Friday, March 26, 2010

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button...

What is it about old buttons that gets me?  Today was a very good day - especially for newly discovered, old treasures in the form of antique and vintage buttons, beautiful old buckles, with a few pins thrown in for good measure.  This collection goes three and four deep, in places, and weighs 2 lbs. - it covered a large cookie sheet this afternoon, when I got it home.

From the seemingly bottomless treasure trove of my friend Karen, "The Button Lady", to my eager hands - she had been holding some special items (what I refer to as "the good stuff"), and some "funky junk" for me (great for "repurposing").  Celluloid; bakelite; cut-steel; rhinestones; brass; mother-of-pearl; crystals; and then some (in the middle left of the picture is a silver spiral beaded button...those are actually all antique cut-steel beads - I know - I threw a magnet on it)!  Some of the exta large coat buttons will eventually be used in my sewing...purses and "whatnot".  The rest is bound for my special jewelry stash of "fixins'".  Want to know how to get ahold of Karen, here in Vegas, just let me know...I'm sure she mails too, for those out of state.  Happy weekend...I hope it's warm where you are!

Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing.
~ Author Unknown

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"You Shook Me All Night Long"...

Yes, they DID!  "Bonfire" - an LA-based tribute band to the Bon Scott years of AC DC - what a show!  These boys ROCKED the LV Hilton last night...they're modest guys, evidently, as I couldn't find too much "personal" info on them, even on their own website ( It does have dates of upcoming events, though - if you get a chance to see them in action, DO!

We thought last night was the end (for awhile, anyway) of the tribute band series that mega-producer Jerry Greenberg has brought to Vegas and the Hilton, but were very excited to hear that it's continuing through the summer - we've had so much fun at these, I know where we'll be on Wed. nights for awhile!  "Rock n roll ain't noise pollution"...AC DC

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Pulled My Harpoon Out of My Dirty Red Bandana"...

..."I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues"...

Ahhhhhhh...the great Kris Kristofferson song made famous by Janis Joplin - nothing better than the BLUES and a harmonica.  I was gifted with the smallest WORKING harmonica that Hohner makes (the's just a shade over 1-3/8" long) this past Christmas, by my friend Jackie - yep, it's the "real deal".  She hung it on a chain with a few little musical charms to go with it, and told me to "go crazy" and make something.  I wore it just the way she gave it to me for the longest time, but got the itch to make something for myself the other day (which doesn't happen often), and that treasured little harmonica was just the ticket to some creative fun, listening to some of my favorite blues tunes (mostly the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan).
Dangling from an antique cut-steel shoe buckle, it is now surrounded by antique oxidized (BLUE) brass buttons; black antique glass faceted buttons; beautiful vintage rhinestone buttons; a BLUE and clear crystal necklace piece that belonged to my grandmother; a teeny brass bell; a brass swallow; and hand formed links.  The "before" picture is here too, with the harmonica laying alongside one of my favorite necklaces that Jackie also happened to give of her wire wrapped, dichroic glass guitars (
..."Feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the know feeling good was good enough for me...good enough for me and my Bobby McGee"...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Soup Bowl Saturday - Empty Bowls Las Vegas...

Saturday, March 20th, 2010 was the tenth consecutive year that the Nevada Clay Guild has cosponsored the Annual Empty Bowls Benefit, which helps feed the hungry of Las Vegas.  In Spring 2009, the bowls made by the members of the Guild and students of Donna Potter (artist and GVHS pottery teacher extraordinaire) helped raise over $34,000 (growing from $9,000 raised in its first year), which directly feeds the homeless and hungry who visit the Las Vegas Catholic Worker soup lines five mornings a week, all year around.

The event is held in the cafeteria of Green Valley High School, with student and teacher volunteers, Clay Guild Members, and LV Catholic Worker members pitching in to line tables with bowl after bowl, during the afternoon.  As one bowl is taken from the table, another takes it's place.  These artisans work year-round to make sure this event has enough on hand - each and every one of these bowls is beautiful and unique, making for a pretty tough decision.  There are also silent and live auctions of incredible donated pottery and art pieces.
Once you have selected your bowl (or bowls - extras are there for the buying), you head to the soup lines and pick out your soup, a roll and a glass of lemonade...undoubtedly a lot more than most homeless get daily.  Jackie ( had the chili - obviously, this was the "before" picture.  Below are my treasures from today, to add to the collection I've amassed over the past years.  The small brown one (which is sitting atop what will probably become my daughter's new favorite popcorn bowl) has a beautiful handcarved horned lizard on it, and the white one - an incredible glazing job in chartreuse and yellow over white.
Empty Bowls is a GREAT grassroots effort and I know it is nationwide, so check it out, wherever you may live...Susan Silva, we sure missed you this year!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Touching Evening Out...

