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Debbi thinks deep

The world is my University, and my children are my Instructors.

Updated: 2017-02-12T06:03:25.131-08:00


Sterling Silver Tea Cups


Sterling silver tea cupsAmy Powers  (Inspire Co.) hosted an adorable, really, exchange that has culminated just this week.  The tea cups were my contribution.  I was in some pretty, wonderfully creative company!  This link will take you to a slide show (on Amy's site) where you can enjoy all of the adorableness.  Pretty wonderful stuff!  Amy's efforts were great.  She approached this project as she does everything, with panache.  I think you'll enjoy the slide show. Here we have a bowl of pickled tea cups.  How often does one get to say that?I forged the cups from 26 gauge sterling silver, soldered sterling wire handles onto them, pickled and polished.  (Somehow, in writing, it seems such a breeze.)  :) Bowl width, approximately 3/8"Our assignment was to make 12@, 1/12 scale doll house miniatures.  I've been planning to make something like these for some time, and am so pleased to have the impetus to finally just do it.  That is something that I really enjoy about exchanges. For more inspiration, information about the exchange and instructions for some of Amy's lovely miniatures, follow this link!  My time isn't my own, but I promise to photograph the lovies that came to me and share with you!(Including a miniature painting from Mary Engelbreit!  I know!) This was such a very talented group of women. I am humbled and honored to have been able to participate. I hope you are all well!It's been far, too long!Much Love![...]



Well, hello.  Just enjoying a nice cup of coffee on a jungle cruise.  Hasn't it been a long time!?  How are you, anyway?  I thought I would do a quick test post, then settle in. I have something to share! I've missed you! 

Hello there!


How in the world are you?  It's been such a gigantic change to suddenly find myself living with four other people!  It is nearly a year since I posted, but in my mind, I have written over and over.  Wanting to lately,  more and more . . .Winifred Watson, the author of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, abandoned her successful writing career after the blitz in London destroyed a family home and forced multiple generations of family to live under one roof.  When Persephone Classics republished that book a few years ago, an interviewer asked her why she had stopped writing.  Her answer was simply, "You can't write if you're never alone." . . . this, I understand. Today, I'm going to dip my toes back into the water, ever so lightly.  I have something that I just have to share with you!   Do you know Made by Joel yet?  I've been enjoying the daylights out of his wonderful ideas these days . . . with multiple generations living under one roof. ;)He's posted such a fun project today!  Since I went to Paris, there are a couple of little girls in my life who can't get enough of it.  Particularly the Eiffel Tower, probably because Grammy was kind of pleased to have climbed it, without having a heart attack or anything!  They will love this.   It's a sort of animated stroll through Paris.  Joel intends it as a Valentine . . . maybe I can wait till then.  I've been off blogger for so long, I can't seem to make the photo into a link . . . while I sort that out, this link will get you to the page that includes this printable, and a brief instructional video.Here's a little get acquainted video  . . . allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' FRAMEBORDER='0' />  He has the most wonderful ideas.  All manner of playthings, coloring pages . . . his Paper Cities . . . I just  love his Paper Cities!   Paper City . . . Paper City Paris . . . Paper City Sydney . . . Paper City Road Trip . . . I love, loved . . . Paper City Nativity Scene . . .there is even travel sized Paris . . .Full Size Paper City ParisTravel Size Paper City ParisEnjoy, enjoy!  I hope to see you again!  For now, I'll try to figure out how to do this, again . . .  Much love![...]

Things, they are a changin' . . .


