Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding

I just finished watching 10 hours of the Royal Wedding, not to mention every program leading up to it. Of course, by the time you fast forward through the commercials, it was actually 2 and a half hours. Only kidding, but truly, I tape everything. For every hour of programming, 20 minutes are commercials.

I absolutely LOVED the dress. So classic. Kate looked so elegant. I do hope it works out for them. They make the cutest couple. At least she knows what she's getting in to.

I wish I was there. It would be nice to escape reality for awhile. I've got a headache from the paint smell. Everything is coming along, but not fast enough to suit me. I'll start sending some peeks soon.

I hope your weather is as nice as ours has been. So nice to be able to sit outside and read---well, except for the smell of the fresh sealer on the patio. Oh well, it should all be finished in about 3 more weeks. I can only hope! Then the outside work will begin....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Too Darn Cute!

I talked to Sandy on Monday and she was telling me about Elizabeth's latest antics. Every night, part of the Lapps family bedtime routine is that Sandy lays out Elizabeth's school uniform for the next day, reads to her, tucks her in bed and closes the door. Later, before Sandy goes to bed, she goes upstairs and opens the girls doors. She noticed that Elizabeth was fully dressed for school including her cardigan sweater buttoned. The next morning, she asked E what that was about. Elizabeth replied, "mom, I wanted to sleep 5 minutes extra." I wonder where she got that? Sounds sort of like a teenager thing. Still, darn cute.

Farm Report

As I said, we had a great time out at the farm. Seems like it's been raining for two weeks. We've had terrible storms and tornadoes early this morning, but the sun is out now (8 a.m.) It won't last long. I'm heading out to a 2 day needlepoint workshop today with Nancy. I'm sure it will start storming again when I need to leave.

Connie called me on Saturday from Atlanta to find out if my family in St. Louis was okay. I said "whaaaatttt????" I had no idea y'all were getting all those tornadoes. I don't watch tv during the day. I figured since I hadn't heard from anybody, all was well. No news is good news.

Back to the farm. We had a little visitor one night. I was the first one up---I always am---and I start the coffee for everybody---I bring my own tea. I noticed the little "presents" all over the counter. Then I saw that our little visitor had nibbled on the cherry pie and "busted through" the plastic of the Sister Shubert rolls. Some of the girls were freaking. I said there was no way we were throwing that food away---he didn't eat much. Then, we found that he had gotten in to our candy. We really weren't happy about that. No one messes with our candy. We couldn't tell whose candy it was---or rather, which cup he'd taken it from. Nancy had made us little table favors.

Nancy made Cream of Wheat as one of her breakfasts. That is one of my favorite comfort foods. I like it on a regular basis, but always have it when I'm sick. Lots of times, I'll have it for dinner too. Great and low cal. Anyway, these southern gals blew me away! They put salt and pepper in Cream of Wheat. I said, "whoa, what, do you think these are grits?"  Anyway, I tasted it with salt and pepper. It wasn't terrible, just wrong. I like it all buttery and sweet---just like me!

End of farm report.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The first two layouts are from A Year of Memories/2. The topic this month was to scrapbook your faith. Suzanne's layout---titled, "Cradle Catholic" told a beautiful story about faith, her mother and then her daughter who wore her First Communion dress.

Sally used phrases highlighting her beliefs---that her faith is all around her---evidenced in her house. She has more photos going on the page, but is computer challenged and doesn't know how to print pictures at home. The ones she had printed at Walgreens were to big for her layout.

 Now on to The Scraproom Challenge Club. This month's challenge was to stamp on the page. Pam stamped the word Aprons with paint. She found a story that someone else had written that summed up what she felt about her grandmother's aprons.
Karolyn's Scraproom shows the before and then after I organized and decorated it. She stamped part of the title.

Linda told the story of her niece's ball game.

Lola's layout, titled, "Almost Time" is about her niece, soon to give birth.

This is a canvas piece that is part of a book. It is stamped in a collage style.

Sandy stamped the flowers and added flourishes to the background

Barbara (yes, another one) stamped turnips on the page and told the story of visiting a turnip farm.

Tanya stamped the flowers on her page.

The design in the upper right hand corner is stamped.

Jan is the card maker of the group. She spends hours getting each card just right. This one is gorgeous.

Another of Jan's cards. On this one, she used her sewing machine to keep with the stitching theme.

This is my layout about my Aunt Marie's wedding. I stamped and embossed the title and corner swirls. I told about my relationship with Aunt Marie and how important it is to me.

The challenge for next month is to distress the page by---inking, painting, tearing or sanding. I'm not into the messy look, so this is not really my thing, but I will be a good sport. The whole purpose of this club it to try different things and learn new techniques. Everyone gets to choose a challenge. Every time it's my turn, I always make them focus on the story. I'm sure there are many who don't like that either! 

