Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

February 25, 2013

Crafties N Cupcakes

This is another Pinterest idea I saw.  I liked the quote too.  I made this during the power outage, and the irony wasn't lost on me that, at the moment I was making this, my attitude was not one of gratitude, and my day had no blessings, until Michelle called and invited me to come over. 

I burned off a lot of energy the day we finally got power restored. Besides doing five loads of laundry, cleaning the house and car, catching up on Facebook & the blogs, and doing a bunch of dishes, I made this 'State Love' project too.  I printed the maps from THIS website, then stuck shiny hearts on where I've lived.

It looks good with the PNW postcard collage.

It was my intent to make Mardi Gras and Valentines cupcakes over the weekend we had the blizzard, but obviously couldn't so I made them on Fat Tuesday evening, using green, purple & yellow batter, then iced in purple with gold & green sugar sprinkled on them.

I made some strawberry jam filled cupcakes but the jam sank to the bottom.  Oh well.  I mixed strawberry jello mix into some confetti frosting and it tastes sooooooo good!  Then I coloured more of the confetti icing red and piped those sad looking hearts on them.  They may look a bit wonky but Oh. My. God.  I snarfed one down and it took all my willpower not to eat another!  And the jello in the frosting?  Uh, yes please.  

February 23, 2013

Not Really a Cat-Person, But......

I cannot get enough of Tardar Sauce, the Grumpy Cat.  Or her brother Pokey.  I seek out their pictures and memes that have gone viral over the past couple of months.  Videos.  Anything I can find on them. There was a Christmas meme that just had me howling with laughter.  Face and stomach cramp inducing, tears pouring down my cheeks laughing.  I must visit The Daily Grump every day.  They are the cutest cats I have ever seen and I wish I could cuddle them both.  Tard doesn't have a grumpy disposition according to her human.  It's just the way her face is shaped.  She seems to be tiny for almost a year old and has trouble walking and jumping.  I think one of the articles I read said that she may be a dwarf cat.  

When I see their pictures, I cannot help but say 'SQUEEEEEE!!! GUM AN POE!!!'  Because of course in my animal baby talk, I call her Gumpy.  I assume that's why he was named Pokey, for Gumby and Pokey.  And when I see a close up of Poe, I squeal, 'Po-KEEEEYYYYYYY' with the emphasis on the 'key'.  

These are still clips from a video that is one of the cutest things I've ever seen and heard.  They got a child to provide the Grumpy Cat narration so that alone is extremely endearing.  And the music used is perfect too. THIS is the link to the HuffPo article.  Just scroll down to the video and click play.  Trust me, you won't be sorry.  It's only a little over a minute.  

The memes have been a riot.

"Iz in yer livinroom, hatin' yer football".


This nod to Big Bang Theory had me in snots.

Mt. Grumpmore

A comparison to Statler & Waldorf of 'The Muppets'.  

I realize that she's on the edge of overexposure, and some people are griping on FB that they are getting tired of seeing Tard all over their newsfeeds, but I still can't get enough of her & Pokey.  

Have you seen Grumpy?  What do you think?  

February 21, 2013


I used to belong to a few Craft Kit of the Month Clubs back in Washington.  I love them because they send you everything you need to try a new craft, and it's really inexpensive - around $16 a month.  It's a lot of fun to try new techniques and I've had a lot of success with them but a few have been duds.

I got this one a few years ago.  The birdhouse was, thankfully, all assembled.  This project was just painting and adding the flower and butterfly rub-ons, and sticking the chimes to the bottom.  I remember not having a good time with this, and there wasn't enough paint to really adequately cover the whole surface.

When it came to adhering the chimes to the bottom, I encountered a great deal of trouble.  Nothing would work.  I finally decided to use Gorilla Glue.  That stuff is amazing, it really, truly is a strong adhesive.  But for the annoying problem of the foaming up as it dries.  I used too much glue, and the foam lifted the chime base right of the bottom of the birdhouse.  It was stuck on permanently, but it looked really messed up.  I made it worse by trying to paint the foam green like the base.  

God this thing looked like shit.  I think I donated it to the Goodwill when I was packing to move east.

I was solicited to join the club again, and it looked like they had a lot of new projects, as well as a couple of the old ones.  Imagine my dismay when the birdhouse chimes showed up as my first kit.  I was disappointed and almost sent it back.  But I thought I'd try it again, now that I have an arsenal of better adhesives.  So I opened it and guess what?  The paint was completely dry.  That's OK, I'll just use my own in the same colour palette, but brighter shades.  Once I added the dots and squiggles, it really looked 100% better than the first time I did it.

Then I did the rub-ons and glued the pre-painted birdie on the base.

This time I used E6000 to glue the chimes to the bottom.  They are centered, it just doesn't look that way in this pic.

February 19, 2013

10 Years Wiff Da Bean!!!!

10 years ago today, a very special and sweet little doggie came to live at my house.  Little Pepper was adopted from the Tacoma-Pierce County Humane Society on February 19, 2003, just a day or so away from....well let's not talk about that.  Suffice to say that we rescued her just in time.  She had only been an outdoor dog with her prior family, didn't know how to walk up or down stairs and she had no idea what toys were.  She would take her treats and run to the other side of the yard to hide & eat it.  She fuzzed her way right into my heart.  During 2004 when the ex was undergoing chemotherapy for his Hepatitus C, Pepper really bonded with me.  She definitely became my baby girl.  She was a champ on our cross country trip too.

