Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Swappin' Bees

Here are some of the results in from the latest Queen Bee 5 swap. I created brooches made from yo-yos and above is Patty's zipper rose brooch, very creatively presented on a paint chip (love it!) I have a huge collection of old zippers- don't ask me why, I just like them - and Patty's rose has me inspired to maybe try some floral arranging (with teeth!).
In the mean time, I can't wait to wear this one!

Linda did some felting. I love this flower, layered on wooly, tweedy fabric. Because she knows my favorite colors (anything in brown hues), this flower will look wonderful on EVERYTHING in my wardrobe!

We also swapped charms/ danglies at the same time.
Patty out-did herself with two offerings, both again creatively presented in clever packaging.
The bird nest charm is attached to a blue paint chip rubber stamped with birds.
The altered game piece came attached to a mini repro BINGO card.
The presentation is so great, I hate to detach them from their cards!

Linda's dangle is a wonderful piece of jewelry.
The bee charm is my favorite part!
It will add a touch of class to anything I hang it from.
Thank you girls!


But wait!

There are still packages coming from Switzerland and New Zealand.
More art mail on the way!

*rubbing hands with gleeful anticipation*


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Beauty in the Mundane

Some things are such rare finds, I just HAVE to share them!
Take these matches for instance. I never thought I would live to see the day when I would find something so jewel- like. I've seen gold tipped matches (from a casino in Carson City, NV?) but those are garrish compared to these sublime sulfur tips.
The box was something from the 1970s and rough looking, so I gave it a face lift with antique wallpaper scraps.
Funny thing, the matches now compliment this bark cloth scrap I have.
They both make me think of my screened-in back porch and make me pine for spring and warmer weather.
Both the cloth and matches can be found in my etsy shop.
Maybe you need to accessorize your own dream oasis?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

American Pickers

It's rare that I am obsessed about a TV show. There were "Murphy Brown" and "Northern Exposure" in the '80s (I planned my week around them!) and more recently "CSI Las Vegas" and "Ghost Hunters". "American Pickers" is my latest obsession. It premiered this past Monday on the History channel. No, it's not about banjo players (puh-leeeeze!), nor is it about those who mine boogers (gross!). It's two guys in a big truck driving around the Iowa/ Illinois countryside looking for properties that look like salvage yards. They scout out great old rusted relics, and unique collectibles and convince the owners to part with the stuff for a little ca$h. They don't come in and offer to buy it all-- these guys are selective. They pick and choose. They know the market and their clients. And sometimes they just choose something by instinct. We all have our weaknesses for certain objects.
Why do I like this show?
First of all, I like junk. Second, I love the thrill of the hunt. That adrenaline rush when you spot that "treasure" among all of the "trash". Third, I love to hear stories about how other people have found their treasure. And fourth, I am surrounded with my own American Pickers playground. I live in the land of pack rats and many of these old folks aren't willing to part with a single item (even to their relatives) because it is theirs. They don't have 401ks or fat bank accounts. They have their stuff. And you never know when something will come in handy. I am hoping to pick up a few pointers from the show.
So if you are a treasure hunter and a pack rat, I highly recommend you tune in on Monday nights at 9eastern/8central or DVR it, like I do. History Channel. American Pickers. Life is too short to watch it all, do it all or have it all. Be selective. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion

Need two industrial spools of nubby thread?

A slightly used heart?

A dress form muse (SOLD 1-20-10) or some handwritten nature journal pages? (originals, not digital downloads)

You can find these and other enticing items in my etsy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

When Life Gives You Yo-Yos...

...Make brooches for a swap.

This one is mine.
I love the color brown and ochre runs a close second.

Not telling whose this is!
This is one of my favorite sentiments
which is why I have a hard time decluttering...
Created for the latest QB5 swap.
I still have to create some dangles
that will keep the brooches company
as they travel far and wide
in their cozy envelopes..

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winter Never Looked so Beautiful and 10 Things I Like

There are warmer temperatures fore casted for this week so by Friday we should be seeing less snow and more earth. Translation- mud. I am not looking forward to what the dogs and kids will be tracking into the house shortly!
But just as I am being pessimistic about what is on the horizon, I wake up this morning to find new winter beauty. Breathtaking beauty. It had thawed some yesterday but the temps dropped to a hard freeze again over night. Where was all that new moisture supposed to go? I guess that's the phenomenon of hoar frost. Frozen dew.
There is also a new dusting of snow falling today. Frozen air. The flakes are barely falling, they are so light. Seem to just hover in the air before finding something to cling to.

I knew I did not have long to document the gorgeous scenery, with warmer air expected. It's as if everything got a thin glaze of white paint. So Shabby Chic! These are all views from my yard. I didn't stray far in the 7*F. air. These branches are the ancient maple in our backyard.
In the photo below is the house across the street from us. It is a shabby, unpainted house, but you would never know it while it's framed in frost and snow. The brown shrubbery in the bottom of the photo is our "dead" hydrangeas. Above them are the over hanging branches of the giant evergreen in our side yard.

