Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ch ch ch changes.....

It's New Years Eve!

My New Year begins on my birthday (Jan. 13) so I don't make resolutions until then...but I am thrilled to be going into 2009! Every year I learn huge lessons and I think this year will be even more dynamic than the previous! This year my focus is going to be on balance.

I do not ever rest my brain...I'm always thinking of what I need to do, where I need to go, what I should have done instead of...you know the type! ..And the worrying...oh my...don't even get me started on the ridiculous levels that I take worrying to... This goes on all day and doesn't shut off at night...Sound sleep is a fairy tale for me...something that could happen if the stars aligned just so...but rarely does.

All of this comes at a very high price...my natural personality is masked by fatigue and ends up looking bitchy...oh yeah....if you didn't realize it I'm not actually a bitch..nope..just real tired ;)
It affects my motivation and therefore my health because I'm so exhausted that I don't want to get off my butt. Oh and gosh...there are a myriad of other ways in which my type A personality bites me in the ass.

2009 will be the year that I learn to control it! It will be the year that I learn to balance myself. I have a plan...that I won't bore you with...and I'm excited to see where it takes me!

~Peace~

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What I've been up to....

Here are a few of the artsy things I've been up to lately....

Knitting...I've been knitting washcloths....I hadn't been able to knit with cotton in the past but my new friend Paula told me it was because I was using ridiculously small needles....and she was right....



Making Christmas Ornaments...... This is a technique that I had seen done using re-inkers and ultra fine glitter...The colors are pretty random but that's because I used what I had on hand since I didn't know if it would work out or not....and it did! A couple colors were a bit dark...But watering the reinker down doesn't work so I will just need to get a few new colors. The orange one was meant as a joke for John...the Longhorns fan...but I actually like how it came out....too bad nobody I know has an orange Christmas theme :)




I've been meaning to scrapbook John's horse pictures but I've been waiting for just the right stamp set...I got it in the mail and couldn't wait to try it out..... You can click on the photo for a detailed view...but be warned that it is a very very big picture!

Page1



Page2



The stamp set worked great for this layout and I was really happy with how it looked in the embossing powder:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What I Love About Arkansas....

Okay...I'm over the homesick thing so now I think it's time to make a list of some of what I love about being here.....

It's ZONE 7 for pete's sake!!!! There hasn't been frost yet and I have over 100 peppers still ripening in the garden...unheard of Up North!


Crepe Myrtles

Magnolias

Honeysuckle

Mountains

Trees...no but really...MANY, MANY trees!

The accent

Men...they always let women go first, hold the doors, etc.

New friends

Heifer International is based here.....if you haven't yet checked them out...please do!

Fried catfish (in cornmeal) with hushpuppies and green tomato relish!

See...there really is alot that I love about Arkansas...and in closing let me tell you about the event that started my love affair with this place:

I hadn't been down here too long when John brought me to the Quitman Catfish Barn....It's this great buffet restaurant in a tiny little town...great food, great atmosphere... Well...we got there and it was just packed..so we were standing at the front waiting for a table to open up...and an older couple that was at a table for 4 invited us to sit with them....

LOL...I know everyone from WI/MN just gasped...Y'all know I was VERY put off by it...and of course my natural inclination was to say no thank you...BUT...John said, "well we sure will"...MUCH to my discomfort....

Well ya know what?....We had a great time...talked and talked with them and everytime we saw them afterwards we shared friendly greetings and conversation. Now I can't say that it never would have happened Up North...But it damn sure is something that would never happened anywhere that I've ever been....

So that had me hooked...I fell a little bit in love with Arkansas that day.........

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh So Homesick!

Well it's one of those days....I'm homesick.

It's always worse in the Fall because my body tells me it's time to get ready for the cold and snow...and my head tells me nope...not gonna happen.

Why am I homesick?...What do I miss about being Up North? Unless you're from there ya probably won't understand some of them...but these are just some of the things I miss:

My family!

Girlfriends

Other people who say uff-da! and oh ya?!

Ole and Lena jokes.

Bars...no but really...there are very very few bars down here!

Cribbage

Polka

Venison

My mom's kitchen

Snow

Cold...REAL cold!

Good sweet corn...it is NOT the same down here!

That last fall day when you rush to get the last of the outside work done...because we're expecting the first foot of snow that night

Mardi Gras (Ladysmith)

The Mall of America

Grand Ave. at Christmas


Ugh....there's so much more...but I've cried it out and now I'm over it!...Back to life in the South...which is starting to grow on me!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mehndi

I've been facinated for the longest time by Mehndi.



For those of you who don't know, Mehndi is the application of henna to the skin using sybolic patterns and designs. The henna dyes the skin a beautiful copper color. Much of the time Mehndi is used as a way of honoring a meaningful event.

