Saturday, December 11, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Santa Hat Factory!













This has been a grueling season in the retail world so far and not the best Christmas ever. However...that is only work. The rest of life has been so blessed lately. Meetings with old friends and new ones, having both of my kids at home after such a long time (even if they are too old for calling kids now and are rarely physically here at the same time...still!) enjoying our cozy little home during the recent bad storms. And: CRAFTING!

The last few weeks I've actually been busting out the crafting and really, really enjoying it. Seems like forevah since I've done a big project that was silly and not for a designated purpose. (Ahem, like the organza flowers....) I'll get a few pictures posted so you and I can both see just how many little goodies have been made so far. (last count was 36) If I were really organized I pop up a tutorial but honestly...that isn't gonna happen. I could list a few instructions and if anybody is interested they can figure it out pretty easily.

The fabric is a mid-weight poly satin from JoAnn's with a sparkle to it. I used a plain old cheapie wall clock for my template because a dinner plate was too big and a salad plate was too small. ::shrug:: Trace around the circle, cut out the fabric and then cut it into 4 quarters. Bring the cut edges together and stitch on that edge. Turn it inside out and you have the basis of your Santa hat!

From there I hot glued on a white pom-pom ball and then either hot glued on Mirabeau feather trim or stitched on a white shiny velour or fur cuff for the 'brim'. After that I had fun applying a variety of different trims and then glued on a barrette bottom to the underside. Have to say that I was inspired by a talented Etsy seller and loved her concept and pictures. A quick trip through the glue setter /aka freezer, and the things are all humming along.

So many projects! The big floral R still has to have some smaller flowers applied to the inside to finish it off but it was fun giving it to Eric and Elizabeth this Christmas. I hope it will be a fond reminder of their wedding for a few more years.
Some of the ones I made were really traditional, some country-styled, some very rock n' roll. It has been fun allowing myself this play time and probably very good practice to rev up my DIY skills before the really BIG crafting begins after the bridal show in January. (I'm on mother-of-the-bride DIY vacation right now.)

It is gonna be baby girl's last Christmas at home with us and I hope it will be a fun one for her. Next year is going to be such a different Christmas but I'm really looking forward to the changes!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wistful


That is the word of the day kids. 'Wistful'. After yet another night of not sleeping (thats been my life the last five or more years) straight through and waking tired I decided too many things had to get done to drag my tail. So, after grumping around and then getting the coffee in I was able to get going. And with an updated 'autumn' playlist on my Zune and headphones I stayed busy all day long.


After making a huge batch of pie crusts (22!) I got busy making unbaked pies for the coming year. Last summer I did that and had enough for one pie a month...a reasonable amount of treats and so lovely to know they were on hand. So at the end of the day now there are 8 pies tucked safely in the freezer plus a bundt cake. All are sugar free too! There is an apple/blackcurrant, an apple/plum, two apple streusel topped pies, a rhubarb/blueberry, rhubarb/raspberry, rhubarb/blueberry/raspberry and also a special sweet potato pie to be saved for Thanksgiving. If I still have enough energy tomorrow I'll bake some sugar pie pumpkins and get some of those in the freezer too.


But doing all this stockpiling and prepping while listening to autumn-y themed music gave me a lot of time for reflection and it occured to me that the whole theme of the day was wistful. Happy that summer is over finally because it was just so stressful but ready for the drawing-in that everything around in nature is doing right now. It has taken awhile to welcome autumn into my heart this year but it suddenly feels right and comfortable. Maybe this time of withdrawing and storing up energy for regrowth next spring is just what I need.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Beeezy, Beeezy!
















After getting mildly harrassed for not updating my sad little blog (that's right, Sally, I am talking about you!) I will fling a few photos up here to show what has been keeping me busy the last few months. Pretty much the whole summer was consumed with getting the guest room turned back into a habitable space for our daughter who came home from college. That was from-the-studs-up reno and also included furniture rehab and construction. She's moved in now but still awaiting her custom daybed to be finished. Well, Mom is a bit slow when there are sooooo many things to do in a day that starts around 3 a.m. and ends around 6 p.m. (or should, anyway). The room isn't finished-finished...still needs the closet door and all the drapes and daybed linens sewn. I need a clone.
What's going on this fall: trying to get caught up on the totally-neglected garden and get it ready for winter. Dressing the house for autumn and continuing to try to get it back to some sense of order (I will NOT post pics of how bad it was over the summer while we had dear daughter's household contents crammed into the living room and dining room!) and creating what seems like thousands of organza flowers for an event coming up next September to be held at Highland Gardens in Deer Park. http://www.highlandgardenswedding.com/ Until the gag order is lifted, I can't say more than that. ;) Here is a link to the flower tutorial...it is sooo simple but is going to take a full year to make tons of them. http://the-white-bench.blogspot.com/2010/09/organza-flowers-tutorial.html










So, since Blogger posts photos in a backwards way, I'll just upload as I go and figure out how in the heck to explain them if they need it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Good News and Less Good News


For those who know the family saga lately....the latest state of sewer affairs has led us to believe we can postpone the $$$$$ yard excavation. A new (better!) rootering company has us believing that they can control our towering Sequoia's roots and the sewer line isn't in imminent danger. Ok, that's great.


