Thursday, December 29, 2011


I am loving this week, working two days and then off for six...  Its surprising but as you get older, you (meaning I) have less interest in work and want to be at the nest, crafting and just hanging out with the puppies.  But it costs money to run the show so - I've been going off to work for 36 years, since 7-7-75.  If I had stayed with the same company, oh, never mind - if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.  I'm listening to my music set on YouTube, drinking coffee from my new Anthro mug and planning for 2012.  
I love planning trips.  I used to do it quite a bit in my thirties.  I'd search B&Bs and plot a course... through Connecticut or up the coast in California.  Be wary of the map (no Garman for me) - quaint towns will draw you in and take you off course, such as in Solvang, CA on my way to the Hearst Castle, a place I have yet to visit.  Anyway, I'm looking at the possibilities in 2012 of where I want to go, events I want to attend and how I want to spend my vacation.  I learned a long time ago that things don't just happen, you have to make them happen - you have to plan it and make your own excitement.  When my sister died, her two daughters were down about their birthdays so we packed up and went to DisneyWorld.  No, it doesn't make the grief go away but we made a great memory, instead of sitting home moping.  You have to make your own happiness.  So, here are my plans for 2012 and what I'm considering.
Most of the scrapbook/craft events have gone by the wayside, Creative Escape, Inspired, Silver Bella, Scrap etc.   I did attend The Creative Connection last year and fell in love so I will be attending 2012 - whereever it may be.  Thanks to Lisa and Michelle, we went to Junk Bonanza that week also and it was awesomeness.  The junk I love, inside and the prices were low.  Those 2012 dates are September 13-15.  Done.  Here's what I made with the $4 cake pans I bought there...

I was watching HGTV the other day - (Property Brothers is my favorite) and they showed Ocean Park, Maine.  It looked idyllic, I've never been to Maine and I think this is the year I should go... I may have to skip Destin in the summer but I'm thinking July or August would be a great time to get out of the Texas heat.  Now to fine suitable lodging... Anyone want to join me?
But what craft events can I attend?  If I had jumped on the $228 CO airfare I found last month, I would be going to Kaari Meng's event The Art of Craft in January, with Charlotte Lyons and Pam Garrison, not to mention Anna Corba.  Maybe even play with some of Charlotte's new fabrics from Blend or just see The French General store.  I would love that.
I could go to Atlanta in June for Haven, a new event by DIY-home decor bloggers.  I haven't moved into furniture refinishing, although I dream about it. 
I've also wanted to go to Portland so maybe I should consider Art & Soul?  I have the choice of Virginia, Vegas or Portland.  Two years ago they had some amazing teachers, now I'm thinking I would like to go to Pups on Wheels or a Lisa Kaus class - she is so kind and generous (learned that at Silver Bella 2010).  Speaking of kind and generous souls, I'd love to find out where Cathe Holden is teaching this year.  Met her at TCC and she embodies what I love about this craft world - she shares her projects for free, people.  And its so cool because the universe is giving back to her.  Unlike some, who want to charge $1.99 for a 3 inch printable...   Okay, that was mean, sorry.
If Cathe isn't home in Petaluma... you could attend Art is You or on the East coast.  In its 2nd or 3rd year, it looks like a good event.  Would love to take a Dee Foust class. 
I'll be checking Mary Engelbreit's blog for announcements of a 2012 event, either the small workshops she held in 2011 or large event like her 2010 workshop, which was a blast and where I met Kim Auman, a local crafter who ended up being my roomie at TCC.
I'm hoping to go to some awesome places for work this year - namely Aberdeen, Scotland and Australia in addition to London.  A small group will be going to Paris for a week in April for a flea market site-seeing tour.  I'm working on the finances because I definitely want to fit that in.  Interested?  Shoot me an email and I can hook you up.  Ali Edwards and Karen Russell are going to Ireland, which would be awesome - I just really want to go to Paris....  The other French alternative is Kaari Meng's Chateau July trip, something she's done for a few years.  Its sold out for two weeks, so they've added a third week.  Lucky you.
This week I'm headed out for a couple days of free-styling in Louisiana, inspired by Mary Ann Moss.  It's not Budapest or Mexico but baby steps... This old girl has to get her grove back.  Photos when I return.
And speaking of making it happen, I'm thinking we need to plan a reunion event... for the fantastic women I've met over the years:  Jeanne K and that entire Chicago gang - Kathleen, Melissa, Cathy D, Nan or my favorite Canadians Charleen and Heather or Megan and Mel and what about the Louisiana girls - Heather, Cori, Angel. Or Silver Bella glittergirls Debe, Julia, Linda and Virginia.  Tell me.  Where can we meet and how can we make it happen?  Hmmmm, let's think about it.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Five Things

You may not know that I

1) never went to college

2) deeply wish that I had had a baby,

3) wanted to be a singer,

4) sponsored a foreign exchange student,

5) cuss like a sailor.

