A Tribute

It has now been a month since we had to let our beloved Ollie go, and the feelings are still raw- much of why I have postponed this tribute post until now. After a tumultuous 2007, Ollie came into my life from the Wyoming Border Collie Rescue in February 2008 and was my roommate for the duration of graduate school. She taught me what loyalty looked like, impressed me constantly with her insight and smarts, and followed me faithfully to living in four different homes in three different states.  She welcomed Chad into our little pack without hesitation- though in the beginning she always looked to me for approval before ever complying with any of his requests.

Ollie pond

People say that pet owners don’t get what it’s like to actually have children until they have human children of their own, and undoubtedly there are differences. But Ollie certainly occupies a part of me that will never change or disappear. She was an incredibly important part of who I was and became during some challenging mid-20s years and I will treasure her friendship forever. Most likely she had cancer, as she wasn’t getting around well towards the end of August and multiple trips to multiple vets uncovered a mass in her belly, chronic fever, and progressive anemia, among other complications. She remained at home more comfortable on medications until she let us know it was just too much for her anymore. Ollie was around 5 when she entered the rescue, putting her at about 12 when she passed away Sept 12, 2014. She entered the rescue after her first owner died unexpectedly and she became homeless. I hope now that on some level of the dog and human soul she has reunited with him so that she is with someone who loves her still. As for us, we will keep her in our hearts and always remember the role she played in my grad school days, our early days as a couple, then marriage, and becoming a small family. Rest in peace, my dear friend.

Ollie looking up

 

 

 

 

Holidays Are Ahead

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For those who would like to start checking off the old shopping list… I have greatly reduced most prices in my Etsy shop. I have decided to stick to selling Tennessee items because that is what is the most popular. Share the good news with your kids and friends and help me get my shop cleaned up. There are lots of goodies that won’t break the bank by any means. Each item will come in it’s own box for gift giving so you don’t even need to hunt down a box. Thanks to all who have bought so much…like Cheryl. It’s been fun  making so many different things, but I”m a busy Grandma now and I want to keep my shop easy…not to mention profitable. So Tennessee it is! Good Ol Rocky Top!

Here is my link to PeeGee Jewelry

Oliver’s Monthly Photo Shoot: 6 months

Has anyone noticed I post these later and later each month? Somehow the 6-month mark has been a significant one in my mind and I feel like I can no longer use the ‘I have a new baby’ excuse for being behind on things. We have had a rocky September however, with the decline and passing of our beloved Border Collie. But more on that yet to come. Today-though it is over two weeks late!- is for celebrating our little boy and his 1/2 year milestone. We have two teeth fully in and four more on the way, we are experimenting with real food and are enjoying lots of hilarious faces, we are officially mobile with army crawling around the place, and weighing in at nearly 20 lbs and over two feet long! And he is starting to get the Da-Da sound, to Chad’s great delight of course :-)

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I couldn’t hardly get a shot in where his “6 Months” was showing on his shirt, but we did our best! We feel very blessed to have such an easy-going, healthy boy. Excited to see what the next six months brings us all.

New Fall Jewelry Line

DSC_0011I have been amping up my Etsy shop for the upcoming holidays. With fall ahead I felt like doing a bit of woodland jewelry for everyday wear and some Mom, Grandma Sister, Friend and bridesmaid pieces with personalized initials. I love to work in the rustic nature vibe. So I have been having fun with my beautiful Hydrangea bushes and Impatiens leaves. I am using an air dry clay that really is strong once dried, painted, gilded and sealed. They make lightweight  pieces and I get to do some detail work. My clay dries so white that they make beautiful pieces just sealed. They resemble porcelain when left white.

DSC_0023These make great bridesmaid gifts.

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DSC_0010 These are little brooches for your jean  jacket.  I always get compliments when I wear them.

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Can you tell I’m in a Fall mood. I love making these leaves. I use real leaves to imprint the clay. Then I use several colors of glazes and and often metallic patinas… I love my happy place. Its so fun to create practically everyday. I plan to do oak and maple leaves also. These little gems are all in my Etsy shop. You can see it all by clicking on the link. Of course I had to make some Tennessee VOLS jewelry. Its once again…Football Time In Tennessee! So far the team is looking good. I have high hopes for them.

DSC_0005DSC_0007Keep your artists in mind this year when it comes to gifting. Handmade is in. Many of the big company’s are buying from artists on Etsy and other sites. Target and Macy’s, to name a few. Thanks big box retail.

Oliver’s Monthly Photo Shoot: 5 months

Bad news… dropped our camera case in the airport and busted the lens so this month’s photo was done with the old snapshot cam and turned out a bit grainy! Good news… still within the extended service plan Chad bought with the camera when he gave it to me for Christmas in 2012 so it’s getting sent off for repair at no extra cost!

