Tuesday, September 2

Polyvore Tueday: Shell Shocked: Donatella

Well, I finally found some inspiration for Polyvore sets again---the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(2014) film!
In the same way I did a whole set of Marvel Avengers sets with fashion matching the hero's color scheme, I've now done for the Turtles. I actually got the idea from someone else's TMNT Polyvore set I saw in Pinterest.
Each of my sets will feature film-framed picture of a Turtle characters, a fashionable leather themed outfit, a city-scape of New York, a background reflective of that particular characters style or interests and a name "signature" in a style I thought fitting to that character's personality.

First up: Donatello. 
His color is Purple. Tallest of the Turtles, he's the brainiac of the team, good with science, electronics, mathematics & mechanics. He builds, invents & jury-rigs all the Turtles technology. His  speciality weapon is the Bo Staff, which is in keeping with his milder, more peaceable nature.
I'd consider him probably a book-worm intellectual, highly detail orientated.  His signature: thoughtful and neat with conservative curl on the "D".
(I say bookworm because the movie set had piles and piles of books around: on shelves, under the tables, every place. Not to mention video games & the fact  Donnie uses a computer, the internet, etc. So I'm sure Splinter made sure they could all read, since he apparently could, though Donnie probably just enjoyed it more then the others.)
Shell Shocked/Donatello

The set background has a geometric-scientific theme and the glasses in the foreground are a nod toward the glasses they put on the movie character.
Each set is topped with "Shell-Shocked," which is the movie song tract title featured at the end of the film.
One has to keep in mind, despite their brawny size on-screen, the Turtles are still just 15-16 year old kids, figuring out who they are & what they can do.

Thursday, August 28

Mama Kat Thursday: Two Before & After Projects

The Mama Kat Prompt topic for today is:
"Show Us a Before & After."

Last fall and this spring I had two major drainage issue locations: one in the back yard and one on the side of the garage.
After hours of TLC they're greatly improved. Here's the before & after on both:
First: The Back Yard Pond:
This happened every time we had a heavy rain:

Same spot as it looks now. Paradise.
I took advantage of the naturally concave area by edging it with flagstones and filling the center with gravel & water loving plants.
The Chocolate Elephant Ears here are gorgeous!

Second, The Other Pond:
This bed edges on the garage near the front of the house.

I edged the bed with paving blocks, raised the dirt level on the grass side, then planted grass plugs. Now that it's late summer, 
it's nicely filled in!

I consider rate these two projects among my most successful---though not all gardening experiments are. :)

Thanks for visiting!
What was one of your most successful DIY projects?
Because of the Labor Day holiday and we spend it celebrating our 32nd Wedding Anniversary,
I won't return to post again Sept 2 for Polyvore Tuesday when I'll start featuring a set of
fashion sets themed on Ninja Turtle colors!  

Wednesday, August 27

Garden Pic Wednesday: The Bowling Ball Project

I mentioned last week that I'd come into a free bowling ball that a military guy, who moved away left us, one that is no good anymore for bowling. So, I decided to try a little garden art with it.
 I've seen the pretty shiny chrome bowling balls on Pinterest, so I wanted to try that.
It's trickier then it might sound. 
First, it takes several coats with dry times in between, so it took a couple hours to do.
Second, the various engraved brand emblems aren't completely concealed, just painted over, so you have to turn it to it's best side when you put it out in the garden.
Third, you must use exactly the right Shiny type Krylon Chrome spray paint to get the glossiest results--which I ended up not having. I found a duller Short Shot Chrome that only cost $1, since I didn't really know Chrome came in two shades. But I had shiny silver spray paint on hand, so I used that to make it a shiny silver, which isn't as reflective as chrome.
Fourth, once the ball is painted, you can't apply anything else to it without dulling all your hard work. No polish of any sort. No wax. And I've read clear seal paints dulls, so I knew not to try that.

The Before Picture:

The Result:
I ended up with a shiny silver gazing ball, because I used the silver paint, but I decided that's all I wanted to do with it at this time. 
Next season I'll look into the proper chrome paint and repaint. I didn't want the ball on the ground, so I bought this metal pot stand from Lowe's for $10 to put the ball on and set it out in my rain garden.
It's still a nice eye-catching feature.

