Monday, November 26, 2012

Boswell's Bath Time

Happy Monday, Friends!
I hope you all had a wonderful (and hopefully long) Thanksgiving weekend! Of course, no matter how long it is, it could always be longer, amiright? We had a great weekend, I hosted my family and cooked up a storm. Loved it. Had a great time. Ate too much, naturally.

This post has nothing to do with crafts, or cooking, or anything practical, it's purely for my own enjoyment, because this thing that happened made me giggle, I hope you'll indulge me, I have to share.

On Saturday my hubby took the dogs for one of their many daily strolls, they're very spoiled. There's a park very close to our home, which the Mokelumne River runs along side of, we visit often. This Saturday however, Boz just had to get in that water, had to, like he was pulled by a magnet (or more likely, a dead fish!) and hoooboy, did he come home stinky!


Boswell is such a good sport when it comes to baths, he sits quietly in the sink, looking forlorn and humiliated, but he doesn't try to escape, or shake water everywhere, he's a good boy. So good, in fact that I had time to grab my camera and snap some photos. His face cracks me up, so expressive! And normally Boz is a puffball, seeing him wet just kills me, he looks like a tiny drowned rat. What follows is the inner dialog that I imagined from him...

 "It was only one little fish! I don't smell that bad, not enough for all of this!"

"You're going to put this in the internet, aren't you? This is so embarrassing, mom!"

"Really? You're going to make a bubble wig?"

"No mom, I do not look like George Washington."
 (Yes he does! Eeeeeeep! He's so cute!)

"Rinse me good, I don't want to smell like mango shampoo when you're done!"

"I require a warm hairdryer. Stat."

Aww, poor Bozzy! He did get a nice long brush and a warm hairdryer, and he only smells slightly like mango, but that's worlds better than dead fish. A few minutes and a few treats later and he was back to his happy, puffy self! He went straight out into the backyard and rolled on the grass... le sigh.

Hope you got a little smile from my boy, Boz! Sometimes Monday's just require something silly! He's pretty darned silly & adorable if I do say so myself.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Fairy Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

Lookie here, there's a new resident in the fairy garden!
Looks like she's made herself quite at home and claimed the cottage as her own.

She sure is a pretty thing!
She came to me from far away, a special gift from a very, very special friend. I'm so glad she's here, working her little brand of magic, and reminding me how special a thing it is to have friends, and how thankful I am for them.

I'm grateful for so much, thankful for all that I have and those that I know, and every single one of you!
My little fairy and I wish you an abundant and cozy Thanksgiving!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Swap Part II

Morning Everybody!
I'm writing this post quietly, while hiding in my craft room, there are sleeping children everywhere in my house ♥ I have three nieces and a nephew spending the weekend with me, so fun! Last night we played several rounds of the ABC's of Harry Potter and made Acid Pops and had pizza and giggled a lot. Good times!

Today, I thought I'd share the awesomness which I received from Jacquie in our Halloween swap, look at this gorgeous pillow! I love it so much, the image is great and Jacquie's embroidery is perfect - as always! 

I love the ribbon trim she used at the top & bottom of the pillow, more Halloweenie goodness!

I love the backing fabric, too. It reminds me of Saturday mornings, much like this one (they're all awake now) spent lying on my tummy watching cartoons, specifically scary episodes of Scooby-Doo.

Jacquie added some great details to the pillow, check out this great ruffle!

And these pom-poms! I need ask Jacquie how she did these, I think they're turkey work stitch, but they're very dense I can't see. Whatever they are, I luv 'em!

Here's the rest of my haul, Jax made me some great Halloween envelopes and sent me some terrific Halloween fabric, and some yummy mummies, and Godiva chocolate, oh yeaaaah!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mafiossagrrl!

In a couple of hours, I'm taking my little brood to the pumpkin patch, and later, a Zombie Walk!
What are you guys up to this weekend?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Swap Part I

Hi All!
Today I thought I'd share the first part of  a Halloween swap I participated in with some of my stitchy friends, my partner for this swap was the lovely and crafty Jacquie of Maffiosagrrl, wooo! Today I'm going to show you the little package I whipped up for Jacquie, tomorrow I'm going to show you what she made me, it's pretty great.

Oh happy day, I love Halloween! Let's go through the package, shall we?

When I was in Portland, Pam and I got to do a little shopping and I found this great little craft paper casket, thinking it would be great for our Halloween swap I went ahead and picked it up, not knowing exactly how I'd spruce it up. Happy accidents being what they are, shortly after returning from my trip I was contacted by a representative of Scotch Duct Tape to see if I would like to try some of their patterned tapes. When I saw the cute colors & patterns they're making these days I happily said yes!

