Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another Manic Monday

Shew...   I sure am glad it is Tuesday!

I had a manic Monday mania... filled with good intentions.


New etsy Listings


Over the weekend I managed to put some of my inventory online and update some of my expired listings.  It is one of those things, like putting away laundry that I just don't like doing.    I still have a lot more items that need to be updated.  I can't sell them online if I don't put them there.

That is so sad to admit.

it is what it is...
I like creating things, for the simple joy of creating... more than selling them.

Or...
I like to sabotage myself... which is also very likely to be true.

Either way... I took action and put a few things online in my etsy shop. 
Some old and some new.


Doll Cloths


The jams Mia is wearing, are one of the pieces I did 2 years ago for Christmas.  I made these, along with 2 other sets that I sold.
 I made them out of a pair of flannel pajama bottoms I picked up at the Goodwill.

FYI
I do wash all the fabric before I store them or start cutting out a patterns.



A Pair of Shorts

I love this little polka-dot print.  These pants are for one of Mary's doll's...

I thought that I would try and finish up some doll pieces and other sewing projects that I already had started,  to get me off the computer.

Wow... what I "want" to do and what I need to do, are not always the same thing.

Some Fade Blue Jeans

I started these guys a while ago...

again... re-purposed jeans... either from pants Mary out grew or... pieces that I took off the bottoms to make shorts...

I left these without a hem... to have that frayed look.


I should have known that I "needed" to be doing something else when the "tension" kept giving me a fit.
But, nooooo...
I kept plugging away!



Idgie Kitty

This is the newest addition to our family.
I know... as if we didn't already have enough animals.  It couldn't be helped...

yea, right?

She is a wild one..
thus
finally, her name

Idgie

as in Idgie Threadgood from Fried Green Tomatoes.

She is ...

"MY" kitty

"Maggie" and "Homie"  have pretty much been claimed by Bill and Mary or I ought to say it the other way around. 
Bill and Mary have been claimed by the cats.

Well actually she is more Lexi's kitten...
for those of you who don't know Lexi, check out the video.




video


Well, I think Idgie has picked me as her "human" companion!



Plugging Away

I should have taken the hint from Idgie and gone for a more relaxing project earlier. 

I was just not meant to sew yesterday. I was being a stubborn vessel... trying to force my will.

Uggghhh...

It wasn't working so well!


Surrender...


So, finally after enough discomfort...
I let go...

and moved on to something else

Ta Da


A wash cloth for Bill. 

Thanks for the idea... Tay!


Restored to Sanity


Ahhh... so much better!

Just in time for the kiderling to get off the bus.

And now I need to start getting geared up for a visitor that is clearing a path for a parade of people this Labor Day Weekend.

Hurricane Earl

It is still unsure if Earl will be making landfall or not...
I am staying informed on the expected path.

If he is coming ashore...
I have no intention of riding this storm out.
Isabel
was more than I bargained for.

Long gone are my days of  hunkering down or attending Hurricane parties.

Isabel wasn't even a direct hit for us...
and we had to debate whether or not to pull the mattress off the bed and hold it against the sliding glass door to keep the wind from blowing in.

Niether happened.

That was the "LONGEST" storm ever...
never again!

Anyway...

One good thing about a Hurricane or Tropical Storm is that our yard gets a good clean up!

We spend days picking everything up from the yard and putting them away somewhere safe.
Sure wish more folks would.

During Isabel... we received more property damage from flying debris than anything else.  And I don't mean things like tree limbs or street signs.

I am talking about lawn stuff... and because I live in an industrial/commercial area. .. it was things like display racks  and pallets.

Come on folks...

We collect clutter like our lives depended on it...
and we still manage to pick it all up.

I don't wanna...
but I do.

Oh well...
it will be exactly what it suppose to be.  Regardless how much anyone frets or worries.

I don't know what's in store for me or anyone else.  I will deal with whatever comes my what, even if I don't LIKE it.

Who knows?  Maybe it will force me to take a path that I wouldn't choose on my own. 
And be the best thing that ever happened.

