Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Birthday Present

My birthday was Monday, and it was a relatively quiet day.  I went to work, as usual.  I received a number of birthday cards.  My mom sent me a lovely bit of dough. (Thanks, Mom!  I'm gonna buy some fabric - you'll see!  Love you!)  

Then, MMM and MMMom made the yummiest barbecue steak dinner with corn on the cob, watermelon, and angel food cake with strawberries for dessert - oh, my!  Then MMM gave me a lovely present:

Wait for it.........

Ta Da! A pneumatic stapler!

 Does this guy get me - or what?  Here, below, is what I've been operating on, but it sure looks pretty wimpy next to that Porter Cable powerhouse, doesn't it?

Love it!  Love him!

Love everybody!



That's a lotta love, huh?  Well, so it is!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sass Reads: A Breath of Eyre

While this is book is officially in the category of Young Adult novels (and I'm a bit beyond the age of a "young adult", I enjoyed A Breath of Eyre, by Eve Marie Mont, very much.  When I read the blurb about the book's premise on Amazon (I read this on my Kindle), two things stood out.  

One: the book's protagonist finds herself inexplicably transported into the world, indeed into the very character, of Jane Eyre.  Jane Eyre, a marvelously gothic romance novel, was my favorite book as a teenager, when I rode the emotional ups and downs with the outcast Jane as went from being the poor, unwelcome orphan in both her aunt's home and then the boarding school.  Resigned to her life, Jane finds herself in the employ of the mysteriously commanding and handsome Mr. Rochester.  

Two:  Jane, plain, simple, unaffected, resolute, was a good bit of escapist drama for me as a teen.  I have mentioned before that my home did not exactly put the 'fun' in dysfunctional.  I often escaped to my basement bedroom, slipping under the covers to lose myself in an author's world.  So, for me, the premise of A Breath of Eyre was wholly magnetic.

Emma Townsend is the protagonist caught between her own modern troubled teen life in Boston and the life of Jane Eyre in England.  She mourns the loss of her mother, despairs about her unsettled relationship with her father, and longs for romance.  As a scholarship student at a boarding school, she stays below the radar to avoid the stinging verbal assaults of her nemesis, Elise.  Late one evening, she helps the horses at the school's barn escape a fire, but is knocked down and out in the process, bringing on a mysterious chain of events that lands her at Thornfield Hall with a strangely familiar cast of characters.  The experience of traveling between the two settings helps her to make her decision about where she belongs.

In addition to being a great premise and a riveting story, it's extremely well-written.  Ms. Mont never dumbs down the vocabulary for her teenaged characters and is able to shift believably into the more formal stilted language of the eighteenth century when the story changes setting.

What's even more fun?  There's a sequel coming and Emma will find herself strongly involved in The Scarlet Letter and the world of The Phantom of the Opera.  More faves!

Give it a read.  I recommend!



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sass's Sunday Salvation Show

Hello everyone!  We had a relatively sleepy day - I finished a book this morning (I'll be reviewing it later in the week - check back!), worked on a couple of wedding projects, and fixed a nice dinner.  Plus, while I sat in my chair, glue gun at the ready, I watched a marathon of zombies - 'Walking Dead' on AMC.  Not exactly light, cheerful fare; rather a bit apocalyptic, gory, gooey (and more than a little cheesy).  

Dinner at day's end was good.  I made homemade chicken bacon pizza, crudite, salad, and fro-yo strawberry shakes.  Yummy.  I found a really good, really easy recipe for pizza crust on All Recipes.  It has over 1,800 ratings, with 4.5 stars overall.  Good enough for me to give it a try.  It really was easy.  The only thing I changed in my process was that, after I added the yeast to the warm water and sugar, I let it 'bloom' a bit before adding the rest of the ingredients.  The recipe makes enough dough to fill the bottom of a cookie sheet, too.  After stretching out the dough, I spread on a small jar of pizza sauce, bacon bits, re-hydrated green pepper (I didn't have a fresh one), a smallish diced yellow onion, diced cooked chicken, a good sprinkling of black pepper, and grated Monterrey Jack cheese (again, no mozzie, but jack is nice, too.) I grated a little Romano over the top of the jack, and sprinkled a teaspoon or so of a pizza herb mix.  I baked the pizza at 375 degrees for about half an hour - until the cheese turned a bit golden.  

