I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Monday, May 30, 2011

In Honor of Those Who Have and Are Serving

Today, I would especially like to remember and honor the service of my father in law, US Army MSGT John R. McInnis, Jr. who was killed in the line of duty in Korea.

My father (pictured below) who is still with us, also served in the US Navy as a Naval Aviator. It is men like these that allow us the freedoms we sometimes take so lightly. As we sit enjoying the comforts of home, may we not forget those who are far from home in discomfort.

To all my former students, family and friends who are bravely serving and who have given their life for others, I sincerely offer my THANKS.

May each of you have a blessed Memorial Day, full of memories...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

* Grandson Gets His Driver's Permit (and I live to tell about it)

I vaulted out of bed. Friday was the culmination of weeks of testing, reading, studying and gathering information for the REALLY BIG day for Grandson...I couldn't be late. We were meeting his mother at 7:15 (am) to pick up his birth certificate. I didn't have to call him twice for breakfast...he was ready in a flash.

Out the door we flew, met his mom, secured the document and then it was on to the Drivers License station. We jumped out of the car (in order to stand in line for 25 minutes) and were positioned third in line. We were behind a young man in a demonic shirt of some sort and in front of two Bikers for Jesus.

It looked like an after Christmas sale at the mall when the door opened. Taking a number, it wasn't long before they called us to the desk. Boy, had I outsmarted everyone in the county...this would be a piece of cake. AND I could make the funeral I was supposed to attend later in the day...it was a GREAT idea getting to the station so early... we had all our paperwork... but wait...WHAT?! This lady said we were missing a document from the DRIVERS ED TEACHER! Now, for those of you who don't know it..that DE instructor is no less than MY Hubster...grrrrrrr. Out of line, back into the car, up to the school to get said document.

Arriving back at the testing station, we took another number...NOT #3...I might add. As I took the number (#104 I might add) the lady at the desk casually offered, "Oh, the testing computers are down...would you like to come back another day?" "Another day? Surely you jest," I proffered. Nope I was determined...this was a BIIIGGG day. Come back another day...please...Not on your life, lady. We sat....and sat....and sat. Finally our number came up and all the testers were civil servants.... except ours...we got the highway patrol lady. She peered over her glasses at me...a date was missing here. Oh, help me...I thought I'd checked everything a hundred times...there were reams of paper here...just fill in the date and be done with it. (Somehow she knew I was his grandmother. I think she sensed my panic and determination to see this thing through to the end.)

Then we got the lecture about the man who didn't wear his glasses and got a $200 fine. Grandson had his new glasses perched strategically on his nose, so he was all ears (and eyes). Then she said it...the computers had come up but they were down again...did we want to wait? Sure we do...we've only been here since 7:30 and it's now 9:15...yes, yes, we will wait. And wait, we did...and waited and waited.

Suddenly we heard his name called and the lady shouted, "Hurry, the computers are up. Go!" I was standing, yelling for all 1,000 people in the place to hear, "Don't hurry! Take your time!" The testing lady said, "Go, go now!" He turned and looked at me perplexed, did he hurry or take his time? He hurried. (I meant take your time on the test.)

I changed chairs so I could position myself to watch him take the test in the glassed in testing room. ( I am sort of a hoverer.) All the computers had phones attached...what in the world? All of a sudden everybody who had been waiting filled the testing room with Grandson. Most picked up the phone, but not him. Oh, no...he doesn't understand he's to pick up the phone. He was working like a trojan...you can't miss but 5 questions and still pass. Another day at this place loomed large in my mind. I don't think I can come back here again...it's rather depressing. After what seemed like an eternity, he picked up the phone! And just as quickly, he was through. He only used the phone for a second. Oh, no! He walked over to me and said, "They cut me off at the 27th question."

I was hot under the collar, "WELL, that's not our fault...they are going to have to do something about this!" I rose and went to the desk. "They cut him off at #27...that's not his fault...what now?" I questioned. The lady looked at me and very courteously said, "That means he passed."

