Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ellen!

Today is my sister's birthday. I won't tell you how old she is because that's not important. She is my older sister, the one I hung on to growing up, the one I wanted attention from, the one I bothered the most. I guess form her I learned how to be an older sister for my younger sister, only I didn't complain as much when my younger sister wanted to hang around me! Just kidding.
I always have good intentions, I wonder what I can buy her or make for her that will let her know how much I love her and appreciate everything she's done for me throughout my life. When it comes down to it, there is nothing in any store that I can buy to show her those feelings. So, I am sending her these wishes and hope, after reading, that she believes in her heart what a great sister she truly is.

After cake, there's presents:

I wish for you:

laughter until tears run down your cheeks
lovely memories
a big hug
a heart full of love
tea and cookies at your favorite bakery
lunch outside in Santa Barbara
meeting a favorite friend unexpectedly
a teddy bear
a brand new magazine before anyone else reads it
a tea party, complete with goody bags

Happy Birthday, El. I hope it's one of your best.
With love,

Monday, December 3, 2012

Birds and Owls

Thinking here about what kind of craft goes well with a birdhouse? Of course, a bird. Now to make 200  of these lovely birds I just volunteered myself for. Why do I do it? Well, I am a co-captain in the Home Depot's Kids Workshop once a month and my partner and I like to do something extra for the kids each month. January workshop kit is the birdhouse, and aside from giving out cutely (?) wrapped cups of seed, I would like a small birdie to go along with it. Something like this:

I like it rustic, it's for boys and girls alike, and all age groups. (Thank you Me Making Do for this pattern).
I need to get my sewing fingers going for this to be ready by January 5!
In the meantime, I will count off the days on this new, FREE, printable and customizable Owl calendar that you can get here:My Owl Barn. Here is just a sampling of some of the beautiful artwork you can choose from to customize your calendar.

Are these not the cutest owl art you have ever seen. But don't take my word for it. Folks, two words, Owls and FREE. Download it now and enjoy your new year month after month. Why not give them as gifrts? You can print for all your friends.
So have fun, and take advantage of the lovely art that people are willing to share. And spread the word!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Page 3, Sundance catalog

I received the Sundance catalog today, opened the cover, and there on page 3 is my new coat. It's called the 'Boulevard Peacoat', a retro 50's plaid with an urban vibe' and I love it. It's also $198.00 so I won't be buying it. But a girl can dream, can't she?
My sister and I, when we were much younger, would sit together with a catalog and pencil or marker and
'pick' something from each page that we really wanted. We were dreamers. We never went so far as to strategically place the catalog inside one of my Mom's magazines, a la Ralphie in A Christmas Story. Picking seemed to be enough to carry our dreams of ownership  until the next catalog came in the mail. We weren't particular about our catalogs. We would continue the routine with furniture catalogs, clothing, jewelry, toys, etc. There was nothing that we wouldn't dream for.
The funny thing is, we never longed for any of these items. We never coveted the insides of these glossy publications. I think it made us dreamers and thinkers. Possibly good shoppers; we could tell you the price of anything and how it compared to any retail store at the time.
Our dreams weren't big, but they were plentiful. We dreamed of someday having a house to put these things to good use. We dreamed of different floor plans for those houses. We dreamed about what we would wear and what would look better on me or her (geez, she's so much thinner, everything looked better on her!)
The new Sundance catalog brought back a lot of memories, not to mention my deep love of all things plaid!
Maybe I'll never get that coat (I live in the desert, not a chance of it getting below 90 degrees anyway), but I know it would fit me perfectly and would cool with a faded pair of jeans. The catalog I'll keep for a while. Maybe I'll forward it to my sister with a post-it: 'See page 3!'

And dream...

Monday, November 5, 2012

How do I say this...

