Sunday, July 31, 2011


Lots of things in this world change but theres one thing I want my kids and grandkids to know-
Our love is locked forever! Theres nothing they can do to make me UN love them.

One day a customer returning from a trip to  Italy showed me some pictures and told me the story of the garden gate 
filled with locks ,placed by people who wanted to dedicate their love to someone else ,very special . 

I was immediately impressed and chill bumps covered my body as I thought about all the people I loved and wanted to express that too.
.Our home and property have long been a special place to our family-both in good and bad times. Its a place of safety and acceptance and also a place of truth and expression. 
These locks were the perfect expression of that  "forever love" that I have always wanted my family to experience.

This weekend, while part of our family was visiting I decided to start this project. As a family we have been fractured by death,divorce and distance - but without fail we remain faithful to each other and continue to be a family-skinned knees and mashed fingers- but still a family. 

This weekend, 4 little girls decorated their very own lock(a vintage lock) to hang on our forever post. I wanted to keep it simple  so I grabbed nail polish and one girl at a time so I could explain that this lock represented their family's love-it was locked-forever! 
There was no key to unlock these locks and once placed on the post it was their link to forever in this family. They know where their lock is and can touch and feel their very own place and remember ...eternal love.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Evidence confirms woman's claim to genetic legacy"

In an earlier post I mentioned my aunt and grandmother and their employment at Marilyn's Belts and Bags- suggesting(humbly and yet a bit comically)that somehow there was a genetic pre-disposition to needle arts and the fashion world that I was privileged  to be subject to.

A childhood friend scratched around and sent me some pictures of the factory!
This was taken in 1963
Her aunt(who I remembered) also worked there! 
 The two ladies in the front left (one sitting and one standing) are the two aunts!!! 
My friend's Aunt Josephine(seated) and MY Aunt Dorothy(standing) !!!! 
It was 1966-and I was 8 years old!!!!
 This picture was taken in 1969 -in the factory
I just wish I knew who these women were.
And finally this shot in 1972 -and there's my Aunt Dorothy again!! Or should I say STILL????
She may look harsh and stern,but she was a happy, light-hearted, hard working woman. 
When I was small I always looked forward to a visit with Aunt Dorothy. 
She walked with a limp and had a "special shoe" that captured my attention as a child.

 As an adult I learned that she had survived polio as a child,was widowed  fairly young  and yet maintained a positive happy demeanor as she raised a son alone in a world with not many single mothers-and worked well past retirement age at Marilyn's. 

Oh the questions I would ask if these old aunts were still here-so many questions!

Every evidence of the factory is long gone but the legacy of hard work and craftsmanship in domestic products made it's mark on our nation,our towns and our families.

I likely didn't  learn much sewing skill from these women but the character and work ethic they upheld teaches me ,still, though they are long gone like the old red brick building  that housed
Marilyn's Belts and Bags 
in Ferris ,Texas.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Super Granny...

You've never heard of SUPER GRANNY?
She hobbles along ,in bloomers and long tattered tops searching for lace bits and fabric to fill her day, UNTIL..............
she gets word(on the social network,of course!) that tragedy has struck!!!
A five year old's birthday party is cancelled due to a viral illness that must not be spread to the rest of the family!

 Super Granny bolts into action,buying special cupcakes,shopping for toys for that 5 yr old (and her brother who is quarantined to the house as well) , and searching for fun stuff to do at home cause ya can't leave and your birthday party is cancelled!
Delivered the make-do" party in a bag" to the plastic high heeled victim and her side-kick . 
Super granny has done it again...
but wait- another disaster???
 This time it's a 2 year old  that has had enough of this "new sister" role! 
She's desperate and threatens to unlearn all her sweet ways as her mother reaches for the wooden spoon to remind her of them!
Super Granny arrives on the scene  with a special cupcake for the frantic 2 yr old( and nothing for the frazzled momma-what was I thinking?)  hoping to diffuse the situation.
In a desperate move,   I coax the 2 year old to fight crime and crying with me for a couple of hours in the city of Providence.

It's a big job,but she whining and crying accepts the challenge and the brave mom shoves us out the door smiling a suspicious smile.
Could this be a plot? 
This frazzled mom has been seen with some very suspicious characters lately......and that baby?
 He could be in disguise.......

 Super Granny and crying 2 yr old take to the dirt road and head for snacks to make it better for both of them.
After all,they were supposed to get to have birthday cake today too!
With no cake in sight, a banana,apple and good dose of Tom & Jerry  the 2 yr old reverts to pre- potty training days and has to have a bath-but no fear!!!
 Super Granny is here!!!!
Suddenly the world of crime shuts down and all is well in the Providence! 
The 2 yr old is returned to her undercover life as a big sister and happily accepts her mission ...until the next great disaster.
 Who knows- it could be a lost pacifier, a nasty mosquito bite or even ....a nasty encounter with a boring day!!!
Whatever it is-you can be sure that SUPER GRANNY will be there -armed with her smart phone for pictures  and a little cash to make it all better!!!!

