Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Let's have some fun part one

where is your eye looking, what does it see, what catches your eye?

I'm thinking fashion lately. With money so tight and my wardrobe getting so old I see the need to get creative. I want what I sew to look great right from the start. Let me help you do the same thing, we don't have the time or money to get things we don't want to wear!

It's funny how good my eye is for fashion and how bad I dress, yes a blue jeans gal now! My major in college was commercial art and design, I made so many drawings, painting and posters but what I really loved was design. Learning how to lead the eye to enjoy what you were creating, to make the eyes comfortable but not bored, excited but not bouncing. I loved this! I still look at the things around me as if they need to do this for me. Fashion is the same. We don't have perfect figures but we can lead the eye, make the eye comfortable or excite the eyes. I found some fun old examples. They will help you practice seeing how you might be looking to others.

Lets begin!

Fashion can tell the eye to look! But which direction is it saying to look? The Y is saying to look UP see my face. The arrow is saying look DOWN see my waist, hips, hem and slightly shoes. You may not think this is what is happening because a Y and an arrow have a long straight line that should be helping us point but it is about the direction the space is being pushed not the pointing arrow or the catching space Y.

Eye movement can be given limits by stopping how and where they travel. The width of the T with the hat and flouncy sleeves stops your eye up top. It halts your eye from looking vertical.

This H look of this front panel in this dress stops your eye from scanning the lateral areas , Limits your eye to only see the width. OUCH.

Here your eye is invited to travel up and down limitless, You would look tall and thin with this clear, long line.

Can you see how these fashion designs are giving the eye different paths to travel?
a. has attention on the shoulders and neckline
b. your eye is going to that flounce hemline
c. The eye is going to the hip line because you are looking at those cuffs on the sleeve, locking you at the hips.

None of these are just bad

a. is wonderful for a pretty face and neck

b. will let you show off beautiful legs

c. lets really slim narrow hips look much better

You can enjoy a chuckle on my fun 1960's fashions but watch and see if you can find any example of this same idea in what people wear today.

Here is a test

What do you see in each of these. Write me with your ideas for a,b,c,and d.

go here to practice on some great European fashions!

Another asignment

If you do this assignment you will be all ready to enjoy my next posting. This web site is amazing but don't get lost in it yet. Go to the curtain in the middle of the home page and click to take the test. You might enjoy the color facts but please work through the whole test so you can get your body shape. We need that to understand my next post. If you have trouble understanding the test you can click on the right hand left hand links to see what each thing is asking, eye color, hair color, shape etc. Use it as you need to, this is tons of informaton. Have fun!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bear Claws and High school

It is Bleach Boys 60th birthday this week-end. I didn't want to use the gas to go into town for a donut. I suddenly remembered my high school cooking classes included a whole series of pastries. I dug around and in this beat up old note book are my recipes from high school. Looks like I have some great ones, I'll share more later.

Today it's the Bear Claws. A sweet refrigerator dough that raises in the cool of your fridge. I have two recipes sizes. One is the small size we used after braking into work groups in class, the other is a normal size we could take home for family use. Both work fine, if the smaller one isn't good in your mixer you can easily do it by hand. The family recipe is perfect for the mixer. Now all I have to do is make Bleach Boy a nice Bear Claw, put a candle in it and see if I can get up in time to wake him with a little birthday greeting!

Class room size recipe

1/2 Cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)

1 package of dry yeast

1 egg beaten

2 cups unsifted flour

soft butter

1) Heat the milk until bubbles form. Add sugar, salt and 1/4 cup of butter cut in pieces. Stir to dissolve. Cool to lukewarm before adding yeast.

2) Put warm water in the mixing bowl or large bowl you will stir in. add yeast immediately by sprinkling it over the water. Stir to dissolve.

3) With a wooden spoon, stir milk mixture, beaten eggs and 1 cup of flour into yeast bowl. beat until smooth, about 2 minutes

4) Gradually add rest of the flour, beating until dough is smooth and cleans side of bowl, be sure NOT to add too much flour this dough should be a tiny bit tacky but still clean the sides of the bowl. Turn into large, greased bowl. Oil the top.

5) Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until dough is doubled. Can keep in fridge for 3 days

6) Form into one of the treats below. Bake as directed.

dough after 2 hours in fridge


Home Size Recipe

3/4 cup Milk

1/3 cup of sugar

2 teas salt (I use one!)

