Ta-Da Secret Squirrel Project

A while ago I alluded to a Secret Squirrel Project (SSP) that I was working on and at that time it still wasn’t finished. Well, I finally got it (them actually) done and delivered to my intended targets/recipients. These are the SSP photos:

This is my oldest brother, R and his fantastic wife S. As you can probably see, R is wearing some unusual headgear, it’s not a fashion statement, it’s a halo actually. He and S were in a terrible car accident on Dec 8 in another state as they were on their way to visit their son and his family for christmas. R has a broken neck and S had/has terrible deep bruising and now she has rather severe back issues. The good thing is that they weren’t killed. If you saw the photos of the vehicle, you wouldn’t believe they survived. Anyway, this is my representation of them.  His halo is made from a piece of plastic milk carton, plumbing thing, screws, and skewers. I put some silver thread in S’s beautiful red hair and people asked if she would be offended, she knows she has some silver hair so it really wasn’t that much of a surprise to her. Which brings us to:

Brother #2, another R and fantastic S, (different names but same initials – we’re not quite that redneck). R has longish hair on the back of his head only. The top is very shiny but since he wears a hat all the time it’s always a surprise to people that he’s pretty much bald. S has long lovely brown hair also with streaks of silver and again, she knows it’s there and not at all offended. S is known around our little bitty (as in 2 stop signs, on for eastbound and one for westbound on the only crossroad) for wearing her nightgown up to the only store in town when she needs to make a quick trip early in the day, so that’s why she’s wearing a nighty. Which brings us to:

Brother #3, yet again another R, but he’s known as B, so this is B and our fantastic C. B and C are very tall and thin which you really can’t tell from these pictures, but trust me, they can’t cast a shadow on a July afternoon. B also has kinda long hair – in the back – not so much uptop. He wanted to know if I ran out of hair when I was making him, but I just said he ran out of hair growing up. Much laughter… C has long long gorgeous legs and wears shorts all summer long. If I had her legs, I’d probably just wear panties and skip the shorts so I could show ’em off.  This is a family portrait – minus me and the hubby:

These are the people that I know will have my back and I theirs, thru thick or thin, feast or famine, or anything the world can toss our way. If you knew my family you’d know that we are a force of nature. We will feed you, hug you, house you, teach you, learn from you, mourn with you,  or kick your ass depending on what is necessary. The past few months have been a bit trying for all of us with accidents, illnesses, and aging parents, but we all are in it together no matter what. I also need to mention that the boys are all firefighters and I’m so very proud of them! My dad is a retired firefighter too. Flames run in their veins.  This concludes my very uncharacteristic soul bearing…

I was very surprised that so many people questioned if these were voodoo dolls or if they would be offended by the halo, silver threads in the girls hair, the boys’ baldness, and the nightgown thing. I didn’t think the dolls were weird at all and the family apparently like them so I guess it’s ok.

I finally decided what I was going to make for my 2012 (yeah, I know were almost 5 months into 2012) blogsite address giveaway. Last year I made little tiny babies and left them around various locations  for people to find. They all had my blog address on a little label and I was hoping that the finders would update me with baby news, where they were found,  where they live now, if they were named, or just to say “hey, I found one of your stupid little dolls” but alas, the only one that responded was my daughter and her cat was using it as a toy, sigh… but, again I digress, this year I’m making fridge magnets out of little leftover scraps of fabric, lace, and buttons. I’ll be leaving them around and if you happen to find one, please let me know – please…. I’m begging you, just a little note, you don’t have to say much and I promise I’ll never stalk you.

On another note, the tie bag pictures that I mentioned a while ago have finally show up so here’s a quick look:

This is the tie and assorted background crap. I cut it up and 5 minutes (hahahaha) later I had this:

These bags are fun, easy, and cheap – just like me!

This is all for now. We’ll talk again soon…

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Dolls & Stuff

I’ve been on a doll making kick lately. My current project is still a secret squirrel (old cartoon reference) project so I can’t show you any pictures yet, but here are some of the more recent non-secret squirrel projects.Image

This is a kinda bizarre wire and bead chick with a push mold face made of paper clay. Her hair is just wads of thread ends and angelina glued to her head (I think that’s what I did anyway). I save all my thread ends in a beautiful glass pitcher that I picked up at a junk sale and you’d be surprised how often I dig use them in some project.  She currently hangs out on the fridge and slightly freaks out the grandkids.