I had a terrible week last week. You know the kind where everything goes wrong-and in three's! Car broke down, really bad work week and my birthday basically sucked. What I wanted to do was go back to bed and hide under the covers! Oh wait, I did do that. How mature of me. There were small footsteps coming into the room to see if Mom was 'okay'. DID I LOOK OKAY! There, now I'm the grown up. And then the inevitable happened. I had to go back to work. Nothing like being depressed and having to spend all your time smiling in front of people (retail beast). But you know, something happened that surprised a miserable synic like myself. After pulling myself out of bed by the bootstraps, believe me, no small feat, I decided that, or told myself to forget about everything that happened. I could take the bus to work ( I actually enjoy public transportation), the holidays are coming, and (hopefully) people will be happier when they shop, and my birthday's done. So what, right?
Let me tell you, so what. My car got fixed, yeah, I can drive around at lunch and not get stuck in the breakroom. The San Francisco Giants won the World Series! Yes, I'm still screaming. I won a raffle from a blog I follow. How cool is that! (and way more on that later when I devote an entire page to this lovely lady at Simply Kierste (what, right click not working?) And, I received a Fossil watch form the company I work for because of my customer service skills.
Good things happen in three's too!
All I had to do was relax, get out the bad mojo, and go on. This is proof that it all comes back to you. So simple. Appreciate the little things that happen to you. Do something nice for someone else. You think I'm gonna pay this forward? Oh, you betcha. I've already started. It's not because I want things to come to me )well, I do, but who doesn't?) It's because this world is so hard to live in all by itself without having to fight against stupid stuff in our lives. Yes, I will pass it on, and on, and on...Will stupid stuff happen to me again, probably. I'll be ready for it next time and realize that it's just stuff. There's always Plan B.
Here's hopinng you get the next nice thing!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baseball Is Over-For Some!

Yes, I love Cody Ross. Always and forever. Although he is playing on my least favorite team, I cannot but say to myself that he needs a job, too. I forgive him. How could I not?
Boston uniform

I haven't written about Cody in a while because I am knee deep in the SF Giants post season activity. Watching the Giants, however, reminds me of the little skip Cody does after hitting a home run, and that makes me smile. I need to smile after tonite's game!
I wish Cody well. I hope he enjoys the off season and I look forward to seeing him in the Spring. If anyone wishes to become a Cody Ross fan, please enjoy his website Cody Ross. I hope it updates more during the break. Reading about the 2012 season is good too.

Figuring it Out

This is what I've figured out so far: I like candy, I mean really like candy. And I don't know if I will give it up. I may at some time in my life. For now, I'm goog knowing that if it's there, I can have it. That being said, I am not going around swallowing Halloween candy by the bagful, albeit tempting. This is the interesting part. When I eat food high in fat and sodium, I crave sugar. Example, a lunch of a spicy chicken sandwich, fried zucchini with ranch dressing and a diet soda (I know, right?) makes me crave sugar about an hour after the meal. Every time. I also know, for myself, that diet soda makes me crave something salty. My substitute for that is iced tea.
I find it fascinating that I can read my body and it's cravings. I am beginning to see the effects of certain foods. At the same time, I am seeing that foods that I eat are not really my favorites. I go to lunch now, not just choosing the closest fast food restaurant (and I use that term loosely) but I think first and ask myself what I feel like eating. What does my body need right now.
It is a start kids and I am new at this. It's a learning process. It's not a diet out of a book or magazine, although I still read all of them. It's what is working for me.
And I'm good with that.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Change One

I've read that to lose weight you should eat like a thin person. Sounds reasonable. I know several people from work who are thin and decided to study them, while they weren't watching, of course. The results weren't that surprising. This is a very thin woman who rarely eats. Her diet consists mainly of cigarettes and coffee. Her breath is horrendous, but she's thin! If that is my ultimate goal, I thought to myself, then all I have to do is develop a taste for coffee and cigarettes, of which I like neither. Second person, again with the coffee, but she breaks it up with chips mid-day. Then back to the coffee-lunch is one of those coffee creations that you spend half a paycheck for. Don't have the money for that, and still not a coffee fan. But she's thin! Third person, and I'm beginning to wonder if thin is truly my goal, eats one meal a day, which consists of a gigantic sandwich loaded with everything. He is very thin and I asked him why he only eats the one meal. It turns out his hours at work are so that he goes to bed very early because he is up at 3 am to get to work the next day. He really doesn't have time to eat more than that. No coffee, though, thank goodness. I think all that caffeine has a huge affect on their bodies. My sister also drinks a million cups of coffee every day. She eats, well, she orders a lot of food. Then she picks at everything. Also, she never eats fruit. But she's thin!
To lose weight, you should eat like a thin person. I'll stay the way I am for now until I figure out what is best for me. I can be thin, at what expense? Or I can 'shop' around some more until I'm comfortable with a lifestyle change that will work for me, not one that I have to struggle with. Thin at any cost? Not for me. Alive and healthy is now my goal.

