Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011

Mr. B with his Occupy Wall Street Sign (Eat
the rich, they taste like chicken) with friend
and chicken owner, Bill Baldwin (and Martha,
one of his live chickens) at the Halloween
party on Saturday night.
Two news items today, one happy and one sad.

For the happy news, Steve Jobs sister concluded her eulogy of him by sharing his final moments. She said he was staring lovingly at his family, and his final three monosyllabic words as he stared into the distance past their shoulders were: OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW. What a beautiful thought that he was seeing the afterlife and uttering these words of delight!

For the sad news, it's being reported that after 72 days of marriage, Kim Kardashian is filing for divorce from Kris Humphries. It's very sad that these two people got so caught up in the idea of marriage instead of getting to know one another. I admit that I watched the wedding on television. No one loves a wedding more than me. But it was impossible not to see that there was serious trouble even before the "I dos." I shouldn't judge anyone, but it seems that the Kardashian clan has lost touch with reality and has taken the idea of their brand past reality. Very sad!

Today I'm creating a monthly newsletter. I also hope to find time to spend upstairs in front of my sewing machine.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 30, 2011

Mr. B and I are dressed down in our Halloween costumes
as Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Mr. B and I went to an amazing Halloween party last night. This is probably the fifth year that the Spin's have hosted the party, and I've never seen so many fabulous costumes. Of course, the Pettits were low key, but comfortable. We dressed casually, carried signs and were Occupy Wall Street protestors. Our signs read:
* Eat the rich, they taste like chicken.
* Due to budget cutbacks, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.
* Human need NOT corporate greed.
* I'm so mad I made this sign.

Disclaimer: We weren't making fun of the protesters or their cause(s). I strongly believe that we need less corporate greed. These costumes were just an easy throw on from the closet.

A woman just came to pick up the two items she bought during the Woman of Wine auction on Tuesday. She gave me a great compliment when she said she had been to the auctions in the past, but this was the best one because there was a variety of items, more than simply wine and getaways. A few comments like that make the months of work well worth the effort.

Today I'm creating a new apron pattern. I'm going to be in a fall festival next Saturday and need to get busy. Mr. B has gone to a birthday party for his aunt who is turning 90 and I'm home alone with the Roz and Rose. This makes for great sewing time with no distractions.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 29, 2011

Rose and her bear having a nap.
Last night's wedding shower for Melinda was very fun. I found pictures of the Melinda, Katie and Dr. Mc in their senior year to give to Melinda. It's amazing to me that the three of them still have the same "roles" in their relationship. Melinda is the laid back, easy going one. One word to describe her would be "whatever." Dr. Mc is much more tightly wound, the inquisitive one. Her word would be "really?" And Katie has always been the mom in the relationship: cooking and caring for everyone, wanting everyone to be happy. I need two words to describe Katie: "now-now."

Melinda looked so calm and pretty last night. She is truly a bride-to-be in love. She couldn't stop smiling and laughing, which is so good. My only regret about last night is that I didn't get a photo of the three of them. I'm such a bad event historian.

Today I'm creating a day of rest, just as I promised myself yesterday. Rose is joining me, snoring away with her yellow bear watching over her. This bear is so strange because it's usually in a sitting position. When you walk out in the hall at night, it's spooky to see it sitting upright on the floor.

Friday, October 28, 2011

October 28, 2011

House is spic and span, ready for tonight's shower for Melinda.
There are only a few minutes left until the last batch of lemon bars come out of the oven. Then I'll be finished with all my baking for the shower Dr. Mc and Katie are having for their friend Melinda. Dr. Mc, Katie and Melinda have been buds since middle school. I know I have a photo somewhere of the three of them smiling and hugging just after they were inducted into the National Honor Society. I wish I could put my hands on it before the shower tonight, but I know there's no way.

Katie and Melinda were in Dr. Mc and Nick's wedding on Nov. 1, 2008. In fact, Melinda stayed at the house with Mr. B and me before and after the wedding. She had just moved to Brooklyn with then boyfriend,  now fiance, Tony. Dr. Mc was devastated when she thought Melinda wouldn't be able to be in her wedding because she was living in NY, but it all worked out. Since Melinda and Tony are both from Houston, they came back here for their wedding. Katie and her fiance Andrew moved to Chicago in July, just after she finished her MBA, so he can attend law school. She has flown in for the weekend and to do some wedding dress shopping. Katie and Andrew are planning a September 2012 wedding in Austin. These are three wonderful young women and I'm so dang proud of all of them!

