Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Favorite Things #30

Photos of family and friends. These are just a couple of places I have them displayed. Honestly I only have them displayed in the purple room, the Disney collage in the hallway, and a couple in my bedroom. Somewhere, I don't remember if it was a novel or a "real" etiquette book, I read that family photos should not be displayed in the "living room" - that they are too personal, and I kind of took that to heart. I have multiple albums of photos that I have been making since I was about 10 years old. I also have all these "mini albums" of photos of my nephew and nieces and their children. I also have MANY photos that were just tossed in boxes that I took from Mom and Dad's house over the summer. I have been working on sorting them out. I hope to have some sort of organization to them and get them in this MARVY photo box I bought at Opportunity House for $3. It is beautiful cherry wood, holds several little photo albums inside and is like brand new. That will give Mom and Dad a way to have some of the photos back, organized and protected. I need to quit doing crap like watching Hoarders and Glee and work on my projects. I've just been SO FREAKING TIRED. I almost went to a dance class tonight, then decided I didn't feel well enough. I stopped at the store long enough to spend only $15 and by the time I got home I felt bad enough to test my glucose and it was only 78. It took me abuot an hour to get it back up to 100. I think I am going to have to start cutting some meds so I can go to dance without being afraid of falling down into a coma. I plan to try a class tomorrow and I am going to be sure to take some juice with me and try to really pay attention and stop and drink if necessary.

But that's off track from my favorite things! Anyway, I have accomplished blogging every day for 30 days, even when I haven't felt well, even when I traveled, even on a holiday. Yay me! I feel like some of this is incomplete. I have a few things I want to photograph and have at least one, maybe more addendum to "My Favorite Things." I don't want to do too much, because I don't want you to know how shallow I really am - ha! good luck to me on hiding my materialism and hoardiness after 30 days of this! Erin is doing the higher road and posted "Thirty Days of Grateful." I am grateful too, for my friends, my family, my home and MY FAVORITE THINGS! So there.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Favorite Things # 29

Little plastic/rubber/vinyl amphibians, reptiles, arachnids.... Every once in a while I see a package at the dollar store or something and I just can't resist! I put them in random places around the house and just leave them until I get tired of them. The frogs are the most recent purchases, that is why there are still a lot of them. I also have a lizard who rides in the car with me. One day I went into the car wash on a total whim to vacuum the car - sitting there on the vacuum thing was a plastic lizard! I knew he was destined to be my escort in my Escort! The spider by the front door began as a legitimate Halloween decoration, but I liked her so much I didn't want to take her down. I think she has been there about three years now. Sometimes at Christmas I put a tiny bow on her, just to be festive. In my crap - uh I mean CRAFT closet I have a container with three hundred plastic flies. I found it for $1.50. I have a special plan for them. Just imagine what a twisted soul like me can do with three HUNDRED flies!

In other news. I am exhausted. Three hours sleep doesn't cut it. I had to make myself stay up until 9 so I could take my medicine at the right time. Now I plan to take it and get warm to go read "Loving Frank." until I fall into a deep slumber. Please plan - work!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Favorite Things # 28

My sewing machine. I am not really big on sewing. I don't sew something unless it is something that can't be found to buy. I do enjoy having a machine that is pretty good quality available for when I do need it, however. Previous to this machine I had a cheapo "Brother" brand machine that I bought at Wal-Mart for some very low price. Every time I tried to use it the tension was messed up and I would get so frustrated that I could never complete ANYTHING. This machine does get messed up sometimes, mostly that is because It am not an experienced enough seamstress to know what adjustments need to be made to deal with different thicknesses and textures of fabric. I think that will come with practice and with time. My latest project was the Halloween "Cheerios" costume. I was really quite pleased with the result. I would have liked to have worked on it a little more and made it so the bottom part of the top under the letters was red. I just plain ran out of time and couldn't get that done. I have been collecting some fabrics that I see here and there that I really adore and I would like to learn to make either purses or tote bags of of some of them. Patterns are hugely expensive these days, but I think I can probably figure out a lined purse or tote bag on my own, with a little trial and error. I can pretty much guarantee, however, there will be NO ZIPPERS involved!

