Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Look whats coming for the Holidays!


I know this seems early to be announcing this, but its really not.  I've had a few ladies from out of town ask about attending this event coming up in November here in Gilbert, Arizona, and I'd like to get some feedback from ya'll who are interested so I can make a definitive decision and you can make travel plans early.

I'd like to have the event on November 9th, 2013, which is a Saturday.  We will be making and decorating "Putz" houses using kits and vintage decorations.  My good friend Sandy of "521 Lakestreet" and I each have a spare room for someone to stay in for free, so it will be on a first come, first served basis.

Putz houses
Either one of us (Sandy or I) can help you with travel plans and make many suggestions for places to visit while you are here.

I will have a button ready for you all to use shortly to spread the word on this fun event and finding out how many will be attending will also determine where it will be held.  In my studio, I can host up to 20 crafters, but if more sign up we will most likely hold it at a larger venue.  The event will be pre-paid and non-refundable as I am spending this summer collecting decorations and getting gifts ready.  I am also going to be making a major announcement in August when I post the first official notice of this event, so stay tuned.  Arizona is gorgeous in November, so I hope I hear from a lot of you.

I would really appreciate if you are interested or plan on coming, to either leave me a comment or contact me via email ( on this post so I can start getting an idea of the scope of this party.

It's going to be amazing fun and I'm really looking forward to this, as well as the possibility of meeting new folks.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Well kept secrets and an update from E

Hello Blog Friends,

Yes, I've kept a secret from most of you.  I've only told you tidbits about my pets, and it's for your own protection!


This is the story of Archie, and I can almost guarantee that by the end of this story, you'll want to be added to the growing list of people that WANT Archie.  I might even have to start a blog just for him, but we'll decide about that later.

My little sister, Jenny, and her husband Tracy work at a pet resort in Fountain Hills, AZ.  They have become recipients of many dogs through the years, abandoned, miss treated, etc., and they both have hearts big enough to have kept many, many pets through the years.  I believe at this point they have approximately 9 dogs, two cats and various other critters they consider to be their children.  After my dad died in 2007 they found an older dog for our mother, who was now alone in her home.  Maddie was about 12 to 13 years old when my mom got her and she only lived for about a couple of years with my mom before passing away.  My mom was very attached to her and took it very hard.  After grieving for about a year, my sister and her husband found my mom another dog named Dean who was much younger, maybe about 2-3 years old.  Dean came to live with our mother and proved to be quite a bit to handle.  Dean was rambunctious, and Dean could run and jump like the wind, my mom didn't like the name Dean, so he promptly became known as Archie, Archibald for formalities sake.  Archie had been abandoned in a home out in the desert, in the summer no less, and no one knows exactly how long he had to survive on nothing, but he survived.  To this day, we don't know his exact age, or breed or mix, other than to see some Chihuahua or possibly long-hair dachshund in his makeup.  He is small, extremely agile (more akin to a cat than a dog) and has the cutest little begging act that will just melt your heart.

Okay, it's not the exact "begging" thing I was looking for because he does this thing with his paws while he's begging for attention.....anyways you get the idea.  A couple of years ago, while my mom was staying with me, Archie came to live with us, too.  When we moved our mom to a independent living facility nearby it was too expensive to have Archie with her and even more terrifying because he's not trained to stay.  If he got out the door of her apartment, we'd likely never see him again, so he now stays with us and we have happily adopted him into our family.  He heartily irritates his much older "sister" Ocean (a black chow mix rescue) who has been lonely since her sister "Princess" passed away a few months ago.  Archie and Ocean are happily inseparable and manage to tear around the house before, during, and after my the delight of my students and I'm always the mean mommy that yells for them to stop it.  It's gotten to the point that I yell at them to take it outside, or "somebodies gonna get hurt."  It doesn't work!  My students and family just laugh at them and at me for being such a poop.  While he still lived with my mom, her visitors all vied for his ownership if she needed to get rid of him, some very serious, some you thought might just be joshin' but you never know.  I know now that everyone was totally serious, as my students have all fallen in love with him, too and the list for ownership only gets longer.  He's the softest, sweetest, lover of a dog and all he wants is attention all day long.  Before you go trying to get your name on this extensive list, you must understand........Archie does not obey anyone.  He is totally his own boss and knows he can get away with it because all he has to do is look sheepishly up at you with those big brown eyes..........and of course some of his sweet begging doesn't help your resolve either.

