Thursday, December 29, 2011

CATCH UP not ketchup

A "Heinz 57dog is a mixed breed dog of uncertain ancestry- a mutt.
 The name refers to the "57 varieties" Heinz slogan.

Well, you can tell my sense of humor is still intact.
The Holiday has been wonderful 
and all my focus has been on the kids.
Dearest son has returned to NYC,
but will be passing through here 
late January on his move to LA.
Darling Daughter is enjoying  her local friends
and we are being lazy goats in front 
of the tube, catching a mixed bag of films.
This illness/plague whatever..
knocked my socks off and not in the good way
damn.. :D
I have accomplished little,
gone nowhere and seen no one.
Home is where the heart is..
and where my slipper socks and jammies are.

Carole Sidlow is teaching a  fabulous ribbon class here
on January 7th (2 spots left) and
we will hold it in the converted studio/garage,
so since I cannot access my storage boxes,
Christmas will remain up until after the class.
Makes me a mite uneasy,
 ( my organization gene anxious to get back to work),
so instead I am overhauling my studio and hall closet,
and making a big bloomin' mess while I'm at it.
I decided to move all my paper supplies 
closer to me since that seems to be
 where my hearts desire is lately.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday.
I have been reading you all and keeping up,
and I hope that everyone's New Year 
brings them joy and happiness.

I am still debating my "word" or mantra for next year.
In 2011 the word was Begin
I feel I did that one justice,
so what should 2012 be about?
I am pondering these:

I could use some of all of the above.
I have been inspired all year by 
a lovely young woman Carolynn at
the Anchor and the Bird.
Please visit if you are not familiar 
with her year of good deeds (in process).

Thinking perhaps I could/should 
attempt the same good-deed daily tasks.
I donate 10% of my income each year and it is 
not always easy, but it is easy enough to write checks.

I am thinking I need to give back in other ways, 
where it might not be so easy, 
where I must trod the extra mile, 
 and as I tap this out I may have decided that
this desire should be manifested in my 2012 word.

would encompass the other 
four words under consideration
so yup, GIVE it is.
YAY my first decision of the new Year.
What do you plan to do with your next 365 days?
I plan to grow out my hair since
 I got scalped today. 
only pixies should wear pixie cuts

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Entertained and Loved

I may still be sick but I am being fed
 wonderful food by dear friends,
thank you Tanya, Ann and Paula
and entertained by these two goofballs.

We did a lovely lunch and some mad dash
 shopping today before I 
was overcome and had to head home again.

Tomorrow begins the swap back and forth
 between their dad's home and mine.
The first years of this were pure torture but I have 
adjusted and adapted and all is well.
The important thing is that they are 
fine with it and I have them this year all
Christmas day.
oh I love them so.....

I plan to get back here once more
 before the big day and I am trying 
so hard to return all emails and visit everyone 
and say a huge thank you for the get well wishes
and if I miss you, please, oh please forgive me,
but right now I have slimy mucus brain.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

uh......merry merry?

the dryer broke
he had to come twice Tuesday
then when it still did not work 
i had to have my vent duct cleaned

the pooches were gross, 
so off to the groomers to be shaved
tanya you won't recognize them
they desperately needed new beds
so martha style on sale 72.00

howie always comes home distressed 
after groomer so he just
threw up not twice, not five times, but 
nine times on my white wool rug

kids will be here in about 90 minutes

hannah will despise their sweaters
that i make them wear one night each
she'll roll her eyes

and I saved the best for last
i am sick
dog sick
look like something the dog AND the cat dragged in
gone through an entire box of kleenex sick
fever sick
baked cookies all morning sick
still in pjs sick
merry merry

i will air kiss them and hug them
 with my face turned away and 
go to bed heavily medicated with 
vicks and cough syrup and rally 
tomorrow to truly make it 
merry merry
i wish you all health
and to be with your families


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Friends and Tags

Making some paper gifts for friends

Still having a love affair with paper

These are winging off to a gal who "won"
my "non giveaway giveaway" because
 she was another milestone follower.
No, you did not miss the giveaway,
I just noticed one day she had followed at 
a certain number and wrote her and said
You won!
You know who you are, they're coming :D

I love gals who follow me because 
they see something they like,
 or I strike  a chord with an opinion,
or maybe they think Howie is adorable, (yes)
and they haven't just come by to win something, 
though I do those giveaways too sometimes, 
maybe the next milestone?
Getting a surprise gift is an unexpected bonus,
and I love doing it. 

