Sunday, November 30, 2008

Note to Self... Some Words Aren't Safe


When it happened the first time I was a bit cranky BUT when again this morning I found another one I got torqued!!! I mean I still live in that little fantasy land where some places are just safe from the ever present obnoxious, insidious SALES PERSON. Blogs Maybe?? I know these are very trying times for every one, however I don't find it a bit acceptable to open my posts to find a dad burn (cussing rated PG) sales pitch!!!! :c( Why that's like opening your closet to find the Fruit of the Loom Guys (eeeeuuuu)

Like I said it happened once before, and I thought what popped up on my blog that sent a flag out. Now this morning there is this one.

Don't press that--->Doll Clothes Gal said...
What a fabulous blog post - you have some lovely and delightful things.

It could really do a number on a gal's self esteem. First you see you have comments so quickly you go to read them, to find that someone new has found you interesting. So of course you hit their name to go leave a thanks for visiting on their blog only to find out. SHOOT ( again rated PG) it's a website sales pitch :c( It seems to me and my little cyber challenged mind that there are certain words in the titles that are triggers. I mention dolls and what comes a visiting? Yep doll salesperson.

This certainly is a very good example of your mom's warning "think before you say something" :c) So starting tomorrow I promise to think before I post a catchy title and I will be a bit more suspicious of those somewhat generic sounding posts.

Have a wonderful day or evening bloglandians depending on what part of the world you are in :c)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dresden Paper Doll Ornaments : A Tutorial

I was surfing along on the internet, looking for reproduction brass Christmas tree candle holder clips. I stumbled onto the Dresden Ornaments site, and what did my little craft addicted eyes light on?? The DIY tab of course!! They have a wonderful tutorial on making their Dresden paper dolls. They have the templates to copy for the dolls' bodies, supply list and also a couple of sources for vintage materials to make the dolls with. :c) Of course I did what any good little crafting Bloglandian would do if presented with a wonderful tutorial...... :c)

Here is a copy of the tutorial:

Make Your Own Ornament We want you to have some of your own fun and make an ornament in the same fashion that Victorian families did over 100 years ago. Crafting was an enormously popular Victorian pastime. Families often made their own ornaments with supplies that were available around the household. We'll show you how you can make handmade paper doll ornaments that look like the ones below, or use your own imagination as you desire. Look for delicate vintage lace trim, cording, ribbons, netting and fabric that you may find around your home or at flea markets and antique stores. We also provide you with companies you can contact for other beautiful trims and accessories! Dress the dolls in different ways and fill a feather tree with your creations!
What You'll Need Below is a list of supplies and suggested sources. However, feel free to use ANY kinds of novelty trims, fabrics and papers that catch your imagination! Just remember, vintage materials will make your dolls look more old-fashioned.Special Note About Gold Dresden Paper Trim The gold Dresden trims are old-style foil-covered embossed papers imported from Germany. If you want to use these specialty papers, we recommend that you order them via the mail order sources provided below.
Your Local Craft Store:-Mini gold circle brads-Small hole punch-Quick dry tacky glue-Glue applicator-Small glue applicator tip-Precision cutting scissors-Mini-scallop edging scissors-Light-weight cardboard-Crepe paper-Feathers Thrift & Antique Shops:-Vintage crepe paper-Petite vintage ribbon or cording-Petite vintage lace trim-Vintage cotton netting-Vintage fabrics-Vintage tinsel garland MAIL ORDER:Blumchen:(866) 653-9627 (request catalog)Part numbers for items we used on specific dolls are provided below:-Gold Dresden paper trims-Tinsel garland-Dresden "Graduated Stars" #DT83G; Dresden "Rosette Star" #DT84G; Dresden "Pennant Points" border #DT28G; Dresden halo #DT73G-Ivory chenille roping #CRF16Sandy's Lace and Trims:This company has the best selection of small-scale fabric laces and trims that we've ever seen!; (309) 689-1943 (request catalog)
Print Out and Assemble Your Paper DollsThe first step is to print the page below and cut out and assemble your paper dolls. We have provided you with three rare circa 1880's German-made paper dolls. Simply click on the picture below to print it out and follow the instructions to assemble your dolls. (Unless you have high-speed internet, please allow several minutes to download this file.)If you have trouble printing this picture, you may not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free downloadable product. To get a free copy of the reader, click here-
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
I'm sure there must be a way of linking the picture to my post so you could "click here to print" However it is a bit beyond my simplistic skills. Soooo click on the website here, then then drop down to the paper dolls to print and print them from there.

