noun: a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used.
synonyms: noun: fragment - piece - bit - shred

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Star Sighting...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope that your week was eventful and that you were able to reign in some of the sunshine that was supposed to be making its debut in some areas.  I'm pretty sure I actually saw it once, but I could be mistaken.  What I'm seeing here is snow and fat robins. Do those two even go together?  And does that even make any sense?  I didn't think so either!  

This weekend, I have been working on rearranging my sewing room.  Kind of.  It all started out with me trying to get my hubby's man-cave started, but ended with him saying "let's just use this one for storage right now so that we can get your sewing room organized." WHAAATTTTT??  WHO turns down their very own man-cave?  And for a sewing room?  BWAH HAHAHAHAHA!  I'm pretty sure I must have misunderheard him.  That had to have been what happened.  But no, he was serious.  Me thinks he's been in the pig barn too long or got hay up his nose or something.  Not really sure what's going on there, but after several attempts at letting him know that I REALLY wanted to get started on his man-cave with my bazillions of cool ideas, he talked me into working on my sewing room.  Hmmmmm.  I hope he knows this is NOT scoring any bigger or more expensive Christmas presents, nor is it going to provide him with that long-sought-after flat screen tv.  Too bad.

So...we went to work tearing down the bed in the would-be man-cave room in order to put more stuff in there.  Interesting concept.  I longingly looked at the window that was going to have the coolest ever curtain rod and curtains, only to see a bunch of stuff accumulating there.  Sigh...this wasn't working out at all the way I had planned.  BUT, the closet in my sewing room was being slowly emptied of the miscellany that was being held hostage in it.  Amazing the things I found.  I wondered where the Uno cards went!  As we emptied the closet out, I laughed at that old Compaq computer that is waaaayyyyy out-dated and has been sitting up on that shelf awaiting...what?  Some revolution for old computers?  Uh, nooooo.  And I had forgotten how heavy it was.  Holy motherboard, Batman!  The thing weighed a ton!

Hubby helped me get the heavy stuff out and then I went to work rearranging my sewing room.  Well, I started to rearrange my sewing room.  Do you have ANY idea how much work that is?  It's definitely not a quick job.  I boxed up my cross stitch and crochet things and put them on the closet shelf (no more clean and empty shelf) so that I could get to them any time I wanted.  I rarely do them, so they really don't need to be out in the middle of everything.  Then I moved the smaller bookshelf into the closet so that it could hold my serger and two other sewing machines in privacy.  I also put my quilt tops, blocks and repair projects on that bookshelf.  When I open the closet door, there everything is, all neat and tidy in its own little designated place.  And I can see my boys' quilts that need to be worked on so they can have them back.  HAHAHAHAHA  Really?  Did I say they'd get them back?  Riiighhhhtttt.

As I was arranging, rearranging and organizing, I kept looking at Dale's quilt.  It's folded up right with Adams, and it has a seam that needs to be resewn.  This was my second quilt ever, and it was my first HAND QUILTED one.  Oh yeah, I said hand quilted. Me? With the patience to hand quilt?  Mhm. But hand quilt it I did.  Amazingly, I really DID have the patience.  For some reason, it soothed me. Except when Sarah and Dale were playing underneath the quilt frame where the quilt was sitting and decided it was really a fort.  THAT was a little stressful.  I could see all my hard work going down the drain.  But alas, the kids didn't hurt it and it did get finished.  Yay me!  Now, this was YEARS ago (as in about 17) and it was looking pretty darn good then.  I had used some of the leftover fabric from Adam's quilt for the blue squares, and the rest I bought.  

We had just finished the boys' room with new wallboard and ceiling tile so I wanted to brighten up the room a little.  I figured red, white and blue would be perfect.  And it was!  I had a lot of fun doing this quilt, and Dale has had it on his bed ever since (well, except when I took it home to repair it and haven't done it. It's getting reacquainted with Adam's at the moment...I'm sure they've missed each other). While I don't remember what the name of this pattern is, I know it has to do with some kind of star.  hahaha  I know, helpful.  I really, really want to say Texas Star, but I don't think that's it.  Anyhoo, it has a star in the name.  And stars on the border fabric.  And my son is a star, so how much more appropriate could it be?

