Jan 31, 2015

Valentine Potato Stamp DIY

One potato, two potato
Let your LOVE grow this Valentines Day

Straight from the Heart
Potato Print Valentine Day Card

  ..one step at a time.

Potato Prints
These are easier than pie and simpler than Borsch to make.

 #1. Select and slice a raw potato in half.
You could slice on the long side for a larger working area.
Potato Print

Valentine Craft

#2. Using the tip of a small parring knife,
slice/ outline the design into the top,
cutting into the potato about 1/4 inch deep.
Keep the design simple.
 The area you do not cut away becomes your stamp.

#3. Slice a 1/4 inch slab off the potato,
cutting all the way around.
being careful to cut just up to the knife outline of your design.
Remove the slice, taking care not to disturb the design edge.

Craft Blog

#4. Detail can be added to your basic stamp
shape at this point.
Using the tip of the knife,
carefully cut out detail by slicing down into
the potato. 

Potato Print Craft

Valentine Potato Stamp DIY

Your Potato Stamp is now ready to be printed.
Water based ink stamp pad are fine for many projects.

I used a green ink pad first
and then just tipped the leaf end areas
 onto a blue ink pad. 

#5. Press and gently wiggle the potato stamp onto the ink pad. Remove and press the inked potato stamp onto your card, taking care not to wiggle it.
Press firmly and hold  for 20 seconds.
Lift the stamp directly and away from the paper to avoid smudging or rubbing ink elsewhere.

 Embossing powders can be added for a professional looking finished effect.
Find it in craft stores.

#6. Sprinkle Embossing powder onto the WET inked print of your stamp.

#7. Shake excess embossing powder off onto a clean sheet of paper
 so it can be easily funneled back into the container for re use.

#8. Gently press the back of the card against a warm iron.
The tip of a knife can be used to press the card.
Hold for 30-40 seconds or until embossing powder has been heated. This will help set the Embossing glitter in place.

Eat your heart out Craft HERE

Paper Heart Craft HERE

Happy Valentines Day

Are Bullies born or raised?

Sticks and Stones by Ruby Redfort
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can also hurt me.
Stones and sticks break only skin, while words are ghosts that haunt me.
Slant and curved the word-swords fall, it pierces and sticks inside me.
Bats and bricks may ache through bones, but words can mortify me.
Pain from words has left its' scar on mind and heart that's tender.
Cuts and bruises have not healed, it's words that I remember.
From where arise the cruel things that people will say?
Are Bullies born or are they raised?
The bully can bring others to tears with the power invested in them by the words they possess and their ability to use them. Words that hurt as they were meant to do, words that mock and tease as intended to do. Words that hurt more than time can say. Words of which bad memories are made.
Do unto others before they do unto you differs greatly from
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Children learn as they see.
 Trust must be present for faith to survive.
Why seek faith where trust doesn't thrive. 
Children learn that life isn't fair and that's unfair.
Bullies can and do grow much bigger than the playground.
Intimidation and humiliation are practiced on the playground,
 in Class Rooms, Board Rooms, Back Rooms and Bedrooms .
Do little bullies grow up to be bigger Bullies?

What's in a name anyway?  
Hey Moron. Come here Stupid. Are you an Idiot?
It's just a name, ignore it, it can't hurt you we are told.
Don't be a baby, stand up for yourself we're then scolded.
They're just idiot's people say oblivious to the hypocrisy. 

Perhaps within the community of a Cyber City where morals and dignity can be as absent as love and empathy, where what we like is posted on a profile not necessarily reflective of thee, where the faceless of a community act without the hesitation of responsibility or the ownership of accountability, the time has come to check the Virtues of our reality against the Reality of our virtuality. 

  The right to change ones mind may be the right one to make.
A wise decision to ponder that no fool would make.
  Freddie Lake  Only a Fool never changes his mind
My Mother always said
If you are arguing with an idiot just make sure they are not doing the same”

Are you acting or reacting to what people say?

