Friday, December 28, 2007


New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

'resolution' n. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination. A resolving to do something.

I usually make at least a couple of them as the new year approaches. These are just informal, in my head, resolutions. Made with good intentions, but usually easy to accomplish so there's no disappointment.

Over the years, I have found a better way that gives better results and makes more sense to me.
As the calendar turns every new month all year long, I always ask myself 'what' I am going to accomplish this next month that is 'extra'....extra something. Something healthier like less cookies, pop or chips. Something financial like less paid-per-views or to visit the public library more than Borders. Something exciting like a date with hubby, a fun trip or interviewing for Survivors or Amazing Something challenging artistically and that list could be anything....something for ME time.

In general, I plan to do more in 2008 than I did in 2007, and make this next year more productive, profitable, and memorable for me on a variety of fronts.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gearing up for New Years!

I used to hate the lull between Christmas and New Years...the quiet after the storm. But now I love this brief break from family activities, gobs of rich food and the general hurry up, get there or get that done.

I never realized it, but I really do like New Years.

When I was young and pre-21, the closest thing to a full fledge adult party were the trips we made many years in a row to Pasadena for the Rose Parade. First we stopped at the salvation army to pick up an old couch. We arrive well before dark to find a great spot along the route to park our couch, sleeping bags and coolers on the curb. This would save our spot throughout the night. Church & Youth groups from all over S. Calif would come in buses and livestock trucks covered in banners. These would drive the route all night long and you could jump on for a ride up and down the 5 mile party zone all night long. All the great car clubs gathered to 'cruise' and show off...that was a parade in itslf! 12:00 would come, but the party wasn't over till the sun came up. Back at the ol' couch we would bundle up and wait for the best parade ever.

I'm sure things are different now, but back was the best Youth Rally and most memorable way to celebrate the New Year other than the thrill to be 'in' the parade!

p.s. I think Angela Cartwright was 'in'....riding on a Lost in Space float with Will and the others. That would have been around 1971-72'ish I believe...correct me if you see this, Angela.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I would like to wish you all the Merriest of Christmases
and the Happiest of New Years!
Thank you for visiting me here and being so kind and wonderful and supportive.
Enjoy the Holiday!!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007


Honey, it's cold outside! Just the kind of weather we should be getting, so I can't complain. At least we aren't getting the ice-storms and the power outages that others near here are getting.
I would go nuts!
It's been a while since posting...would that be considered 'naughty'?? Hope not.
I've been enjoying all the great blogs out there of people sharing all their collections of Christmas decorations and 'Hand-dids', so I am going to share a couple and maybe I will get more in the Holiday spirit. I can't show projects I have been making for gifts...someone might peek!

These are some fun paper icicles covered on in mica that look pretty realistic, but primitive. The paper comes from the paper coiled rope that comes net wrapped and is like tissue paper thightly twisted. I cut them in different lengths and dip in white glue that gives them almost a translucent look when dried, then I brush with another layer and roll in mica. They are simple and give the tree a vintage look. Below are a few pics to share.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

MatchBox Necklaces

Now these are addicting!!
I think they might just fit pretty good in a few stockings!
It was fun embossing in the clay and doing the old finish on them.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Coffee Filter Angel

I've been wanting to do something with the coffee filters I'd been saving since they were talked about on a couple of forums last when my son said he needed an angel for the top of his new Christmas tree that he and the boys were going to set up for the first time...I said, "Let me make it!"
I stamped old words and memories, three crowns for the three kings and other Christmas stamps all around the filters. I used a muslin body and lots of lace and tulle and she came together in less than an hour. I used two little dolls with the boys names on the front to make it personal,James called them,"chocolate boys". Then I attached her with wire from her halo to an old bedspring that fits nicely on top of the tree...wish the pictures were better!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Black Pete..Naughty or Nice????

A sinister assistant called Black Pete proceeded Sinterklaas in the Holland tradition to seek out the naughty boys and girls who would not receive gifts. Black Pete, to the delight of all the American children, was left behind in Holland by Sinterklaas. By the late 1600s and through out the 1700s Sinterklaas would be known as Sancte Clause who would arrive on Christmas eve, December 24.
It was not until the 1800s that the Santa as we know him today started to emerge. Writers and artist depicted a lovable jolly fellow, small in size with a giving heart. On Christmas eve he would ride in a magnificent sleigh pulled by eight reindeer over the treetops and roofs. He dropped gifts down the chimneys of good boys and girls.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


The Feast of Sinterklaas, or St. Nicholas, is an annual event which has been uniquely Dutch and Flemish for centuries. St. Nicholas' Feast Day, December 6th, is observed in most Roman Catholic countries primarily as a feast for small children. But it is only in the Low Countries - especially in the Netherlands - that the eve of his feast day (December 5th) is celebrated nationwide by young and old, christian and non-christian, and without any religious overtones.

