Friday, April 27, 2012

Hi there.  I have a few more photos that I took today to share with you. 
Bird on a fence
Peak a boo - can you find the Cardinal???
Close up - really close up!
I have more but won't bore you.

I have one lap quilt that I did finish quilting yesterday. I need to order more of the fabric as I didn't order enough.  Darn!  I have to have enough for the binding.  I KNEW I should have ordered another half yard!

That's about it - I wanted to wind a warp, but this day has been so beautiful that I keep walking outside and spending time out there.  Pretty soon, it'll be dinner time, and then we watch t.v. for the evening.  As a dear friend reminded me recently, sitting and watching t.v. with my hubby is a special time for us.....she knows -she lost her hubby a couple of years ago.   So she reminds me to cherish the good times.

Tomorrow my daughter, grand daughter, and daughter's significant other are coming down to try to get the motorcycle running.  I get to see the grand baby in MY house this time!  Ought to be fun as she hasn't been here since she started walking, and we have the dogs, the cat, the horses....oh my!   The weather isn't supposed to be great but that's ok.  We (the baby and I) can stay inside!  LoL

Sunday I'm going to Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria VA to their little fiber festival.  This is the second year of it and this year it's two days!  I hope they have a good turnout so they can continue to have it.  Maybe, if I'm good and productive (If I keep having days like today this will never happen....), I can get some things made and maybe next year, I could have a small table there and sell them! (my weaving)

Next week is already shaping up to be quite busy for me, so I need to plan my time, get some more sewing done, get my weaving started, and get moving!

Hope you enjoy your weekend, and I'll be back with more soon. 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Not a move, but like a move

Um, well, first off, I'm not loving this new Blogger look and format.  Of course, I know it's just a matter of getting used to it......but I do NOT like it.

This past weekend we were quite busy.  We have been in our home for 7 years.  It has taken me that long to adjust.  I just realized this but hey, I've always said, I'm a slow learner.  Sigh....
I have been really into photography lately (in case no one noticed).  Last week I went to Jan's house and took some photos of a beautiful flower arrangement she'd been given. I loved the photos so much, I decided to print them off.  They weren't quite as vibrant on paper as on my computer screen.  I guess I'll have to learn to manipulate photos!
Anyway, I printed off my favorites and when we went thru the city on our way from Ikea, we stopped at AC Moore arts and craft shop, and picked up frames and hangers.  I really love the heavy look of the black frames.  What do you think?

I had some other things on the wall, for 7 years, then about 2 weeks ago I looked at them and realized i hated down they came!  I love my photography and I want to show it!  I can't enjoy it if it's sitting inside my computer, right?

So this is what we got from Ikea:

The white and wood cabinet is what is new.  It's sitting kind of like an island but up against the wall.  If I put it directly under the window with the back to the wall, it leaves more open space in the kitchen.  I'm trying it this way first....but have a feeling I need to try it the other way for awhile too.  Just to see which one works for me best.  It has SOOOOO much space in it tho.  That's what I needed.  My kitchen cabinets are crap - they don't hold a whole lot and it's awkward getting stuff in and out of the bottom ones.  I looked at this new one and seriously thought, maybe we should take out all the old cabinets, and put this type in, in it's place.  I can't afford an entire kitchen re-do.  It's tempting..........

Anyway, I'm pleased.

I also have a new dining room table and chairs.  I'd had the other set since 1989, and I finally got tired of it.  Too big for us.  Too much for us.  We don't entertain hardly at all, and my friend was getting rid of her table and chairs, and it's the EXACT set I'd been wanting.  I got it free.  Can't beat that!  I'm going to try to sell the other set at our yard sale I plan on having in May.
Here's the new dining area:
There is a leaf for it so it can get much larger.  There are also a couple of more chairs.  I believe it can seat 6 at least.  But I love it. 
I had a little white table in my kitchen, and that is sitting in the corner now, with a table cloth over it.  It looks very quaint.
In the very left side of this photo above, you can see a light wood - that's the china cabinet that went with the old dining set.  I need to get something to replace it but am hoping for something that will look more country and will go with the eclectic feel of the house (that I'm trying to achieve).  The current china cabinet is full of stuff, even tho I got rid of a lot of it.  I don't know what I'll put there yet.  I'm keeping my eyes open.
If you see in the photo above, I have a little heart shaped mirror and 2 sconces next to it - and the mirror is reflecting light in the shape of a heart on the wall.  :-)  I also love my lace curtains. I got the lace when we were living in Germany and I carry those curtains everywhere with me!

