Saturday, December 26, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

Okay, a day late and a dollar short but the tree and decorations are about to come down so I wanted to share a few more of them with you.  This little reindeer sits on the corner of the door trim.  He's my own design.  I actually made a whole series of the corner huggin' critters. 

Another reindeer favorite is the simple but sweet guy I bought at a craft show several years ago.  He look so cute lit up.

I bought this nativity piece this year from a gal I know.  It actually has a star that should hang above it but it didn't fit on the mantle with it.  I also have an awesome nativity I painted many years ago with Gaye Shoell.  It's all cut from chunky wood and every color is toned down with burnt umber.  It's just beautiful but I can't find the picture of it.  Another day I guess.

Anyway, just wanted to share a few more pieces with you before they all get put away for another year. 

Christmas Day 2009

Merry Christmas from the girls!  They dressed up just for you!  Really it took us three nights to get this picture...and it wasn't the girls fault, my camera was blurry for some reason. 
We had an enjoyable Christmas eve with my family, and Christmas morning with Timm's family.  Timm and I hosted both events at our home, normally breakfast is at his brother's home.  I wanted everything to be perfect and stressed myself out over it...for was all perfect!  We smoked a couple of briskets for 12 hours for our Chirstmas Eve celebration along with jalepeno poppers, sausage balls, stuffing, and more. 
Christmas morning was gorgeous and sunny so we got to use our new dining hall for breakfast.  It worked out really well, the guys even started up a campfire in the pit.  Sidepork, biscuits and gravy, sausage, egg casserole, fuit salad, and cinnamon pull-aparts were eagerly devoured by all.  It's a Martin family tradition.

Presents were exchanged along with laughter, hugs, friendship and family time.  Bill (shown in the middle) enjoyed his 2nd day off this month.  He's been working at City Center...busy, busy, busy for their opening this month. 

Later in day, we headed over to my sister's home for dinner with our family and the in-laws.  Everything was delicious but we were all so stuffed we never made it to dessert...or the movies.  I think we all suffered from food  Just enjoyed a quite, peaceful evening back at home. 

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed the time spent with family and friends along with the magic of the season.  The magic of Christmas is not in the presents, it's in His presence. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Wishes for You!

Sending best wishes to each of you for Christmas. 
Stay warm, be kind, give to others, share the joy of the season, enjoy family and friends,
feel the magic of Christmas in your hearts.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

It's been a couple of weeks and I really want to get back to Show & Tell Friday.  I've been up to my ears baking this week, the tree was actually decororated last week.  Here are a few of my favorite ornaments.  The elf is a Gaye Shoell piece I did in one of her all her stuff...and I have lots of it.  Well, less than I used to have.  When Cassy was a puppy she got under the bed and chewed the up some of my larger pieces...I love her anyway.  The icicle snowman is an original piece of mine that will be a pattern next year.  I stocked up on the vintage spindle so I'll plenty to make for next year.
I'm not a real nutcracker fan but I just adore this old man sking.  I painted two of them for Timm and myself one year.  I think the boys got toy soldier nutcrackers that year too for their ornaments.  Anyway, I think its the drybrushing that picks up the details that I really like about him. You can see the back of him in the next photo.  Hey look, a Prim Mart ornie swap piece in the background.

