31 March 2011

The Dirty Girl Scout
“Thing is, no one really knows what smurf tastes like.”
– Overhead on the street yesterday morning.

And you know something? They are right. Nobody knows the true taste of a smurf.

This prompted many questions in my mind...Who would eat a smurf? Who would serve a smurf? Where can I buy one? Can you cut it with a fork? Does it taste like chicken? You know, they always say new and exotic meats "taste just like chicken” but then one time I ate raccoon in ketchup and it certainly did not taste like chicken. It tasted like straight up raccoon.

I no longer like ketchup.

I digress...back to the smurf....so I posted the quote on facebook, and lo, thirty minutes later, Kelly informs me that “smurf” is a flavor of ice cream.

Ice cream!? No kidding. This prompts many more questions in my mind....Which came first, the flavor or the name? Whose job is it to name ice creams? Where does one apply for this job? I love ice cream and naming things more than, oh, um, ANYTHING. Where do I sign up?

So, in the off chance someone reading this blog works in the ice cream business and is in a position to hire, I am offering up a little Whitman sampler of my boundless potential as a professional ice cream namer. Here are some of my favorite ice cream combonations with nifty new names.

The *New* 31 Flavors  o-o-o-o-o

1. Release the Kracken – Mexican chocolate fudge ripple with pretzels and roasted peanuts.

2. Jive Turkey – cinnamon French vanilla with apple pie filling, peppered with brown sugar pecans.

3. The Elvis – banana with peanut butter and bacon bits.

4. Dirty Girl Scout – dark chocolate with essence of mint and olive oil.

5. Dancing Zorbas  – frozen Greek yogurt with blueberries and mint.

6. Lady Di – rose petal mouse with strawberry swirls.

7. Pippi Longstocking  – fig with lemon zest, drizzled with warm caramel.

8. Kentucky Woman – sweet cream with a hint of bourbon and sprinkled with cornflakes. PS: I’m pretty sure someone needs to open an ice cream shop where all the flavors are named after Neil Diamond songs. I’m sort of shocked this hasn’t happened already. Pish Pish. Let’s get on it, people.

9. Bobaloo! – frozen banana custard with sweetened black beans.

10. Good Morning America – sweet cream topped with sliced bananas and cheerios. BTW: have you ever had cherrios on ice cream? It’s amazing. I'll eat cheerios on anything. Cheerios on steak sounds pretty good to me.

11. Memoirs of a Geisha  – cheesecake with a hint of wasabi.

12. Peppermint Wizard – pink peppermint swirled with sweet cream and rainbow sprinkles.

13. The Color of money – concrete mint yoghurt with dark chocolate shavings.

OK, so I only made it to 13. Fail :(
Y’all chime in the comments and see if we can come up with 31 flavors!

30 March 2011

Toys of Yore

My Dad with his childhood erector set
So, the thing is, I went toy shopping yesterday.

#1. What happened to toy stores in the last twenty years?  They used to be all cute and friendly with circus music and miniature trains. Rainbows and ducks and dollies and whatnot. Now they are screaming pits of rage and fire. I even heard one little girl howl at her brother, "I'LL EAT YOUR BRAINS!"

And I totally think she meant it too.

#2. What happened to erector sets? You know, building sets for kids with holes and blocks. The fancy ones might even feature some strings and motors and stuff that goes buzzzzzzzzz. 

I asked the store clerk if they carried erector sets and he looked at me like I was asking for something that’s illegal everywhere but Amsterdam. 

Now I'm looking online and everything is too complicated and dangerous looking. No good. I want something my niece can chew on without any fear. 

So, now I’m thinking; it wouldn’t be that hard to make my own erector set, would it? It could just be wood, right? I know my way around a drill and a power sander. Let’s do this!

Anyone who has experience making they own wooden toys, pipe up and give me some pointers! :)
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and confused.

Sour. Inadequate.

Sometimes I wonder, What particular breed of crazy was I born with? Why am I not like everyone else? How can I be more normal?

...and then I read this.

By comparison to this, I am June Effing Cleaver. So normal it hurts.

