Thursday, February 26, 2009

Teeny pin-cushions !

These are a couple of pin cushions I made. The base of them is just a bottle cap! So, as you can see, they are quite small, but do the trick.
I found the directions for these at a site called craftstylish, wonderful directions posted by Jen Segrest. As she says, these are very addictive and make fabulous little gifts.

Here are the detailed directions: Click here.

Thank you, Jen !

I plan on making a few more in different sized caps, from different things. I even saved a Fancy Feast cat food can to try and make a bigger one, if I can figure it out.

Aren't these sweet ? Hey, we all need a cushion for our pins. We also need cushions for other things, but I don't know how to make those.

Monday, February 23, 2009

No school today!

why?  WHY?? ....because of THIS !!!!

Here we go again...more white stuff.
One foot of it and H-E-A-V-Y !!! Like cement.
Even the snowblower, the one my fingers never touch, was having an extremely difficult time of it. Snowblowers don't like blowing cement.  

But it was beautiful, nevertheless, as you can see.

But even the most beautiful rose has it's thorns. We lost power 17 hours ago and counting.
160,000 customers without power at the moment. (Update: 20 hours 14 minutes) (Another update: 29 1/2 hours and no power)

is what's keeping us semi-sane. (Along with the wood stove and a BOTTLE of wine....)

God bless generators.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Sunday Picture....

  Yes, I'm back in Maine. It is 40ยบ outside currently, but a big snow storm is developing off the coast. Could be a foot of the white stuff by morning. (At least it's 'white'...there's some purity in that.)
  As for my Sunday favorite hubby and my little kitty from Siam. Getting in some reading. (Actually the kitty is staring at the shut off TV, wishing it to turn on.)
  The calm before the storm. Just being with these guys is the calmness I need. (And a glass of wine in a couple of hours...)
  Happy Sunday.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever.....

  I LOVE strawberries! I love the taste, I love the smell and I love what they make. (click)
  I especially love what they make...poolside. (see previous post) Top it with a little whipped cream and I'm in heaven.
  So when my aunt suggested to go strawberry picking, I was IN THE CAR !  "Let's go!"
  So off we went. We didn't have far to go, just through the center of town to the other side. I could SMELL them already.

SIDEBAR: Center of Town.
  As we're cruising through downtown, my aunt was wondering outloud where all the chickens were? I said, 'what?' She said that usually there are  chickens just roaming around, taking in the sights. I said, 'WHAT??' She said 'yup'. Apparently people take them in stride, stop to let them cross and just co-exist with them! Roosters, too. Talk about the ultimate hen-pecking ! 
  I asked, 'why?' She said, 'Dunno'. So we proceeded to the Strawberry fields. (We did actually see the chickens, pecking away on a grassy knoll next to the mini-shopping center parking lot!!)
  We parked next to the strawberry fields. There weren't too many pickers there, so we grabbed a basket each and headed off to the recommended sections '1 to 3'. It was a little slim picking, as many were recently picked over and the green ones weren't ripe yet, but there were plenty.
  A BIG sign out front said not to eat the strawberries before paying. MY TIP: Pick a big, fat, juicy berry, turn your back to the farm stand and serreptiously slip it into mouth. Chew very slowly so that no satellite  from above will capture you masticating on an illegal berry. Truth be told, I only did this once. I'm paranoid about stuff like that, but I needed to know if the berries were worth my valuable time. (I kept getting distracted, mentally, tho....thinking 'bout those chickens!)

We picked 2 baskets full and paid for them. But we couldn't leave yet because I ALWAYS have questions that need to be answered, the sooner the better. 
  ie. 'Do machines plant all these plants?' (No, machines make the holes in the black plastic....Mexicans come and plant them physically.)
       'When are they planted?' (October-ish)
       'How many plants?' (188,000 ish) 

BUT, my chicken questions remained unanswered...until I got to my buddy, the internet.
(This is actual poultry walking through town...probably going to make a deposit.)

  This is what Wikipedia says about the chickens (and their boyfriends)....

"This little town is known for a population of chickens that roam the downtown area (ironically) near the restaurant "Popeye's Chicken". There are so many of them roaming the area that often traffic stops as they cross the roads. The chickens have been featured on t-shirts and coffee mugs and posters. 
  Contrary to that which some believe, there are no specific laws or statutes surrounding the chickens, neither for their protection nor for their removal-the latter being something some residents would like to see due to the danger they pose with traffic in the congested town center. For others, however, the chickens add an element of fun and provide the town with a uniqueness that can be boasted by no other neighboring town."

I have no more questions.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ah, yes, it's snowing out?????

I hear it's snowing out. There's a winter storm warning. What month is this?

