Monday, June 28, 2010

*Spoiler for my partners/Petite Inspiration Matchbox Swap: Paris Edition*

Kat returns tomorrow and it is time for the swaps to end for awhile...back to jewelry and putting our Etsy store back together. We (usually Kat) have a lot of jewelry to photograph  and then we (usually Kat) writes a poetic description of the piece-in other words, a lot of work! I am ready to follow in my daughter's footsteps and learn her tricks!

I couldn't resist another of Heather Rowley's (Speckled Egg) swap. This one was a bit of a challenge, as I wanted an Eiffel Tower on top. 

Here is a picture of the box. I used black and pink as my colors. It is hard to see the print on the box because of the pink tulle bow but it is  black damask (and one of those handy photo boxes from Michaels!). 

 The box is covered with black and white toile with a black trim at the edges. There are two layers of fluffy pink lace at the bottom and back of the decorated box. I covered a heart with the toile and decorated the heart and "stand" for the tower with pink and white paper flowers.

I did manage my Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was a sticker, so I painted the back with several layers of Elmer's Glue until it wasn't a sticker anymore! You can enlarge this if you want to see details. One thing you cannot see it that it has small pink candle-cup legs underneath. The tower will be safely wrapped in a little box and my partners will get to glue it on top. 

I cannot seem to contain my goodies. I know I am an "overboard" sort of person. This is the inside of the box and it is filled with treats. The matchbox is also filled with little treats. I can see some printed french-themed ribbon, a little box that has "Oui" and "Non" earrings and a damask sack that has a bar of lavender soap and makes it all smell heavenly. There always has to be candy, which was included for no good reason except for its pink color. I sent them copies of French ephemera and a fabric flower pin with the button face of a little black and white-colored French woman in the middle. I also went into an obsessive tag-making frenzy and sent them many French-themed tags. Of course, there are pink beads. Two cute little bottles full. I also sent cupcake-toppers made of French chocolate advertisements cut in a circle and surrounded by pink lace. 

If you look carefully at the back of the tower, you can see what is holding up the Tower...a cork covered with pink paint and flowers. That and a blog of E6000 glue. What would I do without my E6000?

Come back again soon for Kat's return and the reopening of our Etsy shop!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Steampunk time...

According to Christine Edwards of A Work In Progress, "Steampunk jewelry combines "hardware" based found objects with Victorian-influenced romanticism. Think nut, bolts, washers, and coils combined with filigree, charms, chain, and beads to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Antiqued metals, like brass and copper, are usually the metals of choice. Gears, arrows, keys, watch pieces, compasses, anything that suggest mechanical and movement make great embellishments."

I just mailed off my charms for her Steampunk Charm Exchange and will have enough charms to fill a bracelet. I am anxious to see the different interpretations

Here are my charms. I cut out a "steampunk-type" picture of keys and gears and imbedded it in a heart-shaped charm with Ice Resin. About pouring the resin half way, I put a small key into the charm and poured more resin on top. They failed to harden and I had a mild heart attack. Thinking there was nothing to lose, I put another coat on top. It dried beautifully! I mounted them on a tag cut from paper from Graphics 45. I also put another key on the jump ring. I'm quite pleased with how they turned out and I'm telling you, this Ice Resin is very forgiving. I'm donating my other resin to the local non-profit store, Art Scraps!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I miss this girl...

Here she is...standing out in the pouring rain, leggings and boots and a funky dress. Silly girl! It's the rainy season in San Miguel.

This is such an interesting picture. She is sitting in front of the light over her bed in her beautiful room in San Miguel. She looks quite angelic, doesn't she? She is not perfect, nor am I, but she is one of the kindest, most nurturing people I have known...and she is my daughter.

I know she is hardly a girl anymore...but she is my girl, always. When we are together, we are every age. Young and silly, old and wise. There is something that is so special about having a daughter,

She will be back in a week, full of exciting tales and improved Spanish. Right now, it seems like a million years away.

Can I say it again? I miss this girl...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Something Old...

Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue...was a wonderful swap, hosted by Linda Smith of A Swap for All Seasons. We were to gift our partner in each area, then send a wedding picture. These are the presents that arrived at my house last week, given to me by my swap partner, Amy Marshall, of Creative in Kansas (who lives five minutes from my brother, Rick!). They were wrapped in blue paper, gilded bird paper and blue chiffon, embellished with vintage wallpaper, tulle and jewels and were quite a beautiful site. It was all I could do to not unwrap them right away (but I knew I needed to get a picture of them all wrapped up...I resisted).

