Monday, March 23, 2015

Where have I been?????

Wow!  I never post anymore!  I have been so very busy and I thought it would be nice to let you know where I have been!

As you can tell by previous posts, I lost my brother in May, 2013.  He actually got very ill in January of that year and the Cowboy and I spent a lot of time in CA while he was in the hospital from January through May of that year.  Between working full time and traveling there, most of my crafting and thrifting activities have been on hold.  He was living in the family home, which has actually been mine since my mother passed; however, he wasn't taking care of it very well.  During his hospital stay, we spent a lot of time repairing and taking care of things long neglected.

After he passed, we had to make a decision of what to do with the home.  I could not bear the thought of selling it.  It is my DREAM home and always has been since we built it.  I also couldn't bear the thought of having someone rent it full time because we would no longer have access to it and it really wouldn't feel like mine or like home any longer.

So, I decided I would turn it into a crafter's paradise!  I had a craft house in Texas several years before I sold it because of city ordinances.  I loved having the house and visiting with the wonderful ladies who graced the home with their presence.

In order to turn the family home into a scrapbook/quilt/crafter's retreat, it needed a lot of work.  We have been going to CA at least once a month to take care of things.  So, that's why I haven't been around much.

Anyway, although we have a lot of things we still want to do at the house, it is now good to go for a retreat!  I'm so excited!

Do you craft?  Do you love the San Diego area?  Do you need a place to go?  Check out The Raggedy Inn

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

One Down, Five to Go....

Monty Python is not dead yet!

This morning, I heard on the news that Monty Python is having a last reunion for a live show. When the tickets became available, it sold out in 44 seconds! They had planned on doing only one show, but because the demand was so high, they are doing nine additional shows, with the last one (July 20) being simulcast in about 2,000 theaters. 

My brother was a huge Monty Python fan and it was a tradition for our kids to watch The Holy Grail with him several times on each of their frequent visits out West. I’m pretty sure that they can all quote the whole movie verbatim and that possibly their first words hailed from scenes of the movie! I am not a theater-goer, but I think I should make an exception and find one simulcasting to share this last experience with the kids in honor of their beloved uncle. The date of the final show is also Chad’s birthday. I think there’s some type of cosmic significance to that fact.

One of the original cast died many years ago. The show, in typical Monty Python humor, is titled, “One down, five to go.” 

My brother would have loved that.
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Monday, May 5, 2014

May 05 - Cinco de Mayo

For much of the world, May 5th signifies victory and independence.  To others, it’s a great excuse to break out the margaritas and party.  To some, it’s just another day in a long list of days.  To me, it’s the day my oldest brother, Vern, was born (05/05/55), and the day our lives were forever changed when my Cowboy broke his neck and back (05/05/05).

On this particular May 5th (2014), I vacillate between incredible sadness that I will never get to celebrate my brother’s birthdate with him again and great joy that my Cowboy can still swagger.  Through the sadness and joy, I am reminded that God is good and God is in control.

My big brother was fun, irritating, brilliant in many ways, stupid in a few, talented, loyal and generous.  While the age difference between us didn’t foster closeness during the early years, he was protective and kind.  When my mom and best friend passed away almost 10 years ago, he graciously allowed me to cling to him as a surrogate and our relationship blossomed.  Mind you, he did complain about it, but it was his nature to grumble and tease unmercifully and the more he grumbled, the more cherished you felt.

Our family has an irreverent sense of humor and an irrational fear of expressing our feelings.  I worried about Vern living alone after Mom was gone, so our code for “all is well on the home front ”, “I love you” and “I miss you” was verbalized with the infamous Monty Python quote, “I am not dead yet.”   This phrase was such a huge part of our lives for 10 years.  It covered a lot of emotions – it was kind of like the “aloha” of the Blanchard family.  In fact, the musical version of that statement from “Spamalot” was his ring tone when he called.

Last May 5th, we celebrated his overcoming all odds.  After over four months in the hospital, he was home and things were going to be okay. We never anticipated or considered that we would say goodbye to him so soon afterwards.  I still struggle with letting him go.  He remains one of my ‘favorites’ in my phone contacts and I can’t bring myself to delete it, even though his number no longer works.

Someday, I will tell you about my Cowboy and the significance of this date for him.  For today, I just need to remember my brother, to relive memories in the past and contemplate the preciousness of each moment that God grants us.

Over the last year, I have often wished I could talk to him just one more time.  And I know exactly what I would tell him.   “I am not dead yet.”
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Fun Finds Friday - Knit One, Purl Two

One of my fondest memories is set in the yarn shop my mom owned when I was in the third grade.  It was in a cozy little house in our small country town.  My girlfriends and I would walk there after school and she would make us hot chocolate, feed us snacks and teach us how to knit and crochet while we sat in comfy chairs around the warm Franklin stove.  If I had the money and didn't have to work full time, I would recreate that same little atmosphere and open my own little shop like my mom's, but I would have to include paper crafts classes, which is my main passion.

