Monday, May 31, 2010

Lovely End to Memorial Day

I hope you all have had a wonderful Memorial Day and took the time to remember the sacrifices of those in our military so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have.

I did a little (okay a lot of) work today clearing off our deck. We had a lot of kid stuff piled high that the girls no longer play with. We moved our table to that end of the deck. I can't believe how spacious it feels now. It was very nice enjoying our hamburgers and hot dogs outside this evening.

We also picked up a super neat item that you can see below.

So cool!
But it sure looks a little empty doesn't it?
Gotta have some people to enjoy it.

There, that's better! 
We invited Oma and Opa from across the street over to help us break in the fire pit.
You gotta have s'mores!

Opa and Steve made the yummiest looking toasted marshmallows.
Jessica's took a little longer because she was hesitant to get it too close to the heat.
But she sure enjoyed the results!

Perfect, just perfect!

Thanks for stopping by.
I hope you have a wonderful start to your week!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Patriotic Porch...

Gee Whiz! Three posts, back to back?! In my defense, lately the girls have been all enamored with the Build-a-Bear website. We have 4 computers in this house and guess whose computer they want to use? Mine! Sigh. I know how they feel though, the two we have for them don't load very fast, currently they won't even turn on one of them. The other one in our spare room will be used if they have to. And Daddy's computer is off limits. So, that leaves mine. I have to squeeze in my posts right now while they are quietly enjoying some apple slices and caramel syrup. I've asked Steve to ramp up the other computers just a bit so they'll be happier on those. We'll see if it happens. Otherwise, my posting may be feast or famine style. LOL Right now you get a feast. Hope you don't mind!

Anyway, I have been picking up some items to help commemorate Memorial Day
(and most likely July 4th, too)
I thought you might like to take a peek.
Here is what I did with the hanging planters.
Not the greatest picture of them, but I also crocheted some stars. 
I found the pattern here after seeing this post.

We found this whirly twirly hanger at the Dollar Tree this morning.

And Jessica's teacher gave me this yesterday, which I thought was very sweet!

It was fun festooning the porch for the upcoming holiday!

Thanks so much for the visit(s)!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

First Day of Summer Break...Gotta Get Wet!

Especially since the temperature soared to about 90 today and the local pools don't open to the public until at least Tuesday. 
We tried to go roller skating, but they don't open for daytime skating until Tuesday either.
Let's try miniature golf. 
They were open!
It was a bit of a splurge, but heck we had to celebrate the first full day of Summer Break.
We had a great time (but I didn't have my camera with me).

When we got home, the girls were hot, so I pulled out the slip 'n slide to see if it would work right. 
Double yay!

I caught some neat (at least I thought so) shots, so here you go!

We had gone to Joann's and the Dollar Store where we picked up these soaker sticks.
Jessica didn't want Amy to get her wet, but boy, she sure didn't mind getting Amy!
She even hid by the deck to surprise her!

LoVe the expression on Jessica's face!
And Amy's.
What a happy smile!
See, Jessica didn't want Amy to squirt her.

What a fun way to spend a hot afternoon!


We Made Ice-Cream Yesterday!

As a last day of school activity, Amy's class made ice-cream and her teacher was kind enough to send the recipe home with the kids.
Of course, she wanted us to try it.
Who cares that it was about an hour before dinner, right?
It was the last day of school.
And that calls for a bending of the rules!

Fill a gallon size baggie half full of ice cubes.
Add 6 tablespoons of salt.
In a smaller baggie add
1/4 tsp of vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup of milk
Seal the smaller bag and put it into the larger bag. Seal the larger bag.
Go outside, in case a bag breaks.
Shake. Shake. Shake.
(for about 5 minutes)

Get Mommy in on the shaking because Jessica got tired.

While waiting for the ice-cream to form, Jessica took Mommy's camera and took a shot of Buster who was cooling off in the grass.

When it looks like this, it's ready!
Open carefully, grab a spoon, maybe add some syrup and sprinkles...
and EnJoY!


The girls had a great last day of school.
Amy's teacher even put together a short video of pictures she took of the class throughout the year, burned it onto a dvd and gave each student a copy.
One of the songs in the presentation was You've Got A Friend in Me. 
One of my very favorites, ever!
Yes, it brought a tear or two  to my eye.
So sweet!

Summer Vacation has begun!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Crochet Bead Earrings

Back again!

Ever since I got the idea to crochet on the hoops, I've been interested in making some jewelry with crochet. I have a book called Hooked on Jewelry that shows how to crochet a bead cover with some stunning examples. I originally was going to make them for the girls' teachers, but was having a bit of difficulty getting the size of the crochet piece that covers the bead to fit properly.

Of course, after I finished the hoops, I tried again and it worked perfectly.
Go figure.

I covered the beads last week and needed to make the rest of the earring. I just finished these today.
Mind you, I'm pretty clueless as to how to put an earring together, so what I came up with may not be correct in terms of jewelry making, but it'll do. I like how they came out, anyway.
I took two pictures and figured why not share them both. In the one above you get a better look at the bead cap on the top and on the second picture you can see it better on the bottom.

I found out last week that Amy's former second grade teacher will not be at our school next year. While I won't go into details, it's not something she initiated and I'm not thrilled to hear that she is leaving. Jessica is going to be bummed to know she doesn't get a chance to have her as a teacher.

I wrote her a letter of recommendation and thought she might like these as a small gift to thank her for all the love and care she has shown Amy and to wish her well in her future endeavors.

Hope you are having a great day!

Teacher Cards

I spent most of yesterday cleaning house since I barely touched it last week. And believe me, it showed!
I feel much better about it now.
So much so, I spent this morning working on a couple of cards for the girls' teachers to go along with their end of year gifts.

