Friday, December 27, 2013


Early this morning my beloved Mr. AGPMan's Father, Raymond E. Nelson, passed away.  I would sooo greatly appreciate your prayers as we say goodbye to our loving Father, Husband, Grandpa and friend.  He will be greatly missed by all of us...especially by Steve's mother.  They were married for over sixty years and I'm sure she will have some challenging days ahead.

You can read more about Steve's father HERE.
  My hubby's father honorably served in the US Army and was awarded a Purple Heart for Bravery after being severely wounded during the Korean Conflict/War.  He was blinded in one eye and suffered a traumatic head injury and yet lived to be almost 85 years old.

God is good.
Raymond was a dearly loved husband to Doris and loving Father to my husband, Steven Kent...

Adoring Grandfather to Brandon Kent...
And to Adrienne Rachelle....
 We hold many precious memories inside our hearts of him...
 Seems like yesterday he was a giddy Grampa to our two beautiful (and young!) children.
He helped us celebrate in the best of times...
 And loved me from day one.
He left us far too soon...

Today was his first day in heaven!
We rejoice in his home-going!

Thank you for your prayers during these tough times.

Blessings to you for a wonderful New Year.  This was a truly challenging year for us and we are looking forward to a fresh beginning.

Love to you all...

Thursday, December 19, 2013


~My Momma and I~
My Birthday 12/17/13

Gosh...where to begin!  

Before I update you on what's been happening in our lives I want to take just a moment to say a big THANK YOU to those of you who've written such thoughtful notes and have kept my Mr. AGP Man and I in your prayers during the past six months. Your friendships have become some of the best I've known in my life and I'm humbled by both your remembrance and kindness.  
~Birthday Roses~
From My Beautiful Daughter

"The Lord is the One who will go before you.
He will be with you;
He will not leave you or forsake you.
Do not be afraid or discouraged."
(Deuteronomy 31:8)

In mid July my husband was laid off from his job of nearly 17 years.  After the initial shock set in we struggled to process and understand the reasons behind the termination.  All I can tell you is that outsourcing and downsizing won out again in America.  It is as simple and as complicated as that.  We don't understand it...but have accepted it for being what it is.

Just life stuff.

And life stuff is always going to happen.

"Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth
trembles and the mountains topple into the depths
of the seas..."
(Psalm 46:2)
What I want to share with you today isn't so much about how we meandered the winding and unpredictable roads of life since the summer, but more about something I personally learned about keeping my faith strong while struggling to trust God with, well...absolutely everything.

I've come to understand in a fresh, almost encouraging way, the twists and turns, gains and losses, successes and failures in life can teach us something new if we will only allow them to do so.

I've also learned the word "devastating" needs to be removed from my vocabulary and used only when speaking of the most difficult of circumstances.

Sandy Hook comes to mind.

I've carelessly tossed the word around and used it to describe minor disappointments and unforeseen non-tragic occurrences in my life for who knows how many years.  I've also learned the defeat is not in fighting life's adversity, but in giving in.
So, both my guy and I pressed on.

Even when we were both overwhelmed, discouraged and even sometimes afraid we refused to give in.  In addition to running my AGP website, having a local booth space and taking special Christmas and Holiday orders, I also took a part-time job to help supplement my hubby's unemployment check while he helped me more than ever with all the aspects of my business.  There were many days we found ourselves coming and going and production of product sometimes suffered.  My website wasn't as full as I would have liked, special orders took longer to complete and my booth offerings dwindled down.  And blogging...well...blogging...
it took a backseat to

I tried my best to encourage my beloved as he applied for many jobs, sent out countless résumés and then waited...and waited and waited.

Tough days for sure.
But, not devastating ones.

Over Thanksgiving we celebrated with our family and thanked God, in the midst of the job loss, we were all healthy, strong and together.  As another Christmas Season frosted it's way into our lives I began thanking Him early for the abundance we had enjoyed in the past, the comfort of our La Chaumière de Briarwood, continued business from both new and longtime customers and His never-ending grace and peace.  During the moments when I prayed quietly alone I wasn't afraid to boldly ask God for a wonderful job for the husband of my youth.

Trusting was sometimes hard.
And sometimes we felt alone.
But, deep inside I believed that even
during the dark days
He would provide.

And He has...

An amazing new job offer has come and we are beyond blessed by the fabulous news...

  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and pray to me, and I will listen to you."
(Jeremiah 29:11-12)

A couple of days ago I celebrated a birthday and I'm grateful for another year of life.  I lunched with my beautiful mother (who will turn 80 next year) and visited with my ailing father who is almost 84.  Through the good and the not-so-good of life I'm beyond amazed and thankful that in those in-between days
when the grass is green for someone else,
when blessings are bestowed upon another,
that my Father, in heaven,
continues to love and care for us,
hear our prayers,
and answer them
in His time.

I'm not sure what the New Year holds.

But then, do we ever?

I can only tell you a heavy yoke has been lifted and pride shattered.  We've been left with a profound sense of God's tender care and with His help
we will begin again.

Thank you again for your prayers and concern.
I hope to share more with you soon.

Love to you, as always, and may
be Merry and Bright.

