Friday, May 28, 2010

A Couple Second Hand Scores

I have a little thrift addiction I've been indulging lately. I always forget to take pics of the fun things I find, like some vintage corning and pyrex dishes I got for $2 yesterday! I did remember to document a couple of my finds from a yard sale last weekend though, so I'll share them today.

 First these napkin holders. My sister had one of these and I always loved it and coveted it - just something about the sparkle! I'm not sure what they're made of - I'm gonna have to try polishing them this weekend...I can't imagine they are silver, but maybe whatever they are it will polish? I don't know, don't care really.
0.25 for all six!

I've been dreaming of some barn wood frames for a long time. I want to put black and white pictures in them and make a nice rustic looking arrangement on our wall. I see them every now and again, but they are always out of my price range for the quantity I am after. I figured maybe someday I'd score some barn wood and make my own, but now there's no need! Look at this pile! And .10 a piece!!!

Sigh, thrifty heaven!

These Western Skies

Her'es a nice song to accompany this post (RIP Chris):

I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is just nothing quite like the smell of sage after a nice western rain. I've made no secret of my disatisfaction with current weather patterns, but I have to say the skies have been gorgeous. Here are some pics I took on my way home last night:

And this morning the smell of sage was intoxicating...I took this picture from the gas station to try and capture the smell. Ha ha I don't know if that is possible, but I tried:

OK temps in the high 70s this weekend. I'm ready to put this wet, though beautiful, weather behind me!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sigh, Splutter, Clang, Bang, Silence....My Etsy Shop

My poor neglected little shop. It is suffering my inability to concentrate. I have so many projects on my to do list, and making screens for my shirt is not high on it. I love thinking up ideas for shirts, I just don't enjoy making the screens for them. There is so much work and so much potential for failure involved that I become easily distracted by projects I can finish in a shorter period of time, with more enjoyment, and a better chance of success. Like this, I finished that little knitted tank I talked about on Friday (please excuse the flash photography, I was just meaning to put it on a quick forum post):

It is very pink. I'm working on the assumption that 3 year old girls like pink. I'm afraid it is going to be way to big, but it is adjustable to a pretty large degree so we'll just cross our fingers on that one.
I did make some shirts this weekend. I had a request for a waterbirth shirt, so I made a nice design, I tested it and found there were a lot of speckles so I repainted the screen and then didn't bother with a retest. And it shows...lots of speckles. And the lettering is not centered, which I totally didn't notice on the screen. And the lettering got smushy, which it didn't on my test run.

Sigh. I still like the overall design, I just wish I had retested and that my lettering could be more consistent.
I love quails, so I've been working on a quail shirt for a while. This weekend I made this one, which I fancy a Father's Day shirt. Last year I got hubby a quail daddy belt buckle for Father's Day, so I guess you can say I'm consistent. Quails to me equal Father's Day motif. I really like the way the shirt came out, minus some speckles, and I don't know if it will fit well on the 0-3 month and 3-6 month shirts so that is an issue I have to figure out. Where I put the quails on the shirt makes it looks better on upright kiddos, so our non-upright little guy had to get stretched out for this photo op.

I love the picture - Daddy's holding him up, so it goes along with the whole Father's Day theme.

Then Boone got a little fussy so he really lived up to the title of this last design, which also has speckle issues:

and smushy lettering issues. Double sigh. I don't know. I love where I'm going with it, but feel like maybe it isn't quite there, as in ready to list with these photos, but if that's the case I've used up three shirts for nothing and that is just depressing and enough to make me want to take another extended break from the etsy business.

I don't get many comments on this blog, but if you're passing through and have read this far, I would love a second of your time to get your opinion on these shirts. Do you think they'd pass for a listing? Are the speckles awful, or do they give an artistic slant to them, kind of a stamped appearance? I'm just too close to the whole thing to have any perspective I think. So I'd love your thoughts, You can't hurt my feelings. I'm a rock. I'm an island. I'm a Simon and Garfunkle fan. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

When Babies Attack

It starts out innocently enough, scooting yourself into mom and dad's room and trying to close the door so you can play with the curain rod that's leaning in the corner behind it, and try to crawl for the first time in privacy....then it escalates when you see they're watching you...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oh My. Oh Geez. Oh, Be Still My Heart. Some Curtains

See them HERE

I'd love to post a pic of them just to bring a little beauty to my page, but I feel gross about it b/c it isn't my pretty, its Farmamas - they are so gorgeous. I did however make haste towards ebay and got these (terrible picture, I'm assuming they aren't so blurry in real life):

and will be stopping by the Goodwill to see if the floral pattern vintage sheet I've been studiously ignoring for weeks is still there. These curtains will be perfect in my office/craft room - all cheery and girly. I'm giddy with excitement.

