Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Simple Craft

        During Easter as I was decorating my table I had an idea. Well more like a great HGTV memory of a craft I saw on The Carol Duvall Show. Gosh I sure do miss the craft shows they use to show daily.Now it's all decorating and landscaping, and that's fine but WHAT HAPPEN TO THE CRAFT SHOWS!! Okay well back to the subject.
They're little hats or bonnets that are made from Styrofoam cups.I love this simple silly craft idea because there's really nothing much to buy. The first time I made these was for a ladies luncheon at our church many,many years ago as small place markers.
I had the cups and besides acrylic paint and trinkets for trim the only other thing you need is an oven.Now what I couldn't remember was the exact temperature to set the oven. I do remember it was a low temp.....just not sure how low. So I just thought I would wing it.
I decided to use small cups because I really wanted to make tiny little bonnets. I do realize I probably damaged the ozone layer with this craft while they were melting,but they really are too cute when their finished. You just place them on a piece of foil on a cookie sheet,and then simply stick them in the oven. I set my oven at 275F to start. Then after a while I decided it was taking way too long so I turned it up to 325F.
Watching them shrink and curl is so funny. Reminds me of working with Shrinky Dinks plastic,which is an amazing craft product. It's hard to believe that it will ever turn out right as it flips and flops and curls up while melting in the oven. Now these don't flip near as much but it is the same concept.
I set a cup in the middle to show how much they shrink.These are the small cups.
When they are finally finished they set up rock hard. You can paint them and then add some bling. You can hot glue ribbon,tiny feathers and beads. Make them as fancy and elegant as you want,or just leave them simple and plain. You're only limited by your imagination. Have fun and go crazy. If you have girls in your life this would be great craft to do together. A real Fancy Nancy moment.

Hat photo for creative ideas

A couple of them almost looked like tall pilgrim hats.So I decided to set a few aside to finish for next Thanksgiving.

photo of actual hat to use as example of how to decorate.

That's the fun part you never know how they will turn out. The shape is almost always different.

Again just an photo for example of how to decorate your hat

They would be great as favors for parties, like Easter,Mother's Day or even Derby parties( that's big here). Since I don't have any little girls in my world, I did wonder if they would work as a doll hat.

I did use one once on a birthday present instead of a gift bow....and it was adorable.
A thought did just occur to me as I type this....what a cute Christmas ornament they would be painted black or gray to look like Frosty the Snowman's hat.Or the hat from Dr Seuss Cat in the Hat.
So many ideas from such a simple and inexpensive product. I wish I had actually finished a few of these to show you just how cute they turn out. But as usual the ole ADD kicked in and I moved on to another idea. It's a wonder I get anything done around here....hahaha!
Give them a try and let me know what creative ideas you come up with.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Here's To Summer

         The world didn't come to an end, so now I have to get busy and finish my two orders hahaha! As I have said before and doggone it I'm saying it again....there's never enough time to do all that I need to do! Okay I'm sorry, but there are days when I feel like one of those guys we use to watch on the Ed Sullivan Show who would spin plates. Please tell me I'm not the only one who remembers this. I can still hear the music....a fast,crazy,almost blood pressure rising kind of tempo. You just knew a plate was going to crash any second!
I seem to get one plate back up and spinning and wouldn't you just know it, there are two more starting to wobble. Working full time,having an Etsy shop, and a blog can be a real balancing act some weeks.Throw in family time, and holidays and house work and before you know it, there's a floor full of broken to speak.

Believe me I am not complaining,in some ways I enjoy it. I am also very thankful for my Etsy shop, I'm just stating a fact of my life. I guess we all do a balancing act of some sort in our daily lives.I often wonder though how everyone else does it. Any secrets,or tips you might want to share with this blog newbie?

What keeps me sane right now is hoping this dreary,and sometimes violent rainy season we have been suffering through will end soon. This has been a crazy Spring season,and I know it has effected farmers which in turn will effect our food prices. I am usually not a hot weather person, but with all of this flooding and tornado's I am ready for Summer.

I think we all dream of lazy days under a shade tree sipping lemonade. With fingers crossed I hope to squeeze in a day here and there to do just that. As my Mom use to tell me "Take some time to enjoy your life, the chores will sit and wait for your return" And low and behold they always do!!

