October 29, 2009

easy and cheap christmas gift....

i just finished making this organizer. it's actually a gift for my cousin, for christmas. she is so quirky and fun... i know she'll adore this. she can use it as a storage bin for magazines or in her closet... or as an organizer in the back of her car!

i picked up some vintage record albums at goodwill. .25 cents each. i knew what i'd be doing with them, so i looked for "theme" albums. i bought five of them. four sides and a bottom. then tonight after dinner, while brad was watching fox news (is there any other?) i marked off one inch dots and brad paper punched them for me.

this is a snap, looking down inside.

i used heavy orange rope type twine, to reinforce the sides and bottom.... i went over it twice. just to be sure it was good and strong.

the project took me about an hour and a half... and happy me, i have one fun box to fill for my cousin for christmas! i am sort of itching to get back to goodwill and look for more that i can whip up! smile, wink, nod.

October 28, 2009

pumpkin cookies and pumpkin pot holder!

today, i followed in my fall tradition of baking pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. i actually made jumbo pumpkin chocolate chippers. i dropped these with a huge spoon... and baked them for 20 minutes. here's the recipe: pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! i doubled the recipe and ended up freezing two large ziplock baggies of the dough.

in between our homeschool classes, i sat and made this happy pumpkin pot holder, from 100% recycled wool. it was originally going to be a pillow, but... i have way to much clutter sitting around... and ugh, so well.... i thought, maybe a pot holder would be nice. and it is. i used it when i pulled out my piping hot, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. smile, wink, nod.

October 26, 2009

let's go shopping!
visit my etsy shop: click here!
visit my ebay page: click here!
i'll be adding more soon! smile, wink, nod!

October 25, 2009

seeds. do you save them? i do. if you do too, check out this site for free printable seed packets. some are well, sort of tacky... others quite cute. click here: free printable seed packets!
other late saturday night and sunday stuff: watched the movie (disney's) three musketeers, boy scout event: launching rockets, quirky church, a sunday morning visit at the in-laws with tim horton's pumpkin doughnuts and muffins, cut and hoping to root four mulberry trees, homeschool lesson planning, major grocery shopping, grilled pork chops on bbq, carved a pumpkin, two loads of laundry, baked and froze squash, packaged ebay and etsy stuff up, made homemade fabric softener. looking ahead for tonight: hot shower with good lotion follow-up, nice soft pillow, lots of soft blankets and a good book!

October 24, 2009

6 really creepy places for me....

i found a fun little saturday meme and thought i'd give it a try...
it's called the saturday six: name six places you find really creepy and why:
1. unfinished michigan basements. the kind that have dirt floors and old stone walls. they smell moldy. and, i'm afraid of mice and critters that may be lurking.
2. old attics. i'm always afraid a bat will fly and get tangled in my locks.
3. downtown detroit and downtown flint. both are so dirty and depressing.... so many abandoned buildings and graffiti.
4. houses that have junk and trash in their yard. the kind that have pumpkins still on their porch in december. and their plastic petunia plant hanger with dried flowers hanging out of it... with snow blanketing them. how hard is it to take it to the trash???
5. it's really creepy to be in outhouses at my son's boy scout camp. i'm sure you agree.
6. and lastly, it's creepy for me to be in a slaughter house or where they're processing raw meat. it's just not a pretty place to be for me. and the smell is just way to much. weak stomach defines me.

October 23, 2009

plucking feathers!

yesterday, for self-directed un-homeschooling, we decided to pluck feathers off a wild turkey. which had been roadkill. we'll be using the feathers today in one of the classes i teach at our homeschool co-op. it was amazing how God made this critter... the feathers are so beautiful... like He took a paintbrush to them. shades of beautiful blue and all shades of brown. what a sensational mix! and to see how strategically placed each feather is woven into the spine! will be using some of the skin and bones for further science study. we also found a dead frog... which will be perfect to dissect. it's in my freezer, marked: frog.
happy friday.

October 22, 2009

wild turkey and green friendly rebel!

i just made a batch of these 100% recycled wool pin cushions! they were a blast to make... deciding on colors and recycled thread! the process of felting the fabric together wasn't green friendly... my whirlpool dryer can vouch for that... but sometimes a girl and her dryer, has to rebel against green in the name of cuteness.

below: a snap of the top. which is silly-cute. and frankly, the most interesting part of the palm-sized craft.

hopefully, i'll be selling some of these in my etsy shop. if not, i know the ladies in my circle would appreciate them for a little extra christmas gift.

now... it's off on a homeschool fieldtrip. tommie and i will be dissecting a wild turkey and plucking it's feathers this morning. it was roadkill. and the person who found it thought we would just love using it for a homeschool lesson. you bet your sweet bippy, we'll be taking pictures... stay tuned.