I feel I must mention again 
due to many such comments, 
that if you are a
"no reply" blogger I cannot answer 
your comments like I wish to, 
and I will no longer 
attempt to track you down by visiting your blog.
There is simply not enough time in my day.
AGAIN! please consider
 putting your email in your profile.

If not, here is my bulk Holiday Wish to all you
"No replies"
Merry Christmas!

Hope you are all faring well
through the Holiday crunch. I have 
smooth sailing now.
..and for those who follow my family stories...
Dearest Son is moving to LA in January,
a mere 4 hours away..
Can Darling Daughter be far behind, 
now that she will graduate early?
Looks like I will never get out of here after all,
but I'll take kids visiting on weekends for sure,
and weekends in LA are fun too :D
Can you say Road Trip girls?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Here's the Tale

So here's the tale:
What do you get when you try to tent 
your entire garage and string it with 
twinkle lights and drape it with glitter
 and garlands and stars and fill it 
with hundreds of supplies
and have ten crazy fun women over 
for the day to create and glitter 
and eat..and eat some more?

You get 11 obsessed women playing and laughing
and making wreaths and ornaments and learning new techniques and munching treats and...

 having fun, and being wonderful, strong,
delightful women and
I love them all
and I am blessed with each class
for all these 25 +years of Gatherings,
and now that we did the first trial run of the tent,
I have grandiose ideas for the next one.
I'll be painting the ceiling blue and let's see..
about 50 more yards of tulle Tanya, and...

Heather has promised decent shots 
of the event to come soon..
days like yesterday,
 I just cannot take any worthy photos
 so excuse these, but I wanted to share,
 even though there is no way to explain the energy, 
or play a tape of the laughter..
and we soldier on through diet sodas
 and peanut butter cups
 and after dinner we head back 
out for more, and eventually cannot even
 see the table tops or find anything.
(those shots to come hopefully)

..and Lord help me, she's gonna kill me for this,
but you get a pal who will decorate herself 
after the first 10 hours with her wreath and it's parts
 to get the laugh out of a few great friends who all grab
 their cameras for a shot!!
(Tanya and Heather's hands in the corner lol)
oh Lord how I love these women...

I hope you are as blessed with friends
 like this in your life.

Each bringing their own special qualities to the mix.
Think of pine cones, snow and glitter, 
 berries and fruit and leaves.
all intertwining, supporting each other's 
textures and colors and finishing 
off an unbroken circle..
A wreath of friendship.
One I can hang my joys and fears
and dreams upon and know in that circle,
I will find what I need to nourish my soul.
Ladies, you're the best.
with love,

a small postscript
pictures from the day
far better than mine

Friday, December 9, 2011

LOVE is waiting....


Kits are waiting...

Favors and Gifts are waiting...

Funny bump under kits, are these totes 
to take treasures home.... waiting...

Projects are waiting... 

LOVE Is All Around

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tag You're IT!

I've been pulling supplies together tonight
 for my upcoming Gathering  and  
found that I just could not
resist playing with the glitter and the 
punches and the fun papers.

A few phone calls and
tv shows later, I had 
completed several and
if I wasn't so dang tired
 I would keep playing.
Nothing fancy, just a little bit here,
a little bit there.

Tomorrow is another day.

