Friday, April 29, 2011

The Pick-up Artist

My Bro-in-law, Ed, called me Ellie Clampette
the last time I showed up at a family get-together in this.
He even started singing the Beverly Hillbillies
theme song...
man he's old!
My retort...
"Yeah, everybody makes fun
until they need to haul wood or move furniture!"
Good comeback, huh?!
When I got the call today...
[bright and early (all of 9a.m.)...
from my sister Tina, asking if she woke me up...
"Of course not!" I said in my most convincing
of wide awake voices...]
Telling me there was a cool three panel door
at the road of her neighbors...
Well...I can tell you I was happy to have that big red pick-up!
I was going on a rescue mission.
Still in my pj's...
for fear the garbage man would whisk it away
before I could get to it!
My partner in crime...following close behind.
He always has my back!
The van man...
on his way to work, but there to assist.
Take it from one who knows...
He's always been good with the pick-up.
Door loaded...
and ready to go home.
A door...awaiting to be transformed into...
I'm not sure.
I will let you know when I
figure it out!
But I got me a door. Uh-oh... I'm starting to sound like Ellie. Why fight it? Today I will embrace my inner Hillbilly!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


"God Bless You?"
Not quite.
An Aboobika is a BMX bike stunt that involves
landing the back tire on the very edge of a surface...
such as the ramp above...
teetering there for a brief second...
and riding down the ramp backwards.
Any takers?
For the BMX'ers out there, I know that Joe
is performing an elevated manual...
not an aboobika.
But, with me here.
Here he is just hangin'...
on his pretty bike
at Woodville Indoor Bike Park.
I took a few pics before leaving them
to their madness.
I made sure helmets were being worn.
As most of you know,
we have a few ramps in our yard
so the boys can practice risky maneuvers
and then show off their skills at the park.
Such was the case the other night...
while practicing the aforementioned
Joe experienced a wardrobe malfunction.
Check-out that break.
Not at a seam or joint...
A Clean Break.
It had to be rushed to the emergency room.
Jack's Bicycle Shop
Monroe, Michigan.
This is such a cool place...
it was a bank in a past life.

The injury was so extensive that it needed to be carefully walked into the office. No riding today. "They" let us walk right on back without hours in the waiting room... bless them. The Doc went right to work assessing the damages.

He asked Joe the most important question of all...

Were you wearing a helmet?

Big NO to that one.

To a mom's delight he gave a little lecture.

Unfortunately, he got the same response that I usually do...

a whole lotta nodding.

It started getting technical...

the gist...

Joe had Out-Skittled the bike...


not one of us remembered them putting

limitations on the stunts when we

bought it a year ago.

Good News!

He was sure that Fitbike Co. would make an

adjustment because of the

"type of break" incurred.

The conversation took a turn to the mechanical

so I started wandering around...

taking a few pictures for all of you to enjoy.

Cute baskets for Toto...

Pretty bikes...

all in a row! Look closely at the slogan above the door.

"I can't believe how good a new bike feels." Apparently,

Joe's about to find that one out first-hand!

Don't worry, I continued the helmet wearing lecture. It's like I said,

It could have been a whole lot worse.

Bike vs. Bones

I'll take the bike any day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Life Wins

it's all around us!

Monday, April 25, 2011

An Easter Story

I love lazy Saturdays...
the opportunity to fully embrace the sleep in.
So when I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning...
without the aid of an alarm clock,
I took it as a sign.
Telling me to join my church family in Downtown Toledo.
In The City For Good.
A group whose sole purpose it is to feed the poor.
300+ meals were prepared.
300+ meals were served.
How awesome is that?
Nothing like food to get the conversation flowing...
everyone coming to the table together...
sharing stories...telling jokes...
enjoying each others company.
As I was cleaning up,
a nice-looking black man shook my hand,
looked me in the eyes, and introduced himself.
He told me his name was Joseph.
"That's a good name," I said, "That's my son's name."
When I told him my name was Jenny, he smiled and said
that was his sister's name.
We made a real connection.
He thanked me personally for being there...
blessing me for helping.
When I wished him a Happy Easter, he paused
to ask me a question...
"How can you say Happy Easter in one word?"
There was a brief silence...
I started hearing the Jeopardy! theme song in my head.
I felt like I was being tested...
and time was running out.
Then it came to me...
I was sure of my answer, but it came out rather tentatively.

(i.e., like a white Lutheran woman)

A smile spread across Joseph's face...
"Hallelujah!" he boomed like only a black man can.
Saying it as it should be said...
with true conviction!

Praise the Lord!

Now it was my turn to smile because I knew
I had passed the test...I answered correctly.
Thank you Joseph, for sharing a moment with me.
Since Saturday, I've told this story...
well...a few (bizzillion) times.
I now call it my Alleluia Story.
Said with gusto...conviction...and paper airplanes.
Sing it loud...for all to hear!
Jesus is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

From Inspiration To Fruition

A curious beast.
Can strike when you least expect it.
Such was the case for me when I was looking at James' phone.
That growing tree intrigued me.
when a little bird appeared...
I was smitten.
To the drawing board.
Stencils were wanting to be made.
This is my version of that Verizon tree.
Complete with a little chickadee.
Next stop...the garage...
where I perform a little t-shirt magic...
and voila!
The vision becomes reality.
That's an exciting moment because with this process
perfection is never achieved.
It is in the imperfection that each unique design
truly makes itself known. I expect the unexpected.
Repeat the process.
Find an Old T-Shirt that wants to be Maid New.
Head outdoors and get busy!

