Monthly Archives: January 2011

Before I Pass Out

My daughter and my grand son

My daughter and my grand son

This is my Tiffany and her little spit fire ball of energy, Simon.

Tiffany probably weights about 110 pounds soaking wet.  She’s tall and lean, and she can be a “Mean Fighting Machine” 🙂  She has been in the martial arts off and on since she was in middle school and she has been to some of the martial arts events and has Kicked Butt!

Tiffany found her “calling” several years back as an embalmer.  She is so good at her job she has several funeral homes that call her to help with their work load.  She’s also getting pretty well known for her ability to reconstruct head injuries so good that the families are able to have open casket viewings.

Can you tell I’m proud of our Non-Conventional Daughter?  Well I am totally proud of my girl and I get the chance to brag on her.  Our Loreli, the ICU Trauma Nurse, I told you about last year being picked to be on that special Task Force to go into natural disaster areas is gaining a reputation at the hospital she works at as being excellent in her field too.

Okay, I’ll take you slowly into why I’m doing this post.

Outline of tat

Outline of tat

Tiffany is working at having a “Sleeve” done on her arm.  The images are all representative of “Death” since she deals with it on a daily basis.

As a Christmas present from her Mom (who is a dear friend of mine) she was given the opportunity to have the work begun.

Working with a tattoo artist to come up with the design, the first part will be a raven overlooking a graveyard.  There will be, at some time, a tribute to her family somewhere else on this same arm.

This is the pattern that has been approved, so far, by Tiffany to get started.  The artwork is amazing and the details are beautiful.  The scroll work on the iron fence, the individual feathers on the raven, the cemetery in the background.  Tiffany is really happy with this tattoo artist and his body of work.  I’m gulping and trying to stay upright as I think about the amount of time that will be needed to just tattoo this outline.  I’m getting woozy.

First part of tattoo

First part of tattoo

Raven colored in

Raven colored in

The left photo was done a couple weeks ago.  This right photo was taken yesterday.  The skull on the raven’s back started out as a mistake but the artist did some totally awesome work to make it look like it was meant to be there.

Uuuuuuuuuuuh, oooooooooooh.  Crash, bang, splat……


A Treasure Box

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Now that Carissa has finally received her Birthday present – only a week late – I can finally get this posted.

The wooden box is from Michaels.  It is an unfinished box already complete with hinges and latch.  It measures about 7″ x 7″ x 3″.  The papers are from a discontinued line by Stampin’ Up! and it was mostly scrap pieces left over from other projects.  This was the ONLY paper I had that were in the pastel colors that Carissa likes.  Not very pastel but they are sort of like Easter colors she is fond of.

On the lid I have used Prima flowers with one center being a Fire Circle Brad from Stampin’ Up! and the other two have tiny flowers I cut from a silk flower bunch I had purchased at Hobby Lobby.  I have since colored the tiny white center gold which was after this photo was taken.

The “flourishes” are from a package of glittered chipboard assortment I purchased from Michaels and the butterfly is from a sticker pack I purchased at Hobby Lobby.  I think it is K & Co.

The stamped image is from Stampin’ Up! “Word Play” set and really says it all about how I feel about my little girl that is a grown woman and working on building her own family.

The trim around the sides and front of the box is something I purchased at my local Hancock Fabrics store.  It is so pretty with all the beads run through it.

The front of the box at the clasp I used the tassel I received from Lynn Claridge all the way from the UK.  I’ve added a key charm that is a new product at Stampin’ Up!  I used waxed linen thread to “sew” the tassel on the clasp because there was a barrel type opening at the very bottom of the shell like clasp.  I have removed the paint that got blobbed on the fixture before I sent it off to her and cleaned it up a bit.

