Monday, March 30, 2009

R·E·C·I·P·E·S

When I was younger I wouldn't touch zucchini with a ten foot pole, but my best friends mom would make this delicious cake with cream cheese icing and I couldn't get enough of it! A few years ago I asked her for the recipe and although I have never tried to make it myself (maybe this summer!) it is a keeper.
Zucchini Cake
Bake 350°
1 hour

3 whole eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sugar
2 cups zucchini ground (remove any liquid)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts

This is all the directions she had but I imagine you grease & flour your cake pan.
I would just mix in the order given since she wrote it out that way.
She didn't give me the icing recipe but you may try the one below.

Since I'm on the subject of making a cake with vegetables, this next recipe is one I made last Thanksgiving. My Aunt Vivian hand wrote this Carrot Cake recipe for me so I mailed her this picture of my finished cake. It makes a very heavy but delicious cake.

Carrot Cake

Bake 350°

Hint: Bake cake about 48 hours before you need it- It gathers favor & moisture

1 1/2 cups of oil

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 TBSP vanilla

2 cups finely grated carrots (packed)

2 oz. can crushed pineapple

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/4 cups English walnuts

Mix in order given.

Grease & flour three 9" round baking pans and bake for about 25 minutes.

Icing

2- 8oz. packages cream cheese

1 stick real butter

1 TBSP vanilla

9 cups Powdered sugar

Soften cream cheese and butter.

Whip together. Add vanilla, blend.

Add 1 cup powdered sugar at a time and whip.

It all makes me hungry for some sugar!! Yummy!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Winter Storm!

Wow! Here it is almost April & we got blasted with a Winter Storm! It was beautiful & I'm very thankful I didn't have to get out in it for any reason. There are several inches outside this morning as it snowed all through the night. I stayed home & finished working on my photos of my sister's family. Some really turned out cute. Here are a couple of my favorites.
I know the dog licking my little great niece is kind of gross (her mom wasn't there when that picture was taken) but I really like it. But then again, I love dogs.....
For those of you following my post I have to report my oldest son has been doing so well. He paid off one of his credit cards & has been working tons of overtime so hopefully the last and final credit card can get paid off! He worked 22 hours last night! (I think he will make a great fireman if he gets that job!) I'm asking for your prayers for him again as his 2nd interview is April 2nd! I think he has one more if he passes this 2nd phase of interviews. The final one is with the fire captain or so we were told. Nic, I'm glad to see you commented on my last blog I was beginning to worry about you since you have not posted anything lately! I hope everyone enjoys a nice Sunday and blessings to all!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My teacher, my friend....

Someday I'm going to write a book. I have an amazing story of a little girl and her 2nd grade school teacher, Mrs. Rice. We lived in a little (real little!) town in KS when I was a kid. My grandparents lived there all their lives and we were lucky enough to live next door to them for a couple of awesome, amazing, unforgettable years. I was so heartbroken when I found out we had to move back to the city. I don't remember this part but Mrs. Rice told me I was sitting with my legs up and my head down on them at recess crying my eyes out. She asked me what was the matter and I explained I had to move. I was in the 3rd grade by then. She tried to tell me I'd make new friends and I said that I wouldn't know what my friends there would be doing. So she told me she would write to me and let me know what was going on and that made me happy so I jumped up and ran off to play. We moved to Missouri and the letters started coming. We were pen pals for years and years and we became very close. I would visit her each time I came to see my Grandparents and she even made the trip to Missouri for my wedding. The neatest part is I saved every single letter she ever wrote to me and she saved every single one I wrote to her!! She just gave them all back to me and I figure someday I'll sit down and go through them and maybe use some of them to write our story. I'm going to drive 3 hours tomorrow to go and see her since I have the day off. I'll stay one night and head back early Friday. It will be so good to go back "home" as I always feel like that when I get to that little part of the world. The crunch of the gravel under my shoes and the smells of pasture take me back to that special time of my life.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tired Tuesday!

I don't know why I have been absolutely worn out today. I had the day off (thank goodness or how would I have made it through the day at work?!) I took 3 naps today!! Last night it stormed so I didn't get a good night's sleep, so that may be part of the problem but WOW- tired. Here is a photo of a downed tree from the high winds.

