Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Love Garland for Use It Tuesday Challenge








Cropped this photo just special for all you people in warm places so you can see the contrast between indoor greenery and outdoor snow!! And, if you missed the post when we made these terrariums....

I was really taking the photo to show you guys this banner on my new grungy window frame....but cropped it so the outdoors would peep in!

So, was given two of these lovely white very old window frames back around Christmas. Had been trying to think of WHAT to do with them. I was torn between burning the frame in the wood stove and coming up with a plan to decorate it. Recently I spotted a post where someone used an old window minus the glass as a decorative piece with a banner. Of course, it was one of those blogs that I was randomly checking out and now can't find. I thought the concept was cool. Please, I beg you, if are you are reading this and have something similar to what I made here, let me know asap and I'll revise this post. I don't like not giving credit.

My intention WAS to keep my glass in however was I was a bit nervous about breaking it all out, the mess, etc. Plus, it was that pretty glass that is wavy and bumpy due to age. To prep my window frame I simply grabbed a steel bristled brush from the hubby used for cleaning rust off metal and started brushing off all the lose paint. This has the added affect of further distressing, if you like that look. Here is a close up for you so you can see the paint or lack there of on the frame.



While I was carefully brushing paint (PLEASE SEE BELOW ON MORE IMPORTANT TIPS) I realized that one of my glass pieces was cracked. I went to check it out further and realized that whole piece of glass was coming out since only the paint was holding it in.

Grabbed the huge outdoor garbage can, propped the frame over top of it and carefully smashed the glass inwards. Please wear safety glasses and be deliberate about where the glass shards are going. It was done in about five minutes and way easier than I anticipated. Having two I didn't feel as invested as I had a back up frame. And plus, there was always the wood stove should the whole project fail!

Next to make a banner.

While unpacking the Valentine's Day decorations, I realized that I had this old white banner from years ago. Vaguely remember having it hung somewhere. Thought the angels needed to come off, so cut them off carefully.


Then inked them up with some red & pink inkpads and spritzed with some homemade glimmermist, which was mostly alcohol with a little bit of some white shimmery paint. Yes, the whole thing is MESSY!!



I really like how they turned out once dry.

You never know when you start playing around with paint and alcohol how things will turn out exactly....



The flowers I added in between are some I had in my stash from The Mad Recycler to which I added some very bright green leaves and an extra pearl in the center of the flowers.

Of course, I had to spell out LOVE which involved cutting out one of the hearts to make it all work as far as spacing on the window and four letters. Had to add some bling to my paper letters in the form of roses, hearts and all that fun stuff!



I think I will link up this project with a challenge Irini was talking about on her blog for Use It Tuesday where their current challenge is all about love and using up your stash and to include a list of used items!

Heart Banner from Stash (10 years or Older)
Frame (donation and VERY OLD)
Flowers from The Mad Recycler and recycled book pages
Leaves from Recollections
Ink Pads from Close to My Heart
Alcohol 
White Shimmer Paint from Close to My Heart
Paper letters from Scrap Stash (not sure what brand)
Ribbon Roses from Shirley
Heart Stickers from Stickos

You have 'til Feb. 3rd so a little bit of time if you want to go play along!



ADDING an important note in here regarding dealing with old items that possibly might have lead based paint:

These window frames most certainly HAVE lead based paint. They are super old. Thanks Dad for pointing that out and urging precaution. Here is what he suggests:

When you steel brush old paint be aware of the fact that it is PROBABLY lead-paint. Use goggles, a dust mask and disposable gloves and continually wipe down the dust you are generating with a wet rag. Collect and dispose of the gloves, rags and paint chips in your trash, don't leave it on the floor where it might be tracked back into the house. A message from your safety officer, aka Dad. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Making Sugar Snow for AFSC


































HURRY! There is just a little bit of time to squeeze in this challenge at Another Freaking Scrappy Challenge!

The challenge this time is to use the sketch and to scrap something that represents winter  - children playing in snow, winter scene, whatever says winter to you! You have until the end of this month to play this and 1 January's challenge!


And a lovely easy to interpret sketch is provided.

I went with the first aspect of the challenge, children playing in snow! Only this snow is in a bowl in the warm house and we made some delicious Maple Taffy! My idea of a great recipe as you just need fresh snow and maple syrup! I used a candy thermometer which I pretty much found useless. When it's foamy and sticky looking, it's the best time to pour on the snow.

