April 29, 2012


Josie's kindergarten class went on a field trip to a farm last week.
She was able to ride a horse named "Lucky".
As you can imagine, she's very excited about horses now.
She's renamed Emma's childhood horse-on-a-stick "Lucky".
He's been getting some long overdue saddle time again. 

 It's so nice to see Emma's former toys being loved again.
Ride em cowgirl!

April 27, 2012

Vintage Chinese Children's Books...

It's Friday and I'm participating  in Corey's
 Lil' Vintage Story Books Link Party.

Today's featured book is a vintage children's Chinese story book
that I purchased from Dime Store Chic
By the way, everything  in Dime Store Chic
is currently  50% OFF! SQUEAL!

You do need to enter this code at check out to get your discount: DSCHALF.
If you don't enter the special code you won't get the half off discount.
The sale begins today around 6 a.m. EST Friday, April 27th and
ends around 7 p.m. EST Sunday, April 29th.

Even though I can't read the books,
I fell in love with the sweet illustrations. 

I loved one of the graphics so much, that I framed one of pages
for Josie's bedroom.  I took a $1 frame and covered the
frame with glue and added pages from a Chinese-English dictionary.

I also added a fortune from a recent take-out dinner
before sealing up the glass.

"a bold and dashing adventure is in your future"

The print is hanging on the wall above a special dress that my
friend Renee (My Vintage Mending) made for Josie last year.

Josie's grown so much that it no longer fits,
 but I wanted to give the dress a special place of honor.
The other items you see hanging from the ceiling
include a goldfish kite purchased in Beijing
and Lion puppets purchased in Guangzhou.

Just look at the pagoda on the dress.
So sweet.

Happy Friday!
Don't forgot to visit Corey's blog for more
great vintage books and illustrations.

April 26, 2012

Yarn wreath...inspired by Creative Breathing

I fell in love with Elizabeth's (Creative Breathing) yarn wreath when she posted it here.

Only using supplies that I had on hand (I really miss driving and shopping...I can't wait to dump the crutches/knee scooter) I modified her design slightly.

 I definitely would have used a Styrofoam wreath if I had one available in my stash of supplies. The straw wreath worked well enough, but it was messy until it was covered.

Even Luna enjoyed helping me wrap the wreath with yarn. 
Here's my version.
The toadstools were available last year in the Target $1 bins.
I covered the toadstool caps with a bit of glue and glitter.

Elizabeth is always so good about explaining how she creates things and her felt flower tutorials came in handy.  Be sure to come visit this post on her blog for instructions.  Thank you for the inspiration, Elizabeth. 

Linking up with:
Someday Crafts:  Mother's Day Link

April 25, 2012

They're blooming!

I seem to have a lot of posts about nature lately.
Maybe it has something to do with working
from home while on medical leave??
Regardless, I was excited to see our lilacs in bloom.

 We have a few varieties of lilacs (including a Miss Kim lilac).  
This one is your standard Purple Persian lilac.
I only took pictures from a safe distance off our back deck.
No wandering in the woods yet for me.

I don't think my knee scooter needs to go
four-wheel driving. 

Lilacs always remind that the end of the school year is approaching. 
June 6th is the last day for my K-12 crew! 
I can hardly wait!

  I'm ready to say goodbye to the girls'
homework and lunch boxes.
Have I said how much I love my
Mr. Mom and his K-12 schedule?

April 24, 2012

Blogger's new interface...6 tips

I wasn't going to post anything about Blogger's recent interface upgrade because it reminds me too much of my instructional design job at the University. 

I've tried to keep my blogging world separate from my professional world, but I had a few private emails and saw enough complaints that I thought I might provide a few useful tips (as well as confirm some issues).

Please note that I won't be attempting to fix anyone's blog. These are just suggestions to help you with the new blogger interface.

Not all web browsers are compatible with the new blogger interface.