In other news:
We met Jen's Billy the Kid. He's adorable, smart, loving, and funny. I hope it gets to be permanent and it sounds like it's highly likely.
We had a good visit with Emily. I had a little pissy fit last night with Michael, but I apologized and he said it was okay. He gets me, ya know? We went to Harry Potter at the IMAX theater. It was expensive, but um... very BIG. I think they chose to end part one at the perfect time.
Our ride home tonight was terrible, but lucky. I-80nand the I-65 were bumper to bumper. On 80 we went by a wreck with about 4 cars and then a car about two cars behind us ran into it and about three or four more cars hit it... I heard the first thump and looked in the rearview mirror and car parts were still flying through the air. I didn't stop because to try to would have been even more dangerous. The first wreck had happened long enough ago that the people were already standing by the side of the road waiting on emergency vehicles. I just hope that nobody was injured by the second round. It looked like what started out as a no injury, annoyance kind of thing could have turned into an 8-10 car pile-up. We finally exited the big highway and came all the way home on 231, which is just a state road and very curvy and dark, but tonight I think it was definitely the better option. What could have been a five hour trip turned out to be about six and a half, I think. I'm physically exhausted, but I drank BIG coffee to stay awake, so I'm not sure what's going to heppen with me tonight. PLUS I have to get up extra early and take Michael back to the dorm and get me to work by 8:00. He's not using the crutches full-time anymore, but he will still need help carrying his stuff up to his room in the morning. It has certainly been a role switch for me to be the door opener and thing toter! Michael is usually my go-to guy on that stuff.
I am super glad we got to visit Emily. It wasn't that we did anything HUGE, just the movie and eating, really, besides hanging out at the apartment. I napped, everybody played with the electronics (Scott and Emily have EVERYTHING!), we made a trip to Target, blah, blah, blah, but we learned that it is possible to go up on a Friday after work and make it back by Sunday evening, It would be even better if it weren't a holiday weekend and Michael were fully mobile. So if we can scrape the gas money together more frequently and not spend too much money eating out instead of in, maybe we can see Scott and Emily (and Jen and Billy) more frequently. I would be really happy with that!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Favorite Things #27

So, you might think the favorite thing here is the silver container or the colored stones or the candles and yes, each of those are things I really enjoy, as well as the entire configuration. My favorite part of the entire configuration, however, is the SWEETGUM balls. The seed pods! These are from a tree outside my office. I love the way they look. I love the way they feel. I love the way they fall and cover the ground under the tree. It all just makes me happy. I love having them in my home. They remind me of the way nature takes care of itself!

In other news we saw Harry Poter tonight at the IMAX. It was big and loud and good. I had a kind of irritable evening, but it was nice to go see the movie.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Favorite Things #26

Toys. I like toys. I get kids meals at restaurants and I usually really enjoy the toys. My favorite toys are the ones that "do" stuff. I like the Kung Fu Panda because he talks. One of the penguins also talks. I like the little stuffed ones a lot too, even though I am not a big stuffed animal fan. I like bubbles - there were two giant bubble wands in my wine rack and there are two more bottles here. Sometimes I get toys based on movies and I have never heard of the movies yet - that flying red thing on the shelf? still not sure what the heck it is! Tonight I went to Arby's on the way here (to Jen's - hi Jen!) and got a chicken strips kids meal with a Little Miss Daredevil in some ways SO ,ME in other ways so NOT me! She's riding on the dashboard of the car for a while. I'll have to take her picture tomorrow. I also need to add one more picture to this post later - my FAVORITE Happy Meal Toy EVER - Stuart Little in his little red convertible- and it's a WIND-UP. It really goes! Woo hoo Stuart. Sometimes when a child comes over and plays with my toys if he or she really likes something I will give it away, but STUART IS MINE FOREVER. So there. Kids meals are more than portion control - they are just, plain fun.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Favorite Things # 25

The top two photos are a repeat of favorite thing number whatever. I moved it up off its normal shelf to get a better shot of it. It's important that my readers clearly see my favorites! The top photo I took with no flash, hoping you can see how it cast the starry lights.
Favorite thing # 25 really is COASTERS. Using coasters makes me feel ultra-civilized, for some reason. I think it makes me feel like I care about my home and that I want to protect the things I have from damage so I can use them a long, long time. I have two sets: the one above, which I purchased because the design is a reflection of my flooring and the multi-colored squares I like. They are fun, but they are only cork and after a lost of use get damaged or moldy. I think I started with eight and I am down to about five because Michael tosses them when he thinks they need to go. Set below is kitties. Even though I don't want to have any pets right now I still really like cats. I especially like whimsically presented cats. It is a better set of coasters as far as quality, because they are stone. The square coasters are in the living room. The kitties are in the purple room.

