Thursday, December 28, 2006

jI'm very excited!!!

I'm off to San Diego to ring in the new year! I haven't been there for ages and it will bring back many memories of the 4 years I lived there. It will be an interesting journey for me. Of course, I'm taking my camera to take some hopefully awesome photos of the area and of some creative things that I spot.

Resolutions! Yes, I've been thinking about them and will continue to think about them - I'm a goal oriented kind of gal, so this time of year just begs for me to come up with some challenging things to pursue.

Definitely one of my resolutions is to craft more and create something for me! Maybe a life collage...

Until next week, have a safe and creative weekend.
You just never know...

Another party - can it possibly be? And how can another party relate to crafting - well, one never knows what will happen or who they will meet anywhere on their journey.

This party was at Doug's house, again and here I am out by the fire pit - the dreaded fire pit that melted my shoes later in the evening. That's where the crafting comes in. I rested my shoe against the fire pit and it melted the sole apart. As I hobbled out to my car that night, I reminded myself to get out the ol' Aleene's 7800 All-Purpose Adhesive when I got home and fix my shoe - it worked great!

OK, so back to the you just never just never know who you'll meet (or in this case I already had met him) at a party or anywhere for that matter! To the left of me in the photo is Mark Alvis, the Producer and Star of a new PBS series on Sustainability that will air soon.

What is sustainability you ask? The goal of Mark's company, Alvis Projects, Inc. is to design and build, cost effective, energy efficient buildings. The ultimate goal would be buildings that made as much energy as they consumed: a net zero building - which they do! Check out his website:

Now, to go get a sneak peek of Mark's show!
That's it for now!

Friday, December 22, 2006

lHappy Holidays!!!

May this holiday season bring you safe travels, lots of hugs and much joy!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Early Present!
Don't you just love it when something totally unexpected happens?
Well, it did for me this week, but it actually started back in October...
I took this photo on my way home from my vacation at Big Sur - I stopped by the road to take a picture of a beautiful lighthouse and looked down to see some rusty barbed wire. Being a farm girl, it intrigued me and I snapped a couple pictures. It wasn't until I got the enlargements back that I realized there was a spider web clinging to the wire - it doesn't really show up in the above image.
The good news - on a whim, I submitted 5 photos to a JURY for a "fine art exhibit" at a local winery. I was thrilled to get the letter this week that one of my photos was selected for display at the Quady Winery during the Madera County Wine Trail in February.
This is TOTALLY out of the box for me, so it will be very interesting - there is even an Artist's Social with a dinner party at the winery!
Strange thing is, I wasn't going to submit that particular photo...
One never knows, so grab that brass ring and go for it - TODAY!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

eLast Minute Gift Idea

Tool Tote

My mom requested a gift this year, which is totally unlike her - she asked for a Do It Herself Tool Kit. I'd given her one years ago and guess what? Someone (who shall remain nameless) has borrowed her tools and now her tote is empty. I have a tool kit just like hers with a hard plastic case and it's a pain to keep everything in it's place and when you close the lid, stuff falls out of place.

Crafting to the rescue! I ordered the cute butterfly hammer and tape measure from a friend at work.

Then, it was off to the fabric store to find fabric for a bag and trim for the drawstring.

I really didn't want to drag out my heavy sewing machine from the bottom of the closet, so I got out my trusty Aleene's Platinum Bond Super Fabric Textile Adhesive.

It was super easy to make this bag - I applied the adhesive along two long edges of the fabric (one end was the fold). I placed two right sides together to form the bag. Then I folded over the top and glued along the edge to form the casing. I applied dots of the adhesive in two spots in the casing, let it dry and snipped through them and ran the trim through the holes and tied it at the ends.

I added a few things to the tool kit - a packet of screws and nails, a wrench and an extension cord.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Not Your Ordinary Party...

Doug's holiday party was phenomenal!!! (see next post for more details about Doug and the party)

Not only did Doug go all out with decorations and food, he provided us with entertainment - and it wasn't your usual entertainment.

Find the Pickles and Find the Fairies - Doug had hidden 3 fairies who "needed to find their way home" and two Christmas Pickles - we scurried around inside and out and had great fun finding the unusual items.

Make a Christmas Tree - This idea is wonderful for any age - Doug had green and beige paper, a whole lot of embellishments and of course, Aleene's Original Tacky Glue set out on a table. Notice I didn't mention scissors - nope, we couldn't use scissors. We folded, we creased, we tore, we calculated - we had fun! Check out our creativity. It was also great fun to just sit, chat and dance around to Christmas music as we made our trees. (It's Monday morning and I'm hearing from lots of people that their tree isn't shown here, so you'll be seeing more soon! Doug tells me he's bringing them all in so we can vote.)

Smores - We huddled around Doug's backyard firepit and made smores! See, Matt, I did put up your photos!!! (Matt's been not so secretly wanting to be on my blog and see what I'd write!)

Matt, Megan and Josh making the perfect smores!

Decorating Ideas Galore!

I attended a most fabulous party last night given by a co-worker, Doug - he's a local and national celebrity! He's been appearing on a local TV station giving home decor, gift and wrapping ideas. Last year he won a national contest - the Scotch Brands Most Gifted Wrapper 2005. Doug does so much more!!! This year he decorated model homes and at work he makes our tradeshows look fantastic! He's awesome!
I'm busy just like you getting ready for the holidays, so I won't post much, but wanted to share pictures of Doug's home - every room was decorated to the max! Thanks, Doug, awesome party!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ceramics by Justin's 5th Grade Class

I had the pleasure of working with my nephew's class to create these awesome ceramic projects.

