Tuesday, August 31, 2010


The last couple of weeks have been crazy but good.  We started school.  Some were happier than others about it. What you can't see is me, behind the camera, doing cartwheels.  It has been a long summer.

In all actuality.  Both were happy to go back.

My parents have not been able to be in Iowa as much this summer because of Dad's eye issues.  So one day last week we packed a picnic dinner and went up to their place and Nathan mowed the large sections of yard. 

The kids had fun with the swings papa installed.

It seems to me that we  have not gotten alot done in the last couple of weeks.  It is hard to get back into a routine.  I am discovering that I need a solid routine during the day so I don't waste all my alone time.  It is quiet in the house.  I am trying to to have the TV and radio on all of the time, but it is really quiet here. 

On another subject, we have had an extremely wet summer in central Iowa.  Some people have a sense of humor about it.

This is the view from Mom and Dad's place.  Water is not supposed to be there.  That was a corn field.

But in the last week we have not had rain (except for today) I forgot that plants outside need water.  I think I killed about 1/2 of the plants in the pots.  Whoops.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chandelier Project

Well I think I am almost done with my chandelier. 
I bought this at the What Cheer Flea Market
a couple of weeks ago

I ordered several colors and sizes of cats eye beads. 
I decided not to use the pink ones, they just did not seem to go
well with the blue and green.

 My handy electrical engineer hubby rewired the cord 
with a plug, so I could use it as a swag lamp. 

 I used my handy-dandy screw punch and poked little holes where I wanted dangles.  
(I highly suggest one of these tools if you work with metal at all.  
It cuts through metal like butter.) 


 I made some dangles from the cat's eye tear drops 
and some links I had in my bead stash.  I then threaded
head pins through the holes I made with the 
screw punch and made wrapped loops.  


I then attached the dangles to these loops.


 I made all the beads into links and made strings of graduated sizes of beads.

I attached the chain of beads to the links that I used in the dangles.  
I added the center crystal and now I have a fun chandelier.  
I apologize for the quality of the pics.  The basement is dark.  
This is why I need a chandelier!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Some things just cannot be "diet"

This is why, maybe, diets don't works so well for me.  I have a hard time modifying certain foods to make them "diet".  I would rather not eat the food at all, then eat a inferior version of it.  Yesterday was my birthday and the hubby made me (and a group of friends) dinner and a cake. I requested pineapple upside down cake.

You can't make this without butter.  I am sorry.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

workbox give away

There is a contest at lovely little handmades. She is participating in a giving away of a Limited Edition Workbox. I wish these (The Original Scrapbox) were affordable. I would have one in a heartbeat, especially since I am redoing my craft room. Enter at lovely little handmades today!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


We feel yucky. I sat around all weekend and did not work on anything. My husband forced me. I was threatened. He blamed paint fumes. So no progress on anything. Now my husband is sick, so it was not the paint fumes. I'll start painting again tomorrow when he is away at work. It was a good day for watching Veggie Tales and cuddling on the couch.

See you again soon, hopefully with some progress being made.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Basement Craft Redo 2

It has been a busy couple of days. I turned this...

into this (I like metallic spray paint)

We hosted small group and I made fresh peach crisp.

I think it went over well.

I also worked on decorating the craft room with some things that I had lying about the house. This was a rug that I got a Target about 5 years ago. The Z man at some point spilled about a quart of cherry koolaide on it. Cherry flavor, does not come out. I put that corner under the chair.

This is a chair that I had and was going to put in my bedroom, but it was not right for that space. It is not my favorite, but right now I have it and it is free.

This is a clock that I bought for the living room, but it is really heavy and I did not trust it on the plaster walls. Also I showed it to my hubby and he immediately noticed that it was a S & M clock. Soooo.... No living room clock. But what I do in my own craft room is my own business. (I am not that good with a soldering iron yet :)

Notice the lamp. I got that at What Cheer last weekend. The unique thing about it is that the shade is brass. It also has about the right amount of green patina.

Here is another shot of the buffet. I am not sure how all this will be arranged finally, but at least I got some stuff in here.

Most of the room still looks alot like this. Discordant piles of????? I see sorting (and some purging) in my future.

I have decided that this room is a little small to include all my quilting stuff, so I am going to use the other half finished basement room. Right now it looks like this...

This is tomorrow's project.... or maybe this will take a week or two.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fabric Indecision

The basement is damp. I was going to paint the buffet today. The hubby was going to help me move it from the garage down to the basement where it is not 90 something degrees. But..... Rumble - Rumble - POURING rain again last night left the basement damp. Thankfully, I was working on the craft room and had everything moved away from the walls. Water filled the window wells and came in the window in the craft room. So one corner of the carpet in the room is wet. I have the fans and the dehumidifier down there now and it is drying out nicely. I feel really bad for the people in the area who are having water issues in their basements. (SOOOO Sorry Erin!!) Oh well, I probably needed to laundry today anyway.

I pulled out the fabrics that I am going to use as accents, such as a throw pillow on the chair, and was going to make some stuff tonight. But I CANNOT decide which fabric to use. Option number one is an Amy Butler pattern I have about 1/2 a yard of. Which is really nice or....

Option number two, a Michael Miller pattern that is equally pretty!

Mr. Nibbles cannot make a decision either. Which one hides cat hair better? Where I am, they are. (In fact Cleo is draped over an arm right now. Makes it very difficult to type.)

I also have a vintage table cloth that I picked up this weekend.

