Friday, January 29, 2016


Well, I finished up my knitting assessment assignment for TINK YARN on Sunday evening, and wanted to share - both about the yarn and the pattern!  Getting right to the hat pattern, on my beautiful girl, this one was truly a one-day knit.  Or, a two-football-game knit.  Hell, you could even whip this up during the Super Bowl, in team colors!
Drawstring side can be worn as seen; further back, behind the ear; or in the back at the nape of the neck.  Adorable any way it's worn.  Pattern has two style choices for knitting with one or two colors - this one was knit in the one-color version, using BOTH of the TINK YARNs sent to me - the worsted weight is their "Rich Bitch", and the I-cord tie and pompoms utilized the "Changing Seasons" sock weight, held double.  That was the gorgeous yarn used for the shawl.  
BOTH of these are like knitting heaven - soft, squishy, easy on the eyes AND hands.  I just can't say enough great things about the product these Vegas girls are turning out - and they all have full-time jobs, to boot.  The packaging is pretty cute, too!
I LOVE this worsted weight!  This was beautiful and fit fabulously, straight off the needles.  TINK'S yarns get even better with wet-blocking, but this didn't need least for the time being.
Subtle color changes (I love tonal yarns!) for that added yarn personality.  This is the edging on the shawl/scarf done from the other skeins.  The black I added to the mix (also a TINK YARN) was SO very hard to fact, it completely changed color outside.  In actuality, it was tones of black, gray and white, with tiny hints of the same turquoise here and there (click on the photo, and then click again).  Those two sock weight yarns had the tiniest threads of Stellina, or SHINY STUFF (it's a technical term)...not overbearing sparkly - JUST enough.
These two yarn colors were perfect for complementing each other - they told me it was actually just a random draw, and in that case, I feel like the biggest winner of them all.  How'd I make those cute little pompoms?  Clover has invented the greatest gadgets ever for pompoms - done in a matter of minutes!
The fabulous yarns?  TINK YARN, all the way to the bank!

What happens in Vegas IS leaving here, daily...get yours today -   Also available through JIMMYBEANSWOOL.COM

