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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

So you want to live where it snows???


That poor little car is Phil's...and that's as far as he was able to pull into our driveway last night after it snowed all day while he was visiting in Columbus.  It looks like maybe he could have driven through it, but nope...it got stuck right there...so guess what adventure awaits him when he gets up today?

Trust me...it might look pretty in pictures...but it's a PITA to live in.  I still contend snow has it's place...on the top of a mountain in Southern CA...where I can sit on the balcony & be warm & look at it.  I certainly do NOT want to live in it...but we do.  BAH HUMBUG!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas to all...
if you look closely, you'll see Sunny Cat hiding under the tree...
waiting for Santa to bring her some new mousie toys.
Now let the noshing begin!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Just what I wanted!

This little beauty is gracing our wall with it's festive greenery & a heavenly fragrance.  It's actually my birthday gift from Phil...but we had it shipped just after Thanksgiving so it would still be wonderful during the Christmas season. 
It's a California Bay Leaf wreath from Williams-Sonoma.  I've wanted one for years, but we never got around to ordering it until this year.  I can't wait to make lots of savory soups & stews with a touch of the flavor of these fragrant leaves.
When the wreath arrived, it was perfectly fresh as you can see above.  The fragrance was out of this world wonderful.  It dries naturally over time...the pix here are about 2 weeks apart.  While the fresh wreath is fabulous, I think I like it even better now that it's dried.  The leaves curl a bit, yet you still get a subtle fragrance when you pass by. 
Nature's perfect decoration...both beautiful & useful. 
It's just what I wanted!

Monday, December 17, 2012

One year ago today...

On December 17, 2011, Sunny Cat came into our lives...and made our house a happy home again.  She is such a sweet yet ornery kitty...and she knows she owns the place. 
We are simply here to serve her...
Sunny LOVES sitting in the back window watching for birdies.  Good kitty entertainment!
And she really wishes I'd just go away & let her get back to her important birdie watching job.
Adopt a shelter cat...adult cats are wonderful as they already have their own special personality & will move right in & steal your heart.  They are more difficult for shelters to find homes for...but they will appreciate living in yours...and add so much love & fun into your life.
Happy One Year Anniversary Miss Sunny Cat!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'm going to Venice!

Well...I'm going to Venice vicariously...through an online class by the very talented Mary Ann Moss.  All the class info is here...in case you want to join in on the trip.  The class starts December 15...this Saturday...so get your ticket ASAP.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

GiveLitter - World's Best Cat Litter

GiveLitter - World's Best Cat Litter

Be sure to click every day to give litter to a deserving shelter.  Thanks!

Christmas SALE !!!

Do you still need some stocking stuffers?  Festive magnets in a matching gift box are ON SALE!

There are altered matchboxes that are great for little gifts...or money...they're ON SALE, too!
And ornaments...a nice selection of pretty handcrafted ornaments...all ON SALE
I can still ship via First Class & get these little treasures to you in time for Christmas.  Thanks for visiting my blog & my Etsy shop, too. 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

There's Still Time to Shop...

It's beginning to feel like Christmas...especially when packages begin to be wrapped.  This little beauty is simply a plain Kraft paper covered box tied with some of my hand dyed ribbon in Christmas red & green.  The little spool ornament is perfect for embellishing the package, then it is an extra little gift of it's own.  Both the ribbon & spool ornaments are in stock in my Etsy shop.
I've been adding some vintage treasures that would make lovely gifts.  The little bracelet above is old...from the 1950s...just like me!  It was mine back in the day but would be great for a doll collector as it features the Ginny Doll & her 2 sisters, Jill & Ginnette. 
I also have this pretty vintage Whiting and Davis mesh clutch or wallet in the perfect shade of red.  Perfect for a holiday party or just for a bit of fun & glamour when you pull out your wallet.  There's a stunning gold mesh wallet for sale, too.
For the men in your life...maybe these cuff links from the 1970s are what you've been looking for.  There are other vintage cuff links available, too.  All were my Dad's & I bought them for him back in the late 1970s when I worked at Halle's...so they're good quality.
There's something for the Girl Scout collector...the spoon is dated 1962 and commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Girl Scouts.  The handbook is a 1953 edition.
I've added so many other vintage collectibles to my shop...if you want an unusual gift this year...please stop by & take a look.  Thanks!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Craft Boutique in St. Louis, MO !