Orange giraffe and purple are you kidding me? I lurve it!

I cut some of the tapes into smaller strips that were more appropriate to the scale of the box I was covering, then I mummified that little box in a very professional style I like to call "willy nilly". Hee!

I left the inside of the box plain, just finishing the inner rim of the lid with a strip of purple. The tapes were really easy to use and cut and I would definitely use them for other projects, there's a plethora of ideas out there, I'm thinking of trying some of these next.

Being a sucker for all manner of buntings I made a couple of Halloween types for Jacquie, this one I made using my Sizzix Big Kick & my sewing machine. I cut loads of paper circles from Halloween scrapbook paper, then ran them one after the other through the sewing machine. It's the simplest way I've ever tried, I for the inspiration for this bunting based on this pin,the original source found here.

Mug rug! I whipped up a cute little Halloween mug rug too, a little embroidery, a little quilting, right up my alley! I also covered some tea lights with the duct tape, as well as some cool washi tape I've had in my stash forever. You can never have too many candles, right?

No fridge is complete without cute magnets, so I made a few little Halloween fabric covered buttons then hot glued magnets on the back. 

Eeeeeeek! A sparkly little sign just because ♥

A dramatic, black fan. Now this is my kind of drama! This fan was an extra from the bridal shower favors, but I couldn't send it out so plainly, so I thought I'd give it more of a Victorian/goth feel by giving it a spray with matte black spray paint. I really love the look of the fan painted black.

Oh look, another bunting! This one says Happy Haunting and is a really neat free printable I found (darn it, I can't find the link! I'll work on that and edit this post as soon as I find it). It has a neat, vintage/creepy vibe to it, and I really wanted to share it with you guys. I'm making another one for myself, I'll show here in more detail soon.

I also got Jax a cute pair of argyle kitty socks, some matching Kleenex and of course something sweet, a big vial of Reese's Pieces, yum! Altogether a pretty neato package ♥ I was actually on time sending out this swap, and if you know me you know what an utter miracle it is that I do anything on time, ha!

Are you getting ready for All Hallows Eve? What'cha doing? 
Tell me all about it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Weekend In Portland

Well hello!
I'm back and I'm ready to blog (cracks knuckles menacingly), and boy do I have a lot to catch up on, but first, HI NEW PEEPS! I see there are a few new people following along, so to you folks, hello & welcome!

I'm going a little way back for this post, just to early September when I had the opportunity to take a quick weekend getaway to see some friends. Friends, who to this point had been bloggy/internetty friends, that is, we'd never met face to face, but we're as tight as any girlfriends! We chat online about all manner of topics nearly every day for the past couple of years, I already felt like I knew them and vice versa. Also... they're stitchy/crafty rock stars!
From left to right is me, Tara, Pam & Shannon otherwise known as The Mistress T, Kittykill and Gigglymama! (HI GIRLS!!) These girls are just as terrific as I knew they would be, as though there was ever any doubt.

We'd kind of planned a low key weekend of relaxing, talking, visiting, stitching and such. Welp, we never got to any stitching, but we did eat really well and see lots of very cool stuff. Pam and her hubby, Mark were excellent guides, they took me all over their wonderful city. 

Saturday morning we started with breakfast and a little shopping. We took this picture for our friend, Ellen. Yay unicorns!

Hey look, it's one of Portland's famous Horse Rings

I took a TON of pictures, so I've taken the liberty of making some collages so as not to bog you guys down, feel free to click any of the pictures to see the large version of any of these photos.

Visiting the memorial was a very deep and humbling experience, as it should be. This is the first time I've had the opportunity to visit any Holocaust memorial, it was profoundly moving for all of us. It's very hard for me to express properly, so I'll leave it at that. 

We visited a very cool old cemetery, we discovered we all LOVE old cemeteries. And not in a creepy, emo way. Just an old, historical love for them. 

That's my maiden name... it's always a little unsettling when you run across one of those.

Next visited the Side Street Gallery which was featuring Pam's Sugar Skulls.
This was such a great place, eye candy everywhere, good shopping too!

For dinner that night, Pam & Mark took me to The Kennedy School. This was the neatest restaurant I've ever been to, a converted, historical elementary school. It's so cool! 

Two drinks, one mouth. Drinking problem? Nah...

The Kennedy School is full, to the brim of art, there are murals everywhere, here are some of the ones I liked best. 

Here's my favorite!

And they let'cha walk around with your drinks, too... neato!