Parting Shot

This is what happens when you move in to give him the prior mentioned attention!  I dare you.........just try to resist.

E News:  I'm sure many of you have wondered how E is doing (Creative Breathing).  She's mending from her knee surgery, going to physical therapy, but still hampered by swelling.  She unfortunately no longer has Internet so is not receiving emails, nor posting.  I can't guarantee she'll be back anytime soon, but she wanted me to let you all know that she misses you all dearly and wanted me to pass on a hello to you all.  Thank you all for keeping her in your prayers, it's been a little tough for her, but she's resilient and will continue to mend.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Belated thank you's and recent aquisitions

How's it goin' ya'll?

Well its time I gave some belated thank yous and show just a couple goodies I've gotten recently.  I'm still busy with my mom, she had three doctor appointments yesterday and the air went out of my car, so it was a little miserable.  Personally, just when I'm riding out by myself, I can handle no air conditioning, but when I'm transporting others, especially my 81 year old mom, it's difficult.  We're still waiting to find out what is causing her so much pain in her side, so next up is a CT scan.  Many of her doctors think its musculoskeletal in nature, but it very well could be one of her organs is getting pinched between her ribs and hip bone, or even possibly a kidney stone......time will tell.

In other news:  My good friend Sandy recently cleaned her house and craft room, not to mention a complete reorganization.  She sent me home with many boxes of goodies (she's so good to me) and I thought I'd show you something special to me.  There was literally too much to photograph, and I also gave most of it away, but Sandy gave me this MIB Cootie game from 1949!  I used to play this game at my grandparents house all the time and have such good memories of it.  It's not the exact same game, but another one just like it.  So many happy memories it brings back...........thank you girlfriend.

The ever lovely Jenny Sellars of "The red bulletinboard" sent me this amazing fabric last week.  It's so amazing, I can't get over how cute it is.  Thank you so much Jenny......I love it very much!

I'm making Sandy a pair of PJ's from some old sheets and she wanted me to make her a pillow out of one of the kitty I will.

Holly, from "Girls at Heart" sent me this lovely garland that she's so well known for making.  I sent her a set of vintage salt and pepper shakers a while back, so this was my reciprocal gift......I love it, and it looks perfect on my old window frame.  Thank you sweet Holly!

My dear friend "Loretta" who is one of my wonderful students, made me this lovely banner of my name.  I mentioned it in my last post, but it deserves an image all by itself.  She made it for me in honor of the paper doll class I had last week..........isn't it darling?

In the same picture, above, to the right you can see a sweet little doll dress.  Yes, it's vintage and it's from another good friend/student "Sherrie."  I absolutely adore handmade items, now she didn't make this, but found it for me in a thrift store and knew I should have sweet is that?

Close up

Are you all drooling by now.........well hold on, there's more!

I spied this next piece in my mom's apartment.  She had been working/mending it as some of the strings had come loose through the years.  I have never, ever, in all my life seen this piece around my moms house, and I was so flabbergasted to find that it was my grandmother's on my dads side of the family.  My mom even believes it was made by my grandmother, but were not 100% sure, so I'll be doing some investigating.  After searching the Internet Wednesday, I found that the type of knitted stitching is called "filet lace."  Ladies used to use old fishing nets as bases for some very intricate needlework.  Now this isn't on an old fishing net, but it is on the base of a fish net structure which was also created at the same time.  Now if my grandmother made this, it's even more precious to me, but even if she didn't............I adore handmade items from yesteryear.  It seems to have been made between 1900-1930, but once I know it's story, I'll definitely get back with ya'll.  You should really click on these images to get a better look at this handi-work.

