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Monday, January 31, 2011

A Little Jewelry Making

Inspired by Infarrantly Creative's Valentine Necklace,

I decided to put some of my bead stash to use to create some new jewelry. I went to Michael's yesterday to look for an open heart like she used. I wasn't able to find anything even remotely similar, so I decided to go with a different look. I picked up two packages of charms---hearts and fleur-de-lis----but had everything else I needed at home.

Since I took a really nice, long nap on Sunday afternoon, I wasn't a bit sleepy when my usual bedtime rolled around. Despite the fact that I'd be sorry when the alarm goes off Monday morning, I got out my jewelry pliers with a late night movie on TV.

Here's the heart necklace I made--just in time for Valentine's Day.

And with Mardi Gras right around the corner, I used the fleur-de-lis charms to make a couple of necklaces for myself and Kathy (her 50th birthday falls on Mardi Gras this year).

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lazy Weekend

What a wonderfully lazy weekend!! The weather was perfect Saturday afternoon---70+ degrees and sunny skies. It was hard to believe that we are still in January. All that pretty weather made me want to be outdoors, but not doing yard work---just relaxing. The only little bit of work I did was cleaning out my wood pile and re-stacking what is left. With wintry weather on the way later this week, I most likely will be needing it in a few days.
From Mommy's Treasures

Emmi enjoyed being outdoors as much as I did. She explored every nook and cranny of the backyard.
From Mommy's Treasures

Even the bulbs in the flowerbed were tricked by the warm weather, pushing through the leaves to show their green leaves.
From Mommy's Treasures

It also gave me a chance to say goodbye to the huge cypress tree in my backyard. While I love trees and hate the thought of losing one, this one has become entangled with ivy that is slowly choking it. More and more limbs are dropping and so,tree trimmers will be coming this week and removing it before it falls.
From Mommy's Treasures

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I've been thinking about adding a small table next to the rocking chair in my living room--some place to set a glass or book when sitting by the fireplace. At first, I thought it might be fun to try to find something at Canton or Round Top.
But, as I thought about it further, I decided to move the little TV table from my bedroom into the living room and then look for a new TV table.

A couple of days ago, I changed my mind completely. Remembering the small wooden table sitting in my carport, I wondered if it might work. I've had it for a while---it once belonged to my grandmother, and as I recall was blue when I first received it. While nothing fancy, I've always loved the shape of it. It has served several purposes in my house over the years---painted ivory as an end table, painted white in my bathroom and most recently painted beige and sitting out in the carport.
She's just the right size and even has a bottom shelf to hold a couple of books. Badly ignored for the last year, here she is in all her glory.

I knew that she need a good cleaning and then a new paint job. In fact, this seemed to be the perfect time to try out the glazing technique I've seen here and here and here (just to mention a few). After considering various colors, I finally stepped way out of my "stay safe" mode and settled on red.

After cleaning off the dirt and grime, I sanded and sanded. Here you see a glimpse of the stenciling (circa late 80's) that once adorned her.

I flipped her upside down (oh, the indignity) to spray a couple of coats of primer on the bottom before turning her over to do the top side. I chose a terra cotta colored primer by Valspar in hopes that the red spray paint would cover easier.

Next, I spray-painted her red---several light coats. Gee, that's bright--hope I didn't make a huge mistake!

Once dry, I distressed the edges a bit.

I've never glazed furniture before, but I figured it must be similar to the technique we used to use for "antiquing" when I was a kid. I used this Valspar Antiquing Glaze from Lowe's--the half-pint I bought should be plenty for several more projects since it took such a little bit of glaze. I brushed on the glaze with a cheap paintbrush, being sure to hit the corners and crevices first. After a few minutes, I used a clean, damp rag to wipe off the excess. Glaze dries slowly, so you really have plenty of time to work with the it. If you decide it's not dark enough, you can always just repeat the process until you're satisfied with the color.
About 3/4 of the way into this part of the project, I realized that I'd forgotten to put on the gloves that I bought specifically for this!

Here she is after the glazing:

The last step was to add a couple of coats of polycrylic for protection. Here's the finished product, in place in the living room.

