Monday, January 14, 2013

Hello, my friend, Hello.

 For those of you who just started singing the song, either out loud or in your head,  100 bonus points!   (The bonus points aren't really good for anything, but didn't you just give yourself a little mental pat on the back and a big "Bonus points!?!  Yay, Me!"?)

So....  My husband tells me that because it's been 8 months since I last posted on this blog, I can't really call myself a blogger.  In response, I say that in a court of law I believe I could successfully argue that it's only been 7 3/4 months.  Therefore, my resume will continue to say "blogger".  (Who am I kidding??  I don't have a resume.) 

I guess a lot has happened in the past 8 months 7 3/4 months.  Mostly, the mundane, everyday stress-inducing responsibilities of life that seem to get in the way of all the fun stuff  (you know, increased work hours, increased household clutter and chaos, increased dirty laundry, decreased energy -- and please tell me, where is my house elf?).  And just like with everyone else, there have also been some overwhelming major things that have happened (serious illnesses amid unexpected life detours).  Some things that make you want to say, "Was this hidden in the fine print?  I don't believe I  signed up for this!"   I guess that you could say that life has continued these past 7 3/4 months even without any blog postings from me. 

So, my creativity has not been quite up to par recently...  Although, I have practiced some creativity with my finances - just the other day I asked the Discover Card guy if I could pay my bill with my MasterCard.    While my own creativity has obviously been suffering, I have been copying getting inspired by other blogs.  Here are a few things I copied made within the past month or so....

I saw this blog post several months ago and knew that I had to make one for Sarah.  She has been obsessed with foxes for quite a while.  

I think it turned out pretty cute.  


A word of advice from my own experience, before you proudly admire how securely and perfectly you have sewn the legs onto the fox, verify that you have secured the legs to the proper side of the fox.  And, by that I mean, make sure you put the legs on the right side of the fabric.  

The front legs of the fox looked great!  Then I realized that my sly fox appeared to have eaten his own hind legs.  Silly fox!  And I thought I was doing so well!    So, my handy-dandy seam ripper was put to good use.  When I was all done, all of the fox's appendages were attached properly.  

To say Sarah is a Harry Potter fan is an extreme understatement.  She is absolutely a fanatical freak!  So, when I saw this, I HAD to make it.  I also made one for my niece who is only slightly less freakishly fanatical about Hogwarts.  (Love ya, J!..... You freak!)

If you do not know what this is, minus 1,000 house points!

I also made this frog hat for my Mother-in-law. 

Ribbit!  Ribbit!
Aren't they both SO cute!?!

My sister gave me a bunch of these cute jars.  I think they are very cute with their red and white gingham lid.  I used a few to hold buttons and beads in my sewing room.  

I found inspiration here for the other jars she gave me (did I mention she gave me a bunch of them?).  This is what I came up with.  I think they are really cute!  

Well, like I said, I haven't done all that much in 8 months  7 3/4 months. My New Year's Resolution (it's not too late to make one of those, is it?) is to do more creative stuff and make more posts. So, if all goes well, many more interesting things will be up here soon!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Girl can Dream!

I think all kids have a dream of what they want to be or do when they grow up.  How about you??  What did you want to be??

Some of those dreams never really die, they just continue into adulthood.  

When I was a kid, I had several ideas of what I was going to be.   
          #1.  I was going to be a race car driver!
          #2.  I was going to be a famous singer!

This is nice!  My current race car is more of the family sedan variety. 
I could totally be a rock star like her!

I know I'll never achieve these childhood dreams, but I continue to enjoy my delusional thoughts. 

For instance, I feel like AM a race car driver every day on my drive home from work.  There is a particular "fly-over" ramp that causes everyone to slow down.  NOT ME!  I take that thing at 60 miles per hour (please note that is the speed limit), passing all the slowpokes, and loving every minute of it!  (I think I should explain here that the whole reason the "fly-over" ramp was created was to cause traffic NOT to  slow-down, so by utilizing my race car driver expertise, I am actually just reinforcing the effectiveness and superior designing skills of our state-employed traffic engineers.  See, I can justify the need to drive like a race car driver in almost any situation!)  

Although, my age, maturity, and the acute fear of physical harm severely limits my race car driving experiences.  Let me reassure you, I am a completely safe driver. 

And...  My dream of being a famous singer is alive and well (at least while driving in my race car!).  You see, I am a total rock star when I am alone in my car.  I can sing as loud as I want and whatever I want and nobody complains.  If I don't know the correct words, I just make up my own words!  Yes, ONLY when I am alone because I sound GREAT!..... to myself.  and only to myself.  

Really, the only thing holding me back as a rock star is my extreme lack of talent...  and my own insecurities....  and stage fright.  

But, seriously, I could totally be a famous singer! 

So, you may be wondering why I am telling you all this.  

It's because my husband, Andy, has a childhood dream that has recently been partially fulfilled.  

He has always dreamed of being an airplane pilot.  Well, we have a friend, Kenny G (no, not THAT Kenny G) who is a private pilot.  Although, maybe if I had become a famous singer THAT Kenny G might have been our friend.

Kenny G goes flying at least once a month for several hours at a time.  He often takes people up with him.  Kenny has taken Andy with him twice now. (I went this last time too!)

Both times, Kenny has allowed Andy to take the controls.  (Of course, under Kenny's supervision at all times)

So, Andy's dream has been partially fulfilled...  He realizes that he is NOT a pilot, but he pretends to be one when he goes flying with Kenny G.  

So, although the day was overcast and we flew through rain part of the time, it was a really cool experience!   I gotta say, I was truly impressed by Andy's flying skills! 

Kenny G doing the pre-flight inspection.

