Friday, August 28, 2015

Productive Day

I ended up with some really ripe bananas so I decided to bake some Banana muffins, yesterday.  I wanted to play around with the recipe and create something a little different, so I added Cranberries to the last batch.  We'll see how they go over.

I was also reminded, by my Son, that it's been over a year since I have made my dog 'cookies'.  I quit making them after his dog, Raider, passed away a year ago last April.  I can still see him sitting in front of my oven waiting for the cookies to be taken out, when he would be visiting when I made them.  His eyes would get so BIG and it just cracked me up.  Of course, every time I made them, I had to take him in a few bags.  I also made them for their Christmas stockings.  Yes, we DO have stockings for our dogs ;-)

But, it wasn't fair to Annie that I hadn't made them in so long.  And, I now have a new Grand Dog to make them for, too.  We'll see if he likes them as much as Raider did :-)  

So, here are the dog treats I made, yesterday.



Of course, after they cooled a little, I broke them up into bite sized pieces.

 Annie is patiently waiting for that cool down phase :-)

It makes a lot and I just freeze them in baggies.
If you are interested in the recipe, let me know.  They are SO easy to make and it makes a LOT!!

Have a great day!!!
Char



Thursday, August 27, 2015

C'mon RAIN!!! And, playing in my stamp room

Burnout County Line 2 Fire


Well, we are watching and hoping for rain!!  I know, most people are hoping for sun or good weather and we have had awesome weather for months... up till a fire broke out on the Warm Springs reservation a couple of weeks ago.  It was caused (I know, it's still under investigation....but, hey....people got photos of it) by a motor home pulling a utility trailer and the tire came off the trailer.

Rather than STOP, the driver, evidently, just kept driving for miles, hoping to make it to a tire shop 30 miles away to get a new tire put on???.....sending sparks flying left and right into the dry brush and with the winds that day, that's all it took.  HELLLLOOOO????  Who in their right mind does that???

That's all it took that windy day for a full blown fire to break out....and now our firefighters are risking their lives trying to get it under control.   Some people have lost their homes and we are praying it doesn't get to the timber. So far, it's burned over 66,000 acres and it is still not fully contained.

We have been dealing with the haze and smoke for over a week, now, all over Central Oregon.  Usually, I can see the mountains from my home....but they are hidden by smoke.  But, it's nothing compared to what the people in Warm Springs are dealing with.  It nothing compared to what the families of the firefighters are having to deal with.

And, we aren't the only ones, unfortunately.....all across WA, OR and CA there are fires burning.  Most were started by nature.....but the ones started by negligent humans make me so upset!

They are calling for rain this weekend.  I am praying for rain...not lightning or wind....but a good downpour....to give these firefighters a BREAK!!!

Well, since I have basically been stuck at home because I don't want to be out in the smoke, I have been playing!!

We recently drove up to WA to visit some friends and I took the ladies each a cute purse.  They hold 2 Hershey Nuggets each.  They were fun to make and the ladies enjoyed receiving them.


Now, I am working on projects for WAG!  It is a get together in Salem every year for about 10-12 of us ladies that used to belong to The Angel Company.  We enjoy getting together every fall and sharing ideas and just having a girls' weekend together.

Have a fantastic day!!!

Char




Monday, August 10, 2015

Ashwood, OR

 Sometimes on a Sunday afternoon, we like to take a drive to someplace close that we've never been.

Ever since I can remember, I will often wonder where a road leads to, or what a town on a sign, looks like.

For quite a few years, we have driven Hwy 97 or Hwy 26 and passed road signs to different 'towns' or communities and of course, being who I am...I am curious what is there.

Last Sunday, we decided to take a drive to one of those places, Ashwood, OR. You can get there just off of Hwy 26 just outside of Madras going North on Hwy 97.

I had always been curious about this little 'town' since I learned that there are kids that ride a van in from Ashwood, every day, to attend High school here.  So, naturally, I had been wanting to see just where this little town was and what it looked like.

It is about 17 miles from Hwy 97 to Ashwood. (Approximately 35 miles from Madras, OR)  The roads tend to be narrow and at times curvy!   But, if you go slow, it's a very enjoyable drive.  Of course, the scenes below are about all you DO see along the way.  Lots and lots of hills and Juniper trees.  And, you have to be careful as there are usually cows standing alongside or even IN the road when you come around a corner.  But, it just adds to the fun!

We might have seen one or two vehicles on our way in and out but we still drove slowly, especially around blind corners.
The roads can be quite steep at times and a little 'switchbacky', but all in all, it was interesting!
Different formations along the way.  While we were driving along, we wondered if there really WAS anything to this town as it seemed like it was a long way in before we actually saw any signs of civilization, except for the cows.

