Friday Faves, July 8

I decided to try my hand at creating a painting today.  I spotted a lovely carving of a tree on Etsy but when I finally broke down to purchase  the art, it was gone.  I had a canvas I saved from ending in the trash this past week and figured it would be perfect.  My first plan backfired, I planned to create a scene with grass and a blue sky, but the acrylic paint I had was too dark,  As soon as I saw it on the canvas I knew it was wrong.  I pulled out some latex paint and covered the entire canvas, this felt better. Then I began sketching.  My original plan for the tree was to paint it brown with black highlights, that was until I realized I had a navy blue sharpie that came with the trash collected.


I’m not fond of my vanity in the bathroom it just  screams hotel.  While I can’t rip it out and redo the entire bathroom I decided to distract visitors from it by turning the walls into a sort of gallery.  It will take some time to complete it the way I picture it but I’m off to a good start.


As you can see I painted the sides with  black paint to match the frame on my owl print and bird picture.  Black seemed the natural choice after I painted the light fixtures black.


Enough of my amateur art, It’s time for Friday Faves.

Welcome New Readers

This week several new people have visited the blog, it’s good to meet you, welcome, and one blogger.

  1. Jackie is an avid reader and enjoys the simpler things such as needlework.  But I found this post on the history of pigeons to be most interesting.  I learned quite a bit, and found that we are kindred spirits when it comes to the animals who live around us.
Berry season is here

Berry season is here


Delicious Foods, or Not

  1. While I eat a vegetarian diet, I come across recipes from time to time I just have to modify to try.  That was the case when I saw this pasta recipe from Daniela.  My daughter-in-law stopped over tonight briefly and with this recipe still on my mind we made a deal.  She would prepare this, with the necessary changes, for Saturday’s lunch at our yard sale if I would keep my granddaughter overnight Friday so she could pack up the vehicle of all the things we saved and I stored at her house. Works for me!!
  2. This is a post I have saved until it had a good spot to include it in the Friday Faves.  Here in the US we eat a lot of prepackaged meals, takeout/fast food, and often way too much food.  But do you ever wonder if people in other countries eat like you do?  Take a look at this and see how your diet compares.
  3. Argentum Vulgaris, decided he had to gross me out first thing Monday morning with this story on lab-grown hamburgers.  So you think you want to lighten your footprint, would you eat meat grown in a lab?
Need a tow truck, he's your man.

Need a tow truck, he’s your man.

Do It Yourself and Upcycling

  1. I have a special treat for you.  I have mentioned many times how much I love Stacy’s greenhouse.  Everyone who sees it wants it, starting with me.  This week Stacy shares the tutorial on how they built this lovely greenhouse.  Other than the rooting material, paint and some screws all materials were recycled as in found used!    If you have a lovely greenhouse or build one please share with me so I can be even more jealous. :-)
  2. If you haven’t figured it out by no I am a big diy-er.  Things are so much cheaper when you do them yourself.  I love this bathroom which has been transformed by converting a dresser to a vanity and now a special wall treatment.  Ashley reminds me a bit of myself. I  will try anything to get the look I want especially if it’s cheaper than the way it’s supposed to be done.  You saw my sharpie art above, but have you thought of trying to use a sharpie on your wall with a stencil, Ashley did.
  3. Fellow Blogger Kate sent me this link, thanks Kate.  Don’t know what to do with those plastic milk jugs, turn them into useful items.
  4. What is better than repurposing an item into something useful?  Need a headboard but only have a couple of cabinet doors?  Yes, it can work, is easy enough for a child (at least one who knows how to use a couple of tools), and is gorgeous.
  5. What can you make from pallets? How about a child’s toy box and porch benches.  Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a toy box and the secret to taking a pallet apart.
No room for a table, these dumpster finds work fine for the little ones to enjoy a meal in my home.

No room for a table, these dumpster finds work fine for the little ones to enjoy a meal in my home.