If you've been using Internet Explorer, it's time to consider switching browsers.

It definitely isn't supported with an older version of IE (like Internet Explorer 8).

Heck, I can't even edit and update my blog on my iPad (which appears to be an issue being voiced on the support forums). I'm also hearing complaints about it not being compatible with iphones either.

That's ridiculous.  For now, all my blog composing is being done on my laptop. Although I own an iPad and will use it to read blogs, I'm a PC user and these are the recommended web browsers for composing blog entries with a PC:

https://www.google.com/chrome for chrome
http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/  for mozilla firefox

If you are using an older web browser (like IE 8) you will get a message you will need to update your browser.  I stopped using IE many years ago because it wasn't consistently compatible with my course management software. 

The new interface uses a pull-down menu, requiring added time to find things.

If you are a visual learner, you might want to consider watching their video tutorials which explain how to use the new interface.  I realize tutorials aren't for everyone and not everyone has the necessary time to watch them. 

Scheduled posts do not post.
Since the upgrade, I've had to manually post things. With the number of complaints that I've seen about this issue on the blogger forum, it looks like the engineers have come out with a fix but I'm not convinced it's working yet. I've had to manually post all my entries since the upgrade.  This is bad.  Especially for businesses who rely on blogger.  Hopefully, this is a priority fix.

Placement and control of images with text isn't easy since the upgrade.

I agree.  In fact it downright stinks. I definitely cannot control the placement of the photos and text like I could in the past with the old editor. I'm constantly going into the html editor to make corrections. For most of my blogging friends, I wouldn't expect you to mess with the html editor. This is ridiculous.

Get a test blog.
A test blog is definitely something I would recommend for everyone so you don't mess up your active blog up while trying to figure it out.  I almost hate to admit how many test blogs I have.

When all else fails, switch back to the old blogger editor.

I honestly don't know how long this option is going to be available. We don't typically make it a practice to run different versions of software at my University,  but you can switch back to the old blogger editor.  Please note that I have heard complaints that once you switch, the next time you log in, it reverts back to the new interface until you change it again.

I'm including a screenshot of how to switch to the old editor.  From your dashboard, click on the clog and then select "Old Blogger Interface".

I've found myself tempted to switch back to the old editor, but just like with my professional job, once we upgrade, we don't typically go backwards and I'm going to force myself to figure out the new blogger.

If you wish to complain to blogger or post a question to their support forums, please use the Google Product Forums found at:  http://groups.google.com/a/googleproductforums.com/forum/#!forum/blogger

As I said earlier, I won't be attempting to fix anyone's blog. These are just  six tips/suggestions to help you with the new blogger interface.  Best wishes.

Playing with fire...

Last week we had high winds.

 Strong enough to knock down a few more
dead trees near the treehouse.

This prompted Chris to get a burn permit from our city office.
He spent Saturday playing with fire and his chain saw.

I don't have any pictures of Chris's fire,
but Emma went outside and took some "after" pictures.

Chris has plans to create several "defined" walking paths
and a few benches. 

He's looking forward to having an excuse to buy more plants.
If you think I'm kidding about his plant buying obsession,
see this post from last May.

April 23, 2012

A little yellow cottage...

On Saturday, Chris had a burn permit and spent the entire day clearing brush and dead trees from our woods. We were told to stay away from his chainsaw and burn pile. The girls and I (including Luna) found a project to keep us busy.  Because I'm still not driving/shopping easily, we used supplies that were on hand.   Yes.  I happened to have another dollhouse just waiting for a makeover. 

We decided that the mouse family needed a cottage.  


While I was busy giving the cottage a makeover,
the girls were busy putting together furniture. 

The furniture is available at Michaels (in case you're wondering).

After it dried, the furniture got a bit of embellishment. 
I used the tip of the paint brushes to make the dots.

The mouse family has decided their cottage
get-away is quite charming.

Everyone deserves a little yellow cottage.