Friday, September 30, 2011

jessica and the kinda terrible, half way horrible, no good, kinda bad morning...

I think I'll move half-way to Australia.

It's 8am and I must leave for job-o number one in half an hour. There's no reason for my mood really, other than a cranky brain. I feel like I slept fitfully, I'm a tad bit oomphy-congested (with dust from job-o number two's window adventure I am sure), yawny, cloggedy clogged up and my left ear is STILL stuffity stuffed. My tea is too hot to drink, my neck is tweaked from sleeping funny and I gave myself a stitch from coughing. Yup, one of THOSE mornings.

Mister has been setting up the new for us computer doing all those techy, computer things I am clueless about. I have piles and piles of books and craft supplies cluttering up the still-in-progress tiny casa and hardly feel motivated let alone as if I am home. Fluxity flux, methinks.

Is this day over yet? Do I get a redo? Oh boy, my brain is cranky with a capital "C" and my heart is s l i g h t l y heavy from other pitiful thoughts. I should make some pom-poms and throw myself some sort of sisboombah party...I would except out of all the craft supplies cluttering up the still-in-progress tiny casa, crepe paper seems to have escaped and is in hiding.

Maybe my tea is drinkable now, gotta skeedaddle to the job-o. May my cranky brain take a leave of absence and call in a substitute that likes to play games, sing songs and smiles.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

adventures in cake batter baking

This past summer, I spent a lot of time cozying up to a box of yellow cake mix. Here are the recipes I created/made (with happy links), clockwise from the top left:

*cake batter scones
*cake batter cookies
*basic yellow cake
*cake batter donut holes
*cake batter eye candy
*cake batter sugar buns
*cake batter fudge
*cake batter blondies
*three minute cake in a jar

*happy blondie batter!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

hanging in there...

I've got nothing new for you. I've been unpacking books and working at both jobs and I haven't taken a photo in three or so days. It's been hot here, summer hot and I tend to feel sluggy when the sun is out. The tiny casa still looks a fright and mister is still building shelves so for now, I leave you with my most recent hanger seems this is the town of the crocheted hanger. I got ten of these pupies for a whopping twenty-five cents! Total!

Happy almost October!

Monday, September 26, 2011

yesterday, today, and tomorrow

Yesterday was spent merchandising the window at job-o number two. I even picked up a face mask in anticipation of all the dusty-dust. Mister thought one with an outtake valve would work and it did. I must have looked a sight. There was one slight casualty, my jeans caught on an antique trunk and tore in an almost perfect square just below my knee on my right leg. Figures this happens to my only jeans that fit somewhat. Super drats! I frankensteined them up with a handful of safety-pins. I'm rocking the new not-punk look. Hee-hee.

I didn't quite get the window finished as the dust was attacking and the heat was cooking me up in that big glass box. I had explicit instructions and so I followed them, it looks pretty good. If I had a budget and more free-range I could have dazzled the heck out of it but I don't so I made do with what we had on hand. My lungs are still recovering but I'm keeping hydrated...ooof!

Today I tackled more boxes and felt completely defeated by my stuff. Too much stuff. most of it is for crafting but I felt just about done in. Do you ever feel done in by your craft supplies? I do not have a craft space for it all so who knows how I am going to organize it. After too many hours of defeat, I threw myself on our second-hand sofa and succumbed to a library book and candy corn.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at job-o number one and so I will turn it into an errand sort of day. A return here, a hunt there and maybe a new (used) pair of jeans. Last night I had a HUGE list in my head of all the things I want/need to do and now of course, I have forgotten it all. If I can think of it, I will create that magic list...tomorrow.

tiny casa, big color

Friday, September 23, 2011

crafting for craft: vintage linen tablesetting

Click here to see how I turned one vintage pillowcase into a placemat, coaster and napkin. It's super easy and makes for a nifty gift, methinks. Hop on over to craftzine and give it a looksie. Share it on facebook and twitter if you like...please?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

yesterday was a wednesday

I have to keep reminding myself which days are which. This whole sick thing put me in a fog of forgetfulness. I like to think it was my first cold of the kiddo season and that I survived. Here's knocking the lucky knock that this will be the worst of it (no jinxes, no whammies...STOP!)