In other news after work tomorrow Michael and I are heading up north. First destination is the booming city of Hebron (I'm not even sure if it has ONE stoplight!), to see Jen and meet Billy the kid. Then Saturday morning we will complete our journey to the booming suburb of Chicago, Romeoville, to see Emily. Michael hasn't seen her in forever and he has been jonesing for a sister fix. Emily already saw Harry Potter, but I kind of hope we can talk her into going again so we can see it - and they have an IMAX somewhere nearby, that's where she saw it. It probably costs a million dollars, but I think that would be super cool.

Had a nice Thanksgiving. Mom and Dad were supposed to come, but then Dad didn't feel well, so they stayed home. I was a bad daughter and didn't call. I hate talking on the phone! I did post some pictures on Facebook at least so Mom could see we used some of the family items I took from the house. I promised her I would honor and use them and I am working hard to do it. We ended up with me, Michael, Chris and Miko, Heather and Ian, and my friend Karmin, from WAY back - starting in seventh grade! We've been closer the past couple of years and I have really enjoyed our friendship. Next year we're heading to NYC for the Thanksgiving Day parade. I am going to make SURE I can afford a trip next holiday season! Later in the day Alexander came over to spend some time with Michael and Debbie came over and we chatted a bit. I was so tired, I kept almost dozing off during our conversation! I need to get to bed soon, but I had to do a load of laundry to be ready for the trip and I didn't realize Michael (who shall be chastened) had left a wet load in the washer, so I had to finish that up too! Argh!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Favorite Things # 24

Liquid fabric softener. I don't want this to become a "My favorite products" blog, so I must add that I buy MANY different brands and fragrances of fabric softener. Ultra Suavitel just happened to be the one I photographed some time ago. I do buy it frequently, but because the companies frequently introduce new fragrances I buy different types a lot. I think Snuggle is probably my second favorite brand, especially some of the fresh-smelling scents they have had over the past few years. That's about all for tonight. I had moved the computer into Michael's room while Ben was here so it makes it a little clumsy for computer use. I can use Michael's laptop, but I am very awkward with it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Favorite Things #23

The metal star thingy on the right. I will have to take a better picture of it to post. It was a Christmas tree topper in some old decorations a woman brought to work and said she didn't want anymore. It was a bronze/gold color - again with the trusty can of silver spray paint. It turns out it is too heavy for the top of my Christmas tree so next I took my handy hacksaw and sawed off the springy cone that makes it fit the top of the tree and taa-daah! a table decoration! I leave it on almost all the time. Where the light shines out it cast star shaped lights on the walls and floors around it. One more of my favorite things that was basically FREE. Y'all are also learning how cheap I am! You really can decorate a house on a budget!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Favorite Things #22

My garden Gnome. He really does live outside in the garden now. I wanted this Gnome all summer and kept waiting and waiting for the garden stuff to go on clearance, fearful that someone else would snatch him up, yet not willing to spend the entire $5 to ensure procurement! FINALLY, success! A 50% markdown and he was mine for a mere $2.50. Not that I endorse drug use in any way, but I love that he's smoking a pipe and toting a mushroom. He is also wearing flowered Birkenstocks. Now that's MY kind of Gnome.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Favorite Things #21

My hat looms. I have had them for quite a while. I bought mine WAY back before you could buy the cheap ones in the craft stores and I mail-ordered them from Provo. And I really have to tell you I have purchased some additional looms in the craft stores and they are not as high quality. Getting the hat looms was really something that helped me learn to relax. I never felt like I could sit and watch television or sit and watch a movie because I felt guilty for not being productive. Once I got the hat looms I could sit and knit while I watched stuff and I felt like I was relaxing. It's also kind of "fake" knitting so it doesn't stress me out. You just go around and around in circles until you're done. You don't have to count stitches or follow patterns or purl or anything funky... ahhh brainless crafting - just my kind. When I used to make the annual uber list I usually had on it to make at least 10 hats a year. I haven't done that many this year. I guess I have felt less guilt about not being productive! I usually donate them to the "baby house" or to one of the shelters. I do give them as gifts occasionally or I will donate one to a silent auction for a cause. My mom suggested I make one for her for Christmas this year, so I want to find some really nice yarn and make a good one for her. I made a rule that I couldn't buy any new yarn until I used up what I have, but that will be a special exception.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Favorite Things #20

