Tuesday, March 29, 2011


We haven't totally figured out our new lifestyle yet.  Since Chicken Little's gone, and Joe is back to work at a job where he travels several days a week, we don't really plan dinners anymore.  And that means we almost NEVER go to the grocery store...except to stock up on cereal.

As a result, lately our cupboard has mostly been bare. Not a problem, but if you get out of your routine, then you kinda drop your organization systems, and before you know it, you have chaos! Chaos, I say!!

Geez!  How many econo-packs of cough drops do we need (top shelf)? 

Ok - so chaos may be a bit of an overstatement, but this pantry was starting to bug me.  Everything was all hodge-podged and shoved in there, and I was really hating that extra shelf we used to "need".   So, I finally mustered up the gumption and purged last weekend.

Ta da!!

This is probably my favorite - that shelf-thing on the door was just a catch-all for whatever you didn't have a place for.  Now it makes more sense - at least to me.  :)

Yep, pretty empty.   That's ok - I kind of like seeing some empty space on the shelves.  In case you didn't notice, we're ziploc fanatics - omg! - I think the world just may come to an end if we were to ever run out.  These are just the extra boxes - we probably have 3 or 4 more boxes in a more convenient spot in the kitchen. 

I got rid of that dumb extra shelf-thing.  Well...I didn't get rid of it, I moved it upstairs to use for art supplies.  :-)  (I may need an intervention when it comes to buying art supplies, but that's a story for another day.) 

I just love it when things are neat and tidy, don't you?  Ahhhh - all is right with the world again...mostly.

Linking up herehere and here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Doing Battle

Since the sun is starting to shine everyday, that means that it's time to work on the yard or else it will be hideous all summer.  So Sunday, I prepared for battle...

I was LAZY this fall and winter (as you can see from my dirty, rusty 'weapons').  After the first freeze, I should have gone out and done a final clean out of the beds, but I didn't, so there was a lot of work to be done.  You can tell I was SERIOUS - I pulled out the crocs!

After I beat the backyard into submission, it looked naked!

We lost a lot of plants this year because we had so many hard freezes this winter.  I ended up digging out an Azalea bush, a lemon tree (it was small), and three or four lantana plants.  I was hopeful about the lantana because usually it looks really dead, but then it magically starts to regrow, but not this year.  It basically jumped out of the ground at me - no roots at all.  Bummer! 

As soon as the ferns at Kroger go on sale, most of these pots will be full.  Then, I'll have to wait a few weeks and when the petunias come out, I'll fill in the rest for color.   (In the meantime, I think I need to buy a couple of cans of spray paint and get after a couple of those pots - geez!)

Next, it was time to storm the front yard where my winter-slacker tendencies were on display for all to see...
No grass yet, but the weeds and baby oak trees (from where the acorns fell or were buried) are filling in the yard nicely.  About two hours later, I was victorious!

This weekend, we'll probably fertilize, trim the bushes and mulch the beds.  Then we'll be ready for planting.  YEA! 

In the end, I triumphed, but I didn't walk away unscathed.

The weeds got in a couple of good shots.  When I was a kid I had allergy tests, and the doctor said that with the exception of two types of trees, I am allergic to Every. Single. Plant. that grows in North Texas.  Nice, huh?!

Oh well, a hot bath, a couple of benedryl, and 5 days cooped up in an office and I'll be ready for round two this weekend (and maybe I'll have enough sense to wear a long-sleeved shirt)!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

She is Rich

Christy Tomlinson's She Art Workshop is officially over, and I'm so bummed.  But, I have learned so much - so many techniques and clever ideas.  LOVED participating in this class - it was F.U.N.!  She is going to reopen the class in April.  If you are interested in getting your hands dirty and making some cute stuff, I strongly recommend it.  Also Christy is so cute and funny and a real pleasure to watch her videos.  (No, this isn't an ad, it was just my first online class and I really enjoyed it.  It's opened a whole new world of experiences and learning opportunities for me. Gotta LOVE that!)

This is the second girl I made based on the class materials.  The first one I made, you can check out here.  Actually, I made the first one before the class started, so technically this one is really my first with the benefit of the information I learned in the workshop.
I made her for my mama.  No special occasion, the saying was just swimming around in my head.  So, I took it out and put it down on this canvas.
This is mama.  She has the big, red, Farrah-Fawcett hairdo that I remember from my childhood.  Do not adjust your monitor, her hair really was that big, and I think the color on this is almost perfect.  That was her natural color - it was gorgeous and so striking. 