Well, I guess I need to add "shelf for carport" to my Round Top list!!
Saturday, January 22, 2011

Iron Chef Sisters

While cooking has never been my favorite domestic chore, I'm glad that both my daughters seem to enjoy it----when they have time, of course. It's hard to work full-time, be involved in anything extra-curricular and still cook on a regular basis! Jana and Callie recently came up with a new way to challenge their culinary talents---a blog devoted to their new recipes! Just take a look at a few of the things they've been concocting:
Garlic-Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops
From Mommy's Treasures

Banana Crumb Muffins
From Mommy's Treasures


Fried Rice and Wonton Quiche
From Mommy's Treasures

Cinnamon Brioche
From Mommy's Treasures
Be sure to check out their creations (and get the recipes) over on their new blog, Iron Chef Sisters. Hey Callie, I'm happy to try out your concoctions anytime, if they're as good as that bread!
Thursday, January 20, 2011

With Purpose

First I show you my nasty, broken toe and now I'm baring my hands. Don't worry, all my fingers are working fine, but gee they sure aren't pretty. There's no danger of me ever abandoning teaching to become a hand model.

Today I received the greatest little package in the mail. A week or so ago, Jana blogged about the "one word" that she'd chosen for 2011 and the bracelet she designed to wear as a reminder. Well, she made one for me! I liked her bracelet, but couldn't really see any details of how it was made. Well, let me tell you, it is so great!!! She made it out of elastic grosgrain and used tiny buttons to embellish it. I just love it!!

(yes, I know that I have ginormous hands. And see that middle finger that is crooked--I jammed it in the 5th grade when I was playing football with my brothers. I kept telling my mother it really hurt. :-)

Jana also included these little monogrammed sticky note pads in my package. Not my monogram, you say??? Look again----I think they ARE my monogram!! (Jana knows me for sure)!

And last, but certainly not least, you might have seen a glimpse of my Christmas present peeking out from under my sleeve. Don drew my name and gave me a gift certificate to The Vintage Pearl, where I picked out this beautiful charm bracelet!!

Today, I also received an email from Gayle with this quote that I really loved (thanks, Gayle!):
"Figure out what purpose you're trying to serve with every action. If something leads to no good purpose, DON'T DO IT."

With these special reminders, I'm sure to be able to keep my focus on the things that are important.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nook Color - Take Two

You may remember the pretty little cover I made for Valine's Nook Color? I had so much fun making it and was really pleased with how it turned out. One problem----it didn't fit!! It was a bit too short and slightly too narrow. I was so disappointed.

But, with a longer weekend, I decided to tackle a new one. This time, I chose completely different fabrics. I looked up the actual dimensions of a Nook Color online and found that the pattern I used (by ) was actually needed to have seam allowances added to it. I'm not sure if that was the intention or not, but this time I did add about 1" to the height and 1/2" to the width. I used embroidery thread to make running stitch embellishments around the corners, seams, etc.
From Mommy's Treasures

From Mommy's Treasures

Unfortunately, this is what happens when Emmi gets hold of the box of embroidery floss. :-(
From Mommy's Treasures

I also used a bit of the floral fabric on the front as a raw-edge applique and, inspired by these awesome quilts that Jana shared with me, I did some free-hand words.
From Mommy's Treasures

Once again, I made a rosette and added a vintage button from my grandmother's collection.
From Mommy's Treasures

Hoping it fits, Valine!!
From Mommy's Treasures

Monday, January 17, 2011

One Little Word

I signed up for Ali Edward's "One Little Word" class over at Big Picture Classes. It's the first class I've taken with them, but so far I really like it. And of course, Ali is awesome with her instruction, prompts and hand-outs. This class is a year long class (that you can join at any time during the year) with one assignment per month. There's no pressure to get things done in a certain time frame since nothing has to be turned in and Ali encourages everyone to use their own creativity to make this project their own. With the day off today, I had a chance to complete my January assignment.

I decided to purchase the Pink Paislee page protectors and album offered over at, but everything else I already had. When the order arrived, I was so glad that I'd made the decision, because I love them all----the Parisian Authority album is really pretty and it came with the page protector set that Ali Edwards suggests (which are unique and special).

