Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wonderful, Wonderful Woody Fest

Ahhh, Woody Fest, you never fail to rejuvenate, impress and inspire.
Two weeks ago, the mister, the bump and I took our annual pilgrimage to the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah, OK to celebrate Woody and to celebrate our anniversary of meeting each other!  Without Woody, there would be no Us...or bump :)
Last year, we literally took hundreds of photos but this year, we just snapped a few with our phones and that was that.  Also last year I split the festival up into several different posts but this year, I'm just going to overload you with phone photos in this one post :)
Amazingly, the evenings were PERFECT weather-wise.  In fact, one night a quick storm blew through making the air cool for many!  Since this particular year would have been Woody's 100th birthday, the attendance of the festival was more than I'd ever seen.  Billy Bragg played Thursday night which brought people out of the woodwork.  From what I heard, the festival broke all sorts of records which is fantastic for them, then town of Okemah and vendors like us!  :)
The mister wasn't able to join me until Friday evening so I spent Thursday and Friday with my father-in-law and scooting around town by myself.  Every moment of it was fantastic.
Several of our friends came out to play throughout the weekend which just made me happier than happy!  These two ladies actually pulled a fast one on me by making up excuses as to why they wouldn't be able to come and then showed up Friday night, much to my delighted surprise!  
I wasn't sure how I would be feeling at that point in my pregnancy so my dear, old friends (who originally convinced me to attend my first Woody Fest) and I decided to get two booths and make a little store with all of our goods!  It worked out absolutely wonderfully and we had everything from clothes to birdhouses to face painting to switchplates to art to jewelry to photography....We were a one-stop-shop ;)
The night before the festival I decided to stay up late and make some bedsheet dresses.  I SO wish I'd had time to make more because they sold like hotcakes!  I love the ones that I've made for myself so I thought I'd give them a try for the show!  Now I know to amp up production on these in the future!  Toying with making a few more while I still have some free time to sell around town...
I was also pumped about how popular my pillow cases were!  I really need to unpack them and put the remaining ones in my shop now, including the one remaining crewel bag!!
 Another sweet little surprise for this year's festival was that the mister won a brand spankin' new acoustic/electric guitar!  A local bank sets up every year with a raffle for one of these guitars.  Last year, our booth mate won after years of entering the contest and this year, amazingly, the mister won!  :)
 I think we scored the best souvenir also - this Woody Bird House.  Our birds live in style!
The festival just gets better and better as do my experiences there.  It's amazing how this one event has changed my life so much.  Getting my feet dirty, talking to wayward cows and staying up way too late are just a few of my favorite things.  
Thank ya, Woody and Happy 100th to ya.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Missing Granny

My granny died six years ago today.  She smoked herself to death.  It was a long and painful death that was very difficult to watch but that's how she went.  She was 70 years old.  It was a Wednesday and I went to work normally but had a feeling that it would be that day.  As I exited a meeting that afternoon, I checked my phone and had a voicemail from my dad.  It was the call.  My mom had been with her when she took her last, labored breath and that was that.  I returned to the office, told my bosses that I would be gone for a few days and headed to my Papa's house.  Family cars were everywhere but everyone was inside.  When I walked up to the house, my Papa met me on the porch and we just sat together and cried.  Knowing it was coming didn't make it any easier.  But that was just one day.  Her whole life trumped that one day.
 I miss my Granny constantly.  Once I found out I was pregnant, my longing to have her back in my life was almost unbearable.  I could barely think of her without losing it.  Honestly, I can barely mention her lately without tearing up.  Writing this post is more difficult than I can even explain.  But I need to write it.  I need to talk about her.  I didn't think I could miss her more than I already did.  
I met my mister the weekend before she died.  She never got to meet him.  He never got to meet her.  That still breaks my heart.  2006 was one of the best and most difficult years of my life with three major deaths and meeting my future husband.
I wish she could see me now, meet my husband, see my stomach grow, listen to me bitch, console me through my fears, see our garden, love on the beast, laugh with me and most of all, meet her first great granddaughter.  
I hate that our daughter won't know her personally but I take comfort in the fact that she'll know her through us, through stories, through pictures, through her legacy.  I selfishly wish she were still here but gratefully know how lucky I was to have her make a difference in my life.
It's hard to believe it's been six years.  We've all moved on but she's still there.  She's always there.  She's with me in the kitchen, she's outside with me enjoying the Oklahoma summer, she's sitting with one of the cats in her lap, she's helping me power through my fears of pregnancy and motherhood.  She's there.
 And this, this is how I'll always remember her.  This picture sums her up.  It makes my heart happy.  It makes missing her not so painful.  It makes it all ok.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Like I mentioned yesterday, last week was a bit hectic.  I was, however, able to steal away for a night to join my wonderful creative group, make:Tulsa, host Swap-O-Rama-Rama!  Last year during the event, I was visiting my sister (as chronicled here, here, here, here, here and here :) so I was super stoked to be in town for it this year but I just didn't know if I could swing it...I was elated to make it :)
So what in the world is Swap-O-Rama-Rama?  Well, you bring a bag of unwanted clothes, throw it all in a pile, grab pieces that speak to you and learn to make new things out of old things with the help of us! 
Philbrook Museum hosted the event which was awesome because their current exhibit is right up our upcycling alley and B Sew-Inn donated sewing machines for us to use!  
We had various project stations set up to teach you this and that.  If my memory serves me correctly, there were a-line skirts, tie pouches, t-shirt dog toys, racer-back t-shirts and t-shirt bags (my booth!).  Miss Holly helped me make a dog toy (as seen on my Instagram - you can follow me @bifftastica) for the beast even though he's not much of a player :)
I enjoyed myself SO MUCH.  It was so nice to give my brain an evening off from the past few days and the ladies that I helped make bags were a joy to spend time with!  
If you didn't make it this year, don't fret!  We'll be back next year with another one and I'll make sure to be better about letting you know ahead of time!  
And in the meantime, think outside of the box with your old clothes.  Just because your favorite tee doesn't fit like it used to doesn't mean it can't serve another purpose!  
Happy Upcycling!  :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