****Actually-I just wanted to show you some pictures of the kids from this week.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Picture perfect days....

The 4th of July- the All-American holiday!!!
Cookouts-watermelon-pie-frisbee in the yard-and of course-

So what do all fun loving Americans do?
They load up the kids in the clean sedan and drive downtown to see the community fireworks display.

                              The kids are thrilled and happily sit and wait for the show to begin-

Such a picture perfect setting-an all American fun evening!
Well the way it REALLY went was more like this-kinda crazy!!!
We piled into the car-my daughter and her two little ones-(those deceptively sweet little faces you see up there-thats the ones Im talkin about.)

We arrive on the lake with the rest of Lake Charles- folks had tents,bbq pits and lots of loud music. We creep along the main drag trying not to hit the teens who refuse to move off the street.

We finally realize that we need a less populated spot,find it and breathe a sigh of relief! No teens were injured and we were safely parked-so what we're 30 minutes early? 

Abby and Ryland clamor to get out so they can test their luck with the speeding cars whizzing by our "perfect spot" and clearly it's dangerous, so we talk them back into the car,where Abby starts turning knobs,switches and every other thing that moves-Ryland cries to get out and starts climbing out the window.

 Bekah threatens to spank everyone which draws wailing,whining and crying.
"Only a few  more minutes",I promise them. 
After 5 more minutes we relent and decide to try to let the kids sit in their chairs in front of the car-after all only 5 minutes left!

Took about 30 seconds to reverse that decision-again!!!More wailing,crying and whining.

FINALLY the show begins! 
Ryland claps and squeals with joy and Abby stops all threats against us to watch.
AHHHH! Bekah and I both were relieved-I blinked and -what ?? It's OVER????? 

The wailing and crying began again as we waited in line to travel back home.
 Deals  and threats were made -all the way up the bridge -and back down and all the way to Sulphur. 

Our traditional stop at Sonic,amongst the crying and wailing because Abby was tired of sitting in the car and Ryland had a mosquito bite on his foot. 

I had to laugh at the comic reality of "real life" vs "PICTURE PERFECT" life!!
Bekah kept apologizing for it being such a circus- but I don't know why. I had a great time!!!
This is how it really is, isn't it folks?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Relatives are funny things~they seem like just ordinary people when you're a little kid. 
Then ya grow up and learn the truth about them.
Just recently I learned a number of .....shhhhh !* whispering* 
 interesting things about some of my relatives.
Actually,I knew some of this but had forgotten about it until I glanced at a comment posted on FACEBOOK.
The comment was about the generations of women who had passed down traditions,skills and talents.
Since starting METTAMARIE over a year ago,more than one person has reminded me of the 
"needle-artist" heritage that precedes me.
My mom is an excellent seamstress,accomplished in many areas. 
(It's not her fault she couldn't teach me to sew- we are as opposite as any two people can be and still be related.It's funny now, but attempting to teach me to sew was a nightmare.) 

Mom is organized,consistent and precise-I am not.
She follows proper techniques after study and research-I do not.

I'm not certain exactly HOW I learned to sew -
 I remember my grandmother buying me embroidery floss and turning me loose with it.
 (I'm guessing I was talking her ear off and she wanted me to be busy 
so I would  hush  and  she could have a moment of silence!) :)
My sewing since  has been mostly  quilts ,with the exception of a toddler 
dress here and there over the years. 

Those relatives I mentioned  apparently had more influence on me than I knew...sort of~ 
When I spent the summers with my grandmother
 I didn't know I was surrounded by women 
who had accomplished great things in the world of fashion! 
Who knew?
 They were just my old aunt Polly and aunt Dorthy and my grandma to me. 

The little town,Ferris Texas wasn't spectacular by any stretch of imagination either.

How was I to know that Marilyn's Belts and Bags,in Ferris Texas employed
 both my grandma and my Aunt Dorthy .
They spent years constructing bags and belts and I never knew! 
It does explain the closet FULL of purses at my grandmothers! :)
The employees got deep discounts and apparently we hare another  genetic trait-bargain hunting!!!!

 These three purses  all came from Marilyn's in Ferris.
 While they were busily constructing purses
Aunt Polly was busy stitching up designer fashion samples for Nardis of Dallas for runway shows!

So I guess if any of them were still here they'd be happy to know MettaMarie(my grandmas name) is following the genetic slant for another generation!

Talk about skeletons in the closet !

Just thought I'd share a little history with ya!!