Friday, February 27, 2009

Abnormal Family

I am going to be gone for a few days. I am visiting with my sibs and more family members. This will not be a "relaxing visit." It will be a lot of fun. Seems my niece has a plan to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. My bro is joining us from Seattle. I wrote a story about our bunch. It might explain a few things. Here goes:

Although my family appears to be normal we do not fit anywhere near that category.
When we were together for Thanksgiving (No children for the first time we could remember!) I cut strips of paper for us to write upon what we were thankful for. I wrote the first one. “I am thankful for my sweet daughter-in-law,” curled it up, and placed it in a bowl. Everyone followed my lead with the curling and such. Then at dinner we passed the bowl around, drew one out and read it to the group and then everyone guessed who wrote it. Doesn’t that sound sweet?
I cannot even repeat many of the writings here. This family is too wisecracking and irreverent to be allowed in public. Every occasion is a roast. Clearly we all think we are comedians.
This makes Christmas shopping a bit out of the ordinary.
The motivation for Christmas gifts around here is more of the “Will this make everybody laugh” type rather than the “Mom needs a new robe, and I think she’ll like this pink fuzzy one” idea.
For a simple example, if someone is decorating their new bathroom in the Yellow Rubber Ducky motif, they will receive red ducks with devil horns, or worse.
My sister, Barbie, has opened several obnoxious Barbie doll items, as you might expect. The best one was the Christmas following a sibling houseboat trip at Lake Shasta several years ago. One night on the boat, we decided to decorate ourselves and each other with glow in the dark paint and dance around with reckless abandon. Adult beverages were involved, naturally. (There is a video of this event somewhere, but no one will admit to having it.) The next morning, Barb had permanent day-glo pink dots all over her legs. It took several days of swimming and soapy showers to remove them. Her Christmas Barbie, you guessed it, had pink dots up and down her long Barbie Doll legs. This sent all of us into uproarious laughter.
On a Christmas spent in San Francisco, well first I’d better let you in on a family fact. We are football fans. Rabid football fans. Unlike most closely knit families everyone here cheers for different teams. Rob loves the Forty- Niners, Pegi loves the Dallas Cowboys, Martie loves the Green Bay Packers, to name a few. Whenever any combination of these teams is playing the phone calls go back and forth delivering creative sarcastic remarks. (A $5.00 bet was once paid off with five hundred pennies dumped all over the floor.
One year, Rob took Pegi’s action figure of Troy Aikman off of her rear view mirror and bought it a tiny pink tutu and a feather boa and hung it on the tree. On another Christmas, he bought a Forty-Niner cheerleading outfit for Martie’s four year old daughter and taught her to say, “Brett Favre is a pill-popping, crybaby monkey.” Rob always wins the Sarcasm Award. I taught him everything I know.
Martie received a practical gift one year after she had a slight altercation with our neighbors in “Darn Near Mexico” (Southern California). See, these neighbors ran a swimming school in their back yard and sometimes they had reluctant students who sounded as if they were being pinched, bitten, and then drowned. One morning Martie wasn’t in the mood for this, due to a slight case of PMS, and let them have some of their own medicine right back in the form of a radio station that specialized in Rap.
This occurrence prompted Aunt Barbie to find the perfect gift for her. It was a CD with a wide variety of obnoxious noises for the purpose of annoying one’s neighbor. It contained crying babies, arguing adults, and thunderous snoring and the like. The best was two people engaging in a bit of noisy, amorous passion. Upon hearing it, my three-year-old grandson said, “I know what they’re doing!” Our surprised, gasping faces turned to him and he confidently said, “Pooping!”
Now what did I do with that catalog, “Gifts For The Inappropriate?”

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Bowl and a Story

Here is a more recent bowl. I weaved some random fibers and left the ends long. Then I added a double ring of wood that used to be part of an earring and tied some more fibers on it. (Where as most crafters would MAKE jewelry, I UNmake jewelry.)
I finished it with fabric trim.

Here's the story:
I was working on a bowl one day, when my granddaughter (age 5) scooched in beside me. "Whatcha doin', Geege?" (I am Gigi to my family and old friends.)
"I am making a bowl." I replied.
She stayed very still and watched for a minute or two. I could tell she was thinking very hard. Then "But wasn't it already a bowl?" she asked, cautiously, as if I had possibly lost touch with reality.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cutting My Decoupage Teeth

Once upon a walk through the boutique at Nordstrom, I spied a bowl that had been all done up with what appeared to be, Wallpaper cutouts. It had a price tag of $80.00!
I thought Eighty Dollars, my (Pick your body part.) I can do that! And I went on to figure it all out and I have made many bowls since then. I gave a few to people I love. I donated a few to fundraiser boutiques. I still have the rest. I can't seem to quit making them.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

[Big-RagDollChallenge.jpg]Count me in!!

