Thursday, December 24, 2009

John Freida Luxurious Volume Hair Spray at Walgreens

John Freida Luxurious Volume hair spray is clearanced priced at $3.59 at Walgreens. Use the $3.00 off coupon found at Walgreens on-line to get this product for just 59 cents (plus tax). There is also a version of this item that comes with a trial size package of shampoo attached. What a great stocking stuffer!

Monday, December 21, 2009

They Might Be Giants kid's album

Caught the band, "They Might Be Giants" on ABC's Sunday Morning show promoting their kid's album. Catchy tunes and very danceable...for kids and adults. Once upon a time, this band wrote songs for teens and gen x-ers like "Bird House in Your Soul" and they've turned their talents towards tots. This is the band's third children's album. I highly recommend taking a listen to these talented musicians newest venture.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Warming Gift

Yesterday's mail brought a gift from a dear friend in Washington State. She knits and sews and does all matter of cooking and crafts. This very talented lady sent me fingerless gloves. Some of you may know that my hands have a tendency to be cold. More like ice. Never mind that I keep my house at 62 degrees during the day and lower the temperature at night. Throw another sweater on is my mantra. But what to do with cold hands. These gloves are the perfect solution. It's amazing what an additional garment can do for body temperature. I might even try to crochet a pair ;)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another Hat

Here's another crocheted wool hat. The best way to describe it is a skullcap. It fits snug, has style and offers little protection from the elements. Something a teenager would love.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sweet Holiday Topiaries

Love this topiary made from marshmallows courtesy of the "Steven and Chris" show on CBC. Want to learn how to make one for your very own? Click HERE for instructions. So elegant for a holiday table.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wool Hat

This is the first hat I had to create in pieces and weave together. The blue hat I made was done in a circle, continuous crocheting. The design was more of a challenge. It looks so cute.

Christmas Centerpiece

I am all about reusing materials and going natural whenever possible. This centerpiece is a great example of combining both beliefs.

The local MSU extension office was having a holiday lunch yesterday. Several participants were able to select from conifer trimmings and various other trimmed plant material to make swags and centerpieces for the party. They decorated their creations with bows and findings then voted for the best/favorite of the bunch.

I was at the office when they were clearing the room of the evergreen boughs and got a few juniper, pine and dogwood branches. All you have to do is tie the greenery with wire and add decorations and voila - instant centerpiece. How affordable and eco-friendly. MSU Extension is filled with lots of ideas like this plus tips on feeding your family healthy foods on a budget. They truly are a valuable resource for Michigan residents.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Puppy Loves Yarn

My puppy is use to me knitting or crocheting. She never pays me any mind when I begin working with needlecraft. That is until yesterday.

I was given a couple skeins of acrylic yarn and began crocheting a project. Puppy decided to attack the yarn. She jumped onto the couch and gave it a sniff then grabbed the bundle and ran. She left a trail with the single strand of yarn looping into each room. The dog has never done this before. I had to pry the fibers from her mouth. Was she trying to floss her teeth? Unfettered, she mounted another onslaught to get the yarn. She was almost cat-like in her determination to capture the skein.

My only reason for her behavior is that her toys are made from acrylic material and she thought it was a toy. I usually knit or crochet with natural fibers like cotton or wool and this is the first time, and probably last, that I used an artificial fiber.

When she goes after the yarn, it is the funniest thing. I'll try to get the yarn pounce on video.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Painting with Help from Puppy

Above my fireplace is a painting that just doesn't fit the snowy winter landscape in Michigan. Yesterday, I decided to paint a impressionist view of the season complete with a few snowflakes. Because the painting was large, I used the kitchen floor to apply the first layer of white pigment onto the board. Puppy decided to help. She walked on the wet paint not once, but twice! (for which she was scolded). You would think after I had washed her paws off the first time she would have learned. I guess I should have named her "Picasso" or "Kadinsky". The second photo shows a close-up of her paw prints.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Suitcase Chair by REcreate

I love when designer's repurpose furniture. When they find new ways to use something we believe has only one purpose. Take a look at this suitcase chair by REcreate. This designer really thought outside of the box when she came up with this creation. Check out the rest of REcreate's products here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Crocheted Purse and iPod Holder

So adorable! I made a small shoulder bag with an attached ipod holder out of wool. It's my design of the day. I need to get more yarn.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Crochet Project - Hat or Purse?

My sister just taught me how to double crochet. Armed with that information, I attempted to make a hat using double and single crochet stitches with cotton yarn. The photo of the project doesn't do the piece justice.

As a hat, it's similar to a cloche'. Tight fitting to the head with a flounce around the edges. I crocheted a side piece to attach to the main portion of the hat to add drama and an eye-catching glance area.

Then I had a thought, if I turn the hat upside down and added a strap or handles, I could have a purse. What's your opinion on my needlework: hat or purse?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quote of the Day

While watching the CBS Sunday Morning Show today, I heard Tom Petty respond to a question about how it feels to get older. Specifically, how it feels to be turning 60 next year. His response was, "If you're not getting older then you're dead."

