Saturday, November 30, 2013

To Park or Not To Park

Hmmmm..........

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Blurb Books - One of a Kind

Create Something One Of A Kind with Blurb

 Save 30% on Blurb's Print Books with code: SAVE30

People love getting really creative, one-of-a-kind books for Christmas. Books that elicit a “where did you find this?” response. As the leading indie- and self-publishing platform, Blurb has an entire online bookstore full of unique books by an incredible array of undiscovered, self-published authors, artists, and photographers. And while these books probably aren't in your recipient’s bookshelf, many of them should be. So, if you’re thinking of giving unique gifts this year, consider these titles. Each costs around $40 USD or less:

Cookie Cravings by Maria Lichty and Heidi LarsenWe all have cookie cravings. Popular food blogger Maria Lichter decided to put them into something deliciously original: A baking book featuring 30 recipes you won’t find anywhere else.


Dog by My Side by Adam SchnitzerThis charming collection of original, vintage photos shows us that as long as there have been cameras, we’ve wanted to photograph our canine best friends. As a special bonus, there’s a glossary of the early photographic methods used in the original images. 


Around the World with a Toy Camera by Giorgio GiussaniPerfect for the photography or graffiti-art fan on your list. This book is an explosion of gritty color that explores the wonders of street art and analog photography. 


Food Stories by Elena ScottA short, wonderfully illustrated collection of recipes (and food stories) that will inspire you to pick up the knife and spatula—or just pen and paper. 

Things I Love by Carol Nehls and Jessica RoseIllustrated and written many years apart by a mother and daughter, this sweet rhyming story told by a fox is pure joy for all ages.


Patent Pending by Jordan NatyshenChicken goggles, air-conditioned rocking chairs, monkey jockeys for greyhounds… humankind has invented and sought to patent some amazing and crazy things. Illustrator Jordan Natyshen illustrates some of the strangest in this history of odd inventions. 


Tiny Horses are Everywhere by Thea LuxThe perfect stocking-stuffer for fans of off-beat humor, this undeniably nutty book is based on a Tumblr blog and combines simple photo collages of small horses in human environments with incredibly funny captions.

Rouleaux by Anastassia EliasWhat can you do with an empty roll of toilet paper? If you’re French artist Anastassia Elias, you create tiny dioramas inside of the discarded tubes. Inspired by art and movies, these pieces are beautifully crafted, fun, and unbelievably detailed. 


Low Fidelity by Bobby GrossmanIf you, or someone you love, listened to New York punk and new wave in the 70s, chances are your favorite artist can be found in this book. Bobby Grossman photographed Iggy Pop, David Byrne, The Ramones, Debbie Harry, Andy Warhol and many more. This book is a time capsule of—and a love letter to—a legendary time, place, and sound.


Take a second and head over to Blurb to see if you can end your search for that perfect gift this season!  And don't forget - you can create your own books as well.  Check out my post on the book I made here.
 Save 30% on Blurb's Print Books with code: SAVE30

I am a Blurb Associate and will receive a small commission if you purchase a book through my links.  Thank you!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013


I'd like to wish all of you a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.  Have a fun day, eat lots of good food, laugh and hug the ones you love!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cache Crazy Tuesday 11-26-13


Want to know what I keep in my caching bag?  Come on over to Cache Crazy and I'll show you!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Homemade Tee Shirt Quilt

I've been wanting to make a tee shirt quilt for the longest time and Tony's girl friend Alex made one over the summer that turned out so good that I decided I had to do it.  It was really quite simple and it's a great way to use old tee shirts.  Chablis and I spent an hour going through all our drawers and collecting the tee shirts we wanted to use.  I had no idea we had so many tee shirts, and we tried to pick ones with great graphics or ones that had sentimental meaning.  Man, I wish I still had all my really cool tee shirts from the 70's - I am just sick about that.

Once we collected our shirts we had to cut them to size.  I decided on 12" x 12" and I borrowed the square form that Alex and her mom used.  They had a great idea - they used the top of a take out pizza box.  It made a nice sturdy form.  I just laid the form on top of the tee shirts and cut my squares out.  I ended up using 30 squares for mine and Chablis cut 35 squares for hers.


