Saturday, January 30, 2010

Recharging my Batteries

Day off work + sleeping in + meeting a friend for coffee + talking and laughing + window shopping...
= perfect ingredients for a Saturday.

Now relaxing in front of the eletralogs...


Friday, January 29, 2010

Yes You Can

I'm considering entering Friskies "Together We Can" contest--to make a work of art constructed from Friskies cat food cans.
Art, especially three dimensional art, is one of my passions.

To garner inspiration, I went online, and was surprised by the quantity of can art available.
Friskies cans are aluminum, but for the sake of inspiration I am posting tin can art also.
I found some amazing stuff:
Wow, beer and soda cans made up an exhibit of opera costumes, including these amazing shoes (video)

Hmmm, lingerie?

Gorgeous wall art by Paul Villinski--these are butterflies from beer cans.

Eagle made from Red Bull Cans (entire gallery of art here)

Lots of examples on Make Magazine, including this cricket

Wee sculptures by Loren Scrugg (etsy)

And there are also huge installations, like this mermaid (found here, but no info on artists. Many more example of art at the link though)

Or this 20-foot replica of Big Ben, by Robert Bradford

Or a multitude of cars, including this Bud version

Or, holy cow, architect Richard Van Os Keuls covered his house in flattened can "shingles"
If you'd like to copy this on a more manageable project, he also made this planter

If you'd rather decorate the interior of your house, how about this wall covering?

Some items can be more everyday--such as assemblage bracelets or dolls made from tin (see my previous post)

or retro doll furniture techniques, sometimes considered Tramp Art, like this dollhouse chair (from Flickr)
or this pincushion(see my previous post, and note I have uploaded that entire booklet to my Flickr pages)

Clock made from recycled soda cans

There's even a book, Fine Art of the Tin Can, by Bobby Hansson">

More examples (and for sale) at Indigo Arts

Orlando Forge Gallery

Kim Groff-Harrington Gallery

Tutorial using tin can lid and bottlecaps, by Altered Art Junkies

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

View Stick

Now that I've learned to knit, I keep looking at new yarns, patterns for hoodies or tops or hats...
I signed up on Ravelry.
And I just bought this nifty gadget called a View Stick.It's a clip-on magnifier that you place on your pattern, and the text is not only enlarged, but a red line indicates which line you're on.
Meaning this gadget would also be great for other uses--crocheting, cooking, etc.
I mean really, how freakin' cool is that?!

They're available on several sites, but I bought mine on
Annie's Attic.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Discovery Lists

I love lists.
Writing lists, reading lists, checking things off.

I love Sally Jean's list about Celebrating Love.
Especially #14:
"Take pictures of LOVE - take pictures of things that are heart-shaped.
A "heart" drawn in the snow,
bare twigs laid out in the shape of a heart,
the finger-print heart drawn on a dirty car"

Hmmm....could be an interesting Valentine gift...

Or #15:
"Send out children's Valentines to all your girlfriends.
Super-impose their photo over the face on the Valentine.
Add google-eyes for fun.
Write with your other hand (to look like a child's writing).
Don't forget to kiss the back of the envelope ~ SWAK!"

I just bought a book at Starbucks called "My Life, My Loves, My Lists", by Dan Zadra.
The little book is filled with blank pages, but with headings such as:
What big events do I want to see or attend in my lifetime?
What are my top goals for the year?
What can I do go give myself more peace of mind?

There are also inspirational quotes throughout the book.
Basically it's an aid to get you to appreciate the details, get to where you want to go, and enjoy the journey along the way.

I like that.

It reminds me of Keri Smith's blog Wish Jar Journal, and books.
Her 100 Ideas is a list of fun things to do, such as #55:
"Make pencil rubbings of six different surfaces"

Keri Smith also organizes Create-a-Thing-a-Day
"Thing-a-day is a yearly creative sprint where participants commit to creating one new thing a day and post it on a collective blog"
Things can be illustrations, collections, multi-media...whatever your heart desires.
You can sign up before February 1 and participate for the month (commit to posting 28 things).
More info about thing-a-day here.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Satisfying my thrifting fix

I've been to several thrift stores yesterday and today.
I went to the boutique-style kind where the clothes are even organized by size.
A little bit more expensive, but worth it.
Some days you've just got to satisfy that itch!

