Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I won't translate the acronym in the title.. it's not overly polite but I'm sure you can figure it out.

Tempie needed one molar and her incisors trimmed yesterday.  Now that we're home she's not eating.  Who didn't see this coming?  Ugh.

So I'm syringe feeding her and giving her the regular medications for the situation.  Hopefully it won't take more than a day or so.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Almost Forgot!

Happy 12th Birthday, Castor and Pollux!
They've partied so hard they're exhausted.  I think I'll join them after my day of driving.

Oh and Tempie did just fine.  One molar needed trimming so they took care of it and sent us on our way.

Going to the Vet

Hi folks, Tempie here.  Mom's taking me to the vet right now.  I scared her an' Dad on Friday morning when I didn't eat any of my food.  They weren't sure if my teeth were hurting or if I actually started to miss 'Bert.

Mom made special arrangements to get me into our vet and see if my teeth need trimming, but it has to be done all in one day so she's home to give Castor all his pills.  Dad tries really hard to give Castor the pills but it doesn't work well.

So Mom and I are in the car right now.  She says it's three hours one way to the place called "the competent rabbit vet" and then if I need my teeth trimmed she has to wait until I'm out of surgery and awake before we can come home.

The funny part is all these arrangements got made and I ate all my food for the next three nights.  Mom isn't amused but I really need my teeth checked every six months anyway.  And she says it's better to find out now when I feel ok than after I start really hurting and not eating for days.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Creative Reset Button

As I said before I needed a break from my break.  I also needed something small, quick, and for myself to snap me back into being creative.  As anyone with artistic hobbies knows grief can either be a powerful tool or a major hindrance to any project.  Sometimes it does both.

A few weeks ago I was taking pictures at our Guild president's home and she asked me if I would consider giving a needlework book a new home.  Of course I couldn't resist, so home it came.  It's called 365 Tiny Cross Stitch Designs by Kooler Design Studio, published by American School of Needlework.  Inside are 366 (an extra for leap year) fun charts for small stitching projects.  Some would even work for miniatures, which is why she thought of me.

There is one design in particular that had been whispering to me since I first looked through it.  Yesterday FH and I agreed that I should give in and see if that would help me get back into my groove and back into the workroom.  So I did.
I stitched on 16-count Aida with two strands of DMC floss.  The frame opening is 3"x3". 
I think I'm going to do another design while I wait for the panda mural to arrive.  I can't start putting things into the nursery until the mural is on the outside of the room and I'm not quite ready to finish painting the furniture I started last week.  Unfortunately the mural paper is back-ordered.  I'm not too pleased, but they're out of stock... not anyone's fault.  So I wait. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Need A Break From My Break

First I want to thank everyone for the kind words about 'Bert.  It's still painful but we're surviving.  Tempie has the run of the basement everyday now.  FH and I have discussed letting her roam 24/7 but we keep coming up with reasons to crate her at night.  So I think it's going to stay that way.

I was hostess to the embroidery group from Guild today.  This group meets first thing in the morning and goes until people need or want to leave.  It's also one of the smaller groups and it's fun for those who love entertaining to really go all out.  I'm one of those delusional people in case you hadn't figured that out.  As an example the ladies usually bring their lunches but I told them in advance that I would be providing a light lunch if they were inclined to partake.

Since any and all planned productivity on Sunday was a complete wash I had to play catch up on Monday and Tuesday.  Not really feeling like cleaning, baking, or having company didn't help the situation but (as my middle sister would say) I put on my big girl panties and dealt with it.

Monday I bought all my baking supplies and other treats and started the cleaning.  Tuesday I finished cleaning and did all the prep work like pressing linens, washing my milk glass plates and cups, and dug the second table leaf out of storage.

Here's the final result:

 I didn't make these candies but they were just so pretty I thought you might like to see them up close:

 Now for the fun part.  I absolutely love Alton Brown's Blueberry Muffin recipe, but I wanted there to be some variety in flavor.  Since each batch only makes 1 dozen I made two batches and divided them both in half.

So we had blueberry, lemon poppy seed, cranberry orange, and cherry white chocolate chip muffins at breakfast.  There was also a selection of fresh fruit.
 I used my favorite snickerdoodle recipe (scroll down you'll see it) and forgot that I usually chill the dough before baking.  The result were yummy cookies that were more like proper biscuits from across the pond.  Oh darn. ;-)  I usually just keep cookies/biscuits in a biscuit jar on the buffet when we have company.  It lets the "snackers" snack without me feeling rushed to get to the real dessert.
For lunch I served fresh fruit, little spicy rice crackers that are flavored with lemon and chili,  green bean chips, four varieties of cheese (Brie, smoked Gouda, fresh mozzarella, and marscapone), and water crackers.