I have to direct you to another blog that I added to my blog list today. I started out the day on an "I bet I could make a painted dropcloth rug with Willie one of these weekends" kick, and searched the internet for ideas/inspiration/things to know from people who have been there done that, and found her blog somewhere along the line. Now, I'm still going to do the rug thing, but I will also be doing some pillow covers inspired by her tablecloth, which you can peak at here. Pretty, no? I have some Amy Butler patterns laying around, I've been to afraid to touch a scissor to them for fear I will create some botched garment with her beautiful fabric and never forgive cutting out some simple animal shapes should be a nice little starter project for me. The pillow covers will be for a very motley collection of some of the most comfortable couch pillows you've ever laid your head on - it will be really nice to cover them in a coordinating color scheme.

And lest you fear I am a hopeless starter of projects that will never be finished I, um, well, I am. But I finished that starter embroidery project, right? And I've started another, which has a deadline, so I'll be showing you that soon too. And I really, really, really am thinking I can crank out these dropcloth pillow covers this weekend. The weather is going to be crappy after all.

Oh, and in the next couple of weeks I'm gonna knit this for my best friend's little girl.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

When You Take Bad Weather Personally.....

It can lead to a lot of pouting. Like this:

Except he's pouting for some other reason. I think it had to do with a bungee cord he wanted to bury and his father said no. Really I just love the outfit he put together and was looking for an excuse to post it for you.
When Yours Truly pouts, I guess it looks like no blogging for a few days. I was afraid I'd offend somebody with my negative outlook. My gloom and doom is extra ridiculous b/c it's actually really nice outside right now. But the forecast is rain and cold starting Saturday. I'm pouting pre-emptively. I should really just stop watching the news, nothing good comes of it.
On happier topics, LAST weekend was warm, sunny and spectacular. We even went to set up our little above ground pool - and came to find out that mice apparently eat vinyl. The bottom has a  handful of wholes chewed out of it. Vermin! My husband considered releasing the snake in his garage. Perhaps effective rodent control. Certainly effective spouse deterrent. But then one day he might need me to fetch him a tool out of there, and that would not be happening.
So we did not set up the pool. It would not have held water. But we did play in the grass:

We rolled in the grass and tried to take pictures of little ones that were laying on our knees in bright yellow shirts that looked so cool against the increasingly gray sky:

It would look cooler if I edited the exposure, but I'm still kind of pouting and not caring about these things. We even roasted marshmallows - I used to be a burn 'em and eat 'em kind of girl, but now I'm more interested in the artistry of a perfectly browned marshmallow:

And then an actual thunderstorm moved in, with rain and lighting and cracks and pops and roars of thunder:

It was great at the time, when I thought it was nature's LAST and FINAL weather until November. But it wasn't, so looking back it just kind of makes me mad.

One thing I forgot to photograph is some rousing success on the screen making front. I've almost got my new technique down and two new designs on the way! Hopefully shirts will be made this week and photographed this weekend. Not outdoor photos though, oh no, that might cheer me up or something.

Did I mention I have a cold and can feel my vocal chords vibrating in my nose when I talk?

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Go-To Cake Recipe - Mint Chocolate Angel Food Goodness - And Some S'mores Obscenity

I posted about it last week - in fact I gushed about it last week, so I guess it would be rude to go on and on and not post a recipe, right? And since I forgot my camera and therefore have no new photos to post, today will be recipe day!

Luckily it is perhaps the world's easiest recipe to remember so I can recite it off the top of my head:


Angel Food Cake (a box or your favorite recipe)
1qt heavy whipped cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp peppermint extract
4 heaping tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Okay, the angel food: buy box, follow directions, use angel food cake pan. (Easy so far, right? I'm embarrased to admit that until I ran across a from-scratch recipe on martha stewart dot com a couple weeks ago, I thought all angel food cakes came from a box - bangs head on desk)

So your cake is made and cooling upside down on a bottle.

