Tuesday, April 30, 2013

(semi) randoms

the common buttercup.  uncommonly beautiful.  we have a large bush growing.  right. in the middle. of our lawn.  since it's just me and g out in the country, we can do stuff like that.  it's our lawn, right?

speaking of our lawn.  i've been mowing it.  sort of.  thank goodness edward has nine lives.  i mowed the front half no problem, but the back half used to be a real live field of dreams.  the previous owner has planted some real deal baseball diamond grass back there and that stuff is thick.  so thick it killed my edward.  never fear.  nice neighbor man said i'd probably just corroded my spark plugs and fixed him while i was at work.  then i killed edward again.  egads!  i need to take lawnmower 1o1!  i ran out of gas, i bought a gas tank and gas and filled the tank, and nothing.  nada.  zilch.  wha?  i googled the situation and figured i'd gotten sludge in my fuel lines when i let him run out of gas.  i, of course, know less about sludge in my fuel lines than i do about corroded spark plugs.  i finally got up the nerve to go begging at neighbor man's house again on saturday.  he told me that he'd been meaning to come over and tell me what was wrong with the mower, but i interrupted to tell him i'd killed edward again and my theory on the cause of this death.  he finally got a word in edgewise and this is what he said, "you were out of gas."  out of gas!  out of gas?  really?  but i checked!  i swear i checked!  really i did!  being the southern gentleman that he is, he said, "yea, those older mowers don't have clear tanks so you have to shine a flashlight in there to be sure."  yea.  i just bet he got out the flashlight.  he laughed is what he did.  death #2, he said, was probably just a need for extra priming, something i was afraid to do since i flooded the engine last time.  apparently if you run completely out of gas and let the engine go cold, you have to prime it six times instead of the three times written on the side of the mower next to the cute red button.  who knew?  i mean, who knows these things?  nice neighbor man!  so i was all proud yesterday to mow half the back without chocking edward once.  i was all ready to finish today, but someone has mowed the lawn while i was at work.  people in the country are so nice.  :)

growing up in florida, we called boys "pansies" if they were lazy, squeamish, or afraid to get dirty.  pansies don't grow well in florida.  they can't handle the heat.  now i have a whole new respect for pansies after planting these last october and watching them bloom profusely all. winter. long.  wow.  they're still blooming now.  that's right.  seven straight months of cheerful blooming faces greeting me as i come and go.  i love them so.  i need a new word for "pansies."  pansies are tough.  they got the stuff.  they are awesome.

still wondering what this guy is.  looking any more like a watermelon?  are sweet cucumbers all got eaten (bunnies? squirrels? birds?) and the frost got the honeydew.  all that made it was the carrots and this mystery seedling.  g has already replanted with radish and lettuce.  i guess i'm going to have to build a cage if i want to grow watermelon.  i seem to recall having the same problem last year.

one last centipede segment: closet cleanout

can you believe that i've lived here for seven months and there are still unpacked, messy corners and closets like this?  of course you can.  ha.  well, thanks to our friendly game of centipede over at jbs mercantile, at least this one corner is tidy and organized.  thanks for the motivation friends!  :)

more may peeks!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

project life: march is in the book!

this spread finishes up march!  woot!  i always seem to have one lingering spread backlogged and i think i know why.  usually it's the one with dark, grainy, and mostly uninspiring photos.  i edited, printed, and slotted all my photos for april this weekend and i'm delighted to report that they are full of vibrant happy colors thanks to the sunny spring days and an improved camera situation.  hooray!  and how many of you are shocked that i've completed three months of this project and have a healthy start on the fourth month, which we're still in i might add.  i'm sure raising my hand on that one!  shocked indeed!

on this page:  this spread was done for the jbs inspiration blog, so you can find a complete listing there of the products i used.  i'm fairly amused by the empire strikes back photos.  i dunno.  just something about their expressions and stances as they held nerf guns in the snow gave me an 80s flashback.

on this page:  more 80s flashback here.  anyone else remember godzilla and godzooky.  loved that show as a kid and delighted that g is watching it on netflix these days.  also amused by the conversation in the upper left.  :)

menu plan: mini leftovers pot pies

these still need work, obviously, but were pretty decent for a first attempt.  i followed the pinterest recipe HERE for the breading.  i went with 1.5X the recipe, so 3/4 cup bisquick, 3/4 cup milk, and 3 eggs.  with that mix i used 1 tablespoon for the bottom and 2 tablespoons for the top of each.  if you read the recipe thoroughly it gives you exact directions for their method and lots of recipe variations.

i used leftovers for mine.  1/4ish cup filling for each muffin.  top left is ham, baked potato, corn, and carrots.  top right is rotisserie chicken, baked potato, corn, and carrots.  bottom is taco seasoned ground beef, corn, rotel, and cheese.  g's fave was the taco one, but next time i need to add cheese to the top before serving.  he has a cheese addiction.  my fave was the chicken, but next time i need to make a tiny bit of gravy to go with it.  i think then it would taste a lot like thanksgiving stuffing.  mmmm!  i will definitely be revisiting this recipe and want to try a pizza version as well.  i'll keep you posted!