She also has a tendency towards bling - hence the rhinestone necklace and buttons on the coat.

The only artistic license I took is with the location.  You will rarely (never) find her standing in a field.  It's hot and there are bugs, and it just wouldn't happen.  :-)

I love the way the sun turned out.  It was a big pink flower that I cut out of a magazine or gardening catalog (can't remember which).  I just glued it on and then added paint and marker and rub-ons and stamped "faith" on it.  Just love it - almost like the color of some setting suns we've been seeing around here recently.
It says "She is rich beyond measure."  It was important to me that it be in the present tense, but also this has a lot of meaning.  We were pretty darn poor when I was a kid, and she has always talked about getting "rich".  As a single mom, she worked so hard all the time, and I'm sure that she wanted to get rich just so she could take a break!  Who can't relate to that?!  This is just a reminder (not that she needs it) that in so many ways she is already incredibly rich.

I'm so happy that I have been able to find so many ways to get crafty lately.  I have missed painting and collaging for the past several (probably 15!) years.  I gave it to her on Saturday - at first she thought that Chicken Little (the art student) had made it. HA - LOL!  She seemed to like it, so I took that as a compliment. :-)

I've got another 3 or 4 more of these girls floating around in my head.  I hope I get a chance to make one or two more this weekend.  FUN!!

Linking up here, hereherehere, here and here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Glad I'm Here

I haven't been a fan of the birthday for several years, but I have a friend who LOVES birthdays.  The reason she likes them so much is because it's "the one day of the year we get to celebrate that fact that you are here."  Well....since you put it that way, it might not be so bad.

Saturday was my b-day.  Don't ask how many, that's not important - it's too many to get excited, but not enough to celebrate making it another year. :)  Anyhoo - all told - it was a pretty good day.

A couple of random shots from the day:

Joe walked in with this gorgeous bunch of flowers on Friday night. Lovely - off to a really good start!


I know, I know...  I said a few days ago that I gave up sugar for Lent.  I was doing so terrible that I just decided to stick with my no Diet Crack Pespi and going to mass every week resolutions, and to just drop the no sugar one.  I'm weak, but if I make it on the other two, I have made HUGE progress. 

Saturday morning (I use the word 'morning' loosely - I slept in til about 11:30), I woke up to these on the kitchen counter.  Now listen, we all know that I rarely meet a donut that I don't fall for like a bad boyfriend, but I am not a fan of the grocery store donut.  I REALLY, REALLY appreciate the thought and the effort, and I know that saying this makes me an ungrateful wretch, but I took one bite, let the box sit on the counter a few hours, and then threw them all away.  They were pretty gross. 

As for the cake, can you say "sugar coma"?  It was so sweet, it was suffering from it's own sugar crash (it seemed to be falling in on itself on one side).  We ate a few pieces and the rest of it went in the trash. 

Is that terrible?? None of us needed it, so it was probably for the best.


Chicken Little and I met my mother for lunch, and she had gotten me these SUPER CUTE salad plates (or maybe they are dessert plates, but I need to focus on the salad option for awhile).  Love, Love, Love them!

Because we'd been eat, eat, eating all day, instead of going to dinner, Joe, CL and I saw The King's Speech on Saturday night.  Joe was not excited about seeing it, but he ended up enjoying the movie.  It was WONDERFUL!  It deserved all the awards that it got.  If you haven't seen it, go, go, go - it was awesome!


...one of the best presents I got was "the Super Moon."  It's a terrible picture, but I took this at 10:00 pm, and it was incredibly bright outside.  I hope you had a chance to see it - it was HUGE!  Joe told me that arranging this for my birthday "wasn't cheap."  LOL!  Whatever it cost, it was worth it - sooooo cool!

It was a good day - it was nice to be able to spend time with the family.  But the gluttony - ugh! - it's a good thing I have a year to recover!   :-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Soul Food

On the Brave Girls Club site, they have just posted a recap of Day 5 at camp.  Click here to read all about it.  While you're there, join the club and sign up for the daily truths (it's all free and so, so wonderful).  You can also check out the archives to read about days 1-4.  But be forewarned - after you read them, you will really, really, really want to go to camp. 

