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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Baking Day! Baking Day!

It's official! The day before Christmas is pie day! The mojo just wasn't there this morning, but kicked in this afternoon. Since we received a bushel of apples this year, homemade apple pie was definitely first on the list. My mom and I sat at the table and peeled a dozen apples to make a whopper of an apple pie. Made the first batch of crust and popped it in the oven. Came out pretty good if I do say so myself!
LOL! Next up, a cherry pie, that is Dear Hubby's favorite. Made the second batch of crust and put that one together.
You can see that Dear Hubby is in the background cleaning up...isn't he a Sweetie?! As soon as the apple pie came out of the oven, the cherry one went in. While all this was going on, there was bread baking in the breadmaker. Yum! Third batch of crust mixed up, pumpkin pie filling put together...Morin secret is that I use heavy cream instead of evaporated milk. Trust me, you will never go back! The cherry pie came out,
I put the pie shell in the oven and carefully poured the pumpkin filling in. Slid that in the oven and took a breather!
At last the fruit of 4 hours of labor!
It was fun having my mom there watching me stirring, rolling, and making a mess in general. Now all we have to do tomorrow is cook the turkey, the butternut squash, the swiss corn bake, the potatoes, and make the gravy! Whew! I sure love Christmas though! Merry Christmas to each and every one!

Monday, December 21, 2015

This is the way we clean the house.....

The Mother is coming to visit!  You know all that housework you put off to work on your miniatures? Well, I think I have to crack the whip on myself! My mom is coming to visit tomorrow! With all I have to do, I enlisted the minions help. I'm not sure how much help they are, but they are good at pointing out what I need to be doing. First, they joined up with the mechanical monkey in the guest room and helped him make up the bed.
Next, it was the bathroom. They weren't too keen on cleaning that, (who is actually) so pointed out what needed to be done.
They want to be able to see their faces in that faucet!
One of the Vincents thought it would be fun to take the Viking ship out for a spin, but I nixed that idea right away.
Once all that was done, they started to unload the dishwasher. That wasn't going very well what with the pulleys and ropes and such so I told them I would handle that.
I guess I worked them a little too hard as they all fell asleep on the laundry pile.
Two loads to go and that is done too! Yay! No, wait a minute, I have to strip my bed and wash all that too. Oh minions...!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Progress on Buns & Roses

Had a little trouble sleeping last night so ended up in the shop poking around with the latest build. I glued it together with some Elmer's wood glue and set it aside to dry. Then I lightly sanded the front door with a piece of brown paper bag and gave that a second coat.
Played around with a business card design online for awhile and finally headed to bed. This morning, I heard the proprietors of the new shop having a discussion about how it was going. They weren't too sure about the masking tape, but agreed that at least it was progress and wasn't I just the slowest contractor they had ever come across?!
When I cleared my throat, they realized I was there and hurried away with lame excuses. Always checking up on me! LOL! They like it better with the tape removed
and watched with interest to see what I was going to do next. I swear I could smell popcorn....I got out my tub of border paste and the old brush I use.
I thought I'd try brushing the paste onto the wood this time instead of the paper to see if I could avoid the usual puckering.
So much for that idea...maybe it will calm down as it dries.
After a little while, I couldn't wait any longer and decided to do one of the windows to see how it would look! I think this is going to work fine and the light I have for the inside will give it just the right look. Here's what the translucent paper looks like in place.
Since it's raining here today, it will probably be tomorrow before the brick paper is dry so I think I will start work on the shutters next. Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Buns & Roses, the Beginning...

If you have been reading my other blog, Twice Across America, you know that my life has been a wee bit exciting lately! So today I took some time off and started working on the latest building in the Minion Village, the instructions look more involved than the Banana Farm but I think we can manage.
The minions aren't very good at instructions, so I guess I am on my own with this one! LOL! Lots of windows in this little build. I started by punching out all the window and door parts.
I ended up with quite a pile of little pieces of wood....hmm, I bet some of these would make nice shutters.
After laying out all the pieces to make sure I have everything, the sanding started.
I'm not going to be finishing the inside of this one so that saves some finishing work. I figured I'd need something translucent for the windows so got out the matte spray and a piece of typing paper. After several coats on each side, I think I have something that will work.
While that was drying, I thought the front door needed a little something. I dug out my coffee stirrers and cut a couple of pieces to fit. I glued the window trim on too as I think this will be painted all the same color....
what color I don't know yet, maybe a nice French blue....I was going to have the inside edges of the windows painted black to match the outside trim, but then realized that the plastic window inserts have white mullions so painted the inside edges white to match.
I started looking at the other buildings in the Minion Village and thought, "You know, it really needs a brick building..."What?! What happened to wild and crazy?! What happened to pink gingham and black trim?! Uh oh, I think I had a re-think. The brick paper I have is a nice color and I do have lots of little pieces left over from the Steampunk Summerhouse and the pieces are just the right size....
What if I use the pink gingham inside the bay window? The flower shop side will have a pretty floral. I think we have a new plan. The minions have been watching this whole process with interest...they said they could smell wood burning, I told them they were wise guys. I think I can glue the basic structure together tomorrow and see where it takes us! Have a great evening!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Something New