"Oh, well, um, thank you." Another picture was needed (he blinked three times before...it's the glasses or maybe the camera I think) and suddenly, he had the golden card in his hands! We were finished and it was only 10:25. He read every letter and line on that card.

I whipped out my camera and took celebratory pictures, much to his chagrin and then as we were pulling out of the parking lot, I asked, "BTW, what was with the phone? Why didn't you use it?" He said, "That's if you need somebody to read you the questions. At the end, I just wanted to see what it sounded like." Oh, in that case....

And that was that....Go, Grandson!!!....you are now officially "permitted" to drive with a DE instructor! You have a very good one!

Being a grandmother is a lot like eating a box of chocolates (if I may borrow a phrase)...you never know what you are going to get on any given day...THIS day was chocolate with caramel inside! :)

May you arrive early for all your appointments,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Back Porch Makeover...Layer by Layer

I am writing this post in two segments.

The first is my project for today...a "spruce up" of my back porch. It was a fun thing to tackle, because it involved very little expenditure except for sweat equity.

I had almost everything on hand.

I know, I know.....my back porch will NEVER end up in a magazine spread!

We don't have the moola or the time to make it a show place...

however, we enjoy doing what we can with what we have.

I enjoy a cup of coffee or reading the paper in the early morning.

I love a little evening chat...

I understand the meaning of "a man's house is his castle"...

no castle have I,

but I love the trees, chirping birds, the sweeping pastures

and the view of our neighbors' horses and little donkey "out back".
My porch needed a good spring cleaning. So Saturday was the day!

1. The first thing I did was empty the porch and give it a good scrubbing. I had already spot painted the furniture a rusty brown last year...only a few touch ups were needed.

BTW: my porch furniture has been dark green, black, white and now rusty brown. I am not timid with changing colors on anything...except my hair.

2. After a thorough scrubbing, I repositioned the wrought iron furniture pieces.

3. Next I added a $9.99 rug from Trees and Trends...yes, you read correctly. It's some type of straw material and is banded in black. I think $9.99 for a 4'x6' rug is a pretty good deal. I purchase one every year and "toss" it the next summer for a new, clean one.

A rug adds warmth to an outside room and anchors the furniture.

4. At this point I brought back my wood pieces of furniture. I found this little white telephone table at the Flea Market, painted brown and black zebra stripes on the top, and finished it so that it could "live" outside.

The coffee table is an old window that I made into a table by attaching legs.

5. Next came accessories. Red geraniums in brown pots combine with other rusty elements.

A little green fire pot repositioned to the coffee table (a gift from a good friend) will add warmth on those chilly spring nights.

I add those little solar lights to my pot plants.

At night they look like lightning bugs in the foliage.

A rusty tray from Paul Michael's serves to protect my glass window panes. I found the green mercury glass pot at Hudson's and the iron frog was my mother in law's.

The green plant on the tray was a find at Trees and Trends for $5.

The ceramic bluebird "of happiness" lightens the mood peeping out from under a fern set on a concrete stepping stone turned table top.

I love my "candelier" that I found at the Flea Market for $12!!

"What's going on here?!" is a silent question from under the hostas.

Our wild pet (that's an oxymoron, isn't it?) bunny, Bun T., joins the mayhem on the porch.
Everyone's a critic nowdays!

Bun T. looks on from afar...looks like he's doing a photoshoot

for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.

6. The pillows on my glider are a mixture: geometric fabric ones are from Target; zebra one came from Wal Mart (go Wally world!); stripes and florals are from Hudson's in Hattiesburg...love it when a plan comes together! (Two additional zebra ones are on their way from WM online...do I need them? Maybe not, but they will be used somewhere.)
Never can have too many brown zebra pillows, I say.

Cleaned up, fixed up and ready to welcome family and friends.

I will post the other end of the porch makeover later in the week.

I tablescaped an outdoor setting for breakfast and loved the way it all came together!

