Flying Monkeys and Riding Motorcycles the Oz Inspired Bracelet

When we shared our Wizard of Oz creations recently, I mentioned that I had another Oz  piece to share and hinted that it was inspired  by something that flies.  Other than the witches, I guess it was obvious that monkeys were involved.  Sometimes you get an idea and don't know where it comes from, well this is the fantasized result.

Do you want to see it bigger?  Click on the image.

I've never worn a wrap bracelet before, never tried one on, but I had to photograph it to show you.  Without having  really long arms, you know, monkey like arms, I still needed to take my own photo, so  that's what I did; lifted and stretched, pardon the blurry images.

The bracelet is about 24.5 inches long and I put it in my shop.  I think it would also look good on the upper arm, but that was too difficult for my non-elasticated arms to manage to take a photo.

Why am I thinking I might need to test ride a Harley?  Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?  I did ride as a passenger once, for a short ride, a long time ago.  The driver was brand new with motorcycles  and could not keep the bike upright.

"Come on, come on, everybody is going for a ride, you have to!..."  You can imagine a new rider, a new passenger, and a heavy machine
going around a corner and splat- my sore body.  

If you like bracelets, what is your favorite style?   It was fun trying out a new style which is now in a gift box
awaiting someone with that special *razzmatazz to purchase and enjoy.

*vim, vigor, spicy, showy, lively, exciting, flashy, energetic, magical, intrigue-Just envisioning who would appreciate this style of bracelet.

Use What You Have Elegant and Thrifty Apple Dessert

Taking what was in the fridge and on the counter I came up with this elegant and tasty apple dessert.  Maybe it's a little country and rustic, too.  From a forgotten tube of refrigerated biscuits and a few fading apples I made 12 of these snacks.

What's in the bowl?  I'll tell you:

  • 3 peeled, cored, and diced Apples
  • 1/2 cup of rehydrated Currants
  • Brown Sugar- enough to coat plus a little extra
  • Honey- enough to coat plus another tablespoon; skip this if you don't have it
  • Dash of Black Pepper
  • Liberal amount or to your taste:  Cinnamon 
  • Smidge of Cardamom if you like it and have it
  • Diced Walnuts if you like them
  • 8 Grands Jr. Biscuits from a tube of 10 biscuits.  Flattened, cut into strips, and cut into little pieces

In the baking cups I ended up with more syrup from the brown sugar and honey than I anticipated, so I've adjusted the amount for you in the list of ingredients, above.

I put all of the ingredients in a bowl, stirred well, and then filled the cups and topped some with slivered almonds.  In the photo you might see that I sprayed the holders, but the sugar and honey made this unnecessary as I found out.  Sprinkle with Cinnamon Sugar before baking, too if you like, I did.

Bake at 375 F for about 20 minutes.  I put cookie sheets on the bottom oven rack to catch any sugary overflow, if you don't overfill the holders and use the brown sugar and honey as listed, you shouldn't have any bubbling over.

These were delicious, and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be extra good.

What did I do with the two leftover biscuits?  I baked them as normal, and I used one, spread with a Laughing Cow Light cheese, topped with an egg over medium.  I figured I deserved that because I had to wash all of those pans and such after baking.    Necessary to keep my energy up to sample the dessert, too.

Is this something you might bake?  Do you follow recipes exactly or do you like to make them up as you go?  

Coloring Jars Experiment

Here are my results of experimenting with coloring glass jars, or the horrible, the nasty, and the passable.

Most of the tutorials circulating are to use food dye, usually the gel type with a small amount of warm water and add these to Mod Podge.  I don't have any  Mod Podge, what I do have are other glues collected and unused, so I decided to go ahead and use some of them to see what would happen.  I used my liquid dyes, at one time I had the gel food dyes, which I liked, but didn't have right now.

In the jars in the image on the left I used clear Elmer's Glue, water, and dye in the smallest jar to get a red translucent/stained glass type of result- which is what I was aiming for.  For the two green jars and the dark jar where I was aiming for a look of a big jar of Yoo Hoo chocolate milk I used white Elmer's Glue, water,  and mixed the dyes. In this image the jars are upside down and draining off the excess mixture before putting them in the oven at 180 F for 25 minutes.
To view bigger, click on the image.
The only jar to retain the coating and color after baking them in the oven was the red jar.  In the second image from the left, you can see how the colors just disappeared after baking in the oven.  My chocolate milk look disappeared completely except for the ring at the bottom of the jar.  The dark green jar was a little streaky.  The other green jar came out a bit brown and with a big ring in the bottom, too.

After the jars were completely cooled, I washed out the interiors and thoroughly dried them in order to try another experiment.  In the next image I used Aleene's Collage Glue, water, and paint, not food dye.  This image shows the jars after they were drained, baked, and cooled.  I didn't put the red jar back in as I was satisfied with the result from the first baking.

