Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Harley Book Purse

I decided to put the sewing machine to the test, and thought I would try sewing fabric to a piece of chipboard.
At first it was going great!!
The lines were clean, the fabric was taut, and everything was still intact...
But then I decided to try sewing through the fabric, the chipboard, AND the piece of elastic.
The first side went fine. The second side didn't. I got a few stitches done, and then there was a loud snap as the needle broke. Yikes!
Luckily, I'm not easily scathed, and I scrounged around for another needle - luckily I had one, and will put a "pack of sewing machine needles" on my list of things to invest in. So, for this project, a minor casualty.

In other news, the project turned out fabulous!
This is seriously one of the best book purses I have ever completed. I feel like it is the most ::structurally sound::, and that it is so coordinated. It's got the edge, it's got the fluff, and it has a book wallet to match! I heart it, and I hope whoever wins it at the raffle on Saturday does too!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Squishing of the Cardboard

I imagine this is good practice for the day when one would actually squish grapes beneath one's feet to make wine.  Somewhat the same idea here, except without the inebriating by-product.  The purpose of this is simply to make room in the already full recycling bin for the rest of our boxes and such.  And so, in he went!  Our faithful box-squisher climbed into the bin without hesitation and without fail, began squishing.  Twas great!

And nevermind the silly sign that says "do not climb on"...
What would life be without breaking the rules every now and then??

Monday, August 29, 2011

Garden Update

I took the majority of the garden down about a month ago.  The heat was sweltering, and it was taking a toll on the poor little plants, so I called them "done" and trimmed them all back except for the pepper plants, who were still bearing fruit.  Low-and-behold, the tomato plant that was in the middle of all of the peppers (that I had trimmed back like the rest of them) decided to come back.  It started growing, slowly and first, but then shot up, and roughly a week later, is almost as tall at the cage - a good 30 inches!  And I think I've created a hybrid.  The leaves are a lighter green, with a darker green lacing on top - very pretty, andd very different.  I wonder if it's going to be a tomato-pepper.  And the reason I say this is because I am convinced that the "hybrid" part is it's mingling with the pepper plants.  I have  a few banana peppers left on the plant, and the very top one is starting to turn red... like a tomato.  I do believe I have created a new species of plant!!  :D  Or perhaps, it's just a normal thing that I stumbled upon, that is very exciting to my novice gardening attempts!  At any rate, I am excited about my creation.  As a matter of  fact, there are even blooms of the little plant, so that means that we might even have little tomato babies soon!  ::big smile::

That's all I have in terms of edible things.  I picked up a few plants to decorate the backporch with for the party, and they seem to be happy too.  I'm trying to be really good about watering daily because I definitely started slacking there towards the end of the veggies...  and we've had very little rain, so I feel bad for all of the plants.  They are hanging in there though, and should prosper at least for a little while longer!


With that being siad, I'm off to start a project!
We are having a benefit ride for my bosses' son who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  He'll be 2 years old in October.  This event is a benefit ride that will raise money to go to the doctor who is doing some reasearch.  It's for a great cause!  At any rate, there's going to be food, fellowship, motorcycles, raffles, and a silent auction.  And so far, we have 3 $100 tattoo gift certificates, a Cracker Barrel gift certificate, a Texas Roadhouse dinner, a big basket of goodies, a motorcycle-themed bird house, and I'm making a motorcycle-themed book purse and wallet.  It's going to be a great event! 

