Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thinking Southwest Thoughts


Finished this just this morning...............................................

A piece of vintage saltillo.......... wire wrapped.........

Religious key....and medal

I used to think I had to use only vintage, or make my own closures for my jewelry. The problem with that can be finding the perfect vintage piece at the time you need it, and if you do happen upon it there's always the decision......use it?... save it?......will I ever find one like it again??? If making your own .....the price of silver is a bit steep right now.  I am still picky, still prefer to use vintage or make my own, but at the moment I am really liking using these chunky closures in the Industrial Chic line. I love the industrial look of them, and as an added bonus they are really easy to use .

I think this is my last piece for a while, I am ready to get out and scratch around in the dirt! 

( I still have sun and tequila on my mind!!!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Weekend Tidbits

MEMORY JUG........

I am still not quite sure how I feel about this jug, although as I have finished it , stepped away, and come back,  it is growing on me. It takes a lot of items to make a memory jug. I thought I had enough left over and tucked away from making other jugs to do one more.. but it was touch and go. The GOOD news is I cleaned up another area of my workspace. AND that I now need to go junking for more jug material. The BAD news is it takes time to find enough stuff. And I usually like to have some sort of "theme" going on in my head while making a jug so it can take even more time. 

This jug does have a fair amount of fun and interesting things on it..........for example.. a pair of old false teeth. My neice bought one of those old folding sewing baskets at an antique store. When she got it home and took a good look at the contents she found the pair of dentures. ( Don't you wonder about that story? and did the dealer know that they were in there?) She was really creeped out and told me she was going to throw them away.....I immediately yelled "NO! I want to put them on a jug!!" So she mailed them to me, and they are on this jug. (see them?) Ok, I admit I was a bit creeped out as well, but  "all in the name of art?" I have never painted over everything on a jug before like most of the antique ones are, but I think this one might be a good candidate for painting. I 'll have to think about that while it is drying. It might look better under a layer of paint.  :)


The most valuable lesson I learned this weekend was that if you plant 90 gladiolus bulbs using organic bulb food/fertilizer......containing lots of stinky stuff should turn down your loud music and have a look behind you once in a while. There is a very good chance your corgi/dog  is happily coming along right behind you digging them ALL up to see what that "yummy" smell is all about.                                                        

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Fabulous Beekman Boys.......


Today I caught a marathon of The Fabulous Beekman Boys on Planet Green. I go to their blog regulary and have it on my blog roll, but had never caught the show. I loved it! The scenes in the barn during kidding season brought back a lot of memories for me, but then so did the one of Brent mucking out the barn while Josh stood there gagging. (It seems he has a bit of a weak stomach) I  can totally relate, been there done that!

The new season of The Fabulous Beekman Boys starts this Tuesday at 10:00 on Planet Green. I'm just glad it's not on opposite American Pickers!!

You can go to their blog ( listed on my blog roll at left) to see promos and videos for the show or you can also go to Planet Green .

(photos from Planet

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Moss Gardening


This morning I took a cup of coffee, a camera, and a corgi (no easy task) to go for a wander in the yard and garden. It quickly became apparent that :  1. We are absolutely waterlogged from all the rain we have been receiving and any bulbs planted right now would rot.  2. In our little clearing in the woods the moss is thriving !!

                                    garden helper.....Bella

It's pretty hard to get rid of moss when you don't want to use chemicals so I GIVE UP!!!!! I am going to EMBRACE THE MOSS!!! There is a certain beauty to it (see me trying to embrace...) and it does tend to give things that "vintage look" that a lot of us like. So.... in the spirit of acceptance, I tried to capture some of the moss "beauty" in my yard already:

                                         the moss has happily devoured this pot!!!!!

                                                        soft mossy edging...........
crumbling rock wall...........................

old log........................

lion hiding in the moss.....

no moss growing on her!!!

I know there are some beautiful moss gardens out there, and books and blogs about moss gardening, so  I will have to explore .  I'll keep you updated on my progress....or lack there of.

One other oddity in the garden this morning.....I cover this sphinx every winter because she wants to crumble...take a look at her eyes...........I used to think she was beautiful, now .....still beautiful but sort of eerie?

There is something going on with the cement, as she ages the brown on her is almost glass-like.

I think this moss gardening could be an interesting venture, I am excited to delve into it, and as you can see, I have a head start!!

"Late in life I have come on fern. Now lichens are due to have their turn"
                                                           Robert Frost

Have a good day!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Tracy Porter Online Catalog
If you haven't seen the Tracy Porter catalog you are missing out. The clothes are amazing and come in a wide range of sizes.  NO, this isn't my usual kind of post....but if you go to her blog you will see that the giveaway is for a pair of cowboy boots!!! And I have to admit I am addicted to cowboy boots!!! And if I am going to sell out for will be THE BOOTS!!! Go check it out, bet you will be blogging boots too!!

