My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 My Year in Review

A fellow blogger is having a year in review so I thought I'd join in and review things I've done this year. Here is Cindy's link so join in and view all the others participating also.

I have to warn you this is "photograph and eye candy" heavy, chicks. Sorry! I don't do this many very often at all, but it is a "celebration" of what my year was like. I focus on the positive and not the unsavory aspects here. Let's celebrate!

This year we finally got the whole house painted pink. This is the laundry room after I made these little wood letters for the wall behind my washer and dryer. For those of you who don't believe laundry can be beautiful, I say "au contraire, mes amis"! Click here to see the entire laundry room after I froufrou-ed it up.

This is just one of the old suitcases I decoupaged with fabric and store things in. This one is above my living room on my plant shelf.

Just one of the many birdhouses I made this year for friends, myself and Love Bunny's pop-up camper. The pop-up camper and camping is a whole other story, but I declared in the beginning of this post that I should not dwell on any negative aspects. I'll not go there. ;-)

I spent WEEKS on a challenge from my eBay group to have a white, pink and roses Christmas tree this year. I was going to do it through out 2010 to have it for next year but when I'm on a roll, watch out! I did MORE than enough to do it this year.

As you can certainly tell by now I love pink, lace, netting, roses and froufrou things. This is a dress form I whipped up in a day or two for this little "topiary" for the other plant shelf in my home because I was tired of the old gate I had up there. Always changing, always changing, chicks.

Closer view taken inside.

Taken outside.

It sits atop this "topiary" for lack of a better description. Some one called it a "Remembrance Tree" because it is compiled of things my sweet friends on my eBay group spoil me with all year long. I love them all dearly.

Two tree toppers I made this year for the tree. I made another one with silk roses that will be a giveaway soon, so I'd keep watching if I were you. ;-) I have giveaways on a regular basis and they are never, ever disappointing. I do it because it gives me joy to gift someone with one of my handmade items. These two I am keeping though.

Who says old cans don't have a place after the contents are gone? Not ME!

Okay, I have a shoe fetish. I love shoes, but since I'm almost 70 years old I can't wear high heels much anymore. This pair of shoes I bought at Macy's when we lived in California—my absolutely most favorite store in San Francisco, near where we lived. I couldn't part with them and they were worn out after 25 years so I memorialized them with this froufrou-up. They now are on my family room faux fireplace mantel for me to see all the time. They were red, but now one is white and one is pinkkkKKK!

This is just a little project I started (Have I mentioned I have an addictive personality?!?!) for fun and it has kind of gotten out of hand. These little scrunched flowers are so easy and fun to make I just sit around sometimes making them to give to friends. Easy peasy, fast and inked on card stock. I did a tutorial somewhere in the last month on these on my blog.

A wreath I made for my front door. The door is red but next summer it will get a new coat of the brightest red I can find—candy apple red.

Just a photo I took of some of my crystal ware during an event hosted by another blogger. I can't remember what exactly it was. I am an old lady, ya know. ;-) But this would fall under the category of perfecting my photography skills. I do this on a DAILY basis!!! When I do something I'd truly like to do it to the very best of my ability. I fail, of course, but I keep trying. Photography is one of the things I love doing—that and using my PhotoShop to edit the photos. I'm truly a computer geekette.

During that same event I showed my favorite plates I got on eBay many years ago. They are covered with 14K gold and it was very hard to get a photo of them but I tried honing my photography skills and got this good one. I was thrilled! It is truly one of the most gorgeous plates you'll ever see. I got 4 of them and we eat off of them on very special occasions.

Another one of my giveaways. I loved these little wood letters with fabric decoupaged on them and would have loved to kept them, but I just had to share with others who don't have the ability to do this.

I made these little letters from papier machè and papers. They are darling but I prefer working with fabrics more. The little fireplace screen is something Love Bunny made for me to put in front of the mantel. I covered it with barkcloth and decals. I was well pleased with the way it turned out even if LB swears he'll never do another one with all the modifications I made to this one. We KNOW who will win this battle, don't we?!

Then I decided I needed to make some "cuffs" that were all the rage earlier in the year. I kept most of them and display them around the house, but I did gift a few to some young girls in my church and friends in my eBay group and then did a giveaway for one. I absolutely love making them and they are quick and easy. A great gift if you want to make them. I personalize them for the person to whom will receive each one. This one is mine to keep forever.

