6/19/16

Recent Treasure

Last weekend I scored big time on some fabulous treasure... PEARLS!
I have a love affair with pearls. *swoon* I got my very first real pearl on a trip to Hawaii when I was seventeen. There was a little Kiosk on the main floor of the hotel we were staying at that I stopped at every day to look and admire the pearls. They had oysters in salt water that you could buy and they opened them right on the spot and revealed your pearl. After budgeting my spending money for the week, I finally decided to take the plunge and buy one. Once the oyster was opened, out popped an absolutely beautiful large golden-pearl. On the spot I decided to pay the additional amount to have a gold bail inserted in the pearl so I could wear it :-) What good is a pearl if you can't wear it right?

In total, I got one-hundred-thirty-eight items of fresh water pearl jewelry.
 What would you have paid for all of that?
 I got necklace sets with matching earrings...
 Single strands and multiply strands of fresh water pearl necklaces...
 Different colors too...
 These below have no clasps so I was going to pull them apart to play with them when I'm into making jewelry again.
One-hundred-thirty-eight pieces of fresh water pearl jewelry... Curious as to what I bought it all for? Forty buckaroos... $40.00... F-O-R-T-Y.  The original asking price was $50... of course I had to haggle the price down right? I tried to get it all for $20, that is just how I roll...then I tried $30, and finally she agreed to $40. Soooooo dividing 138 pearl items by $40 bucks... means I paid $3.45 each. Not to shabby.
 In keeping with the jewelry treasure theme... at a yard sale I bought a lot of little bags of  ornate bails and small ornate blank bezel pendant trays... both with a lovely antiqued/oxidized patina. Each little bag was .50¢ Also I bought a large baggie of pearls and beads for $2.00. You can never have enough lovely colored pearls and beads. If nothing else, they look wonderful in a jar.
I may sell some of my pearl loot on my Etsy site... but a lot of it will be given away at my pirate parties. Pearl door prizes? Yes, please :-)
big hugs,
Cheryl

6/14/16

My Lagoon

The Lagoon area in my pirate backyard is newly updated and I couldn't be more pleased. I added about four more additional feet to the lagoon area which doesn't sound like much, but it has made a world of difference. We pulled down a 10' x 12' sunshade covering and created a more substantial roof over this area. At one of the stairways  into the step down lagoon I added some sheer curtains to frame the entrance...
 As you step down your warned to beware of pirates...
 This is the view to the right of the stairs as you step down...
The view to the left of the stairs..

This is the view standing on the stairs looking into the lagoon. Now that this area is larger, I now have a great space for a cozy seating area.
 I have enough seating in the lagoon for seven people to sit comfortable-- with room to spare!
 I decided not to create a long table across the back wall and opted to just use the space to showcase a few things.
As you can tell, I've really got it packed with a lot of stuff.

At a later date I may change my mind and do something different, that is how I roll~
 Because this is an area where people can sit and linger for longer periods of time, I tried to pull together interesting things to create little vignettes for people to gauze at...
 Inside this pirate chest I've been tossing some nicer pieces of jewelry and other nicer odds and ends.
 Behind the couch I've added a triangle table sitting on top of a whiskey barrel for added display space.
 Past the couch is the remnants of our pirate ship.
 I think the ship looks so much better here than on the cement pad where it was originally moored...

At the front of the ship is a fabulous area filled with a pirate chest and TONS of gems and jewels. Unfortunately my puppy thought the area looked enticing-- and had started to dig in the jewels--- so I had to fence off the area. I am hopeful that by next year she won't even give the area a second glance. Fingers crossed. 

Just past this area is another stairway entrance into the lagoon.
So as you come down these stairs you'll see the couch to the right.... With more seating to the left...
From this view you can see the other stair entrance in the back...

We have already had one lovely party recently and I foresee many-many more on the horizon!
big hugs,
Cheryl

6/3/16

Graduation

Our six weeks of puppy training classes have come to an end. My German Shepard puppy is still all puppy-- but she has great moments of pure obedience... but then quickly resorts to being a carefree, psychotic puppy once again. I know once she outgrows her youth she is going to be a fantastic obedient dog. She is now five months old and since I've gotten her, she has doubled her weight!

