Saturday, January 24, 2015

Welcome "Grow Your Blog" Guests!

2 Bags Full

Hello Friends!

If you are a new visitor, you are likely to be a guest of today's "Grow Your Blog" party. I joined this event two years ago and was delighted by the number and quality of talented fabric artists I met. Quilters, weavers, knitters, cross stitchers, crafters and hookers (the "yarny" kind only!) flocked together, herded in and sorted out by the lovely Vicki at 2 Bags Full Blogspot for the purpose of sharing with and inspiring one another. This truly special annual event attracts over 400 participants and opens today for its third appearance.

Vicki requests that entrants introduce themselves, giving an overview of blog topics featured.

I write as a grandmother of seven, one fully engaged in the lives of those children. They range in age from one newly born to a twin pair of six year old Kindergarten students.

I began to blog as a way to organize memories of creative activities I've enjoyed with my grandchildren. As readers discovered my posts and commented favorably on them, I realized I'd erected a platform from which to encourage other "grand-women" to make their homes a place unlike any other - an irresistible magnet, a welcoming haven of comfort, love, affirmation, spontaneous originality and infectious joy for the entire extended family.

My blog is the story of how I've accomplished that for myself, delighting the children in my life and bonding us all together into a strong, happy, fun loving family unit.

We are a crafty bunch, working together on a regular basis and making a "big deal" out of everything. For example, these long, cuddly fleece snakes were the highlight of a two day "Snake Festival" - one that squirmed and hissed with "everything snakey!" - fun facts and fearsome food included!

I include step by step instructions for making many of my original designs, including these crazy-eyed snakes!

One year, we attempted to grow pumpkins in my backyard. Well, Boo! Too much shade and too many deer. But we sure had fun watering - and watering and watering and watering and watering! the skinny plants we grew from seed. And we made our own kid-designed "Scare Monster" to watch over them too!

We do "regular" things too. We paint and draw and sculpt cute little critters from clay. And once our inventory is substantial, we pin everything up on a clothesline and invite every single adoring adult family member to come shop themselves silly. We sell home made popcorn and stuff our cute little grandma-provided wallets fat with lots of cash and coin!

We bake "sugar bug cookies" to sell at our own bake sale and sculpt snowmen out of popcorn.

We've gone on a "Monster Hunt" in the woods, seeking paper mache creatures constructed solely for the purpose of being found back there, hiding in spooky darkness!

I show you how to make these for your own hunt, too.

You never know what you'll find in those woods! On "Dino Day" we dug for eggs back there after a tasty lunch of meatball boulders, bread stick bones and a mashed potato volcano!

Ever held a family spelling bee? We do! Every year! And even if you "buzz out," there's a cute cookie waiting for you!

I think it's unanimous. The event I'm most noted for is our Family Carnival. I've hosted three so far, each one bigger and better, according to the 20+ kids who attend. This grandma skimps on nothing! Festive food, clever booths, colorful games and prizes, prizes, PRIZES!

We celebrate each and every holiday as if it's our last on the planet!

"Maca-moldy Mason Jar Monsters" provide a bit of healthy Halloween eating.....

And a zany little easy-to-make cat candy jar serves sweet snacks

At Christmas, grandkids serve themselves from a cute food spread at "Mrs. Santa's Cafeteria" - a fun spin on the traditional "Kids' Table!"

Easter is fun too. My perky little bunnies are simple to make and just the right size to fill the palm of a little guest at grandma's family feast.

The kids make and decorate baskets for everyone too. They're paper mache with big, floppy, colorful ribbon handles.

Sometimes I make things to store away until the kids are older and will appreciate them more. Vintage Mason jars belonged to the great great grandmothers of my granddaughters. I fashioned them into sewing caches with pincushion tops to present on the day they are old enough to attempt tentative hand stitching for the first time.

And what kind of a grandmother would I be if I didn't quilt or own a multitude of cats? I have a half dozen over here. Of each.

"Iggy" welcomes you to read about how I became a quilter over many years of trial and error, coupled with my passion for rescuing feral and discarded cats.

