Sunday, November 30, 2008

a couple of great links

I don't think I've shared yet that we lost almost everything on our computer this week. Not sure how it happened, but the computer got viruses, worms, trojans, and who knows what else. It was awful. Hubby ended up having to start over from the beginning with the computer. We finally have photo shop back, but I haven't taken pictures of anything to show you. So instead, here are a couple of places I love.

Check out The Crockpot Lady. She's been trying out a new crockpot recipe each day this year and giving honest feedback on how she and her family liked or disliked it. We've tried 2 recipes so far, Taco Soup and Turkey Meatballs that I modified into mini meatloafs. We all loved them, and this time of year crockpot cooking makes life so much easier.

Stop by Scrapbook News and Review this week and sign up if you aren't already signed up. We are having a 2 week long celebration with a daily email sent right to you. There are lots of fantastic giveaways and some great inspiration along with games, challenges, and fun blog links. I hope you'll join in and maybe win something wonderful.

Friday, November 28, 2008

lost and found

Most days we walk our dogs. It's good for them and good for us. If hubby and I are both home, we walk them together. It's a time when we discuss so many things since we are just out there walking and enjoying nature's wonders. We live in a mountain area with lots of undeveloped wooded areas around us. The place we walk has a little stream to the side and hills on both sides. We occasionally see quail or coyotes. We regularly see squirrels and lots of birds. The dogs love it. Up until today the most exciting things we've found are pretty rocks and little treasures that we use in our arts & crafts.

At one point today, Mabel, the hero of our story began barking madly. She barks at other dogs (usually bigger ones)and when the doorbell rings. Neither of those things had occured. So, we looked around and saw a little boy on the hillside past the creek. He looked to be playing, so we walked on. There are lots of kids in our area, so we didn't think much of it. A few minutes later on our way back we noticed the boy sitting down, crying. After talking with him we found out he was lost. We never would have seen him at all if Mabel hadn't barked.

Hubby reassured him that we would help him and that he was a police officer. We walked the little guy around to the neighboring houses and cabins and he didn't recognize anything. He was visiting from out of town and was only 6 years old. We brought him home and hubby called the sheriff's. They kept him on the phone until they got here. Kyle and I entertained our frightened young guest with Mickey Mouse videos and milk and cookies. Fortunately, his family finally did call the sherriff's to report him missing. When they did, the deputies told them that he was safe and they took him home.

If you ever lose a child, call 911 immediately. Those first few moments are critical. Most people look for the child before calling. I can think of two other times children went missing here in our mountains and were never found. I'm so glad we were able to play a part in giving this family a happy ending.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

As I'm getting the pies in the oven tonight, I'm thinking about giving thanks. I'm most thankful that my parents are coming up to spend the holiday with us. This time last year, Mom was in the hospital and we weren't sure she'd be here for another Thanksgiving. I'm thankful that my son is in school full time this year and doing well. After spending such a long time homeschooling him to help him acquire the tools he needs to succeed in spite of dyslexia and dysgraphia, I wasn't sure we'd get here. I'm thankful for my loving and sweet husband who goes out there everyday facing the difficulties on the street with compassion to do his job well. I wish he could be home for the holiday tomorrow, but somebody has to keep everyone safe in the city. I'm thankful for the kindness of friends who've taken a moment to show me they are here for me and who've helped me laugh along the journey.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and laughter and a yummy dinner.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

the gang's all here now

Here's the whole crew of snow people. The top photo shows my gang all together. The second photo is of the snow family that my cousin, Terry, made. We had so much fun making these new additions to our holiday decor. I'm thinking the best part of this project is that now when we put out our holiday decorations, we will remember how much fun we had together. If you missed the previous days' posts, there are lots of details about how I made each snow person. Terry used fine glitter on her snow people and beautiful pastel colors. They are so soft and shimmery in person.

Thanks for joining me on this journey with the snow people. I can hardly wait to get out the holiday decorations now and get the house looking festive. I'm including these guys in the Mixed Media Monday ornamental challenge this week. We started making them on Monday, so I think it's appropriate.

I'll leave you with a couple of close up shots of Terry's snow family:

Friday, November 21, 2008

here come the boys...

Introducing Leon and John. These adorable fellas are made from spice jars. I don't think I mentioned earlier that the inside of the jars are filled with beads and baubles. It's hard to see them in the pics, but they add a little weight to the bottom and extra shimmer. One of the spice bottles is a vintage one I picked up in my treasure hunting and the other had dill in it until a few days ago. It was fun raiding the cupboards to make these families. You can see the mag in the back of the photo where we got the idea to make these. We attached the glitter to the heads and hats with Golden gel medium and to the bottles with Crystal Effects. Both were applied with a brush to small areas and then glitter poured over. The glitter we used is all really old. The chunky glitter that I used seems to still be shedding, so I may have to do something else to it to get it to stay on better. Anyone have an idea about that?