We still have to have major electrical work done on the house...a contractor has been called for that. Phone lines need work. Well, we'll see about that. The back patio a la Ma and Pa Kettle has got to go. Don't know if that will happen this summer or not. Hmm...


Seems like we'll be having a temporary lodger so the guest room needs to be drywalled as soon as the electrical repairs are completed. Wow, will it be totally cool to have that room get completed!!! I have even purchased fabric and have it all mapped out in my head...a black/cream toile room. Oooh, la-la!


That's a lot of good news. Also a lot of projects. And I was pleased (ok, this is weird) that my recent bloodwork came back with bad results. Sort of gives me the 'right' to feel so exhausted all the time and not to blame it on being a crybaby from lots of stress. 'Cause frankly, my family must be totally sick and tired of me complaining all the time about this problem or that and the woe-is-me attitude about how tired I am all the time. While I am normally a really efficient complainer, I am also normally a very cheerful person around everybody else and it really isn't like me to be glum. Working on that too. Now that we don't have the massive expense of the sewer dig-up ahead I am going to follow through on a good lead for a therapist and pay someone to hear me whine. LOL! I can bore someone else for a fee!!!


So the re-habbing junk projects are a bit on hold till I get some energy back but my sweet shopping cart is sitting on the patio all sorted and waiting for me to return with a sander and a can or ten of spray paint to get creative again.
Till then I'll grab our new kittie Max and go have a nap.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What a difference

Can't believe it has been four years since Elizabeth started college. She's a graduate now, working on her internship with Cross-Fit and preparing for grad school hopefully next year.



If being a graduate means you are done learning then neither one of us is, really. We will both keep learning...Elizabeth studying for her future career and me working at living a healthier life. Wow. Four years flies by in a blink.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What a month!

June may be bustin' out all over in the rest of the country but here it has been a rainy, drizzly (ok, at times downpour-ry) disappointment weather-wise. The veggie garden has been slowly creeping along and trying to survive with the chill and constant wet. Everything except the pumpkins I planted came up at least but the basil I bought is going to have to be replaced. RIP, dear herb. Even a few of my mini roses seem to have died but of course, I will leave them in place and keep babying their roots in the chance that they'll come back to life. So far two apparent DOA's are already sending up brand new canes. Yay!
So the big excitement this month: Farm Chicks with Amy and her pal Jodi, a new kitten--Baby Max and (drumroll!) Babygirl's college graduation. !!! How incredible to watch graduation with so many family members all around. My sister and I cried in the stands when she said to me, "Wasn't it just yesterday we were giving her a bath in the sink?" (You can turn me into a blubbering mess sooo easily. No sport in it at all.) There is so much to be proud of in the next generation of our family...my nieces and nephew are already busy out in the world making it a good place. It is a small group, only five including my two but they are all good people.

Hubs and I survived the excitement and the rain so far and are ready to enjoy summer now. Today it is supposed to be in the 80's! He's going to fish and I'm going to putter with joy. The roses are beginning their first bloom cycle and they need to slow down so there will be plenty left for the rose show on the 26th. But oh, the fragrance out there....wish I could share it with you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Recipe, recipe!

It has been a long time since I've concocted anything wonderful enough to share here. (Those lemon-macadamia-white chocolate protein bars?...ugh, like furniture polish.) But today I saw this post and knew I had to link to it for my WLS friends 'cause we all need nummy non-carbonated fun drinks in the summer while everybody else is guzzling diet sodas. So pop over to http://buzzingsofaqueenbee.blogspot.com/2010/05/unique-herbal-iced-tea.html and check out her version of an Ina Garten recipe. I'll be rummaging in the cupboard for the appropriate tea bags as soon as I hit publish.