Sometimes I need to just get out of  the way so God can get busy!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Better School Food: Kids Bill of Rights

I absolutely LOVE this video!  A couple years ago, for Earth Day I burned a DVD for my Brownie Troop to watch at a meeting.   This was one of many videos that were on the DVD.

The elementary school that my daughter attends received a grant for an outdoor classroom last year... I felt very hopeful.  I was so inspired that I called the head of nutrition in our county to see about implementing the Farm to School program in our distric.  I didn't get much positive feed back from her at all.  She said that it wasn't feasible....

As much as I hate to admit it...I dropped the matter and didn't fight for change.

This is a subject that stirs much passion within me ... as well as the starting of a Community Garden. 

These things are important to me for a multitude of reasons. 

Nutrition is absolutely a priority for me. 

I believe that the makers of  "processed food" are the biggest "Drug Lords" on the block.  It is easy for society to back a "war on drugs" when they think the enemy is Meth, Heroine & Cocaine...

but what about MSG, growth hormones, pesticides, preservatives, artificial coloring. processing flour til it no longer holds any nutritional value... and REFINED SUGARS.

And don't even get me started on "genetically modified" anything... especially  seeds.

I know that these things are making our families SICK!

I think most everyone will agree how difficult it is to get a "drug addict" off Meth, Heroine or Coke...

but what about refined sugar?

or artificial additives?

We are allowing the schools and our home to turn our kids into "junkies"...

and we are paying for it...
and paying for it...
and paying for it.

hmmm... lets see... we feed our kids food that makes them sick... the wondrous machine that our body is... recognizes that our bodies are sick... so what does it do...

it stores FAT...
and keeps storing fat...

then we get "sick"...
then...
pay many of the same companies that make our foods more money to get us "well" with their drugs...
then we are back to it all over...

it is capitalism at it's finest!

Yikes...
"reel her back in Debbie"
Another reason for wanting these initiatives... is the environment

Ok..
does anyone know what one of the top reasons historians believe the Mayan civilization fell, or for the Great Depression (the Dust Bowl ring any bells)?

Depleting the soil of its nutrients ...

don't take my word for it... do your own research!

But one of my biggest reasons is to help foster a deeper sense of community.

Where is my "Village?"

So, I apologize for the soapbox...

just check out these videos...

a little ...  food for thought!



Real Food Is...By Abernethy Elementary School

Serving Up Nutrition Education in Schools

Change Your Child's School Food: Farm to School

National Farm to School Network

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Feeling a Bit Monochromatic?

Checker Board Skirt

I had some input on this skirt design , but Mary picked out the basic style and fabric on her own. She is certainly cut from the same cloth as her Momma.
I'm felling all nostalgic!

I like the way this lining turned out. It leaves a nice even hem line and gives it an awesome twirl effect that every little girl LOVES...
It's the first thing Mary does when she tries on a dress or skirt, she takes it for a spin to see what kind of twirl she is going to get.
I would have to say that this skirt has a nice combo feel ...
1950's meets 1980's in 2010
Messenger Bag


Ugggghh ... I can't believe I bought a pattern to make a messenger bag. But, I did. It had a pattern for all kinds of things. Backpack, messenger bag, hipster (whatever that is), cell phone case and a change purse.
Did I use it?
NO
What a waste...
When I began looking at the pattern layout and pieces (after I cut the pieces the bag called for), I thought why in the world would you want to complicate such a simplistic design.
So, I did things in my typical mode of operation...
my way
I winged it!
Imagine that.
There is a very fine line between control freak and creative design. I believe I have a foot on both sides of that line.
Either way...
This was a very quick & simple way to do it.
Trust Me


Now when Mary first saw this fabric. She was NOT feeling it.
She had no faith in her momma.
I guess I didn't either... buying that stinking pattern.
Oh my gosh,
I though she was going to cry when she got back from the beach yesterday.
Tears of joy.
She absolutely loved it. She asks "is that MY bag?"
All it took was a smile and a nod and the squeals commenced.
First Impressions

All that effort and time...
planning the perfect first day's outfit!
You would think the world was hinging on this outcome.
Yikes!!! Tweens!
I'm so glad that we are having a cool day here on the Outer Banks...
because there was no talking her out of wearing those boots!
Yippie!
All is well, we have lift off.