Looking at this quilt today brought back to me the time I spent working on it.  And while it's a little faded now, it's certainly been well loved.  I just need to fix it and get it back to Dale!  He's probably very lonely without it.  Soon, Dale, soon.  For now, your mom is walking down memory lane and seeing stars.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Casserole, Casserole, How Do I Love Thee?...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope your past week was wonderful to you and that this coming week is the same! In our neck of the woods we have had snow, rain, wind and even some sunshine.  It's certainly been an interesting week for changing weather, and I'm told by the (not always accurate) weatherman that this week will be the same.  Well now, isn't that just grand!  Considering that last week my driveway got washed away, I'm pretty sure I'm not excited about this week's coming weather.

With the dreary weather; the ever-present cold; the getting up at 5:00 am and leaving by 6:00 am to get to physical therapy; pain associated with said physical therapy and the change that daylight savings time brought to us, I have been dog tired.  You know, that tired that really isn't sleepy tired, but just blah and no oomph tired? The kind of tired that makes you cranky.  It's dark when I leave and it's cold all day long.  Really?  Who wants to deal with that?  Not me.  Oh, heck no!  Add in the extra interest of me doing my old job AND learning a new one and you have one girl who is just glad to get home at night.  And, when I get home, I'm usually starving!

With hubby working on the barn at an incessantly insane pace, neither one of us has been particularly handy in the kitchen lately.  As much as I love to cook, there just isn't the energy or the interest for it.  Hey, I can't do it all!  I've got to have time to craft, don't I?  Well, DON'T I?  We just look at each other and groan that SOMETHING  has to be eaten for dinner, but neither one of us has a clue.  Go figure.  You'd think that in a house of just two adults, we could figure it out.  Uh, nope.  Ain't happenin' folks.  Just ain't happenin'.  Well, ALMOST ain't happenin'.  :) We do have our old stand-by foods that save us from starvation (thank the heavens!) and turning into flesh colored skeletons.  One of those is the ever-lovely and stupendously easy to make Tater Tot Casserole.  

Now, before you go rolling up your noses (like I did the first time I'd ever heard of it), think about this.  It's EASY.  It's GOOD.  It's fairly QUICK.  It's WARM AND CHEESY GOOEY. It's INEXPENSIVE.  And, best of all, it only has 5 INGREDIENTS.  Now, that's my kind of dinner!  Top it off with a salad and some garlic bread and you're good to go.  Really, it's that simple.

Hubby and I will sometimes decide to have this even if the weather isn't miserable. It's just one of those comfort-type foods, like soup or macaroni and cheese.  Makes you feel all warm and cozy inside, and satisfied.  It doesn't take much to fill you up and it's really delicious.  Everyone has a different way of making this dish and just about everyone puts some little added touch of their own into it.  I personally like it just the way it is in the recipe I'm going to give you, but you can add just about anything you want.  So versatile.  This is how I make mine:


1 32 oz pkg frozen tater tots
2 lbs lean ground beef
2 (10.75 oz) cans cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can of milk
Grated cheese (whatever kind and amount you prefer)

Bake the tater tots according to package directions (hubby likes to have them baked crisp so I leave them in a little longer) in a 9x13 inch pan.  While tots are baking, brown the ground beef; drain and add cream of mushroom soup and milk.  Cook until mixed through and bubbling.  Pour ground beef mixture on top of tater tots and top with cheese; place in oven (reduced to 350 degrees after tots are taken out) and bake until bubbling on sides and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.  

Note:  I have added garlic, onion and different things at times, but I still love this original kind of mellow casserole.  I have also used ground turkey and mozzarella cheese for a super mellow flavor if I am making a spicier bread or salad to go with it. 

Speaking of comfort foods and dinner, I think I just may fix this tonight.  Enjoy!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I Just "Card" to Say I Love You...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I truly hope you are having better weather than I at this moment.  It is POURING rain outside and I now have a moat around the entire property.  Well, isn't this fun. Um, no.  What IS fun, however, is being home sick on a weekend.  Um, no, that's not fun either.  Ok, I give up. So far, the only fun thing about this weekend has been that I can wear my jammies all day without feeling guilty.  And when you don't feel well, it really isn't all that much fun.  Not like when you DO feel well and you're just being a rebel...or lazy...or because you just feel like it.  Oh heck, I'm just rambling.  Well, THERE'S something new!  LOL  I must be feverish...yeah, that's it...I'm feverish!