This is a picture of my unwrapped gifts all together. Underneath everything is a gorgeously illustrated Hallmark book on gift-wrapping. What a treat! I took it right to my bed with me and have soaked up a little each night. Just a delightful book...perfect for me!

Amy gave me some gorgeous blue things for my table. I actually set the table so I could show you how beautifully they fit into our dining room. In the center of the plate, you can see my napkin tucked into the gorgeous beaded napkin rings that look like Fourth of July fireworks. At the top left are one of a set of ceramic sorbet cups with ceramic sorbet spoons. They are perfect. As I told Amy, Jud and I love to entertain and have special things like this to put on our table.

This is the "over the chair" picture to show you how beautifully the cups and napkin rings match everything in our dining room.

These lovelies decorated the packages. They are a cute silver fleur de lis charm, three vintage rhinetone pins (!!!) and two vintage silver lockets and a charm on a silver chain (!!!!). Can you believe it? Are these not perfect gifts for someone who loves vintage jewelry?

You will never guess what these are. I knew because I had seen them on Amy's blog and knew she wore them at her recent wedding in Jamaica. These are barefoot sandals! You wrap the big loop around your heel. the little loop fits over your second toe. Next year, I want to make some of these for the fair! They again are in lovely turquoise.

This would have been enough. Amy perfectly captured my colors, my taste and my before-bedtime reading material. This is the gift that I will never, ever forget. I did not get a wedding picture. I got...three strands of old turquoise, each separated by tiny shell beads (called heishi). This is an unimaginable gift. I cannot tell you how overcome I fact, I walked around the house all day in a stupor, wondering how I could thank her.  I am still amazed by the generosity of my dear swap partner. It is impossible to capture the beauty of these beads, especially to me, someone who loves beautiful stone. They are amazing, clearly crafted by hand and graduated in size. They are perfect in their imperfection. Does that make sense?

Included with the strands was a note that said, "My grandfather did a lot of trading with the Indians in New Mexico/Mexico. We have plenty of this to share." I am so grateful and find it hard to find words. All there is to say is, "Thank you, Amy. Thank you."


Monday, June 14, 2010

A New Header...

I am so excited. In case you haven't noticed yet, we have a new header. It was done by Susie Hibdon of Vintage Susie Custom Design. You can find her button on the right column, right under our Etsy post. She is absolutely delightful to work with and I would recommend her highly. She was especially gifted at taking our ideas and helping us see them as we imagined.

The background is a photo of a kimono that Jud and I gave to Kat. All this time, I thought that it was given to Kat by her first serious boyfriend. So much for my memory....

Nonetheless, it is important and so much fun to have beautiful new graphics to represent us!!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Language Lessons

So, I've been taking Spanish classes down here in San Miguel de Allende and been fascinated by slang and idiom... so I thought that I would share a few with our readers.
The new (and not so new) slang:
Chido = cool
juey= a not very nice term, meaning stupid, derived from a word for ox, but used by the teens as a term for their friends.
"¡Que padre!" or "¡Muy Padre!" = cool

Short Rhymes:
These are some phrases like when we say "See you later, alligator" "After a while, Crocodile."
"Okay, mague." literally: "Okay, aloe plant", but means "okay."
"¿QuĆ© te pasa, calabasa?" lit. "What's up, pumpkin?"
"Nada, nada, Limonada." lit. "Nothing, nothing, Lemonade."

Other phrases:
"Ponerse los cuernos" lit, "put horns on you" or "Venado" lit. "deer"- this means to be made into a cuckold- when your significant other or spouse is cheating on you.
"a la orden"= "I'll loan it to you."- a typical response if someone compliments your clothes or jewelry.
"Juzgas a la ligera" - to judge or jump to conclusions about someone.

One word in English, for 2 in Spanish:
in English, "feedback" has multiple meanings- if I understand it correctly it is a response or a looped effect (response or electrical) that returns to its source and impacts the present or future of a system.
In Spanish:
verbal feedback is "retroalimentaciĆ³n"
audio feedback is "desajustado"

Just a few words:
"apodo"= "nickname"
"empate" = "tie" As in: "Today, Mexico was in a tie with South Africa in the Mundial."
"Mundial"- "The World Cup" (Soccer is pratically a religion here.)
"Monje"= "monk"
"Fraile"= "Friar"
"Flojo" or "Floja" = characteristically lazy
"gula"= "gluttony"
"chantaje"= "blackmail"

En-ton-ces... I hope you enjoyed your mini-Spanish course.  I'm certainly enjoying my studies here in Mexico!

