"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
Philippians 4:8

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Idle hands are the Devil's workshop...

..My mother quoted that phrase each time I told her I was bored. I can never sit without creating something.
This past week has been a most eventful one. I have survived floods, earthquakes, terrible heat waves where I could fry an egg on my sidewalk, and forest fires right up the hill from my house. We have experienced severe droughts here in Southern California, we have had power outages, and terrible gasoline shortages where we had to wait hours in line to get rationed gasoline. But, I have never experienced  101 mile an hour Santa Ana winds! We were without heat, electricity, phones, there was no school, and many grocery stores were shut down because of no power. It was odd being in the dark several nights just using flashlights and candles. There was so much devastation. Huge, 100 year old oak trees fallen to the ground all over my city . Some of them took the sidewalks uprooted along with them. Roofs were caved in, windows broken , cars smashed, yet I haven't heard of any casualties, Thank God! So we crocheted by candlelight and became better acquainted with each other.
ANYWAY! I have been crocheting and I'd like to share my hats with you. If you are brave, and have a couple of hours, some yarn and a hook; I will give you the easiest pattern which will make you feel like a designer. These will be great Christmas gifts considering how cold our weather is becoming.

use scrap yarn. I make 2 adult and 1 child's hat out of one skein of yarn.
chain 30
Row1  double crochet into each chain and turn your work for the next row
Row2  go into the back loop ONLY and double crochet through each until the end of the row, turn
Row3 Continue to crochet for about 20 rows into the back loop of each double, turn and repeat until you have done about 10 or 12 inches long, it is a matter of choice and also how big your head is. Use your discression.
you now have a rectangle
lay the first row on top of the last row you crocheted, now sew them together making a seam which makes the hat look like a cylinder, or a large noodle.
turn the cylinder inside out so the ugly seam is on the outside just while you are working on gathering the top circle part closed
Now, weave the yarn with a yarn needle or you could use a crochet hook(little tricky) and make a draw string while closing the top part of the hat gathered shut. Pull hard. You might want to use double yarn on your needle for this.
Now, you will turn your hat inside out and you have your hat!
Turn up the bottom (hem area) up to look like a cuff. I tack mine down every 2 inches. You can crochet a border along the bottom of the hat with a contrasting color that might match your flower or pom pom.
You can put a flower on the side or a pom pom on the top. You can even sew on some large bells for the Holidays!
CONGRATULATIONS! HAPPY HOLIDAYS, and stay WARM and safe,and............Most important, God bless you! :)

My little Pumpkin head grand baby!
                             My little Turkey head grand angel ! This hat was challenging trying to keep the feathers from falling! LOL! I just crocheted a fan with variegated yard and outlined it with a scallop.
My little Candy Cane boy!
      My USMC babies, Sarah and Robbie!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Candy Corn Banner

Happy Halloween!!!!
I cut out 14 triangles from a piece of Burlap. I painted them to look like candy corn, I then wrote the letters with a sharpie marker, then I stitched black yarn through the tops and hung the banner in my front yard. I think this banner would be more visible on a mantle or above a door.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Retro Shellback Metal Chairs Revamped

 This table below, was under $10.00. I think it was 5 or 7,  I honestly cannot remember exactly.
 This metal table below, was rusty, chipping and bent. I felt sorry for it; especially when I saw the same one at an antique show for $50.00.
 This table belonged to a great Aunt. When she passed on, this table was unwanted by the relatives. I took it with the hope of one day repainting it.

 Sarah's dad has all the good tools, so I put him to work after hours of my hand sanding. Boy, the proper tools make all the difference in the world when doing a project!
 We got them in 1975 for $10.00 each at a swap meet, but didn't paint them until 1979.
                                                  All rust removed and sanding is finished!
                                                  The little table feels loved now.
                          This table had lots of scratches and dings. We did our best, and I love it!
 From June of 1979 to July of 2011. The old paint job lasted 32 years. WOW! what a difference a little care can make. I recently saw this era of shell back chairs at a swap meet for $65.00 each, and yesterday I went to a garden furniture store where they were $95.00 each. The sandpaper, primer, and paint for all of these chairs was about $25.00.  Restore it baby!!!!!
 The patio store wanted $90.00 for each chair pad!!! Whew! Home Depot wanted $50.00
 I used my very old dining room chair pads, and just recovered them with a remnant from Walmart that cost $3.oo a yard.

