Christmas is almost on top of us – time sure did fly by this year! Time for shopping – and it’s so convenient to shop online! I’ve put a lot my of Christmas-themed items into a collection to make them easier to view. Just click on the images or “Christmas” to go to the entire collection.
by Vanilla Primrose
You may find the perfect gift idea for Christmas gifts in my store – there are a wide variety of products and clothing available for people of all ages. Browse at your leisure!
If you are looking for something unique and original, feel free to contact me and I’ll see if I can come up with something you may like, and I may be able to personalize things in store for you. Products can be made for sale by direct link only so they aren’t publicly visible. I cannot create anything using copyrighted or trademarked designs. (For example, I can’t use anything belonging to Disney, NFL, and so on.)
Hoping you and yours will have the most wonderful Christmas ever!!!!
Artists and designers fight a never-ending battle to stop copyright infringement – thieves love to steal other people’s hard work and slap it on counterfeit products to make a fast buck. Many but not all of these thieves are in China – the description plainly says ships from China and even including the shipping costs (which is supplemented by the Chinese government as well and the US) sells for a fraction of what the legitimate product sells for. Buyers can probably expect to get a shoddy product – since the most of the time the images used for the print has been greatly enlarged and likely wil be fuzzy and drab.
The above situation has to be handled by the abused party in specific ways. HOWEVER, there are other situations that can be handled in other, ummm, creative ways. ***NOTE I am not telling or even suggesting you do this – I am putting this information out for educational purposes***** 🙂 Continue reading ‘A Little Bit About Copyright Infringement…..’ »
With a hint of fall and cooler weather in the air it’s time to enjoy wearing leggings. Think football games, cozy fires, brisk walks, any occasion at all.
Leggings might be considered by many to be tight fitting pants, but to me they are a version of footless tights and can be worn with our without a skirt, as pants or under clothing for extra warmth. Think dressing in layers when it’s extremely cold. I think they look really cute worn with little boots that come past your ankles.
For myself, I prefer longer tops that cover at least most of my backside, but that’s just my preference for ME. These days anything goes. If you’re looking for something in your own unique color choices give me a shout and I’ll see what I can come up with for you.
Check back as these were recently added by Zazzle and I will be adding more to this collection. Also check out the other items for sale in my Zazzle store, Vanilla Primrose
I haven’t posted in awhile, and I’ve tried hard to avoid being blatantly political on this blog, but NO MORE. It’s time to speak up and speak out.
If you are a Christian, if you believe in religious freedom, you need to wake up fast and don’t even consider voting for Hillary Clinton. She has made it clear that she wants to continue Obama’s legacy – and he has stated he will consider it a personal insult if people don’t vote for her. In addition to other damage he has done to the United States and her citizens he has consistently chipped away at Christianity while appearing to support some people who seem bent on terrorism.
Consider this: In January 2011 OBAMA APPOINTED Martin Castro as Chairman of the US Comission on Civil Rights. In September of this 2016 they have finally released a report which was due out in 2013. At least one member of the commission has stated he didn’t agree with the report but voted for it in order not to hold up the report any longer……This report says:
RELIGION IS A CODE WORD FOR DISCRIMINATION, INTOLERANCE,
RACISM, SEXISM, HOMOPHOBIA, ISLAMOPHOBIA, CHRISTIAN SUPREMACY
OR ANY FORM OF INTOLERANCE.
That seems to me to be an attack on the CHRISTIAN religion.
Clinton’s said (From her speech, 6th Annual Women In The World Summit)
“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will,” she explained. “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”
I do not believe for one moment that this comment pertained only to women’s abortion rights but instead to ending religious rights and freedoms of Christians.
The way things are going Christian’s won’t have any rights. Lyndon Johnson forced a law years ago that threatens to take away tax-exempt status from Churches that express their political views. Donald Trump is right – this law, amendment or whatever you want to call it needs to be overturned.
People, PLEASE do some homework on this. Christians cannot afford for Hillary Clinton to become our POTUS. Corruption, lies and dishonesty, deceipt, etc. already swirl around her like flies on, well, poop, but if that isn’t enough to make you give up supporting her consider the fact that she’ll go after your Christian beliefs and 1st and 2nd amendment rights. After all, in the minds of some, everybody BUT Christians have rights.