Decorate Your Dolls Embellish each doll in creative ways to suit your fancy! Print out more dolls, dress them in fanciful costumes and fill a small table-top tree with your creations! To get you going we've provided you with instructions for decorating two dolls: "Blue Ballerina" and "Golden

Angel"How to Make Blue Ballerina
Load your white glue into glue applicator bottle and attach a small glue applicator tip to the open end. To create petticoat, cut a piece of (1.) cotton netting or lace 16" wide by 2 1/2" long. Hand-baste top edge and gather threads to approx. 2 1/2" wide. Glue petticoat around the waistline of blue doll, starting and ending on the center of the back side. For skirt, cut a piece of (2.) light-blue crepe paper 13" wide by 2" long. Cut bottom edge with mini-scallop edging scissors and baste and gather top-edge to 2 3/4" wide. Glue over petticoat, starting and ending in the middle of the back side and overlapping front and back edges. Glue back sides of skirt together. For bodice cut a piece of (3.) crepe paper 5" wide by 1" long, hand-baste both top and bottom edges, and gather top and bottom edges to approx. 3" wide. Wrap top and bottom of bodice around mid-section of doll and glue it in place, using the same technique as the skirt. Make sleeves with two pieces of (4.) crepe paper 2" wide by 3/8" long, cutting bottom edge with mini-scallop edging scissors. Baste and gather top-edge of each sleeve to 1" and glue down to shoulders. Glue (5.) 1/4" wide cotton lace trim to neckline, covering up your baste stitches so they don't show. Glue lace trim 1/4" above the bottom edge of skirt. Glue (6.) gold Dresden trim and stars as shown on finished doll. For headband, after you glue trim around the head, glue a small piece of (7.) blue feather to front of the headband, and cover glued edge with a Dresden star. Tie together an 8" length of (8.) blue silk cording and glue the knotted side to the back of the doll, right below her head. Cover the raw edges of the cording with a gold Dresden star. Your doll is now finished!

How to Make Golden Angel
Load your white glue into glue applicator bottle and attach a small glue applicator tip to the open end. To create skirt, cut a piece of (1.) cream-colored crepe paper 4" wide by 10" long. Baste and gather top-edge to 2 1/2" wide. Glue top-edge of skirt around the waistline of yellow doll, starting and ending on the center of the back side. Glue overlapping edges and back sides of skirt together. For bodice/sleeves cut two pieces of (2.) crepe paper 1 1/4" wide by 3 1/2" long. Fold each piece in half along its length, and hand-gather and glue one side of each piece to front of skirt at waistline (as seen on finished doll). Wrap one piece over the shoulder and glue it down on the back side of the doll at the waistline. Wrap the other piece over the other shoulder and glue it down on the same spot on the back of the doll (overlapping the pieces) . Glue (3.) 1/4" wide cotton chenille roping to neckline, creating a deep "V" shape in the front and back of bodice. Glue (4.) 1/4" gold lace trim in an upside down "V" shape on front of skirt. Glue (5.) gold Dresden trim and stars as shown on finished doll. Cut (6.) gold Dresden wings in half and affix them to back of doll at shoulders. Glue 2" piece of (7.) gold tinsel garland behind doll's head. Center (8.) halo behind head and glue it in place. Tie together an 8" length of (9.) metallic gold cording and glue the knotted side to the center of the back of the halo. Cover the raw edges of the cording with a gold Dresden star. Your doll is now finished!

