What we’ve been doing – (or) BOY, AM I TIRED!


What you see before you is the FIRST project required of middle son for an Art DESIGN class. He signed up at our local college, thinking he was taking beginning DRAWING – sorry, nope – wrong: YOU have signed up for BASIC DESIGN! I feel bad for him because before he actually noticed that it was the wrong class, the time to change classes was done – now it’s (a) take the class or (b) drop the class and get no credit: he chose to stick it out. He had been talking ‘at’ me about this project and finally, yesterday, asked for my help. I had NO idea going into this that it was THIS COMPLICATED! The assignment requires you find three examples of ‘Organic Patterns’ (these can be rubbings from leaves/trees/rocks – anything) or a picture you cut out of a magazine; then find three examples of ‘Geometric Patterns’. After you’ve chosen your 6 ‘examples’, you are to DRAW a sort of vague idea of this design on a cardboard and outline it in black (do the same with all 6 examples). Next you are to make a ‘color example’ of the final design. Your original assignment is to go through this process for a (fictitious) client who has requested you come up with two T-Shirt designs (see photo). Let me tell you – for a kid who hasn’t had drawing/Art before, this was a HUGE task! He was pretty good at finding the examples/rubbings BUT from there on out, he really needed help. We started at around 5 p.m. and went to bed at 2 a.m., getting up a 7:30 to do the finishing work of gluing it all onto the foam board – sigh. Yes, I’ve taken MANY years of Art courses, but I’ve never had to draw a ‘repeating pattern’ before (I have NO idea what he would have done – I volunteered to do the t-shirt drawing and he filled them in; even THEN, they aren’t exact . . . like we both kept telling each other during this: “Just do your BEST!”). It’s DONE – he took it to class at 9 a.m., so we both can give HUGE sighs of relief! Neither of us have a clue what that grade will be; part of this project is now for him to present his designs BEFORE THE CLASS! (Ugh! – Glad it’s not me!). We’ll see how this all pans out – the thing that struck me the most was: this is only the FIRST assignment in this class – AND, it’s not a second or third level course in Design, this is the FIRST design class! Crazy! Just CRAZY!

I supposed, if you are looking for some ‘code’ for how to read the board, here’s what I can tell you: The designs go VERTICALLY (a) example picture/rubbing ROW 1, top left (photo of snake skeleton (b) directly below, rough black & white drawing of said pattern (c) directly below, finalized colored design interpretation of original snake skeleton. (EACH of the designs follow that order VERTICALLY). T-SHIRTS: you were to pick ONE finalized colored design from each group (either Organic or Geometric) and render a t-shirt using (a) half black & white & (b) colored version of original colored design interpretation. They were allowed LOTS of leeway on their interpretations, hence the middle pictures don’t exactly replicate the final colored design. All I know is: we put ALL WE HAD into the project; sure hope he gets a good grade (he said he’d be happy just with ‘passing’).

Weather-wise it’s been really nice (for Winter): temps are cold (right now it’s 13 degrees F) but yesterday was bright & sunny & CLEAR! It was so nice, I decided to go out shopping! Ended up hitting quite a few places for various items, ending up at Tim Horton’s for coffee for husband & I. I’ve seen on the ‘web’ that there are several big snow storms coming very soon (like late tonight 1-3 inches and below zero temps even during the DAY!). I guess we should be HAPPY that it’s 13 degrees right now, because the local weather said it was supposed to be below zero all week during the DAY! Crazy! (I do see that they’ve updated the forecast since yesterday; yesterday they were calling for 3-5 inches of snow late tonight and more tomorrow – guess we’ll just have to wait & see, right?).

Addendum: He ended up getting an A- for his grade! YAY! (He said the only reason it wasn’t a solid A is because we did not color black some of the parts of the middle row pictures like her example – I truly think it was just because we were too tired to even SEE her examples!) So glad he got a good grade!

Gas Prices:  I’ve been pretty happy with our prices lately, last Friday I was out & about so I filled up my van with $3.29/9 (now it’s up to $3.32/9 – still not really bad). With all this goofy sub-zero weather, lots of my ‘usual’ traveling has been cancelled. Tonight is our ‘every two week’ Knit/Crochet group; as of right now 13 have signed up for tonight (and that’s only part of the people – there are quite a few who NEVER sign up on line who come). Again – we’ll see how that pans out later!



