Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DIY Shrink Plastic Charms

I don't know if you know, but I have a thing for shrink plastic. I love playing with it. I love how it changes images and messes with my sense of proportion and size. Yeah, we all know I like teeny, tiny things. Shrink plastic affords me the ability to make really tiny, detailed things!

I love the idea in this video! These gear charms are some of my favorite charms right now. But they are a bit spendy, so I don't use them much. And that makes me sad. Now the problem is solved! I get to mix my shrink plastic love with my embossing powder love, too! Yay!

Hope you learned something cool here. I did!

Tracy has a lot of neat paper art on her blog at She has many more videos on her channel at

Happy charm making!

- Vickie

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm A Heat Refugee

As the temperatures here soared last week so did my inability to cope with being overheated. Our air conditioner couldn't keep up with the demand. It overclocked itself and formed a big chunk of ice in and around the tube the moves air or something (I know not how these air conditioners work) into our house to cool it off.

Ice! Outside! In 90+ degree temperatures! That didn't melt! What is it? Ice 9?

Ice, ice, everywhere. And not a bit to cool off my house!

Everything sounded like it was working, air was blowing from our vents, but the house just kept getting hotter. By late Monday of last week it was about 80 degrees in my dining room. Upstairs, I am sure, was about to just burst into flames.

Not cool. Not cool at all.

My house was now uninhabitable to me. Some of my meds make it hard for my body to regulate its temperature or sweat properly. I overheat quickly and dangerously. The heat makes this throbbing chronic migraine absolute torture. Mr. M rescued me and drove me out to my mom's apartment where it was cooler. I have been a heat wave refugee
at her place for a week and a day!

Grandma JoJo's Oatmeal Cookies
Mom and I made my Great Grandma JoJo's Oatmeal Cookies

During this adventure Mr. M has tried to get the air conditioner (AC) fixed. At first it seemed possible to melt the ice and get it going again. Our handyman is very talented at actual fixing rather than just outright replacing so we gave him some time.

Long story short: Delay. Delay. Delay. Work halted as unprecedented power loads caused a power outage in our area = no work for 1.5 days. One day was our handyman's birthday = no work. Days were lost to waiting for ice to melt. Yesterday as he put in the new AC he discovered the old AC was too small for our house. More of the furnace had to be replaced than he expected. Parts need to be ordered. Delay. I am *told* it will be done today. (crosses fingers)

I got overly optimistic that the new AC would be running and went home yesterday as work was piling up in the studio. I got overheated again and had to come back to my mom's. FAIL.

Mom's Giant Geraniums
My mom's ridiculously gigantic geraniums

Rochester, NY set record high temperatures on Thursday, July 21st at 98 degrees F. We had at least three days last week where we had 90+ degree temperatures. That's unusual for us, and I believe constitutes a real "heat wave" on the books.

I've never seen so much brown, dead grass here. It reminds me of when I lived in Texas, and of days when I could actually go outside in the heat. I'm not doing outdoor craft shows for In My Head Studios because I cannot sit under a tent for three days if it gets over 75 degrees. I feel like such a wuss!

Mom and I have been having fun though. We get along famously! We babysat my adorable nieces for two days. Fun crafts were made. Cookies were baked. I've been teaching Mom all the really cool stuff she can do with her iPod.

But I miss my house! I miss Mr. M!! I miss my art studio! I wanna go home!

- Vickie

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Little Party

Party Time!

A teeny, tiny, little party broke out in my studio a few nights ago. These little ladies (ahem!) took over my work table and made their own party hats. I could not believe my eyes!

Don't be fooled by those itsy-bitsy innocent looks. I can't turn my back on these gals for a moment! They keep getting into the paint.

Since they're only an inch tall head to toe, it has become tricky to locate them in the mess on my table. They continue to sneak off and explore remote parts of the mess. However, one did return bearing some glitter I had been looking for so I suppose they can stay if they make their keep.

But don't think I don't have my eye on you, Little Miss Green Dress on the left. You look like proper trouble.

- Vickie

Photo taken with Instagram on my iPod Touch.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Lake House Trip 2011

Out of The Plane Window

I’ve been on a little trip this past week or so. Just got back last Thursday. We (and by “we” I mean me, Mr. M, my sister and her family, and mom and her friend) went down to a very special place for a very special reason. We finally got to lay Dad’s ashes to rest at The Lake House a good seven months after he died. Since he died on New Year’s Eve and got fireworks we figured he deserved the fireworks of the 4th of July for a proper final send off.

The Lake House is in the Top Two Places I Love. The first place being anywhere Mr. M is, of course. So having Mr. M at The Lake House was bliss!

The Lake House 2011

A Little Background on The Lake House:

My father’s parents bought land and dock access in Georgia on Lake Lanier in the early 1960s (we are figuring at best). At first my grandparents and their four sons (my dad and his three younger brothers) would camp there on the tent platform they made. Then part of the cabin was built. Just the one room that was the kitchen, small dining area, and small living room area. Not really big enough for a family of six.

Mom & Aunt K
Mom & Aunt K

So they just kept adding on. Soon a bathroom, laundry room and shower. Then a master bedroom with a loft for the kids. Sometime in the late ‘70s (I am guessing from all the burnt orange decor and carpet) a large living room and in-ground basement was added as the brothers were having families and more room was needed for grandchildren to visit. Also Grandma and Grandpa retired to the cabin and they needed more room.

Fireplace at The Lake House

Much of what is there is built with material that was taken from the ground with their bare hands. My uncles shared stories of the stones in the fireplace being pulled from any stream they happened upon. Some are poured concrete that hold special rubies and gems they sifted at those find-your-own-treasure places you see a lot in the south. The brothers also striped the bark off the lovely timbers that adorn the ceilings. I never knew those two things.

We would go to The Lake House every summer when I was a kid no matter where we lived (Charlotte, NC; Plano, TX; or Rochester, NY). I have the best memories of that place. I learned to swim and water ski. Grandma taught me about gardening. I caught and cleaned fish. The Lake House is paradise to me.

The Dock 2011

I have not been there much since I moved out of my parents’ house when I turned 18. Sad really. Dad and I went a couple times together. I went when Grandma and Grandpa died in the late ‘90s. Otherwise I haven’t been able to afford the airfare or a car trip.

But that is going to change. My pennies are going into an airfare jar!

Being there instantly made my whole being calm down. The swimming did me good. The sun and lake water made my skin happy. It turns out that boat rides make me smile involuntarily. And I knew Dad was there with me always just wanting us to have as much fun there as he had. Plus it’s ridiculously fun to drive a 30-year-old golf cart down an off-road, tree-root-littered pine forest path down to the water. It’s 50/50 if you’ll make it!

Boat Ride at The Lake House

One of my uncles lives very close to The Lake House and takes very good care of it. He uses it a lot and keeps a boat at the dock. His kids use it. It is still being loved. I think that is wonderful!

I do plan on trying to go again this season when it’s a little cooler. The 90ยบ F temps kept me inside too much. A little week-long art retreat up there alone sounds like heaven.

RIP Daddy! I love you!

- Vickie