Friday, October 12, 2012

When you think haunted house, do you imagine skeletons hanging from windows? Is it more paranormal? Is it dark and spooky? What constitutes haunted? I like to think haunted is an old victorian with so many nooks and crannies in the house that can house all sorts of spooky and ghostly. I know women who have spirits or ghosts in their homes. Mostly, they are mischievious, moving things or stacking. One woman's ghost has a thing for the firewood in the fireplace. Well, it can't be there. So every day while she is at work, the firewood gets neatly stacked in the middle of the room. You gotta ask-did something happen in the fireplace? Or, is the spirit used to a much larger, walk-in type fireplace. I'm sure my friend isn't that accomodating that she will light her living room on fire. But fun, nevertheless. I myself feel presences. Something walking behind me, sometimes lightly touching my shoulder. It's a real touch, but never anyone around to see. I don't get afraid when these things happen. I'm sure some form of communication is happening and in time I will figure out exactly what it is. I know things get moved, not obviously, but it happens. Maybe, not moved, like from one side to another, but in a different order than what I had. I don't really want to know why these things happen. I enjoy knowing that something likes being around me. Maybe I'm a comfort to a spirit. So, I say, enjoy the company. And leave a chair empty for them-crafting is fun for everyone.

A Little Crafty

Deadlines are sometimes ominous, but I've never missed one. I feel like I thrive during a deadline crunch whethelr it was in school, at work or swap deadlines. I feel my work is better during this time; my creativity
flows. In either case, here are more examples of ATC's I've completed recently.

ATC Fortune Teller. Background is paper I picked up at a second hand store.
The fortune teller image is from google and clip art. I shrunk the Fortune Teller sign,
added glitter. The cards were from another image I enlarged for perspective.
The chain on the side is a sticker I cut to fit.

Two Halloween ATC's using clip art, ribbon embellishments, buttons and
brads. I like the old time quality look of them.

Three Halloween altered rolo's. I love doing these! Pumpkin wings. Clip art kitty
with orange collar and key-the background is an antique Halloween party invite
and tickets attached with orange paperclip. The last one is pumpkin garden theme with moon and
antique 'BOO' letters.

Wolves of the world series. This is an Arabian wolf with desert background
and Arabian wolf stamp clip art.

I'm finishing the last of the Halloween swaps. Sad, I love this time of year. I will continue doing Halloween rolo's to get ahead for next year.
Happy Trick or Treating kids.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Spooky Little Village

Ah, yes, I read a lot of blogs. As Stephen King says, you cannot write unless you take the time to read. And I do. This time 36th Avenue has a wonderful tutorial for making this fabulous, and I do mean that, spooky village.
I love this, simple, yet looks expensive but it's not! Try this out for yourself. And go ahead and take a peek at her blog. There is some wonderful stuff there.

Ghouls in the Night

Super cute these little ghouls. And very inexpensive to make.
These are white tissue paper bells, the kind you use for wedding decorations. I know they can be purchased in many stores, but the DOllar Store has these 2/pack for, you guessed it, $1. Black construction paper or scrapbook paper does the faces and a little cheesecloth (available at the 99 cent store) draped over the bells give a great spooky effect.
How cute is that? Wait, how cheap is that for something that cute?
Happy Halloween.

Inspiration in a Hurry

My husband, last weekend, asked me if  I would like to go to San Diego for our 25th anniversary and see the (most spectacular team ever) San Francisco Giants play the Padres. After a moment's hesitation, I said yes but knew I had a deadline on a swap that was due to be mailed by Sunday. I knew if I was going to go I'd have to finish Friday night and get it m, mailed. This was a serious Edgar Allan Poe project I took on and didn't want to do a half-ass job. So here it is. Dealine met, package mailed, and me on my way to San Diego for the weekend.

It was a terrific project and I am inspired to do more books like this, different themes. Easy, just need to get moving and do it. It's funny about inspiration, once you get moving, it is like the muse takes over and there is no stopping. If you do stop to think, the thought is daunting, that you will never finish. Stay with it and let it go. Put on some great music, something that comes to you naturally or a great movie that (mine is Twister, the music is fab and the sound effects are great to listen to). Be creative and keep working on doing something you'll be proud of.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A little artwork now and then in relished by the wisest men.

OK so I plagiarized. I've been very busy lately, signing up for swaps left and right. Can I help myself? No, there is too much fabulousness out there. So here are a few more pieces and one old one from a fun turtle swap. We had to send three things turtle related to our partner. This is one of the three, I just packaged it as a trio of filled turtle eggs.
I found these turtle Easter eggs, packed them in a wooden crate with some easter grass and filled them with goodies.

Close up of swimming turtles, ready to be shipped.

