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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Little Fabric Stool...From Blah to Bling!

Sometimes things just line up correctly and viola!
You are in love!
That's me this morning. Look at what was "born" last night!!
The idea for her began in the thrift store. I brought her home and she patiently sat during all my knee surgery trauma. The idea fluttered by every once in a while, then became more dragonfly like...then like a wasp dive bombing...I couldn't ignore her anymore...I had to change her from a ugly duckling into a swan!
(My ideas start out gently and go full throttle quickly.)
Poor girl...she had seen better days...I hope.
We all deserve better than this...
Out comes "you know who"...in Old White.
One coat (and that wasn't a very thorough one)...but it is what it is.
Little re-cover...
with fabric that Sister picked up for me in Alabama...
Pre-distress......Better, but NOT perfect....
Distressed but not distraught.... she needs some fabric bling...
What to do , what to do....here comes the wasp...
Rolled and twirled flowers and burlap leaves...(and I have the hot glue blisters to prove it)...
those cuties aren't quite as easy as they look...)
I am in love....yep, I most assuredly am!

Love being the Fairy godmother,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fairy Tales....

Today the Coach and I drove to the edge of the Delta to see the progress of my sister, Leslie's,
Fairy Garden
Welcome to the Fairy Garden!
. (Notice hand built ladder being tested by its builder.)We all agreed it is great.

To understand our fascination with all things FAIRY...you must know that
our grandparents (on my father's side) lived in a fieldstone house surrounded by huge old oak trees.
Grandmother was somewhat eccentric (imagine that!) but had a great imagination. We spent many fun
hours at that house roaming the yard and poking in the abundant little doodle bug holes that were
 around the bottoms of the oaks. There were tons of acorns, feathers, sticks, seeds and assorted other
enchantments that led to stories of fairies, gnomes and benevolent birds and such.

When we spent the night with Grandmother,
Leslie and I slept in the "guest" bedroom at her house
and it was grand to us!
The bed was a  four poster "pineapple" bed with the most wonderful feather pillows
and a pink satin feather quilt! You felt as though you were sleeping on a cloud.
Before we'd go to sleep Grandmother would read some of
the poem Hiawatha to us and then tell us stories about the creatures in the oak trees..
.(I personally liked the story about the little pink bird who lived in the pink house and used all pink china...)
So when Leslie called to tell me she was making a fairy garden in the shade of an overgrown bush in her front yard, it did not surprise me one bit.
I felt you'd like to see bits and pieces of what is under construction.
 This carefully constructed house is one of the centerpieces of the garden. The entire garden is only in its infancy...there are so many possibilities and we spent quite a while discussing them...
even though it was rather warm. (Remember she's the outdoorsy one...I prefer a/c.)
However, when it comes to fairy business, even I will hang around outside.
Here is another house with a frightful cat at its door.
(My sister has always loved cats as much as I detest them. She once trained one to leap out from under the couch and scare me senseless every time I walked through the living room. I hear you laughing, Leslie.) 
This little kitty seems to be as ferocious as those she trained so long ago.
We moved the American flag..it's scale was wrong.
Notice the angel on the left...she's also
afraid of said kitty.
So she just sits aimlessly outside the house as if waiting on the beast to leave the premises.
Another part of the garden is the Lily Pad...which is currently under construction (oh, there's that flag again)and hasn't been landscaped as of this morning. (The vintage wagon was an early Christmas present from a friend's mother.) My nephew said that the Lily Pad sounds like a bar...which is just might be or it might be a tea room for the fairies...they've got to unwind somewhere..
My contribution was the frog...I'm the realist in the family.
This is Leslie's rendition of a fairy topiary. I like the pennies...and the touch of pearls.

There are other little parts of this fairy town but they are still under wraps...the wooden fence that runs all around the area...at night there are tiny white lights that light the path of the fence and outline the various structures....metal scrolls outline the wood fence...very fairy-ish. Ferns and woodland flowers must still be selected and planted. Paths must be installed and blue glass pebbles added to a coming water feature.
Mulch is coming in by the yards and more structures will be added in the trees... LIKE  MAYBE A PINK BIRDHOUSE WITH A PINK BIRD WHO USES ALL PINK CHINA!

Now, you might think we are loony...
but I am now past 62 (see below) and she isn't far behind...so we are to that glorious phase in our lives where we don't really care if anybody thinks we are loony...

