Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September Ketchup

At the end of August, I had the chance to attend Oprah's Lifeclass in Dallas with Bishop T.D. Jakes as the teacher.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I was on the fifth row and going to ask a question, but they ran out of time.  Disappointing, yes but I had such a great weekend that the disappointment lasted 2 seconds.  I also had a fabulous dinner at The Porch the night before. 
Found these baby shoe molds in Canton
Since I hadn't been to Dallas in a while, I wanted to check out the square in old McKinney and made my way north as soon as the show finished taping.  I had a great time checking out the shops and actually ran out of time, because I wasted time eating!  I fell in love with Happiness is Quilting - lots of beautiful 30s reproduction fabrics.  They're famous for their Dutch chintz and she had plenty of it.  I loved the look at Ambrosia and spent some time at Homepieces talking to the owner.  She has a gorgeous piecrust mirror that I wanted but walked away.  Now I'm obsessed with piecrust mirrors (scallop) - hopefully I will see one at Round Top this week.  Another very cool and trendy place was Patina Green - loved looking at their shop.  Take a look at their blog and tell me if you don't agree.  Awesome. 
On Friday I headed over to Canton for First Monday, something else I haven't done in a while.  If you've never been to Canton, it is something to see - prices are good and there is plenty to see.  I found some goodies but it was absolutely too hot and after a couple of hours I rented a scooter so I could get around and see everything.  I found 4 wooden shoe molds, some typewriter keys, printer blocks and small insulator knobs (great for box feet). 
There was something new at Canton that I haven't seen before - LauraAnna's, an amazing shop down the street, towards I-20.  It's vintage meets new, if that makes sense.  I bought some papers, a clear plastic milk carton/creamer and dog creamer.
I spent the night in Gun Barrel City (eat at Hector's) and headed over to Waxahachie the next morning.  And boy, am I glad I had the opportunity to spend the entire day there because there was alot to see!  Obviously, I was going to Crafty Scrapper - one of the best scrapbook stores in the world with the largest stash of May Arts ribbon.  Next month Paula Cheney will be teaching three classes and I'm going to miss that, boo hoo.  Next door is the Dove's Nest and I finally got to eat at the tea room - something that has never happened before.  The chicken salad was yummy.  I started, however, at Cozee 's Little Cottage on the next street and found a TON of stuff that I love, and I bought some of it too!  See below.  A red rimmed enamel cup, baby shoes, cutter quilts, a book and two Dutch figurines - and that's only part of it.  They had great displays and there wasn't much in the store that I wasn't attracted to!  You know, sometimes how a place just speaks to you. 
They suggested that I go over to the Red Barn (one street over) early since it isn't air conditioned and I'm so glad I did.  I found this beauty sitting on a bench and when the girl said $10, I couldn't run fast enough to grab her.  She is really big and yes, the bottom of her shoe is missing some paint but she is perfect otherwise.  I love her and don't think I'll sell her - she's huge. 

So, long story short, I made my way until about 5 pm up and down the streets of downtown Waxahachie and had a good time doing it.  It was Labor Day weekend so I still have two days at home to unpack and enjoy my new playthings.  The End.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Junking July

