Saturday, July 28, 2012

Allbrands...BLECH...But in the Meantime...

I leave you with this nice picture of the top of our fridge.

This picture of Kirby (aka Mr. Katz) summarizes why I love cats.

They do what they want.
They go where they want.
They don't care if you think they look ridiculous.

They're HAPPY.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Allbrands Says...PLEASE WAIT

Okay, Allbrands, I'm waiting...kinda like the graphic below. The saga continues...
So yesterday, I got an email from
yet another person at Allbrands.

(TWO WEEKS after I informed them
that they'd sent me the wrong hoop.)

He said he'll forward my info
to yet ANOTHER person at Allbrands.
THAT person is supposed to email me a return form.

Then I can print it and mail the hoop back.

THEN they will send me the correct hoop.


Imagine if it were MY mistake in the first place...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our Dinner (Surreal) Guests

So yesterday, for some unknown reason, 7 ducks appeared in our cul-de-sac. ('Cul-de-sac' is Southern for 'dead-end street').

Suddenly, BAM, there they were!

I thought they looked kind of puzzled as to what to do next. And I also didn't like the chances of our crazy neighbor seeing them in time to slow down if he happened to come careening down the street.

So I went out by the mailbox and started making those smoochy noises at them, like you do when you call your dog. They must speak 'dog', because they followed me into our yard...

and right up to our walkway. My husband, whom I'd called to come see, ran inside the house and returned with some buns he'd thawed in the microwave. I tore off a few chunks of the buns and threw them onto our steps.

The 'head duck' came to check out the offerings. The crumbs must have met with his (her??) approval because pretty soon, they were all at the bottom of our steps.

The head duck and his (her) friend even ate bread right off the step! My husband and I made several more trips to the freezer/microwave to get more buns. The ducks ate till they must have been stuffed. They stood around looking full for about 15 minutes, then suddenly, seemingly with one mind, they all just whooshed into the air and took flight over the house.

I'm glad I was able to snap the pictures. It was the kind of thing where you almost feel like you dreamed it...

Thursday, July 19, 2012


That's me when I think about Allbrands.

I pinned PART TWO on Pinterest
and sent Allbrands the pin via email.

That was Tuesday.
Yesterday, I received a cryptic email.
Something to the effect of,
'Allbrands has received your communication
and is seeking a solution."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


This is MY experience. Maybe you love Allbrands. I do not.

Allbrands took my $50 and sent me the wrong embroidery hoop.
It doesn't even fit my machine. That was July 10.

I called them.
They were closed. I left a message.
They did not return my call..
On Wednesday, I called again.

The lady took my info.
Then she said a "Returns Specialist" would call me back.


Today is July 17.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Where Bloggers Create - My Folk Art Studio

YAY, it's the big day to post my
Where Bloggers Create contribution!

Welcome to a quick tour of my "studio"
(aka dining room, but on Thanksgiving day only).
I'll hope you take a moment to comment.

We're going clockwise around the room.

Pretend you entered through this doorway.
Looking back, you would see:

Ribbon storage racks (built by my wonderful husband), rickrack storage hook, cheery (cheap) clock, old-timey TV. The price was right and it works for me!

On top of that far ribbon rack:

Maybe someone can tell me what happened in 1781. I just liked the hand-painted-folk-art-y-ness.

To the right, over the opening to the living room fabric storage room:

Home, the starting place of love and dreams. Couldn't have said it better myself!

Directly in front of that opening:

This is "Em" embroidery machine. I'm clever like that with names.

The colors in this room are so hard to get accurate in pictures.
The banner is brick red and navy.
The walls are a buttery caramel color.

To the right, the far wall:

A folk-art dream with a couple of jolts of modernity (is that a word?)

Same wall, a little better lighting:

Wipe-off board to keep me organized. Even though I'm too busy to be organized, like the little blue sign says. And I do keep trying to Simplify. It's not working.

These hang over the window.

Clearly, cats are better. Just ask my helpers.

We have almost come full circle.
Here's that ribbon rack to the left of the door:

Ribbon rack, random bird, black cat sign, festive rickrack storage

With a detail pic of the faux Ott light and handy tools:

Cutting table corner.

