Monday, April 29, 2013

Polka Dots and Moonbeams

My lovely new polka dot background is a freebie from The Girl Creative.  She made several colors; I'll probably end up trying them all!
Click here for the link.
 Also, I found bloglovin. . . .
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Week in Review

This week I have felt like I've been in a gray haze.  Looking back though, I see that it had some lovely bits and I did accomplish some things.  It just didn't feel that way as I was experiencing it.

Finished week four of the Spring Sampler Tuesday or Wednesday (can't remember which right now).  Another adorable week of designs!  The final week will be released tomorrow.  I can't wait to see what it will be!

Wednesday noon Communion was wonderful, as usual.  Took this photo of the lovely hydrangeas outside of the Church on my way out.

Received several more rolls of Washi tape in the mail! :)  I saw an idea for Washi taping light switches and electrical outlets and had to give it a try.  This is the one for the kitchen.  I plan to do more next week.  I was thrilled at how nicely it stuck to the plastic.  I guess that it just doesn't stick well to cardboard, and that is why my flower craft was such a fail.

 I had to put aside my Sugar Skull cross stitch.  It is too intricate for my state-of-mind right now.  I started a Medieval-ish sampler based on heraldry flags.  It is easy enough (lots of squares of the same color) for my mind frame right now, plus it is lovely!

Mom and I saw Seraphic Fire in concert.  They were magnificent   I'll be buying their new album when it is released next week.   

Finished listening to Anna Karenina.  I didn't like it nearly as well as I did War and Peace.  Could have been the translation, of course.  I didn't like Madame Bovary when I read it twenty years ago, but I was blown away by the new translation last year.  

It's nice to look back and see that good things did happen.  I'll try to focus on those and try to forget that dull, gray feeling.  Tomorrow starts a new week and I will make it better.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tolstoy and Toilet Paper

Wonderful weekend!  We made those really easy oatmeal/chocolate/peanut butter cookies, and then stood there and ate them with a spoon as they hardened.  It's good to be an adult!

I worked on my Sugar Skull; it's coming along quite nicely.


Had to put it back on hold, though, because Week Four of the Spring Sampler arrived early this morning.  I did the raindrops after dinner tonight. (The cloth is actually pale blue, but always gets washed out in photos.)

We also enjoyed sitting outside in our secret spot on these cool evenings.  Such a pleasure!  Every cool day in April is a hot day stolen from summer!

St. John had a fantastic weekend.  He discovered toilet paper.

Yesterday, my husband left a roll in the bathroom floor right before we took a nap.  When I got up, the bathroom and hall were filled with shreds and he was lying on the rug in the living room, eating what was left of the roll.  Sadly, cat's just can't be shamed:

Also sadly, it appears that a taste for toilet paper, once developed, is insatiable. This is what happened while I was in the shower and unable to stop him.  (I know what you are thinking: "Why didn't you throw water on him?"  Because, unlike a typical cat, my kitten loves water!)

 Then, believe it or not, as I was taking the above photo to post, this happened:

I guess it's time to start hiding the toilet paper in a bag or something!

I listen to audio books voraciously: in the store, in the car, in the shower, while crafting and cleaning. . . I average 7 a month.  This month, though, has been dedicated solely to Anna Karenina--all 35 and 1/2 hours of it.  

A dozen or so years ago, I read War and Peace; I loved it.  Tolstoy is amazing.  He is so in depth about what is going on in the lives of his characters.  Simply fantastic novel.  

I had never read Anna Karenina, though, as I honestly don't care for romance in general and adulterous romances are certainly not my bag. This book opens with a husband caught in adultery who is not sorry, and if you go by the blurbs, centers on Anna leaving her husband for a young officer.  

I decided I'd give it a third try, though, since I really did enjoy War and Peace, and I checked out the audio book from the library.  It is excellent, and is does not fully center on adultery and I am very interested in most of the characters.

However, at about 28 hours in, I am nearly ready to throw in the towel.  There was an hour long segment on hunting, and I just can't see how it added to the story.  I pushed on through and now am in a lengthy scene about a political election.  I don't want to quit--not this far in!!--but am frankly, bored.  I want to know how it's all going to wrap up, but I want to "skim" this political talk.  That is the one bad thing about audio books: I can't skim the parts that I find dull.  

I can't decide whether to take a break and listen to something else in between or just press on.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

Birds and Blisters

Early this morning, before I went to bed, I finished up this week's row from the  Spring Sampler and also my April Fool's jackelope from the Woodland Sampler.  So much fun!  I can't wait until Monday for the next installment of the Spring Sampler.

The baby birds are so ugly they're cute!

April Fools! :)

 Found this cute craft at Jo-Anne, on sale in their "Summer Camp" seasonal aisle.  I thought it would be cute on our front door.  I started making it last night but was too lazy to get out my hot glue gun, so I tried using some super glue.  I glued my fingers together, then the same finger to my fingernail. . I did not get the felt pieces to stick to each other.  Amazing, isn't it?!

