Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I've Been Up To...

I've been making progress on a couple of fronts, but nothing to show here for it.

I got the ReStore chairs sanded, primed, and painted.  I made new seats because the old ones were splitting and padded and covered them.  This is where I got before Thanksgiving dinner, so at least we had chairs to sit on, even if they weren't in their fabulously complete state.  I've started the distressing and putting polyurethane on them, and it's going pretty well, if slowly.

I've also been working on a companion hat for me out of the same plum cashmere wool blend yarn so we can have mommy-daughter hats without being creepy matchy.  I've got my ribbed and cabled version about 80% complete, but it's looking like I'm not going to eek it out without some additional yarn.  Guess I'll need to have a scarflett with the rest of another skein!  (If I can find the same yarn since this was purchased on a vacation to the Oregon coast last year - it's a Debbie Bliss yarn, but still - cross your fingers!)

So, that's what I've been up to lately in a nutshell.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Jennuine Life Has Moved to Blogger!

If you're reading this, then you've found me at my new site on Blogger.  Thanks for visiting!  I've imported all my content and comments from the site at http://www.ajennuinelife.wordpress.com/.  The main reason I moved was to allow folks to follow using Google Friend Connect, which is not supported on Wordpress.com sites.  Won't you follow me?



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Card Garland

I think this is one of those projects that I liked better in theory than I am in practice.  It's just not getting the wow factor I was looking for - I think it needs more dimension, or some jute or ribbon to give it more texture.  Anyways, here's what I did:

I Mod Podge'd holiday scrapbook paper to a bunch of mini-clothespins, and lightly sanded the edges.  Then I strung up some 18-gauge wire to the garland hooks over our mantle.  Then I just attached the cards and announcements we've received so far this season (plus the Christmas cards I made with my Mom), using the embellished clothespins.  Instant card garland!

What do you think - needs something more?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Prep Day

The best laid plans must at times be put aside, and then somehow, everything works out anyways!  Arden was sent home yesterday from daycare, vomiting with a stomach virus that had been going around.  She threw up every hour or so until 10:30 at night, and then slept relatively peacefully.  I had high hopes that she'd be able to go into daycare in the late morning (12 hours after last vomit), and then she had diarrhea - thus resetting the 12-hour clock. 

Mom and Dad were planning on coming over to go grocery shopping for our Thanksgiving meal anyways, so we just planned that Dad would wheel Arden around while Mom and I shopped.  She was in a remarkably good mood, and no more loose poops.  She fell asleep on my Dad for a bit, ate lunch, and then took a three-hour nap while Mom and I baked and prepped to our heart's content.  The blue mask is because he's allergic to the dogs, cats, and the air in general of our 90+ year-old home.

After she woke, we went to a local nursery to look at all their beautiful Christmas decorations and take pictures with Arden - a little tradition we began last year.  After Dave got home from work, Arden opened her present from Grandma & Grandpa - a Little People Farm that she LOVED!

Here's what's going to be on our Thanksgiving table tomorrow:

  • Turkey

  • Turkey gravy

  • Rolls

  • Pompano - Dave's Thanksgiving fish

  • Praline sweet potatoes - recipe from Southern Living

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Stuffing (Stove Top - we're so not purists around here!  It's easier and we all like it pretty much as well as homemade.)

  • Broccoli cauliflower casserole

  • Pumpkin pie bars

  • Apple pie

What's on your Thanksgiving table?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Infarrantly Creative Silhouette Giveway!

Here's another great Silhouette giveway by Infarrantly Creative.  I'm entering as many ways as I can - cross your fingers for me!

Silhouette SD

Tatertots and Jello Silhouette Giveway!

I gotta gotta gotta win one of these!  There's just no way hubby will go for a serger AND a Silhouette, so winning's my only option!

Tatertots and Jello is giving away a Silhouette prize package!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Card Extravaganza

I haven't been posting lately because my parents are in town visiting and I've been busy spending time with them.  One of the activities my Mom and I did was to attend a Christmas Card Extravaganza at a local stamp and craft store.  We made 16 cards, and got caught up on the current cardmaking techniques.  I like to make cards, but I usually only did annual Christmas cards and I would buy just what I needed to complete my card.  We felt extremely "outclassed" by all the tote-wielding attendees who had enough gear to fill up the trunk of my Nissan Rogue - for stamping!  Anyways, we got to Cuttlebug, emboss, embellish and Stickle to our hearts content. 

Some of my favorites:

Mom and I have already agreed that we would send each other the snowflakes one so we would end up with one of our favorites if we send them all out.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Garage Progress - Concrete

Framing is all finished and the cement has been poured.  We were home during the pour on one of my LTFT days and Arden was fascinated.  We watched until one of the guys' pants went waaaaay beyond plumber's crack.  I have to say in my experience, that plumber's crack is an entirely earned title.  Along with brickeys and siding guys...  One of life's lessons learned as the daughter of a home builder.  I should point out that my Dad never suffered from this problem.  High-waisted underwear and a belt were his solutions!

Dave was surprised that I didn't take Arden to put handprints in the cement, but they guys were working it until it was cured enough to walk on.  I know that my Dad spent enough time trying to keep people from writing in wet cement to have tried it.  Dad would suggest to homeowners that they find a penny with the year on it and put it in a corner of the cement.

