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You put some yarn in,

You add a crochet hook,

Top with a pretty button,

And follow with a pin back…

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You do the crocheted broochey pokey and you pin on your lapel

And that’s what it’s all about!

I joined a birthday ATC swap hosted by Kate.  There are a total of 33 participants.  We create for birthdays each month.  Next month, February, is the largest group with 6.  On my birthday in April I can look forward to receiving 33 ATCs.  How cool will that be?  The ATCs can be created using any medium.  I have been making 1-2 extras each time I create for a swap.  This is the batch that will be headed out at the end of this month so I can make the first birthday on the 4th.  She is in the Netherlands, so I will have to mail by the first of next week to be sure they arrive in time.

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This is also a great excuse to practice some of the new techniques I am working on.  Like rubber stamping backgrounds, doodling, and scripting.  

I have also joined a couple of art groups on Yahoo.  One is a Dremel for Artists group and the other is a Mixed Media Art Group.  The Mixed media group is having a charm swap.  You create 5 and get 5 in return.  I have joined two of the swaps, one for game pieces (small dominos or scrabble pieces) and the other for fabric/sewing.  I want to learn to make quilties so no time like the present.  It combines some of my favs: sewing, beading, and embroidery.  I will also gain 10 charms from some great artists.  That will be enough to make a charm bracelet. 

Cool, huh?

Are you in any good swaps or challenges?  Or maybe just working on something new?

It was freaking cold this passed weekend.  Friday night it was 8 degrees!  EIGHT. DEGREES!  Saturday topped out at a delightful 29 degrees. TWENTY-NINE. DEGREES!  Today was better it was a balmy 42 degrees.  We were supposed to have some rain/snow mix today, but thankfully it missed us.  We always get the mix here in Central Virginia which translates to either sleet or freezing rain.  Glad that missed us!

The temperature is supposed to stay in the 40’s for most of this week with the overnights in the teens and 20’s.  That is wear my socks to bed kind of cold.  I normally have to have my feet cold in order to sleep, but when it is that cold, the socks are required wearing.  Woolen ones even! 

I have another good weekend at the thrifts.  I scored a Coach purse at the Goodwill for $4!  It doesn’t look like it has been used at all and is in perfect shape.  It is the older leather style in black and not the newer cloth styles that are the rage now.  I almost passed it by, but that chunky brass zipper and the feel of the leather stopped me.  I then checked inside for the telltale seal and serial number.  Both were there…score.  I had a lady that saw me looking inside for the seal and serial number follow me around the store.  She thought I was going to change my mind.  FOOL!  I must admit I had a little fun with her and made u-turns and went down some aisles twice.  I think I heard her curse me as I headed for the checkout, too!

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Last week’s MAMMA challenge was Man/Men.  This is the card I received from Sherry entitled So Macho!

This week the challenge was to create with a provided image.  This was the card I created.

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I used scrapbook paper for the background, added some rubber stamped images, affixed the image to a balsam wood square and then topped it all with gel medium.  I love the texture of the brush strokes on the image. 

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I also received my charm from T for a swap in the altered domino and other game pieces group I belong to.  I love the image on this domino and also the dangly charms she sent and the extras to change as I go along. 

Thanks, T, it is great! 

What did you do this past weekend?

I have never forgotten this appraisal.  The man’s reaction is so genuine.

In this image taken from the website of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., US

I believe nothing happens by accident in this world, but is all part of a larger plan.  The people who survived the crash on the Hudson yesterday have this man to thank for their lives.  To see how uniquely qualified he was for the calamity yesterday read this article

Thanks, Sully, for being the man on the job yesterday!

School, wow that is a place I haven’t been in a while.  I spent about 14 years in school in my lifetime.  I also spent a couple of years in pre-school.  That was a fun time.  My mother was working nights for the Baltimore City PD and she would put my little brother, Tommy, and I in pre-school so she could sleep.  She frequently overslept.  She would tell Tommy and I that she would be there to pick us up and not to ride the van home.  We waited and waited and waited… Then the van driver would return and take us home.  He would knock on the front door until he woke Mom up. 

Looking back now it is amazing that this went on for the entire year.  The people at the pre-school must have been saints or Mom was paying them a mint for this daily dance.  I guess I will never know. 

My family moved a lot and I ended up in a lot of different schools.  I always admire people that have went to the same school all of their lives or had the same friends all through school.  Some years I would have been thankful to have the same school all year!  We saw a lot of different school systems and moved briefly to Pennsylvania.  Red Lion, PA to be specific.  I am sure that the people of PA are lovely people.  I love the Dutch, but Red Lion, not so much.  The children at the local school were awful to my little brother and I.  They tormented us on the bus, ignored us in the school building, and then refused to play with us at recess.  It was a really lonely time.  Tommy and I were all we had!  I was so glad when we moved a year later back to Maryland.  I still chuckle at the license plate motto, “You’ve got a friend in PA.”  Not in Red Lion!

