Thursday, October 23, 2014

Moving the chairs 6 inches is not rearranging the furniture. :-)

(There was a clock on this wall, I took it down then thought to snap some before pics before I took anything else off the walls)
When I mentioned that I was frustrated with how dark and blah our living room felt, my boys all rolled their eyes, expecting to have to move furniture once again.  But really, this furniture only fits in here one way.  I told them they were off the hook - and hurriedly took some pics that night before I got started.  So the pics are really dark, and sort of blurry, making the before and after all the more dramatic.  :-)
The bench is new. I found it for $15 at the thrift store.  It opens up, and will make a great toy box.  (I keep a box of toys behind the couch for when friends kids are over).  I did NOT have to move the couch to fit the bench in there.  Not even an inch.  :-)
The shelf on the brick wall is from AC Moore.  I paid $1.99 for a walnut gel stain there, in the craft paint aisle.  I used a 50% off coupon on the shelf, making it $9.  $11 with the stain.  It dried so fast - staining it was a less than 30 minute project.
The pillows on the couch are from TJ Maxx.
The only furniture I moved were stands, and the chairs.  I moved the pink chairs about 6 inches each.  :-)
Moving these chairs just 6 inches - in closer to the tv, made such a huge difference in the feel of the room.  Such a little thing....
I added the rug, and moved the stands around too.. little things.  Such little things.
On the stand to the left is the Taufshein for my 5th great grandmother, that I printed this week. The swag over the star is sweet annie that I dried in a glycerin mixture earlier this month.  I like it so much better than the berry swag that was on here before - see below - 

See Finn in the middle of the couch here?
Finn still there, I just moved his favorite blanket over for him.  :-)
The clock on the wall here was on the brick wall before.  

Here I added some electric  candles - amusingly, they came with a remote!  
(Sam's club  - $24 for 7 of them)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Taufshein, printed & framed

If you are looking for Bender Genealogy, see my genealogy blog here:

I LOVE old German Taufshein's.  Or any old german certificate.  I search through them in every musuem, praying to find one that relates to our lines. I came across this one a few years back - not the original, just a photo on an tree, and later in a book by Nelson Sulouff.  

So my plan, to have a copy here in my house, was to print it out, trace it, and hand paint it to replicate it.

And then this week I came to my senses.  I have little to no artistic talent, even less patience, and I own a color printer.

Yes I could have uploaded this and had it printed at Sam's club, but this cheap yellow drawing paper (one of those artists tablets you can find at the dollar store, for small children) was rather perfect.  It was too large, I cut it down to 8x10 to run through my printer.

The first time I printed this, I printed just the photo. Then I went back and added the english translation, with a title explaining that this is the Taufshein for my 5th great grandmother, Anna Nancy Bender.

This is one of those 15 minute projects that just makes me really happy.  :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apple Dumplings

6 apples, peeled & cored
Two Pie Crusts
a stick and a half, roughly, of  Butter 
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1.5 t cinnamon
1 t Nutmeg
4 Cups Water
2.5 Cups White Sugar
2 t Vanilla Extract

My favorite pie crust recipe is this one from Martha Stewart - made in a food processor.  

My second favorite is this one.  Second choice won out this week.  :-)
(side note - the berry pie recipe on this box is my favorite pie recipe of all time)
Roll the dough out.  Shown here is one pie crust, rolled thin.Pplace each apple on a square of dough.  Cut butter into chunks - roughly 1T per an apple.
 Stick butter inside the apple, sprinkle with brown sugar - inside and out.
Wrap the dough around the apple.
When I wrap each apple, I used the second pie crust, cut, to "top" the apples.

Place in pan.

 Make The Sauce:
Boil water, sugar, vanilla, and 3T of butter in a saucepan.  
Boil for 5 minutes, making sure all sugar is dissolved. 
(The sauce will NOT thicken much at all)
Pour Over Apples.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 50-60 minutes

I used a turkey baster to pull the sauce from the bottom of the pan and drench over the top of the dumplings.

