Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Welcome to Bunnyville

The pictures in yesterday's blog entry were the tip of the bunny iceberg in my house. Here is a tour of most of the Easter decor with brief descriptions. Click on any image for an enlarged view.

On my hutch sits a covered casserole that reads "Spring brings joy to every heart and home" and a pink bunny plate. Part of the plate from yesterday's post is visible in the first photo.

My table top bunny is made of artificial flowers.

A resin pair and a ceramic bunny flank a small accent lamp in the living room.

This basket of hatching chicks are on a table in the living room. The chicks used to chirp when squeezed, but they all seem to have laryngitis this year.

This piece of furniture came from my parent's home. It has always been known as "the room divider". Items on the shelves get changed with the season or whenever I get an urge. The background in this photo is distracting, but it was worse taken from the other direction.

The next shelf features these pieces that were from Avon quite a few years ago.

The next shelf has chipboard baskets that I painted and papered a few years ago. The blue one was featured yesterday. The white bunnies are quite small.

On the curio cabinet near the stairs is this basket of eggs painted by Pablo Bunny. He is a sloppier painter than I am with those paint drips all over his body, but he did a nice job on the dotted egg. Most of the eggs in the basket are inexpensive eggs covered in fine glitter. The white egg was smocked and beaded a long time ago.

Next to the Pablo Bunny is this little fairy girl painting a half dozen eggs.

More bunnies are on top of the entertainment center. The chocolate bunny looks good enough to eat and my son thought the foil wrapped bunny really was chocolate until I stopped him from trying to unwrap it! The basket and bunny on the left are Jim Shore designs. The small white one is a Snow Wonder snowman for April, dressed as an Easter bunny. The candles are battery operated candles by Candle Impressions. They have a timer and go on the same time daily. I was never impressed by fake candles until I tried this brand.

The teddy bear isn't in a rabbit costume, but he is wearing a new sweater as his Easter finery. It is intended to be a baby sweater, but the color is so springlike, I let him borrow it.

Between the living room and kitchen hangs this rabbit wall quilt.

We have two bay windows in our family room. One has bunnies (and an Easter egg print beanie baby), the other has ducks and swans. I made the bunny in the dress years ago from a pattern in a magazine. Her three babies are in her apron pockets. Her dress and apron are faded and need replacing. I'll put that on my to-do list. The duck on the left is wearing a rain hat. Her baby is attached by retractable cord. Don't we all wish we could have reeled in our kids that easily? The swan and her baby were a prize at a baby shower I attended. The duck on the right is holding an umbrella. When you squeeze her wing, she shimmies from side to side and sings "It ain't gonna rain no more"

Last but not least, this dish of unglazed pottery has three bunnies trying to climb instead. The carrots are made of clay. The dish sits on our bathroom sink. My husband looked at it and said "Please don't tell me those carrots are soap!"

The Easter Bunny is always welcome at my house. There are no little ones here now, so I'll understand if he doesn't stop by with a basket, but if you see him and he has an extra Cadbury egg, please mention my name.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Blue Bunny Monday

For this week's Blue Monday post, I thought I would feature some of my Easter decor that feature blue. For more information on Blue Monday, including how to join in or to find other Blue Monday posts, please click on the blue jay. It will take you to our host's blog, Smiling Sally.

Peter Rabbit is a ceramic music box that plays It's a Small World. Peter sat in the nursery for my sons as babies, then later moved to a living room shelf, and now spends a good part of the year in his retirement home, a.k.a. a storage cabinet.

This is my smallest rabbit. It used to reside in a wall hung curio cabinet for miniatures. Now she moves from niche to niche, probably chasing dust bunnies for sport!

These two have lived here for a long time, purchased at a gift shop no longer in business. They look ceramic because of their shiny appearance, but they are very lightweight.

One of the vendors at a craft mall does an amazing job painting wooden holiday pieces. Subtle additions like shading or the sparkle in the eyes of her critters make her work very popular.

This is a chipboard basket that I painted, papered and embellished in a class a few years ago. This is the small basket, there are two slightly larger basket behind it on this shelf in peach and purple.

