It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Home at last!

Well, I'm home in Oregon! It's all new to me, but it's home anyway. My family has been taking me for drives and showing me around. I didn't get to see much at Christmas time, and this place is really pretty. We may be moving to a place called Gold Hill. It's right on the Rogue River, and I found out there are salmon in that river! I can't wait for my hubby to go fishing!

We went for a walk today on the walking/bike path. It goes from Ashland all the way to Medford. Maybe even past Medford, but I'm not sure. Anyway, we walked from Talent to Phoenix to a little park there. We let the kids play while we rested, and then walked back. All together, about 5 miles. Wow! Was I tired! My legs are still tired, but my feet don't hurt. I got some new Shape-up shoes and they are really comfortable to walk in. My feet didn't hurt at all until I stopped. Then they started hurting. But as long as I was walking, they did great. My hips were another story. They are getting worse and worse, and sometimes I think I can't walk another step. I told Chuck it was Disneyland all over again, but there was no electric wheel chair! By the time we got home, I was pooped. We didn't eat before we left, either, so we were all starved by the time we got back at 11:30, so I fixed brunch. Pancakes, eggs, bacon......good stuff. And I think it tasted extra good today because of all the exercise before hand.

Tomorrow we go to Gold Hill to look at a house we're trying to get. We've only seen the outside because the renters were still living there. We may not even like it, but if we do we're going to try to get it. We've already filled out the application so keep your fingers crossed for us. We need to get a house, because 6 of us in this 27' motor home is rather crowded. We do OK but more room would be wonderful. And some privacy, too. If we don't get this one, then we'll spend the day looking for another one. At the right is a picture I took last time we went to Gold Hill. There are more VW buses here than anywhere I've ever seen! At least since the 60's. And a lot of them are painted like the 60's, too.

Well, it sounds like we're going to be joined by a daughter and her two boys. Amanda is just waiting for her tax refund and she'll fly her dad up to Montana to drive her and the boys down in the Budget truck. Which, by the way, is a lot less expensive than U-Haul. A LOT! She has some health problems and is tired of being so far away from her family, so she's going to come here. Now there will be three of us looking for work. Oy vey! But again, we'll make it work. I love having my family around.
An update on the book. The night before I flew home, we worked until 3 am to get it finished! But we did it! It is now at the printer in Phoenix, AZ. I left for the airport at 4:30 am and actually stayed awake on the flight! I finally crashed at about 8 pm and didn't get up until 8 am. Finally got the ISBN numbers and called them in to the printer, so now its a waiting game. We expect to have it back about the 15th of March if everything goes well. I keep saying book but its really books.....plural, as in 2. This volume was about 1300 pages, and that's just too big, so we split it into two. I never thought I would be involved in a project this big, but I'm proud of the finished product.

Well, gotta go. The battery is about to go and I need to plug in the laptop. Which means, it has to move to another place. I will be job hunting big time starting Monday, but I'll check in every once in a while. And I'll have some really nice photos of this beautiful country for you. Keep your head up and your socks matched! Gramma G.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I go home tomorrow!

YEAH!!! I can't wait to get back to my husband, and to be able to say "I finished." This has been the longest ongoing project I've ever been involved in besides my family. These last two volumes of the book have almost 650 pages each. Add to that the 700 from the first volume, and you have a whopping 2000 pages!!! It will be really nice to see it all in print.

Now I have to go home and get a real job. One that earns money. That filthy lucre that is so necessary in our society. It's been 6 months now since Chuck worked, and we are no longer holding our heads above water. Both of us will be pounding the pavement. I'm not looking forward to it at all. The arthritis and carpal tunnel are so bad in my hands that I'm not even sure what type of job I can do, but I guess I will find out.

I won't be posting any cute projects for a little while, because job hunting takes a lot of time, but I will keep you "posted" on how things are going. So here's the last one for now. It's a really cute paper pocket, and you can even make your own pattern!

