Monday, March 30, 2009

Butterfly Mobile

I called it the Black Hole. When my parents built the house I'm living in back in the 1960's we had a Franklin Stove (aka metal fireplace) in the corner. They had grand ideas of using it to cook in - I remember it having a hook inside to hang a cast iron pot. I think about all we ever cooked in the stove was marshmallows. Someone along the way moved the stove to a storage building outback and what was left was the black hole where the chimney went outside.
Remember the butterfly mobile from my spring party last week? They now adorn my black hole. I glued on some silk flowers to disguise the metal band and then hung my butterflies using fishing line. Pretty inexpensive decorating!!!

A friend just called saying we're to provide dessert for a boarding meeting on Wednesday morning, so we're going to dip those magnificently huge local strawberries in white and milk chocolate tomorrow night to take to the meeting. Ahhhh...more chocolate.!

Inspired at Home Radio

With another click of the mouse!!!

I am honored to have been asked to be a guest on the Inspired at Home call-in talk show hosted by creativity experts Tiffany Windsor and Julianna Hudgins. I'll be on the radio show on Sunday, May 3rd at 4 p.m. Pacific Time talking about my new ebook Guide to Shrink Plastic!!! Oh, my gosh, the Aleene's ladies are together again! What a hoot!

It's amazing what a click of the mouse can do...a month or so ago, with the click of my mouse I committed to volunteering for the emerging Center for Obesity Prevention and Education program at Cal Poly and today, with a click of my mouse, I committed to a trip to Europe.
My high school friend lives across the street from Buckingham Palace and they'll be moving back to the states later this year, so my window of opportunity to stay with her is drawing to a close. So, May it is for just about two weeks!!! Since I've been to London a couple of time, she tells me she'll show me places tourists don't know about...can't wait!!!
A side trip to Paris or out into the countryside might be in order - we'll see how Jolly Ol' England suits me.
Hopefully we can find a craft fair or two while I'm there. The times I have been to London, there were very few craft supplies in the stores so it will be interesting to see how things have changed.
Thanks KPH for offering to be my hotel and tour guide. It isn't pizza on a Friday night at the local pizza parlor after a high school football game...
Happy trails,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Party Ideas

Celebrate Spring, Mother's Day, Garden Party, Any Kind of Party You'd Like!

The parties over...and what a party it was! The favors / name'cards' were little tins I bought at Michaels, placed a pansy plants, added a little multi-color Easter grass to hide the soil and if you look real close, I made little shrink plastic butterflies as picks - I used a heat gun - it was so fun and easy! I used the same photo I used to make the mobile, just made it smaller. Later, I added the names to each tin.

The butterfly mobile looks perfect and added a special touch.

What's a garden / spring party without strawberries??? I am VERY fortunate to live in a farming community, so I picked up these beauties on the way to the party site.

I started my strawberry topiary with a cabbage. I priced a Styrofoam ball, but it was so expensive. I later gave the cabbage to my sister for cabbage soup. The topiary is super easy - just place toothpicks in the cabbage and then stick on the strawberrys. I added a little flag that I'd made from fun foam.

I was very happy how the veggie topiary turned out. Everything from carrots, to onions, to cucumbers were used. It was so pretty the guests didn't want to eat it.

Guests were greeted with bubbles - I found blueberry and lemon scented bubbles at my local dollar store - perfect for my spring theme!

My friend's home was perfect for my party - here are succulents by the front door - they are incredible!!!

Everything was set-out for the guests to make cookbooks.
Favors - I found these adorable butterfly cookies at Wal-Mart. They came in different colors and even flowers for only $1.

I had my sister and nephew over for dinner tonight for leftovers. Here's a quicker way to serve strawberries - I placed them in a pot and placed some Easter grass around the base.
Thank you, Mary Clare, for letting me use your home and your continued friendship!!! You are an amazing woman!!!
Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Party Prep

Butterfly Mobile
The mobile is made from my own photo, but you can use clip art.
What You'll Need
Photo or clipart
Aleene's Crystal Clear Tacky Spray
Computer / Printer
1/8" Paper punch
Fishing line
How to Make It
1. Print two butterflies, making one image reverse. I enlarged mine to fit on an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper.
2. Protect your work surface with newspaper. Following instructions on can of Tacky Spray, apply on one side of butterfly image. Smooth on posterboard. Cut out loosely around butterfly. Apply Tacky Spray to reverse image butterfly. Carefully line up image on opposite side of butterfly on posterboard.
3. Cut out closely around butterfly.
4. Punch a hole at top of each wing tip and top center of head.
5. Cut desired length of fishing line to go from wing to wing, including enough length to hang freely. Cut another piece half that length. Thread longest piece of fishing line through one hole in wing and knot. Repeat on other wing. Thread second piece of fishing line through hole in head and knot. Tie all fishing line together forming a loop to hang, adjusting length of fishing line so butterfly hangs as if flying.
6. Hang where desired from loop.