And don’t forget, she wants to increase the big numbers of so-called “refugees” Obama demands by at least 550% – you know, those “refugees” that terrorists have bragged about infiltrating, who want to murder Christians.
SAVE THE US – VOTE TRUMP.
LINKS TO ASSOCIATED ARTICLES. For tons more google “martin castro and religious freedom” without the quotes.
As some of my readers know, I design graphics for sale on several print on demand sites. In light of this being an election year, I’ve made a few political items. Thanks for looking and please browse around other items in my store, too. To view more items in collection than shown, click Political below pictures and above vanilla primrose.
I’d like to give shoppers a “head’s up” about a problem graphics designers are having with some 3rd party sellers on AMAZON. If you are shopping for any product with a design/artwork on it and it’s from a third party seller, be sure to check it out very well before ordering.
There are a lot of graphics thieves operating on Amazon as 3rd party sellers. They steal images and offer them for sale at prices much cheaper than the legitimate products. Can we say counterfeit? A lot of these don’t bother to simply take the image and slap it on something – they are such sorry pieces of humanity they take the actual image from a Zazzle store – the article for sale with the image on it, then slap it up for sale on Amazon. Most of these little scumbags say the item will ship from China and their stores will say “just launched”, although I have seen some that have managed to stay in business for a long time in spite of their thieving ways and at least one thief was in the US.
It doesn’t help that Amazon has some kind of catalog/database they store everything in – even products no longer available. It seems that once something is in there it is hell to get it out. They seem to want to lay claim to anything that gets uploaded to them – even if it was uploaded illegally by a thief. According to the e-mail I’ve pasted below, they make it available to all their sellers.
Thank you for your message. Based on the information you have given us, we must respectfully decline your request to remove the listings of your Pillow from our website. Currently, Amazon.com does not offer the item(s) for sale. Rather, its catalog contains bibliographic and other information about the materials.
Continue reading ‘Beware Counterfeit Items On Amazon Using Stolen Artwork’ »
I have a VERY old house. It’s always needing something – nothing lasts forever – and hiring someone to do anything can be a lot more expensive than hiring someone to do the same project on a newer home. Some of it I can see – old houses aren’t plumb – they’ve settled over the years, and who would look forward to crawling under a building that’s been standing there for a hundred years or more? Still, some overpricing because a house is old is ridiculous – say to have a pane of glass in a window replaced – things like that.
Needless to say, I’m always trying to find ways to save a little money when I can. Sure, the house is paid for – and due to it’s age property taxes aren’t near what they would be on a newer home of the same size. On the other hand, not having good insulation and things like that, my electric bills are higher, and something is always breaking or needing repair. The consolation in that is I’ve seen a lot of newer homes that have more issues than my old place does.
My latest experiment/project is to try to save a little on electricity while keeping myself from completely roasting. The local power company is whining for (another) 3% rate increase because the nuclear plant they’ve been building for years is still behind schedule. Gotta love paying for something ahead of time we’ll probably never see any savings from (but you can bet the power company will eventually see a profit in their bottom line.) Continue reading ‘Do It Yourself Cheap Heat Reflecting Curtains’ »
Christmas is fast approaching and I’ve been busy designing Christmasy products for my Cafepress and Zazzle Stores. I’d love to have you visit them – My Cafepress Storeand My Zazzle Store They are a little unorganized – most visitors reach items through the respective marketplaces – but both have most Christmas items in one spot. If you have time, browse around – you may find something that will make a good gift for those hard-to-buy-for people. And, if you are looking for something specific and can’t find it anywhere, or want something unique, get in touch with me and I’ll work with you to design something just for you! Remember, though, I do have to abide by copyright and trademark laws. For example, I can’t use a Disney character, and there are some common, everyday phrases that greedy people have trademarked. Some things trademarked are simply ridiculous.
When shopping on Cafepress or Zazzle, once you see an item you like in the marketplace, if the designer has a “store”, do check the prices there. Sometimes they will be cheaper. For example, Cafepress sets the Marketplace prices. Designers only have control over item prices when they are listed in their stores. It doesn’t always work out that way, but it is worth checking. Everybody would like to save a little money.