Opening Page


Page Three

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bird Dog

This weekend I bought a couple of stuffed birds that I found in a sale basket at Joann's. You've probably seen them---when you press their tummies they chirp with the actual bird call of that bird. I bought a blue jay and a bluebird and thought that my homebound student would especially enjoy them.
From Mommy's Treasures

When I got home and unpacked my bags, Emmi was standing close by watching. I showed her the blue jay and made it squawk. She was very interested in it and soon grabbed it and ran away. Twice I saved the little bird from being taken out of the doggie door, but she was determined. When I was busy in the kitchen, she snatched it once again and ran out the door. Soon after, I went outside to bring it back. It was raining a bit and I searched and searched the back yard, but was unable to find where she'd hidden the little bird.

This evening, Callie stopped by to visit and Emmi began putting up quite a fuss to go outside but she wouldn't go by herself. I thought it was because it was raining, so Callie got up to open the door for her only to find a drenched, stuffed bluebird by the back door. Emmi wouldn't go outside because she was scared of the very bird she'd placed there (I guess she couldn't get it back through the opening by herself)! We brought the bird in and Emmi picked it up and laid it at my feet. While filthy and wet, I guess it beats the offering that some dogs bring their owners.
From Mommy's Treasures

Emmi took some time to try to find the perfect hiding place for her treasure.
From Mommy's Treasures
She tried baskets, corners, under furniture and even her own bed
From Mommy's Treasures

but eventually she decided to take it back outside. Sorry, Ana'Niah--I think that's one bird you won't be playing with.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


For many people, a new year is often accompanied with a desire to organize--this will be the year, I get my files in order, clean out the closets, etc., etc., etc. For me, this took the form of organizing my kitchen. It's no secret that I don't especially enjoy cooking. I CAN cook, but in most cases, I would much rather be sitting at my sewing machine, or creating a new scrapbook or even taking photos. That's where my creativity lies---not in recipes.

But, with my new oven and much nicer cookware, I'm finding it a bit more fun than in the past, as long as it doesn't take up too much of my time. Hence the kitchen organization. My lower cabinets are pretty full. Not horribly disorganized---I really do know where everything is. But, in order to get to some items, I have to completely remove the contents of that shelf. And the bottom shelf---well, I might as well stand on my head to get to most of those things.
From Mommy's Treasures

Just before Christmas I installed a new chrome sliding shelf for my cookware and I love it!! But, it was pretty pricey and the single ones they had in stock locally weren't the right measurements for my other cabinets. I began searching online for something similar and found Roll-Out Kitchen Drawers. After some research and measurements, I decided to order them----not only are they affordable, but the shipping is free.

Today, I installed them. Talk about easy! All you do is align the drawer base and screw it in place with 4 screws. In about 2 hours, I had cleaned out my cabinets, installed the drawers and replaced everything.
From Mommy's Treasures

I even filled up one of the boxes with items to take to Goodwill (I think it is safe to assume that I will NEVER use a hand-crank apple peeler!).
From Mommy's Treasures

I still have some scrubbing to do, shelf paper to repair and paint touch-ups (someday), but in the meantime, anything I can do to streamline the cooking process is a welcome change for me!
From Mommy's Treasures

Round Robin - I've Always Wanted to Photograph

Is there a photo that you've always wanted to capture but never had the chance? Well, the theme for this Round Robin challenge gave me the opportunity to do just that. Be sure to check out the "photo ops" that all the other Robins had---the linking list is over here.

For several years, as I leave my home on school mornings, I am often stopped at a traffic light next to the "duck pond" which borders my neighborhood. Sitting at that light, I sometimes see a small kingfisher bird sitting on one of the power lines that stretch over the water. He always makes me smile and wish that he would still be there when school is over in the afternoon. Unfortunately, he is never around when I have the time and the camera.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an opportunity that was perfect for this challenge. My camera was in the car with me that morning since I planned to take photos at one of the schools I serve, and as I waited for the light to turn green, I saw my little feathered friend perched on the wire once again, waiting for just the right moment to swoop down and capture his breakfast. The traffic light was just long enough for me to roll down the passenger side window, zoom in and snap a picture. While the numerous power lines are such an eyesore to me, they do provide an interesting background for this gift of nature.

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