Monday, April 25, 2011

Barber shop scrapbook pages

I don't consider myself a scrapbooker, but I do enjoy paper crafts. I have good intentions of making scrapbooks but we all know what happens with good intentions. I put together a book for my older son a few years ago, from birth through the high school with a few photos of him as a Marine which happened a few years later. My younger son's book is still stuck on preschool pages.

My daughter-in-law got a small book last year on Mother's day, but that was easy to compile with her pregnancy photos and Colton's baby photos for those two months. The intended scrapbook for me is still in my head except for two pages recently completed, dedicated to Colton's first haircut which I wrote about here.

Here is the two page layout as the pages will appear in the album, followed by close ups of the single pages.

 I love photographs and some of the sample pages I've seen in stores seem to feature embellishments to the point of photos being secondary to the completed page. I think striking a balance is going to be a challenge for me. Still, getting anything on a page and into an album is progress and there certainly is no right or wrong to this.

If you indulge in this hobby, what are your words of advice? I mean on anything and everything from composition to which adhesive you prefer and why. Also, how do you photograph a flat page without the distortion I am showing in these? I am thinking I needed to have the camera higher and centered over the subject.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Click here for a card from me to all of you:  Happy Easter!

Have you done anything unusual in food prep this weekend? I did. I used Kool Aid to dye hard boiled eggs. Just last week I discovered some packets of Kool Aid that I bought so long ago, I don't remember buying them. While wondering if Kool Aid goes bad, I left them alone and by pure chance, found a blog about dyeing eggs with Kool Aid here.

The blog author was correct in stating that lemonade alone didn't color the eggs at all. I didn't doubt her, I just decided to use up all the flavors I had in the house. The egg marked TP was dyed in Tropical Punch which didn't look much different than strawberry (S). Strawberry-Kiwi (SK) was pretty, but pale in comparison as was Green Apple (GA). Berry Blue (BB) was my favorite and the differences in intensity relate to how long I left the egg in the cup. The egg labeled "Yuck!" was an experiment of all the colors I had on hand. The one to the left of it didn't fare much better.
Will I do this again? Probably not, but the fact that it didn't require boiling water or vinegar would make it a kid friendly project. The downside would be the Kool-Aid color staining little hands, clothing and the inevitable spills in the kitchen.

Some day I will tell Colton that mommies and grandmas long ago used beets and onion skins to color hard boiled eggs because that is what they had available before Paas made colored tablets and sold them every spring. Then I will show him this picture, explain I used what I had on hand, and then we'll go to the store to pick up a package of Paas.

Photobucket     Photobucket     Photobucket     Photobucket     Photobucket

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Queen's long reign

Do Americans stop to think about how long Queen Elizabeth has reigned? How about a pictorial review:

She has reigned while 11 presidents have been in office. Ten are pictured above. Did you notice immediately who is missing? From top to bottom, we have Barrack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, John Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman.

Who was the missing president and why? Lyndon Johnson is the answer. According to fun trivia's site here  the short answer is that the queen was pregnant at the time of Kennedy's funeral and unable to travel and Johnson rarely traveled outside of the U.S.

A few weeks ago I mentioned this book in this blog entry
 The woman who leads our knitting group is knitting the royal couple and the archbishop and they are as cute as can be!  I didn't plan to get caught up in the lives of the royals, but apparently I am. It sure beats contemplating taxes and complaining about the weather.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An Easter card

Bill would probably call this the $200 Easter card, but he isn't here to call it anything. And it's my blog, so there! Photobucket

Over the years I've acquired a lot of scrapbooking/cardmaking tools and supplies. It never fails that if I go into a scrapbooking store I find something that I really, really need. Fortunately he understands this. He isn't a gadget person, but as a mechanic by training, he understands the value of a well made and helpful tool. The only difference is that his tools have been used to make money over the years while mine is getting too lengthy. Photobucket

On a recent trip to Archiver's,  I bought honeycomb paper and stamps from Inky Antics.

After cutting cardstock and scoring it on my Martha Stewart scoring device so that there was a bit of spine to accommodate the bulk of the honeycomb carrot, I tested placement of the stamped rabbit image and carrot, and added them.

The carrot top was to have been stamped on green honeycomb paper, but the store was out of green the day that I shopped so I ad libbed.

I stamped a greeting and used Spellbinders Nestabilities to cut the scalloped oval. The edges were tinged with an orange stamp pad.