On the inside lid I attached my “Treasure” .  When I saw this photo on Carissa’s Facebook page I got a bit bent out of shape.  She was hanging all over some old man and I nearly freaked out.  This was taken at the Retro Party her church held at a local restaurant before Thanksgiving of last year.  Carissa was instrumental in getting this party planned and she did all the decorating.  I’m so proud of her.  After a bit of closer inspection of the photo I saw that the “Old Man” is her husband, Jaime, with his hair, beard, and eyebrows spray painted the white color.  These two people are my pride and joy, thus “My Treasures” and I thought befitting to go inside the box.

I edged both the top and the bottom inside rim of the box with gold acrylic paint and used Mod Podge to adhere the paper to the wooden box and Triple Thick Glossy Glaze that I got at Hobby Lobby.  The Glossy Glaze is used in place of a varnish.  Next time I will use a varnish since that Triple Thick stuff takes a really long time to dry and the fumes from it linger for days and days.

The inside bottom of the box is just coated with the Triple Thick Glaze after the paper had been adhered with Mod Podge.  Aside from all the fiddling with the paper and Mod Podge then waiting for over a week for all of the different applications of products to dry and not cause the lid to stick when closed, this project was about two days in the making.  The rest of the time was for drying and I don’t think I will do that kind of treatment again.  Even though it is very shiny and glossy, I’m still not sure if it has dried fully and she won’t need a crowbar to get the lid open because it stuck shut.

When I talked with her yesterday, she first thought I had made her a jewelry box.  She wanted to know what to put in it and we discussed that for a little while.  She suggested some of her scrapbook tools and items which would be a good idea if they fit in there.  I don’t really have any concern over what she puts in it because I have made sure to put MY dearest treasure in that box 🙂  I so love those two kids.

Using Fantasy Film

I received a package from Lynn Claridge all the way from the UK recently.  She included a bit of Fantasy Film and some heat bond fibers in the package.  This was the first time I had ever seen, or heard, of this type of product.  The Fantasy Film is made by Art Glitter out of Cottonwood, Arizona.

Below is a YouTube video showing how to use the Fantasy Film and heat embossing powder to make a necklace pendant.


Here is a YouTube video that shows how to use the Fantasy Film along with an inked rubber stamp and an iron.

Stampin’ Up! has some “Simply Adorned” charms in various sizes.  5/8″ Square, 1″ x 1″ Square, 1″ x 1-1/4″ Square, 1-1/2″ x 2″ Square.  I’ve held one of these recently and can tell you there is not much room within the inner workings of the locket.  I  think I will have to purchase one of these and give it a try with the Fantasy Film and see if it works or not.

Lynn also sent a link to the precious little box she created for me that held some wonderful treasures within.  Origami Box With Lid tutorial can be found at this link.  There are a couple pages you can print that have photographic instructions along with written instructions for the creation of the boxes.

Now this might be enough information to get you thinking about doing something just a bit different.  It certainly has me thinking about it.

The Package Arrived From The UK


Package from the UK

Package from the UK

Tucked between my door and the screen door was this package when Joe and I came back home from running some errands.  A bit squished and battered though, it has finally reached its destination.

Looks like driving on the wrong side of the road is not all the Brits do differently 🙂  Their postage is placed on the wrong side of the box :o)  Good thing it clearly says “Royal Mail” or I would have just tossed the box on the table and left it for later.

Poor Lynn has been fretting over the whereabouts of this package since she mailed it on December 6, 2010.  At least it was not on a “slow boat to China” 😉


Goodies from a tiny box

Goodies from a tiny box

Inside the box was another box, wrapped in bubble wrap.  Slightly mushed but not badly.

Within the little box treasures were found.  Bling and more bling….plus a “flying pig” that is the cutest.  The domino has a floral print on the back side and I forgot to turn it over.  The blue and gold flower had my full attention for most of the paw through.  The bright and shiny blue sparkles like it is transparent painted tin or metal.  Stunning it most certainly is.  I love the two little yellow flowers also.  The little bag holds Christmas trees and sleighs which are brads.  They are so darling.  A tassel I have a use for.  My daughter, Carissa, has a birthday tomorrow and I can use it on a thing I am creating for her.  She already knows it will be late.  I think I may have to use some of the blingy pieces too on her gift.  I’ll take pictures of it and post it later.

To view these “Thumbnail” photos, below, in a larger size, click on the thumbnail you want to see enlarged.


Beautiful box

Beautiful box

Inside box

Inside box

Spine of box

Spine of box

This is the little box all the treasures came in.  Hand stamped by Lynn?  Seed pearls are adhered at the curly Q’s and are so pretty on the box.  Maybe we can beg, wheedle, plead, and ask nicely for instructions on creating the box?


Floral frames

Floral frames

This set of floral frames were included in the package from Lynn.  These are so beautiful.  Gold rims the inner frames with floral bouquets draped around them.  These are almost too pretty to use on something….ALmost.

Visions of a heartfelt sentiment or poem centered within the frame.  If I did counted cross stitch still I might think about whipping something up to go with these, alas my eye sight and patience are both not what they used to be.


Beautiful ornate panel #1

Beautiful ornate panel #1

Beautiful ornate panel #2

Beautiful ornate panel #2

Click on either of these two thumbnail photos to view them enlarged.  These are both beautiful.  Frankly, I’ve never seen anything like these before.  Each of these panels are about 5″ x 7″ and the frame area is about 2″ x 3″.  There will be a lot of digging through photos to find appropriate pictures to place in these frames.  Maybe, I’ll just stare at them for a while longer and take in the rich details of each one.

The next items I’ve never seen nor heard of before.  Please let me know what to do with these.


Fantasy Film and Hot Fix Angel Hair

Fantasy Film and Hot Fix Angel Hair

There are some instructions with each of these items.  There is a reference to a YouTube video on the Fantasy Film.  The Hot Fix Angel Hair stuff is to be heated with an iron between parchment paper and they bond to each other.  The Fantasy Film has some instructions to be laid atop an inked stamp then a dry iron is to be placed atop the sandwich of stamp and film.  Seems as though I may  have to do some experimenting in the future.  Hmmmm, I wonder if these are available in the US?



Easle type Christmas Card

Easle type Christmas Card

I really MUST try this technique and soon.  Lynn has created a video showcasing her “Grid Card” on YouTube, click on the link above to watch the two-part series.

This is such a beautiful card using her Christmas themed rubber stamps.   It looks so festive and cheery.  Lynn sent me a “Flag Book” some time back she did using her “Grid Card” technique and I adore it.  Many a day I don’t get much done in my room because I spend quite a bit of time looking at Maureen’s tag and card she made, the mini album made for me by Jann Gray (Saulsberry),  along with Lynn’s Flag Book.  I probably ought to stop that before I rub the papers into fuzzy bits.

Its crazy, I know, but feeling the textures that Maureen did on her tag and card with the stamping and embossing, and the sweep and drag feel of Lynn’s Flag book, the grainy texture of “Soot” Jann did on the outer edges of the mini album.  What can I say, I just love the feel of paper….any paper….and I love to look at the creativity of other people’s work.




Last, but not the least, is this bag of Maltesers from Lynn that was tucked into the box.  Lynn had put up a recipe to make a cake of some kind, I don’t remember what it was now.  Two of the ingredients are honey and Maltesers.  I asked about the latter since that is a total unknown to me.

Boy, do I know what to do with these :o)  Maybe I’ll not open them and save them because they come from the UK.  Well…..since they are resealable…..

Oh crapazoid.  I guess I can always make a scrapbook page with the empty bag 🙂

Thank you Lynn for your very generous box of goodies.  How have you been able to part with most of these items?  I think I would have trouble letting go of some of them, wondering if they were going to a good home or not 😦  Yes, I’m totally insane.  The men in the white coats just might come knocking on my door any minute.  Better open the bag of Maltesers before they do arrive.


Origin Of Phrases?

