Saturday, July 20, 2013

July - Doing Stuff

I'll start off with this cake.  Amy, the new Educator in our office, celebrated her birthday last week.  Since I have become the official office cake baker, I "created"  this for her (with a little help from pinterest!)  She likes peanut butter, chocolate and cheesecake -- so, here is my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cake:
 It's two layers of chocolate cake, with a layer of peanut butter cheesecake between.  Then I frosted it with peanut butter icing and drizzled on a chocolate ganache.  I couldn't stay for the party, but Amber took a picture of the inside and e-mailed it to me:

 Last year, Clay helped Alejandro with his 4-H rocket project.  This year, our friend did it all himself, but we were invited to the launch last Sunday.
Launching his big rocket:

 Clay and Iveth supervising:

 The second launch of his small rocket:

So proud of him!

I'm still knitting away on the big blanket for Jeannine.  I had hoped to finish it before the race.  Then, I had hoped to finish it before the fair.  I'm still not done.  Clay did some fancy math to help me know how long it would take to complete, and I just might be done by 2014.  Really, I think I'll be done in the next couple of weeks, if I can find some more yarn, which they no longer carry at WM.  Ugh -- a wasted trip to WM, aka Purgatory. Pictures soon.

I did make 30+ crocheted flower dishcloths for convention.  This is an easy pattern to work while watching TV, and you can find it here, at the Whiskers & Wool blog.  I cranked out about 3 of these in an evening, and they were a nice diversion from the endless blanket!

I got to help Joceyln and Marina with their 4-H needle craft projects.  Aren't they cute?  And the hats are cute, too!  I made each of them the flower embellishment (they were only supposed to work in single crochet this first year.)  In return, their mama, Theresa, made me a big plate of delicious enchiladas.

The Andersons are on vacation this week, and since I had a box full of Altoids tins in my craft closet and a quart of Mod Podge calling my name, I made them some fun things for the drive (once again, thanks, pinterest!):

For this license plate game, I found a printable here, then reduced it to fit in the tin and laminated it.  I sent the boys a dry-erase marker, so they can use this game over again.  
Tic-Tac-Toe, with magnets on the buttons:
 I was going to do a fishing game and an art box with the other two, but ran out of time.  Instead, I put their names on top, a little satin lining inside and dubbed them "Treasure Boxes."  Maybe they will find some tiny shells on the beach to keep.

And here is the newest addition to our family:

Meet Annie, the cutest little kitten, who was orphaned under our porch (thus, her name).  She is sweet and friendly, and we all love her, even Clay:
 But Zoe is not impressed. (She even looks like she's sticking her tongue out a little, doesn't she?)

July has been eventful -- my car's been in the shop again, a couple of weddings, lunch/group therapy at Stream Cliff with the HS girls, coffee in the park with the BFFs and a bout of heat sickness (from two hours at the mobile pantry this week.  But, we served 174 families, so it was worth it -- no fever, I only had to spend a day on the couch with a bad case of the woozies and a gallon of water!)  Next week -- the fair!  Hopefully, I'll blog again tomorrow with my book report -- only two months late!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July Stuff

Happy Summer!  It's been a great one, so far, full of family and friends and fun.  And rain.  Lots and lots of rain.

The roses have been battered, but there are still some sweet blooms, if you can find them under the clematis that has taken over the porch (there is a trellis and a boxwood under there somewhere):

Egads.  It makes the front porch nice and shady, and it's so beautiful when it blooms (usually in late August) but I think I might cut it back before it takes over the house.  Of course, the volunteer mulberries grow right up through the clematis vines.  Of course.

Here is what Clay did while I was at convention:
We have a screened-in porch!  

It's not quite done yet -- still needs some strips to cover the screen staples and a new light, but it's done enough to sit and enjoy.  

I couldn't help myself -- I was already doing a little decorating before he even had the screen door on.  
Turns out, it's sort of an homage to Grandpa Dale -- the Kvam's sign fits perfectly between the chimney and the door, reminding us of his love for the kids and that camp, and all the good times we had there: 

His bike.  I hammered a couple of nails through the spaces in the left pedal and it sits here nicely -- the basket is perfect for a book and a cool drink, and a pot of flowers would probably look sweet, too.  Will plans on restoring this bike, but until then, it has a home on the porch.

 And this table, which Grandpa had re-finished years ago.  We used it for our dining room table, then a TV stand, and now a porch table.  I just sanded it a little and spray painted it shabby white.  

 There's room for a hammock and maybe a lounge chair, and I think we need a cute rug, don't you?

In other happy news, Chuck sent me a package of promotional materials for the book:

No word yet on when we'll actually have the book in our hands, but I know it's soon!

And in my on-going quest to visit all of the Indiana State Historic Sites this summer, we toured the T. C. Steele Historic Site in Nashville last weekend with Jeff and Jeannine.  It was a great day, and a beautiful site.  It's free to walk the grounds (and there are several hiking trails) but if you want to tour the house and studio, it's $5.00 -- believe me, you will want to spend the $5.00 and see the great collection of his paintings housed there.