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I May Be Losing My Marbles – St. Patrick’s Day Style

No, I’m not playing a game with little green glass balls.

I am contemplating MAKING a beaded garland for my St.Patrick’s Day tree.

First of all, we could argue the logic of even DOING a St. Patrick’s Day tree. Yes, Valentine’s Day is over so those decorations need to come down.

But Easter is late this year, and although I COULD just jump in and put the Easter decor up, it seems a little early.

So, on the face of it, a St. Patrick’s Day theme seems not too insane. In fact, before I realized how little there is out there to actually put ON a St. Patrick’s Day tree, it seemed like a good choice. Now, after hitting several of my go-to decor stores, I’m having second thoughts. Except that I’ve already got it started.

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So, I can either take down what I have up and cut my losses, or forge ahead.

And, yes, being a stubborn Irish lass, my natural inclination is to dig in and forge ahead. Thus the idea for making my own garland.

I can picture it in my head. There are plastic shamrock necklaces I could take apart and space them in between white and several shades of green beads (to tie in with the tacky plastic shamrock ornaments in different shades of green I already found.) Would I have preferred glass ornaments? Yes. But beggars can’t be choosers. As long as you don’t look closely, you can’t see they’re plastic. They can always be replaced down the road, right?

Can you see the beads in this garland? I’m thinking along this line but with St. Pat’s colors and icons.

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Anyway. Garland. Again, plastic shamrocks. Not my first choice. But, believe it or not, this whole ST. Patrick’s Day tree idea is not yet “a thing.” Maybe I’ll be a trend setter, but the trend isn’t there yet. So, I’m going to have to improvise. I can probably fall back on my jewelry-making skills and use the plastic shamrocks for the base of “dangly earring-looking” ornaments, as well.

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Well, at least I could have if the necklaces were “strung,” which unfortunately they are not. I’d hoped the shamrocks and words had holes in them, but alas, they are not. Grrrrrrr. This is even harder than I THOUGHT it would be.

So I’m exploring other options. There are fabric and ribbon garlands, but they are too big for this skinny tree. Again, I could “make.” There are suitable ribbons and fabric. I’m so confused.

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The key issue here is “make.” Seriously? Don’t I have some sort of a rule about not starting any new projects? This sounds like multiple projects, and at a time when time would be better spent cleaning my house or getting ready for the next trip, or maybe even DOING MY BLOG!

 

Crazy Addicted!

What can I say?

I know I’m getting VERY BORING!

All I want to do in every spare moment is knit, knit, knit!

Isn’t that funny? Whodduh thunk?

It’s not a terribly creative endeavor. Just a repetitious  motion. The same thing over and over and over. Almost a little OCD-ish. What does THAT tell you?

But, the very nature of how portable it is makes it a good “to go” project for a busy Gaga who is on the move from house to house throughout the day! I can pack it with me while I’m waiting for kids to get out of school. And then, when I’m home, it’s something I can be doing while I’m sitting with Mr. Tattered discussing the day or watching some tv. No need for a ton of supplies, or a big work space.

So, I finished Hannah’s scarf. I love, love, love the color all by itself, but it’s a GREAT color on her, too!

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And, I’m making good progress on mine. I still can’t believe I’m actually working on one for myself. Once again, LOVE the color. Hard to find a nice, variegated red for a red lover!

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I’m also making progress on the torn fabric scarf for Hannah. It’s not really for warmth, but a fashion statement. It will be interesting to see if she even likes it when it’s done. I’m liking how it’s looking, but I’m not sure how “wearable” it will be from a comfort standpoint.

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AND… the beginnings of yet another.

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This photo doesn’t do the colors justice – the pale gold, shades of beige and soft terra cotta are just so luscious. There’s a possibility I may not be able to give this one away!

I keep thinking I need to move on to other things (there IS a huge list, after all…) but, really, why? If I’m having fun, what difference does it make? Aside from the fact that the repetition must be getting a little boring for y’all. SO, if I’m going to keep knitting, I at least need to dabble in SOMETHING else for you, right?

