Friday, January 30, 2009

blog #234 >> Puppet Party

Last Wednesday was Mary's Puppet Party which was a ton of fun. You can read more here at Mary's blog and see some great puppet's in action. Mary has a swell house with a feisty house-mate and it was really cool to see where she lives. Her friend Kirsten also came and taught me how to put my hair up in 40's "victory curls" and it looks really cute. I think I'm going to have to put my hair up much more often. (But it was unfortunately really frizzy that night.)
Thanks for inviting me!

Mary's puppet - top
my tiny house made from scraps and my puppet - below.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

blog #233 >> I've been tagged! (again)

So without further ado... here are 25 random things about me.

1: I'm a rather random person. Except that I'm consistently random, which makes me pretty predictable.

2: I'm a very bad speller and I like to make up my own words. It's just I'm very imaginative and I can think of a lot of different ways to spell things.

3: I can't walk in high heel shoes... at all.

4. I love foggy mornings! They make me want to go outside and take a long walk.

5: I don't like to wear socks... unless it's really cold and the socks are knee high.

6: I love to wash dishes... even still after all these months of washing dishes by hand, I love it. I think it's the warm water, which would also explain the forty-five minute morning showers. It's like hitting the snooze only better. It's a good thing hot water is included in the rent, or I'd be broke. I single handedly use more than a family of eight.

7: I wish I had been born fifty years earlier. They had such stylish clothing and glasses, better television, cooler cars. And I wouldn't ever have to curse at the fax machine or be laughed at for typing a letter again.

8: When I get stressed I need to walk. And if I can't go anywhere, I just pace. I know I say I need coffee, but notice I don't go to the coffee shop around the corner. Nope, I go to the other one about twelve blocks down. And note, I rarely get coffee. Last time I was really stressed, I walked all the way to Pix on Division. I felt a lot better when I got back, and I think the chocolate tort helped as well.

9: I've always had curly hair, and when I was little I hated it. I can't imagine what I would look like now without it. But when I was six, I would have gladly traded it. I cried every time I had to brush it. I also hated it when people would come up to me and pull it to watch it spring back up. Surprisingly, people (even strangers) still do this. And not surprisingly I still find it annoying... so please don't pull my hair.

10: I almost always have a rock in my pocket... and hence in my laundry.

11: I drink a gallon of milk a week, by myself.

12: I only have one pet. A Venus fly trap named Vinnie. I fed him a fly once, and felt so bad for the fly, that poor Vinnie has had to fend for himself ever since. Either he's in winter hibernation right now, or he's dying. I can never tell the difference. I guess I'll know this spring.... Actually, he's kinda a boring pet.

13: I'm not superstitious about chain letters and therefore I'm not going to tag 25 more people. Plus I don't know 25 more people to tag. I'm also not superstitious about the number 13.

14: But if I find a penny I always pick it up. "Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you'll have good luck."

15: I also have a collection of fortune cookie fortunes. I'll even go up to a stranger's table after they leave and collect their fortunes. I love some of the things they say.

16: Actually, I have a lot of collections. In fact I've such a large collection of tea cups and coffee mugs that they've spread into every room of my apartment. Now I use them as organizers. I have some in the bathroom with cotton balls and Q-tips. And I've got some in my desk for paper clips. And I've got some for thread, and hair clips and all sorts of things. I can't open a drawer it seems without finding a tea cup inside.

17: I wish I owned a robot. I'd name him Mr. Atomic and I'd love him and always take good care of him.

18: I love getting mail, but not junk mail... or bills... and I actually don't get much else besides... I need to start writing more letters.

19: I'm running out of ideas. I don't know if I can think of 25 things.

20: I have a red plastic lobster in my bathroom cabinet for no particular reason. Actually, I've always wanted a lobster for a pet too.

21: Each and every one of my teeth has a filling.

22: I never wear shorts no matter how hot it is. I'm always cold, and I prefer the girliness of skirts.

23: I've never understood the principles of competitive sports. I just don't get it. Why run around and spend all your energy? Is there a life threatening emergency? No. Is there a bear chasing you? No. Do you get anything when your done? No, you're just really tired. It baffles me.

