"Hey, if I had somewhere to go, I certainly wouldn't be in Cleve-Land." -Howard the Duck

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

While visions of catnip mice danced in her head...

A little catnap after a long Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you & yours! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Another Creative Gift Idea

Another one of the gifts I sent has been received, so I can share this idea with you.  Yesterday I said that you shouldn't throw out those mint tins...well, you shouldn't really throw out any tins, since they can be upcycled into pretty little things.  This tin lived it's former life as a Clipiola tin.  I've loved using those little round Italian paper clips from Cavallini & Co. for years, and one tin was finally empty.  It was easy to cut paper to size & add that plus some ribbon & a Cavallini bird sticker to the tin, then bling it up with some Stickles in a deep green...I think it's called Patina. 
Since I couldn't decide on just one charm to use as a pendant on a simple necklace for the gift, I made 3 charms that are things I know Kimber loves.  These all nestled into some crimped paper inside the tin & went on their way to the Pacific NW. 

So...if you still have some gifts to make...this might work for you.  Upcycling is all the rage...yet artists have been doing it for years.  We just figured we were being resourceful & using things that might look like trash to someone who didn't realize that just about anything can be an art supply.  Really.  You should see the boxes & drawers full of stuff in my studio.  But that's another post for another day.  Maybe.

Time to go make some spreads & dips to nibble on while we wait for Santa tonight!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Need some last minute gift ideas?

Maybe you're still making gifts for Christmas...or Hanukkah...or Kwanzaa.  I'm sharing some of the ideas I came up with this year.  All the people who these were sent to have opened them, so I won't be spoiling any surprises...I sure wouldn't want to do that. 

The ornaments above add some very pretty sparkle to your Christmas tree.  I especially love the icicles...I'm thinking I need lots of those to adorn our tree next year.  They look so elegant, yet were relatively easy to put together if you have the supplies & some basic beading skills & tools.  Those are vintage hooks on the ornaments...they're sooooo much sturdier than the ones you buy now.

Here's the cross hanging on a tree.  I love the peace dove on this one.
My friend Bev collects buttons & uses them in her artwork & jewelry designs.  When considering a little something to send her way, I decided on an altered mint tin...don't ever throw those away as they're a great canvas for altering.  A little collage on the front, along with some buttons and a line from a vintage book are all it takes. 

Then go through your button box or jar & select some pretty ones to share. 

A bit of memory wire & beads make a pretty bracelet that goes together in a matter of hours.  Add some charms or more beads to the ends & you have a bracelet that fits almost any wrist.  This one is in Los Angeles for a nice, warm, Hanukkah celebration.  I wish I could have delivered it in person!!!

There's always the option of making a piece of jewelry such as a pendant or earrings & gifting them in an altered matchbox.  A small ornament could be gifted the same way...or maybe some cold hard cash would fit inside...that's always the right size & color!

These little ornaments add a cute touch to your gift packages & then look "sew" sweet on the tree.  If you bake & give goodies as gifts, these are a nice touch for attaching the gift tag or closing a bag of cookies.

Last but not least, most people really love to get a handcrafted ornament.  I have friends who tell me how they always think of me as they're decorating their tree, or how once their daughter got married, they gave her the collection of ornaments I'd made to get her started with a nice collection. 

Merry & Happy to all of you!  Remember to slow down, breathe, & enjoy your holidays...and some good munchies with a nice adult beverage never hurt, either!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Hanukkah !

Happy Hanukkah!

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah.  Since we celebrate both Hanukkah & Christmas, we will be lighting the first candle tonight...and eating latkes for dinner...with applesauce & sour cream, of course.  We'll be eating lots of latkes over the next eight days, I'm sure...and this year I'm going to make a noodle kugel.  Phil loves noodle kugel, so I'm not sure why I've never made one before.  I have a few recipes to choose from, so I'll let him pick the one he likes best.  I don't remember ever tasting it, so this will be something new that may become a tradition.
Now...for the latkes, there's a story, of course.  One year I made latkes from scratch.  Shredded potatoes & onions...and a few scrapes to my knuckles from the hand grater.  They were so good...or so I thought.  As we ate, I asked Phil how he liked them & he said they were ok, but too much like hash browns.  He liked his Mom's better.  Fair enough...so I called his Mom to ask how she made hers. 
Here's the secret recipe...Manischewitz Potato Pancake Mix. 
Right from the box.
No scraped knuckles.
Just follow the recipe on the back of the box & fry those babies up.
Serve with sour cream & applesauce. 
Phil is happy.
That's how I'll make them tonight.  I'll do some from scratch ones using the blender to chop up the potato/onion mixture during the eight days...but for tonight, we're going with tradition. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's a Girl!

