About Me

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I am a multifaceted woman, living with intention and passion. I always see the glass as half full (ok, almost always). Currently into: jewelry design, glass beadmaking (aka lampworking), visual journaling, cooking and web design everything. Things that bring me great joy: my family, friends, Scrabble, British period pieces, Shabby Chic, Austin, TX, mini art tiles, autographed cookbooks, chocolate, Chianti, pedicures and beach glass. I don't "do" and/or dig: dishonesty, guilt, intolerance, unkindness, drama and goat cheese (it's a long story, but I love all the other cheeses!) So you now have a teeny tiny little picture of me, with a few warts thrown in. Welcome to my world!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wrapping up 2011

Christmas Light Show Extravaganza
     Here we are, on the precipice of 2012 with just a couple days left to 2011. Since it has been quite some time since I've updated my blog, I am going to do a year-end wrap up, and then jump right into the new year, all fresh and shiny! I have a small journal that I have used as an address book for at least 20 years now, and I occasionally make journal entries, usually right around this time of year. Unfortunately, I have just about run out of pages to write in and will have to transfer all the "good" addresses to a new journal soon. There is something about this time of year that makes me want to take stock and review the last year, writing it down for posterity, though I don't even know if anyone other than myself will ever read it. I know I am not alone in this, I know many other people write letters (my father-in-law), recount the year's happenings in a pretty and roomy Christmas card (my mom) or blog. However, I struggle with how much to write and where.
     In my journal, with pen or pencil, I write the highlights, hitting mostly the highs, just touching on the lows, careful not to write anything that might hurt one of my kids in the future, should they happen to read it. With this blog, I am also careful not to step on toes or write anything that I would not want everyone in the world to read, because you just never know who will end up reading your blog someday, really. So as I look back over the year, how important is it that I am totally open, in my journal or here? Do I want to look back at bad feelings or miserable situations in 10 years? I don't think so. Why don't I think so? Because when I think back on all those things that were such a big deal 20 years ago, things that hurt me or got my blood boiling with rage (yes, rage sometimes), I find that I am so over them and look at them as so insignificant and silly, I wish I had not wasted any emotional or mental time on them. Really wishing I had had the maturity to let so much of it just go and not affect my life so much at the time. But I suppose that is part of gaining wisdom, living long enough to reflect on days past and  being able to put things into perspective in a healthy way, letting go of anger and resentments that steal away our ability to focus and enjoy the good things in our lives. I think I am most grateful that I can now recognize similar situations when they arise and no longer let myself get lost in negative emotion, but have learned how to process what is really upsetting me and figure out what I need to do to let go or move on to a better place.
      Don't get me wrong, I am no saint, I still have to process difficult things, vent and explore why they are upsetting to me or why someone I care about did something that was hurtful, cruel, unkind or deceitful, but I don't have to think about it 24 hours a day, for days on end, which is incredibly freeing, believe me. I am also thoughtless, even cruel sometimes, and I can be very blunt, but if I catch myself or if someone else does, I try to apologize and make things right. But I am human, as we all are, and I cut myself slack the same way I cut others slack, because you just don't know what is going on. Like icebergs, we just see the tip above the water and have no idea how big it really is beneath the surface. And don't get me started on boundaries, I could write a book on setting personal boundaries. But, obviously, I have digressed...
     So I don't include a lot of details of personal or family turmoil. People and situations change, I've lived long enough to see it for myself. Instead, I choose to record those things that I will be happy to read about in 5, 10, 15 or more years, those things that will make me happy to remember and that will make my family happy if they ever read them. Besides, there is enough negative, shocking and crazy on TV these days with all the reality shows, I just couldn't compete with all that!
     Which brings me to my year in review, or at least the last several months. I have to start with my survival of this past semester of classes. Object Oriented Programming (OOP), SQL Database Management, JavaScript and Drawing I. Passed them all, hallelujah! SQL was my least favorite, though it was taught by one of my favorite instructors. Databases are so valuable, but I am happy to have an understanding of them and have already accepted that it is one area that I will always have to hire out, and that is OK. Drawing I was quite a surprise. I can actually draw, no really, I can! All my life I have believed that because I could not
"color inside the lines" as a kid, that I could never learn to draw well. If anyone reading this has ever dreamed of learning to draw, listen to me now and go register for a drawing class. It kept the right side of my brain active and very happy, so much so that I am taking Drawing II next semester. I may scan a couple of my drawings and upload them later, but no promises. I loved OOP and JavaScript, though both were extremely challenging. Overall, I had a very good semester and am further committed to becoming a web developer.
     Maybe you are wondering about my new grandson? Grandpa and I went to visit in August and fell in love, as I knew we would. He is the most adorable baby on the planet and I wish my son and his family lived so much closer! We saw him again in December when my daughter-in-law came for a visit, but it was too short of course. At least there is such a thing as Skype and my son sends me pictures and videos right to my phone. You have to love technology! He'll be 6 months in January, time is just flying by.
     We added a new lion head bunny, "PJ," to our family but lost our beloved pet bunny, "Stella," this year. So far, "PJ" is pretty well traveled. We have taken him on a couple of road trips this year and he has been a trooper. Luckily, he is only 3 1/2 lbs, so he is easy to take along for a few days. He has also become a house bunny, which sounds funny now that I write it. Apparently, if you want to move a rabbit to the outdoors, you have to start in the summer, so they have time to develop a winter coat by the time the colder months roll around. We started too late and the vet said "no." Which means we have a rabbit in our living room for the winter. We let him out often and love to watch him hop and leap around the room, he is very cute.
     I spent less time cooking than I would have liked, but the summer was so hot and humid, the kitchen was the second to last place I wanted to be (outside was the very last place I wanted to be). School was so busy, no time to cook this fall or winter either, except for a couple days when I had a couple extra free hours, but those were rare. But I had a lovely time putting on a high tea baby shower for my daughter-in-law in June, picking strawberries with my husband and making freezer jam and making my own Italian ragu meat sauce for the first time. I missed my kitchen, but it isn't going anywhere.
     There were some great new discoveries this year including:

  • Pinterest (a social networking site that lets you "pin" images from all over the web
  • Google Chrome Developer Tools (OMG, love, love, love!!!)
  • Polish Market downstate on Dequinder and 15 Mile Rd
  • New Dim Sum restaurant "East Lake" in Rochester, MI
  • Conte crayon and canson paper
  • Google Chrome browser (can't live without it now!)
  • Polish mushroom cream cheese (Bagel, cracker, butter knife)
  • Words With Friends facebook word game
  • Fennel (new favorite veggie, I think that was this year)
  • Local pasty truck and local falafel cart
  • Southern Sweet Tea!
  • TV shows -- Bones, Torchwood and True Blood

I think it has been a healthy, productive, inspiring, exciting and overall excellent year...hope next year is just as great!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Drive by post...Perfectly Prepped article in Whole Living magazine

   
From this...
     My latest issue of Whole Living magazine has a wonderful article with recipes for stocking your fridge with ready to go components of great meals. This means that with some simple prep work every few days, you can have wonderful meals ready to whip up in just a few minutes every night. I already tried this in part and it works great!  You have to buy the magazine to read the article since it is just out, but here is a link to another article about the woman behind this mise en place, a technique that every restaurant already uses to prep and put things together quickly. I have decided that I will be keeping pasta in the fridge always, along with either cous cous, rice, polenta or other whole grain that keeps its shape well under refrigeration. I am also going to keep some type of pesto on hand, two seasonal veggies (pumpkin going into the oven later today) and two proteins, like slow roasted pork shoulder and roasted chicken on hand. I'll experiment with other things like the balsamic poached figs, carmelized onion jam and golden raisin vinaigrette that are mentioned in the Whole Living article too. Lastly, I'll just keep some basic parmesean and sharp cheddar around too. Now off to make the cous cous and noodles for this week...pork shoulder is already done. http://brooklynbased.net/email/2010/10/secrets-of-a-well-stocked-fridge/ I'd love to hear what you all think of this whole concept, I am so excited, being so busy with school lately.

The "prepped" fridge!

