June 30, 2010

recycled paper bags

Reuse those paper bags! A dozen things to do with paper bags.......

1-use as wrapping paper, with ribbons around for a finished touch. Wrap and paint the paper or paint the paper and wrap.

2- use as goodie bags to put homemade goods into like bread or preserves. Put some ribbon and a hang tag on it, gives is a nice presentation.
3-line the shelves in your cupboards, this eliminates any stain if you have spills.

4-line your cookie sheets when you run out of parchment paper, it is much cheaper.

5-make cards or envelops.
6-wrap a box for shipping stuff out.
7-use to remove wax from fabrics (put bag on wax stain, put old fabric or towel over that, then iron, the wax will come stick onto the paper bag).
8-book covers!
9-make little books; cut to size, layer up, punch holes and use eyelets to adhere together. Decorate the outside and use or give away.
10-reuse the big bags when you go shopping.
11-line trash cans.
12-shred and use for packaging material.

June 28, 2010


Lavender is a pale tint of violet, thus the name. The lavenders are genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family.The genus includes annual, herbaceous plants, and shrubs. The native range extends across the Canary Islands, North and East Africa, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Arabia, and India. Because the cultivated forms are planted in gardens worldwide, they are found growing well beyond natural range. However, since lavender cross-pollinates easily, there are countless variations within the species. I just received some English lavender from my dear friend's yard in Georgia, I could smell it permeating from the box she sent. It smells so soothing and floral. Here are some ideas to use lavender:

A decorative natural ornament, make as big or as small as you would like, also nice in a vase of some kind, giving off it's lovely aroma.
Soap- this is the first time I tried this, obviously have to work on the presentation and air bubbles... melt soap, add color and scent, I put a piece of the lavender in the middle for decoration, pour then cool.
Simple sachets, you can purchase these satin bags of all sizes at the craft store in the wedding section.
Lavender balls, to hang on a doorknob or in a bathroom. Start with a styrofoam ball, paint lavender, attach ribbon, then hot glue lavender pieces to the whole outside.
My favorite, lavender chocolate. Melt your favorite dark chocolate, put some little pieces or powder of lavender in the mold, then pour chocolate over the top, cool, taste. You could package and give away, like I did here.
--Shakespeare (Winter's Tale)

June 27, 2010

Schultz Fire Update

Thursday there was a back burn in the fire area by the firefighters and hot shots, that caused a new round of smoke, but inevitably helped with the efforts. As of today (one week later), the fire has burned 15,075 acres and is 55% contained. That is amazing! In another week, it should all be contained. The authorities know that the Schultz fire was caused by a campfire that was abandoned without being properly extinguished in the area of Schultz Tank, Little Elden Trail, and Forest Road 420, they do not know who it is. This photo was taken Thursday during the back burn.

Check out more photos of smoke.

June 24, 2010

Edward Abbey

A favorite author for me who wrote novels, short stories and essays of the American southwest is Edward Abbey. He was a controversial writer because of his beliefs. He was noted for his advocacy of environmental issues and criticisms of public land policies (industrial tourism specifically).  He wrote poignant and emotional with his descriptive images of nature. He loved literature and music. Here is a collage of his quotes on music that I made.

Here are most of his books...

June 22, 2010

Wild Summer

 With all the snow we got this winter, the wildflowers are blooming pretty early this year. Wildflowers usually peak in August, they are not peaking, but they are coming fast. It has become dry lately and still continues to be windy for us. The unfortunate part of the dry and wind is the wildfires and fighting them. Northern Arizona had three fires going on right now. Eagle Rock fire near Williams, is about 70% contained as of today, burning over 3400 acres. Hardy fire, right in town is 25% contained, but not growing, burning about 300 acres. The biggest as of now is the Schultz fire, which is about 10% contained as of today as of now, burning over 10,000 acres so far. There are over 800 firefighters taking care of business, they are heroes and studs. It is sad to see all the trees and the lovely trails out there burning. Here are a few pictures of some wildflowers and some wildfires.
 blue flax
 lupine close-up


 wild pink rose
 Schultz day 1 (view from my home)
 Schulz day 2 (view from my home)
Schulz day 3 (view from south side of mountains)
Schulz day 3 (view from north side of mountains)

