Mid Year Review and After the Clear Out the Freedom Room

See that date over on the bottom of the collage?  Yep, I am seriously late in posting that one.  Only by eight months, but who's counting?

Sometimes there are 3 things going at once!

After a major clear out from when the house move was supposed to happen, I have less "stuff" in the craft room. From paints, to glues, to things for upcycling, they've all gone to the charity shop or the trash.  That made me consider just what to do with what is left.

Embroidery hoops on a tension rod in the closet.

Do I want to focus on making Art?  Jewelry?  Crafty things?  Needlework?
Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  And Yes.  See, how easy that was?

Seriously, supplies multiply like rabbits and yet, there is usually one special piece missing or needed, so shopping commences!

Here and there I toss something that I know is not to my liking.  When I shop for supplies, I really do try to write down what I am looking for and be more discerning as to the quality and value of the items for purchase.

I shop in person.  Online shopping may have a better range, but I would be like a "kid in the candystore." One day I will try it, with a budget and a list.

It's tough being a tightwad, but it feels good to not hoard.  Freeing.

I started a little collection of interesting feathers from my travels or wherever I find them when out walking. They don't take up much room!

Pretty feather illustrated tin.

I even have a feather tin, bought for tea, but I put rubber/acrylic ink stamps inside.

Rearranged room, nice and tidy.

The furniture, craft carts, and bookcases have been rearranged.

At first I did not think it would be comfortable sitting in the middle of the room, with no window or wall at the front of the desk- you know, to hold up all the things crowding the desk.

This arrangement makes me keep less stuff on the desk and to move projects to the shelves and racks as needed.  It also helps to focus on one project without the others asking for atttention.

I took the curtains down to let in all the light, which is wonderful. This is the only room in the house with good sunlight for most of the day.   That light is very good for seeing what I am painting.

My smaller liquid paint collection after the clearout.

Watercolors, paint pens, and more.

The last thing I will show you is this newspaper clipping which I taped to one of the closet doors. I try to follow this advice, but do fall away from it with all things going on.

Sweeties Marks and Almost Time to Paint the Trim

I have two spots on the wood trim in the kitchen where my #1 Sweetie who passed in 2007 left his mark. He would lean in and peek around the corner.

I refused to wash and repaint the trim.  But, now that I am getting closer to moving I have decided I will paint over it.  It is his mark and he is my dog and no one else will paint over that reminder of him.

Lucy left her mark, too.  Hers is a bit higher up on the wood frame.  She would have towered over #1 Sweetie. He, mostly Beagle and she, mostly Yellow Lab.

I noticed a smudge on the mirror, where she got up close to see what she looked like.  That memory makes me smile.

Well, if any one is thinking I am a terrible housekeeper, that is not the case.  I leave their marks the same as others carve initials.  Small and precious reminders of two whom I love and miss.

Do you keep reminders?

Challenge Won! Orange Marmalade Yum.

Truth.  Since the good old days weren't really good old days, I decided to challenge myself to make orange marmalade.

Why?  Ever since I was a young girl, I did not like the stuff.  Too many hard bits.  Too sweet.  Too thick.

Some years ago a national brand sold an orange fruit spread.  Lovely stuff. That company disappeared.

Another company sold a similar orange spread.  The product went through lots of mutations and it got to a point that the spread/jam was pretty much not recognizable as an orange marmalade type of spread.  This happened with a couple of companies.  Yuck.  

Now that a national brand stopped selling their version of orange marmalade, I had to find a replacement.

Don't these look pretty?  I was over the moon that I could make orange marmalade and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Pun intended!

What I give you here is not a detailed recipe. Oh, no.

I read several recipes online and found that their versions reminded me of the stuff from my childhood; hard, dark and thick.  Sorry, not my preference.

I took the basic ideas and morphed them into these golden, glorious jars, filled with orange goodness.   It was a several hours long process, but so worth the effort.

Two large seedless (not Naval) oranges.  Zest and tiny bits of lemon along with some lemon juice.  Water and not a lot of sugar.  Boil away until the peel and orange is soft and lovely.  Pour into jars. Leave to cool with the lids off.  Then put the lids on and store in the fridge.

This is an image of the jars and lids in a big stainless steel bowl with boiled water.

See that I cut away the white pith, which makes the marmalade less bitter tasting.

I put on a couple of cds and got to work.  Patsy Cline didn't think I was crazy! lol  You know the song?

Dive right in!  If you have a personal challenge decide to go for it too!

Autumn. Where Have You Been?

Vintage ribbon green lace binding wreath New End Studio

Hello Autumn, what took you so long?

Let summer be a nice memory and give a welcome to this brand new autumn.

My 2016 summer was all that summer stands for weather-wise.  Not sorry to see it give way to cooler temps, orange and red leaves on trees, falling into big wet piles on the ground.

Oh, the squirrels are very busy this week.  I think they were trying to cool off somewhere waiting for the lower temps to ride in on the winds of the latest storms.

The front door wreath is wrapped in green lace binding and autumn colored vintage ribbon.  The muted colored flower blossoms of celery green and light coral do not want to give up their summer dreams.