...to this!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gumballs and Dreamweaver

     My art for yesterday and today is not here. I am helping my youngest create a website. She is taking a class for kids at the college this week and as one of the youngest, is having a hard time understanding Adobe Dreamweaver. I can't say that I don't understand her position, after all, she is only eleven. So we have been spending some quality time with her "TC Gumball" website. Of course, she has the vision of a kid, wants a bright pink background and light pink text, my eyes hurt even now, just thinking about it. I don't want to steer her too much at this age, I just want her to enjoy the process of creating. So it is hard to read, heck, hard to even look at for any length of time, but she is very happy so far. Of course, the good thing about all this is that it is forcing me to practice using Dreamweaver myself, and I realize now that I am going to have to go through my "Dreamweaver Classroom in a Book," text that I bought last year. I bought the book because the instructor was not so great and knew that I would need to teach a lot of it to myself. I get the HTML and CSS, but the program is very complex with so many menus bars and tool bars, I knew I needed to spend more time with it. Now that I am helping my daughter, I see why, I had just forgotten to get to it.
     By the way, you can try out the Bubblegum Run Widget she wanted to include on her "Game" page below. If you click the link, you can copy and embed the game in your own page as well, or maybe your child's? It was a fun little thing we found that she wanted to include on her site.
     Of course, this all reminds me that I am supposed to be teaching myself Javascript this summer, as well as basic SQL and reviewing C#, Access and XML. All of a sudden I have butterflies in my stomach! I think after this weekend, I will be creating a daily schedule for myself until I get back to school, in about 5 weeks! I have to squeeze in some time to visit my new grandson as well, but I can always take one of the books with me and my laptop...oh, I always have such good intentions!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Daily Art Post July 18, 2011

Summertime! banner created with InDesign and Photoshop CS4
      Today I played with a photograph I took of some of my Dianthus flowers last summer. I wanted to make a banner in Adobe InDesign, so I started with the flowers, since I wanted to create letters with the Dianthus image as the "color" of the text. I am posting the process in backward order just to be difficult.
The InDesign piece before I imported it to Photoshop
     The very top banner is the finished banner, cropped in Photoshop and with two borders added, also in Photoshop.

Filters: Paint Daub, Posterize, Cutout
 
   
     The second image is the "Summertime!" lettering
and background created in InDesign. I converted the type to outlines so I could put the Dianthus image into it. After I added a fun yellow stroke detail to the letters, I added the bright and sunny yellow background. I saved as I went along, nothing like losing all your work because the program quit, which has happened before, maddening is putting it mildly. After I saved it as an InDesign file, I exported it as a JPEG file. I closed out of InDesign and then opened up Photoshop! I wish I had CS5 or CS5.5, but I am still very happy with what I can do using CS4.      
Filter order: Paint Daub, Posterized
   

     Photoshop filters are so much fun, I could spend hours playing with them and never getting off just one image, they are addictive! I started with the first
Dianthus image at the bottom of my post here. I
cropped it and then adjusted the red color intensity and it created this cool rainbow effect. I think I used the "paint daub" filter after that, which softened it all up, but might have been another filter, I forgot already, big surprise. I really liked the softened rainbow look a lot and will probably do something else with it later, maybe use it in a ATC.       
Red hue adjusted all the way to the right
     Once I had the softened painterly image, I decided it needed a bit more of an edge,

so I used the "posterize" filter. It added a black edge and made the flowers "pop" a bit more. You can see that it also darkened the image, which is more of what I wanted to use to fill in my lettering. If you click on the photo, you will see a larger image with more detail. After using the posterize filter, I decided to use one last filter to take a little bit of the edge off the posterizing results. I chose the "Cutout" filter, which simplifies the image. It did cause the loss of the rainbow effect that I liked so much, but I decided I was happier with the cutout filter effect and that is what I went with.
My original photograph
     My last steps were to save the image as a JPEG file and then

"Place" it into the InDesign file I had already started. I selected it and "cut" it from the place where I had placed it and then selected the lettering outlines and selected "Place into." I moved the image around and resized it a few times to get it right where I wanted it.
     Let me just say (not again!), creating art everyday is more time consuming than I thought it would be, I am not meeting my own personal quota of one piece everyday. But I feel wonderful every time I create something new, especially when I get a chance to use those programs I spent so much time learning over the last two years in school. It makes me happy. Really happy.
     So if you are itching to make something yourself, anything at all, I have just one thing to tell you..."do it!"

