Monday, September 29, 2008
I bought my first home last year, and I decided to change the colors I used in my living room. I went from a plaid couch in deep jewel tones, very early 90s, to a solid khaki couch. The other color I am using is a smoky sky blue. The carpet was already here when I moved in, only 1 year old, so it worked out perfectly.
I found a fabric I LOVED at Joanne's for the curtains and seat cushions of my antique wicker chairs. Listen to this bargain: The fabric was $36.00 a yard, marked down to $18.00, and then I had a coupon and got it for $6.00 a yard!!
Now, take a rest from your amazement at my homemaking abilities, and then go visit Sally and the other Blue Monday participants! Think about joining us next week with your own blue item.
Friday, September 26, 2008
As a little teaser, here are pictures of the four prizes that you can only win next week by answering some easy questions in the comments of different posts. Each comment will earn you one entry, so be sure to visit daily!
cute stocking ornament - Heidi @ Foxgloves, Fabric & Folly
handmade bookmark & vintage hankie - Laura @ Decor to Adore
blue gingham apron with snap-off dish towel - Lisa the Apron Queen
Happy Homemaker Tote Bag
handmade keychain - Jennifer @ Me & My Sister
blue patterned handmade pillowcase - Heidi @ Foxgloves, Fabric & Folly
Birthday Party pack - Jess @ Polka Dots & Pirates
scone mix, tea, and strainer - Karla & Kerri @ The Summer Kitchen Journal
purple gingham apron - Lisa the Apron Queen
Entire prize donated by Ronda @ Ronda's Rants!
To win one of these great prizes, come back and visit beginning next Sunday, October 5. There will be special posts and a few simple questions you will need to answer in the comments to be entered in the drawing. You can also earn 2 extra entries for posting this button on your sidebar, including a link to this post, and another 3 for blogging about this giveaway anytime before October 9.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Melissa at The Inspired Room asks, "What 20 Little Things do you Treasure about Fall?"
Fall is my favorite season for many reasons...
1. Sweaters! I know they make you look bigger, but I've always loved sweaters, especially in the 80s; I was a Benetton addict!
2. Colors of the season. They look good on everyone, no matter your ethnicity, hair color, or skin tone. At least I think so!
3. The annual Foliage Tour! Notice the capital letters? It's a big deal in my family. Living in New England, each year my parents would take us on an all-day driving tour somewhere, along the Housatonic River, following the Mohegan Trail, antiquing in the Berkshires, and one year we went to the Anheuser Bush plant in New Hampshire!
4. The start of school. I always love getting ready to go back to school/work, anticipating what I will teach, who my students will be, and buying new school supplies.
5. Scarecrows! I don't know why, but I am a big scarecrow fan. I know they scare some people, but I think they are funny!
7. Dutch apple pie! A close second to the pumpkin in my opinion. I have always been impressed that my sister makes it every year because getting all those apples ready seems like a lot of tedious work. But last year I first discovered that canned apples can be bought for making pies. Obviously I'm not the cook in the family! Regardless of how she makes it, I LOVE it!
8. Tea with honey. In the summer I drink iced green tea, but as soon as fall hits I enjoy hot tea with honey.
9. The scents of baking. My mom didn't use the oven much in the summer, so when the weather cooled it was homemade cookies, cakes, and brownies. I love the smell of vanilla or chocolate baking!
10. Applesauce! My mom made the best applesauce every fall. We'd all help grind the apples in the big hand grinder. She'd use glass mayonnaise jars and fill 2 shelves in the basement freezer so we'd have enough for the whole year
11. Fall spices! Cinnamon, ginger, molasses, these are all flavors I associate with fall.
12. Baskets! I know, it's a little wacky, but when I think of autumn I think of baskets full of apples or mums, and farmers gearing up for being inside all winter weaving baskets and doing other inside crafts.
13. Crafts! For some reason fall seems to inspire us to get back to crafting making home decor items for ourselves or for gifts.