Yesterday was my first day back at work since last week. It was a whirlwind of busy, sobbing kiddos, and sweet observations. I splurged on a massive coke and didn't feel one ounce of bad slurping it all up. It was hot, I still have a cough and man do I love the fizz.
 Yesterday, I was bound and determined to look the part of a grown up at work. I'm still one wonky mess of a raccoon inside (I think I always will be) but I did my best. I slapped two loops of masking tape onto my brassier in an attempt to wrangle the neckline of my scooped neck top into place. Either I am shrinking the smidgiest of smidges or my top is far too old and stretched out for this wannabe grown-up to be wearing. As for the tape, it kinda sorta worked. If you saw me, you may have thought otherwise but after I removed the loops of tack I was a walking peepshow of the brassier-kind.
At home I fell into the rabbit hole that is the internet but did manage to whip up a dandy dinner salad. Mister and I did a quick run to the homestead to gather up fragrant herbs and the shelf dealie he just finished. I grabbed the instax in anticipation of the awesome dodgey-old Winnebago parked on one of the streets in between. It was perfect. The magic hour had it, the Winnebago was there with no other cars parked anywhere near it. Perfect! I parked half a block away and walkity walked to the beast, made a hullabaloo of myself, squatting in the street to get my shot only to find my camera out of film. Aack! Good thing I brought the rebelRebel, but shucks, it would make for an awesome instant photo. When mister asked how I could not have noticed I was out of film I reminded him that this was my second Instax** since my first one simply up and keeled over for no reason. In an effort to not waste film, I transferred the film pack from camera one to camera two which resets the picture count. Foiled!

Since the mister and I have both succumbed to the sick, there have been some crank moments. Crankier than usual which can be amusing after the fact but during? Not so much. We've been a bit ssquawkie with each other. Squawkity-squawk, squawk. It doesn't last but it sure makes you want the sick to leave already. To alleviate the squawk-squawkiness, I returned to the homestead to hunt out fabric for a project I need to do today and lingered about enjoying a chatter with the ladies of the homestead. I also may have stayed to watch AMNT but maybe not (cough, cough).
So that, my friends, was yesterday in a nutshell. Thrilling, no? Today I have already mopped most of the moppable floor in the tiny casa, cleared off the table for today's project, made the bed and organized the massive heap of clothing that is still in need of drawers to settle in and I did it all before 9:30.  Now, it is time for tea.

** What is up with this Instax Wide business? The wide camera has been out for quite sometime under a different name. Sure, it was less stylish and all mickey-mouse looking but the wide format is hardly new. I got my first Instax for $45 new WITH film and now they're twice as much? Phooey!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's not you, it's me.

Dear Dixie,

I'm afraid the honeymoon is over. I know. I'm sad  too. You are quite the looker and while I'm aware of our age difference, it never mattered to me really. I simply adored you.
I still do. Sure, you are a little cranky and temperamental and I have to use my sparky gadget to get you going. I'm okay with that. I'm even okay with only one of your burners heating up. I know you try. Your other three do light up, kinda but they just don't get all flashy and hot like little miss dandy in the front...on the right. Baby, that burner can really burn!
I adore your generous surface area. The bigger the better. It's perfect for perching a tin pot of toy rolling pins, the salt and pepper shakers and the honey-hued owl spoon-rest. I love how I can even brew a cuppa directly on your expanse. You have been most generous in that area. It's been quite swell.
Oh and Dixie, my dear? I, over the moon with your storage capabilities. Two drawers. Two. Large enough for the shiny red colander and speckley-deckled enamelware pot to camp out together in with the occasional lid over for a nightcap. Sure one of your drawers had seen better days and has developed a bad case of rust and sure the was wheeze you gave everytime I pulled our drawer open was slightly alarming but hey, that simply adds to your charm. It gives you history and even dare I say...a little mystery?
But Dixie, my dearest, darling, sadly, you've been holding out on me. I know we all have baggage and skeletons in our closets but sweetie, really? Your refusal to heat up enough so that I may bake something? Baking anything would shoot me back up and over the moon and I am sure we could have many happy years together. I keep you clean and sparkling and I work very hard at lighting your fire, even when you huff and puff in anger and scare the pants off me when you flare up. Why are you so stubborn? I'm not asking you to do something against your nature. At least I sincerely hope not. I know you've had your wilder days and you are not a young oven anymore but baking is not old fashioned. Not the slightest. it's still hip, it's super hip. All the cool ovens are redoing it. Cross my heart.  Sweetie, I'm afraid that no matter how quaint and quirky and vintage you are, if I cannot whip up a batch of magic cookies, bake mister some gingerbread, roast up some awesome cauliflower or rely on a frittata for dinner; you simply have to go.  I'm over you. I am filled with kitchen sadness and am crossing my fingers you can get over yourself but Dixie, my dear, if you can't bake me a pie, I'm not sure our relationship can get past this.

