Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween, friends!

It’s been a looong day, today we were up bright and early to do a final blitz of fliers/flyers (can’t decide on the spelling, but I really ought to look it up, lol) on our good city. Several friends met us here at the house for hot chocolate/wassail/oj/milk at the house early this am and then we all set out to hang the last of the fliers/flyers. I had a carful of young ones and we hit about 500 houses. I think we finished around 2:30 pm, just in time for me to drop kids off at home to get ready for Halloween festivities and to run some errands for our evening festivities.

I’m not usually a big Halloween person, but this year I wanted to at least dress up a little… so while I was running errands at the great W I found some fabulous falsies (eyelashes) and since I have always been a little fascinated by fabulous eyelashes I thought I’d try them out.

The costume started out as me being the chunky version of Elizabeth Taylor, but then I remembered I had a great witches hat in one of our Halloween/Fall decor Rubbermaid bins and sent B off to fetch it for me. WOOT! And then I remembered I had this awesome new black frilly skirt that would be cool and I had some fun patterned nylons in the back of the sock drawer… so a “wicked” witch I became. Brent, of course, was a politician tonight.

A few days ago I picked up some 99c eye shadows over at Sally Beauty Supply and wanted to play around with them. (I’ve never really worn “smokey/sultry” eye shadow before and this was loads of fun. The hair flower is courtesy of Icing. I am looooooving hair bling lately!

Here are a few snap shots:





We had loads of kids come by this year and ran out of candy right before this photo was taken. I headed over to a girlfriend’s house to drop off a birthday treat and then we headed out to another friend's for a really late dinner.

Hope you all had a fabulous Halloween!

Inky Smiles!

PS.. please ignore the unpainted trim on the pantry door... we hung it up and I started to paint it when we realized that the profile was not an exact match.. it was just enough "off" that it looked strange. Gonna pry it off and cut a new piece to match this month. :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Up To No Good… Or something

Ok so I thought I would share a little bit of what I have been up to the last several weeks, besides working and not crafting. I do have to admit that I did TRY to craft earlier this week but failed at miserably at what I was trying to do (making faux stained glass) so I piled up the pieces on my desk and then tossed them and went back to Facebooking and helping out Brent.

Many of you know that Brent has been on the city council for our town for the last 4 years. Well, this year he decided to run again for re-election. For the past several weeks he has been going out door to door campaigning and meeting people of the town again. He has taken off every Friday from work and is gone most evenings until after dark. I’ve been helping where I can. I have helped make fliers, posters, logos for bags of candy, lots of phone calls, etc. It’s crazy.

PaysonCityCouncilBrent IMG_4119web

On Labor Day we had a parade in our town and Brent and I and several supporters walked (I drove the jeep) in the parade. We had kids and adults that threw candy and waved and passed out flyers and Brent walked the parade route and handed out flyers and talked to folks along the way. The parade was loads of fun and we had a big bbq afterwards for all those who helped out.


There were so many helpers, it was amazing! Our good friend, Tom, rode at the back of our parade entry on his shiny new motorcycle with the flag flying off the back. It was super cool!


During the parade the girls/kids in the jeep with me would yell out "I scream, you scream, we all scream for BRENT!" and "Make noise for BRENT!" and "WE LOVE BRENT". It was quite hilarious and cute. We tossed thousands (120 lbs = 18,720 candies) of Tootsie Rolls to the crowds and the kids would yell, "Make noise for Tootsie Rolls, make noise for BRENT!" (Below photo taken after the parade on the way home.)


My sweetheart... ready to walk the parade route. Isn't he cute? I sure think so :)


A few nights ago we had some friends over to staple and rubber band the last 1800 flyers to be passed out this last week of campaigning.

Take this


plus this


and you get this




even little Josie had to get in on the action… (Sadie hid out under the table for the most part.)