The edging of the green paper was cut with a Martha Stewart punch, the bunny is mounted a foam squares for a little dimension and the paper flowers are adhered with glue dots and have a dot of orange Stickles in their centers.

Now that I have one done, the next three or four that I make will go more quickly. Or at least that is the theory.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Royals sure know how to throw a wedding!

I can't disclose who my secret pal is in over in England, but let's just say she has a grandchild getting married soon, never carries cash and has an amazing collection of jewels. She recorded this just for me. Never mind that silly T-Mobile business at the end. Liz and I are BFFs. Really. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Latest socks

I feel like I've been knitting these socks forever, but it isn't their fault. I've been pulled in other directions and have often knit only a few rounds before setting the sock down for days. Truthfully, I am premature in using socks (plural) in the title as only one sock is complete so far.
The pattern is Rosebud from Wendy D. Johnson's  
Toe-Up Socks for Every Body
I was concerned that the knit pattern wouldn't show up well in a yarn with flecks that can be distracting, but it is turning out well. This is one of those cases where the work doesn't photograph well, or at least not by this photographer.
The yarn is Ty Dye Socks Dots in lilac 6744 from Knit One Crochet Too
 I have nothing lilac in my wardrobe so I'm not sure why I picked this color. I don't dislike lilac, it just isn't a good color with my complexion. Shopping or another knitting or sewing project for a top might be in my future!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Color is Good!

Yesterday I went to the doctor for 
my yearly physical.
My blood pressure was high.
My cholesterol was high. 
I'd gained some weight an
I didn't feel so hot.
My doctor said eating right doesn't have 
to be complicated and it would solve 
my physical problems.
He said: 
Just think in colors.
Fill your plate with bright colors.
Try some greens, oranges, reds, maybe something yellow, etc.
So I went right home and 
ate an entire bowl of 

And sure enough,I felt better immediately !! 
I never knew eating right could be so easy !!

Now stay healthy, eat your colors,
and have a nice day.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Eggstra Special Duckling

As I said yesterday, Colton is too young this Easter for some of the typical Easter basket fillers but that hasn't stopped me from finding fun things to make. Photobucket
Here we have a bikini top for a very small woman with large b....STOP! That isn't it at all!
Ahem. What we have here is an egg.
Peek-a-boo...I'm hatching!
Aren't I just ducky?
Am I quacking you up yet?
The pattern is from the current issue of Crochet World. I embroidered eyes rather than gluing on squiggly eyes for safety sake, used fiberfill rather than foam balls to stuff head and body, and omitted the hat and jacket. While very cute, the hat and jacket would be lost on a one year old.

Just like the chocolate bunny I posted yesterday, this might not hold Colton's interest at all. Don't tell him, but often the reason I make something is for my own amusement. Photobucket

Friday, April 15, 2011

Calorie free chocolate Easter bunny

Since Colton is only one, he doesn't need a candy chocolate bunny from Grandpa and me. Whether he gets one, or part of one, is up to Mommy and Daddy.

Notice I said candy chocolate bunny? I wasn't being redundant. He IS getting a chocolate bunny from me, but it is made of chocolate brown fabric.

The fabric is Minkee, an oh-so-soft embossed knit with a nap. Hey, sounds like me almost...a knitter who naps! But I digress which is much less offensive than being redundant.

This bunny is only 8 inches from feet to head before ears. Turning the arms and stuffing the small body made of this fabric can be a bit challenging. I know this from bears that I've made and they had larger appendages. If I were to make this for an adult or an older child, I would make it in a shape that looks more like a traditional edible chocolate bunny.

Colton won't care though. He will either chew on it or ignore it completely, but that is ok because as you know....a grandchild can do anything he wants according to his grandparents.  Photobucket

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oopsie...a little "senior" moment...

Don't laugh too hard at either ARE a senior, LOVE a senior or will someday BE a senior!

"WHERE is my SUNDAY paper?!" The irate customer calling the newspaper office, loudly demanded to know where her Sunday edition was. 

"Madam", said the newspaper employee, "today is Saturday. The Sunday paper is not delivered until tomorrow, on SUNDAY
There was quite a long pause on the other end of the phone, followed by a ray of recognition as she was heard to mutter ..."Well, shit, that explains why no one was at church either".

Monday, April 11, 2011

A reason to love red

My reason for loving red:
I almost feel guilty for how much I love this child. Loving him doesn't diminish my love for his daddy, his uncle or his grandpa but my goodness, when I see him like this, is there anyone else in the room? in the state? in the world?

