Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This Week's ABAA challenge & A Couple of Projects

When the breeze coming off the ocean begins to warm up along with the water temperature we tend to declare beach days more often. I have to start to factor that into the time it takes to get a project done. Cuz you can bet that there isn't much that interferes with a declared beach day ;)

Linda and Rosie's Awfully Big Art Adventure challenge this week was to alter cutlery. I had 2 matching spoons I picked up at The junk store so I got to playing around with them. The only other time I've played around with altering spoons was last Christmas when I bent and glittered up a couple for stocking stuffers.

Now if you want to see what kind of magic can be done with altered cutlery take a look at one of my closest bloglandian galfriend Laurie at Laurie's Charming Designs creations. Hers are just plane ol amazingly beautiful. Okay so I thought maybe since the bowl on these spoons was nice and round, without much lift on the edges, they might work for sconces. :) I'm still not to sure what kind of metal they are made of but it's not the usual suspects. Because the stem (I guess that's as good a name as any) was thick brittle I slowly bent the first spoon into a 90% angle hoping it wouldn't break. With that accomplished I went to work on the second spoon. I got that one bent to about 45% before I felt it come apart :( There was no stress cracks warning just one sec. a spoon the next, 2 brittle pieces of a spoon. Huh so much for a matching set of sconces. I have been having so much fun wire wrapping since I made my domino necklace I'll wrap anything that holds still long enough :)

The upper half of the spoon has a bit of decoration on it so I dug out my wire, & some light blue and brown glass beads to wrap a bit.

I couldn't find any little metal picture hangers in LWs work bench so I bent a paperclip to solder on the spoon. HA stumbling block #2. What ever these spoons are made of the solder wasn't going to bind with. :( Never fear E6000 is in the house!!

The bowl is nice and round remember and the perfect size to hold a tea light. Stumble #3 I'm sure somewhere in Mazatlan there is a store that sells tea lights however I have yet to find it. Not to worry I can over come this I used a little clear glass salt bowl that I stuck to the spoon with a blob of TAK (removable stickum) Then I had a few little pink heart candles I shaved down to fit in the bowl WAAAA LAAA a sconce. :)

Since I only had one I hung it on the wall with two little wire hearts I made. :) Doesn't look half bad actually. I made the hearts out of coat hangers but they had been coated with blue paint to prevent rusting. It just wasn't the feel I was going for so I wrapped them with strips of cheese cloth. Did a bit more wire wrapping on the smaller heart :) and wrapped a bit of silk ivy (Ivy doesn't grow here) on the larger one.

Hung a couple of glass heart. Say do you think it's rather noticeable that I've got a small obsession going with hearts?? Na of course not. :) I know when you look at the picture it looks like the spoon is the size of a baby spoon but on wall with no distortions the proportions fit each other.

Next project was a bit of a Birthday card for Larry's youngest daughter in law, Diah. She is Greg's (the youngest child) new bride :) Diah is Indonesian and she and Greg met, and married in Guam. We have yet to meet her or more precisely she has not met us yet. So I don't know just where her "junk a meter" tolerance level is. I made a little vintage card that she can hang if she likes until the humidity and salt disintegrate it. Yes I know that paper isn't the best medium to work in given those conditions, But if I keep the card light and use nothing but paper to make it I we can mail it through our courier service. That way I don't have to scrounge up a Mule to mail it from the US. Or even worse yet it pay the United Postal Service shipping rates for non paper material to the tune of $40 (US) Grrrrrrr!!

