12.14.2011

A "room" of her own...

via junkaholic

How fabulous is this little crafting shed?  Usually when I think of a "studio", I think of a much larger space...there are lots of spacious craft/art rooms to be viewed on Pinterest, or just while blog-hopping, but I'm always attracted to tiny, well-thought out spaces.  This is one of my favorites, and more importantly, it seems quite do-able in my home.  Looks to be about the same size as my enclosed back porch.  Even in the dead of winter, if the sun shines the temperature is quite moderate in the little room.  Maybe this could turn into my new project for one of my favorite weeks of the year...the week between Christmas and New Years...but only if it's sunny!


I've had lots of ideas for projects lately...that's what happens when my brain overloads with other things to think about and do.  I can be sitting at a stoplight and have a gigantic flash of inspiration, yet when I have time to do creative things, I always seem to be disinclined...why?  Choices...clean the house/sit and knit? iron/read a book? mop the floor/take a nap?  I always seem to go for the less active choice...after all, an unmopped floor will be there until I do something about it, but that urge for an afternoon nap is fleeting.  Problem is, I now have lots of chores stacked up to do and it's interfering with my playtime. After all...wouldn't it be nice to be clean and organized all the time so that making those "hard" choices wouldn't so significant.  Something more to think about today...

11.21.2011

Holiday Week Monday

via Channel House Tours

This is the beginning of a busy week...not busy at work, but busy at home.  Last Friday was the start of a vacation week.  I played around on Friday, got a haircut (and boy, did I get my money's worth on this one...a little too short!), and had lunch with a friend on Saturday, then went to the movies with Megan yesterday to see Breaking Dawn.  I'm not a fan of the vampire/werewolf genre...unless we trip back in time to Dark Shadows on tv...but since she wanted me to go, I did.  I guess what I don't like about the Twilight series is that everyone seems to be so tortured...way too much angst.

I'm looking forward to seeing the top of my dining room table by day's end...and maybe a little floor space surrounding the table.  It's a good day to clean...gloomy and rainy outside...time to make a pot of tea and get started.

10.29.2011

Sunny Saturday

Today was the most perfect fall day...sunny, crisp, and beautiful.  After attending a morning meeting at the library, I drove to Newburgh to visit The Village Knitter.  Last week I peeked into their darkened display windows and spotted some chunky yarn I thought I needed.  Chunky yarn is not what I purchased though...I fell in love with the braided Madelinetosh Parchment Merino and had to have it.  I also needed some really small needles for it...size 2.  I started knitting as soon as I got home--I'm fond of wearing scarves indoors and out all winter long, so that's what I'm making.

It's been a busy weekend (I was also off yesterday)...I painted two walls in my living room, rearranged furniture, and worked on a few items for my long-bare Etsy shop. 

10.25.2011

Delicious



While perusing Pinterest a month or so ago, I came across this pin from The High Heeled Hostess...a redo of Starbucks' Spiced Apple.  It tastes like the very best apple pie in a beverage!  After the Ghost Walk Saturday evening, we stopped at the local Starbucks...pretty rare, as we usually frequent the local coffee houses rather than the big chain.  While in line for a coffee (I had the almost sinful Salted Caramel Mocha), I remembered this apple drink I wanted to try at home.  I purchased a bottle of the Starbucks Dolce Sugar-free Cinnamon syrup from the barista...she asked if I had a pump for the bottle, and included one in my bag when I said I didn't have one.  Anyway...after sitting in their comfy leather chairs and chatting for a while, one of the employees came around with a tray of sample drinks...it was the Spiced Apple!  Delicious--and now I had the original to compare to my soon-to-be whipped up "home edition."  I stopped at the grocery on the way home to purchase apple juice, fat-free RediWhip, and fat-free caramel.  Decided I needed all fat-free products since I blew it on the Salted Caramel Mocha (!!).  Early Sunday afternoon I put the High Heeled Hostess version together:
8 oz. apple juice (warmed in the microwave)
2 pumps of Dolce Cinnamon Syrup
Whipped Cream
Drizzle of Caramel
Totally delicious, not too bad in the calorie/fat/sugar category, and way less expensive than the Starbucks brew.  This is going to be my official beverage for fall...and maybe winter!  Go visit the High Heeled Hostess for other amazing recipes.

