Monday, February 23, 2015

pasta fazool

I thought people might be interested in how I came up with my blog name.

When I was a kid, we went somewhere, probably a wedding reception or something like that, and they were serving baked ziti. I had no idea what that was, and being the uber-picky eater that I was and still am to this day, I had to find out what it was before I would try it. I don't remember who I asked, but their response was "It's just like spaghetti, only different". It has become one of my favorite sayings. When people ask me what something is, that is usually my reply. I'm pretty sure I ate the ziti because I love spaghetti.

I don't really know what pasta fazool is, but it is fun to say, and it just might be like spaghetti, only different. And I love that line from the song That's Amore - "when the stars make you drool just like pasta fazool". Nothing says love like a little drooling under the stars!

When I finally decided to do a blog, I told Vince my 2 choices - the first was 'Time for a change', because it meant that I needed a change and that I actually had time to do something new. His response to that was "Politicians use that as a campaign slogan". Well, yuck, I am not a fan of politics in any way! So then I said "What I really want to name it is 'just like spaghetti, only different' ", and he laughed out loud. But I was afraid people might think it was a food blog, and it is a really long name that would be too much to type into a search bar. But in the end, I decided to do what I really wanted to, which is how I do most things.

Well, you know what I chose, and I hope it makes you laugh out loud, too.
I want my blog to be a fun place to visit, where you probably won't see much about food since I don't like to cook ( well maybe a little because we do have a veggie garden in the summer), and you won't hear anything about politics, either. If I can't put glitter on it, make something beautiful out of it, decorate with it, or get it from my garden and put it in a vase, you probably won't see it here!


Well, now that I (meaning mostly Vince) have figured out some of how a blog works, here is what my blog's mission is:

To have fun sharing my projects, old and new, with whoever might find them interesting.

It doesn't matter if the only people reading this are my mom, brother, mother-in-law, cousins (you know who you are!), other assorted relatives, and friends. But it would be really cool if other people find it and read it, too!

So I am going to start with spring projects, old and new, because we have 4 feet of snow in our yard and I need a dose of color.

 this is our garden

 this is the metal yard ornament that is in a raised bed in the garden, he looks like I feel about how much snow we've gotten!

 I made this a long time ago, I did not sign and date it, but I know it is at least 16 years old because it was before we moved into our new house and we have been here 14 years now.
He is made of cotton batting and has a painted face. It was made from a pattern I bought, but don't have any idea who the designer was anymore. I only made a few, one for my mom, mother-in-law, me and a friend.

This is the SS PEEPS, I think I made it last year to use as part of the table decorations for our family Easter gathering at my mother-in-law's house. Most of the crafts I do nowadays are for family get togethers (I did craft shows for years, I will do a post about that time in my life in the future). I do centerpieces and favors so everyone gets to go home with a treasure. I'm very lucky to have a family that appreciates my artistic endeavors!
It is made out of half of a plastic egg that I bought at Big Lots (it had candy or little toys in it, the other half is clear and I have not come up with a use for that yet). The mast is a bamboo skewer painted yellow. I have these skewers in a variety of sizes, I use them in craft projects all the time. The sails are cardstock, inked around the edges and stamped with an egg design ( I have an obscene quantity of rubber stamps).
Vince cut a small piece of wood that I glued into the bottom of the boat so I would have something to stick the mast in. The little chicks playing instruments are copies I made of  reproductions of antique Easter postcards that I got off a CD purchased from I have several of these CD's, they have hundreds of images on each one. I use them all the time for greeting cards, ornaments,
and other decorations.
I glued decorative trim around the edge of the boat to hide the lip on the edge.
I glued the chick cutouts to toothpicks and glued some fluffy yellow feathers behind the chicks, and stuck them down into the crinkly paper. I finished it with the life saver on the back of the boat and a cheerful banner on the top of the mast. 

I use an Epson printer/copier for all my crafts. I love it because the copies it makes are water resistant and that is great if you want to decoupage the images to anything. It also prints outstanding photos, which is probably what most people use their Epson's for. We recently purchased a new one (it is not out of the box yet!) because I am afraid my old one will die in the middle of some project.  They don't make the model I have anymore. Epson makes quite a few models and they don't all have that water resistant ink, so if you want one for crafting, make sure it has that ink. And you have to use the Epson brand paper for the best results. The ink and paper can be a little expensive, but you can't beat the quality of your finished projects.