 I pick up little lanterns that I see at yard sales or at Thrift stores. My rule is never to pay past $3.oo each. I prime them and paint them. They are beautiful at night with a tea candle glowing inside! I have strung these on a Jasmine vine.
 My friends brought me the purple metal rocker which you can see to the right. It was white and rusted pretty badly, but I loved that it was a rocker. The friends are walkers and they have brought me several treasures on trash day. How thoughtful they were to drag this lovely chair all the way to my house. You should see the wicker shelf they brought me. (it is still in progress.) As you can see, I use very bold colors! I love color, it must be the artist spirit in me!

I made six of these cushions.
We found this darling little metal chair (below) on a close out sale at the Lowe's in San Clemente, Calif. It was only $10.00. Now, our little Robert will fit in with the large metal chairs.

 The 99 cent store has Terra Cotta pots for 99 cents each, they also had Tea Roses for 99 cents each. I bought  some and decided to paint them to match the chairs.
 This is my favorite chair which cost NOTHING, the trash chair turned purple!
This is a swap meet chair, I think it was 5 or 10 dollars. I bought it a while ago. It has been sitting in a pile of other "STUFF" waiting it's turn to be restored.
In my life, necessity has always been the mother of invention.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tomato Pie Recipe

Tomato Pie
  My friends, Rosemarie and Vicki are artists with food.  I am the happy, fat recipient! Every month or so, one of them prepares a luncheon feast. We get together to share ideas, life events, the Lord, and our wishes and dreams. Rosemarie made this tomato pie and I was in LOVE!!!!!
I came home and made it for dinner that very evening. She used Monterey Jack cheese. I improvised with what was in my refrigerator; mild cheddar. It was still delicious! Above is a picture of my finished pie!
                    I cut 1/4 " rounds from 7 vine ripe tomatoes.
                  I salted them well and allowed them
                 to drain juices for one hour.
                                             After one hour, I pat-dried the salt off of the tomatoes.
                          I used a little garlic salt, a little salt and pepper to season the tomatoes to my liking.
I used a ready made pie crust which I had in my freezer. I threw it over a 9" pie tin.
Next time I will make my own crust because I would have liked it flakier and thicker.
   My daughter used 2 crusts on top of each other (it was nicer.)

                                                     I washed and dried seven Basil leaves.
I chopped the Basil.
Then, I layer tomatoes, basil and cheese.
Layer like you would Lasagna.
After three layers, I baked the pie in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
This pie was delicious. If you try it, I would appreciate your comments.
Stay tuned, I have a wonderful cobbler cake recipe I will post tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Starry Night

The painting shown above was painted by me.

So, the other night I was enjoying the stars as I was swinging in my back yard enjoying a late evening breeze.
I wonder what and where Vincent Van Gogh was thinking/and exactly where was he,  when he was painting his famous painting "Starry Night."