Do not let them sit in the excess liquid too long, or they will spread out and get mushy..  although they are still great to eat, they won't look as pretty.  Once they have cooled a bit, put them in another pan or container.  (This was a mute point here, they were all eaten quickly, served with ice cream)

There are a lot of opinions, and charts, for which apples are best for what.  I buy our apples from a local farmer (catch him on Saturday mornings in the parking lot by the river bridge in Watsontown.  Get there early if you want apple cider, he sells out fast!) & I just tell him what I want them for and he tells me what he thinks will be best that week.  If you don't have that luxury, here is a basic chart that may help:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

From Miss To Mrs Banner (With Free Printable Downloads)

My daughter was the maid of honor for our son's recent wedding.  The bride (now our daughter in law) was a friend of Meg's before she was the fiance of Luke.  :-)  So Meg planned the bridal shower, and I made this banner for her.

Super simple. The hardest part was actually stringing the jute through the tops!

I made the letters on PicMonkey, then uploaded them to Sam's club and had them printed as 4x6 photos.

I've uploaded all of the letters here, feel free to download them and use them.

The burlap is a role that I bought with a 40% off coupon, it was actually leftover from the wreaths I made for the doors of the church.

The rehearsal was so chaotic that I didn't get good pics - the lighting wasn't great either, but here you can see how we reused the banner for the rehearsal dinner.  (What I had planned as an elegant outdoor dinner with lights strung above us ended up being a garage affair, due to threat of serious thunder storms)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

W...W...W... Wednesday 8/6/14

Currently Reading:

(I'm not far enough in to have a real opinion yet.)
Free for Kindle
A carefree summer in Deadhampton turns lethal when the tide washes in the body of Clea, an investigative journalist whose passions included environmental issues and more than her share of boyfriends. The suspects are all in 12-step programs, but somebody's not abstaining from murder. Soon Bruce, Jimmy and Barbara are up to their necks in sleuthing. As the summer heats up, secrets and lies start buzzing around this dream vacation like flies at a beach picnic. Bruce must find answers by Labor Day without getting himself killed.Readers who fell in love with Bruce, Barbara, and Jimmy on their previous outings will see a new side of them as they slather on sunblock and snoop their way through the Hamptons.

Just Finished Reading:

     3/4ths of the way through this book, you still don't know who died. You may, as I did, suspect, and even hope, but you won't know until almost the end. After the first chapter, I was prepared to be disappointed in this book by the same author who wrote The Husbands Secret, possibly one of my favorite books of all time.      A few chapters later, I didn't want to put the book down.
The style this is written in- a brief glimpse of the overall story, followed by police interview answers -was unique
     I particularly loved that most of the characters really didn't take themselves too seriously. Many of them joked over how ridiculous their actions were. The characters were likeable.
     This is a big book - much longer than your typical beach read. But it's a quick read, and I found it perfect for an afternoon by the lake & an evening by a campfire

Think I will Read Next:

Unerringly perceptive, superbly written, every page packed with the warmth and compassionate wisdom that have become Nancy Thayer’s trademark, Heat Wave tells the moving story of a woman who, after her seemingly perfect life unravels, must find the strength to live and love again.

Making the startling discovery that her family finances are in dire straits is only the latest shock endured by Carley Winsted after her husband’s sudden death from a heart attack. Resisting her in-laws’ well-meaning overtures to take in Carley and her two daughters, the young widow instead devises a plan to keep her family in their beloved home, a grand historic house on the island of Nantucket.

The solution is right at Carley’s front door: transforming her expensive, expansive house into a bed-and-breakfast. Not everyone, however, thinks this plan prudent or quite respectable—especially not Carley’s mother-in-law. Further complicating a myriad of challenges, a friend forces Carley to keep a secret that, if revealed, will undo families and friendships. 

When her late husband’s former law partner keeps showing up at the most unexpected times, Carley must cope with an array of mixed feelings. And then, during a late-summer heat wave, the lives of Carley and her friends and family will be forever changed in entirely unexpected ways. 

Lyrical, emotional, dramatic, and ultimately wonderfully uplifting, Nancy Thayer’s latest novel is compelling from its first page to its last