Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I know in a couple hours Halloween will be over, but I wanted to get my Halloween decorations posted because tomorrow I'll be taking them down! Just a warning, we're in the middle of a huge remodel so I still have ugly carpeting and dry wall! I can't wait until it's complete!

Here is my mantle, it's jammed packed full of Halloween decor! I took a $3.00 grapevine wreath from Walmart and added some basic things to it like the bones and skeletons that I found at the Dollar Tree. Next is my seasonal tree that I keep up all year. I pierced a hole in a dollar faux pumpkin that I found at Walmart, and stuck it on top as the tree topper. I also found the colored lights there as well. The skeletons were part of a garland that I found at the Dollar Tree, but I took the garland apart and made them into individual ornaments. I planned on making more ornaments for it, but Halloween came so quickly! I even planned on making a Halloween Mantle Scarf, but didn't get around to it! I think next year I'm going to make a list of the projects that I want to complete by a certain Holiday. For example, I'll probably start in August making decor for Halloween!
Next is the faux pumpkin that I painted a couple weeks ago at my One Stroke Painting Class. And next is my table, tacky I know. But the important things is that it brings a smile to my kid's faces! My son has to show everyone that comes over our Halloween decorations! He's so proud!

I kept my table set daily during the whole Halloween Season. It made me happy just to look at a totally set and decked out table! I just removed the skeleton plates when we were ready to eat dinner. I purchased these plates at the Dollar Tree. I was going to use them, but didn't want them to get all scratched up. I figured I'd keep them out for decorations that I could use again year after year. I also purchased the black placemats at the Dollar Tree as well. Closeup of the plate and placemat.The next photo is of a candleholder that was brass, and I sprayed painted it off white. I know, black would have looked so much nicer for Halloween, but I wanted to keep this particular candleholder out all year. I thought off white would be more appropriate considering the other Holidays. If you look at the photo directly below this one, you'll see the original state of the candleholder. I'm currently on the look out for a similar one, cause I think a black one would look awesome at Halloween! Also, check out the little black crow that is perched on the candleholder! Isn't he cute? Sorry the lighting is bad, the sun was going down and since we are remodeling we don't have our chandelier up yet.

Have a safe and happy Halloween night!

Ruth Ann

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bugs, Boos, & Hail- OH MY!

WOW! The last two days have been eventful! Yesterday, I had this little critter in my bathroom! He is a Western Conifer Seed Bug. He's kind of creepy and reminds me of a tarantula because of the way he slowly walks around! They are harmless and they leave off an odor as a defense mechanism. Since it has gotten colder here in South West PA, I will ocassionally find one of these creeping through my home. We're remodeling and temporarily have the siding off part of our home. We have that house wrap up instead. These little creepies will get in any little place that they can. Luckily, they travel alone!

When I first noticed it, my dog noticed it as well. She's a little chihuahua terrier and loves to chase bugs. As she approached it, it left off the foul odor and she ran and burried her face in the carpet and was rubbing trying to get the scent off! Apparently that works, she left that little bug alone!
Anyway, by the time my husband was able to get to it, it was climbing up the wall and onto my Febreeze spray. To give you a sense of size, if you look at the picture it is about the size of the "F!" I didn't kill it, because getting near bugs creeps me out! That's what my husband is for! Actually, we don't kill them-we release them. So it'll probably end up coming back into my home in a few days.

Today was a better day! I got BOO'd! Thanks Julie! You can check out Julie's Blog at:
I'm supposed to pass this along, but I don't have many blogging friends yet since I'm new. Hopefully by next year, I'll be able to fully participate! Thank you Julie for thinking of me!
Lastly, we had a very cold day here in Pennsylvania. At one point I was lying on the couch and heard this loud ticking noise against our patio was HAIL! It was really coming down! It hailed for probably five minutes! It was crazy! I tried to get out and get some photos but I wasn't dressed for such cold weather I was in shorts! lol
Here is a photo that I did manage to get:
Stay warm and have a wonderful night!
Ruth Ann

Monday, October 27, 2008

I've been tagged!

