Monday, March 28, 2011

What A Party It Was!

With the help of friends, we celebrated Melissa's 32nd birthday on Saturday night. I can only say that I know our girls have inherited the "theme gene" from their mother, but they really were off the hook with this one!  As you know, we've been collecting "stuff" these past few weeks for the "Dub T Redneck Party."  Rather than blab on and on, I'll let you browse the photos - as they say, "A picture's worth a 1,000 words!"  Note to all: it was an absolutely fun, fun night with laughs galore.  I'm continually amazed by the creative nature of all our friends

Laundry glory front yard
Front yard landscaping

Lawn art

Laundry glory back yard

Jerry, Lacey, Ashley, Mandy, Melissa, Eva
Dining Room decor
bologna sandwiches & Frito pie

fine cuisine

Chris & Ciara
Cirocco and Trudy
Trudy's brood
Ashley, Chris & the "motor home"

Debbie & Rick
Jennifer & Mandy
Morgan & Miguel
The proud parents! yee haw!

What a week for basketball!  We watched our AZ Wildcats defeat Duke in the Sweet 16, and valiantly play their hearts out to UConn in the Elite 8.  Although the Final Four was not in the cards for them this year, we'll be back next year!!

So much fun!

Taxes have been seen to this past Thursday and all is right in the world.  Now it's back to the drawing board to get the creative mojo working again.  Here are some cute things I put in my Etsy store this week...
Mothers Day Card
Sewing Queen Tag
Mini muslin Country Time bags

Mini muslin Steampunk bags
"Italia" muslin yardage with black ribbon

I was trying to decide what to post this week for a little DIY project when I came across this idea in my wanderings through Bloglandia...and I hate to say it because I told myself I would never, never, never let it happen - but I forgot which blog had this idea!! {shame}  Anyhoo, since I didn't copy it verbatim, I'm going to go ahead and give you my version.  I'm calling it "Give the Little Winged Friends a Step Up." 

UPDATE:  I just learned from my friend Patty Szymkowicz  at
Magpie's Nest ~*~  that I saw this idea at
Halle has a great blog, you should check her out!!  Fun ideas and wonderful humor!

The thought behind this inspirational project is to provide a little extra help for the birds who are, or getting ready to, build nests.  We're repurposing materials that might otherwise not give a second thought.  So, get ready - get your stuff - and get steppin' up!!

"Give the Little Winged Friends a Step Up."

mesh bag - the kind lemons, oranges, onions come in
scraps of fabric, string, feathers, ribbon, twine, fluffy stuff
twine or ribbon for hanging
packing tape
my stuff

mesh bag

twine and packing tape

Cut a portion of the bag apart, making use of the
sewn bottom, so you will only have to tape one
side of the bag.

Next, tape together the cut side of the bag so that 
you now have a mini bag.

mini bag with taped side

Put your stuff in the bag and put a length of twine through the two open tops of the bag to create a hanger.

finished bag with stuff

Finally, find a tree from which to hang your bag - caution, be sure to hang it so the feathered friend has a place to perch and still be able to reach inside the bag for the goodies!  Mr. H had to remind me of this when I went to hang it!!
Not good - no place to perch!

much better!!

Now I'll need to be on the lookout for some very colorful nests in our neighborhood!  Also, look to see if you need to replenish your bag before nesting season ends!

Have a marvelous, museful week!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Did You Ever Have......?

Did you ever have one of those weeks that just whizzed by so fast, you couldn't even believe it happened?  Well, that's exactly what my week was like.  And I think I've figured out why it went SO fast....I spent the better part of it engaged with the people I family and friends!  

The company you're with creates the happiness that surrounds you, and when you're that happy you lose track of the clock - the seconds, minutes, hours, days - and finally, the week itself!

By now you KNOW there's no such thing as an accident - just an event that was determined to occur.  Well, I dropped off some inventory to MMU on Monday and one of my besties, Alex, just happened to be working, which I did not know  beforehand.  

Sweet surprise, because I've been promising to bring and share lunch with her when she works and well, life has just gotten in the way.  Not this day - we chatted and she helped get my inventory "staged"

collectible cards

vintage crepe paper, muslin and labels

hand dyed tulle
 and I ran an errand and picked up the most scrumptious lunch at Miss Saigon - YUM!!

As luck would have it, Alex was free on Tuesday, so I decided to play hooky from housework, laundry and project to do one of my favorite pastimes - JUNKING!!  We hit one of Alex's faves (was sworn to secrecy on which one it is *wink*wink*  But take a gander at our loot - Alex scored MAJOR with a pristine set of vintage pyrex bowls for an embarrassingly small price tag!
here are the bowls, and  check out the old Skippy jar for 50 cents!

She's one happy girl!

my loot - lots of stuff for my projects

love the new chair for my new studio!

munitions box to hold lots of crafting tools

how can a mom go shopping without getting something for the kids!
As if all this wasn't indulgent enough - let me continue...Wednesday brought a full day at MMU for scrapping with dear friend Geri.  She shared this darling tissue holder she made, a get well gift for a sick friend.  

If you're interested in the directions, please email me and I'll send them to you:
She finished (I think...) her latest cruise album, and I got to work on vintage wallpaper tags and a gift for my sis, Anna Marie, who's birthday is in July.  Weird, I know, 4 months away but if I don't start now it won't get done!

Thursday we watched our glorious AZ Wildcats win their first game in the NCAA tourney.  In case you'd like to see "from whence we come" our youngest daughter, Melissa, found this and posted on Facebook.