Went into the shop this morning and heard parts of a loud discussion. The minions were having a disagreement on how the outside of Buns and Roses should look. One camp wanted it to look traditional while the other (wild and crazy) camp wanted something totally different. Well, since I usually side with the wild and crazy camp, I had to throw my two cents in too. This idea popped into my head when I woke up the other day and I figured it was "minionesque"! LOL! (Wow, I can't believe spellcheck didn't pick up on that one....) I was thinking of putting pink gingham wallpaper on the outside with black window trim!
Sort of French, maybe even an Eiffel Tower somewhere. I thought of a good way to do the windows too...I'll just put a heavy coat of clear gloss on some printer paper (remember when it was called typing paper?) to make it translucent. At the moment, work has slowed to be able to complete another project today, glueing a map to foam board with spray adhesive.
Be really careful when you use this stuff as it is highly flammable. It even contains propane! Good thing it is going to be warm outside today cause that is where we'll definitely be using it! Along with masks and goggles! I'll just have to get a picture of that one! LOL! Anyhoo, you're probably wondering, "Okay Deb, what's up?" Well, after I am done here, I am going over to my other new blog to write a few things. It's called "Twice Across America" and I hope you become members and follow along as this is going to be an amazing adventure. So with that, I will hop on over there and start typing info there for you. Both of these blogs will be running, so please continue to follow along here too. Have a great day!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

First Look at Buns and Roses...

My poor minions felt bad for me yesterday and when I went into the shop, they were all teary. I dried their eyes and let them read the rest of the post and they all cheered up and went on with their day. This morning however, they were determined to cheer me up so with our resident rock star at the piano,
they started with a lively collection of Christmas carols! They started singing so robustly, some of them fell off the bleachers and I had to pick them up and make sure they didn't hurt themselves!
As you can see, Bob's "puppy" is practicing his photography for the Christmas card they want to send out this year. I got into the spirit also and broke out my blinking Christmas necklaces and we just had a jolly old time!
We were all starting to wear out when I decided it was time to pull out the pieces for the Buns and Roses shop.
I'm not sure if I want to finish the whole inside or if I just want to fill the bay windows with pastries and flowers and leave it at that. If I finish the insides, there will be display cases to make and lots and lots of little goodies and bouquets to make. I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble when you have to put one eye up to a window to see in....decisions, decisions. If I don't finish the inside, I could use thin rice paper for the windows so the light inside would show or maybe some wavy plastic that can't be seen through clearly. I will figure it out. The minions vote to have it unfinished inside so they can sneak in there and eat up the goodies without being seen...I think they just want a place for parties with lots of banana daiquiris...I'll have time to think about it while I sand alllll those edges! LOL! Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Thoughts

I decided to finally hang some decorations on the tree today. I didn't get too many on before the tears came. I wept from my heart and deep from my soul. My children are all far away and one of them is overseas in harm's way. I wept for them all. As I sit here looking at the tree, I realize that sure, Christmas is about family and lots of other things but the primary thing, no, the primary person we are celebrating is Jesus Christ and his amazing birth. It doesn't matter exactly when on the calendar the amazing event took place, we have chosen Christmas to celebrate this perfect gift to us. The baby that would become the child that would become the Man who would hang on the cross and die for you and me. And He didn't leave it at that...He rose from the dead and promised all of us who believe, eternal life. Yes, my focus was temporarily sidetracked by sadness, and I know that there are many others out there who are shedding tears too. Just remember, Christ loves you and came to earth to give us a most beautiful gift. A gift of love, a gift of eternal life in heaven. Hope your Christmas is full of love and family and friends, but most of all celebrate Jesus.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Oh Christmas Tree....!