My friend Echoeve, from, tagged me. I'm really excited that someone thought of me, thank you so much!

Here's how it works:

1.) Go to your Pictures folder on your computer.

2.) Go to your 4th folder.

3.) Get your 4th picture.

4.) Tag four people. This is one of the photographs that I took of a church in the mountains not far from our house. A storm was moving in and I enhanced it a little bit with Photoshop. This is one of my favorite photos in my photography collection.

I would like to tag four people, but since I'm rather new to blogging I don't know four people well enough to tag! lol

Anyway have a wonderful day!


Ruth Ann

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Today was Trick or Treat Day in our neighborhood! My kids rarely eat candy, so we never went trick or treating before. I actually forgot how fun it is! It's so great seeing all the great costumes that the kids wear and everyone is in such a great festive mood!

Well my little Teletubby Alexander wasn't very festive when we first left the house! We decided not to put him down for a nap because my sister was visiting (big mistake)!

He cried the whole way down the street until he got his first piece of candy- then he became a perfect angel! Maybe I should use candy as a behavioral tool???? - Just kidding!

He was a trooper without a nap he walked really far, but at times he needed to be carried by my husband. Although he was tired, he never left go of his candy stash!

My son Benjamin is three years old. This year I left it up to him to decide what he wanted to be. I was hoping he wanted to be a Teletubby as well, because I purchased another costume at the thrift store. But you know how three year olds are, they have a mind of their own. He decided that he wanted to be a "witch." I told him that witches were girls, so he said that he wanted to be a "witch boy!" I thought that was cute! So I went out and bought the witch hat and the little broom and he went as a "witch boy!" It's purple because purple is his favorite color after his favorite Wiggle the purple one-Jeff!
The cape is actually a superman type cape that I made a few months back. The outer part of the cape is printed with cows, and the lining has the word "moo" written all over it. On the back of the cape is his initial. I wanted to make him a Halloween themed cape, but with the way I've been feeling lately- I decided that he could wear his cow cape. I mean it's only for an hour, I thought why make another. Here is a picture of them from behind. This is out on the street in front of my father-in-laws house. I just love the scenery and the color of the leaves on the trees.The boys did really well considering we were walking at times up very steep hills. Ben kept asking "Are we there yet?" Well, we finally made it home and here is a picture of them together out front. It was such a beautiful day here in Western PA. I hope everyone had a great Fall day as well!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Giveaway News and what's to come!

I would like to thank everyone who participated in my Halloween giveaway! I wish I had something to give to each and every one of you!

Using a random number generator I picked the winner. It happens to be Lindanuts from Parker's Paradise! Check out her wonderful blog:

Linda also has a wonderful recipe blog for all you cooks- check this one out too:

Linda will be getting the doll and all the little goodies that go with it! I plan to have another giveaway towards the end of November, so everyone check back for that!

***Also, I've been doing a lot of thrift store shopping lately and have some photos to share with you tomorrow! And also I will be posting a tutorial in the month of November for making some awesome personalized Christmas candles so stay tuned for that too! Have a wonderful night and thank you to everyone's support and wonderful wishes and thoughts concerning my health problem. You guys are awesome!

Stay warm and talk to you soon!
Ruth Ann

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wow! Look at this!

Can you believe that someone is generously giving this beautiful dress away? Check it out!

This lady is super talented! I only wish this dress was in my size! But hurry, this giveaway ends tomorrow! Hope everyone is staying warm, it sure is getting cold here! My giveaway ends in less than an hour! I'll post the winner sometime tomorrow afternoon!

Ruth Ann

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Growing up too fast!

Kids grow up too fast! My son had his three year checkup today. He was weighed on the "big boy" scale and even had his blood pressure taken with a tiny little cuff! Where did my baby go?

They gave him a full check up and even a flu shot and he never cried once! What a big boy! It seems that since he has turned three, he has developed into an independent little boy. He no longer cries when he goes to the barber and today was the first time he didn't cry at the doctor's office. Time sure does fly by fast!

