Monday, July 28, 2008

Blast Off!

Change, Change, CHANGE! (and I'm not talking about the stuff in my pocket!)

A HUGE opportunity presented itself and I jumped on it without hesitation or fear (totally unlike me!)

While on my vacation at the ocean a couple months ago I knew I absolutely belonged there - I felt at peace, relaxed and comfortable. Not too long after I got home from vacation I got an unexpected phone call from my parents - one of their rental houses became available on the Central Coast of California in a wonderful little city on the ocean. This is a cottage my dad built back in the early 1960's in panels at home in the San Joaquin Valley, loaded them up for the 3 hour trip in a U-Haul truck and finished putting the house together on site - I have a picture of me standing in front of the U-Haul truck (I can't find it at the moment, or I'd post it, but these pictures are from back in the 60's. The hill is now covered with homes and that's me second from the left and no, the house is no longer painted Flamingo). This house has many joyous kid memories - we spent a lot of time here in the summers and on weekends getting away from the summer heat of the Valley. But, with this new beginning, comes many farewells and thoughts of what of the last few years have encompassed.

I moved to Fresno 3 years and 9 months ago to work for Duncan Enterprises as the writer while my 25 year marriage was ending. My friends at Duncan have seen me at my worst (and best!) - they have been there as my cheerleaders, my friends, my teachers...

In the 3+ years, I have seen a lot of changes not only in myself but with my co-workers and friends - Patty has had 3 fabulous babies and two brain surgeries, my friend Frances got the courage to introduce herself to her neighbor when I asked her If Not Now, When? - this October they will have been married 2 years - you go Frances!!! Many people have come and gone, but I appreciate everyone who has come into my life and the valuable life lessons they have shown me.

My family, especially my brother and sister-in-law and their sons Justin and Brandon have been an awesome comfort to me - Brandon and Nicki even stayed with me one night a week for over a year while Nicki finished her college degree. Nicki invited me to many concerts and enlightened me on new music groups - their CD's grace my shelves to this day. BTW, Bon Jovi rocks!

One person who came into my life just a short year ago and who has guided me with her gentle care and outstanding knowledge through this last year is Lindy. Lindy and Doug became friends - we spent a wonderful day doing the zipline and enjoying the Gold Country and they came at the last minute to haul away stuff I no longer needed. We did a lot of lunches together and now we have a standing Wednesday lunch phone call. She goes out into the Duncan rec park and last Wednesday I went outside and weeded my yard while we talked.

My IT guy, Rocky, is fabulous! Rocky rescued me on many occasions and was there in the end to take a boat anchor of a computer away for me. He's been there when I yelled "help!". Thanks Rocky!!!
I think I better stop because I'd be up all night thanking everyone, so I'll do a blanket thank you to everyone at Duncan, my family, friends and to my off-site friends (oh, I just have to send a shout-out to Pattie Donham Wilkinson - PattieWack - she was the one who told me way back when that Fresno was my landing pad - after a couple months she changed and said it was my launching pad - I found a picture of a rocket blasting off that said 'blast off' on it that I saw every day when I walked out my door.) Thanks for being there (there has been several places the last 3+ years...)

So, for a month I frantically packed boxes, threw stuff away, worked full time, went to Goodwill with things I knew would no longer work in my life and last weekend my brother and I packed me up and moved me over to Paradise (my bro's word).

So, I have been painting and and making the cottage my new home. I have lots of things to fix and lots of things to do - after I painted, I noticed I got some light sage green paint on the cottage cheese ceiling - I got out my Aleene's True Snow and dabbed it over the green paint and it was gone! Love it!
I look forward to keeping you updated on my blog letting you in on the secrets to 'small space living', exciting crafts and life's little adventures.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Local Television Appearances
Cheryl Ball and I appeared last week on a local morning TV show as the Still Crafty After 50 ladies doing recycling/retro projects using up those things we have laying around - we arrived at 5 a.m. and left after 10!!! What a fun, exhausting and exciting day!

The projects I created and demonstrated are below.

They asked us back for the next week, but it takes a lot of work before we even step in front of the cameras so we begged off. We are going back for nine more segments next week. The melted record projects were such a hit, we're featuring records and album covers on next week's show! We're making an album cover serving tray, melting records to create a bill organizer for your desk, jewelry, a record birdfeeder - and other things I can't remember at the moment. We will have the how-to instructions up for those next week.

