Friday, February 8, 2013

More Beads - aka Gasparilla Again

Tampa has a huge celebration every year called Gasparilla.  It's a Pirate Invasion of grand proportion.  It's been an annual event since 1904.  Part of the joy of Gasparilla is attending the parades, and in all my parades I have yet to leave with less than 100-200 bead necklaces.

Being in Miami now, I didn't expect to be going back to Gasparilla any time soon.  But we had an offer we couldn't refuse.  We were to attend the main parade (over 100 floats) on the Bayshore as the guest of a major corporate sponsor, after which we were invited to their home for a post parade party.  I thought, this was pretty awesome, but I promised myself I wouldn't bring home any more beads.  After all, I had just finished two chandeliers and a mosaic, and my supply was nicely cleaned out, and I really don't have room for more in my much smaller craft closet.

We arrived at the corporate tent, and were promptly given a few necklaces, such a pretty one with the Jose Gaspar ship on it, I can't say no.  Every table was covered in beads, and there were even a few large cooler size treasure chests filled.  No - keep walking, I don't need any.  But they were pink, and the necklaces are long, and the big beads, I don't have any of those.

Before you know it, the parade was starting.  I had front row, up close and personal with the Pirates.  It was awesome.  Honest, I wasn't trying.  I wasn't shouting or waving or fighting for them, well, as much as the people beside me.  But then the age old frenzy started, and cries of BEADS, BEADS, BEADS could be heard throughout the land. 

An amazing thing happened, magically one landed around my neck - that pirate had good aim as it was thrown from on top of a passing float.  Then more landed at my feet, and some  without effort were caught in my hand.  Then there were the strolling pirates, who couldn't pass by without handing out a trinket or two.

In all, I ended up with about 75 necklaces, 10 "gold" doubloons  a stuffed manatee, and a squishy light bulb   And I brought them home.

A neat thing about the necklaces, yes I am now rationalizing my hoard, is that this year's were more fabulous than the plain beads from yesteryear.  This year I got Pirate skulls and cross bones, butterflies, footballs, iridescent  hearts, and Budweiser beer caps. And crawfish, and shrimp, and footprints, and faces, and palm trees, and pyramids...  

When I got home, my daughter and her college roomie got busy decorating my lampposts in the backyard.   Mardi Gras is coming up soon.  With the remaining beads, including probably a good bit of the older stash, we had plans for a fabulous glittery tray for the party hosts (and former neighbors of my inlaws).  

It ended up being a group effort.  My mom-in-law had purchased the tray 15x23, and a wooden letter "B".  We picked up some glue and some frame molding on clearance, so that we could rest some glass above the beads.  My father-in-law got busy with an old saw and miter to cut them down to size.  Then the fun began with my mom-in-law, daughter & I cutting up about 70 necklaces bead by bead.  Then we got out the serious glue.  Fortunately it was about 80 degrees today and perfect weather to work outside.  Yes I am rubbing it in, it's the begining of February.  I love living in Florida.

A few hours later and we had the finished product, and the beginning of a business plan to make many more of these.  Maybe it's time to start selling some crafts.  Hmm.

suzilfb's Beads album on Photobucket

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Move

Getting ready for the move –

In the weeks leading up to the move I traveled most of the time. It’s not easy going through everything you owned to figure out what would we keep, but to do it while travelling yourself and working full time, it was pretty near impossible.  Imagine my relief when hubby found a large home, with garage and a room to use as an office, instead of the 3 bedroom tiny condos we had been looking at.  I knew then that everything would be OK.  I didn't have to get rid of anything – ya right.  But at least the pressure was off.