Sunday had us going to a birthday celebration for one of Tara's Beastie Grrlz, Delia. Dog parties are fun!
Several of dog park, doggy friends came to celebrate Delia's 1st birthday, we watched them scamper around and play ball, and watched every one of them roll on a mysteriously attractive (and I'm guessing stinky) spot on the grass. Dogs and stinky spots go together like peanut butter & jelly. Am I right?

Speaking of dogs! Let me introduce you to the girls's kids, these furry friends kept me company, made me laugh and made it easier to be away from my own fuzzy brood.

First up the birthday girl & her sister, these are Tara's dogs,
  Betty & Delia

And the Pedersen Pups!
Lola ~ Pete ~ Jujube

I had such a great time up in Portland, meeting my friends in real life was so awesome! I can't wait to see them again. Lodi isn't as great as Portland, but ladies I'll show you the town and we'll paint it red if you decide you need to see Northern California, teehee!

Coming home was nice too, look who was waiting for me!
Lola & Boz
I think they were happy to have me back home.

I hope you've enjoyed coming along with me for a little bit of Portland, like I said I've got a lot of catching up to do so come back soon because I'm hoping to get several more posts published this week, better late than never I say!

How've you been friends? What's shaking in your neck of the woods?

Friday, October 5, 2012

October... Already?!?

Hi Guys~
October already? Are you kidding me? I didn't blog for over an entire month? Whoa... how's that even possible? These are the questions I've been asking myself recently, the last several weeks are a blur, a blur I tell ya! Where'd September go anyhow?

There have been so many good things (and some rather challenging ones) happening in my real life, I'm looking forward to catching up here about all the goings on. There are even more great things around the corner, Melissa's wedding is in just one week, eeeep! I've been a busy bee, but I sure am sorry to have left this space quiet for so long. Unforch, I think it's going to be quiet for just a bit longer until I return from the wedding in Pasadena. 

There is still so much to do, and increasingly less time to do it! This maid~of~honor has to bring her A game, yo!

I hope you'll hang in there with me! I can't wait to get to a place where I can spend a day catching and visiting bloggy friends, I miss yas and I couldn't let one more day pass by without stopping here and saying hello, so HELLO CHUMS! How've you been? What's going on in your world? Do tell!

Yesterday was my mom's birthday, I made her a little cake. It was extremely yummy, and I'm very glad I sent the rest of it home with her last night, because I'm pretty confident I'd have scarffed the rest for dinner tonight. It was so light, so fresh.  

I do hope you've been well and that you're enjoying autumn, such as it is (a speeding train, a lightening bolt, a race horse). I really can't wait to do some catch-up! In the meantime, tell me, what are your favorite things about this time of year? 
Mine are easy, 1.) The dang weather cools off. 2.) The dang weather cools off.

Oh, I'm such a funny guy!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Showered With Love... And Sugar!

Hello Ladies!
Are you ready for pretty picture overload? It took me a few days to sort out and edit the photos, but at last! I can reveal my biggest, and most favorite project of the summer; a bridal shower for my best friend, Melissa. I've been working at this a long time, and the day went so very fast, as they tend to do, but I tried to get good pictures to show you guys, so here we go!

 I think think is the most pictures I've ever attempted in one blog post, so get yourself a nice cuppa tea and get comfy, this is going to be a long one!
(As always, if you'd like to view any of the pictures in large format, just click on the image to open it in full screen)
Oh! I'm so excited I'm jumping ahead of myself, let's go back to the beginning!

To greet Melissa's friends & family and signal them to the right house, I painted a sign to put out in the front yard.

I propped it up on the lawn with a Shepard hook hung with a pretty, white wreath with a ginormous pink pinwheel flower.

Streamers to start the festivities and usher everyone on the way to the porch. I love steamers!

You can't see it very well in the picture above - it's hanging up by the front door, but this is a bunting I made a few weeks ago. I learned how to do a tiny rolled hem in order to make this bunting, just 1/8" hem! I used this tutorial to teach myself, the directions are clear and concise. I've had this fabric forever, it's so pretty and pink and... frothy! It has a sort of flocked, velvety feeling. I found five full yards of it wadded up in the corner of an antique store, it was in perfect condition. Five dollars!

I held the shower out in my backyard. We have a long patio, a big shade tree, and the whole yard is surrounded by a fence shrouded in ivy and honeycuckle. I love our backyard and I really need a hammock, but that's a different story. Let's take a spin!

I had 16 guests so I rented  tables & chairs and topped the tables with my favorite vintage tablecloths from my small, but growing collection. 

I kept the tablescape simple, just the centerpiece (lemon scented topiaries from Trader Joe's) and the plates topped with a pretty napkin and each guests favor, a sandlewood fan. It was supposed to be scorching hot that day, so I chose fans as favors to keep everyone cool, but as it turns out the weather was perfectly beautiful!