Recently I’ve sold some products through e-commerce. That’s where an online retailer sells products through their business. I have no way of knowing what retailer my items sold through, though. These sales only pay me half of what I’d make if it sold through the POD and at first I was a little bummed out about it until I got to thinking that the buyers may not visit the POD’s and I may not have made the sale at all otherwise. Half IS better than zero, lol.
I’ve been designing now for both Zazzle and Cafepress for a year and a half. I don’t make much, but even the little pocket change I do make is helpful.
Happy Holiday Shopping To All!
These directions are for four enchiladas. Simple to double, triple, etc. the recipe. I was in a hurry so I skipped some of the steps a lot of recipes call for and they turned out fine.
Chi-Chi’s Whole Wheat Fajita Style Tortilla Wraps
1 can Medium Chi-Chi’s Enchilada Sauce
Velveeta Casa Blanco Cheese
11×7 glass baking dish. Heat oven to 350 while preparing.
Pour about half the can of sauce into the baking dish. Place chunks of cheese in center of tortilla wraps. * Fold one side over the cheese , then roll up into a tube. Roll in sauce, then leave it there with the edge side down. *Repeat for all.
Pour remaining sauce on top of enchiladas. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Place on plates, then spoon sauce from cooking dish over them.
This is a basic recipe which could easily be expanded on, fast and easy to whip up and are filling.
Other things could be added – chicken, more or less cheese, burger, etc. I used what I had on hand, but the next time I think I’ll try adding some bacon bits to the cheese. For a fancier meal, you could add sour cream, salsa, diced tomatoes and onions, etc.
Back on May 20th I posted an article, , about my experience of finding a baby buzzard in my old barn. As tempted as I was, I did not go back into the barn because I didn’t want to disturb him. I’m going to call this critter a him, although I don’t have the slightest idea if it’s male or female. It wasn’t long I started seeing what appeared to be a younger buzzard hanging around with an older one – maybe the mother buzzard? It’s been interesting to see that both of them will perch on top of my house, and will sit on the patio outside my bedroom window. The older one tends to be a little more cautious. The younger one, which I believe to be the hatching pictured in my earlier article isn’t all that shy – he seems pretty curious.
If you’re wondering why I think the one on the right is the younger, from what I’ve been able to find on the internet (Google is your friend) younger buzzards, or vultures have smoother skin on their faces and heads, and their beaks are darker.
I was able to snap several photos of both sitting on top of the barn before the older one flew off to land in a tree a little distance away. The younger one seemed to enjoy the photo shoot. Once I turned around and walked away he flew off and landed in the tree occupied by the other one. His flying seems a little shaky still.
On the day I took this picture, I had cut my grass earlier. I’ve cut it multiple times since I discovered the baby buzzard so the noise wasn’t something completely new to him. That day, however, something different happened. As I approached the barn, a dark shape came hurtling, literally out of the window and very clumsily landed on the ground not far in front of me. The time he hit the ground he took off running, not flying, running, and ran into the breezeway of the barn. Then he just sat there and watched me. I got a good laugh at his expense – I have to say, a buzzard running is quite a comical sight to see. Still you would have thought he would have run away from the sound, not towards it.
I’ve really enjoyed the little I’ve been able to see of this bird growing up. I’ve gotten to see the older one take the younger one to feast on a rabbit run over in the road – shooing him out of the road when a vehicle came by. I wish these were turkey vultures instread of the black ones, though. Turkey vultures have red heads and are more shy. Black headed buzzards are reputed to be much more aggressive and have been known to kill baby animals. As much as I hate to do it, once I’m sure this fellow is old enough to “run with the pack” I think I will put wire over the window to keep them out. A few aren’t likely to be a bad problem but they may have friends and relatives move in.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to save money. That said, when I shop at a store that price matches I check around online before making the purchase. I’m not really talking about five cents here and there, although that adds up – I’m talking about saving on things where one may save dollars instead of cents.
