Friday, January 25, 2013

Cate Mandigo Art Love Fest

I just saw online the artist Cate Mandigo will be in Glens Falls, NY showing some of her new work in a few weeks.  Cate is mostly a Northeast artist who does many paintings of places that are very familiar to the area where I live.  Even though lots of her painting are of upstate NY.  She has worked on a commission for the White House and was also commissioned by the Library of Congress as well as McDonald's and Citibank..

I am a huge fan and have collected over the years more the twenty of her prints.  I have gone to a number of her shows and for me, meeting her has been like meeting a movie star in person.  She is always so gracious and a large number of my prints are signed to me from her.

Since I have so many of them I like to hang them in groupings with some other prints and wall art that I enjoy.

Because I may be going to see her soon I went on line and saw some prints that I loved that I had not seen before.

This one is of Lake George, NY in the winter.

Her interpretation of winter in Albany, NY.

This is the a print of  Saratoga Rose a bed and breakfast in Luzerne,NY.   This one I bought for my daughter as a wedding gift since she was married there.

There are hundreds of others to see.  Cannot wait to see some of her new things at her show in Glens Falls.

I am going to share my blog today with Wendy Cheryl and Brenda. They always have so many great decorating idea's.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Embroidery Hoop Art A New Trend In Crafting

Embroidery Art is very trendy.  I am not good with a needle and thread so I decided to do my own spin on embroidery hoop art using my cricut cutting machine and cardstock.

I first chose a great bright pink and light pink fabric.  I bought fabric quarters that I found on sale at Jo Anne's and placed it in a embroidery hoop.  I created little girls Mary Jane's out of card stock and embellished it with jewels, fabric flowers and buttons.  I then glued it to the fabric and I am extremely pleased with the results.

For my second one I again used a fabric quarter and added a purse that I made out of card stock, using jewels,  fabric flowers and buttons.  They would both be a great addition to any little girls room.

They can even be used together.

Mary Ann

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tale Of TMI Or Baby Ruth Candy Bars, Not For The Faint of Heart

As I have mentioned before I was brought up in Queens, NY which is a stones throw away from New York City.   On special occasions, as a family, we would trek into the city.  Some of those special occasions for my sister and I were going into the city with my parents to attend live TV kids shows.  For whatever reason my mom must have thought my sister and I deserved to be seen on TV because she would get tickets for all the local NYC TV shows.  We were on Romper Room, Wonderama, Little Rascals with Officer Joe Bolton and my favorite appearance for my sister and I was Kartoon Klub.

Kartoon Klub was a local live TV show that was on everyday.  The host was Ted Steele who at one time was a very famous band leader.  For the hour preceding the Kartoon Klub, Ted hosted a live American Bandstand type show and when it was over it went right into him hosting Kartoon Klub, a kids show.  Now poor Ted must have done something very wrong in the universe because he was stuck with a bunch of teenagers for an hour and then he was thrust into a world of screaming kids for an additional hour.  I was so little but I remember how cranky he was.  The only time he smiled was when the camera was on him.

Just before the American Bandstand type show was over my sister and I and about fifteen other kids were led into a large studio with bleachers that faced a big screen.  I was so little and my mom that day had put my blond hair in a huge array of banana curls.  Very stylish at the time, I guess.  They sat me right in the middle of the bleachers telling me to make room for Mr.Steele.  From a distance I could see the teens dancing to the last song of the teen show.  Ted Steele came toward us as his first show ended looking none to happy to have to spend the next hour with us.  He climbed up into the bleacher and sat right next to me saying nothing to any of us kids.  I heard one of the guys yell, "we are on in 10 second,  10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 ,4, 3, 2, 1" and pointed to Ted.  Ted immediately went from grumpy to Mr Happy.    He started to explain who the shows sponsors where, one of which was a Baby Ruth candy bar.  He announces "every kid loves a Baby Ruth bar and all the kids here will get one to take home with them".   Now, little did poor Ted Steele know but I had some issues with eating nuts of any kind and was forbidden to eat them.  So as he was talking I tugged on his suit jacket, he did not respond, I tugged again and again.  He finally looked down at me not looking very happy and I said "excuse me but I can't eat  this candy bar".  He says "well little girl save it for later" and starts talking to the camera again.  That answer obviously was not good enough for me because I continued to tug away at his jacket.  He finally looks down at me again and with gritted teeth he says "yes little girl" and I quickly tell him that I can't even eat it when I get home because it has nuts in it and it will make me constipated.  Now remember this was live TV and none of this could be edited.  The entire staff was horrified, constipated was not a word that was said on TV back then.  My poor mother and father sat in the green room watching mortified as the other parents let out a collective gasp at my bold, bathroom, problem, confession.