Steampunk ATC with black accents and black heart

Altered ROLO's with D 4 and purple. The D & 4 are very subtle on these. The top ROLO with the flowers I used part of a book page with the number 4 in the corner, and scrolled letter D as part of a book plate. The second one is a camping scene complete with mosquito. I used an atlas page showing the D4 coordinates.

Halloween ATC, with raven and mirror piece

Another Halloween ATC, lots of layers and paint, screening in background.

More on the way. See you soon!

Boring Drive

I ate a bag of candy corn today. I'm not proud of it. I'm feeling a little sick actually, to my stomach, but that could be the burrito I ate on top of that. Not feeling bad about the price though, only paid .99 cents. It is a FACT (Brian WIlson reference) that cheap candy corn tastes exactly the same as the more expensive brand, and it's much fresher. I didn't break one tooth today. I find the expensive brand not as melty in the mouth. Today was unique, as I was driving and didn't realize I had emptied the bag until I tried to shake more out of it. Nothing more pathetic, folks, than realizing you just downed 10,000 calories and you're still thinking what's for dinner. Blast that candy corn!
To make matters worse, this stupid holiday falls on October 30, my birthday! It's destiny I tell ya.
So, other interesting things: The .99 cents store has the most fabulous Halloween crap I've seen in a long time. Not to be outdone by the Dollar Tree, who is no slouch this year. I spoke to the manager of the Dollar Tree who told me this year they purchased so much more Halloween decorations and novelties. It shows, if you've been in there lately. Here's a few of the things I got (besides the lifetime supply of candy corn HA!)

Cute little bobblehead owl

scary cameo necklace

These little guys will be part of a Halloween plush photo swap, cute and cheap at the thrift store.

It was a bargain bonanza day. And so much fun being around all that Halloween stuff. Really, we should just have this stuff all year round, agreed?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's A-Mazing

One of the greatest things to do during the Fall season is to visit an apple/pumpkin farm and enjoy all the activities they have to offer. On our list is the annual visit to Apple Annie's in Tucson. Sometimes we don't have the cool weather associated with those outings, it is still enjoyable, and the atmosphere really gets you in the mood for a wonderful fall season.
One of the best things about these visits is the corn maze. I know this takes months of planning on paper before the actual design is approved and actually cut into the corn fields. This year Apple Annie's corn maze looks like this  with several levels of expertise, so the whole family can enjoy. This is cut out of 15 acres of corn. Big! Yes, but not the biggest. The largest cut corn maze in the country is Richardson's Farm Experience in Illinois. This beautiful farm has 33 acres with 4 separate mazes for you to "Come on out and get lost!"
And lost you could get. Remember, most of these mazes close at midnight, so there's a lot a dark wandering.
Enjoy yourself. Take your time to wander and eat a carmel apple-fresh from the farm. Have some cider, listen to the music. Enjoy a day with your family. These memories are so precious, I guarantee you will not be sorry. And the fun part, most of the farms have free postcards of the mazes, so if you're a swapper, you're set for another year.
Get out there- and be a-mazed!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

More ATC's

These are ATC's from a Frida Kahlo ATC swap and a Vintage Paris ATC swap.
Frida Kahlo ATC
I used a puzzle piece with a photo of Frida Mod Podged to it  to add dimension to her painting in the background and an antique button at the bottom. Gold paper picture corners frame three edges to add color and set off the painting.

Fri Kahlo ATC
This is a combination of an ad for a Frida Kahlo exhibit and a photo of Frida that I framed in some fun little
paper frames I bought for a song at Aaron's Art Mart . (Really folks, some of the best ATC supplies are here!) I sprayed the frame with copper ink and mottled it with a sponge. The finishing touch was a rose added to look as if she were holding.

Vintage Paris ATC
The first was a layered look using stamps, paper, and various ephemera. The glass embellishment at the bottom is a glass marble mod podged with the eiffel tower on the bottom then glued to the ATC.
The second one basically the same, layered paper and ephemera, the infamous painted frame with a charm from an old (well, now it's old, I pulled it apart to get the charm!) bracelet charm and glued to the corner for dimension.
Can you tell I don't like flat ATC's?

Ready, Set, Post

Here are a few ATC's I've sent that I actually have photos for. They are for various swaps, as noted. Some are from when I first started making ATC's and a few more recent ones. Now that I think I have the hang of it, I can post as I make before sending, always my major fault. It's made, packaged and sent. On the way to the mailbox I think, Darn, should have taken a snap. So here goes, round #1.
This was for an altered book page swap.