I have a Theo in my life; her name is Becky, my sister. I play around with my drawings and my amateur paintings, and Becky praises everyone of them.
I know they aren't great, but to God they are because He inspires me to have the nerve to try.
Vincent Van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, he died on July 29, 1890 at the age of 37.
He was known as the greatest Dutch painter next to Rembrandt.
He painted 900 paintings in 10 years, and 1,100 drawings.
Van Gogh was bi-Polar and eventually committed suicide.
He had very little success with his art during his lifetime. He only sold one painting, "The Red Vineyard."
On March 30, 1987, his painting, "Irises" sold at Southerby's in New York; for 53.9 million dollars.
On May 15, 1990, his portrait of his physician, Dr. Gachet; sold at Christie's auction for 82.5 million dollars!
Theo, Vincent's brother, was Vincent's greatest admireror and advocate.
Vincent lived with a Prostitute and her children, whom he claimed to love very much. His family discouraged him marrying her, so he did not.
Vincent lived a short time in Paris with his brother Theo, there he met Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, and many other artists. He discovered impressionism and he liked it's light mixed with colors. He also grew to like/ use Pointillism: dot painting. He was considered a Post Impressionist.
He was depressed and cut off part of his ear which he gave to his prostitute friend.
Van Gogh only sold ONE painting in his lifetime! "The Red Vineyard" which now resides in Moscow at the Pushkin museum.
In 1889, Van Gogh put himself in a mental institution because of depression during a painting frenzy.
He enjoyed the gardens there and he began to draw with spiral curves.
He saw a Dr. Paul Gachet , a physician to many artists. He drew Dr. Gachet.
On July 27, at the age of 37, Vincent Van Gog shot himself in the chest. He died a few days later. His last words were: "La tristesse durera toujours." meaning: "The sadness will last forever."
Theo, Van Gogh's brother died  6 months later. He could not deal with his brother's death.They are buried side by side.
Vincent's mother threw away many of her sons drawings/paintings, but she lived long enough to see her
son 's  art become famous and world renown.
I could have told you Vincent, thank you!

A little tribute to you Vincent. Please press play. :)  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Comedy of Errors!

I spent Labor Day in San Clemente, helping my daughter move to Camp Pendleton. What a feat that was!
 I no longer have youth's energy. It was all worth it to spend time with our darling Robert!
We came home to my $1,800 May Tag 5 1/2 year old refrigerator burnt out! Just a week prior to this, my Neptune Maytag top of the line washer and dryer quit on me. The washer and refrigerator have both been rebuilt since we purchased them 5 1/2 yrs. ago.
Sarah found a great refrigerator on Craig's List. We bought it, and her dad helped me bring it home. As we were unloading our trip to San Clemente, we were also bringing the new refrigerator in the house. I cannot do any lifting because of certain surgeries. Ray was on his own, he and a dolly.
As Ray was on the second front porch step, a wasp stung him right on his jugular vein. He kept right on moving.
My salmon, chicken, and a bunch of frozen casseroles were all ruined inside of my pooped out refrigerator! Yuk!
Well, the refrigerator didn't fit through the kitchen threshold. After removing much molding from my door frames, and after adrenaline rushing while watching Ray carry in a refrigerator up three narrow steps by himself, I cleaned the refrigerator and made us something to eat.
That evening, I went to my garage to get a screw driver. I always walk in through the small door. Unannounced to me, Sarah's dad had opened the large, heavy, wooden door. He left it opened. I was in the dark and slam!! I rammed my forehead smack into the uplifted door salvage. I saw stars and tripped to the ground.
 I went inside to give Ray a piece of my mind, and there he was icing his big old swollen wasp sting. I just went and made myself an icepack for my forehead bump and said nothing. Whew!
The next morning, I decided to wash my filthy car before marketing for new groceries. I am outside in 100 degree weather with my phone in my pocket; washing my car. All of a sudden, no kidding! Over 100 wasps circled me. I had a hose in my hand , so I squirted them and ran inside the house. I went to call my friend, but my phone was ruined from squirting the wasps. I left through the back door to run my errands. As I drove down the street, a huge U-Haul darts in front of me without blinking and THEN!! they stopped dead in front of me to read a street sign. I had to swerve over and hit the curb to avoid hitting them UNREAL!!!
I commenced my way to Sears to pay a bill with adrenaline pumping still.
 By the front entrance into Sears, there was a homeless, schizophrenic man eating out of the trash.
He was speaking in a very high pitched woman's voice and answering himself back with a low, low Baritone man's voice. It made chills down my spine. I had my hand on the door and froze for a second. When he started waving his huge arms around, I ran inside Sears and reported him!
I had a wonderful lunch with a very wonderful friend on the way home from my strange morning.
She shared some easy, wonderful recipes with me. I will post them very soon. I want her permission. I made them today already for dinner!
To end this comedy of errors day, I decided to finish some curtains I am sewing for my daughter. I was ironing the fabric when an Ant, God knows where it came from! It bit me on the white of my eyeball. Screaming, I ran to the bathroom and flushed him out with cold water. I looked with a magnifying glass and part of him was still in me. I got tweezers and pulled it out. I spent last night with a bump on the forehead and tonight with a swollen eye!
I thank God that I still have His peace. But my flesh thinks: "What in the HECK is going on?"
With fires Earthquakes, Wars, and the terrible economy, my cares are minute. It somehow feels better to share them, and to LAUGH at them!
Have a great upcoming weekend.
I enjoyed the stars last night . I have a painting of them I will share this weekend!
Be well, and God Bless us all!
Robinbird :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


