It feels as if I've been prepping for the big day for weeks... oh wait--I HAVE! From baking dozens (13? 14?) of cookies to shopping to parties and figuring ot menus, it's been a whirlwind few weeks. OH, and there's also been crafting! But I can't show any pics yet :( We'll show off soon...
There is a really amazing thing that goes with moving into my new neighborhood: It is called Striking. I have never seen nor heard of this phenomenon before, so I will explain: People, most likely little people (and no, Tiff, not LITTLE people), come to your door, drop a bag of loot on your doorstep and run. You, as the parent, let you kid rush to the door and open it, look around (some peeps get a little nutty here, mostly dads, and go running after the hooligans), find the goods, and eat nummies all night. Also, inside the bag, is a sheet with the explaination that the "Phantom" of Worthington has just struck, and that we are to hang an "I have been struck" sign (also included) on our door. The neighborhood doors are pock-marked with these signs. So, last night, our own little Little was struck, and upon dumping her newly acquired sugar bombs upon her bed, she exclaimed, "Milk DUDES!, A whole bunch of boxes of Milk Dudes!" Dave and I about died. So, now, they are officially "Milk Dudes."
Beware--the strange stripe may come to your house when you least expect it.
Actually, it is in preperation to have a home for THIS:
A beauty, ain't she? Tiff made this for many over many many moons, and I finally got him a short while ago. The problem was that there was a HUGE shelf where said stripe is, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get it down, so quilty was on another wall, and it just didn't work. Anyway, man figured out shelf (surprise surprise!!) and I took him down. The red is the color it was before I painted it the crazy, but perfect purple to MATCH the quilt. The pillows I just made this last weekend (Are you noticing a theme here?) to go onto the couch to tie the colors together...more updates as they come along!
Well, now that I no longer have to worry about trying to sell stuff on Etsy, I can relax and BUY things on Etsy again (especially since my final Etsy sales have added to the Paypal coffers!). I can't show off everything right now because, well, some things are for gifts (and you wouldn't want me to give those away now would you?).
But I can show off these:
I desperately need business cards, and I really wanted something different. I won't be handing them out by the dozens, so I didn't need a box of a zillion. Yet I wanted something memorable, something that said "serious yet creative." So I ordered these (but with my info on them, of course) from LuckyDuckLetterPress. I can't wait to see them in person!
I've also been sporting this around town: It makes me feel like a crafting pirate! AArgh!! Check out the shop, HomeStudio, because they're offering free shipping on all of their pendants until the 31st--and they have some cool stuff! Their second shop, HomeStudio2, has fun pocket mirrors and magnets--all great for stocking stuffers!
So, what have YOU bought lately? Show off your goods!
And I, for one, am glad. No more getting sucked into the whole crazy Promo thing, no more worrying about how to pack soemthing so that it survives delivery, no more worrying if a stranger out there is going to like what we just made and sent. Nope. No more. I'll still enjoy Etsy as a shopper, but my selling days are over. Years ago, I made small velvet reticules at sold them at local craft shows, and that was stressful enough (If I had a dollar for each time some b***h picked up a one-of-a-kind, handmade bag and said "Oh, I could get something like this chdeaper at W*lM*rt" I'd be rich, yanno?).
So from now on, this blog will mostly be a place for sister and I to blab about our personal projects and show off what we make for one another for gifts. And that will be just enough :)
Thanks to everyone who supported our online selling endeavor! Tiffani
Yep, we've decided to close up the Etsy shop. You can find some good deals (and early Christmas prezzies!!) at our shop, RicRacSally, so if you've had your eye on something you'd better snatch it up now!
Don't despair, though. We'll probably keep the blog going so we can show off the stuff we make for ourselves and each other. Plus, how else will we keep up on everyone's news?? :)
On Sunday, Hurricaine Ike blew through Ohio. No, really. It did!
I know that what happened here is in no way close to what happened when Ike barreled through Galveston and its close neighbors, but this took everyone here totally by surprise. We had 75 mph wind gusts and sustained winds of somewhere around 40-50 mph at times. It was crazy. This is the view out my front door. Luckily that BIG tree (see the trunk? The tree itself is around 4-5 stories high) didn't fall. I guess it's been there long enough that it would've fallen by now if it was so inclined! However, we lost a LOT of trees in the 'hood... and fences... and some power lines... and roof shingles... and at least one chimney that I know about. Here's a side street: They just this afternoon took this tree away.
and the alley: We didn't lose power in our 'hood, but the 'hood on the other side of the cemetery (which lost some really big, really old trees, too) hasn't had power since Sunday. Schools are all closed, many businesses are closed, and ice is hard to come by.