So I'm very pleased with how the house is coming together - even tho it's taken me 7 years!  Finally, I feel like I'm getting comfortable here. It was very  much like moving, but we didn't change homes - just the view inside the home!

Today I have lunch with the girls - and we always have a good time.

We've finally had some very much needed rain.  Luckily, we haven't gotten the snow but it's not far away - up in the mountains, just West of us, and up North thru PA and NY.  I'm just grateful it's only rain here!  Cold, but rain is good, snow is NOT - not this time of year!

Busy week this week so off I go to get moving on my projects.  A quilt to be quilted, and I need to get a warp on the loom, and I babysit on Weds.  A dr. appt tomorrow for my 6 month post-op checkup.  Praying all is well.....................

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Flowers, Photos, Friends

Went to have lunch at Jans again.  Yum.  :-)  Lunch with friends, good food, and great photo ops.  Can't ask for a better day than that!
I'll get right to it.  Jan belongs to a garden club.  She got this gorgeous bouquet yesterday, in the most beautiful cobalt blue vase.  The vase didn't photograph very well.  Ok, let's be honest, it's the photographer's fault, but hey, I am learning! :-)

We had a good breakfast and a great visit.  Thanks Jan and Lynn for making my morning so lovely!  :-)


Monday, April 16, 2012

Camera fun

Yesterday was a pretty nice day, but a little humid.  No rain unfortunately.
After walking with the dogs, helping the dog trainer move a couple of tents around on the property, and having a snack inside, we left there, brought the dogs home, changed and washed up, and went back into town.  We had some groceries to pick up.
When we got done in town, we came home and it was already mid-afternoon.  We just chilled and took it easy.  I caught up on things online, and watched some t.v.  I got chilly (when the air is on in the summer, and I'm not doing much, I tend to get cold) so I went outside on the porch and took the dogs and the camera.
I found my macro button.  I played with the light settings.  I also played with some of the other settings.  I have found that I like the Auto Mode as it's my friend and makes pictures better. :-)

These are my absolute FAVORITE tho................
With no Exposure Compensation  Black faces are hard to catch the light!
Played with the Exposure Compensation

The most beautiful face in the world!
I love you mommy!

The breeze kicked up and.....

The squirrel was moving!

Gabbi Girl - she loves to lay in the grass on warm days

The porch is a GREAT place to sit to see lots of opportunities for photographing.
Above, you can see I played with the Exposure Compensation.  It was good for getting Evans face to lighten up, but it wasn't so good overall. 
I need a LOT of practice - learning how to adjust and play with all the functions the camera is capable of.
OH, one thing I DID do was put the camera setting on PC Mode for the photo size.  I didn't have to resize any of the photos to put here.  That was nice.  I'm not sure what that does to my photos or if it affects what I do when I print.  Does anyone else know?  Maybe I need a really good book on digital point and shoot cameras for dummies?

I also found the Macro button:
Pansy on Macro

Macro Pansy
Again, have a LOT to learn.....

Can you see the squirrel in the tree?

I decided to link up to And Then She Snapped to show off my favorite photo!  

Yesterday morning I saw the most beautiful Cardinal I've ever seen.  Huge.  Red.  Just beautiful.  I did not, however, have my camera and when I came in the house to get it, the dogs started barking up a storm outside, and scared it away.  DH says that he has seen it on the fence in the back.  I'm going to have to take my camera, and a chair, and NO dogs, and just sit outside to see if he comes back.  That will make one GORGEOUS card - IF I can get the shot!   When I saw it yesterday, it was sitting in the pine tree.  What a GREAT shot that would be for Christmas (yeah, well, there won't be any snow in the photo but who cares?).

