two finished putz houses

I have enjoyed getting back to crafting after a week or so of sorting, organizing and rearranging my craft room.

The first house I finished is a small yellow one. It’s a simple design that reminds me a lot of vintage glitter houses.

Putz house

I used some vintage mercury glass beads to decorate the front yard.

Putz house

The little brown house was at this stage when I took it up again yesterday.

Putz house

I really like the way it turned out. The tree is decorated with a string of vintage red mercury beads.

Putz house

I used a little bit of foliage and ribbon from an old thrifted ornament I took apart to decorate the roof of the house.

Putz house

Both houses are now listed in my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook

I’ll be working on two more houses tomorrow. This design I call the “ski slope house.”

Putz house

I also want to embellish this one which I am planning to keep for myself. I love this little house. The fence is made by using a hole punch to punch half circles from the top and the bottom of the fence at regular intervals.

Putz house

I hope you are finding time to use your God-given talents and creativity! Happy crafting!

~~Rhonda

why i haven’t been crafting this week…

I have had a lot of issues with my legs, especially my left leg, over the past few years. One of the things it has kept me from doing is climbing the stairs to the second floor where my wonderful craft room is. The ceilings in our house are twelve feet high and that makes the staircase very long. I’ve seen a lot of improvement lately and am now able to go up the stairs again. Here’s Clark waiting for me to climb the twenty-two steps. He sat like that for about five minutes while I wound up the courage to make the trip! It’s still a little daunting for me, but I’m doing better all the time.

Clark waits on the staircase...

Anyhoo, while I couldn’t go up the stairs, DH brought my craft tools and supplies down to the “music room” and I happily crafted there. (Crafting in the music room.) Now he’s carrying it all back up! But one thing I needed to do before I could really use the craft room as I wanted to, was rearrange and organize it.

craft room

craft room

DH set up an 8′ long table on the east end of the craft room and I started pulling everything out. Youngest Daughter helped. All that went on, under, and around the table. Here’s the scary side of the room. Did you notice that you can’t see the table??

craft room

I sorted through every box and container. I pitched a lot, organized a lot, and put away a lot. After a few days, I began to see progress.

craft room

It may be hard to tell, but this is more progress.

craft room

Once done, I decided to keep the long table in the room. I have all my Etsy stock stored there right now.

craft room

The other side of the room is looking better, too. The room was a second story porch at one time. It’s 27′ long and 11′ wide with an 8′ ceiling.

craft room

Just to the right of the cabinets in this picture is the door to the hall. BTW, a friend of ours made the custom cabinets for me. Love them! You can see the process of renovating the porch into a scrapbook/craft room here: Scrapbook Room Renovation

craft room

On the counter to the far right are my fridge, microwave and toaster. On the counter to the left is the ice maker, which I love having in the craft room. I can pack a lunch and stay up here all day.

craft room

Lined up on the counter are the Putz houses I plan to work on tomorrow while my dear friend Marsha comes to visit. She plans to work on her family tree. I may do some of that, too.

craft room

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that DH did carry a few boxes out of the room for me. They are stored until I have time to go through them. Some of it is scrapbooking supplies. Some of it is paper. And more paper. I need to go through it, but much will be thrown away. And I also have to confess that I did not go through the upper cabinets. I need one of the girls to help me with that. A job for another day! But all my Putz supplies, Christmas crafting supplies, etc., are in the lower cabinets and drawers where I can access everything. I’m ready to craft again!

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ july 18, 2016

I’ve spent several days working on rearranging my craft room. Still have a ways to go, but have a good incentive to get things done. My dear friend Marsha and her husband Paul are coming to visit on Wednesday. MJ and I will spend the day crafting. Our husbands will spend the day catering to our needs. And anything else they find to do. Jane and I are just going to have fun!

Marsha and I went to high school together, but had different sets of friends. I didn’t know her well then. Imagine my surprise at college, when I turned a corner in the dorm and there she was! We became BFFs in college, shared apartments, had the same friends, etc. We met our husbands at college, too. Paul and Marsha have been married forty years. DH and I will hit forty next summer.

MJ and I will always be best friends! I love it when we can get together. We spend the whole day laughing! She always gives me a lift! Here is Marsha several years ago, when we made Putz houses together.

my dear friend Jane and her Putz church

I don’t know what we’ll work on this week, but I know it will be fun! Here’s the menu for the week. I’m trying a new recipe for BBQ chicken in the crock pot for lunch on Wednesday. Something easy for company. I can make it ahead, serve it whenever we’re ready, and there will be leftovers for another day. Sounds good to me!

