Positive Thinking

The mind is everything. What you think you become.


Port A, Texas, has been on my mind.
My son went last week.
A friend of mine is there this week.
I sure want to put my feet in some Port A sand.
The closest I got to anything coastal today was eating the Senior Fish Fillet
at Sea Island.
I could almost hear the sea gulls and feel the coastal breeze.
Maybe I can head towards Port A in August.

In the meantime, I spent the afternoon making my garland of flags.
The garland has a combination of prayer, inspirational, and “me” flags.
In my stash I found burlap and canvas that I used for  making the flags.
I also had some quote squares that I previously used to make tote bags and mug rugs.
My favorite quotes are the Grandma Lottery and the  “The heart that loves is always young” squares.
It was fun sorting through my buttons.
I used some scissor, needle, and sewing machine buttons for a “me” flag.
I had forgotten how much fun it was to make these flags.
Future small project:  prayer flags for my back fence


These flags are pleasant reminders to think and be…

Good Intentions

Good intentions are not enough. They’ve never put an onion in the soup yet.
Sonya Levien

After finishing the super cape, I had every intention of cleaning out bins and reorganizing my sewing room. Needless to say, no onion was put in the soup today.

I opened one bin that had ribbons, lace, burlap, and other things I had used to make prayer flags and pennants.
About a year ago, my friends and I made prayer flags and Halloween banners.  I also made some prayer flags with my granddaughter, and they are still hanging in her house.
Then, I remembered a post by Linda on Take Time to Create. She made a beautiful embroidered garland.
So, I went off on another tangent.
I was going to make a garland of prayer flags.

As I was pulling out the box of flag stuff, I remembered the project I had made with mom. I often took craft stuff to her house to keep us busy.
One time, I took material and things for us to make prayer flags for her house.
It was the last project we did together.
I decided to open the box that contained a few things that I had kept from her house.
Not only did I find the prayer flags we made, I also found her jar of buttons and her thimble collection.

We were only able to make two prayer flags, but I am so happy we made them.
I pulled out another box that I had brought from mom’s house and found the yarn
yo-yo’s mom had crocheted.
We had talked about using these to crochet a shawl, but we never got a chance
to do it.
I am going to look for a way to make this shawl.
I love to crochet, but my thumb does not…it jams on me when I crochet.

A floral crocheted pot holder ,made by my Aunt Pi, was in the bag.
When I do clean up my sewing room, I will hang up the  thimbles and the prayer flags.

Instead of getting back to my good intentions, I started making some flags for my room.
This is what I have so far:
So much for good intentions…
It was a great afternoon anyway!

Pig in a Wig Power!

This is the first in the series of books written and illustrated by my sister,
Emma Virjan.
Be sure and check out the other book titles on her website.

I finished the cape for my sister to use on her school visits.
She always captivates and engages her young audience.
This cape will add to the fun.

Now, I am planning my next project.
I ordered some material from Spoonflower to make something special for Emma.
The fabric is entitled, “feeling pensive”.

As soon as the material arrives, I will post more information about this project.

Super Writer Cape

This evening I was able to applique the letter M and the lightening bolt on my sister’s writing cape.
For Christmas, I pieced three black and white fabrics to make the front panel of a messenger bag for my Emma. I remembered that I had a pieced section left over in my stash. I used it to make the initial.
The pig snout is poofed up with batting.
The white and black polka dot lining is also cut, so I pinned it to the red fabric.
It will be ready to sew tomorrow.

Another Chance

I see retirement as just another of these reinventions, another chance to do new things and be a new version of myself.
Walt Mossberg

Retirement was a very difficult decision for me.
In May of 2014, I informed the principal of my school that I was thinking of retirement.
Thankfully, she allowed me to keep this private until the last teacher work day of school.
It just so happened that the last school day with children was on my birthday.
My three sons surprised me with a visit that day, to celebrate my birthday and retirement.
This visit definitely helped me make it through on the day I said farewell to my last class.
Their visit also gave me the strength to say good-bye to my friends the next day, when we met for the last teacher work day.

My youngest son made this for me. I had quoted Dr. Seuss to my son when I told him I was retiring.

This photo was taken exactly three years ago today.
I had gone to Austin to sign the final paper work for retirement.
Then, I visited my Alma Mater, the University of Texas.
I walked the campus hoping to come up with a plan for what to do next.
It has taken three years, but I am finally  comfortable with my decision.
I still miss the children…but I love the freedom and the chance to do new things.
I think I will celebrate this anniversary with some apple pie and ice cream!


Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June. 
Al Bernstein

June has always been a favorite month for me.
I was born on my mother’s birthday, and to this day, I still brag about it to my siblings. 🙂
I have a cousin, a brother-in-law, and a daughter-in-law who have June birthdays.

As a child, the month of June meant SUMMER FUN was here.
We began the summer with a pool and pinata party; and the fun continued until
it was Back-to-School time.

This June has been another great start to summer.
I have spent time with my sons, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren, and friends.
This is the first week I have nothing scheduled on my calendar.

After going to the gym this morning, I started writing project based lesson plans for my friend.
For 42 years, I would spend time in my summers preparing for the next school year, and I can not let go of this habit. I love writing curriculum.

Next, I began working on the super hero cape for my sister, Emma, to use at her school presentations.
I purchased the fabric and made a pattern.

The outer cape will be red satin.
The inner cape will be white with black polka dots satin.

This was my first design for the logo.
My sister’s books are about a Pig in a Wig, and I need to put a snout somewhere on the cape.

I think I will simplify the logo and add the snout to the front of the cape.
I still have to put some more thought into this design.

Not having anything on the calendar for this week is rather nice.
Tomorrow will start with a morning cup of coffee.
I’ll rock in my porch chair and thank God for creating June.
Then I’ll decide what to do next.
I think I am finally getting the hang of being retired!

My son sent me this photo from Port A.
He had taken his son for the weekend.
I think I hear Port A calling me!

Power Capes

During my years as an educator, I used every prop available to inspire and empower my students. We wore thinking caps, used plastic hand clappers, blew duck whistles, and wore star shaped glasses to read poetry through the “eyes of a poet”. A favorite motivator was wearing  capes. I made myself a cape, and the parents provided home made or store bought capes for their child. These were our writing capes. They looked so cute as they whirled and twirled and wrote great stories.

My sister, Emma, is an author and illustrator of children’s books. Emma visits schools and she is great with the children. A few days ago, Emma mentioned that she wanted a writing cape. I want to try and make one for her. I decided to try making a smaller one first. I have never made anything with shiny, slippery material, so I needed to practice.

Today, I made one for my grandson. I used one of his t-shirts to form the top of the pattern. I had some difficulty with the slippery fabric, but it worked out.

Sewing with my Granddaughter

Yesterday, my granddaughter chose Star War and red polka dot fabric. She wanted to make a pillow for her dad for Father’s Day.

This is the first time she used the sewing machine. She measured, used a rotary cutter, and ironed the fusible batting on. She hemmed, quilted the top, and sewed the side seams.

She is so proud of herself!

I’m proud of her!