I am really pretty knowledgeable about

1) how to make a good time
in a bad situation,

2) how to make a good meal,

3) how to help others,

4) getting it done/carrying the load

5) traveling domestically and internationally.


I know nothing about

1) motorcycles,
2) pools or how to clean them,
3) skiing or snow,

4) mountains -
I've been in the South all my life,

5) knitting.

And I believe

1) things happen for a reason
and its our purpose to figure out
why they are in front of us,

2) if you don't learn it now, it will come back around,

3) I am not in charge

4) you get what you give,

5) in miracles.

Your turn.
(in the comments or FB
if you don't have a blog)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Score! Black Friday Finds

I love a day at home puttering, cleaning and just hanging out - drinking coffee; alternating between naps, crafting and cleaning out cupboards - doing that deep cleaning that you don't get a chance to do during the week.  But after a while its time to get out and do something = shop.  I headed out Friday around 4 and found all/most of what I've been looking for.  My first stop was Texas Art Asylum, which is a fun, funky place on the edge of downtown.  Ramona and Jennifer opened this place a little over a year ago and its so much fun to sift through all of the odd junk they collect.  It's a place for artists and they have a good eye on finding just the little bits you'll need - now and later for stash.  And the supply constantly changes, which is fun.  Right now everything under $5 is 50% off - which was everything I bought - the rulers, black bolt of thread, little bottles (the real deal, not a Tim Holtz repro).  I'm going to use the thread as a photo holder and I've looked all over for a pic of Jenni Bowlin's sample... can't find it.  Oh well.  One of the rulers says A Housewife will go out of her way for a yardstick.  Wah?  My last pic from there were to the two casters/wheels.  Take a look at my Pinterest board - Mamie Jane did something awesome with them.  She is my latest inspiration (all over my pinterest) - awesomesauce that girl.

Whenever I go to TAA, I usually stop at Salvation Army on Washington, which is where I found the Setwell pant hangers for $1.50.  Yes, Setwell are  vintage finest.  Yeah!  I can hang my piano paper collages and Charlotte Lyon's banner.  Oh, wait.  I have to finish them!  Next I made my way down Yale with one stop at RF Antiques and then over to Heights Blvd. for August Antiques.  I have a secret crush on the owner, shhhh - don't tell anyone.  They have book room(s) and religious room(s) that are like no other.  Seriously.  And I finally found my scoop!  back in the back of the second shop in a corner, covered by farm utensils.  I was so happy with finding it and then the price - $10 (including a black door knob). It is going to be the background for a vinette (inside).  When H and I went to Waco a couple weeks ago, they were marked $30 at an antique store along the way - and the guy would not negotiate even though we had our arms full of stuff.
Another project - creating the photo holders shown on the current Somerset Life issue.  RF sold me the door knobs for $2 each (not $25/2 at Adkins Architecture.  I was so pissed when she told me the price at AA, I left them on the counter.  Tacky, I know but I couldn't help it.  They had BINS of them upstairs - bins - in bad condition - $25/2 - givemeabreak.)  RF is having a sale til 12/31 - 50% off everything and she showed me her back garage with has a ton of furniture.  I also got the two little candy dishes - they will look cool holding white buttons or tidbits.

A couple of Saturdays ago, I made my way in time to The Guild on Dunlavy and found three things in the Half-Off Room.  I found a Pottery Barn candlestick with nice lines, a cutting board and ah, something else that I can't remember now...The candlestick was gunked out with wax but after a good cleaning and a bit of sanding, here is how I'm going to use it.  I was planning on spray painting with hammered or pewter color but I may leave it.  I bought a ton of cake pans at Junk Bonanza in September - all different sizes for $4 each. 