One of Those Outfits: 30 Weeks, Life & Death

This past week was a roller coaster.  Good, bad, sad, busy, tragic, amazing...it's been all over the place.
The sad news first.  If you are a local Tulsan like I am, then you surely heard the news about the gang shooting at Best Buy.  Well, the innocent bystander that was killed was the stepfather of one of my oldest and dearest friends.  He was shopping for a birthday gift for his wife with his 10-year old daughter when the event occurred.  Truly tragic.  And truly the loss of an amazing individual who contributed so much to our society.  My priority this past week was to be there for them in any way needed.  They hope that his death will make a difference in beginning to eliminate the gang problem we face here and the only way to do that is through community support and actions of our city's leaders.  Anytime you see a teal ribbon in town, remember that goal.
While dealing with that, we were also elated to welcome life into this world!  Our unbelievably wonderful neighbors welcomed their little man last week, who we had the pleasure of meeting yesterday!  His entrance into this world coupled with our first baby shower on Saturday made things really, really REAL!  So very soon we'll have a little one OUT of my tummy and in our arms!  
The shower was fantastic, as was seeing family and friends that I seldom get to see!  Our little lady will be very lucky to have all of them in her life.  It was much fun going through all of the little goodies with the mister once I got home while imaging what our world will soon be like.  

On Friday night, I found myself having difficulty trying to decide what to wear.  It's not easy dressing to go immediately from funeral to your baby shower in 100+ heat with a bump.  I was in luck though.  Saturday morning, while running a few quick errands, I ran into an estate sale at lightening speed and found this handmade, vintage dress among a few other pieces.  No prices were seen so I had no clue what I was facing.  Imagine my surprise/elation when I was told this dress was merely a quarter.  It took all of my might not to run back into the house to grab the rest of the vintage clothing - mainly little girls' clothes!  

With the color of remembrance for our lost friend being teal, I knew this would work for the funeral accompanied with a black jacket and would work for the baby shower following.  The question was if it would fit though and could I get it washed in time.  As luck would have it, it fit beyond perfectly and time was amazingly on my side to get it cleaned.  Estate sale belt, old Target flats and my mom's old owl necklace finished helping me out of this pickle and I was on my way.  
I'll leave you with this snapshot of myself, my mom and my Mimi (my dad's mom) from the shower.  These two women alone are two of the greatest gifts the little lady could ever have.

Monday, July 9, 2012

It's a Crewel Summer

See what I did there?  Get it?  :)

This past weekend I put these three crewel pieces that I picked up on our last road trip in an antique shop into bag form, finished off with various coordinating vintage fabrics and lined with bitchin' vintage sheets!  To see the backs and interiors of these bags, just click here.  

I also stitched up several more pillow covers all for The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival which is THIS weekend!  This year is starred because it would have been Woody's 100th birthday!  You may remember that this is the event where the mister and I met so it's a special little diddy for us, especially since our little lady will be in tow via my belly!  It's only an hour away from Tulsa and Oklahoma City AND it's FREE!  While there are several things that go on all day long, the main part of the festival is in the evenings when the sun has gone down and it's a perfect Oklahoma summer night.  I would LOVE to see you there.  
Perhaps I'll see you?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fuzzy Friday: Preparation

Before I even get this post a-going, let me say this:  I KNOW that having pets is nothing like having a baby!  BUT I also know that having pets has definitely prepared us/me in certain manners for what is to come.  In my world, it's the only thing I can relate to caring for another being.

