Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Thanksgiving EVE Post.....!! :-D

Ok, dear friends/followers.....DO NOT faint dead-away at seeing another post from me in the same week!!!  I'm sure this is a one-time occurrence in my blog-life, and I'll be back to my normal self -- procrastinating and outright forgetting about posting, and all will be RIGHT in blogland again!

For now, I am FINALLY sitting down (it's 9pm!) after several hours of pre-meal preparations.  It would have gone more quickly, but I had "HELP" (my favorite thing....) from my daughter tonight.  Actually, at just 16 now, she really IS helpful....when (IF) she listens to me.... *sigh!*  Oh, and when she's not poking me (just for fun, and because I tell her not to). 
Ah, the sweetness of a daughter!!! LOL
Actually, at 16, if those are the most difficult things about her -- that she wants to be with me in the kitchen, and that she giggles herself silly over poking me again every time I tell her to stop -- I'll TAKE IT!!!!  I could have gotten a bit annoyed (I could feel it creeping up!), but I just let it go and played along with pretend glares and then giggled along with her.  It was fun!! :-)

So here I sit, everything is finished (except one load of laundry that I hear spinning out), and she's back in her room to skype with her best friend!  Aaaahhhhh!!!!!!  It felt SO good to sit down.  In the silence. :-D

I am cooking again for just our family this year, which makes me VERY SAD....this is the only holiday that I deeply miss my sisters and brother and parents.  Growing up, we had extended family around EVERY YEAR on Thanksgiving, and to be honest, without that, it just feels like another meal around here, only bigger and with yummier food.  Last year I had vowed it was the last year I would stay home, and had big plans to either travel to Mass or out to Kansas to see my little sister's family.  I even started a savings account to pay for it!  THEN....Brian cut his fingers and was off for 4 months, and that plan was ruined.  That savings account is LONG gone! :-(

What is that old saying...?  "If you want to give God a laugh, tell him your plans"...??  Well, I'm going to set that savings account up again after Christmas, then wait and see what God has planned for it next year! :-)

So anyway, THIS YEAR.....
I will be making two turkeys with my Nana's special (to us!) Yankee stuffing recipe.  It has remained unchanged for years and years, and she got it from HER mother, who, I think.....and I might be stretching this a little (Amy??) it from her mother-in-law, a dyed-in-the-wool Yankee!! :-D  (I'm going to check on the true accuracy of that with my mom and get back to you guys....)
Anyways, it's YUMMY and so simple!
Of course we will have mashed potatoes, gravy, mashed butternut squash, and baby green peas.
We ALWAYS have cranberry sauce, and I LOVE the "jellied" kind in the can!!! LOL  It's delicious!  BUT....this year I found a recipe on Pinterest that I HAD to try, so I made some of THAT, and I'll let you all know how it tastes....I'm a little scared of it, because it called for wine to cook the cranberries (and blueberries!) in, and I substituted that with red grape juice and a little vinegar (because we don't drink at all, so I didn't have any wine).  So I was too scared to take a big taste of it after I cooked it!  The vinegar was very strong-smelling when I was cooking it, so I hope I didn't use too much...!  I'm hoping a little mellowing of the flavors went on this past week in the fridge!!
I will also put apples in the crockpot in the morning, so we have fresh, hot applesauce for the meal!!!!  Oh-SO-yummy!!!

But wait, there's MORE..... :-D
The last thing I'm serving, besides rolls, is called Tennessee Honey Corn Pudding, which I made last year and was a yummy HIT with all of us!!!!  Also found on Pinterest (and also calls for alcohol, but much less, and I bought a teensy bottle for it in advance). 