The "tribute band" series of concerts that we have been going to, at the LV Hilton, is winding down.  St. Patrick's Day/Night found Jackie and me at the "Aeromyth" concert - we also took our "Irish" friend, Erin.  Erin touches people...seriously...she touches them!  And not just on the sleeve...the head and hair are quite coveted trophies in Erin's world.  She was in heaven with the crowd there, both during and after the concert, providing us with quite a few chuckles.  While she may not have gotten to the great looking guy with the bald head in the row in front of us (we cautioned her against it, as I don't think any of us could have "taken" his girlfriend), she did get a parting shot in on the lady in the hallway with the "nice hair" on our way out.

This band had the look and the songs down, though the sound mixing could have been better.  Most of the vocals were lost in the instrumentation - could it have been that the 6th row center stage was just too close?.  Next Wed. is the final act in the series (for awhile, anyway...or until we can talk the hotel into a Guns and Roses tribute band, perhaps) - an AC/DC band.  The ultimate tribute band movie, "Rock Star" with Mark Wahlberg, was on Thursday morning, and beckoned me to watch...yeah, these concerts have been fun, for sure - I still have the "Pink Floyd boys", Which One's Pink?, way out in the lead.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's FLAY...

Ahhhhhhh, when Irish eyes are smiling!  I wish I were a burger!  ...sigh...

For the O'Brien "branch" in the family tree, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Seeing Green...

If there truly was a green-eyed alligator that lived in my grandparents dark basement when I was a little kid, I imagine that his eyes looked just like this!
I finished this necklace last evening and it will be heading off in the mail today...'tis a March birthday gift.  Emerald green Swarovski rivolis (surrounded by more crystals), with antiqued brass findings...the brass buds have the most beautiful carnelian agates seated inside.  Yeah, I'm a little green with envy that this one is leaving home.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Bag and a Rex Harrison Hat...Addendum to March Birthdays...

"You ought to know better than to walk into someone's house and start hitting people with your Rex Harrison hat!"...Weird Science
Just as I expected, the morning light did nothing to help my cause...maybe because I got up TOO early and there WAS no light!  In any event, pictures were taken and I was out the door...way earlier than need be, evidently.  We celebrated Jackie D.s birthday, over at Boulder Station - a rousing morning of Bingo (Loser! - with a capital L and an exclamation !point!) and breakfast (winner) among friends, to help her kick off her 45th year.  We are a "handmade gift" sort of group, and Jackie is definitely my little Bohemian Peacenik...she loves anything with a Peace Sign on it.  We had run across bag after bag, that she "oohed" and "aahed" over at the ASD show a few weeks back, so I knew a bag was in the stars.

She also loves her hats, so what better than a "Rex Harrison hat" with a handmade, silk ribbonwork flower pin.  The ribbon was a special piece of French silk wired ombre that Carole (The Ribbon Lady - see post below) and I ran through her smocking machine to experiment with, when she first got it, a few years back.  I had saved it for just the right project - this was it - last night it got the flower treatment.  The color is hard to tell from the "badly lit" picture (sheesh!), but it is in shades of brownish-blue, fading to a grayish blue.  Happy Birthday, Jackie!  Don't go flailing it around at people...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March Birthdays...You Wear It Well!

Well, this started out as a picture taking "thing" this afternoon, but I couldn't get good enough ones of what I was after, due to the lighting (and THAT is why I should never quit my "day job", which is, well.............never mind).  My beautiful, late 1800's mannequin, Virginia, even saw the great out-of-doors, but the lighting was no better there.

Virginia was an acquisition from my friend Carole, "The Ribbon Lady". Like "The Button Lady", Carole is THE absolute "go to" person here in Vegas (and, on the internet) for FABULOUS antique and vintage ribbons, laces, etc., with some "new" thrown in for good measure - an UNBELIEVEABLE warehouse of goodies to peruse (as want to find her, get ahold of me and I'll hook you up).  I was looking at how the mannequin has weathered her 100+ years, while I was trying to shoot a birthday gift (you'll see more of her tomorrow, undoubtedly...morning light is SO much more forgiving), and thought of just how many people I know that celebrate birthdays this month...all with better skin than Virginia, thankfully!