I absolutley love all my Debbie Mitchell ornaments.   I have a bunch of them, probably 20 or more, I've never ever really counted them.  Lots of details in their clothes and layers to their fur.  That is what makes them so awesome.  I still have about a 100 or so wood blanks to paint of many of these little year...I've been saying that for years now.  Wow, a nylon soft sculpture stocking girl...that's an old one.  I like the polar bear wrapping a present too...Rebecca Carter design I do believe.
I bought this icicle Santa years ago from Juanita Denton at the craft show at Nellis Air Force Base.  It tried to buy a piece from her each year.  Her work is so incredible.  The cute snowman head is super glittery (although it doesn't show up that way) and is from the Prim Mart ornie swap a couple of years ago.  I've missed the last couple of them...lots of work but you get some really cool ornies in exchange for yours.  Well, these are just a few of my favorites.  More to follow in a few days.
You know, it's just like the Hallmark commercial with the people reminisicing about their ornies, the memories and more...only all the ones on our tree are handmade.  I know each and every one of them is full of love.  I relinquished Scott's ornaments to him this year, it was harder for me to do than I figured it would be.  He's 25 and married now and I made him Boy Scout promise that he would take care of them with the utmost care...or I'm taking them back.  Chris doesn't get to keep his yet...just borrow them for his tree...I still have many of his on our tree too.  I can't give up the paper ones their made in preschool and grade school, those are mine. I continue this tradition for all the nieces and nephews in my family each year.  I hope they will all treasure theirs for years to come.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Craft Show Season is Over

Finished up my last craft show today.  It was a cold, rainy day.  As much as I love to craft, create and sell my work to others, and see the joy in their faces I must say, I am glad the season is over. This has been a long, hard season for us crafters...well, for me anyway.  Sales have been down for the most part but there is still that feeling deep down inside that urges me to keep moving forward.  I started this season behind the eight ball with not enough stock and tried to play catch up all the way through.  Would my friends and family just kick me in the butt and get me moving much earlier next year please.
I'll be listing much of what is left on Etsy and Artfire over the next week so please check them out...still some great stuff.  There are a few orders to complete and there are still a few things I want to get done for myself.  But, for the moment, I will be sleeping in tomorrow, cleaning my house, catching up on laundry, and more.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Another Window Painting Opportunity

Thanks to my good friend, Liz I had the opportunity to paint the 12 Short Line Express convience stores.  Chris and I covered the valley bringing cheer to the stores.After some research on U-Tube I figured out how to streamline my painting process and boy did that make a difference.  Besides, I think the window washers will appreciate a simpler process as well.
Chris was my apprentice for the job and he did a great job as well as being extremely helpful.  I certainly appreciated and enjoyed the 2 days I spent with him on this job.  We did pretty well and make a good team.
Everyone loves a snowman.  The comments and reactions from customers was very really seemed to make their day to see the decorated windows.  The little kids have the best reactions and to see the smiles on their faces was priceless.

Holiday Windows in Boulder City

This year I had the opportunity to paint windows for Momma Ford's and the Southwest Diner in Boulder City.  I had done some sign painting for Cindy previously and was glad to work with her some more.  Snowmen were the theme for the bakery and then just some holly for the diner so it didn't distract from the fun display she already had.  I think they turned out pretty good but I still need to find a way to streamline my work.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

What a fun, chaotic, loud, fabulous weekend we had for Thanksgiving this year.  As you know, we went to Timm's brother, John's house in Washoe Valley (between Reno and Carson City).  There were 36 of us there!  There were a handfull missing from the festivities, we missed them.  Thanksgiving Day could not have been more beautiful, the weather was perfect...okay for us Vegas folks,  maybe a few degrees warmer.  Here is the whole gang after we stuffed ourselves.

Timm fried up 3 turkeys and Rhonda roasted one in the oven.  I carved up the fried turkeys, made some stuffing, the gravy and some turkey soup, oh yeah, and I brought cinnamon rolls for the day after so everyone could have breakfast when they pleased.  I have to say, we were busy little beavers in the kitchen.  Sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, salad, rolls, cornbread stuffing too were just some of the delightful fixin's we chowed down on.  If you've never had fried turkey you just don't know what you're missing out on.

After the group shot every family had their photos taken in the backyard.  Here is our family (Timm, Chris, Scott, Christy, and Crystal).  We might have to put this one in Christmas cards this year...who knows (so be surprised if you see it please).  Scott took some really cool pictures of everyone, he's become quite the photographer.

Christy and I were the only girls that didn't lose our minds shopping on Black Friday.  Instead, our family chose to go up to Lake Tahoe for the day.  It was beautiful but breezy and chilly when we got up there.  This is at Zephor Cove.  Notice the storm coming in over the mountains.