And for the finale, an Orange Cake.  Juice and zest from fresh oranges in both the cake and the frosting.  I found the recipe in an old Family Circle cookbook.  Very easy and extremely good.  FH solved the problem of the original calling for an egg yolk in the un-cooked frosting.  He beat one in a double boiler with a little lemon juice added.  It worked beautifully and the result was an extremely rich frosting.
I couldn't find a link to the recipe, but given the book is older than I am I'm not shocked.  If you'd like it just send me an email.

I'm going to go put my feet up somewhere... after I find a lemon poppyseed muffin and some tea.  Hopefully I'll be back on track with the Nursery tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Good Night Sweet Prince

I came down to let Tempie out this morning and Albert Wilbert was gone.  No warning signs, no indications that anything was amiss. 

Yesterday was his day to play and play he did until around 1 am.  The last I saw him he was eating hay and playing in fresh litter in his cage.

Good-bye my sweet bunny boy.  I will love you forever.  Play with Confetti until I get to the Bridge, whenever that may be.

Minis From San!

The package from San! arrived yesterday!  I was relieved.  I've been fretting at the mailbox everyday that it didn't appear.  But it's here now. :-)

A rocking horse.  It may stay as a horse but get redecorated. 
  A child's table and chair.  The bear face will get turn into a pandas, as will the table legs.
And the toy box.  I'll be making this bear into a panda as well.
I'm not sure if I will leave the rest of the furniture the natural wood color or repaint it as well.  It will depend entirely on how well it contrasts with the floor.  We'll find out soon though! :-)

Thank you so much San for sending these pieces.  I can't wait for you to see what I do with them. :-)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pink Things from N.W.!

N.W. happened to be making some girly minis for her dollhouse when I mentioned I was trying to add more touches of pink in the Panda Nursery.  Since she made extras there is now more pink!  There are also some sweet photos of a baby panda growing up and two clocks to choose from.  And of course more books! :-)
 Here's a close-up of the pink teddy bear, skirt, tiara, and one of the clocks.  Actually I think it's the clock that will get used in the room.
 Here are the baby panda photos in their handsome frames.
 A pink blanket, the other clock, and the books.  This is the second copy of Ladybug Girl.  The first had a visible slice that N.W. didn't care for so she made another.  :-)
 A sweet doll dressed in pink standing next to another panda picture to frame.  N.W. sculpted the doll.  She's (the doll) is even jointed!
Thank you again N.W.! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Treasures from Kathi

The box of minis from Kathi at Beautiful Mini Blessings arrived yesterday!  Everything is just so cute!
 Here is a close up of the bench that started it all.  I love the face on this panda!
 Extra supplies to use.  The rick rack will probably decorate the lampshade once I'm happy with it.

Here's a look at the things on the left side of the picture.  I love love love the hooded panda towel and the shelf!  And isn't that bamboo awesome?
Check out those teensy tiny diaper pins!
 And now the right side.  I promise I'll get back to the middle in a minute.  Look at the panda food!  And the fun beads, panda face, and diaper holder!
 And this bamboo is totally awesome!
 These tiny shoes are just darling!
 Back to the middle, as promised!  I saved the best bit for last.  The tiniest panda from Katie DOES fit on the diaper cake!  This is something Kathi, Kati, and I were pondering.  Well ladies, it worked!  He's a perfect fit!
  Kathi, thank you, thank you, thank you again for your help with this project.  Honestly I cannot thank you enough.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

From Polar to Panda

Casey gave me the idea of finding bear buttons and painting them a couple of weeks ago.  I finally had a free moment to try it out.  It was as easy as 1,2,3:
I left the bottom one original for this picture so you can see what they used to look like.  Then I painted it too and let them dry.
Once they had dried I went back and painted the details on the eyes and bows and touched up the black in places.
This worked out really well.  I'm going to rummage through the buttons I have stashed in the sewing room to see if I have any other bear shapes that I can convert.  That's for another day though.

Thanks for the idea, Casey!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Birth Announcement Finished!

