Working Weekend

Thank goodness for DVDs! One rough weekend day at work down, one to go...sometimes it seems like all of local humanity saves that trip to the library for Saturday afternoon and Sunday...busy, busy, busy. Last night, in an effort to relax I watched two movies--Stephen King's The Mist (please don't bother---I like "scary stuff" and this was just a bit of fluff to watch while I did other things---fixing dinner, sorting laundry---)it was ooey and gooey, but scary? Not so much. Ridiculous---yeah, that's the word for it. I debated on which movie to watch later in the evening---it turned out to be a Javier Bardem film fest, of sorts---I decided to watch No Country for Old Men. More blood, guts, and buzzin' flies--but a good story. Not too sure about the ending though.
A co-worker recommended Love in the Time of Cholera---Benjamin Bratt and Javier Bardem--I'm saving this one for this evening, kind of a pre-new season of The Tudors kickoff.
I can't believe how I'm anticipating the new season of this show. We're having a bit of a "premiere" party here this evening--a work friend and my daughter will be sitting front row and center for The Tudors---complete with appetizers and drinks (no glogg this time--it's a work night). We all "love" Jonathan Rhys Meyers...the show is edgy---way too much sex---but it's a good story.

A few weeks ago, I watched August Rush (starring JRM)---if you suspended belief, this was an okay movie. Definitely in the chick flick genre, many missed connections---but the true star of the film is the young boy. What talent!


An Upcoming Project

My "inner clock" is a bit off this morning...my usual schedule is working all day Monday, school Monday evening, and working Tuesday evening--leaving Tuesday morning open for sleeping in past 7 o'clock, chores, and errands. Mostly I just putter around the house on Tuesday mornings. Well--I worked yesterday morning, it really threw off my sense of "well-being" (as tenuous as that is sometimes!!). Things just haven't been the same since the time change a few weeks ago.

My daughter will be celebrating her 21st birthday in May, and since I'm "crafty mom" and not "big bucks mom" I've been trying to come up with something special to commemorate this big birthday. I've had the urge to make a crown for her...a fun way to mark the big 21. For the past several months, I've toyed with this idea...and finally ordered the book last week. What a fun book! There are so many great crowns (and crown-makers) featured in this publication. I've narrowed my choices to 2--so I will be accumulating crown-making ephemera in the next few weeks.

The painting pictured under the book above is one my daughter's boyfriend (the art major) did of her---I call it Fairy of the Ginkos. See more of his art here.


Happy Dance

My clean and fluff actions Saturday were too little and too late. My guest arrived with half of the living room yet to be vacuumed. (It was last on my list.) I'm glad she's a good friend--and a little dust and debris never hurt anyone. We had a glass of Merlot to unwind, and proceeded to the kitchen where I cooked--Chicken Oscar is best when immediately cooked and served. It was nice having someone to talk to while I cooked; usually it's a solitary action followed by sitting in front of the television. This was a really nice change in routine. Nothing "desserty" really struck me, so we just finished the meal with coffee. It was a good evening, and at least some of the world's problems were discussed, if not solved.

While blog visiting, I came across this new (to me) craft. A manilla file folder booklet...I immediately got up from my perch and went to the file cabinet to pull out the manilla folders and bone folder. It took mere minutes to transform the file folder into a four pocketed folding book. I will post a picture after it's dolled up with scrapbook paper and ribbon. Check out this link to see what got me out of my chair.

Now for the happy dance news. I've lived in a downtown duplex for four years. It's pretty spacious, with a glassed-in sunporch out back, and big rooms with high ceilings and beautiful woodwork. For the first couple of years the upstairs neighbors were great...then they moved out. A truly unbalanced man moved in with 3 dogs. He (with permission from the owner) ripped up all of the carpeting upstairs...so I hear the thunder of doggie nails several times over the course of a day (and night). He gets into major domestic brawls with his many partners, and over the course of the past two years the police have been called several times to stop the fights. It's truly horrific. I always have looked at home as a haven...peace and quiet. I can't remember the last time I slept through the night. When I got home from work Friday evening, there was a For Rent sign in front of the duplex. Yeah!!! I know the phrase "the devil you know" comes to mind, but I really can't imagine anyone worse than this guy and his parade of live-in 'friends'.


Pax Vobiscum

One of my Sunday morning rituals is to watch CBS Sunday Morning. I always learn something, and usually the stories contain a nugget that will pop up in conversation in the coming weeks--either a pop culture-type factoid, or something that I would not normally know concerning art and music. Among the features that caught my attention this morning was a story on the origin of the peace symbol. Peace on Earth, and peace in general seem to be more associated with the Christmas observance, but we all seek peace, both internally and globally every day. I'm glad there's a simple symbol for that. Peace out...and Happy Easter.


