Monday, November 30, 2009

do this today!

Once again this year, I waited far too late to make and fill a handmade, extravagant Advent calendar for the girls.

But lucky for me I did run across this printable Advent calendar from Mibo! If I can't do "handmade and extravagant", I'll settle for "adorable and free"! Found via How About Orange, which is pretty adorable itself.
Here's me, cutting the little doors on our copies. I printed the calendar pages on cardstock and used a utility knife to cut the doors. I started out using a ruler, but after a while decided I could do better without it. That's my supervisor, sitting there in my lap. ;)
Lydia can't wait to start opening the little doors tomorrow!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so many reasons to be thankful! The fact that I have people who want to take a minute to read what I write here is one of them, so Thank You!!

After a very busy few weeks here, we are very happy to be visiting with family and just relaxing today. I hope it's a good day where you are, too!

Monday, November 23, 2009

what a difference a weekend makes!

See this nice, flat dirt? That's where the "pile" used to be! The guys burned what would burn, and dug a huge hole and buried the rest.
No dead or dying pines around the power lines!
Lots of logs to mill and use for building things!
One small casualty: the strawberry bed kinda got accidentally squashed. But that's okay. One of our guys gathered up the plants, and they can be transplanted to the back yard with all the other berries. (Maybe there, I won't be forgetting to check them all the time!)Poor Bilbo is still very unsure of the whole affair. There have been many unfamiliar hoomins with noisy things on his turf, and they took away his chipmunk hunting playground. But he'll be okay. ;)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Why the brightly colored ties on the trees, you ask? Well, it's because in a couple of days, these trees, along with many of their brothers, will not be standing here.

Yes, yes, I know; a standing tree is a happy tree. But consider this:
And this:
and this.
Pine beetles are awful around here. And it's a bad idea to have dead, ailing or vulnerable trees around your house or power lines. I will miss them, but they do need to go.

And then there's this problem:
Our whole back yard looks pretty much like this. It's one big slope, good ol' Alabama red clay, and between the washing out and the pottery-like nature of the soil, we have very little grass. Thankfully, some very capable and generous guys from our church have decided that two years is long enough to go without grass, so they are coming to help us with some MAJOR yard work. We'll be taking out the pines and terracing the yard so it won't wash so badly. We'll have a tractor and backhoe out here this weekend, and a lot of very nice guys.

While I'm at it, I think I'll move the garden closer to the berry bushes. They're just far enough apart that I usually don't get around to checking it all. That is, when there's anything to check, which there's not right now.

And then there's this. We call it "the pile." It's trees that were pushed down to make room to build the house. We will be pulling out any useable logs, cutting them to manageable lengths, and stacking them neatly someplace else. Then we'll have to burn the rest. Someone suggested we roast hot dogs as it burns - I'm wondering if we can get that close... it's a huge pile.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Introducing a new endeavor!

When I first heard of the CPSIA one year ago, I had a feeling it would be the end of crafting as I knew it. What I did not suspect was that in trying to make sense of it all, and in fighting the senselessness of it, I would find myself among a really great group of people! I count the friends I made as the bright spot in the whole affair. Though most of them had much more to lose than I, we shared a common problem. Some have found ways to work with the new requirements; some, like me, have gone on to other things.

One of those friends is the clever mind behind Whimsical Walney. She has served as a great source of information about CPSIA. But the need to create finally won out, and caused her to try something new - workout towels, with witty or inspiring sayings! I think they are great; they speak to me because of Chad's journey through weight loss and strength training this year. They would make a great Christmas gift for the "gym rat" in your life. And I know they are good quality, because she does everything with excellence.

Please visit "Words to Sweat By" to see them all!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

home again

I suppose you've noticed I've been away this week; we were out of town for a craft show, which went well by my standards.

We arrived back home this afternoon. The next door neighbors were burning brush. It smelled nice outside, and the most interesting layer of smoke hung in the trees.
Maya at SpringtreeRoad is featuring black and white photography for the month of November; visit her blog and see her lovely work!

Friday, November 6, 2009

me and Sarah

Maya at SpringtreeRoad is featuring black and white photos during the month of November. I love black and white photography, the way it causes you to notice things about a subject that you would not ordinarily see - shape, line, texture.

But when I think of black and white photos, I also think of many of my favorite family photographs, and I thought I'd share this one. It's of me and my aunt Sarah, from 1975.

There are sisters more distant in age than we are.

There are sisters more distant in heart, and mind, than we are.

It's a shame that, geographically, we are distant.

But at least she reads my blog. And encourages me in anything else I have a mind to try. That's one of the reasons I love her. :)

Now pop over to Maya's blog and see her mad photography skills!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

How to get a head on Etsy

It's the subject of many a post, ebook and class. Here's my solution:

$3.79 at Sally Beauty Supply. She always stands perfectly still, and never complains that the sun is in her eyes.

Har dee har har.

(Truthfully, I prefer my human model. This one's just for the craft show coming up next week. ;) )

Monday, November 2, 2009

pieces, assembled

And here it is, my crazy experiment. This skirt has been in my head for literally years, and I've finally made one. It is made completely of diamond-shaped pieces, each tier's pieces a little larger than the ones above it.

All the pieces started out as plain white fabric. For the color, I put the first tier in the dye pot, then 5 minutes later the next tier, 5 minutes later the next, and so on. The half-diamonds at the top, and the waistband, were only in the dye for 5 minutes; the ones at the bottom, for 30 minutes. I love the marbled, irregular look. That comes from not stirring so much.

I love it, and it's fine as is, but I think I'd like one fuller. And in a few months, there will be some version of this skirt in my Etsy shop. But who knows how I'll change it by then? ;)

If you'd like to see the previous posts about this process, see "pieces" and "pieces, part two".