Saturday, November 28, 2009

There's Free Shipping in my Etsy Shop, and yes, I am still full! :)

Well, good news! We didn't have to eat turkey vulture! We had a lovely dinner and ate far, far too much. Today I am just stopping in to say hello, and to apologize for neglecting all of your blogs. I am taking a couple of days to spend with the family, and to get caught up on holiday orders, and to even (maybe!) decorate for Christmas! :)

I wanted to tell you that this weekend (I'll extend it through Cyber Monday) I have free shipping in the lower 48 states in my Etsy shop. Those of you that don't live in the lower 48 states, and find something you like, contact me through my Etsy shop, and we'll work out a shipping discount.

Now, please come over to my house and take home some food. Caity has baked up a storm.We have several pies to choose from: peach, cherry, pumpkin and apple. We also have brownies. Help.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In case our turkey doesn't thaw...

I've got this other candidate living in our woods. Whaddya think? I'm guessing one of these could serve 4-6 people! It's a turkey vulture, so at least the word turkey is in his name. :)

I remember the first time I saw one, I was driving through our woods, and one swooped across the hood of my truck on his way to help polish off a deer carcass. I almost had a heart attack. It was like I was an extra in Jurassic Park. These guys have a wingspan of 67–72 inches! I have always had an appreciation for the 'clean-up crew'.

But for a more traditional dinner, I could try and bag one of the wild turkeys (not the drink!) that sometimes put in an appearance in our backyard.

Sorry it's such a blurry photo (it reminds me of that pic of Bigfoot!). I am thrilled when I see one in the woods, because I think back to a time in our country when bagging that bird (or a deer) must have really made your day. It makes the Thanksgiving stories I heard as a kid seem a little more real to me. Those were tough times, hungry times, and they must have been very thankful when a meal presented itself.

I am thankful I don't live in those hard times, and that the Safeway down the road has all the goodies I need for Thursday. Although if our turkey doesn't completely's nice to have options!

And here is a turkey from Thanksgivings past...

Caity and Alex - then 4 and 5, now 19 and 20! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Today I am going to buy a turkey if I have to do it at midnight in my jammies. I have been trying to get to the store for two days to get a frozen one (because if I remember, it has to thaw for 40 days and 40 nights). But at the end of the day, when it is dark and rainy outside, the very last thing I want to do is jump in my car and drive down dark and windy country roads to the grocery store. I know! What IS wrong with me?

I did liberate the poor pilgrims and the turkeys from their boxes and sprinkled them around the house. It helped to put me in the proper mood for a holiday that I truly love. My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is getting up early (I hate doing this the rest of the year, but not this day!). I get a cup of coffee (I usually drink tea, but I think coffee might be in order), and start chopping veggies for the dressing. Once they start sauteing, the house has a lovely onion, garlic, and celery smell. One by one, the Smallcombs will stagger into the kitchen for their coffee. I always try to have a coffee cake or something sweet baked. I've got BOTH girls home this year, so the bakers will be in the house! YES!

My mom will roll in sometime in the early afternoon, and the house will be full of people I love. How cool is this holiday? We hang out together and eat amazing food.

I love it. :)

This is Enid. Funny thing about Enid is I designed her around her vintage button eyes (did I ever tell you I love buttons? :). The colors remind me of November, where we are sliding away from those reds and oranges, through the browns, and in our case, the white and grey of Winter.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Have yourself a Thrift Store little Christmas!

I have a small, tiny, confession to make. My name is Pam, and I am a thrift-store addict. It has been four days since my last thrift store visit.

In case you are a fellow thrift store addict, here are the excuses I use for spending money on things I most likely don't need:

1. I am investing in my children's future! That troll doll I bought for $3 will be worth hundreds of dollars in the years to come (it will, too! In a thousand years, it will be worth A LOT!).

2. I am actually looking for vintage art supplies that I will recycle into amazing works of art. This excuse is the best one in the bunch, I think, because it covers ALL of your purchases: plates, tea towels, shoes, strange figurines - it's all going to be used in some fantastic assemblage!

