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Thursday, May 23, 2013

I am very happy with my first attempt at gardening

Sorry it has been a long time between posts. But now that I am retired, I don’t get online as much as I thought I would. I may not even get around to checking my email for days!
I still am making cards and working on my scrapbook stuff.
And now I am gardening…. well at least planting flowers and hoping they don’t die too quickly...
Heck, I may have a green thumb… time will tell. LOL

I saw some really cute Fairy Gardens and, of course, I needed one. My DH made this little door and the boys found the perfect spot to put it. The hardest part was picking out plants. I didn’t have any idea there were so many types of plants out there. It took me a while searching Pinterest and gardening websites to figure out the type of plants I would need (back to the internet). I am only going to plant perennials. Then I had to decide on individual plants too! And if you know me, I hate to make decisions, so I just bought a bunch of “pretty” ones.
When I got home, I was told not all of them could be used in my Fairy Garden! Something to do with soil type and shade vs. sun stuff like that. I found homes in other places for the plants that I couldn’t use. Now that everything that could be planted is planted. I am thinking of planting a “few” more around the house. I forced myself to stay focused on the Fairy Garden, (if I got off task, it may have never gotten done).
I needed to get more plants for my Fairy Garden. I used to laugh at my friend Sue. She loves to garden and would spend every lunch hour and weekend plant shopping. I never thought I would be doing the same. It’s almost like buying paper and scrapbook supplies, which is something I am good at. LOL. I think it took me about three different shopping trips and seven different stores to get just the right plants.
Then came the rain! And we discovered the spot we picked out for the door was really low and would get temporarily flooded. Time to rethink the layout…
We needed rocks to raise the door and Levi, being the rock expert in the house, was more than happy to help find just the right ones. Our local True Value has a big bin full of rocks, Levi was in heaven! I just tossed him in the bin and he came out with about a dozen or more of the best rocks in the world…. just ask him. Not only that, he came home everyday with rocks in his pockets from the school playground. Needless to say, we have lots of rocks.
Here are a few pictures of the finished Fairy Garden:







Now we are waiting for the fairies to come and add their own personal touches....
When they do I will definitely post the additions.

Until next time...keep calm and craft on!
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Homemade Liquid Dishwasher Soap

Can you believe it two post in one week!
I just had to tell somebody, I finally found a recipe for a Homemade Liquid Dishwasher Soap that works for me. I've tried a couple of different recipes for liquid (I don’t like the powder type) dishwasher detergents, some just didn’t work as well as this one I found at Choosing Simplicity's Blog (thanks to Pinterest). The others left my glasses with a white film, even though I used a liquid rinse agent. This one hasn’t and I’ve used it once a day for about two weeks now.

I cut her recipe in half, because you only use 1 TBL (give or take) for each load and it fills my old dishwashing detergent bottle perfectly.
Ingredients:
8 cups of water, divided
3/4 cups WASHING soda (this is NOT baking soda)- found this in the laundry detergent isle at County Market
1/2 cup borax -found this in the laundry detergent isle at County Market
1/4 cup Dr. Brenner's Pure Liquid Castile Soap - The only place I could find this was Schnuck’s, with the special bath soaps. They had 3 fragrances Peppermint, Lavender and one other cutesy smell. I used the peppermint fragrance but you can use which ever one you like best. (I will tell you the peppermint smells good.)

Directions:
1) Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in washing soda, borax and liquid castile soap until dissolved.
2) Stir in remaining 4 cups water and allow to cool.
3) Pour cooled dishwasher soap into your container.

That's all there is to it, pretty simple if you ask me.

Note: It will get thick and gel up in 24 hours. - Remember to shake it real good before each use just to make sure everything is mixed well.

Until next time...Keep Calm and Craft On

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Another creative couple of weeks!

Valentines day is soon approaching, and for once I am ready. I have been making valentines for the boys’ class parties. Curt class is having a contest for the best valentine box. I had him search the internet for ideas. Of course, he found more than enough ideas. After a long process of eliminations he decided he liked one that looked like a gumball machine…. Oh yippee… why not a simple decorated shoe box?
Here is the finished product:

It wasn’t as hard as I thought, we wrapped a box in red duct tape and the top is an upside down mason jar filled with gumballs, and glued a wing-nut to the front for the turny thingy.. I must say the finished produce is pretty cool!