Small Spaces

  1. If you don’t know  by now I often get inspiration from Ikea on how to make a small space work in a world where everything seems over-sized and wouldn’t easily fit in my apartment.  While I like the inspiration, I don’t want my home to look like an Ikea catalog.  I found this post on the impression a trip to Ikea left on Jackie quite humorous.
  2. Courtney looks at the differences in her life from the big house to a smaller home in this post on How to Master the Art of Slowing Down.
  3. I wrote several months ago about how I believe we look for homes as an adult that remind us of our childhood home.  If you got used to a small home you would be more comfortable in a small home as an adult.  Lyle looks back on his childhood with his mother living in sometimes only one room.  It is also a story of love for a mother, see for yourself here.



  1. As someone who suffered from anorexia for many years, I find the fixation on our image by the media to be unhealthy.  I was pleased to read this post on accepting ourselves as we are from Andrea.
  2. Not all of us had the picture perfect childhood, some of us lived quite different lives from what you might expect.  Marlene took her childhood in stride, it was just the way it was.  But her sister felt something quite different.  This is a wonderful post on how guilt can burden you well into your adult life.
  3. A life lived without learning a few lessons along the way is a pretty bland life, in my opinion.  Lena for her 31st birthday made a list of 31 Life Lessons she has learned.  I can’t pick a favorite from her list they are all important and will lead to a happier life.
  4. Can you accept that your retirement might be drastically different from that of your parents?  Kate looks at the numbers to see what retirement might actually be like for her.
  5. I used to say I knew my limits when it came to creativity.  Yes, I could paint a wall without taping off, but create something, never.  As you can tell I have moved outside my comfort zones to try things that I have always wanted to try but told myself I would suck at.   I wish I had read this post by Sayantan Sen on You are Already an Artist.
My landscaper friend stopped to clear some of the fallen and dead trees and clear more weeds. He left this because they are "beautiful when dried"  :-)

My landscaper friend stopped to clear some of the fallen and dead trees and clear more weeds. He left this because they are “beautiful when dried” .  Just what I wanted a stinging nettle in the area I want to plant trees.


  1. While it seems more people sit indoors in front of a TV or computer screen than go outdoors to spend time in nature around here, there is one place that refers to nature  as the country’s unofficial religion.  I was so impressed with the differences between my country and this one.  A place where children are outdoors 6 hours every morning, regardless of the weather, where mothers are paid to stay home with their young children.  While things may not be perfect there yet, they are well on their way to embracing what is important. You can read the entire article here on what a British family learned while living in Germany.

The earth has music for those who listen.~~ George Santayana


Have a great weekend.

60 thoughts on “Friday Faves, July 8

  1. So love your art, and how it all matches Lois, that bird could easily have hopped off that tree you have painted :-)… Thank you again for some wonderful Friday Favourites, And reading through your posts I see you weekend was productive :-)


    • You know I never even thought of the bird sitting next to the tree until now when you mentioned it, Sue. Thank you. I always appreciate you stopping by and commenting. I have become so inspired to try painting from everyone, you included, and I’m really enjoying it. I so wish I had tried sooner.


  2. Hi Lois! I just had to pop in here and say thank you yet again for your Friday Faves! Every single time I find several new blogs and writers that are wonderful. You save us all a lot of time and effort with these lists and it is VERY MUCH appreciated. Keep up the amazing and good work. ~Kathy


    • Kathy, I am so happy you enjoy the links and thrilled when I can connect you with another wonderful blogger. My only problem is narrowing down who to include each week. I try not to include the same bloggers week after week, but it’s hard because some people, like you, write such thoughtful posts that I want so badly to share them. :-)


  3. Hi Lois. It has taken me a few days to work my way through these interesting links. I still have a way to go as I’m taking it slowly. I particularly enjoyed the link to Lyle’s blog and will be following it. Thanks again. Better get back to finishing your Friday Faves.


    • No need to apologize, Jean. I shut down my computer Friday and just turned it back on tonight, Sunday. I have a lot of catching up to do myself. I’m glad you enjoyed Lyle’s story and blog. Enjoy the rest of the links.