Do you all have Maple Syrup where you're at?  I just was talking to a guy the other day who was telling me about Birch Syrup in Alaska. I have been to Alaska, but never had birch syrup. So, I need to get my hands on that at some point. He's the same dude next door that is tapping his maple trees to make his first batch of Maple Syrup come spring. I will blog about the process if you're interested....



And a quick close up of a cool flower made by Eye Candy Magic! Some of the blooms I won in a prize pack from her...in fact that little yellow one with the snowflake and yellow center came out of that batch, I believe.


You can just spy another one of her blooms at the top of this photo along with the little vintage label I cut out.

I would have taken a photo of the maple syrup as normally they have the name of the person making it, but we got the bottle from the folks up the road who did their first boiling down last spring. I made a page about it last April and dug up the post for you.

Guess I was bein' shy and only wrote a few paragraphs! Where did that shyness go??? Now I write a book!!!!!

The snowflakes popping through the white were glimmermisted on and came from Shirley! They made great masks!

Well, have a SWEET Monday!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Story: DUCK by Bruce Mero

The morning sun broke the eastern horizon at exactly the moment Eddie pulled his Tempest onto the gravel shoulder of the road and turned off the motor. 

 

          “Well, this is the place,” he said. 

 

          I’d been dozing on and off for the last half hour while he drove and was not aware of where we were until then.  We’d spotted this place a couple of weeks ago and decided to return on the first day of the season to try our luck at duck hunting.

 

          “Let’s get the car unpacked and haul this stuff over to the edge of the pond and set it up,” said Eddie. 

 

          “Set what stuff up,” I replied?

 

          “That stuff,” he said, nodding toward the back seat.

 

          It had been dark when he picked me up and I had been only half-awake when I slumped into his car and closed my eyes.  I had not noticed that the back seat was piled full of gear that he thought we’d need to hunt ducks.  I’d brought a borrowed 16-gauge shotgun and a pocket full of shells to the hunt, thinking that was all I’d need.  Eddie had another idea, and he’d filled the back seat and stuffed the trunk of his car with enough gear to outfit a several week safari.

 

          We started by unpacking the trunk, or rather, I started.  Eddie had taken his crutches out of the back seat and leaned against the side of the car while I stacked his gear next to him. Eddie had been a paraplegic since being injured in a serious car accident while he was in high school.  He had broken his back in the accident and now wore heavy braces on his legs and was unable to stand or walk without his metal crutches.  We were very good friends and we both were comfortable joking about his disability. 

 

          “Who the hell is going to carry all of this stuff,” I asked? 

 

          “You are,” he replied, “why did you think I asked you to come along? I’ll help,” and he grabbed a backpack and slung it onto his shoulder. “I’ll carry the beer,” he volunteered, and started for the pond. 

 

          I took his two shotguns from the trunk and a canvas bag of shells, picked my shotgun out of the front seat and ran to catch-up with Eddie.  He moved quickly on this braces and crutches, metal parts clanking on one another as he plunged into the high grass.  I drew along side just as he came to a four-strand, barbed wire fence.  Undeterred, he hoisted a crutch and braced leg over the top wire while holding it down with his other crutch, bounced once and vaulted over, pivoting on the first crutch over the fence.  He fell on his back, rolled once and picked himself up. 

 

          “Shucks, now the beer will be all foam,” he said.

 

          And he moved off.  I managed to get through the fence with a bit more grace, adjusted the three shotguns I’d slung over my shoulders and caught up with him. 

 

          “You’re going to have to make a few more trips with our stuff,” he remarked nonchalantly, and rattled quickly across the pasture toward the pond. 

 

          About 50 feet from the next barbed wire fence, I heard heavy footsteps and branches breaking behind me and to my left.  I glanced over my shoulder and spotted a cow emerging from the brush a hundred feet to our right.  I realized that the cow was actually a bull when he shook his horns and bolted for us.  With a yelp, Eddie and I were instantly at a dead run.  I made it to the fence only a second or two ahead of my friend and cleared the wire.  With a great metallic clatter, Eddie vaulted over, catching the tail of his raincoat on the barbed wire in mid-flight and landing in a heap at the base of the fence.  He rolled once to get away from the fence, the raincoat ripping into pieces as he did, and stood up.  The back of his raincoat had stayed behind on the barbed wire and he had dropped the backpack of beer on the bull’s side of the fence.  The bull stopped short of the fence, snorted and feigned a charge at us.  Eddie charged back and grabbed the fence in his hands.  He was going back for the beer, but reconsidered when the bull charged the fence.  Eddie fell back.  The bull then noticed the backpack, lowered his head and gored it.  The backpack stuck on the bull’s horn and he raised his head and shook.  Foam spilled from the bag as the bull threw it down and stomped it with his front hoofs.  Beer cans could be heard popping with each crash of hoofs. 