October 20, 2009

garden organizer!

whenever i'm outside working in the gardens, i'm always wishing i had an apron on, so i can carry supplies in. recently, at the salvation army, i found this garden-green tote for $2.99. it's a heavy canvas... perfect for outdoor toting! now.... let's take a look at what's inside:

see right there? that's one of my homemade fingerless gloves that i embellished with a funky felt patch! fingerless gloves are so nice to use outside in michigan! and fun to make, too!

now... what else is in my little garden tote? pistachio colored spray paint, empty and clean baby food jars for seed storing, scissors, clippers, cell phone, digital camera, large lime green paper bag for gathering glad bulbs and sweet annie seeds.

how did i ever live without this? smile, wink, nod.

October 19, 2009

yesterday, finally.... we had a nice fall day in michigan. it's been below normal for like 21 days or so. after a beautiful morning at our spunky church; where they played "me and becky," (click on me and becky for the lyrics)...hard and loud... i opted to spend the day outside in my gardens plucking dry flower seeds, digging up glads and cleaning my garden knick-knacks up for the winter.

our family of sandhill cranes came by to visit. they love our field. this is the third year in a row they've stopped by...before heading south.

we have a ton of these beautiful wild grapes growing along our property line. i need to google how to dye with them. they are much to precious not to use in someway.

this is one of my favorite scrubby trees on our property line. it has beautiful springtime blossoms and in the fall, beautiful hard orange berries. if you know what this is... please let me know. rhonda, if you're out there.... any ideas?
verses based on our church service:
acts 20:35, matthew 19:27-30, matthew 25:21 and mark8:35

October 16, 2009


now playing: i rented the movie the "witness," from our library... with harrison ford... young harrison ford. the movie was recommended by our pastor last sunday. we watched a you tube video during the service... and it looked interesting.

dinner was: homemade minestrone soup and salad and bakery bread. no, i didn't have any bread. still staying away from carbs.

latest craft: the penny rug pin cushion in the snap above. i made it at one of my mom's classes.

best phone call today: when the library called to tell me my loaned books were in! nice, big order.

very cool freebie: red gold's free tote bag. click here!

weird reoccurring dream: more like a nightmare.... i've had several dreams in a row that i'm at our homeschool co-op and i've not prepared for either of the classes i teach.

what i think of balloon boy and his family? i think it's a hoax. did you see the young boy get sick to his stomach on national television this morning? i'm thinking child protection needs to get their head out of the sand and start interrogating.


October 15, 2009

1. today is day five of my protein-vegetable-fruit and nut only diet. i don't believe i've lost a pound. but, i feel healthy and like i'm doing my body good.

2. i burnt a new candle today... gingerbread latte, a birthday gift from my cousin.

3. i started a fun new felt craft! but, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see it.

4. yesterday i enjoyed spending time at my mom's rug hooking guild. she taught a class on penny rug pin cushions. i'll post the picture of the one i made soon.

5. one of my favorite mag's came in the mail, today: martha stewart's body and soul.

6. it's really hard not to reach and eat the homemade sugar cookies i baked for the boys. see #1.

7. i went to a moving sale today. surprisingly, brad told me about it and said i should go to it. i found a antique child's rocking chair that i'll shabby-up and a few other novelty items... which i'll be sure to share soon.

8. tried to watch marley and me this week, (yes janet m., i am a dog lover), but it skipped half way through it and we were unable to finish it.

9. homeschooling was uneventful. dictation works well for us. and boy scout merit badges are an excellent homeschool subject!

10. our three sandhill cranes have returned to our field. each year in october, they stop over and rest for a few days before migrating south. they are an amazing bird. what a blessing for us to observe. it's honestly, hard to get anything done when they're strutting around just yards outside the window.

11. i highly suggest the family read aloud: the 21 balloons. it's fantastic!

12. it's taking me forever to read, "miss julia paints the town," but i'm plugging away and it is very good. it's just i have little extra time to read.

13. church has been a thought-provoking series. it's been centered around finance, retirement, global financial problems and local financial problems. it's interesting and makes me wonder what i can do for the children living in landfills on a different continent? i'm thinking of a homemade doll making night... maybe i could get a group of friends together and we could make homemade soft dolls for the innocent young girls to love on? what do you think?

October 14, 2009

i'm falling more and more in love with banged up shabby chic. if only the vintage items could talk... and tell me about their history. where they came from. who owned them. and how they got in such a weathered condition. maybe that's the same reason i like people with a colorful past...they have such depth compared to people who haven't experienced as much life. is there a correlation of the two? ahhhh... deep thinking on wednesday night. smile, wink, nod.