Well.  Life has a way at throwing surprises at you, doesn't it?  Mine surely has. It's such a Merry-Go-Round!  Maybe a Tilt-a-Whirl.I've practically abandoned my blog.  Not because I want to, but there are no more hours in the day than there were before . . . and mine are ever so much more full!My husband retired.  Gasp!  He's way too young for that nonsense  :) . . .   but you know how the economy has been . . .  and there was a kind of golden parachute . . . jump now.  You know?  So he did . . .  by doing so, helped to save the jobs of younger men.  We hope.  Suddenly {6 weeks notice}, I went from living virtually alone to suddenly having a full time husband.  I teasingly refer to time, as "before" and "after" "he moved in".  Twenty-eight days later, our daughter's marriage ended.  She has a toddler and one who was just about to enter Kindergarten.  She had been a stay-home Mommy.  So that's that.  While our daughter adjusts to the challenges of becoming a working, single Mommy . . . Papa and I are learning to be nearly full time Grandparents.This kind of adjustment can take some time and effort . . . but the children . . . the sweet little things!  So . . . we're busy learning how to entertain little ones, and figure out what those cantankerous little appetites will eat.  I think we're getting better at it.  We're doing training wheels and training pants . . . I know I'm much better at cooking now that I have a two year old standing beside me on a chair to show me the ropes.  It's true!  She told me so!   I have re-learned; the unbelievably musical sound of children's giggling glee because I made pancakes!   . . . the indescribable  beauty of a multi-colored chalk covered driveway . . . that my oven can still bake cookies . . . {not that it should} . . .  I know who Chloe, and Peppa, Angelina and Poppy Cat are.  I have vases full of the shortest stemmed flowers!  {And very few blooming in the yard.}  :)  I know where to find Goldfish crackers and Fruit Roll-ups at the grocery store again.  I have a secret stash of M&Ms, for melt-down emergencies.  I'm not half bad at slicing apples, and cheese, and serving up a delightful array of tempting, healthy snack trays . . .  Creative Sandwich Cutting is becoming my favored creative art form . . . my Pinterest has fun and educational Children's activity boards . . .Yep . . . this is where I am. . . not so much of my typical blog fodder, I suppose . . .  Of course, there are still the Silversmithing Classes {which I take}, and the Soldering Classes {that I teach} . . . but a typical day isn't nearly as involved in my once customary pursuits . . . and I am so much richer and more blessed for it . . . I will stop by now and again to check on all of you and your wonderful pursuits . . . but as for me . . . well, things have certainly changed around here![...]

Hello. My name is Debbi. I am a bibliophile.


Yes.  That pretty much sums it up.  I borrowed the photo from Yesterday's Books in Modesto, California . . . one of my favorite places on Earth . . . even if they have retitled their previously Pre-1950's Fiction section, to Pre-1960's, and totally allowed that category to atrophy.  I can live with that.  I have Internet.  But as a previous small business owner, I would really, truly, rather buy locally. I still recall the day, gosh, a lot of years ago when after months of searching, that they finally found a copy of For Love of a Rose, by Antonia Ridge* for me!  In England! Oh, my word!  The wonder of it all! In England!Recently, I wrote this little recommendation for them . . .I might be a bibliophile, but . . . I picture the first time I walked into Yesterday's Books {100 years or so, ago} as though it were a scene in a movie . . . slowly I wandered through the aisles {which glowed with a golden light from above . . . the air is a little bit misty in my movie version}, awestruck . . . unbelieving eyes moving from row of books, to stack, to the next row . . . taking in the beauty of it all . . . ;) and the scent . . . oh, my Goodness, the scent . . . the perfume of wisdom and knowledge . . . I have had the privilege to visit the basement of Princeton Theological Library where the very oldest tomes are held {it is the second largest theological library in the world, second to the Vatican}, and the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in England . . . I want you to know that this place shares the very same wonderful perfume of aged and wondrous books. Yesterday's Books is a little spot of wonder and wonderfulness in this world. Would you like to see a picture of pure glee?Princeton Theological Library, with my favorite theologian, our youngest son, Sam.See?  I'll bet you thought I was kidding!In our home, we have 24 running feet of floor to ceiling book cases . . . and piles, and boxes, and stashes of books.  Then there's our son's very large theological library, and while, technically, they don't belong to me, we are storing them {possession being 9/10's of the law, and all} . . .  I have often said that my legacy will be that I have left all of my children with a love for reading, and an entire library.  The minute that we moved into this house, my husband built window seats and bookcases in each of our children's bedrooms.  A proper place to read, you know . . . with curtains that draw . . . allowing for quick transportation to Neverland . . . or Wonderland . . . or Dreamland . . .As a child, I was often called a bookworm.  I always thought it a compliment.  I have completely missed the intended mark of this post . . . {I rest my case}I wanted to share with you the manifesto that is posted in the window of:Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books A World Class Bookstore in the Heart of Mendocino VillageI stood there and read it with complete joy and satisfaction!"WE BELIEVE IN THE BOOK. We believe in quieting the noise and listening to the stories. We believe in traveling far and wide between paper pages. We believe in touching the words, scribbling in the margins, and dogging the ears. We believe in surrounding ourselves with books long finished and books not yet read; in revisiting our younger selves each time we pull old favorites off the shelf.We believe in five-year-olds inking their names in big letters on the flyleaf. We believe in becoming someone else for four hundred pages. We believe in turning off the screens and unplugging the networks once in awhile. We believe in meeting the author, reading the footnotes, looking up the words and checking the references. We believe in holding our children on our laps and turning the pages together.We believe in standing shoulder[...]