P.S.  I thought cinnamon syrup would taste like liquid Red Hots...and I was so wrong!  The Dolce version tastes buttery and rich (and zero calories).  Definitely worth a trip to Starbucks.


10.22.2011

Historic Newburgh Ghost Walk


After work, I'm meeting a few friends in historic downtown Newburgh...we're going to go on a Ghost Walk.  Newburgh has been doing these tours for quite a while...there are two different tours;  the State Street Tour, and the Water Street Tour.  It's been quite a while since I've done the Water St. Tour,  but I lived on that street for several years  when we first moved to Indiana.
                               Plum + Water = Plumwater Cottage!

                                          
 I miss Newburgh...most of my friends live there, and I really enjoy the {generally}quiet little community on the river.

This should be big fun!

10.21.2011

It's a chilly morning here...a killing frost is expected early tomorrow morning.  Lots to do to get ready for winter!  One of my priorities early this morning was to snip some hydrangea.  The colors are so pretty;  they are not the beautiful dark blues and lavenders of summer, but rich burgundies and greens to complement autumn.

I've been a hermit the past few months...staying inside, working on a few projects (I should say plans for projects), and feeling a bit isolated.  It was getting to the point where I could almost not see out of my left eye and the right one was following at a slower pace.  In 2007 I had cataract surgery on both eyes and in recent months they started clouding up.  Monday morning I had a YAG Capsulotomy on both eyes.  I can SEE again!  They computer type is crisp black instead of faded grey, and all is now well in my little world.  The downside---I see dirt, dust, and cobwebs everywhere! 

Lots to do today;  cleaning is definitely at the top of the list, followed by a little sewing on Megan's Halloween attire...she's going to be Rainbow Fish.  Lots of scales to sew!

New interests include art journaling; we're having a wonderful class at my library branch facilitated by Lynda Heines (edited to add the link to her blogpost about this class) Everyone is having a great time!

9.06.2011

Things I'm looking forward to...

1)  The premiere of FOLK Magazine ("Like" them on Facebook).  I've been checking out their website and looking at the wonderful photos on Facebook.  It's going to be a fabulous magazine...chock full of Prim!
2)  Autumn color...I'm so ready for the reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn leaves.
3)  Apple Crisp...after a trip to the orchard.
4)  Halloween...one of my very favorite holidays.

Check out Folk Magazine...it's going to be wonderful!

9.05.2011

Cold Comfort...


We are having the most amazing weather today...cool, low humidity, breezy...feels like autumn is just around the corner.  It's good to have a day like this after the relentless heat and humidity of the past few months.  Time to catch a breath of fresh air, turn off the air conditioner, and relish the quiet of non-electrical cooling.

Yesterday was a fun day for me...I went to Louisville with friends to see Sense & Sensibility performed by the Louisville Actors Theatre.  The play was wonderful...amazingly simplistic sets, beautiful costumes, and wonderful actors.  I spotted a few places along Bardstown Road to investigate at a later date.

Today is turning into a truly *un*labor day.  Relaxing, enjoying the cool, and thinking of fall.

Happy Labor Day!

8.27.2011

Saturday!

I've been looking forward to today all week...I'm packing up my sewing machine and visiting my friend Michelle.  We're going to spend the day sewing and working on projects, and I'm so ready to sew!  Here's what I'll be working on today:
The pattern is "Peppermint Twist" and I love the subtle 'non-Christmasy' coloration.  It's the perfect autumn/winter quilt. 

Be safe East coasters...

8.12.2011

Friday Craft...super easy

It's not the best picture, but here's what I made today...a zipper flower pin.  Metal-tooth zipper + glue gun = a prototype for Fabulous Faux Flowers II on Monday afternoon at the library.

7.23.2011

Lounging...