I had to bathe Valentine again today- she got all muddy...go figure! She is so darn cute. My husband gets on to me for taking so many pictures of her. My kids are grown and gone (most of the time) so what else am I to do?! We keep her in our bedroom when we are gone and since she went deaf she sleeps like this against our bedroom door so she will wake up when we come home & open the door. I cracked the door & snuck in to get this photo. I hope tomorrow is a more "lively" day for me! We have a 2 hour meeting that takes up our lunch time so I will have to be awake for sure. No one likes to get caught napping at work ;)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Weekend

I had a really great weekend. I drove to my older sisters house (an hour from mine) & took pictures of her grand kids. My little sister met me there so we all 3 were together for an afternoon!





She has 3 grand babies & they are so cute. We had fun posing the kids and they all played along great!

Even the dog did his part and wore the flower hat....ha Poor guy!

I got so see my Colorado friend & I gave her the charms I worked so hard on. She loved them. She put the bracelet on & the clasp broke before the hour was up! At least that was the store bought part and no fault of mine BUT if I ever want to sell my stuff I would worry about those types of things. Thankfully, I'll see her again on Tuesday and I'll be able to put another clasp on. This is a picture of me & her (her name is Stacey too).




I also made some great ear rings this weekend. I actually made this red pair, a blue pair and a white pair. They all turned out really good. Guess we will see if they stay together!
But it's been so wonderful to spend time with my family, my friends and I spent a lot of time with my hubby & my little dog Valentine AND I got to make art.


Someday, I hope my kids will slow down enough & maybe I can start spending time with them again! That was the only thing missing from my weekend. Hope everyone reading this one had a good weekend and maybe we all will have an even better week! God Bless!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I've been a busy girl!

I took my camera to work today. This is a very cute pregnant stray we caught in our parking lot. We will let her give birth and then try to find homes for the babies & her. She is very lovable! I wish I had more time to just take fun pictures like these everyday! :)













This little pup belongs to someone but I couldn't pass up his little worried expression.











It was a beautiful day yesterday and today! I went outside long enough to snap these photos and as you can see from my mess on the kitchen table, I have been busy with my "projects" indoors.






































I made these charms for a friend that will be 40 next week. She sent me the pictures and I was going to do them all in a charm bracelet but the bracelet kept growing bigger & bigger...as it is I think it will be too big for her wrist, but I made it to where she can clasp it anywhere and let the rest dangle. I made a couple of pendents out of the other pictures since I couldn't use them in the bracelet. These charms took me forever since my glass supplier closed their doors this year. I had to cut and grind my own glass! Not fun and I really am not very good at it. Truth be told, if I had to sell this I wouldn't take less than $200.oo!! Ha ha. I have a lot of hours into it. I have a small D in PMC for a charm. I also made the little house from an old wooden Monopoly game and a very old book (copyright 1881-it is priceless for making charms-not worth too much on it's own.) I stamped the word LOVE into a pressed penny that was in some auction stuff and I made the wire circles. (first time for those-not the best job but looks okay-I'll keep practicing!) Anyway, I know she will like them and I had fun creating them for the most part (except for the GLASS CUTTING!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

How to make a rag shower curtain

After we moved into our new home (5+ years ago) I decided to take the rag quilt concept and make a western shower curtain for my main bathroom. A friend of mine from work asked me about it the other day, she is going to try to make one. I thought I'd blog the instructions since it is very easy.



First you pick out your pattern.

I used 19 different fabrics including the red, white & blue solids. I used black thread. You also need large eyelets (buy the kit so you have the eyelet tool). I used a dozen. Those will be the last thing you do to your curtain besides hang it.
Cut out 9"x9" squares of your fabric. Cotton seems to do the best and you do not want to choose any fabric that will "bleed" onto your others when it's washed. (Do not cut with pinking shears but regular scissors as you will want your edges to fray.) You decide how many of each you would like for your curtain. I like mine to be very random.

