Monday, January 15, 2018

Welcome to 2018!

Saying goodbye to 2017 is hard since it brought so much to my life.

January began in Lucca, Italy!  Visited Rome and Pisa, too.  The Woman's March, which gave me hope.
February we learned Maximus had cancer and needed surgery.  It also sent us to Nebraska for the farm sale!  On the way to Nebraska with my friend, Alice we got my grand niece Anaya to travel with us.  Also got to  my first Nebraska men's basketball game!
March got back from Nebraska with a UHaul full of treasures.  Tom celebrated 30 years on his job. Traveled to Las Vegas with a good friend.
April, Gabi turned 21, wow.  Spend all my time planning my next trips.
May was the longest road trip, 7000 miles!  Started out with Jason, my brother from Arizona to Nebraska...my sister, Melinda from Nebraska to Lincoln, Omaha, Kansas City, St Louis, Memphis, Nashville, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Richmond, Detroit, Omaha, Yankton, SD, Lincoln, North Platte, dropped off my sister and headed home.  Tom joined my thought the trip.  May also gave me the greatest gift, we met my nephew, Antwein for the first time in 25 years!  What joy that was for my soul.  Also a visit with my good for my soul friend, Cathy was the best.  Can't forget Joni time, sister time with all my sisters and my Mom and Dad time!  Blue boy was a big part of our trip...antique shops all along the way.  
June we drove my camper home!  I'm in love!
July both sad and exciting.  I had to say bye to my Maximus!  I have tears just thinking about him.  I miss him daily.  July also brought a trip of a lifetime...river rafting trip down the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon with good friends!
August was the lunar eclipse in Idaho!  Frida exhibit at the Heard Museum.
September we got a visit from my nephew Zachariah!  Another highlight...U2 Joshua Tour concert!!!
October sent us to Nebraska to spend precious time with my father-in-law, Irvin Arens before he passed at the age of 91.   Visited with so much family.  Highlight time with my nephew Tommy.  Then there was time with Patrick, Nate, Amelia, Dana, Brenda and meeting her son, Clay!  Just to name a few.
November was a quiet and reflecting time.  I really needed the down time.
December brought birthday fun and my love for the holidays and fun projects.

I need to take some time here soon to write down my thoughts about this past year and the life changing events.  I would have to say the Colorado River trip was the most impactful experience.  I took so much away from that experience.  FAITH OVER FEAR was so true and you CAN do anything!  The loss of my dog Maximus turned out to be harder than I thought.  I am blessed.

Bring on 2018!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Christmas Cards

It all started with dressing up my vintage camper in her holiday attire.  This was a fun day.  I printed them out two by two.  Inside message, signatures, and logo all printed, what a time saver.


I use a Canon Pro-100 printer on all my print jobs.  I love it except when I have to replace the ink!  It has 8 inks and that shit's expensive...never have I understood the high cost of ink.  We should write letters to our congressman about that, maybe they'll do something about it, NOT.  Anyways, this is a great printer.

I love this paper cutter, accurate and quick.

I've had this tool for many years and I love it.  Scores nicely.  I've learned having the right tools always makes the project go smoother.  I make so many cards, this tool sure saves me time and the cards look so much better.  

I took a on-line class, more of a mini on-line class from one of my favorite artist, Stephanie Lee.  I learned a bit about encastic wax.  I decided to use the wax on my cards and the result was so cool.  I can't wait to use it on my paintings.

I added glitter and some gold glitter stars onto the wax.  I could of added more stuff, but I had over 80 cards to make and I was running out of time
I found these vintage labels and added my "Season's Greeting" and our return address.  Time saver!  I was able to print them directly onto blank label sheets.  Again, what a time saver.
Here's the website I got the template from ....   https://blog.worldlabel.com/2012/vintage-gummed-parcel-post-shipping-labels.html
Addressed and stamped ready to mail!


Snow people

 When I began this project I had no idea what I was doing.  But I tell you it was fun making them.  I started by making balls out of aluminum foil.  That was hard on the hands, gloves helped.