 Tis through the rights of the ownership of name 
that we posses the right for ourselves to proclaim,

 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

Do bullies just grow or are they made?
The long term effects of the things we say cannot be overstated.

In the name of  rights
 let us celebrate our differences.

Ponder on.. Here

Jan 30, 2015

Parenting IS hard work.

To parent or not to parent?

 Friends of mine did not have children
because of their inability due to infertility.
They did not have a choice to make.

Friends of mine chose not to have children.
Their decision was based on personal choices.
I had initially viewed their decision as a rather selfish one.

However, after some discussion with them and hearing them say
that they wished people would think about having children
as long and as hard as they had about their decision not to have children.
I felt a little differently.

It suddenly didn't seem selfish not to indulge in the duties of parenthood.
In fact, their obvious lack of desire to have children
coupled with the expressed lack of time for self and each another, already in their busy lives,
choosing not to parent didn't feel as selfish as it did wise.

Giving rise to Parenting

A parent may give birth to a child
but child alone does not give rise
 to the birth of parenting.

Parenting is a learned thing, years in the works.

A King is born
I was 30 when I had my first Son. I was all in.
I had finished my 16 year working/career two days before giving birth.
Lillian the Domestic Engineer

I bumbled, I fumbled, I bawled.
I leaked, I laughed, I cried.

I fell in love.

 I have to say that it was not love at first sight.
The first sight of my son frankly had startled me. 
He was dented and colored shades of red and blue 
as a result of my having attempted to have a bowel movement
instead of heading off to Hospital to have a baby that morning.

My Dr. had informed me that it was common
 to have a bowel movement during delivering 
so I had decided that I was going to spare myself the embarrassment 
and the Dr. the grief of it all by relieving myself at home.

However, instead of having my morning b.m. before my departure 
I had instead squeezed the crap out of my Sons head!
He had been pushed down into the birth canal 
where he then waited for me to move, as it were that morning..

My Son resumed both normal coloring and a normal head shape
not long after birth. 

The infant(s) who had grown in me, would grow on me.
I had four children in five years.
I was not without baby on board either sucking from or eliminating upon my body,
from at least one orifice of their warm, little bodies, for at least 6 years running.
(I can assure you that it was no slow waltz)

It does takes two to tango but it only requires one mis-step to tangle.
Children teach you that plans are made to be changed and that steps need be taken.


The dance between a parent and a child 
is not mastered on the dance floor.

Rather it is first learned in the nursery
 and then practiced on a sticky, kitchen floor.

Parenting requires a stick to it ness
that is stronger than what is stuck to you!

Not all dances are graceful and lovely to see.
Parenting is the get down, get dirty dance
that drives you to keep everyone clean. 
Parenting is not romantic.

Parenting requires putting one foot in front of the other
no matter the music, the whine or the weather.
We may be right but we may be wrong, that's the challenge of discovery.
Parenting will most certainly age you.

Parenting requires that one learn to rock and to roll with the punches.
There are no time clocks to punch but no pay to collect. Time simply ticks away.
I am reminded when I listen to my elderly clients speak of their own children.
They are always quick to remind me that their Son or daughter are now in their 70's!
Parenting is forever.

The Dr. who would help deliver my second son showed up wearing a head piece 
with a full face shield and a pair of rubber boots.
 She knew the mess I was getting myself into!


Parents are required to answer the little "whys" a thousand times
with the love and conviction that is necessary in growing great minds.
Parenting will challenge you and all you thought you knew.
Parenting requires patience.

Kids can say the darnedest things
but a parent can and will say stranger things.
Laughing at yourself is vital to survival.
Parenting requires a sense of humor.
Parenting requires great discipline

Cute babies of every species do grow up.
Outgrown outfits are replaced 
by peer pressurized stuff.
The duty to parent must come before
 the desire to befriend.
No if's ands, buts or whys about it.
Parenting requires great discipline

My second Son was born 22 months after my first Son.
My third Son was born 361 days after my second Son,
My fourth Son was born 15 months after my third Son.
The birth of a parent demands the skills of a Domestic Engineer.
Parenting is not easy.

