Quick and Easy Craft Project

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I love when a friend comes over and I can do an art project or craft with them.  Since I am Queen of Craft Supplies, I can pretty much come up with something fun on the fly.

My friend, Jeanie, came up on Thursday and since we both are writers, I thought it would be fun to do a project with that in mind.  Here is my finished product sans a frame….got to get to the old craft bus to dig thru the stuff in there for a frame to compliment the picture.

img_1870.jpgYou could adapt this project to any kind of interest.  If you had a friend who was into photography, you could do words and photos having to do with cameras/photos, etc and then get a stencil (or make one) of a camera!  The possibilities are endless.

I used:

Canvas boards

Old magazines

Mod Podge

Sponge brush

Copper metallic chalk paint

Acrylic craft paint in Metallic Silver

Black chalk paint

You could substitute the canvass boards and just use cardboard and paint over it to have a background color; white glue for the Mod Podge; a regular 1 in. Paintbrush instead of the sponge brush; any kind of paint for the chalk paint.

Steps:

We spent a while looking thru magazines for words that spoke to us or encouraged us and cut them out.

Then we put Mod Podge on the back of the words and placed them on the canvas boards (funny how different Jeanie and I did this…I slapped the Mod Podge down on the whole canvass and then put my words down in a random fashion while Jeanie first fit her words as she wanted them on the canvas and then put the Mod Podge on the backs of each word and then placed the word down where she had it).

Then we put a coat of Mod Podge on the whole canvas with the sponge brush.

Let that dry for 15min. and then placed the typewriter stencil where we wanted it (Jeanie placed hers to line up with the bottom of the canvas while I just eyeballed the middle and slapped that sucker down….you can see that I am an unstructured artist while Jeanie is very precise!)

Jeanie chose to do her typewriter in metallic silver acrylic craft paint while I did mine in copper metallic chalk paint.  Jeanie was going to outline her typewriter stencil in a very fine black marker while I decided to add a layer of black chalk paint a bit off of the placement of where I had done the copper so it would give it (I had hoped…I never plan these things, I just go with the flow and see what happens!) some dimension.

I let mine dry overnight and then added another coat of Mod Podge over the whole thing and BINGO….it’s finished.

To make a stencil yourself,  you can find a drawing of what you want on the internet, print it out and then make it bigger and using packing tape, cover the drawing in packing tape and then use either a sharp, pointed scissors or an Xacto Knife, cut out the drawing making sure you have a lot of cut outs in your design so it isn’t just one big blob!   I do mine differently, I print, tape and then cut out the basic design and then trace it on whatever I am going to stencil, then cut out another layer of the drawing and trace that, and continue doing that till it is done.  I don’t bother with the stuff I can free hand paint.  Easy Peasy.

If anyone is interested in doing this and wants more info, just let me know and I will empty my brain of what I know to help you out.  I will ask Jeanie to send me a photo of her finished piece and add it to this post when she does so you can see her’s also!

Happy Crafting,

Your Ever Creating Queen

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I am blessed to be the grandma of four young grandchildren:

Jack who is seven,  is kind, helpful, tender, has a memory like a sticky trap (those of you who have vermin will know what this is) and is the most energetic child I know!

Lola is five and is very independent, speaks her mind, artistic, imaginative, stubborn, smart as a whip (those of you who have been “whipped” know how it smarts!) and witty.  (She once spoke to her grandpa with an “attitude” and her mother said she was not to speak like that and to only speak nicely to her Grandpa and to apologize.  After three minutes of total silence from her, she looks up and smiles and says to her gramps, “I am so lucky to have such a handsome grandpa”!  No apology, but she did speak nicely to him.  I swear I don’t know where she gets that from! LOL)

Avril is three and is model material.  She is so beautiful, long blondish hair, with gentle curls at the end, blueish-green eyes, two big dimples and smiles all the time.  She is coy, and will do anything her older siblings do, has a tremendous sense of balance (did not get that from my side of family!), has a giggle that makes you laugh whenever you hear it, physically tough, and can give you the “stink eye” if she wants something and you say, “No”.  (That does come from my side of the family!)

