My sweet ol' hobo kitty Chumley passed away on Monday. *sigh*  Here is an old photo of Chumley taking a nap on top of a pirate chest in my backyard. He was a perfect pirate kitty...
Chumley wandered into our yard one wintery day and took up residence in the bushes. For weeks I tried coaxing him out with tuna, turkey, and wet cat food. He wasn't falling for it, and would wait patiently until I set down the food and walked away before he would come out to eat. One night I was sitting on the front steps enjoying the night breeze and Chumley snuck up and rubbed his face on my hand-- scaring the heck out of me because I didn't see him coming. Of course that little gesture of his.... gave me complete permission to scoop him up and love on him! From that day forward he would never shy away from being touched again...
Chumley was a skinny, malnourished boy when I came across him. He was missing one of his fangs... and you could just tell life had been hard on him. Many a time, I would catch him looking around to see if he was alone... tilt his head to look up to the sky and then start these long mournful, howling-meows. It resembled a dog howling, only Chumley would be meowing at the top of his lungs.
As a small remembrance of my little hobo kitty, Chumley, I made a statue of him. Chumley wasn't a soft, smushy kitty. Chumley was more of a rigged, no-nonsense cat. I assume because of his advanced age and rough life that he was this way, I'm not sure. Although, with that said, I could easily turn him into a drooling, foolishly happy beast none the less just by petting him and showing him affection...  
 I added the word "Meow" to the statue.... His howling meow's will forever be a sweet-sweet happy memory.
I was lucky to have loved him for the time he had left. My precious hobo kitty... Chum. *sniffle*
big hugs,


Minion Movie

Last night I went to see the new Minion movie with my daughter and my two grand kids... I thought Minion hats were in order!
Here is the one eyed little guy, he is my favorite....
 and the other one I made.
Here is my grand daughter Chloe wearing one of the Minion hats.

My grand son Jonathan is a good sport and at least put on his Minion hat for a photo.
 They told me they both wanted to sit by me, so I got to sit in between them last night... made for one happy Nana :-)
big hugs,


Day of the Dead Necklaces

It has been awhile since I've created any new spoon pendants.... I felt it was time to get back to it.
 I have a few new venues that I am going to be selling at this upcoming year and I felt I needed to go in a slightly different direction for those events. I love the images of the highly decorated skulls of the "Day of the Dead" so that is what I used. 
I created these using much smaller spoons. These are surprisingly much smaller than a teaspoon.
 I think I like the itsy-bitsy  spoons over the larger spoon pendants. I have a lot more of these spoons all ready to be decorated... which probably means I'll crank out another large batch in between...working in my yard, crocheting, playing with metal tape, etc, etc, etc... you get the idea *wink*
I like the idea of having a little shrine to remember a special someone who has passed on... although, I don't need one to remember my best friend who passed away... I do that automatically- daily... I think I'll make myself a special pendant just the same, in remembrance of her.
big hugs,


Recycled T-Shirt Bags

I try to have some sort of fun craft for my grand kids to do when they come over for the day during summer vacation. You know how boring summer vacation can be. Summer vacation sounds so fabulous on the last day of school... but a couple of weeks into it, your so over it... Luckily,  Pinterest came to the rescue. I have a board on Pinterest called  "Summer Time"  One of the cute ideas that I had pinned was to make a bag out of an old t-shirt. I had my daughter bring over some of my grand-kids old t-shirts they had outgrown to use in making their bags.

The majority of the work was done by me...  Basically I had them nearly completed but for a few cuts to be done by the kids. These t-shirt bags have a bottom sewn seam. So, I first  turned each t-shirt inside out and pinned the bottom of the t-shirt making sure it was smooth, then I just hemmed along the bottom, easy peasy. Of course, I had to go a step beyond just the basic straight stitch across the bottom of the bag and gave each one a "boxed bottom." The boxed bottom will make it easier to hold wider things and it just gives each bag a better overall appearance.

Next, I flipped each shirt right side out laying them as flat and smooth as possible. I made some cardboard templates to use as marking guides for cutting the shirts since I was going to be marking a lot of them at one time. I pre-made a stack of shirts ready to be cut into bags, all the kids had to do was cut on the chalked lines to complete them. I placed pins very close together so that the two layers of each shirt wouldn't slide around while the kids were cutting the fabric.
It worked out pretty well...

