Monday, September 30, 2013

Deanie's Daisies

Not my favorite block.  The applique is tiny and was not very easy to place.  It was nice, though, on a day home sick from work to have something quiet to do to keep from being too bored.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Planned Boredom

With Breck taking a job in another city, we have changed our routine.  I know, obviously, right?  You would thing, though, that most thing wouldn't.  I still sleep, work, and do all the same chores and have all the same hobbies that I did B.H. (that's Before Houston).  Not so.  Let me break it down for you, but being a visual person, let's put it in pictures starting with life Before Houston based on a 168 hour week.

Now before you judge, let me explain Planned Boredom.  It equates to TV, perusing the Internet, reading, looking at cookbooks . . . you get the idea.  However, since I have had the house to myself and my job has gotten a little crazy, things have changed.

I didn't plan on that much Planned Boredom, but I just haven't been able to get in a new groove.  I really miss cooking and my hobbies, and have been too tired and unmotivated to do any.  Obviously, things need to change. I need to get back to making time for the things that are important to me. 

As you can see, my Planned Boredom for today was spent playing around with a graph program on the Internet while waiting for Breck to roll out of bed.  Fun right?  Or not.  Either way, I have a plan.

If you didn't read this far, I don't blame you.  But for what it's worth, the program I used was Create A Graph.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Six Good Reasons

Why do I love living in the country?  This mom and her fawn are two good reasons.

And this mom with her fawn that still has his spots  (three and four).

And this guy who was a little shy (five).

And this beauty who was a late comer to the parade of white-tailed deer that made its way through my back yard as dusk was falling (6).  All these guys came a callin' on the same night.  Glad I was in the kitchen to see them.

Yep.  That's why I love living in the country.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In The Mood

The cool front that pushed through our area on Sunday put me in the mood to bake.

I have had these really cute fall cookie cutters for year, but never used them.  I love making cookies, but rolled and cut ones have never been my forte.

After making and chilling some sugar cookie dough in the refrigerator for a couple days, I got back in the kitchen and broke those cutters in.

The cookies look a little rough, but give me a little bit of a break.  I have never really done much with royal icing, and I somehow have lost all my pastry tips which would have made the job much easier.

Hopefully they will still taste okay.  Especially the acorns which I think are pretty cute.

Monday, September 23, 2013

New Project: Part 3

I am in the home stretch on this project.  I gave the characters a little dry brushing in deep brown to add a little more depth to them this weekend.  It's subtle, but I like it.  The one five on the right has the added dry brushing.

With the characters finished I started on the base.  I needed to use three color layers to get the look I wanted.

Now the fun part of sanding.  Almost finished now.  One more push, I'll be finished, and there will be no more hiding what it is.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

First Day of Fall Decorations

Not bad for the first day of fall.  The windows are open.  The air is dry.  The sky is that shade of blue you only get when there is no humidity.  64 degrees.   Pretty awesome.  A great day to get my house in the mood.  I'll start with the guest room since that is what I have the most stuff for.

I made this pillow last year and I still love it.  I need to remember how much I love embroidery.

These fall pictures from our trip to Maine need to be replaced with some taken around here.

For a better look at my Halloween quilt you can go to Quilts I Made and see number 6.

A few touches in the dinning room.

These little salt and pepper shakers are one of my favorite things for fall.  I have one set for each end of the table.

And the kitchen.

I got 6 of these fall hand painted plates years ago for about $4 each.  I love the acorns and leaves and the fact that each one is different.

My gourds are getting closer to being ready to cut and bring in the house, but just aren't there yet.  When they are, I am sure I will find a place for them.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Too Early?

Sometimes I wake up in the early hours of the morning and all the sheep in the world cannot put me back to sleep.  I used to toss and turn and create a wadded mess of the sheets before giving up and starting my day frustrated.  I don't do that anymore, but I still have those wide awake 2am days.  Like today.

At 2am for whatever reason I woke up.  By 2:30 I decided I had wasted enough time and got out of bed. Back when we lived in Houston I would take this time to grocery shop at a 24 hour grocery, but out here in the country there is no such thing as 24 anything (except maybe a few gas stations in town).  So I didn't shop, but I got a lot of junk mail sorted, dishes cleaned, laundry put away, and I canned some jalapenos.

I did.  Crazy, I know.  Who cans vegetables before having their first cup of coffee?

It needed to be done.  Yesterday, on a trip to check on the garden, I harvested 12 jalapenos from my one little pepper plant.

