Even Dozen...Posts and Purses

Out of desperation to make March posts end on an even number and a positive note...I present an even dozen of 'Ditty Bags'.  Not exactly purses, but close enough to fit this post.   Made from a collection of scraps and zippers, these 'Ditty Bags' do fit nicely in your purse.  They are quick to make and good sellers in my booth. 
As for March...it is nearly over, and I am not quite ready for the April AtoZ Challenge.  At least I am not as ready as I was last year.  No matter, I'm pretty good at flying by the seat of my pants...lots of practice...ya know. 
So this is 'Au Revoir' March!
Ow'll be watching for you in April.


I Recycle Vieux Denim...Le Faites Vous?

Haute...pronounced 'ot'...is defined as fashionably elegant or high-class.  It's a French word and often paired with another French fashion word Couture...pronounced 'catore'. 

I know a few words in French...oui which is pronounced yep in Texan.  The opposite of oui...non which is nope in the Lone Star State.  One of my favorites...Paris...also a place in Texas.  So, it's no wonder I am drawn to publications that have French titles like Haute Handbags and Altered Couture.

Of course the words Handmade and Altered are key words, too.  I am especially interested when the cover photo and featured titles include 'DENIM'...the 'Hi-Fashion Fabric' of Texas.  Here in Texas we pronounce it 'den-um', 'wraaang-lars', or jeans.

One last French word...recycler. Oui, it is pronounced the same in Texan...just drop the 'r'.  Okay, now a few words about denim in French.

"Je recycle vieux denim.  Le faites vous?"
"I recycle old denim.  Do you?
Of course you do...recycle old jeans....and you probably collect and repurpose denim, too.  My 'Repurpose/Recycle Jeans Stash' is stacked a mile high, occupies several ToteTubs and spare parts fill bow-coo bins and baskets...merci beaucoup!  I never turn them down when offered...any and all sizes and in any condition.  Ever so often I buy a new pair, but for the most part, I wear the ones I have had for years...they are broke in. 

 Lately, I have been on a 'Bag Making Binge', and decided I needed some 'Haute Couture' inspiration.  The result is a series of small bags made from my recycle/repurpose jeans stash.  This group of bags makes use of the front and back pocket sections which are cut away from the zipper and side seams.  The waist band is removed with a seam ripper to expose the raw, frayed edge of the waist.  A little fringing, machine embroidery, rick rack and star studs give this bag a Cowgirl theme, and the pink chevron lining adds that Hi-Fashion look that is so Trendy today.
The cost of this TexHaute Bag....pronounced Louis Vuitton in French...was 'quatre-vingt dix-neuf cents'....Texlation ninety-nine cents.  Oui, 99 cents for a pink belt that is now a star studded strap. 
Speaking of Pink...Linking To:


AtoZ Challenge...THEME REVEAL

Welcome to CollectInTexas Gals Theme Reveal for the
2016 AtoZ April Challenge!
Once upon a time I was a Middle School Art Teacher.  The first assignment to my 7th and 8th graders was to 'Be A Collector'.  Choose anything of interest, be it stamps, sports cards, bubble gum wrappers, bugs, favorite color stuff, stuffed animals etc. etc.  The point in making the assignment as it related to Art was this...
"When you are a 'Collector/Artist' you will never be BORED.
I spoke from experience...
...and still practice today what I preached...once upon a time.
For the past four years, my Themes have been based on my 'Collections' with stories that related to the Theme.  For example these posts from 2012-2015:
~AtoZ Family Tree...Zippity-DoDa Z's in My Family Tree.
~AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee...The Grand Jury Room
~AtoZ Fiction From Forgotten Fotos....Alfred and Aprils Brush with Disaster.
~AtoZ Growing Up in the 1950's and 60's....1950's Bathing Beauty Bombs.

The AtoZ April Challenge for 2016 falls right in line with the previous four years...Yep, it will be a smorgasbord of posts from a Collector/Artists' collection of everything from Art to Zippers. 
Here's a preview of Letter A...Ancient Anasazi Artifact Artist
After several hours of shallow digging, four walls of a 4x4 room can be seen as the high noon sun beats down through the twisted trunk and branches of a tree that was not there when the walls were first built by the Ancients.
Thanks for visiting. 
Please leave a comment with a link to your Theme Reveal post.http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/sign-ups-for-2016-to-z-blogging.html
Click on the Theme Reveal Tag to return to the
List of AtoZer's participating in the
AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal.


Family Tree's Shaky Green Leaves...Ancestor Notice

At this time of the year when writing for the AtoZ April Challenge is foremost on my mind, my ancestor writing falls behind.  I do, however, check on my Family Tree on ancestry.com at least once a week.