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup warm water 105 to 115 degrees

2 packages dry yeast

2 eggs beaten

4 1/4 cups of unsifted flour

soft butter

Follow directions for class room recipe except in Step 3 stir in 2 cups of flour for about 2 minutes.


sweet roll dough

3 tablespoons melted butter

cinnamon sugar mixture

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped raisins

1 tsp grated lemon peel

Sugar glaze: 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp milk. Stir until smooth

1) lightly grease a large cookie sheet

2) On lightly floured surface, shape dough into a round, let rest for 5 minutes

3) Roll dough to an 18 by 9 inch rectangle. Brush with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar leaving a 1/4 inch bare all around the pastry.

This is smaller than the recipe size, with only two of us I didn't want too much

4) combine walnuts, raisins and lemon peel, sprinkle evenly over dough

5) folding from long side, fold 1/3 of dough over. Then bring the opposite side over the other side, to make a 3 layer strip. Pinch to seal.

6) With sharp knife, cut strip crosswise into 6 sections. On the folded side of each make 3 inch long cuts. These are for the toes.

7) Arrange on prepared cookie sheet. Spread toes evenly slightly to make toes. Brush with melted butter and cover with wax paper to raise.

8) Raise until double in bulk about 45 minutes in a warm place.

9) bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees F

10) cool on wire rack. Pour sugar glaze over warm rolls

Makes 6 with class room size recipe


another sweet pastry using the above dough

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

3/4 teas cinnamon

Class room size recipe or 1/3 of the Home recipe

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 egg yolk

Cinnamon sugar mixture

1) lightly grease a large cookie sheet

2) in small bowl, toss the brown sugar, chopped walnuts and cinnamon 3) On lightly floured surface, pat dough into a round and let rest 5 minutes

4) Roll out dough into a 12 inch circle. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture to within 1/2 inch of edge. Cut into 8 equal pie shaped wedges

5) Starting from the wide end roll each wedge toward the point. Place with center point down on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Curve to make crescent shape.

6) Cover loosely with wax paper. set in warm place away from drafts until doubled. Approx 45 minutes.

7) With fork, beat egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water. Use to brush tops of rolls before baking. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar

8) bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. until golden brown.

9) cool slightly on wire rack, serve warm

Makes 8



One last recipe for the sweet roll dough, feel free to create your own shapes

Streusel Topping

2 tables soft butter

2 tables light brown sugar

1/2 teas cinnamon

1/3 cup unsifted flour

1/3 sweet roll home recipe or all of the class room recipe.

1/4 cup melted butter

Cinnamon sugar mixture

Powdered sugar

1) Make streusel topping: combine butter with sugar, cinnamon and flour. Mix well and set aside.

2) lightly grease a large cookie sheet

3) On lightly floured pastry cloth, roll dough to a rectangle 20 by 10

4) Spread surface with half of the melted butter, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar

5) Fold over dough in half, from the long side to form a rectangle 20 by 5 inches

6) Cut crosswise into 2 1/2 inch strips making 8 of them

7) Place strips on prepared cookie sheet making a twist in the center of each to give it a bow look.

8) Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with streusal topping. cover with wax paper

9) Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

10) bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly on wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Serve while still warm

Makes 8.

Thank you Arroyo High School in El Monte. Here are some things I learned there.

If everyone is speaking Spanish you feel left out and you learn to be a great thinker in your head

If your lunch room teacher calls you and your friends the Relief Society you know he really likes you

Having a great typing teacher did me a great service I learned to type really well and it has served me for a very long time

My male math teacher didn't like girls and wouldn't bother to answer my questions even if I could have been bold enough to ask them. If he didn't like your question you had to run the track. Hense I was a good track runner and very bad at math.

The track was my favorite place and I lived on it, going around and around. Girls could wear pants on the track

Drivers ed (which was part of school back then) is a lot of fun when you are the only girl

The lunch cooks made food better than my mom

Choir was too easy but I loved it

My favorite teacher was in my favorite class which was history

You can't be really good at art and get a good grade in high school everything is paint by number!

Rumors worked even in the 60's

Good readers do less homework (read your last class assignments in your next class, but do it on your lap under your desk)

In High school we waste a lot of time so if you can get out in three years DO IT. It was never a mistake to graduate in my Jr. year, I just paid attention and did my work and was done a year faster!

Summer school condenses information and they don't have time to repeat things and if you read my profile you know I hate things repeated. So I learned summer school is the way to take your Government, English and history classes. Science I need to hear things repeated!

So what did you learn in high school, sis? friends? children?

