Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nifty Thrifty Wednesday #2

Found two things thrifting today. See that gorgeous bird fabric above? It's an oval tablecloth, 114" x 124". That's a lot of fabric. $3.99, what a bargain.

I'm not sure whether I'm going to use it as a tablecloth, or save it for some upholstering projects, or line a bag with it or make a pillow or two. But the vibrant colors jump off the fabric and want me to do something with them.

Hmmmm. As Pooh would say, "Think, think, think."
This pretty piece made me buy it. I picked it up and put it down at least three times.

I walked away.

I heard it call me and turned around. It looked lonely sitting there amidst some other junk treasures. I grabbed it before anyone else could. $2.99 later, it was mine.

Not that there was anyone else even standing near it. But there might have been a lurker or two, waiting for me to put it down and walk away again. Remember my matryoshka doll cheese grater? I almost lost that one.

Whew. It's a tough world out in thrift land.

Sissy found a Pyrex casserole dish just like our Mom's. And some pudding dishes. At least that's what I would use them for. I've got pudding on the brain.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Goodness

Chocolate foil covered eggs are one of my favorites this time of year. They take a little bit of patience since that foil doesn't always come off easily.

But, oh, the reward when you get the foil off.

Chocolately, melty goodness on your tongue.

Mmmmmm.
I can't buy them too early or I end up eating 15 pounds of them before Easter. So I limit myself to buying two or three bags the week before Easter and I put them out RIGHT AWAY so that my teens push me out of the way help me eat them.

They are experts at that.

Good thing.
After scarfing down a few of these, I ran away and decided to look for another project to work on.

Guess what I found?

A rufflelier!
I have to make this. I can see it hanging from my back porch, blowing in a breeze, with a gathering of people underneath sipping sangria and listening to some soft music.

Aah, a perfect summer night is coming soon. I can feel it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Grass is Greener - NOT!

I'm trying to grow baskets of grass to use as centerpieces for Easter weekend. I've done it before but couldn't remember how far ahead to plant the grass.

Sissy and I planted some about a week ago and this is what I have so far. Doesn't look like much, does it?

I'm hoping it will grow LOTS in the next three or four days but something tells me I better have plan B for centerpieces.

There are a couple overachievers in the basket. Can you see them? They tower over the rest of the grass. Poor little bits. Those tall giants are making them look bad.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Roses and Eiffel Towers

Okay. I'm tired of making roses. But they're somewhat addictive. I keep thinking I'll make one more and then another and another and before I know it, I have a nice little pile of them.
The red roses were used on a large styro ball and it took about 120 of them to cover one ball. I think it was a 6" styrofoam ball but I'm not sure since I threw the wrapper out before I could remember to look at the measurement. I think it works out to about 20 roses per inch. I made some using 2" balls and they took about 40 roses. The 3" balls took about 60 roses.

It could be coincidence so those numbers are really just a starting point for you. In other words, don't blame me if I messed up the number of roses you need.

These rose balls came out soooo pretty. I heart them. A lot.

I'm making more.
Sunday afternoon was spent with two of my favorite girls in the world - K. and P.

K. and I found an Eiffel Tower cookie cutter on Saturday that had to come home with us. We made iced sugar cookies on Sunday.

The Man came in and wanted to know what the cookies were for.

"Just because," we all said.

Huh. He wasn't sure what to make of that. And then he put one in his mouth. We screamed.

It took four hours to make these beauties.

You don't just pop them in your mouth. You make a cup of tea, get a pretty plate, put a cookie on it and sit with your tea, happily nibbling away at the Eiffel Tower.
What a fun day. Thanks, girlies!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tissue Paper Rose Ball update

I'm working on the tissue paper rose balls I posted yesterday.

Just so you know, I've been making tissue paper roses for four hours. I have about 120 done. That's enough for two medium styrofoam balls, 3" diameter.

This isn't going as fast as I thought it would.

And my fingers are getting a little tired.

But I have a good movie on, "Lost in Austen", and I'm just rolling, rolling, rolling away.

