Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summer Bounty

It's really not much of a harvest, but to me is a bounty!
Every summer Hubby plants several Heirloom Tomato plants.  This summer though he only planted two, and one turned out to be a cherry tomato.

These are our first huge tomatoes of the season!!!  We used them to make a Caprese Salad with fresh basil.
For some reason this year our tomatoes are turning out a bit different.  They have bigger stems inside of the tomato and some kind of weird webbing/shape; but they're still delicious though!!!
I'm waiting for the next round of tomatoes to make my yearly tomato & mayo sandwich...I'll probably throw a bologna slice as well. 

Hubby made a quick stop at the farmer's market and brought home some corn and beets.
The sweet corn was super delicious, and I can't have enough beets in my salad.  It's just recently that I have fallen in love with beets!

Of course the lemons are absolutely not in season here in MN, but I just love how pretty they look in our hanging basket.  After all, lemonade is a refreshing summer drink!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Procrastination or Not Enough Time?

I think a little bit of both!
Procrastination because I run out of ideas, supplies or energy; and Not Enough Time because I'm having the best summer ever and there's always something to do!!!  This summer has been all about socializing!!!

The following are projects I MUST finish before the end of September:
Altered Books:
I started an Altered Book Journal for myself, and then my sister's birthday was coming up and I started one for her.  Needless to say her birthday has come and gone and I'm not done with either book.

Belated Cards:
I have several thank you, belated birthdays and thinking about you cards that I need to mail out.  Shame on me...

 Church Ladies Group:
Now this project has really been a hard one to finish.  I can't seem to get it done.  All I have to do is plan a monthly event for our group.  It can be a fun activity one month, and then the next month can be a spiritual one.  I have run out of ideas for the spiritual ones.  Any suggestions???  Help!!!

I started working on my second crochet pillow cover and finished one side of it; but ran out of thread.  All I need is to make a quick stop at Michaels to pick up more thread.  I'm getting the super sized mega ball this time!!!

 Knit Baby Blanket:
This is a project I have put off because it has been too warm and muggy to knit with yarn.  The baby is almost 3 old months now!!!
Winter is coming!

All summer long I have been wanting to make more pillowcases.  Yup...but can't seem to get near the sewing machine.

Knit Scarf for Me: 
I have made several scarves using this type of yarn, but I never end up with one for myself.  I will make it and keep it for me this time even if it kills me!!!

The garden has been so neglected this summer.  It has been a rainy, warm, and muggy summer season.  Not only that, filled with mosquitoes, and they LOVE ME!!!
No matter how much repellant I bathe in, the mosquitoes simply eat me up!!!
If only they could suck the fat out of me, I wouldn't mind weeding and cleaning up around the garden beds.

Just writing and thinking of these things to get done, I start having an anxiety attack!!!
By the end of the day I'm too tired, or get so hooked on watching the Olympics on TV or I simply fall asleep while watching TV.

I thought being retired meant that I would have all the time in the world!!!
Silly me ;-)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Cocktail Tray

I finally found a tray big enough to use as a cocktail tray.
In my opinion a "summer house" is not a SUMMER HOUSE without a designated happy hour cocktail tray!
I found this tray at a garage sale for a whole dollar!!!
For now my cocktail tray is stationed here in our dining area.  Eventually I would like to place it in a different part of the house.
Yes, I still have to do something about that microwave...ugh!!!

For the longest time, Hubby wouldn't think about having a designated cocktail bar/tray.  He's funny like that!
BTW...the huge bottle of Maker's Mark is mine... hehehe!!!   Next bottle I get will be smaller ;-)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Make & Take with Kelly

Last Saturday I attended a Make & Take at Kelly's, and we made these beautiful cards!
Kelly is a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator that I found through Meetup here in Minneapolis.  It was a great pleasure meeting her, and her cards were just lovely!
We made 10 cards total (2 each of 5 different designs), using the new Floral Boutique Suite.
Not only the cards are simple and beautiful, but I couldn't resist the colors!  Blue is my favorite color.

We got to play with a variety of designer papers, accessories, dies and learned new techniques while making our cards.

I really enjoyed Kelly's class, and plan on going back!  Now all I have to do is mail some of these cards out...soon!!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Decor Fabric Rag Balls

  I'm sharing with you one of my new craft discoveries...Fabric Rag Balls!!!

 You see I have this huge basket that needed something to fill it up with and make it look pretty.  I had tried a plant...nope ~ didn't look right...books ~ nope...more baskets ~ nope...and nothing really worked.

So while Pinterest-ing I came across rag balls...& voila...I knew that would be perfect for this basket.   After watching, reading and following several tutorials to learn the basics on how to make this quick and easy craft, I knew I could make them myself.

If you know a little about me by now, you know that I like to tweak & improvise DIY's...hehehe!!!

My Supplies:
  • styrofoam balls (assorted sizes), well used tennis balls (Hubby's), cheap toy plastic balls (Dollar Tree Store or garage sales or your grand/child's toy box, your pet's toy basket,... )
  • 1" width,  long ripped strips of your favorite fabric choice/theme
  • glue
  • dab a little glue to ball
  • place end of ripped fabric strip to glue on ball and wrap ball completely with fabric
  • at the end of fabric strip add a little dab of glue and glue to covered ball
  • let dry and display
These were my first rag balls I made using tennis balls.  A few to start with.

