Thursday, June 30, 2011

Still Saying Goodbye To June...

In my earlier Red ~ White ~ Blue salute how could I forget Michigan strawberries in June?  What June is suppose to taste like. :) Michigan and strawberries go together like peas and carrots. :)

Much like June they are coming to an end so trying to enjoy before they fade....

Beatles ~ Strawberry Fields Forever ~ ~ La ~ la ~la......

Enjoy your weekend & holiday. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Red *~* White *~* Blue......Salute!

Hi there!

Summer is really starting to get going now with June almost in the rear view mirror.....

My roses 2011 ~ Trying to enjoy before June is over....

Here in the U.S.A. it is almost time for July 4th Independence Day.  Time to celebrate with everything red white & true blue.  I decided to quickly find & post some patriotic colors to share for inspiration floating around.  With June almost over, it is always a little sad.  I love June! Sweet beautiful June. You know....the month of roses, weddings, pearls and on and on and on. 

I have an apple tree in my backyard that for some reason decides about now, to start to reconsider all of this leaf business.  So.....

I have a few yellow falling leaves in my yard already from my apple tree.  (I could show you a picture but why ruin my cheery summer blog post here? :) Sigh...why so soon?

 Let see....

   How about these cute blue Ball jars I found fleaing?
         Then..... how about roses in the blue Ball jar?
 How about Christmas in July? Do you love or hate people who go this route? :) Well I have a lovely guest from Spain and decided that he and his family needed an American adornment for their Christmas tree come December, so I found this yesterday in a cute gift shop locally.  It was just what I was looking for. The old fashion German glass...perfect.  This was found at the Mole Hole ~ Marshall, MI.  Thank you Mole Hole!

  How about a cute vintage tablecloth for color.  Love the fruit & flowers...

 From earlier days living on the East Coast no Fourth of July look was complete (or home) without the good old blue & white china.....with red flowers of course. :)

So many things so many ways...if I come across more I will post. 

They are not long, the days of wine and roses: ... so....

I hope you enjoy your holiday celebrations!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Summer (Outdoor) Social Season

Hi all!

Is it summer yet?  Tomorrow maybe.....

I am back again! I of course have been busy like so many of you as this is officially the summer party season.  Graduations, weddings, showers, picnics, reunions. You name it.  I wanted to share a little past party planning expertise I have acquired through the years.  In addition to being in traditional marketing, I have done a fair amount of event planning and truly loved it.  It is a wonderful gift to be able to help people plan their special occasions and their milestones in often made me feel like the event fairy! Or event angel!

Just someone to flutter into lives or a family to walk them through a moment in is a great profession.

I will just share some recent backyard sights, events and ideas from me........

Off of my side kitchen area. Alfresco dining anyone?

My oldest sons 2010 graduation ~ our backyard.
Have you ever considered using pretty scrapbook paper as simple serving paper and place mats?

See ~ (This is cute for a bridal shower) works great! :)

I am still adding and posting things to this blog from my past writings and I wanted to just share a few helpful tidbits.  Now, I am from the Midwest where practicality reigns supreme.  So.....
You will not see exotic imported orchards or Beluga caviar (although I have done a few events like this).  For the most part entertaining is a do~it~yourself project that many families & organizations take on with hopefully some sort of budget in mind.  It can be challenging to say the least.  Especially when you get into groups of 50 ~ 100 ~ 150 people. I came across this list years ago and it has served me well and I thought I would pass on here to anyone wanting for future reference.