Drive-by post: Border's bookstore, the end of an era

     Say it isn't so! Just heard the news today, I am beyond sad, beyond blue, beyond heartbroken! I love my local Border's bookstore and have spent countless hours and money at many others around the state of Michigan and in Austin,TX. I feel like a huge part of my reading life is over, I am soooooooooooo bummed. I admit that I spend money on Amazon and at our big local book store, Horizon Books, but I still spend money at Border's. I guess it wasn't enough. I am going to get over it, I know, but I do have so many wonderful memories of time spent at Border's. I had my first yoga class there, believe it or not. I've bought art books, self help books, a zillion children's books for my kids, journals and hundreds of magazines. I thought the last Harry Potter movie was the end of an era, ha! This closing of a beloved bookstore is really the end of an era. Maybe I'll wake up in a moment and it will have just been a bad dream? Or maybe there will be a white knight, and he/she will save the company? I feel as if I will be lamenting about this for a very long time. I feel just awful. You can read more about this sad news here. It is a story by Mitch Albom from yesterday, which I only just read. Pity party anyone?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Daily Art Post July 16, 2011

Mushroom House pencil sketch B
     Again, a bit behind on the art posting. I'm not going to throw out any excuses though, just going to post a couple images of my "Mushroom Houses." I love to draw these for some strange reason. One of my Flash animation projects included a mushroom house I drew and then brought to life. I love miniature things, I always have. I know kids love miniature things, mine always did. My son liked micro machines, those tiny little cars and my daughters both like the Polly Pocket and Littlest Petshop toys. I have never outgrown my fascination for miniature things, and I can actually remember when my fascination began, believe it or not. I was pretty young, maybe seven or eight years old. I saw an episode of "Land of the Giants," and was so taken with it, I dreamed of having little people to "play" with for a long time after that.
Mushroom House pencil sketch A
     Maybe that seems strange, but ever since then, I have loved the idea of little houses and little people. There was also a series of books illustrated by Cyndy Szekeres, with small animals that lived in homes that included cast off things from the world of people. Anyway, I have made miniature fairy cottage beads, "dress" beads and many other miniature things out of glass as well. You would think that with my love of all things small I would be into doll houses and all that, but I am not. I appreciate them, but I think I like the idea of making the small things myself instead of buying them already made with perfect details. I'm funny like that, ha ha.
Fairy Cottage Lampwork glass bead
    I am also posting one of the fairy cottage beads I made a couple years ago, long sold on Etsy as well as some of my mushroom houses created with Illustrator and Photoshop, both CS4 for my Flash animation class last fall. Notice that one of them is a "morel" mushroom house. I created the tall, plainer mushroom in Illustrator and the other
Mushroom Village for Flash animation class project
two in Photoshop, playing around with photographs and simplifying them with the "cutout" filter, one of my favorites. But they did start out with initial drawings, just so I could get my ideas out of my head, you know? I'll see if I can find the original drawings for the mushroom village and post them at a later date, maybe a follow-up mushroom art post?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wednesday, er, Friday Fab Finds!