24: I love to sleep, but I don't like naps. I'll only take one if I'm sick.

25: Is that it? Did I make it to 25? Close enough. Sleep sounds so nice right now. I think I'll go to bed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

blog #232 >>Book of the Week: 50's Study Guides

Sometimes I find things I don't even know I have, like these vintage 50's study guides. I was looking through my Holistic Health text book from college, because I couldn't think of the word "doula" and it was really annoying me, when I found them in the front cover. And I don't have any memory of putting them there. They had a note with my name on it in my grandpa's handwriting, so it must have been a gift from him years ago. It was kinda like getting a present from him all over again.
Copyright, 1956, by the Continental Press, Inc.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

blog #231 >>It's finished!

I've finally finished it! I started it so long ago. I'm never quick about these things. I call it "story time in jackalope forest." And it's complete with deer mice and killdeer.
p.s. I forgot to mention... they're reading this book, which was my inspiration for this piece.

Monday, January 26, 2009

blog #230 >>How To: Make a Mouse Pad

The great thing about IKEA is their stuff is so cheap and simple, it's easy to take it and make it into something new. Here's the "How To" for my IKEA hacked mouse pad.

Step 1: Supplies: IKEA plain white mouse pad (or any cheap old mouse pad, but if you don't use white the background image will show through.) Super 77 spray glue (Regular spray glue won't hold. You need the archival quality of Super 77.) Scissors, Plain white glue, Scotch Guard (Or clear gloss spray paint. I never have Scotch Guard.) and Printable Fabric (This stuff is really hard to find and comes in many different varieties. I use the cotton twill variety. I found mine at Super Joann's and it's pretty spendy stuff. I think it cost me $10 for 5 sheets, so you don't want to waste it. Don't buy iron on transfers or iron on fabric sheets, the heat will melt and warp your mouse pad. I tried that once. And I've never tried the adhesive backed polyester sheets. It seems like it wouldn't hold up to the wear and tear of a mouse pad.)

Step 2: Open your image in your favorite photo editing program. (Photoshop all the way for me.) You'll want to adjust your image and make it a little darker and brighter. It always prints lighter on the fabric paper. Print RGB (home printers almost always use RGB color mode.) And high quality (200dpi or more.)

Step 3: Do a test print. Draw and "x" on the top of a regular sheet of paper and determine if you need to load your fabric paper face up or face down. Check the size of your design to make sure it's not going to bleed off the mouse pad. Also check the color of the design you've chosen, and adjust if needed. If it's streaked, clean your heads. Add ink if it's low. It's best to print these right after you add a new ink cartridge. Print at 50% if you want to save ink. Just don't forget, and change it back to 100% before you actually print the mouse pad.

Step 4: Print your mouse pad. I'm not going to lie to you. It's going to jam... at least 15 times. And you may even break your printer. Fabric paper pushes poor little desktop printers past their limit. And your printer will probably hate you for life. But there are things you can do to prevent paper jams. Use photo paper setting, let your printer know you're trying to print on something really really thick. Don't print the fabric paper by itself. Fill your printer's paper tray FULL of paper so there's just enough room to load the fabric paper on top. Then tape down the regular paper so the printer won't grab it on mistake and try to run two sheets together. Filling the tray full of paper pushes the paper higher toward the grabbers and then it squishes the paper down a little bit pushing it through. It will probably still jam. But it's going to help.

Step 5: After you have successfully printed your design. Let it dry completely. At least a half hour. You don't want it to smear.

Step 6: When it's dry, peal the paper off the back. (If it's that type of fabric paper.) The instructions on the package say to run it under cold water, which I did last time and regretted. It stretched the image and frayed the fabric. And I'm still not sure why you're suppose to do it. Perhaps to wash the glue off the back? Anyhow I skipped that this time and ended up with a much better mouse pad.

Step 7: Spray the back of the image and front of the mouse pad with Super 77. Do this OUTSIDE! Then stick them together, and let it dry completely, at least a half hour.

