Monday, January 31, 2011

My nifty $5 find

I try to be a thrifty shopper, I really do. I peruse vintage and antique stores looking for those adorable and unpassable items for really cheap. I just don't ever find them. I think my luck may be changing though!

Ever since we moved into this rental home I have detested the white kitchen curtains with the strategically placed brown stains that the owner left for us. But who wants to buy things for a rental house? We've already put too much money into this place, that isn't even ours.  But I stumbled across the Walmart clearance section on Saturday and found these kitchen curtains for only $5! How could I pass them up? They aren't exactly what I was looking for, but they add a splash of color and replace those horribly ugly curtains...

I think they're going to do the trick!

I just totally realized my curtain rod is crooked.

'til next time...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tart, tangy and oh so sweet

My sister-in-law is a wonderful baker, and she has recently started a blog, The Adventures of a Suburban Amateur Baker, to chronicle her experiences.  Her most recent post was on Lemon Bars, which I had never tried, so of course I was up for a challenge.  Besides, my Mister is rather partial to the Lemon Bars his mom makes.

You can find her recipe here - just look how few ingredients it calls for! 

I'd never zested lemons before. For my first time I used the fine portion of a cheese grater since this was all I had on hand. Can you tell that I'm a little paranoid about zesting? This picture is of the lemon after I grated it... I think I'm leaving too much zest on the lemon...

Then I squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezed. A lot. :)

After mixing the crust, pressing it into the pan and baking it.  I whisked the lemon mixture together and poured into the pan.

I overbaked them by just a few minutes, but overall they were delicious!

At least, half the pan is gone already...and I haven't heard Mister complain...

'til next time.....

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rocking the whole embroidery thing!

I can't even tell you how excited I am! This day really rocks!
Aimee Ray featured a small photo of my embroidery work on her blog! If you click the link to go to her page, it's the one on the bottom right of the collage.

As you know, this year one of my resolutions was to learn to embroider (you can see my previous two attempts here and here). So far I've been doing really good. I joined Aimee Ray's Doodle Stitch Along and have been submitting photos of my work to flikr. My interpetation of this last weeks pattern turned out as follows:

As always, improvement is needed, but overall I am so happy with the way it came out! I think for only my third attempt, this rocks! There were a lot of really good submissions to the flikr group this week.

I also won the Larks Crafts contest and shall be recieving an awesome embroidery set in the mail next week as a prize. Okay, so I don't really know if it's awesome or not. But I don't really care! It could be two skeins of 37cent embroidery floss and a couple of needles and I'd be tickled pink! I never win anything!

Needless to say, today is really making me smile.

'til next time...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dog Pile!

Once upon a time, I had a green striped chair that I really, really liked...

...then came the animals.

I've given up on that chair ever being mine again.  I have double sided tape on the sides so the cats don't try to scratch at it (the fabric shows EVERY little mark), and it is covered in a blanket 99% of the time, so that my mutts don't totally destroy it... so, yeah, it's not a real attractive place to park it anymore. Escpecially when you almost always have to persuade a fur ball to vacate in order for you to sit. 

I still think the whole think is adorable though. So much that I had to pick up my camera and shoot a little video of Fletch and Crystal having a wrestling match in the chair.

I say wrestling, but mostly it was just Fletch laying on top of her chewing on her ears. Poor Crystal. It must be simply awful to be adored the way the other two dogs adore her.

Anyway. Back to the chair.
I 'm pretty sure it's a lost cause.

'til next time...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Doodle Stitch-Along

Turns out I have great timing in my quest to learn how to embroider.  Aimee Ray is having a Doodle Stitch Along and I've decided to join in! This is my first submission, which I've posted (late, of course) to the flikr group.

This pattern is from week two, I haven't gotten around to the pattern from week one yet. Maybe I'll get to it if I finish the week three pattern in time (this is very doubtful)...

I'm in the middle of painting and decorating my sewing/craft room and pretty much everything has been displaced to the living room, making it a tedious task to try to sew or embroider right now.  Especially since Fletch likes to eat things like embroidery floss, or needles, or pieces of fabric...

'til nex time...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A very weird fortune, and a really bad dinner

Tonight Mister and I had dinner at a really, really terrible Chinese restaurant which shall remain unnamed.

After dinner we received our fortune cookies (which I considered the most edible portion of the meal - really it was terrible).

We had a good laugh over his fortune...

What in the world could this possibly mean? We're flummoxed, but highly entertained by it!

'til next time...

Friday, January 21, 2011

I ate squash (and I kept it down...)

One of my New Year Resolutions was to be healthier. I think I've been succeeding so far on the nutrition front.  At least I've given up my coke and vitamin for breakfast and a moved towards actual sustenance...