You will need four ovals of cardstock, two the same color for the inside and two different prints for the outside. Your ovals can be any size you want them to be, but mine were about 5x7. The two for the inside need to be 1/4 inch bigger all the way around, and cut the edges with some cute scallop scissors or another edger design. Now fold your ovals in half, putting one end toward the other end and gently creasing the middle. Fold the inside ovals with the design tot he inside and the other two with the design to the outside. Put the two inside ovals together, overlapping to form a right angle at the bottom and a heart shape at the top. Glue them together where they overlap. Now put the two outside ovals on the outside (he he) of them and pull the bottom corner all the way down. This closes off the whole at the bottom and allows the scallops to show at the top.

Now, you need a handle. You can use a strip of matching paper, or some ribbon. Glue it to each side where the ovals overlap, and glue a button on top. Embellishments are totally up to you. A little tag with a sentiment is nice, or just decorate the tag and put a card inside. A big flower glued to the side would be cute...just about anything you can imagine is OK. Easy, huh?

Put a little tissue or paper shredd inside and snuggle a really decadent chocolate or some small gift, and its ready to go. These would make cute Valentines, or May Day baskets, gifts for Mother's Day or teachers or birthdays. They will also make cute little door hangers for visiting teachers. Especially if you have a sister you can never catch! Have fun trying out all the different combinations of paper and embellishments, and make yourself a stash to have on hand. You never know when you might need something to hold a small gift or some candy! The one shown at right is made from Birthday cardstock.

Okay. Time to go for now. Keep smiling. Smiles will light the world. May you have enough flour in your cupboard and may your socks all match. Gramma G.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New projects!

I have a couple of cute projects for you. Now to decide which one to do first. Hmmmm.....paper pockets or slide mount pins? I think we'll go with slide mount pins.

I was given one of these about 10 or 11 years ago and I just love it! So here's what you need - DIY slide mounts.. They come in two parts, a front and a back, with glass in each part. These are used by photographers and college libraries for making their own slides. The ones I used are Gepe 6x6 glass mounts, and they are a little over $1 each. These have really big, square openings. You can also use regular 35mm glass silde mounts with a smaller, rectangular opening. Just Google them and you will find numerous suppliers. I bought mine from the university slide librarian when I was in college and they were just about the same price. Amazing, huh? They come in sets..the front will be white and the back will be grey or black. You need one of each for each pin.

Anyway, you need to cut little squares of art paper or really nice cardstock the size of the opening in the back, making sure it fits just inside the little clips that fasten the frame together. Also make a template of the front opening size so you can make sure that your artwork fits inside that opening.
You can use any media you like for the artwork, just make sure that its flat. No big bumps of paint or embellishments. I especially like pastels, colored pencils and watercolors. You can even use pieces of scrapbook paper if you don't draw. I like to use a very fine tip metallic paint pen or gel pen to add some pizzaz. I hope you can see it in the photos. Just emphasize some of the lines, or use it to define the highlights. Be sure you sign the back before you encase it in the slide mount. Make sure your artwork is completely dry before mounting. If it isn't, it will get on the glass and look ugly. The moisture could also cause the thing to mold! YUK!

After everything is dry and ready to go, just slip your artwork in between the two sides of the mount and push gently around the edges to snap it together. Glue a pinback to the top of the back and you have a really nice piece of original jewelry for yourself or a friend! You can put writing around the frame or a design or leave it plain. You could also add a cute embellishment like a jewel or a bug. Sweet!

You can also make these using the slide frames made for scrapbooking that come in a multitude of colors. They are made from cardstock and so probably won't last as long, but they would be cute and colorful. Use a piece of eisenglass or sheet protector cut to size to protect your artwork.

Now go create! Let your imagination run wild! There is no right or wrong in art, and don't let anyone tell you any different. And if you're an artist, you don't even have to have matching socks! Love ya, Gramma G.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


OK. So I'm sorry about yesterday's rant. I should never write when I'm so upset. It causes me to lose my visibility and I can't see the good things in my life. Again, I'm sorry. (Added later: I deleted said post because it might hurt a family member's feelings, that's how bad it was)
Tomorrow, I'll have a new project for you, but for today, I want to tell you about some cool blogs and websites I've been visiting.
The first, and I think my favorite, is . This has got to be the master-site for anything made from recycled bags. There are some purses there that I really want to make!

