Friday, December 9, 2011

Operation: DEEP FREEZE

Yes, I apologize for the absentee of posts to all of you loyal lookers, but if this story is not blog worthy, I do not know what is! Well, since moving to Arizona I have made tons of good friends and acquaintances, but none quite like my dear friend Ruth. She is such a wonderful and special person words can barely begin to describe her awesome character! She is soooo sweet, so good, so caring, so giving, so much fun....she all around inspires you to be a better person! Here is the rest of the story.......

Earlier this month the colder/ freezing weather abruptly descended upon us here in Tucson. I am aware that most of you probably stereotype Arizona as a "tropical warm paradise" (which it is!), but nonetheless, it is a desert! Deserts are harsh to say the least. They can be warm and sunny during the day, but in the evening the mercury can take a dive swinging 30- 40 degrees. So, my question is this: " If you were homeless, where would you go and what would you do to survive?" Does anyone really truly know the answer to this question? Do we want to know the answer? It is some what like when we were children and asked the proverbial question, "Where do the butterflies go when it rains?" Now, as adults, I direct your inquiries toward a more serious topic of human life/ survival.

Thankfully, the Salvation Army has a program appropriately dubbed, "Operation Deep Freeze". Here, they provide shelter, meals and lavatory facilities for many men, women and children on nights that it is 34 degrees or below. Of course, if you are like me, someone had to bring this serious topic to my attention and that person would be Ruth! She said for several years she has helped these men and provided them with snacks, scarfs, gloves, hats etc., essentially anything to warm their heart, mind and soul! Well, if her humanitarian/ superwoman efforts do not tug at the old heart strings, wouldn't you know, on night two of our joint operation what do we literally stumble upon, but Alan and his service dog Prince!

We walked right past these two snugglers without an inkling that there was even a dog underneath those covers! Fortunately, as we were wrapping up inside the main hall with our distribution of sandwiches, gloves, hats, cheese, bananas and scarves, Ruth tapped my shoulder and said for me to come see something. Low and behold she had uncovered Alan and his dog! Ruth had spoken fondly of Alan and Prince from her previous years experiences, but we had no clue he was right under our cold wet nose!

Prince and Alan were so "zonked out" they did not even know we were there! Quietly, we left a PILE of sandwiches next to their bed along with a slew of other goodies. Naturally, after about a million and one questions to the staff later, carefully they woke the two sleeping beauties and we asked him if there was anything else he or the dog needed. As Alan stared up at Ruth (picture her tall slender celestial silhouette with light blonde halo of hair!) he simply inquired "Do you by chance have a dog sweater!" Can you get the picture!? I mean I'll learn to knit tonight darn it if we cannot buy one! So, what do you think these two (Ruth and I that is) did? Answer: a mission to 24hr Wal-Mart of course!
Off we went into the night to our favorite Wal-Mart we so affectionately dub, "Scary Wal-Mart". Come, come now, do you honestly think we simply purchased just a sweater? No! Long story/ trip short we covered the bare necessities: a Martha Stewart green cable knit, XL sweater (No doubt modeled after one of Martha's prize winning Chow dogs), a bag of dog food, an ultra plush bed, a Christmas toy monkey and my dogs favorite, a "road kill" squeakee toy! Yes, we pondered on outfitting Prince with a new collar, but in the end passed. Yep, that about did it! Back to the shelter we flew laden with gifts. Again, we softly awoke Alan to tell him we were leaving a few things for Prince. Immediately and profusely he thanked us. Alan was so excited to have the warm sweater for the dog because he said he had been shaking on these past cold winter nights. He also said it had been three years since he had provided a Christmas for Prince and that he was so excited and happy to have these toys and things to give to him. He even saved the toys to give to him later because he did not want to spoil Christmas! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH and as if that is not touching enough, the real kicker is when he tells us that he doesn't know how many more Christmases he will have with Prince, since he is 14 yrs old!!!!! Okay, I know this is story is about on par with "Terms of Endearment"! Truly, his genuine and heartfelt appreciation made all our efforts justifiable! So, I guess if you are out and about in Tucson, AZ and see a homeless gentleman and his faithful sidekick outfitted in a stunning green Martha sweater, you will know the lovely story about the man and his dog!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Locals

Meanwhile, I thought I would tempt/ entertain you with a snippet of my favorite local booths at Copper Country Antique Mall. Trust me, there is much, MUCH more to see, experience and buy if you come for a visit!

I do not personally know this man that has this totally fabulous booth, but WOW! These are all real preserved butterflies! The color is simply electric! and the mounting with the simple wood frame and glass background...Stunning!
Can you not just see these displayed in a wonderfully dim lit library littered, with all types of vintage emphera and accented with Restoration Hardware furniture to boot!