Monday, January 19, 2009

making pom poms for projects

Print for a pattern

I've made a lot of yarn pom poms in my crafting life. They are wonderful touches to all kinds of toys. This pattern is just one way to make them. It is from when we didn't have those nice plastic forms for making them. It came from a 1960's knitting book. You use the form once so don't work to hard to make it. If you make a ball large enough for a child to toss you'll need a fairly heavy cardboard. 200 wraps are quite a few! I've put a pattern you can print and cut from the cardboard. You can make these smaller and larger if you wish.

Click to enlarge and print

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Beware of look alikes

If you google the Grammie hot line you will get the
Grammy hotline.
This IS NOT me.
It claims to to be "The best advice for raising children" Well mom's there is NO SUCH THING! There is lots of good advice, there are helpful ideas, there is a shoulder to cry on, but until your kids have raised their kids you really can't say you have the best advice. And even at that what did you do that worked and made them good parents and good citizens? Who knows? Nope all we can do is offer support and ideas we liked. We can give you our moments of great and wonderful along with our notes of sadness. The only sure fired thing you can't miss with is to Love your families. Everything else is an experiment. Please don't mix me up with the other blog. Smiles Grammie

Thursday, January 15, 2009

shadow puppets

Ukiah 1983 ish
Our puppet stage is a refrigerator box all decorated
The puppet screen is oiled paper
The puppet handlers (my 3 girls and some of the neighborhood kids)
go into the box and stand below the oiled window
The black puppets they designed from cardboard are on wires made from hangers
The light source is behind them in the box and they hold the puppets right against the oiled paper and the light does amazing things!

Left to right Alison, Laureen, Kim, Cheryl down below and Shannon in the corner

I don't remember what got us started with shadow puppets. It was a long time ago, my children were very little. The creativity that came from this hobby and the fun is worth passing along.

You can start with using your hands to make creatures on the walls. That is a tiny beginning. Be sure the light source is the correct distance from the hands (takes a bit of testing) Be sure that no hot light bulbs get near the children. The hands should be near to the wall but not touching. If they pull their hands back the creatures grow larger!

The next step is to make paper puppets on sticks or wires and use them to make shadows on the wall.

As you can see in the photo at the top there is another way to do Shadow puppets and that is to make them from black card stock and hold the puppets against an oiled screen. Many cultures have done puppets this way and they are amazing and beautiful. My traveling friends told me all about some they saw in Turkey. Full cultural stories all told with intricate shadows.

Chinese Shadow puppets

Friday, January 9, 2009

Don't get discouraged it's only January!

How do you Climb over an elephant?

I had two calls yesterday from some of the girls. One was under the weather because of a bug going around but it was keeping her from her plan for the new year. She had such a good start. Now she was discouraged.

Another daughter called frustrated with years of going backward on her goals. Makes me sad just to listen. She thinks she is failing most the time.

Then reading a friends blog posting that started like this: "How go the Resolutions, Horatio!!!The Resolve : to live a focused life...a simpler life. A cleaner life (that refers to my careless housekeeping) and a more mindful life.. (translated: don't forget to take bags to the grocery store, - you will never be able to recycle all those plastic bags into doormats!)" I realized how much we bank on that first start of a new plan. How important we make a new year beginning.

I just told you a week ago how much I like a beginnings, I don't suffer the frustrations of a plan not working at the new year. After the phone calls I was wondering why I don't. I looked at how I work on things for change and I think my life now features each day separated. Each day it's own little capsule. Yes today can only go the best I can make it, but tomorrow I have another try. I am always hopeful for the next chance to try again. A sweet friend once told me after her husband passed away she got up each day to quilt. I get up each day to see what might happen, one day at a time.

Don't get discouraged. If you become tired decide you will begin again, continue on that long battle to being better. Don't get upset with yourself. It's when we don't keep trying we should get upset. Remember after today you have tomorrow to put all your energy into.

One day at a time.

I wanted to give you some nice visual way to remember this concept. I went to my stash of old books and found my paper backs from when I was a kid. Now these consist of a lot of horse stories, a couple of chick books, some great classics and some funnies. So now enjoy my kid humor way to remember "You can do anything if you just keep going!"

How do you Climb over an elephant??????????

Grab his tail, climb up his back, dash to his head then slide down his trunk!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Does unplugging things help your engery bills and other bothersome things you hear

OR 1100111000011110000111110101010101011100010001111000001110001 ?????

There is a lot of information being tossed at you right now! If you've ever read my profile you will see I DON'T like themes or catch words. 'Going Green' is driving me crazy. I have heard tons of poorly stated information in the act of promoting 'Going Green' lately. Bleach boy has a degree in Electrical stuff so I asked him to give me the real scoop!