btw, plate is vintage.  it was my brother's as a child.  :)

this week's menu plan includes several revisits from last week as i flaked on grocery shopping and cooking.

this week's menu:
sunday - chilli's
monday - fiesta lime chicken (amazing!  you should try it!)
tuesday - steak fajitas (got a new recipe to try - thanks rita!)
wednesday - church
thursday - spaghetti
friday - open
saturday - mini pizza samplers, 5 minute key lime pie (found a new recipe while typing this up!)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

good blog reads

pomegranate and seeds.  a new blog that i am absolutely in love with.  this woman works her art.  she hones her skills till her heart shines through.  each entry is worth the click and read.  two of my favorites are ripple affect: smile and snippets of humanity, bright and fierce.

che and fidel.  i have finally traced back to the originator of the "portrait of my child" series.  i am challenging myself to participate at least once next month.  i keep seeing lovely portraits of children pop up on the internet each saturday and i realize that i no longer take the time to photograph my child the way i did when i was younger.  i want to reinvest in that habit.

busy.  words of wisdom from stephanie howell.  amen sister.

the story behind the photo.  i totally agree jenni hufford.  one of the very reasons i love scrapbooking.

jurrassic park.  need to take g to see it in 3D.  and loving this poster i saw on scathingly brilliant.

foodgawker.  think i stumbled across this website via pinterest.  wow.  do i ever need to gawk some more.

Friday, April 26, 2013

drum roll please . . . pom pom garland! finally!

let's just pretend that there's a nice vintage window, an artsy canvas, and maybe some greenery in that big empty void above the fireplace, shall we?  unless you're sherri and then you can feel sorry for me and rush right over to help me deal with the starkness that is the barren looming wall.  it frightens me.

but the pom pom garland now, how cute is that?  i finally made one!  hooray!  i've been talking about it, at least to myself, since november.  finally, finally, TODAY i made it!  happy happy happy!  (i'm going to see duck dynasty at lipscomb university tomorrow ;).

love how it turned out.  it reminds me of the summer sky (and my current toenail colors).  and this color combo is good till october 1st, right?

the vintage bundt pan that belonged to my grandmother made a good pom pom supply receptacle.

sugar'n spice denim twists 4 ply cotton yarn (a little over 2 skeins)
sugar'n spice yellow 4 ply cotton yarn (a little less than 1 skein)
fishing twine
seed beads
plastic sewing needle

my mom used to have plastic rings that she made pom poms on.  i guess i haven't lifted those from her house yet.  i went with the old school cardboard method.  the blue pom poms were wrapped on two inch wide cardstock and the yellow pom poms were wrapped on three inch wide cardstock.  i didn't pay attention to how many times i wrapped each one; i just wrapped them good and thick like.

then i carefully slipped the wrapped yarn off then end and tied a piece of yarn around the middle as tight as i could get it.  i then cut all the loops.

pom poms made on cardboard are in dire need of a trim as they will be having a seriously bad hair day.  i held each one on the sides with the short threads so the long threads were flattened out together and then trimmed those long bits all the way around for a more nicely rounded pom pom.

i think acrylic yarn and a real plastic ring pom pom maker would give better results, but i really like the organic loosey goosey look of these.

i probably used about 12 feet of fishing twine.  the pom poms are spaced approximately four inches apart.  i used a platic sewing needle to stick the twine through the center of each to string them up.  they will slip along the twine, so i anchored them with seed beads.  tie a bead onto the twine in approximately 4 inches from the edge of the previous pom pom, string another pom pom on so it rest on the bead.  then tie another seed bead on the twine so it is hidden in the yarn fluff.  continue along till all the pom poms are strung.  then enjoy the adorable bit of fluffy happiness you've created!  :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

get it scrapped!: oversize florals

another page for get it scrapped!  this one for an article on using oversize florals.  anyone recognize that oversize floral i've been hoarding for several years now?

i used the negative space from a heidi swapp heart sticker sheet (from those poloroid sets she released last year) and a tim holtz blending tool with several shades of jenni bowlin for ranger inks.  love, actually.

tgif!  hooray!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

nature in the home: fuchsias

this week i brought a little fuchsia blossom into the house as it fell off in the car while being transported.

dark eyes trailing fuchsia . . .

shadow dancers violette fuchsia . . .

so proud i put those hooks in the porch roof all by myself!

and loving that i see these beauties every time i walk through my living room.

where did i get them, you ask?  why from the ag department at the high school i teach at!  and i also got my oil changed by the students in auto tech while i was shopping in the greenhouse!  it was actually the auto tech teacher who clued me in to the plant sale!  such service!  and aren't teenagers awesome?!  :)

joining in the nature in the home series . . . a delightful reminder to enjoy the beauty around us.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

get it scrapped!: pinteresting

i've shared a few of my favorite pinterest pinboards over at get it scrapped! this week.  i guess i inspired myself as choosing which boards to share motivated me to create this layout based on some cool finds on my scrappy ideas pinboard.

i like to pin little bits of things there that i might replicate on a layout, like this vignette inspired my use of mostly all whites and the little cream banner with hemp . . .

the subtle color scheme with the added aqua is so fresh to work with and so beachy at the same time while the banner nicely  highlights the photo and title . . .

i also got the idea for my handcut title fromm this adorable piece . . .

the lovely splats were created by splatting the dabber tip from tim holtz's broken china distress stain.  i'm totally loving splats created with tim holtz distress stains lately.  trust me, the splatting is effortless.

and ssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . this is an early peek at the may jbs mercantile papercrafting kit.  main kit only!  and i've got a second main kit only that's all yellows and greens!  love the color palette this month!

are you a pinner?  i'm trying to use my pinboards more often!  it's such a great source of inspiration for just about everything!