Birds of a feather

I received the tags I ordered from Dawn at ~The Feathered Nest~ yesterday. I was anxious to receive them, because I have a perfect blank wall to put them on. Unfortunately, it's kind of gloomy in the living room today, and even though I took lots of pictures of the group of four, hung 2 x 2, they were either really crooked, too dark, too reflective, or just didn't turn out right.
The frames are identical, purchased at Target just after Christmas for $1.25 each. I bought a dozen frames, all that they had in stock.
They've been empty, propped up against the wall just waiting for somebody to fill them.
A friend is coming over for dinner this evening, so I'm in "fluff & clean" mode. On the menu--Chicken Oscar, one of my favorite chicken recipes. It looks so spring-like, topped with asparagus, crab, and hollandaise. Dessert is still up in the air, but I did bring home The Cake Book from the library yesterday. I'll have to flip through that later this morning to see if anything inspires me.


Spring--it's here!

This is by no means a current spring photo (nor is it mine). The sun is shining today, though--and the rains have stopped. Here's hoping that the next few weeks bring us gentle warm breezes, sunshine, and some much-needed time in the garden.


The Great Flood of 1937

Big rain hit our area yesterday--and it's still falling today. The picture above--from 1937-- is of the Alhambra Theatre, now a part of the Evansville Arts District,which is just down the street from Penny Lane and just a few blocks off the Ohio River. Thank goodness we now have levys and dams and spillways, or we'd certainly be under water today. Our town is under a "state of emergency" and local schools are closed. I should have no problems getting to work, but in some parts of the city many streets are blocked off due to the high water. Weird weather strikes us all once again.


New (to me) Book

After class last night, I decided to go to Barnes & Noble. I've picked up this book a few times in the past, and knew that I wanted it--Collage Lost and Found: Creating Unique Projects with Vintage Ephemera by Giuseppina "Josie" Cirincione. I love the way the projects are presented...this is a whole new world for me---and I need guidance! The projects include soldered charms, personal shrines, and loads of other creative things.

Penny Lane Coffee House & Rowan Tree

Just a short post to showcase the photos Glen Wells took Sunday evening at Penny Lane. Rowan Tree was wonderful; it was great to see them back performing at Penny Lane. They played continually for two hours, no breaks...lots of jigs and reels, and a few tunes sung in native language.

Penny Lane is a trippy little place...many "characters" from the neighborhood stop in during the course of the the day. They serve free trade organic coffees and other beverages --a great fruit smoothy according to my friend Stacy--and a few organic vegetarian foods--veggie wraps, hummus & blue corn chips, organic brownies...mmmm. Lots of live entertainment, too (in addition to excellent "people watching").


St. Paddy's Eve Eve

No green beer for me...I'll stick to the Blue Moon Belgian White--my favorite ale. Tomorrow evening after work, I'll be heading to Penny Lane Coffee House to hear my favorite Celtic Band - Rowan Tree. A few people from work will be there, as will a few friends from school. It should be a good time. Click here to listen to Rowan Tree. They're really good!


Rainy Friday

Here's a shot of my Easter/St. Patrick's Day entryway. I thought I'd better post these before the St. Pat's holiday passes us by.
I love the eggs hidden at the base of the tulips.

I finally was able to find a shamrock plant. These two look a little worse for wear, but they'll perk up...there are little white blooms on them, but with the "artsy" lighting, it's hard to see them.

With the high price of gasoline here (and everywhere), I have my errand/grocery list ready, so I'm off to meet my friend Carol for lunch--followed by Sam's Club, the grocery, and ugh...the gas station. The high point of my evening will be watching the DVD I brought home from work (and posted about) yesterday. That, the premiere of The Return of Jezebel James (from the writer of my all-time favorite series The Gilmore Girls) , and Top Chef/Chicago. I must have missed the premiere, but you can always count on Bravo for their endless cycling of a program. I hope the contestants aren't too annoying this early in the game.


Thursday Evening--after a sunny, nice day

Thursday evening...it's my TGIT day (off on Friday, but work the entire weekend). No big plans for tomorrow, other than lunch out with a friend, sewing bird house egg cozies, a little light housecleaning--even though it really needs a deep cleaning--and the top-off-the-day treat...August Rush. I've heard lots of good things about this film, and I really hope I'm not disappointed. I have the enhanced episode of LOST on now...once again I was a little (lot) confounded by last week's episode. As I watch it now, I'm actually wondering if I fell asleep last week--maybe that's why I couldn't remember what it was about.


How Cute Are These?

Serious Spring Fever has set in, so I decided to take the afternoon off and revel in it. I checked this book out last week, and there are so many cute spring/Easter items in it. Most of the projects look very easy to make...I might try out one or two of them later this evening.
I'm not really partial to soft-poached eggs, but aren't these Bird House Egg Cozies too cute? I remember seeing egg cozies on another blog around the Christmas holidays (Vee's, perhaps?). I absolutely love the pastels and whites that are throughout this book. Fresh...and refreshing.
Another idea for these little Easter totes...use them as napkin holders.


Repurposing the Brie Box

Here are a few shots of my Project: Brie Box. I have four other boxes that are just in the primed state.
I've always been a fan of the kraft board boxes that you can paint/decorate. I'd rather use them for a gift box than do the disposable wrapping paper/ribbons/tissue paper. Kind of a gift in a gift concept.
What I really like about these...they were essentially "free." A little primer, a little paint and ribbon...easy little project!


