Thursday, July 16, 2020

Once a home now a boutique

 "Prom Girls Boutique"

Our One Day Only boutique.

We gave up our tiny quiet livingroom to host a girly, fluffy, glitzy prom shop...

The other day hubby and I were having coffee with our son and daughter-in-law.  She mentioned that she just listed her old prom dresses on Craigslist.  "Hmmm.." I thought,  "We still have dresses from our other daughters, in huge puffy dress bags, shoved in a spare closet".

That's when it happened...

I quickly sent a text to my other daughters.  As fate would have it, in two weeks our livingroom was going to be converted into a prom dress shop. And our coat closet, our hallway, our bathroom, our spareroom and our kitchen!!

First I created a Facebook event calling for nice clean dresses and accessories. Inviting friends of our daughters, and friends of their friends. While waiting for responses, I started clearing out furniture, wall hangings, bookshelves, closets and anything else that wasn't going to fit with our new "Prom Girl Decor".

 The timing was perfect. It was spring break for college and girls were even bringing them in from out of state. Local moms were wanting in on the action by bringing over their daughters dresses.

 I then asked a few makeup and jewelry dealers to have items available.

We swiftly changed the event from a dress collection event to a one day only Prom Girls Boutique.

Every participant was asked to spread the news. Facebook links and comments were very active. As soon as items were arriving, I was posting photographs on the event page. 

I created a simple flier that could be printed right off the site for others to help promote.

 My daughter-in-law contacted local high schools and requested that the event be publicized in their daily announcements. They were very cooperative.  We also ran an ad in our hometown newspaper.

For refreshment we served a clear fruit punch with fruit, cake balls and a popcorn mix gathered inside tule and tied with ribbon.

 Door prizes were jewelry items and a gift certificate towards senior pictures from a local photographer.

The evening before the event, my son and his wife stayed over to help finalize the displays, prepare
refreshments, and to just have a bit of fun. 

On the day of the event we locked doors to rooms that were not dressing rooms. We then tuned the household radios to the local pop radio station.  

My daughter-in-law greeted each lady at 
the door and encouraged them to enter the door prize drawing.

I volunteered to be the negotiating agent and cashier, working with buyers and sellers over the phone.  Thank you smartphone and square!

  Our men found something else to do and disappeared for the afternoon.

We ended up having over 80 dresses. About 35 door prize entries. (Since this was a Prom Girls event, only prom girl attendees were invited to enter the drawing) 

Everyone had a good time.  Comments were made 
on how nice our shop was in our home lending a more hospitable feel. Not bad for Small Town Nebraska. 

Oh, I should mention that snow fell just shy of a blizzard that day. And I have been blessed with the best hubby ever to willingly give up his living room for a girly, glitzy Prom Girls Boutique.

intimate feel.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Skirting the skirt aka upcycled jammies

What to do, what to do...

Tonight instead of settling down for a long Autumn's nap, I sprang from my bed to watch capsule wardrobing.

Taking a quick inventory of my partial fall wardrobe, I remained undecided.  And as The Clash played, "Should I stay or should I go" in my head, I started browsing through my vintage, boho, and edgy classic pieces. Right when I started to think "nothing gives", I found it.

Sometimes I just can't pass on the urge for a good thrift store hunting trip. The red skirt I held in my hand was from one of those hunting ventures, and once thought to be a gem. At one time I absolutely loved the flared bottom.

But the length was very much like something Goldilocks's would have encountered. Too short for a long formal skirt, and much too long for a sassy short skirt. Besides, the elastic waist looked frumpy. 

The fit was bad mostly due to the fact that it was not a top designer, but instead manufactured by an underwear company. At least it was cozy.

Even though the skirt should have been tossed, something inside of me was determined to make it a useful piece.

So I quickly pulled it over my head to see if it might be a better shirt. Come to find out, I actually liked the elastic a neckline.
My mind was made up. My game plan was to cut into the side seams to make holes for my arms. I was too excited to measure and chalk the cutlines and ended up cutting the armholes too long. But no problem, I just cut tabs, stretched the tabs, and knotted them like any other T-Shirt hack.
I now have a new red dress for bumming around the house in. 
Well, I guess I wasn't successful at reducing the number of items in my closet. As for reducing the number of items in my pajama drawer? Maybe I'll give Hubby back his concert T-shirt... nahhh!

And we all lived happily before and after 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Horse trailer renovating: inside The Sparrow

Now that we brought Sparrow home, it was time to get to know her.

I was hoping for a rain, and got it. This showed me any leakage.

The next day I paid a visit to a few hardware stores.  I bought a clear water sealant spray, peel and stick rubber striping for car windows, expanding foam sealant, clay sealing putty and caulking. Boy, I was like a kid in a candy store!

