Friday, April 29, 2011

april's fury

This past wednesday was a strange and scary day here in Alabama. The tv weather men had been talking about possible severe weather since last week,but I don't usually pay too much attention since springtime thunderstorms seem to be mostly what it is all about.
My husband went to work as usual, the girls also were working at the salon in town, I went to the store, my usual routine. The air was very heavy, warm and windy outside, so I wondered if something was really brewing.Earlier that morning some surrounding areas had wind damage and loss of power, but nothing too close to us.
I turned the tv on and the local weather was on talking about the storms in Mississippi, but still didn't pay too much attention, until around 2PM. My husband came home early from work because of rain and we watched together as a live camera on top of a bank in Cullman, a town about 53 miles from Gadsden, happened to be filming a forming tornado. We watched it go from a maybe tornado to a large , scary and powerful force that decimated the historic downtown. Last year Ray and I went to a large craft fair in Cullman and went to a cute coffee shop in the downtown. The entire downtown was wiped out.
Then a few hours later we watched a bigger one head through Tuscaloosa,destroying everything in its path which is a two hour drive from here. The same tornado ripped through Birmingham, an hour from Tuscaloosa and an hour from us. It then followed a path directly towards our town , first going through Trussville and Springville (only 25 miles from here). As we watched it approach on TV, we began to discuss what we should do. Our next door neighbor Beverly lives alone, so we wanted her to come with us, whether it was to our hallway bathroom or to a friend's house a half mile away that had a basement. Our other single lady neighbor had a small basement and has mentioned before that as soon as the sirens went off, she headed down there with her dogs, so we knew she would be ok.
Well the news said we had about 25 minutes until it reached Gadsden area, so Beverly was fetched and our friends said to come to their basement just as the sirens went off and it began to rain hard.
For some odd reason, I grabbed a gallon of home made green iced tea, the bananas I had bought earlier and we ran to our car and to our friends. We never lost power, so we could see the live report from the local news and within minutes it has passed about 8 miles south of us. I am thankful to have friends with a basement since this crazy tornado was the same one on the ground since Tuscaloosa, eventually making its way to Rome Georgia!After a few minutes we returned home and just watched the local news all night. The devastation of the areas all around us is heart wrenching.
My husband didn't realize that the towns north of us were so badly affected because because we are at the edge of the TV viewing area, so he drove to a town for some work to find that there was no power at all there or at the neighboring town. His gas was low and he thankfully made it to another small town that had only 2 gas stations with 1/4 mile long lines. He spent 1 1/2 hours on line before making it back to Gadsden. He called around at the car dealers he works at and found that power was out for an expected 4 days. Which is why we headed to Florida to visit our daughter, son in law and grandson! On the way out of town we saw where the Tuscaloosa tornado crossed the road just south of us, and another place like it just north of Macon, Georgia.
Many lives were lost, entire neighborhoods or towns destroyed, but also a lot of thankful people whose lives were spared.
When we return home, we want to try to do something to help towards relief efforts because there are thousands of hurting people around and we have been blessed to be spared from it.
Hope everyone out there in blogland has been safe, I need to catch up on posts since we were driving all day yesterday!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just ducky

This morning as my daughter opened the front door to leave for work, she startled a mama duck and ducklings that were on our front porch! Which is really amazing because we live in our small city's downtown where there aren't any ponds or pools and the Coosa river is a mile away.
The mama scattered and inadvertently left the panicking ducklings behind. The poor babies were frantically waddling back and forth trying to jump over our porch ledge which was too high for these little ones. The whole time they were making peep sounds and the mama was cautiously lurking in bushes nearby, also peeping the whole time.
Rachel,who hadn't left for work yet,and I didn't want to scare the lil ones by trying to help them, when they suddenly made a run for the front step, and spazzily tore past us while one ducky didn't get the memo and was separated from the rest!
Happily, the lone duck made its way out,finally catching up to its siblings,and finally with mama duck!
I swear, they were so cute, it made me want ducks for my backyard, but I remembered that duck "fertilizer" doesn't smell that good!
I am thankful for this little touch of nature right on our front porch!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good friday for a walk