As we made our way around the lake the storm clouds dropped onto the water and before we knew it was starting to snow.  An awesome sight (especially for us) but made picture taking difficult.  I would like to go on record and say that the road is very narrow with almost no guard rails...and I really think there should be in many places.  We drive a very large truck so it kept Timm on his toes paying attention to the road, snow, and us asking to stop at every point possible...which by the way, most were closed for the season.  We finally found a place to stop and walk down to the lake.  It is just so pretty!  There were even redwood trees at this location, how awesome is that!  Finally, we made our way over to Truckee (super big snowflakes there), had lunch, hopped onto I-80 and headed back into Reno.  We stopped at Cabela's, that's a pretty cool place if you ever get a chance to visit, then back to Washoe Valley to call it a full day.  This is an adorable photo of Christy.  She was so happy to be in the snow...she is from Minnesota after all. 

The snow followed us back to the house, making all the little kids go they weren't wound up enough from just being all together.  We were supposed to leave bright and early the next morning but the roads were icy so we hung out for a few more hours before heading back to Vegas.  What a gorgous site it was!  We actually had snow on the ground for the next 2 1/2 hours of the drive.  We all made it home safe and sound; tired, but grateful we were able to spend the holiday with family.  It was a wonderful experience that we'll all remember with great fondness for years to come. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

This year we find ourselves in Washoe Valley for Thanksgiving with Timm's brother and his family.  This is the first time I can ever remember traveling to spend this holiday with family.  Most of Timm's family and almost all of my family are located in Las Vegas.  Just a few of the immediate family are living elsewhere.   So it is a treat to spend time with John and his gang for Turkey Day.  My family is spread out this holiday.  Mom, Dad and my brother are in Chino Valley at my cousin's harvest celebration along with her sister and family.  Both my sisters are home in Vegas but with other sides of their families.  I'm thinking next year we'll have Thanksgiving at my house for eveyone that would like to attend.

We all have so much to be thankful for each and every day but it is this day that really brings it all into focus for us all.  In today's world, we all lead such busy lives that it is difficult to spend time with loved ones that live in our own town, let alone across the state and beyond.  It's nice to slow down (if that's what you call the holiday season) and spend time with family and friends, enjoy a meal together, share in some much needed bonding moments, and more.

I am so thankful for my health, even though I don't take care of myself the way I should.  I appreciate the doctors that follow up and ask what I can do better without beating me up over it.  Timm hasn't gotten bronchitus in the last year or two, for that I am most thankful.  The kids were both lost their jobs this year, Scott has found a new job (although it is considered temporary), Chris is still looking for work.  I am thankful they have been able to make ends meet with a little side work now and then along with unemployment.  I am thankful we have been able to help out when needed and still manage a couple of weekend camping trips this year.  Although Timm has been with Martin Harris 32 years, he still is concerned about his job.  We are thankful he has been busy enough to not lose any hours.  Lifestyles for everyone have changed...and maybe that is what we all needed to some degree.  I know we all take much less for granted these days. 

I wish each of my friends, family, and you a Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you spend it with family and friends blessed with a bountiful meal and a good heaping portion of kindness and love.  Share you blessings with others, give of yourself, your time, and your bounty.  So many need a little extra help this season and the littlest things can mean so much.   Lord, bless us all, keep us in your care.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

For the last several years I've been asked to come in and draw on the whiteboards for the Thanksgiving potluck at my hubby's office.  While it all turns out nice, there is only so much you can do before you inhale too many  Timm fries up the turkeys each year...there are 7 in the fridge right now,  so I'm there to lend a hand anyway. 

This year I got a wild hair and decided to do something off to the store to get some paper.  I drew up some pieces, redrew them on large paper, painted some details on each piece, cut them out, taped them together and wa-la...6 hours later...4 holiday pieces to tape to the whiteboards for the potluck. I'll be filling in with some extra leaves, drawing with the markers, etc. 