A Few Layouts

In preparation for my "Making the Most of My Memories Workshop" on Thursday night, I was pulling out a few layouts. I decided to share these "oldies but goodies."
 "bump to incho half"---I always hope that the title will draw you in---you want to see what it's all about---the journaling is below.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!

I had a great week, but have felt disconnected. I have to admit, I'm addicted to the internet. I usually don't worry about it because at the very least, I have phone access to my emails. That's the way I communicate these days, so when I can't get my emails, I get a little panicky. I had a great time scrapbooking at the farm, but was completely disconnected all week. 

The weather was perfect for scrapbooking---cool and rainy. Luckily, there were a couple days to be lazy on the porch with my book. I love that---no responsibilities or commitments---just anything I want to do---scrapbook, read, stitch, listen to music, eat and drink---heavenly. I waste a lot of time trying to decide what to do---so many fun choices!

It wasn't until I got home that I realized the reason for my "disconnect." I had left my mail program open on my desktop which is my main computer. When that happens, all of my emails funnel into there first. I'll just have to remember to make sure that I close that before I leave town the next time. 
As I was getting ready to leave on Monday, I caught Margarita cleaning out the coffee maker. That's just one more of those little things that she stays on top of. Gotta' love that. I'm sure she didn't understand why I was taking a picture of her. Still, she said, "thank you." I definitely get my money's worth with this gal. She doesn't understand---"go home early."
Upon my return Friday morning, as soon as I unloaded my car, I walked through the garden to see what was happening. My fringe tree was in full bloom. It's a slow grower, but so pretty in spring. Whenever I plant a tree, I like to get something unusual. I put this one in about 6 or 8 years ago along with a Benjamin Franklin and Yellow Wood both of which bit the dust.
Lily of the Valley in bloom.

View looking from inside the shade garden. 

I got home to a few problems. For whatever reason, I cannot access the internet with my laptop. I have an 8 a.m. appointment tomorrow at the Apple Store. They'll fix me up.
Then there was this---another of my unusual trees bit the dust in the storm. Butch had called me to find out who to call, so at least I was prepared. Luckily, I have a great arborist that I've been using for years. Aaron will always bump me to the top of his list. That's the beauty of forming relationships with your workers. They take care of you! Anyway, this is a Linden that was 30 feet tall. It hid our sprinkler system works. Aaron sent his crew the very day this happened to at least clear the driveway. They came back on Friday to remove the rest. I'm waiting for his suggestion as to what to replace it with. It will have to be big right off, so that's an unexpected expense. When it rains, it pours....
I decided to take a picture to remind myself of why we have to replace all of the columns, upper porch and deck. One of the guys giving me a bid said, "well, Ms. Eads, this is just plain neglect." I don't think he meant it as an insult---like maybe we just bought the house. But it's the truth. We're to the point, that everything has to be painted every year. I didn't do it last year and now have rotted wood everywhere.

My plan for Friday was to get my office back in order after the painters. I ended up wasting the whole day. I was so overwhelmed, I didn't know where to start.
This is all I have to show for Friday---a tiny bit of normalcy amidst the chaos of my house. It wasn't until I posted this photo that I realize there's something wrong with this picture. I'll have to do something with that cord. I guess I didn't notice it before because it blended in with the paint color on the wall. Now that the bead board is up, it really sticks out.

By Saturday, I was back to my normal "get it done" self. Jeanne said I'd have everything done by Sunday night---but I had it all done by Saturday night! I started in my office at 5 a.m. I waited until 6 to start hammering. I figured Butch would be up by then. I'm getting rid of a lot of stuff and that feels good.

I worked solidly from 5 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.---breaking for lunch. Stephanie, Mindy and a friend where at the pool. The plan was that they were going to pick up food and we'd watch a movie and stitch---starting at 6 p.m. I'm very goal oriented. Give me a deadline. That works for me.

I got everything cleaned up in the library so that my new bookcase can be installed sometime this week or next. I moved all of my cookbooks from my kitchen cabinet in there too. I had to clean out all of my cabinets over the desk (4 of them) to make way for my new glass front doors. I wrapped up a slew of glasses to give to Margarita and re-organized my patio glasses, candles, etc.

I have a few more mirrors to hang, so I got those washed up. I started sorting in the sun room. I haven't sold the furniture yet and the new stuff is being delivered on Friday. I'm going to put the old stuff on the front porch. That should make it look real southern---wicker on the front porch. I made a path to the ferns that are ready for Butch to move out front too---too heavy for me. I got the family room together---but I didn't put the new rug down yet. I'm waiting for the granite, sink and faucet to be installed in the bar on Tuesday and the drapes re-hung. I want the room to look all new at the same time.