I climbed a ladder to spray sealant on the roof seams and added clay putty to exposed seams behind the exterior chrome trim.

It was a tough job. The heat index was 106 and my clay putty was getting sticky and unmanageable. I could only smooth it in crevices with wet fingertips. But if my 70 year old dad can lay brick for his landscaping, I was determined to do this. I would not recommend it. I nearly lost my voice and needed to rehydrate as I waited for the heartbeat in my head to calm down. I was able to finish before more rains came.

I had a hunch that more work needed to be done. It got cooler when evening came and Hubby hooked me up with some lighting. I could then work in the cooler evenings.
The time had come for the start of some elbow grease. Removal of old interior caulk.

Once the old caulking was removed, I used a steel brush and wiped away the residue before applying new caulk.

When the next rain came we were water tight. Except for a sliding side window. It wouldn't lock shut.  since we had plenty of other means to ventilate, I sealed it shut with expanding foam sealant. Ugly, but it worked.

Next job? Paint.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Meet The Sparrow

One late Sunday night, I was once again drawn to the internet. Hubby and I had ended our weekend visiting what we thought might be our "brick and mortar" storefront property. But we quickly learned that a slum lord's patchwork job was all that we could fit into a "wise" budget. That night, I was still searching for options.

I ventured over to our local Craigslist page and there she was. "Travel trailer $1700", and she was within a half hours drive from home. Boy, did that get the gears in my thinking cap going!
She was a horse trailer that was converted to toy trailer for hauling a pair of motorcycles. To Sturgis. Funny. You would think if you had a motorcycle and went to Sturgis, you'd ride. Not roll the bikes in a trailer, sucking down gallons of gas hauling a few hundred miles, just to park nearby....and ride in. La-ame. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Well the owner would only budge $50 plus the removal of the bike racks.

I was totally depending upon Hubby to initiate any backing out on this purchase. I was starting to get cold feet over the caulking and rust. But the floor and trailer frame was good.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and Hubby trusted my lead on this dream. (Better than our brick-and-mortar pipedream). Besides. The owner swore she only leaked from the rear windows. Not thinking to run a hose over her, we hauled her home. (In a borrowed truck). Yup, we literally got the cart before the horse... sorta. And you guessed it. Two days later, rain.

But she was love at first sight.

I told myself that I only had three chances to find and seal up any leaks.

I was both excited and afraid. Pinterest  YouTube and Google became very quick education.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Synthetic Wine Cork Coaster Tutorial

At a recent friend's wedding we decided to confiscate all the wine corks from the bar.

When we got back home I started searching for a fun gift to make our Newlyweds.

Since our corks lacked any cool printing on the side, our project choice was limited.

I found images online of hot pads made from synthetic wine corks. But, if you needed heat to make them, why would you use heat on them afterwards? Dweeee.

We chose to make them smaller and call them drink coasters.

Our friends did tell us that they loved the coasters, and thought it was cool that they were made from their wedding reception corks.

It has been over a year, and I still use my prototype daily to hold my morning coffee cup.

I won't list step by step instructions since a picture speaks a thousand words. And video just catches every move.


Monday, October 17, 2011

From Shabby Eeeek to Mod

Shabby Eeeek or Shabby Chic               Mod Make-over

One thing I will need to admit is the fact that I can't resist a good art gallery, museum, flea market, yard sale or auction. 

Let's not forget to mention the hidden treasures that are ready to be discovered in antique shops and thrift shops.  Important things I carry: anti-bacterial gel and magnifying lens, and a list of needed items.

Boy, was I thrilled when I ran across this old vanity swivel chair on "the FREE table" at a local shed sale.

Shabby Chic or Shabby Eeeek!

I admit, I peeked under the skirt.  And once I saw its sexy legs, I knew I was in love.  So home she came.  And off came her skirt.


First I thought the original covering was vinyl.  My hopes were up!  It was fabric, though durable, there was staining and one button had popped through the fabric.  Not to mention, the swivel was broken.

Broken swivel? No worry.  Use a metal Lazy Susan

I remembered that I had a Lazy Susan swivel leftover from when my girls were small.  The intended use was so their doll house could rotate, but it really wasn't necessary.

Ta Da!  ( Lazy Susans cost about $9 )

The most challenging thing I found was removing the old swivel.  Here's what I did.  Use the broken swivel image and the Lazy Susan image above as a guide.
  1. Unscrew the mechanism from the seat base by removing visible screws that are attached to the base.
  2. When these screws are removed you can lift the legs and swivel.  Stand it up so the swivel is on top.
  3. Look at the swivel (or any lazy susan) there are large and small holes.
  4. Rotate the LARGE hole until you see a screw beneath it. 
  5. Remove that screw and rotate to where the others should be attached to the legs.
  6. Once all the screws are removed, reverse the procedure to attach the new swivel/Lazy Susan
Now it was time to "Make it Mine".  A friend had recently given me some leftover paint.  And the pink can was calling my name.