Unfortunately, sister, who lives 70+ miles to the east, is without power until at least Thursday. I got an email from her last night--she was at school and, of course, they had power! But she's worried for her 1/4 cow, which is slowly thawing in the basement freezer :(
Because of this, and because I leave for my writers' retreat in a few days, we won't be around much the next ten days or so. Take care everyone, and if you were in the "real" path of the hurricaine, I hope you're back up & running soon!
We are IN THE NEW HOUSE!! Most of the upstairs rooms are painted, but downstairs, and hallways, etc. still need love. Here are two of the finished rooms (painting wise, certainly not unpacking-wise!): Bella's room, and the soon-to-be craft room! YEAH!
Tiff will be coming out tomarrow--we are celebrating her b-day. She wasn't joking when she wrote that she likes to spreeeaaad her b-day out! Gotta go, need to finish her prezzies in my new craft room! More pics to come! Dena
Just a quick note to let y'all know that sister and I are taking a short break for about a week or so. She's moving in to a new house!!!! YAY!!!! And you know what that means. Oh yeah, paint swatches! :)
Meanwhile, I'm turning a year older, and at my age that takes a few days. Hey, I like to streeeeetch my birthday out as long as possible. More cake that way! Speaking of cake, here's a pic of last year's fabulous creation. My but sister is talented!
Over the past few months, I've found new homes for nearly 600 buttons in my quest to declutter the craft room. However, I kept many, many buttons. The good ones. The ones I inherited from grandma. The ones she inherited from someone else. The really really old ones that I just could not part with. But keeping heirlooms in boxes or bags, hidden away from the light of day, isn't the way to keep them or show them--or who you inherited them from--any respect.
So last night I channeled grandma by setting up shop on the tv tray in front of the Olympics and crafting.
I made two noisy bracelets!
This one has a copper base and is covered with all of the Victorian metal shank buttons in the collection:
This one has a silver base, better to show off the glass buttons.
Aren't they cute?? And NO ONE has a bracelet like either one of them!
I might make a couple more. I still have a bunch of funky plastic and bakelite buttons and several mother-of-pearl ones in the collection.
The past two weeks have been crazy for the RicRac gals. Seems that nearly everyone in the family has a birthday within the same week, and two weekends ago we had the BIG bash. Lotsa food, lotsa prezzies, and lotsa visiting.
This past weekend Dena & I had to go to TN to pick up the munchkin from her grandma's house, where she had gone for a week visit. The day before that big road trip, we took a smaller trip to nearby Greenville, OH, birthplace of the one and only Annie Oakley!
It's also the home of the shop Mcmaster & Storm. We first heard about M&S in Country Living magazine, and when we realized that we were only about 40 minutes away, we knew we had to go! The shop itself is billed as a mini department store--and it's full of fun stuff, all displayed on and in the most beautiful furniture. Housewares (beautiful soaps, linens, and tableware), craft goods (they have the best pink crepe paper edging, beautiful millingery flowers, and on our visit there were LOADS of clearanced ribbons!), and other fun things are to be found in drawers, cabinets, and even a tiny back closet.
My take? A bunch of ribbons, this fab paper frame, and a bunch of velvet millinery leaves. Don't miss McMaster & Storm's blog and web site, where you can order these goods and so many more.
Across the street we found the cutest flower shop called Ivy League, full of fabulous antiques and decorative touches--and the sweetest proprietress! If you're ever in the area, don't hesitate to stop by.
I bought some great stickers...
...and look how she wrapped them!
The following day we spent 8 hours in the car, driving along some of the emptiest highway--not a lot of stops, but we still found antique stores in Princeton, KY, and I bought this fab vintage sugar shaker for a whopping $5! Whee!
All in all, some rather productive windshield time :) Tiffani
Every year, I get all excited when the snow melts and spring starts to peek its soft green head up out of the ground. And then it's halfway through July and I could give a flying leap about any of it outside. Too hot. Too muggy. Too many bugs. (And I'm a particularly sweet kind of bug sugar--I have to Off! myself just to walk out the back door.) Right about now, I'm hoping for a tiny cold front--enough so that I can get out my jeans and Docs, a favorite jacket, and go walk arund in the refreshingly crisp air without worrying about sweating. But it's barely August. The only cool thing about August is that my birthday is later this month, and I firmly believe that my birthday should be a national holiday--at least for me :)
Some cool things to look forward to: As if my autumn won't be exciting enough (those in the know, know), lookie what's coming in November! Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, the trailer for which has just been released!!