 

          “Crap,” said Eddie.  He ripped off the remainder of his raincoat from both arms, threw the pieces over the fence at the bull and turned toward the pond.  “Come on,” he said, “you go back later and see if there are any good cans left.” 

 

          We settled on a dry spot next to the edge of the pond.  Eddie sat on the ground and I handed him the guns and shotgun shells.  I went back to the car to get more of his gear, prudently going around the outside of the pasture to avoid the bull who was snorting and charging the ripped raincoat piece still hanging on the fence.  The beer was a total loss, I figured and besides, there was no way I was going back into the pasture to see if there were any good cans left.

 

          At the car, I sorted the gear.  Some stuff I would carry to the pond, some I would leave in the car.  Only a cooler of sandwiches and a pair of hip waders made the cut.  I left behind a portable duck blind, an inflatable two-man raft with paddles, a canvas pup tent, four rolls of toilet paper, a huge roll of plastic sheeting, two folding chairs, a cooking kit, a first-aid kit, a tool box, two sleeping bags, air mattresses, an axe, a camouflage umbrella, two fishing poles, a tackle box, six more boxes of shotgun shells, a portable radio, eight duck and three goose decoys and a Boy Scout manual.  The bull was still kicking the beer bag around when I passed along the pasture fence. I was headed to the spot where I’d left Eddie when I heard him fire-off three shots. 

 

          I ran down to the pond and Eddie was excited. 

 

          “I got one, I think,” he said, pointing to a spot on the water between two dead trees. 

 

          “Got one what? I don’t see anything,” I responded, annoyed that he’d not waited for me to return before he’d started hunting. 

 

          “A duck,” he said. and pointed to the same spot.  “Put on the waders and go and get him for me,” said Eddie.

 

          “What do I look like, your retriever?” I replied.

 

          “How the hell else did you expect to get the ducks we shoot,” he snorted.  “I brought a raft and hip waders with us, you only brought the waders back from the car. Either you go back and get the raft or you go out there with the hip waders on and get my duck.”

 

          I took off my jacket and grabbed the boots.

 

          I’d never put my feet into waders before and these were many sizes too big for me.  I pulled the straps tight and the boots still flapped loose at my chest, great rubber wrinkles at my knees and ankles.   My first step into the mud was a new experience.  I immediately got both feet stuck in the mud and lurched forward into the pond.  I was unable to get up unassisted, so I rolled to my side and Eddie poked a crutch in my direction and pulled me onto firmer ground.  I was mud everywhere.  I spit out cold mud and wiped pond slime from my face with my sleave. 

 

          “Come on,” he said impatiently, “quit screwing around and go get my duck.”

 

          Slowly I gained confidence wading out into the chest-deep water.  I still couldn’t see where Eddie’s duck was, but he directed me to the spot between the dead trees he’d thought it had dropped. The mucky pond-bottom was full of roots and rocks and several times I lost my footing and nearly went down. 

 

          I was about seventy-five feet from shore when Eddie yelled  “Duck”.  

 

          “Where?” I yelled, thinking he was still directing me toward the missing duck.

 

          “Duck” he screamed again and he fired off three shots, two of which slammed into the dead tree at my right, a few yards above my head, showering me with wood slivers. 

 

          I wasn’t sure what he meant by “duck”, but when he pulled off three more rounds and the top of the tree to my left splashed into the water, I ducked…underwater.  It was an involuntary action; stupid in retrospect, but a survival response.  I squatted and my entire body went down as the hip-waders filled with water and sucked me under.  After a moment, I recovered, stood up and looked back at Eddie.

 

          “Creep, you scared them away,” he cried, thrusting his shotgun in the air.

 

          “Son-of-a-....., I’m going to kill you,” I yelled and headed toward him. The water-filled waders were impossible to maneuver.  I stepped on a slippery log, fell backwards and went under again. 

