Friday, June 26, 2009

Stained Glass Pet Portrait

Rescue Village is a large pet shelter near me. A few times a year they have fundraising events and for their Chinese auction in February, I donated a gift certificate for a personalized stained glass pet portrait. The person who bid the highest on it contacted me and we chatted a bit about her pet, an English Springer Spaniel. I like to get to know about the pet's personality so I can make a panel that really reflects that. She told me that her dog was very dignified and so I chose a Tudor-style cross design for the background, using the regal colours of purple and gold.
When I am commissioned for a pet panel, they are normally sent through the mail, as the people who buy them usually live in other states. I actually got to personally present this panel and it was a most gratifying experience for me!
Fittingly, we met at Rescue Village and as I unwrapped the bubble wrap from the panel, the dog's owner gasped and said "It looks just like him!!" She was just thrilled with the piece and even gave me a hug as we parted ways! I can't tell you what a gift it was for me to experience this joy first hand! To see the delight a piece of my artwork gave to someone was just beyond words. It's really a moment I'll remember. If I were a rich person, I would do this for free, just to experience that feeling!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chandelier, reconstructed!

At the beginning of the month, I started this chandelier project. It's finished and hanging in my dining room and it looks MAH-VELOUS, darlings! The pictures really don't do it justice, so if you're ever in the neighbourhood, drop on by and I'll be happy to show it off!

Patty O'Furniture

Here's a couple of cheap plastic Adirondack chairs. We haven't used them much in the last couple of years because they really show the dirt and it's almost impossible to get them totally clean. I remembered reading in some home repair mag (we subscribe to several) about a new Krylon for plastics. It's called Fusion and I bought it at Walmart, paying under $4 a can. The colours are Blue Hyacinth and Gum Drop. They each took about 2.5 cans to completely cover and I used the rest of the purple can to spray these 2 flower pots, as well.
It was really easy to use...the can has a flexible spray nozzle that is easy to hold down and I just took them off in the yard, away from the cars and sprayed on a not-so-windy day. It dries to the touch in 15 minutes and is chip-resistant after 7 days.
A wicked easy and fast way to liven up your yard this summer!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Junk Drawer

I needed some address labels to mail some stuff and I knew we had some of those freebie ones you get in the mail from the Paralyzed Wildlife Christian Children's Heart Association Fund, so I had to open....
WTF with the Junk Drawer? You know you all have one in your kitchen or maybe in your desk. Look at all that crap in there! What's in all those Ziploc bags, anyway? It just stands as a sad reminder that someone (probably me) at some point, tried to organize the Junk Drawer and failed. Are those Arby's coupons even VALID anymore? I can see the teenager at the drive thru window laughing at me as he hands the coupons back: "Uh...Ma'am..these expired in January."
Do we need TWO bottles of White-Out or FOUR things of Scotch Tape? And the pet brush! I was wondering where that of the dogs probably HID it in there, knowing we rarely look in there. Scrap paper? A ruler? Something that looks like it may be epoxy? Enough batteries to power lower Manhattan? And, oh yeah...the address labels. See how they have Christmas designs?
Oy vey!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Peasant top

I've always been a hippie at heart and I'm happy that the hippie style is hanging around for another summer season. I saw this top in Lucky magazine (top by Splendid) and loved it, but not the $94 price tag. I had the perfect fabric for it...a Klee-inspired lightweight cotton blend I bought from awesome Etsy seller Frangolina and I found New Look pattern #6870 that was similar in design. The New Look pattern also has an empire waist and waist ties that I thought would give this loose top and bit more shape.
I changed the pattern thusly: Added a longer placket in front in order to use these cute little vintage buttons from my mom's button box.
I made button loops from 1/8 inch ribbon.
I machine-basted and gathered the neck edge and cuffs and made facings instead of using elastic. (elastic...ugh!)
I also made a placket on the sleeves and added a button and loop there, too. And, of course, I shortened the pattern, otherwise, it would have been a tunic on me.
I'm really happy with how it came out. I just need to find the right skirt to wear it with...nothing too full or else I'll look like I'm wearing a muumuu!
P.S. I have been messing around with the pictures for over an hour and I can't get them where I want them and still have them be clickable for a larger image! Grrrr! But now I have to go to work, so I'm leaving it like this, unorganized as it looks!)