There is history to this settlement and I will post some links at the bottom of this page.  I didn't take any photos after we actually reached the 'town' as I just
felt funny taking photos of the actual 'town'.  But, there was an old church and a Post Office/home there.  And, there is a small elementary school.   (Besides, hubby isn't too fond of stopping to take photos on some of these drives)

Here is another blog that the person actually DID take some photos of the town.
http://www.photographoregon.com/Ashwood-Oregon.html

and this blog also has a lot of other interesting places to see in Central Oregon, some of which I have not yet wandered to.

More info

And, even some more

And, a 1977 newspaper article about the little town.

Have a fantastic day!!!  I am going to get busy, now, and stamp some fun to share tomorrow.

Hugs,
Char

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Awning Card


Just thought I would share a fun card that I made the other day for a swap.  It was a dessert swap and the only thing close to a dessert that I had in my stamp sets was either an ice cream cone or a cupcake.  So, I chose the Cupcake Party stamp set (#134136) from Stampin' UP!  I also used the Cupcake Builder Punch to punch out those cute cupcakes.  I used Pink Pirouette Card stock, Whisper White Card stock and Pool Party Card stock.  Plus, for the little cupcakes, I also used Watermelon Wonder, Mint Macron and Pink Pirouette.  You can see that I used the retired Scalloped Border punch and retired Stripes embossing folder.
I used the Word Window Punch to create the 'awning' slats.

I will also be making one of these for my Granddaughter's birthday in November. She 'requested' a pink cupcake card....so the entire card will be pink!

Since I already sent this card to my swap partner, I need to make another one to show this week when some gals and I get together to stamp.

Have a great rest of the weekend....and remember to take time to PawsNStamp.

Hugs,
Char








Friday, August 7, 2015

How to have a successful Garage Sale!

One of the comments that I kept getting at both of the garage sales I had this summer was "everything is so organized".

I guess I hadn't really thought about it, but I do like things organized. When I go to a sale, I don't want baby stuff in among kitchen wear....or tools among books.

So, having those comments made, it got me to thinking....what don't I like about some garage sales and how can people have a better sale?  So, I have thought about this and decided to share my thoughts with you.

I absolutely HATE going to a sale where things are all scattered on the tables with no thought, (or worse yet....on the ground) and above all else....not even priced.  I usually just walk away.  I know some hard core garage salers LOVE to bargain but I don't.

I know that doing a garage sale is a ton of work and most of the time you don't make enough to pay you for all the hours you spent setting one up, but the fact is....you probably weren't doing anything productive, anyway, those few days and you DID get rid of a lot of extra things and you did make some money.   And, even better....you got some exercise!  That's the way I look at it when people say, "oh it's too much work for what you get back".  Really?  I mean, most of the time if you have a lot of stuff, you load it into your car and drop it off at the nearest recycling center.  So, why not price it, have a garage sale, sell what you can and THEN donate to the recycle center?  

I know, I know, most people hate having to go through all the work of setting one up.  And, it is a lot of work but not if you allow yourself plenty of time, do it in spurts and organize it well.  The key word is ORGANIZE!!

I will offer a few tips...but it's by no means complete....you can Google Garage Sale ideas/tips and come up with tons more.  And, I know I'll forget some things, too....but for the most part here is what I have found to work.

1.  First off, decide the day/time you are going to have it.  (make sure you take advantage of all free ads to advertise your sale, when the time comes and even take out a little paid ad in your local paper, if you have big ticket items at your sale...it will pay off). Next, starting weeks and even months before, gather everything together that you plan on selling.

2.  Secondly, price EVERYTHING!!!  I say this because, I absolutely HATE to ask "how much is this?" when I am at a sale and having asked a lot of people, I have found that most people won't ask.  And, most people like to have a bargaining point.  If you mark something for $5 and they don't think it's worth $5, they can always ask if you will take less.  But, if it isn't marked, most likely it won't even come to that point.   Most people don't want to insult you by offering a lower price.  And, I recommend actually pricing things and not putting color coded stickers IE  All orange stickers .50 cents, all blue stickers $1 because that gets confusing.

3.  Organize things by like items.  Kitchen ware with kitchen ware, tools with tools, books with books, Crafts with Crafts, Movies with Movies, Music with Music, toys with toys....you get the idea.   People have different interests so if they are looking for a specific item, you can send them to one area of your sale.

4.  Have plenty of tables (or saw horses and plywood).  You can't believe how creative you can be in finding ways to display things.  But, don't make people go through stuff on the ground.  Unless, the item is too large to fit on a table....then it should BE on a table.

5.  Depending on your circumstances, allow plenty of room between and around your tables.  If you have expensive items, make sure that they are near your money table, so you can keep an eye on them.  Some people do NOT watch their kids at garage sales and don't offer to pay for items that are broken. :-(  And, believe it or not, there are scammers that love going to garage sales.  It helps if you have several people helping you at your sale.