This video is also posted on the Day 5 wrap up, but I wanted to share it here, too.  It is one of my most favorite things we did at camp.  Reading the post and watching this video for the first time tonight was amazing.  I have been jonesing for another taste of the BGC experience, and this was just the soul food I've wanted.  It took me right back to that moment.  What a blessing it was to have been a part of this.  Enjoy!

I cannot believe that Kathy and Melody were able to belt out that song all the way to the end.  I lost my voice to tears about half-way through.  But that is what Brave Girls do - they will share their light and they will carry you through and continue to sing your song until you find your voice again.  They are AWESOME!

I hope you're sharing your voice and your light, and if you can't right now, that's ok.  We've got your back - we'll light your candle and sing your song until you can join back in...

Friday, March 18, 2011


It is Lent, and as most of you know, this is a time to "strip" away the distractions of our lives so that we can move closer to God.  Edie at Life in Grace wrote a wonderful post on the meaning of Lent here.

I think it's a beautiful purpose and time, and I am trying to find inspiration, but today I'm mostly just finding irritation.  Almost every year I try to eliminate a few of what I feel are my worst habits: Diet Pepsi, swearing, sugar, shopping, etc.  I also try to think about what I can DO instead of stop doing. 

This year is not much different.  May I present the usual suspects: 

This one is sooooo hard.  Relapse is part of recovery, right?!  One day, I won't have to give this up for Lent, because I won't be in it's clutches.

These represent all sweets.  Donuts, cookies, cake, candy, sugary cereal, all of it - LOVE it - and it is about as addictive as Diet Pepsi crack.  This year, I gave up sweets - except for birthday cake because it's just a cruel twist of fate that my birthday is ALWAYS smack dab in the middle of Lent.  So far, almost everyday has been birthday celebration.  I am failing.

And everyone abstains from meat on Fridays (except when they forget, and how come everyone except me manages to "forget").

What do I want today?  I wanted donuts for breakfast - with a side of diet pepsi... and now I want a giant cheeseburger and a Diet Pepsi for dinner.  And, of course, that is all I can think about, and it's making me a little cranky.  ARGH!! 

Is anyone else struggling?  If so, how are you coping? Any tips?

(The pepsi and burger pictures are just stock photos.  Ironically, the donut picture is one of mine.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More Pictures of Close-Up Flowers

The internet is teeming with pictures of close up flowers, but, because I'm afflicted with a serious case of the spring fever, I felt that I needed to add mine to the pile.  

Plus, I have a million things to do this morning and don't feel like making the tough editing decisions, so there are a TON of 'em.  If you've had your fill, I totally understand, have a good weekend.

If you have time for a little more pretty in your day, please enjoy.

I love flowering trees, and the ones in my yard are all blooming right. this. minute!

These are all from the pear trees in the back yard.  They are just starting to blossom.

Then, there are the trees in the front yard.  I have no idea what kind they are but they are FAB-U-LOUS!

Confession:  that tree really belongs to the neighbor, but it hangs over into our yard.  So, I can claim it. :-)

Now, my favorite:

No idea what kind it is, but it's lovely.  I love the color of the flowers on that one!  Soooo lucky to have all three tree colors representin' with the white, the pink and the purpley-pink.  Holla!!!  LOVE IT!!!

Every year I say I want pictures, and this year I finally did it.  Yea, me!  They only last for about 2 weeks, so you have to notice and appreciate 'em quick. 

And the sedum is starting to poke its lovely leaves out, too. 


Chicken Little gets home for spring break today.  YEA!!  So, I don't know how much you'll be seeing of me around these parts this week.  (If I don't see you until next week, remind me that I have a story to tell ya about last night. )

Have a great weekend!

Linking up to the Spring themed challenge at The Three Muses

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Catchin' Flies

WARNING:  I know that God does not like ugly, but I'm fixin' to pay a visit to Ugly-town, or at least I'm going to be standing at the border, waving in.

Besides being the same person, all of these pictures have something any common. Do you notice it, too? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?

I love Talbot's new direction  - their clothes are awesome!  And I love Julianne Moore, but....



This collection is gorgeous, but I can't hardly look at it because Talbot's has not only made this smart and talented woman look like Lindsay Lohan in a some of these pictures, but she has her mouth open in Every. Single. Shot!

Close your mouth girl, you look like you're catchin' flies!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Want...