March Monday Love List No. 3

Herb Gardens! I love planning them, planting them, weeding them, and harvesting them. Time spent in an herb garden is time well spent.
Where I live now, the barrel method of planting is my garden of choice. My backyard is a small narrow courtyard-type area, and the soil--in the few places there is soil--is poor. I think that with the combination of weed killer and salt used in the past 100 years, it has ruined the soil for everything except weeds. If I plant in a barrel, I have control of what is in it. I usually have one barrel for basil...3 or 4 varieties, and a barrel for "general" herbs...sage, thyme, parsley, chives...a "lemon" barrel...verbena, lemongrass, lemon geranium, lemon thyme, lemon mint...lovely tea herbs...and pots of rosemary and lavender. Just thinking about how they smell makes me happy!
I really wish I could plant a wagon wheel herb garden...so very neat and contained.


Vintage Labels

The French Inspired Home
A few label sheets to go along with the previous post...

Pictureless Post

For some reason or other, Blogger isn't cooperating with me this weekend. It doesn't want to accept my pictures--not that they were anything too exciting...just old blue Ball jars sporting new labels, courtesy of a scan of labels from The French Inspired Home. I really need to buy that book; I've borrowed it from the library too many times--it's constantly on reserve for someone. Another project I accomplished yesterday was painting brie boxes...yes, those round protectors of the cheese. I accumulated several of them before and during the Christmas holidays and just hated throwing them away. I stacked them up in a pantry cupboard, and while I was scanning labels yesterday, I decided to paint the boxes and affix the cute little button box labels to them.


Hurrah for Friday!

A little copper nest hidden in the fern...a sign of Spring inside the house, anyway. The Snow Gods will be honoring us with a big visit throughout the day...schools have closed in anticipation. The library will surely be busy with people stocking up for the weekend.
My papier mache project is finished and here are the results...there are a dozen of these little (about 8 inch) guys around. One area of my kitchen was the "studio"...I'm sure I'll be finding glitter for months to come!


More garden pictures...

I promise...these are the last pictures I'll post of my favorite little garden. There's just nothing pretty outside to photograph, and inside...well, I'm in a bit of an upheaval here. Above is a picture of my old little back yard area. I thought that was small when I lived there, but believe me...my current "backyard" is way tinier...and with not as much character. We had a small pond in the corner of the yard, and "handmade" the cobblestones with Portland Cement and a form from Home Depot. A big project, but I loved the look of it. The tree is a Meyer Lemon.
This was the view I could see from the kitchen window (reversed, of course)...definitely birds 'n blooms. The Ohio River was just across the street...


Still Dreaming...

With winter storm warnings and advisories as the lead story on the news yesterday and today, I've retreated to books...finding spring, beauty, and imaginary warmth coming from their pages. Who wouldn't like to be on the porch reading, sipping lemonade, and dreaming... ...or relaxing with friends in the cottage kitchen? The warm sun pouring through the open window and a breeze carrying the scent of herbs and flowers...wouldn't it be delightful? These photos are from Country Living's Small Spaces and Cozy Corners.


Under the weather Monday Love List

The "love list" falls into the trying-to -comfort zone this week...hot tea, Tylenol Sinus & Congestion, Tiger Balm, and the sinus "trinity"...sweet basil, sweet marjoram, and peppermint essential oils. Try this one the next time you're stuffy...2 drops marjoram oil, 1 drop peppermint oil, and 1 drop basil oil. Drop into a bowl of steaming water, tent your head, and breathe...it will either kill you or cure you.

Feathering Their Nests

Altered image from a Smokey the Bear Poster
This weekend certainly brought an increase in bird traffic...a welcome sound in the early morning.


Garden Memories

As sunshine and garden deprived as I've felt the past several months, I've been spending time looking through old photos of my favorite house (ever)...the original PlumWater Cottage, located at the intersection of Plum Street and Water Street. All that remains of the property is a Plum Tree I planted, and every spring beautiful tulips I planted emerge at the corner intersection. I always planted something in the hollowed-out redbud tree located in the front yard...this particular year it was pink impatiens. Since that side of the little yard was so shady, there were several shade-loving plants that made their home under the tree...bleeding hearts, coral bells, and hostas.
I loved this giant old fashioned holly hock. So did the Japanese beetles~~but there was always a time when it bloomed beautifully before the beetles attacked.
This was the rose garden, in its beginning stage. On either side of the little angel, I planted baby's breath. The yard was in terrible shape when we moved in~~doesn't the lush grass look great here? It's Kentucky Bluegrass sod...hand laid (and delivered) by me. What a mess that was, but it was so worth it.
The stone bench at the walkway, under the shade tree.
At the backdoor of the house, just off the kitchen, was my little potagier. It was the perfect spot for my little herb and vegetable garden.

Baking and cheese making...

In the "learn something new" part of my life, yesterday I learned how to make mozzarella cheese.  Making and baking French bread w...