The other day, Vera did her usual begging to be picked up and carried around and before I knew it, I'd been lugging her around for at least 30 minutes while tending to random things around the house.  She's been preparing me to do things one-armed for many years ;)  And after hauling her around, it got me a-thinkin'...
 Five years ago, the mister and I got the beast together.  I'd had one dog growing up and had very little part in acclimating her to our family.  She was my parents' dog.  The mister had had a slew of country farm dogs but they danced to a beat of a different drummer and made their own rules.  

We took the beast into our home at four months old, not knowing what to expect.  I'd barely even been around big dogs before and I spoke the language of cats.  Together, the mister and I researched and worked to raise a well-balanced, acclimated dog that we love dearly.  We made decisions together on how we would discipline him (if need be), if human foods would ever be a part of his diet, what commands and signals would be used for training, and in culmination, we decided what kind of dog we wanted to raise...together.  

I reflect on all of this because, while it may seem insignificant to some, together we raised and encouraged a being that we are proud of.  And, in my opinion, we did it well.  Like I said before, I know raising a child will be completely different but reflecting on ideas such as these gives me the confidence that this will be a challenge that together, we can also conquer.  And enjoy...together. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Fifth of July

Our Fourth of July didn't go quite as planned but it was still quite perfect.  With the holiday falling in the middle of the week, we stayed in town, unlike last year, and had planned on visiting the river to see our city's huge show.  The mister woke up SUPER early to go golfing and I woke up later with a full blown summer cold.  I can still barely breathe and with nothing that I can really take, my best medicine has been to take it easy, drink lots of water and rest.  That's not to say that I wasn't productive yesterday! In spurts :)
 I finished fixing up some refrigerator pickles made from cucumbers and onions from the yard!  I'm not much of a cucumber eater (nor pickles) and our garden is overflowing with them so I tried out this recipe and crossed my fingers.  The mister is obsessed with them.  I still haven't tried them, but they smell good! :)
 While the mister worked more in the nursery, I went outside and worked on removing rust from these stools that I fixed up a while back.  I found that white vinegar, a wire brush and lots of elbow grease were the key. Today they will get coated to prevent them from rusting in the future, something that we should have done forever ago!  
 After tidying up the deck and a big break, the mister let me shave his head.  I've been BEGGING him to let me do this since I've known him!  Not that I don't love his hair but I have always wanted to shave someone's head!  Even my own! :)  *I swear, one of these days I WILL shave my own head - I came close in college, with a haircut that just looked like it was shaved...I'll have to find those photos.*  It was quite the fun experience and really made it feel like summer with outdoor haircuts.  I loved that last little tuft of hair :)
 We finished off the evening with some burgers, grilled asparagus and tater tots.  And a whole slew of cucumbers and fridge pickles for the mister :)
We heard some fireworks here and there but never saw any except for on the few channels we flipped through before this stuffy gal called it quits and slept her heart out.  How was your Fourth?

Monday, July 2, 2012

One of Those Outfits: 27 Weeks

This past weekend, I found myself in estate sale sensory overload.  There were TWENTY-FOUR estate sales in the Tulsa area.  It was quite overwhelming.  I only hit about 10 of them and felt like a failure ;)  For what I hunt for, there were two pretty good ones where I walked away with some nice vintage pieces that should work with this belly of mine, one of which is this handmade dress below.
In addition to a few dresses, I also grabbed a few belts which I'm learning are my saving grace mentally.  Belts are the only thing that make me feel like I have any sort of a waist!  Not going to lie, I'm having issues with the weight gain.  I wish I didn't care, but I do. I know it's good and it means that all is well but it's not my favorite part of pregnancy.  I'm sure in a few years, I won't even think twice about it but right now, it's hard for me to ignore.  I'm working on being OK with it though :)
I'm still working on not buying any maternity clothing except for a few staples.  Early on I bought two maternity tank tops (black and white) that are basically just spaghetti tanks that are super stretchy which have been lifesavers.  In addition to that, this weekend I went to Target and picked up two pairs of maternity shorts to finish out the summer in.  Man, those panel things are NOT flattering to try on but work wonders under tops!  It's nice to have at least one option other than skirts and dresses!  Other than those items, I don't plan on buying any more maternity gear.   
  Things are going well on the bump front.  I'm now one week away from being in the third trimester which is insane.  Part of me wants to hurry this thing up and the other wants it to slow the hell down.  Just last week, three different strangers asked if I was expecting or when I was due.  I guess I'm really looking it now!  No stranger belly touches...yet.  I feel very behind in terms of nursery registry business but I'm optimistic that we'll be ready for when she comes.  Things are getting much more real!
Yesterday, we were invited to dinner by a couple that I used to house sit for for many, many years.  I used to make quite the second income house and pet sitting back in the day!  This is what I almost wore.  I changed seconds before we walked out the door.  Oh this fickle mind!  The Heidi braids stayed though :)  

Dress:  Estate Sale, $3
Belt:  Handmade Peruvian gift from my sister
Shoes:  Payless several years ago
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