And then finally, here is a sneak of a current project, that is going to be a wedding gift.  It is so yummy - I am having fun working on it but I will say, it is alot of work!  So many cool buttons in my stash - I love looking at them.  Oops, I see a hole!  I'm going to use the ivory tone/tone ribbon I got at Crafty Scrapper around the edges - yummy!  How can I get back there to get more?

Two last bits.  You know about Pinterest, I assume?  But of course.  If you don't, its such a great inspiration place just remember to pin what inspires you!  I forgot and wasted good time looking for it.  And secondly,  I think I've told you about it before - I've found all kinds of goodies on there.  Mostly quilts - for $5 plus $15 or so shipping.  Yummy, beautiful soft quilts that a grandma has made and her family has dumped off at goodwill.  She'll be happy to know you're enjoying it. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Memory without a Photo?

I read this post this morning at Cathy Zielski's blog and immediately reminded me of a scenario I have been playing over in my head the past few days.  I'm trying to learn to let go (still) on several levels of taking care of my mother and also of pressuring my siblings to help out.  It all started a few weeks ago, when my fabulous former neighbor, H stood in my foyer and told me how she realized her parents had to write the last chapter in their lives, that it wasn't up to her to script it as she saw fit.  Those words hit me right between the eyes, as a year after placing my Mom into a nursing home has come to pass.  There's alot of pride and self-worth received from taking care of someone.  Sorry, I digress.
So I'm trying to visit my Mom more out of desire than guilt or pressure or "because I should" or because if I don't, they won't take good care of her... (hello, where's your faith?) And in doing so, I can listen to her and she has basically lost most of her ability to think or reason.  Her mind is blank and yet, we can have the sweetest visits.  It usually involves getting her ready for bed and when you take her shirt off (she gets confused on how to do it), she fights like crazy and even slaps you a bit.  Last Sunday I felt so bad as I tugged on her head and neck while trying to remove it.  So I threw the shirt away because the damn neck was too small.  Once we get through the whole changing chore and sit back down on the bed is the sweet time. I bought her some uber soft pajamas with puppies on them and she loves them. seriously.  And so we spend a little time looking at some photos on the wall and go over (several times) who the people are.  One is of my puppy, Grace that my mother totally adored.  My mother has never liked dogs but Grace was her companion for the five years she lived with me.  She snuck food to her all day long and at night, Grace slept with Mom.  It was so cute.  Doesn't remember a thing about Grace.  I usually brush her hair a bit and she loves it and I rubbed her neck slow and smooth and she really enjoyed that.  It was so pure. And sometimes I lay on her bed and she brushes my hair with her hand and quietly I cry (with my face turned away).  I don't know why, I just do - the whole thing is so overwhelming.  And she screws her face up a bit and sort of cries and I soothe her and tell her it will all be okay.  She is so appreciative of the visit and tells me so.  several times.  And then we recite the Our Father and Hail Mary, sometimes twice and I think she likes that she can remember the words. I truly feel His presence in the room. And after several hugs and I love yous, I go back home.  to Grace. 
Without a picture, it is a very good memory that I want to keep for a long time.  I was never close to my mother and this time is so healing.  Thank you for sharing my memory with me. 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Urban Market

Want to see what I found last week at Urban Market?  When I saw this... I thought about it for a bit and then grabbed it!  Surveyors pole.  Half off.  Its like 15' long.  Wanted one, ever since I saw it on the cover of Holly Becker's book, Decor8.  I can say Holly Becker, like I know her because I met her at The Creative Connection and I know she totally remembers me.  out of the 2,000 people that came up to her there.  For reals.  Say hi to Junior, who's rocking the survey stick. 
And I saw these kissing dutch kids and went back to get them and couldn't find the booth.  How silly - the place (UM) is not very big but I just didn't see them.  I thought they were cute and I love all things Dutch, including my old company.

This lady always has cool ironstone and I loved this display.  

I did land at Kay's booth (again) -she has a shop at Memorial Antiques near the old Academy on Katy Freeway.  Last time I picked up some black globes and large acorns from her.  This time some 4" printers blocks.  And when I professed my love for them, she seemed to think they should all go home with me and not her.   And so for $30, they were mine.  There are tons... and the font is cool.  Looks like another mirror is in my future.  Did I tell you what happened to the last one?  In May I hauled it to Inspired in Charlotte, NC and when the sweet client gave me the cash, I put it in my pocket.  or so I thought.  It fell out.  Some wait staff at that hotel was very happy that weekend.  I wasn't.  Still haven't figured out my lesson... 