So glad I checked in a few weeks ago.  My Tree was budding out with Shaky Green Leaves...hints of new information.  It is not often that a PHOTO hint, other than documents, is an actual PHOTO.  And, it gets better.

This photo is of my 4th Great Uncle and his family taken about 1898...based on daughter Jewels birth date of 1896.  The photo is significant to my Leatherwood Family research as it links the South Carolina Castleberry's and Leatherwoods to the Texas Leatherwoods.

Specifically to my 3x Great Grandmother Mary Josephine Leatherwood Marley and her daughter Martha Jane Marley Carroll, the great grandmother whose 1890-1910 Photo Album was the inspiration to begin the Pittman/Carroll, Marley/ Leatherwood Family Tree and Tracks of My Texas Ancestors.

Earlier this month I wrote about my 5xGreat Grandfather Castleberry's Obituary published in 1841 in Behold The Rumbling Clods.  The line of ascent from Castleberry to Leatherwood occurred with the marriage of Paul's daughter Agnes to Zachariah. 4xUncle Zachariah in the photo was Paul Castleberry's grandson...named after his father Zachariah (my 4th Great Grandfather)...brother to John Moore (my 3x Great Grandfather) and Uncle to Mary Josephine (my 2x Great Grandmother).  One significant link of relationship and South Carolina connection established.

Next significant link...South Carolina to Texas.  Zachariah and Agnes began the migration from South Carolina between 1835 and 1838...based on births of daughter Jane born in South Carolina in 1835 and daughter Polly born in Calhoun County, Alabama, in 1838.   Uncle Zachariah was the 12th of 13 children, and was born in 1853...three years before his older brother's daughter Mary Josephine also born in Calhoun County, Alabama.  The assumption can be made that Uncle and Niece were more like siblings.  Zachariah was about 8 years old when his mother Agnes died leaving him and a younger sister to be raised by his aging father and siblings including John Moore, father of Mary Josephine.

The Leatherwoods left Calhoun County, Alabama, and settled in Cleburne, Johnson County, Texas, after John Moore and brother George Holland served in the 20th Regiment Texas Volunteer Infantry of the Confederacy. 

Zachariah married at age 39 to Emma Richardson, twenty-one years younger.  They had three children...Den and Jewel (pictured) and Winnell.  Zachariah was a farmer in Johnson County and lived there until his death in 1906 at age 52.  His widow was only 31 years old.  The 1910 US Census shows Emma as head of house with her three children, as the owner of house and farm and her occupation as farmer.  Emma lived out her life on the farm until her death at the age of 61.  She is buried beside Zachariah in the Lane Prairie Cemetery, Cleburne, Johnson County, Texas.

Some would say these last links/connections are purely coincidental, but I like to think of them as a 'Meant for Me Finds' for my March Ancestors of the Month.  Here are the March connections:
~Paul Castelberry...born on March 1st.
~Zachariah's Family Photo found on March 6th...also the birthdate of my Uncle and Brother.
~My Father, Pauls 4xGreat Grandson, was born on March 14th.
~Emma died on March 7, 1936.
~Den...son of Zachariah and Emma in the photo;  never married, lived on the family farm with younger sister Wennell until her death at age 69 on January 20, 1961 (my 14th birthday);  died at age 85 on March 21, 1963...the day after the 'First Day of Spring'.
~Jewel...daughter in the photo; married at age 17 and had one son, Billy who was the informant on his Uncle Den's death certificate.
On this day of  March 19, 2016...two days before the First Day of Spring...I hope 'Daffodils' are blooming at the Lane Prairie Cemetery where Zachariah, Emma, Den and Billy are Resting in Peace.
Billy G. Sanders
Oct. 5, 1921~March 13, 2002
 'Shaky Green Leaves'


SMILE...It's All About Yellow

There are no Daffodils blooming in my neck of front yards.  By now in years past, a small patch of the yellow daffy dills have popped through a tangle of ivy that surrounds an oak tree in our front yard.  They have dilly dallied around too long to show off their Daffodil Yellow as this months 'Color of the Month'.  No matter...I have Yellow Pottery.

As you may or may not know, yellow is one of the three primary colors.  For color theorist that means you must have yellow already on your palette before you can make a secondary color like green or orange.  Those you get when adding blue or red to yellow.  Yes, it's a very important color in the Grand Scheme of the Color Wheel no matter how you spin it.  I can guess what your next question is....how do you make Yellow?