I love easter time because it brings memories of a happy time in my life.  When I was younger this week was filled with movies about Jesus resurrection, shopping for a dress,hat, gloves and purse, wondering if Easter would actually be warm, and anticipating my waxy chocolate bunny!
By the time I was 18, I enjoyed the bible story the most and it is still the case today. 
Hope your weekend is filled with resurrected joy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

In between the raindrops

we have been having a lot of rain and storms lately but this morning I managed to sneak in a nice walk. It is so much more refreshing than my exercise bike!
I must take advantage of the great outdoors before the high humidity takes over and I resolve myself to indoor exercise!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crafting Therapy

You have no idea how crafting has helped me in the last three years! It was very hard for us to move away from my oldest daughter Christina, her husband and our grandson. We had hoped that they would be following behind us within a year or so, but circumstances have made it very difficult. We are very close, so it is hard to only be able to see each other every 6-8 weeks, especially as our grandson Kavi is only three years old and is growing in leaps and bounds. We talk often on the phone and try to do video chats to fill our void. I am thankful though that my husband is self employed which enables us to travel to Florida as often as we have, but there are more days with a gnawing feeling that reminds us that we don't live near each other anymore.
Shortly after moving, Christina (in Florida) started an etsy shop and inspired me to do the same. It is funny how we evolved our shops in to more of the type of crafting we liked, but we both started with different crafts than we do now. At first I did some paintings and got color copies made to sell, but they didn't sell at all. There are soooo many amazing artists on etsy making it hard to stand out. Then I started making scrabble tile pendants, but didn't really enjoy making them so much. Then I tried making simple jewelry, but it bored me.
Finally, I rejuvenated my crochet skills as cooler weather here in Alabama inspired me along with all the creative ideas on etsy. That was my niche, and has remained my favorite thing to do. I also enjoy doing many other crafty things around the house like decoupage, art, fixing up garage sale finds, making paper pennants, collage, yada, yada, yada!
Working on a project helps me to temporarily focus on something other than missing my family and fulfills a creative need that lies within me. Sometimes I think about how I am such a late bloomer in this whole thing. After all I was 50 years old when I opened my etsy shop! I guess it was a latent gifting that was below the surface all my life, but I was distracted with being what I thought I should be. I spent many years doing administrative type things and many years being very busy all the time, all the while loving decorating magazines and looking for ways to decorate my home on a budget. I also loved seeing someone who didn't fit the popular mode of home decor or fashion, being an individual and expressing their own personality in their surroundings.
Well since moving, I have found distraction and satisfaction in making and creating . I know that this has also helps Christina get through this season , and I thank God that he led us to this avenue of life. Even now, as warmer weather approaches, it becomes harder for me to focus on crochet projects and I find that the days are more challenging. I need a goal, a project to sink my teeth into, to brighten my day. I also feel God's peace while I am crafting, knowing that He is working things together according to His pattern and His timing and that in the end, we will look at a lovely finished project. He wants me to enjoy the journey though, not just the end!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The view from my back deck

Ever since we switched cell phone companies and got new android phones, I have enjoyed the camera apps the most! And I can post on my blog from my phone too! I am doing that right now, yippee!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

foiled project....check!

