Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

I love vintage images, especially Halloween and Valentine's Day. Lucky for me, I have an aunt who is very similar, unlike my mother who de-clutters whatever she can find. My aunt gave me an old scrapbook full of cards, postcards and other ephemera from when she was a young girl. Many people, my mother included, would have felt it was junk and just thrown it away. To me, it's a treasure trove of images from the 1930's and I'm grateful to have it.
I think almost every Halloween as a kid, I was a witch. I had a black hat, a black cape and a rubber bat on a stick that I carried with me to trick or treat. Witches fascinated me then and continue to do so now. I love collecting vintage witch images.
I certainly am not into devil worship but I suppose witches represent magical possibilities to me. With a spell or a look or a twitch of the nose (Bewitched) they can make things happen. Whatever they want can be obtained. Not that I think that's necessarily a good thing, but it could come in handy sometimes.
I love Halloween today, maybe not as much as when I was a kid, but I still love the season, the excitement of trick or treating and remembering the hope that magic was open to me on that night. Happy Halloween to all!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Deftly Wrought

This is my newest design that I call "Deftly Wrought". The tiny samplers at the top are stitched over one and the rest of the piece is over two. I got the idea for the mini samplers from my friend Tedra who added an over one sampler to her French Alphabet design. The poem is original and since I like Mary Engelbreit I decided to give it a Mary E. flavor with the cherries and checkerboards and teapot in the first mini sampler. It is stitched on 28 ct Country French Cafe Mocha linen using DMC threads.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Football and Doughnuts

Years ago my son's 6th grade teacher was so excited that Krispy Kreme doughnuts built a store in town. She told me "when I'm in that store I'm with people who are just like me. I feel so comfortable there." I assume she would have felt completely out of place in a health food store.

My friend Connie came to visit recently from Nashville. We used to work together years ago and were pregnant with our boys at the same time and have stayed in touch ever since. She's a rabid Tennessee Titans fan and got us tickets to see the Phoenix Cardinals and the Titans play. For me, football is remembrances of hearing the crowds on TV screaming when my brothers and dad would watch the games on the weekend. To say that I am not a fan is to put it mildly. I don't even understand the game. A football game to me is a health food store to my son's 6th grade teacher.

Connie's enthusiasm was contagious though. Despite the amount of testosterone in the stadium, she was in her element. This was her Krispy Kreme store. She brought us both Titans jerseys to wear to the game, she had temporary tattoos that she wore and even Titan earrings. She was thrilled that my sneakers matched the Titan colors, though I certainly didn't plan it that way. Here she is 45 minutes before game time:

She had a poster made because the game was on CBS. It said:


By air to

See McNair

McNair being the Titan's quarterback. Sadly, he had an injury and didn't show up at the game. But that didn't ruin her enthusiasm though the 90 degree heat was fixing to ruin mine. Especially when I learned football games last 3 hours. How they last 3 hours when each quarter is only 15 minutes long is still a mystery to me. I learned the man in the green cap signaled a commercial when he stood on the field but the commercials certainly weren't 2 hours of the game. As I said, I know nothing.

I do like to people watch and that was fun, in fact I probably missed most of the important bits of the game in being distracted by the people around us. The young couple who were pregnant, thank goodness the two huge beers he bought were for him and the friend next to him. The man in front of us who had a freckled neck like my brother and couldn't stop screaming "Cardinals!!!!!!" every 15 seconds. His enthusiasm started after his second beer. I wondered if he'd be able to talk the next day. And the cutest sight of the day, the dad with his son who must have been four. He had a sparkly cardinal painted on his left cheek and a Cardinal jersey to match his dad's. They left halfway through the game, maybe to seek a seat in the shade rather than the full sun or maybe 3 hours was too long for a 4 year old, I know it was a tad too long for me, but then I'm over ten times his age and don't understand football.

I do wish they had marching bands during the halftime in pro games, that must only be for college games. The cheerleaders were cute, the fireworks with each Cardinal touchdown were exciting and I was amazed that the crowd noise sounded just like the noise from TV football. Maybe I assumed that sound was really like a TV laugh track? It just struck me that it was for real.

Unfortunately for Connie, the Titans lost 20-10. But we had a great day anyway. She told me of an elderly lady she sees at the Titans home games. She sits in the same place and is at each game. She also found her working as a volunteer in the gift shop at the hospital where she works as a nurse. Behold your future Connie...and thanks for a great day.

Monday, October 03, 2005


My friend Laurel is the one who inspired me to take a more active interest in gardening. She loves it so much she even planted her subdivision's common area with trees and cactus. Her free time is spent on her knees digging and planting. My free time is spent more with stitching but I still love the results I get when I focus on gardening.

I wish I had more time to devote to it as the results are worthwhile. especially in a climate where it's difficult to keep things growing and anything green is cherished. I love pots of flowers, lots of seeds and plenty of water. I love birdhouses and garden ornaments. I like the surprise of throwing out seeds and discovering what pops up. It's like a treasure hunt to find an unexpected beautiful flower. This is the time of year when we are weeding and cleaning out the flower beds. I'm getting ready to plant seeds now in October as the autumn and winter rains are great for the wildflowers I like. I especially love poppies and found some different poppy seeds when we were in Switzerland, ones I've never seen before and I'm hoping they'll work here in the desert too. As I said, a treasure hunt and I look forward to hopefully finding my Swiss poppies blooming in my garden someday soon.
Before we built our pool, we built a small pond with water lilies, water hyacinth, horsetail, cattail and fish. I loved it especially since it attracted colorful dragonflies but it had to come out when the pool went in. I think it inspired my friend Nancy to build her own pond and I was happy to give her all our waterlilies and now I can still see them when I visit her.
Gardening is such a sharing experience, I have some Nile River plants that Nancy had in her garden and they are so easy to pluck a stalk or two off and plant in the dirt and soon there is another plant. Hers eventually died off and she now has them back after plucking stalks from my plants and taking them back home to plant again in her garden. Geraniums are wonderful for the same reason, pull a leaf and part of the branch off and stick it in the dirt and you soon have another whole plant. I also love sharing seeds. When my flowers go to seed I pull all the seeds off and put them in a big jar and they are ready to give away or ready for me to plant again the next season. I'm sure many of my zinnias are the great-great-great-great etc grandchildren of my original zinnias.

Gardening is always a work in progress. I've never gotten expert enough that I'm happy with the results in all areas of the garden. Some years one spot is barren and another is boldly blooming. Other years it's the opposite. Every year the garden landscape changes especially since I throw out so many seeds, I'm never sure what is going to sprout. This year I thought I'd have a zillion zinnias like I do every year but they seemed to poop out on me and I only got a handful. But I keep on trying, keep on spreading seeds and digging holes and planting pots. I love color and I'll continue to garden and be pleasantly surprised with anything that blooms.

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