Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In The Middle of a Wind Storm

For a long while I’ve felt like my life is in the middle of a wind storm, ready to just pick me up and swirl me away.  Sometimes I’ve wished it would – some place where it’s calm and serene – where no one needs anything from me – where my mind can just not think instead of wondering and worrying and never stopping.
My step-father Frank, of Frank’s Fractured Fairytales, is finally in assisted living .  I no longer have to wonder if he has fallen and is laying on the floor hurt, or is confused and afraid, or is angry and doesn’t know why, or needs something and there is no one to get it for him.  No matter that it took nearly a year of pleading, arguing, and finally going to court to gain guardianship.  All of that doesn’t matter because I can finally breathe again.
I have learned more about North Carolina laws than I ever wanted to.  I have had to prove myself over and over again.  And never will be able to prove myself to his neighbors who think I’m just after his money (he has none) and his house (which will pay for the assisted living).  You have to develop a very hard shell when you’re going through these things and sometimes it just cracks wide open.  But then you have to plaster that crack back up and know that what you are doing is the right thing – or hope it is.  When Frank asks me the same questions over and over again within minutes, or I can see that he really doesn’t understand fully what is being said – I know I haven’t made a mistake.  And no matter what he’s said to me along the journey and perhaps that someday he won’t know who I am exactly, that’s OK because I know who he is in his heart.
The whirling storm is slowing and I know the calm is coming soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Blue Bath Re-do

Well this is very overdue but I finally took some pictures today of my blue bathroom re-do.  Nevermind that I had three stripes of color on the wall behind the door for six months.  A friend (thank you Michelle) helped me paint a month or so ago or I'd probably still have those stripes LOL  The color is Olypmic's Misty Surf and is really more of a robin's egg blue than baby blue as it looks in the pictures.

I can't remember where I picked up the little chicken and cart but have used it to hold paper cups for years - maybe it was World Market.  Sadly we no longer have one near us but I loved that store.   The mirror is courtesy of Hobby Lobby and the mirror actually comes out if you'd rather frame a picture.  And the crosses are new as of today and also from Hobby Lobby.  As a matter of fact all of their glassware, metal, and wood ready-mades are 50% off - wonderful prices - I could have gone crazy in there today!

 The cute little ceramic hooks under the picture are courtesy of Anthropologie (where I have to carry a drool rag because I love love love almost everything in their store).  The picture is a poster I picked up on Ebay several years back. 

The small picture also came from Hobby Lobby several years ago and the shelf probably from there or maybe Target.

 The shower curtain is fabulous and is courtesy of Target - I just love their housewares.
Oh and the rug - the rug is what started the whole thing and if it wasn't full of dog hair I'd have taken a close-up LOL.  It's a beautiful shade of blue with cut pile and bumps in it that looks like a tufted headboard.  Just love it and it came from Lowes.
Well here is to makeovers!  May you have a blessed week.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted - well, yes I can - my life isn't my own lately.  But I did make a really great soup this week and want to share the recipe with you since autumn and soup weather are almost here.

Ingredients:  head of cauliflower, large onion, few stalks celery, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, feta cheese, vegetable broth, chicken broth, half and half, navy beans.

Cut a head of cauliflower in thick slices and place on cookie sheet.  Drizzle liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes - check to see if fork tender before removing.  When slightly cooled cut in small pieces with a fork.

Using a fairly large pot, chop and saute one large onion, about two tablespoons garlic, a couple stalks of celery, and a green pepper.  If you like carrots, you can also grate a large carrot into the pot.  When onions are slightly translucent, add 8 oz. vegetable broth and 16 oz. chicken broth and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Drain a can of navy beans and add to the pot (this adds some protein and also thickens the soup).  Add the roasted cauliflower.  Add about 4 large tablespoons of crumbled feta cheese.  Also add 2 cups fat-free half and half (or regular or heavy cream - whatever you like).  Using a hand-held emulsifier, puree until fairly smooth with just a few small chunks of cauliflower.  Let heat through about 10 minutes.  This is soooooooooo good - let's just say after Jack and I had dinner and I put some in a freezer container for my step-father - the pot was empty!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Welcome All

I finally finished my new WELCOME garland after a few trials and errors – but then that is me – never doing the same thing twice and always reinventing LOL 

