Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Painting the Roses Pink...

I just finished painting roses on  these little chalkboard plaques.  I wasn't sure what they were going to tags, refrigerator magnets, door hangers???  So I decided to just leave them as they were.  Now they can be anything...


They are all available in my Etsy shop...


Friday, December 14, 2012

Normal animals...

Yeah, I don't quite know what to say either.  I'm thinking of filing some sort of trick advertising claim.  Well at least he's low maintenance (Three types of anti-allergy medications for skin issues twice a day),  sweet and gentle (tries to eat delivery people and well....anyone else), clean (nope), laid back (hahahahahaha), loyal (only because he knows if he eats us, no one will feed him anymore), non-sheddding (see response to laid back).

At least he doesn't find some weird sort of satisfaction and joy in sitting in things.  Just sitting there with one eyebrow cocked waiting for someone to say something.  Daring them to take his picture and question his motives.  Yeah, because who would do that?


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I think my craft bone is broken...

Have you ever had one of those days where something that you are normally pretty proficient at, just seems to have gone away?  I just can't seem to create anything without crumpling it up and throwing it away lately.  It's frustrating.

I did manage to make this little rose painting.  It took me way too long for the quality and size but I was at least somewhat satisfied with it.  I don't know...I think it must be like speaking another language.  If you don't use it, you lose it.

Things have been pretty hectic here and although they are not slowing down, I think I am assimilating to the stress.  I am down to my last two goats.   Someone came to look at them this weekend and the whole time I was praying that she wouldn't want them.  She said she needed time to think about it, which probably means she doesn't.  But just in case I am going to email her this week and say that I've changed my mind.  I just can't picture myself without goats at this point.  Besides, it's Dottie and her daughter, Betty.  They need to stay here.

Wow, that post was a lot of whining.  Thanks for listening.  Here's some more Christmas decorating pictures to make up for it. (or add to it, what do I know?)

I think I need more ornaments!  There's a bare branch down there on the right.  We can't have that!

Smiles from the farm,

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Decking the halls...

I am seeing a lot of Scandinavian influence in decorating lately.  Colorless and simple.  It's a very pleasing aesthetic.  I was thinking of incorporating some of the trend into my Christmas decor.

Yeah, no...I don't think so.  This year I've decided my theme is to use ALL of the decorations.

Even creepy-eyed Santa.

Life's too short for black and white.  So how's your decorating coming?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

To all that have served...

Thank you.  

This is a postcard sent to my great-grandmother from my grandfather on May 7, 1943.  It reads:

How is the weather up there now it must be starting to warm up a little by now.  Has the ice gone out of the lake yet.  Have you heard where Elwood went and what about (?) has he gone.  Hope you are all well.  I am o.k.  

PFC Tyler Curtis

My grandfather, Tyler Curtis-taken in 1943

I am grateful for my grandfather's sacrifice in WWII and for that of my stepfather in Vietnam, my baby brother in Afghanistan and for all of our soldiers.  Again, thank you.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Well That Escalated Quickly...

Yesterday it was autumn.  The sting of winter was in the air, but some of the leaves were still hanging on.  They were looking a little worse for the wear, but still there.  The grass was green.  Well I suppose it still is, underneath.

Winter might not actually be here, but she sent her luggage ahead so we'd be aware that she's coming.

Because, believe it or not, we forget.  The New England summer is a big stupid liar and we are just dumb enough to believe that this will be the year that winter doesn't come.

But it will.  So we will bow down and offer up the sacrificial hot chocolate, wet mittens, heavy boots and soft skin because we are ever reminded of how cruel weather can be.

Stay warm, dry and well moisturized.  She'll be here soon.

Smiles from the farm,

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Dancing Clown

This year I ran out of time to put up my Halloween decorations.  Thankfully it only took a minute to find a picture of Pennywise to download and use for my husband and childrens' holiday morning enjoyment.  Yes, I am a caring wife and mother.

Have a safe and happy Halloween and remember...



Monday, October 22, 2012

Flour Sack Foot Stool

Say that ten times fast.