After your squares are all cut you lay them out on the floor in whatever pattern you like. You need at least 9 squares across but you may need more- it depends on your shower or bath opening. You need at least 11 down but then again, you may need more. I have made a couple more of these as gifts that were short & I had to add squares but it's easier to add the squares then to take them off. Keep in mind you will be taking in 1" all the way around your squares for the fringe. You can measure your opening and if your making one for yourself, you should be able to gage how many inches you will need across & down.
Once your pattern is laid out how you want it you will need to pin the top row of squares to together, this will be the top of your shower curtain. Pin each row but do not pin them to the next row. Begin sewing. I like to sew all the squares for all horizontal rows together first. Once they are sewed, you will pin them to the next row (one row at a time). Then take each row and sew it to the next, working your way to the bottom of the curtain. Make sure your folding your rag edge in to the front of the fabric as the backside will be the back of the fabric and against a liner curtain so it will not show. (photo of backside) Once the curtain is completely sewed together you will then snip all the turned in edges that will be fringe. After it's completely snipped you will wash it on cold. It will help to fray the edges more if you can wash it with some other items. Blue jeans are good if you have an old pair that will not bring the dye onto your curtain. Dry in dryer. (You will find a lot of thread in your washer & dryer as the edges fray.) Once it is all frayed you are ready to place the eyelets. The easiest way for me was to lay the plastic liner curtain on the floor and then lay my curtain over the top of it. Match holes from liner curtain to place your eyelets. Simple.
Here is a photo of my first rag quilt. To make the quilt you have to sandwich the squares with a smaller square of blanket and sew an X to keep them together. Then it's pretty much the same concept as the shower curtain without the eyelets.
top photo is the front side and bottom photo the ragged back side

Friday, March 13, 2009

a LIST of inspirations

These are treasures, doodads or objects I've collected that inspire me:

  • photos, photos, photos! One's I've taken or antique photos from long ago. Web photos or photos in books & magazines.
  • Postage stamps- The art can be amazing!
  • Rubber stamps- Nice to have on hand for projects.
  • sea shells. Not only is the collecting FUN but they are all so unique!
  • Dog & Cat books. They are such a big part of my life!
  • Brushes, pens, colored pencils, paints, solvents, shoe polish, inks-you never know what you will need to make an "original"
  • House magazines- one of my favorites is Country Living
  • Boxes- I'm drawn to them! I like them in all shapes & sizes and made of wood, metal, paper, whatever.
  • Picture frames- I especially like the one's made of "odd" things- like metal, distressed wood, wire, beads, etc.
  • Fabrics- all I need to do for inspiration is go into any JoAnn's and cruise the fabrics. They are so beautiful! I only wish I knew how to sew better!
  • Artwork- I love looking at other people's art. Paintings, sculptures, sewing, jewelry, photography...some people are just so creative! They can come up with the neatest ideas!
  • Newspaper clippings- some of the ads are really artsy and I personally love the newsprint!
  • Paper- Beautiful papers, there are so many to choose from these days!
  • My bibles- I have all the bibles I've ever owned! Sometimes I just open it randomly and read what is written and that is all it takes to get my mind going again. I like reading my own notes through the ages beside the verses as well.
  • Quotes- I LOVE quotes! They are fun to make charms with and some are very, very profound! I like to decorate with quotes. In fact, at the vet clinic where I work I designed the exam rooms with a blackboard boarder and written in chalk around the ceilings are quotes about cats & dogs.
  • Books- Just take me to Barnes & Nobel or the local library! I can & do spend hours just looking!
  • Blogs- My newest love! Some people can write and their words just flow off the page and into my heart!
  • Old silverware- there are some beautiful and interesting patterns in old silverware & my love of auctions has taught me that most people really want to hold on to those old designs. Someday I plan to use them in some handmade jewelry.
  • Old keys- They are so intriguing! What did they use to unlock, why are they so decorative? I have a few and someday I'll create something using them...
  • Bits of stained glass or broken depression glass- I have a pile that is organized by color. They are all very pretty. The stained glass was given to me by someone getting rid of their collection, the depression glass I collected from a creek beside my grandparents home in Kansas. That was a lot of fun! Maybe this summer I can collect more! I made a mosaic picture frame using it and framed my photo of my grandparents home.
  • Old bottles! I love interesting bottles! You can solder a charm and hang it around the neck of an old bottle and you have a really neat gift to give someone.

