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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sorry-Just One Of THOSE Weeks!

You know what I mean.  Snafu to the power of 2.  *sigh* Why ME ?!?

We have some pretty bad air here in the Mighty Metroplex.  They color-code the days air like the terror levels....yellow, orange, red...beyond red.... I am ozone sensitive.  The air burns holes in my nose and closes off my lungs.  Combine it with the oppressive heat, and it's like a punch in the chest compounded by a baseball bat to the forehead.  Not complaining...just explaining.  Well, complaining a little.  So, maybe you can understand while in so many ways we are blessed to have our home here, there are days it feels like I couldn't run far enough fast enough.  Parts of July and August are like that here.  

I tell myself that there are generally 2 crappy months in most every place.  Santa Anna winds, monsoon rains, frigid temperatures, hurricanes.  Not to mention places like Alaska that although I have heard from everyone I know that has gone there it is probably the most beautiful place on Earth, they have not only unbearable cold, but 30 days of night???  EXCUSE ME?   I'll take our 300 days of sunshine and 6-8 weeks of hell-like heat over that!  But I would give anything to see a live moose.  

I digress......

Just posting today to say 'sorry' for not getting the pics up, the giveaway posted, the new recipe listed and so much more.  Migraine pain gripped my head and eyeballs and there was no getting anything done that required focusing or light.  Or noise.  Or my brain.

Today the sky is quite clear, and the wind is blowing the smog out, and I hope to get some catching up done.  We didn't get to the point of having to turn our underwear inside out to have a clean pair, but sometimes it gets dangerously close.  I know many of you can relate (or at least that is what I tell myself to alleviate the guilt).

Since the majority of our pollution comes from automobiles, I have included a link to a website that helps you calculate your actual driving costs, and offers suggestions to cut back of the driving, as well as the ensuing madness that comes from it.  The website is: Drive Less- Save More

And while I have your attention- if you are one of those ladies that soaks herself in perfume....STOP IT!  Many people have chemical sensitivities and your stench is nothing but air pollution.  I call you the 'Superstinkers'.  People should not be able to smell you 3 feet away, and trust me when I say this- no one wants to! 

Thanks for hanging in there with me.  :) 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Book, A Duck and A Candlestick....

No- it's not a joke or a strange version of's my latest project!  About 8 months ago, I ran across several duck decoys @ the local thrift.  A few were painted by local artists, and a few evidently by someone's grandkids or something.   They were just about $1/each, and I loved the form, but the paint on a few.......well, notsomuch.  This particular decoy I had already primed over in anticipation of something awesome- but what on Earth would it be??  I am not an especially good detail painter.

Inspiration came in 2 ways.  One: a decorating magazine that has some cool, but pricey items, and the other: a tutorial from another blog.   There is an awesome tutorial on the fun blog Living With Lindsay for a book wreath, and she explains it better than I ever could, and I will show you my book wreath accomplishments below.   The decorating magazine had a large dog form that had been covered in decoupaged paper made from playing card images.  I also imagined forms covered with sheet music, but I had leftover book pages from my wreath project, so in the spirit of waste not/want not, torn book pages it would have to be!

My duck started out uglier (sorry kiddos) that this, but so you will not be forced to avert your eyes from my blog, I will only show you the primed image:

I simply used torn book pages and Modge Podge, and covered him/her up!
When I was covering the decoy, I used my poor raggedy fingernails to push the wet paper into the carved places, to keep the detail.  When it was dry, I sprayed it with 2 coats of clear acrylic. 
I also had rescued a sad little blue candlestick that was marked .25 at the thrift store as well:

As usual, a can of black spray paint cured the blue candlestick of it's shameful appearance.  Then I simply added strips of ribbon to the top to give it a little 'nest' for objects to sit on.  The ribbon I wanted to use was not wired, but I quick dip in some stiffener made it use-able for this application.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Everyone's Invited to This Party!!

Well, the Olympic Peninsula was fantastic- what can I say!?!  I am currently working on editing the pics, and of course, getting reorganized, but I had a quickie to add to the blog.