Not sure if poor Ted was ever the same after that. My potty talk may have been the straw that broke Ted Steel's back because not long after that the show went off the air.


Friday, January 11, 2013

New Year, New Projects

I decided to join Brenda today for her Tues Tweak Party at Cozy Little House.

So its been 10 days since we entered 2013.  Instead of entering the new year with a gusto, I feel like I am dragging my feet and can't seem to get focused on any one thing.  So I decided to revisit a project that I started last year hoping it would give me the push I needed to move forward.

We bought our house new over 25 years ago.  We did not have much money to add any upgrades so the house has always been pretty basic.  Over the years I have used my own unique flair to make it more of a home but as with everyone my tastes of changed.   My kitchen came with stock cabinets and I picked them because they looked like something that would be in Bonanza's Ponderosa kitchen.  They were knotty pine with hardware that looked like spurs.  I loved them but back then my taste was very country.  Pinks, blues, chickens, roosters, hearts, and flowers.  YIKES did I love flowers.  Flower in wallpaper, on couches, on bedding, thinking back it was not pretty just kind overwhelming.

In time I had transitioned from country into more of a cottage feel to my home.  Leaving dried flower wreaths and pigs behind me.  So 10 years ago I painted my pine cabinets, off white and  pried every last stinken spur off of the cabinet doors.  Since I was over my flower stage I found wallpaper that was in some Victorian cottage magazine that was yellow and dotted with teacups and tea pots.  Not much of a jump from flowers but I loved, loved loved that wallpaper.  I still loved that wallpaper when I decided last year to take it down and say goodbye to it and hello to more of a modern feel.  I still love the cottage look and feel to a home but now I am trying to update it with a more modern touches I also did not have tons of money to do a total kitchen re due, that would probably have cost $25000 or more so I updated my way.

And so it began.

This was my old kitchen:

Because I wanted to keep a cottage feel I painted my cabinets bright white. I was fine with my hardware so to safe money I spray painted them black.  I was going to go with a laminate granite look on my counters since the cost of real granite was out of my frugal budget but I discovered a product, Giani Granite Paint and thought what do I have to lose  If I hated it I will have to buy new counters.  They were so easy to do and I loved the outcome.

My new kitchen:

You can see how the counter just shine and look very similar to granite.

Because I had laminate on the back splash before, I had to go with something that would adhere and was easy to install as well as cost effective.  I found at Home Depot that seemed to combine my cottage and modern design together.  I needed a new refrigerator and stove so I splurged and got stainless but because I was not ready to buy a new dishwasher or stove fan (I really wanted an over the stove microwave but I am not sure it will would fit) I just spray painted both with a stainless steel paint.  I did not love the product and do not remember the name.  It was messy and even though I covered everything to protect it, I had tons of cleanup.

