Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Summer That I Was Ten-

"The summer that I was ten-
Can it be there be there was only one
summer that I was ten? It must
have been a long one then-"

Quote by May Swenson (1919-1995), U.S. poet.

I found this perfect quote for some ATCs I was working on, then got stumped into figuring out where, exactly, was I the summer I was ten? We moved a lot when I was young, and so the best I could come up with was I spent parts of that summer in Yakima, Wash and Fairfield, Wash. The first picture above is the summer I was ten. I'm sitting on our porch in Yakima with my friend. (I'm on the right, and I don't remember my friend's name.) But actually where I lived didn't matter, when I was a kid. The big memorable aspect of that year was that I formed a little darling "club" called the 5 and 10 Club! This club only had two members, me - the 10 year old, and Heidi - the precious 5 year old! For some reason those numbers, 5 and 10, were just so cool in my brain and I had to celebrate our ages with a club. At that time there were already seven children in our family, so for me to single out little Heidi for this club was pretty special for her. I sure wish we had more pictures of our childhood! I'd love one of this club!

Other memories I have about being 10 include the antique wrecked car we had out in our wild back yard! Oh that was fun to play in, and drive! Also, amazingly, I remember that being the year I got excited about studying clouds! That's a great summer memory: being outside with nothing much to do but appreciate the glorious clouds of central Washington. I remember the irrigation creek running through our property (we could NOT drink from that water, and I had no idea why!).... my pen pals.... the paths we trampled in the tall weeds to make trails....the little worms dangling down from the green apple tree....the bees.... the neighbor boy who would bravely hold a bee...the mosquitoes, and the times I watched closely as the mosquito bit me with that long pipe out of its mouth...the piano, the trumpet, the records blaring, the singing and dancing with all the kids....lots of just playing with kids, each other and friends. The one secret game I played with one of my brothers was "Little Lost Children". On a warm summer night, when no one wanted to play kick-the-can any more, we'd go out and just walk slowly around the outside the house, pretending, being somber, maybe snacking on some dinner leftovers. Oh, the summer I was ten. What a great age to be a kid! And I'll never forget sitting with little Heidi, our backs against her bedroom wall, planning and playing in our sweet "5 and 10 Club."

All these memories came because I couldn't resist entering the Brown Paper Bag ATC swap on Swap-Bot! There's been so much excitement around here lately in the paper bag department, I thought I'd prolong it! Our challenge was to make ATCs using brown paper bags in some way. So, here are my 2 sets of ATCs for my 2 partners. We were only required to make one card for each partner, but I was just having so much fun making little cards today, that I made each lady two. I hope they like them! The photo I chose is used with permission from Playing With Brushes' Flickr site. The retro girl with the chicks is actually a playing card Heidi sent me! The cute dress is from an original dress made by Heidi. Paper bags were fun to use in these cards, and seemed inspirational and unlimited in their usefulness in these cards.

The last picture shows the album I am working on for my daughter, Erica. Here she is on the cover with her new kitten, Sugar Baby! This album is by K & Company, and I'm keeping all pages coordinated with the gentle colors in the paper pad by Brenda Walton. So far I've finished 9 pages and I'm up to the summer of her 3rd grade!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Joyful Art!

Yesterday my sis Heidi sent me an email with the link to the Joyful Art Challenge at "Playing With Brushes"' Flickr site. A challenge, you say? Oh dear. I just had to participate. The idea was to use the photo of this darling little girl in some altered art project! (My first 3 pictures showed what I made.) I had just learned to make pin-wheel looking fans, so chose that idea for one picture. I gave it to my daughter last night, and she was so surprised! Oh, I'm still kind of in the paper bag mood, too, so began another paper bag album with the other! This album, once I finish it, will be a very special album for a special person! I challenge YOU, to enter this Joyful Art dare!

Also, this sure has been a great mail week! Everyone knows some of the more rewarding things to do online include not only blogging and email, but also ordering from Ebay and Etsy, and participating in swaps! Because then, you get REAL mail!!! I've recently ordered 7 different items from Etsy, the handmade store, and just love all of them! First, I needed a special baby gift for the daughter of a close friend. So I ordered one of Heidi's gorgeous signs "Always Kiss Me Goodnight" from her Etsy shop. It's such a sweet and sentimental saying for a new little girl, and Heidi somehow puts such caring and love into each sign! Truthfully, when the sign arrived already gift wrapped and ready to go, I didn't open it before I gave it to baby Ava. So I'm just showing a picture Heidi has listed. I was happy and proud to give this special sign as a gift. And I know the new mother loved it, because not only did she send her warmest and sincere thanks, she did it within 2 days of receiving the gift!!! That's pretty thankful for a sleep-deprived new mother!