And as I say, one thing leads to another---now I'm replacing the bedroom carpet. I was just going to patch an area where the stain from a plant stand has messed up the carpet. It was Butch's idea to replace it, so I'm going with it. I'm so surprised he isn't "wigging" out about all of it. I know he's seeing dollar signs. Luckily, he really doesn't want to know. He did mention that he overheard the faux painter mention something about clouds and birds. He wanted to know what that was all about. I told him to just wait and see.

Mindy arrived with the food at 5:30---a half hour early, which is why I had to quit. I took a quick shower. We spent the rest of the evening on the patio---talking. We lit a fire about 8 p.m. Steph had to drive Mindy home about 10. We'll pick her up for Mass this morning, have brunch, then she leaves for the airport. She's traveling for the next 2 weeks. So far, she still doesn't mind.

This afternoon, I plan to get ready for 2 classes I have this week. I'll hit the ground running tomorrow. I have something every day and night---really busy---in between, meeting with work men. Plus, I need to make a decision about the outside work. I'm going to consult with Butch on that as I don't want to be totally responsible for something this big. It's all getting there....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I'm feeling a little nostalgic for Italy. I can't believe it's almost been two years since we were there. I loved Venice and said that I would like to  visit every piazza and have a bottle of wine at each---well, at least share it with someone. To actually do it would be quite a task as there are about 125 of them. I just loved getting the feel of how the people live there. Each piazza has its own charm---a few little shops, Church, cafes, statues and well.

While visiting one of them, we witnessed the police chasing one of those people selling illegal goods. We saw some kids riding bikes and playing soccer. Just fun to blend in with the natives.

While talking to Jeanne and my cousin, Judy, who have also been to Italy, we got on the subject of what we brought home in the way of souvenirs. I was describing the cherry basket below, but they didn't know what I was talking about.

This is Murano Glass that is only made in Venice on Murano Island. We had a private tour there which was really fun. I usually only allow myself one "splurge" item when traveling, but this time, I just couldn't resist. This fancy couple stands about 10 inches tall.

I loved the detail of this porcelain piece---Compodimente----I don't know if that stands for the style, the designer or what. I realize now that I should have put something else in the picture so you could get the scale of it. It's about 4 inches tall and 4 inches wide.

The reason I'm thinking about Italy? My niece, Jackie and Greg are going around Memorial Day. Then   Mindy's friends, Lauren and Chris (also our family friends) are going in June. I'm thinking, "what the heck---it took us 38 years to get there and these young people can do it while they are young!" Maybe if we'd gone when we were young, my goal to visit all those piazzas could have been attainable. But then we could never have afforded it back then.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sometimes He Does the Nicest Things...

I got in my car earlier this week to find this. Now, I've never asked for a sun screen and don't particularly want to fight with it. But it was a nice gesture. Butch has been using one for years. I would think, that since I've never asked for one, that would be a clue that I don't really want it---especially now that I can start my car from inside and cool it down before I ever even get in it. Still, I guess I'll use it now and then---if I remember. Sorta like those green bags that I carry in the car and then forget to take in to the store nine times out of ten.
On the other hand, Butch did something so nice today. We got in his car and I realized I didn't have my sunglasses. I asked him to get them out of my car. Turns out, my car was locked and the keys were in the house. I told him "never mind." But instead, he went back in the house and got my keys to retrieve my sunglasses. He really does a lot of nice, little things. I need to pay more attention.

Of for our annual farm crop---Monday to Friday---no internet access. I'm sure I'll have a lot to report when I get back. I hope everyone has a great week.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Button Bracelets

These are so darn cute! I made one for each of the girls. I think Mindy has worn hers every day. In fact, she wants to make one her self with all black and gold bracelets. This would be a great way to use old buttons---say from your mother's or grandmother's button box---and give them to your grandchildren.

 Here's what you need:
assorted buttons
E6000 glue (found at any craft store)
jewelry blank

All you have to do is cut off the button shanks---with a wire cutter and glue them to the bracelet. Easy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nothing is Ever Simple!

About two months ago, I decided to do some re-decorating. Along with some normal maintenance, here's what I had planned:
New book case custom-made for the library
Install bead board (wainscoating for you "northerners") in the family room and paint
New rug for family room
Paint the kitchen and sunroom ceilings blue
Replace 2 cabinet doors in the kitchen with glass front doors
Re-do the sun room to include paint, window treatments and new furniture
Re-do my bedroom and bathroom to include, paint, windows, bedding, new chair and ottoman
Paint my office and get new window treatments
Replace wood blinds with plantation shutters in my office and pink guest room
Paint the columns, deck and upper porch outside
Seal the patios and driveway
Re-seal the front doors
Have the windows washed---expensive job---I only do it every other year.
Finally have the pool pipes buried so we can plant grass seed over the muddy mess in the middle of the yard.

