Sunday, December 13, 2009

Another Confession

I've got a confession to make: I am having a love affair.

My husband has known about it for some time. He roles his eyes whenever he sees me meet the object of my affection. Of course, my squeals of delight probably embarrass him. And he frowns, giving me a reproaching look whenever I bring my love home. And I always give in and bring my obsession home. I can't help it.

I am addicted. To fabric. But especially to wool.

I love the way it feels and smells. When I first see a new piece or bolt of this luxurious material, my heart beats faster and my breath draws in with wonder. I touch it gingerly, then pet it as I examine every inch and marvel at the quality or color. I love it all--from the cheap stuff to the softest cashmere.
A few days ago, while discussing The Pillars of the Earth--a book we're both reading, I told my sister-in-law that I was really upset when the house full of wool burned. She laughed, but I was serious. I pictured all that fuzzy fleece just waiting to be molded into some form of fabulosity, transforming into hot ash. Ugh! I shudder when I think of it. Of course, the protagonist was devastated because she was financially ruined, but I was appalled at the waste of such beauty and potential. I know, I know. It's a little crazy, but I don't care. It's one of my passions!

I adore steam pressing it and breathing in the aroma while I shape it into a fiber masterpiece. It's warm and soft, and I get such a thrill when I see it in any shape or size! I love to wrap a length of it around my shoulders, revering and treasuring its beauty. I hug it to me, spin around and marvel at its magnificence in the mirror. I will never, ever tire of this exquisite textile.

So there it is. I've exposed my soul to you all and I'm not sorry. My love will wrap me in security and warmth for as long as I want. Now, if only my human true love would build me another shelf . . .

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bewitching Beauty Wedding Dress and Veil - Threads

I've been a bad, bad girl!

Instead of sewing the several ruanas I cut out the other day, or finishing the design of the new capelet I want to make, I spent the day here. On the computer. I wrote an entry for this long-neglected blog, and then I spent way too long editing photos for a contest on the Threads Magazine site. Oh, and I set up a new Flickr account, too!

The contest is called Fancy Fabric, and it calls for entries that involve working with, well, fancy fabrics! You know. Things like silk, satin, beaded or embroidered fabrics. Well, as soon as I read the rules I knew I wanted to enter the wedding dress and veil I made for my God-daughter. It has almost all of the qualities called for in the contest.

Here's the link: 

Bewitching Beauty Wedding Dress and Veil - Threads

Posted using ShareThis

Come see all the fabulous entries. And while you're there, I'd love for you to leave a comment for me! 


Many people might consider us unlucky.

The other morning, my husband called to tell me he had been in an accident. A thin layer of ice and snow unexpectedly blanketed the ground in Freeport and as he slowly approached his job site, he lost control and veered off the the road. As he coasted onto the shoulder, he held his breath while his carpool buddy turned his head and closed his eyes. When they finally stopped--inches away from a telephone pole, a tire had blown out on its bent rim and the right front fender was crushed. Poor guy spent his morning looking for a junkyard that had his rims in stock.

Later in the afternoon, I corraled the dogs into the back of the car and headed off on dry roads to get my hair done. As I sat in my hairdresser's chair, I noticed large, wet flakes begin to fall. By the time I left, the white stuff started sticking to the grass in the surrounding yards, but nothing covered the roads.

I stopped for some retail therapy, not concerned about the weather at all. When I emerged from the store an hour later, I tucked my head down to avoid the soggy flakes melting on my face. I was surprised to see that the parked cars had collected about an inch of slush, but felt reassured that the pavement was still clear.

"Let's go home!" I said to my waiting puppies, Jack and Lucy.

And I piled my treasures onto the floor in back of the driver's seat as they danced and whined in agreement. They love coming with me on my errands but coming back home is the best because they get to run around like maniacs for a few minutes when they jump out of the car.

After a few miles, the snow got heavier and I had a hard time seeing. I slowed the old Mitsubishi down, savoring the beauty of the sparkling, slush-covered trees.

Mere moments later, the road changed from dry, black pavement to a white-ladened path with tire tracks running through it. I slowed the vehicle even more, holding the steering wheel tighter and feeling a pang of nerves creep into my awe-inspired peace. Darkness snuffed out the day as I noticed a line of cars in the distance with their brake lights glowing. And I decelerated to just a bit more than a crawl.

Within seconds, the SUV began to drift into the opposite lane. I removed my foot from the accelerator and tried to regain control of the vehicle, but it was no use. As the rear of the Mits started to pull, it felt like we were on an amusement ride--minus all the fun, of course. Feeling a lurch in my stomach I yelled to the pups, "Hang on, guys!" And we spun like the car of a Tilt-a-Whirl.