Stunning, isn't it?  I've got it set on my coffee table here, but I think it's a shawl.  I'm not leaving it on the table, as it's too precious to possibly damage, and I do need to finish mending it.

I, too, have succumbed to the lure of Heather's handmade goods over at "Vintage Grey" and she had emailed me a few weeks ago letting me know that she would have a clothes pin holder in her shop soon that had an embroidered puppy on it.  I collect embroidered puppy linens and couldn't be more upset that she emailed me at a time I just spent all my paycheck on groceries and the air conditioning repair guy.  I went and looked at the wondrous piece anyway, and ended up making myself despondent........I couldn't afford it.
Well, three weeks later I got paid again and just for a lark I went speedily over to her shop and to my delight it was still there!  It was meant to be mine!  Thank you Heather, I love it and it's amazing.  It's now hanging in my studio on my other vintage window pane.  Also, please stop by her blog and send her some prayers, she's dealing with a family emergency right now.

Now a thank you to my little sis Jenny of "Dogma Jen." a couple of months ago she was out garage saleing and picked up these three lovely vintage dish towels for me.  They look perfect on my garden cart.  Thank you my dear sister, you're the best.

Also on this garden cart are some bookends I got last month on Ebay.  They are little blue puppies with polka dot ties sitting on books.  The dish towel with blue crochet flowers on it is from the local Lutheran thrift store, it's in amazing condition.

That's it for now.  I hope you enjoyed all the piccy's, and if you get a chance, please go visit all these lovely ladies at their blogs which I've linked.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You know you're from Arizona when.........

Howdy from the HOT Arizona Desert!

How hot is it you ask?  Well a dear friend of mine, Loretta, recently sent this little list to me in an email, and it so perfectly explains what we deal with here in the summer.  I thought you'd all get a giggle out of it.


You can say Hohokam and no one thinks you're making it up.

You no longer associate rivers or bridges with water.

You know that a "swamp cooler" is not a happy hour drink. 

You can contemplate a high temperature of 120 degrees as "not all that bad, after all it's a dry heat." 

You have learned to expertly maneuver your vehicle under any traffic conditions using only two fingers; a skill usually learned initially in July. 

You know that you can make sun tea outside faster than instant tea in your microwave. 

You have to run your air conditioner in the middle of winter so that you can use your fireplace. 

The water coming from the "cold" tap is hotter than that from the hot" tap. 

You can correctly pronounce the following words: "Saguaro", "Tempe", "Gila Bend", "San Xavier del Bac", "Canyon de Chelly", "Mogollon Rim", "Cholla",  "Tlaquepacque", and "Ajo". 

It's noon on a weekday in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one single person is moving on the streets. 

Hot air balloons can't fly because the air outside is hotter than the air inside. 

You buy salsa by the gallon. 

Your Christmas decorations include a half a yard of sand and 100 paper bags.

You think a red light is merely a suggestion. 

All of your out-of-state friends start to visit after October but clear out come the end of April. 

You think someone driving while wearing oven mitts is clever. 

Most of the restaurants in your town have the first name "El" or "Los."

You think six tons of crushed rock makes a beautiful yard. 

You can say 115 degrees without fainting. 

Vehicles with open windows have the right-of-way in the summer. 
People break out coats when the temperature drops below 70. 

You discover, in July, it only takes two fingers to drive your car. 
The pool can be warmer than you are. 

Most people will not drink tap water unless they are under dire conditions. 

Monday Night Football starts at 7:00 instead of 9:00 

You realize Valley Fever isn't a disco dance. 

People with black cars or have black upholstery in their car are automatically assumed to be from out-of-state or nuts. 

You know better than to get into a car with leather seats if you're wearing shorts.

Announcements for Fourth of July events never end with "in case of rain..." 

You eat hot chilis to cool your mouth off. 