Several projects are in the hopper... I've finally figured out a project for all my hotel keys!  I hope I can pull it off - combination of this design and a few modifications in my head.  My dear friend, Cindy's husband, Greg made THAT board for me - is that too kind!  I was so thrilled.  Oheeee.  I've also been making banners out of piano roll paper.  I was trying to figure out what to do with it... I guess you could always cover something with it but I like using it as the foundation for a wall hanging.  I've made but not finished a Christmas hanging and a pink/girl hanging.  And then finally, I spotted this box at Goodwill for $3.  It screamed for maps and I used an 8x8 page of Lille from 7Gypsies along with several embellies, like a flinch card, lace, dennison label, slide negative (thanks to Cathe Holden's TCC class - very cute idea - you remove the negative and replace it with a mini vintage photo).

I hope you have a good Sunday and a great week!  Next week - can you say, ROAD TRIP...Waco for Debby Schuh's classes at Crop, Paper, Scissors and perhaps a stop in at The Craft Scrapper in Waxahachie.  Yes! I have seen these books (Grace Notes totally speaks to me) and they are faaaa-buuuuu-lous!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Google Reader & Tortilla Soup

While at TCC, a couple of the girls mentioned they weren't familiar with Google Reader and we ran out of time so I didn't get a chance to demonstrate.  You may find it helpful, I do.  Google Reader is a great way to have all the blogs you read in one spot AND it shows when there is a new post.  The only down side is when you get behind and you see there are 150 posts open.  I know, its stupid to allow blog posts to make you feel guilty, but what the hey, I haven't quite exorcised that Catholic guilt.  Here is a great Youtube video that explains how to set it up.  I've been using Google Reader for a couple of years now and I've pared my list of blogs down to 60, give or take.  
Two tricks of interest:  in the right hand corner is a button "Show:  Expanded or List".  I use Expanded.  And if you want to know how many subscribers a blog has, click on show details.  Its staggering to see how many some of the very popular blogs have. I don't know if that differs from followers.  And I tried to post a list of the blogs I follow but wasted an hour trying to figure it out.  Here are my top fifteen favorites:  Ali Edwards, Creative Chaos, Dooce, Karen Russell, Scrap Scene, Inspireco, Funky Junk Interiors, Just Beachy, Just Something I Made (Cathe Holden), Mustard Seed Creations, Nester, susie Harris, One Lucky Day, Thirty Decor Chick and Holly Matthis. 
Last night we had craft day at my house and I served this soup. There was a restaurant in the 1980s and 1990s on the west side of Houston called Rotissiere for Beef & Bird and the owner, Joe Mannke served this soup.  Our local paper posts recipes on Wednesday and I have had it for 20 years and its a family favorite.  I hope you enjoy it.

Tortilla Soup
from Joe Mannke's Rotissiere for Beef & Bird
2 to 4 T. butter

1/4 c oil
1/2 to 1 large onion, chopped
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 large carrots, diced
6 ribs celery, diced
1.5 lb. raw chicken meat, diced
1 t. each: ground cumin, chili powder, salt and lemon pepper
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 (10 1/2-ounce) cans chicken broth or equivalent homemade stock

Heat butter and oil in large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeño, garlic, carrots, celery and chicken; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in cumin, chili powder, salt, lemon pepper, pepper sauce and flour. Add tomatoes and chicken broth; stir well and simmer 1 hour.

You can garnish it with cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips or avocado.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.  Final Note - if you like spicy, give it three shakes of tabasco when it is simmering - I'm not into spicy food.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Creative Connection

It's Monday night and I'm ready to drift off to sleep.  My puppies were frightened by the thunder at 4:30 am and considering I didn't get into bed until after midnight.  Yeah.  So you see why.  I had an amazing weekend in St. Paul - my first time to the city of 10,000 lakes.  It was cold and I thoroughly enjoyed the weather.  I had an awesome time and fruitful visit to the Junk BonzanaA-W-E-S-O-M-E.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Creative Connection and getting to know new peeps (Hello Sherri and Michelle) and seeing friends from Inspired and New York.    Kim was my roommate and was so nice and relaxed - a real go with the flow type of girl.  I enjoyed spending time with her. 

