Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back from the West

Well, we are back from another fantastic and memorable Zemanski vacation. We enjoyed helping Aunt Stephie and Uncle Chuck celebrate their 70TH anniversary. It was a true vacation with plenty of time for sight-seeing, enjoying time with family, swimming, hiking and eating.

However, reality hits pretty quickly...I've been home for less than 15 hours and I've already done five loads of laundry, went grocery shopping, checked my 198 emails and took the dog for a walk. It seems like I never left except when I go back and look at all my great pictures!  I thought I would share just a few of my highlights -- we visited Phoenix, Scottsdale, Slide Rock canyon, the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Flagstaff.
Here are some shots from the vacation:
First, the reason why we traveled to Phoenix:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Celebrating 70

Saturday we will be celebrating Greg's Aunt and Uncle's 70th wedding anniversary! They are holding a square dance for their celebration (they are 94 and 98 years old and they still square dance)! We are excited to go and join the fun. I wanted to give them something special for their big day, so I made them a little booklet card. Here are some sneak peeks of it. The technique I used on the front was smudging. I used a water based black ink to stamp various sizes and styles of hearts. I waited a few minutes and then before it dried, I used the side of my finger to very lightly smudge the ink to one side. It kind of gives it an interesting background. It's a bit messy and you have to be careful not to touch any other part of the book (I did, but immediately wiped it off with a wet wipe). My youngest told me that I needed to brighten it up a bit (everyone's a critic) and he was right, so I stamped the hearts on pink paper and added them in select spots. 

Then, I glued the "70" to the front and used a coat of Mod Podge to protect it. Each member of our family will write a short note to the happy couple inside.

Well, gotta go tackle laundry and house-cleaning before I go...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Results are In...

Hop on over to Angie's, Country Chic Cottage blog to see what I did with the giant spool...nothing too earth-shattering, but as all you moms out there know, it's a CRAZY time of year. Last day of school was yesterday!
Hey, I'm still open to ideas, too!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


My house is buzzing about the Soccer World Cup...my sons and husband  have been looking forward to this all year! Soccer is HUGe in my husband's family and big in mine -- my great uncle had the privilege of playing in the first ever World Cup game...he's even in the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame (yes, there is one in Oneonta, NY, very close to Cooperstown, NY)! In case you haven't heard, the U.S. tied England 1-1; it was a great game and we had a houseful of people who really appreciated the game and the level of play. 

Aside from watching soccer  (and lacrosse),  I've been working on several wedding presents for people -- even sold a few items on my etsy site -- Where the Grass is Greener!! Very excited and hoping that the trend will continue. 

My other shop, Country Tag Sale, a vintage shop, is doing great. I make at least one sale a week and have so much fun finding the items (the thrill of the hunt!) and photographing them. Speaking of which, I got a fantastic deal on a tripod for my camera. 

I have two small tripods that I use all the time, but some for some shots, I really wished that I had a taller one -- well, I found one, the perfect tripod -- one that sells for $40-$60 retail-- for only $2 (that seems to be my magic number at garage sales, lately). Now my shots may look somewhat professional. I also found the funniest father's day gift for my husband (don't worry, he never reads this) -- a beer mug with a bell ringer attached! 

I also found these adorable easels (see above) for my mini collages. I'm going to offer them with each as an option.

Wednesday, I'll be posting on Country Chic Cottage again to show what I created with my giant spool (Still working on that). Tune in...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Would You Do With It?

Okay everyone, please check out my "guest blog" at The Country Chic Cottage today! "It's What Would You Do With It? Wednesday" where each Wednesday a guest blogger (that would be me this week) asks readers, "What would you do with it?". This blog is a great place to wander because Angela has some fabulous ideas along with a ton of other links. Her blog is where I want to be in a year! So stroll over to her blog and let me know what I should do with my find...you have to go to her blog and scroll down a bit to see what I'm talking about. Just click here or above. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fabulous Finds and a New Sign

Oh I had fun this weekend even though I had a limited amount of time to yard sale. I found these really cool old window frames (with latches still attached). I have no clue what I'm going to do with them yet, but for a mere $15, I couldn't pass them up! I also found some very cool old vintage kitchen items and I will be putting some of them in my etsy vintage shop, "Country Tag Sale." Some, like the Sunbeam stand mix, I will keep for myself. Among my finds, a hand potato ricer with just the right amount of vintage charm, a restaurant style creamer, a metal cake decorator and a huge collection of vintage buttons that I can use for my collage work...let the fun begin!

Here is one of my creations that I crafted from vintage hinges, jewelry and watch parts (on the right). It's a pretty cool welcome sign, don't ya think? Of course, it's for sale, but my house is really getting decked out in the meantime. I'm now working on a new welcome sign for a customer that will be personalized...a wedding gift for her friends.
Note: This Wednesday, I will be on someone else's blog as a guest...stay tuned for more information!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dream on...

Okay. I’m in love with this sign I just finished. I really want to keep it, but I do need to make some money. I wish I could make one for me and one for sale, but as you know most of my stuff comes from my fabulous finds, so they are all unique. I’m putting it in my Etsy shop tomorrow, but here’s a sneak preview (see above). I used paper scraps, Swarovski crystals (I bought those), buttons and letters that I found in a clearance rack.  I stamped some French lettering and flowers in strategic places. Then I painted a coat of matte Mod Podge to seal it all. It wasn’t hard, but it did take some time to arrange the papers and consequently there were a lot of “do-overs.”
I’m working on another sign that will be created with a creme and grey palette (again leftover paper scraps). I’m also trying my hand at making paper flowers – we’ll see if I actually include them on my sign. I used regular old card stock paper on my flowers and they turned out pretty good for an amateur.  (If I say so myself!)
Pretty tired after painting 101 third graders’ faces at the school’s Native American day. I think I’ll put up my feet, have a glass of wine and then cook dinner.
Enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fun-filled Weekend (with a little creativity involved)

Once again, we had another fun-filled weekend with the Zemanski crew. Greg's parents, brother, sister-in-law and their kids joined us Friday for dinner out at Cantlers (famous for crabs), then on Saturday we spent the day in DC and headed out with my other nephew, his girlfriend and Greg's other brother  to watch my nephew Ben (who plays for Chivas USA) play DC United in soccer. (Did you get all that?) We had a lot of fun even though Chivas lost. Sunday, it was back to our house for croquet, Baggo and soccer games, plus a bushel of crabs that we had no problem finishing. Monday, we headed to Annapolis to show off our wonderful little city. We sat by the city dock in the shade slurping delicious ice cream from Annapolis Ice Cream (the BEST ice cream--seriously). Most of us had my favorite, apple pie, a flavor where they stir a whole homemade apple pie and cinnamon into the ice cream - yum!

Monday, I still had some company, but did manage to sneak up to the craft closet to finish this sign for my etsy shop. After much research, I see that signs seem to sell a lot better than collage work, so I thought  I would combine my love for art into functional signs. Here is the first of my series of "welcome" and "home" signs. This one reads, "Home is where the heart is." (I substituted a vintage heart pin for the word "heart.") I had a lot of fun creating this. It all started with a piece of wood and this vintage BINGO card. I cut the card into a house shape and just started working. After I was almost finished, I realized that I needed a roof. I told my sister that I wanted to find some copper to cut into a roof (triangle) shape, and guess what? She had it! Wow, her craft room has everything. I swear if I said that I needed an antique spider web, she'd say, "oh, go look in that box over there..."

Anyway, here is the finished result. It's now on sale at my etsy shop. The next sign I make will be very shabby chic...I actually am falling in love with it and may decide to keep it...we'll see.