Monday, September 19, 2011

dilly it up: spool garland

When the ander-boy turned ten and decided to have a  Mad Tea Party, I knew I had to make something if only to get my craft on and be a part of the fun without actually being there since I couldn't get down for a visit. In my head I wanted to create stunningly gorgeous garlands using vintage spools and other pretty bobbs but the reality was that I did not have enough vintage spools and it was a party for ten-year-olds who would probably more enjoy a healthy dose of color!
More than a year ago, I purchased a bag of thread from the magic thrift for the happy handful of wooden spools that lurked about the bottom of the bag. The remaining thread went into my thread drawers ready to be used up. Sadly, most of it was old and kept snapping in my machine so I felt not a stitch of guilt stringing them up for this happy bit of love.
Bright golden yellow yarn was used for the stringing and tiny dollar store spools popped in for variety. To balance it all out, in between spools, I glue-sticked on happy punched circles. These helped keep the spools in place and added a bit more liveliness to the whole deal. After looping up the ends, the garlands were ready to be mailed off. But how?
Thank goodness for my pack-rat tendencies and a penchant for keeping egg cartons. The spools nestled nicely, each in their own cup while the yarn bits were tucked away on top with no worries for tangling. They arrived just in time and added a happy dose of color to the outdoor festivities. I'm still bummed I wasn't able to be there but at least I was in spirit, right?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

still under the weather

At least we now have internet, this sick has been a doozy. feeling a bit better, at least enough to feel cabin fever but not well enough to DO anything. There is an evil cough lingering about and the snurfles are the snurfliest ever. Haven't slept too soundly in days. Good thing naps have been invented. I had to call out for tomorrow's job-o number two shift and I'm not fond of calling out. Mister has been delightful...unpacking boxes, brewing me tea and putting up with the snurfles and bits and Gilmore Girls. I sure hope he doesn't get knocked over the head with this.

It's crazy warm today and still. Usually we have a nice breezey breeze blowing about but not today. The light in the new casa is lovely and our new upstairs neighbor may be invisible but we can here them lurking about with each creaky step they take. Mister has hied off to the homestead for more shelf building and painting whilst I read, nap and partake of said brewed tea. I'm itching to hit normal (for me) so that I can clear all these boxes out for good. Slow and steady may win the race but it also makes for semi-cranky eyesores what with all the piles and boxes keeling over.

Just so I haven't completely and utterly lost my noggin, I did manage to do a smidge of organizing. I organized my saved magazines by title and date and then the paints found a new home in a lovely hot pink "hat box". Not bad for this icky-sick, cabin fevered, master cougher. Not bad at all.

Friday, September 16, 2011

time out at the confessional

I would have a confessional for ya if my brain weren't mush from all the chills, sore throatiness and nose runniness of my first sick of the season. I suppose it was inevitable working with kiddos and all but man, I've been whallopped BIG time. It's been a long while since I've been really sickity sick and I am not a fan. I've been loading up on ginger ale and hot tea and the mister hied off to the store for a new bottle o' rum and the softest tissues he could muster. I slept quite poorly last night and now I am quite cranky and above average bored. I feel too poorly to even wrap my head around a clever post or fill in the happy new yellow shelves mister built for behind the sofa. I'm even cranky enough to NOT wanna watch anymore Gilmore Girls and since we don't have a television, I'm stuck with Gilmore Girls or Jillian Mitchell's 30 Day Shred and I'm not sure I can handle any shredding at this juncture.

