2.28.2008

Artist Trading Cards

Fairy (above) by Teresa; Alice card (below) by Megan, Bright Pink (below) by Jane
Eye (above) by Sandy
Fairytale by Megan
Blue Eye by Peggy


This evening my daughter and I attended an Artist's Trading Card Workshop at Patchwork Central taught by Peggy Pirro. I've seen the trading cards and have looked through a few books and websites to see the different techniques involved in creating these little works of art. There were tables full of crafty things..sequins, beads, glitter, handmade paper, inks, paint, stamps...endless items to create our "masterpieces." We glued, cut, and inked the little 2.5 x 3.5 cards...and ended up with an assortment to keep and trade.

2.27.2008

Deep Dish

I love this woman's books; they make me want to pack up and head on down to Savannah. Never disappointing, and always full of humor...a good, quick read.

Lots of people were checking out gardening books today; I think we're all a little tired of gloom, snow, and ice...spending the day looking at a beautiful garden book and letting our imagination take over and transport us to spring sounds like quite the thing to do. I'm certainly ready to play in the dirt. Heck, I'm even looking forward to seeing some dandelions!

2.26.2008

Treasures on Tuesday

Last week brought a plethora of wonderfulness in the mail. I was lucky enough to win giveaways on two of my favorite blogs, Rosie's Whimsey and A Scrapbook of Inspiration. This beautiful sagey green and neutral tassel came from Rosie's Whimsey. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to hang it on my Wardian Case (a Sam's purchase from a few years back). It currently houses a few plants, some sheet moss & Spanish moss, and a little nest I've been working on.
I also received this crocheted pin with a vintage button in the center. I love the natural/neutral color. Thank you, Rosie!
Mary, from The Little Red House, created this beautiful arrangement in a charming plummy rose tea cup. This was from a Pay It Forward craft exchange.
Isn't it pretty?
I received this gorgeous package from Karen Harvey Cox at A Scrapbook of Inspiration. Her artwork is so pretty...and it lifts the spirit especially at this time of year. Come on, Spring!

Karen's giveaway included notecards,
and this charming cottage print on canvas. Don't you wish you were the woman behind the picket fence? I do...

Thank you Rosie, Mary, and Karen. You've all brightened the gloom on a cold winter's day!

2.25.2008

Monday Morning Love List


I read about doing this on another blog, and decided it would be a great way to start off the week:
  • I love dark roast coffee prepared in a French Press. I especially love this with a slice of multigrain toast topped with cherry preserves.

  • I love Caress body wash...and soap. The scent is light, fresh, and clean. A great scent for first thing in the morning.

  • I love Rohto Arctic Eye Drops...refreshing, sometimes initially shocking, but they always make my eyes feel better.

  • I love JoAnn Fabrics & Michael's 40% off coupons in the Sunday papers.

  • I love NPR.

2.24.2008

That funny feeling...


photo credit-Richie Krocker, via It's Evansville

The day started out with beautiful, fluffy snow...it coated the icy branches of trees and was just gorgeous...a clean white blanket. Work was super busy this afternoon, either with people returning items they couldn't because of last week's weather, or people stocking up for the coming week. DVDs were the big deal today.

I tried to catch up on Academy Award-nominated films in the past few days...Michael Clayton, American Gangster, La Vie en Rose, Elizabeth- the Golden Age, but, for the most part, the films didn't seem to hold my interest. It seems I would rather drift off to sleep with some form of Law & Order as background noise...always a constant in my life.

So many people in my department have fallen victim to the flu going around; my hands are dried out from constant washing, and I've upped the vitamin C intake. I do not want to get sick, but for the past several hours I feel myself circling the drain...sore throat, dry itchy eyes, aches and pains. Yuck. Maybe a cup of Thera Flu as preventative medication before bedtime...

I have lots of pictures to share of a few blog giveaways I've been lucky enough to win (from A Scrapbook of Inspiration - Karen Harvey Cox, and Rosie @ Rosie's Whimsey) and a Pay It Forward gift from Mary at The Little Red House. Those will have to be tomorrow's post...a few of the pictures didn't do the items justice, so I must try again.

2.22.2008

Icy Landscapes

This week's round of ice storms gave us an early dismissal yesterday and a late opening today.
The ice really is beautiful clinging to tree branches and everything in its path...like Autumn Clematis remnants...
Icy trees...
Architectural forms (with the neon "Teen Zone" sign reflected in the window)...
and the Cafe Garden. The diamondy sparkle is beautiful, but the consequences of slipping--not so much! I left my car at work yesterday, in the underground parking garage...caught a ride home and a ride to work this morning. No ice chipping this week!

