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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pretty felt bouquet or felt topiary tree

There are such beautiful colors of felt available now. I got bright spring colors.  You can podge the glass jar with fabric or pretty paper to make it attractive.
You will need several squares of bright colored felt maybe seven or eight and three or four grren ones for leaves. Light green and dark green ...also a  midtone blue one. You will need a bundle of twigs, florists' tape, gluegun, scissors, marker for drawing shapes and a container. Then just follow the pictures. Use three hearts per flower.
You might even want to try a felt flower Topiary

You will need

*About 6 sheets of colored felt ( any color)and six sheets of green felt
*1 - 5 inch round ball of Styrofoam
*A wooden dowel (at least a foot long)
*Flower pot
*1 foam chunk that fits into the flower pot
*Craft paint (to paint the dowel and possibly the pot)
*Hot glue and a glue gun
*Spanish Moss or wood shavings
*Twigs or pearl headed straight pins
You can make the heart flowers only a bit smaller and break the twigs off short so you can stick them in the  styrofoam ball or you can make another pattern of  felt flower like rose buds and use long straight pins with pearl  tops to pin them to the ball. You can also just cut out petal shapes and put four on each pin. Cut out leaf shapes and use three or four together...glue or pin. It will be so pretty.

Remember how to make Rosebuds?

Directions: For Rosebuds

Cut out circles, and cut circles into spiral shapes according to the diagram below. The size of the circle decides the size of your rose. Small is better on a topiary.
  1. Starting with the tail, and with the cut line as the base, roll spiral onto itself to create the bud. Secure with dabs of hot glue as you roll, and at the end, the round center becomes a base for the rosebud, which you secure with glue or with the pearl pins.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Prince William & Prince Harry Geek out Over 'The Dark Night'

Prince William and Prince Harry bow down to someone else other than the Queen ... the Dark Knight.

The Royal brothers -- along with pregnant Kate Middleton -- went batty acting like little kids checking out props from "The Dark Knight" trilogy at the opening of the new Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in London on Friday.

Even heirs to the throne think Batman is cool.

Witchy loves these guys ...
All foreign countrys love American culture, even the muslims have all our fast food chains in their countrys.

WOW How adorable is Kate? She looks happy, she has that "pregnancy glow", appropriately dressed (stylish yet comfortable and designed for the pregnant woman). Heels that don't appear to be "dangerously high".

It looks like Prince Harry is saying to prince William;
Imagine wearing this thing in Vegas. I could get so much ...well you know .


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
My daughter received an invitation to attend her high school's junior prom and I as a mother, have a few reservations  about this . My daughter  has performed poorly in school, and I don't think it would be a good idea for her to go . I told her the bad news  and she was disappointed . I explained why she can't attend  her junior prom  and she accepted the lecture . Do you think I was too hard on my daughter ?
Momma Knows Best
Dear Momma Knows Best ,
I understand wanting to take away privileges  when your child is not performing well in school, though I am not sure  that this is an effective choice  at this moment . One option could have been  for you to use the prom as an enticement  for her to attempt to perform better . You could have negotiated  terms with her  for attendance based on behavioral and / or academic improvements .
Additionally, you may want to investigate  her poor performance more thoroughly to find out the root  of her problems . Meet with her guidance counselor and teachers to figure out why she is not doing well . She may need  a tutor  or a psychologist . Solving challenges  at school is rarely  simple . Taking away a desireable  activity may seem to be a solution, but it may be touching only the surface  of her issues .

Dear Maxy ,
The other day , we invited  a couple out to lunch as our guests . However, my wife and I were upset  when they ordered appetizers without asking us . We never order appetizers, because  we watch our diets  and feel the dinner  provides plenty of food . Also, since we were paying  for it, why should they order something  we ourselves didn't order .
We Kept our thoughts to ourselves  but would like to know  whether this was proper .
Feeling Exploited
Dear Exploited ,
Guests should always take their cues  from the hosts . If you did not suggest appertizers, they should not have ordered them on their own . However, as hosts, you cannot insist that your guests share  your food preferences  in a restaurant . It would have been gracious of you to ask whether  they would like to order appetizers .

