Monday, December 31, 2012

mug shots

This summer we are planning a trip that will take us into Toronto Canada to watch the Tigers play the Blue Jays.  We are applying for an alternative to a passport-simply because we don't want to spend $200.00 for each person.  We don't plan on flying to Europe anytime soon.  We have to send in 2X2 pictures of ourselves and the stipulations on the pictures are an enormous task.  The background has to have nothing on it.  It cannot be too dark or too light.  There can be no shadows, no glare on the glasses.  The head cannot be too big or too small.  It has to have some upper torso showing and these are just a few of the rules. 

This first one of Tom is too dark.

This one is too light with a shadow and a little glare on his glasses.
I told him he didn't need to put his head back like a mug photo.

This one has the glare of the windows that are behind the photographer.

This one, the side of his face is too light.

This is the one we went with.  Natural color, no glare, just a little shadow, a little hint of a smile so he looks somewhat friendly. 

Here is one mean looking Mama, it scares me when I look at it!
You don't want to cross her.
I decided I needed to have a hint of a smile.

What a much better.
Smile and the rest of the world smiles with you.
I went with this one.

And made it a little lighter.

Here is one happy fella, we only needed one take with him.

And I just lightened it up too. 

Hopefully these work.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Treasures Received

This wonderful 3-D pottery cardinal I pick up on our recent trip to Detroit at Thanksgiving.  It is from Pewabic Pottery.  My goal was to pick up something with red paint and I spotted it first thing.  I love the texture of the block and the branch.  It is hanging in my bedroom under my Cardinales painting by Gennine. My husband Tom knows how much I love this place and said pick out whatever you want since your birthday is coming up.  Is that not great?

This special gift was made for me by my niece Angie.  It is a pincushion and I just love it!

This cool art panel by PAPAYA my sister Linda gave to me.  It is inspirational, see the light bulb in the upper left corner?  This lovely lady has sparkles and flowers, all the things I love. 

My friend Theresa (and fellow cat lover) picked this up for me.  Needlework, felt cats surrounded by the buttonhole stitch.  It is very dear to me just like my friend. 

My sister also ordered this doll for me.  It is appropriately named "the sisters doll".  She found this artist at an outdoor art fair and the name of her company is Endearments.  She will custom design dolls for the customer. Her name is Rebecca Dearing and you can email her at if you are interested in a doll.

Love the faces and the hair!

Also from my sister I received this really neat floor clock.  It sits perfectly in this corner between the foyer and great room.  So pretty with scrolls and leaves, such a unique piece. 

My niece Angie made this really clever plate with all kinds of great sayings on it.  It will be a conversation piece when serving cookies, muffins, vegetables....etc.  I also liked the setting with some Santas and our parents pictures. 

Here it is, closer so you can read it. 

My inspiration corner.

I enjoy sitting at my desk, though I need to clean off my bulletin board for the new year. 
It's easy to let things pile up on it.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


A quiet snow fell last night.  I never tire of looking at it in the morning.  That evergreen tree has picture perfect snow on it. 

Out the dining room window.  The pond is frozen and snow covered except for the little strip that you can see.  Yesterday, across the field someone was running their 4-wheeler all day long and pulling up to 4 kids at a time.  It was fun to watch them having so much fun. 

This morning before everyone got up I took the time to make sure all my links were working on the left side of my blog.  That is all my blogs that I follow.  Many of the addresses had changed.  It's all back in shape now.  Check that off my list. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

A little quilt

In our homemade family Christmas my gift to my sister is this little quilt.  The log cabin blocks were made by my Mother in what was going to be a quilt for my sister.  She had only 6 completed and many strips of fabric cut.  I sewed them together and drew on the pattern and embroidered it. 

Here it is with the batting and backing and pinned together all ready to quilt.

The backing fabric is pretty cute.  Just right with the primary colors.
I will show it to you when it is all done. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Review-Angelina by Andrew Morton

I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and it has taken me this long to decide what to write about it.  Andrew Morton is a well known author, he has produced many books about celebrities and I feel he was just reporting what he found in his investigating, but she is just a bazaar person and even though she has many adopted and biological children that may tame the bazaar personality but it doesn't remove it. Just recently I heard that Angelina and Brad Pitt and the children were going to go to the place-not even worth looking up the correct name for it- to ride out the "end of the world".  ~Still Bazaar!~ 

She came from a majorly dysfunctional family that mother Marcheline Bertrand practically ignored Angelina for a year in a white room with a series of baby sitters because she was depressed that husband Jon Voight had an affair and she kicked him out. They had an older son who stayed in another apartment with her but had Angelina in an upper floor apartment.  Finally she pulled herself out of that and was a very permissive parent.  She let Angelina's boyfriend move into the apartment and live with them when Angelina was 14 years old. 

Angelina was a heroin addict at a young age, which she has seemed to kick.  She is a sexy, lovely to look at actress with an early openly kinky sex life.  She had a problem about getting these men interested in her or adopting the children and then leaving on some trip to a far away area.  It's like she got them, then she doesn't want to deal with them. 

In the later chapters of the book she and Brand Pitt do socially conscious contributions to many good causes.  They travel together and the kids come with them.  But I was tuned into the Oscars either last year or the year before and she presented.  She walked up to the microphone, stood there with her hands on her hips and one leg to the side.  Her long skirt slit very high and had a very non-classy attitude to be presenting a prestigious award. 
I impressed.  I felt the the same way after reading the book too. 

By the way, I didn't pay $18.89 for the book, got it at the dollar store which was just the right price to pay.


