Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Happy Monday ?

Frankly,  I have had better days. With all our crazy weather changes lately, I think I am working on a major sinus infection...I know -- TMI !  LOL   I can barely breathe and my voice keeps going in and out.  Fun, right?  And the weather here tomorrow is supposed to get cold and rainy and possibly snowy! It was a high of 72 today.  When is this going to stop ?  crazy, crazy weather this year everywhere for sure.  I heard the other day that it was being blamed on El Nino winds.....I personally think it is global warming but I will leave that debate for another day.

Okay, now I am turning a "Not so Happy Monday" into a "Happy INSPIRING Monday" for my blog readers.......Ta Da !!!!

There are some really amazing cool and funky and INSPIRING places around Houston. One of our New Year's Resolutions was to pick a different place around town each month and go for a visit.  In February we picked two..since they were so close together.  Today I will share the first one with you.

First up is the BEER CAN HOUSE...yes, you read that right...A House covered in Beer Cans.  It started off in the mid 1970's or so as a foundation insulation project by a recently retired upholsterer for a railroad company.  One day while his wife was at work, the recent retirer was sitting around drinking some beer...he had a pile of empty beer cans and a house with an exposed foundation on his bungelow styled house.  Being recently retired, he knew he needed to save money and thought all those cans could be recycled somehow. (this was WAY before people were even thinking or acting on recycling).  He proceeded to cut open some cans and pounded them flat and added them all around the bottom of the house.  His wife came home from work and noticed the unusual treatment on the house.  The hubby assured her it was a money saving thing and she went inside.  Day two....through seven...every day her hubby kept adding a layer of flat beer cans to the house, when it got up to about 2 feet all around the house, the wife asked what he was doing?  He said the aluminum was a good insulator and would save them on cooling bills. 

Now here is what I admired about the wife...she made a deal with her hubby right then and there. She told him, you can have the outside of the house but you can not TOUCH ANYTHING ON THE INSIDE OF THE HOUSE!  So Funny....just take a look at what that deal meant on the outside after many years.....

Keep looking...yes, he eventually covered every square inch of this house plus all of the garden area was paved over and he added sculptures he made as well.
Check out these beer can garlands he made and hung from the roof of his house...all the way around !

And here is a cute pic of Bianca in front of one of the sculpture walls in the backyard of the house...made completely out of beer cans and glass bottles and a wood frame.  AMAZING !!!

This is what I call recycling at the finest stretch of the imagination !  The man and his wife passed away years ago but a local artist preservation group has bought the property and keeps the house up and offers tours to the curious for a very small donation. 

The Beer Can House has been listed on the 100 Greatest Things to SEE on a Road Trip Across the US.   We were surprised to learn that people from all over the world make an effort to come see this house. The foundation has a registery book inside where everyone signs in...it was great fun to see so many countries represented.  Just that day while we were there we saw a family from Norway, one couple from South America and another couple from Asia who had all made a special trip to see the house. Of course, many locals were also there enjoying this unusual site.

This house brought to mind the old saying...."One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure !" .  What an INSPIRATION  to have enjoyed the creativity of this man.   

Saturday, February 20, 2010


All the lovely Valentine inspiration this month has my eye trained to catch anything red, white or pink. 

I want to share something PINK I saw the other day.....this looks like so much FUN! 

Is this not the cutest, PINK thing you have ever scene ?!!!!  I had Bianca with me that day and we just wanted to hop on board immediately and take off on a little PINK adventure !  Of course, we were having a bit of a conflict of who would be driving and which one of us was riding shot gun in the side car. I was tempted to give in and let a 7 year old drive so I could ride in the little side car...what a trip that would make!

I really wanted to hang around outside the store and see who was the proud owner of this adorable transportation but alas, as usual ,we were pressed for time and had to get home.

I hope who ever owns this PINK delight appreciates it as much as I did that day :)  It sure INSPIRED me that day. I wonder how my BMW would look in PINK instead of it's current racer green ?  hmmmmmmm.......