We went around twice and I think I may have closed my eyes while I braced for impact. I had visions of sailing through the woods, hitting trees on the way, and I wondered if this was it. Would the dogs and I be hurt--or worse? Then I heard and felt an explosive noise and as quickly as it started, it was over. We stopped spinning.

The car landed in a ditch by a telephone pole in someone's front yard. My first thought was that I was alive. Then I looked back and saw that my back window--the one next to my precious canine babies--had smashed to pieces and disappeared. My youngest pup, Lucy, immediately jumped over the seats and into my lap. Six-year-old Jack stayed put. He seemed stunned and I had to coax him to get away from the broken glass and into the safety of the front seats.

Since we were on a highway, I did not feel safe getting the dogs out to see if they were okay. And with high-heeled mules on my feet, I didn't think getting out onto the sloped, icy ground was a good idea either. In the darkness, my hands searched the dogs for injuries. They were dry and didn't cry, so I guessed they were unhurt. Then I looked around from the shelter of my broken automobile and saw that the back of my car had ripped out and rearranged someone's mailbox.

Next, I called my husband. I knew he couldn't help me because he was still on his way home from work. But I needed to hear his voice to feel comforted. A policeman arrived soon after, asking if I was alright and if I was the one who had called. I hadn't, and he quickly figured out that the call was for the accident further up the road. After making sure I was really okay, the officer told me to sit tight until he could return from the more serious mishap a few hundred yards away.

The man whose yard I landed in came out then and tried to help me get my car out of the ditch. But I was such a nervous wreck, I couldn't follow his simple directions. He finally took pity on me and maneuvered my car out of the ditch on his own. He refused to give me his name or phone number, and he said he didn't want my money or insurance information. He smiled and said that by wrecking his mailbox I'd given him something to do that night.

So yes, some people may think we are unlucky, but I disagree. Yes, we smashed our cars on the same day and had to pay for costly repairs out of our ever-dwindling bank account. But neither of us hit the telephone poles we'd headed toward, no one was hurt in either of our accidents, and we both were able to drive our cars home that day.

I say we are fortunate--very fortunate, indeed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Scattered, But Focused

Well, here we are--Thanksgiving tomorrow and Christmas right around the bend. I can't believe it's holiday time already. I still haven't recovered from our lack of a Summer this year. We didn't have one good beach weekend. I need a day by the ocean, but I guess memories like this will have to do for a few more months!

I've been consumed with stocking my Etsy shop these days, and I think it's finally taking shape. My aim has been for a vintage/retro feel and I believe the shop personality is at last emerging! I'd love to hear comments and suggestions. Anyone??

Have you heard that Etsy is running a Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotion? Many participating shops are offering specials. And Cinderella Lollipop has joined in the fun! From now until next Monday (or until I get around to un-tagging) every single item in my shop is 15% off!! Everything. Even the pure cashmere ruanas!!

I've listed this black one. I only have enough of this scrumptious coat-weight fabric to make just two or three more. I've also got a one-of-a-kind charcoal coat-weight that I'm going to list (but if you read this and want it, send me a convo via Etsy, shhhh...) and a lovely chocolate flannel weight that I may line with a chocolate sherpa.

Oh, and here are some pics of the cutest little ponchos I made this past week.
They are reversible. The pink knit reverses to a pink velvet, and the Ikat styly knit is black fleece on the other side. A custom order, I think the two recipients will be very happy with the surprise flower brooches I created to match!

So click on over to or just get yourself over to Etsy and see all the beautiful creations and vintage lovelies for your consideration! Try some of my favorite shops like Peaceful Chic: or Kitchy Galore: and The Werehouse: Some of my other favorites are From My Hands to Yours: and Lizard Queen Jewelry:

Well, I'm off to make a blanket buddy and neckroll for a sweet little someone! Talk to you all after Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful holiday!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Contest Time!

Wanna win something unique and beautiful?

All you need to do is go here: and browse my shop.

Then go to the Cinderella Lollipop Facebook fan page, here:

(Make sure you copy and paste the entire link. I can't seem to make live links for you. Sorry!)

Become a fan and post a comment letting me know what your favorite vintage or handmade item is. When I get over 10 comments, we'll have a random drawing for this fabulous Earthy Delights Windchime made from recycled elements. That's a $24 value!!

And all you have to do is become a fan on Facebook.

Pretty easy!

(Why not follow my blog while you're at it!)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Viva La VivaLaModa!

Anyone who knows me can tell you I've got some strong opinions about fashion. (Capris, anybody? ;p) I also enjoy designing and making clothing, and hunting for vintage treasures. Imagine my delight when I stumbled across this online magazine!