Now you get out a quart of heavy whipped cream, poor in a deep bowl 'cause this can get messy.
Add 4 heaping tbsp cocoa powder. Add 1 tsp peppermint extract. Add 1 cup sugar (I usually skimp a bit on this - 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup, you'll be fine) then whip till firm peaks rise. Then refrigerate for an hour.

Then you're gonna take a big long serrated knife and cut your cake into four layers. Cut one, put on a platter, slather in whipped cream minty goodness. Cut another and repeat. When they are all piled on top of each other with whipped cream between the layers, you go to town whipped creaming the outside.

There will be leftover whipped cream - and that is an utter shame. Make it disappear. I have my way of doing this, you have yours. Moving on...

Then you can take a bar of baking chocolate and grate some chocolate shavings on the top to pretty it up. Then stick 'er in the fridge til it's time to serve. It's kinda sloppy but the sloppier it is, I swear the better it tastes.


OK, then if Auntie Desi is visiting, you take her advice and fire up the fire pit the next night. You make what she calls "s'mores" but they are unlike any kind of s'more you've ever had in life. Here's how: buy some pre-made brownies (or make a couple batches if you have time), cut them in half, or hey, just take two brownies, either way you need a brownie sandwich - slap on a healthy helping of marshmallow cream (or marshmallows that works too) then toss on a layer of peanut butter cups, sandwich it all together, wrap in tin foil and toss on the coals for I don't know 5-10 minutes? Then everybody change into elastic waistbands, grab a fork, unwrap that melty chocolatey marshmallow/peanut buttery goodness and go a very good way. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

We've Had a Few Visitors...Snakes, Guns, and Pigeons

Like this guy...

Yeah, it's a pretty cruddy picture. Kinda far away wouldn't you say?

And it's gonna stay that way.

He's a bull snake, which means he looks a lot like a rattler, but without the rattles and more importantly without the whole venemous thing. He eats rodents and really when all is said and done he is friend and not foe. Tell that to my endocrine system, 'cause its freakin' out. I snapped a pic and let the little guy lie.

We are teaching our little guy gun safety, so have been quizzing him incessently on the NRA's Eddie Eagle rules: "What do you do if you see a gun?" "Stop. Don't Touch. Leave the Room. Tell a Grown Up" - by the way I am AMAZED at how quickly he got this, I literally said it, helped him with it once and he has it down - I'm so proud! Anyway, yesterday with the arrival of the snake, Rowdy had the brilliant idea to show Willie the snake and explain that snakes are like guns and the same rules apply. So smart!

On a related note, if you are a gun-friendly family it is your duty to make sure that every child entering your home is safe - being a responsible gun owner means taking measures to keep guns out of that child's hands and to educate them as to what to do if they ever find themselves in a situation where a gun has not been properly stored - its just a reality that no matter how many steps you take to secure your firearms, you don't know 100% what measures your kid's friend's parents are taking - nobody is perfect. Cornered Cat has a fantastic section on kids and guns with tons of common sense approaches to familiarizing children with and protecting them from guns. Seriously, check it out.

But back to my original topic, visitors. This fellow showed up last Friday or Saturday:

Apparently he likes it here, 'cause he's still hanging around. Now I've never been much of a pigeon person, I associate them with loads of poop and masses of fellow pigeons. This guy though, I don't know, he's kind of growing on me. First of all, it's just him. I read that pigeons are very social critters, so I don't know what his deal is but so far he's very much a loner. And really he's kinda pretty, right? I mean you've got to admit it...he's pretty in a yucky shimmery pigeon kind of way...

He's banded on both legs. We're not sure what that means. Does he have a human that loves him somewhere? Or was he part of some hideous pigeon-torturing experience from which he just staged a heroic getaway? Is he even a "he"? He's quite the enigma, that is all that is certain.
I also read that pigeons like to roost. For the love of all that is clean and un-marred by avian crap, why does he want to roost on my patio table??? We finally got the chickens out of there and in comes this freeloader!

After I nursed Boone to sleep last night, I lay in my room watching jet contrails streak back and forth across the sky outside our window...