Left Brain, Right Brain


I need no other words . . .    Click on the photo to enlarge . . .  It's a Mercedes Benz ad.  Go Mercedes!  It can be difficult to enlarge enough to read the descriptions . . . just for you . . .

I am the left brain.
I am a scientist. A mathematician.
I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear.
Analytical. Strategic. I am practical.
Always in control. A master of words and language.
Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers.
I am order. I am logic.
I know exactly who I am.

I am the right brain.
I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion.
Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter.
I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet.
I am movement. Vivid colors.
I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas.
I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel.
I am everything I wanted to be.

Remember Your Old Friends


Did you see "For Better or for Worse" in your comic pages, today?  Pardon me, but I have to comment . . . it's not my intent to pick on the cartoonist . . .I think this was the greater thought that she was after . . . and I would like to expand on it . . .

Eight years ago, my blessed Father passed away near the end of September.  Two months later, December 2003, I was still in no emotional condition to send Christmas cards.  I planned to send notes in January, I had so much to tell!  We had our first grandchild!  Our son had safely served our country and was now out of the service! . . . but in the very first week of January, they were suddenly able to squeeze me in for the right hand surgery that I cancelled the day after we lost Pop.  No Christmas cards, and no notes went out that year.

The next year {2004} the number of Christmas cards that we received dropped to half.

That's not all!  The day before Thanksgiving {also 2004} {the year we received so few cards . . .}, I had a second surgery on the same hand.  For that one, I got to wear a 10 pound cast that immobilized my arm from my fingertips to between my elbow and shoulder for six weeks.   . . . again, I wasn't able . . . after six weeks in a cast, I wasn't even able to hold a pen . . . sigh . . . no Christmas cards, and after having the cast removed somewhere around New Year's Day . . . no New Year's letter to explain . . . you can imagine what that did to our Christmas cards the next year! 

There were so many other sad and difficult events that took place in those couple of years that it even hurts to remember those times . . . At a time when we were absolutely reeling, so many of those who we thought cared the most, dropped us from their lists. When we could most have used the greetings, the remembrances and the cheers . . . old friends assumed we were cutting them off . . . so did the same to us. 

Here is my plea . . . if you haven't received a Christmas card from someone with whom you have exchanged greetings for years, Call them!  Check on them!  Reach out to them!  SEND THEM A CHRISTMAS CARD!  This year AND next year, and the one after that!  What's the worst that could happen?  They could know that you care?  Isn't that worth a few minutes of your time, and the price of a postage stamp?

I'll step down from my soapbox now.  Thank you very much. 

~Much Love!  Merry Christmas!~

The P.I.N.K. Method


This post is definitely gonna fall in the T.M.I. category . . . and I'm embarrassed to admit this, but . . . I am on a diet. There. I said it. {They say that it's a good idea to share that . . . accountability and all . . .}

My doctor says, I am not obese. Well, that's a relief.  Here's the most embarrassing part, I bought the P.I.N.K. Method. I've never been on an actual organized diet before, but I guess I've finally arrived at that place . . .  you know? . . . where I am ready to do something about it. So far, in three days, I've lost four pounds.