If you ever feel out of place, you'll want to read this. Don’t skim neither. You’ll want the full effect.


Many thanks to Freckled Citizen for introducing me to this strange and wondrous family.

And look Y’all, Digby has a  twitter feed!


29 March 2011

Fun with Fuzzy Stickers

A month ago, my wonderful friend Sara posted about recycling cardboard boxes into gift bags. Seriously y’all, what a great idea. And I just love the thought of munchkins painting up a cereal box and turning it into a beloved treasure.

Only problem is, I am sans munchkin. And until Lola picks up a paint brush (this is entirely possible, people)...I needed to do my own variation.

Enter: fuzzy stickers.

If you saw the post about making your own custom tape, you probably already know how I made the polar bear. Just get yourself some double-sided adhesive paper and some faux fur and go to town.

Tip: It’s easy to draw silhouette shapes when you use your computer as a light board. Just enlarge the image on your screen , lay the double-sided adhesive paper on top, then trace with a marker. You may need to temporarily adjust your monitor brightness/contrast settings, but it sure beats using messy carbon paper or cutting and recutting templates. Works great for all y’all hardcore freezer paper stencilers out there; we're talking animal shapes, monograms, profiles of your children...just about anything with a strong contrast line can be easily converted into a sticker/stencil/template. I picked up this tip from a friend whose 10-year-old son uses this technique to trace Japanese comic book characters. He is such a smarty pants!

Disassemble and reconstruct the box (consult Sara’s original post to read how it’s done properly)....then stuff it with a gift and give it away!

Hooray for polar bears!


28 March 2011

I have a confession to make.

Three years ago I stole a chocolate Cadbury bunny from a small child.

By stole, I mean, I quietly removed it from his mother’s shopping cart at Target while she was turned in the opposite direction.

Look, I’m not proud of my actions. I’m certainly not in the habit of removing things from other people’s carts, especially while a drooling toddler looks on from the front basket, but it was the Saturday before Easter and there were no more Cadbury bunnies on the shelf.

There would be no more chocolate bunnies UNTIL NEXT EASTER.

Do you hear me? A WHOLE YEAR PEOPLE.

It was a now or never, fight or flight situation.

I needed that bunny.

Later, as I sat there eating that bunny in the Target parking lot later that night, I thought to myself.... You're a grown woman. This holiday is a celebration for kids and families and churches and wholesome stuff like that. Think about it; Is this chocolate bunny really worth stealing from a small child?

Answer: Duh.

Of course, Karma, the ever-faithful mistress of Truth, decided to seek her revenge this weekend. As I once again strolled the Easter isle at Target I arrived just in time to watch a little boy, probably around 8 years or so, struggle to reach the last Cadburry bunny at the rear of a very high shelf.

No joke. What are the chances? I know, right? Karma. Or worse: Chocolate Karma.

Plagued with three-year-old guilt, I assisted in reaching the bunny and placed it in his hands. Now, I could have taken it and made a run for it, but instead I gave it to him. I know, right? Sainthood.

With no more Cadburry bunnies on the shelf I settled for a bag of Cadbury eggs and the Lindt chocolate bunny featured here. Lindt is good chocolate too. Not Steal-from-a-small-child Good, but pleasant enough to photograph.

The flowers are made from cupcake flowers (click here for full tutorial). It came out nicer than I suspected. It would look nicer with a Cadbury bunny in the middle, but these are the sacrifices I make. For the children, you know.

Decorating the basket is easy. Just twist the cupcake flowers directly on to the basket until you feel it looks like a proper church hat. I don't like messy tails and twister pieces showing. Luckily it's easy to wrap some seam binding around the ugly bits.

These eggs are from ten years ago when I did a chocolate Easter tree. All the eggs were made of real chocolate.

And yes, I said chocolate tree. And you're right, it was magnificent.