I will be sure to share pictures and links (and critiques!) tomorrow or the next day -- DEFINITELY don't pass out when THAT happens! LOL

I haven't decided exactly what I want to make for dessert, I'm going to figure that out tomorrow.  Usually, everyone is way too full to even think about eating dessert, so I can make it after the meal, and no one will mind! :-)  I already have two "Harvest Loaves" -- which are pumpkin breads with mini-chocolate chips in them and a cinnamon glaze on top (also a family-favorite recipe), so maybe Swedish Apple Pie, or Brian's favorite - Chocolate Pie....decisions, decisions!! (the BEST kind! LOL)

SOOOO --- this week, we DID work a little on my cabinet, but Brian has promised to do almost all the rest of it this weekend (while we hide-out from Black-Friday shoppers!), so I'll wait to post my pictures until there is more to show.
What I DO want to show you guys is something I quickly made a few days ago -- SO simple, yet SO LOVELY!!!!

I took an art print image that I LOVE and had it printed at Office Max -- they use laser printers so the ink burns onto the paper, and doesn't "bleed".  I found a good-sized image, so I was able to have them make it 11x14, and it still was nice and clear.  Look at it!!!!....
Isn't it beautiful?!?! :-D
It's a painting from 1810, and if you look closely, you can see white specks on the image -- these are on the original image, I'm sure from age.  I don't mind them!  I didn't have to "age" this print at all myself!! :-)
In this picture, I've glued it to a canvas frame (a few dollars at Hobby Lobby).  You can see the white canvas around the edges because I forgot to PAINT the edges before I glued it on!  Oh well, no trouble.....I just did it next

I painted the edges (and over the paper edges a little bit, too) with a similar color to the background, then when it was dry I painted the decoupage glue over the whole top, paper and painted edges!
THAT'S IT!!!  Ta-Daaa......
The lines you see that look like wrinkles are also part of the print, so they must be part of the original as well, and I don't mind them at all!
I can't wait to find a place for her!!!

See how easy to make these??
That's my super-easy-awesome-result Craft Tutorial of the week!!!! LOL

I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL day tomorrow!!!!  We all have SO MUCH to be Thankful for!! ^-^

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hello....??? Anyone Still There.....????

I have been away SO LONG!!!  I don't think I've missed THIS much time EVER since starting my blog....!  It's truly been 2 complete MONTHS since my last post....!!! :-O
Did everyone give up on me....???  I hope not, I AM still here, I've just been spending ALOT of time on the new forum, and my life has taken a crazy turn, so there is just not enough time in the day to do everything that I really want to do!  I'm SO sorry!! :-( 
*Sigh!* If only I had that stop-watch from the Twilight Zone!!  Remember?.... he could click it on, and time just STOPPED until he clicked it off again, and he was the only one who knew it and could move around while time had stopped!  I've always remembered and loved that episode, because I would LOVE to have a stop-watch like that!! :-D
If only.....

Well, since I don't, I need to just commit to posting regularly if I want to really have a blog -- there's just no excuse for letting weeks go by without posting!

The main reason, though, is the new forum.  It's coming along really well (as those who joined know! ;-D), and I feel very responsible for it, like it's my baby, kind-of!  I feel like I need to be there to respond to people and make sure things are working right, and to post fun ideas or projects, etc.  We have quite a few members, but most of them DO NOT's kind-of sad!  It would be so fun if we could make more friends to chat with here and there, or have others come up with fun ideas, etc.  WHAT keeps people from posting and joining in, I wonder??  I mean, is Facebook really that much more fun to be on everyday???  I'm sure for some people it is, but for everyone...?  It can't be!!
Well, we'll see.....maybe it will grow bit by bit! :-)

SO....I am VERY sorry to have been neglecting my blog, and all my special readers who I appreciate so much!  I love my blog, and it's important to me to make it a bigger part of my life!!  I PROMISE to do better!!!! :-D

In all this time, we have gone through Fall and right next to Thanksgiving -- WOW!!  Where does the time go????

For those who are NOT on the forum, I will show you what I've been working on.... :-D :-D :-D

Remember how I posted about this so long ago....??  Well, I finally got it started!!! :-D (with Brian's help, of course!)
He helped me shape and cut the sides.....

Then we had to glue wood pieces together to make the shelves the right size.  We used a NEW TOOL for that, a Biscuit Cutter (fun, fun, fun!! :-D).....

That last picture is all three shelves glued and clamped (with waxed paper over/under the glued joints in case any glue leaked out).