Another altered book page ATC

Trick or Treat ATC

Vintage or Retro Halloween ATC

Boreal Owl ATC-series

Friday, September 14, 2012

This Old House

As if Halloween could get any better, this house came along.


(via Wall Photos)

This is Halloween, this is Halloween Pumpkins scream in the dead of night

My. God.

I have found the perfect venue for entertaining little trick or treaters. One problem-this isn't my house. Yet, I have dreams, big dreams. And it includes living in a lovley house  just like this one. Imagining all the fun exploring to do here, all the nooks and crannies that these homes made famous.
So whether your home is completely orange, naturally decorated with the colors that nature has to offer, or you have a Halloween blow-up in your yard. Celebrate and be grateful with exactly what you have. You never know what's around the next (spooky) corner.
Happy Haunting!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Let's Go (Halloween) Shopping

Sometimes you just can't wait for the Halloween merchandise to hit the stores. If you're like me, you keep a few pieces out all year round to give you that, "It's almost here" vibe in the room. I love looking at the vintage orange and black decorations and reminiscing about the fun trick-or-treating I had as a kid. Halloween shopping is just as fun, seeing all the new items, wondering how you can afford that wreath that you absolutely cannot live without.  And now I have found a store, an actual walk in the door store, HALLOWEEN store, that is open all year round. It's Halloween Store, and you lucky devil's (ha) in California have it in Burbank.
It is totally worth the trip out there, do I feel a birthday road trip coming on?
Let's get some shoes on, pack up the trailer and go shopping.
Converse Angry Birds Low Black Orange Canvas Shoes

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Have Halloween, WIll Travel

Here is the cutest little teardrop, painted orange and yellow. Kind of Halloween. I'd add a little black striping to make it more holiday friendly. But it still looks good!

But how fun would this be to serve little Trick-or Treaters out of this kitchen. Sitting, relaxing and handing out the candy. I really need to get me one of these. And maybe take a trip and visit another state, or city, and join in with that local Halloween atmosphere, see how someone else celebrates.
I'd like to see some ghosts hanging from that window. And on the other side, a full on haunted set-up. This is the perfect place to celebrate Halloween, at home or on the road.
Here's to the countdown!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pet Peeves

I love Halloween, Fall, the colors and smells of a new season. And because of that, I love all the excitement in stores when the new displays are up, new decorations and lights. What bothers me most about this holiday, is the magazines. Those glossy covers fool me every time. They claim to have newest Halloween ideas, costumes, decorations, and what? You get a beautiful cover with two pages of Halloween inside. Even one of the lasrgest Halloween magazines this year is a disappointment, displaying mostly last year's ideas. Did she not pay someone enough to re think the spread?
So, short of starting my own glossy, which would be terribly expensive, I am going to post the best, in my opinion, Halloween ideas and treats. Get ready kiddies and let's get ready for trick or treatin'. Halloween is coming and I'm not going to settle for mediocre.

Let's do some steppin'-Halloween style.

Chuck Taylor Hi "El Gigante" designed by Alán González

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday night crafting and baseball

No jinxing, so I cannot of write about the Giants while I watch. I guess that explains why I never became a sports writer. But I am watching them and blogging, and pinning and swap botting. is that a word? No, but it's fun to say. I have a lot material for a baseball blog, which I will be penning soon. Wait for after the season? or go ahead and start now in time for the post-season. So many decisions.
Crafting-I have so much to do. I continue to look at my Swap Bot dashboard like something is suddenly going to make itself. I always say the same thing-why do you wait so long? But I do and I don't think I'll ever change. Things I'm having difficulty with: Poe realated craft, Raven ATC's (why are there suddenly no ravens anywhere) And a Halloween purse charm. I can/will complete everything-just letting the cortisol become belly fat.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ready for Halloween

It is still very hot here in Tucson, my  tempers are flaring, and I'm really ready for the change fo weather. For us, it means not running around in a loin cloth all day, we can actually move to tank top and flips. Aside from that, geez, I wonder what it's like to wear a sweater...
I digress. Today in the mail I received Oriental Trading the new beading/scrapbooking catalog. This makes me so ready for Halloween. Check out these beads:

Bats & Mummies Lampwork Beads - 13mm-28mm
bat and skull lampwork beads

Halloween Lampwork Glass Beads - 3mm-11mm
And these fab scrapbooking items that I use in my ATC's:
Witch Hat Brads
There's tons nore, and I can't wait to get my order in. Happy crafting to me!