Friday, February 27

Friday Finds: Easter Cards & Egg Ornaments!

Today's Finds are designs I've created for celebrating either Spring or Easter or both!



I designed this ceramic ornament to look like a painted egg! It's ready to hang, perfect to use for decorating for Easter!
 The design is the same on both sides and you can customize the text in the middle--perhaps changing it to "Spring" or putting that special child or grand-child's name in!
 A cute gift to put in Easter baskets!


A beautiful photo of Dogwood blossom! Inside features the "Legend of the Dogwood," story and space for you to add your own message for printing or leave it blank to write in later!
A lovely card for rejoicing in the real meaning of Easter!



A gorgeous notecasd that can be used for celebrating Spring or Easter! Just change the front text to say what you want! The inside is also ready for whatever message you want to have printed or you can leave it blank to hand write later! The photo is one of my own Pansies!


A fresh, spring themed card featuring photos of my own "Cheers Daffodils" from bud to full flower and an original Haiku!  Inside has a optional scripture and also space for you to write a message for printing or you can leave it blank to write your own later!


How about a cute spring themed stamp for all your spring mail? 
This is a small size Zazzle stamp--the same size as a Forever stamp and is done in Naive Art style, which is an art style that is simple and child-like. The design is meant to capture the flavor of an elementary drawing, since these tulips are exactly how I used to draw them as a kid! The scrawling text style is called Darlin'. 
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Zazzle often has direct email "Flash Sales" that they send to anyone signed up for email notices, which are usually really good discounts for short periods!
 If you'd like such notices, just go to my store, scroll to bottom and sign-up in the space provided! 
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That's it for today!  Thanks for visiting! See you Monday!

Thursday, February 26

Mama Kat Thursday: What Did That Song Say?

The Mama Kat Topic for today is: "Analyze a Popular Song You Heard on the Radio, Past or Present, and What Exactly Does It Mean?"

The Kingsmen, 1963
Funny thing--I just rather recently listened to a radio interview with Jack Ely , who was the lead singer for the Kingsmen at the time they recorded the song "Louie Louie" in 1963. He called in to the talk radio program to set the record straight on a number of things, including the song's lyrics. (You can hear that interview on YouTube here. That's where I heard it.)

I was generally familiar with Louie Louie when I was a teen in the early 70's, but I was unaware of the controversy originally surrounding it. So, I found Jack Ely's re-tell of the circumstances that created the controversy fascinating--particularly since I'm a Hoosier. He also explained the harmless lyrics, which I'll show you further on.

Mr. Ely spends a good deal of time putting out rumor-fires about both the Kingsmen and Louie Louie. Apparently a band member put out a book with numerous inaccuracies, including what was paid for the recording session. Jack said they recorded Louie Louie in a Portland, Oregon studio for the price of $10 per band member for a total of $50.00 for one recording session.
He also explained how the song came to have it's unique sound. Apparently the record producer was trying to get a "live performance" sound, so he mounted the microphone to the ceiling, 15 feet above the band members. He then arranged the band around Jack Ely, who stood in the center, his head leaned all the way back, yelling the song upwards at the microphone!
That's how "Louie Louie" came to have such a strange  pronunciation.


Then Mr. Ely explained how the rumors that a bad word was in the song got started. Apparently the teeny-bopper daughter of a woman who was friends with the Governor of Indiana listened to a 45 vinyl record of Louie Louie at 33 RPM speed, which is a slower phonograph speed then a 45 should be played at, resulting in heavy distortion. That's when the teen girl decided she detected a foul word--the worst foul word--the Queen Mother of All Foul Words in "Louie Louie." So she told her Mom, who told her bestie, the governor's wife, who told her hubby and he had the song banned in the State of Indiana.
  (That was Governor Matthew Welsh, by the way.)
Eventually a full blown investigation by the FBI resulted, which, in the end, turned up nothing on the song or the band.

As to the lyrics, Mr. Ely explained "Louie Louie," is as story song about a Jamaican sailor telling a bartender named "Louie," about getting home to see his girl. Here's the actual lyrics:

Chorus
Louie Louie, oh no
Me gotta go
Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said
Louie Louie, oh baby
Me gotta go
***
Fine little girl waits for me
Catch a ship across the sea
Sail that ship about, all alone
Never know if I make it home
(Chorus)
Three nights and days I sail the sea
Think of girl, constantly
On that ship, I dream she's there
I smell the rose in her hair.
(Chorus)
Okay, let's give it to 'em, right now!
(Guitar Solo)
See Jamaica, the moon above
It won't be long, me see me love
Take her in my arms again
Tell her I'll never leave again
(Chorus)
Let's take it on outa here now
Let's go!! 
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Mr. Ely was lead singer with the Kingsmen only for Louie Louie. Due to some internal wranglings within the band, he left shortly thereafter. The Vietnam War was on-going at the time and his draft number came up in 1966 and he served until 1968. He presently owns a horse farm in Oregon, where he lives with his wife and is 72. He's a Christian now and released an Christian album in November 2012 called, "Love is All Around You Now."
(Info on that at www.jackely.com if you're interested.)
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So there you have it. There's no bad words in Louie Louie. 
(Something I can't say about a majority of songs these days!)
The moral of the story, I think, is never listen to a 45 record at 33 RPM and don't believe girls who do.
Thanks for visiting! 
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For Friday Finds tomorrow I'll be featuring some of my Easter designs, so do stop back for a look!

Wednesday, February 25

Garden Pic Wednesday: Cheers to Spring

Today's Garden Pics are shots of my Cheers Daffodils from bud to fully open to vase!
Cheers Daffodils are a cluster style daffodil with multiple small double blossoms. I ordered them from a nursery catalog and those 5 original bulbs multiply every year, giving me more and more!
They have a light, sweet fragrance reminiscent of baby powder.

