A Week of Finds

We’ve got a bit of a heatwave going on here in New Jersey just like many other states. Most of our time this week was spent staying cool. Thank the Lord we have AC and a pool. And since we lounged around quite a bit I did very little creatively. Most of my time at my workbench was filled with priming bricks and pavers as well as looking into purchasing slate and wood. I also organized my boards on Pinterest and browsed YouTube which brings us to this weeks internet finds.

While looking at videos about acrylic pouring I stumbled onto one of Evan and Katelyn’s channel and several videos later I was hooked. I love their videos! And honestly how have I survived without them for so long?

Evan and Katelyn

Imagine a beach... now imagine soaking in a bathtub... now imagine them combined... that's what we're going for with this project! Thanks Old Spice for sponsoring this video! Shop now at https://bit.ly/2ZTYhji and use code EVANANDKATELYN for 10% off!

If I’m not researching DIY or crafty things you can bet I’m looking for tutorial videos for the home and yard. Since moving into our house I’ve talked about planting a vegetable garden. Granted, neither J nor I can keep decorative plants alive when it comes to landscaping so this is going to be a heck of an adventure to dive into but I’m going for it next spring. This week I found Larry Hall and boy am I glad I did! He makes gardening look easy and apparently thousands of folks agree. Who would have thought you could grow a vegetable garden in Walmart shopping bags?! Not me!

Definitely trying instead of sinking a ton of money into building raised gardening beds. If we can grow some food for our table next year using this method we’ll be over the moon! Next spring is going to be FUN!!

Larry Hall

Both of these channels are chock full of amazing information and I’m looking forward to watching all of their videos.

Stay cool and have a wonderful weekend!

Bet

Fly Eagles FLy!

The Philadelphia Eagles stone/paver/brick is finished and ready to be sealed. This one taught me a lot and that’s always a good thing because it helps me improve. The logo design, while awesome, was truly a pain in the arse to paint on concrete. This however will be amazing to paint tile and wood. And I hope to start creating wood plaques and signs in the next few months.

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I’m really happy with the way the eagle turned out on this one so I’ll continue to paint that but I’m going to change the lettering to a looser calligraphy style. Mod Podge might also help if I put a couple layers of it to create a smoother surface. I think I have some in the supplies closet so I’ll have to dig it out and give it a whirl. But I’m moving on from this one and once it’s sealed it will head to its new home.

Feeling the urge to paint some sunflowers so watch this space!



Yay! It's Friday

When I last wrote we were prepping for our annual 4th of July BBQ which went off without a hitch. Everyone said they had a wonderful time. I know J and I sure did but we were also exhausted for three days after. I tried a new marinade for the chicken that got rave reviews. Potato salad was attempted - it’s my BBQ nemesis - and while the flavor was there the potatoes were a tad under-cooked. The first 5lbs of taters was over-cooked so I sent a text to my son and had him pick up more. for a second attempt. I tested three pieces and my husband tested two more and WE thought they were cooked enough. The flavor profile was spot on so it’s just between me and those taters at this point. I will not be defeated by potato salad. By the time our BBQ rolls around next year I’ll be able to make PERFECT potato salad.

Painting more brick edging has kept me busy this past week. Guys, I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying this. We have an abundance of the scalloped edging so of course that’s what I’ve been painting. I do want to get to some 12” x 12” concrete pavers as well as regular straight bricks.

Since I made the decision to return to Facebook I also set up a Facebook page to showcase my painting endeavors. Apparently you can also sell directly from Facebook and there was a very brief moment when I considered this option. That passed thankfully. I still don’t trust Facebook and I’m there reluctantly because I treasure my family and friends. Right now I’m happily painting the ideas that come to me or are inspired by items I’ve found on Pinterest. Today I got a request for painted brick bookends which brought me back to the idea of selling my items. When I begin to paint seasonal and holiday items I’ll be opening a shop here on my website in case folks would like to buy them. I’ll update here on the blog and on the Facebook page when I bring the shop online.

J asked if I thought about painting on something other than concrete, rocks and bricks. He’s thinking about pinking up wood planks and cutting them down to create wood plagues to paint. I’m definitely down for that and already have several projects I want to paint for our home and yard. And honestly I think painting on smooth wood would be a welcomed change from the bumpy surface of the pavers and bricks. Of course I’ve also considered pouring my own concrete to create stepping stones with more than just paint. I love the idea of creating mosaic stepping stones.

When I get an idea I run with it like a kid dragging a kite behind her. We’ll see if it takes flight.

Have a great weekend!

Bet



Bet Paints Bricks and Pavers

Decorative painting has risen to the number two position on my list of favorite creative outlets. Photography will always be number one of course. Last year I started painting rocks and it’s something I enjoy. The rocks that weren’t given to family or family are displayed on our fence. While lingering on Pinterest for inspiration I saw decorated bricks and concrete pavers. With a nice pile of brick edging stacked out back and a quick trip to Home Depot I was off and running with my paintbrushes.

©2019 Just Call Me Bet. All rights reserved.

©2019 Just Call Me Bet. All rights reserved.

©2019 Just Call Me Bet. All rights reserved.

©2019 Just Call Me Bet. All rights reserved.

The 12x12 paver was the first to get painted. I just wanted to paint some bright flowers on a black background to place outside in my yard. But what I really love painting is the brick edging. There are so many fun ideas formulating in my head for the summer, holidays and hometown pride. I can’t wait to sling paint on the rest of the bricks!

