Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Make It a Happy 2014 Gang!

Happy New Year!
As we end the year of 2013 and look forward to 2014 we are always forced to reflect on what we've been through and what we hope will be and improvement in the New Year.  For me 2013 has been full of ups and downs, changes and adjustments with moments of life and joy in between.  I'm looking forward to 2014 as a beginning of new ideas and adventures in my Art, Family and Life in general. I'm forever optimistic that the Future is Bright, even when I wear shades and that friends that have become my Family over the years become ever more Dear. I look forward to my small Family going through some changes, but nothing Earth shattering. (an aging Mom, a maturing daughter) as the New Year approaches. Life is anything but predictable and to me is always exciting and cool! So, live with a PURPOSE, LOVE what you do and those around you, find ART in everything and stay YOUNG at heart! If you do all of this you will never forget to PLAY! Happy New Year All! PEACE!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tis the Season!

The Christmas Season is here and I'm barely keeping up! Got the house all decorated, been enjoying cooking fantastic rib stickin' winter foods like Turkey Pot Pies and Crock Pot meals~yummmmm...
 I love getting together with my Girls and wonder where the year went~always commenting to each about how we need to get together more then Bam! It's Christmas again!
Enjoy the Season Gang, pace yourself and don't get overwhelmed~eat without guilt and Love each other! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mom's Pumpkin Cookie Recipe~

Pumpkin Cookies
From Mom and Aunt Wilma


½ Cup Shortening                                        
1 ½ Cups brown sugar
2 Eggs
¾ Cup Pumpkin (canned)
1 Cup chopped walnuts
1 Cup raisins
2 Cups flour
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Simmer raisins in water till plump.  Remove from stove~drain and cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

“Cream” the following:
Shortening, brown sugar, eggs, and pumpkin.
Sift the following:
Flour, cloves, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

Add dry mixture to wet, mix with mixer.
Fold in nuts and raisins. (Make sure raisins are cool first)

Add non-stick baking spray to cookie sheets.  Drop mixed dough by spoon to baking sheet

Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  YUMMY! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Count Your Blessings

Wow, are we really in the middle of November already? Time is fleeting by and we're quickly crashing into the Holiday Season, whether we're ready for it or not. I feel like I'm still in August~maybe it's this weather we're having lately, but I think I'm just stuck somewhere else these days! (In my studio creating!) 
Lately, I've been hearing of so many people being diagnosed with terrible health issues. I have no words for this. The awful disaster in the Philippines.  I have no words. Watching the news, a murder here, a murder there, reported to us on an hourly basis. I have no words. 

All I can think of us to count my Blessings and remain Grateful for the life I'm Blessed to live today and pray for those afflicted.  Life is fickle, and I could very easily be the one needing prayer and support at any time. Cherish your lives and each other Gang~we're All we have! Love you all!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

In My Kitchen!

Hey Gang! Good Morning and Happy Saturday to Ya! As promised, I'm posting here on my blog my 2 recipes that I had shared on FB recently~Homemade Granola and my Mom's Banana Bread! Both are Fantastic and of course, NO PRESERVATIVES!
Homemade Granola
 2 cups oats
(you  can add any dry cereal you have in the pantry too)
1 Egg white
2/3 cup of Honey or Pancake Syrup
1/2 cup dried fruit 
1 cup nuts
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 tsp. Salt
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes on a non-stick cookie sheet (with sides) or a baking dish that's been sprayed with PAM . Spread mixture flat on baking surface.
After removed from oven, let cool 2 hrs. then cut or break apart. YUM!

This is a Great recipe to use up some of those items in your pantry that have been sitting around so you DON'T have to throw them away! (how often do we use pancake syrup after the brilliant idea to make pancakes ONE Sunday morning?) Enjoy!
Banana Bread
2 cups flour (all purpose)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
3 tbsp sour milk (sour the milk with a bit of white vinegar)
1 tsp. baking soda (mixed into the flour)
3 over-ripe bananas-smashed
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup of nuts (if desired)
Pour mixture in to a pre-greased bread pan
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hr to 1 hr 15 min. (depending on your oven.)

This recipe came from my 87 year old Mom who was given it by her oldest sister~so this is a proven Family Recipe! I have made this delicious banana bread for years and it is always Awesome! 

