Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dear Blog....

I've been so busy with all the holiday projects and fun.  But I'm not done...baking the rest of my sugar cookie dough to deliver to my two favorite firefighters!  Photos to follow!!!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of our family & friends!  We've had a fun time so far this holiday season.  We are truly blessed.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


To the families of the victims in the Connecticut shootings.  Hard to hold back the tears.

Cookie baking today

The cookie exchange is tomorrow so it's time to start baking.  I always bake sugar cookies.  This year I decided on stars!  I'll post when I'm finished decorating and packaging them, eight and half dozen!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 15th

It's my birthday......
It's an unusual day, cloudy with rain.  Hardly ever happens around here.  It's gonna be a great day... hot coffee, warm bed, stay in my pajamas, maybe a DVD movie or two, some reading, some studio time, some not so good for you foods, turn up the music and sing out loud, let's get this day started!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Packaging fun

I remembered this roll of heavy rough brown paper.  I cut it up and sewed envelopes for some special packages I'll be sending out this week. 
I used red thread and different stitching.
  Used decorative scissors to trim.

I combined the Santa keys and
reindeer food along with a little note.
 I'm totally pleased with this project!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas project 3

Next project is making tags for the special reindeer food I bagged up.  I made enough to pass on to a number of kids!! 
Found a vintage image of Santa with his reindeer.
 Needed to cut and round the edges.

Needed bells and twine

Added some rich green ribbon

Tied the jingle bells to the ends of the twine.

The reindeer food is birdseed
with a tad bit of magic glitter!

They came out so damn cute. 
I'm so pleased with the way they came out.

Christmas project 2

I bought bottle brush trees in various sizes and bleached them white.  I plan to use some for snow globes and the rest for little vignettes around the house.  Honestly, I haven't started decorating my house.  This doesn't traditionally start until after December 15th....pssssss my birthday!

Christmas project 1

This project is Santa's Magic Key.  I found a vintage Santa image to use on the tags.  I cut them out and decided on some fine glitter for the edges...by the way, glitter is a must any Christmas project!  I didn't like the look so out with the silver glitter glitter. 
Cut out tags, rounded the corners and added lots of glitter.
The sliver glitter gave the tags a vintage look I wanted.
I found the keys at Hobby Lobby and they were perfect.
I tied a aged twill ribbon and rusted jingle bell.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Photo fun

yeah, more photos to come......
Laurel and Miranda

 I've been camera crazy this past couple of weeks, but I haven't had time to process them. 

Jackie & Aaron's wedding

In previous posts I talked about helping Jackie with her wedding/reception.  They got married and the whole ceremony and reception turned out perfectly.  It was one of the nicest and funnest, is that a word?  Anyways, the whole event was great.  I didn't take many photos since I was having so much fun eating, visiting and dancing the night away.  I do wish I would taken some photos of the details I helped with.  Maybe I can get some from Jackie and share them later. She looked beautiful and so so so happy. 

This is Meghan, my new little bestfriend.  She's so cool, it's too bad she lives so far away!
Look at my little hero all dressed up!

Cookie exchange 2012

Last year I didn't host a cookie exchange for a variety of reasons.  The point was I missed it and I missed the social part of it.  So, this year it's on again.  Here's the invitations I made.  Got the cookie spatulas at the Dollar Store and made the tags.  I like the way  they turned out.  I can't wait to join nine friends to laugh and eat cookies!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dear Blog...

I promise to quit ignoring you....but I've been busy and soon you will see....cross my heart!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Got the turkey in the oven on time while watching the Macy's parade and football.  Now the turkey is done, working on mash potatoes & corn, oven baked rolls hot, on to the gravy!  Happy Thanksgiving from me, Tom & my brother, Jason from sunny Arizona to your family!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Back in the studio...

It's been a full couple of weeks for me and I've not spent time in the studio.  I have unfinished business in there.  Monday = studio time!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Great idea!

alisaburke: paper cup topiaries: With a little paint, glue and everyday materials you can transform just about anything into something creative!

I saw this on her blog today and I remembered I had tons of sno-kone cups!   A box of 200 for a dollar!!  I'm going to make christmas trees and use wooden spools as the base.  I'll paint them and glitter them up... can't wait to show you.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Election is over....some interesting facts

Women and Latinos got out & voted and made a difference!  One fact was the Latino vote made up 10% of the total vote and this is the first time in history it's been this high.  This country's politicians can no longer ignore Latinos.  The other thing is Arizona mainly here in Phoenix there are 600,000 ballots that have not been counted and many Latinos had trouble casting their votes. I just don't get it.  The lines were long at polling places.  One thing I notice at my polling place.  No signs indicating it was a place to vote.  Not signs no balloons no nothing.  Weird.
I'm happy the election is over and I must admit I'm happy Obama was re-elected but I sure am disappointed with Arizona.  Proud of the voters in Colorado & Iowa.  I'm proud my whole family got out and voted, three generation Mexican Americans!  Our Grandparents would be so proud of us. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The smell of home...

