Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thinking Ahead

Well the day is almost done here in Workland. I've got the next 5 off, so the last hour or so has not been productive in terms of actual work completed.

However! I did compose my first "room collage"! Check them out.

What do you think? I know, the couch is repetitive, but I guess that just goes to show how badly I want it.

Well it's about 2:54 and I'm gonna shut down and pack up for the Holidays.


Monday, December 19, 2011

A Very Canine Christmas (Cookie)

If you're cool, like our family is, then you have tons of dogs wandering around at Christmas.

Kids? No. 6 dogs? Yes!

And even without thumbs, these dogs all manage to give each other presents for Christmas. Aren't they sweet? Well this year, Aero and Bruno broke the bank on replacement dog beds so they decided to give out homemade treats instead of store bought toys. But the tanking economy isn't the only reason to give homemade treats; they are a great way to monitor what goes in (and then comes out) of your pup. Additionally, treats made at home can be tailored to meet specific dietary needs.

So if you're nuts like us, and you tend to go overboard with your dogs, you need to pick up this book and get to baking!

This year, we made a recipe that I have modified from the book.

1/2 C canned pumpkin
1/2 C water
2 T canola oil
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 C oatmeal
1 T honey
2 C flour
1 egg white

Combine ingredients (excluding egg white) wet, then dry. You may need to add more flour if you aren't super precise about your measuring (I'm not). This should form a dough that is not too wet, not too crumbly. Roll out your dough and use the adorable cookie cutter provided inside the book. For smaller dogs, I cut the dough into little half inch squares. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes, remove from oven and brush bones with egg white, place back in the oven for 5 more minutes.

Did you taste the dough? How about the cookies? That concoction smells good, doesn't it?

OK, I admit it, I tasted one of the treats. It was decent... too dry for a human though.

With Aero and Bruno's help, I wrapped these up with some festive paper and ribbon. And by "help" you know I mean they just stared out the window of my craft room, hunting for squirrels while I cut little strips of paper and tied impossibly small bows.

Too cute! A Very Hairy Christmas to you and your doggy friends from Aero and Bruno (and why not? From me too!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas at Glenwood

Some pictures for your Christmas pleasure.

Our living room

Smokey, the stuffed Herman Shorthaired Pointer

fake snow. I always wanted to use this! Growing up we were never allowed to have fake snow or tinsel or fake grass in our easter baskets because my Dad hated it.

Love this year's tree! I don't know if you can tell, but there is tinsel on it!

Lanterns from my wedding

bookshelf behind the tree in the ghost room. Poinsettias on top, where the dogs can't reach

I love the way this ornament reflects the lights

View as you walk in the back door - you can actually see it in this picture, in all it's muddied paw glory.

In the kitchen looking through

You can't see them well, but all of my snowmen are on top of the cabinets

Gold balls in my new china!

 beaded wreaths on the new chairs

My babies.

uh oh.

Thats what Christmas looks like around here anyway. Gotta love that last one... posing for pictures really pooped him out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

More Wreaths

Hello and Happy Monday.

I know... Happy Monday is more of a myth than unicorns... But sometimes I can't help myself.

I said I would upload some more pictures of my wreath, so here they are:

Sorry, I couldn't resist adding this pic of my little girl decked out in a red bow. The photo quality is terrible; partly because I used my phone and partly because she doesn't sit still long enough to get a quality photo... certainly not with a phone... and definitely not with a stupid bow around her neck! I think she wiggled out of it like 30 seconds later.

Well I don't want to go bragging all over the internet, but I'm done with my shopping. Done with my indoor decorating and very close to done with the outdoor decorating. It feels really good. I still have to wrap presents and then clean the mess that I have left in my wake, but I've got the feeling I'll be posting pictures sometime this week.

The Grinch had to go to France for work this week so he is all worked up about that. I don't blame him... France kind of stinks... both literally and metaphorically. But it gives me a whole week of not making dinner and not caring about leaving unfinished projects all over everything. So I highly suspect that I will be posting about stuff this week.

Also, I'm going to pick up his present today after work. I hope they show me how to use it... I'd love to know how to use something excessively powerful.

Stay Tuned!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A GREEN Christmas

Hi again.

I'm glad to see that you endured my complaining in the last post and decided to come back... you are awesome (all 4 of you)! I wanted to share some stuff that's been going on in my house that prove I have been trying to get Christmas going.

First things first - here is my wreath:

I never posted it in my original wreath making post because I hadn't put it up on the fence yet. In my Mom's basement, it just looked like a hot mess... and I don't use that term often. It looked wild and overgrown and shaggy. Totally unlike the style of wreath that I normally make. But since I was putting it out on this blank expanse of pine, I knew it had to be a little out of control. Oh fine, here is a picture I took of it at my Mom's:

Ha, ha, ha, so out of control! But once I added the snowy white Christmas bulbs (balls, ornaments - whatever you call them!) and the snowflake wire, the pine cones and the bow - it looks pretty darn good. One thing that is missing from the picture is the snowy owl I found at JoAnns and added a week later. If I think of it, I'll add an updated picture when I get home... complete with owl.

In other greenery:

This is just hanging out in my kitchen right now, looking festive. The "vase" is actually a gorgeous piece of pottery that was a wedding gift from my Nana and Papa... isn't it awesome? It pains the Mr. to see me buy flowers... he claims they are a waste of money... but I really like them so I do it anyway. The IGA across the street from where I work always has a 1/2 dozen roses for $2.99... so really, if you think about it, it'd be a waste if I DIDN'T buy them at that price!

