Monday, June 30, 2008

blog #118 >> Thanks for coming!

...and a special thanks to Vanessa the hostess with the "most-est" for throwing us the fabulous Mad Tea Party. He decorations were amazing, and she made the most wonderful-colorful paper cakes, hats and even a special mad hatter just for the occasion.

...another special thanks to Trina, for actually having me over to her tea party. You made some wonderful treats, tea, and baked eggs by the way. I love our Sunday brunches!

....and one more special thanks to everyone who visited my tea party!

Wow, I can honestly say I've never had some many comments, (or left so many comments) in one day. I just visited my last blog today. I got threw the entire list (in reverse alphabetical order). And I tried to leave a comment for everyone too... but I got burned out. Sorry, if I missed you. There were a lot of really great ones I just didn't get to post a comment on. I loved everyone's different take on the Mad Tea Party. It was like trick-or-treating, but with blogs, and better treats... Such fun!

Thanks again for all your lovely comments. I'm not sure how I'm going to write my book adventure story now. I haven't read a lot of the books you said were your favorites, so I guess I'll be starting there. I've got a lot of new books added to my "must read" list. And I'll be trying out some of those band suggestions this week too.

My day yesterday was spent cleaning up my Mad Tea Party mess. You should have seen my kitchen! Luckily, The Mad Tea Party was a masquerade, so you could see the mess on the other side of my desk. It was quite the aftermath.

I also went on a Good Will run with Dave and Trina. I bought three things this trip.

I got this cute teacup, I little late to use for the tea party, but next time. And this adorable three blind mice cheese spreader. Trina found it for me. Thanks!

And finally, I bought this large hunk of steal for my dad's birthday. I've never seen anything like it at Good Will before. And it makes me wonder, "How did it get there?"
It was in the back of the furniture section, in the "last chance" area, marked down to $24.99 for $99.99! I saw it and thought, "Hey, my dad would really like this, and his birthday is coming up next week... But it's really big, and heavy. And what if he didn't like it?! It's an "as is" purchase, and there's no returning it." Well... I got it anyhow! And after two Good Will guys helped me load it up, (Thanks Good Will guys!) I took it over and gave it to my dad that night. Much to my relief... He loved it! And he's already talking about how he's going to fix it up. We even got online and found an old catalog from The Computing Scale Co. on ebay. It had it's picture in it and it's from 1905. Pretty cool.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

blog #117 >> It's time for a mad tea party!

AH! I had hoped to get this posted much earlier, but I just got so wrapped up in my mad tea party I kinda forgot about the posting part! Today is the day of Vanessa's Mad Tea Party {Of the Costume Variety} and I've been looking forward to it all week!

Come in and make yourself at home...

Oh, look at the time! You're just in time for some tea!

Just make yourself cozy and I'll go get the tea ready.

Which cup would you like?

Come in and have a seat.

Would you like a cookie?

A tea sandwich?

Do you take cream or sugar?

So tell me about yourself...

Where are you from?

Has the weather been nice there?

Where is your favorite place to be?

What's you favorite book?

Are you quirky or pretty serious?

Do you prefer coffee or tea?

Who's your favorite band? (I'm always looking for new bands.)

Do you play any instruments?

I do, I play a big red accordion, although I'm not very good. I wanted to post a clip... but ah, time ran short. :)

Would you like some more tea? Just a half a cup?

Oh dear! It seems we drank the wrong one! Now where did I leave the cake that says, "eat me?"

At least there is one advantage to being this size. For one, now we can go inside books, and I don't just mean between the pages.... What was your favorite book again? If you post it in the comments, I'll pick one and we'll venture to explore inside...


Thursday, June 26, 2008

blog #116 >> Cookies and Embroidery

When it rains it pours. And although the weather has finally approved, work has been very, very busy. It went from dead to crazy in less than five minutes, so lunches have been scarce and with them blogging at work. However, I'd much rather have it be busy than slow. It'll just take me a few days to get used to it again. And unfortunately until then, I'll continue to be stressed and grumpy. In my efforts to de-stress after work today, I made these lovely cookies. And I'm sorry to say... I didn't make them for scratch. I normally do, but spare time has been short lately, and these refrigerator sugar cookies were on sale, so... I figured, "Why not?" The frosting on the other hand, is from scratch. It's a good old fashioned butter-cream, sprinkled with sugar... mmmmm.... Only now they're much too pretty to eat.

Vinnie and Pookie cookies

Mushrooms, fish, and axes

Owl, acorn, fern, lichen

And my Cookie Cutters for all party occasions... The Santa and angel look like blobs. And I'm not sure what holiday the fish and axe are for, but they are pretty fun. I think the ax was maybe for Washington's birthday? But I can't figure out the fish... Bar Mitzvah?

And I've also been working on this bird embroidery.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

blog #115 >> Shorpy

Shorpy! My favorite stop for old photographs. is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a boy who worked in an Alabama coal mine near the turn of the century. It has lots of great images and is always a great way to pass some extra time.

A woman floating in the water at Weeki Wachee Spring, Florida. The image by fashion photographer Toni Frissell was published in Harper's Bazaar in December 1947. See here.