The electricity went out in our neighborhood tonight for several hours.  I was in the middle of making refried beans for dinner.  The power wouldn't be restored for several hours so we went out for dinner.  When we got home the electricity was back on, no harm done.  I wasn't sleepy so I made tortillas.  I love the smell of homemade tortillas.  It reminds me of home.  When I was really young my Grandpa Jose made tortillas every morning, loved walking into his kitchen.  My mom always made tortillas, too.  My Grandpa Ramon made her a wooden board and palote (rolling pin).  She still has them.  I have my favorite handmade palote, too. My mom taught me how and I was eager to learn...but only to realize that was going to be my job.   I really haven't mastered the getting them all the same size and roundness like my mom, hers were perfect.  My family used to make fun of the shapes of my tortillas, the fifty states...ha ha
Breakfast burritos...yumm yumm

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31st

Happy Halloween
This photo reminds me of me with my sisters.
I'm the one on the far left...of course having something very important to say.
Melinda is next...she's in la la land
Then Rhonda, she's listening
Then my sister Patsy, She's acting like she's listening, but laughing.
p.s.  it's not coffee or tea in them cups

What to do on a sunny perfect day...

I've been out riding my bicycle in the neighborhood.  Up to four miles.  It's not easy riding a single gear bike.  Thank goodness it's flat around here.  I've been challenged with a breeze almost every day!  But I'm not complaining at all.  It's a good way to get some much needed exercise.  I actually ride it to do some errands.  I'm going to the post office tomorrow.
When I get home from my rides the dogs are waiting and we water plants and rake the courtyard.  Then we all sit for a bit..me on my swing and them in the shade.  I close my eyes and listen to the birds .... not a bad morning.

I wish I had some photos to update my progress in the studio.  Still working on jewelry pieces.  Still fun, too.

Wedding things...

Jackie & Aaron's wedding is just around the corner.  Working on some last minute projects for them.  Next week will be busy seeing their families and finishing up on the final wedding touches.  I can't wait.  On Friday I get to meet up with Jackie to pick up her dress!  I'm so excited to see it, again.  She asked to have some photos taken as she goes for the final fitting.  It's hard to believe it's almost here.  Should be a great time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Metal workings going on around here

As you know, I've been hanging out in my studio. 
I wanted to make jewelry pieces not just a pendant or two.  I made bezels from scratch.  Believe me, I had no idea what I was in store for.  It's been a journey.  I'm in the studio daily!  Some days it's felt like I've made no progress. 
I had to cut the base pieces, round the corners and file the edges smooth.  Then make the bezels sides from metal strips, bending and cleaning up the edges. Finally, clean all the pieces free of grime and finger prints.

Next step, solder all the pieces together.  This was the funnest thing but believe me it was so time consuming.  I didn't want to stop but knew I'll never get to the next step if I don't quit.  I think I stopped after about 20 pieces!
The other night I decided to fill the round pieces with clay.  I haven't worked much with clay so this was a huge learning process for me. 
Once I filled the round bezels....oh...oh...wait...
I had to get the bezels ready.  I took copper pipe and cut it into rings.  I had to drill a hole and I'm telling you that turned out to be such a challenge.  But I got them done.  Next I wired them.
Now they were ready to fill with clay.  I decided to use some of my rubber stamps and metal letter stamps to make impressions in the clay.  Next step was to harden them by baking them.  I used my toaster oven...big mistake!  I don't know what I did wrong but it didn't work  out.  All the pieces were brown and overflowing.  Ugh!!!  I was able to dig the clay out and I'll redo them and follow the baking directions.  haha.

I moved on to working with the resin.  I got all the pendants ready.  Again, this was so time consuming.  Finding things to fill the bezels, backgrounds, words, and glitter!
Once I got most of them ready it was time to pour the resin.  A steady hand was needed.  Honestly, I made a mess!  Sticky mess.  Some of the bezels leaked and didn't work like I wanted.  Oh well... cleaned them up and will redo.

Once the resin settles little tiny bubbles form.  Here's a tip:  take a straw and blow lightly and the bubbles disappear!  Easy Easy Easy.  Only you need to check for the next hour for bubbles.

