Monday, September 10, 2012

New Books!

IThe


After school and a dental appointment, I went to the Dollar Tree.
I went to purchase their red beans & rice mix.  They were out.
As always, I sauntered down the book aisle.
I'm a librarian.
It's what I do.
I found a new book.  I was excited!
I took my few purchases to the checkout.
I found a whole bin of new books.
I was ECSTATIC!

Here.  A picture is worth a thousand words:




  You can see the treasures - everyone from Blue Balliet to Lincoln Child.  All for $1.00.  I am still giddy inside.  I can't wait to get these in my system for my kids to enjoy.  A few I want to read first (I'm a Lincoln/Child fan) and some of the YA titles sound interesting.
And they were only $1.00!

 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I Love Green

Green has become my new favorite color. 
It all started with this discount vase.  I love it.  I bought it.
It matched nothing I owned (at the time.)

I say nothing.  Most of my house is done in a mossy gray/green. 
Nothing bright and potentially limey.

Next I found this pear, also discounted for my new bookshelves.



Well, it looked funny all alone.  I added a pair of fleur de lis book ends.
They were originally black, but the Ivy Green Krylon came in handy.
After the book ends was this neat little wooden bird. 
I love birds.



After finishing my library, I needed a chair.
After many, MANY internet searches, price checks, and phone calls,
I got one.
It is the most comfortable chair I've ever sat in.
It needed pillows.  Enter my green...again.
This time, they were napkins from Target repurposed into pillows.
The table square is a table cloth, also Target, that yielded
enough fabric for a square and to recover my desk chair.
Ahhh, green.


Now the real reason for this post.
Meet my new friend.


He's been hanging out on my (also ivy green) patio furniture.
He's tiny, tiny, tiny - about 3 inches long and maybe
as big around as a pencil at the largest part of his body.
My better half says my cat will eat him and
that I should catch him (as if I could) and put him on a tree in the woods. 
I think I'm going to let him live dangerously. 
Currently, we play "I Spy" where he hids and I try to find him.
(It doesn't take much to entertain me!)

And again, I do love green!






Monday, August 13, 2012

Homemade Swiffers...sorta!


I can't follow directions.  

I'll admit it...rather openly.

Well, I don't always follow them completely. 
What I read and what I think I read are two different things.

I found out (long story short) I'm allergic to the scent on my swiffer brand dusters.  It was rather delightful to realize that no, my house really isn't that dusty...it's something else making me snot profusely when I cleaned!

So, I googled for homemade swiffer dusters.  I'd given up the swiffer floor pads years ago for a microfiber towels (dollar tree) cut in half and tucked in the grips.  Wash, air dry, and go again.


Since I know I have trouble with directions, I enjoyed her pictures and step-by-steps.  I dug through my fabric supplies for felt.  I enlisted my rarely used cutting mat and wheel (a must for this project.  Made cutting SO simple.)
I cut, placed, sewed, snipped and WOW!  I have a duster!
It's really hot pink...meh...it's what I had.

I dusted and it was wonderful.  A little thick, but picked up every speck of dust.  It passed my black-bookshelves-test with flying colors.  I just knew I had to be more careful with my delicates.

I noticed when I "fluffed" it wasn't as fluffy as hers.  I read again.  Flannel, Holly, not felt.  FLANNEL.  And, the kicker is, I have a bag FULL of flannel...and I dug out the only piece of felt I owned.  I made three dusters - and, when I'm not so tired, I'll use my FLANNEL to make more. 

I was so proud of being productive after a very full day at work.  The entire project took me about 30 minutes from drag-out to clean-up.  It was after the fact I realized I'd used the wrong material!  Part of it was my comprehension.  I read flannel and thought felt.  And, part of it was being really tired after a restless night and a full day of brain work.  But, it is what it is!

Actually, this may be a good thing.  I needed dusters for work and the heavier duty felt may be just the thing for my bookshelves and computer tables.  I'll make lemonade from that lemon...and read more carefully next time!




Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Projects

It's been a wild and wooly summer. 

We've had some "had-to" projects - like the bathroom:

Before.  Gone is the 1960s blue bathtub and groody wall-board
that even straight bleach wouldn't clean.

After.  Added a built-in cultured marble shower, a new sconce, bit of new flooring,
 and rearranged some accessories and voila, a new bathroom! 
Finally, our home has been 100% renovated!


Some projects have been fruitful, like our neighbor's garden.


Squash pickles, in progress.  I also made 6 batches of
bread 'n' butter pickles, which amounts to about 24 quarts.  I had my
assembly line going too fast to document them on film.  I also made
several loaves of zucchini carrot bread and put up enough
zucchini to keep us in bread and other zucchini goodness
throughout the zombie apocalypse.


I worked on my own outdoors/garden throughout this project-based summer:


This seating was once barn red (not to be confused with the identical
red seating still in my living room per previous post...it was a sweet deal that
ended up being a bogo!)  Thanks to pinterest, my new obsession, I learned
about spray-paint primer and adopted a new favorite color, ivy green.


I added to the patio with some wonderfully comfortable adirondack chairs
with pillows (!), hanging verbena and a zinna.  I like to sit here in the evenings
with my cat and have "meow time" although she turns her
nose up at the chairs and prefers to lounge solo in the swing.



This was my view this afternoon.  We have two large hens (one not pictured) and between
8 and 9 "chicks" if you could call the youngsters that.  I'm not certain
of the terminology to use with turkeys, but I am certainly enjoying
their presence.  They've been around in our yard and our neighbors yard
all day.  We don't turkey hunt, so this is somewhat of a sanctuary for them. 
We've had as many as 18 chicks in years past.  I love watching them comb
the grass for seeds and bugs.



Last but not least, 4th of July! 
Happy Independence Day!


We finished our bathroom about 11:45 Monday night...literally.  I was gone to
an inservice workshop all day Tuesday and knowing I had to feed upwards
of 20 people on Wednesday was somewhat overwhelming.  However,
I did manage to pull a bit of patriotism out of my exhausted hat.  The
cupcakes were delicious and the left-overs are gracing my freezer shelves.
The piping bag made my hand cramp (I don't know how professional
bakers do it all day), but just being creative, as simple as this was, was
more therapudic than anything I've done in a while.  That tells me I need
to sharpen my writing pencils and gesso some canvas for some
creativity intervention.  But, who has time!

Coming soon, vacation pictures!



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Squash Pickles!


My awesome neighbor always plants WAY too many
veggies.  This morning, I was able to harvest enough squash,
bell pepper, and onions to make three batches of squash pickles.
Sad/Great thing is, I still didn't get everything!
These pickles are sweet, tangy, and my favorite thing to eat
with Sloppy Joes (when I could still eat Sloppy Joes.)

I also ended up with zucchini, which I turned into carrot & zucchini
bars with lemon cream-cheese frosting.  Nom Nom Nom!!!

The cucumbers are getting there.  Got about half as many as I needed
to begin my bread-n-butter odyssey.  I'll have more than I want
by this time next week!

There is no doubt about it.  The garden is in!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Break Project #3


Well, the picture is crooked - blame the photographer!  I needed something above my desk and this was perfect!  I found this huge canvas - it's like 24"x30" - on sale 1/2 off at Michaels!  Pinterest has tons of examples of black and white canvas art, which I knew would be a perfect accent to my new home office/library.  I found a quote I loved.  In fact, I've had it on my desk for a month to make sure I loved it!

I finally got brave and just painted.  Yes, I free-handed it.  You can probably tell.  I wanted something random and organic.  I decided I liked the irregularity of my own penmanship rather than the tracing and painting in of someone else's.  I left some white in the letters and added a few squiggles - which in hind-sight, I wish I had done differently, but it is what it is.  I love it and can't wait to just add a chair to the room.  Found one, just don't want to part with the cash.  I'm still looking for a bargain. "Sigh!"

