Monday, April 30, 2012


Hope you are having a good day!  I had a super busy weekend and the fun continues.  The storms have cleared out a bit and sun is shining...LOVE IT!  Reminds me of my Cali homeland!

Today I'm linking up with Kathleen over at Faded Charm for

About a month ago I was doing some browsing on eBay when I came upon an auction for a stack of hand crocheted lace motifs.  They were new old stock and probably were made at least thirty to forty years ago or more.  Originally intended for tablecloth edging I couldn't resist bidding on them .  I won the auction for only a few dollars (I think $10) and was delighted when my package arrived a few days later.
 I used the lace as a flounce on a lampshade I embellished with vintage laces and trims.  I have two of these lamps and each one is done a little different.
On Saturday I made my way to ((I LOVE)) TARJAY (Target) to scope out their lampshades.  The time had come to replace the shades on my tall buffet styles lamps and I wasn't looking to spend much money!  I found two drum style shades for about $12 each and brought them home to see if they would work.
The shades already had this great linen fabric on them but they really needed a bit more.  I started with one (in case I messed up!) and attached another style of crochet lace to the lower edge.  Over this I placed some natural braid in soft white before adding a cluster of three vintage millinery roses. 
Some loops of vintage tatted lace trim was tied into a little bundle and attached underneath the vintage blooms.  The drum shades were VERY EASY to do and this little bit of lace, braid and flowers completely transformed them.  The shades at the top were more involved but still fairly simple to do!
While out and about I just HAD to stop into another one of my favorite stores...TJ Maxx!!!  I'm a Maxi-niesta! :)  I found these great crochet lace edged napkins (set of 4) for $7.99.  Not too terribly bad...they had two packs in natural white so I brought them home with me!  They are all cotton and really great for the price.  LOVE THE LACE TRIM (machine made or not)! :)

For those of you who MAY be wondering about our kitchen remodel, well...the old kitchen is mostly ripped out but we still have tons to do.  It's going to be slow going with my guy in school and all.  By the way...he's over halfway done now...gets out in November!  Whoot!  Whoot!

Hope your day is fab!

Love to you...

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Yesterday evening heavy storms pounded down upon my town.  I awoke this morning only to the find the garden I had tended to the day before had been pelted with torrential rain and hail.  Every small plant and tiny flower I had carefully placed within the ground had been uprooted and tossed about.

I felt heartsick.

It was less about the $100 spent on annuals and more about the amount of time and labor I wasted spent to beautify our lawn. 

As I stared out the window I could see the Blue Jays and Red Birds dancing about underneath the still drizzling sky.  They were, in every sense of the word, singing in the rain!  In spite of the storms they were off doing whatever it is birds do after bad weather doubt tending to their young, rebuilding theirs nests, seeking out fresh food.

All the while enjoying a brand new sunrise...
...Consider the sparrow they don’t plant or sow
But they’re fed by the Master who watches them grow.
~from Consider the Lilies (Joe Hemphill)


On the wings of angels He carries me.  When I'm too tired and broken to walk on my own He leads and guides me through the valley of darkness, walking ahead, lighting may way so as I might not stumble and fall.

In the midst of the storm He calms the sea of my life so my ship can safely reach the shoreline up ahead. He has a plan for me and the cargo entrusted to my care..

Help me, Father, to not lose sight that even when little things disrupt my daily life and discourage me, You hold my heart within your mighty hands.  Shadow me with your endless love and help me cast aside my stubborn and selfish will and look to You,
my Guide
and North Star,
for everything.

Tomorrow I will plant anew.


Blessings for a lovely day spent in His presence.

Love to you...

Friday, April 27, 2012



Years and years ago when I owned a brick and mortar store I found the most wonderful
 ever on one of my trips to Market.  I was so taken with them and the showroom that sold them they remained on my favorites list for years and years.  The branchy floral vines came in muted pinks and creamy whites and each one equally flew out the door faster than I could get them in.  I distinctly remember the three foot lengths retailed for $36 ($18 wholesale) and the six foot lengths retailed for $48 ($24 wholesale).  That was pricey even for the early 1990's....but they sold like hotcakes anyway!

This was during the Laura Ashley phase of decorating...incredibly no one even knew who Rachel A was...not yet anyway!

As my own personal stash of vines became tattered and worn, little by little they were discarded.  (Boo Hoo!)  The showroom stopped carrying the line, favoring instead silk-type florals which had become very, very popular at the time.  Over the years I managed to hang onto only two six foot garlands...both of them were in the white colorway.
Today I have them twisted up tightly together and wired in place because they are sooo old and fragile!  They proudly hang over the sink/mirror in my master bath and I still love them today just like I did nearly twenty years ago.

(don't you love it went people say that?'s like you KNOW something fabulous is coming!...right?)