It pays homage to some of my favorite things: fashion design, handmade, and vintage. And it's full of beautiful photos and well-written articles that spark the imagination! To add to my pleasure, many of the articles and ads feature artists from my favorite online shopping and selling 'mall',

VivaLaModa does a fabulous job of showcasing the wonderful, eclectic talent that's out there! In the current issue, there's an interesting interview with an Etsy seller who designs the most romantic clothing! The article is enhanced by exquisite photos of her unique work. Here's one of her dresses on the cover:

After reading that scrumptious article, I moved on to an engaging story about a trip to Turkey complete with more great pics! And then another outlining a healthy way to eat and lose weight that recommended two books I'd never heard of before. And surrounding these interesting and informative tidbits are pages and pages of yummy eye candy. Gorgeous fashions and accessories. Lovely and original jewelry.

My only wish is that they had more to offer on vintage fashion and maybe just a bit less of the jewelry. But I've only read the one issue and wanted to share it here, right away. Hopefully, the editors will offer more on vintage in future publications. I'm off now to read the archives!

Oh, and here's a link to VivaLaModa. I hope you'll join me in wishing the magazine a long and wonderful stay! Viva La VivaLaModa!! VivaLaModa magazine

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Little Blast From the Past

Here's a little something I wrote a while ago. Hope you enjoy!


I had never done anything like this in my life. I admit I felt uncomfortable and skittish. Sensing my anxiety, his hand grazed my arm, leading me over to where he wanted me. When I saw the tub of soapy water, I must have hesitated because he took hold of my shoulders and coaxed me some more.

"Come on. The water is nice and warm. I promise you'll enjoy it."

Biting my bottom lip, I caught my breath as the soothing liquid covered my bare skin. I felt so vulnerable.

"Oh, this is nice." I giggled. "It's just what I needed, so relaxing."

"Yes. Settle back and let me take care of you."

I closed my eyes, enjoying the warmth and sweet scent of the water. This being my first time, I began to wonder what else he intended to do to me. So far, I had no complaints.

He awakened me from my daydream when he wrapped my damp, pink skin in a fluffy, white towel. Taking great pains to dry every part of my nakedness, he gazed into my eyes.

"You're going to love what comes next," he said, reaching for a dark container. He poured some creamy, yellow liquid into his hands and rubbed them together. "I'm warming it for you," he explained in his husky voice.

Rubbing the lotion into my skin, he spoke again. "Isn't this nice?"

I rolled my head back, still not believing I had summoned the courage to come here. "Oh yes. It's lovely." I meant it. How could I ever go back to my normal life after this? I wished my husband would do this for me, but I didn't hold out much hope.

Leaning back, I felt completely relaxed and at his mercy. I'd decided to trust him to do what he must. With eyes closed, my mind wandered as he performed all sorts of rituals I had never encountered before. His fingers caressed and stroked my skin, and I thought that I might ask him to never stop.

After awhile he showed me a list of titles and asked me to choose. Blushing, I read the names. "Sin in the Afternoon, She Devil, Purple Passion." My face reddened as I blurted out, "Oh my gosh!" Feeling timid and embarrassed, and with no idea which to choose, I panicked and looked to him for guidance.

“What do you think?” I whispered.

He smiled a knowing smile. "Why don't we try She Devil. It's sexy, but not as risque as the others. I think you'll be comfortable with it."

With nervous anticipation, I looked on as his expert fingers grasped the shiny container. Watching him, butterflies frolicked in my stomach. Before I knew it, he finished the job. I examined his performance and laughed at myself for taking so long to give it a try.

Satisfied, I slid my feet back into my sandals and admired my soft, beautiful, sexy feet. My toenails looked so feminine and pretty with the glossy red polish.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Making of a Girly-Girl Clutch Purse

Ooh La La!

A couple of months ago, I was shopping in From My Hands To Yours' fabulous Etsy shop. (If you haven't checked out her shop yet, you should. Very cool and unusual offerings.) I spotted these gorgeous pin-up girl buttons and bought them right away.

Of course, at the time I had no idea what I would do with them. But when I opened the package and saw the little beauties, I knew I had to use at least one in some type of purse. As the idea percolated in my mind, I began seeing lacy flowers and a bow-shaped evening clutch--something really girly. At first, I thought I might use a lace overlay of some kind for the purse body, but then decided I'd like to find a cotton with a lace print to make a sturdier clutch for my first try.

On a trip to my local fabric shop where they specialize in miles and miles of quilting cottons, I found what I was looking for: a black cotton with an all-over white, lacy print. I took it home and played with my idea a bit. Then I went to work.

Behind the seams:

I cut out matching rectangles of the black cotton, a thin fleece interfacing to add some body, a sizzling, scarlet red cotton twill for the inside, and a stiff interfacing for the lining. First I applied the fleece interfacing to the back of the black cotton, then ironed on the stiffer interfacing to the red cotton twill lining.

