... I am having so MUCH fun doing these. I hope you enjoy. Have a good day, y'all!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Flirty Apron Swap package arrived!

I had the MOST fun Thursday! My apron arrived from my mystery partner in the Flirty Vintage Linen Apron Swap! I am attaching the photos that Kathy had on her blog of the apron I received ( thatallisongirl.blogspot.com) . The print has some purple in the flower petals since Kathy knew my favorite color is purple. She said that she searched for purple coordinating fabric but ended up using the blue gingham and it is so perfect! The little red hearts are buttons that are tied on with yellow floss--this is an embellisment I would not have thought of but it just completes and adds to the overall apron. It is beautifully made and fits to perfection--I am just so lucky. In the swap we also included a "vintage" recipe and I'm going to try out two of the ones that she sent, hopefully this weekend. I also received as a goodie and beautiful embroidered hand towel in the package... Kathy, it was wonderful and I love it!
Yesterday was the kids' school re-enactment of the Oklahoma Land Run. They all lined up and ran to stake their spot for our picnic lunch. Both Mackenzie and Madison had on their costumes–not many other costumes this year and no one else had "full dress". The others were just something like a hat and neckerchief; I was very proud that the girls wore their dresses when it made them "different." I'll be getting photos from Mom and post them right away--we all had fun and I enjoyed a break from the office to have lunch with them.

A few weeks ago, on the PAKART Alaska blog (http://pakartalaska.blogspot.com/, I saw a zentangle for the first time... and fell in love with it. I've been doing those and, golly gee whillikers, it makes me feel artistic! I've always wanted to do something graphic and can't draw a decent stick figure... seriously. But this I can do... it's like doodling on steroids. I think I'm even going to take their train-the-trainer session to learn how to teach this. Here is a zentangle that I have done; I've titled this one "Heart of My Hearts."

I have also been busy making some aprons and oven mitts to put on my Etsy site--almost ready now and I'll be showing those soon. I had to make the time to work on these around some marketing consulting work I'm doing--a great way to keep my hand in the marketing.