Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lantern Slide Love

Two years ago, I wrote about my obsession with my recently acquired lantern slides.  I talked about how I would love to collect more and how I would love to figure out a way to display them better.  
Well, I did and I did.  
A few months back, the wonderful people who supplied me with my first few slides announced that they were absconding to Norway for amazing creative opportunities.  This meant that they needed to unload some of their possessions.  Of course I quickly jumped and asked if they still had any of the lantern slides and put dibs on a handful.  I later politely begged for a few more handfuls so now I've got a nice selection of amazing artwork :)

I then began dreaming up these three-sided frames, suspended with chain which could hang on a window allowing the slides to be showcased with the sun shining through.  I'm not much of a wood worker but my mister is so we started collaborating on this idea and a star was born!
It was important to me to do nothing more to the slides other than give them a place to rest.  I didn't want to risk devaluing or damaging them.  By making the frame only three-sided, we allowed for the slides to be taken out and cleaned; repurposed down the road; OR changed out for other slides which we've been doing nonstop.  
We finished up our first batch of frames the night before Blue Dome and have recently gathered more materials to make many more.  We decided that with each frame will come two slides so that you have the option of changing your view like we've been doing :)
As of now, I'll only have these at shows but hope to list a few online and perhaps take some to Made in the coming weeks :)  
I can't even express how much I love these!  Collaborating with Brent was awesome and seeing something that was just a dream in my head work out so beautifully in reality just makes me mega happy.

*beautiful roses brought in from the yard by a certain wonderful husband*

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The New Wave of Biff

I have been SO busy!  My first show of the year is this weekend and I'm SO excited!  For the past few months, I have been sewing my tail off and have about 30 new garments that I've made!  The mister and I have also been collaborating on a top secret project that we're finishing up tonight so hopefully I can get some sneak peeks in on that soon :) This is the first time I've REALLY put out clothing I've made for sale so it's super exciting and scary all at the same time!

I'll be sharing a booth with some of my talented make:Tulsa friends at Blue Dome in downtown Tulsa tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday!  We'll be located on Elgin, between 2nd & 3rd Street on the West side of the street across from Dust Bowl Lanes.  Since we're sharing a booth and have shifts worked out, this will be the first year that I actually get to go and hang out instead of working the whole time!  Yay!  I can't wait :)  

Here's just a taste of some of my new goods!  You can see more here.

See you this weekend!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fuzzy Friday: Life with a Senior Cat

More than once in my life I've stated that one day, I'd like to have a kitty hospice for aging cats.  Through my work with StreetCats over the years, I've heard more than one sad story about a cat being dumped, put down or rehomed due to their age and sometimes health issues.  It's never made sense to me.  When you commit to an animal, at whatever age it is, you COMMIT to that animal for the duration of its life, however long that may be.  
As you know, we said goodbye to our Pimmy just a little over two months ago.  It still doesn't feel real and I'm not sure when it will but we've continued on as we must.  Yesterday we found out that Sammie is now battling pancreatitis.  From what I understand, it's not as serious of an issue that we dealt with with Pimmy but it's still an organ not functioning like it should.  We've done a few rounds of fluids, something I'm all too familiar with, some b12, antibiotics, and this morning started pills that will hopefully help her nausea and bring her appetite back.  
Yes, it's one more thing that I have to do in the morning and I'm cleaning up cat puke more than anyone would like to BUT I MADE A COMMITMENT.  When I have been my worst, our pets still give us their best.  I owe them nothing less.
If lucky, every kitten becomes a cat and then a senior kitty.  I will do whatever I can, within, reason, to keep a cat healthy, noisy and loving, whatever age they are.  That's what we're doing with Sammie.  That's what we did with Pimmy.  It's part of our promise.
Keep our fuzzy friend in your thoughts.  Keep all senior fuzzies in your thoughts.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

One of Those Outfits: Looking Up

You ever have one of those days?  One of those weeks?  This week started out that way but we're working on turning things around.
Poor Rio is teething so some nights are a little rough but Monday night was A BEAST.  She barely slept which meant I barely slept.  I was in very poor spirits that following day and didn't even want to be around myself.  On top of being exhausted, one of our kitties suddenly quit eating, going to the bathroom and was not herself.  This immediately brought back raw feelings of losing Pimmy so recently.  I also was/am battling a terrible nursing related infection that is worse than I could even begin to explain.  Nursing 6 times a day equals pure torture 6 times a day.  And, needless to say, I'm mega crazy busy as usual.
Since those first few nights this week though, things have been looking up some.  I still have a terrible infection and don't look forward to nursing BUT I've since been to the doctor and we're working on getting this remedied.  Seeing a light at the end of that tunnel is making me power through the pain.  Sammie went to the vet yesterday and we were able to rule out kidney issues which is what took our Pimmy.  She did go back this morning though for a little blood work so we can pinpoint exactly what's going on.  She was certainly more herself this morning so that's uplifting!  Keep your paws crossed for her.  And finally, the kid has had a couple of good nights since the beastly night so that helps all around.  

The things that are keeping me so busy are things that I love to do so that's a positive too.  I'm getting excited for Blue Dome Arts Festival with my maker friends and am having fun organizing all of that :)  On that same weekend of the festival, I'm also doing an hour-long presentation about the evolution of the craft world and such to the Oklahoma Business Women's conference.  Yeah, no big deal.  Here's to hoping my speech teacher skills come in handy!