My dear friend Kathy has organized a Christmas Craft Boutique at her church...and she asked me to please send some things to sell...so I did!  Kathy creates the most beautiful greeting cards, handcrafted ornaments from vintage Christmas lights & snowmen that are just too cute!  I'll have lots of ornaments, Pretty Little Boxes & hand dyed ribbon for sale.
If you're in the St. Louis area, here's your chance to shop at a local craft fair & pick up handcrafted gifts for everyone on your list...including yourself! 
All the information is below...the sale is THIS WEEKEND, December 8-9, 2012.
Gethsemane’s Third Annual Craft Boutique

Make plans now to attend the third annual Gethsemane ELCA Craft Boutique on December 8-9, 2012. Items will be for sale on Saturday evening from 5-7 p.m.; on Sunday in between services from 9:30-11 a.m.; and an hour after the last service from Noon-1 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the church located at 3600 Hampton Avenue  St. Louis, MO 63109. 
Shop a collection of handmade ornaments and one-of-a-kind Christmas items, special greeting cards, jewelry, ethnic items from Plowsharing Crafts, beautiful embroidered crafts, seriously discounted Longaberger baskets, crafts from Bali, food items and MORE.
There are lots and lots of talented members at Gethsemane so come see their skills while helping the church!  There will also be coffee, doughnuts, and live music!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Pretty Little Boxes

I've been busy in my studio again...creating what will probably be the last of my Altered Matchbox Gift Boxes for Christmas & Hanukkah.  I particularly like the ones above with the cute Santa & Rudolph buttons on them.  I can see these being used to give money gifts or to hide little stocking stuffers...or a nice piece of jewelry! 
As you can see, each box has a drawer lined with coordinating paper.   The candy cane & holly above are vintage appliques...most likely from the 1960s. 
There are some with nostalgic scenes...and this set has one box with a cute little carved shell bird.
And of course there are Snow Baby boxes...I love the expression on that kids' face...I don't think he really likes the snow...just like ME!  The Snow Baby is a Red Lead Paperworks image.
There are some other little holiday giftbox sets in my Etsy shop...but once they're gone, they're gone until next year.  I'd love it if you'd visit me at KittenCreates

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mr. Jingeling

I think we need to get our Christmas tree up this weekend.  I'm feeling the need to decorate early this year.  The pic above is a part of our tree from last Christmas...and shows a Cleveland OH Christmas icon..."Mr. Jingeling....Keeper of the Keys...on Halle's Seventh Floor...you'll be looking for...him to turn the keys".  Or something like that.  He's the little bald guy in green with a red striped shirt next to the flamingo under the palm tree above...that one is probably from the 1950s...it's been on every tree I can remember since childhood.  He's also featured in blown glass higher up on the tree. 
Halle's is near & dear to my heart.  I remember going to see Santa & Mr. Jingleing at Halle's when I was a little girl.  You can read more about Mr. Jingleing here.  Halle's later became the place I worked as a buyer for a few departments until I left & moved to San Diego just before they closed in 1982. 
I'm thankful for the Christmas memories I have from the old downtown Cleveland & the wonderful department stores there.  All of them are gone now.  Some of the Christmas magic died with them...except in our memories.
Yep...I think I need our tree & Mr. Jingeling here soon. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's a CYBER WEEKEND at KittenCreates!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here.  SNOW is falling...even though we had windows open for the past 2 days...say it isn't so!  MY Christmas should be warm & green...faux snow is enough for me...and snow on the Southern CA mountain tops...where it belongs!  But NO...the nasty SNOW had to come to NE Ohio already...DRAT!
Anyway...I'm offering you a nice little thank you for reading my blog & shopping at my Etsy shop, KittenCreates.  Just add anything from my shop to your cart and use coupon code THANKS20 to get a 20% discount on your purchase through the end of the day Monday, November 26.  Regular shipping costs apply...since I can't get Santa to deliver your goodies for me.   
As always...I'll wrap your items nicely & include a little giftie...I really appreciate your business. 

Avoiding the crowds...