Enjoy! Hope you have a lovely and safe Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hello and Goodbye

It has taken me too long to get this photo uploaded but my dearly
missed sofa returned home from the upholsterer a few weeks ago. Seems he had a lot of trouble working with this fabric...maybe that is why someone else sold it at the Thrift Store? (hahaha) Well, their loss was my gain and now the pretty blue suede sofa is in the living room terrifying my family. Nobody sits on it because some shrewish woman keeps yelling at them to get off of it (usually because they always have food in their hands at the same time!) Maybe I should just purposely spill something on it myself and get it over with already. Uh, no. Not gonna happen.
Also totally loving the assortment of pillows...some of which are hand-me-downs from my boss and are absolute MATCHES for my fav colors and style. Now if I could just get the other yards and yards of fabrics purchased expressly to make other pillows sewn, my sofa would have it's very own wardrobe of pillows to change out weekly or maybe daily...


Buh-bye cutie! (Please disregard all the creative clutter, er--mess, in the background...you know how messy creative types are).
It is so much fun reading other people's blogs and gleaning fun ideas for crafts. When so many people posted about cake platters and cupcake stands it just got me wanting to make one in the worst way. So, a cheese tray, candle plate, wooden plate, two candlesticks and a lazy susan later I made this. Took it to the base Officer's Wives Club Thrift Store today and it sold within an hour. It was so much fun to make and is going to make it's premier appearance at someone's tea party hosting goodies. Be happy, little one.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Praise Report

Thursday morning God was holding me right in the palm of His hand (well, I guess He does every day right?) while I was driving to work on Highway 2 at 55 mph. Every morning my commute is in the dark so watching for animals is a constant. A deer began to cross the highway and headed right for me. It happened so fast but seems to replay over and over in my head so slowly. As soon as I saw her (either a really big doe or a buck who had lost his antlers for the spring) I began braking so we impacted at prob. at least 45 mph and you can see the damage done to my car. Amazingly, there really isn't much more than cosmetic damage and the front end being a teensy bit crumpled.
It is a 1989 Volvo station wagon and though the deer did bounce up on the hood (her head and shoulders) she didn't come up through the windshield. My seat belt locks must have engaged because I never even hit the steering wheel and walked away with only a very minor case of whiplash. The thought that if it was a doe she may have left behind babies worries me but maybe she was still carrying them. (still awful) When I left work early to begin to attend to car repair, insurance, etc. the authorities had already removed the deer so I wasn't able to see it in daylight.

Very sadly, the deer did not survive the impact. She was dead when she hit the side of the road and blessedly did not land where she'd endanger other drivers. How wonderful to have a cell phone and be able to call my husband right away so he was able to help me try to calm down. And I managed to retrieve my car parts from the highway and then continue on to work carefully. This is the first time I've ever hit anything (when I do a thing I do it BIG!) and the shock-y aftereffects were weird. It was very good being at work right away so my co-workers and tasks could keep my mind occupied. However, the rest of Thursday I was rather a nut and then so loopy from the pain meds for my neck on Friday that I had to call in sick. Ugh, seems like a terrible waste of sick leave!!!

So, if you'd like an endorsement for a good tank-like car to protect you I'd wholeheartedly recommend an older Volvo. You'll spend a small fortune maintaining it as the plastic parts and wiring go bad but that heavy, heavy body and sturdy engine can very potentially save your life. Unfortunately, you can't buy it where I bought mine: Dad's Used Car Emporium and financed through Bank of Dad but if you look around certainly you could find others.

Mr. or Ms. Deer....I'm so terribly sorry.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Waiting...






The way I hope my 'new' sofa looks. Image from bemz.com. And a picture of the fabric that will be used: a Christopher Lowell light blue suede from JoAnn Fabrics http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/productdetail.jsp;jsessionid=96CA5E393A6CDA7033D4584EB5E824FA.a6p2?CATID=cat2699&PRODID=prd45503.
And a 'before' picture of the old, worn-but-comfy plaid sofa. It has been gone to the upholsterer's since March 3rd and I miss it so much! Sadly, it will be awhile longer since the upholsterer had an unexpected death in his family and it has thrown his schedule out of whack. Well, having seen his work before I know it will be worth the wait but it sure is hard being patient.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blogging slacker

That'd be me.





Both digital cameras have great pics on them that just need to be uploaded, edited and then brought over here to share. Latest projects, all the holidays I've missed blogging about and even some fun cooking and baking I've done.





Well, I'll scrounge through the recent files and see what I can find for the meantime:

How about a silly little tablescape I was inspired to make after countless hours wasted reading the wonderful blogs of the many talented tablescaper/bloggers out there. Sigh...oh, to have the pretty dining rooms and energy they all have. This was fun to play with anyway and my husband was sweet not to roll his eyes in front of me. Besides, it keeps us from plopping junk on the table which we'd definitely otherwise do for sure!





Ok, nuff of that. The latest batch of protein bars just beeped and I need to pull them out to cool. If they taste as wonderful as I think they will, I'll post the recipe. Lemon macadamia nut white chocolate. Sounds great, huh?