It's been a while since I have done a before and after.  This footstool was ummmm, gross.  I mean GROSS.  The fabric was an orange and green tweed.  Lovely.  Fortunately it was also stained and stinky, YEAH.

I liked the feet though.  I could see the possibilities!  First I stenciled a piece of linen-like fabric to mimic a French flour-sack.  Then I ripped all of the upholstery fabric off and tore the foam out and threw it all away.  Then I sprayed the webbing and wood with a diluted bleach mixture to get rid of the musty smell.  It worked quite well.  Then I replaced the padding and recovered it and am quite happy with the results.

Coming up soon......

Can you believe my husband thought these should have stayed at the dump!  Preposterous!  I mean...yes the foam has undergone some sort of chemical reaction that has rendered it to a Cheeto-like powder and there may or may not have been some extra mouse-like dead bodies inside...but I mean really!  Can't you see the possibilities?


Just wait.

Smiles from the farm,

Monday, September 24, 2012

What I Finished Today....

I wrote a book.  It was hard and when I was done, I put it away because I was not ready to have the world judge this thing that I had created.  So I wrote another one and it was less personal but still I wasn't willing to let it out.  THEN I wrote another.  It is a fantasy.  The characters are just that, they have no basis to anyone in my life.  It is kind of silly, but was so much fun to write that I want to share.  So I will.

Here it is.

You can read more about it here.

It is a kind of weird story about a girl who creates a mechanical man who escapes from her lab.   She has to find him to save herself and the man who is accused of making him.  It sure as hell ain't Shakespeare, but I really liked writing it.

Now that it's done maybe I'll get to blogging more.  Or maybe I'll write another one.  Who knows?


Monday, September 10, 2012

Hey! What's goin' on?

I'm still alive.  This blog has been neglected because I've been working on some other things.  I started a book blog, Mom's Brain Candy where we review books and talk about writing and stuff.  Very professional*.

I found a little baby snapping turtle.  So that was pretty cool.  I like turtles.  His name is John.  John the Turtle.

If I keep my eyes closed, she'll go away.  

Aww, look at his little self!

I let him go down by the pond.  Go free John!  

Ummm, what else?  Oh, I sold four of my goats.  Now I only have four left.  It breaks my hearts to think about it, but I may find new homes for all of them.  I haven't decided yet.  I don't want to, but their barn needs to be replaced and the fences are a constant challenge.  Combined with the skyrocketing cost of hay and feed, I might not have a choice.  Blech, I don't want to think about that right now.

Happier things...I am in the editing stages of finishing my book.  I've joined a writers group to help workshop it.  My husband and the big teenager are reading it and offering comments, so hopefully by Christmas it will be ready for publishing on Amazon.

Oh and we got the big teenager off to college, though she wasn't able to board there.  The school is only 30 miles away so she is commuting.  You know the saying, "Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers"?  Well that applies here.  I am happy that she is here every night and I can encourage* her to keep up with her work.

So, I guess that's it.  I'll try to post more here.  I know-I know, I've said that before.

Have a great day!

*Not professional at all.
*by encourage, I mean nag

Friday, August 24, 2012

Loose Threads...

You know how they say to not pull a loose thread because the whole sweater will unravel?  No, well take my word for it.  They say that.  Well I pulled the thread and...