Let's say that I'm a mature person {I am a Grandma . . .}.  {Had to make sure you know where I am coming from . . .}   I've read through the book, and I can tell you this much . . . prudish, Christian Grammy's are not their target market. I am completely offended by the writing, the silly visualizations, the language . . . Sexy Salad?  Come on.

. . . but the diet makes sense. I bought it because I get to buy and prepare my own foods. No additional cost, and it seemed like a reasonable price to me, two $40.00 payments, or one $67.00-ish payment . . . which still came to about $80.00 with the addition of sales tax and shipping . . . que sera, sera . . .

I have certain dietary restrictions . . .{one of those health things mature people get. . . sigh . . .} I can't eat nuts, seeds and berries. These things are staples on the diet. . .  you know, whole grains, strawberries {any berry, really}, nuts . . . great fibre and protein, but not for me . . . I decided to substitute as nearly as I could . . .  I'm using strawberry nectar instead of strawberries, which includes a certain amount of sugar . . . this substitution displaces fibre, so I take fibre . . . what can it hurt? I will eat cracked wheat bread when it's called for instead of whole grain . . . am using dairy milk instead of dairy substitutes . . . and it is working! {If I had known it was this easy, I would have gone on it the minute I had to take prednisone!} . . . and still, for the first time in my life, I'm losing weight!

I have not yet begun the work out portion of the program, I need to stay in the first stage till I have lost 5 to 10 pounds, then the next stage including the workout begin . . . I'm loving that 5 pounds could be tomorrow! It could be right now! This minute!

I plan to partake of Christmas festivities and all of the goodies that come with it! So my start may be slow-ish . . . but doggone it! Christmas only comes once a year! And I started just two weeks before Christmas! But start I did. And so far, while I find the book to be crude, tasteless, and  unprofessional {it is self published} the diet is working just fine. And I am very pleased. Thank.You.Very.Much.

Winter Wishes Theatre


{photo from Gilding the Lily Classes}Have you always hoped that someday you would be able to take a class from Colleen Moody, too?  I found one that I loved, and I couldn't find a single reason not to go . . . I can't believe it!  I finally did it!  Above is the beautiful project, originally designed by Colleen Moody and Iva Wilcox {this day Iva couldn't make it to teach}.  Such a shame, but Colleen, I think can do anything she turns her hand to . . . it was a wonderful, if intense day long class . . .This is not my doll, but the model that I'm working from . . . don't you just love it?  Colleen is such a uniquely talented doll atelier . . .and if I wasn't aware before, after I had the opportunity to observe her talented and capable hands form a lump of clay into a beautiful doll face, I certainly am aware now!Colleen's sweet little snow lady . . .And mine!  Only partially finished . . . but maybe tonight her skirt will happen . . .  My lighted theatre was a only slightly more complete than this, the last photo I took of it before leaving it in Dede's tender care.  :)  I flew . . .  didn't even try to get that on the plane, Dede Warren is shipping it to me.  Bless her sweet heart!  Thank you, Dede! The completed theatre made by Colleen Moody and Iva Wilcox . . .Mine only dreams of being so lovely someday!Hopefully before Christmas!I had a sweet little visitor the day that my package arrived . . . Thank you, Dede. Now I really can't wait to finish it.   [...]