Soup, casseroles, red beans & rice, and crumbles! I just made this tray of blueberry crumble squares (thank you Smitten Kitchen!).
Go check out her pics--waaaay better than mine. Oh, and I only had 2 cups berries, but it still tastes great. (I was supposed to wait until they were fully cooled before eating ... yeah right! I scooped some out and ate it with a fork from a bowl. Had to be sure they weren't poisonous...)
Until then, I guess I'll have to make do with homegrown toms. I just popped out into said buggy yard to dump stuff into the compost and made a pit stop at the mater plants. First of many harvests:
Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, the buttons ALL found homes! Tiffani
at least, I was always curious. How much a quarter of a cow actually LOOKS like, all cut up and ready for your freezer. Man and I finally, after many moons of debating, bought a share of a cow--1/4 of a cow. And here it is:
And, because I know that I would want to know, it cost-all together with the processing fees--about $350.00. This is an Angus cow, grass fed, no hormone, free range, all the good stuff. It is about 275 pounds of meat. Completely worth it.
I think buttons reproduce while we're not watching.
I recently found a lovely new home for five collections of buttons--white, red/pink, green, blue, and yellow. I thought I was done. Oh no! I just went back through the stash to set aside buttons that I know that I cannot part with, and I was left with GIANT piles that need new homes. I have now listed four more sets on Etsy: black (200+ buttons!!), brown (160!), gold (101!), and silver (61!). I really really really hope that's all. Or they're all going on the pill.
I nearly failed Home Ec in junior high school. I had to make a pillow out of felt: it was black, purple, and yellow and shaped like a surfboard with a big footprint on it. Very OP. Very west coast. And I could not make the damn thing. My grandma ended up finishing it for me! (Shhhh... don't tell)
A few years after that, I embraced my heritage and learned how to sew. And now, I'm proud to say, I can make lots of stuff ... it's just too bad that I don't do it very often! There's only so much time in the day. And, to be honest, having the Etsy shop and making things that just sit there has been a little heartbreaking. I went through this years ago when I had a small (small as in just me) purse business and would spend hours making one-of-a-kind creations out of velvet and trims and tassels, and some ... lady ... would come to my table, pick it up, and say "I could get something cheaper at W*lM**t." Ugh. To leave all that behind, we've slowly been closing up shop. I haven't made anything for the shop in months and months, and I haven't made anything for myself since last year. Until this week.
A friend gave me a t-shirt with a decal of Sock Puppet Theatre (don't know about them? YouTube it--if you love Doctor Who, you'll totally get the joke!). The shirt was way too small, though, but there was no way I'd get rid of it. So the other day I took it with me to the fabric store with the idea of making a bag. One thing led to another and I found the perfect pair of plaid wool shorts at the thrift store for $2. Making all of those purses over the years came in very handy as I was able to make this bag without a pattern. I just made it up as I went along! It's lined in green & white flannel with two pockets inside. I even kept one of the pants pockets along the seam on one side! I think the whole thing cost around $5. And it cracks me up every time I look at it :)
I'm pretty proud of myself. Makes me want to find that Home Ec teacher and show her that, yes, I did figure it out! Tiffani
As life gets more hectic (as if it was ever any less hectic), I've been neglecting the blog a bit. But a gift from a friend has prompted me to finally get back here and take care of a few things. Those of you who know me know that for the next couple of months, I'll be in the bunny hole getting ready for the writing workshop I've been accepted to in September, but I don't want anyone to think that I'm ignoring recent mentions, gifts, awards, etc. So, in no particular order:
Thank you so much to Carolyn of Magpie Pixie for the fabulous new banner! Isn't it cute? She noticed that our blog was a bit bare along the top and made us this homey, "sew-ey" banner. It makes us look like a new penny!
We've been featured by a wonderful friend, Sandee of Sew Much Detail! If you haven't checked out her page or Etsy shop, do so right away. I LOVE her fobs and use mine religiously!
The rules for receiving this award are: 1) Put the logo on your blog. 2) Add a link to the person who awarded you. 3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs. 4) Add links to those blogs on yours. 5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.
However, I don't think we can come up with 14 (so many of our regular reads have already been nominated)! We'll stick with the original 7, but I think I only have 6 here!