For example, this week I saved $10 on ONE item. Continue reading ‘Save Money With Price Matching’ »
Awhile back I downloaded a freeware program from a (once) reputable website I’d used for years. I trusted them, because I was so familiar with the site and they were very well-known. I downloaded a simple “freeware” program, didn’t think much about that unlike before you now needed their “downloader.” When I went to install the program and realized it was going to install crap I didn’t want as well as the software I did want, (one of those handy-dandy oh so helpful toolbars) I declined the entire installation. I didn’t want the freeware program that bad. Thing is, even though I hit don’t accept decline cancel and whatever else I could, the trash in the downloader installed anyway. The freeware program I wanted didn’t, but the malware did. This was nasty malware and it’s damage took hours to repair. Needless to say I no longer visit that site – and I don’t read any of their many articles, either. I no longer trust them. No, don’t accept, decline should mean just that. It should be illegal for them to go ahead and install anyway.
I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that yesterday, when I downloaded an open-source freeware program from another (once reputable) website that is supposed to be all about freeware and open source code it came with a nice little downloader, too. I was careless and let it install by mistake. Ouch. It hijacked all three browswer on my computer. I followed all the directions to disable and remove it from all three browswers and removed it through add and remove programs as well. Continue reading ‘Downloaders, Hijacked Browsers, Redirect Virus Nasties’ »
While cutting grass by my old barn today, I noticed some things out of place from where there were several days ago. We have problems with trespassers at times, so I decided to check things out to make sure nobody had been up to no good. That involved, of course, going upstairs.
The hay loft door was unlatched, so I believe someone had been in there. I latched it, was getting ready to look around when I was told to not make any sudden moves, that something was growling at us and moving around in the hay. Our first thought was a fox, coyote or possibly a feral cat. It wasn’t making much effort to get away from us, which in itself was a little disconcerting. It was fairly dark inside and we had no flashlight so we decided to ease away until we were better prepared.
Not knowing what might be in there, we went back armed with flashlights and gun. We had no intentions of shooting anything unless we had no choice – like it trying to attack or being sick or rabid. From a distance and from the angle we were at and the fact it seemed to have it’s back towards us, at first it looked like a hunched over monkey of some kind. We looked closer and were surprised to find a young buzzard, still with down on it. I have no idea how old he is, but he’s a whopper – I’d say already the size of a chicken. The sounds he made were quite interesting. Although the photo looks as though it was taken close up it wasn’t – I used a zoom in order to not upset him.
Although I was born and raised in the country, I’d never seen a baby buzzard (some people call them vultures) before so it was a treat. For now we’ll avoid the area he’s in and hopefully he’ll be flying around in a few weeks.
If you’re like me – highly allergic to poison ivy/oak, you may cringe at the thought of being exposed to it. As a result of much misery suffered from reactions to urushiol – the oil in the plant which causes the allergic reaction – I’ve tended to steer clear of anything that slightly resembles poison oak/ivy.
As a result of my phobia, for a very long time I avoided virginia creeper. Then, one day I saw my aunt grabbing and pulling vines bare handed. When I told her “watch out, that’s poison ivy!” she laughed and said “no, honey, this is virginia creeper.” She was old school and although I knew she knew what she was talking about, I researched it – just to be sure – just in case…. (Embarrasing, I was born and raised in the country so I ought to just KNOW this stuff.)
First of all, poison oak and ivy has THREE leaves. Virginia creeper has five. The coloration is so close, however, that it is easy to confuse the two plants. I’ve seen both growing together in my yard so look closely. Will I be using the brush trimmer there? Um, no. As much as I hate weed killers, weed killer it is.
Poison oak/ivy has a nasty relative called poison sumac. Fortunately it’s not as common as it’s relatives – poison sumac prefers wetlands. Unlike ivy and oak, poison sumac has seven to nine leaves per stem.
Don’t think you can’t get this stuff if you never go off your deck or patio. Pets can get urushiol on their fur – which you come into contact with when you pet them. If
you handle clothing or shoes of someone who has been through it and has the urushiol on them, you come into contact. It’s a year round thing. Even “dead” vines can give you the itches. Urushiol can remain active for years!
CAUTION. Do not burn poison oak or ivy. Urushiol carries in the smoke, and yes, there have been cases of people inhaling it as well.