You know that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron. 

You know that you can get a sunburn through your car window. 

You have to explain to out-of-staters why there is no daylight savings time 

When someone asks how far you live from a location, it's always in terms of minutes, not miles. 

Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?" 

You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.

This is all pretty much true, so lighten up all you folks back east, we have our fair share of yuk weather.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Playin' with Paper Dolls 2013


Warning:  Image Heavy

Hello People,

Well another spectacular class has come and gone.  We were supposed to start with 10 of us, but due to unforeseen circumstances, there were last minute cancellations and we ended up with 6 of us.  I think it's safe to say we all had a grand time!  Images are not necessarily in order.

Here I'm doing the introduction to the class....notice I'm not
wearing any shoes........I'm at home, I don't hafta..........hee hee.

Here it looks like I'm playing charades or something.  Look to
the left of me at that cute doll clothing banner!!!!  Loretta
made that for me.........I'm so blessed.

CeeKay's card turned out amazing and
she was so tickled with it.

CeeKay and her card.

Sharon and Loretta hard at work.

Loretta and her pretty!

Loretta also made two collage pieces.......I think she
actually had fun.

Loretta working on her card

Close up of Loretta's card.
Rhona (does not have a blog) and just one of her four
amazing creations.
Rhona choosing body parts!

A close up of Rhona's card
Sharon's card in the works.
Sharon completed two figures, one of which is Zetti in
Sharon (does not have a blog) with her two completed figures.

Sherrie is posing like her card which is titled "Ta Da"

A close up of Sherrie's stinkin' cute

Sherrie's work area.

FYI:  I have printed instructions for this class, so if anyone is interested, please contact me and you'll need to send me a legal size Self Addressed Stamped Envelope and I'll be happy to send them off to you, no charge just the cost of the stamp.

All in all, we all had a grand time!  The ladies wish for me to have classes each month, which is very flattering, but during the summer here in Arizona it's just too hot.  However, they are all very, very excited for the big holiday class coming up in November!  We'll be making "Putz" houses for the holidays and having a grand holiday party.  More information on that class will be posted around September, so keep an eye out for that's a biggie!  Some of the images used are from this website "EK Duncan."

Final Note:  My studio is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. for any local crafters wishing to have a place to get together with others and just create and share ideas and knowledge.  If you are interested, please email me at and let me know.

Thanks for stopping by!

Big hugs,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Just a peek at what I've been doing


Well as most of you know I've been pretty busy with my mom lately.  I'm very busy this week as well, but with many other things.  Some of the fun stuff I've been doing recently (okay within the past two months!) are pretty neat.

First up, my youngest daughter Abby, came to me a few months ago with one of those "spur of the moment" Meri can you help me with something I volunteered for?  She was involved in an "anime" group at school and one of their members was to attend Comi-Con which would be at the end of May here in Phoenix and she volunteered to make the shorts for the costume..  My brain registered shorts as being basic with an elastic waist.......easy peasy.........right?  Wrong!  After saying yes to helping her I was then presented with this sketch of what the costume needed to be:

Now I've taught both of my daughters how to sew, but not how to tailor.  Each person in this anime group were to make one part of the costume, I'm wishing in hindsight that my daughter would have picked the hat or stockings!!!  If you click on the image you'll get a better idea of the look of the shorts.  Again, I assumed, and bought a pattern to make a pair of dress slacks ($16) and I was given some dark brown plaid polyester/wool blend fabric to work with.  I thought pretty easy, I'll do the waist and zipper and my daughter can do the sides, hem and button.  NOPE, still wrong.......they wanted it to have a front flap with buttons on each side, kind of like colonial men's pants, and it needs to be this long, by this big.........yadda, yadda, yadda.  To add to the requests, the young lady who was going to be wearing this costume was absolutely tiny, yet curvy and I wasn't going to have any access to her for fittings.......I was creating these "shorts" for a ghost.  I decided to make a "trial" pair of pants using muslin so that they could be fitted to the girl and all adjustments could be made to the pattern without messing with the actual shorts.  First I had to make major alterations to the pattern to create the front flap construction......with working pockets (last minute request).  After four attempts and most of my hair missing due to being pulled out, I created a pattern, from scratch, for this little lady.  My youngest brought the "trial" pair of muslin shorts home with alterations marked all over the damn darn thing.  Back to the drawing board, shorten this, make this bigger, need to fit her curves, make the leg openings smaller, etc., there were pencil marks all over these things.  After creating yet another new pattern, I went ahead and created the actual shorts.  Here is the final shot of the girl in costume.

