Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Movin' Right Along

The fourth week of the OPI Mani Madness contest featured Kermit. Did you know Kermit is 56 years old?  He was created with an old coat and two halves of a ping pong ball.  When Kermit turned 50, he toured the globe and visited Kermit, Texas, where he crowned the Kermit High School Homecoming Queen and was the Grand Marshal of the homecoming parade!

The thing that fascinates me about Kermit is how Jim Henson was able to express so many emotions, from exasperated to thrilled, with the simplest of all the Muppets. That's where I got my inspiration for the Kermie manicure.  I also think the relationship between Kermit and his nephew, Robin, is so precious. I always loved to see them hang out and sing together! So, I had to include him, too.

P.S. Kermie's background color is Wet n Wild Rain Check.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gonzo the Great!

The third character in the OPI Mani Madness Contest was Gonzo the Great! He has played many characters over the years: daredevil, photographer, Charles Dickens, guitarist... He's pretty kooky and I still don't understand the attraction to Camilla. But, so goes the world of the Muppets!

If you were a Muppet kid like me, you know that at the beginning of the Muppet Show, Gonzo would pop out of the "O" in the Muppet Show sign and try to play the last note of the theme song. Usually, some crazy, wacky thing came out of the trumpet instead, like smoke or a balloon.

So, that's where I got my inspiration. This is Gonzo blowing love notes to his girlfriend, Camilla the chicken. I think it's pretty cute and I was pretty impressed with how good Gonzo came out. My manis are getting better and better!

P.S. Gonzo's nail color is Houston We Have a Purple from the OPI Texas collection.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wocka Wocka!

Last week's character in the OPI Mani Madness contest was Fozzie Bear.  There's something just so admirable about Fozzie.  No matter how hard he gets ragged on, he keeps joking.  He's a pretty brave bear if you think about it!

The winning design, "Fozzie Gets Heckled" was created by Michelle M.  Isn't it awesome?  Hers was the best entry by far!  I love how she was able to capture the texture of Fozzie's fur with her acrylic technique.  And Statler and Waldorf are SPOT ON!  You must check out the post about the mani over on her blog. Her step-by-step shots are very cool and she makes it look so easy!

This was my entry for the week.  I think my favorite part of Fozzie visually is his floppy polka-dot bow, so that's where I got my inspiration. Plus, I love brown and pink, so I really enjoyed doing this design. The silly thing is, every time I look at the "wocka wocka" nails, I think of Wonderbread. hee hee

P.S. Fozzie's nail color is San-tan-tonio from the OPI Texas collection.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Muppets Mani Madness!

Yes, I entered ANOTHER contest. A nail art contest. And while I don't actually do nail art, I thought the prize was pretty cool and there aren't a whole bunch of people who enter these things. So, I gave it a shot.

OPI is having a contest based on the Muppets collection and there are five chances to win. Each week, they'll highlight one Muppet--the first week was Miss Piggy--and challenge everyone to create a design inspired by that character. The prize is the entire Muppet collection.  The winners are chosen by popular vote, which is a bummer because it's only on facebook so you have to give the app access to your profile and not a lot of people want to do that.

I'm not even going to campaign for votes for the first three weeks.   I'm waiting for the real nail artists to win their prizes first and hope I'll have a better chance toward the end! After looking at the other designs, I can tell I'm going to have to up my game.

Anyhoo, until then I'm practicing my skillz. This was my Piggy-inspired entry. Très elegant, no?  I'll be posting my designs in the coming weeks, so come back, check them out, and I'll let you know when it's safe to vote!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Most Sensational Inspirational Celebrational Muppetational!

So, I can't tell you how excited I am to see the Muppets on the scene! They were my all-time favorite children's characters ever. I loved the Muppets so much that I got my hands on everything I could-- board games, coloring books, figurines, puppets, lunch boxes, tennis shoes. And I never missed an episode, or movie, or Muppet Babies cartoon.