Let's Celebrate Spring!

Let the Party Prep Begin!!!

I have been anticipating a party / dinner I'm hosting for months! We're a cooking group and the person hosting the dinner does EVERYTHING from drinks to dessert. The group is an offshoot of the newcomers club I joined when I moved to Morro Bay last August - I have met the most awesome and friendly people!
It is my month to host a dinner party and since my house is so tiny a friend very generously offered her home. The party is Friday night and I'm going to share creativity with my non-crafting friends. They don't know it yet - they think they're coming to a nice, quiet dinner.
Last month, someone mentioned we should have a cookbook to hold all of the recipes, so, being the crafter I am - we're scrapbooking a cookbook - I've done a bit of the prep work and kept the design super easy! I was inspired by my friend Pattie's new book, Cookbooking that you can find on
I have lots of other ideas to share over the next couple of days - a butterfly mobile that will hang from the chandelier over the table, vegie and fruit topiaries, beaded spreaders (another creative projects we'll be making) and some of my recipes.
It's time to celebrate Spring!



I know I've said in the past that I LOVE Facebook. Today reaffirmed that - I received a friend request from someone I lost contact with 10 years ago. We worked together at Aleene's and our last Christmas together, she made everyone in the department awesome pots and planted a ficus tree in each one. Almost ten years later, mine is still growing and the pot looks fabulous! I have been wanting to get in contact with her to share how her generosity still goes on and how much I appreciated her being in my life...thank, my friend, for contacting me!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I NEVER know where I'll find creative things...
I was surprised to walk into an office on the Cal Poly campus last week and there was a clock made from a flipper - amazing! I had to laugh.
Another creativity sighting - I walk the beach a lot and was surprised to see a bit of the sand dunes fenced off. The fence is to protect the Snowy Plover I found out. Along the fence were many posters drawn by local children showing their support for the endangered bird.
The kitchen photo is just a pretty kitchen - another surprising place though - it was at a garden center.
I am busily preparing for a dinner party on Friday - my camera is in the shop, but I thankfully found out today that it's a $20 fix instead of the $250 send it off to the manufacturer's fix they thought it would be. I have some exciting food and craft products I'll be sharing - the attendees to the party are not crafters and they do not know they will be crafting. It will definitely be interesting.
Anticipate warmer days!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Crafting in London

A friend, I will be visiting in London soon, posted about her crafting adventure today where she participated in a wonderful fundraising idea. Here it is:

The Marie Curie Cancer Society had a table set up with card making stuff. You could sit down and make a card which was put in an envelope and then sold by the society to raise funds for cancer research. The cards were selling for £1 each. Only had to decorate the outside of the card, insides were all blank.

Thanks for sharing, Kathy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Guide to Shrink Plastic by Joan Martin Fee


I really must send out a great big, huge thank you to Andrea Garcia. If it weren't for her coming to visit when she was a very small girl, many, many years ago, I know I wouldn't be where I am today!!!

Andrea and her dad came to visit for a weekend and while my then husband and Andrea's dad visited, Andrea and I played with her paper dolls for hours, but we kept getting frustrated when her accessories wouldn't stay on. That set my creative mind into over-drive and I came up with Dress-Up Dolly made from Aleene's Shrink-It plastic and then I applied Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over (it's an adhesive that lets you place things, remove them and place them over and over) to the backs of all of the accessories so they would stay on and then could be taken off when we wanted.

From there, the rest is a fabulous creative history. I submitted the idea for the Sharing portion of the Aleene's Creative Living Television Show and to my surprise I was asked to demonstrate how to make Dolly on the television show.

Here's Aleene, me and Tiffany on the set of Aleene's Creative Living Television Show the day I taped Dress-Up Dolly.

From there I did hundreds of segments on Aleene's, became the Instruction Coordinator editing all of the craft project instructions and eventually became the Aleene's Creative Living Magazine and Book Editor.

I have taken all of those experiences and created a Guide to Shrink Plastic ebook and a how-to video.

Check out the Guide to Shrink Plastic ebook at - it's 58 pages of exciting shrink plastic projects, instructions and full-size patterns. You can download it right from the site, so there's no waiting to get going on your shrink plastic projects.

The cake decorations are one of my all-time favorite shrink plastic projects.

The video shows you how easy creating with shrink plastic is and it also gives you a little tease as to some of the projects in the ebook.

Happy Shrinking!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patty's Day

Happy Saint Patty's Day!!!

