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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gorilla For My Birthday

Me (the gorilla) and Gina on my 20th Birthday

My friends at #Crowdtap asked me to tell a story about me and my BFF. To tell a funny story about something that happened to us both. Immediately, what came to mind was my 20th Birthday. I wanted it to be memorable and fun. What could be more memorable and fun than A GORILLA! Although this is not about crafts, it is about being creative and making your own fun.

I decided to rent a gorilla suit and walk down, Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Wisconsin Avenue is the heart of Milwaukee and cuts through the Marquette University Campus where I worked as a secretary by day, went to college evenings and worshipped at Gesu Church. Well I did more than worship at Gesu Church. It was where I hung out. Yes, at a church. I attended liturgies, was an Eucharistic Minister, got to know what the Jesuits were about and adapted their mindset. To explain that would be another post as long as the bible. I tell you this because it will become critical to our story. I had gotten to know most of the Jesuits who lived there, and they got to know me, as this quiet, reverent, spiritual, shy, young woman who silently went about her business at church. Hold onto that image as we pursue the gorilla for my birthday.

I decided to rent that Gorilla suit and picked it up immediately after work on my birthday, and headed to my apartment at 24th and Wisconsin. I called my friend Gina, a wonderfully eccentric woman who was as alive and fun loving as myself. I was chickening out of my birthday celebration and realized, I needed a partner in this crime.  She was more than happy to join me. We walked out and down the street, me swaying and hanging arms over, hands dangling as a gorilla would, but giggling as a gorilla wouldn't.  People looked and laughed and Gina explained, "It's her birthday!"

Gina had a stroke of genius, and suggested we visit the nearby 7/11 to buy, of all things: Bananas! We went into the 7/11, and I could only guess what the clerk was thinking, including all the times that corner store had been robbed. I grabbed a bunch of bananas and through $3 on the counter and wawangled my way out of the store. The first people we met were a couple, young students from Marquette and I hyped up my woo wooo woo and gave them a banana.  They laughed so hard. Next we ran into some men who took their drinking very seriously and had turned it into a lifetime career. Frightened, the old man cursed at me, er ah, hmm, the gorilla. Gina and I kept going, laughing all the way down the street. What next?

Let's go to the Marquette Campus! What a wonderful idea!! Let's go where allot of our friends were. We made our way to the Onion, the center of campus and simply walked into the large ballroom. Oh my my my, it was student/parent orientation night!  The orientation was run by Father A. who recognized Gina. We were dancing to the music, handing out bananas, woo woo wooing and having a great great time. Fr. A. laughing but concerned approached this unplanned gorilla and wanted to know who it was. Gina did not tell but we left out the back door, after giving Fr A. a banana and half a heart attack. The parents and students thought it part of the party.

We made our way to the church and the Jesuit Rectory. As Gina and I were deeply involved in the events of the Gesu Church, we literally hung around the parking lot, in the trees occasionally alarming students, parents and Jesuits.  Fr. J came to his window and called out. Gina only told him it was my birthday. Who is that?  A car of other Jesuits we knew drove into the parking lot, slowly, then slower.
Cautiously they parked and got out of the car. They saw Gina and pressed her to tell who it might be, but she did not. By this time, on a hot August night, I was sweating heavily and needed to air out the head of this beast.

When I removed the head, jaws dropped, heads shook as they could not believe who was under this monkey prank. It was quiet, gentle, shy, and composed, ME!!  From that day on, everyone knew that I had an entirely different side that they never suspected. They laughed so hard, they cried and wished me a happy birthday. Some shook the gorilla's paw, others dared to hug this hairy thing. The next work day at Marquette, it was all over campus about the gorilla who had crashed parent/student orientation night by dancing its way through the door handing out bananas for admission.  My boss, a Jesuit as well came into work with his traditional "another beautiful day" but stopped and asked if I had monkeyed around this weekend.  Busted! The President of the University, stopped in and warned certain young ladies about crashing parties on campus, laughing and telling others that "we have to watch that one; it's always the quiet ones!" And Fr. A, well he never looked at me the same again. He would joke with me every time he saw me rather than this restricted nod.

I never would have done it if it wasn't for Gina. She still lives in Milwaukee, WI and takes care of my cat Powder. We are still very good close BFF's, thanks to the internet, for all the laughing and crying we ever did when we were together.  Both of us would rather laugh and be silly, than quiet and regretful. I love you Gina and I think its time to get together and monkey around once again! woo woo woo arckkk

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Hurry over to http://www.favecraft.com and enter the Styrofoam Giveway provided by Dow. Not only does it include styrofoam projects but gift cards to Starbucks and Michaels! Here is a clip from the Favecraft promotion:

"Gather the family together for an educational and entertaining afternoon with STYROFOAM™. Use Project Bricks from FloraCraft to build miniature versions of iconic American landmarks, or create one of your own. If your style is more out of this world, try the Solar System kit. These pre-painted spheres make building your own solar system a breeze–and yes, Pluto is included. For more elaborate projects, you’ll need the Styro Cutter Plus, a heated wire that cuts up to 4″ thick STYROFOAM™ and heats in under 30 seconds. To sweeten the deal, DOW Chemical has thrown in gift cards to Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft, Michaels, and Starbucks. With the goodies in this prize, you’ll stay caffeinated enough to craft through the night!"  HURRY DRAWING CLOSES 2/19/2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015