On my vacation, I took a painting class where there were no rules and thought it would be interesting to see what 5th grader's did with no rules. Here are the awesome results.

Each got a ball of clay to create whatever they wanted. I fired them and then it was time for them to glaze the pieces. Back to the kiln one more time and here they are. I'm taking them to the class on Friday and I think they will be pleasantly surprised.

What a wonderful experience. Their teacher was totally behind the project - her mom has a ceramic project she made 50 years ago!

Another quick gift idea - this one's for the shoe lover on your list, but this could be used for anyone - just change the theme.

Snazzy Shoe Gift Ideas
Designed by Joan Fee

Canvas bag or towels
Fusible web
Fabric: animal print, black
Iron & ironing surface

1. Freehand design or use clipart. Trace on paper side of fusible web. Cut out, leaving a 1/2" border.
2. Lay traced fusible web on back of animal print fabric, with paper side facing up. Iron to fabric according to the manufacturer’s instructions on packaging.
3. Repeat step #2 with shoe top, on black fabric.
4. Cut out around edges.
5. Peel off paper backing and iron both pieces to bag/towel, placing pieces of shoe together to complete image.
Option: Sew around edges of fabric with a zigzag or applique stitch.
Friendship Bracelets

Here's a fun bracelet idea made with Artistic Wire and alphabet beads!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Let the parties begin...
It is so good to get together with old friends. This weekend I had the pleasure of getting together with my old walking buddy, Kathi, to catch up and do some crafting. She worked on finishing up a project for her office workers. It was interesting to see the project she'd selected because it was a project my friend Frances had designed for a magazine ages ago. Too cute! It was a very rainy, windy day, so it was nice to sit back, have some hot soup and craft. Oh, yes, I worked on my mom's mosaic spheres - need to get those done this week.
Then, it was time for the annual Aleene's Christmas Party. Six of us gathered and shared old stories, caught up on who's going to be GRANDMA's and how old everyone's kids are. We always make predictions for everyone for the upcoming year...I can't tell you mine, but maybe as the year unfolds I'll share.
Now, it's back to dipping ceramic pieces for my nephew's class so they can be fired and given back to them before they go on vacation at the end of the week.
Take care and have an awesomely creative week!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Weekend happenings...

But before the weekend starts, I'm heading this afternoon to my nephew's 5th grade class - their greenware hand built ceramic pieces have been fired and now it's time to paint the bisque pieces. I'll bring them back tonight, dip them in Clear Glaze and fire them so they can be given to family members for the holidays. I can't wait to see them come out of the kiln next week. Pictures next week!

The weekend! It's our annual Aleene's Holiday Get Together. It's been a tradition for probably 12 years for us to gather. One person is coming from Arizona, I'm traveling 2 hours to get there and most of the remaining are local to the Central Coast of California. We chat and eat, but this year we're doing something totally different. We're attending a Victorian Holiday Event where houses will be decorated, carolers singing in the streets, bands...all kinds of festive things. I'll be on the lookout for different crafting ideas to let you in on next week.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


It's been a fun week, full of surprises and yes, holiday festivities.


I had a fun treat this week, with 26 fifth graders in my nephew Justin's class. Everyone was given a lump of clay and given no rules. After an hour we had awesome clay sculptures everywhere. The weather has been very cool, so it's taking a little longer than I expected to dry so I could get them in the kiln. We're going to glaze them this week so they can be holiday gifts. We had lots of snowmen, an entire holiday scene, an elf, leaves and lots of imagination! I'll show pictures next week.

Speaking of Clay/Ceramics...Here is a picture of the ceramic leaf I made recently. I rolled out the clay and pressed in the leaf. I think it turned out great! I'm making a bunch and giving them as coasters. My mom is mounting hers on painting canvases.

Seems like I'm on a ceramics roll...

I'm busy making holiday gifts and a quick and fun one I've been doing for a lot of friends and family is the bubble technique. Here's one I did - it hasn't been fired yet, so it's still in the bisque stage.

The smell of the holidays...

I had a fun time Friday night at a candle making and decorating party! We poured the soy candle wax into containers and then decorated the container with beautiful embellishments. It was so great to make something and take it home finished! I haven't decided if I will keep the lovely cinnamon scented candle or give it as a gift.

Bread Dough Web Video

I got a sneak peek at the Bread Dough Video Alexis and I taped a couple weeks ago. It should be up soon at It's a hoot talking about good ol' bread dough. I remember making zillions of tiny bread dough roses for segments when I was on Aleene's. Ahhhh....the memories. It felt good to be back in front of the camera again!

Paperworks Magazine Ad

As if life wasn't exciting enough, I'm going to be in a full page ad for Paperworks Magazine. The photo shoot is tomorrow and I'll be in a crafty setting working on one of my favorite projects - decoupage. I'll keep you posted when it hits the newstands.

More Exciting News

The big craft trade show is coming up the end of January and I've been asked to do a decoupage make it and take it at the show. Yippeee!!! I haven't demonstrated at a trade show in ages. It'll be great fun, plus I get a couple days to "walk the floor" and see what's new in the craft world and I'll let you in on what's up and coming before it hits the stores. I just found out this morning that I get to hear Martha Stewart speak at the trade show! Should be exciting!

Well, tomorrow starts a new week...I can't wait to see what it holds!

Make it a great week!