Today's project was actually supposed to be my Valentine's Day post project but, as we all know, it didn't quite turn out that way.  Ah well, better late than never!  And I figure that since I'm home not feeling well, the sharing of this project is appropriate, since poor hubby is trying his best to keep me cheered up.  This is, after all, a book of appreciation for him! Ok, ok, those of you who know me in person, DO NOT for a minute think that I'm turning all sappy.  Cuz, uh, NO!  It's just that I'm having a weak moment due to my feverishness.  I'm pretty sure that happens to us all at some time or another.  Once my fever is contained, I'm sure things will be back to normal and just fine.  WHADDYA MEAN, "YOU HOPE NOT?"  

I actually found this idea at PaperVine through Pinterest (I know, you are so SHOCKED!) and passed it up a few times.  For some reason though, it kept nagging at me so I went back to find it.  It just seemed to appeal to me.  Such a simple, yet very cool and different idea.  I began to really love it and decided that Mr. Scrappin needed one of these little books. He's always doing such nice things for me (note:  I will DENY any semblance of being nice should that statement be made public) and I thought this might be a great way to let him know how much he's loved and appreciated.  Oh, I'm feeling a little nauseous here so I'm going to have to stop with being nice.  It's too much for my system to take in.  It's also something that he can keep and look at whenever he pleases.  Since Valentine's Day was coming (well, it WAS then!) I decided that would be the perfect time to shoot for.

Did I mention it took me F-O-R-E-V-E-R? Now, before you let that discourage you, let me just say that it was in no way the project's fault.  The planning and actual doing of the project was really not all that time consuming. The waiting for hubby to stop coming in and interrupting my working on it took a few weeks.  Just when I thought he was settled in and comfy watching his favorite show or something, here he'd come and I would have to scurry and throw everything somewhere else.  In a bag; under the keyboard; in a drawer; behind my shoes...for crying out loud, I was getting very frustrated!  I can be in here for days on end and he'll never come in, but the one time I want to work on something for him and NOOOOO, he has to keep on walking right in here!  What the heck is that all about? So, guess when I actually got to finish this?  On Valentine's Day!  At work on my lunch hour!  Hoping I remembered to snatch up and  bring everything with me...which, of course, I did not!  I had left all the gears and embellies at home!

Anyhoo, before I totally digress and become an infant again (as opposed to just acting infantile when I don't get my way), let me just say how fun, easy and quick this project really can be.  Honestly, if it weren't for the constant interruption by SOMEONE who shall remain nameless - Mr. Scrappin - it really isn't even all that time consuming.  I would say the most time consuming thing is coming up with your direction.  I started out trying to be really serious, but decided that just wasn't going to cut it.  Ours is a goofball, fun, dorky household and I needed this book to reflect that.  Once I decided I was going that route, the rest was easy. 

I'm so happy I was able to put it all together on my lunch hour because I really wanted to be able to give it to hubby before Valentine's Day was over!  And I made it!  I came home and locked myself in my craft room while I put the embellies on and that was it!  I went out and gave hubby his gift, saying "I Just Card to Say I Love You."  He smiled and then looked through it and I'm pretty sure he loved it!  

Playing cards by Steampunk; Background paper by Close To My Heart; Gear embellishments by Tim Holtz Design; Washers by Bazzill; Metal Frame by Making Memories; Book rings by Staples.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Take a Cupcake Stand...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I trust you all had a wonderful week!  What did you do with it?  I worked.  LOL  Yep, that's pretty much it.  Except for yesterday, when I played around almost all day on the computer.  Oops, I don't think I was supposed to say that part out loud.  ;)  One thing I did notice about my work week was that no matter where I was, there was a treat of some kind.  Cookies, candy, cake, you name it.  I'm not sure why, but I was able to stay away from it (well, mainly because I had to keep going on my runs so I wasn't by it.)

Looking at all those treats not only made me want them (and want them BAD), but it sent that gnawing little thought through my mind that I STILL haven't done those cupcake stands I bought the dishes for a while ago.  Hmmm. Have I even taken them out of their bag? Oooh, just checked and that would be a big ol' NOPE.  Sigh...will I ever remember to take things our of their bags?  Probably not, but I digress.

