Saturday, January 31, 2009

Love Fridays on a Saturday and an award.

I. I've become so slack in my meme responsibilities! Mostly, due to the fact that I've become EXTREMELY lazy in the last couple of months. That's also why my Friday was spent just like this...

I think I was awake maybe 3 hours during the daylight hours. Which of course means that I was awake into the wee hours of the night. Just another reason to love Fridays...SLEEP.

II. I was completely tickled and excited and quite touched that I received an award. This award...

from the very kind Tinniegirl.

The Proximidade is described as follows:'This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!'This blog award should be sent to your favorite eight bloggers and they, in turn should forward to eight of their favorites. You should include the text for Proximidade (above) in your announcement blog.

I started this blog for a couple of reasons. Mostly to see if I could actually keep it up, having been terrible at keeping a diary when I was younger, and to get things off my chest. It quickly changed directions and became an avenue for making friends, finding inspiration, becoming connected to someone, anyone out there that felt, thought and was interested in the same things I am. And I must tell you, there are blogs out there for everybody. I really feel I've found my bloggy niche. So, the following 8 blogs are ones that I feel that connection with or get inspiration from or both. (Just for the record, I would re-award Tinniegirl, but I don't think that's how it supposed to go)
Area Thrifty One
Kimono Reincarnate
Miscellany of Me
Edward and Lilly
(fossil compass) erin kobie

One Little Acorn

If anybody reading this has not read any of these lovely blogs, I heartily encourage you to do so!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The cake will not win!!

One of my coworkers and I put ourselves in charge of buying a cake each month for all the employees who have birthdays in that month. So last night I picked up the cake and this morning it's sitting on my desk right next to me.

It seems to be willing me to open its container and take a swipe at its frosting. I can almost hear it whispering, "Come on, you know you want one will even notice."

It's an evil cake. With an evil little whispery voice and evil mind manipulating powers. You can hear its little evil song, too, can't you?

But it doesn't know that I am a super hero. This receptionist gig is just my mild mannered alter ego. I'm really Ms. Power, Ms. Willhelmina Power, Will for short. That's right folks, Will Power is here to save the day. I, with my cape billowing in the breeze, will stop that evil cake!

Take that, evil little cake!!

*no actual cakes were harmed in the making of this post.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Eye spy...something that starts with J.

My first and most obvious choice would be, of course, Jasper…

I mean who wouldn’t think of that cute little face first? I think he must have some kind of hold on me…almost like I’ve been hypnotized. (*shakes head to clear the fog*)

But really, what I spy is January. So far, this January has been very strange. The first week or so was very chilly. So chilly I was sleeping in, not only my pj’s, but also a sweater on top of them and about 7 blankets. Then it got really warm, in the 80”s type of warm. Then we got a couple of days of drizzle. Then, last night, hail, thunderstorms, wind, the whole shebang. Today, sunny…

Weird, I tell ya.

For more J things, go here and check 'em out.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This weekend's project.

Because we have a very very far way to go to get the house where we want it I've got a list of projects that will take approximately one weekend to get finished. This weekend's project got put at the top of the list because we are having a candle party (think Tupperware but with candles and candle holders) and we have very limited seating. So, I decided I'd finally make cushions for this chair...

My family has had this chair since I was a kid, when my dad brought it home from somewhere. I always sat in this one (he brought home 2, this one and one with arms that are arch shaped) reading or watching TV, usually with my feet in the air and my head hanging over the edge of the seat. It's really a huge chair if you can't tell from the photo. For the last 8 years I've had it in my possession in this poor state. No cushion, paint peeling, etc. I kept telling myself I'd get to it but never did. Finally, though, due to necessity, I have. I spent the weekend making these cushions...

The seat cushion was made from scratch but the big pillow is a pillow form that I bought and I just made a sham. I love that Alexander Henry fabric on the seat cushion. There's something about the black and white combo that really speaks to me.

Eventually, the frame will be painted white and the arms black but for the party, this is ok. The back of the big pillow looks like this...