With Valentines Day, just a few days away, I thought I it was time to put my 'heart' into crafting and see what I could come up with for our side tables. When I create/craft, I work with a limited budget, and need to come up with things that I have around, rather than run out and buy. There are times when I have some money, here or there, and I will pick up a thing or two, thinking, well, I know I'll find something to do with these. I have been wanting apothecary jars for a long, long time. I never have enough money all at once to purchase them.  I live in hope. I was at the Dollar Store when it dawned on me that I could make two glass pillars suffice for the time being and probably would not have to invest in the fillings. I would have loved to fill them up with conversation hearts, but my mind wasn't on this when I was at the $Store. Looking around, I realized, I have paper, white, pink, red and purple paper that I shredded. I filled the pillars with layers of color and then put the hearts on the stick into the filler. They begged for something more. I had made a papertowel rose for #VivaVantage on #Crowdtap and it looked pretty good in the center. I used a bit of powder rouse on each rose to give it a pinky edge. The finished tabletop below.

                                       HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! MY FRIENDS

Friday, January 9, 2015


I have been working on an interesting site called Crowdtap.  It is a site that takes the temperature of consumers on different brands. It incorporates projects and conversations to see how consumers like or dislike products of all kinds. If you are seriously active, you are given opportunities to try samples and report. Each contribution earns the participant points which are applied to entries for giveaways of giftcards and other prizes. The latest project was to concentration on 2015 Ambitions and blog or vlog about them. This is that blog post about my 2015 Ambition to Launch my site Carpe Diem Seize the Day to Create found at http://www.craftingawwwwe.blogspot.com  I am also launching another blog for teachers at marieslittleredschoolhouse.blogspot.com.  My ambition for these blogs are to publicize, gather followers and eventually monetize my blogs.  Prizes, giveaways and sweepstakes will be announced with prizes. Here's hoping a year from now, finds me with any more followers. How about you, come on over and subscribe to my craft and or teacher blogOr check out Crowdtap at http://www.crowdtap.com http://www.crowdtap.com

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


As of late, I have been involved in a "survey site" that exposes consumers to products and asks them to come to their site daily and answer "quick" questions about how they use products. They send samples for you to try, photograph and report on  http://www.crowdtap.com  Today they asked us to share our inspirational thought for the new year. So lately ithas been "Keep Calmn and Keep Crowdtappin #crowdtap However my best inpiration for this year actually is Snoopy  I'm tempted to take tis and have it blown up into a poster and hung over my desk as a constant reminder.  Here it is:
With that look on Snoopy's face and the words "This year I'm Determined..." that's my inspiration for the  new year! Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Brookside Chocolate

Though this is not a craft persay, it is something good to eat while crafting!  Brookside Dark Chocolate, Crunchy Clusters!  A very delicious chocolate covering whole grain cereal and fruits such as blueberry, raspberry and berries!. They come in resealable and easy-to-hide packets, for safe keeping. I guarantee, you will have to hide them. They are that good.  Here I am at my desk/craft table/composing/painting/ etc table.

                                     Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters, mmm

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sometimes I Think I Have a Blog Just to Go On Haitis!

It's hard to believe I let so much time go by since I last blogged and promised to stick to it. Well forget it, never gonna happen! What I have been doing is CRAFTING!  Yup and here are some of the things I have been working on. Halloween inspired me all on it's own.

I searched the net to find out how to make a tabletop witch and came up very short of ideas. So pure creativity took over. I work with access to very few supplies, so as always, I ended up using what I have around the house. I used a detergent bottle for the body, covered it with scrap booking paper. For the head, I had a two inch paper mache ornament ball from Michaels. The face was hand formed from Fimo. I had just watched the latest release of OZ and was inspired by the Wicked Witch of the West and let my fingers work the polymer until I was happy. I added plastic eyes. Using purple/grey variegated yarn, I glued strands on the head, long enough to drape down her shoulders.

For the cape I cut a circle out of black felt. To get the sizing correct, make the radius of the circle, the same length as the detergent bottle. Cut a small hole in middle, big enough to slip over the detergent bottle's opening. Before placing the cap, take a 15 inch piece of strong wire and using the middle of the wire, wrap it around the neck of the bottle. I added duct tape to assure it would stay in place. The wires to the left and right become the witches arms. Drape the cape over the wires and bottle.  I cut the felt circle up the front of the bottle to expose the witch's paper dress.

Glue the head on the top of the bottle and let dry.  I also glued a 5x5x 1/4 inch pine board to the bottom of the bottle to give the witch more stability.

For her broom, I used an old paint brush for the handle. For the bristles, I rolled a piece of black construction paper and cut slats into the role. I then wrapped and taped the "bristles" to the paintbrush. To make it more realistic, I also wrapped a small gauge piece of wire around the top of the bristles.

If you look closely, there are small stickers of ghosts, an owl on her shoulder and a voodoo doll in her hand. The frog, well he's a friend I found and bought at a local boutique. The witches' hands were made from green foam leaves with a sticky back that I had laying around the craft room. I also spied a shred of purple tissue paper which made a nice scarf for the witches' neck, to keep her warm on these cold October nights.

Granted, I keep a supply of craft items around, and occasionally I go to Michaels, JoAnn's and other crafts stores. But at the time that I buy items, sometimes I don't even have a plan for what I am buying. Usually it is a whim, that says, yah, I want to try that, or that's cool, maybe I'll find something to use that on. If you have any questions about making this witch, feel free to contact me. (carpediem5790@yahoo.com) Oh and carpe diem! Seize what you have and seize the day to create.