Voltron!; my brother, Arvid, and his wife, Teri (they were born on the same day, one year apart - AND SHE HITS 50 THIS YEAR!); both of their sons - Arvid Mark and Eric; Jackie D.; Myler; my MIL, Phyl; Pat S., and I'm sure there is someone I missed - so "Happy Birthday to you, too".  We also celebrate our anniversary this month.  Hope everyone looks as good as my Virginia in 100 years - the skin on her neck is a telltale sign of her age, and she looks like she took a few bullets from her days as a gun moll, but she's still smokin' hot and has kept that girlish figure!

And while I am at it, I'll share another valued possession that she wears.  The apron is handmade, from the 1920's, and was a gift from a very dear lady.  It's in pristine condition, and has two hand embroidered, appliqued flappers for pockets - the tops of their hats open down into pockets.  Love you...Happy Birthday, and many, many more!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Caviar and Cigarettes...

...Well versed in etiquette...Extraordinarily NICE!  She's a Killer Queen...

I do have to laugh when I think back on a "funny" that my brother's sister pulled, years ago. That would have been to teach her kids, and mine (they were very little...all between the ages of about 4 and 7), the words that I just posted to "Killer Queen".  She told them that it was a song about her; that they had better get the words right; and made them sing it to her (mind you, she only taught them up to the point of "extraordinarily NICE", and it had to be emphasized just that way), along to the Queen recording, as we were driving in the car that day.

Wed. night found my music loving friend, Jackie, and me at another of the LV Hilton's tribute band evening of the music of Queen as performed by Queen Nation (those are the original boys up there), who put on an entertaining show.  Before the concert, I ran square into a darling gal I haven't seen in a few years -  Anna Maly, her husband, mother-in-law, and her precious little Joslyn, were all there for the show, too...hope you guys had a great time!   Dinner and drinks with a dear friend; running into a sweet face from the past; followed by some pretty wonderful tunes - who could ask for a better evening out? 

...Gunpowder, gelatine...Dynamite with a laserbeam...Guaranteed to blow your mind!

As Elizabeth would say, "Keep Calm and Cary Grant Carry On".

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Barkcloth Travel Jewelry Bags...

...heading to Etsy...FINALLY!  I've had these done and sitting here since the jewelry went on, but could not get good enough pictures of them, as they had to be "square".  Try taking square pictures of fitting a square peg in a round hole.  Plus, the rich colors of the beautiful vintage barkcloth fabrics were "washing out".  I "tinker" with taking pictures - I am not a professional photographer, but I'm relatively certain you've got that figured out.  Jackie loaned me her portable light cube, which didn't do the trick for me either (mainly because it was roughly the size of the bags themselves), though I think I might just need one, now.  Anyway, pictures are in the "folder" on my desktop, waiting for descriptions to be written and loaded to the etsy store.  Tomorrow - I've had enough for one day.  (The beautiful little antique key and crystal necklace was made by my friend Chris of

And while I was at it, I snapped a picture of two little gold plated leaves (gold plated that they made to look "bronzey" - must be magic - or they're not really 24kt. gold plated like they told me - sucker!) that were my big purchase at the ASD show with Jackie, yesterday.  They also told me that the "small" ones started at $6.00 ea., and went up from there...however, they probably meant to say "miniscule", as these were nickel sized, which is "small" in my book, and REALLY small compared to the others they had.  These cost me $7.00 a piece - sucker!  I am hoping they are Aspen leaves, but they may, very well, be birch.  I don't want to know - I'm just going to pretend anyway, sucker that I am!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March On...

Happy March 1st - hope the old adage of "In like a lion; Out like a lamb" holds off for a few days, at least...we did get rain in Vegas over the weekend.  I spent the last day of the Olympics seated at my kitchen table, directly in line with the "big" tv, watching the hockey match between Team USA and heart broke for goalie Ryan Miller, on that final shot by Canada!  Well played, boys - hell of a match!

I also had the chance, during the game, to finish up two of three rivolis that I had been working (the two are actually joined as one - I swear the next picture I take of rivolis, they will be placed atop raviolis, since that is what more than a few of us call them).  And check out some of the brass stamping/beads I found that will be paired with the beadwork, as accent pieces.  The beautiful lady is an antique tin "something or other" (another technical term), acquired from my friend Karen Vornsand (or the "Button Lady" as she's affectionately known around town...she also deals in antiques) want some killer antique and vintage buttons, she's your "go-to" person here in want to find her, let me know and I'll tell you how.