Injected: Above is a page from the newest Restoration Hardware Catalog

Here is my friend Wendy's booth just a stroll away from mine. She has totally fabulous taste and is fully stocked in tons of French finds!

Yet another one of my favorite booths to visit! Trey has an eye for taking your everyday vintage objects and making it memorable! He is sooooooo good at what he does and he works so fast, has the most reasonable prices and is perpetually updating his booth with products! Literally, you have to cruise past his booth at least 3x's a week just to see what is NEW!

I would die for that itty bitty wheelbarrow! Is it not precious!?
Could you not just see it on a kitchen island filled with veggies? or in the fall loaded with tiny pumpkins!? AHHHHH, I want it all!

Yet another vendor an isle over has this beauty for sale for a mere $90.00! Who doesn't want/ need/ desire a spectacular plaster Corinthian column pediment? I can think of about 101 uses for it right this moment! Oh, it desperately needs a good home!

Please stop by for a visit at Copper Country! You will be glad that you did!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Moving Forward

Finally, I believe I have overcome my move to the West, and now I have been stewing to do something creative. So, why not open a business, again!? Well, this time it is going to be not quite like before when I dove into the deep end of the pool without taking a beginner swim class. No, now I think I am going to easy into this next venture by wading slowly into the kiddy pool.

My new home storefront is located at Copper Country Antique Mall here in Tucson. Upon first glance at the store's appearance from the outside it is quite shall we say, "kitschy"? But, it is great fun inside and a world of treasures!

My Before shot of the booth I have adopted........


Phew, gone is all that clutter and I started with a revamp of the space, new paint and I added 8" tall molding. Everyone laughed as I added molding but I simply could not move forward until this stage was set properly. Now, off to fill the space. I will post a better "After" upon completion. Oh how good it feels to be back in the swing of things. Loving every minute of it!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Alive....but Well?

Well.... I am happy to report back into blog land, but it is sad to say I do not have the accompaniment of my trusty sidekick Trixie (aka: the old computer). She was a good old gal, who navigated me through some troubled times in life and has seen it all, literally! Though we had our difficulties, arguments and disagreements she was none-the-less reliable, even up until her untimely demise. Little was known about Trixie and her inner workings, especially to my surprise I was not aware that she had been built with a, shall we say "Living Will"!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ah HA! Yes, deep inside her striped RAID Zero configured memory she was harboring a deep dark secret she did not want anyone to know about, nor will we ever! Hence the reason she has now shaved TEN years off of my life! Gone! Lost amongst her convoluted, twisted wires and motherboards are all the memories: previous business, pets, Christmas, Halloween, formal events, countless Purchased collage sheets, lists of wholesalers and a never ending favorites category of my favorite blogs! I could go on and on....but I digress.

(Trixie R.I.P.)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Crash and Burn

Hello, this is a different Elizabeth coming to you as a guest blogger. Just call me Liz. I am here to inform you that the real Elizabeth of Elizabelle's is experiencing technical difficulties of a most extreme kind. Her computer has been involved in a horrible crash and is completely incapacitated. The Dr. has advised no blogging, email, surfing, actually no activity of any kind. So not one to disobey Dr.'s orders, Elizabeth won't be able to blog for a while. She doesn't want to let you down faithful reader so I am here to tell you that she will be back, so stay tuned and check in....She will return!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

BAD, BAD!, Blogger!

Okay, I must confess...Since my transition to the Southwest I have not been the best blogger on the Internet. I am sorry to disappoint my adoring fans (all SIX!) but I think I am over the moving hump! I think? Well, lets just say I promise to put forth a greater effort to bring you up-to-date on my latest findings and ideas I have stumbled upon while here in Tucson, AZ.

(Image: iStockphoto/ Mark Coffey)

I do not have a good enough excuse for my blogging sabbatical, because it certainly is not due to the lack of adventures and goodies that surround me. Perhaps it is that there is so much to do, see and explore that it has become a popular/ fun distraction for me for months. The "stuff" here is mind blowing and especially for the creative at heart! So, in summation;

I, Elizabeth Perry-Smith,

Do solemnly swear to bring you a blog post, no less than once a week from here on out!

As long as I have a refill for my medication at the pharmacy!

Just kidding, let's regroup and set our sites and inspirations high, after all it is late July and you know what that means? Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas Season, Oh MY! Brace yourself it is going to be a bumpy ride!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cuff LOVE!

If Coco Chanel made it fashionable....

(photo by Man Ray 1935)

and Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter) harnessed it's secret powers....

then, how could I go wrong?