Today I visited one of our town's antique malls and after meandering through each and every space I made my way to the back.  And there, way up high, peeking out from behind a bunch of old industrial type stuff I spied this really, really long rose vine in pink.

Now I've been in this room before and I never once noticed it there.  Well...I climbed up high and after working to de-tangle it I realized it was in two pieces.  One nine foot piece (three 3ft pieces together) and one six foot piece.

Guess how much?

Fifteen sweet little bucks for all of it!

Now comes the fun part....trying to decide just WHERE I'm going to hang them.  If I wasn't afraid the birdies would nest in the vines (they always do!) I'd hang them over the outside of my door.  Hmmm...

Decisions!  Decisions!

Today I'm linking up with Miss Beverly over at


Now in case you missed my post about my GIVEAWAY you can read about how you can enter your name into the drawing for the PINK ROSE TATTERED APRON shown below.

Just click HERE for the details!
 Hope your day is fabulous!  I'm off to hang my vines!

Love to you...



Mother's Day is just around the corner and I'm grateful once again my mother still lives this side of heaven.  I visited her the other day in the little apartment she's called home for thirteen years now.  She's packing for a local move which will take her farther from me, but one I know is probably in her best interest.

The other day while scanning some old photos my mother loaned me I came across one that I don't recall ever seeing before.  She must have been around the age of about eight or so the day it was taken...  I say that not because I know for sure but because I lost my front teeth when I was seven and by the time I turned eight my big teeth had grown in.  I figure the same was true for my mom.
As I looked at the picture and turned it over and over in my hands her steely blue eyes drew me in.  I have no idea what came over me at the moment...maybe I'm just missing her...maybe I'm afraid of losing her...not sure.  I only know for certain that all of a sudden I felt incredibly sad.  One day my mother was young with her entire life ahead of her and then one day she wasn't...and it wasn't.

I asked her once what she wanted to do with her life.

She said "I wanted to go to college, but was never encouraged to do so!  Then I met your father and...and...and..."

My mom's pushing eighty and I pray the years ahead will be good years for her.

She deserves it.

These days as I watch my mother move about it isn't uncommon for me to squint just a little because when I do I can still see the form of the woman who raised me.  In my heart she is very young and vibrant and looking stunning in her black dress, white gloves and pearl necklace.  Her life is full of dreams.  But that was long before the years of toil and heartache set in and the world in general became unkind.  Living without her beloved, the only man she's ever loved, must be difficult.

Difficult?  Did I say that?

 That word doesn't even come close to the challenge it must be to watch someone you love slowly, continually lose their health (and mind) to heaven knows what.  My father, of course, is still incarcerated living in the nursing home with the MONSTER in his brain and she continues to visit him every single day. 

All the while she is growing older...and more feeble...and more and more, well...old.

I watched my mother when I was just a child face many things.  But watching her as an adult has taught me so many life lessons.  Lessons about tolerance (she's deaf), lessons about forgiveness, lessons about grace, suffering, dignity and not folding when the hand you were dealt was less than what you'd hoped it would be.

Those steely blue eyes of hers remind me of my grandfather's.  They try to hide the fear of the unknown just like his did.  But, just as she knew him, I know her.  I know her well and see the raw side of her fear up-close.  It's personal.  It's life altering.  It's real.  Still, she refuses to settle for mediocrity, choosing instead to see only the good in the myriad of things spinning and spiraling about her....

She presses on.  Her faith in the Most High leading and guiding her...


(Thinking of you, Momma!  If the move doesn't work out you can come and live with me...)


I just started a new giveaway yesterday for this SWEET APRON fashioned with a darling Rachel Ashwell pink rose cotton!  Check the details at the bottom of the post found HERE!

Hope your day is lovely...

Love to you~

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I'm taking a BIG SIGH of relief here because the romantic guestroom makeover I started several months ago, September in fact, is finally finished.  I'm telling you right from the get-go that because of the way this silly room is laid out I had a really hard time finishing it up.  It feels like I moved things around and changed them up a gazillion times before I was finally happy.  I'm sure over the next few months I'll add and subtract different elements but I'm happy to say for now the room is 100% done.  Whew!

You can read more about the transformation
This room was once bustling with activity!  For five years it was our son's bedroom and more teen boys with their video playing expertise wreaked havoc between her suffering walls than I dare say!!!  Today the room is soft and serene but I can't go in there without remembering on occasion the neon lights Brandon had strung across the walls!  Sweet, sweet memories today...back then, so much!

The room has an oddly placed window that makes decorating a challenge.  The full sized vintage bed is a little big for the space but I love it anyway.  Paired with a vintage rocker layered with vintage linens the room's gentle palate is pleasing to the eye.  I purposefully left it void of a lot of unnecessary color.  I'm not a huge blue fan...not at all.  But, the rest of my home is done primarily in neutrals so the color is a nice change.

