Thursday, September 26, 2019


I've worked so long at having a booth and now that I no longer have it I've struggled a bit to really get back into my studio and focus!  I've been so used to being busy, busy, BUSY with full-on retail that settling down my mind has been a bit of a challenge.

It's so strange how you can slip right out of the groove of creating.
I've just been busy with life and then sometimes I forget the ongoing affection I have for working with thread and needle will never truly go away.

Nor will my love for painting!

I'm so thankful to be back doing what I love without the pressure of displaying and stocking a large booth.

It's funny though how you get out of a routine if you're not careful. indeed moves us forward and these days I work with a different kind of intensity and purpose.  I just love making something from vintage fabric finds, snippets of  old lace and forgotten fragments saved from another's life...

Working with my hands is so rewarding.
Sometimes change is hard.

Really hard.

Giving up my booth (and it's fabulous location in the shoppe) was tough.

Still...I knew it was the right thing to do.
In the Spring (thinking far ahead here!) my Mr. AGP Man is going to turn our small storage shed in the far east corner of our backyard into a painting studio for me.

I'm very excited about what I hope will be a very inviting space!
I've found it's just too difficult to try and paint (I can be messy) inside my current studio that houses sweet fabrics and trims!  Time to rethink my work space(s).

So...whatever is going on in your life...don't give up on YOU or those dreams spinning around in your head!

If you're like me, sometimes I just have to take time to refill my empty "heart and head" with fresh inspiration and then adjust my thought process in order to get through the tough days that sometimes crash into my life!

Blessings to you today as you make your way through the your own winding path...

Love to you...


Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Gosh...I've had a really busy week!  While I'm collecting my thoughts I decided to share with you this wonderful book-page quote from one of my very favorite authors...

She's right about a warm hug or a friendly pat!

A friend stopped by this week and we had a few minutes of tender conversation.  After she left I realized God is always on time with His encouragement and blessings.

Still trying to trust the timing of my life!

Love to you...


Tuesday, September 17, 2019


When I attended the Dallas Wholesale Market a few years ago it was plain to see how much Farmhouse Style Decor had taken hold of the decorating world. Except for the extremely high-end showrooms there wasn't a single emporium/co-op that wasn't focusing on everything

F A R M H O U S E!

I guess we can all thank Joanna G for that!  Right?
Everything I was selling in my own booth began to focus on that growing trend. It was getting more and more difficult to find companies that marketed to the cottage/shabby/pastel style home and unless I went online to shop I found myself on the other side of my favorite shade of blush pink...
If you are a true lover of this style decor, I've found unless you shop specifically online, most physical stores do not carry it.  Even Target's once overflowing aisles that were full of Rachel Ashwell's soft, pink rose designs have dwindled down to just a few styles...

I walked into Hobby Lobby the other day and was BLASTED with all things black and white.  If someone is looking for ART (something other than a lettered sign or a cow) they will find only a few choices.

One thing for certain, things change.  I remember when I first started my "home-based-biz" back in the early 1980's country style decorating was all the rage.  Country blue and mauve come to mind and for course ducks...and geese.  You had to have ducks on your canisters and heart shelves on your walls.
These days I have found that the palest of pink Christmas Stockings with vintage laces still sell the best for me (people will never stop having baby girls, I guess) while white remains a very close second.  This pale pink Stocking sold a couple of days ago...
And then just  couple weeks ago I filled a special order for 24 black and white checkered Lavender Sachet Stockings (Booties)...for a true
Farmhouse Decor Lover!!!
Just like bell-bottoms, everything is bound to cycle back again.  Right?

Love to you...


Friday, September 13, 2019


A little over a year ago I awoke one morning with a weird pain in my left foot.  After walking around for a couple of minutes the pain went away and I didn't have it again until the next morning.  With each passing day the pain grew a little bit worse and by the time my Mr. AGPMan and I headed to Santa Barbara for our anniversary get-away three months later I was worried I wouldn't be able to walk on the beach with my beloved.

Weird thing about the pain was I felt almost normal if I was wearing a wedge-type shoe.  I just could walk flat footed.

Anyway...after seeing three doctors (all with different answers!) I finally met with an orthopedic surgeon, had an MRI and was immediately told I had something called Haglund's Deformity.  I was like, "Ummmmmm......WHAT?"

The "deformity" had led to the tearing of my Achilles tendon and I was in bad shape.  When I was told full recovery from the surgery was projected at twelve to fifteen months I truly felt sick at heart.  TWELVE MONTHS????  FIFTEEN????

Spinal fusion surgery was done on my neck only two years before following a car accident and I was NOT wanting to go under the knife again.  I felt so low and was very depressed.

