Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This past Sunday, Ryan August was on his way home from Atlanta with his son Declan. During the trip, a storm caused his car to slide off of the interstate and strike a tree. Declan was in the back fastened in his car seat and survived with minor cuts and bruises. Ryan died on impact. He was 34 years old.

His wife Sarah, one of my oldest and dearest friends, is now facing the unfathomable task of dealing with this tragic loss. One can only wonder how you cope with something like this. I don't have any idea.

Ryan was a kind and gentle soul who loved his family intensely. He was a quiet man who cherished his wife with a passion and thought his son hung the moon. He was a talented artist who was admired by a huge social circle both online and in life.

A PayPal account has been set up to accept donations for his wife and son. If you would like to send a donation and message of support, please send it through PayPal to ryanaugustdonation[at]
If you would like to help but do not have PayPal, please contact me at magpienight[at]
Ryan designed the cover art for the 7 inch that my husband Sean's internet parody band put out last year. Ryan screen printed each cover by hand with help from my husband and Declan. The records features guitar by Stephen Egerton of Descendents and ALL. The proceeds from the sale of the remaining records will be donated to the fund set up to help his wife and son. Find out more at Masters of Punk Rock. If you make a purchase, please note that it is for the Ryan August Donation Fund.
The sales proceeds from this art print will also go to the donation fund.

I wish I could write a more fitting and eloquent tribute to him but I am at a loss for words other than what has already been said. You can follow this facebook page to share memories of Ryan and find out ways to help his family.
You can see Ryan's work here at I Want Your Skull and on his website, A thread on one of the message boards he frequented has grown to more than 20 pages of posts about him. A friend has written a beautiful blog post about him. Another blog post features artwork in his memory. A post here shows an example of Ryan's generosity in his support of artists. I'm sure there will be more to come. Right now we are just trying to help Sarah and Declan with the struggles they face, and holding them in our hearts as we remember a man who was taken from us too soon.


Monday, May 31, 2010

Who I am celebrating this Memorial Day

My great aunt, Juanita Redmond.

She was an Army Nurse who served on Bataan in WWII. She wrote a book about her service, I Served on Bataan, which was made into a movie, So Proudly We Hail. She was captured during the war and escaped during the last few days before Corregidor surrendered. I am lucky enough to have a copy of her book, which has been out of print for years.
She is pictured here on the left, giving new bars to a fellow lieutenant.

An award is given in her honor. The Juanita Redmond Award is given to an Air Force nurse who provided significant contributions to the health care of an Air Force individual or family, demonstrated excellence in critical nursing or accomplished a special achievement resulting in the improvement of nursing care.

She died at the age of 66 in 1979 and is buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, in Section 21, Grave 769.

Her obituary:

(Lt. Col.) Juanita HIPPS
The Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, SC
Wednesday, February 28, 1979
“Juanita Hipps, Heroine of Bataan, Dies”
St. Petersburg, Fla. – Lt. Col. Juanita Redmond Hipps, a former Army nurse who served on Bataan and Corregidor in the early months of World War II, is dead at 66. She died Sunday at her residence. Col. Hipps, then Lt. Juanita Redmond, was author of the book, “I Served on Bataan.” It became a bestseller in 1943 and served as the background for the war movie “So Proudly We Hail,” the story of Army nurses. Col. Hipps was a native of Swansea, S.C., and received her nurse training at South Carolina State Hospital. She entered the Army Nurse Corps in 1936, was transferred three years later to Manila and served in hospitals on Bataan and Corregidor and later was evacuated to Australia. She was one of eight nurses to escape just before the surrender of the Philippine Islands. Upon her return to the United States she was featured on an Ed Sullivan Show as one of the outstanding heroines of the war. She also was a cover girl for a national magazine and was among the first nurses to earn her golden flight wings. She assisted in establishing the U. S. Air Corps flight nurse program and retired from the Army in 1946. Among her many citations are the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, three Presidential Unit Citations and U. S. and Philippine campaign ribbons. Funeral will be in Arlington, Va., Thursday, March 1, at 2 p.m. in the Fort Myer Chapel with full military honors. She is survived by her husband, Gen. William G. Hipps of St. Petersburg, Fla.; son, William G. Hipps; grandson, William G. Hipps, III; granddaughter, Abigail Hipps of Dayton, Ohio; sisters and brothers, Mrs. Henry P. Moore, Jr. of Orangeburg, Robert P. Redmond of Barnwell, Helen R. Campbell of Columbia, Rose Lynn Ulmer of Walterboro and Peter L. Redmond of Westchester, N.Y.; and a number of nieces and nephews. Family and friends are being received at the home of Henry P. Moore, Jr., 2068 Hydrick in Orangeburg.

