Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Project 365 - Week 39


Project 365 - One photo a day for a year. Kind of like a photographic journal of my entire year!

Day 260 - This cute little chef is actually a cheese grater. He was a gift from my mom and he sits on my counter top.

Day 261 - This is the first sign of fall.

Day 262 - I confess, my guilty pleasure. I like to watch Sex and the City marathons.

Day 263 - Having some wine with some friends while we chatted over the Internet. We could have gotten together but this sure does beat drinking and driving!

Day 264 - There is that ever so helpful assistant of mine again.

Day 265 - Oh yes, it's the light of my life! Baby Paige!!! Nana loves to babysit her little angel.

Day 266 - All of a sudden our yard has become a breeding ground for all kinds of mushrooms! I've never seen any of them here before.


For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Monday, September 29, 2014

Crafting in the Sixties


My cousin was going through some of her old photos and sent me a bunch. In the mix were these three. They were decorations that my grandma (who worked at a party/craft shop) made back when I was a little girl. I believe she made these in the early sixties. Isn't it amazing how crafting and DIY has changed since then?

Back then crepe paper, styrofoam, and beads were big. Makes you wonder what the next fifty years of crafting will bring.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Project 365 - Week 38


Project 365 - One photo a day for a year. Kind of like a photographic journal of my entire year!

Day 253 - Baby Paige arrived at her Nana and Grandpa's house because mommy and daddy went to a family get together in Vegas. She stayed two nights with us and we enjoyed every minute!

Day 254 - One of her favorite things to do was to dance to Mickey Mouse. It's her favorite show in the entire world. Since I knew that, I was sure to record a few episodes before she got here.

Day 255 - Another favorite thing to do while she was here was to empty her dresser drawers. There was baby food, bibs, jammies, shoes, and clothes everywhere. She had so much fun!

Day 256 - Now that Baby Paige has gone to her other grandma's house, it just didn't seem like anything was good enough to photograph. So here is my overstuffed pocket organizer.

Day 257 - Working on a new pattern. Hmmmm, could it be a pumpkin craft? Maybe for Halloween?

Day 258 - Once again, my kids took a better picture to represent this day than I could. While in Vegas, my son got engaged! Although my son did a good job of choosing a ring, he did an even better job of choosing a wife. We all love Heidi and are so excited!

Day 259 - Just listed a new pattern for some Halloween party favor/treat bags made from felt. Available at Etsy & Craftsy. Looks like I'm close to reaching all the goals I've set for September!


For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Great Idea for Storing Kitty Litter Bags


Now that I don't use plastic grocery bags anymore I'm finding that the stash I keep for disposing kitty litter is going down awful fast. I suppose that I was actually recycling them, but as much as we shop, they really were getting out of control. Besides, I heard on the radio that they plan to do away with them completely in the next few years. Many places already have quit using them, as many cities in the U.S. have gone green.

I picked up a package of eight rolls of pet disposal bags. They come in a roll so that they fit the nice little holders that people attach to their pet's leash for when they are our walking. That in itself, is brilliant! You know what else they fit beautifully inside? All eight of them fit inside the wet wipes container that you buy in the toilet paper isle at the grocery store. They even have a hole to dispense them one at a time from the rolls, and a cover that flips over so you don't see what's inside. I personally like this idea because Punkie likes to eat plastic bags. This way, she can't get to them, and I can keep this in the bathroom where I keep her main litter box. 

If you are going green in your home and plan on not using plastic grocery bags, be sure to check out my blog tutorial to make some foldable grocery bags that fit inside a sleeve. They are so easy, even if you don't sew. I was actually told by one reader that it was her first ever sewing project and it turned out great! You can find that HERE.



Friday, September 19, 2014

Tutorial - Pet Memorial Candle

 

If you've ever lost a pet, you know how painful it is, and what a void it leaves in your life. Some of you may already know this but there is a global wide candle ceremony that takes place every Monday night at 9:00 P.M. central time. Everyone who wishes to participate, lights a candle in memory of a pet who has passed, and this is not a religious ceremony, so it doesn't matter what your beliefs are. This is done in the privacy and comfort of your own home. While lighting the candle, you can pray if you want, or you can just remember your furry little friends and the funny things they used to do. For more information, you can read about it HERE.


I used to do this after I lost my first dog CocoaBean in 2001, then somehow I got out of the habit. Since then I've lost two other pets, Sabrina, our shop cat, and most recently Mr. Patches. I thought it was time to do this again. I want the candle to be special though, just for them, so I came up with a few different designs. You can use a purchased glass candle cup, or use small jars. Along with this tutorial, I've included a JPEG image containing several sizes of paw prints and hearts to choose from. Just save the photo in these instructions to your computer and print.