I remember the first couple days after we brought him home from the hospital....
My husband and I had no experience with babies, we had no sleep (cause you know how it is with babies), and we realized our whole world changed. I remember we were both crying and hugging just a complete mess- cause we had no idea how much responsibility a baby was!
It's just funny looking back at memories like that! I can't believe something like that got us all stressed and upset! But I guess that's what all new parents go through....on your own with this totally dependent little person and with no instruction manual!

Oh, and I forgot to mention...I was running late to the doctor's appointment (as usual) cause we live about 40 minutes from the doctor- so I was taking all these back country roads..anyway as I was driving fast my three year old Benjamin said: "Mom, you drive like a roller coaster!" I thought that was soo funny, I just had to share that with you!

Hope everyone has a great night! And for my Halloween giveaway, please click on this link:

Ruth Ann

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween Giveaway!

Finally, my Halloween Giveaway! Halloween is my favorite Holiday. I don't know if it's the Fall season or if it's because I was a Philadelphia Flyer fan for most of my life! I just love orange and black!

This giveaway is the first of many that I plan to have throughout the year. I love creating Raggedy Dolls and this one is the first Halloween doll that I have ever made.
Her first name is Candy and her last name is Corn! She's approximately 15 inches from her Raggedy Red Hair down to her orange and black striped legs/toes. She's wearing a lovely pumpkin printed dress and underneath has on candy corn printed bloomers! She's sure to put a smile on your face on a cold Autumn day! (Geez, I feel like I'm writing a personal ad for a rag doll!) lol
Also, included in this giveaway is a candy corn printed pot holder, a package of skeleton hands, a set of Halloween Rub-Ons, and a spool of Halloween ribbon!
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post anytime between now and Thursday night (October 23rd) at 11:30 pm Eastern time. Also, if you mention me on your blog you'll get your name put in TWICE (just be sure to let me know). Stay warm and have a wonderful evening!


Ruth Ann

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just a yucky- blah day!

Did you ever feel so depressed and alone with nowhere to turn? That's exactly how I felt today! With no energy, tiredness and two screaming toddlers! It was just a horrible day. I spent most of the day crying, feeling like no one could understand just what I'm going through!

One reason that I started this blog was to share some of my artistic hobbies with others but more importantly to make friends through blogging so I can share my experiences with others.

About six months ago I developed severe pain in my knee. I went to the doctor and the chiropractor, but no one seemed to know what was wrong with me. This pain spread to my shoulders, my toes, and now to my fingers and hips. I have good days and bad days. Sometimes the pain lasts most of the day and sometimes it goes away in the morning. But the pain is primarily when I'm not moving- especially in the middle of the night. I'm lucky if I get even a good four hours of sleep a night. The lack of sleep makes me feel exhausted all day long and achy- like I have the flu...constantly!

I finally went to a specialist in Pittsburgh. They tested me for everything. He thinks it's Osteoarthritis. I had my first appointment a few weeks ago, and my next appointment in a couple of weeks. I'll know more about things when I go to my next appointment.

I know that I'm lucky because it could be a lot worse, but I can't help but to feel alone and depressed. I just turned thirty this year. When I've thought of arthritis in the past, I thought of elderly people- not someone young like me. And today, I made my first purchase of "Bengay!" Not something that I ever imagined buying or using at this age.

This chronic pain is a struggle for me. And to make matters worse it's hard to find someone who understands exactly how I feel. Arthritis doesn't run in my family, so they feel that I basically need to just deal with it. My family is not supportive at all! There are days when the pain is so bad that it's a struggle just to take care of myself, let alone a three year old and a 1 1/2 year old. There are days that I spend most of the day on the couch, and that is not the memory that I want my boys to have of their mom....someone who is cranky and lays around all day. It makes me feel like a failure as a mother, let alone the failure I feel as a wife! My household duties have been slacking, but sometimes the depression and pain is so bad that I don't accomplish anything!

I feel badly for my husband, who works 12 hours a day, because he comes home after working all day and has to do the dishes, laundry, and clean up the kid's mess. He's very supportive, but I know that it's stressful for him- especially since he's remodeling the house.