(catalog photo and graphics from Tracy Porter Blog)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Personal Altars

The idea of personal altars or shrines has always intriqued  and interested me.  I really think we start making them as children. Recently I came across the book  Altars and Icons...sacred spaces in everyday Jean McMann.  Reading this book made me realize that most of us have an altar (or more than one) of some sort in our homes, maybe without even thinking about it. Maybe not a traditional religious altar, or one like the Mexican Day of The Dead, but one that is meaningful to us in its own way. It could be something as simple as a collection of rocks and shells on a windowsill that reminds us of special times and places.......a group of photos.........tokens hanging from the mirror in your car.............the special things you arrange on your dressing table or nightstand.........the  things you keep in a special box?  Your Christmas tree??

My dresser top is where I always keep this small religious altar that a dear friend carried onto an airplane and brought back to me  from New Orleans. It's special to me and I tend to cluster other things that are meaningful to me around it. Constantly changing, constantly evolving.

This is the latest altar I have made, it has pictures of my grandparents on it, a pressed flower that has meaning to me, rosaries and a native american beaded pouch that one of my sisters  gave me. Inside the silver salt shaker is a piece of copal (resin from tropical trees) wrapped in a eucalyptus leaf. It was given to me by a friend who received it from a shaman in Bali. I think the copal is used  like incense . This altar too will evolve and change. (It usually has a special rock on it gifted to me by my grandson :)

Do you have any altars in your home?


Monday, March 7, 2011


I love old cigar boxes, the graphics on them are amazing. But I don't stop there......I love cigar bands, cigar tins, labels.......and don't even get me started on early tramp art created out of cigar boxes.....Love it....Want it.....Can't afford it!!

two  tramp art pieces  made out of cigar boxes
When I needed to come up with a way to stack, display, (control??) my growing collection of Chinese sewing baskets, I decided to decoupage a little bench I have with cigar bands and art.  (I know decoupage is passe'.....but I like it!) I used pictures from a used book I found, "Smoker's  Art" by Joe and Sue Davidson. The cigar bands I have collected (begged and borrowed) over the years. If you don't have a source , you can find cigar bands on Ebay, I have bought vintage ones there before.

finished top
After giving the bench a good scrub, I painted it with a satin black paint I had left over from another project. I like to use a satin paint  to decoupage over because the decoupage "goop" is shiny too so a satin paint helps hide any mistakes.

end view
 So then I just do it! I do try to keep all "the goop" off the front of  whatever I am pasting on because next I take a rag and stain the artwork with  Minwax wood finish (puritans pride) just to tone it down a bit and  make it a bit more cohesive.  Let it dry and then decoupage over the whole thing to protect the paper!

bench at work, I like it!!
                   Here are a couple of projects I have done in past years:

and another......................

Like I said, I am always on the look out for cigar boxes and tins when I am out junking, so you can just imagine the happy dance going on in my head when I found this  a couple of years ago at an estate sale.

A wonderful little cabinet of drawers made out of ..... you guessed it... cigar boxes! Each drawer has a red celluloid pull, and a little tin "holder" so the maker would know what was in each drawer. A couple of them still have a nail in them . There are black glass drawer  pulls on each side to carry the chest with , and it is all edged with galvanized tin held in place with lots and lots of tacks.

I think this is my best find ever........what's yours? What made your heart sing?

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Little Ebay Love !!!

Oh look! The mailman has brought me a little Ebay love!! Let's open it and see!!

                                                    A MEMORY JUG!!!             

This memory jug is "guesstimated"  to be  from the late 1880's according to the seller on Ebay. After looking it over that would be my guess as well.  It is only about 7 1/2 inches high and a few pieces have fallen off over the years. It has some interesting items on it, lets check it out:
How about I enlarge the photos?

Wishbone, domino, thimble, clock key, starfish, buttons, and of course ....the ubiquitous peach pit!

Bisque doll, more buttons, a tiny file, shells, mother of pearl belt buckle, Mass. volunteer militia button.The buckle with the trojans (?) on it looks like a cape closure.

Perfume bottle stopper, hinge, glass acorn, petrified wood, little red game piece, shells, buttons,

More mother of pearl, a little bucket (hanging on the right), and in the middle of all the nuts, beads and I don't even know what favorite thing.....the military crossed swords. They look and feel to be brass? Are they off a hat? uniform?  If anyone knows please let me know , they are the real reason I wanted this jug so bad.
 OK, that's my junking for today! I really prefer to stand in line..... in the rain...... behind all the early birds at estate sales to get my treasures, with a number of , oh, I don't know 100 or so. It's much better than sitting in my warm house, in my jammies, with a cup of coffee and a cookie (or 2) in front of my computer, BUT.....I can't seem to ever find jugs around here.  I am convinced it's  more of a southern or East coast type of thing.

But hey!!!!!!Ebay is better than nothing!!

(seriously, any info about the crossed swords would be welcome! They are metal)