Today I'm creating brownies, vanilla cupcakes with butter cream icing and raspberries, and lemon squares, plus some sort of Southwest chicken dip. The grill master will soon fire up his Weber grill and charcoal pork tenderloins. Dr. Mc and Katie will be here around 5 p.m. with the goodies they've made. Guests arrive at 6 p.m. It has been a very busy week and I'm looking forward to a nice, long sleep after the wedding shower. I have three magazines perched beside the bed just waiting for me.

October 28, 2011

There are only a few minutes left until the last batch of lemon bars come out of the oven. Then I'll be finished with all my baking for the shower Kendall and Katie are having for their friend Melinda. Kendall, Katie and Melinda have been friends since middle school. I know I have a photo somewhere of the three of them as they were being inducted into the National Society. I wish I could put my hands on it, but I know there is no way.

Katie and Melinda were in Kendall and Nick's wedding. In fact, Melinda stayed at the house with Mr. B and me before and after the wedding. She had just moved to Brooklyn with then boyfriend,  now fiance, Tony. Kendall was devastated when she thought Melinda wouldn't be able to be in her wedding because she was living in NY, but it all worked out. Since Melinda and Tony are both from Houston, they came back here for their wedding. Katie and her fiance Andrew have moved to Chicago so he can attend law school, but she has flown in for the weekend, and to do some dress shopping with Kendall. Katie and Andrew are planning a September wedding in Austin.

Today I'm creating brownies, vanilla cupcakes with butter cream icing and raspberries, and lemon squares. The grill master will soon fire up his Weber grill and charcoal pork tenderloins. It has been a busy week and I'm looking to a nice, long sleep after the shower. I have three magazines perched beside the bed just waiting for me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 27, 2011

Mr. B's mother was a cancer survivor, as is my mother's cousin Joan (pronounced Joann). For them, and all the millions of other women and men who have breast cancer, I'm putting the following information - in pink - on my blog today.
About 136 former cheerleaders (some of them breast cancer survivors) got together to do a dance routine to benefit "Susan G. Komen for the Cure" (Breast Cancer). When they get 5 million views on the video, United Healthcare will make a $50,000 donation to the Komen organization. Their goal is to get five million hits, which will lead to $100K raised, but United Healthcare will donate ANOTHER $50,000 at eight million views!

Please take a moment to watch the video - and, just as important, pass this link onto your network of friends, family and colleagues? It benefits a very important cause!

Today I'm creating a clean house before the shower for Melinda tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October 26, 2011

Nothing has happened to me, except the Women of Wine auction is over! I've haven't posted in two days because I've been so busy. I'm surprised I had time to breathe. But the kudos are coming in left and right from people who attended. I'm currently sitting on the porch at 205 Bayland, where the event was held, waiting to people to come by and collect items. Note to self: NEVER leave an auction without paying for and taking your items with you.
Today's work station on Bill and Joe's porch,
waiting for people to pick up auction items.

Now on to the next adventure. Kendall's good friend – Melinda – is getting married in Houston on Sunday, and we are having a shower for her on Friday night at my house. Normally this won't be a problem, but the house is a mess! We still have so many boxes sitting around that contain items from Byron's mother's apartment. Tonight is clean up night. Tomorrow is clean house day. And Friday is baking desserts, set up and party day. Mr. B and I are going to a Halloween party Saturday, but I may stay in bed until it's time to get dressed.

Today I'm creating an auction free house for friends Bill and Joe who let Women of Wine host the gala in their home last night. Two very incredibly caring, thoughtful and generous men. It's so nice to have them in my life!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 23, 2011

My father, mother, brother and I moved around when I was young, but my father's parents always lived in the same home. Many times when I'm stressed or anxious (as I am now) I have dreams about being in my grandparents' home. I was told by a therapist that I dream about being there because it's a safe homey place for me. They were very loving people, although I don't remember him as much as I do her. He died just weeks after Dr. Mc was born, but my beloved grandmother Nannu lived until I was in my forties.

A couple of night's ago, I had a dream about being in their house and Nannu was there. I was buying their old home in Bryan, TX, and she was there laughing and giving me hugs. I woke up smiling the next morning and every night since I've tried to think about her as I go to sleep, hoping that she'll visit me again. It hasn't worked so far, but I know that when I need her, she'll be in my dreams again to comfort me.