The day was topped off with a traditional Irish dinner with our family at the girls' house.  It was fabulous,  and regretfully I got so excited about going "out" to dinner that I didn't bring my camera - shame on me!  Suffice it to say, Mandy outdid herself and the cooking legend lives on!

Friday night Ron and I hunkered down with a quiet time at home - so much excitement this week for us seniors!  On Saturday I helped Kiera celebrate her birthday along with 9 other friends, so much fun!

Sunday was spent with Mandy "creating" some special gifts for some special friends. Pepper into this some unbelievable balmy AZ weather and now you know why I can't believe this week just whizzed by.

Once again, my friend Carolyn at has been so very generous to share the following craft with us.  I think you'll agree this is darling and now we finally can repurpose all those wine corks we save!  Please be sure to check out her blogspot for even more inspiration!

Tiny Trees - Family Chic

Branch Photo Holder - homework

And one more idea before you use up all those corks...I created these last summer for a friend's Wine and Cheese birthday party.  They're great for the buffet table.
hot glue a bamboo skewer into cork, then carefully cut a slice at opposite end for food card

My wish for you this week is that it is filled with so much joy you lose track of all time!  Peace and love to all, and Bear Down Arizona - Beat the Blue Devils!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Put a Feather in Your Cap ~ or Your Hair!

How about if my week began with a FIRST!  

Well, as you know the Lenten season has begun, and I endeavored to make....for the first time in 40+ years of marriage....a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty....FASNACHTS!    These doughnut delites are made and eaten on the Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday.  Sort of like a "last hurrah" before your sacrifice(s) of choice begins.  Mine are to give up all things chocolate and to be a kinder, gentler spirit to all. 

So where did I learn about fasnachts?  Most of you know that my lovey hubby, Ron, is from Reading, PA and is 50% PA Dutch and 50% Italian by ethnicity.  So, we have the best of both worlds in our cusine!  I have to tell you, they are work and took most of Monday to prepare - start to finish.  Mandy and I fried them on the patio for obvious reasons....didn't want the tempting aroma in the house for 40 days!!

the deep fryer
And boy, they were worth the effort!  Sadly to say, a week later all 30 are gone...but did share with daughters and neighbors.

the real deal - Fasnachts

Tuesday began with my 8 week haircut, which was fabulous as always, but it was memorable this time because I asked my talented and beautiful stylist, Lauri, to put a FEATHER EXTENTION in my hair!!!  Can you believe it?!! C'mon...had to have a little excitement!  

looks dark, but there are two - a light green and a natural

Later that morning, I had the most exciting time when I met with Katie Hughes, owner of Making Memories Unforgettable - our FAVORITE scrapbook store!  Katie is now consigning my original paper art at MMU!  
What fun to share with fellow scrappers in my home town!  Katie, you're the best!

vintage labels
rosette with tea-stained vintage crepe paper

gift tags
I hate to admit this, but I spent the rest of the week doing what I love best - my art.  I've got some new designs on the table and will be putting them in the shop this week.  Look for more beeswax encaustic and scrapping supplies.

In the meantime, I'm sharing a project with you from one of the cutest blogs I follow from my friend Ashley, at  When I saw this on her blog I just knew my fashionista friends would love, love, love this...and sew easy too!! Tons of thanks, Ashley!   

How to Make a Lace Tie Bracelet
{using scrap fabric}

You can make this no-sew bracelet in 5 minutes, no joke.

Bust out your fabric and lace scraps and glue gun,
and that's all you need.

First you need to make a 2 x 20 inch strip of fabric for your base.  I used basic muslin fabric for my base.  First, I cut a little slit {about 1/2 an inch} and then I ripped it the rest of the way so that the edges fray.

Then I laid out the scraps I decided to use.

Take the scrap lace you want to use first and measure it around your wrist.
Trim all the lace scraps to be this length.

Apply glue on the top edge of the lace scrap
and then place on bottom of the strip of muslin.

Glue down the next strip just above the other.

Then glue down the final scrap.
You don't need to use very much glue.

Then tie it in a casual bow around your wrist, and flaunt it.

How cute is this with Spring right around the corner? Can't you just see yourself wearing this and one of those adorable cute sundresses?  Let me know how your's turns out!  Better yet...let Ashley know too!

I really love attending Mass at this time of year... partly because the linens and vestments are purple and very imposing in their solemn aura, but mostly because the good Fathers remind me what this season is REALLY about...  giving to others, taking care of one another, doing without to benefit the good of someone else.  How especially important now in light of the devastation in the East this past weekend.  

Today I'll be stopping at our local Red Cross to drop off "extras" of shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. that we've squirreled away this year - dare we should run out!   Just a reminder to me that someone on the other side of the world needs these things, maybe a little more than I do, and not just because it's Lent...but just because.

A great BIG feather in their caps for our Arizona Wildcats - PAC 10 Champs 2011 & on their way to the Big Dance!!  Way to Bear Down Arizona!!
Momo Jones lets everyone know we're #1

Have you bought your corned beef, cabbage, and carrots yet?  Afterall, we're ALL Irish for at least one day!  Celebrate on Thursday in grand green style!  We will in the Hess home... Mandy is cooking the corned beef dinner as is her tradition, and we will be dining at the daughters' home - Hurrah!

Have a wonderful, SAFE, and happy week my dear friends...and Happy St. Patrick's Day!