- Kat

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Saint Anthony Park Fair...The Real Deal

Well, here we are at the fair. The rain has not yet arrived. The booth looks similar but we have nice new Katsui banners with washi paper letters at the front of each table, a few new lanterns and some lanterns hanging on trees outside of the tent, which lent a welcoming feeling. One serendipitous bit of decoration were the trees that were pressed against the roof. They lent a translucent Oriental feeling that was quite magical. The vases were also lined with washi paper. I am obviously fond of washi paper. It is so beautiful and almost like cloth.

Ah friends! What would we do without them? They gathered near our booth to chat and the rain did not keep them away. They pitched in to help with any need, brought us food and hot coffee and even bought our jewelry! We felt well taken care of.

I got on a Frida kick. Here she is, adorned with copper, gold baroque pearls, and turquoise rondelles.

And here she is donned in tropical splendor. I added some crocheted flowers, some vintage plastic flowers and assorted vintage fruit, moon glow beads and vintage German glass beads. 

I was really pleased with the way this bracelet turned out. Simple and elegant. It sold right away. It has a piece of vintage rhinestone jewelry superimposed on a Victorian steel-cut belt buckle. The chain was a handsome vintage "scroll" chain. I need to do some research and find out what this kind of chain is called. I wish I had more. Time to go estate-saling!

We made gathered flowers out of a stack of cool vintage fabric that we recently acquired. We like to offer things at all price levels and we sold these for $5.00

By now, things are getting a little chaotic. Each year, I wire glass, plastic and wood charms for children and sell them for two dollars each. I give them a free metal ball chain to hang them on with each purchase.  Isn't that the deal of the century? The little kids love them but the funniest thing is the young teenage girls. They come to buy them in droves! I swear we made a hundred dollars in two dollar sales. I initially put them all at the back of this table...big mistake. They kept migrating forward and sitting on the flowers!

And here I am, putting finishing touches on a few things as we are opening. Or maybe I am just sitting while everyone else works! At the front of the table is a huge bowl of candy for the little kids (and big kids). When it rained, the remaining half bowl was a gooey mess. Into the garbage they went!

I love doing the fair, and our annual holiday open house, but I am not sure I could do the whole fair circuit. So, we will just have to move our things to our Etsy store as soon as we have photographs. We will keep you in touch. 


Monday, June 7, 2010

It Rained...

...but I did not go home. We made our usual "rainy day" income...which wasn't too bad. But then, it was in my own neighborhood.

The neighbors came out in full force to help and to buy. Some helped us set up and take down. Some came and lent a hand while we sold to the crowds :) Some brought us hot coffee and "fair food" (fats and sugars...the best!).

A table slid down the incline into the mud and collapsed. Muddy jewelry all over. Jud saved the day and  caught the table by grabbing it from back of the tent in the street.

Today, I am hacking like crazy. It was worth it. I think. It sure was fun to see all of my friends and neighbors and to meet new ones. Thank you, all of you.

P.S. This is one of last year's pictures. Kat has the memory card in Mexico. I didn't understand that she meant THAT memory card...but now I do. I will have this year's pictures to show you very soon!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Where Is Suz Now?

I came home from Mayo to a husband who had a horrible respiratory infection that he had caught from his mom (who now has pneumonia). I was exhausted and, of course, got the same crud. It wouldn't be so bad but our art fair is tomorrow and Kat is in Mexico. I put the all call out to neighbor friends who are helping in all kinds of ways (except for making the jewelry!).

We are both at about seventy percent and are not running fevers anymore so, barring rain, the show will go on. We have had so many downpours on this first week of June and must work until the bitter end.

This year, if it pours, I go home!!!

Think of us and send good thoughts!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dia de bailadores/ Day of the Dancers

I'm a little behind on posting info and photos about my travels...
My classes have started and I am busy more of the day.  and I'm taking time to get to know some of the other students.

But this past Sunday, before my classes started, I had a day where I saw several groups of dancers.
The first were for the festival of Santa Cruz and the last group were in the Jardin.

I hope that you enjoy these pictures!!

- Kat (Gato)