Sunday, July 24, 2016

Choosing a Kit Club

Ha, Ha!  I've been scrapping again!!! 

Lately I've been trying out scrapbook kit clubs.  Like everything else there is no one perfect club to join.  It all depends on you.  What do you want from a club?

For me, I am looking for a taste of the new products and supplies on the market.  There are no scrapbooking stores in my area.  Zip, nada, niet, not one.  Not even in the bigger city of Lexington (an hour away).  There is a Hobby Lobby (thank heaven) about 20 minutes away and a Michael's a bit further than that. 

So besides a bit of new product, for me I want a good mix of feminine and masculine papers.  Not every month's selection are going to appeal to me, but some clubs are decidedly more feminine than others. 

And I want a mix of embellishments.  I'm not typically a big sticker person, but I do like enamel dots and wood veneer and such.

I also do not really need a big selection of cardstock in my kits.  I have plenty in my stash. 

Of course, price is always a consideration too! 

So there you have it.... 

I am currently giving Scraptastic and Studio Calico a whirl and there are a couple more clubs out there that I would at least like to try. 

These two pages are both from Studio Calico, the Scout kit (which I think was the June kit). 

I did have to add some things from my stash (title alpha on the Everything is Bigger in Texas page), plus the enamel dots, the chipboard heart (old, old Making Memories) and the black and white print layer under the photo, as well as the vellum layer.  I did some outlining, roughed up the edges of the paper and that was about it! 

I have a couple more pages to post from this kit, but I made 4-5 pages and struggled a bit as I just didn't feel that things coordinated very well.  Now remember this is only through my eyes... everyone views these things differently.  Studio Calico has been putting kits out there for a long time and folks seem to like them pretty well.  I'm just saying I'm not sure they're a good fit for me. 

More on kits to come!!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Haven't been here in forever (blogland that is). 

So here's a little of what has been going on....

car shopping...

garden tending

pickle making

septic replacing (yuk)

 and a way too quick trip to Wisconsin...

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Rusty Art - "What Do You See?"

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies and nanas out there.  As for me and mine, although it is officially Mother's Day today, we are reserving our day until our June visit to Wisconsin.  It's been a quiet day here, puttering away at one thing or another.  Planted some daisy seeds, got the cauliflower babies in the ground along the back of the garage.  Starting some seeds inside for poppies and echinacea.

And then played with this...

 What do you see?  Rusty car parts, huh?  How about this....

I see a cute rusty bug face to peek out of a flower bed.  Um, oh you have your welding stuff handy?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

This Just Rocks!

Every once in a while you just gotta play a little game of "what do you see?"  I always loved the "I spy with my little eye" game...this is just a touch different.  You're looking at something not for what it is, but what could it be. 

Just a pile of rocks.  Husband dug these up from around the base of the electric pole and around where there was a makeshift wishing well thing that was falling apart.  So what we've got is rocks...and more rocks.  And this is what we did with them. 

So much nicer than buying a ready-made cement piece to direct water from the downspout or adding that extra angled piece of downspout that annoyingly gets in the way of mowing or comes undone and continuously needs to be re-joined to the downspout.  Good thing we have plenty of rocks, we've got several more downspouts to add them to!

The other nice thing about this is that we are making use of what is already here.  I love that.  It cleans up the yard, adds some interest and I didn't spend a nickel!  That just makes my day. 

Only three more downspouts to go...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Oh Yummy, Sugar Cookie Bars

I do love sugar cookies.  I especially love my Deluxe Sugar Cookie recipe that my kids and I make at Christmas.  But I don't have a large cutting board (it was part of my kitchen cabinets in the old house), and there really is not enough counter space to roll out cookie dough.  Enter the wonderful-ness that is the bar cookie!!!!!  No rolling, shaping, no switching pan after pan...ah love bar cookies! Sweet, neat and fast! 

While not quite the same as our favorite sugar cookie recipe, this is a yummy alternative.  I originally got the recipe from pinterest, but altered it slightly, by substituting powdered sugar for part of the sugar, decreasing the vanilla, increasing the almond and adding just a tablespoon of water to make a softer dough, a more melt in your mouth cookie. 