It didn’t stop there, I still had to come up with valentines for both boys’ classmates and teachers. Curt wanted to give out M & M’s in the 1x8 bags… easy enough, while making his, I decided that Levi could give the same to the teachers and staff at his school. Curt needed 25 and Levi needed 11.

Now, I still had to come up with something for Levi to give his classmates and because Curt is giving his class “something cooler” than plan ol’ store bought valentines, Levi wanted to give “something cooler” too. So, we looked online for ideas… boy there are a lot of really neat ideas out there. I always wonder why can’t I think of them on my own… I really like the idea of getting a little plastic shovel and a small bag of candy that said “ I really dig you”. But, I could find any shovel or buckets in our small Dollar General. Bummer because I really did like this idea. Was I headed back to the internet for another idea…nope! Levi found these little pink balls for a $1 each.

Check out what we did:


I am glad he only has 9 kids in his class including him!

Not done yet. The first part of the month Levi’s teacher sent home a note asking for volunteers to help with the craft table during their Valentines day party…. I thought what the heck and checked off I would be glad to help. Little did I know help meant coming up with the craft project …. Back to the internet I go, I need ideas for preschool crafts. I found this one:


 
I figured it had hearts looked easy enough for kids.
Here is one I completed for a sample:
 
 
I cut out all the parts and put them in separate bags for each of kids , all they will have to do is glue them down. I asked Levi if he thought he could make one of these in 30mins he said…”easy peasy”.
Well, we’ll wait and see.
 
Remind me…what’s wrong with those store bought cards????

I did make some cards and some really fun clothespins. I will post them later this week!

Until next time…Keep Calm and Craft On
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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Quite a few projects completed this week

I must say this past week turned out to be fairly productive. I managed to actually complete some projects, from start to finish. Yep, can you believe it! I think I told you that my “playroom was getting a new floor and repainted. It was finished months ago, and I am just now getting around to decorating some of the walls using my cricut and wall vinyl. I think the local Wal-Mart may be discontinuing the vinyl, because a some time back I found about 4 or 5 rolls of it in the clearance section for 3.99 which of course I bought all of it. LOL
I think I told you about my friend Janet opening a quant little antique/craft store. She has been after me for months to make some cards, tags and stuff to sell. I did make those candy bag things, and they sold pretty well. She gave me the idea of making these Chalkboard tags to sell.
I cut some tags using my cricut, spray painted them with the Krylon Chalkboard Paint. It’s pretty cool stuff. The chalkboard finish can be written on, then wipe cleaned to be used over and over. I packaged 12 tags along with a piece of chalk. I think they would make a nice little thank-you gifts or even teacher gifts. I’ll let you know if they sell or not. I also made about 6 valentine cards and 7 birthday cards. I was definitely on a roll, that is all in one week too, I think that is a record for me!
I am starting out with the valentines to see if they sell, I‘ve never sold any of my cards and I have my doubts they will sell. But, if they do I will try selling a few of the birthday card. I may even get a little ambitious and make a couple Easter, and thank-you cards… no promises, we’ll just wait and see…


Until next time...Keep Calm and Craft on!
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Good Morning... and Happy Belated New Year!

You know when I retired I had it in my head I would post at least once a week… nope hasn’t happened. The plan was to make a card a day… nope hasn’t happened. LOL.
I have however made a few Christmas cards as you can see:

I made about 20 others I figured nobody would really want to see all of them, not only that it would take to long to post them.

Now I must confess, I didn’t get these sent out this past year. But, look at the bright side. I am ready for Christmas 2013!

The problem is I discovered Pinterest  . It's the one site I should avoid. It's a great site, it's just that every time I tell myself it will be just a "couple of minutes" next thing I know a hour has flown by sometimes two maybe even three! It gets me hopping to so many fun and informing websites and blogs…. It’s crazy. I LOVE that site.
Who would have thought one website could opened my eyes to exploring so many other hobbies.  Such as making my own soap.

