Thursday, June 30, 2016

First Vacation in a Long Long Time



A dear friend of mine who I hadn't seen in ten years, met me in Portland, OR.  To counter some deeply painful life events that took us far from art and creativity.... she and I decided to take a painting class together in one of the coolest cities ever.
 Amazing how this first messy layer of paint...
                                        ...eventually turns into something like this....
              ...but only if you're Jesse Reno. But it does inspire you to want to keep practicing.
 There was this fashion exhibit at the Portland Museum and since I love design and bead embroidery it filled me with dreams.
 Remember this NYC inspired fabric/outfit Patricia Michaels designed in season 2013 of Project Runway? It was nice to see that she is going strong and is still designing and doing runway shows with her work.
 These bead embroidered boots made me want to get back into that medium a whole lot.

This kind gentleman was having coffee at Grendle's Cafe which has incredible almond milk cappuccinos that I'll never forget...and gluten-free breakfast sandwiches. I don't get to vacation often and this trip went too too fast. I'm back home in Glutenland, but the Portland memories will stick around forever.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What's New on Kitty TV?



All day and night long going outdoors sounds like a bad 60s Sci-Fi movie where flying saucers are landing. And higher up on the food chain....

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Happy Earth Day!

Nine bags and counting

Last Earth Day I posted a video from H & M claiming they recycle fabric. I am a huge fan of recycling. A major issue I've had for decades is where to recycle all those fabric scraps from sewing projects I've saved for decades to turn into creative recycled projects. I just don't have that kind of time anymore to be that creative. I tried and tried to find a local place to recycle fabric since there isn't an H & M for miles around here. Mostly what I found when Googling where to recycle fabric scraps... links would come up for upcycled sewing scrap projects.....which is nice to do if you have that kind of time, but I don't.

I was thrilled to find out that from now until Earth Day, if you do have access to an H & M....they accept all those stained or torn wearables that are not even ready for primetime at the Thrift Shop. So any fabric scraps, sewing/weaving/knitting projects that didn't work out, mismatched socks, stained outfits...pretty much anything textile (no shoes)... they will happily accept them and then give you a 30% discount on your next H and M purchase (Until Earth Day and then it goes back to 15% if you do it any other time of the year.)

 The scraps will be recycled into new fabric or insulation and will be put to good use. It's always a lovely feeling to find a good home for anything you can no longer use that is cluttering up a studio or home. Especially when it's good for the Earth.

Here is the link to that H & M project and details of what they will and won't accept.  http://www.hm.com/us/world-recycle-week

Thursday, March 31, 2016

When a Tree Falls in the Woods and Someone's There to Hear It....

This 200 year old tree decided to fall a few weeks ago. (46" diameter) Not without quite a bunch of damage. I am a witness that when a tree falls in the woods and someone IS around to hear it...it sounds like the loudest crashing thunder you could ever hear.... and shakes the ground and everything near it like there's an earthquake. And this lovely tree decided to split in half vertically and do one performance in the afternoon and the second one in the night time. Reality TV could never top the shows that Mother Nature puts on!

Monday, February 29, 2016

You Can Plan All You Want!

I'm taking a very cool collage weekly planner course. Even my worst week looks pretty.  It didn't feel too pretty tho. Note to self....no more courses during tax season!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

What a year 2015 was! I'm wiped out thinking about it! So much happens in a year.  I narrowed 2015 down to these 3 achievements...
Strangely enough in this small town with many dollar stores and one Walmart...there is a vet who practices acupuncture! I was shocked! I know my Mom is smiling down on this. She studied it and used to get treatments too. Now my sweet kitty gets treatments and it's way helping far better than antibiotics to get him healthy again.
I spent a huge part of this year clearing out decades of clutter with the help of an excellent organizer who staged the house for a house walk last fall. I love these before and after pix!
And I discovered that I LOVE to teach Zumba! I just got a job teaching Pound for next year too! I love to trick bodies into thinking they're having fun when they're really working hard!

Do you have your ideas, dreams and plans for 2016? I just figured mine out and they're exciting! I hope yours are too! Happy New Year and have a super fun 2016!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Halloween Fun

This represents where I live. We have 4 Dollar Stores. 2 Auto parts stores. And Walmart.
I got an email saying there was a Halloween Zumba party at my favorite Zumba class in the Chicago area. The theme...Caribbean. I had things to do in Chicago, but none as fun as a Zumba Halloween party!!!!I needed a costume in a few weeks and knew I had to make it and also that I'd have to use stuff around the house because this is not the area to find a Carmen Miranda costume.
I searched my closet for something I could cut up since I had  little time to make something from scratch. I found a Miranda-ish dress that needed work. It never fit me well, so I was fine cutting it up into a two piece Carmen Miranda costume.
But then there was the headpiece! What to do for a headpiece!? That was Carmen's trademark! I don't even know how to make a head piece let alone find the right materials in the woods over here! I found an old pattern from the 80s in my studio and some old black knit fabric I had stashed in my scrap pile. I made a turban. It had a huge opening in the top. What can I use as a base to stick junk on to make a headpiece?
I searched around the house. A styrofoam cone? A huge jug that used to be filled with vinegar that I cut up?

The base of the vinegar jug fit in the turban opening the best, but it was too tall and needed to be more pointy.

I stuck the styrofoam cone on top and glued it with a glue gun. Too tall still.
I tried the other half of the cut up vinegar jug. Too short and narrow.... and as much as I'd love to put freshly cut flowers in the opening, I knew they wouldn't stay in place, if I danced.
Long story short. I decided to use the vinegar jug with the styrofoam cone glued on top.  I cut it a little shorter and painted it with gold glitter paint that I had lying around. I had to staple gun it to the turban. Then I found a fan from a Spanish dance recital number I had choreographed in the 80s. And all kindsa junk in the house and at the Dollar Store auditioned to be on this headpiece.
Tho it was October when I worked on this, there were many a Christmas decoration at the Dollar Store...and plastic fruit. What's Carmen Miranda without fruit? And there were plastic wine glasses at the Dollar Store....so I glued all this junk on the headpiece. The glass needed wine in it, so I mixed food coloring and resin in the wine glass and let it set overnight.
Letting the resin set overnight, it spilled on the fan, so happy accident had to be covered with a fake rose. This is a pic of the headpiece waiting to go on the plane to Chicago. I am not new to traveling with severely fragile headpieces. It's way not fun! In fact, the bottom of the wine class fell off because Dollar Store wine glasses have detachable bottoms. It's somewhere between VA and Chicago! I had to find a Dollar Store in Chicago to replace the bottom of the wine glass which kept falling off during the Zumba party too.
It took an hour to put on make up. My dress that was covered in Christmas garlands, plastic fruit and cheesy jewelry left a trail of fallen objects all the way to the class party.  It was so cool to see the Zumba participants in their Caribbean costumes! I could hardly dance in mine! Having a fashion design degree, I was ashamed that I spent most the class fixing wardrobe malfunctions....but the class was so much fun! And the people so nice!

A pirate-ess, who's also my most favorite Zumba instructor (Melissa Kerpel) was there, as were Gilligan on percussion and leading dances, Mary Anne, Ginger and many other fun, cool, creative characters and costumes! Halloween is fun when you're a kid, but I had more fun this Halloween than any other! A Halloween celebration that doesn't make you gain weight or get cavities!