This is the Week That Was – In the Christmas ‘Spirit’

What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?
– Clement Stone –

Easy Peasy Cork Wreath: first, drink hundreds of bottles of wine…



Update on the Paper Bag Snowflakes

I thought I ordered lunch size brown bags and smaller white bags. I guess not.
Three snowflakes done – finished size is 16 inches (40 cm).

When you are into Paint Pouring, Everything Looks like a Canvas…

I’m painting some scuffed old ornaments with acrylic pour paints.
We don’t have a cat any more, but the memory of it climbing the Christmas tree is still vivid. I remember the event each year when I am putting up the ceramic angel ornament that was bifurcated when the tree (with cat clinging to the apex) assumed a lateral aspect.


Song of the Snowbird

Oh, the weather outside was frightful,
The snow was not delightful.
And since we’ve got a place to go
We drove, to a home, without snow.

Glad to be in Arizona again!

Meanwhile, Back in the Land of Ice and Snow

Paper Lunch Bags – Some Quotes and Giant Snowflakes!

Paper Bag Quotations are at the end of this post.

These Giant Paper Bag Snowflakes seem to be very popular with crafters this year. They appealed to me because they are so ‘over the top’ big!

I had all the supplies on hand – brown paper lunch bags (you could use any color of bags); hot glue or white glue; scissors and or X-Acto knife;  cord or ribbon (for hanging).


Each snowflake uses 9 to 10 paper bags (depends on the size of the bag) that are glued and stacked one on top of the other. With the bags still folded,  run a bead of glue along the base of the bag and another bead down the center of the bag. Lay another bag on top of the glued bag,  making sure they line up. Press (with your hands) along the glue lines. Repeat with next bag.
Once a stack is glued together (I made two stacks, cut them, then glued the stacks together), cut shapes with scissors or an X-Acto knife. Do not cut into the glued areas.

Next, carefully unfold the snowflake (see the video at the end of this post  to see how.) Run two beads of glue in the same manner as before to stick the first and last bags together.

Glue a loop of string as shown in the video below. I glued the loop about a third way down one arm of the snowflake so that the snowflake would be  suspended from a thicker section. Hang the snowflake. I used long T-pins for snowflakes that I mounted on the wall.

I hung some of mine in front of windows. I hung other ones on the wall.

Paper Bag Quotations:

I caused my husband’s heart attack. In the middle of lovemaking I took the paper bag off my head. He dropped the Polaroid and keeled over and so did the hooker. It would have taken me half an hour to untie myself and call the paramedics, but fortunately the Great Dane could dial.
– Joan Rivers –

I’d learned some things. I knew you weren’t supposed to hold a good wine at the top – the paper bag falls off.
– Pat Paulsen –

I scoop a clattering cascade of green apple Jelly Bellys into the white paper bag and remember when we were seven. I got stung by a jellyfish. Tim cried because his mother, and mine, wouldn’t let him pee on my leg, which he’d heard was an antidote to the sting.
– Huntley Fitzpatrick –

It was once suggested to me that, as an antidote to crying, I put my head in a paper bag. As it happens, there is a sound physiological reason, something to do with oxygen, for doing exactly that, but the psychological effect alone is incalculable: it is difficult in the extreme to continue fancying oneself Cathy in “Wuthering Heights” with one’s head in a Food Fair bag.
– Joan Didion –

“My God”, I said. “You move so silently. So you have had ninja training.”
“I have two older brothers,” Vince said. “It’s the same thing.”
I held up the white paper bag and bowed. “Master, I bring a gift.”
He looked at the bag curiously. “My Buddha bless you, grasshopper. What is it?”
I tossed him the bag. It hit him in the chest and slid to the floor. “So much for ninja training,” I said.
– Jeff Lindsay –

Pray note that my chest does not appear to be a toast rack in a wet paper bag.
Mort glanced sideways at the top of Ysabell’s dress, which contained enough puppy fat for two litters of Rotweilers, and forbore to comment.
– Terry Pratchett –

Secrets are like honey in a paper bag. Eventually, they leak out.
– Drew Bankston –

The brown paper bag is the only thing civilized man has produced that does not seem out of place in nature.
– Tom Robbins –

Book Pumpkins – Thank You Reader’s Digest

Readers’ Digest Condensed Books –  They were published for 47 years (before being rebranded) and it has been estimated that about 10 million copies were sold per year. That’s a lot of books that are still living in boxes in the attic or displaying a pleasing shelf full of books with similar spines!

