Archive for February, 2009

Since it’s cold and fixing to snow, I figured there was no better time to bust out the Easter decorations!  I usually prefer to wait until after Mother’s Day to get them out, but I think we need a little cheer.

I made these candles.  Actually, I bought the candles.  But I did decorate them myself.  I simply hot glued a piece of ribbon all the way around and then hot glued an Easter embellisment over the ends.  I find that hot glue works really well with candles since it will melt the wax a little and let the ribbon get good and attached.  Just be careful not to touch the candle with the tip of your glue gun.  That’s not good form.

Isn’t that an awesome deck screw?  I took these pictures the day before yesterday when it was 70 degrees.  And since it is now dark and cold and fixing to snow, I’m not going to go retake them just to get the screw out of the picture.  Yeah, I’m a rebel like that.

Here’s a couple more terrariums.  I seriously love these things.  My mother asked me what I was going to do with all of them (I bought 3 more jars at the thrift store last week).  I told her I was going to build floor to ceiling shelves and fill them with little miniature terrarium worlds just to creep people out.

This one is a Mason Jar.  The moss hasn’t had a chance to thicken up quite yet.  And that’s a bird hanging from the lid in back.

Here’s the top of the lid.

And here’s the other terrarium.  The Easter bunny is zooming along.  Probably on his way to church. 

I should make a terrarium with a little church in it.  Do you suppose a Calvary terrarium would be too over the top?  Yeah, you’re probably right.  That’s a bit much even for someone with I Love Jesus socks.  But a Mount of Olives terrarium would probably be okay.


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I found this little game over at Death By Denim (http://deathbydenim.blogspot.com) and thought it was cool.  And since I haven’t been sleeping well, I am too tired to upload pictures tonight, so I’m going to play along.

Supposedly, most Americans have only read 6 of the books on this list.  I don’t know if that’s true or not but it doesn’t really bother me to pass on untrue or half-true nuggets of information, so there you go.

I have bolded the ones I’ve read and italicized those that are currently on my ever-growing “to read” shelf.

1.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

2.  The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (I haven’t read it, but it still cracks me up when Dwight Schrute makes references to it.)

3.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

4.  Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

5.  To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee  (I wanted to name my kid Scout, but Meat Galore wouldn’t let me.)

6.  The Bible

7.  Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

8.  1984 by George Orwell  (Maybe that’s why Pres. Obama scares me so much.  Well, George Orwell and the fact that I’m a Libertarian.  lol.)

9.  His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

10.  Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

11.  LIttle Women by Louisa May Alcott

12.  Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

13.  Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (One of my all-time favorites.  Major Major Major Major is a freaking genius!)

14.  Complete Works of Shakespeare (But, to be honest, I’m not sure how much I retained.)

15.  Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

16.  The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

17.  Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

18.  Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

19.  The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

20.  Middlemarch by George Eliot

21.  Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

22.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

23.  Bleak House by Charles Dickens

24.  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

25.  The Hitchhiker’s Guild to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

26.  Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

27.  Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28.  Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Another of my favorites.)

29.  Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

30.  The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

31.  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

32.  David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

33.  Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis

34.  Emma by Jane Austen

35.  Persuasion by Jane Austen

36.  The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis

37.  The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

38.  Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres

39.  Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

40.  Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne

41.  Animal Farm by George Orwell

42.  The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

43.  One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44.  A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving (Or is it Irving Washington?  haha.  Little Catch 22 reference there.)

45.  The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

46.  Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

47.  Far From the Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy

48.  The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Ms. Atwood had it all backwards.)

49.  Lord of the Flies by William Golding

50.  Atonement by Ian McEwan

51.  Life of Pi by Yann Martel

52.  Dune by Frank Herbert

53.  Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

54.  Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

55.  A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

56.  The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57.  A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

58.  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

59.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

60.  Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61.  Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

62.  Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

63.  The Secret History by Donna Tartt

64.  The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

65.  Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

66.  On The Road by Jack Kerouac (Can you feel the beat?)

67.  Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

68.  Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (Yeah, kind of embarrassed about this one.)

69.  Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

70.  Moby Dick by Herman Melville

71.  Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

72.  Dracula by Bram Stoker

73.  The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Not to be confused with MY Secret Garden.)

74.  Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson

75.  Ulysses by James Joyce

76.  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

77.  Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

78.  Germinal by Emile Zola

79.  Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

80.  Possession by AS Byatt

81.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

82.  Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

83.  The Color Purple by Alice Walker

84.  The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

85.  Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

86.  A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

87.  Charlotte’s Web by EB White

88.  The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

89.  Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90.  The Faraway Tree Collection by Enid Blyton

91.  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

92.  The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93.  The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

94.  Watership Down by Richard Adams

95.  A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (That was some messed up stuff, right there.)

96.  A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

97.  The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

98.  Hamlet by William Shakespeare

99.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

100.  Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Thirty-four books from the list isn’t too bad.  haha!  I should post my must-read book list one day.  It’s a little more heavy on Mark Twain than Jane Austen.  (Who made this list, anyway?  Jane Austen’s secret lover?  What the heck?)

So how many of these have you read?

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As a recognized expert in decorating, crafting, cooking, blogging, and entertaining, I am often asked, “Self Mary, what is the one item no household should be without?”  I think the people who ask me that are expecting me to answer with something nominally important such as “a good bundt pan” or “an operable firearm” or even “lime scented razors”.  But, the fact is, those are only luxury items.  The one item every household must have is …

That’s right.  Squirrel Underpants.  I have purchased a pair for all my squirrels.  I don’t want my little Shelby exposed to nekkid squirrels!  That would be ludicrous!

You can buy these modern wonders at http://www.squirrelunderpants.com.