Today I'm creating a matching pillow to the one pictured. The first one, made from an old Purina feedsack, is so cute (and homey) looking. Unfortunately, that's not the case for a purse I made last night. After messing with it, trying to salvage it, I finally pitched it into the garbage and decided to start over today.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 22, 2011

Wine bags I made yesterday.
When I was a junior in high school, my brother left for college and Daddy seemed to travel more than usual for work.  I often wonder if Mother was lonely, bored, or if she was afraid to sleep at night without my father in the house. She would watch television until it went off the air at midnight (remember those days?) and then she would start sewing or baking or spring cleaning. She would stay awake all night and when I left for school the next morning, she would turn the television on and fall asleep on the couch. I remember waking up for school with a new dress to wear (no pants and especially no jeans allowed at school for girls in those days). I really enjoyed the mornings when I woke up to the smell of fresh pastries that she had baked during the night while listening to the records on the stereo (remember those?).

Mother sewing and baking are good memories of how she tried to demonstrate her love for me. As an adult I realize that she did the best she could as a mother with the skills she had. She never received love from her own mother, and didn't know how to develop that ability on her own. But as my brother said at Mother's funeral, she was an incredible house manager. I could have eaten those pastries off the floor! Managing the house was the skill Mother honed when she was growing up, but she never learned – and consequently never knew – how to be a touchy, feely, "I love you" kind of mother. I, on the other hand, stink as a house manager, but hope I am a touchy, feely, caring kind of mother, wife, and friend.

Today I'm creating pillows. I made numerous wine bags yesterday and plan to make more out of holiday fabrics. Fun and quick to make! What do you think?

Friday, October 21, 2011

October 21, 2011

Kirby is a good example of how to relax and not stress out!
It's not that I'm impatient or anything ... I took my first prescription pill before dinner last night, then ate scrambled eggs. At 3 a.m., when I was still having terrible pain, I took acetaminophen and was finally able to sleep about 4 a.m. I didn't wake up until almost noon today. Nice! Sweet Mr. B came home a little later to take the dogs out and make me lunch. And now the pain is back. I'm ready to break the pattern of eating and one hour later having pains for about two hours. I know it will take time for the prescription to kick in, but at this point I'm wondering if the squeeze (eating) is worth the juice (pain). Now you know why Mr. B came home to make lunch, because if he hadn't make it, I would not have eaten.

I'm going up to my crafting area as soon as I finish this blog. It is a stress-free area for me. I can spend hours getting lost in fabrics and trims and putting things together. It's not quite instant gratification for me, but close. Most of my projects take between one to three hours to finish, with the small television tuned to HGTV for back ground noise.

Today I'm creating fancy wine bags. I did a test run during the week on making a wine bag. This project is truly instant gratification since it only takes me less than 15 minutes to make one.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 20, 2011

Mr. B and Dr. Mc started reconstructing my
downstairs work top last night. Goody!
Thanks for all the phone-in and write-in diagnosis of my symptoms. Survey says: 1) gastritis; 2) ulcer; 3) hiatal hernia; or 4) gallbladder. And the winner is ... Helicobacter pylofri ... or more commonly known as gastritis. Interesting that this is related, yet unrelated to the pleurisy I had last week. If you remember your Pleurisy 101 lesson from last week, pleurisy is an inflammation of the chest area that causes sharp pain and difficulty in breathing. I'm told the cause of my pleurisy is stress. I've learned from years of suffering from pleurisy that when I feel it coming on, I load up on ibuprofen because it's an anti-inflammatory.

Now for Gastritis 101. Gastritis is a condition in which the stomach lining is inflamed. The most common causes of gastritis are infections and prolonged use of anti-inflammatory drugs, and is exacerbated by ... stress. Left untreated, gastritis leads to a peptic ulcer. So I'm supposed to relax and de-stress (right!), take Tylenol for the pain (not ibuprofen), and Nexium for the next month. In theory, it all sounds good. If I don't feel better in a week, I have to go back for a test to see if I have a peptic ulcer. Hmmmmmm ... relaxxxxxxxx!

Today I'm creating a corporate blurb and a bio. So far my day has involved going to the doctor, picking up an auction item, further revisions to the auction program, and writing my blog. To come is my hair appointment and two short writing projects. BUT, in an attempt at relaxation, I told the people I was supposed to meet with tonight about the new executive director for Bayou City Art Festival that I won't be attending. Just too much stress!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 19, 2011

I'm in so much pain tonight that I'm glad I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. I don't know what's going on with my body, but someone needs to fix it. And soon!