I can't wait to give these beauties a try. I would think that this would be a great ornament making project to do with kids. Especially preteen girls :c) Give it a try and please post your creations so we can all see. ;c)

Have a great day or evening dear bloglandians depending on what part of the world you are in :c)

PS In case anyone was wondering if we ever get winter here, we do. In fact I think today it officially started!! Saw my first kids going to school this morning with coats and hoods on!! Must be down to 60-65 degrees at night :c) No No No don't be throwing those snowballs at me!! After all temperatures are only relative ;c)

Paper Doll Tutorial courtesy of The Dresden Star Ornament Company.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Little Thanksgiving Gift

Thanksgiving festivities at our little house have been mighty quiet. LW woke up decidedly under the weather. So after formulating a plan B we sprang (okay sprang's not exactly correct) into action. The beautiful standing rib roast for two out on the patio was put on hold. Instead we are having nice steaming bowls of home made Chicken & Noodles :c) Guaranteed to cure almost all germs known to man ;c). We love to share in this little family and that means the crud too, eh LW? Doc Mom is prescribing early bedtimes with hot cups of tea and good mysteries to read :c)

Here is a little gift that was shared with us earlier, and I think it's a wonderful way to end the day :c)

Have a wonderful day or evening bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you are in :c)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shopping for Dinner Tomorrow.

Thanksgiving this year is just be LW and I. There are a number of restaurants here in town that will be serving "real turkey" dinners Hmmm what would a not real turkey look like I wonder. Tofu or spam shaped in the form af a turkey??? :c) Hey don't laugh I've actually seen both (euuuu to both) But some how the thought of going out doesn't sound as cosy as having dinner here. I'll dress up the patio, light a few candles and we'll be secluded in our own little romantic bistro!

Turkey is not so easy to find here. There will be some in the stores in anticipation of Christmas but most of them are smoked. We can find frozen turkeys at SAMs, they are brought in for the US expats. But they are generally big and roasting anything in our ovens is always exciting. We don't have a way of setting temp. nor is there a way to keep the oven at a constant temp. I don't know if most of you guys are familiar with the wooden spoon method of temperature regulation. You know when you prop the door open with the spoon more to lower the temp, less to raise it?? :c) Yep that's the hi tech method we employ here. Ovens are really not used here. In fact if you open the oven door in most Mexican kitchens, you are likely to see where the large pans are stored :c)

So tomorrow morning LW and I will head off to the market to look up our favorite butcher and have him cut us a nice 2-3 rib roast, Yum !!! That should be plenty for dinner and left overs on Friday for hot roast beef sandwiches. Yeah I know it's not a turkey sandwich but darn if it isn't a close second :c).

So my Bloglandian family have a wonderful day or evening depending on what part of the world you are in :c)

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas... uun uun :c(

All over Bloglandia everyone is "happy, excited, can't wait, in the mood" for Christmas. But I have to admit that this little Bloglandian is none of the above :c(

This is just so unlike me. Ask my kids, I'll bet they would love to tell you stories about their mother's Christmas brainstorms. Mette my first born and only daughter was always sucked into being my co-conspirator :c). It started after her 2nd birthday. That year we found those stained glass ornament kits. Remember the ones where you had a bunch of tiny plastic beads that you filled in the "glass' part of the plastic lead frames? Then you stuck them in the oven so the beads melted and WOW you had stained glass ornaments. Although Mette like her mom never has been one to color in the lines sooooo those were some funky looking stained glass!! :c)

Maybe part of the reason for this bit of a funk I'm in is because it's in the 80s here. We also haven't had a drop of rain for 2 months so things are drying up, turning brown and beginning to get the orange dust coating of the red dirt here. It certainly isn't because the stores haven't been advertising since early Oct!! However beyond the commercialization of the Holiday the Mexican culture doesn't do a lot of decorating for the holiday. You don't hear carols on the radio, you don't see huge Christmas tree stands going in on every corner, and for the most part house decorations are minimal.