And I welcome you to join me on my blogging journey if what you've seen here appeals to you! Thank you sincerely, new friend, for stopping by!

recently completed:
at left: Starflower
at right: Triple Irish Chain


  1. It was so much fun learning more about you, sweet friend! I have followed your blog for a while now and your place is full of joy and creativity :) So thankful to have "met" you. Hugs!

  2. I've been following you for so long - and enjoying the wonderful events and crafts that you do with your family. You are far past amazing - the kind of grandma we all wish we could have had (I had one that ignored me and another that detested grandkids). I've tried some of your fun ideas with my three grandsons and learned a lot of interesting ways to make things more fun.

    I love love love the quilts - the scrappy one really calls to me.

    And I have a bit of great news - we just learned today that our 3 year old grandson and his parents will be coming out from WV to visit in July!!!!!

  3. How fun to see a review of all of these amazing projects and activities that you engage in with your family and the grandchildren. :) My kitty still lugs around one of those snakes from upstairs to downstairs and back up again :)

  4. Hello J, I just love all of your neat crafts and projects.. Grandma's house looks like the fun place to be.. I am just stopping by for a visit.. Have a happy day and week ahead!

  5. Hello J - your quilts are fabulous and all the ideas you have for your grandchildren are wonderful - lucky kids. I'm most jealous of all the cats though :)
    I'm visiting on behalf of Vicki at the blog hop - enjoy the day. Fil

  6. Hi J, I used to follow you as "quilting With Terry and the Cats, but mistakenly lost my blogs. Had to start a new one, nice to see you again.

  7. OMG you are super Grandma. I am the "A" grandma for both of my daughters families. I make sure their is always good eats, plenty of paper and scissors, lots of books and fun. You have taken it all to another level. I make sure that Grandma's is a haven from all of the bad things in the world and a haven from any pressure. Can I come over to your house. It looks like such fun.

  8. Wow, all the crafts look amazing and so much fun :)

  9. What a wonderful introduction -- for anyone who may not already know how amazing you are! You always out do yourself with each event -- and with each event the smiles just get bigger!

  10. Hi J, thanks for visiting my blog, you are a super fun and modern grandmother!
    Your grandchildren are very lucky!

  11. You are a legend for your art work and providing out of this world activities for your grandkids, but I must say I was blown away by those beautiful quilts. You go girl! :-)

  12. Hello, what wonderful things and memories you are creating for your family! Thanks for popping in at my blog too and I hope you're enjoying the GYB party :-)

  13. Oh my goodness, what lucky grandkids you have! Perhaps some of your creativity will rub off on me. At the very least I'll get some great inspiration from following you around. Visiting and following from the GYB party. Patrica

  14. Hi J. Am newbie here. :)

    you and your chums have so many nice crafts going on. It's an inspiration for me to do something similar with my son . Thanks for all the ideas

  15. You throw a great party. Thank you for inviting me!

    So that you know, I've become a Follower and when time permits, I'll be back to see what other beautiful things were made by your hands!

    What this party is all about is to GROW your blog and I'm hoping to do the same. When you get to Section One, check out A Country Chic Retreat and SuZeQ Creations, my personal blog, in Section Fifteen I'd love for you to follow and subscribe to.

    Happy crafting!

  16. I'm in awe every time I visit your site. You are so darn talented and crafty.

    And what a fun party idea! Hope you and the others see a lot of growing going on!

    Hugs to you and your lovely family.

  17. What lovely things you guys make together. It looks like a lot of fun!

  18. Wow, you are one crafty lady! Visiting from GYB. I admire your work with rescues, we have rescue dogs, currently on our third Welsh Terrier we call psychodog.

  19. You are just the sort of grandma that I want to be! We have an 8 mo old who is too young just quite yet for crafting but I'll be following you so I can borrow some of your ideas when he is ready. Thank you!

  20. Dropping by via GYB from Newfoundland, Canada. You are a busy grandma!!!

  21. I have started following your blog because I am a new grandma and I think I could learn a lot from you.