Today I picked up lots of sports memorbalia for the Women of Wine auction. It's going to be such a fabulous event. People are still calling and emailing for tickets, although we've been sold out for a few weeks. All is good!

Today I'm creating the finished auction program for Women of Wine. Short blog with no photo.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 18, 2011

Bradley came to annoy me in the office and
Carli did nothing to stop him!
Fall has finally come to Houston. "Cool" change in the weather, but with high winds. Numerous trees all over the city have fallen over due to the combination of the drought and high winds. Mr. B and I aren't sure about the magnolia tree in our front yard. It looks OK, but there are mushroom growing everywhere under it. From what I've read, mushrooms grow on dead wood, such as dead leaves.

I finally made a doctor's appointment today. I don't like doctors so I must be in constant pain to make an appointment to see one. I have no confidence that the doctor will be able to tell me what's wrong, so I'll be paying him money for nothing!

Today I'm creating a newsletter and press release for my Tuesday client. Tonight I'm finishing the text for the Women of Wine program and the signs that need to be printed. It's supposed to be in the high 40s tonight, which should make for good sleeping weather.

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011

Note to self: The living room ottoman shouldn't be the
permanent home for these cold weather clothes.
I'm often amazed at what scientists get funding to research. For example, a new study found that women who sipped one to two glasses a day of beer or wine were less likely to gain weight than those who abstained completely. Turns out that women who drink alcohol usually consume fewer calories from other sources, says study author Dr. Lu Wang. I guess she has never heard of alcohol causing the munches! So although I find her study results to be full of air, cheers to her study funding.

Another interesting study: Skinny jeans are often to blame for Tingling Thigh Syndrome, a temporary condition that occurs when the nerve running across the outside of your thigh becomes compressed, causing your legs to feel as if they've gone to sleep, says Dr. Gary Gronseth, chief of neurology inpatient service at the University of Kansas Hospital. I suffer from another condition that prevents me from ever having wearing skinny jeans and experiencing Tingling Thigh Syndrome: Thunder Thigh Syndrome.

Today I'm creating a clean ottoman. As you'll see in the photo, lots of cold weather clothes have taken over the living room ottoman. Today's project involves finding a new home for these clothes – either inside the closet or outside in the garage sale pile. I'd like to obtain funding for a study that would determine why I refuse to get rid of clothes I haven't worn in 10 years. Who else wants to participate?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 16, 2011

Fresh eggs from the Baldwin/Gonzalez
chicken coop. Three are a very pale blue.
Nice fundraising event last night at a lovely home that will be featured on the 2012 Houston Heights Association Spring Home & Garden Tour. Two friends went into the silent auction area, loved the pillows I donated and immediately paid full price for them. They have a window seat in their kitchen that looks out into their backyard. The pillows will look great on the window seat, especially since there are live chickens in the yard. I see a theme! Mr. B and I went to the house today. Pictured are some eggs that the chickens laid.

I'm still mainly hanging out in bed. When I start moving around I start to feel sick again. Mr. B has almost (remember I wrote ALMOST) convinced me to go to the doctor tomorrow. I wish we lived in the time of Star Trek when "Bones" could run his handheld scanner across the body and immediately diagnose the problem. I think Jiffy Lube can plug cars into a computer and diagnose the problem. We need that!

Today I'm creating clean feed sacks. The kitchen sink is filled with the feed sacks, a little soap and some bleach. Although the marks on the sacks give them character, I'd like them to be as clean as possible before I use them for pillows and/or tote bags. But first, the Texans are playing so Rose and I will probably have a nap. She shares my lack of enthusiasm for football. And baseball. And basketball. But at least one of us will stay awake to watch tennis, ice skating and gymnastics.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15, 2011

Set of pillows I've created. The front is shown on the
left and the back is on the right. These are an
auction donation. Hope they go to a good home.
I really like the two pillows I made (front side is on the left and back is on the right). They are about 22" square, which is larger than I normally make. The fabric on the front is linen stripe around the edges and the center panel is linen toile, which is serious, but the scene on the toile is a rooster and a chicken, which is silly. Normally toile fabric has men and women from the 17th century on swings or something, so roosters and chickens are funny. It's hard to see in the photo, but surrounding the toile is some vintage gold trim and then black buttons in the four corners.  The back fabric (right pillow) is black linen the then a panel of the linen stripe from the front. There is a snap under the striped panel on the back so the pillow insert can be removed and cleaned.

