Monday, August 24, 2009

Picnic Impromptu

It's hard to think of picnics this morning because it's so cold outside and yet it was just a couple days ago when I was in the summer-lovin' feeling and had an impromptu picnic in the park.

It started with me eyeballing that fun bag I made a while ago, out of some Mary Engelbreit fabric I had leftover from this apron:

I had carried it a time or two as a purse, but it just didn't feel right.

So I decided to give it a new reincarnation as a picnic bag...without having to kill it first, of course, and do the whole rebirth-as-a-dog thing. Maybe I should just say I recategorized it? That's the word!

So I stuffed some things in the bag; cute napkins and a small table cloth that would fit. Made a sandwich, grabbed an apple and a water and I was ready to go!

Complete with Scabbers the Rat sneaking by in the background.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Importance of Lying on Things

I don't know what it is...

It must be important...

It might be in his DNA...

But whatever it is...

Mackie HAS to lie on things.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Skirting the Issue

It seemed like a good idea in my mind.

I planned it out. I went through all my vintage fabrics to find the perkiest ones. I lay them out and observed them. I carefully cut the pieces out and sewed them into the skirt front...

And then it dawned on me!

What was, in my mind, a darling little vintagey-perky pool wrap skirt...had suddenly manifested itself into CLOWN WEAR!!!!!

As if it weren't enough to hang out at the pool with my boob exposed, here I was creating a skirt that would GUARANTEE that I get ALL eyes pointed right at ME.

I was in a dither. I had nowhere to turn! I didn't know how to salvage this mess!

But then I just remembered my default sewing choice and turned this gaudy mess into a very cute apron.

Then I got out some of my other cute, vintage, perky fabric and made a much CALMER pool skirt. I think this is much better, don't you?

That will teach me not to drop acid before I sew!

Two Dollah, Two Dollah!

Obviously, I'm into scrimping and saving a buck. So I love it when I discover something that is fun to do and really cheap.

Which is why this last month of August I've been enjoying the pool. It's Two Bucks to get in!

So I arm myself with some staples and away I go:

Blue, blue waters = heaven.

My downstairs neighbor has two wonderful cats that I like to greet through the screen as I come home each day. Every once in a while their 'momma' is home so I go in and chat with her for a while. If my bag is heavy, Milo the blue-point Siamese likes to come over and Lie upon my purse! KJ, the black cat is curious and friendly, but not about to invade my space! He's too polite!

It's just so darn funny to me. Cats: We can't understand them, and we can't live without them.

Yes, that's a head of cauliflower in the bag.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Three Hour Skirt

If it wasn't for the courage of the Fearless Crew...
This skirt would be lost! A Three Hour Skirt...A Three Hour Skirt...

Back in's...I wore skirts every day. I had every color, and every length and every fabric...but it was ALL THE SAME EXACT PATTERN. Because I LOVED this skirt pattern. I could whip up a skirt from this pattern in 45 minutes. I was awesome.

The skirt had a side-opening waistband. It opened over the pocket. It was the coolest thing! It kept me from having to have a pounds-enhancing elastic waist, or from having to screw around with a zipper. (I loathe zippers...who doesn't?)

I've been thinking about that skirt a lot, lately. I've lain in bed nights remembering how it went together. The pocket formation was tricksy. And it's been a long time since I've drafted anything other than a purse or some curtains without a pattern. But I wanted to give it a try...

Warning: Skirt has been folded to appear smaller than actual size.

It took 3 hours. Three hours of sweating blood, broken needles and seam ripping, but I finally got it!

And I LOVE it!!!!

So what if I look like I'm wrapped in a giant hunk of drapery which smells slightly like it's been in a fire in a single-wide trailer?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yet Another Canning Apron

Sometimes I think I'm like that donkey that walks in a rutted groove all it's life making the wheel on the grindstone turn. Given a day off, it just walks in circles around the field.

Because even though this is a day off and the world beckons, I've made yet another Granny's Canning Apron.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To Pulp or Not to Pulp

This post is going to be a loose collection of random topics...odds and ends that I've had rattling around in my brain for some time.

First of all, I'm quite addicted to that new show "Hoarders". Has anyone seen it? It is just riveting to see the kind of scary crap people hoard! They fill their entire living space with garbage, rotting food, etc; Unable to let go of anything, they come up with convoluted lies and stories as reasons for keeping their stuff.