  • My husband fell off the roof and broke his foot (Which is not so unusual.  Our family timeline is actually defined by his injuries.  For example:  How long have we had the refrigerator?  Hmmm, let me think...did we get it the year you broke your face on the snowmobile or shattered your sternum falling off the Wal-Mart?  OR  When was the last time you saw your friend, Bloobidy Bloo?  Oh, that was either the year I got crushed by the sheet metal or the time I caught my hand in the thingy at the mill.  
  • And then...the fences fell down and the goats fell out of their field.  Just...plop...fell right out.  They were EVERYWHERE.  Still are, fence won't stay up.  Whatever.  
  • Matty got a double ear infection.  
  • We found out that there was a problem with the Big Teenager's financial aid for college and we're just keeping our fingers crossed that it works out.  We'll know for sure on the 30th.  School starts the 31st.  
  • The Little Teenager made the varsity cheering squad.  This is an unraveling, trust me.  Fundraisers, sweatshirts, fleeces, rides to school-every-day.  UNRAVELED.  
  • The cat has something.  I don't know what.  It might just be laziness because all he does is eat and sleep.  Yeah, we'll just cross that one off.  I'm sure he's fine.  
  • Jake found a carcass.  No further explanation.  
  • There was a big brown rat in the chicken house and one night when I closed the little chicken door, it jumped out while my hand was right there.  I almost touched a rat.  
  • There was a big DEAD brown rat in my yard after he ate some poison.  
  • My cucumbers got away from me and are now the size of....big brown rats?  They're big.  
So there you go.  I'm standing in the middle of this big pile of  crinkly yarn and I don't even know how to knit.  

Oh, I forgot...I pulled up some weeds in the front yard this morning and now I have a lovely smattering of poison ivy blisters on my wrist.  

But other than that...we're doing great.  



Monday, July 16, 2012

What Happens Next?

Since coming home from my vacation at the cottage, I've been in a bit of a funk.  Things there were so simple.   Get up, start the stove for food and hot water, eat, clean, straighten up the six chairs in the living room, sweep the bark from the floor, get the stove ready for lunch....

Then I come home and am bombarded by all these things that I have surrounded myself with.  Kids, animals, craft projects, books.... It is overwhelming and kind of depressing.  I go on and on about how I would like to simplify but I never do it.  But simple makes me feel good, so I really don't have a choice now do I?

Now, I cannot just pick up and move my family to the woods...(most of them wouldn't come anyway), I have to figure something else out.  I need to PRIORITIZE.  I am wincing here, that's a swear word if I ever heard one.  And in the spirit of my new endeavor...I will keep my priorities simple.

1.  Family
2.  Home
3.  Creativity
4.  Finances

I'm thinking of going with a Less Is More theme.  So I'm getting rid of a few kids.  KIDDING.  They all can stay...well except for the one going to college next month.

Opening her graduation present- an IPOD all sparkling and new.  
So here is my SIMPLIFY BOX, yes it's a cardboard Huggies box.  It may be like trying to save the Titanic with a tea cup, but I am going to fill this box every day for a month and donate it to Goodwill.  I am not going to think about value or how much I could sell the item for on eBay.  There is more worth in my goal then in my potential Paypal account.

When I am done, I would like to be left with the things that I truly love.  And then I will start on my shop.  Remember this?

Ok, so maybe two months and a bigger box.  Anyone have one of those freight containers I could borrow?

Wish me luck,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Home From the Sea

We started out with eight brave souls.  By the third day we were down five.   All boys...they were bored and went home.  So we girls did things like recreate the Victorian photos found on the wall of the cottage.  You know...normal stuff.

I cooked a half of a turkey in the Star Kineo cook stove and while it was cooking (five hours!) I made cake donuts.

And Jake tried to herd fishing boats and seals.  They were about as cooperative as the goats.

We played a rousing game of The Flintstones Game.  Highly recommended.

Just in case you thought their mirth was due to good wholesome fun...they were laughing at the game pieces...which they oh-so-sensitively called "The Hitler Youth".  Horrible children.

We dug some clams...and ate them and ate them and ate them...

But mostly we just disconnected, read books, walked along the shore and tried to appreciate the quiet and beauty of this kind of raw place.  There was no electricity or running water.  There was limited cell service and no 3G, but so much more than all of that.  When you wake to ocean waves your day can not be bad.

Here's the website for the cottage.  Ross Cottage


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Little Bud Lobster Pants

Here are Little Bud's shorts that he would have worn if our picnic had not been cancelled due to rain.  Yes, they are made from tablecloth fabric.  But, I mean, really, how cute.

I made them from this pattern with some changes.  I did not put in the fly or button closure and opted for a faux fly and an elastic back for comfort and ease of changing.

Now we need to find another social event for which lobster pants are required.

Have a safe and happy Fourth!