The leftover pink paint attacked a piece of wicker too!

Remembering a local fabric store (Hancock Fabrics).  I immediately went to their website and printed off a coupon with full intentions of buying new fabric for this chair.  Instead, I found that their upholstery vinyl was on clearance for $3 a yard!!   I then stopped by Home Depot to get some amo for my staple gun.

A designers gun and amo.

Guess what!  This was my 1st upholstery project!  I may not have the best technique, but here's what I did:
  1. Re-used the lining/cusion that came with the chair and stapled it down.
  2. Next center the chair seat on the underside of the vinyl upholstery fabric.
  3. Fold over and staple down 4 sections of the fabric. North, east, south & west.
  4. Starting nearest to each of these 1st four staples, gently pull & fold enough fabric to take a staple.
  5. One on each side of these 1st four staples. 
  6. Then firmly & gently pull, fold and staple the remaining space.
  7. Trim off the extra vinyl.

My finished project!

This was a perfect addition to my youngest daughter's room.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mama likes her garden

There's something about childish play that my mom has never let go of.  I see it in her art studio, the gifts she gives and her garden.

Her artwork and stories reflect characters and their lifestyles which can only be found in a fantasy garden.  Although I do not have any of her artwork, I do have a copy of one of her stories. "The Bog".

Her gardens have become homes for adopted Gnomes, fairies and insects.   Notice how Mama Gnome clings to her baby outside of their boot home while Papa Gnome cautiously watches passerbys such as us. 

Nothing beats California weather when it comes to gardening and a dip in the pool.

Occasionally a rescue is needed from the swimming pool.

Caught me taking a picture of "me taking a picture" of mom.  There is plenty to see and learn about in her garden.   I probably should ask her how many different plant species she has.  The reply would either be "alot" or "not nearly enough".

A perfect place for lemonade or tea.

If this is what an empty nester's backyard looks like, I can hardly wait!  But I'm certain that the inner Hippy Chick in me would use banner flags or Moroccan decor.

My parents have their HOME SWEET HOME.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rockin around the Christmas tree



As my 17 year old would say, "Only in my house!"

This years Christmas tree turned out to be FUNFETTI.  Although, I must confess.  My first inspiration was to get a tie-dye look.

It all started with my daughter's black light party last year.  We had an old white artificial tree.  I thought it would glow under a black light, and it did.  But a blue/white glow wasn't enough for me, so I added flourescent pink and orange.  Unfortunately, The colors could only be seen upclose, from a distance it still looked blue/white.  

In daylight my flourescent painted tree looked pink. For me, way too  common.  Feeling an itch to re-use and save the earth (and our checking account), I decided to "Paint the Roses Red". Yes. I was planning to paint the tree.  So out came my spray and acrylic paints.  And I turned up the tunes.  No way was I going to listen to old Bing and dream of a "White Cristmas".  Instead, I pulled up Pandora Radio and listed to Tower of Power, James Brown and "Played some funky music 'white girl'"!

 With yellow enamel spray paint I randomly added yellow spots to the interior and exterior tree branches.  Then adding bright acrylic colors to my pallet, I again randomly placed colors as well as patterns such as this for a tie-dye look using a 1 1/2" wide trim brush.

With my new tree looking less alive than my old Grateful Dead T-shirt, I decided it needed to look alot more like a party.  For streamers(tinsel) I used bright ribbons in co-ordinating colors.  And since I've gone this far, the reflective qualities of  CD's were a no brainer for ornaments. The DVD's and CD's even reflected prisms of colorful little rainbows through out the room. 

This is what happens when you force a city girl into the country.

Have a blessed Christmas.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Blue is great when I'm homesick

Today I'm homesick, but a cure is on its way.

I don't miss business suits, long commutes and climbing the corporate ladder.  But I do miss the diversity in business, the arts and people, not to forget the fog. 

The move wasn't all that bad

The Midwestern cost of living has been a God send.  I don't "have to work" to exist and now have the time to creatively breathe. 

We picked up some pretty fun instruments while trying our hand at a co-op gift shop. Learning to play upright and electric bass has been a total blast.  My favorite is still my flute and Gourdalin.  This last year has been great as we've gotten in on some gigs where my jewelry has gotten more exposure (and sales!)

But I still miss the diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hubby and I have been working on organizing a benefit concert right in the middle of the busy holiday art & craft show season.  Like we weren't busy enough!  It's for a couple of great causes, and thankfully we won't have to freshen up our set and play.

It's a good thing to help others.  It takes the focus off of "us".