As I was outdoors watering my plants around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, I sat down and just stared at the beautiful  moon. It was so glowingly brilliant; it made all of my plants glisten with shadowy hues.
There was a faint breeze and I just started thanking God for His majesty. How still was the night!:
I was reminded of a scripture from the book :   (Romans, Chapter 1, verses 20-21) "For since the beginning of creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made,/ so that men ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE for although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images..." 

I was meditating on how magnificence the moon is!
How could anyone question the existence of God? He constantly speaks through His glorious wonders and creations! So faithful is the moon, like a loyal friend, /lover/teacher/presence of a sentinel. Thank you God for tonight's moon!
I would like to share a painting that I painted from a view of the moon from my front porch.

In Genesis Chapter 1, verse 14,
God made 2 great lights.
The greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night.  He also made the stars. He set them in the expanse of the sky to separate light from darkness.

On July 21, 1969, man set foot on the MOON!
The moon has been called Earth's natural satellite.
It is the brightest object in the sky; second to the sun.
It is called the night's sun.

The Moon's gravitational influence produces the ocean's tides and the minute lengthening of the day.
We get Lunar calendar from studying the moon.
There are cultural influences from the moon: language - art - mythology - calendars - poetry- prose- and music -  the body's monthly cycles, and Religion also.

In 1380 the noun, moon was developed from the word mone (from 1135 from the pro-Germanic word of moon= "maenon"
The English adjective pertaining to moon is Lunar derived fom the Latin = "Luna"

The Moon's inner core is iron-rich. It's outer crust is "anorthosite" = moonrock; developed through factional Crystallization of a global  "magna ocean formed 4.5 billion years ago.
The kind of pools or craters you can see with your naked eye are called, "MARIA" Latin for "pools" they are solidified pools of ancient basaltic lava. The moon does have a magnetic field.
It orbits completely around the earth every 27.3 days. It appears to be locked in place as it slowly rotates about it's axis which is about the same time it takes to orbit the earth. It use to be faster, but now it is "tidally locked" associated with the deformations caused by the earth.
The moon is about 1/4 the size of the earth.
The moon has small "moonquakes."
There is a 5,000 year old rock carving of the moon in KNOWTH, Ireland which is one of the oldest civilized depictions found there.

In ancient cultures, the moon was personified as a deity or as something supernatural.
Astrological views of the moon continue to propagate today.
The moon has a long association with insanity and irrationality: the words: "LUNACY, LOONY" are derived from the Latin (LUNA) meaning moon. Lunatic

Philosophers: Aristotle and Pliny, the elder, argued that the full moon induced insanity in susceptible individuals, believing that the brain, which is mostly water, must be affected by the moon and it's power over the tides, but the moon's gravity is too slight to affect a person's brain.
EVEN TODAY: some people insist that admissions to Psychiatric hospitals,
Traffic Accidents,
Suicides, and
Births are closely associated with a full moon!

"That's Amore" one of my favorite songs, sung by Dean Martin; mentions how the moon hits your eye like a big Pizza Pie. Also, one of my favorite movies, "Moonstruck" equates love happening with a full moon!