To Serve 100 People -
This list can be a good general guideline (For instance; my whole family will not touch potato salad.) for showers, birthdays, graduations, weddings, fund-raisers or whatever event your little heart desires.
Coffee - 3 lbs
Sugar - 2 lbs
Cream or Milk - 3 qrts.
Soup 6 - gallons
Lettuce - 15 heads
Vegetable Salad 20 qrts.
Potato Salad - 12 qrts.
Fruit Salad - 20 qrts.
Salad dressing - 3 qrts.
Carrots - 25 lbs.
Baked Beans - 3 gallons
Potatoes - 35 lbs.
Scalloped Potatoes - 5 gallons
Chicken 85 lbs.
Spareribs - 100 lbs.
Salmon or Swordfish - 40 lbs.
Ham, Beef or Hamburger - 40 lbs.
Hot Dogs - 100 lbs.
Bread - 10 loaves
Biscuits - 200
Butter - 3 lbs.
Cakes - (8 slices each = 104 slices) 13
Pies - 13
Whipped Cream - 6 pints
Ice Cream - 4 gallons
Wine - 2 cases = 96 - 6 oz glasses
Champagne - 1 1/2 cases = 100 glasses

3 tips for outdoor entertaining that I really like and will make your event easy, special and memorable.
1) Bring the inside outside. REAL tablecloths, napkins, dishes, glassware, silverware, accents, pillows and furniture. (When possible.)
2) Serve a combination of menu items, including some that are best at room-temperature or that can go heat and refrigeration-free. This makes menu planning, preparation and display easier. Red wines, Garlic, cheeses and Italian pastas, marinaded dishes and roasted vegetables come to mind. Easy, palate pleasing and delicious.
3) Eco-friendly decor. The more I plan the more I hate to waste and throw money away on too many "paper" decorations. Decorate with more REAL items like photos, fabrics, flowers, plants, bowls, shells, sand, candles and fruit & vegetables as centerpieces, strings of lights, small stone statues & figures etc...the list is endless.
These flag banners are great made with both new and vintage fabrics. Who needs wet paper and plastic when you can recycle these fun little things?  I have some of these banners in my Etsy shop.

                       "Man is the artificer of his own happiness." - Henry David Thoreau

I hope to post more on parties, events, ideas and gatherings so stay tuned......

Have fun this summer whether you have a big backyard wedding for 100 people to plan or fun family reunion, birthday party.....whatever the case may be. Cheers to you and the best for your 2011 summer!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Translucent & Transcendent

This should be the last in my series of candle posts.  This is also a past project I am transferring to this blog, that I have been meaning to post, so all of you wonderful new followers can have for reference and I can keep and not forget in my new blog home.

So lovely are these meditative prayer candles. 

They are made from old prayer card prints that were made digital or I scanned, and copied on to transfer paper.  This is a really easy project that I first saw a version with Stampington with the transfer paper and then I have also seen various printed prayer candles done, so what I did is to combine these projects into one to get the look I was going for.

Things you will need:

Translucent transfer paper
Craft glue
Embellishments ~ ribbon, beads, lace and pretties
Glass candle holder
Scissors for trimming

Because I adored these old images of Mary and this French Sacred Heart from old prayer cards, I again used these images from the Graphics Fairy. :) I have however; (and you can too) scanned many old images and prayer cards myself to create images for crafting that I have wanted and used.  The translucent paper is nothing short of amazing!  If you look at the image above you can see how the candles glow through the images placed on this paper.  Just beautiful effects.

Aren't they lovely?

The Sacred Heart looks so French, so richly indulgent & passionate. I just love the little prayer on this one.

~ Divine Heart of Jesus inflame my heart with the divine love with which thou burnest.~

Of course you can use any images. The original project in Stampington was done with nature, birds, butterflies, florals etc...just lovely. Here is the link to the Somerset Home 2010 issue by Stampington & Company.  It has the Glamerella Glass Votive project listed by Sherry Mattia-Welch 

I used a 7 in. glass holder, but you can play with sizes of course.  You can find them at dollar & craft stores.  I turned the image on its side and printed a 5 x 7 image.  It wraps  around this holder perfectly and all you need to do is a little trimming with scissors.  You can then smooth the glue on the back of the image in a nice even layer place over holder to set and afix. When dry you can add, ribbon, beads, lace (as I did above) or anything you like!  Place a good 3 in. or large pillar candle inside and it is ready for gifting, giving or burning.

I have sold quite a few and have had them in my Etsy shop so stop on by or drop me a line if you have questions too.  Always happy to help.