Let me know how it turns out, I would Love to hear from you guys!
Enjoy Gang and have and Awesome Weekend! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween Bash 2013!

Another year has rolled around and we found ourselves enjoying yet another Awesome Halloween Party! These pictures were all taken by my good friend, Debbie (I haven't uploaded mine yet, and hers are better!)
 I always decorate "The Ledge" in my home, being I have collected so many Halloween decorations through the years.  Actually, I think I may have more Halloween decorations than Christmas decorations!
 Moi, Lynne, Rosie (aka, Sis) and Tony! All Smiles for the Party!
 Kathy, Moi, Lynne, Rosie and Debbie!
Great Costumes you guys!
 Lynne and my Baby Girl!
 Lovely Friends at the dinner table!
 Kat & Debb
The Blondes with loads of Ambition! (Yes, that's a wig!)
 Good Long time Friends, Debbie & Kit!
It was so good seeing them after all of these years!
 Sam & Virgie~Love the Steampunk Flair Girls!
 Mom and Lynne! Mom still enjoys my parties and has been to every single one!
We all had such a Blast! Good Friends, Good Food and Good Times make the Best Memories! Thanks Gang for making this Halloween Bash a Raving Success! I Love You All!

Friday, October 25, 2013

GlitterFest Fall 2013! A Magical time Was had By All!

 Hi Gang! GlitterFest Fall was such a BLAST this time! This is the second show in our new location at the Bussiness Center of Anaheim and I Love It! So much more room for our customers to shop in, lots of space for us all to be inside, and Fabulous Food Trucks to sample~what more could a Girl ask for?
 New Dia de Los Muertos Handbag, Wallet and Eyeglass Case Set
I Love This Combo!
 My Mannequin all decked-out for the Holiday! Of course, she's sporting the Latest bling from Debbra J Designs! The two middle pieces I made for Halloween SOLD at the show! Yay! 
 My One-of-a-Kind Brooches! They're for Dia de Los Muertos, but I wear mine all year round!  they look Great on a little knit scarf or Smashing on a jacket lapel!
 My Cow Head is all adorned for the season...any season! I also have tons of handmade books for sale~sold a few of these!
 My wallets, of course~no two are exactly the same! I even displayed some of my latest "Frieda" paintings~Love their Folksy-Flair. Variety is the Spice of Life!
 Lisa Loria and I posing at her Awesome Booth! I'm diggin' her tights, So Cute!
 Lisa's sweet daughter, Emily holding down the fort! I LOVE Lisa's skeleton horses! She had so much amazing art at her booth...I NEED to be rich, so I can buy more ART!
 Two more of my Uber-Talented friends~Crystal and Robin! There's so much Talent in this picture, I'm about to fall down!
My Good Friend, Crystal~as always, her booth had so much AMAZING ART, I didn't know where to look first!  GlitterFest was so much FUN!  Sheryl and Diane did an AWESOME JOB as always with this FABULOUS EVENT! Thanks Girlies~LOVE YA!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Glitterfest Here I Come!

It's that time of year again...Glitterfest Fall! Yes Gang, I'll be showing and selling my wares at this most Awesome Event! Here's the Particulars:
Date: Sat. October 12th
Time: 10-4pm
Where: The Business Expo of Anaheim-
1960 Anaheim Way, Anaheim, CA
Fee: $7

This will be my 5th time vending at this show which promises to be Amazing! There are 50 vendors selling original art, clothing, jewelry, home decor and much, much more! It is THE Place to go for all of your Christmas and Holiday Shopping! If you want one-of-a-kind hand-made original items, this is the place to shop! 

I've been so busy the last few weeks creating new items that will be premiered at this Fall's Glitterfest~
my studio is a Hot Mess, but a Happy Mess~there's Glitter and Fabulous-ness Everywhere!  I've been making some new Dia Di Los Muertos Brooches that were a hit last year, along with some original Frieda artwork and my New Shrines! I've also created a cool piece using a actual cow head! (my last post tells the story of the origin of this and a few other skulls I came upon in my distant travels.) 

So, come on Gang, get in your vehicles and come on down and see me at Glitterfest Fall!  I would Love to see ya and say "Hi"!  For those of you who can't make it, no worries, I'll be posting pictures of all of the Fabulous Fun and Frivolity!  And remember, You can never have too much Glitter!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dem Bones!

