Journaling TipsJuly 30, 2009 in Books, Crafts, Creativity, Gardening
- How you feel about spending time in the garden
- Favorite Quotes related to gardening
- Planting Dates and reminders
- Photos of plants at different stages of growth
- Fertilizers and Pesticides that you used and rate your results
- Notes about the weather conditions (hot temps, hail storms, late frost)
- Favorite smelling flowers
- Dried or pressed flowers and leaves
- Photos of guests visiting (and admiring) your garden
- What you want to plant more of (and why)
- What you will never plant again (and why)
- Clippings from magazines that inspire you
- Photos of garden décor and statuary
- Ideas and Plans for next year
- List Birds and other friendly visitors to your garden
- Gardening tips that you learn from the experts
Garden JournalJuly 27, 2009 in Books, Crafts, Creativity, Gardening, Scrapbooking
You can record all your garden musing or create the gift of a lifetime for your favorite Gardener by creating a wooden journal decorated with vintage seed packets and pressed flowers. If you do your projects in stages, it makes it easier to accomplish. Start today by collecting an assortment of flowers, ferns and leaves from the garden for pressing.
PRESSING FLOWERS & LEAVES
For our project, we got excellent results when we pressed clean, dry blossoms and leaves by carefully positioning them in big thick telephone books. Pile on a couple more heavy books for good measure. The flowers took one week and two weeks worked for the leaves. If you live in an area with high humidity, it may take longer. The flowers and leaves will be brittle when they are thoroughly dried, so handle with care. Hobby stores offer a variety of flower presses, including ones that can be used in the microwave if you prefer. “Google” for directions if you’d like to make your own flower press.
Vacation Getaway RecapJuly 23, 2009 in Excercise, Family, Food and Drink, Friendship, Holidays, Well-Being
I grew up in Seattle and making a road trip to vacation at the Ocean was a favorite tradition in my family. We revisited this tradition with a recent trip to a coastal fishing town in Washington called Westport. We spent time doing all the touristy attractions. We climbed 135 steps to the top of the tallest lighthouse in the Northwest and learned about what an enormous job it was to keep a lighthouse operating. (Now replaced by simpler, modern technology) I didn’t realize that every single lighthouse has a different light signal so sailors know where they are. We dined at the oldest resort in Washington. (we did our best to ignore the ants that were crawling around on the table – but couldn’t help but laugh about it after) We browsed the gift shops, the Oyster Farm, bought cans of best Tuna you’ll ever taste, toured the Museum, and even spent a few hours tasting and lunching at the Westport Winery. When we weren’t being tourists, we enjoyed walking the beach looking for whole sand dollars while taking in the wonderful sea air. It’s actually a pretty decent work-out to walk against the wind and trudge through the soft sand. (an excuse to eat more!) When you grow up with certain smells and sounds it is so very nostalgic to experience them again. We happened upon a great driftwood structure that we surmised locals had spent many hours constructing. But mostly we ate – and every meal was seafood. And it was all great seafood – crab, oysters, clams, tuna and prawns and then we’d do it all over again. Don’t worry though – we ate our veggies too – my sister introduced us to the best Bloody Mary ever!
Cheery CherriesJuly 19, 2009 in Food and Drink, Recipes
It’s Cherry Pickin’ Season here and one of our favorite local pastimes is to visit Greenbluff Orchards for the Annual Cherry Festival. I’ve been out picking with the little girls and it’s entertaining to see how many more of them make it into their mouths rather than in the bucket. Even if you don’t get a chance to pick your own, there are ample at the local produce stands and the grocery store.
I found a great recipe from Taste of Home for a “Cheery Cherry Crisp” that you might give a try. When you dish this one up, don’t forget to dollop with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream and top with a cherry (of course!). Decorate your table with a painted terracotta bowl that you embellish with red glass “cherries” and tin leaves, or have your own Cherry Festival by posting our “A bowl of Cherries” desktop background on your computer screen.
