Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Living Our Magical Dream

I'm taking a break from blogging for a while.  
Can you guess why?  
Yep, we are going to Walt Disney World in Florida!  
WDW is my MOST favorite place to visit.  I love everything about it - well - almost everything except the expense.   But it is worth it.  This is our 5th visit since retiring two years ago this January 31st.  Now to finish packing the RV...     

Hope we get a nice RV site like this one we had during our stay last November at Ft. Wilderness Campground.

While we are traveling please feel free to stroll through previous postings and before you know it I'll be back.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I've Got Mail!

We saw this cute Smokey Bear decorated U.S. Post Box at the Smoky Bear Historical Park in Capitans, NM.  This was painted in 1984 on Smokey's 40th birthday.  This year is Smokey's 66th birthday!

Who can forget the famous slogan:  

Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires!

From Internet Wikipedia Encyclopedia:   The living symbol of Smokey Bear was an American black bear who in the spring of 1950 was caught in the Capitan Gap fire, a wildfire that burned 17,000 acres (69 km2) in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico. The cub was in the Lincoln National Forest. Smokey had climbed a tree to escape the blaze, but his paws and hind legs had been burned. He was rescued by a game warden after the fire.
At first he was called "Hotfoot Teddy," but he was later renamed Smokey, after the mascot. A local rancher who had been helping fight the fire took the cub home with him, but he needed veterinary aid. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Ranger Ray Bell took him to Santa Fe. His wife, Ruth, and their children, Don and Judy, cared for the cub. The story was picked up by the national news services and Smokey became an instant celebrity. He and the Bells were featured in Life, cementing his star status. Soon after, Smokey was flown in a Piper Cub to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., where he lived for 26 years. Upon his death on November 9, 1976,[10] Smokey's remains were returned by the government to Capitan, New Mexico, and buried at what is now the Smokey Bear Historical Park.[11]

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hand Painted Delft Teapot

The colors on this little multi-colored delft teapot and cup (cup sits upside down on teapot) are pink and blue flowers with green shaded leaves.  

It was a dark, rainy day a few days ago so I decided to make a pot of hot tea.  

Here it is all ready to drink with cream and sugar - this little teapot held three cups of delicious tea.  This little gem of a teapot/cup combination was purchased on a trip to Holland, Michigan years ago.  Holland is a lovely little town on the shores of Lake Michigan and famous for its huge displays of tulip beds and, of course, its delftware pottery.  

Legend on teapot:
  Holland USA

What a nice way to brighten one's day.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

J'aime le Chocolat

I can hardly wait to show you the package I received yesterday from my friend, Bev, of "Sew On And Sew Fourth" blog fame.  

As you can see even the outer envelope is wrapped so cute.  Don't you just love the stamp of the girl with her hives and bees?  Bev is also the witty writer of the blog "Bee Haven Acres".  If you haven't visited her blog about farm life at Bee Haven Acres you are missing out on delightful stories about her farm animals and BEES!

Who wouldn't want to get a package wrapped as cute as this - with sewing pattern wrapping paper, a lovely embellished tag and a beautiful orange ribbon tied through a vintage shell button.

And here it is - the "J'aime le Chocolat" apron!  Isn't it beautiful?  As you can see it fits like a dream!  I have visited Bev's "Sew On and Sew Fourth" blog the last two years drooling over her beautiful aprons.  You can visit her apron and craft blog here.  When she posted this one for sale this week I couldn't resist it.  Her apron is sewn to perfection using two beautiful fabrics - one with chocolate bonbons and the other with tiny chocolate cherries both trimmed with pink piping edging, French seams (that means no open seams to unravel on the underside - great for aprons that get heavy use) and her extra exquisite touches of adding gorgeous trimmings - lace doily, vintage buttons and that adorable vintage scene of the little old fashioned girl who loves chocolate.   The only problem is it is too lovely to wear in the kitchen!