To decorate the columns on our roomy, but boring, white patio, I wanted big, bold, colors that shout happy!

I also made three long lengths of felt bunting to hang between the columns. It was soft and fluttery and did I mention... colorful!

Ooooh, color-ific!

Speaking of color, how 'bout this guy? My family and I saved TP rolls for months to make this piece! This eco-easy wall art was inspired by a piece I found on Pinterest. Simple and fun, lots more ideas can be found here. And here's a good place to state that, Pinterest was INVALUABLE to me in planning this party. There's so much good stuff out there for us crafty peeps, and Pinterest is a fantastic way of keeping it all organized and under control. Here's mine, come find me!

 I just never get tired or bored color, I love them all, especially bright, happy ones!

I spy the blushing bride!

Ahh, the sweets buffet! There's so much to see here, let's dive in to all these goodies!
A mix of homemade and... not homemade.

Hoo-boy, Cherryheads & Lemonheads!

And cake! You guys, the cakes! I made both of them, the recipe for this chocolate dream was from my favorite blog of all time, Alicia Paulson's Posie Gets Cozy. I've long admired her beautiful cakes (all of her cooking, actually) and have wanted to make one for a long time, so I was happy when she posted these cake recipes recently, I used this one with the Cloudburst Frosting. I topped the cake with fresh strawberries, blackberries and blue berries. The white cake (pictured above), a Blackberry Cloud Cake was inspired by this one, but I'll admit to some short-cuts here, I used blackberry, not raspberry, and Cool Whip instead of the fancy (read: time consuming) ingredients in the original filling. It was incredible. I could have scarfed the whole thing by myself.   

Candy covered Rice Crispy Pops, inspired by the ones in this post.

Fun fact: my boss gave me a small, bright red, desk-top Jelly Belly gumball machine as a birthday gift several years ago. It's been collecting dust in my office for years, so I brought it home, gave it a coat of pretty pink and viola, instant upgrade! It was a happy accident to find Skittles in the same colors as the party pallet, these are called Skittles Blenders.

Strawberry cupcakes, yum!

Marshmallow Poles, so pretty, so tasty!

These are my favorite, they're called Champagne Bubbles!

Not to be confused with regular, but no less pretty, wedding bubbles.

More tasty treats, blackberry yogurt covered pretzels, lemon cookies, salt water taffy and citrus gummies. You'd think I was trying to dole out cavities, lol!

Good ol' Country Time Lemonade
Paper straws & pretty napkins.

Oh, and let's not forget about the cocktails!
This drink was deelish and perfect for a hot day, it's called Skip And Go Naked and came from Susan Branch, I modified it for a crowd, and the crowd loved them!

There she is, the lady of the hour, my beautiful friend!

After a light luncheon (that I totally forgot to take pictures of), we played games...
(this one's called Poke The Bride, and I'll let the picture do the talking)

Cut the cake...

 And watched Melissa open her gifts.

These wee monsters were my gift to her, made just for us by Chelsea of Love & A SandwichMelissa chose the pink one, I got to keep the blue

To send my guests on their merry way, I had a few more sweets and a hint of what to look forward to at the wedding on the way out the front door. I do love a fall wedding.

Here's a shot of the backdrop for the desert table, sans desert. I'm really pleased with the way this came out and thought you might like to know a bit about it. I spent several evenings leading up to the shower sewing ruffles, ruffles into crepe paper, that is. It's very simple, and gives a lot of bang for the bucks, I used this tutorial. 
To make this background I ran a long piece of wood trim through the top and bottom of a vintage bed sheet, then stapled long pieces of the ruffled streamers to the top of the sheet (securing it in place to the wood trim), then hung the whole thing at the top of the patio wall. To add a finished look, I added a swag of white balloons. I pinned the streamers to the backdrop here and there so they didn't blow around quite so much. Simple and effective, and if I haven't used this word too much already, pretty!

I really enjoy hosting parties, I throw my whole self into them and give it my best. Plus, your best friend only gets married once, and I wanted to give her a beautiful little party. Melissa really enjoyed herself and loved all the details. She stayed the weekend with me, and we ate breakfast out under the tree the next morning. It was lovely. I couldn't have pulled this party off without help from my mom and my husband, they're the best support team ever! 

I wish you all could have been there too, I would have saved you a Skip And Go Naked! 

Well this has been quite the epic blog post, and it's way past my bedtime! Did you make it to the end? Hello? Just kidding, teehee! Let me know what you think! Have you guys thrown bridal showers? What kinds of things did you do, tell me all about it!