Here is the link for this jumbo plarn beach bag:

Then there's which has all kind of fun stuff.
If you are a mom of small children, try , and . has some wonderful links to other great sites. is a fun blog. This is where you'll find "the purse project".
If you like scrapbooking and you're all about getting your supplies for less money, check out . They have wonderful deals on all the best lines of paper and embellishments!
These are just a few of the great blogs I've found lately, and I'm not done looking yet. So I'm off to the search again. Enjoy your day, and remember, if your socks match, it's all good. Gramma G.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Here is the finished product for the last post. I think she turned out really cute. Since I'm not at home, I didn't get to cut her out but had a friend of mine do it instead. He has a nice bandsaw and does a lot of cutting, so he's really good at it. He cut all the pieces from 1" thick lumber, and then for the littlest pieces, like the pin (Which isn't finished yet) and the small feet, he just sliced them into thirds to make them thin! I would not have been brave enough to do that, but he just held the wood with his fingernails and pushed it right through. It was neat to watch.

I made the smallest two into ladybugs, because my youngest daughter collects ladybugs, and I though I might give them to her. But I like them, too, so maybe not! I used the same size wire on all three sizes and I think that was a mistake. The heavy wire was really awkward to work with for the smaller ones. I would use a lighter-weight wire next time. And I don't have any pom-poms small enough for the pin, but I think you can see that the size I used for the others will be too big. The reason she's not done is because I didn't get enough wire from my friend and I ran out! The one in the photo doesn't have her plant poke dowel yet, either. And since the heads are black on the ladybugs, I used little tiny googly eyes. When I get home, I will have to make some more for my ladies on my V.T. beat, but for now I just did samples for you to see.

I love little signs and little sayings, and a friend of mine who knows this, gave me a good one last week that I want to share with you. It says compliments of E. Joseph Cossman at the bottom and it goes like this:
"Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

I hope you will all take this to heart and be persistent in your dreams and determined to have matching socks. Love, Gramma G.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Buzz-z-z-z-z-z-z! is a little bee for you. As I said in my last post, he (OOPS! I made it a she!) can be made any size you want her to be just by taking her to a copy machine and enlarging or reducing her to the size you need. I made her about 10" long and made her out of 1"x5" lumber, but I plan to make her small enough to be a plant poke for the ladies on my visiting teaching beat. It's all up to you and what you want to use her for. I haven't learned how to make a PDF file yet, but if you right click on the bee, go to Save Picture As and save it to your documents, then you can print it out and make it the size you want.

Cut her out using a jigsaw or scroll saw, or if you're lucky enough to have a bandsaw, that's good too. Sand her smooth and make sure you get her edges good, too. You can use a file to take some of the edge off if you like the primitive look. Now she gets painted. She is yellow and black, of course, but she could be red and black if you want her to be a lady bug, or any other color you like. After the paint is dry, rub her with a piece of brown paper bag. This will take the nap off the paint and give her a smooth finish. You can varnish her or spray her with acrylic spray if you want, but it's not necessary. Paint her feet/shoes, too. I painted mine as high heels, but they could be tennis shoes or whatever.

Her wings are made of window screen. If you are using the metal type, cut two wing pieces, because only one layer is needed to stay up, but if you use the nylon screen you find everywhere now, you will need four wing pieces because you will need two layers to make it stiff enough to stay up. Otherwise, her wings will flop over onto her body. Do a blanket stitch or binding stitch around the edges to keep the two layers together, and make a little tack stitch where the wings overlap.

Now it's time to finish her. Drill two little tiny holes the size of the wire into the top of the head where the antennae go and into the tops of the feet. Drill two holes just a little bigger that the wire through the body where the legs go. You will need some baling wire, two pieces 8" long and two pieces 5" long. Wrap the two 5" wires around a pencil or small dowel. Glue one end of each wire into one of the holes on the head and glue little pom-poms to the other ends. The other two wires are her legs. Using a pair of needle-nose pliers, curl one end of each wire into a curlyQ. Put the wires through the holes at the bottom of the body, with the curlyQ on the front of the body. Bend the wires in back down towards the bottom of the bee and wrap them around a pencil or dowel, forming her legs. Glue the wires into the holes in the feet. Staple the wings to the back of her body, and there you have her. Just the cutest little bee ever!

