Saturday, April 6, 2013

Landscaping, book review and "before and after"

 It was a gorgeous day yesterday with sunshine, blue skies and temps in the 70's.  I was trying to take a picture of a cardinal singing his little heart out but when I got the camera focused  he was gone!  A few minutes later there were several female cardinals that showed up and they were wondering where he went too! 
Here's a little part of my big landscaping project.........
 Those are lilies coming up.  I just laid cardboard and newspaper around them and I had a couple bags of mulch  leftover from last year so I do a little at a time else the paper blows away.
Here is my rosemary and oregano that doesn't die out in the Winter and do I love that!  I've got it in an old metal wash tub with a Southern exposure which I think really helps.  The sun heats that metal up and keeps the roots and soil warm in the Winter.  I used to have the same luck when I planted next to the dryer vent!
I bought this planter full of bulbs at Wal-Mart for $10.00 and it had some purple crocus and  another  purple flower that has since died out...maybe it was grape hyacinth and of course the daffodils.  Little did I know there were tulips too!  What a nice surprise when they opened up!  That was a great deal as I got 5 different types of bulbs and 5 of each type that I can replant.  I couldn't have bought the bulbs that cheap!
The regular hyacinths are so heavy with bloom they're falling over.  I had them in the house for a bit and my whole family room smelled like them.
Below is the book I just finished.  It was published in 1949, the year I was born and is a collection of essays that were published in a magazine or newspaper back then.  It's divided by the seasons and fascinated me because it was when I was alive!  Although some of the essays were about his childhood the photos were current and that's what blew me away!  Some of his memories jogged some of my own.  It wasn't a novel or a thriller but along with the photos I found it very enjoyable.  I learned about how they made dried apples and  apple pies from them and he explained "shovel sledding" like in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" and many other interesting tidbits from the past.  I love farm life especially back then before pesticides and insecticides and corporate farming.  Those really were "the good old days"!  
This picture reminds me of where I grew up although I think the author was from the East as they talked of sugar maple season.
and this one.........I  miss the trees how they used to be everywhere and along the fence they get rid of all the trees so as not to waste one bit of land for planting.  I think they're greedier now or they just have to compete too hard to make a dollar.

Below really reminds me of how I spent my Summers.  Perish the thought that video games would have been around back then....I would've missed out on so much! 
See the kerosene lamp?  Many rural areas didn't have electricity even then.....yes, I'm old! LOL!  It took many years for the people living in small towns and rural areas to catch up to the big cities.  I can remember in high school, in the late 1960's that my Aunt and Uncle who I spent my Summers with, were just then getting rotary dial phones.  They had party lines and operators and you had to crank the handle to get the operator to come on and place your call for you.  The operators were much more than operators though.  They could confirm weather warnings, deny or substantiate rumors and even help you find out where your child was.  Party lines were not very private but it sure kept people connected whether they wanted to be or not~

The picture below reminds me of my Uncle's meat market except instead of sitting out front the farmers would be in the back where  my Uncle sat up on a high stool with a big counter in front of him making his bologna.  He ground his own meat and added the spices and smoked it himself in a smoker out back.  I could watch him stuff it for hours and in those days I think it was real "gut" they used for the casing.  Meanwhile, the farmers would sit around the cast iron wood stove back there and talk farming and I would hang on their every word!    
Okay, enough walking down memory lane....I have a before and after...a couple, as a matter of fact.  I ordered a sample packet of milk paint as I've been wanting to try it and here's the results.........



 I used milk paint from Miss Mustard Seed and I have not waxed it yet so it looks pretty chalky.  She also said you didn't have to use a blender to mix it but I definitely will next time!  The little basket was just one of those cheap baskets you see at garage sales but now it looks like a miniature clothes basket and I'm thinking it would look cute with some tiny little clothes folded up in it and sitting on a shelf in my laundry room.  The shelf needs a second coat but you get the idea.  Milk paint is a powder you dissolve in warm water and it only lasts a few days so you don't want to mix more than you'll use.  Since I'm just experimenting and had sample packets I chose little items.  Milk paint was used on many items, inside and out, "back in the day".  This color is Luckett's Green.  I did the clothespin so I can write the name of the color on own version of a paint chip! LOL!  I didn't have enough paint for the picture frame as you always need 2 coats of milk paint.  Stay tuned for the next color experiment and have a great evening!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sock KAL is over and I didn't even know it! LOL!