Candles, in general. I really like them. I kind of feel like this is a "cheating" post - like I ought to have pictures of more of the places I have candles in the house, not just this one shelf. This is a good representation, however that I enjoy many shapes and styles etc. As far as fragrance is concerned I do not like "food" scented candles very much. Often the fragrances I like are called things like "Ocean, cotton, fresh linen," and smell clean and fresh and not too fruity or flowery. Those fragrances tend to come in blue and white colors so those are the colors of many of the candles in my house. Off the top of my head I can think of these places I have candles: the bookshelf shown here, my nightstand, my dresser, the coffee table, the coffee table in the purple room, the top of the china cabinet, my bedroom wall, my living room wall, and a big arrangement that sits on the living room floor - and I am probably forgetting something! When we have a party it is fun to light LOTS of candles and try to have as few lights on as possible. Maybe tomorrow I can take candle pictures and have an addendum to this post.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Favorite Things # 19

My bed. I bought it with my retirement money I took when I left the bank, so it is over 10 years old now! It still feels great and comfy. I try to flip it regularly and keep a good mattress cover on it. I retire to it nightly. One reason I am blogging early tonight is in case I need to retire early tonight. I'm still not feeling too great.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Favorite Things #18 (+ more)

My sunny face candle lantern. I bought this at the greenhouse nearby where we usually buy our garden plants. It originally was kind of a green, like a copper patina color. After a couple of years, however, it began to rust. Out came the trusty can of silver metallic spray paint. It needs another coat in this picture! I hang it on the shepherd's hook in front of the house. The morning glories grow up around it. The morning glories have become so prolific that they overwhelm it every year and I have to cut them back and keep them at bay so it will show. I hardly ever put a candle in it anymore, but the first couple of years I often lit a candle in it and sat on the front porch and enjoyed it.

In other news I was sick last night and today. I have been queasy all week. Yesterday I was SO tired. On my lunch hour I went out to the car and slept for the entire hour. I went to hip-hop dancefit after work, and for the first time ever I didn't make it through an entire class (with the exception of the time I injured my arm in Burlesque). I had to sit down and breathe and drink and rest. I must have looked terrible, several women asked me if I felt like I was going to pass out. I planned to come home and make chili, instead I drove through Wendy's and got dinner, came home and ate, stayed up late enough to take my medicine and blog, then was in bed around 10:00. You know that's early for me. This morning I woke up and got in the shower and the entire time I felt like I was either going to pass out or throw up. I called Leah and said I just couldn't do it. I found a can of chicken noodle soup and ate it, but mostly drank the broth, even the noodles made me feel yucky. I went back to bed and slept until after 11:00. I got up and had some juice and something else, I can't remember what. the rest of the day I have alternated between watching TV on the computer and sleeping. I have a little tiny bit at a time worked on loading up the trash can so I can get it out to the curb, but working for about five minutes makes me feel worn out. I never have vomited, but I feel like it would be a relief if I could, even though I hate it!

I started a new medicine and I also started a potassium supplement and I think nausea is a side effect of both. It's supposed to gradually go away and it better happen soon. It's bizarre because I feel nauseated and starving at the same time! Also, the things I feel like I am starving for are spicy; pizza, chili, spaghetti, taco... not things you normally think of wanting when your tummy doesn't feel good. I hope I feel better in the morning. I really need to be at work.

I've been working hard to stay up to 9:00. The new medicine I am supposed to take at the same time and I have designated that time to be between 9 and 10:00 every night. So no I can roll the can out to the curb and take my medicine and get to bed. I have felt a lot of anxiety today over being sick and even taken one dose of Ativan. I need to be calm and better tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Favorite Things #17

My little table on my front porch. I have used it as a table this way for several years. Last year during the extensive "porch beautification project" was when it was painted purple! The rocks and shells and glass inside are all specimens that Michael found. Our creekbed is FULL of geodes. I think it's hilarious when I see people selling geodes - for several years I was constantly warning Michael NOT to bring any more geodes home! I found this was a nice way to be able to keep some and display some with the loveliest crystals without having them just piled somewhere.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Favorite Things #16

I love this chair. The only problem with it is that it is child-sized! I use it inmy room and put my fan on it in the summer and my little heater on it in the winter. I love the curvy lines of the pressed wood, and the simple straight lines of the metal legs. All kinds of visual interest. The wood is a lovely golden tone. It actually doesn't show accurately in this photo. The carpet in this room is GRAY, not golden. but the chair really is lovely. I bought it on clearance at Target for about seven dollars if I recall correctly. It's reminiscent of this chair . Since the seventies when I became aware of design and shapes and colors I have always wanted an Eames plywood chair. I'm not there yet, but for now I have a miniature that makes me happy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Favorite Things #15

