Monday, November 22, 2010


A dear group of eBay 'group' friends decided to do an "off eBay" swap this Christmas among 6 of us who chat regularly.  I have met two of the other five, and one of those has become a very close friend.  Someday, I might just meet the rest - until then, I do count them among my friends, and we have a lot of fun, via the USPS.  This year it was decided that we would do snowmen - anything goes...we did not have to limit ourselves to ornaments.
Starting with one of my favorite extreme primitive doll patterns by Sonja Sandell of Hickety Pickety, I found myself with a basketful of snow moms and babies - painted and distressed Warm and Natural quilt batting for the bodies.  We had a particularly windy day here a few weeks ago, and it was my good fortune (as I was panicking a little over lack of twigs) to go to the mall that day and be presented with a tree branch laying across the sidewalk.  After explaining to the security guard that I did NOT wrench it from the tree, but was simply just removing it from the sidewalk where it landed, I was greeted with a head shake, rolled eyes, and told, "Knock yourself out, lady".  It was so large it wouldn't fit in my trunk, but had to ride home straddling both the front seat and back.
Clothing was sewn and stained with coffee...I do label my jar of coffee stain that I keep in the back of the fridge, so the husband does not try to use it on meat.  Stained, scrunched, microwaved...all a part of the primitive doll make-up.
The whole cheerful, motley friend Jackie has informed me these are skeletons (yes, she got one, too), and not snow people - NO, they are snow people!  Because anyone can do pretty, and it's much more fun to color outside of the lines!
A total of eight were made; two to friends here in Vegas, and my daughter declared dibs on the pink one with the watch plaid bloomers!  These are all in the 20" range (I guess I took the 'no size limitation' rule on the swap literally).  Pinky here is, rather smugly, sitting atop her wrapped constituents, who will be heading to their new homes this week.
So, it's a start to the holidays - I am hoping to coerce my husband into dragging out the tree this week - I have a feeling it won't be a problem.  He was "punished" last year, for getting it out 'at his leisure', by my daughter and I not removing it for a few weeks past Christmas, to make up for time lost.  Just wanted to share the smiles with you today - hope your week is wonderful!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


...Well, you know they've got a hell of a band...Righteous Brothers
And, I'm sure that if there is, our Patty is singing, and dancing, backup tonight!

We lost a very dear friend today - Patty Krzemien fought a long and valiant battle, stemming from Beryllium Disease acquired during her days as a secretary at the Rocky Flats Plant in the late 70s/early 80s.  Three bouts of devastating cancer to follow, but our feisty little Patty never lost that smile and always, ALWAYS had a tune and a dance for us.  She will be missed, sorely...

..."Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear.  Just sing, sing a song..."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


It all started about eight months ago, with my purchase of an unused, vintage, hand tooled leather wallet.  Never mind that it had "BETTY" emblazoned across the front flap - it was beautiful and it was destined for ME.  I actually had a moment, fleeting though it was, where I thought of giving it to a friend who is NAMED Betty - that was, until it arrived and I got my hands on it.  Yes, it was love at first sight, and I figured what Betty didn't know, wouldn't hurt her.  At a friend's suggestion, when people ask me now if my name is Betty, I just answer with, "No, Betty is my wallet's name".
Heavy leather with beautiful black suede inside...this had never been used - it is pristine.  What appear to be hibiscus flowers have been hand painted in blues and greens.  I thought I could never be happier with a purse, until last week, when I came across this on Etsy.  She arrived last evening, and is she ever a beauty!
This is either the coolest vintage purchase I have ever made, or the most obnoxious, if you are talking to my husband (who knows absolutely NOTHING, I might add).  With a definite "Rockabilly" flair, the leather in this is HEAVY, and so beautiful.  The carvings go deep, and the reds and greens are vibrant.  Another old purse that has never seen the light of day.  She's a big girl, measuring 12" across at the widest part; 10" tall; 4" bottom gusset; and an adjustable strap that goes from shoulder length to handbag, in a snap.
As an added bonus, and in keeping with the tradition of purchasing items that have nothing whatsoever to do with my own given name, this one has the initials CR carved into the front flap.  "Can't Remember", it is, though my daughter is pulling for our hometown Colorado Rockies, in honor of her Troy Tulowitski!  I believe Betty cried when I showed her her new 'digs'.  I love the "Lucky Brand" bag I carry, and it is more of an everyday bag, so this will be reserved for those special rock n' roll occasions.
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet".  A quick 'shout out' to Sunnywood Vintage at Etsy, which is where I found this fabulous, life-altering, accessory!

