First Craft of 2012

I enjoy making my own wreaths for the front door instead of buying them.  You can buy some pretty ones but often they need a little something extra and they are overpriced.  I don’t want them to look like everyone elses either.  So, a quick trip to Michaels  and I got the supplies to make a  wreath.

I chose an oval grapevine wreath with a little area in front that serves as a little basket and a beautiful blue jay and some light blue ribbon.  I already had two kinds of moss and some glue sticks and a hot glue gun (I mean HOT. ) It took about 15 minutes and a few burns later and the wreath is pictured below. 

Since the wreath is rustic, I chose not to use the ribbon, I’ll use that for another project.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought it.  I do have to fight the urge to frufru sometimes.

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My Grandchildren

Nothing I have ever done or could do could compare to being Andy’s Meecee or Laurie’s Meme. These are my two grandbabies and I adore them. For Christmas 2011, I made a “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake so they would learn the real meaning of Christmas. After the family gathering, we gathered around the cake and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. We put one

candle on it so the grandbabies could blow it out. They were so excited. We plan to do this every year for Christmas. I am posting a picture of the cake. Not my best work, but I just free handed it and whipped it out. Hope you like.

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Shame on Me!!

My last post was in May 2011 for Mothers Day. Shame on me! Why haven’t I posted since then? I’ve been very busy working, helping take care of my mother and running a household. My mother and brother moved in with my husband and I over a year ago and there have been growing pains.

It’s been smoothe for the most part but moving two adults in to what just became an empty nest is not without complications. My mom has dementia and chronic renal failure. My brother is her 24-hour caregiver and they live with my husband and I in order to keep her out of a nursing home. So as you can see, it is busy around here.

No excuses though, I am going to start blogging again. I may add some new categories as I am working on feeding four adults on a budget and developing new recipes as well as relying less on processed food. Come on 2012, there’s a lot to do!

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What’s Special About Your Mother?

As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about mother and how special she is to me.  My mother is a dedicated Christian woman who talked the talk and walked the walk.  She is caring, kind and has always been fair.  Mother filled our home with love and I love her very much.

Please share with my readers what makes your mother special.  Just leave it in the comment section under this post.

Thanks and Happy Mother’s Day!

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Guacamole 101

I love guacamole!  Not the soupy stuff that is served at all the Mexican restaurants.  I love chunky, colorful, guacamole.  So, I reviewed a few recipes and watched it made on a few of the food shows then I decided to try to make my own.  I must say, “It was successful!”

Here are the ingredients for guacamole for two (maybe three.) So, unless you have a crowd to feed, this will be just enough for a treat!

2 medium size ripe avocados

3 tablespoons of yellow onion (fine chopped)

2 Roma tomatoes (medium chopped)

2 tablespoons cilantro (rough chopped)

1 serrano pepper (finely chopped) ribs and seeds removed first

Peel avocados, remove seed and place in a medium size bowl.

Mash the avocados with a fork leaving different sizes of chunks.

Add all the ingredients except the tomatoes.

After mixing all ingredients (don’t mix so much that it becomes mushy) add the tomatoes.  Don’t over mix them.


Tip:  Since avocados turn brown easily, if you put the seed down in the guacamole, it will not turn brown quickly.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Tip:  A ripe avocado will be brown and firm but slightly indents when pressure is applied with your thumb.

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Flossie Matthews – York County’s Oldest Recycler

With Earth Day just around the corner, I thought it only proper that I introduce you to Florence Matthews, aka Flossie.  Flossie is 99 years old and she loves to crochet.  Flossie doesn’t go out and buy yarn, friends and family don’t bring her yarn.  So what does Flossie crochet?  Trash bags!

That’s right, she crochets bags, Easter baskets, hats, placements and many other items from plastic bags that you get every time you go to the store and buy an item.  What makes her creations so beautiful is all the different colors that bags come in.  So how does a 99-year-old lady get all those bags?  Friends and families bring them to her.  Staff from the assisted living facility she lives in brings them to her and she keeps them in even larger bags.

The preparation for crocheting with these bags is completed in steps.  First, she cuts the bags in strips about 1 inch wide and she loops them together alternating colors.  There is no particular pattern so that’s what makes each one unique.  As she loops the bags together, she winds them into a ball.  She may spend most of her day doing that and then the next day she will crochet.

To make an Easter basket, Flossie begins by forming a loop with the end of the bag and placing it on the crochet hook.  Then she chain stitches six stitches and crochets back into the first loop to form a circle. She continues on until she has the size basket she wants.  Then she crochets handles to complete the bags.

Flossie gives her creations away and she sells them also.  Can you imagine being 99 years old and having a side business?  I think Flossie is amazing, don’t you?

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Making the Nursery Unique

I love being a grandmother and it thrills me when my girls, now grown women, ask for advice or need help.  When my grandson Andy was born, his mom, Kelly, knew what she wanted to the nursery to look like.  She didn’t want any of the crib sets on the market so we made her a crib set out of fabric she chose.  My favorite phrase has always been, “How hard can it be?”  Well, I learned just how hard it can be when we started sewing!  I am a self-taught seamstress and let’s just say, there is still much to learn. We did make a beautiful crib set but I must say I now ask, “how hard can it be”, sparingly.  I don’t have any pictures of it to upload right now but if I come across some, I will upload them.

Now when my daughter Jodi was expecting with my granddaughter Lauren she too wanted a unique nursery.  She found the comforter set she liked but she wanted to personalize the nursery.  So since I like to paint, she asked me to paint a picture to coordinate with the comforter set.  Since it was a jungle theme for little girls, I chose to paint the elephant. I used three canvases to make one picture, called a tryptic. Using the comforter for inspiration, I drew the elephant freehand and then painted over it.  I used acrylic paint and both sponge brushes and regular paint brushes.  For the trim around the picture, I needed something to stamp it with because there was so much of it.  You know those little spongy nail files they use at the nail salon and then give them to you? That is what I used to make the stamp by cutting away the sponge to resemble the trim on the comforter, then I dipped it in paint and stamped the trim.  I think it turned out nice.  See what you think.

Also, my daughter Jodi painted some wooden letters to spell Lauren’s name and placed it over the closet door. I think it looks nice.

So, what’s my message?  If you are feeling artistic, just do it.  How hard can it be?

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