April 23, 2013

small, good stuff

wild young bunny
Yesterday I went to the local art store, which was at least as nice and well-stocked as the one in our previous (much larger) town. They were having a sale, and I was thrilled to come home with an ellipse template for my jewelry-making. I use templates for the basic background shapes once I have used my own stamps for the images, and I had really been wishing for one with 45 degree ellipses (sometimes the 40 or 50 degree ones just aren't the right shape oval), and this one also goes much larger which I had also found myself wishing for on several occasions. Did you know someone could get so excited about ellipse templates? Also came home with a few other little useful goodies.

Pickett brand ellipse template


Other delightful stuff from the last few days... a young wild bunny seems to really like our backyard. We saw him (her?) with his parents a few times, now we see him by himself. He sometimes eats the bird seed that falls under our birdfeeder, and seems to feel very safe under a nearby bush. I finally got a photo of him the other afternoon.

Also, the house we moved into had no hardware on the cabinets. I found that annoying, especially in the kitchen. We were able to get some last week. I've been a brushed-nickel kind of gal, but this house came with curtain rods, light fixtures, etc. in dark brown (the oil-rubbed bronze look). I can't see ever spending the money to replace all of those things, especially since they are attractive. So I picked cabinet knobs and handles that look like they belong. The kitchen functions so much better, plus it looks nicer, too! Small things can make a big difference.

my kitchen has a little bit of personality now, something to build on!

April 17, 2013

this week, lately...

our 1st year in Arizona book
The last couple weeks have found me:


Making some scrapbook layouts. Doing recent (Arizona) stuff. I mostly scrap digitally now, but still enjoy hands-on paper projects. So I also started a little album using Simple Stories' Snap Studio products for collecting memorabilia (tickets, snippets of maps and brochures, etc.), thoughts, notes, and a few photos that will span our first year in Arizona. I'm hoping it will be a meaningful place for our family to collect stuff. Plus, I'm totally enamored with this product line's kraft, dark brown, and fun colors and patterns, I just had to find an excuse to use it! Can't wait to get the photos I ordered for it so I can work on it more!

Getting lost in photos. Finding photos I thought were lost. Reconnecting with so many memories (probably too many to handle at once).

Celebrating my youngest son's 10th birthday. And wondering how time goes by so quickly.

Watching a NASCAR race together at my parent's house (love that we can do that now that we live closer).

Working not enough on stuff I ought to be. I'll get there.

love the kraft + cheery brights and happy patterns!

inserts come in assorted pocket configurations, perfect for memorabilia

April 1, 2013

backyard birds and bedtime books

wild quail in our backyard
On Saturday last weekend, we were entertained by a group of six quail in our backyard while we ate breakfast. I didn't dare open the back door, so I took a photo through the window. I love quail, and they are so funny to watch! They are cautious, always making sure the coast is clear, looking like they are carefully tiptoeing from one place to another so as not to attract any attention, or running faster than one could imagine under a nearby bush if anything is suspicious. Then they pop back out if everything seems okay. One or two sometimes perch on a rock or bush as the lookout. Now that they've discovered the seed that spills on the ground under our birdfeeder, I expect we'll see them more often as they wander through the neighborhood. Great reason to have a dining room with windows to the backyard! We also saw bunnies a couple times last week, so adorable. Totally makes up for missing the quirky squirrels we used to watch at our last house. I was worried we might not have much good backyard wildlife here, but I'm happy to be so wrong.

books: recently read, and under consideration
As I mentioned in a post last summer, I cherish time spent reading to my kids. Since then, we read Dolphin Diaries #1 and decided we need more of those and found some at garage sales, but we're waiting to find the next one in order (same as the Dive trilogoy which is on hold for #2). We read The Dog Who Wouldn't Be by Farley Mowat, which is full of fun and crazy stories about Farley's childhood with his unique and entertaining dog during hard times in Saskatchewan, Canada. We followed that with another delightful vintage (I read from a 1969 copy) boy-and-his-dog story, The Wolfling by Sterling North. This book is historical fiction and gave quite a touching and eye-opening glimpse into the rural Wisconsin life of kids growing up in the 1870s. We just finished that last week. A few side trails that give background information may confuse younger listeners, but we (my kids are 12 and almost 10 now) made it through okay with periodic explaining and review, and enjoyed it very much. (added bonus: I think any chores they are asked to do will seem pretty easy after hearing that story!) Now I am considering what to read next.