Next, I cut out two red twill rectangles and one piece of interfacing approximately 8" by 4" and sewed them together leaving an opening for turning right side out. After I finished with this, I had a pocket for the inside! I pressed the pocket nice and flat, then positioned and sewed it to the red twill rectangle.

Then, after I sewed the purse and the lining into matching clutch-shapes, I lined them up and sewed them together. Of course, I left another opening at the top that I used for pulling that beautiful right side out where it belongs.

To make the subtle bow shape, I cut a 4 1/2" wide by about 18" long strip of the black cotton and some more stiff interfacing. Assembled and sewed this together, then sewed the first 2/3 to the top of the purse on the front, scrunched the body a bit, then attached the band to the back at the middle. This left a flap of about 5 1/2" that lays across the top of the purse and down the front to where I sewed on snaps for the closure.

Now for the sexy, pin-up button!

I decided to use one of the Bettie Page buttons--the gorgeous brunette showing some major cleavage! At only 1/2", the button sort of got lost on the front of the purse flap. So I took some black lace fabric and cut out a looong rectangle that I tapered at the ends, sewed it together, zigzagged over some dental floss and pulled/gathered it into a flower shape. The button still didn't pop enough, so I got some white lace trim and gathered that, too. After sewing them together, I sewed the button and the lace flower to a pin back.


The result is this great-looking, pretty and feminine, Girly-Girl clutch purse with a removable 3" Flower Brooch. The purse measures 8" wide at bottom, 9 1/4" across top, 1 1/2" deep, and 5 1/2" high.

Wouldn't this be great for a prom, or wedding, or just for fun?? Let me know what you think. Oh, and don't forget to tell your friends, they can purchase this fabu clutch in my Etsy shop. The link is to the right. Over there >>>>

Sunday, May 3, 2009


After reading my post yesterday, my daughter sent me an email. It seems we scraped wallpaper off five rooms, and pulled up four rooms of carpet.

I'm so tired! Told you I was probably forgetting something!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Drive By

I haven't had much time for posting here in the past couple of weeks because I've been busy working at my daughter's new house. She closed on it April 17th and we've been renovating ever since.

The house sat empty for about a year before she bought it, and prior to that an eighteen-year-old lived in it alone for several months because his parents divorced. So, you can imagine the state the house is/was in. It's got good bones, though, and it's going to be beautiful when she's finished with repairs and updates. Here are some before pics:

The living room ceiling being scraped:

The dining room wall being knocked out and prepared for a French Door:

The staircase is pretty and it's in really good shape. Not much to do here, but polish and paint the walls.

Here's a view of the hallway, and one of the family room:

So far we have scraped popcorn ceiling off two rooms--the dining room and living room; removed wallpaper from four rooms; pulled up two rooms of carpeting (Tthe carpet guys pulled up the other room.); sanded, scrubbed, and fixed holes in walls; primed and painted the bedrooms; scrubbed the downstairs bathroom and made it usable; and I'm sure I've forgotten other chores.

She's moving in on Sunday! Wish us luck. We still have most of the downstairs to do. The kitchen needs a full remodel, but that will happen well after she's moved in.

I'll try to take some pics of upstairs and outside, and then give you the Grand Reveal!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Design!

Whenever I'm feeling bored--which is often, I need to do something new. Break the routine, you know? If I've been on a writing jaunt, it's time to switch to sewing, or take some pictures and play with them, or make some jewelry. Yesterday, I had the urge to sew something new, so I designed a cropped cardigan--or bolero--or shrug. Does anyone know the difference? I looked them up in the dictionary and they all seem to describe the same thing: a short women's jacket worn open in the front!

I used an old top to get the neckline and shoulder shape, made dolman-style sleeves in a three-quarter inch length, cropped and curved the front pieces, added a buttonhole and a vintage 1 1/2" button, and this is what I came up with:

Isn't it cute? It's constructed from a black, open-weave knit with sage and cocoa-colored threads forming the crochet-look pattern. It's lightweight, but not as sheer as that last picture makes it look! I'm going to make a couple more in different fabrics today. Maybe I'll put a ruffle on the sleeves, or a collar or something to make it interesting. What do you think?

Here's a picture of it with the button fastened. It's a little snug on Marie Antoinette (that's my headless mannequin's name) but you get the idea.

Here are some pics of the side and back, and I took another inside just to get a different view of the fabric. The slight sheerness didn't show up outside, but with the flash it looks more see-through than it is. Geesh!

I just love this!!

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Musings

Another holiday passes like the wind.