Ceramic glaze artists/chemist go straight to Mother Earth for making yellow with minerals and oxides like feldspar, dolomite, zinc oxide, iron oxide and bentonite...just to mention a few.

Glazing history is quite interesting...if you are interested in that sort of thing.  If not, then the following may glaze over your eyeballs...just skip it...and move on to the psychological aspects of yellow.  That will either snap you out of it or put you in a haze.

Interesting to me is the first recorded piece of glazed pottery because it is called 'Sue Ware'.  Made during the Kofun period of Japan, it was not yellow but a greenish color resulting from the natural ash...a by product of burning wood.  Over time, ceramics became objects of art as well as function with hand painted under and over glazing techniques.  The ancient countries of Islam made significant contributions to ceramics with the development of stoneware and high fire glazes.  Okay, enough history....even my eyeballs are glazing over.

In the natural world, yellow is the color of sunflowers and daffodils...you know, the ones that are dilly dallying this month. Mother nature's yellow is also found in egg yolks, lemons, canaries, bees and butterflies.

Then there are man made yellows like Sponge Bob, happy faces, caution signs and more.  I'll expand just a bit on the more since it is a biggie in my world of Fiber.  Yellow fabrics are not generally speaking a primary focus fabric in most Fabric Stashes or items made from fabric like quilts and clothing.

It is more a 'Zinger' color!  Used to brighten, intensify and highlight other colors or designs.  It is however, one of the most useful colors...just in small doses.
Yellow is the color of happiness, optimism, enlightenment, creativity, sunshine and spring.  And, although, there is a dark side of yellow, we are  not going there in this post.  We  are definitely staying on the enlightenment, creative and healthy side of yellow.  Yep, we all have a built in yellow that relates to our health, so drink lots of water and eat your squash! 
Oh, and SMILE!


March Blog Time All About April

The month of March has much to offer as far as topics on which to blog...even if one's daily March goings on are less than blog worthy.  For instance...famous quotes about March being a lucky month..."I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more luck I have."  Thomas Jefferson.  Then there is this one that describes the days of this year's March for me...which by the way has been quite different from previous blogging March months.
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:
when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
~Charles Dickens~
Do you think Dickens had an insight to the 21st Century hot topic of Climate Change?  Regardless, this March of blogging has run the gamut between hot and cold and light and shade for this blogger.  There are reasons...or excuses...which also run the gamut of the afore mentioned Dickens March days.  In other words...I've been burning the candle from both ends with just enough time to start writing and scheduling ahead for the AtoZ April Challenge.
I am signed up!  My 'Theme' is set!  Header is ready!  Letter's ABCD are done! 
Like Jefferson, I am a great believer in LUCK!
So, it's back to writing work I go!
Hi Ho!


March Booth...Baskets, Bunnies, Bags and Libby LuLa

For the last few years, March has been 'Beginning Booth' month.  The first Saturday of March was this weekend, and what a beautiful day it was.  A light jacket for the early morning setting up was all I needed for the rest of the day...except for a wide brimmed hat...it was warm and sunny.
With Easter falling on the last Sunday of March, it was the perfect time to feature the Tulip quilts, crocheted baskets and bunnies.  The shoppers weren't thinking Easter yet, so they all got to come home with me.  I was not too disappointed.  I so enjoyed making them and am happy to keep them for awhile longer.  Besides I may need those baskets for egg hunting.
Although I didn't blog about making bags during the month of February, you can see that I did a bunch of bag sewing and weaving.   In total, 20 Totes and 10 Bags/Purses made up the group I call 'PieceMaker' Totes and Bags.  The Totes are designed for carrying Books, Projects, Laptops and Crafting Projects with inside pockets, fully lined and padded, and straps that allow for shoulder or hand carrying.  The larger 'Piecemaker' Bags are designed with the Quilter in mind with the outside pocket made for carrying Quilt Rulers and the inside pockets for tools and sewing notions.  The bags are perfect for carrying to a Quilt Retreat with room for fabric, patterns and books.
The only thing that occupied my pink chair was my Big Bag.  I stayed busy all day demonstrating the Art of Twinning.   It drew lots of interest and my Libby LuLa Loom was all the envy. 
It was a Fun First Saturday at The Chicken Farm Art Center!


Behold The Rumbling Clods

Another REVOLUTIONARY Patriot Gone!
He was a brave soldier in the Revolution, participating in a small skirmish at or near the Cedar Springs in this District, as well as the siege of Stoney Point, Savannah and Augusta, Georgia. 