Most of the eggs got eaten right off the tree, except these ones, which are just superficially decorated with real chocolate in hopes I would not eat them in mid-November chocolate craving rage they would last . Yes, you heard right, real ten-year-old chocolate. I took plastic eggs from the store, painted them various shades of chocolate brown, then glued mini chocolate chips all other. Two layers of outdoor varnish, and look, still kicking!  They are way to heavy to heavy to hang on the tree, but they look nice in the base of the annual Easter basket. The chocolate chips are a little speckled, but amazingly, they have held up beautifully.

And who needs to buy Easter grass when you have colorful trimmings from making coffee filter flowers. Yes, I even keep my craft coffee filter scraps. They are too pretty to throw away.

Lola decided she wanted to be the chocolate bunny  in the middle of this year's Easter basket. It didn't go so well. Now working on a bigger basket to accommodate. Stay tuned!



25 March 2011

Good news: the grocery store finally started carrying giant chocolate bunnies. 

You know what that means? 

Giant chocolate bunny for dinner  Spring is finally here!

It’s been a while since I did a Friday Flower post. This winter has been too cold and gloomy to think of such pleasantries. But things are different now and I'm in the mood for flowers!

Y'all know how much I love me some cupcake liners. And even though there are some seriously nifty cupcake flowers out on the internet already (this one from Iceing Designs is my particular favorite!)...I thought I would do my own version. These are very easy, kid-friendly, and they scream HELLO EASTER!

  • Various cupcake liners. Or muffin liners. Or nut cups. Or candy cups. Or coffee filters. Any ruffly cup things will do the job.
  • Pipe cleaners.
  • Beads with holes large enough to easily accommodate pipe cleaners.
  • Faux flowers. You could snip from fabric if you are anti-faux flower.
  • Something pointy like an extacto knife or an awl.

Disassemble the faux flowers, exposing the hole in the center (or snip your own, just be sure it is fabric, not paper --you need something fabric as a buffer between the bead and the paper liners or they will tear too easily. Don't worry, this will make sense in a minute.)

Stack up three cupcake liners in order of size, then use something pointy to make two small holes, roughly 1cm apart.

Thread the pipe cleaner through the bead, followed by the flower, then the two holes in the cupcake liner, pulling all the components together.

On the reverse, pinch the base of the flower and give it a good twist. The fabric flower in teh middle should stabilize it enough to prevent the liners from ripping, but don't get too aggressive. Cupcake liners like to be handled nicely :)

use one of the pipe cleaner stems to wrap around the base, then secure with a twist.

That's it! Gently pull back the petals, working from the outside inward.

Fluff and repeat! You can churn out a bunch of these in no time at all. Wrap the flowers around wires or dowels to display in a vase, or just use the wire to wrap them around everyday objects. I keep a couple tied onto the wire basket I use to store onions. 

And listen, if my onions like these cupcake flowers, I'm pretty sure someone you know will like them too. Try them out for yourself!
 Stay Tuned...Monday I'll show you my Cupcake flower Easter basket. Wahoo!


24 March 2011

Clutster Flower Thingamajig

BFF gave me this plastic flower pin and said, This looks like something you would make!

And she's right. If I knew how to make one, I would have made a dozen already.

Problem is I don’t know how. I’m not a bead and jewelry type. I’ll make necklaces out of hair barrettes and fingernails but I haven't a clue when it comes to traditional jewelry making techniques.

Does anyone out there have a link to a tutorial that would break it down for a newbie like me? Or even, just tell me what I should be googling here. "Cluster Flower Thingamajig" isn't getting me very far!

23 March 2011

Good thing I’m not superstitious...

I took this photo this morning. Notice anything unusual?

This is the statue of the Virgin Mary in the tiny “yard” behind my apartment. Neighbors tell me she has been in this post for many years, long before the pine tree to her left was planted. The pine tree is now taller than the apartment, so that should give you a good idea how old it, and Mary, must be. I tried to move her once but she wouldn’t budge. I think one of the tree roots latched on or something. Good thing I’m not superstitious...

Then this morning, I saw this empty nest at her left knee. The wind must have knocked it from a tree branch above. I wouldn’t think much of it except this same thing with the nest happened last year as well. Good thing I’m not superstitious...