And I best get busy, so I bid you all good night and sweet dreams!  :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

3D Glasses

Tonight, Gary and I went to the movies. 
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.  3D!
It was our first 3D movie experience, aside from those over-sensationalized short films at Disney World and other theme parks.  They provide you with the 3D glasses, you provide them with the $2 surcharge, and call it even.
It was a nice experience.  Aside from having to wear glasses, and trying to get used to it when I don't usually have to, it was cool seeing a foreground, mid-ground, and back-ground on the screen.  It added an extra element to the movie, that I hadn't been sure what to expect from it, and it wasn't horribly distracting.  The movie was good!  No where near as good as the first, and I was confused timeline-wise where in fact the movie fit in with the other films, but it was good and interesting enough.  And then there was the whole dialect/language thing, and the fact that Orlando and Kiera weren't there... but I did like it.  I found myself chuckling every now and then and finding comfort in the random pleasantries.  I do wish there was more character development though - especially with the Missionary and the Mermaid.  I would've liked to see more of them, and their story.  It ended whompy-like, and it's not sticking with me entirely, even though I just saw it.  But, it was in no way bad or worthless.  It was enjoyable, and it was a pleasant way to spend our Sunday afternoon, made even more so that the movie cost us $3.75 a person.  :) 

Cheers to a new week!
Hope you had a nice weekend too.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wedding Couples BBQ Shower

It was a success!
The house and yard looked great, the food was tasty, and everyone had a nice time!
And as our first real "hosted" party, I think we did a great job, and walked away with some good lessons too!

First, the menu! 
We catered the chopped pork and chicken, as well as the cole slaw and potato salad from Bub-Ba-Q.  They have great barbecue, and are nice and local!  We had little Hawaiian rolls available, sauce, bread and butter pickles, and mayo to make bbq sliders.  We also had veggie crudites, fresh fruit salad, pigs-n-blankets (had to keep with the theme), deviled eggs, and a few other little things.  To drink, we had tea, lemonade, and small bottles of water.  Oh, and we had a cake (by Publix) and some cookies! 
We had plenty of food, and everything was exceptionally yummy!

Second, some pictures!

Striped paper straws!  :)

Some of the grub.

Hand-wrapped and tied napkins and utensils!

Laura  :)

Gift mountain!

The cake!  They were able to copy and print the top half of the invitation onto edible rice paper.  Loved it!  And then they used coordinating colors to make flowers and border piping,.  #impressed

We told them that this was the "practice cake for the wedding".

This was the after-effects of the second bite.  They are sooo cute!!

Sweet picture!

Sisters and cousins!

Sunflowers and Astrolomeria

Okay, so what did I take away from it...?
1. You can plan all you want, but it's the execution that'll put you to the test!  We learned that we need to focus on time management next time.  It'll be a good idea to make a detailed timeline and stick to it.  Saying that I need to consider finding the trays for everything before the party begins, should really equate to finding all of the platters the day before.  That way, I don't have to worry about scrounging around and not getting everything out in time.  I did this with the vases for the flowers though, so that was good.  #priorities...
2.  Figure out what being a good host means.  I didn't really know what I was doing and found myself asking, "Okay, so what's next" a few times.  Luckily, there were plenty of people around me that did know what was going on, and could gently lead me along.  :)
3.  The details are very important!  One of my favorite things were these little striped paper straws that I insisted on having.  I loved them, and got great feedback.  Gary also took the time to wrap and tie with twine (I'm training him well!) all of the utensils in a napkin so that people could just grab and go.  It was a nice touch!
4.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.
5.  Above all, have fun!  It was great.  We weren't nervous, we were quirky and funny, and we had everyone happy and smiling!  Everyone had such a great time, and it was sooo great to see all of the family and friends!

After the party, we put all of the perishables away, rented "Beastly", ordered pizza, and chilled.  The movie was good!  The pizza was just right, and the cats were happy to finally be able to roam around after being cooped-up all day.  I suppose we will have to finish cleaning up tomorrow, and we'll need to do some dishes.  But it felt so good to have had a successful event!
And now that it's all done, we can focus on the next one!
Thanks for all of the well wishes and happy thoughts!
Love and Bisous!

