Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday's Wreath- a GIVEAWAY!

Funny, the inspiration you can find in the clearance sale bins at Michael's! Tulle on sale, in a color I haven't used before...some pretty pink buttons, a piece of pink felt, left over blue fabric, and some wavy blue sparkle yarn (also on clearance). Put it all together around a wreath form and voila:

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With a few sheer pink ribbons throughout:
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Blue felt too:
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And no, it goes with NONE of our home decor. It's too foo-foo for Dear Daughter, and I'll be lucky to get the buttons I've chosen as "filler" back from the toddler in order to finish this pretty take on a blue mood.

Eureka!

A giveaway! Yeppers, I want to guarantee that this blue/pink/tulle combo goes to a blue/pink/tulle loving home! Leave a comment on this blog post by next Wednesday, May 5, and I'll draw the winning name to be posted on Saturday!

I'll post another photo once the wreath is completed- you know, after I sneak the buttons away from the toddler during his nap!~
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Furniture Fan...Fanatic?

The post-wide yard sale was a success yesterday, at least in our neck of the woods. We sold enough functional-but-no-longer-for-us furniture (the bookcases with glass doors, the pink wingback recliner, our daughter's computer desk, two televisions and vcr's... a kitchen cabinet, a dryer in need of a new heating element, the toddler's bed, some area rugs and runners), some kitchen odds and ends (single glasses, mugs, pots with no lids, lids with no pots-heh heh heh, no, they didn't match!- the toddler's old plastic Playtex bottles, baby spoons), clothes (toddler, adult, teen), home decor (some of my handmade seasonal wreaths, tchotchkes I didn't want to try to renew/refurbish), toys, books, and magazines. It was rather funny, all of my British Home and Gardens and Country Living style magazines sold while my husbands biker-type mags didn't. Yard saling ladies know what to avoid, apparently!

I'm not sure we lightened our load significantly however. For you non-military family readers, soldiers and their families have a weight limit on their household items based on the soldier's rank. My husband's promotion in October added a thousand pounds to our allowance, but I'm guessing we'll still be close. While in the Bordertown, our daughter got a new double bed and two new chests of drawers, the toddler upgraded to a twin bed, I purchased a desk and bookcase set for my cubby, and the family gave me a kitchen cart/island for Christmas. Dear Husband added a bookcase to his study and our kitchen microwave is huge compared to our old one. We'll see.

It was very easy for me to NOT go yard saling yesterday! Though the weight limit has consistently asserted itself in the back of my mind for the past five years, I also know we're moving back to the land of antique malls, thrift stores, and hidden treasures this summer! My husband and I have decided that we are willing to spend the next two years searching for just the right pieces for our home: "real" barrister bookcases, complete with leaded glass panes in the doors
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an overstuffed low-backed leather chair
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drop leaf tables
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a new desk for our daughter
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and various styles of storage furniture~ file drawers
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map chests
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card catalog drawers...
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Yes, the weight limit will be blown off its doors when my husband retires!

*****

Thank you to Sarah, a.k.a. Slouching Mom for sharing the following with me and her many readers:
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*****

Of course, I'll also be on the look-out for "vintage bling" so I can make photo frames like Cupid's Charm ...

Michelle at Scribbit posted a delicious sounding French Onion Soup recipe that just might become my post-furniture-shopping-trip-treat...

...and if I stumble across one of these, I will in fact NOT buy it, though I certainly will try it!

Friday, April 25, 2008

(Nes)quik to Candy Container

Dear Daughter is getting on the plane this afternoon to fly to Vegas (family wedding) and wanted a "cute candy container" to transport her pecan/rolo/pretzel nummies on board. We are a family that does reuse and recycle, though not as much as we could (moving every other year has that effect, though what we don't take with us, we donate), but we are indeed, making an effort.
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Case in point: our toddler loves "bunny milk," and the empty containers left over each time he finishes either the chocolate or strawberry powders (sometimes we mix them!) are perfect storage containers for pens/pencils/markers or any other bits and bobs I have in my craft area. The bright yellow plastic certainly makes for cheery projects!

Here's the clean container wrapped in pretty paper:
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Floral ribbon to cover the edge of the paper:
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Paper cut to fit the lid:
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Chipboard letters that spell "candy":
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Some sparkle, photo corners, and the hint to "enjoy:"
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Empty:
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But even better FULL:
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Num!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Show and Share Thursday: We Went for a Walk

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Spring has sprung here in the Bordertown, so the toddler and I decided to take a walk today, enjoying the foliage, flowers, colors, and textures:


*****

* Here are some details of our local desert foliage, thanks to El Paso Water Utilities.