Of course, I spent so much more time making these pillows than I meant to. I wasn't planning to put the gold trim on the front, but felt it needed something a punch of color. Once I had the trim on, the corners needed something. Then the back seemed too plain, so I jazzed it up with a piece of the striped fabric.

Today I'm creating more pillows. I think the ones I work on today will be out of old feedsacks. That is, today I'm creating more pillows if Mr. B, my personal nurse, let's me go upstairs. He is determined I should stay as relaxed and calm as possible until I'm healed 100% from my pleurisy.

Friday, October 14, 2011

October 14, 2011

There's no wall space in the house, but Mr. B
and I bought four pieces of fiber art from a
woman at Bayou City Art Festival.
I was in my craft area last night when I began to feel bad. At first I thought it was just because it was warm upstairs, so I turned the AC down. In the back of my mind, I knew what was going on, but I don't have time to be sick. Sure enough, after an hour or so of denial I was in the house asking for Mr. B's help. It was about a dozen years ago when I got pleurisy for the first time. I'm remember the chest pain being so intense I thought I was having a heart attack. Mr. B took me to the hospital, were we were told it was only pleurisy, which now happens in the fall almost every year.

Welcome to Pleurisy 101. As it has been explained to us, we all have a sac between our lungs called the pleura. An inflammation of the pleura is called pleurisy, which causes chest pains because the sac expands and presses against the chest wall and lungs. The pain is awful, plus it's very painful to breathe. I've been told my pleurisy is caused by anxiety and stress, although there can be much more serious causes. We've learned that when I get pleurisy I need to take Aleve to reduce the inflammation, and stay in bed, propped up on pillows. Class is now dismissed.

Today I'm creating nothing. My Women of Wine event is 10 days from tomorrow, which I'm pretty sure is part of my stress, along with a million events that are on my fall calendar. I normally get pleurisy this time of year because I've overbooked myself. I must learn to say "no." 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October 13, 2011

Photo taken a week ago when Women of Wine received
an award from Houston Area Women's Center.
My iPhone drama ended well yesterday. Before going to the AT&T store to get a new phone, I walked the dogs. Down the street I found my iPhone on the ground. Apparently the code to lock my phone works. Since whoever couldn't open the phone, s/he tossed it. I went to the AT&T store because I'm entitled to an upgrade right now. Of course they didn't have the upgrade phone, so I'll get it mailed to me. It's still creepy that someone I don't know ripped my iPhone out of it's cute little pink case and then threw the phone on the ground down the street.

Last night Mr. B and I went to hear #1 son-in-law Nick play with his band. Nick's mom and dad (Michele and Art) were also there. I saw Michele zoom her iPhone to take a close-up photo of Nick. Then she showed me how to do it on my phone. She has the one I'll be getting. Maybe I should read the owner's manual when I get my new phone. I always complain that other people don't read, but I have to admit I skim instructions. Shame on me! Back to Nick's band (The Handsomes), they were great. The last song they played was "Time After Time," which was initially performed by Cyndi Lauper. I LOVE that song and always imagine they're playing it just for me so I can sing along. Yes, it's all about me!

Today I'm creating pillows. I have so many fabrics that have arrived in the mail. I need to take them upstairs to my office/craft area. First, a couple of errands related to the Women of Wine event. Actually, first I'm going to take the pups for a walk. Wonder if we'll find anything exciting today? A $100 bill would be nice.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 12, 2011

Good afternoon, campers. What's happening in your world? I had my iPhone stolen, which means I'm having a crappy day! I couldn't find the phone in my purse this morning, so I thought I had left it in the car. When I went outside to my car, I saw the pink rubber phone case laying on the ground. Excitement at first, but when I picked up the phone case I immediately realized that the phone was missing. Why do people have to be dishonest?

A couple of years ago, I had my purse stolen out of my car. Whoever stole my purse went to a Fiesta store over and over again, using my Barbie checks and my ID to purchase hundreds of dollars of groceries. Not once, but three times the theif went to Fiesta. I was told by Fiesta that their policy was that checks more than $100 had to receive manager approval, which made me think that the person(s) who broke my car window and stole my purse must have had a friend at the Fiesta. But nothing happened, except that Fiesta turned my name into Telecheck and other credit agencies for writing bad checks, and I still can't get it corrected, after years of trying. I've provided the credit agencies with letters from my bank stating that I didn't write the checks. I've provided Fiesta with letters from my bank stating that I didn't write the checks. I still can't go into a store and cash a check. 