And I had soooo much fun.

Here are some of my finds: (click on images to enlarge)

Cute little handmade baby blanket in a motorcycle theme.
The beige minky fabric is on the back.
Don't cringe, but I'm going to give it to a dog I know named Dylan.
I mean, it's going to be loved.
Dylan's Blankie
You can't deny the cuteness of this little guy (the one on the left that looks like a stuffed animal)
Three Boys

Vintage Pyrex, two large mixing bowls.
Timeless design for $5 and $4

No Boundaries necktie, mint condition, in a flames design.
I'm thinking this will make a fun purse strap
Flames necktie

I buy knitted dishcloths whenever I find them--I love them.
These were a quarter each.

One vintage (1959) cookbook, and three gardening-related books,
from 80 cents to $2

Teva sandals--perfect for beach trips

Gorgeous crocheted throw.
I try to support handmade when I can

I also bought my mom a long sleeved blouse, and a gorgeous suede jacket with embroidery (Chicos brand)
I got my ketchup fanatic friend Michelle a little cook booklet about ketchup
A pair of jeans for myself that fit perfectly
LL Bean boy-style boots for work
A little birdie pin to use in mosaic
A greeting card with a beautiful painting of an orange on it
Four small balls of scrap yarn (I want to knit cat toys)
Fuzzy lounge pants and matching top for laying around in at home
A skirt that I hope to fit into by summer
Three dressy sweaters (wow, finally something to go out in, or wear to a job interview)
And a pair of Rocketdog platform flip flops (no, buying used shoes doesn't bother me).

God that was fun!


Friday, January 22, 2010

More Doggies





Dukie and Reesie with silly faces
Cute Faces

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Playing around with my camera....

Mist on the camera made it look like snow!

Sunset at Dog Beach in Del Mar, with Reese

Kellogg Beach
Kellogg Beach

Partial doggie faces
Partial Doggie Faces

Do you remember chewing on Sour Grass as a kid?
Sour Grass
I used to love it.
I guess adults now put it in salads.
My mom couldn't believe I would buy a weed at the Farmer's Market, but it filled me with good memories.
And it's pretty.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vintage whimsical

One of my favorite things is Roadside Architecture.
That means restaurants shaped like coffee cups or hot dogs, trinket shops shaped like geese, etc.
I love the artistic bizarreness of it, the Americana, the whimsy.

In that same vein, I love old playground equipment, especially the ones shaped like animals, or monsters or something.
This image, from Charles Phoenix, is fun in every way.
I mean, if you're going to build a structure, why not make it a work of art?


Monday, January 11, 2010

The Best Christmas Present EVER!

I had something really amazing happen to me last week.
I was the recipient of a random act of kindness,
of amazing generosity,
of the epitome of Christian love.

If you have had a blog for awhile, you know that you develop a group of regular readers, and sometimes those readers, in the process of their daily lives, come across things that speak your name...and on a whim you'll get (very cool) gifts in the mail.
I've both received gifts, and I've sent gifts, and I call some of these readers friends, even though we haven't met yet.

But this goes way beyond that.

You see, Ben emailed me, saying he had a Christmas present for me.
Wow, that's generous.
Since he loves photography, I just assumed it was one of his photographs (and that would have really been awesome).
I even dreamt one night that he knit me a sweater, because we talked about knitting.

So I drove to the post office on Tuesday, and was shocked when the employee there handed me a big box.
Um, with a $35 shipping label.
Plus insurance and delivery confirmation, so it cost even more to mail.
Holy cow.

Hmmm...that's not a photograph.

Excitedly, since I can never wait, I rushed outside, stood beside the open door of my car, and I ripped the tape off the box.
I opened the box, and literally said out loud, "What?! Whaaaa?! Oh my God!".
I made a mini scene out there in the parking lot.

