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

January 30, 2014

Second Blizzard in Less Than a Month

I'm still not adjusting well to this climate at all.  I know it's supposed to be cold and snow in winter, and I certainly experienced it when I was growing up, but it seems worse now that I'm older.  We had a second snowstorm/blizzard that dumped a ton of snow on the coast.  Another 2 feet, but again, it was nice and fluffy so no power outage issues.

These things were pretty cool hanging off the roof.  I left them this time.

It snowed for just about 24 hours straight.

The day cleared out by sunset and it was beautiful out.  Ice cold and still.

This was right after sunset at blue hour.  After it got dark it was crystal clear and the stars looked like diamonds against the black sky.

This is the next day.  I was calling them snow waves for lack of a better description.

I wanted to see how big this one would get.  This was 2 days after the snowstorm.

It started to melt fairly quickly for a couple of days.

This is the last pic I took before a big chunk broke off in the warmer weather.  

And we've had more snow since these pictures were taken. 

January 28, 2014

One of Those Days

It seems like, for me anyway, there is always that one incredibly dull, lame, boring day in late January.  It's always on a Sunday.  I even have specific memories of days like that throughout my childhood and have been kind of tracking it to see if it happens every year and it really does seems to.  There's nothing to do. Even if it's nice out, it's too cold and windy to go anywhere.  TV sucks.  You can't find anything good to eat in the kitchen.  You have so many things to do inside, crafts and chores, but no energy or desire to get up, and at the same time you are so restless you feel like you're gonna explode if you don't get out of the house soon.  I could feel it when I got up this past Sunday.  Facebook and the blogosphere were even dead.  Just a Bucket of Suck day.  I ended up in my craft room, to at least try and make some stuff and salvage the loneliness.

Anywho, I've finally tried to get a handle on my out of control needlework projects.  They are so perfect to do in the livingroom when Russell's home.  I discovered that a few of the floss packs had free designs on their packaging or instructions.  I decided to do a couple just for fun before I got back to the projects that have been started.

OK this one looks nothing like the pattern I started to follow because I made such a huge mistake that I couldn't go back and rip out all the work I'd done, and had to free form it.  This is the first time I've ever deviated from a pattern on my own and just made something up.  The pattern also didn't call for beads but I added them anyway.  The instructions showed that it was to be done in just blue, so I used varigated blue floss.  It was stitched on perforated paper and doesn't photograph well.  It looks much nicer in real life.

I also used my own colours for this peace sign design.  Again, all varigated floss, then outlined in shiny gold. The original pattern had 'PEACE' written on all four sides but I did not like the way it looked on the paper so I just eliminated that whole part of the design.  I may mount these small projects on cards.

OK LANGUAGE ALERT HERE!!!  Over the holidays, Axe & I were cracking up over a cross stitch picture that she or someone posted on Facebook.  It took me off guard, especially when sung, and I thought it was hilarious.  I told her that I was pretty sure I could recreate the cross stitch from the picture because it was a very simple design.  She asked if I could make it for her.  Since I was getting together a package to send her anyway, I decided to knock this out now rather than next fall, so that I wouldn't have to send a second package (believe me, sending to S. Africa can be somewhat complicated, especially for the addressee picking it up so you want to have it all together and just send it once).

This is the picture from her timeline:

I first enlarged the picture so that I could count the stitches, then found my cross stitch graph paper and sketched it out.  It only took a couple of days of stitching to get it done and it will fit in a 5x7 frame once ironed.  The original picture didn't have the words and holly trim outlined, so I added that to make it pop and easier to read.  If I never stitch the word 'la' again it'll be too soon.

Since I had the black floss & Aida cloth out, I did this simple Snoopy design in about an hour.

I made the small ones into cards.

I had another felt peace sign and decided to round up my sparkly pin collection and earrings I can no longer wear anymore due to metal allergy.  I snapped off all the pinbacks and earring hooks and glued them to the felt. In addition to the pins & earrings, there are a few items that I used to fill in the gaps. I love sparkly pins but they are kind of expensive and I don't wear them, so this was the best way to showcase my modest collection.