Thanks, Aunt Juanita. You kicked some major ass.

Friday, April 30, 2010

April 2010 Free Pattern

Don't be surprised that it is the last day of the month and I am just now putting my free pattern up. You know me too well to even fake it.

This month's pattern was inspired by a commercial that I am pretty sure you've all seen by now. You're probably having naughty dreams about the actor, too. What? I know it's not just me. Admit it. You are. And if you're not, you should be. T-t-tasty!

Here it is!
I'm on a horse! Click here to download.

Tasty man on a horse! You wanna see him in action?

My kid on a horse! She's crying.

A monkey on a horse! Creepy.

I'll just leave you with that. Sweet dreams!


April 2010 Featured Etsyblogger

This month's Featured Etsyblogger is Pam of Magdalene Jewels! She has two Etsy shops full of goodies. Sweet knits and sparkly jewelry!

Her knitted and crochet items can be found here at Magdalene Knits.
Look at this super cute baby boy sweater set! How adorable is that?! I love the color.

Pam's other shop is full of awesome jewelry and can be found here at Magdalene Jewels!
I love this carnelian gemstone bracelet she has. So pretty!

Thanks for being a member of Etsybloggers, Pam!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Rooooomba, woof!

I have been really horrible at blogging, yeah? I have a carnival due this week and also the April featured Blogger post to write, not to mention all of my blatant self-promotion...what's a girl to do?

Post a picture, I guess.

New vacuum cleaner:

His name is Trooper.
Yes, these pictures were taken in the late afternoon and my kids are still in their pajamas. Adelaide's don't even match. At least the dog is clean. He is being offered a bib.

I'll come back and post something more interesting later. In the meantime, go buy something.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Featured Etsyblogger March 2010

This month's featured Etsyblogger is Vicki of DizzyDragonflies!

She has two Etsy shops for her knitted items and dyed yarns! You can find them here and here!

Look at this delicious Tropical Waters dyed yarn:

And what about this Spicy Mama dyed yarn? It must have been named after me. ;)

Vicki has quite an online presence and you can find her many places:

Wow! No wonder she's dizzy...she's all over the place! Check out all of Vivki's links and get to know her. You'll be glad you did. :)


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stitching With The Stars

If you're smart, by now you know that my fierce lady Niecy Nash is on this season of Dancing With The Stars. In honor of her appearance and OBVIOUS WINNING SKILLZ, I have created this magnificent cross stitch pattern with a lovely picture of Ms. Niecy with her famous flower. When she wins, you can hang this piece on the wall at the victory party you'll be having.

This pattern can be downloaded for free, but I ask you two things:

-Vote for Niecy on DWTS.
-Put down your needle while she's dancing. All eyes on Niecy.

Thank you, my friends.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Gardening for Lazy Dummies (like me!)

I don't know a damn thing about gardening. I wish I did, but I don't! Almost every houseplant I've ever had has died. The only things I've ever been able to keep alive have been my bamboo plants, and even they are starting to look kinda sickly. Or maybe they're just lonely.