I want a SINGLE-PURPOSE room where I can craft.

That has a yummy light fixture like this!

(Source:  I have no idea where this is from.  I had it in an "inspiration" file. 
 If anyone else knows, tell me and I'll be happy to give credit.)

And a shelf like that.
And more shelves that go all the way around the room to NEATLY hold all my supplies but I can still see everything.
And an extra long, CLEAN workspace.
Or maybe two:  one for sewing and another one for painting and gluing and writing and...

And when I'm done working in there, I want a herd (pride? pack? swarm? flock?)  of fairies to come in and clean it all up and put everything back where it goes.

It's good to dream...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Team Sports

I've never been one for participating in team sports.  Not much for participating in sports in general, but if I'm going to do something, I prefer the individual practice (shocker, huh?). 

Well, in January, I joined a team. I don't even remember where I read about it, but someone mentioned it on their blog and it just sounded like such a good thing.  Individual effort, but with the support of a team...

I've joined the Siesta Sisters Memory Verse Team.  Beth at Living Proof Ministries is the team leader(?).  This is not the first year, but it is the first year that I have participated. 

On the 1st and the 15th of each month, the whole team (over 5,000 on March 1st) converges on Beth's blog and enters the bible verse that we will be memorizing for the next couple of weeks.  Then we spend the next two weeks trying to commit it to memory.  That's it.  Apparently there is a conference at the end of the year where many of the team gets together, but that's not the point. 

I don't know many  any bible verses, so I just thought this would be a good exercise.  Not only would I learn a few, but just the effort of choosing which ones I want to focus on would force me to read and know more of the bible.  It's also one of the things I'm doing to work on my word for this year. 

This is a completely non-denominational exercise - anyone can participate and you can select verses from any part of the bible.  You can choose any verse you want - I'm sure there is some duplication, but mostly everybody selects something different.

The recommendation is that you get a spiral-bound set of index cards that you can carry around with you.  Whenever you have a free minute, you can pull it out and work on your memorization.  Also, if you go to the conference at the end of the year, these cards are your admission ticket.  These are my last four verses.  (You don't have to decorate them, but I like thinking about it while I paint a page.) 

What have I learned so far: 
  1.  I'm much more successful when I choose a shorter verse, and 
  2.  For me this isn't about the memorization, it's about contemplating the message and all the blessings that I have received. 

So, does this really qualify as a team sport? I don't know, but I think we're all rooting for each other to win.  :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

She Art

I'm participating in an online workshop called The She Art Workshop, taught by Christy Tomlinson.  You can check out Christy's blog here.  From there you can find out more about the workshop.  It's too late to sign up now, but I think she said she will be offering it again soon.

Christy is teaching us how to make these cute girl canvases.  The class started on Monday, but I had a friend who had a birthday early this week, and I couldn't wait until Monday to start my project.  So, started this weekend and here's what I made just using the work Christy has posted on her blog as inspiration. 

It's an 8x10 canvas that I collaged a bunch of different papers onto, then I painted on it, rubber stamped on it, and added the girl.  Finally, I did some shading, outlining and detail work with both water based (so it would blend) and permanent (so it would not) markers.

The last thing I did was add the words and the 3d embellishments. It's a little bright, but I like it! I think I need to put away the glossy mod podge and stick with the matte for awhile.

I made this for a friend at work.  She has relocated to Texas and is really missing her family and friends at home. That's where the phrase comes from.  I didn't know what words I was going to put on it, and I was thinking about it before I went to sleep one night.  I woke up in the morning with the perfect phrase in my head.  Don't you love it when that happens?!

I collaged maps on in various places, and you can see them peeking out here and there (mostly at her collar).  I just tried to stick with that theme for most of the other stuff.  I really like the sun - I collaged a compass thingy onto a sunflower, then I used Christmas paper and cut out a round snowflake shape, turned it over and painted the back orange, and then collaged the rays on top of that. 

I also wanted the edge to be 'finished' so my friend didn't feel like she had to frame it.  I just took a bunch of the random scraps that were laying around and created this funky scalloped edge - probably my most favorite thing!

I was so afraid and nervous to give this to my friend.  You never know about someone's taste and style.  And, you know - it's really hard to be objective about something you have made.  I was just hoping she liked it and didn't think I was weird.  I think it was a success - she told me today that she keeps looking at it and saying she 'wants to be that girl.'  Isn't that the nicest thing?!   I told her I thought she already was.

