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Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunny Inside!

It’s pouring right now. April showers/May flowers. Except it’s still March, and definitely isn’t going out like a lamb!

Well, I’m still pretty sunny inside, thanks to lots of things!

First, thanks to all who have entered my blog drawing for a birdhouse. If you haven’t, scroll down to the birdhouse post and enter your comment before 5 p.m. today. I will post a winner’s name late tomorrow afternoon or early evening to receive the “House of Grapes” mini-birdhouse pictured in the post.

I’ve enjoyed skipping around to many others and hope to revisit their blogs soon. Thanks to Karla and Beth for hosting this fun event!

So, this weekend I went into the dreaded art room.

OK, I was trying to get some stuff out because I got a new cabinet (not in yet -- I promise I'll post an "after" photo. As you can see, I am swarming in clutter and hope "Mission Organization" will find me! (Actually, it looks a little worse than need be, because I'd already dumped drawers in one area and the only place to put it was on the computer desks.)

The plan: my new cabinet; lose one computer desk and put in a small table so I can actually do art in the art room, rather than always hauling things out to the dining table and then having to periodcally clear. Needless to say, I was doing art this weekend and I didn't cook!

I’m sunny inside because of all my lovely weekend -- first, the productive time of cleaning and arranging. And, look what I found!

When I was moving this little sewing chest, I found some lovely old buttons, needles, tatting shuttles, lace – all things that were Mom’s or my grandmother’s that I forgot I had.


I especially loved the green lace. Jeanie Green.

Then I did lots of art, working on my collage for the Artiscape auction and my ATCs for the trading sessions. More on those a different day.

Saturday night enjoyed hearing Ira Glass, the host of NPR’s This American Life speak.

He was an amazing speaker, showing how the program was put together, talking about how the stories are chosen and developed and combining the sound and interviews as he demonstrated with the equipment onstage. I would have turned around and heard the exact program again had the opportunity been available.

(If you aren’t familiar with This American Life, check out the website link here or listen on your community’s public radio station!).

Sunday was filled with more cutting, tearing and glueing! Then off to see “Candide” as performed by MSU’s opera group. An excellent and delightful production. Clearly, if you think you have troubles, check out Candide’s!

A new day, a new week. The sky is charcoal gray and it’s thundering. Loudly. I’m sunny inside.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Blinging My Birdhouse!

It's here -- Birdie Day!

Don't forget to visit Karla and Beth's sites for even more links to great birdhouses!
Here are my contributions! "House of Sunshine" and "Rapunzel's Tower" are available. I will have a drawing from comment entries made by Monday, March 31 (and announced April 1, which has some fun to it!) for "House of Grapes," a mini-house (the last one on the post.)

Kate's Forest Fairy House


Side View

Roof trim detail

Rapunzel's Tower (Mini-House)





Beach Bird's B&B


What's a beach house without a few shells?


Detail: Leave your flip-flops at the door!

Happy House of Sunshine



House of Grapes! (Mini-house)


Do leave a comment (anonymous or otherwise!) and be sure to link to the other sites for more Birdhouse extravaganza's!

Sort of Springy!

The sun is out. The sky is blue. It's not snowing and it's not too cold.
Works for me!

Stop by tomorrow when I join in the Bling Your Birdhouse festivities!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kitchen, Part Two

For those who have followed this blog for a bit, you may recall my kitchen painting escapade! Well, it wasn’t that much of an escapade, but mighty exciting and – thanks to my friend Kate – mighty fun!

I’ve not dared to pound a nail in the wall yet, and thought I might do a shelf to display teapots. And I’ve been painting another shelf I took down where I’ll put some of my Hall china.

Look, Mom! I have drawers and a storage shelf!

But that long shelf – just hadn’t bought one yet, despite two trips to Home Depot to check them out.

Then my neighbor said she was moving. To San Francisco. And selling her furniture.

I remember the day I saw her come home from a yard sale with this great baker’s rack. I thought “I never get deals like that. Oh, well.”
My yellow bunny on the micro makes me happy!

You got it! No, I did! I bought her terrific rack for only $20 (and it was already assembled and I don’t have to pound anything into that wall till I’m ready!)

It was up and decked out by Easter. I will change what’s on it periodically so those teapots in the basement can make a return appearance to my kitchen!

Oops! Forgot to put the teapot back in front of that basket after breakfast!

AND, I have a drawer for dish towels (as opposed to the pottery bowl on top of the fridge). Yes, I had only two drawers – silverware and junk. Now I can put the towels away and get some of the clutter counter down.