Even though the chocolate milk jar, the bright orange jar, and the turquoise jar were well coated and drained before baking- they still came out of the oven not looking like they were done properly.  The orange jar was somewhat streaky and the turquoise jar was less streaky, but not as nice as I wanted it to be.  The chocolate jar was just not working.  I think there must have been something about that jar that did not adhere the liquid to the surface.  It also had angles which were harder to cover, but the jar just repelled the mixtures both times.

In the last image you can see the red jar with silk flowers in it.  The majority of the tutorials are to make the jars have a shabby chic look, but I was aiming for a translucent style.  I may try this experiment again, but I would rather just paint the outside of the jar, maybe use a stencil or design on it, too.  In this way, the inside could be used to store things or used in some other way and the paint would not be scratched off in the jar by the items put inside it.

Yoo Hoo - Hero

Now, if I could just stop thinking about cold chocolate milk, I haven't had a  Yoo Hoo for years, have you ever had one?   Even though the jars experiment was kind of a flop, I'm glad I tried it to see what would develop.

Do you like to branch out and experiment or are you not a gambler in that way?

Excuse Me, Your Bagua is Slipping

A little Feng and a bit of Shui and before you know it there will be a new and improved order about the house. Clutter and chaos don't serve me well.  So, after looking at the corner of the kitchen for, I don't know how many months and seeing the collection of paint cans not doing anything but sit there, it was time for a little change.

The paint was being used, but then it got way too hot to paint, or injuries took their time to heal, people decided not to paint (not saying who that was, ahem) and so on...  It's still too hot to paint, as the windows are closed most days, so the cans have to go back to their shelves in the basement, at least for now.
To view larger, click on image.

I bumped into some Feng Shui info and decided to see if it would help this corner of the house.  Wouldn't you know it, this mess of cans is smack in the Wealth area.  Can you see why my lottery tickets never win, just saying, loser Powerball.

I went to a thrift store and saw this purple vase and got the silk flowers on clearance in another store.  Hey, it's already working!!!

So I am doubling down on the purple for the Wealth corner.  Hope that doesn't go against the flow.  The feng needs to shui just right.  If you want to improve your Wealth concerns, the advice is to put 4 purple flowers in the area.  So, let's see if it helps.

The only problem is that the vase isn't exactly in the Wealth Bagua, it's actually in the Ancestors and Family Bagua, so I have to shimmy it down closer to the place where it will do the most good.  Looks like another little shopping trip is coming up.  Maybe a pretty stool to put the vase on.

Feng Shui is really about harmony and calm, not luck or superstition.  Let's hope it works soon, as all these little shopping trips won't add to my piggy bank even though they were bargains.  Fingers crossed.

Have you ever used Feng Shui in your home or workplace?  Did you get the results you were anticipating?          

Three Penny Opera Triple Trick Cleaner

The first American penny was created in 1787 and the motto was, "Mind Your Business."  We get the word penny from the British, "pence."  However, US pennies say, "One Cent."

Bear with me, this is definitely going somewhere.

You can make cents, sense, and scents with this helpful little post.

Mind your pennies and the dollars will follow.

And so on...

It's a three penny opera of sorts.

This is Bobby Darin singing, "Mack the Knife."  If you're not aware of the "Three Penny Opera" and this song, a quick search will bring you lots of info.   It's one of my favorite songs, don't ask me why.
                                              Sing it, Bobby! ♥

Hope you try the cleaner, it's quick, effective, and a penny saver.
Vinegar can wipe out germs, bacteria, and mold.

Changes on My Mind

One of the ways I cope with bad news is to do busywork.  Laundry, ironing, decluttering, things like those which keep my hands busy and my mind unengaged from the bad news.  It lends some time to think and react, to just come to terms with changes.

So about ten days ago began this pattern which now finds me a bit drained and disconnected from the important things of every day life.

I filled my time by drinking lots of tea.

Doing laundry that didn't need to be done.

Deciding for the umpteenth time to stop updating this--->

I've cleared the cabinets, thrown away items, put others in boxes for donation, ripped out carpets, and took time to assess what the next step is going to be.  Somehow it's easier to throw things out when you are putting a new perspective on what's really important.

Of the several art and jewelry projects I had going on my desk, they all fell off my mind.  I just couldn't do happy things right now.

Karen Anne of  IrelandBrady - Musings to Ponder sent me this beautiful hand crocheted amulet as my name was drawn in the Celebrate Oz blog hop giveaway.  It was a bright spot in the last week.  She's a fabulous painter, too!  (KA I lifted this photo of the necklace from your blog.)

In the days ahead I hope to get back to my usual inquisitive self, but for right now, I'm exhausted.  Junk food and not enough sleep didn't help.

Not to get too personal, but how do you cope with bad news?