Pics when they're done, folks. But don't hold your breath.

P.S. Best opening line of a novel ever: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." ~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Springtime Inspiration

Saw these absolutely adorable paper rose balls here. I have to make these.
And these have to be on my Easter table this year.

For some great decorating ideas, or just some fun eye candy, take a peek at these lovely blogs. You won't regret it.

Well, you probably will. Because you're going to get sucked into pretty, lovely blog land even further. But they really are fun to look at.

One Pretty Thing
A Lemon Squeezy Home
Thrifty Decor Chick
Centsational Girl
Mmmcrafts
The Crafty Crow (for those of you with young children in your lives)
Skip To My Lou

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nifty Thrifty Wednesday


Look what I found today! Wuthering Heights fabric. How cool is that? Especially for a librarian. I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, but it's going to be good. I'm starting to collect literary fabric as I find it. Of course, I'll have to make at least one library book bag out of it all but I plan on having some left for a rainy day project. This purchase counts as a thrifty one since I got the material at a clearance price of about $4.00/yd.

Why am I talking about thrifting you might ask?

Sissy and I have gotten into the pattern of hitting the thrift stores on Wednesdays. So I've decided to call them Nifty Thrifty Wednesdays.

I can't believe how much thrifting is like walking through our childhood right now. We saw so many items that made us look at each other and squeal, "Mom had that!" or "Nan had that!" Honestly, I probably could have bought the entire contents of my parent's house today in the five thrift stores we went to.

The most popular item of the day? Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass albums. I think every household must have had at least three of their albums. And now they're all in the thrift stores.
My BIL got a turntable for Christmas so he and Sissy have been looking for vinyl. Sissy hit the jackpot today and scored about 20 albums. She also found an old Remington portable typewriter. Very cool.

Me? I got some good stuff too.
This pie plate is the same one my mom had from her grandmother, my great-grandmother. Do you see the price on it?

$1.99.

That had to come home with me.
I found this cute little basket for $1.00. It's perfect for the pansies I have growing on my windowsill.

That had to come home with me too.

At that same shop, I found a "Gigi" album for $1.00 and a wooden rocking chair with removable cushions for the seat and back and a ruffled skirt around the bottom for $15.00. Sissy and I are going to learn how to reupholster big things. I'll post pics after we finish.
But my favorite purchase of the day? The vintage wedding decorations. Aren't they so sweet? I love them.

I can see their stories just by the way they're presenting themselves in the vase.

The couple on the right is madly in love, they've been planning their wedding for a year and everything went off perfectly. He's got a good job, she's happy to be a homemaker and is looking forward to the day she becomes a mom, then PTO president, then Women's Club president, then Grandma.

Now the couple on the left - they've got some attitude. He was a bad boy, leaning out the side of the convertible, whistling at her as she walked down the street. She looked at him over her shoulder, winked, and then sashayed into a coffee shop to meet her girlfriends. They dated for two weeks, decided to elope in Vegas,(baby!) and showed up curbside with their hair blowing and the veil flying behind her.
The Man thinks I'm a bit dramatic at times.

Huh. I don't see it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fabric Goodness


I got some goodies in the mail today.

Ah, the projects I have planned for all this material. I don't know where to start.

I saw a wonderful messenger bag here. I might line it with the Parisian ladies fabric. Wouldn't that be a fun surprise inside a linen messenger bag?

And I want to make some more cloth diaper burp clothes like these with the owl fabric. I've made several sets of these to give away to new moms and people seem to like them. Of course, they're probably just being polite but I think they're pretty. And they make baby spit up look so nice.
My knitting class is getting together to make a quilted tote bag similar to this one and sissy and I decided to share a jelly roll of Amy Butler's Midwest Modern line.
I'm going to line mine with the green Garden Maze fabric and sissy is using the dotted material. Both of us chose the floral fabric for the inside pockets.

We're planning two days to make these bags but I think it's going to take longer. We like to talk and we like to eat.

That might cut into our sewing time. Someone is going to have to crack the whip.