What if you want to save power costs? Many shows are telling you to unplug everything when it's not in use. Have you had the winter power outages we endure here in the Pacific Northwest? What do you have to completely reset? Clocks, radio settings, T.V programming etc. It's not fun to redo all your presets on the TV. Or loose your radio presets. If you unplug these items you will forever be resetting most preset items. Yes they do have some power they draw all the time, a little bit. If they have plug ends like the ones below they are drawing power. If they have any kind of little light, or a clock setting that shows when they are off then they are drawing power. Remember if you unplug those you will have to reset everything. I hate blinking clocks!

If your plug looks like this it is drawing power when plugged in even if it is not connected to your item, like phone etc. This goes for docking stations also, they are always drawing power.

Things I do unplug: my cell phone charger, my sewing machines (all on one plug strip)

Things I do not unplug: my TV, DVD player, my surround sound, my radio clock, my computer (what a pain to redo my power back up) When I travel I do unplug the computer stuff.

I'm sure there are more I can't think of but THINKING is what you need to do on this. If I really want to save power, I don't use my dryer or my oven often. I use the lower power use appliances over the big draws. I will put the PUD's list of power use items in the blog after this one so look below.

NEXT ISSUE that bothers me is the energy saving bulbs. They do save a lot of energy. Lighting accounts for close to 20 percent of the average home’s electric bill. The approved energy florescent bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs, last up to 10 times longer. What bothers me is the ever small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing makes it so that you must take it to a disposal site. Yes you can't toss these bulbs in the trash usually and you have to clean up any broken ones as if you are a hazard team. YIKES. Keep that in mind when going Bulb Green! I also find the older ones come on so slowly that there are many places they are useless to me, as in the front porch. I hear a noise at night, I quickly turn on the front or back light to check on what's happening. A dim glow comes from the light. Useless! I've been told the newer ones are better.

HOW about the TV stations going digital?

Oh this is a can of worms. I hope I can clearly explain this for you.

1. IF YOU have Cable TV or satellite TV you don't have to worry at all. DO NOTHING

2. IF YOU get your analogue TV now from an antenna you will need one of the following

A: a digital TV and perhaps a new antenna OR

B: An Analogue TV with a Digital box and perhaps a new antenna

We put in our Digital box for our analogue TV some months ago. It has not been a happy experience. The frequency band for analogue seems so much more stable and we get great TV on our analogue TV with our roof top antenna. WE do not get great Digital. A slight breeze, a little snow, anything will keep us from getting a clear signal. Right now we just switch back to Analogue and watch what doesn't come in with digital, but that comes to an end in Feb. 17Th.

You need to be in a good sight line to the signal with digital TV or you will not get a good signal. There will be frozen pictures and pixel's bits or no picture at all if you are not picking up a good enough signal. A lot of people are going to be very surprised when they figure this out.

Our digital box works well it's just the signal is so hard to catch and not as stable, but it does look very good if you get it and there are additional stations as in 7.1 and 7.2, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 etc. Lots of extra programing! These are side band stations.

Our DVD player said it had a digital receiver but it works very poorly so we use the converter box on the TV. Our converter was $60 but we had a Govt issues coupon that took that down.

So remember just because you get analog on your antenna doesn't mean you will get digital. You can spend a lot of money trying to find out what works. Our local stations are providing a directional listing on where to find the stations for our viewing area. That helped a lot as we use an antenna we can rotate from in the house. So if I watch channel 4 digital I will have to turn the antenna to watch channel 5 digital and again for Channel 7 and 9 etc.

You might solve a lot of problems using an antenna that you can change directions with. A router mounted directional antenna, the rotor system is sold separate from antenna. Ours has a box that comes into the house and I just turn the dial to the different degrees the stations can be received in.

Our antenna is many years old but we bought a large one as we live out a ways and so it does pick up the digital. Bleach boy tells me what you need is a good antenna. It's not a matter of analog and digital antenna's, there are small antennas for close to the transmitter and large for distance. All antenna's receive digital and analog. Bleach boy says they all receive radio waves that's the point!

Oh what we go through for the Governments whims! The analog transmissions will be used for emergency issues but the majority will be sold for broad band use. The Government will make lots of money on selling this spectrum. That is why they offered you coupons to buy your converter boxes which I understand they are now out of. It was a great help to us! I'm so glad I live in a free country where I can say this!

I'm happy to answer any questions on these issues. I've only glossed by the information to get you started. Don't believe everything you hear! This site explains the difference in the two signals, digital verses Analog. Easy to understand.

Monday, January 5, 2009