A couple of weekends ago, I actually started AND finished a sewing project.  Rare, but true...it's a "patio" dress and it's been my clothing of choice when I'm at home...cool, comfortable, and quick to make.  Perfect for this long, hot summer.  Think I'll make another for variety in my loungewear!

7.22.2011

Fun is just around the corner...

My addiction to Pinterest continues...and it has inspired my programming activities at work.  Don't you just love this artsy little traveling art supplies poster?

 via Pinterest

The group of four crafty things are on the agenda for Quick Holiday Gifts...a series of three programs featuring make and take crafts...glass magnets, ribbon bookmarks, tile coasters, and a sticky note memo set.  Cute, utilitarian, and my favorite...cheap 'n easy.
 via Pinterest

Next on the agenda...a series of weekly classes beginning in October...Fearless Art Journaling, led by Lynda from Bloom, Bake, & Create.
via Bloom, Bake & Create

 And lastly...but really first on the autumn schedule, Water~Paper~Paint, an introductory art series with projects from Heather Smith Jones' wonderful book.  This class will be led by Connie Walts. 
I can't wait!  We're going to have an Artful Autumn around here.

7.03.2011

Obsessions

I've been obsessed by many things in the past few weeks...mini donuts, Lisette patterns and fabrics, art journals, stitcheries, herb and lettuce gardening...random things--but they have engaged me lately.

One of the blogs I look forward to reading every Friday is Under A Blue Moon.  Andrea features her Friday Favorites, and nearly every week there is something that captures my attention.  About a month ago, I was drawn into the world of mini donuts.  It was a Friday Favorite linking to a blog entitled Such Pretty Things. I immediately put the mini donut pan on my "need to buy" list.  Nothing urgent...after all, I'm supposed to be Weight-Watchering.

  While strolling the aisles at Hobby Lobby Friday, searching for yet another obsession...water soluble pastels to create journal pages seen here, I found the mini donut pan in the Wilton aisle.  Two obsessions, one store.  I added cake flour and buttermilk (low fat) to my grocery list.

Saturday morning I woke up with the desire to bake those cute little donuts...the problem?  No cute little sprinkles to adorn them.  I checked out the Facebook page for the local (and very nearby) cake and candy supply shop and found that they opened at 9:00.  White jimmies and two tiny tubs of "petal dust" in hand, I now had everything I needed to make donuts.  I could have purchased colored jimmies, but I wanted delicate, hand-tinted pastel jimmies.  Yes...there is seriously something wrong with me. 

The biggest obsession...garment sewing, of all things...began when I visited Purlbee a few weeks ago.  While I wasn't super fond of the fabric choice on the dress they made, I was intrigued by the patterns.  I visited the designer's website, fell in love with a few of the four patterns available, and off I went to purchase them (while they were super-reduced at JoAnn and Hobby Lobby).  The new patterns are due out any day, along with a fall line of fabrics.  I haven't done any garment sewing for decades, and can't figure out why it sounds so appealing now...and why do I want to start wearing dresses?  Something's up...

6.12.2011

Sunday

I've mentioned my "affection" for Pinterest before, but I've just got to say there are some really great ideas posted on the site...linking back to some blogs that I would never have found on my own.  I especially like the gardening/home dec/entertaining inspiration boards. 

I went outside this morning to take pictures of "how my garden grows", but found that the camera battery was dead, so instead, today's post will be "here's what's for lunch":
Pretty dramatic, huh?  A long strip of cucumber wrapped to hold spring mix and carrots.  Easy and elegant.  I "heart" Pinterest and all of the interesting and creative people who contribute to it.

Photo 1:  nobiggie.net
Salad photo : Framed Cooks

5.31.2011

May Review...

Did May fly by, or what?  Lots of fun things happened in May...

A couple of really good programs at our little library branch:
  •       Bicycle Safety and Maintenance--with fuel prices escalating (and coming down really slowly now), pedal power may be the way to go.  We learned how to change a bicycle tire, how to lube and maintain the chain, how to check the brakes, and most important--tire inflation.