October 13, 2009

30-second seed bottle!

i love quick crafts.
i love thrifty-recycled crafts.
and, i love stupid humor. that said, i recycled this vinegar bottle into a dried flower seed container. i'll sprinkle the variety of seeds in my wildflower bed in the spring. i crudely cut up a vintage cowboy magazine, dotted the black and white picture with pastel chalk and slapped some modge podge on it. i honestly think the whole project took 30 seconds. the seed bottle now sits on my basement shelf, in my pantry...eagerly waiting for spring. smile, wink, nod!

October 12, 2009

my own made-up meme on monday!

"my own made-up meme on monday"
what i'm wearing: bluejeans, brad's sweatshirt inside out, a bath towel wrapped around my neck, hair color on my head waiting to be washed out.
the last thing i ate: popcorn made with olive oil
when i look right i see: empty popcorn bowls, ice water, redbox dvd, tasha tudor old fashioned christmas gifts on loan from the library.
when i look left i see: a stack of clothes i should be listing on ebay: victoria's secret, nick and nora and sigrid olsen.
my least favorite thing i did today: dishes!
my favorite thing i did today: read chapter three in "the 21 balloons," our homeschool unit study! it's a very roald dahl type novel... which we love! quirky!
what i think about obama's nobel peace prize: i'm just glad he decided to donate the 1.4 million. and how come nancy palosi didn't qualify?
favorite latest quote: from mother teresa, "peace starts with a smile."
something i learned today: that the first hot air balloon was launched in france... and a duck, chicken and sheep were the first passengers.
pet peeve: when my car is dirty on the inside.
favorite beatles song: when i'm 64..... will you still need me?
something i cannot tolerate: leaving home without my sunglasses, wasting valuable time, and lazy mornings.
that said.... it's time to wash my hair color of my head before it turns green, take a hot shower and watch our redbox movie, "marley and me."
(note: picture above is a pumpkin tea bread, which i made for the family. yes, it was as good as it looks! smile, wink, nod.)

October 11, 2009

the other day... i said to myself, "why don't you try the homemade farmhouse cracker recipe in the new maryjanes farm magazine?" never in my wildest, did i ever consider making and baking crackers. but, since i had all of the ingredients and nothing to serve with my homemade vegetable minestrone soup... i thought i'd give it a try. two words: very easy! and, my son loved them. my husband is used to the commercial kind, but he munched a few to be kind. i hope you don't mind... i'm not typing out the recipe, because i'm too comfy in my living room chair to get up and go get the magazine to copy... instead click here- this nice blogger has done my work for me. (note: i used wholewheat flour and olive oil).

i've found a couple of really nice recipe blogs!
freezer recipes, crockpot recipes and more!

  • not a recipe site... but get this, every monday they have a new printable christmas pattern for you to print off! fun!

happy sunday night.

October 10, 2009

my cyber friend Janet M... told me to google maryjanes farm bed and breakfast. so i did. my heart skipped not one but many beats, when i clicked on the slideshow or snaps. seriously, and i am... i had to remind myself to breathe. just breathe. the rates are awesome! the meals look incredible and the shabby chic furnishings are to die for. not to mention the romantic scenery! i only wish i lived closer... i would surely visit there... and of course with a few good historical fictions and plenty of crafts. and, i'm sort of into sole-journ's. i'll be honest, which i always am, i would even work for free.. as a maid or cook... just so i could be in that environment.
don't waste anymore time on my blog...

October 09, 2009

sweet annie!

i never knew about head vases... until a family friend showed me her collection. i've been to a good many thrift shops, on a regular basis and never-ever saw one. well, until last week. i don't really think this is worth anything.... since it doesn't have any markings on the bottom of it. i'll tell you what, though... it's the sweetest darn thing i've bought lately! .49 cents. i stuffed a small bouquet of sweet annie in her head... peer in close and you can see. in fact, i think i'll name her sweet annie. her home is now on my kitchen windowsill, and i look forward to her holding seasonal flowers for me to enjoy... while i do dishes.

yesterday, i took final cuts of my sweet annie, gathered them in bunches and tied with raffia... to be hung on your door, instead of a wreath. i need a few small thank-you gifts and will give these plus a large sunflower head (for the birds)...as my token of appreciation.
yesterday, tommie and i went to a garage sale...he was after a dump trailer for his lawnmower. which had been sold before we got there.... long story.. he's been working for our neighbors rabbit farm, i call it a hatchery, for over a month. everyday after homeschool lessons, he heads over on his tractor and works around the farm... moving rabbits, sorting rabbits, feeding and watering and general barn work. he works on the average 2 hours a day, sometimes 3. it's always been my dream for him to work at a young age. work ethics, common sense, and responsibility are big on our list here. and the education he is getting on the farm, doesn't even come close to what a classroom could offer. plus, his wallet is getting fatter and i think he likes that the most!!
smile, wink, nod.

