Tuesday, October 30, 2018

What I Buy Wednesdays

Well, I ALMOST had another week without a "buy." Instead, I had a BIG buy!! But, let's start with what I didn't buy.

You know Sam's is impulse heaven for me. Still, I pretty much stuck to my list. I was tempted by several things, but I resisted! 
 OMGosh! I wanted these in the worst way! I was so proud of myself for not buying them. These would not be good for me to have around the house. 
 I wanted to try these. They looked good and at only 160 calories, looked like a good lunch. Still, I resisted because 14 is a lot to commit to if you end up not liking them! Has anybody had them?
And this snowman! So cute. I thought this would look so good on the upper balcony this year for a change. I'm going to have Butch take a look at it. We're scaling back on the decorations, so this might be a nice and easy change.

Okay, so now, on to what I did buy. 
I don't usually include food purchases unless it's something really good---or something I manage to resist--like above. I'm pretty sure I've already mentioned how I like just about ALL of the Oreo Thins, but this was a new one. If you haven't tried them, you are in for a treat. So good!

Now on the the "big" buy! Let me start with a little background. Christy, my friend, used to be nail girl and now my designer---emailed me with this in the subject: Splurge! She proceeded to tell me about this chandelier that would be perfect in my kitchen and had my name written all over it. Butch wasn't too keen on it. He asked what it cost and I wouldn't say. He said, "okay, we don't need it." He's right, but "need" has nothing to do with it. I told him that it could be my Christmas and birthday presents. Then I got the bright idea---"Hey, I'll use my social security money!! Or my inherited money from mom!" So that's just what I did.
It came in lots of pieces--three different crystals for a total 83---I washed and dried each one!
 Oops! How did this picture get in there? We were having the kids over for dinner the same day I was washing the crystals! Only kidding, this silverware is part of the chandelier---all 85 pieces of it! I washed and dried that too. I sort of felt like it was Thanksgiving! All the silver and crystal!

 So as you may have guessed, the new chandelier is quirky---but oh, so cool! 

Christy knows me so well! This is totally "me!" Then Stephanie came over. She thought it was socool
too, but said, "well, it kind of dwarfs your table." I hadn't even noticed that. It sort of does. Butch suggested that we swap out for the "old" one we put up in the rec room. We might just have to do that. We'll see. 

So, going from a few weeks with no purchases, I guess I was just "saving up" for a big one that I didn't even know was in my future! Don't ya' love it when that happens! I love surprises! Thanks, Christy!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Monday Mystery

Well, I need to start by saying that I didn't think to take a "before" picture. It wasn't until I was actually cleaning that the subject of this post came to me. I really couldn't figure it out.

The dishwasher. All of a sudden (of course, I suppose it's been building up for years), all of a sudden, I noticed that the rim of the door and a rim around the inside of the dishwasher was really gross. It has never occurred to me that I needed to clean that. After all, it's a cleaning machine! How can it even get dirty? But it did. Gradually, so that I hardly noticed. I finally did and it appalled me.

Do most people clean their dishwasher? I recall seeing posts about cleaning products to clean the dishwasher and even a homemade method that I did try involving vinegar. Still, it didn't get the edges clean. Yesterday, I decided to clean it. It took a little elbow grease, but it came clean.
 All sparkling new now.
I suppose I could have gotten a q-tip to really get around that screw, but I was too lazy. Plus, maybe that would be a little over the top. In my eagerness to get it clean, I actually dislodged the rubber gasket. I hope that won't be a problem!

Still, how did it even get dirty? It's a mystery to me. I certainly won't let that happen again!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Talk about "BOO-tiful"...

...that would be Nancy's house! Hers has always been one of my favorites in terms of style and layout. She goes all out for holiday decorating. We talked about how much work it is. I admire her for continuing to do it all. And she does it for every holiday! Most people ask where she keeps it all. Well, I have been in her storage closet. It's huge---and full! I should talk. I have a smaller one, and it's packed full too! Anyway, this post is not about me---back to Nancy.

It all started when she handed out hand-made invitations at our last book club meeting.
She has a great craft room (which I helped to set up--oops, a little about me) so I'm not surprised she had everything she needed to make the invitations. Right away, when I saw the costume part, I moaned! I pretty much hate costumes.
Still, I didn't want to be totally lame. As it turns out, I was festive enough. You can't really see, but my earrings are witches hats too. And then I have a bracelet and the appropriate Halloween colors along with black jeans and boots. Oops, a little more about me.

We arrived to this:

OMGosh! The outside is even decorated. They live on a farm, so I guess it's pretty easy to get a few hay bales. I bought a small one to use in decorating my front porch several years ago (which I haven't done this year), but what a mess! The bale drops straw everywhere. (Ooops, a little more about me!)I love everything about this---the dead cornstalks, the pumpkins, the gourds, the mums! It all looks perfect.

 Her front door wreath is pretty cool too.