Monday, November 8, 2010


That's right - THE Amazing Kreskin!  Who woulda' thunk?!  Girls 'Day' Out (we change the name to suit the occasion), this past weekend, took us to The Riviera Hotel on the fabulous Las Vegas Strip, to take in a fun matinee with the mentalist who has amazed people, the world over - I remember watching him in the 70s (yes, I was very, very young, the way I remember it...Kreskin knows better, I'm sure), on his show, "The Amazing World of Kreskin", and on Johnny Carson.  He is now 75 years young, and me...well, Kreskin's not tellin'!

He DID amaze 5 of the 6 of us, that evening (one is a skeptic through and through, but does want to go back - I'm sure just to see if she can't figure it all out and win that $50,000 no one else ever has).  Three of our group had no idea what they were in for, as they are all WAY too young to have ever seen him in his hey-day (22, 13, and 10).  The two youngest in our entourage got to interact with him on two separate mind-reading events, and he brought actual tears to the eyes of their mom when he told her the exact street address, zip code, and city of her childhood home...and about the crazy cat lady that lived next door to her.  He also told Jackie D. what her personalized license plate said during the course of the evening...yes, AMAZING it was! 
Sunday morning, The Boss found herself in possession of tickets to The Lion King, at Mandalay Bay Hotel/Casino, for herself, Jackie, me, and my daughter, "The Skeptic".  Another matinee show, and talk about AMAZING!  I had recently seen The Beatles LOVE Cirque du Soleil show and thought that was sensory overload, until I got a load of this happy extravaganza.  The Broadway production, brought to Las Vegas - FABULOUS costuming (the creativity behind the mechanics of the animals/humans is pretty incredible), sets, and performers...elephants, rhinos, and zebras, right down through the audience (with none of the mess).  If you're not able to catch the original ON Broadway, I am pretty sure this is just as spectacular.  Thanks to all my fun friends, and daughter, for one truly amazing weekend - I had a ball! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010


...and "proof positive" that you should check your photos before you send the finished project off!  "Oh, the humanity!"  Oh, the bright sunlight glaring off that black fabric!...
...but, I did want to show what Jackie commissioned me to make for her this past week.  I had to chuckle while making these, thinking of a line from the movie "Troy", where Brad Pitt called Agamemnon a "sack of wine"....which, in turn, brought to mind the old leather Bota bags from the 70s.  It probably would have been a good idea to break myself out a glass at that point.  While I would never condone drinking and using scissors and/or paper cutters, she had seen a simple bag for toting wine to her weekend "paper soirees", and asked if I could make her something similar, but including room for a wine glass, and with pockets for essentials (i.e. wine opener, band aids, etc.).
Using an older, heavier, Alexander Henry (is there any other fabric out there - I think not!) home dec fabric with retro tattoo designs, a layer of cotton batting, and some funky prints for lining, these will now be heading to the next scrap booking event.  Scrap carefully, my friend - don't drink and cut!

 And, if you're into the whole recycled bag thing (yes, you should be); have some spare fabric; a little bit of time on your hands; and want to do your part in cutting down on plastic bags, run on over and check out Project Genesis at oldgreymareprimitives for a great tutorial on making your own shopping totes.  Susan has good photos and instructions. 

Monday, November 1, 2010


November 1st is the beginning of Dia de los Muertos...from Wikipedia: "The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated by many in Mexico and by some Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Due to occurring shortly after Halloween, the Day of the Dead is sometimes thought to be a similar holiday, although the two actually have little in common. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration, where partying is common."
The Winchester Center in Las Vegas, is hosting their 10th annual celebration.  It's quite the sight to see, and the participants are more than eager to explain it all to those of us "not in the know", thankfully!  I did notice that this year (we hadn't been for a few), it seems to be becoming a little more "commercialized" than in past years, sadly, though still hauntingly eye catching.
This headdress and "apron" were heavily beaded (I can't even imagine how heavy it was on his head and neck)...the man was the father of the beautiful little girl above - he did not speak a lick of English, but had his son translate everything he was saying to us when we were in the offrendo, earlier in the evening.
Nikki and Danielle, daughters of my friend, Erin, and their toothy friend!
Tiny sugar skulls
And then there are the photos below...three years ago, I caught unexplained orbs (yes, I'm always one to watch spooky shows about the unexplained) in a few of my pictures of a very large, shrine.  There was no dust in the air (much the same as this evening), and photos taken with the same color background with children dancers that same evening, turned up nothing but darling, fresh faced children.  Three photos taken of one shrine, one right after the other without moving, produced mass amounts of different sized orbs, and one distinct large one, that moved up and over the shrine in the course of the three photos.  The photos below, while not as "orb populated" as the ones from 2007, do show the same phenomena, while they are a little "lost in translation" on these blog pictures...these are for you, Susan Silva!  We missed you tonight.   For those of you in Vegas, the celebration runs through this evening.