Kat from Kat's Imagination Kat is just great at organizing swaps over on ECS! Gail from Shabby Cottage Studio Gail is an amazing artist and a great inspiration! Twig from Opheeelia Says Well, this woman just cracks me up! Ally from IHeartThat!Dance Ally is one of the first friends I made through ECS. She's a bit AWOL right now because of a move, but she'll be back online soon! Jaime from Always Inspired Jaime was one of my first Etsy friends--our love of Marie Antoinette linked us together! Carolyn from Magpie Pixie Carolyn and I bonded over a love that will never die: a shared affection for Duran Duran! :)
Because I'll be putting my head down here soon, I probably won't be blogging very much for the next couple of months. But please don't think I've abandoned you! I'll still read everyone's blog pretty regularly. I just won't have any crafts or thrift-store finds to share :( And I'm sure the last thing many of you want to hear about is my day job, the books I'm currently reading, and the weird story ideas racing through my head!
Thank you again to all of our blogland friends! Tiffani
Maybe a spot in the paper?! (yep, that is my goofball) Well, anyway, it has been way too long since our last blog, and being that I do absolutely NOTHING with my days, I have no excuse.
Last weekend I took the family to the Franklin Park Conservatory here in Columbus, Ohio. Of course, it was under some construction (this is something that I am cursed with, along with red lights; every time I go anywhere for architectural observatory purposes, it is being worked on. Versailles? Check [every TIME!!!]. Notre Dame? Check. Koln Cathedral? Check. The list could go on and on.) Anyway, a few years ago, they were graced with a Chihuly exhibit, and when the 4 mill$ (or so) worth of goodies were going to leave, a bunch of ohio peeps got together to buy it all for the Conservatory. So now they get to keep it all the time. AND they have butterflies.
Here are my pics, and they actually came out pretty snazzy. The floating globules are chihuly glass--I guess he went to Japan, where they still use the floating globe things for fishing, and he got the idea to see how big he could do it, and these are the results.
It is a cool place, and you could easily spend three hours there. Butterfly release is 1 and 3 o'clock, until september. It isn't the cheapest, but there ARE coupons floating around out there, and student discounts. Wait another two weeks and the construction will be done; there will be a new Zen garden, and not sure what else. Also, there are BIG future plans for a community garden, and bunches else. Signed--Dena
If you haven't stumbled across the LOL CATS, aka icanhascheezburger?, you must (MUST) check it out directly: http://www.icanhascheezburger.com/ Now, I am not the type of person that laughs at things that I read, or look at; I am a more laugh-with-people kinda gal. And then there was the lolcats. My god. I see these things, and just die. Here are a few examples of my faves:
And this one reminds me of myself:
This one is kinda creapy:
Just cracks me up:
I find them to be quite an uplifting part of my day--and there are literally HUNDREDS of them, so if you are new to it, you can certainly catch up.
Signed--Dena (We have decided to start signing our blog; altho it has been lots of fun confusing everyone, Tiff and I are now going to be nice and let you know who wrote who!)
So how cool is this? One of the authors of the book I mentioned in the post below came in and left a comment! I mean, sure, it's likely a "form" comment, and he only found this through a google search.... but still!
Yesterday I made this variation: sun-dried tomato with parmesan. It didn't last in the house 24 hours. And there are only two of us :)
While sister has been one with the sewing machine (me? Hell, I just cleaned enough to get mine back on the table where it belongs!) and her oh-so-fresh veggies (I didn't try to get a CSA share until May, when they were all taken! Yeah, I'm an idiot.), I've been busy becoming one with the stove.
Fresh Baked Bread
Magical set of words, isn't it? Conjures up a yeasty, warm smell and the feel of crusty goodness surrounding pillowy softness slathered in butter.
The idea is that you make this giant pile of dough by merely mixing together water, yeast, salt and flour. Then it sits out for a couple of hours. Then it goes in the fridge overnight. Then you have enough dough to make 4 loaves. You just tear off a piece, form it into a ball with your hands. NO KNEADING! Let it sit for a bit, and bake it! I've made bread lots of times, but this is the easiest recipe ever. And the coolest thing? The book is FULL of recipes that follow the same plan, but for other types of breads and even for "sweets" like pecan sticky buns!
Dough mix in the "bucket"--this is after it had rising time of about 2 hours.