This whole ordeal even has me questioning my faith. I mean I have always had sympathy for others, sometimes even going out of my way to help those in need. And it's like why is this happening to me? I'm a good person...why am I being put through this?

I cry constantly. Even as I write this I'm crying. I'm extremely depressed. And what's even more depressing is that it's affecting my ability to create! I always enjoy painting, crocheting, quilting...just a ton of things. And now it's causing me pain to do the things that give me such joy! On Wednesdays I take a painting class, and a couple weeks ago I started getting pain in the joints of my fingers. It's just so depressing to me! I couldn't imagine living a life where I couldn't create some type of art!

But the reason that I'm sharing this is to hopefully make a connection with someone who could give me advice with how they handle a situation like mine. I would appreciate any advice anyone could give me to get me out of this foggy depression and on the right track.

And I want to appologize about my giveway. I'm making something by hand, and I wanted to post it yesterday but I've been having trouble completing it due to the pain. It's about 95% done and I hope to finish it tomorrow and post the details tomorrow evening here on my blog. It's really cute and hopefully worth the wait! So please bear with me.
Have a wonderful week!

Ruth Ann

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

MMMM Pumpkin Bread

I thought I would share a fantastic pumpkin bread recipe. I got it off of a wonderful site called:

My oldest just loves it! It's not too sweet and makes perfect little treats when baked into cupcakes! He peels of the paper and it's so moist and wonderful that it doesn't crumble and make a mess! To me that's a plus!

One funny thing that occurred while baking these.... when I was done mixing the batter with my mixer, I usually pull the beaters out of the batter and slowly turn the mixer on to shake off the excess batter. While this usually works, tonight I turned the dial the wrong way (on high speed) and batter went flying EVERYWHERE! I felt like Marcia Brady on the Brady Bunch, the time she and her sisters made their very first cake! It was very comical!

Anyway, I baked 4 mini loaves and had left over batter so I poured the rest into a cupcake pan! Enjoy!

Also: Stay tuned to my blog during the next few days, I'm going to have an exciting Halloween giveaway!

Pumpkin Bread

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

3 cups white sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 tespoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 7 x3 inch loaf pans.

2. In a large blowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans approximately 2/3 full.

3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

**Note: When making cupcakes pour until about 2/3 full. Also, cupcakes are done much sooner than loaves of bread, check periodically with a toothpick. ENJOY!

Ruth Ann

Monday, October 13, 2008

Homemade Playdoh Fun!

Lately, my oldest son Benjamin who is 3 has been on a playdoh kick! Each afternoon we get out the playdoh when my youngest, Alexander, takes a nap. Alex likes to eat playdoh (he's a year and a half) so that's why we wait until he's napping- plus it gives Ben and I some one on one time together.

Today I decided to try making my own playdoh with a recipe I found online. The recipe calls for Kool-Aid to color the dough and also creates an awesome scent! The first batch I used grape Kool-Aid, but the recipe just didn't turn out well! I followed it exactly, but it was too sticky and messy! I even tried to fix it by adding flour, but that didn't help so I had to throw it out!

I was determined to find a recipe that worked so I found this one and was able to make two successful batches! For the green color I used regular Lemon Lime Kool-Aid and for the wonderful blue color I used Berry Blue Kool-Aid Twists. I am dying to use orange Kool-Aid for Halloween, but my Walmart was sold out of it! Oh well, maybe next time.

Here is the recipe that worked for me:

Kool-Aid Playdoh Recipe

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup salt

2- (.22 oz) packets of your favorite color of Kool-Aid

1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar

3 Tbsp cooking oil

1 1/4 cup very hot water

Boil 3/4 of a cup of water. Mix dry ingredients. Add oil. Add the 1 1/4 cup of very hot water. Mix until dough peels away from sides or is cool enough to knead by hand. This keeps for a few months in a Ziploc if you put it away immediately after playing.

**Note: When you make this dough you will find that it is very floury. This is ok, once you knead it by hand it all mixes together.

Also, I bought disposable containers to store my dough in. This batch fits into a 3 1/2 cup round "takealong" container with just a little it's a pretty big batch. Enjoy and HAPPY CREATING!