Lastly, (though I hope not!) is Zane who just turned one this spring.  He is all smiles, loud, loves to throw things, bites, (We call him Sunny Baudelaire from the Lemony Snickets movie) may grow up to be a drummer and like all my grands, prefers Grumpa over Babushka!

Yesterday the Wild Ones (as I lovingly call them) came to celebrate Father’s Day.  I made a big pot of cheesy broccoli soup (I even roasted the broccoli first) and a banana cream pie and a butterscotch cream pie and did up all the dishes and vacuumed up the rug in the great room (where I try to keep Zane corralled since Heaven only knows what is on my bare floors) and so by the time they came, old grandma was pretty worn out.

Since getting my “old age” money, I have been buying the kids stuff every month to keep here and this month it was a pop-up house with a screen porch and it comes with a pop-up refrigerator and stove and little storage box.  The sucker is ten feet long.  And four or more feet wide.  I got it so they could play in it out on our back deck.  I had actually forgotten about it but Lola spied it behind the couch and pulled it out in the box and then began to take it out and try to set it up in my great room.  The weather was nice outside so after it was up, Grandpa decided to take it out to the porch and set it up.  Sounds great, yes?  We brought out rugs, blankets pillows, chairs, dishes, etc. to get them all set up…..

And then the weather changes and the wind starts to blow and it starts to rain, so everyone is running in and out of the house bringing all the stuff back in including the house.  I was attempting to move the stuff they were pitching in so we could get that house in and I stepped on a wooden block and it threw me off balance and I started careening toward my curio cabinet with the large glass doors

IMG_1852 making weird noises along the way while my daughter looked on in what I can only describe as “humorous horror”.  I always find it so amazing that I have the time to imagine what the pain is going to feel like when I finally hit the ground when I fall or in this case, what the damage will be to my body as I crash through the glass doors.  Well, my guardian angel must have been on it’s toes because I was able to veer to the right and only just miss the cabinet.  My daughter was laughing her fool head off and  I am waving my arms like a robot (“Danger, Will Robinson, Danger”) and making sounds like I am in labor, trying to rid myself of the adrenaline rush from my near-death experience.

So we get the house in and back up right and the kids decide it would be so fun to “wear” the stove and refrigerator and to rip the Velcroed door off and then scream in mock terror at the person hiding in the appliances.  Now, I am extremely laid-back in my parenting/grandparenting thinking about my possessions.  I have only one or two things that have great sentimental value and those are out of harms way, the rest I could not care less about.  So normally, the grands can pretty much do what they want and Babushka ain’t gonna care.  But for some reason, I got semi-upset over the misuse of the pop-up appliances and the rough treatment they were getting so I was trying to gently tell the kids to please not wreck the stuff (cause I would hate to hurt their feelings) but my message wasn’t being clearly heard.  And grandpa is just as bad at listening!

IMG_1848 So the kids decide to change into their super hero costumes (my great room has a section that is full of kids stuff) and attack Grandpa.  Now, mind you, this is in the room that is 24×20 and has a large table and chairs, a huge hutch, a large curio cabinet with glass doors, a piano, a couch, two big chairs, an ottoman, a library table filled with plants, two tables with lamps on them and all the kids toys PLUS now a 10×4 tent house smack dab in the middle.  Doesn’t leave a whole lotta room for wrestling.

IMG_1853(Photo was taken on a different day….notice there is no GIANT tent in the middle of the room)

So in the course of the super heroes trying to take down the bad guy, someone knocks over my large outdoor/indoor umbrella and it just misses my head by an inch.

IMG_1855And my daughter says, “Maybe we should leave before you guys kill Gramma.”IMG_1845I always figured either my stupid dog would kill me (now it is even worse, since I have to have throw rugs down so he can walk better but he still walks like his back legs are on ice and has to follow me everywhere so he is more dangerous than before and he tried to bite me last week but he is a post for another day) or housework (as I did have the canister vacuum fall on my head as I was vacuuming the stairs awhile ago) but now me thinks maybe a grand will take me out!IMG_1851And today my house looks like it has been “GRANDALIZED” (the new term I just made up for how your house looks after your grandkids have been there!)IMG_1844The dishes are piled up on the sink, the furniture is still moved, the house-tent is still up in the middle of the room, and all grandma wants to do is lay on the couch in the lower living room and watch a movie.  I hate to admit it but it takes me days to recover…..and to put the house back to it’s normal level of disarray, dirt and clutter!IMG_1847But in a couple of days, I will be texting my daughter to see if they need a date night and that old Grandma is up for a stay-over-night that will include Zane for the first time and I will gladly suffer the mess and the stress (I find as I get older and more recluse, I don’t tolerate noise and commotion the way I used to and too much talking or listening wears me out emotionally) and miss them when they are gone.