Back to the sofa I shall go (our internet cable dealio is only two feet long, keeping us tethered to a very lackluster part of the new tiny casa). Seriously, I am sitting in a thrifted chair using an old orange crate as a laptop table, elbows digging into my knees and shoulders all scrunchy scrunched for a fix. I think I need a nap, or some pie. Drats. Nap it is...happy friday folks!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

apples & cracker crumbs

i totally thought today was thursday. which is why i told my boss at job-o number two that i could not work (not that i could have anyway as i had job-o number one today). good thing my noggin cleared and i got back on track and off to job-o number one. it was a super busy day full of kiddos and noise and crackers and apples. i pulled ten splinters out of one kiddo's palms and had another lean into me for a snuggle that left gooey cracker crumbs all over my neck. sigh. so delightful. 
after work, the sister a-go-go and i hightailed it to our favorite apple farm for many pounds of galas, empires, mutsus and bellflowers. we always think we are going to bake a pie or two but somehow the apples simply make it to our mouths on a daily basis until they are all gone. they are THAT good.
tomorrow i hang out at the new tiny casa awaiting the arrival of the man with the cables that will give our home some internet. i hope he shows and i hope it all works. while i wait, i plan on filling in the first set of bookcases the mister built for behind the sofa...good times, no?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

it's only tuesday?

Just got back from a quickie trip to L.A. to see Neko Case at the Hollywood bowl with the my buddy Megan of radmegan. It was super short, far too short really but I had a blast and am so, so, so happy I conquered my long distance driving fear and hit the road. Megan, yer the sweetest! 

On the drive home, I paused to rest my blurry eyes and do a leetle thrift shopping in Santa Maria where I scored four pairs of pants, two awesome sweaters and two happy long sleeved ts for under ten smackeroos! The best part being that the pants fit. go me! 

And then today I had to work at job-o number two but since I did not have to be there until 9am, I hit up our brand new Target in hopes of some Missoni action (I know, I'm still laughing as well) but all I got was a parade of other hopefullys zombie-ing around the brand new store searching all in vain as our store was only getting the clothes and a few dishes. Drats. instead, I purchased a mop, tension rod, bottle brush and a boring old king sized pillow for the bed.**

Tomorrow is job-o number one and I am so looking forward to afterwards so I can maybe, hopefully conquer some of this sleepiness and take a nap. Phew! 

**and maybe a pair or two of Missoni socks that jumped into my shopping cart.

Friday, September 09, 2011

friday's confessional: september 9

I've been thinking a lot lately about all sorts of things but mostly I've been thinking about self-positivity. see, I'm not very good at liking myself. I'm actually pretty awful at it. It seems I have an awesomely endless carpetbag full of negative self-comments and I think I need to toss it. Or maybe, like Doris Day sings, toss it in a box, tie it with a ribbon and throw it in the big blue sea...

There are many reasons why I'm thinking of all this right now but what prompted this brain blurt was Pinterest. while I adore Pinterest, I find that mostly I adore my followers and the people I follow. And while I try to venture out to find new people to follow, I find that too many outside of my bubble are mean. Rotten really. There's a lot of hatred regarding body types popping up all over the place there. Skinny ladies hating on fat girls and plump ladies negating the thin it's all a bit of a hate fest and I find it sadder than sad. Sure, there are good body pins and the like but still those stir up negative comments and words get bantered about and the hate fest begins all over again. 

But back to what prompted this though process was a board that I like that had pinned a lovely illustration of a larger than life lady all nekkid and smiley and hugging herself. The comment underneath read "Fat Positive" and I thought, why not "Self Positive"? Why not forget this whole business of fat or thin or skinny or large and just plain old like ourselves. You don't have to get all lovey dovey just yet, a simple "I Like You" would be nice.
Don't you think?

Kiddo book I Like Me by Nancy Carlson is awesome. Read it!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

summer summer summer

it was hot yesterday. stupid hot. not l.a. hot but still, hotter than hot. the kind of hot where all you want to do is nap in yer skivvies and eat homemade popsicles. at job-o number one, the kiddos were so lethargic that though hot, the day went by pretty quickly. the otter pops may have helped. 

speaking of otter pops, do you remember them? i swear they were larger when i was a kiddo and the colors were different or maybe the flavors? i know everyone loves good old Louie Blue but i have to tell you, i have a soft spot for Sir Isaac Lime.

aaaand...speaking of Sir Isaac Lime, it had been ages since I ventured into a Starbucks but a few weeks ago I did and instead of coffee, I opted for one of these and it tasted JUST like a good old fashioned otter pop. makes me wish i actually sent in those box tops when i was in high school for a free otter pop t-shirt. how cool would that be?

**oh my, the otter pops now SING!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

beach towns, fish n chips and cookies, oh my!