  4. Hi Lois and thank you so much for including The Joy of Simple in your Small Spaces links!! It is greatly appreciated and thank you for the wonderful words :) Take care and all the best.
    ps: I’ll definitely be skipping those “lab burgers”! Yuck!!


  5. I love the tree picture! :-)

    Good stuff, as always! The article on retirement was interesting. Times definitely are changing, not just with retirement but with lifestyle in general. As a society, we’ve always thought that every generation would have more materially speaking, than the previous generation. When really, that isn’t possible–there has to be a point where it isn’t sustainable. I think people are going to have to live simpler lives, whether they are ready to or not.


    • Thank you, Bethany. I believe I have found the right path to survive no matter what happens to social security in my lifetime. To pay all my bills, and eat I need less than $20 per day. I don’t think I can get much lower than that unless I paid cash for land and everything needed to be off grid, which I am not in a position to do at this point. I also don’t have a shopping addiction which is helpful. With the gardens, if I needed to I could plant much more and earn the money I needed to get by. But I am worried about other people. I have many relatives who live through credit cards and have no retirement funds set aside. A few have put off paying off their homes by accepting a plan which allows them to pay only the interest on their mortgage, but that extends the life of the loan well into their retirement years. How are they going to survive if/when they can’t work any longer?

      The idea of continued growth is such an unsustainable path, the earth can’t support it first of all. I do hope more people see that a simpler life doesn’t have to be one of poverty and embrace it.


      • I know a lot of people who are unable to retire, due to their mortgage payments. :-( It’s sad, because when they are unable to work, they will likely lose the house (or be forced to sell it, at best).

        I am inspired by your cost-cutting, though! Our goal is to get our expenses as low as possible, and still live comfortably.


        • I know quite a few who couldn’t retire and those who couldn’t retire because they couldn’t give up the lifestyle they were accustomed to. I think the second situation is the saddest.

          My cost cutting was easier than you think. The apartment comes with all utilities included, and after giving up the car, stopping the insurance I was left with only food and the internet connection to pay for.

          How much does it cost to live aboard your boat? I don’t know much about the costs associated with berths and so on.


  6. Of all the links somehow I keep going back to the lab-grown hamburger. I just can’t see going to that much trouble- do people really want to eat hamburgers that bad? I am not a full vegetarian at this point, but I’ll take an awesome homemade veggie burger any day :)


    • Katie, doesn’t that just gross you out? It did me. I remember growing up with the show the Jetson’s where they ate a pill and hearing that would be what the future would be like. At times I thought I wouldn’t mind swallowing a pill and getting all the nutrients I needed without the need of cleaning up the kitchen after a meal. But if this is the future of food, grown in labs, I want no part of it. I’m like you, if I want a burger my boca burger or black bean burger is much more to my liking than even meat from an animal.


  7. Lois I loved reading Sayantan Sen’s post. This is exactly what I try to impart to my students. I’m so pleased also that you posted your tree, I love it’s twisting trunk and curling branches.


    • Jen, it’s been a few days now and I still smile at my accomplishment of getting what I saw onto the canvas but with my interpretation. Sayantan Sen’s post resonated so much with me, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I can picture you as such a giving and inspiring teacher, your students are so lucky but I believe it’s also a situation where you receive as much from them..


  8. Lois, I love your picture and how it fits into your bathroom, just lovely. I have really enjoyed reading some of the posts you have linked in here – Lyle’s post about his mum is just lovely, can relate to difficult childhoods and less than perfect parents, love the redecorated bathroom….found a new gardening blog to follow etc etc. Thanks!!


    • Wow, Wendy, I’m glad this weeks faves were such a hit and I love connecting bloggers. I don’t think anyone lives/lived that picture perfect childhood so I thought Lyle’s story would be welcomed by many. On the bathroom, I only wish I could pull out my vanity and start over. Oh well, that’s one of the things about renting, I keep more of my money in my pocket and spend less time on home improvements.