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Perfect Weekend

A Perfect Weekend...those don't come around too often.

Our weekend officially started Friday on a cold winter's night with homemade chili for dinner and cuddling up on the couch with my sweetie to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics.We always enjoy watching the opening ceremonies and seeing all the various countries come together to showcase their aweseome atheletes.

After running some errands on Saturday, I came home to find some GORGEOUS WHITE ROSES from my dear hubby.  I don't recall ever receiving white roses before and these were perfect and smell wonderful too!

My hubby put a lot of creative thought and planned an unusal dinner out for us to celebrate Valentines Day.
We not only got to enjoy a delicious dinner, we also celebrated the Chinese New Year at a local Chinese restaurant, Kam's.  This Chinese New Year is the Year of the Tiger...which brings prosperity. 
We can all use more of that this year :)

Here is a pic of my dinner...Manchurian Birdsnest. It was so tasty and a gorgeous presentation too.

The restaurant had arranged to have a group of teenage Lion Dancers come entertain the diners
during our meal. It was soooo much fun !

The kids really got into the performance and all the diners seemed to enjoy all the colorful costumes and antics of the dancers.

Each "Lion" is made up of two kids.  Here one kid is balancing another to capture a red tag hanging from the ceiling.  Who ever captures the red tag is brought good luck in the new year.
No, my husband isn't just sticking his hand down Shen's shirt for kicks ! He is placing a dollar in the shirt to help bring him good fortune and prosperity during the new year.
Here I am feeding a dollar to the "Lion " so I have good fortune and prosperity during the year too.  It was funny to hear the voice inside the Lion give out a little "whoop and thank you" when he took the money.
The costumes of the lions were just amazing and colorful.  They were moving around so fast it was hard to get a clear picture but these captured some of the detail.

And I couldn't resist taking a picture of the gorgeous red lanterns hung all around the restaurant.  So lovely.
It was a wonderful evening.

Today is Valentines Day....my hubby surprised me with another dozen roses, this time in Red!  How great is that?  I know how lucky I am to have such a thoughtful man in my life.  

I promise I am not bragging but he also made my favorite sour dough blueberry pancakes for breakfast.  YUM !  I got to pick a movie for us to go see today...and I chose "Percy Jackson and The Olympians" movie...it was cute and entertaining. The rest of the day has been spent relaxing and watching more Olympics in our PJ's and just canoodling on the couch.  See, I told you....A Perfect Weekend !

Wishing all of you a very Happy Valentines Day and a Happy Chinese New Year too.  Now I am off to eat  some chocolate covered strawberries for dessert....yummmmmmmOH!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Kisses, Hugs, Love, Hearts....Oh My !

Like the rest of the scrappy world right now, I am loving creating banners to display in my home. And of course I couldn't resist creating one for Valentines Day.  INSPIRE the people in your life to stop and enjoy the day of LOVE on February 14th !      (Click on the pics to see close up)

Had fun with these acrylic butterflies from K& Co.
Loved folding them to make them POP OFF the Jenni Bowlin BINGO CARD
I seriously HEART chandeliers and isn't that felt cupid adorable ? I glimmer misted the doily hearts...
wish you could see how they shine better in the pics.
Yes, that really is a dangling, sparklie HEART hanging from the bottom of this banner piece! 
And yes, that really is an old Lil Davis Valentine Embellishment I have been saving in my stash for a special occassion and this was it !  {I really loved that company and was sorry to see them go out of business.} Hope you noticed I added a few pieces of the Valentine Treat bags to accent this embellishment.
I have also been saving my very last PINK Heidi Swapp mirror bird for just the right project. 
Loved how it added a special touch to this banner piece.
I have had this old Valentine postcard in my stash for a while as well. 
So glad the cute Valentine girl found a special place to be enjoyed year after year.
 Those awesome felt roses were found at Hobby Lobby recently.
I added some Pearl Glimmer Mist to help those roses shine!
More K&Co. acrylic pieces shaped and pop dotted to add dimension.
My Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher was perfect to adhering these to the cards.