Vintage moonlight print
     Ok, so I am two day late with this post, but considering that I became a Grandmama on Tuesday, I actually have a very good excuse for not getting this post up any sooner. If you want to see pictures and video of my new grandson, click here or here. He is in another state far away, which means I won't see him for a few weeks  yet, but he comes home from the hospital today and I just know my son will be Skyping me so I can have a virtual visit. What a boon technology is sometimes.
     Alrighty, back to my Fab Finds for this week. The first is a print of a ship sailing under the moonlight. I think it is from the 20's or 30's because of the frame and print style. I actually collect these kind of prints, I think they are charming and romantic. I only collect moonlight scenes though, so that is a challenge. I have three or four so far, and I love them all. This one came from an estate sale in my own neighborhood. I sent my daughter over on the half off day and she asked them hold it for me. It was $8 but I got it for $4, so I was a very happy camper. I have rules about the things I collect. I won't pay more than a certain amount, no matter what it is. I won't pay over $10 for a moonlight print from that era, but they don't usually have more than $4-$20 on them. I also like to wait until the half off day, unless I am in love with a certain piece, but it still has to fall within the budget I've set for that type of object.
Snack or luncheon set, one of four sets
     Moving on, the next find is a snack set. The rectangular glass bottom is so decorative and the emerald green cup so striking in contrast, I thought they would be fun to actually use sometime with family or company. There were four sets that came in the original box, though it was very worn out, the sets were in mint condition. I think these were popular wedding gifts that were rarely used. Meant for a particular type of entertaining that was well imagined, but obviously not very popular. I see these sets at thrift shops, resale stores, garage sales and estate sales, usually priced on the low side and many times missing either the trays, or cups or a combination thereof. This set is gorgeous and I can't wait to use them to serve lunch or an evening snack here at home. I made the mistake of photographing only one set on a very textured background, which hides a lot of the fun detail in the tray. When I serve something with them I'll take a better photo.
Bird family figurine
     My next find was this sweet and charming (let me just say now that I am a sucker for anything I deem "charming," so that will be in the description of many finds). It is a mother bird with two baby birds or fledglings. The glaze colors are soft and muted, almost dreamy. The trio are well placed and hold my interest. There is no identifying mark or name on the bottom, but it is definitely not a piece made within the last 20 years, of that much I am sure. Either way, it is a small figurine that I can tuck in anywhere among my treasure in my house and it was marked $1, so on the half off day at the estate sale I bought it from, I paid .50 cents. Wouldn't it be great to find out it is a rare and costly piece someday? But even if it isn't I bought this piece for the pleasure it gives me to see it, not as a resale investment, though I don't discount that possibility someday. My home can only hold so many treasures...
Umbrella napkin holder
     My last fab find for today's show and tell is also my favorite. I have never seen such a thing and although it is a cheap little thing, I absolutely fell in love with it! I think you can tell by just looking at the photo what it is, but if not, let me enlighten you. It is an umbrella luncheon napkin holder. The napkins are folded a certain way (similar to folding paper to cut out paper snowflakes) and the point of each one is then inserted into a narrow slot near the bottom and then that point rests on a little ledge just below the slot it was passed through. The end result is the most charming (see, what did I tell you?) napkin umbrella!  I got this at a local thrift shop for the unheard of price of .75 cents!!! I would have gladly paid 20 times that (shh, but don't tell anyone), it is so unique and right up my alley as someone who likes to have "tea" and enjoys all the accoutrements of tea. I love the curved umbrella handle too, the whole thing is just so clever.
     Next week, I have some fun pieces to show off that I have been modifying...hope they are finished by then, I'm still working on my t-shirt redo and my daughter's tunic. Not hard, but becoming a Grandmama threw me off my game. But I have the weekend ahead of me and I can't wait to finish those projects. I will post the finished photos as soon as they are done, promise. I feel like we are going to have a stellar weekend, I wish the same for all of you!

  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Grandson Video!


video     A second video of my new grandson. My son sent it to me this morning after I requested "more." Oh how I wish I was there and could hold my sweet little grandson right this moment! His glucose level was a bit low so the hospital has him on a glucose drip for now, he was four weeks early. A couple more photos to share as well. Oh the joy of falling in love with a baby, I feel completely blissful today.

     Wednesday Fab Finds is not cancelled, I will post that separately later today...
All a-snooze


Peering out into the new world
My phone's new screensaver, so in Love!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just call me Grandmama!

video 
All swaddled and snoozing
     It is now official, I am a grandmother, abuelita, grandma, etc. My heart has grown another chamber, so in love with my new grandson and I haven't even had the opportunity to hold him yet! But soon enough, though really it won't be soon enough. He arrived this morning, weighing in at 6 lbs 10.6 oz and 18.25 inches long. He is a perfect little angel, I'm in love all over again. You think after you are done having your own children that you won't feel that intense love for another baby, but it is just as intense. The heartstrings pass from you, through your children and connect to their children, oh it is such a sweet ache. Here are a few more photos my son sent to me from the hospital...Baby love, my baby love...
Baby Wes with his proud papa
A miraculous bundle of joy!

Baby on the Way!!!

