Monday, May 28, 2012

New "Lifted" Cards

The other day I was out in my studio feeling like I wanted to create something, but not knowing what.  I took a look to my left, where my bookshelves live, and saw my many boxes of ideas books and magazines, all adorned with brightly colored flags popping out of the tops.  I grabbed one at random and opened to the first flag.  I made 2 cards using that design.  I flipped to the next design I had flagged.  2 more cards were created.  The next flag hit my hot button.  Several cards were created, thanks to Mary Jane Johnson in the Sept. 2009 edition of Cards magazine.  Sometimes you need a little inspiration.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The New Rug

I've been shopping for a new rug for in front of my kitchen sink for a year or more. I wanted something fun and playful - not a solid color. A couple weeks ago I found a "rag" rug at Menards for $1.99. The colors were perfect and so was the price!

Here is my kitchen floor.

Here is the rug I wanted to replace.

Here is the rug I found at Menards. Cute, right?
For some reason I decided to double check that it was machine washable. HOLD. THE. PHONE. The tag says: "Spot Clean Only. Avoid placing this product on light colored surfaces as the color may transfer. Dry immediately if wet. Exert cautions when using on wooden, vinyl or tiled surfaces." WHAT??????

I've decided that the only SAFE place to display my new rug is on the grass in my yard. Or maybe I should use it as "art" and hang it on the wall!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Toaster Oven

I finally broke down and bought a toaster oven. Never thought I needed one. Until I got this job. And there's one there. And now I need one. Who knew that bringing in one small-ish kitchen appliance could cause such a chain of events.

Let me begin by saying I don't have much counter space and what little I do have, was already occupied.

The toaster oven had to live next to the stove - it's the only space big enough. So then I had to move the bowl of snacks/cat treats (we are an equal opportunity snacking family), and measuring cups and super=cool vintage tiered metal shelf.

There is an old ice box in our kitchen that held chips and drink mixes on the bottom and cookbooks on the top. Now the bottom holds liquor bottles and the top holds bags of chips.

The only available counter left, having relocated the liquor bottles, is to the right of the refrigerator. It's narrow. I tried putting the cookbooks in an old wire freezer basket in the space, but that seemed like a waste of space. I mean, let's be honest, how often do I need a cookbook? (giggle*snort!)

So, instead, I moved the drink mixes - currently in a tacky plastic box - and the bowl of people/kitty treats, to that space. It's not a good look.

In the meantime, I wandered around the house looking for a suitable place to put the cookbooks. Not too far away, yet not necessarily in the kitchen. Hmmmmmm, there was a misused shelf in one of the built-ins in the office. Perfect. After removing and relocating the assorted computer papers, outdated adaptors and floppy discs (again - giggle*snort), I found a home for my cookbooks.

Perfect. Except that now I have this small mountain of unfiled-torn-from-a-magazine-copied-from-a-book-printed-off-the-internet pile of recipes to sort through. It's Recipe Reality Check time. Here is the criteria: Sure it looks/sounds good, but will I really make it? Are there 2 columns of ingrediants? Does it require a bunch of spices?

I'm off to sort.

Someday I will cook something in my toaster oven. Maybe I'll find a recipe.....

Friday, March 2, 2012

Have You Ever...............

As I'm sitting here this evening, pondering what to write about on my blog, the idea snuck into my subconscience and settled there, making periodic jabs at me until I recognized it. This is a situation I've been in many times and I always marvel at it.

My husband was in the dining room watching some old western movie. I'm in the office. The rooms are on the same floor, but not visible to each other. I find myself listening to the music playing in the background of the movie. It's easier to do when you can't see the pictures. Before the electronic world evolved, producers used music to capture the "mood" of a scene. Old movies are filled with elaboratly composed songs - some even with words - and fabulous symphonic pieces. The notes roar or creep into the background, only to sneak away, unnoticed, when the acting takes center stage. Imagine being a studio musician and being given a movie score to perform. How disjointed and odd it must have been to perform without knowing the context of the scene where it would be used. How much music and song wound up on the cutting room floor. What talented musicians went unrecognized for their unbelievable performances in so many movies.

The next time there's an older movie on, listen to what's going on in the background, without watching the screne.

On another note - no pun intended - Alfred Hitchcock's movie, The Birds, was the only movie (ever?) of his to be filmed without the use of background music. If you've seen it, I'm willing to bet that you never noticed. The lack of background noise in many of the scenes adds to the movie's overall eerieness. Once I learned this information, the next time I watched the movie I felt it was even more powerful, and the filming even more "deliberate". Super creepy.

Honestly, I'm not a movie watcher, so this commentary/observation is rather ironic coming from me. What do you think?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Motorcycle Motivation

Two posts in one day! You're thrilled, right? Unfortunately, neither of them have much for content. Just random thoughts.

Originally I started to exercise at the Rec Center because it was suggested by my employers. I don't mean that in a bad way. I should say, we are both exercising. The buddy system. And believe me --- I NEED to exercise! Then I remembered that I have a class reunion the first weekend in August. While knowing that I will never in a zillion years get back to the 95lbs. I weighed when I graduated, I could use to lose a few pounds.

Another point for motivation is that I want new jeans.

And then, this weekend, I bought a new Harley shirt. Motorcycle riding season comes long before the reunion. I'd love to look a little tighter and toner for biking season.

So, there you have it. Time to get SERIOUS about this weight loss! Anybody care to join me??


Sooooooo, I've been making valentine cards. i think I ended up with a dozen, in two different designs. No two exactly alike. And I put them in envelopes, sealed them, and addressed them.

And then I remembered that I hadn't taken any pictures. Grrrrr..........

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The People We Meet

My new job has introduced me to a new cast of characters. Most of them are men, simply because that's the nature of the business. In just a few short months, some have left a lasting impression, others just a memory.

I met a man who took a car to the Barrett Jackson car auction.
I met a man who dyed his hair orange because he knows he's not going to live much longer.
I met a man who was in the military and served in Germany. For many months he patroled on snow skis. He was a sniper.
I met a man who makes homemade ice cream. With the help of his wife, they create amazing flavors - and never use a recipe. It's rich and creamy and not like any homemade ice cream I've ever had.
I met a man who holds international titles in extreme fighting.
I met a man who gardens. He gave me a HUGE bag of jalepenos.
I met a woman who's heart is so big that she sends packages and cards to people she's thinking about nearly every day.
I met a woman who's learning about Jesus, for the first time.
I met a man who lived in his car in order to pay child support.
I met a man who has an uncanny resemblance to my dad. (My dad passed away in 1999.)
I met a man who is watching his father die.
I met a man who has full custody of his 4 children.
I met a man who makes delicious salsa. He makes enough to share.
I met a man who's speaking voice melts my heart.
I met a couple who still hold hands and drive themselves to the doctor. They've been married for 60+ years.

How lucky am I to have met these people. Some of them have shared their stories with me and some have not. I look forward to each and every one walking through the door.