Whew the last project was an apron I made for myself from the same pattern I used the other day. Which by the way I can now tell you was actually my "Just Because" gift to LuLu at Coastal Sisters. She was the second comment on the Just Because round robin giveaway. Oh yeah back to my apron, sorry no tassels or rhinestones just a nice soft piece of rayon.
But I did-- (MIKE C are you listening ??) piece a vintage tatted doily in the front neckline. The doily has a center flower that looks like the ones in the material. My very special friends Mike and Kell gave me some wonderful pieces from their linen collection for my birthday :) I've been looking for a way to use some in my sewing. Vintage tatting is very difficult to find here. The cotton threads are so fragile and can't hold up to the heat,salt and humidity long enough to grow old enough to be vintage :(

Okay Gang time to wake up if I managed to talk you to sleep. For me it's kinda interesting to put down the details it takes to accomplish things here. Every single day here LW and I learn something new. Every single day is a new adventure, and with every new adventure we validate our belief that one culture or country is not better or worse, right or wrong then another they are just DIFFERENT :)

Have a most audacious day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on where in the world you are ;)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

NEW BABY PICTURES!!! & A Couple of Giveaways!! :)

I'm sure you will agree that I have one of the most amazingly beautiful Grandbaby that has ever been created. Well I didn't say the most. Only because that little saying kept playing in my head, you know the one "Pride goeth before the fall"?? :) Hmmm look at this picture both Dad Peder and Baby Dylan share the same haircut! :)

And to this Mom-Grandma they are both " as cute as bugs ears " They both have those cute cheeks my Italian Grandmother loved to pinch just before she kissed them :)

A very quiet Saturday around our little Casa.
I did a bit of Blog visiting and ran across a couple of giveaways. And just what kind of Bloglandian friend would I be if I didn't pass them along to you?? So here's what I found
Ki at Junk Camp is having a cool giveaway it's a sterling silver chain and charm with a crown and the word junk stamped into it. I love it, and if you ask LW or my kids,
friends or slight acquaintances they will all tell you that I am the JUNK QUEEN :)

While there spend some time at Ki's blog. it's all about junk like of a junker and tons of make do projects. Very Cool!!

When you are finished playing around in Ki's blog you need to head over to Kristin's Retro Cafe Art Gallery blog. Some of you might know her e-store website Retro Art Cafe. She has some of the neatest clip art and altered art supplies. She also has a really good selection of bisque doll parts and frozen Charlottes. :) But her giveaway is full on all kinds of paper art goods.

This last on isn't a giveaway but it's one darn good sale. This one is for you Tristan and anyone else who has a slight or full fledged Dresden Paper addiction. My very awesome Blogging girlfriend Karima who just happens to be mistress of the fantabalous Castle in the Air, in Berkley Ca. is having a store wide walk in sale. For those of us that have to walk a might to far, her online store has it's Dresden papers at 30% off and free shipping !!!!!!!! Run those fingers over the keys don't walk is my advice :)

Nuff for now kids, tonight is Saturday and you know that means it's DATE NIGHT ;) Have a most audacious day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on where in the world you are at ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Country Western Mexican Style

Country Western Music the music about and by the "everyman" (which I think is "everyperson in these politically correct times). In Mexico that would be Banda. I know that up in the Great Northern Lands it's common thought that Mexican Music is all about Mariachi. I can't remember even once hearing Mariachi music blasting out of one speaker in the 2&1/2 years we have lived here :) Ah but Banda now that's a horse of a different color!!
It's a combination of a number of cultures mixed with the traditional Mexican culture's music. The greatest influence being Germany. The bands consists of horns lots of horns especially the Tuba.

There are drums, a string instrument or two and no self respecting Banda is without an accordion player :)

Banda originated on the west coast of the country, particularly in the state of Sinaloa. Ha Mazatlan is in the state of Sinaloa. SO not liking Banda here would be like hating C&W in Nashville :)

If I'm forced to be honest I'd have to say that it does take a bit of getting use to. It's rather an acquired taste. But somewhere along the way you start catching yourself humming to the neighbor's radio, or tapping your foot while typing on your blog... :) However I'm not close to the point of adding any Banda CDs to LW's collection of Woody Guthrie!!

Now all the really famous bands seem to have a mess of guys (Banda is still a male dominated world) all dressed in matching suits (polyester) and they have synchronized dance steps.

And of course they all have their lead singers. Some are larger then life, just look at El Coyote.