I told Christy---my decorator/friend with all the great resources---that I wanted to use pre-mades this time as I spent a fortune on my custom stuff the last time---which is now in storage for when Mindy has a 2nd bedroom that needs furnishing. All of this just seemed like fun---well except the outside stuff.

All was going well. Found a duvet at Pottery Barn that I loved---kind of a muted paisley. Found a rung also from PB---on sale---for the family room. One thing leads to another. My "fun" re-modeling job has turned into an expensive black hole with one thing after another popping up. Here's what's happening now:
One of the air conditioners has gone out. IF my buddy, Tommy can find a motor for this old unit, it will be about $900---if not---we have to replace the whole thing---cha ching...

We had a leak in our bathroom. The roofer thought it was a "quick fix" and would be free since we just replaced the roof about 3 years ago. Instead, he found this:
 These are called lead "collars" that go around the pipes that come out of your roof---about 6 inches tall where the roof meets the pipes. We have 2 of them on that side of the house. The squirrels completely ate one of them and this is what's left of the 2nd one. 
This is a close-up---you can see their teeth marks. Butch said, "I thought lead was supposed to be poisonous. Why doesn't it kill the squirrels?" My thoughts exactly. I want those suckers dead now. This is no longer a free job---cha ching...

Not to mention that the bathroom ceiling has to be torn out and re-done. I was desperate to get it done because my painters are ready to get in there. So Mike is coming tomorrow---I have no idea what that's going to cost---I was more concerned that he could come right away. When he takes the ceiling down, he needs to also remove and replace the insulation---cha-ching....
I found out that we would need to completely replace the columns, deck and porch rails on the front of the house. Everything's rotted. The first guy that was here actually said to me, "mam, this is plain neglect!" I think he thought we just moved in. He was really nice, so I don't think he was trying to be insulting. Hey, it's only been 2 years since I had everything painted and sealed. That can't be cheap---waiting on the bids---mega cha ching....

The front doors now have deep cracks and need to be replaced. Do you have any idea how much front doors cost? Major cha ching....

Now mind you, this is all the "un-fun" stuff and my money is going to be gone! I say "my" money because I was using some of the money I inherited from mom. The heck with it, I'm proceeding with everything I want to do. I set a budget and plan to count all this unexpected stuff as household expenses. Butch cha ching....

Christy found me some great fabric for the bedroom drapes---of course I had to have it. She also found some great fabric for the sunroom with an inexpensive trim. Just my luck, it was discontinued. We picked out something a little more expensive, but still reasonable. Since we need 38 yards, it had to be ordered. The guy said that there would be a price increase---the way things are going, should I be surprised? little cha ching....

Butch really has no idea what is going on. He just opens the door to a myriad of workers. He makes comments, mostly negative, but I'm used to it. Last Friday night, he mentioned that since we were painting the bar, maybe we should re-do it. What? He actually had input? I hadn't thought of changing the bar, but now I'm all over it. We're eliminating the doors and adding shelving above. I went yesterday and picked out granite, then went sink shopping. Amazing how those little things can be so much---and the faucet---it's just plain crazy. Let's just say that if Butch knew how much this was costing, he never would have suggested it. medium cha ching....

I had a happy surprise today---the only thing that turned out cheaper than I had in my head. Replacing the cabinets in the kitchen with the glass doors was very reasonable. Very little cha ching...

The painters are starting on my office tomorrow. I was only going to paint it, but now have decided to change the window treatments too. Who knows how much cha ching....

To top it all off, while emptying my office, I noticed one of the portraits on the wall has termites in it. I took it off the wall to inspect and don't see anything worrysome and the termites inside the pictures are dead, so I think I'm okay there. Even if I have termites, I'm not too concerned as I have an annual termite contract with my pest control. Thank goodness. no cha ching....

In the meantime, just about every room in the house is torn up with stuff from other rooms all over.

 Ooops, that's just my normal mess.
 And this is Butch's normal mess.
Look what I found in the kitchen? An empty cabinet over the refrigerator. I'm planning on cleaning out and getting rid of a lot of stuff. But it's nice to know that I do have some extra space.

Oh, and as it turns out---the only thing pre-made was the Pottery Barn duvet. So much for that resolve. I guess I just want what I want and I don't care what it costs. (Nancy is always ribbing me about that.)

And then we got the tax bill. I can't even go there. Maximum cha ching....