So here I sit trying to find a bit of spark to light even just a bitty fire under me. I've been visiting blogs, planning the tree and other decorating, I told Dulce that Saturday we'd put up the tree when she was done cleaning. There just isn't anyone I can think of around here that wants to have a Christmas crafting day. So I think what I'll do is ask my little friend Hannah (my cute 9 year old crafting buddie) over on Sunday to do some baking and crafting. I also pulled out all my old December Victoria Magazines today. I'm hoping with a bit of an overdose of their incredible eye candy I'll start humming carols in no time. :c) Here's a few of the pictures I've been drooling over

Now I have a question for you. What are the things that help get you into the Christmas frame of mind??
Have a wonderful day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you are in. :c)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

When The Store Comes To You

Have you ever had one of those days when you are really making head way on your to do list when a crucial piece of equipment bites the dust? Well of course you have we all have....

The other day Dulce (means Sweet and is also the term for candy) our gal that cleans a day and a half for us a week was motoring right along until the mop decided to throw in the towel :c(

Okay a couple of cultural note and then back to the story. In this country cleaning house is considered a very good and well respected occupation. It is actually one of the highest paying trade jobs, even higher then most men's jobs. The average daily income for many workers is the equivalent of $50.00 pesos. Yep less then$5.00 US a day. The work day is 10-12 hours six days a week. Now if you are lucky enough to clean house. Your work day starts around 8-9 and ends around 5ish. This way you can still take care of your family. Your daily income (here in Mazatlan) is $150 pesos between $14-$15 US a day. So you can see that cleaning house is a coveted job. One of the first things that happen when you (whether you are Mexican or Foreign) move into a neighborhood is have everyone offering their relative to come and clean for you. Nuff culture for now. More on employer/employee responsibilities later when annual Christmas bonuses are due.

Okay so the mop has gone down for the count. What to do?? Well lucky for us the mop died just moments before we heard the mop, broom, cleaning supply pickup coming up the street :c) The couple that sell in our neighborhood ride in a very old, seen better days, way past it's prime, held together with wire and gum, blue pickup. Now lashed on top of the cab are two of the LARGEST speakers manufactured. The P.U. is dwarf by them ;c) And blaring out of those speakers is an unknown little ditty meant to get your attention just in case you didn't here them coming from 6 blocks away. So you get a little jingle then a laundry list of what is for sale. along with the price. Mrs, Mrs, brooms the best brooms for only $4 dollars, mops for only $4,.... once it runs through the list there's the jingle and the list.... As Dulce and Larry are surveying the damage and deciding on a game plan, I came flying down the stairs, The broom guy is headed this way, why don't you guys flag him down and have Dulce pick out a mop??!! :c)

Great idea. Dulce had a new mop to finish the floor with. But best of all our neighbors (translate the ladies ) saw Dulce's employer take her out to the truck to pick out a mop. The Senor respected her opinion enough to know what the best mop was. Dulce's reputation and respect with the neighbor ladies grew 10 feet that day ;c)

Have a wonderful day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you are in. :c)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Q-Tips, Tangerines and Roses

Every day there is probably a hundred different reason why living in Mexico is where I want to be. Most are just very simple reasons, like the sun is shining, it's 80 degrees, and I don't have to wear down and scrape my windows :c)

Today we had to run to the store for a few things. Tangerines and Bananas were two of the items. Just like the stores NOB (north of the border) there usually are a few cut flowers and plants hanging around the produce section. I have a small confession to make. I think that to be able to always have a bouquet of roses sitting where you can see them when you are working, whether it's cleaning, creating or cooking is one of the nicest pleasures in life. :c) But NOB that pleasure is not such a small thing considering the price for a dozen roses ;c( So most of the time roses are reserved for special occasions. Ah but here fresh flowers are considered one of the joys in life that not just the occasional big event. In fact there is a street near the large public market with a whole block of flower ladies selling the most beautiful blossoms, calla lilies, bird of paradise, mums, roses....