Houston  girls - Kim & Pam

Michelle of Scrappin Girlfriends

We arrived on Wednesday and after lunch and a brief nap, I headed to the Mall of America to meet the gang for dinner.  For $2.25 you can take public transit to the mall (with a stop off at the airport - bonus!) - it was a trip, I tell ya!  But I'm glad I did it.  We had an amazing meal at Tucci Bennuch, thanks to Nancy.  And plenty of laughs, thanks to Margie R-A and Mister Sister, our waiter.  The baked spaghetti is to die for - the waiter gives you the recipe and its on their website.  Yum-o. 
On Thursday morning, we stopped in for breakfast at TCC and then off to Junk Bonanza where I proceeded to purchase the motherlode and yes, I got it ALL in my suitcase, including the 18" thread spool, wooden caddy and 40's suitcase.  And I was WAY over 50 pounds.  I was surprised that the prices were fairly reasonable at JB - lots of good prices.  I found plenty and had a great time. 

I'll write a separate post about TCC - there is just so much to remember.  I will say this - yes, it had its growing pains but the Saturday morning breakfast panel discussion, with these brave women gave me the joy and bliss that creative women share with each other.  It was a natural high, I tell you, people.   Amazing and powerful and joyful.  I loved every minute of it.  I also won a Cricut Expression, thanks to Kathy Wilkins (who is co-founder of Brave Girls with sister, Melody Ross).  She had the ticket and handed it to me.  I'm going to give it to an elementary school that I'm mentoring at - they're going to teach me how to end sentences properly.  Seriously, that's ANOTHER story for a different day.  I will tell you all about these women.
My last class of the day was with Charlotte Lyons and making a HOME banner.  Loved it - super relaxing and enjoyable.  Every class had remarkable people - it was such a wide range of creatives, which made it so fun.  Donna from A Gourmet Thyme Too shared some of her fabulous Cayenne Shortbread.  I was so surprised by these yummy little delights.  A shortbread and then about three seconds later, you get the cayenne kick.  And being a person who doesn't like spicy food, surprisingly, I was hooked.  Now, I have to figure out how to get a supplier in Houston!   At the breakfast, Jo Packham told us about three 11-year olds who wrote and asked permission to attend (there must have been an age cut off).  Two of the girls, Taylor and Hannah were in our stitching class with the birthday girl, Charlotte Lyons.  They really were amazing - poised and enthusiastic about crafting. It was fun to spend time with them. 

I'll be back this week with more on the amazing weekend.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Soldier Story

I had a couple of encounters with soldiers recently, which made last weekend's tragedy in Afghanistan really hit home with me.  I will admit - I am a person who tends to live in a cocoon and if it doesn't affect me directly, I don't pay much attention to it - things like politics or stuff that happens in the Middle East or even Europe.  Part of me thinks, why get all worked up when its not going to affect you or there is nothing you can do about it.  Its not admirable, I admit.  Just being truthful.  In the past I really didn't like when my husband would get all worked up about stuff like that - what's the point?  