6.  Wear a fanny pack for your paper bills.  There is always someone that needs you to answer a question and you have to leave your money table.....so have a place, on you, that you have your paper bills.   And, speaking of money...make sure you start with enough change.  Do NOT accept anything over a $20 bill first thing in the morning.  I know it's so hard to do, but there are people that WILL give you a $50 bill right off the start and you are left without a way to make change as you cannot leave to go to the bank or store to make change.  Make sure you have enough change for the items you are selling.  I like to start with at least $100 and then a roll of Quarters, Dimes and Nickels.  Don't price things unevenly....you don't want to have to think that hard.  And, don't use pennies.

7.  Signage:  Lots of signs with the basic info:  like "Sale:  123 A St   9-4pm" with arrows if necessary (follow your cities' guidelines for garage sales) and place strategic signs AT your sale like "NO Bills larger than $20"  "No checks" (unless you know the person).  Another one that may work is:  "You break, you Buy!!!"   Sometimes that helps people to watch their kids.  

8.  Place your larger items out towards the front of your sale, if you have a driveway....place them out front.  A lot of people will do a drive by to see what you have and if all they see is clothes or toys.....they'll keep on going!  They won't take the time to actually get out of the car to go inside your garage.  If you have things out front AND in your garage....have a sign that says MORE INSIDE GARAGE.

9.  Offer water for sale.  I know it sounds weird...but on hot days, you will sell a LOT of water and you can buy cases of water for pretty inexpensive.  Charge .50 cents a bottle.  I have been to sales where it was so hot and I welcomed the opportunity to purchase a bottle of water at even $1!!!

10.  I know your kids and animals are cute....but unless the kids are well behaved and have specific jobs to do...have someone keep them busy for the day.  And, some people are either allergic to dogs or are afraid of them....so it's best to keep fido in the house, too!

11.  DON"T yak the customers to death!!!  Say Hi or something when they first arrive and then let them browse.  Unless they ask specific questions, don't HOVER!!!  Don't talk about each item they look at or pick up.  You will know if they want to chat or not and if not, leave them alone to just browse.

12.  Make sure you have electrical outlets available if you are selling things that need to be plugged in.  People like to know that what they are buying actually works!!

13.  To keep men from hurrying their wives up, have a table for THEM towards the front of your sale so that they have something to keep them busy while their wife looks around.

14.  Do NOT pile things in boxes expecting your customers to dig through the items.  And, DO NOT put out dirty, broken items.   Things that are not totally usable, you CAN place in a FREE box or post a little sign that says, 'FOR PARTS".

15.  On the day of your sale, make sure you have enough money to make change, bags for customers to take their items home in, newspaper (to wrap fragile items with), Calculator, cell phone (just in case of an emergency) and plenty of help, if possible.

16.  And, last but certainly not least.  I know we want to expect the best out of everyone but there are scammers out there.  DO NOT, under any circumstance, allow strangers into your home.  Direct them to a local fast food place if they ask to use the restroom.  Do NOT accept large bills or checks unless you KNOW the person personally.  Do not leave your sale to go get something from your house....unless you have plenty of help.  And, just stay alert!  Do not allow THEM to add up their own purchases.....because even though most people are trying to help out, there are people that are out to advantage of you.  :-(

I know that this list is not exhaustive but these are the ideas I have used over the years that have helped me over the years.

Enjoy your day!!!

Hugs,
Char


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Can you have too much fun at a garage sale?

I don't believe you can.  Well, at least I can't.

The photo taken above was at our first garage sale in June.  But, even though it was a huge success, I ended up with a lot of these stamps and boxes of unmounted sets from my TAC (The Angel Company) days plus other stamping supplies.

So, what's a gal to do?  Well, I was invited to participate in yet another yard sale in Redmond, July 31st and Aug 1. So, I jumped at the chance. I didn't think to take photos at that one.  Dang!!

This time around, though, the work of pricing everything was already done, so all I had to do was load up my stamping supplies, tables, canopy and join in!!

What a fun weekend of socializing, visiting with other stampers and need I mention....sweating ;-) I also got in a lot of steps on my Fitbit!

The sale started at 9:00 am but people started showing up as early 7:00 am.  All good...as that was expected, we just were not quite ready that early ;-)

It was at an excellent location and the day was BUSY!!!!  And, HOT!!!!  It was 102º!!  We all drank a TON of water.  The second day seemed even busier although the other gals said it was slower!  It only reached 100º that day.

You see all those mounted stamps in the above photo?  I sold them ALL!!  YEAAA!!!  Made a dent in my unmounted stamp sets and sold all of my extra cardstock, too.  Whooohooo!!!


I was able to see a few friends that I hadn't seen in awhile and we got caught up. I made some new friends and also met a lot of stampers!  New and seasoned! What fun!!

I am already planning a future garage sale, but this time....there will be more things added as we continue to purge and simplify our lives.  :-)

Hope you have a fantastic day!!!

Char

Wednesday, July 15, 2015