My happy bunny is filled with flowers. In the kitty memo frame to its left, is a tag by Beth of Doors are Everywhere. I think I'll use this area to show off some of the fun trades and inspiration pieces I receive from blog friends!

Can you tell how happy I am?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Day After Easter!

Post Easter Greetings!
I didn’t get in over the weekend so here are some happy post-Easter wishes. I hope yours was as colorful and fun as mine!

Festivities began with egg dying on Friday night! All those colorful dyes – I wish I’d done more (though then you have to eat the eggs!).
I saw Martha do this -- this is step one -- wrap the egg in lace.
Step two -- dip it!

Step three -- take off the lace. The photo doesn't show quite how pretty it was!
The finished goods!

That was followed by Life of Brian and then a fairly slow road, thanks to some pretty heavy snow and icy roads.
Started out Saturday with a massage. Isn’t this a pretty sink? I felt mellow and fully relaxed to the max!
Then off to the farm market on Saturday! What colors – I went wild with my tiny new camera shooting fast and furiously! (Probably not the best thing to do on what may have been the most crowded day of the year!)
Great deal on red peppers! My favorites!

Terrific bunnies! I resisted -- but barely!
The flowers were unbelievable!
I may have to go back and buy these herb jugs!

I bought a wonderful kitchen rack from a neighbor’s moving sale – the kitchen is beginning to come together, even though I haven’t nailed anything onto the wall yet! More on that later!

Then, a terrific pesto from the extremely gorgeous basil I bought. I’ll post this recipe later during basil season, but it’s much lighter, using far less oil and it’s terrific.

Saturday night we enjoyed watching “Jesus Christ Superstar” on video. Then we switched gears and watched Michigan State beat Pitt to advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA. It’s always a bit of a dilemma – when we win tournaments East Lansing overcelebrates, but when we lose, they burn couches on the street.

Sunday – just fun. Spent most of the day in the kitchen and when I wasn’t there, took pictures of anything not nailed down!
Living room centerpiece with a JoAnn's nest,
my decorated eggs and a few malt balls thrown in!
Couldn't resist using the jelly beans --
if it disrupts the arrangement, I'm less likely to eat them!
I don't know why I had party favors (seed packets)
for just Rick and me. But it's not a holiday without party favors!
It was sunny and lovely! Dinner – ham, asparagus, deviled eggs, cheesy potatoes and Ina Garten’s carrot cupcakes (As usual, I made some changes, so they weren’t exactly Ina’s, but close!).
I have to say I’m way too full, even this morning. But it was a lovely way to kick my brain into spring, despite the snow!

Hope your holidays were lovely!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Have a Good Friday!

I'm really looking forward to Easter this year, if for no other reason than it is spring and that's long overdue! (She says, chirpily, knowing that by Sunday we could have eight inches of snow.)
Carrot cake will be in the oven (maybe carrot cupcakes; I have cute little papers and if I don't use them at Easter, when will I?)

Last night I celebrated spring with a group of friends that energizes me and fills me with joy. We welcomed spring with conversation, laughter and toasts and I left inspired and grateful that I know these terrific women. (And we all send greetings to Kate, who couldn’t make it, being far away! If you’re reading, know that you were missed!)

Then home, to discover a wonderful surprise from Garden Goose – these great tags are so springy and happy -- I was thrilled! Thank you!

Next up: Egg boiling!

Before

During (you'll have to wait for "after")

One Easter tradition I cherish is spending Good Friday evening with our good friends Mark and Jan. We have dinner first, then gather at their home to dye eggs. It's quite the production (though the egging never was quite so colorful after they stopped making the "bunny-head" dye, which was probably terribly toxic!).

Some of our color combos are interesting to say the least! We always dye way too many eggs (which will manifest as deviled eggs on Sunday, along with chopped eggs for the spinach salad and egg salad on Monday!). We revel in oooing and ahhing over each others' achievements. They’re not Martha eggs, that’s for sure! But so fun, so festive!

Then, with stained fingers, we head to the telly to watch Monty Python's “Life of Brian.” It wouldn't seem like Easter if we didn't "Always look on the bright side of life."

When I think back on Easters past, I think of countless hours singing in year after year of church choir extravaganzas (we had an ambitious choir director). And, I think of welcoming friends who couldn't go home for Easter at my parents for dinner. I think of the first Easter after Mom died (she died on April 21; Easter was late that year) and I think of looking for eggs as a kid. (Sometimes I’d find quarters, too!). My favorite Easter basket treat was creamed herring. I was eight. Maybe I’ll get some tomorrow.

What do you remember?

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