Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why do you blog or read blogs?

Today I read an interesting little article called What is your favorite thing about blogging? by Crissy Herron on Indiebizchicks.com. It got me to thinking about how much of an outlet my blog has become for me and how important it is to me. There are so many reasons people blog, but I blog to vent, seek comfort and friendship, to feel connected to others and find and share inspiration and honestly to look for approval, though I don't like to admit that. I have met so many caring people and "soul sisters" that I can't imagine just dropping it or giving it up. I know that I really don't have that much important stuff to contribute, but I feel like part of a community here and I've always liked to throw in my two cents anyway. I kinda feel like my own CEO of my life here. I control what I post, what I link to and when to do it. When do you really have that much control in life? Not very often, for me.

I've often wondered are there many people out there that just read blogs and not have their own? I have so many blogs that I read or at least try to keep up with that I could easily fill my time just reading and not do any writing myself. But I feel like I have too much to say and to show. I guess I'm kinda the spoiled child that demands "look at me, look at  me!"... ha ha

I love to read about other people's lives and what they do and what goes on and their kids and animals and homes. People really open up about themselves in their blogs whether they realize it or not. I especially like to read the blogs of creative people and secretly hope some of their ambition and energy will rub off. One of my most favorite things to read about of these creative people is their workspace. Like that expensive and totally addictive magazine "Where women create", I get to peek into their creative lives and see how I stack up. I also like to read snippets of facts about them. I used to post at the bottom of my posts "This artist's observations of the day" but kinda got out of it. I think I'll start that back up, because that is stuff I like to read. I also have recently been trying to go back and correctly label my posts. If you have recently just started to blog, this is important. It really is time consuming to go back and label and re-label but I think it is making my blog easier to navigate even if just for myself. I didn't quite understand the labels before, but now it has clicked.

My grandma, who is 94, used to write in her diary all the time. She has books and books of them and tells me she goes through occasionally to remember. I like that, and a blog or at least my blog is kinda like a modern day diary that me and 12 million other souls can read if they so please. Of course I don't put everything out there that I think or do, most of that would be dull, boring and possibly admissible in court. But I like to share things in my life and the voices in my head... ha ha. It definitely has helped me deal with my mother's death.

My husband truly does not understand this at all. I was taking pictures the other day of food to use for a post and he asked me what on earth was I doing? I used to sheepishly answer "nothing", but now I just smile to myself and proudly tell him I'm sharing with my friends. He just rolls his eyes and shakes his head. I guess he'll never understand. Well, he doesn't have to. I have all of you. :)

Why do you blog or read blogs?

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Cherry Cheesecake recipe

Cherry Cheesecake!

I wanted to share with you my mother in law's sister Janice's Cherry Cheesecake which is simply made and always a crowd pleaser for special occasions. It is as yummy as it is pretty. This recipe is a no bake recipe and makes 2 cheesecakes. Make this the night before so it sets up nice.

Cherry Cheesecake


2 graham cracker crusts
1 can cherry pie filling (divided) we like Lucky Leaf
12 oz. cream cheese, softened (1 + 1/2 packages)
2 tsp vanilla
2 tubs of cool whip (8 oz)
2 cups powdered sugar
pecans for garnish

Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla till blended. Fold in cool whip. Distribute evenly into graham cracker crusts. Cover each with the cherry pie filling (1/2 can per pie). Sprinkle with pecans.

This is so yummy and I have used an Oreo crust in place of the graham cracker crust and it is more like a Black Forest treat... mmm! Also, if you choose to lighten it up with the light versions that is ok, but it may not be as firm as the one here. I have used the fat free cream cheese and it didn't set up but still tasted good, but not quite the same. Let me know if you try it!

