Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rousted out Early for Rummage

Rolled out of bed at 5:45 to go to rummage sale this morning with Amy .
I found absolutely nothing but Brooklyn spotted a great jumpy seat and told Mom that if she bought it for him, he would be so happy and let her work longer in her studio.

Test ride

See Mom? I could be happy here.

A stop for coffee and bagels, a nice long chat and then Pami called and said she was waiting in front of my house to come in and help me clean. Well, I raced home and now my downstairs is dusted, vacuumed and mopped. Thank you dear. Feels long as I don't look upstairs!

Listed new stuff on Etsy and now I'm off to the studio to work on a couple of things for me.

Friday, May 29, 2009


In my studio, tucked into the corner. Can you see the candles flickering?
I seem to be having a love affair with rust and metal lately.

Going on Etsy tomorrow:

New Ephemera boxes only 2 available

All the Goodies- this set is bursting
I could barely close the lid

Packaged all pretty- handmade flower

2 sets of pom pom garlands

Each one has 5 poms- garland about 24" long

Someone asked me the other day if they can buy the primitives directly from me. Yep, you bet!

Busy day- Made chocolate chip cookies ( see April 27th post for recipe) for Hannah's senior friends park picnic, then
Brooklyn brought his Mom by for a visit. Always a wonderful pleasure. Ah, that sweet baby smell.

The dogs of course go nuts. Justice is freaking out, "what is that wiggling thing?" and Howie is peeing cause I am trying to get him to go outside. Any other time he loves to go outside, but not if Brooklyn is here. Howie wants to investigate every inch of him. I try enticing him with "cookies"(dog bones), but he is too smart and doesn't fall for it. Meanwhile Justice swoops in and gobbles up her cookies and his! Smart girl, but she cannot handle that many cookies. I will pay dearly this evening with odiferous reports coming out of the rear of Miss Pooch. I finally get them corralled about 5 minutes before Brooklyn takes his Mom home for a nap. It's bad enough when your kids embarrass you, but your dogs!

I worked on Etsy projects this afternoon and put together my silverware chandelier.
Cleaned a little and tonight I have to clean a lot! Did I do anything I planned to do?
Hah! I guess the fact that I got anything done is progress. The studio is just a hoppin' these days. Haven't felt this creatively buzzed in a long time.This time around I pause every day or two and make something for me. Seems to help the flow.

Have a great weekend everyone. Come back soon. More photos and ideas every day.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Angels & such

choir of angels

junking mobile

Ok Amy, got my Friday challenge done, but I need more bottles.
a junkin we will go, heigh ho the junkieo..oh, boy I need sleep!

Four for Etsy

Four of these angels went onto Etsy today. Lovely tags, wire and jingle bells.
All done by hand.
"whenever a bell rings, an angel gets its wings...."
View all the pics by clicking on my Etsy link.
If you stop by my Etsy shop, and like what you see,
please take a moment to add me to your favorites list. The more I am
"hearted" the higher the chance that I will get noticed by the powers that be at Etsy.

Some angel - bowl fillers/ornies will also be listed tonight.
I also have three pom pom garlands to list ASAP. The May 18th post has pics of what they look like. I strung a big one between the two rods in my dining room window. The slight breeze from the air conditioner at the ceiling gives them slight movement and some spin. Pretty.

There are two signed up already for the Gathering class so you may want to consider registering early. I will be posting another sneak peek project we will be doing in class soon. I have to remember to take the picture, and see now is when I need it, but I hate to stop this and go do it has not been done. I'm dancing as fast as I can.

The news on Sue, although serious, we are considering to be good news. She will need surgery and some radiation, but for now, her Doctor feels it has been detected early and has an excellent chance of being curable. I will update again post surgery. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

I will be cramming a bunch of stuff onto the blog and etsy in the next week, since I will be taking a break during Ben's visit and Graduation festivites. The blog is now being viewed in 16 states! I want to thank everyone who stops by, it means the world to me. To you visitors, who are "as yet unknown" friends please leave me a comment and tell me how you found oldgreymare and where you are from. Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, New York, Indiana, South Carolina. Hello and Welcome!

Tomorrow I have plans for the studio (lights, I've waited 6 years) and the hall craft closet. Pami, bless her heart, will be coming over soon to help with a few projects and then we go back to work on her new office.

June is just around the corner-3 months and counting. New York New York..."Frankie, say it ain't so".... and get that ^%$# song out of my head!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Hannah mowed the lawn, bless her sweet little heart.
New listings on Etsy tomorrow and today.
Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend.