Even though the first few days of this week blew, I made a conscious decision to do my best to make the most of it.  I started getting up earlier with the kid (preparing to teach a morning class this summer!) and making myself feel good with my outward appearance.  It's amazing how much of a difference that can make.  
This morning after our vet visit, I carted myself over to the salon while my mom kept the kid and got a haircut.  I know, TWO haircuts in a year.  I'm on a roll!  I needed a little pampered, quiet time to rejuvenate myself.  It was quite nice and now I don't feel so fluffy up top :)
So even when things are looking quite sh*tty, sometimes it's best to slap yourself in the face, stare the day down and make the best of it all.

This was yesterday's ensemble.  I've thrown jeans out the window this week in favor of skirts and dresses.  I think it's been helping my spirits.

Shirt - Gap Clearance several years ago / Skirt - Recent Estate Sale (which came with a matching shirt!) / Scarf - Great Granny's / Shoes - my faithful Birkenstocks / Earrings - Gleeful Peacock

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Garden Memories

It's that time of year again.  The time of year where daily treks across the yard are made to check the progress of the garden.  
I grew up in vegetable gardens.  No, not like a Cabbage Patch kid ;)  My Granny and Papa were prolific gardeners and my mom also had large veggie gardens growing up.  One of my favorite photos of my sister EVER is one of her trying to pull an onion out of the ground as a toddler.  I snapped many a green bean at my grandparents', dug up many a potato and picked many a tomato off a vine.  With skin as pale as mine now, you'd probably find it hard to believe I was a rather tan child thanks to hours in gardens and pools.  Ahh, childhood.
Brent loves to garden.  I love that he loves to garden.  I love looking out the kitchen window watching him till the ground with the TG&Y tiller that was my mom's when I was a kid.  I love watching him plant with care what will feed us over the summer, making perfectly straight rows and dreaming up new markers each year.  I love watching him take Rio out with him to see how things are growing.  I can't wait until she starts trying to pull up onions on her own, eating dirt and getting sun-kissed, garden skin.  Her memories will also be my memories, calling back to my childhood.
It looks as though broccoli will be ready soon.  I'm ready.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Vintage Cart Revamp

The amount of random projects that we are busting out around the house lately is astounding!  Our latest thing to knock off the list was to give this cart new life.  Take a gander.  Yeah, I know.
When I was 16, I bought this cart at a church garage sale for $3.  Let's do a little math here...that was almost TWENTY years ago.  Two thoughts come to mind - 1)  I'm aging faster than I realized and 2)  I was way ahead of this vintage chic craze!  ;)  
After somehow fitting the cart into the backseat of my two-door Cavalier, the cart actually lived in my sister's room until I came home from college.  It was missing a bolt so she put a broken pencil in to hold the shelf up which remained there for oh, about 12 years!  Ha!  When I moved back to Tulsa and found my basement apartment, I reclaimed the cart as my microwave stand which was its job for many years.  Once the mister and I moved into our current house six years ago, the cart found a new home in the shed.  Not ideal but there was really no place for it in the house but there was NO way I was getting rid of it.  
Fast forward to a few months ago.  I had been thinking about the cart for a while and had always wanted to fix it up when I decided that it was time to make it happen.  Something you should know about me is that when I decide to do something, I want to do it NOW.  So I started prodding Brent about pulling it out of the shed so I could assess its situation and get started on the rehab but he was a bit reluctant.  Little did I know, it was in much worse shape than when it went in there due to a little (lots) of gasoline spillage, rust and outdoor wear and tear.  I was a little (lots) shocked by its state when I finally saw it.  
So what did we do?  Well, I should first say that I did nothing but pick out paints and bark orders :)  Oh, and I painted the bottoms of the shelves!  Brent first cleaned it like the dickens.  Then he figured out how to take the whole thing apart and we decided on colors.  I initially wanted to paint some white diamonds across the top and we worked on that layout but I later decided against it.  A few coats of spray paint here and there (Rustoleum paints are my favorite for metal.  This green shade is Green Apple) and some sanding in between, new bolts (no pencil bolt anymore!) and cleaned up casters that still worked and this puppy was as good as new!
Funny thing is, we still have nowhere in the house for it!  Ha!  I do think though that I will be using it at shows for displays and/or a checkout area!  It'll be great for unloading stuff onto and rolling to booths and can be used as storage in the garage between shows.  That is until one day we're in a bigger house and it can actually live inside with the rest of us :)  

I think about how much I've been seeing these carts sell for lately and, even with the costs of fixing this one up, we've invested less in this than the beat up ones are selling for now!  See, it pays to hang on to things for twenty years...says the organized hoarder.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

5x5 Again

For the past three years, I've contributed a piece to the Tulsa Artists' Coalition 5x5 show and every year, I finish it last minute, turn it in on the last day and never get any good pictures!  This year though, I finished ONE day before it was due (still turned it in last minute though ;) and actually took a few minutes to take some photos!  

You can see my other contributions here and here.
I'm not handy with art in the sense of pen, pencils, paint or anything in that realm.  I do think I'm OK at putting together mixed media pieces though with interesting color stories.  Or maybe I'm not but that's the type of thing I like to contribute :)  
Each year, I like to make a piece involving old paper, jewelry or buttons so that if one person wanted a collection of my stuff (yeah right!) then the pieces would somewhat compliment each other!  I do know that the first year I tossed a piece in, it sold opening night!  I never went and checked last year though so I have no clue if it ever found a home.

This year I, obviously, went for a blue and green theme and used old patterns as my medium since I've been knee deep in vintage patterns as of late!  I topped it off with a vintage earring that told me it belonged front and center  :)  I always like to hang my 5x5s by their corners but it never seems the gallery sees it that way.  The beauty of them though is that they can hang whichever way you please.
The show starts tomorrow night (Friday, May 3rd) at 5:55 p.m. and all pieces are $55 each, benefiting TAC.  If I can get a certain someone I live with to watch a certain little person I live with for a bit, I'll be there :)
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