When we go to the grocery store I always take a peek at the fresh flowers. There are lots of times that they will have fresh rose bouquets of 18 stems for $50 pesos. Yep less then $5 US !! I have yet to get any home that didn't last 5-6 days and then dry quite nicely. I know to you 5-6 days isn't all that long but here with our heat & humidity that very good.

Soooo today I was rewarded for my efforts and there were some very red, fragrant beautiful roses. Well some how they fell into the cart, then slipped into the car and rode all the way home then jumped into a pitcher- vase. Now they are sitting up on the little end table next to the reading chair in my little craft corner :c)

I hope you have a wonderful day or evening dear bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you are in :c)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This Is So COOL !!!!!

Some where back in September my Bloglandian Sister Dawn of The Feathered Nest got to experimenting around with finding a way to use her printer to print on material :c) Now if you don't think that's one of the coolest things ever... well there is just no hope for you joining the "So what do you think would happen if Club" :c)

I have been wondering for a while about how to go about accomplishing this feat of Magic :c) But the thought of having to confess to LW that I managed to glue my apron to the copy paper and now both the apron and paper is stuck in the printer, has been holding me back ;c) Well this is one of those times where my ability to PUT THINGS OFF was a good thing!! Cuz Dawn forged a head and discovered this little known process. Then being the sweet caring friend she is posted the tutorial with pictures and step by step instructions on her blog!!

So I copied the tutorial to my little craft tutorial file waiting for a day when I could try this bit of magic:c) Yesterday was just that day. I fired up the printer found a nice piece of cotton material dug out the spray adhesive grabbed my lucky rubber chicken, my certified to be lucky four leaf clover and made sure the horse shoe was still pointed in the right direction ;c) I Looked up Dawn's tutorial (here) and set about making a bit of alchemy.

Oh my GOSH it is so WAY cool!!!!!!!! And the best part it's sooooooooo easy!!! I used one of the scans of sheet music with a bird nest imposed over it that Dawn (again thank you little sister!!) gifted us on her blog last week. Well just have a look for yourself....

Is that not the coolest thing??? It sure beats trying to mess with transfer papers and this process or that tool. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my little bird nest, but I'm sure to find something. But I now know what to make for a friend's Christmas present, that up until now I haven't been able to come up with one decent "divine vision" for:c)

The first chance you have with a bit of time on your hands give Dawn's tutorial a try. And you to can be impressed with the magic of modern science!! Have a wonderful day or evening dear Bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you are in.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Libro de los Invintados -- Guest Book

Saturday was our dear friends Luci and Tony's 2nd anniversary of the opening of their little restaurant. Te Amo Lucy ( I Love Lucy) I know that I have sung Luci praise often on my little blog. But there is just no getting around it Luci's renditions of traditional Mexican Dishes is incredible!:c). Like every country there are many regional recipes and flavors. Lucy learned to cook from her mum, so they cook with the states of Mexico-Puebla flavors. Yummm Here in Sinaloa food is very bland and very unimaginative :c). I think LW would actually go through withdrawals if he couldn't have her mole - mo (like mo of the 3 stooges) le (long a). It is a sauce recipe that has 37 ingredients, one being a very lite flavor of chocolate. ;c)

Yikes the way I go on about food here it's a wonder I'm not as wide as I'm tall!! So back to the anniversary. I wanted to make something a little special to take to them. I really like the journal idea because you can really personalize it to fit the person and the event. However besides the restaurant that's open 6 days a week there is also the little boutique hotel that is open 365 days a year. Are you catching on that a journal isn't the best use of the 2 minutes of free time they have in a day?? :c( BUT what about a guest book? Now that's an idea I could work with. Of course I came up with this brain storm on Thursday afternoon :c) Every time I do this I promise myself I'm going to get my idea put together early. And each time the next time comes up I'm running out the door with the last of the glue drying :c)

Here are a few pictures of Te Amo Lucy's Libro de los Invitados.

I search the internet for public domain pictures of the old I Love Lucy show, then I used both Lucy's logos and pictures.