 

          It was precisely at that moment that I quit duck hunting forever.  I can’t even remember the rest of what happened that morning.  I know that by the time I managed to get myself out of the pond, Eddie was headed back to the car at a clanking, deliberate pace, carrying everything he could manage to carry.  He knew I was pissed.  I kept the hip waders on for the return trip and sloshed muddy pond water onto his car seat with every bump.  Eddie kept to himself on the way home.   He made a half-hearted attempt to interest me in another hunting adventure as he left me at my apartment, but he knew from my silence that the suggestion was going nowhere.  We’re still good pals, but we’ve not been hunting together since, and don’t talk about it much, either. 


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ah paint....

How I hate to paint.

Don't mean the fun kind.

The kind that comes in a gallon from the hardware store type of paint.

I was planning on watching the Clay Goddess down the road unload her kiln and trim the bottom of my pot.

I had been waving at her house all week running to and from Potsdam with plans of stopping.

But, I made myself start prepping for paint.

I mean, I had already purchased the paint with great plans of doing a wall a night last week.

Last week was not my most favorite week and was one of those where sliding into the weekend was a welcome relief.

So, started prepping the downstairs by washing down a wall. Removing all the light covers. You know the drill.

An 11 year old started poking her nose in since she has been DYING to see what Apple Green looks like on the wall. She did pick it out.

I handed her a roller and heard a huge sign.

Evidently it was her life long dream to roll Apple Green onto a wall.

Lest you think I am Tom Sawyer or was it Huck Finn, I did take my turn.

And did all the cutting in.

So, no clay for me today. I will have to leave you with a piece of old clay art that may be my inspiration for my first piece on my slap roller.

And, to show you how scary my brain is, painting the spare room is one step towards getting my clay studio set up downstairs. I have no clue why since they happen to be NEXT to each other but somehow this is progress????

Friday, January 27, 2012

Valentine's Day Teacher Gifts




































THE MAN calls me a brown noser. I think that is slightly rude of him, but sometimes when he talks, I just plain old don't listen! 

If you are reading this blog from parts other than the US, let me give you a definition so you don't have to google it since I am hopeful you all don't have this term in your country. Be thankful I didn't use the urban dictionary definition...though. 



brown-nose

  [broun-nohz]  Show IPA verb, -nosed,-nos·ing, noun Slang .
verb (used without object)
1.
to curry favor; behave obsequiously.


So, teacher gifts to him fall into this category. In his simple man brain, by default teachers are doing a job, so why should they get extra gifts?

See? I knew you'd think he was just bein' a meanie. So, these people have my kids hostage captive  for HOURS every day. Sometimes I love having my kids for HOURS every day. Others, not so much. It depends on whether one is poking the other. 

Regardless, I can make them something for those times when my son looses his cool because he forgot his ice skates for gym and comes unglued. For the record, his teacher called me on both of my phones AND gave me her personal cell number and I was pretty sure someone was on their way to the hospital. It made listening to the person on one of my phones quite distracting while I was eagerly trying to get off and figure out how fast I had to drive and where. HOWEVER, I got his skates to him causing the planet to continue to turn and life was peachy. 

I think she either needs something chocolate OR something adorable. 

Hence four little heart shaped boxes! I made four because Lexi has an aide in her class. Luke had a student teacher for a bit, but not any more. Leaving him one extra box to give to a girl of his choice. I personally hope he picks the little girl on the bus who he insists sits with him and not the other way 'round. 

These boxes will be filled with special home made earrings made by Lexi. 

No photos of those, I can't give it all away! 

But, I can show you my process!

Bring out the cookie sheet!

Painted little boxes with gesso. These boxes are from Michaels and were perhaps a whole dollar. 


Let the gesso dry and then inked up the high spots and edges with ink pads. oh, you want a shot of the inkpads? They are not pretty...OH ok. 




These little work horse ink pads take the brunt of my dirty fingers and messy projects. 



And, here they are drying. After inking them up, I sprayed them with glimmermist, let that dry, and then used gloss modge podge over them to attach a doily and seal the colors.

Then decorate!



SORRY! I had to include this photo! I thought you might like a close up! Taking a picture ON a mirror requires an certain angle...

How do you like my mirror? It's a new find from North Country Neighbor. I'll introduce you formally at some point. Like, when it's actually hung and not floating around my craft room as a prop!



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Schedules and Exercise and a whole lot of me blabbing

When I woke up this morning, I might have had a few hater thoughts about my Zumba Instructors...and to give full credit, Our Fearless Leader from CardioFit on Monday may also be to blame.

Where exactly DID my muscles go for Christmas and why was I not involved if they were taking a break? 