I wanted to try my hand at crocheting an apple motif. I made these late last week after find the pattern (for free) here at Maggie's Crochet. I used bedspread weight cotton thread, size 10, instead of the yarn called for in the pattern and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out.

To get them to stick, I just used pop dots. Not a permanent solution, but one that will work. By popping up the apple, I was able to attach the leaf kind of below the apple using a clear glue.

Because I kept the front so simple, I spent a little time stamping on the inside of the card, 
which you can see here.

The paper I got from Kathi C a long time ago. I'm not sure which stack it came from, I just felt like it had the apple feeling I was going for. As you can see, I added just a little bling.

The stamp set is from Papertrey Ink and the ink colors are all CTMH (Holiday Red, Topiary, Chocolate and Black). 

I need to share that the score lines were made using my new Martha Stewart scoring mat. Yes, I splurged because I already own a very good scoring mat. What sold me on the Martha Stewart one is the fact that the score lines are 1/8th of an inch apart! Love that. Also, there is a piece that helps you score paper to make your own envelopes and that piece slides into the base for storage. With a coupon, it sure made it affordable for me!

Here's a blog post I found comparing the two versions of the scoring board. I guess I didn't realize that the MS scoring board has been around for a while. (I haven't really scoped out the scrapping aisles recently, either, which probably explains it) 

I have a couple of other crafty things I want to work on while I can, so I'll sign off for now.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garden's Planted...Whew!

I'm gonna need a rest after this weekend, too, I think!

We had some beautiful, albeit really windy weather on Saturday. I think it got pretty darn near close to 90!
Today is less windy and much more comfortable.
I wanted to get my flowers planted, but first I had to buy them! LOL
I spent a good portion of the late morning/early afternoon planting. I didn't get it all done, so I finished up this afternoon and I thought you might like to see this year's garden. 
Well, if you don't, at least I want a record of it!
I just finished this first part this afternoon.
In this first picture you see this water feature we've had for several years. I think it worked the first season we had it, then it didn't, but I don't remember why. All these years the rocks have eased away (or been plucked by certain children) from the black covering and the pail that would hook on the pump was confiscated by one of the girls when they were little bitties. Isn't this a lovely vignette? Oh and the straggly thing behind it? That's a holly bush that Steve likes. Directly under the bush had been a whiskey barrel. I'll explain in a minute.
This whiskey barrel needed some major sprucing up. The pansies you see came back from last year.
After some hefting and hauling, here's what it looks like now!
I asked Steve if it would be okay to snip the pump away from the tubing so I could move it. He didn't care at all what I did with it. So, I snipped and moved it over to this corner. I also dug out the receptacle that housed some really gross looking water. I filled the big hole up with rocks. You can't hardly tell it was there anymore. I'd have taken a picture, but a shot of rocks sounds really boring, so I didn't.
 I picked up a pail today, punched some holes in the bottom for drainage and planted a couple of wave petunias (crossing fingers and toes that it doesn't get taken over by little worms as previous petunias have in my gardening past).
Here's another shot of my whimsical pansy profusion.
I love, love, love pansies if you didn't know (or remember).
And that plant in the middle? That's a Curly Whirly! Thanks to my friend Heidi, who told me about it. I had to go and find me one. Her best description is it's a Dr. Seuss plant!
Isn't that completely true when you look at it?
Click on the picture to make it bigger if you want.
It grows all curly and corkscrewy like that. There may be some little flowers at some point, but even if there aren't, this is just too cool and fun the way it is.
It's an annual though. 
The nursery where I got it also has little fairy gardens. Seriously cute. I thought about trying to make one on my own. Then I bought my flowers and blew my budget, so...maybe next year. That nursery was my first stop of the morning and I completely splurged on the Curly Whirly.
Here's the back corner all prettied up.
See that big whiskey barrel?  It used to be in the front under the holly bush.
I moved it. Omg...I had to shovel out as much dirt as I could into a wheel barrow which by the way was a total pain to get to. That white arbor is in front of a gate to the area behind the garage there. That's where the wheel barrow was. Um, the gate is falling off the hinges. Let's just say we had a fight and I won. eventually.

So, after I unloaded as much dirt as I could, I needed a bit of Steve's muscle to help me lift it onto a wagon so I could wheel it to the backyard. Then I heaved it to that spot and shoveled the dirt back into it.
Remember I told you it was hot out? Yeah, well, I worked up quite a sweat doing this! But it got done and I'm very happy with it in the backyard. Where I can actually plant flowers in it (and hope they live!)
I'm trying those petunias here, too. They are the wave kind. I'm using a different pot than last year and it looked a little sparse, so I added a couple of pansies.
One can never have too many pansies!
Here's what it looks like looking down from the chair with the petunias.
I'm completely excited that the clematis I planted last season survived and has already bloomed! See that flower next to the ground? Yep, it's a clematis. I wish I could remember the name of it. My blog buddy, Sarah, inspired me to plant it. I can't wait until it fills in!
Here's another shot of the corner. Can  you tell I'm just an eensy, weensy bit proud of it? LOL
I've got some dianthus that came back from last year in that front pot. I added a geranium.
The whiskey barrel has a geranium, some neat flowers that open up in the day and close up when it cools off. I added some pansies, too.
I've got gerbera daisies and nicatania in the other pots.
I added some plants along the fence, but the light was making the pictures look all wonky, so I'll have to try again another day.

I'm very pleased with how it looks and hope it flourishes.
Thanks for coming along a little tour. Hope you enjoyed it.
Have a great start to your week!