“A Loose Woman Imitates The Little Prince” for StencilGirl & Impression Obsession Blog Hop

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The moment I saw Seth Apter’s science fiction looking rubberstamps I had to have them. They suggested the Out of this World is the theme. Starry skies and science make me feel delighted, scared, and hopeful all at the same time.

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However, the project evolved and surprised me. I’d picked out  StencilGirl stencils I wanted to use with the stamps months ago and then three new ones leapt into the fray!

I was a massage therapist for 2 decades and it seemed to me, in my little microcosm, that women over 50 lived easier in the world, body and soul. Hence, Sue Pelletier‘s Loose Woman series of stencils for StencilGirl Products speaks to me. (Apologies to Sue if she saw her creations as younger!) I used the small ones and you can see them in a video HERE.

This little canvas celebrates ME though a riff on one of my favorite books of all time, “THE LITTLE PRINCE” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It is always a good read when I need perspective in my life.

By the time you read this blog post I shall be 50 years and a few days old. I’ve been regaled with wisecracks, comments and questions:

70 is the really hard birthday!
50 means you are just beginning your creative journey!
50 is the new middle age.
Would you like to join Senior Circle? (Don’t even get me started…)
Have you received your first mailing from AARP? (Yes, 15 years ago and I was highly insulted!)
I’m younger than you are!
Do you feel old mom?
and fortune and friends smile upon me, too many well wishes to count!

I think, if birthdays ending in 1 through 9 make us reflect on the year behind and the year ahead, those ending in 0 make us look at who we are against the journey of all we wanted to accomplish. I’d like to say “within the journey” but I seem to push back more often than not. Represented on my canvas by the (hopefully) extinct volcano.

Rabbit was my nickname as a child. The Rabbit is sitting in for The Fox.

My Flower under glass represents all the characters and stories swimming in my grey matter. A daring 50 years young woman might accept the responsibility and remove the glass… Seriously, my personal goal for the year is to write my way out of my novel “BRAMBLES”.

It was enormously difficult to choose a planet from among Seth Apter’s Solar System and Roundabouts rubber stamps for Impression Obsession; each one is so interesting. I did not even have to put the stamps on a block to stamp. The lines and details stamp impressively clean on the no-fray (slightly bumpy) fabric in the photo below. The more I look at them to more ideas I get.

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Here are the steps for my mixed media canvas: A Loose Woman Imitates The Little Prince

1) Paint canvas background and add a critter silhouette at bottom looking up.
2) Stamp the largest of Seth’s planets on fabric (I used non-fray fabric) with Staz-On ink and cut out the planet.
3) Figure out where the place planet, volcano, flower, lone star (below planet) and loose woman.
4) Stuff planet with cotton and hand stitch to canvas with thread that matches the ink.
5) Stencil Loose Woman #2 because I liked her long hair and she is a lady leaping.
6) Stencil flower using Eastern Leaf Lotus Flower Repeat #L421 stencil and use iridescent paint to cover like a bell jar.
7) Paint volcano and small green Baobab tree seedling.
8) Paint her hair (or you could embroider) with rainbow strands.

Astronauts on the Loose Cards

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A good friend of mine, Christine, hates the waste of envelopes. My boss, Mary Beth Shaw, has taught me to use them for art journaling. Recycling some envelop insides for clothes and making cards seemed like a good compromise.

Instructions:

1) Paint (be sure to add some shimmer!) and stencil the background. (Warped Holes has some smiling, tumbling alien faces in it!)s181-warped-holes

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 Stencils used: Loose Woman #1, 2 & 3, Mary Beth Shaw’s mini stencil from December 2013 StencilClub, Lizzie Mayne’s Warped Holes S181 and Twist Lattice S152