SUPPLIES: 
Baby food jars, plain candle cups, or any small jar
ENAMEL paints (your choice of colors) sold by the acrylic paints
Ribbon, twine, or raffia for the rim (if using jars)
Paint brushes
Palette, plastic lid, or paper plate to hold paint
Alcohol
A couple (soft) paper napkins
Paw print & heart templates (provided, optional)
Cookie sheet to hold jars while baking
Oven
Tea light candles or votive candles

IMPORTANT - READ FIRST:
Always start with a squeaky clean glass and keep it that way. Before you begin painting an area, be sure to wipe it down with alcohol and if you accidentally touch that area during painting, wipe that spot again with the alcohol. The oils from your hands can actually prevent your paint from permanently sticking to the glass. Sometimes it's easiest to hold the glass with your hands or fingers on the inside. At some places you may find that you want to add a second coat. It’s also very important to allow paint to completely dry between coats and color changes. Be sure to wash and dry your brushes thoroughly after each color or between coats.

Note: If you are recycling a glass food jar, by soaking the jar in hot soapy water, the label should peel right off. If you find that glue is left behind, the best thing to use is GooGone which can be purchased about anywhere. If you don't have any, or don't want to buy any, you can use a paste made up of cooking oil, baking soda, and salt. The GooGone is just so much easier and quicker.


Click on the image above to open, right click an save to your computer if you want to use my handy templates.

INSTRUCTIONS:
1.  If you will be using my templates, just cut out the one(s) you want and tape them to the inside. Be sure to press them snuggly against the glass. If during this time you touched the outside of the glass, just wipe it down again with alcohol. While you are painting, be sure to hold only the upper rim, the bottom, and the inside of the glass. If you do accidentally touch the glass, just wipe that area with more alcohol. If you don't like your painting job, you can wash this paint right off and start over, as long as you do it right away. After it has been cured and baked, you will not be able to do this.


2.  Paint your jar as desired. You can see that I made three completely different jars. One candle holder I made with a paw print and wavy lines, and another one I did the paw print and the hearts in two colors. For the final jar I made the paw prints but decorated the entire jar with little dots. This was so easy because all I did was dab the wooden end of the paintbrush into paint, then dot it on the jar. Very simple for a cute effect. If you taped the templates to the inside, remove them after the paint has dried. Make sure to get all the tape off since the candle cups or jars will be baked.

All my candles were painted all the way around so when the flame was flickering, it made a pretty "dance" on the wall behind it, or the table under it.  

3.  Once the glasses are completely dry, you will have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the bottle of the paint brand you are using for finishing. For example, for the brand of paint I used, I was to allow my paint to dry for 48 hours. After that, I set them in a cool oven, I set the temperature to 325 degrees, baked for 30 minutes, turned the oven off, let them cool down in the oven before removing. Your instructions may be different depending on the brand of paint you used.


4.  After they have cooled off, you can add your ribbon, raffia, or twine to the rim if desired. Pop in a candle and join in on the Monday night candle lighting, or as I have also done in the past, light the candle when you have moments where you are missing your little guys so much.

After they are baked, they can be washed. The bottle of paint I used said they are top shelf dishwasher safe, but I would still wash by hand. If you give them as a gift, perhaps to someone who has recently lost a pet, be sure to print out the Monday night ceremony page to give along with it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Project 365 - Week 37


Project 365 - One photo a day for a year. Kind of like a photographic journal of my entire year!

Day 246 - My mushroom is getting so big and it's still growing. It's about the size of a luncheon plate now. Anyone have a clue what kind it is? There is another one next to it but it isn't perfectly round.

Day 247 - Filled in at the animal clinic today. Sometimes we have to use the employee bathroom to isolate a sick animal. Nothing like looking over and there is an 8 foot snake looking back at you!

Day 248 - I got to babysit this precious cutie today! She was having so much fun playing with her dog. That poor dog! She just lays there and takes all the Paige abuse. Oh those vicious pitbulls!

Day 249 - My printer died a couple weeks ago so I bought another one. I never could get the new one to feed the paper without pulling my hair out so I took it back and this time I came home with an Epson. Thought if I changed brands, maybe I'd have better luck.

Day 250 - These are the last of the Halloween mug rug designs for this year. I have one more Halloween project in the works to be released next week, but it's not a mug rug.

Day 251 - Our front door that Brian just recently repainted. For some odd reason, the sun changed the original color to a funny blue. Now it's back to green and matches the rest of the green on the house.

Day 252 - Have you ever heard of Pink Martini? They sing a song called "Hang On Little Tomato." My daughter gave me their CD several years back and I still love this song! At the time she gave it to me, I was going through a rough spot and waiting for my "sunny someday" to arrive. And it did, it was Brian!

Words to Hang On Little Tomato:
The sun has left and forgotten me
It's dark, I cannot see
Why does this rain pour down
I'm gonna drown
In a sea
Of deep confusion

Somebody told me, I don't know who
Whenever you are sad and blue
And you're feelin' all alone and left behind
Just take a look inside and you will find

You gotta hold on, hold on through the night
Hang on, things will be all right
Even when it's dark
And not a bit of sparkling
Sing-song sunshine from above
Spreading rays of sunny love

Just hang on, hang on to the vine
Stay on, soon you'll be divine
If you start to cry, look up to the sky
Something's coming up ahead
To turn your tears to dew instead

And so I hold on to his advice
When change is hard and not so nice
You listen to your heart the whole night through
Your sunny someday will come one day soon to you


For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Favorite - Italian Cheeses, The REAL Stuff!