This picture is Tony dressed up as Lucy for last years first anniversary party. Well everyone had so much fun that of course he had to do it again this year:c)

I divided the book up giving each month 3 pages. I used some cute ribbon as tabs for the months. For the title page for the months I made a tag and added pictures of the restaurant, the old I Love Lucy show, or the dishes. I started with Nov. of this year and went through Nov of 2009.

For the last pages I found a great picture of Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel singing together on a car trip. I put that with a picture of Luci, Tony, LW and me. Kind of a fun way to end a year.

I was pleased with the way the whole thing came out. Tony and sweet Luci really loved it :c) You know there just is no other feeling like the one you have when someone really loves and appreciates all the care and effort you put into a gift :c) It make all the burned finger tips, glitter in your hair, and red stained fingers well worth it!! Wouldn't you agree??

Well dear Bloglandian friends this little chickie is off to bed to read a few pages of the new Somerset Studio magazine actually it's more like a book!! Please have a good day or evening depending on what part of the world you are in.:c)

Monday, November 17, 2008


In case you didn't know this is the First Annual International Button Week. as declared by the "Button Floozies" International. This is a big week for for both professed and closet buttonalics!! But don't you think Button Floozie sounds a little more... well maybe not. Any way it's big. If you don't believe me or can't quite figure out what all the hub bub about the lowly button is, head over to the Button Floozies blog and visit with Abbie.
So all the button adi er Floozies are pulling out their collections to share and oggle at. Here is a couple of pictures of my collection. But before you start to snicker or worse yet burst out in hysterical laughter, please remember that we had only the 5'/8' trailer to move all our worldly possessions down with. :c) All my wonderful old vintage, mother of pearl and just plain cute buttons I left in the care of my sister and her mother in law. I guess that means I started over.

Isn't that the most pathetic button collection you have laid eyes on?? :c( I mean really !! It's a good thing that three of anything is a collection cuz there aren't to many more then that in my jar!! :c) So anyone out there in Blogville looking to downsize their collections are more then welcome to send them my way!! :c) I'm very responsible and will provide a very loving and caring home ;c)

Have a good day or evening dear Bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you are in ;c)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Old Gal Received A Face Lift :c)

No No not me, The house she was gussied up a bit ;c) There are a few things that work against a house's complexion, and young looking skin. First there is the salty air. We are 8 blocks from the beach so it's not as caustic as it is for those right across the street. Then there is the excessive humidity 8-9 months a year. Of course 4 months of a rainy season, with a few tropical storms. And lastly there tends to be to much sand (with a high sodium content) in the cement. All these conspire to wear down a girl's best makeup efforts.

After about 3 or so years all those elements tend to cause the concrete skin over the bricks to crumble and fall off. Most of the damage tends to be on the overhangs and 2-3 feet up on the walls. Stands to reason since those places have the most exposure to being wet for long stretches. Oh yeah LW just reminded me that houses here for the most part are not built with moisture barriers. One more nail so to speak.

We had Maurice (pronounced Morris) our Irish friend come over to give us an estimate. Truth be told any excuse to listen to his lovely Irish brog is fine with me ;c) Well "The Irishman" and his crew scrapped, power washed, patched and the painted. As he said this is the time to change the color of the house if you are going to. LW and I both like the yellow it goes with our Yellow Submarine (xterra). I thought it would be nice to paint it a more mellow, warmer yellow. And I thought a soft terracotta as a accent might be nice. Finally a lady needs to have her jewelry polished up to really feel good. So the guys gave all her bars a new coat of shiny black paint.

So what do you guys think? I think she is the cutest gal on the block :c) The Neighbors have given their stamp of approval :c)

Not to make this too long winded but I thought you might like to know the reason all our houses have bars on the window and doors. It actually is an old Spanish tradition brought over with the Cortez brothers (along with small pocks) Doors and windows tend to be left open ALL the time to catch any and every breeze. Bars are nice cuz they tend to keep unwanted animals and people from wondering in and out. :c) Of course they do provide a great burglar protection.