Yes, I am one blessed grandma and I count every visit as a gift (plus it gives me stuff to write about afterward!).

IMG_1846May you all be so blessed,

Your Babushka Queen

Grandparenting is not for the weak!

Introducing Hair Color of the Month!

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I am a creative person who really just creates by “the seat of my pants”.  Rarely do I ever have the foresight to plan-out what I may need and so I use what I have on hand.  That goes for my hair color, also.

Today I decided that it was time for a new color (the old colors were “so last May”) and I had to bleach my head to get a blank canvass.  But what did I want?  White sides and back with a single color on top?  Or did I just want to paint a color on the tips of the top of my super short hair?  Or did I want multi-colored tips??

Often the cut and color/s I do myself, depend on how much I will have to look into the mirror.  It seems my vision ain’t what it used to be and so it is hard to see if I am getting the color where I want it or if it is covering what I want covered and then when I have to hold a mirror to see in the back…..well, let’s just say “mirroring” must use the same brain function as logic and algebra as I cannot figure out how to move my hands in the right direction.  You should see me back up a car and you don’t even wanna know how I back up a trailer….if you are ever behind me and I have to back up, Lord help you.

Getting back to my hair,  I decide that since today was June 1st, what if I were to color my hair the same color as the stone for that month!   June is pearl and I just happened to have a pearly-white toner and barely enough developer to mix with it.  So I said, “What ‘s the worst that could happen?” and I applied on my bleached hair and within a few minutes….I had the hair color of a creamy pearl!!!!   How serendipitous was that, eh?

Here’s my hair….not my face….didn’t feel like putting a full face on and I would terrify you if you saw me in the facial nude!!!

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Next month’s stone is RUBY!!!!   I just ordered some dyes from the U.K. and I hope they get here by July 1st as the ruby color (called Rubine) is coming from them.  I think this project is going to be a hoot cause every month will be a fresh new color and I won’t even have to ponder as to what colors to choose…each month is set.

I hope you will stay on this year-long journey with me.  I wonder if anyone has ever done this before???

I just love new “painting” projects especially when I get to wear them!

Ta ta for now,

Queen Pearl

 

 

 

 

 

Why Am I Hearing Voices….Or Am I?

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Most of you know I am a horror film buff.

IMG_1744Which is so weird since I was afraid of EVERYTHING growing up and into adulthood. I had a startle-reflex that was always on HIGH ALERT.  My husband used to torment me by poking his head over the shower curtain even after I had locked the bathroom door (never marry a man who can pick a lock).  And I was terrified of the dark and living out in the woods where there are no street lights, etc. when it was dark, it was BLACK.

 

But then I started taking drugs for high blood pressure which slows my heartbeat (and my metabolism and I have gained 50 pounds) and a drug for panic disorder which also has totally made me a semi-non-feeling person and now I even take an anti-anxiety drug to help me sleep at night so I guess you can say I am in a state of “mellowness” most of the time. (But trust me, it is not a good mellowness….more of a state of “grayness of feeling”….no highs, no lows…just a nothingness….but that is a topic of another post).  So most of my fears are gone….

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So I watch these movies in the dark, by myself, and it used to be that my husband was gone overnight and that made watching them even more “delicious”.   And rarely, do any of them frighten me.  But I will not normally sleep with an arm or leg off the bed….for two reasons….one: everyone knows that if you hang something off the bed something evil will grab it….but since I either sleep on a blow up bed that has no “underneath” or in my camper on the dinette set where you would have to be a tiny creature to fit under there (and when I sleep in my tent bed, then I zip myself in and nothing can get to me!!!!) I really should not worry about that.  Second reason:  my dog has been known to sneak into our room and touch my hand or leg, whichever has accidentally roamed off the safety of the bed, which causes me to have a nanosecond dream that something is touching my hand and I wake up with a scream (which may or may not come out of my mouth….ever dreamt you were screaming but nothing was coming out????)