* A Plant Hardiness Zone Map for those of you with greener thumbs than mine...

* Martha provides how-to's for making pressed plant cards...

* Casa Sugar suggests making your own aphid spray to keep the pests at bay and your plants thriving...

* Paper-and-String made "disguises" for her Happy Trees!

* Crayola has a cute craft idea for spring or May Day bouquets (kindergartners LOVE to dress up and sneak through the school to leave these on classroom doors- and the dress-up factor helps me in some sneakiness of my own: May 1 is the day I photograph my students for their end-of-the-year certificates!)

*****

Where flowers bloom so does hope.
- Lady Bird Johnson, Public Roads: Where Flowers Bloom

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Playing with Pastel Pretties

Don't mind me, I'm playing with Flickr...
Finding photos of girlie, sparkly, pastel-ey, crafty, and architectural stuff has been a fun activity during the toddler's nap this afternoon. Much more fun than, oh, laundry...

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1. Botanical Faerie Banner *SOLD*, 2. Pretty pastel mobiles 1, 3. Pretty Pastels, 4. sidewalk chalk, 5. Thrifted/Revamped Flower Pot, 6. Los Sultans, 7. Pretty pastels, 8. Rainbow Baby Blanket, 9. Show your buttons Sunday!, 10. gorgeous ribbons, 11. Vintage Pastel Pot Holder, 12. Untitled

There's No Place Like Home, There's No Place Like Home...

...there's no place like home!



And "home" is a classroom in Kansas!

I had my very first phone interview yesterday afternoon, a kind of "initial-meet-and-greet" event. It ended up being full of laughter and cut-off sentences with asides that made the whole call such a friendly and upbeat conversation- which *would* have carried me through the rest of the day with its lingering energetic buzz if I hadn't been called five minutes later and offered a teaching position by the deputy superintendent! Now here I am, the morning after, and I'm still smiling, grinning, walking with a spring in my step, typing like mad without the help of multiple mugs of coffee! It's a very good sign, don't you think, when you have a Terrific Monday?

It will be two months before I report for duty- two months and my mind is racing NOW. Since I don't know what grade I'll be teaching, and I don't know which school will house my classroom and students, it's a bit like waiting for Christmas, with the present sitting there, under the tree, ever-so-slightly taunting me as I glance its way. I can eyeball a few grades' worth of Kansas State Standards until then just so I can have my bases covered, decorate a classroom binder or two for school info and lesson plans, make a few "Welcome to School" banners, finish reading the books on my current book list and find a copy of the text that my new school district is taking on as a collegial book study project... update my blogroll, make sure I'm subscribed to all of the podcasts I've been enjoying this year, write my introductory letter... Once we're moved and unpacked I can move on to the silly things, like ironing all of my teacher dresses and making sure my teacher jewelry is sorted!

What a wonderful start to the week!

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Want to Collect...

Sesame Street Mosaic

1. Cookie and Count, 2. Hooper's Store, 3. The Robinsons, 4. Sesame Street Sign

I had this toy when I was a child, along with a Fisher Price house, the boat, the hospital... I don't recall having the schoolhouse, but I'm thinking I'll add "Vintage Fisher Price" people to my wish-list for Christmas!

Er, uh, I mean wouldn't this toy be GREAT for my kindergarten classroom?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tick Tock *Click* It's...

* Cream Puffs in Venice posts a recipe for Baked Tortiglioni with Cream and Pancetta

* Bugs Bunny should hop over for Carrot Souffle in Laura Rebecca's Kitchen


* Maggie Crawford of Tangerine Studio illustrates puppy love like no other (kitty love too, but the dogs are my favorite!). Here's her blog...

* Tammy describes how to make "wonky fabric..."

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Wish me luck, I have a phone interview Monday afternoon for a teaching position!

Seen on Sunday

"Wed tain Mommy, wed tain!"




"Boo-boo cykul Mommy, boo-boo cykul..." (a friend's bike was hit by a driverless car this morning- the bike's rear fender is toast, and the paintjob is scratched, but our friend is fine! Yes, I typed "driverless...")