   Thank you Bev for the most beautiful apron - I just love it!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hurray for the USCG!

My brother's daughter is stationed out in CA in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and will soon be stationed back to Seattle, WA.   My niece and her hubby (just married last year!) sent us this cute USCG Teddy Bear, Mug and a "Support Our Troops" magnet for Christmas.  I'm so proud of my niece for serving in the armed forces of our country.  I just wish they lived closer to us but I am thankful that her hubby has his family in Seattle.  

Here's a huge "H.U.R.R.A.Y" for all that serve our great country - U.S.A!  

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Change is Good

I was busy rearranging and moving these yellow tulips from a basket to this hand blown glass vase last week while I was cleaning up all the Christmas decorations.  The clear glass vase is an anniversary gift from my hubby.  It was hand blown at a local artisan shop.  It is nice to have a change and I like how the tulips look on my fireplace mantel.  The teapot was my Mother's - a find of hers in her retirement years (update:  I realized my Mom had some other dishes marked "Hall" so now I think she may have had this teapot from the 1940s).  The framed landscape belonged to my in-laws. 

Here's the legend on the bottom of the teapot - nice to see something made in the good, old U.S. of A.!

Sometimes CHANGE is good (especially when I can control it)!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flower Power!

When I first starting crocheting years ago all I did was crochet dish towels.  That got pretty boring.  This time around I decided I wanted to branch out and try different things.  So I started crocheting dishcloths after buying some of those Leisure Arts pattern booklets.   At about the same time I discovered the wealth of information on the internet for crocheting where Carina's blog filled with her colorful granny squares inspired me to make granny square dishcloths - I love color and now I could happily change colors as often as I wished.  After making quite a few dishcloths I had an urge to try crocheting flowers.  These are the two books I bought to help me do just that!  You can see one of my flowers in the photo above.

Both of these books are lovely to look at with good instructions and have fantastic flowers to crochet.  

So off I went to Michaels where I purchased these yummy colors in Sugar n' Cream cotton yarn.  With the holidays and Christmas I didn't have much time to crochet but we have some RV trips coming up and crocheting is a great hobby to take on the road.  

Do you like to crochet flowers?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How I Started...

How I started...with my love of crochet.

This was my first "how to" crochet book that I purchased back in the late 1980s to learn how to crochet. I don't know if the author - Maggie Righetti - is still with us.  I hope she is and doing well.  This is an easy to read and follow book with great pictures, drawings and diagrams.  When I took up crocheting (for the 3rd time) last year I read this book over from front to back while on our long RV trip to Texas.  After reading it through I started practicing all the stitches as we started on our way back home.  By the time I got home I could do all the basic stitches and managed to practice some fancy ones too!   

If you ever wanted to crochet but didn't think you had the patience please get a good instruction book like this one and do it.  I am not a person of great patience (just ask my hubby...) but if I can crochet you can too.  The best thing about crocheting is if you make a mistake just undo it and try again.  I just love it - it's very calming to the soul.   And the creative possibilities are endless in terms of colors and combinations!   

Let me know if this inspires you to start crocheting.  

If you already crochet "What inspired YOU to start?"  

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Wrist Warmers!

My first pair of wrist warmers!  I single crocheted a rectangle to the size I wanted, added a pretty edging and slip stitched up the side - leaving a small space for my thumb.  I used a F hook and Bernat Berella "4" Knitting Worsted Weight yarn (100% acrylic).  I think for my next pair I will double crochet and then I can compare the two for warmth and comfort.

Now my hands are toasty warm!  

Now where did I put that crochet hook?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Dundee Thistle" Teacup and Saucer

Imagine yourself sitting down with a delicious hot cup of tea - served in this beautiful "Dundee Thistle" teacup and saucer - with a good Fairy Tale story by Charles Perrault to read on a rainy day.  In fact when I'm done publishing this post that's just what I'm going to do - because it is a dark, rainy day here.  This lovely teacup originally belonged by my MIL's sister.  

