musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

BEST Spicy-Sweet Snack Mix Ever

Looking for a tasty twist on the same old snack mix?  I L-O-V-E the combination of spice (black pepper, jalapeno, chili peppers) and sweet (mango, honey, sugar) and was daydreaming about how I could somehow incorporate that into a snack mix with my favorite crackers, nuts, and other tasty nibbles.

Here's what I came up with:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wallbanging Good Orange Cake. Seriously.

Okay. Here it is. Just in time for Holiday Parties - THE cake recipe of all cake recipes.

Well. . . at least in our house. Was my requested Birthday cake at eight years old. . . and nine. . . and 10. . . and. . . It was the one that arranged the furniture in mine and Hubster's first house (yeah - it may have been our muscle that moved the furniture, but it was the cake that helped us decide where it should go. Or, more aptly, that the furniture all looked good right where we left it with the couch in the center of the room). It's the one I took to a certain board Christmas party, accepted compliments on the 'moist orange cake' and enjoyed the little-more-than-usual relaxed and party-like atmostphere.

We make sure to *always* have the ingredients on hand (which isn't too hard) and it's a great go-to for a quick, easy, make-ahead cake. So are you ready for this???

Friday, December 19, 2014

Buttoning Up Last Minute Ornaments

Got Buttons?!?! You know I do!!! Every shade of every color and nearly every size from teeny-tiny buttons for baby garments to big ol' over-sized 1960's coat buttons.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Wish for you: An OKAY kind of Holiday

As we're all completely immersed in the Holiday Season once again, there's something that's being weighing on me that I feel compelled to share. Life ain't a Hallmark movie, folks. And quit beating yourself up trying to make your holiday decorations, celebrations, and gifts meet that unrealistic bar. Additionally - It's Okay!!! A crooked little Peanuts tree is okay! A frozen turkey dinner is okay! Using gift bags (and no bows) or newspaper (and no bows) to wrap presents is okay! As long as there is love, joy, and an appreciation of those around you - It's All OKAY!

Friday, September 26, 2014

That's a Great Set of Pipes!

I needed. . . no wanted. . . .a new display set for my jewelry when I set up at Art Shows. Not that there was necessarily anything wrong with what I had - I just felt like I could do better. Always watching and looking for ideas, I came across something I thought was The Best Thing ever!!!

I thought about it. . . stewed over it. . . sketched out my thoughts and dimensions. . . Then finally talked to Hubster about my idea and he thought it was smashing! And that was the end of it. Or so I thought.

We were out of town on a middle-of-the-week weekend excursion (Empty Nesting is AwEsOmE, BTW) and he said we needed to go to a specific home improvement store. Thinking he was shopping for that elusive chain saw that's been on his list all summer, I knew I could wander around and find other neat-o stuff to look at.  When, SURPRISE! He directed me to the plumbing department and we proceeded to pick out parts for my idea. Considering I was ill-prepared and did not have my drawings and measurements with me - I did push my brain, did a lot of envisioning and ended up with all the parts needed (barring one floor flange, black stain, screws, and liver of sulphur).

Friday, September 12, 2014

Back to Buttons

Button, button, who's got the button?

Most of us have memories of playing with a relative's box or tin of buttons. Sorting them by size. By color. By how much we liked them. I used to play with my Great-Grandma Clara's buttons. She kept them in a round tin (I wonder where that tin went. . . and the buffet it was kept in?). There weren't that many - but definitely enough to keep me occupied while she was busy at her sewing machine. Some of the buttons were shiny mother of pearl, some were clear glass (some of those were large enough to pretend they were bowls for my Barbie's dining room table), a few were wood, several had rhinestones, and more were plastic in every shade and color you can imagine.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Somewhat Nutty. . . Definitely Squirrely

Minding my own business the other morning. . . Grabbed a latte and walked to the ksyardbird Studio (okay - that was what, a total of about 2 dozen steps to the second floor of my home - LOL!), opened the blinds to my favorite window that overlooks the backyard with the most squirrel infested tree in the neighborhood. I look out to see what my nutty fiendish friends are up to and. . . .

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mmmmm. . . . Magnificent Marvelous Muffins

Yum! Yum! And DOUBLE Yum!!!! 

 Blueberries. . . orange juice. . . . whiskey. . . . come together for (drum roll, please) ~ ~ ~

Citrus-Blueberry Muffins with Honey-Whiskey Butter!!!!!

Sweet, tart, and smooth. . . Deliciously complementary when served warm from the oven with our Corned Beef & Cabbage. . . a delectable dessert a day later following a meal of cheese ravioli, fresh-from-the-garden tomato and basil, and fresh parmesan. A single batch just wasn't enough!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bird-i-fying A Lovely Tray

Sometimes inspiration can take awhile to strike. . . and sometimes what you thought was a great idea. . . turns out to be not such a good idea. And sometimes, things just come together. Those are my favorite. When you have all these parts - in your stash, around the house, or being used in another way - and they all come together into a pretty cool thing. That's pretty much how this particular project came together.

I love trays. If you've ever visited the studio (or your follow along on Facebook as well as this Blog) - you'll see trays of all shapes, sizes, colors, styles. . . and while some are more display (like this one), than utilitarian, they all get used at one time or another for some special purpose.Just sitting here at my desk, I can see 10 trays - some in use, some just hanging around, and a couple others stacked and waiting to be grabbed.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Lovin' on Spring!

 Know what I love? Spring. Summer. Warm temperatures. Sunny Days. Blooming flowers. Tasty veggies. Fragrant herbs. Dirty hands. Clay pots. Patio furniture. Wind chimes. Chirping birds. Being outside on a warm sunny day, listening to the birds sing, getting my hands dirty, and potting plants.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter! Easter! Easter

The trees are leafing out, the daffodils are blooming and the grass is greening up - about darned time winter let go of its reign and is bowing to spring. It's been a long hard winter (at least in my humble opinion) and I'm ready to see some color, enjoy the sun, and be outside!! I've been spending a lot of time rearranging, redecorating, and cleaning off the two porches in celebration of warmer weather. . . but that's all for another blog!

The beginning of my favorite season is Easter. Pastels! And bunnies! And flowers!!! And in my house - Easter is a time for the annual family gathering, food, celebration, and reconnecting. And a time to brighten up the house with some bright, colorful and Spring-like decorations!! The way I decorate each year may change. . . but many of the decorations stay the same.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's All About Color

What's your favorite color?

Are you able to answer quickly? Do you have to think about it? Does it matter if it's a color of clothing? Or perhaps a house color? I always give a bit of a pause, balance if I'm going to wear it or stare at it on the wall, then respond. Then again. . . I've been perfectly obsessed with my favorite hue for multiple years and couldn't care less if my outfit blends in with the background;-)

It seems such a simple question and you would perhaps think that the answer doesn't change. . . But if your exposure to color changes as grow older, and color options change as you seek them out, then your favorite would change right along with it all, right? I think so! I mean - look at the options!!!

And what makes one color so much more appealing to you than another? Sometimes, is the name of the color? I've noticed when trying to decided on a paint color, and it's narrowed down to two, it's the name that helps make that final decision. Hmmm......

Monday, January 6, 2014

Post Holiday Confessions

Happy *AFTER* Holidays!!!!

While the winter weather may be going strong (it's bright and sunny out there today, 4 degrees, and the ground is white  with snow) the Christmas decorations are beginning to disappear. In my home, the sparkle remains!  The Christmas Tree & stockings have been taken down and packed away until next year.