The writer of this imperfect tribute of respect, constituted one of the number that surrounded his grave at his interment, and while he behold the rumbling clods, as they fell upon his coffin, he thought how strong the admonition to prepare for death,  judgement and eternity. (OBITUARY-Greenville Mountaineer Newspaper, Greenville, S.C. Friday, June 25, 1841)

Never in his wildest dreams would the writer of my 5x Great Grandfather's Obituary have thought that his words written in 1841, would be read through a media that had the potential of reaching millions 175 years later.  His words of respect were certainly meant to comfort the family and friends of one of Spartanburg's earliest settlers as he wrote...
...was an affectionate parent, kind master, a good neighbor, and for many years a pious member of the Baptist Church.  He died in full assurance of a blessed immortality beyond the grave, giving full and clear evidence to his surrounding friends that his soul would be happy after death.

"The writer of this imperfect tribute"....such humble and thoughtful writing...it struck such a cord with this writer and 5th Great Granddaughter of Paul Castleberry. 

Paul was born on March 1, 1761, in Tar River, Virginia, to William (25) and Sarah Elizabeth Martin (20) Castleberry.  As American colonists they were setting the foundation of a burgeoning new country in the years before the American Revolutionary War.  Paul was only four years old when the Stamp Act of 1765 spurred the colonies to revolt against British rule.

As referenced in his Obituary, Paul at the age of 18, fought in the Battle of Stony Point.  He was part of a well planned and executed nighttime attack of a highly trained, select group of George Washington's Continental Army under the command of General 'Mad Anthony Wayne'.   The quick and daring assault on the British took place about 30 miles north of New York City at the British outpost in Stony Point, New York.  Victory over the British not only gave Washington's Continental Army a much needed morale booster, but gave them a key crossing site over the Hudson River and their victory over the British.

Within my 'Monthly Theme' this year, I have included at least one ancestor who in someway related to the month.  My 5x's Great Grandfather Castleberry's March 1st birthday made him my 'Ancestor of the Month' and an opportunity to reveal why my ancestor.com tree is named...Pittman, Carroll, Marley, Leatherwood Family Tree.

The union of Paul and Agnes Chesney in 1785 began the line of descendants through the women in my Pittman, Carroll, Marley, Leatherwood Family Tree.  Paul and Agnes' eleventh and last child, Agnes S. Castleberry became the first Leatherwood with her marriage to Zachariah in 1828.  Her granddaughter, Mary Josephine began the Marley line when she married Elisha in 1876.  Mary Josephine's daughter Martha Jane's marriage to my Great Grandfather Stephen Bennett Carroll contributed the last of the female line in their daughter Effie Estella Carroll, my paternal grandmother. 

Estella married C.C. Pittman on August 11, 1916.  From this union, six children were born with the youngest being my father.  He would be the only child through all the generations to be named a matrilineal surname...Willard Carroll Pittman, born March 14, 1927....13 days and 166 years after his 4x Great Grandfather Castleberry.

Time marches on as we prepare for death, judgement and eternity.

 Behold the rumbling clods.


Make or Break March...The Eyes of Texas

"Everything is bigger and better in Texas". 
When Texans hear that phrase, we usually swell up with pride and break out in a refrain of "The Eyes of Texas". 

For sure, on this particular first day of March 2016 aka Super Tuesday, all eyes are on the Lone Star State as voters cast their ballots, not only in local and state elections, but for the Candidates seeking the Presidential Nomination. 

Why are 'All Eyes' on Texas?  It goes back to being 'Bigger'.  Yep, Texas has the power to make or break several candidates' chances of being the last man standing with it's 155 delegates at stake.

 It's politics Ya'll, and here's how it goes according to those who know: 

There are three delegates in each of the 36 congressional districts.  The majority of the delegates - 108- will be determined based on the outcome in each congressional district and not the state wide outcome.  The winner in each district will receive 2 delegates, while the runner-up will receive 1 delegate.  The 47 at-large delegates remaining will be allocated based on the statewide results. (RedState.com)

Finally, I gotta say...with 'All Eyes' that were on the Houston GOP Debacle...let's hope the 155 Texas delegates have their stakes in a row and know the history and the expectations of the Univ. of Texas School Song...The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You.

History...The song was written by the editor of UT's Cactus Yearbook and UT band member.  "The Eyes of Texas are Upon You" was meant to remind students that the state of Texas was watching and expecting them to go out and do great things.  Then there is the rest of the song to punctuate the first line....
All the livelong day.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
You cannot get away.
Do not think you can escape them
At night or early in the morn--
The Eyes of Texas are upon you
Til Gabriel blows his horn.
Welcome March!
The Eyes of Texas and the Nation
Are Upon You!