The Paper Gathering is finally scheduled.

June 28, 2009

Some of the projects have been shown in prior postings. the paper garland, needle prick pictures, crown tags, sheet music pot, booklet journal and a couple more surprises.

$ 60.00

  • The concept of each gathering is a collection of projects. Some of the projects you will complete at this gathering, others you will finish at home

  • Space is limited to eight students and on a first come, first serve basis. All materials for the projects are included. Payment will be required to secure your space and is non-refundable. Register by June 12th. At my discretion and depending on circumstances, payment may be applied to future gatherings. 48 hours notice of no-show will be required.

  • Come join me as we share good food, great company and create wonderful folk art. It is a day of rejuvenation. It is a day away from the job, the family, and the chores. It is a day dedicated to you and your imagination and creativity. Reconnect with friends and make new ones. A mid day meal will be served.


    Old Grey Mare

    *Upon registration you will receive a tools list if needed.

    Saturday, May 23, 2009

    First sale on Etsy

    I had my first 2 sales on Etsy this morning and it feels good. I'm going to be sending a special surprise in the box to the buyer to thank her for being my first cyber customer.

    Now that I have figured out all the logistical stuff, it is back up to the studio to get creating. I have so many ideas running through my head 24 -7 that I really need to add an extra day to my week. Let's see Friday, Saturday, Sunday...Getitdoneday? Proof I need it? The mower is still sitting in the exact same spot and the grass is still growing taller! What IS that? A complete mental block? Hannah, bless her heart, said she will rake and mow tonight when it is cooler.

    On a more serious note, Sue, a dear friend of mine and a friend to some of you also, is facing a serious health issue. We will all know more after she sees her oncologist on Tuesday, but I am asking that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers, or add her to your prayer lists. Another friend of ours, Samantha, who is LDS, has added Sue to their prayer list and as she puts it, "it will circle the globe". For now, Sue is holding strong and has an amazing attitude and loving support from friends and family.

    Two more weeks and Ben will be home, and Hannah will be crazy with parties and celebrations, and I will have no time for working, so I am going to go get busy right now.

    Everyone have a safe and Happy Holiday weekend, and please pause, post hot-dog or beer, to remember those who are no longer with us.

    I will leave you with a silly line.
    "Happiness isn't happiness without a violin playing goat." (now, do you know where that line came from?)

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    First Listing on Etsy

    The first listing went on this evening. Nerve wracking-yes, but pleasantly pleasing as well. It's nice to have that "I did it" feeling and it was fun sharing the event in real time with Amy on-line and Sarah on the phone. The wonders of cyber.

    More listings on Etsy tomorrow. More kits and paper tags. Next week will be purses. Some of you remember my purses from a few years back. I have found the most amazing fabrics and cannot wait to turn them into my cross body bags.

    I must welcome my dear friend Kristin to blog world. Her second post contains a photo of a little boy very near and dear to my heart. Ricky came to work with his Mom every day and since Mom was so busy with clients and phone calls, I was able to feed, rock and play with that sweetness all day at my desk, for most of his first year. We were best buds. Look at that smile. sigh

    This house is counting down the days to Graduation. Ben is coming in and Hannah is thrilled because until yesterday we were sure he could not make it because of work obligations. Hannah's graduation and Ben home. Perfection. All in all, a great day. I am blessed.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009


    I am completing items for my new Etsy shop and it has been an exciting and exhausting experience. I'm sure the photography and uploading gets easier as time goes on, and I have already learned the hard way to click those SAVE buttons frequently.

    The first listings will be ephemera boxes, full of goodies for journals, crafting, and cards, or the box would make a lovely gift for the creative person in your life. The boxes are wrapped in burlap and twine, then hand sewn in place. Topped with a cabbage rose and handmade tag, even the wrapping can be used for creating.

    ephemera box

    Once opened the box is bursting with goodies.
    Crowns, nests, ribbons, chenille, tags galore, even twigs!

    The next listings will be handmade tags nestled in
    their own envelope bags. Crowns, birds, a pocket watch,
    Merci, and more.

    Today I'm working on the next round of boxes.
    The plan is to have everything on
    by Friday.

    It is supposed to be under 100 degrees today, maybe I'll venture out
    to a few craft stores for inspiration, and then I HAVE to mow the back yard.
    I pushed the mower back there on Sunday. So far, I gaze at it
    through the kitchen window, waiting for the yard fairy I guess.

    Monday, May 18, 2009


    pom pom garlands

    making this cabbage rose garland in paper class


    After seeing pom pom garlands on Pam Garrison's blog, I had to make some for myself. Now, I can't seem to stop making them. I even have a Halloween one in the works.

