Monday, July 22, 2013

VACATION WEEK and CATCH-UP (final chapter)

Back to work this morning after an enjoyable, albeit extremely HOT, vacation week.
Saturday was particularly sticky and muggy….a perfect day to stay in doors and do some painting.
I have a few old pieces of wood that I have been itching to get some use out of. One piece was perfectly sized for an idea I had to incorporate this old vintage Halloween bag design. I am sure you have all seen this image on Pinterest popping up lately. Everyone seems to be gearing up for Halloween and this dancing cat has been very popular.
The project could be streamlined into something easier if you are not handy with a brush. Just print out the image and Mod Podge it to a board. But, for me, I enjoy the process of painting and aging the pieces myself so, I went for it! I find painting so relaxing.
With a little splash of green to jazz it up, some rusty wire and some torn fabric for ribbon…..tada!’s ready to go.
There are so many wonderful vintage Halloween candy bag images that the skies the limit with this project. Share with me some of the projects you are conjuring up.
Trick or Treat!
First Halloween creation of the season.
We hit the movies on Wednesday to see Turbo. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I went into this movie experience with very low expectation, but I actually enjoyed the movie. Two thumbs up! And bonus points for having Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Turbo….even in animated snail form, he is still adorable.
Julia and I spent our other free days hitting the lake. The temperatures were well in to the 90's all week with Friday topping a whopping 99. The lake was our best bet for some relief. It also gave her ample time to practice her swimming moves. Three weeks ago she could barely do the dogging paddle, but after going to camp for two weeks and a week with me at the lake, she is coming along quite nicely.
Our town lake, though small, is very charming. The geese and ducks hang out around the shore. No one is allowed to feed them, but I am sure they get a snack here or there from the crumbs left behind after the lake is closed for the day.
My little mermaid!
Julia hanging out with the ducks.

Can't spent a hot day at the lake without stopping for some ice cream. Jay Gee's home made cookie monster ice cream - yum!.....And yes, that is a cup of gummy bears too! Good heavens, the sugar overload.
Julia's BFF Jessica invited her to a party at her mother's company picnic. It was quite the day. She even got to hold a snake.....look at her face! She is loving it!
While Julia spent the day at the party, Jeff and I went for a grown-up lunch date. We had a craving for lobster after watching the Phantom Gourmet on TV. Off we went to a seafood restaurant in North Andover, Joe Fish. Though it was the most expensive lunch I have ever eaten (my lobster roll alone was 30 bucks), it was a nice chance to splurge and enjoy some one-on-one time with each other. Over the last year or so, we drifted to an unhappy place and forgotten to make time for just “us”. Much of my disappearance lately was due to our struggles, fear and confusion of what the future would hold for us. Though we are still trying to find out footing again, we have promised each other to make time to build happy moments as a couple again. This spontaneous dash for lobster was a great way to build on those moments. So, it was worth the money!

Chow for now,

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Catch-up (Round Two)

Here are a few photos of the Christmas pieces I finally finished. They were left over from last winter. These poor guys were just sitting there, half painted, looking so pathetic. Now complete, I have a few pieces in the bag for this upcoming season. 
The Santa gnomes turned out better than I anticipated. When I finished sculpting them, I was a little hesitant about the look, but the primitive faces and hints of glitter give them just enough sparkle. They make me smile.
Santa Gnomes paper mache/clay, vintage glass glitter
These little snowman ornaments are a whole-lot-of-cute in a small package. The real-deal tarnished tinsel around the neck is oh-so charming and yes, the bells do ring.
Check out that hand of mine in the last pic - so red and blotchy! EEK! LOL
Paper Clay, bell, vintage tinsel, glass glitter

Starting tomorrow, I have a few vacation days to spend with Julia. Jeff and I are tag-teaming the summer, along with her attending a day camp. The summers were easier when he working from home but over the last 1/2 a year, he has been working at the office. This created some scheduling issues for Julia's summer vacation. A last minute sign-up to camp ended up being a winning choice. Julia LOVES camp and all the activities. Had I known, I would have signed her up for more weeks. I think she is almost a little disappointed that she is with me for the week - LOL.

She has been growing by leaps and bounds. Having her around has always been a hoot - she inherited her fathers humor (albeit a pull-my-finger type of laugh) but lately she has really come into her own. We take a walk right after dinner as often as possible,and she is so full of expressive stories about her day. I enjoy my talks with her more than I do most adult conversations. 

Back in May, she had her First Holy Communion. She was a year older than most of the other kids. We signed her up late for CCD classes but it worked out fine. You think a Catholic girl such as myself would have known when to get her started - but I went to parochial school so I never had to take "outside" classes before receiving the Sacrament. I completely missed the first grade lessons and started her in the 2nd grade. She was thrilled to finally be able to wear a pretty white dress and veil. But the bland taste of the host was very disappointing - she expected something much yummier.

Well, it is getting late - time for bed. Heading out to the lake tomorrow so I need my rest.
Catch-up Round Three coming soon.

Chow for now,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Catch-Up (Round One)

It's been some time since touching base....5 months to be exact.
So, I will spare you from a long-winded post by playing catch-up in "increments". This will be Round One.
First off...Happy Fourth of July Weekend!
Two large 4th of July medallions I worked on. Crepe paper has bleached edges for an aged appearance. 

I hope you all had wonderful weather, yummy cookouts, and fabulous fireworks.
Julia started a day camp this week. She is going for the first two weeks in July and then again for a week in August. Lots of crafts, swimming, canoeing, fishing. She was a little apprehensive the first day. She didn't know anyone, but she has already made new friends and is looking forward to more fun this week. They will teach her how to swim which makes Mommy very happy. I am not a good swimmer. Never have been and never will be. I am thrilled that she will be able to conquer a fear I have never been able to do.
Easter was lots of fun this year, but I am sad to report that Julia is now starting to ask a few of questions about the Easter Bunny, Santa and even the Tooth Fairy. I pray this isn't the final "magical" year of believing. She is 9, and what she hears from some of the older kids at school is making her question the validity of the magical figures. It is breaking my heart because I know one day she will come right out and ask me for the truth. *sigh* I am going to work my tale off to keep that magic alive if it kills me!
I have no idea what age kids start to "get it", but no age is a good age in my book. Look at me, I am 51 and still get goosebumps seeing Santa in the mall! 

Julia with her Easter painting.
New Bunny I completed for Easter
Crepe paper collar and ribbons
Back View
Hope you all had a Happy Easter!
I thought I would show you the completed painting from my last post oh so long ago. I had just started them but here is a look at the final results. I love the texture of these. I have been putting brush to canvas quite a bit lately - it is always very "calming". Good for the soul.

I love the texture of these pieces

Lately, finding ways to re-energize and listen to my scattered thoughts has been a big part of the last 6 months. Focusing on the things most important....the little things that when all is said and done, are the real reason we are all here on this planet. That means, time with my daughter, family and friends, and with...myself - finding out where my heart wants to take me :).
More on that for Round Two.
I have laid-low this past year, and disappeared for the last few. Although for anyone who is addicted to Pinterest as I am, I am sure you have seen me pinning up a storm! It is a nice mindless pastime - so much fun looking at all the pretty things!

I will have lots more stories, and more pictures of what is unfolding at my work bench. I have decided it is OK if I stop working to enjoy some happy memory making because that is, after all, what it's all about.
If any of you are wondering if my Etsy shop is open, yes it is. I have not been posting anything new for quite some time to save some work for Craft Show appearances, but there will be pieces here and there soon. Halloween and Christmas are in full swing. I will be Etsy bound soon.
Catch-up Round Two to come!

Chow for now,