Step 8: Cut it out. Since IKEA mouse pads are round the top will always show. I usually cut mine out with scissors. It's always a little ragged. But I can't find a better way to cut them. If you find one, please let me know.

Step 9: Scotch Guard or clear coat the top. Mouse pads take a lot of wear and tear and you will inevitably spill coffee or tea on it at some point. Take precautions now! Give it some type of protective layer. Spray this outside too.

Step 10: Glue the edges to prevent fraying. Just run a little Elmer's Glue, or Tacky Glue or Mod-Podge or whatever type of glue you're into, around the edge of the fabric and foam. It will really help in the end. Let it all dry... and there you have it! You've very own custom made mouse pad. For only about $3.50... assuming you only use one sheet of printable fabric and a little ink.

Enjoy and have fun crafting,

blog #229 >> Pretty Pin Up Patterns

"Gay — charming – amusing! Won't your guests oh! and ah! when they see these delightful modern 'Pin Up Girls' and prim, pretty 'Gay Nineties Misses.' What fun to have the two sets for your own collection and what an original gift for a bride. They are so designed that you may applique or embroider them as you wish. If you decide to applique them, put padding under panties and bra to shape them a little. If you want to embroider – you'll find sweet little patterns, in simple stitches in place of the appliques. Cut off the lettering and the girls would make smart decoration on lingerie cases or amusing pictures for your walls." – actual pattern description

I got these in a pile of my grandma's old patterns and thought they were pretty funny. I can't find a copyright date anywhere but I think they're from the 50's. She must have used the "Gay Nineties Misses" because they're not in the package. But I've still got the "Pin Up Girls" and I've posted them below. If you click and copy them they should be at actual size.

You know I've always wanted a powder puff the size of my head...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

blog #228 >>She sings like a squirrel...

...but I like it!

Here are a couple of songs by Joanna Newsom. The first time I heard her sing, I didn't care for her much. But she grew on me, and now I love her music.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

blog #227 >> Greetings from San Francisco

Here are some old postcards that were my grandpa's all dedicated to San Francisco.


Friday, January 23, 2009

blog #226 >> Vintage Hats

I love vintage hats.
I really wish I could wear one all the time. And I will wear one occasionally, but they attract more attention than I'd like. I get that funny feeling like I'm being watched. And strange people on the streets point. So, unfortunately, most of the time they stay at home in the closet and hat box. But I think if I wore them more often the novelty would wear off and people would stare less; like when I started wearing vintage glasses. What I think I need is a hat with a little less "pizazz" to start out with. So using the money I got for my birthday, I found this little lovely gray hat on Etsy vintage and I think it's just what I was looking for. I can't wait for it to come!

I got this darling grey felt hat from Shes Fancy's shop. $18.00

And here are some other pretty little hats I found on vintage Etsy:

This velvet flower hat is available from Bluebird Vintage shop. $30.00

This 1940's pink hat came from Green Dragon Lady's Shop. $20.50

This would be the prefect green hat to go with my 40's green dress from Ghost Shell's Shop. $31.00

This hat may be over the top, but I still love it. It's from Hip Vintage Clothing's shop. $29.00

And last but not least, the ivory roses bathing cap, because you can't go in the pool without one. Available at The Dusty Dog's shop. $39.00

And there they are!

blog #225 >> I used to be smart...

Recently it was clear at night, which for January is pretty rare, so when I was going through my star maps and charts I came across these old notes from college. Wow, I used to be really smart. I can't believe how much I've forgotten. It kinda makes me sad. This was also about the time I quit writing nice and just got out the letters as quickly as possible. Now that I think about it... I kinda miss living in the country and using my telescope whenever I liked. The sky just isn't as clear in the city with all the light pollution. And all the neighbors think you're spying on them when you pull out a telescope. And the street kids are all curious and won't leave you alone. It really doesn't work very well. Perhaps I need to take a drive back to Boring.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

blog #224 >> Book of the Week:
Faith Books by W. V. Grant

From the author of "I Saw the Antichrist," "God's Secrets Revealed," "Life Beyond the River," "Atomic Power in Christ," "The Mantle fall on the 70," "Demons Devils Disease Defeated," "Walter's Words of Wisdom," "The Great Dictator 666," and the unforgettable "I was a Cannibal: Ate raw white men, whipped mountain lion, swam river with alligators, ate raw snakes and chicken, walked power line to U.S.A."
I bring you...

I found these classics at a used Christian bookstore years ago. I thought the covers wear priceless. I spent all the change I had at the time on them, but I wish I had bought more. They had a whole box of them. I can't find a copyright date anywhere on them, but I'm guessing they're from the 60's. I always get a laugh when I pull them out. I love that the "What every boy needs to know..." book ends with "How can I be sure and get the right girl for a lifelong partner? Answer: You need a good counselor. You could secure a good book along these lines." Ha! I laugh every time!
By Rev. W. V. Grant - Faith Clinic

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

blog #223 >> One Year Older

Exactly 25 years ago... I was born.

And since then... I've grown up and started a blog.
Now the new season of LOST is going to start tonight! The best birthday present yet... so enough posting!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

blog #222 >> Good Search

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!This is a new search engine I recently heard about called Good Search. It's powered by Yahoo and every time you search the web it will donate a penny to the charity of your choice. I know it doesn't sound like much but if you make ten searches a day for a month your charity will get $3. Well, that doesn't really sound like much either... but I guess what I'm saying is, it all adds up. Anyhow they've got over 74,000 charities listed and more than 1,200 in Oregon including:
Dignity Village
(housing for homeless)
Dove Lewis
(emergency animal hospital)
Habitat for Humanity
(provides low income housing)
Free Geek
(helping the needy get nerdy since the beginning for the 3rd millennium)
Luis Palau
(reaching the world for Christ)
Oregon Food Bank
(because no one should be hungry)
P.E.A.R. Project Education Art Recreation
(art and education programs for youth)
Portland Rescue Mission
(serving the homeless)
Pregnancy Resource Center
(providing help to pregnant women and teens)
and many more...

And just so long as you're look at charities, find the one the gives the most back to the community at


Monday, January 19, 2009

blog #221 >> Feeling Restless

I just can't seem to focus on anything today! I couldn't focus on getting ready this morning. I couldn't focus on work and did my level best to leave a little early. I couldn't even focus on thrifting at Goodwill today. I'm going to blame it on the wind and the cold. Yes, the wind... and also the cold. The wind rattled the window by my head all night long and I didn't sleep very well. And when I did sleep I was having strange dreams about the wind blowing through the windows. Around midnight, I finally had enough and stuffed the first bits of cardboard into the windows to try to get it to stop. But it didn't, and the other window still rattled pretty good. Then the heater was still broken at work today and it was like "Arctic Monday" similar to "Casual Friday" but everyone wears their coats and scarves. (Thankfully, I think they already fixed the heat for tomorrow.) Then after work Mary and I went to Goodwill but it was really crowded. The parking lot and overflow lot were both full and it was really picked over inside. So I came home. And I still can't focus on anything!
I think I'm going to go stuff more cardboard in my bedroom windows.

Anyhow, does anyone have any good winter recipes?
I'd like to try something new.

blog #220 >> What can you do with your old plastic bags? MELT THEM!

Here are the plastic sheets I made out of the old plastic bags I've been saving. Last weekend me and me sister-in-law Amy tried it and it worked out pretty well. The only thing is they turned out more wrinkly than I thought they would. She made this really neat book out of hers for a crafter's challenge... I'm not sure what I'm going to make out of mine yet, but I'll post it when it's finished. One thing's for certain though, I've got to start saving better bags. Apparently, I shop at Dollar Tree, Safeway and Bi-Mart an awful lot and they all have particularly boring bags. See this past post for cool things other people made from them. Instructions here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

blog #219 >> Crocheting & Tea

Oh my, I'm afraid I've been neglecting my poor blog lately. If I stop blogging for a while it's either, because I have nothing to blog about or too much. This week it was simply too much. So in as few words as possible my past week consisted of watching the complete season two of "The Office," buying some cute shoes on sale at Target for $5, reading "The Time Machine," going to my sister's knitting night where I learned to crochet, (See my granny patches above, I'm going to start a scarf of them soon.) and went to the family birthday party and got a bunch of presents and cards. (See my teapot and tasty tea above.)
So, yep... that's pretty much my week.

Monday, January 12, 2009

blog #218 >> New skirt I sewed

After owning my digital camera for five years, I've finally learned how to use the timer. Now, I'm at last able to take pictures of my new skirt by myself. Yeah!

blog #217 >> Red Retro Table

Here's the new side table my brother and sister-in-law gave me this weekend. I love it! And it looks great in the kitchen.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

blog #216 >> Snuggie, the worst idea ever!

Out of all the things I could be blogging about right now, I just had to pick this. I can't get it out of my head! Maybe I'm the only one who hasn't seen this commercial yet, I do pretty much live in a cave. And I've been watching a lot of Hulu lately. But this is the best thing I've seen on t.v. in forever. Snuggie! The blanket with sleeves. I laughed 'til I cried. Then I looked it up on YouTube and laughed some more. There are just so many witty, funny, ridiculous things I could say about this commercial. It's a blanket with SLEEVES! So basically it's a robe that you wear backwards. It's outrageously priced. And on the commercial I saw it was $20 so you'd better get one while they're cheap. Then you can embaress your kids at their baseball game. Or use it on Halloween as Uncle Fester, a monk or a Jedi costume. And I love that they're using every conceivable trick to sell this thing. "Babies? Check. Puppies? Check. Saving Money? Check. Happy Family? Check. Glittery Graphics? Check... Let's see what are we forgetting. Peace Poster? Check. Yep, I think we've got everything, let's call it a wrap." So, buy a Snuggie and join the cult today... or I guess, you could just go put on a sweater.

Monday, January 5, 2009

blog #215>> Lobster & Son

Here is my latest Jello mold. It's the baby lobster made from the jello mold given to me by my neighbors Dave and Trina. Thanks! My Jello lobster needed some family.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

blog #214>> Resolutions

After spending the past two days in a major cleaning, un-decorating overhaul, I've finally caught up with my blog reading. And I am very impressed with everyone's New Year's blog postings. Now I'm feeling very sorry for having not taken the time on the first to plug something in, so I'll just start the New Year late. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I've never been into New Year's Resolutions. Why wait for the new year to start resolutions? I'm more into the everyday list thing. But New Year's does give a good opportunity to make a resolution that ends with a party so why not start one now.

25 things to finish before 2010:
(if not completed will roll over to 2011)

1. try a new recipe at least once a week.

2. start writing in cursive again.

3. get my fountain pen working.

4. post something to etsy once a week.

5. go roller skating in the basement more often.

6. sweep the basement floor so it's safe to go rollerskating in the basement.

7. draw something (even if it's just a doodle on an old note pad) once a day.

8. try a new restaurant once a month. (I tend to go to the same places time after time.)

9. learn to crochet.

10. knit a sweater.

11. finish the projects I've started.

12. write down my ideas in the project book before starting them.

13. finish my new website. (I took a break during the holidays, but break time is over!)

14. spend more time outdoors. (camping, boating, biking, hiking, gardening, riding an old tire down the creek, whatever! I just need to see some sunlight! I'm starting to resemble Snow White.)

15. invite people to my house.

16. play the accordion more and work on reading notes.

17. buy less books and check out more books from the library.

18. start a Goodwill box in the trunk of the car and fill it slowly with things to go to Goodwill, then when it's full drop it off. (I don't want to become anymore of a clutterbug than I already am.)

19. reline my beloved coat that is falling apart at the seams and has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese. (even if it means paying someone else to do it.) (and it probably should be dry cleaned too, it still smells like cigars and fireworks from the New Year's Party.)

20. work at taking better pictures.

21. visit Marti and the calligraphy class.

22. get my teeth fixed and mercury filling free.

23. take my telescope out and don't let it gather dust.

24. finish finding the Messier objects. (I've only got 18 of 110 to go, and they're mostly spring and summer objects.)

25. find a nice boy.