Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crystal Quest

My story, Crystal Quest (not Seedlings.  Sorry!), is upcoming in Mystic Signals. You can check out the blurb at the bottom of The Lorelei Signal webpage:

This is a fantasy tale of adventure, intelligent plants, and magic.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mood Board Monday (link)

This is a fun HGTV blog post that I thought was worth sharing.  Check out those marshmallow pops.  (I'm not sure exactly how they're made.)  Winter white link:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kitchen styles (link)

Look at the different versions of these styles: Country farmhouse, Modern, Cottage, Contemporary, Mediterranean or French Country, Coastal, Old World, and Traditional:

I want a style that's clean and cozy and has room for a kitchen table!  We have a galley kitchen now, but before the remodel, we had a little table (from our table collection) tucked in a corner with two chairs.  Nope, not a lot of room, and it had to go when we put in the new cabinets.  We have a dining room next to the kitchen--and we often eat on the back porch, but I'd love a kitchen table.  A breakfast room is the next best thing, of course.

Note: My remodeling book is available on Amazon Kindle:

 and Smashwords:


Friday, January 25, 2013

Pantry and storage ideas (link)

Check out these storage ideas for your kitchen that include clear containers, baskets, hooks, and over the door storage--all the basics, but you can also install shelves and fold-out doors, though my favorite pantry is in the big walk-in closet I designed for the house we built some years ago.  I could walk inside and see everything at a glance; there were three walls of shelves, and the heavy items and coolers went on the floor with trays and boxes to hold containers that might leak--'cause they did.  No doors; they would just be in the way, especially since our recycling bin was just inside the doorway with a straight shot out the side door where the garbage can was located.  And then we just walked them down the driveway to the road.  Long trip, btw.


Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Homes, kitchens, and gardens

There are some lovely makeovers in the February issue of Southern Living, though too often there was no need for a makeover. I am so sick of hearing that a kitchen or bathroom is outdated. It makes Americans look wasteful and shallow. And why should we hide our appliances and wastebaskets? Putting a dirty wastebasket in a cabinet only gives you more work--and a lot more sanitizing. That's where your garbage goes! And it leaks and spills. And open shelving equals more cleaning too.
I loved the dogtrot home--making use of a practical idea. (The home we built in the country was based on the dogtrot, which makes for a cooler home--truly practical when a hurricane wipes out your power.)
The lemon dessert recipes look refreshing and delicious. Spoon licking good! My sister makes a great Shaker lemon pie, btw. I also appreciated The Grumpy Gardener taking on crepe murder in his column; he even has a photo contest for the worst examples you can find. You could win a dwarf crepe myrtle.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Upcoming story in Mystic Signals

I have a story, Seedlings, upcoming in Mystic Signals, which is a print publication that includes the stories published in The Lorelei Signal and Sorcerous Signals, online fantasy zines, as well as two print exclusive stories. So, anyway, I was browsing The Lorelei Signal webpage, and learned where this fantasy ezine title came from:
"The title of this magazine was taken from the Animated Star Trek episode by the same name. In that episode the men of the Enterprise fell under a siren song and it was Lt. Uhura who had to take command of the Enterprise. It was a pretty hokey set-up to finally get a female in the command chair of the original Enterprise, but at least she got there."
(I've never seen the animated series, but some of the storylines I've read about sound like fun.)

You can check out the ezine at:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Helpful home hints

A couple friends gave me whole bunch of different house magazines recently. I learned about:
Adding decorative molding strips to tables with recessed aprons. (from This Old House; 5/12) Uh, don't overdo it.
Using mayo to remove sticker adhesive, water rings--and rings from fingers--And more... (Ibid)
Organizing Paula Deen's kitchen. (From Good Housekeeping; 1/12)
Walking in the park. (Ibid)
Urban homesteading books. (Better Homes and Gardens; 1/13)
Pepperidge Farm puff pastry recipes--ad (Better Homes & Gardens; 12/12. And elsewhere.)
Turning an understairs closet into a playroom for visiting children. (Better Homes & Gardens; 8/12)
Chalkboard paint that comes in different colors. (Ibid)
Making frilly flowers out of paper cupcake liners--mini and regular sizes. (Family Circle; 2/13)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Big Sit (a different kind of bird watching)

I learned about the Big Sit in the February/March issue of Birds and Blooms. You count birds (species) from one location, and you can count for as long as you like. There are sponsored events, or you can create your own. The count circle is 17 feet in diameter, and it's best to locate it near one or more habitats--woods, water, nature preserves, or even your bird feeder. Have a picnic or snacks and a cooler with family and friends.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bathroom mirror trend

Currently, as far as I know, this is a public bathroom mirror trend.  A friend in NYC told me about the one-way mirror she saw in the public bathroom at an upscale restaurant there; and then in the latest AARP Bulletin, a news item mentioned "a new twist on public restrooms: the addition of one-way mirrors in which you can see out but nobody can see in." The photo showed a guy just outside in the parking lot. You have to have a lot of faith to use that one.  And I'm pretty sure that homeowners will see how unique that would be in their homes.  Be careful in there...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bland is back

The February 2013 issue of Country Living is another white issue, though I can't remember if it was this one or another magazine that recently focused on white rooms. Posssibly bland is in? I do think that killing and stuffing a white deer and hanging it on your wall is pathetic. (I know they bought it at a flea market, but why?)  What did stand out to me--besides the deer that was truly beautiful when it was alive--was the page full of products with a stellar motif, including wallpaper, carpet, pillows, and a chaise.  Hmm.  Maybe I could put some sparkly stars on my ceiling.  I love sparkles (see below.) 

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!