Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Putting on the Glitz

Before I share Halloween around the house, I wanted to tell you about a wonderfully easy way to glitz up your pumpkins (real or faux) for the season. It's easy, inexpensive and so pretty!



USArtQuest in Chelsea, MI, has a number of classes including some free DIY sessions. I attended the pumpkin prepping one. These were the prototypes.


The lighting in the studio really shows the sheen on these little gems, much better than in my photos.


Basically, it's one product -- metallic gold glaze, brushed onto the entire pumpkin and allowed to dry. (I suppose if you can't find metallic gold glaze, you could mix a bit of gold with a glazing medium, but I couldn't tell you quantities.)


Once it's dried, tie on some raffia if you like, or add flowers or stickers. They provided the materials here.


And that's basically it. Above is the one I made in the class. The ones below are those I did after I came home.


This one is a "real" pumpkin and I just used the raffia and moss on it.


These two were faux pumpkins. One had leafy beads, the other the floral/foliage treatment.

 

I later tried the same technique on some gourds with great success. Most of all, I was delighted with how quickly they came together. I could get hooked on these guys!


If you have a spare 20 minutes, give it a try. I think you'll be pleased with the results and the ways you can use them in your decorating.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Confession

The alarm rang at 5:15 and I tumbled wearily out of bed, swapping my sleep shirt for a sweatshirt and throwing on a pair of jeans. Energized by the first gulp or two of Tab, I was ready to take Rick to the airport for a six-day trip to a small town outside of Vancouver where he was meeting with a client for a week.


He picked me up -- we'd take his car to the airport, partly because I was woefully low on gas. I dropped him off at he door, we kissed goodbye and as he walked into the terminal, I took off for home. It still wasn't really light out. And it was raining.

There was plenty of time to return the car to his house. Instead, I parked it in my driveway and settled into a day of doing all the things on my list: checking blogs, paying bills, scheduling appointments with the eye doc, the foot goddess and the colonoscopy people. I gave the kitchen a good going over and got the house decorated for fall. I was rolling!

It was one of the last opportunities to see the film "Life Itself," a documentary about film critic Roger Ebert (I gave it two thumbs up, by the way). And I had time to make it. I grabbed my purse, illegal water and a banana, hit the garage door opener and backed out of the garage with abandon.

I think you know where I'm going with this.


It could have been worse. But the damage was there in plain view. A super scrape. Or two. (I really don't know HOW the black one at the top happened).


My heart was in my throat. But there was nothing I could do so I went to the movie.


Let's just say I would have enjoyed this fabulous movie much more if my heart hadn't been pounding for the first two thirds. I was beginning to wonder if I should take myself to the ER after it was over. But, in the time from my house until the film started (and well into it, I might add), I figured out what to do.

First thing the next morning I would hit the body shop with his car. Leave it. Beg them to get it done by Monday (possibly with great futility) and mea culpa when he returned.

I just knew I couldn't tell him on the phone. In the first place, the car was recently bumped out and repaired from an incident that took place a long time ago but that was my fault. (Let's just say that if you're on a highway and you have to pee and you even think the ramp might have black ice on it, move very slowly on the exit.)

He hasn't been sleeping well, he's working in a different time zone and in a new environment with a client and possibly meeting potential new customers for his software system that he designed. I know Rick well enough to know that first, he would freak big time. And second, he wouldn't sleep, he'd be so worried. And there was nothing he could do about it.

Fortunately at the movie I ran into a good friend and her husband who said he'd had great experiences at one particular body shop, especially in the paint-matching department. So, it was off to them the first thing in the morning.


Well, as you might expect, they couldn't turn around a repair before Rick got home, but they can do it. It's not cheap. In fact, it was more than three mortgage payments. But my bad, my redemption.

(I discovered that the only thing free was the estimates!)


I made an appointment to return with the car, unfortunately after he was home, and when I picked him up I came clean. (That sounds filled with integrity but basically I had no choice.) And while it was a little bumpy initially, when I talked to him the next day from Canada where I had fled (not really! Long planned!), he was just amazingly wonderful.

I didn't tell him the full estimate but when I did say it was in four figures (after he said, "It should only be about five hundred, right?), he said don't do that. So I didn't. Yet.