So, now that I've watched all the first week videos for the workshop, I've learned so much more.  I'm eager to get started on another girl so I can practice what I've learned.

I am LOVING the idea of the online workshop!  I can participate when it's convenient for me, and I can watch the videos as many times as I want until I figure stuff out.  VERY COOL - VERY FUN!

Have you ever participated in an online class?  Was it good?  Got any recommendations??

Linking up here and here and here and here and here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Looks Gross, Tastes Great

WARNING!  There's all kinds of bad about this post.  The pictures are bad because it was late and the light in my kitchen totally sucks.  The end product looks gross.  Get through all that, and you will enter the ultimate kind of bad:  gooey, chocolatey, banana-y deliciousness!

I posted my banana bread recipe back in July.  I only make it when we have bananas that have seen better days.  So, last night, standing there looking at 5 overly ripe bananas, I had two choices: bake 'em up or trash 'em.  

I wasn't in the mood to bake or to eat banana bread, but I hate to throw out food, so I baked. Once the bread came out of the oven, my whole house smelled YUMMY, and I figured I might as well do a little quality control...

Then, I had the most glorious (and sinfully bad) idea - EVER...
I like the end pieces of the bread, so that's why these look a little dark.

We barely had enough nutella to cover one slice, but I scraped and scraped the jar to eek out enough to put a thin layer on both slices.

I know, I know, it looks gross.  But if you look closely, you'll see that the bread was still warm and the nutella is starting to melt into it a little.  OMG!!!  I'm tellin' ya - if we hadn't run out of nutella, I may have eaten the entire loaf - by. my. self! 

Confession:  I had my shoes on and the keys in my hand to go to the grocery for more nutella, but then sanity crept back in.  I put the rest in the freezer for Chicken Little since she'll be home next weekend for spring break (YEA!). 

Get past the looks of it and give it a try.  I promise you that it is a little slice of heaven  (ha! ha! ha! - get it, I'm so punny!)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Daily Art Journal

I ran across this blog a couple of weeks and ago and have been obsessing a bit with the idea of starting an Art Journal.  You can read all about Julie's Daily Art Journal challenge here.  Since I've decided to start doing something creative on a more regular basis, what could be more regular than every day?  So, I linked up earlier today to participate in the challenge this month.

I can give this a try for one month, right?  Just 10 minutes a day - no big deal.  This is part of my healing plan for this year - the mind and mostly the spirit part.  

I had this journal - it's just a blank, hardback sketchbook.  I mod podged tissue paper all over the cover and then added the chip board thingys (forgive me, I don't know all the lingo).

I have to admit that I am loving all the tools of the trade, but I must.stop.shopping!  Just to name a few:  crop-o-dile (the big one - LOVE), debossing tools (LOVE!), Mod Podge for days (LOVE it so much I might marry it!), Exactos, bone folders (LOVE!), pens, papers, stencils (OMG, the stencils!), paints, stamps, etc, etc, etc.  There are so many super-cool toys to buy that I could get lost in all the stuff and never get around to making anything!

Here's the inside cover.  I lost my mind here.  I couldn't decide what I wanted to do, so I did EVERYTHING!  Then I just needed a little empty space and stuck that ugly note on it.  Oh well - I'm not judging - at least I started.

I think I need to work on my relationship with the matte version of mod podge.  The shiny is starting to get on my nerves a bit.

This is the first page.  I don't know why I felt the need to put this in there.  It's not like this book will EVER leave my play room, much less my house, so there's not really any danger of it being lost, or if it is, of anyone other than me finding it.  I was influenced by some of the other journals I'd been looking at online.  Several seemed to have a contact page, and it didn't require much effort, so there it is.  :-)

Today is Day 1, and what did I do today in my journal?  Nuthin'.  As soon as I committed and joined in the challenge, all of my ideas on things to journal about seemed to dry right up.  Why does that happen? 

Instead of journaling, I posted pictures of the cover and wrote a blog about it.  It's taken me at least 10 minutes.  That counts.  (This game is supposed to be about fun, and I get to make up the rules.  So, if I say it counts, and we start celebrating.)   Happy dance!  Feel free to join in - no rhythm necessary.

Assuming my brain starts working again in the next few days, I'm sure you'll be seeing more posts about this in the future. :-)