Tradition demands that all packages be camouflaged in some imaginative way, and that every gift be accompanied by a fitting poem. This is the essence of Sinterklaas: lots of fun on a day when people are not only allowed, but expected, to make fun of each other in a friendly way. Children, parents, teachers, employers and employees, friends and co-workers tease each other and make fun of each others' habits and mannerisms.
Another part of the fun is how presents are hidden or disguised. Recipients often have to go on a treasure hunt all over the house, aided by hints, to look for them. They must be prepared to dig their gifts out of the potato bin, to find them in a jello pudding, in a glove filled with wet sand, in some crazy dummy or doll. Working hard for your presents and working even harder to think up other peoples' presents and get them ready is what the fun is all about.

On the day of the 5th, most places of business close a bit earlier than normal. The Dutch head home to a table laden with the same traditional sweets and baked goods eaten for St. Nicholas as shown in the 17th-century paintings of the Old Masters. Large chocolate letters - the first initial of each person present - serve as place settings. They share the table along with large gingerbread men and women known as "lovers". A basket filled with mysterious packages stands close by and scissors are at hand. Early in the evening sweets are eaten while those gathered take turns unwrapping their gifts and reading their poems out loud so that everyone can enjoy the impact of the surprise. The emphasis is on originality and personal effort (HandMade) rather than the commercial value of the gift, which is one reason why Sinterklaas is such a delightful event for young and old alike.

It were the Dutch settlers who brought St. Nicholas over to
New Amsterdam...the USA.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Holtz has made my Holiday!!

Tim Holtz is such a sweetie!
I have been playing while gathering supplies so I can join Tim on his "Twelve Days of Christmas" that he is having on his blog. Not only is he doing step by step tutorials for 12 days...he is also giving a huge prize 'blog candy' each day!! My new GrungeBoard supplies should arrive on Monday according to UPS tracking and then I can follow along and PLAY!! Click on his link over on the left column to go and see his blog.
Below are some tags I made with the supplies I have on hand.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Where did Fall go???

I know it's almost December and I should be pushing the whole Christmas decorating/shopping mode around here, but geeze, what happened to Fall? It has been crusty, crunchy & blustery cold here for over a week. It snowed about 3 inches before Thanksgiving and hasn't been warm enough for even a slight melt. Hope it's not going to be one of those TUFF winters that we all dread.....

Here's a shrine I did for a Trends Challenge. We were to use a past ATC that we made and make a shrine using a box, sardine can or anything. I had this small old New Haven clock case that was empty and waiting for some altered use and thought I would try it....wasn't brave enought to slap paint on the nice wood though. It's a Mom and Me tribute, hope you like!

PS...I WON!! I received a great gift certificate to Thanks Inka!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas Brown Bags Albums

I have been busy making some Christmas Brown Bag Albums for eBay. I have found that once you have all the materials out it just gets addicting and the mess just gets bigger and before long you end up with 3 or four books going at the same time. Then there's the picture taking and it takes so many that the auction template ends up with a ton of pictures that you end up scrolling and scrolling before you see them all.... So, I have been having fun making little photo slides. Here's my first one and I will be adding more here on my blog as I go. Click over to my eBay button to see the auctions, if you want.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Day Thankfulness

I am thankful for the little things....
boys, giggles, horsing-around and HUGS!

"If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get."
(Frank A. Clark)

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." [H. U. Westermayer]

"Thanksgiving is nothing if not a glad and reverent lifting of the heart to God in honor
and praise for His goodness." [Robert Casper Lintner]

"Without Thy sunshine and Thy rain
We could not have the golden grain;
Without Thy love we'd not be fed;
We thank Thee for our daily bread.

Monday, November 12, 2007

What clears your creative block???