Anyway... so I went to a work conference two weeks ago in Chicago.  Yes, the one where I got my face painted at the Museum of Science and Industry.  The keynote speaker was Marcus Luttrell, a Navy seal who was injured in a mission called Operation Redwing.   He wrote a book called Lone Survivor because the other three Seals with him were killed by those nasty bastards of the Taliban and 16 other servicemen were killed in a helicopter crash, trying to rescue them.  Before this weekend, it was the worst accident during wartime.  He wrote the book to memorialize his fellow Seals.  Yes, I know.  It happened in 2005 and I didn't know anything about it.  The speaker, Marcus was, well, how can I put this.  Adorable in a big hunky, Texas quick talking way.  Engaging is probably a better description.  He's 6'5 and has the power that comes from being a soldier and a Seal.  And he explained all that he did to become a Frog and how many guys didn't make it through the program, which makes this weekend's event extremely painful to the U.S.  We basically lost 10% of our Seals.  And he talked all about the mission, in a way that was horrifying and interesting all in the same moment.  Incredible bravery.  I left the speech feeling proud and grateful with the hope that I would remind myself every day when I started whining about something to realize how I really have nothing to bitch about.  
On the flight home from Chicago, we were packed and loaded on the plane - ready to take off and then taken off because of weather delays in Houston.  Told three hours which actually only was two hours.  Across the aisle ahead of me a guy threw an Army sack in the overhead, saw his name stitched on it.  Somehow we started talking and I learned A.V. had just finished his third deployment 24 hours before and left Iraq to go to Kuwait, told he had to change into civilian clothes, gone to Frankfurt and then Chicago, on his way home to Pearland to see a waiting wife and daughter, mother and father and family.  He was contained excitement.  Third tour.  First one was 16 months, second one 14 months and this one was "only a year".  He has a four year old girl he barely knows but from Skype.  I spent two hours listening about his experiences and it was truly fascinating.   I really wanted to get on the P.A. and let everyone know we had a real soldier with us.  The stewardess comp'ed his first beer, a Corona and then a second.  He was so polite and yet he talked about the power of being a soldier, the difficulty of being  a soldier.  He had to hit a woman with the butt of his gun and it really bothered him.  He fought every single day during his first deploymnet.  No breaks, no days off.  They drink Red Bull constantly just to keep going.  He had trouble with anger management when he got back the first time.  And guilt for surviving. This tour he lost 8 men from his battallion, including his commander.  He talked about going to visit their wives.  He is afraid but he knows he has to do it.  How much packages from home, or anybody really means so much!  Of course he didn't have a cell phone so he called his wife and mama using mine, several times while we were waiting - to tell her where he was, about the delays.  And so when we arrived in Houston, we said our goodbyes but agreed to stay in touch.  He wants to go to a Texans game and I have a friend with tickets. He invited me to go with them.  He's called twice since then, just to chat.  And introduce his wife.  The Army helps them with counselors during re-entry.  First 4 days at home, 4 at work, 10 at home, 10 at work - in Fort Hood.  He's dealing with re-entry pretty well but its still all so new and vacation-like but he's ever so grateful for this chance to be alive.  And I'm really grateful that I've gotten to get to know him.  It's so interesting to me when God puts certain people in your path.  Not really sure why or what they will teach you but I've finally learned to pay attention to it. 
I'm going to Creative Escape (the last one) in a couple of weeks and then Creative Connection after that so I'll be back with lots of photos of projects and good times.  I love Phoenix and very excited to be back but it also makes me miss the people who helped create such fun times there.  These will be new fun times, different but still fun.  Talk soon.
And in June I was in Banff, on a Sunday before a work trip in Calgary.  I love Canada. 

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Lookie Look Look at what I found!

Decisions, decisions.  Early yesterday morning it was spitting (as the English like to say) when I left the house for Warrenton.  I had a wretched sore throat.  I decided to have breakfast at Newman's and if it looked bad, turn around and go home.  I ignored the little drizzle and pushed on and oh-boy, oh-boy, oh-boy, am I glad I did.  The day was fantastic and I had a blast.  Before noon the place was deserted and when I left at two, it was packed.  I found lots of smalls for very cheap prices.  Wanna see?
Doesn't this wooden truck ($8) scream PAINT ME, put some cool graphics on me? 
I adore that little booklet, baby shoe $2, doll heads $2

The zinc can is the sweetest shade of pink, creme puff will be a good
doll body.  Fell for the sugar bowl ($4) and had a brilliant conversation
with a long haired hippie about NOLA food.  The McCoy girl/boy were $11.

Debe, I found the cylinders!  Bought the whole box.

Need to decorate these wooden shoes, like West End Salvage did...

I know he is broken in two places but
I fell in love with him.  And he was $1.
He's like 8" tall.

My attempt at Subway Art.
I made this for my brother and will get it printed poster size.
Its the name of every street he's lived on on top of an
1878 map of New Orleans.
 It was such a fabulous day in the fields, I picked out little bits here and there and for really good prices.  I quit when I was tired and stopped at Nothing Ordinary in Brenham to get the little booklet and several other things above.  Had a wonderful visit with the ladies there.  So glad I took the chance, with the rain and had such a great second trip.  I kept thinking this week, I want to go to Brimfield (in Mass) and then I realized, WHAT THE HELL, you have good stuff right in your own backyard - go!  So, I did.  The end.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Junking Bliss

I don't know how else to describe my Wednesday in Warrenton other than to say blissful.  A storm had blown through the night before and the weather was cool, and sunny - a perfect day for junking.  I stopped at Newman's Bakery in Bellville and enjoyed breakfast.  I have {former} friends who revealed a sweet antique mall down the street, Nothing Ordinary, so I made a stop.   Want to see what I found there?