Next I bought fusible interfacing for mine.


This is the kind I bought....


And I had a 50% off coupon from Jo-Ann Fabrics - Score!!


Honestly, this was the part I hated about the whole thing.  Ironing the fusible interfacing on the back of each square was a pain in the butt.  You're supposed to use a damp towel and press it over the interfacing in order to fuse it to the material.  I quickly got aggravated with that whole process, so I put my iron on the steam setting and fused it without the damp towel.   It seemed to work ok.


Then I used my handy dandy table top sewing machine and stitched all the squares together with a 1/2" seam...
 

Afterwards I ironed open all the seams and here is how the back looks with the fusible interfacing on it....


Then I sewed a huge piece of nice soft fleece fabric on the back and here's my finished tee shirt quilt....


Chablis made hers a little differently.  She didn't want to spend the extra money on the fusible interfacing and once she saw how much work it was to iron it on, she was really glad she didn't buy it.  Since I did the sewing of all the squares, I will tell you that sewing the squares with the interfacing was much easier because the material was stiffer.  But as far as the finished product goes, there isn't much difference.  My quilt feels a little heavier because of the interfacing, but hers is much softer.  So it's a personal preference for you if you decide to use the interfacing or not.  Here's her finished quilt and she used a piece of fleece for the backing as well....



These tee shirt quilts are a great project.  They were extremely easy to make and if you're looking for a great gift for someone, then raid their dresser for some cool graphic tee shirts and whip one up.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Make Your Own Memory Book

I recently made my own Memory Book and I can't believe how quick and easy it was.  The best part is - the possibilities are endless.  I made my book through Blurb Books, with their easy to follow on-line program.  I wanted to make a coffee table book for the lake house, so I made one depicting highlights of this years visits with family and friends.

Maybe you remember my post from August where I made a sign for in front of the lake house using a pallet.  Here's the photo I used for that post...


...and here it is on the front of my book.....


This is the photo on the rear of the book....


And this is one of the center pages....


The pages themselves are really good photo quality.  You can choose layouts of portrait, landscape or square and you can pick either hard or soft cover too.  Prices begin at $ 12.99 and go up from there, depending on what you choose to do and the number of pages and photos you want.

My book consisted of the Standard Portrait layout 7.75x9.75 inches (20x25 cm) , 20 pages Standard Mid-Grey End Sheet Standard Paper and cost me $ 31.99 plus shipping.  When I was creating my book I had a question, so I emailed their customer service department.  Within 2 hours I had a reply and precise instructions on how to do what I was trying to accomplish.  I placed my order and within 7 days I had my book in my hands and I can't begin to tell you how happy I am with the finished product.  When I gave it to my husband and kids to look at, they were so excited to see themselves featured in a book.  The book is now proudly displayed on the coffee table at the lake house and everyone who walks in the door wants to check it out.  And one more thing, I received a follow up email from customer service just to make sure they took care of my question and that I was happy.  It's rare to find that high level of customer service anymore.

The Blurb website is easy to maneuver around.  Blurb supplies tips and tutorials to get you started.  They have a wide variety of page layouts and you can get as extensive as you want with print.  You can choose from many different genres, such as:

  • photo books
  • yearbooks
  • wedding books
  • cookbooks
  • travel books
  • photography books
  • baby books
  • notebooks
  • you can even make e books for I pad
Some great options for the books you create, other than giving them as lasting memory gifts, is that you can also sell your books through Blurb's site.  They supply free desktop publishing tools, and can help you share and promote your book to your followers.  The Blurb website currently has over 1500 books that were created by people like you and are now listed for sale through Blurb.  How fun is that?  Do you harbor a secret desire to become a published author?  The tools are now at your fingertips.  Whether you create a keepsake for yourself or someone in your family, or publish that photography or cook book that is bottled up inside of you, Blurb has the tools and the affordability for you to do so.