Oh, I know! How about digging out the Cuba photos and FINALLY filling you in on that trip before we start the next one!?

 

 

 

I NEED More Yarn…

Okay. I’m about to run out of yarn.

I finished one scarf,

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…and 2 more are in progress.

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Now that I’m this low, I’m starting to panic.

But the weather is so yucky I hate to drag Lexi out in it for non-essential stuff. I DO have to go pick Josh up from school, anyway. I could leave a little early and make just one stop, right? It’s just a little water, and we have raincoats. And I don’t have to go on any freeways or high-speed roadways.

I think I have myself convinced. But then there was a break in the rain, and the deal was sealed.

Yep.

Here we are. The yarn department. And my very favorite yard is on clearance.

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Now to decide…do I get more yarn for family? Start on the 12 I’ve vowed to make for the homeless by this winter? I’m going with both. 3 for family (including one for me – I love this yarn so much!) 12 for homeless. 15 skeins.

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This one is for me!

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These are for everyone else!

Ahhhh, obsession, sweet obsession. What would I do without you? Ha! It’s better than being on Facebook 24/7, amirite?

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Lexi said, “You need more yarn, Gaga. More and more and more.” That’s my little enabler!

It COULD have been worse!

“Participate” Is Going Well.

The goal of my one little word,”participate,” was to get me doing things instead of watching other people do their things.

And so far, it’s been working.

I got some lists started, and have started crossing things off.

Since I last checked in with my word, I have crossed 4 things off my “projects” list – I finished Josh’s scarf …(just in time for the weather to warm up! Heeheehee!) It was an OLD project. Yay, me!

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Made a scarf for Bea (new project – shame on me!)

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Made the treasure box for my friend… (New project, but it really needed to be done!)

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And redid the elf ornaments that were murdered. Remember when Lexi, the mass murderer, attacked a family of 4, mortally wounding 1 of them, and severely injuring 2?

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Well, I bought new ones after Christmas in 2015, have had them sitting here for over a year waiting to be personalized, and finally did it.

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Had to start with the wrong names…

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sand them down and repaint,

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and add the right names (along with the year and the name of their elf.)

And those are just actual PROJECTS. I’ve crossed more off the general to-do list as well.

So, I feel like I’m off to a pretty good start.

Could I do more? Sure. But for someone who has been resisting getting much of anything accomplished, I’m pleased. I’m taking the wins as I find them!

 

 

 

Getting a Little Artsy!

Sometimes it takes a specific project to get me arting again, then when I get into it, I remember how much I enjoy it.

A friend in my internet art group recently lost her husband, and the group decided we would each make her something, send all the items to one lady, and she packaged everything together as a group gift. It got delivered today, so I can show you my contribution.

I wanted to do something in the style of the canvases I enjoy doing, but I didn’t want to do anything to hang on the wall. I thought maybe a box to put some of her memories of him in might be a nice token.

I started with a wooden cigar box sent to me by another of the ladies in our group (thanks, Susan!) It had a shiny finish, so I started by sanding it.

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At this point I fell down on the photo front. I painted the inside, and covered the outside with torn book paper and scrapbook papers, painted, it, added a few stickers, did some chalking…and ta-da! A fancy box…

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The beachy theme is because it is her happy place..like mine!

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I wanted to make the box a little inspirational, so I added some sayings around the sides…

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And, I finished off the inside with scrapbook paper to make a nice container for some special notes or cards or photos that are important to her.

I hope she enjoys filling it as much as I loved making it.

It’s Puzzling

I love doing jigsaw puzzles.

It seems like such a waste optional use of time that I don’t do them often. My parents used to do them when I was growing up. It seems like there was one going fairly often, especially at Christmas time.

Over the years I’ve tried sporadically to get my family to do them, but there hasn’t been much interest. Two or three Christmases in a row I started one and left it out on a table for anyone to jump in, but it was mostly just me, so I quit.

Now with the grandkids, I’ve been trying again. Surely SOMEONE will want to puzzle with me!