We are carrying on a family tradition of looniness and fairy loving, 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Just a Little Bit of Chocolate, Please!!

Oh,yum! I loooove it when something I try actually works the very first time! As I was "Pinteresting" last week, I saw a very short recipe that sounded like it was written just for ME! I had been rummaging through the cabinets looking for a cookie, for anything with a touch of chocolate! It was too late to go get something and all I wanted was a little bit! When I went back to Pinterest, it was like my fairy godmother waved her wand and presented me with recipe! This pin came from thehiddenpantry.blogspot and it is wonderful!  

Recipe: 1-2-3 Cake

*two boxes of cake mix...one MUST be Angel Food...your choice on the other. My choice was Devil's Food to go with the Angel Food.
That's it! Now...
Mix both mixes together in a large pan or bag. Mix thoroughly. (See below.)
(Now here comes the rather ironic part...I actually reversed the following directions and the result was still good...so try it both ways and see what you think.) Using a mug, place 3 tablespoons of the mix and 2 tablespoons of water in the mug and stir. Place in the microwave for 1 minute ( mine required 1 min. 10 sec. but I used 3 T. of water and 2 T. of mix!).
It should look like this when it comes from the microwave.
It may look slightly different since I reversed the 3 and 2 T. of ingredients, but you get the picture!
I turned it out onto a plate so you could see what it looked like...but this would be unnecessary if you were in a real hurry for a quick snack. It's about the thickness of two small pancakes. It was nice and hot, so I added just a tablespoon of ice cream and a few chocolate chips to jazz it up a little! That would be unnecessary since it was very good alone!
If you buy the little containers of individual dessert cakes at the grocery store, you will  pay over a dollar for each cake...this makes tons of the little things and all your cost would include would be the two mixes.
What a cute little Christmas happy! If you put the mix in a small Ball jar, you could use an inverted cupcake paper to go between the top and the lid!!
Lots of cute cupcake holders on the market right now...check out Michael's. 

I love it when a plan actually comes together,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tonight I Will Bite the Bullet!

A few loose ends to tie up before the weekend....

Yesterday was a great day for the old knee! I felt great until about 9 pm and then all the results from the rehab exercises set in...yikes! I was sore and today hasn't been any better. However, I continued on my quest for the perfectly restored knee and did my home exercise assignments and iced and iced and iced! One more set of exercises today! Whew!

I ventured out by myself for a "short" visit to the DMV branch to renew my drivers license. How hard could that be? First, they call you by number and when I entered they were on #52 or so and they handed me #75. Uh, oh. The place was pretty packed and I was afraid of sitting for long with the "knee". Some three year old kid was "bonkers" the entire time...screaming, crying and breaking over to the snack machine for "quackers" every 15 min or so. I did NOT need that aggravation.

After over an hour and a half I heard it..."Number 75. Number 75!" I lept (well, clumsily stood to my feet and tried to gain my composure.) Then as I limped toward the desk, I heard, "Oh, there's NO number 75? Ok. Number 76." OMgosh....NO! I've been sitting almost 2 hours, my knee is swollen like a grapefruit...I am NOT missing this...."Wait, wait!" I implored. "Number 75 is coming...I have a bad knee!" With that every eye turned downward to my knees and silence came over the place. Even the shrieking three year old shut up. Sorry, but sometimes a gal's gotta do what she's gotta do.

(I was extremely concerned that the nice lady was going to ask me if any info had changed...like maybe my weight...but she didn't.) I think she could see my agitation. I "upped" my weight on the license 8 yrs ago from my 15 year old weight...wasn't that enough humiliation? Then she asked if I wanted a 4 or 8 yr license. Hmmmm...I pondered. 8+63=71. Oh, great heavens! 71?!!!! First, I might be dead and then again, I might have lost my mind completely by then....No, I didn't want to chance losing that $21 extra...so just in case I got the 4 yr license.

BTW: the new picture looks pretty much like me...my last one looked like someone mourning the death of their favorite cat.

 One last item...then it's on to exercise....

I never did get my last year's birthday present, so I lumped two years into one and finally ordered a foyer light that I've been eyeing. It's so pretty (etched vanilla glass)and will look great with duck egg blue walls. It's a Minka Lavery...I LOVE Minkas! I will post pictures when it arrives and is hung.
Now, I must go find a bullet to bite while doing my leg lifts...arghhhhhhh! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Put On a Happy Face!

