Sunday, March 22, 2015

World Water Day MAR 22, 2015

DIANE'S CORNER ... Celebrate World Water Day

It’s a sad but true fact that 783 million people around the world still do not have access to clean water. Over 2.5 million people still do not have proper access to adequate sanitation facilities. This sad lack of such basic human needs is a tragedy that people around the world are seeking to redress.
This is also why the United Nations has set up World Water Day – a day where people can focus on the many ways ordinary people can get involved in helping people reclaim some dignity, and improve their long-term health through access to clean and safe water. Other water issues such as safeguarding aquatic eco-systems are also highlighted every year on this day. We need our water in all its forms!
Water is such a precious commodity that many take for granted. World Water Day is a chance to think about those people and places where water needs are still paramount, and seek to work together to find a solution.

Word of the Day


Definition:(verb) To talk casually.
Usage:Three old friends met in a café to confabulate together.


Great Britain Passes the Stamp Act

Intended to help pay British debts from the French and Indian War, the Stamp Act established the first direct tax levied on the American colonies. It required all newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, commercial bills, advertisements, and other papers issued in the colonies to bear a tax stamp. The act was vehemently protested by the colonists, and the Stamp Act Congress—the first significant joint colonial response to any British measure—petitioned for its repeal.

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber is a highly successful British composer of musical theatre whose scores include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatJesus Christ SuperstarEvita, and two of the longest-running Broadway shows of all time:Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. Lloyd Webber has won multiple Tony and Grammy Awards, as well as a Golden Globe and an Oscar, and was knighted in 1992.

Nuuk Snow Festival

In 1994, the town of NuukGreenland, held its first snow-sculpture festival. It has since become an annual event, scheduled for the third weekend in March. It attracts contestants from all over Greenland, as well as from Canada, the US, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark. Festival organizers give each team of sculptors a compressed block of snow. The teams then set to work, transforming the square blocks into an amazing variety of shapes. Their efforts are displayed in a sculpture park that is illuminated at night, creating beautiful lights and shadows on the sculptures.

Indian Students, Aided by Climbing Parents, Expelled for Cheating

About 600 high school students in eastern India have been expelled for cheating on pressure-packed 10th grade examinations this week, education authorities said Friday. The incident has received widespread attention after Indian television footage showed parents and friends of students scaling the outer walls of school buildings to pass cheat sheets to students inside taking exams.

1457 - Gutenberg Bible became the first printed book.

1733 - Joseph Priestly invented carbonated water (seltzer).

1841 - Englishman Orlando Jones patented cornstarch. 

1894 - The first playoff competition for the Stanley Cup began. Montreal played Ottawa. Montreal won.

1903 - Niagara Falls ran out of water due to a drought. 

1904 - The first color photograph was published in the London Daily Illustrated Mirror.It was yellow.

1911 - Herman Jadlowker became the first opera singer to perform two major roles in the same day at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City

1934 - The first Masters golf championship began in Augusta, GA

1954 - The first shopping mall opened in Southfield, Michigan

1956 - Perry Como became the first major TV variety-show host to book a rock and roll act on his program. The act was Carl Perkins. 

1977 - Comedienne Lily Tomlin made her debut on Broadway in "Lily Tomlin on Stage" in New York.

1978 - Karl Wallenda, of the Flying Wallendas, fell to his death while walking a cable strung between to hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

1997 - Tara Lipinski, at 14 years and 10 months, became the youngest women's world figure skating champion. 

2002 - A collection of letters and cards sent by Princess Diana of Wales sold for $33,000. The letters and cards were written to a former housekeeper at Diana's teenage home

If You Were Born Today, March 22

You radiate a wonderfully positive energy that others are often inspired by you. Your passions are great, but sometimes short-lived, as you can be quite moody and changeable emotionally. Still, you are exceptionally hard-working when enthused. You generally have many activities and projects going at once. You have an unusual and unique personality, and many of you feel the calling of something higher, craving a feeling of purposefulness. Famous people born today: Reese Witherspoon, William Shatner, Chico Marx, Matthew Modine, Will Yun Lee.

Picture of a Suri woman dressed in a feathered costume representing a sacred bird, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Sacred Feathers

Photograph by Marco Vernaschi
In Argentina’s Jujuy Province, the Suris, also known as Samilantes, are a cultural group within the Quechua community. This woman is Belén Cruz. Her feathered costume represents the nandu, or rhea, sacred bird of the Suris. Photographer Marco Vernaschi’s Biophilia Foundation looks to help indigenous groups preserve their cultural heritage by developing their own local economy through native products.



Ravelry: Rectangular Chevron Shawl pattern by Elisa Di F... 
A rectangular shawl with a simple chevron pattern repetition. It can be made using any kind of yarn and needles to obtain any size. Gauge is not important.
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knit, baby
Ravelry: Easy Baby Garter Stitch Tube Socks pattern by K... 
The last year or so, I’ve been knitting or crocheting baby booties for charity. They go into newborn kits for moms who don’t have anything for their new ba...