I have made bath soap, liquid hand soap and laundry detergent.

This soap is made with goats milk and is super smooth, I have made some unscented oatmeal for my grandson Levi. He has such sensitive skin and this soap works great. His skin is so much softer and he says " it isn't all itchy".

It even has me cooking more (made meat loaf for the first time), and making my own
Cooking Extracts:

 
This Vanilla Extract won't be ready for use until February. It was made with Vodka, I guess other types of extracts are made with rum or even whiskey. If this turns out to be good I am going to try my hand at making orange, lemon and a mint extract. - I'll let you know.

I've even found helpful cleaning tips too, my DH used to say I was domestically challenge, but now thanks to Pinterest I am a Domestic GODDESS, so much so he gave me an apron for Christmas LOL he thinks he is so funny…

Well, I need to get busy doing something...

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Monday, October 22, 2012

week 3 of retirement.

Good afternoon, I believe I am getting the hang of retirement.
I can’t believe today is almost over, the boys are home from school, and I am just now getting on the computer. Where did the day go?  I'm not really sure. I make my first Pineapple Upside down cake today, from scratch. It turned out really good, but, I think I will stick to box mixes just to keep it simple.
I find myself saying that a lot lately “keep it simple”.

On to this past week, which by the way went by super fast.
I managed to get a few household chores done. You know the stuff you say you will get to but never do, like cleaning out dresser drawers….. DONE, the boys bedroom closet….DONE. I would have like to get my closet cleaned but I don't want to over do.
I can always do it tomorrow... and we all know that tomorrow never comes.

The craft projects for the week.
I have been wanting Mod Podge something, nothing particular, just something. Lots of websites have some really cool ways to use Mod Podge. All the sites say the same thing “Start Small” so for once I took that advise.
I have this old step stool that I used at work (under my desk to rest my feet on) and decided it would be good for a first project. I started by sanding off the shiny finish. (Do this outside, I started it inside, bad idea) I can’t say I enjoyed this part at all, it is a lot more tedious than I thought it would be. I used Larry’s palm sander, but ended up breaking a couple of pieces off the sander and had to finish by hand. Then I rummaged through Larry's "man shed: and found a couple cans of spray paint. Gray prime and a can do orange glossy the primer only took about 15 minutes for it to dry the orange took quite a bit longer, good thing too because the next part was truly the hardest…..what to do with the stool now? It took me most of the day looking online for ideas, then changing my mind, looking online again… and then I end up making something as simple as this:

Yep this took me all day, it did turn out cute, great for the boy's bathroom. The Mod Podge is dry to the touch but it needs to set a week or longer before it can get wet. I don’t think I will Mod Podge any big furniture, unless it’s already been sanded down and ready to paint. I am looking at all the switch plates in the house that could use a little Mod Podge and scrap paper.

A chore chart for the boys:



I decided to let the boys “choose their chores” instead of me having to remind them all the time.  I put their chores on magnets. (I had laying around the house). Each chore has the amount of what will can be paid out. After they complete a chore I will move one of the mini magnets on to the board. I don’t know about your kids, but every Saturday Curt would say “hey, you have to pay me my allowance” . Most of the time I’m not even sure if he did all his jobs or not. This way they will only get paid an allowance for only chores they actual did.

Best part is I didn’t have to purchase anything new for these projects, I had the stool, spray paint and the paper was from my scrap pile. I used an old cookie sheet and old magnets I had laying around for the chore chart. --- wait a minute I guess that isn’t true, I had to purchase the Mod Podge…. But I did have a coupon.


Thanks for stopping in


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Monday, October 15, 2012

2nd week of retirement zip by pretty fast

I was kept pretty busy, sure glad I don't have a job to interfere with all the goings on.
Let's take a look back at my week:
Sunday and Monday mom and I took the boys to Indy, we stayed at the Holiday Inn that has the an indoor water park - Caribbean Cove the boys played in the water most of the evening Sunday.
On Monday we went to the Indianapolis Zoo. We had a pretty good time. The weather was super, and the park was crowded at all.
When I got home I found out I became a GREAT Gma to a beautiful baby girl.
At 6:05am little Chloe was born - she is such a pretty baby.