    I also made a cabbage rose garland and now my studio is full of dyed roses. Not only will we be making these in the paper class, these roses are going to top my ephemera kits on.....


    Yes, starting soon, I will be selling my work on Etsy. There is nothing there yet except a COMING SOON notice. I will post my start date here, hopefully by the end of the week. I am working on shipping issues at the moment, and I want to make sure everything is just right before diving in.

    You can find me at

    I have to say thank you to Amy for all of her advice and encouragement. Her friendship is a blessing to me. It came at the perfect time. Thank goodness for my chattiness at my garage sales. That is where we first met and I admired her scarf and hat and we got to talking.... The rest is lovely history. She gives me such energy and confidence in my abilities. SO many friends have always encouraged me, but I guess I needed a boot in the butt to take the leap of faith, and she wears boots! An enormous thank you to all my old ( no, long time) friends for always being there for me, attending my classes and offering support. I would not have done this without you.

    If any of you have been like me, thinking some day I'm going to_______ (fill in the blank). Give me a call, turn around, I'll don my big red Doc Martins and take aim.

    Blessings to you all

    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    In Memory

    Joseph Fieo passed away yesterday. He was the adored father of my sister in law Crystal Rennie. He lived 95 very good years with his loving wife Helen always by his side. They were married over 70 years. Although not unexpected, as he had been failing in recent months, these things are never easy to bear. My love and prayers are with Crystal and Scott, her Mom, and Crystal's siblings Melody and Joe. He was a good man. He will be missed. It seemed important to say so.

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    My House

    Homes say a lot about a person. I believe in making a home beautiful and comforting for my family. I did not wait until the kids were grown to use the good stuff. They used the good silver every day and the good dishes, towels and bedding since they were out of diapers.

    I wanted the best for those I love the most, and refused to wait for holidays or company to "bring out the show." If we didn't use Grandma Rennie's china, and sleep under antique quilts from Grandma Brooks how would my children have warm memories when these pass to them when I am gone?

    The decorating philosophy that works for me is surrounding myself with things that I love and things that serve a useful purpose. I also like to be able to use my things easily and move them from room to room when and if the whim occurs. The palette is very neutral yet not boring in any way to me.

    Many people have inquired about my house and so I thought I would give a glimpse into my workspace and also let new prospective students see what it is like to take a class at oldgreymare. These photos were in a 2008 fall issue of Polished magazine which sadly is no longer published.

    living room

    back porch


    family room fireplace

    family room

    back porch

    My home is a warm refuge for my family and friends. I was always surprised when the kid's friends came over and they were excited to see the house. I mistakenly assumed they would think it odd or too different, instead those little kids spied cool things to play with and explore and the current flock of teenagers always remark favorably about the house. The favorite space of everyone is always the back porch. Mine too!

    My home also provides many ways for me to express myself in a creative way. The rooms are not stagnant, they do change, not frequently, but certainly often. In fact looking at these pics tonight I notice several changes I have made using the "less is more philosophy." Every time I do these purges means a great garage sale, right girls?

    Unless some other coffee filter calamity occurs and I feel the need to blog, I will pause for a few days so that I can finish up the samples, get this class scheduled, and work on Pam's bungalow. It is going to be lovely. Lots of painting ahead, but I can already see them settling in and starting to feel warm and cozy.

    Blessings for your days

    Snowing in the bedroom

    Let me give you a wee bit of advice. Next time you have gone upstairs, your arms laden with stuff from downstairs to put not set it all on your bed. I did that yesterday and then started to distribute all the supplies to the various rooms where they belonged, laundry, shampoos, studio stuff. I noticed how very warm my room was and walked around the bed to the other side to turn on my floor fan to defcon 5/full blast.

    The only remaining items on the bed were 200 small tea dyed cupcake liners and 400 large coffee filters........

    With a loud WHOOSH, it all went airborne and if I had not been cursing quite rapidly and quite loudly I may have appreciated the beauty of 600 spheres all spinning. leaping and dancing through the air like the first heavy snowfall of the year. They danced into the bathroom up and over the shower door and out into the hall headed down the stairs. hmmmmm

    No pics, but I did pause to enjoy the hilarity of the situation. Life's little moments.

    Enjoy your moments today.

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Paper Class Projects

    Worked on this little guy this morning. Large enough to use for a plant, pencils etc. I decided to store my crown tags in it for now. Yes, you too will make these tags in class. Sheet music, crepe paper, tinsel and glitter. Of course!