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I’d like you to meet Steampunk(ish) Steve. He’s my 1st paperclay hand-sculpted guy. His face and torso are sculpted over wads of foil and I painted him with plain old fabric paint when the clay was dry.  I think he’s moderately successful for a 1st try. His clothes are made from the stabilizer from the inside of regular old guys ties.The stabilizer was just cut and hand-stitched on the body without any particular plan or thought. I use the actual outside of tie to make small bags – which I had planned on posting but for some reason, the pictures don’t want to show up….anyway, he has a powerpack filled with paper beads, on his back made from a plastic media storage thingy that would have been in the landfill. The eyeballs are from the infamous stash of eyeballs mentioned in a previous post. The potions bottle attached to his waist is a nitro bottle (empty- expired, not used) from my hubby and Steampunk(ish) Steve has a few small gears and doodads for extra power.  He was great fun and I can see myself exploring this further.

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This is my loooong legged lady. She has wire bones and has been wrapped with batting and layers and layers of fabric strips with miles of handstitching holding the whole thing together. Her corset top was made by tons of free-motion stitching over piles of thread ends enclosed in water soluble stabilizer, which was mostly rinsed out. Her hands and face were made separately and attached after the body was completed. Her huge diamond is a REAL diamond – or maybe a rhinestone button. Her hair is some roving that was dyed and accidentally felted by my friend DebH (SeaAirArts.blogspot.com – go look, I’ll wait here).   She is inspired by a doll in one of my books. I don’t know the name of the book at this point, but if anyone is interested let me know and I’ll be glad to post the info when I unearth it from the studio debris.

I have many, many more dolls  laying about my dwelling but I’ll save them for another day.

In the meantime, I’d like you to meet some of my sock monkeys. I was actually going to tell you about Fred (another cat -but don’t tell him, he thinks he’s my baby), but apparently his pictures are off in the interweb land with the tie bags…I blame sunspots…

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Cookies, toilet paper & kitten


For some unknown reason, for the last 2 weeks I’ve been having a torrid affair with Oreo cookies. First of all – I am NOT PREGNANT! I’ve been out of the baby making mode for many, many, many years now and I’d have to carry it in my pocket since the traditional equipment has been removed (YAY). Anyway in the past 2 weeks I’ve managed to eat an entire bag of little tiny oreos (within 3 hours of bringing them home) and almost an entire bag of regular ole oreos. I’m blaming it on February. the shortest and ugliest month of the year. Since this is the 1st day of March I vow to break it off with the oreos and if you see me with one, please just smack it out of my hand. Thank you.

See this mess. This is what happens when you’re too lazy to take a roll of toilet paper all the way up to the bathroom. Wanna see who made the mess:

That would be Kitten. Yes, she is quite proud of her shredding abilities. She’s not really a kitten anymore but the name and bad behavior along with a superiority complex remains. The worst part about this is that I still haven’t learned to just take the damn toilet paper up to the bathroom. Sigh….

Flower Power

Quite a long time ago I had the opportunity to obtain a whole shitload of silk and fibery type flowers for a really really low price. These flower were pre-made into normal looking fake flowers but of course normal is not really anything I aspire too. I found myself spending a lot of time tearing apart and remaking them into something that was more to my liking. So, recently I decided to spend an afternoon dismantling the normal fake flowers and discarding the greenish plasticky innerds so I could make up my own non-standard looking flowers whenever the mood hit. This is what it looked like when I was done cannibalizing them:

Somehow I managed to get a picture without the cat faces. They will steal things if we don’t watch them, especially Barney, he REALLY likes flowers.

I now have a huge box of fake flower parts that I’d like to just curl up and nap in and just pretend that it’s spring.

I’ll gather up some of the ones that I’ve messed with over the last couple of years and post pictures someday.

On another note, just before christmas a friend contacted me and asked if I thought I could repair/resurrect an old stuffed frog that he stole from a friend around 40+ years ago. He found it when he was cleaning the garage and it fell out of a box or something. I told him I’d take a look at it and see what could be done. Well, poor froggy appeared to have been severely beaten, chewed on, and peed on by a band of bully mice. I think they were going after the rice stuffing, anyway he was just plain un-saveable.  I was pretty sure I could use him for a pattern to make a froggy 2.0 tho. Once I got over the pure revulsion of actually touching that raggaty ass-thing I was able to cut a fairly decent pattern. I tried to match the original fabrics as close as possible to come up with reasonable replacement. Froggy 2.0 was completed and stuffed with fish tank gravel to avoid any further run ins with bully mice.

