True Love in Blue

February 14, 2011 § 2 Comments

Valentine’s Day is usually earmarked with roses, candy, and lots of pink.  Let’s face it, it’s a kinda girly looking holiday…So, just this once, I’m dedicating a post to the guys out there who need a little different looking Valentine’s.

This past weekend, I had the honor of beholding what boys do with money when they grow up and can decorate their own place.

They invest in life-long and exquisite pieces like this….

This mechanical dude is located in the aforementioned “guy-decorated” condo, where Scott and his goofy (in a good way) friend, Micah…

worked on a new project this weekend.

I’ve been forbidden to give away any details.  Not that I could say much. This is as close as I could get while they were recording audio.

It’s going to be good though. See how amused Jason looks!

This condo has really inspiring art…at first glance.

Change what, you might ask? World peace? Global hunger? Education?

No, no, no…

Ooooo. Of course! Or,

Riiiiight…Or,

And, I saved the best for last…

On that note, Happy Valentine’s Day guys!

Breathe it in for a moment…and then go and give your girl’s something pink.

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A Daughter of Convenience

January 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

Do any of you remember this cavalier statement? : (mocking high-pitched voice) “I’m going to be making homemade bread and butter in the next couple days!”

And, do any of you remember this book that my friend Amelia gave me for Christmas?

Well, I love it still I really do. However, for me to make butter (strictly by the recipe in this book), I need raw milk.   All this week I’ve been on the hunt for this rare (except if you live on a farm) commodity.

I didn’t know one had to live on a farm. I thought one could just go into the local food stores and purchase this “raw milk”

…it was a long week.

So, now at 1:45am, I am living up to at least half of my promise to make something. (While also appeasing a serious case of the munchies.)

Can you guess what this fine and wholesome food item will be?

I used only the freshest ingredients from the plastic and paper bags in my pantry.

and spent a whole 10 minutes combining and mixing with the upmost care.

The recipe was taken from the a most trusted source of nutritional guidance.

And loaded with “organic” morsels of pure nutrients.

Baked at a steady 350 degree oven for 10.4532459 minutes.

O, yeah baby!

I wish you were here for this sister.

Some Friday nights, you just need a cookie. Bread and butter just wouldn’t cut it.

Maybe next week…we’ll see.

 

 

Lessons from Better Times

January 12, 2011 § 2 Comments

Mema and Papa (my grandparents) live on 13 acres of North Carolina land.  On this land, they have a barn, and in this barn there was this book:

Green grass might as well’ve been growing all around before I rescued it!

Sure, it’s a little dusty.

Sure, it’s all marked up.

But, my Mema marked this up when she was in 8th grade. She definitely had a crush on my Papa at the time, because she wrote their names on the front. You can kinda see Jerry Marshall Ball with lines drawn through it. Her name is below that.

That’s when she was Judy Carole Brown.

Apparently, the thing to do if you had a crush on someone back then is to find the common letters in your names and mark through them.

Kind of like MASH.  Did you ever play MASH?

It was a pretty weird game come to think of it, but my girlfriends and I played it over and over. I’m so glad I’m not married to Chris, living in a shack, while working as a veterinarian, with eight kids and a parrot.

Anyway, I was thumbing through this book today. And you know, once upon a time, they really taught kids practical things.

Like how to write a telegram, for instance:

I mean, it’s really good to know that you can include your signature without being charged!  Mema really should know how to update her status with an education like this.

She also learned how to tell a story:

And how to have a conversation.

Some of this is really funny. Like, “Never argue” or “Stimulate the other’s feeling of importance”.

My personal favorite is: “Never be catty. Those who make catty remarks cannot hope to have friends.

I mean, really…What service!

You get your English and social skills all for 39 cents!

Let’s get back to classy AND cheap, shall we?

The Office and quotes. And Office quotes.

January 12, 2011 § 3 Comments

This is our office. I’ve spent quite a bit of time here the past few days.