You're it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Your Seat is Waiting and Trick #5

There were 8 valid entries in the 
Love Is All Around  Giveaway.
There were more comments but there were many
who knew that they would not be able to attend.
So I used the Random Generator thingie
but it won't let me show it on here,
or more precisely I cannot figure how to show it,
and I am done fussing with it, 
especially since I never did get that nap.......
Number 2 was generated randomly,
 and the second entry was
Your seat at the table is waiting for you.
Love Is All Around
I am very  happy that  you will be joining us.

I wish I could have you all sitting around,
chatting and creating for the day.
We do have fun, and oh my, 
the topics we cover!! I blush..
Stop laughing girls! I can so blush!
Just cause I haven't in over 40 years.. hush now.

Howie ( Eisenhower)
Right after we adopted him.
Who could resist this guy with his different eye colors?
Everyone could but us.  No one else wanted him.
This has absolutely nothing to do 
with this post, I just came across the old pic today.
I know the typical advent calendar is for 25 days,
but my countdown as of the first, 
is a mere 21 days.
21 days till my chicks come home.
All you moms who have your family close by,
or close enough for weekend visits, count your blessings.
This long distance dance is awful,
but oh, the visits are so dear to my heart.
Tanya is planning to post good pics 
of her pendants on her blog today. 
Check them out...
Trick # 5

Pair up for decorating.
Gather 1 or two friends together and 
take turns going to each other's
 homes to decorate.
Draw numbers to see whose home 
is done in what order..
Preset definite days for decorating,
and no excuses, this is pinkie swear.
The home host feeds the friends.
You will get fresh insight into your decorating, 
it will get done much faster with friend help,
( we know we rarely get any other holiday help)
and you'll have fun.
I would recommned no more than
 three sign up together.
Too many opinions can slow things down,
and save the margaritas for after.
Tis the season to be merry,
Just not THAT merry!


What I planned to do and what actually happened

See this beauty? It is one of dozens 
of incredibly gorgeous art jewelry made by
 Tanya of Bead and Needle
Yesterday I asked Tanya to bring them 
over to my house so that I 
could photograph them, as they are
 so incredibly beautiful I wanted you all to see them.

Tanya will be taking these to the local Boulder City
Doodlebug show this weekend 
and if you don't get one now 
you may have to wait  until she makes more, 
and with the holidays coming 
who knows when that will be?
Tanya makes these beauties out of antique
 tin plates and then painstakingly beads
 them for many long hours
 into these pendants that are traffic stopping, 
and yes those are beaded ruffles you see.
They are impeccably finished 
and all are done with her one little needle,
amazing patience and incredible talent.
Do you want a breathtaking vintage piece
 that everyone will covet?
Have a little black dress that 
will grace a party this holiday, then 
top it with one of these for the WOW factor.
Want to own a one of a kind piece of
 art jewelry or give one to your BFF?
They are enhanced with vintage buttons,
crystals and hand dyed beads from 
Vintage Meadow Artworks.

So the plan was, I was going to take 
some great shots and
share these pieces with you.
What  happened was I photographed 
them on vintage tin, on greenery, on glass, 
on mirror, on snow, on burlap.
I photographed from 8 -10:30
I did not even make coffee, so I feel a mite
Do you see any of the photos?
Because all the shots sucked.
There - I admit it.
All 147 of them
They were down to the bottom 
of the muck and the mire, bloody awful!
So here is the new plan.
Take my word for it, I have not lied to you yet,
Well, I did take the first 2 shots here, 
so yeah I lied a little,
these are scrumptious, and 
if you go to Tanya's blog
you can see them in progress
the colors are very muted not 
as bright as they look there, 
and Tanya just got a new camera,
so pick a tintype and maybe she can send 
you a decent shot of your necklace of choice,
or go on blind faith,
 ( I would, there is not a loser in the bunch)
and have her hand select one for you.
Quite a few already found homes when
 she brought them to our recent craft day, 
and we can be a persnickety bunch. 
So, coffee is needed,
camera instruction is needed,
and since I have had 4 hours of sleep, 
a nap is needed.
It's what I plan to do...
but if I were you, I would not lay odds.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Decorating Made Easier Trick #4

Let me rephrase that. 
It may not make your decorating easier,
 because that depends on just how much 
holiday decor you have, but you will have less
chaos and mess.
No matter which tree I am decorating, this one,
 or the next one, they all get the same treatment.
A box system.
Everything that goes on a tree goes in a 
specific box for THAT tree, or 2 boxes, or three.
Lights from that year, hangers, all of it. 