I also ordered some tags from Mary Ann's Etsy shop. Some? How about about 55 of them (for only $3.50!) I just feel like she practically gave me her own dear collection! I love the variety in this group, many vintage, and all different and so interesting. I tried to picture some of my favorites. What a fun box she sent them in, too. It was an old, old game box from "Lotto". Has anyone played that, let's say in the 50s or 60s?

Just yesterday, I received my Paper Bag Album Swap from my sweet Swap-Bot partner! Hurray, more great mail! Her name is Kathleen (aka "Angel Faery") and she lives in New Zealand. She made me this super charming scrapbook, full of fabulous vintage pictures! She included pictures that matched my family and pets! Oh, this is so delightful! She actually used white paper bags, so it has a lighter look to it. I really do treasure this amazing album, and look forward to picking out special pictures to put in it.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Here's the prizes I won from Heidi's blog giveaway for her "Artful Blogger Party". (Everyday Cookies) I was actually her second place winner, since the first person she drew never came forward with her email address and Heidi couldn't locate her. From my perspective, I WON!!! And look and the fabulous pouch of goodies Heidi put together for me! Various vintage playing cards, vintage Bingo boards, game letters, flash cards, buttons, rick rack, adorable vintage pictures from books, oh my - feathers, little envelopes, and more! But MY OH MY! Heidi made me two of the most beautiful and special tags I've ever seen! I just love the vintage girl she cut from one of those playing cards, added fabric, ribbon, glitter, dictionary page and a button. So sweet! The other tag shows how she used one of those envelopes with a hand made mini-postcard, rick rack and a vintage flower. Heidi is just so creative and generous! She's quite something in her craftiness, and let me tell you: she's not afraid to use her sewing machine! (I almost left out the best part!) The bottom of the little girl's skirt in the tag is embellished with rows of zig zag stitching! So very C*O*O*L!!!!

Thank you very much Heidi! That was a mighty fun, powerful, electrifying *SPARK* in my engine today!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Jammin' It Up

Yesterday was such an exciting day! My darling niece, Jessica, and her boyfriend, Jordan, dropped by for lunch and a visit! They are in town just for 2 days, down from Oregon. The main purpose of their trip was to go to the San Francisco Giant's game last night! (Jordan is a semi-pro pitcher.) My daughter and her boyfriend went too; and somehow, with all the bidding for tickets going on at ebay - a couple were left over, so Bruce and I got to go, too!!! We had a blast riding the train up, then enjoying the beautiful stadium on a mild SF summer evening. (It doesn't matter who won, does it?)

While at my house Jessica proudly handed me the loving gifts from her mom! Heidi sent me this precious jar of raspberry jam she made from raspberries she grows! I can't believe it! All that talk all summer of her and her strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, probably blueberries too, and now I get to enjoy a jar of it! I hereby publicly thank you, Heidi, for the dear and treasured gift, so beautifully wrapped! I love your flower daisies and ribbon! I've spent much time moaning with envy, while I admire your luscious batches of berry jam, and now I get to savor one! Also, thank you for the big packet of vintage wallpaper, straight from Oregon! I will enjoy using the 3 pretty samples you sent down!

Well, we don't have berries in our yard, but we do have peaches! (Actually they could be nectarines.) Here's a sample of my second batch of jam I made this week! I just love the pretty peach color! My daughter made peach cobbler last Friday, and there isn't a more delicious dessert anywhere than warm peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream! Yum!

You may have seem my attempt at fabric yo-yo pillows in previous posts. Well, here's something new: Fabric HEART yo-yos! Something different to try! (Tutorial here.) I will certainly try this new shape! It's cool to be doing these projects that were done in the 1930s depression era: fabric yo-yos and making plenty of jam!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

8 Random Things About Me

I have accepted the dare. Here are 8 random things about me! Please laugh!

1. Last year I went to 4 different interviews wearing 4 (four!) pairs of socks so that my too-big shoes would stay on! I was also wearing 2 different kinds of shoe pads. Those shoes were too big!

2. I once made a lovely white sauce for some tuna noodle casserole for my family, AND accidentally added CAT tuna to it! I think we had to make a Taco-Bell run that night! I never was that great of a cook, but oh my!

3. A few years ago I won 3rd place at the Santa Clara County Fair in the Licorice Eating Contest! I have the ribbon, to prove it. Should I have to apologize for the fact that I love licorice? Ha!

4. Speaking of the fair, this year, while enjoying the animals, I noticed a big turkey was out of water and was pathetically pecking at his water dish. So I shared some of my bottled water with it. Later, I forgot about that and drank out of the same bottle! I'm still here, amazingly.

