Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trail Mix

Yesterday at the grocery store cashews were on sale.  We picked up a two pound container of them along with a few other ingredients.  Today in under 15 minutes I made trail mix. 

In this batch I put the following:
             2 lbs cashews
            Bag of dried cranberries
            Bag of butterscotch chips
            Bag of mini colored candy
 The cashews are salty, cranberries are tart and different texture, butterscotch chips are sweet, raisins are fruity and different texture, and colored candy adds a pop of color and chocolate.  It is a matter of balancing the flavors and this one covers almost every craving you can have.  The salty, tart, sweet combo is fabulous for satisfying a bunch of cravings and at the same time it is still a mostly healthy snack. 

If you are looking for different combos you can do things like peanuts, chocolate chips, Reese’s Pieces, any dried fruit, and almost any other small snack type food to this.  This lasts forever – well unless you have people gobbling it up.  I’ve had a can of a similar mix in my drawer for six months and it is still good and delicious.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Flowers - ones that my black thumb can't kill


Vicki loves her new curtains.  The valances - which I thought were going to be too long - were just right and could have possibly been a bit longer even.  Here are some shots of her dining room windows:

This shows the valance a bit closer:

Here is her bedroom curtain tied back:

The final products turned out better than I thought they would and Vicki was very pleased with all of them.  The bedroom curtain definitely blocked the light and helped her to sleep better.

Original Post
I’ve been working on a valance for Vicki’s dining room windows.  In my motif book, there is a flower line which is quite fun.  This fits Vicki and she marked it with one of her little tabs (this is what she does to all my crochet books in the hopes I’ll make her all the things she marks). 

I finally finished the valances for her two windows in her dining room.  I made 62 flowers of 4 different designs.  These were quick little flowers which took very little time to make but they are quite fun.  The one on the left (peach petal with white smaller petals and orange center) is an adaptation from the patterns because I wasn’t thrilled with how the third style (yellow/green petals peach center) worked up and looked. I ended up doing two of this style and they are the center flower for each of the valances. 

In the book the flowers are put together with fishing line so they look like they are floating.  I joined mine together with green chain so it looks like a vine. I could have just done a simple chain but that seemed a bit boring.  Instead I played with a leaf pattern.  I was going to try to make a triangle type leaf but the few things I tried I didn’t like.  As I was playing with the design I realized it would be easy to use the Crocodile Stitch for leaves.  In the picture below you can see where I did just chaining and then a different spot where I put four crocodile stitches in a row.  These four were worked directly above each other.

I also played with the spacing of the chains – from number of chains to number of leaves as the pictures show.   

When I did the crocodile stitch I discovered an interesting occurrence when I worked the stitches from the last stitch in the crocodile stitch instead of slip stitching into the center to make them straight above each other (see above).  When I worked the next crocodile stitch from the last stitch it created a coiling affect which I liked – see the picture below.

So Vicki would have two unique valances – I started the vine with a crocodile stitch for one and two crocodile stitches for the other one.  

In general I would chain a certain number of times (generally 5 or 10) before I added another feature sometimes a flower, sometimes a leaf or four.  As you can see from the picture below, I would sometimes put the flowers very close together.

I got the flowers to hang differently from the vine by varying how I attached the flowers.  In the picture below the left hand flower (white petals) is attached with a slip stitch at the bottom and top of a petal.  The right hand flower (pink petals) is joined by slip stitching on either side of the center flower.  The white flower hangs differently which adds variety just like you would see in nature. 

 This last picture shows a variety of flowers and leaf sequences.  Vicki will be tacking them to her wall around the upper part of her window (unless she decides to use a curtain rod to twine them around).  These will hang down in whatever arrangement she puts them.  My only concern is that Sasha may think this is a toy for her to bat at and play with but that isn’t going to be my problem. 

This is just the valance and the curtains are going to be a cafĂ© type curtain with dots all over it in the same colors.  It should look good when we are done.  I’ll try to take a couple of pictures and post them later.  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

New Edition to the Family

Virginia and Stephanie have adopted a new kitten.  Her name is Gus Gus or GG for short.  She is eight weeks old and ADORABLE. 

Moo Shoo, their current one year old cat, seems to love her already.  He is letting her eat his food and play with his toys.  He doesn’t seem to be objecting at all to the new kitten.  The girls say he is slightly confused by her size – probably because he is used to bigger cats. 

GG on the other hand has been hissing at him but it sounds more like a huff then a hiss.  Also she seemed to know her own mind quite well.  Perhaps she will be dominant and Moo Shoo will be submissive – only time will tell. 

There is a new baby in the family.  Good luck to my girls with this one and hopefully the transition goes smoothly!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Slipping Away...

This summer is slipping away.  I mean to write here and tell all that is going on and then I look and time has passed. 

Work move is done – mostly.  They are still doing finishing touches but all of the offices are moved.  Most of the faculty are set up.  They still have to set up the mail boxes and paint the hall before they can hang all the bulletin boards.  For the most part though, the frustration and craziness of the move is done. 

Now it is time to settle into the new office and get used to the changes (though minor) that have happened in my office.  There are a few more organizational things in the office and there are definitely different office numbers to remember but overall I think we are in good shape.

Writing has been sporadic at the best.  I have gone through several steps for creating a clean file to e-publish.  I still have three or four more steps to go through.  I also need to buy some ISBNs.  At $125 each or 10 for $250, this is a big purchase for me.  Now if I had $1000 they would be a dollar each but that isn’t going to happen plus I don’t think I need that many. 

It is a business expense but at the same time it is an expense.  I know – it is an investment in my writing.  I should just do it.  I’ll have to see how the budget goes this next month. My hope is to have the files prepped and ready so that when I do finally purchase my own ISBNs I’ll be able to publish and start making money.  Then of course I have to deal with the marketing plan. 

This weekend I’m hoping to get my office cleaned and maybe even submit some writing to different publications.  I’m not making great progress on that yet today – still sitting in my jammies and writing… and waiting on a call to see if there is power in the office. 

I am alone in the house and it is wonderful to have the music I want on (perhaps a bit loud) and doing mostly what I want.  It is just nice to be ALONE.  I’ve missed the quiet that comes with hearing my own thoughts. 

Well no more stalling – time for a shower and cleaning the office.

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...