I found an old piano roll at the flea market and thought it would make a fabulous garland in some manner or other.  After experimenting with copy paper to get the right size and shape, I traced and cut the garland shapes from the piano roll.  Because it was vintage and had been rolled up for so long, it was a little tricky to cut.  I cut the same shapes out of card stock that was near the same color.  Glued and trimmed each.  Then came the search for just the right paper.  At first I thought to use pages from an old book but they were too close to the same color as the piano roll paper.  I found a dark patterned paper at the craft store and a fabulous, free script on the internet and went to work.  Once those were glued on, punched two holes at the top of each garland piece, used some Tim Holtz safety pins, fastened each piece to a length of cotton cording, and I was all set.  Now I had something in mind besides cotton cording and was just trying it out, but Mr. J. liked the cording – said it looked “rustic” LOL, so I just kept it up as it was.

The whole purpose of this garland against the fake slate stones of my fireplace was so that the three wonderful obsidian wind chimes I had hanging from the bottom of the mantel would show up better in front of the light colored garland.  Once I had the garland up though, it just wasn’t working for me so I moved the wind chimes to a perfect and much better spot in the dining room.  The wind chimes are fabulous – I found them at an art show in Atlanta.  You can see them at ObsidianWindchimes.  They are all made of things found in nature and each has chimes made of obsidian.  This husband and wife artist team does wonderful work!
Hope you are all staying cool and having a wonderful summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summering Up the Living Room

The hotter it gets in Georgia, the more I want to summer up and lighten up the living room!  It's a naturally dark room except for in the afternoon when the west sun comes in through the windows next to the front door.  The red ticking curtains came down along with the dark brown valance panels (the panel pops out of my tobacco stick frame and I can re-cover it easily and pop it back in).  Here is the old mantel

And here it is summered up
You can barely see the three obsidian windchimes hanging from the mantel but I'm in the process of making a banner to go behind them so they will show up better.  I fell in love with these windchimes at an art show in Atlanta - the creators are from Oregon and all of the chimes are obsidian (which is lava - they look like primitive glass and have a very light and tinkly sound) and all parts of the windchimes are pods, seeds, wood, etc. found in nature.  You can see them online at Obsidian Windchimes

White pitchers with papier mache bee and bird, pear candle, clerical collars, and a beautiful framed papercut fern frond

A really cool clay birdhouse, mercury glass, an old French basket containing the last of my vintage homespun ticking (I hoard it and only use it for very special projects), and a blue cloth owl

It feels a little brighter anyway!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk one week ago

The Beanstalk tonight

The Beanstalk's Sister

Aren't they amazing?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Presto - Chango!

First of all let me express how I REALLY feel about blogger – this new setup @(#9*@(*#&$$(@*&$*#(@&!  I had typed a whole post and all of a sudden it was gone and only my signature remained.

OK, enough whining – would anyone like cheese with this whine?

You know those unsightly cords that spring out of the back of every piece of media player that one owns?  The phone connections, the cable connections, TV to electrical plug, TV to ethernet box, DVD player to TV, and on and on?  LOL  Today I decided to do something about them.  A couple of weeks ago we managed to get rid of most of the cords by putting the ethernet box and cable box into the armoire that held the TV – although that was an adventure in itself.  The large black cable cord and the two bright green telephone cords were still left running amuck along the wall and floor.

I took some flecked linen and cut long strips, turning under both edges and then folded each strip in half and ironed the fold.  I just took one strip at a time and starting from right to left – because that’s how I roll – I simply put the strip around the black cable cord and sewed a large running stitch down the open edge.  When I ran out of a strip, I just added another.  This way if I need to remove them it will be simple to just cut the stitching.  One cord down, two to go – oh and I would only do this on cords that I know can’t ever overheat.

The two bright green telephone cords were next and I put them together into the strip and sewed it on the same way.  There are two ways you could do the strips – scrunch them up so they have that ruffled effect.

Or just keep them straight (if you don’t want to sew twice as many).   Mine were in between.

After I finished each one, I took small nails and making sure that I was nailing only through the extra cloth on the bottom of each cord, I fastened them to the baseboard.  Makes it easier to vacuum and they show less being on the painted baseboard rather than the hardwood floor. 