Starting the work on one of my cow skulls today! I'm thinking of incorporating a Dia di los Muertos theme to this guy~can't wait to see how this turns out! 

Now, for a little back story on HOW I came to have this and a few other bare-bones cow skulls...

Years ago whilst on a road trip through New Mexico, I happened on a roadside campground/rock shop so decided to, of course, stop in.  (Wouldn't you?).  Now, the old guy that ran this whole operation was toothless and wearing the most exquisite squash blossom necklace I ever saw out here in the middle of nowhere.  What I was really on the hunt for wasn't rocks and minerals, but cow skulls.  This was the last leg if my 2 week trip through the Southwest and I had been on the look out for cow skulls, which there was no shortage of, but they were extremely expensive! Even plain ones with No Artwork! So, I learned to never pass-up these little roadside stands, you never know what you'll find. As I was weaving my way through the rocks and dusty "Indian" trinkets (that have made in China stamped on the bottom) I spied some boney goodness along the fence line!  Making a beeline to what turned out to be not one but Eight awesome cow skulls I excitedly asked the toothless caretaker if they were for sale!  Of course they were For Sale and I took all of them! When I asked the guy why he had all of these skulls and how he got them he said that his property is next door to a cattle ranch-when they process the cattle, he gets the heads and leaves them out for the coyotes to "clean". So know this, all of these skulls were clean except for the noses! I drove 13 hours to go straight home with the windows down the whole way to dispel the Stink! The lengths I go to for my Art!  When I got my treasured skulls home, they were cleaned up in a powder coating machine because boiling on the stove doesn't work, just so you know.  They came out perfect and I did create on a few and kept the rest packed away. I decorated my garden with a couple that I had left, which I've decided to give a second life to!  Stay tuned for the finished product which will be revealed at Glitterfest this October 12th! 

This skull has been out in my garden for years, so I needed to clean him up a bit but didn't want to lose the awesome "patina" and natural "boneyness" that had developed over the years. After sanding the surface lightly (certain spots are thin and brittle) with a fine 150 grit sandpaper, my skull is nice and smooth and Awesome!

This shot is mid-process. The right is sanded and smooth, the left side, untouched. Big difference, so glad I decided to go this route and skip painting  it! Lovin' the look, now just have to decorate him for the season!

Wish I had more of these guys now that I have this cool idea! Maybe I need another Southwest Road trip!  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Surfin' USA!

Great Day in Huntington Beach at the US Open Surf Competition Gang!  My Sister in Adventure, Kathy and I embarked on a fun-filled day in the sun checking out all of the Awesomeness around us! This all started with a late night call from Kat asking me what I was doing on Friday...the rest is history. Take a lookie!
Next, we were off on foot to see what we could get into...we crossed PCH and literally walked onto the Surfer Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Rockin Fig, Shane Dorian and Skip Frye! What a serendipitous adventure for the two of us! ( this kinda stuff always happens to us which is why we rarely turn down any chance at an adventure!)  After the ceremony, we walked in behind the press and snapped a few pics (actually, Kat did, I was close behind her trying not to knock over anything with my backpack!)  What a gift of an experience to see these three surfing legends up close! Couldn't have planned it better!
Then...we decided to take a walk down the pier to Ruby's and get a root beer float~but on the way we got distracted...
What the What? JK, here's the REAL Eye-Candy folks:
What a Fantastic Day for us, plus we got to spend time with Kat's nieces, Alexa and Vanessa and their Mom, Suzie!  Thanks again Kat for the cool adventure, we need to get another one on the calendar because we're on a roll my friend!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wango~Zentangle, 1-2-3-4...!