Click on this link!    Save 30% on Blurb's Print Books with code: SAVE30    

Save 30% on Blurb print books until November 30th!The holiday shopping extravaganza has begun and family gatherings are going to create hundreds of moments to remember forever. So use the code: SAVE30 to save 30% on your next Blurb book order over $60. If you order a few printed books with all your fancy Thanksgiving pictures, you can have them in time for Christmas! Blurb even allows you to use your Facebook and Instagram pictures to help build up your books, which is bonus in my book! Let your creativity flow over to Blurb and see what masterpiece you can make! (You really will look like a professional book maker with their software and finished products!)

Save 30% on Blurb's Print Books with code: SAVE30

Dates: November 22nd – November 30th

Code: SAVE30

***Offer valid until November 30, 2013 (11:59 p.m. local time). Valid for print books only. A 30% discount is applied toward your product total with a minimum order of USD $60, CAD $60, GBP £60, EUR €60, or AUD $60. Maximum discount is USD $100, CAD $100, GBP £65, EUR €75, or AUD $100 off product total. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.
Go ahead, click on the link above and check them out.  Wait until you see how easy it is to create a memory book.  Blurb books make a wonderful keepsake that your family and friends will cherish forever.




This post contains affiliate links. Which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase through my links above.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Does Your Vacuum Suck?

Does your vacuum suck?  Yes, I mean that in more ways than one.  Ok, I am having a vacuum cleaner melt down.  Right now I am sort of super pissed off, so I will probably come off sounding like a crazed, vacuum cleaner hating lunatic.  Which I kinda am.


I don't know, is it just me?  Am I the only person in the United States who cannot find a stupid vacuum cleaner that I like and that works the way I want it to work?  Here are my issues....

I was vacuuming at the lake house the last time we were there and the upright vacuum cleaner that we had, note that I used the word had, kept shutting off while I was using it.  For no good reason.  I'd vacuum a few feet and it would shut off.  I'd jiggle it and bang it, and it would start up again, I'd vacuum a few feet again and the damn thing would shut off again.  Did I mention that this thing was only about 2 years old and it really doesn't get a lot of use at the lake house?  It's not like I'm on a vacuum cleaning mission, I just want to pick up the dog hair, dust bunnies and random dried leaves.  Grrrr....... I couldn't get the damn thing to work right.  I have a bad temper and I opened the door to the back deck and threw the vacuum cleaner out the door where it banged down the stairs and then sat in the rain for a few hours.  I guess I showed it who the boss was.

The next morning I went out, brought it back inside and it started right up.  What the heck??  I smugly started vacuuming again and the fricking thing shut off again.  I checked the bottom by the rollers to be sure nothing was jammed.  I checked the filters - they were clean.  Ok, that was it- I hauled it back outside, threw it in the back of our gator and personally dragged it down to the dump.  I gave it the middle finger salute as I pulled away and never looked back.  Good riddance you piece.... of .....crap!

Louie came back from hunting and when I told him what happened, he went out to the garage and brought in an older vacuum cleaner that he used outside for his boat.  This one was an upright unit like the last one was.  I wasn't having a good feeling....


Honestly, I don't like upright units.  Strike one....  I'm 5'2" and I weight 106 lbs.  The damn uprights weigh practically more than I do and my right bicep is noticeably larger than my left from flinging it around and I practically throw out my back every time I use it.

Strike 2.....  Both uprights were bag less units.  Do you like using a bag less machine?  I must be getting old because I'm old fashioned and I like a dirt bag - I despise a bag less vacuum.  Here's why - when you remove the dump bucket to empty it, all the dust and dirt that you just vacuumed up flies through the air, all over everything you just cleaned.  I personally like it, not, when you remove the dump bucket and a big clump of something falls all over the carpet.  Yech.

At home I have a pull behind, canister unit.  It has a bag, which I like, so that is a plus...



But this leads me to Strike 3, and this applies to both types of vacuum cleaners - their suction, well, sucks.  Or rather, there is a definite lack thereof...   I can pull coke through a straw with more suction than either of these vacuum cleaners can supply. 