The current value of these books, however, seems to be about $0. They are not rare and the fact that the stories are condensed reduces the value to today’s readers.

What should I do with a box of Reader’s Digest Condensed books?
– Make Door Stops…
– Just don’t leave two of them alone in a box in a dark room or you end up with a whole ‘litter’ of them.

I recently inherited a box of these books from a relative who knew I was not adverse to ‘mutilating’ books.   I thought I would try making them into Book Pumpkins. There are quite a few sites on the web that tell you how to do this. Usually they say you cut the pumpkin shape with scissors but I found that quite time consuming and not so kind to arthritic fingers. A better tool, for me, was The Car Guys Scroll Saw!

The finished Book Pumpkins – top view.

Here are the my instructions for this project. For more detailed photos, see the photos below.

Trace and Cut: I traced a half pumpkin shape on the book cover, cut the shape out with a scroll saw, then took the cover off.

Prepare the Spine: I removed some of the binding material off the spine to make it more flexible.

Make the Center of the Pumpkin: I cut a piece of dowel that was a few inches longer than the height of the spine and the right diameter such that the spine would wrap around it. The front and back edges of the spine should meet.

Hot Glue – OUCH: I hot glued the spine around the dowel, leaving about an inch of dowel above and below the spine.

Make the Base for the Pumpkin and Spray Paint: The Car Guy cut a circle from some scrap lumber. He drilled a hole in the middle of this base. The hole was slightly larger than the diameter of the dowel. We mounted the bottom piece of the dowel into the circle, leaving a slight gap between the top surface of the circle and the pages of the book. This leaves the pages free to fan out nicely. I spray painted my pumpkins with Rust-oleum Hammered Copper.

Make a Pumpkin Stem and Decorate: I used a piece of tree branch that was a larger diameter than the dowel. I cut the branch into ‘stem’ lengths and drilled a hole in each that was slightly larger than the dowel. Then I glued the stems onto the dowel, making sure the pages were still free to fan out unhindered. I decorated the pumpkins with wood shavings and crinkly paper.

Pumpkin shape. Ready to cut with a scroll saw.
This is where the dowel will be glued when the book has been cut and the covers removed.
This is the base with the dowel inserted.
The twig stem and decorations.

Do tell – how many Reader’s Digest Condensed Books do you have on your book shelves!

This is the Week That Was: January 25, 2021 – Truth, Andy Amazon, Epoxy Resin

There is More than One Truth

Imagine that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are far out in the English countryside in pursuit of a unique case involving an agricultural mystery.
They have settled down in their sleeping bags in a small tent for the night.
Just before dawn, Sherlock nudges Dr. Watson awake, and says,
“Watson – look up and tell me what you notice.”
Dr. Watson tells him that he sees the stars – that the clear sky means the weather will be good in the coming day – that the very faint light in the east says it is almost dawn. “What do you notice, Holmes?”
Holmes sits up. “I notice that someone has stolen our tent during the night.”
– Robert Fulghum, Now What? –

Shopping in the Time of Covid

If I find this mat on Amazon, I’m going to buy it…

The Car Guy calls him (though sometimes it is a her) Andy Amazon. Andy visits our house a few times a week. He/She has delivered everything from printer ink to kitchen sink taps… epoxy resin to tools… all the things that our local stores either don’t ever carry or  can’t get because of Covid caused supply chain issues.

The absolute nicest Andy was of Asian descent. He left a parcel at our front door, rang the doorbell, then headed back to his vehicle. I got to the door before he got to the end of the patio.