Spring Break will officially be over in about 10 hours, but the time away certainly got my creative juices flowing.  I hope I can keep the momentum.  It feels great to create!

Spring Break Project #1


Finally!  Found this idea, again, on Pinterest.  They used a pre-formed letter, which I couldn't find.
I carved this out of styrofoam then wrapped with the jute rope.  Took a roll and then some, which is why it wasn't finished first.  The flowers are made from fabric scraps hot-glued to floral t-pins.  Hung with a broad ribbon, my formerly naked front door now has a bit of color!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Break Project #2


No, it was not a misprint.  Spring Break Project #1 is not yet complete. 

Discarded books are awesome!  I "borrowed" this idea from Razzle Dazzle Crafting
but I used an old library book, circa 1955, instead of scrapbooking paper.

I'm not having much luck loading pix this morning, but their blog shows exactly what I did.  I cut apart a book, cut strips of the pages, stapled them together, then hot-glued around a wreath form.  It was lovely! One of the best parts was reading the strips as I stapled and glued.  It would be a great writing exercise to make up a story using 5 or 7 of the words found on the strip. 
Must remember that for writing group next year! 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Painter's Life

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream... - Van Gogh.

I have dreamed of this room for years.  All my life I have wanted a home library/office.  The office part, I had.  The library, not so much.  This three day weekend, my dreams finally came to fruition.  After many hours of inhaling paint fumes (no, it didn't make me feel anything except headachey), numerous cuts and bruises, the loss of two acrylic nails, and sore muscles from contorting to paint and/or construct the book shelves, my room is complete. 

Here are the "before" shots:

This is the view from the door.  I love my headboard, hated the bed.
The walls were painted "Shade Tree" green - love the color. 
It's currently in my bathroom and kitchen.


This is my closet and first bookcase.

This is my computer armoir and two bookcases.


And, now, the after:


The corner where my bed was! My last item to add is a chair and ottoman,
white, of course, to place where those checked pillows are on the floor. 
Once I get a chair that's comfy, I may never leave the room!


My three new bookcases.  I need some great bookends...and, of course,
MORE BOOKS!  BTW, the bottom shelves are empty.  I'm looking for
some decorative boxes or baskets to use for extra storage.


Closet area, after.  I did paint the lamp on the table - black satin spray paint.


Desk area.  I have a new canvas planned for above the desk - a black
on white of a fabulous quote by Marilyn Monroe.  Maybe this weekend?

How to:

I started out with two coats of red paint.  Before you ask, the trim was white (and taped off)
and the hardwood floor was already there.  I chose "To Die For Red" - a Wal-Mart
color, but I had Sherwin Williams match the color as I like their paint better
and had a 25% off coupon!  A gallon of flat paint was needed (I ended up with a matte
satin, due to my color choice) and a quart of high gloss in the same color. 

Then:

I used a transparency and overhead projector to pencil the design on the wall.
I ended up using a white colored pencil.  I could see it against the red and
knew the paint would cover the lines.


I painted the design with the high gloss, let it dry, then, rearranged my room!

I can't take credit for the idea.  I found it on pinterest and traced it back to this website:
There is the entire how-to, including the swirly design.  I used their design because
I couldn't find another I liked better.  You could do stripes, diamonds, any pattern you wanted
to paint.  I will admit to cheating.  I knew where my furniture would go, so I just painted the
"tops" of the walls and the sides that would be seen.  If I hadn't, I'd still be painting!

It was a long, labor intensive project, but well worth my effort. 
BTW, all the furniture came from Wal-Mart except the computer
   desk that was a hand-me-down from my parents - thanks, Mom & Dad. 
I need a few more accessories and lots and lots more books.  But, I finally have my library!