April 01, 2016

April Fools

It has been rainy here off and on, and with the rain comes bugs trying to get inside away from it. In Florida, that means cockroaches. Here was my April Fool's joke presented to me by Mother Nature a day early...

My morning routine is set in stone. By that I mean I consistently complete each step precisely in the same amount of time. My hair is course and curly and when I wash it, I have an exact time frame that I have to dry it in before I have to just get it wet and start all over. This particular morning, I added a step which threw me off completely. I got hungry and decided to eat before I finished my routine instead of after.

My hair was almost at that critical drying point, so I had to rush to get back on track. If you have course, curly hair, you understand that. I picked up my blow dryer and turned it on in one motion and aimed it towards my wet but drying head. Apparently, a cockroach had decided to make the inside of my blower dryer his little home, so as soon as the power kicked in he was blown directly into my wet hair. OMG

I did not have my glasses on, but could see in the mirror that "something" was in my hair. I keep small lobster claw hair clips all over my bathroom and they are a tortoise shell color which is the same color as a cockroach. I thought for a split second that I might have swooped up one of those clips and it flew into my hair. Another split second passed and the clip started wiggling. He was tangled in my curls and trying to free himself. OMG. O. M. G. Normally, the 9 year old girl inside me would come out. The blow dryer would go flying, I would have squealed in the highest of pitches, and would have done a high step prance all over my bathroom until he fell to the floor. But because my glasses weren't on I didn't panic immediately.

Within a nano second, he freed himself and fell to my shoulder. By then I knew I wasn't dealing with a hair clip. A big squirmy wiggle from me sent him falling to the floor where he scurried away. I'm sure he was thinking the same thing I was. "What the freak was that?! " I told hubs what happened and he said "well, I didn't hear you scream". I'm still shuddering that it happened at all, but grateful I didn't realize it until it was over. Getting older has its perks.

I have had other close encounters of the roach kind in my lifetime, and they have all been terrifying. I can't think of anything more disturbing with which to have an encounter. I guess I should thank God that my eyesight is poor and spared me the panic until it was really all over.

My intention was to insert an image of a cockroach in this post. But looking at them grossed me out. The images of the cartoon ones was even too horrible to consider. So you got puppies. You're welcome.

Happy April 1st!

March 07, 2016

Draw Winky

My Happy Place has always been wherever I am doing something creative with my hands. I can spend hours or days in my craft room. It’s where I get inspiration, get lost in my thoughts, let go of inhibitions and just play.

The following stories about my early creative side are so ME.

In the summer between second and third grade, 1960 I do believe, the public school near our house had a fun summer school sort of thing. It is not clear in my adult head, what it actually was because there was no curriculum that I can recall, just a camp kind of atmosphere where we went to play. It could have been for a day or two, or longer, I’m not clear on that part either. I am sure of the time frame because I attended that public school in second grade before attending Catholic school in third grade the following year.
I doubt very seriously if it was something my parents had to pay for, that wasn’t going to happen, but nonetheless, we went to the school for part of the day and did stuff. Fun stuff. Like gathering in the auditorium and watching black and white movies. It’s where I first saw Esther Williams and for those of you too young to know who she is, she was a swimmer turned movie star and they made movies about, well, swimming - starring Esther... Busby Berkely at his best. She was beautiful in her one-piece ultra conservative bathing suits, and she wore spotless makeup and smiled while she swam. When she took off her swimming cap and shook her head, her hair fell into a beautifully coiffed-do. I was mesmerized.

More appropriate to my story, the other fun thing we did at that summer school was to go to an art room and do projects. I vividly remember drawing an elephant walking on grass. I added a palm tree for effect! I was awesome (not) and I was so proud. When I shared it with the teacher he immediately said “Well, that is the skinniest elephant I’ve ever seen” and he promptly handed it back to me and walked away.  What?! His obvious disenchantment with my drawing was shocking! Shocking.