Remember how I said I love smiley sun faces? Here is another one. I bought it on clearance (you know me) at Dollar General. It was antique bronze kind of finish. I took out my trusty can of silver spray paint and voila! It matches my color scheme of black and silver for metal things! This really is one of my favorites. I leave it up year round. I also don't even put my wreath on the front door anymore, not just because I don't want to scratch the terrific bright purple paint, but because the sunny face is strong enough on its own as front porch hanging decor.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Favorite Things #14

My yellow and lime green sofa. I purchased this at an auction for $25. At first I couldn't wait until the day I could afford to get it reupholstered. Now I really like it the way it is! The room is arranged a little differently now. Still the sofa and its surroundings are definitely the focal point of the room, in my book. One thing I love is how the upward curve of the back perfectly compliments the downward curve of the candle holder above. In a room full of VERY intentional straight-line square design it is important to have some curved accent for visual interest. This is perfect in my book!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Favorite Things #13

This cabinet was in my parent's house and they have probably had it at least 30 years. I don't know how old it was before that. My dad trash-picked it from the trash when he worked as a foreman at a sheet metal plant. It has marks where guys perched cigarettes on the edges and let them burn down. My parents kept it full to the brim of all the Jewel Tea dishes they had. They had tons and tons. For example, there were about four types of Jewel Tea teapots produced over the years and my parents had ALL of them - even one shaped like an Aladdin's lamp that was considered pretty rare. They had about three types of coffee pots and MANY full place settings. Then there were little extras like two or three gravy boats, custard cups, you name it. I like the fact that there was so much of the Jewel Tea and I like knowing the provenance of where it came from in the family. I DO NOT like the colors of orange and gold however, so I did not want to inherit it. I felt like if I had it I would not use it, and I really don't like to have things just BECAUSE and not use them. I asked only for the dishware that I felt like I would use and treasure. I am glad, too because Mom and Dad sold most of the Jewel Tea dishes and made a chunk of money, which they can always use. Heather had a great idea of putting a teacup and saucer or some other small piece in a shadow box and giving one to each grandchild. I think it was a grand idea and I wish we would have had the money to do it. I have one teacup and saucer from Grandma Holt and I am glad to have that. I am also glad to have some of the dishware that is displayed in the cabinet in this picture, but that will probably come up later in the month!

In other news, I awakened with screaming leg cramps for the second morning in a row. One even in the thigh in the place that is impossible to stretch. I lay in bed and read for about two hours with the heating pad on it and that helped. This is even AFTER I have started Potassium supplements to try to get my electrolytes back in balance. I am all messed up because of the diuretics, but my leg is not as swollen as it used to be. I read somewhere that I should also be taking magnesium. You can get that without a prescription so I will probably try to pick some up soon. My multi-vitamin has 20 mg, but I am not sure how much I need. I bought some Gatorade at the store tonight and drank a quart of that. They have the new sugar free kind so it's artificial sweeteners which I am trying to avoid, but I do not want to wake up screaming in the night.

If I felt like typing some more I could relate a funny leg-cramp story about writhing around on Amber's dining room floor - cold tile - in the middle of the night, and trying to be loud enough to wake up Emily to help me, but not so loud as to wake the entire household. An epic tale of an ill, obese woman on an air mattress with a cold tile floor beneath, but that will have to wait. I think I must go watch another episode of "The Office" now. I am up to Season Two.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Favorite Things #12

My spice rack. This is a very recent acquisition. I bought it at Goodwill the same day I bought the stuff for making the Halloween costume, so maybe five weeks ago. I love the light-colored wood in my kitchen. I have the recipe box, also pictured here and a bread box. The table and chairs are not THIS light, but kind of medium, golden brown. I love this not only for the wood, but also for the design, and that it fits perfectly in the space I wanted it. I was getting WAY too many spices in my cupboard and even with tiered shelves I would have to take half of them out to find what I want. This system is much better in terms of finding things. Gradually I will work my way up to where all the jars are the same and are labeled so I can easily get what I need.

I am a little embarrassed by this picture. I probably shouldn't point it out, but there are cobwebs up in the corner underneath the cupboard. Also I hate how bad the paint line is next to the door frame. I plan to paint the door frame soon. At that time, if repainting the entire room is not imminent I will touch up next to the frame so it is not so glaringly awful!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Favorite Things #11

Again I am not sure if it is cheating to use something I made, but it really is one of my favorite things! I guess it just shows that I like handmade stuff and that I also enjoy making stuff. So there.