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

WEEEEE! My curtains are in and up!

actually pretty heavy, picked up from JCPenny catalog pickup

Not too much in the way of words today, but if you all could see the great big smile on my face you wouldn't need to hear anything (or read). My mom would be so proud, ha ha. She would love these curtains, too. So here are a few pics I took this morning. I picked up the curtains last Wednesday so I've had to wait all this time to have them up! But I am so thrilled with the final outcome. Just come and look :)

I had to get one out and look at it.
I am so happy with this fabric. It is so pretty. I don't think I could've recreated this, not even close.

so cute!
They pick up on all the black elements I have in the kitchen and just looks so much more cozier.

I love them with my mother's copper she gave me
In other news, Asher is doing just great. We have a follow up appointment on Wednesday and his eye almost looks as though nothing happened. He still has some minor bruising but it has not hurt him in the least and he has been very good about letting me put in the ointment to help it heal fast. Click here to see what I'm talking about, if you don't know.

Playing his Mobigo game
The kittens are growing so fast! I'll post some super cute pictures soon and I also have a Cherry Cheesecake recipe I want to share. It is soooo yummy. See ya soon!
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Whew! It's over and I can relax

Spiffy gown
Asher's eye surgery was early this morning and everything went just as planned. He didn't need an IV because it was over so quickly, the surgery that is. We got there at 5:30 and didn't leave until 8:15. Asher was so brave and happily colored as we waited.  He doesn't even have a bandage or patch over his eye. We just need to go back in 10 days for a follow up check up. So I can now relax, I am so glad this is over. Everyone treated him so well, I was really thankful. So I guess I got my Thanksgiving early this year.

Before the surgery
In other news, my craft show was a let down. I should've known that there would not be many people there because of the location. It was held in our county's 4H center and it is out of the way and not near town at all. It was also a first annual craft show, so I'll be people just did not know about it. To add insult to injury it was also very foggy for half the day. I almost passed the building up it was so foggy, and I know where I'm going! There also wasn't much in the way of advertising as they promised way back in February when we committed to do the show. It all went to a good cause though. It was to benefit our county's homeless dogs. I hope they made a lot of money and it was a success. But I think if there is a next time, I'll just write a check for the donation instead of wasting my day, and the day before getting ready for it. I think I may be  holding off on any more shows for a while. Focus more on just the online sales or maybe even try consignment.

I did meet a lot of great people and chatted all day long. I also purchased some home made peppermint lotion and a cute a Christmas decoration with a snowman and poinsettia's and had lunch and a box of donuts plus I "donated" money with all my non winning half pot tickets! About $6 worth. My partner was part of the entertainment and she sang half a dozen songs or so and everyone loved it. She has a very Patsy Cline kinda voice.

Oh! I'm excited to announce that I got my curtains!!! I picked them up Thursday evening but haven't had a chance to do anything but look at them and hang one on a pocket rod to see how it's going to look in my kitchen. I can't wait to get them up, they are super cute! I am so pleased.

Some not so great news is, when I came home from my show Saturday one of the kittens left me a present in the bathroom. It pooped in my sink :(  Yuck. My wonderful husband left it there all day so I could see it and clean it up when I arrived back home. So I may have 2 kittens and a husband to give away.

I haven't had a chance to answer everyone's well wishes yet, so if you haven't gotten a reply from me, I am getting caught up today. Thanks for all your prayers and sweet thoughts!
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Keeping busy with craft show stocking stuffers

Future magnets
I've been busy getting some last minute projects done for the craft show this Saturday. I haven't had much luck lately at the shows, so I'm trying to get together some inexpensive items for stocking stuffers in hopes of generating a little more interest. I'm kinda disgusted with the whole arts and crafts show scene as of late so I hope this one will be better and not a waste of time.

So above here I've got some of my previous designs with GeeJayCreations and I've shrunk them down and tweaked a little here and there and cut out some of the poetry and in some cases added very simple words, such as Love and Look to God. I've laminated the front and will plunk a magnet on the back and was thinking $2 each. Any thoughts on the price?