A day late and a dollar short!  But I did finish my second pair of socks and now I am onto my 3rd pair using DPN's not Magic Loop.  I ordered the tutorial from Stacy  at Very Pink.  I took my first sock knitting tutorial from her on Magic Loop and made 2 pair so she's a great teacher if she can teach me!  You buy the pattern but then there are videos on You Tube that go along with it.  I highly recommend her if you are trying to learn all by yourself.  She's on Ravelry also.

 I spent the afternoon buying the patterns I needed, printing them off and putting them in plastic sleeves.  These are Jill Draper's Hudson Valley Winter Socks.....LOVE!  I was going to take her class on Creative Bug which is a really neat site where they offer classes in everything by great designers and teachers BUT they wanted $17.00 to sign up for a class without subscribing for a year but then when I went to sign up it went to $25.00 for a single class and then they would automatically bill me each month unless I canceled!  I DON'T THINK SO!   Oprah tried to do that to me also by automatically resubscribing me each year and I said "absolutely not"!  So, I bought her pattern instead and decided to take the DPN tutorial first and then I would tackle Jill's pattern.  The thing I liked about these socks is that the toe and heel are separate because they wear out first and this way you can knit a new heel and/or toe instead of getting rid of the whole sock.  Brilliant, I tell you, brilliant!
  I also needed supplies so I went to purchase some DPN's (double pointed needles) and I knew the sizes I needed but when I went to Knitpicks to order they had different lengths too!  Now I was befuddled!  So, I called them and had a nice conversation with a woman who answered my questions.  But I still need  to place the order.  At the same time, I was wondering about yarns and weights and if I could substitute some of the yarns I have instead of buying more.  Well, Knitpicks had that was a link to the Craft and Yarn Council  where I printed off 2 charts; one on yarn care symbols and the other on yarn weights.
I dug out my magazine on yarn edgings for towels that I was going to try and I thought I had to poke holes and do a blanket stitch first but not so.  These are crocheted and then hand sewn onto the towels.  I really wanted to learn how to do pillowcase edgings so I think I will go do that instead.  I know with the pillowcases you do poke a hole and do the blanket stitch first.
So, thanks to Pinterest and You Go Girl (who has 4 marvelous tutorials from making the pillowcase all the way through to crocheting the edging on) I think I'm good to go now!  Isn't hers gorgeous? 


And last but not kitchen chair pads which call for yet another size of DPN knitting needles 
 And then there's the material for the pillowcases.........I think I better go get a job! LOL!
Now, off to order supplies...thank goodness the internet never closes! LOL!  Have a great night and a great day tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

OM'Gosh........I am tired!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!  I did even though I cooked and washed walls my reward was a good meal at the end of the day!  No, not jelly beans although they're mighty tasty!  I picked this little blue dish up at the Dollar store on Saturday and it was really only a $1.00 and it's plastic but you'd never know it if you didn't touch it.  It's just like the glass can you go wrong for "a buck"?
 Plus, I needed a handy place for my jelly beans!
 It was a dark and rainy morning but then the sun came out and it was beautiful on Easter.  The girls were all watching their favorite t.v. station.........WILDLIFE......outside our door! LOL!

 Thank goodness the sun came out so the Easter Brunch wasn't canceled..............
 Meanwhile, Mom was hard at work moving furniture, washing walls and spackling and finally got some paint on them today....I told you I was slow!  Can you even tell the difference?  I'm going from a mint green to a "Creamy Buttermilk".  Trust me...those walls hadn't been painted since the house was built 40 some years ago, I think.  Mud would have made them look better....I couldn't fail!
This was just after washing and spackling.........

This is after painting............see in the right hand corner you can tell the difference

This picture shows it better where I stopped until I rearrange the furniture so I can get the rest of the one wall....only 3 more to go and then of course the rest of the house!  AHHHHH!!!!!

Actually I don't mind painting and I'm darn good at it if I do say so myself.  I never even tape and not one drop on floor or woodwork.  I'm dynamite with a 2" sash brush!  It's just boring work.  I could not do it for a living unless I listened to books on tape or something.
Here was my reward at the end of the day with a few side dishes of green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and custard pie.  This was Pioneer Woman's (Ree Drummond ) ham glaze and it was a winner!  I'll post on my recipe page...later....I am REALLY tired! LOL!

I thank everyone who has been SO kind and left comments...I live for them!  I will try and get around to all of you tonight and tomorrow in between "wall duty"! LOL!  Have a great evening!