  •      Discard to Decor--a local business owner, Tresa Miller from Grateful Threads, brought in a few wonderful chairs that had a makeover treatment...one with slipcovers, and the other reupholstered.  I fell in love with the upholstered chair...it was done in French Laundry fabric...tea names in French.  As soon as there's money in the budget (or if they do another Groupon!!), I'm going to order the fabric in the red graphic colorway.  Adorable.  We also learned about new color trends...go big or go home...and she presented a slide show with lots of before and afters.
  •      The annual Newburgh Art, Wine & Jazz Festival...the rains stopped just in time for this event.  Some really good wines, and a few not-so-good wines...but a good time was had by all.

  •      A punch-needle embroidery class...I've had the equipment and patterns for years...now I know the technique.  I'm also interested in starting a little "inchie" embroidery project...a square a day.  More details to follow...

So, we've talked about the fun things...now the "unfun" things...rain, rain, and more rain.  Cool (verging on cold), gray, damp weather for weeks on end.  Flooding...which didn't impact my abode a few blocks from the Ohio River, but devastated many residences in the northern part of the county.  Storms, tornadoes, hail...heck;  we had it all.  Now it's just plain hot and humid.  No spring-like weather to speak of this year.  I'm just grateful that we've had it easier than many parts of the country.

Maybe June will be a quiet month...nice weather, sunshine and blue skies.

5.02.2011

Wanna Build?


3.5 inches of rain yesterday...find your Cubit Converter and Ark size Calculator here.

Ark graphic:  St. Joseph Parish, Wisconsin

5.01.2011

Sunday Evening...

 If it doesn't stop raining soon, I'm going to have a bumper crop of zucchini in my front window.  I tranplanted the squash and tomatoes into #10 cans...they have outgrown the peat pots this week. 
 My friend Michelle dropped off  white geraniums this afternoon.  I pulled the terra cotta pots out to plant them in, but it's raining too hard to do that.  Another day...
 Here's a random photo...a dried arrangement I purchased a month or so ago.  Blues and lavenders...cool and pretty.
...and this is what took forever to list on eBay today.  It's been a while since I've listed anything, and just like Blogger, they've made lots of changes I'm not used to.  I have lots more to list...all Gail Wilson Designs kits, but right now it's too much to wrap my head around.  I have probably two dozen of the Early Amerian Doll furniture and clothing kits, and from what I understand, they are no longer available.  Gotta get them listed...need any kits?  Check out the listing(s) under the seller:  oldbluequilt.

May Day

Rabbit, rabbit...have to get the "first of the month" important stuff out of the way first.  I love the month of May.  One can generally count on pleasant weather, sunshine, and the beauty of new plantings.  Green grass, dogwoods, rosebuds, peonies...ah, Spring!

4.28.2011

Good Day, Sunshine...

The Beatles' song came to mind as I looked out the window this morning....sunshine, no clouds...looks like it's going to be a beautiful day.  There are lots of things on my "to do" for these four days off...outdoor cleanup, digging, planting, and indoor painting, purging, and upholstering. 

On another note, and something I'm more inclined to do...I found this online while looking for something else (isn't that always the way??)...


It's a mystery stitchery by Brenda Gervais.  If you don't have a local needlework shop, just Google "Birds of A Feather" mystery stitchery.  You'll find lots of online shops offering this project.  I've been feeling the urge to stitch lately...along with the urge to piece a quilt top.  My friend Michelle (MadRedHare) is doing a block of the month feature on her blog, and I've made two of the four blocks assigned.  She just sent out the next two blocks, so I hope to work on those sometime this weekend.  Just before the first of the year, I decided that I wanted to do an embroidery project...a square a day, just like the projects I've read about on OPB's (other people's blogs).  By the end of January, I had my cloth ready...one inch squares drawn 19 x 19 with four squares at the top for the year.  365 blocks.  By the end of February, I had stitched around the borders of maybe 1/3 of the blocks.  I pick it up in spurts, and I'm hoping that by the end of May I'll have all 365 blocks outlined.  My stitch-a-day plan hasn't worked out so far, but there's no reason (like I have concrete "rules" about much of anything?) I can't run my year from June to June. Sounds like a plan...