©2019 Just Call Me Bet. All rights reserved.

©2019 Just Call Me Bet. All rights reserved.

I Blinked

Of all the nicknames I’ve had over the years one of my all time favorites is “Everyone’s Aunt Betty”. It was just easier to introduce myself at kiddo events as Aunt Betty. I’m also not comfiest being addressed by my title and surname. It’s just too formal. So everyone, and I mean everyone just calls me Aunt Betty.

Why divulge that? Well 18 years flew by and my incredible great-niece graduated from high school last night. It was an emotional time and of course exciting for her so the pictures I took were minimal. Her graduation party is tomorrow and I’ll have more opportunities to get snaps of all the newly graduated squad and family.

Watching all these young people finish this journey was surreal. I remember my own graduation nearly 40 years ago. There was no other time in my life when I felt as fearless. And as I looked at my niece I could tell she felt the same way. In three weeks she turns 18 and later this summer she leaves for basic training because she enlisted in the Air Force.

I’m in the fall season of my life looking back at how quickly all my littles have grown. I blinked and I’m mama to three grown adults, grandma to a couple grandnuggets that are also growing too fast and I’m Aunt Betty to a lot of nieces and nephews. This is another one of those blog posts that informs you of how quickly life moves. Take my advice and live your life. Don’t spend these precious years trying to just keep up with life. We can’t slow things down but we can take time to cherish the moments, take lots of pictures and tell people we love them, we’re proud of them and we’re always there for them.

You’re gonna’ blink and look back over your shoulder wondering how they all went from babies to grown adults with their own lives. Trust me. I blinked.

Dauntless & New Borderlands 2 DLC

Dauntless dropped on May 21st but we didn’t get started with the game until Memorial Day weekend. We’ve been playing it every day since. In fact I’d wager we’ve racked up over 70 hours so far. It might be slightly more. We’re a tad obsessed. I keep reading that if you enjoy Dauntless you’ll love Monster Hunter. Perhaps Monster Hunter offers more depth but Dauntless is free to play and they’re store offers cosmetic items that are fairly priced. We dropped money on the Elite Hunt Pass and a few cosmetic items so far.

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The only thing that has stopped our progression in Dauntless is the new DLC “Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary” for Borderlands 2. There were rumors that Borderlands would drop DLC between the announcement of Borderlands 3 and it’s release in September. Sure enough the DLC was announced as E3 kicked off. We immediately downloaded it and started playing because Borderlands is our favorite co-op game EVER!!

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As for Dauntless I’m doing Dire Patrols and trying Heroic Patrols but for the past few days every rando group I’ve joined for heroics has failed. I just can’t seem to find a group that can work well enough together to kill the behemoth. Unfortunately I’m slightly under-geared with a 445 weapon and 425 armor. Maybe everyone else is under-geared as well? I do know that the hunts are supposed to be random behemoths but we always got Gnasher. Every stinking hunt was Gnasher. With all of the behemoths to choose from you’d think that I’d encounter different monsters right? Not sure what’s up with the matchmaking in that regard.

I like the game so I’ll continue to play and support it.

Update 06.13.19

It’s taken me a few days to write this blog post. In that time J & I completed the main mission line for the Borderlands 2 DLC. We hit level 75 and intend to rerun other DLC to level to 80, which is the new max level.

We also dig our new effervescent runner skins! I mean seriously how awesome are they? Rainbow sparkles for EVERYONE!!.

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Catching Up Again

The month of May is always busy because of yard work and opening the pool. We didn't have it open for Memorial Day opting to wait a few days for the water to warm up a bit more. But by June 1 the grandnuggets were swimming. My son sent a text on Friday the 31st:

Mom, can we bring the boys over on Saturday to swim? Nugget 2 (his name here on the blog) keeps saying, "Call Grandma and ask if the pool is open. Call Grandma! Daddy, give me Grandma's number... I'll call."

The next day they rolled in, hugged and kissed me and Papa J on their way out to the pool.

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All caught up.

It's the wee hours of a Saturday morning and sleep eludes me again. Perhaps if I put this post to bed I'll be able to fall asleep myself.

Backyard Bounty | Photography

A few weeks ago I injured my knee. That’s made it really hard to get out and about to take pictures. Thankfully my backyard is bountiful if you take the time to look. It’s something I learned long ago. You don’t have to head to out to find beauty. It’s all around you. You just have to take the time to look.

72 and Legendary

We finally finished our third play-through of Borderlands 2 on Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode and hit level 72. That’s the current max level in the game. Now we’re going through all of the DLC along with doing farm runs for Legendary weapons.

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It’s nice to have a game that we play together. We spend time gaming solo but playing together has always been something we’ve loved because it’s how we met.

Season 17 in Diablo 3 recently started so I may spend some time playing that on my own. Who knows when Blizzard will ever release a Diablo 4. I’m not holding my breath.

Wild Wisteria | Photography

Wild wisteria vine blooming in the trees behind our home. I shot these images with my Nikon P900 instead of my Nikon D7000, which is my main camera. But these blooms were 150 feet from me and about 65 feet in the air. Since the P900 can photograph moon in all its glory I figured I could photograph the wisteria too.

Now if I can manage to photograph some of the songbirds that frequent our yard I’ll be a very happy camper.

Peace,

Bet