When he's ready for it to be fixed, I'm good for it. But we'll look for a better deal or do a little less or whatever it takes. But right now I feel like the luckiest person in the world that he was so forgiving. (Because you see, to me, it looked or at least felt like it was totaled.



Besides, you should have seen the other guy! I'll add my scratches to my collection of dents and pings and soldier on!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I Got Rhythm!

Who could ask for anything more?


Nothing is so good as a getaway with an old friend, so when I hit the road for London, Ontario, and a three-day visit with my friend Suzanne, I knew I was in for a good time! After all, who wouldn't love a scene like this? The sky was as dramatic as the theatre I knew we would soon enjoy!


Oh yes, anyone headed to the Stratford Festival is in for some terrific theatre.


First up was the wonderful George Gershwin musical, "Crazy for You." This pastiche of the Mickey and Judy/Fred and Ginger musicals had just about every favorite Gershwin song ever. And a ton of tap dancing!


As we waited for the overture to start, I couldn't help but think how lucky we were to have tickets to a show that got reviews like this!And it did not disappoint! Incredible music and dance -- the audience was on its feet!



Then time for a walk around the theatre and around town. One will always expect to see swans around Stratford!



I wish the color had been a bit more intense. I think we missed the peak by about a week (next week).


But the town is lovely. A small city with a good deal of charm, but not phony charm. I call it gritty/pretty.



Dinner -- pizzas and giggles!


Suzanne and I have known each other since high school, both sharing a love of film, books and drama. We knew each others' parents, all of whom have since passed. When we get together there's none of that "what do I say when we haven't seen each other for awhile." We just start and don't stop till we say goodbye!

 

Then it was time for "Man of La Mancha." I've loved this show for a long while and this production didn't disappoint. Neither did the set! Every inch of this set worked itself into the show.


As you can see below, the drawbridge/stairs come down and up periodically, very effectively. And Quixote fans will remember that Don Quixote tilted at windmills. The one in back is a gentle reminder.


Tom Rooney, the actor playing Cervantes/Don Quixote was versatile. His rendition of "The Impossible Dream" (which can be an impossible mess when overplayed) was done with understatement but power.



The next day we were off shopping. The Covent Garden market in downtown London did not disappoint.


This indoor market was filled with stalls for veggies, flowers, specialty items and cheese.



Oh, the cheese counter! To die for!


Then off to the book store and home again, only to get ready to leave the next day. The roadtrip home is a boring one but for me with quite a panic on bridges, waiting in this line to get over the bridge at the border was a bit of a terror. I was clutching the wheel even when the car was standing still! It seemed that anyone who passed in the NEXUS lane beside me rattled the whole bridge!


Of course, I didn't have it nearly so bad as whomever happened to be on this bus when something happened that caused it to be hauled across the border by a tow truck.


Goodbye, Canada! I miss you already!


After all, with good friends, good theatre, a good market and a safe road trip? Who could ask for anything more?

(Stratford photos by Michael Cooper)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Prayer Flag Swap -- Incoming!

Earlier I wrote about our prayer flag swap, hosted by Joanne. What fun to have the finished flags arrive! Don't they look lovely in their banner form?


It was a treat to open the envelope and see flags from both friends I knew, like Joanne (left) and Kristen Robinson (right).



I also knew Jill Ongley (left) and Brittney Young (right).



But I didn't know the artist of this one -- I think it is Kate White or Louie Shellenberger. So that was extra fun!


My banner is bracketed by two flags of mine -- Nest and Love. It was interesting that all of us chose a word for the banner. I don't remember Joanne mentioning to do that but together it brings home all the lovely parts of life -- joy, grace, nest, home, tranquility and love. It couldn't get better than that!

Thanks to my friends old and new -- your work is a wonderful addition to my home!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sort of Square

Part of my artful summer was pulling together some 4x4" canvases.


I figured it was time to share a few of them!


All of these will be going to my late-November sale (unless I sell any of them first!).



I can't tell you how much fun it is to pull these little guys together. They're made all the more fun since I've been using more and more of my own gelli print papers on them (although the pretty paper napkin certainly figures in, too!).



And, I had fun making the paper clay leaves and hearts. It works up so quickly with such little mess!

 

I sort of had birds on the brain when I was doing a few of them. But what can I say other than...



Go ahead! Make my day!


(I couldn't resist! More creativity to come soon!)

Popular Posts