So on the subject of Lemonade or at least a subject in the citrus family.... I wanted to share a recipe I found yesterday on Face Book. It comes from a blog called The Lettered Cottage,and the recipe is Key Lime Cake.Oh my goodness does it look yummy! It just screams Summertime! I just have to make this cake for our Memorial weekend get-together.

Actually the whole blog is yummy. I spent so much time there looking around instead of sewing or folding laundry. I found so many beautiful photos and ideas,and even a magazine that they publish. I of course had to become a follower so that I can regularly see all of their ideas.The blog belongs to a darling little couple,Kev and Layla Palmer. It's an interior design blog and they call it their playground. I just love it and I bet you will too!
You can also become a fan of theirs on Face Book.......which is another area of my life I have so little time to enjoy....sigh.
I am always so happy when I am able to spend a little time and visit my blog friends.That time,as brief as it may be,can sure feel like I'm relaxing and sipping an ice cold glass of lemonade under a shade tree.
So here's my lemonade toast.......may we all enjoy long, peaceful summer days, and star twinkling warm summer nights,with many little visits in blogland along the way...CHEERS!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

An Young Artist To Remember

         A couple of months ago I found a wonderful artist on Etsy.I do realize that isn't a difficult job considering all of the incredible talent out there. But this artist's work was different from many of the others. I found him because he had posted a question on an Etsy team page, asking for advice. I was instantly intrigued and decided to check out his shop.
His shop is called pattebery and the artist's name is Preston Attebery,and the best part is he's only 15. On my first visit to his shop I fell in love with one his drawings in particular.This drawing of a butterfly instantly captured my attention. I just knew it would look great at our weekend cabin. I sent him a message and told him I would like to feature him on my blog,and would he mind. He was excited and after several conversations about his work he sent me some information about himself and his art.
A free gift card that was sent with my order.An original piece of his work

He told me to tell in his bio that he lives in Atlanta and is in high school. He says he sketches when God inspires him with an idea. He goes on to say, that most of his Saturday's are filled with following his passion of sketching.

I was absolutely thrilled when I received my order. In the package he included a free note card which was just beautiful,and a charming informational paper all about himself and his shop. The professional attention to detail is where he sets himself apart from other artists I've seen.
A bio paper about himself he included with my order

I was so impressed with his business card

Most of his work is done using felt tip markers, pencils,and pastels.I love the stark contrast of the black of the edges of the butterfly with the softness of the flower.
Preston also one day hopes to open his own brick and mortar shop as he puts it. He really wants to be able to combine a coffee shop with an art gallery. A relaxing artistic atmosphere,where people can come and visit with friends. Enjoy a cup of coffee while surrounded with art,like pastries for your eyes....and lo-cal too.
I have no doubt that he will achieve this and more one day.

This motorcycle sketch is one of his favorites, as well as mine. I love the angles and how he does the sketch in a rather zoomed in and up close view of the subject. Today I found in his shop another example of his amazing talent with this sketch of a baseball. Using everyday, ordinary items and turning them into a fine piece of art, reminds me of an Andy Warhol piece of art.

 I love to see a young person who has a entrepreneurial spirit. At age 15 to have the courage to open an online shop,put himself out there,and sell his work.Now that's a person not only with artistic talent but a strong business sense. I truly believe that Preston Attebery is an artist to keep an eye on. I think he has a great future ahead of him in the business of art! I certainly look forward to seeing what the future holds for him.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Good Time For A Good Cause

Now this is how you support your sister!
 This years Triumph Gala was a great success and a great time!  Considering today's economy I believe makes this year success even greater. It was mentioned that ticket sales were down this year. I hope it wasn't by a lot. It didn't look like it was,but I do know when the economy is down charities suffer the most. Guests arrived in their finest. Everyone was ready to have fun and spend some money.

This year they were able to gather some fun and unusual donations for the silent auction. Everyone enjoys that part of the event. I know getting donations is becoming a huge challenge every year. Many businesses are feeling the pinch and these dang gone fuel prices aren't helping at all.