As soon as I finish my snack.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Little Miz K., Driver Extraordinaire

This should strike terror in the hearts of everyone. K. is behind the wheel.

Little Miz K. is anxiously counting down the days until she gets her driver's license and the Man and I are anxiously counting down the days until our insurance rates go up, up, up.

I really don't know how this happened so quickly. I was just feeding her in a high chair a few days ago. And she's barely out of diapers, wearing big girl pants. Really. It seems like just yesterday we were tucking her in at night, with the blankie Grandma made, and all her stuffed animals piled around her.

But there she goes. Ready to drive off without me.

Pooh.

Growing up is hard. On parents.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The (Black) Birds

Do you see the color of that sky? What a dreary day that was. K. and I got home from shopping, pulled the car into the barn and headed to the house. There was a terrible racket coming from around the corner of the barn and as we came around the corner, we saw birds.

Lots of birds.

Lots of big, black birds.
They kept swooping in from other yards, landing on a handful of trees in the woods right at the edge of our yard. These birds were squawking up a storm.

It was a little scary. Especially if you've seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie, "The Birds".

We looked at each other, said "The Birds" in a hushed tone and scared ourselves silly.
The thought of that movie was enough to send us running into the house to get the boys so they could come see this freaky event.

They thought it was pretty cool.

Boys. They really are from Mars.





Saturday, March 20, 2010

Picnic Play

Aaaaaah, the first grilled meal of the season and the first meal eaten outside. I've been waiting for this moment all the long winter. The long, long, winter that felt like it was never going to end.

The mosquitoes were out, the bugs were bugging us, and it got a little chilly as the sun went down but we loved every minute of it.

Every.minute.

Because spring is here and summer is on the way!

All right, maybe I'm jumping the gun a wee bit. But warmer days are coming, right?
I got J. and P. (his girlfriend) to pose for me at the picnic table. They were reluctant at first, especially P. But she got in the swing of things. Plus, I don't think she likes telling me no.

That's why I like her so much.

I like this pic of them. They are very funny together. They really are made for each other.
Awwwww. Young love.

They are so sweet.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sweet Sabotage

Do you see that picture? I'm never going to wear a bathing suit this summer if those things keep showing up in my house.

One of my knitting cohorts brought them for snack at last night's class. No one else wanted to take the leftovers and since I have teens in my house, I was nominated to take them.

Never let it be said that I turn down nominations.

Except to be president. That I would turn down. I don't have time for that job.

But it's what's behind the tray of cannolis that's going to do me in.

Girl Scout cookies. Those are the first two boxes to arrive in the house. I think we bought about a hundred boxes. Ugh. It seemed like such a nice idea when I ordered them. You know, supporting my nieces, and daughter's friends, and neighbor girl down the street.

Now those sweet little girls look like evil saboteurs. That twenty pounds won't go away.

Go figure.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Thrifting and Sweet Sunshine

Got up early this morning to shoot the sunrise with a friend. But she stayed home because she had a cold. I know how that feels.

I caught the sun peeping up over the mountain, behind the barn, through the trees. That sun was playing hide and seek with me for a little while. I finally caught it when I hung over the side of my back porch.
Sissy and I stopped in at a few thrift stores today looking for treasures. We didn't find anything while we were shopping together but after I left her off at home, I went to one more. It's always the last one you look in that you find the good stuff.

I came home with three wool sweaters, ready for felting and a pretty robin's egg blue pitcher.

I have it filled with purple daisies and alstroemeria.

Aaaah. Spring flowers. Love 'em.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

First Bloom of Spring

Guess what I saw today? The first blooming crocus. Well, I didn't really see it first. My MIL told me about it as she was heading out the back door to go see if her tulips were coming up. But I grabbed my camera and headed out.

Spring is here. And not a moment too soon. I wasn't going to miss this first sign. No sirree, not me. I'm all over spring like white on rice.
Spring means lots of color. My photographs have seemed blah to me lately. I want more color. I'm tired of shooting white snow and black tree trunks. I should have thrown some red mittens in the pictures.