If you know you’ve been exposed, wash well as soon as possible. My guess is it’s best to shower, not take a tub bath – urushiol is an oil, it may float and expose even more of your skin. Use lots of soap but use cool or tepid water to avoid opening your pores.
You can’t “catch” poison ivy / oak from someone’s blisters. The blisters don’t spread it – but if there is any urushiol left on the skin that certainly can be spread. I
won’t suggest any specific treatment because I’ve yet to find one that is all that great. Last time I had “the rash” I made a paste of bentonite clay and just left it on. I
can’t say it worked miracles but I’d say it worked as well for me as calamine lotion. The next time I plan to add a few drops of oregano oil to the paste and give that a try.
As a young child I would sometimes pick honeysuckle flowers, pinch off the stem end and suck out the sweet nectar. My parents showed me that trick – BUT they also made a big production of teaching me the difference between harmless honeysuckle and potentially deadly yellow jasmine.
Both flowers smell wonderful, although the scents are different. Both may be yellow (honeysuckle can be white, too). An adult should be able to tell the difference at a glance (although with some many “city people” moving to rural areas these days I wouldn’t bet on it). But how about a young child? People need to know the difference. If you aren’t sure leave it alone.
ALL parts of yellow jasmine are poisonous. Ingesting any part of it can make you extremely ill or even kill you. Even deer don’t eat it. Allergic reactions have been reported from simply handling it. Since the entire plant is poisonous, if you do handle it I suggest you wasn your hands well after.
Yellow jasmine is the state flower of South Carolina. It’s beautiful and has a wonderful smell but it’s best to enjoy it without touching. Enjoy it but stay safe.
You should never, EVER declaw a cat. I suppose there could be a rare medical reason – if a toe is crushed, has some kind of growth or cancer, that type of thing, but it is wrong to declaw a cat because they scratch your furniture, you or your kids. If you’re that worried about your furniture, might I suggest that a cat is not the pet for you. Get a fish.
When a cat is declawed, they don’t simply remove the nail as a doctor would a human’s ingrown toenail. The entire last joint of the cat’s toe is removed. It is the same as removing the tips of a human’s fingers at the joint below the nail. It’s painful, dangerous and has the potential to cause physical and behavior problems for the cat. For example, common sense says if a cat has no claws to defend itself with it may turn to biting instead. I’m not posting a picture but you can Google it and see how horrific the process really is. Those who say it’s not a big deal are full of crap.
Get or make a scratching post for kitty. They are commercially available and there are plenty of instruction online for making your own. If nothing else, a piece of firewood will do. While I’ve never used them or done serious research about them, you can also buy vinyl nail covers for kitty’s claws. Do some research. Find alternatives to declawing. Or accept the fact a cat may not be the right pet for you. Just don’t even consider declawing.
Would it ever cross your mind to cut off the tips of Juniors fingers because he picks his nose and eats it? Or because he scratches bug bites? If Junior bites other children, would you pull all his teeth so he can’t? Of course not! Pets are part of your family. Don’t abuse them, and in my opinion declawing a cat is animal abuse. What if kitty sneaks outside? How can he/she defend themselves? How can they climb a tree to get away from a dog or other animal?
Sorry if what I have to say offends anyone. On second thought, no I’m not sorry, not at all. I’m using extreme examples here to make a point – and if any readers are unable to comprehend that is what I’m doing, well, I feel bad for them. Yes, comparing declawing a cat to pulling a kids teeth or cutting off the end of their fingers may not be realistic but it makes the point.
Desperate situations call for desperate measures. The top of my stove – the flat part above the knobs and stuff – tends to serve as a holder for salt, pepper, spices, etc. As a result it doesn’t get wiped down very often so turns into a grease pit. (Come to think of it, I’m usually the only one around here capable of wiping anything on the stove but that’s another story.)
