Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I've been a newsletter subscriber to Dollar Store Crafts for awhile but just today noticed a link in the newsletter to another site called CraftFail. I clicked on over and spent the next twenty minutes or so going through the posts there. Heather from Dollar Store Crafts has created a place for crafters to share those projects that didn't quite measure up.

CraftFail has managed to make me feel better about myself because you all have no idea how many craft projects I've done with hopes of being able to share them here on my blog only to realize that the end product just needs to be buried someplace and erased from memory.

Now I have a place to call home. Yay me!

Here is a submission that had me laughing and commiserating along.

Here is the original project inspiration.

nylon baby dolls
Reposted from

Cute, huh?

Here is the finished product by Catalina from Up the hill, both ways

nylon doll fail
Picture property of Catalina from Up the hill, both ways

Oh, how I know this feeling.  In the past, I have buried my craft fails at the bottom of the trash can.  Now I can proudly share them at CraftFail and know that they will somehow bring a smile to someone which is what the whole point was to begin with.  It's just a different kind of smile in the end.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Midnight Lullaby - Jane Roman Pitt

A few weeks ago I was contacted and asked to review a lullaby CD by classically trained singer Jane Roman Pitt. Her CD is called Midnight Lullaby. While Bean doesn't let me rock her to sleep any more, I really loved the times when I would sit in her room with her in my arms rocking her to sleep. I would turn down the lights and turn on soft music for her. These were very special days to me. These memories made me want to listen to Jane's music and yearn for those sweet times again.

First, my own thoughts on the songs. Jane Roman Pitt's voice really does soothe you. The best way I can describe it is a sound that feels like you're being wrapped up in it. Midnight Lullaby is soothing collection of songs written by some of well known singer songwriters including Bob Dylan, Wilco, Tom Waits, The Dixie Chicks, Sade and more. She has turned these songs into beautiful lullabies.

I was also given the chance to interview Jane and here's what she had to say about her music.

Pinkie:  I really enjoyed your CD. I love the “re-telling” of these contemporary songs into lullabies. But this really isn’t the first time you've done this, is it? Didn’t you do something similar on your Peace of the River CD with “Here Comes the Sun”?

Jane:  I’m so happy to have the chance to talk to you and your readers about music and lullabies. Yes, you are exactly right---it was “Here Comes the Sun” that inspired me to use other contemporary songs as lullabies. I thought and thought about putting that one on “Midnight Lullaby” but because it talked about the sun coming up, I figured it wasn’t actually a perfect image for the midnight theme!

Pinkie:  Other than the birth of your grandchildren, was that the first spark of the idea of doing a compilation of lullabies? I read on your blog that you really didn’t have a huge appreciation for lullabies until a friend of yours asked you to sing some on her CD series. What made you take notice of the effect music has on children?

Jane:  Although I loved doing the Beatles song that way, the idea of collecting lullabies came only when Gari Stein asked me to sing lullabies for her children’s project. I’d sung some of those songs to my own children, but while recording them all together I remembered just how sweet lullabies are and started to think more about them.

I also had ventured into singing jazz and country music, and the feedback was that my voice was just too sweet for those genres---I wasn’t tough enough! But when I sang lullabies, it felt like a perfect fit and I didn’t have to try to sound like anybody else.

I also realized during that recording that quiet music has a powerful effect---the recording engineer started to fall asleep! And when Gari told me that the kids in her music classes settled down as the lullabies were being played, it made me feel like it was something important--we all know how great it is to get kids to settle down!

Pinkie:  Your songs from Midnight Lullabies make the listener feel, or at least they made me feel, wrapped up in the tones of your voice. Other people have said your voice sounds like warm honey. I couldn’t think of a better explanation of your sound. I know you are an accomplished and award-winning musician but this CD must have made you realize again and again how important music is to the soul.

Jane:  What a beautiful way to describe music, and thank you for feeling that my songs convey that comforting “wrapped up” feeling---how perfect for lullabies! I do think that music is very important to the soul, and the heart, and the body. Musical vibrations resonate very deeply in us. Physics tells us that vibrations, or sound waves, are at the basis of all physical creation---including people! When we hear music that seems to resonate it can be not only pleasurable but healing.