Bus Stop


With lip-gloss & SCOTS compact in hand...

She is up, fed and out the door waiting for the bus.
For someone who "hates" school & has been hard pressed to get out of the bed before 11am lately...

she sure was up and ready to go!

I think thou doth protest to much.








Monday, August 23, 2010

Hey Good Lookin



Me & My "Buddy"







A good friend took this picture of me and my boy when he was very young. Back when he was low man on the totem. He was the lowest ranking of 4 other roosters. He came in below many of the gals as well. He moved up in status as we found homes for his 4 fellow males. This is why he never had a full saddle while he was here. He was truly ...


"Hen Pecked"

We had to give Buddy to Mary's teacher on the last day of school. Mr. Potter promised that he wouldn't become "hawk food" & that he would be going to a good home. He was getting too territorial for me. He was certainly doing his job well. Unfortunately the day he took me down to the grown, was the day I made my mind up to let him live out the rest of his life somewhere else.


Maybe if I had that alpaca farm that I often dream of...

oh well...



I cried my eyes out. Even though I was happy that I didn't have to look over my shoulder anymore ... I was still sad to see him go.


He was my "Buddy", I still miss that guy.






First Born


Remember those cute photos from the spring?


This is Buddy's first born. He was our first chick EVER. A first for me. Over the years we had girls try and set... but with no success.



Here is Momma and "Son".


Things were pretty quiet up til last week when I began to hear a very gurgled crow...



It certainly is no Buddy crow. However, Buddy had a pretty dysfunctional crow in the beginning to.




Who's my Mommy?



It appears that the momma who raised him isn't the momma that gave him life. I am guessing it was one of the momma Wyandottes. He sure has their markings.



I decided a while back, not to give my gals (or guys) any more names. No more sitting for hours with them, hand feeding them or carrying on conversations.



Besides making the neighbors talk...



I figured that it might be best if I start separating myself a few degrees from a possible food source. I tried a few years back with a really mean young rooster. I couldn't even be here the day a friend of Bill's came over to show him how to slaughter & clean a chicken. We had told him that we would give him one of the males in return for teaching us. By the time I got home, that ornery rooster was plucked and cleaned and sitting in my fridge.



I took one look at that bird in the roasting pan and knew that I wouldn't be able to gnaw on a body part of "Rudy" the mean rooster. So I thought ... maybe I could put him in a stew pot... if I didn't have to see body parts... then maybe.



I made a nice chicken soup with all kinds of goodies...



But ... I just couldn't do it. I took one taste and I lost my appetite.


The funny thing is...



the guy that butchered Rudy for us... in exchange for a chicken... never butchered his chicken. He took that rooster home with him and he just couldn't do it. That rooster is roaming the streets of Wanchese. I guess they were all too tame... with exception to Rudy.





What ya got Cooking?






It may be difficult keeping this space from becoming a pit stop area
for the comings and goings between Bill's shop and the rest of the house.


I will have to nip this in the bud.


I am really trying to enforce the rule of...




once something is in your hand, do NOT put it down until it is in it's proper & final destination.


It hasn't become habit yet for any of us, but it has gotten better.


Progress...



This is a good thing. It has allowed me to keep things more organized and more productive. Easier to slide into a project when everything has a place and organized.





Wash Cloth for ME



I finished this one a couple days ago and then weaved in the loose ends and put a loop on it last night. Then took it fer a spin this morning.




Then it was off to meet the new teacher.


A New Skirt



I started cutting the fabric out for this skirt yesterday. It is for Mary's first day of school.


This Wednesday!


I better stop puttering.


She was not happy about me making her school cloths this year apposed to buying them. She broke down and cried the other day when I asked her what the problem was.


She said she was afraid that she would be teased.




Uggghhh!


She is going in 5th grade...

I thought this didn't start til middle school.