Today I'm creating a trip to the AT&T store to get a new iPhone. I'm pissed and frustrated! Again, why do people have to be dishonest? I hate the bastards. OK.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011

This wooden TV tray that I use as a work top
when I'm in the house has served me
well for 10 years, but it's time for retirement.
My friend Denise, who reads my daily blogs, commented that I sounded grumpy yesterday. I reminder her that I was in a non-sleep phase of the month (got about two hours of sleep on Sunday night). I should be peepier today since I went to sleep before 10 p.m. last night and didn't wake up until 8 a.m. this morning. But wait, there's more. My normal Tuesday meeting was cancelled for today so, while watching the Today Show, I fell asleep around 9 a.m. and didn't wake up until 1 p.m. Whoa!

I'm posting a photo of the work top I use when working in the house instead of above the garage where my office and craft areas are located. This is actually a used and abused wooden TV tray that I got probably 10 years ago. Several years ago when I was making jewelry from silver art clay, the work top got really messed up. But the condition of the top isn't nearly as problematic as the legs, which are falling off. I don't know if I should get a new TV tray or send this one to the garage with Mr. B for repairs. Since our garage can be a black hole, where things go in but nothing comes out, maybe I should just buy another one.

Today I'm creating an agenda and reports for my fundraising committee meeting tonight. The event is two weeks from today so the last minute items and worrying kick in. But since I'm working with a great committee, everything is running very smoothly.

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011

Why do mattress
companies have sales
on Columbus Day?
It's not really Columbus Day although many businesses will be closed today in recognition of the explorer sailing the ocean blue in 1492. I have no idea why businesses take a holiday on the day that Columbus supposedly discovered the Americas (he actually spotted the Bahamas), or why retail businesses have big sales on Columbus Day. I'm sure one of the closed businesses will be my bank. I didn't think about that until just now. It makes me wish I had a debit card so I could get some cash, since I think there is only $1 in my wallet.

How many people watched 60 Minutes last night? The new jobs czar, General Electric's Jeffrey Immelt, was interviewed by Lesley Stahl. I think it's amazing that the CEO of a company that has outsourced more jobs overseas than another any other business is President Obama's jobs czar. What Immelt is proposing is a "tax holiday," under which companies could repatriate cash to the United States under a temporarily lower tax rate of about five percent, instead of the full 35 percent corporate tax rate. Many companies have argued for this tax holiday, as well as other changes to the corporate tax system, as potential ways to encourage more firms to hire American workers. Sounds good in theory, but so did corporate bail outs and we all know how that stimulus program worked out.

Today I'm creating a resume for a friend, and a report on the WOW fundraising event for my Board meeting this afternoon. Sounds pretty dull to me.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October 9, 2011

Mr. B won this cute concrete and encaustic
house last night when his number was drawn
in the lottery during the Art Heist party
for Bayou City Art Festival. 
Mr. B and I just got back from an extremely wet Bayou City Art Festival. While there weren't thousands of people attending the downtown festival today, we were amazed at the number of people who were walking around in slickers and under umbrellas, and buying art. I had on a bright yellow slicker and a ball cap. Mr. B said I looked like big bird. When I saw my reflection, I had to agree with him. I was making quite the fashion statement, and not in a good way. I would definitely be featured on the last pages of Glamour magazine with a big black "Don't" covering my face.

While I felt sorry for the artists today because there weren't thousands of people, I tried to explain to the ones I talked to that Houston really needs this rain! But now that we're home, it's great to be in dry clothes. Rose and I are seriously contemplating a nap on the couch during the remainder of the Texans' game. They're currently not winning, but I'm excited that they are wearing pink shoes again this weekend in support of breast cancer awareness.

Today I'm creating some embellishments for my bags. I was inspired by some kitschy flowers one woman had on her bags. I need to try my version of them before I forget what the flowers looked like. Of course, after my nap!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 8, 2011

This shabby mess of black fur is actually Roz enjoying
an afternoon nap on one of her favorite spots on the couch.
Yesterday was an amazing day! I heard back from several people who I contacted about a donation for the Women of Wine fundraising auction, and all responded with incredible items. My luck was so good I should have bought some lottery tickets.