I enjoyed learning how to train a puppy... and I did listen and pay attention.... even if my dog didn't *wink* With that said, I wanted to give our very patient dog trainer a little something-something as a thank you gift from the "class-clown" a.k.a. Akira. I had read a very funny quote a few months ago which read, "I just got a Cheerio stuck between my toes walking through the kitchen. Clearly my dog isn't doing her part of the chores around here." Well I ran with that quote-- straight to my studio to create a little wall hanging. I love to use vintage book covers to build upon when I make these wall hangers, this one was from the early 1900's.
Once I had the funny quote/wall hanger finished, I needed a gift bag to put it in. Now, I probably have enough gift bags to last me the rest of my life... but there was none that I deemed suitable for my handmade gift... so of course, I had to make a gift bag! I had an empty puppy food bag with a really nice zippered top on it... perfect!
 I drew a straight line where I wanted to cut the bag...
Next, I turned the bag inside out and I wiped it clean with a baby wipe. Then I lined up the edges and added some paper clips to keep the edges together and I drew a line where I would staple the edges together.
 I stapled on the line very close together to create a seam for the bottom of the bag.
 After the staples where in place, I placed duct tape over the entire surface of the inside-out bag. At the very bottom of the bag, I cut away some of the extra paper bag and then placed some duct tape on one side of the bag and pulled it to the other side to seal in the staples both front and back.
 Ta-da... all finished and looking snazzy! Now, the hardest part of all--- pulling this bag right side out!
 Here it is all finished. A little bit more wrinkled then what I started with, but I think it turned out super cute!
 Here is the newly made gift bag showing the duct taped interior of the bag.
Along with the wall hanger I also gave her a little fabric snap bag that I had previously made. If I remember correctly, I think I got this fabric from my friend Diannia... *waves to Diannia* Now, I know not everyone loves handmade gifts, I get that--- so I tucked in a gift card to the Texas Roadhouse. Yum. Everyone loves food!
Since school is out for summer.. ahem... we have been enjoying being in the pool to get some relief from the heat. Akira is VERY smart... she sees me sitting with my feet in the pool-- and does the same! The photo is a smidge blurry... I took it from my Instagram page :-)
She even does this in her small wading pool....  she is looking at a ping pong ball in her pool.

I am going to look into getting her in the next level of classes possibly when it gets cooler. We are already hitting 100 degrees here in California. Before the next round of classes, I also have to work on her coming when I call her name... the little stinker KNOWS HER NAME when I have some chicken or tri tip in my hand... but call her name with no treats?  Your dead to her.
big hugs,

5/31/16

Candelabras

I bought these two wrought iron candelabras a few years ago-- $7.00 for the pair. I stuck them in my backyard-- and that is as far as I got with that project. I decided to finally make some candles for them.
 I was lucky to find some 1/2" pvc pipe in my garage that fit perfectly in the candle sockets of the candelabras. I didn't feel like digging around looking for a hand saw to cut the pipe-- so I tried my hand at using some pruning shears and luckily it cut the plastic pipe easily.
I roughly cut some chipboard circles to cover one end of the opening of each pvc pipe. I poked a hole in the center of each piece of cardboard and pulled through a piece of thick floss generally used for plastic canvas to act as each candles wick.

After hot gluing the chipboard onto the pvc pipe, I then squirted a little bit of hot glue down the sides of each candle to mimic the look of melted candle wax.

Next, I hot glued each pvc pipe temporarily to some cardboard so I could spray paint them easily without them falling over.
A little bit of paint transforms them quickly into candles...
Once the white spray paint had dried, I simply pulled each one off of the cardboard and added some watered down brown paint to each candlestick to make them look old. I left the tops of each candle white, I think it adds to the "realness" of the look of the candles.

I added a plastic skull, which I spray painted black, to the tops of both candelabras. Ah, much better~

I am almost ready to reveal my lagoon makeover--- I'm so excited to share how super-cute it turned out!
big hugs,