Not too far up the coast from us is a little beach town called Cayucos. We like to head up there for our favorite fish n chips place The Sea Shanty, which is just what we did a few weeks ago. 
After much talk and chatter about the fast approaching Talk Like a Pirate Day, we wandered up the road to pick up  some browned butter cookies and then hit the pier to watch the boogie boarders careen about. It was a slow and lazy kind of summer day. Just the kind we a-go-gos like.

Monday, September 05, 2011

i wish i could throw a party

a just because kind of party because...well...i think a party would be delightful. but for now, i have work and a project and unpacking and no internet so things may be s l o w for a wee bit while i pretend i am a responsible adult and high of doing responsible things such as said project and unpacking. i'm hoping the lack of internet at the new tiny casa will keep me on task. mister's bookshelves are almost finished so i must get that living room organized. it's really nice seeing all of our kitschy-bits out of the open but it still doesn't quite feel like home. keep yer fingers crossed for us and see you soon!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

the real taste of summer

Last year, at the farmer's market, we happened upon an old pick up truck chock full of watermelon. We're talking the REAL deal folks. Oblong melons with stripes of green. Rattlesnake melons full of striped seeds. Melons that poppity-pop open the moment you poke a blade into them. You may believe that you have been eating watermelon every summer but you truly haven't until you've had one of these. The memory of your childhood zooms into focus so quickly you wonder how you managed to choke down all those seedless imposters. These green beauties are heaven. The awesome guy that grows them, calls them dry-farmed watermelons. I have an inkling of what that means but couldn't explain it all and really, he's such a melon rock-star that I get all mumbly and star-struck trying to chat with him. I'm a serious dork and these melons are seriously the most amazing fruit I have tasted. Last week was his first week at the market and I spied his truck at the same time as another market wanderer and we ran up to him, arms a flapping, hands a-clapping and voices singing out 

"You're back! You're back! Yay, you're back!" 

as we fell towards each other, two complete strangers, clutching at each other, jumping up and down and giggling so joyfully the memory is kind of enough to snap me out of my rotten mood. Yes, they are THAT good!

sad raccoon-o-meter

Nothing can make you hit sad racoon status quicker than a quintet of four year-olds chanting "You're FAT! You're Fat! You're FAT!" with fingers a-pointing and mouths full of laughter. I know they are only four, but man, my heart is full of hurt. Maybe if I am lucky, a house will fall on me. I have the stripey socks for it...and sadly, the warm, purring kitty chirping on my lap is not helping all that much. A little, maybe but not that much. Here's to vacating that raccoon...soon!

building shelves & shooing (sad) raccoons

we are still up to our eyebrows in book boxes and miscellaneous kitsch. in fact, a good number of those boxes are labeled in a kitschy-stchicky way. labels such as kitsch to end all kitsch, return of the kitsch & more kitsch than you can shale a kitschy-stick at. but before all those boxes can be emptied we need to get some shelves in order. there are plans for a shelf to fit behind the sofa and a wall unit in the living room for all my childrens' books. there are also plans for a table/desk dealio that the mister is workin on. it will attach to the wall in the living room and swivel one way for a desk and another way for a craft space. i am so excited to see it. there is a large swath of wood hanging out in the mama a-go-go's garage and every day after work, the mister bikes on over to cut and saw and saw and cut. I kinda just sit, twiddle the thumbs, plan dinner and panic about fitting in at my new job. it's a good, fun job but man, there is MUCH to remember and i hope i don't fail too much.

with all this change and waiting, there is a tiny smidge of a sad raccoon that has gotten its toe in the door. i'm trying to shoo it away as best i can but i made the MAJOR mistake of attempting clothes shopping. when there is a sad raccoon lurking about, never, EVER go clothes shopping or look in the mirror. mirror looking is simply an invitation for that sad raccoon to move on in and outstay its welcome from the get-go. you know me and change, i'm not really a fan, so here's to settling in and getting shelves up and maybe if i put that raccoon to work it will leave in a jiffy. the jiffiest of jiffies. here's hoping.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

crafting for craft: make a tiny treat stand

Lookie! Here is a happy project to showcase your vintage spools AND delightful treats! Hop on over to Craft for the how-to.

more evidence

against that whole working in a thrift shop dealio...
(the duck is for mr. a-go-go's apron and the book is just for kicks)