Keep those records spinning...
Stacked Stuff

What You Need
Plates, candlesticks, bowls, etc.
Liquid Fusion adhesive
Glass cleaner and paper towels

How to Make It
1. Stack pieces for desired look.
2. Clean pieces.
3. Apply glue where pieces come together, following glue instructions. Let dry.
4. Clean with a damp sponge. Do not submerge in water.

Eyeglass Jewelry

I Can See Clearly Now Jewelry

What It Takes
Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue
Brush, ½” wide
Pen, gold permanent - optional
Glass cleaner and paper towels
Magazines, tissue paper or fabric for backing
Pin backs, self adhesive or thread to go through screw hole of frame

How to Make It
1. If desired, remove lenses from frames. NOTE: For necklace, break the frame in half and take out screw to remove side piece.
2. Choose desired word – cut from magazine or print on printer.
3. Clean lenses.
4. Brush glue on back of lens. Place word face down on lens. Place tissue, fabric or magazine image on glue side to cover. Let dry.
5. Closely cut around edge of lens. If desired, go around edge of lens with permanent pen.
6. For pin, remove paper backing from pin back and apply to back of lens.
7. For necklace, place thread through screw hole. Cut thread desired length and tie ends together.

Record Fountain, Cake Plate and Bowl

Get Those Old Records Off the Shelf

You can make a ton of projects with old records!!! From fountains, to cupcake plates to room dividers!!! Here's the basics...

Record Bowl

What You Need
1 Record
Pie plate
Gloves, cotton
Liquid Fusion adhesive
Flat item about 2” in diameter (plastic, metal or glass – this is used to cover the hole in the record)
Hot pads

How to Make It
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Turn pie plate upside down. Place record on top. Place in oven for 3-5 minutes. Ovens vary so keep an eye on it. Record is ready when pliable.
3. Wearing gloves and using hot pads, remove from oven and place record inside pie plate to form. Let set until hard. It won’t take very long.
4. Glue flat objects over hole in record. Let dry.

Check out Cheryl Ball (from our old Aleene's Creative Living days) and my Get Those Old Records Off the Shelf ebook for tons of ideas to use old records!

Spray Paint Silhouettes

Stunning Silhouettes
Here's a quick gift or a unique home dec accent. You can also do a person's silhouette -the how-to is below...

What You Need
Self-adhesive shelf paper
Spray paint, desired color to accent colors in plate
Straight pin
Silhouette (see step 2 below)

How to Make It
1. Wash plate.
2. Choose silhouette. For a person, use a light to project profile on wall and trace on paper or find interesting silhouettes on the internet. Print silhouette to fit plate and it’s perfectly OK to have the silhouette go off edge.
3. Cut around edge of silhouette. Trace on paper side of shelf paper. There are two ways to cut the silhouette and each has a totally different look – you can get a positive or a negative image depending on how you cut out the stencil. To cover up a certain area of the plate, carefully out on the outside of the lines – the bird plate is an example of this cutting technique. To have an image in a certain area and you want the paint not to cover the rest of the plate, cut out on the inside of the lines – an example is the butterfly.
4. Remove backing from shelf paper and place on plate. Go around all edges of the stencil with your fingernail. Place plate on newspaper.
5. Prepare spray paint per instructions on can. Spray lightly from side to side of plate. Spray until desired color is achieved. Let dry.
6. Carefully remove the shelf paper with a straight pin.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Still Crafty After 50
Cheryl Ball and I were on one of our local TV stations today with 9 recycling segments. There was plenty of prep work before our arrival at 5 a.m. this morning. Throughout the five hour show we teased, chatted, crafted and even got on camera doing stretches. I am soooooo tired!!!

We've been back at work for not even an hour and we've already gotten word that they want us back - GULP! next week for 9 new segments...

My favorite was making a fountain out of old records - it only takes 3-5 minutes for a record to melt in your oven at 200 degrees. Here's the link - it's the recycle material video

Or here's the same project on youtube

Another favorite project was silhouettes on plates - the instructions will be up soon!

Check out our Get Those Old Records Off the Shelf ebook for tons of ideas to use old records!