This is a collage I made to help remember our trip to Disney World in 2004. It was one of the best vacations EVER and I am so happy I was able to take Emily and Michael. It really is one of my favorite places on earth. I wish I could go EVERY YEAR. I have two Disney dreams: to go on a Disney Cruise and also to go and actually stay in one of the Disney Resorts.

In other news. I am freakin' tired tonight. I made a very minimal list of things to do and then I am going to try for bed by 10:00. I do want to watch something, though and that might make it 11:00. Depends what I find to watch, I guess. I'm still enjoying :Kitchen Nightmares" but once I get started it's hard to stop at just one episode. It has thwarted my bedtime plan several times!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Favorite Things #10

This is a cross stitch design from a kit. I LOVE smiling sun faces as much as I love regular smiley faces. I have several items in that motif around my house and garden. I purchased this kit and began it a couple of years ago. I got messed up counting the rows or something and became really discouraged and abandoned it. When Emily and Scott first moved to Chicago she was bored and asked me to bring some projects for her - she knows of my supply of umm.... supplies. I took the box of cross stitch kits and I included this one that I had messed up. She repaired my damage and finished it for me. I love it because of the picture itself, and I love it because Emily finished it for me. She also recently did another one for me that is a similar type of kit, with the glass and clip frame, only a leaf - that is another of my recurring motifs in decor. You'll probably see some more of that later.

On another note - back on track: I went to the DOCTOR today. Ponied up the $100 and had a brutally honest session. We've changed around some of my medicines and added a new one.... sigh on adding another, but it should help in the long run - right? I was afraid he would order labs (he probably should have, really) and I wouldn't be able to afford them, but he didn't say anything about it. If we wait and do labs in January, when he wants to see me again I will have the 2011 health care money and it can get paid for. He probably remembers that from last year. Also my new med he gave me for free so we wouldn't have to ask the insurance for it, because it is a new type of medicine. What he gave me is at least a month's supply and then he said call back and we'll see if he still has more samples. Yay doctor.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Favorite Things #9

My wine rack. I wanted a wine rack for a long time. I had seen one somewhere like this or similar to this and it would match other things in my house SO perfectly. I looked and looked, including in pricey catalogs and online. One day I took a trip out to Nashville, Indiana. It's a little tourist town near the state park full of little shops and restaurants. When I first moved to Bloomington Nashville was super-cool. Truly an artists' colony with handmade jewelry, leather work, blown glass and amazing things. I once wrote an essay about a visit to "Mrs. Ferguson's House," where she claimed it was an antique shop, but she was so attached to all her items she wouldn't sell you anything! She also had a couple of corpses in coffins on display....NOW it seems like Nashville is just a tourist mall with shop after shop selling Thomas Kincaide and Nancy Noel Prints and Yankee candles, with VERY few exceptions of true artistry still in place. I think I may have gotten this when I took my "alone vacation" last year and stayed at the inn in the State Park, but I am not sure. For whatever reason, however, I was wandering Nashville alone and in one of "those" shops, meaning the commercialized, Yankee candle kind, I found this wine rack. It's NOT handmade, It's NOT one of a kind, it's NOT true artistry. What it IS, is the style I wanted and looks great in my living room. Funny thing is, even though I don't practice Mormonism anymore I don't even really LIKE wine. I don't know if you can really tell in this picture, but my wine rack has one empty wine bottle (bought because it had a smiley face on it) one empty vodka bottle (Michael found by the side of the road and picked up for me because it is blue glass), one bottle of olive oil, one bottle of vinegar, two containers of bubble stuff, one bottle of sparkling apple juice and one bottle of wine, bought because it has a pretty label! Sometimes I do offer wine if guests come over, but I rarely drink it - it just tastes so, so.... winey! But, boy, do I love my wine rack!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Would you like a nice side of cheddar with those glasses?

My Favorite Things #8

The little one is sideways and I couldn't delete or rotate it so I shrunk in teeny-tiny and then added the big one!

I'm not sure if it's "Fair" to count something I made as part of my favorite things, but it's my blog and my decision, so there!