The base of the banner is is made from large foam hearts I found at Michaels for $1 each.  They already had the glitter around the edges and were just begging to be made into a banner. The adorable rag material banner was also bought at M's this season.  

I used a Martha Stewart punch to make the white lace border on each.  The red ric rac is actually foam that is glittered that I bought at my LSS.  How awesome is that ?  I bought it in every color they had it in.  I cut it in half to make it look like a cute scallop on the bottom of each BINGO card. 

This went together pretty quick and I love how it looks....alll that PINK, RED and WHITE really makes it feel like Valentines Day at our house.  Not too fussy...just the right amount of LOVE shown.

Do you have a special item that you put up at your house that shows your Valentine some LOVE?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Valentines Card Tutorial

As I mentioned in my last post, I was INSPIRED by a product I just happened to notice at a local craft store and thought to use in an unusual way.  It isn't exactly scrap related.  But you could use it to give a scrap gift you create.  Can you guess what it might be?

It is a package of Treat Bags for Valentines Day.  They are clear cellophane with all kinds of Valentines/Love words printed on them. And at $1.99 for 20 of them, there were a steal! I fell in LOVE the minute I saw them and the wheels in my head started turning on what I could do with them. I immediately thought of all the cards I wanted to make for my Valentines.

Here is a little TUTUORIAL on how I used those bags to make a special Valentines Day Card.

1. Here is the set of Treat Bags                                    
2.  Take out 1 Treat Bag

3. Cut bag into a 3" strip                                              
4.  Here is the 3" strip
5. Unfold the 3" strip and cut off one end so it opens up.   6. Adhere the strip to your card base to fit the size card you are using.  Trim the excess off the sides.  Hint: I Glimmer Misted my card base first and let dry before adding my VD bag strip. After I added the strip to the card, I added a die cut border to the top. You could also use ribbon instead. 
1. Cut (2) 1 1/2 "circles and (2) 1" circles from another VD Treat Bag.  Next Cut (1) 1 1/2" circle and
(1) 1" circle from Pink Felt.  Slice a small hole with scissors or exacto knife in the center of each to put brad through. 2. Scrunch all the Treat Bag circles up into tight balls.  

3.  We will be working from top of flower to bottom to layer the flower.  Put brad through the (2) small VD bag circles.  4. Add the small pink felt circle next.
5.  Add the two larger VD bag circles next. 6. Finally, add the large pink felt circle to the back of the stacked circles.
7.  Close the brad on back of the circles. 8.Scrunch the circles with your fingers.
9.  Let go of the scrunched circles and see the flower base. 10.  Add whatever button or jewel you want to the center of the flower.  I recommend using Glossy Accents or Beacons 3in1 Glue to adhere the button/jewel onto the top of brad in the center of the flower.
Here is the final version of the card. I love it was easy to make and inexpensive too ! 
Hope you found this interesting and INSPIRING to try this technique on a card yourself.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What's Red & White and Pink All Over....

Why VALENTINES DAY of Course !!  I totally ADORE Valentines Day !  I can't seem to get enough of that wonderful RED, WHITE and PINK color palette.  It doesn't matter if it is cutsey or classic Valentines style, I love it all.

Earlier this week, I gathered my sizeable stash of Valentine supplies, punches, glimmer mist and went to town creating some Valentines cards.  I wish you could really see all the dimension and glimmer of these cards in the pics. In about an hour or so, I had whipped up the following lovelies to send my special Valentines.

What do ya think?  Will my Valentines know how much they mean to me?  Tomorrow I will post a tutorial of the layered flower I made with an INSPIRING material I found while at craft store.

I also made a Valentines Banner I will be sharing with you over the weekend.  Here is a little sneak peak of it....

It is Oooh La La...., wouldn't you agree? 


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