A New Heart for Tammy


When I think of all the times in my life that I have uttered the words, "Bless your heart" . . .   This is a wonderful photograph of my beautiful friend, Tammy Lumpkins.  Tammy made history today.  She is the first person on the West Coast to leave the hospital with an artificial heart. {And one of only 22 people in the country.}Tammy and Dale  I have been posting prayer requests {on Facebook} for Tammy and her family, especially for Tammy, for months now . . . isn't it beautiful to see the fulfillment!?    Thank you, Keck Hospital USC, and Dr. Michael Bowdish, {a cardiothoracic surgeon at Keck Hospital} for caring enough to do something about it. I couldn't tell her story better than Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times has:  An artificial heart offers a real chance - Photos Borrowed from LA Times Article above ~ (Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times / November 8, 2011)   Please continue to remember Tammy in your prayers.   ~Much love!~ Another terrific article from the Hospital's website: Home is Where the Heart is.This article from the local CBS news includes video . . .Tammy leaving the hospital    [...]

Hand Born


I'll be at Hand Born again this year!
I'll have loads and oodles of soldered charms, each one an original . . . and some wonderful metal jewelry!  I'll be introducing some industrial tie~tacks . . . so the guys aren't left out . . .  It all happens as inspiration strikes, so it's just not possible to tell you what will be there . . . but I'll post pictures before the event!  {likely the very day before}  ;)

Hand Born . . . by the way . . . is a brilliantly conceived handmade gift faire  . . . Around closing time, businesses in the Modesto's hip downtown area, push their tables back and open their doors to artisans of youthful oriented wares.  How cool is that!?  Always anxiously anticipated  . . . this speed shopping event takes place in just 4 hours, once a year!  It is hugely popular, and honestly I don't think one could possibly see all of the wonderfulness in the time allotted!

Don't forget!! November 26!

in case you wondered . . .


. . . this hiatus is not permanent . . . life has intervened . . . I will be back the very minute that I find one free . . . besides this one, I mean . . . it came along and surprised me . . . caught me totally unprepared . . . so did the "life intervening" part . . . sigh . . .  
~ Much Love ~

Copper Tags


What do you think?  I've been experimenting . . . . . . and I'm really pleased with the outcome.I told somebody tonight, that I have lost more sleep over this project . . . that's not a bad thing . . .. . . rather, I'm enjoying the challenge enough, that I lay awake planning the next step . . .That's a good thing![...]

One More Shadowbox Treasury Post!


 I've been telling you about the Birthday Treasury Shadowbox Swap that has just wrapped up over at Inspire Co, in my last post I shared my submission . . . now I want you to see what my partner sent to me! Isn't it wonderful?  My swap partner was Heather at Speckled Egg.  The thing that I am so intrigued with here, is this:  If you wrote out a list of the items that we used, and a description of colors, you would have very similar lists . . . with amazingly dissimilar results!  I don't know about you, but I think that sort of thing is fascinating.   Do you love that she personalized it with my initial? The D is for Debbi, silly.  :)  I shot off an immediate email after it arrived, and told her how fascinated I was by the items that she included . . . she couldn't even know how these things applied to me.  A small list: I sew, kind of a lot actually, {measuring tape}, I have an entire wall decorated with keys and escutcheon plates {I buy antique keys as souvenirs when we travel.}, I have a major thing for typewriters {which includes typewriter keys, natch, I even have 3 or 4 antique typewriters!} Have you noticed that a frozen Charlotte is represented?  I so love frozen Charlotte's that I am, as we speak, preparing molds to cast them in sterling!  I think she got me. Thank you, Heather!This is the shadowbox that I sent to her.  We discussed that she loved nature {wasp nest, bird nest, natural quail egg} {the pennants obstruct your view of the little copper bird nest with pearl eggs on the top shelf}; she has 2 little girls {the clipboard soldered charm}; her birthday is represented on the bottle {but hidden},  ~ the bottle sort of represents a bit of me ~  her blog is Speckled Egg {self-explanatory}  ;)  . . . and these are her colors of choice.  I was generally going for a Natural Science sort of look {porcelain crucible and other previously mentioned pieces}, and age, and then there was my plan that these things should be able to be handled and studied and manipulated by her children.  Which she tells me they are.  {Yay!  A win!}  I loved the way the doors made the shadowbox into a tiny cupboard, and I think that makes the items stored within feel more precious.It is only 5 1/2" X 5 1/2" overall.  Don't you just love tiny things?If you would like to see what the other participants came up with, click on the links below for the two blog posts that Amy at Inspire Co. has shared with us!Birthday Treasury Swap~ and ~More Birthday ShadowboxesScroll down to the next post, or click here to see more photos of the one that I sent to Heather.I would so do this again!  I am, in fact!  It's an entirely different theme . . .when I finish, you know me, I'll share pictures!  :)  ~ Much Love! ~[...]