Today, I got out the glue gun and, as usual, burnt myself several times.  I have never used a glue gun without burning my fingers; it's just part of the crafting.  Today, though,I burnt the same place on my fingertip that still had a layer of super glue.  Holy cow, did that hurt!  Hours later, it STILL hurts and I have quite the blister!  That is officially my last time using any sort of super glue-y product.

I did finish the birdies, though.  It certainly isn't perfect (the eyeball fell off the little bird and the bigger ones are crooked and have a distinct resemblance to Mo Willems' Pigeon), but it is mine.  I created it. =D  I had fun and it will be cute on our door.

Here it is, in all it's glory:
Beware!  They're staring at you with their creepy eyes!

And here is St. John, nomming some grass, on his walk today:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wishy Washi

Made my first Washi tape creation today.  It didn't turn out great; I've still got a lot to learn about using Washi.  My ends didn't want to stay down and I don't know if it was the cardboard or the tape.  It was fun anyway!

I took this inexpensive cardboard flower (on sale for $2.79 at Jo-Anne) and covered it with some of my tape.  You can see that my edges aren't sticking like they should, and I didn't do a good job on the flower-hole, but it was my first time.


I also glued my fingers together with faux super glue attempting to make a felt craft for the front door.  I know better than to use that stuff, but was too lazy to get out my glue gun.  Tomorrow, once I can feel my fingers again, I'll use the glue gun!

Early this morning I finished one of the squares in my Spring Sampler.  The mouse was adorable, but I think I made it even cuter by adding the whiskers. :)

Before I went out for errands today, I played with the dandelions in the yard.

Make a Wish!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Privacy, Please!

Seems like every thing around this house is an emergency.  "I tend to wait until it IS an emergency", is probably a more accurate statement. . .   I tend to put off or forget or just plain procrastinate.  This really was an emergency though.

St. John (the 7 month old kitten who registers about a 9.4 on the Richter scale) likes to go outside.  Due to many concerns, he only goes outside with me and on a harness.  (He has no trouble with it, thanks to us training him to wear it from about the age of a month.  I'll have to post a photo of him in it sometime.  He's a hoot!)  So, St. John likes to go outside and he likes to tell me when he wants to go outside.  Like any toddler, he is very verbal about his wants.  Generally, I can comply or redirect him and we're all good.  I couldn't get it across to him, at this time, that yes we'd go outside but not right now.  (I really need to take a Feline Conversation course.)  So, he began to jump up the front door.  Whether he was trying to open it or trying to look out, I have no idea, but the end result was the blinds broken on the floor and him hanging from his front claws to the window pane.  It was hysterically funny, and I laughed long and hard about it, but it left me with a wide open three pained window going half way down the door.

I have a LOT of phobias and the like, and having a front door that anyone can see into sent quivers of icky feelings all down my spine.

I tried hanging up a curtain, but it was too long and too wide.  Then I remembered this post I saw on The Frugal Girls:

How to Add Privacy to Your Front Door with Scrapbook Paper
I had loved the idea when I saw it, and pinned it for later remembering.  I had no vellum, no matching pretty papers, but I did have three letter sized sheets of gray, three letter sized sheets of blue and three letter sized sheets of a light mossy green.  It looks horrible! Thanks to it being different colors on each side of the paper, it looks even worse from the inside.  Egads!   (And, of course, the door needs to be painted, but that hasn't reached emergency levels yet.) Regardless of how bad it looks, at least it has canceled out a privacy emergency and for that I am grateful! Now I can wait until next shopping trip to find another curtain or blind or some such stuff for a permanent fix.  That is, assuming that St. John doesn't tear it off in the meantime!

(If you look carefully, in the bottom window pane you can see St. John reflected as he cries at the door.)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

More Cross Stitch Love

As I mentioned in my last post, I am in love with The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's kawaii patterns.  The reason I've not finished the April part of this sampler is because they released a Spring Sampler this month.  It's as cute as the winter sampler and I am loving it!  Each Monday for five weeks, I get a new set of patterns in my inbox.  So exciting!  Here are the past two weeks. I'll post this week's as soon as it is done. =D

Monday, April 15, 2013

Cross Stitch Crazy

I've recently (as in November) started back cross-stitching.  It was my favorite hobby some twenty years ago, and then I gradually forgot about it.  Now, I'm having a blast again, and I owe it mainly to The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  These two ladies make the prettiest, kawaii patterns.

Here is the Kawaii Winter Wonderland sampler.  I didn't finish it until January, but I'll be able to display it this Christmas season.  Isn't it adorable?!  I think the apple cider was my favorite.  No, wait, the ice skate was.  Or maybe the milk and cookies? 

I made this one for my husband for Valentine's Day.  It looks fantastic on the black, but now I remember why I hate working on black fabric--it is so much more difficult than other colors!

This is the Desert of the Month club from last year.  Each month they sent out a pattern; it was so much fun anticipating what the pattern will be.  The pumpkin pie was my absolute favorite.

This year's monthly sampler is the Woodland Sampler.  I get so excited on the last of the month and on the first I check my email numerous times waiting for the lovely surprise.  Here are the first three.  (I've not finished April yet.)