Oh yeah, I've got Grandma-itis and I don't think I'm curable. Photobucket

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sugared Bacon-Wrapped Smokies

An easy appetizer that was a huge hit!

Sugared Bacon-Wrapped Smokies

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Sunday Dinners, a special interest publication.
1            16 oz package of small, cooked smoked sausage links
15          slices bacon, each cut crosswise in thirds
3/4 cup   packed brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with foil. Lightly coat foil with cooking spray.

2. Wrap each sausage link with a bacon piece, overlapping bacon. Secure with a toothpick.

3. Place brown sugar in plastic bag. Add bacon wrapped sausages, a few at a time, shaking gently to coat. Place sausages in prepared pan. Bake about 30 minutes or until bacon is brown.

If desired, cover and chill for up to 24 hours before baking.

I took these to my niece's for the family celebration of her son's sixth birthday. I could have easily made three times the amount and still come home with an empty plate. It was suggested that Thanksgiving dinner this year consist of bacon wrapped water chestnuts, bacon wrapped shrimp and these. Perhaps one package of turkey sausage as an homage to the traditional holiday meal?  Photobucket

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wanna be a bride again?

A friend of mine organized a bridal show for her employer, a local newspaper. The show was held at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, a beautiful location for wedding receptions on Lake St Clair. I didn't take photos last night, but found these online to show you the splendor of this setting.

The long drive of brick pavers as you approach the building
The stately entrance
The ballroom set up for a wedding
A hint of the view beyond the ballroom, beautiful Lake St Clair
Bill and I were best man and matron of honor at a wedding whose reception was here many years ago. The formal gardens made a wonderful backdrop for photos. 

In the millennium since our wedding...ok not that long, but it has been three and half decades  .... styles and customs have changed and if I was getting married today, many things would be different, not necessarily by choice but by what is available and affordable in 2011.

For instance, in 1975 wedding receptions had live music. The last wedding reception we attended with a live band was 10 years ago. The groom was a music lover and it was his one splurge, a costly one. Having a DJ means that music is continuous throughout the evening and music is preselected so there is no worry of a band not having the music to a certain song. Nothing beats live music though, and the breaks that the band took gave celebrants and guests a chance to talk without competition from sound levels often too loud (both then and now) for conversation.

Expectations were lower in 1975. The average wedding reception was held in  an Amvets, VFW, Knights of Columbus or other private hall. They were plain Jane facilities compared to today's venues but with everyone using them, we didn't feel less glamorous. We didn't worry about paying extra for chair covers, midnight snacks, favors for everyone, renting photo booths for guests at the reception or limos for the bridal party because no one around here did that, in fact, some of those things just didn't exist yet even for much more lavish weddings.

If I were planning my own wedding today, I'd like to keep some of the old (especially 1975 prices!) but would love some of the new. Our wedding cake was traditional in appearance but we had chocolate cake which surprised a lot of guests back then. What rebels, eh? Look at these gorgeous cakes and flavor choices available today at Josef's Pastry Shop.  Their cakes taste as good as they look. I spoke to someone from Josef's last night and said that I had never heard a bad comment about anything from their bakery. He had heard a derogatory comment about a wedding cake. The comment was that the design was hideous and the colors were terrible. He was concerned that the bride would hear this and what she might feel. After all, she chose the design and colors and seemed thrilled with the end result. He soon discovered that the commenter was an ex-girlfriend of the groom.  Meow!
One of the most dramatic changes in weddings since mine is the bridal gown. Years ago we wore white or ecru and were very covered up. As styles changed in years after my wedding, if the gown revealed much of your back or ....heaven forbid....if it was strapless...the bride had something over her shoulders during the church service. 

When I was a bride at 22, I didn't think I had the body to wear a strapless gown. I was much too critical of myself then. If I were getting married today, I would seriously consider this gown that I saw last night. It is from Boutique Bellissima and was truly stunning in person.  This photo from their site appears grainy and doesn't begin to do the gown justice.
I don't regret any of our choices for our wedding. I had a wonderful day and have had a wonderful life since. Here I am with Mom and Dad in the living room before going to the church and walking down the aisle with Dad.
I bet my daughter-in-law will look back on her beautiful wedding in 35 years and shake her head at the changes in her lifetime. Who knows, maybe my dress will be back in style!