The surgery went as planned...removal of excess bone at my heel and a nice 4" long incision now decorates the back of my left calf.  Lovely.  I will spare you the details and tell you only that I am NOT a good patient.  Six weeks in a foot/leg cast is not fun.  

I used a Knee Scooter to get around and I was thrilled when I was able to get out of my house and visit the new COSTCO that had opened in OKCity.!  Nothing like retail therapy for recovery!
I loved the store, but I tired out very quickly by the time we signed up for a membership and began to browse around the huge warehouse market.  My guy continued to shop and I happily nestled myself near the end-cap of a fairly non-congested aisle.  The store was super busy and in hindsight it was probably not a good a stupid idea to visit the store during it's first two weeks of operation.

Lesson learned.

While my leg was propped up on the knee scooter I stood for quite a bit on my good leg/foot just watching the bustle of activity around me.  It was then I noticed a woman and her companion trying to meander a VERY FULL CART down the aisle I was on.  I scooted farther over to the left so she could get through, but another shopper to my right made it impossible for her to pass.  People were in front of me and in back of me and to the side.  I couldn't move...especially so since I wasn't fully mobile.

It was then the woman trying to move onto the aisle looked right at me and said this:

"You need to move your (blanking) A**"
(and a lot more vile and truly obnoxious, hateful things!)

I was sooo stunned and shocked I didn't even know what to say.  My hubby (who had come up behind me) responded with "Excuse ME, mam...but did you just say what I think you said?"

Her reply...

"YES I DID!!!!"

Mr. AGPMan's response was a mix of emotions...I will only say he was kind, BUT FIRM and basically scolded her for her foul mouth and unkindness.
I am NOT a young girl, but I could feel the tears well up and then drop from my eyes before I could wipe them away.  I couldn't believe how rude and crass and completely oblivious she had been to one who was noticeably sideline/impaired.

I felt embarrassed and asked to be taken home.  For sure the medication I was taking made me far more emotional than I would otherwise be, but I truly felt overwhelmed none-the-less.

In the two or so months since that visit to COSTCO I've been back at least three times.  Last night we were there again and the same unpleasant memory made it's way back into my heart.
I'm a fairly strong-minded person and I know people make mistakes and say things they don't really intend to say sometimes.  I've said things during my lifetime I wish I could take back. I also know there are very mean people in the world who absolutely do not care about the feelings of others.  I'm proud to say I'm not one of them.

My Mr. AGPMan (aka: hubby) reminded me of something when I brought up the incident AGAIN (for what seemed to be the ga-jillionth time)...

He said "Forgive her, Babe.  Even if you never know whether or not she is sorry..."

I really hate it when he's right.  
Time to move on! 

Love to you...


Monday, September 9, 2019



It's another HOTTIE today in the beautiful state of Oklahoma! The high temps in middle America never cease to
Today I'm back in my studio working on more offerings...still so excited to return to what a love doing most!
Working with old vintage linens, antique laces, shell buttons and tattered finds!
Hey...what is the difference between the words FALL and AUTUMN anyway?
I had to go look it up! I found the following on GRAMMARIST:

"Fall and autumn are both accepted and widely used terms for the season that comes between summer and winter. Some who consider British English the only true English regard fall as an American barbarism, but this attitude is not well founded. Fall is in fact an old term for the season, originating in English in the 16th century or earlier. It was originally short for fall of the year or fall of the leaf, but it commonly took the one-word form by the 17th century, long before the development of American English. So while the term is now widely used in the U.S., it is not exclusively American, nor is it American in origin."
I've read several online commentaries about both of these words and basically they almost all say that AUTUMN is just a more formal word for FALL!
Who knew??? Soooo...HAPPY ALMOST AUTUMN!
(I did a post at least a couple years ago on How To Paint Pumpkins, but I'm not finding it. When I do I'll link it in the label section!)
Love to you...

Sunday, September 8, 2019



My sweet La Chaumière de Briarwood looks best when she is dressed for Autumn...  Just the style of our nearly 50 year old home ushers in a timeless look of simple beauty and charm.

Several years ago I found three antique/vintage Tell City Ladder Back Chairs at a local Oklahoma thrift store.  I desperately needed four and found another one up in Missouri (my late Momma and I made the four hour trip up north to get it and then back home again!)...  If I remember right I paid only $28.00 each for the first three...but then had to paid five times that for the fourth one.  Still a great deal as the chairs are now highly sought after and getting harder to find all the time!

Anything with the TELL CITY logo has gone up in price and I'm sure will continue to go up in years to come!

I love the way the chairs look in our breakfast room.  I painted them black and then heavily distressed them so the original maple stain color lightly shows through.

I've often wished I had two more chairs for extra seating...just haven't wanted to drop the cash!