Oliver is growing fast. He took his first big plane trip to Minneapolis this past month which went great- what a travel trooper! He’s laughing and smiling a lot (though he is a pretty serious dude overall), rolls like a champ playing and sleeping on his belly all the time, and he is working on sitting independently. Next major milestones will be crawling and food outside of the world of mom’s milk! (pretty sure he semi-crawls around when we’re not looking already, particularly in his crib in the middle of the night!)

He also recently discovered his own feet :-)

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Golf Cart Drive -In Movies

We have started a new monthly entertainment plan. It is very social here in Tellico Village and we wanted to come up with something totally different for our friends and neighbors.

So we decided on showing outdoor movies  on a monthly or bimonthly basis. Rog loves the hunt of purchasing equipment (or toys such as golf carts)…but this time it was for movie equipment. He researched  what was needed for a nice outdoor theater set up. We found a fantastic projector on Craigslist that was used at a church. He bought a new speaker that could be heard for miles away and a new outdoor movie screen. We went with a 10 footer. It has an easy set up frame and a stretchy slide on screen that stores away in it’s bag. It is made for outdoor viewing. He made a holder that stores the frame on the garage wall when not in use. The next step was to make a spread sheet…he loves spread sheets… so he compiled a list of friends and neighbors. I left this job up to him and just made sure he included a few he may have missed.

So we planned the first one and figured a Sunday night would be good since no one has to go to work the next day… aaahhhhh retirement.

We chose “Bucket List” for the first movie. Everyone was to come BYOB and snacks if they wanted.  Bring chairs or sit in their cart. We placed Citronella torches and candles all around.  Did I tell you that he invited 102 people?  I was nervous to say the least.DSC_0014

This is the screen. Rog mounted the projector on a tripod we already owned. It works perfect for setting the projector at the right angle.

We have a very large front lot with wooded lots on each side of us. We used the driveway and parking pad for carts and the front patio for chairs. Some put the chairs in front of their carts.

DSC_0012This picture is very early in the night. The show started at sunset.

DSC_0011We really had a nice night. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I think it was a big hit. We have had people stop to give us their email so they could be included.

Could be a busy one next month.

I can’t believe it , but a neighbor just called with movie ideas for the next time.  How nice! I think they liked it. :)

Embellishing My Jean Jacket

DSC_0001Most of you know I am an art quilter. I paint, collage and thread paint my quilts. I’ve never been much of a traditional quilter. But let me tell you…English paper piecing is addictive!! I picked up these little paper kits free at many quilt shows and thought oh that’s nice. Then I watched a demo at the Paper Pieces booth at one of the AQS shows and was hooked. My mother is addicted too. It’s nice to share addictions with those you love. :) I’m not going to show you a detailed class on how to do this, but if you are looking for a total portable way to quilt on vacation or visiting the kids, go to their site and you will learn lots. They sell every kind of paper to create these little marvels. It’s kind of a light weight card stock that you baste your fabric around them, press and starch, and then hand stitch together. Check it out or go to your local quilt shop and they will give you a lesson.

I keep a little kit together of everything you see above plus threads in neutrals, needles and my fabric choices. Easy peasy.

Us quilters create things that we think, OK, what am I going to do with this now. I put together these English paper pieced fussy cut flowers and stopped myself to get a plan. I love denim jackets. I have bought 2 at resale shops that are my go to jackets come cooler weather. I love to wear vintage brooches on them and I am always surprised at the compliments I get when I wear them. Soooo, I decided to embellish the back of a jacket.

DSC_0003This is the back side of a flower. You can see the 1 1/2 inch paper pieces inside. You can also see the basting stitches that keeps the fabric snugly around each piece. The next step is starching.

DSC_0005Everyone raves about Best Press. It leaves no residue and smells great. I spray and press each basted flower. The next part is removing the basting and removing the paper pieces. They are reusable. You don’t baste through the paper, just the fabric.

DSC_0002Here are the flowers without the paper. See how they keep their shape? You can use any spray starch you like. I just have been using Best Press lately.

Now for pinning the flowers on the back of my jacket. I had some doilies that I had picked up at a yard sale, so I added those too.

DSC_0007Simply pin your collage to the back of the jacket. I sewed inside the center of each middle hexagon. Then I sewed the outer edge of the flower. Then I used straight and zig zag stitches to sew the doilies down.

And here is the completed jacket. I am so happy with it. I plan to embellish a few more. I’ll do something different with the others.

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DSC_0004I added some extra doily to the inside of the pocket flap and left it loose. I used to wear the brooch on my collar, but now it looks great with the doily.

DSC_0005We would love to see some clothing embellishment ideas from you. We’ll even put them on the blog. Lets see what you can come up with. Have a great day.

Oliver’s Monthly Photo Shoot: 4 months

Our boy is growing up and growing BIG! He has teeth coming in, rolls over to his tummy in a heartbeat and is starting to laugh more and more! He’s becoming such a ham… and is still a great sleeper. We are lucky parents!