Now days we have bars because it's traditional. In fact houses tend to look a bit under dressed without them, don't you think?? And yes they do provide protection. Which means we can leave the house or go to bed with our windows wide open (which you can't I bet) . Actually besides looking cool they are a very effective low tech burglar alarm. Interestingly there are many different patterns. They can identify the region, city, state and time period that they were made. As well as reflecting the popular decorative styles of the eras. Just thought you might like to know :c)

If you have time my Bloglandian buddies let me know what you think of mi casa and her new do. I hope you all have a great day or evening depending on what part of the world you are in :c)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gifts from Australia !!!!

Today Is a Red Letter Day!!! Today I received my first ever package of treasures from a Bloglandian Sister sent to my Mexican mail box address!!!! :c) I had a wonderful package from Laurie (Laurie's Charming Designs) with her sweet birdie pin cushions and wonderful treasures. I also had a package from Pat Winter (Gatherings), with her beautiful hand dyed silk ribbons and little treasures. Both of these were waiting for me in Idaho. But today is the first ever package to Mexico. Can you tell I'm excited?? Well I surely am. Mail service here in Mexico is nearly non existent. Oh there is a national mail service, with post offices and even mail delivery personnel. In fact there is a national mail carrier day in November. BUT you know you have big problems when the Mexican Government doesn't even depend on the mail service. :c(

Now we have had friends even after we warn them not to, that have sent parcels to both our home address and our mail box address. We are sure hoping that somewhere someone is really enjoying our gifts cuz we sure aren't :c(. Besides the logistics of mailing to Mexico, there is the cost to consider. There is duty, international shipping, and weight charges. Once you get pass that, there is the problem of many parcels seem to grow legs and wonder off. Of course this couldn't possibly be happening in the US and of course this couldn't possibly be happening in Mexico. SO I guess this must not be happening :c) We have nothing sent to our home address. We use our courier service to ferry mail and magazine subscriptions from a mail box address in Laredo Texas to a box at their office here. That way there is no international shipping cost, we don't have to pay duty on books and magazines. But we do have to pay weight. And we also have a greater then 80/20 chance of reciving it.

So are you beginning to get the idea that receiving parcels here can be a real nightmare??? Oh and us sending parcels out is just as big a nightmare. Boy we haven't even gotten into the nightmare of having packages opened up and search each time it passes through a countries customs!!!

Okay now to my parcel. My sweet friend Christine of Rustic Tarts who lives on the other side of the world (Australia) sent me a wonderful envelope with the current issue of the Australian Homespun magazine. Her Penny Heart Makedo is featured in it. Did you know that makedo is an Aussie expression from the forties referring to the war time slogan "make do and mend" I love it, and here all this time I have been creating makedo's and haven't realized it!!:c)

Christine asked me if she could send me a package a number of weeks ago. I said sure, and suggested to follow the instructions for sending letters and magazines. Oh but she is such a wonderful enterprising friend. She also sent the Quilters Companion mag, this darling daisy chain lace, adorable tag and post card of her beach. :c) Well just have a look for yourself

I have to tell you dear Bloglandian friends that I had no idea how wonderful this little community is. I am so blessed and thankful to be a part of this family, and will never be able to thank you enough for accepting me as a sister!! :c)

Do have a wonderful day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you are in :c)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It Takes A Village To Build A Box From A Book

I'm just popping in quickly to ask for a bit of advice and help. I received Stampington's November news letter "Post Scripts" today. They have a great tutorial on making Gratitude Book Boxes. It really looks like fun and easy peasy to make. For me the one catch is that it is built from one of their paper mache books (Box) I know that this is one of those things I'm never going to fine here in town. So I thought I'd try to make a box from a book I have here at home. I'm sure there must be someone in the Bloglandian neighborhood that has done this.. Yes?? Would any of you like to share with this novice how you went about doing it?? :c) Even if you haven't what are your thoughts on how to proceed??