2.21.2008

A Night with Friends

Last night, in addition to the Lunar Eclipse, was BUNCO night. It had been rescheduled from a few weeks ago--bad weather, a furnace that stopped working--those "little details" that get in the way. My friend Patty always has the best food...cookbooks are her favorite reading material, and she plans her menues weeks in advance. Last week when we were 'iced in' she made place cards that matched her little Valentine figures. Pretty cute. She also made the prizes for last night...the heart shaped box centerpiece. I was a lucky winner!
It's always so nice to get together with friends; phone calls and emails are a good connection, but to actually get together is so special.

2.20.2008

Lunar Eclipse

After leaving a friend's house (BUNCO Night in Newburgh!!), we looked up into the sky and saw the lunar eclipse. It was so cold and bright out...brrrrrr...and I didn't know if I captured a picture of the moon or not...too hard to tell. They turned out okay, but as always...you had to be there.

Is it really only Wednesday?

In a case of appropriately timed advice...Kari & Kijsa answered a question I posed a few weeks back; this past weekend I finally moved a bookcase in my living room. This is the one that has bugged me...but I hated the thought of unloading it, pushing it across the living room, and reloading it. I needed new ideas. Thanks Kari & Kijsa! Visit their blog today...it's Kari's Big Birthday!

After moving the bookcase, I decided the sofa needed to be moved. You know how that goes--by the end of the afternoon everything in the room had been moved. In my worn state, I left stacks of books all over the living room floor (where they still sit). Life, work, and school got in the way, so there they sit awaiting placement when I have a little bit of time to complete the task--maybe tomorrow evening after work.





2.18.2008

Words



Are there sometimes words you find to be over-used, so much so that it irritates you to hear them? My current "warning words" include ~~superdelegate, king-maker, wind, cold, and icy.

2.15.2008

One month and one week until Spring

A three-day weekend looms ahead of me...a little perk for working last Sunday. No real plans other than dinner with friends this evening, "nest creation" for a swap I'm in, and more papier mache moulding. Housecleaning...for sure. I've really neglected the dusting and vacuuming part of housecleaning lately; I need to get that out of the way this morning so it doesn't become one of those things I meant to do but didn't. It seems like in the past 5 years or so, I've become able to overlook the messes and see only what I want to see...a good thing if everyone who enters your home comes equipped with the same blinders, but not so good in reality.
Lots of LOST comments yesterday...I just started watching it a year ago, via DVDs. I think I ended up watching 5 or 6 episodes at a time in order to catch up with the new season last year. Some episodes were really good, others were just plain confusing. I really like what they're doing this year...showing an enhanced (think "pop-up video" from years ago) episode from the previous week with little hints and clues written across the screen. I will definitely be watching next week's enhanced episode so I can try to figure out what went on last night. Those writers are amazing!

2.14.2008

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!
Even the weather is cooperating here to make this a pleasant day...winds from the south will warm us to way above freezing, so all of those car ice cubes will finally be released! I got a ride to work yesterday morning (gotta love those co-workers with garages!!), and by lunchtime the sun had warmed the door enough to open it. After an entire lunch hour spent chipping away big ice blocks, I was able to drive back to work. After work, I went to help "release" my daughter's car.
My Valentine's plans may seem pathetic by some, but I'm looking forward to a homecooked shrimp scampi dinner, followed by a new episode of LOST. February 14 was my wedding anniversary, and this is the first year in many that I've celebrated and decorated for the holiday. Being alone isn't lonely.

2.13.2008

My car, the ice cube

Late yesterday afternoon, I ventured across the slick, ice-encrusted street to see if I could open my car doors. The answer...NO. I had brushed the snow off the car the night before, but it was now covered by 1/2 inch of ice. I was able to unlock the door...that's good, the lock wasn't frozen...but the door was immovable. Now the problem...do I pour warm water around the door frame so I can get it open? Do I just give up and walk the 6 blocks to work on icy, unshoveled sidewalks (or walk in the street)? Hmmm. Sure wish we'd be closed again today. The temperature is 16 with a windchill of 7. This one's going to take a little thought.

