Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I totally stole this from someone on Facebook.

Tonight I'm going to my friend's house as I do every Halloween.  She lives on a busy street and gets a bazillion trick-or-treaters.  What's more fun on Halloween night than sitting on the porch drinking tea and handing out candy to a bunch of cute kids in costume?

Dressing up to hand out candy, that's what.  I usually think of this approximately five minutes before leaving the house.  Last year, my friend loaned me a plush moose hat and all evening people kept saying it was too early for reindeer.  That was annoying.

This year, I've got a costume all ready to go.  I'm going to get someone to take my picture and I'll post it here because obviously I have no shame about posting pictures in which I look silly.  I'll give you a hint: I'm dressing as an Aunt of Literature.

And no, it's not Auntie Em.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Doesn't Everyone?

Who wouldn't want to drive the Zamboni?  I'm not saying I'd want to make a career out of it, but to me, the only rational response to the question "Do you want to come down to the rink and drive the Zamboni?" is "Let me get my jacket."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dept. of Home Economics: The Incredible Egg Carton

It's the little things.  Specifically, it's the little things lying around the house that are tough to corral and keep organized.  So it was with my jewelry making supplies -- until last night, when I made an omelet for dinner.

I washed and dried the empty carton from my Little Rhody Natural eggs, and then cut it apart to create three storage trays.  You could leave the top on if you want storage with a lid; I wanted to be able to place them flat in the storage drawer that I take out of its cabinet and bring to my table when I'm ready to make jewelry.  The egg-shaped sides stack nicely, provided they are not too full.
Here are some uses for your empty egg cartons that I came up with just off the top of my head, but there are probably a lot more:
  • Desk drawer: Use one or more sides to organize paper clips, binder clips, erasers, sticky notes, etc.
  • Craft and sewing supplies: With or without lids, you supplies will be neat and organized.  No more ransacking drawers looking for one specific thing -- or worse, buying something you forgot you had.
  • Tiny toys: I'm thinking of Barbie's accessories or all those pieces for the Littlest Pet Shop -- but anything tiny and easily lost can be stored in egg cartons.  Let the kids get creative and decorate the cartons with stickers.
  • Girls' hair accessories: You'll be able to find barettes, snap clips, and ponytail holders, even on a busy morning.  Let your daughter get creative with decorating the outside of the carton.
  • Kitchen junk drawer: One or more trays will neatly store batteries, matches, restaurant business cards, rubber bands, twist ties, etc.
  • Jewelry: if you're a gal who keeps jewelry in the top dresser drawer -- or a guy with tie tacks and cufflinks you want to store -- a plastic egg carton is the perfect see-through storage solution.
  • Home repair kit: Keeping those screws, nuts, washers, etc. organized might make it less likely that you and your significant other will fight while fixing something.  Might.  I'm not making any promises.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Safety First

If you go for a walk with the Army Dude in the western part of Rhode Island at this time of year, he requires you to wear one of these attractive numbers.  It's to avoid getting shot because of deer hunting season, but honestly, how much danger could I be in?  It's not like I ever shut up.

Note how it gives that pumpkin shape to which every girl aspires -- and the color... well, the photo doesn't do it justice. 

Even though the day was a bit overcast, I decided to accessorize with a pair of sparkly sunglasses.  (Translation: I hid behind them.)  Not that I think it helped.  I haven't felt this conspicuous since my sister Rachel visited and did my makeup before we went out to dinner.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


A rainy day.  Tailor-made for making jewelry, reading, and taking a nap.  Who am I to argue with Mother Nature?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What I'm Reading: Philosophy

In addition to making jewelry and absorbing vitamin D while the sun shines, I've also been reading a book called Fifty Key Medieval Thinkers.  Want me to tell you all about it?

I didn't think so.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Earrings and bracelet made from washers and hex nuts

The sun has been doing a great deal of shining in these parts, and I've been eager to soak up the last few rays before winter's icy fingers grab hold of us for the next several months.  Not terribly cheery, I grant you, but name me a New Englander who isn't feeling the same way right now and I will show you someone who is dangerously over-medicated.

In between rounds of frolicking in the great outdoors, I've been working on some creative projects.

Necklace and earrings made from rubber o-rings

Earrings, variations on a theme

Rusted washers, sealed and in various states of dryness, waiting for me to figure out what to do with them

I'm sure there is a way to make the washers rusty, but I have no idea what it is.  I got these washers the old fashioned way: I spied them with my little eye and then picked them up off the street.

You know, maybe the Team Maria President is right and I should have an AuntieCam.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Awesome Rating: High, But Conflicted

It's been a rough couple of weeks here at Old Maid HQ, with the loss of two members of my family of choice.  One I discussed here; the other was the sudden death of someone whose path and mine crossed, but not often enough.  I would have liked to have known him a lot better than I did.  His sister is a friend of mine, and although I was on the periphery of the huge group that mourned his passing, it's been exhausting.

Two of the things my friend gave me from her brothers house are these Spanish dancers.  I loved them as soon as I saw them, but I waited until others had taken things they wanted before I asked for them.  They remind me of some lamps my grandma had in her living room the whole time I was growing up, but that were thrown out when the room was redecorated.  (New brass lamps from J.C. Penney with the plastic still on the shades were involved.  You don't want to know.) 

Oddly enough, I was the only person among our group of friends who appreciated the delightful tackiness of these two girls.  They now live on a deep shelf above my kitchen sink, and every time I look up at them they make me smile.  I like to think that wherever they are, J and Gram are smiling too.