When I decide which tree to do on any given day
 I bring in the tree and the corresponding boxes.
 I don't have to haul in 16 different mismatched tubs,
 taped together boxes etc. No fuss, no mess.
If I remove anything in that room to decorate,
 I place it into those same boxes
 for storage over the holidays. 
I can do a room at a time 
or all the trees first, my choice.
All other decor is placed in large tubs via category;
Garlands, large picks, wreaths, stuffed figures etc.
I can then easily go through the rooms adding garland,
picks, or the figures, all the while my home is
undisturbed except for a tub or a few boxes.
The guest rooms have so little decor, 
that the entire room fits in one small box.
If I change a tree a certain year, and I frequently do,
I simply change the labels on the box
 during the take down process. 

( these are not all the holiday boxes - if you enlarge  lol)

If you haven't seen it before,
 this is my system in the garage.
These boxes and tubs are 2 deep with the box contents
behind each front box labeled on the shelf 
for easy retrieval. When I first started many years ago, 
the set of boxes at Costco were around 10.00
 and I bought 2 sets at a time as I could afford them.
 Now they are around 16.00 I think but 
this system could save your sanity.
 Just think how easy I can pack
 when it comes time to move.
 Oh yeah, I'm done already.

Right now this box system in the garage 
is being completely draped with drop cloths
 and twinkle lights are going up and tables set for 
a classroom studio for my next Gathering. 
I always planned to do this, but was happily forced 
to do so because of the upcoming photo shoot.
This class will be a trial run for the system
( it has to be entirely removable, so cars can
be re-parked in here). I am not truly  happy 
with the effect so far but just like my box system,
 this will evolve and get better.
I will drape better, paint more things out,
 figure out how to hide the ugly etc.
We are usually having so much fun, no one cares.
(I hope)

coming up next
Sharing the Decorating Trick #5
Rant update:
just so ya know
I received almost 40 emails
All positive - no negatives this time
I coined "pop up bloggers", 
don't know any other terms, if there is one
please let me know.
I shut off comments because I guessed
( correctly) that many would hesitate to 
comment publicly about their opinion of the practice
..and boy did they have opinions.
A sampling...

"bravo on the rant!!"

" me it seems selfish and so while I may “see” what they are doing (promoting themselves, manipulating stats, etc) I guess I don’t “get it” as you do.  For me, it’s just all out selfish and I can’t and won’t do that."  

"'s about what you think to be right and fair and true for you and the people that matter to you. I recently switched my blog links to this format and was appalled to see from the beginning that this is done as often as it is.... "

  "Some of the ones that bump are ones I like, so I put them on their own blogroll.  Now they just bump each other all day long......."
( This 4th one may be a solution for some of you who wish to keep following these gals. I love the image of them jumping over each other all day long, no one staying on top for long)

"I'd never heard of pop-up bloggers before. At least I've never noticed them on my blog roll anyway. As a blogger I can't imagine ever doing something like that. Some people will do anything to be noticed!
 You know, now that I think about it ... is _______one of them?"

"I wanted to thank you.  I had been having this happen recently and had no idea why
and I thank you for the education...uh duh - I didn't know. (And happen to agree with you whole-heartedly.....)  Rant on my friend....rant on..."

Don't forget the Crazy Giveaway for a free space in 
my Gathering class December 10th 
Love Is All Around.
You must comment on that post to be entered.
Please do not enter if you 
do not plan to attend if you win.