I encourage you to think about what inspires you to make ART! I'd love to read it!


video

Monday, March 9, 2009

Valentine Gets A Bath

I remember taking 28 pictures on a roll of 110 film all of my cat Lamar when I was in 5th grade. ( I was pretending to be a photographer. ) My mom got so mad at me when she developed them and said, "I wouldn't of paid to develop these if I'd known they were all of that damn cat!". Well, I just had to remark that I had just as much fun taking 63 pictures of my dog, Valentine, getting a bath yesterday as I did that day all those years ago! You have to LOVE digital! Not sure I would of used a couple rolls of film on the event if I had to develop them but this way it didn't cost a dime and I was FREE to be as create as I wanted to be! Valentine was only a little humiliated in the process. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

God is AMAZING!!

My son went for his interview early Friday morning- this is a picture of him ready to walk out the door. He was so nervous, bless his heart! He left really early and that was a good thing because he got lost trying to find the location. He still made it there before his scheduled time and it was a whirlwind interview. He felt he did pretty good but they only gave the guys a quick 5-10 minute interview slot and then they would say "thank you" and shout out "next". Cory said he hoped that he made a good impression in that amount of time.

God is so great!! I have really been asking so many people to pray over Cory and the most amazing thing happened. Yesterday, which was Saturday mine you-the NEXT day after his interview, Cory got a letter saying Congratulations! He passed the Phase I interview process & will be going on to Phase II. That will occur the first week in April. I so appreciate the prayers of everyone, and as usual God went above & beyond my own imagination! I will keep everyone posted as this process moves along!

It has truly been a blessed weekend. Friday I took pictures and made a few extra dollars.


This is a photo of the couple from a distance.
This is a photo from the lake, same day.

After that I went to lunch with Cory & my sister and Cory's grandma from his Dad's side of the family. Shannon, Cory & Grandma Lou

Then my sis & I shopped. Friday night my husband I and decided to stay home so I worked on making some charms. My MESS! These are charms ready to be soldered. Most of the photos I used in the charms came from an auction.
I crammed so much into one day! Saturday I went to an auction. I love those. Watching the people there and what they bid on and just looking through the "collections of a life" from someone you never met is very interesting to me. It touches my heart most the time. I have encountered some amazing stories just talking to people (which I may blog about sometime) and I really enjoy just spending the day with my good friend that goes with me. Later Saturday evening my husband and I went to dinner and a movie. We came out of the movie and it was storming but it was very beautiful. Almost like the rain was falling in giant drops but in slow motion and the lightening was going across the sky instead of coming to the ground. We stood under the canopy and watched it awhile before making a break for the car and even that was FUN. Ha...I'm easily entertained!
Today is a new day! May yours be Amazing!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Prayer Request

I am asking anyone that reads this to say a prayer for my son. He is going on an interview tomorrow 3/6 for a Fireman job, which is something that will change his life forever. This would be a great fit for him and God willing this job will be his. This is a tough economy and a few thousand people applied for this job. I have heard they are taking 6 people and I believe God has lead Cory to this. I wish I would of thought to post this sooner but I have already asked so many people to pray for him & I know they are. My cousin whose husband is a fireman said that she would pray for Cory & when he got the job she would start praying for me. Isn't that the truth! Us mothers always have something to worry about and I'm sure that is how our Father in Heaven feels about each & every one of us. May God Bless you and yours always. Thanks!!! Stacey

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hopefully the Last Beautiful snowfall before spring!

Snowy & cold in Missouri! This is the view out the front of my house. Very pretty. We are blessed to live on 10 acres with lots of woods. :)
You can't help but enjoy it because it is so beautiful! But it is so cold! Even in-doors it's been tough to stay warm.... the cats are trying to stay cozy!
Missy on the comforter (she is usually under it!) and Ali on the rag quilt. I'm disturbing them both as you can plainly see their annoyance! Valentine has had a blast playing in the snow though!

I took these photos on a manual mode, playing around, and even though they are under exposed there is something about them that I really like. Here is her snow face. Most of it had melted before I decided to snap a picture. She is a great dog! Still so full of energy for 16+ years.
And me, when I wasn't snapping photos of my pets I made my first little blankie for my unborn grandchild. I thought it would be good for a boy or girl & it kept me from from sitting around watching TV all day or sitting on the computer. I don't like to go out in the snow/cold like a lot of people...maybe one day my husband will indulge me and we can move somewhere where we can play outside year round-that is not Missouri unless you like cold or extreme heat! But it's home for now and thank God we have one.