I started the day with twenty minutes on the treadmill--not enough, I know, but at least I did it! Our daughter and her family arrived around noon-ish with food to prepare. She made a scrumptious ham with pineapple, and cherries,basted in a yummy sauce of maple syrup and brown sugar, some potatoes, carrots and onions, and sweet potatoes. (I may be leaving something out.) I made a green bean casserole and some brownies. While the feast simmered on the stove, we had an Easter egg hunt for The Littles. Here are some pics:

That isn't our house, by the way. It's a playhouse my husband won from the State Fair last summer. Isn't it cute? And the girls had to wear boots outside because we still have a little snow and aLOT of mud!!

The kids used my market bags for their hunt--much nicer than plastic bags!

I made stuffed bunnies for the girls, and a bear pillow from a vintage panel I've had forever for my grandson. More pics:

Okay, I've got to say it. Aren't these some of the cutest Littles you've ever seen? (I'm talking about the children.) ;D

Anyway, we played lots of music: the Wonder Boys soundtrack (if you haven't heard that you should. Great Bob Dylan songs!), Neil Young, Grateful Dead, Michael Franti and Spearhead. And we danced a lot! Four-year-old R especially loved the way the skirt of her new Easter dress twirled. She challenged me to a few moves she learned in ballet class and I did them, but then I hurt my ankle! (Those of you who know me are not surprised, are you?)

Speaking of those dresses, what a sewing nightmare! I cut the tops out of some old rib-knit I've had for ages. I'm really trying to reduce my stash. But this fabric had some stains on it and I thought I'd worked around them. After sewing the bodices together and finishing off the neckline with fold-over elastic, I noticed a very slight stain in one. Then I checked, and a similar stain peeked out from the back bodice piece on the other. Grrr . . . !

Well, I washed and bleached the faulty fabric, but had no luck. And since I didn't discover the spots until Thursday evening, I began to panic. I had to meet my daughter Friday afternoon and give her the dresses so the girls could get dressed on Sunday! (We live about an hour away from her.) Oh, what to do? I didn't have any more coordinating rib-knit in my stash, and there was no time to get to the fabric store for more material.

Bingo! I'd purchased some t-shirts a few weeks ago. I measured them and found that the white one was too big for R, but the blue was just right for little R. I cut the white top apart and re-worked it to R's measurements, adding some gathering to make slightly puffed sleeves. Then I chopped the bottoms off of both shirts, sewed some tiers together and attached them.

Voila! Here they are:

The only thing missing to make the day perfect, was my son and daughter-in-law, who currently live in Hawaii, and the rest of our extended family. It's always better when we're all together. Which is why I'm looking forward to summer!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Relics: An Alternative Obituary

Harold J. Crompton died at five a.m. on Friday, April 3rd. His obituary says he is survived by his wife, Lorraine, and their children and grandchildren. What the announcement does not say is that Harold had another family. Before his second marriage thirty-eight years ago, he had eight children with his first wife. Those children, Sandy, Kathy, Mike, Gail, Bonnie, Brenda, John and Pam have twenty-six children of their own, and three grandchildren. They never harmed Harold or his new family in any way, but for some reason, Harold and Lorraine hurt this first family over and over again.

Through physical violence, overlooked birthdays and Christmases, lack of child support, missed weekend visits, and his prolonged and permanent absence from their lives, these children survived. They each grew into intelligent, compassionate, and productive adults, no thanks to their father.

Now Harold is gone. The chapter is finished. And although Lorraine spoke to Sandy on more than one occasion in these recent weeks, she didn’t think to include Harold’s first children in his obituary. When approached by his son, John, Lorraine coldly and cruelly refused to allow a corrected obituary to be printed–even when John made it clear that he and his siblings would finance the new announcement.

And there it is, a fitting finale. One last blow for eight human beings who did nothing to this woman but exist. We do exist Lorraine, no matter how you try to forget. Shame on you.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Creative Soul

Sewing, crafting and writing are always good for my soul. Whenever I feel down in the dumps, I sit at my keyboard, or pick up some fabric or beads (or both) and my troubles take a backseat in my mind.

After starting yesterday with a sad post, I began work on reconstructing a vintage hippie-chic skirt. The waistband on the skirt was so tiny, I don't think it would have worked for a 10 year old. I studied and pondered (yes, pondered) and decided to cut the top 18" off the skirt. I made a channel for a drawstring and sewed in some nice, sturdy buttonholes. To add a little pizazz, I beaded the ends of the drawstring before knotting them.

What do you think?

Here's a close-up of the beads:

I forgot to mention that the beads are from a vintage necklace I've had laying around forever. Most are wooden, but there are a couple of darkened silver tone discs on there, as well.

I love this skirt. The purples and blues are so Spring-y! I'm going to list it on Etsy, but I'll definitely make another for myself!