I opened the door and said, loud enough for him to hear, “Thank you!” He turned and… bowed.

Whenever it snows, I trudge out to the main road and shovel down to bare dirt so that Andy knows exactly where our driveway is. If Andy is just a few feet off the mark he/she could end up in the ditch. That would really mess up Andy’s day and maybe we would get a black mark next to our name and all the Amazon Andys would tell the dispatcher that they definitely don’t want to deliver the parcel to the house in the country with the really deep ditch that sucks your car in right up to the door handle.

Without Amazon, The Car Guy and I might go crazy… no, make that crazier…

Serious Lock Down Advice:
Everyone please be careful because people are going crazy from being locked down at home!
I was just talking about this with the microwave and the toaster while drinking my tea, and we all agreed that things are getting bad.
I didn’t mention any of this to the washing machine, because she puts a different spin on everything.
Certainly couldn’t share with the fridge, ’cause he’s been acting cold and distant!
In the end, the iron straightened me out. She said the situation isn’t all that pressing and all the wrinkles will soon get ironed out.
The vacuum, however, was very unsympathetic… told me to just suck it up.
But the fan was very optimistic and gave me hope that it will all blow over soon.
The toilet looked a bit flushed but didn’t say anything when I asked its opinion,
but the front door said I was becoming unhinged and the doorknob told me to get a grip.
You can just about guess what the curtains told me: they told me to ‘pull myself together!”
We will survive!
– Author Unknown –

When do you have Enough Drink Coasters?

Clear Epoxy Resin drink coasters with computer parts embedded in them

The Car Guy, Daughter the Nurse and gHosT the dog (who has posted on this blog a few times: gHosT the grand dog) get together once a week for a day of woodworking. For the past few months they have dabbled in woodworking AND epoxy resin.  One of The Car Guy’s first projects was embedding computer parts into the epoxy – in the shape of drink coasters. He has also embedded rocks, photographs, wood slabs and many other things. When we had answered the question “How many drink coasters does one house need?” the subsequent coasters left home and took up residence in the homes of various family members.

You might remember from a previous post that The Car Guy went through an epoxy resin glitter phase during the holiday season: Epoxy Resin Snow Flakes.

Daughter is cutting out intricate shapes with a scroll saw and filling in the holes with resin!

I am thankful that The Car Guy has embarked on a new hobby that challenges the creative side of his brain. I’m not saying woodworking isn’t creative, but the epoxy resin also challenges him to think more like an artist. An added bonus to this new hobby is that it is absolutely excellent daddy-daughter time and goes a very long way to keeping us ‘older folks’ from feeling very alone in this locked down Province.

gHosT wants to add this:

it was cold at the Red House. today. so cold no one. took me for a walk. but they put me in the fenced yard. i ran and ran and ran and borked. i smelled something. it was big. i think. it had a big smell. grandma said it was. moose. ive never met a moose. if i did. i would bork and bork. even more. the moose wouldnt know if it was a. friendly bork. or not. all my borks sound the same. even to me.

Scroll saw dinosaur with epoxy resin – by Daughter the Nurse

How are all you folks passing the time these days? Are you in some sort of lock down too? Are you feeling fearful or optimistic? Do you have things to do that make you happy? Do you have someone to share your life with?

Wonkey Weaving Gourd Baskets

I’ve taken three Gourd Art classes from a talented artist,  Margaret Sullivan of Rio Verde, Arizona.  In two of the classes we used very large gourds that we stained with leather dyes before we launched into the time consuming technique called ‘Wonkey Weaving’. The bare bones of the weaving is done with reeds soaked in water to make them pliable. The wonkey meant you were supposed to leave lots of odd shaped gaps to fill in later with wool or other pliable materials.

My first gourd had not become very ‘wonkey’ at all by the end of the class. I took it home and completed the rest of the weaving and added purchased feathers and beads.

At the second class, I achieved wonkey.