It is no secret that ever since I knew of my plans to relocate to the Southwest, the quest for the holy grail of turquoise cuff bracelets was afoot! I was not quite sure what I was looking for, or what exactly the cost $$$ would be, nor did I know how to identify authenticity, but I know what I like!


Yes, I am now the proud owner of this uber spectacular, chunky monkey of a cuff bracelet! I literally stumbled upon it at the local Sunday Antiques Fair here in Tucson. Wouldn't you know, I have always had a cuff such as this on my radar, but I had no intentions of finding one this day. I guess it is like finding love, you hunt for it day in and day out, sometimes you are so desperate you are exhausted, and just when you allow your guard to drop...Boom!....Poof! it is right under your nose. Hello beautiful, where have you been all my life?

It fits perfectly to my wrist and is so incredibly comfortable, literally I slept with it on for several nights! It is incredible! Now then, wouldn't a vintage squash blossom necklace be the most perfect pairing with the cuff? Well.....we will just have to wait and see what the future holds! Ahhh, though the suspense is killing me!

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Earth Day Good Deed!

Yesterday was indeed Earth Day 2011! Hip, Hip, Hooray for Mother Earth!!! and No, I did not have any big celebratory plans in mind to pay homage to this wonderful day.....because after all, shouldn't every day be earth day?

daily I recycle,
turn the faucet "off" when I brush my teeth,
attempt to conserve energy (currently living with the thermostat @78degrees!),
and now that I live in Arizona I respect my surroundings and the wildlife...ALL of it!
Especially this little(?) fella! Say Hello to my little friend the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake!

Late yesterday afternoon, I walked into my office to discover this rattlesnake taking a stroll down my driveway. He was just cruising along at a snail's pace and paused just long enough to sun himself by the midday sun. First, I must admit I could not believe my virgin Texas (part North Carolina) eyes! I screamed so loud for my Mother I gave myself a headache for the remainder of the day.

(Can you see him? If it were not for that black and white ringed tail he would have fallen off my radar. Don't you love the fact that the color of his scales perfectly camouflage him with the color and texture of my driveway?)

If I were to guess, I would approximate his size to be 3'-0" to 3'-6". Thank goodness for my handy dandy camera lens that enabled me to take these almost up close photos, not to mention I was hanging over the side of the bed of the pickup truck.

I cannot lie, the cursory thought of eliminating him (i.e. taking his life) did pass through my mind. I think it is only instinctive for humans to want to defend themselves against a threat, but that is simply a bit of an irrational, selfish thought. So, as quickly as he appeared for his photo shoot, he disappeared into the evening setting sun. I guess you could say I have traded my furry little squirrel friend from NC for a cold blooded, slithering reptile of the Southwest.

Happy Trails!

It was only ironic that today was Earth Day, because had it been just another day, I would have done the same thing in letting him go.

Hugs and Kisses (or Hisses) this beautiful Earth Day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday's Muse: Tree Decorating by Darryl Moland

Today, I thought I would invite and stimulate your senses over to a fabulous blog I recently stumbled upon dubbed: The Decorated The genius creator behind this beautiful blog is Darryl Moland. Darryl's blog is not simply about decorating your old tired traditional Christmas/ holiday tree, but rather he embraces and enhances the beauty within each tree and uniquely expresses that inner beauty throughout the seasons.

Now I must admit, when I first laid eyes on Darryl's blog, it was so professional, so tasteful, so beautiful, crisp and flawless (i.e. perfection!), immediately I skipped to reading his profile. This person had to be a stylist for the Martha Stewart Show! I know I have seen these images or some like them in the Rolodex of my photographic memory! Haven't you? That white Christmas tree with its soft blue gray backdrop and opalescent ornaments, along with the perfectly placed milk glass bowl? Was this not featured in Martha or some other magazine? Much to my surprise and shock, no he is not employed by the Martha Stewart empire, but he is just that good!
Whether it is an entire evergreen tree, tinsel tree, even the silhouette of a tree or simply a limb, Darryl carefully morphs each one into a one-of-a-kind signature creation. It is amazing how just the smallest tweak of a limb or positioning of an ornament changes your whole perception of "tree decorating".

Even in the heat of the summer, when all you think of the purpose of trees is to seek refuge from the sun, Darryl has used a tree for a picnic! Should I send out the invites now for my 4th of July party so I can do the very same thing?!

How about this spring flight of fancy with a tree laden with monarch butterflies. I believe somewhere in my repertoire of various tree hoarding goodies I do have a similar tree with a few less branches...Hmmmmm.