Happy Monday Gang! Just Swinging By to make a post this week! If you've been on my FB page recently, then you've seen these two drawings that I completed playing around with the art of Zentangle aka doodling.  Now, I'll admit, this is unlike any doodling I ever did in the past, I actually planned my compositions somewhat, whereas with doodling, they just happened.  Some of Zentangle I believe just happens, depending on your skill and confidence.  I had to plan somewhat, but love the results!  The above drawing, which I call "Beautiful Mess" was inspired by a drawing done by Tiffany Lovering.  I fell in love with Lovering's piece and tried making my own, which I'm very happy with.  After completing my girl, I felt the Need to continue, and that's how "Horse With the Mane" was created.
I had horses on the brain evidently, being I had just returned from Horse Camping with friends and had endured an extensive trail ride.  Having gone on this adventure, I really wanted to make a magnificent horse head and Zentangle was the answer! Most drawings I've seen done in the Zentangle style are abstract in nature, which made me want to create something totally different.  After completing "Beautiful Mess" which is a person, I went with my favorite animal, the horse; logical transition if you know me.  I had a blast doing these two pieces and found that I became obsessed in wanting to finish them and see the completed product! I'm now thinking of other combinations to tie together form and pattern to create my own Zentangle drawing style! 
One of the first things I realized is that you need a good set of pens~I couldn't go out and go crazy, but using 3 different sizes: XS, S, M worked for these two projects. I only have my sketch pads to work with as far as paper goes, which can be challenging because is soaks up the ink and causes it to bleed if you're not careful. It's all in the touch and the technique and just takes practice, practice, practice. Now I'm going through paper like crazy, time to start recycling paper I do have...I used to own a scrapbook store you know? Ha, Ha! Now I'm off to my studio to create more Art, so I'll sign-off until next week Gang!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy Trails!

Had a blast over the Fourth of July horse camping with my good friends Sharon and Mike up in Idyllwild at Camp McCall! What an awesome campground all outfitted for the equestrian camper! I've camped for many years but not with horses, so this was a new and wonderful experience for me. We all enjoyed the back country while taking a 7 hour, 15  mile trail ride which took us into the city of Idyllwild. The trails were rugged and challenging for this rider, but my trusty steed, Doc, handled it all like a trooper.  Actually, he's more experienced than me and I soon learned to trust him and his steps over rocks on the steep trails and drop-offs.  My friends Sharon and Mike were on their trusty steeds, Kota and Dudley who took good care if them as well! You really need a sound reliable horse on these trails to keep you safe and make the ride enjoyable! Believe it or not, I can still walk and have minimal soreness! The next morning we all enjoyed a short ride to the local cafe for breakfast and an arts and crafts fair! Love it up here, and it's so close to home! Thanks Sharon and Mike for the invitation to join you guys, I loved it and love you guys! Can't wait to hit the trail again~until then, Happy Trails to You~

Thursday, June 27, 2013

These Boots are Made for Walkin'

Hey Gang, just finished "repurposing" my old cowboy boots from the 80's!  I purchased these Dan Post boots "back in the day" for $2-$300 bones, very expensive, especially back then-they are/were snakeskin.  Well, the snakeskin on the front was all dried and peeling, so I decided to give them new life! Here's the result, my "Day of the Dead" aka "Dia de Los Muertos" boots! I decoupaged them and added a border if micro peach colored rhinestone chain~Love Them! Now, where did I put those old black boots I scored a few years back? I'm on a roll now!  I'm Lovin' my New Kicks!

Friday, June 21, 2013

New Custom Orders Complete!

This lovely piece is a result of my client's trips to China throughout the years and her collecting bits and pieces of jade, lacquered beads and bone along the way!  I was literally given a Ziplock bag full of these treasures and told to "have at it!" (my favorite thing to hear!) I just finished this piece yesterday and absolutely LOVE how it turned out! Each piece on this necklace is a little work of art in itself; collectively, it's stunning!  I will be delivering these two pieces to my client this weekend~This was a joy to work on!

I'm The Queen of Procrastination~always have been. I do my best work when I'm under pressure to meet a deadline.  I may start-off with loads of time, but I will actually get the work going towards the end of that timeline! I always produce good work and meet the deadline, but you'd think I'd get going sooner. Now don't get me wrong, I'm actually processing my ideas, knowing that my time is fleeting by, but also knowing that I can do it and what my abilities and limitations are.  It all works out in the end!  I realized years ago, that I passed this trait onto my daughter.  While in middle school, she had a huge project due that she waited to the last minute to start. (as kids do) She actually was in the 11th hour working on this thing.  I had told her she was on her own, that she was old enough to manage her time and smart enough to know how to do this. Well, my Brilliant Baby Girl pulled an all-nighter and produced an awesome project that got her an A! So I then learned that she inherited my procrastination gene along with the strong work-ethic and quality-work gene! From then on I never nagged or bugged her about "Getting a jump on her projects" and not "leaving everything to the last minute".  she proved to me that she does perform well under pressure and can be counted on to turn out a quality product, no matter when she starts to work on it! We're both wired this way!
This piece is constructed from a clients worldly travels, mostly in China, as seen by all of the porcelain pieces.  I loved playing with all of these bits~the center pendant was especially challenging, being I totally created it from random pieces I was supplied.  The two silver/red pieces in the earrings and at the sides of the pendant were actually a bracelet that I took apart and reconfigured. It took me a bit of time to design, but I love the results!  My client loves statement pieces and can wear them well~she is a world traveler and collected these and many other pieces along the way.  All of these bits and pieces were just sitting in drawers for years, unworn, until I shared my design and take on Treasure Necklaces.  I originally made myself one with random bits of "crap" and loved it! I've been telling my clients to supply me with meaningful items from their lives to make them their own "Treasures". The result is a one-of-a-kind wearable work of art!