Buds:

 Ready to Open: 

Fully Open:


Vased with Dusty Miller: 


This is a small nosegay style arrangement in a 5-inch ginger jar vase with 3 stems of Cheers Daffodils and two Dusty Miller stems with the Daffodils arrangement in a cluster on one side & Dusty Miller on the other. Both perform well in a vase!
A lovely Cheer-ful bouquet to brighten this gray & rainy winter day with their sweet fragrance! 
(Dusty Miller can be rooted in water, so I'm hoping these might root along the way, too!)
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You'll notice I have a new Park Seed ad to the right now.
They're the seed company I order my garden seeds and they provide both good product and good service. So I joined their affliate program!
Be sure to check them out for your garden needs!
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That's it for today! Do check out my Mama Kat Thursday post!

Tuesday, February 24

Polyvore Tuesday: Blue & Coral Fashion

Today's fashion themed set was a contest set sponsored by the brand name consignment business, The Real Real.
The shoe & the bag were items provided in the contest and I continued their color scheme of blue, black & coral throughout the rest of the set with items from Polyvore's extensive clip art---with coral being a challenging color to find!
I didn't win, but I like the set because the coral was such a challenge to make work!

Date Night Dressing with The RealReal: Contest Entry

Date Night Dressing with The RealReal: Contest Entry 

Other Good News:
I use Serif.com DrawPlus5 for my design work, but that platform has been replaced with a newer version since I purchased it 3 years ago. But, as a previous purchaser, they finally sent me a really good deal on upgrading to the new platform, DrawPlus6 plus free shipping! This time it's coming to me as a disc in the mail rather then a direct down-load, which is much better. I'll have a hard-copy as a back-up. So, I'm looking forward to getting that in the mail this week!

Also, the Fitness Center we belong to has changed hands and they wanted to do something about changing the Stretch & Flex class I attend, because it's more Gentle Yoga really then a simple Stretch & Flex.  If it was going to be called a Stretch & Flex class, the new owners wanted one that any fitness instructor could teach rather then one that was still just technically Yoga, when there were lots of Yoga classes already. 
This raised a considerable squawk from the attendees. Also it would have made the monthly class outing to a local restaurant for lunch go away.
For me, this class, regardless of name, is exactly what I need and over the past year I've experienced a huge benefit in joint strengthening, balance & relaxed, stretched as well as toned muscles. Plus, I like the instructor, whose name is Candy.
It was supposed to change today, so when I drove down, I had no idea what sort of Stretch & Flex thing I'd be getting.
But Candy was there--good news: she said they were going keep both her and our stretch-yoga class on Tues. & Thurs mornings, which is when I go, but it will be re-named accordingly.
Most importantly, the monthly lunch out my "Gentle Yoga" class will continue! Yay!
So I feel really happy with the outcome of that!
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That's all the excitement for today! Stop back tomorrow for pretty Garden pictures!

Monday, February 23

Good Eating Monday: Shrimp-Asparagus Stir-Fry With Lemon Sauce!

Greetings! Last week of February!
 My flower beds are starting to come alive! Lot's of nice pictures for Garden Pic Wednesday this week!

This weeks Good Eating recipe is another one from Pinterest I decided to test:
Shrimp Asparagus Stir-Fry With Lemon Sauce!
The picture was so pretty plus I happen to love shrimp! Hubby is less enthusiastic about them, but willingly gave it a try.
He generally likes Chinese.

The original recipe called for fresh shrimp I would need to peel & de-vein (ugh) and fresh asparagus ($$)!
I also increased the ginger & garlic amounts, because going by the recipe didn't give it enough flavor & I increased the cornstarch to compensate for the added water from using frozen shrimp. The original recipe also called for lemon juice, which I didn't use and I found lemon zest alone made it plenty lemony enough.
 (I'm not a huge fan of too much lemon anyway.)
So I have transformed this recipe into a quick EASY recipe by using frozen medium cooked shrimp & frozen whole asparagus!
I happened to use a plain Steamer type and just microwaved the asparagus for half the time, making it easy to cut and quick to cook.

Easy Shrimp-Asparagus Stir-Fry With Lemon Sauce
Ingredients:
1 (14oz bag) frozen medium cooked shrimp, already peeled & de-veined.
2 packages frozen whole asparagus, thawed & sliced into 2 inch lengths.
4 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated or minced fresh Ginger
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoons Reduced Salt Soy Sauce
2/3 cup low salt chicken bouillon or stock
Salt to taste, if needed
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Optional Additional Vegetables: chopped red bell pepper for more color, sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced onions, sliced scallions.
Optional Additional Seasoning: A shake of Mrs. Dash Spicy, if you like a slightly spicier stir-fry or if you like a sweeter sauce, add a teaspoon or two of sugar.

Directions:
In cold skillet add olive oil & half the minced garlic. In a separate small bowl combine rest of garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, ginger, soy sauce, chicken broth, cornstarch & any optional seasonings and whisk together; set aside. 

Turn on heat under skillet to med-high and let the garlic cook in oil about 15 seconds to favor oil If you're using additional fresh veggies, add them now & stir-fry to crisp-tender, then add sauce, stirring until beginning to thicken slightly. Then add *frozen cooked shrimp and thawed, sliced asparagus, stir-frying in sauce until just heated through & sauce is thickened, just a few minutes.
Serve over steamed rice.
*With frozen cooked shrimp it's easy to over-cook them, so it's important to add them last & cook still just heated through.
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At my Pinterest, I have a board called, "Pinterest Recipes I've Tested," each complete with notations on whether they're good or just okay and what improvements might be needed, if any.
I've hit on many excellent ones!
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Have a great day!  Do stop back for Polyvore Tuesday!