     Ok, this is it! My son called just after midnight with the news that  my daughter-in-law's water just broke and they were headed to the hospital! Baby is 36 weeks, a bit early, but 37-40 weeks is full term, so he is pretty close. How will I ever sleep tonight? I'm sure when I do finally fall asleep I will be dreaming of a sweet little baby grandson, wrapped in blue and babbling away. So late, I will update my blog with pics as soon as my son sends me a few sometime today I am willing to bet!!!
     Sweet dreams y'all...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Daily Art Post for July 10

Time to Celebrate!
     I was inspired to create this piece after my oldest son called me yesterday to let me know my daughter-in-law was in labor and they were on their way to the hospital. It was very exciting, he called and sent messages throughout the day and evening. Being so far away (he is in Texas), I wanted to do something to celebrate the impending birth of my new grandson. I used Photoshop CS4 and traced an old image of myself and used brushes and filters to build a colorful and layered piece. However, my son called after midnight to let me know that the contractions had slowed and they were sending my daughter-in-law home...again! This is the second false start they have experienced, so I think my new grandson is going to keep them jumping through hoops once he finally arrives. Sooo, no grandson yet, but maybe today? Or tomorrow? I have a good feeling about today...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Drive-by post: Daily Art

     A textured gradient created in Photoshop CS4. I just love color and filters. Might play around with In Design tomorrow or modify some of the fireworks photos I took tonight. Once I open up Photoshop, In Design, Illustrator or Flash, I just want to spend hours playing around. Fun stuff...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Drive-by post: Art for July 8, 2011

Cut out filtered Ferris Wheel (Click for larger view)
     Today's art work is the result of using filters in Photoshop CS4 with two of my favorite images from the Midway during Cherry Festival yesterday. The first image is of the ferris wheel, shot from below, my husband and daughter were about to get on when I took this one. I used the "cut out" filter to simplify the image and give if more of a painted feel. The "cut out" filter is one of my favorites, it can distill images in my opinion, and these often, but not always, appeal to me.
Stamp filter Swing Ride (Click for larger view)

     The second image is the swing ride, changed with the "stamp" filter. This renders the image in black and white, a stark contrast to all the original color of the
image, but no less appealing to me. Each of the filters I used includes multiple controls to adjust the levels of this or that (a technical term), including sharpness, so it takes a while to play with them and get them just right. Of course, I could use quite a few other filters for dramatically different results, but this is about me and what I am in the mood to create at any given time each day, so this is what I came up with today. I love them, hope you do too.

Foodie Friday!

Chocolate Sunflower Butter
      After working in the Benjamin Twiggs cherry products booth for a couple days this week for Cherry Festival, I got a real hankering to try the peanut and nut butters in the booth across from us. The  Naturally Nutty people were so very nice and the products sounded soooo good, I had to try them. And they were wonderful, incredibly good butters. I ended up buying a jar of the Chocolate Sunflower Butter with flax and hemp seed and also a jar of the White Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter. Holy Moly, are these ever amazing! The kind of thing you just want to scoop out with a spoon and eat without anything else. I love the texture, not such  a paste, like the store brands, but with tiny bits of the nuts to chew. I can't recommend this product enough. And so many varieties, it was hard to choose. Check out their website, most of the products are there. The Cashew Butter was another favorite, but it was a bit too pricey for me, maybe in a few months I'll splurge.
     I almost forgot to mention, she had peanut butter cups made locally at the Chocolate Den with Naturally Nutty peanut butter, 4 for $2. I wish I'd bought $10 worth of those things, put Reeses to shame, let me tell you!
     Ok one last thing, these nut butters are all organic, isn't that a lovely bonus? Makes you feel good about buying and eating it, right?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cherry Fest 2011

Watercolor pencil cherries
     We did it up today! Ate what we wanted, rode the train and walked all over the open space and midway. What a blast we had too! I got my Jumbo Smoked Turkey Leg (really), roasted corn on the cob ($3, no lie), cotton candy and even a Funnel Cake with powdered sugar. Yes, we Lived! My youngest daughter rode a few rides and my husband and I enjoyed her delight. I've never been much for those stomach dropping or spinning rides, but I love to watch my kids having fun.
     The cherries to the left are my art for yesterday, done with watercolor pencils, though not very well, I'm sorry to say. But I have a

Best $8 turkey leg I've ever had!
Drawing I class this fall and I hope the next time I draw cherries (next year) they are spectacular! My National Cherry Festival photos are my art for today. They were so much fun to take. The Jumbo Smoked Turkey Legs shot came out blurry from the train, but I had to include it, too much fun!
The Midway as seen from the train
Jumbo Smoked Turkey Leg and corn on the cob. It was soooo good!


One of two ferris wheels on the Midway
Hubby and youngest posing for me by one of the "fun" food stands
               Caramel apples and Carousel reflection
Fun house, such fun colors!