This is my Scrabble clock. It is the first clock I made when I decided I would try re-purposing found or used objects as clocks. I think I was so clever to spell out the numbers with tiles! I'm not only clever, I'm humble, huh? It's not my favorite clock I have made, that is probably the one I made from a record and gave to my dad last year. I would like to make another record clock soon. I also have some additional game boards to make more clocks similar to this one. You can find all kinds of used games and stuff at thrift stores and garage sales and such. I keep an eye out, but I try not to buy unless I think it's a really hard to find one or it is in perfect condition. My "Project to do" list and the materials I already have for projects to do far exceed the time I spend on them. To make the clock I purchased the clockworks and hands and stuff from the craft store. I mounted the board on foam core so it would be the correct thickness for the clock works, glued on the tiles, sprayed everything with a few good coats of polyurethane, and then added the clockworks. The end. I love it.

I've had a rough night.... I spilled my dinner everywhere and broke the bowl and splashed sauce and melted cheese on everything within about a six foot radius, strangely with the exception of the white shirt I was wearing! I'll make a separate post and show a picture of my glasses that were sitting on the table at the time. I don't know how to post and get it at the bottom now that I've already started writing. There has been some ice cream consumption and mindless television watching since the incident.... I also punched myself in the nose! I was fixing a part on the futon that came loose and my hand slipped and wham! It still hurts. No visible bruise yet. We'll see what it looks like in the morning. I felt pretty good at work all day and then about 4:30 utter fatigue struck. I had planned to go to a dancefit class, but instead I made a quick trip to the Dollar General (too tired to face Kroger) and then came home. Now I am going to take some medicine, drink some water and lie in bed and watch a movie until unconscious!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Favorite Things #7

Old Books - volume 2 (haha!) This is one that I took from Mom and Dad's house this summer. (See, Mom, I did NOT throw everything away!) I especially love when I find a book that has an inscription in it. This one is a triple find - old book, inscription, and family history. Uncle Charles was my mother's brother. He died way back when I was married to Ed, so maybe 20 years ago. I have a few other things from his house. I LOVED his house in Lafayette. If I would ever move back to Lafayette (Chances of that are really slim to none) I would LOVE to buy that house. Cutest house ever with all hardwood floors and just cuteness everywhere. Uncle Charles had a player piano in the basement and HUNDREDS of scrolls of music. We LOVED playing that player piano. Part of the reason I know the lyrics to so many old songs is from pumping away at that old player piano and hearing the songs and all the scrolls had the lyrics on them so of course, I sang along. When Grandma and Grandpa Holt would come visit from Arizona they would stay at Uncle Charles's house and it was the place for many a family party. I feel pleased that I have a few items from his home, and I feel especially pleased to have this little book. Uncle Charles served his country in a day when he could have been completely discriminated against. Even today he wouldn't be able to "tell" and I am proud that my uncle did what he thought was right and was a wonderful person.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Favorite Things #6

Books, old books. The "Young Folks Library" pictured here is a set of books that was in my home as I was growing up. I am sure my parents bought them during Bobby's childhood. We also had "The Book of Knowledge" - a set of encyclopedias designed for children that were published about the same era. I read both of these sets of books constantly. Bobby also read to Chris and me frequently from the Young Folks Library and from the Book of Mormon. I especially remember him reading the story of Sinbad from these books because I was following along and noticed that "roc" the bird was spelled differently from "rock" the geological specimen. I think that was one of the first clues that I had learned to read from these nightly sessions.
I think I may have lost a couple of volumes through the years because if I recall correctly "The Snow Queen" was in these books, but when I looked through them so I could read it again I couldn't find it. I hope I am mistaken, that it was really in some different book, but if I ever see these in a used bookshop or flea market I will scour the Table of Contents and if I find one that has "The Snow Queen" in it I will buy it. Writing this makes me think I should look again, just to see if I missed it! Funny how I remember loving the story of the Snow Queen and the two children.... were they Grete and Peter? I also love snowmen, but I HATE winter and cold weather and can't wait to move southwest! But yeah, I love old books. I have other volumes that I may feature individually as the month goes on. We'll see how I am going. Right now, this is the beginning because I love that I grew up with these. I love that Bobby read to us from them, and I loved that they were a big part of my learning to read and it is so important in my life.