Just before I left I ran across a totally awesome website and idea, and I just have to share!  It is called The Sketchbook Project: 2011, and the good news is anyone can participate!  You just sign up, choose your category (mine is inside/outside) and then sketch your heart out  :)

The best part is, you don't have to have mad talent to be included!  Everyone's books will be included. The sketchbooks will tour the US, and then be on permanent display at the Brooklyn Art Library.  How cool is that??  

Check it out- here is the link:

What a great project to include your kids in as well!  Have them sketch pages in the book, and follow it around the country!!  Let me know if you sign up, so I can look for your book in the online viewing area  :)   :)  

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why To Stop Feeding Your Kids Processed Foods

 I will let you in on something I am not proud of.......many, many years ago, I was a pack-a-day smoker.  I am not proud of it for a few reasons, but mostly because it showed my level of  naivete` in my younger years.  I knew on many levels smoking was bad for me, but it affected mostly me, and hey....that was my business, K??  

But, then came the allegations of how 'Big Tobacco' was purposely using additives to addict us, and the men that sat on the boards of those companies also sat on the boards of the cancer hospitals, and were shareholders in the companies that produced the chemo drugs.  Then, I got mad!  Then, I quit!  20 years ago or so, but in the back of my mind is the fact that all of my younger years I smoked, and I have forever increased my risk of cancer. 

So, now we are faced with information that is that huge once again....but this time it is 'Big Food'.  If you haven't heard, the additives and flavorings are alleged to be there for the direct purpose of 'addicting' us to the food that is unhealthy for our bodies, and contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic.  (Not to mention the rest of us)

You can 'google' this, but let me give you just one link I found on the subject:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"You can never be too thin, too rich, or have too many books." Vogue

I love books!   
I'm not sure I will ever own a Kindle, or Nook, but if anyone wants to hook me up with a new iPad- I won't refuse.  I like the feel of books, the smell of old books, I like looking for antique books, and displaying books.  I even read them from time to time.  There are lots of 'good books', but only one *Good Book*.  One thing I do not like about books is propping them up on the shelves in my home.  I hate a shlummpy book.  There is only one shlummpy thing allowed and that is me, in my 'baglady' dress, happily spray painting something. 
Recently a good friend installed a cool patio with pavers.  Of course, there were leftovers, mere trash to her, but treasure to me!  The great heaviness of them.....I'm thinking.....Bookends!!

If you have small children, I do not recommend that you use these anywhere that they could pull it down on their heads.  Hopefully, your 'good' books are up high enough so they cannot be mistaken for coloring books.  These bookends will put a hurtin' on ya if they hit your foot.  Other than that, they are simple to make, totally customizable, and cheap very inexpensive to make.

So, let's do this thing!

Assemble the players:

2 square stone pavers (about .70/ea)
acrylic paint (on hand, or 2/$1)
Polyacrylic topcoat (on hand, or $3/pint)
Letter 'A' and Letter 'Z'
(i got one @ thrift, one for .50 @ Michaels)
I used spray paint on the letters, b/c I have
LOTS, but you could use acrylic
Cork scrap for base
General craft adhesive
foam brushes, foam stamp, toothpicks

A day earlier, I washed off the blocks w/ the hose.
My pavers are a tan-rust color, so I used black and white paint.
I found that the stamp looks better if you use the foam brush to load the paint onto the stamp, and vary the paint color over the stamp:

Stamp the blocks, and let them dry.
Mine looked like this:

After the paint is good and dry, add the polyacrylic top coat.  Coat all sides, front and back.  I did the face and edges first, and when they dried, I coated the back, and gave the front a 2nd coat, and let it sit on an edge to finish drying.  This makes it no longer scratchy to the touch, or to the books.
This stuff is smelly, so plan to do that part outside.

One small, fussy note:
My letter 'A' was made from plywood, and when I spray painted it, it showed the grain lines through the paint.  I smoothed it with spackle, let that dry and re-sanded and re-painted it, and it looked great.

All My Best

Telling People What I Think For 40+ Years!!

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