Friday, November 15, 2013


About 2 1/2 years ago I shared with you a tutorial about repackaging perfumed soaps.  If you missed the post or would like to revisit it you can find it HERE.
I love using beautiful soaps and I love displaying them in our baths as well.  Problem is they are often very expensive and just like I told you a few years ago, many lack display-worthy packaging.  Beautiful soaps in truly UGLY boxes and wraps!  No wonder it's possible for graphic designers to make so much money... :)
I find Soaps on clearance all the time.  Usually the paper wrappings have been torn open or the boxes have been ripped apart.  Whatever the reason for the extra discounts, I swoop them up because I know when the holidays come they will be perfect for welcoming guests to our home and also for gift giving/stocking stuffers for family and friends.
Although I still love Soaps packaged like the photos shown in the tutorial, I'm understanding more and more (locally in my booth and also online) the popular look these days is one of simple refinement with less frou frou.  Yeah...I kicked and screamed about it for a bit...but things change and as a business woman I can either grow and change with the times or deal with unsold offerings that have become dated and stale. Vintage ephemera is the's reproduced onto signs, pillows, scarves, t-shirts, caps, dishes and more...
I truly believe that customers speak loud and clear about what they want and these days the things that sell best for me are generally fashioned in natural tones. 
Today I'm showing you some of the repacked soaps I finished a few days ago for my Booth.  All the soaps were manufactured in Italy and smell divine.  There is Tuscan Raspberry, Camilla and Holly Berry.  The Holly Berry Soap I wrapped with a reproduced vintage SEARS Christmas Ad from 1916.  I used a reproduced perfume ad for the Camilla Soap and for the Tuscan Raspberry Soap I used two reproduced vintage poems/letters and an ad showcasing different kinds of fonts.

For the labels I used Paint Shop Pro.  A simple and easy to read front for the front and for the back label I just copied what came off the original packaging and colorized it.

I hope you're inspired to do something similar for those you love this year.  Fast, fun and you can certainly save some money in the process.

More soon.

Love to you...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Last Thursday I took a special order for nine Christmas Stockings and over the weekend I got busy getting them all done.  All were to be made using the same gorgeous linen (almost a burlap color) and five were to be designed for three women and two girls and the other four for two men and two boys...  Whew~big job!!!!
When working with almost only vintage lace and linen complements it's sometimes a challenge to get everything to look beautiful without being too matchy-matchy!  Today I finished the male stockings and thought I'd give you a little peek at what they came out like.  I love the simple and uncomplicated lines and how they are easily differentiated from the ones with more of a feminine flare.  All the girl stockings are made similar to the one you see at the top!

No lace or frills for the boy stockings!  The woman who placed the order only wanted linen and vintage buttons on them.  So...this is what I came up with..
Opted to fray the linen on the front for some textured accents and changed each one of them up just a bit so they were similar, but not identical!
A couple have toe and heel patches and all four have a fringed ruffle around the top!
Simple cotton/linen backings and linings...
Tonight I'll be working on the balance of the order and then I'll be smiling BIG!  

Hope your week is wonderful.  Continuing to look forward to better days and sharing more thoughts and ideas with you.
(Thank you for your prayers!)

Love and blessings~ 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Dear Blogger Friends...

It's been since the middle of October since I last shared a post with you.  I've wanted to check in more times than I can say~just to update you on what's been keeping me busy.  But, to be honest with you I've just felt incredibly unfocused and even a bit more than a bit depressed and vulnerable.  These past few months have been trying days in the life of my Mr. AGPMan and I, and even though we are both physically fine (thank-you, God!), we've faced some challenges just the same.

I've heard from many of you concerned about our well being and I can't begin to thank you for your words of support and kindness.  Your grace extended to us has meant so much.  You have prayed for us without asking the whys and through those prayers we've been blessed.  It's not been my intention to keep you in the dark, it's just some things are personal and best kept private (aka: internet free) until God reveals to us His plan for our lives.  When people ask me to pray for them I count it as a privilege and I'm honored to do so.  It's been enough for me to know that God knows the details...  So again...thank you for lifting us up to the Father.  

For those of you who are worried about our health, please don't be.  We are not ill (nor is our family) and we remain grateful for measurable inward peace in the midst of some uncertain days.  

We attend a large church in Oklahoma City and last March one of my favorite Christian singers, Sandi Patti, (also her home church) sang one of her newest songs (co-written with Wayne Watson) for our congregation.  I didn't know at the time how much the lyrics would mean to me only a couple of months later.  It's called "In The In-Between" and I've shared with you the lyrics below.  We've all faced days of wonderment and blessings and equally those in-between days of loss and concern.  I've been drawn to a place of comfort each time I'm reminded that what may seem big to me, in fact, isn't to God.

I continue to ask you to pray for my beloved Mr. AGPMan.  In thirty-five years of marriage I've never seen him more humbled and discouraged.  At the same time I want you to know he is a man of GREAT FAITH and we both know that God will reveal to us His purpose for this journey in His time.

Here is the video of Sandi singing alone with just the piano...  The words to her beautiful song follow.