This is what he sent:

Are you kidding me?
Seriously, are you KIDDING me?

Ben is a computer expert, and he knows that the computer I have at home is old old old and so slow that it takes me at least three times longer to do things than it would with a normal computer.
My computer at home doesn't even have basic stuff like Word on it.
It's actually worse than anyone can probably imagine.

Because I'm a house sitter, it would make so much more sense to have my own computer that's portable, versus having to use my clients'.
So not only is this a better computer than the one I have, it's way more practical too.
I am giddy. My dad would have said "tickled pink" :)

The computer has goodies like Microsoft Office installed, and it even has some photo-editing software.

I immediately called my friend Tracie and cried.
Then I called my friend Mike, and excitedly, in a high-pitched voice, told him of this awesomeness (Mike in another generous friend, so this all makes sense to him).

Today I called my satellite company to get DSL instead of the dreaded dial-up I currently have.
They'll be hooking it up soon.

Thank you Ben. What a Godsend.

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Quilt Garden

What a fun idea.
A Quilt Garden is a feature of the North Carolina Arboretum.
"The Quilt Garden, located near the Heritage Garden is a unique interpretation of traditional quilt block patterns with plants, representing the close ties between heritage crafts and gardening and the contemporary art and craft of quilting in the Southern Appalachian region."

I hope to visit one day

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Queen for a Day

Well, inspired by 59 Things, and by the magic wands I just posted....
and in my quest this year to try new just DO IT already...
I signed up for a workshop with Sally Jean Alexander in March.
Yes, THE Sally Jean Alexander.

I guess magic wands are so last year ;), that I'll be making a tiara

The description of the workshop says, "Imagine a Tiara created with snippets from your journal, antique letters, old family photographs, heirloom hankies, porcelain doll parts, even a discarded poptart box."
Sounds fun, inspirational, therapeutic, and a wonderful learning opportunity!

My Studio 13 blogged about taking the workshop.

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Stars and Magic Wands

A few years ago (I've mentioned this previously), I was in a little gift shop in Hillcrest that is no longer in business, and they had a pewter magic wand that had all sorts of inspirational words on it.
You know "believe", "dream", etc.
I can't remember if the words dangled off by jump rings, or if they popped up on wires like another item my friend Brandie received as a gift.
The wand was made by Silvestri, which I guess in 2007 was bought out by Demdaco.
I didn't have money on the day I saw the wand, and when I went back to the shop, it was no longer there.

I really want one of those wands.

I'm usually pretty good with finding information online, but I can't find even a photo of that wand, nor that popping up with words thing.
It's frustrating.

Several years ago, my friend debs mentioned she liked the idea of collecting magic wands.
That got me to thinking what a great idea that really is.

In my search for the elusive Silvestri wand, however, I did come across some fun ideas.
Love this idea of Magic Wand invitations, by Spoonful of Sugar

Barn Star Tutorial (in fabric), by Workmanship

Constant Bliss life coaching has these amazing magic wands.
She says, "A Magic Wand for Life a creative tool to facilitate your focus on your intentions and goals, thus creating positive energy that will propel you towards the fulfillment of your dreams.
This tool is a fun and creative method to put the power of the Law of Attraction into effect in your life."

And I found this image on The Art of Nothing, about an
Art and Soul workshop that I wish I had taken.
Hmmm....future possibilities?

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I forgot to post this at Christmas, but it's still awesome now.
Wallace The Red-Nosed Pitbull
Wallace is a frisbee-catching champion, and oh so cute!


Monday, January 04, 2010

Two for now

I haven't blogged about cute boys in awhile, and that seems like a fine way to start the New Year!

Funny, as I get older I gravitate to the more geeky men (well, these guys just play geeks on tv).
Two actors that I think are luscious:
Matthew Gray Gubler from Criminal Minds

and Brendon Hines from Lie To Me

Um, now you know why I love tv!