Anyway, yesterday morning I was sleeping in our bedroom (moved my bed from the basement bedroom back into our room for the summer since I usually sleep in my camper all summer) and I heard little kid voices.  Now, it was not my usual crack of dawn 10am wake up, but much earlier and I could not understand why I would hear kids voices since there are very few children on my road and none of my windows were open.  I usually wear earplugs when I sleep and I have noticed that occasionally I will hear someone call my name or my dog bark or yap and when I take out my earplugs, I realized that the voice or sound was in my head…..(cue the Twilight Zone music) so I had wondered if that were the case.  Then I heard it again and I was fully awake and had no earplugs in so I got up and looked outside and there were no kids in my yard or at the door (I thought maybe my daughter had dropped by unannounced and they were in the front porch….highly unlikely….but it kinda did sound like my grands) so I just went about my business and grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down in the living room to check up on what everyone was doing on FaceBook.  I am sitting there, in the quiet, when all of a sudden I hear “whispering”….and I can tell you my heart started to beat a little harder.  What on earth is going on?  And my imagination jumps to all the movies where the doomed people start hearing voices…..and then it happens again followed by my grandson’s voice from when he was much younger saying, “M is for missing you when you are gone”!

I don’t mind sharing with you all that I was now freaking out.  WHERE AM I GOING AND WHY IS MY GRANDSON TELLING ME THIS??????  Then I hear the whispers again, and my grandson repeating his forewarning.  I am wracking my brain as to what my daughter could have used to record this and was it meant for my husband as he was gone for a couple of days and we had stopped to see the grands before he left and how on earth did she get it to my house since I had not left it.

Finally it hits me!  A few years ago, I had given my daughter a book for her to record Jack and Lola’s voices reading a story about loving their grandmother and a few days prior, I had taken it out of my curio cabinet for the kids to listen to and when I put it back, I stood it upright and the vibration of people walking by the cabinet must have opened the book to a page and it must be so sensitive to movement that it would go off periodically (I have puzzles and other toys that go off randomly….geez….it never occurred to me till right now….is it really RANDOM????  Cue scary music…..). And the whispering I heard was my daughter telling the kids what to say since they were both way too young to read.

Now, I ask you….what would you have thought had this happened to you?????   And do you sleep with an arm or leg over the bed?????

Inquiring Elvira Queens want to know……

Blame It On Orlando Bloom

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Normally I will take the blame when I do something knuckleheaded but not today.  No siree, this time the blame falls straight into Orlando Bloom’s gorgeous lap.IMG_1732We all know that he and Katy Perry dated for quite awhile and there were even rumors that they were engaged.  But then after the Grammy Awards we hear that they have split up and what does Katy do post Bloom?   She gets her hair all cut off!

I have watched Katy with much interest since she is a girl after my own hair-coloring heart and I swooned over her bright purple locks and applauded her royal blue tresses and even gave her kudos for going green….I mean, the woman is downright GORGEOUS no matter what color her hair is.  And while I have thought it would be fun to have hair like hers,  I never was interested in having long locks (tho, I have had bright purple and royal blue hair).  But this new hair do……YOWZER!!!!!!!

IMG_1733I am in hair heaven…..HAIR HEAVEN, I SAY……and anyone who knows me knows that once I get a glimpse of hair heaven, I am ready and willing and not-so-able to get there.

Because I have yet to throw out my buzz clippers (TMI moment….I also use them on my dog….if I start sitting down and raising my leg up to scratch behind my ear, I better get checked for fleas…..hahaha….ya, like I could get my leg up to my ear…I kill myself….ahaha ha”) I thought today, “I can do that”.   But possums, we know I CAN’T but Lord knows that never stops me.  I think I may some a new psychological malady that I will call, “Definite Delusional Disorder Personality” for no sane person attempts to do the impossible time and time again expecting different results.