(my favorite craft glue is called Crafter's Pick, The Ultimate Glue. I can't find it in the stores anymore, so I buy it online)

These are also from last year, the pot is a peat pot for starting plants that has been covered in old sheet music. The polka dots are painted on and I added a crinkly paper trim and fabric ruffle to the edge. I glued a scalloped circle on the bottom to help stabilize it, put some shredded paper grass and some chocolate eggs along with the Easter picks which are also from old postcard images. My mother-in-law (who from now on will be known as Donna, because believe it or not, her name is also Donna Marie Pedini!) helped me with these favors.  We do a lot of crafts together, I am blessed to have her in my life. We did 20 of these and all the postcard images were different. These were the two I kept for Vince & I, he loves airplanes and I love cute little chicks!

I am working on these guys right now. They were something I bought to resell when I had a booth in a local antique store a few years ago. They were a dark greenish-yellow with brown splotches, not very attractive, which is why they probably didn't sell! If I had known I was actually going to start a blog, I would have taken a 'before' picture.

I think this one is finished, I haven't decided yet. I might add some glitter on it somewhere, everything is better with glitter!

Well, I think I'll wrap up this post now. I actually did it all by myself, including uploading the pictures from the camera. Anyone who knows me will agree that it is quite an accomplishment! 
We just bought this camera, a Nikon Coolpix L830 at Sam's Club the other day when we were out grocery shopping (an activity that is near the top of my least favorite things to do). We had been talking about getting one so we could do some videos for Fancifuls and we bought it on a whim. It was only $200, and I love it. All the pictures on here were taken with it. It can take a close up of tiny jewelry parts from one centimeter away! We haven't tried the video feature yet, we have been too busy starting a Facebook page for Fancifuls and setting up this blog!

leaving comments

Thanks for all the great feedback, it is so cool to know you are reading!
Since this all new to me, too, I thought I would let you know what happens when you make a comment. It goes to my blog account so I can see them before they are made public, so they won't show up as soon as you make one.
I didn't even know how it worked until I got my first one!
I will try to check for new comments everyday and get them on here.

stay warm!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

the spork in the road

My journey to starting a blog has several paths. I hope I took the right fork in the road. Or was it a spork?

When I first heard about blogs (in 2007 or 8), I thought "who would want to read any of that stuff on the internet?" My best friend Shari said "Donna, they are for people who like to share". I still didn't get it.

Jump forward to 2009. My husband, Vince, and I own Fancifuls Inc, an online business where we sell brass stampings and findings (we have been in business since 1993, more about that later)  when Stampington and Co. (publishers of Somerset Studio and a bunch of other magazines that are really inspiring) gave us a free ad in one of their publications because we were doing a lot of advertising with them. They did not give us a choice on which publication it would be, so imagine my surprise (or dismay depending on my point of view), that the ad was in Artful Blogging. I said to Vince  "Ugh, they put our free ad in this blogging magazine!" And then I opened it.

 OMG! I had no idea what an art blog was. The stories, the photos, the artwork! The more I read, the more I thought I might want to do a blog someday. I even went to Barnes & Noble and bought Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey. 

But, alas, my computer skills are woefully inadequate . And I type with one finger. And I have a terrible habit of starting new projects with enthusiasm, but end up not keeping up with them. Since Vince is a self taught techno-guru with the patience of a saint (more on that later), and kept volunteering to set me up with a blog and upload photos, etc for me every time I said "I want to do an art blog", I finally said let's do it- so here we are and we'll see how this goes. 

So not only have I started the blog today, but we also set up a Facebook page for Fancifuls. Which is what I think really got me wanting to do the blog because we put a bunch of photos of things I've made on the face book page and it was so cool to see that stuff on there, and everyone else can see it too. But I didn't want to be limited to only projects that are made from Fancifuls products, because I like to do many different kinds of crafts- paper arts, jewelry, sewing, soft sculpture (like the bird pictures in the title banner), decorative painting, collage art, decorating, upcycling items, I know there is more, but I can't think of everything right now. I just love to play in my craft room whenever I can. 

 which usually looks worse than this.
 My brother Dave says this is where the magic happens.

I hope I can share some magic with you.