Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

It's been quite eventful in my little corner of the world lately.  Lots of hush- hush artwork I'm not allowed to discuss.  Lots of fun.  Lots of inky fingers.  Lots of late nights.

Half the decorations are on the front porch.  The skeleton still needs to be dangled from the wire spring, the ghosts need to be hung from the carriage lights, the strings of jack-o-lantern lights need to be hung around the front door, and the spider webbing needs to be stretched.  I've decided not to use the tombstones this year and may regret it when I look back at the photos, but we'll see.  Never did pick up a witch's hat and broom to go with those fabulous shoes, but it might still happen.

Have to tell you that I'm the Halloween nut in our household, humored to a point of course by my better half.  So when I pointed out all these things that we still needed to do, I got a big laugh at the "we".  I don't climb ladders.  Not even foot stools because I don't do well with heights, so I guess you could say I was using the royal "we".  The other day I was in the craft store and in front of me was this tall thin woman who had to be about 80 and she was buying scarecrows and pumpkins and such for her yard.  I smiled widely because I knew that would be me in 30 years, still going strong, still decorating like a crazy person for the trick-or-treaters.

It's supposed to be 80 tomorrow here in NC which means there will be some hot kids inside their costumes.  I can still remember the year my son was dressed in fake fur as a Star Wars character and I was in shorts and a t-shirt, knowing full well that he was dyin' in that outfit.  Seems like a lifetime ago...

Here's wishing you a Happy Halloween from the biggest kid of

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big News for my B-Day!!

My birthday gift from my son this year was the announcement that they're having a baby.  Today I found out it's a boy.
Me, a in the world is that possible?
Have mercy...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me...

It's official...I'm old as dirt.  Had to happen sooner or later, right? 

Don't you love these clever gift wrapping ideas?  Maps, newspapers, & pages from old books used as wrapping paper are quite lovely when you add a pretty ribbon & bow.  And how about an old wall calendar?  How cool is that to circle the date?  Another inventive idea for those of us with lots of colored cardstock:  cut it in strips to create the look of ribbon, pull out a hand punch and punch out circles...I think that's very clever indeed!

Speaking of old things, isn't this a unique idea for displaying face clothes in the guest bathroom?  I use a wire basket shaped like a pig, but I'm thinking this is pretty cute too.  Especially today since I'm suddenly faced with an appreciation for old things.

Next time you're passing a yard sale or flea market, check out the old costume jewelry.  Sometimes you can find an old brooch that would be the perfect topper for a tiny gift box.  Or buy strands of dime store pearls and cut them apart, gluing them on individually.  Mother has given me tons of those pearl necklaces and I've been sharing them with the kids in the neighborhood who play dress-up, but now I'm thinking of new ways to use them.

If you've got any old hardback books around and feel like folding pages, why not make yourself a message center?  Tuck in the reminder postcard from the vet or the tiny appointment card from the dentist.  Rubber stamp envelopes for next month's bills & birthday cards, and tuck them into the pages too.  Save those coupons for delivery pizza and tuck a few of those in there as well.  You never know when they might come in handy.  Then add a favorite photo to make you smile each time you pass.  I recently received a postcard from Sweden and it would be perfect on display.  And if the leaves have begun to change in your area as they have here, why not tuck in a vibrant leaf or two?

It's a dreary, rainy day here but I've got a perfect cup of coffee, so life is good.  My old piggie bedroom shoes are looking worn & loved, but then so am I, so I'm still smiling.  If your day is less than perfect seek out a child and ask them to tell you a joke.  It'll be corny and the delivery will be less than perfect, but it's guaranteed to make you feel good about life. 

And one last thing.  If you don't know what a "dime store" is, you've missed out on a great childhood treat.  Which means there's something to be said for growing old.  Go ask your mother or your grandmother and get them to tell you about the great shopping you could do with loose change back in the old days.  I'm going to send an email to my big brother and remind him about those shopping extravaganzas we used to make weekly to the Person Street Five & Ten.  Paddle balls, silly putty, play dough, pick up sticks, a barrel full of monkeys, jump ropes, bubbles, balloons, and my favorite candies: BB Bats and Kits.  Suddenly I'm not feeling so old after all.  Happy birthday to me!

Friday, October 9, 2009


It's Friday and I've survived another week.  Just a few thoughts to share today.  First, I went antiquing a few weeks ago and added to my key collection.  It's truly a sickness.  You simply wouldn't believe the number of old rusty keys I've amassed but I can't stop now. 

We recently visited a boutique with a table front & center, and the bottom of each table leg was wearing a high heel.  Not a real shoe of course; just made to look that one.  But you know I went wild over the idea of it and now my mother is buying me wacky shoes at the thrift stores.  One pair looks just perfect for a witch so I've decided to add something new to this year's porch decorations for Halloween.  Those shoes, a black hat and a broom. 