Friday, August 26, 2011


Tonight is the Eve of the big soiree!
We've been busy little bees getting everything ready, but I feel better about this "little" party we're having now, than I have for the last few weeks...  Maybe it's because the food is all ordered, purchased and prepped.  The deck is cleaned off and arranged, and we will be having great weather, and everyone is all excited!  I know that I am!  Now we get to the fun part.  We got a whole bunch of flowers at a great price, so I went scavenging down below the sink to find all of the glass vases, and lucky for me, we have a whole bunch, and they're all different!  :)  And then we spent a good amount of time prepping the fruits and veggies.  We got a melon baller (I don't know why I didn't already have one of these - it's great), and Gary went to town on the melon, honey dew, and watermelon.  They are so cute!  They will be perfect in our fruit salad!  And then the deck.  Can I just say that I am so relieved we are going to have nice weather?  We have a bushel of people heading out way, and it was going to be cramped if we all had to be inside.  But now that we can enjoy the great outdoors, we have all of the leaves off, the tables will be set, and little areas arranged for great conversation.  And the flowers look great!  I have plants and flowers scattered about, and with the astrolomeria and other flowers on the tables, it's going to look a little like a fairytale.  Sigh.  In theory, it would've been great to have string lights and balloons and streamers everywhere, but I was leery of the weather, oh and the budget, and will swing it with the natural beauty of the outdoors!

Scored and sliced cucumber.


Super excited! 
Now to sleep, and rest, before the festivities commence!
Adieu and bisous!

Considerations for the week:
- It's very hard to talk about melon balls without snickering. 
- Sage is good to ward off evil spirits.
- Zumba is practically impossible if you are not coordinated.  I know this now.
- "The Pony" is a great Zumba move - and was the most fun I had during the whole class.

- Yoga is much easier on the body and soul.
- Everything is a mind game, and your attitude greatly affects how you handle things.  If you can look at something and always find a positive, then your troubles won't see near as troubling.  I ran across an image on Pinterest recently that has really stuck with me.  It's something that I have reminded myself of quite a few times here in the last couple of weeks. 
- Oh, and playtime isn't just for cats.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Death Valley

Can you believe that these cracks are in the middle of a parking lot?
They are so deep... it looks like (I imagine) Death Valley would look.
From what I've seen in pictures, the sand and cracks go on for miles...
Not much survives, and the heat is defeating.

This summer, I believe we've seen some similarities.
The heat has been sweltering.
Produce is having trouble surviving.
And the cracks in the ground look deeper than ever.


Luckily, fall is coming.
We should be getting a break from the heat very soon... or soonish.
Produce, while going towards it's "down season" will start turning beautiful shades of red and yellow.
Fall festivals will abound, and spirits will feel free (in more ways than one).

So, I guess maybe we should embrace this last  glance at summer.
Delight in it's attitude, as oppressive as it may be, for it will soon be time for that certain chill in the air last will last through the end of the year.  And before we know it, we will be wishing for these dog days of summer once again.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Kitchen Rug

In the kitchen, there is a rug. 
It's a large rug, and it's nice and thin.
It's almost the weight of a very heavy blanket, with a little more tact.

Well, Pickles loves it!
It's where she is everyday when we come in the door.
She'll sit there..
She'll lay there..
She'll roll around and pull it up over her face.
She'll get a running start and burrow underneath it, so that it looks like this.

And then Cornbread comes along, and plays to.
But it's mostly Pickles having all of the fun!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let's talk about 400...

When I become President, the first thing I will do will be to fix the area of highway around 285 and 400, particularly the 285 East to 400 North section.  It's a bit ridiculous in it's current state.  And although Gary says that that is a bit "selfish" of me given the whole state of the Union, I figure that if I have a platform and a goal, then fixing it right away would probably boost my approval ratings.  :)  Those are important, so I hear. 

Here is what I would do:
1. I would make the 3 right lanes applicable to the 400 North and South highway, and also the Glenridge connector exit.  By adding 2 extra lanes (one of which would be the connector exit only), I believe that there would be less of a line backing up for miles - which in turn would mean that persons incapable of waiting in that line (for whatever reason) would be more inclined to follow the rules and not be selfish pushy cutters...  By the way, it is amazing the amount of camaraderie and fellowship happens when people come together and try to prevent cutters!
2. Once you get into the 400 ramps, I propose one would go North and one South, or at least have 'exit only's with that middle lane that could be either.  Puhlease.
3. And then when you finalllllly merge onto 400, I think that it should be less of a 100-ft stretch before you meet oncoming traffic and more of a we-will-give-you-3-miles-to-consider-getting-over.  That would be your lane and no one already on 400 would be allowed to get in it.  I think it would make everything so much happier and copacetic.