Rats. Why didn't I think of that two months ago?

I'm tired of my winter clothes. I'm tired of wearing coats and scarves. I'm tired of winter foods. I want to GRILL. Or rather, I want the Man to grill. I don't grill. He's afraid I'll burn the house down. I tried to light the grill once and almost singed my eyebrows off. That would not have been pretty.

So I don't grill.

And since I made that pretty padded folding chair, I'm itching to eat outside on my porch.

I want to go swimming. As soon as I lose twenty pounds. Then I'll get into my bathing suit.
Very soon. We'll be sitting on the beach very soon. And I can't wait.
It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

Monday, March 15, 2010

Jack of Hearts

K. was playing with Jack on the floor and noticed his legs. See the heart?

What do you know? She's a heart whisperer too.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Worship

Sundays are all about worship for us. It's time we choose to set aside to honor and worship God and our savior, Jesus Christ.

We love the church we attend. Especially our kids. We've made some wonderful friends and really, they've become a family to us. People notice when you're not there, they check to make sure all is well, and always have big smiles on Sunday mornings.

It's really an encouraging, refreshing day.

So when I was trying to decide what my pic of the day would be today, what I wanted to remember about today, it was our worship of God that spoke to me.
I tried shooting pics of my open Bible. But I couldn't get the text to frame out the way I wanted it to. Then I remembered a picture I had seen somewhere when I was searching for clip art. And shot the picture above.

It really represents how I feel about this book.

I heart the Bible. And I heart God.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cead Mile Failte!

I feel a hundred percent better than I did yesterday morning. Oh, there's still a lingering cough or two or a hundred but nothing that won't go away given a few more days. Just enough coughing to keep the Man up at night but not enough to boot me out of bed and onto the couch.

He's the best.

I'm going to keep him, thank you very much.

See the ring hidden in the yellow flowers? He gave me that ring a long time ago. I wanted a family ring, one that had all of our birthstones in it. But I didn't want a traditional setting. So I started searching. And found a jeweler in Dublin that made a claddagh ring with emeralds and diamonds.

He was happy to replace one of the emeralds with a sapphire and I got my family ring and claddagh ring at the same time. (If you click on the picture, you can see a bigger pic of it.)

I heart it. Especially on St. Patrick's Day.
We had my BIL and nieces over for our annual St. Patrick's day corned beef and cabbage dinner. This meal is so bad for you but man, does it taste good. Even the cabbage. Then again, I like cabbage. No one else in my family does, except my MIL.

But...in my sissy's family, three of the four of them eat it.

Can you believe one of my nieces, D., had three helpings of cabbage tonight? And what did she get for her trouble?
She got to clean my stove! We're calling her CinderL. now. Her and her sister, CinderE., begged me to let them clean my stove. We had a bit of a spillover when the corned beef was cooking and the stove top was a disgrace. They went right to town.
They got rewarded by getting to lick the mint frosting from the bowl after K. finished making the Irish Chocolate Mint Squares for dessert. Here's the recipe if you're interested. They were delicious.

Irish Chocolate Mint Squares (from littleshamrocks.com)

1.5 cups, plus 6 Tbs. butter or margarine, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. water
1 Tbs. mint extract
4 drops green food coloring
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9x13 baking.

Place two sticks butter in large microwave safe bowl; cover.Microwave at HIGH two minutes or until melted. Stir in granulated sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; beat well. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder; beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Prepare mint cream center by combining powdered sugar, one stick butter, water, mint extract and food coloring in large bowl. Beat until smooth. Spread evenly on brownies. Cover, refrigerate until cold.

Prepare chocolate glaze by placing remaining 6 Tbs. butter and chocolate chips in small microwave safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH one minute or until mixture is smooth when stirred. Cool slightly; pour over chilled bars. Cover; refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Cover; refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 24 bars
And what's St. Patrick's day without green juice?

I'll pass on the green beer, though. Don't mess with the Guinness.