This morning I decided to clean it and boy oh boy was it nasty. I first tried using rubbing alcohol on a paper towel, which didn’t even smear the mess. I thought the stuff used for removing stickers and such from things might work but of course I couldn’t find it – that would make life too easy. So, rummaging through cabinets I came across a very old bottle of Orange Glo Wood Cleaner and Polish. Now, I wasn’t about to just spray that stuff everywhere, so I poured a small amount in an old jar lid, grabbed an old toothbrush and tried a spot and quickly saw it had great potential. So, I kept putting small amounts on the toothbrush, covered the mess, waited a few minutes and woot! Just light rubbing with the toothbrush worked! After that I wiped it down good with rubbing alcohol. Sometimes one just has to improvise.
Disclaimer: I’m not sure this is an acceptable use or if it’s safe. Try it at your own risk, I’m not responsible if anything bad happens as a result. Just because it worked well and safely for me doesn’t mean everyone will have the same experience. The bottle does say keep away from heat and flame, so I’d definitely NOT use it on a gas stove or range. 🙂
My cats love crawling into my bed and are paricularly fond of curling up to sleep on my pillows. My favorite fleece jacket is also their favorite – anytime I forget to put it out of their reach they hop right on it. As a result things around here are sometimes get a little hairy (pun intended.) If you’re like me, you’ve found cat hair isn’t the easiest thing to get rid of – that stuff can really cling. I’ve tried a lot of things – and while a lot of them do help, there is no surefire solution. I’ve found one thing that does a pretty good job, though – provided the item needing fur removal can be run through a clothes dryer.
BEFORE I wash a furry item, I toss it into the dryer with a fabric softener sheet. If you don’t have any, no problem, dampen a paper towel or washcloth and pour on a little liquid fabric softener. If you don’t have that either I suppose just something slightly damp will help. To be honest, I’m not sure the damp and or fabric softener is even necessary but it seems to me to work better. I run the dryer on timed setting for an average of ten minutes then check the filter. It should show quite a bit of fur/lint. Depending on how much cat hair is on the items, you may need to repeat that several times. If something is really nasty beyond cat fur, though, I’d go ahead and wash it, then do the multiple runs through the dryer part. Be sure to check your labels. If an item says do not machine dry it may still be possible to use this process only with no heat.
The sticky rollers you wash and reuse help, too, but I usually reserve that for quick emergency situations. In a pinch, take some sticky tape and pull fur off with that. Both of these are a lot
more time consuming that using the dryer but if you’re on your way out the door and notice a few cat hairs here and there it will help.
I hope this will help. Just remember it takes a little patience.
I never though a lot about mustard, being more of a ketchup fan – until I tried Inglehoffer’s Original Stone Ground Mustard. This stuff is GREAT. It’s a spicy mustard, but not too hot and the flavor is excellent. Instead of finely ground mustard seeds like some brown or spicy mustards have, Inglehoffer’s has whole seeds, which compliment anything you put it on. It’s thick, not runny at all like some mustards tend to be.
In my opinion this mustard compliments everything from corndogs, to burgers, roast beef to bologna. It does cost more than regular mustard but the delight it adds to foods is worth the difference. I haven’t tried it in things like potato salad yet, but I suspect it would be really good. The only “complaint” I have about it – and it’s not a complaint at all, really, is that I wish it came in bigger sizes. The largest I’ve found is a ten ounce squeeze bottle and around my house that goes in a hurry!
They do have other types of mustard and sauces as well but I haven’t tried them yet. Based on my experience with the Original Stone Ground Mustard I would expect them to be very good as well. Give it a try and I think you’ll have a hard time going back to plain old mustard!
I wanted to toss out a reminder to everyone about chimney care. Early 2014 and the visit to the US of the Polar Vortex left many people looking for ways to supplement their heating systems. If
you’re in the South as I am and have a heat pump, you know the auxilliary heat kicks in during extreme cold and that makes your power bill hurt more than it already does.
Before using my woodstove I wanted to have the chimney cleaned. The chimney is old – so some years back I had a stainless steel liner put in it for safety reasons. At the time, the liner was
put in, the space around it- between the liner and the bricks- was filled with insulation material. Today there are better ways to do it but at the time that was how it was done. Consider how
an old chimney is made – bricks with morter/cement between them. Over time that morter may become brittle and or crack, leaving crevices for heat, smoke and fire to potentially get outside of
the chimney and into your attic or walls. Continue reading ‘Make Sure Your Chimney Is Safe To Use’ »