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Sue also designed a Loose Woman set exclusive to StencilClub July 2013 (You must be a club member to purchase the club set.)
2) Play paper dolls with me! Stencil each Loose Woman on a card.
3) Fussy cut paper patterns for boots, oxygen tank, and top of astronaut uniform (I adapted the window part of an envelope for the helmet.)window-from-envelope
4) Glue clothes on woman, detail boots andbootseach breastplate, then glue woman on the background. pre-embellishment
5) Stencil and stamp envelopes.blonde-hearttangerine-loose-woman
6) Address to another loose woman.
7) Go forth and impress your local postal clerk.
Optional: There are Star Trek stamps and planet stamps available right now! Live long and prosper!black-hair-loose
Tip: If you do not plan to mail these astronauts across planet Earth, you could also embellish with other 3D bits you’ve got handy in your studio

May your friendships be many
Your birthdays be fine,
Your travels be carefree &
May art allow you to unwind!

Yours loosely,
Carol

Please be sure to check out the other fine projects in this blog hop:

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GIVEAWAY
StencilGirl Products will be giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to TWO lucky winners!
Impression Obsession will be giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to TWO lucky winners!
Visit the fabulous designers from both teams and comment for
your chance to win 4 great prizes during the hop!

~***~
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
(One comment per blog please.)
You have until Friday, September 30th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
Winners will be announced on
StencilGirl’s Facebook page on Sunday, October 2nd.

 

There’s a fortune in my cookie that says I will succeed amongst interesting friends

Chinese New Year is February 19th — the year of the Sheep portends gentle calm tidings so take a sip of Jasmine tea and let’s celebrate.

Chinese and Chinese-American cuisine is my fave, although Thai is a close runner-up.  According to a Smithsonian article, the fortune cookie served at the end of meals in either restaurant is of Japanese origin.

Pragmatic soul that I am, Fortune Cookies will still be a part of my Chinese New Year celebration.

How, you might wonder, does a child growing up down the street from the Rosarita’s plant where jalapenos, beans, enchilada sauce were once canned get her taste for Chinese food?

My Popa.

Reinforced by a Hawaiian school teacher (okay, Mrs. Viola Payne’s recipe was for Fried Rice, but to an 8 year old, that’s Asian).

Made unbreakable by repeated visits to China Town when I lived in Los Angeles.

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Waldorf photos courtesy of Phil Hannum on Facebook Group: Growing Up in Mesa in the 70s

Popa made Chop Suey. I don’t recall necessarily liking it (what child likes mushrooms?) but he also took me and Mom to eat out many Sundays at the Waldorf Cafe, a diner on Main Street in Mesa, Ariz. If I think about it I can see the white tabletop with the silver glitter flakes embedded in the Formica and a fuzzy image of the owner’s smile… or maybe it was the cook.

waldorf to leftAs I recall,  fortune cookies once had fortunes in them. Forecasts.

Hey! I am all for knowledge such as how to say “Pass the rice wine,” in Chinese and winning lottery numbers, but I enjoyed the forecasts more than the pithy little sayings.

A friend, who shall remain nameless lest she curse me with misfortune and release the skeletons in my closet, or perhaps release the skeletons from her closet into mine since they are not busy until the month of October, taught me that pithy little sayings can be transformed into fun with the addition of a simple phrase before or after:

Between the sheets….        or              …Under the covers

Try it with these fortunes:

Between the sheets LOVE IS FOR THE LUCKY AND THE BRAVE.

YOU WILL FIND SOMETHING YOU LOST under the covers.

YOU WILL LAUGH LONG, LOUD, AND OFTEN between the sheets.

Under the covers IT’S AMAZING HOW MUCH GOOD YOU CAN DO IF YOU DON’T CARE WHO GETS THE CREDIT.

