Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Retro Recycled Christmas Bracelets ala 1950's Style

I can't believe it's been two whole weeks since I last blogged. My gosh - between my son's wedding two weeks ago and Thanksgiving the following week (the week I made THREE turkeys - one for home, one for the office and one for my son's gathering), the days have passed by in a blur! Wow! I'm pooped just thinking about it! 

Over the weekend, I had some time to work on some retro Christmas bracelets. I absolutely adore the images from 50's and 60's and couldn't resist incorporating these into my latest creations. All of the bracelets feature images from vintage Christmas cards and retro gift wrap decoupaged affixed onto wooden disks. The beaded dangle charms consist of Christmas tree garland that I disassembled and made into charms. Pretty cool, huh?

Retro Snowman:

Retro Snowman (back of disks = wrapping paper designs):
 Retro Santa:

 Retro Santa (detail):
 50's Kids:

50's Christmas bracelet (detail):

Like potato chips, I couldn't stop at just one, so I made a whole gaggle of these bracelets and posted them to my EBay and Etsy stores.

I have a myriad of Christmas projects I want to share with you in December.  Please check back often for some really neat handmade gift ideas and tutorials this coming month.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trip to Chicago - Grandmother's Garden Quilt and Imported Food Galore!

Last week, I was in Chicago helping my family care for my uncle who had surgery. Along with other family members, I stayed long hours at the hospital. True to form, I can never just sit still and relax. I always have to be doing something. I decided to spend my time working on a Grandmother's garden quilt I had started many years ago. This little quilt is made from dime-sized hexagons. Because it is so small, it is easy to transport, so I usually work on this project when I travel. Here are some pictures of my little quilt-in-progress:

Since I only work on this quilt when I travel, I may end up making it into a little wall hanging instead of a full sized quilt so I can complete it in my lifetime. Only time will tell...

On another note, I was born in Chicago and I lived there until I was eight years old.  Because I still have family there, I like to visit there every now and then.  One of my favorite things about Chicago (besides my family, of course) is the vast assortment of ethnic food available to consumers.  You name it - they've got it - regardless of the culture.

One of my favorite places to shop at is the Eurofresh Market in Palatine, a suburb of Chicago.  This store absolutely fascinates me because it literally carries food and ingredients from all over the world.  I can easily find things there that used to be prepared by my beloved Polish-German grandmother when I was a child.  These things always evoke great memories of my childhood.  Needless to say, I couldn't resist taking pictures while in the store.  Here are some pretty cool finds at the market:

Packages of sauerkraut imported from Poland. Who would have thought there were so many varieties?

Matzo ball soup mix made by Lipton.  Who knew???

Seasoning mixes from Poland for every kind of dish imaginable.

A full aisle dedicated to olive oil from Italy and all sorts of vinegars known to man. Amazing!

And let's not forget the magazine section so you can keep up on all of the latest news and gossip.

I ended up buying way too much store while visiting Eurofresh, but hey, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do, right?  Here's just a sampling of what I purchased:

Chocolate from Poland.

Coffee from Germany.

Seasoning mixes from Pakistan to make chicken curry and from Poland to make stuffed peppers and cabbage.  (My mouth is watering just thinking about it...)

Mustard from Poland to go with all of the deli meat I purchased.

Vanilla sauce mix, vanilla sugar, vanilla and almond extracts from Europe just in time for my holiday baking.  Can you tell I LOVE vanilla?

Thanks for letting me share my adventures with you.  Be sure to check back regularly. I have some awesome handmade Christmas projects and tutorials I will be sharing here over the next month. :)

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Arts Center of the Ozarks 5x5 Exhibit

Wow!  The past couple of weeks have been an absolute whirlwind!  Please forgive my lack of presence here in blog land.   Between out of town visitors, my son's upcoming wedding and a trip to Chicago to help care for a family member, it has been a truly crazy couple of weeks.  And just think - it's going to be even nuttier with the holidays right around the corner!

On 11/3/11, the Arts Center of the Ozarks held it's annual 5x5 Exhibit and fundraiser.  Artists from the area donate 5x5 pieces of art which are exhibited and displayed in the two story gallery.  This year, there were over 300 pieces of donated art.  Five of those pieces of art were donated by me, my husband and my daughter, Brianna, and I'm happy to report that each one sold!

Here I am standing by my Our Lady of Guadalupe picture.  It sold for $45.00. :)

Many people came to view and bid on the art.

A jazz band played and appetizers prepared by a local chef were served.  Appetizers included spicy meatballs, stuffed mushrooms, candied bacon and chocolate truffles, among other yummy things.

My friend, Thespa, from Vintiquities Workshop was there; she also donated a couple of pieces of art.

Here's the artwork made by my daughter, Brianna with a little help from my husband, Michael.  It actually is a pop art conception of one of my dogs, "Dos".  It sold for $45.00.  :)

Some of my other favorite pieces of art included:

"Flower Market in Venice" by Karolyn Ferrell

"Mille Fluer" by Dixie Westerman (I LOVE the bright colors used in this creation)

"Morning Drive" by Mark Thomas

"Rose" by Carol Cooper

"The Hog" by Kimberly Kolbe

All in all, it was a fun evening.  As much as I enjoyed going to the previous year's 5x5 exhibit, it was even more fun when participating in it.  I look forward to doing it again next year.

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