Does rolling out of bed HAVE to be painful at 5:30 am?

Is it just my imagination or do my instructors look gleeful about inflicting pain as we sweat??

I was a little amazed to make it through the holidays without any weight gain. The year before, the cookies were my downfall I think.

Didn't necessarily eat LESS cookies this year, I don't think. But maybe my metabolism is better?

Or perhaps the muscle mass that obviously left the second half of December and first couple of weeks of January balanced out any possible weight increase?

Anyhow, I have committed myself to three classes a week for 2012. CardioFit on Mondays and Wednesdays with a little Zumba thrown in on Tuesdays. 

It's a bit hard to give up an hour each night. 

That used to be my scrappin' time. 

Thursday night IS the night I look forward to where I'm not running anywhere.

Although, I wouldn't give up an hour with the girls unless I had to. It's nice to get out and socialize. 

I think it's important to identify what types of exercise and when/where you would be most likely to do it.

A couple of years ago if you asked me to leave in the evening after I got home from being gone for say like 10 and a half hours, I'd tell you where you could stick your class. I used to try to sneak in a half hour of YMCA time on the way home, but by the time I got there and changed, it was time to grab kids from daycare. Nearly impossible. 

I do wish my classes were more spread out, but I have a firm rule about eating together that I really try not to break and I really have to stick with ones offered at 6:30 pm. There is another Zumba class offered on Sat. am but I like to make a big breakfast if I can on Sat. and so only go sporadically. 

I know, I want my cake and to eat it too, PLUS without the calories!

The one thing that DID help me around a year and a half ago was a free site called MyFitnessPal that tracks calories. I know, one more thing to do each day, seriously? Basically you tell this program how much you weigh, how much you want to weigh, how many pounds you want to lose each week and it charts it out for you. You enter in how much you eat each meal and it tells you remaining calories. It also gives you calories back for exercising. 

I lucked out because I have a pc or two or three on all day I'm working on. So, adding my meals without someone looking over my shoulder at work is easy since my coworkers are all pets.  Another choice is an application that goes on your phone. I will say that I don't use a calorie counter today. However, I now know that the oatmeal cookies I made from scratch the other day are upwards of at least 74 calories or a bit more since mine aren't tiny! 

They have common things that people eat every day right on there. You ate a Subway sub for lunch? Probably something close is on there if you start by typing in Subway. My Quaker Oatmeal cookies are right there, the kind I make by flipping the lid over. It's easy. Not eating too much is much harder.

I viewed it as a training tool to show me what various things did to my daily diet. I know apples have more calories than bananas. Apples with peanut butter, oh my. LOTS more calories. But, boy that last sentence there makes it all seem like absolutely no fun. 

I guess the other important thing is not to let NOT exercising or not tracking your calories be a tool you can use to beat yourself up with. I recall a few post baby years of being so exhausted with my life that a nice snack on the couch after the kids had gone to bed was my only treat. And I'd sit there and feel so guilty all the way through it.

Flash forward to 9 years after my last kid was born and I am just getting around to losing that 10 lbs that is making my body mass index too high. I didn't even really know I had any issues until the company I worked for brought people into the office to weigh us and check our stats. I mean, I knew I had less than no muscle, hated how my jeans were tight and my stomach looked. I had no clue it was making me unhealthy however. 

Who cares about a bathing suit body with two weeks of vacation and no free time? 

The whole thing sounds invasive right?

It wasn't mandatory, but they offered a huge incentive to participate and even more money if you achieved the goals they set for you. There was no way I was making their goals although I totally wanted the money. For one thing, I had less than no time. And the second thing? Not the right tools. Like, that calorie counter link. I had NO idea that even existed. 

So, I give them an A for offering the incentive, but a D for not offering the right tools like a calorie tracking program. 

I learned about those at my CardioFit class. And feel impelled to share the concept with everyone I know including you!   

Also, we don't really worry too much about weight at my class. We use measurements and also challenges. Also, it really is about sharing your goals and chatting with other people who are working towards the same goals. And feeling better about how you fit into your jeans. 

I also offered myself a nice reward when I reached my end goal. I think rewards also are very helpful!!

So, that is the point of this post. I'm sharing what I did with you because I wish I had been given something similar. And those sore muscles? That too will pass. 

ANEW Scrapbook Page for Once Upon....A Sketch
















Wanted to play along with Once Upon A....Sketch due to their great challenge:


January 15th Challenge

Journaling Criteria

HELLO 2012 or GOODBYE 2011? 

