Monday, June 30, 2014

What a Mess............



All this crafting and experimenting is hopefully to one day settle on just a few crafts i like to do......... I'm exploring my options....



Seeing what i have a 'knack' for........... what brings me joy.... what speaks to my soul...........



And honestly so far i haven't found many crafts i don't enjoy....... some i'm better at than others.........  and at least one i know i will NEVER try again........ 

If i ever pick up another package of sheet moss will someone please shoot me in the head?!  What a mess........... If i ever want something covered in moss again i will buy it already covered.... lesson learned....  And it took this photo to show me the picture is crooked.....sigh.....I can also see my letter 'T' could have been larger for this space. But i'm afraid this will have to do..... I have some other ideas for a letter 'T'. Maybe i'll fill that space with a couple different 'T's.....  

Lesson Learned....... when it comes to sheet moss .... 'Just say no!' I have no liquid on this post but with the letter 'T' I'm joining 'T Stands for Tuesday' over there at Elizabeth's blog The Altered Book Lover. Hi everybody!!!!
Hugs! deb

Friday, June 27, 2014

In the Garden.......

Lori over there at FindingRadiance posts a What's Blooming post every Friday and i'm always inspired to join her. I hope she doesn't mind the company...... I wanted to show you a little Before and After........
                                               Before...... this is what it looked like when we first moved in....Oct 2012...... We did not get to choose the plants ..... lets see they planted Day Lilies, Lavender, Rosemary,I don't remember what those shrubs were.... but i'am so not a shrub person... My rule of thumb... If it doesn't bloom or provide shade i don't want it. :)  Well the Lavender at the front of the house all died....sigh... I tried to figure out what the problem was but they were not happy.... The Rosemary is not in an ideal location... it gets overspray from the yard sprinklers... When rosemary gets too much water it looks great BUT does not bloom. It needs to be neglected a little to bloom....... Okay okay i probably told you more than you wanted to know...lol...... I tend to do that when i get started on plants............ Now........


The After!!  And this was taken at least a week ago. Those blue flowers are Blue Plumbago.  They are very drought tolerant and bloom their little hearts out all summer long..... Look how big the daylilies are!!  They have really taken off.....Can you see the Crepe Myrtle trees?? They are a little small now ... all the other flowers are nearly as tall as they are...but that will change... We also planted that Italian Cypress on the left side.. i think we needed a little height our front..



The Crepes will be purple and the buds are just starting to pop. I don't even know what that tree is they planted on the right side of the photo. But the Housing Assoc. tells me i cannot replace it... I would so put another Crepe in there.. oh well.....I will never live in another house that has a HOA....... 



Close up of one of the DayLilies...... I swear it looks like someone took a paintbrush to them. Wish i knew what variety they are. 


Just another view....... I'am totally in love with blue and orange together.....


Mr. Frog looks happy surround by all his flowers. The pink there is an impatien enjoying the shade.... I need to take another photo of the frog as he is almost completely covered by blue flowers now.... How does your garden grow!! Hugs! deb

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I'm Going to Share.......

........... a bit of MAGIC with you........ MAGIC because its so darn easy to make and tastes sooo darn good......And you don't even have to heat up your kitchen this summer to make it.........

Peanut Brittle!!! Have you ever tried to make your own?? I don't share many recipes on here cause lets face it i. just. don't. like. to. cook.  Its a necessity but its not something i enjoy. I don't like having to hang out over the stove........ So most of my 'go to' recipes center around the crock pot or the oven.  In this case... the microwave oven.  MicroWave Peanut Brittle. Now before you shake your head and walk away let me tell you this Brittle passes the Hubby test and he is a Peanut Brittle Connoisseur!  This recipe is a well guarded secret of mine that probably everybody knows.. LOL! But i'm gonna share my version that has never let me down...

                                MicroWave Peanut Brittle

1 cup of raw peanuts
1cup sugar
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1tsp butter
1tsp vanilla
1tsp baking soda

Now.......... in a microwave safe dish that can handle high temps ( in other words not plastic) stir together peanuts, sugar, syrup, salt. Microwave 3 1/2 - 4 minutes on high. Stir well. Microwave another 3 1/2  - 4 minutes. Add butter , vanilla , Stir to blend. Microwave another 2 minutes. Add baking soda. Stir gently until foamy. Working quickly pour onto aluminum foil covered baking sheet. Let Cool. Break into pieces.

Now Microwaves vary so you may have to fiddle with the timing a little bit. Pretty much you  just want to watch it so it doesn't get too dark.....I hope you'll give it a try............ You can thank me later.. :) Hugs! deb

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Around the House.......