Embrace your age whatever it may be and enjoy it. At least you're alive!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


The local farmer's market is closed for the season. This was my last purchase; a stalk of broccoli. Take a look at the photo of the veggies on the left. Those were from the local farmer. Notice how much fuller and greener the broccoli is than the small version on the right? These were delicious boiled. No cheese or salt required. When you buy fresh, everything tastes better. There's no need to cover up the flavor of the food. It's healthier for you to eat local, fresh products and by doing so, you support the local economy. That's a wrap until next year Michigan Farmers.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Inexpensive Christmas Decoration

So easy. Take clippings from evergreens and place them in a glass vase. Fill 3/4 of the container with water. Place a layer of fresh cranberries in the vase. Voila! Christmas decorations on the frugal side.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Glitter Tattoo

This is a truly lovely tattoo. And probably the only kind I'll ever get since I am not fond of needles. You can't tell from the photo, but this floral design is on my wrist. It wraps around like a bracelet in shades of purple and green. The ladies responsible have a business called, "An Affair to Remember." They also do face-painting and henna tattoos for parties and gatherings. So cool! Did I mention that these creations last from three to seven days. Rubbing alcohol or extreme exfoliation removes the design from your skin.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Marta Earrings

Do you recall the song, "Simple Gifts"? It references a circle and how,"by turning, turning, we turn 'round right." Aaron Copeland used the melody for an intricate piece of music called, "Appalachian Spring" that reknown choreographer Martha Graham commissioned. Graham paid Copeland the sum of $500 to pen the music in the 1940's. She surely was a very shred business woman. A beautiful, timeless melody that is an American classic for less than a grand.

These earrings are a salute to Martha using a variation on her name: Marta. Much like how Copeland's music was a variation on traditional melodies. Very simple hook earrings comprised of silver that's twisted in a whirling circle reminiscent of the dance's movements.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How to Make Applesauce

My kindergarten teacher had the class make applesauce and I have made this dish ever since she showed us how it was done. Since I bought about 25 pounds of MacIntosh apples from the Farmer's Market last week, I have been making applesauce and freezing the results for later use.

Here's the process:

Wash and peel about 5-8 apples.

Slice apples into chunks, discarding the core.

Place sliced apples into a large cooking pot along with a half a cup of water.

Cook apples on medium to low flame. After about 5-10 minutes, use a potato masher to crush the apples. Continue mashing the apples until the mixture reaches a consistency you prefer. For a smoother texture, puree the apples.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Summer's Last Rose

Here it is, the last roses that are blooming in my yard. No idea the names of these beauties. To be honest, for the most part I ignore my roses and they respond with lovely flowers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Edith Wharton Necklace

This bale consists of copper wire, seed pearls and amethyst glass teardrops. It reminds me of a by gone era. Something a woman in the early part of the last century would wear - like Edith Wharton. Although I have never read her books, the movies based on her novels give the impression her characters might have worn a necklace bale like this one. A unique piece that prompts conversation.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Interlude Necklace

The form of this necklace reminds me of a piano interlude. It's made from hammered copper, agate, and glass beads.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mary's Earrings

These are fun and flirty earrings I made for my friend Mary. (Shhh, don't tell's a secret)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Learning to Crochet

Been out of action for about a week with a nasty cold. During that time, I taught myself how to crochet. I am not certain I am doing the links/stitches, or whatever the technique is called, correctly. Looks more like knitting than the loops I usually see on finished products. Now that I am feeling better, I can view sample items from other crochet projects and compare.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quaker Oatmeal Deal at Walgreens until Oct. 31

Walgreens has Quaker Quick Oats advertised BOGO at $3.19 with a weekly coupon. Buy four of the oatmeal canisters and use 2 coupons for $1.25 off 2 from the 8/30 Red Plum inserts. Your cost is $3.88 out of pocket. And, because you purchased $10 worth of Quaker products, you get a $5 register reward good toward your next Walgreen's purchase. You actually make money buying oatmeal.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Botox Revolt

Take a look at celebrities and politicians. Notice something different about their faces? Fewer lines and wrinkles. Celebrities that are in their sixties and seventies look 25. All of their furrows and creases have been erased by Botox.

If you haven't heard, Botox is made from dead botulism. You know, the Black Plague. Not something I would willing place into my body. Yet, people from all walks of life are hosting Botox parties with health professionals injecting the substance into their bodies. And they get paid upwards of $175 from each person attending the "party".

Something is wrong here. First, Botox was first used on stroke victims. These patients had the concoction injected into paralyzed facial tissue. Botox relaxed the muscles and returned function and appearance to individuals. Sounds great, until some medical professionals decided to use it on their patients. Patients with deep pockets. Celebrities and Politicians were perfect candidates for the serum. They depend on their looks to get them through life. Problem is, once they get one injection, they want to get rid of all their wrinkles. Suddenly, they don't look like themselves anymore. Brow furrows they have had since the age of 10 are gone. Vanished. Their faces may look young, but take a look at their hands. They have age spots and knotted veins and alligator skin. You can hide all the ravages of time from every part of your body.