Not to bad, huh?  I got about half of the bezels done. 
This is a heart I designed from an idea a friend posted on Facebook.  I think it was a heart wall art piece.   I like it but I don't like how it hangs. It think I'm gonna drill another hole and hang it straight.  I have four more to finish.

That's a peek into my metal workings.  I have so many ideas and just can hardly wait to make a final necklace piece. 
Stay tuned............

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gabi & Me

 It was homecoming dance night.  I've been photographing Gabi since the day she was born.  I can't believe she's sixteen and a junior in high school.  She makes me so proud.

Friday, October 19, 2012

She will ....

... kiss some frogs on the path to finding her prince

Monday, October 15, 2012

What my day has in store for me.....

Today, I took some photos of my courtyard and live plants....I mean I actually have a number of plants that I have kept alive over the hot hot hot summer.  I need to email the photos to my friend Cathy, in Michigan.  She has the greenest thumb of anyone I know and she's been a supporter of my attempts to keep plants around my house/yard.  She does however, keep it real with me, too.  I know it breaks her heart each time I have to share how this plant or that plant didn't make it.  Mostly due to my neglect of not watering or placing the plant in the wrong side of the yard.  But, today I'm feeling some pride in how I've been doing.  I know when she sees the photos she's gonna tell me to trim back.  I feel giving plants a "haircut" is hurting them haha.

The other fun thing.... I'm fixing a flat tire on my bike.  I have three bicycles and I need to ride them.  I have no excuses, weather is beautiful, I have time, I need to exercise, on & on & on.  After I fix the flat tire I will have two bikes in riding condition.  I really do love love love bike rides!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Studio time, way fun.

Here's a peek....
I'm gonna be working with resin and filling my bezels.  I also filled some of them with clay so who knows how they will turn out.  I have a million ideas rolling around in my head on the details of what will be going  into the bezels.....words, beads, rinestones, shells, pebbles, images, glitter....
I'm also starting on making soldered glass charms.  But, if you remember my soldering iron blew up.  I need to shop for a new one and boy they can be inexpensive/cheap to very nice/expensive.  I have not idea what I should buy. 
Yesterday, in my studio I was struggling to drill holds in some of the pieces...none of my drills were charged and the dremel was pissing me off.  I forgot I had a flexshaft attachment to my dremel...what a great alternative to the stupid hand drills!  Worked like a charm...haha charm get it? 

Sister's Thank You's

Finished my sister's wedding Thank You's note cards. 
I decided to use book pages as the background.  Added a coat of whitewash to distress the words.
I put my manual typewriter to use & typed the words... "thank you"
If I press too hard on the key it skips a space...ugh.
But I love my typewriter!
Crumpled up all the pages to get a worn look and feel.

Added a black & white photo of the happy couple.

Tada...40 done!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Football Saturday

Huskers have a biweek.  Better, yet.  Kansas on tv here.  My most favorite college player, Patrick Lewandowski #61.  I have to watch closely so I don't miss him on the field!
Oh no, lightning strike...rain delay.

(they loss, and I never saw #61!)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Remember the coffee bags?

Meet Ottoman.
My two dogs in their puppy chew anything and everything stage attacked my ottoman.  I saved it thinking one day I'll redo it.  So when you have coffee bags galore why not put them to use.
Love, Love, Love
It wasn't as difficult as I thought and I'm happy with the results.
Love Love Love

My finished art piece

She doesn't have a name, yet. But, she is on display now.
It's hard to see the detail textures and overlays.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Coolest photo ever

I  got the neatest photo of Gabi on Monday in Sedona....now you're thinking red rocks and all that.  But wait til you see it...it's so  cool.....so close your eyes
Okay open them for now...I want to play with the photo in Photoshop. 
A friend needed a ride to Sedona to get her car from the shop.  She drove there over the weekend to do some hiking and enjoy the fall colors....then the damn glitchy monkey got in her radiator!
I offered to give her a ride and take advantage of a nice drive and head to Flagstaff to see Christine. 
Sedona was busy busy busy with people.  Forgot it was a holiday...Columbus Day.
When Tom & I first moved to Arizona we enjoyed Sedona so much....beautiful views, great weather, lots of hiking trails and no people.  But now all the views are blocked by buildings, and a lot of trails are paved and there's always lots of people everywhere...new roundabouts make driving crazy.  Even with all the changes, Sedona is beautiful and full of cosmic energy!  No fall colors,  probably too early.

Took Mr Pin with us...