There was another gift shop that I loved, especially for post-season clearance sales. This plate was reduced by 75% when I bought it years ago.

This "chocolate" bunny is on the inside of my front door. He is relatively cute as is, but it is the wording beneath him that clenched the sale at a craft show: Chocolate Bunny Escaping Easter. He always goes on the door so that he can make a quick get-away.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

One Sock!

No, this isn't a lament about a washer devouring foot coverings. It is a celebration of creation! I have one sock done and the mate is in progress!

I have knit Christmas stockings over the years, but haven't made functional socks for myself before. A few years ago my sister-in-law and I went out of town for a girl's weekend. We took directions for knitting socks on two circular needles (the concept was big news to me then), yarn and needles on our trip to Frankenmuth. Have you ever tried to do any kind of needlework in a motel room? Many of them seem to believe in electrical conservation by way of dim light bulbs. I don't know if they actually make a 5 watt bulb for a desk lamp, but if they do, the motel we were in bought them by the carton.

I hate to tell young stitchers that the day will come when knitting or sewing on black or navy blue will only done in broad daylight or under the glow of an Ott light, but it is true. Sitting on a dark bedspread, with dark yarn in a dim motel room, we gave up on the socks and bought finished socks the next day on our shopping trip.

The yarn for this sock, a self striping one favored by sock knitters has been in my stash for a while now. When my sister-in-law announced she had taken the plunge and was knitting socks, I heard a tiny voice coming from a bin in my craft room closet.

Yoo-hoo! I am still here waiting to be knitted!

While I hate being guilted into doing something, I am happy with the result. The leg is purposely short (3") as I like them that way.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's all Dot's and Susan's fault....

All craft stores are not alike. Some have a better selection of paper or paint, others have better books and beads. Then there are specialty stores for scrapbookers, for quilters, for knitters....oh my, just thinking about them can give me the vapors so I'd best not digress.

I have a Michaels and a Joann's store near my home and visit them both often. Occasionally I need to drive 40 minutes to visit Mary Maxim, a craft store that does a tremendous online and catalog business. They carry some items that I never find at the local stores and the staff is knowledgeable and helpful. A few minutes away from Mary Maxim is the Hobby Lobby that is closest to my home. Yesterday was Visitation Day, or as Bill calls it Boost The Economy Shopping Day.

Since I am always innocent, the blame lies with Dot at Picket's Place. If she hadn't posted a picture of her purchase from Hobby Lobby, I would have stayed home yesterday and done laundry. Instead, I went and bought my own Bunny Foo Foo.

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch shoulders some blame too. Because of her I stopped at Michaels and bought two bunches of daisies while they were on sale. They will eventually be arranged, possibly in a vase that I will tie with ribbon from the dollar bin, also from Michaels.

Here are some of my other purchases from Mary Maxim, beginning with this sheet of paper.

One of our nieces is expecting her second child in September. This will be used in something for her, a card at least.

Another niece's daughter has a birthday coming up and I've been finding little things that I think she will enjoy, especially if they are pink. Here are a pair of Magic Socks. This is a tiny package, but when you open it and put the socks in water, they grow to full size. I felt a pair in the store. They are normal socks in feel and appearance, 90% cotton, 8% nylon, and 2% spandex. This site shows the socks full size next to the packaging. Hers are the Chick socks in the second row.

My other purchase at Michaels was a bit of serendipity. In February I made a skateboard birthday cake for one of my great-nephews. His cousin's birthday is in two weeks and this sweet little guy wants a baseball cake. This was the last cake pan like this at Michaels, and to make it even better, I had a 40% coupon to use on it!

All in all, I am not complaining too much about bloggers being a bad influence, but I do have a favor to ask. Could some of you post about losing weight without effort? exercise without breaking a sweat? picking winning lottery numbers?

Thanks ever so much.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Anyone having a birthday?

Did I need two more dessert plates? That depends on who you ask. I almost did not buy these but I knew I would regret it later. I spent less than $3 for both of them.

I am supposed to be finishing putting out Easter decorations and starting dinner soon, but I keep getting sidetracked thinking I need to take pictures for a blog entry. If Bill ever spends the day at home watching what I do, he is going to question my sanity.