A couple of years later, I made the most incredible Father’s Day card ever (not). I drew a popgun on the front of a folded piece of paper and wrote “to the best Pop ever” on the inside. See what I did there – Oh, I was brilliant alright! My dad oohed and ahhed over it and hung it in the garage over his workbench, obviously so he could look at it all day. Every day.
Eventually I found the card ripped in half and in his trashcan in the garage and immediately kicked my little brother’s ass for having the audacity to go in there, take dad’s treasured card and just throw it away like that.
Tom told me that it wasn’t him but dad who threw it away, but I just knew he was lying. Like a rug. He had to be. Snickering little liar! That night, I overheard my dad tell my mom the story, and my heart was broken. Yes, dad was the one who threw my awesome card away.
I’d love to insert here that I apologized to little Tom and gave him a hug. Bwahaha, I never apologized for anything. As my grandson says… “I’m sorry for nothing!

Forward to 5th grade in Catholic school. Our art assignment was to draw something depicting Egypt. I spent the entire class staring at my paper and looking at papers around me being drawn by my classmates in hopes that I could copy someone else's idea (cuz that’s what great artists do) but I had NOTHING. Oh, I knew about sphinx and pyramids and deserts but I couldn’t make a single mark on my paper. The only thing I drew was a complete blank. My head was spinning and my inside voice was saying, “draw SOMETHING!” Instead - I turned in a blank paper. Blank! I got a D that semester on my report card. In art for Pete’s! And to make it even more horrendous, Father Hagerty circled the D in red ink before my report card got handed to me. Yes, the pastor of our church came to each classroom and looked at every single report card in the front of the class. He was seated at the teacher’s desk with a red ballpoint pen in his hand. Just watching him make a move towards a report card with that pen brought audible gasps from the entire class. The red circle of shame, and I got one. I also got my ass kicked when my parents saw that D.

In my junior or was it my senior year in high school (don’t ask me why that time frame is blurry to me) I found a match book with this on it:

This was an ad for Art Instruction School of America, and this dear was named Winky. I of course, drew Winky and sent it in.  It said... "draw Winky and you too can become a famous artist". Well, Lo and Behold, a representative of the famous school came knocking on our door soon after, proclaiming I had soooo much potential and would be the perfect candidate for their at-home art instruction classes.
More than anything this gentleman said, I remember that he had one arm. I stared at his fake arm, which was sticking out of the sleeve of his suit jacket. It was very low tech and actually looked like a department store mannequin’s arm - flesh toned and stiff. The fingers didn't move. This was the late sixties, so technology hadn't quite kicked in for prosthetics. I only heard about every tenth word of his pitch, because in my head I was saying "don't stare at his arm, don't stare at his arm".
I begggggged my mom to let me sign up, and looking back on it all, I am amazed that she agreed, but she did! I know it was beyond our budget, but I swore I’d do all the assignments and become a great artist with a brilliant career.

So there I was, a student in Art Instruction School’s at-home art classes. They sent me real supplies, like a wooden drawing board and pencils and chalks and charcoal and water colors. This is how it worked: they provided you with an assignment every few weeks or so, to which you would read the instructions on how to do the technique, then you used the supplied tools to complete the assignment. After completion, you sent back your paper to the school. When it came back after grading, there were some critiquing notes on the pages - written in red ink of course, the color of shame - and a letter grade at the top. I’m pretty sure I was a solid C student. I'm not kidding - it was the man-art-teacher-who-hated-my-elephant all over again. I don’t remember how many assignments I did before I quit… But I do know my mom made me finish making the monthly payments until the contract was done. In my own defense, you can read all day long how to use watercolors (or any other technique), but figuring out how to actually do it on your own was difficult.
Turns out, I wasn’t the perfect candidate for at-home art instruction. Surprise! But that wooden drawing board came in real handy later during my apartment years. I used it as a weapon to hurl like a frisbee on top of gigantic roaches or spiders that creeped their way in.

Thank you Art Instruction Schools, I have no diploma, no brilliant art career. Just a smack on the back of the head from my mother ("I told you so, you never finish anything") and the memory of a frightfully bad artificial limb burned eternally into the front of it.