    Saturday, May 9, 2009

    Weekend Projects

    Worked on cleaning my studio yesterday and found a spot for the letters I picked up in Portland. Yes, that's a 5 not an S, but when I realized my mistake, the girl in the shop and I decided we liked that better. The letters have a bent ledge on the back and they hook perfectly over the curtain rod in the studio.

    I also had a wire basket lying around for months and tried various photos, cards etc with clips in several spots in the house and was not happy with any of the displays. Yesterday morning I was looking for a necklace and "bink" as most of my ideas come to me, I thought I would try hanging my most frequently worn jewelry on it. I love how it looks. I can see and retrieve all the pieces easily. I did notice, as you will also, that my color choices in jewelry are severely limited. Shiny silver, dull pewter and graphite. Of course my clothes are almost always black, tan, white and grey also. Maybe that is why the oldgreymare appealed to me so much, or maybe it's the fact that without Loreal I would have nothing BUT gray hair?

    Amy and I played with my Cricket yesterday and we brainstormed ideas for hours and I was so jazzed when she left that I started on the samples for the paper class. I finished up this booklet at 4:00 this morning. This will be one of the projects. Yours would not be identical to this one because these will all be very personal. I chose to use a bird and nest theme because of Hannah leaving the nest and my empty nest syndrome. This booklet was so much fun to make, I couldn't stop for something as mundane as sleep! Now, it didn't take the whole night to make, I was also working on the other projects at the same time. ( those pics later in the week.)

    This pricked paper is another of the projects.
    I chose to use mine for my cover.

    a sample page

    a little journaling

    my "boo" has wings

    Hannah loved it and it may get tucked into the luggage for New York. I cannot wait to make another one, but which theme should I use, I have dozens percolating now? I have always adored paper, saving scraps from gifts and from store wrappings and my Dad would bring home sample cards from his work in advertising for me to craft with. I still have some, can you believe it!

    Scheduling for The Paper Class will be announced soon. Due to the economy I decided to reduce the number of projects, and so the class fee will be reduced also, and class size is limited to eight. Still an all day affair, you still will be fed, and we will have fun as always with all supplies included for you. Maybe a belated Mothers Day Treat?

    A heartfelt Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful Mothers who share in oldgreymare.
    An extra special HMD for Amy and Brooklyn's first.

    Sunday, May 3, 2009

    My MAC is sick :-(

    So my beloved MAC goes back into the shop tomorrow to get a new logic board, or as the young man explained to me ( with the upward eye roll and if he was talking to a toddler) is getting a new brain. All this because I wanted to record a cd for my car and the %%$#@ cd got stuck. Joshua Radin... Ben, you were right! He had expressed a negative opinion about my choice of artist.

    Anyway..... I have heard from several people who have promised to try and send me photos, but nothing else has arrived in my in box, and if you send in the next few days I will not receive till later in the week.

    I will be working on samples for the upcoming Gathering (all about paper) and hopefully will have pics to post at end of week when computer comes back home. 

    Pam and I worked like pack mules on Saturday, carting stuff left by the owners out of her new home, and carting her stuff in. Pam had hired Brit (mentioned in earlier post) to help us clean, and we steamed, scoured, scrubbed and a few more s's until the place gleamed. Before I left the beds were set up, linens washed and beds were made up, all ready for a much needed sleep. Kitchen was spotless and all dishes, etc had been run through dishwasher and all food and toiletries were put away. Pam has now joined the Brit fan club and can attest to his work ethic.
    If you have a job you have been putting off, let me recommend him to you again.

    Pam and I found a good deal on a table at Goodwill today that we will work our magic on. I will now start to find other affordable treasures to transform their darling bungalow into a haven. I am now daydreaming about her home. This always happens when I start a new project. I can see the finished rooms in my mind, I just have to hunt everything down, keep the budget low and then click my ruby slippers and we're done! So much fun for me, though the clients sometimes begin to look a little dazed. Pam had that "caught in the headlights" look today. Get some sleep honey, I'll be back in two days.

    I am heading up right now to my favorite, cozy chair to read, something I have not had time to do for over a week. I usually polish off at least five books a week and feel a little "off" when I don't. I even managed to read two while I was in Portland. Reading is better than sleep for me. When I'm reading, my brain cannot wander to worries or fears etc, but my sleep can easily be invaded.   

    Trapped on a desert island? A fully stocked library and I would be just fine, thank you very much. Notice I did say fully I could learn to build a boat and sail to the nearest Starbucks.

    Happy May Day!