      • We own our home and there are heaps of things I would love to do, our vanity is one thing that could do with being replaced – I very much doubt that will get done in a very long time! We do little things at a time but no money for beautifying what is basically functional shabby or outdated :) I do often think we will sooner or later get to a stage where we decide this house needs ALOT of work done to it! I rented for 25 years and must say alot of things I appreciated about renting.
        Childhoods…isn’t it a shame that the ideal is so rarely reached when it comes to the foundations on which a person’s life and future self are built on.


        • I so agree. I had a couple of homes that I thought would only take a little work to restore and ended up with non-stop repairs and updates. Renting is where I need to be now. I hope your home doesn’t get to that point.

          Yes, it’s a shame, what children experience in their youth is oftentimes carried well into their adult years.


    • Thanks, and you are welcome. I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in quite a while, even though I let the grey show with shorter hair this is the first time she’s seen it now that I’m letting my hair grow. Her reaction was priceless, she informed me I needed to color my hair. But instead of being offended I felt sad for her that she still believes we need to hide the grey. Maybe she will come around one day.


    • Hi Cindy, you are very welcome. I so want to try making something from pallets but don’t have a lot of the necessary tools. I go past a beer distributor often and see their stack of pallets and SO want to ask them if I can have a few. I’m thinking of looking around to see who may have the tools I could borrow, if I find them I will ask. :-) Thank you for your comment on my tree art, I’m trying to stretch my creativity and see what else I can do.


    • Thank you Lena, I was so proud of myself for not giving up when I didn’t like my first attempt at the background color. I hadn’t thought about folk art, but I may try a few pieces and see how I do, thanks for the idea.


  9. I love these posts that you do… it’s so nice to see all these great links together.

    Also, I would love to add to your gallery, if you’d like one of my paintings on a vinyl record! :) I could do a custom one for you or send one that I’ve posted on my blog… as I recall, you really liked them! I’d love to give you one.


    • Caitlin, how sweet of you. I would love one, but as you are making this a gift I would like you to choose and surprise me. I will email you soon. Thank you so much it will have a special place in my home.


  10. Thank you so much for the ping back Lois. I was surprised to see it when reading this. It always takes me awhile to get through your Friday Faves because I want to check all the sites you mention. You have soooo much wonderful information. Loved the art work and the black edges make it stand out. You draw exceeding well for someone who doesn’t think she can. I find stuff at the dumpster sometimes and just put it in the car for my next trip to the thrift store. I drop off, not pick up. I have more than enough and am continuing to purge. Have a wonderful weekend. :)


    • You are welcome, Marlene. I could so relate to your story having been responsible at a young age for my siblings as well. I never had dolls, instead I had live babies to care for. While I loved my siblings the responsibility made me think I wanted my freedom instead of children of my own. Of course things change and I have two children I wouldn’t trade for that freedom.

      Thank you, I sat her with a piece of paper and pencil until I liked what I saw then simply copied what I had done. It was fun and I’m ready to try something else. :-)

      Good idea to collect things to drop off at the thrift shop, it keeps it in circulation!


    • Cooo, cooo, cooooo back to Pidge. :-) While I grew up in the city along Lake Erie we had pigeons everywhere, they were despised yet other than worrying about walking under one sitting on the ledge of a building and receiving a “shower” I never understood why people hated them so. Yes, they can make a mess but they don’t do any damage. Guess I was always meant to live out in the country where I would be surrounded by nature and people who mostly appreciate and respect it.


      • Pigeon droppings were prized for their rich fertilizer from Egyptian times through recent times in England — the crown “owned” all pigeon droppings and you could be arrested for stealing them! How things change.

        I’m having a similar experience with the pokeweed that has come growing around my house. People comment about the weeds, but once I tell them I am using the berries to dye my yarn and fabric, and did they know the Declaration of Independence was written in fermented pokeberry ink?!? people aren’t so fast to disrespect my “weeds” – !!!