Fabulous blogger that I am, I forgot to take a picture when it came out of the oven.  Here's what it looked like when dinner was over, though!  That should tell you something! 

I even got a 'Not too shabby!' from MMM - the master of understatement.  I figure I'm doing pretty well if I get a 'that's all right'  or 'not too shabby'.  He doesn't exactly load me down with praise, as a general rule, and claims to be picky.  He will occasionally say, "you make all kinds of yucky things taste good"!  Amazing. 

Can I change the subject and tell you a thing or two about Sherry?  Sherry, from Pondered, Primed, Perfected (P3), submitted my favorite link from last week; her work's not too shabby, either!  In fact, it's downright cute and clever.  She rescued a too-short, beat-up side table, and turned it around!.  Gave it a whole new, amazing life, as a matter of fact.  

Click over to Sherry's blog and check out more of her creativity.  She's got a sweet thang going over there - and tell her Sass sent you!

So Sherry, here's my button.  Thanks so much for showing us your cute new end table!

Sassafras Salvation

Time for this week's Salvation Show.  First, a few rules:
Share something you've done recently.  Take a moment to look at and comment on someone else's link - we're all in this together!  Please consider becoming a follower of Sassafras Salvation and take a Sunday Salvation Show button to remind yourself and others to come back again and again!

Sassafras Salvation

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sneak Peek Saturday - Chalkboard Attribute Plaques

I keep getting all these ideas about things I want to do, and while MMM gives me the 'eye' (because it's not exactly like we don't have enough on our plates),  I can't seem to help myself.  Our wedding is now less than two months away - September 1st is speeding its way here!  We're doing everything we can to avoid creating any debt, while still having a really sweet little wedding.  That means DIY - or thrift.  Of course, within reason, as you can see if you click over here and look at some of the other Saturday Sneak Peeks over the last few months.

This was a quick and simple project.  I just cut up a piece of fiberboard (this is actually a kind of paper product that comes in boards rather than sheets, and it's mostly intended for shelving, etc.) using a  power saw.  It actually was just a piece of scrap, so it cost me nothing.  I recently was in Billings, where, naturally, I spent a couple of hours in Hobby-Lobby.  Most of you, I imagine, have a Hobby Lobby within an hour's drive.  Billings is the site of the only Hob-Lob in Montana, and it's three and a half hours away.  So when you go, you prepare to drop a dime or two, and you spend some real time.  

I bought a spray can of chalkboard paint in black while I was there.  It just took two quick coats of that paint to coat all but the back side of each of these boards.  Then I just waited for them to dry.  That fiberboard really soaked up the first coat, but I was satisfied with the appearance, after a second layer.

I measured side to side and divided by two to find the exact center of each of these boards - so they'd hang straight.  Then I drilled a little starter hole to place the decorative screw hanger in.  This fiberboard is really hard to just twist the screw into without a starting point drilled.  (Not like I tried to do that or anything.  I'm incredibly patient and ALWAYS plan things out.  Just don't ask MMM about that.  Please?)

I chose words that reflect the attributes that mark a successful marriage. We'll do our best to live out these every day.  I wrote them using a liquid chalkboard marker, each in a different style, with a different border around each edge.

I intend to hang these with ribbon from the rail fence that surrounds the perimeter of my sister's yard, near where the guests will sit.

Here's just a few more of the collection, for you to peruse:

I intend to make a few more before the big day.  I have some other words I'd like to include. 



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Redecorating the Bathroom

Hello and Happy Fourth of July!  I love my country, and I'm very patriotic.  I love Independence Day - always have, always will.  I love that it's high summer.  I love that the sky is usually blue and the winds, balmy.  I love the savory drift of barbecue on the breeze.  I love the big display of fireworks (but I really don't love do-it-yourself-at-home fireworks - my cousin was badly burnt as a boy, and while it left serious scars for him, it also scarred me, in a way.  I want nothing to do with roman candles and bottle rockets, and the like.  Thanks, but no.)  I particularly love that I live in such a wonderful country, where I can think, speak, and worship according to my conscience.  Where I have the right to due process and to seek redress of grievances, and no fear of unlawful search and seizure by governmental authorities.   I can pursue happiness in my own way, without someone in authority telling me that my way is the wrong way.  I am free.  I love America.