Decisions, decisions....

I also picked up other pretties that will go in the room.

This picture I picked up from a local shop called Best of Thymes. They have such pretty stuff. It is a picture of a bird, imagine that. (FYI I am going through a bird phase right now)

I also picked up some flower arrangements from Hobby Lobby. I think Heaven will look a bit like Hobby Lobby. That's a little sacrilegious isn't it?

Now if I only had some white pottery to put these in..... Oh wait! I collect that also! How handy.

This room is going to be soooooo girly. I do not know what has come over me. Well, time to go do something productive, like putting away all the laundry that I have washed and folded today. Boo, Hiss!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

What Cheer!!! What Fun!!!!!

This weekend the parents and I took a trip to the What Cheer Flea Market in What Cheer, Iowa. It is wonderful, or at least we think it is wonderful. It was also hot, sticky, and muddy. Anyway, as you know I am redoing my craft room or actually, doing my craft room, as it was never really done in the first place. I just wanted to show you some pics of the junk I acquired over the weekend. Currently most things are piled in the garage or on the dinning room table. Most of these will be the "before" pics as most pieces will be painted or altered in some way.

This is a cabinet/shelving unit that will go into the room for storage. Basically it only needs another coat of white paint. A so/so bargin at $40. I got it because it is really solid. I could put lots of books on here and the shelves will not sag.

A table that is exactly the way that I want it. It is a pretty blue with some distressing. (I apologize for the use of the flash) I think that this is a bargain at $12, mainly because I do not have to do anything to it to use it.

Another table that requires only a little dusting. This is a solid table that I think I will put my sewing machine on. A definite bargain at $20.

This will be the chandelier over my work table. It requires another coat of white paint, some simple wiring to turn it into a hanging lamp, and beads (lots and lots of beads!!!) The existing wiring is fairly new and will not need to be replaced. A good bargain at $8.

This is a teacup and saucer set that I got ?free? I had $10 of glassware and then had this which was $2 and got everything for $10. Sooooo flea market math...(divide 10 by 12.... carry the six.....divide by infinity... equals $free$) The reason that this called to me is that I collect tea cups and this is actually a very delicate piece and is exactly the colors that I am using in the craft room.

I bought this wicker to go out on the front porch. I got both pieces, a love seat and a rocker, for $75. (Thanks mom and dad for the birthday money)

Now this buffet did not come from the flea market, but came from our local thrift store (also one of my favorite places). This piece will give me TONS of storage. It is over 6 feet long and has drawers even behind the doors. It is a solid, well built piece with metal glides and dove-tailed joints. But it is UGLY. It has a fake yellowy wood finish. But the details are nice and I think will look very nice painted. It is also off the ground, which I think is important for air circulation in the basement. I think this is a great amount of storage for only $35. That's right folks, over six feet of drawer and display space for only $35!!!

This next picture is something we saw and thought was very cool. They are spheres of barbed-wire. We are trying to think how they got the shape. You could not really use a balloon like paper-mache, could you?

Well, time to go and finish a few of these pieces. There are pics are progress pictures to come!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mr Nibbles

Well, I think we have a name for the kitten, other than "the kitten". My mother suggested Nibbles. It has become Mr. Nibbles. I thought Nibbler but the hubby thought that was too direct a reference to Futurama.

Mother suggested this name after hearing the story about the not so little girl, close to tears, bringing the gerbil down stairs with blood on its tail. "Something is wrong with my gerbil!!" I look at the gerbil and she looks back at me and looks fine (other than about 1/2 inch of tail gone). I continue to check on the gerbil for the rest of the day and it seems to be feeling fine. The hubby comes home and I tell him about the gerbil and he immediately blames the kitten. Light Bulb Moment. The kitten is always VERY interested in the gerbil. It is a vicious kitten. It would eat that gerbil without a smidgen of guilt. It is not that much of a stretch to think that it would take a taste. SO now the name. Mr. Nibbles. Hubby thinks that it will be an appropriate name for the kitten now when it is still cute and also when the cat will become a 30 lbs obeast and not be able to even jump on the couch.

Now to join the hubby and his search for bad sci-fi movies. I hear "Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus" not calling my name. Think I'll just go to bed, or do dishes, or clean out the toilets, or something else that would be more fun and exciting than watching that movie.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What do I do all day?

What have I been up to?

1. Made a bunch of earrings for a local store

(These are some of my favorites)

2. Worked on the dissertation

3. Chased cats off of quilt blocks

4. Finished a quilted gift for a friend who just had a baby

5. Made a yummy looking fruit platter for dinner one evening

6. Ate a lot of fresh picked sweet corn (this is Iowa of course). I think that this green is such a pretty color

7. Tortured the children by making them do their chore list

8. And worked on the basement craft room.
I am trying to make the walls of the basement less "yucky" by covering them with fabric. I am putting hooks into the ceiling and then eye bolts in the end of dowel.

I am then taking sheets and making them into curtain panels (cheapest source of fabric). I am then hanging them so they cover the walls.

I think that this will work well. I can move them aside when I want to vacuum the walls and if they get dirty I can throw them in the wash. My hubby says that being in the room will be like being inside a ghost. Well at least it will not be dark green any more. I also made some simple curtains for the windows, but they may be too simple. Have to think about those some more.

The room is awfully white. This is totally unlike me, but we will see if I can live with it.
Well off to do more things. I have more jewellery to finish, more dissertation to write, more house to clean, and more groceries to get.