Dear Maxy ,
I'm a 23-year-old woman graduating with my MBA this May . I've paid my way through  college  and grad school  with no assistance . As a graduation present  to myself, I'm having a party . I'm financing this party all by myself . Since this is a major accomplishment, I wish my family would ask or offer  to help me plan, buy decorations  or if there's anything I need .
I feel they don't care. When I speak to my grandmother  about the party, her response is "I don't care  what you do, just don't make it here !" Not to have family support  makes me upset, and I'd think they'd want to  do all they can  to help me celebrate. Maxy , how do I let my family know my feelings ?
Needs my Family
Dear Needs Family ,
You need to lower your expectations . You may also want to  take a different approach . There is a chance  that your family feels like you do not need them  since you have done  it all on your own . If they are not as highly educated  as you, that could also be a source  of strain on some . Yes, you would hope that they  would be proud of your accomplishments ... and they may be . They just may not know how to engage you about it . Instead of looking for enthusiasm, plant some enthusiastic seeds . Ask your  mother  if she  would like  to help you decorate . Ask your grandmother  if she would like  to invite any of her friends . Ask things in bite size nuggets, small enough  that they can feel comfortable  responding without feeling overwhelmed . Coax them into being a part of your celebration . Some of them may come around  . Be sure to keep your good friends close, though , so that you will have emotional support .

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New 'Dirty Dozen' List of Pesticide-Laden Produce

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its newest Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides on Monday, which is Earth Day. And apples top its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues for the third year in a row.

Other changes from the 2012 findings: cherry tomatoes and hot peppers are newcomers this year. Blueberries and lettuce, meanwhile, dropped off the Dirty Dozen list. The environmental watchdog group uses data compiled by the USDA, based on pre-washed samples of 48 types of conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables, to produce its findings.

“I think most Americans would be very surprised about how prevalent pesticide residue is,” EWG senior analyst Sonya Lund said, noting that pesticides were still seen on 67 percent of the samples, which were all either washed or peeled before being tested.

Among the top three worst offenders—apples, strawberries and grapes—nearly every sample had pesticides on it, Lunder said, with one grape alone showing traces of 15 pesticides.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Services acknowledges that scientists do not have a full understanding of the health risks associated with exposure to pesticide residues through food, soil, water, or air. Still, notes EWG, various U.S. and international government agencies have linked pesticides to a slew of health risks, including cancer, hormone disruption, brain and nervous system toxicity and irritation to the skin, eyes and lungs.

Dirty Dozen 2013:

Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines (imported)
Cherry tomatoes
Hot peppers

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring Garden...Easiest seeds to grow

woman gardening backyard, orange boots

My garden is a work in progress — I’ve done all the landscaping myself, little by little over the summers we’ve lived here. But while I’d love to have a garden full of gorgeous perennials, I still have bare spots I need to fill in with annuals. That means spending money on plants every year — and that gets really expensive.
This year we don’t have much money to spend on the garden. Instead, I’ll be headed to a community event for some free compost, and instead of buying flats or pots of plants, I’ll be using seeds to fill in the bare spots and grow my vegetables.
Seeds are the cheapest way to plant a garden. They’re also portable — if you don’t have a car, you can pop your whole summer’s worth of planting into your purse to tote home. And you don’t have to worry about all the garbage created from those plastic flats.
For a lot of people, seeds can be intimidating (at least they are for me!). I don’t have the time or space to let them germinate in my house before planting. The good news is that not all seeds need to be fussed over before you pop them in the ground.
Last year, for example, I planted morning glories, green beans and carrots, and had nice full plants within a few weeks.
For anyone looking to garden on the cheap and plant with seeds this year, I’ve put together a quick cheat sheet with some of the easiest garden staples to grow from seeds. Take a look and put these on your list when you head to the garden centre.

Morning glories: Scatter your seeds at the bottom of a lattice or fence and watch them climb through the summer.
Cosmos: Tall with colourful flowers, these things grow and spread quickly — I love them. They can help fill in bare spots beautifully.
Green beans: Pop these into the ground and you’ll have beans for dinner all summer. Just make sure to plant them around a few poles or stakes to give them something to grow on.
Sweet peas: One of my favourite flowers, sweet peas are always much more lush when planted from seeds.
Sweet alyssum: I love alyssum and find that seeds actually yield the best results. Plant these and enjoy the heady scent in late August and through the early fall.
Catnip: Good for cat lovers — but beware of attracting all the neighbourhood cats and having your garden become the block toilet for felines.
Arugula: These sprout quickly and abundantly — you get a lot of bang for your buck with these seeds.
Carrots:  Make sure you plant them far enough apart (my son dumped the whole bag of seeds on one spot and my carrots all grew together!). I’m hoping for better results this year.

19 Year Old Boston Marathon Bomber...Captured

Police have captured a 19-year-old man suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings with his older brother after a day-long manhunt that closed down the city and turned a working-class suburb into a virtual armed camp.