Labels, clicks & boys oh my!!!




We ended up having a great talk. It inspired some much needed dialog between us.
And I think that maybe now she is actually even excited that she gets to wear a one of a kind original design. At least she was bragging about it at school today.
Now, we will need to work on the "bragging" and other social no-nos.



The Design Board




These are just a few of the designs for Mary's new 2010-2011 school year. I have several more but I don't want to get to far ahead of myself. I still have a few other pots on the back burner. Not to mention all the things that I need to get on my poor neglected etsy shop.


I have some finished items that need to be uploaded and some expired items as well.




I figured that this summer would be for family, fun and taking care of me. Then when the school year started back up. It would be time to get back to "work".






Umm from Umbridge


aka Alice





This was supposed to be a costume for Mary's Birthday Tea Party, back in March. But because of my brother's surgery we decided to postpone her party. It was going to be this summer, but this summer has now been pushed back to this fall. She is going to help me with it. And a couple of her little friends want me to help them with a costume for them as well.




So, I guess this may end up being more of a Halloweenish function.










Saturday, August 21, 2010

Divinity & Creativity Gone Wild






New Business Card








It is TRULY my belief that one of the most sacred places to find God ...

is in the sharing between two SOULS.

Iggy's New Machine



I am so excited for my little sister!



Pants fer Boone



So, proud of ya sis!

This was her first attempt at sewing.

Her hubby was going to toss this old shirt of his away, but she LOVED it & had another vision.

No pattern either...

Yee Haaa!

Can't wait to see the finished product... with waistband and red knee pads.

Way to go Ginny!

I LOVE THEM





Evolution




So my workspace is evolving.

It is getting a lived in look while things are still finding a permanent place.
I am still trying to find functional homes for all my tools & toys.




A Newish Favorite Book




I love this book. Her sense of humor is right up my alley!
But her simplistic and economic solutions for a more intentional life is what really has me.


I have leaned toward the more simple & sustainable approach to living for the greater part of my life now. But, I have not always found it feasible or economical to make a lot of the choices I would like to.
I am guilty of falling prey in this mad world of capitalism and propaganda.


WOW!

I gotta say, most people who know me know this to be truth...

as well as anyone who has been to my home...


Cleaning is NOT my favorite thing in the world to do.

Ok, I know that this isn't too many folks favorite pass time but some people are really just better at it than others.


Like many people I am sensitive to the toxic chemicals in most cleaning products. And after one of my serious cleaning sprees I get from time to time, I typically end up with a nasty chemical cold.

So, if cleaning it self wasn't reason enough not to tidy up... the cold really was.

I have tried many "all natural" products over the years but found none of them to really do a great job cleaning.

Until NOW...

This summer has been filled with many adventures.

But the greatest adventure has been trying to make some permanent lifestyle changes in our family.

Yep...

Behavior Modification

it isn't like popping a pill for a quick fix to life's problems.

And it isn't even really anything new to our family

or

me personally.

And because I am rich in the abundance of friends and family I have been able to share openly many of my thoughts and actions.

And they have reciprocated... with their own.

One of the similar themes has been in the removal of artificial preservatives and additives from our children's consumption and use...

real food, whole foods.

I wish this was as simple in action as it is in theory...

So...

Baby Steps.


On this journey I am revisiting my younger years... and reclaiming some of the less toxic ideals and weaving them into my always evolving life.



An Old Friend




Mixed with ...





New Friends






Dr. Bonner's & Tea Tree Essential Oil



Last week I had a MAJOR epiphany.


I wish the battery in my camera had not been dead that day.


I decided to put into action one little nibblet from Raleigh's book.


My sister had shared with me earlier how she had used most of the ingredients suggested in a blog of a


good friend who happens to be related to us by marriage...


How blessed are we to call her family.


She couldn't believe what a GREAT job it had done on a really gross bathroom they never used.



http://www.feyacblurk.com/



Now, I read this blog religiously... and I must say I was not inspired to try this concoction for lack of faith.