 For this challenge, the journaling theme is new beginnings, upcoming adventures but also saying goodbye to yet another year.. Are you glad 2011 is over? Are you looking forward to starting fresh in 2012? What are your goals or resolutions for the year ahead? What are you most looking forward to? Or maybe you can journal about your thoughts for the new year. 

Things that you can journal about: a new job, house, baby or new scrapping adventures or Design Teams. Are you taking time off work? Are you planning a holiday somewhere? Maybe your children are starting school or you are getting a new pet. Or you could tell us why you are glad 2011 is over or why you will miss it. Anything goes really!


And here is their lovely sketch to use. I twisted it for my layout. I wanted to use a big circle but then wanted to keep my background paper visible. My circle is actually a coffee filter that was under the cheese cloth when I dyed it and is a bunch of lovely colors! Plus, I recycled it right onto my page. See the corner sticking out there below?

I choose this specific sheet of Tim Holtz paper from Lisa because of the January date across the top. 

Here is a close up of my journaling.


The clock face that is affixed to the brown and black doily is from Tim Holtz and a present from Lisa, while the stem & doily are from Irini all the way to me from Greece!

Used up a bit of burlap 'cause I was in quite the organic mood and some cheese cloth I had dyed.

I love how it turned out. I used a couple of different colors and was pleasantly surprised. 

About my title:


a·new

  [uh-noo, uh-nyoo]  Show IPA
adverb
1.
over again; again; once more: to play the tune anew.
2.
in a new form or manner: to write the story anew.

I think it works for what I am doing here, what about you?

And you might have noticed that I have joined the ranks of people on design teams if you read my journaling. 

When I first started blogging around a year ago I applied for every DT opening without really getting a feel for the challenge blog or their team. 

I didn't even know whether I loved sketches or not. Or what my style is. Or even if I loved blogging. 

Now I feel like I've got a better handle on all that. Nothing too concrete but I know what I like, how much time I have, and what girls seem super friendly at various blogs.

So, when the DT call went out for Another Freaking Scrappy Challenge site I was all over it. I like AFSC because their challenges usually allow me to work on a page for a scrapbook I'm making all about me. And as silly as it sounds, those pages about me interest my kids the most. They wander up, make funny comments on my attire, hair, etc. Secondly the AFSC girls seem very down to earth. The last thing I need is more drama or something that is super fun made into work! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Snow Angel Make Over

Ok, so I am fooling a bit with this title. It should read Angel Tree Topper Re-do, but I will explain the snow part in a few paragraphs or eight, judging by my ability to write in excess.

This angel has sat upon the Pratt Family Christmas tree back when there were just two Pratts. It may have even been prior to that when there was a Pratt and Mero and pre-Wedding. So, been married almost 14 years so she may be celebrating her Sweet 16!

So long ago it was a bit of a puzzle & amusing to take her apart.

So, this year at Christmas I pulled out this sorry old angel and set her aside. My fearless helper Lexi questioned why and I named off things like, her dress is stained from sap, she is dusty, etc.

Lexi said, we'll we can't throw her out with that tone of injustice one might have if you have seen this angel on your tree for 11 years.

So, we used her again for the year and I added her to my list to do in 2012. See there she is from FAAAAAAARRRRRR away where you can't see the tree sap stained skirt or dust. BUT hey, I know she she looks like up close and it isn't pretty.


And, here is a close up. See the stains from years of tree sap? And you can't see the dust from this angle, trust me it's there.


So, step one was to get a plan. I knew I wanted a much fuller skirt since it always bugged me I could see through the material I used ages ago. 

I did LOVE the vintage lace I used along the bottom and wanted to keep it.

So, after much pondering I came up with taking her apart a bit, washing the skirt with goo gone and adding a lace doily around the bottom. 

A trip to Ebay and I scored a very elaborate lace doily for the shirt. 

I even measured and figured my problems were solved. 

They were not. When I played around with the doily, I had this HUGE gap between the actual dress and the  doily that I now hated.

I decided to go with Plan B. 

I added two vintage handkerchiefs in a layer and thought it made me feel slightly better. Then I carefully cut out the center in what I thought was a circle. If you try this at home, maybe try tracing one?


Next it was time to rescue my angel from the bathroom where she was drying. 

NO, I have no clue why she's sideways since I rotated the photo and it appears right before I import into blogger. 