If you don’t personally know me or my hubby, you wouldn’t know that we tend to take an idea and run it out as far as we can before it either gets so expensive or it becomes so ridiculous that it’s no longer feasible. Needless to say, we ran with this one. My hubby decided that froggy needed a coffin so we were able to find the perfect glass covered coffin at one of the local craft stores. He sanded and stained it while I worked on froggy 2.0 then I made a beautiful blue lining and placed froggy in for his final rest. We gave him an appropriate funeral complete with huge bouts of laughter and 3 feline mourners. Froggy and froggy 2.0 were returned to the thief so he could return them to the rightful owner. Froggy and froggy 2.0 were returned to the rightful owner last weekend and she was surprised and pleased. Well, come to find out the granny of the original owner made the original froggy special for the original owner so I was really happy to help the thief appease his conscience and replace a childhood memory as well as I could.

This is froggy 2.0 giving his final farewell to froggy just before the lid is place on for the final time.

Bird House Tree

I forgot I wanted to show you this birdhouse tree that my hubby made and put in our backyard. It’s about 8 feet tall and has 12 birdhouses that he made attached to the limbs. It’s made out of steel and welded together. Apparently steel and welding are just like fabric and sewing for guys. Isn’t it fantastic. It’s just so bright and happy looking. We are eagerly awaiting spring to see if the birds actually move in. I’m planning on putting out my thread and yarn scrap as soon as the real spring gets here so the little critters don’t have to work to hard to find nesting material.

My flamingos are the security guards.

What I did on my “snow day”

Yesterday I informed my co-workers that I would be snowed in today. My personal weatherman Chuck G. on Channel 4 guaranteed that there would be so much SNOW in my yard (up to 8″!!) that I probably wouldn’t be able to get out for DAYS!!! For those of you that don’t live in the great state of Michigan, our so called winter has been very very mild, so when my personal weatherman Chuck predicted SNOW, SNOW, and MORE SNOW I decided that it would be a good day to stay home. I’d much rather be SNOWED IN at home than 35 miles away at work. Well, as luck would have it, yeah, we got snow. It was a nice snow but not the SNOW that was supposed show up.  Sometimes my weatherman Chuck gets a little excited about weather. This is Michigan after all and snow is not that unusual in February – except this year.

So anyway I’m home for the day, I have a nice snow in the yard, I have some white fabric that really needs some color tossed on. What’s a girl to do but snow dye fabric! I spent the day gathering snow in the kitty litter bucket (glad we don’t have neighbors), piling snow and dye on fabric then staring/glaring at the fabric and sending melt faster dammit brainwaves to encourage faster melting so I can get to the washout and finished stage. It’s almost impossible for me to leave it alone and for some reason I need to go look at it approximately every 5 minutes to check the melting progress. You’d be surprised how little snow melts in 5 minutes! Eventhough I promise myself that I’ll leave it alone, I’m pretty sure I’m just lying to myself and out comes the heatgun to hurry the process…Eventually though it’s all dyed, washed, dried, and ironed – with varying degrees of success. It really is very exciting to see the final product because you just never know what’s gonna happen.

It is my understanding that normal people, when gifted with an extra day usually use it to do something called “housework” at least that’s what I think it’s called. They do something called dusting(?) and use a machine called a vacuum which apparently removes threads, pins, fabric shards, yarn fuzz, beads, feathers, cat hair, and general dirt from the floor. Also, I’ve heard that you can use your washer, dryer, and iron for something other than yards of flat fabric. Wonders never cease.

I also got together a donation pile for our local animal rescue fundraiser. My daughter made and donated a beautiful handmade lap afghan and I donated this mermaid doll that I made a couple of weeks ago along with a few other trinkets that I’ve made in the last year or so. I hope our donations make millions and millions for the animal rescue.

OMG I actually inserted a picture! I did it by myself! Yay Me!!!

So now that I think the picture thing is figured out, maybe this blog will be more interesting. I sure hope  you like cats.

Stand or Sit? What is the question?

Just a short note on a conversation between a happily married couple on a dreary late fall Sunday afternoon. 

Blah, blah, blah, …. discussion on a young man’s inability to talk to “beautiful” women. Blah, blah, blah….

Me: Hey, women – beautiful or not,  are just people.

Him: Yeah, you’re right.

Me: Really, the only difference I can see between men and women are that men stand to pee and women sit to pee.

Him: Believe me, the older you get the more you’re inclinded sit to pee.

Me: Funny, the older I get the more afraid I am that I’ll just stand and pee!

Both:  hahahahahahahahahahahaha

Much laughter in the hood!

Update on the blue plastic eyes.