While some companies didn't respond at all to their request,some were more than generous with their donations.One donation in particular was very much appreciated and admired by everyone.

Tanya from Bead and Needle sent me the mostly beautiful Swarovski crystal heart necklace. I fell in love with the one she was so kind to send to a young girl who had suffered a house fire and had lost everything but her prom gown.

This little gal was speechless when we took it to her.I told her the only cost for this gift was to pass the kindness and generosity forward. She said she would,and I know she really meant it.

Tanya was so kind and thoughtful to send a donation of one in white and pink Swarovski crystals for our silent auction. There are 73 crystals in all in each necklace. These photos do not do them justice they are absolutely beautiful and they sparkle...which is my main passion!I must say it went for about 3 times what she sells them for........awesome! I spoke to the lady who won the bid and she was thrilled! Thank You so much Tanya!!
Please go and visit her blog and her Etsy shop. She is a very talented and generous lady. Though we've never met I am glad to say we have become friends through our blogs.

The music was great! The food was delish!And the quieter jazz room with chocolate dessert bar was worth putting my Spanx to the ultimate stretch test!

But the very best part was being with family and friends and knowing that so many people will benefit from this evening of that's worth partying for!

On another topic, a totally unrelated topic. If you read my last post about our traditional Derby bet,then you will understand why we did indeed stop over to rub our oldest grandson's head( I guess he's our lucky charm). I told my husband I really thought the name Animal Kingdom was my choice because of our family trip to Disney World. He said he really like Nehro and that he would bet at least 2.00 on him.

The sad and depressing news is we didn't make it to the track to actually place the bet. Had we Animal Kingdom would have paid 64.40 for a 2.00 bet. So I am now crying as I write this because had we bet them both in an exacta it would have paid out 327.00 on a 2.00 bet! We now have a perfect "The one that got away story"!And boy did it ever!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Run For The Roses

Calvin Borel wins his first Kentucky Derby.
This Saturday May 7, 2011 will be 137 Kentucky Derby which is held in Louisville Kentucky. The oldest continuous sporting event in the United States.The first Derby took place on May 17,1875.It really is an event centered around the glamor and tradition of Kentucky horse farms.
For most women however it's a day that's all about the hat. There are mixed opinions about which comes first the hat or the dress. Either way the hat plays a very important role in attending The Derby or The Oaks. I do love hats, on other women, their just not for me. I do love to see women wearing hats. You just don't see them worn much anymore ,and they do bring a certain charm to the day.
 The Derby is to me like a step back in time.What I don't like is in some ways it still has a strong class division with only the wealthy being able to enjoy most aspects of the event. I told a friend once who came to visit that it reminded me of the Titanic where the poor were placed down in the bottom of the ship. This is similar to how the Derby is today,if you're not wealthy you will never have access to many of the festivities.
I laugh when I remember Calvin Borel giving the Queen a hug

Even if you wanted to spend the outrageous dollars on tickets to the event there really aren't any available.These are held by large companies or handed down in families,but are not available to the average person. Oh you could go and pitch a chair in the infield area,but that can be rather wild and crazy,and there is no way to see the track. So for me I'd rather watch it on TV. Once we went to an off track place where you can place your bets and watch the race on a television.....believe me it just doesn't have the same bling!
A few years ago I accompanied my husband who was working behind the scenes monitoring the many generators his company had placed at the track. We had a great time,and I actually got to see the horses up close and personal as they ran. It is an incredible sight to see,the size of the horses, the intense power of them fighting for position and the brilliant colors of the jockey's silks.

The other fun part of the Derby is picking a winning horse. There are all sorts of superstitions about picking a winner.Some people believe in only betting on a gray horse. Many will only bet on a jockey,or a certain trainer, or only on a Kentucky born and bred horse.There is a strong school of thought that the name of a horse will speak to you, and that is the best way to win big.

We use a much stronger more scientific approach,we rub the top of the head of our oldest grandson and then ask him what he likes. It has paid off about as often as any of there other method. But one thing we have learned for sure,is never ever change your mind as you walk up to place your bet,because that will backfire on you every time.
So glad my Dad felt healthy enough to be able to come.