At any rate, I had fun, it was relaxing, and I love using my camera - especially when I get the settings right!  I'm hoping to get some more photos today, but I have to bathe the little Gabbi Girl as she got into something yesterday and is a dirty mess!  She also needs another haircut.  Neither of us likes doing it, but she really doesn't like the groomer, so it's a toss up as to what's worse.  I don't like her to suffer but she hates her hair long - even if she is a full bred Maltese!  No one told HER that her hair is beautiful when it's long and flowing!  She is NOT a prissy girl in that way. LOL

Well, enough fun for this morning.  I really need to get moving and get some other things done.  The only things on my schedule this week are babysitting on Weds, and visiting with Jan on Thursday.  :-)  I'm looking forward to both.  But I'm also looking forward to some days at home and getting back to crafting!

Have yourself a fantabulous day!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Friday and Happy Finishes!

Hey there!  Today is Friday, April 13th.  Where does the time go????
This past week we celebrated Dear Hubby's birthday - which didn't include a lot of celebrating.  Let me start at the beginning.
Monday came, and DH got a phone call from his immediate boss, who told him he was resigning and going to another job.  There is a new CEO where DH works.  So things have been in a turmoil since she's turning the world upside down there.  The world there NEEDED to be turned upside down!  Too many passive people.  Anyway, the news of the resignation sort of brought up some nervousness for DH, because he wasn't sure that his job was safe.  Now his immediate boss was leaving..........
He was told that he needed to show up at the office (he works from home) on Thursday, to meet with the CEO and the CFO (financial officer).  That did NOT sound good......but we kept our heads high and thought positive thoughts.
Meanwhile, I babysat on Monday.  Which turned out really well.  My regular babysitting day was Fridays, but with summer coming and the traffic being really BAD on Fridays, I asked if I could change to Weds and that was acceptable.  Only thing was, this past Weds, I had plans I didn't want to break.  So babysitting was Monday.  Win/Win!
Tuesday was DH's birthday and I made a cheesecake. I don't make it often, because it's sooo rich and tempting (and fattening) and I don't want an entire cheesecake in the house!  I did NOT get photos - that thing disappeared quickly!  Two slices were for us that evening, and just before we sat down to eat it, the farmer up the road came by and DH offered him 2 slices (he had brought some hay for us to try out). 
Wednesday came, and it was "Lunch with the Girls" day out.  We ended up bringing food to the dog trainer's place and had lunch and walked the dogs, then ate the cheesecake I'd brought (four slices).  That left just a bit of cheesecake at home.  DH had a piece that night, and there were 2 pieces left which we finished off last night!  Sure was yummy.
Thursday I asked a friend to lunch. I'd been craving Chinese food.  Didn't NEED it, but wanted it!  It was good.  Meanwhile, DH went to his meeting, and the CEO ended up asking him to PLEASE NOT LEAVE!  That's a good thing.  At least he feels somewhat safe for awhile.  His interpretation of the CEO is a lot different than others' interpretation of interesting!  OH, the other thing that happened is, the boss that was between DH's boss (who resigned) and the CEO, told DH that she too is resigning and going to a new job.  GOOD LORD!  Mass exodus!
Today is Friday - like I said, where does the time go?????????  Today, I'm walking taking the dogs to walk at the trainer's again.  They love going and it's good for all of us.
The weekend is supposed to warm up and be nice.  I am a bit tired of the 50s and am ready for warmer nicer weather - not HOT - just a bit warmer and nicer.

Finished - I finished the towels - they are off the loom, washed, dried, hemmed, ironed.  They came out pretty well, but my sett was too loose I think.  They coulda been a bit tighter.  But I'm happy with them and I do not stress over perfection.
Here they are:
I also did something I've been waiting to do, but was afraid having some trepidation about doing.  I took the cloth that came off Lulu before I sold her, and I made a jacket from it!  I LOVE this jacket!