Parenting requires the ability to realize and the courage to admit to being wrong.
To err is human. 

Beauty sleep be damned, Parenting will keep you up at night.


My Knights  Clicking takes you to a new page.

Jan 18, 2015

Craft you own Crayons

                                 Make your own Crayons

Crayola Craft Lillian the Domestic Engineer

 Chances are very good that if you have children in your home there are also broken Crayola Crayon
 bits laying around waiting for a Sunday afternoon when they may just be found and put to good use.

I have always enjoyed coloring. I remember as a youngster the thrill of getting a new set of Crayola Crayons along with a brand new coloring book at Christmas time. It really was one of my favorite things. 
I liked the thick Coloring Books that came complete with maze puzzles and word finds.
Mixing and blending colors was my favorite pass time but I have always been a color only between the lines
kind of colorer. Lol.

I did not however like to color with a broken crayon. 
That fact remains.

 Here is an easy, enjoyable, functional was to use those old and broken bits of crayons.
 Make your own Crayons

These are a heavy rubber mold meant for making soap but perfect also for crayon creating.
They are flexible which allows for the finished crayon to be easily popped out of the mold.
They are also a nice sized crayon for pint size hands.

Make your own Crayon
Make Crayons
Sort bits of crayon by color. Remove all paper from crayons.
 Drop crayon bits into a coffee or soup can and melt on low heat.
Stir occasionally and do not over heat. Wax will create an unpleasant smoke.
 Never leave melting wax unattended.

I mix light colors like yellow, lime green and light blues together to create
original colors.
Shades of red and orange can be blended for a bright sunshine color.

 Once melted the wax is poured directly into the mold.
Leave the crayons in the mold to cool and set for 15 min. or so.
The mold can be carefully placed in a fridge to lessen the setting time.

 Don't worry about over spill.
The hardened crayon can be easily cleaned up around the edges
once it has cooled and been popped from the mold.

Package the home made crayons in a basket with several envelopes and sheets of folded card stock.
Include and a fine tip marker and a tube of glitter paint for a great make your own card gift.
Craft Crayons
 Crayons DIY

Craft Blog DIY
 Stack the crayons up in an up cycled tin box and present them with your own personalized Coloring Book

 Make your own Coloring Book HERE

Make your own Coloring Book

                     After you have created your own Crayons. HERE

Create your own coloring book.

                              You can create your own Coloring book!

Make your own Crayon and Book

Customize it.
 A Team Coloring Book is a great personalized gift.
 A Family picture coloring book can be completed with name and titles.
 A nature or scenic coloring book becomes educational.

Sports coloring book

Team coloring book

Peek through the pics that you have on file.
There are plenty that will lend themselves well to the making your own coloring book.

PETS are puuurfect!

Cat Coloring book

 DIY Coloring book

Get back to Nature.

DIY Coloring Book

All of these pictures have been electronically altered by a Photo Edit Program.
I Click on Effect, then Artistic and finally INK SKETCH.
 Ink line thickness and the level of color in each picture can also be manipulated.

Print each picture on 8.5x11 inch regular paper.
Create cover using Card Stock (A slightly heavier paper stock.)
 Staple all together. Color!

I thought I needed it?!

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Ever find yourself realizing that you didn't know you wanted IT until you saw IT?
Ever find yourself discovering that you never did use IT even after you bought IT?

Who needs it?!

No bones about the fact that I would rather be toiling in and boiling from my garden
than standing in line to pay at the grocery market. 
No doubts that I prefer the individuality of handmade over the implications of commercially made.
No two ways about it. If I can grow it, make it, mock it, or manage without it, I prefer it.

I like to think of myself as the frugal minimalist employing the will of a realist 
in my efforts to persist in resisting the urge to splurge. It is not always easy.