Here I am in Florida. It was 77 degrees today. (DANG...I don't know how to type a 'degree' symbol !) It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. After several days of this type of weather, I don't even know how anyone that lives here knows that it's actually February or even winter.
(huh, CAM ?)

Sitting around the hotel pool, everyone is acting like it's summer out: swimming, sunning, slathering sunscreen, sipping soda (wow, alliteration or what?)
........Nobody listened. So I had to have a strawberry daiquiri and join the club, feet in pool.

Ah, this is the life. Read a little of my book, Water for Elephants, sipped my drink and soaked in some sun.
Notice I said, 'the' hotel and not 'my' hotel. Well, it once or twice actually once WAS 'my' hotel...several years ago, but today I just borrowed it. Hey, they got my eight + bucks for the drink and I didn't use a towel or anything. The Disney world has mucho, mucho bucks from this family's bank account over the years. I'm sure they wouldn't even be in business without our business over the last 20 years.

It's just nice to see things alive.

Back to the my real world soon...*%#@*!^%$

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Day gone amok.

So I'm flying south for a few days, ending up in Baltimore airport for a layover. Leaving Portland I noticed that Southwest airlines had lots of cut-out hearts plastered all over it's venues. Like giant candy hearts with heartfelt messages inscribed on them just for me.
So I think to myself, "that's nice."
Then I get to Baltimore and had a little time. THIS is how Baltimore decorated their gateways and podiums ! Methinks someone had too much time on their hands!

I guess it's kinda nice, too.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Sunday Picture....

This is a photo in the early morning sun up on the Eastern Prom in Portland. The ocean is off to the left, out of shot. Not much action up there on this cold, calm morning.
(click on the link to see how close the ocean is in this sledding video someone made!)(Hope they can swim!)

Saturday, February 14, 2009


A PIN-KEEP !  for people who sew....or are into keeping pins.
Here is a little gift I made for a friend for Valentine's Day. I started one for myself, but it's not finished yet.  (It's small, only 3 " high.)
  It's a little case to hold needles and pins. You could probably hide a couple of peanut m&m's inside, too. 
  Here are some quick directions. 
  Cut felt to the sizes shown. The bottom strip is the case. The top is the inside pages. Cut the tab to any size to any size or shape, as long as it's big enough to snag a button later.
Here is the felt cut.
Fold the case in half up to the tab. Mark off with a pin or something to know where the fold is. Fold in half again and mark off the creases. This will separate the piece into four panels. Then you can figure out on which panel you will decorate.
  If you are going to embroider, applique or decorate the cover, you should mark off which panel it should be done on. AND DON'T DO IT UPSIDE DOWN LIKE I DID ON ONE ! Figure out ahead of time which way is up !#$%^&
  The whole reason the little book is double thick is to hide the back of the stitching. If you aren't decorating, you can actually make this a single thickness piece.
Do the decorating of the cover.
Here is the one I'm making for myself. (below) This shows where to pin the 'pages'. (click on it to enlarge so you can actually see the applique I'm doing on this one.)
Stitch the pages in....
Fold felt 'book' in half again. Pin together. Blanket stitch the two layers together. Cut slit in tab to accomodate a button of your choice. That's it!
'Pages' with and without pins and needles. It's easier than looking for a needle in a haystack.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Best of luck to my sweet BIL today.....
(That's the Amarylis you gave me !)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The tic tac....

 I always figure there's a good chance I might have bad breath. So I am keeping the tic tac company in business by purchasing tic tacs about every 5 minutes.  Sometimes I even take two of them, just to be on the safe side. And sometimes, even, I share them, usually just with my husband as we're in the car driving to someplace where there will be people.
  So this morning, about 1/2 way to school, I took a tic tac. ('took' a tic tac? Like medicine?)
So anyway, I'm driving away, listening to the mother of the octuplets being grilled by Ann Curry on the Today Show, when I suddenly turned a corner and ended up full face into the ultra bright rising sun. After smooshing my face around trying to somehow block out the sun,  I ended up sneezing....hard....three times.
  When I was done I tic tac! It was gone! I must have propelled it right out of my mouth. Looked all over while trying to drive. Couldn't find it. Gone for good in the salt, sand and crap-laden abyss that is the floor of my car.

  Finally got to school, took off my coat, mittens, scarf, boots and llbean socks, put on my normal shoes,  sat at my desk....and VOILA, there was the tic-tac....1/2 it's normal size and stuck to my pant leg.
   I don't know why I'm telling you all this. It's actually kinda gross.

Monday, February 9, 2009

For Cali....

Little girls are made of daisies and butterflies and soft kitty purrs
And all the precious memories of times that once were.