And now, I'm off to reconstruct the top part of the skirt. It's going to be a child's ruffled, twirly skirt. Cute, huh?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Unmended Fences

I'm feeling sad and conflicted today. Last night, I heard from my so-called father's wife. She said he is very sick and has one to five days to live. Since I haven't seen my father in about eighteen years, and only a handful of times in the twenty years before that, it's like hearing that a stranger is very ill and will die any day. Then she adds that his short-term memory is gone, but his long-term is intact. He kept calling his first daughter from his second family by my name. In a way, I wish I didn't know that, it causes me great pain. But in another way, I am grateful that I do. At least he remembers my name, right?

The part that causes me enormous sadness is all the years he threw away. I can't do a thing about those wasted years, and I don't feel compelled to rush to his death bed and make amends. I've tried to do that more than once over the years, so my kids could at least know they have a grandfather. We never had a falling out or anything. He simply abandoned us. He went on to have a second family with this woman, and found it easier to pretend we didn't exist, I guess.

I often chalk it up to him being emotionally stunted or empty. I wonder if he has regrets, if he intentionally let those years go by, or if they piled up without him noticing. Was he just lazy, or did the time pass and then it became too difficult to face us? I suspect that he is simply a weak person.

Thank God I am not like him.

We spoke on the telephone a few months ago after many, many years of silence. He asked about my mother and all my siblings. He even said to say hello for him and tell them to call him anytime if they desired. I asked him to call them--I said he owed it to them, but he said, "Oh no! I can't do that."

And here's the kicker, the big slap in the face: He and his wife had kids of their own, adopted another, and fostered others. Let me be clear. This man abandoned eight children and then proceeded to make more and take more into his home. I wonder if those kids got what they needed in terms of fatherly parenting? We sure never did.

And now it's done--almost. It's left to me to break the news to my siblings. I wish I could keep this to myself and spare them the heartbreak, but they are all adults and have the right to know.

Thanks, "Dad." Once again, and I guess for the last time, you aren't there for me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Am Woman, Watch Me Tow

Forgot to mention this.

Remember I said I couldn't sleep Sunday night because I worried that my husband might start his day kicking out a window in his car to escape the quicksand sucking his vehicle down into middle earth? Well, he made it out that morning, but Monday afternoon after even more rain, he drove about halfway into our driveway and--thwuck! The mud grabbed hold of his little Hyandai Accent and pulled it in up to the bottom of the car's frame. (Told him!)

After a brief moment of "I told you so's," I kicked off my moccasins and shoved my feet into my Muck Boots--the ones with the studded bottoms. "What do you want me to do?" I ask.

"Okay, you're gonna pull it with the ATV," he tells me.

"Me? I get to tow?" I am stunned. I've never been the tower before, only the towee. I hop on the four-wheeler, drive to the car, and wait as he hooks up the tow-chain.

"Okay, keep the chain taut and give it the gas slowly."

I'm nervous but I follow his instructions. The machine's tires spin at first and I think it's not going to work. But all of a sudden they grab hold, and as they dance side-to-side flinging mud in their wake, I pull that sucker all the way back to the beginning of the driveway. What a feeling!

While hubby wraps up the chain and cleans the mud from his windshield, I take the four-wheeler on two victory laps up and down the road. With windblown hair and a smile on my face, I pull up and let my love climb on the back of the machine. We head back to the house and I sing: "I am woman, watch me tow!"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Confessions of a Married Woman

I want to share something that not many people know. I’m not proud about it, and in fact, it has confused and haunted me for over a year. There’s no easing into this, so I’ll just say it.

I kissed Bob Saget.

Yes, that Bob Saget–the television actor who played Danny Tanner, the father on Full House, and later went on to host America’s Funniest Home Videos. I’m sure he’s done much more than I mention, but we haven’t kept in touch.

When I told my husband, he didn’t seem concerned. He laughed, paused and said, “He wasn’t a better kisser than me, right?” and then he laughed again.

Anyway, back to the kiss. It happened in my dream some time ago. We actually made out while sitting in the upper echelons of an empty football stadium. Turns out he’s a very good kisser.

I remember pointing out the obvious: “Hey, you’re not my husband!”

He said, “Yes, I am,” and pressed his lips on mine.

Then, the strangest thing happened. He turned into the man I married--not his looks or anything. It just became clear in the dream, that this man, Bob Saget, was my husband--Mr. Sandramarie!

While we smooched, the thought that he looked like Danny Tanner nagged at me. He even wore an argyle sweater (My husband refuses to wear any kind of knitted garment). I have to admit that, although I doubted his claim, we kissed again. We would have kept going, too, but the popcorn vender interrupted us. Then I woke up.

Now, I‘ll admit I enjoyed watching Full House with my kids back in the day, but I never once thought of Bob Saget in that way. Don’t get me wrong, he seems nice enough. He’s just not my type. If my dream had been about John Stamos, a co-star in that sitcom, it would have made a whole lot more sense (Oh, the face on that man!).