I finished the birth announcement on Saturday night whilst FH was out with "the guys."  For obvious reasons I cannot publish the personal information on the stitching, so I've censored it.  At least this way you can see most of it.
The panda on the left looks a little annoyed.  Probably because I took so long in getting him done.  I may go back and fix his "angry" eye later.  For now I need to press forward.

The other thing I managed to do Saturday night was start playing with ideas for the rug design.  There's a mini motif in a book one Guild member owns that might make a good center design for the rug.  There's also a couple of small commercial cross stitch kits that I could use.  I'm not sure which of the possibilities I like more.  Of course I'm not the one stitching it... someone else has volunteered to do that.  I just have to provide a design.

Time to get back at it.  See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Treasures from Katie!

When I got the mail on Monday there was a package from Katie at "Katie's Clay Corner" waiting for me.  Look at all the fun things from inside:

Four sweet pandas and a green bear.  A girl can't have only pandas after all. 
I think the littlest panda (far right) might be small enough to sit on Kathi's diaper cake.  I'll be checking on that as soon as it arrives. 

Some of you know Katie has been making really cool aged signs, birdhouses, and furniture lately.  She was generous enough to send not one, not two, but five(!) signs for the Nursery.  [I have censored the baby's names in this picture.  I assure you the signs are perfect and gorgeous!]

I know at least three will fit... I'm hoping for more.  I especially like the "cherish" and "treasure the moment" signs.  I think they are very fitting.

Next up are the printies.  My printer is dead so these are much, much appreciated.  Katie left them unglued so they wouldn't get smooshed in the mail.
More books!  I swear the baby will never lack for stories and diapers.  Two very important things. :-)

And a few fun extras including a shelf that I've been given orders (by Katie) to repaint.  Probably white or green so it shows up against the blue of the wall.
I don't know if you can see, but on the packaging of the panda eraser there is a tiny, pink cartoon panda.  I'm giving some real thought into putting it in the little picture frame. 

There were two more things in the package from Katie, but they're for me!
More cross stitch patterns!  I LOVE the Halloween chart!  I'm thinking it will be given a high place in my project queue.  Whenever I get the time to stitch again that is.  There are a few motifs in the other book that have captured my attention as well.

Thanks for everything Katie!  As always, you rock! :-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wainscot Installation Started

I took Sunday off from posting.  Spending time with FH, the critters, and minis was more interesting than getting stuck on the computer all day.  Especially since I worked on the Guild website on Friday and Saturday.  I'm sure you all can relate to that.

A few things got worked on, the most important being the wainscot.  So far only two sides are done.  I have to cover the wainscot with an old composition notebook and then set heavy things on that to hold the pieces down as they dry.  It takes some time.  But here's what it looks like so far:
Another thing I played with was narrowing down some fabric choices.  I want to re-cover the mattress in the cradle and I've whittled the possibilities down to two.
I'm not sure which way to jump.  I'll probably wait and see which looks better with the tatting thread I've ordered for the crocheted blanket.

More tomorrow.  I have to do real housework now.  Maybe I'll get the wainscot finished too.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More Nursery Things in the Mail

First let me get the two little things I ordered from Kitz! out of the way.  Nothing too special, but cute and something I didn't have to try and carve out time to make.  [And for those of you who are always looking for flocking and other random supplies, check Kitz! because 9/10 times they have what I'm looking for.  And no I don't get a discount for saying it. ;-)]
 Something inside me decided there needed to be *some* pink in the baby's room.  I'm planning to try and add more in other creative ways.

Now for the good stuff!  Apparently N.W. is on a roll.  She sent a few more lovelies for the Panda Nursery.  They arrived this morning and were a hit with everyone who was here.

Here's a detailed look at the contents of the diaper bag.  And there's another book!  Gotta have books on the go!  Love the panda rattle too!

A close up of the dress and bonnet with matching hanger.  N.W. said she used vintage lace from the 1940's.  Gorgeous!  I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture of the bow on the back of the dress.  It's as perfect as the one on the hanger.

And more books!  What child's room would be complete without lots of stories for their grownups to read them?  Heck when my mom went back to school she recorded books on tape so I'd still get stories at night.  Books are very important.

Thank you again, N.W. for your exceptional generosity!

Real life and Guild commitments have been taking their toll on my time but I'm planning on only working on the Nursery tomorrow...when I'm not frying chicken for supper.

See you tomorrow!