I love the pilgrims...they look so happy.  Before you say it...I know the lady has a little 'dutch' thing going on with her hat...but I like it.

Of course, you gotta have a turkey at Thanksgiving and this guy is thankful he'll be on the wall instead of the table.  Again, he's pretty big...not going to fit in the turkey fryer anyway.
And last but not least...I thought a cornicopia would make a great addition to the mix.  This piece ended up about 5ft wide and has a billion pieces to it.  Every leaf, grape, husk is a seperate piece, and all have been painted with some shadows like all the other pieces along with some linework for detailing.  Lots of tape holding all these pieces together, I tried not to place any on the fronts but a few were needed. 
Chris (my son) gave an insightful statement..."Mom, why didn't you just paint them on wood so you could take them to one of your craft shows and sell them?"  Okay, that is a fabulous idea...but at the time I didn't think of it.  Besides, it was a last minute idea to make them anyway.  Although, he's's a great idea and my patterns are right here in front of me.  I plan to use them for our Thanksgiving as well.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My next craft show

Hey everyone, if you haven't been to you are really missing out.  This show is full of great crafters with great product....including me. (I don't mean to brag or anything...there are just lots of ladies that have a genuine passion for creating with their own two hands.)
Take some time out of your day to really enjoy yourself and lots of great gift and holiday won't regret it.   I'll see you there!
I'll have some of my metal apple buckets, ornies, stocking stuffers, cupboard doors and more.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

Another week has flown by around here.  Where does the time go?  Craft show season is in full swing and I'm just over half done with my scheduled shows.  I'll be at Reedom ES craft show this Saturday...see previous post for all the information.

I completed a batch of snowmen ornies, sewed up the hats for my Santa ornies, and made 2 baby blankets for an order.  The snowmen were
quick and easy...but then again they've been setting on my table for a month or so now....only had to add the face and scraves.

I have to admit the blankets turned out pretty cool...with texutres including flannel, minky, cotton, cordaruy, and some super cool furry fabric on each of them.

Brochures for goodie baskets are going out at this point and a few orders are starting to trickle in.  The mixer has taken up permanent residence on the island, cello bags have been purchased and I've been stocking up on basics for baking.  Very soon pumpkin rolls, cookies, and candies will be running amuck as they await their turn for baskets full of homemade goodness.  I'm thankful for a second freezer...I must say.

Oh yeah...last Saturday we went to the PBR!  What a great time that was.  I love cowboys.  Looking forward to NFR!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Reedom School Craft Fair

Saturday, November 14 I'll be selling at the following event.  Please come out and support all the crafters!

Reedom Elementary School Craft Fair and Cook-Off
Saturday, November 14th 10am-2pm. 

10025 Rumrill Street, Las Vegas, NV 89178

Free Admission

Join us at Reedom Elementary School in Mountain’s Edge
for our 2nd Annual Craft Fair & Cook-Off.

Jewelry, Candles, Skincare Products, Wood Crafts,
Pottery, Adult & Kids’ Clothing, Accessories,
Home Decor, Gift Items, Scrapbooking Supplies,
Card-Making Supplies, Handmade Dolls, Holiday
Crafts, Baked Goods and More

Monday, November 9, 2009

Christmas Tree Displays

I've not posted tips for craft shows in a while so here is a short one since craft show season is in full swing.  I know many of us make ornaments, they are a staple of many booths and for good reason...they sell well.  Displaying them can often be difficult though.  A tree gets the most attention but can take up too much space in a booth.  Consider a smaller, narrow tree that can sit on a table or display kinda up at eyesight.  You can use the tree to highlight you ornaments by placing one or two of each kind on the tree and fill small baskets with your ornament stock under the tree. You could also hang extras on hooks next to the tree.  If you have electricity, lights on your tree will always attract customers but that is not always available.