She was not happy about this photo.  That's why I added the thought bubble.
 Downtown Tacoma, 2006

When we lost power for those 6 days in December 2006, she was so freaked out that she started to sleep on my bed.  I was so grateful for the extra warmth too!  When the power came back on, she had already decided that bedtime meant 'mommy's room'.  If I had the door shut she'd scratch at it till I let her in.

Giving me her 'I hate having my picture taken so stop it!' look.

Princess Pepper P. Puppington of the Bonney Lake Puppingtons says, 'We are NOT amused'.  I have like a million nicknames for her.  She basically responds to anything I call her.  I'm not sure she even knows her name is 'Pepper'.  

She loves romping in the snow!

"Really, mom?  Really?"

Stealing my chair and snuggling with her lambchop toy.  "Don' touch. Iz mine".

"Ai haz a duck!  Iz mai duck!"

I love my sweet little Beandog!!!!!!!  I can't imagine my life without her.  She's about 12 now and still spry, despite her greying muzzle.  And has me wrapped around her fuzzy paw and she knows it too.  She cries piteously if I leave the house without her.  I'm relieved that Sagan is here for many reasons, but at least to keep her company because I can't always take them both with me, especially during the hot summer months.

Happy 10th anniversary Teeny Tiny Beanie Weenie!!! Mommy lubs you! Oh yes she does! Oh yes she does!!!

February 17, 2013


This red lampshade has been sitting around for quite awhile along with the beads purchased to make the fringe for it.  I think I bought the shade at Victoria Sells antique shop in Puyallup, nearly 10 years ago.  I thought I should probably stitch the fringe on, in an effort to finish up these works in progress.  The math to create this design was really challenging, but somehow I made it come out right.  There were over 160 loops.  Doesn't sound like a lot till you start stitching each strand.  I got about 7 strands in and abandoned it.  But then I decided to just push through, so I worked like gangbusters and got it done in 3 days.

Placed on top of another lamp for photo purposes (I didn't do the white fringe; the lamp was purchased that way).

The next one was a rather large frame that I thought I was going to wrap in seed beads.  Wrong.  I remember when I started this project, eons ago. It took 2 hours just to get the seed beads onto the wire.  It would take a lifetime to finish so it was abandoned till I unpacked it to try another Pinterest project.  The premise was to tie fabric strips onto the shade posts.  This is the picture I saw and it looked sooooo easy.

Sorry for the bad photo but this was just a nightmare.  I cut the strips but they all frayed leaving tiny threads all over.  I had trouble knotting them too.  I worked on it over the weekend and again one morning with slow and bad results.

Then I thought I'd just wrap the frame in the same coloured ribbon I'd used to cover the upper and lower round parts.  I put mod podge on the posts and it worked perfectly till I got to the part where it starts to flare.  The ribbon refused to stay.  What a frickin mess I made unwinding it all to start over yet again. I was also making another marble thing at the same time.

Since the mod podge didn't work, I got out the Terrifically Tacky Tape and put that on the posts instead.  Finally the ribbon adhered without sliding up.  Liz cracked me up when she commented, 'Vivid' on the pic on Facebook.  What can I say, I like it loud.  ;-D

This is a clip-on-the-bulb shade.  I have no idea if this ribbon will melt or catch fire.  It never really occurred to me that it would be an issue, but I realize now it is.  Perhaps this is just a decorative and not a functional lamp shade.  

February 15, 2013

Flashback Friday

Back row l to r:    Uncles Frank, Vincent, Joe and Salvatore DiMartino.  
Front row l to r:    Aunt Teresa, my Great-Great Grandparents Angelina & Sabatino DiMartino, 
                              Great Grandmother Filomena "Fannie" Marganella

Photo taken approximately 1917, of my maternal family.  The DiMartinos settled in Connecticut, but Fannie settled in Yonkers, NY with her husband Giovanni & their children.  Fannie came over from Italy in 1911 with my Aunt Celia & grandmother Maria, who were 6 and 5, respectively, on a ship called The Berlin.  I never met any of these people.  I don't know much about them except that all but Fannie settled in Connecticut, and my great-great grandmother, Angelina, was a midwife.  I don't believe they ever learned to speak English fluently, but because their children were encourage to speak English, I was never taught to speak Italian.  I would beg my grandmother to teach it to me but she always put me off or changed the subject.

February 14, 2013

Pin Win: Glass Painted Paisleys

I fell in love with this idea I saw on Pinterest, which I think was a link to someone's internet shop, owned by an artist who makes them. There was no tutorial or anything, but I figured I could come kinda close with my basic glass painting kit.  This paint is clearly superior to the stuff I own, which is not very clear when it dries because you have to keep applying a thick layer or it doesn't come out even with a light coat.
I had to draw the paisley designs on with a magic marker (NOT a sharpie!!! Do not use a sharpie for this.  The marker must be easily wiped off or absorbed by the paint resist).  Then used the resist to follow the marker lines.  It made my life much easier to have that marker guide; I never could have free handed this with just the resist.

I'm really pleased with the results!  Epic Win!