I need to post early today. I have a physical therapy session this morning and have NO idea what that will bring for the afternoon. Last night I finished a small lap afghan that I have been working on for the past two weeks. It's nothing special, it just gave me a way to use up time and leftover yarn.
I got the idea from a great blog called Attic24.typepad.
Here is something I've been noticing about myself and other crafters as well.
We are turning toward brighter happier colors.
As I scrolled through Pinterest, I found that when our country is either at war or is having "hard times", the women of the country answer by making their homes into places of refuge.
They use brighter, lighter colors and fabric prints become more "unreal".
As I toured Pinterest by entering the subjects of  40's or 50's fabric or 60's fabric,
I found this to be true over and over.
Go ahead and find out for yourself.
I, for one, am  worn out with doom and gloom.
 I am ready for better times.
I certainly won't get into politics here,
but I think that most people are ready for the tide to turn.
Example above: look at the beautiful colors used in this fabric.
I recently posted a blog about these potholders I made.
Again, look at the colors!
My little gift buckets are picking up the "happy" colors, too!
Inspiration afghan from Attic 24.
Here is something I'd like to try next.
This idea from Attic 24 has tremendous possibilities!
Enough on the soapbox...none of these items match anything in my house, which is filled with
earthtones...greens, pale gold, cinnamon and naturally, duck egg blue.
Hmmm, this might spur me another direction!

Have an "happy" day,

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Best Wishes to My Sweet Friend

I have a friend who I met 18 years ago. She was much younger than I, but we "team" taught a new class at the middle school for almost 5 years. She and I met, were thrown into that new class, told to make it work and we did. In the process, we became very close friends. I was there for all the drama of the "first child", we both had assorted ailments during those years, we laughed and cried over the happenings in our lives.

 Now, she is moving on to a great new job in a town pretty far away and my heart is sad. I have accepted that things will be different in some ways. Tonight the people of our church are honoring her and her  family and because I am still not functioning well, I will not be able to attend the "dinner". But I have been determined to do something of an art nature for her to take with her to her new home and new life!

I began at 6 a.m. this morning. It was the first day I have been able to actually be up on my legs all day. I just finished...it is now 5:55 p.m. I had to send the canvas with my husband and the Mod Podge was still not dry, but finish it, I did! (At noon, the hubster had to go to Wal Mart and buy me a gel mat to stand on...I was fading fast and I stand to paint. And that mat really helped.)
Here is my art and its significant points.
16x20 canvas Title: Friend 
(Friend- a person with whom one is on terms of mutual affection and respect.)
The cross reminds us of the burden our Savior bore on His shoulders for us.
 An angel wing and musical note edging...my friend has the voice and the patience of an angel.
 Proverbs 18:24...the depth of true friendship...no matter where we reside.
Queen Anne's Lace..my favorite flower....
a reminder of all the functions and fellowship we have enjoyed over the past 18 years.
I hope she will forgive the still fresh Mod Podge.
 My heart was in the right place, even if my limbs wouldn't quite cooperate!

I will sincerely miss you, Tasha,

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Old Pale Blue...I Feel Like A Pot Holder

The problem I see with blogs, Pinterest and Etsy is this: IF you have even the tiniest amount of creativity in your genetic background, browsing these sites will force your little brain into Creative overload! When I look at all the things that women design, make and come up with, I forget that it's a collection of everyone in the galaxy, not just a few brilliant bulbs!

While being "laid up" with my formerly bum knee (now it's post-operative bum) I have almost pushed myself to exhaustion just reading all these sites. I haven't slept for more than 3 hours straight since Friday before last. My formerly neat and tidy bed and bedroom looks like an explosion of yarn, fabric and magazines. My husband remarked that our room looked worse than he could ever remember and it made him nervous to enter. (He got into bed, settled down and all of a sudden jumped to a sitting position, pulled something from under the sheets and screamed, "What is this?" Oh, for heaven sakes, it was just a crochet hook...size G.)

My today's project was a selection of pot holders made from yoyo's. (You DID go through the yoyo phase, didn't you?) I sure did and had some already cut into circles from a long ago left over project and they just fit the bill. Inspired by my love of this old pot holder (see "old pale blue" below), I set out on a pot holder Odyssey. First, I crocheted two holders but that just did not scratch the itch. I needed more interaction with something from the outside world. Fabric...oh, wonderful fabric! In addition to my love of note cards and tags, china, and an assorted array of other strange obsessions, I LOVE FABRIC! (I digress.)

