Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another birthday...

...and since it is Chloe's, that means cake pops!  That girl has loved cake pops since the first one I bought for her at Starbuck's.  And since Chloe is my little honey bee, I thought I'd make a special pop just for her.  It's not as professional as Bakerella's...I think mine looks a little like a Martian Elvis impersonator...but Chloe recognized that it was a bee right away, and knew that I had made it special for her. 

If you look real close, you can see it has a little stinger.  :)

Her excited smile was most rewarding, and the 'Thank you, Grandma,' was worth every bit of effort that went into the project.

I can't believe she's six!  Six years of keeping us all on our toes!  Six years of "A You're Adorable"ness.  And she just gets sweeter every year.
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Making it Monday...


This weekend I made a wedding card.  I've been mulling it over for awhile.  I wanted something very simple, but elegant.  When I saw a card by Loretta on Pinterest recently using a Carrick Bend knot, I knew I wanted to play around with it.  I googled 'Carrick Bend knot' and found a great animated instruction

I found the knot pretty easy to tie...the hard part was getting it glued without tugging it too tight, or letting the glue show.  Click on the photo to see the detail of the knot better.  I toyed with adding pearls, but I liked it as it was, so I decided to just drop it in the mail.

A nice card for someone who is...wait for it...tying the knot!  :)
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Idle hands...

You may recognize this photo.  I used it last time the dinginess of my white wash cloths finally spurred me to action.  This is the photo from after I treated them. 

Last week they started really getting to me again.  So I gathered up all the white towels and washcloths, mostly dirty but some clean ones that needed to be soaked as well.  I put them in the laundry basket, and I set them on the counter in the laundry room.  When I went to treat them, the basket was empty. 

I know I've mentioned before that Carey does not like to be idle...neither does he like an unfinished job...so I knew just who to go to to ask about the laundry.

Me:  Carey, did you wash the towels in the basket?
Him: Noooo.
Me: Did you fold them?
Him: Yes.
Me: Did you put them away?!
Him: Yes.

Yuck!  It really grosses me out that he put them back in the cabinet dirty.  (shudder)

Oh, well.  They've all been retrieved, treated, and laundered. 

Then I let him fold them all again and put them away.  heeheehee



Oh, and they are still not as white as I had hoped for.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I am reading Wednesday...

Just finished this:

The Hands of Time by Irina Shapiro...my critique here.


And about to start this:

An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor

I have a few projects that I MUST get done before getting sidelined by another good story though.  :)
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Friday, July 20, 2012

Inspiration for the big brown wall...

I've been browsing Overstock.com for inspiration to dress the the big brown wall.  Here's a few that caught my attention.


artist: Laura Gunn

artist: unknown


artist: Karen Wilkerson

artist: Sean Jacobs


And then there is this photo from Apartment Therapy that I've been saving for a long while...like years.  I have no idea who the artist is, but I love that painting on that wall color.
photo: Apartment Therapy

So I'm going to be doing something about that big brown wall in the next couple of days.  It will be staying brown, but my aim is to get a colorful accessory up on it this weekend.  A short weekend for me...only two days instead of my customary five.  I know.  I'm spoiled.  I'd better get over it.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Don't buy this...


So I thought it would be a great idea to purchase a Spanish language program to use and to have the boys come over and use too.  After all, it's time for them to start taking Spanish in school, so I thought it would be a good use of some of their summer time.

Today I spent hours...HOURS!...trying to install this very expensive software program.  Part of that time was on my own, but well over an hour was on the phone with Venkadesh in customer service.  I even let him echo on to my screen and try to install that way.  Eventually our online session just ended...no conclusion...no goodbye...no good luck, sucker.

No installation.  And now I can't get through on the phone, nor have they answered my email.

Wish I had thought to check out reviews before I purchased.  (I'm usually so good about doing that.)  Hundreds of online reviews state my exact experience.  Oh, and they say they weren't successful at returning it for a refund either.

My favorite review read something like this:  "I purchased this software to learn German.  So far all I've learned are new curse words in English!" 

I'm right there with ya, sister.

On the slim chance that I'm able to get some sort of satisfaction, I will come back to update.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I'm reading Wednesday...


Today I'm reading The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale.  A true murder mystery that took place in Victorian era England.  An interesting look at the very beginnings of criminal detectives.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday's tidying tally...

My very sweet husband--who hates to paint, but hates to be idle even more--took up my suggestion that it might be a good time to tackle the accent wall in the living room.  He started at the top, so the color you see nearest the ceiling is the new color.  Yes, we took it from a dark brown wall to a new, improved dark brown wall.  :)  Actually, it hadn't completely dried in this photo...you can see how it went on almost an olive green, which was kind of scary till it dried true to the color swatch I chose.

The color you see at the bottom left to bottom center is the color it was when we moved in.  It was a little too red for my liking...and a little too glossy.  I am not a fan of semi-gloss paint on walls...door and window frames, yes...walls, NO.  I'm really happy with the new paint, and look forward to accessorizing it.