Oh wait....I think he did that once already and got a big headache! Photobucket

Lest you think any of you are guilt-free, allow me to present exhibit B (B for birds). Not only do I NOT need another set of salt and pepper shakers, these will probably never be used in that capacity. Their whole purpose will be to look cute. Like me. And this is all because so many blogs that I visit have them and had to mention they were from Target.

If you bloggers are going to keep leading me into temptation like this, could you at least provide excuses that a guy will understand as to why I HAD to have these things?

Thank you. And don't do anything interested until I get my work done.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Light hearted Blue Monday

Monday is here again (how did that happen so quickly?) and Smiling Sally is hosting another Blue Monday. Click on the Blue Jay for a link to her blog and find other Blue Monday posters, and see how you can join in the fun.

I have two pictures in my home office that still make me smile, long after hanging them on adjacent walls in the corner....where my husband jokingly says my friends and I belong. He knows better than to say that with real conviction!

The blues in both of these pieces qualify them for a Blue Monday post.

This is titled Just Desserts. The ladies are applique pieces fused onto fabric that was then stitched onto foam core.

I have two long time friends that are my once a month dinner companions. We always save room for dessert, so this pattern didn't just speak to me, it yelled Buy Me! Make me for you and your friends! And so I did. I made three of them a few years ago, the only difference in them are the background and sofa fabrics. I used machine applique and satin stitches to further secure the applique pieces and to add detail. The ladies are wearing beaded necklaces and have dimensional embellishments on their hats. Their faces were drawn with Micron markers. This is more visible if you click on the photo to enlarge.

If you are wondering, I am most likely the one in yellow although I hope I don't look like her yet. She is holding a dish of ice cream as opposed to a lollipop or a piece of cake. Given a choice of the three, ice cream would always be my choice.

This framed print was ordered from a catalog a year or two ago. It is called Three Ladies Sunning. In this case, I am not the one on the left. I am more careful about my skin and sun damage.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Remember dating?

A few days ago was the 37th anniversary of the day I met my husband. Mentioning this to a friend, we discussed some of the unsuccessful dating experiences we had before we met our soul mates. I am lucky that none of my dates turned out to be bad men, but a few were poor matches that led to these three stories.

Date #1 was a nice guy who had married very young. I think he was 19 and I was 18 when we went out. His marriage had ended months earlier and he wasn't over the idea that she had walked away. We were going to go to the movies. He picked me up and realized he left his wallet at home so we stopped by his home, a trailer. To have called it a modular home or even a mobile home would be way too grandiose. He invited me in to meet his dog. Nice dog. Disastrous surroundings. He liked to rebuild motorcycles. There were parts all over the living area, including the upholstered furniture. Some engine parts were soaking in the sink. I think I now had some insight as to why his wife left.

Date #2 was also a nice guy. I was working in a restaurant that he frequented on his lunch hour. I knew he was older than me (still 18) but never I thought about age much. Or so I thought. Our date was a movie date. We got there early and were talking before the previews started. In the getting-to-know-you stage of conversation, he made a time reference that I didn't understand. I asked him how old he was. He was 29. Not having an ounce of suave sophistication in me I said "Oh my gosh, you're 11 years older than me!" The awkward moment was broken by the laughter of the two "old" ladies seated behind us who found us more amusing than the ads for candy and popcorn playing on the screen. If I could remember what the women looked like, I bet I would rephrase that "old" part. They were probably younger than I am now! Date #2 and I realized we were destined to be friends and nothing more. We did go out occasionally until he met someone who didn't blurt out what she thought in the show.