I had been thinking about this for a while, when, all of a sudden, these things started emerging on places like Pinterest and in blogs everywhere.  Well, guess what? You get to see another one.  Ha Ha Ha  Cupcake stands are very cute, very original to whomever does them and, the best part yet, they hold cupcakes.  Real cupcakes!  Now, some people will use theirs for fruit or veggies or smaller kitchen items, to which I say: "WHAT ARE YOU, NUTS?!"  WHO uses a CUPCAKE stand for something other than CUPCAKES?  If memory serves me, and I think it does, people who do not eat cupcakes are illegal in this country and branded as spies.  Just sayin'.  It just so happens that my hubby is probably the BIGGEST cake and cupcake fan on the entire planet, so these trays will come in handy!  I'm not averse to putting those wrapped Hostess ones on there either in an attempt to keep the stands full.  Somebody's got to get them out of bankruptcy so they can keep going, right?  Just doing my civil duty.

The great thing about these stands is that your imagination is the only limit to the creativity.  The ones I'm showing today are going to be given away so are made to each recipient's personality.  Yes, I have some very colorful peeps in my life.  :)  I wouldn't have it any other way, unless they would be kind enough to at least OFFER ME A CUPCAKE for all my troubles.  Cuz it took me WEEKS to put these things together (remember the taking them out of the bag thing - it counts as time.)  And you can use any combination of items you wish to make them.  I've seen candlesticks, wooden blocks, mugs and several other things used as bases, and ALL OF THEM are so unique and very cool.  If I could start a new collection (and I just might) it would more than likely be these stands.  I heart them! I've also seen bowls, plates, pans, wooden hat boxes and a million other things as the cupcake holder part.  Like I said, imagination is the only limit.

My stands are all made using stoneware dishes and clear glasses that I found at the dollar store.  Did I mention I probably own that place by now?  As well as many of you, I'm sure. We're probably secret partners and don't even know it!  Anyhoo, there were several colors and shapes of dishes, but I chose pretty simple neutral ones so that any painting wouldn't bleed or have a funky color show through.  Cuz that's how I roll.  If it can bleed through, it will.  

As for assembling the stands, you still have no limit.  You can make a two, three or however many tiered stand you would like.  I wouldn't recommend taller than three just because you can't see what's on the top.  :)  True story.  I'm short.  I like to see my cupcakes, thank you very much!  That way I know hubby did not take off with the one(s) I wanted.

To put them together, it's a very simple process.  And I say that because if I can do it (especially without breaking something and getting cut in the process so yet another limitation is place on the objects I get to work with) then you can do it.  Really, I mean that.  It's simply a matter of hot gluing (some people like to use super glue, and either one is fine - just make sure you use a glue made for whatever material you're using) your things together and letting them set.  In my case, I painted two sets and four of the glasses, and I wrote on the last set with a porcelain pen (ignore that handwriting) and I painted the glasses with chalkboard paint (cuz we all know I can't go too long without putting chalkboard paint on something).  With the painted glasses, you'll notice what looks like runs.  Well, they are, sort of.  I was trying to go for a "frosting on the cake" sort of look; you know, you always see those kinds of details on cake frosting?  Ok, well, maybe only I see those kinds of details.  At any rate, I was trying for a messy frosting sort of look.  I actually sprayed my  base and let it dry; then sprayed a heavy coat and drug my fingers through it (note to self:  use gloves, you idiot!) to make deep gouges.  I let it dry partially and added another heavy coat - close up so that it would be runny on the glasses and run down the side.  I did that with a couple of the dishes too; sort of like those little ridges of frosting you see on the edge of the cake.  I'm sure that's probably not everyone's taste, but it was fun to do.

After everything was dry (and the dishes with porcelain pen were baked), I simply used my hot glue gun to assemble these cupcakes.  OOH, that was almost a pun. hee hee hee  Sorry.  Ok, I simply hot glued the rims of the glasses and attached them to the bottom plate; hot glued the flat bottom of that glass and attached the second plate, and repeated.  There you have it.  A finished and fun project!  Next time you need to, why not take a cupcake stand and grab a cupcake right off it?

Dishes and Glasses from The Dollar Store; Chalkboard spray paint (black) from Rustoleum; Ultra Cover spray paint (Key Lime and Grape in gloss; Lagoon in satin) from Rustoleum; Porcelain pens (Lapis Blue and Scarlet Red) from Pebeo.