February 29, 2016

Time Flies

Well there ya go. A year and a half later, here I am back on my blog. A lot has happened in that time, some good, some not so good, but as the saying goes, "life goes on". My gut wants me to go political and say something about this crazy presidential election. On a daily basis, I have my fingers in my ears, saying la la la la la la so I can't hear all the nonsense. I have made myself a promise not to go there. You're welcome.

So I will stay in a happy place and talk about what brings me joy. I am 2 years and 10 months away from retirement from my day job. But who's counting?! Well, I believe that I AM counting. After that, my joy will be multiplied because I will be in creative mode all day every day for as long as my head and heart are in it. Where it's Christmas every day and my floors are covered in glitter no matter how many times I mop, vacuum, or sweep.

Our craftshow successes have certainly been a highlight of the last year and a half. We are planning this year to add one more big show to our schedule, so production has been beefed up. Our little snowmen have been very well received by our followers. I can't believe we have followers, but we do. It's a very rewarding part of crafting. Hearing that someone appreciates what we do makes us very happy, almost as much as getting paid for what we do.

We met this weekend at my house to create another batch of snowmen. I must say it's a large pre-production getting ready, mainly because we have crates and crates and crates full of tiny parts, ribbon, beads, wire, glue, rhinestones, baubles, glitter, watch parts, and of course bottles, all of which are stored in my guest room and have to be dragged out to my kitchen where we work off of three 6 ft tables,  a 4 ft table, and a card table. We desperately need a studio. But since we are 60 miles apart, that isn't an option.

Here are some cuties being assembled.

We've come a loooong way in our thought process and design. When we first started, our snowmen had funky parts for eyes, noses, and mouths. It got a little over the top, so after listening to our customers say that they wanted more traditional looking snowmen we reeled ourselves in.

Here are some pictures of our latest batch in the drying process and awaiting glitter.


We have expanded way beyond snowmen and added several upcycled craft items. We've made wreaths using burned out Christmas bulbs that have been glittered.

 The "before" bulbs


A closeup of the bulbs, so pretty! 

... dioramas using vintage lanterns and bubblegum machines.

And wine gift tags/ornaments from used wine corks.

Thanks for looking. My promise to myself is to journal more about things that make me happy. Leave me a comment! I'd love to hear from you.


July 25, 2014

Making a scrapbook from a wine bag

I was asked to create a going away present for one of our administrators. They wanted a scrapbook, but not an ordinary one, that could hold photos and quotes from all of the principals in our school district.

When they asked me to do this, it was near the Christmas holidays and the stores were already full of holiday stash. I was shopping at Big Lots and came across these awesome bags intended for holding wine bottles...
They're a dark purple with a fabulous metallic prism effect. When folded in half, there are 5 surfaces, front and back, for adding pages and a bonus pouch in the middle for a pullout pocket. I folded each one, cut a piece of coordinated background paper from this pack I got at Michael's.

And they ended up looking like this...

This is one of the pouch pockets.

I cut the rope handles and planned a way to use them in my binding. I gathered all six bags and measured the depth, length, and height to determine how big my scrapbook was going to be. I used foam board to make the outside. I'd give dimensions, but it was based on the bag I purchased, and would only work with that bag. It was simply a matter of stacking the bags on top of each other and measuring them, allowing for the "middles" to be pushed closer together where they are bound.
To bind the bags to the scrapbook, I tied each one by wrapping the cord around the folded bag onto the spine of the scrapbook.
I frayed the ends of the cord just for interest and texture. Each principal provided me with pictures and quotes, so I added them to all of the pages and inside the pouch pockets.
I embellished each page with stickers and the end result was beautiful! I kind of had in my head what it was going to look like, but the actual end result was much better than I imagined. I think the color choices were a big part of the success.
In the end, I decided it needed a box to stay stored in, so I used more foam board to create one. I just measured the finished scrapbook, and came up with the measurements for my box.
I Modpodged more of the same background paper all around the sides and top. Note: Modpodge on foam board creates bubbles, but it isn't horrible. Just not perfect!

The finished box, is embellished with buttons and stickers. I also added some purple satin ribbon along the edges of the box to cover up the score lines in the foam board.
My administrator friend was thrilled with her gift! Tada!