For once the television was turned off and I savored the peace and quiet, it was so beautiful just laying there listening to neighbors voices drifting in and out, my baby's sleeping breath, the coos and good-night crows of the chickens and rooster putting themselves to bed. And I thought of our new buddy and went to check, and there he was...

...just outside my kitchen window...crappin' on my patio table.

P.S. Someday I'll talk about my shop again. I've been trying out a new technique on the tshirts that I'm hoping will get me more standard quality prints, and having some failures, and getting down about it. And getting distracted by an embroidery project. And getting down about that too. It'll all be OK though. I have so many new designs to make up, I just need to get my new technique perfected and then I'll get rolling again and I'll tell you all about it. Have a lovely friday y'all.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Close Ups of Cool Things

I have a sore throat so I don't feel much like talking today...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Baby Turned Four Yesterday

And he had one heck of a weekend. The neighbor hooked up this wagon to the back of his new ride on mower and took the boys for a ride.

Then he got to go with Papa to pick up Grandma Pam and Aunti Desi at the airport. After which Auntie Desi took him to the Carnival

Auntie Desi is an amazing human being. She kept her head through this whole breeding stage of life and decided to go child-free. Willie reaps the benefits of her resulting love for and patience with and energy for his four year old self. I mean, the woman rode the roller coaster. Need I say more? We LOVE Auntie Desi.

Then there was the whole party thing, celebrated two days before the actual birthday. My parents sent a mini-trampoline. Rave reviews.

Birthday boy even gave his little brother a bounce or two

There was decoration by Hank and Hunt

and my Never Fails Yummier Than Yummy The Only Cake I've Ever Craved On My Birthday Since I Was Eight Years Old Mint Chocolate Whipped Cream on Angel Food It Ain't Too Pretty But Man Your Mouth Can't Tell Cake

There were amazing and wonderful gifts, including this cherry red gem courtesy of, you guessed it, Auntie Desi:

Working PA system folks.

Then it was Mother's Day and it was MY turn to get spoiled. Me and Grandma Pam opted for a lovely breakfast followed by a little road trip through the country. The next day Auntie and Grandma left and we were a little adrift without their company. It was the for real birthday but the party was over. My little man woke up grumpy from a nap and had a little fit over something silly. Kinda like he used to do when he was three just a few days ago. And I took him on my lap and cuddled him and kissed him and loved him 'cause I'm never sure if its the last time he'll let me do these things...

I said hello to my boy and tried to say goodbye to my baby

But I can't, not quite yet. Maybe on his 20th birthday?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Goodwill Hunting

So much has gone on this weekend, I have stuff to talk about for days. We just put my Sister in law and Mother in law on the plane and had a trip to Goodwill, so since it was a fun trip and is fresh in my mind we'll talk about that.

Today I wished I had a vintage store on etsy. There was a cream colored vintage chenille bedspread I hope finds a happy home, and the books just would not quit. Some of them are mine now:

Also a naturalist book from the 40s and Rowdy got a Boy Scouts Handbook - it teaches you to make a backpack out of your jeans, now that is impressive. I'm excited to learn crochet techniques and branch out from my endless circle making, and that bag is full of nice embroidery floss for my budding embroidery obsession. But I'd like to focus on that crazy pink one there in the middle. It's my new sewing book. 

Its apparently part of a really brightly colored Time Life series. Its titled "The Art of Sewing/The Classic Techniques". It has some very helpful and basic information on pages like this:

Then it shows the potential fruit of your labor on pages like this:

This picture brings to mind the oil baron's daughter that Bud (John Travolta) cheats on Sissy (Debra Winger) with in Urban Cowboy:

I don't know, I almost feel guilty because some person capable of actually sewing clothes, and in love with styles of the 70s is probably the rightful owner of this book - let me know if you are that person or know who that person is, we can work something out. 

Today is my furlough day so I'm just sort of sitting around staring at the walls while the rest of the family naps. Its a howling wind kind of day, the house is a mess, and I'm experiencing the post - really fun weekend with family visiting and now they're gone and it's back to reality blues. I'll dive into a mountain of laundry here in a bit and that ought to cheer me up. 

Hope you all had a fabulous Mother's Day weekend!

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