Last night I watched in horror as a woman dug through a ROTTING PUMPKIN that had fallen into goo on her living room floor, desperate to keep some of the seeds because she couldn't let go,while the guy with the shovel trying to scoop up the mess was gagging and looking queasy for the camera!

I live my life as somewhat of a Reverse Hoarder! I am obsessively tidy and can't abide a cluttery mess.

Perhaps I shouldn't introduce you to my garage... but what the heck!

This is it! I got this little yellow cabinet (originally fire engine red) at a yard sale many, many years ago for 5 bucks. I have used it for everything from storing linens to dishes to bathroom items. But it seems to have found a permanent use as my Apartment Garage.

Everything that other people would put into their garage has gone into this little cabinet. Tools, paint, glue, tape, sandpaper! And it's a CLUTTERY MESS! There, I've admitted it! I've tried and tried to make it tidy, and it just won't comply. You can't neatly fold an electric drill because believe me, I've tried.

Next Random Thing:

What is up with this sudden thing in the Orange Juice world? Pulp. No Pulp. Some Pulp. Slight Pulp. Less Pulpy than Termite Dust but More Pulpy than Sodden Newspapers Left in the Rain...

All I want is a glass of semi-real Orange Juice. So my question is: to Pulp or Not to Pulp? I'm not so naive that I think just becuase it has More Pulp in it, it has been processed LESS than the stuff that is thin, watery and doesn't have so much as a molecule of orange matter in it. For all we know, the stuff with More Pulp has FAKE PULP added at the very end of the wash cycle. We don't know. We JUST DONT KNOW!!!!

I picked up this awesome fall-floral print KING size sheet at the thrift store. It had no wear on it at all and I couldn't pass it up. I think I got it for 75 cents, as they were having a 30% off sale at the Salvation Army Store. I plan on making napkins and an apron (of course!) but then I'm going to try and do some kind of skirt or tunic top out of the rest of the fabric. I just like how vintage and mid-century it looks.

Finally, I want to say that I HATE FLEA BITES. I really, really hate them! This is a picture of ONE flea bite on my ankle. It's about a week old, and as you can see, it is STILL inflamed, red and itchy. And HUGE. One single flea did this to me. It itches and itches and stings and burns and it doesn't show any signs of abating. I've used everything from Ben Gay to Camphophenique to Vaginal Itch Cream, and nothing has helped.

I even made the sign of the cross on it with my thumbnail, per my Granny Brown's instructions. But nope, this flea bite is even going to deny the supremecy of God.

I just hope I don't die from it, and not before I've learned which kind of orange juice is better.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Baby Shower Featuring...Cannibal Cake!

Every family has it's skeletons in the closet...apparently mine has a cannibal in it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Men Are Now Officially Obsolete

I'm pretty much dancing a jig over my new 1 GIG!

Having discovered that the only thing I really needed to do to my computer was update the RAM (I only had 512mb which back in the day was SO MUCH MEMORY) and I'd be good to go, I was elated! All this time I've been operating so slowly that it's been a real chore to get anything done.

Having discovered what it would cost me to have a Computer Guy put that RAM in my computer, I decided it would behoove me to do it myself. So I did!

I went and found the book that came with the computer and read the instructions.
I went online and found out the exact type of RAM I needed. (Rimms, Dimms, RD-Dimms, or what?)

I went to the Microsoft website and read up on how to install it.
I went to FRYE's and bought the RAM I needed, along with a $1.99 part called a watch battery that I thought I should probably replace after 9 years of using the original one that came with the computer!)
I installed the new RAM, and the new battery, and VIOLA!!!!

I am now the proud owner of one entire GIG of RAM, and also the proud owner of my own cojones!

Because, believe me, it's pretty scary staring into the dark bowels of my computer innards and trying to figure out which slot I'm supposed to click the new RAM card into! But when it comes right down to it, it's really quite, quite easy!

So, okay, maybe all men are not obsolete, but my need for a computer geek techie guy has expired!

And of course the need for my Main Man Mackie will never become obsolete: Look how cute he looks using the edge of the mirror as a pillow. How does he think these things up?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chickens Change

My chickens got evicted from the bathroom when I went to a white on white look in there, so since then they've been looking for a new coop.