2.12.2008

Snow Day and Miscellaneous

I've been meaning to post this little heart I purchased from Heidi at Everyday Cookies at Sweet Woodruff Acres, but I misplaced it. I came across it yesterday (finally)...so glad I found it before Valentine's Day. I bought it to put on my microfiber purse.
It's sweet and cute and reminds me of a conversation heart.
Saturday, when the temperatures hit the mid-50s and the sun was shining brightly, I visited the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science...after I was all blissed out from the wonderful essential oil aromas at Marilyn's...I needed to visit for an assignment for my art class. For a not-so-big city, this museum is pretty fabulous. Works by major artists of the past 200 years, and new works by local artists are displayed. I was "itching" to pull out my camera and take a few pictures of my favorites, but those watchful eyes of the museum attendants were everywhere! Didn't want to be admonished by one of them.
We had major weather upheavals here yesterday...enough that the University of Evansville closed at 4PM, as did my library. Almost everything in the area closed early and stayed closed for today. At first, we were scheduled to open at 10:00 today (I go in at 1:00 on Tuesdays, so it really didn't impact my workday), but I got "the call" a little while ago that we would be closed for the day. Pretty exciting...it's a jammy day! I'm now so glad that I Sam-shopped on Saturday...the cupboards and fridge are full and I have plenty of puttering around to occupy my time today.


2.10.2008

Prairie Girl, part 2



Click here: Prairie Girl Soaps Catalog , PDF version.

Prairie Girl Soaps

Walk through the door of this little country shop and you'll instantly be enchanted by the wonderful aroma of many essential oils. If you've ever worked with the oils, you'll know what I mean...the combination of those scents is just the absolute best smell in the world. If only that fragrance could be captured! This is Prairie Girl Soaps (and more!). The owner is Marilyn Weigand. To quote her catalog: "When I was growing up, my mother and father were very interested in flowers, vegetable, and herb gardens. They were also very interested in the natural way of life, so you could say that I am walking in my parent's footsteps. The name Prairie Girl came about when a friend of mine liked my soaps so well, she said that 'they reminded her of days gone by, when life was simple, family was everything, and life was not so commercial.'"
Marilyn has a huge product line, and she's always experimenting with different ways to enhance Prairie Girl. The soaps are made with an awesome blend oils and butters, and the creamy bars are fragranced with pure essential oils. The soaps are air-dried for at least six weeks, which helps make a rich, gentle lasting bar of soap. The bars are all made and cut by hand, one batch at a time.
Due to many requests, Marilyn also makes a line of fragrance soaps...using the same natural oils and butters, but using fragrance oils such as vanilla, cherry blossom, jasmine, sandalwood, and bay rum.
There is a huge variety of body butters (shown above) made with shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, mango butter, apricot and sunflower oils, and vitamin E. The lavender body butter smells divine! I brought home a jar of Delightful Surprise---what a wonderful scent!
The blurry photo above is Rosemary Mint Foot Scrub...to help get ready for sandal season. Hand creams, both by the jar or in a roll-on solid form are available in the same fragrances as the soaps. One of her special items is "Arthur Friendly"~~a cream using 100% essential oils and spices that are said to be good for our little aches and pains. I'm trying that one, too! Also in the product line--100% Soy Candles and Diffuser Bottles and Reeds. My favorite scents in the candles...Cool Citrus Basil, Lavender & Herbs, and (remember the 60's) Patchouli.

Her website problem was way beyond what I could help with. Marilyn is in the process of setting up an Etsy Shop and blog...until then, reach her at prairiegirl@sbcglobal.net . The website (which seemed to keep looping around to customer sign in--very frustrating) is www.prairiegirlsoaps.com .

Essential oil soaps include:
Lavender, Lavender and Chamomile, Rosemary & Oatmeal, Tea Tree & Oatmeal, Tea Tree & Seaweed, Peppermint & Spearming with Apricot Meal, Rose Geranium, Kitchen & Garden (contains lemon grass, sweet orange and cedarwood--smells great), Patchouli, Ethan & Chase Hunter's Soap. Price: $3.50 / 4 oz. bar. Patchouli soap is $5.oo/4 oz. bar.

Soy Candles are priced at $5.00 / 8 oz. jar

Reed Diffusers are $12.00 each.

Certified Organic Dried Herbs, Essential and Fragrance Oils, Eye Masks, Hot & Cool Wraps, Fizzy Bath Bombs, Sugar Scrubs, Clay Masks, Body Powders, Lip Balms, and Sleepy Time Bears are also available.

Marilyn's products are wonderful. I've been purchasing soap from her for years and it is truly the best. Drop her an e-mail and try some out!

