Monday, February 27, 2012

Brick 'a Brac....

I have bricks on my mind..

Sounds like a very boring country song... lol

This little group of bricks are part of my used-brick fireplace in my home. It's a HUGE monolith of Terra Cotta Orange clay meets Black spattered with White... Yeah, I think it's U.G.L.Y.

When we bought the house, over EIGHT years ago, it was an my eyes...and continues to be. I like to decorate the mantle, but am always challenged with the way everything looks with a back-drop of ORANGE!!!

I've investigated painting it. Staining it. Re-surfacing it. SLEDGE HAMMERING it!

Well, I've finally come up with a solution...

Stay tuned...I have something BIG. HUGE. up my sleeve....and even a tutorial.... You're gonna LOVE this!!!


But until I can share....

here's a brick project that was displayed at CHA in the ICE Resin booth.

What started out as a mistake, quickly turned to an asset.

You see, in true ICE Resin, open-back bezel casting process, I adhered clear packing tape to the back of the bezel and poured in a thin layer. The idea was to create a clear back to enable the addition of loose items.

Well, when it was fully cured, I discovered an air bubble had formed and created a recessed pocket on the face, formerly the BACK. This little area was the PERFECT free-form oval for a little flash card word to show through..

Just a bit of sanding to "frost" the surface..and voila...instant fix...and FUN!
When I found the mini-flash card words to light, I knew exactly what I was going to create.

A visit to my local stone-yard secured me a 3-hole, cored, I did NOT drill holes through a solid the dismay of some of my friends...but thanks for thinking I am SUPER WOMAN!!! That's why I love YOU guys... :-)

Then I experimented with some wire, some candles, glass beads, melted wax, etc.

This was the first round...mentioned on the ICE Resin blog...

... and the re-vamped version that made it to CHA ... same brick ... same bezel ... a little more "grungy" with a little less "bling"...

Removed the old spice-lid feet I had originally added; removed the glass jars with real candles topped with glass beads; whittled down a couple waxxed led-powered candles to fit the holes; added some melted whittled wax bits and I have myself a candle holder that can "burn" safely for hours.


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Friday, February 24, 2012

A NEW Collection is Forming....

Rewind to November 2011...yeah, it's not that long ago, but that's where it kind of all began...

I was at the Medford Armory, just perusing the 'for sales' there. In both the far back corners are staircases to access the upstairs. On the right side, I couldn't help but notice THIS...

The stairs had been taken over by a gaggle of girls....and a couple boys.

The nicest group of grandmas was in charge of this corner.

I kindly asked one of the grandmas if I could take a photo of the group on the stairs. I could tell she was a bit quizzled at why I would want to take a photo, but, well, that's just how I roll. I am always taking snapshots of strange things...

So, I proceeded to set down my purse, my shopping bag and raise my phone. She seemed a bit quizzled at why I didn't have a camera...well, I guess my iPhone takes primary position to my Nikon too!

Any who, as I was clicking away with my phone and making conversation, she tells me each dolly is only a BUCK!

Well, I'm notorious for buying little things for CHEAP too! I like a great deal. As my multiple  STORAGE areas would attest..."I'm not a HOARDER...I'm NOT a HOARDER!"

My mind just sees the GOOD in the CAST OFFS...

Just look at some of those little faces...How could I only walk away with a few photos and not a few dollies?

Well, I carefully selected a couple, or three, or four...

One of them had ratty hair...Rattier than the others. Another VERY kind grandma says to me, "Oh, give her to me. She needs a day at the salon."

I handed her over. She sprays some de-tangler in her hair and proceeds to gently comb through it.

"There. Now she's beautiful!", as she hands her over with sweet smelling, wet, dolly hair.

Oh, those Grandmas are JUST TOO SWEET!!! Even to a 40+ year old woman! I can just imagine how they are with the little girls...


The little plastic boy with the cute face and darling hair.

Ok. Maybe it's a boy wearing a pink dress...Or maybe it's really a girl. But, when I'm done, it will be a boy...Bwaaaaa Haaaa Haaaaa...

Then, there was this little girl. Kind of reminded me of I Love Lucy. Maybe it's just the red hair and bright red lips?

....Yeah, she's nekked. But not for long.... I think a creepy Halloween costume is in her future. That forehead crown just screams "stitches" to me....  Poor Lucy...

Boy? Girl? I LOVE the rosey-red cheeks and the little knee dimples...

