Sunday, February 27, 2011

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs.

A rusty old sign at a flea market is sure to speed up my heart rate.  I consider this my cardio workout routine.  Who needs to exercise!  Below are a few of the signs I've collected over the years.

Grand Rapids flea market find, under $20!

Displayed in our man cave. It actually points in the direction of Bill's golf course.

This sits on a shelf, but could be illuminated and hung above a doorway.

Umm, still in the garage awaiting a purpose in life.

Not old, but repurposed.

Next, are a few of the signs that I've painted for myself and as gifts for others.  Except for the "Lake of the Woods" sign ( my very own design for the Z family's favorite getaway vacation spot ) , I've gotten most of my inspiration from images I've borrowed from magazines and the internet.

A little "art" in our kitchen.

This hangs all year 'round in the basement.  Does it divert your attention from the ceiling?

The "Price is Right" models show off their original art.

A Christmas present for Jeremy's Man cave.

AND, the one that got away.....sigh.  I don't have a picture, but imagine a 3x3 cream colored metal sign with black writing and just a teensy bit 'o rust that said "Jean's Beauty Shop".  It was marked $38 and sat for months in a shop downtown.  When I finally decided I just HAD to have it, it was gone. Lesson learned.

And who could forget this lovely I spotted near our old neighborhood?  I plan to make some limited edition prints as gifts for loved ones.

There has been a trend in typography art in recent years that is showing up everywhere.  From antiques to contemporary art, it is all the rage.  Megan had such a piece on her baby wish list, and I finally tackled the project.  I was really hating the way it looked during the entire 3 hours it took to paint, but once I added the slightly weathered frame, I actually liked the transformation.  Here it is.....

Actually, I was looking for something new/old to place on this shelf.  Megan, are you SURE you want it?
Next up, an idea for the P baby's room, but I have to check it out with the P mama first.  :@

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wreath Patrol

I used to jokingly say that I should start a wreath patrol for the removal of Christmas wreaths still hanging long after their shelf life. My family knows I cringe when I see brown decaying wreaths decorating a house! Also, those hid-e-ous pumpkin leaf bags!  Who in the world thought garbage bags would look festive decorating a front lawn?  Ewwww, but that is a blog post for another time.

Having said that, guess what greets me every day at my back door?

I KNOW!!!!  Shame on me!  Here it is, February 24, and I still have this poor-excuse-for-a-wreath as a howdy-do!  Along with the skates, sled, and skis...oh,my!  And I'm not even letting you see the "greens"  in our window boxes!

This past week we have had severe winds blowing in from Sioux Falls, SD or some godforsaken place, and if you have any birch trees on your property, you know what's left in its wake.  An abundance of dead branches littering the yard.

Now, I know my good friend Martha would do something creative with those lovely branches, so I sent my hunter and gatherer out into the cold to collect a few that weren't broken, dug out my floral wire, and went to work.

OK, maybe not up to Martha's standards, but better than a freeze dried Christmas wreath!  So, you've all been warned.  Ranger 911 may be patrolling YOUR neighborhood next!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sugar and spice, and all things nice....

What a "sweet" weekend! I started my Valentine celebration a little early with one of my favorite chocolate treats.

Pure mint chocolaty goodness! I put on a pot of coffee and settled on the couch with a present delivered by our mailman.

Now that's what I call the perfect Saturday afternoon.

Today was Finley's christening, so we got to spend time with the sweet pea. Remember the fuzzy white booties I made? Here they are on her chubby little feet.

Loving the funky striped tights!

Megan requested a Sunrise Bakery white cake with lemon filling and buttercream frosting, a family favorite.

All I can say is mmmm, mmmm, good!

Poor Julie and Jeremy were home with coughs and colds, so they didn't get the Valentine package I put together for them. It's in the mail, but here is a sneak peek at one of the surprises in the bag.

Can you guess what it is?

Well, I probably should start dinner, but I'm not really hungry. I wonder why that is?


XXOO, Mom. That is how I signed after school notes to Julie and Megan. They would get irritated and say, "Mom, it's not XXOO, it's XOXO!"  Does it really matter?  I still sign everything XXOO, Mom.  :@

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ode to Baba

Today is our Baba's birthday. She is gone, but certainly not forgotten. I can see many of her traits, good and bad, passed down through the generations.

Grandma Mary ( Baba), Grandpa Louie, Mom, and Uncle Richard.