The whole process wasn't all that difficult, but I will admit, it was time consuming. Mostly because I was creating it as I went, but I was very happy with the end results.

July 21, 2014

Dear Jane

A commercial flashed as I was watching TV and it was a promo for a Queen Latifah’s show. Jane Fonda was a guest and they showed a little flash of a moment of Jane walking out on stage. Holy Shit, she looked amazing! I Googled Jane Fonda Queen Latifah and whoopty do, up popped several still pictures of Ms. Fonda on set. Here she is at 77 freakin years old! SEVENTY SEVEN!

Yes, I know we could all look that good if we had unlimited funds and access to the best plastic surgeons, but before you judge, let me remind you of these faces… who also have big bucks and docs at their beck and call and, well, you know… they look different. That's the nicest thing I can say. I do believe genetics has served Ms. Fonda well.

After Googling her age, because I was curious, I tripped over her quote regarding aging and emotions:

"But I find my emotions are way more accessible than they were when I was younger and I've come to feel it has to do with age. I have become so wonderfully, terribly aware of time, of how little of it I have left; how much of it is behind me, and everything becomes so precious.
"With age, I am able to appreciate the beauty in small things more than when I was younger perhaps because I pay attention more. I feel myself becoming part of everything, as if I bleed into other people's joy and pain. Maybe, without my being conscious of it, there's the reality that in a few decades (if I'm lucky) I will be in the earth, fertilizing some of the very things I look at now and tear up over."

I love that! I too feel more weepy now than I ever have been, and well up at the silliest things. I have also become much more aware of my time left on earth and realize the insignificance of things that I once thought so precious. Like stuff I have collected. I have looked around my house with older eyes and no longer see treasures. I see stuff, that’s only value is to add a little pleasant aesthetics to my every day view. I now yearn for the things money can’t buy like Time; Solitude; Tranquility; Joy.  And maybe, just maybe, I’d like to get rid of the turkey neck I inherited genetically (thanks dad). I want Jane’s neck, and her hair, and that fabulous smile. 

Dear Jane, 
You kind of scared me in the 60’s, but I think you are and always have been a beautiful woman.  Seventy seven, Jane! Dayum! 
OK, you are officially on my fantasy dinner with fantasy friends list. You’re in good company. Who would you like to sit next to? Your choices are…

Bob Keeshan (a gentle hero from my childhood)

Fred Rogers (although it’s hard to picture him without also picturing Eddie Murphy & SNL, he is another gentle hero I admire)

Marilyn Monroe (I want to apologize to her for all of society who ate her up and spit her out)

Jane Goodall (flawless dedication to her cause)

Walter Cronkite (I trusted him as much as I trust God)

Mohammad Ali (charisma at its finest)

And me. 

I promise not to stare too much. Ha! Who am I kidding! I’m going to stare the crap out of you after I hug the crap out of everybody else. Call me.

May 28, 2014

The Spirit Tree

My maternal grandmother had the ability, like my mother, to make me pee myself a little when she walked in the room. Grandma was cranky, and angry. Those are my perceived memories, anyway. Don’t get me wrong, she loved us, we knew it, and loved her back. She had 11 children and lost her husband when her youngest was 3. She had to be strong and like most of her generation, did what needed to be done without complaining or assistance from the government. Hell, I’d be cranky too.

She came to visit us once when she was 65 years old. She was crippled with arthritis in her knees, and had gray permed haired. She wore the typical housedress that women of her era wore, and had old-school nylon stockings. She wore them everyday, and she would start her day with them rolled down to her ankles until she went out and about. Then, they got rolled up and secured to her girdle/garter belt.
They were not pantyhose, those weren’t even invented yet, but Stockings… the kind you bought at a Stocking Counter in the department stores, and the sales clerk usually put them folded nicely in tissue, inside a special long, flat “stocking box”. And they were shaped like a curvy leg, not like the big wad you get nowadays in a package of pantyhose.
On that visit, she was cooking supper and I was assigned to help her. Being the good military child that I was, I never volunteered for a chore. I didn’t need to… they were assigned to us on a daily basis. She was not happy with the way I was peeling the potatoes and yelled at me for peeling them with a knife instead of a potato peeler. “YOU’’RE WASTING HALF OF THE POTATO!” Yes, in caps because it was loud and angry. When my eyes welled up, she said something like “go on tell your mama, big baby”. If I felt like doing the math, I could tell you what year that was and how old I was, but since math makes my butt hurt, we’ll let that go. I can tell you I was old enough for that to make a lifelong impression.