Below here is my mini pot project I've told you about. They are different than my painted pots that I've done in the past because I'm decoupaging these. I may be sand blasting them and redoing them if the beginning ones are as good as they get. As I was telling Stephanie of Dragonfly Design Studios, these are not turning out quite like I imagined them in my head. Usually most things don't turn out like I envisioned it, but these are kinda... *eek* I'll ask your opinion. Decoupage may not be my forte. I got the idea from my new friend Frenchy of Le Chateau des fleurs by Frenchy. She had a beautiful one and I had visions of sugar plums in my head... well you get the idea. I'm not exactly getting sugar plums.

Of course, I'm getting my fantastic graphics from Karen at the Graphics Fairy, and they don't disappoint. 

So I got this box of mini terra cotta pots from my local yahoo group, cheapcycle. If you haven't checked to see if you've got one in your area, you are missing out! These are great. I think it was inspired by freecycle.

Got em for a song
So they needed a little scrubbing and voila! I've got instant toothpick holders or Q-tips holders, candle votives.. you name it. Anyone have any other ideas of what to put in them for selling purposes?

I've painted some here, rustically and I really like the way they turned out. Not all perfect looking, but I like it that way.

Cute little Thanksgiving paper to add for a toothpick holder
It will go, like so. See the blue underpainting? I like the rustic/aged look
A horrible mistake below here. I tried painting on the small picture to add color. yuck.
The colors are not showing up very well, but it was not what I had in mind.

The next picture is one I did about midnight and I was thinking it would look cute to have a "burnished" look behind the rooster and chickens. Well, as I look at it, it's more like what was I thinking? But I kinda like the patchwork patches along the rim. Any ideas on salvaging this one?

Very country, but that is what a lot of craft goers buy around here. I kinda like it, but I like roosters and chicks.
This last one might be the best one so far. I have kinda gotten into the French look lately, especially with my curtains coming in soon (I can't wait!!!). So I think it's simple, but the black and bits of gold shining through make it rustic but elegant. Anyway, I like it.

Would look cute in a Paris themed bathroom?
One problem I've ran into is I didn't take into account the curvature of the pot. So now I have this smiley face syndrome going on and the bigger the label, the bigger the problem. It's not too bad on these small labels. Does anyone know how to remedy this? I know I could just play around with it to guess the right distortion, but if someone knows the easy and fast way to do it, I'm all ears.

I was thinking of asking $5 each for these. Any thoughts? Also, if you're a seasoned decoupager or just have some better ideas than I've done here, please tell me. I'm all for ideas but I'm running out of time for my show so I just haven't had time to research it and look for more ideas. Please, share your thoughts! :)

Also, thank you all so much for your concern for my son, Asher. I've had wonderful messages and comments from you all... my friends. They mean the world to me and bring me much comfort. I've really been missing my mom lately (like there are days I don't miss her, jeesh!). I guess I've been looking for comfort and her words to let me know everything is going to be fine and it will all work out, just like I know she would tell me. All of you have in some way have filled her shoes with your encouragement and I cherish my friendships I've made on here. Thank you all, you have no idea how touched I am that you all care.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

News from Eye Doctor Specialist

Close up of Asher's chalazion including spaghetti sauce on nose 
Hi everyone and happy Monday. I have news about Asher's eye. While it's still scary, I'm not as scared since we now know what it is and what there is to do about it. Plus it didn't hurt that the doctor saw that I was concerned right away about it being a tumor and he assured me it was not.

Asher's eye appointment took forever we got there at 8:50 and didn't leave until 11:00. Asher was exceptionally good and was very proud of him.

It turns out that it's not a stye, it's a chalazion. This is from a website I found:  A common eye disorder, a chalazion is a granulomatous inflammation of a meibomian gland in the upper or lower eyelid. This disorder is characterized by localized swelling and usually develops slowly over several weeks.

The doctor recommended we have it removed and he is scheduled for surgery for next Monday morning at 7am. He said it is routine and not that out of the ordinary but usually if you get one, then you are susceptible to having them. He told us one little boy has had 8 of them (surgeries) in the last 5 years. Ugh, I hope that is not Asher. I've been Googling chalazion and have found a site which pushes prevention in the way of hot compresses everyday along with baby shampoo washing of the eye. So we may just have to be diligent in preventing another one from occurring. Not so easy with a 4 year old. 