A couple of weeks ago I went up to The Woodlands for CKC, a scrapbook convention in order to work with Cheryl Mezzetti at the Splash of Color booth.  I thought it would be fun.  And it was but man, oh man - it was a lot of work, standing on your feet the whole time.  Definitely something I'm not used to doing. The saving grace was that I got to hang out with one very cool chick, Cindy.  She worked too (because I signed us up for this craziness) and so we laughed about it together.  I don't think she's going to listen to any more of my cockamamie ideas. Yeah, oh well.  Here's the product I got for working those two days:  some Silks paints and modeling cream and other goodies.  We also got paid but there just isn't enough money for me to do that again. 
Yesterday we traveled to Fort Bend County Fairgrounds for Junk Hippy Roadshow.  My first time there and while I did find some good stuff, it was not enjoyable and we were out of there within an hour.  It was super crowded with small aisles and sticky hot even though it was inside.  They allowed strollers/carts and it just wasn't enjoyable.  Want to see what I found?   My favorite find was a vintage quilt for $45.  I just love the colors and its in great condition.  Also picked up two trays - I already painted and papered the bottom home turquoise in order to hold my washi tapes.  The other tray I'll use for my little bits.  I just went through them last weekend and put them in a couple of plastic cases but I think this will be nice to have some laid out.  It has the months of the year across the top - not sure what it was used for.  And the prayer is just so adorable, made of burlap in pinks and blues.  I just love it.
From the top left is a sweet English biscuit tin (good to hold treasures), a couple of scoops - I'm not sure why I wanted the galvanized one but the wood/metal one is cool.  Loved the vintage quilt teddy bear - he's a bit worn but I couldn't leave him.  The ticking fabric is a small remnant and a couple of linen pieces - the circles will be good to cut up.  The other white piece will make an excellent fabric book cover. 
After that we headed south/west to Glenflora and the Glenflora Emporium, where I always find something good.  I still have to thank Sandy Hoho for telling me about that place.  And then over to Wharton (which is right across the road) with of course, a stop at Bucee's for a cold drink and some beef jerky.
In Wharton we walked into a junk shop that had a bad mold smell and I was wondering how long I could stay but then it faded.  I saw these baby bed pieces and she said $5 each!  And the other baby bed had a price tag of $85 so I passed it up but when I asked, she didn't have the rails so she said $10 each.  Now, tell me - aren't they perfect chalkboard signs... We saw several at JH.
And finally, I love this blog (nanacompany) and really do want to start quilting and sewing more when I look at her gorgeous handiwork.  After one blog hop (which I cannot find now!), I saw this fabric and fell for it so I had to order it.  It's called Petal by Tanya Whelan and I got it from Shabby Fabrics.  I also saw some gorgeous French map fabric (Paris Flea Market) there that I had wanted to order previously and, so I did.  In two different colorways - blue and pink.  The little heart piece is hand stitched, I found that at Glenflora.  I figured it would make a sweet book cover on a fabric book.  Loved the shape of the flower frog ($1) and the glass piece  I don't know what those are but I have two of them.  I also found some chippy wood pieces at Glenflora and a nice small strainer at JH. 
We also made our way to Rosenberg and had a great hamburger at Another Time Soda Fountain and then we called it a day.  Whew - a long day, that started at 8 and ended at 5... It was so nice to hang out with Cindy and do what we love to do best! 
And now the fun starts.  This weekend is a scrapping weekend with the girls at Camp Allen, a place near Navasota - my first time there.  Cindy said there's scorpions.  Dammit.  And the following weekend is a plane ride to Baltimore and a visit with Megan and some work after that.  But on Thursday, Cindy and I are headed to southern Louisiana, a plantation and some good times at the inaugural Southern Craft Academy.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weekend Time

