Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy 2014!

It was a cold, and quiet day in Michigan. The storms from Minnesota are headed into the Great Lakes region with the promise of 2-6" of snow. I spotted this redbud leaf that looked like it was preparing for a long winter's nap.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Waiting for Santa

While I was baking cookies and scones early this morning, Lily was looking out on the snow covered ground.The Christmas lights were on and the world was still. She looked so cute cuddled on the chair. This is her Christmas portrait. 

Christmas Wreath

This wreath started as a Dollar Store special grapevine wreath. I spray painted the vines gold and then added leftover artificial greenery - over spraying the wreath. Greenery became "goldery". With the addition of some white sprigs and metallic fabric, the wreath has a holiday feeling.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Advent Calender

My friend Mary sent me this wonderful calender filled with treats and inspiration from the Vermont Chocolate Company. Each day, during the month of December, you open a small "window" on the calender that's filled with chocolate candy and biblical text about the nativity. It's a great way to countdown to Christmas.

If you look closely in the bottom right corner of the photo you will see Lily's nose checking out the calender. Had a hard time taking the photo without her in it. She does have a sweet tooth and can't have chocolate.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Puppy Looks So Sweet

Lily is looking at me so innocently. She's actually pleading for me to open the door so she run after a squirrel.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Giant Grasshopper

I have had surgery and was out of commission for a while. Here's a photo I took of a very large grasshopper on an eggplant. WOW!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Swirl Painting

Saw a similar painting on the "Steven and Chris" design show based in Toronto, Canada. The original was placed on a table and used as a prop - never featured on the show. It always caught my eye so I decided to paint my own version. Now, I just need to make a frame for it.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cotton Twine Box

Watching "Racheal Ray" show the other day when Nate Berkus was on promoting his new home accessory line at Target and saw a cute little box wrapped in jute string. After scouring my home, the best I could come up with was cotton twine to replicate Nate's box. Looks cute. I even added some binding at the top and a few buttons for decoration.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CVS Deal on Herbal Essence Shampoo and Conditioner

31 cents. That's all I paid for a bottle of shampoo and conditioner. And I got $1 in ECB with my purchase. Technically, they paid me to buy the items. Just use the B1G1 coupon from the 7/28 P & G insert and you too can get this great deal.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cranberry Scones with Hazelnut Flour

 Still chilly this morning in Michigan. To warm up the house, I made cranberry scones with hazelnut flour. This flour gives the baked goods an extra sweetness that's not overpowering. Wonderful with tea, coffee or milk. The hazelnut flour also makes the scones taste richer and more decadent without the massive calories that icing or frosting imparts. The recipe is from "Cooking Light" magazine with a few adaptations namely the hazelnut flour.


Mix together 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup hazelnut flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add to the dry ingredients along with 1/2 cup of cranberries cut in half and 1/2 low fat buttermilk. Combine the ingredients until moist and the dough is sticky. Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface and place the mixture on parchment paper and then on a baking sheet. Form the mixture into a rectangle or circle that's about 1/2-3/4" thick. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees until the edges are golden are about 15 minutes.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Baby Bird's Nest on Garage Lights

A mother robin decided to build her nest on my garage lights. The lights are motion activated which provides extra warmth for the nest. Not certain it's a good thing for the baby birds.

The babies beaks are open and begging for food from their parents. I do believe spring is here, even though the temperature reads 38 degrees.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fish Bone Painting

Just a quick painting to cover a problem above my stove. The wall needs to be painted. And while I don't have the time to paint the wall, move the stove, wash the wall, etc., I do have time to do an impromptu piece of art.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Reverting Tulips

Maybe it was a mistake made by a worker filling the bag of red tulips. Maybe they dropped some pink and white bulbs in the bag tagged "red". Maybe. Chances are greater that my red tulips reverted to their original color.

Last year the tulips in my yard were all red in color. Bright red with yellow centers. This year, in the corner of my garden, sprouted pink and white tulips. Tulips, like many other flowers, are bred to enhance a mutated gene's color. I would think red would be dominant and in this case, I would be wrong.

There is another answer - squirrels! Squirrels could have switched bulbs on me. The likelihood of that happening and me winning the Powerball jackpot are one in the same.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Leaf Drawings for $4

That's right. These leaf drawings only cost $4.

I used watercolor paper and drew four separate images of leaves and placed them on 11"x14" sheets of black cardboard. The frames cost a buck a piece at the Dollar Store. Voila! Instant glam for the walls.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Kitchen Cabinet Turned Console

I got a great deal on a white kitchen cabinet at Home Depot about a year ago. And I had a plan for the pre-made cabinet.

First, I bought bracket supports for each of the four corners and attached them to the bottom of the cabinet. Next, I purchased four wood turned legs with a screw mounted at the top to adhere to the brackets. Then I sanded and painted each leg three times before attaching them to the bracket supports.

That's it. So easy and it adds lots of extra storage space with shelves inside each door unit.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Heart Print Using Hands

This idea came courtesy of the magazine, "FAMILY FUN". It uses two hand prints overlapped to form the shape of a heart. Much more striking when done with two different colors of paint for each hand.

This would be a cute idea for couples getting married - one handprint from each person that together form the heart motif.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Artichoke and Potato Casserole

I found a recipe using artichokes and potatoes on cooks.com. Of course, I tweeked it. And it was DELICIOUS! Thumbs up from everyone. Yay! Best of all, no eggs were used in making this dish.

Drain contents of two 14 oz. cans of plain artichokes, one 16 oz. can of sliced white potatoes, two small cans of black olives and two small cans of water chestnuts. Roast one large red pepper and slice after cooled into 1/4 inch pieces. Cut artichokes into 1/2 inch pieces. Combine ingredients in a large bowl along with 1/2 cup of Romano cheese, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic-chopped fine, and 1 cup of bread crumbs. Mix well and empty into an ungreased 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. The recipe recommended letting the mixture sit a day refrigerated before baking and that's just what I did. Super yummy!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Gerbera Daisy

My gerbera daisy has a lovely white flower - just in time for Easter. This must mean spring is around the corner.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Floor is Complete-sort of

Yay! The new floor is down in the living room, hall, bedroom and kitchen. It's been finished since January 29. Why so long for the update? Well, I still have to put mouldings around the room's perimeters. That requires more money and more time. For the most part, the job is done. And it looks clean and is MUCH easier to maintain. Love the Allure flooring. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hormel Pepperoni Sandwich Slices at Dollar Tree

Woo hoo! Hormel Pepperoni Sandwich Slices are at Dollar Tree Stores. And there is a coupon for $1.00 off two packages on coupons.com. That means you pay just fifty cents per package. Great deal considering they are $2 at Meijer this week.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lily Finds a Ball or the Reason I Haven't Posted Anything New

It's winter here in Michigan. And we've gotten snow. Since getting out of my subdivision seems like an adventure, I decided to complete my kitchen floor. The same kitchen floor I started ripping out over 6 months ago. My goal for the new year it to get it done by the end of January. January 2013, that is.

Progress is slow. Seems the former owners didn't just use mortar to put the durock and tile down, they also used some kind of adhesive that I can't pry off. That means I have to grind the stuff down. Oh yay! Fortunately, a coworker is loaning me their angle grinder. I can't wait to tackle this latest feat.

In the meantime, Lily and I have been walking more. She likes to eat snow as we walk - running ahead to grab a bite from a snow bank. It's almost as if she's eating ice cream she loves it so. Her eyes light up and she takes great delight in snatching a morsel and dashing ahead of me to find her next treat. Does snow taste different from yard to yard?

Here's a couple photos of a ball we found on our travels. More design posts to follow soon.