We finally got the whole house painted pink—well, except for hubby's office, which he threatened me with bodily harm if I touched it with pink. It's a bright minty green and he loves it much better than the stock paint in new homes—beige. But this wall is dedicated to Susan Rios, my favorite artist in the whole world. I found her in the Premier edition of Victoria back in the 80s. I've even corresponded with her and she is a true sweetheart. All the art on this wall is hers except for the painting of the woman, which I found at Goodwill for a few bucks. It reminded me of Susan's self-portrait in her book and it has roses on the hat. A bit of serendipity. :-)

I wanted to try and make the most spectacular apron I could. This is what I came up with this summer. I'll never sell it or give it away. I can't find some of these fabrics anymore. It has 11 different fabrics in it.

I'm a rose-painter-wanna-be. This is about the best I can do. I've practiced and practiced for about 3 years now off-and-on. If I didn't try, I'd be disappointed in myself. I'll never be perfect but I can at least satisfy myself and that's what it's all about. I want to do as much as I can before I leave this earth. This was my highest priority goal outside of being more spiritual and a woman of faith.

Okay, you're heard the saga of my "old feet" in the beginning of this blog post. BUT I wanted to try and wear high heels to church a few times just to feel feminine. I didn't get very high ones but I did get 2 pairs I could make look different with detachable clip-on bows. I remember back in the 50s and 60s wearing clip-on bows but couldn't find them anywhere. Sooooo I decided to make my own. I now have several pairs of bows to put on my high heels or even flats. Looks like I have scads of shoes but truly I only have about 15 pair. That's scaled down dramatically from when I was working in California! I just don't need many shoes anymore.

Birdhouses are another thing I love to make. It relaxes me. This one was for a very special friend. I'd rather make these than anything else other than aprons or just about anything with roses on it.

This is the aforementioned Christmas tree this year. It's packed away now but it'll be pretty much the same next year. Yards and yards of tulle netting. If you want to see it with all the photographs of all the things I put on there, look to the right on my sidebar and there is a clickable logo to go view it.

And this is me! I did what I consider an very "intimate" post about me and my views on women. It is entitled The Sum of All My Parts and can be viewed here if you have an interest. I think you'll enjoy it.

So that's my entry for My Year in Review for 2009. I hope you find it interesting. I also do Random Thoughts from time to time on my blog, but I doubt you'll ever be bored, sweet chicks. I'm just an old lady from California living in Idaho with the man I married almost 49 years ago. Drop by from time to time and visit. I love meeting new people.

Bow Making Tutorial

When I was young I had a job with a department store working in their display department. It was a stepping stone to bigger and better things but the experience was invaluable in many ways. I learned the advertising business well and I picked up how to make bows. Now, can you beat that? ;-) It has served me well. So when froufrou-ing up the tree this year I thought about it and decided to give you a tutorial on making bows the absolutely easiest way. I bought this large roll of sparkly silver ribbon just to show you. While this is 4" wide, it can be done with smaller width ribbon.

Make several loops of ribbon. I did about 8 here to show you. The more loops you make the "fluffier" the bow.

While I did 12" long loops they can certainly be smaller.

Now, you will cut a "V" in the middle on each side being very careful to not cut through; otherwise, you have loops of useless ribbon. (Hmmmm, but I'd figure out something to do with it, for sure, chicks!)

Now, with a piece of string or yarn, tie it tight.

Then start separating the loops. One to the right, one to the left and so on until you've brought all of the loops towards you and twisted a bit to make them stay in place.

I do from right to left and front to back with each loop. You'll adjust better later. Now you are just separating the loops.

Now, just fluff and adjust and you'll have the best looking bow in your neighborhood.

The final bow. I used these on the tree. Using this kind of ribbon isn't the best but it'll do for decorating or any kind. I'd normally use an organza ribbon for this, but you can use any kind you want.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My New Toy

While visiting with granddaughter and her hubby for Thanksgiving I got this new little toy. Squeeeeeeeeal and eeeeeeeek...for $74.88!! Yesssss, I saved $125.00 on this little jewel. Now, I have no idea how to use it yet but I'm going to learn just as quickly as I can. (Please read random thought at bottom of this post.) It's a Cricut machine and cuts shapes and letters. Love Bunny thought it will benefit him with his model RR train hobby. See my "plot" here?! He even went with me to Joanns in Bellevue to help make sure we got one since they were limited. This is no small feat for this man. He does NOT like shopping for anything other than "guy" things and food. But he drove and stood in lines and dodged insanely bickering women to help me.