I received an email from a business friend (my “Day Job”).  It is “Historical Trivia” and it is just crazy enough to possibly be believed.


In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras.  Ones image was either sculpted or painted.  Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms.  Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted.  Arms and legs are “limbs”, therefore painting them would cost the buyer more.  Hence the expression, “Okay, but it will cost you an arm and a leg”.  Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint.


As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year – May and October.  Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads because of lice and bugs and wore wigs.  Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool.  They couldn’t wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes.  The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term “Big Wig”.  Today we often use the term “He’s a Big Wig” because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.


In the late 1700’s many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair.  Commonly a long wide board folded down from the wall and was used for dining.  The “head of  household” always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor.  Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during the meal.  To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge.  They called the one sitting in the chair the “chair man”.  Today in business, we use the expression or title “Chairman” or “Chairman of the Board”.


Personal hygiene left much room for improvement.  As a result, many women and men developed acne scars by adulthood.  The women would spread bee’s wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions.  When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman’s face she would be told “mind your own bee’s wax”.  Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term “crack a smile”.  In addition when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt.  Therefore the expressing “losing face”.


Ladies wore corsets.  A proper and dignified woman would have a corset that laced in the front.  The ties would be pulled very tight, therefore the term “straight laced” came to be.


Common entertainment included playing cards.  However, there was a tax levied when purchasing cards but only applicable to the Ace of Spades.  To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead.  Since most games require 52 cards these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t “playing with a full deck”.


Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important.  Since there were no telephones, TV’s, or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars.  They were told to “go sip some Ale” and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns.  Many assistants were dispatched at different times.  “You go sip here” and “you go sip there”.  The two words “Go Sip” were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and thus we have the term “Gossip”.


At local taverns, pubs, and bars people drank from pint and quart sized containers.  A barmaids job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming.  She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in “pints” and who was drinking in “quarts”.  Hence the phrase “Minding your P’s and Q’s”.

Now for a funny story that deals with our current technological age.

When I bought my Blackberry I thought about the 30-year business I ran with 1800 employees.  All without a cell phone that plays music, takes videos, pictures, and communicates with Facebook and Twitter.  I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook so my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grand kids, and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way.  I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.

That was before one of my grand kids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie, and Twitterific, Tweetdeck, Twitpix, and something that sends messages to my cell phone and every other program within the texting world.  My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation.  I am not ready to live like this.  I  keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library.  I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Bluetooth (it’s RED) phone I am supposed to use when I drive.  I used it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Noble talking to my wife.  Everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me.  I had to take my hearing aid out to use it and I got a little loud.

I mean, the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board but the lady inside that gadget was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time.  Every 10  minutes she would sarcastically say “Re-cal-cu-lating”.  You would think that she could be nicer.  It was like she could barely tolerate me.  She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a legal U-turn at the next opportunity.  Then if I made a right turn instead…well it was not a good relationship.

When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets.  While she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS Lady, at least she loves me.

To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house.  We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven’t figured out how I can lose three phones all at once and have to run around digging under chair cushions, checking bathrooms, and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.

The world is getting too complex for me.  They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store.  You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden “Paper or plastic?” every time I check out just knocks me for a loop.  I bought some of those cloth reuseable bags to avoid looking confused…but I never remember to take them in with me.  Now I toss it back to them.  When they ask me, “Paper or plastic?” I just say.  “Doesn’t matter to me.  I am bi-sacksual.”  Then it is their turn to stare at me with a blank look.

I was recently asked if I tweet.  I answered “No, but I do toot a lot”.

Everyone enjoy your weekend.

Teddy Bears From My “Bear”


My collection of Teddy Bears

My collection of Teddy Bears

This is my collection of Teddy Bears I have received from Joe over the years.

The first one he gave me is in the top left corner, the white bear.  He won that at Circus Circus Casino in Las Vegas in 1993.

