Monday, December 30, 2013

It's generations of things!

I love it. My daughter would prefer to sew on my mom's old Featherweight rather than my New Home (which I got in '95 or '96).

So in this picture, there is my mom's sewing machine, my sewing machine, and behind all that is my grandmother's china. Perfect! [Edited to say, the china is older than I thought. It was in the family before my great grandmother. No one I've talked to can remember who bought it to start with. A mystery!]

Friday, November 15, 2013

Craving corndogs?

Well, I just won't go there again so soon after reading the label on the box. Scary.

So I found some organic, non-preserved hot dogs and cut them up into corn muffins. It's not quite the same but it will do in a pinch. I didn't photograph the mustard here because I picked up the wrong color plate. Oops.

Here is the leftover pan of muffins before baking. Next time I'll put the hot dogs in first then do the batter. That way I can get a higher proportion of hot dog to corn batter ratio. Yum.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I'm grateful for so many things.

While I am NOT thrilled about my cable going out last week, it did make me re-evaluate my AV setup. When I discovered my DVD/DVR wasn't hooked up to the cable box I was pissed at the Comcast guy who installed it and assured me it was hooked up correctly. Yeah, for playback only, not recording. Anyway that puppy wouldn't even power on, so I ordered another one from the big box store's website. Now I think I know exactly how to hook it up so I can record stuff when I'm not at home. Just like I could in the 1980s.  I also visited the big box store and brought home a Blu-ray player for my immediate use (until the cable is fixed).

Side note: I didn't know until Sharknado this summer that I loved bad Sci Fi movies. When I found this 5-pack disc in the $5 bin I got the giggles. Of course I got it. I haven't watched it yet. Yesterday, they put a temporary splice in my broken cable line outside, with assurances that the permanent fix could be done any time without my presence. I'm cool with that.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Here we go again!

Yes, that's my TV, and the stupid cable went out this week. Funny, it happened on the same day as the cones went up on my torn-up sidewalk out front.

Then I discovered why my DVR never worked with the cable box. It was never hooked up to it, that's why.  Now the darn thing is broken anyway. The good news is my VCR works! I really wasn't interested in watching American Idol from 2010 again, but I may be desperate enough before the weekend is out.

I think I'm off to Walmart to get a DVD player. I'll splurge and get one of the $5 DVDs from the dump bin in the center aisle, too. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Don't show this to your OCD friends!

So, I got my new Perfect Layers rulers this week and decided to do a card using an Operation Write Home sketch. Yesterday was World Cardmaking Day. I think it is a made up holiday for OWH, but I could be mistaken. The theme is Thank You cards. This is OWH Sketch # 57:

Number 1, when you cut your pieces before adding the layers, they must sit very close to each other  on this design. And number 2, I probably shouldn't do designs that require perfectly lined up pieces. That's all I'm saying, ok? Oh yes, the front of this card is 5 to 8 layers thick, so the front is way heavier than the back. All in all I'm pleased with it, but won't be doing this one again.

Now, about those funky fibers from 2004.

These are the fibers from 2004 that I want to use up. I tried covering shapes with them, and I think we can all agree that's a big fail. The fuzzy ones went into the trash and the ribbon-like ones went back in the ribbon drawer. They'll live on to tie around cards and make bows or knots some day.
This maybe will make a little room for some lightweight jute twine, which is more like this decade, no?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Cardmaking in paradise

Florida IS paradise, just still a very hot one!

Anyway, I've been making some cards and playing with my new toys, err, tools. I've been putting little dogs on everything!

Disclaimer: I copy other people's card designs both with and without my own consciousness of it. Pretty much everything I do I've seen on other websites. I just don't always remember where.

So, thank you, card designers everywhere for your inspiration, especially Lawn Fawn design team members.

I have this fiber from 2004 that I cannot seem to use, but I don't want to part with it either. This is my next project, I think. Do something that uses up a lot of this decorative, but out of date fiber.

(The inside reads: "I'm here for you". This idea and sentiment came from one of the Lawn Fawn design team members. That's Elena at I distinctly remember this one!

You can't tell in the photo, but the red card is embossed with rough bricks.

The dogs are Lawn Fawn's Critters at the Dog Park, except for the "warm fuzzies" dog which is from a Paper Smooches set. The koala, crocodiles and kangaroos are from Lawn Fawn's Critters Down under.  The trees embossing folders are from Darice.

Please don't ask what I'm going to do with these cards, those of you who know me know I am not big on sending stuff via US Mail. I know this should be my next new year's resolution, right?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Adventures in mug cake land!

I saw a recipe on Facebook for an individual cake made in the microwave. What a great idea for those of us who live alone and don't want the temptation of a big cake in the house! We won't even discuss storage or ant issues yet.

The recipe, found here mug cake, calls for a box of angel food cake mix and one other cake mix of any flavor. Once mixed you use 3 Tb. of mix, 2 Tb. of water, and 1 minute in the microwave. In a mug, of course.