The break in the case sent waves of relief through the the Boston suburb of Watertown where armoured vehicles roamed the streets and helicopters flew overhead through the day. Residents and police officers cheered and clapped when the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was caught after an exchange of gunfire with police. A Massachusetts State Police spokesman said Tsarnaev was bleeding and in a serious condition in a hospital. He had been hiding in the stern of a boat parked in the backyard of a house in Watertown, police said. A resident called police after seeing blood on the boat. The extent of his injuries is unknown at present.

President Obama told reporters at the White House after the suspect's capture that questions remained from the bombings, including whether the two suspects received any help.
The Boston Police Department said in a message on Twitter: "CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody."
Boston Mayor Tom Menino said, "we got him" on Twitter.

Tsarnaev is one of two brothers believed to have set off bombs made in pressure cookers and packed with ball bearings and nails at the finish line of the world-famous event, killing three people and injuring 176. The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed on Thursday night (US time) in a shootout with police less than a mile from where today's capture took place.
Monday's bombing have been described by Obama as "an act of terrorism." It was the worst such attack on US soil since the plane hijackings of September 11, 2001, and set nerves on edge across the United States with a series of security scares. The brothers had not previously been on the radar as possible militants, US government officials said. But the FBI in 2011 interviewed the older of the two brothers, acting at the request of an unidentified foreign government. The matter was closed when it did not produce any derogatory information, according to the source, who declined to be identified.
After the capture of Tsarnaev, authorities said the investigation was still open. Police in New Bedford, Massachusetts, 96 km south of Boston said three other people had been taken into custody for questioning and released about Monday's bombings.
"No one was detained. No one was arrested," a spokesman with the Massachusetts FBI office said.
Earlier, Lieutenant Robert Richard of the New Bedford Police said that two men and one woman had been questioned "on the assumption there is an affiliation with suspect number two" - a reference to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Earlier, Alben said that officers went door-to-door in Watertown and searched houses. During the search for the men, two Black Hawk helicopters circled the area. SWAT teams moved through in formation, leaving an officer behind to ensure that searched homes remained secure. The normally traffic-clogged streets of Boston were empty as the city went into lockdown during the manhunt. Public transportation had been suspended and air space restricted. Famous universities, including Harvard and MIT, closed after police ordered residents to remain at home.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev posted links to Islamic websites and others calling for Chechen independence on what appears to be his page on a Russian language social networking site. On the site, the younger Tsarnaev identifies himself as a 2011 graduate of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, a public school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It says he went to primary school in Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan, a province in Russia that borders Chechnya, and lists his languages as English, Russian and Chechen. His "World view" is listed as "Islam" and his "Personal priority" is "career and money". He has posted links to videos of fighters in the Syrian civil war and to Islamic web pages with titles like "Salamworld, my religion is Islam" and "There is no God but Allah, let that ring out in our hearts".
He also has links to pages calling for independence for Chechnya, a region of Russia that lost its bid for secession after two wars in the 1990s. A video labelled "my brother messing around" shows a man resembling his dead brother Tamerlan laughing and imitating the accents of different Caucasian ethnic groups.
"I don't have a single American friend," one caption quotes him as saying. "I don't understand them."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
My sister "Suzie" has always been a bit of a flower child  and my parents think it's funny .
Suzie dropped out of high school  to pursue her "career" in something ... art , music , dance , yoga , whatever .
I usually gave her a place ti stay when she got evicted  and didn't want our parents to know , which was pretty often .
Suzie  and her husband (i'm not sure  whether they are legally married ) have been better since  my nephews was born .
Whay concedrns me is that  she won't take the kids to the doctor  when they get sick .
She just gives them some herbal remedy and sends them to bed .
The boys aren't very clean  , often have sniffles  and are almost  always in clothing the wrong size .
Suzie is homeschooling  the boys  , even though  neither  she nor her husband  graduated  from high school .
My oldest nephew is seven years old  and cannot read  , count to ten  or say his ABCs .
Suzie insists  that the children  be fed only vegan and organic  products .
When the boys stay with us  , which is fairly often lately , we feed them healthy balanced meals  that they wolf  down like they are staerving .
The oldest boy told me  they usually eat oatmeal  with some peanut butter  in it . I believe  both boys are anemic .
The family has on occasion , lived in their car . Suzie recently said they was going to live on the road  for awhile and the boys will adjust .
I think my nephews are being neglected .
She's leaving the boys with me  for two weeks this summer  , and I'm tempted to have  Child Protective Services  eveluate them . My wife agrees . My parents don't . I'm scared Suzie  will bolt with the kids  if she gets wind  of my suspicious . She's done it before .
I want the best for my nephews  . How do I go about it ?
Concern Uncle
Dear Concern Uncle ,
Don't wait until summer . Call Child Protective Services  anoymously  , and ask  them to investigate  the home invironment  now .(You need not inform your parents.) CPS may determine  that the kids  are in a loving , healthy-enough environment , in which case , please stop trying  to wrest control from Suzie  and concentrate  on making  your home a safe  , stable place  for your nephews .
If  CPS determines  that the kids  need to be removed  from Suzie's care  , I hope you will often to take thrm .