In recent years it has become popular for pregnant women to have these symbols painted on their pregnant tummy.




I want to be able to do this for my clients and others who choose to express themselves with this art so I've been practicing some of the various symbols. I have a long ways to go before I'm accomplished enough to do it for others! Here is a picture of my hand after I was practicing on it with marker...Sorry about the quality...It was taken on my camera phone:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Check out my great deal!

I have been wanting one of those small greenhouses for a very long time and a while ago I found this one on sale at Hobby Lobby!
I couldn't believe it when I saw these pricetags:



I asked the cashier why it was priced so low she told me that it was the display model and it didn't have a box or instructions...Well I snatched it up! And voila!...


Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Boy Jake




My sweet boy Jake had to spend today at the vet's. He needed to undergo general anesthesia to get some x-rays and get his teeth scaled and a few removed. This wouldn't really be newsworthy with another dog but since Jake is a bulldog there is a greater risk of complications under anesthesia....Thankfully he came out of it just fine!!! YAY! I was trying not to worry but it had me on edge!

The vet told us that he has hip dysplasia in both hips. He also had to get 3 of his little tiny front teeth pulled because they had some issues.


Jake is the best dog ever...

He is kind and caring with Lola:


He has a gentle spirit:


He Even takes time to stop and smell the flowers:


Monday, August 18, 2008

Escaping the Heat

As it's been so hot lately.... I've had plenty of time to spend in the craft room....Here's what I've been up to this week...

Painting with ink:





I've also spent a bit of time doing some dehydrating...

The basil plants are out of control!



It's much to hot to bake bread so I dried our
over-ripe bananas to make some snacks.



We got a batch of apples that had almost no
flavor! I sprinked these with cinnamon and
sugar to make dried apple chips..they are so yummy!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Paper Weaving

I made this basket a while back and I can't believe I forgot to post it! I found some great directions online so anyone who wants to try this can message me and I'll send you some links!




Here is an upclose look at the weaving....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Lovely Fig

I love figs! LOVE them! They are so tasty. My mother in law Amelia has a gigantic fig tree in her back yard and while we enjoy eating them fresh...We also like to have fig jam...So yesterday I picked a bunch of them and when I got home I canned some up!

From this:





To this:




Tuesday, July 29, 2008

End of July



July is coming to an end and it's HOT here in Arkansas!!! The heat index has brought our temperatures to over 100 every day for the last 2 weeks!
I've been doing most of the gardening/yard chores at night to escape the worst of the heat but even at night it's well in the 90s!

The garden has been giving us a beautiful assortment of veggies everyday!



I've been really concerned about the amount of trash we have every week and as we don't really have a place to have a compost pile...I turned a trash can into a composter and it's been wonderful!...It has already cut the amount of things we throw into the trash at least in half!

Did You know that you can compost:
Paper napkins/Paper Towels
Freezer-burned food
Pet fur
Post-it notes
Wood
Hay
Popcorn (unpopped, 'Old Maids,' too)
Dryer lint
Old spices
Pine needles
Leaves
Matches (paper or wood)
Hops
Manure
Pet cage cleanings
Grass clippings
Vegetable peelings
Unpaid bills
Hair clippings from the barber
Stale bread
Coffee grounds and filters/Tea bags
Wood ashes
Sawdust
Shredded newspapers
Egg shells
Pea vines
Houseplant trimmings
Old pasta
Jell-o
Sunday comics
Kleenex tissues
Tree bark
Melted ice cream
Q-tips (cardboard, not plastic sticks)
Stale potato chips
Old leather gardening gloves
Tobacco
Nut shells
Cattail reeds
Apple cores
Nail clippings
Shrimp shells
Watermelon rinds
Cooked rice
Banana peels
Wooden toothpicks
Dust bunnies from under the bed
Pencil shavings
Liquid from canned vegetables
Grocery receipts

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yup...I'm a farmer!


BEHOLD.....el pepino hermoso.....



The container gardening is going GREAT! We've had so much rain this year that I was afraid I wouldn't get much out of the plants. I have lost a few to the over-watering...we won't be getting any squash or zucchini...and I lost 3 jalapenos.

Obviously the cucumbers are growing!!! I can't wait to make refrigerator pickles!!!

The tomatoes are doing incredibly well...as a matter of fact...They are so much taller than the cages and have so much fruit on the vine that John had to put hooks in the fence so that I could tie them up!

The peppers are out of control...Bananas, jalapenos, cayenne, and habanero are all big and beautiful!

Herbs are fantastic with the exception of the cilantro...I'm not sure why....maybe it feels my negative energy towards it...Uuuuugggghhhhhkkkk!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The beasties, they love my yard....