        • Jackie, you just educated me. :-) I had no idea the dropping were prized during history. I love how you have dealt with your neighbors over your poke weed. You have really done your research. I can just picture the mouths dropping, speechless as you put them in their place oh so sweetly. :-)


    • Alex, I had planned to remove that particular one, but I keep laughing at this big guy who tells me how beautiful they are dried. I guess I’ll leave it. :-) I so enjoyed the story of the UK family in Germany and while I’m not much of a morning person I would love to see all our children have that kind of early introduction to nature. And to have so much respect for mothers…


  11. Well all I can say is that for someone who doesn’t think they can you certainly can/did turn anything/something into a work of art. Love the blue ‘ tree of life’ which has melded with the other little works of art in your bathroom.
    Take care


    • Thank you so much, Cathy. I have decided to put my fears of messing up aside and just allow myself to create. I’m not a natural artist, I don’t seem to have an idea without some inspiration, but I’m okay with that. I can’t help smiling every time I look at my tree and realize I did that.


  12. well, I was looking over that site, on what the world eats, and was thinking about which weeks food looked the healthiest
    from the top down as I read through (not in order of which I think is best), the best countries week of food to my mind was


    I picked those, as they seemed to me to have the least processed/closest to source/healthiest.
    Maybe not surprising, they were also what most mainstream Nutritionists / Governments would “consider” the poorest/most basic. (and needing, not doubt some good old north American vitamins..and meds and supplements, etc)..

    However, in thinking this over, it seems entirely possible to me, that even the group which seemingly had the least food in the picture for the week/the poorest group, I assume, (CHAD)
    had a fair chance of eating in a week,
    Healthier nutrition/less toxic chemicals than the average North American Family.
    — while most families in North America would eat vastly increased quantities of “something”, it seems to me that most of what most North American families eat in a week hardly qualifies as nutritious.

    on a similar but slightly different note, does anyone know if the tomatoes and cherries which are available in the average grocery store are GMO and / or Transgenic?


    • Wow, Lynn, I think you spent as much time evaluating the various diets as I did. I couldn’t agree more with you that even the most minimal diet looks healthier than what is eaten in the US. I looked at several of those diets and couldn’t help thinking how much healthier they would be than us.

      On the subject of GMOs I know there were GMO tomatoes, but they are no longer available anywhere in the US or UK, but I have no answers on the cherries. I do know that if you look at the produce code any number that starts with a 5 is genetically modified. A 9 means organic.


      • Glad you didn’t think I was crazy with my assessment…This will not be palatable for us in North America, but it is true, and also likely nutritious, and good protein. It is a fact that in those countries I listed, due to food storage situations, etc, there will be a certain about of bugs in the food. So, they also (in addition to the pictures) would actually be getting some nutrition/protein from the bugs. Also, in many countries, it is still common to eat certain bugs “fresh” “raw”, pick them up and pop them in. As well, there are some who cook them. I had a friend who moved here from Africa, about six/eight yrs ago, and one day we were talking about the news reports of a tree catapiller infestation, somewhere, a ways from us. She looked at me a bit hesitant, and I said, what?… Then she said, back home in Africa, they would have plucked them from the tree and popped them in the mouth..(seriously).

        also, and here I hve to start with I am not at all good on geography, watched a news report (this was four or five months back)…There was an plague of crickets moving through, I think it may have been on the border between Israel and Palestine.. There were crops, and grape growing fields. the t.v. camera showed how these crickets went through and ate everything..However, there was also a man and his son there. He had travelled out, early in the morning, from a city in Israel. They were collecting up crickets. He said, the crickets sleep at night, and if you are there early in morning, you can just sweep them into your bag, and seal it. He said they put spice on, and baked them at high temp.

        so, anyway, what I am thinking is that some of those very meager meals are likely supplemented, either by design or accident with bugs.


        • You are not crazy at all. The SAD and food pyramid is so much more unhealthy. Although, the idea of eating bugs doesn’t do much to help build an appetite. :-) I think I will pass on that subject, but thanks for the information.


I enjoy hearing from you, please share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s