5. Did you know if you overcook popcorn in your microwave it'll turn into a big black brick? And smell the house horrible? Did I mention I'm not the greatest cook?

6. Oh yeah. One of the first times my daughter's boyfriend was over I had a dramatic accident. I asked him if he'd like some M&Ms, hurriedly crossed the room with a big bowl of M&Ms and tripped right as I got to him!!! Oh Dear! You guessed it, M&Ms were strewn all over the living room! What was really funny though, was the little throaty sounds he was making while helping me pick them all up but trying not to laugh at me! Guess that broke the ice between us!

7. I am the second-to-oldest of 9 children! I'll always be a "big kid". And from about Heidi on down ( number #5), will ALWAYS be "little kids"! Sometimes I give her little challenges to see if she qualifies for "big kid" status, but she still teeters right on that line.

8. Back in 1970 there was a chocolate diet aide, appetite supressing candy sold called "Aides". Once when I thought I was overweight, I bought a box of Aids - and ate the WHOLE box that night! It didn't help at all!

And if you're still not laughing, here's something I recently read in Reader's Digest, and certainly wholeheartedly agree with: "Why is it that babies are nauseated by a clean shirt?"

Surprise Collage for my Sis Heidi

Finally I can post the surprise collage I made for Heidi, of Everyday Cookies! We made each other surprises using only what was sent to us by the other person. I added the board, paint, glue and glitter but nothing more - even though I was greatly tempted! I had a blast designing this collage for Heidi! My original idea was to make a wreath shape with collage elements, but it morphed into something else. I altered some of the papers, playing cards, sheet music, and other goodies Heidi sent and came up with this collage. The little girls represent her two daughters, and of course the "M" is for her main crush (husband!) Mark! It's titled: "Walking In the Sunshine". Truthfully, I got some of my inspiration from recently doing Jenny's "bits & pieces" Collage Swap! Since I signed up for that swap, I've made a total of five collages and just love doing them!

Well, gulp, I don't have any more swaps or even art projects in the works right now! I've been working lots on a special scrapbook for my daughter, while she's away. I may post a few pictures of that in a few days. And, if I get brave enough, I'll post my "8 Things You Don't Know About Me"! But, someone has to dare me first! I work great under pressure! Take care, all!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Birthday Presents for My Sister "Sunshine"!!!

Hi All! Here's two of the gifts I gave my sweet and darling little sis "Sunshine" today at her birthday dinner! First, is the collage I designed for her, trying my best to really personalize it. It's got sort of a sweet musical theme, and you guessed it - she's a great guitarist and plays at our church every Sunday. She also loves flowers, and almost every Sunday she brings flowers to church, and frequently gives me flowers! What a sweetie! She also loves the beach, her kitty "Fluffy", and much more.

Sunshine is the one who gave me the fabric and ribbon last week, so I quickly designed and crafted this Yo-Yo pillow for her with fabric she herself picked out! I'd seen how to make yo-yos here, and just recently saw how to even make ribbon yo-yos! They're great fun! I'm showing the back of the pillow because the fabric she picked ouit has her daughter's middle name on it, "Princess Anne". She gave me lots of hugs so I think she liked what I made her.

Well, it's just my son and I for a week, while my husband and daughter are visiting Montana relatives. Boy, is it fun to cook for him! My two picky eaters are gone, and my easy-going son is getting rather spoiled here! I just made him a (homemade) double batch of one of his very favorite desserts: tapioca pudding with toasted coconut on top! Now that I'm looking at the huge bowl, it seems like a bit much! Oh well. We had homemade spaghetti for dinner, using an ONION from my little garden! We also have dozens and dozens of the best nectarines you've ever tasted. And right now, they're "tree ripe"! I'll surprise my daughter with some peach jam when she gets back.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Paper Bag Perpetual Calender from Heidi!

It's here! I got my wonderful swap exchange today from Heidi (Everyday Cookies)! Boy, was I ever surprised with what she made for me. Well, the story starts here: We decided to do a 1-on-1 swap, made difficult by limiting what was made to what was sent by the other person! So I crammed a bunch of stuff in a bag, and this is what Heidi made with it! The one exception was the other person could use 1 item of their choosing, and for that Heidi made me the paper bag album. Not just an album, but a "Special Day's" perpetual calendar! Somehow she designed the paper bags so each of the 12 pairs of bags had an opening. It has a calendar for each month in the side openings, and lots of room for cards and pictures! I just love it!!! I'm so impressed with her creativity, and the work she put into this. Thank you very much, Heidi!!! She somehow brilliantly figured out how to lay the bags flat, sew the ends, cut the other ends, and came up with 12 slots, one for each month. Study the picture, if you dare try this. Then, she crafted and sewed a gorgeous fabric case to hold the album! And it was all wrapped in pink tissue, with a tag, as well. What a special swap!!!! Unbelievable!!! I truly love this album, and will treasure it and really use it lots! Thank you very much, Heidi!!!