Silly Joe

This is Joe. He is my protector. This is a story about him.

Sometimes blind luck works out in your favor.
Two years ago the pump that brings us water from the creek needed an electric something-or-other installed. Since we never mess with anything that can fry you quicker than you can say, “They killed Kenny,” we called for an electrician.
When he arrived, he had with him, The Best Dog Ever! He was friendly, enthusiastic, and loved the creek. His name was Joe. We fell in love with Joe at first sight. He seemed to be part retriever, part lab, part shepherd, and all eagerness and spirit.
Richard told the electrician, that Joe was exactly the kind of dog he was looking for. He wanted a good farm dog to ride with him in his pick-up.
He has never been all that fond of my Papillion. I think he believes people would make fun of him if he drove around with her in his truck, especially if they heard him calling for her.
“Lolita! Come!”
The electrician finished his job and left. A few days later he called and asked if we really wanted Joe. He said Joe wasn’t good with children. Since our children are grown and don’t look like actual children any more, Joe wouldn’t know they came under that heading and therefore he’d surely be fine with them. We said yes.
He brought Joe to us and left with tears in his eyes.
Joe cried all day and finally fell asleep with me lying beside him on the bed. He kept his paws around my arm to make sure I wouldn’t go away. We gave him lots of love and cookies and he settled down, and within a week he was at home with us.
He is a delight. He’s perfect. Oh, he has a few idiosyncrasies. For one thing, he doesn’t like for any items to contain cotton stuffing. Not long after he had become our dog, we were sitting in the kitchen, and suddenly Joe proudly came down the hall with our big poofy comforter. Only it wasn’t poofy any more.

He seemed to be saying, “Look what I did for you!” I went into the bedroom and found myself standing knee deep in a cloud of cotton. Oh well, that thing didn’t really “go” with this house, anyway. I have since purchased a more practical bed cover without all that annoying cotton in it.
Joe still removes the cotton from all of the toys he can get his paws on, and we must be careful to keep pillows out of his reach. Those nice, round, comfortable dog beds from Costco are out of the question, as well.

Joe likes to play games and has personally made up specific rules for each one. One of his favorite games is called “Get the Stick.” Here is how you play it.

He grabs a nearby stick. (We have an abundance around here.) Then he stands seemingly as still as a statue, but if you look closer, you’ll see that every muscle in his body is quivering at the ready. His eyes are looking at you for the slightest indication that you have noticed he is ready for a game.

All you have to do is say, “Gimme that stick!” and he is off and running. He careens past you at light speed, running back and forth. Your part in the game is to repeat the catch phrase. Sometimes I embellish and say, “Gimme that! It’s my favorite stick!”
As he charges past you for the fifth or sixth time, he enjoys it if you reach out your hands and pretend to grab the stick. This causes him to bark gleefully, which incidentally, sounds pretty funny with the stick in his mouth. This game will continue until you get tired of it. Joe will never get tired of it.

Another game is “Get the Lizard.” This game requires prodigious barking. A human does not need to participate in this game, unless the human gets tired of the barking.

Here are the rules for “Get the Lizard.” First he must find a lizard and recruit it into the game. The lizard will more than likely not be a willing participant. Then he barks and paws at the lizard as it opens its little lizard mouth trying to be intimidating. Joe loves this! When it tries to sneak away, he gently brings it back into the game and then gets it into his mouth and flips it into the air.
This activity continues until the lizard is no longer playing its part in the game. By this time it is missing its tail, a few limbs, and is decidedly dead. Now, Joe engages in frenzied barking because it won’t wake up and play with him. The barking continues until the lizard is confiscated. (I must say right here that if I am aware of the lizard’s dilemma in time, I rescue the poor thing. After all they eat bugs we don’t like.)

If a fly or moth wanders into the house, Joe engages in another game called, “Get the Bug.” (Are you beginning to see a pattern here?) This game has no rules. He just jumps and clacks his teeth together in the general direction of the offending bug, knocking over furniture and lamps. This is not my favorite game, but my grandchildren find it delightfully entertaining.
Incidentally, the grandchildren are aged thirteen and seventeen, which, thankfully, is old enough for them to be acceptable to Joe. They just have to remember not to bring their teddy bears when they come to visit!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pride Goeth

I am just SO proud of myself for figuring out how to put my new header up! You, see, Everything I do on a computer, I do by accident. I'm elated when my accidents turn out good. Yea me!