Tuesday, I rested up from the weekend LOL - and made Al’s wedding card. Can you believe I forgot to take a picture.
Wednesday I helped Alyson (my eldest grand-daughter) put together her wedding programs, 160 of them. And it was Larry’s 65th birthday, which means dinner out.
Thursday I Then spent most of the day shopping for something to wear to the wedding. I hate clothes shopping. I mean really, really, hate it. I did find a couple of cute sweaters. Funny I can shop hours on end if it’s for paper, tape or just fun stuff. But after a hour or so of clothes shopping I am exhausted.
Friday worked on my 2007 scrapbook, almost finished only need our New Years day pictures and cover sheet for the year -- whoohoo
Saturday was wedding day for my eldest grand-daughter Alyson and Steven. I didn’t take any pictures of my own, she had photographer and plenty of friends taking pictures. I’m sure there will lots of  good ones to choose from.
I snatched this one from her face book page. LOL

Sunday it rained all day, power went on and off for most of the day. Which means I spent the day curled up with a good book. But the worst thing, It was my sisters birthday, and didn’t call her to wish her a Happy Birthday! I am so bad! I thought about it when I first got up, but it was to early to call. Then we had visitors later in the day, by the time I remember again it was too late to call. I feel just terrible. I did call her this morning first thing, no answer, left message, I will try again this afternoon.

My week in short: Went on weekend trip, became a GREAT Gma, Larry’s birthday, oldest grand-daughter got married and I was a bad little sister. Oh! I almost forgot, we had a new roof put on the house.

I think this week will be a little less busy.


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Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 1 - of my RETIREMENT !!

My official last day at UIUC was Friday, Sept 28th. But, I am considering today my first TRUE day of retirement. Because I always had the weekends off anyway.

Now what? That is my question...

I've never been a SAHM let alone a SAHGma
I do have a couple of small (and I mean small) errands to run.
At 11:30 I am taking Happy Meals to Levi's school for his birthday lunch. Then I am going to take some Halloween candy bags to my friend Janet's shop. Janet owns a nice little antique shop in town. I made some of these cute candy bags with sunflowers and filled with M&M's. She wanted to put some up near her front register just to see if they will sell.


They did, just like she knew they would. I really didn't think they would.
Now we are going to try these Halloween ones.



 if these sell I may just make some for all the holidays.

 Back to my goals for retirement...
1. make at least one crafty item a week
2. get my scrapbooking up to date. I am currently working on 2007. I have some older pictures I'd like to scrap. I don't want to start on them, until I have completed 2012.
3. get back into blogging, and post at least once or twice a week. I haven't been blog hopping for so long, it is something I really miss too.  Plus my sister Vikki keeps reminding me I am a BAD BLOGGER!
and last but not least (I don't want to make my goal list to long, I don't want to fail at this retirement gig)
4. eat less and get back to exercising. I quit going to the gym when the boys came to live with us back in 2008. It shows too, I've put on at least 40 lbs, not good.

Did you happen to notice my goals don't include any thing assocated to work, like houseWORK, yardWORK.... hahahaha That is because I only have the hours between 8 and 2:30 to really play before the the boys get out of school.

Well, so far for day 1, I've spent my first two and half hours in front of the computer, I need to go get dressed if I want to get the Happy Meals to school by 11:30 (it's 10:45 now).

Thanks for stopping in.


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Let it be known, I have made a couple of cards!

I’ve been MIA for quite a while. I really stink at keeping my blog updates; I hope you can forgive me.

Seems like my schedule had knocked my crafty time way down my “to do” list… and my poor blog somewhere farther down the list I am sad to say.
Work is the main culprit of slowing down my creative. I am hoping all that changes in 108 days (not that I am counting), when I finally retire at the ripe old age of 53. I have told myself that once I don’t have to go to work. I should be able to make at least one card a day and try to blog at least once a week.
My biggest goal is to get my scrapbooking caught up; I am starting on 2008 now. Sorting through the pictures is a big job; I am starting to think I take too many, and it so easy to do, with these digital cameras, I have one of those little SD card for each year. The plan is to pick out two to four favorite pictures per month and scrap them and make a yearlong video using the rest.