It won't be the end of my bounty either since it is covered in blossoms and several small peppers.  I didn't want to freeze them, though they freeze well, and I have been intrigued by recipes for Cowboy Candy (I chose to try SB Canning's recipe).   I had all the ingredients on hand, so why not?  Well, I was short on jalapenos so I grabbed my flashlight and picked 3 more of the small ones in the dark. My timing was good, because shortly after I began my chopping it began to rain.  Glorious rain.

I only put up one half-pint, but we will give it a try with some cream cheese and crackers (maybe at Thanksgiving), see how it tastes, and maybe make more.  Now I can sit and have my coffee before heading off to work.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

New Project: Part 2

I have been working on getting the layers of paint on my numbers and letters for the past few days.  I get up early and can get one coat on to dry before I leave for work in the morning and a second coat in the evening.

I  was worried that the acrylic paint would not give the effect I wanted, but when I began sanding last night to remove some of the top layers to reveal the lower ones, I saw they worked just fine.  Here you can see those I have sanded with a few I had not.

The difference the sanding made is perfect.  Now I'll go back and do a little dry brushing of the dark brown to add a little more depth.  Once I do, I'll be ready for the next step.  It won't be long now until I can reveal what this will be.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Today Was Great!!!!

Today was a great day!  Someone very dear to me had a very delicate surgery to remove a tumor from her brain.  All indications are she is going to make a wonderful recovery.

She is not a close friend.  We never talked on the phone or shared super personal stories.  We didn't see each other socially outside of work or exchange Christmas gifts.  But she is someone very dear to me.

We worked at the same school in classrooms side by side.  We shared Lunch Bunch on Fridays and a love for the kids in our school.

Why is she so dear?  The experience she has been through over the last few months since finding out she had a tumor has touched me.  The stories told up and down the hallways of my school have been inspiring.

Shannon is one of those people who truly gives.  She is well known for her random acts of kindness.  Each year on her birthday she performs an act of kindness for each year she has been blessed with life.  What a legacy.

Today in our school to honor her giving nature and to support her with positive energy,  we wore shirts that she had designed for our school staff when our school was celebrating it's 50th birthday.  We also got to wear jeans for the price of $1.  Why $1?  So we would have a pool of money to perform our own random act of kindness.  Ideas are pouring in as to how to spend the $135, and all of them are good.  One I really liked was to buy scholastic books to donate to MD Anderson for children hospitalized for cancer treatment. Love it.  Last week we wore jeans for $1 and it was donated to cancer research.  So wonderful.

So today was a really good day.

To read more about Shannon you can go to her blog at Sweet Blessings.  She is amazing.

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Project: Part 1

In my September Day book journal entry I admitted, much to my chagrin, that I did not have any craft projects in the works.  I have rectified that, but I really can't tell you much more . . . yet.   I can tell you it's made of wood.

Chip It helped with the color palette when I found inspiration in a photograph.

With the color palette chosen, I got started getting some paint onto my letters and numbers.

The first coat will dry over night and I'll apply another coat tomorrow.  Then a little distressing and more paint . . . but I'm getting ahead of myself.  One step at a time.  I am hoping it will all come together as I see it in my head.  Sometimes it works out that way and sometimes it doesn't.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Little Progress Made

Sometimes inspiration comes slowly, and sometimes you just have to force it along.  My living room has been such a trial for me.  Back in February (yes, 7 months ago!) we bought new furniture and 6 months ago we bought a rug.  

The only progress I have made since then involved taking off the tags.

It's not that I haven't wanted to accessorize, I just have not found the one thing that would spur my creativity . . . until this weekend.

After breaking down my goal from the entire living room to just one table, and after eliciting a willing husband's help (thanks, Hon), we found a few things that make me happy.

Breck found the lamp and it's perfect.  Nice and heavy so Kracken can't knock it over and I love the glass.  He also found this great bleached branch.  I knew we needed one more piece to make an odd number and pottery seemed like a good choice in texture.  Another owl isn't a bad thing, right?

This runner in blues, grays, and tans is a nice base for all our goodies keeping everything from "floating" on the table.  This is just a start, I know.  There is a long way to go, but at least we have finally begun.

As an additional treat while taking picture of the lamp, I spotted this in the background.  Can you see it?  Past the mosquito spray on the porch table.

How about now?

I wonder if this is the same white tailed deer we saw in the yard back in July.

She grazed on grass and Beauty Berry for about an hour before she slipped from my sight.  Could I ever leave this house and all this natural beauty?