But the doctor told us this was not from dirt in the eye or any foreign object. It basically is the oil glands inside the eye on the eyelid getting clogged just like a pimple. He compared it to some people have really bad acne and some don't. I guess it's just your chemical makeup.

THank you all for your support for this, I really appreciate it. I'm not quite the basket case I was all weekend. I surprisingly slept very well last night. I think all your prayers and positive thinking and a little mercy from God had everything to do with it! By the way, I have a wild kitten climbing my leg as I type this! OUCH! :)

To see what's been going on, click here and here and here in that order.

On a happy and sweet note, here are some pics of the cuties.
Asher and Thunder cuddling
If they're not sleeping they're fighting (playing)!
As you can see, I've got my hands full with these two kittens! They vanished last night for about an hour and I couldn't find them anywhere, I finally heard some papers moving and they were sleeping in my desk drawer! They find the strangest places to get into!

In order to keep my mind off Asher's eye and to continue getting ready for the craft show this weekend, I started painting some more pots. This time I have painted some very small pots that would make cute containers for toothpicks or Q-tips or a candle. I am doing a little decoupage, so I'll post pics of that next post. It's a little bit different for me, so we'll see how they do.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Eye update

Well, I got a call late Friday and we have an eye doctor's appointment for Asher Monday morning. We are taking him to a specialist and they said that there is a 90% chance they will not do the surgery tomorrow because Asher is only 4 and he will most likely need to be sedated. So it's more like a consultation. I have not Googled eye lesions anymore because I was just getting worse and worse news and my mind was jumping way far ahead of itself. I just have to leave it up to the Lord, it's in His hands. I still need all of your prayers though, so thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and keep them coming.

to see what's been going on, click here and here.

I'll let you all know what the doctor says tomorrow. Good night!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

News from Eye Doctor

See the lesion on the right
Well, we took Asher to the eye doctor today and my heart sank and I thought I would throw up when the doctor said that it's a lesion and needs to be removed. He's not able to do it so he has referred us to an office that has OD's and specializes in these things. I'm waiting for them to call me with an appointment time. Needless to say I'm a wreck. The first thing I did when I got home was Google Eyelid lesions and I have to just stop. I'm getting more scared by each one I read. I have horrible thoughts of tumors and cancer. It's hard not to think of cancer after losing my mom to cancer last October. She was fine, we thought.

So now oh my God... I am praying to him to please please please heal my little boy. I try not to act concerned in front of Asher and he is being such a big boy about it. But I am struggling. I'm trying to keep my mind on other things... my new curtains and how cute they are gonna look, the craft show I'll be in next Saturday... but then my mind goes back to Asher's eye. I'm always the one to say don't worry, cause worrying never helps but I cant' stop!!

I'll keep the information coming! Please say a prayer for Asher and me too!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

I did it!

I did it! I bought my curtains for my kitchen! You guys are not gonna believe the deal I got on my curtains that I was telling you guys about and asked advice for. I have great advice from all you friends out there in blogland and thank you all so much for your kind and encouraging words. I thought about sewing my own curtains for about 2 seconds and ditched that idea simply because there are so many windows and I had to face reality, I just don't have that kind of free time. If I did, I would be creating more art than I am.

I left you all last with them costing $29.99 on sale thru Saturday and I had a 15% off coupon, and I needed 10 of them. Well, I went in to the JCPenny Home Store tonight and thought I'll just look at them in person and make sure this is what I want and that they are worth the money. A lot of you mentioned that they were a fair price and I whole heartedly agree, but I love to get a bargain. So I walked in and the nice ladies there were all friendly and willing to help me so I felt comfortable to tell them I was looking for a better deal on the curtains. One mentioned the scratch off tickets they had behind the counter. She helped me by looking them up in the computer and I went off with her to look at the curtains but they didn't have my color, which I was surprised. I just figured they wouldn't have the ten that I needed. I asked her if she had any intuition about which scratch offs were "winners" as in 30% off which is the maximum you can get off and she told me she'd been pretty good the last few times she picked them out. We went back to the register and she offered me a scratch off ticket and BAM! It was 30% OFF! So she helped me order them and I don't even have to pay shipping because I can pick them up at the store! Ok, I know you are dying to know what they ended up costing... so (drum roll, please... dat dat dat dat dat...) $17.89 each! Can you believe that??? I am so delighted! These are normally $55.00 each! I am just so thrilled, it must be meant to be that I have curtains instead of pokey corners pointing out at me all the time :)