It was an easy weekend around these parts... When I have few commitments, I like to find a new recipe or two on Pinterest and give them a spin, which is what I did.  I made BBQ pork ribs and a Lemon Thyme Pasta salad.  It is a great summer salad with a nice light taste, I definitely recommend it.  I also made Oatmeal Lemon Bars which are simple and good:  made from Oatmeal cookie mix and condensed milk.  Today I made crockpot Brown Sugar Chicken - its made with soy sauce and brown sugar and garlic.  It had too much soy sauce for my taste, I won't be making it again.  Oh well, you win some and lose some.
I wanted to enjoy a simple weekend at home after spending time last week decluttering by removing accessories in my den, kitchen and master bedroom, thanks to the influence of The Nester.  Originally, I had no interest in following it because I don't consider myself a decorator or a person who buys pillows.  I don't get the whole "throw a lot of pillows on your sofa" thing.  Or bed, for that matter.  But when she mentioned that she got busy without the distraction, it got my attention. AND when I started removing ALL THAT STUFF that I didn't realize that I had.  Stuff that was given to me and you feel like you have to display it.  Please.  If I gave you something and you don't like it, it's okay to give it away.  I promise.  I don't know what I'll be bringing back, but I will say I enjoy the clean surfaces now.  It is freeing.  Or maybe just different, but so easy on the eye when you come home from work. 
And starting next weekend, life takes off like a rocket with plenty of weekends planned.  CKC Scrapbook Convention will be at The Woodlands next weekend and I'm going to split booth duties with my friend, Cindyw1I.  (think about it).  Cheryl Mezzetti of Splash of Color needed some help so we both said, why not!  Should be great fun.  On Sunday in Round Top will be the 4th of July concert at Festival Hill and after seeing last months concert, I definitely don't want to miss it.  It starts at 3 pm.  Let me know if you go.
July is FULL of wonderful events.  Junk Hippy is going to be in Rosenberg on July 13th.  I had hoped to have a booth there, but no such luck - they were sold out.  Still going to go to check it out.  With Michelle Burrus back in town, we're headed to Camp Allen (my first time!) for a weekend of scrapping/laughter.  The last week of the month will be packed with a work trip to Baltimore, but I'm making time for my friends, Megan and high school friend, Julie who lives in Falls Church, VA.  And then Cindyw1I and I are setting off for her first trip to Louisiana, a day early so we can explore and then on Friday we'll head over to the Bocage Plantation for the first ever, Southern Craft Academy which is being hosted by Aimee Broussard, Susie Harris and Stacy Haycock. After we had signed up, we found out that Angel Stormo and Heather Bellanger will also be attending. 
Estate Sale book
Okay, I have two more events to tell you about... So you won't be able to say, I wanna go but I didn't know about it!  In early September, there may be a road trip to St Louis involving a Girlfriends Getaway at For Keeps Sake store.  It all started when certain girls from Chicago and Maryland threw out the suggestion and then BOOM, there's a party in STL.  It will be awesome and we're hoping that a few others can join.  ALL kinds of people to see in STL:  Barb Reininger, Dre Walter, Kathy Northup, Sue Keleman, and Nancy Wethington. 
Final event is not until November in Los Angeles, called Spellbound, which reminds me of Silver Bella.  I'm excited to go back to LA after having a fabulous time in January at French General.  Cathe Holden of Just Something I Made will be teaching, along with Kaari Meng of French General.  It's going to be awesome.  Cathe is one of those people who's career has taken off, she has a great new book called Rosette Art and yet, she is so incredibly kind and down to earth.  I love being around her as well as being inspired by her.
Okay, weekend is coming to a close.  I hope yours was good.  I'm ready to get the week started for all these good things that will be coming down the pike.  Note the two blonde bombers here:

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Festival Hill at Round Top

I am probably the last person on the planet (of Texas) to NOT know about the symphony concerts at Festival Hill in Round Top.  Saturday, after running around to the outlet mall in Cypress and a few other stops, I was invited to attend the 43rd Round Top Annual Music Festival with my neighbors.  We stopped at Royer's first, and I had a fabulous burger and we took pie to go.  You can't leave there without pie, of course. 

Royers - source

source:  Junk Gypsies
So, have you been to the concerts at Festival Hill?  There's a wonderful story attached to it but I'm not sure where to start.  This guy, James Dick is an accomplished pianist and has set about establishing a fabulous institute so that young people can learn and practice their craft - kids from all over the US. International teachers!  Little by little the concert hall has been put together - in the past there was no roof or air conditioning! 
I cannot explain just how incredible the concert hall is.  Take a peak here to get an idea, but you should really go and see for yourself.  I spent most of the concert looking up and around at the gorgeous wood and architecture.  It's mind-blowing.  And the acoustics are perfection. 
What I thought was so cool was the second half of the concert.  They moved the grand piano to the front and James Dick came in and played with the orchestra.  It is good to be James Dick, I tell ya.  You build a place and then you get to do what you love with a lot of people watching you.  He deserves it.  I cannot say it enough - just how gorgeous the architecture is and how much you will enjoy the music. 
The concert season is 6 weeks and it just started.  Spend a Saturday afternoon or evening there - the tickets were $30.  June 30th is the patriotic concert and from what I hear, it is not to be missed.  I will definitely be there.  So cool.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Friday Finds

Last Friday I headed over to Warrenton to see what I could find.  I made it there at noon, after stopping at Newman's bakery for breakfast, of course.  It was already busy but not packed.  Warrenton is down the road from Round Top.  I may have explained it before, but its miles and miles of tents/booths with cool stuff to collect/antiques/funky finds.  Here are a few things I saw: 
I stopped in a Cole's and met Kevin Novak of Bungalow 29 in Granbury.  He and his wife make some awesome projects, especially with yardsticks.  These are owl bags made from ties, light from roof tile and the yardstick table with drafting prints, scrabble room divider.  Just over and over, cool stuff. 