Bumper cars, we didn't ride them this year

Sinful food row...you can hear arteries seizing up

Swing ride on the Midway

Train ride view of the beach

Bungee Jump, I'll pass thank you!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fab Find Wednesday!

Aladdin alacite lamp
     Although it is easy enough to buy new things in every style imaginable, I love old things. Antique, vintage and hand crafted pieces call out to me whenever I walk through an antique shop. However, I can't really afford to shop in antique shops all the time, so estate, garage and yard sales, coupled with thrift and resale shops give me the chance to find hidden treasures that haven't yet made it to the higher priced antique shops. Over the last couple weeks, I've found some fabulous things, which is always exciting! I have, on occasion, found some really valuable things and sold them for extra pocket money, especially when they are things I appreciate but don't really collect or have a place for among my treasures. The lamp pictured to the left may be one of those things, I haven't decided yet. It is an Aladdin lamp from the mid 1900's, really beautiful with slightly translucent glass (alacite). One of the local thrift shops had it for $8 but sold it to me for $4, I think lamps were half off that day or something like that. I just thought it looked like it was worth more than $8 and had possibility either in my house or as something to sell later on Etsy or eBay. Turns out that it is worth a bit more than the $4 I paid. The lowest price I found online was $84.95 and the highest was $145 on eBay. But I haven't decided what to do with it yet, I kinda think I'm going to keep it.
Vintage Samsonite train case
    Then there is a new train case I found at a new resale shop in Interlochen, a little town just a few miles away. The shop didn't seem like much at first, a bit junky, but after nosing around, I found the train case, in great condition inside and out for only $4.50! And also a cute pair of white, all cotton, summer pajamas, which I had already been searching for new all over town without any luck. I love the storage possibilities of train cases. I like to store my art supplies in them and then tuck them out of the way. Then if I am going somewhere, I can grab a case and take my supplies with me. Of course, these are too big to take and work from at the park or Dr.'s office while I am waiting, but they are great for visits to my Mom and Dad's or for vacation. I just clean them up and sometimes embellish them if they need it and voila! This one is in really good shape, so I don't think I'm going to mess with it at this point, but we'll see, sometimes I can't help myself.
Small harp wall shelf
3" x 3" mirror
     At an estate sale last week, I found a few great pieces for display. The little harp shaped piece to the left is one of them. It was stained dark brown, but I painted it today, along with the small mirror shown here too. I love small little things like this that can easily be hung just about anywhere in the house. They add bits of charm and character and can also be easily rearranged when the mood strikes me.
     I should probably come clean about what I collect. When you collect a lot of things, it is easy to find something you love when you are out and about. Let's see now...I collect vintage platters, the smaller size, mostly American made like Homer Laughlin, china tea cups and saucers, mirrors, single salt or pepper shakers as well as pairs if they "speak" to me, bark cloth, Block Optic depression glass, small rabbit/bunny figurines of all types but resin, heart pins/brooches, single cordial classes, vintage linens and hankies, small fancy frames for wallet photos, lace, silver silver ware and interesting stainless silverware, pansy dishes...I think I better stop for now, you get the idea though. Someday, when I die, my kids are going to want to kill me all over again...
Guild signed vintage air brush watercolor
     My last fab find for today is a vintage airbrush watercolor from the 1940's, signed by Guild. I have no idea who or what Guild is, I couldn't find out too much about the signature, just that there were other vintage air brush watercolors with the Guild signature out there. I fell in love with this as soon as I saw it. It is loose in the frame and the frame itself needs some tightening, but her expression and the softness of the airbrushing is just sublime. I think these type of pieces were done with stencils. I hope to hang her in my bedroom as soon as I get the frame tightened up. It was $45, but I was there on the 1/2 off day and it does have a small scratch on the skirt, so I got it for $14. I looked it up online after I got home and it is going for $300 here! Also, I did find out that there are these types of pieces in the early episodes of "I Love Lucy," and also in the movie "Batteries Not Included," which I have but haven't had time to watch lately. The piece is pretty big, 30" x 35", a nice focal piece. Right now it is on my fireplace mantel, just leaning against the wall, but she doesn't go with the deep turquoise of the room, so she can't stay there. But at least I can admire her everyday.  
     Thanks for stopping by today and checking out my fab finds, if you found something fab, let me know, I'll post a link to your find on my blog.