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


I've got a thing for pincushion dolls...especially the Marie Antoinette and Madame Pompadour ones.  Can I tell who's who?  Nope.  I just love them all.  I decided last year that friends and family I love needed to share in my wealth of these beauties, instead of them being squirreled away in the cardboard box - after all, I bought them for that very purpose.  AND, for some reason, I kept running into the same doll, over and over...and worse yet, BOUGHT HER, over and over.  SO...starting two Thanksgivings ago, I dug them out of hiding and went to work.
This is how they all started - these are the special ones I've kept for myself.  These are all German made from round about the 1920s.  The Marie on the lower left is the one I had plenty of, as you'll see - she's the one that started it all with that particular doll, so she will stay with me - I like the dark eyebrows.
Each face on this particular doll, although from the same porcelain mold, was slightly different, at the hands of the varied artisans working in the factories.  She stands 4-5/8" tall, while the larger one is just under 5-1/4".
Dolls with their "hands away" from their bodies are a little more coveted among collectors (would I say I'm a collector?  No - I just got caught up in a pretty face, evidently).  This grey-haired beauty has the most detailed hair...thin lines dragged through the paint to add incredible definition.  She's 3-5/8" while the little one stands 2-1/2".
SO...I started here - SMALL POTATOES!  This is a traditional pincushion doll - attached to a traditionally used pincushion base, which I had to make, since she had none.  This is Marie Lorrie, who went to my sister-in-law.  Behind her sits Marie Jackie, who ended up done in the same manner, and with my dear friend here in Vegas, that same Christmas.  Everything on these is completely hand stitched in place, save for the machine stitching on the clothing construction.  I hate glue, silly me!  See the birdcages in the back?  Watch what happened next...
"Why limit myself in size, and to just pincushions", I said!  The larger doll started life as a Munzerlite "lamp doll" from the 20s...they actually had wire cages covered with silk dresses and bare light bulbs underneath.  I'm assuming there were probably lots of boudoir fires in those days.  This doll has her original mohair curls with a tiny silk flower in her hair.  She is constructed from some type of HEAVY plaster (she had a LARGE threaded bolt embedded under her bust for attaching to the lamp), and painted beautifully with a satin finish heavy paint.  Her half-arms are metal, and attached to her torso by wires that feed into a cork in the top of each arm.
This is Marie Barbara - she went to my Mom...she stood around 18" when done.  The silk roses are all handmade - all buttons and rhinestones are antique.  The large rhinestone starburst, an earring from her mother, my grandmother, sewn into the mix.
She was filled with large, heavy, mercury-glass type ornaments in a crackle-bronze color, once she arrived safely at her destination.  The second doll?  I will end the post with her...stay tuned.
This Christmas, I went back to the Maries for another round.  While Marie Jackie sat on a traditional pincushion, Marie Jackie II is atop a birdcage.  Velvet ribbons and silks on this one - more antique buttons and handmade silk roses.
Antique hand-crocheted doily for a bustle, with caged, heavy mercury-style ornaments - I believe she finished right around 15", give or take a curl or two atop her beautiful head.
Vintage, broken jewelry piece among the roses, and one large antique wooden button, below.
And Marie Abbi, the pink girl that now belongs to my son's fiance.
I may have overbought Maries over the years, but was so happy to be able to share these girls with those I love.  Another hand-crocheted antique doily bustle on this one.
I seem to have overbought on antique buttons over the years, also - shhhhh!  Digging in my stash, I was able to come up with a tiny pink celluloid puppy button that was added into the mix.
Which brings us to the last, for the time being - remember, I have all those unfinished ones in the first photos, still.  This is Marie Jaclyn...or "Mother Ginger" as she is referred to by my "Nutcracker" lovin' girl.  I wanted to fill her with small children, but my daughter was happy with the shiny silver ornaments!
She's a tall girl...almost 22" in height.  Silk dress - this was a fun one to try and figure out, if you remember her wire arms from above.  I wrapped her bust first, hand-stitching everything in place, and then attached the poofy (filled with tulle to retain the "poof") sleeves one at a time.  More handmade silk and linen roses...more antique buttons and rhinestones...more heavy glass ornaments...yards of crinkly tulle.
A large cut-steel butterfly buckle on her bustle, along with more antique treasures.
Here's to making some special memories from those treasures you've overbought held onto.  HAPPY BEAUTIFUL TUESDAY, or as Marie would say, "GO EAT SOME CAKE"! 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

RED ROCKS AND ARROYOS - Tink Yarn Finished Project

Off the needles, and OFF THE HOOK!!!  My "first" project with TINK YARN (actually not my first project using the yarns, but first for this project) finished, blocked, and ready to roll.  For those that dabble in yarns, this stuff is incredibly soft on the needles, and even better cast off and blocked!

The name?  Reminds me of our SW red rock buttes and canyons and the arroyos below, with just enough water to feed the sage and pinion pine that grow there.  (NOTE:  Colors on this project are more "true" in the following photos...this one on the ol' mannequin just didn't have the right light early this morning, but was too great not to include - this shawl has the BEST, deep triangular shape for draping bandanna style.)
For those who DO's the info:  TINKYARN.COM is where you can find the yarns. The two colors used here are "Changing Seasons" (the desert rust - a brand new color for them...don't see it on the website yet?  ASK!!!) and;  "Rich Bitch in a Limo" (the blue-green/soft black combo that definitely lent itself to this!).  NO color discharge in my sink last night, when soaking this for blocking.  They pride themselves on this - these are FABULOUS yarns!  The worsted weight is next on the needles.

Outstanding, free pattern from - PLUMA SHAWLETTE by Lisa R. Meyers (this is my third go-round with it).
What happens in Vegas can be yours without leaving home -