I just recently purchased a vintage looking tinsel tree to display my ornies.  It's not something I was looking for but it just really spoke to me that day.  What I do like about is that the branches are very few and they are really stiff.  Ornaments will be easily seen on the tree, the branches won't sag and it catches the light since it's 'tinsel'.  They had them in several colors but I went with the pale green one.  I think the silver one would have been great also.  For me...not the red tinsel...but it was I catching, the teal blue one was kinda cool too.
Alpine trees are great for displays as well.  They are narrow and spindily and some have the trunk showing, giving room for lots of ornaments to really stand out.  You can get them from 2 foot to 7 foot + yet they only take a small amount of floor space.  They also look great when several of them are grouped together.  Now, like many can get them pre-lit.

I have always loved the Charlie Brown tree.  How great would this look in a booth display...awesome!  It would also be a great topic of conversation because the memories it would bring back for many customers.  Add a few ornaments, a little blanket and....'ta-da'!
Also consider putting other items in/on your trees.  Dolls, Snowmen and Santas look great tucked into the branches of a tree.  I've also displayed signs and other painted items on my trees as well.  Hey, jewelry would look great on one of the tinsel trees...just saying.

Don't have lots of room?  Attach your tree to the wall.  Push all the branches to the front and ziptie or bungy your tree to the wall display you use.  Don't have walls?  Just do the same thing but with attaching it.

I've spray painted a tree black and used it for Halloween ornies and decorations as well.  A dead tree branch in a bucket is great for this as well. Just put some plaster paris or quick drying cement in a bucket to stablize the branch and weight it down. Spray paint it in your color choice for a cool, eye-catching display. 

Always try to bring your displays off the ground.  Even if using a tall tree, consider setting it on a crate or box.  Customers don't want to bend over to the floor and they oftem miss seeing items that are on the floor.  Remenber, most customers only really see things that are 2ft to 6ft off the floor.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

Wow, this week went by fast.  I've not painted, sewn or glued anything...but I have been in the kitchen baking up a storm.  Cookies galore have been was National Cookie Day this week...Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Cranberry to be exact.  I've also baked up 8 batches of Lemon Bread.  Yummo!   Our yellow lab also thought they were yummy since she stole 2 of them off the counter and devoured them on the living room carpet. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Free Ornaments

That's right, a free handmade ornament with every purchase this holiday season.  I have lots of one's or two's left from other events and they are now your gift with every order placed on my Etsy site or my website.  Ornaments are totally random so it's just like Christmas when you open the box.  Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Las Vegas Mesquite Club Stencils Turkey

I was asked to present a project for the ladies at the Las Vegas Mesquite Club.  A stenciled turkey was decided upon, kits were assembled and packed up for a fun-filled evening of crafting.  None of these gals had ever stenciled before and what a great job they all did.  I'm so proud of them.  Twenty-three ladies completed their turkeys with giggles and squeals of joy...and one terrific gobble call as well.  Everyone had a wonderful time.  I look forward to teaching these gals again.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Dressing up can be a scream and playing tricks is dandy...
but when it comes to Halloween it's all about the candy!

It's so fun to paint and decorate for Halloween and my favorite's by far are
my Gaye Shoell pieces.  What a talented person she is.  I've enjoyed many
painting seminars learning and painting with her.  She's quite an inspiration to me.
This trick or treater is 'Wierd Wolf'...just one of her many awesome designs.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

I don't know what happened to this week, it has flown by for sure.  My son and I drove home from Reno on Monday. Tuesday I caught up around the house, shopped for food and such, and did a demo at the crafters guild meeting. Wednesday I cleaned and had a Pampered Chef party, Thursday I did paint a little, completed 10 of these turkey plaques (they were also my demo Tuesday night, I gave those two pieces away).  Timm and Chris poured concrete, we're in the process of building an outdoor kitchen.  And well, here it is Friday already. 

These two cabinet doors I finished just before I left for the craft show last week.  I sold the scarecrow to a gentleman that bought a couple of doors from me last year so he's starting a collection of sorts.  He also donated 4 more doors for me to paint on.  What a nice guy he is.  I'm telling you the folks I've met in Reno are the nicest people...and loyal craft shoppers.


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