Do you not love these cats on wooden spools?  I think they are so sweet!  I want to make one.

Purple.  His and Hers hand towels.
And the honking crystal - came from Warrenton. 
Biggest crystal pendant I have.

 I ask you, if your air quotes friends air quotes were holding out on you on a place like this, would you disown them?  Around eleven I made my way to Warrenton And after walking around for 6 hours, I finally went home.  With this.

Music Cylinders.  $5 each.  I saw today that
Cathe Holden is teaching a class using these at Silver Bella.

Some sugar molds.  The duck was $5.  A mail slot, sprinkler and hardware. 

Some of what I saw in Warrenton
Probably my favorite is the map with "recalculating".  She also owned that cute little camper that she used for her business cards.  A-dor-a-ble.  My favorite was meeting Karen from Birmingham.  She had some gorgeous burlap curtains and lampshades.  She has a bed in her display AND THEY SLEEP THERE AT night... What a fantastic idea!  The cross was also at her booth - I wish I could have captured the vibe in her booth because it was inspirational.  The doll heads, wooden shoe form and chandelier are from West End Architectural Salvage from Des Moines.  Very hip.  The cowboy visiting in the upper right - it was just so Texan.

I saw some dough bowls and chenille bedspreads and bought neither.  Because.  That's just how I am sometimes.  I think I should go back Saturday morning.  Whaddayathink?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Day After

It's a bit ironic that on the Saturday night that I invite friends over for crafting, that no one has a camera and although I have several, not one is pulled out to mark the evening.  Argh!  It still is a great evening and last night was another one where we spent more time talking than crafting and strangers arrived and friends left.  Fills the heart, for sure.

I'm home from Bermuda (work, yes work) and happy to be home for a while until May and Inspired Artist.  Here are a few pics from Portobello Road Market in London:

This booth of printers blocks is where I spent WAY too much money.  I just couldn't help myself.

Several booths with old cameras.  And many booths with silver pieces.
Down this road is Mike's Cafe, where I had a wonderful breakfast.
And here are a few photos of the loot I took across the pond, back to Texas.

I loved this set of Roger Bros. spoons plus the odd knife

Cath Kidson goodies, photos and spoons and printers blocks\

Wouldn't that oxo box make a good doll body! 
Loved this stamp and there's some fabric below that looked interesting.

I spent last Sunday driving through Glenwood Cemetary and found about 25+ angels but I couldn't seem to get the right photo.  Somewhere (of course I can't find it now), I saw someone had a poster of an angel over a bed.  Loved it.  Wanted to recreate it... I'll go back and try again on the photos.

And finally, I would like to share one of my favorite FLICKR accounts, someone I found quite a while ago, a pilot (Louis Vest) on the Houston ship channel, who is also an amazing photographer.  Peruse this for a while, especially his Nautical, Maritime set - simply amazing will be inspired.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


It's funny when you're in London, because the voices in your head talk with an English accent.  Seriously.  I came home yesterday (a day early!) after spending 10 days there - 4 for work, 4 for play and 2 for travel.  I'm still unpacking and washing, getting groceries etc. so in the meantime I'll share some photos.

Fortnum & Mason

One of my favorite stores in London is Fortnum & Mason (thanks to Gerry Averitt for telling me about it years ago).  It has fabulous window scenes and unique gifts - a bit like a smaller English version of Nordstrom.  I bought a Royal Wedding "commemorative tankard" that I thought was pretty.  I have a small collection of Queen Elizabeth 1953 coronation commemoratives that I've collected over the years.

F&M Window - love the English china patterns and tea!  although I drank alotta lattes.

Graphics and Oak, what more can you want.  I loved this display window.

Typical English scene on any work night except this was a bit early and there will be way more people later on.  The Pub originated because the English have small homes and so in their "village" they congregate at the pub instead of their living room.
Green Park, near my hotel.  The spring flowers like daffodils are beginning to bloom and will be goregous for the next few weeks. Its still cold though, coats/scarves & mittens were required all the time, but bonus - no rain!  I scored on Priceline for my hotel - Intercontinental in Mayfair, which was fabulous.
Through Green Park, walking towards Buckingham Palace.