And look above Mary’s head. On the garden wall, there is a horse shoe. With teeth. I’m not sure what sort of teeth they might be or who put the horseshoe there, but I assume it’s some sort of good luck talisman. I tried to remove the teeth once but they have calcified directly to the chicken wire on top of the fence. Suppose I could take a power tool to them, but I figure they have been living there longer than me, and really, who am I evict a perfectly good set of choppers.

Good thing I’m not superstitious...

Years ago, tape came in two varieties: clear and semi-clear. Vanilla colored masking tape was relegated to garage sales and cardboard boxes. Duct tape was something people used to attach broken-off rear-view mirrors.

...But somewhere along the way folks realized they could get colored tape in the electrical section down at the hardware store. Then some crazy kids made prom dresses out of duct tape. Then it was only a matter of time until some fancy stationary suppliers started printing patterned tape....and before you know it, it’s 2005 and  I’m standing in line paying $7.00 for a roll of aqua blue polka dotted tape, a roll which remains, to this day, untouched.

Don’t judge.

Those little polka dots are too precious to waste!

I felt so clever when I came up with this idea last week....then I googled around and discovered, well, I’m not so clever after all.
Several people have made their own fabric tape, mostly using glue to adhere to another base, (I'm especilly fond of this one from Annekata, btw, gosh what a lovely blog)...No doubt the paper tape and glue approach is an excellent way to go, however, I am lazy and have no problem shelling out $3.00 for a large sheet of double-sided contact paper knowing it will give me 30+yards of custom tape.

Aren’t you impressed with my math skills? I sure am.

Double sided adhesive paper is the critical component to this project. You’ll find it in art supply stores in the drafting section, or in the scrap book section at most craft stores. It looks just like regular contact paper, only it’s sticky on both sides.

Because the adhesive will stick to everything, you can make your custom tape from just about anything; paper, fabric, faux fur, chocolate wrappers, raffle tickets....I'll show you something fun with faux fur in a couple days :)

To demonstrate, I started out with a piece of double sided adhesive paper and a piece of decorative paper, roughly the same size.

Remove one layer of protective coating from the double-sided adhesive paper and use a ruler or bone folder to adhere it to the backside of the decorative paper.

Decide how thick you want your tape and mark lines accordingly. I chose to have my tape the same width as my ruler.

I told you I was lazy.

Use a scissor or an exacto to cut the strips. And yes, some of us have scissors with painted tips. It's a pretty thing.

Make it easy on yourself down the road and use the tip of some dull scissors to score the waxy backside of the tape. This will make it easier to remove the backing later on when you want to expose the stickiness.

Two bucks says my friend Jillian is still sniggering at the term waxy backside.

I haven't figured out a great way to store the tape just yet (ideas anyone?) Spools seem tricky so for now, I'm just pinning the stack against the wall so I can snip pieces as needed.
Now comes the fun part -making more stuff so there will be little gifties to wrap up and give away.

22 March 2011

Madame Rhinoceros

Madame Rhinoceros collage shadow box I made, oh, err 2004? Look, sequins!
Yesterday I found myself killing time in the cosmetics section at an upscale department store. I don’t generally loiter among the lipstick but I was early for lunch with a friend and was running low on mascara.
Ten minutes in, a chipper young sales clerk with a dolphin tattoo successfully deployed a sales technique that I learned years ago while training for my first retail job. I’m sure there are lots of variations on the technique but I know it as CCI (Compliment, Comment, Introduce).

   Step 1. Clerk compliments the Customer = Customer feels good.
   Step 2. Clerk comments on the Customer = Customer feels insecure.
   Step 3. Clerk introduces a product = Customer buys it.

The basic concept is that if you can make a woman feel insecure in a "friendly" way, she will buy anything. I wish I could tell you that the technique is wrong and it never works and we are all too smart for that...but alas, sadly, it works all the time. We are a manipulative bunch. Yesterday, the conversation went something like this:

   Clerk:  “Oh my you have such lovely skin!”
   Customer: “Well thank you very much. I try my best.”
   Clerk:  “You know, you have such unique coloring. I can see how it would be difficult finding the right color pencil to tame those brows. Have you tried one of these?"
    Customer slumps her shoulders, lifts right hand to eyebrows to smooth them out while left hand reaches for the pencil.