What they don't say, right away anyway, is that if you use your big coffee mug your cake will look pathetic.

Ok, it is supposed to be a petite portion, so why not go with a petite mug? In my case I went with one of the coffee cups that came with the Fiesta dishes. I never use these for coffee because they are so small.

That's better:

Plate it up and viola, it looks somewhat better. I know the whole point is NOT to plate it, just take it into a corner and eat it, but you all would like to know what a microwaved mug cake really looks like, right?

Here you go!

If you want a pretty cupcake you will have to use an oven. But this will do in a craving! And yes, I am VERY happy to have a microwave oven, thank you very much. Nom nom, everyone!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's here!

It's here! After a month of not having one, my new microwave is installed and working. I was so happy that I heated up my cold cup of coffee.

Talk about getting spoiled. That's me, and proud of it.

The installation guy took almost 20 minutes and didn't skip a beat. I like confidence in people who do stuff like this. Well done, finally!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's all low tech behind the scenes

For the second time in a month, a coworker is leaving for a better job. I'm going to really miss her because she is such a hard worker. The last one that left got a good luck card that wasn't library themed. She deserved better. This time I wanted to re-create for Cheryl a card I had seen on the Internet.

So, I copied a card I'd seen on the Lawn Fawn blog, by Yainea that I absolutely loved. But when I pulled out my Dewey Decimal paper I saw that I had the full sized version, and the card was made from the scaled down version of 6" x 6" paper.  My "fix" was to make the card bigger, but really, scale matters a lot. On the original, there were several drawers going in both directions, but on mine I could only fit 2 full drawers across.

The dog coming out of the catalog drawer should be bigger in relation to the size of the drawer.  I used skinny bakers' twine instead of ribbon so that it wouldn't overwhelm the little doggie.

Now, what's so low tech here? Well I thought I'd share my picture taking setup with you all. I don't have a fancy light box, I just take things out to the back patio and prop them up on the table like this:

Yeah it's all good until the wind blows stuff down into a puddle.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

22 Days and Counting

It has been 22 days since I bought the microwave that couldn't be installed in my kitchen. It has been 28 days since I've had a working microwave. I went back to the store the same day the installation guy was here, but they couldn't help me until it came back to the store.

I have called the store several times since then, but have bumped up against several problems. My sales guy has been on vacation this week. Talking to the sales guys has been like talking to robots with preprogrammed responses.  I explain what the installation guy told me, and they explain whatever they want to say anyway.

I can only be home for installations on Fridays, unless I take time off from work. I'm going back today, and if I don't get satisfaction I'm at least going to get a refund. Then I'm going to the mom and pop store here in town like I should have in the first place. They worked with me on the washing machine issue without drama or delays.

This will be my 3rd trip back to the store. Pray for me. No, pray for those sales guys with the robot answers.

Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm on a Get Well roll!

Yes, I did 4 more get will cards with the Lawn Fawn "On the Mend" stamp set. The tissue boxes are paper pieced. The yellow and orange one is so busy that you may miss the stamped face in it.

But I'm still working out how to put a personal logo on the back. I am not an artist but I envision a little house with the words "home made" curled around the top of it.

I have put this little house from the Lawn Fawn "Home Sweet Home" set on the back in light blue, but I still need to work out more details. What do you think so far?

On another note, I took all three of these pictures at the same time, outside, and I used my PSE3 autocolor correction. What a difference in the color of these 3. Wow.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Mother's Day surprise -- over a decade later!

In my craft room of unending supplies I had a package of greeting card blanks, all ready to decorate. Recently I noticed that the long opening edge was decoratively trimmed. Not only that, but it was trimmed unevenly! Somebody was eyeballing it with those stiff decorative scissors.

I'm a little slow on the uptake, but I just realized these cards are from my Mom's stash of stuff that I got when she died. Or when my Dad died, I can't remember which.

I miss Mimi so much!

By the way, this quickie get-well card is for my sister with bronchitis. The inside is funny since we had a dog named Speedy when we were kids.

Happy Mother's Day to me!

My new microwave couldn't be installed in THIS spot because the granite comes up too high. My last one was finessed in by Rick, who did several jobs for me when I moved in. I don't think I truly appreciated the fine work he did.

Anyway, there is one brand of microwave that has a back bracket big enough to install it here. So I get to go another week without it. Boo, hiss. I never really thought about how much I used it until I couldn't.

This reminds me of the time I replaced my washer/dryer. I wanted a front load and there was only one model that would fit my laundry closet. Remember these beauties?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Easter cards!

Well the good news is I'm finally off the Christmas card wagon, the other news is that now I'm doing a lot of Easter cards. Notice the date is at least a month past Easter of this year. I'm starting to see a pattern of catching the spirit too late (or WAY too early, if you want to look at it that way.)

These cards were made for my sister and brother's families, and used papers and stickers from October Afternoon (Farm Girl collection) and papers and stamps from Lawn Fawn (Dewey Decimal paper and Riley's ABC's for the sentiment.) I actually made these before Easter, unlike the bunny cards which I did last week.