No...our tree isn't up yet...but soon.  This sweet pic is last year, just after Sunny came to live with us in her forever home.  Such temptation for a kitty who had lived in a cage for months.  She was good, though...and only stole some soft ornaments we hang at the bottom of our tree for that very purpose.
There is no going out to the malls for us again this year.  Been there...done that.  Santa DID do a bit of shopping for me...in an Etsy shop...he knows what I like.
Maybe you want to avoid the crowds...and the cheap foreign made merchandise that is so prevalent these days.  Etsy shops are certainly the way to go.  Or shop on Saturday at small local shops to support Small Business Saturday. 
Here are some of MY favorite Etsy shops...
My friend Kimber has some very cute items in her shop, Kimberiginal.  I especially love her new candy box mini books...I have one like this:
These books are perfect for stocking stuffers & for keeping your lists & notes handy...they fit right into your purse or tote bag. 

My friend Gabriela is an extremely talented jewelry artist who lives in Mexico City.  Her wonderful Etsy shop is MariayLaLuna...and here is just one of her gorgeous pieces...

Gabriela has been designing & casting silver pieces that are amazing.  Here is your chance to gift someone special with an original jewelry piece or two...and maybe YOU deserve a treat, too. 

Maybe you want some great items from Hawaii...I can help you out there, too.  My friend Cris has a lovely Etsy shop called Crispart.  Enjoy a bit of Aloha...and if Santa wants to set this bracelet under my tree...I'd LOVE it!
It reminds me of the Pacific Ocean & my beloved sunny Southern California...where I would much rather be than here in NE Ohio.  Santa LOVES the sunshine & warm breezes, too!

One more for today...ChristineHansenGlass.  Chris is an extremely talented lampwork glass artist.  I'm currently in love with her Calla Lily beads...
...but I also love her tulip beads & just about everything in her shop. 
Of course...my own shop...KittenCreates...is always open to help you with your holiday shopping.  I added some pretty Hanukkah bracelets today...and I have lots of special Christmas ornaments just waiting to add a bit of cheer to your tree. 
Shop Handmade this year...it's much more fun than those crowds at the mall!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my most vivid Thanksgiving memory.  Mom...in Grandma & Grandpa Metti's kitchen...at the tiny little table in there...carving the turkey so we could enjoy our Thanksgiving feast.  Of course there were many sides...and the big table in the dining room...and the kids' table in the living room...with family all around...just waiting to dig in.  But this photo will always say Thanksgivng to me.  The kitchen where the turkey was being carved was THE place to be...and there were fights over the crispy turkey skin...
soooooooooooooo yummy & quite carefree before we knew the dangers lurking there.
BTW...could she have had a smaller platter?  Why wasn't she carving on a cutting board?   Oh...and the stuffing was INSIDE the turkey...and none of us died from stuffing poisoning or overcooked turkey.  I also wonder who has that killer knife!  I have that apron...maybe I'll wear it today.
To you & yours...have a VERY Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

ON SALE in my Etsy shop...

Are you in the mood for Christmas yet?  I'm preparing for a friend's Christmas Craft Fair in December, so it's been Christmas around here for a long time now.  That's ok...I like Christmas.

Back in July, I listed some vintage Christmas sewing patterns in my Etsy Shop, KittenCreates.  A few sold, but since it was time to renew the listings, I figured I'd give y'all a break on the prices so you could jump start your sewing projects.  I've loved gifting people with handcrafted ornaments over the years...and I still hear from some of them as they decorate their tree & think of me. 
In the mood for a little holiday entertaining?  This one is crafted mainly from felt, so it's quick & easy!  It's a fun retro look, too.
There's even a vintage Vogue embroidery pack with all of the iron-on transfers unused.  These can add a festive touch to napkins for your holiday table & more.
Each of these patterns...and more that are in my shop...is priced from $1.50 to $2.50...so they're a great deal for discontinued vintage patterns.  Once they're gone...they're gone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's the simple things that make me happy...

It really doesn't take a lot to make me happy.  The evidence is shown in this picture...I was talking to our next door neighbor & mentioned how I was making things for Christmas using clothespins.  She asked if I wanted some old wooden clothespins that had been her mother-in-law's.  My neighbor didn't like this type...and they're the ones I always look for.  These have been well used & have an awesome patina on them...and now I have a nice basket full.  They are probably from the 1950s-1960s...vintage just like me!
Life's simple pleasures...from one neighbor to another.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My last day of being in my 50s...