Little girls are made of angel's wings and giggles and a firefly's glow
And all the happy feelings, deep inside, that we all know.

Little girls are made of cinnamon and bubbles and fancy white pearls
And snowflakes and rainbows and ballerina twirls

Little girls are made of sunshine and cupcakes and fresh morning dew,
And these are the reasons, little one, why everyone loves you!

By Karen Barnes

I found this poem for a special little grand niece in the Sunshine State....


Oooo, I almost forgot to photograph the pumpkin sticky buns I made before they were gone! They were deeeelicious! This is a recipe compliments of Ohio Mom in her Cooking in Cleveland blog.... the link is in my sidebar. I did do a couple things differently. I didn't have pumpkin, but I had baggies of cooked Butternut squash in the freezer. (DON'T tell my son this fact !) The one I defrosted came out to only 3/4 of a cup, but it worked fine. I also used Rapid Rise yeast (Yeast designed for the impatient) , so I mixed the yeast in with the dry ingredients and then added the wet ingredients. The first rising was only 10 minutes and then the second rising...I eyeballed...til the buns doubled in size, about 1 hour. I didn't even put any confectioners sugar glaze on them like I usually do for cinnamon buns. These are great. Thanks Ohio mom!
  Oh, I also put in walnuts instead of raisins....(I like raisins, but my son, the one that doesn't like butternut squash, doesn't like them.)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Sunday Picture....

Dawn at Stroudwater Falls.

This is an early morning photo of the falls at the mouth of the Stroudwater River, just before the water spills into the Fore River. I loved how the sun reflected in the windows of the home nearby.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

First Friday Art Walk

  Two lines in the Abba song, Dancing Queen are...
"Friday night and the lights are low,
Looking out for a place to go..."
  That was us...looking out for a place to go...heck, it was going to be a balmy evening, 22 degrees and no wind.
  Donning long undies (at least I did) and liner gloves and printing up a map of all the galleries, off we went into the Portland night to do the First Friday Art Walk.
  The first excitement of the night was driving around for about 20 minutes trying to find a 'free' parking space. (God forbid we should use the parking garage) We had big competition. The Portland Museum of Art is free on Friday nights (that's when WE go...) and there was a concert in the new Port City Music Hall on Congress Street.

  We found a place on Parris Street. Parris Street was about 306 blocks from where we wanted to go, but remember, it was balmy out. :-/

  The streets were packed, surprisingly, there were people everywhere and music in the streets. Cabin fever was in full swing.

  Galleries offered wine (one reason I go out in the arctic) and munchies and everyone was in a festive spirit.

  There were remnants of Christmas lights everywhere (typical of Maine.... in March, we play a game when we are driving around...counting brown Christmas wreaths still hanging on people's doors.)(We all know what the person in the car means when they say, "one...")(By the way, ours are still green and still hanging....they stay green month after month, year after year....must be a good species.). The lights added to the wonderful glow of the evening.

There was art in every nook and cranny... up stairs, down long hallways, tucked around corners and right there on the main street. I don't know how many artists made any sales, but everyone seemed to be having a good midwinter time.

(Where were you, Peter?.......)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Hampshire....the other white state.

Avoiding the mooses all day...

Saturday morning we woke to an azure blue sky and temperatures in the 20's. A perfect day for a road trip, so we bundled up and headed for New Hampshire.

  After spending sometime in picturesque North Conway, we drove to Jackson. Jackson Village is home to the Honeymoon Covered Bridge, rolling snow covered meadows, inns and hotels, and restaurants.
  We stumbled upon a snow carving contest ! It was cold and quite windy, so the wind chill was a factor, but these hardy souls were carving away. Some were finished with their masterpieces while others seemed to be only half way through.


Next stop...

We ended up at Pinkham Notch, at the base of Mount Washington. We went into the visitors center to warm up and check out the weather conditions on the top of Mount Washington. I saw several insane people with huge backpacks slung onto several inches of down outerwear wearing crampons on their feet. They were going inside to sign in for a climb up the mountain to God knows where in the dead of winter. They sign in so that in case they don't come back, the authorities will know who exactly went up and when they left.
  I, myself, don't want to do any activity where I have to sign in, in case I don't return!!

  On our way back home, we stopped at the White Mountain Hotel for a drink and a snack. We didn't have to sign in for that. We've been here once before and it's a very comfortable place to relax, in the Tullamore Pub. Never actually stayed there overnight.
Here is the front entrance of the hotel. That cliff is right next to the parking lot and appears much more massive when you are standing there in real life.

That's my glass of Merlot in front of the fireplace. Warm and cozy.

I assume the pool is heated!!  Anyway, it was a fun day. New Hampshire is beautiful.