Take care to enjoy our autumn, soon enough the days will be darker earlier. Mugs of hot chocolate and ginger spice cookies will be a sweet treat.  Happy Autumn!

The Lost and Found of Art and Memories During a Mid Year Review, Turtle and City

aceo blocks and dots turtle and city New End Studio

The post on growing lettuce on the windowsill had this image tucked into the collage.  Didn't realize at the time that this aceo hadn't been shared in its own post.  It was made years ago with acrylics on cold press paper and gotten lost in the image folders for a while.

When I painted this, I was remembering my little turtle from my childhood.  That was back in the day when you could buy tiny turtles at the Woolworth store.

Whenever I think of him or her? I see shell, tiny head and legs which he used to full advantage while he explored the grass in my backyard.  Lost him once!  Green turtle in all that green grass wasn't easy to find him.

Let free from his turtle house, my tiny turtle would walk pretty fast for a turtle.  It was as if he was born to roam. The same way I enjoy myself on a trip to NYC or other city.

This aceo is city, buildings, lights, traffic, taxis, and turtle shells altogether.  It's dark and striking, confusing, congested, slow and fast at the same time.  Best of all, it's full of opportunities to explore and enjoy.

It's nice to sometimes find myself renewed through bits and pieces from the Lost and Found.

If you liked this post, check out some other aceos by clicking the Art Label in the sidebar or typing aceo into the Search bar.  You may like this one, a paper and collage plus digital version Love Always Hands Theme ACEO.

Grow Lettuce On Your Windowsill to Harvest for Sandwiches, Salads, and Snacks All Year

Fresh Lettuce From Windowsill to Table

Lettuce Be Clear, Gardening is Usually Hard Work.  (unPunny ...)
This Way is Cooler, Cleaner, and Oh So Delicious and Easy.  

Why not grow lettuce on a windowsill and keep harvesting for sandwiches, salads, and snacks anytime?

Growing lettuce in a glass or container of water didn't appeal to me.  Until now.  I thought I would give it a go and see what happens.  So I did.

I've been buying the bagged mixed greens and couldn't find any in my local stores.  There wasn't a recall, so I don't know the reason for their disappearance.

Instead, three romaine lettuce heads in a bag came to my rescue.  (Heads?  That sounds odd, but I didn't name it.)

When the lettuce was down to nearly nubs (hearts) I put them in juice glasses after not finding anything else suitable which would prop them up and which would fit on my narrow windowsill.  (I long for a deep windowsill in my next home.  Even a box seat would be welcome, or a bay window that I can fill with all the plants I wish.)

After about 3 days the lettuce was growing deep green leaves.  I changed the water every couple of days and snipped off any mucky looking bits at the bottom of the lettuce.

Now, with the leaves growing I anxiously awaited the leaves to reach harvesting size.  The day came, about the seventh day, and my sandwich was excellent!

I overdid it on the first sandwich as you can see from the photo.  Subsequent sandwiches had fewer leaves, all very good.

There's something delicious about growing fresh, free from pesticide, and free from the long transport from grower to distribution center to stores to me salad leaves.  It saved money, too. There's almost always spoiled salad leaves that have to be thrown out in each and every bag I buy.

I know this isn't making a dent in the ozone, but I'm glad to have tried it and will do so again. Next time, a bigger head of lettuce, which I will keep in the fridge and harvest as it produces.

If you enjoyed this post, you can find more Tutorials and Tips or Recipes by clicking the label in the sidebar or typing in your search terms in the Explore bar above the Archive.  Thanks for reading.

Here's something you might like,  Two Ingredient Angel Food and Pineapple Cake Sweet and Easy to Make.

I've shared this post in linkups at Bowl Me Over, Sincerely Paula, and Crafts a la mode.

Food is Love. This Apple Cake which is Awesomely Easy To Make and Will Have You Drooling Before It's Out of the Oven.

Food is more than nourishment isn't it?  We get to taste what was once out of reach, what is different, exotic, in short supply.  Those things which we are tempted by. New things, old favorites, strange combinations we risk trying.

Food is simple and complicated, too.  Sort of like opening a door to see what's behind it. Food is shared, coveted, desired, repulsing.

What we do with our food choices says, What?  
I  like you, here, try this.  
No, I don't eat fill in the blank.  
I can't eat that I'm allergic.  
Ewww that's gross.

aprons drying in the sun

Lick your fork and spoon if cooking is more than a chore sometimes.  Just hang up your apron.

I admit to getting takeout or a frozen pizza when I'm short on time to prepare a good meal, or just tired and frazzled from the details of life.  But, I often make the effort to cook Something From Scratch.  

With this recipe the house smells like a 
High Ranking Food Fairy 
spilled her 
Magic Meals Glitter 
all over me and soon the mouth starts salivating, no, DROOLING because 
This Time I Have Surpassed 
All Previous Efforts in Cake Making 
without even trying to.