Also, I would not be afraid of using those road divider pole things.  If people aren't willing to wait, then a divided lane will be erected to the effect that they will have to find another way around because, as emphasized, cutting will not be allowed!

I hope that these plans would make our one hour drive through the 3 mile stretch much more relaxed, and that the poor guy in the Jeep who kept ramming his body against his seat and pointing at the poor souls who could not wait, can find solace in the newfound order, as will everyone else! 

End of rant.  Debates formally accepted at this point, in writing only.
Future President Nancy, signing off.  All the best!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


  Today, we played in the dirt (again)!  We are working on getting the house in ship-shape foor next week's soiree, and today we worked on the yard.  I found these huge coco fiber planters at Home Depot for 80% off original price and since we've been looking for something sort of like this, we jumped at the chance to get them and then went from there.  And today, while at Home Depot for some plants, we fell in love with the red twisted crotons, paired with these pruple flowers, and these yellow ones.  It's a lot bolder then we have gone  in this space so far, but I absolutely love it, and am so glad we went with this combination!  I am getting real good at planting things here in this space.  lol.  But hopefully, these will take and will prosper.  It'd be great if we could get a whole lot of rain!  That'd be so nice!

These huge bees were all over the flower at HD.  I refused to touch them!  lol.

In other news, I managed to get dirt everywhere.  I think that it's part of the process though.  Forget about just under the nails... we're talking on every inch of exposed skin, and in the nose..  lol.  But when you are digging up weeds, filling planters with soil, flinging soil everywhere, planting plants, and mulching, it's bound to happen.  And that's when  I feel really productive anyways... playing in the dirt is quickly becoming one of my favorite past-times!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!
A very happy Monday to you all!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bird and Sky

I was glad to see some storm clouds today!  I know we had a teeny-tiny storm last night but it was dark when it happened, so we didn't get to see any of it.  But today, the clouds had been developing all afternoon, and by the time we got home, the thunder could be heard off in the distance.  And although it never got really close or really windy, we had a spot of rain, and some low rumbles.  It's been nice!  Oh, and we have quite a few trees that are starting to turn, and there were a few times throughout the day that I found myself watching leaves fall to the ground.


Fall is coming!  :)

But anyways, when we got home, I got out of the car and looked up to the storm-developing sky.  The clouds were a nice shade of gray, and just in front were the power lines and a little bird perched perfectly still!  The picture has a sort of vintage/ film noir/ Hitchcock feel to it that I love!  I like that the lines aren't parallel, and that the sky is soooo still in the background.  And the bird is a nice touch. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

CR Shadow

Today was long and busy and good!
And I'm sleepy...
Not much to say except that I liked the way the corkscrew rush had created a shadow on the chair cushion, as shown above.  Oh, and I think that 'CR Shadow' would make an excellent pen name!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


It started with the grocery list as a 3-D box tunnel-thing. 
Draw a few lines, add some perspective, add more lines for weight, etc.
Then came the heart, the star, and then the whompy lines.
Eh, so I'm a doodle-ler.

But then I really wanted to doodle with the cool pencils.
So, I got my high school sketchbook out, and the woodless graphite pencils.
I turned to a empty page, and went to town.
... for a good 30-45 minutes.

It's an outlet... draw and shade and color-in.

I could probably sit and draw lines forever!  I developed a love for swirls and endpoints, and in high school, learned how to make lines look like the bottom of the ocean - with it's ebbs and flows and undulations.  It's soothing to look at, and soothing to create.  The simple act of drawing bumps on a single line and creating pressure points and larger and smaller hoops create illusions and waves.  And it's one of those little things that mades a rough day feel light.