The After Picture:

It also shows water drop marks from the rain.
I don't remember anyone in Pinterest mentioning that.
So what was your last Pinterest project and how did it come out?

Tuesday, August 26

Polyvore Tuesday: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014

This week, I was inspired by the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 2014 film to do a set featuring the movie character Turtles.
We've seen the movie twice. The first time it's just about following the action; the second time allows paying attention to more details and catching dialogue not caught previously.
The film is a good mix of humor & action.
On the 2nd viewing, we stayed till the end of credits (though there's nothing after them), then walked out. Another couple apparently did the same and walked out behind us. 
That guy asked us, "Did you enjoy the movie?"
We turned around to see a black couple about our own age (50-60) 
and said, "Yes, we did."
The lady clenched her fists excitedly and said, "When that comes out, I'm going to get it!" (She was practically jumping up and down.)
So you see there's no age limit on Ninja Turtle love!

TMNT--The Movie (2014)

TMNT--The Movie (2014) by madamdreamweaver 

One of the bad guy characters in the film, Mr. Sacks, described the Turtles as "box turtles," they were experimenting on, which is highly inaccurate--though I think this careless reference is meant to show Sacks indifferent and uncaring attitude.

The film opens showing the turtles as the pet water turtles most of us are familiar with who have ever seen them: Red-eared Sliders.
They have green stripes and a red colored mark on both sides of their heads. They are a true terrapin (i.e. turtle) Semi-aquatic.
(Box Turtles, despite their name, are actually land tortoises.)
I just wanted to point out that error in distinction. Mr Sacks cared about the results; not the subjects.

Want to find out which Ninja Turtle you are?
You can take the test here, at BuzzFeed: Which Turtle Are You?

I took the test. Guess who I came out to be? 
Donatello. Naturally.
My husband took the test. Guess who he is?
Actually that's pretty true to who we are: the brain and the fun guy.
A match made in heaven!

So which Ninja turtle are you?

Monday, August 25

Good Eating Monday: Wasp Cake!

Greetings!  Today's foray into deliciousness is a 4 ingredient snack cake called "Wasp Cake."

A Wasp Cake I Made Last Week
It can also be called "Wasp Nest Cake." 
It gets it's name from the unique honey-comb like texture it develops during baking as the butterscotch morsels melt into it!
No frosting. Just bake, cool & serve!

Wasp Cake

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 small box of Cook-n-Serve Pudding, either vanilla or butterscotch.
2 cups of milk
8 oz butterscotch morsels (Or if you have a 12 oz bag, like I did, 
8 oz is roughly 1 1/2 cups.)

Stir pudding & milk together in a large batter bowl that you can microwave and microwave at 2 minutes intervals, stirring and cooking until thick & bubbly. (Or you can do it in a pan on the stove top if you prefer.)
Remove from microwave and pour box cake mix into the pudding and stir till well blended. Stir in 1 cup of butterscotch chips the pour into an oil sprayed 9 x 13 pan (or 9 x 10 if you want thicker cake).
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of butterscotch morsels over top, then bake at 320 degrees for 30 minutes. (or until center is done.)
Cool & cut. 
Now, I didn't have a Cook n' Serve Pudding when I wanted to make my Wasp Cake, so I used a small box of instant butterscotch pudding that I had on hand. It works. I just had to be quick about combining the cake mix with the pudding & milk before it starting setting up.
I poured the congealing cake batter into a oiled 10 x 13 pan, spread it evenly in the pan with a spatula, topped it with butterscotch morsels and baked it at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.
(Baking time is a bit longer if you use instant pudding, because it starts cold.)
I Wasp Cake recipe I have calls vanilla pudding, but I like the butterscotch much better & recommend that.
Wasp cake makes a delicious, moist, quick & easy cake!

The piece I ate!

Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

Friday, August 22

Friday Finds: New Swahili Bibles In Kenya

Hubby has gotten to be friends with a Kenyan pastor through the Navigator Discipleship Network online. (The Navigators is our missions organization.) Though, Pastor Davis isn't a Navigator, he is interested in discipling his congregation & helping them learn to disciple others. So he and Hubby share that interest.
 In case you don't know where Kenya is, it's a country on the east side of Africa just south of Ethiopia that has a border on the Indian Ocean.
Davis in a city, but out in the country and his "church" is a frame with a dirt floor and a canvas tarp for a roof. ( I just mention that so you'll have a correct mental picture and not imagine an actual building such as we have in America when I say words like "church" or "pastor.") 
Though official language of Kenya is English, the common language
is Swahili. 
(If you're a Star Trek fan you might remember that is the character Uhura's native tongue as well.)
The thing is, only a very few people in his congregation even own a their own Swahili language Bible! Most do not have their own Word of God to read. It's an expensive luxury in their culture. 
So, with our Air Forces kids who attend our base Bible Study, we put together sort of an informal giving project, so Davis could buy some Bibles for his congregation.

Today's find is the pictures Davis sent on Hubby's Facebook of those Bibles and some of his people with them:

First, a picture of Pastor Davis with the new box of Swahili Bibles he purchased:
50 Bibles.
 (Which involved a major road trip to get to a book store to even order!)

Next: A number of his church members with their new Bibles:

Last and probably most touching: 
This 90 year old man dropped to his knees with joy and tears, praising God for this, his first Bible, when Davis gave it to him.

Though they've only had these Bibles little more then a week, Davis reports many of these new Bible owners
have already nearly finished reading Genesis!
They are just so excited.
So where's your Bible? 
On shelf gathering dust or in your hands, being read, a privilege you see that not everyone in the world has?

Thursday, August 21

Mama Kat Thursday: Vintage Velveeta Recipe

The Mama Kat blog prompt for today is: "Share a favorite recipe from your childhood that you still make today."

Golden Meatball Casserole. It's a vintage Velveeta back-of-the-box recipe that my Mom made when I was growing up and that I still make!  Who can resist Velveeta?
 The hubby loves it. 
I usually make it for him for his birthday and generally fairly often during the winter months.
It's rich, cheesy and delicious skillet meal that only takes about 40 minutes to put together in total, including prep time--as long as you use frozen meatballs!
For this recipe you'll need either a large skillet,12-inches diameter size or a 16-inch size electric skillet. Either will work.

Golden Meatball Casserole Recipe:
1 bag containing 28-33 frozen regular size meatballs in either beef or turkey. (Italian is fine)
1 cup of chopped carrot. (1 inch chunks for regular size; 1/2 inch for baby carrots)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh green pepper (or multi-color frozen bell pepper strips)
1 cup raw, uncooked medium or long grain rice
3 cups of water
1 1/2 to 2 inches of Velveeta, which = about 5 or 6 quarter-inch slices. (can be either low fat or regular Velveeta). 
Salt & Pepper to taste.

First chop your 1 cup of carrots into chunks, then boil them in a small pan of water for 5 minutes to pre-cook them a little. (You can make the carrot water part of the 3 cups of water you add later.)

While the carrots are cooking, in a oil sprayed skillet: add onions, peppers, meatballs and raw rice. Give a light stir to combine and spread around pan. Give a shake of salt & pepper over top. Once the carrots have cooked 5 minutes, scoop them out of the water and add to the skillet. Now add 3 cups of water to the skillet (including hot carrot water). Give a light stir to combine. Bring the skillet contents to a bubbling boil over medium high heat, then turn down to simmer, cover with a lid and simmer 25 to 30 minutes until all the water has been absorbed by rice. (You make want to check and stir about halfway.)

Now you can turn off the heat. Remove the skillet lid, add your slices of Velveeta to skillet casserole, then cover again and let sit 5 minutes or until all the cheese is melted. (I break the slices up into small chunks to melt faster.) Once cheese is melted, give casserole one final stir, then serve. Makes 4 good servings.
That's it. My childhood recipe. Hope you try it!
If you don't like green peppers, substitute frozen broccoli or green peas. The kids will love it!

So, what was your favorite meal growing up?