............Some things have been coming together... some projects are actually finished and up on the walls..... This project would have been finished long ago except i ran into those crackling problems...

 Much thanks to Eileen, the crafting guru over there at the Artful Crafter.  Her tagline is "Helping crafters to be." And i'd have to emphatically agree with that. If your ever stumped over a technique or product Eileen will help you figure it out.  And its funny after all that hub bub about crackling ..unless you are really close to the words up there you can't even tell they are crackled. LOL! Geesh.. Thats okay..i know their crackled... :)  

I also found some little words that i just painted black . I wish i could find a few more and take it all the way to the floor....  Its not often i can show a finished project so i'm super excited to show you. Every little thing i add to the house just makes it feel a little bit more like home.... Hugs! deb

PS. Eileen reminded me that i didn't tell you what happened with my birthday....... Well it was about 6pm and we were settled in front of the TV and i had pretty much come to the conclusion that yep..... they forgot........ it happens...... I have had 47 of them after all....... so i lean over and whisper in Hubby's ear..... 'Do you want to be my hero?' And he's like huh? what?  'Do you want to be my hero?' Hubby...sure! Then i leeeannn back over and whisper ' Then you better wish me a Happy Birthday before its too late!' He forgot........poor guy.... to be honest he is so over worked and tired its a wonder he remembers his own name much less mine.  And he said we'll have to do something this weekend..... I said all i needed was for him to wish me a happy birthday. Because everyday spent with him is special anyway.... 

Now the company that came down over the weekend ? Weeeellll.....??? they don't like to be spoken about on the blog so we'll leave it at that....... Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes! 47 uuughhh........... 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Life......






..............Jinx has the right idea here i think......Can you see him in the shadows? Might be better if you click on it to enlarge..So hard to take a picture of a black cat..... He goes around all day from sun puddle to sun puddle......

Did you have a good weekend?? We celebrated a belated Father's Day with burgers on the grill and corn.....Yum!  Saturday we had a walkway poured and stamped.... I'll show you some pictures when its all said and done.....

Did you ever have that funny feeling that everyone forgot your birthday??  lol! Now i've had a bloggy friend remember its my birthday today and sent me a gorgeous E-card. And a dear friend from TX has remembered me...... no i'm talking my close family members.......  Now, they they could totally shock me but i think by having a belated Father's Day it threw everybody off.......Walked hubby out to the truck this morning at 4am to see him off to work.... no birthday wish...hmmmm...  The company we had for our belated Father's Day came and went this weekend with no bday wish.... hmmm....    It will be very interesting to see if i'm right or wrong..... :) 

Well i have been a busy little beaver in the craft room and i cannot wait to show you..... I need to get a couple good photos first though.  Something better than that black smudge up there thats suppose to be Jinx. :) I did finish the back ground on the Three Cats on a Broom picture....But can you see what i forgot to do?? I forgot to put the end on the broom.... you know the business end you sweep with...lol.... Oh well..... its just in my sketch book....I had space issues too. I really ran out of room to finish the broom....  Maybe i can cut and paste something in there.. 

Well this is just a rambling post...... Just something to move on a bit from the Big Trip....... I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I'd love to hear what you've been up to! Hugs! deb

Friday, June 20, 2014

Trip Treasures......

Well we made it home safe and sound.....It was a long ride home...you know how it is when your just ready to be home... 
We didn't take Hwy 1... i think we had enough curvy roads to last us a while... lol.. We were ready for the open highway... I wanted to show you a couple things we picked up on the trip...


..........If you've been following for a while then you know i collect pins. These beauties have been added to the collection... Now you may think that bear pin was commemorative of our bear encounter but we bought this BEFORE the bear encounter...OOOooooOOoo.....



I don't like touristy things...... I don't like items that have the name of where i've been plastered all over it...... In other words i don't need a coffee cup or tshirt with Humboldt Redwoods or ShelterCove on it...... I like items that will remind ME of where i've been.... Above you can see i found another use for some extra yogurt cups...These succulents were growing all along the coast and i brought a couple home to try my green thumb with them....  On top there you can see some of the black rock from Black Sands Beach....

I fell in love with these trees to hang on the wall.  Sorry for the bad photo. It was still pretty dim in the house when i took the photo..... But i love them....... and they will remind me of the redwoods every time i look at them.... Not pictured is the redwood we purchased for Hubby to make a table .....  We stopped at this place that made clocks and tables from redwood and they had a whole collection of rough redwood you could purchase to make your own stuff..... So instead of buying a finished piece hubby will get to play with some wood....... :)

I so hope you enjoyed coming along on the trip!  I'm hoping there are a few more trips before we bid California adieu in a couple years...... I think next on our list has to be Yosemite and Sequoia Nat Forests ....... the threat of wildfires has been so high in recent years i want to get there before something terrible happens and perhaps they burn down.....  