Like C&W Banda songs are about falling in love, being in love, falling out of love, cheating hearts, you know the ups and downs of being a regular gal or guy. Well here see for yourself. Here is a little video of El Coyote and his band singing about the trials of relationships :

See what I mean Banda is one of those acquired taste that must be taken in small doses!! Have a most audacious day or evening Bloglandians depending on where in the world you are ;)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Make a Difference

"Can you look beyond the façade of another and empower that person's beauty? Can you see beyond the affects and defects in others and accept them as part of the beauty of yourself, the wonders of nature, and the miracle of love?" Miraculous Living (Rabbi Shoni Labowitz)

Hello Bloglanians I would like to introduce you to three fellow Bloglandians who are making a difference .They are in very quiet ways trying to be that one little person who stands up and says I can make a difference... Let Me Help.

Monica Magness of Girl Gone Threat Wild has started a new project. She calls it ADressing The Situation.

The Situation she is referring to is "The Women of Juarez" I'm sure every so often you hear about them from the news media. But then maybe not, these are not high profile women by any stretch of the imagination. These are the young Mexican women along the US Mexican border that have disappeared and found murdered. They are then dumped in to the deserted border lands, while the officials of both countries look the other way. This has been an on going crisis since the middle 1990s and still nothing is being done. A lot of the reason is because the situation is that it's not considered news worthy so very few of us even know this is going on. Monica has come up with a project to focus attention on the issue. She is asking for as many of us that can, make a "dress" dedicated to these young women's plight, and send them to Somerset Magazines' publishing department. If you are at all intrigue please go HERE, it may be a way for you to lend your voice to those that have none.

Okay next one, many of you know Rebeca Sowers. She is sponsoring a one woman auction with the proceeds going to a home building project to build simple shelters for the people of Haiti. Which by the way is the poorest nation in the Americas. This project I just stumbled on and the auction part of her project goes only until tomorrow so please head over there pronto and lend a bit of a helping hand.

Home for a family of six

Less then $3000 later a home for that family of six

Please meet my wonderful caring friend Pat Winter of Gatherings and her comfort doll project. HERE will take you to the project blog. This is another one woman quietly making a difference. Pat is collecting small 4" dolls that she then donates to women crisis centers to be given to battered women. The dolls are small enough they will fit into a pocket or purse but can be easily reached to provide a bit of comfort to a woman that is sure she is alone and unloved. The dolls don't have to be elaborate or exquisite they just need to be made with a bit of love and care. Take a minute and wonder over to her project blog and see what you might do to add a bit of comfort to another. Then visit Pat's blog she is the most AMAZING crazy quilter!!!

So how about it you guys, make a "dress" a doll or buy a pair of socks, not only will you feel great you'll be lending your voice to the voiceless members of our human community. Who said one person can't make a difference any way??
Have a most audacious day or even my Bloglandian friends wherever you are in the world ;)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mermaid Tears & Coke

You would think with as many statues in Mazatlan dedicated to the Mermaid there would be no shortness of mermaid tears on the beaches??

But in the last couple of years they have been on the scarce side. I know this because every time LW and I spend time at any of the beaches in or around Mazatlan I always take a walk on the beach with my eyes glued to the sand. I am card carrying Stasher you know :) Once you realize that the shells on the beach are always there and you don't have to haul home every shell you pick up "cuz well you can never be to sure you will find a whole one like this" you become a might picky. Okay well LW probably is still waiting for me to get to that stage :) But you do get a might bit picky. No cracked, broken, or partial shells.

But when it comes to Mermaid tears... Calling them pieces of sea glass or beach glass just doesn't do justice to such beautiful gems, do you think??

Well you never leave a found mermaid tear unless it needs to go back in the ocean for a few more years of polishing. The first couple of years you could plan on finding a nice handful each time you looked. But these last 4 tide/cycle seasons have been a bust. I went MONTHS like 6-7 without finding one little piece :( I had given the kids all of my stash when they came to visit, because it was easy enough to build it back. So that meant I've had none all this time. Until yesterday!!! It's back, look at all I found on just a short piece of beach!!