The year I turned 4, I never dreamed that one day I would be facing the very last day I can say I'm in my 50s!  But that day is here today.  At times, I'm amazed I've survived this long.  Most times, it seems as if it's all gone by so fast.
I got my Ohio Buckeye Card in the mail a couple weeks ago.  I'm officially a card carrying oldie now...but I can get some discounts...which I'm not too proud to accept.
Even the NE Ohio weather seems as if it will cooperate for my last day in my 50s.  We're supposed to have sun & temps in the 70s.  We'll spend the day running around to some favorite places like Trader Joe's, and making sure we get the snow crab legs for my birthday dinner tomorrow.  My birthday looks as if it will be miserable weather...the forecast is for rainy, gloomy & cold again...so we'll just hibernate with all the good stuff we gather today.
Have a great week...be sure to remember the Veterans who fought to give us our freedom...and toast me with your beverage of choice tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


It's a SUNNY day in NE Ohio today...and even though I have a cold, I'm a happy camper because of the good news that Obama will be our President for 4 more years!  And Sherrod Brown remains in the Senate...so that makes me & my Democratic heart happy, too.  Now if only I could say that my House Representative actually represents ME...but he doesn't.  I guess 2 out of 3 ain't bad.  My big hope & wish came through...so I'm thrilled.  I love the artwork above from Obama's first victory...and hope they come up with a new commemorative for this year, too. 

Of course I was up late to hear the concession speech...and Obama's VICTORY speech.  I feel confident we're being led by a strong man who cares about all the people & that things will continue to move FORWARD in the next 4 years. 

Oh...and the blasted robo-calls have STOPPED!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I voted early...by mail...

I hope everyone exercises their right to vote this year.  You can see how I cast my vote...I really think Obama is the best & only choice for President in 2012.  The other side scares the shit outa me!
It's been both interesting & frustrating to live in OH through this election.  I keep looking for something good that has come from our time here in this hell hole.  Maybe helping Obama win Ohio will be the reason.  I'd like that.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dia de los Muertos

I did not get a new ofrenda made this year, but this one is always in a place of honor in our home.  I originally made it to remember my dear friend Tom.  I think he likes it.  He's never come back to tell me he doesn't & he has visited me to tell me he hates one of my lamps...decorating advice from the Beyond.
Growing up in WASP headquarters in Parma, OH, I had never heard of Dia de los Muertos.  Death was a very very sad occasion...mourned and commemorated by weekly visits with my parents to my Grandma's grave.  My Mom was always so very sad, standing there crying at her Mom's grave.  I never got it...I didn't need to go to the gravesite to remember my dear Grandma.
I much prefer the Mexican culture's view of death.  Death is a part of life.  It is inevitible.  And rather than mourn lives of loved ones who have moved on, their lives should be celebrated & remembered. 
"Life and death are not contrary worlds.  We are a single stem with two twin flowers."
~ Juan Rulfo

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

A blast from the past...this is an ATC I made way back in 2007.  That's me as a Princess & my brother Bob as Bugs Bunny.  Cute little critters, huh?
Halloween is being postponed here until Sunday night due to the storm.  We no longer give out candy as we simply cannot afford to, so we miss the fun costumes, but it is what it is. 
Happy Halloween to all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It was a dark & stormy night...


Very dark & even more stormy.  The winds were ferocious.  The power went off...then on...then off...then on...then off...then on...and luckily stayed on the rest of the night.  At times it sounded as if the roof would cave in.  I got no sleep.  Sunny Cat was crying half of the night, not knowing what was going on.

It's bitter cold & raining...UGLY weather.  I really HATE the weather here in Ohio.  Actually, I hate Ohio, but that's another story.  I guess I have to be grateful that we're not on the East Coast where it's even worse.  I couldn't handle even worse.  I just could not handle it.

In the mountains south of here it's snowing.  Blizzard conditions.  You'd just have to shoot me.

The photo above was from a dare I had from my dear friend Tracy when we first moved to this awful place called Ohio.