This was one of those years when I wondered whether or not to put up my tree. It can be alot of work and my youngest son won't be able to be here this year. But then I figured Ben wouldn't want me to go without a tree and then we found out we'll be having company on Christmas day so let the decorating begin!  My Dear Hubby carried in the three bins from the shed and then pulled the box with the tree in it off the closet shelf along with a fourth bin. Good grief, how did I get so much stuff! I put all of it up last year when Ben was here, but this year will put up about half of it. Once the tree was out of the box, here is what it looked like.
Every year, I laugh at this thing and call it my Charlie Brown tree. But after considerable fluffing and arranging, here is what it looks like.
 I've been busy with other things so have only been able to get the strings of bubble lights and the garland on so far. Oh, and a few icicles too.
I have packages to run to the post office tomorrow, so hope I can get to the bajillion ornaments! May these days before Christmas be a time of reflection on the true meaning of the holiday. Have a great evening!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

It's a Blizzard!

Well, maybe not quite a blizzard, but I did have lots of fun sewing snowflakes on Elsa's Christmas stocking. I started by finishing up Olaf. I even found his missing foot! It must have stuck to me and randomly fell off because I found it over by the sewing machine. Once he was was sewn on, I thought he needed a little Christmas cheer so cut out a stocking cap for him. I sewed on some sequins and found a sparkly pom-pom in my stash so sewed that on too. Here he is!
I started sewing on the snowflakes and just bumped the container with the sequins in now my living room rug is sparkly too! LOL!
After I picked them all up and dumped them back into my plastic divider box, I was thinking, "Why did I spend all that time with tweezers separating them by color?!" Oh well, another project for another day. When I went to WalMart the other day to try to find white felt by the yard, they didn't have any. So I bought a pastel pink which coordinates nicely with the blue and goes with the roses on the front. I cut out my stocking shape and carefully pinned it on.
I got about half way round sewing it together last night but then had to hit the trail. When I showed it to the minions this morning, it sparkled in the sun and there was a collective Ooooooo! from all of them. Guess we are all set in the bling department! I will finish this up today and you will see a final picture before it is mailed off to my dear granddaughter Elsa. Have a great day!

P.S.  It's finished! Couldn't wait to add the picture!

Went a little crazy with the snowflakes, but the minions made me do it! LOL! It will be on it's way tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My Eyes are Sew Tired!

The laundry was barking around my ankles yesterday so had to deal with some of that first. Then I settled down with my needle and thread and went to work. I started by sewing the heel and toe onto the Christmas stocking.
After the lace was sewn in place, I was admiring my work when one of the minions came into the living room.
He looked over my shoulder and just said, "Needs more bling." Just when you think a project is close to being done....The kits for these do have quite a few sequins on them so I pulled out my box of sequins and pawed through them. After trying out a few different colors, the white ones seemed to look the best so away I went! Sequins were added to the heel and toe,
then I got the bright idea to sew them around the panel too. After a couple of hours, I was about 3/4 of the way around the center panel.
We had some supper, played on our computers for awhile and got ready for bed. Here I am minding my own business, just brushing my teeth, when I get hiccups. Not just little ones, big gulping ones. Nothing would make them leave. So there is Dear Hubby sleeping peacefully and I'm in the living room hiccupping! I figured I may as well work some more on the stocking so proceeded to sew on sequins and beads for another 2 hours. After I was done with the center panel, I decided to sew some on the edge of the white panel along the top.
The hiccups finally stopped when I was just beginning to sew on Olaf.
After a total of 4 hours hand sewing on this, my eyeballs are toast! LOL! I think I'll finish up the laundry and go pick up a few groceries later today, if the rain stops that is....Be careful out there in the weather and have a great day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Too Much Fun!

After a long hiatus, I am back at last! My husband's brother and his wife came down for a visit and we just went out and had fun the whole time they were here! It's so nice to be friends with your relatives. My sister-in-law and I had a ball shopping in the Christmas Collectibles shop in Sevierville and then we met up with the guys at Knifeworks. We didn't spend much money, but just enjoyed the company. I found a nice Christmas ornament that will make a nice present for the mail lady and Lisa found some beautiful crystal bears for their new digs. We went out to eat and looked at travel trailers and just enjoyed ourselves for the first time in ages. They are on their way home now and the house is too quiet, so had a couple of ideas; and since I found the doll hair I couldn't find before, went to work. I matched some hair to the mail lady and personalized the ornament a little for her.

Since I had the little bag of doll hair out, decided to make one of the proprietors for Buns and Roses.
He really liked the hair I chose and waited patiently while I separated it into strands I could use.
A little 527 Cement and he is starting to take shape.
I found some glasses for him and he is rockin'! Somehow, he looks vaguely familiar.....
Now I have to quit messing around and finish hand sewing Elsa's Christmas stocking. I'll use a little cotton to fatten up Olaf and sew the rest of the lace on too.
I'm sure I'm going to need some Tylenol for my eyeballs before this is done! LOL! Have a great day!