I prefer a rugged, more muscular guy--not a body builder, but someone who looks like they could at least pick me up if they had to save me from a burning building. Dan Tanner does not fit that description. And he’s too tall for me! I’m just a hair over five feet, and he looks to be six feet or more. I’d never want to argue with a man while looking into his navel.

Not only should Bob Saget not be the man of my dreams, what the heck were we doing in a football stadium? That sport makes my eyes glaze over. I think it does, anyway. I’ve never actually sat and watched an entire game. No offense to all you football fans out there, but I’d rather pluck chin hairs (Not that I have any.).

So, there you have it. That’s my confession. While in an unusual and deserted place, I kissed a man I’m not attracted to, who claimed to be my husband. And I enjoyed it. What does that say about a happily married woman who likes the looks of the man she married? Any dream experts out there? Do I really want to know?


The skirt to bag project is finally done! Here's a picture:

It took me way longer than it should have. First, I cut a size tag off the skirt and accidentally cut some of the skirt fabric along with it. Can you say re-design? Then, I used a blue cording for the closure and realized it didn't match the blue-heart embroidered trim and the blue lining, so had to pull off the cool "Tommy" cord locks, struggle with the knots at the end of the drawstring, re-thread with the original drawstring that came with the skirt, and get the end back through the cord lock. Not so easy!

When I finally got to the buttonholes, I marked them and began stitching. My lovely new Janome 6260 started stitching a beautiful buttonhole--and then stopped. What the--! I was talking to my sister-in-law at the time, and she offered lots of great possible fixes but none of them worked. I ripped out the stitches, re-threaded the machine and tried again. Ugh! Same thing. Not wanting to mess around, I called the shop where I purchased my machine last week and told them the problem. Duh!! I'd forgotten to pull the buttonhole lever down! Geesh, for an intelligent woman, I can be dense sometimes! I'm glad I didn't give my name. Hmm . . . Wonder if they sold more than one of these babies last week? ;D

Anyway, it's done. I think it came out great! I'd keep it for myself, but I need another purse/tote like I need more mud
outside. (Okay, okay!)

Here are some more pics:

Isn't it cute? Pockets on the front and a nice big one on the inside. And that lining is the perfect match! This bag grows or shrinks, depending on what you're using it for. I'm thinking shopping, market, beach, hanging out, whatever! Versatility is good!

For those of you who don't sew or care about purses, don't go away. I'll be posting a teeny little short story I wrote.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Rainy Day = More Mud!

As I'm new to this blogging thing, I feel a certain amount of pressure to dazzle you all with brilliant tidbits of writing. But alas, since my fingers are ready to type and my brain hasn't quite caught up, I'll just have to talk about what's on my mind. Since it's raining again and we've still got about eight inches of snow left to melt, I can't help thinking about our muddy driveway and road.

But wait, I think to myself, I've already talked about that in my first post. Does anyone really care that I had trouble sleeping because I worried all night that my husband might start his day kicking out a window in his car to escape the quicksand sucking in his vehicle down into middle earth? (Why won't that stubborn man park away from this nasty mire?!)

My mind drifts to the time my 78 year-old mother-in-law visited during our lovely mud season and when she left, she climbed (or was heaved) into a bucket on the back of our ATV, scrunched down next to a basket of clean, folded laundry, and waved as my son drove her through the brown slush. I watched her bounce away as the four-wheeler dodged washed-out holes in the road and headed to the getaway car at the bottom of the hill. I don't think I could have been more embarrassed--oh wait, a vague memory of leaving a bathroom and stepping into a rockin' party with toilet paper trailing from the back of my waistband comes to mind. ;-) All my troubling was for nothing though. A few weeks later, my sister-in-law told me Mom loved the adventure.

Nah! I'm not going to go on about the mud again today. I'll go finish my skirt-to-bag reconstruction and talk to you later!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rainy Sunday

I've been busy all day, yet it seems like I haven't accomplished a thing! Let's see . . . I took pictures of my latest creation for my Etsy shop, I entered a contest on, ripped out some seams on a skirt I'm reconstructing into a shopping bag and set up this blog. I guess I haven't really wasted the entire day, but I didn't get to everything I wanted. (This is an ongoing problem of mine!)

Here's the Windcatcher I made for the contest:
I call it Earthy Delights. It's made from 2 upcycled silvery-gray plastic sunshine finials, a vintage wooden, silver, and acrylic bead necklace, a vintage faux pearl necklace, and some old glass beads and windchimes I had hanging around. Isn't it cool?!

It's for sale in my Etsy shop,, along with it's sibling, Earth Wind Fire which is pictured here:

This one is made from the sunshine finials, the vintage faux pearl necklace, another vintage acrylic bead necklace from the eighties, and some old glass beads and chimes. I just love these!!

