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Thanks! And, again, thanks for stopping by! I really hope to hear from you and to see you again soon! Let me know how you think I am doing! :-)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas! ! !

Getting ready for Christmas

Hello, everyone!  I am still here!  I've had lots to post about, I just didn't manage to sit down to do the actual posts!  :(  There has been so much I needed to get done, I just seemed to run out of steam!  So, I'm going to throw it all in here now!  Out of date and all!  :)


I did manage to sneak away to the OC Fair this summer.  I wish I had seen these guys coming in time to get my camera out instead of trying to play catch up.  There was a parade of these characters drumming up interest for their act.  I missed it, too!   I'll bet it was good!


I always hit the arts and crafts to see what everyone has created . . .



the fine arts (no photography here :( - except of the lights above!), the products area, 

the animal barns and garden areas . . . oh, and maybe a quick run by the wine tasting area . . . just for . . . uh . . . research purposes.

And, I did get my garden in . . .

Moon and Stars Watermelon
My Moon and Stars watermelon . . . here is one of the babies in the early stages. I only got a couple and neither one of them turned out well.  All over the garden I had problems this year.  I guess I need to be a better gardener and make sure I water as needed . . . . . and not just on the weekends!  :(

Charentais Melons
My Charentais cantaloupes fared a bit better, but still . . .

Black Pear Tomatoes
My Black Pear tomatoes did do pretty well.  My first year with them. They were very tasty!  I made sure to save some seed for next year!

Bird House Gourds
My first attempt at the bird's nest gourds didn't do so well either.  They all rotted or molded.  *sigh*

My strawberries did ok, though!  Still, not a big crop, but they have escaped and are growing up all around the patio, so maybe next year!

I was so excited the pineapple tops took off and I had 4 plants growing off this top and 2 off the other one.  They were looking really, really good . . . and then . . they died.  I do not know what I did wrong on this one.

Teddy Bear Sunflower babies
Star Gazer Lillies
Dragon Fruit
On the plus side . . . my flowers did fairly well!  The teddy bear sunflowers needed more room, so less in a pot, but they were really cute anyway!  And I ended up with 2 dragon fruits this year as opposed to the 1 I got the previous 2 years!  I doubled my crop!  ;)  

Next year I have to get more serious with my poor garden and feed and water it better!

I also tried to do some carpenter duty.  I should have known better.  Trust me.  I won't get hired to do any carpentry work any time soon.  (Another career path down the drain for me!  ;)  It seemed like it should have been so easy.  Just two little boards with a couple of supports and something across the front to keep pictures from sliding off.  I have a small drill, a small jig saw, some chisels left over from my print-making class years ago, a hammer, screwdrivers, sand paper, screws and nails.  That is the extent of equipment at my disposal.  Sadly, I am not expert with any of them.  Perhaps I should be taking classes!  LOL!

But, then there were the strips up the wall to cover the paneling joins to take into consideration.  I had to get creative with how to scrape out spots on the planks to go over them and still lay flat against the wall.  It's not pretty, but they do go over those spots on the wall.  And, you don't really notice that part, so I guess it's ok!

I also knew I would be wanting to put up lights and possibly other small electrical types of things there.  So, extension cords would have to be able to feed up through them as well.  Cut-outs would be needed.  I always worry there won't be enough room for the ends to feed through so, believe me, there are very large cut-outs.  But, the extension cords do fit!  ;)  Note to self . . . never, never, never ever again weave the strings of light in and out of the trim.  Never.  Hours. Simply, hours! I'm a little slow . . . you think I would have figured that out while putting them up.  I should have stopped as soon as it got a bit tedious! :) Hee hee hee!

Please do not look toooooo closely at my lame attempt to make these shelves for my living room.  Ok, you will actually have to keep one eye closed and squint real hard with the other one to try to miss the wonky supports.  And even then, they stand out pretty blatantly.  But, the shelves are at least level on the wall, even if the supports are not exactly as vertical as they should be!  They may not look it in these pics . . . but, they are level!  That's one thing going for them!

The fact that the supports are not straight is driving me crazy, but I am doing my best to just ignore them.  I do not want to have to try to pull it all down and try to get them straight.  But, they may drive me to do that at some point in the future, cuz' I really can't stand it.

I also do not have them quite finished.  There is still a lot of touching up that needs to be done and I have some decorative scroll elements to glue on the flats against the wall.  Not to mention needing to cover up the screws on them as well!  They are just basically two 1X4's; one flat against the wall, the other, the "shelf", is supported by square decorative architectural elements and a decorative railing across the front.

But, I am going to like them, I think.  The wall studs are not positioned in places I want to hang things, so I thought if I put up shelves that go across the entire wall I can slide pictures around as needed on them and wouldn't have to put any other holes in the walls.  And, so far, they have looked nice with seasonal decorations on them.  Later, I will put up other pictures.

I definitely had fun with the decorations and can't wait until it is more finished.  But, I will also have to get better lighting so these pictures come out a little better.  Even on a sunny day, this is a wall that, for photos, is light-challenged even though the room is relatively bright!

I did make a nice T-Day dinner for myself and a couple of pies.  Here are some photos of the apple pie prep and final output.  I was having a bit of trouble with the crust, so ended up just using some tiny cutters at a feeble attempt to say Happy Thanksgiving!  I ended up with just a Happy T Day!  Though in truth, it looks more like Happy T OAY  ;)  

I also managed to get away to the Getty to catch the Cyrus Cylinder before it left.  Barely.  I got there the very last day it was there along with many, many, many other people with the same idea!  Who knew there would be a line to get in to see it!  It was very difficult to get pictures without all of the other people in there as well!  Also, it was dark and no flash photography or tripods allowed.  So, please excuse the quality of these photos.  My poor little camera did the best it could!  I am hoping one of these days next year Santa brings me a new, fancy-schmancy camera.  ;)

I am not sure why, but ancient glass just completely fascinates me. I don't know if I am more amazed they knew how to make it so very long ago and that they created such beautiful objects or that such fragile things survived so long or both.

I am working to get a lot done around here.  Why are our "to do" lists so very long?  ;)  It has all taken quite a bit of my time, but I am definitely making progress and am hopeful I am getting things more under control and will be able to get back to posting on a bit more regular basis and get back to doing more artwork!  No promises!

I appreciate everyone who has stopped by this past year to visit and say hi.  There have been a few people who have disappeared from their blogs also and I'm hoping you are all still there and I hear from you again!   I have missed your posts!  I may not have been able to keep up with doing posts, but I have been visiting the rest of you and enjoying all the lovely things everyone has been posting this past year!

I hope you have had a good year and are looking forward to a great 2014.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone! ! !