Monday, April 22, 2013

earth day: cedars of lebanon state park

i already shared pictures from our hike saturday, but the morning spent at cedars of lebanon state park also included a couple of cub scout service projects.  the boys worked hard creating an anti-erosion channel to protect the bats in the hermit's cave . . .

and they each planted a little tree to help reclaim the farmland bought here with new deal program funding initiated by fdr during the great depression . . .

we were told that these are king's mast pines which are one of the tallest of the pine family and were used in shipbuilding for the center mast on the king's vessels . . .

while the boys were working, i was, of course, taking pictures.  i can't resist the pretty flowers like the common violet . . .

 this tiny delicate beauty, southern chervil of the parsley family i think . . .

some gorgeous creatures from the rangers' butterfly garden, like this wild columbine (swoon) . . .

and these unknowns.  i should have written down the names as the butterfly garden flowers were all labeled; i was just too busy taking pictures!

i also snapped a pic of these sweet succulents for g (also unknown) . . .

and the sun in the leaves, of course!  it was a lovely morning spent outdoors.  if you're in the area, do check out cedars of lebanon state park.  and remember, every day is earth day!  :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

menu plan: slice baked potatoes

another pinterest recipe!  hooray!  these slice baked potatoes got an unsolicited, "these are kinda good" from g, which is high praise actually as potatoes have never been his favorite.  they were easy for him to eat; he would just pull the slices off and pop them in his mouth.  on a side note, i sure wouldn't eat potato skin at his age!  ha!  probably wouldn't eat cranberry sauce either!  or fresh green beans as i'd only eat those from a can.  my mom never baked them though.  hmmm . . .

i got the recipe HERE, but of course didn't follow it.  after slicing the potatoes, i drizzled the tops with evoo then sea salt and peppered them.  i spooned the olive oil back onto the tops from the bottom of the pan a couple times during baking.  the recipe says to bake them for 40ish minutes, but i ended up baking them for an hour and tenish minutes and wish i'd left them in another ten or so, but we were ready to eat already!  next time i will know to budget an hour and a half, twice the time the recipe calls for.

this week's menu:
sunday - bacon and eggs
monday - fiesta lime chicken (amazing!  you should try it!)
tuesday - steak fajitas (got a new recipe to try - thanks rita!)
wednesday - church
thursday - leftovers
friday - steak (cub scout campout)
saturday - hamburger/hotdog night (cub scout campout)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

nature journal: cedars of lebanon state park

so stoked to catch a nice photo of this little guy.  he caught my eye while on the cub scout hike at cedars of lebanon state park.  how totally awesome is he?  i was too busy chasing him to actually hear the ranger mention his name, so i had to look it up (this is a great website that i just stumbled upon for identifying flowers and small creatures of eastern tennessee).  he's a hummingbird clearwing month, hemaris thysbe.

"cedar glades, also known as limestone glades, are open, grassy, rocky natural areas surrounded by eastern red cedar and other trees and shrubs.  such ecosystems occur primarily in middle tennessee.  plants of cedar glades must be adapted to the thin soil covering the limestone rock.  in the winter, the soil tends to be wet.  but, in summer the hot temperatures cause the soil to dry rapidly.  thus, glade plants must have some of the same ways of surviving as do desert plants." - taken from "flatrock glades, cedar glade plant guide for elementary students" put out by middle tennessee university and available at tennessee state parks with cedar glades

we went to cedars of lebanon state park with the cub scouts last year, but it was in mid-february and still too cold for the wildflowers to be out.  i meant to go back when the flowers were in bloom, but didn't get around to it.  so glad the boys returned this year.  i am in love with the delicate beauty of the wildflowers in this region.  seriously, i must make it back in a couple more weeks when they're at their peak as there are several more in the guidebook i mentioned above that weren't out yet.

nashville breadroot, pediomelum subacaule

 pale blue-eyed grass, sisyrinchium albidum

hoary puccoon, lithospermum canescens.  this was the first flower spotted on the hike, by eagle-eyed g, of course, and he correctly identified it right away with the guidebook!  a little botanist in the making.

nashville mustar, leavenworthia stylosa

 unknown (but still looking!)

yellow stargrass, hypoxis hirsuta

the rest of these were taken along the hike, but under the cover of the trees instead of exposed out in the cedar glades.  i just love new growth on baby trees.


violet wood sorrel, oxalis violaceae

cup mushroom