I WILL be making more of these.  One in purples because a large part of my wardrobe is purple, and one in a light cotton for summer.  It was SO stinking easy !!!!  I could see making some and trying to sell them!

Anyway, that's it for me today. I have a lot to do and so little time to do it in.
Have yourself a GREAT day.  And never ever spend time stressing the little things!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

I hope you are enjoying this day, if you celebrate Easter or not!
We went for a walk at the trainer's place.  There is a hill.  We walk down, we walk around, then we walk UP.  It's really UP.

Hill to the left
This is the hill, facing left from the bottom - actually, I wasn't at the very bottom....

Center of the hill
This is the hill in the center.  It's really the steepest part I think.---->

Hill to the right

This is the hill to the right.  It's a very large pasture - used to be for horses.  Now it's for dogs.  I love it!

Pack walk
The pack, walking ---->

Evan (the cute black and white one)

The dogs love it.  I love it.  It's a good walk.  I can only do this walk as long as it's cool outside.  I wear layers.  By the time I'm done walking up that hill at the end, I've usually stripped down to the bottom layer which is usually a short sleeved shirt. 
Then we sit on the picnic tables and rest. 

It's nice.  Friends.  Dogs walking off leash.  Sunshine.  When it gets hot, I'll be hitting the gym and doing my walking without the dogs. 
But for now, we're enjoying this!!!

I hope you guys had as nice a day as I did.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Hey there.  Yep, it's me again. I know, don't fall over....
I was able to get some good flower photos yesterday.  I really am trying to move away from flowers, and toward other subjects, but the flowering bushes are SO beautiful in spring.........sigh.......

So here they are:
This bush is in the front of our property, behind our mailbox.  When you drive up the main road before turning onto our road, you can see this bush for about a week in spring - from a mile back.  It's SO pretty!  The close ups came out well so I chose to use this photo today as the entire bush hasn't bloomed out yet.  The bad part about white is, when it start dying out, it's pretty ugly!

White beauties
This is a wider shot of the same bush.  Look at all the blooms that haven't even opened yet!
More of the bush
The lady that built this house planted a ton of azaleas ~ they aren't my favorite, but they are pretty enough.  Some more than others.

The pink bush out in front also.  Huge flowers!
 My favorite of all time - because of the smell and the color! PURPLE!  :-)

And just because I love them, another shot.
More lilacs
I like how the flowers are hanging.  I think it's because we've been getting freezes at night and the bushes are having a difficult time holding up. 

I came home from walking the dogs at the trainers yesterday, and as I parked the car, the birds were here.  I couldn't resist.
Love birds
A bird in a bush is worth 2 in the hand?  Or do I have that backwards???  lol
Bird in a bush
That's about it for me for now. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Where does the time go???

This week, I'd planned on getting a LOT done.  Yeah, right.  Ha ha.
It has flown by and here it is Thursday already!
I haven't finished some of the projects I'd planned on doing.
But, I did get to babysit yesterday (no new pics - that little girl is BUSY).
I also got to START the leash and halter project I wanted to make.  If I can get it finished this morning today, I will be happy!
No quilting work has been done.
No weaving has been done.
I did, however, go to my friends Jan's house on Monday.  The weather wasn't 100% great, but it got better as the day went on.  Jan is watching three of our friend/dog trainer's dogs while she is at dog training camp for 5 days. She's instructing there.  The same camp I want to go to - maybe - next Spring.  At any rate, the dogs are all lovely and I had fun photographing them after we had a simple lunch of chicken salad and chips!  Oh, and those chocolate chunk cookies for dessert!  :-)

The following photos are only a few of what I took that day.  I just don't have time today to put them all up, and I want to spread out the posts.  So enjoy!
Old Canoe


Cute perch

Modern with a view


Single family home
Jan has all these wonderful birdhouses all over the place.  I just fell in love with them.  I couldn't get enough! 

