Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm Not the Brightest Bulb in the Pack

Okay, what have I done? I noticed that clicking an image on new blogspot pics prompts a download instead of showing the image larger. I don't know how I did this, but does anyone know how to change it back? And if you can give me some advice, please, please keep it simple; I'm practically Amish when it comes to technology.

Deck the Halls

New things at Glitter and Grunge starting tomorrow, Dec. 1. "Ole Saint Nick", "Deck the Halls" Snowman, and some fun, glittery glass ornaments. While you're at G and G, check out all of the other wonderfully talented artists and their creations.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Here's What I've Been Up To

New things on The Primitive Gathering, available December 1: papier mache Elle and vintage-inspired Christmas tree topper star. Fun new things from all the artists there too.

Nature or Nurture

I love touring the blogs of you ladies who can sew and I'm always amazed at the creativity and skill! I'm really not much with a sewing machine, or anything that involves electricity, for that matter. Call it "sewing-challenged" if you will, it's really not my fault. My mother gladly takes credit (or blame) for all of my domestic short-comings in the sewing room. By her own admission she is not a seamstress, and blames it on the fact that she's left handed. She swears that when others were trying to show her how to knit, or crochet, or sew, inevitably the person doing the teaching would give up in exasperation because her hands were "backwards." And sadly, the sewing disability was passed down to my sister and me.

So when I was 12, my mom decided to break the vicious cycle. (I suppose it was also an effort to compensate for her millinery deficit, or to ease her mother-guilt for not being able to impart any home-ec skills to her daughters.) She gave me a portable sewing machine, sewing scissors, a thimble, and about a million straight pins, and then signed me up for sewing lessons at a local department store. I was like a fish out of water and was, by far, the youngest in the class and probably the most illiterate in sewing lingo. I didn't know my bobbins from my zig-zags, and I thought that "finding a bias" was something good citizens were supposed to avoid. Mind you, I had no Betsy Ross or Martha Stewart at home to tutor me either. Each of the students had chosen a pattern and fabric and set out to make our own dress for the grand finale, a fashion show in which each of us would model our handiwork. That in itself was enough to scare the "zig zag"out of an awkward pre-adolescent. Each lesson was an intimidating struggle, although I did manage to learn to thread the machine, and sew a reasonably straight seam. But my dress was a hideous nightmare--the arms didn't quite match, there were bunches where bunches weren't supposed to be, and it looked like something Igor on Young Dr. Frankenstein might wear. So, unless I was willing to change my anatomy or remake the dress, there was no way I was going to model that. Turns out I never had to decide.

I gave up learning to sew when we came to the lesson on "darts". I wasn't even sure what they were, but it sounded dangerous, and I'm not even left-handed. And the final blow came when one of my fellow students mocked me for not even really needing darts yet. Her name was Bunny, and she was blessed with the need for ample darts. I never went back.

Things worked out okay. I can still thread the machine and sew a straight seam, and when one of my girls needs a prom dress altered or cheerleading skirt made, I have a long list of seamstress friends whose moms apparently were not left handed.

(Editor's note: My Mom happens to be a really great cook and has imparted that as her legacy.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Passing the Torch

Thank you to Suzanne at Painter of the Past, who was tagged for the "Friendly Site" award, and then passed it along to me. [And this award has NOTHING to do with our crazy cat who also happens to be named Friendly--and no, he's still not.] Suzanne is a wonderfully talented primitive-style painter, and her work has a sweetness that is reflective of her personality. Check out her cool website too.

And to pass the torch, so to speak, I'm tagging Blondie at Vintage Prims and Elaine at Artful Spirit. I love the way Proverbs reminds us that "A man that hath friends, must show himself friendly." Both of these ladies are really friendly and incredibly talented, and each has done something incredibly nice for someone else. You may remember the Ava's Angel Auction from a few months ago--the entire event was organized and orchestrated by Blondie to help a sweet little girl with her medical expenses. And Elaine has used her blog as a platform to remind us about Breast Cancer month, to bring our attention to the needs of the homeless and recently she has reminded us to Lend a Helping Hand.

You go girls~

Monday, November 19, 2007

We Have a Winner

You may be like me and think, "I never win anything." One of the few raffles our family ever won involved a turkey. My kids attended a carnival at school many years ago, and each guessed the number of jellybeans in a jar to win a free turkey. At 50 cents a pop, I thought it was money well spent, since our family does eat occasionally, and the money raised was going to support the school, and it also kept each kid engrossed in the counting for several minutes. (Mothers with four small children will pay big money to have 5 minutes of sanity.) Soon it was on to funnel cakes and face painting, and the jelly bean raffle was quickly forgotten. Monday rolled around and my oldest jumped off the bus carrying some sort of wood and chicken-wire box. "What on earth have they been doing in art class these days?" I wondered as my son ran to the car and proudly announced that HE was the lucky winner. Well, technically, he didn't win, but all of the other "winners'" moms wouldn't let them take home the prize. Somehow I missed that memo, because this grand prize just happened to still be covered in feathers and was staring at me and gobbling. I would have been happier with second prize, which was a jar and 1253 jelly beans.