And Miss Laurie from Laurie's Charming Designs entered me into a drawing for one of her paper flowers! It arrived just in time to join me in reading the newest Somerset Life, that just so happens to feature Laurie's beautiful birds (pages 70-73):




Take a look at the beautiful handpainted envelope! Thanks so much Laurie, I'm enjoying reading about your "soft perches" and will find a special place for my beautiful flower!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

One of Those "When I Was Your Age..." Moments

I came home from grocery shopping this afternoon to find my daughter watching Jurassic Park on cable. There's not much in the movie that strikes her as....remarkable, probably due to all of the great special-effects in movies she's seen over the years.

My memory of seeing Jurassic Park for the first time... let's just say, it was a thoroughly emotional experience. My daughter's godparents and my mother joined me at the movie theater (my mother drove 100 miles one way, and afterward 100 miles back to see it), and the theater was packed. When the audience saw the first dinosaur, there was a collective (and loud) gasp in the dimmed room, and then many audience members, male and female, began to cry. No, not out of fear (though those raptors certainly scared the heck out of us all later in the film), but because it was the first time we'd ever seen a dinosaur, apparently living, breathing, eating, and chasing after its prey.

Yep, we went from this (and even cheesier dinosaur animation/claymation/stop-motion):




to this:



Our girl is a smart cookie- not ONCE did she say "Wow Mom, you're OLD," though I'm sure she *thought* it!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Show and Share Thursday: Playing Dress Up

Happy Thursday!

As a little girl, I loved to play dress-up. My mother, being a teacher, allowed me to take lick-and-stick foil stars out of her desk whenever I wanted to be Wonder Woman- after all, bracelets and headband/tiaras weren't *really* like Wonder Woman's unless they had stars on them! I loved looking through her high school yearbooks, because they had full-page photos of Homecoming and Prom royalty, decked out in crowns, robes, formal dresses, gloves, and dyed-to-match shoes. Each Christmas I had a new holiday dress, each Easter too. They usually twirled.

My first prom was in an Eskimo village at the top of the world, and surprisingly, I was invited to attend even though I was only in the eighth grade. I attended many more proms throughout high school, and dabbled in pageantry as well, so I had a steady fix of satin, rustley tulle, high heels, and sparkly jewelry to wear.

When I became a kindergarten teacher, it was natural to continue to play dress up! Fairy Tale Dress Up Day was enjoyed annually in my classroom, and I always made sure to wear a twirly dress and sparkly crown. When my husband and I met, I had no idea that my love of taffeta, Gunne Sax, and evening handbags would serve me well as a military "significant other," a future (and present) military spouse.

No, I'll never have a reason to archive my favorite gowns, but for now, I just can't bear to part with these:



My "Zorro" gown was what I wore to my first Military Police Ball in Alaska...it swishes, it rustles, it sparkles, it's gorgeous...

This is my Gunne Sax treasure- all lace, pearl buttons, ribbons...I wore it to a Christmas/Holiday Ball:



Details, details, details...





of these...



I could have danced...all night...

**As for the gowns that I CAN part with, they'll be on Ebay this week**


Even fully decked out in a fancy gown, pretty jewelry, and possibly a tiara, I know I'm only pretending to be a fairy godmother. After listening to last night's Democratic debate, I agree with Tara: just because a person wears a little flag pin on his or her lapel doesn't make that person truly patriotic. Patriotism isn't what you wear, it's what you do. And yes, could we please stop dumbing down the debate questions?
"I was going to write that patriotism does not require wearing a silly cheap plastic flag pin bought from Wal-Mart and made in China. I don't care if you drape your front lawn in flags and wear a flag pin every waking moment, if you aren't doing something to establish a dialogue and change the downwards spiral in America, you're part of the problem.
Patriotism is questioning what's happening in your country. Patriotism is being a soldier trying to stay alive amidst terrible conditions in a war fought under false pretenses. Patriotism involves the families who struggle to pay bills while their husband or wife is in Iraq or returning soldiers who have serious injuries, yet must fight to get the proper medical care they need. Patriotism is those who fight for the underdog and try to protect the Constitution and our civil liberties. Patriotism is shining attention on critical issues affecting us all, such as global warming and human rights. Patriotism involves helping insure a better future for our children and their children, by keeping informed about issues that impact our lives. Patriotism is thinking for ourselves. It is not accepting blindly what someone else tells you to do - that's fascism."
Tara Bradford, Paris Parfait