before after
I did it, I finally did it! I foiled my nightstand! I have wanted to paint my garage sale nightstand for years, but procrastination is my name, so the relic stayed the same! Then last week I found an amazing tutorial on foiling with modge podge and posted it on my blog, hoping to one day do this treatment myself.
So yesterday it was a dreary rainy day and I had aluminum foil, modge podge, silver paint, and black paint , so what the heck, I thought I'd give it a go.
Above you see the piece before I started the process. It took me most of the day to finish, but I didn't work non stop on it with breaks waiting for it to dry between steps, eating lunch, watching the news, etc. So, it took longer than I thought and I am not the most patient when it comes to tiny details like using small foil pieces around the curves, the legs, the front. Happily my husband came home and helped me finish the small details of the foiling. (basically just decoupaging technique)
after applying the foil by applying modge podge under and over it, one more coat of modge podge after first application dried
this is my after picture, phase 1. applied a silver metallic paint randomly to add variation to the finish
Final phase...added black paint at first mixed with water to add more depth, then finally just random brush strokes of black acrylic paint with no added water, then blotting off, to give it a more aged effect.
I am really pleased at how it turned out and think that it compliments my bedroom theme of black and white against a cool aqua wall color!
Click here to see the original tutorial post. I used the directions as a basic guideline since I didn't use the same paint or glaze, though I did use modge podge as she recommended.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A crochet project I just completed

Green Tea Revisited

Every spring, I begin the iced green tea obsession. In fact, my very first blog post ever was about the health benefits of matcha green tea powder. At that time, I had a home made green tea latte every single day and I loved it. Unfortunately, the caffeine in it, although relatively mild, made sleep time more challenging for me, so I sadly discontinued my favorite treat.
Now, for the last few years I have been buying decaf green tea bags and making gallon pitchers of it for a cool and refreshing treat. I add sliced lemon or lime to my glass and fresh mint if I have it, along with truvia to sweeten it. Everyone in my house loves it except my husband, who simply never got into the flavor of the green tea although he loves regular iced tea.
And, not to bore you but...there are many health benefits to the green tea variety...

To sum up, here are just a few medical conditions in which drinking green tea is reputed to be helpful:

  • cancer prevention
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • high cholesterol levels
  • cardiovascular disease
  • infection
  • impaired immune function

Just do a google search on the subject and you can find many sites offering the scientific benefits of it!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Ballad of the Salad...

A few weeks ago, my Jane friend visited and inspired me by making fresh salads with lots of ingredients and making homemade salad dressings. After she left I continued the tradition and have enjoyed it so much. I have also switched from using prepackaged lettuces to buying real live romaine lettuce that I cut up myself. I know it doesn't sound so dramatic, but let me tell ya, it tastes way better, fresher and crisper.
I have been adding sliced radish, shallots,carrots,walnuts,avocado,blue cheese or feta cheese and making my own dressing by mixing 3 parts extra virgin olive oil, 1 part organic apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of lemon or lime, salt and pepper and some honey to balance the tartness. Just use any empty glass jam jar or something so you can shake to mix it. The possibilities are endless. Just look up some ideas online or invent your own combinations.
Spring and summer are the perfect time to add a filling, nutritious and delicious salad to accompany a main dish, or add grilled chicken to make it more of a meal in itself!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011



A wonderfully made on line magazine featuring products from IKEA in a home setting!
IKEA has so many reasonably priced pieces of furniture and scores of accessories. It is worth a trip to check this store out. We live two hours away from one, but when I visit my daughter in Florida we are only one hour away!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I love creative people

Isn't this nightstand just beautiful? It is covered with aluminum foil and modge podge! For real I am gonna HAVE to do this to my mismatched bedroom side tables and dresser! Unbelievable what people can come up with!
click here for the tutorial

This talented blogger, Mandi, of Vintage Revivals was a guest on the Nate Berkus show last month and showed her house full of amazing ideas!

Mandi also had these acid mirrors with fabric backing in her home! Click here to go to her blog Vintage Revivals for the tutorial.

I am gonna have to try this one too. If you go to her blog you will see many DIYs to inspire you and keep you busy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

HAPPY LOVES ROSIE: Vintage Caravan ....