I bought this tired, stained old thing at a long-ago shop and loved it for its feedsack and shirting yoyo's. I put it aside and didn't use it for years. Then one day all my pot holders were in the laundry and there she was, looking up at me..."Use me, use me", she begged. And so I did! Have used her ever since. Alas, she has become thread bare, pale and stained...sort of like I feel right now. I decided to make me a new holder, not to take her place, but to help out in emergency situations. (Wink, wink)

Introducing "her newness" ...all hot to trot...newest fabric and smashing colors!
 Even though I like her, I don't yet LOVE her.
So I decided to push further, which is hard to do when you are in the bed most of the time.
 I limped forward and made a few potholders for my Etsy shop (amcinnisartworks).

They look so fresh and new. Not tired and pale.

A new take on an old idea.
Modern, clean, fresh...
I, uh, sort of feel guilty.
I know how "old pale blue" feels...
retirement and knee surgery have rendered me to a pathetic place in this life.
I hate to admit it, but I feel rather useless and washed up.
As I sat there feeling terribly sorry for my lot in life...  it occurred to me...
I had used "old blue" as the pattern for all
the new potholders...every single one was cut from her.
The bulb flashed...
maybe that's
what's in store for me!
Maybe I can be a pattern or a help to someone younger,
newer at this game we call life.
Maybe I can help out "in emergencies"! 
I know one thing for sure, feeling like "old pale blue" isn't my style. (wink, wink)

Happy Father's Day! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

You are Gnome Around Here

This post is in honor of my sister who has recently gone bonkers over the designing and making of fairy gardens. (We differ in a number of ways, however, FAIRIES have always been quite mesmerizing to us both.)

Since it's been two years since I helped with the retirement reception (pics below) for a teacher friend and I honestly can't remember doing a blog about the entire affair...my sister's recent preoccupation with the fairies jogged my memory and I thought you might enjoy some of the pictures from the Roaming Gnome reception. (I like themed events...themes are a great jumping off point from which to dive head long into the pre-event planning. I relish this phase with great abandon!)

Theme: Wherever You Roam, This Will Always Be Your Home...may sound trite to you (and now that I've retired, it sounds a little wonky to me, too, )but at the time, the Roaming Gnome was hot on TV and I used "his hotness" for the feature of our event. (This adventure took no less than 10 months to plan...that's the part I love..the planning. I'm not too much on the actual day, maybe it's because I'm so exhausted from living with the theme for so long beforehand. After that length of time it's sort of like company that won't go home.)
 Here are a few items that made the day special:
(Pic 1) Marzipan mushrooms for the cake,
which was to be furnished by the Air Force.
(I still don't know how the armed forces got involved,
 but I am never one to look a gift horse in the mouth.)
Marzipan is great fun...
sort of like the clay I used to spend hours playing with.
(Pic 2 A&B) Centerpiece: large twig double basket with two Boston ferns,
Queen Anne's Lace and assorted Gnomes,
mushrooms (see pic 5 below), and tin flowers.
Oh, yes and red birds, butterflies and birds' nests.
Close up of basket handle.
(Pic 3) The "autograph" book featuring the Roaming Gnome
was filled with pictures of the faculty and sweet little
ditties written by  them  to the sweet retiree. (She plays the guitar..
if you wondering why the Gnome is in guitar mode.)
(Pic 4) Close up of the centerpiece.
 (I still haven't gotten the hang of this new blogger system..
can't rearrange the HTML very well,
so the picture below is out of order.)
I accidentally broke a flower pot and it ended up housing
the bird's nest. I found the gnomes at a very inexpensive
store and re-painted them to suit our color theme.
Moss bows came a la Dollar Tree!
(Pic 5) I needed small mushrooms
and naturally I couldn't find any,
so I made them and had them
fired. Then I painted them with acrylics and
sealed them with polyurethane.
(Pic 6 A & B) Another twig arrangement.
(Pic 7) All tables were covered and featured vases of
Queen Anne's Lace and fern.
(Pic 8) Another vignette featuring moss mushrooms from
Paul Michael's in Monroe, La and
a cross canvas (my gift to my retiring friend.)
(Pic 9) The two fairy godmother decorators.
You can tell in this photo how large the centerpiece was.
I sort of overshot it...but it filled the table nicely.
We had a really fun day and it was a great remembrance for a favorite friend!

Bippity Boppity Boo!