Jim Henson was my idol. In fact, my dream was to be part of his Creature Shop. The first time I ever saved my money to purchase anything, it was for a Miss Piggy puppet complete with purple satin gown and gloves. I used to drive my parents crazy by forcing them to sit through puppet shows that I performed from scrunching down in the bathtub!

Anyhoo, as excited as I am to see the newest movie, I am thrilled that the nail geniuses at OPI have introduced a Muppet line of polishes! Score! My sister and I checked them out this week and I went home with a bottle of Warm and Fozzie. It's perfect for fall. Warm and sparkly with hints of pink flecks in it. Once I wore it for a few days, I decided to try a matte top coat on it and I LOVE it!  It's like a copper suede and my new go-to for November.

I'm thinking of going back to pick up Pepe's Purple Passion.  After seeing some swatches online, it looks much prettier than it does in the bottle and it's unlike any polishes I already have.

Most of the glitters were too chunky for my taste, but they are perfectly in time for holiday parties.  I might break down and get Fresh Frog of Bel Air, because, hello!  Kermit!  Did you know there is a city in Texas named Kermit? Wocka Wocka.  Fer real, look it up!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Calavera Rendezvous, here I come!

It's been wayyyy too long since I've posted and it's all MECA's fault!  Just kidding!  I've actually been spending all my energy working on a fundraising event for Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts, and I'm happy to do so.  Not only have I been busy coordinating, I also created a skull for the calavera auction.  Whew! BTW, how do you like my poster design?

I'll be back in a couple weeks once I've recovered!

Stay tuned for pictures of the event and meanwhile, stay spooky my friends!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One Piece, Five Ways- Max and Cleo Gown

I am proud to announce that I have finally learned from my Elusive Dress experiences and snatched one of those if-I-had-somewhere-to-wear-it-I-would-buy-it dresses.  When I saw this divine Max and Cleo gown online, I knew it would be perfect for some gala or other so I grabbed it to spare myself the why-didn't-I-buy-that-dress-when-I-saw-it agony.  Now I actually have time to put together a "look" instead of the blah formula I usually fall back on:  evening gown + satin clutch + satin pumps + stud earrings = black tie ensemble.  Borrrring!  Take a "look"...

Gala Dress- Modern Deco

The first look was inspired by art deco which I think is totally due for a comeback. I love it. It's so perfectly infused with architecture and design. The fluidity of the dress balances out the geometric details of the vintage-inspired jewelry and adding a modern shoe makes the look more wearable and less costume-like.

Gala Dress- Rock & Roll

I love the idea of rocking-out an evening gown!  I know I won't be able to wear it this way too many places, but putting it together was so much fun.  As in the deco look, the soft nature of the dress keeps the ensemble from being too extreme.

Gala Dress- Spanish

This one was a no-brainer for me as I've been dying to do a Spanish look for the AAMA gala in particular.  I have the shawl and the shoes already, so this one is a totally doable.

Gala Dress- Frosted

For a youthful take on the dress, I created an enchanted, glamorous ensemble.  The silver accessories really lighten it up and give the dress an ethereal quality.

Gala Dress- Organic

The final look was the most challenging.  The inspiration came directly from the dress itself.  The print is very organic to me.  It reminds me of water flowing over river rocks...and at other times of monarch butterfly wings.  Since I've never seen anything quite like it, I really had to define the look "from scratch".

So, there you go!  One Piece, Five Ways.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mini Address Book Tutorial

This is a great little rainy day project that's perfect for teens-- a fun way to spend the afternoon.  I found these cute mini address books at Hobby Lobby for $2 just begging to be cute-ified! Have fun crafting it up!


scrapping paper
felt pen  (I use Sakura Microns)
adhesive laminating sheet- optional (I use Avery sheets)
mini address book

Prep It

The covers of the books have plastic-coating which doesn't like to stay glued to paper, so you'll need to peel that off first-- just the top layer, not the whole cover.   Now you can cover your book with a cute paper of your choice.  Then, set your little book under a heavy one for a bit while it dries.