Now it was time to pick a paint color.  I went back and forth with lots of different choices but my daughter had made me valances with tons of vibrate colors so I went with a bright yellow.  My first attempt was glow in the dark yellow so I had to go back to the drawing board and pick a less offensive yellow.  I also wanted to do something different on the lower portion of the wall so I found on line instructions on how to do inexpensive wainscoting

The pictures behind the table I did myself by recycling frames from pictures I already had.  I first spray painted them black and created pictures using paper to replicate a modern twist on a quilt design.  I have gotten so many compliments on them I did others and have been selling them on Etsy

I recently purchased new black chairs and still want to refinish my table but all in all I love the end result.
The entire project not including my new chairs and appliances cost me under $600.00.  Not bad for a whole new look.  I am posting this with  Wendy today at for her Frugal Friday.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013 - Tribute To Mom

Well its the new year and although there have been a  few rough spots in 2012 for the most part it has been a good one.  Growing up, New Years day was always a big celebration in our house because it was my mothers birthday.  My grandparents rarely celebrated her birthday because it was so close to Christmas but when she married my father he decided to make it a big deal.  For my poor dad that was no easy feat  because my mom was very very picky.  My mom rarely kept what he got her each year, more often returning it to get something more practical. That never dissuaded my dad who would still go out of his way to buy her something each year even though he knew she would probably take it back.

Well we lived in Queens and not far from our house in Ridgewood was a store called Jay Rose.  It was very exclusive for that time and my mother would longingly look in the window when we passed by but she would never go in.  So one year my dad decided to buy her some things from Jay Rose.  Now my dad was no Tim Gunn and had no idea of fashion. He was a big guy, over 6 foot and not so light on his feet.  When we got to Jay Rose my dad bounded into the store like a bull in a china shop.  The bell over the door jingling in triple time.  As we entered everyone stopped and starred, not sure if they had ever seen the likes of my dad entering their store.  A sales lady quickly came over wanting to help. My dad looked around the shop, his eyes resting on a mannequin dressed  in a yellow plaid pleated skirt and vest accessorized from head to toe including a yellow clock pendant.  Probably feeling uncomfortable in this very feminine place my dad pointed to the mannequin and said "I'll take everything on that mannequin".   I was only 6 but I knew that outfit was nothing that my mom would ever wear.  I think the sales lady noticed my shocked look and tried to persuade my dad to go in another direction but he was hell bent on that outfit.  Next thing I knew every sales person was called into action and they were pulling all the clothes from the mannequin, putting everything together in one big box with Jay Rose printed in big letter across the top.   They even wrapped it for him including a big pink bow.

On the way home I was nervous for my dad.  He really went all out, going to a place way outside of his comfort zone to try and give my mom a great present.  I could picture my mom opening the present making a face and returning it the next day.  So on New Years Day, my moms birthday, after we had cake, my dad brought out the present.  Mom unwrapped the box and gasped as she saw Jay Rose printed on the box.  Tears came to her eyes and she whispered  "Oh Joe".  I held my breath as she lifted the top of the box anticipating her usual negative reaction.  Instead she screeched in delight.  Wow was I off on this one.  I thought for sure she would hate this gift but she seemed to be in love with it all.  My dad was so excited.  He thought he had finally gotten it right.  He was on cloud nine the rest of the day.

Well he never seemed to notice that my mother never, ever wore that outfit.  I remember her putting it on a few times, looking in the mirror, taking it off and hanging it back up.  Over the years she cleaned out her closet many times, packing  up clothes for Good Will but that head to toe yellow plaid outfit remained in her closet for over 30 years.  I think she knew that it was not about the outfit but about the thoughtfulness and love that it represented.

So today on my moms birthday New Years Day she will be in my thoughts.

Happy Birthday Mom

Mom and Dad one of the few pictures of have of them together.  My dad is not looking too happy.

Every New Years Eve their friends threw a New Years Eve costume party.  My mom was very creative and was always trying make a better costume each year.  Because of his size she would always make my poor dad  a women.  He did seem to enjoy it.

Here is a picture of my mom with my kids and an anniversary party for my Aunt and Uncle.

I will be back soon with some more of my crafty ideas and projects.

Visiting Time Warp Wife today.