Newspapers are stuffed with colorful flyers filled with products and great prices for every season.
TV commercials run on relentlessly extolling the virtues of everything for every reason.
Cocky claims ridicule our intelligence by claiming to be valid justification for the whys of what we want.

 We shop for savings but value the prospects of bagging the real deal- happiness.
 All we have to do is shop guilty free.
 The more we shop, the more we save. The more we spend, the more we get paid!? 

impulse buying http://www.businessdictionary.com

Spur of the moment, unplanned decision to buy, made just before a purchase.
Research findings suggest that emotions and feelings play a decisive role in purchasing,
 triggered by seeing the product or upon exposure to a well crafted promotional message.
Such purchases ranges from small (chocolate, clothing, magazines) to substantially large (jewelry, vehicle, work of art) and usually (about 80 percent of the time) lead to problems such as financial difficulties, family disapproval, or feeling of guilt or disappointment.

Who needs it?
The End of the Impulse Shopper Great LINK HERE

In the interest of sparing my hard earned money
and in opposition to credit card interest and profitability,
I make a LIST and do my very best to stick to it.

 List making is an essential tool for living on a budget.
There were many days as a (Domestic Engineer) and very busy Mom
to four young Sons that I could hardly remember my name
 let alone recalling what I needed at the market when I got there.
 Pushing two buggies (one for groceries and one for children alone)
 around the market without a list I admit, found me to be lost!

If I am not in the market for it, I forget it. Toss the flyer in the fire...
The result of looking through any number of the flashy flyers could result in my desire to acquire
not only debt but also the guilt that often accompanies an unplanned purchase.
I take great pride in arriving back home with only that which I went for.  

Teach your children well

Impart wisdom by example. 
Seek freedom in the truth
of being honest with self.


The originality of living simply 
does not require keeping up 
with everybody else. 

 I am often surprised to hear my boys recalling Memorable Moments of their childhood.
 I don't hear them extolling the virtues of the expensive hoody that I would annually splurge on
 for each of them at Christmas or hear of the benefits of a luxury toy they received from a friend or relative, whom for a special occasion had afforded IT.

No, rather I hear them speak fondly of meaningful moments in their lives
 that typically included their brothers, their Dad and I.  
There is no mention of what was worn or of the toy that they toted
 it's all about the experiences they recal from a life of love and it's comical commotions. 

 Ingenuity sparks creativity.

Creativity begets originality.

Originality beckons individuality.

Individuality incites integrity.

Integrity grows opportunity for individual ingenuity....

Who needs it anyway?
 Maslow's hierarchy of needs WIKIPEDIA

 No bones about the fact that I would rather be toiling in and boiling from my garden
than standing in line to pay at the grocery market. 
No doubts that I prefer the individuality of handmade over the implications of commercially made.
No two ways about it, if I can grow it, make it, mock it, or otherwise manage without it 
I prefer it.

 I do see a need however for a little more FREE Time.
Free as in not occupied otherwise and Free as in not being out of pocket for getting IT.
 Free time to be with the need to be free!

I challenge you to finding five FREE things to do with your family (or yourself) this week. 

#1. Head to the Beach where there are many treasures to behold.
#2. Head out on a walk to the local park, just up the block.
 Can you name the people in the neighborhood houses along the way?
#3. Pack your lunch, your skates and your mitts and head off to the local outdoor skating rink.
A local game of shinny may be just what you need.
#4. Pack up a blanket and a thermos of cocoa too before heading to an outdoor, evening airing
 of a favorite family movie. Gratis the local community center.
#5. Head out on the highway with a recycling bag to see how many cans you can collect in an afternoon.
How many of the wild flowers and weeds that you find can you name?

How much fun can we have with something that is free?
 What do you or your family enjoy doing at the cost of doing it for free? 
I'd love to hear about it.

Jan 14, 2015

Wikipedia entries

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In case you wanted to know
The 49 most Entertaining Wikipedia entries ever created 
According to Huffington Post

List of English words without rhymes

And Toilet paper orientation
Toilet paper orientation
The over orientation
The under orientation 

Reflections of a Christmas past

May the reflection
 of your yesterdays
serve as a platform
reaching the potential
of your every tomorrow.