During the Sunday Salvation Show, I teased you with a bit of my newest project.  MMMom has moved into her own mother-in-law apartment, attached to the house where MMM and I will make our home.  The first room that's really ready for my brand of homemaking is the bathroom.  I showed you a pic last Sunday of what, essentially, is my palette and inspiration pieces for the redecoration of that bathroom.

Keep in mind that MMM and I cannot afford to reconstruct the bathroom.  It's definitely a thought for the future.  Maybe in a few years, but for now, redecoration is the plan.  This is an old house (1978), and it's never really been done up, so I have some real work ahead of me, and you - lucky you! - get to follow along as I basically start from scratch in mid-life.  It's kind of funny that way - usually, a 30-something gets a house and has the opportunity to make it her own.  By the time most folks are my age, they're busy thinking about a cabin or even downsizing, because the kids have all left home.  But MMM and I are just on the cusp.  He never had kids (if you don't count his chihuahua - what a furbaby!), and my kids are all grown with kids of their own.  So, it's just us - making our house a home.  I'll be hanging onto my condo, and renting it out, in case you wondered.

I wanted you to see the bare bones we're starting with.  Here we go!  (By the way, you need to forgive the pics - I am having some trouble with my computer.)

 At the far end of the room, there's a wall of natural toned beadboard, which I love.  But I'll be painting that.  Also, a long shot of that vanity, in all its 1970s walnut laminate glory.  More paint!  There is a double set of sinks.

This is the frame around the very large medicine cabinet.  I unscrewed it just before I took the picture.  I'll be scrubbing it up, painting it, and reinstalling it.  You can see that the sinks are powder blue.  I'm planning to change the faucet out, but I found a way to work with the blue.  The tub and shower surround are blue, as well.

Here's that um, interrr-estting, blue linoleum.  It's vintage, all right.  I'll be painting it, and stencilling it.  I need to do some internet research about the best way to  get that done.  I've seen some posts about it, so serious homework is in my future.  If you know of a good example of someone's painted lino tutorial, let me know.

What do you think?  I'll be sharing in-progress pics as we move along.  I'm very excited!



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sass's Sunday Salvation Show

Oh, my sweethearts - there you are!  MMM and I are in the middle of a really exciting project.  I don't know if I've ever completely told you our situation.  MMMom lives with her son, who happens to be my fiance.  The house they originally bought together has a mother-in-law apartment attached.  Little by little, we've been getting the apartment ready for MMMom, and we're now very close.  She's moved into her bedroom, craft room, and bathroom.  We're on the verge of having the living and dining rooms ready.  The last room we'll finish up with is the kitchen.  

So, in addition to the many projects you see here on Sassafras Salvation, we've been hip-deep in other work, as well.  I am not comfortable showing you MMMom's space - it is hers, after all, and not mine to share.  She's been busy sorting, carrying back and forth, and putting away.  But it's a big project.  They combined two full households some years ago (long before I was in the picture), but never really had the mother-in-law apartment in a fully habitable condition.  So it's a matter of sorting out her things from his, and there's some downsizing necessary, since it is a smaller space.

In addition to MMMom finally having her own space (which she's loving, in case you wondered), it means that MMM and I can start to work on our own home.  MMM was married before, but I don't get the feeling that she was much of a homemaker.  I have heard horror stories about her cooking, for example.  I am sooo excited to get started on making this house our home.  I have a small example of a little something I am going to lay out more fully for you this week.  Just a tease:

Let's get on with the Salvation Show, shall we?

My favorite project from this last week was from Dixie n Dottie - a wonderful bunch of crocheted purses.  My personal fave is the one below.  Check out that lining - do you even wonder why it's my favorite?  I'm such a sucker for polka dots!! 

You must click over and check out all the wonderful variety in handbags all in crochet, and all with fun linings!

Dixie n Dottie, here's my button.  Thanks so much for sharing all that cute with us!

Sassafras Salvation

Time for this week's Salvation Show.  First, a few rules:
Share something you've done recently.  Take a moment to look at and comment on someone else's link - we're all in this together!  Please consider becoming a follower of Sassafras Salvation and take a Sunday Salvation Show button to remind yourself and others to come back again and again!

Sassafras Salvation

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