There’s nothing like friends with a built in sweatshop teenagers who have nothing better to do on a Monday night while mom studies for her Pharmacy Tech exam…. Seriously, we appreciate the help! Rubberbanding 1800 fliers flew by very quickly with so many hands helping out!

We’re in the home stretch… it’s all over on Tuesday, win or lose, hopefully win. Brent loves working for the people of Payson and doing something good. I hope he can continue doing so.

And if I never see another rubber band again I will die a happy camper...

Inky Smiles!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A New To Me Craft… Stained Glass

Before Brent left to go out campaigning (door to door visiting) this morning he told me “You HAVE to put some crafty stuff back up on your blog again.  People don’t want to read about how busy you are again.” LOL!  Ok, darling, dear…. 

While we were in Massachusetts we bounced around from house to house (on the 2nd part of our trip) so we’d be able to see and visit with more family members.   One of our nights (the last night) was spent at my cousin Nichole’s house.

I never knew Nichole was so crafty and artistic until last year when we received a wedding invitation from her for her wedding in beautiful Jamaica.
This is the box that showed up in my mailbox… intriguing!!!!    And then I opened it up!  Wowza!

NikiInviteBoxweb NikiInsideBoxWeb

What a FABULOUS way to invite people to your wedding!  There is even REAL sand and little tiny shells inside the bottle.   (I have it here in my studio because it’s a cool little gem to look at.)  I wish we would have been able to go to the wedding!  

NikiInviteBottleWeb NikiInviteBottleZoomWeb
So anyway, back to the new to me crafting.… on our last night there we (we being my youngest brother, Jake, his wife Jacoby, and myself) got a wild hair and decided that we wanted to try our hands at Stained Glass making.  Now, Niki and her mom both do stained glass as a hobby.  My aunt Sue should probably do it to sell because she does a FANTASTIC job.  Her artwork is simply GORGEOUS.  (She gave me a fabulous piece that she made of a crane in a marsh, but my mom had to take it home in their truck because it was too big to haul home safely on an airplane.  I can’t wait to go home in Nov and pick it up.  I will share pics then!) 

I have been fascinated with stained glass for as long as I can remember.  I can remember standing in churches and museums and castles in Europe (I lived in Germany from ‘86-‘94) and staring in awe and amazement at the phenomenal stained glass windows and artwork.

It was about 10 pm when we all decided to try our hand at stained glass, and it took a while to pick out suitable patterns to create as beginners.  Jacoby made the cutest little frog family that she free hand drew and created her own pattern for and Jake made an Iowa State emblem. 
IowaStateStainedGlass FroggyStainedGlass

Making stained glass is a lot easier than I thought it would be but on the other hand it is a lot more time consuming and than I thought it would be, too.

Here are the basic steps:
1)  Choose a pattern.   The more small pieces it has, the bigger pain in the butt it is and the longer it takes.  We altered my pattern and combined smaller pieces into larger pieces. (Thank you Nichole for steering me clear of the intricate details that I love. LOL!)

2)  Enlarge your pattern, number your pieces, and cut out with special stained glass scissors that have a little channel to allow space in the pattern for the soldering stuff.

3)  Choose you glass colors and textures.  Holy moly!  She had TONS to choose from… so many choices.  Worse than making cards and choosing the color scheme because not only were there varieties of color, there were varieties of textures, too!  Ay yi yi!

4)  Trace your pattern pieces onto the glass with a sharpie marker and number.

5)  Cut out your glass pieces with a special glass cutting tool, then use another special tool to snap the score line in the glass. (This part kept freaking me out because I was afraid I’d break the glass wrong.)

6) Lay out your pieces and double check and see how you like your colors/textures, etc.  Re cut anything you don’t like.

7)  Grind your pieces down to the traced line on a grinding machine.  Make sure you take the “smooth glossy edge” off the edges of the glass.  This was the most tedious part of the whole night.  This is where you realize that you only want a few pieces of glass instead of a crazy intricate design….