October 08, 2009

yesterday, i finished up a couple of shabby chic pillows, that i've been working on. i'm hoping to sell them at an upcoming national horse show... my cousin has offered to sell these and my other handcrafted items at her 4-day event. they're 100% recycled wool...including the thread. more are in the works... including a bird.

have you heard about this magazine? maryjanes farm? my friend lisa (check out her blog on my sidebar: cornerstone homelearning), told me about it. for my birthday my mom found a copy of my very own. i have never read such a good magazine in a long time. unfortunately it only is published twice a year. i am so in love, i ordered back issues from our library. if you haven't heard of this... head to your library and make a request! you won't be disappointed.
this morning we're heading to a couple interesting garage sales... you know, a fieldtrip for a homeschooler, right?
smile, wink, nod.

October 06, 2009

guess what's wrapped up in newspaper?

hundreds of green tomatoes. okay not really hundreds... but probably a good 50. we had a frost last week... and, since our garden was still producing like wildfire... i..... in a fever went out and gathered the harvest (doesn't that sound so quaint and lovely?) it really wasn't as pretty as it sounds... i was picking by flashlight, it was cold and the boys were out working late. plus, my socks kept slouching down in my wellingtons...which irritates me as much as a migraine. not pretty. however, i am sure... when the snow is flying and our local grocery store is selling their tomatoes for $4.99 a lb, we will enjoy eating our own homegrown tomatoes.
my grandma and as well as other atomic aged housewives, used to wrap their tomatoes in newspapers... store them in a cardboard box (only layer 2 deep) and they will slowly ripen up to christmas. you keep them in a cool, dark place. my vintage basement is perfect for that!
i also gathered a bushel basket of eggplant. i've froze enough eggplant over the last few weeks... i need no more. however, thanks to mr. google... i found this excellent, excellent, amazing roasted eggplant soup recipe that you can freeze. it's the best! click here if you'd like it! (i didn't use goat cheese and i added cumin to taste, and only added 1/2 c. of cream)

October 04, 2009

saturday craft!

i'm always inspired by the modge podge rocks blog! she has an enormous amount of ideas. and well, since it was a rainy, dreary, damp fall day yesterday (see the maple leaves on my patio?).... i decided to try my hand at modge-podging! yahoo!

my blue eyes spotted a set of coasters at goodwill. .19 cents each. fair enough. then... i pulled out an old black and white vintage book...started cutting up weird pictures, filled them in with pastel chalk...and mod-podge over them!

these snaps were taken when the project was still wet...when dried they look just perfect!

i'll either use them myself or give them as a gift to someone crazy!
love those quick weekend crafts!
visit modge podge rocks: click here!

October 02, 2009

i'm not really big into dollhouses...but i thought this one was outstanding! it's a replica of a french countryside mansion! it was even shipped to michigan from france. i spotted it last weekend at the antique show. it was breathtaking. i would love to have it in my garden! or.... if i could just shrink down small enough and tour the inside!
friday fill-in's:
i have a history of dunking my bread in olive oil, wearing the same lipgloss for 15 years and sleeping with my dog in my bed.
adding names & numbers to my cell phone is something i wish i knew how to do.
i recently ate pizza and antipasto salad!
some of my best nature treasures have come from roadkill on the side of the road.
so that's it, that's how you can pears! thanks for the tip rhonda. they're delish!
the crumbs in the bottom of a frito bag are better then nothing.
and as for tonight, snuggle in and read in bed, tomorrow my plans include: freezing up the last of my garden vegetables that are laying on a sheet in the basement! organizing homeschool lesson plans and hoping to do a few new crafts... and on sunday i plan to... go to my spunky church, pick up more pears to can and organize the house again... my house is so darn little... it is in contant need of organzing!

October 01, 2009

pink and peach

i started a new recycled project! a hand-hooked pillow. i've cut some of my old tee shirts up and a retro bed sheet... something marcia brady would of slept on!

the plan is to sell it at an upcoming shabby chic sale. i'll show you snaps when i'm finished. which should be in the next few days. stay tuned.

for my 45th birthday, my son gave me a foot spa. clipping, filing and buffing included. he even painted my toe nails. every other toe a different color. he was hoping i had john deere green and yellow, so i could have john deere toes. wouldn't of that been nice? smile, wink, nod.

slip on over to my twisted education blog if you'd like my point of view on obama and his education plan. click here!