“Stop,” you say, snorting with laughter. “Carol, you have made me hungry and besides, I already play that game.”

fortune-picAllow me to alleviate your needs with the FORTUNE COOKIES RECIPE, direct from Andromeda’s Cookbook:

Ingredients: 3 egg whites, 3/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 2 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons water

Directions:
1  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2  Grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper.
3  Have fortunes ready to go on small strips of paper.
4  In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites and sugar on high speed of an electric mixer until frothy, about 2 minutes.
5  Reduce speed to low, and then stir in melted butter, vanilla, almond extract, water and flour one at a time, mixing well after each.
Consistency should resemble pancake batter. Spoon the batter into 3 inch circles on the prepared baking sheets. Leave room between for spreading.
7  Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges begin to brown slightly.
8  QUICKLY remove one at a time, QUICKLY place a message in the center, and fold in half.
9  Fold the ends of the half together into a horse shoe shape. Hang over cup to dry. If they spring open, place them in a muffin tin to cool until set. (I skipped the hanging over a cup and just put them in the tin.)
Note: Although these cookies are not malleable if overbaked, you need to bake them long enough until they are golden around the edges or they will be too under baked and remain soft, spongy and pancake-like.
Enjoy!
Tips: I have made these several times and they have turned out different each time — the first and third being the best. I used the bottom of a regular spoon to swirl the batter in to THIN 3-inch circles.

I think they would be delicious and look divine if one half was dipped in chocolate and then maybe rolled in sprinkles, don’t you?

Remember, Confucius did not say, but that does not make it not true: Woman who makes her own fortune cookies has imagination and hot fingers!

Wishing you all good fortune, Carol

P.S. Know what I love more than fortune cookies? Sesame Balls! C-Fu Gourmet makes the best in the Valley, but here is a recipe link in case you want to try making them yourself.

A Silvery Night in Jewelry Affaire

  One of the most fun things about working with Susan Lenart Kazmer , ICE Resin and Susan’s Industrial Chic Line is the opportunity to create in a 180 degrees different direction than writing fiction, grants, blogs and designing books.

Just like a finished manuscript, sometimes a piece of jewelry comes together perfectly and I send it off for an editor to love (or not).

My sparkling little evening bracelet arrived in my mail box a few days after the always inspirational Jewelry Affaire magazine.

Pretty cool, as for me, making jewelry is more like playtime. You can find me toward the back. Before you get to my “Silvery Night”, do pause a moment to adore the “Grapefruit Pink” bracelet of Chelsie Boyd and the “Mermaid Net” necklace by Emily Deister.

And, if you are looking for pieces made with Industrial Chic components, check out Debbie Cole’s Blue Bird Reversible Necklace (the bird image with the crown is absolutely darling!)

 

 

 

4th of July Banner

Happy Independence Day!

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I have friends, and  friends with adult children, serving (or who have served) in the Army, the Air Force, and the Merchant Marines, a daughter of my own with a boyfriend about to join the Marines, a buddy from work headed to the National Guard, an uncle who served in the Army, a grandfather and an ex who served in the Navy, and I once dated a man who had served in the Coast Guard.

They served in World War II, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

This piece was inspired by veterans I know, a Terri O video, and  I was thinking about the women who wait at home. My grandma reflected on WWII, “Five o’clock was the worst time, watching other husbands come home to their wives and not knowing where at sea mine was.”

In this modern age, of e-mails, the distance quite so large and women and men wait at home for their loved ones.

Thanks, Jarvis, Bruce, Rose, Ryan, Seth, Ron, John, Christopher, Kyle, Bill, Chris, Jeff, Sanja, Nina, and Martin. To Robert and Jason – Good luck!

This Freedom Banner is a project you can make in about an hour with items at hand.

If you want to find the Belle Dames Francaise paper I used, close up pictures, etc. check out the ICE Queen Zine.

There Was A Dragon on the Way Home from Vegas

I have made the trip from Pine to Vegas 4 times in the past 2 months. I am not complaining, because it is great to see my daughter, but for those of you who have taken the 40 and the 93 you know it is a long stretch, even singing along to music.

There are however, interesting things along the way:

I passed a red SUV with a fluffy grey cat peering out the passenger window with an I am not amused expression on his little smushed in face. Think of the cat that does the fancy feast commercials, only grey.