Prayer in the proper setting is peaceful, wonderful and fulfilling.  I hope these add a little spark to any an all hearts that come to be with them. Amen.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Antiquing ~ Junking ~ Fleaing & A General Hunting Hobby

Oh my gosh what a great week it has been!  How is everyone out there?  Good I hope. :)

I want to give a shout out to all of the wonderful support and great followers and friends from the great Etsy group on Linkedin!  It has been wonderful getting to know all of you and I look forward to reading, sharing and networking.

As time goes on here I of course want to give you a chance to get to know me.  I have listed in my profile as being in retail/marketing/merchandising and I have wanted to send out a post like this for some time.  This is in honor of everyone that sees something more in "junk".  More than what others see that might just look like worthless "stuff".  I am a hunter/scrounger and bargain/value seeker extraordinaire. It is just a part of who I am I guess and how I view the world and its surroundings.  This work has always coupled nicely with my love for giving anything tossed away new life.  I am not sure what it is but I am just often drawn towards (in addition to the bargain bin or clearance rack) the forgotten, left behind and hidden. 

I am convinced it holds magic.

Over the years I have collected, antiqued and scrounged around and am really not afraid to get "dirty".  That is where you can find the good stuff anyway....right?  I often find great things just because it was a place no one else was willing to look!  I am fortunate to live in South Central Michigan (USA) in a small historic town of Marshall, Michigan. This community has a long wonderful line of history (almost being the state capital at one point) and when you are here, you really get a feel for the love of history.  "Living history".  Living with the past while being anchored in the present has many gifts as anyone who chooses these places to reside will tell you.  One of the great annual events is a community wide "garage sale" just held recently this Spring.  Now many communities share in this great idea across the region~Midwest and other places.  But what is a bit unique about Marshall in addition to antique and treasure hunting at these publicized events, is the ability to also put something out by the curb (any time of year really) you no longer need or want etc...and it is a common courtesy known in the community that it is "free" to take to the first lucky passer~by that notices it or can put to good use.  (O.K....we politely do not call it garbage picking.) What a wonderful common understanding among citizens.  I loved the idea when myself and family moved here.  Good Will ~ Salvation Army etc..are all great organizations, but what a wonderful common good for the world of recycling to know that if your child out grows a bicycle, for example, and it is still in perfectly good condition, you can be rest assured, if you set it out by the curb in the afternoon, it will have a new home with a new owner by dinner. :) It is a comfort to know that what you no longer needed or wanted, someone was thrilled when they passed by and picked up a treasure of the day!  In a way, in addition to finding treasures of your own, it is like playing Santa Claus any day of the year.  Love it. :)

Over time I have managed if it wasn't free, to pick up great finds at flea~markets, auctions, antique markets as well.  I am going to make a commitment to my blog to occasionally post a find with before and after pictures for inspiration. 

I will share a few finds around my house that I snagged in the past.  Every "find" has a story to tell.....

This cute bookshelf I painted white and robins egg blue, found at a flea market in the Detroit area. Price ~ $10.00

A lonely old chair found at an auction was painted a chippy dirty yellow, bought, sanded and painted white and added a braided seat cover.  Price ~ $2.00

An old kitchen door found curbside my husband painted fun red and white and hung on the side of my old garage (Please excuse the mess inside the garage!). ~ Price $0

Though not old or an antique, this was an Ikea chair left literally tossed under a bush someone had long left after a moving day.  It looked like a child had a "field day" with poster paint on it.  It cleaned up nice however, with a coat of Krylon in Hyacinth.  I am thinking maybe I should decoupage on it? Price ~ $0

I really and truly marvel at what people will toss away?! This is a very old, large maple table left curbside I now use as a work table.  A young woman, down the street from me, had it in her garage and with small children said she just didn't have room for it.  It is heavy as a stone steeple and has sturdy folding legs.  ~ Price $0

The secret of a happy life isn't buried in a treasure chest...
it lies within your heart. ~ Author Unknown

Now you can see that there really is treasure everywhere....if you only look. 
Now go and find yours. :)