I love keys....everyone I know seems to love keys.  I like how the craft stores sell new ones made to look vintage and I always buy a package because you can always find something to do with them.  In my case, I broke out the rhinestones and went to town.  Must. Bedazzle.  Everything. 

I posted them on Facebook and got a lot of inquiries about possibly purchasing these or having custom ones done.  There is a craft show coming up in April and I am not really sure what to make for a spring show.  All of my shows have been geared towards ornaments and stocking stuffers, so maybe I'll try and sell the keys.

My bff Michelle requested the steampunk one on the right. 

2 Seahawks themed bracelets and the one in the center is Notre Dame's colours, that I made for Kris.

Do any of you have a particular Bucket of Suck day that seems to happen at the same time every year?  Is is also late January like mine is?

January 26, 2014

My Sick Song

Whenever I get sick and am laying in bed feeling like shit, 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey' by Paul McCartney pops into my head.  I have such a specific memory of hearing it during a pretty bad illness that it's become my 'sick song'.

It was the summer of 1977.  August 16, 1977 to be exact.  The reason I remember the date is that Elvis Presley died that day and I heard it on my transistor radio and was so shocked (not that I was a fan, I was only 12).  We were on our way to my parents' beach house to visit with the people renting it, who had kids my age.  It was a cool, cloudy evening and I really wasn't feeling up to playing on the beach in the cold sand. I remember telling my parents I didn't feel well but they were enjoying their visit and told me to sit or lay down for a bit.  I sat in a rocking chair with my knees drawn up to my chest.  My throat hurt so much I couldn't swallow and everything, i.e. the adults laughing and talking at the table, seemed abnormally loud and out of focus.  By the time we got home, my temperature had soared to 103*.

I lay on my bed in the dark room, listening to my clock radio.  Stations were playing a lot of Elvis, but interspersed with regular music.  "In the Ghetto" reminds me of that night too.  Then a song started, and I recognized it as Paul McCartney but I had never heard it before.  "We're so sorry, Uncle Albert...."  I lay there listening to it and thinking how strange the lyrics were, but it had a nice melody to it.  As the song progressed, I started to believe that I was so sick, I couldn't possibly be hearing this song right.

First we have the weird little telephone conversation, 'we're so sorry, Uncle Albert, but we haven't done a blimey thing, all day...'  Then the tempo picks up and it goes into the Admiral Halsey part of the song.  "Admiral Halsey notified me, he had to have a berth or he couldn't get to sea.  I had another look and I had a cup of tea and butter pie (butter pie? the butter wouldn't melt so I put it in the pie". Next they are singing, "Haaaands across the water (water), heaaaaads across the skyyyyyy"  Yeah, my temperature has to be through the roof by now.  Next part I hear is the semi falsetto, 'Live a little be a gypsy get around (get around), get your feet up off the ground, live a little get around'.  Yep, I'm dying.  I'm going to the hospital and I'm going to die.  If 'WTF' had been an expression in 1977, I would have thought that too. 

It took a week or so but I finally recovered from my bout with strep throat and forgot about the weird McCartney song as the regular Top 40 songs took over.  I don't remember how much time passed until I heard Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey again, but I was shocked...SHOCKED I SAY....that it actually sounded exactly the way I heard it.  Don't get me wrong, I love the song, it's fun and quirky and so typically McCartneyesque, but it's a pretty weird tune.  I think I can be excused for thinking I was hearing the song through a high fever fog.  

And that is why, every time I get sick, I think of it.  

January 24, 2014

Time Transfixed

Feeling blue one Sunday, I was engaging in a little retail therapy, right before Christmas.  I was browsing through the Tiny Things Are Cute website, looking for altered art items for my stash.  I came upon a tiny, wooden fireplace that gave me a huge brainstorm.  Would it be possible to recreate my favourite painting in 3D?  

This is my fave painting, "Time Transfixed", by Belgian surrealist Rene' Magritte.