Dear Maxy, My husband is a kind and gregarious man . We have been married  for more than 25 years . The thing that bothers me is that he has so many females friends . In his line of work , he has to engage a lot of women , so I have always understood that this is a reality of his work life . I feel like there is always another woman calling up asking for his advice  or wanting to come over . There seems to be a constant strem of females in and out .
I suppose I should be grateful   that he doesn't hide them from me . I do not think he is having affairs . I think he enjoys  the attention  and has the reality  of his work to make it  OK . I want my husband to myself  . How can I make this happen ?
Tired of Sharing .
Dear Tired ,
The biggest challenge  you face is that you didn't put the brakes  on the "constant stream of females" for all these years . There is a clear pattern  that exists in your marriage that incorporates  these people . It may be jarring  to your husband  that suddenly , so many years  later you want the door to close .
That said , I believe  that you deserve  to have your husband's attention  more squarely focused on the two  of you  and your marriage . You have to tell him how you feel . Acknowledge  that you have been open to including  these women  in your lives  for so long  , but that you misss him and want to spend  time with him  without sharing his attention . Tell him that there  would be no greater gift  he could give you  than to turn his attention to you .

Dear Maxy ,
I'm a senior with two classes left , which I'm finishing online . My graduation  will be in my home state .
My close friend  is graduating as well , and her's is before mine . Of course I'm proud of her , but her graduation party is becoming to consuming  . I said I'd help plan  and handle whatever I can , but now I am back in school .
She has an attitude  because I wasn't able to make it to a cake testing  due to exams and is mad because  I can't take work of the day of her party , even though I'll be there on time . Can you please  give me advice on how to settle this .
Stretched Thin
Dear Stretched Thin,
You need to manage expectations  here . Sit your friend down  and talk to her  about what's going on in the coming days . Let her know how much you love her  and how much you want to support her .
Make it clear  that you can only do so much . Be direct  and specific about how you can help .
Let her know that because you too , are headed toward graduation and finishing  up classes  , your time is limited . Ask her for understanding and support . She may remain  mad , but at least  you will have stated  your situation as clearly as you are able .

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mini Swim Suit Cover-up

Isn’t it just precious?!

It was incredibly easy to make!
Materials (this is for a 3T/4T size, but can be worn a little longer):
1 yard terry fabric
1 spool 1.5″ ribbon
20″ of 1″ elastic
3.5″ velcro
fabric scraps
coordinating thread
First, take the terry cloth and cut it in half width-wise, making it 23″ by 36″.

Square up the sides, but don’t cut the bottom where the fabric is finished. This will be the bottom of your cover-up.
Serge around the 3 unfinished sides. If you don’t have a serger and don’t want to zigzag to finished the edges, skip this step.
Starting on the sides, fold over 1/2″ and pin. Sew using matching thread. (if you skipped the serging step, fold over twice to enclose your raw edge)
Then fold the top edge down 3″ and sew along the edge. (if you skipped the serging step, fold under 1/4″ and sew, then fold down 3″).
Then come up 1 1/8″ from the seam you just made and sew another one, creating a casing for your elastic.
Pin and sew the ribbon down, making sure to sew on either side of the casing you just made.
Make sure to leave at least 1 inch extra on both sides.
Then take your 20″ of elastic and thread it through the casing, leaving a little sticking out on each side.
Sew 1/4″ from the edge of the cover-up to secure the elastic in place.
I used matching thread in my bobbin so the seam didn’t stick out so much.
Then cut the elastic off even with the edge,
fold the ribbon over twice,
and sew in place.
This is what your cover-up will look like so far.
Then make your straps. I cut 2 pieces of fabric 3.5″ wide by 10″ long.
Fold each end up .5″ and iron.
Fold right sides together and sew down the length of the strap.
Use a safety pin to turn the straps right side out and iron flat, with the seam at the side.
To determine where to place your straps, it’s easiest to use the person you’re making the cover-up for. I used Sofie to get them approximate, then evened them out. If you don’t have someone to try it on, you’ll have to make a judgement call. Start by deciding how far you want the front piece to overlap and mark it with a pin. Then come in equal amounts from each side and place the straps. It was about 2″ for me, leaving approximately 4.5″ between the straps.
Open the cover-up up and pin the straps in place about 1/2″ down. Sew them down, using thread the color of your cover up, 1/4″ from the top edge.
Then sew an applique or other decoration to the bottom. For information on how I do applique, please visit my tutorial.
To finish the cover-up, cut a piece of velcro 3.5″ long.