There was quite a bit of wearing of the green in my exercise class this morning and my friend was feeling a little 'green' so we didn't go for our usual walk on the beach. It's a fabulous day on the Central Coast - looks like it's over 70 degrees!!! I wish I was outside enjoying the great weather, but I'm working on a Shrink Plastic video, that I just about have done, to go along with my ebook!!! I'll let you know, hopefully later today, where you can see the video and find the ebook.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Creative World
Here are some quick shots from my cell phone camera. The clay pots make a dynamic wall at a local nursery - rebar held everything in place!

Bottle caps decorate a mailbox in my neighborhood.

Being a farm girl, I was intrigued by this cotton boll wreath at a local shop.

How about a car bumper on a fence as a planter?

Creativity IS everywhere!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Down on the Farm

I call this one A Peek into the Past - that's the 50+ year old family tractor taken through an opening in the barn.

My Weekend Around the Farm
Celebrations were plentiful this weekend and that meant a trip 'home' to Lemoore. My parents have a 40 acre farm there and it's always a treat for me to take my camera and roam the area. My mom has sent out a search party for me in the past to make sure I was OK since I was gone for so long.
It was my mom's birthday on Friday and my nephew turned the big 13 on Monday!!! With my sister and sister-in-law now working, it's mighty hard to coordinate anything family these days. I organized dinner for my mom using old family favorite recipes. I thought I'd be in the kitchen to coordinate, but my bro, nephew and I got involved in taking out roses in my parent's front yard. It's something my mom has wanted done for many years and it just never got done. When it came right down to it, we only took out half of the roses, then planted some flowers and added bark. Meanwhile, dinner preparations were going on in the kitchen and I had to make a couple of phone calls to ask someone to start a couple of the dishes while my brother and I were out buying bark in a nearby town to finish-up the yard project. Chaotic, but we got the project done and we had a nice dinner.
My sister and I got in a nice long walk and on the way back decided to hesitantly swing on the rope swing down at the canal. It was fabulous!!! They could hear us screaming down the street!!! Now, we can't wait to try it when there's water in the canal.
I'm off to see the movie Taken tonight. Not as light-hearted as New in Town last week - that was so cute! If you're a scrapper, you have to see it!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Marlene Watson

If you watched even one segment of Aleene's Creative Living Television Show, then you know Marlene Watson. She appeared on hundreds, if not thousands of segments. I wanted to pass along that Marlene had a stroke and is home recovering. She’s using a walker to get around, but is in overall good health otherwise. If you'd like to send Marlene well-wishes, please email them to me and I will make sure she gets them. My email address is in the upper sidebar.

Make it a fantastic day!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Flowers and Friends

Flowers from Central Coast Flowers & Design
My salad bowl from Ron's Nursery
Delightful Saturday

A friend and I had been planning Saturday for quite some time. Try and get three busy ladies together - it's tough! The day finally arrived and it was fun celebrating a monumental birthday for my friends sister.

They came over from Fresno (about a 3 hour drive) and we hit my favorite nursery - Ron's Nursery in Grover Beach, we had lunch with one of their friends (now a friend of mine!). She just opened a florist shop in Pismo Beach - it's called Central Coast Flowers & Design - it's the cutest shop. It's been in business for 60+ years and we met the original owner who still lives behind the shop. Elisabeth is adding all kinds of beautiful creative things - her husband makes amazing tables and chairs from metal and many other things - he recently won a contest for making a chair out of a wine cork and the wire around the cork - it had to be less than 4". It was truly amazing!!! They've only been open for 2 months, so I can't wait to see where they take the shop.

Friday was a 2-1/2 hour long meeting at the Center for Obesity Prevention and Education. We're laying the framework for the big symposium in October - I am so amazed at the talent, enthusiasm and ideas the team has come up with.

I was super busy last week working on a new shrink plastic book. I'm trying something new - I'm doing it in an e-book format so it's download right then and there. More details later this week when I have it posted. I'm up to 60 pages so far!!!

My week is already shaping up to be super busy! Tonight is Chick Flicks and dinner - we're seeing New in Town. I'm planning my Gourmet Dinner Group menu and creative activities, I have to have some papers notarized (mental list - find notary today!), it's also newsletter week for my newcomers club, board meeting, exercise classes, a hair cut, my moms birthday, a shrink plastic video on YouTube and my nephew's birthday party in Hanford.

Meanwhile, I'm nursing a pinched nerve. It started last weekend and I truly thought I had a kidney infection, but after being in pain all week, I saw the doctor and she diagnosed me. Ibuprofen doesn't help the pain, but she told me to use ice. It doesn't seem any better and it is aggravated by sitting and guess who's been sitting way too much at the computer lately. Hmmm...maybe it's time to get out and move a little more. Must finish book...

Looks like I'd better get busy!