To see more Goodies, check out our website at: http://paradisekittenart.wix.com/debbra-j-designs

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bling-Tastic Fun!

 Happy Monday Gang! Here's what I've been up to this past week! Been rediscovering my soldering iron and Loving It!  I played around with a new technique to me, texturing the solder whilst it's still liquid! It's a tricky process, but the results are well worth it!  I've always loved these Blinged-Up charm style necklaces, and have made a few in the past, so it was cool to revisit this style of jewelry making and have Fun with it! Check-out my results!  (I made two different necklaces, but my pictures got a little mixed-up, so you'll be going back and forth between the two pieces. Don't get dizzy!)
 Second necklace I attempted made ambitious by converting a watch casing into an enclosed frame for a little Sacred Heart graphic. Man, that was a challenge, but I did it!
 This particular "Mary" graphic reminded me of the Renaissance style paintings and the art I saw last year on my visits to the many cathedrals in Germany.  I especially love the feel of old world art and how it transcends time, beautiful.
 Close-Up of the detail on my pendant.  I was able to play with streaming solder across the glass, which is tricky, being the glass is highly sensitive to heat and will crack...I got lucky, and Love the result!
 Close-Up of the converted watch casing I used to encapsulate my image. I just made this up as I went along and it actually turned out Great!  Some of my best results come from happenstance, so I've learned to try to not over think my creative process and just let it happen.
 I had just obtained this patina'd puffy metal heart and got the idea to embellish it.  I always have metal sheets on hand, because you never know, right?  Whipped-out my metal stamps and tin snips and Voila' a cool attachment for my heart! And of course, a little Bling doesn't hurt either! Also, all of the pearl chain in these pieces is hand wire-wrapped by moi~ this is truly a labor of love~somehow it relaxes me to do this process over and over and over again...
 The first piece I completed, my "Blue Mary". I had fun adorning Her with suitable charms that would compliment the whole piece without making it look "junkie"~it's a fine line.  The wings I had also just purchased recently, and I finally had a use for a couple of religious metals I had acquired some time ago.  It all came together perfectly I think!

I also added a bit of gold leaf to further accent Mary in her little glass home adding to the Glitz of the whole piece.  I hope you have enjoyed this brief tour of my latest work, and hope you have found some inspiration to take with you for your own art! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lavender Farm and Vintage Stuff!

 The Girlie's~Emily, Debb (me), Kathy, Lisa and Emily! I KNOW, we have Two Awesome Emily's with us, how cool is That?!
 A few pics from our fun visit to The Vintage Market Place in Rainbow! So much lovely goodness and eye candy all around! We had a wonderful time, this was my first visit to the VMP~I bought some metal madness pieces from Dyanna at Broke Jewels, always want more than I can afford! 
 Next Stop, Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center, or as I like to say: "not far from the Vintage Market Place, past a yellow roadside deli, down a dirt road on the right and you're there!"  Easy-Peasy! What a lovely treasure~thanks Lisa Loria for sharing this great place with us yesterday, so cool!
 Just a few pictures I took whilst at the Farm! It smelled so good in their little gift shop, and they have CLEAN BATHROOMS; this is so important when you're Day Tripping! I never realized there were so many varieties of lavender, so of course, I just had to purchase a little plant to add to my yard! For more info. on the Farm.
 Go to: kclfarm.com
Wishing you All Peace & Love this weekend and Always!