Hannah liked them when she was little, but not so much any more. Bea likes them, so there is hope there. I haven’t been able to get Josh interested at all. I don’t know if I just haven’t been able to find one that sparks his interest, or if he just isn’t a puzzle kinda guy. Lexi, at least so far, seems to be a puzzle FREAK. She’s almost 3, and has gone from 4 piece puzzles, to 12 piece to 24 piece in just a couple of weeks.

She’ll take 3 of the 12 piece puzzles and dump them on the floor, sort them by which one go into which frame, then systematically do each one, all by herself. The fact that she was looking for ways to challenge herself just blew me away!

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That told us she was ready for the 24 piece puzzles. I’d only gotten her 2 of the 12 piece puzzles (thinking she’d be ready for them in a month or two) and before I could get her more, it was obvious she was ready to move up. She’d mastered them both in just a day or two, doing them over and over and over.

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Before I even said out loud she was ready to move up again, she said to me, “Gaga, we need to go on the “compooter” and find me some harder puzzles.” So we did! I ordered 8 of them from “Melissa and Doug.” They’re my favorites. They seem to be well made (not that it matters since she’s blowing through them before she can wear them out!)  and have a variety of subjects.

They arrived today,

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and for some reason I got to wondering why I think puzzles are so good for kids, which sent me on an internet search to see if I was even right, and if I was, why. Turns out that I WAS right.

There was article after article about the benefits of doing puzzles at a young age.

They help with eye-hand coordination, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, memory, and problem solving. And besides that, they are fun, portable, can be done alone or with a sibling or parent, and give kids an immediate sense of accomplishment.

I rarely leave the house with Lexi any more without taking a couple with us for her to do if we have down-time.

Yesterday I noticed that Bea had pulled out some of her old 100 piece puzzles and was doing them on her own. It may be time to find her a more challenging one and see if she enjoys it.

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Maybe I’ll have some puzzle buddies yet! I got so excited at the very thought of it, I went over, grabbed Bea and we went puzzle shopping and found her a 300 piece one she wanted to try.

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That’s my girl! When we get interested in something, we don’t mess around!

Side note:  As I researched, I discovered January 29 is National Puzzle Day. That was timely!

 

 

 

Easy Peasy Dinner

I don’t have a deep box of easy dinner recipes that are sure to please, but this is one of them.

Quiche.

I think the thing I like the best is how versatile it is. The basic recipe is so simple and can be modified easily  with pretty much whatever you have on hand.

Start with your favorite go to crust. If you’re making it from scratch, that pretty much takes away the “easy peasy” part. I like the pre-made crusts from Whole Foods – no junk in them.

And then you get to play.

I cover the bottom of the crust with a generous amount of cheese, shredded or crumbled. Last time it was goat cheese, this time gorgonzola. I haven’t discovered a kind that won’t work.

For me, next up is diced onions, but you decide. You could also add garlic (don’t know why I didn’t!)

Then I layered fresh spinach, but you could use steamed broccoli, or asparagus, or cauliflower, whatever you have on hand. We’re vegetarian, but if you prefer meat, sausage or ham or bacon would all work.

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Next up is the egg mixture. For a 9″ pie, I use 3 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of almond milk. Cow’s milk or cream would work, as well. To that I add a generous shake or three of black pepper. I don’t add any additional seasoning, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you could experiment with any number of herbs and spices.

(If you’re doing a deep dish, or larger pan, the formula is one egg to a 1/2 cup of milk. If you’ve poured your egg mixture in and it’s not full enough, it’s simple to add more, just whisk up another egg and milk until it’s full enough.)

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Pour that over the veggies, and you’re ready to bake.

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Place into a 350 degree oven and bake for approximately 45 mins. It is done when it is set up, not jiggly (firm to the touch, but not solid.) This is important – too firm and the eggs get dry and/or rubbery.

If your pie crusts tend to get too dark, I found this amazing gizmo that will protect your crust while allowing the middle to cook!

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I don’t know where it’s been all my life!

And ta-da! Perfect quiche, just the way you want it!

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Now if only I had more practically fool-proof recipes like this!

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