They are supposed to be in next Wednesday evening so next week I hope to be posting pictures of my new window treatments soon! I know they are going to just transform the look of my kitchen and I can't wait!! I don't think I could've even made them much cheaper than this. I'm so happy!!

Oh and one thing I'd like to ask of all of you. Please say a little prayer for my son, Asher. He has had a what I thought to be a stye in his eye for about 2 weeks now and it has gotten so bad and not healing I took him in to the doctor on Monday and she put him on antibiotics, oral and drops and wanted to know Thursday morning if it had not improved and then to get him into an eye doctor. It now looks kinda fleshy and has a hard knot under his eye, like where we get bags. Well, it's not better and I am so worried that it's a tumor or something terrible like that. It looks pretty bad and the thing that scares me is it doesn't hurt him. I've always had a lot of soreness with a stye. So we have an eye doctors appointment Friday at 11:15 am. I'm worried he may have to have it lanced, be put under, that it is a tumor or worse that he could lose his vision! I know... my mama worrying habit is getting the better of me and I shouldn't worry until he tells us what it is. But I can't help it. So please, just a quick prayer or special thought at that time that he is healed and it turns out to be no big deal.

Thank you all my friends! Here's some super sweet pictures of the twins.
Lightning - doesn't she look like a nautilus shell all curled up?
Thunder - he's more of a straight out sleeper, look at that cute fat little belly

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Calling all craftiest creative ideas please!

So I've lived in my home for 7 and a half years and we have a great view of our lake and woods so I've never wanted to cover it up with drapes, blinds or curtains. Until now. I am tired of it looking like I'm getting ready to move. The edges look hard to me and pokey. ha ha I guess that is a word. These pictures are of my kitchen where I'm lucky enough to have 10 windows! Not so lucky when you figure up the cost of window treatments.
For all these years we've suffered through the sun coming in and blinding us during this time of year when the sun is low all the way through spring. Our kitchen table is along the long wall of windows that are south facing and it gets hot, too. Since we have our big meal at noon, the sun has always been a problem during this time. I've finally had enough. Maybe it's the added aggravation of the twin kittens! (Which one by the way peed twice on the floor last night and once in the box that has trash bags in them!!! arrgh!!!) So this photo is what I've come up with to be a makeshift sun block for the 30 minutes we sit there and eat. Pretty sad.

Make shift tacky

less tacky but isn't working

Ok, so here it is a little prettier, but when the sun is coming in, it only shades the chair on the right. I absolutely love paprika color and I think it looks fabulous especially with the sun coming in gently right now, but my walls are very close to this color so I want more contrast. I have touches of black everywhere and a dark sage-y green and black countertops.

So I've been looking online and found a valance from JC Penny and I think I really like it and want to commit to it. I can hide a shade under it and pull it down as needed. Here it is.

Love this!!
I think I'm in love with the black and white, it's just a tad French-y looking and I kinda like that. I really love this fabric and I want it!!! Unfortunately, it is not big enough for my windows plus they are $29.99 each, and that is on sale! Normally they are $55. Oh boy. I cannot afford that. That would be $160.45 which really isn't that bad for the whole room, but it doesn't matter, because they are too short by 10".