She went to Huntington Beach & made a Sand Angel.  I had to go out in the icky snow & make a Snow Angel.  She got the better part of that dare for sure.

That will be the last snow angel I ever make.  Guaranteed.

I can still hear the winds & rain battering the house.
I'm thinking I'd like to have the house lift up & land in Oz.  Or Southern CA...that would be even better.

I'm also sending tons of positive energy to those who have it so much worse than we do...
I don't know how you endure it...
Hang in there. 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

There's still time to help...

The pretty kitty above is Sophie, who is no longer able to help in my studio.  We miss her & our Sunny Cat isn't a big help unless you want shredded ribbon or missing stuff!  Gotta love kitties!
If Sophie could, she'd remind you that there's still time to help our friend Melody & her Bits & Pieces Art Program.  I've already sent a big box of art supplies out to CA so Melody can continue her work teaching Art Journaling to at risk elementary school kids.  You can learn how you can help by visiting the link & watching her video.
Another dear friend of ours has yet another way you can help.  Queen Xina of SkyBluePink has a donation page to make it easy to donate items that are especially needed.  YOU could also win a prize...read about it in this post from her weekly newlsletter:
The Queen wishes gently to remind thee that Our artist friend Melody is
once again teaching several classes of at-risk children about art journaling.
And the Bits & Pieces Art Program could use thine extra art supplies,
or even a small donation. Her classes start in November, so now is the
time to help! The official web site has a more complete explanation of her
Art Program and an introductory video, too.

If thou wishes to help this wonderful cause, we at SkyBluePink have
created a web page where donations can be made to offset the cost of
Melody's top 4 items: blank books, scissors, ink pads, and loteria sets.
Thou canst simply add a small donation to thy regular shopping cart, and
we will see that the items on Melody's list get purchased wholesale and
shipped to her.

Xina has declared that there will be a drawing for SkyBluePink Gift
Certificates once this year's Bits & Pieces Art classes have begun.
Everyone who donates to this project through this web page will be
entered, and there will be multiple prizes!

While you are visiting SkyBluePink, be sure to look around...there are always sooooooooo many delightful "must haves" for all your creative outlets. 
Thanks for visiting & helping if you are able.  BE SAFE if you are in the path of this massive storm.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ribbon Ribbon Everywhere!

Well, I've been having some fun here in my studio.  I've been busy dyeing more ribbon for myself & for my Etsy shop.  I've done Autumn colors...bright colors...muted colors...
Even Halloween colors...I absolutely LOVE this color combo for Halloween...
it's called Halloween Treats!
These & many more are now available at KittenCreates on Etsy.  Please stop by & take a look.  Thanks!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Art Supply Drive for At-Risk Kids!

SO...do you have any extra art supplies lying around?  My answer is...why, yes I do!  The shot above is of some of the shelves in my studio years ago.   There's a great solution if your studio looks anything like mine does...read on...

I've posted about this in previous years, and with Back to School comes my dear friend Melody's art supply drive.  Melody is a fabulous artist and each year she volunteers her time to teach Art Journaling to kids in some Southern CA public schools.  Since she cannot afford all the necessary supplies alone, we are asking for your help if possible.  You can read about Melody's vision, see some of the kids' artwork & find out how to donate here on her blog

Thanks for taking the time to read about Melody's classes & please help if possible.  The kids so appreciate being able to express themselves in their journals.  Art programs are being cut in so many public schools...it was always one of my favorite classes & I've already sent one big flat rate box off to Melody...and I'm working on at least one more to send before this year's November 6 deadline. 

Many thanks from Melody & the kids!

A Bit More Christmas...

I'm quite into adding some sparkle to our tree this year.  I've been working with some faux pearls & crystals to create some new baubles for our tree.  I've made extra to share in my Etsy shop, too. 
I'm fine with icicles as long as they're these faux ones...I'd love to never see a real one again!
I've also been dyeing some Christmas ribbon...these take awhile as it takes multiple applications of dye to get the deep, rich color I want.  I'll be offering these special sets through Christmas...I've already sold some...so I know my hands will be red & green for awhile.
My mind is now shifting to Halloween & Dia de los Muertos mode...watch for that next week.  And could someone tell me how it got to be almost OCTOBER already?