It's all fun and games, til someone puts an eye out......

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Brooch Bouquet

My sister was married this weekend.  (I will post pictures of that in a later post.)

A great time was had by all.

As a sister, I knew my gift to her had to be unique.

And crafty.

Funny how much people expect from you when they hear you are crafty.

And you can only imagine the expectations I have of myself.

So, I decided to take on her bridal bouquet.

Let me start by saying that I know nothing about bouquets.  Or flowers, for that matter.  I have planted some in my front yard before.  But they died.

I guess you could say I have a black thumb.

So, live flowers were not my weapon of choice for this particular project.  Even though I know that is what a "bouquet" is made of.

I used something a little different to make her bouquet.


I know, I know.  Pins.  For a bridal bouquet.  It doesn't seem like it should work.  But I had seen it before.  And my sister had seen it too. 

Actually, she was with me when I found the idea online.

So, we began our brooch hunt.  We started this summer.  We hit every thrift shop, City Wide garage sale, and antique store.

Let me start by defining brooch:
a clasp or ornament having a pin at the back for passing through the clothing and a catch for securing the point of the pin.

How could this possibly work, you ask?

First I had to have the tools.  We had shopped so much for brooches, I didn't think I could look at another one.  So, I put them all in a bag in my craft room and ignored them for about a month.

And when I pilfered through the bag a few weeks ago, it was very fun, almost like another shopping trip. I wa amazed at what we had found.  There were vintage brooches, new brooches, family heirlooms, and gifts from friends. 

There was plastic, metal and precious stones.  The selection was unbelievable. After hearing what we were doing, everyone contributed.

And then I got started.

I pinned them all to a styrophone ball.  Then I glued them in place.

Sounds easy, right?

Well, it was.  Mostly.  More challenging than anything.  Almost like a puzzle, getting each brooch to fit together to make the perfect bouquest. 

I filled in the blank spots with earrings, rings, necklaces and tiny flowers.  Each had to fit exactly to cover every square inch.

I finished it off with a wooden dowel covered in a vintage brown velvet ribbon.

The end result was absolutely gorgeous, if I do say so myself.

Seeing my sister carry it down the aisle in her wedding dress, made me burst with pride.

She said she is going to keep it as a decoration in her home.

When cleaning up after the wedding, I seriously considered stealing it away for my own home.

Would she notice?  She would be on her honeymoon, after all.

She really should lock it up......

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Ok, so that title seems a little grim.  And in most normal situations, it would be.

But here, come Halloween time, that is how you describe my house.

I love decorating for Halloween.  After Christmas, it is my favorite holiday.  And we go pretty big here.

Isn't that a Texas motto:  Everything is bigger in Texas?

We have one neighbor that builds everything, including a giant wooden coffin and a table with lifesize skeletons playing cards.

Ok, so I don't go that big.

Usually, I start with a selection of foam grave markers.

Each one is different.

They all say something creepy like RIP, or they have a skull and crossbones.  Very morbid.  But I love them.  And the best part about these grave stones is that they each cost $1 at the Dollar Tree.
You have to go early, like in August or September, as they usually run out.

Next, I hung some skeletons in the tree.

Now this picture was blurry because I couldn't get the darn thing to sit still and have his photograph taken.  He must be camera shy. 

I know they are tiny, but I figure they must have belonged to some super small elves or something.  Maybe they are oompa loompa skeletons.  Either way, they fit my design, so up they went.

In addition to the tiny skeletons, I added some black crows.

I have no idea why a black bird is so creepy, but these guys are super fierce looking.  It must have something to do with that movie "The Birds". 

As a finishing touch, I threw out (literally) some skeleton parts.  A skull here and there, and some bony hands and feet.

He kind of looks like and alien, no?

And after all that creepy stuff, I tried to add some original Halloween fanfare for my walkway.

Some dried gourds and a little pumpkin line the path.  And the giant cauldron for the Halloween candy sits behind my big lit pumpkin.

I love the old school Halloween things, as well as the gory.

But, I still have to scare a couple kids away now and then. 

So, I threw in the Grim Reaper.

He is just a cardboard cut out, but taped up in my skinny window by my door, he just looks mencacing.

Heck, he has even scared me!  When I came up to the door and went to unlock it, there he was!  The boys get a kick out of my jumping out of my skin.

We do this decorating every year.  I say "we".  You know I mean "me".

Don't get me wrong, the boys love it.

They just don't love setting it up.

Or putting it up.

Or packing it away.

But they do eat ALL their trick or treat candy.

Hey, they are growing boys.........

Monday, October 18, 2010

Xochitl's Necklace

I made this necklace for my sister's sister in law.