I share this recipe with you and hopefully you should have a napkin or two at the ready to wipe your face and fingers.  The fragrance of the apples, sugar, and butter will cause you to dab at your chin.  Bib time?

Apple Cake which is Awesomely Easy To Make and Will Have You Drooling before it's out of the oven

Here is what you need:

(Video) Mini Collection Mixed Media, Collage, and More from New End Studio

I like texture, color, and humor and so selected art for the video with those as the focus.   This mini collection was made with images and a catchy melody from YouTube.  The desk in the video and the arrangement in the room has been moved multiple times since that image was made.  I no longer work long into the night. Daylight work is a present to my eyes, and they appreciate it, too.

So here you go- a peek at some of my mixed media, collage, and more.  Most of these can be seen in posts by clicking on the "Art" label in the sidebar.

Want to keep in touch?  Leave a comment and follow so I can see where you are on the web.

Have you made art videos?  Leave a link in the comments and thanks for visiting.

When You Want to Express Your Sassy Side or Be Nice and Sweet Here are Two Free Printables to Let Them Know Valentine in Mind

Happy Valentine's Day, here are some sweets to tide you over until the 14th.  Yes, some of the best things in life are chocolate. Chocolate and puppies are right up there at the top of my list of serotonin boosters.

I added two new Free Printables.  Click on the sidebar label to see all the Free Printables.

These new printables are letter sized sheets of One Inch Circles of acronyms plus Valentine sayings and images. Two different printables for the same holiday.

Some ideas for using these tags*

Stick on the bottom of foiled kisses
On the top of wrapped candies
Threaded on a party straw
Message on a frosted cake
Wrap a present
Cut into strips and encircle a beverage
Tuck into a Lunch bag
In an Art Project
As Confetti
As little happy reminders to yourself on a mirror

*For Personal Use

Free printable
Valentine Sayings and Acronyms on white background.

Free printable
Valentine Sayings and Symbols on black background.

Happy St. Valentine Day ...

It's Time for Second on the 2nd, Plane to Sea At the Beach Aceo

Waking Up to Rainbows
Water is on my mind.  

An immense, unmeasured body of water that seems to go on forever and is so deep that it's a challenge to navigate, explore, and impossible to control. 

Ever since going on my trip last year I daydream, more than a little bit, about going on another ocean voyage.   If wishes came true, I'd be posting this while looking out to the horizon, where only waves, waves, and more waves surround the ship.

I'm entertained by their songs.  The waves are more than chaotic, small ones, huge ones, little ones being pushed forward and side to side.  They confide, no brag their secrets to the wind and offer to protect the treasures of the third world many fathoms below the hull.

I don't succumb to their calling, more or less their temptations, because I have miles to sail, or is that, cables, before I close my eyes to rest for a while.

It's Groundhog Day, so ocean wistfulness is a far away scheme.

I'm sharing Plane to Sea At the Beach Aceo  with you for Second on the 2nd  linked at Altered Book Lover.  It's a chance to share an older post once a month, on the 2nd of each month.

My aceo was first published way back on  July 25, 2011.  Thanks for visiting.  

Changes to Google Friend Connect Advise Your Blog Followers

"Recently Google made an announcement on their blog an  Update on Google Friend Connect.  Have you read it?  These two paragraphs are the highlights:

    *  As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow. *

If you're reading this from your blog's dashboard through Google, you should be okay when the change takes place.

Some of our readers may not know of the change, or don't have a Google account.  Tell them to please consider signing up for one so they may follow our blogs.

If a Google account is not an option, there are other options, some in my sidebar. Thanks.
Reminder, the Google Friend Connect change starts during the week of January 11, 2016. "

Keep reading the how to post of a simple install of a GFC gadget, I first published this on February 12, 2012.

The original post follows:

If your Google Friend Connect gadget stops working, you can install this code below to add a Follow Button to your blog.     The button will not have a count or images of  your followers, but it serves to let them follow the blog, a little convenience.  When  the GFC stops working on non-Blogger blogs sometime this Spring,  March was mentioned, you might try this as a substitute, I have no idea if it will work at that time, but here it is if you need it.

Before you copy and paste the code, write  your Blog Id Number down, you will type that number in the space where I've typed in RED, below.  Don't type in "YOURBLOGIDNUMBER."  You can find your Blog Id number by looking at the address bar after you are signed in and have your draft.blogger page loaded.

Sign in to your account and go to your draft.blogger where you choose Layout and Add a Gadget, choose add HTML.  Paste this code in with your id number and give it a title if you want, Save, and move the gadget where you want to place it.  Preview if you like, and Save Arrangement.

<center><a href="http://www.blogger.com/follow-blog.g?blogID=YOURBLOGIDNUMBER" target='_blank'><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lyvoqBODutQ/TagvjM9vDCI/AAAAAAAADsw/2m38l41mVYY/s1600/Blogger_Follow_Button.PNG" /></a></center>

That's it, simple and quick!  You might want to bookmark this post to come back to after the GFC changes are made or try it out now.

Stick around to read the next post about the new Linky Followers tool, which I'll leave at the top of the page for a while.