I made five with arms and legs using wire and foil.


After getting the shapes done I covered them with paper mache using tissue paper.  This was easy.


The next step was covering the shapes with paper clay.  I made the paper clay and that was a challenge.  I found a website with the best tutorial videos.  You use toilet paper, water, drywall compound and white glue.  What I found is I needed to follow the recipe exactly in order to get the right consistency.  Once the paper clay dries I sanded them to get a smooth texture.


 The next step was painting them with gesso.  I even made my own gesso.  White glue and drywall compound with a little white paint.  Easy enough.  This gave them the neatest texture and feel.  I sanded them a little but not much was needed.


I started by painting their faces.  Oh, I did add noses either with clay or orange painted tooth pick noses.  This is when their personalities started to show up.  Once the faces were painted I lightly sprayed them with a spray adhesive and showered them with white glitter flakes.  I loved the look of the glitter.  This is a project I will do over and over again.  I loved making them even though it was a very time consuming project.  Most have found new homes this holiday season.  I must admit it was hard to let them go.  Each one definitely spoke to me.   Once I make more I will post for SALE.


I have an abundance of supplies, lots of holiday theme stuff, glitters, ribbons, papers, garland, bells, words, streamers, eyelets, wires, greenery, and imagination.  This was the best part of the whole project was dressing them up.



















Surprise in my mailbox!

So I get this box in my mailbox and it was full of the best things!  Thank you so very much Monica!  You are so freaking awesome!


I was so excited to see what was in it.


Take a look - scenic photos of Lake Tahoe, mini postcards of the southwest, vintage Christmas postcard, coin bracelet, a fabulous vintage Kodak camera!  I can't wait to use the camera.


 Check this out....HOLY COW!  Love love love this...glitter and wings on a cow!  Perfectly said... "HOLY COW!"

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Hot chocolate projects!

I made two different hot chocolate gifts.   I used two different hot chocolate flavors, peppermint and milk chocolate.  I found the tiniest mini marshmallows, some sprinkles, peppermint chips and mini chocolate chips.  


I found two style child size mugs.  Perfect size for little hands.

Each mug was filled with hot chocolate mix, peppermint stick and mini marshmallows.  All the mugs are wrapped in cellophane paper, tied with green twine and name tag staples with a peppermint candy.



I boxed them up and sent them off to my grand nieces & nephews in Nebraska.






The second project was hot chocolate mix/drink in clear ornaments.  

Milk chocolate flavor

Another milk chocolate flavor.

A box full of hot chocolate ornaments on their way to Nebraska grand nieces & nephews!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas gift packaging

Candles, chocolate, the prettiest red candy canes, tags and lots of glitter and a pretty  ribbon bow perfectly tied.


Close up of the how I decorated these gifts.  Aren't these candy canes beautiful?  By the way these candles have the most lovely scents.

I handmade these tags and of course had to add gold glitter!


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Gingerbread houses!

 Gingerbread houses this year.  I've been decorating with these kids for several years now.  We used to decorate sugar cookies but last year I changed it up to graham cracker houses.  The kids did so well on this year's houses.  So did the adults, haha.   I had the best time and love our little tradition.

I think we ate as much candy as we put on the houses!


Addison's house. She was so creative!

Kailey, Addison, Owen and Olivia and our houses!!  What a blast.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Camper Christmas Love!

Me & my 1960's vintage camper!  I love love love my camper.  We dressed her up for the holidays!  




I'm using this photo as the inspiration and the base of my Christmas card this year.







Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas Lights!

Heading home from a holiday party and their neighborhood was rocking the lights!


Christmas lights aren't what they used to be.  Add some music & the lights dance along.  What a fun house.


Looking at Christmas lights has always been my favorite thing to do.  When we first moved to Phoenix we'd ride our bikes all over to see the lights.  Was the weirdest thing because the weather was perfect light viewing weather!



We're gonna need to get the bikes out and enjoy our city Christmas lights!