- 3 1/2 cups frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, thawed
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed*
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup reduced fat stick margarine
- Drain cherries, reserving juice. Add enough water to measure 1/2 cup. Set cherries aside. In a microwave-safe 8-in. square baking dish, combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and reserved juice until smooth. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3-4 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Gently stir in the rhubarb, basil, reserved cherries and remaining sugar.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and salt. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over cherry mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving (1/2 cup) equals 229 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 115 mg sodium, 50 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.
The Perfect EveningJuly 16, 2009 in Food and Drink, Friendship, Recipes
You know how when you’re watching a movie and a group of people are dining outdoors in a lovely setting, eating wonderful food, laughing and drinking wine and it all looks so ideal? Then you dream about doing something just like that (but without having to do all the work that goes with it). That’s exactly what I got to do this weekend. A local Winemaker and Chef pooled their talents together to present the most magnificent meal to 10 very lucky people. We started at the Tasting room at Townshend Winery before we headed up to winemaker’s home to enjoy an incredible meal paired with a chosen wine for each course. With a clinking of a wine glass at the beginning of each course, the chef and winemaker introduced and described the upcoming dish and wine. To top it all off – it was a warm and glorious evening, set on top of Greenbluff, with a panoramic view enhanced by a gorgeous sunset. I couldn’t resist taking some photos of the food. It was all so perfect, that even the mosquitoes and bees even left us alone. Now that I’m describing it, I feel like I was in a movie!
Kris RetiresJuly 12, 2009 in Crafts, Creativity, Family, Friendship
No one likes change, unless it’s their idea. But you know what they say about change, it is the one thing you can count on to be constant. After 10 years at Debbie Mumm, Kris decided she was ready to retire and attend to some family priorities. Good for her, bad for me!
The good thing is it gave us an excuse to have a little party and shower her with gifts. Because she is going to be spending some of her time caring for her Mother, our group at the office made her an RX Caregiver’s Kit. We filled it with all her favorite beverages, lots of scrapbooking supplies, we all scrapbooked a photo of ourselves and filled it with lots of other goodies too. As an assistant to me for 10 years, Kris did many things to take care of me in and out of the office. So I guess after looking after me, doing the same for her Mom will be a piece of cake.
I’ll always be grateful to her for the millions of “extras” she did to make my life easier. Because she has such a passion for Scrapbooking, I decided to create a Memory book with photos and captions for her to remember the people, trips and fun parties we shared. Best wishes and many thanks to you Kris.
Plan a GetawayJuly 9, 2009 in Crafts, Creativity, Scrapbooking
Are you planning more of a Stay-cation than a Va-cation this summer? I’m planning for a little of both and I sure hope some of my summerdays will be spent being lazy at the lake and catching some sun. You can also catch up on your scrapbooking on one of those days off and relive vacation memories by putting together pages from your favorite trips. Whether it was the trip of a lifetime or setting up camp at the closest State Park, you don’t want to forget the good times.
I’ve got a new line of TRAVEL Papers and stickers that will help you commemorate a Cruise, a road trip, a tropical destination or roughing it in the Great Outdoors. Set aside a little Getaway for yourself to create a Vacation Memory book that will be Picture Postcard Perfect, just because you took the time to create it.
Happy Fourth!July 4, 2009
Last Minute Summer Entertaining DécorJuly 2, 2009 in Crafts, Creativity, Decorating, Holidays
All you need are Glass Hurricanes, Candles and colored Craft Sand. Once you’ve got your supplies, it only takes about 10 minutes to create - Go for it!
- Make sure hurricanes are clean and dry.
- Carefully pour a small amount of blue sand in bottom of hurricane, covering the bottom. Alternate pouring white and blue sand into the hurricane, making sure that sands don’t mix and that stripes are visible through the glass.
- Fill to point desired, then add red candle to complete the decoration.