1 pkg yellow cake mix
2 boxes orange Jello
1 box vanilla instant pudding
1 C. milk
2 Large Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 tub Cool Whip

Bake cake as directed in a 9 x 13″ pan.
Let cake cool completely. Poke holes in cooled
cake. Mix 1 pkg. orange gelatin dessert with
1 C. boiling water and 1 C. cold water. Pour over
cake. Cover & refrigerate for 4 hours. Mix pudding mix
with cold milk, the other pkg. orange gelatin dessert
& vanilla; beat by hand with a whisk until thickened.
Fold in Cool Whip; frost cake with pudding mixture.
For a layered Creamsicle Cake: Make cake batter as directed,
then batter pour evenly into 3 round 9″ cake pans. Bake
cakes as directed and let cool. Make orange gelatin as
directed on pkg. but with this version, you’ll let the gelatin
set up instead of pouring it into the cake. We recommend
using your round cake pans, or using a 13 x 17″ jelly roll pan
(1″ deep cookie sheet with edges). Once you pour the liquid
gelatin mixture into the pans, it will need to be refrigerated
for about 4 hours. Meanwhile, make the pudding mixture
according to the original recipe. Finally, layer in this order:
cake, gelatin pudding mixture. Repeat once more for a
6-layered Creamsicle Cake.

(recipe: Facebook)

Mac & Cheeseburger Casserole

4 T. margarine, divided
1 lb. lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 C. milk
1/4 C. flour
1 T. yellow mustard
2 T. ketchup
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
8 oz. dry fusilli* pasta, cooked & drained

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Melt 2 T. margarine in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add beef & onions, cook
until beef is thoroughly cooked & onions are
tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk together milk,
flour, mustard, ketchup & remaining margarine
in medium bowl. Stir milk mixture into skillet &
bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to
Low; cook until thick & creamy, about 4 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 C. cheese. Toss meat
mixture with cooked pasta. Turn into 11 X 8 baking
dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C. cheese. Bake
15 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 6

NOTE: For a fun idea: top with your favorite burger
toppings; shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes &
chopped pickles.

*fusilli noodles: spiral noodles


Broccoli-Corn Scallop

2 T. chopped onions
2 T. butter or margarine, divided
1 T. flour
1 1/4 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded monterey
jack cheese
1 (11 oz) can kernel corn, drained
12 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1/2 C.)
2 (10 oz,ea) pkgs. frozen broccoli
spears, thawed & drained

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook & stir onions in 1 T. butter in
medium saucepan on medium heat 1
minute. Blend in flour; gradually stir
in milk. Cook & stir 2-3 minutes or until
thickened. Add cheese; cook 2-3 minutes
or until melted, stirring constantly. Stir in
corn & 1/4 C. cracker crumbs. Place
broccoli in 12 X 8 baking dish; top with
sauce. Melt remaining butter; mix with
remaining cracker crumbs & sprinkle over
sauce. Bake 30 minutes or until heated
through. Serves 8

can be made ahead & refrigerated up to
24 hours. When ready to serve, bake,
uncovered, 350 degrees F. 45 minutes or
until heated through.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheesy Beef & Eggplant Lasagna

1 large eggplant (1 1/2 lb) peeled & cut
into 1/2 inch cubes
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 C. spaghetti sauce
1 (8 oz) tub Kraft Philadelphia Chive &
Onion cream cheese spread
3 T. milk
15 oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Italian Five
Cheese blend cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Microwave eggplant in large micro-
waveable bowl on High 6-7  minutes
or until tender. Brown meat with onions &
garlic in large skillet sprayed with nonstick
spray on medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce,
cream cheese spread, milk & eggplant; mix
well. Cook & stir 2-3 minutes or until heated
through; remove from heat. Spread about
1 1/2 C. spaghetti sauce on bottom of 9 X 13
baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray, cover
with 5  noodles. Repeat layers twice. Top with
remaining sauce, shredded cheese & Parmesan;
cover.* Bake 1 hour, uncovering last 15 minutes.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 15.

*Spray underside of foil with nonstick spray
before covering dish.
Can be made ahead of time & refrigerated up
to 24 hours before baking. Increase baking
time, if needed until lasagna is heated through.