Last night was also a special time. Nick was working, so Dr. Mc went with Mr. B and me to an art opening for our friends Chris Silkwood and John Henry Childs. Very lovely event with tons of people from the graphic design industry that I haven't seen in years (John is a commercial photographer). I had such a good time catching up with people. And Dr. Mc totally surprised me as she was working the room. Normally shy, she would say to me, "I'll be back in a minute, I'm going to talk to ..." Amazing! At dinner she also sat between two women she didn't know and just chatted it up with them. I was very proud to see her engaged with people and (seemingly) enjoying herself.

Today I'm creating time for the Bayou City Art Festival. Tonight there is a party outside city hall, in front of the reflection pool. It's always a fun event. Note to self: Remember to wear flats!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 7, 2011

A little gift for the volunteers who
attended the 2011 Volunteer Celebration
for Houston Area Women's Center.

I attended a very heart-warming event last night: the 2011 volunteer celebration for Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC). I was one of the eight board members from Women of Wine (WOW) Charities at the celebration to accept the 2011 Volunteer Group of the Year award for our contributions of time and resources to HAWC.

We were all in tears during the client survivor story. Genova – a well-spoken young woman who suffered from child abuse and molestation before she was adopted away from her single mother by her grandparents – tearfully spoke to the group not as a victim, but as a grateful and proud survivor. She married a man who repeatedly beat her, until one night in April 2010 – as she was being removed bleeding and bruised from her home by EMTs – she promised herself that she would break the cycle of violence she had experienced during her life. After she left the hospital, she went to HAWC, who gave her shelter, counseling and advocacy to support her in building a life free from the effects of violence. The support also included help in getting a divorce, a job, a scholarship so she could go to college ... and a sense of worth. It was a beautiful, touching story that makes me sniffle even now.

Today I’m creating time to contact more potential donors to the WOW fundraising event on October 25. After last night’s HAWC event, I have a renewed inspiration to ask for auction donations for the WOW fundraiser. I’m not asking for myself. I’m asking for innocent women and children affected by domestic and sexual violence.

October 6, 2011

Bayou City Art Festival Downtown
is this Saturday and Sunday.
Drama is brewing! I heard my iPhone binging (which means I've received an email) well before I got up this morning. Emails were flying back and forth about the Bayou City Art Festival this weekend. "Occupy Houston" protestors are gathered in front of city hall where the festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday. This morning there were 500+ protestors in front of city hall, some of who plan to stay indefinitely. It could be difficult to host a fun-filled, lively art festival with peaceful, but loud, protestors in the center of the mix.

Occupy Houston protests against corporate greed and corporate control of democracy. Similar to the Art Colony Association (which produces the Bayou City Art Festivals), Occupy Houston is a nonprofit organization. It would be a shame if the protestors interfere with the festival. Not only are artists selling their work to support themselves, but proceeds from ticket sales support other nonprofit arts organizations. This is not corporate greed!

Today I'm creating revisions to a newsletter before it goes to the printer. Tonight I'm attending two events. The first is a campaign fundraiser. The second is a dinner for Houston Area Women's Center where Women of Wine Charities is being recognized for its support of the center. Nice!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October 5, 2011

Ready to go into mass production of this cute
wine glass ring made from an old
Scrabble tile.  
 I've decided that weighing at the doctor's office is mentally as painful as going to the dentist's office for a teeth cleaning. At the doctor's office this morning I found out that I've gained five pounds in the month since I returned to Houston from Santa Fe. Ouch! How many times do I have to lose that five pounds before it goes away for good? I need to go back to eating an apple as an evening snack instead of popcorn. Oh, and there are those nightly margaritas that need to stop!
Dr. Mc is coming over tonight to help me match fabrics. She was at the house last night and looked at some fabrics I have for an evening bag. She also looked at what I made in Santa Fe and we discussed what I need to do. Last night I made the wine glass ring that is pictured today. Kendall and I were messing around with the Scrabble tiles to see if we could get them to work. For the upcoming Women of Wine fundraiser, I'm going to make some wine bags for the auction and Kendall is going to make wine rings to go with the bags. Teamwork!

Today I'm creating two pillows to donate to a fundraising event on Oct. 15. I'll post photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 4, 2011

Donut graveyard from this morning's meeting.
I had a terrible time getting up this morning. Rose and I were still snuggling after Mr. B left for work. I finally forced myself to get up so I could get dressed and arrive at my client's office for the 10 a.m. meeting. There were two guest speakers this morning who brought donuts AND breakfast tacos. Since I still don't look good in a dress I'm planning to wear at the end of this month, I stepped away from the donuts in favor of an egg and potato taco. Good choice.