I went waaaay healthy tonight. As a side for our meatloaf dinner (Mister's favorite) I made Maple Glazed Acorn Squash.  I pulled the recipe off line and did some tweaking to my own tastes - and it was actually pretty good. Not my favorite, but I was able to finish my half of the squash willingly enough.

It was super simple to make. Just half the squash and scoop out the guts. Place the halves cut side up in a baking dish.

Mix together 2 tablespoons each of butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon half of mixture into the squash half and spread around.

I baked them at 350 for 45 minutes and they were the perfect consistency. Baste with the other half of maple mixture every 15 minutes or so.

I'd say that my mama would be proud, but in all seriousness, I don't think my mom would ever eat squash... ;P

'til next time...

Out my window...

I finally got him!

This Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker has been hanging around my house for months, but I had yet to get a good shot of him. Today he was feeling gracious enough to stop hopping around my tree and pose for a picture.

Thank you Mr. Sucker. Much appreciated.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

That's gonna leave a mark

This is what my front yard currently looks like.

I'm not a happy camper. That's going to be a lot of mud.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's not perfect, but it's a start

I tried out one of the cute designs in my new Aimee Ray book Doodle Stitches. I think it came out pretty darn good for my first try!

I purchased some tracing paper (using my handy-dandy 40% off coupon at Joann's, making it only $2.57 for seven large sheets) and after copying the design out of the book, I transfered it to the material.  This particular book actually came with a CD that includes all the image files for you to print out at any size. A lot easier than I thought.  I had actually been putting off starting the project because of this step, but it was a breeze.

                                                  (this is set in a 6" hoop)

There were, of course, tons of mistakes. For instance, the first little birdy has one totally huge and misshappen eye, but eh, practice makes perfect.

I think I'm going to save all my little doodle stitches and maybe piece them together into a quilted wall hanging down the line. I'll be able to see my progress that way!

Anyhoo, I'm all jazzed to pick out my next pattern so I'm off!

'til nex time...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

City Girl by The Doll Farm

I never got around to posting this because she arrived the week that I moved to Kentucky, and then promptly got shuffled into the craziness of unpacking, getting engaged and then married.

But, drumroll please.... Here is indelible City Girl. 

This incredible beauty was created by Heather Bennett over at The Doll Farm.

I have swooned over her dolls for soooo long.  When this gem became available I jumped at the chance to own one. We all know the fact that she's a red head means she was meant just for me.

I am in love with her.

Thank you, Heather, for being so incredibly awesome at what you do. 


Monday, January 17, 2011

No wonder they puke on my couch

It's occurred to me that our dogs have plenty of reasons to hate us.

I've been organizing photos lately and I came across these ones taken Halloween of 2009. Poor Crystal, Monte and Mobee were the unwilling participants of a doggie fashion show.

Don't they look thrilled?

It is now rather apparent to me why they do those 'special' little doggie things they do. Like eating that pigs ear in the middle of the brand new bed spread, or vomiting up an endless supply of grossness on the couch.

Of course that doesn't mean we won't be dressing them up again. It's just too damn cute.

'til next time...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lessons for a City Girl

Ah, the little things a city girl learns in the country.

Like, if you want to do dishes first thing in the morning...

then don't leave the soap under the kitchen sink!

A quick soak in some very hot water and I was rewarded with the joy of doing the dishes.

But seriously. Just seriously. 

'til next time....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Warming up

Marley really likes the heating vents. Can you tell where his favorite one is?

Although the one in the dining room will always do in a pinch.

Daxter is usually content to lay on the couch.  He's got enough 'winter coat' to not really have to worry about getting cold.  This is how he can normally be found...

however he thought he'd investigate what Marley was all excited about...

He's always a little embarrassed when caught in these types of positions.

'til next time...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Do over!!!!

Last year I had scored tickets to see Josh Ritter's solo acoustic performance at Fingerprints in Long Beach. Josh Ritter. That is a serious, serious swoon.

                                                                          photo credit

Unfortunately I ended up in the hospital the week before the show and was unable to attend.  My wonderfully sweet husband loves me so much that he drove down to see him all alone.  He stood there obnoxiously holding the camera so that he could video some of the performance, then he stood in line for over an hour so that he could meet him and have him sign some items for me.  I'm pretty bummed because I wanted to post a picture of him with Mr. Ritter, and for the life of me I can't locate the files on my computer... I'm sure he had a good time, but he said he felt really out of place since 90% of the audience was couples. In any event, I was still horribly out of sorts that I couldn't go since I adore Josh Ritter through and through.

Well, I get a "do over"!!!! He's freaking coming to Louisville on March 19th!!! It will be another acoustic show - which are just the best because he really interacts with the audience. The tickets don't go on sale until February 3rd, but I have it programmed into every electronic device and written on every calendar already.

Here are two videos taken by another fan at the show in Long Beach that I missed...

Do you see how wonderfully fantastic he is???

If I can just score tickets to this, oh man, I will be a happy, happy camper.