Here's another shot where you can see more of the elements next to the chair.  I hope to rock grand-babies in this sweet rocker someday!  The wall to the right of the small table has a small closet and a scalloped edged vanity.  I forgot to photograph that one....  See the window treatments?  The lace panel is the one I found earlier in the month in Cali for only a few bucks!  A vintage embroidered square tablecloth has been folded over the top.
What is this?  A pocket pillow of course!  I love how it looks on the bed...  Tucked inside are old love letters and a picture of my precious Momma when she was about four...  A pillow just like it can be found on my A Gathering Place website...

Hope you enjoyed the mini tour!
Now...are you ready for my latest freebie?

I haven't done a giveaway since last December when I had a drawing for one of my vintage Gathering Cases TM (refashioned Train Case).  I figured it was about time to do something fun once again...
See the pink rose apron above?  It was fashioned using a sweet Rachel Ashwell cotton from her Simply Shabby Chic line.  It's a full sized apron and includes a large pocket on the front, wide generous ties and tattered ruffles.

Want a chance to win it?

Here's what you do!

1.  Leave a comment on this post for chance #1.

2.  Visit me on Facebook (link is on my page), leave a comment there and LIKE ME for chance #2.

3.  Blog about my APRON GIVEAWAY and include a picture as well as a LINK BACK to this post for chance #3.

4.  Follow my blog for chance #4.

5.  You can also enter by sending me a direct email if you follow my blog anonymously OR don't do Facebook!  I've had several request for this so I'm trying to make it Easy Peasy for everyone to have a chance!!

6. certainly don't have to do this one but I would GREATLY appreciate it if you would blog, share on Facebook or share with all your friends if you are to win!  This helps me and my biz/website get exposure!

Once you have done any or all of the above please let me know!!!

Today I'm linking up with the following blog parties:

Kathleen @Faded Charm for White Wednesday
Patty @Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday

HAPPY ENTERING!  The deadline to enter the drawing will be May 16th at midnight CST.  Drawing will be announced by the following weekend.

Hope your day is wonderful...

Love to you~

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I love wildy looking wreaths, do you?

I see so many fabulous ones out there in the blogging world and each one gets my own creative juices flowing!!!  I have wreaths hanging outside my home and inside my home and love the welcoming feeling they give to most any room.  The one at the the top once graced the door to my studio.  It's branchy on the inside and I love the twisty, twirly looking tendrils going every which way.  In the center of this wreath there is actually another wreath.  It's a small heart shaped one with three pink roses at the base.  Love how they look married together! I got tired of knocking the thing off the door so I decided to move it to our pink accented guestroom.  I have it hanging on this metal thingy I snagged at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago...
 This wreath was fun to make and pretty easy to take on!  It hangs in our second guestroom...the one with the palest blue walls you've ever seen!  Another trip to the world's most favorite craft store (Hobby Lobby) to buy a grapevine heart shaped beauty in it's natural twig color.  I LIGHTLY coated this one with flat white paint on both sides (the cheap stuff from Wal-Mart) and then gently distressed it with sand paper.  Next I took two branchy style twig stems (again from HL) and cut them apart.  No tools needed I just pulled them out from the main stem.  I tucked each wildy looking piece underneath the grapevine wrappings and that was it!  The creamy white roses were salvaged from a vintage millinery hat, but you can find something similar at your neighborhood craft place!  It hangs on the front of a vintage window which is over the bed.

Neither of the wreaths are very original...I'm sure they've been done before.  Just thought I'd give you a little peek at the two rooms I'll be showing you soon.  The blue room is FINALLY completely done and I can't wait to show you the changes.  The beige, soft white and pink room has also been reworked so more pics of that room are coming soon as well!

I'm back working in my studio today...I'll be visiting around later this evening!

Tomorrow begins a brand new giveaway!   

Love to you... 

Monday, April 23, 2012


I've been tending to tender family issues...been missing you!

While working in my studio today I came across this precious photo taken back in 1990 while running a booth at a Folk Fair here in Oklahoma.  Do you remember those t-shirt dresses??? They were the rage so don't laugh!  This pictures surely proves I've been in the business for a long, long time!

Truth be told I giggled out loud when I saw the picture.  I remember putting those sailor collars on the dresses and adding those big pinky-rose colored bows to the front!  I can't believe it but the photo was snapped 22 years ago this September...  After my sister, Linda, moved away to Tennessee I was on my own and convinced an old friend to help me 'sell' for the day.

What were the hot-ticket items back then?

Hmmm...lots of handmade bears and cross stitched pillows with country girl motifs.  And...stuffed heart garlands, wooden shelves with hearts (made by my Mr. AGPMan!), and anything and everything stenciled.

Want to know what my best seller was?