I was originally going to put buttons with loop closures on it but I just thought it would be too much. I'm a minimalist at heart.

I've made pillows and pillow covers before but the big cushion is a first for me. It was a challenge. I've never done anything box like. Making sure corners all meet up was an interesting experience.

How did you spend your weekend?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Love Fridays

I really do love Fridays. Being my day off from work and having no one else at home but me and the critters, I take advantage of the opportunity to do things I wouldn't normally do. Like cook myself a nice hearty breakfast. Today it was my favorite scramble...

my "Creamy Sausage and Cilantro Scramble"
2 or 3 eggs (depends on how hungry you are)
1 tablespoon cream cheese
2 0r 3 breakfast sausage links
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 handful cilantro leaves
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Cook sausage first, chop into small chunks, set aside. In a bowl scramble together eggs, garlic and cilantro. Slice cream cheese into small chunks, add to eggs. In a pan heat olive oil, add sausage. Pour egg mixture over sausage and scramble. The cream cheese makes the eggs take a little longer to cook, just be careful not to burn.

Plus toast and YUMMY Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam from Le Gourmet Chef.

All this after sleeping in til 8...yeah Fridays are good. To see more reasons to love you some Friday, go to Tinniegirl's blog and check out everybody else's weekend gateway.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

They grow up so fast!

Remember this little kitty...

When did she turn into this big cat??

I think it happened over night. Big jungle kitty is now bigger than little pampered dog.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My first apron

It feels good to have a sewing machine again! Ours is still loaned out but my sister belatedly remembered that she teaches sewing as an elective every summer and has 10 sewing machines just lying around her classroom during the school year. She loaned me one of those and, frankly, it's a better machine than our own. So now I can make those Christmas presents that never got made, maybe they'll end up being Valentine's Day gifts.

Anyway, I joined a swap on swap-bot called "Sound of Music - My favorite things" swap. Basically you make something that is inspired by the lyrics of the song. So I made this apron as my "girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes" interpretation. It's my first apron. It came out a little narrow but other than that it came out pretty decent. I lucked out and found this 3 inch wide satin ribbon at Joann and just used it like bias tape for the waste band / ties. And used some white eyelet from the stash so it was a very cheap project and a quick one too. I finished it in just about an hour a half...for me that's super quick.

In other news, I got a pleasant surprise the other day when I got home from work and this was in my mail box...

My very cute ornament from Edward and Lilly. Isn't it adorable?! Thank you, Rebecca!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Take Action!

Have you heard of the CPSIA? That’s the Consumer Product Safety Information Act. If you haven’t then let me shed some light on it for you. In an attempt to prevent products with high lead contents from reaching America’s children the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has come up with this act that basically says all products geared for children 12 and under must be tested by a third, neutral party for lead (they require 600ppm or less at the moment to go down eventually to 100ppm). I have read, mostly on other people’s blogs, that every product will need to be tested, not every product line, but every actual, individual product. That sounded ridiculous to me even considering the sources so I did some snooping around on the CPSC site and frankly, the wording is vague, purposely, I believe.

The latest update that they have listed on the CPSC website does propose that certain materials aren’t harmful because they naturally do not have or have very very small amounts of lead in them. Here’s a quote:
“The staff recommends that the following natural materials be found by the Commission not to exceed the CPSIA lead limits based on the available scientific information and the staff’s best professional judgment that such materials do not contain lead or contain lead at levels that do not exceed the CPSIA lead limits. The staff recommends that these finding only apply to a material that is untreated and unadulterated by the addition of materials or chemicals including pigments, dyes, coatings, finishes or any other substance, and has not undergone any processing that could result in lead content that exceeds the CPSIA lead limits.”
(So basically there are certain materials that they think are ok but only in their natural state, no dyes or pigments, etc.)

