October 24, 2010

Basketball Boy

Husband, Bruce, and I spotted a basketball hoop and stand at our local Barnabas Goodwill store. We thought it would be good for our grandgirl, Ava.  Forget the fact that Ava is just now able to sort of catch a ball. Her Grammy and Grampy, that's Bruce and me, are always looking for fun physical activities for her to do, be they three years down the road or ten.  That's what her parents have a garage for, right? - to hold all the treasures we find and foist off on them.

So we cart the thing home in my Gracious Mobile, unload it and examine what we bought a bit more closely.  The good news is the plastic square post on which the hoop is attached is adjustable and can be raised from 4 to 5 to 6 feet.  The bad news is that once the hoop is raised, there is no way to lock  the pole and hoop in place.  Some sort of wedge or something is missing.  Whatever shall we do? We'll take every tool out of the garage and fix it!

And that's just what we did.  Let's start with the small square. Bruce, manly-man that he is, determined he should dismantle it in an attempt to line up the holes he would drill through which we would insert the dowel to support the pole from collapsing. After assessing the square was of no use in this particular case, my assignment was to reassemble the square-thingie. All was going swimmingly- I mean I got the metal ruler almost into the bubble-level part and was about to turn the screw to secure it when my fingers slipped and several little pieces-parts flew into the air to then disappear into the sand and leaves on which we stood.  You see, we were balancing the plastic pole with the non-detachable hoop on the cement crib wall that surrounds our outdoor trash can. Why  not in the garage on the saw horses?  Because the saw horses are lower than the cement wall and we both have bad backs and we'd have to bend over and- you get that part. 

There I was, jammed beside the garbage can and the wall unless I was on the other side  reaching across my white climbing rose, dodging its thorns.  Hey, someone had to support that pole and hoop at all times.  Did I mention the gabage crib is surrounded/hiden by miniature orleander bushes.  They are quite lovely and full of blooms right now, all five feet of them.  (That's miniature? Perhaps less fertilizer next season?)  Oh, Bruce is allergic to orleander and as he's searching for the perfect spot to drill the hole in the pole for the dowel, he's scratching his forearms that are becoming speckled with hives.  Hey, don't feel too badly for him. They  weren't bad hives, but hives, none the less.  Don't forget the part about him being a manly man.

Okay.  He, me, we drill one hole on one side of the square pole.  We must naturally drill another hole directly across from  the first hole to keep the dowl straight.  A brainstorm erupts at that moment. It is from me and Bruce, I can proudly declare, is most agreeable to it.  Refer to the first photo below to see the rubber band. That was my suggestion. We slid a rubberband up the pole to where it crossed that first hole in the middle, eyeballed it and drilled on the opposite side. Perfect. We repeated this process until all holes are drilled.  

Next we need to saw the dowel to the proper length. (Oh, I got the dowel for free from our local grocery story. A big cloth banner of a shrimp hung from it and I use that banner to cover my table at book signings in the summer sometimes.)  Good thing the dowel was 4 feet long because after measuring once and cutting wrong twice- we are easily confused.  It should be: measure twice and cut once - Anyway, we got 'er done!  The proof of it is Bruce in the second picture below, dunking the used basketball we gave a dollar for, that holds air for almost 32 minutes!  We do love a deal!  

Note rubber band for leveling, hive-bestowing oleander bushes & thornywhite rose the other side of the trellis.

Note the stripes are worn off the used basketball.  Hurry and dunk it, Bruce.  You only have 13 minutes more of air!

Miss Baby Angel Wins a Ribbon!

I entered my Beautiful Dreamer, Miss Baby Angel, for judging  in the October 2010 Northeast Florida Fair and won a red ribbon and $2 award! - And I don't even know any of the judges!

October 21, 2010

Beautiful Dreamer - meet the girls

Miss Ruby

Gracious Gallery 

Miss Lime

My new online store called Gracious Gallery at http://graciousgallery.efreeme.com/ReportStore?category=all  is here.  Available are my  pencil on cotton framed fabric faces. My  husband, Bruce, named  the first girl Beautiful Dreamer.  I liked it so that's what I call them.  Each is a Miss, too.  Here you can see Miss Ruby, Miss Lime and Miss Coral. Click on the link above and meet the rest of the girls,  Miss Starling,  Miss Lula, Miss Plum and Miss Cotton.  I've kept Miss Felice at our house, Martha Manor.  She sits atop our mantle enjoying the funtastic goings-on in our parlor.  Where will you put your Beautiful Dreamer? Your vanity, the night stand, the guest room, the nursery? So many places, so few girls, so get yours. Extremely limited quantities.  Oh, did I mention, Beautiful Dreamer will be featured in Mark of  Man, the third novel in my Goodbye Lie historic series set on Amelia Island, Florida in 1898? 
 Hugs and blisses,
Jane Marie   

Miss Coral

October 14, 2010

Romance at Heart Interview Questions #3, #4 & #5

Thank you to Romance at Heart Magazine. http://romanceatheart.com/interview/janemariemalcolm.html  Here are my answers to their next 3 questions about my Goodbye Lie series.

- How do we find out about you and your books?
To learn details about The Goodbye Lie series, I invite everyone to visit my 800-plus page website, www.GraciousJaneMarie.com, where we celebrate heart and home with roses, recipes and romance – and have contests, too!!! The site has over 50 tie-in articles, recipes, The Goodbye Lie Jewelry Collection honoring the female characters in the series (http://www.greenlightwrite.com/jewelrygbl.htm ), and crafts to keep The Goodbye Lie experience alive between novels.
For a personalized autographed copy of my books and a free recipe from The Goodbye Lie series –
send an email to graciousjanemarie@yahoo.com.

- How may readers contact you?
My email is graciousjanemarie@yahoo.com. I am also on Facebook  at http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Jane-Marie/35558229108.

-How many readers/fans contact you?
Never as many as I like. I have heard some say they don’t want to bother a writer. Please do. Writers love to hear from readers. Sure I'm busy. Isn’t everyone? Still, I try to personally reply to all those taking time from their lives to reach out to me. Not to respond would be less than gracious.

-to be continued ...

October 3, 2010

Beautiful Dreamer

I told my grandchild, Ava, I would make her a dolly from all my crafting scraps. She could pick out the material for the dress, the yarn for the hair, etc. We were so busy having fun during her visit, I forgot all about the doll. So did she until she was on her way home. She called from her car seat, "Grammy, we forgot to pick out my dolly dress!"  Oh no!

Well, I asked her what color dress and hair she wanted. Ava told me pink with polka dots and blond. "Okay, baby girl," said I. "Let me see what I have."

30 days later, Ava opened the package I sent her and this is what she pulled out. Her two in one handmade dolly, she came to name Madeline.  (Her hair of sparkling yellow yarn is made curly by wrapping it around a knitting needle then heating it in the oven.) Flip her over for napping and over again to play with in the day. Scroll down to meet Madeline, awake and asleep!
day-time friend
 Love is embroidered on dress

colored pencil drawn face on cotton fabric
40 year old white lace was purchased for a penny-a-yard 35 years ago
short hair

drawn shoes

night-time companion
with drawn stars and moons
white ruffle is from 30 year old pillow

embroidered star burst neckline on nightie
long hair
Madeline since has aquired a ladybug on her day dress and each time we meet, Grammy, that's me, will add another trim.  Ava, Madeline and I like it!