Saw the Cake Mix Doctor on GMA this week and now I'm dying to make her crushed Oreo brownies.  Have mercy, I'm not a fan of chocolate, but they looked so good I think I won't be able to resist.  Went right to the library last night and put my name on the list for both her books, along with some new fiction, of course.

Tomorrow we're off at oh-dark-thirty for IKEA in Charlotte.  A bonus to reward me for rising while it's still dark outside:  they're giving away a free breakfast to everyone.  I was going anyway, but I'm telling myself it's a reward, so don't rain on my parade.

The queen-size bed in guestroom #1 is on a Hollywood frame with no headboard and it's making us crazy.  You know that's the only room on the first floor that's received a new coat of paint (Butter Cream), so it deserves a proper bed.  Since we can't decide on one we like around here, we're off in search of one, plus new bedding as well.  And I'm thinking I want new curtains for my bedroom, and a new long runner for my kitchen. 

I've got so many ideas in my head for classes right now that I dream about them!!!  Backgrounds, collages, books, techniques, and of course a new specimen box surprise.  And I've got a big order of new goodies on the way, so that's always a big treat.

One final note...I've had enough candy corn.  For today.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall is in the air! October has arrived

October's here already?  How'd that happen?  I've been distracted by several things in recent weeks.  My TV shows are back.  House is still an all-time favorite.  Liking the new Flash Forward...for now.  Old Christine is still a winner and so is the new Modern FamilyHank and The Middle were both dreadful out of the gate and I'm not sure I can give either of them a second chance.  I've recorded 5 episodes of Dancing With The Stars and the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy, but haven't watched them yet.  I've decided Jay Leno at 10 isn't much different from 11.  Tick tock.

I hate to even say it out loud, but we might have found the color for the first floor.  And you'll never guess where I found the new pantry.  It hit me this weekend when I turned on the lights and walked in there, realizing it was a nice creamy color.  We painted some on several walls of the kitchen so I can try living with it.  Might want to go a shade darker, but I think I'm onto something. 

I've been using my new convection oven.  (It should come with a warning.)  In one week we had chicken casserole, spaghetti, beef stroganoff, and London Broil.  Might be a record in my house.

Gotta say it again:  2 dishwashers are NOT a genius plan.  Both were filled with dirty dishes at once which means both had clean dishes at once, which meant dirty dishes went in the sink til they could be emptied.  And this is the funny bit.  I unloaded both and began to refill the one on the right after lunch on Saturday.  Guess who cleaned up after dinner and began to load the one on the left?  All I'm sayin'...

I've been busy on class samples, which has been lots of fun.  And my stamp club has decided to make 10 ornaments to swap in 2 weeks.  I've known for over a month what my ornament would be so it's time to get started on those.  We've also decided to do our holiday container swap again for November's meeting.  Any container with a tiny gift inside.  In the past I've disassembled Chinese take-away containers and decoupaged them with tissue paper painted with metallic paints, then reassembled them and filled them with Oriental goodies.  Another year I gave tiny wooden trunks inked & stamped, filled with push pins I made using flat glass marbles showcasing tiny works of art attached to the tops of the pins.  Others have made paper mache bowls, crocheted baskets with lids, decorated paint cans, altered books that were hollowed out and filled with ephemera...just lots of clever ideas.  I'll have to put on my thinking cap for that one but it's hard to think of holidays beyond Halloween.  That's my favorite holiday ever!  I've got to hang the skeleton and spider web on the front porch, pull out the big things for the porch, buy the pumpkin and get it carved, find that little witch that makes the eerie sounds as she moves around the floor with her flashing eyes.  Last year I was so tempted to buy costumes for the puppies but didn't, so this may be the year.

And while I'm designing new classes I've decided to make up kits for old classes, creating an online class  Will let you know as soon as that's ready to post, so check back.

I bought a new Fall wreath for the front door and I'm so glad I did.  Hope the neighbors are enjoying it as much as I am.  You can tell it's Fall in the neighborhood.  First a little cheerleader came around selling pizza boxes as a fundraiser (you take the empty box to the pizzaria to be filled) and then a Cub Scout selling caramel corn.  Worthy causes with bonuses.  Lovin' that!!

Shopping for a fire pit for the lower level patio so we can enjoy these cooler evenings.  Wish me luck.

And if you find time to read a good book or two, I recommend 2 by Maeve Binchy.  First read Tara Road and then read Quentins.  Loved them both.  I'm waiting for Scarlet Feather now.  I also read A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick and I enjoyed some of it but don't know that it would ever be in my top 100, so if you read it, let me know what you think.  I don't like a slow book and I don't like them when the ending is less than what I imagined.  Also on the waiting list for Robert B Parker's The Professional.  I just love his Spenser series and can't wait for that one.  But while I was waiting I read 2 of his that are westerns: Appaloosa and Brimstone and enjoyed both.  (Just thought you should know I don't limit myself to TV this time of year.)

Til next time, hope the colors of Fall are reaching your corner of the world.