Once we settled in WV when I was in the 6th grade I really felt I was home.  The kids were so welcoming, they seemed to like the City Kids.  They wanted to know all about Baltimore, why we came to West Virginia, how we liked the country, and on and on.  I loved it.  I finally had a place that I would stay, a place I felt comfortable enough to call home

I attended all the way through High School.  The classes were small, I had the same friends, I finally had a place to belong.  That was way cool.  Although, I spent most of my life in Baltimore, I consider WV home.  I have never felt comfortable in the big city, the people, the congestion, the traffic, the pace.  Don’t get me wrong visiting is great, but living is another matter altogether! 

Once in WV I lived in about 3 cities: Sistersville, Parkersburg, and Marietta, OH (just across the river).  Parkersburg and Marietta were when I was an adult and moved out on my own.  The pace of WV suited me.  It felt like I belonged there so I stayed.  My family returned to Maryland, but I stayed.  I stayed as this was my home.  My mother passed away while I was living in WV and then when my father got sick I had the opportunity to move a bit closer so I could spend more time.  I missed a lot with my Mom while she was sick and didn’t want to miss that with Dad, too.

It is amazing the circle of life, isn’t it?  It seems like it is all by chance and we meander through it all by happenstance.  I feel like it is a plan that we may never see.  I read somewhere that our life is like a tapestry.  That here on earth we see only the bottom of it and it makes no sense.  Once in Heaven we get to see the beautiful design.  I cannot wait to see what my life of twists and turns have become.  I know mine will most likely be the most swirly with borders of long and very straight lines. 

How about you?

I went thrift shopping and from across the room something sparkly caught my eye.  I could see it shining and it was calling me….”Cindy….come look at me…..sparkly…..shiny…..brooch……bits of pearls…..glittering……flashy…..look…..pretty….DSC01529”  You know that I trotted right on over.  It was locked in the case!  Mocking me.  The people who open the cases were all the way up front and I was in the very back of the joint…typical!

Just then I hear a male voice.  “Ma’am let me know if you would like to see anything in that case.  I can unlock it.”  Enabler!  “Can I see this one?  I cannot make out the price on the tag.”  “It says $48,” he replied.  Thinking: “hmmm…$48 that is a lot of money…it is really filthy, it seems to have a jiggly back piece…I need another brooch like I need a hole in the head!”   “That is a really nice piece,” replied the enabler. 

“Do you know if they might take less for this?”  “I can give the owner of the booth a call and see.”  “What do you want me to offer them?”  “Let’s go $20.”   Thinking: “they won’t go $20, but might meet me in the middle.” 

After a bit the enabler returns.  “She said she can do $30 and that is as low as they can go.”  My lips then uttered, “Sold!”

It was the filthiest black color I had ever seen and I brought it home and soaked it in my trusty Dawn dish liquid.  After several hours, I could see the silver below the blackness.  The stones have such a sparkle it is almost blinding. 

The pin is made by Regency.  I did a web search on Regency and this is what I found:

Regency jewelry is gorgeous! The company began in the 1950s in New York City and continued until the 1970s. Best known for stunning rhinestones in fabulous colors, vintage Regency jewelry is beloved by collectors. 

And one crafty Cindy in Virginia, too!

scan0001 This week’s MAMMA theme was Man or Men.  I found that I had a hard time being inspired by either of the words until I found this image.  Immediately that jingle started rolling around in my brain…

“How do you handle a hungry man…” (Hungry Man TV Dinners)

It is always amazing to me how inspiration works with my brain.  The background is a dictionary page with the definition of man.  I then inked it with green and burgundy inks to age it a bit.  On top of that are the image and the hand lettered text. 

Doesn’t he look so hopeful?  Like he can take on the world.  Or at least his plate of spaghetti.  I guess he will take life on plate at a time.  One forkful at a time! 

How do you handle a hungry little man…SPAGHETTI!

What are you fixing for dinner tonight?

DSC01524 Picture it…

A brightly lit bingo hall.

The caller announcing the numbers over the PA system.

The sound of muffled coughs and curses as the numbers are called.

In the distance we hear a door creak.

And in walks the woman, the art doll, the legend in the parlor, Bingo Betty, the Queen of the Bingo Parlor.

Prettily overdressed.

With glittery top, crown and shoes.

Her royal scepter gleaming under the lights.

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Betty was created for a new group that MAMMA has started, MAD MAMMA (Monthly Art Dolls).  MAMMA provides the pattern and we create the dolls.  At the end of the month they are swapped. 

Can someone say Bingo! 

Quote O’ The Month

"What this world needs
is a new kind of army
- the army of the kind."
~Cleveland Amory

E-mail Me

cindyforeyes at earthlink *dot* net

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You Can Find My Creations At:

ReFinery
1221 Bellevue Ave.
Richmond, VA

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