Better get to work!



Good Day Sunshine artwork via Deviant Art xbooshbabyx

4.27.2011

Keep Calm...

Taking a little break from the weather forecasts today to bring up another overexposed news item, and a fond memory of mine.  I'll be watching the Royal Wedding early, early Friday morning;  coverage of the event begins at 3AM in my enchanted neighborhood.  I've tried to avoid other coverage of the upcoming event, but it's hard to avoid since all of the morning news programs have sent staff across the pond to cover the wedding.

I remember the excitement and oh so romantic stories surrounding the wedding of Charles and Diana...at the time I lived in a small courtyard apartment complex.  One of my across-the-courtyard neighbors and I would chat in the parking lot when we were coming or going...and we "bonded" on the royal wedding.  We planned a small but elegant breakfast on the morning of the wedding.  I remember getting up (or perhaps I didn't go to bed--I was "young" then) and cooking...and serving the food on my pale blue and white china.  We watched the wedding and drank mimosas. 

Two vacation days are coming up...at 6PM this afternoon/evening, I'll be officially off for the next four days.  No fancy wedding breakfast is in the works, but I'll be there...in front of the TV drinking coffee and watching the latest fairy tale come to fruition.  I hope happiness is on their agenda.

Photo: Mr. X Stitch

4.26.2011

Life along the river...

While I worry about getting my meager "crops" out, there are definitely more serious issues at play in our area...the flood walls went up yesterday along the Ohio River in downtown Evansville.  After the standards are all in place, sheets of aluminum are inserted, providing protection from the rising waters.This photo is from the Evansville Courier Press.



This picture (taken by Johnny Kincaid and posted on the Superhits 105.3 website) is of the Casino Aztar plaza. Water is level with the plaza...and that was before the overnight storms that passed through the area.

Another photo by Johnny Kincaid...of the Dress Plaza area along the riverfront.  What you're not seeing is the seating available under the water.  Pretty scary!

On another note, when the river hits cresting stage in Newburgh, Water Street will be under water.  Maybe it's a good thing that I don't still live in that little cottage!

4.25.2011

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Rain...flooding...gloom.   A trifecta of misery.  There was an article in the newspaper this morning calling the upcoming cresting of the rivers "catastrophic"...a word the hydrologist (!!) said she used to "get our attention."  The rain is supposed to stop by Thursday and Friday, only to start again for the weekend and beyond.  Delightful.  This farmerette needs to get her crops in the field...or barrels and other containers.

...and then there's the wedding coming up at the end of the week!  The media already has us on "royal overload" with much, much more to come.  Busy week for lots of people.

Looks like it will be a low-key week for me...three days of work followed by two days of vacation.  Sunshine, please...

4.19.2011

Quakin' Tuesday



Stormy weather is on the way to our area today...and this morning we are having an earthquake drill at work.  If I'm folded up under my desk for two minutes, I hope that I will be able to crawl back out and "unbend".  One never knows.

I'm trying to get back into the photography habit again.  Nothing spectacular for sure, but just a record of what's going on around me. 

4.18.2011

Manic Monday...time for a cuppa tea

Busy, busy day at work today.  I'm so glad I had the chance to play in the dirt yesterday.  I checked my plants in the front window before work this morning...and I swear the one tomato plant and my zucchini grew over an inch today.  Sure would be nice to keep them where they are...maybe make a viney curtain!  I'll probably put them in containers outside this weekend if the weather looks good.  So far, the 10-day is looking pretty nasty...and isn't there a saying that if it rains on Easter Sunday it will rain for the next 7 Sundays?

I've been slowly making my way through Mary's Mosaic Monday participants.  So many lovely pictures and mosaics.  I love blogland!  Now it's time to organize myself for tomorrow morning, and then sit back and enjoy a cup of Constant Comment. 

4.17.2011

How I Spent My Sunday...