The siding should be in next week and the garage door sometime the following week.  We have the same electricians who re-wired our house last year lined up.  They left some tails of wire when they did the re-wire with the planned garage reconstruction in mind.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Jennuine Life has been Spotlighted!

It's a Blog Party did a blog spotlight of A Jennuine Life:

Blog Party Spotlight!~A Jennuine Life

Daylight Savings Time, ugh!!! I hate changing our clocks, it is the final sign that winter is coming. It almost always follows the leaves changing colors and the first frost. And yes we have had these occur already here in Northwest Indiana. It also means less time to spend outside in the daylight accomplishing honey-do chores, however it gives me more time to spend finding new blogs to enjoy.

While doing just that I was looking at some of the articles shared last week and settled in with a hot mug of coffee and started to explore some new blogs.

I was really struck by the simple pleasure that I found while surfing around todays’ Blog Party Spotlight.

Click on picture to visit

Jenn over here at A Jennuine Life (nice play on words) shares some cooking, decorating, sewing and repurposing ideas. She also shares with her readers her life with her family which includes alot of her daughter Arden, very cute. When you have a chance grab yourself your own drink (coffee, tea …) and spend some time with Jenn and her family.

I subscribe to It's a Blog Party on Google Reader, and I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw my blog title pop up!  To say I'm humbled and excited is an absolute understatement!  I've been doing this for a few months now, and it's so motivating being part of this great community!

Upside-down Daisy Knitted Hat

I finished my knitting project - "Upside-down Daisy" pattern found in Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson.  It's probably been about a year since I last knitted anything, so I was a little bit rusty.  I'm not sure if I did something wonky or if it's just that I was knitting in the round that the whole thing's a tad slanty.  Regardless, I think it turned out cute and Arden has already been putting it to good use today, though the weather here in Michigan is surprisingly warm and she probably doesn't really need a hat.

I'll be linking up to some of the parties in my Linky Party Directory.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pumpkin Bread


Nope, I didn't mis-title the post - the cans are for the pumpkin bread!  This recipe bakes right in metal coffee cans.  My husband saved a bunch of the cans from all-nighters during early grad school thinking he'd hammer them flat and put them on a table for a "coffee table".  He's got his own creative ideas, though it's been about eight years since he defended his dissertation.  Maybe when the garage/"man cave" is completed he can add that to his project list.

Laser likes to help me in the kitchen, as evidenced by the flour on his nose.

You end up with these giant-muffin shaped loafs of yummy pumpkin bread!  The only bad thing about it making four or five loaves is that my husband thinks that means he gets bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Pumpkin Bread


  • 2 C pumpkin

  • 3 ¼ C sugar

  • 1 C vegetable oil

  • 4 eggs

  • 2/3 C water

  • 3 ½ C flour

  • 2 t baking soda

  • 1 ½ t salt

  • ½ t baking powder

  • 2 t pumpkin pie spice

  • 2 C chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Grease 4 16 oz., or 5 10 oz. metal coffee cans.

  3. Mix all ingredients together, add nuts.

  4. Fill cans 1/2 full.

  5. Bake at 350° F for one hour.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Felted Wool Bag

Crafter's Anonymous Club is hosting a  Week of Felt Link Party, so here's my little felted bag that I want to link up.  I made this before I started blogging, and not terribly long after I began knitting.  I had knitted an insanely complicated green wool sweater with seed stitch, ribbing, and cables.  I turned out really cute, REALLY warm, and a teensy bit... tight.  It has a home for now with my petite friend Heather.  I hope she loves it well until I ask for it back for Arden to wear.  With the leftover wool, I improvised this little bag that I felted and to which I added a zipper by hand.  I love it!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Garage Progress - Framing

Day two of framing, and I think I'm in love!  Okay, it's a tad on the obnoxiously tall side, but we got the wall height variance and the neighbors had the opportunity to contest it at that point.  C'est la vie, or so they say...  Now I think we might need to do some exterior upgrades on the house so the garage doesn't overshadow it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Roadside Rescue

Garbage Picking, Dumpster Diving, D-Mart, Skip-raiding, Trashing, Curbside Salvage...

Whatever you call it, I just did it!  Thanks to your brave confessions I just mustered the courage to pull my car into some stranger's driveway, inspect a find and then load it into my car.  I feel a little bit of a shopper's high, but without the guilty post-purchase letdown!  I can't wait to show my hubby what I found for FREE!  I cannot believe someone would throw away something in such good shape, and solid wood construction.  It doesn't even need much repair. 

If I can ever get the #$^%^* chairs I got from ReStore done (don't get me started on trunkated nap times and hubby with "pirorities") I'm going to give my little curbside gem a new life.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Arden thoroughly enjoyed her first foray into the world of trick-or-treating.  Aside from a mini-meltdown while donning her costume, she got right into the groove of things.  We only went to a couple of neighbors and nearby friends houses, but she quickly figured out how to hold out her little pumpkin bag and then check to see what went inside.  When we got home, she trick-or-treated to Daddy and then dumped out her bag of goodies on the floor.

[caption id="attachment_594" align="aligncenter" width="490" caption="Checking out her lit Jack O' Lantern"][/caption]



I got a lucky shot of Arden sitting on the steps to our side door.  Nothing fancy, I was trying to get some cute pictures of her playing in the leaves and she wandered off - silly model leaving the photo shoot!

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