Sunday, August 28, 2011

Magnets and Craft Night

The other night, I attended "Coffee, Crafts and Conversation" at Bethany's house. What a fun time of getting together with friends and making new ones!

It was BYOC (bring your own craft) and it was inspiring to see what each lady was working on. Some even brought their own sewing machines!

And of course there were snacks!

Bethany's home is beautifully decorated and personalized with photographs of her family. She is so talented! She took some great photos that night - I was surprised to be front and center on her blog post! I was blessed to be part of the evening and am looking forward to doing it again! 

My craft was making magnets with scrapbook paper and clear vase gems.

I got the idea from my crafty friend Lindsay, after seeing ones that she made on her refrigerator. 

These are two that she gave to me. Aren't they adorable? 

You will need clear vase gems (not marbles) in either small or large size. I found a whole bag of gems at the Dollar Tree.

Small/large round magnets that will fit on the back of the gems. 

Start by placing the stone over the paper you would like to use, and trace the stone. Regular scrapbook paper works really well (no card stock or other specialty papers).

Cut out all your circles of paper with scissors. I like to set them under their intended gem so they don't get lost.

Spread a light amount of Mod Podge with a paint bush onto the back of the gem, and affix your paper, right side down. Brush around the edges of the paper to make sure it's completely sealed. Let it dry. 

Once the Mod Podge has completely dried, use a small dot of heavy-duty permanent glue to attach the magnet. I used Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive, because I happened to have some and it worked well.

Wait for the magnet glue to dry, and you're done! 

I really like how they turned out. However, they are a little tricky to photograph. Thank you Christy for documenting the process while I was working on them! The glass makes them look a little cloudy and blurry. The Mod Podge does dry clear. The gems actually magnify the image, which is why I like using small prints and patterns. 

They look nice on my fridge, holding up family photos. I think they would make cute gifts too! They're quick and inexpensive. A great use of paper scraps too. Go make some refrigerator bling!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Peach Banana Smoothie

I have another recipe for those end-of-summer peaches. You know I love smoothies. This is a variation of my strawberry banana smoothie, substituting fresh peaches for frozen strawberries. 

I had 8 peaches in the refrigerator and they were small, so I used all 8. 

Peel the skin with a vegetable peeler (a trick from Mom) and remove pits. They peel even easier when they're cold. 

Roughly slice and add to the blender.

Add one banana, broken into chunks, 1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup orange juice
4-6 ice cubes and blend together until smooth.

I added a mint leaf and sprinkled a little nutmeg on top for garnish (suggested by Mom). Delicious! The peach flavor was subtle but refreshing. Great for breakfast on the go. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Seneca Park Zoo

My work summer picnic was at the Seneca Park Zoo this year. It was a beautiful afternoon for waking around and admiring the animals. I brought my camera to capture some wildlife. 

After lunch with my coworkers, we participated in a zoo scavenger hunt, looking for and learning unique facts about the animals. Nicole (on the left) did most of the scavenger hunt work while I snapped photos. Kristy brought her son, Cameron, who is getting so big. What a cutie!

I really like seeing the rhinoceros. I think it's because they're so big and unique. They're all dusty and thick-skinned. And those horns.  

Funny story about this pink flamingo-type bird. We were in the bird room where they walk around freely, and there were some kids in there with us. This particular bird was eating some lunch when he (or she) spotted a teeny tiny mouse that ran out from the rocks. He was eyeing it, about to attack, when a little girl shouted, "DON'T DO IT!" And the mouse ran back into the rocks. It was pretty funny. I was thinking the same thing. Don't eat it! 

These old tortoise are fascinating. Look at those scaly legs. He was moving pretty fast. 

An albino python. This thing is HUGE in person. Yikes.

Talented seals and a sleepy polar bear.

Pretty flowers. 

Pretty cats. I would love to pet one of these. They look so soft and cudly. And ferocious. Could you imagine having one as a house pet? I would need a bigger litter box. For sure. 

I really love looking at all the different animals. But at the same time, I can't help but feel sad for them. Caged and kept in smaller spaces then they were created for. I know some of them were rescued and are cared for in ways they otherwise would not have survived in the wild after injury. They are fed and given medical attention. All they have do is lounge around and enjoy life. No predators. No food to hunt. Yet, I still can't help but wonder if they wish they were free. Roaming around in their natural habitat, doing what they were designed to do. Maybe, maybe not. Either way, I'm glad these animals have a safe place to live and that we have the privilege of seeing them up close and learning more about them.