Monday, February 17, 2014

On a Day Away From Work...

... I like to get caught up:




And indulge with a Peanut Buster Parfait.

Can you blame me?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Heart to Heart Swap 2014

Life has its peaks and valleys, calm ponds and raging rivers.  Find a little hill and a chilly stream, and that's how I'd describe the past week.  Nothing major, but significant enough inconveniences, shocks and transitions to make a person want to call a time out, brew some coffee, snuggle under a blankie, and inhale a tray of tiramisu.

Maybe that's just me.

When this box arrived on my doorstep, I was suddenly willing to drop the blankie, shuffle over to the door, and carefully carry the box to the dining room table.  It's a special box.  It's the box from Sarah:


Open the top...


... and let a happy grin spread:


Carefully unpack each item (hey, there's something HEAVY at the bottom of the box):


My heart started to race.  Seriously.  Let the Heart to Heart Swappy Goodness begin!

The painted rock was so sweetly painted by Megan, from Life at the 800 House.  S-w-o-o-n!   And the rectangular ornie with pipecleaner and bunting trim?  That was sent by Michelle and Ashley at The Tattered Quilt Cottage, though Ashley sent another ornie shown further down in this post.  The felt, tulle, lace, fabric yo-yo and button stitched heart was made by Rachel at Pink Misfit.




The pair of sage/minty green felt hearts are handwarmers!  Thank you, Jennifer Z.!  Look at the beautiful button that Wanda of The Rat's Pajamas sewed onto the softest cream heart.


I am all about heart jewelry this February.  The red felt and sequined heart brooch that Debra, The Early Bird made will be perfect for my lapel this week.  Look at the sweet kitty!  Isn't she the cat's meow?  The adorably pink pipe cleaner ornie was made by Tamera, The Menopausal Supermodel, and oh yes, I'll be visiting her blog again, and again, and again!


Shara at Monkeybox made this adorable deer-in-cloche ornament.


... and Mikey at Shabby French Cottage sent chalkboard love tags. He knows how to appeal to my teacher's heart, doesn't he?



Who-hoo will be my valentine?  This bright ~Owl Cherish You~ card was made by Tina.

Sarah made picture frame ornies, sprinkled with stars (my favorite!) trimmed with a ruffle, and featuring a glamour girl from yesteryear.  See the ornie from Ashley?  It's a mason jar lid!


Finally, Tiff at Folded Gingham made a multi-fabric heart ornament with silver beads and heart ribbon... so sweet!


*****

What did I make for the swap?  Altered domino charms/ornies!


I layered cardstock mini heart punches over gray and white polka dot scrapbook paper, and Mod Podged it to the back of a mini-domino.  After drying, I soldered around the edge of the domino, added jump rings to the top and bottom, and suspended a pearl dangle at the end.  I glued a heart shaped button to the top for a dimensional touch.  I hope all of this year's swap participants enjoy them!



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Friends

Yesterday my Heart to Heart Swap box arrived in the mail, just in time to distract me from some of Life's annoyances, lift my spirits, and remind me that there are others out there who appreciate the little things... creative friends I've never met face to face, friends I've come to know through the lens of FB, and a few new ones whose blogs I'll be exploring later today.

Thank you for being a friend.  I'll be sharing photos of your lovely swap goodness later this week.

A HUGE HEART ~THANK YOU~ to Sarah for once again hosting this wonderful event.



*****

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Love

I love snow, soft and fluffy, or hard-packed and crunchy, like it is today after yesterday's storm.


In Kansas, you have to photograph the snow early in the morning, or late in the afternoon/early evening, as it's seriously blinding if you try it any other time.  The snow-packed prairie makes the snow seem like it stretches on forever, similar to tundra, only with many more hills and trees.

In my former hometown in Alaska, you can have some hours of bright snow, but not an entire day of it.  Most of the time it's in sparkle mode, instead of blinding mode.


See the sunrise beginning?  It's chilly here for Oz.  Eleven degrees below zero before factoring in the wind chill.

I love the cold as much as I love the snow.  Apparently our porch chairs love winter as well.  Finding a frosty little heart on the button of a cushion made me smile this morning.


Brr.  Time to make some tea.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Coming Up Roses

Roses... on another snow day?

Yes, if they're crocheted.

With this winter's colder weather, I've been crocheting single-twist cowls like crazy.  Cozy, colorful and warm-enough-but-not-too-much-so (my body apparently believes it needs to practice hot flashes now), I love layering them over blouses, tunics, and light jackets, and bundling up in them under my winter coat.  I guess that means cowls are both ~cool~ and warm, right?





Adding simple pin backs to the roses means the lovely *~pops~* of color can go anywhere: a scarf, cowl, collar, lapel, purse, headband...

How cheerful and lovely these would be if several were worn at once.

I explored a collection of crochet flower patterns at Skip to My Lou.  Check it out, and let me know which pattern you're going to try.

Here are three roses crocheted with the same yarn but different sized hooks.  Left to right:  N hook, I hook, and E hook.


Lovely, lovely, lovely.

I feel another project coming on!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday... Snow Day


As a teacher, I appreciate ~true~ snow days, when my second grader can stay home, play in the snow, and know that I'm going to have a mug of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows waiting for him.  I hope my students and their families are able to appreciate and indulge themselves due to today's weather too.

Every child should get to play in the snow, don't you think?



He's  not outside yet though, oh  no.  Video games are keeping him glued to the couch... for now.  Once we get the accumulation promised however, he'll be sent outside to shovel the sidewalk, make some snow angels, and if the snow is moist enough, make a snowman to friendly-up our yard.

As for me, a rogue nostril (the left one) has me checking for tissue proximity as I walk through each room in the house.  There's a box on the coffee table, one in our bathroom, and one on my desk in the crafty nook.  I may have to break down and position a box of Kleenex on the countertop in my laundry room for strategy's sake.  Those of you who have experienced a singular nostril pulling out all of the stops, showing off its drippity-drip-drip skills ~know~ what I'm talking about.  And how about the singular nostril congestion phenomenon?  If it's not dripping at inopportune moments, it feels like it's inflating into my eye socket.

See?  Kindergarten teachers at home for a snow day STILL have an issue with snot, it just doesn't involve controlling one's urge to cringe and/or gag while looking out over a sea of smiling, nose-picking (and finger-licking) faces during story time.  Pass.  The.  Kleenex.  Please.

To pass the time (with regular hand washing), I'll spend part of the day in the crafty nook.


Drip or no drip, congestion or sneezes, I can't help but be happy in here.  I've already managed to find some paper, paint chips, extra ribbon, adhesive letters and buttons.  With my glue gun's help, a small valentine banner has come together.


Hugs.  Kisses.

Sniffles.