Decorate It

After that, it's all up to you!  I cut a strip of patterned paper and a few birds and leaves from the cover paper and made a little collage. Then I drew a few doodles and added a little "bookplate" on the inside cover.  You could use stickers, ribbon, rubber stamps or rub-ons.  Look around the house for cool stuff like magazine clippings, postage stamps and candy wrappers.  It's a great way to reuse and recycle, plus it doesn't cost a penny!

Seal It

This step is optional.  My address book is going in my purse, so I thought it would be a good idea to seal it so it doesn't get all crummy.  Just cut a piece of the laminating sheet, stick it on your book, trim around the edges and rub it on really good with a spoon or something.

Share It- Gift It- Use It!

That's it!  Wrap them up with a cute gel pen to give as party favors, a teacher's gift, a Secret Santa or for yourself!  They would also be a fun activity for a girls slumber party.  Afterward, they can pass them around and fill in their addresses and cell numbers, for emergency texting only of course (like who's crushing on who)!

*tip--  Hobby Lobby only keeps a few address books in stock at once, so if you plan to make several to give as gifts or need a bunch for a group activity, you can purchase larger quantities in packs of 12 here.

***Update-- it looks like the address books aren't available on the office supply website any longer.  Try these Moleskine books or these Mead books instead.  You can also use mini composition books which are super cute.

Featured on:
Homemade Gift Ideas

Linked up with:
Today's Creative Blog's Get Your Craft On!
Fireflies and Jellybeans' Show Off Your Stuff Party 88

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pineapple Fudge

This one is delish!  I had my doubts-- I generally find pineapple in sweets too strong-- but in this recipe, it isn't overwhelming.  Yum!

Fudge is tricky, it took me twice to get it right.  First, I didn't cook it enough to let the sugar dissolve so when I poured it in the pan, it didn't set and it was really grainy.  So, I reheated it and added some more milk cooking it very slowly.  I was lucky that I'd undercooked it because if you over-cook, there's no saving it! Enjoy!

3 c sugar
1 T corn syrup
1/2 c drained crushed pineapple
1/2 c condensed milk
2 T butter
1 t vanilla
1 c chopped pecans

1. Combine sugar, syrup, pineapple & milk in a well-buttered heavy saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly.
3. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until candy reaches soft ball stage, 236º.
4. Remove from heat.  Add butter but do NOT stir.
6. Cool until saucepan fells lukewarm, add vanilla & stir until your hand falls off, then stir with the other hand.
7. Stir in nuts.  The candy should thicken and will be ready to pour when the tracks of the spoon don't disappear.
8. Pour candy in buttered 8x8 pan.  Allow to cool 2 hours, then cut into cubes.

Click on the recipe card below to print out your very own!

Linked up with:
Tip Junkie handmade projects
Sumo's Sweet Stuff Market Yourself Monday

Friday, July 29, 2011


Did you ever draw on bananas with your fingernails when you were younger?  OK, maybe yesterday?  Well, I'd forgotten all about banana art until I saw this over at Come Together Kids.  So, I made one for the hubster and you can, too (and you don't even need long nails)!

All you need to know to be a banana artist:
  • Use a pretty yellow banana with very few spots so your design shows up clearly.
  • Use a light touch-- you don't have to apply much pressure at all.  
  • Drag the toothpick or skewer gently across the skin as if painting so you don't tear it.
  • Try not to handle it too much so you don't bruise up your design.
You can go coocoo bananas with your bananas-- write jokes on them, wish your child good luck on a test, or play tic tac toe when you're waiting at the dentist.   It's super fun and super easy; in fact, if you are trying to be sneaky, the hardest part about drawing on a banana is keeping it secret!