This is Waverly fabric called Bluebell I think from what I read on the valance description So I thought to myself I could just buy the fabric and make some myself. I've made several sets of simple curtains for myself in the past. So I've been on a mad search for this fabric and cannot find it! Could it be Waverly made this fabric just for Penny's? Surely not! I hope not! Has anyone got any ideas on what to do next??
Long wall of windows
still pokey but cute with kitten on couch ;)
speaking of kittens, here's my attempt to keep them out of plants (below)
If anyone has ideas on how to get ahold of this fabric, I'm all ears! I may have to settle for something similar, but I really want to try my best to get it. I may even try to make my own fabric with some fabric paint and a brush or maybe stamps? I'll take all the ideas I can get... HELP!

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Monday, November 8, 2010

It's Wild Kingdom around here

Ok, if it weren't for the twins being so cute, they might be out the door today! I don't know which one is doing it, but I think it's the boy cat. I've been having to clean up little pee puddles around the baseboard in the kitchen. I had a towel on the floor by the kitchen door to wipe Zoey's feet off with and I caught Thunder scratching around it and low and behold I picked it up and a turd fell out and Zoey ate it as fast as she could and then I found the pee spot as I picked it up... with my hands. Ugh.

Then as I'm cleaning that all up and get started on something else I notice a bucket that has a bag full of shells in it has pee in it. I have to clean that all up. As I'm cleaning that up and washing the bucket I hear the water bowl fall over. Water spilled all over the floor. Again. This is not the first time, you would think I would learn. I use a large Country Crock margarine bowl for Zoey's water bowl and the kittens climb up on it to drink out of it and if it's not really full and heavy, it falls over. The kittens have their own low non-tipping water bowl but of course they want Zoey's water.

I also cannot keep them out of my plants, so I've put aluminum foil over the dirt only to have them walk all over it and poke holes in it with their razor like claws. Today I'm standing at the stove making a ham and cheese and Lightning climbs my leg like its a scratch post! It's like Wild Kingdom in here. They are wild cats! Last night I had to roll up my curtains because one of them is climbing them like a rock wall. They think my couch is their speedway and it sounds like velcro ripping apart from their little claws.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Am I a glutton for punishment?

What have I got myself into with these new furry babies!? I now have 3 times more animals, including Zoey our dog and about one hundred times more the work. Before July, I was down to just my one princess cat, Glove who really has been the easiest fur baby to have besides a few fur balls here and there. Now between Asher, my Tasmanian mess making 4 year old and Zoey the ever shedding inside dog that loves mud and dirt and the twin kittens who have discovered my plants and love to hurl the kitty liter a good 3 feet all the while totally missing the stinky pile they just left... whew... It never stops.

Come on, how cute is this?
If it weren't for their sweet loving faces and purring little selves I would be a basket case. Just yesterday about 5 minutes before I had to leave the house (in a dead run) one of the kittens decides to pee in my book bag. Ick. You wouldn't believe how hungry these little kittens are either and boy they make a huge mess when they eat. Little pieces of Kitten Chow everywhere, que the living Hoover... Zoey. I have given Zoey about four different toys now and she methodically shreds them to pieces to retrieve the little squeaky thing in the middle while leaving stuffing all over the house. Last week, I stepped away from my dinner table with pizza on my plate, to come back with an empty plate and a sheepish looking dog. I've had an outside dog for the last 12 and a half years so when I got Zoey, I wanted her in with me not thinking about all the extra work that's involved. It's like having another kid. We just had some much needed rain the other day. Did I mention she loves dirt and mud? Well in she came with brown muddy paws. Her feet are white. I had to take a bucket and stick each one of her feet in the water and wash them off before I let her totally in. She didn't understand what all the fuss was about and looked at me as if I needed professional help.
Blink, blink... sleepy babies
I won't even mention all the toys that are strewn from one end of the house to the other. I've lost the use of my couch because it's where Asher runs his cars and he freaks out if you mess up the track. Ugh... Calgon take me away. And all 4 of them are jealous of each other. It's just crazy.

What? This isn't mine?
Thanks for letting me vent ;)  I love my readers! MWAHH! There's a big smooch

Til later! Have a wonderful Sunday and don't forget to turn your clock back.

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