Sew the rough half of the velcro on top of the ribbon on the part of the cover-up that’s inside. I sew around it several times to make sure it’s on good.

Then sew the soft side inside the outer flap of the cover-up. That way when they’re taking it off, if the velcro hits precious skin, it won’t scratch it.

Again I used matching thread in my bobbin to help the seam blend in.

But since we want it to be pretty, a big bow would hide that velcro part perfectly! So tie a bow from the ribbon,
place it on top of the cover-up and cut the ends to the desired length,
and hand sew it in place!

Ta Da! Perfection.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Apple Cranberry muffins

Adding fresh apples to this muffin batter is a nice way to incorporate fruit in a baked treat. Dried cranberries add a touch of tartness, but you can use raisins or any other dried fruit.


  • 1 cup 1cup(250 mL) buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) large-flake rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberrydried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup  (75 mL) natural wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup  (125 mL) liquid honey
  • 1/2 cup  (125 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) packed light brown sugar
  • 1egg
  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped cored peeled apple


In large bowl, mix together buttermilk, rolled oats, cranberries and wheat bran; let stand for 15 minutes. Stir in honey, oil, sugar and egg.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir into oat mixture just until combined. Stir in apple.

Divide among 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake in 375ºF (190ºC) oven until tops are firm to the touch, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan to rack; let cool completely. These muffins are very good and so good for you.

Blueberry Clafoutis

 Jean Longpre

Preparation time:10 minutes
Baking Time:30 minutes
Makes:6 Servings


  • 2 tsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tbsp for dusting
  • 1/2 pint blueberries, about 1 cup
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp orange liqueur
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • icing sugar (optional)
You’ll love this sweet decadent dessert baked with a creamy filling.


Preheat oven to 400F
. Brush 6 4-in. ramekins with butter and dust with 1 tbsp granulated sugar
. Divide blueberries among ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet
.Whisk eggs until frothy in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup sugar, cream, milk and liqueur
. Gently whisk in flour until just combined. Do not overmix. Scrape batter evenly over berries.
Bake in centre of oven until set but jiggly when gently shaken, about 20 min. Let stand 10 min. Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar.

Prep Tip:

Use a 9-in. glass pie plate instead of individual ramekins. Bake uncovered, 20 min. Cover with foil and continue baking until set but jiggly when gently shaken, 10 to 15 more min.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

To Bra or not to Bra

 A little-known French sports doctor who spent 16 years studying the busts of about 300 women sent a scare through a country known for its love of lingerie this week when he suggested bras were useless. Jean-Denis Rouillon, 62, was thrust into the limelight after he told a student radio station that his work suggested wearing a bra weakened the natural muscles that hold up breasts and women should consider going bra-less.

National radio picked up the story and Rouillon, based at the small University of Franche-Comte in the eastern town of Besançon, was soon being hounded by newspapers and TV. France Info radio interviewed a 28-year-old volunteer in the study, Capucine, who said abandoning her bra had liberated her in more ways than one, improving her breathing and posture.
"You breathe better, you stand up straighter, you have less back pain," she told the national news station.

Even the highbrow daily Le Monde weighed in, offering an historical insight into the origins of the bra dating back to the 14th century. Rouillon told Reuters that his unpublished work is still in the early stages and he is hesitant about giving one-size-fits-all advice to women, despite the media circus.

His preliminary results on 330 women aged 18 to 35 suggested that wearing a bra from an early age does nothing to help a wearer's breasts and going without could improve firmness.
"The suspension system of the breasts degenerates," Rouillon said, explaining that bras also unnaturally hamper circulation.
"But a middle-aged women, overweight, with 2.4 children? I'm not at all sure she'd benefit from abandoning bras," he added.

Recipient of womb transplant is pregnant... Istanbul

The first woman to have a successful womb transplant from a dead donor is pregnant, a hospital in southern Turkey said.
Derya Sert, 22, who was born without a womb, had been receiving in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment after the transplant in August 2011.
"Early test results are consistent with pregnancy. The patient is in good health at the moment. We will continue to update on developments in the coming period," Akdeniz University Hospital in Turkey's Mediterranean city of Antalya said in a statement late on Friday.
One in every 5,000 women globally is born without a womb, while thousands more have the organ removed due to cancer or other diseases, leaving them unable to get pregnant.
In September, doctors in Sweden performed the world's first mother-to-daughter womb transplants on two Swedish women, both in their 30s.