Now, what did I come here for? Oh I remember Cards I made some cards.
I need to make a couple of cards this month.
Curt turned 8 on the 5th and my oldest granddaughter Alyson turns the BIG 21; I also need two father’s day cards.

Don’t get too excited I only managed to get two out of the four finished.
I should get the others done by the end of the week considering Al is having a family cookout Saturday… and father’s day is this Sunday,it’s a good thing I work better under pressure.

I guess if you made it this far you must really want to see the two cards  I managed to finish:

A little spinning easel card for Curt:

and here is the fathers day card I made for my dad: Photobucket

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Springs is on the way! (I hope)

Time is just flying by; I can't believe it's been 3 months since my last post.

You would think I'd have a lot to say...hum, not really.

I have been busy finishing up some older needlework projects I started sometime ago.
I wonder why I never finished them in the first place? I do that a lot it seems, start a project, then something else grabs my attention and well, you know what happens...nothing yep nothing get finished.
This is something I should work on changing... start something...and finish it.

Let's see,
So far I finished 4 needle-work projects, started and finished yes, FINISHED another.
I also purchased 2 more patterns and lots of new threads... Yippee!!
That is a minor personality trait I suffer with, I can't seem to start something without getting all excited about the hobby and drawn deeper in... I don't think I could change that even if I wanted to (which I don't). I believe that little trait is deeply embedded in my DNA. Probably comes from my mom's side. LOL

Here are pictures of the finished projects:  




Now all I have to do is figure out how I am going frame them or something for display.

The new projects and threads, (I am planning a starting one of these tonight).

I manage to reorganize all the jet cube storage boxes in my "playroom". I even labeled the drawers. I thought maybe if I labeled them it would be easier for me to find stuff, it helps a little. I will say it has helped me when I do clean off my work space, I don't just "stuff" things away.

Then the boys and made 44 of these little gift bags for valentines days.

this is just 1 I think we had about 5 or 6 different designs.
It was nice having my "playroom" organized and clean while it lasted. Which wasn't very long.
oh well...

Okay now.. what else have I been doing... let me think...

Reading - I just started reading Fiery Cross book 5 of 8 of Diane Gabaldon's Outlander series. Book 8 isn't due out until early 2013. I love this series, except parts tend to drag, and I lose interest. I will put the book down, only to pick it back up a week or so later to be drawn back into Jamie and Clare's lives once again. Not putting it down until it is finished, forgetting all about my daily duties like the kids, laundry, supper... I don't know about you, but, when I get into a series like this, the characters almost become part of the family. When talking to friends that have read or are reading the series, if you didn't know better, it even sounds (to an outsider) like Jamie and Clare are real...

And speaking of family brings me to the silly little Sims family that lives happily in my laptop.
The boys and I (mostly me) have created a super cool town. We have a Fire department, Police department, library, church, cemetery, bowling alley with joint restaurant and dance hall, daycare center, trailer park, inner city slum, laundry mat, water-park and pet store. I am in process of making a theater. This is consuming way to much of my time. I love to build and decorate the houses and business. I go online to find some of the special furnishings that aren't included in the game, that other obsessed Sims fans have created. Some of theses things are so cool, like the mini movie poster, rugs... you wouldn't believe it. I don't know how they create them, but, I'm glad they do. It's like shopping without spending any money! I LOVE it. If you play Sims then you know what I'm talking about. I downloaded a mini box of milk-duds last night for my concession stand, and it is so real looking...
I spend most of the time not playing the game but just building stuff. Curt on the other hand likes to make the people, and he makes some funny ones that for sure. He has one guy that walks around with a snorkel on his head. Levi on the other hand spends his time trying to figure out how "those people" got in my laptop. He's so funny.
The other day I purchased one of those HMDI cables, so I can hook my laptop up to my big TV. Now I can see my Sims BIG -- this is way cool.

I think that covers most of what I've been up to for the past couple of months, other than work, school, you know the usual daily grind.
Enough of my ramblings...

Thanks for stopping by, who knows when my next post will be.

So until next time...remember - - it's the small things that matter.

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