I found this blog post with this adorable vintage caravan camper! Can you say "I want, I want, I neeeeeed"? Click on the link below to see all of the pictures of this dreamy camper. I can sooo see me and my husband pulling this baby to all the state parks that are a tank of gas away! sigh.... maybe one day....
HAPPY LOVES ROSIE: Vintage Caravan .... Done!: "Well here we are! The sun was shining today and I was able to get out in the garden and take these pictures of our 1952 Vintage Holivan......."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

more yarn bombing

my idea of a sweet ride!

the biggest battle was choosing the kind of ground war!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

silver white winters that melt into spring...these are a few of my favorite things

Oh how I am loving spring! The older I get, the sappier I get about things like the seasons changing. The way all of creation is on a rhythm each year and how there is so much joy that we can receive from it. Well, except summer, which I often mention in my posts as my least favorite time because of the hotness of it. (Sorry to keep repeating myself on that matter!)
I am sad about the fact that I missed so much of the seasonal stuff by living in Florida for 25 years and my kids grew up with nary a blossoming dogwood tree or fall colors. Of course I know that we were there for a reason and a season and if anything, I appreciate what many can take for granted now,living in a climate that changes every three months.
This winter was a cold one here in Alabama, with a snow that stayed on the ground for almost a whole week in January. Me and my daughter and friend watched out the window for hours before the forecast finally came true and a porch party with a fire pit burning and hot dogs and marshmallows ensued. When the snow began to stick, the outside world, even in darkness began to glow. A warm, soft, silent glow that made me think that I had never seen such a beautiful sight before. Even after succumbing to the cold and retreating inside, periodic trots to the back door and front door were to check the progress and look at how sweet the flakes looked falling in the glow of the porch lights. Then we would turn the inside and outside lights off and see how nicelythe snowfall looked against the evening shadows.
Endorphins released in my body during that night giving me a warm happy feeling inside. Snow is just so pure and silent and covers all the drab and ugly places, the great equalizer.
'' Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.''
Psalm 51:7
When spring began to awaken the trees and plants, everything took on a new and joyful pace. Robins eagerly searching for the worms, cardinals flitting about more lively, mockingbirds seemed to be smiling as they flitted their wings in the puddles in the gutters. Sitting on the front porch again, feeling the cool breeze, it seemed like the world had just arose from a long slumber and was happily getting on with the fun things in life.
I have never lived where there were so many flowering trees and shrubs before. Not in New York or Pennsylvania or Florida. Here there are forsythia, dogwoods, cherry trees and pear trees to name a few. And they all bloom at different times so that we can enjoy it's beauty over a period of time rather than just one big explosion of color that is here today and gone tomorrow.

And Spring arose on the garden fair, Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere; And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant"

Here's to hoping that spring will enliven your heart and release those endorphins whenever you feel the breeze or smell a flower!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Trade Day Treasures

I have always wanted one of these planters but was looking for a good bargain in order to get it. It is inspired by one of my all time favorite shows "The Gilmore Girls". Lorelai, the main character had one on her beautiful porch and I wanted one too! It was only 22 dollars at Collinsville Trade Day, about half an hour from here. I have seen many vintage planters for 50-80 dollars before, so I was happy to snatch this one up.
I have always wanted a big old vintage typewriter too, but was also too cheap to pay more than 20 dollars for one. On etsy, there are several of these but with shipping added to the price (these old guys are pretty darn heavy) it would usually be close to 100 bucks. This morning, I spotted one and asked the price and when the girl said 8 but you could make an offer, I was so startled, I didn't even make a lower offer, I just said, "I'll take it!"
(the planter was marked 25, I offered 20 but she would only go as low as 22!)
This is the outside of the booth I got the typewriter at. The yellow wicker furniture set was only 60 dollars for two chairs, a settee, coffee table and a hutch (not in pic)! It was already sold or else my husband and I would have been sorely tempted to get it even though we have absolutely no room on our porch or deck for it! Plus it wasn't likely to fit in our Ford Focus!
This scene was behind the parking area and it was such a perfect spring day, I had to snap a shot of it!
Not a fancy setting, but beautiful mountains are all around making it a very refreshing time!

Friday, April 1, 2011

living room

living room, originally uploaded by Fancy Me.

This room looks like spring to me! Time to cheer up our interiors after a long, cold winter!

I love the color of the curtains against the white walls and the fabrics on the sofa and chair.