Tuesday, August 25, 2009

White Wednesday #6

Grandma's favorite given to my Dad and then
passed to me. Now one of my favorites

linens on the porch

vintage sheet music- so lovely

my daughter's and my rock heart collection
yes, a birdbath in the living room

another cloche with a collection

fireplace screen handmade to fit

another collection
this one in the powder room

more White Wednesday bloggers
Please visit <--------------------

Monday, August 24, 2009

DJR 8/26

Intimate tales of my personal life are few and far between here on oldgreymare. I admit to chatting about the kids from time to time, even though I'm sure they prefer that I didn't. Now and then personal is required, if not simply needed. Lives, wholly lived, are personal.

DJR at twenty-something

Wednesday is a special day for me. It is my Dad's Birth Date. DJR was his signature on so many things, including my allowance slips. Yes, my brother Scott and I had to turn in allowance slips in order to get paid for our allowance. If you did not turn in a slip by Wednesday evening- you did not get paid on Saturday. His thought was that we should learn to punch a virtual time clock of our employer and get paid fair wages for good work. We had to list any additional extra chores completed to receive any bonuses.

Dad was big on teaching us about responsibility and "doing things right the first time". I can still remember his exhibition of the proper way to mop the basement floor, the "NAVY" way. This was being given because of the mistake of a dog rescue name of "Sandy", who refused to be house-broken and subsequently was sent back. Meanwhile, even though Dad rescued the dog without family consult, it was I who was in charge of Sandy's latrine duty.

Other dissertations were given on how to fish, pitch a tent, burn trash, (we did that back then in the country) stack logs, build a campfire, mow lawns, iron, do laundry, plant gardens, wash dishes, balance checkbooks, refinish furniture, paint walls, wash cars, change tires, scrub bathrooms and above all how to be organized. (Mentioned in earlier post).

I am sure I did my fair share of complaining about most of it, and he probably wondered if I would ever retain any of it. Well, I did, all of it. Just ask my kids. If I begin to say "anything worth doing...", they immediately roll their eyes and respond "is worth doing right." I have taught my kids most of what PapPap was unable to teach them, being separated from them by way too many miles. I have applied and valued every detail of every lesson, except for the appreciation of sardines in mustard, a frequent Saturday fare. shudder - shudder

Dad best lessons were taught by example; stopping to help every stranded motorist we came across, offering every friend and neighbor aid and encouragement. He cared for my Mom through many difficult years of illness, and never complained when he and cancer battled four times. He had a "wicked sense of humor" at times and told horrible puns and jokes to anyone who would listen....and then told them again, and again, and again.

He fancied himself a creative cook, but we were truly innovative in finding ways not to eat what he had concocted. He loved the Steelers and the Pirates, always watched the Indy 500 (but rarely any other racing? something to do with Mario Andretti) One of his favorite films, was Turner and Hooch. It was the gelatinous drool factor. Go figure. He befriended every waitress and teased every waitress.

Dad always gave two hugs, first the big one, then the extra big squeeze and pats on the back. He was a great hugger. He whistled a lot and sang Perry Como when he did woodworking. He often greeted you with "Hello There". I called my folks every single Sunday from the time I left home for college and continued until well, until they were no longer home. Often Sunday was not enough and mid week calls were made, but always, always on Sunday.

He was a beloved boss and community member and believed strongly in giving back through charitable donations and community activism.

My Father was an honorable man who loved and cared for his family. I loved him dearly. I miss him more than these mere words could ever convey, but I tried.

Trout Fishing in Spring 1976

A Wicked Sense of Humor

A Wicked Sense of Humor
October 3, 2009

$ 80.00

  • Each Gathering is a day long retreat where we create many projects. Some you will complete at this gathering, others you may finish at home.The number of projects varies with each event. A sit down meal with wine and dessert is included. All Materials for the projects are included.

  • Space for this Gathering is limited to eight students and on a first come, first serve basis. Payment will be required to secure your space and is non-refundable. Please register by September 12th.

  • oldgreymare reserves the right to cancel Gatherings if desired class size is not met. Full refunds will be given if this occurs.

  • 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.


    To register please email

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

    Saturday, August 22, 2009


    What? It's Saturday? What? It's the last week of August? What?------ What?

    I woke up and I misplaced summer. Hannah and I were going to go to Utah's Shakespeare Festival like we do every year. I was going to revamp the back yard, maybe paint the family room and relocate my studio there. I was going to make at least a trip or two to CA. None, nope, none of it was accomplished.