Today I'm going out to the dog trainers place to walk my dogs off leash.  We haven't been all week (my plan had been to go on Monday and Tues, today and tomorrow).  The dogs LOVE it.  It's good for all of us.  It's cool today with a slight breeze but sunny - good weather for me to walk.  Pollen is horrible - everything is green.  I have been taking Clariton and at first I didn't think it was helping.  I still get icky stuff in my throat, and nose, but haven't been sneezing or choking half as much as I was at first.  I'm not totally allergy symptom free, but I'm happy enough with the results.

I need to go get ready and get some things done around here!
Have a GREAT day everyone.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Weekend Past

This past weekend was pretty nice.  The weather was a bit cloudy, and that tends to make me a bit grumpy.  I do well in sunshine, not so well in cloudy, dreary light.  Makes me cloudy and dreary as well.  But this was a productive weekend, so it's all good.
Yesterday we attended the gym for the first time.  It was rough, but I took it easy - I am not going to push myself.  I used to push myself, but now, when I do, I just give up way too easy.  So I rode the bike, did a weight machine, and called it done when I felt a little dizzy............

We spent some time driving to the city, and I asked good hubby to drive a back road so I could get a couple of photos of a shed/barn that I had seen before.  With him driving, I can get the shot from the car.  He's funny tho - he doesn't just pull over, he wants to slow down and wait for someone to come along so he can move out.  If he'd just pull over, we could stay there and traffic coming behind us could go 'round.  Ah, men.  Love them....
So, here are my photos.  I'm still working with this new I took the first one and realized it was on "close up/flower" mode.  It still came out.....
Not bad for the wrong setting, in a car that was running and vibrating, and a gloomy day to boot.  I know the experts tend to say the photos come out truer on cloudy days, but I just don't get it.  I like sunny days, where everything is lit up by the sun.

Then we did a U-turn, went up the road a piece, and turned around again, to go by again (we were going in the opposite direction of home).  I got 2 more photos before a car drove up behind us.  Here is that photo:

I love the above photo because of the bright green tree and grass.  It is certainly spring here, and everything is so bright and new looking - even tho it's a gloomy day!  :-)

So these photos were my Saturday Shots.  I'm trying very hard to continue to practice my photography every day, and if I don't, then at least a few times a week!  There is only one way to get better........keep shooting!  My new attraction is barns so I'll be stopping along the way to shoot barns and old out-buildings.  There are lots of them around here. 

Sunday, we went into town (city is 45 mins away, town is 20 mins away).  We got a few things at different stores, nothing perishable that couldn't sit in the car for a bit, then went to the gym.  After the gym, I knew I had to get a few things done around here.  I tend to be lazy.....

The list included giving Gabbi the Maltese her much needed bath and a hair cut.  She hates going to the groomer - last time I took her, she shook for an hour after I picked her up.  Poor baby.  She doesn't behave very well, and good hubby helped by holding her for me.  She looks very pretty now.  No photo - maybe I'll snap one of her and put it up later. I'm getting better at making her look good and not like a lawn mower got hold of her!

Then I wanted to do some baking.  One of the things we bought at the store were Pillsbury dough sheets.  They come in small rectangular sheets.  Of course, I didn't take pics of the beginning of the process - I was cooking the filling, baking cookies (those come later - for desert!) and trying to get this dough ready.  So I'll just have to talk you thru the first steps - which aren't hard.

Open the container and pull out the dough.  I put it on parchment paper.  I have very limited counter space and I didn't have anywhere I could throw a little flour down, so parchment paper to the rescue!  I gently unrolled the dough, and sort of patted it out flat, so the long side was on the top and bottom, the narrower side on the left and right.  I used a sharp knife and sliced down the center from top to bottom.  I then sliced those two halves into half.  I now have 4 rectangles.  I then sliced from left to right, splitting the dough into 3rds in that direction, so I had 12 pieces.

Meanwhile, I had taken a 12 cup cupcake pan, flipped it upside down, and sprayed the pan with non-stick buttery spray.  Not a lot, just enough so these things wouldn't stick!  When I got the cutting done, I gently stretched each square of dough, and placed it over the cupcake tin bottom.  You don't want any holes, and you want the sides to stretch a little so they are almost the same size as the corners which are longer.