Notice a very common color missing... brown?? I know many people don't collect brown because it's so plentiful, but here for what ever reason it's not. Go figure in the home of Pacifico beer you'd think there would be tons?? :)

But then those scarce colors like very light aqua are very common. Know why?? Maybe because Coke still comes in bottles here.

Besides them making awesome Mermaid tears, the coke in the bottles here is the BEST in the whole world. No kidding, Coke made and bottled in Mexico is the same secret recipe but the ingredients are different. In the Northern Lands because of an over abundance of corn syrup it's what is used as the sweetener. Here the sweetener of choice is from the sugar cane plant. And believe me cane sugar makes a huge difference in the taste. In fact for years little Mexican grocery stores in the States have been importing it. But I noticed that the last time I was up north Mexican coke is catching on and expensive import markets and chi chi restaurants are advertising it. But boy oh boy is it expensive up there!!

Hmmmmm all this talk about ice cold coke has made me a might parched. I think it might be time to bid you all farewell and head to the kitchen for a "Coca con mucho hielo" (coke with lots of ice) Say the word yellow fast and that's close to pronouncing hielo. H in Spanish is not pronounced. :)

Have a most audacious day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on where in the world you are ;)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What Spring Break ????

When I decided to start my blog I made a few promises to myself. I would stay positive, non political (as possible) and just have fun with it. I also didn't want to be a how to move to Mexico guide, or an "Oh My God you will never believe this one Vern". My blog is just my day to day thoughts as I go about living in a new and very different culture and country.

But Dad Burn it once in awhile you have to kick a big bully in the shins when they are shoveling manure in your sand box !! I'm sure by now every living, breathing human and not so human being in the US has heard the State Department's and news media's dire warnings that Mexico is a "WAR ZONE" Balderdash!!!!!!!!!!! Yes the US/Mexican border cities are dangerous and violent places right now. And Yes I sure wouldn't be planning a vacation there any time soon I also don't think I'm going to plan a vacation to a number of areas in NYC, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas... But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't enjoy a vacation to Miami Washington DC, NYC... or The UNITED STATES of AMERICA!!!!

My little resort city of 450,000's economy survives on the tourist trade. It's 101 Economics. When we have tourists we have income When we don't have tourist we don't have income. The tourist season is from Mid-November till the end of April. Then in July we have a two week burst when the Mexican official 2week vacation starts. Those 5 months determine the survival of many of the businesses in town. Last year with the worsening US economy we suffered with a smaller tourist income. But this year with the bleak economics in the US and Canada not to mention Europe it has been a daily struggle for many businesses. Things where very bleak for many but the hope was that Spring Break and then the Mexican Easter holiday would keep things afloat. Then the State Department issued it's exaggerated warnings and the sensational starved news medias where off and running.

Oye, I'm getting a headache. I can talk till I'm blue in the face, bang my head against the wall and all that will happen is I have to buy heavier makeup and take more Tylenol :( So what a few expats here in Mexico have done is put together a little site.
"The Truth About Mexico". Why don't you take a few minutes and check it out. There are blogs from all over Mexico, They are more then happy to share with you their little slices of home. I'm also going to put the website button over to the right (see it just below baby Dylan?) Any time you want to know how things are in Mexico go check the site it'll tell you the rest of the story! :) Oh and do me a favor if you run into someone that tells you they were going to come to Mexico for vacation but now..... please give them the site's link or better yet send them my link. This really is an amazing country and should be on everyone's list of "One Thousand things to do before I die" !! :)

Tomorrow we return to a much happier, positive chi state of mind!! :) In the mean time here's a bit of a promotional video on my city. Wait Wait before you play it. Run to the kitchen, grab a cold Corona, what no Corona sheesh okay what ever ya got then. Grab the coconut sunscreen and slather some on. Squeeeeeze into last year's swimsuit, YIKES don't be looking in any mirrors!! :) Okay now on the way back to your computer turn on all the lights and turn up the heat (simulate summ summ sumertime) Okay ENJOY.........