Monday
Carry Out: Roast Beef and Pepper-jack Subs

Tuesday
Crock Pot Pork Chops
Boiled Red Potatoes
Garden Salad

Wednesday
BBQ Chicken in the Crock Pot
Homemade Buns
Pretzels
Fresh Fruit

Thursday
Fridge Food

Friday
Tacos

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Spaghetti
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Corn on the Cob
Sugar Snap Peas
Garlic Bread
Garden Salad

You can find more menus and ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ july 11, 2016

This week I am working in my craft room upstairs to organize and rearrange it. I want it to be laid out better for working on items for my Etsy shop. Major overhaul needed. So I won’t be crafting this week. And I won’t be doing much cooking. If I took a picture of the craft room right now, you’d be horrified…so here are some kitty pictures. They’re more fun than messy craft room pictures!

Clark was very interested in the empty drawers in the craft room. By the way, how do you like Clark’s shave? He developed some mats, so we had him shaved. He looks so odd. But it’s starting to grow back and soon he will look like himself again.

Clark in a box

Winston tried drinking the water in the flower pitcher while I made a bouquet.

Winston takes time to smell the daisies

Treats! When they hear the bag crinkling, they come running!

treats!

Play hard, sleep hard. Winston and Clark were litter mates and they still love to spend most of their time together.

two for one

And now, back to the reason for this post. Here is the menu for the week. I’ll keep you posted on the craft room redo.

Monday
Fridge Food

Tuesday
Beef and Noodles
Steamed Sugar Snap Peas
Garden Salad

Wednesday
Fridge Food

Thursday
Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry
Brown Rice

Friday
Pizza

Saturday
Ham Sandwiches
Homemade Rolls
Carrot and Celery Sticks
Pretzels
Grapes

Sunday
Baked Tortellini
Garlic Bread
Garden Salad

You can find more menus and ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

a busy day turned into a lazy day

Hello, friends! I hope you are having a good weekend. Today turned out to be warm and humid, but it was beautiful this morning. We had planned to have a dinner party this evening, but the guest of honor is ill and had to postpone. We are praying he and his family recover and are well soon. We look forward to seeing them when the timing is good for them. I woke up ready to start checking my list off and found out I didn’t have to do anything at all today if that was what I wanted to do. So DH and I got out into the garden to see what’s going on.

Daylily season is on the downside, but still very much in force. We have some plants that are just now blooming. See the red one with the orange center in the lower left hand corner of this picture? That’s ‘Autumn Red.’ We have lots. Freebie if you’re local. Let us know if you want a clump.

front yard

‘Regency Heights’
Sadly, this is the only blossom we had on this plant this year, as the lovely deer ate all the buds but one. Didn’t bother the daylily plants right next to this one, but did eat every single bud on this plant but this one.

'Regency Heights'

‘Siloam Pink Glow’
A small plant. About sixteen inches tall and the flower is about three and a half inches across.

'Siloam Pink Glow'

‘Fire Music’
A late bloomer, but it comes on strong! So beautiful in the garden.

'Fire Music'

It really is this beautiful and even more so.

'Fire Music'

‘Catherine Woodbury’
A must-have and a late bloomer.

'Catherine Woodbury'

We aren’t the only ones who enjoy the garden.

Bumblebees are welcome visitors.

bumble bee on prairie cone flower

And honeybees…

honeybee on a hydrangea

honey bee on daisy

And carpenter bees are here, too, but not so welcome when they drill into the fence or the wood of the carport.

carpenter bee on a daylily

This afternoon DH went on a long bike ride and I worked at my desk for a while. A quiet day. We missed having our company, but perhaps that was just as well because our air conditioning keeps turning off. DH is able to restart it, but one of these times, it won’t. That wouldn’t have been fun with twenty adults in the house on a muggy summer evening. At least, not as much fun as it would be if the A/C were working! Next week, a new system will be installed. Problem solved.

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday…i mean tuesday!…~ july 5, 2016

I am trying to remember that today is Tuesday. Does it feel like a Monday to anyone else? It’s going to throw me off schedule all week!

We had a great Fourth. DH took Snow White, Rose Red, Middle Daughter and her friend Vivian to the parade. It was the 150th anniversary of this particular celebration and the town had a lot going on. Vivian is from Shanghai, China, here for school. She has been in the States for ten months and has never celebrated the Fourth of July, never saw a parade, never had a corn dog or a funnel cake!