Monday, January 18, 2016


Hopefully an entire week of creative fun here - it's January 18th and I already have things spinning in my head and flying off needles.  I answered a call a few weeks back for my favorite (and LOCAL) "Indie-dyers" and yarn aficionados, TINK YARN.  Bloggers and podcasters were recruited to test their yarns and give feedback (as well as let the rest of you in on the Vegas secret).  Those of us here in Vegas already know, and the secret's out of the bag now!  They were just recently "inducted" into JIMMYBEANSWOOL.COM, with their "Fremontini" color way (as with all my posts, direct links are highlighted throughout - all ya' gotta' do is click on 'em).
One of their biggest cheerleaders, I gladly sent in my name...they sent THIS back, with instructions to use it how I wanted.  Not one, but TWO of their fabulous creations - a new color called "Changing Season", in a fingering weight, and "Rich Bitch" (the color of money!) in a heavier, worsted weight.  The Tink girls have an entire catalogue of clever "Vegasy" names for their color palatte.
These yarns couldn't have been more perfect - it has "me" written all over it.  My mind immediately raced to the desert Southwest, and a few "baubles" picked up and gifted to me this past year.  Turquoise, Coral, Terra Cotta, Red Rocks, Sage and Cottonwoods lining the bottoms of the desert Arroyos in spring...teeny tiny little flecks of gold, here and there.  Yep, desert perfection!
So, following their first rule of instruction (the first rule of Fight Club do not talk about Fight Club...yep, different club) of "Get that yarn on the needles!", I chose a pattern I had done for two gifts this year and cast on, for myself this time.  A new project called for new needles, too - whoever the absolute genius was that decided SQUARE knitting needles was a good idea, BRAVO!!!!!  Who woulda' thunk?  They're fabulous.
And the yarn?  To die knitting in butter, without the grease.  I had an extra skein sitting here that I had watched being dyed on a day I was invited to see how their yarn is born.  I had saved it for a special project...the tones are the same ones used for the turquoise skein, with some black thrown in the mix, but this was a fingering weight, so was perfect for this project.  AND, it just so happened to be named "Rich Bitch in a Limo" - my two projects will tie into together, perfectly...and "richly".
While you're waiting to see the end result (which I'm hoping for in the next few nights myself) you might want to check out not only their own website at TINK YARN, but go read about the whole winning process these three friends have developed, by clicking here for HOW TINK YARN IS BORN.  What happens in Vegas USUALLY doesn't stay in Vegas, despite what you've heard...the word's out about THESE THREE!
Laci, Terri, and Ashley of

Sunday, January 10, 2016


One final look back at Christmas past, before heading on to a new year, you might remember my Springtime posts of the Ethel M Cactus Garden, here in Las Vegas.  Well, after they lose their Spring color, they are just cactus with long, spiny thorns - everything in here has a thorn of some kind on it (hence the name CACTUS Garden).  Long, dangerous thorns.  Hell, there is even a cactus they have marked to avoid getting close to, as they say the spines JUMP.  Yeah, I don't believe that either.
Each Christmas, for the past 22 years, Ethel M's clever Christmas Light "Stringers" gingerly string over 500,000 lights throughout the 3-acre CACTUS garden.  Hard to tell at night, but I took these WITH a flash, to illuminate some of the spiny hazards these stringers faced.  Also the UN-stringers!  
They've been doing this as long as we've lived here, but this was our first venture through - how dumb have I been?  This display is sure to give anyone "Christmas Light Envy".  Tiny laser lights were even shining down from the tip-tops of the large trees - glad he didn't get blinded!
A pretty fabulous end to our Christmas/New Year week.  This display is open around the first month of November, through New Year's Day, until 10:00 at night.  The garden and candy factory self-guided tours are always free (the factory tour and gift shop were actually open that evening, as well). 

Directions to this joyous sight and smell extravaganza can be found by clicking HERE!
A wish for a spectacular 2016, from my house to yours - XOXO