July Thing

I took a few pictures of this July Stuff. Now if only I can decide which one I like the best...Then perhaps I can convince someone to help me build a header for this blog! Rob?

More re-do

We had the icky carpet ripped out of the guest room this morning. We are putting tile that is like the rest of the house. Those big, lovely, durable tiles are the only thing to have on the floors out here on the ranchito. The stirred up dust made me feel as if I were in China again so I went out to work in my studio.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I don't have a clue about what to do now! My picture was not sideways in my file. This is my latest project.

Beaches, Cruises, and Parties, Oh my!

Most of the embellishments are K& Company. I also used other flowers, buttons, and sparkly items. It was time consuming to cover the wooden letters completely with paper. But once I had them covered, the fun part started!

Most of the pictures the two of us at weddings, on cruises, on beaches, and at parties.

Just the Two of Us

I randomly stenciled all of the addresses that we have called home on the letters.

There is a picture on the "R" that has a gaggle of family members on it. I used a couple of others that have our two children with us, otherwise all of the photos are of just the two of us.


I know! It look's like it says "Ugh!" But none of our 43+ years together have been ughish.
I used K&Company's Classic K Margo paper exclusively in this project. The colors are perfect for my current red, green, and tan decorating fetish.

Collecting - The Hard Part

It took me two months to gather the photographs. (One of these days I'll get my photos organized...maybe.)
Then I took them to Kinko's and made them small. I tried using one or two in a larger size, but I felt it detracted from the over-all look.

Texture. Love Texture!

I also used little clay trimmings here and there for more texture.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Soft Sculpture

I got some of the material in Hawaii. Other came from my "stash." I also put some old, excuse me, VINTAGE pins on it. Can y'all tell I like red?
I got the idea for this from one of my favorite mags, of course!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Decorative Table

I found this broken table in someone's trash. To the horror of my husband, I brought it home and made it look all girly and I have it in my bathroom now.

Bathroom Table

I decoupaged textured scrapbook paper on the top and covered the base with gift wrapping paper. The Goddess on the table top was on the wrapping paper too.


I used paper that I bought in a little shop in Shasta City.
Then I gold leafed around the edges.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bobby's Book

I made this book for my mama. It is a collection of pictures of my brother whom we lost when I was 18. His story is below.

Baby Bobby

Baby Bobby. We had that '49 Ford station wagon, "Woody" for all of the years I was in school.

Boy Bobby

Here is Bobby on his bicycle. The picture below it is us at our "Gully House" in Oklahoma City. The picture in the lower right is the two of us at Lake Texoma, where we spent our summers. You can read about those two places in "Bobby's Story" below.

Bobby's Story

By Lynn Van Buskirk Guinn

The Oklahoma City Fire Department had to come and get him down from his stranded perch, up high in an oak tree when he was six years old. That gave us ten more years with him.
Mom gave birth to six of us. I was first and he was two-and-a-half years behind me. Mom had us in twos, a boy and a girl in each duo. I don’t know how she managed that, but she did.

My earliest memories are about his birth and homecoming, so in my mind there was never a time when he wasn’t there. He was my partner and we cavorted through our childhood together.

And I do mean cavorted.

I protected Bobby and taught him everything I knew. I taught him how to walk, how to “write” secret messages on the underside of the dining room table, and then how to “read” them.
“Bussa, bussa bussa!” I would say with great expression, as I “read” my cursive scribbling.

I taught him to ride his bicycle by riding on the back of it with him peddling furiously. It took me a while to convince him that he could do it without me because I was not touching the ground or holding him up in any way.

When I was seven we moved into a duplex at the end of a road. After the road ended there was a wide gully and then a great expanse of land. Behind the house were a steep hill, a rock wall that stood over twice as tall as we were, and an empty field. The aforementioned gigantic climbing tree was in that field.

Mama said,
“Don’t EVER go in that gully! Bad people hide in there! Some bank robbers blew up a safe in there recently and a little girl drowned in the stream down there last year! And see that big cement pipe under the dirt road?”
(It was so big that I could stand in it and put my arms up and stand on my tippy-toes and I couldn’t reach the top.)
“Well now and then, without any warning what so ever, a huge wall of water will wash through there and drown you in the blink of an eye!”
Bobby and I looked at each other with our eyebrows raised high, and our mouths in the shape of an O, barely able to contain our excitement. All of this and there was a little door that allowed us to crawl under the house! What magical place have we chanced upon!