P.S. In case you're wondering, our turkey received a name, and a full presidential pardon. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Handmade Parade

Handmade Parade is the brainchild of Claire Bone of little lovelies and Missy Ballance of Mohair Circus. Check it out here for all the scoop.

Monday, November 12, 2007


New watercolor paintings. All are very small, the largest which is the cardinal, is only 5" tall. The scans just don't quite capture the subtle colors or some of the detail. Available through my website soon, or email for details.

Juan Valdez and Computers, Not a Pretty Picture

Coffee is NOT "good to the last drop" if the last drop, (no, make that the last 1/2 cup) happens to land all over your keyboard. Finger's crossed that it'll dry out and suffer no ill effects. . . . so far so good, and it seems that my keyboard may have survived its brush with death. Only an occasional sticking of a few keys that took the worst of the java bath.

When I'm not pouring coffee on my computer, I'm busy working on some new Christmas things--a couple Santas, ornaments, etc. Hope to have something to show soon. Here's how one Santa looks at the moment--his head is wobbly, and he looks like a blind, Blackbelt Santa with wires for hands; but he'll eventually have a face, real hands and will be dressed in his traditional red--soon, I hope, because the snowman I'm also working on is feeling a bit intimidated.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"Honey, I didn’t think it was a big deal."

In my mind, finding out about a rabid skunk attacking my elderly neighbor as she watered her flowers is somewhat of a big deal. And the fact that my dear husband knew about it and didn't think to tell me was an even bigger deal. [Now, I’m wondering, in his mind, what would constitute a big deal?!] We live out in the country, and occasionally one hears of rabid animals, but this was just a bit too close–less than one mile from our house.

That prompted a call to the vet to make sure all of our pets were up to date on rabies shots. Both cats, who technically are outside cats, were due; so in an effort to save time and gas, I decided to take both at the same time. I enlisted our youngest daughter's help, since the cats are hers anyway. Getting 17 pound "Friendly" (and, no, he's not) in the cat carrier is a feat in itself. And trying to get both cats inside the same carrier, well, not even a possibility. So my daughter and I rigged up a second carrier made with a laundry basket and a towel. An inner voice warned me this might not be the best plan, but visions of Old Yeller were prominently playing in my mind.

All was well on the way to the vet. Apart from a brief encounter with an overly friendly and nosy great dane in the lobby, we made it uneventfully into the exam room; and when each cat was examined, vaccinated and pronounced safe, we headed home. The ride home was a bit different. Little "Tres" [who once was a boy cat until I took him to be neutered and found out "he" was a "she"--which is altogether another post] was not happy, and neither was Friendly. His mournful cries only made things worse, and my daughter struggled to keep Tres’ laundry basket jail-cell intact. Not happening. So she opted to hold Tres wrapped in a blanket. I’m not sure just what happened, but we were almost home when I heard, "Oh man, gross! My leg’s wet," and then black fur and cat urine flew all over our back seat. When the car finally came to a stop, doors flung open and all exited like a scene from National Lampoon’s "Family Vacation." Cats and kids went for the hills, and I went for the baking soda, club soda, FeBreeze, disinfectant, and whatever else I thought might remove the offensive odor. Nothing, I mean, NOTHING helped. I called my loving husband, (who, technically, is at the root of all of this), and he said he had something at his shop which might help. So, with windows rolled down, and fingers pinching my nose, I drove the 2 miles hoping for a miracle. The entire de-odorizing process took close to an hour.

Meanwhile, I received a phone call from my daughter–"Mom, there is something on the floor upstairs that really, really stinks. . ." (Reminiscent of the "Mom, can I vacuum glass" incident.) In the midst of the earlier melee, Friendly had somehow found his way into the house and upstairs, far away from that crazed, middle-aged lunatic who was frantically flinging chemicals at the car. I guess all the day's events–car rides, great danes, vet appointments, shots, cat carrier confinement, crazy women-- had traumatized him, and in an hour’s time he had managed to vomit or poo in every room upstairs. I am an animal lover, but at that moment, if I could have put my hands on some of that tainted cat food we heard so much about in the news last summer. . .

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'm Somebody Now

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Lady Cathy the Sophisticated of Leighton in the Bucket
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Fun Continues

Just when you thought Halloween was over, Sandra at Sam I Am Creations extends the fun by having a Treat Give-Away!!!! Go to her site between today and Monday, Nov. 5 for the details.