I will say before I got to the careful washing step and chipping sap off her dress, I clipped her wings and took a good gander on how I assembled her many years ago. 

oh my! I used a shoulder pad I had clipped out a shirt and found two round beads I had sown on for.....um....a realistic um, bosom. 


So, did a quick little whip stitch around the new skirt topper and stood back to admire it. Still didn't like it. I still had too much of a gap. I decided to fill that gap with some gauze that was slightly longer. I used the rolled edges as a seam and that made me feel much better. 

Some hot gluing and finally, I was happy with my results. SUPER HAPPY!!!


And here she is all completed having a glamour shot on my back deck strategically placed on a recent find from the thrift store that was handy in preventing her from getting too wet from some fresh snow.  

See the snow flakes on the roses and star?  That is because in my haste to grab my camera as I rushed out the door to take this photo she may have fallen face first in the snow.

I thought for sure she was a goner. She is porcelain after all. 

Nope, guess she just wanted to make a quick snow angel before her photo!

PHEW!



And, what do I do with a newly completed tree topper that has 11 months to wait before seeing a Christmas tree again?

Why, stick her in the middle of some Valentine's Day stuff so I can enjoy her for a bit before putting her away. 

I think she's earned it!




Tuesday, January 24, 2012

White Tag for Lisa from Kansas




Oh goodness! I took this photo a few days ago on the porch to get some sun and I was battling winds and it was FREEZING! Do you know how hard it is to take a photo of ribbon when it's windy? Never the less, I wanted a GOOD shot of it!

Anyhow, played along with Tag Tuesday last week. They are a fun place to hang if you are inclined to want to play Tag.

I made this tag for Lisa from Kansas because she is wishing for snow.

Of course today, I am slightly wishing for snow too.

It got warm here so snow is just about gone, exposing all the ice on the driveway. I have been penguin walking out to the garage to feed the stove and haven't fallen on my butt just yet.

Here is a close up of the charms, two from Tim Holtz and the third was one I found at the craft store that I added the words WISH to and some crackle glaze & glitter.

Just a smidge of eye lash ribbon from Shirley and some Stampin' Up seam binding....



The embossed paper was some cardstock that came behind some embellishments and I recycled by flipping over and running through my Big Shot.

The middle section is a cellophane envelope with a white insert to which I attached my tree photo cut in an oval.

The challenge itself was to create a tag with white, so I was trying to fade out the photo a bit.

Of course, I broke the rules a bit with my blue green seam binding, but I had none in white and was going for the rumpled crumpled look.

Hope you love it, Lisa from Kansas! I will pop it in the mail just as soon as I am brave enough to penguin walk down my driveway to the mail box!

The theme this week at  Tag Tuesday  is vintage, RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!

Whoohooo!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Light Page for the ScrapFit Simple Things Challenge


































Did you ever notice that doilies from someplace else are exotic?

I mean, I imagine they must come in a package just like ours here of say 12 for super cheap but these that came to me all wrapped up special from Greece...yes, they basically were added to this page lickety split in a fit of love. IN fact, my hoarder nature caused me to actually cut one in half! Big thanks to Irini for my package of exotic scrappy treats! That little ticket in the corner is from her too!

I know!

I am crazy about doilies and happy mail!!

No more crazy for making a page about Light.

All day when it's not overcast I am bathed in light from the huge windows we have in the back of the house overlooking the meadow.

In the summer of course, that means I occasionally bake which prompts me to hole up some place with air conditioning.

The rest of the time, that means I'm enjoying the view. Having worked in various places, some of which didn't even HAVE windows, I'm not taking this gig I have for granted.

Light in winter is especially nice as I remember at the old house rolling down the driveway in the dark and rolling back up the driveway in the dark. Saturday am was always a shock when I saw how dirty and dusty things were because I had only looked at my house in the evening all week!

 Anyhow, the little bird cage rub-on had suffered a terrible accident and I only had half of it left to rub-on this page. It represents being caged up at work! ;-)

The background paper is from Tim Holtz and was also a gift from Lisa.

I kept this page pretty simple in going with the latest challenge over at ScrapFit. The chief lady over there is also a North County girl so I am betting she will totally agree with me when I say the sunsets and sunrises here are amazing! There is this blue that the sky gets that is out of this world. I have tried and tried to capture the sky, but photos cannot compare.