I've been working on several craft projects i'm just dying to show you......but i wanted to wrap this up first! Be back real soon!!! Hugs! deb 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Last Leg................





We made it!!!! The last leg of our incredible 25th Anniversary Trip! I had such a hard time deciding what pictures to share..... I'm still debating as i type.......  For our last night we had reservations at the Inn of the Lost Coast in Shelter Cove. Between Garberville (aka .. Redwoods) and Shelter Cove lay one wicked road aptly named Shelter Cove Rd.   After MANY twists and turns and ups and downs the road opened up to this incredible view and we just had to pull over and take it all in..... The ocean and sky meet somewhere out there....... Please do click all these photos large Okay? 


This is the gorgeous view from our third floor balcony.......We left the balcony door open all night and huddled  and cuddled under the covers falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing.....


.........All i can say is WOW! Thats our hotel in the above photo.  We had such fun exploring the coastline i cannot begin to tell you.


Wildlife around every corner


......well hello there....... They all posed so nicely for their photos... i have tons........ not sure what to do with them all...... but apparently we LOVE taking pictures of seals...lol 



............this is Black Sands Beach...... and truly our only disappointment.....If this beautiful view can be called a disappointment..... Black Sand Beach turned out to be Black Rock beach.....Black Gravel Beach... you choose...... but that is NOT sand...... but loose gravel that was incredibly difficult to walk in. See those rocks out there in the water thats as far as we managed to walk before we gave out...its deep gravel , like taking two steps forward and one back....... So my vision of us walking for miles on the beach had to be scrapped....... neither one of us was up for that but especially hubby's knees....


Definitely enlarge this photo...... If you look you'll see that white spot on the rocks is a blow hole and every couple of waves water and mist would shoot out........ hubby entertained himself quite a long time trying to get just the perfect shot. :)

Does anybody and i mean anybody know what this plant is??? It is incredible! When in bloom it is purple! And you know me and purple. I WANT one! :)   The final picture is  up in the header... I have always wanted to see the sun fall into the Pacific Ocean and i got my wish! A fog bank obscured  the actually meeting of sun and ocean but it made for some beautiful pictures!  I hope you had fun following along...... I'll make one more post and show you some goodies we brought home. :)  Hugs! deb 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

An Artsy Intermission.............


..............here's what you'll find in my sketch book at the moment.... Why thoughts of Halloween pop in my head while watching TV i have no idea......... They will eventually be sitting on a broom......if you can imagine that..........I had a lot of fun shading everything and smoothing it with Gamsol....... I'm not sure how to shade black... can you shade black......? I tried some purple on the black but you really can't see it............ Ah well ... i'll figure it out......... 

Ahem...........by the way...... this is the first time i've scanned in my own picture and AND i even figured out had to put my name on it! And save it and everything.......like .. WOW!  Seriously hubby does all my scanning and printing etc...  Woohoo ! You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! Thanks for stopping by! Love it when you do!  Soon i'll finish the last leg of our Journey and show you what goodies we brought home!  Hugs! deb

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Redwood Leg of our Journey........





..........After that twisty road i was so glad to finally reach Garberville and our hotel . We stayed at the Best Western , Humboldt House Inn. The room was $100 a night and included a hot breakfast. Honestly nice hotel, nicest since coming to CA. She is showing her age a little bit but who isn't . :) And the best part?! Its just right down the road from the beginning of the 'Avenue of the Giants' . So we didn't have far to travel. We stopped at the Visitor Center and we bought me some pins to add to my collection. One pin has Redwoods on it and the other was a cute little bear pin.... 




....................I don't like to show pictures of myself on here and all the weight i've gained back but............ this is our Anniversary as a couple......... not just my hubby..... I could show you pictures of my hubby all day long!  But that just didn't seem right, so here we are in all our glory. (Alvin set the camera on the hood of the truck and RAN over...lol) As you drive along the 'Avenue' it is not just solid Redwoods.......... its grove after grove after grove..... And anyone who is anyone has a grove named after them...........It was impossible to stop at every grove.... kinda like how we couldn't stop at every beach....... just did our best to pick the best ones....... Now that you know we didn't stop at EVERY grove it will make the story i have to tell at the end even more...more... what ? poignant? strange...spine tingling... hair raising....? oh but wait you have to make it to the end of the post....