In the third class, we made a Totem Pole  from small gourds. We stained the gourds, etched them with a dremel, then decorated them with feathers, beads and paint.

Back in Canada, I could add feathers that I had collected from the grounds around our house. (In Alberta, it is legal to pick up feathers off the ground. It is not legal to do that in the United States, according to the American Migratory Bird Treaty Act.)

American Migratory Bird Treaty Act Reform – There is movement towards decriminalizing accidental bird killings. Federal Judge Edith H. Jones observed that the MBTA prohibits all acts or omissions that “directly” kill birds, but she also said that where these bird deaths are “foreseeable,” as is the case for all owners of big windows, communication towers, wind turbines, solar energy farms, cars, cats, and even church steeples, it seems unreasonable that these people or businesses should continue to be found guilty of violating the MBTA.

There are so many criminal and regulatory laws and regulations that no one can count them. It is estimated that the average citizen breaks 3 laws a day without even knowing it! Can you think what any of them might be!?

Knitting – Spare Time Crafting Stories

My mom was a knitter. She knit in her spare time – but she could knit in ‘unspare’ time too. By that, I mean she was a multitasker long before that term became popular. She could knit and watch TV. She could knit and enjoy the scenery on long road trips. She could knit and have conversations with friends. She probably could have knit and played bridge if Dad had built some sort of card holder for her.

green wool

My children are knitters too. Eldest daughter likes to knit in her spare time.

pink wool

Middle daughter likes to knit too. She takes her knitting on road trips (like her grandma). Last I heard she couldn’t multitask – she has to watch the progress of each and every stitch very carefully. If she doesn’t, she ‘drops stitches’ which is a knitters term that means a stitch got lost about 6 rows ago.

dog scarf

Youngest daughter knits, though I don’t think she has as much passion for that as she does for making lampwork glass beads. The dog is a good model for knitted scarves, but not so good for glass bead necklaces and bracelets.

pantyhose craft
Me? If the love of knitting is passed down from generation to generation, it skipped mine. I don’t remember my mom even trying to teach me to knit. That task, which must have been an incredible challenge, was given to a no nonsense family friend, Norrie. Norrie tried to teach me European knitting and how to make Scottish Shortbread Cakes.

To Norrie’s and my credit, I did knit several sweaters. Bob, in the photo above, is wearing the first one I ever completed. I made it for The Car Guy while we were still dating. Bob has had the sweater on for just over an hour now, and that is the longest it has ever been worn. Enough said.

purple wool needles

knitting http://www.savagechickens.com/Over the years I did knit a few other things, but I can’t claim to enjoy it much. I like to buy wool, though. Sometimes I roll it into balls. Sometimes I even find a pattern and some needles. I might even think about knitting, but that is as far as I usually get!

Have you ever tried knitting? What do you like to do in your spare time?

This week’s WordPress.com photo Challenge is Spare.

This is the Week That Was: January 19, 2016 – Library, Alphabet, Good Crafting Intention

Our ‘Snowbird’ Community has a small Library. The volunteer librarians have developed a book filing system that theoretically allows them to house the largest number of books. The books are sorted by subject, then by size, then alphabetically by author’s name. This means that book cases with shorter paperback books have one more shelf than the taller hard cover book cases.

The problem with this system becomes apparent when the users want to find books by a particular author. Books by Stephen King, for example, can be found in 6 different locations – non-fiction, science fiction, fiction paperback, fiction hard cover, mystery paperback, and mystery hard cover. On any given day, the whim of the volunteer who shelves the book will determine where the book is.  This means that two hard cover copies of a single book will invariably be shelved in two different places.

Now and then, whole shelves of books will simply disappear. I’m assuming there were multiple copies of some books, and they were  donated to another little library. But in a system like this, it would be very time consuming to find duplicates. Suspiciously though, most of the books by my favourite British authors have disappeared…

This library really is an interesting example of how logic and good intentions can have unintended consequences.