Birthday Treasury Shadowbox Swap


While I have a little breather, from, what I like to call our Summer Party Season, let me show you a little teenie bit of what I've been up to! I have just participated in a Birthday Treasury Swap designed by Amy Powers of Inspire Co. Wasn't it just the bestest idea!? We purchased these Tim Holtz Configurations {this is where I bought my shadow box}, filled and decorated them according to our swap partner's taste {I hope}, and shipped them off!I know that Amy went to a great deal of trouble to match us up with someone compatible. . .because I gave her a little trouble . . . a result I am certain, of my usual problem, tmi. :)I was thrilled to discover my assigned partner was somebody that I already admired! Heather from Speckled Egg . . .You know that soldering is kind of my thing . . .So doors came into being. Poof! Just like that!{and the bottle and charm . . . I can't help myself!}{The little copper nest contains pearls eggs. Of course, I made it, silly.}and then there's that nature thing . . . I kind of think Heather and I share that . . . I tried to personalize some of the trinkets. . . Heather's birthday is represented here, really it is! . . . it's just in kind of . . . almost a secret way . . . ;) I like this quote . . . it defines a part of me . . . and I suspect a little of Heather . . . Gosh, I sure hope it does, anyway!"She was a noticer. . . for all the shelves are lined with shells, bird feathers, dried sea grasses, pebbles, eggshells. . . They're just bits that were lying on the ground, that anyone else would step over or on, but she saw they were beautiful and brought them home.". . . The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society . . . Thank you for the wonderful opportunity, Amy! I absolutely loved this!Thank you, Heather for playing! I have just loved every minute of it![...]



There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

~Douglas H. Everett~

Personally, I believe that I live my life with one foot in each of those worlds. It's a balancing act, to be sure, but I really like it here.

Thank you, Valerie {Bohemian Season} for posting this quote for me. :) You're always inside my head!

Birthday Treasury Shadowbox Swap


(image) Oooh! I know you'll want to be part of this! Amy Powers is hosting a really wonderful exchange based on this positively scrumptious prototype that she designed for her Inspired Ideas Magazine, The Birthday Edition.

This is a one on one exchange, we'll each make one, and receive one back! Pop in on Amy to see the particulars, and sign up! It will be so much fun to see you there!

"Swap sign ups close on May 31. Swaps due to be exchanged the week of June 13."

{Which, it occurs to me just happens to be my birthday week! How do you like that?}

I can't wait to discover who my assigned partner is! This is going to be so much fun!