What I took from that moment was I didn’t ever want to live to be 65. In my mind, she was old and miserable and just had to be near death. I prayed in my best Catholic prayers for God to let me die before I turned 65. I prayed that for a LOT of years. Well, I am now 62, and not anything like my grandma. My hair is gray, but you’d never know it. My hairdresser makes sure of that.  I watch What Not To Wear faithfully and apply those rules to my wardrobe. Stacy and Clinton are my best friends. I’m healthy and happy, and although I have my cranky moments, I mostly bury those so deep no one knows about them.

My Grandma lived another 30 plus years, and got a little softer with time. A little.
Life is hard and should be so much easier when you reach your 90’s. It isn’t. It is confusing, and sad, and depressing… for the seniors and their families getting them through it. I bless my siblings every single day for tenderly caring for mom. We have learned first hand that a retirement home is a somewhat safe place but without constant supervision from a loved one, it is a scary place. It has been an eye opening experience for all of us.

I don’t think I’m ready to go yet, but my prayers are different. I don’t know what’s in my fate as far as a death scenario goes, and glad I don’t. If I could choose, it would be a peaceful moment. Let me just not wake up one day. Don’t we all wish for that? Just let me go way before the Assisted Living Years. No Depends, no mush at the dinner table. No wheelchair gatherings around a TV in a communal lobby. Dear Lord, no. Please.

I have a lot of hopes in my life, but my biggest hope is that my children and grandchildren have fond, loving, warm-fuzzy memories about their mama/grandma. I found this awesome link on the big www.com that meets my wants for my after life. Take a look here. It may sound crazy to some, but it is totally up my alley.

It is, in a nutshell, an urn of sorts that you mix human ashes (from a cremation) with a tree seedling, and the tree absorbs the calcium rich ash, and grows to be a big tree in memory of the loved one. I love that idea. Really, go to the link. It’s awesome. If my children are reading this, bookmark the link, please. That’s my living wish. Seriously. Find a nice place where my grandchildren and great grandchildren can come visit the tree, and plop me down. Gigi’s tree! A nice deciduous elm would be nice. Yeah, that’s what I want…Yellow and red leaves in the fall, and beautiful bright green leaves in the spring.  Hang a swing from one of my strong branches, so I can cradle my babies, and their babies… A sweet Spirit Tree.

January 30, 2014

Christmas Treasures

This post is a little late since it is more than a month since Christmas, but I, like the rest of the world got caught up in all the hustle bustle business of “December” which bled over into “January”. My grandchildren are the center of my universe and every ounce of the joy they bring me lights up my dark places and keeps me centered and humble. Please forgive the tardiness, but read on.

This year my boys are 5 and 6 and full of pure rambunctious energy. I know no one on earth more loud than these two boys except maybe their dad, and when they are out in public, you know it.  Inside voices?... fuhgettaboutit. Baby K is almost 2, and the sweetest angel on earth. I started a tradition two years ago when the boys were very young, and I hope it’s one we can continue as long as I am around.  Since they are from a split family, they have a long list of people in their lives who love them as much as I do, but this tradition is for their mama’s side of the family. Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s Off to Dollar Tree We Go with a list in hand of their loved ones so they can each pick out a gift to them for Christmas. I wish I could capture a picture of the entire experience, but believe me, handling a toddler and two wild boys by myself is an adventure of its own and the distraction of a camera would be just enough to send me over the edge.