This has been a public service message because I feel it is my sacred duty as a blogger to help the general public with all their nekkid rodent related problems.


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My mom and I went to a couple thrift stores yesterday.  We found a lot of good stuff.  Including a couple funny signs!

This is a nearby town.  I guess with this slow economy, we are all making cutbacks.  Strasburg apparently decided to save money by not investing in a whole strip of green tape as in previous years.

I hope the guy just moved.  But, somehow, I’m envisioning a funeral with everyone in town attending.  Except the guy in charge of changing the sign.

Or maybe the missing Strasburg resident just purchased an “Eternal Investment”.  This is at another nearby town.

Yes, that is a subdivision and not a cemetary.  Totally creepy.  Can’t you picture some slick creepy horror movie character saying, “Come on, move to my subdivision – you won’t regret it.  We have people who invest here eternally.  Bwahahahaha.  Oh yeah, and bring your family.”  [Insert devious hand-rubbing here.]

The neighboring towns are a little morbid, huh?

(And in case there are any of you perverts out there who think you’re going to figure out where I live and … well, just know that I am a MAJOR 2nd amendment proponent.  If you catch my drift.)

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Wow!  It has been far too long since I participated in Vintage Thingies Thursdays.  I still have plenty of thingies, I just kept forgetting until midnight on Thursday!

Today I thought I’d share some thingies from my daughter’s room.  Since we turned her crib to a daybed a few weeks ago, I guess I’m not allowed to call it a “nursery” any more.  That makes me sad.  But it also makes me happy that she’s growing up smart and strong.  It’s a mixed bag of emotions.

Anyway, the furniture in her room was mine when I was a baby.  My dad made it for me.

Here’s my dresser.  My mom and dad also used it for a changing table (thus, the rails) but I never did.

My mom embroidered the burp cloths that are hanging up for Shelby.  I made the jewelry box, the bud vase, the shadow box, and the picture that is hidden behind the burp cloths.  My youngest sister made the frame, and my grandma painted the star pink.

Here’s another view of my dresser.

Here’s the toy box.  It has a squirrel, a pig, and a duck carved into the front.  And, as you can see, it has been loved on.

This is a sampler that hung in our house for as long as I can remember.  My mom gave it to me today to put in Shelby’s room.  My dad made the frame.  The frame and sampler are dated 1978.  It reads, “From Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long Leggity Beasties, and Other Things that go Bump in the Night, Good Lord Deliver Us.”

And this is my doll cradle.  The doll isn’t vintage – Shelby got that for Christmas.  Neither are the curtains, but I would like to point them out.  My mom made those too (along with the doll’s afghan).

Here’s Shelby playing with her doll and my cradle.

It was very important to me that there be a lot of handmade items in Shelby’s room.  Mostly because I like handmade stuff and I think it’s so special to have.  There are also some embroidered pieces I did and an embroidered quilt that my middle sister made hanging on the wall.  But since they aren’t vintage, I’ll save them for another day.

I hope you liked my thingies.  And for more great vintage stuff, check out Colorado Lady at http://coloradolady.blogspot.com/.

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What?  It’s not Tuesday?  I know that.  Sheesh.  But this happened on Tuesday so it counts.

(Don’t you love when the voices in my head take over and type on my blog?)

I had made some candy hearts for Valentine’s Day.  Here’s some from the first batch.  By the second batch, I had figured out how to get neat edges but I gave all those away before I took a picture.  So you’ll just have to imagine that these are pretty.

I had a brilliant idea that I was going to make brownie cupcakes for my parents and put these hearts in the center.  In my imagination, the hearts would soften a bit and, as the brownies cooled, they would harden back up and leave a lovely heart in the middle of the brownie.  This is what happened instead.

I thought to myself, “Self, they may be aesthetically unpleasing, but I’m sure they taste just fine.”  Well, Self was wrong.  Apparently those candy melts are not designed to withstand 350 degree temperatures for thirty minutes.  How do I know this?  Because all the moisture was sucked out of them and they tasted like burned … I don’t know, burned something

No worries.  Martha is still jealous of my culinary skills.  Plus I had some excellent help with my experiment.

And before anyone asks, no I do not let my almost 18 month old daughter play with knives.  I just forgot it was sitting there.  And, yes, I do clean my kitchen, I just didn’t do it yesterday.

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Moooooom … I told you not to look.  I know you’re looking.  And I know you’re going to faint when you see what I did to this book.  But, in my defense, it was falling apart anyway and I do have another copy of it in hardback.

So don’t faint.

For everyone else, I love altering cigar boxes – well, anything, actually.  But I have several altered cigar boxes.  This is my latest creation.

You can get the boxes at any smoke store.  Many of them will just give you the boxes, but some will charge a nominal fee (usually a dollar or less).  Or you can spend $10 and buy one from a craft store.  It’s your call.  I had the book lying around because the Wagons West Series by Dana Fuller Ross is one of my favorites.  They aren’t high literature or anything, but they are fun to read.

I mod-podged torn pages to the sides of the box and also on the inside of the lid.  On top, I mod-podged some western style scrapbook paper (I also put a piece of the paper over the pages on the inside of the lid.  Then, on top of the box, I glued down the cover of the book (which I had to cut into 2 pieces to fit) and a piece of twine.

Voila!  A fancy schmancy cigar box to store stuff in!

On a sucky note, my dad was sweet enough to loan me his video camera and I took some great footage of Shelby.  I finalized the DVD when I was done, stuck the DVD in my computer, and it was blank!  I lost all that footage!  And I know it was there because we had played it back on the camera!  Yes, Dad, I finalized it before I took it out.  Gaah!  I’m so perturbed!  I wanted to send it to my grandma in the morning and now I’ll have to start all over!  Augggh!

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