There was a field of some kind of purple flowers. Alfalfa maybe? That was April. It was fry for the May trips but there were cows across the road in a field. All white ones. In other fields along the way wer brown and black ones. There were golden brown horses running in the sun the latter trip in May.

Seligman is the half-way point and Delgadillo’s  Snow Cap is a favorite stop to order an ice cream and be harassed by the server behind the counter.

High point in April: watching Andi smash her cone in Robert’s face back in April. He’s a nice guy and now knows that letting Andi get ice cream on his nose earns him brownie points. Always a nice thing for a boyfriend to have in reserve.

Aren’t they cute?!

There’s a dragon eating a flower on 93 just before the turn for South Cove. Maybe it flew in for the summer because I had not noticed it on any previous trips the past few years. Too cute not to stop for a pic. This is the only one I could get without the store’s propane tank in the background.

One more planned trip to go in June! I am so proud of Andi and excited to watch her get her diploma from the Canyon Springs Leadership and Law Academy. If her journeys in life take her past dragons, I hope they will be ready to eat her cupcakes (she’s headed to Le Cordon Bleu).

Snap Out of the Doldrums

We all get melancholy sometimes. It’s been opined that even cowgirls get the blues. Each of us has sometime indicated our general pessimism with the world by saying “blah.” I am not going to talk about full-blown depression, just that general malaise we call the doldrums.

And how a body can, as Cher’s character told Nicholas Cage’s character in Moonstruck: “Snap out of it.”

tales of a lifetimeAuthor Sara ban Brethnaugh suggests: if you can do nothing else to drag yourself forward in life, keep a gratefulness journal. Write down 5 things every day when you wake that you are grateful for. Maybe it is merely that your car runs or that you got out of bed (instead of laying there under the covers with the doldrums.)

What 5 things are you grateful for this minute?

“Just Do It!”

Don’t think. Just follow the Nike marketing gurus’ advice.

You know you need to.

You know you have to.

So just do it!

I know that when I stop procrastinating, I will feel better; that some endorphins of accomplishment will be released when whatever it is, gets done.

I did it! Pat self on the back.

In keeping with the spirit of tennis shoes. On the nights I get home around 5:30, I go for a walk. Writing is a sedentary career and I need to MOVE.

A few nights ago the walk included a spontaneous glass of wine and much laughter with a neighbor Ray and I always plan to get together with… it was red wine, that means it’s healthy, right?!

Which brings me to my next source of forward momentum:  laughter. Reader’s Digest says it is the best medicine. George Carlin, may he rest in laughtetr, is my fave but I also  find Bill Cosby’s wise humor funny. Such as: your memory is in your behind. He knows this because when he gets up from his chair and goes into another room to look for something, once he gets to the room he forgets what he went for. However, if he goes back and sits down he will instantly remember.

See beating the doldrums is all about movement.

Newton’s first law of motion: A body in motion tends to stay in motion.

Your body can’t stay in motion unless you feed it good stuff and give your body the vitamins we seem to have bred out of our foods. I think it is Dr. Andrew Weil tells us that our bodies are made to consume, process and break-down real food. And real food includes lots of green leafy vegetables. Eat a salad

Another homile you can probably hear your mother say: God helps those who help themselves.

Whether or not you believe in God, it seems to be true. In my observance of life, if you are consistently striving towards a goal more opportunities get placed in your path than obstacles.

Unless you are Ghandi. Yet he said, “Action expresses priorities.” And believed, “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” He made the British Empire take notice. Too lofty a goal for me. I simply want to keep my business on the black side of the ledger.

Years ago the law firm I worked at in Century City sent me to a seminar. The woman teaching it (I tried sitting down and I still can’t recall her name) said that “Excellent” was an underused word. “An individual could only do the most excellent thing, make an excellent decision with the knowledge and resources at hand in that moment.” A little bit akin to an absolution of guilt, I think.

tales of a lifetimeIf your actions express your desires, if you are grateful for your life and the things in it, you cannot help but learn to escape the doldrums and move forward.