Here's the same photo without the special effects...

"Dundee Thistle"
Queen Anne
Bone China

Won't you join me for a nice cup of tea?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Grandmother's Green Leaf Tea Cup & Saucer

I'm playing again with "The Print Shop" and "iPhotos" software programs on my Apple MAC laptop.  I took a plain photo and added special effects and a headline.  And - surprise - I was able to save it to my desktop and insert into my blog.  

Here's a sightly different view with no special effects.  Isn't the green leaf pattern pretty?  I remember my Mother displaying this teacup (passed down from paternal Grandmother).  My Grandmother passed down several sets and I will be sharing those with you in future posts.

Here's the legend on the back:
Bone China
English Castle
Made in Staffordshire

The green clear glass pitcher was hand blown in Yorktown, VA.  The little tea bag holder and spoon have the prettiest roses painted on them.  That's a broken robin (?) egg I found outside and an acorn that I thought was pretty too.   More teacups to come.... 

Friday, January 15, 2010


As our weather warms up a little bit around the country - it's about 50 degrees F. here today - here's a harmless S N O W F L A K E for you to enjoy without freezing.

Credit for this easy and fun pattern goes to the very talented and colorful Attic24 - you can find her easy to follow instructions/pattern here.

I had fun crocheting a few of these over Christmas and attaching them on gifts.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Teacups

Today I am playing with my new program "The Print Shop" for MAC.  I discovered I can access my photo in iPhotos and put special effects and/or edit the photos and then export into my blog.  The only problem is the photo  is smaller than I would like even when I choose the size as extra large.  So, I will probably have to call in the tech guy hubby to see if I can modify the photo somehow to be the size I would like.  How do you like this effect?  It is called "leaves".  I think it is pretty.  Well, bear with me as I practice and learn how to use "The Print Shop" for MAC.

Update 1-15-09:  Hubby assisted me did all the work to figure out how to remove the white box around the picture and then I was able to enlarge it - although it is a little burry now.  But isn't this border pretty - it's called "Fantasy" not "Leaves".  

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Garage - more WIP

Another view of the first Gladiator cabinet hung.  We have the top wall track going all the way across the back wall but in this photo just have one track hung for the bottom of the cabinet.

We purchased two large cabinets that are on wheels (although we have the option to hang the cabinet if we wish).

The bottom wall track for the cabinets has been extended all the way across the back wall in this photo.  More to come so stay tuned.  I also painted the trim around the door but it wasn't completed in this photo.

Check out two previous postings for more photos.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Garage - WIP

First wall we finished this summer - we like the semi-gloss white exterior Benjamin Moore paint we used - it looks nice and dust doesn't seem to adhere to it like it would to a flat paint.

Here you can see more of the ceiling - hubby did a great job painting around the fixtures on the ceiling.  You can also see the Gladiator Wall Track system installed across the side wall.  Stay tuned for more on our garage redo.

Check out the previous post for some more BEFORE photos.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Garage - Before

My hubby and I have been working in our garage the last two summers to fix it.  The previous owners had installed nice wood shelves along two walls.  We discovered that the open shelves were not working for us at all.  We decided to get a shed to put all the yard equipment in and also use as a temporary storage place while we work on the garage.   Next we removed the wood shelves in the garage and my hubby used them in the shed.  Meanwhile we decided to go with a Gladiator Cabinet and Wall Track System in the garage.  The next step was the messy, dirty one as you can see in the photo above.  The garage had never been painted but it did have drywall up.  Unfortunately in some places the paper strips were coming loose which meant that my hubby had to apply new mud to them and then sand them down.   We divided the work to do done by wall section.  The first summer we worked on the back wall leading into the house.  Since the garage had never been painted we applied two coats of primer and two coats of semi-gloss.  Once the paint was dry Hubby installed the wall tracks.  We purchased the cabinets whenever they went on sale at Sears or Lowes.  The neat thing about the wall track system is the cabinets can slide on the tracks or can be easily removed and repositioned.  This summer we finished the other two walls and the ceiling.  We still have a few places to install more wall tracks.  My goal is to get as much stuff off the floor as possible for ease of cleaning.  We didn't do anything with the floor and we still have to improve the ceiling lighting.  But it is such an improvement and we can't believe it is our garage.  Finally after 35 years of marriage hubby has a professional workbench with lighting!  We now know where everything is - there is a place for all the tools.  Hubby even let me have several cabinets for my stuff overflowing from the kitchen/house that can be stored in the garage.  