Budget Minded Bride


I did a wedding last week . . . on a budget. Of course, all weddings have a budget, but I happened to know that this bride was going to try to do her own flowers . . . and she's related to my nephew {by marriage}, and I am a florist . . . I know very well how much work goes into a wedding, and I know the tears that I've shed, working on that kind of deadline . . . wedding flowers are a last minute deal, afterall . . .I couldn't wish that on her, especially when it was an easy thing for me to do, and I had the time . . . you know? So they bought the flowers, delivered them to me . . . which is surely out of the ordinary :) . . . and here I share with you, the resulting Bridal Bouquet. The reason that this is all noteworthy, is this . . . this bouquet is made from 1 bunch of mixed Spring flowers from Costco. 1 bunch! We are talking budget here, people! So I just want to give budget minded brides some hope. It does take a little training, but these days, doesn't everybody know someone who can teach them how to wire and tape flower stems? These are wired, then shaped, and wrapped. Oversimplified, I know . . . but take heart! It can be done! You can have beautiful flowers, on a budget . . . learn how to wire and tape, and practice beforehand with flowers from your garden. And practice, practice, practice! . . . Do not wait till the last minute to figure this out . . . it is not rocket science, but in this case, practice does make much prettier. :) And you're really gonna love this! The centerpieces! She bought sweetpeas from a local fruit stand, and vases from a dollar store. $5.00 centerpieces. It is my intention here to be of assistance . . . to maybe instruct a little . . . Buy flowers in season at Farmer's Markets or like this bride did, at the local strawberry stand . . . if you have time, grow them yourself {I hate to admit this, but you shouldn't depend on growing them from seed . . . it's just too risky} . . . To arrange, simply gather them in your hand till they make a pleasing arrangement, then cut the stems off to one length. Lovely. Lovely. My gift to you. :)Note: Minutes after posting this, I mean really, truly . . . just minutes! I peeked in On one of my favorite blogs, Running With Scissors . . .and lo and behold, she's making a Bridal Bouquet, but she took the instructions, oh, so much further, and included how-to photographs! Run over to see! Fresh or silk flowers, the instructions are the same! You can do this! I promise! Tell her I sent you! Love![...]

Birthday Flowers


I promised a couple of friends that I would post photos of the centerpieces from my Mother-in-law's birthday party. See!? I try to keep my promises! {I really do try. Honest!} I kinda wish I had cleared the background a little better . . . but do you have any idea how vain I looked, when the party was in full swing, and I was taking close ups of the flower arrangements . . . that I made!? And since it was family and close friends . . . I think the guests might have known that. Awkward. This angle was an attempt to show the butterflies . . . I'm gonna give you a quick tutorial on those. I love them! Aren't they just the sweetest!?I found a tissue paper that was printed in a friendly little butterfly design. Yep. The very stuff that we tuck into gift bags. I liked this particular one for it's overall design of the same butterfly, in multiple Spring-ie colors, and lots of great sizes.I color copied the tissue paper at my friendly neighborhood copy shop. Just for you, I'm sharing that first step with you! Click on the picture above to enlarge it, then print! I hope it enlarges to full page . . . I don't know to what size it will enlarge . . .I'm only kinda geeky . . . {I surely don't know everything about this stuff. I think most of it is just magic.}I carried my color copy all the way over to the copy desk and asked them to make three more copies on transparency film. {You know, the stuff they use for overhead projectors.} The color will be waaaaay lighter than you expect. I recommend that you start with really intense, vibrant colors. Took those home, and sometime in the middle of the night . . . with a girlfriend that I enlisted {coerced} into helping me . . . cut them out. I think you should cut them quite close. You're not gonna believe this, but they didn't melt when I hot glued* them to the frame, wires and nests! Instant Spring! They were kind of adorable! {If I do say so myself.} {Gosh! I hope this doesn't mean that vain thing was accurate.} . . . sigh . . . *I did use a lower temp glue gun. The truly hot ones can really cause nasty burns! And would probably melt the transparency film.Fold your little cut-out butterflies in the middle, so they appear like . . . like . . . like butterflies! . . . and using the cool melt, hot glue gun, glue them to light weight floral wire . . . or like I did, the nest and twigs of these arrangements . . . but they would be super cute sprinkled on a table . . . used on paper goods . . . somebody even tried them in a little bottle at the soldered charms class that I taught last weekend. They seem so delicate and ephemeral . . . I think you'll love them, too! And will very likely find a million other uses for them! Please tell me if you do! I would so love to hear!Now. . . don't say I never did anything for you! ;)P.S. Do I have the world's best flower suppliers or what!? I said Spring, they delivered SPRING! [...]

Red Lead . . . Where have you been all my life!?