Checking the oil.  Or the gas.  OK, he's checking something.
We are ready for take-off!

We just took flight - looking for our house...

Found our friend's house!
There's our house!
Andy has taken the controls!
Yeah, pay attention to that... whatever it is. 
I don't know exactly where we are, but we're flying!

I found this patch of green in the middle of the trees intriguing.  I don't know what it is or how anybody gets there - there doesn't appear to be a road! 

A nuclear power plant.
Don't worry, we weren't really that close. 

Kenny G is consulting the map!?!  Should I be concerned?

I like the lines in the dirt. 
Did you see me fly the plane???  Huh??
More lines in the dirt.

We landed in small airport in the middle of the state. 
On the way home we flew through some rain.  Kenny G took the controls. 
Our fearless leader!

Notice the horizon in this photo.
... and now the other way.
.... and back again.   Anyone feeling a little sick yet?
We leveled out. 
I have no idea what this is, but it looks cool. 
I know the people who live there!
This was right before we landed. 
We landed!  Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing.  :-)

Andy had a great time!

Have you ever read a book or seen a movie where the handsome leading man whisks away the beautiful leading lady on a plane, has an utterly romantic meal, and then returns home a few hours later?

Well, I have now experienced that! 

OK, so, in my story...
          the Handsome leading man = Andy 
          the Beautiful leading lady = ME 
          the Utterly romantic meal = local pizza joint 

OK, not exactly the same, but a girl can dream, can't she??

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

When I was growing up, my siblings and I weren't allowed to drink soda - soda was for grown ups.  We drank water or milk.  And occasionally kool-aid.  


Delicious flavors! 

Awesomely creative names! 

Beautifully vivid colors! 

Copious amounts of sugar! 

What's NOT to love?!?

Now that I'm a grown up, Mountain Dew is my drink of choice!  Just hook me up to an IV of Mountain Dew and let it drip all day long! 

Although I do still love kool-aid. 

And there's another reason to love kool-aid... you can use kool-aid to dye fabrics and yarns.  Who knew?

Well, I guess most parents, including my parents, already knew that kool-aid stains.  That's why we weren't allowed to drink our kool-aid in the carpeted living room, sitting on the couch.        hmmmmmm........go figure!

Well, Sarah knitted some scarves using wool yarn with the sole purpose of experimenting with kool-aid dying.  

We seem to have misplaced the before photo......  Just imagine off-white, boring-but-beautifully-knitted scarves.    :-)

                 Aren"t they pretty??

We checked out several websites about kool-aid dying.  We evaluated all the info and then did our own thing.  (good thing we did that research, huh?)

We found there are two choices to "set the color" - using heat or using a mordant (an acid to secure the color).  We thought we would go ahead and use heat AND use vinegar as our acid.   Better safe than sorry. 

I like to think I am mostly on top of things.  I have my act together.  

My delusion was completely shattered when we got the vinegar from the pantry...

Yes, the date on the vinegar bottle is August 6, 1999.  I am going with that as the date it was bottled and NOT the expiration date.  Although, with that as the bottle date, I'm pretty sure the expiration date is long gone! 

But, really, does vinegar go bad?  I'm not sure if it smells bad.  It smells very vinegar-y.   Doesn't vinegar always smell bad?

We decided since we weren't going to drink the kool-aid, it would be fine to use.

Anyway, who really uses vinegar?  The only reasons I can think of to use vinegar is to make pickles (we just buy them) or to dye Easter eggs (we don't eat hard boiled eggs so we don't dye eggs - we prefer the plastic eggs filled with candy).  

So, yeah, I guess I am really NOT on top of things.  

     The vinegar is not from THIS decade.

      It's not even from LAST decade.

     or even THIS MILLENNIUM! 

      It's from the 1990s.

      Really? ... Well, we are using it anyway.  

So, Sarah chose from the kool-aid flavors/colors that we had on hand.  

 In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that some of the kool-aid packets from my pantry had the collectible kool-aid points on them.  Remember those?  Again, I am so NOT of top of things!  What year did they stop putting the points on those packets anyway? ...      Please don't judge me!   

Having disclosed that information about me and my household there is no need to worry if you've eaten at my house or plan to in the future.........don't worry.  The items that we consume regularly, are used in a timely manner (obviously not vinegar or kool-aid though). I save all the expired food items for the household residents.  :-) 

So...  Back to the kool-aid dying -

We decided to use a jar for each scarf / color.  We put in the kool-aid powder (no sugar necessary,  after all, we aren't going to drink it), vinegar, and enough water to completely cover the scarf. 
We started out measuring the vinegar / kool-aid / water ratio very carefully.  After all, this was an experiment - you know, like science.  We quickly moved on to the "Rachael Ray" way to measure (which is really not measuring at all - a splash of this - a splash of that).  

Kool-Aid powder  -  NO sugar!


Measured carefully!
Mix together....

Will the scarf fit into the jar?

It fits!!

we added water to cover the scarf. 

Blue  and  Orange


Sarah!  Don't Drink the Kool-Aid!

What do you mean? Don't Drink the Kool-Aid??  What?  Is that a movie quote??

 We then placed the jars into a pan of water on the stove.

We had to use a second pan. 

 We heated the water until the liquid in each jar was clear.  It was like magic!  The scarves absorbed the color and the remaining liquid was clear.  The websites we researched said this would happen, but I didn't believe it until I actually saw it with my own eyes. 

We rinsed out the scarves and then hung them up to dry.  

Of course, we hung them in the bathroom.  Where else would you hang them??

How did Sarah get in the picture?

And this is what they look like after the kool-aid!  

We had fun playing with the Kool-aid!