I managed to get it cleared off just in time to do a friend's taxes this afternoon. I did mine in my "comfortable" chair, laptop on my lapdesk...but thought I'd look a little more like I knew what I was doing if I moved the laptop to my actual desk.
After the tax filing...and e-file is such a blessing...I wrote out a check (pretty much of a foreign thing to me~~I love e-banking and e-commerce) to Tina at Cherry Hill Cottage to pay for the cheeseball pedestal pictured above. Isn't it cute?
After that I went on-line to purchase Wriskeys; one for me, one for my daughter (her pattern is pictured above). The Wriskey website just went online today...really cute stuff.
School stuff is ready, my purse had been "repacked" for the week...I'm ready (not really).
My other purchase--Knitting Little Luxuries from Interweave Press. Interweave always puts out a quality product. The designs in this little book are wonderful...a Juliet scarf and brooch with one skein of angora...so beautiful! The pattern is one I'd have to pay particular attention to, but the end product would be well worth the process.
Last night my friend Beth came over for more Tudor "action". More Glogg was served...it's become quite the winter warmer-upper...and we watched three more episodes of The Tudors.
Today brings a double header basketball game--UE Lady Aces, followed by the Men's UE Aces--with proceeds going for breast cancer research. I'll be attending with a friend and her husband--both are die-hard Aces fans. Should be interesting, especially since I'm not a "sports" person. The company will be excellent though, and it's for a great cause.
The above and following pictures are from Sew Pretty Homestyle, by Tone Finnanger. The colors used in the projects are exceptionally appealing, especially this time of year in the midwest. Anticipating Spring...
I love these pears...so fresh looking.
Cute little wall pockets (don't know about using them as toothbrush holders), and they would be great in a guest room, holding little luxuries for your guests.
Pretty, pretty things...
While I was out yesterday~~picking up books I had placed on hold last week~~and unfortunately, taking a long trip through the car wash, I stopped at the market to pick up two more primroses. I moved them to this wire carrier and needed two more to fill it out.
The market had a new shipment of African violets~~take a good look at them while they're in their prime~~and I couldn't resist buying them.
About the long ride through the car wash...the temperature was hovering just above freezing, but when I went out to get into the car, I discovered that birds had been using it for target practice. Yes, I was parked under the trees, but it's been so cold, who knew birds would be roosting in those trees? Grackles~~probably by the hundreds, as witnessed by the massive splats of berry seeded bird droppings all over the street and cars~~were the culprits. The guys at the car wash were quite amused...they'd seen a few cars like mine yesterday. I hate to get my car washed when it's that cold out...hate the thought of frozen locks and doors...but I couldn't drive around with my car looking like that.
Calligraphy class was pretty much fun. Good student/teacher ratio...it was just the two of us in the class...we mostly worked on pen strokes and almost made it through one alphabet. I love writing with a fountain pen, but hate the way they just stop writing...I picked up a dip pen set and practiced with it last night. My "writing bump" is now lightly stained with amethyst ink.
While practicing, I watched Eastern Promises with Viggo Mortensen. Viggo--pretty handsome; the movie--really too ~~action packed ?violent?~~to watch before bedtime.
One of my most favorite books in recent months is Romantic Home Sewing by Christina Strutt. A while back, I requested a catalog from her shop "Cabbages & Roses" and it arrived yesterday par avion. Over half of the catalog is oversized postcards...the catalog is all loose-leaf, postcards and a set of description cards, packaged in a bifold card holder. So very clever and so very beautiful.
To do, today~~bake Paris Puffins (as described on NotQuiteJuneCleaver's blog), organize tools, get a project kit together to take to Craft Night tomorrow evening, and laundry. Exciting, eh?
While I was out registering for my Calligraphy class yesterday, I made a few other stops. Armed with 40% JoAnn coupons, and a 40% Michael's coupon, I thought I'd scout out a few bargains. It's always harder than it sounds. I found a cake pan I "needed" at Michael's. It's a Wilton Crown of Hearts pan. Can't wait to make a cake in it! The cupcakes in the picture above come from the "lots of pop ups" BHG website. I did it, so you don't have to...
Here's the recipe:
Red Velvet Cupcakes
3/4 cup butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1-oz. bottle red food coloring (2 Tbsp.)
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 tsp. vinegar
Small chocolate heart-shaped cookies (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)
1. Let eggs and butter stand 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 28 2-1/2-inch cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.
2. In medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, and 3/4 tsp. salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium-high 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until combined. One at a time, add eggs; beat on medium after each. Beat in food coloring on low.
3. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture; beat on low to medium sped after each just until combined. Stir together baking soda and vinegar. Add to batter; beat just until combined.
4. Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake 15 to 17 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely. Top with small chocolate cookies, if desired. Dust with powdered sugar. Makes 28
This is what I will be doing today...browsing through magazines, gleaning ideas from them, drinking coffee, in general--having a lazy day. Later in the afternoon, if it warms up a bit, I may go sign up for a calligraphy class for tomorrow to take with a friend of mine. All of this will be followed by knitting, a little sewing, and sketching out a prototype for my Hip Hop Easter Swap item.