I stuck them in a 375 degree oven, and baked them.  I believe I only baked them for about 12 mins but I was keeping a very close eye on them.  I'm notorious for burning stuff!  When they were nicely golden, I took them out.  Those things looked SO yummy!

So now you have little cups to place food in.

I decided I wanted to brown up some ground chicken, adding Worcestershire sauce, a little salt and pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.  I didn't have any onion in the house or I'd have added some.  I then dumped in some leftover frozen veggies I had in baggies in the freezer.  There were peas and carrots, and a little bit of mixed veggies with some corn and beans, peas and carrots.  After the meat was brown, I added the veggies, covered and let cook for about 10 minutes.  The steam from covering helps the veggies cook thru.
When that was done, I added some sharp cheddar cheese and some mozzarella cheese on top, covered for a few mins till that melted.  Yummy!

It's kinda like having pizza, only no tomatoes or sauce.  But if you wanted to, you could certainly add that!

Once the shells were all flipped over, I told good hubby dinner was done!

Yes, that's a Dixie plate.  I eat off paper and good hubby eats everything out of a bowl.  We're weird.  We eat off dinner plates when company is here, so it's ok.  :-)

Two of these were very filling and I hadn't eaten lunch.  There were enough of these little pastry cups that I'm taking them to my friend's house today.  She's making chicken salad and I told her I'd bring bread!

I have seen this idea of the cups baked on upside down cupcake tins somewhere - a magazine or blog or something.  I can't remember where, so I can't give credit.  I also don't take credit - except for remembering it's something I wanted to do!  ha!

As I said above, I was also baking cookies at the same time.  My kitchen is really lacking in counter space so it was tricky doing all this at once.....
But here are the cookies, some of which are also going to my friends house when I go for lunch today!

These are made with all whole wheat flour.  And chocolate chunks instead of chips.  OMG they are good.  I was a bit afraid - the dough was REAL dry with all that whole wheat flour.....but they came out very good!

I also managed to finish my towels! YAY!  Well, they aren't "finished" finished - but they are off the loom and I'm going to wash and dry the fabric today, with some other fabric I'd done for making a piece of clothing.  When I'm done with the washing and drying, we'll see how it all comes out.  I think I didn't do a tight enough sett on the towels and they seem a bit flimsy to me, but it's cotton and I'll wash it in hot water and see what happens.  It should full out and thicken up some.  I'll have pics when those are really FINISHED - hems and all.  I'll work on those this week.

Speaking of this week, I'm missing out on a dog camp that I really wanted to go to but simply could NOT see spending the money on.  $675 just for the camp training and another $500+ for the lodging.  Eeks.  There is a shorter camp I can travel to in October and it's going to cost $325 so I'll do that one and then possibly I'll save up for the next spring camp in 2013.  It's a year away and God only knows what can happen in a year!  But it's something to work toward - work on not spending on stuff I don't need and on trying to be thriftier.

On another note, I've not sold anything on my website and I'm rather discouraged.  I am not losing hope, but the other two artists haven't sold anything either.  I'll be working on finishing one of my lap quilts this week, and I'll also start another quilt.  They are so easy - the hardest part is placing the squares where I think they look best.  ha ha. I'll put the quilts up on the site also, and see how that goes.....

I have a hankering to make a dog harness for little Gabbi, and a leash to match, so that's another project I want to mind just never stops!

I have hospital volunteering with Evan tomorrow afternoon, so I'll have to bathe him and groom him up pretty.  It's the only day I signed up for this month as I have so many things I really want to do, and new dog classes will be starting soon.  We're going back to basics and doing Obedience 1 and I can learn better how to handle him.  I get frustrated when he won't stay in a sit or down position when I tell him to.  We need to go back to basics, and meanwhile we'll still do the fun stuff like nose fun and tricks.

Wow, I've rambled.  Sorry about that.  I tend to go in spurts there ya go - photos, lots of words, and the story of my life as it is today!