Longtime readers may remember the cutting table that went from Trash to Treasure.
CLICK HERE for the post from a year ago:

Cutting table = free. Scrap storage from Wal Mart = cheap.. DIY new flooring and helpful Sentinel Cat named Kirby = PRICELESS.

Really bad pic of my cool thrift-store chandelier:
Please ignore the hanging Hershey's Kiss mouse, etc. This used to be a crappy-looking bronze color. The thrift store lady with the heavy German accent said, "It's Italian bronze." I said, "I think it's American cast iron with an ugly bronze paint job." Had it rewired and turns out...she was RIGHT! I still spray-painted it black, because Italian bronze or not, it was ugly.

Last, but not least: the sewing-machine-surround-table-thing my husband made me. Make it SO much easier to sew and quilt...eliminates the drag caused by the weight of the item. Added bonus - it's a great perch for my helpers:

Two more of my sentinels: Foster guarding my precious Pfaffy (my cleverly-named Pfaff sewing machine); Kong doing his best scary Pet Sematary cat impersonation.

I hope you've enjoyed my little tour.
Please let me know if you liked my creative space!

Oh, and PS - apparently the local artist painted 1781 on that box to memorialize the Surrender of Yorktown during the Civil War. That's certainly appropriate, because we live about 3 miles from Yorktown Battlefield, where it all went down...

Friday, July 13, 2012

AllBrands Buyers - Be Very Afraid - Part One

Before I start...REMEMBER, tomorrow is the day of the Where Bloggers Create blog party! I'll be posting pics of my "studio" and am excited to peek into the studios of the other bloggers!

Okay, so...

Are you a fan of good customer service?

Do you expect to get what you paid for without a big hassle?

Do you like to resolve issues with one phone call?

When you leave a voicemail, do you expect a call back?

If the answer to any/all of these questions is YES,
then beware of buying from AllBrands.

My impression of AllBrands' customer service.

At least, this has been my experience.
You may have bought from them with no problem.
You may LOVE AllBrands.
Good for you.

On July 6, I ordered a replacement for my smaller embroidery hoop, size 126mmx110mm.

Before I placed the order, I called the little shop where I bought my embroidery machine, to see if they had the hoop in stock. I like to support local businesses when possible, even though at a distance of 37 miles from my house, this shop is not all that local.

The man at the shop said that they would have to order the hoop for me, and the price he quoted was several dollars more than the $50 I would pay to AllBrands.

AllBrands offers free shipping...when compared with paying for gas for the 74-mile round-trip drive to the shop, ordering from AllBrands seemed like a no-brainer.

Despite my worries over the potential slowness of free shipping, the hoop arrived in 5 days. Unfortunately, the hoop they sent is not the hoop I ordered.

What I ordered.

What AllBrands sent me.

The hoop they sent is for a different Janome machine.

That was Tuesday. I called customer service.
They were closed.

I left a voicemail.
They didn't call back.

I called on Wednesday and
spoke to a woman who took all my info.

Then she allowed as how a "Return Specialist"
would call me within 3-5 business days.

I told her that I realized this was company policy and not her fault, but that's pretty crappy customer service. I would wait 3-5 days and THEN finally be able to ship the hoop back. They would wait till it got back to them and THEN ship out the correct hoop.

After all, I had the packing slip
to prove it was their error and not mine.

She said she would email the Return Specialist
to try and expedite things.

It's Friday morning.
No Return Specialist has contacted me yet.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Allllmost Wordless Wednesday

More reasons I like animals better than most people I know:
They let you know when you said something stupid.

They give it their all, every day.

They are only evil, no ulterior motives.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Are my husband and I the only ones who love zombie stories? I guess not, judging by the fact that AMC just did an entire zombie weekend marathon of The Walking Dead. So if I ever have a spare $24,000 lying around, I'm definitely buying myself THIS:

Z.E.R.O Kit, by Uncrate.

It has everything you'll need in order to stay alive in the zombie apocalypse. CLICK HERE to go buy one.