And here I will take the opportunity to list 10 things I like which are free.
I got voluntarily tagged by Bad Penny.
1. SNOW. I like winter as long as it is white.
2. Icicles. Especially when they sparkle in the sunlight.
3. The first green shoots (crocuses) that appear
at the hint of spring.
4. The smell of wood smoke on the winter air.
5. Toasting my jeans on the space heater before slipping them on.
Like a warm hug!
6. Watching our St. Bernard and basset hound gamboling through the deep snow as they chase something on the other side of our fence (this morning it was the trash truck ;)
7. Having hot tea, scrambled eggs, toast and home made applesauce on a tray this morning, in the living room
as Rebecca and I watched TV.
Actually, priceless.
8. Getting back to our nice warm home
after running errands in the cold.
9. Absolute deafening silence.
I don't get enough of it with 3 kids and 2 dogs.
10. Sharing all of this with blogging friends.
If you have read this, consider your self tagged.
List 10 things you like which are free.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Power of Ice

We have had a HARD freeze in Missouri.
A couple days ago the water line in our laundry room froze.
I resigned myself to not doing laundry for a couple days,
but some things like dirty clothes cannot be put off from washing indefinitely.
So yesterday I bought a space heater and set it up
in the laundry room.
Almost 18 hours later, the dam broke.
Water gushed from under the wall and
across the floor of the back porch
and cascaded down the foundation wall in the basement.
My husband said, "I was afraid this might happen".
I don't know how we could have avoided it.
If it didn't happen today, it would have happened next Wednesday
when the temperature is expected to go above freezing.
And we might not have been home to catch the flood before our water meter spun itself silly.
Being that our house is almost 100 years old and the plumbing is cobbled together by a successive line of both professional and amateur plumbers, there is no shut off valve in the basement to the laundry room plumbing.
My husband had to shut the water off at the street.
The whole house was without water.
My husband said it might take 3 hours to repair.
I caught myself several times washing my hands at a dry sink.
Fortunately, Rebecca was getting a midday bath when the laundry room pipe started gushing,
so we had a tub full of water for flushing the toilet while repairs were being made.
Using the toilet is also something you can't put off indefinitely.
The repair took less than 3 hours (a relief),
but made a big mess.
Drywall dust spewed into the air as the wall was cut
(with a power saw)
to access the broken pipe.
The price I pay for having working plumbing!
Good thing I hadn't done any cleaning in the laundry or (ajoining) kitchen recently.
I would be recleaning.
While out for replacement pipe,
my husband stopped at the grocery store, at my request,
for a botte of wine.
He didn't question it.
Just bought the wine.
He thinks he's getting lucky later.
All this fuss over a plug of ice in a half inch copper pipe!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Have I Died and Gone to Michigan?

The weather is big news today so I couldn't not post about it. Especially since I am snow bound and so have no reason to not spend a little time updating my blog... :) I grew up around Detroit so remember snow like this from my childhood. Good times...
This is unusual weather for Missouri though. This is the biggest snow I've experienced in over 20 years of living here. Most winters are just brown, icy and freezing cold. Lots of ice, but little snow. Kansas City, MO has already used up most of their budget for snow removal and that was before last night's storm. My husband is plowing snow locally and has been gone since 3am this morning.

I spent just 5 minutes outside taking these pictures and was ready to go back in. The sun is shining, making everything look gorgeous, but the wind whipping snow discourages a stroll. That is snow blowing in my pictures, not fog or a dirty lens.

Good thing I don't have to be anywhere. I am sure the roads are terrible. The kids' school has been canceled for both today and tomorrow already. Not only do we have drifting snow (the forecasters were right for once-- they predicted all of this), but the temperatures will be hovering just above zero F. with a windchill much colder.
I would have had pictures of the kids playing in the snow, but they came in before I got out with my camera. So I will leave you with a cheery photo of our newly repainted jockey. He offers a hand up to anyone who has the misfortune of falling down in front of him on the walk up to our house.
Stay warm!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Strict Orders

I took my mother to the airport last night.
Her two weeks, 3 days visit sped by too quickly.
She left me with strict orders
that I sell the stuff I have and not acquire anything "new".
Or if I get new clutter, to list it immediately for sale or
DO something with it (!)
and not let it stand around in boxes and bags forgotten.
She totally supports my etsy-ing.
I am really going to try to abide by her wishes.
Tell your friends that I'm destashing!
I'll be listing handwritten pages from natural science assignments,
postage stamps, quilt pieces and sewing trims, buckles, and unique buttons.
The list goes on.
If you are looking for something in particular,
let me know.
I may be able to fill your special request!
Marlynn, I haven't forgotten your request for old sheet music. :)