(recipes: Kraft foods)

Reuben Dip
(oven or small crockpot)

1 (16 oz) pkg. sauerkraut, rinsed & squeezed
8 oz. corned beef from deli, shredded
16 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 C. Thousand Island salad dressing
1/2 C. mayonnaise
Dijon mustard

Go with items: Tricuits/toasted party
rye bread, crackers

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl combine mayonnaise &
Thousand Island dressing. Spread sauerkraut
into 9 X 13 baking dish. Layer corned beef over
sauerkraut; spread with Dijon mustard. Place
shredded Swiss cheese over top; add mayo-
Thous. Islnd dressing mix on top of cheese.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Serves 8-10

NOTE: You can chop sauerkraut finer to make
it easier to dip before making this dish.
Can also be made in small crockpot, layering
ingredients as you go. Sauce will work it’s way
down through the layers.

(recipe: Goldie-justapinch.com)

3-Ingredient Lemon Crumble Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (1/2 C.) stick unsalted butter,
1 can lemon pie filling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray.
In a bowl, combine softened butter with
dry cake mix; mix until crumbly. Measure
out 1/2 C. of mixture; set aside. Using rest
of mixture; press into bottom of prepared
pan. Spread it out evenly and pack down
with your hands. Spoon lemon pie filling
onto crust; spread out evenly. Sprinkle
reserved crumb mixture over top. Bake
20-25 minutes; top will start to turn very
light golden brown. Cover & store in

(recipe: the countrycook.net)

Chicken Tortelini Soup

4 C. water
4 C. chicken broth
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 C. uncooked tortellini (frozen or
1-2 C. cooked chicken*, chopped or
salt & pepper, to taste
2 oz. basil pesto
Parmesan cheese (garnish)

In large Dutch oven or heavy saucepan,
bring water & broth to a boil. Add
sliced green onion & tortellini; cook until
tortellini is tender, about 10 minutes.
During last 2 minutes of cooking, add
chicken. Season soup with salt & pepper.
Ladle into bowls, swirl in a dollop of pesto
(about 1 tsp.) & top generously with freshly
grated Parmesan cheese. Makes 10 cups.

*NOTE: Shortcut – use rotisserie chicken.

TIP: For extra kick, substitute 1-2 C. spicy
chicken sausage, crumbled & cooked.

(recipe: homemadesimple.com)

Cheesy Pepperoni Pulls

4 oz. pepperoni slices
1 green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 C. grape tomatoes
1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 (13.4 oz) pkg. refrigerated pizza dough

your favorite pizza sauce, for dipping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine first 5 ingredients in 9 X 13 baking
dish sprayed with nonstick spray; top with
cheese. Unroll pizza dough; cut into 2 inch
pieces with sharp knife or kitchen shears.
Place over cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until
golden brown; cool 10 minutes. Loosen edges
from side of dish; invert onto platter. Carefully
remove dish.
Serve with your favorite pizza sauce (warmed)
for dipping. Makes 6 servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Jalapeno Popper Melt

2 slices jalapeno -cheddar cheese
4 slices multi-grain bread
1 small jalapeno pepper, thinly
2 slices American cheese
1 egg
3 T. milk
1/3 C. finely crushed pretzels
4 tsp. unsalted butter, divided

Place jalapeno cheese slices on 2
bread slices; cover with fresh
jalapeno peppers, Amer. cheese
slices & remaining bread. Whisk egg
& milk in pie plate until blended. Dip
sandwiches, 1 at a time, in egg mixture,
then in pretzel crumbs, turning to evenly
coat both sides of sandwich with crumbs.
Melt 2 tsp. butter in medium skillet on
medium heat. Add sandwiches, cook 2
minutes or until bottoms are golden
brown. Add remaining butter to skillet;
turn sandwiches & cook 2 minutes or
until bottoms are golden brown & cheese
is melted. Makes 2 sandwiches.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Among my various ‘trips’ yesterday was a quick stop at the library – I’m figuring ‘if we’re having several snow storms coming, better be prepared with lots of books to read!’  Ended up checking out two titles, each of the two authors I just blogged about (Lisa Jackson and Dee Henderson) – gotta say: those ladies both write very good murder/mystery novels.

Well, friends – that’s about ‘it’ for now; I’m so tired right now I’m actually considering going back to bed for a ‘wee nap’ (it’s now 9:46 a.m.). Coffee and a doughnut did nothing to really wake me up – I need more sleep!


G’Afternoon, all – I’m goin’ back to bed!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Wow it is back to school time for Mom and son. You are a good mommy!

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