Friday, February 12, 2016

Life: Black and White

Hahaha!  Life is so not black and white.  Take this past week.  
In a nutshell:  Pain.  Pain in shoulder.  Pain in chest and down arm.  Pain in chest up neck to jaw.  Go to Hospital.  EKG.  Helicopter ride to bigger hospital.  Heart Procedure.  ALL GOOD!  NO BLOCKAGE.  More tests.  More tests. Conclusion: Pain is muscular.

This test indicates this...but may be that...not black and white.

Medicine is an art as well as a science and I praise God for all the Doctors and caregivers and all our advancements in the field!  

So my husband is good. He's great.  He's fine!  He's back farming!  After this little hiccup.  Did I say little?!

And, through this I turned 52 whether I was ready or not.  

And, my husband sent me flowers. :)

I took pictures.


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A slightly different edit.
Hazy with the big picture out of sight.  Some days are like that.  
And, yet still very beautiful.  
That was Monday.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Paper Bag Valentines


While preparing for our 4h club meeting this month, I was heading down the path of my vast stash of bias tape, and looking for a project that kids could do in a short period of time.

I experimented quite a bit and came up with some things that some of you might enjoy, but I think too hard for what I needed for this meeting.  Then all of a sudden while perusing the interweb looking for inspiration, I found this and shifted gears.

This post on the blog called Andrea Currie Crafts caught my eye.  I have a lot of sacks.  I have even more sacks than I have bias tape.  Why?  Because supplies happen.


You could get as fussy and fancy as you want when you decorate these up.  I was just trying to get out some prototypes quick-like, so I kept my decorating of them to basic and simple.  


You could also add a little Valentine treat inside too.  


I used a bigger sack here and just omitted the handle to make a soda glass.
I was going to use a real straw in here, and then this idea happened instead. I thought it was kind of fun.


This one is my favorite with it's heart "steam"! The steam is easy to free-hand cut. Here it's from another paper bag, on the other ones I used scrap book paper.  Almost any scrap paper could work.


I shredded the left over scraps of my bags to use to add a little "whipped cream, coffee, and tea" to the cups. Tissue paper would work too and they would also be fine without either.

They aren't super strong so you aren't going to fill them with candy, but they do really sit well and are just perfect for a little Valentine gift for someone. 

You can find all of her directions for making the cups here at Andrea's site

~have a great day~

Thursday, January 28, 2016

One for the Records



After I halted my sorting the other day to make this wreath, I didn't get back to too much sorting. I ended up digging into my stash of old records.

I just leaned them on the mantle for now since it is still empty....


I used more of the piano forte music I used in the wreath, but added a layer of matte medium first so it had some strength. Then I could fold and bend the petals I cut from it.  The fabric part of the flower is the lining from a vintage tie and has the brand name, "witty brothers" on it. :)


On this one, I left the petals flat using matte medium and mod podge.


On this one and the other pink backed one, I started with a coat of gesso and then used the same soft pastels I used on the clay projects to color them in.  I fixed the pastels with a spray coat of finish afterwards.  See the little textured piece of red paper in the center? That is a piece of hand made paper my 4h club made for Christmas ornaments about 14 years ago! I still have the bag of paper ornaments.  I need to get that project going again with my current club.


I wasn't sure if this one would work out or not, but it did!  I'm really happy with it too!  I used mod podge to adhere strips of vintage fabric that I cut randomly into wedges and fitted them as I went along cutting the excess from either end as I glued them down.

I still have to decide how to put a hanger on them or find a proper easel to old them.  But, for now I think I'll continue to experiment with more. Lots of ideas for them rolling around in my head.



Two of the records are the old 78 for phonographs so are thicker than the vinyl we played as kids. And two (pictured above) are Edison records, really old ones!!  And, really thick!  They have a nice heft and feel to them.  The box full of them is so heavy! 

I certainly won't be upcycling all of the records, I have to keep some for our phonograph!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sheet Music Wreath


So, yesterday, I went to the store room determined to clean and organize it.  Oh look, I made a wreath instead!  When I dug out the boxes of music...I decided to seize the moment.


There are so many tutorials and different ways to do this out there on the internet, you can cruise around to find what works for you.  Without any how-to pictures I'll tell you how mine came together.

►Cut a piece of cardboard for the backing (I  used the pizza box holding the left over pizza in the fridge that I had eaten for lunch, one week old as Thursday is our "pizza day"  which is today again, yay!)
Punch two holes for a hanger.
Roll the sheets of music and using a low temp glue gun, use a dab of glue to hold close.  I used two books of pianoforte music.  It is the most glorious looking music out there and fairly sturdy pages.  Except that they are so old they are a bit fragile.  I am a little sad that I used these books, but they have been in storage for probably 15 years and there isn't much of a market for them as sheet music is everywhere.  At least they are being enjoyed again!
►Position the rolls to your liking on the cardboard backing and glue lightly.  When you are happy with it, go back and add more glue.  I really thought the low temp glue gun worked well.  
►Add a cord hanger to the punched holes.
►Audition doilies and medallions (how about a big broach?) for the center embellishment.  I had this heart (from my clay project) laying on the sewing room table while I was making this and there you go...found a home for it!
►Again using the low temp glue gun tack the doilies and center embellishment down.
►Before I started I measured the space where I was going to hang this so I knew if I should trim down the music sheets or not. 


So why didn't I take it down to take pictures of it??  I still have a store room to clean!


I am really happy with the layered doilies in the center!  I appreciate the woman (unknown to me) who perfectly blocked and starched the really fine one in the back because it was like that when I bought it years ago.

Did you notice we haven't decorated the mantle since putting the Christmas decorations away?!  So it goes.

Happy Pizza Day!  
(I think it's Tombstone for us tonight.)

Monday, January 18, 2016

I Had Salmon Bacon Chowder for Lunch!


In a restaurant in small town Dodge Nebraska!  What did you eat?!  


Chef Michael Glissman made it for me. :)


Lin Schwanebeck served it to me. :)


And, because around here, we know that the behind the scenes and support staff are what make the world go round...here's the rest of the kitchen!


Finally, here's the chowder.  De-licious!!!  


My daughter's pot roast. (a quickly shot picture while the sun shone through the window)


Roasted Amish Chicken and lemon creme pasta for my husband and mother in law.


The reason I'm blogging about our dining experience is because Dodge has a population of 608 and to have this option for a restaurant is pretty wonderful and it has beautiful old things in it!  It's called Eat Restaurant and is housed in an old bank.  Years ago there was a restaurant here called the "Bank-quit", get it?  Cute huh?! But when they closed, and these folks opened, I'm guessing calling it the "Bank-quit quit" didn't actually work.  Go ahead and groan at that one.


While you enjoy good home cooked food you get to look at some wonderful history too.  This is the vault door. 


The vault is small and hard to photograph, but the walls are painted an appropriate metallic gold 


and inside is a table for 2 to 4.  They are serving a Valentine's special I see on their Facebook page.  This would be a fun place to get to sit!


They have a wall to separate this area of a hall from the serving station made out of old doors.  Nice.


The serving station on the other side of the doors looking out into the dining room.


There are a few mirrors.


Looking in this mirror is kind of like peaking through a window isn't it? 


Much to look at.


A few more shots from around the small restaurant..


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If you are local, check out and like their Facebook page to get all the information on their hours, specials, and phone number if you want to make reservations.


Our little group..as you can see, casual attire is welcomed!

And, for supper?  a minute rice casserole. so I would have time to put this blog post together: irony.

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