I went ahead and got the fireplace, then went on a hunt for a tiny locomotive.  I'm surprised that they aren't more readily available!  I was having zero luck.  Then I found one on ebay that was the exact right size and kind that I needed.  So I got it, and then I started making the project.  I tried to find a dollhouse-sized mantel clock but struck out so I had to make my own out of a clock face charm and piece of wood.  I made the candle sticks out of gold beads and bead caps.

I painted the fireplace white and grey.  I added some cotton from a Q-Tip to the locomotive's smokestack and then glued it to the back of the fireplace.  I had to stuff paper inside the back of the engine so that it could be glued flush to the back.

The fireplace is only 3-1/2" tall, so it's pretty small.

I probably could have done a better job with shooting the angle, but this is pretty close to the original painting.  I'm really pleased with the way it came out.  

January 22, 2014

Antipasto Kebabs

I made some antipasto kebabs one day, just to change things up a bit in the salad department and they were really good!  Definitely will make again.  I used an online recipe as a guideline only, and used my own stuff & dressing.

For the marinade/dressing, I used Good Seasons Italian dressing.  I also used salami, mozzarella balls, grape tomatoes cut in half, extra large black olives, red onion, cucumber and cooked cheese tortellini.  If I could have found canned button mushrooms, those would have been used too but the grocery store didn't have any.  Next time I make this I'll also add artichoke hearts and red bell peppers. 

January 20, 2014


What is it about this month that seems to get off to such a rough start?  And I don't mean just me, I see it on my Facebook newsfeed.  Had a couple of stressful issues, which, surprisingly, resolved fairly quickly and all was well.  But it's just that stress of dealing with it through it's resolution that totally sucks.  

The weather is suffering from multiple personality disorder.  We started the year with that huge Nor'easter blizzard.  The weather immediately before and immediately after was bitter cold.  I have never felt it that cold.  The temp rapidly warmed to above 50 and it poured rain for a day.  Then we plunged back into single digits and low teens.  Then it snowed again.  Then another rapid warm up to 50.  And THEN, a huge, howling rainstorm with high winds, thunder & lightning.  Some gusts were so fierce that the house shook, one of my window crystals fell off my window and I was wondering if we'd just experienced a microburst.  

So no huge surprise that I, and almost everyone I know, got sick.  Russell came home looking and sounding like death warmed over and I pretty much figured I would be next and I was.  It hung on for a week, sapping my energy.

Here are some pretty windshield frost pics.

Our third anniversary was January 7th.  Cannot believe it's been 3 years already!!  Best 3 years ever, too.  I made this Bitstrip to celebrate.  We thought about going out to eat but it was too cold to leave the house so we had pizza delivered, cause that's how we roll.

I've been living in this town for over 2 years and a couple of months ago I noticed this tree in a rock.  I don't know how I managed to miss's right on Main Street....although in a part that I don't pay much attention to.

I made another fibre bowl.  Not a very good pic.  

I seem to be starting some crafts that I don't feel like finishing...

(but I did)

...and others I can't wait to get to...but I'm not divulging any sneak peek pics of that yet.  If it turns out, it'll be epic.  But that peace sign...what's not to love? It was turning out to be more time consuming than I thought and I had all that crap on my TV table for over a week, making the table unusable.  

And check out the box full of goodies Marsha dropped off!  I didn't have the energy to take it all out and photograph it, but suffice to say it's stuffed full of crafty goodness.  I know I said it before, but I'll say it again, I am the King (Queen?) Moonracer of Misfit Craft Supplies. 

And then my friend Stephanie sent me some cool tie dye magnet clips!

I've gotten quite a bit accomplished the first half of the first month of the year.  The craft room is cleaned and organized.  The recipes are typed and organized.  3-4 art projects are done.  We've secured the house for another year with the landlords (YAY!!!) and taken care of some annoying paperwork things.  Last spring I did a really good spring cleaning but I suppose I could give the place another good scrubbing.  I suppose I'll get started on that next!  Well, as soon as I get over this cold!