NestYou know how it is when you're surfing . . . once in a while you run across a site that is positively wonderful . . . I stumbled onto Red Lead this morning. EEEeeeee!"NEST" StampThe following is what their website tells about them:"Red Lead was voted "the best place to buy art supplies" and "the best place to buy scrap booking supplies" by the St. Louis Riverfront Times. Chris and Sharon have been published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Mary Englebreit Home Companion, Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Celebrations, as well as several Stampington and Company publications.Chris and Sharon are known for their inspiring art, exclusive line of rubber stamps designed by them, an eclectic mix of collage trinkets, vintage collage sheets, and artful workshops taught in the Red Lead studio. When you are in their neighborhood please drop by, they would love to meet you!Visit Red Lead in the historic Webster Groves neighborhood of St. Louis, Mo. at 27 North Gore Ave."So I ask you . . . why is this news to me!?Have I been living under a rock? {I suppose that is possible.} Dottie and Debbie Rubber StampDo you even believe this is a rubber stamp! I am not kidding you!A super delicious collage sheet!Vintage Elements Collage SheetI mean, come on! Seriously! Don't you just love it!?Their prices are even completely reasonable, and I can be such a terrible cheapskate {I dropped a small fortune for me, there today!} . . . I suspect a lot of us creative types are . . . it's hard to buy that which you can make . . . and Red Lead will help you find some scrumptious goodies to do all that great creating with!{Sorry about the closing preposition . . . I couldn't help myself. I'm a real person, you know?}Red Lead StorefrontRed Lead Blog[...]

Carla M Fox, Metalsmith


width="425" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>This is for those of you who might wonder about those silversmithing classes that I keep talking about . . . :)

~Much Love! ~

Cool Tool


(image) Filed in the Look What I Did department . . .


It is lovely, though, isn't it?

I've told you before that I take a silversmithing class . . . a classmate and her husband invented the tool that I used to make the chain . . . I just love it! It's all sterling silver and pearls . . . The crucifix and connector, I found on Etsy . . .


It's a birthday gift for a dear friend . . . I'm hoping she doesn't see it here before she she sees it in person . . . :)

If you want to know more about the tool that I used, or the Etsy supplier . . . just let me know . . . I'll get right back to you!



Gosh! How've you been?! It's been ages since I saw you! I should stop in more often, I know . . . I've just been so busy . . . and I always write at night, it seems . . . and my husband has discovered the joys of sharing my computer in the evenings . . . sigh . . .Today, I'm grounded. He has my automobile . . . {pickup, actually . . .} . . . and is out enjoying his new boat with our son, and I get to stay home and do whatever I please. :) I so love those days when I can't leave the house for some reason . . .they're gifts, absolutely . . . so . . . I've completed a bit of correspondence, edited a couple of pictures, and remembered that I have a blog. :) Here you go . . . in photos . . . a bit of what I've/we've all been up to . . . ;)I've been . . . taking classes and giving them . . . . . . just finished this necklace for Relay for Life . . .. . . tried to hang out with these precious people whenever possible . . .. . . and Rip Van Winkle . . .. . . celebrated Easter with my family. . . including my two favorite, beautiful, little gossamer girls . . . {She's trying to decide whether to go near to . . . } . . . Emily Easter Bunny! {Who happened to be in the neighborhood {because she lives across the street} and surprised us with a happy visit . . . }We traveled a bit . . . not too far, just enough . . . to share in a celebration honoring my Mother-in-law and her milestone birthday . . . {Mom with our eldest son and his beautiful family. . .} . . . enjoyed the company of relatives who traveled rather farther than we did . . . . . . and taken every opportunity to find my peace . . . . . . here . . . . . . in this beautiful place . . . {big ol' sigh} . . . how about yourself?[...]

Soldered Charms Workshop/Class


(image) This Saturday, I'm teaching another Workshop/Class at The Empty Nest! Let me give you the particulars! April 2, 2011 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. You will make five different types of charms! You will learn; the copper foil method, how to cut and grind glass, and how to solder! {At least!} The Workshop fee {$100.00} includes the class {naturally}, all of your materials, and a delightfully delicious catered lunch! Tools are available for use in class! It is a good idea to bring your own soldering iron, however! There are two students who can't make it at the last minute, so there are open seats . . . just in case you need one of them. ;)
The Empty Nest (209) 847-9300

For a recent post about the last class, Click Here