Listed here are some songs about the moon:
Whole Of The Moon
Moon Shadow
Moon Dance
Moon River
Drunk On The moon
Bike Ride To The Moon
Climbing To The Moon
Spidery Moon
Cajun Moon
Moon On My Shoulder
Moon Rise Blues
Bark At The Moon
There's A Moon In The Sky
Sisters Of The Moon
Mr. Moonlight
Yellow Moon
Pink Moon
KikioAnd The Lavender Moon
Walking On The Moon
New Moon On Monday
Bad Moon Rising
Moon Over Bourbon Street
How High The Moon
Blue Moon....and may more.

Moon Quotes:

" I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it."... Albert Einstein

" Three things cannot be long hidden:
1.The Sun 
2. The Moon 
3. and the Truth..." Buddha

"Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody." ... Mark Twain

"See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...
We need silence to be able to touch souls." ... Mother Teresa of Calcutta

" And God said, let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." Genesis 1 verse 14.

**********We need to be prepared with the Lord for Matthew 24:29 will occur. ************
The good news for Christians is: Isaiah 60 verses 19 to 22.

Scriptures mentioning the MOON:

PSALMS:  ...72 verse 5  
89 verse 37   
104 verse 19    1
21 verse 6

GENESIS:...1 verses 15 - 16

DEUTERONOMY ...4 verse 19
17 verses 3-6
33 verse 14

MATTHEW ...4 verse 24
24 verse 29

JEREMIAH ... 8 verses 1 - 3

ISAIAH ... 60 verse 20
13 verse 10

SONG OF SOLOMON ... 6 verse 10

1 CORINTHIANS 15 verse 41

JEREMIAH ... 31 verse 35 and 36

1 SAMUEL ...  20 verses 5 - 6

Hold hands with someone you love and gaze at the stillness of the moon together: I dare you !
You WILL feel the presence of God!
Love, Robinbird

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pass it forward...

...So, I have this friend who has started a blog! I am a pretty seasoned Christian, and I have become selective about what I read these days. Sometimes, when you have heard one story, it seems that you've heard them all (so similar) not THIS blog!
Julie makes you believe that you are sitting next to a dear friend who's life and experiences are there to teach you! I am speaking of "anointed."
I find myself looking forward to being blessed on a daily bases from reading her blog: www.wingsoffaithdevotionals.blogspot.com
I am sharing the gift of her blog with you all.
Please become one of her followers. I want to encourage this humble writer to keep on writing. You will be blessed!!!!!!

Refreshing Grape Salad

I enjoyed this absolutely GREAT salad at my friend's home on several occasions.
Sorry, this picture does not do it justice. I wasn't at home to put it in a beautiful crystal dish, but oh! it was DELICIOUS!
She has prepared it with green grapes only, and with red grapes only and once with mixed grapes. Every time was scrumptious!!!!!
I have a sweet tooth so I add a little more brown sugar and a little more nuts when I prepare this recipe.
It is the talk-all at every single function I have taken it to!
I would like to share this recipe with you ONLY, LOL! if you give me feedback (please) and tell me how you made yours?

4 pounds of seedless grapes
1- 8 ounce cream cheese
1- 8 ounce sour cream
1/4- cup of brown sugar
1 cup -regular sugar
1/4 cup -of mixed nuts

Soften cream cheese at room temperature
wash and DRY the grapes (important not to have wet grapes)
Put white sugar, sour cream, cream cheese, in a large bowl and mix together, then mix in with the grapes
Separately mix chopped nuts together with brown sugar, just right before you serve this; sprinkle this mixture on top (generously) of grape salad, kind of like a loose crust
I used a cup of cashews instead of walnuts, I also used 1 cup of brown sugar
you may chill this salad without the topping until you serve it for a cool, crisp and crunchy dessert!
I promise, you will enjoy this one!
Bon Appetite! Love, Robinbird :)