Oh, so you think this is all just a bunch of malarkey. Do you watch the news? Does a naked man eating another man's face on a highway off-ramp seem normal to you?

Just don't come trying to borrow my Z.E.R.O. Kit when you get overrun, that's all. It does include several rifles, after all.

Now if I could just find an abandoned prison to hole up in...LOL

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Are You Nosy, Too? Save the Date! July 14

Did you notice that new button on the left under the somewhat-creepy floating baby?? I'm excited to be included in this year's Where Bloggers Create blog party, sponsored by Karen at My Desert Cottage!

In case you missed it, CLICK HERE for last year's party. (Go quick, because I'm not sure it if it will be available after THIS year's party is posted.)

I don't know about you, but I LOVE checking out other people's decorating styles. I'm always up for new ideas. And besides, I'm nosy.

If you're nosy, too, check back here next Sunday, July 14 for a tour of my creative space. Let's see... there's a roadside find, some handmade ribbon storage, a thrift store find, some handpainted (not by me!) folk art and best of all...3 unpaid helpers!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Gummy Bear...DRESS??


A dress made of 50,000 gummy bears.
I can't imagine WHY.

And how gross and sticky.

AND it weighs 220 pounds.

The longer I live, the more I wonder.
What is wrong with people??

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sewing Couture Clothes...

So I got on a roll of sewing for Zoey. I made her just a few things last summer, but really, she was just too tiny not to look overwhelmed by the gathered, shirred stuff I was making. But now that she's bigger...look OUT! LOL  These were all made with designer fabric, mostly Michael Miller...

Knot Dress/Top. I fussy-cut the bodice so the design would be centered. Once a quilter, always a quilter.

Owl print Peasant Dress with Sash

Owl print scalloped skirt. I made this without a pattern. Figuring out the measurements for the scallops was the hardest part.

Shirred Dress. This makes me nostalgic because I do the shirring on my mother's old sewing machine, so I don't have to mess with the bottom tension on my precious Pfaffy.

This one was Sarah's (Zoey's momma's) fave. Here's the original: . Sarah liked mine better. :-)

Peasant Top

Pink and Black Twirl Skirt. Couldn't get Zoey to twirl in it, though.

Bright Print Twirl Skirt

Shirred Dress/Top. I made this with no pattern. I attached the rose to a pin back, so it's removable. Again, made on my mom's old machine. She got yogurt on it before the 'photo shoot', so I didn't get a pic of her wearing it. (Zoey, not my mom!)
If you love these, please leave me a comment.
Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Why I'm Not Going to Fireworks...

Because fireworks remind me too much of these days.

Travis and his daddy, 1984.

My boys at Sandbridge Beach in 1984. The only thing better than a day at the beach was a night at fireworks!

Fast forward to today.
The boy in the life vest in the pic above
is the man in the pic below.
He has a family of his own and lives 400+ miles away.

And the baby in that beach pic
is the man in the pic below.
He also has a family of his own and lives even farther away.

Not complainin'.
Just explainin'.
Anyone else feeling nostalgic for summers gone by?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Nannie's Diving Catch!!

Don't get me wrong. I am not what you'd call young. I was once a gymnast, but that was a LONG time ago.  So if you'd told me that I'd be making a successful diving catch, I'd have laughed. Especially if you'd told me it would involve diving from a lawn chair onto concrete.

We were in the land of Zoey (did you miss me??)


We were all sitting around relaxing during a cookout, while Zoey amused herself on her little plastic slide.



The culprit.

But this time, between Sit and Slide, Zoey's foot got tangled under her and she went over backwards, headfirst toward the concrete!

I didn't have time to think...I just REACTED. I launched myself out of my chair onto my knee, cupping my hands under her head.

I guess I looked kinda like this, but without the sand, bikini and strange black shoulder. And a lot older. And with a baby's head in place of the ball. But definitely this expression.

And here is my proof. That's my right knee.


There was a sharp intake of breath and then a spontaneous round of applause from the onlookers.

My husband quipped that I could have had a lucrative career in pro football, as a wide receiver.

Footballs or volleyballs...not so much. But with babies' heads, I'm golden!