I thought it would be fun for a new "favorites" post. I share with you my thoughts on Italian cheeses. I'm not talking about the powdery stuff in the tall, green cans either. I'm talking about the fresh stuff you find in the refrigerated area. I like to buy it in the plastic tub but you can also buy it in the zipper bags. I love each one of these (Parmesan, Asiago, Romano) but I love them even more mixed together. I have been putting this stuff on everything! It's especially good on a salad. I even use it on other things that are more simple in taste such as plain veggies, or chicken, and even baked potatoes.

The thing about this deliciously fresh cheese is that you don't need to add a lot for such a huge punch of flavor. A little bit, even a teaspoon, goes a long way. If you are watching calories, this is the best cheese to use because don't use a whole lot of it, a light sprinkling will do you. For the past several months, it has become a staple in my home!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Project 365 - Week 36


Project 365 - One photo a day for a year. Kind of like a photographic journal of my entire year!

Day 246 - Getting ready to send my daughter a signed copy of the latest book I'm a contributor to. I'm going to be visiting her soon but I'm shipping the book as well as her birthday presents so I don't have to take them on the plane.

Day 247 - I've been keeping my eye on this mushroom that we found in our yard. I want to see how big it gets. I have no idea what kind it is.

Day 248 - Don't you just love your house after you spent the day cleaning? I do! I was sure to light some pretty scented candles and kick back with a glass of wine.

Day 249 - Went to my beautiful niece's third birthday party today. The kids had so much fun in the bouncey house.

Day 250 - My favorite Chardonnay at the end of the day. I rhymed!

Day 251 - All along one side of our property is lined with pine trees. Right now there are pine cones everywhere. It's also fun watching the squirrels running around with them in their mouths.

Day 252 - I was waiting for this storm to roll in but it either weakened, or I slept through it.

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Monday, September 8, 2014

All Free Sewing and My Blog Tutorial!

 

Have you ever heard of ALL FREE SEWING? It's a website that has a gazillion free sewing and craft projects. So many fun projects in one place, and they are all free!!! Today I got notification that my cellphone or tablet sleeve pattern has been accepted for publication on their website. When you have some time, you are going to want to stop by there and you will probably find a ton of patterns that you can make for Christmas gifts!

Here's the link to my project, which many of my readers have already seen, but be sure to look at the links at the left to find all the fun projects and patterns they have to offer.

http://www.allfreesewing.com/Miscellaneous-Projects/One-Size-Fits-All-Tablet-Case

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fun Trees at State and County Parks


One of things that Brian and I enjoy doing when on vacation is to find local, county, and state parks. We look for hiking trails because we love to get out there in nature and walk. We are also very lucky to live so close to so many here as well. And those who know me, also know that I love to take pictures to document those walks. Above are some fun trees that we've seen on our walks.

From left to right at top:
Loved the pine needle pathway on this trail at Ludington State Park in Michigan. What I found even cooler was the way the roots creep up above the ground. I highly recommend a visit to this park if you are ever in the area. Beautiful trails with lots of scenery. It also has a pretty lake, and an area where you can see turtle sunning on rocks. I love turtles so I was fascinated.

How cool are these roots? Look at how they are all tangled up in each other. This photo was taken down in one of the canyons at Matthiessen State Park in Illinois. If you love to take scenic walks, you have to stop by here! You go down into the canyons, hike beautiful trails, and see awesome waterfalls. So worth the drive if you aren't too far away.

From left to right at bottom:
I call this one the Bear Tree. When you are coming around the corner, you spot this tree and it looks like a bear. This tree can be found at the Indiana Dunes State Park. I've been hiking these trails for many, many years. I live a short distance away so it's a great place for us to get in our walking. It sits along the shores of Lake Michigan and my favorite trail is Trail 9. On that trail you get a little bit of everything. You get the trees and woods through parts of it, and the beautiful views of Lake Michigan on other parts. Trail 8 has spectacular views as well, but that trail is BRUTAL. It takes you up the three highest sand dunes. It's rough, but so worth the views.

I think Graffiti Tree would be a great name for this tree, don't you think? I wish I could remember where we saw this tree at, but I can't. I do know that it's one of our local parks that is within a super short drive from our home. It might even be in our own county. I'll have to revisit them to find out for sure. I personally wouldn't deface nature this way, but as you can see, it has become a favorite place for kids to leave their mark.

The photo in this tree doesn't quite give the effect that you see when you are standing under it and looking up. It has all these really cool waves in the bark. I just thought it was so pretty. There were quite a few like it in this are of Bendix Woods County Park. This park was probably about an hour drive from us, so we packed a picnic lunch, which we love to do, and headed on our way.
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