Five minutes later, Customer walks out with one eyebrow pencil, three eye shadows, foundation primer and countless packets of product samples.

Thing is, Customer went in looking for mascara.
Oh dear me, I feel just like Madame Rhinoceros!

Madame Rhinoceros and Her Dress
From Aesop's Fables by Arnold Lobel

Madame Rhinoceros saw a dress in the window of a shop. It was covered with polka dots and flowers. It was adorned with ribbons and lace. She admired it for a moment and then entered the shop.
“That dress in the window,” said Madame Rhinoceros to a salesperson, “I would like to try it on.”
Madame Rhinoceros put on the dress. She looked at herself in the mirror. “I do not think this dress is at all attractive on me,” she said.
“But Madame,” said the salesperson, “you are completely wrong. This dress makes you look glamorous and alluring.”
“If only I were sure,” said Madame Rhinoceros.
“Ah, Madame,” said the salesperson, “everyone who sees you wearing this dress will be filled with
admiration and envy.”
“Do you really think so?” asked Madame Rhinoceros, turning around and around in front of the mirror.
“Absolutely,” said the salesperson. “You have my word.”
“Very well,” said Madame Rhinoceros, “I will buy the dress, and I will wear it now.”
Madame Rhinoceros left the shop. As she walked up the avenue, she saw that people were smiling and laughing at her.
“Admiration,” thought Madame Rhinoceros.
She saw some people who were shaking their heads and frowning.
“Envy,” thought Madame Rhinoceros.
She continued up the avenue. Everyone who saw her stopped and stared. Madame Rhinoceros felt more glamorous and alluring with every step.


21 March 2011

Twenty Years Ago Today

Stuckey’s truck stops make the best pecan candy. It's so amazing, we'll forgive them for spelling "y'all" wrong.
This photo was taken March 21, 1991. Twenty years ago today.

I remember because it was my half birthday, and back then, something as momentous as a half birthday seemed pretty darn important.

We were on an excursion to Vicksburg, outside Stuckey's getting gas and pecan log rolls. I was goofing off and taking pictures of my cousins using scotch tape to deform their faces when my Uncle Tom leaned over and quietly suggested we take a  photo of the sign. He said, You’ll want to remember this one day.

I obliged and didn’t think much of it. I knew the Gulf War had just ended and all the adults were talking about the price of gas and how ticked off they were that it hadn’t gone back to being under a dollar a gallon. Funny thing is, somehow, in my mind, I honestly thought Uncle Tom meant I would one day tell my children about the time...When I was a kid and there was a war on and we were willing to pay as much as $1.13 a gallon!

Truth is Uncle Tom worked in the oil industry for decades and probably saw what was coming today. You ought to hear what he has to say about tomorrow....

I think $1.13 looks pretty good right now.

20 March 2011

Mailbox Candy

If you have ever received mail from me there is a decent chance it looked something like this. I call it mailbox candy.

OK, so I admit, it looks a little like a rainbow threw up. But I don't mind...

The landlord thinks it's hilarious when I drop off rent checks smeared in pink and turquoise polka dots. I'm not sure what the mail clerk at the electric company thinks, but I hope it puts a smile on their face :)

Truth be told, I don't paint envelopes to impress, I just do it to use the leftover paint stuck on my brush after a project.

I figure that paint can go down the sink, or it can go down on paper.

So I just grab an envelope and give it a good smoosh.

Tada! Instant mailbox candy.

Knowing me, I'll never remember to grab an extra envelope every time I start a painting project, so instead,  I just keep a stack of them on the shelf above my kitchen sink --that way I can grab one before I rinse out the brush.

Sometimes, if the envelope is made of thick paper, I'll run it under the faucet as well, then the paint goes on like water color. Then I clip it up on a clothes pin and let it dry until next time I want to paint.