Everyone jokes about the ambiance. But, I like it.

Opinion of the Day: One of the most unnatural and inhuman inventions is florescent light.

Check out the gigantic white board above my desk.  There is an Albert Einstein quote up there right now. But, it’s been up for too long. I need something new.

It says “The three rules of work are: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”  Really good, but after a while it sounds like “blah blah blah”.

(This is Scott’s desk. He sits next to the Brooklyn bridge. And he needs a variety of technology.)

So, I googled work quotes, and happily “The Office” popped up!  We really like the show.

It makes me laugh.

(Our plant that Scott thankfully waters.  I’m not very good at nurturing plants. I forget about them, until they are past saving.)

It was kinda tough finding appropriate quotes.  Taken out of context I realize (even more) that everything they say on the show is so wrong.

But, they kinda make fun of the “wrong thing”. So, it seems ok to laugh.

Dwight makes me laugh a lot.  He is usually the most wrong.

Pam : There is a master key and a spare key for the office.
Dwight has them both.
When I asked, “What if you die, Dwight? How will we get into the office?”
He siad, “If I’m dead, you guys have been dead for weeks.”

And another:

Michael Scott: Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject. So, you know you are getting the best possible information.

One more:

Michael Scott: Remember when people used to say “boss” when they were describing something really cool? Like, ‘Those shoulder pads are really boss, man.’ ‘Look at that perm! That perm is so boss!’ It’s what made me want to become a boss. And I looked so good in a perm and shoulder pads. But now, boss is just slang for jerk in charge.”

Hehehehe…So, seriously, do you have a favorite quote that I can put up on the board that will inspire me throughout the day?

The Bare Basics of My Sewing Machine

January 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

My grandparents bought a Husqvarna sewing machine for me.  Papa singled it out pretty quick.  Apparently Husqvarna also makes chainsaws.

Anyhow, in the picture below are what ya call feet, I think. While in class, the teach called one the “presser foot”.  So would these be presser feet? Presser footsies?

I need to be educated in seamstress lingo.  The machine came with a whole bag of these guys, and I haven’t figured them all out yet, except A and B.

A is for straight stitch and B is for zigzag. So, if I need to sew anything else, I’m obviously in trouble.

To thread the machine, you follow the arrows.  Fool proof right?

The first time I tried it, I felt like I had 30 fingers. I kept fumbling, dropping the thread, and losing it along the little arrow path. Needless to say it took me a while the first go ’round.

My favorite thing about this machine is the nifty threader thingy.  It has a tiny hook that goes through the eye of the needle and pulls the thread through.

Beats sitting for a long while with one eye all squinted up and my tongue sticking out.

I even made a little gif image so I could show you the thing in action.

Tada!

I’m going to be making homemade bread and butter in the next couple days! (Stay tuned if you need a good laugh.)

My 10 Step Program: Directions for the “Comforting Rice Pillow”

January 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

I love being warm. Love it. Love it. Love it.

I’m going to make one of these for myself adhere it to my body.  Soooo cozy. I made Scott try it out.

He likes it too.

Ok. As I mentioned, I made a few tweaks to Martha’s pattern for the heating pad.  There are a few steps to my version, because I wanted to insure that rice wouldn’t spill out all over my girls as they are trying to be warm.

  • I added several more stitches.
  • I added several sections so that the heat will be more equally dispersed.  It’s also nice to roll up this way.

You’ll see what I mean.

Again here’s what you need:

Sewing machine (you could do this by hand, but it would take A LOT longer)

Fragrance or essential oil

1/2 yard of flannel or other cotton fabric

2 1/2 cups of rice

Scissors

Pencil or chalk

STEP 1: Cut your fabric.

You can vary the size, but I did 6.5 inches X 15.5 inches.  I marked the fabric with a pencil and tried to cut as straight as I could.  Place patterned sides of the fabric together like in the pic below.

* Pinning your material before you begin sewing will help prevent it from gathering up.  Just keep the pins out of Mr. Needle’s way. You don’t want those guys to tangle.