Then I hit the jackpot of balls!!!
A couple days later I found this bag full of balls at my local thrift store, immediately brought them home, and... 

went from a few...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Art Fair & Thrifty Finds

About two weekends ago, Hubby and I attended the annual Uptown Arts Festival in Minneapolis.
We enjoy doing this every summer.  I love to discover what's new in the art world!  Always great surprises and finds!
This year we came home with these two gorgeous mugs made by a husband & wife team.  You can go to Linden Hills Pottery to check out their website and admire their artwork!
My mug is the cattails one, and Hubby's is the coneflower one.  He likes the shape of the mug.
Maybe next year I'll break down and get the jewelry I really liked...

The place like every year was packed.  One thing that I really appreciated this year, was that it was not humid like it has been in the past!

Now for my Thrifty Finds...
On our way back to our car after the Art Fair, we stopped at two garage sales.  Well...I dragged Hubby to them...
At the first one, I found this silver tray for one whole dollar.  I'm not sure if it's truly silver; but it feels and looks good.  I cannot find a mark on its back.

At the second garage sale and last one for the day, I found three vintage crochet doilies for 50 cents each!

On the first of August, I went back to Empty the Nest and they were having their after Christmas in July Sale.  I had been looking for this particular book!  The book and the Christmas wood bead garland were only a dollar each!!!

Last week on Wednesday, I stopped at one of our local thrift stores.  I like going on Wednesdays.  It seems to me that on that day of the week the store gets new items out on the floor.
I found this very pretty small quilt for $1.49!!!  I thought it would look great as a tablecloth or hung on the wall!
I also found this set of retro drinking glasses for $2.49!!!  I think they're just perfect for our SUMMER HOUSE!
I found this bag full of balls and believe it or not, this was the most expensive purchase of the three items...$3.49.   Talk about perfect timing!!  I needed more balls to work on this project I'll be posting soon.
And last, but not least...
A FREE patio set from our neighbor Sheryl!!!
Four chairs and a round glass table top, plus cushions. The set is in great condition, just a little dusty that a good wash & scrub will take care of.   I had removed the green cushion to rinse dust off.

I was so happy with all of my finds!
I plan on going today to this neighborhood/block garage sale, and hoping to find great treasures...been saving my pennies for today!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Penny Carnival

When was the last time you've been to a Penny Carnival?

If it has been since you were a very young child  just like me, you will enjoy every second of it!!!

Couple of weeks ago on a Friday, I was invited by my sister-in-law to join her and her grandchildren at a Penny Carnival close by our house.
The Penny Carnival was hosted by the City of Golden Valley Parks & Recreation.  They did a fantastic job with so many fun activities for the children.
I thought that all of the activities were going to be a penny each, but I guess inflation has caught with the Penny Carnival too...LOL!!!
It was so well organized and the children were so well behaved as well!
I think I was more excited about the hay ride than the children!  
It was a quarter a ride; and popcorn was a nickel.  Drinks were also available at very fair prices.
It was a great sunny and cool day...just perfect for a puppet show at the park!
The grandchildren had a great time, and they were so ready for naps afterwards!
I love naps!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Thrifty Project

Several weeks ago I was so lucky to find this super cute and very cheap hanging wall shelf for three whole dollars!!!
For now is displaying mostly mismatched teacups and saucers, demitasses along with creamers.

You can go Here to see how this wall looked like before.  I used to call it the Great Wall of China.  I wasn't too happy how it was turning out.
This little project is a work in progress still.  I want to move the small microwave from here and find a place for it in our tiny kitchen.  Also I want to add hooks to the bottom of the hanging shelf to hang the creamers.  Lastly, I want to hang dessert/salad plates on the wall next to the sides of the hanging shelf.
This project will be done before we go back to AZ.

I am so happy how this very cheap project turned out to be.  Now I don't have any excuses to add to my teacup collection!

Share Your Cup #211 ~ Have Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Monday, August 15, 2016

Crochet Throw Pillow Cover

 What do I do while Hubby and I watch TV in the evenings?  I crochet of course!
I just finished my very first crochet throw pillow cover ever!!!

I used a very fun, easy and quick crochet pattern called Crossed Double Crochet Stitch by Lacy Crochet.  I had used this same pattern last year to make several crochet dishcloths, but this time I tweaked the pattern to make it into granny squared style.

When we first moved to our SUMMER HOME, we were given several throw pillows (family cleaning out their home to redecorate/downsize) in great condition and quality, but the colors really didn't matched our so called decor.

So last year I sewed several pillow pocket covers, but this year I decided to give crochet a try.

This is the back of the crochet pillow cover.
I used assorted buttons from my late mother-in-law's saved button stashed.

Now...this is what I learned about making crochet pillow covers or should have dones:
  • Should have done a different center; absolutely not happy with how the center of the granny square is...way off centered!
  • Should have ironed all three crochet pieces first, and
  • Should have placed and pinned together the three pieces in place to make sure that the one outside flap was even with the other side
Live & Learn!!!
My current project is on my second pillow cover using the Corner-to-Corner Shell Stitch.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Heavy Rainstorm Bouquet

This is what you get after a very heavy morning rainstorm...A HUGE phlox flower bouquet!
Our phlox flower garden used to look like this before last week's heavy rainstorm.