I’ve seen some glorious days where I flew so much higher,
Much higher than I ever thought I would.
Soaring through the air I would declare
“Well isn’t God good, isn’t He good!”
And He was.  And He is.  And He always will be~
But in the in-between it’s hard for me to see.

In the in-between when everyday life happens.
And the fields of green belong to someone else.
In the in-between of what will be and what has been.
Jesus is a faithful friend in the in-between.

I’ve been unsure of myself, but even in the dark
I’m pretty sure that all is well and then I see
There in the mirror looking back at me
A work that is not everything that it will be.

‘Cause He was and He was and He always will be
Close beside and holding onto me.
In the in-between where everyday life happens
And the fields of green belong to someone else.
In the in-between of what will be and what has been
Jesus is a faithful friend, in the in-between.

Grace and mercy know no season.
There is no good reason why the best days might not be the days ahead
And in the in between when you have some time to dream
Your faith and strength will be restored
By the gracious Lord of the in between
Where everyday life happens
And the fields of green belong to someone else
In the in between what will be and what has been
Jesus is a faithful friend.
In the in between.
Jesus is a faithful friend.
In the in between.
(S. Patti/W. Watson)

Blessings to you.  Looking forward to better days.


Thursday, October 17, 2013


 Another year of creating handmade Christmas keepsakes has begun!  I can't believe it.  This year has flown by for me!

I'm actually late getting started.  In the past I've tried to start my holiday sewing in September.  But...with my larger booth at Serendipity Market here in Edmond, Oklahoma, I'm always hoppin'!  There isn't as much extra time to work far in advance like before!
Thought I'd give you a peek at what's new!  The Angel Pillow at the top is already sold.  Yeah....

Thanks to all of you who continue to lift up my family in your prayers.  When I'm able I will share more of our journey.

Blessings and love to you...

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Thanking God today for the hope I have in HIM.


I don't know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from it's sunshine
For it's skies may turn to grey.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden's getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.

I don't know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I'm covered with His blood.
 Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.
To those of you who believe, please keep praying for my Mr. AGPMan. 
Blessings and love to you...

Monday, October 7, 2013


 I've been working in my studio as free time permits ( I really HAVE any of that!) and last week made some serious progress mixing things up.  These days I'm all about working smarter, not harder!

I'm lovin' the changes!

For whatever the reason, I just can't get rid of this truly funky looking chest of drawers with it's oddly placed knobs.  Decided to keep the aging vintage piece (that's actually super sturdy and strong) and just add some vintage French graphics to the front.  Inside the drawers are layers and layers and LAYERS of old lace and at this time of the year I'm digging inside them non-stop!

Christmas Stockings

Christmas Pillows


Christmas Sachets

are coming...
See this amazing table?  I scored it at an estate sale a couple of weekends ago for only $30.  It has two leaves which makes it long enough to fill up the center of my studio.  I'm way past the point of standing while I work and so the new addition of the table makes creating so much more enjoyable.  The solid wood top was originally varnished, as were the legs.  I de-glazed them and painted the legs and table skirting with chalk paint.  I stripped the top with Klean Kutter spray varnish remover before giving it a coat of AS dark wax followed by clear wax.  LOVE how it came out!  I'm loving this natural bit of wood in the room....
Finished these two Christmas Stockings a few days ago and several more as well...  The one below was fashioned using the flounce of an early 1900s cotton dress...  Love using vintage clothing and working them into new designs for the home.  Some pieces are tattered and worn and simply beyond repair.  So...the salvageable parts are given a new lease on life for a new generation to enjoy!
I'm hoping to be busy for the balance of the year and I'm grateful for the work and the biz...

Hope your week is wonderful.
 Just had to stop in and say hello.

Love to you...

Saturday, September 28, 2013



I spent most of my day today on the Estate/Tag Sale hunt and I get so excited when I score BIG with vintage linens.  I never really know just WHAT I will find when fluttering about town...

All in all I think my Mr. AGPMan (and our son!) visited six different sales...
two were phenomenal
two were great
one was good
one will go down in history
as being the worst managed sale I've ever attended...

Lots of pics to share today!
A few I'll move over to Pinterest and Facebook!

You know...I said once that if I ended up with more followers on Pinterest than I did on my Blog then it might be time to quit writing and just share pretty photos!

Hmmm...getting awfully close here....

This sweet edging included the note you see below.  Basically it says it was crocheted while a momma rocked her baby/cradle with her foot!  How sweet is that?

Totally swoon-worthy!

Perfect accents for Christmas Stockings!


The vintage tablecloth is my FAVORITE FIND!  I love all the other lace pieces and the vintage clothes, but the tablecloth is amazing.  It has some storage issues, but no stains from use.  I honestly don't believe it ever graced a table.  Somehow I think that is very sad...

Anyway...the cloth is ENORMOUS!  Maybe that's why it was never used...too large for a family table.  

Hope you love all my treasures!
I have Christmas Stocking running through my brain.

Before I go...just a note to thank those of you who have written regarding my last post.  Your thoughts and concern for my husband mean more than I can say.  When it comes time for me to close my bloggie for good your kindnesses to me will be what I miss the most.

Love to you...

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