I started a new craft to keep me occupied at night while hubby was gone as well.  I had always wanted to do something with the kids event t-shirts, but I knew a quilt wasn't my style or forte, and frankly we had gotten rid of the t-shirts as they became worn or outgrown.  But I had a supply of about 30 Girl Scout and race shirts of my own that I would not likely wear again.  I decided on a multicolored latch hook rug that I had seen so many posts for.  I had all the supplies.  I spent a couple evenings cutting 1 x 4 inch strips.  Each shirt made about 220 pieces.  With the size rug I was making I figured I needed to cut 25 shirts.  Not wanting to end up short and having a block of one color, I went ahead and cut up all 30 shirts.  I tumbled the pieces in the dryer to remove the fluff and mix them up.  If you plan on doing this, clean the lint trap every 5 minutes. Then I dumped everything into a bag.  Got my supplies, looked at a couple of sites that had tutorials, and started.  I discovered this to actually be a good travel craft.  I filled a gallon size Ziploc bag with pieces, and packed the rug, hook and pieces in my suitcase.  Not so good if you are tight on a plane, but I usually check my bag, so it worked out great.  I have about 1/9th complete, and now it sits by my couch waiting to be worked on.  I haven’t touched it since the move.  I think tonight’s the night.

The Move, and the mess

We put our house on the market October 16th.  We thought it would take 6 months to sell.  I spent the first weekend packing up lots of little things, and most of my kid’s stuff, to get the house ready to show.  This also meant cleaning the craft room for real.  I thought I had everything all nicely organized and ready for the move.  We had a pending contract by November 13th.  We still hadn't found a new home and we were supposed to close the first week of December.  Fortunately for me, the bank is slow. 

We moved the week before Christmas.  I had separated out a few crafts that I thought I would work on before Christmas.  I did manage to make a mini scrapbook of all the castles my daughter had visited in 2012.  I haven’t touched anything else. 

After the move, my son came home for Christmas, he declared that he would unpack all the boxes in the office and get it set up.  I was rather skeptic, most of the boxes were craft stuff.  Amazingly, not only did he get all the boxes but 2 unpacked, he put away all my scrapbook/paper supplies and did and pretty good job of it.  After he left I had to reorganize a little, to make it my own.  That left 2 boxes in the office, and 2 more in the garage.  Hubby helped me unpack the 2 boxes.  We discovered the file cabinet drawers wouldn't open or close.  After a lot of effort we got them open and emptied.  The office is a mess, and I still have 2 more boxes to go.  My goal today, get the current stuff put away, and figure out the file cabinet.  Tomorrow will be the last two boxes, and then I craft.  

Sooner Rather Than Later & the Party

Sooner Rather Than Later
When I started the blog on my birthday, my husband was looking for a new position.  There was the thought that we might have to move.  Well the move happened, and we have made the relocation to Miami Florida.

After the initial shock I was determined to not let go of everything in the craft room that meant first finding a place big enough to support my stuff, and second, realign my priorities in my craft room cleanup.  I put my husband in charge of looking for a home.  I must say he did a fantastic job.  Although smaller, I still have a shared office/craft room.  I now have to share a desk, but with the addition of IPads for both of us, my husband is rarely at the desk. 

The Party –
In October, when it was decided we would make the move, I reviewed my inventory.  There is a lot of stuff that I probably will never get around to using.  Every year I get together with my Girl Scout leader friends for a crafting camping trip.  What better way to use up supplies, and ensure that so much goes to a home that will use it up.

I set up our annual trip this year to camp (sleepover) at my house.  What an awesome weekend that was, me and 6 of my best friends, my daughter fresh home from 3 months in Germany (we actually picked her up half way through the party) and 2 of her friends.  It was so much fun.  A few ladies brought some supplies, but the general idea was, we had to use my supplies.  I went through the closet and room – brought so much downstairs.  I had several chipboard album pages, so I asked each person to decorate a page, took pictures of us, and now I have a keepsake of my friends and the good times we had.  We decorated frames with paint and Girl Scout swaps and added more pictures.  We decorated tiles.  I made a magical crown for my daughter, and we decorated welcome home signs. There were lots more things that I put out to use, and after my first couple glasses of sangria, I’m not sure what everyone made. 

My friends know I always had a rule, that if there was left over food after a camping trip, I never brought it home, it was split among them.  I applied the same rule to the supplies at this event.  So by the end of the weekend I no longer had my flowers, polymer clay, clay machine, a whole bunch of paper, and so much other stuff that I had cleaned out.