3. I am saving money by buying used items rather than buying them new. This one the DH has shot holes through on several occasions by pointing out that bringing home 3,000 thrift store purchases most likely costs more than the used picture frame I started out to buy. I say ignore these naysayers! Keep buying!

4. You are doing a good deed (This one is good! Use it often!). It's green! You are recycling! You are helping other people! Many thrift stores use their revenue to help people in need. You are reducing your carbon footprint (although when looking at #3, I'm not so sure. I might be creating my own private landfill).

5. You can make other people happy. Some poor people don't have time to go thrift shopping and really love getting that small ceramic dog with the broken foot in the mail as a gift! It cheers them right up! So what if you never hear back from them - it just means they were so overcome with emotion that they couldn't respond.

So I say have yourself a thrift store little Christmas! And if I don't hear back from you when you receive your fabulous gifts from me this year, it's okay. I completely understand. You're very welcome. :)

Now appearing in my etsy shop (and justifying my thrift store shopping!):

VivienneShe has a rhinestone hair ornament, blue fleece, and vintage buttons, all from thrift stores.

MargaretShe has a silk heart, double button eyes, and button hairs do-dahs, all from a thrift store.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spooky Time Jingles and a weird dream....

Spooky Time Jingles is having its update on November 13th. The update is posted on Thursday, midnight EST. Here are some pics of the pieces I have finished. This month, since Halloween and Day of the Dead have come and gone, Dani has suggested we do Thanksgiving and Harvest pieces. I decided to make some different Fridas, and dress her for harvest time. And I made elves for Christmas. Love me a good elf, I do.

Now for the dream. I have the weirdest dreams in the world, and a lot of them are nightmares. I've often said if someone could figure out a way to tap into my night-time brain, I would be rich. But I digress. The other night I had a little 'dream-let' (a short dream) I wanted to share. In the dream, I was in a forest, and there were two trees in front of me. One had the number one on it, and the other the number two (think of Jack in Nightmare Before Christmas with the holiday trees). The bark was very rough, but I could tell there were doors in the trees, and there was a handle branch on each one.

All of a sudden, a narrator pipes up. He says something like, "Behind one of these doors lies absolute proof that God exists. Pick the right door, and you will feel the hand of God upon your shoulder! There will no longer be any doubt in your mind that God is real, and that there is indeed a life beyond this one!" He goes on and on about meeting God, but now I'm looking at the two doors very carefully, as you can imagine. I wasn't allowed to touch them, of course. Not until I picked one.

Then he says something like, "Behind the other door is lifelong uncertainty. You will always Doubt." Well, now I'm thinking, "I don't want that tree. I live that tree!" At this point he puts a full court press on me and asks "Which door will you choose? Number one, or number two?"

I'm actually a little afraid now. Meet God? You read about Moses, and all the prophets, and it's not always a happy happy joy joy experience, but still, I am thinking "I have to pick the right door, I have to know - what a relief that will be to be sure!" So I'm looking at those two doors, and they look exactly the same, but then I think I see (I'm not sure, but I think) a tiny sliver of light coming from the bottom of door number one. So I figure, okay, that has to be the right door. God's light, etc. So I reach out (I can see my hand reaching, and it's shaking), and I take hold of the handle and I pull with all my might.

And it won't open no matter how hard I pull. The end. Fade to black.

When I woke up, I had a good chuckle. I know I picked the right door, and I couldn't get it open! Ah, my mind is a very strange place. But I am grateful for it. At least I am never, ever bored.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Who's a lucky duck? Twice? I am!

Christmas came a little early for me this year. A few days ago, my prize from El Milagro Studio arrived. My friend Anne had an amazing giveaway on her blog. She dangled art supplies in front of me!

Art Sorry, I drifted off there. Of course, I had to enter. I do enter contests and giveaways. And I try to act happy when other people win them. You can imagine (well, maybe you can't, so just trust me on this) my euphoria when I found out I WON. ME!!!! I won! (That concludes the gloating part of the post).