I guess this will do!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Janet Jackson Episodic

I've had company for the last five days, and spent most of it staring at the back of his head while he hogged my computer. So I shall just's glad to be back and 'nuff said.

I was able to fix some fun food, as in the salmon quiche I whipped up for breakfast one morning.

All my food looks alike, why is that?

Anyway, one of the things I did to escape was make an excuse to go to the post office and then I went to the park to chill out for a while! McKinley Park is a lovely park, it has a library, tennis courts, duck pond and a famous rose garden. I usually go to the rose garden end of it, and so I've never been to the kid area or...surprise surprise! the pool area.

All these years (18+) and I never went to the pool. It's not exactly a priority. I don't like to get wet and I don't want green hair!

But for some reason, the siren call of the wild pool lured me to Walmart where I was directed to the last 3 remaining swimsuits of the season. One was brown on brown with a GIANT skirt in size 3X. One was vomit color with bile streaks and a giant metal RING smack dab in the middle of the a heat magnet, sucking the sun's rays to fry your skin to a crackling sizzle in just that spot, and the third one was, sigh of resignation, tropical print.

Even though the tropical print one was my size, it did not have enough fabric on top to cover a 6 year olds' chest, much less a size 42DD. I looked and looked for something on the sale rack that could work as an extra top or under-T to wear with it but couldn't find anything. I just decided to take my chances, what the heck, it's a bathing suit not a Prom Dress.

And I went to the pool! And I loved it! I paid my 2 bucks and I got slowly into the cool, brisk water and I swam and I floated and I did some water-aerobics and I ignored the stares of the young punks, Goths, Vampyres and gang members lounging around the poolside. Eventually I got out of the pool, walked over to where I'd put my stuff and grabbed my towel...

and saw that my entire left breast was flopping in the breeze for all to see and admire! A full-court Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction, in broad daylight, at Mckinley Park Pool. I should have sold tickets.

They had these flip-flops for a mere $1.75 so I had to get them.

I came home and overhauled it, sewing the straps different and etc; and I'm sure next time I'll wear a colored undershirt with it!

Mackie, although not wild about tropical prints, was not so revolted that he refused to be photographed with my new bathing suit.

And that was my Sunday. May all your pool episodes be devoid of full frontal nudity!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Julia, Julia, Wherefore Art Thou, Julia?

I've been doing more to my bathroom...

It takes a lot of work to get that cluttered, decluttered look!

This old migrant worker orange-crate chest had to be painted off-white and taupe.

And I had to do all of it in between watching old Julia Child reruns on PBS. She was so funny, but I am not sure she knew she was funny! Maybe I mean clumsy? Her knives were never sharp enough, she was always dropping things, and she would forget to use a hot pad and grab something fresh out of the oven and burn herself.

You'd never get away with that in today's overly-scripted TV world! Even our 'reality TV' shows are nothing like reality!

There was a show that I'd seen before and always hoped to see again: it's the one where she devotes an entire episode to omelets. She makes omelet after omelet.

For an hour. Not for the faint-hearted!

She makes so many omelets in that one segment to make you think you could do it in your sleep. How hard could it be? She says anyone can do it and I believe her!

Of course it's much harder than it looks. I couldn't flip it by shaking the pan the way she showed, and I couldn't get the butter to sizzle but not burn to a brown foam before I got the egg poured. And I couldn't get the egg to just float on the top of the pan of butter the way she does it, either!

My first omelet was rubbery and that's an understatement. I think I overcooked it a tad.

But then I tried again. I think if I made maybe....oh....340,007 more of them, I'd get the hang of it! In the meantime, it was still 'good eating!'

Bon Apetit!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Crab Clutter

There is the bad clutter: the kind that comes from an overflow of accumulation!

And then there is the good kind of clutter:

Crab Clutter!!!!!!

Happy Harvest, everyone.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

White on White

There's nothing like a good purging yard sale to make you want to rethink your entire collecting strategy. For decades I've been all about the shabby chic, Granny, cluttered, colorful tea party type of look. Mixed florals, giant blowsy roses, florals on top of florals.

But suddenly! I just want white on white. Minimalistic; creamy white; refreshing.

So I took down the chickens, the butter yellow, the rich floral shower curtain..

And this is what it looks like now!

I used my Grandma Ponsonby's antique white sheet for the shower curtain. And real antique barber towels on the towel rack.

And not a floral print in sight!

Okay, well....maybe just one or two...