.........there's just no way to impress upon you just how tall and big around these trees are..............no way.........They take your breath away........And if anything were to happen to them .... be it natural causes or man made........... I would morn their loss and do what ever i can to protect them.........They have stood watch and marked time for centuries.... longer........ Maybe thats just the treehugger in me but its the way i feel......


      Yep.......... thats the man i married.......... Love it! and him........



That is no rock but a stump!  And we know my hubby is not a teeny tiny man like he looks in this photo. Hubby is 6ft! There was a ledge he could climb on inside there....just to give you a little perspective.............



...........Love this picture of the path......We did not take any long hikes.......each grove we stopped at had about a half mile to a mile loop trail and we did several........... 



..............And now you've come to the part i've been dying to tell you!!!! I don't know how i ever kept it to myself for so long.......... Now, if only i can tell it well .............  We stopped at the Tall Trees Grove. A few other people were parked there but there was a trick to getting over to the Loop Trail for that particular grove....... the summer bridges had not been installed yet. They have removable bridges on the trails because in the Spring the runoff is so massive from the spring snow melt that it would wash away any bridge if it wasn't removed.......

But someone had laid down two planks of wood that you could use to walk across the stream....... A few people were milling about deciding whether to cross or just go on to the next grove. Alvin and i decided to give it a try and we didn't get wet! Whew!  But because of the lack of easy access there were very few people in the grove.........Some parts of the pathway looked much like the above picture.....just a notch cut across a downed tree.....  You know anything.....ANYTHING....... could be around that corner..........

We were walking along talking about and  pointing out this and that....... Hubby was looking off to the side at something interesting when i happened to look up the path the way we were headed which was around a corner like the one above , maybe 30 yards away...and peering around that corner at us was a  BEARRRR!!!! A good 4-500 lb BEAR that when on all fours his back probably came to our waist....Hubby hadn't seen it yet........It was like a nightmare come true.....seriously...... I love to hike and camp but i have never hiked where bears were a serious possibility until coming to CA......so i was a little leery of them...... I've read up on them and safety practices and what your suppose to do if you have and encounter etc.... etc..etc.......        

Are you still with me?.....you didn't faint did you??? .....okay... cause i'm not done yet........I knew hubby hadn't seen him yet and somehow i had to get the words out of my dry mouth and i was like frozen for a split second in shock. Then my arm shot out in a what only could be called a spasm and i grabbed his arm and said 'Alvin! Bear!'........ well that did it!  I scared the bear! I tried to keep my voice as calm and controlled and low as i could which ended up being somewhere between a screech and a roar and that bear made up his mind immediately to go back the way he had come. I scared the bear... I saved our lives..LOL!....His eyes were huge....as big as mine and  it was all over his face.... 'Oh My God HUMANS!' And the bear went one way and we went the other way as fast as we could manage without running..............whew.........Are you okay?......breathe...... And what  a fine tale that was to tell everyone on the rest of our journey. Deb scared the bear! Alvin was bummed he didn't get a picture............ geesh.... :)Honestly i wish he hadn't been quite so close and perhaps a little something between the bear and us like logs or something but there was just open path... Because i would have loved to observe him in his natural environment.......

Remember that 'cute', 'little' bear pin Alvin bought me at the Visitor Center???....... Yeah that was at the beginning of the 'Avenue' .... BEFORE our little bear encounter..........hmmm..... was that a sign of things to come??? Should have been paying better attention...... :) Well I hope you'll come back for the final leg in a few days...nothing as exciting as this but still a few nice photos....... Hugs! deb

***Please do click on the pictures to enlarge them!








  

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Crafty Intermission..........

click on picture to enlarge
...............'a picture is worth a thousand words',............. I thought this one picture would show you what i've been up to the last couple days in the craft room........ Coasters!  My coffee table is HEAVY.........  I get griped at all the time for picking out heavy coffee tables..... i'm like........well don't move it!........ lol.....  We have a wood and slate coffee and end tables......  and to be fair they are heavy...... but i like them that way....substantial...... problem is the slate is in the middle and the wood around edge ...... that creates a problem because i want the drink put on the slate and not the wood......... fair request no? :)  

But that would require leaning forward a little more to get your drink if your all comfortable like on the couch so everyone's solution is to pull the coffee table closer to the couch....... I'am. forever. straightening . the coffee table back into position.... So i've known i've needed coasters for quite some time.......trouble was i had a PLAN........ a crafty idea on how to get my coasters.........