I should learn how to put my face over the faces of the women who’s hair dos I want to wear and see how they would look on me BEFORE trying to cut my hair like theirs.   But then again, what would be the point since I won’t be able to cut my hair like their’s anyway.  But still I keep doing it….(Huh, my momma didn’t raise no quitter.  My momma is now thinking, “QUIT, QUIT….for the love of all that is holy, QUIT CUTTING YOUR FREAKIN’ HAIR OFF”!!!)

So here are the results of my Katy Perry wanna-be-hair-cut…..as soon as I get the products, I am going to be bleaching my hair out and MAYBE letting it get white or completely dye it green for the summer….who knows….depends on my mood that day.   Please excuse the goofy poses as I have yet to acquire the “art of the selfie”.

Your ever crazy Queen,

Robyn

Karma…another name for Mother

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IMG_1539Anyone who knows me and my sister, knows we love to tease our Mama about her “ditziness” and the way she can mess up stories and calls things like assisted living-“assistant living” or Dinty Moore Stew-“Dainty Moore”….stuff like that.  Our sleepovers always end up with Mother saying she is never going to come again cause we are mean to her.

Well Karma showed up this week and it was a b*tch.

I was driving to our business and as usual my phone was in my purse.  I cannot multi-task anymore so talking on the phone and driving are a no-no for me.  I am 3 minutes away from the business when my hubs calls me (I know it is him cause he is on a special ringtone).  I am thinking he just wants to know if I am on my way so I ignore it as I will be there before I could dig out my phone and answer it.  One minute later he calls again, which ticks me off because if I didn’t answer it one minute ago, why should I answer it now?  So I am thinking of all the reasons he might be trying to get me and I turn right on to what I thought was old Hwy 61 and I see a woman in the lane that I am supposed to be in and  I stop and I am thinking, “What a moron….she is in the wrong lane” and she looks at me with the exact same look on her face and starts starts waving her arms and shaking her head, “NO”.  So I am thinking, “WTH, lady?” and then I see the NO ENTRANCE sign.

I was trying to go up the EXIT ramp of I-35!

The next day I have a doctor appointment for a pre-op physical and my clinic has moved since my last visit and I THOUGHT I knew where it was but at the exact minute I am supposed to be there, I am sitting in the Hobby Lobby parking lot…lost.  So I call and get an exasperated receptionist (they must get a lot of these kind of calls and probably think we are idiots and why didn’t we leave home sooner if we don’t know where in the heck we are going).  She tells me they are located across the street from Hom Furnishings.

I don’t get out much and I am not exactly sure how to get from Hobby Lobby to Hom but I was not about to ask….I knew it was somewhere by Walmart.  Is there anything more frustrating to be able to see a place from the road you are on and not be able to find the damn road to get there.  Finally after pure luck, I pull into the clinic parking lot and race in where the receptionist tells me in a very cool (and I don’t mean “awesome”) voice that she will have to try to squeeze me in since I was LATE.  I thought about telling her that I was lost but since this is a very small town and I have lived in it my whole 62 years and getting lost is just not that easy,  I just sat down quietly.  Much to my surprise, I was called in very shortly and then began to worry that my blood pressure would be high because of all the stress of getting there.

So the nurse has me sit down and asks a few questions and then takes my pressure.  Normally when they do that, I can feel when the cuff deflates to the upper number of the pressure, since it sort of throbs…..but not this time.  I figured she didn’t pump it up high enough and holy crap, it will be sky high but instead she tells me that she thinks it is 106/72 but it is very soft and she had a hard time hearing it.  This is a first for me.  My pressure is never that low even on drugs.  Which made me start to wonder if I really did get on that exit ramp and had been killed and now I was in hell and I would have to go the doctor, get lost and have no blood pressure for all of eternity.  She asks if it would be OK if she tried the other arm.  (Now, if you are a dedicated reader, you will remember that I “broke” the blood pressure machine in the day surgery when I was in for my hysterectomy and they could not find any pressure in either arm for awhile) so I am thinking….here we go again…my personal “aura” is screwing up another thing and sure enough…..she can’t really hear my pressure in the other arm either.  I know my arms are fat, but still…..

To make this story even longer….the doctor comes in and we go through everything that is on the computer ending with my last operation….the hysterectomy.  Then she has me get up on the table and she looks in my ears and has me open my mouth wide and looks down my throat.  When she is done, she looks at me quizzicality and says, “Where you born without a uvula or did you have it removed’?