I'd like to add canvas drapes and a new brown ceiling fan

(our other one is 17 years old and showing her age).

But for now, all's well on the back porch at the McInnis home!

I am attending the Big Blog Party hosted by Kim@ Savvy Southern Style..click here to join us.

Hope your day is memorable,

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Visiting The Mighty Mississippi River

The Hubster, Grandchildren and I went to Monroe, LA yesterday afternoon. We wanted to see the Mighty Mississippi River at its highest level, so off we went to Vicksburg. My pictures are not something to behold...the river, however, is! Hub was driving like Dale Earnhart Jr. across the bridge, and Granddaughter and I were having a very difficult time snapping shots.

Heading over the bridge on the MS side.

If you will look carefully at the picture above, you can see nothing but water...there is a little slice of land in the upper right area. But that is mostly trees.

Blurry photo, but normally several feet of sand can be seen in the pic above; not today.

Up we go into the wild blue yonder...he won't slow down for anything!!! Help!

Coming off the bridge on the LA side...water, water everywhere.

Look very carefully on the right half way up and you will see lots of water...it was truly everywhere. See just above the concrete barrier on the right.

Heading home from the LA side.

Again, very blurry, but you can get an idea of the width of the river.

Welcome home....thank goodness!

The hills were covered with blooming white oakleaf hydrangea...beautiful.

Remember those who've lost their memories in this flood.

The power of this river was something to behold.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Randomness with a Purpose

Nothing profound today...just some random thoughts and ideas that might be helpful to you.

I needed a school color (red and black) themed centerpiece and because Wright's Fruit Stand in Richland, Mississippi, had so many beautifully colored geraniums from which to pick, I decided to use a plant that could be used outdoors when the party was over.

Being a proponent of tissue paper, a paw print design was found and used as a bottom "ruffle". Matching satin ribbon along with black and white checked ribbon were combined to make the bows. Also used (to save the tablecloth) was a SLAH white platter that had the checked ribbon run through its holes. This idea could be used with any plant in a pot and any color tissue.

(I warned you that this post was RANDOM!)
Next picture is the coach trying to coax Bun T. Wabbit out of the hostas for a little snack! See previous post for the story!

Bun T. coming out AFTER we left the scene.

I found this wooden silverware holder at WM last year and had been storing my paintbrushes in it. After turning it on its side, a little vignette was created using "chicken" related items.

My Fenton chicken was an anniversary present from the Bun T. lover many years ago.

Little cup and cream pitcher are from part of my lusterware collection.

Fell in love with this wooden candle holder at the Flea Market (and it was half off!)

If you've had some disappointments this week, it's imperative that you continue in your faithfulness. The mercury glass heart above reminds me of this fact.
Opportunities come and go, friends may move, children grow up and leave the nest, but God never goes anywhere. WE may hop in and out of the circle of faithfulness, but HE does NOT. That is a most reassuring thought.

May you prove yourself to be a good and faithful servant,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bun T. Wabbit

Just enough time to write a short post. Most of you know that I am a bird, butterfly and bunny kind of girl. I love little creatures who scurry away when you approach...so on a twilight evening as I was walking toward our garage, I was momentarily spooked when something tiny and fluffy high-tailed it across the path in front of me. What in the world?! A tiny baby bunny!

He scurried under the leafy area around my birdbath and sat without moving a muscle.

I laughed when I came in and told the "hubster" that we had a new tenant. He walked back outside with me to see. (Now, I have to let you in on a big secret...the "hubster" has a real affinity for ALL baby animals. He LOVES the tiny things...always has. So I knew it wouldn't be long before...yep, there he goes... back into the house for you guessed it...lettuce.)

We promptly named him (or her), Bun T. Wabbit. Every day now, he has been coming closer and closer to the house. We've even caught him on the porch and in the carport rummaging around! When we leave in the morning he stays right up close to the house and doesn't dart away like he did at first.