This beautiful guy is a Tomato Hornworm....we call him The Tomatinater...



He had a delightful time destroying part of the Mountain Pride tomato plant...Luckily John spotted him before he ate the other half!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ahhhhh...VACATION


I LOVE vacation! I've never had one before...but now that I've had a taste I am hooked!

John and I were sitting around the house at the beginning of last month and up and decided to drive to Branson, MO for a few days! We made some reservations,packed the dogs in the car and went on our merry way! First let me just say this....NICE,VERY NICE! I'm a little bit in love with the total freedom of having no real chores or schedule!! WOOT!

The vacation was great but the VERY best part was the drive! The scenery is astonishing. There were times when I was speechless and times I would feel like laughing out loud at the beauty of it all.

The main strip of Branson seems like a miniature Vegas. We planned on seeing a few shows but were really more interested in really seeing the town. Driving around we were thrilled to discover the historical downtown of Branson which seemed to have a much more healthy energy than the strip did. The real treasure in Branson though is the natural resources that circle the city. Hills, creeks, trees.....Beautiful!

We got settled into a hotel that looked looks a castle inside and out. Had a nice meal and then we took in the most amazing show that I have ever seen! The Acrobats of China! I can't even begin to find the words to describe it so check out this VIDEO
We spent most of the next day at Silver Dollar City and had a great time people watching and exploring.



Oh yeah...that's right...CANDY...homemade...an entire store of it.....



We planned to stay a third night but missed our own bed desperately so we came home the next day...Great to be home but I'm determined that we take at least a short trip somewhere at least once a year as it seemed to soothe the homicidal thoughts that prevail when I'm overwhelmed by the mundane!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Festival Season in Arkansas

It's Spring in Arkansas...and we do love our festivals!...John and I took a drive this weekend and found ourselves in Mt. View during their 1st annual Artisans market on the Square. It was great fun!

One of the booths belonged to Shawn...a man who was selling his handspun and woven fiber art and he gave me some great tips on hand spinning that I really needed! His work was beautiful....Unfortunately I forgot my camera at home :(

Next we saw something that completely wowed us...Skip & Racheal Matthews Flame Painted Copper....copper that was painted with fire!...This picture of the dvd he produced:



It really doesn't show the depth and scope of his art...I'll try to find his website and add more pics.

We moved on and were really inspired by the pottery of David and Becki Dahlstedt...we decided that was the direction we wanted to go with the kitchen decorations...We bought 2 pieces to start with...a tall pitcher and a plate...here is an example of their work:


John is a kettle corn aficionado so we couldn't leave without a bag of that and he declared it the best he's had!

Next weekend...Spring Fest in Heber Springs


Thursday, March 13, 2008

What Global Warming?

WOW! What a difference just one day can make!
I took this picture of newly bloomed daffodils....

and only 24 hours later they looked like this...


We were having the nicest spring weather...in the 60s and then last week...we got this freak snow storm!
This is taken from my front porch...........

.................These WERE hens and chicks (The plants not the birds)......sad.......

The snow lasted for several days and now our tempuratures are in the 70s!
Go figure....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jewelry Board




I made this board a while back after realizing that I was spending way too much time trying to untangle my jewelry..which was thrown together in a cigar box that could no longer close. It's a 12x12 piece of cardboard that I cut from the side of a box, covered in paper....and embellished of course!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Attention Hungry Birds

Here is a fun way to reuse a milk carton...





Saturday, February 16, 2008

OMG..Needle Felting!

This was too much fun! A new favorite to be sure!

This little purse came as a kit with everything you need to complete it. It came with an argyle design that wasn't my style so I drew one of my own based on a scrapbooking sticker that I have. The handle was really incredibly long so I cut it down and sewed it back together and used some sequins (included in the kit) to go along the new seam.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

They Make Me Smile

These two are the shiny parts of my every day.....




Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Juice Mania!

After more research than I care to admit to...I finally ordered a juicer and IT CAME TODAY!...We of course had juice for supper...yup...just juice...LOL









Thursday, January 24, 2008

WTH is a YO?

Okay...I just learned to knit over the Christmas break....and by knit I mean casting on, the knit stitch and the pearl stitch.....I practiced that for a while...then I really ventured out on a limb......stockinette stitch :D

After making several practice swatches I got bored and decided I needed to do a project....Enter the YO (Yarn Over).....

I really wanted to do a drop stitch scarf to wrap around a scarf purse....After several embarrassing and clueless posts to various knitting message boards I still didn't get it...SOooooo...I just did it...and it was EASY!...Of course, being the over achiever that I am...hehehe...I did 3 YO.


Here it is!