I see all of these gardening thingies (I call them thingies because I have no idea what they actually ARE) and I want them. Sometimes I think if I had these nifty little gadgets, I could grow stuff. If you have known me for more than five minutes, you know that I am not an outdoor person. Although the idea of gardening sounds fun, I am way too lazy for it. Also now that I have an awful back, I'd never be able to bend over and do all of that work on the ground. What a...bummer? I hate hot weather, too. I don't like to sweat. People that have to be close enough to smell me don't like it when I sweat, either.

So instead of giving gardening tips like I am some sort of expert, I decided to show you all of the thingies that seem like they could turn me into a quasi-gardener. 
This, my friends, is how I prepare to garden.

First, I would buy an AeroGarden. This thing looks FUN. Like all I would have to do it open up the box and pour some water on it and voila! I'M A GARDENER.

I also like the fact that it looks kinda like a UFO, and the top part appears to be hovering. I think maybe I just want this to be in my house because it's neat looking. They have them in different colors. Some of them grow tomatoes!

Speaking of tomatoes, I saw this Topsy Turvy tomato thing on tv and I wondered if it would really work. I tried to grow tomatoes once, and I ended up with a pile of tangled weeds. My grandfather had a tomato garden when I was a kid and those fresh tomatoes were so yummy. I wanted to have fresh tomatoes all the time! Now, with this jacked up windsock, it might be possible!

Then I found out about these things. They look like alien pods. I am fascinated. I think they are sort of like automatic plant growers. Could I screw this up? Possibly. Will they look cute on my countertop? Absolutely!

They make this thing, too! It's professional.

These things seem like they could really help me become a real gardener. Like stuff someone who knows what they're doing would buy. It's almost like buying them would make me credible as a botanist!

And that's how I prepare for gardening in the spring. I'll buy stuff like this that'll make it easy! Or maybe I'll just buy a bunch of seeds and throw them in the yard. Sort of like grab bag gardening. We'll just wait and see what pops up. I left our jack-o-lantern from Halloween 2008 by the mailbox so long, it sprouted and now we have a lovely vine on the mailbox. Turns out my laziness is good for something, sometimes!

Etsybloggers Blog Carnival

Friday, March 12, 2010

Live from St. Olaf, it's Saturday Night!

Mother's Day weekend this year is going to be a huge hit in this house - Betty White will be hosting SNL on May 8th! What? I'm so excited I don't even know what to do! I haven't been this happy since I had an 8.5 pound baby removed from my uterus over two years ago. Ok, I'll admit I was pretty excited when I made my 100th sale on Etsy yesterday! But Betty White, people. Come on. I love me some Etsy and all, but this is Betty Freakin' White we're talking about here. Also, very appropriately, my 100th sale was for my Little Golden Girls cross stitch pattern. A very nice moment to share with the gals!

I believe I will be hosting a sleepover at my house for all of my GG fans, there will be food and margaritas. Come on over and watch with us!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Spicy Vernacular

I am a Dancing With The Stars fan. Ok, that's a load off my shoulders. Aren't you glad you know?
Now that I've gotten that out there, I must tell you that Niecy Nash is going to be on the new season of DWTS. NIECY NASH, people.

I love Niecy Nash, in case you couldn't tell. That is all. She is fierce! I actually made a cross stitch pattern of this picture. I haven't started stitching it yet, though.

Raineesha, I love you!


Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 2010 Featured Etsyblogger - TiLTCreations

February is a short month, and it's hard to spell, too. Here I was thinking in my procrastinator's brain that I had a couple more days to get my monthly Featured Etsyblogger post up...and today is the last day of February. What? Why is February so short, and have I just misspelled it four times already?

This month's featured blogger is Theresa of TiLTCreations! Hi Theresa! She has not one, but TWO Etsy shops and to make things even, she's got two blogs as well.

First, let's check out her Etsy shop, TiLTCreations. It's full of things I tend to overspend purses, handbags, messenger bags, totes and backpacks! Lovely stuff here! Someone cut me off from my PayPal account, And today is the last day of her BOGO 1/2 off sale!