I think he's just precious!

I wish all things could be as quiet and gentle as our baby rabbit.

What a marvelous little creature!

May all your bunnies be as cute as Bun T.,

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Make Mine Vintage...Clinton Olde Towne Market

My friends, Larry & Fran Gatewood are the proud owners of "When Pigs Fly", a delightful little shop full of vintage items in downtown Clinton, MS. If you've never been to "Olde Towne", as Clintonians call it, then you've missed a treat. It's just like being in a Jan Karon fictional town! Recently Fran invited me to come to the downtown merchants once a month market and show some of my "re-constructions" of vintage items. This month's theme was "Make Mine Vintage".

So off I took (BY MYSELF...I might add...Hubster had the state track meet...grandson was busy...and old Grandmother had to put on her big girl drawers and drive, load, unload, set up and demo and knock down ALL BY MYSELF!) I am happy to report that I handled it all quite well, thank you very much. My only real problem was that I didn't have too much time to shop. I couldn't desert my demo post.

Here's a shot before I got everything placed.
The wind was quite brisk and I was prepared for a rather hot day, but it was downright cool all day. The market lasted from 9am until 1pm. Much to my delight, my booth was situated right across from watercolor artist, Wyatt Waters' studio. I got to meet him and he is such a nice person. It made me like his art work even more than I already do. BTW: he and Chef Robert St. John are collaborating on a new cookbook. If you've never seen their books, run, don't walk, to a bookstore and purchase one. They are beautiful!

I took anything that had "old" connected to it (including myself) and that had been repurposed...for instance, the flag stand is composed of three old pieces of wood; the pictures you've seen before and were made of old patterns, tissue, papers, beads, etc....the little red chair is an apple crate that was made into chairs for the little girls in my Grenada, Mississippi, Merry Morning Kindergarten class...I mean I actually sat in that little red chair as a 5 yr old...I put my ballet slippers and tap shoes in the little area underneath! An old Ball jar holds vintage tomato pin cushions and strawberries.

The felted chicken pin cushions were bought on Ebay from the seller, Prim Penny, and sit on an unfinished quilt square and a miniature hooked rug.

Pictured above was the "pink" table...pin cushions, pillow, and shadowbox and memorabilia frame.

This Crazy Quilt pin cushion was a Mother's Day gift for my mom.

She kept in on her dressing table.

Below is an old cigar box with tiny matchbox drawers and the items related

to sewing were a big hit.

I found this plaque at HOB LOB and re-purposed it...Christmas ornament from sheet music is on the left and my business cards in the little bird holder. I am hoping some of the ladies that took my cards will join us on the blog! BTW: the new word for re-purpose is UPCYCLE.

1930's Sheet music wreaths, etc on this table. Do you see the MOD PODGE hiding in the upper left corner? Couldn't do a demo without the Nectar of the gods...ha!

My booth "neighbors" on my left were the Hackney's who made wonderful honey...Spring and Autumn. I have posted their card, so if you are interested, you might contact them.

BTW: I bought Spring...yummo! They also have goat's milk and honey soap and lotion.

My neighbors to the right were the Sumrall's. Johnny Sumrall has written a great book on Rock and Roll in Mississippi! A fun read and a super friendly couple...

BTW: I bought a copy of the book.

Also available is a CD with Rock and Roll songs from the 50's through the 1970's. Mrs. Sumrall and I had several laughs and she watched my booth while I scouted out the merchandise.
The day was perfect! Cool, sunny...but not too sunny... and I met some of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. I hope next time Clinton has such a gathering, you will take the time to drive over and enjoy the day. BTW: the day's events were coordinated by Tara Lytal, and she was one busy lady...but I never saw her without a smile on her face.
I'd like to thank Franster (aka Fran G.) for the invite...she provided my tent and a much needed cardtable. Make sure you go visit Fran and Larry at "When Pigs Fly"....you will thank me, if you do!!

Hope you like "Vintage" as much as I do,