Then I added the shelf supports to the sides.....

Then I painted the inside shelves.....

That's the color I picked for the inside, and to layer with the dark blue that I'm going to paint the outside of the cabinet.  These still have to be sanded and stained, so they will look old and worn!  And I added a closeup of the chipped edge of one shelf -- I purposely saved that side to be in front so it will add to the "oldness" of it, naturally!! :-D  Well, that's what I HOPE it will do! LOL

So that's as far as I've gotten on it!  Today, Brian cut the supports for the back of the shelves and he cut the back pieces to the right height.  I'm using the rough-cut 1x6 fencing boards that Lowe's sells for CHEAP (!!) -- they will be perfect for this, and look just right! :-D

We are going to try to get the sides, shelves, and back boards put together tomorrow -- I have quite a bit of sanding to do first, so I hope we CAN do that!  Even with that done, we'll still have to make a door (with the Biscuit Cutter again - yay!!), and nail the front pieces on (EASY!), and then paint and distress the whole thing (HARD and scary...!).  I am NOT good at that whole process, I fret and stumble through it every time!! :-(   And HOW, HOW did they get that "water-damaged" look on the door.....can someone explain that to me???  *Sigh!*  I know I'm not going to be able to create the antique-ish look that I want with mine, so that's why I'm not looking forward to TRYING to....!!

I've also been feeding a new obsession I have -- spray painting anything to make it look like stoneware or redware!!!!!  It's addictively FUN! :-D  And you wouldn't believe the super-cheap bottles I can find at the thrift store!  Just LOOK at the fun stuff I found over the past several weeks......

As I was telling the ladies on the forum, I got ALL of these items for LESS THAN $15!!!!  I think it turned out to be $13-something! (from a combined 3 trips)
And see those hideous canisters with the hearts in the last picture....??  Just wait until you see how I turn them into stoneware-loveliness!!! :-D 
I also love the little ink bottles - what GREAT shapes! - and the big drawer chest!  That cost $3.50!!  I cannot resist little drawers of any kind! LOL

That's kind of where I'm at with projects.  Of course, there are about 100 floating around in my head too! Haha!!  *Sigh!*  I told you, I need that stop-watch! :-D

The rest of the time, I've been doing ALOT to help my late friend Cheryl's children.  Her son has been here every day, and her daughter has been needing my help with some things too.  They are YOUNG -- Cheryl had them when she was 39 and 41, so they are still teenagers.  Her daughter is only 16.  They are living with her oldest son and his wife, but I am the one they call when they really need something.  I spent the day before last with her daughter at the doctor's office checking on some abnormal symptoms she was having that were making her nervous (it turned out to be nothing).  I couldn't be sure if her brother's wife COULDN'T take her, or she just wanted ME to be the one with her, but I am grateful and so willing to do anything I can for either of them!  But it does take up alot of time running around for FIVE teenagers (mine, included)!!!  Some days (like Wednesday) are just completely taken up, and I can't get anything done around the house like I planned! :-)
But think of the impact I am making on two young people who will take with them the memory of what I am doing for them, and my truly willing, caring attitude -- for the rest of their lives they will have my example and my care for them in their hearts and minds!  Not to mention what my own children are learning about how we treat others who need us!  I am influencing how they will all be as adults, and maybe MY example will be what causes them to help someone else in the future who needs THEM!  Imagine that! -- My small, easy sacrifice might have a far-reaching positive effect on people I will never know!!!  And of course, even without that, I feel so HONORED that these two young people trust ME when they need something or want something, or when they can't count on anyone else to care about what's going on with them....I just cannot refuse. :-)

So that's what has been going on around here!  I have been cooking some yummy things too, but I'll save that for a later post!!  I PROMISE to post again with my cabinet progress!  And I promise to get better at posting in general -- hey, Christmas is right around the corner, and I have some fun ideas of things to make, so I don't want to miss that!! :-D  Maybe I should have one day a week be a "tutorial" post....?  Or every-other week....??  Hmmm.....something to think about....!! :-D

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!! ^-^