Here are some of her goodies:

Get ready for the Zombie Apocolypse with this Hand Embroidered Zombie Worker Denim Messenger bag!

So if zombies aren't your thing, check out this adorable handbag in Cherry Red and Black Floral fabric!

And her blog to go along with TiLT Creations: Crafts, Kids, Home and Life!

So now on to her destash shop, TiLT Too! Destah...another thing I should stay away from, Oh, boy. I am not a seamstress by any means, but I am somewhat of a fabric hoarder. I guess I think one day I will suddenly be able to create beautiful things with my TWO sewing machines that I barely know how to use?
This shop is full of fun fabrics and various patterns!

My favorite fabric is this purple, red and orange wavy stripe yard. It's so neat looking! I imagine it as a little skirt for my toddler. Or maybe a pillow. Or...or...or...maybe I should learn how to make those things before I go nuts over the fabric. Isn't it pretty, though? Look!

And look at this adorable pattern for "My Book". So cute!

And last but not least, the blog to go with this shop is TiLT Creations Too.

Theresa is amazingly talented and you should check out her shops and blogs - I see an Artfire rapid cart on there get your PayPal fingers ready. These shops are hard to resist!

Congrats Theresa, and thanks for being an Etsyblogger!

Feb 2010 Featured Etsyblogger

Saturday, February 27, 2010

February 2010 Free Pattern

Yeesh, I wait til the last minute, don't I? I'll blame it on...something else. It's not my fault, I promise. This month's pattern is a little ladybug - 38w x 27h stitches and 6 colors. Ladybugs are good luck!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010


No, we're not going on vacation. We've done it before, though! Imagine that. In 2008 we went to Disney World. Yes, we did! My in-laws took us. It was awesome.

When we went to Disney World, Chloe had a fabulous time. Adelaide was only 6 months old and she didn't really even know what was going on, but my in-laws went with us and they spoiled her rotten while Sean and I took Chloe to the Magic Kingdom. We ate so much food I thought we'd explode, but we also walked about 50 miles throughout the whole vacation so it sort of evened out. We took a train down to Orlando. We had a sleeper cabin, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND when traveling with children. I canot express how much this saved our sanity. We had a top bunk twin bed for Chloe and a bottom bunk double that was a couch AND a bed (score!) and our own bathroom, which doubled as a shower, although we didn't bother with that. Luckily nobody puked. Addie slept in her car seat most of the time and the rest of the trip she spent looking out of the window and admiring the hideous po-dunk towns we traveled through.
Overall, I'd say that trip was #1. We took the kids to Tweetsie Railroad and Mystery Hill up in Blowing Rock, NC in 2009, and that was quite fun. Much cheaper, but the weather was weird. It was hot, but not quite hot enough to swim in the outdoor pool, even though it was June. Weird.

Anyway, here are some pics of our Disney trip. You can just see for yourself how much fun we had. I'm just not going to write any more about it, ok?!

On the train!

Fountain at the hotel (can you tell how happy she was that I forced her to take a picture??)

Saying goodbye to Oma and Opa at the train station.

Etsybloggers Blog Carnival!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Same old story

Yeah, I've been busy. Busy sleeping, mostly! Working on a few new felt projects, fixing up my Zibbet shop, Etsying, and some of that et cetera stuff. You know. Cafe World. it sucks me in. I just can't figure out why it takes 2 days to make a pot roast. I mean, wtf, really? In real life I can make one in like six minutes.

Last weekend it snowed in South Carolina. For reals, yo. I couldn't believe it. It was a Valentine's Day miracle. Except it happened the day before Valentine's Day, so it was sort of a pre-miracle.

My backyard:

My front yard and driveway:

The towering pines in my yard (I was so afraid the snow would break the limbs and crash on my house, eek!)

I promise a real post later. We're actually leaving the house today for an appointment for the kids (the sitter is driving us, but I am excited to leave the house!) so I'll be back later on to tell you all of the exciting things that are going on. Try not to be so impatient!

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