It was nice to put on a blouse with sleeves this morning. It seems as if it has been hot forever, at least in Texas. While watching the weather this morning, it was reported that there was snow in the mountains of Northern California. When Dr. Mc and Nick lived in Denver, it never failed that she would call me in October (when I was wearing shorts) to tell me snow was falling. Right now I'm happy just to open the front door and not be hit in the face by a brick wall of humidity.

Today I'm creating a newsletter and sending another newsletter to different clients for review before printing. After my client's office I want to go to the fabric store ... just for linings. No new fabrics is my mantra.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 3, 2011

Another beautiful fall morning. I think the temperature outside is only 81 degrees. I could get used to this weather!
I'm on Mr. B's computer and don't have
access to any new photos. That's OK,
I love the fabric in the pictured bag!

Yesterday I signed up to participate in three festivals: two in November and one in December. While one in Novemember isn't juried (just pay the booth fee and you're in), the other two festivals are juried so I'll have to wait to hear if I get accepted. Mr. B helped me compose a statement about what I create for the entry forms. Good job, Mr. B! Wait, who's the writer and who's the bean counter? I immediately went online and started looking for fabrics related to Thanksgiving (pumpkins, turkeys, leaves, etc.). I don't have any aprons that are themed for Thanksgiving. I still have tons of Christmas fabrics so I can make aprons from them. I have lots of bags, but will need more tote bags. And velvet special occasion bags. (Pardon me while I think outloud.) Pillows! Here's my promise: I won't buy new fabrics (except linings) and will use what I've got. "But what if I find something on sale that is fabulous?" her rational functioning left brain asks. "Well, promises are made to be broken," responds her creative right brain.

Today I'm creating minutes from my Bayou City Art Festival meeting last week. Only a few more months as Secretary of the Board, thank goodness. I've done this job for almost four years and I think it's time to move on. I've already approved about five pieces for printing this morning. Tonight (during Dancing with the Stars) I'd like to put fabrics together. Before I start sewing I always spend time coordinating fabrics and trims before getting final approval of the combinations from one of the McCarley sisters or Mr. B.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October 2, 2011

Before I start sewing, maybe I should
do a bit of organizing. Or maybe not.
Here we are, racing towards the holidays. While in Round Top with Mitzie on Thursday, she bought bunches of beautiful silk flowers to make wreaths for her double doors. Yesterday when I was volunteering at the fall festival, hay and pumpkins were everywhere. These visual inspirations combined with the cool(er) weather we're enjoying in Houston make me want to create.

Both my mother and wonderful grandmother Nannu were seamstresses who made the majority of my clothes, including formals, until I went to college. I must have been a sophomore in high school when I showed Mother a magazine ad of a girl in a bright green corduroy skirt with a white button-down shirt and knee socks. In the next couple of days she recreated the skirt for me. I couldn't wait to wear it, but Mother – always the practical one – told me I couldn't wear it until the high for the day was below 80 degrees. It was at least six weeks before I proudly donned the skirt, white shirt and knee socks for school. I felt so stylish and probably strutted to the corner bus stop.

Today I'm creating invoices for work I completed during September. Then I'm going upstairs above the garage to my crafting area to create something stylish. Wonder if I have any bright green fabric I can use on something.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1, 2011

Liz Spencer face painting.
Oh my goodness, what a fabulous fall day! I was outside from 10:30 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. in a short-sleeve shirt and didn't get hot. Of course, I was in the shade most of the time.

I helped out at a fall festival this morning that was so fun. For two hours I was stationed at the pumpkin painting table. The real talent came from friends Sandra York and Liz Spencer who agreed to do face painting. Both of these ladies are very terrific artists and were way over qualified for the job of face painting. The kids walking away from the face painting table really enjoyed the creations on their cheeks! Sandra and Liz weren't painting the normal, simple stars and hearts. They were going to town! And how many fall festivals have a PhD helping at the pumpkin painting table? Thanks for the hour of time this morning, Dr. Mc!

Sandra York face painting.
Today I'm creating a nice dinner at home with Mr. B. There are several events going on tonight, but I think we've decided to stay home and grill something. First, I see an afternoon nap in my future. I know I can convince Rose to join me.