Mucking Around

It’s coming.

I’m not speaking about spring or summer, or even Christmas. I am referring to something much more sinister and tormenting. I speak of the dreaded event about to strike any day now. Here in Maine, we call it (insert drum roll here) . . . Mud Season.

We live on the side of a big hill or little mountain, depending on how you look at it, away from any large cities. Our house sits halfway up a dirt road, at the end of our long, dirt driveway. It is breathtaking and serene most–er–a great deal of the time.

Our first year here we’d heard the vague term "mud season," but it had little meaning to us at the time. I remember thinking: So it gets a little muddy, how bad can it be? That first spring, we still thought of mudslinging as something only politicians do, but when the UPS driver came to deliver my new laptop, reality literally set in.

With my husband working out of town, and me staying home due to illness, I didn’t even know the mud had arrived. Well, not the kind that sucks large delivery trucks into the core of the earth, anyway. When I answered the door, the deliveryman handed me my package and then asked if there were any men at home. I tilted my head and squinted my eyes, thankful–for once–that my dogs refused to listen to my pleas for them to be quiet, then asked him why he wanted to know.

"I may need some help getting out of here," he said. "It’s a little muddy."

Is that all? Whew! Well, talk about your understatements. Ha! After listening to him rev his engine for about ten minutes and watching muddy sections of my front yard fly off into the surrounding woods, I put on my rubber boots and went out to see what I could do to help.

I walked over to the van to ask if he thought putting some planks under his sinking tires might help. As I neared the vehicle, I noticed the ground became soft and mushy. The closer I got, the more I sank into the earth. The driver agreed to try the boards, so I ran to the basement to retrieve the ones I had passed on my way out.

As I made my way back to the truck, an unpleasant sucking noise resounded with each step. All of a sudden, the mud held fast to one of my boots, and before I could react, my foot slid out. My sock remained safe inside the rubber, and I struggled for balance while my rogue appendage sought refuge.

Seconds passed in slow motion. Realizing the ground had claimed my other foot, too, I dropped the wood and swayed from side to side trying to maintain my equilibrium. As I lost the battle, my foot smashed into the mucky dregs. Tumbling forward, my hand jutted out to break my fall, and I think I yelled out, "Oh shit!" While I didn’t see any doggie droppings nearby, the brown stuff I now had all over me came close enough.

Turns out, boards are no help when you embed your vehicle in a foot of soupy ground. Neither are chains, or the heavy rope I brought out as a last resort. About a half-hour into the spinning of tires in sludge, my eyes widened and I got his attention by pointing to the bottom of his van. I wonder if he noticed the problem as soon as he got out, because he didn’t have as far to step down. The base of the truck now kissed the very terrain the driver tried to escape.

I handed him my cordless phone–we don’t get good cell reception here. (I know, I know!) And while he made his call for help, I went over and sat on the deck stairs. He turned his back to me, but I could still hear certain words. "What? Kidding me!" and "NOW!" dominated his side of the conversation.

His face reddened, and he leaned forward into the phone as he spoke. On a hunch–or maybe it’s when I heard the first curse word fly, I decided to go make a pot of coffee. As I washed the muck off my hands, I tried not to think of the crud I’d tracked in. My foot felt uncomfortable encased in the dirty, scrunched-up sock inside my boot, but I put it out of my mind and headed back outside.

When I rejoined my new friend, he stood in the sea of muck, staring at his incapacitated chariot. He looked at me with a confused, lost expression.

"They said it’s going to be awhile."

"Why don’t we get out of this mud and go up on the deck?" Although our deck furniture still lay in its winter home, I figured we could at least lean on the railing while our boots dried.

I got us some coffee, and we talked as we drank. As I refilled our cups, I decided to invite him in. He seemed nice enough, and besides, watching the dogs slobber all over the sliding glass door unnerved me. We discussed our families and pets, society’s ills, politics (am I being redundant?), our job histories, and our theories on how to make the world a better place.

Three hours later, a huge tow truck barreled up the muddy road and backed all the way into my narrow, soggy driveway. Although we had made the best of this forced bonding, we both jumped up, mid-sentence, and bounded out the back door.

I felt like a band should play while we waved our hands and danced the jig. Instead, we smiled and watched the big machine pluck the van out of the quicksand. Then, my adventure ended and I watched both trucks drive away. For a moment, I stood alone, feeling a little bogged down (Sorry–couldn’t resist), but the sentiment passed as I kicked off my boots and headed for the shower.

Every year at this time, I reflect on our mucky experiences. (Yes, there have been others.) I sometimes wonder if that UPS driver ever has fond thoughts of his time spent mired in the woods of Maine. If not, he’s just an old stick-in-the-mud!