Here's what I have done so far. I sorted through the hard back novels we have with this criteria. It has to be a book we don't mind sacrificing, and at least an inch and a half thick. With that in mind I settled on Clive Cussler's "Treasure of Khan" Cussler is always an entertaining read but he's certainly not someone you go back and reread:c)
I mixed up a bit of decoupage. Yep I mixed up, there is no Mgg podge (sp?) here and the decoupage medium they do have is very expensive. White glue on the other hand is much cheaper. So I just make my own decoupage medium with the glue and water like we use to do back in the Oldin Days :c) Okay then, once I had it the consistency I wanted I Held the front and back covers open and away from the pages. The first coat of medium I brushed in thickly letting it run down in between the pages. Then I put the book on the floor and stood on it until the glue had set up a bit. Now I'm putting layers of decoupage on all 3 sides of the edges of the pages. So far this seems to be holding the pages together in one mass.

Now can someone take it from there?? How or what tool should I use to cut the center of the pages out of the book out?? This will leave me a space to use as the box.

Okay tag you are it, what do I do next or do I need to find another book and start over?? If you aren't sure how to do it please could you do me a favor and ask on your blog for a helpful instructor. I'm sure I can't be the only one in Bloglandia that has ever entertained this idea. Maybe we can put a little neighborhood tutorial together and have someone publish it on their tutorial blog??

Alrighty Bloglandian friends I'm looking forward to reading all your suggestions :c) Please have a good day or evening depending on what part of the world you are in :c)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Confessions of a Victoria Magazine Junkie

Oh that I am. I have been since I discovered the magazine shortly after it's premiere issue. Back then the kids were small, and the magazine was always such a wonderful escape. Where the kids were all cute, clean, healthy and didn't argue about wearing adorable although somewhat impractical outfits. :c) It was a beautiful place you could escape to with a cup of tea and no one made any demands of your time. Where your imagination could run free creating wonderful things for your family and home. It use to challenge you to harness your own talents, gifts and abilities to interpret their quiet beauty into everyday life.

Will all the moves over all the years my stash of Victorias went AWOL. This spring a friend explained to me that all the old Victorias could be bought on ebay :c) Loardy May I was one excited girl!! Of course I had to have a crash course in the nuances of buying off of eBay, but boy once I had that there was no holding me back ;c) I'm sure you don't know and I'm even more sure you don't care but 12 magazines (one year) weighs in at 8lbs. So if I were to have the magazines sent to our mailbox in Laredo and then brought down with the courier service we pay customs, no duty cuz books and magazines are duty free, and we pay weight charges. That means for every year I bought and had delivered it would cost the price of the winning bid and the shipping to Laredo the the customs and weight charges to our box here in Mazatlan. By the time that is added up I'm into it for $40-$50 or so x 12 years.... YIKES!!!

But being the ever resourceful person I sweetly asked friends if I could have orders sent to their house. Oh and would they mind terribly bringing down with them when they came?? :c) Of course there was the 5 years I had sent to Anders' house (son #3) those I brought down when I went up to meet my grandson:c). That was part of the 99.5 lbs I had in my suit cases :c)

So now I have all these wonderful vintage Victorias that I can escape into. And the lovely part is I have all the time I want to do it in (yippee) :c) Like this afternoon. I had the best of intentions to cut out a couple of patterns and get busy on the mounting pile of sewing projects. Well I don't know about you but I need a tall glass of ice tea to sip on when I start a project. The kitchen is downstairs, you have to walk by the patio doors on your way...ow is that new blossoms on the bougainvillea??? Oh my gosh it's so wonderful out here, a nice breeze I can hear the little fountain bubbling, oh look new leaves on the ginger plant, AHH Heck what would it matter if I just grab a few of the Victoria Magazines and sit out here, enjoying the day, the sounds, the smells, and .... besides there is always tomorrow to cut out patterns. :c)

I'm sure you would agree that I did the only right thing, possibly being a professed Victorian Magazine Junkie yourself ;c)

Oh Yeah I'm still waiting for the new Victoria Magazine to mature. So far they just haven't been able to tap into that magical nuance of it's older sister!!

Have a good day or evening dear Bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you are in. Hmmm Isn't that the 1989 VMs sitting over there...... :c)
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