A loaf just out of the oven (I actually popped it back in for a few more minutes to give it more of a golden crust):
Oh, and I also got a hair and decided to make some flour tortillas this week:
Oh, and just to be extra annoying and make y'all hungry, I made tamales from scratch for the first time yesterday! Sorry the pic is so lousy, but my black countertops are just not conducive to taking fabulous foodie pics!
I would like to spread the word about CSA's--aka Community Supported Agriculture--for those of you not in the know. A CSA is a bit like a "share" in a farm near you...here is what you do: early in the season (I suggest February or March, or even earlier if you want to get a really good one) check out this website: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ for a CSA near you; most of them give plenty of info regarding what they grow, and how much the share is. My family (husband, daughter and me) gets a half-share; this lasts about two days, so if you want to have every day veg, I suggest a full share. The CSA growing season starts when the farmer's markets start--mayish--and ends either september or october. Most farms have a booth at the local farmer's market, so this is where you will pick up your share every week. If you are out of town, just email or call them, and either have someone else pick up, or tell them to cancel your pick-up. To give you an idea, here is my CSA: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/M15746
Different farms offer different produce. Mine is big on root veg, and hardy veg--we have so far gotten radishes, strawberries, peas, kohlrabi, chinese radish, broccoli, cabbage, and lotsa flowers. Others have gotten lettuce, onions, etc. Some don't offer half-shares. A full share is around 500$--this is a big hunk of change, but you can have all the seasonal veg you can eat and don't need to go the grocery. It encourages better eating habits, and--if you have kids--it introduces the taste of fresh veg, which we all know rocks! Also, getting your kids involved in the prep of the veg is a great way to share some time and give a little education. A win-win. I received two big bags of peas today--sugar and snap--and my daughter and I shelled them all for our dinner, as you can see in the pics. We also got a huge head of cabbage, so tommarow I will be making bubble and squeek--wish me luck!
First, I would like to explain where all this time to do projects is coming from... I quit my blucky job! Actually, let me rephrase: I quit my blucky career! After too many years to count, I have been a dog groomer. This is not, as many seem to think, a rewarding and satisfying career. It is hard. It is exhausting. It pays very little. It produces scars on a daily basis. "Groomer Has It" on Animal Planet reflects those lucky few that have fallen into a great niche in an affluent neighborhood--don't take their lives or experiences literally (after all, it IS a "reality" show).
Now, I am fortunate enough to have a family that supports me in my choices; I am enrolled to start Graduate school this fall, so I do have something new to look forward to. Otherwise, it would be back to the dogs after my daughter goes back to school in August.
That said--I am now home for the summer (or until I find a job with the hours that work around my schedule) so I feel the need to fill every moment with something that will justify my mooching existence. My sister understands this--we come from a matriarchical guilt-indulgant family--and has the same issues. When we are at home, without work (she is a freelance and fiction writer), it weighs heavily upon us. Really the whole thing is crazy: she rock and rolls for weeks straight when she has work and completely deserves when she gets some time off; I am a mom, and therefore would rather stay at home then pay half my income to Kindercare. There is no reason to actually FEEL guilty. However, we do. SO--instead we try and compensate by tootling around the house, starting projects, cooking meals, cleaning, and--for me at least--pumping something educational into my child's brain.
Here is my daily project--it began many moons ago as this sheer light pink material that I loved on the bolt. I decided I wanted to make a shirt with it, so bought a pattern (which, much like my sister treats recipes, I tend to bastardize them so that by the end of the project they no longer look like they were suppose to, which probably defeats the whole purpose of the pattern at all) and cut goodies out. Now, I don't do sheer, so I got a similar-colored stretchy material for the lining. The shirt was supposed to be one of those frocky styled sleeveless jobbies--but I don't do sleeveless (hence the sleeves), and the frockyness just made me look pregnant, so I put in the elasticized band and shortened the whole thing considerably. It is a bit bulky thanks to the lining, but all in all it is very cutey on!
I am one of those people that tries on new projects, but has trouble actually getting to them. My drawers are filled with fabric, ricrac, patterns, beads, scrapbook supplies, and yarn...Tiff got me this rockin' turqoise yarn a while back, and I never knew what to do with it. My crochet knowledge has never gotten past single, double, and triple crochet--therefore lots of scarves. SO, I got a book from the library (which, I find, tends to encourage more projects)!
AND, I have started this! A flower! Hold the applause...I intend on making a few of those things that go on the table or counter that you set hot things on them. Are they called hot pads? Anyway, my initial plan was a big flower throw, but not too sure my interest will last that long. I will keep you all posted.