2.08.2008

Dragging...

It seems like I've been chasing my tail all week--can't seem to get ahead of my list of things to do. Work gets in the way of life...

This weekend "we" will be taking two field trips...Saturday morning I'm going to help someone with some website issues. She is a soapmaker and herbalist in our area. I'll be bringing the camera and will take some pictures of her greenhouse and soaping area. Later in the day, I have to make a trip to the Evansville Museum to complete a project for my class. I don't know why I've been putting that one off...I can see the museum from my front porch.

Off to work now...

2.06.2008

Pretty Things

Last night after I got home from work--no stairwell sitting, by the way--as I listened to the weather happening around the area, I looked at some images I had in my "dream room" files.
I love the look of these rooms....so crisp, simple and clean, with the only color coming from nature.

2.05.2008

Super Tuesday--in many ways

Super Tuesday...politics, Mardi Gras, and 70 degree temperatures in February. It looks like this Tuesday will be a repeat of last week...only this week we're at a "moderate" risk of serious damaging storms instead of "slight" like last week. Hmmm...there are still big tree parts on the ground from last week's storm. It's my night to work, so I will just assume I will be spending time in the stairwells again. I always have loads of entertaining items packed in my tote bag...IPod, a book, a magazine, notecards, and whenever there's a "weather event" in the offing, I throw in a little Casio LED battery operated television...it's small and keeps us informed of what is going on out there. I'd rather listen to a local broadcaster than the mechanical voice of the weather radio guys. So far today we've had 2-3 inches of rain...flash flood warnings have been issued...Super Storm Tuesday.

2.03.2008

Tagged



Mandy, the Herbgirl of Calendula Court, tagged me with the "7 Random Things" meme. In random order, here they are:


1) I watch (or listen to) way too much television. It accompanies most of my daily activities. I usually sleep with the TV volume low to mask the sounds of my loud neighbor and his 3 dogs. 2) I love to cook and have a not-so-secret dream of having a little cafe of my own. 3) I love Spring and Fall, and greatly dislike the "dog days of Summer" and cold, messy, gloomy Winter. 4) I love herb gardens...working around those wonderful scents is great relaxation. 5) I've dabbled in Aromatherapy for around 15 years and love mixing essential oils. 6) Tulips and peonys are my favorite flowers, and 7) Coke Zero has replaced my former favorite soft drink--Coke Classic.
Anyone who wants to play...consider yourself tagged!

Sunday--my favorite day of the week

It's been very quiet around here this weekend; I was away all day yesterday--at work during the daytime, and in the evening a large group of us celebrated a birthday at the Log Inn located in Warrenton, Indiana. This is Indiana's oldest restaurant, built in 1825. The place seats 500, and it looked to be jam-packed when we got there. Fried chicken and roast beef, all served "family style" with really good mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, slaw, and rolls...what a good meal!

I'm still not satisfied with all of my re-arranging of furniture from Friday. I'm thinking the bookcases would look really good flanking the front window, but the thought of unloading, moving, and reloading the bookcases sounds a bit overwhelming to me right now. Since it's been bugging me for more than a few days, maybe I'll try to tackle it this afternoon while I watch The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton . I missed it the first time around, and then found a DVD at the library last week. That will be my Super Bowl "pre-game" show. The main event for the day (how boring is my life??), will be a Jane Austen double-header; the local PBS affiliate received so many complaints about their programming last Sunday, so they are showing the current week's Austen offering followed by last week's Mansfield Park.

My photos today are a bit scattered...I've had the "VooDoo on the Bayou" print for several years. I purchased it at the airport in New Orleans while we were delayed there for a few hours...time to look around the airport, not enough time to leave it. Anyway, as soon as we got home, I took the print to have it matted and framed. It's been sitting propped against various walls of 3 different houses. I finally wired the frame so I could hang it. In honor (?) of Mardi Gras, it now graces my living room fireplace mantel. Valentine cards from a card swap I'm in are starting to fill the apothocary jar.

I received a purchase from Kathy's Cottage yesterday in the mail. I've been admiring these hearts around blogland lately...visit her Etsy Shop...she has really pretty things!

2.01.2008

Ground Hog's Eve

A late post today...it was a day off, and I spent most of it moving furniture around (a favorite hobby of mine), and organizing. This afternoon I took a bit of a break and went to Dick Blick, one of my favorite stores. I bought a huge bag of celluclay for an upcoming papier mache project. That should be a nice and messy project!