Oh, and other than a very little taping in the prep stage, I had no part in the painting process.  Sometimes I feel guilty for all the work that Carey does around here, but honestly he does not seem to be able to sit still, so I try to make suggestions as gently /slash/ productively as I can.  :)

Well, if you look at my To-Do list here, you'll see that my progress on it was not bad.  I squeezed in a few things that weren't on the list.  I researched and ordered some material for yet another home project.  I had fun when the children came over.  And I will tackle the rest of it starting after work tomorrow.
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Making ready Monday...

Inspired by my friend in the Frugal Trenches and her Must Get Things Done Monday,  I present Tuesday's TO-DOs and Tidying...

or Hovel, Rubble, Toil and Shovel...

okay, now I'm just procrastinating.

So here's my list:

LAUNDRY
wash jeans
wash dark clothes
wash whites
two additional loads done

ADMINISTRATIVE
pay bills
make dentist appts
clean out purse

KITCHEN
clean off kitchen counter
clean kitchen sink
clean out refrigerator

BATHS
clean toilets
clean sinks
clean bathtub

LIVING ROOM
assemble 'table' (in process)
rearrange living room? (decided against for now)

CREATE
make wedding card x2
make 'hello' card x3

MISCELLANEOUS
order birthday present

sewing machine tune up
knit on Sky Scarf
27 Fling Boogie

daily reading
entertained the children :)

Wish me luck.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What I'm reading Wednesday...


I bought Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith as a full-price Kindle book...something I almost never do.  Why?  Because the cover photo is of an adorable little terrier depicting one of the main characters named Freddie de la Hay.  What can I say?  The very notion makes me smile, and I need some light entertainment.
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Monday, July 9, 2012

Another day, another birthday card...

belated birthday card...
based on original from The Frugal Crafter

I was not kidding about it being birthday season around here!  Unfortunately one slipped past me, so I'm sending a card late.  And since it is to the one person in the world who made me the reader that I am today, I thought the overdue library book reference was appropriate.

The photo quality is awful...I really need to throw together construct a little light box for better photos.  I'll add that to my LONG list of to-do's.

Now I have to put it in gear!  Work tomorrow...Carey due home...another two birthday gifts to work on...laundry to go in...hair to wash...groceries to shop for...dust bunnies to vacuum...toilets to scrub...girlies coming to spend the afternoon and early evening...  And those are just the immediate things that cannot wait!

See, I told you the to-do list was long!
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

So many birthdays...

Bobby's birthday card...
it's my stab at an original by The Happy Scraps

We are into birthday season around here.  Today we celebrated Bobby's thirteenth.

The day he was born is still so vivid to me.  I was blessed to be invited into the delivery room when he was born, and I spent a lot of time with him early on after Kasey went back to work.  He was a sweet and affectionate little boy, and now he's a sweet and affectionate young man. 

Tonight at dinner, he was perusing the dessert menu and he leaned over and asked me which one I thought he wanted.  I glanced down the list, and when I pointed to the raspberry swirl cheesecake his face split into a big smile.  He asked me if I remembered the time we made cheesecake together (of course I do), and he announced that we should start a new tradition of baking cheesecake together at least once a year.  I'm all for that!
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day...

Happy 4th, America!

This is what I decided to decorate with this year.  A found envelope...addressed and stamped from my dad to my mother while he was overseas in WWII.  Sadly no letters were found.

After seeing something similar on Pinterest awhile back, I took the envelope to OfficeMax and had it scanned and enlarged.  Then I used Mod-Podge to apply it to a canvas...I think it's 24" x 32".  I may do something with the edges another time.


See!  Looks pretty cool on the mantel, yes?  The flag is an old one with just 48 stars.  I've been meaning to buy a frame for it for ages, and finally got that done as well.  The canvas and the frame were both hugely discounted last week, so that worked out nicely for my wallet.


This shot isn't the best photo, but I wanted to show how the Mod-Podge caused the paper to stretch and wrinkle in the application process.  I basically resorted to finger painting on the medium, and worked the wrinkles out as much as possible.  You can still see them from a side view, but it doesn't noticeably distort the image at all.  And I actually think it makes the piece look more handmade.

I think this will stay displayed well after the holiday, and even though it may get rotated out eventually, it will be treasured for years to come.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hot off the grill...


This week is a big barbecue week, what with The Fourth and all.  Not to mention that it is just TOO hot to heat up the house by cooking.  Carey has to work the holiday, so I thought I'd do our grilling today instead.

The recipe for ribs is one that I saw awhile back on Rural Writings by Niki.  I'd place a link, but Niki recently switched off the public access to her blog.  Thankfully she gave us some warning, and I took the opportunity to save some of her recipes that she had posted. 

So Niki, if you still visit here, know that we enjoyed your rib recipe very much!

The side dishes were all about ease of preparation.  I grilled the corn right in the shucks.  And the slaw is from a package of pre-shredded cabbage...I discarded the creamy dressing that came with it, and made a lighter homemade dressing and added Ramen noodles and sunflower and sesame seeds.  I cannot tell you what a fan I am of prepackaged salad mixes in the grocery these days.
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