Several years ago we won a Day at the Downs from the silent auction at the first Triumph Gala. I will never tell what we paid for this. Because once we put a bid down on an item it becomes the challenge of the night to make sure we win.

We set up our day on a Sunday in November because that has been a traditional time for my Father and I to take each other to Sunday brunch at Churchill Downs, for our November birthdays. You know a private joke of I'll buy yours and you can buy mine...well we get a big belly laugh out of it!

We got to experience a tiny bit of what a horse owner must get to enjoy each time. We were allowed to be in the paddock area as the horses were brought out.

We were able to watch the race in a special area up front and on the fence. At the end of the race we were taken to the winners circle,but not the winners circle of The Kentucky Derby,that is only used for the Derby,just one time each year.

After the photos were taken we were presented with a trophy with our company name. It was such a great day and worth every dollar we spent to be able to create such a fun and lasting memory.
So I'm on my way to the kids house to give our grandson head a good rub. You never know where $2.00 can take you.....perhaps Millionaires Row,oh who am I kidding!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Rainy Season

          Spring has arrived and so has the rainy season with a vengeance. Here in the Kentuckiana (that's southern Indiana and northern Kentucky)area we are use to flooding in the spring but this year has been unbelievable. As I've talked about before I work for my son's construction company,Will'z Construction and Remodeling. I'm not sure I've ever mentioned that he also has a sister company called Restrotech Disaster Services Inc which does the obvious.....disaster work. We pump out basements and repair/replace roofs as well as mold remediation,and fire.....and the ever popular sewage clean-up. We have on occasion I hate to say have done clean-up after a suicide/murder. These are not pleasant jobs but they are jobs that have to be done. Boy could I write a novel about my day job!

These last two weeks have been absolutely insane with calls for emergency services.Never enough time or enough people to cover it all.We all have been running on empty.....actually now I think I'm running on fumes.
On top on the storms my son saw an opportunity to acquire a flooring store and quickly remodeled our existing shop and added a flooring show room. Like I didn't already have enough on my plate GEZ!! Friday was our Grand Opening and it was very successful.
I must admit this really wasn't what I had intended to write about.I wanted to share that our Easter was wonderful. We were lucky enough to have a break in the weather so our confetti egg war was a huge success. I am still sweeping up tiny remnants of confetti all over the house. This will continue for a while I must say.
This was our nieces first time and I think she looks ready!

The bad thing was we had a limited area due to flooding near the creek.

I worried that I didn't have enough eggs for everyone,but it seemed to work out just fine. I don't believe anyone left without some "Luck" in their hair. They say a confetti egg cracked on your head will bring you good luck in the up coming year......lots of lucky people left that day Ha Ha!
Spreading the good luck!
Our grandson Preston was so worried that we wouldn't get to have the egg hunt/war that he told Papa he nearly cried the day before. But luckily it stopped for most of the afternoon,and the kids were so excited when we started. We incorporated a few plastic eggs with surprises and money,but mostly we enjoyed whackin each other with confetti eggs.

The kids are the ones who absolutely love the hunt part more than anything.After it's over the boys still believe there must be more eggs to find.And sure enough this week after all this rain and all of these egg hunters we found quite a few plastic eggs still waiting to be found. We'll leave them and see if the boys find them on their next visit.
Most of us end up with a lot of eggshells and confetti in our.....well....hummm....our unmentionables I guess is the best way to say it.I always change into old clothes before we begin,because after all it is war!

I love this photo above. Jason is winded from running and Amy's Dad has a blue egg in his hand and is about to do a sneak attack,that sly fox. That never works for me.
Ok it's terrible photo of me,fuzzy hair and all,but check out the blue egg in the air.It misses me!
 Jason lets his Aunt have one free one and then it's war,even for the nubies

The best part of all of this wet weather was what was found during the afternoon family hike.This is only one bowl,we actually ended up with a lot more. Nearly two giant Tupperware bowl fulls. Gosh cooking and eating these sure did bring back memories of great times with my grandparents.
Thank goodness for the internet. No one could actually remember how to prepare them. Once we did, it was a fun activity that brought everyone together into the kitchen.Even the little ones loved them which was a surprise because they can be very picky eaters. Now everyone is looking forward to next years egg and mushroom/morel hunt.