I'll have to gaze at my basket of primroses and pretend it's Spring...I have a huge list of projects to either start or finish, a stack of books to read, and a pile of magazines to immerse myself in. The pantry is stocked and the house is pretty much in order, so PlumWater Cottage is now my vacation destination.
Last night, while watching the snow accumulate outside and catching up on e-mails, I found these beautiful Valentine's projects and ideas. Click here to see more ideas and instructions, click the post photo to enlarge.
I picked up the red apothocary jar at JC Penney this weekend at a huge discount. It was in with the Christmas decorations, but red is a pretty universal accent color...Valentine's Day, and the red, white, and blue summer holidays.
Last night I had dinner with my daughter at one of our favorite local restaurants, Gerst Haus. I love it because it is a neighborhood-type eatery. The building's former life was a hardware store. They have great food...predominantly German, but they also have the very best catfish sandwiches, breaded pork tenderloin, and chicken fingers. While we were waiting for our food, we were discussing plans for the weekend. My daughter had a few shopping errands and asked if I wanted to go with her, so we planned our Saturday afternoon. Our plan includes stopping at our favorite cafe for lunch (see logo above), where we will be selecting from this menu. Maxine's used to be the place we'd go on the first day of summer break from school...starting when we moved here and my daughter was in 5th grade. It's definitely a "ladies who lunch" type place and it's oh so good. Their desserts are a so beautiful and tasty.
I picked up a three-tiered black iron plate holder at Target last night...it's calling out for three more black transferware plates from Marshall's. While I'm there, I'll look for Mrs. Pilgrim for Rose at Classic Charm. I found a few more "Paris Flat" items that need to be placed...an Eiffel Tower lamp, for one...I don't in my wildest imaginings think that one who lives in Paris would have an Eiffel Tower lamp, but it sure looks kind of kitschy-cute to me!
Stop over to visit Janet at Housepeeper's...she has a giveaway--50th blog and a pre-birthday giveaway--Vintage Vavoom, one of my most very favorite books of the new year.
This wall pocket looks so aged...I love the "faux" greenery...
The blinding glossiness of the black paint...thank God for spray paint...I have no patience for regular painting.
I looked and looked for something for the diningroom for Valentine's Day. I wanted something either pink or red for the mercury glass pedestal to surround a pillar candle. The red glass heart tea light holders fit the bill...2 for a dollar at Target. (Don't know why the flatware appears to be golden...it's silver).
The cherries were "vase fillers"...also from Target. Cherries in the snow...
Thank you, Kathy--from Shocking Pink Thread--for a You Make My Day Award. I really appreciate it! There are rules that go along with the award and here they are:
The award rules are to “Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on. Beware! You may get the award several times! ”
It seems that my list of "Everyday Reading" blogs grows longer every day; you know how it is...you're reading a blog, you click a link, and find yourself absorbed in yet another good read. I would definitely say that this new diversion (I've only discovered the wonderful world of blogs less than a year ago) has made a difference to me and it has given me a creativity kickstart.
Richard Anuszkiewicz. I have always (somewhat secretly) prided myself in knowing a little about a lot...I try to be somewhat current on all things pop culture....music, literature, and yes...art. I can usually carry on a conversation about almost anything. Last night, however, I was stumped. All the other "kids"...non-traditional students just like me...were assigned artists I had heard of...Mary Cassat, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, Edward Hopper (one of my favorites), Jackson Pollock...the list goes on and on. Out of the list of 40 artists, my assignment was one I had never heard of. My usual mode of operation is to procrastinate and wait until the last minute to do a paper. I "think" about what I'm going to write, and finally just sit down and write it. Not this time...since I have no knowledge of this assignment, I need to more than just think...I did a mini-web search of "my" artist. Hmmm...Op(tical) Art...again, definitely not one of my favorites. Frankly, when I look at most of the art I found online by my guy, I see...Quilt Patterns.
Wish me luck...
I stopped by Marshall's early in the afternoon to pick up a few plates I saw there before Christmas. I was hoping they would still be available. They were...I got 2 Staffordshire Toile plates and 2 bowls. In addition, I picked up some items for the guest room. It's a very small bedroom with exposed brick on one large wall. Right before Christmas I pulled up an iron daybed frame from the basement to put in there. The bed needs to be painted; the person I bought it from painted only the areas that were visible on the bed, so one side is red, the other side yellow. It needs to be black. Anyway...I thought a little French influence would look great in there. The Black Cat canvas and a framed print of the Eiffel Tower also found their way home with me from Marshall's.
French notecards in this cute little box are for the desk.
My plates...these are actually a picture of the salad plates (courtesy of EBay). My bargain dinner plates, in the same pattern were just $3.99 each. I love them!
I only purchased a few items...a wire card holder, and a heart from the Nicol Sayre collection. My other purchase was a Metro bag from Vera Bradley. It's a discontinued style and The Heart of Newburgh has all discontinued styles and patterns 30% off. The bag can hold my laptop, files, and books. In the next few days I need to get the rest of my Valentine decorations out and up, and I also have a few Valentine's crafts to finish.