Ok, so on the left is Leon. He is made from the current dill spice jar. His eyes and mouth are brads, his nose is a game piece from who knows what game. I have a big bag of game pieces that I've collected over time. The hat is a wooden game piece wrapped with wire and a bell and bauble are attached. He has tinsel around his neck with a rhinestone bobby pin going down the front. I attached letters spelling out noel to the bobby pin. My mom has these ceramic letters that spell noel that she's put out for decoration for as long as I can remember. It is still great fun to sneak in and rearrange those letters to another word. Leon is a favorite of mine.

Next up is John. He is sporting a salt shaker hat from the Pearl salt shaker shown yesterday. In his hat are a variety of pins and wire with beads and baubles. His eyes and mouth are brads. His nose is a vintage pen nib. He is sporting wire around his neck and a leaf, vintage key, candy cane, and baubles are in the mix. The little red metal piece is from an elastic wrapper. The word at the bottom is winter. John and his mate Pearl are made for my great grandma and grandpa who are no longer with us to celebrate. They were the sweetest little grandma and grandpa. I thought they should be a part of the snow people who will adorn our mantel. Lois is representative of my great aunt Lois. She was a wonderful cook and a very snappy dresser. I wish she were here to celebrate with us, also.

Tomorrow I'll show the whole crew along with Terry's snow family. Hers are so very different from mine. Can't wait to show you. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

meet the girls,

Here are a couple more of the little snow girls. These two little cuties are made from salt shakers. We'll start with Lois on the left. She has a thimble and lone clip-on earring for her hat, with some millinery pearls and leaf behind it. Her scarf is made of felt with a rhinestone buckle. There are some rhinestones from old jewelry on her dress and the word celebrate is down at the bottom. My favorite part of her is her old metal curler wings.

Next up we have Pearl on the right. She has lots of gold tones. Her eyes and mouth are made of brads and her nose is a metal photo holder. Her hat and halo are made of a copper fitting, an ornament top, wire, small key, pearls, bells, large medallion, and a rhinestone. She has some tinsel, wire, a bead and leaves around her neck and the word dream with a pearl down at the bottom. Feather wings finish her ensemble.

I love these little salt shaker snow people. We sort of came up with this idea at the last minute. We walked through a small antique shop on the way to pick up Kyle from school trying to find some icing tips to make hats. Then we saw two unmatched salt shakers. Pearl is made from one of them, and the other is in Terry's snow people family. Lois and the other like her in Terry's set came out of the cupboard. We emptied out the salt and peper and used them to make these. Don't worry, I have another set of salt and pepper on the stove for now. They could be in snow people set #2, though.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

introducing big mama

My cousin, Terry, and I decided to have a crafty sleepover party this week. We had both been so inspired by the snowmen bottles in Cloth Paper Scissors that we had to try them. This is the first of 11 snow people I'm sharing with you this week. We called her Big Mama because it just sort of fit. Her base is a small glass flower vase and the head is made from air dry prang clay. The rest is a huge assortment of treasures from my stash. It took us a couple of hours just to dig out everything we wanted to use to create our snow families. She has a vintage felt bird on her hat that is fashioned out of a rusty washer and plastic plumbing piece. Her scarf is a feather boa and her wings are real feathers. Her eyes are made of brads and her nose is a game piece. She has a rub-on sentiment down at the bottom and some beaded trim and millinery flowers finish off her ensemble. Of course she is covered in vintage chunky glitter to add the touch of snow everywhere.

What a wonderful time we had getting glitter, glue, and feathers all over everything. We decided that we now see why people make dolls. These little snow people took on such personalities as we created them. I have pictures of Terry's snow people to share also, since she doesn't have a blog yet. She needs one, though. It was so much fun to create together, it's been too many years since we did that. We learned to sew together when we were in Kindergarten with our first sewing machines. Terry is a much more accomplished seamstress than I am, but working with these little people was a great equalizer. We live about a day's drive away from each other, but something tells me that we'll be making that drive more often now that our kids are teens and young adults.

It's been an amazing week for me. My hubby swept me away to San Diego this weekend for our 18th anniversary. We spent an entire day in the art museums at Balboa Park. We ate every single yummy thing our hearts desired and filled up our wells with beautiful inspiration. The weather was picture perfect and it is such a vibrant city. I think my muse really loved the museums. She has lots of ideas now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Have you seen my muse? I think I got too wrapped up in politics. Muses don't like politics. So, I got really crazy this week. I decided to tear out the whole floor/bottom of my craft closet. I piled it all up in the middle of the craft room. Good grief! Where did all this junk come from? I found some missing restaurant gift cards that I've been looking for since last Thanksgiving. Seriously. I also went through the whole stash of kid art. I've been stashing it away since pre-school. I guess now that he's taller than me, it was time. Oh my goodness. I recommend that you get out the tissue box before trying to go through over a decade of art projects. All those sweet little notes and handmade cards. My heart is full. My closet is orderly. My muse is still missing.