Every once in a while I get online to just LOOK and SEE!  Incredibly I found another sweet chair like the four I already have on FB Marketplace (Oklahoma/local)!
Guess how much?

The silly thing was only $20!

The chair had been on Marketplace for 15 hours when I saw it...I couldn't believe it wasn't already SOLD!  I contacted the seller immediately and my Mr. AGPMan picked it up after work!


On a whim I decided to check eBay just to SEE if I could possibly find ONE MORE!

Well...I actually found TWO MORE...

But guess how much?

A WHOPPING $600 for two...or $300 each!

I just very nearly GASPED out loud!

I knew the chairs were valuable...just not THAT valuable.  To be fair, I also found another one that was quite a bit less...but it had some damage to it!  They were all in Nebraska and even tho the hubby grew up there...we certainly weren't planning a trip north anytime soon.  Wouldn't have paid that much anyway!

I hope in the future to snag one more chair for an equally amazing price.

Sometimes great deals take patience!

Today is our 41st anniversary!  WHAT?

I can't believe it.  In case you forgot (or are new here OR haven't followed along in a bit...) Here is our wedding photo taken on September 8, 1978!

What's the secret to our success of living together and not killing each other for nearly 15,000 days?
(14,975 to be exact!)

Love, Respect, Passion, Faith, Trust, Hope, Hard Work, Good Choices, Sound Financial Decisions, Great Kids, Fun, Date Night, Laughter, Good Health 

Hope you are having an awesome Sunday.  After celebrating our marriage last night with a beautiful dinner out and breakfast this morning...we are doing some Fall planting and having homemade vegetable soup for a calm, quiet dinner.

Loving my simple life.

Love to you...


Friday, September 6, 2019



For 27 years we have called our La Chaumière de Briarwood house, home.

She was a little over 20 years old back in July of 1992 when miraculously we scrapped together $3,500 for the down payment and our little family moved in. 

That seemed like a million dollars to us at the time.  Especially for a young couple with two little children.  We were just beginning to figure out if we spent more money than we earned we were destined for big trouble...

Over the years our home has changed a lot.  Back in 1992 the siding was still the original builder's grade color, a shade of dingy off white and it was desperately in need of a paint job.  Her shutters were brown.  Everything was faded, dusty and dirty and the exterior was in pretty bad shape.

Within a year we had changed the shutters and garage doors (ugh!) to a dark hunter green...a color popular in the early 90's.  We lived with that really bad choice until about 1999 (I have some close-up shots of the house at this time SOMEWHERE...would love it if they were lost forevahhhh!)...

In 1999 we finally resided the house and repainted her a light beige.  Her shutters were changed to a pale sage green and we purchased new front doors.  I love how our home looked at this time.  She still needed new garage doors, but with some strategic repairs they were kept fairly decent looking.
JULY 2019

Cheap paint is never a good option and we learned the hard way that if you don't buy quality paint you will pay a price for it.

The beige-siding-paint of ten to twenty years ago (we repainted once the same color!) had faded to a pale pinky-beige that reminded me of canned Rosarita Re-fried Beans.

Seriously.  Same color!

It was not pretty.  Trust me when I tell you it looks better in the photos than it was in person.

I hated it.

We also lost ALL of our euonymus plants that were in front of the left window to mites AND the large shrub/tree by the driveway as well.  After a complete infestation we removed them the plants in the flowerbed where the bench is survived we don't know.  Probably just a different species...not sure.  We plan on replacing the pretty shrub by the driveway with something similiar...but I will never buy another euonymous plant again.  I'm tired of the struggle.


Last summer we looked tirelessly for a new paint color for our home.  We drove around looking at so many houses in lots of different neighborhoods to just get an idea of what MIGHT look good with our brick color.  We did NOT want to go with another beige color!  But I did originally want to paint the house a soft, very light shade of maze (almost a cream-colored yellow).  Problem was...our neighbor's home next door is yellow.  Even though our shade would have been a lot was just too much!  Two houses right next door to each other, both two-story, close in color, just seemed weird.

So...after much debate and a gathering of several test samples in an array of colors, we settled on this shade of paint from Sherwin Williams...

The change has been overwhelming.
A HUGE DIFFERENCE!  The color isn't tooooo green-green...  Just a great shade that isn't too loud or harsh.  We both love it, but it is taking some time getting used to. I will like everything more when our shrubs and ornamental tree have been replaced.  Still looks kind of bare to me!

My Mr.AGPMan has done an amazing job doing the work himself.  Saved us about $10K-$12K.  Two-story houses are very expensive to paint and the quotes were staggering!!!  It's been very hot here in Oklahoma so he's had to wait for cooler temps to finish some of the trim work.  Totally understand why painters charge what they do!   

We love the new garage doors.  Hauling the old ones away brought us great JOY!  Fifty year old garage doors are heavy and are nothing like the new insulated doors you can buy today.

Fall will officially be here before long!  I celebrated my love for all things Autumn by reworking my wreath from last year and adding a bow of vintage black check gingham to the side.

In spite of the Oklahoma heat, a change of seasons is in the air and I love it...

Love to you~


Tuesday, September 3, 2019


Today I'm killing myself diligently working in my studio trying to organize my work space.  I must say that it has gotten completely out of control.


Way too much STUFF and now that I no longer have a large retail booth I have no need for all the extra paraphernalia!  I've loaded up four huge bins worth of JUNQUE and off to the donation center I will go this afternoon!  And I have a lot more reorganizing to go before I'm finished!  I'm already excited about the final outcome!

It feels good to purge. And weed out...

To give away.

To share.

To toss.
I feel like I can breathe again...(well, almost!)...

I somewhat liken working within my studio walls to the life of an avid gardener.  Just like tending the earth's soil and making sure it's nutrients are rich and balanced by the Planter, so goes my life as a sewer of fine things.  If I'm not careful, weeds of workplace disorganization flourish (from a lack of "pruning"?) and I end up with an abundance of dormant supplies (barren seeds?) complicated by the mind-boggling awareness I've wasted a lot of hard-earned ca$h.  It's impossible for me to create anything in a space that is overgrown and full of weeds.  I end up standing around and asking myself "where do I begin?"...
The Silhouette Cutter I purchased nearly three years ago is a great example of what I'm talking about.


 I swore I just had to have it...  I've used it ONCE and it's gathered a lot of dust  since dragging it home!  That EXPENSIVE piece of equipment was NOT necessary for me to design the things I'm passionate about creating.  That fancy gizmo may be fabulous for someone else, just not for me.  At least not now anyway.  Honestly,   I'd rather have my $275 back!!!!


Sometimes I make really silly ones!

I have at least another full day of work ahead of me before I finish "tilling the piles of fabric" in hopes they will one day bloom into a garden of lovely keepsakes.

I've asked God to help me tend to the field before me and pay attention to the fleurs budding within my own hothouse instead of staring at the plantings in another's...  

I'm following my soul.  It knows the way.
"It was already planted in good soil and had plenty of water so it could grow into a splendid vine and produce rich leaves and luscious fruit."  Ezekiel 17:8 NLT

Love to you...


Sunday, September 1, 2019



Along with probably a ga-jillion other people in the world,
When September comes I start counting the days until I can officially kick-start the arrival of autumn.

What is it they say?

Maybe it's because I can finally say adios to Oklahoma's hot summer days, or perhaps it's seeing the children return to learning, walking to and from school again, book-bags in hand.


Yesterday morning, like I have many times since her passing, I pulled out my mother's Woman's Home Companion Cook Book and began flipping through the tattered pages before me.  I love so many of things about this old book~but mostly I love knowing it was once in my mother's hands...

I skimmed the pages as I wanted to bake something to celebrate the changing of the seasons, something more than the apple spice muffins my mom made during my growing-up years...

Sadly, the only thing I really found was a recipe for a pumpkin cake!  NO MUFFINS!

The cake didn't sound too appealing, so I found a recipe online that was more in line with what I was looking for!


3 1/2 cups flour
2 2/3 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 cup milk
2 cups  mashed pumpkin
2 slightly beaten eggs
2/3 cups melted shortening
1/4 scant cup molasses
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup golden raisins

Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.
Mix wet ingredients and add to the dry.
Add one cup chopped pecans and one cup
golden raisins.  Stir well.

Fill greased/floured large muffin tins about 2/3 full.
Sprinkle top with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes until muffins are firm to the touch.

Let cool.  Remove from tin.

Serve with honey butter and ENJOY!


My mother loved to bake!  She loved spending holiday time with her family and she would have loved the big Labor Day party planned at our nephew's home tomorrow.  Lots of swimming, great food, and a gentle nod to the last days of summer.


Recently my mom's younger sister sent me the photo above (my momma is the child in the photo above and my auntie is the toddler in my grandmother's arms).  I love it so much.  My mom would be so happy to know we have carried on without her...even though her passing brought us all many tears.  I try and celebrate her life every chance I get...and yesterday was no different.  Sweet memories of her in the kitchen and tender reminders of what she will always mean to me.

Today is Sunday...thoughts of

I have a long-time prayer that passes my lips every single day.  Over twenty years now.
In God's time I will see it answered.

Love to you...


(P.S.  My blog is page protected and that was done a LONG TIME AGO!  Mr. AGPMan is TRYING to figure out how to remove it so you can easily copy photos or recipes!  More soon!)

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