Friday, February 26, 2010

Maybe next week?

What I want to work on next week, weather permitting:
I want to paint this metal patio set back to it's original black.  I'm sure I'll have to sand it a bit, and it has a wonky leg that Hubby will need to adjust.  There is a potted plant that normally sits in the middle, but I would just as soon have an umbrella there.  In the corner is where my ficus lives, and I want to refinish the deck itself, too.  I would also love to toss the wreath under the patio, add some hanging plants, maybe a straw rug, some herb pots...



The easiest chicken pot pie...

...is one I make using canned soup, cut up cooked chicken, veggies, and pre-made pie crust.  It smells divine, there are never leftovers AND you can change it up depending on what your family likes.  You could use that leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, or a different flavor of creamed soup.  One of my versions uses spinach - the kids devour it. All depends on what's in the freezer. (and you can freeze pie crust, too, ya know...) Last night I made mine with a Jenni-O Turkey , cooked and chopped,  added with it's gravy to a can of cream of onion soup and frozen mixed veggies, then topped with the crust.  Bakes for about an hour...  Here's a peek!
You want to cut a couple slits in the top so it will vent.  And yes, this time around I made my own crust (which is why it looks so "rustic"), but honestly, I think the Pillsbury ones are best.  Dig In!



Thursday, February 25, 2010

It was not part of "the plan"

We had a pipe burst near the sidewalk out front so, we've had no running water for almost three days.  The plumber comes this morning. I'm not going to rant and rave.  After all, that's not the motto around here.
  I'm going calmly through the day...looking at this in a positive way...
and I'm not even going to post photos of it.  Instead, I'm gazing at this:

Rustown Art

A beautiful reminder that Spring will come...eventually.  And, I have several projects on the back burners waiting for those mild days.  I plan on sanding, priming, and repainting the wrought iron deck table and chairs, and the patio picnick table.  I want to re-pot several plants - I  really like terra cotta for this.  Want to seal and stain the deck.  Plan on enlarging the brick entry into the backyard, tear down the eyesore of a playscape, re-plant grass.....aahhh...Spring.  It brings nicer weather but more work!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What a difference a day makes...

Remember the front room windows? No? Here they are - with the empty curtain rods still up:
The blinds on the middle window are hung higher than the side windows, for some unknown reason.  ALL of the blinds were filthy. And that's after I washed them and hung curtains over them.  They were here when we bought the house 13 years ago, and they were nice quality so we kept 'em
I took down the old blinds, patched and painted the window boxes,
removed the top valance rod and extended
                   the curtain rod to span all three windows.                    
I bought new cordless cellular shades in a shade called "Sahara".  You can get these custom cut at Home Depot.  I never knew that!  I guess I will leave the curtain rods up for now.  I might get inspiration.
Maybe a couple of panels? or a long valance? Hmmm....for now I am loving the blinds and how they coordinate nicely with the sandy colored walls!
On that note, look how the windows look nice from the outside...and check out the sunshine! This photo was taken 24 hours after the snowfall...I miss it already... that was fun!



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow Day!

I wish Scout and Bubbie were home from school!
It was awesome!
Their silly sister did a snow dance to summon the flakes...
 And I guess it worked.
...'cause we got lots of the stuff! It made the house and neighborhood  look so pretty...
And it was fun to photograph and play in...look how huge the flakes were!
Stay warm!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Just like having a puppy...

 Bubbie really loves his siblings.  
I think that sometimes, he really likes being the youngest, too. 
He never expresses frustration at being the baby.
 
It comes in handy as he's tagging along,
going from sibling to sibling, wanting to see what they are up to.
"Whatcha doin' brother? Can I watch?"
 
Of course, he doesn't just watch, he has lots of opinions!
And they let him.  And hardly ever tell him to bug off. 
Is is because he's small? Cute?  Interested in what they're into? 
Is it because he looks up to them? 
Because they like teaching him something?
I don't really know.
It's just nice to see them interact in a positive way.  
And I love that he has so many people to follow.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

I got a plan.


 Rustown Art

And it goes something like this:  I'm going to stay on top of the wave this week.  Get all the things done that I have to do....enjoy a few things I want to do.  Not stress over the other stuff.  It includes doing some more craftsy stuff and more cooking.  It involves making a cozy home for my family on the cold days we have in the forecast.  It also involves making plans for Spring Break - I like to plan ahead a little.  And I would love to visit the library and get a nice book to read.  I think it sounds like a fabulous plan.  Can't wait to get started...and if I feel stressed this week, I'll just remember our motto "Keep Calm and Carry On".
And stick to the plan.



Friday, February 19, 2010

Crafty Me

I had a lot of fun these last couple of days, making things that are both useful and pretty.  I sewed this to match my apron from IKEA and even made some dishtowels to match!

Underneath is my new mixer.  I love it.  I just didn't love it sitting there exposed.  I had to sacrifice a tablecloth, but like I said, I have lots of fabric leftover and plan on making my mom some dishtowels, too.  The colors are jazzy, I think.
Over my desk area I crafted this little cutie:
A french memo board.  The color coordinates with the "new" room.  I need to get about 5 more buttons, but I may wait til they go on sale..they are pretty but pricey.  Lastly, I was digging through my recipes and spied:

Oh the delishciousness of Lemon Bread.  This recipe is from Mark's sister, years ago.  Warm from the oven it is sooooo good.  K. Enough.  Time to put up my crafty self until next week; it was fun.  Now to get into weekend mode and ready for working at the hospital.  Next week I will get to work in earnest on the alphabet photo project!