Have fun playing with your food and...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Plantervention Update

Remember Audrey, the crazy mutant plant?  Well, she has been successfully living on her own for a full year!  And her suffocating roomies are doing great, too!  I'm ecstatic!  With my track record, it's nothing short of a horticultural miracle.

Look at all the new growth!  They aren't perfectly symmetrical as they were pretty lop-sided when I separated them and they lost some of their outer leaves from the transplant.  But, I think they have come a long way!  I returned two of them to the office and kept Audrey for myself. We're pretty tight. Wink.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why I love Mister Rogers

Like many 70s kids, I watched Mister Rogers' Neighborhood every day.  Saturday mornings were all about Hanna Barbera, but during the week, PBS was "where it's at".  While I sat quietly in front of the tv, I learned how to make believe, how to make friends, and how to be. 

Mr. Rogers taught us that we were all special, unique and fine.  He told us it was ok to be glad and sad and mad.  He said we didn't need to be perfect, we didn't have to know everything; we just had to be ourselves.  That is powerful stuff, neighbors, and he was singin' it long before Lady Gaga.  (No disrespect, Mama Monster.)

After Fred Rogers' passing in 2003, I found myself itching to learn everything I could about him.  What was his secret?  How did he captivate young and old?  How did he magically soothe people's hearts? How did he become so trusted and respected?

Well, guess what.  I learned his secret. Shhh...

When Mister Rogers wasn't Mister Rogers, he was Mr. Rogers.  On and off camera, he was the same man, with the same voice, with the same laugh and the same gentle demeanor. The Presbyterian minister who dedicated his life to working with children and families, who advocated on our behalf to the US government, who was a pioneer in public television broadcasting, was the very same man who sang to us and colored with us and showed us how crayons were made.  

That's why I loved Mr. Rogers, and why I still do.  He was never a caricature of himself.  He loved children so much that he was his true self with them and with everyone he knew.  I love him for what he did for kids, what he did for families, what he did for mental health and for what he did for me.  He was truly humble, truly kind, truly honorable and truly loved

This clip of Mr. Rogers in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications is a beautiful example of his gift. I am amazed (but not surprised) at the way his calm and honest demeanor won the respect and consideration of one very grumpy Senator Pastore.  Can you imagine being in Mr. Rogers' presence?  What a gift he gave Capitol Hill that day!

To honor his legacy, I thought I'd share Mister Rogers' wisdom with you in a new little feature called, "Mister Rogers Said..." because we all need that neighborhood expression of care.  So, be on the look-out for the little blue sneaker in future posts.

If you'd like to learn more about Mr. Rogers, I recommend the following books:


Friday, July 15, 2011

Crafty Sneak Peek!

Hi, chickadees!  Sorry I've been missing lately.  Summertime is certainly busytime around the nest!  I've been working on some fun projects and plan to get some tutorials up in the following weeks.  Here's a sneak peek of my latest crafty work in progress. Tutorial on the way!

Friday, June 24, 2011

One Piece, Five Ways- The Elusive Dress

I can't tell you how many times I've searched for a dress at the eleventh hour all the while haunted by one I ogled over months earlier.  You know the one.  The drop-dead gorgeous if-I-had-somewhere-to-wear-it-I-would-buy-it dress that you'll never see again.  The one that no other dress could ever live up to.  Oh, the agony.

My elusive dress:  a rose print, full-length strapless dress with crumb-catcher neckline and asymmetrical tulle-underlay balloon skirt with hidden pockets that White House Black Market created for their limited Holiday Collection in 2009.  Aghhh!  I die. 

Well, two years later I still pine.  So, in an effort to claim the gown as my own, I decided to give it the One Piece, Five Ways treatment.  That way I can pretend like it's in my closet just waiting for its debut.

The Elusive Dress- Classic

The Elusive Dress- Imperial

The Elusive Dress- Exquisite

The Elusive Dress- Guilded

The Elusive Dress- Dazzling