Yep...it's a girl kitty named Sunkist...and she came home with us yesterday afternoon.  She's pretty much a non-stop cat right now...exploring all around her new digs.  She roamed around all day Saturday, slowing down just enough to get comfortable for awhile & catch a little catnap.  The pic above is her just after waking me up at 5am today...she looks as if she pulled an all nighter!
You can see here...in a brief minute of rest...that she is polydactyl on her front paws...and the way she can flex those extra toes makes it look like she's attempting to develop opposable thumbs so she can rule the world!

This is how she spent a good part of her first day...watching birdies.  That's good kitty entertainment!

Yes, that's snow on the ground, but she's warming our house with her kitty presence, so I'm trying to ignore the snow.  It's good to have a kitty in this house again.

Apparently, Sunkist's original owners had to turn her in to the shelter when their landlord refused to let them keep cats.  Poor baby...she had been in there since May 2011.  She's got a good forever home now...and she's already trying to train us to do what she wants!

One last pic for today.  This is another morning photo...she had just come out of the back window & looks sad that there are no birdies yet...it's still dark out.  She'll get lots of good birdie watching time later today. 

Now to get her to stay off the kitchen table, stop clawing the furniture, and stop trying to chew on the Christmas tree.  We've unplugged the lights as a precaution.  She's already stolen those candy cane ornaments from the bottom of the tree & I'm hoping we can leave the tree up through the New Year.  I'll get a pic of her under the tree soon...she does like to sleep there...she has definitely made herself at home.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Our Christmas Tree is just not right this year...

Our tree is up...it's almost decorated.  I've had a bit of a problem  getting it done this year as a major part of our Christmas and our lives is missing.  The first thing our dear sweet Sophie Cat did each year was to lie down under our tree...and start to "steal" ornaments from the bottom branches.  You can see her favorites in the photo of her above.  I miss that.

The photo above is from 2003...we were all still quite happy in CA...and Sophie was looking for Santa, I'm sure.  We miss her more than words can ever express.  Hug your furry friends for me, ok?  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Vintage jewelry

Do you like vintage jewelry?  I know I do, but I rarely wear any of it these days.  Sad, but true.  Somehow the brooch above doesn't go too well with my jeans & sweatshirt.  I remember saving my money back in the 1960s to be able to buy presents for my Mom & Dad...and this is one I bought for Mom.  It was probably from Higbee's...you know...the department store shown in "A Christmas Story".  Only I grew up in the real Higbee's, which is no longer open.  Neither are Halle Bros. or May Company or Sterling Linder.  Very sad.  Those were the days in Cleveland OH.

Anyway, I've decided to begin to part with some of my vintage jewelry.  I have it available in my Etsy shop now, including those pretty bells.  Perhaps you're still looking for an unusual gift for someone...or maybe Santa needs to get it for you.  I know "Santa" has left quite a few gifts under my tree over the years...I love playing Santa, even to myself.

Here are more of the pieces available.  I'd love for them to find a good home.  Really.  It has taken me a long time to decide to start to part with them.  They need to be loved by someone else now.

There's even a tie clip that belonged to my Dad.  I bought it for him at Halle Bros. when I worked there.  He collected coins & loved wearing this tie clip.

I now return to my tree decorating...it's going slowly, but that's another story for another day.  Let's just say I'm a bit anal about the tree...and I'll be moving things around on it for quite some time. 
Seriously.  I have references.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December already???

No, our tree is not up yet...but I'm targeting next weekend to at least schlep the boxes up from the basement so the tree can be set up & I can begin the ritual of "foofing" out the branches just so...it's a skinny faux tree as I'm allergic to real evergreens.  Found that out the hard way one Christmas years ago...my nose looked like Rudolph's & not from having one too many!

I love the shot above...it's from last year's tree & shows just part of our "Santa in the Sunshine" ornament collection.  We're dreaming of a GREEN Christmas!  The only snow can be the faux garland on our tree. 

I've been busy taking pix to post some more stuff to my Etsy shop, including some vintage treasures.  I've enjoyed some nice orders recently, even a custom order which was a lot of fun to do.  I'm thinking I may offer custom order service after the first of the year.   It's good for me to stay busy creating things that others want to buy.

I hope all of you are enjoying this time between Thanksgiving & Christmas.  We'll have our Hanukkah celebration starting December 20th at sundown...so it will be a Christmakkah here.  Or is it Hannumas?  Either way, it should be fun...with good food, too.