My Favorite Things #5

Smiley Faces. This happens to be a smiley face magnet that is on my fridge. I bought one set of big ones for me and one set that are about half the size and secretly gave one to each person in my area at work - even the dreaded Shawn! The look of a smiley face just makes me HAPPY. One of my favorite scenes in Forrest Gump is when he on a lap of his cross-country running and the guy gives Forrest the T-shirt to wipe the mud off of his face. When he pulls it away it has the rough image of the smiley face icon on it. I also really like smiley face stickers. I bought a book of smiley face stickers of different types and I put them on different things at work sometimes. I also put a little container with smiley stickers on the counter for parents to give to their children. I like the way when you use Word now and make an emoticon smiley it turns it into a real smiley. Smileys make me smile. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Favorite Things #4

STOLEN PROPERTY! One Saturday we ran a load of trash and recycling to the dump. On the way home we spotted this sign. We all (Emily, Michael and I) loved it. I felt like we couldn't just take it. We continued driving down the road quite a way looking for a rummage or garage sale. We never saw the sale and decided that meant the sale was over and they no longer wanted the sign. We went back and picked it up and brought it home. It has been nailed to the wall of the purple room ever since. It's hand painted and quite the find, I think - FREE original art!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My favorite Things #3

This coffee table is one of my favorite things. Jen gave it to me (thank you!) and I decorated the glass panels with the glass marbles. I glued them to the underside so the table is still flat. A few have popped off and need reglued right now, but I decided to not be a perfectionist (yay me!) and take the picture anyway. It looks really cool when there is a little lighting underneath so the marbles show well. I put a touch light under the middle, but with the flash it's hard to tell. It was my main table in the living room when all the blond mission-style furniture was out there, but now that is all in the family room and so is this. Some of the glass got a little funky because of a wax leak from an unattended candle (Danger, Will Robinson!), and I'd like to get new glass panels someday, maybe clear instead of foggy, so the designs will show a little more clearly. That is way down on the list of financial priorities, however. Bills and stuff must come first. Sigh...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Favorite Things #2

I love this clock. I bought this for myself for Christmas one year. It was just a couple of years into when I decided that I deserved to buy myself a Christmas present each year. I still do it. I buy something reasonable, wrap it and put it under the tree - the whole bit. Since the years we have had the "homemade or second-hand" rule I have stuck to it for myself too. One thing I LOVE about this clock is that the title of the book is "Recipes for the Single Girl." Notice what is in the illustration? She has cooked an entire turkey, TWO cherry pies, five popovers, a ham and MORE! I hope she is either having a lot of friends over for dinner or has a BIG freezer and a big tolerance for leftovers! This is also what gave me the idea that I could start repurposing objects as clocks. So far I have done a Scrabble board clock, a record clock, and simply redecorated an existing clock to match my sister's bathroom. Someday I would like to add "Hope's Handmades" to "Hope's Homemades" and sell one of a kind clocks, framed mirrors, and hats and stuff as well.

Monday, November 1, 2010

National Blog Posting Month: aka "My Favorite Things"

I am participating in National Blog Posting Month, or whatever it's called. I thought of doing the novel writing thing, but I just couldn't draw the commitment out of myself and knew I would be set for failure. It is part of my "Back on Track to begin writing more often so I decided to start here.

I seem to do better when I have a theme for my posts. The year I did Blog 365 (and succeeded!) I decided that the least I had to write each day was one thing for which I was grateful. I am sort of keeping with that. When the Emily and Michael were younger and both lived at home during November I would often have them say something they were grateful for before we ate dinner. Some nights I forgot, but we did it pretty frequently.

This month I am going to do it, but maybe with a little twist for me - I am going to be materialistic - yep you got it - when I said "things" in the title, I really meant it! I am going to post photos of THINGS. Some of them may have a great history or story to them and that is what makes them a favorite. Some of them are just beautiful. Some just make me happy. Some were just a good bargain, and I love a good bargain! I started by taking some pictures around the house last night so tonight's first favorite THING is....

... a beautifully woven table runner/mat that I now use for a wall hanging. The very first year I bought my house I started have long-term house guests. My friend Sirpa's family came to visit from Finland. Her grandparents stayed with us for almost three weeks. They spoke no English and the only Finnish I could speak was to tell Jonathan "no" and "hot" and play "Peek-a-boo." They were wonderful and we spoke pidgin Finnish and pidgin English and gestured a lot and it was fun. We had more than one dinner with ALL the family here in my house and it was grand. They always complimented my cooking and you know of course, that made them even more dear to me. I believe in USING things you love. Unfortunately I used and washed this so often that it started to wear a little. That is why it hangs with the one end tucked under. Sirpa's grandmother made this especially for me and I will cherish it always. It is an amazing reminder of a friendship, of learning of a culture, of having a friend whom I will always love.. and the rye bread that Grandmother also brought, carrying it off the airplane in a brown paper bag!