This trip, baby sis got to ride in the cart and “helped” pick out candy and cookies for herself, which consisted of pointing and grunting through that binky - Maggie Simpson style - but the biggest entertainment of the day for me was watching my boys so very thoughtfully and very carefully pick out each gift for everyone on their lists. First on the list was Mom… she got a new makeup brush from one and some eye shadow from the other. Next up was mom’s beau. 

Braydon (here) said, after picking up a box of cookies, “momma bought some of these once and he LOVED them so, so much, so I want to get these for him”.  He bought a spinner toy for beau’s son “I’ll teach him how to use it”.

Mason (here, with baby K) said “Papa is always out of batteries, so I’m getting these for him”. He also picked out some play money for beau’s son “he’ll like this, I think there’s about $350 dollars in there!” and he found some beef jerky for his carnivorous uncle. “Mmmm, yummy, I like this beef stuff too.” He slipped a box of cookies behind his back and into the cart so baby sis couldn’t see her gift. She didn’t even notice as she had already picked out a box of Lifesaver Gummies for herself. She calls them “nummies” and for the entire ride in her cart, she held them up to me and said “Open. Nummies.” over and over again. The explanation of having to pay for them first went on deaf ears, but she didn’t fuss and eventually I gave in to her sweet baby face and opened them for her. Not the first time I've done that, I'll admit that here.

Let me share that I had old ladies smiling and cupping their mouths with delight and complimenting me on the manners of my boys as they kept saying excuse me to get by people in the narrow aisles and the yes ma’ams were flowing like melted buttah.  “Oh my, these are the most polite children!” “You can tell they’ve been raised right, you must be very proud!” (If they could only see the thought bubble over my head at that moment, the same one I had when I first heard words of praise from my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher. This thought… “Wait, my child? Are you sure there isn’t another child with the same name in your class?”) If the People of Dollar Tree only knew how wild these boys can be or how many times they’d been taken out of stores by a frustrated and exhausted mama… but not today. Today they were incredible and good as gold. And I said thank you very much to every fellow shopper.

I’m not sure what happened, a little Christmas magic perhaps, but whatever it was I’ll take it. They’re learning an important message about giving from the heart. Even a simple $1 gift, given with love is what the whole idea of gift giving is all about. Choosing the wrapping paper and writing the names on the tags was important to them too.

My gift from them was the pleasure of witnessing selfless acts of love for the people who mean the most to them. Thank you for the Merriest Christmas ever, my sweet grandtots, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I love you more than you’ll ever know.

December 11, 2013


I recently went to search for decorations at The Dollar Tree for our office Christmas cookie exchange party and stumbled on the wall of snowflakes they have to offer. I bought a handful of different shapes and sizes, some having multiple in a package, some only one.

I laid them all out on my workspace into a wreath shape then began hot gluing the places where the tips touched. And as simple as that, I have a beautiful snowflake wreath and glittery ribbon that cost all of $5. With it hung on a mirror, it makes it look twice as pretty and twice as glittery. Love it!!

November 25, 2013

Quirky is as Quirky does

I’m a sucker for a lot of things… mostly things that I’d like to think all people are suckers for, like crying babies, or injured animals, or a sweet old couple still walking hand in hand after 60 something years of marriage, the kind of things that tug at your heart and make you weak in the knees. The kind of things that make you put your guard down for a minute or two and step out of that cozy comfort zone to offer a hand for someone in need.

But I’m also a sucker for a few weird things, things that might define me as quirky. I don’t mind being called quirky. Really, we all have some degree of quirkiness, that’s what makes us fun and interesting. The quirkiless (I just made that a word) people are the boring ones. I wouldn’t want to be friends with a quirkiless person.

• I’m a sucker for Christmas music. I’m listening to it now, and have been since last week. All day every day, and all the way up to Christmas day. Then I’m done until next year. My son would hate that, being the Scrooge that he is. (Where did he get that from?!) But I have my Pandora station loaded with awesome artists and songs. In general, I can't stand Celine Dionne, but I will listen the heck out of her Christmas albums. Isn’t there something so soothing about hearing a Christmas song? It brings calm to my otherwise hectic November and December.

