Clip Art

A while ago, I read about Dover’s weekly design sampler on the angry chicken blog. I signed up, then kept ignoring the weekly emails, and just let them pile up. Then I got another message from Dover, reminding people that the free clip art actually expires! Crap. Who knows what kind of cool stuff I missed out on! So I just wanted to share, and let people know that this week’s in particular is very good. There’s a group of very pretty fairy ones, including a paper doll! Check it out:

how to sign up

Edit:The fairies can no longer be linked to, obviously, so if anyone would like to see them, just ask!


Meet the newest member of our family!

In for a frame, out with a chair. Didn’t find a frame! But this chair was outside, and as I walked by, I had to double-back, to look at the price tag. $20! “Cute!”, I thought. I went inside to look for a frame, and a wooden embroidery hoop, but didn’t find either. I inquired about the chair’s legs, because they looked crooked, and was informed that they screw on, so apparently they weren’t screwed on all the way. The nice man walked outside with me, to demonstrate, and I said, “Well, I might come back”. As I was walking away, he said, “$10 is a good price”. I turned on my heels and said, “$10?! It says 20!”. He told me all white tags were 1/2 off today, and the discount days/tag color days just vary, picked randomly by the owner. Ughh, I only had around $6 on me. So I came home (it’s only a few blocks away), and asked my husband if he had any spare change. He had $10, so he gave it to me. I asked if he wanted to go look at a chair with me, but he was shirtless, and playing on the Wii with the kids, and everyone was bickering, so he said, “Just buy it”. Well, you don’t have to tell me twice! I had to hustle, because they were closing in 10 minutes. So here it is! I think it looks ’40’s, my husband says early ’70’s. Early ’70’s? I had to scoff at that. Anyway, if anyone reads this lonely blog of mine, please add your 2 cents… which era do you think it’s from?

I’m not crazy about the color – it’s kind of a muted sage/teal. So I plan to reupholster it someday. But it is very comfortable! I love it. We finally have an armchair, and it was only $10! Yippee!

I just got the cutest flippin’ shoes EVER!

I can’t remember the last time I was completely delighted with a pair of shoes I bought online. I should actually stop ordering shoes by mail, because that’s really the type of thing you should do in person. You really should try shoes on before buying them. I realize there’s always the option of returning them, but what a hassle. ANYWAY, I placed these in my shopping cart at a few weeks ago, when they were having their “additional 20% off sale prices” promotion. They were only $29.99! PLUS the additional 20% off! But did I order them right then & there? Of course not. My typical procrastinating ass waited, and of course they sold out of my size.

-Insert expletive-

So of course I had to obsess about finding them elsewhere, and I finally did, at They were a little more expensive, at $34.30, but I had to have them. I am so glad I ordered them! They fit like a dream, are comfortable, and look so flippin’ cute. I actually squealed when I saw them in the mirror! The heel height isn’t too high, either. Can’t wait to wear these! But I’d better paint my nails first – nothin’ worse than a cute peep-toe shoe with plain, un-pedicured toes peepin’ out.

Hi, I’m back! Here’s the Harry Potter Party!

So, wow… I definitely needed a blog break, but I didn’t think I’d take such a long one. Anyhow, here are pictures from the party! Despite my trying to get things done in a timely manner, I still ended up not going to bed until 4 and 5 AM, Thursday night/Friday and Friday night/Saturday, respectively. I decided to make the platform 9 3/4 sign, instead of adding one to my order from Alivan’s… I should have just bought it. $20 is totally worth it to me. I mean, if I had allowed myself plenty of time to make it, then I’d feel better about the tradeoff. But of course, that’s not what happened. I started it Thursday night, and finished it after 4 PM on Saturday, which was officially party time. We even had guests already. Sigh. BUT, I am very proud of it. I don’t do painting projects like that, and for good reason. But I like how it turned out. Besides the crooked lettering, of course. Well, let’s see you cut out skinny, skinny letters by hand for 2 hours, with craft scissors, then try to glue them onto a sign with an adhesive dot roller while guests are waiting to get the party going. Ahem.

My not-very-fancy-or-creative attempt at Gringotts Bank:


I made all the kids line up next to the mailboxes, then opened my mailbox, and handed each child an envelope with 16 galleons:

Diagon Alley (aka my patio), sign made at the last minute, the day of:


From left to right: notebooks; textbooks (“Quidditch Through the Ages” & “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, by J K Rowling); green St. Patrick’s Day cauldrons I had to spray paint black, also done the day of; wands made from wood dowels, notched with a saw, then sanded down & painted with watered down acrylic; Hedwig; quills made by taking the pencil tips out of a kid-type refillable pencil & sticking them onto the feather end – no glue required, unless you want it to stay on permanently – but then how would you replace the pencil tip?!


I had the price list all set up, so that the kids would have just enough Galleons left to buy a few candies at the Candy Shoppe.


I meant to make a big deal out of the kids rushing through platform 9 3/4, immediately after making their school purchases in Diagon Alley, but alas… didn’t happen! I was too busy tending shop.

I made badges, and my friends & I made Gryffindor scarves, which were placed around every child’s neck upon being sorted (by the sorting hat & audio from the 1st movie) into Gryffindor:

The banquet table, complete with candles. We had roasted drumsticks, and carrots & potatoes, rolls with butter, and “pumpkin juice” (aka mango juice) and “butterbeer” (aka room temperature orange IZZE drinks):


I don’t know why I thought the wall would look fine with just 1 length of stone wall scene setter… what was I thinking?! It looked so lame, 1/2 stone wall and 1/2 white. Good grief. Lesson learned.

I only had 3 candies in the candy shoppe – Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans (aka Jelly Bellys); Chocolate Frogs; and Fizzing Whizbee Acid Pops (aka Pop Rocks Dips):

Chocolate Frogs (see Harry on the Famous Wizards Card on the left?):


Look at who graced us with his presence!!! OMG!


Victor Krum, Professor McGonagall, and Winky the house elf:


We had a potions class. The set-up included the textbook, “Most Potente Potions”, (gummy) eyeballs, a bottle of potion water, 5 jars of different ingredients, stirring sticks, and potion jars (baby food jars with fabric-covered lids).


Fried frog legs (French’s French Fried Onions); eyes of newt (peppercorns); powdered dandelion (yellow curry powder); unicorn tears (glycerine, to make everything float); and Fire Salamander scales (red pepper flakes):


Here’s what the potions ended up looking like:


I ordered the cake from Baskin-Robbins at least a few weeks before, then called to reschedule it for a week later. I called the night before the party, and found out it wasn’t ready, because the person I spoke with the 2nd time wrote down the wrong date. Ugghh! It’s a good thing I called. So, panicking, I called another Baskin-Robbins, and luckily the nice Indian(?) lady there reassured me that they had the Harry Potter DecoPac, and they could make it in time. PHEWW.


Hermione (aka my daughter, the birthday girl), frizzy hair and all, being studious:


My friend (Professor McGonagall) made my daughter the most awesome gift ever! 2 puppets from the “Potter Puppet Pals” YouTube videos:


Oh, and she even crocheted 2 Golden Snitches!

I’m done with the ambitious parties for a while… I’m gonna keep them simple for the next year, or more. I’m looking forward to not stressing out, and feeling a sense of relief!