Logic is a large drawer, containing some useful instruments, and many more that are superfluous. A wise man will look into it for two purposes, to avail himself of those instruments that are really useful, and to admire the ingenuity with which those that are not so, are assorted and arranged.
– Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon –

 

527-rudolphcorksI can appreciate what can happen to good intentions. Last Christmas I was going to make a whole herd of Cork Rudolphs. Their little bodies and heads would be etched with the ‘alphabet soup‘ of the wine world. Each little ungulate would be a reminder of  those special events when the wine flowed freely.

After many attempts, much oddly bent wire, and a bit of blood letting, a single reindeer was produced. Wine corks firmly resist any attempt to poke wires into them…

YOUR TURN: How do you organize your library? Do you alphabetize anything besides books?

This week, the WordPress Photo Challenge is Alphabet

Rubber Boot Puppies

Recycle old rubber boots by making them into these adorable puppies!

Rubber boot puppies or dogs

How cool would it be to have a few of these in your yard! Here are my thoughts on how to do this!

Instructions:

I haven’t been able to find any instructions on the internet for how to make these puppies, but this is what I surmise from the photo:
– you need 7 boots – 4 are used for the legs, one for the back and tail, one for the lower jaw and neck, and one for the upper jar/head and ears.
– you would use a pair of heavy cutting shears to split the legs of the boots as needed.
– maybe you would use a bolt to hold the upper jaw to the lower one.
– perhaps you would fill the legs with sand to keep them from falling over.

What a happy way to remember the not so happy activity of slogging through the mud in our flooded cabins!

Sewing – Story of a Bunny Pattern

My mom was a knitter and a sewer. (In retrospect, Seamstress looks better than sewer. Sewer suddenly looks like a place of waste management). One of her earliest projects (after I was born) was a stuffed bunny that I called ‘Baboo’.

sewing
I don’t get it – how could I have ‘Come from a pattern’?

The pattern in this photo is the one she used over mpffmp years ago. The bunny in this photo is Baboo 2. Baboo 1 was a much more interesting creature.  The first time Baboo 1 was washed, one of his ears shrank much more than the other one did. For the rest of his life, his short ear stood up at attention, and his long ear flopped down over his eye.

When Baboo 1 was about 20 years old, I carefully unstuffed him and gave him a good bath in preparation for his introduction to my first child. Once he was dry, I popped him and his stuffing into a paper bag and set him on a shelf in my mom’s laundry room. When I went to retrieve Baboo 1, he was gone. Someone must have seen the old bag of grungy stuffing and threw it out, not realizing that Baboo 1 was in there too.

I made a new Baboo, but he was never right. I used felt for his eyes, but I should have embroidered them. His ears were both the same length, and even when I stitched one down so it would flop, it just wasn’t the same.

I’m glad I still have the pattern. I think I am old enough now to make Baboo again, only this time I will do all the right things wrong, and all the wrong things right. Baboo 3 will be as imperfectly perfect as Baboo 1!

For more photos from this WordPress Challenge, go to Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

Crayon Art – Melting

Last fall each of my grown children purchased new crayons and artist’s canvas, and it wasn’t for the grand-children to take to school. No, they used a glue gun, a candle and a hair dryer to create a merger of the crayons and the canvas. Here is what they made:

The result was my Christmas Present last year.  I’m hoping they will do the same this year. I loved the results! One daughter, the one who lives to cook, presented me with this beautiful bundle of vegetables. I can only imagine how long it took to melt the crayons with a candle, then plant each melted bit onto the canvas!

Another daughter glued black, grey, white, green and yellow crayons onto the top of a canvas, then used a hair dryer to melt the pointed ends so they dripped. Note the new colours that formed near the bottom where one colour ran into another.

The third daughter – whose husband rides the same model of Harley that The Car Guy did – chose a Harley Davidson theme and colours. She combined the melted dot technique to outline the Harley logo, then she used the drip method on the ends of the crayons.

The only consultation between the three girls was the size of the canvas they were going to use. It was so wonderful to see how different each piece turned out!

There are lots of websites that explain the process for these projects. Here is one:

Wingledings