It's a beautiful day today...so unlike yesterday.  Yesterday I was content to just cocoon and stay under the radar...flipping through books I've brought home from the library (pretty good ones, too...The Jewelry Architect, Potted Gardens, Garden Whimsy, Home Herbal, Cooking in the Moment, DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner, The Kitchen Garden Cookbook, and my new favorite The One-Block Feast).  The One-Block Feast has a blog on the Sunset Magazine website and can be found here.

 I can't wait until our Farmer's Market and Locals Only Market start up for the season.  This year I'll  be doing some "farming" in the backyard, too.  I currently have quite a crop growing in my front window...parsleys, sage, rosemary, oregano, tomatoes and zucchini.  I purchased a two-part galvanized laundry sink at the antique/flea market in Owensboro a few weeks ago and that will house my herb and lettuce gardens.

My three small things for today:  (listed before the day actually started)
  • Finish getting the sunporch ready for the season
  • Move the galvanized "planter" from the dining room to the garden area
  • Sow lettuce seeds
And as they say on TV, here's what really happened:
  • Transplanted the sage, small tomato plants, Irish moss, Rabbit's foot fern, and sedum;  moved them to the sunporch.
  • Planted the pelletized seed I purchased from Cook's Garden.  Soon (within 3 weeks, or so they say...) I'll have pots of lettuce looking like this:



So the galvanized planter is still residing in the dining room "warehouse", and although I spent some time sprucing the sunporch, it's far from ready for spring and summer enjoyment.  Since I ended up with a fresh new mosaic, I've joined the Little Red House link party hosted by Mary.  Visit & enjoy!

With the 10-day forecast looking mostly like warmth, storms, and clouds, I'll have plenty of time to finish painting and doing other inside things.  Carpe diem.

Projects Started...barely

This is what started it all...the settee sitting out in the snow awaiting pickup by the trashmen. I pulled it down the street, turned it end over end up my stairs, and left it in my entryway (on top of a plastic dropcloth) to dry out.  The scent wasn't overly pleasant as it dried, so I sprinkled a bit of Carpet Fresh Linen scent on it.  Two months later, it sits in my dining room...alongside a bolt of Waverly Rose Fairhaven.

A more recently started but definitely not finished project is painting the living room.  I've spackeled all nail holes and so far have just painted above the mantel...Martha Stewart Tobacco Leaf.  At this rate, it will take a month to finish the room. 

I will say that I've been much busier at work in the last month or so.  I've been promoted (yay me!!) to an Outreach & Programming position at a (very) small branch of the library.  It's still really close to my home, but it is so very different from what I'm used to.  The branch is just beautiful...it's a Carnegie library, nearly 100 years old, and it sits alongside a park in an urban residential area.  The building was remodeled a few years ago and they did a wonderful job. 


Got to get busy...lots to accomplish.  By the way...what favorite programs does your public library offer?  Let me know...

4.16.2011

A Saturday in April...


via Flickr
 Long time, no see...I've been around, reading blogs via Google Reader mostly.  One of my new favorite things to do is play on Pinterest.  It's an amazing, visually stimulating, and get-your-creative-juices-flowing kind of place.  The photos on this post are all cool pics I've found on Pinterest...they're on my pinboard there, under Discard to Decor...also a new favorite thing for me lately. Seems I've been trash picking a lot lately...it's not that I want or need any furniture, but it kills me to see perfectly good "trash" waiting for the landfill.  So far, I've acquired a cute little French camelback settee, a headboard, and a side table...and a few other small items. My dining room is looking more like a furniture repair shop than a dining room.   
 I know that the Paris Flea Market Star is from the Connecting Threads catalog.  There's a free download here for the pattern.  I just love those pastels!
 This is a cool memo board.  A tutorial for this project is here at Shabby Garden Creations.
 I love this sunny little dining nook.  So springy...this one's from Flea Market Trixie.  You will love her style.
From Flickr via Jamaica Byles blog
 I don't know that I'd ever paint anything this big pink, but I love this picture!  Prim and farmstyle.
Locker baskets and burlap...it just doesn't get any better.