8)  Wash each piece with hot soapy water and check the edges to make sure there are no smooth surfaces.   Make sure to rinse off all the soap residue.

9)   Wrap each edge with a special copper tape.  This gives the flux and the solder something to stick to.

10)  Paint each edge with liquid flux and then use a solder in iron to go around each edge and heat up the flux and put a bit of solder on the edges.  This is the step where Erin burns her fat little fingers. OUCH!

11)  Lay out your pieces on a clean, cork board thingy covered table and line up for fit using a square (if you need to make your art square). 

12) Using your soldering iron and a roll of solder, create your “lead” lines and sauder the whole darn thing together.  This part is fun, but it was near midnight when mine was getting finished up so we sorta rushed a little and the lines aren’t as pretty as I would like… I think I can clean them up a bit with a soldering iron here at home :)
When you’re happy with your lines and are finished, wash up your stained glass artwork with soap and water, then polish with regular car wax and use a very fine steel wool to polish up the solder lines and VOILA!  You have made your first stained glass!
Mine has a lot of imperfections and some pieces got cut funny, but for Stained Glass at Midnight for my first time I think it turned out kind of neat.  All that is left to do is for me to sauder two little hangers on it and then hang it in my kitchen window.  It’s so pretty with the sun coming in and reflecting the colors everywhere.  I heart it :)    Thank you Niki, YOU ROCK!
Inky Smiles!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Working, Working, Working....

I'm still not quite back in the craft room. It's THAT time of year again at work where I'm working on contract renewals for both summer lawn /property maintenance contracts for 2010 and snow removal contracts for the 2009-2010 season. Today I am working from home and it's a busy day. I am happy to have the hours as it means more money to pay off the trip and save towards Christmas... and it's a JOB. SUPER grateful to have a job in this economy so I can't complain about the extra work.

We're trying to avoid the swine flu here at our house. I have a sore throat, but no other symptoms and I am hoping it's just seasonal allergies, Brent's boss (went home yesterday with symptoms), coworker (on bed rest by dr's orders), and sis in law (also in bed on dr's orders) all have the swine flu... yikes! We're stocking up on essentials, medications, and long term foods to limit trips to the store and trying to keep rested and healthy so we can avoid catching the swine flu this season. We're also limiting exposure to large groups of people and are avoiding shaking hands and being in close proximity to those who may be ill. (I sure wish I could avoid the dr office altogether!!!) I carry hand sanitizer and a small baggie of Lysol wipes in my purse, too.

What are you and your family doing to avoid getting the swine flu this year?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Getting Back In The Saddle / Swing of Things / Craft Room Again

Hey friends!

Just a quick note to let you know that I have not died or dropped off the planet. We just got back this morning (3:30 am) from a fabulous 11 day east coast vacation to see the foliage changing in upper New Hampshire, Vermont, playing in the Boston area, visiting my extended family in western Massachusetts and celebrating my grandfather’s 80th birthday. It was SO MUCH FUN and I am SO STINKING tired. COMPLETELY filled a 2 gig camera card and started on a 1 gig… Gotta make some time to organize and edit photos this week! :)

I did get to meet a really neat lady on the plane. She was sitting behind me talking to a darling little old lady who was seated next to her… I was trying to get comfortable with a pinched nerve in my hip (and teeeeeny tiny seat) and caught the word “scrapbooking” and “work from home”in their conversation and after a little while I couldn’t stand wondering what company she was talking about, so I was nosey and turned around to talk to her. lol! Turns out she’s is Brandy Murry from!! How awesome is that! She was on her way to the Scrap Girls convention in Salt Lake City. I thought that was pretty neat and I am totally digging her products!

Also, I did make a plethora of cards and crafty things to take along on our trip. I will share them later this week.. in the meantime it’s back to work and all the fun cleaning up, unpacking, and laundry that comes when you return from a very long trip. Here's a little bitty I made for one of my aunts.


Inky Smiles :)