I loved this display - I snagged a couple of gym baskets for $15 each (look at the lower shelf)

While this isn't my style, this vendor obviously had style

 Anything with maps/globes is a good thing - these are lamps.  His whole shop was cool.
You can find lots of initials now.
 Ran into my friend, Ronda and her pal, Mary.
I found this P at Urban Market earlier this year:
Today I stopped by an estate sale and a couple of resale shops, with my neighbor.  Found an awesome board for $1.50, a couple of beautifully illustrated books (one on barns and a Currier & Ives), a sweet pink bag that I'm going to make into a journal.  

I took off Thurs and Fri - no special reason, just seemed like a good thing to do.  I put together this cork map that I found in London last time, at Inspitalfields - an awesome shop that's, well - In Spitalfields Market.  I stuck it on a black foam core board and stuck pins in the places I've been.  Want to find some red push pins.  The black ones don't show up so well. 

I bought a man's shirt and made this wine gift bag.  I'm going to make a small pouch with the other sleeve and perhaps a pillow with the body of the shirt.  The gift bag was easy - just measure a wine bottle (I happened to have one!), stitch up the bottom, and I added a pleat/tab on the sides so it would "sit" nicely.  I think they call it "box the corners".  Is that right?  The Pinterest tutorial says to add ribbon or elastic, but the sleeve closes nicely with the button.  I punched a tag and used some baker's twine.

Just think, I still have the whole weekend left! More craft to come. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oh Baby! Banner

I wanted to make a little banner for a guy at work who is expecting their first baby.  Okay, that doesn't sound right but you know what I mean.  I'm going to tell you how to make it but I'll save you from making all the mistakes I made.  Normally when I make a banner, I use Martha Stewart's alphabet, which you can find here under birthday templates.  But I really wanted to use pink and blue letters and hers are all black.  So I used MS Word and picked a font from my collection (Elephant font at 140) and used Word Art/Outline to change the outline to pink/blue and colored them in with colored pencils (Prismacolor my favorite!).  I know - a lot of work.  For some reason, when I printed the pink from my printer, the color was off no matter how much I worked with the RGB percentages.  After wasting an evening with the printer, I was determined to do it my way! I also looked at stamping or embossing but I didn't have the right stamps so this was the final solution.
I printed the letters on white cardstock and punched them out with a scallop punch using the Mega size Marvy scalloped punch (its pink).  They have several sizes and you can do two layers, if you're ambitious.  My ambition got waylayed by all the "issues".
I made the rosettes by hand.  I know, please don't lecture me about silhouettes or cameos or other machines that can do 10 at a time in twenty seconds... I have a Cricut from Black Friday four years ago - it's been used twice.  I'm not buying another machine that doesn't pass the three month rule.  I cut strips of pink and blue paper one and a quarter inch wide, 8.5 inches long.  I used my Scor Pal board, and scored two at a time.  With two strips of paper I attached both ends at a peak/valley (the end of the strip) with red line tape. Now I made a mistake with the adhesive, YOU should use a hot glue gun when making the rosettes.  Cut a circle out of chipboard (I save it from all kinds of packaging) and you can add patterned paper to make it look nice.  But use the glue gun, seriously.  It takes a bit of practice getting the rosette to lay flat but just keep working with it.  Its also optional to add a chipboard circle on the front, underneath your letter for stability.  For the rosette to take shape, I set it inside my redline tape roll to get a consistent shape of the rosette.
I used white ribbon and attached it with the tiny attacher (stapler). Not the best option - it was a pain getting it to catch the ribbon.  It would be much smarter attaching it to the cardboard circle on the back side with the hot glue gun!  
And because I had trouble attaching the already assembled rosettes, I had to improvise with the ribbon and add some baby boy/baby girl ribbon at the ends and I threw on a plastic diaper pin to boot!  So, there you have it. 
On a side note, I am looking at getting a rosette die - either the Memory Box or Tim Holtz, after I read this article.  I want one that I can adjust in size.  I hope the article covers that!
And by the way, I haven't had a chance to look at Cathe Holden's new book, Rosette Art but I am sure it is fabulous. 
Let me know if you have suggestions on improvements - I'm open.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Last week I took a trip to the other side of the earth:  Perth, Australia.  It was amazing.  But that's a post for another day.  The day after I arrived, I got a phone call at 3 am from my brother, telling me my little dog, Killer, a 13 year old perfectly healthy dachshund was hunched up.  He got better during the day and we decided to wait til Monday for a visit to our regular vet.  The diagnosis was discopondolitis or arthritis - I can't remember exactly.  Meds were involved and Killer improved and was his old self until Wednesday when he had another "attack" - hunching up and not moving, plus lack of appetite.  Another trip to the vet resulted in more steroids and pain killers. 
My business trip involved several presentations and getting to know my co-workers that I support in our Perth office.  I also planned to stop in Sydney for four days of R&R and fly home on Tuesday.  I had booked a nice apartment through Home Away - on top of the Swissotel. Qantas has a route from Dallas (which is 45 minute flight from Houston) to Sydney (16 hours) and 5 hours to Perth.  Throw in a couple hours of downtime and its basically 24 hours.  I decided to cancel the Sydney leg and return home on Saturday. 
Anyway, those are just details.  At home (waking in Perth at 3 am and arriving in Houston at 5 pm  the same day!) I found a doggie that was like a stranger - more interested in sniffing my bags than saying hello.  Sunday morning he was his usual self and my heart lept.  But there was a seizure on Sunday and Monday morning, I knew it was time.  We sat in the special room at the vet for  a while - they were super busy so Killer and I  spent some time, first on the table, then walking around then finally he curled up in my lap on a towel and just rested.  This dog was the kindest and fiercest protector but so gentle with kids. He started life with my husband but quickly became "my dog". He loved to swim. Some folks claimed he was a humper. He loved to sleep right up next to you and many nights he pushed me to the edge of the bed.  He was stubborn.  And I still can't believe he's gone. The house feels empty and void of his presence. It's shocking. He was such a protector - even at 11 pounds, he thought he was the killer dog. He wasn't afraid of the Akita next door. I am so glad he had a good life with me and I could hold him when he left. And I cannot wait to see him again on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Pretend Its January