Fruits of my labor. A subtle design that takes the ordinary to the extraordinary! All in all... A fun and creative way to spend the afternoon... Old Maid New Style! O.M.N.

(The label that assures you are getting a perfectly imperfect design!)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nature Celebrates 86 Years

This is a beautiful picture of two beautiful people in my life.
My father-in-law, Rudy and his sweet friend, Janet.
He turned 86 yesterday.
Or as he likes to say it (to tease me)
"I'm going on 87!"
I don't do "going on..." I do am.
Why rush things?
After enjoying a yummy dinner at Applebee's,
all came to our house for the Happy Birthdaying
with cake, ice cream, coffee...
and the fun part...
Yep...that would be one candle on his cake.
It's like I told him...
it's because every day is like the first day of the rest your life.
(It had nothing to do with the fact that I forgot to buy them.)
as James so eloquently said,
"It's like celebrating your 1st birthday for the 86th time!"
You choose.
Dad is one of those people
who always brings a party with him.
He is a mischievous (you can probably see that from the twinkle in his eyes)
and lovable teddy bear of a man.
As it turns out, nature decided to throw a little confetti
to commemorate this grand event...
Snow in April. I took this picture quick because snow doesn't hang around long this time of year...let's hope! Happy Birthday, Dad! With Lots of Love!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pensive Mood

My Mom always calls the bloom of a flower its "face".
Her Mom did this...while framing a pansy in her hand and admiring
that sweet little face.
Is it any wonder that this is now my habit as well?
For me, no face is sweeter than that of the daffodil.
Announcing Spring in the most cheery yellow way.
Take a moment to imagine what a field of these
dancing faces would look like...
the feelings that they would evoke.
William Wordsworth
I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in a sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay,
in such a jocund company;
I gazed -and gazed- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
What moments in your life flash upon that inward eye as you lie quietly in bliss?
A monarch butterfly, using my large pregnant belly
as a landing strip...pausing to sun himself...
while watching me watching him.
A long winter walk with mom...right after a fresh new snow.
All was quiet and bright.
A stillness occurred that holds tight to our memories.
Palm branches held high.
Laid on the road to pave the way for
The King.
I hope that today,
your heart with pleasure fills,
and dances with the daffodils.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Feelin' Groovy :: Up-Cycled Denim

You may recall seeing these stencils on a previous and funky flowers...the hopeful anticipation of Spring! It was also the post that went a bit may seem a bit redundant...BUT...this design was to be used on my newest "altered couture". Basically, I find/purchase/acquire from family and friends, gently used clothing and then I have a little fun with them. At the time I made the stencil, its true purpose hadn't been decided. It was finally revealed when I started working with this pair of perfectly good jeans. I have a rule when it comes to re-purposing denim...if they aren't frayed or damaged in any way...then they still have some good life left in them as is. Strategically placed, these flowers really gave this pair of jeans new life. Old Maid New! And as the title implies...I was feelin' pretty groovy modeling them...for myself...well, and all of you!
Or so I thought...until I heard the familiar rumble of my husband's motorcycle pull into the drive. At mid-day? What's up with that? Turns out that rain was in the forecast and he had quite a bit of driving in his work day. This is the man who talked me into the bike with the line I'm rather susceptible will save us money. Yeah, right!
Ahem...back to the altered clothing. If you have a keen eye, you may have noticed the hint of a pink shirt peeking out at the top of the pictures. This is another design I make...I call it the sirsasana shirt. I originally intended it to be worn during yoga practice, because, let's face it, when you're in downward dog, shirts have a way of creeping down (or would that be up?) as well, and...well...not everyone wants to show off their goodies. Hence, the extended shirt made sense to it turns out, it makes sense to others in the yoga community because it is one of my best sellers.
Although intended for yoga, it doubles as a dress in the warmer months and looks great with jeans. Especially funkified jeans!
Next time I work with clothing, I will try to remember to take pictures of the process. It's a smelly prospect, but exciting as well. For instance, you never know for sure what colors the technique will uncover. I love the fact that this navy blue t-shirt (thanks, Rosebud) took a turn for the pink. Who doesn't love pink? Apparently, my hubby does. He gave me the sweetest compliment that I am going to share for posterity. Now as I said earlier, he made an unannounced trip home and caught me posing in the mirror. He said, "If you don't keep that outfit, I swear I am going to buy it for you from the shop." He got me right where it hurts most...the pocketbook. The pressure started mounting, because even Joey (who hadn't heard dad's comment) said, "Why don't you ever wear your own designs...they look good on you." Anyone who creates to sell will tell you...there isn't enough time in a day to make for oneself, let alone homeschool, write music, babysit, clean house, work-out, play, and make dinner! This time, however, I decided to make an exception...this outfit went right to my closet. My apologies to Harmony in Life...I know there is a waiting list, but two men in my life can't be wrong...right?