The next one, you can’t see very well is on the front of that top shelf.  The small brown bear with the red shirt.  That is a pair of bears Hallmark promoted in about 1998 – the “Kiss Kiss” bears.  He had asked if there was anything I wanted him to get me and I requested them.

My Joe, having a “Mission”, is pretty much determined to accomplish his task.  Hallmark stores are not, as a rule, next to an exit from the highway.  This was a time long before GPS units were seen in most every vehicle and the iPhone wasn’t even in the planning stages then.  Gotta love that man! :o)

My collection of bears, from my “Bear”, include an animated and singing bear with a fish and one giant humongous white bear that has to be propped up in a corner since it falls over from the weight of its head.  Twice a year each bear joins some of his fellow bears for a spin in the dryer under high temperatures to get the dust and other yuckies off.  The humongous bear goes for a ride to the laundromat and takes a spin by himself in one of the larger dryers.


Blown glass items

Blown glass items

All of the big truck stops, with a convenience store, have display cabinets with blown glass figures.

About once a month, beginning in 1998,  he would come home with something that caught his fancy.  This was at a time when he was on the road by himself and I stayed at home full time.

As my collection of blown glass items grew he knew there was a need for a more secure place to house them.  The Christmas of 2000 he bought me this Curio Cabinet.

I have been well, and truly, blessed with the gift of my husband.  He makes me crazy sometimes and I wonder where his head is.  Hmmm, wonder if he ever thinks like that of me? 😉  He gets accused of being “My Boss” from time to time in NOT such a loving manner and voice.

Can’t use the excuse of being road weary when we are out for weeks and months at a time.  It is just a short temper and being selfish on my part.  To be loved and thought of this much by my “Bear” is the greatest gift I have EVER been given.

Buddah’s Hand Citron


A cute bear

A cute bear

Joe is on his way to Portland, Oregon.

He called me yesterday, in distress which was totally scary.  His first words, upon answering, were “This is not good”.  The sound of his voice was not good either.  I thought he had been hurt or had broken down out in the middle of no where.

After he got done scaring the fool out of me, I learned he was at the roadside Fruit Stand we went to last summer while moving all the Wal-Mart trucks from Red Bluff, California to Pomona, California.

They were out of cherries.  No more cherries was what had him bummed.  He did get a picture of this cute little bear.  My big bear will bring me little bears home when he is out by himself.  I’ll have to take a picture of the collection I have someday.

Always up for learning something new, Joe sent me some pictures along with literature about this creepy looking fruit.


Buddah's Hand Citron

Buddah's Hand Citron

This is “Buddah’s Hand Citron”.  Gives me the heebie jeebies looking at it.

Buddah’s Hand citron, or Fingered citron is a fragrant citron variety whose fruit is segmented into finger-like sections.

The citron grows on a shrub or small tree with long, irregular branches covered in thorns.  Its large, oblong leaves are pale green and grow about four to six inches.  Its white flowers are tinted purplish from the outside and grow in fragrant clusters.

The fruit has a thick peel and only a small amount of acidic flesh (if any) and is juiceless and sometimes seedless.  It is very fragrant and is used predominantly by the Chinese and Japanese for perfuming rooms and personal items, such as clothing.

The peel of the fruit can be candied into saccade.  In Western cooking, it is often used for its zest.  The inner white pith is not bitter as is usually the case with citrus, so the fingers may be cut off and then longitudinally sliced, peel pith and all, and used in salads or scattered over cooked foods such as fish.


Fruit stand in California

Fruit stand in California

Doesn’t look quite as creepy when it is placed among other citrus.  Joe found out from the Fruit Stand personnel that the Buddah’s Hand does not last very long.  If he were to purchase one and bring it home it would not make the trip in the same condition.  It rots quickly so it is best used shortly after picking.

Unlike the other citrus at the fruit stand that will last for quite a while before it begins to go bad, this delicate citron has a very, very short shelf life.

Thought you would like to learn something new.