• I’m a sucker for my grandchildren. I was a pretty hardass mom, kept ‘em in line and all that, but now I seem to have that mellow grandma thing going on and will do just about anything they want that makes them happy or smile for a minute.  We get silly and play, and have Happy Meals, and watch Sponge Bob Squarepants together. “Gigi, can I have a Fruit Rollup?” Yes you can. “Can I have another Fruit Rollup, Gigi?” Yes, yes you can.

• I’m a sucker for my children, both adults now, and they mean the world to me. My heart hurts when they are in pain, and I am filled with true joy when they are happy. I would sacrifice everything I have for them. I feel the same way about my siblings and my handful of good friends. How lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life.

• I’m a sucker for sparkle. OK, that’s a little weird, but my head will spin for a sparkly bracelet or some other piece of chachke jewelry. I don’t need diamonds anymore. I’ve had my fair share of good expensive jewelry that brought me pleasure at one time. I am gaga over simple rhinestones and glitter. Right now I have on a Christmas charm bracelet I made (loaded with crystal charms), and a rhinestone bangle bracelet that I paid $5 for at Walmart, and my Fossil watch with a crystal bezel. And there is a jingly, sparkly necklace around my neck.

• I’m a sucker for mindless TV. And don’t we have a boatload of options out there! I sadly still watch all the Housewives. They’re rude and shallow, and mean divas, and maybe that makes me feel soooooo good about myself, I don’t know. Why can’t I turn my head when they are on? It’s like a train wreck right before my eyes. Kudos to Bravo TV... laughing all the way to the bank. Ah, Andy Cohen, you genius, you.

• I’m a sucker for shoes. Love, love, love them and could shop all day trying on every single pair just for the fun of it. I even notice other people’s shoes and have many times made comments to total strangers “love your shoes!” Yeah, I’m that person, the weirdo in the mall looking at your shoes.

• I like laughing and I’m a sucker for a good comic strip.  Right now, I love Pickles, it’s my favorite. My all time fave was Calvin and Hobbes. Man, do I miss that one! Belly laughs galore. For the life of me I don’t understand why some of the old weird ones are still around like Beetle Baily and Mary Worth and Blondie. I can honestly say I have never once read Mary Worth. The comics are the only part of the paper I read. My 6th grade civics teacher would not be happy about that. He once made me do an oral report every day for a week about current events, because I shared that I did not read the paper. So, booya! Mr. WhateverYourNameWas, still not reading. Current events are still sucky, and I don’t have to know about them to get through my day. Actually, I feel like I’m better off not knowing the creepy things that they deem fit to print.

So call me a sucker or quirky. If you’re my friend, you’re not learning anything new here. I wear my quirkiness proudly on my sleeve and offer no apologies. Booya!

October 14, 2013

Halloween shadow box

I found these little Zen Garden thingies at the Dollar Tree. I’m a sucker for a wooden shadow box, so for a buck, I got a perfect, already black, wooden shadow box to make something for Halloween.

I must say it wasn’t all that hard to toss out everything that came with the box. The little bag of sand and rocks went into my garden, (HA! – I say “garden” like I have one of those. Let’s be honest and call it the "back yard") the tiny rake was worthless and went into the recycle bin and I was left with a nice black box.

I have the mother load of Halloween stickers in my stash and ribbon too, so this was truly a $1 project. OK, $1.06 with tax. Uncle Sam needs his share. If you had to buy all of it, it would still be under $8.

First, I measured around the perimeter of the box and applied some red-double-sided sticky tape to secure my ribbon. You could just use glue if you don’t have that tape. But you should have that tape, it’s that awesome with ribbon.

I found the music page on-line for the background , printed it out, and applied it with ModPodge. I have a bat punch and used some black cardstock scrap to punch them out. I creased their wings to give some dimension. I cut a piece of spooky cloth from my stash (also from the Dollar Tree) and place it at the bottom to anchor the collage. It looks like a spider web - bonus!

A few minutes later, after playing around with placement and gluing everything down… project done and cute as a button. I have it propped in my kitchen window in front of one of my K's I collect.

Cackle, cackle, screamy screamy! Happy, happy Halloweenie!