Pretty cool even after all
the headaches I went
through creating these
shorts for a ghost.
Abby and her father also attended Comi-Con and these are the costume they wore:

Hubby was Dr. Who and Abby went
as one of the DC comic villains
"Poison Ivy"

As I've mentioned before, I'm also participating in a "round robin" doll exchange with my local group of art gals (we call ourselves "Arizona Showgirls") and we meet each month to exchange dolls amongst ourselves to add our personal touch to.  Each lady (there are 8 of us) start an art doll of some sort, and they each get passed around between us and we add a bit of personality to them.  At the end of 8 months we should each have a very unique doll that has been added to by everyone in the group.  This was my last months doll that I worked on, and this is this months doll.  This doll has been said to be a world traveler/Dr. Who type character.  I added legs that another gal started but couldn't figure out how to attach.  This other gal also made a hat for this doll, but it wouldn't stay on the head, so I put in "hair" made of wire.  I also created a small scarf that is reminiscent of Dr. Who's scarf from the 70's.  Here's my input on the doll.

Finished look of what
I added to this doll.

Wire hair that others can add fun things to the hairs with
jump rings, for even more decor to.

The Dr. Who-ish type scarf.

Extremely long, articulated, legs.

"Buckled" knees.......tee hee!
Now I'm gearing up for my class this coming Saturday.  We're playing with paper dolls, so I'll be back after the class with piccy's for ya'll.

See ya soon!


Monday, June 3, 2013

More visual goodies and an update on mom

Hello ya'll,

Here's a few more graphics I worked on recently.  I've been pretty busy lately, mostly with my mom, but I'm also working on a special birthday gift for my oldest daughter.  Caitlin turns 25 on June 13th, and has been newly married for the past three years.  She and her wondrous husband, Cody, just spent their anniversary at Disneyland..........oh how jealous was I?  Very, so as penance for going without mommy, my daughter was instructed to purchase me a brightly colored Mickey Mouse T-shirt.  She delivered..........I got a hot pink, XXL so that I can either sleep in it or wear it.  Yes, I'm a big girl, much smaller than last year, but still large.  I used to be 5'10" most of my life, but lately I've shrunk an inch.  I can hold a lot of weight on my large bony body, but I absolutely dwarf my little mommy.  She used to be 5'2", eye's of blue, but sadly due to osteoporosis she has shrunken down to 4'9".  She now has much difficulty with her stature and we're still waiting on word from her doctor as to whether she's fractured a rib or two, as they are now resting on her hip bones.  She has a new brace for her severe spinal curvature, but it doesn't help at all with a possible fractured rib.  In addition to all the fun, she's been getting lot's of dental work the tune of $6,000 after insurance.  She's had an intensive cleaning, many, many fillings, and most recently some extractions.  This has left her feeling pretty puny and not able to eat much.  She's had lot's of smoothies and yogurt, and tomorrow she gets her stitches out.  So as you can see, I've been very occupied with my mom.

I am excited about my next class on June 15th, where we will be playing with paper dolls.  So far I have six ladies coming, and I'm very happy as I think we're gonna have lots of fun.  I know blogging has slowed down for a lot of us lately, what with the seasons changing and school getting out, cleaning up yards, etc., so for all those suffering with the weather back east and in the Midwest, my prayers are with you to stay safe.

God Bless, and I'll be back soon.