 You must comment before midnight
November 30. 
Good Luck!

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Small Detour

Taking a small detour this evening because of something that just happened to me.
I was pleased to see a new post from a dear friend tonight, and as I was scrolling through her lovely  pictures.....I saw right behind her words..another post, a post I had missed. An important post, and behind that another missed one.
Every blog I have on my blog roll is a blog that I read every post as they happen that day. I have others not on my roll that I read and mutually enjoy but I may read them over a weeks time or even a month, catching up as I can. We all suffer from time crunch, I depend on my blog roll being up to date and accurate, not manipulated.

The past several weeks I was struggling again with two blogs on my blog roll that had become "Pop Up " bloggers. I have been through this before and faced the wrath of a couple gals when I spoke about it last, who felt it their right to do as they please and I agree. Of course you may do what you wish, it is YOUR blog,  but I will no longer follow you, or keep you on my roll, no matter HOW MUCH I like you, because it causes such disruption for me as I desperately try to keep up with all my friends.  If you don't know what a  Pop UP is, it is a blogger who goes back into a post and manually resets the date and time so her previously posted blog post "Pops back up" at the top of every one's blog roll that has her listed. Some of these gals will do it several times a day, some as many as a dozen.

They do it to be noticed more often. I get that.
The do it to bring in customers, I get that.
They do it to tweak/inflate their advertising hits like Blogher so it shows more hits to make more money, I get that.
They do it to garner more followers so they can get more and bigger sponsors. I get that.
I get it. I GET IT.
Here is what many do not get....

Here is what I had to write to a dear friend this evening, my heart truly hurting because I thought I had perhaps caused her pain.

"OMG I had missed the two prior posts! I had 2 more damn pop up bloggers wreaking havoc on my roll that I have since deleted but that is how I must have missed these posts. I saw your post tonight and by accident scrolled hard and saw What? another post I had not read? and then ANOTHER! I was wondering yesterday why you had said nothing of your ____and was afraid to ask in case you did not wish to say anything. F**&^%$ pop up bloggers!!!
So sweetie I feel so badly that you would think for even a second that I did not care. I have always held my pom poms at the ready for you, and I am so happy that you were shown the love. I hope you know you have mine.

much love 
z "

Is it the end of the world in blog land, of course not. Is it everyone's right to do as they please, of course it please don't write me and tell me I should only follow in reader ( I choose not to) my blog roll works efficiently and fine for me without pop ups. Do not write to me and tell me that I should change my ways because you see, I am not saying you should change yours and not do it, I am explaining why I cannot have you on my blog roll if you routinely do pop ups, and I will miss you.
I am also attempting to explain to some new bloggers and some experienced ones what is happening when they begin to miss posts or find themselves rereading something they already read this morning, and yesterday and this afternoon and earlier tonight, the same post regurgitated anew.

I got blasted the last time I brought it up, by of course, pop up bloggers. They felt I was saying they could not or should not do it. Nope, NOT saying that. I am not "outing" anyone or shaming anyone, etc etc etc. Most of you already know if you have ever commented or emailed to me, that I attempt to respond to every single comment and email I receive. I may miss a few but many of you can vouch for my attempts to succeed. My relationships with my fellow blogger friends is of utmost importance to me, so I am not in this to make money or influence people or drive my numbers up, or play it fake, or play it safe. Now I am facing additional fallout, so you can bet this friend is important to me.
Again, if you are blogging for different reasons than mine....  Great! and I do sincerely mean that. It is YOUR blog.

I am explaining me, moi, Z

I have said what it does, TO ME, in my world. I am saying in my very small world, by having them on my blog roll, and by their actions I may have accidentally hurt another dear, dear friend. That is enough explanation for me to say nope, not having any of that. goodbye.

I just heard about pepper spray in the stores today so that one customer can get their wishes met at the expense of all others? That is not the reason for the season in any way, be it Savior or Santa now is it?

Will return with Christmas later in the weekend. Rant over.