Simple pleasures :)

18 March 2011

Like cotton candy. But hairy.

Lola's shedding is helping birds build their nests. I know. She's so thoughtful :)
Lola, my beautiful longhaired child-with-fur-and-attitude, has an undercoat that explodes every Spring.

Yes, explodes I said.

Don’t get me wrong, she sheds all year long but this time of year is especially riddled with fur.

Resourceful type that I am (read: potential hoarding issues), I googled around to see what can be done with it. Lo, apparently, birds love using animal fur for building nests! Since Lola loves stalking watching birds it seems only fair that her fur should help them build some nests.

So we gathered up some hair, some chopped up jute twine, and hung it an onion bag with lots of slits and holes. We refill it regularly as  the birds come and pull it away bit by bit, sort of like cotton candy. But hairy.

If you're not an 'animal person' this will probably gross you out. The rest of y'all can,keep reading!

Tangent for pet people*
If you have a fur baby at home and do not know what that purple thing is up on the left, listen up, because I’m about to rock your world.

That purple thing is called The Furminator. Stupid name for a great product. It’s like a horse brush with ‘roid rage. It will rid any hairy animal of excess fur in a matter of minutes. You see that pile of fluff on the right? That is from 2 minutes of brushing Lola one morning (and she gets brushed a LOT). If I was to take this thing to your golden retriever for 10 minutes I’d come up with enough hair to fill a Volkswagen. And the best thing is that the fur babies love it! It comes in various sizes for different types of hair and animals. As someone who has lived with animals of all sizes and shedding issues, I cannot recommend it enough. Go get one!

* For the record, I have not been asked or paid to promote this product. I just adore the crap out of it and have even been known to give it as a gift. I love it and I hope you will too :)

16 March 2011

Things you learn from Google Analytics:

1. Around 10% percent of the people reading this blog stumbled in via search engines while hunting down terms like:
Liberace rings
It’s cookie monster time y’all!
tyra banks monster hog caller
barnuckly egg cartons
discos in Saudi Arabia
wet and messy easter dress photos
what to do about flies in your pig pen

And my all time favorite and unusually popular search term:  tamburin welches 
...seriously guys, wtf are welches?
2. Most of the other 90% of you first stumbled into this blog on account of a various referrals to this single post. Apparently, y’all love some coffee filter flowers.

That initial post in question was a DIY. So you can imagine how flattering it is to receive an occasional inquiry from someone wondering if they are for sale. Guess not everyone has the time to make them, or, just wants a finished template to look at before they try it on their own. Either way, I take it as an enormous compliment and feel very rude as I type to reply to them "No, they are not for sale." 

Until now....

Blah blah blah...where is this going?

I have spent the last few days thinking about what to post this week. Recent events in the news make it awkward to banter about my usual activities. Art is a healing process to be sure, but somehow I feel awkward posting Lola's annual Leprechaun hat when so many others are struggling to survive the storm of chaos and tragedy.

Like a lot of people, I'm wondering what I can do to help and the answer is always the same: Send money.

So I sent money. It wasn't much, but it was something. Right? Every little bit helps. Right?

I bet a lot of you sent money too.

And I bet a lot of you have been meaning to do it, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet, but you will, you promise.

Man, I’ve been there before. I'm the last person to preach about procrastinating.

So with that in mind, I’m joining the herd of small businesses and community fundraisers looking to provide an incentive to make a contribution toward helping the disaster relief. Hey, I figure if the kids down the street can organize a car wash to benefit disaster victims, I can chip in some flowers, no? Someone might want them, right? Right!
So here is the deal...
If you make a donation to the Red Cross of $20 or more, and I will recognize your generosity by sending you a big fat beautiful coffee filter flower.
Here is how it works...
  • You make a donation of $20.00(USD) or more.
  • You email me an address where I can send the flower. No receipt required. Your word is good enough. Emailauntpeaches@gmail.com subject line "Thank You Flower Project"....cutoff is 100 people or 12am CST on Friday March 18, 2011...whichever comes first.
  • A week or so later, an envelope with a flower will hit your mail box.
Yup, it’s that easy.
Obviously, this project hinges on an honor code. I give you my word I will not use your information for any other purpose than to send you a flower, and you give me your word you made a donation.