Pinkie:  Do you have any plans for another lullaby compilation or what’s next for you other than enjoying your beautiful grandchildren?

Jane:  I would love to record more lullabies. I have several lists of songs planned out already! I have to admit, though, that this past month I’ve had my hands full (literally) with my brand new grandson and toddler granddaughter and it’s been an experience that I’m very grateful for. Nothing like practical experience to be able to relate to all of you who have little ones to settle down on a daily (and nightly) basis!

I told Jane that I honestly didn't have much musical background myself but since Bean has come along, I wished I had more knowledge that I could share with her. This was her advice to me and I really cherished it coming from someone so well trained in music:

With Bean, and all children, don’t feel like you have to know a lot about music to have them appreciate it---just sing whatever you know, hum, play recordings for them, take them to children’s concerts, etc---and they’ll grow up to love music and love you for giving it to them!

I highly recommend Midnight Lullaby to any parent.  Even now, Bean likes to listen to it before bed.  It does seem to set the mood for her to fall asleep.

***I'd like to thank Jane Roman Pitt and Beautiful Day Media for contacting me and giving me the chance to review this CD.  I was provided a free copy of the CD for purposes of this review.***

Monday, July 18, 2011

Staycation 2011!

Well Staycation 2011 has come and gone. We are back to our regularly scheduled lives now.


We didn't do much on our vacation this year. We are trying to pay down on our debts so we really limited our vacation budget. But even without having tons of activities to do, we still enjoyed each other's company. At least I think we did.

On Monday, there was nothing planned so we hung out around the house and waited for it to cool off. Once it did, we took Bean to a local park that she really wanted to visit again. While there, I thought I'd check a geocaching app on my phone to see if there were any finds close by.  I had never heard of geocaching until a bloggy friend of mine, The Cakeologist, wrote about it in this post.

Sure enough there was a hidden treasure in the park. Hubz eventually found it because I wasn't too keen on the idea of picking my way through the great wilderness, i.e. the well manicured lawn. Nope, I didn't want to put my uncovered toesies in the brush near what may or may not have been poison ivy or run the risk of coming in contact with some heinous creature from hell like a snake or a deadly ladybug or whatnot. Yes, I am a Georgia girl born and bred but I shrink away from most outdoor activities of this sort which is why I plainly resemble Casper, The Friendly Ghost.

Once the hidden treasure was found, we opened it and looked inside. It was just a rolled up sheet of paper for folks to add their name and where they were from. It was interesting to read all the names and the places they lived. Bean wanted to see it so I told her to hold it up so I could take a picture of her with the tube.

She's nothing if not literal.

It was interesting.  We'll probably try and find another one or two, as long as Hubz is there to do the dirty work.

On Tuesday we visited the Georgia Aquarium.  We just knew that Bean would be amazed at all the fish and sea creatures there.  We were wrong.  She was really only interested in the slide and the gift shop.  (That's my girl!)  The aquarium has a section for kids to climb and slide through and that was her favorite part.  We showed her tank after tank of fish, whales, sea horses, starfish, you name it.  All I got out of her was "Look at that little girl's shoes!  They are pretty!"  All I could do was smile at Hubz and move along.  Again, that's my girl.

We finally got her to take a break from the climbing and sliding so that I could get a picture of the cutest little fish face you've seen all day.

I'll have more pictures to share with you tomorrow.  

Friday, July 8, 2011

What we did while Daddy went fishing. (2011)

{This post was intended to be published last year but don't know why it was stuck in the drafts folder.  I'm publishing it now so that Bean will have it here in her "baby book".)

Bean and I did a few fun things this past weekend while Hubz went fishing.

We did an "acti-bit-tee" cause we "lub acti-bit-tees". We experimented with color shading and mixing. I got this idea from Chasing Cheerios.

Bean used a lollipop stick to swirl the food coloring around to see the different shades she could make.

When I told her it was okay to use her hands, she went a little wild.

She really enjoyed it.


We also dressed up some flip flops.

And enjoyed a chocolate bar...or three.

As you can see, we were able to keep busy just the two of us.  I know Hubz is jealous of our flip flops.  He'll think about that the next time he goes fishin' instead of hanging out with us.