Here you can see the back wall is finished and we have it draped with plastic to keep dust and paint off as we work on the side wall.

We had to more our stuff around several times as we worked on different sections.

That's the back wall with the Gladiator wall tracks up and cabinets hung.  All draped to keep dust and paint off as we continued to work on other sections.

The last wall has two windows on it.  I forgot to mentioned that the temperature was in the 90s F. while we were doing this work.  Two very hot summers - for the last wall we only worked the first 2 hours in the early morning because of the heat.  It was just too hot to work in that humid weather.  I'll do another post of the almost finished garage.   Thanks for joining me for our BEFORE garage tour.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Thoughts of Spring...

With all this snow and cold...burr...everywhere I thought I would bring some thoughts of SPRING to the blogging world.  This is a Easter Bunny place mat I bought last year and hung on my interior front door.  I used magnets to hang it.  Isn't it cute!  

The Bunny (place mat) goes beautifully with the E.A.S.T.E.R. banner I made - don't you think?  I also attached the banner via magnets.  Notice all the different colored ribbons used on each letter.  

Hope my SPRING banner gives some warmth to those of you chilly on this winter day!   

Saturday, January 9, 2010

FYI - Computer Updates!

As we know blogging is all about computers! 

 I have a MAC Apple laptop that I just love.  I can take it anywhere in the house to use - at the kitchen table, out on the porch or on my lap in the family room.  Yesterday I didn't post because my computer was TIED up.  My hubby updated our operating systems on our laptops - to the new Snow Leopard.  And he also installed new updates iLife and iWorks.  Now iLife included iPhoto 2009.  What a great program that is - it has a new features called "Faces" and "Places".  The photo edit program, iPhoto, can recognize faces and you can attach names.  You can call up any individual and find all photos with them in it.  The second fantastic feature is "Places".   Apparently new cameras now have a GPS feature so when you take a photo it attaches where (location) the photo was taken.  Is that cool or what!! Which means you can select any location (on a map) and see all photos attached to that location.  Now our cameras don't have that feature (YET) but for now the program lets you manually set the location on your photos too.  So when we are ready to update our cameras we will make sure we have the GPS feature.  

Now my computer is HAPPY!  

The other FYI is I bought "Print Shop" for my MAC.  I have a Windows card program on our old desktop PC but didn't have one for my MAC until now.  So, I'm a happy camper playing with all my new software.  I finally feel like I have a little understanding of how to do photos now for my MAC and load them into Blogger and/or Facebook.  Of course, without my hubby tech guy  none of this would be possible.  He does the work and I get to play.  

Happy Blogging to all of you.  

Do you get excited about your computer too?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Lights 2008

Christmas 2008 and the outside lights at our home.   You can see the two Serviceberry trees and shrubs we removed in 2009.  The trees were becoming too large for the front and even after clipping and trimming the shrubs they just kept growing back larger and larger.  

Another view of the front Christmas 2008...

The back yard view of our screened in porch and deck Christmas 2008.  This is another Serviceberry tree we planted.  The birds love the berries!  

We didn't put any exterior Christmas lights up in the back yard this year.  And without the shrubs in the front we mostly highlighted our front door with garland and lights this Christmas.   

Do you string Christmas lights outside?