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Alas - the times, they ARE a changing.  The last of one the most fabulous and iconic Vegas institutions is soon to be no more...sigh! The Strip (as evidenced by billboards galore this Christmas) is no longer seeing the draw of major headliners it once did, but is now home to DJ, after one-name DJ, spinning records in techno nightclubs.  For those planning a trip to Vegas soon (or those who reside here and may want to catch it one last time - or one FIRST time), JUBILEE at Bally's, is lowering their curtain forever, on February 11th.
7:00 show is "family-friendly"; 9:30 show is traditionally and tastefully topless.  This show has outlasted every other showgirl production, AND every Vegas show in history, since it's start in 1981.  This is your final chance to take in the fabulous costuming of huge headdresses, feathers, rhinestones, and 100 showgirls (and male dancers) in an over-the-top extravaganza that channels Ziegfield and the Folies Bergere. The boys up top with my own showgirl?  A father and son tourist duo, in from TX, that happily photobombed the shoot.
We made it a grand family affair this Christmas - we knew we couldn't let it close down without one last hurrah!  The Grinchy husband-person (not even the lure of all that beauty could persuade him) stayed home on the couch with the pup.  Very sad to see this one close - it's truly the end of an era here in Vegas - we will miss those showgirls!  Make a plan to see it if you can.
Christmas is always best with family and loved ones...second run-through of the Bellagio Botanical Gardens - still as beautiful towards the end of the display as it is at the beginning.  They constantly work to change out spent blooms during the duration of the "show".  Next up - Chinese New Year..of the MONKEY...yeah, there may be no pictures of that!
Blue Spruce and warm Penguins; the pup found a new, unwitting, lap this Christmas. and; COOKIE time!  It was pretty wonderful to have my two favorite girls decorating sugar cookies together this year.  One more set of Christmas photos to round out the week - the CACTUS garden at Ethel M''ve never seen lights like this - OK, lights maybe, but what they are on, doubtful.  Again, remember - looking for one last fling with OLD, GLAMOROUS VEGAS? Make it a date at Bally's on the Las Vegas Strip, by February 11th, for JUBILEE.  And if you're going to go without the little ones, go for the full, iconic experience...make it the 9:30 show!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Happy 2016!
Phrases those of us who live in the Las Vegas desert cringe at hearing?  "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas", or the proverbial "But, it's a DRY heat".  Well, let me tell you, while our East Coast friends were "suffering" through one of the warmest Christmases on record, WE got your cold...and it's a "different" cold here - it IS a DRY cold in the desert SW.
Tourists coming through town NEVER expect Vegas to be anything but warm or gasp-inducing HOT.  Our week between Christmas and New Year never saw us get above 40 degrees during the day, and was in the mid 20s and LOW 30s at night.  See the hats, scarves, and parkas?  It was bone-chilling cold here in the city of lights.  I'm betting the ones who brought the shorts (and there are ALWAYS those folks) were surprised!  This is proof - it DOES get cold in the desert, and it's a different cold - it's a DRY cold!  I need to coin a new phrase.
Family photo album photos this week, as my parents came to town from CO - we had the most wonderful week, and I think they were even surprised by the cold.  This evening found us braving the cold to attend an indoor show on Fremont Street - old, downtown Vegas.  While we waited, we took in the outdoor show in the "blocks-long" covered pedestrian mall, complete with two aerial zip lines, an LED canopy of ever-changing light shows overhead, and various stages of undress on the ground.  It was nice this visit, as everyone had more than their share of clothes on.
The Viva Vision Light Show happens once every hour, for about 7 minutes, on a 1500 ft. long, 90 feet wide, 12.5 million LED lamps screen.  Each hour brings a different show, throughout the evening...this year they've concentrated on rock concerts.  We caught the time slot for Heart, before the show we went to see.  Ann Wilson, larger than life as the zip liners flew by.
"Wouldn't you, Barracuda?"
It's the planetarium Lazer Rock of it's time, I guess (oh, did I date myself there, child of the 70s)...only with LED.  
And, I WILL be doing a post about THIS (with daytime shots), soon.  "Across the tracks", on the other side of Fremont Street, is East Fremont Street.  It's a part of town that, when we first moved here, was the "seedy part"...somewhere not to be ventured alone, and certainly never at night.  Well...all that has changed, and there are now some pretty cool sights and happenin' hot spots along the area.  THIS sits in front of the Container Park - a shopping area of eclectic art and gift filled shops, ALL housed in shipping containers (from big ships)!
This praying mantis is HUGE and sits atop a military Humvee - if I could get my hands on the keys, I would SO drive this - in fact, I would overthrow a chance to drive my beloved Weinermobile for THIS!  I had heard that the events at night with this guy were pretty spectacular...thankfully he was still afire and changing colors as we left that evening.
A hope that your Christmas was every bit as spectacular!  A wish for a safe and wonderful new year, filled with heartwarming memories...
especially gigantic ones with flaming antennae!  Happy New Year - XOXO