Not all medical professionals tout the praises of Botox. Most will steer you away from the stuff. Beware of those pushing it as a cure-all. They are just lining their vaults and buying Porsche's based on our vanity. Botox only lasts so long and then the wrinkles return. So you get six maybe eight weeks of smoother skin.

Let's go back to these celebrities that promote organic foods and a healthy lifestyle only to get Botox injections. These are probably the same people that refuse to get an H1N1 flu vaccine because of safety issues. How healthy is Botox? What are the long term effects?

Best prevention? Eat right, exercise, drink lots of water and be happy. And develop lots of interests and cultivate lots of friends with different points of view. People will love you for who you are and not the fact you don't have laugh lines. I adore the furrows in George Clooney's forehead and Ty Pennington's deep smile. I hope they decide to show their age. And I adore shar pei's. I wouldn't want a wrinkle-free puppy - would you?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SMART Bus - a Great Value!

I have been very busy lately volunteering with the Macomb Conservation District's tree and flowering bulb sale as well as with Habitat for Humanity. October is one of those month's that just zips along. It's almost Halloween. Pretty soon it will be Christmas.

Christmas is filled with gift-giving and people want to splurge on their loved ones during the holiday. Money is tight and it seems everyone is looking for ways to save more than ever. Consider riding the bus. Yes, the bus!

In southeast Michigan, we have a wonderful transportation system known as the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART). For $66 you can get a $2.00 pass that's valid for 31 days. That means you save wear and tear on your vehicle, use less gasoline, save on parking lot fees and let someone else deal with the crazy drivers. You can organize your day on the way to work and get to your desk feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

Think about it - fewer oil changes ($20- $30 savings), less fuel purchased (for a compact car that gets 29 MPG in the city, that's $60 a month in the pocket), less tire wear, better insurance rates, no parking lot or parking meter fees. Over the course of a year, you could save $1000 or more.

Some employers are even helping employee's pay for the cost of commuting when they use a SMART bus. That equals even more dinero in your pocket. And with the holiday season approaching, who couldn't use more pocket money.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rochester Ladies Night

Hundreds of women got together to experience the semi-annual Ladies Night in Rochester, Michigan. And I joined in this fall's festivities. It was great fun with the local merchants handing out gifts, ice cream, chocolates and more to participants. In between filling out registrations for gift baskets and gift cards, I enjoyed a wonderful flat bread red pepper pizza at Mind, Body and Spirits eatery. Try the cupcakes at the Home Bakery - to die for. When you became too tired to walk main street looking for deals, a limo with handsome men in tuxedos was available to whisk you away.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Traverse Necklace

Trying to work with materials I have and design a new necklace. I had some white feathers, black waxed cotton cord, turquoise beads and copper. With those materials I created the Traverse necklace - a flirty, young design that's great with a t-shirt, jeans and hoodie.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Linen Bench at Kmart

A must have for anyone looking for additional space is a bench. And Kmart has a delightful linen bench with brass nail heads that fits with almost any decor. The best part is it's $129.99 and there is a coupon for $20 off any in-store purchase of $100 or more available on-line at

Stylish Furniture from Sears

What a find! Modern, stylish furniture at These acrylic chairs look just like the "ghost chairs" by Phillipe Starck featured in modern furniture magazines at a fraction of the cost. I have seen similar items listed on-line for slightly less money. But, I know Sears will back up the product and I can return it if not satisfied. Wonder if Sears association with Extreme Home Makeover has something to do with this plunge into designer-like styles.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wendy Ring

I went to school with Native American people. I never gave it a second thought. I grew up with people from Korea, Japan, Iran, Turkey and all sorts of cultural backgrounds. I thought everyone had friends from different cultures. This copper ring is my salute to my friend Wendy - a Native American from one of the local tribes with an amazing sense of style.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Windsong Earrings

Winds were gusting up to 45 MPH the past couple days in Southeast Michigan. All that swirling made me design swirls in earrings. This is my tribute to the wind. Windsong earrings are made from turquoise and copper.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nicole's Ring

More hammered copper is featured in Nicole's ring. The stone is turquoise and it hangs delicately from a copper link. This is a small ring for a tiny finger like the pinkie.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Amy's Ring

After a busy weekend, I was inspired to create some jewelry. This piece is called Amy. It uses hammered copper and a seed pearl that dangles ever so slightly. Looks like Etruscan pieces seen at the Detroit Institute of Arts. I guess all those tours at the DIA rubbed off on me.

Festival of the Senses

Clinton Township had a "Festival of the Senses" this past weekend featuring local authors, artisans, musicians, actors as well as local cuisine. Due to the economic conditions of southeastern Michigan, there were half the amount of participants compared to past years. The fellow pictured was conducting a drum seminar of sorts - explaining different methods of drumming. Fascinating!