Please understand, this isn't a gimmick or a ploy to stir up followers or push a product. I just figured that if anyone out there was either a) on the fence about donating, or b) had any interest in bringing one of these flowers home, well here you go! No obligations or expectations. Just another way to facilitate a good deed for both of us :)

I knew there would be questions...
What if I already made a donation?
That’s great! Send me an email. If you are in a position to give another $20, go for it! I leave this up to you. Bottom line is: you donated so give yourself a cookie AND A FLOWER!

Can I make a donation to another organization instead?
That’s good to hear. My target for this project is disaster relief, and the Red Cross, from most accounts, is the international expert in that arena. If you prefer to donate to another disaster relief organization, go for it, but tell me a little something about the other organization in your email, and why you prefer to contribute there instead of the Red Cross. I’m not questioning your choice–I’m just curious.

Can I pick what my flower will look like?
Nope. This is a grab-bag approach. Most of the flowers are already made and sitting in tissue paper in storage. They are all very nice but they are not custom orders. And seriously, wouldn't you love a surprise in the mailbox?!

Can anyone get a flower?
Yes. One flower per household, but beyond that, no limit. I’m happy to send these to any location, inside or outside the US. You can also make a donation on behalf of someone else and I’ll send the flower to them directly. Come on, doesn’t your third cousin Griselda deserve a dahlia made from coffee filters? Of course she does!
Can I make a larger donation and get more than one flower?
Sorry, one flower per household. But your generosity is appreciated!
Again, this project functions on the honor system. I have great faith in strangers and know that we can accomplish tremendous things when we put our heads together.

Thanks y'all.

Regardless of whether or not you like my flowers, I hope you will take a minute out of your day to help those who are currently weathering the storm. The Huffington Post offers a comprehensive list regarding ways you can help.

American Red Cross
PO Box 4002018 | Des Moines, IA 50340-2018 | Donate Online

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
P.O. Box 372 | CH-1211 Geneva 19 | Switzerland | Donate Online

14 March 2011

Check it out y’all! now I’ll have Mardi Gras in my living room all year round. Wahoo!

Original Inspiration Chandelier from DSC
A couple weeks ago I sent out the message I was hunting for ideas on ways to use old mardi gras beads....lo and behold you sure answered. Thank you for taking the time. I came away with not one, but several inspiring ideas. More on that in the days ahead...

The first idea that hit-me-in-the-face came from Kelly on facebook, and was soon echoed by LeeLu and Ann (clearly, all three of them knew a good thing when they saw it!)....who all suggested a variation on this chandelier from Heather at Dollar Store Crafts. Check out this sucker. Isn’t it amazing?

Just one problem. I have crazy low ceilings. My apartment is over 100 years old and they just didn’t make them tall enough to do a cool, tall, luxurious chandelier like this one. Sigh

The compromise? A big-fat-yet-still-drippy-dippy ceiling light.

Yeah, well, it’s not as formal as Heather’s chandelier but golly-gee it sure is festive! I took her basic idea of using the hanging basket and I knew it was going to be festive but I had no idea how much I would love the sparkle and shadows it creates. It’s like a disco every time I turn on the light!

*Note: The project here is not for those seeking perfection. There are no patterns here. You just swag-n-twist and swag-n-twist like a big floppy flower arrangement. Embrace the chaos!

  • One wire hanging basket
  • 40+ Strands of beads
  • Bolt of 32gage wire
I started out by wiring the edges of the basket with green beads –this helped keep it it looking a little more uniform or “on purpose”....then just went to town swagging and twisting wire around each strand where it hit the wire basket. Once the basket was fully loaded I wired the basket frame to the three holes in the original light fixture. Luckily this basket has a hole in the bottom, so changing the bulb won’t be a problem at all.

This project was free and easy --can’t beat that!

I'm crazy about the star burst shadow it makes on the ceiling!

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