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And just to revisit the growing process this past third of a year… here’s 1 month old again:

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and two months…

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three months…

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and our big boy today at 4 months :-)

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As you saw in Mom’s last post, O also recently experienced his first swim in Tellico Lake with many more sure to come in his future. Later this summer he gets to meet the other side of the family on his first plane trip up to Minnesota. Pretty exciting days for this little guy!

 

Family Fest Over The Fourth!

DSC_0003Whew, I’m finally recovered from one of the best times in a while.  Seventeen of us were together here in Tennessee for the 4th of July. Everyone of our immediate family was here except my brother Steve and his fiance, Bridgett. We’ll see them next month at their wedding. We had both guest rooms filled, my mom had guests and my sister, Jody and Ed and their four kids stayed at a local hotel. There were no rentals available this year in Tellico Village. We’ll get on that earlier next time.

I really wanted this family gathering to go slick without me exhausted…ending in a company coma. I listened to Lindsey’s advice and assigned each family a night of providing dinner in whatever way they wanted. I highly recommend this option. It worked out wonderfully. I kept up on dishes, ran the dishwasher frequently and kept lunch stuff out everyday with the help of my sister, Jody. I did use the ever popular red solo cups and heavy paper plates as much as possible. We had leftovers everyday from the previous dinner which made lunches easy. Lots of salads of course. I also made some nasty good desserts so we always had something sweet. My sister-in-law, Kathy and brother, David provided a big candy bowl throughout the whole visit. We had drinks in a huge cooler in the mudroom and iced tea kept in the fridge. No one went hungry. Ed and Jody did burgers the first night with corn on the cob.

DSC_0036Grandpa Huntley made the corn cleaning fun. He is getting help from Abbie, Patrick and Andy.

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Roger spent months planning for this visit. We were both very excited. We purchased an outdoor movie screen, projector and sound system. He even came home from our neighborhood yard sale with a Karaoke machine…which I wasn’t too excited about, but it was fun! People started arriving Wednesday, then Thursday and finally Lindsey and Chad and baby Oliver on Friday afternoon.  Wednesday night was “Despicable Me” and was our trial streamed movie.

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DSC_0072We were very lucky with the weather. It was cool and the humidity was practically gone. We watched “How To Train Your Dragon” the next night. I loved those animated films. So good.

Finally Lindsey and Chad and Oliver arrived. Great grandma and grandpa couldn’t wait to see him for the first time.

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DSC_0025He was the best baby the whole time.

We did so much that I”m going to stop talking and just let the pics tell the story.

DSC_0056Me and my sis.

DSC_0032The newlyweds, David and Kathy. We celebrated with a little wedding cake. They went to Vegas last Nov. and had a beautiful wedding.

DSC_0022The newly engaged, Jon and Kenya! Sounds like another gathering in the spring.

DSC_0043I forgot to mention…2 grand dogs. Thats Alivia and Andy with Ollie and Anna. You can’t see Anna there…but she is. Ollie is an old girl and thinks 7 month old Anna is a pain. She put her in her place a few times. Ollie preferred to stay here.

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Other times were spent at the beach, the lake on the pontoon… in shifts of course. Oliver was well suited up for his first lake excursion.

DSC_0133Love those baby legs!

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DSC_0146 He was a little surprised at first and then was very happy. Grandma is out there in the wings, but Chad was on it. No worries.

DSC_0162Then he needed an after swim nap.

DSC_0028Grandpa time.

DSC_0101Alivia and Abbie with Oliver.

DSC_0098We also had S’mores…gheesh…I’m getting tired again just reminiscing.

Last but not least. the whole family.

DSC_0096 It was all so much fun and I hope it can become a tradition. Family traditions set wonderful memories for the kids that they will hopefully pass on.

I’m going back to bed now. Toodles.

 

Gum In The Dryer

I had 2 weeks of wash to do when we got home from the Orlando Volley Ball Tournament. That is usually the first thing I get done after a trip. I have never experienced gum in the clothes dryer ever in my 39 years of washing for this family. But the hubs evidently kept gum in his back pocket and I had no idea. When I removed the dark load I was shocked to find the walls of the dryer coated with minty melted gum and white paper shreds everywhere. So I thought I’d pass this little trick on to you all. I grabbed the Goo Gone, after alerting him to the problem, and generously soaked some paper towels. I kept rubbing away at every bit of gum and got it all out.  I could not believe that there wasn’t any gum on the clothes.  Goo Gone is the way to go if this happens to you. I was very impressed at how fast it cleaned up the mess. I wished I would have taken a picture…but I was a little hot under the collar.  All is well again in the George home.

Now we await the arrival of family members that are coming for the Fourth of July. Nineteen of us and 2 grand dogs in all . I went to the grocery store today and had to ask for help to get both carts out to my car. BOTH CARTS!  That was a first, but the  cupboards were pretty bare. I’ve assigned  each family a dinner night that they get to prepare. We are soooo looking forward to having everyone here. We have some real surprises in store for everyone. More later! I’m off to decorate for the holiday.

 

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