Finally - the most festive of decorations - our tree:

I know... it's not decorated, and the picture quality is deplorable. But it's a picture I took with my phone about 5 seconds after we got it up, so stop being so picky! You should also note that we don't usually keep leaves on our floor... again, 5 seconds after the tree was up. Judging from the light streaming in from the left side of the photo, our front door was probably still open!

A word on Christmas Trees.

I really love them with their smell and their iconic beauty and the way they occupy space in my ghost room. When I was younger and we moved from a house with 9 ft ceilings to a living room that had a 18 ft ceiling it was like the greatest thing ever because we could get a gigantic Christmas tree. Speaking of that, it seems that every year I get a tree that is too big. Well I did not disappoint this year - After my Dad cut down the tree I picked, I asked him to cut a foot off of the bottom. Then I brought it home and asked the Mr. (who shall be known as "The Grinch" or "Scrooge" for the rest of the Holiday season) to help me put it in the stand. It was about 2 feet too tall. So, from it's original state in the woods, this tree lost 3 feet before finding it's final resting place in our ghost room. That probably explains why it dropped a ton of sap in my hair as I was stringing the lights... all 1,000 of them!

Hope your place is starting to look "green" as well!

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Days: What was I thinking?

I'm not exactly sure what I planned to accomplish with 30 days of crafts...

Maybe I thought it would be a good way to draw people in? Yah, and then what? I get sponsored and make blogging my life?

Well, that's not going to happen, and even if it did, I don't have time to make blogging my life because I have a regular job that actually pays bills. So then, for you loyal readers i.e. Mom and Amy, I am going to return to my regularly scheduled blogging.

Here is why:

1. Today I had 106 unread blogs sitting in my reader. Do you know what 99% of them were? USELESS. They plug their sponsors too much or talk about things that I really don't care about (like parenting or going to Disney).
2. All of those bloggers who get paid to do it are stay-at-home Moms. Though I'd like to stay at home, I can't... I have Verizon wireless bills to pay.
3. No one actually makes the stuff they see on the blogs. I mean seriously... I must have viewed a million blog postings and only ever copied like 10 things. Most of the time I don't even read the directions... it's not in my nature to follow directions, so I shouldn't be giving them either.
4. When you force yourself to craft, it's not fun at all.
5. Everyone wants eye-candy, so I'll give it to you when I have it, but I'm not going to force boring things on you.
6. There are like 9 million dishes in my sink. How is that even possible?
7. I like my fix-it-up projects more than I like making something from nothing... and 30 days wasnt all about fixing.
8. I spent a large part of my $100 budget at target today buying festive pillows and ornaments... also i bought another cardigan, because clearly, I don't have enough.
9. Christmas gets ruined enough by Dan being the world's biggest scrooge (Why do we have to set up decorations? Excuse me, we...?) I don't need to ruin it more by forcing myself to make crafty things.
10. Sometimes, you go to work on Monday after a long weekend and the world just gives you negativity. And it makes you mad and annoyed by lots of things, including your own outlandish ideas to blog all the time.

So then, there you have. 30 days are over. I'll be doing things and I'll post them when I can, but let's be serious, who was I kidding?

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Days: Day Six - a Hostess Gift

This post is really two thoughts in one....

First Thought:
One of the best things about the Holiday season is the festive parties. Everyone gets dressed up, listens to some classic Holiday party music and proceeds to get both merry and bright. You have to love it. But one of the struggles of attending so many parties is coming up with a decent hostess gift. While dish towels and ornaments tend to be over-gifted, a good bottle of wine usually does the trick... but it's common. How can you get your $7 bottle of wine to look better than the showoff's $30 bottle?

Second Thought:
Sometimes, I see adorable wine cork art and instantly fall in love. As it just so happens, I have an insane amount of corks because people have been saving them for me for the last few years... But not everyone has that kind of stash on hand. I understand. That's why this adorable little "icing on the cake" hostess gift only requires 3 corks.

We could go through that much wine in about 2 hours with my crazy family.

So here is what you need to make your bottle look like the best hostess gift ever:

1. 3 wine corks, preferably with red wine stains on the cork
2. A Hot glue gun. If you don't have one, you should probably stop reading this blog, because I don't do anything without mine.
3. Ribbon
4. A decent knife

1. Cut your 3 corks in half. I found that it's pretty easy to do when they are dry.

2. Take 1 of your halves and cut it in half again.

3. Hot glue your corks together in the shape of a Christmas tree. Use one of the 1/4 corks in the middle of the bottom row. Be sure that they all appear level from the front (even though they are probably different sizes).

4. Pick a festive ribbon to go around your tree, and hot glue it in place.

5. Use the remaining 1/4 cork as the stump and glue to the ribbon.

6. I added a ribbon to the top of my tree, but any fun kind of embellishments you come up with would work real well.

7. Create a loop so that you can hang your tree around your $7 bottle of wine that tastes exactly the same as the $30 bottle.

8. Accept compliments graciously when your hostess gift turns everyone's head at the next Holiday Party.

Oh yah, don't forget to keep eating the candy out of your countdown calendar when you finish a craft!