14. Textures. Fall seems to be a very textural season. I think of corn husks, hay, shiny apples, scaly gourds, feathery turkeys, and harvesting seeds of many textures
15. Halloween candy. That's all I have to say on that topic!
17. Back to burning my scented candles! What's the point in the summer with all the windows open?
18. Sheepskin-lined slippers. Heavenly!
19. Fires in the fireplace. Maybe even making s'mores!
20. Watching the leaves change and fall from the trees.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The origin of the word crewel is unknown is thought to come from an ancient word describing the curl in the staple, the single hair of the wool. Crewel wool has a long staple; it is fine and can be strongly twisted. Modern crewel wool is a fine, 2-ply or 1-ply yarn available in many different colors.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
K was an interior design major, and one of her first classes was Color Theory. The assignment was to first draw a design with many areas that could have color. It could be swirly, like she chose, or straight-lined, whatever. Then choose a color. Starting in the center, paint one section that original color. Add black or white, changing the hue with each successive space.
I thought the picture was very cool, and when I received it, I chose to have the wire on the frame placed so that the picture hung like a diamond, showing no real top or bottom. I used to have a blue and purple lava lamp that was on a pedestal next to the painting, and they were very snazzy together in my contemporary living room 15 years ago. The lava lamp died and my living space decor changed, but I still love this piece of art. Not because it was created by my sister, which does make it special, but it really does speak to me and make me feel peaceful, almost like listening to one of those ocean sound recordings! Currently it hangs in my craft room/office, which is actually the place I spend the most time, so I get to enjoy it a lot, but I'd love to find a way to get it back into my living space where everyone who comes into the house could enjoy it. I'll keep thinking! I hope you enjoyed my Blue Monday offering. Please visit Smiling Sally's blog for the complete list of participants and to follow Mr. Linky to see what others are sharing!
Keep coming back for updates on my Birthday Giveaway, happening in 2 weeks!
Friday, September 19, 2008
The reason I am ranting about him in particular right now is that during the huge rainstorm vestiges of Hurricane Gustav, he left a package sitting on the back deck, with NO PLASTIC BAG to protect it. I don't use my dining room, which is the access to the deck, and because the room gets heavy direct sunlight I've had the curtains pulled for most of the summer to keep the house cooler. It's a totally separate room from my regular living space. I've been getting a lot of packages lately, so I try to remember to check the back every day just in case of bad weather. I checked the deck the evening before the rain was supposed to come, no packages. I awoke to torrential rain that continued all day long. Because the rain was so heavy, I didn't even consider that packages would be just left sitting out if my car was in the driveway, so I went about my day.
I awoke the next day to beautiful sun and fresh air with no humidity, so of course I opened up the whole house. Imagine my surprise and dismay as I pulled back the curtains on the sliding door to see a nice little puddle in a dip of the deck, with a plain box just sitting in it. WTF?!! He walked AROUND the house in that horrible rain to dump the box that he could have walked 4 steps and rung the bell to hand me! Does he hate me? Is he insane?
The worst part is that the items in the box were not water-proof things that could be saved. Fabric, plastic, things wrapped in plastic, would have been fine. This package was a collection of different dip and sauce mixes in cute paper bags! The water absorbed through the cardboard box, through the shredded paper packing material, through the bags, and into the mixes! What a mess!
Most disappointing was that this package was going to be part of my Bone Marrow Birthday Giveaway. On October 5 I will begin a week of celebrating my 2 years of cancer-free living! I hope that sharing my experience as a recipient of this life saving gift will encourage people to look into registering with the National Marrow Donor Program.
The newest collection I am calling the Happy Homemaker package! This grouping has another gorgeous apron, fancy tea and scone mixes, a hand-made pillowcase, and some vintage hankies. I'm sure there will be a snack in there, too, for when the Homemaker takes a break!The prizes are growing each day as different people contact me asking if they can contribute. Some of these generous folks include Laura at Decor to Adore, Karla & Kerri from The Summer Kitchen Journal, Lisa the Apron Queen from Rick Rack Attack, Twyla & Lindsey, the amazing mother-daughter team from Two Crazy Crafters, Laura at Fifi Flowers Design Decor, Jennifer from Me & My Sister, Mommy Holly, and her mom, Heidi Devlin Home. Take some time to check out their nifty blogs and shops, and I will be getting a picture of all the prizes up soon. If you would like to donate something to the giveaway, please let me know via the comments or email through my profile.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
We all know Nancy Drew and her amazingly analytical mind that can solve crimes while she toodles around in her coupe with her friends Bess and George. But did you ever meet The Dana Girls? I was introduced to these books by my much older cousins when I was about 9 or 10. I liked the mysteries, since I was really into Nancy at the time, but what I like more was that the books were really old and none of my friends had heard of them! I have 2 of the books, and they are in amazing condition! They are both copyright 1934, however according to research I've done, they are reprints from the 1950s, which is not indicated anywhere in the books. I have books #1 and #25.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
It's still Book Blogger Appreciation Week, and I need to do another post relating to my October 5 Birthday so I'm combining the topics yet again! Briefly, for my new visitors, I am a bone marrow recipient and will celebrate my second birthday of the transplant on October 5. For that week I will be offering several giveaways, so come back and visit. For more information, follow the cancer tag on my labels list.