I absolutely hate rolling out sugar cookie dough and cutting, re-rolling, cutting, then finding room to cool all the cookies, then frosting and finding room for them to sit, while the frosting firms up.  But I do love eating them!  So this kind of sugar cookie bar cookie gives me a taste of that yummy sugary, frosted goodness without all the rolling, cooling, waiting. 

Here's my version of Simple Sugar Cookie Bars: 

1 C. softened butter
1/2 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 large egg
1- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tblsp. water

3/4 C. softened butter
1 lb. powdered sugar (adjust to your liking)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 tblsp. milk (adjust to your liking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9x12 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. 

Mix butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Blend in egg and almond extract. Stir in remaining ingredients  and mix just till dough begins to come together.  It will be slightly crumbly, but hold together if you grab a handful.  Press dough into baking pan evenly and bake 20-25 minutes or just till the edges begin to turn golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting. 

To make the frosting, I always use my Cuisinart, it just makes the smoothest frosting.  Start by beating the butter and sugar together, then add the milk and vanilla extract.  You can adjust the thickness of the frosting by adding more powdered sugar or more milk, whatever your preference.  Just make any adjustments gradually and oh may have to stick your finger in and test it!  Isn't that a shame?! 

And here are the little darlings.  So cute. 

Yeah, yummy.   Time for some sug-ah! 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

An Un-staged Life: Painting Upholstered Furniture

Here was the dilemma; have in hand two really awful dirty wing back chairs.  Eventually want to reupholster them, but hating seeing this disgusting dirty cream colored fabric.   Yuk, yuk, eeeeeyuk.

And, I was unsure of what color or type of fabric to reupholster them in.  I truly do not want to choose a fabric I may wind up unhappy with, cuz that's kind of a costly boo-boo.

After seeing all the happy reports of Pinterest of folks painting upholstered pieces, I thought well, even if I don't like it, I am planning on reupholstering anyway. And, it will let me play with color and try it out. 

In this regard, the experiment was a success.  But would I do this again?  Um, no.  Oh, wait I did not even show what the chair(s) look like painted. 

I chose the Graphite Annie Sloan Chalk paint to do the honors with.  Why graphite gray?  Husband works on cars...  enough said. 

Three days and three coats of paint (1 and 1/2 quarts), aching fingers and hands...  not sure if the effort was worth the results.  It does let me make a more informed choice as to fabric color when I go to reupholster (sometime this summer, as funds permit).  I do like the graphite gray color, and I know now that I want a linen like finish on the fabric and I think silver nail heads adorning the wing parts of the chair and the very bottom front where there is a slight curve. 

Poor photo, it really is all one color, the streaky look is probably due to lighting (and my poor photography!).   I do still have to stain the chair legs. 

The short answer on painting upholstered pieces, yea or nay?  Nay, Neit, Nope, Negatory, Neine.   I'll throw a blanket over whatever it is in the future and wait until I can get the piece reupholstered appropriately. 

Do check out the various posts an the subject and reach your own conclusion.  There are lots of folks happy with the results.

On to my next painting project.  Another little end table! 

Next time, y'all! 

P.S. I truly cannot wait until I can stage and photo and post pretty things, but in the meantime this is my un-staged life. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hope SPRINGS Eternal

Sometimes I feel it here.  That feeling of possibility, of refreshed and new beginnings.  Sometimes. 

But honestly, more often I feel disgusted by the endless dirt and dust created by renovating and regrading the backyard to prevent water coming in under the house, and my impatience to actually move the rest of our things INTO the house has reached an all time high.  After several months in California in limbo and six months here in Kentucky righting all the structural wrongs done to this house in the past, I need to surround myself with comfortable and familiar things.  My things.  I need to try and make this place feel like home.  This is a small house, but even so, there is still not one entirely finished room. 

And. I. Have. Had. It. 

I keep looking at these tulips...  and am trying to view this struggle as though we are like the tulips, working through the dirt, then bursting forth into the light, finally feeling the comfort and warmth of the sun. 

OK, really Cheryl, you are about to lose it all together, aren't you?