Oh and how did my clay class go on Saturday!? Amazing! I can almost feel a piece of my brain that was locked away starting to come alive. In fact, as I was falling asleep last night I was thinking about what I want my first project to be!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Stories by Bruce Mero: Snort





















 Here is a recent shot of our back meadow. I completely understand where Dad is coming from on his deer problem! This is a common view, usually even a few more! We enjoy our "wild herd" and harvesting a deer or two from our land every year. Thankfully the dogs keep them out of our flowers and veggies, but the gardens are VERY close to the house. 
         

See how furry they are for winter? We have a happy herd of wild deer as they eat the corn from the farmer in front of the house and then cross the road to munch our meadow, into the grove of wild apple trees for more snacks and then go down to the creek for a drink! 

Snort        
By Bruce H. Mero


          Given the genius of hindsight, I am able to explain some of what happened that mid-November afternoon, but only some of it. To this day, my actions remain to me inexplicable.

          I am no longer a hunter, a hunter of deer, that is. I do occasionally challenge the red squirrels at our bird feeders with my Daisy BB gun and do kill the muskrats drilling holes in our pond bank with my ancient Target Master 22. Neither of these endeavors, however are really hunting, not to me. I enjoyed going after White-tail Deer when I was in my teens and early twenties, but once the shots were fired and the quarry felled, the fun stopped. I was averse to the rest of the process. Still am. Today, rather than hunt myself, we allow a few guys to hunt them on our farm. We have grown to hate the deer. Allowing hunting on our farm is our attempt to alleviate the damage those damnable critters do to our vegetable and flower gardens. In exchange, we get a few venison dinners from our hunters when they're successful. We have developed a taste for venison and take comfort in the knowledge that eating deer meat taken on our property, in a small way is pay-back for feeding our home-grown veggies to them all summer. Our daughter claims that this is the only way one should eat broccoli or kale...second hand...by eating the deer who ate it first in our garden. We like our cucurbits both ways. We despise the deer.

          So, on that sunny afternoon, intent on doing who-knows-what, I rounded the corner into the upper pond meadow when forty feet in front of me I encountered a crotch-horn buck, nose down and headed for the apple tree I'd just passed. He looked up a couple of steps after I'd seen him and stopped in his tracks. Under normal conditions, he would have sprinted in the opposite direction. Under normal conditions, I'd have waved my arms and chased him back into the brush. Neither happened. Instead, he stiffened, looked me over and stood his ground. I stifled my fight-or-flight reaction, straightened and stood still also.

          Now the hindsight I cannot explain. I've had the time to think about these next moments over the years. Prudence dictates that I should have reacted differently. At the time however, my reactions were instantaneous and absent any forethought.

           Our little buck put his head down, pawed the ground two or three times and snorted his defiance. I stayed, in spite of also knowing that the only defense I had to muster was my apparent bravado and the little garden trowel I was carrying. Retrospect tells me that probably I should have done otherwise; still, I lowered my head, pawed the grass with my boot and snorted.

           I looked up, expecting that I'd see his white tail fleeing the meadow. Instead, he stood, then cocked his head to the right and stared. He then took several defiant steps towards me, lowered his head, pawed the ground with his left hoof and snorted. He raised his eyes to see what I was going to do next, half expecting me, I surmised, to turn and flee. Rather, and I have no explanation, I took several equally defiant steps ahead, lowered my gaze, pawed the ground with my pack boots and snorted. I was really hoping to see the deer fleeing when I looked up, but he just stood there, seemingly perplexed. Less than twenty feet separated the two of us.

          To my astonishment, he then repeated his several steps forward, nose to the ground. He shook his little horns at me and repeated his foot scraping and snorting routine. He straightened. I straightened and thought he was expecting that that little display had scared me off. Instead and defiantly, I lowered my gaze, stepped three of four paces forward, raked my foot on the ground several times and twice snorted. I had no horns to brandish at him, but I shook my head anyways; why is anyone's guess. I have no explanation, though, obviously common sense was no longer in control. When I looked up, he was still there and so close I could spit on him.

          He stiffened, his muscles tensed. He shook his horns and stared. I was freaking. Surely he was going to charge and impale me on his spiky little horns and me with only a puny garden trowel to defend myself with if this stupidity went any further. Still, I stiffened and stood my ground. I put my hands on my hips and tried to make myself appear larger, though my knees were trembling and I peed myself a little. He snorted. I retorted. He snorted again then slowly turned and walked away. He never looked back and disappeared into the brush at the edge of the meadow. Regaining my knees and my composure, I also walked away. Whatever I had been doing with that garden trowel in the meadow was no longer important.