Nothing prepared me for what came in the mail. It was like my husband, or my children, actually LISTENED to me when they asked me what I wanted for my birthday or Christmas. It was like opening a treasure chest.
Look! There are fabulous papers! I will have to get over my fear of messing them up, but I am going to use them, Anne, I promise. :) There are lovely little shells, beads, glitter, and milagros!

I almost fainted when I saw those. There are incredible napkins and some fluid acrylics (WOW!) and Mardi Gras necklaces. So many amazing things, including a tiny little canvas painted with a heart - I wanted to hug it.

She gave me enough canvases for a year's work. I am flabbergasted. She gave me the gift of making art. Anne, I can't thank you enough for your generousity. If you haven't visited Anne's blog and looked at her amazing artwork - get thee over there promptly.

And so, you would think, "Well, that Pam, humph, she's been very lucky and spoiled and her turn is over!". HAH! You would be wrong! Because in the mail, completely unexpected, PERCIVAL appeared!

Percival was hand-stitched by my talented friend, Sally. Sally has a blog, Sally Annie Magundy, where she shares her life, her art, and the fabulous things that she finds. Where she finds all the things she posts about, I have no idea, but I think magic is involved.

Percival is adorable, and so beautifully made. Tiny little blanket stitches! I just love him! It's like a hummingbird made this ornament. I sew more like a water buffalo. :) AND there was chocolate in the gift as well. See's chocolate. As a transplanted Southern Californian, this was like finding my lover after I thought he'd been lost at sea. :)

Thank you so much, Anne and Sally! I am well and truly blessed, and spoiled, and yes, gloating just a smidge.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Some WIPs...and a do-list

I was trying, trying, trying, trying to think of something to blog about. It has to be the time of year that makes my brain fritz so badly. I have a mental 'do-list' that keeps looping and it doesn't allow any original thought to sneak in. Which is why I most likely will get very little writing done on my book until after the holidays. :)

I've decided to revise the loop playing in my head. How about adding:

Have a cup of nice hot tea and watch the birds at the feeder.

Send a card to a friend. Not an email. A handmade card would be extra nice.

Draw for fun. Not because I need something for etsy, or STJ.

Spend more than three minutes a day on body maintenance. Hmmm....maybe even shave my legs! WOOT!

Hang a piece of artwork in my home. I own a lot of lovely art I have collected from many talented people. All of it is stored in my bedroom. Waiting.

Visit my mom and talk to her in person. I talk to her on the phone every day, but in person is probably NICER.

Frame some of the five million pictures I have of my kids and sprinkle them around the house.

Design my Christmas card. This hasn't happened yet, but I am ever hopeful.

Visit everyone on my blog list and comment. I miss doing that. It's a two-way street. I can't expect people to visit me and comment and not vice versa. Bad Pam.

The rest of the list is important, of course. Doctor's appointments, projects to finish, jobs, writing, painting, sewing, kid stuff, yada yada. I just think the loop needs an injection of new material now and then.

These are some pieces I am working on. There are lots of dolls coming up. I have to say, working on them is pure fun. That should be number one on the list. Have fun. Hope you sneak some fun into your loop, too. :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shifting gears...

It was a lovely Halloween night. The air was warm and it was misting lightly. The moon peeked out from behind the clouds when it could, and every now and then a rain drop landed perfectly in one of my luminaries, extinguishing the flame. It was the kind of night that made me wish I was a kid again. The older kids headed off to Halloween parties. The oldest stayed at college and failed to clue Mom in on his plans. Ah, sweet independence! Lucas and his two friends ran in a little soldier pack, gathering way more candy than any 12 year old boys need to eat. When he came home, his pants legs were soaking wet from cutting through yards to get to the next neighborhood. I watched him spread his loot on the table to sort it (offering me all the candies he didn't like :). It occurred to me that I was very grateful that he'd had this night. I know he will always remember it.

So now it's time to shift gears and think about November. On the radio this morning, someone informed me that it was time for me to get my holiday shopping started. Really? I guess so. But it's hard to think about Christmas when November has barely started. When Halloween is still in the air...and inside my house, too.