June 20, 2010


HAPPY SUMMER!!! To bring in the Summer Solstice (the moment when the Earth is in that point of its orbit where the northern or southern hemisphere is most inclined toward the sun, also known as the longest day of the year and also known as the first day of summer) I would like to share with you Sangria. To me, making Sangria  means summer finally is here! It is a very tasty drink over ice, refreshing as well. Sangria is Spanish for "bloodletting",  it is a wine punch typical of Spain.  It normally consists of a light, dry, young, acidic, unoaked, fruity red wine; sliced fruit, often orange, lemon, apple, peach, berries, pineapple; a sweetener such as honey, sugar, simple syrup, orange juice, and/or fruit nectar;  a small amount of added brandy, triple sec, or other spirits; and ice and carbonated soda. Sangria is served throughout Spain and Portugal during summer. I have altered this slightly. 
  After much testing, here is my favorite recipe...

1 sliced lemon, lime, orange
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup gold rum
-mix and chill for at least one hour
1 cup orange juice
1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon 
-serve over ice

Why not make a batch to take to your dad's day bbg? This is an awesome picnic drink as well.

June 15, 2010

post art

Recycled postcards. Express yourself with mail art, why send boring postcards when you can send cool handmade postcards. These summer themed cards are made from recycled cardboard and magazine clippings. On the back I put a line to divide the message from the address. I used a regular postage stamp, as it is thicker than post card requirements. FYI, postcard sizes can be a minimum of 3 1/2" x 5" and a maximum of 4" x 6" and no thicker than .007" thick. A postcard stamp today costs 28 cents in the continuous USA.

Also, Click on this envelop to link to an envelop project... the envelope project


***Interested in more mail/letter things? check out stationery , envelops,  and ATC's.***

June 14, 2010

recycled aprons

A person can wear aprons for many things. Of course for cooking and baking, also while working on messy projects like painting or welding or gardening. Aprons can be custom made with pockets to hold essential tools for the task at hand. A fun part of making them is finding fabrics with various patterns to fit the reason for the apron or the personality of the wearer. I worked at a place where we had to wear aprons and kept them all. They were decent quality, and I decided to give them a makeover. I've altered two so far, one for the kitchen and one for crafting. With a small pattern for the kitchen one, I cut out and attached a veggie fabric to the sturdy green back apron and added pockets. For the craft apron, I used scraps, sort of cut and pin, then sew and it became an abstract apron with just the right amount of pockets I needed. This was a fun project with endless possibilities.

The blue fabric are two pockets.

June 11, 2010

The Grand Canyon

A place that inspires, the Grand Canyon is a famous steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River in northern Arizona. It is full of flora, fauna, wildlife and birds. It is truly beyond words or photos. Now with tourist season in full swing, I hope people will stop by, get out of their vehicles and appreciate it for it's majestic beauty.

Here are some photos from the South Rim...

mule deerravenkaibab squirrelelkapache plume

More Grand Canyon in the Photo Gallery

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."--Aristotle


June 10, 2010

paper leftovers

This is a fun way to use up those scraps of decorative paper while creating various shapes and sizes. You could also use stamps, maps, magazine clippings, whatever you have around. Just cut and paste. Place a ribbon for hanging in between all the layers (do this in the beginning before you glue). Then use "paper glaze" as a top coat to all sides. It gives it a look like glass.

June 7, 2010

glass necklaces

Here are some new fused glass creations. These are cut, layered and placed in the kiln to melt together. The diamond shaped one is slightly different, first I made the top piece by melting frit in a mold to create the stripe, then put it on top of another piece of glass, then fuse.

to see other necklaces, click here

June 6, 2010

lil' blank books

These little books are handmade from your favorite decorative paper. They are basically folded then glued into shape, making them thick, rigid and sturdy. They are the size of 3" x 4" and are perfect as an "occasion" diary or "quote" book. To make, you cut strips of the paper into 4" lengths. Then fold to 3" size, like an accordion. To glue, put two pages together at time, leaving one in between every two you glue, to create the book. On the cover, I attached another piece of paper to create a complimentary contrast. Of course you can make to to any size you may like, 5" x 5" square is another nice size.