1958 prom queen

Well la-dee-dah! Here is our little prom queen, off and ready to go to her Halloween party. The dress is Grandma's real prom gown! Loopy has decided she wants to really wear it to her own prom in six years. We made her a ridiculous corsage and she is using one of my old evening bags and I dug the long gloves out of the tickle trunk. Thank goodness we had it all at hand. I had no idea what she wanted to be until this afternoon!

For those of you who know who Mo Jackson is, Sidney said she really wanted to be Mo's cousin Jo, the "Trailer Park Debutante"... I don't know if Grandma will be too thrilled about that description along with the use of her beautiful dress, but trust us Grandma, it's a compliment.

it's all greek to me!

Sidney was the narrator of her sixth grade play. It was the Greek tragedy Persephone. I made her costume, but to all of the seamstress bloggers out there - don't look too closely! It's safety pinned together in more than a few places. I had no pattern so I just sort of whipped it up with polyester and trim.

And the "laurel leaf" wreath? Don't look closely at that, either. I stopped by the Dollar Store to find something to make it from. I'd planned on using gold leaves, but the teacher was specific that the headpieces were to be of green leaves with little flowers on the front, but no flowers on the back.... I found a lei in the party aisle of the store and was off with some elastic and faux flowers.

Halfway through the project - I noticed something funny about those leaves. They had an odd shape, but I didn't recognize it... then it hit me. I ran to the trash and dug out the package the lei came in... and it was... cannibus! I hadn't noticed the tie-dye label that said "Happy Leaf Lei".

Yes. I sent my eleven-year-old daughter (and her best friend) to the school play wearing marijuana leaf headbands. It was too late last night to run back to the store and find other silk leaves, and I was trying to catch the baseball game while I worked on the costumes. Does that make me a bad parent? Maybe just a little bit, but you won't tell the teacher, will you?

happy house hunting

Here they are.... and I need your opinions. Especially about curb appeal!

It's been a very long weekend of house hunting... after a few days, they all look the same, don't they? Plus, I am not very comfortable looking through houses that people are still actually living in. I feel like such an intruder. Even though I am dying to know if the closets have proper storage, and the cabinets are of good quality, I feel like a snoop opening doors and peeking in.

We seem to have narrowed it down to the two houses above. They are both in the same neighbourhood and roughly the same size. I like one, Ben likes the other. I won't say which is my favourite, I'd like your opinion.

We are planning to refinish the inside and sell it when the construction of our new home is done. I don't really want to have to do much, because there will be enough to do on the new house to keep me busy.

The white house needs very little exterior work but the inside needs to be completely updated - it has a nice floor plan but it is very, very pink inside. I was thinking of painting the front door a glossy black, and the shutters too. The garage door should be completely white, I think. It has a tiny kitchen but we could enlarge it and it needs new cabinets anyway. They had cats and because of my allergies we'd have to lay down new carpets right away.

The tudor style home on the right needs no work outside and the inside is liveable but needs some updating and paint. The kitchen is nice and sunny with traditional cabinets. The basement is developed but badly needs to be fixed up. Do you remember that wood paneling from the 70's? They painted it white. It has a beautiful yard with a pond for fish.

I think they both present the same amount of work, but equal potential. The question I want to ask, is which one would you buy? Which one lookes cuter from the outside? I really think I need the opinion of my good blogging friends who all are crafty and have such good taste and an interest in decorating. I will take it all under advisement.

time to eat cake

I can hardly wait to see this movie. One of my favorite directors, Sofia Coppola has made a movie about all of my favorite things: royalty, history, the colour pink, jewels, cake, bonbons, dresses, shoes, puppies, hairstyles, 80's music, parties and champagne!

I really think I need to see it. I need a pick-me-up. I try to keep this blog (and my state of mind) positive but things have been weighing on me lately so please indulge me, only for one post.

My health isn't the best and it hasn't been for several years. I have several pressing concerns, but lately I have been struggling with an aggressive rheumatiod arthritis with no success. Some of the medicines that I have taken this year caused my long blonde hair to fall out. Sometimes I feel grumpy, irritable and rotten. I really have to work not to be crabby.

Last week I started a new drug that is only available by injection. With all of the poking and prodding I've been through over the last few years, you'd think I would be okay with it, but it turns out I'm not. I'm almost embarassed to admit that I cried at the hospital when I had to give myself the first needle. I thought the nurse would let me practice with an orange but apparently this is not the case so if you ever need to give yourself a needle you'd better get your head wrapped around that idea pretty quickly. You just have to jump in and do it. I wasn't very good at it at all, so it's a good thing I'm not a nurse. This new drug makes me very, very sluggish and I sleep almost all of the time these days.

That being said, I guess it's time to get off the couch and do something. My sweet husband Ben brought me not one - but two bundt pans I'd had my eye on at Winners just to coax me back into the kitchen and get back to baking and blogging about it. We sold our house for a tidy profit so I'd best get looking for a new one. I have lots to do, I just have to find the inspiration. Do you ever feel that way?

Anyway, in the spirit of living positively, I think the Marie Antoinette movie has me thinking about all of the things I listed above and how much I love them. In keeping with that, let me list a few other good things and happy frivolities that I plan to turn to in an attempt to lift my spirits:

Ben is coming home from a week away on business.
I've been invited to Lolly's for afternoon tea.
The Tigers are in the World Series, as I predicted last year at this time.
Decorating another house might be fun.
Building another house after that might also be fun.
I should get back to baking and scrapbooking.
Pepper has a brand new puppy.
I love my family and friends.
I enjoy my blogging.
Christmas is coming.