Enter that orange big box hardware store....... they give out the BEST free samples!  And i know i dipped into their goodwill a little more than i should have but i hope you'll (they'll) forgive me... 
These are vinyl flooring samples in different colors of faux slate or stone...I love them....... The cork squares came from a craft store very reasonably priced.  The only problem i ran into was the cork had rounded edges and the vinyl had squared off edges so i rounded the vinyl squares and did a little trimming with a craft knife...vinyl and cork cut very easily......I need to take a sanding block to pretty up the edges a little then BAM! i got coasters! Don't you dare move that coffee table!! I'm watching you! LOL! Hugs! deb

Friday, June 6, 2014

The First Leg of Our Journey................


.........We picked up Hwy 1 at Point Reyes.....if your a long time follower you know that Point Reyes is where hubby and i had our 'epic' hike back in January.... We wanted to continue up the coast...... Hwy 1  does not disappoint..... absolutely beautiful... we quickly realized that our photos could not possibly do it justice......

Hwy 1 is for people with cast iron stomachs and no fear of heights..lol....... heights don't bother me but i do not have a cast iron stomach and i know this......... i really should have brought something for motion sickness.....

 .....the constant switchbacks and twist and turns and up and downs really got to me after awhile..... I found myself behind the wheel quite alot as i seemed to feel better if i was driving.... go figure...  The above picture is of ice plant....... its everywhere and its gorgeous... even if it is a nuisance plant here and non native. It lent alot of color to the hillsides....   

..........As we got past Point Reyes there was beach after beach after beach to explore.........mostly state beaches ....  truly you could spend a couple days just doing that...... but we had to reach Garberville for our hotel . So we'd walk a beach.....then skip a beach.....walk a beach ...skip two.... walk a beach....... It was great fun! 


I have fallen absolutely in love with the rough and rocky northern CA shoreline...... I grew up with beaches just the opposite.... much of my childhood was spent roaming the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida panhandle........ Destin Beach, Ft.Walton Beach , Panama City beach....... think turquoise blue water, sugar white sand......and while i still love that......... 


..........something about the sheer wildness of this place touches my heart..... it feels so alive....... with the sea lions and tide pools and the mistiness of it all.......... It can feel like a totally different world.....

.........just imagine all the beautiful sunsets this house must have seen........

..........this is a good example of how the beaches looked....... lots and lots of little pebbles mixed in....... I collected a few.... shiny black, gorgeous reds and orange and white..... I have an idea for a bracelet...........

...........If anyone has any idea what this plant is ........ i would love to know...........It was everywhere!   
 .......This plant was everywhere too........ I told hubby they look like little cockroach corpses...... you know just the bodies no head , no legs.......yes i got one of THOSE looks.......i swear he saves them just for me........lol.....

We took the coast all the way to Ft. Bragg then headed inland to Garberville............ If you think the twisty , curvy road ended just because you left the coast ......trust me it did not..... :)  It took quite awhile for my stomach to calm down once we reached our hotel...... Next time Hwy 1 is in my vacation plans i WILL be taking something for motion sickness.....!! I hope you enjoy the photos. They should all enlarge if you click on them........ Next leg... Redwoods baby!!!! And a scary encounter............OOOoooOOOOooo..... Hugs! deb

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

And The Winner Is..................

I had three takers on the Yogurt Cup GiveAway .......Ms Violet, Ms Gamma3 and Ms Kathy . I put your names on little slips of paper and dropped them in my big black top hat....... waved my magic wand and tapped the hat and up floated a slip of paper with a name on it............... you know all magical like...... (lol)


Ms. Gamma3 you are my winner!!!!  Do let me know if you would like me to string something together for you or would you just like a few beads ......Congratulations!!! Woohoo!!!  Hugs! deb

Monday, June 2, 2014

My Lavender Wand...............


click to enlarge
Still sifting thru the bazillion photos we took on vacation.... but i do have a little something to share that is not trip related......... I'm sure by now you have seen Lavender Wands either somewhere in Blogland or Pinterest..... Click here to see where i first came across the idea........ and there is a little tutorial. I just HAD to try this! I did not have the right Lavender in my yard but i finally came across some in a public park and picked a few....shhhh...... It has to be the Lavender with the long skinny tops not the big fat tops... English or Spanish Lavender i'm not sure which. And not fully open.....  It was a little rough getting started......felt like i needed an extra pair of hands so the ribbon looks a little rough there at the top . I had a little gem left over from another project so i glued it on there .  i LOVE how it turned out and definitely plan on trying some more of these. They smell heavenly.

click to enlarge
Here is one photo from the trip............what the heck is that?! My vote was for some type of starfish..........hubby says jelly fish.... Definitely had a jelly type consistency to it but all those arms looked starfishy to me....... We had a blast beach combing.....stay tuned........Hugs! deb