Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mr. Toad Meets Mr. Turtle

"Would you like to share a mosquito?"

Why Can't We Just Be Friends?
  (photo taken on patio 6/28/10)

Let’s always be the kind of friends we are today.
Let’s always be there for each other, no matter what.
Let’s promise to be friends when we’re eighty and have just as much fun then, as we do now.
Let’s promise to always make time for each other, even when we have lots of things we have to do.
Let’s always share the laughter, tears, and celebrations of a lifetime…
Let’s be friends forever.  by Brenda

Monday, June 28, 2010

Earbud err.. Earwire Covers & Ishbel Scarf

Let's not be petty with our little problems. But...

Do your earwires on your mobile listening device seem to tangle at the most inopertune times? Yes, my dear, I understand your pain.

Here is a very clever and quick remedy to your tangled listening problems: earwires in their own separate holders that keep them from getting on one another's turf.

Craftster gives an explanation of how to cover the wires shown in this picture of earbud wires covered with a sport zipper:

Don't you jthink that is a great solution to keep your wires straight? Yes, my pretties, you know it is.

Here is my rendition of earwires, using a red 18" sport zipper and sewn up within ten minutes:

Now you go and make some for yourself and show me yours. Mr. Piggy is just too classy with his new listening accessory, and his earwires are now tangle free.

Ravelry friends, the Ishbel scarf, in rendition number two, is completed.  All  knitting specs and intricacies are shown on this Ravelry page regarding the lace weight sparkly kid merino and silk yarn. 

Here is Dolly showing off the Ishbel scarf:
(That silk and baby merino yarn is softer than a baby's behind.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Good Recipe for Oil Stains

Have you needed a certain color stain for wood and did not know how to come up with an oil and paint formula?  Stains (colored) will allow the grain of the wood to show through, and are an attractive alternative to opaque paints.

In staining wood chairs, picture frames and even wooden siding on a small outdoor utility house, I have mixed together turpentine, oil paints and linseed oil in various proportions. Now I find a real formula for creating a stain! Here is the formula given from the site Antiquerestorers ...

This is an unfinished wood frame purchased at a craft store for an 8" x 10" oil that I am working on.  I got the canvas first, then found the open backed wood frame with the same dimensions.  Now all I need to do is paint the picture, and stain the unfinished wooden frame.

Later:  below is a picture of poppies (oil medium) in progress, along with that same wooden open backed frame shown above, but now stained with red and yellow oil paints, turpentine and linseed oil.

The frame colors will exactly complement the colors in the poppies, and will alleviate the need for a costly framing job.

The reason that the colors are an exact match is because they came out of the same tubes as the paints used in creating the poppies.  Otherwise, you could never find a "finished" frame in the colors as the ones used in an original artwork.

This idea and stain formula works for wooden chairs, too!

Wooden Rocker painted, stained and donated (for Hospice   Chair-ity Fundraiser)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Rush Day to the Blogging Sisterhood

According to Some Days are Diamonds, the sisterhood has almost 150 Bloggerettes from all over the world.  Join us!

Go here to visit women's blogs from around the world.

Nancy, Colorado, USA

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Podcasts Currently on my iTouch

Occasionally, people will inquire about what podcasts I favor.  Here is a screen shot of the current podcasts I uploaded this morning from my free account at Itunes that can be accessed here.

After downloading iTunes and creating your account, just search for "podcasts" and up will pop thousands of podcast topics; be sure to check out the "favorites" since they have the most listeners. 

Literally ANY topic which interests you that can be found through the "search" feature.  Podcasts range from about 20 minutes to well over an hour, depending on if there are interviews included and how much information is broadcast on the given subject.  Podcasts are generally updated frequently...some on a daily basis, and some are updated very infrequently.  Your MP3 player will catch them all, according to how you set up your preferences.  Or, you can download, save and listen to a podcast directly from your computer.

Here are my few purchased audiobooks recently acquired from iTunes, (not including the free loaned books from the local library):

We won't even get into the applications which can be download free or for a minimal fee.  Check it out.  There is a world of knowledge to be gained through podcasting.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Repurposing Used Books

Found this here the day AFTER I took a huge load of books to Goodwill:

There must have been a lot of glue involved.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Just a Little Something I Whipped Up

Not much trouble, but this tasty dip was sent to me by Pat McCarroll:

3 8-ounce pkgs. cream cheese, softened
6 TBS. milk
3 pkgs. Leo’s or Carl Buddig sliced beef, cut into small pieces
¾ cup finely chopped green pepper
6 Tbs. dried minced onion
1 ½ tsp. garlic salt
¾ tsp. pepper
1 ½ cup sour cream
Combine cream cheese and milk; mix well. Stir in beef, green pepper, onion, and seasonings. Blend well. Fold in sour cream and spoon into baking dish. When ready to serve, bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Top with 1 ½ cup chopped pecans that have been sautéed in 6 Tbs. margarine and 2 tsp. salt. Serve hot with Wheat Thins. (From the cookbook Collectibles by Mary Pittman, Van Alstyne, TX)

This is a close up of the exhausted lady chef on the lid of the appetizer casserole dish:

"Oh, it's nothing, just a little something I whipped up" ... and on the bottom of the dish ... "~ s i g h ~"

It made a lot, but we managed to scarf it up!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happiness is Cultivated

if you want to cut to the chase, go to about the 1.30 minutes into the video...