It was nice for them to have immediately accomplished a task and get rewarded with a finished product so quickly... I wish I had someone to pre-make something for me so I could swoop in last minute and finish it up!
The t-shirt bag for my grand daughter just screamed for fringe. For this bag, I didn't turn the shirt inside out before stitching the bottom hem. I stitched across the bottom front and then fringed the remaining fabric of the shirt. The pink cutting line is chalk and will wash away.
I had my grand daughter add some beads to each piece of fringe along the front and back of the newly made bag. Each bead was slipped onto the fabric and held in place by an overhand knot. Easy-peasy.
Of course, Nana needed some recycled t-shirt bags too, why not.... I used two Ed Hardy t-shirts that are heavily-rhinestoned for my two bags. This Nana rocks the rhinestones *wink*
Well that was fun... When is the first day of school? *wink*
big hugs,


Conquering Zippers

I think I have finally gotten over my fear of sewing zippers. I watched a lot of you tube videos and read a lot of tips on blogs and felt confident enough to give it a go... The first zippered pouch was a disaster. I stitched the zipper on pretty well, it was just that I should have cut the pouch fabric a little bigger so I could cut it once it was stitched together to square it up. That first attempt is in the trash... Totally frustrated I pulled out a stapler and some duct tape and made these two bags. No sewing involved at all. Baby steps...
These were super easy to make, and turned out super cute. I see myself making a lot more of these in the future. 
With two zippered pouches under my belt... I went back to my sewing machine and made this... Ta-da! My first successful zippered pouch!

Loved the fabric so I made a little flat zippered pouch too. Fully lined of course...

Over the weekend I bought another stack of fabric for the whopping sum of $2.00.
I pulled out this blue fabric thinking it looked like Van Gogh's Starry Night painting...

While doing research on sewing zippers, I came across some tutorials on adding fabric to each end of the zipper and then using that fabric to stitch together to whatever your making. Here you can see the triangle shaped lighter fabric that I stitched on the ends of the zipper.
 I have not mastered zippers-- yet, but I feel well on my way to not being intimidated by the little suckers.
 I have a board on Pinterest called "Zippered Pouches" If your needing some inspiration to conquer sewing zippers, I suggest you check it out.
big hugs,


Pirate Party 2015

 I hosted my grand kids pirate parties a few weeks ago...I think everyone had a good time. I know I did! The shooting gallery was a big hit.
It was cute to see the little kids take aim and fire the rubber bands at various things.

I was impressed that the kids didn't shoot at each other, that was a big concern of mine.
 The tattoo parlor was a popular place too. Here it is waiting for the first customer to have a seat...

I had a binder full of fun things for the kids to select from....
My grand daughter is the queen of giving tattoos...

I let whomever wanted to apply the tattoos do so. All the kids were very nice and helped each other out... cute. Sometimes it is just plain fun to be in charge of something.

I added a Foosball table to the backyard this year.
I had this beside the larger pirate store. I think the kids liked it, although it didn't hold their attention that long....
There is a lot to see in our pirate backyard....
You just never know what your bound to see looking around...
Tucked in amongst the pirate loot are random mice, snakes etc... which have even managed to scare me--- and I'm the one who put them there!
Hard to believe but in the middle of my backyard is a pool. I normally don't show it in photos--- because it detracts from my pirate yard. *wink* I did take down our pool fence.... so I needed to create something to keep the kids mindful of the pool... so I made some crowd control barriers. Easy peasy... and they worked. No one fell into the pool.
I wanted to make a small pirate ship for the pool... but  I just couldn't bring myself to start another project. Maybe next year~
My backyard really isn't that big to be honest. I live on a corner lot so my backyard is "L" shaped... the side of my house has a long wooden deck which is where the party games are held...
The three trees planted along the fence line in the front yard provide the area with plenty of shade... 

That and the fact I have three matching gazebos lined up on the deck!
I often times wonder what our house looks like from the sky when a random plane or helicopter flies overhead...
On the cement RV pad is where I have the Boutiki store...
This little store is full of wooden things like Tiki's and wooden bowls and hand carved items. All of which I do in my spare time *ahem*
My grand daughter Chloe really likes to play in here...
It is her store after all.... She loves to play cashier... and sweep.

The pirate ship regatta game didn't pan out... who knew there was an art at making boats that floated. Oh they were cute--- but they fell over and sank... so it then became a "Blow your cannon ball Game"
No one was the wiser *wink* It was a hot day... even I stuck my hand in the cool water a few times.

This little cherub had her hand in this bucket of fish most of the morning. Looks like fun doesn't it?
We had a lot of candy on the buffet table, I had to remind kids to help themselves to whatever they wanted. Very well behaved kids, I must say!
Chloe was Ms. Business as usual... busy sorting out tattoos...
Chloe was at the spa right before her birthday party. She had her hair done and a french manicure too.... Nana had her well schooled on what to ask for on her nails.
Most everyone came dressed in their finest pirate attire...
How adorable huh?
Even this cute-as-can-be baby got in the pirate spirit. This little one was a complete joy! Such a happy baby :-)
All in all it was a fabulous day filled with fun times for my grand kids and their friends.

*one last photo*... This photo of Chloe receiving one of the gifts I had given her just cracks me up.... I couldn't even see her behind the box--- and when I did she said to me, "Thanks, I was needing a new glue stick." Oh that girl makes me laugh!
Glue sticks?... I'm still laughing~
big hugs,