Almost Caturday

This is Hal looking out the windows watching birds or chipmunks or snakes or something. I call this one "Hal With Stained Glass." We have a boatload of starling babies every year (they nest in the eaves of our shed) and Bob was checking them out today. I call this photo "Bob With Pineapple and Screaming Baby Starlings."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Busy Little House Wren

I was watching this little guy from my kitchen window yesterday. He was quite frenetic, flying and landing all over the place, but intent on this bird feeder for some reason. After watching him for awhile, it became clear that he wanted to build a nest in the bird feeder! It was still full of seeds, though and the rope that holds the lid in place seemed to bother him the most. He kept yanking on the frayed rope end, trying to pull it out, but after about 20 minutes, he gave up on that and started bringing twigs to the feeder and putting them inside. On his departure, he would bring a sunflower seed out of the feeder, fly to the deck railing and spit the seed out onto the ground! Cleaning house, I guess! Too funny! I hope his intended appreciates his efforts and, as for me, I am completely happy to let him have this feeder as a home this summer. I can hang another someplace else!

Deconstructing a chandelier

I am in the process of re-doing my dining room. I finally got it painted, made the curtains and hung them, and put down the new area rugs. The light fixture really needs to be replaced and what I really want is one of those cool chandeliers with the hanging strings of beads on them. However, being the cheap, erm, I mean frugal person that I am, I cannot convince myself to spend a couple hundred bucks for one.
A week or so ago, the hubs and I were at Home Depot and I saw a chandelier I just loved, but it was just too pricey for me. We found out it was the last one in the store, and we tried to get the guy to lower the price, but he wouldn't. Then, the hubs says "You parents used to have a chandelier in their dining room at our old house...I think it might still be in their basement." He phones mom and she says "Yes, I still have fact, I have two of them and I was going to give them to Purple Hearts!" *GASP!*
We go over to mom and dad's and the chandeliers are EXACTLY what I have been looking for (AND they still work!) and mom says "Take it! Take both of them! Take them apart, paint them, do whatever you want with them. I can't wait to see what you come up with!" Have I mentioned how awesome my mother -in-law is? Well, she is!
So, this month will be re-create the chandelier month. Today I took all the old crystals and glass arms off the basic structure and as soon as the sun comes out and it stops raining, (tomorrow? Please let it be tomorrow!) I'll take it outside and scrub it down with some steel wool and clean it up for painting. Now that I have it stripped down, the temptation to turn it into a squid is nearly overwhelming (ala Adam Wallacavage: However, my family does not share my enthusiasm for all things SQUID, so I am going to stick with my original design and rest easy in the knowledge that I do have another chandelier waiting in the wings. ; )

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bad Day/ Good Day

I am running out of cat food and you know we can't have that happen, so I had to make a trip to the pet store. When I get to the cat section, the shelves are bare and I find out that my pet food as been recalled!
So now I have to switch the cats over to something else, as who knows how long before the food is back in the store?? And let's talk about all these food recalls, anyway, right? Jeez...I'm going to use my income tax refund to build a giant greenhouse and grow all my own food. Well, no, not really...well...unless I can grow cacao trees or whatever chocolate grows on...
Anyway, it certainly is disturbing and even though Anthony Bourdain eats food from street vendors that is days old and has flies on it, I prefer to have my food pass USDA standards. But, I might eat a bug or something if I could hang around with Anthony Bourdain in some exotic locale. Just sayin'.
Okay, so the GOOD part of the Bad Day/ Good Day is...I got these coolio metal buttons from Etsy seller The Forsythe Company Store
I am re-purposing a thrift store vest and these are going to be PERFECT for it! Heather at Forsythe was kind enough to make a special listing for me and sent the buttons out with all due haste, as well! If you need buttons, go check out this's amazing!
Oh! And not only that, but the stamps on the envelope weren't cancelled, so bonus! (I cheap can I be, right?!)
Part deux of the Good Day section is,
I finally decided what to wear to a
wedding I'm attending. My good friend and co-workers' daughter is getting married tomorrow and I was at odds as to what to wear. I was staring into my closet last night at 11 pm and the outfit just sort of jumped out at me. Yay! I love it when things like that happen. I'll try to get a good pic tomorrow of me wearing the outfit, but right now, here's a shot of it all, as it looks arranged on my bed.
~Dark purple top by A.N.A.
~Lilac skirt, original pattern drafted and sewn by me
~long scarf (to wear around waist) sewn by me from a remnant I found at Joann Fabrics
~teal and brown shoes from Target, fall 2008
And I'll be wearing grey hosiery

Monday, May 18, 2009

Prom Queen

The rules: ~ Upload your prom picture. If you don't have one, email your mom and have her send it to you. ~ Don’t forget to include the year it was taken. Again, don't be shy. The older the better. ~ Grab the "Prom Queen" button and add to your post. ~Copy and paste the rules to your blog. ~ Tag 5 others! This Prom Queen thing is going around and while I thought it would be fun to post MY prom picture, I'm not going to tag anyone..if you want to post your prom pic, go for it!