So anyway, that leads me to what pissed me off today.  I was vacuuming, again with the upright at the lake, and the aforementioned suction problem was becoming an issue.  Do you ever see something on the floor and roll the vacuum cleaner over it like 18 times and it's still sitting there like it's laughing at you?  So then you have to bend over and manually pick up that crappy little piece of lint?  Why don't vacuum cleaners like me??

The last vacuum cleaner I bought, the one that sailed down the deck stairs, cost me just over
 $ 300.00 brand new.  I thought that was a pretty good chunk of change.  I seriously cannot afford to spend more than that - again!  So here is what I want....

  1. a pull behind canister style vacuum that glides easily and doesn't weigh a ton.  I do not want to look like I'm dragging a sack of rocks or a dead body around the house behind me.
  2. it has to use a bag.  Co-incidentally, I just bought some bags that had the Febreze air scent attached and I love them.  Nice free plug for Febreze.  Note to Febreze - Please contact me if you'd like to supply me with more of those.  They are fab!
  3. it's got to suck dirt like a demon and I mean, like sucking golf balls through a straw.
  4. it can't cost me an arm and a leg.
Any suggestions??   What type of vacuum cleaner do you have and what do you like about it?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Jefferson Davis Birth Place

We recently had a chance to stop and see the Jefferson Davis Historic Site in Kentucky. 
 
 

I originally thought this was a memorial but apparently this was the birthplace of Jefferson Davis.  If you remember your Civil War history, you will know that Jeff Davis was the president of the Confederacy.


Unfortunately we got there too late in the day and the museum was already closed when we got there.




The monument itself was also closed for the season and I was really disappointed in that.  There's an elevator that goes to the top and there's an observation deck up there.  I really wanted to go to the top!  The monument is the world's tallest concrete obelisk.  Construction of the monument began in 1917 and was completed in 1924.


Check out this view from the base of the monument....


Coincidentally, there's a geocache hidden here as well, but you have to go to the top of the tower to find the information on where the cache is hidden.  Well, it looks like I'll be making another trip back there in the spring so I can check out that tower. 




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cache Crazy Tuesday 11-19-13

All geocachers have a geocaching bucket list - what's on yours?  Join me over at Cache Crazy to find out what caches I recommend for other cachers and which caches I have on my bucket list.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Into the Mouth of Madness

 
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to join my caching buddies on a couple of caches.  One of them Into the Mouth of Madness was pretty cool!  It's always fun to do a cache in an unusual location, and this one fit the bill. 
 
Determining ground zero was based on figuring out the co-ordinates with some information grabbing and waypoint projections.  Then getting to ground zero took some careful maneuvering....
 

Staring into the mouth of madness.  Yes, we were venturing in there....


Tom adjusts Mary's headlamp.  I sure need to get one of these....


Here's the view as we headed in....
 


These are 2 of the clues to watch for from the cache page.  So far so good and we were headed in the right direction...



There's a series of drain tunnels underground.  Which one to choose?  We let Bill pick...


We were pretty far underground.  This is looking up and the light overhead is the manhole cover to the street above....
 
We continued along our way, flashing our lights around and looking for the cache.  We did find it, but I won't show it to you.  After some comical maneuvering we retrieved the cache, signed it, dropped it in the water, fished it back out and managed to get it back into its hiding place.  Now to find our way back out.
 
Just for fun we all turned off our flashlights and yes, it really was that dark down there....
 

Slowly we picked our way back out through the maze of tunnels...

 
 
Ahhhh..... sigh of relief, the light at the end of the tunnel.....
 
 
...  and an eerie figure beckoning to us....
 

Mary, Tom, Linda and Bill make their way out of the mouth of madness....


Mary was stepping across the water when we were leaving the tunnel and none of us realized how slick the algae covered cement was.  She took a fall and the water started sweeping her down steam.  Thanks to Bill's quick thinking, he grabbed the hood of her sweat shirt and saved her!


Check out the graphic Chicago graffiti to the right of me on the wall.  LOL!


Our badges of honor.  We had to stamp our hands using a letter stamp that was inside the cache to prove we found the cache...


It was quite the trek away from the mouth of madness and it was worth every second of it.  We had a great time!




We grabbed a couple of geocaches on our way out and called it a day.
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