Confessions of a Jewish Mother:

At point 6.20 minutes, the secret is revealed....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tuna Sauce, Courtesy of Dr. Gemma

One of my favorite podcasters, Dr. Gemma, talked last week about her box of community supported agriculture (CSA) organic foods and gave a recipe for tuna to be used as a tomato topping.  The original recipe can be found here.
Tuna Sauce for Very Ripe Tomatoes:
1 egg
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/8 tsp salt
1 c olive oil
7 ounce can dark-meat tuna in oil
1 anchovy fillet
2 Tbsp capers
Put egg, juice, & mustard in blender. Process 1 minute.

Keep the machine running and add 1/4 c olive oil in a stream of droplets.. Then add the rest of the oil gradually.

Add remaining ingredients, 1 at a time, with the machine running. (I do stop it to add the tuna).

Get it all nicely liquified, then refrigerate the sauce to thicken. Serve over sliced, ripe tomatoes with lemon slices and black olives as garnishes.
So, with modifications using three cans of 5 oz. tuna (i.e., doubling the recipe) and using HALF of the amount of specified olive oil, it turned out pretty darn good. And instead of anchovies, I substituted Thai fish oil. Don't leave out the capers, though.

I really cannot imagine using TWO cups of olive oil, along with the tuna in oil...you would basically have an oil dip. 

Here is a picture of the TUNA SAUCE (with half the required oil in original recipe):
Served with bread, tomatoes, and lettuce (and olives) ... it was tasty, gosh darn it!

And to link with Ravelry, here is my second Ishbel shawl with three repeats of Chart A completed in lace weight kid merino and silk fiber:
The fibers are splitting, yikes!



If you came to visit because I friended you on Ravelry, that is so very nice of you.  Don't you love Dr. Gemma??

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Antiquarian Books for Sale

Over the past five years, I have held onto some old books for a friend.  She told me to try and sell them if I could.  No book establishment in our small county was interested in purchasing them.  But some one MUST want them, right?

Today, I sent this brief email to Great Britain to the bookstore of Addyman Books in Hay on Wye in Wales and a similar one to Rose's Books, a purveyor of old children's books. 
For Sale:
FROM SEA TO SEA, Rudyard Kipling, copyright 1899.. very good condition; on the flyleaf it says "Mattie A. Weaver, Xmas 1899" handwritten in black ink (Doubleday & McClure Company, New York, 1899) There are TWO copies of this book, with the same handwriting on the flyleaf
ENGLISH LITERATURE , ITS HISTORY AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE LIFE OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING WORLD, A TEXT-BOOK FOR SCHOOLS by William J. Long, Ginn and Company, copyright 1909 (The Athenaeum Press, Ginn and Company Proprietors Boston USA)(fair condition, wear on all edges and the front hard cover is well worn; pencil writing on the inside of the cover)

CHILD-STORY READERS PRIMER BY FRANK N. FREEMAN, GRACE E. STORN, ELEANOR M. JOHNSON. W.C. RRENCH, COPYRIGHT 1927 BY LYONS AND CARNAHAN - This is illustrated with color pictures. The name "Annie Laurie" is written on the fly-leaf. Very good condition.
If interested, I can provide pictures of the books in an email attachment.

I will be in Hay on Wye, Wales in October, 2010 and plan on visiting both bookstores. Hay on Wye is renown for its reputation as a book lover's haven.  "Hay-on-Wye has become world famous for its secondhand and antiquarian bookshops. At present there are approximately thirty major bookshops in the town some specialising whilst others carry general stock." (it says so here)

Maybe they will buy these books and have them in their warehouse(s) by then; one can only hope.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Refinishing An Old Cedar Chest

Since the 1970's, I have lugged throughout the U.S. an old cedar chest.  It has been with me over perhaps twenty apartment and house relocations.

But this was no ordinary cedar chest, because it once held the baby clothes of my now 91 year old father.  So the chest has to be at least close to 100 years old.  It just cannot be relegated to Good Will after being in the family for a century.

As far as I remember, it has never been refinished.  Seize the day!  It is time for the old girl to get a facelift.

Here is how she looks before the refinish:
Naturally, I had to look up "What to Do and How to Do It for old cedar chest restoration" and came up with information from several sources, including a step-by-step approach from EHOW
 Secure the necessary tools and materials for refinishing a cedar chest. You will need sandpaper for removing the old finish and smoothing the cedar before refinishing. You can also select a mild stripper for removing the old finish; the cedar may be old and fragile, thus requiring a less abrasive method of finish removal. Stain will not be necessary; however, you will need to purchase water- or oil-based clear finish for the chest. Oil-based finish dries faster, and water-based cleans up easier. Choose satin, semi-gloss or glossy for the level of shine that you desire on the chest. You can also purchase wipe-on or brush-on finish. Use a cotton rag for the wipe-on finish and a fine-bristled brush for the brush-on finish.
And simple advice: "A good paint stripper, a stain color that best matches the original, and finish with 3 coats of low lustre tung oil  from All Experts.