 When you step in the door, this bowl of eyeballs greets you.
She made this pumpkin with all the mice.

 The dining room and another Nancy.

The mantle was awesome too. Love the mantle scarf.
I love this centerpiece and her collection of skulls! So darn cute/creepy! I know a lot of people like the tamer side of Halloween, but I like it all!
I'm sorry that I was so busy taking pictures of Nancy's decor, that I didn't get any shots of friends. I pulled these from Diane's Facebook post. I'm so glad she snapped a few shots. From Left, Linda the nun (which reminds me that I have that costume somewhere!), me, and yet, another Nancy and Nancy!
Nancy, the party giver (I feel the need to differentiate between all the Nancy's!) made this pillow. She has one of those fancy schmancy, expensive embroidery sewing machines. Her "gift" for the exchange was a set of embroidered hand towels. I'm hoping to snag some things at her upcoming sale--the last year--for Creative Chaos on November 2nd & 3rd. (Shameless plug.) If you are local (or even if you're not) and want more information, contact me.
Another handmade pillow. I've always loved her pink and green living room. This Halloween print is perfect!
 It's all in the details---and she had plenty of those!

After a delicious lunch, we proceeded to the gift exchange/game. We played the "rob your neighbor" game with the wrapped gifts. As per the invitation, we were to bring a wrapped, $10-$15 Halloween type item. At least that's how I interpreted it! Nancy said that a couple people were unsure---thinking they should bring a Christmas type gift. Her daughter said it was unclear on the invitation. Hello!!! It's a Halloween party! Seemed pretty clear to me! Anyway, to be fair and not to make my friends look a little dim, we have only ever done this game at Christmas time with our annual ornament exchange. In fact, the game is not what Nancy actually had in mind. But everyone assumed we would be playing the game, so she acquiesced. It's played like this: 1. Everyone draws a number based on the number of people). 2. Number 1 picks a gift and opens it. 3. Number 2 can either "steal" that gift or pick another. 4. Game proceeds until the last person. It's always a fun game. The only time I don't like it is when it's for gag gifts of the "white elephant" style---I don't need anymore junk---and certainly don't want to spend money on junk!

The game was great fun. My "win" is below. But first...
My favorite hostess on the left and then my favorite Brit on the right (Diane).
This is what I came home with! I was number 1. The gift I drew was stolen by number 2 so I drew another. I was lucky (and thrilled) to get this giant bug AND one of Nancy A's. famed chess pies. I was nervous that someone was going to steal it from me. I lucked out and was able to take it home. Nancy had cute party favors with my favorite (although I've never actually made it)---peanuts and candy corn!

It was so much fun! I'm so glad Nancy did it. I appreciate all the work involved. Thanks, girl!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Halloween in the House(s)

It's that time of year! Actually it's been that time since October first---and sometimes September 15th---depending on when I get around to it!

Sandy was first. She sent me pictures of her decorations this year. I was surprised at how much needlepoint that I've done for her. I guess it's to her advantage that I have such a short memory!
 I don't even remember stitching this picture. I love those little tiny kids in costumes---I think they are the Peanuts characters! So cute!
I loved stitching the mummy! I made three of those "sitters." One for Sandy, Stephanie and Mindy. One was a witch and I think the third was Dracula. The other girls have not sent pictures of their decorations.

 The little Halloween stockings were fun and fast. I like to use small things for travel projects.
She re-created the tablescape I made for her last year. She said she took a picture to "get it right." There's no getting it right. Just put it all out there!
These little witches hats were quick and very fun to make. One for Sandy, Victoria and Elizabeth. The owner of Nashville Needelworks finished one of them for free in exchange for me stitching another one as a shop example.

I think I did these suckers as a club where you got one each month. I kept it for myself for a couple years and then passed it on to Sandy. I think a couple of my friends made them too.

Now, moving on to Connie's tablescape.
That tablerunner is the most adorable thing!!
We were there on Friday night. It all looks so festive. Plus, everything is "high" to keep it out of little Dash's paws!!

And now for my house:

I like to use books in my tablescapes to add a little dimension. I got the idea to use Halloween colored books years ago from Sandy. I made sure mine have creepy titles like American Man Killers, Progress in Psychiatry, and a collection by Edgar Allen Poe.
 Still my all time favorite needlepoint I've ever made. It was so much fun to stitch with such crazy stitches. I still love the scene! That pumpkin!
The Halloween "pudgy" cat was another fun one to stitch. Connie and I took this class together. Morgan has laid claim to it and put her name on the bottom.
The entry table. I didn't get everything out this year since it's a lot of work and we're really the only ones to enjoy it. I forgot to Bernard out of the closet and now it doesn't seem worth it!

I had planned to include Nancy E. on this post too---the party she had on Tuesday. But everything was so awesome and fun that I'm giving her a totally separate post! That's coming up on Saturday!

Okay, that's about it for Halloween this year! Did you do anything fun?