Also, today my son got back from a week-long trip with some friends to Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. He brought me back some cool postcards, some of them from the 60s. I loved seeing the Space Needle postcards from today and from the sixties. I lived in Seattle for 3 years as a child, so it's a very special city. One very unique postcard Nathan picked out must be from the early 1900s?? It's an embossed postcard of the "Oldest Church Tower in America", which was in Tacoma, Wash. It was sent with a one sent stamp, but the date is blurred. Can you believe my son went to a shop, that according to the business card is a..."Dealer in Vintage posters, photographs, postcards, prints, snapshots, stereoviews, maps and ephemera! And anything else old and interesting written, printed or painted from anywhere in the world!" Yup, that was the shop he shopped in up in Seattle! Now he knows what "ephemera" is!

Also, I got another pleasant surprise yesterday! Mary Ann( A Very Mary Design), a fellow blogger friend, sent me a note with 4 of her special "I'm Dotty About You" tags! What a sweet, sweet surprise from a fun, talented and honest blogger! I know she sells these in her Etsy shop, so I'd better take a peek at them. Thank you very much for spreading joy, Mary Ann!!!

Lastly, the stray Vintage Hat Pin turned up last Friday....in my thigh! It was included in the basket of special ephemera from Heidi for my birthday in April, and has been lost since then! I had a clearer understanding why pinned on courages aren't allowed on airlines after my poke! Ouch!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Monday Goodies

Here's several pictures of my brown PaperBag Album for my Swap-Bot partner, Barb! I hope she likes my chosen theme of Summer. Starting with Heidi buying her 500 paper bags to researching the best glue to use, I've gone down quite an art learning highway with this project. I've made 2 practice albums before doing this swap one. These are such fun to make, and this one's in the mail right now, heading to Albuquerque.

Yesterday my wonderful and sweet sister, "Sunshine", gave me a very special bag of goodies! First, was a package of Joes Oh's cookies to enjoy, then came out the most wonderful package! She'd recently gone to the fabric store, and shared the wealth with me! She cut and folded a whole bunch of pretty and fresh fabric for me, and topped in off with several yards of gorgeous ribbons! She wanted me to make ATC and other things with it, but what I'm doing first is making HER a little surprise with some of it! I've started something, not sure what it'll end up, but it's started!!!!

And, my other dear and special sister, "Cookie", (note: these sisters named themselves!!!) and I are doing a 1-on-1 art challenge called, "Make Me Something". At the same time, we both sent each other an envelope filled with paper and art making goodies. The challenge is to make the other person something with their goodies and send it back! She sent me such wonderful items to choose from, that I had something made the first night. There will be absolutely NO hints until she gets it back, however. Just stay tuned!

Well, other Sparks in my Engine today included cashing in on a couple of FREE coupons for lunch at Wahoo, and a Buy-1-Get-1-Free coupon for Starbucks!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Amazing Art Doll Hat Received

She's here!!!! Meet my gorgeous Art Fairy Doll Hat from Cheryl (Artsy-Fartsy) l!!!!! Amy (Crafting by Candlelight) hosted such a fun and different Swap, the Art Doll Swap! I learned a lot, like I always do in swaps.

This week my doorbell rang, my dog barked, and when I answered it, I saw the most unusual yellow shaped box. I knew right away what it was, and who it was fun. I ran and grabbed my camera and the opening began! Cheryl not only wrapped it in a fun way, she designed and crafted the hat box to mail it in! This box is made from very sturdy cardboard, and beautifully covered with vintage Sear's, Roebuck and Co antique catalog pages!!! On the top are the hats! You could have ordered a "Dandy Hat" for your daughter for 24 cents; or a designer hat for yourself, custom made, for 99 cents! Oh, go ahead and order your husband some new wagon wheels....!!!! Once I got past the shock of how creative, kind, ambitious, and talented Cheryl is, I pulled out her beautiful art doll!!!I love her!!! Don't the pretty pink petals make a dramatic skirt? And I love the yellow roses! The petals are lined with fiberfill to keep they puffed up. The doll itself is lined in vintage sheet music, as is the sweet Sallie tag she made me! I was just overwhelmed with admiration and appreciation. This lovely doll has 2 sides, a very womanly shape, and beautiful sheer butterfly wings. Thank you so very much, Cheryl!!!! You are quite an amazing and talented person.

Here's a link to the original instructions for the Doll Hats. And here's the link to the Art Doll Hats Flickr group, where many participants in the swap posted their glorious pictures!