Thursday, March 29, 2012

Light Through Yonder Window Breaks....

Tuesday night, Ty's darling girlfriend, Jania, assisted me in hanging the two old windows in the opening between the two retail areas in the future home of the Rusty Monkey...yes, the windows are still filthy...but, I just was too excited to get them hung up!!!! I'm sure you

As they are just hanging in the opening, I'm waiting for the lightning bolt to hit with the perfect fasteners at the bottom...dominoes, square-head nails, blocks...You'll know as soon as I know...but there needs to be something there to keep them from swinging freely. In my house, they could just hang, but in a "public" place, I'd feel more comfortable with them not.

Janice and I will be off on a field trip on Saturday to pick up MORE of these cute windows.... Yay! I can see window workshops in our future....
Even though I'm super, duper excited about the whole process, it is a process and with all the other LIFE that is going on right now, it will be a couple more months of tinkering on the space...I can't complain, because it's a fun process and I have NO problem what-so-ever playing in an unfinished space....

In the meantime, I'll just keep writing down ideas in my journal and WILL be worth every moment of planning and dreaming...


Here's my grandmother's hutch against the dictionary page/starch papered wall...I'm liking it, but I think it needs a little updating in the handle, knob and hinge department...the 1990's knobs are a bit on the boring side...and the brass hinges are just, well, dated.

Here's a peek at the hutch through the dirty windows...

It's SO cute in there....and every. little. bit. of setting up and planning is making me giddy with excitement....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Comments from the Peanut Gallery....

Welcome to this week's feature on 

ICE Resin Creative Team Wednesday. 

Every month, each of us on the Creative Team are given a challenge to create from a box of goodies received from ICE Resin. A recent theme was Mixed Metals.

Oh yeah! I love me some metal, that's for sure. So with that rolling around my head and a new Bezeled Ring in my hand, I created a fun, interactive piece aptly titled:

Comments from the Peanut Gallery...

Here's my story.... 

With our Creative Team challenge of Mixed Metals, I’ve embellished an old vinegar bottle with all-sorts of mixed metal bits and bobs. Bronze. Silver. Gold. Rusty.

When I first laid eyes on the SLK Bezeled Ring, the texture reminded me of a peanut shell. That was my jumping off point. Using my smooth jaw jeweler's pliers, I gently bent the ring into a peanut shape using the actual peanut shell as my form. The interior of the 1/2 shell had such a beautiful, naturally stippled color, that I simply cast resin into it and let the resin work its magic!

The bezel portion of the ring was filled with thickened resin and fitted with a children's "fat" pencil I found at a dollar store. I cut the pencil very short to represent a pencil that has been worn to down to a nub from a lifetime of comments from the peanut gallery. You know the ones…funny, sarcastic, off-color…sometimes welcomed, sometimes not. We’ve all stuck our foot in our mouth from time to time. We’ve all been part of the peanut gallery!

True to my nature of using cast-offs, the pencil and the bottle were embellished with a sewn brown waxed paper bag leftover from a friends cookie exchange party.

With brown Staz On stamped words like "two-cents, wisecracks, opinion, input and remarks" and paper sealed letters spelling out P. E. A. N. U. T ., the theme is further enhanced. I coated the top portion of the bottle to create a bit of texture.

Adding to the silly-ness, an oval hobnail bezel fitted with the word Hinkey dangles from the rusty chicken wire. I first heard the word Hinkey in the movie The Fugitive. Its slang definition means ‘strange or unusual’. Perfect - as our family is a bit unusual. We are a HUGE movie watching family and we are constantly quoting various scripts in our day-to-day conversations. So when I found the words in an old music book –

- Hinkey Dinkey Parlez Vous -

I simply used my new SLK oval template and the fitting was easy!

I have begun filling the bottle with small fortunes and my hope is that over time, the bottle will be filled to the brim with fortunes, small notes, and other such fun tidbits!

If I wore jewelry, the peanut/pencil could easily be wire wrapped and turned into a cute necklace too!

I'm guessing I’d get at least a few random comments...

ba da boom! :-)

SLK supplies can be found online at  - ICE Resin; Bezeled Ring SLK611; Bronze Wire; Oval Hobnail Bezel SLK612; Circle Collage Template (oval shape)

Be sure to visit the ICE Resin website regularly to see what my creative teammates are up to. There's a huge variety of jewelry and mixed media going on!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.....

Well, I think I've found a new medium...right up my alley....Annie Sloan Chalk PAINT!!!

I am most comfortable with a paint brush in my hand. Not in a fine art sort of a way, but more in it just feel good to dab, plop, stroke, brush kind of a way...

Even with ICE Resin. It's designed to pour and cast, but I love when it's on the tip on a brush!

Even with Mod Podge.

Even with frosting.

It just feel natural to me. I couldn't paint a landscape or portrait to save my soul, but I love playing with color and texture and dimension.

I HATE foam brushes. They smear. They leave bubbles. They bloat. They fall apart.

So, when I was offered the opportunity to attend an Annie Sloan workshop in San Francisco for her 1-of-8 city tour, I jumped at the chance...

Janice and Ginger jumped too! So, we road-tripped it to San Fran and played in some paint on Monday!

Annie was VERY down-to-earth. She was REAL, if you know what I mean. As she demo'd, she paused from time to time to re-think things, just like I do when I do demo's. She played it by ear.