See the little hanging pillow on the arm of the rocking chair (on the left)?  I made tons of those little sweeties...they said "I HEART Country" and were cross stitched in pinks, country blues, creams and whites.  Some were done up reds and hunter green, too!  

Want to know what I miss most about those days?

It wasn't my big hair :) or those black Sam & Libby black-bow flats...


It was the ages of my kids.
In 1990 my son Brandon was 8 and my sweetie-girl, Adrienne, was 5....

I love reminiscing and taking trips down memory lane.  I'm reminded when I step back into the present that life is good and has been for a long, long time!

I'm about to begin work on a very special project that's going to keep me hopping this week.  I'll be out and about visiting you all as soon as I can.

Love to you...

Friday, April 20, 2012


Orange, California

Today I'm going to share with you a few more pictures of my Cali getaway.  I hope they will make you smile!  While I'm at it I'm going to ATTEMPT to make my way around all the changes to Blogger!  BAH!  The new layout is making me NUTS! 
(and everything else you see, too!)

The picture you see at the top was taken two weeks ago last Tuesday.  My big sister, Linda,my sister-in-love, Ginger and I had a great time shopping at Country Roads in Orange, California.  My brother, Bill, was such a trooper and let the three of us shop until we dropped.  It was such a fun day and the memories of it all will be with me forever.  I love my family!!!!
~BEAUTIFUL TANZA and ME~ don't think I went all the way to my home-state without finding time to visit with my longtime friend, Sweet Tea (Tanza), do you?  No-sir-ree!  After my family and I shopped all day Miss Tea graciously met up with us for an early dinner.  She worked all day and still managed to squeeze in a visit with her Okie-friend.  We dined at a sweet eatery in Orange and then Miss Tea drove around with us and pointed out some of the most famous homes in Orange.

One of the homes on our mini tour was that of Tea's beloved cousin, Sandy and her husband, Rick!   Sandy and Rick live in a Craftsman Home (Craftsman Homes were originally built using a KIT and sold by Sear's) and it is the most charming thing I've ever seen.  Every room in the house looks magazine perfect and I can't help but wonder WHY I haven't seen this amazing home in print before.  It's on the historical register from what I understand so all the updates must be approved... 

This is Sandy!  Isn't she just darling?  You can see in the background a bit of her incredible home.  Want to know what else?  They didn't even know we were coming and everything was picture-ready!  

Their fabulous kitchen!  Sorry for the less than fabulous photography skills here...  Love the sink and the island!  The house isn't overdone and yet warm and inviting!  Incredibly beautiful!

This is a shot of Rick and Sandy's living room.  We interupted Rick watching TV I'm afraid.  Look how lovely it is!  Again...they didn't know anyone was coming!

 The backyard was breathtaking!  Rick and Sandy recently hosted a wedding here!  Beautiful!  More than beautiful!
~G is for GREEN...and LIFE~

 I had forgotten how lovely California foliage can be.  It's the one thing I's beautiful in Oklahoma but the heat sometimes kills our flowers off early if we aren't careful with them.

This is Rick's Bar-B-Q joint! :)  I love it

Thanks to Miss Sandy and Mr. Rick for allowing my family and I to barge in unannounced for a visit to your lovely home.  You were both so nice and kind and I can see why Miss Tea loves you so much!  I'm so hoping to see your entire home in print someday!  Long overdue and totally deserved!

Still have so much to share with you...I'll keep it for next week!!!

Hope your day is wonderful!  Tonight my daughter Adrienne and I are going to the Oklahoma Ballet to see

The Wizard of Oz.

I love spending time with my girl-child.  I can't believe she's been married almost five years now!  This is our second time to attend the Ballet together and this year it's my Mother's Day treat!

More soon!  Love to you...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012



Today I'm sharing with you a few pics of a wee little corner in my bedroom.  Someday when I get a new camera or lens I hope to take better photos of the entire room!

With our recent remodel, which included taking down the wall between our family room and dining room, I ended up having more wall decor than I could use.  I was sad at first as I didn't have a place for the vintage plate shelf I purchased a couple of years ago.  But with a little scouting around upstairs I found a little nook where it will least for now.

Now...I don't like anything  sticking out even a teensy weensy bit into a doorway but until I have more time to decide just where to put this small chest it's going to stay right where you see it!

Any guess as to what this sweet old piece was originally manufactured for?

How about now?  Any guesses?  My guy thought it was a cooler for butter because of the little tray on the inside...??????

Do you know yet?


It's a vintage French Enamel Lunchbox!  Isn't it fabulous????  I found it recently at a local shoppe and just had to bring it home with me.  It's white and has this wonderful old patina to it!!!!

It's a present from me to me! :)

My home is always changing...but honestly~I'm loving it more now than ever before!

Today I'm linking up again with:

Faded Charm for White Wednesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday

I'm off to paint and sew!  My brush and needle are calling my name!

Love to you...

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