Have a most audacious day or evening bloglandia depending on where in the world you are ;)

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Good Houskeeping Seal of Approval

Anyone who has read very much of my blog knows that I truly believe I live in a little corner of Paradise. They also know that, our mail service or more correctly lack of mail service is the one thing that really fries my Bu...backside :) Our good friends left driving (the important piece of the plans) today to the States. Jackie was more then happy to take my parcels up to Austin with her and post them. :) So Lisa when you read this know that your OWOH gift is finally making it's way to your house!!! Because of this the last few days I have been a tornado ripping through my little Art corner.

Piles of papers here, decoupage, glue, paints,beads, fabrics there. You name it I had it out. I was also doing a bit of stash swapping so all that was spread out. It had gotten to the point LW insisted I could only enter my side of the room attached to a lead line, just in case he had to pull me out :)

But I'm happy to report that with his expert help in box packing all the parcels were delivered last night at 8pm. !!

Even to pack parcels to send by car is a project these days. With President Calderon's war on drugs, and the US's terrorist precautions it's not as easy as throwing it in a box and slapping a label on it. The contents can not be wrapped so you can't see what they are. Boxes or packages inside your parcel can't be sealed shut. The outside box of course can't be sealed up. EVERYTHING in the parcel can and will be searched. And I'm not just talking at the two different countries border crossings. Between here and the border there are multiple military check points where vehicles are subject to search, for drugs, contraband, poached animals and weapons. All big money makers. Guns are illegal in Mexico so thousands are smuggled each day from the US. At every check point the Mexican Government has the right to search your entire vehicle and everything in it, right down to striping it :) SOooooooooo what does that mean for my little parcels?? Well all the semi fragile things that LW packed in bubble wrap might or can be torn opened. The four of us are just hoping that there aren't to many check points and that the soldiers are not having a bad day :) Iyiyi and people wonder why we don't sent presents very often.

So now that little project is done, I'm going to have to knuckle under and hog out my little Art corner before I can start making another mess.... ah art project.

All I have to say is that it's a good thing there is no Good Housekeeping seal of approval in this country:)

Have a most audacious day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on where in the world you are ;)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Carnival Soiree & A Give Away

Picture courtesy of Lemax Collectibles (The Side Show)

Today is the Carnival Soiree at Lisa's blog Faerie Enchantment This has been one jam packed week for me. We have friends who will be driving north on Monday morning. I have been working like a mad women to get all the projects done that I need to have mailed out. Remember me the gal who relies on "Mules" for her mail service?? ;) Anyway since my attention has been focused in other areas I haven't made my Carnival outfit :( No matter why don't you head over to her Soiree and enjoy a bit of fun!! :)

Mexico in a lot of ways is like the Western developed countries where in the late 50s-60s. There are still quite a few "Family owned Circuses" Therefore especially during the dry season we will have a circus come to town every month or so :) Lisa you would love it here. You finally might get your fill of the "Roasters" life :).

Because these are small businesses with very small advertising budgets they depend on word of mouth that they are in town. Well that and they will drive up and down the neighborhoods with the circus wagons of exotic animals. Just like they did when we were kids. Well that would be when some of were kids :)

One morning we look out the window to see what all the loud announcing and music was about and darn if we didn't meet a tiger and a camel eye to eye so to speak :) Did we have the camera??? Of course not who would have guessed?? Life is never boring here!!!!

Jann of the Vintage Heart is having a giveaway to celebrate her one year anniversary of blogging. She has made a lovely Spring Trifle for her gift. I would suggest you head over there (here) and congratulate her and register for her Giveaway :)

Now it's back to painting, gluing, sewing and packing, only have 28 hours left to have this all packed and ready !!! Have a most audacious day or evening my Bloglandian friends where ever you are in the world ;)
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