Many online crafters and vendors have been donating items for October 5. Some of these include Laura at Decor to Adore, Karla & Kerri from The Summer Kitchen Journal, Lisa the Apron Queen from Rick Rack Attack, Jennifer from Me & My Sister, Mommy Holly, and Heidi Devlin Home. Take some time to check out their nifty blogs and shops.
This book is an advice-from-the-trenches cancer survival guidebook for young women. Actress and photographer Kris Carr thought she had a hangover, but a Jivamukti yoga class didn’t provide its usual kick-ass cure. A visit to her doctor confirmed her “liver looked like Swiss cheese,” covered with cancerous tumors. She entered trench warfare, wearing cowboy boots into the MRI machine, no less, vowing, “Cancer needed a makeover and I was just the gal to do it!” Kris began writing and filming her journey, documenting her interactions with friends, doctors, alternative “quacks,” blind dates, and other women with cancer—sadly a growing group. In August 2007, The Learning Channel broadcast Carr’s documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer. [I saw this documentary and it interested me enough to go and buy the book!]
Full-color photos accompany personal stories and candid revelations in what is essentially a scrapbook of advice, warnings, and resources for the cancer patient. Chapters cover a changing social life, dating, sex, and appearance; health tips on how to boost your immune system; recipes; medical and holistic resources; and information on young survivor support groups.
Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person: A Memoir in Comics by Miriam Engelberg
Cancer on Five Dollars a Day (chemo not included): How Humor Got Me through the Toughest Journey of My Life by Robert Shimmel
In the spring of 2000, Robert Schimmel was riding high. He’d won the Stand-Up of the Year Award, his HBO special was a huge hit, and his sitcom had been picked up. Then it all came crashing down. Diagnosed with Stage III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he was told he would have to undergo chemotherapy immediately. The sitcom was dumped and the fire of his white-hot career started to go out. But Schimmel never lost his sense of humor, his knife-like edge, and most of all, his passion to entertain. Indeed, it was his basic need to laugh-even if the only people around him were suffering from cancer and the room he was playing was the Mayo Clinic infusion center-that carried him through his ordeal. From his colorful banter with nurses and other patients during chemo, to his hilarious conversation with a wig salesman, going for the laugh was Robert’s survival mechanism.
Cancer Vixen: A True Story by Marisa Acocella Marchetto
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The first movie I ever saw in a theater was the Disney version of Cinderella. I was about 4 or 5 and it was a special outing just for me with my dad. I don't know if it was seeing the story with the dancing mice and singing birds is what hooked me, or all of the classic fairy tale stories that my mom read to me that were so beautifully illustrated, but legends, myths and other folklore have always caught my attention. While working on my degree in Elementary Education I prepared several projects for classes and units of study for children that taught elements of folklore. As a 6th grade English teacher I prepared a unit studying all types of folklore, which surprisingly, most students had not yet been exposed.
The paper is very rough and thick, almost a type of newsprint. There are very few illustrations, and most seem to be done in a pretty basic wood block type style. They have a lot of large black areas, which made scanning them difficult. A few illustrations fill a page and are vertical/portrait, but there are 2 that are actually landscape and the reader has to turn the book to see the picture! Another thing about the illustrations that isn't seen these days is that the same image is used multiple times. There is a castle that is used more than seven times, and every story with a cat has the same Puss 'n Boots at the end of the tale.