STEP 2: Zigzag Stitch

I will explain more about presser foot later, but for those of you sewing experts, use a zig zap stitch for this.  Stitch as close to the edge as you can on three sides of your pillow. Make sure your leave one of the short sides open!

STEP 3: Add a straight stitch.

Change your presser foot and straight stitch on the inside of your zigzag stitch.  Keep it as straight as possible because when you turn the bag inside out, this stitch will be the edge.

STEP 4: Without cutting into your straight stitch, trim the edges.


STEP 5: Flip it inside out and iron the edges.

Step 6: Add a straight stitch on the outside.

Step 7: Draw a line with chalk or pencil every 3 inches of the sack.

I didn’t take a picture of this! Oopsy.

At this point, the pillow should measure approx. 15 inches. Dividing it by 3 inches will give you five sections.  Like Nike says…

Step 8: Deal with your rice.

Pour 2 1/2 cups into a sealable container…

Add essential oils

And shake it…shake. shake it.

Sorry for the sightly red mark. I burned myself on the edge of a pan, in case you were wondering.

My other hand had two burns, so this is the better model of the two.  I need insurance just for my appendages while I’m in the kitchen.

Step 9: Pour in a heaping 1/2 cup of rice in the sack. THEN Pin 1/2″ UNDER your line.  Sew on the line.

Ok, this might sound confusing, but believe me. This is a necessary step!

We MUST keep the rice away from Mr. Needle. So, pinning at least a half  an inch will keep the rice back and let the presser foot pass by the pins.

DO THIS STEP FOR ALL 5 SECTIONS.

Step 10: Add a zigzag stitch to the end.

This is after you straight stitch the end as well.

And that’s it!

If want to make one like this and have any questions or problems, just let me know! I’ll be happy to help.

I’m going to show you a bit about the sewing machine tomorrow.  It won’t have a whole lot to talk about, but if you’re a beginner like me, we can learn together.


Freebies for Friends

January 6, 2011 § 4 Comments

First of all, thank you Kristin, Melissa, and Christine for reading! I’m sending you a little something. You should be receiving a box in the mail tomorrow. I hope you enjoy it and take the time to “rest a minute”!

What is it, you ask? Well…

Confession: When I mentioned the little give away the other night, my sewing machine was still in the box.

I’ve never claimed to be the brightest crayon in the box.

After I posted my little offer, the sensible side of me (who always speaks a little too late) said, “Hey, Megan. You think you might had overstepped yourself a little bit? Seeing as you have NEVER sewn anything on a sewing machine by yourself in your life?! What are you going to sew anyway?”

I shook in my boots a few minutes. Then I told Mrs. Sensible to shush and went to work.  In my search for something fun to sew, I came across this idea. It’s a homemade heating pad!

And yes, it’s Martha Stewart’s.

And yes, she might have been incarcerated, but let’s face it…she’s like an upper-class, lady MacGuyver.

Martha:

Macgyver:

Martha:

MacGyver:

They are really quite similar as you can see.

Anyway, I did it!  I completed my first sewing project.

Well, the first four.

Don’t you adore this nice soft flannel print?

I’ve had one of these luscious heating pads and loved it. You just throw them in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Then they stay nice and toasty for about 45 minutes!  Sore and stressed muscles love these guys.  You can also throw them in the freezer for a cold press.

I decided to make a few changes to Martha’s idea.  First to the name. I call my creations “Comforting Rice Pillows”.  I thought “heating pad” was a bit dull.

Want the recipe for these?

Here are the ingredients:

Sewing machine (you could do this by hand, but it would take A LOT longer)

Fragrance or essential oil

1/2 yard of flannel or other cotton fabric

2 1/2 cups of rice

Scissors

Pencil or chalk

Gather your supplies, and I’ll give you the directions tomorrow.  You’ll whip up one of these in a jiffy.

Thanks for letting me write to you. I love it.

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