The last finishing touches are according to what you will be using her for. If she will hang on a door or wall, she will need a hanger on the back. If she will go in a plant or garden, she will need a hole drilled between the leg holes for a wooden dowel. She would also make a cute key chain fob, or a pin. (If you plan to make pins, I would suggest you use thinner wood so she won't be so bulky.)
Enjoy yourself and just have fun with these little bees. May your bees all buzz and your socks all match! Gramma G

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back in Nevada again...

Cameron and Halena in their "Oregon hats". Ahhhh, Christmas in the motorhome...
Well, I'm back in Nevada putting the last finishing touches on the last two volumes of the book. If you ever think about writing a history book, think again! It's a long, long process. All the research, the actual writing, checking facts, trying to GET facts from people, waiting for people to "have the time" to get you histories and photos, etc. We've been working on this for 8 years, and we're finally going to call it done. We still don't have all the stories and photos we would like to have, but getting some people to cooperate is like pulling teeth from a yeti. NO FUN! I will breathe a lot easier, we both will, when we send the final draft off to the publisher and say, "Print it!" That is a really nice feeling. I think I would like to try my hand at some children's books, but I'm not sure how to go about getting them published, because I can't afford to self-publish. After seeing the costs of these books, I KNOW how expensive it is, plus you don't have the marketing team behind you if you self-publish. That hasn't been an obstacle with these books, because people have been waiting for them to get finished. The first 500 copies were gone in under three weeks! But I know that's NOT the norm. I'm going to do a little research into how to get published and see what I can find out.

I had planned on getting started on the ABC book again this week, but the photos are on my computer at home and I'm not there. I thought I put them on my thumb drive, but I can't find them, so that will have to wait until I get back home. I fly home on the 24th, and I can hardly wait!

Sometime in the next couple of days I will have a pattern for a cute little bee for you to make out of 1"x4" pine. Really easy and really cute. You can adjust the pattern to any size you want, so he can have many different uses. Large, he can hang on your door with a little sign that says BUZZ ON IN! Or he could be made small for a package topper for Visiting Teaching or for a neighbor gift. Put a magnet on the back and give him a little tag with your name and phone number that says "If you need anything, just give me a buzz!" I will make a sample and get a photo posted as soon as I can, but I'm at a disadvantage right now. I'm staying with my son while in Nevada, and I don't have any of my tools or supplies. It's very frustrating, but, I will do my best.

I've been looking up quotes for another project I have going, and I came across one I really like and thought you might, too. It doesn't have an author listed, unfortunately, but it goes like this.
"Any person who doesn't diligently discover where his talents and opportunities for the good of the world lie, and who doesn't devote himself to developing them, has missed the whole reason for his existence.

Have a good day and may all your socks match! Gramma G

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Is the new year happy yet?

The New Year is off to a not-so-good start. My husband still doesn't have work and I don't know what to do with him! He's under foot all the time with nothing to do. And he gets so depressed! And having no money is getting really old. I can't get away because I can't afford to. It's a big never-ending circle. Oh well....enough of that.
I'm still trying to find a way to make money online. I don't have a following yet on this blog, so my AdSense isn't making any money, and I think most of the online schemes out there are just that, schemes. I would like to find just one that is legitimate. Just one that will really allow me to work from home and help support my family.
I'm also looking for ways to make this blog better. I need to learn how to make other pages and link to them. I am going to start making some tutorials, too. I also need to finish the ABC book I started last year! I have all the photos taken, and the patterns are drawn, but I need to learn to make PDF files and link to them so you can get real patterns, and not just photos of patterns. I am working on all these things, so my posts will probably be scattered for a while, but it WILL get better.
I am sitting here watching my granddaughter do her homework. She's upset with her parents and has a real attitude, and boy! She can roll her eyes with best, and she's only 9. She wrote on her hand with ink today and that's a no-no in our family. Then she proceeded to lie to her dad, telling him she couldn't remember what it said! And this after her mother and I had already read it. (She's a blonde.) If dad finds out it was about needing to meet boys, he will have a fit! Ah....Life in the fast lane..... :)
Well, the other half is awake now, so I better go. Gotta get dinner ready, but I'll be back soon. May you have peace and matching socks. Gramma G.
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