and it didn't take me this long to tell you about the October email I received about French General's Art of Craft event in Los Angeles in January.  I've read about it for four years and in that moment, when I read that three former Silver Bella teachers would be together again, I knew I had to go, so I clicked the BUY NOW button and I booked miles for the airplane fare.  It was such a terrific weekend, I am so so glad I made it.  I left Thursday morning and returned home Monday afternoon.  California was cooler than normal but still gorgeous.  I didn't book my hotel til the very last minute, paid too much but enjoyed my stay at the Embassy Suites in Glendale.  Glendale is a nice little town, with quaint antique stores, a fun outdoor mall and some nice restaurants.  On Thursday afternoon I hung out near the Grove, had a healthy lunch at medocino farms and checked out a few antique stores.  Best one was Liz's Hardware, which was jammed packed but pricey.  Still fun to look around.  I met my cousin, Len for dinner that evening in Glendale.  It was so great to catch up with her and give her a wall hanging like this I made.  She has a wonderful gift of making you feel so loved and understood.
French General Los Angeles, CA

Carla, Julie B, Julie, Connie
Friday morning I checked out some antique stores in Glendale and made a few purchases; a beautiful album from 1882 and some hankies, lunch at Home near French General and our first class started with Charlotte Lyons.  I sat in the back alone until a bevy of girls waltzed in including Julie Baxley from Silver Bella days and her bestie, Carla and two Cali girls, Susan and Sally.  It turned out to be the most fun table in the store - I lucked out!  And the store is everything you dreamed about.  Charlotte's class was a book for stitching and starts with a beautiful blue/white vintage quilt - gosh, it was awesome and I wish I had more of that quilt!  Next came Rebecca Sower with a stitching fabric bracelet.  There were four small rectangles and it was so fun to design within a tiny box - I loved the challenge.  I also purchased another RS journal of gray and peach - it is.so.yummy!  I'm still using my first one by adding notes and receipts from my daily life - I love it.  I should probably stop here - its getting late and I need to start and finish a journal project tonight.  I'll try my best to tell more of the story tomorrow. 
In the meantime, tomorrow will be another day of Lists in 52 Lists by Morea Seal.  I've started mine and cannot wait to make a journal of it.  I'm on week 5.  What a fun project!
And I did catch Downton Abbey fever, a bit late starting in Season 3.  But you can watch Season 1 and 2 (which I did) on Amazon for FREE if you're a Prime member (which is a bargain, btw).  That show just gets into your head and won't leave!  I love it and also looking forward to Masterpiece Classic's Mr. Selfridge March 31st.  I wonder if Laura Linney will introduce it, also?  Does your mind speak with an English accent also?