She is such a great gal and works her butt off!!!

Did I mention she turned 40?  Oh, and she doesn't look it.  At all.

She loves black, so I put a cute black stone rose charm. 
She has 3 darling children, so the three eggs in a nest charm was perfect.
A vintage bingo chip was super cute, but the 40 on it, signifying her 40 years was even better.

This little vintage ticket added some charm.  And the copper teapot did a little of the same.
The subway number 3 was again in reference to her children.

The tiny dollhouse bread pan denotes her love for baking and cooking.
The BEAUTY charm siginifes her unbelievable beauty.
I loved this regal red charm.
And the dinner bell is hysterical.  Especially since she is always cooking.
Did I mention she runs her own catering company?

The X scrabble tile is for her beautiful name "Xochitl".
The tiny Texas charm is for where she was raised most of her life and still lives.

I love the fancy turquoise floral charm. 
The wishbone, as always, is for luck.

The tiny muffin tin, again, for her baking.  She makes the best tres leches cake I have ever had.
She loves NY.  Her mom lives in NY and she visits every once in a while.
The copper pan for her cooking and her delicious food.

This vintage button charm again has her favorite color black.
The copper tree of life.  She has such a neat extended family.  And her brother was one of my favorites.
The red velvet bead is for her sassiness. 
And the horseshoe for luck.  Not that she needs it.

Xochitl is a wonderful person and does so much for so many people.

So, when I heard her 40th was coming up, I wanted to create something as special as she is.

I hope she loves it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My New Hair

I don't usually do posts with pictures of myself.

Its not that I don't like what I look like, it is just never really the content I want to include.

But today, I just couldn't help it.

I have been blonde (I use that term loosely) for years. 

I guess you could say my hair was "all highlighed out".

So, I went to the salon and asked for a darker version of myself.

This is the outcome:

and one more picture in the inside lighting.

If you aren't a big fan of it, don't worry, neither am I. 


But I have a feeling its going to grow on me.  No pun intended.  After all, I do take my vitamins, so my hair is certain to grow.

I am talking about the color.  I think I like it.

For now.

Until my next hair appointment.

I might be blonde then.

I will keep you posted.

Short-Haired Boys You Make My Rocking World Go Round

I love boys with short hair cuts.

So, it would stand to reason that all three of my boys have short hair cuts.

Not so.

The little one constantly fights me on it.

He has what we call "cat hair".  So basically, as the lightest haired child in my group, he has the finest hair.

Makes sense.

But, he loves to flip it around and try to look cool.  So every once in a while, I let him grow it out.

OK, I don't let him.  I just forget to get it cut.  Or I run out of time.  Or I spend too much time on that deserted island that I love and forget about my kids.

Take your pick.

Either way, he always fights to get it cut. 

So, I take him to the salon, kicking and screaming.

And she cuts his hair. 

And then, the miraculous occurs.

He loves it.

Let me know what you think.



Of course, I love him either way!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Vintage Christmas Crafting

With the holidays coming up, I have been searching for some vintage ideas.

I love old advertisements and use them for scrapbooking, crafting, and jewelry making. 

I have tons of them.

But this old Christmas crafting advertisement was just too cute not to share.


I love the little reindeers with the red and white pipe cleaner legs.

If you wait long enough, everything becomes popular again.

Wouldn't if be nice if the old prices would become popular again??

I won't hold my breath........

Friday, October 8, 2010

This One's from the Girls

Girls love jewelry. 

It's true.  From the time we were tiny tots, we have been trained to accessorize.

So, when I got this ETSY order from two cute little girls, I jumped right on it.  They were pretty small, so their Mom actually ordered it, but its the thought that counts, right?

It was a going away present for a dear friend of hers.  Her girls were very close to her and she knew they would miss her alot.

Erin likes to read, and especially loves the Pioneer Woman, so I fashioned this mini cookbook.  You know the one......
One of the girls!  Isn't she the cutest?  
The vintage Grand Canyon postcard commemorated their trip together to Arizona.  She has also been to Paris, and who goes to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower?

Her day does not begin without her Starbucks Tea.  I must say, this is one of the most requested charms:  The good ole Starbucks cup.
A picture of the two girls is extra special and sits next to her favorite hobby:  knitting.

Ms. Erin is what the girls call her.  I love calling them "the girls".  Probably  because I only have boys in my house.
(My mom used to call us "the girls" when we were growing up.  She also used to say "Girls!!" when we were doing something wrong.  It must have been weird for her when my sister went off to college.  I don't ever remember her calling me "girl" then.  Just a thought.)