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Ravelry: Hadley Hat pattern by Robyn Devine 
The Hadley Hat will help you use up worsted weight yarn scraps in a flash! Simple construction, endless color combinations, and a slightly slouchy fit suits...
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Leanne Wright's photo.

thanks, heide

Elisabeth’s Goodness-Filled (aka Gluten-Free) Goodies 
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 375º
Put in big bowl and stir:
2 cups (1 pound) Trader Joes organic crunchy, salted Peanut Butter
1 stick (1/2 cup) organic, salted butter, melted by not hot
1/2 cup of organic dark brown sugar (these cookies are not super sweet)
3 organic large eggs
1 tbsp. real vanilla
A few shakes of sea salt (ground fine)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (you could use almond but always unsweetened).
Add and stir into wet mixture:
1-1.5 cups of GOOD dark chocolate chips (Note: I add them before the flour because they seem to mix in better. You can also chop the chips into smaller pieces or I suppose your M&M’s if you want to make them pretty)
Mix well together in 4 cup measuring cup or bowl:
2 to 2.25 cups of your favorite gluten-free flour mix (I’ll post my own mix next)
2 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. xanthum gum
Optional: ½ cup quick or regular oatmeal
Pour into wet mixture and stir.
Scoop into nice little piles (12 to a cookie sheet).
Use a fork if you want to make the classic criss-cross design on them.
Bake for 15-17 minutes…just until a little brown.
Remove and let cool (unless you want a hot one!)

Diane Hamilton Huston's photo.

crockpot recipe
stephanie o'dea

The CrockPot as an Air Freshener/ Odor Neutralizer

Eliminate any odors.

The Ingredients.

--baking soda (for the little dipper, I used 3 T)

The Directions.

Pour water into the crockpot you are going to use. Add baking soda. Mix. Plug it in and turn to low (the Little Dipper and some of the small ones don't have settings, they just plug in). Keep the lid off.

Let the baking soda do the job of soaking up unpleasant odors.

If you would prefer to use the crockpot as an air freshener, fill with water, and add:

--drops of essential oil
--potpourri scent
--2 teaspoons of vanilla or other desired extract
--ground cinnamon, and cloves
--a cinnamon stick
--slices of lemon

The Verdict.

I was quite pleased with how the baking soda really did absorb the kitchen odors. 

Watercolor Mug

free people blog

Post image for DIY Watercolor Mug

I purchased some porcelain white mugs, and I wanted to see what would happen if I used a watercolor technique on them. The result is beautiful and simple, and you can use the mugs to sip a hot drink, or place around as a decor element. Here’s how I did it…
watercolor supplies

What you need:
Porcelain Mug
Porcelain Paint
paint mug

It doesn’t take much work to start getting the watercolor effect on your mug. Take a wet paintbrush, and dip it into whatever color porcelain paint you desire. The more water you add, the more the color will run. Start painting your mug. I started at the top and let the paint drip down to the bottom.
watercolor plate

Once your mug is completely painted and dry, place it in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. This will allow the porcelain paint to bake so it doesn’t chip or come off when washing. Make sure all stickers are off of your mug before baking it!
watercolor mug in hand

And there you go! I love how organic the running colors look.

Aside from using the mug to drink from, you can also use it to hold dried flower petals, or use it to store rings or other jewelry on a dresser. It’s fun to create pretty little vignettes with these around your room.



Axel Erlandson (1884-1964) was a Swedish born “tree shaper” who lived in California for most of his life.
Tree shaping is a method of growing trees into artistic designs, and Axel Erlandson was a master at it.
He started shaping trees as a hobby in 1925, but his hobby soon became more serious after his wife and daughter suggested that tourists would pay to come see his strange trees.


DCF 1.0

Erlandson opened the Tree Circus in 1947 with transplanted trees from his personal garden. His creations were years in the making.
One of his most recognizable trees, the Basket Tree, was made by plating 6 sycamores in a circle, then grafting them into diamond patterns.
Attendance to the Tree Circus was moderate. Construction of a new highway diverted tourists away from his roadside attraction. In 1963, Erlandson sold the Tree Circus for $12,000.


After a few failed owners, the land was sold to a developer who was going to bulldoze the whimsical trees.
With some intervention, the trees were saved as National Landmarks and eventually bought by entrepreneur Michael Bonfante, who transplanted them to his new amusement park, Gilroy Gardens, which is where over half remain to this day.
Picture 669


Axel Erlandson knew his trees would be perfect fodder for the famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not! cartoon. He sent Robert Ripley a few pictures and invited Ripley to come visit. The results were multiple cartoons throughout the years featuring the magnificently bizarre trees.


CHILDREN'S CORNER ... coloring


A rolling stone gathers no moss, but it gains a certain polish. - Oliver Herford

'where's the bathroom?' in Hawaiian - Aia i hea ka lua?


Button Lampshade
15 Interesting DIY Button Projects



thanks, patty

KYLE BEAN ... illustrator, art director and maker who creates playful, concept-driven work

Stick Insects

Insects made from matchsticks. 

Gravity in a Flatland

How would gravity react if the universe was flat?

A series of brains made out of different objects and materials. The series includes brains made of toothpaste, newspapers and fruit with chocolate.

What Came First?

Chicken made from eggshells

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