Now remember, we had just been talking about my hysterectomy and I think, “Holy sh*t, I knew they removed everything including my cervix but why on earth would they have taken my “Vulva” and could she really see that from looking down my throat?  So I say, “Well, I just had a hysterectomy but why would they take that”?  And she looks at me like, “What the he!! kind of moron are you”?

Mother, I sincerely apologize for everytime I laughed at your expense.  Now, please tell Karma to back off or go visit your other daughter who also has laughed her fool head off at you!

Moral of this story is….What you laugh at will come back to bite you on your uvula or vulva…..and it won’t be pretty!

Your penitent Queen,

Robyn

Just A Spoonful of Sugar or Is It?

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Once upon a time there was a delusional woman who thought she could make freezer jam.  Seemed simple enough.  Strawberries, pectin, sugar, cook it up and put it in cute little canning jars and freeze.  Yup, even she could do it.

So she went and picked strawberries….who knew that you have to be there EARLY in the day and that you are to bring your own containers…these things should be in the newspaper ads (this was before Al Gore invented the internet and we used to have these things called “newspapers”….can you say….. news…paper….good job) so those of us that had never picked before could come prepared….not everyone knows these kind of things,  you know.

Picking strawberries seems like such an idyllic endeavor; there you are in your bonnet and strawberry-picking basket and the birds are trilling away and you are feeling like Ma Ingalls….but in reality, you are all bent over and mosquitoes are buzzing around your face and biting you everywhere they can find your pink flesh and gnats are getting into your eyes and ears and you are cursing Ma and the strawberry farm….there ought to be WARNING signs up so you know what you will be facing.

After a horrific  20 minutes you check your berry basket to find that you have picked a grand total of 43 strawberries and you decide to say the devil with picking your own and head off to check out and buy the stupid berries.

Having never bought fresh strawberries before, there is a bit of sticker shock at the price of one flat of berries.  But hubby will be so pleased at having homemade strawberry jelly that certainly spending half of that week’s food budget won’t bother him once he bites into a piece of freshly baked bread (another delusion) slathered with strawberry jam made by his wife’s tiny hands (delusion…they are like tiny stuffed sausages stuck on ham hocks).

So she drives the 50 miles back home and gathers all her supplies and reads the directions for Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam (liars).  One must sterilize the canning jars before beginning (are they neutered or spayed?) So she loads them up in her giant canning pot and cooks the hell out of them and then gingerly lays them upside down on an equally sterile dish towel.  Now to de-stem the ruby-red jewels that lay helter-skelter in the wooden flat.  After all that work, now they need to be rinsed off and chopped up.  The little woman decides that this is a one-time deal and old hubby better damn well bow down and kiss her feet (or at least rub them) for doing all this work for some stupid jam.

When the woman was gathering her supplies, she grabbed the Tupperware container that held the sugar and proceeded to pour in the correct amount into the berries and the pectin and cooked them all up into a mouth-watering thick confection of strawberry gooeyness.

Next, she ladled the mixture into her sterile little jars and sealed them tight and was delighted to hear the little “pops” of the tops sealing.  She felt so proud of herself as she looked over the dozens of little jars, all popping away.  Oh, her husband would be so proud of her and even though she would never speak of it, she was kinda proud of herself.

The next day, she put all those precious, ten dollars a half pint, jars of jam into the freezer to await a special occasion when she could bring one out and exclaim, “Why, yes, I did make the jam myself”!

A few days later, her nephew was visiting for dinner and it was time to bring out a jar of jelly.  Every one was seated and grace was said and the woman heaped jelly onto a hot bun and took a big bite just as her nephew was doing the same…..but instead of a mouthful of delectable sweetness, it was poisoned and the woman screamed to her nephew, as he was just opening his mouth to take a bite, “Don’t eat that!!!  It’s poisoned!”  (She just knew if she canned she would end of giving her family botulism because her mother always warned her of the dangers of home canning and dang, if she hadn’t almost killed her nephew!!!!)

All that beautiful and expensive jam had to be thrown away because as she figured out days later, she had accidentally grabbed her husband’s CANNING SALT instead of sugar.

Moral of this story…..label your Tupperware.

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