Woodland Tree

New Year Glitz Tree

I LOVE viewing other artists work and trying to dissect their thought processes. (Blogs are the perfect instrument for this exploration). This is what should truly inspire you to create, seeing art transformed through other's eyes. Like standing/ walking in another person's shoes. It is a wildly fun process in which will broaden your creative horizon to infinity.
Thank you Darryl for allowing us to peek into your life and feast on your imagination! Keep producing your works of art!
Please click here: The Decorated Tree to link over to Darryl's site and read more about the man, the artist (his cats) and his life!
**All Images Courtesy of Darryl Moland/ The Decorated***

Monday, March 7, 2011

Doggone Good Craft!

Early this morning as I was driving I came to a screeching halt when I saw the "Estate Sale" sign conveniently located at the end of my road. Onward I went up through the canyon and look what goodie was waiting for me! This lovely little gold metal frame! It so needed a good home. Wow, oh so cute and FRENCHY!
It was a no brainer when the lady running the sale remarked that today was the second day, so everything would be half off! SOLD!

As I was cleaning up my new found treasure, I wondered what I should slip inside...a photograph? A drawing? Words of wisdom? And it came to me. Lately in my paper craft explorations I have been obsessed with silhouettes. Silhouettes of children, places, animals, scenes, backdrops, seasons, couples, you name it, there is a black and white image of it out there! So, why not your pets! Here is the simplest way to do this you will need the following materials: a frame, an image of your silhouette, black card stock, scissors and your choice of a decorative paper for the background.

1) I took the glass out of the frame and used it for a template to trace the background, which I will mount the silhouette. I kept it simple and used an old piece of sheet music, but you can go wild and use funky or retro scapbook paper or maybe even old pieces of wallpaper you might have around the house. Heck, you can probably use a crap piece of material.
2) Print out an image off your computer of what it is you would like to trace. I chose my dog Vergel. You can print an image of your children or grandchildren, Easter bunnies (after all it is just around the corner), do an anniversary card with two people kissing, use a picture of your home, pets, anything will do. No, do not panic. You do not have to print the image out on your computer. If you have a picture in your hands of what it is you want, go make a quick copy of it at the local grocery store or print shop.
3) Now, once you have the image you desire printed on paper, trace it out with a pencil. You may have to fudge a bit as I did above in the picture of my dog. I simply traced a line through the bars so I could achieve the silhouette I needed, then cut out along the line you just made.
4) Finally, (sorry no pic) with this image, trace it again on black card stock and repeat step 3. Mount inside frame and you are done! It is your artwork, you made it and it is personal!

Ta-Dah! My Vergel will always be remembered. Love it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A New "Mini" Bundle of JOY!

It's a GIRL!

Mini Cooper S (3/6), originally uploaded by DaveR53.
Congratulations are in order over at Libby's World Blog, she now is the proud owner of her very own Mini Cooper! Hip, Hip, HOORAY for Liz! I am so happy for her. I can just see her now zipping around the tiny brick roads of Alexandria, VA. Wish I were there to celebrate with you! Instead of christening her with a bottle of champagne, maybe we could substitute a yummy grande americano with steamed non-fat milk and 4 splenda from Starbucks! Vroom....Vrooooooom!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Life Does Exist on the Red Planet! a.k.a. Tucson, Arizona

Houston, we have discovered life and it is human!

Well, this past weekend, as I was estate saleing it about the town with my mother-in-law, I met someone! Yes! She is real, live and under the age of 60! (No offense to my 60 - 80 yr. old friends, Love Ya!) I was beginning to believe such people did not exits! While I was sitting, rationally and somewhat irrationally justifying my purchases at the estate sale, next to me was the cutest young gal. She asked me if I ..........and before she could complete the question, I knew my immediate response was going to be..."No, I am not from here", or "No, we have never met before", but to my surprise she asked me if I had been in a local vintage/ resale shop, Razzel Dazzle, the day before. Oh, my goodness! YES I exclaimed with delight! That was me! Was that you!?!? who helped me in the store?!?!?! It was?! .......I mean is?! As she introduced herself and handed me her card, suddenly, I felt like a new student on the first day of school. This card was as if this little girl had just asked me if I would like half of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich! What an offering!

Her name is Sydney Ballesteros and she is adorable! If you do not believe me checkout her Blog site!! !
I would love to interject a spectacular photo from her blog here, but she does most (if not all) of her own imagery and I would not like to infringe upon any copyright laws. If I had to describe her she closely resembles the singer, Lisa Loeb. You must check her out! She is as cute as a button! Among her many talents are: wardrobe stylist, creative director, vintage model-hair & makeup artist, mom, wife and just an all around true vintage gal! Too cute! I LOVE her vintage flair! I must admit, I adore her whole look and envy the way she embraces and incorporates vintage into her lifestyle! You go Syd! You have now inspired me to fearlessly wear my vintage eye glasses outside of the house! Now, which pair should I start off with?