3 Sep

Still here

Each year I debate giving up my blog.  I am lazy about writing in it and not sure what I’m trying to convey.  My kids are nearly adults (two in college, one in high school) so parenting is no longer a relevant topic for me.  I’m still kicking along with crafting although less knitting and sewing than in the past.  I am cooking more and more.  I taught a few cooking classes at a community college and continue to keep exploring in the kitchen.  Our home is morphing and changing in many ways but I hope it remains the same in some major, important-t0-me ways.  I want it to be a refuge for my family and my friends.  I want all who walk through the doors to feel welcome.  Oh, and I like to keep my decorating kind of quirky and constantly changing.  So, maybe I’ll start there writing about my journey to keep home relevant as my kids grow up and leave?  I’d love to showcase more of my thrift finds and even unload some in my Etsy shop.  Oh, and travel!  I’ve rediscovered traveling!  For starters, here’s a photo of our favorite new addition celebrating his first birthday.  This is Bernie.


Bernie joined our home last fall.  He came to us through a rescue — the same rescue that brought us little dog two years ago.  We waited to bring him home until he was fully vaccinated against Parvo (three doses of vaccine).  He is half border collie and half mystery though we suspect it’s a very BIG mystery since he’s 80 lbs!  He has been healthy and happy and an enormous joy to have him clomping around our home.  Our older dog, Cindy, has adjusted to having him around (it took a while…) and I daresay they are even friends.  So, as the kids leave, we are backfilling with dogs!

28 Oct

Freaky Finds

I’m not quite sure what to think of this treasure.


Is it a trophy?  Award?  Or just a reminder to stay the hell away from sand flies in tropical countries?

14 Oct

Freaky Finds

Old print found in a vintage stall in East London.


Makes me wonder what’s in that magic elixir.  Eeeewwww.

17 Sep

Pasty Cooking

I’m freshly back from the best vacation I’ve ever had.  One highlight was a morning spent at Philleigh Way Cookery School learning how to make an authentic Cornish pasty.  The experience started with a welcoming cup of tea (of course).


The location was beyond charming — we had perfect cool and sunny weather to utilize their outdoor classroom space.


Chef George taught us how to carefully and lightly mix the dough to surround our filling of beef, onions, potato and turnip.


While the pasty cooked, we had the chance to explore their lovely ground which included a horse farm and many walking trails.  We even popped into the pub next door to sample a half pint of their home brew.  Divine!


Eating authentic, steamy Cornish pasty, outside, with fresh beer was an experience I won’t soon forget.  I look forward to perfecting this recipe in my home kitchen — alas not as charming as Philleigh Way — but hoping each bite will bring back a memory from that perfect morning.


14 Sep

Going to England to See the Queen!

My friend, Nancy, won a trip to England through her local Richmond, VA PBS station.  I was the super-lucky woman who got to accompany her on this trip.  There were months of anticipation and planning.  To enhance our fun, their was also knitting.  Let me introduce our mascot, The Queen.



I made a goal of thrifting most of the items that went with me on this trip including the yarn to make The Queen.  She was made using a pattern from Knit Your Own Royal Wedding.  Every stitch was a reminder of the adventures to come with Nancy.

4 Nov

Freaky Finds

The perfect way to keep husband and children away from the cookies.  Store them in this jar:



3 Nov

Lobster Shoes

In August, we delivered our oldest child to college in New England.  For this very special trip, I made very special shoes.


These were simple canvas shoes from Five Below ($5!) with an iron-on vinyl decal that I cut out using a Silhouette Cameo.  They were a perfect match for my lobster bag (not handmade).


The only thing I missed was a lobster roll!  Ah, well.  Next time!

1 Nov

Kitchen Table Re-do

A few years ago, I picked up this kitchen table from Craigslist.  It was super cheap and super plain.  To make it fit in better, I painted the base an inky blue color and stenciled a compass to the top.  It has been well used in our kitchen.


Lately, I’ve been redesigning the kitchen and there is no place for my table.  Coincidentally, I had a need for a coffee table.  You can see my old coffee table faintly in the background of the above photo.  It was a wrought iron outdoor table that we covered with table cloths.  The table cloths were always dragging to one side or another or half falling off the table.  After seeing the clock coffee table here, I knew just what to do.  It really was a quick transformation — we used a sawzall to cut the base down.  There was also some drilling necessary for the screws that hold the table top.  We made our table a bit taller than most coffee tables because we like to play games and prefer a higher height.  It is just slightly taller than the couch cushions.

Overall, the work took less than a half hour and here are the results:


It was given a work out last night when we hosted a Halloween chili party.  Being larger and slightly taller than the last table, it worked perfectly!

1 Nov

Spooky Corners

This is my favorite decoration of the year — even more than the owl.


This silhouette was made of scrap wood that was hanging in the garage.  The silhouette is, well, me!  I put on a hat, stood in front of the wood and posed.  John traced my figure and exaggerated the nose and chin.  We used a jig saw to cut it out and zapped it with a few coats of spray paint.  She is screwed the the fence and looms over the gate ready to grab whoever passes through!


1 Nov

Thrift Store Score

On my birthday last month, I spent the day doing my favorite thing – thrifting with a friend.  Most of our day was spent looking without finding anything perfect.  Except for lunch.  Lunch was perfect (thanks, Jenn!).  After lunch, I found it — my find of the day.


I have a thing for thrift store paintings and this one caught my eye.  The original price I was quoted was way out of my range.  The clerk consulted with the store manager and he priced it less than a third of the original price.  Score!  The frame was a shiny & fake bronze color.  I spruced it up with some black spray paint and now it lives on my living room wall with other favorite ship paintings.

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