The scrabble initial has become my trademark, if you want to call it that.  Or even if you don't want to call it that.
They really wanted her to remember Colorado, so I included a vintage Colorado license plate.  Cute.

Ms. Erin has a little boy named JD.  So, I made sure he was included, right next to a little silver horse, which she loves to ride.  Not the silver horse, but a real live one.  Just felt I had to clarify that.
The next charm is a picture of Ms. Erin holding one of the girls. 
Also, a map of California, where dear ole Erin is moving.  Nice sunny California.

A picture of Erin with the youngest girl is just precious.  And since she loves to bake, I threw in a muffin tin.  Super tiny! 
The cutest Glamour Shot in the world, with the youngest model,  is the final charm on the bracelet.

This bracelet was fun to make because so much thought and care was taken in the preparation. 
Ms. Erin seems like a great gal and the girls will really miss her.
I miss her and I don't even know her.
Hopefully, this bracelet will bring her good memories!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Boys Love Bugs

Another order from an ETSY customer:

She was a fellow scrapbooker and mom to two young whipper snappers.

I started with some vintage photo charms.  That is her family and also her little boy.  He loves the color purple, so I "charmed" a purple crayon, since Crayola coined the word "purple".  Fun idea.

He also loves bugs!  Gross!!  There is the little bugger now!

Like I mentioned, she scrapbooks, so I found this tiny vintage scrapbook. And while she is scrapbooking, she drinks her daily coffee, so the copper coffee pot was definitely fitting.

The ole initals in a bookplate........

And her cutie patootie little girl.  She loves baths and red popsicles.  For her mother's sake, I hope she enjoys them at the same time!

Farmer's markets take up her every Saturday, and they make it a family experience.  But I couldn't leave out her hubby, who loves Chevy's and owns a vintage Chevelle.   I must say this key is one of my all time favorite charms.  A couple more vintage photo charms and we are all done!

Well, I should say, "I" am all done.

My client is just beginning.  By wearing this necklace.

I hope she enjoys it!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Cousins are great.

My sis and I have five cousins on my mom's side.  We tried to get together every summer when we were growing up.  I say get together, because we all lived in different places.

There were the nutty California crew, with two boys and two girls. 

We also had the South Carolina family, with a girl cousin three years younger than me.  They wised up and moved to Oklahoma when she was five.  Which made the get togethers easier.

You will be happy to know that all of us have since moved closer and we try to get together at holidays when we can.  One of the California cousins moved back out to California, but he comes in at least once a year.

And when we get together, it is one crazy time.  Seriously.  Someone needs to write a book.

Which makes me happy that my boys now live close to their one and only cousin here in Texas.

We moved here one month before he was born.  So we see him at least once a week.

And it is a delight.

Especially for my nephew.  He is a rascal.  He loves to come to any sporting events we have, because there is always a load of tomfoolery to get in on.  Tomfoolery is our specialty.  And he knows it.

These are the two big kids.  They love playing with their cousin.  If for no other reason, than to watch him run around like a chicken with his head cut off. 

Now that is one gross saying, right?

It all starts out with some good clean fun.  You know?  A little ribbing here and there.  Punching and pushing are all part of the game.  Dad usually starts it.  A big kid at heart.

Then, the small guy gets his turn.  Notice the closed fist of my nephew.  He is going in strong.

He closes his eyes to get a better look.  At the back of his eyelids.

And as always, he gets pushed away like a little fly.  Poor little bugger.

But like any real fly, he just keeps buzzing around.  And he knows how to win.  He gets help from the recruits.  He gets his uncle.......

Ahhh, the old leg pulling trick......

If you can't beat em, join em!

Oh, how the mighty ones fall.  Look at Big A's face in the other chair.  He was just glad it wasn't him.  The Bull doesn't look happy at all.....

So, he decides to seek revenge and takes the little guy down.

And getting a love pat from his uncle is all part of the game.

Finally, he admits defeat and falls to the ground.  For now.....

We love playing with cousins.  It is always our best day.

And if you are wondering where Tiny T was.......

Oh, he was busy playing a soccer game.  Note the flushed cheeks.  100 degrees here in Texas.  See the umbrellas?  It wasn't raining that day.  Nope, that was to shield us from the sun!

Tiny T just came over to get some water.  Poor guy!

Don't worry, all this good, clean fun was had during half time of the game.

No one missed any of the game or any of Tiny T's goals.

And no one was injured during this photo shoot.

At least no one I got any photos of.

I can't vouch for the rest of the crowd.  They definitely could have been injured mentally from all our shenanigans.

What can we say? 

We love cousins!