Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mystery Cards Giveaway

No, it's not my 100th post and no, it's not my blog's 1 yr anniversary. It's cleaning out time. Yes, I admit that it is a little odd right now to 'clean out' being that we're entering fall and not spring, but I say... no better time than the present. (As a queen of procrastinators, do I really say that?)

Anyway, I thought I'd start small and give a few cards from my card collection away. I've always had a penchant for paper and have collected cards throughout the years. Some with the intention of actually using and some with the sole purpose of collecting. Every once in a while I'd take them out to admire them, place them in new piles, shove them back in their containers and return them to their shelf or under-bed storage. A few days ago, I took them out, looked at them yet again and realized:

a. my tastes have changed
b. I have too much 'stuff'
c. maybe someone else could actually use them?

So, if you'd like a mystery cards packet
(think Let's Make a Deal's mystery curtains)
send me a comment. I'll keep the giveaway open a few days and then pull names out of a hat. I have 10 packets to give away, each with roughly 10-12 cards in them. Have fun!

P.S. - There are no inappropriate cards - don't worry.

P.P.S. - Sorry the pictures are so gloomy. It's raining here today, which in many many ways is a good thing (we've needed the rain), but it's not so good for photographs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Goodies & Bananas

Some goodies that came in the mail:


:: fabric scraps from my Scrap Swap partner

Thank you, Jen!


:: a subscription to Victoria and a copy of this book. Thanks, Mom!


Some things I made from brown bananas:

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins from Foster's Market Cookbook

Or should I say I attempted to make? For some reason (blame it on my husband talking to me or perhaps my own forgetfulness of recent?) I completely forgot to add the 3 sticks of butter (don't gasp - I doubled the quantities of everything) to the recipe. The 3 sticks, which dutifully melted in the microwave, sat in the microwave untouched while the muffins gleefully baked in the hot oven. The recipe tasted good, but was a little dry. I'll try it again but will have to give the muffins my undivided attention next time. The recipe was from Foster's Market Cookbook.

Bananas Foster

I also made Bananas Foster (hmmm... do I detect a theme?) and served it over ice cream. This batch didn't have any rum in it. I was too lazy to add it in and ignite it. My family enjoyed it nonetheless, and it was gone in one sitting, bowls licked clean.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Do Not Disturb


Until 8 years ago, I had never really heard of Weetabix, believe it or not. I suppose it's just not as 'American' as Fruit Loops (ugh). It was our friends from New Zealand who turned us (me, at least) onto this wonderful cereal, full of vitamins & minerals & fiber. It was also our New Zealand friends who described the method of eating Weetabix. According to them, all children, pets, phone calls, doorbells and other responsibilities need to be quieted or put away/go away. Put into bowl, 2 or 3 biscuits of Weetabix. Then with spoon ready in one hand, carefully pour the desired amount of milk into the bowl. (Not with 'American-style' milk mind you, which is "like water", but 'Kiwi-style' milk which apparently is like heavy cream.) Then break up and eat immediately. Do not look to the right or the left, do not wait to ponder, but eat lest it get soggy.

Well, I have adopted this method hence the cereal with no milk. Didn't want to waste precious time with photography while my Weetabix got soggy. I added craisins and nuts this morning ... a cup of coffee ... ahhh... just do not disturb.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Autumn

Happy 1st Day of Fall! 2 Days Early!

Living in New England for the past 16 years has made me really appreciate Autumn. I've always enjoyed this time of year. Definitely my favorite season.

I suppose it's the cooler weather, the crispness to the mornings and evenings, the apples, the pumpkins, the warm cider, the necessity for sweaters, the change in the leaves: from greens to glorious golds, reds, oranges, mustards. Wonderful.

Moving to the Midwest last year has not afforded me the same type of Autumn. Today for instance, it reached into the 80s. Not exactly Fall weather in my book. But, I'm hopeful. Last week the weather cooperated, and we could sleep with the windows wide open. I'm sure this hotter weather will soon be something of the past and my favorite season will begin.