Here are the items they deem to be ok…
Precious gemstones: diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald
Certain semiprecious gemstones…provided that the mineral or material is not based on lead or lead compounds (duh!) and is not associated in nature with any mineral that is based on lead or lead compounds (huh?!)
Natural or cultured pearls
Natural fibers, including cotton, silk, wool, hemp, flax, and linen
Other natural materials including coral, amber, feathers, fur, and untreated leather
Surgical steel
Precious metals

The crafting world is in an uproar about this, and rightly so. There is a point where government regulation becomes heavy handed, invasive and absurd. This act has past that point. They have dismissed a whole sector of people whose livelihood depends solely on what they make at their sewing machine or in their workshop in their garage or in their “studio” that’s in the spare bedroom. For any item to fall strictly into any of those categories above is unreasonable. To ask that these handmade items be tested by a testing lab (which I know from first hand experience) is not only unreasonable but criminal. All those Etsy or MadeIt sellers that would fall under the CPSIA purview will have no choice but to close up shop or to sell strictly to people in other countries. It would mean the end of all those booths at farmer’s markets and street fairs and craft fairs and holiday boutiques where men and women have not only toiled to have a fair amount of inventory at their booth, they’re also sitting there making more. You won’t see this anymore. It’s a piece of Americana that’s about to vanish.

If you’ve read this far (well, I’m impressed because I’m usually not this wordy) I implore you to take action. It doesn’t take much effort on your part. Go to the Handmade Toy Alliance website, do some more reading if you’d like, or just do a letter to your senator. On the site they have a sample letter where you just copy and paste and fill in your information then email it to your senator. Don’t know who your senator or representative is? They’ll help you with that too. They also have some suggested solutions if you've decided to look into this further. And last but certainly not least, don’t forget to sign their petition.

If you're an American and this has struck a chord with you, please do not sit idly by. Take action.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

One of my resolutions

Ok, let me start by saying that I stopped making new year's resolutions when I was around 20 because I never stuck to them and I figure why set myself up for disappointment on an annual basis. So instead of resolving to stick to my resolutions I resolved to make no more resolutions.

This year, though, I decided to make a couple, ones I know I can stick to. The first is to cook more, eat out less. So tonight I made myself dinner (yakisoba noodles with soy steak stripes, garlic, and corn - we're low on groceries right now) and dessert, this dessert...

I call it Cinnamon Pear Crumble. I've never made this before or actually anything like it, I'm more a cake/cookie person so it was something of an experiment. It came out rather well, I must say. That's why I decided to list the recipe (or what I think ended up being the recipe :) ) I hope you enjoy it!

Cinnamon Pear Crumble


1 can quartered pears

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon granulated sugar


3 or 4 tablespoons brown sugar (I used light brown but it would probably be even better with dark brown)

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees (Farenheit).

For the filling I drained then divided the pears into two ramekins then divided the cinnamon and sugar between the two and made sure the pears were well coated.

For the topping,melt the butter and mix together with the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour until all flour has been mixed in. Crumble on top of pears. Cook for 20 minutes.

I'm not generally a cooked fruit lover but pears are one of my exceptions to that rule. They're just yummy!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! and my butt hurts

Happy New Year everybody!! I tried valiantly to stay up last night and ring in the new year with, if not some revelry, at least some wakefulness. Alas, I fell fast asleep well before midnight then woke up again at 12:05, so I missed the ball dropping and Dick Clark. That's a symptom of age, or so I hear.

Anyway, My sister and I have gone back and forth over the last 2 months since moving into the house on what sofa to get. We agree that we want a dark color (probably dark brown/chocolate) but other than that we can't seem to agree. I like clean lines, she likes the poofy overstuffed floppy looking sofas. So we have yet to get one. In the meantime we've been sitting on all manner of chair. From dining chairs to camp chairs to outdoor chairs, which is what I'm sitting on now. This is why my arse is continuously sore, at least while I'm watching tv or on the computer. If it were solely up to me, it would be one of these...

They are all from this company their & names are 1. Park 2. Arlette 3. Lola 4. Metropole. I love them.