Sorry Tay


I just assumed she was one of those gurus that was incredibly gifted at the art of keeping a clean home and she didn't need anything with serious deep cleaning ability like I did... you know cuz I such a unique and all.


Anyway... the ideas and seeds began to germinate and I asked myself why did I have the information at my finger tips (the book) and even the supplies if I wasn't willing to use them.


Good question!


So, I grabbed my book... and found her suggestions for a " Soft Scrub"


I rolled up my sleeves, hiked up my skirt and headed for the bathtub.



1 c baking soda 1/4 c liquid castile soap


3-5 drops tea tree oil 2 aspirins, powdered


Mix all ingredients together & add enough water to make a paste. Keep in a shampoo bottle. To use, apply with a sponge, scrub and rinse thoroughly.


Now because I am not very good a following instructions (more will than ability)...


and because I didn't have any powdered aspirin, I decided to wing it.


I threw baking soda all over the bathtub, sprinkled Dr. Bonner's and added a few drops of tea tree oil... pulled out my wash cloth and started cleaning.


I was first amazed by the pleasant smell...


then the lack of elbow grease it took to clean the tub.


It wasn't until that point that I had my epiphany...


how wasteful was I?


The amount of baking soda and other ingredients was enough to have cleaned that tub MANY times over.


And why in the world had I been so reluctant to even try something else?


Baking Soda...


really...


I bet that makes corporate earnings go up...


Most of those "all natural" cleaners were made by the same folks that made the toxic stuff... why would they want me to find out the "truth"?


I was filled with mixed emotions.


I was so excited...


but at the same time I was sad and angry that I had been duped for so long.


This is very non earth-friendly of me to admit...


I threw those other toxic bathroom items in the trash..


nope I didn't even try to recycle them...


my emotion got the best of me.


Shampoo, conditioner, foot scrub... you name it ...it was history.


The only bathroom items I held on to were, my husbands items...


he might be a harder nut to crack.


My daughter followed easily and quietly.



Outdoor Shower




I personally like to just use the good dr. for my hair and everything else.




What's in Your Laundry Room?



I haven't used it in a while. That dag on tomato blight...


Laundry Soap


Yeah, notice how the shout... has collected dust... don't use that too much...


actually we don't used it at all since we re-routed the water flow for grey water use.



For Now


This is what I have been using for a while now...


I am considering making my own laundry soap... we'll see.


Baby Steps!



Keeping Busy




I started to work on these while some of Mary and her friends were busy painting some gourds of their own.



The Final Days of Summer



The countdown has begun...


Next week, back to the grind... so we had an impromptu camp-out with 4 of her friends...


Wow...




No More Pink Boots



I can not say that I am sorry to see Mary's "people pleasing" pink phase go.


What's good fer the gourd is good for the giddy-up.


I think they turned out nicely.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gourd Bowls

Let's Go





I just couldn't help myself. I "should" have finished the prep on these bowls.


The inside of the bowls still need to be cleaned more.




But, I was dyeing to get started!







New Dye





I found an awesome online shop out of North Carolina, that caters to the gourd enthusiast.



Woo hoo!



All kinds of cool products.



I couldn't wait to get them at the NC gourd festival or the VA gourd festival. I was ready to play!



So, I purchased some new dyes and applicators from them a while back and I have been letting them collect dust in my newly renovated studio.


I could stand it NO longer. I had to break them out... new packaging HAD to go!









So, I PLAYED!





This was really a first for me.

Typically I paint my gourds with acrylic paint and then give them a clear coat.



I tried dying some a while back with some left over fiber dye.



It didn't work out the way I had hoped. I had to use a LOT of dye and still got a very muted tint.







Koi





I really like how this koi turned out.





Lily





This bowl will get a few background touch ups and of course the inside...



but for the most part this one is ready to be waxed.









Sunflower





This one will need a little more work.



The background needs a second dose of dye and then I need to do some detail work.



Not Bad























Of course, I am not completely satisfied.


However, I am pleased with the way this dye reacted to the gourd shell.


It's the human

behind the dye that needs a little more work.


All in all

not bad for a first go round.