Today, the kids finished their Viking ships for class. I burned several fingers in the process while hot-gluing the ships together. The kids however, were fine.

They made what is known as Drakkar boats (warships).

For some odd reason (ha!) the boys wanted to make these and not Knaar boats (cargo vessels). Hmmm... go figure!


Note added: Yes, like an idiot, I posted this 2 days early. Autumn really begins on Sunday. Oops!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Trying

I'm still attempting to return to a rhythm:
of school, of chores, of piano, of reading, of crafting, of writing, of blogging...

Things that I want to add to the rhythm: photography, baking, soup-making, deep breaths, knitting, tag-sales, dates with my husband, more deep breaths, letters, one-on-one time with my children, dreaming about next year's garden, listening to music, family time... (the list is endless).

Things that I need to add to the rhythm: organizing, cleaning, finishing the kitchen, meal-planning... all those things that are not necessarily fun but could bring the want list to fruition?

Trying to save some basil for the long winter ahead.

Today was busy and time was short. My husband is sick with a head cold. The kids were inundated with lessons and I was getting 4 Viking ships ready and listening to lots of Baroque music for my homeschool classes tomorrow, so I made a comfort-food dish tonight: shepherd's pie.

This one has ground beef and 'dump spices' (aka LOTS of herbs and spices thrown in for taste with no measuring at all).

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Frazzled

10 days since my last post. No crafting, no pictures but lots of busy work. My thoughts are spinning with all that needs to be done. Hopefully things will begin to slow down into our new routine.
Dale Chihuly's work at a museum we visited about a month ago.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Rose-Colored Glasses Required


Years ago, my mother and I used to have subscriptions to this magazine. Loved it. It's not exactly my style, but I always appreciated the dreamy quality of it. When it arrived in the mailbox each month, I'd put it aside and wait until the more 'mundane' things of the day were complete. I mean, in order to enjoy it fully, you just had to have a cup of warm tea and cookie and a soft & quiet place to curl up in. It was ritual of sorts.

So when it went out of business, there was much disappointment. We used to cut pictures from it (gasp!) and make cards before handmade cards were popular. I'd drool over the recipes and even manage to try a few. My husband always teased me that I needed to wear rose-colored glasses when reading it; all the pictures must have been shot with that soft, all's-right-with-the-world filter.

Well, it's made a comeback. So I'm readying my rose-colored glasses and warming up the teapot. Mom, you should too! (hint hint)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Nice Matters Award

award by http://bella-enchanted.blogspot.com

I visited Full Circle's blog today and found to my surprise that she nominated me for the Nice Matters Award. Thank you! I had to laugh though...it comes at a very ironic time - when I was not feeling too nice. Today the kids and I began our official (and very full, not-finished-til-5pm) day of school again. Piano lessons, snack, math at various stages, phonics, vocabulary, reading, reading, reading, history, geography and Physical science (was that studying how water molecules separate or was that my brain separating?)

Anyway, I'm flattered. I've never been awarded anything in blogland before. As the 'official' rules go, I now award 7 people whom I think "are just nice people , good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!" I'd like to add to that description by including those rather new blogs (new to me) that I've stumbled upon within the last few months. Great inspiration!

Hmmm...so many to choose from, but here are my choices:
Kisskus
Ka-Blog!
Cheeky Beaks
Berlin's Whimsy
Miss-Frugality
This Vintage Chica
Irish Sally Garden (aka An Irish Craftworkers Good Life)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Y is for Yarn

This one is sort of an obvious choice for the letter Y, unless of course I owned a Yak (which I don't) or I was a professional Yodeler (which I'm not) or I couldn't bear to live without the color yellow (which I can...well sort of).

I realized something recently: I almost like the yarn better than making things with the yarn. Does that make sense? I love seeing the neat piles of colors and textures when I enter a yarn shop. I love the possibilities that a skein of yarn can hold. I haven't done much lately with my stash of yarn, but I do like looking at and dreaming...