Washington, D.C., 1922. "Auto accident." National Photo Co. See here.

Washington, D.C., circa 1931. "Child seated in toy automobile." View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. The radio: Atwater-Kent 84Q. See here.

March 12, 1925. "C.W. Mitman of Smithsonian Institution with giant and midget bulbs." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. See here.

April 1942. DeLand, Florida, machine shop pool. "Aircraft construction class. Clyde Williams, instructor in the Daytona Beach Vocational School, guides the hands of Marie Myers in the first steps of becoming an aircraft welder. Marie was a high school student taking a business course, when she gave it up for defense training entitling her to a high school diploma. She has two brothers in the Army." View full size. 4x5 negative by Howard Hollem, Office of War Information. See here.


Monday, June 23, 2008

blog #114 >> Weeds-Be-Gone!

This weekend I spent about five hours pulling weeds in the garden. This resulted in 16 gallons (measured in four-gallon buckets) of weeds dumped in the dumpster. It was quite the chore, but pretty relaxing. And it was so nice to be outside despite the muggy weather. We also got to pick our first radishes this weekend. They were amazing! And we picked all the spinach because it was starting to go to seed. I took my bunch over to my parents house and we had a delicious strawberry spinach salad with chicken and poppy seed dressing. I highly recommend it for a quick summer dinner when it's much to hot to use the oven.
Click here for recipe.

The lovely tri-color radishes.

Look Ma! No weeds!

See the little green strawberries?


The herb garden

Strawberries and lettuce



Sunday, June 22, 2008

blog #113 >> How To: Tissue Paper Flowers

A Fanciful Twist is hosting a Virtual Mad Tea Party {Of the Costume Variety}, next Saturday. So, I figured at the very least... I'll be needing a mask, and perhaps even a costume. And that's when I found this:

I simply fell in love with this picture of Marie Antoinette, from the movie. (I didn't like the movie as much.) Not that she was such a great queen either, but she did have great hair... well, wigs. And mine is just the right length now, that with the proper brushing, and a lot of gel, it could look like that. Only my hair is more black less white. So yes, my costume will be Marie Antoinette.

Yesterday, I made this tissue paper nosegay for my hair.
Tissue paper flowers make beautiful Ranunculus, Peonies and Chrysanthemum.

To make some yourself you will need: tissue paper, florists wire, scissors, chalk pastels or make-up (especially blush,) paint brush, and florists tape (which is optional.)

Step 1: Cut out your petals using template above.

Step 2: Cut about 6" florist's wire. Starting in the middle of the wire, twist around the middle of six of the smallest petals. They'll get all crinkly.

Step 3: Take the other six smallest petals and arrange them to form an X with the first. See diagram. Twist together.

Step 4: Continue with the middle sized petals, six at a time, always adding them the opposite direction of the previous one.

Step 5: Continue with the largest sized petals. Finish by tightly twisting your wire together and if desired wrapping it with florist's tape.

Step 6: Open your flower and separate the petals.

Step 7: Use a paint brush and chalk pastels to tint your tissue paper. (I always use white tissue paper, and tint them for a delicate look. But if you like bright colors just use colored tissue paper.)

Step 8: Blush makes a beautiful pink Peony! (I guess that's not a step, but it made such a nice picture.)

Step 9: For the leaves, color the tissue paper first. Cut using template above and wire together.

Step 10: Wire all flowers together. If making a bud, cut large circle. See template above. Fill circle with wad of tissue paper. Wire together tightly. Color leaves and bud first, then wire the leaves to the bud to hid the previous wiring. Cover wire with florist's tape if desired.

And there you have it a nosegay pretty enough for the Queen of France!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

blog #112 >> Possibly the Best Book Ever!

I can't say I have a favorite book. Every book has its merit. Some I've even read several times over. But Jane Eyre is certainly one of the best books I've ever read... And I've read a lot of books. The only thing I can't figure out is... Why have I never read it before now? It's been sitting on my self for about seven months unread. I bought it at Good Will mostly because I thought the illustrations were interesting. People have been telling me for a very long time that it's an excellent book. I wish I had read it years ago. Then I could have read it seven or eight times by now. And although I've only read it once, it seems like the type of book that gets better with each reading. It's got everything, romance, sorrow, mystery, a sad/happy ending. I laughed, I cried... I cried a lot. At least I've read it now. And I'm sure I'll be reading it again. And if perchance you're reading this blog and you've never read Jane Eyre...
go start it right now.


Friday, June 20, 2008

blog #111 >> How To:
CD Slim Cases Make Great CD Cases

Oh, what to do at work when it's slow?
Today's option is... Let's be crafty! It is the "art" department after all.
So, we made these nifty-neat CD holders made from slim cases. Clients always seem to send their artwork on disks and with disks come slim cases. I've got about 50 of them (slim cases not clients) stashed under my desk.

Here's a how to: (I'll post the download when I'm at home tonight.)

For more slim case ideas see HERE.


blog #110 >> New Things

This wonderful suit set came from Good Will for just $15 dollars.

And here are some of the pot holders I got my mom for her birthday. Only, I'm keeping the scotty dog and the blue bird.