Waiting for the parade to start is hard!

Fourth of July parade

The anticipation is so exciting! They filled their candy bags about half way with thrown candy, necklaces, cup sleeves, tokens, etc. I don’t know if parades elsewhere in the country throw candy or not, but it is big here!

Fourth of July parade

After the parade, DH took all the girls to the carnival. They ate the carnival treats, rode the carnival rides, and generally had a great time.

Meanwhile, Older Son and our DDIL, came to the house about 11:30 and helped me put together the dinner prep. I always enjoy working with them in the kitchen. They are a good team and they work well together. About 1:00, Older Son started the charcoal in the grill and by the time it was ready, DH and company were back from the carnival and he started in with the grilling.

dinner's almost ready!

After dessert, Rose Red played “Go Fish!” with mama.

go fish!

It was, all in all, a fun day. Now down to business! This week’s menu is as follows:

Monday
Not only was this Independence Day, but the 5th is Older Son’s birthday and the 7th is Middle Daughter’s birthday. We had a guest for the Fourth and her birthday is the 6th! It’s birthday week at our house!

Grilled T-bone Steaks
Grilled Chicken
Grilled Bratwurst
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Sauteed Asparagus in Garlic with Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh Fruit Tray
Black Forest Cake
Apple Cobbler
Vanilla Ice Cream

Tuesday
Fridge Food

Wednesday
Tilapia
Brown Rice
Green Beans
Garden Salad

Thursday
Turkey Sandwiches
Fresh Fruit

Friday
BBQ Chicken in the Crockpot
Homemade Buns
Celery and Carrot Sticks
Fresh Fruit

Saturday / Dinner Party
We have 20 guests invited to join us for dinner on Saturday evening. We are providing the meat and everyone is bringing a contribution to our pot “providence.”

Alton Brown’s Pot Roast
Bacon Chicken with Tomato Cream Sauce
Fresh Fruit Tray
Shared Dishes and Desserts

Sunday
Fridge Food

You can find more menus and ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

daylilies

The front yard is in the height of daylily season. If you are local, feel free to come by and look around. We will be open for another plant sale tomorrow, Saturday. High for the day is forecast as 68*. Unbelievable for July. Most years, DH is digging plants for the sale in 90+ temperatures. If it’s raining, bring your umbrella. DH doesn’t mind digging in the rain for a good cause.

Right now it’s gorgeous out there.

front yard

TigerT enjoyed the plant sale on Wednesday. He alternated between greeting guests…

TigerT waiting for more company

…and napping…Either way, he kept us company.

TigerT enjoyed the daylily sale.

We’ve been working on replacing plant labels in the garden. But there are always a few mysteries out there. This one is beautiful, but we don’t know its name.

unknown daylily

But I know this is ‘Red Volunteer.’

in the garden

And the purple one is ‘Allen Wild.’

in the garden

The bumblebees enjoy the flowers.

in the garden

Take a stroll through the daylily beds…

in the garden

in the garden

in the garden

in the garden

in the garden

The hostas are doing well.

in the garden

And the beautiful daisies. They look so pretty next to the brightly colored daylilies.

in the garden

Come by on Saturday, from 11-3. TigerT is waiting for you.

in the garden

~~Rhonda

matching putz houses and their bases

I thought I’d catch you up with what I’ve been doing. I had taken several days off from working on Putz houses while I was busy with other projects and decided to get back to work this week.

I like to upcycle used Christmas cards in a lot of my Christmas crafting. They make great bases for the little Putz houses. The first thing I did was make seven new bases, using cards I had chosen without their particular color being a deciding factor. I planned to paint the houses to match the cards instead of painting the houses and then finding cards that would work with the finished houses. I am hoping this will push me to use some new colors, perhaps even colors I would not have thought to use.

NOTE: My tutorial for making Putz bases can be found here: tutorial for making putz house bases

I picked three houses to work on. The pink and white church was already painted. I had to add window panes. The other two houses were still in the infant stage.

the next three Putz houses

It seems odd that the style of the house design might influence which card to use, but I do find that true most of the time. I was happy to see that one of my new bases was perfect for the pink and white church. Then I chose bases for the two houses that were just in the beginning of the process.

Putz house

I mixed some paint to get a shade that looked good with the card. The house on the left needed a brown red color and the one on the right needed a muted blue with a tiny touch of green. I used the color ‘Nutmeg’ mixed with a little white to get a light brown color and used that for the roofs of both houses.