So I decided to make an eye-bag (i-bag) for a birthday gift in an attempt to use up some of the hundreds of blue plastic eyes that I managed to aquire a few months ago. The bag is just a simple little make-up type bag with a zipper and a detachable little strap complete with a clip to attach it to anything you want. Once  I finished snapping on the ten thousandth (well it felt like 10,000 anyway) back onto the eyeball stem and the feeling came back to my fingers I took a good look and said “damn, that’s kinda creepy”.  Ahhh, the perfect birthday gift! The recepient of the gift is used to getting let’s say “unusual” gifts from me her entire life. As an added bonus she has added a wonderful, kind, and easily amused spouse to the unusual gift recepient list. (I’m sure he thinks I’m nuts – but that’s ok.) Anyway, back to the eye-bag, the last time I was updated on it’s contents – it contained the all important emergency girl stuff that husbands are loath to buy and try to bribe random strangers to actually make the purchase, so it’s being put to good use and it’s almost guaranteed no one else will walk off with it because of the aforementioned creepy factor.

Now that summer has flown by in a heartbeat and fall is falling all over my yard, I hope to actually spend some time bonding with this blog and I hope to not let it die of neglect. I despise winter and only go out in it because I have  to go to work or get supplies (no work – no supplies) so I’ll attempt to bore you with my winter whining on a regular basis.

Well, I didn’t even know he was famous.

Recently I mentioned that I had a story about a lunch at “Pig Toy” restaurant near Ann Arbor. I also mentioned that it happened on April 1, but I was informed by my darling daughter that it actually happened on April 2 (so I’m not too good at math). Anyway, after our trip to Hell we decided that we could use some lunch so we stopped at the aforementioned “Pig Toy” restaurant. During our lunch we noticed that some of the waitresses kept discretely looking our way. A guy that appeared to be the manager kept wandering over our way and wiping off a clean table at the same time he was kinda looking at us out of the corner of his eye, then going back to talk to the waitresses. Weird because we were all dressed as appropriate, had our shoes on, no one was crying, throwing food, picking their nose, no one was stinky, making any loud noises, or causing any commotion of which we were aware. Finally our waitress came over and leaned down to whisper at our table “I understand you’re the guy that started the “hash bash”  that’s what my manager said” –  to which hubby replied “Huh??? What??? No! What the hell are you talking about???”   As soon as she left, another waitress (about 15 years old – what would/should she know about the hash bash?) did the same thing.  We also noticed that the waitresses had all clustered into a little knot over by the kitchen area and we’re eyeing us too. Some were whispering and giggling. By this time we finally figured out that it was the 1st Saturday in April and in Ann Arbor that means Hash Bash!! Now granted my hubby is not a real young guy anymore and he has very long hair and kinda looks like an aging hippy, but he sure wasn’t the founder of the Hash Bash (you can google this if you don’t know what it is). By the time we left the restaurant – even the cooks were eyeing us. Good thing we aren’t paranoid! I can only guess that no one believed that he wasn’t the famous hash bash founder.  Apparently the “Pig Toy” restaurant doesn’t give a discount to famous or suspected famous people because they had no problem presenting the bill.  So, we just paid for lunch,  climbed back into the HHR (a real aging hippy vehicle) and laughed our collective asses off!  A good time was had by all – even if we did miss the hash bash.

Blue plastic eyes

I just got back from one of the funniest shenanigans ever. Apparently these doll people are also hoarders of “stuff” and one of the traditions during the extravaganza is a free stuff / swap meet. I pulled up my big girl panties and braved the crowd. Using my extra sensory perception and my feeble eyesight, I realized that the other side of the hall didn’t have anyone in line waiting for the whistle to blow (yes, really, a whistle) so I quickly ran over and made it just in time for the starting whistle. I was about 2nd in line for about a second then it was just a blur. I clearly don’t have the chops to fight off people that really really really want free stuff. When the smoke cleared I somehow found that I had aquired about 600 blue plastic eyes, a couple of magazines, a chunk of real leather (score!), a pattern for a fairy, some beads and sparkly things, a whole package of hand needles, other assorted treasures – and a bag of feathers!! I claim no knowledge of most of these items and I’m sure someone just stuck them in my bag when I wasn’t looking. I didn’t see any cops or EMT’s so I’m assuming everyone got out with most of their limbs attached and minimal fistfights over that last crumpled piece of off-white lace and the package of 137 brown monkey eyes.

I’m packing out in the morning so back to my busy real life. This weekend was a much needed mini vacation and I had a blast.

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