We couldn’t wait to go in that gully! We crept down there that very day. It opened up new ways to have daring adventures. At first we hovered on the edges of the little stream that trickled out of the big cement pipe, waiting anxiously for a wall of water to spontaneously come whooshing out. We stared in amazement and awe at the stream, imagining the body of the little girl. After a few days Bobby dared me to run through to the other side of the big pipe. I ran in about five feet and then ran screaming back out, my heart pounding.
We got braver each day and soon were running all the way through, and yeah, even sitting in it when it was dry.
It was the same with the gully. Each day we ventured farther into the tangle of brush. Once we found a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. This caused us to giggle uncontrollably at the prospect of someone naked in our gully. There was a rumor that a gun was found, but we figured our mother started that.
We soon had a fort/camping site built deep in the trees and bushes. It was heaven! The fact that our sister, Barbie, was born that year gave us the prolonged freedom that only a too busy mother can give.

The steep hill at the end of our driveway that led down to the field was an adventure in itself. I recall a time when I dared Bobby to ride our homemade scooter down the hill. He was afraid (or smarter than I) so I said, “OK, you sissy, I’ll ride it down!” I still have the scar from that ride.

Because of our hill, snow was both welcomed (for sledding) and dreaded. (We had to conquer it in order to get to school and then back home again.) In all weather, we had to go down this hill, cross the field, go up a small incline to a rutted dirt path, that went over the gully, to get to school. Bobby and I always walked together. It would have been scary without him.

The gully years offered up an escaped leopard, a rabid dog, and a suspected child snatcher, along with it’s smattering of small-time criminals. What more could two reckless cavorters ask for!

As we grew older, our interests began to deploy in different directions. However, we still slept together on Christmas Eve, snuggled under the covers listening to carols on the radio. There are certain times when one just needs a brother.

Later came the coming of age years when we alternately teased, argued with, and tried to ignore each other. At least I tried to ignore him.

One summer he and his friend built a radio station out in the washhouse behind the garage. Bobby sneaked upstairs to my bedroom where I was sleeping and tuned my radio in to their station and tippy-toed back down to the washhouse.

A gregarious radio voice soon brought me from a dead sleep to my feet.
“It’s a beautiful summer morning here in Ada, Oklahoma! You’re listening to WLXT. Here is a request for my sister, Lynn!” And “Twist and Shout” began to play. I thought I had slipped into some parallel universe.

That was the year that Bobby grew tall and handsome. I can still see him standing at the ironing board struggling to press his “wheat jeans.” Mom had just given birth to our brother, Mikey. Bobby couldn’t believe his good fortune to have this tiny baby to carry around and cuddle and kiss. He adored Mikey. He gravitated to him as soon as he walked in the door from school. They had serious “talks.”

I started college. Our president was soon to be assassinated. Our comfort in the sureness of life was shaken. But not as shattered as it soon would be.

That spring on the day before Easter, Bobby and his friend Dennis drove to Lake Texoma Lodge to apply for jobs for the coming summer. On their way home they were hit by a southbound Frisco freight train at an unguarded crossing. I am sure they were happy and had the radio turned up nice and loud. They got the jobs.

Two weeks later his new driver’s license came in the mail. He had lived for sixteen years and nineteen days.

Hug and kiss the people you love.

Boy Scout

On the left are cousins, Robert, Wesley, and Bobby circa 1956. The right page is Bobby in his Sunday suit and his Boy Scout uniform.

Drummer Bobby

These were among the last photographs to be taken of him.

The Back Cover

Mom called this picture, My Three Sons" when she first took it. She only had three sons for seven months.

Monday, February 2, 2009

First Class- So much Better Than Coach

Here is the other side of my "First Class" bag. I used old jewelry and other trinkets, charms, and buttons to finish it off. If you see any of your work here let me know and I'll "cite" you, or do whatever you wish. None of my creations is for sale.

Decoupage Carry-All

My lovely daughter in law got herself a Coach bag. I responded with this decoupage bag. I used pictures from my favorite, favorite mags, Somerset and Cloth Paper Scissors. If some of the pictures are your work, I thank you.

I used a bit of the Coach logo and put the words "First Class... so much better than Coach" on it. It isn't really practical to carry, but sometimes I do just to see what people will say.