This is the first time I've staged the photos with attractive scrapbook paper in the background. I must be doing something right because this is the first time I've gotten feedback on my cards in the online community. So staging counts!

At this rate I'll do Cinco de Mayo stuff week after next. LOL on me.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A stuffed artichoke is a thing of beauty!

I'm not kidding, it is just purdy. I pried open the leaves and stuffed them with lemon-pepper panko crumbs mixed with romano cheese. Then, I drizzled them with olive oil and cooked them in the pressure cooker with lemon water for 8 minutes. Next time I'll let them go to 9 minutes as I like them a little softer.

These are absolutely cravable, and I had 2 for dinner last night. That's all, just stuffed artichokes. So yummy.

Friday, March 15, 2013

I can't let Christmas go!

Yes, it's true, I am still making Christmas cards. What can I say, I just can't let it go yet.

These were scraplifted from an image I saw on Pinterest, but I cannot remember the original creator's name. Aren't these reindeer in sweaters the cutest?

I have been playing with my new Inktense pencils, and I've got to say they are the most fun I've had coloring so far. It reminds me a little of the magic coloring/painting books we had as kids that basically came to life after applying water.

I may add some stray snow flakes to these before I call them completely done.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Best bathroom cleaner!

I read this recipe on the Internet, so it must be true, right? Anyway, mix equal parts of hot vinegar and Dawn dishwashing liquid. I can't stand the smell of Dawn so I used lemon joy.

And you know what? It was an awesome shower cleaner! Between that and my scrubbie on a handle, I was able to scrape up all kinds of yuck off my shower walls. Don't judge me, I can't see how bad it is when I'm in the shower with my glasses off.

This thing rocks:

 I'm sick of fumes from the strong bathroom cleaners. Take that, ineffective Kaboom Foam-Tastic!

Washing my front door

So, why do I think if I wash something it should stay clean for months? I am always surprised when my front door is dirty. I'm not surprised when the front "porch" needs sweeping, so why the shock at the front door?

For that matter, why won't the floors stay clean longer too.  Oh yeah, I actually live on them.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Amazing little device!

This little guy is my newest favorite little toy. Yes, it is a nursery white noise maker.

It plays a little bit of a noise over and over. It has white noise, rain, ocean and heartbeat. The heartbeat is cheesy, more like a clock's tick-tock. I prefer the ocean. If the rain had gentle thunder it would be perfect.

After a week of using this, I think I'm sleeping better. When I wake up in the middle of the night I listen for it rather than trying to figure out why I woke up in the first place. Honestly, it is so quiet in my house at night that I needed something going on.

The bad news is it takes batteries, 3 AAA to be precise. I like rechargable batteries, but they recommend you charge in even groups of 2, so I have to wait until I use up 4 to recharge.

The good news is, well, it's little and doesn't take up a lot of space on the bed stand.  It cost less than $10 at the local Tuesday Morning. That works for me!

Bottom line is, try one of these cheapy units to see if white noise is for you, before you invest in the more expensive models down at the Sharper Image. You may be happy with little cheapy here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Is buying every mop inevitable?

I mopped the kitchen and the bathroom using my 2nd favorite mop. Well, maybe my 3rd favorite mop. This time I used a Libman string type mop that my daughter left behind. It sort of has a wringer on it.

Anyway, with this mop I decided to use really hot water, not the lukewarm stuff that comes out of the faucet. My "hot" water is 107, can you believe it? Anyway I put some warm water in the bucket and a kettle full of boiling water. There, that bumped it up to 138 F.

After doing the kitchen and the bathroom (separate buckets, fresh hot water), I sat down and watched a little TV. What do you know, they are selling the spin mop on the Home Shopping Network. I have been resisting that for several years now, but I just got up and ordered it. I'm ready to try the next best thing.

My favorite mop is the Swiffer Wet Jet. It just bugs me to have to buy the pads and the soap from them, however. Plus, it sometimes leaves the floor sticky. I also like the Rubbermaid version of that, with a refillable bottle and cloth pads.  But when I need the floor really, super duper clean I go back to the old-fashioned string mop.

Expect a review after I've used it a few times. But that may take a while since I don't mop nearly often enough. I'm too busy trying to resist stuff on the Internet and television.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My mother's old photo album

This last week I went "home" to Bartow to the funeral of my uncle Jack. While we were there, my Aunt Marion gave me my mother's old photo album. She must have had it since 1974 when my grandmother died.

When we opened the bag to look at it, we immediately recognized the cover. Really, who would lean against a cactus?

Anyway, there is no back on it and the pages are crumbling apart. I took pictures of all the pages in case anyone wants to try to identify any of the Martin clan or friends.

You can see it here:

Now, I will scan all the photos, and remount these into a new album. I have the album all picked out, but I have to decide on plain black pages like the original, or pretty patterned paper like in modern scrapbooks. I'm awaiting feedback from any and all.

Here is my grandmother and her four children. My mother is on the far right.