Putz house

Putz house

The next step was to install window panes and then make and install the door and window frames. I painted those the same color as the roofs.

Putz house

I cut the frames for the church. They were painted white and sprinkled with silver glitter. I like the way they turned out.

Putz house

Now we’re getting somewhere. The houses are ready to place on the bases. But I need to paint the bases first. This involves some dry time, so I painted the bases and then resumed work on the houses the next day.

Putz house

When the bases were dry, I chose fencing for each Putz house.

Putz house

Putz house

Some of the fencing had to be painted.

Putz house

While it dried, I made more fence posts as my supply was getting low. It’s nice to have them made ahead of time so they are ready when I need them.

Putz house

The finished fences…

Putz house

I love the way the color combination for this house worked out. The fence is a simple cut-out design with no fence posts.

Putz house

The fence for the church was fancier, with a wavy top edge and a tear drop punched design. The church got six fence posts.

Putz house

A shorter wavy fence seemed right for the little dark reddish-brown house. And two fence posts jazzed up the gate.

Putz house

And that’s where I left them. After I paint and glitter the hot glue, turning it into snow drifts, the next step will be embellishment. I hope you enjoyed this peek into the process. If you have any questions or would like some advice about making your own Putz houses, please leave a comment below. I am happy to help.

You can visit my Etsy shop here: ChristmasNotebook

~~Rhonda

spicy creamy tomato pasta

We have discovered a new recipe which everyone in our family enjoys. It’s called Spicy Creamy Tomato Pasta. I found it on the Spicy Southern Kitchen web site. Her recipe has onion and garlic to cook, which I know would make it all the more wonderful, but we are going for an easy recipe for my girls to make and this fits the bill with a few adaptions I made.

Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta
Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time 10 min.
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
16 oz. pasta of your choice
29 oz. can of tomato sauce
½ cup heavy cream
6 drops Tabasco Sauce
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt

1. Cook Pasta according to package directions. Drain.
2. Combine other ingredients in a pot, stir, and heat till bubbly. Put a lid on the pot, please. It’s hot and it will splatter!
3. Toss together and serve.

I think it would be delicious with shrimp.

No pictures at this time, but I’ll add them next time we make the recipe. If you like pasta, fast and easy, this is it!

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ june 27, 2016

We had a nice weekend, in spite of the heat. On Saturday, DH and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary. Where did the time go? Seems like last week our family looked like this…

baby sarah plus sibs ~ 1987

Older Son was eight years old in that picture. Now his girls are eight years old. Just. like. that. Savor the moments. They fly by.

This past spring…

picking bouquets

We toured the garden a couple of times, noting the daylily FFOs (first flower out). I enjoyed the hostas, too. This one is ‘Journey’s End.’ It is on its way to being a very large specimen.

Hosta 'Journey's End'

The large one in this picture is called ‘Komodo Dragon.’ It is just getting started. It will gain in size by quite a bit before it is done. This is its third or fourth summer in our garden. It can take five to ten years for a large hosta to reach its mature size.

Hosta 'Komodo Dragon'

Saturday evening we had a little rain (much needed) and the sunset through the window pane was beautiful. My dear husband drove 25 miles away to get sushi for our anniversary dinner. Thank you, DH!

sunset

Sunday morning, DH picked the flowers and I made this bouquet for church. White hydrangeas, purple hosta flowers, and ‘Chorus Line’ daylilies. I told DH we could call them “Choir Line” daylilies for the day.

Sunday bouquet

Sunday afternoon, DH picked raspberries.

picking raspberries

We got a lot! And he picked more that evening.

picking raspberries

The menu this week has three, count them, three “fridge food” days. There are a lot of leftovers so the menu is pretty easy this week.

Monday
Fridge Food

Tuesday
Tacos

Wednesday
Crock Pot Roast Beef with New Potatoes and Carrots
Corn on the Cob
Garden Salad

Thursday
Fridge Food

Friday
BBQ Chicken in the Crock Pot
Homemade Buns
Fresh Fruit

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Baked Spaghetti
Garden Salad
Sugar Snap Peas

And because it’s a long weekend, I’m including Monday the Fourth of July. Older Son and family are coming over. We’ll enjoy a Fourth of July celebration. First there will be pancakes with Pa. Then the parade. Then grilling. Then lots of relaxing.

Monday / Independence Day
Grilled Shrimp
Beef Steaks
Rosemary Ranch Chicken
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Fruit Salad
Garden Salad

Maybe some pie and ice cream for dessert. Watcha think?

You can find more menus and ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda