Thursday, September 29, 2011

Love of Reading (going to the dogs?)

I have always been an avid reader.  Now, I have the ideal job for me - working part time at the library.  There are so many books that cross my desk that I want to read I couldn't get to them all in my life time.  One really awesome program the library offers is Reading PAWS.  A highly trained dog (we have a lovely greyhound, Cory) comes to the library and children who are struggling with reading can read aloud to the dog for a period of time.  The dog is non-judgmental and offers a "good listener" for these kids.  How cool is that?
I believe the best thing parents can do for their children is read to them when they are young and, hopefully, install in them a love of books.  I didn't think this included dogs.   I always knew my dogs were smart fellows (while at least Sam) ,  apparently, my doggie boys are into reading, too! 

Sam is always trying to improve himself!

He is learning as much as he can about his arch enemy
in order to protect me!
According to Oliver,
"Reading is so hard!  And it makes me
really hungry!  Got any treats?"

This reading stuff is just too much work!
I would much rather nap!
Oh, well. 

He's Back!

We had a dry spell here in Georgia.  Over three weeks without any rain.  While I watered as much as I could, my plants were looking a little distressed.

Then over Labor Day weekend we finally got the rain we needed.  We also got tornado's in my county, but that is another story and I came out of it safe and sound and so were all of my friends. 

Along with the rain, out came the toads again.  I hadn't seen them in a while do to the lack of rain.  I assumed they were buried deep in their little toad holes, protected from the sun and heat during the day and eating bugs at night. 

The second day of rain I was getting ready for bed and I saw something on the threshold between my bedroom carpet going into my master bath.  Yup.  It was my friend, Mr. Toad.  (See previous post on toads.)

Now, think about this.  Mr. Toad hopped into the screened porch and across the kitchen, down a hallway, across the master bedroom and almost into the bathroom.  And, he avoided me and two dogs. 

Needless to say, after giving me a little chase (thank goodness he didn't hop under the bed) he was gently escorted back outside where he belongs.

If you believe in animal totems, this is what Lin's Domain ( has to say about the toad:

The appearance of a Toad heralds a successful time of drawing upon and using our inner resources.
Toads are associated with money and luck – especially changing your luck from bad to good.
People with a Toad totem can see things and people more clearly.
A Toad heralds the need for self-examination. Ask these questions:
Am I hesitating to act and missing opportunities?
Am I allowing fear to hinder progress?
Have I forgotten my inner strength?
A Toad totem is a representation of the Moon, and represents both Life and Death.
In alchemy, the Toad signifies the dark side of Nature.
In the ancient cultures of Mexico, the Toad symbolized the Earth.

Other websites suggest the toad symbolises inner strength and resources and time to take a "leap of faith."

Hmmm, something to think about, I guess.  I am beginning to think Mr. Toad does have a message for me.  And, he did make it into my bedroom - not the office area, quilting room or guest bedroom.  Or, maybe I'm making something out of nothing! 

In any event, I'm still not kissing a toad.  No matter where he shows up!

Monday, September 05, 2011

A Master Fit for a Queen (or Princess, whichever works!)

You may double click on each
picture to see it in a larger format
 Finally.  My master bedroom and attached bathroom are FINISHED!

My dragonfly themed quilt was truly a labor of love.  It turned out huge, but perfect.  I based everything around the room on this quilt.  It has special meaning to me and will always be one of my most treasured possessions. 

I thought the most difficult part of this room would be the quilt.  But, that proved to be the easiest.  The most difficult was painting the room.  While I love my tray ceiling with the crown molding, it was hard to paint around.  Thankfully, the best brother-in-law in the universe, Marlon, came to my rescue and painted the inner ceiling for me.  He and my nephew, Paul, painted the bathroom for me, too.  I tried to paint the ceiling and got some of it done, but it really caused havoc with my neck and shoulders.  But, the walls in the master were all painted by me.
If you look closely, you can see the two
different paint colors I used in the room. 
The color on the bed wall was also
used in the bathroom
Once I had the quilt pieced and it was sent up to Meandering Mary in Wisconsin (I knew she would do a fabulous job and she did) for quilting, it was time to pick out paint colors.  Seems like everyone who came over was asked their thoughts and all had a different opinion.  Even my dear friend, Shelley, who lives in North Canton, Ohio, had her thoughts.  And, since Shelley is great with decorating, I sent her fabric samples of the quilt.  Guess what?  She sent me color samples and I went with her suggestions for the walls.  And, she has never stepped foot in my house!  Go figure.  Anyway, the wall the bed is against along with the ceilings are painted one color (as is the bathroom) and the rest another color.  Two colors, although the light makes it feel like there are 3 or 4 different colors on the walls, depending on the time of day.

The trellis "head board" was found at a junk store shortly after I moved down here.  I love them!  Each trellis was $20 - a great deal.  The cedar chest at the foot of the bed I had in Milwaukee, as well as the antique desk.  The bridal chest on one side of the bed was my mother's and the table on the other side I purchased a few years ago and had refinished.  The little love seat I also purchased a few years ago and had reupholstered down here.  The armoire was purchased at a consignment store here in Georgia.  It is really an old TV cabinet, but it works and Marlon built me additional shelves.  My valences were made from extra material from the quilt (I have tons of all of the fabric used in the quilt) and were made by Nancy, the same lady who did the love seat.  She also made all of the pillows.  Nancy does awesome work.
Tilt mirror  (with towel bar reflected in it) along
with a little picture that was painted by
one of my mother's friends
In the bathroom I removed the huge 4' mirror and replaced it with the two tilt mirrors.  I just love these mirrors. I purchased the mirrors online and got the great price of 2 for 1.  You can find them at Home Depot or Lowe's, but I have never seen them sold at such as great price as I found.  The two light fixtures were also purchased online, at a much lower price then I found them here.  Originally, there was only one light fixture in the bathroom, which didn't make any sense as there are two sinks. 
Picture above the tub I purchased
at one of my favorite consignment
stores here in Canton
Part of the reason it took so long to complete these rooms was financial.  I had to save up money for each item purchased, revamped or reused.  Mirror and light fixtures sat in their boxes for a few months until I could afford to pay the electrician.  Money was saved up for the paint and all of the items I had made, including the beautiful fabric on the love seat and the valences.  I looked for a while for the armoire and while shopping with my friend, Misti, walked into the consignment store and we both loved it.  It does fit in perfectly.

It is a good feeling to finally have this room completed!  I love it.
Dragonfly stained glass above the tub
Armoire, which was also purchased at
my favorite consignment store!
I've had this little desk for over 25 years.
Oliver enjoys his bed underneath it!
Love seat I had recovered with pillows
I had made.  I incorporated a little purple
into the room to add interest.  The artwork
above, while you really can't see it, is a vase
with very soft flowers in greens, golds and purple
Since I removed the big mirror
in the bathroom, I needed a full
length mirror.  I got this one for $65
at a local outlet store.  It is so pretty.
Another table at side of the bed.  Got this
table at a garage sale a few years ago and had
it refinished.  I also started a collection of
dragonfly perfume bottles. 
Other side of bed.  Chair has been in my
family for years.  I always have Kwan Yin
close to me.

Friday, September 02, 2011


Kate visited me in early June.  It was way too short of a visit. 

Kate was at a craft fair in Tennessee selling her new product.  After it was over, she drove an additional
3 1/2 hours down to spend time with me.  Now, that's a friend!  She was smart and left here mid morning and made the trip back to the Milwaukee area in two days.

Kate designs Practically Ribbons  Check out her website.  These pretty ribbons (wired ribbons) have grommets in them and can be used with clips and/or hooks, such as the hooks used to  place ornaments on the Christmas tree.  The ribbons, which come in a variety of colors and themes, can be used for ornaments, cards, scarfs, etc., - the uses are endless.  They can hang from almost anythings (such as a curtain rod) by using a shower curtain hook.

Below is a picture of one of the ribbons Kate gave me as a gift.  I have five total, all holiday ribbon,  and plan to use them to display my Christmas cards.  I think they will work perfect in my dining room window and make that area look festive during the holiday season.

I used one of the ribbons to display some
of my birthday cards in my front window
I think these ribbons have lots of uses, especially in places like assisted living facilities and health care centers.  They could make hospital rooms cheerful by easily displaying pictures, cards - you name it, while not taking up much space.

I loved having Kate here.  We had some great talks.  She has always been there for me, always supportive.  I miss you, Kate.  Wish we were closer logistically but, I am not moving back!.