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Bella ?-2007 —12/3/2015


Bella’s favorite place. Mine. , too.

We lost Bella to cancer just a few weeks ago.  I haven’t been able to write about it until now.  We are devastated.  She was my best friend, my confidant, my shopping consultant, my baby.  She was so loved and she gave back even more.

Bella christmas dress

12-23-2010 Bella came to us in a velvet Christmas dress. Turned out that she hated clothes.

12-1-2015 Walking a bit near the end

Near the end she still tried to walk, but needed a coat for warmth Still didn’t like clothes.

I’ll share happier news later.  Have a happy holiday.


The Fine Art of Packing

191cd654d1af6eb40670b5e244d08b8cThe first rule of moving your household is to sort your things and get rid of things you don’t use or like or need.  Whoever wrote that is NOT an artist.  I don’t own many clothes.  I mainly wear jeans or black.  I don’t have a lot of furniture except for shelves.  I have lots of bookshelves, wire cubes, ikea storage, etc.

To my rules of 1.  Never throw away anything made of 100% linen, and 2.  Never throw away a picture frame. add 3.  Never toss a bookshelf.  Number 3 is not my problem; the movers take them.  But the other stuff . . . .

Studio and studio storage

Why is it that most of the boxes are labeled Studio or Storage (the room off my studio)?  I swear I threw a lot of stuff away.


We are taking most of the breakables down early in a truck?  Where did all these breakable and “Necessary” items come from?  I did get rid of the cheap glass vases.  Many of them.

For over 20 years I have lived in a house with plaster walls that have hardened to the consistency of steel.  It’s almost impossible to drill a hole in them.  Therefore I have hung not very many pieces of art.   Most on nails left by former owners.

Pictures breed in an atticCheck this out.

Their packing estimate = $600.  ROTFL

Would you believe we already took a carload down?

I don’t know if I am taking things I will regret paying for.  I don’t care.  I am exhausted and my brain died two days ago.

What I do know is that I am hanging every #*@^%  one of those pictures because if you put them in your attic, they BREED.

More later–

New House–New Life

I’ve always wanted to live in a university town where town and gown really like each other. And now I will.

Steve is retiring and we are moving to Athens, Georgia. We are as giddy as teenagers.

We close on the new home Friday.  It is perfect for us.

 Lots of natural light.

 A screened porch and a deck.

 A studio with skylights.

We will move ____???? Retirement is in January. House has to sell. Donna Harding is my incredible real estate guru, so hope it will be soon.

Where we live in the meantime? We don’t know. Everything is day to day and I don’t care. Strange, coming from a planning Nazi. It is just part of how right this decision is.

Did you know that people over 62 can attend the University of Georgia for free? I am checking off classes in the catalog nightly.

We have spent a lot of time in Athens with my older daughter and my older grandson and their friends.  We love the foodie culture, the many arts groups and the amazing cycling. So many good things await us there, and I hope all of you who have so richly influenced my life will wish us well. I wish everyone could feel in their own lives as much joy and excitement as I feel today.

Y’all come on down. Real estate and taxes are cheap!

Jake Prater 2001-2015


Jake so sweet

Jake so sweet



Jake gives orders.

Jake gives orders.



Jake in charge

Jake in charge




jpknits.com No More

Simplifying, downsizing, decluttering—trend? fad? whatever? Some say it clears the mind as well as the home. I’ll let you know.

What I am choosing to do is to give up the jpknits.com domain. That means that website, not the blog, is going away. It also means the jane@jpknits.com email is also going away. I will still keep this blog and will check in from time to time, but the only way to get to it will be https://merelyasuggestion.wordpress.com so you may need to resubscribe if you came here via http://jpknits.com.

Patterns will still be available via ravelry.com. Email is jprater28209@gmail.com. Still on Facebook.

I have lots of places that will require me to change my email, passwords, user data; and I will try to work through them as fast as possible. Simplifying can be very complicated which is why I didn’t do this much earlier.

I hope that as a new Spring is here, you are making new things. Here’s my latest effort:

Gypsy bead pot Negative space

More later–

I Made Paper

Evan is working on his Cub Scout Art pin and I am getting to help.  One of the requirements he elected was to make paper.

Had a bit of trouble removing it from the mold.

Had a bit of trouble removing it from the mold.

Obviously, I didn’t know how.


Added bits of yellow cardstock after pulling the sheet.

Added bits of yellow cardstock after pulling the sheet.

But thanks to Google and YouTube and a house full of art stuff, I learned.


Added some orange and yellow construction paper to the blender when making the slurry.  Nice soft orange.

Added some orange and yellow construction paper to the blender when making the slurry. Nice soft orange.

I’m still a beginner, but this was fun.  I may get better equipment—-and I may not.  It’s mostly water, paper pulp from recycling paper, and gumption.  Suitable for age 8 to “I.m no longer telling.”

More later–

Family Problems

Do you have trouble getting a decent picture of the men in your family, even at important events?Pinewood Derby1Pinewood Derby2Pinewood Derby3Pinewood Derby4


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