And they hardly show now!  Yea!  Presto, chango!

Monday, May 7, 2012

First Bounty

I can't wait to add the first bounty (baby onion, Paris Market tiny carrots, Ladybird nasturtiums, and Tom Thumb peas) from our garden to the wonderful organic lettuce and herb mix that our daughter, Isia and her husband, Chris grew at their Crack In The Sidewalk Farmlet. 

If any of you are near Atlanta, be sure not to miss the weekly farm market at the Grant Park zoo each Sunday morning/early afternoon.  Crack In The Sidewalk is there along with lots of other vendors.  Not only fresh fruits and veggies but cheese, bakery items, local honey, dairy products, meats - it's wonderful! 


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Painted Floorcloth Class

Painted canvas rugs had their beginnings as cloth game boards, playing cards, and table covers as far back as the 1400s.  Until the 1700s textiles were considered too precious to be used on floors.  Indeed, most homes had floors of either tamped earth or unvarnished wood and were generally left bare.  In the 18th century, “floorcloth” was a generic term that referred to a carpet substitute of wool, flax linen, or cotton and went by many names.  By the middle of the 19th century, floorcloths were referred to as oil cloths.  Linoleum and a growing taste for area rugs caused floorcloths to fall from favor.  In the 1920s they were advertised as stove oil cloths for use where ashes and grease could damage other floor coverings. 

I’ve had a floorcloth at the entrance to my home for several years with no maintenance except for vacuuming.  With three large dogs who rush the door multiple times a day, it has held up surprisingly well.  Although it could now use a replacement if only I could decide upon the design I'd like to use LOL 

Yesterday we had a class here and had so much fun!  We took the size back down to the table and completed a small rug that may be used as a placemat, table mat for the center of a table, or game board.  The key to a floorcloth is thinking layers and thinking from the bottom up. 

Here are Laura, Jennie, and Kristen trying to decide on the background color for their rugs.  So many colors - which one shall I pick?


And Jennie hard at work trying to figure out her new camera.


Jennie’s beautiful basket floorcloth before she finished antiquing it.


Kristen looking well satisfied with her fabulous mod design.


Laura antiquing her wonderful birdie in a nest folkart floorcloth.


And here is mine – it hasn’t told me yet that it is finished…and yes, of course it’s out of the box – I don’t know how to do IN the box LOLOLOL 


What a fun day!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Reds - Good Ones and Maybe I Shouldn't Have Done That Ones!

There are good reds and then there are reds that you might regret later.  Hmmmm...let's see,

Vintage red child's booster chair?  GOOD!

Red coffee pot?  GOOD!

Vintage metal cup trimmed in red?  GOOD!

Red heart angel?  GOOD!

Red bloom on Japanese maple?  GOOD!

Red polka dots on door angel?  GOOD!

Painting a wall in a bedroom red?  MAYBE NOT SO GOOD!

Shown after one coat of Kilz2 guaranteed to cover.
Can you say two to three coats might cover?  LOLOLOLOLOLOL

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Little Bit of This.......

and a little bit of that.  Everything seems to be growing - yea!  I might be setting a Jill record this year - I think it's the longest I've kept this much alive (and weed free) LOLOLOL  The dinosaur kale came up last week. 

Stonecrop went into my typewriter since I couldn't find chicks and hens at the nursery. And wonderful Mexican petunias behind it - this is the first time I've tried them and they are loaded with buds.

A purple plant of some sort in the pot on the porch. Of course I didn't keep that tag and can't remember the name of it.  Lucy is gazing longingly out the door and you can probably see doggy nosies on the glass too LOL

And marigolds around St. Francis - if that darned solar lantern doesn't work so well then the marigolds may be bright enough to light the way LOL Hubby does like yard art! Oh and my daughter brought me three Mexican sunflower bushes. Something that somehow found it's way into her garden last year and is really fabulous in full bloom. One heavy stalk just full of small sunflower blooms.

I planted some herbs last weekend - Tabor thyme, rue, marjoram Gold Tip, sweet marjoram, tricolor sage, Greek oregano, and Boxwood basil. Lots more basil to get this weekend and hopefully will be able to find some lemon verbena. My last batch grew wonderfully for two years and then died out.

I hope you have a lovely rest of the week and a wonderful Easter weekend!