Here is a peak of a little of what was stored in the old cedar chest, if there is a bit of closet voyeur in you:

Let the elbow grease commence.  And just maybe it is time to get rid of those baby blankets from the '70's?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Your Peaceful Retreat

Thanks to Rivka, blogger of Coffee and Chemo, for this thought:
A few nights ago, my eldest and I spent some great time together.  Somehow, we got to talking about our "Happy Places." I was pleased to discover that she has such a place.

Everyone has their own "Happy Place," where they can escape within their own mind. Not everyone knows how to find it.

My Happy Place is sitting on a small hill, under a willow tree, overlooking a lake, with a small forest off to the left. (Read more here)
Rivka asks for daven (the uttering of Jewish prayers, loosely translated) after every post.  And when I read her blog, I definitely send prayers for her and her journey.  You might be interested in her story and life; she is a thoughtful writer.

It is important that we each have a Happy Place.  It could even be a short moment to stop and embrace the moment of thankfulness.  The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a favorite book that, if its principles are learned and applied, helps one "move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where we breathe a lighter air."

Here are some places where I stop to breathe a lighter air:
Where is your peaceful retreat?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Begonias in Brussels

Brussels in Bloom (older pictures, but absolutely gorgeous in case you have not viewed these before)! This is the original website to see all the pictures, courtesy of The First Post.

Close to a million begonias were used in laying these flowers down based on a medieval design.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bathroom Redecoration in Bordello Red

A few weeks ago I decided that our powder room needed a facelift (the PR, referred to with those inititals hereafter, is available to anyone, but actually used a LOT by those people who do not sleep in our bedrooms).

Back to the facelift of the PR, here is the only video I could come up with regarding bathroom redecoration:

That video was relatively useless regarding redecoration.  Our PR does not have an olympic sized tub, nor is it 100 square feet in size. And it does not look out to an ocean view.  In fact, it is a wee room...no pun intended.

So I decided to make a real statement and paint the entire PR red.  Yes, RED.  In other words, I made it my "bordello bathroom".

Here are a few photographs of the PR in all its red glory, along with lots of yellow and red accent accessories, and a few paintings that mirror the colors:

If you look carefully, you can see a knitted toilet topper beneath the flower arrangement.  It is from my Ravelry collection and knitted from an orange and red wool (two strands held together).  The pattern is actually a face cloth recipe, but I modified it to make it smaller and knit it up in wool.

Now who says using a PR can't knock your socks off?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sisterhood - Rush to be in the Group!

Want to be part of the Blogger Sisterhood?  Some Days are Diamonds, a blog authored by Karen, is having a virtual party.  That means that Karen is inviting everyone to a Blogger Sorority Rush Party.

Here are the rules:

Take this picture:
Some Days says:
take the picture and create something with it. A banner, a hanging, an ATC,a piece of jewelry, a tag, a card . . . anything! Print the picture and place it in a frame - it doesn't have to be fancy! Just use your imagination. The possibilities are endless.You have inspiration all around you. After all . . . that's what our blogs do - they inspire us. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Then take a picture of your creation.

There are no rules.

Well - except one. You must be in the picture too. You can always take a self-portrait in a mirror.Because we all want to see who our "Sisters" are!  Then post your picture the day of our Sorority party on Friday - June 25, 2010
Sounds like fun, eh?

Here is my contribution, shown before the deadline!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Acrylic Yarn vs. Silk and Mohair Yarn for Ishbel Shawl

The Ishbel Shawl by designer Ysolda Teague is finished.  This piece was a fairly quick knit.  The fiber was inexpensive since its composition was 92% acrylic and 8% metallic.  The fiber was fairly difficult to work with because the knitting needles had a tendency to split the metallic fibers.  But, overall, I liked the effect of the subtle shine in the fiber.

This is the finished shawl, dimensions of 42" x 15":

Now I want to knit up another Ishbel because it was a fun pattern.

This is information about another yarn order for the Ishbel which should be in the mail (maybe today!) for two skeins of Silk Mohair Glitter Yarn in lace weight.  It will be much softer because of the kid mohair and silk fiber composition of the yarn.  In contrast to the ropey feel of the acrylic and metal of the above shawl, this yarn definitely looks softer and more cushy.  And it should have a very comfortable hand.

Artyyarns Silk Mohair Glitters specs:
Webs Yarn is the supplier of the Artyyarns Silk Mohair Glitter.

The pink color was chosen because the DH likes to see me in pink.  Awww....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tip of the Day

If you can't be a good example,  you'll have to be a horrible warning - Catherine Aird