Julie has inherited her trend setting fashion sense. Baba loved her cut-off sweat pants, a look carried on by Julie with her 3/4 length yoga pants and no socks, even in winter!

Megan, from her wee toddler years, like Baba, had to have the last word, regardless of the punishment awaiting her.

Ashley has her tell-it-like-it-is politically incorrect ( but humorous ) attitude, apparent in her blog posts.

Nick gets his wheeling and dealing business savvy from Baba. She was quite the entrepreneur with her perpetual rummage sales. Baba, her sister Eva, and friend Georgette were the original pickers. They would scope out abandoned houses for treasures left behind. So, you see, my junking is a genetic trait.

My mother and sister have her cooking and hostess traits. Guests could drop by unannounced and Baba, ever the gracious host, would prepare a meal with whatever she had on hand. Never "fancy", just good home cookin' in her cozy little house. Her breakfast of scrambled eggs done up just right in her cast iron skillet, toast made from round white Hollywood Bread, and hot chocolate was a favorite of mine and my sister after a sleepover in the "cabin".

Grandpa Louie in front of the guest cabin in their yard.

This is a rare posed photo. You couldn't get near Baba with a !@#*! camera.

If you happened to be at her house on a Saturday night at 6:00 , you would sit in her "front porch" and watch The Lawrence Welk Show on her little black and white TV. If you have your speakers on, you are listening to the opening song from his show. Oh, how she loved Myron Floren playing his accordion, while a-Sissy-and-a-Bobby danced across the stage!

Baba was a huge presence in our lives, and I only hope our own grandchildren grow up with the same sense of family. So, to celebrate this day, let's all stop by the nearest DQ and have an extra large vanilla soft-serve cone in her memory.

Happy Birthday Baba!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

So many ideas, so little time.

I should be upstairs working on the latest home improvement project I so foolishly started. I should, but I cooked dinner tonight, did dishes, and now I'm too tired to start making a mess. Maybe tomorrow night. For sure Friday night. Or maybe Saturday morning.  Until then I'll just browse the web for ideas for bedroom number two that I'm naming "Project 2012". Surely I (oops, we ) will be finished with bedroom number one by then!

Anyhoo, here are some inspiration pictures for the next makeover.

I have a similar metal bed that is spray painted an ugly bronze color, but I am loving the fresh look of this bed and side tables. I'm seeing a trend in my inspiration pictures. Notice the plank walls. Maybe they had cracked plaster walls, too.

I found this picture in Google Images and think it is the perfect solution to my old cupboard in Project 2012 bedroom featured below.

If only my home projects could be completed as quickly as they seem to be on those half hour HGTV makeover shows. I sure could use Sarah and crew from Sarah's House ( my all time favorite design show) AND their budget, too! Sigh, a girl can dream.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You say tomato....

You say Beanie Baby, I say baby beanie. What do I do when I have three unfinished home reno projects waiting for my attention? I knit baby hats, of course!

You have to love this tomato hat! It is knit with a soft 25% wool / 75% acrylic blend yarn and it only takes a few hours to whip one up. Just change out the red colored yarn and you can create an eggplant, rosebud, raspberry, cotton boll.......the possibilities are endless!

So, being OCD and all, I had to create a few more of these little gems. I thought a watermelon hat knit from 100% cotton yarn would make a breathable hat for the summer months. I jumped right in, as I always do, without figuring out that gauge thingy and ended up with this....

Pretty cute, eh? Since I didn't have a baby on hand to try it out for size, I coaxed my ever-present hat model to try it on AND IT FIT!!  Oh, noooo.

Obviously I need to work on sizing this pattern to fit a baby. On the bright side, it wasn't a complete waste of time. Surely Uncle Dennis can wear it to one of his neighborhood Bar Mitzvahs this summer. Just look how it enhances this model's manly features. :@

If you love Gnomes as I do, this next hat will be right up your alley. It is knit with a super-soft organic cotton textured yarn that camouflages my slightly uneven knitting tension. We'll try it on a little Gnome next weekend.

Speaking of Gnomes, look at the cute children's dishware I purchased at Joann Fabrics. The sets even came with matching placemats and I do love colorful placemats to complete a table setting!

For future grandbaby with tomato growing mama.

For the little Sioux Falls farm girl.

Let's see, I'm thinking maybe a little cream colored textured hat with pink accented lamb's ears for Easter. Since I don't look good in hats, I better take the time to figure out the gauge.
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