I loved how she just kept pushing home that there is NO wrong way to play and be creative. Just jump in and have fun. It's only paint!!! It can be sanded. It can be re-painted. It can be FUN! Just relax and have FUN!!!

...and that's what we did! Had fun.

Here we are waiting for the bus...well, Ginger and Janice...I'm BEHIND the, camera...

Ginger and I thrifted at the Goodwill prior to the trip to find us each a paint shirt in OUR colors...

Janice=lime green    me=red     Ginger=purple  

Let me tell you, men's shirts are really comfy!

Ginger and Janice had a little fun painting each other in class...and even the "neighbors" got in on it!

I painted mine a bit too...a swatch of Old White and some Provence Blue lines with a couple thumb-prints...Once dry, the white swatch was the perfect signature space for Annie to perfect in fact, she was delighted by the were a few others in the class...white swatches for EVERYONE!!! Not really, but a few anyway... :-)

Annie even signed my sample board...

As always, I played outside-the-box and went left!

The paint is great. The wax is interesting. A new way of thinking, but with fabulous results...I'm even seriously considering becoming a retail partner so I can sell it and "share" the magic at the Rusty Monkey...Come On, Rusty Monkey...Not too much longer!!!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Yeah, I'm adding to one of my collections.

Little vintage metal cars...and trucks...and tractors...and trailers...

These are smaller versions than the Matchbox or Hot Wheels sized vehicles, but not as small as the tiny Micro-Machines. Can you tell I raised three boys? And we are a family of vintage rides?

I think the collection began with a little Jeep, like my Wrangler. Then, I found a 60's series Corvette, in honor of Phillip's vette. Next, was a Red Volkswagen...and now a matching blue one. Bugs are SO cute!!!

My first ride project was a Tequila Sunrise painted Baja Bug...I was still in high school and Phillip was working at a custom auto body shop. He surprised me with a new paint job...bright yellow front, fading to orange, then to burnt orange and finally bright cherry red across the back...It was gorgeous...and a LONG process putting it all back together with all new parts...we had boxes and boxes of shiny new VW parts at the ready...Sadly, we sold it before we got to have any fun with it...I found out I was preggers with Ty about a year after high school and as does happen in many baby-on-the-way scenarios, we let it go.

Three boys later, they've all driven a bug or two...maybe someday, we'll build another Baja for fun. But, honestly, we have a little red VW Manx, street-legal dune buggy and that's just as much, if not more, fun...I think!


The purple Jeep was just recently acquired. I thought it was a Jeep Comanche truck, but Phillip assured me it's really a Jeep his, but without the hard-shell top. O.k., now I see it!!!

Going a bit more vintage, is this little buggy. Reminds me of an antique milk delivery truck. The previous owner had a little fun with some finger-nail polish. Maybe they saw it more as an ambulance?

I love the little details...see the tiny man in the driver's seat?

He's taking it out for a stroll over a prop peanut butter cup...yeah, we all have fake candy just lying around, right? lol

Hope you are having fun with whatever collection strikes your fancy...I SO love collecting....


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mother's Brush....

Today, one of my projects is being featured over at ICE Resin Creative Team Wednesday.

As many of you know, I love to collect all things vintage ... papers, furniture, mixed-metals, game boards and game pieces, fabric, keys, bottles and even the occasional, unusual my newly acquired wheel chair...

Yep. You read that right. A wooden and steel wheel chair.. It's my new favorite!

For my Nightmare Before Christmas office, you ask?


For those office visitors daring enough to sit in the creepy thing...for the less willing, they can pull up one of the basic, boring office chairs.

I have plans for this "wheeler"...but I'll save that for another post...

Back to the Creative Team Feature.... Mother's Brush

"As an avid collector of cast-offs and orphaned trinkets, I have amassed quite the collection of vintage brushes and hand mirrors. When I become the keeper of such objects, I cannot help but wonder where they are from? Who owned them previously? In the case of the mirrors, what reflections have they seen? Unlike the nearly disposable, common plastic and wooden hair brushes we use today, this brush of a by-gone era is beautifully, yet simply, crafted with an open filigree handle, an engraved back, and tiny nails holding the trim onto the wooden substrate.

In keeping with the Victorian-style, I attempted to elegantly elevate the beauty of this find with a flood of ICE Resin, scalloped-punched resin paper, Swarovski crystals, SLK sari silk with wire-wrapped glass beads, and the addition of embellished words, My Mother.

I have many memories of having my hair brushed by my mother, and my grandmother, when I was a little girl, and I like to imagine this vintage brush spent many moments listening to the stories shared between mother and daughter. My hope is, someday, I too, will share many special moments with my future grandchildren...of course, no pressure or hurry to my three sons!  :-) Until then, I will let my imagination run wild and keep adding to the collection..."

I am enjoying the creative process of using ICE Resin in ways other than for jewelry-making. I love the way the shiny, elegance add a touch of beauty when juxtaposed with the rusty, tattered, patina of my finds.

One of my recent projects that was displayed at in the ICE Resin booth at CHA, was this wonderfully aged metal leaf rake...

(the leaf in the photo is turned around, see the detail below)

Inspired by the falling of the leaves, one of my favorite applications of the resin is creating leaves.

An assortment of leaves make for great art creations...rustic and elegant, alike.

Happy Creating...


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