Date #3 was set up by mutual friends who were supposed to double with us but for some reason had to cancel. He picked me up, yet again to go the movies, but on the way there was pulled over by the police for speeding. The town we were in is small and known to be strict when it comes to the speed limit. The town was settled long ago by Germans. When the cop pulled us over, Date #3 turned to me and told me to act German, that they'd go easier on us. I laughed, thinking I'd met someone with a sense of humor more warped than mine. Nope. He was serious. Not that acting German or anything else was going to help. He had a backlog of unpaid parking fines and was arrested! The cop asked me if I could drive a stick. I could, but just barely. Bail was set at $25 and had to be cash. I drove his car in fits and starts back to my house to get $25 to post bail. This was 1971 in case you are astounded at the fee. I was a student back then, and part time waitress. I posted his bail with two rolls of quarters and a roll of dimes. The cop at the desk thought this was hilarious. My date wrote me a check, but told me not to cash it before the end of the month since there wasn't enough in his account to cover it. We never went to the show or anywhere else. Ever.

It is hard to believe that hubby and I were only 19 when we met and that it was so many years ago. We had some pretty funny incidents while dating, but none that deterred our romance. Free Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It was time to take the photo of sponges out of the blog header. The urge to spring clean has passed.

I wish other feelings would pass.

I live across from a high school athletic field. The school itself is a block over and a bit east of me, but within view. It is the school my sons attended. Monday night, four students from there were going to Pizza Hut at 8:30. The street they were on is a divided highway. They were in a turn around (we call them Michigan lefts) waiting for traffic to clear so they could pull out and head over to the restaurant. Minding their own business. Following traffic laws. Buckled into their seats.

A 47 year old woman didn't play by the same rules. She was driving drunk. Her blood alcohol was 3 times the legal limit. Her license had been suspended three times. She was driving a full sized van when she swerved out of her lane and hit the kids broadside in their Chevy Cobalt (small car). She had been driving between 60 and 70 mph (according to witnesses) in a 35 mph zone. The impact pushed the car into a utility pole. Three of the kids died either on the scene or shortly after. The driver died Tuesday morning at 5:00 am.

I have lived through my own grief and witnessed tragedy around me often enough to not ask why anymore. There is no good answer. I believe, I have to believe, that everything will make sense when I cross over from this life into the next. But while here on earth, the grief and tears continue. We didn't attend the candlelight vigil at the athletic field last night, but we watched from our living room. We say we can't imagine what the parents of those four young people are going through, but we can. Just a bit. And we don't want to.

It is human nature to get caught up in our daily lives and take good health, friendship, safety, and the well-being of our kids for granted. I wouldn't want every walk out the door to become a dramatic farewell lest it be the last good-bye, but a tragedy like this does make us think. It scares us. The people I love know that I love them. I think. I hope.

To my friends and acquaintances in blog-land: I am enjoying all aspects of blogging. Writing mine and reading yours. This is now part of my morning routine. Throughout the day I see things that make me think of various bloggers, some of which I have never corresponded with, but their style has left an impression. We all touch many lives, probably more than we'd even guess.

Health and Happiness wishes to all of you.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Happy St Patrick's Day everyone!


In yesterday's post I mentioned that I have quite a few little decorative ceramic boxes. They are all hinged and some have a little surprise inside. First we have the holidays represented. The little bear goes inside Santa in his sleigh. The others do not contain any treasures. Second from the right is the classic (old style) Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.

This gingerbread house came with a mouse with a tray of food and a very full tummy. Inside the lid is some very wise advice.

The apple holds the green worm, the purse holds a brush, comb and mirror, and the pea pod holds two smiling little peas.

Fresh breakfast foods from the farm anyone? Here is a pig with bacon, a chicken and rooster with a carton of eggs, and a cow and calf with a container of milk.

Thank goodness for modern appliances! The sewing machine comes with scissors and thread. The refrigerator has a bottle of milk. The dryer has one white sock and a pair of briefs (even little dryers lose socks!). The iron has a can of starch and the toaster has a slice of toast.

Last, but not least, we have snacks for the kids, food for the grown-ups and cigars for those who indulge. The animal crackers have an elephant cookie, Cracker Jacks has a whistle, Life Savers has a cherry candy, and the Popsicles has an orange popsicle. Four cigars go inside the cigar box. Hershey's has a candy bar. Swanson's TV dinner has fried chicken, mashed potatoes and mixed veggies. Wonder bread has half a sandwich inside.

Now that you've seen my collection of little boxes, be on the look out for "Little People", especially if you partake of a bit of brew while celebrating St Paddy's day.