The other thing I want to tell you about is something I remember from my youth and hearing grownups talking about movie stars, and then later television stars, being photographed behind gauze. My gauze is purple from a project many years ago so I used fine tulle netting. The idea was that it softened the lines and complexion of stars because they're just like you and me, chicks; they get old, wrinkled and have zits. This is before botox I think.

Anyway, I tried it and it works. Now, this was taken with my iSight webcam and that's a pretty basic camera, although, everyone who talks to me says the picture is great. (I've never seen myself on my own webcam on someone's computer and know nothing about how it looks to them.) It should be; that little puppy cost me $150.00 about 7 years ago! See how soft it looks. It does look like a "film" is over it but remember, I used netting instead of gauze. I think I'll try it on a photo shoot outside soon. Lighting is not the best in this room.

Random Thought:

As you may or may not know, we don't watch television. When we visit our kids and if the television is on we'll watch with them for a small time, but it holds no interest at all for us. Never do we watch it at home because it's tucked away in a box and used as a side table. We only bring it out for our grandkids and kids to play games on when they visit. We do not watch because of all the trash on television today. Those of us raised with tv in the 50s and 60s know, but those of you born in the 80s and 90s probably think this trash is the norm. It is NOT. Hence, I'm a bit ignorant about how to pronounce some names and things. For instance, I only heard Jackie Kennedy speak once in my life and I was amazed at her little girl whispery voice. Not something I would have expected her to sound like. Plus that was years after her life as First Lady.

So also I have no clue how to pronounce Cricut. When I walked into Joanns and asked for a Cricut the man said, "Oh, you mean a Cricut" and pronounced it like Cricket. I was pronouncing it like "cry cut" and had no clue. So I don't know how to pronounce Thule. Hubby thinks it's Tulley but I'm wondering if it's Thule like the th in thimble. Can anyone enlighten me on how to pronounce it?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Redo for My Plant Shelf

It started with an idea and an urn and went down hill on that slippery slope from there, chicks. *Sigh*......

After buying some silver branches at Michaels and then cutting several off our apple and pear tree, it still looked very sad indeed.

The first sad attempt. Styrofoam and hot glue.

Okay, after some consulting with an online blogger who is a florist (and kind enough to help me) she said I needed to go straight up and not out to the sides. Fill in the center more. Sooooo, it was off to Joanns for more "fill-in" and this is what I have now. Yes, I like it much better.

Hmmmm, not too sure about the green grasses so painted some flora that came with one of the bundles pink:

Still not too keen on the green, brown, silver and beige colors in there all mixed together. So I decided to...
...paint it all pink.

So here I am before the dawn on the patio spraying the whole shebang with pink paint in 19° weather. (But it's a "dry" cold. *Smirk*) Love Bunny is still asleep, but last night he came home from a train club open house and complained that the pine cones I painted weren't smelling cinnamon-y but like paint fumes. I told him he was one paint job behind. It was the little flora I painted outside while he was gone.

So again at the first light before the sun was up, I was again outside photographing the display.

More tags, silk ribbon embroidery and cards I've received...

little fuchsia balls...

pink pine cones, clay roses by my friend, Lorena...

...RED berry sticks...

...and the little tree topper—a dress form swathed in tulle and red polka dots.

A banner of felt silk ribbon embroidery by another friend, Shirl.

A silk ribbon embroidered mitten by Katie peeking through all the "fluff" and a decorated cone from Ele. A card from Lynn.

Teapot ornaments by Rhea. Tags from Vickie, Steph and Judy. A little tussie mussie from Bertie. A blue Christmas ball painted by Jennifer.

Here it is on my plant shelf.

I love it up there and is quite a visible display for visitors.

This is my tribute to the women of my eBay group who have lasted the three and a half years with me. They deserve accolades and a standing ovation for their creativity and love. Thank you all!