Category Archives: Gift cards

Father’s Day, Pride and the Garden!

This week, we focus on Father’s Day, Pride Month, a garden update, and, of course, the bears.

FATHER’S DAY

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“Any man can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a dad.” – Anne Geddes*

We are both grateful and blessed to have had wonderful, dedicated fathers, to whom family meant everything. Applause to all great fathers and their lucky children.

Here is a simple idea for a great Father’s Day gift:

GIFT BOWL

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A great way to present a gift is to use a bowl like a gift basket. In the example above, we placed three different bottles of hot sauce in a bowl with some colorful, shredded paper, and spelled out “Dad” on the bowl in stickers. Let the kids get creative with the stickers! To finish this and make it more transportable, wrap it in cellophane and tie with a ribbon. This doesn’t have to be expensive. We got this bowl and hot sauce trio at an outlet store for under $6.00! You also can add a gift card to a favorite restaurant, if desired. A Buffalo Wild Wings gift card would work well in our example. Customize your gift bowl for your special dad!

Find more Father’s Day ideas from last year’s post:

https://funclesarts.com/2015/06/20/fathers-day/

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person; he believed in me.”           – Jim Valvano*

FATHER’S DAY JOKE:

What did daddy spider say to baby spider?  You spend too much time on the web!                 Source: jokes4us.com

OUR DADS

Here is a picture of Kevin’s father, Warren, and his mom, Irene, at a family celebration . . .

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. . . and here is a picture of Roy’s father, Bill, who enjoyed taking care of his home (perhaps not so much during snow storms).

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PRIDE – Love Conquers Hate

June is LGBT-pride month nationwide, and we were proud to celebrate our 18th year together on June 6th. As everyone probably knows, on Sunday morning, June 12th, a horrible tragedy occurred at The Pulse, a LGBT nightclub in Orlando, FL, when 49 people were killed in the worst mass murder shooting in our country’s history.

But love conquers hate, and we will be among the more than 40,000 participants this Saturday, June 18th, at Rhode Islands’ 41st annual Pride Fest, a day-long celebration in Providence ending with an amazing illuminated parade. Check out http://www.prideri.com for more details.

Rainbow Flag Sign:

This rainbow sign was made from a piece of scrap wood. Measure out 6 even horizontal spaces (in this case, each stripe is 3/4 inch wide) and paint them with acrylic paint in the colors of the rainbow.

Here is the before picture:

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and after:

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GARDEN UPDATE

This year’s garden got off to a late start due to weather, but we now have most of our plants potted. (Clockwise from top left) Basil, peppers & tomatoes, zinnias, and variegated tiger lilies are some of this year’s offerings.

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Ladder Plant Stand

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This colorful plant stand was created out of 3 different-sized ladders and a few boards we had on hand. Standard rung heights for ladders simplified this project. Paint your ladders to match your garden’s color theme. We did rainbow colors this year. Choose plants that take full sun for top of ladders and partial sun or shade for the lower levels. Check out future blogs for the development of this work in progress.

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The shelves were cut from scrap wood with a saber saw. Two inverted storage bins of the same size (shown below) made great saw horses. (Use care with power tools, or better yet, buy new lumber and have it cut to size at the store.)

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The ladders and shelves were painted with leftover paint and some new indoor/outdoor spray paint. They were painted quickly and imperfectly to create a distressed look. Since we had the ladders and boards (sometimes it pays to run a storage facility!), this project cost under ten dollars. You can find used ladders at tag sales or flea markets for your project.

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Gardening can be a wonderful way to focus on something positive. Last Sunday, when we were still absorbing the tragic news from Orlando, we decided to go out and pick up some plants to complete the garden. It helps to do something positive and life-affirming during difficult times.

FOOD ART! 

Take pride in your tasty food (flag)!

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THE BEARS

The bears are admiring the results of their hard work!

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Enjoy!

Roy &Kevin

*Quote source: Chiff.com

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Celebrating Mothers on Mother’s Day!

 

“… love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark.”

J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Mother’s Day is a day of celebration nationwide. Billions are spent on flowers and candy and taking mom out for her special day.* For those of us whose mothers have passed away, this day can be difficult. To make it better, we choose to focus on good memories of our moms and to suggest ways for others to make Mother’s Day special. Both of our mother’s loved celebrations – guess that’s where we got it from!