But God wired into me the need for some "me" time.  A time where I can be alone and create.  Pour my favorite beverage, put on some good tunes, and spread my supplies all around me and just dive in...for hours!   One thing I have learned is this;  Even though I feel like I could just burst if I don't creatively express myself, I won't.  And when I finally can focus on my creativity, the outcome will be good.  So I have made a decision.

Rest up and dress up

Tomorrow I will dress up in clothes that make me feel creative and special.  And tonight? I will get some much needed rest.  I now have a date with my pillow.

Meet "Blue".
Yes, I've named my pillow. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Do you ever feel like your chasing your tail working in circles?  Lately this has been me. 

I've been trying to create enough inventory for my first Holiday Extravaganza Show in years.  I realize some of you already have this down to an art.  But shows are relatively new for me and we'll have two more within the next 30 days.   I'm not complaining, but this is also a great time of year for Ebay listings.  Although it is quite possible that I am in denial that I'm over my head, I still want to make this all work.  Even though I feel like I'm running in circles! 

                                           But I have a remedy, BUILD A DOME HOME!
                                                    (this one is a Geodesic Dome home)

Why a dome home? I'm thinking it would add some (ahem) structure to my life, forcing me to follow a routine.  You're probably like, "what-ever girlfriend", but hear me out. 

It could be a great work environment.  Set up work stations around the inside perimeter of the building.  Just walk through the door and visit the stations the order of which they present themselves.

1st stop,  Station 1 -  Check your email and print all shipping documents.
2nd stop, Station 2 -  Packaging.  Then leave packages by the door @ the last station.
Station 3,4,5 etc     - designing, photography, research, etc.
Final Station - Pick up the packages you initially placed by the door and your day is done!

Since each work station is designated for each unique job, you're good to go when you hire help! Booyah!

But, no work environment is complete without a kitchen.  This wonderful unit would go right in the center of the dome.  I'd like an "S" shaped wall with this kitchen unit on one side and a small restroom on the other.

Should one not prefer the Geodesic design because of its angles, there is also the Monolithic design.
Both designs are known for economical heating/cooling.  Monolithic structures have no fire hazard or negative feng-shui angles. I still prefer the Geodesic design. Maybe because the Monolithic makes me hungry for dim sum.                                 
                                                          Chinese steamed pork buns.

And now, to give credit where credit is due.

 Geodesic dome homes by Timberline.
The Monolighic dome scoop  and full story.
Circle Kitchen by Compact Concepts.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dream kitchen

Recently I was asked what my dream kitchen might have.
For me an ergonomic sink is a must!

Very similar to this Ferrari luxury kitchen sink center from KicheConcept.

I love the idea of stepping into the sink area instead of leaning completely over. A foot rest bar would be nice. I'd probably even go for a paisley or kidney shaped basin.

Color would be a must for me. I wouldn't have this solid red, too modern for me. 

And unless I want to spend the bulk of my kitchen time with cleaners, I say forget all the trendy whites.  Besides, I live in the Midwest and when it's cold and white outside, bringing it inside is the last thing we want to do.

 (But, if you like this, thank

When my kids were younger they watched a show called Gulla Gulla Island.  I remember the set had a colorful kitchen.  I am leaning a wee bit in that direction, but on a more grown-up than pre-school level.

I just LOVE the yellow and blue  contrast!!    I'm talking color here.  Thank you

Actually, this blue/purple is the same color I purchased to paint the exterior of my home...with a yellow accents.

Now back to reality. I don't get new cupboards, I'm stuck with the ones I have.

I'm tempted to use my outdoor paint in the kitchen for my cupboards. I'll check with my local hardware store for safety issues.
The sink and work center is awesome, but I think unrealistic for many middle class homes.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


It's so exciting to be able to share this great news with all of you lovers of antiques, primitives, collectibles, crafts, food, and fun loving folks.  We have been invited to become part of The Country Loft's special holiday events

The Loft is a 100 year old barn that has been beautifully renovated.
If you dream of restoring your old barn, you'll love how they have decorated The Loft with family heirlooms.

During fair weather events we have even more antiques and primitives outdoors.
My creative juices have been flowing and at each upcoming event, I will be revealing a new collection of jewelry at the Country Loft.

We have a neighboring homestead with plenty of outbuildings full of antiques, collectibles and crafts.  Before you visit our neighbors, be sure to fill up an a healthy meal at The Loft.  Plenty of home-made pies are available with the daily meal specials.

On the 4th of July, we'll be just a heartbeat away from the Historical Seward Nebraska July 4th Celebrations.

Thanksgiving Weekend ~ Nov 3,4 and 5th

Christmas at the Loft ~ Dec 2,3 and 4th
A real life bearded Santa will be here.  Come get your picture laser engraved on an ornament!

Please come visit, just watch for the signs:

The Country Loft

Schweitzer Customs
2871 Rokeby Rd
Milford, Ne 68405

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