Walked past Clarence House (Prince Charles home) and four cars high tailed it out of there - didn't see who it was.  As I walked further down the Mall, these guys came striding along.

Admiralty Arch, before Trafalgar Square
My biggest score in the flea markets were large printers blocks and some King Edward spoons.  I'll try to take photos of my finds and post this weekend.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


is so difficult when you've spent a weekend in such a blissful state.  We assembled again, most of us, at Las Brisas Farms in Fayetteville, TX.  There wasn't the usual twenty of us but rather twelve, since this was a reschedule of an iced-in weekend three weeks prior.  We had a newbie, Cindy join us and she was a wonderful tablemate.  I spent most of the weekend making journals from books, playing a bit with an album made out of an album (as in LP - Cindy's project).  Started a few other projects, such as a picture block, my New York album from a Henri Bendel bag and an envelope journal.  On my drive back home, I stopped at a junk store right outside of Industry and found a few bits and bobs.  It was a bit overpriced but it had alot of old small cans, which I want to use as a doll body... And how could I pass up the sweet little church.  I'm going to paint the house blocks and the little cylinder thing is made of wood. 
I've taken these roads several times now... to Round Top or Las Brisas and real or not, there is a washing away of stress when I leave Bellville.  Whether its because of the great breakfast at Newman's bakery, I think it has something to do with being in that part of the world.  It just slides to the floor and out the door and I am peaceful when I hit Industry and then on into Fayetteville. 

I loved the patina of this wood

I also stopped several times to snap a few shots of rural Texas, focusing on abandoned buildings.  I wanted very much to take some of the old barn wood but didn't, for two reasons.  No one to ask if I could and my car was stuffed with half my crafts room so there was no place to "store it" in the vehicle.  But it was fun to at least stop and appreciate it a few moments with a camera.  You have to be still when you're on the road from Bellville to Fayetteville or Warrenton, its Texas Highway 159.  But when you are still and listen, it's amazing the peace and comfort that rolls in. 
Cyclists love the area too.

I'm taking my re-entry back into the real world slowly today.  Loving on the pups alot and unpacking here and there.  (there was alot to unpack).  And preparing for a half week at work and a few days in London's flea markets (my first time to Borough, Covent Garden, Spittelfields, Portobello Market) and then a week at Lloyd's, a different kind of market.  I hope it is a good week for you. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Funniest Thing

happened this morning.  I told myself to get off the computer at 10 and start on my "to do" list.  And precisely at 10, my computer froze up so I HAD to get off!  I spent several hours going through boxes in my garage from my Mom's house and found a motherlode of old photos from the 50s - of my older brothers and sister.  I'm thrilled to find them and loved looking at them.  I also found a scrapbook my mother made of early Germany when she left Weirton, WV and eventually met my father.  Who knew - my mother the scrapbooker! 
I delivered some boxes to a local charity and they have this angel in the courtyard and I finallyr emembered to bring my camera.
I saw my neighbors for a few minutes today and they were dressed up so I snapped a few photos for them - they look great.  And then I tried photographing my spoils from yesterday's Urban Market and blah.  Just blah.  I am trying not to whine but I really need to work on my styling abilities.  They don't exist.  Really.  Does anyone have some suggestions on how I can improve?  There's all kinds of blogging advice and tutorials but I need to find my inner Heather Bullard because she is nowhere to be found!  Argh.  Here goes..
I was looking for a taller basket after seeing one in a photo of Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa's) kitchen but I still like this one. 

These are some of the linens I got ... there is one beautiful pillow that was in pristine condition and she sold them all for $5 each... The hankies were $3.  Guess who they're for?!!

 I found the silver basket thing at Pam & Sherry's booth - I think the wires are heart shaped!  I want to make a gauzy silky pouch for it.  The glass pieces are lamp parts and have holes in them!  I was thinking of making frozen charlotte dolls with them?

I love anything to do with Holland and the two black toile plates just spoke to me. 

Another pic of the glass lamp parts with a vintage divided dish.

And here is a pic of the gray bathroom.  I'm very happy with it.

That's about all I've got.  I do want to mention Egypt - it is so thrilling to see what is going on there and Saturday, when they were cleaning up - it just made my heart sing.  Two months ago I knew nothing about it but I've learned alot at work and from my boss, who lived there for several years.  It is so exciting to see change being made - I pray it stays peaceful.    I hope it is a good week for you.