I think this little lady is my favorite of the bunch. Her face is already a bit "green" and one of her eyes is cloudy...LOVE it! Another Halloween contestant? Yeah. I think so....

Here they are at the Rusty Monkey, resting and waiting for their day at the tailor....

Four dollies. Four bucks. Four ME!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day Soiree with Friends....

For all that know me, know that Valentine's Day is not a HUGE celebration between my sweetheart and I.

I know, it's hard to believe, with us being us, but, well, I'm NOT a big "pink" girl - even though he and friends have tried and tried to make me a convert...I DO love chocolate, but, well, I eat chocolate on a pretty regular basis, so a big 'ol heart-shaped box of chocolates doesn't do it for me.

Neither does a giant boquet of roses. Roses aren't even a favorite flower for me.

Ok. So enough of my poo-pooing the reasons we don't celebrate in the traditional way...

and on to the fun I had with the girlfriends last Saturday.

About a month or so ago, my dear friend, Kristen Robinson invited me to join her and a host of other friends, mine and hers, for a Valentine's Day valentine and cookie swap. Yippee, Skippee. I love to bake and decorate sugar cookies.

Of course, I am a proverbial procrastinator or very busy with numerous irons in the fire or a So, I was off to CHA with good intentions of making my valentines when I returned. Well, one germ led to another and soon I was ridden with a migrating head and chest cold. Couldn't make up it's mind!

Suddenly, I was out of time and pushing hard to create something worthy of the guest list....and make cookies (but I would have made those fresh, at the last minute anyway!)

The party was fabulous. The company was grand. The cookies yummy. And the valentine's truly delightful and creative...

Here's a tour....

 Little cups for sweet chocolate morsels...
 Darling conversation heart rings...Baby Doll, Go Go Go, Kiss Me...
just don't wash your hands..the rings become a "blank", sticky mess....DUH!!!

Yummy delish finger sandwiches...sans crusts...chicken salad and cream cheese/cucumber.
Yummy individual salads. Cookies (like we needed more sugar!) & red velvet cupcakes (more sugar!)
Can you say "sugar buzz" ???

More goodies.
My AQUA - not pink! - heart-shaped sugar cookies wrapped in soft layers of white and aqua tulle, embellished with a white monogram chipboard letter.

Serendipitously, the china plates I found were made in Japan and are named "Grace"... one of Kristen's favorite words!

 My Forget Me Not valentine. Altered vintage graphic from Graphics Fairy.
Painted wooden ceiling tile, topped with painted muslin, glass vial filled with Forget Me Not seeds, wire wrapped with some aqua glass beads, and sealed with strips of polka dot painted tape.
Topped with a big 'ol taffeta bow.

We exchanged cookies and valentines. Shared some good stories. Ate and laughed.

These creative little numbers were by Jania, Ty's girlfriend (my oldest son). They were so fun. She made them as valentines to give the man in your life. Such a great idea!

 Sculpted Paper Clay Heart with Wings by Laurie; housed in a vintage heart tin.
 A darling hand-made, zippered pouch with a red felt heart by Kelly.
  A sweet mix of PINK and AQUA valentine greeting by Kristen's mom, Pat.
 A very elegant ribbon bookmark embellished with glass and metal beads by Ginger.
 A hand dyed velvet bracelet coiled around a wooden spool.... by Ruth Rae.
...hidden beneath a strip of muslin stamped with Kristen's Love Lines stamp set...
Beautiful vintage-look collaged valentine by Janice. I think I'll repurpose this one with a baby photo of Phillip and I within the hearts and frame it.
 Clockwise from Bottom Left: Janice, Pat, Jania, Deb, Kristen
 Clockwise from Top Left Center: Jania's Legs, Deb, Kristen, Laurie, Kelly, Ginger
 Clockwise Bottom Left: Ginger, Janice, Pat, Ruth, Jania, Deb, Kristen's Legs, Kelly's Hair

 Pat and Laurie.
Kelly wearing the darling T-shirt she made. Three red felt hearts on her sleeve to show her love for her Valentines... her husband, her son, and her daughter...How sweet is that?!!!
 Jania just being naturally cute as ever!
 Jania and I wearing the Red Felt Valentine Pins Kristen made for everyone.
 Me and Janice "posing" in Kristen's studio...
 Kristen, Pat, Jania and I in deep conversation in the kitchen...
Kelly having a good laugh at me being a goof-ball sticking my tongue out at Janice behind the camera!

This was a great time had by a great group of creative and happy women. We must do this annually!

Maybe next year, I'll even wear some PINK! NOT!!!

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