Did I miss anything?

holiday meme answers

I'm psyched to be in the What's Cookin' Apron Swap! It's hosted by Sarah and Mary. Here's the deal: everyone in the swap has a secret partner, and we visit their blog, leave comments and learn about them. By the end of November, we send off a holiday-themed apron we're sure that they'll love based on what we've learned about them. Posting answers to this meme is the first step:

1. What kind of holiday party food do you like best? finger food buffet or sit down multi-course style? Finger food, of course. So much easier for mingling and visiting and so much more fun to make.

2. Do you make/use those little name cards for your table seating or is that just another little something that magazines are trying to add to our already long holiday to-do list? I don't think I've ever made seating cards, not even for my wedding! Let them sit where they want to sit.

3. Do you miss sitting at the "kid's table"? We never had the "kid's table." My mother expected us to sit up and converse and take part with the entire family.

4. Any particular holiday party traditions that you like to do every year? We "hide the pickle ornament" somewhere on the gigantic tree and the children search for it. There is a special gift for the pickle finder! When the family is opening presents, one of the children gets to hand them out while wearing the Santa hat.

5. Which is your favorite winter holiday? Hanukkah and Christmas combined! Dare I say it... Christmukkah?

6. Do you make or have you tasted any good egg nog recipes...whether using it in a dish or as a drink? If I say so myself, I make an amazing eggnog cheesecake with a gingerbread cookie base. Amazing.

7. Fruit cake .... do you love it or think it should be used as a door stop? This is a fruitcake-free zone, except for my Crazy Aunt Mildred.

8. What do you like to do to get yourself in the holiday sprit (ie. certain music, visiting certain seasonal sites, enjoying winter weather, etc.) Shopping, decorating, listening to Frank Sinatra's Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, crafting, wrapping - except for the year I wrapped in October and forgot to put name tags on, thinking I would surely remember which package was which... what was I thinking? I take wrapping very seriously.

9. What is your favorite holiday song and who sings it best? It's between "The Christmas Waltz" by Frank Sinatra and "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano... there are so many to choose from. Also a fave: "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt.

10. Any ideas for interesting holiday themed parties? (Even if it's really out there -- like renting a snow machine and having everyone build snowmen if you live in a no-snow areas!) Hmmm.... that's a good one. We have an annual "pre-Christmas" early on... sometimes November, or as soon as the trees are up. Complete with popcorn balls, gifts, the whole bit! It's for those of us who can't wait.

joy in mudville

Oh yes, it has happened. It is true. My beloved Tigers are going to the World Series of Baseball... the World Series, my friend. How did they get there?

I declared in February that they would go all the way. I went out and purchased a Tigers hat. Oh, yes. I willed this to happen. Everyone mocked me, but I stood fast.

We lost Gramps last July and I took up the cause of the Tigers. With his help, of course. We are sure he's doing his bit from above.

Now, if he doesn't get sidetracked and start visiting, we'll go all the way. Stay focused, Gramps... as far as that goes.

spread the kindness

Loopy and I both have gel nails. I was adamantly against them but some of my medications have left me with very soft nails and so I relented a few months ago and am very glad that I did. I don't have the built-up tips, that is to say, the long Chiclet-style nails that would prohibit crafting and baking, I just have an overlay on my nail bed that makes my nails Wonder Woman strength. I keep them short for crafting, so it really doesn't look like I tend to them at all.

Loopy was doing a little biting, so she has the same overlays. Some people think it is a little strange for an eleven year old to sport gel nails but I think anything that prevents the nasty biting habit is fantastic. Her esthetician uses a sparkly light pink mixture and sometimes she adds little dragonflies or daisies to the tips, which any eleven year old would find very glamourous and would prohibit any nibbling. I would highly recommend it, much better than that bitter paint-on goop that tastes so awful but gets washed off.

Both of our nail technicians have been going through some bad times. I'm so glad I'm not 23 anymore and dealing with boyfriends, bad jobs and junky cars anymore. Loopy and I did up little flower arrangements in mason jars and dropped them at the salon. Oh, the wonders of the Costco flower bunch! Loopy is enjoying her "random acts of kindness" and it's nice getting her into that frame of mind. Plus, she loves any excuse to use my punch labeler.

Perform your own random act of kindness soon - you know you want to! I would love to hear about it.

bewitched, bothered, bedazzled

Another project in the "gussied up jacket" category. This one is pretty self-explanatory but I am much happier with it than my previous effort just because I've got the whole thing figured out now and it is a much smoother process. I'm on a roll and might do one or two more before Christmas and call it done.

On another note, tonight I was teaching the "Paris Who" class I told you about... our topic for this evening was "Wardrobes: Making Choices, Caring for Yours, and Possible Malfunctions" and we had a great time. 11 and 12 year old girls have some interesting insights these days. We discussed the oh-so-common wardrobe malfunction sweeping schools everywhere - the low riding jean, when it's too low... you know... dare I say it... the coin slot. They had some very funny observations... about their school teachers, ladies at church... oh I heard some wild stories...

Rest assured, we had the "avert your eyes" discussion. We also discussed helping Mom with laundry, picking up your clothes and how to fold and hang things properly. I love pushing my own agenda!