    For the past two weeks all that I have done is pack and squeeze, and vacuum bag, and pack some more of Hannah's belongings into 2 large, 2 medium and 1 carry on bag for her flight to school, and we have one medium box to ship which contains her egg crate mattress thingie, some boots and sneakers and 2 large winter coats. Her friends have begun to depart, and most of them that are flying took three large bags each and shipped many boxes, and one even shipped 7 boxes! I think we've done pretty well in comparison. One of the large bags contains; now, please be properly impressed:

    sheet set
    very fluffy down comforter
    duvet cover and 2 shams
    pillow top mattress pad
    fold down/pop up ottoman for storage and seating
    2 drawer canvas chest that we assemble upon arrival
    very large canvas laundry bag
    desk lamp
    clip on lamp
    3 12" by 8" lidded decorative boxes for her to store stuff in
    3 pop up canvas tote things to store stuff
    set of towels 2 of each size bath, hand and wash
    desk set holder and paperclips, stapler, scissors etc.
    file folders
    first aid kit
    sewing kit
    tool kit
    set of dishes for two, plates, bowls, salad plates. 3 glasses
    small set of nesting tupperware
    silverware for three
    and more small stuff tucked into every crevice.

    and of course...everything is color coordinated ;-o
    Can I pack or........ WHAT?

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    A wee break

    Taking a wee break from White Wednesday and Primitive White Wednesday on etsy.

    They'll be back soon, meanwhile please enjoy all the other White Wednesday blogs.

    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    One Year Later


    mark not only the miles we have traveled, but also remind us of the experiences we have had along the way. "are we there yet?", "I can't believe our vacation is over".

    Milestones, cornerstones, stones in my pocket....stones as talismans for luck, for hopes and dreams

    One year later and a few changes in my world. I can easily load and arrange elements to the blog and etsy, a far cry from my first entry; I was so proud to have managed to just set up the blog!

    Benjamin and Hannah will be proud

    The kids will not believe that I did this on my own without nagging them for help. Tonight was another sleepless night, so why not give it a try? Please bear with me as I learn to navigate these treacherous waters of the internet and blogging. I will attempt to learn quickly and try to be if not entertaining, then informative.

    Oldgreymare will make information about Gathering classes and folk art and primitives that I am showing or selling more assessable. I hope to include some free patterns from time to time and also share ideas, maybe recipes, who knows? I'm going to just wait and see where this takes me.

    I quickly realized after reading that first post this morning, that although I achieved some of the goals that I began with, I had fallen quite short on others. I did encourage and promote several other artists on the blog, always a goal of mine, here and in everyday life. I gave out a couple recipes, then "poof" no more. I will work on that, because we all love a great recipe and I have friends who feed me amazing food. No free patterns.... yet. I have managed to sell quite a few items "from" etsy, not especially "on" etsy, and that is fine. Friends see items listed and order more of the same directly from me, or peruse and "shop" the finished projects drawers here at home. Etsy either brings out the best in people, or the worst. I have experienced both.

    This year I followed many blogs, each morning anxious to follow the exploits of my friends, many of whom I have never met. It recently became clear that I was not enjoying or benefiting from the ones lamenting every day to day problem and complaining about all the wrongs inflicted upon them, and their own trials and personal tribulations, their own personal hyperspace billboards to garner attention.

    Instead, I have fallen in love with the quiet musings of tender souls, going about their lives with dignity and grace, some in the face of true hardship, with nary a complaint. I have marveled at breathtaking photography, glorious gardens and the fun adventures of these friends, and aspire to continuously carry a positive heart the way that they do.


    marking where we have been and where we are going

    Amazing new adventures await my darling Hannah, and dearest Ben is enjoying his already adventurous life with admirable gusto and joy.

    So, then, what is to be for their Mother as the next year milestone approaches?

    Empty nest? Technically. But this morning I have decided to view this nest a little differently than I thought I possibly could. This nest of mine is a safe haven for my family and my friends. A place of comfort for me. Always open, always welcoming, a destination to, as well as from. Not so much empty perhaps, but waiting...waiting for the next loved one to step across the thresh hold and be welcomed back to the nest.

    Meanwhile I will keep "feathering my nest". Creating, sharing and adding precious memories of all the good this life has to offer, and unceremoniously dumping the negatives over the side onto the ground like any good mama bird does.