 Reflection  1. A thought occurring in consideration or meditation.
                   2. A fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.
 is finding your

 Potential    1. possible, as opposed to actual:
                            2. capable of being or becoming:
                             3. A latent excellence or ability that may or may not be developed.
in the absence of

   Din            1. A loud, confused noise; a continued loud or tumultuous sound; noisy clamor.

 On the cusp of a  new year, every year I attempt to stop my world wheel and get off for a little while.
 I like to tone it down and tune it out if you will. 
I need to Re group, Rethink, Rehash, Re-assess and reconsider.

Although I can't afford to physically get away from it all,  I know that I cannot afford either,
not to get away from it all.
Lillian the Domestic Engineer.Blogspot.ca

 I manage to unplug the world
  by plugging into my tub!

It is largely
 through reflection
that I come to see 
how time invested in self
provides clarity.

My Sons traveled with their Dad  to visit Nanny and Poppy for Christmas this year.
It was a return trip home that was 14 years in the making.
The last time the trip was made, we drove across the country. 
The boys were  9, 7, 6 and 5. 
It seems as though it were only yesterday. 

They were all gone over Christmas and New Years for a stretch of ten days.

I spent Christmas day with my Mom, my siblings and their families.
The absence of my Dad who passed this last October gave rise to a nostalgia that continues to engulf and enlighten me into the ways of reality. 
Life really is short. 

My Dad had only just arrived at his 80th Birthday.

Domestic Engineer

 I spent the remaining holiday enjoying the company of self.
Contrary to the conviction of many who believed
 I must surely be sad to be at home alone over the holidays,
 I relished the opportunity.

I like to think I spend my time wisely.
There is so little of it.

Between commitments and obligations,
duties and celebrations
 rules and regulations
awaits the time for pondering and self preservation.
This time must be found, managed and enjoyed guilt free.

Domestic Engineer  - What matters?

Every movement of moment

Every word of conversation
Invest wisely in yourself.
Have a Happy, Healthy New Year

Lillian ponders on HERE

Jan 13, 2015

Let the sun shine in!

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 Sunshine is the icing on a frozen cake.

  As I raised the blinds on another day the frost on the window 
was highlighted by the back drop of a rising sun 
which created beautiful, coral colored, floral like patterns 
on the window pane.

I could see and almost count the individual snow flakes stacked upon one another on the table just outside my front window. 
There was an accumulation of another 3 cm as a result of last nights snow fall.

It is 32 below zero outside.
Winter Wonderland@ Lillian the Domestic Engineer

  The frost may be heavy but my spirits are high.  
 The pastel turquoise and soft pink hues fading from the new day sky give rise to the sunshine
  and an undeniable appreciation of simply being alive. 

I head off down the range road that I travel to work.
 The long and winding road makes it's way through the snow covered fields where Mother Nature plays.
 I turn up the heater which is finally blowing warm air. 
 I sip my Java on the run.
 I turn on the radio in time to hear the Jockey cautioning people to take care driving out there.
 The Sun through my car window has warmed my soul.
 I finally take my mittens off. 
 I am overcome by the beauty of another Winters day.   

Be Grateful everyday

I continue on my way...
Past this stand of giggling trees
the road winds and dips through the prairie deep freeze.
Eventually I arrive at my destination
where I will see an elderly client who herself has seen 92 winters.
Many a long, cold, hard season wrought with hard work and trying times,
that I'm certain have helped to strengthened her spirit and harden her mind.
She became the age she grew to be by looking past the weather to see the trees.
By seeing the beauty in every day she has weathered wonderfully.

She is gallant, gracious and grateful.
 She is witty, wonderful and warm.
She is the icing on my cake when the Sun don't shine!

She is my inspiration when motivation is lacking in mine. 

Let the sun shine in +Lillian the Domestic Engineer