The year was 1979 and I was a senior. This was taken by my mom in front of our house (condo) and it's one of the few pics taken by my mom where we have heads... usually she cut people's heads off when she took photos. I think it had something to do with her bi-focals... The dress is a lime green polyester number made by me. I LOVED this pattern the minute I saw it, because it has an attached wrap waist that can be wrapped seven, count 'em, SEVEN different ways! You could bring the wrap up and tie it around your neck, or drape it over your shoulders or tie it around your neck like a versatile! LOL! And no wrist coursage, just this giant bunch of yellow flowers that actually manages to clash horribly with the dress. My date was the guy I had been dating for a year and we got married in 1983. And then we got divorced in 1991. I think it's okay for me not to blur out his face because he's my oldest son's dad and we are still on speaking terms. Plus, his giant aviator glasses are pretty hilarious!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bob and the Chipmunk

I could hear Bob pounding on the window from the other room, so I had to come in and see what he was so upset about. This chipmunk was sitting on the woodpile, completely aware that Bob was frantically trying to get at him, but smart enough to know that there was no way Bob could get at him.
So, while Bob spazzed out, the chipmunk took a bath.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dyeing Clothing

When using a deep indigo dye to re-colour an old jean skirt, it isn't enough to just WEAR rubber gloves, you should also put rubber bands around the end of the gloves to keep them nice and closed around your forearms. This extra little step will protect your skin and hands, should you accidentally plunge your hands too far into the dye bath whilst kneading the dye through the fabric.
And dare I say, "'re turning violet!"

Thursday, March 19, 2009


My son took this picture with his phone while we were at Ihop. I know I did that weird onion ring at Ihop post, and you're all probably thinking "Jeez...they eat at Ihop an awful lot", but, honestly, we've only eaten there twice and it isn't my fault that some odd thing happens every time we go to Ihop. So, the above photo was taken from one of those plastic-stand notices they put all over the table. We didn't go for this offer. I mean, seriously, why would I need two seniors? One would be plenty, really. It reminds me of that Scrubs episode where JD goes to the pound to look for a new grandpa.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Morning Arbitrariness

(picture found on Google)
Yeah, I just invented a new word...arbitrariness. I was getting sick of saying/hearing "random", so I thesaurus-ed a new one. And, yes, thankyewforasking, "thesaurus-ed" is a new word, too. I'll be emailing Webster later.
People at Costco. Are you really THAT thirsty that you need to block the aisle with your garganutuan cart, zombie husband and 3 wandering children, just to get a one ounce serving of the new Tropicana flavour? Here's 50 cents - go to the front of the store, purchase a soft drink from the lady in the paper hat and get the fuck out of my way.
I feel bad for my cats. My dog Duckie is a "head-nommer"...she gives little nibbles on the top of their heads and their fur is always wet and stuck up in the air in odd ways, ala Cameron Diaz in "There's Something About Mary." Then the cats look at me like "Why? Why? In Egypt, we were WORSHIPPED, gadammit."
I love Ohio, but I'm pretty sure winter never used to last 6 months like it does now. Aaaaaaaaaand, how can it be bright and sunny outside, but when you walk out there, it's only like 20 degrees? This is not logical, Captain.
My fish look sooooo bored. There must be something I can invent that would make their lives a little more interesting. Fish basketball? Hula hoops? Maybe a little cube that releases a food pellet when they touch a certain spot with their nose? And why hasn't anyone ever invented fish toys? Certainly I'm not the first person with pet fish who just wants to see them lead happy and fun lives?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New (to me!) car!

I just got a 2008 Chevy 2LT HHR. It reminds me of a 1940's gangster car...something Al Capone would drive. It's gold and has running boards and chrome accents...very awesome, very "steampunk." The other day as I was leaving work, I had the door open while I was putting my stuff on the other seat. I noticed that dashboard had a message for me........................................ The REALLY funny thing is, "ajar" is one of my favourite words and I thought it was so cool and so very appropriate that my car would use "ajar" instead of "open." Kismet, no?


Definately a 10 on the cuteness scale! Little Nom, who is now 8 months old, loves to "help" me when I'm working on sewing projects. She had a blast with the hem gauge last night! Then she needed a nap.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fun-yuns at IHOP!

Me and the fam had us some brunch down at the IHOP yesterday and youngest son got this onion ring. We're thinking of selling it on Ebay....for now, it's safely in its take-home container in our fridge.
Think of it's many uses! You can carry this baby with you and just say NO to anything by holding the onion ring in front of it!
No alarm clock! No homework! No to emptying the dishwasher! No new taxes! No, I-won't-do-that-again-I-was-drunk-and-I-told-you-never-to-bring-that-up-again!
What? *ahem*
Wanna buy an onion ring?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Good luck, son

On Saturday morning, my husband and I were heading out to do some shopping. Our 13 year old son was still in bed. Mr. Twisty Ties said, "I'll let the dogs out one more time before we leave and you can leave a note for Sam." This is the note I left.