July 22, 2018

Grammy Camp - Crowns Abound! - Goodbye Lie Diaries - Marie Dunnigan Writes

    Grammy Camp is an annual event at Stately       Martha Manor (named for our Martha Bear teddy bear).  Since my granddaughter is a mini-me, can anything be more fun than our shared interests in crafting, photography, music, food, humor and just about every subject there is?
     This day we created crowns.  Ava and I love crowns.  There are endless ideas and styles online, and the picture shows our happy efforts.  Here's how we made lace crowns.
     Oh, I have to tell you that most of these crowns are 40 years old, although we made them today. Why?  There used to be a fabric store called Cloth World that sold "penny-a-yard lace."  I think their limit per day was $1.00.  They had the sale quite often, so I still have hundreds of yards of lace left.  I've used the different styles of lace to edge pillows, blankets, quilts, christening gowns, bibs, curtains, dresses, vests, wedding decor, costumes, placemats, dog coats, just about anything you can make by hand. As a child, my Barbra used to say, "Not Cloth World again, Mommy."  hahaha  Little did she know, that decades later, her daughter and I would be creating treasures together with that very lace. 

Lace Crowns

You'll need:


Rinsed out metal can or plastic whipped cream container (Cool Whip-type)
Old newspaper to keep your surface clean
White glue and water or fabric stiffener from Walmart or a craft store
Old paintbrush of some kind
Lace- the thicker the better
Different sized cans to keep the crown round
Parchment paper
Plastic wrap
Spray paint (optional)
Jewels, fabric roses, ribbons, etc., to decorate
Bobby Pins or thin ribbon to tie under the chin or behind the hair to secure the crown if worn (optional)
A human head or a pet or doll or the corner bedpost, etc., on which to place the finished crown.

We went online for directions and this is what we ended up doing.  It worked well.

1. Cover your round cans with a layer of plastic wrap.
2. Pour 3 parts glue and 1 part water into a clean container you can throw away and mix well or use store-bought fabric stiffener.
3. Determine the size of crown you want, add a half inch to cross the ends over and later glue. Cut your length of lace, trying to match the pattern in the back where you'll adhere the ends.
4. Dip one length of lace at a time into the glue.  Holding one end at the top over the can of glue, run your thumb and first finger down to the end to get the excess glue off. Lay the glue covered lace flat on the parchment paper. 
5. Using an old paintbrush, make sure the glue is even on both sides and the holes in the lace are open. Let dry.
6. When dry, paint more glue onto both sides of the lace. The lace will soften again from the glue. Move the wet lace to the plastic covered can, overlap the lace and pin in place.  Let dry.
7. With a dull knife and the help of an adult, slip the knife under the dried round lace to remove it from the can.  If it's still not stiff enough, paint on more glue and let dry on the can again, to keep the round shape.
8. Once dry and stiff, hot glue the ends, overlapping slightly. 
9. Spray paint a color, add glitter, weave a ribbon through the holes of the lace, add a bow, add jewels, silk flowers or leave as is.  The lace, itself, is pretty. 
10. Give as gifts to your favorite princesses or queens and save one or two for yourself because you are royalty in your world. Let everyone know!

The Goodbye Lie Diaries

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island

Marie Dunnigan
*Marie Dunnigan writes: How beautiful! I want to be a princess, too.  If I ask my mother, Miss Ella, perhaps she will share a piece of lace made by the sisters at Saint Michael's. I am sure Peeper has glue. Should she not, she can make some sort of stiffening potion that will work. I can use one of Daddy's blueberry wine jugs for the round to pin the crown on and trim with a sparkling broach.  I am so anxious to begin, I will find Mother, straight away, and inquire about the lace.  Thank you,  Miss Jane and Ava. The result of my efforts will be most regal, I'm certain. 

*Marie Dunnigan is the youngest adult sibling in the family.  Some may describe her as self-involved. She seems to learn from her mistakes, at least sometimes. Marie is featured in Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, set in north Florida in 1898, part of The Goodbye Lie series. 

July 11, 2018

Genius Plus The Goodbye Lie Diaries - Leona

     Women are always questing for longer eyelashes.  Layers of mascara, false lashes with glue, they all take time to apply or smear or fall off.           
     Enter what I think of as pure genius: magnetic lashes.  Note the picture above.  The tiny red dot on the "bottom" lash is the magnet.  There is another magnet on the "top" lash. This is how they work. You lay the top false lash atop your own lashes, then add the bottom false lash beneath, snapping the magnets in place, sandwiching your real lashes between. Genius. Am I right? 
     Then here comes all-thumbs and fingers me. I turned on both bathroom lights, squinted into a magnifying mirror 8Xs normal strength and struggled for over seven minutes to achieve the lush lash groove which the directions said should take three seconds with practice. The magnet held fast, no problem there, but my positioning was off.  Instead of them laid against my lash line, as they were supposed to be, they ended up on the tips of my real lashes, crooked at that, thereby extending their length nearly to my brow. I came away looking like a cross between a Twiggy wanna-be, a supermodel in the 1960s with killer lashes, and a hairy spider.     The good news is I saved my receipt and will get my money back.

Disclaimer: I did not mention the name of this product because I don't want to hurt their reputation. I only wanted to show my lame attempt at personal beautification. 

Late 1800s
Fernandina, Florida

Leona writes: I am blessed with naturally long eyelashes. I take a spoon and curl my lashes against my thumb and there you have it. Pity you simple women with only lash stubs. 

*Leona Visper
available as E-book and in paperback
*Although lovely, Leona Visper, a featured player in The Goodbye Lie,  is less than kind. Self-involved, she avoids acts of charity, in all cases ...

July 6, 2018

A Little Popcorn with Your Butter?

      I enjoy going to the movies. I like the films almost as much as I do the popcorn.  Well, it's the butter I'm crazy about ... I know it's bad for me, but sometimes I take one of those "wild-side walks." I'm quite the rebel, you know.
     The age-old question arises. How does one get butter onto the popped kernels in the middle of the bag?  Sure, it's easy to drizzle butter on the top popcorn. It's just far tastier to have some down inside, too. To that end, I saw a terrific hack on Facebook that works.  Maneuver a straw half-way down through the bag of popcorn, hold the stray under the butter dispenser, drizzle said butter down the straw and there you have it.  Yummo! 
     Oh, do plan on buying a whole new wardrobe because not only will your waistband soon get too tight, but your shirts will be covered in grease stains where the butter soaked through the bottom of the bag.  Pleasures often have consequences, don't they?  🍿

July 3, 2018


     In a wonderful country like ours,  I was not surprised to find a miniature version of The Statue of Liberty standing proudly in the Publix grocery store between the salsa chips and the pink flamingo inner tubes.
     From sea to shining sea, God bless the USA!

Happy July 4th!