    I am blessed with an incredible family and dear beloved friends; a milestone, my personal touchstone, I will tuck into my pocket and carry with me always.

    Blessings and Peace

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    White Wednesday #5

    More white around oldgreymare

    A favorite mirror from Mom and Dad

    A collection of treasures about Mom

    My favorite wooden bowl....OK my favorite small
    wooden bowl

    trois oiseaux

    mashers, pins, dibbles and pestles

    Hope everyone is enjoying their White Wednesday.
    Please check out all the other participants by clicking
    on the White Wednesday Link
    <---------------- over there to the left. New Primitive White Listing on Etsy every Wednesday

    Sunday, August 9, 2009

    One of the Reasons

    One of the reasons I love to organize at other people's homes is this:


    You are my angel sent to me from heaven! I never thought my garage mess could actually turn into a usable room of the house. My Leaning Tower of Boxes are gone. Everything is in the right container instead of a piece here and a piece there. My family can actually reach everything we need and have ample space to maneuver. I should have hired you a year ago. You are more efficient than I could ever be.

    I look forward to bringing you back for the interior design.

    I am ever so thankful,

    It changes people's lives. When you have an area of your home, or your life for that matter, that needs tending to, it weighs heavily on your mind. Always, there in the back, is that nagging little voice, "I need to......" and days, months, and regretfully years pass in some homes with these issues. It becomes an overwhelming task because mess begets mess. It is a prime source for discourse, well, OK, everyone ends up in a big fight about it.

    I loved working with Paula yesterday. Her girls were outside with us, playing house in the shade with some neighbor kids. No TV all day! We laughed and shared stories and in no time looked up and we were half way done. Paula is finishing up today, following some of the tricks I taught her yesterday. The overwhelming task is behind her and she can go play house with the girls.

    Paula dear, it was my pleasure.

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009

    White Wednesday #4

    witte woensdag
    mercredi blanc
    weiAer mittwoch
    mercoled Abianco

    Any way that you say it- it's a lovely White Wednesday
    at oldgreymare



    a favorite white chair

    wooden bowls and dough box

    there are always more pitchers

    drawers of plenty

    Enjoy your day and thanks for stopping by.
    Please check out the other White Wednesday Bloggers
    by clicking on the link over there to the left <---------

    New white primitive listings on etsy on Wednesdays.


    Saturday, August 1, 2009

    Loving What You Do.

    I love creating folk art and teaching folk art but my natural leanings have always included an obsession with organizing stuff. My stuff, store stuff, other people's stuff. I cannot pass a hanger facing the wrong way in a store without flipping it back into it's correct position. I straighten pictures in offices if I can do it without being seen. I line up shoes and straighten papers and fiddle with cushions. I turn cans in the pantry so that they face forward. No OCD diagnosis, I just prefer things in an orderly fashion. I can, and have frequently allowed my home to be a disheveled mess, with dishes in the sink etc. and managed to sleep and relax, no worries, I just always have to bring it back into it's rightful state within a timely manner.

    So it is no wonder then that I enjoy, no, I love to be hired to go to other people's homes and help them get organized. What other people put off, or dread doing, or get bogged down by, causes my heart to skip a beat and I cannot wait to get in there in the trenches and "get organized".

    Clients will tell you that I sometimes get giddy as I solve the questions of "where should this go?" and "what do I do with this?". When some difficult group of items suddenly finds it's rightful place you may even hear a "yippeee" from me.

    Loving what you do and having your client's worries or problems resolved is so gratifying. My father was obsessed with labels and neat little boxes of tools and household items and having everything where it belonged, and somehow the gene was passed on to me, and I am so grateful Dad, because I love doing this.

    Everyone has that moment in their lives, or I hope that they do, when something comes so natural to them that other people would find impossible. I can see a garage or a room so crowded with belongings that you cannot see the floor, and in an instant I see the finished area all neat and tidy. Maybe you can cook without a recipe, or hit a baseball farther than anyone else, or run faster, or sell shoes to a cobbler, or paint without a lesson. You are able to do something that other people can't, and it is second nature to you and it comes so easy. You are uplifted, you take that deep breath and think to yourself "good job, well done", and it never really feels like work, because you love what you do.

    For the past several weeks I have worked with a wonderful client and spent many days doing what I LOVE to do and I am grateful. I wish the same for you.