Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On the Menu - Cookies

I don't usually do much baking during the hot, humid summer weather but the kids have been asking for cookies so I made the attempt.  Since it was so hot in the house I tried making something that I wouldn't have to bake - Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bakes, yummy version from my mother-in-law.  The No-Bakes tasted fabulous but wouldn't hold together, first time for that.  We had to put them on plates and eat them with forks, messy but good.  I also made Oatmeal Scotchies late at night once the temps went down.  One of my all time favorites and perfect with tea, hot or iced.

Delish Oatmeal Scotchies

Since it is so warm we've been doing plenty of grilling on the patio.  A favorite new recipe is for Chipolte Rhubarb BBQ Chicken.  I adapted a friend's Raspberry Chipolte BBQ Sauce recipe by replacing my rhubarb jam for the raspberry jelly that was called for.  The kids and DH  thought it turned out amazing, touch of heat with plenty of sweet and a tangy hint.  So yummy.  Wish I would have gotten photos, next time I'll get photos and write down the recipe.  I've got some tasty new dinners planned to try out yet for this week - Dijon Poppy Seed Grilled Chicken, Black Bean Turkey Burgers, and Crockpot Onion-Mushroom Meatballs.  I'm not sure how the kids will like it or not but it's time to try some new recipes.

I recently picked up some cute vintage hand-embroidered linen pieces.  I'm not sure what I'll do with them but they were too darling to pass them up.  One is the size of a tea towel and the other is smaller than a napkin.  I've got a lovely tablecloth that my grandmother embroidered long ago, for her hope chest.  I'll probably use everything for a tea party at some point this summer on the patio.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Busy Bee

It has been busy around here for a bit.  The end of the school year and beginning of summer has been a big change for the kids and I.  And the high heat and humidity that came along with it was too.  We've finally gotten into a semblance of a routine around here at least.  I think that is the hardest part of summer, finding a routine.  The kids keep telling me they are BORED but I find them things to do, like cleaning their rooms.

Part of my summer schedule is enjoying a cup of tea with a good book in the afternoon.  We have made a few trips to the library already to pick out new books for both kids to read.  We usually sit on a blanket in the front yard, drinking iced tea (or Koolaid for the kids) and getting lost in the pages of a good book for an hour or so.  The last few days have been rainy so we've settled for pillows on the floor of the living room with hot tea and scones while we read.  Mini tea parties is what the kids have been calling it.  Love that they are reading and having fun even when they are stuck indoors.

I am a magazine junkie - crafting, art, home decor, gardening, cooking.  I have been known to plan extra time into a trip to the doctors just so I can stop at Barnes and Nobles on the way home.  I did that today and was rewarded with two lovely magazines that just had to come home with me.  Flea Market Style is filled with ideas galore, inspiring photos, websites I can't wait to visit and more.  It makes me anxious to start a few "new" projects with vintage pieces I've got around the house.  I also found a new magazine from the UK - Mollie Makes.  This is a treasure trove of a magazine.  The ideas, photos, projects, basically everything in it has given me a surge of creative energy and too many ideas for projects I want to jump into.  They do have a subscription option for the US, which I am hoping DH will spoil me with seeing that next month is my birthday.  Even if I can't talk DH into a subscription I will be picking up the next issue.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Organizing and Simplifying

I'm in the process of "simplifying" around here.  The kids are done with school and all the papers, art projects, and 'supplies' that came home have taken over several areas at this point.  The craft supplies are continuing to spread in the kitchen and studio area.  The outgrown clothes and out of season clothing is choking our closets.  Time to purge through out the entire house.  I've already started in the kitchen and it feels amazing to let things go and actually have a bit of breathing space.

We've also made some progress in the kids room.  Can't believe how fast these kids are growing this year.  DS is almost out of the spring/summer clothing and we just started the season.  Four large bags of clothing, mostly DD's, were dropped off to Good Will on Tuesday and I still have more clothing to sort through.

Since I'm trying to corral all my crafting stuff into one area I've been coming up with different items to use as storage.  While going through the cupboards I found two cute candle holders that I forgot I had, glass bottoms with metal tops.  The glass bottoms could hold a variety of items but I am choosing to store some of my pretty vintage buttons in them.  A lovely addition on my art table.

I also picked up a set of three nesting mini hat boxes that will be a cute addition to my shelves to store some small items.  I added a ruffled crepe paper, Stickles embellished, button topped flower topper to the smallest box's top.  I'm still not sure what I'll store in them but I have so much stuff I'm sure I can find something.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finding Inspiration

I've been on a cleaning streak lately, which has lead to going thru my stash of magazines.  I have to say that I love my old "Victoria" magazines.  They are filled with such beautiful and inspiring images.  I always have the urge to create something lovely and frilly when I browse the pages.  DH would like me to get rid of my LARGE collection of these magazines but I just can't bear to part with them.  I also like the newer version of Victoria Magazine too.  So much pretty.  I now have the urge to create a ruffle-bustle sundress for DD to wear for her last day of school next week.

I also went thru my stash of Somerset Studio, Somerset Life, and Somerset Apprentice magazines.  More wonderful inspiration to be found on the pages of these magazines than I can begin to process.  I spent hours mesmerized by all the artwork and ideas.  I just couldn't hold off the creative juices and had to create a few cute note pockets inspired by the ones in Apr/May/June 2010 Somerset Life.  These are basically paper covered and embellished toilet paper rolls, which turn out darling.  I made a butterfly one for my daughter and a car one for my son.  I put little notes in them each morning and the kids love it.

Butterfly Note Pocket

Car Note Pocket

Love Note Pocket
Another source of inspiration lately has been from my DVD collection of musicals - Hello Dolly, Gigi, White Christmas, My Fair Lady, Auntie Mame, Funny Face, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Guys & Dolls to name just a few.  The costumes, the songs and the settings are so inspiring to me.  I'm still working on a 12x12 canvas mixed media piece based on the song "On the Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady.  I have started really looking at the details of everything from these musicals since starting the "Street" project.  The costumes have great details that can be added to projects - tassels, buttons, bling, berries, tulle, flowers, lace, pleats, beading.  I also love seeing the different eras and the styles of each.  I'm almost ready to finish the "Street" piece and start on something else.  We'll see what I'm inspired to work on next.

On the Street Where You Live - mixed media piece