When I stumbled upon this week's Fun Finds, it not only thrilled the thrifter in me, but it took me back to a very happy time in my life.

I love it when I go to a garage sale and the lady of the house is a compulsive craft shopper!  I feel an instant kinship with someone who has triplicates of the same thing!

Check it out:

I actually gave away some of the items I was able to purchase from this lady before I took this picture, but you can see I hit the mother lode of knitting and crocheting!

Here are some closer looks at what I was to steal!

This set appears to be new.  I checked it out at Joann's and it was $69.99 there!

These are lighted crochet hooks.  They are new.  The little tabs that need to be removed to engage the battery are still intact.  In addition, there were several packages of replacement batteries.  They still have the price tags on them from Hobby Lobby and each package was $2.49.
This is a complete set of crochet hooks.  In all, I think there are probably four full sets or more between all the different styles.

Want to venture a guess on what I paid for all of this?  

I would love to have more followers via Google Friend Connect or BlogLovin'.  I don't want followers because I want to have this huge following and to monetize my blog.  I honestly don't have time to make a lot of blog posts, which you can tell by looking at the history of this blog.  It's just that   it is more fun to create posts when I know I am sharing my fun finds, crafts and Cowgirl Chronicles with other people who may enjoy them.  Can you help me make it to 100 followers?  

In May, I am going to do a drawing with my new followers and will send a package that will contain some of the goodies above.  Comment on this post to be entered.


Linking to:
Junkin' Joes@thecottagemarket

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Fun Finds Friday - Vintage Jackpot!

Wow!  I really hit the vintage jackpot this weekend with my thrifting adventures!  Just look what I found!

Everything Vintage!
Dress form, old photographs, floral frogs, old craft books, vintage scale, vintage poloroid

I have been wanting an antique dress form for my sewing/guest room, but they have been so expensive.  I basically stole this from the lady that was selling this one.  Shh!  Don't tell anyone!

She is a little rusty on the top and it just makes her more beautiful.  She also has the figure I would like to have!

I have been collecting vintage floral frogs.  I have them in my craft room to display some of my hand-stamped cards and to use for taking pictures of them.  Plus, they are just cool-looking.  And look at the old Kismet cards from a vintage 1975 game.  They are going to become scrapbook and paper crafting ephemera in my etsy shop someday soon.

And speaking of ephemera.....these vintage Workbasket magazines are filled to the brim with really cool old ads and ephemera.  I'll do another post in the near future to show you the insides of some of these old beauties from the 50's and 60's.

Vintage photos are super hot right now and I hit pay dirt with these from an estate sale!  It's beyond me how family would want to get rid of their heritage, but I guess I won't complain since I am the beneficiary of part of this estate.  Many of these are the old kind that are mounted on a thick postcard style backing.  I haven't explored the dates on these yet, but they are all black and white, and I would guess that some of the older ones are from the late 1800's to very early 1900's.

These will be awesome in some paper crafting projects I have planned and will ensure that the pictures, if not the memories of these long ago loved people stay alive.

Linking to:

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I'll be back - real soon!!

This has been a year where I have had to just hang on with all my might, but I promise I will be back and posting some Fun Friday Finds, amusing stories and great trash to treasure projects!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Be the Difference - Stampin' Up! Style

This year's Stampin' Up! convention theme was "Be the Difference" and addressed how Stampin' Up! allows us to make a difference not only in our lives, but the lives of others we help along the way.  I have been a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator/Creative Coach for 14 years.  I started because I had three young children at home and, well, I needed to get away from them and this provided the perfect excuse!  I could control my own schedule, make as little or as much additional income as I wanted and make new friends.  The majority of my best friends are a result of relationships built through Stampin' Up!

I thought it would be fun to share the "Be the Difference" Convention video.  If you look carefully, you will see me on the bus for our Headquarters tour.

If you have ever thought about becoming a Creative Coach just for fun, for money, or for relationships, now is a great time to do it!  We have special offerings to make it almost irresistible to join now!  Check out the special "Pick a Kit" offer for new Demonstrators.  It's only $99 to join and you receive a kit valued at over $190 (including business supplies) in addition to the Pick a Kit offer!  Click here to sign up!  Use "thestampqueen" for your password.

Dates: July 15-August 31, 2013
Kit Options:
The first three project kits are from the holiday catalog and the last option is from the annual catalog.
OptionKit DescriptionItemTotal Value
Build a Banner Simply Created Kit AND
Halloween Banner Simply Created Accessory Kit
Build a Banner Simply Created Kit AND
Christmas Banner Simply Created Accessory Kit
Thankful Tablescape Simply Created Kit
Tag a Bag Bundle AND
Tag a Box Bundle

I look forward to having you on my Team!
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