Thursday, February 18, 2010

Relax...

Well.  I'm feeling a little OCD when it comes to all the projects I want to work on.  Basically I want them all done now.  So you can imagine how hard it is for me to have them be drawn out and difficult.  Case in point: the curtains in the living room.  They look like mud next to the couch.  I hate them.  They must go.  I am replacing the blinds with new cordless ones, yet that in itself has become an odyssey today...

Rustown Art

Time to pause and reflect.
  I have done a good enough job today of getting a few more things on my To Do list done.  (Breathe deeply)  I made a French memo board for over my desk.  I love it.  (Exhale)  I made a delish dinner of 4 Layer burritos with a nice salad. (Inhale)  I got a handle on the laundry. (Exhale)  I bought more wine. There, that's better.  Yesterday I even took more photos of my kid's art, which makes me smile each time I see it.  Just needed to get a handle on myself.  I've got my perspective back.  Tomorrow is another day...


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One project down...

Today I picked up the re-upholstered couch.  And I have two words:
HOO.  RAY.
Let's review:

Yikes.  Blue lampshade has to go, along with all the blue gee-gaws on the shelf above. 
Ditto the "orange" upholstery on the couch.
Printed chairs - not happening.
And the pics above the sofa - love those. 
But the scale is off. 
They look too small for that area. 
Ahhhh...so much nicer! Walls are a lovely shade of light sandy brown, chairs are a soft moss., couch is cinnamon colored. Shade is now cream.  Still need help with the shelf above and I'm open to suggestions!  A lot of those framed pics got moved to albums.  Also, might add a rug and a large framed print or painting.  I'm probably going to leave the furniture arranged the same since this is a living room/dining room and I want it to be as "open" as possible.  Now, might be time for me to move on...I have so many other things to do...



Unstoppable

The girl is getting antsy.  She is highly annoyed at having to regress over the last week, depending on her parents to do for her.  Bringing her things.  Cooking her food. Helping her dress. This isn't the norm.  She's been anxious about this for a week now.  Anxious to get the surgery over with....
(but still smiling!)
... anxious to get back to her life, both at school and on the computer...
And really anxious to get back to driving.  Which isn't gonna happen until at least Friday.
 No driving today.  Put your keys up, hon.  I'm OK with driving you to where ever you need to go...
Sorry...  I'm pulling the reins in on the unstoppable girl for now.  Because in a few days, she'll be back to the  teenage girl who is chomping at the bit to leave.  And for now, I can slow that down...


Monday, February 15, 2010

I can do that!


Aren't these pillows cute?  Pottery Barn charges $25-30 just for the covers themselves!  Enter the mossy green jacquard fabric I found at JoAnn Fabrics - I think I paid about $5 for a couple of yards of it.  Pretty, yes?
I say yes. I had two old cushions from our circa 1988 sectional that I have sewn covers for every time I change up the den's decor. For some reason I cannot part with them. Awww...look! Stripey ugly blue fabric...sniff...reminds me of the good old days...besides, you can always find a use for old cushions.  Big wooden buttons were $1.29 ( less 40% off on sale - go, me!)
  OK, Rustown Mom, get sewing!  (Try to ignore that the tension on your machine is off and the whole thing needs to be serviced, you don't have the funds for that right now)   I laid the pillows out on the fabric, allowing extra fabric to create an envelope closure.  Sewed the sides "right sides together".
I centered a loop on the bottom flap (which was too easy to make by folding a strip of fabric twice and sewing it flat), ironed a patch onto the underside just where the button would go (for reinforcement), and sewed the button on with thread to match it.  Sorry if my sewing tutorial is lacking.  But most folks can make a pillow cover, I figure.  Also, the lighting is waaayyy off...this is actually a very pretty fabric.

TA DA.
I like the leafy pattern on these and that cool button.  And I think they will look great on either the new couch or the brown leather one in the den!  At a cost of about $3 I think my knock offs are a great bargain!



Cooking Nostalgia

I have really enjoyed reading cookbooks lately.  Some of them are highly entertaining.  This one for example, which is falling apart,  I have loved it so much.
 The same exact one is for sale on Amazon for $76!
   I got it when we got our first house in the late 80's and I experimented on Mark with dishes such as Sub Gum Yuk (yuck) and Dr. Martin's Mix (family fav).  About that time I discovered I really don't  hate to cook. I also love the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook
I inherited from Mark's mother.  I bought a ring-bound one a couple of years ago, because I was afraid I would ruin the heirloom one.  Looking through it takes you back to the 50's...I would have made a great housewife back then!  Another fun one I have that is falling apart: White Trash Cooking
 So fun to read and the photos are so Americana.  Not likely I'll be fixing 'cooter' anytime soon, though.  I have a paperback cookie cookbook from my mother in which I found the perfect Christmas cookie recipe this year.  I wouldn't take a nickel for it, but it looks like you could get one for about $5 on eBay.  Most of my other cookbooks get looked at about half as often, and I love to find recipes in Southern Living or on-line, and of course from other blogs I read..  I'm looking forward to my family's tastes changing as the kids grow so I can branch out and cook some new things.





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