The dreaded block happens....when we least expect the FLU!
A cure for "creative block" for me is to take a small break from whatever my current ART passion is....currently Altered Art. I have several UFO's here (Un-Finished Objects) such as a couple partially naked theme dolls, some boxes to decopage', the assembling of the quilt block swaps, a couple suitcases and 8 pairs of iceskates to think about. Oh, and a large floorcloth all base coated and ready. ( notice they are all Big items that take up precious space.)
Digging through supplies to attempt this will lead me to new projects, I'm sure. Just the elimination of the 1/2 finished stuff can help find more room to work on the future projects that I want to do and help my mind to wind down for more tunnel vision on projects I want to spend more time with....know what i mean? But...I won't touch a thing or Alter Anything until those other projects are done and the creative pallete is clean. Remedy: Starve the passion, Feed the piles of projects!

While this is all going on...I will still be in Hunter-Gatherer mode!
With Altered Art you need a stockpile of emphemera, trinkets and distressable junk, so .....Grab inspiration from weird locations...
Magazines are good. But not the 'usual' favorite magazines. Try Ancestry or Bridal magazines, go to the library and use their copy machine to gather cool clip art of your own. And for fun try "Boutique" catalogs - the ones that carry odd "artsy" type pictures, knick-knacks and such. All magezines are a great source for weird fonts and wordage. For trinkets...go thru your junk drawer. Antique shops have tiny junk grab bags...head to the garage or better yet print out a wish list. All kinds of mini junk like game pieces, jewery, old vintage gift cards and hardware pieces can be gathered from friends and family....sometimes they bring you the perfect off-the wall items!!
For Themes... you can take one inspirational item: a photo, trinket or ephemera piece. Go online and search keywords related to it for great ideas for adding more to it and get a direction to take. History, a historical event or significant link to provenance gives the finished item more value or an interesting write-up in your listings.
For Color...I need to experiment and stretch from the norm, so I get out and look at "real art". If there's no museums or local galleries, thumb through books or go online. The whole objective is...don't be afraid of color in your art-pieces! Be an observer...take notice. Take a walk. Even in winter, you have colorful birds, great sunsets and snow shadows.
I myself, with pressure to create a lot of art in a short period of time, found myself running short of creative fuel. When this happens, it's all about stepping away from the "canvas" and "seeing" what's around me or look to outside influences in theme and color. This recharges me and my output is much improved.
Here's hoping you find out what clears your creative blocks!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tip Ins

I just had to share these 2 sets of tip-ins from my angel friends...these fit right in 2 different altered books that are works in progress. Sarah Whitmore made the first one for my 'Old West' theme and Michelle Bonds did the second set for my 'Garden' book. Both sets are awesome in person and thankyou angels for the wonderful tips!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick or Treat Winner

The Halloween Blog Party was such great fun...and it's not over yet. I was on the computor for most of the day and I didn't make it through all the blogs on the I am headed back today! There are some fantastic blogs out there and I guess that is the purpose of such a party get to know and visit with other neat people and see what all their interests are.

I had a great response to my blog candy and the winner picked by the hubby was NINNIE!! I will be contacting you to let you know and to get an address. Congrats!!
I have been asked to share more fun Blog Candy...Better click on the link above and GO SEE!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

TREAT! now here's the Trick....

I am participating in the Halloween Blog Party hosted by
This Treat is for anyone how stops over to my blog for Halloween!!
To get your name in the draw, just post a comment to this treat and add your e-mail after your name. Drawing ends at midnight the 31st! Not much time, so the odds should be real good! Good Luck and Happy Halloween!

"Dumb Supper" Traditions

I thought witches just mixed up potions and stuff in the big old about whipping up a Dumb Supper? I had never heard of this...sounds like a spin off of the ouigi board...but if you'd like to sit down to dinner with a past loved one...check out this article that I found.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Altered Bag Book

If you need a Halloween Album to put this years or past years party or costume photos in....let me know. The first $24 by paypal, gets ship. Email to alteredrouteathughesdotnet. Thanks!

Trends in Halloween's Hallmark-approved, TV special-packed, sanitized and ready-to-go Horror Lite is missing something. Like the rest of the major holidays (and quite a few of the minor ones), Halloween today seems to be a slicked-up, white bread, Disneyfied version of its former self.
-James Lileks, in his editorial column, "Backfence," for the Minneapolis Star Tribune

What's Next: Trends in Halloween

The Grandaddy of all themed Halloween Art Festivals.....someday I will treck the 1700 miles just for this!! Prepared to be Amazed by clicking on the list of exhibitors!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I have 2 days to get this blog decorated for the Halloween Party. I can't add a black background to get things all SPOOKY because it will mess up my settings,so I am looking for other ways to get my WITCH on....I just love witches!!