Not for Human Consumption

The theme of our family Christmas exchange this year was "A Homemade Christmas". We drew names last year and made something for the person that we drew.  Lots and lots of clever ideas came out of it, and I thought it was great fun to see what people came up with.  There were fleece blankets and plates with saying written all over them.  Homemade cookies and candies and I will share our items in later posts. 

One of our family things that we made was bird seed ornaments for the trees outside, to feed the birds.  I found this idea on "of course" Pinterest. 


4 cups birdseed any type
3/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons corn syrup

Mix everything up really well and then press the mixture into open ended cookie cutters.  The toothpicks that are pictured are to make holes in the mixture to put pipe cleaners in so that they can hang from the trees.

Let them dry overnight and keep turning over so that the ornaments can dry on both sides.  When they are dry simply pop out of the cookie cutter and attach the pipe cleaner. 

We had our mixture in a large mixing bowl and must have walked away from it.  My husband Tom asked what that mixture was in the bowl, it tastes terrible!

I said "you didn't eat that did you"?  "Well I tasted it" he said. 
I just shook my head and sighed.
Before the day was done, we made him some Christmas treats.
I heard him grumbling about...make something for the BIRDS....but not a Christmas treat in the HOUSE! growl...growl..growl. 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

A little bit of Christmas

This is such a pretty little needlework picture that I picked up in a small Ohio town. 
The Santa mug is Toms from his childhood.

Big bowl, Big ornaments.  All shiny and bright.

Kevin gave this beautiful pointsetta for my birthday.
Hope you have gotten all decorated for Christmas. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

All Decorated

Before Decorations

After Decorations

I love little houses and I had the opportunity to buy 4 more.  Here is one..two little bay windows and the colored lights around the porch.  Just too cute!

The village tea room

I have them on top of the fireplace along with the church I made eons ago. 

I am very happy with the way it turned out this year. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Very Large Wreath

One Day a nice cub scout came to my door selling (to order) live wreaths and greenery for Christmas.

I thought how nice the smell of pine would be in the house so I bought the largest wreath they had.
It said 48 inches for $41.00 and I thought that would be fine, 48 inches around.  My windows are large and I wanted to hang it in the dining room window.  I forgot about it until the other night we came home from somewhere and I could see a large dark object on my porch.  Oh it must be the wreath, my goodness it's big.  It's so big, I can't hang it inside! 

I think they meant at least 48 inches across.  It is very lovely with a red bow and pine cones. 

I have hung it on my front window.  It was either that or hang it on the side of the garage.  My husband wondered if they brought it in a semi!

Here it is. It's a lovely wreath, just a bit larger than I bargained on. 

From my studio room.  It casts a shadow.  People don't have a problem seeing it from the road.
Note to smaller. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Milestone Birthday

November 24th was Sam's 21st birthday.  He always wants pumpkin pie in place of cake.  We were at his beck and call, Applebees, watching movies, going to Walmart.  He was funny that he had his ID out and ready to show when he order his celebration Long Island Ice Tea.  We celebrated with him at our bar in the basement.  It seems as if he had a fun day.

His Aunt Ellen and Cousin Allie stopped by to give him birthday wishes also. 

21 years went by so fast.....XOXOXOXO from your family.

Book Review-A Walk to Remember

This was the first book that I downloaded on my Ipad from our library.  How easy this was to do and all I have to do to return it is hit a button.  If I don't do that it will automatically delete after 21 days.  It's a great thing to have.

Like all Nicholas Sparks books it was a very entertaining quick read, that the reader can relate to.  Of course there are always parts that put a lump in your heart because of what the characters are going through. 

The main topic of the story is that there are two main characters Landon and Jamie.  The setting is of course North Carolina Coast and the two are 17 years old in their senior year of high school.  Landon doesn't take too many things seriously and just drifts along not putting his best foot forward in anything, but doesn't do badly either, mediocre would best describe his actions.

His father works in Washington as a Congressman so he is gone a good part of the time, but when he does come back he wants Landon to run for class President.  He begrudgingly does it and wins because the other two candidates were not quite a popular as Landon. 
Landon finds that he should have a date to a dance and every girl he asks already has a date.  He ends up asking Jamie who is the preachers daughter.  She dresses very plainly and always carrys around a bible and her classmates view her as odd, but Landon has known her for a long time.

Through a chain of events he comes to know Jamie and ends up falling in love with her.  These events become an awakening for Landon and shapes him for his adulthood.  
I recommend this book whole heartedly.
Click here for Nicholas Sparks official site about this book. 


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Morning Birds

There have been a couple of mornings while driving to work that I would see leafless trees full of blackbirds .  It was a neat site but I would never have my camera or if I would have stopped they would have flown off.  I decided to sketch it so I could keep the memory. 

Friday, November 23, 2012


We are back from our Thanksgiving in Detroit, I have a few pictures to share.  This is Jefferson Avenue the sculpture in the middle is a fist.  It represents Joe Louis the fighter. 

Our hotel is across the street from the entrance to the Detroit-Windsor tunnel.  Now we have not made it over to Canada but it amazes me that one can drive underneath the Detroit River. 

We drove to Belle Isle to see what there was over there.  What a great view of the city of Detroit.  On the left is the GM Building. 

Jefferson Avenue all lite up at night.  In the background are the lights of the Ambassador Bridge.

Kevin and myself

While on Belle Isle it was so windy and cold and overcast.  Looking down the river the sun came out and shined on the freighter coming from the Canadian side. 

Magnificent Fountain on Belle Isle.

We had a great time as usual.  The Lions lost in overtime, but they were so close to winning. 
It was by far the best game we had seen.