This week, enjoy a tasty artichoke dip, simple ways to make Mother’s Day flowers more special, some ideas for creative gifts, a garden update, and, of course, the bears.

*According to statisticbrain.com, total spent for mother’s on Mother’s Day: $20.7 Billion!

NEW ARTICHOKE DIP

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This Easter, Kevin’s niece Corinne, who is a great mom herself, made this delicious artichoke dip. We are pleased she let us share her recipe here. We’ve actually had this dip as a side dish with dinner more than once. Great way to get your veggies!

Make it for your Mother’s Day celebration!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese, cut into manageable chunks
  • 1/3 cup mayo (we use Hellmann’s Light)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • two cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • two 14 oz. cans artichoke hearts in water, drained
  • chopped scallions
  • seeded, chopped tomatoes

How to prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Have a large mixing bowl ready to place the ingredients in after they have gone through the food processor.

  • Mince artichoke hearts in food processor and pour into bowl.
  • Mix cream cheese, mayo, and garlic powder in processor until smooth.
  • Combine cream cheese mixture with chopped artichokes.
  • Finely grind cheeses in food processor, add to mixing bowl and stir all ingredients until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Spread mixture in glass pie plate.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (should not be too brown on top).
  • Top with scallions and tomatoes.
  • Dip can be served warm or cold. It also reheats well in the microwave.
  • Serve with corn or pita chips.

VASES

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Here are three easy and inexpensive ways to make a gift of flowers more special! Cute glass vases from the dollar store are easy to decorate. Cut out three 2-inch squares of decorative card stock, and spell MOM out on the cards, one letter per square. (We used stickers, but the letters can be handwritten in crayon or magic marker for a child’s personal touch.) Tie the squares onto the vases with jute (top photo). You also can use a single vase and do the same technique with one piece of 3″ wide x 5″ long piece of cardstock. The third example is the easiest. Simply spell out MOM in stickers on the vase itself. We got these lovely tulips on sale at a supermarket and using stickers and cardstock we had on hand, this gift cost under $10.00!

Last year’s post:

Here is last year’s Mother’s Day post with some additional ideas and thoughts.

https://funclesarts.com/2015/05/09/mothers-day-is-a-special-day/

GIFT IDEAS

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There’s still time to get a great gift for mom!

Here are a few ideas:

Photo gifts:

  • Print out a new or old photo that is special to your mom and put it in a nice frame. Instant keepsake.
  • Offer to scan your mom’s family photos to the computer or onto a disk. She will be able to print those she likes or share favorite photos with others from her computer.

Gift cards:

Gift cards to theaters, museums, craft and fabric stores or other creative venues will thrill the creative-minded mother. Practical gift cards for supermarkets or department stores also are great. Kevin’s mom loved getting gift cards to her local dollar store to stock up on greeting cards and gift wrap. No time to shop in-store? E-cards can be bought online!

Gifts of time and service:

  • Help mom clean her basement or garage.
  • Take mom food shopping or to the mall.
  • Enjoy a show or lunch with mom.

The garden:

  • Pick up some of your mom’s favorite plants.
  • Help her plant her flowers.

Kevin’s mom used to plant her patio and window box flowers on Mother’s Day. She enjoyed doing this with her daughter, Christine, who would gift her with the flowers and help plant them. This became a very special yearly tradition.

GARDEN UPDATE

We are starting to plan our garden for this year. Most years, Mother’s Day is a good time to start planting, but this year it is too cold and wet. We’re looking forward to getting our patio planting done soon!

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Looks like the flamingo has started helping with clean up by pulling a weed! (This photo is not staged.)

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Flowering food art (baby carrots, celery and grapes)

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JOKE OF THE WEEK:

What did the momma broom say to the baby broom? “It’s time to go to sweep!”

Source: Jokes4us.com

THE BEARS

The bears are celebrating Mother’s Day, too! Shown above and here with Irene’s handmade “MOM” pillow.

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We end this post with photos of our own mothers, always in our thoughts and in our hearts.

Kevin’s mom, Irene, with some of her loved ones at her 85th birthday lunch a few years ago.

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Roy’s mother, Phyllis, with new baby Roy and the rest of her family – quite a few years ago.

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

Enjoy!

Roy and Kevin