Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Kittens

Another thing I saw and took pictures of at the farm today were kittens.  There are a lot of them, but the black kitten and white kitten are the two that caught my eye...

This black one is the one I think I'd take home if my husband would let me! He says that we can't get a second cat until we get a second dog, and I won't let us get a second dog until we can fence in the back yard.  He would allow for an "outside" cat, but I am afraid  it would either get run over or chased off by neighborhood strays.  That's why we made Terra an inside cat.  Our other friends who live in town haven't had much luck with having outdoor cats...they've either gotten run over or run away.  

Oh...why can't cats stay kittens forever?
I still love my own cat though...and she's trying to snuggle up with me right now as I type!

Sunday Flowers

We have church at our friend's farmhouse.  This morning, while we were hanging out and enjoying the nice weather outside before church started, these new hydrangeas they'd just planted caught my eye and I was inspired to take some pictures (and go all Instagram!).

These hydrangeas had a story behind them though.  My friends Rachel and Tricia went to NYC last weekend for the National Stationary Show.  They had a booth there for their line of stationary, Fawnsberg.  
Apparently one of the other booths had some hydrangeas for decoration, and when the show was over they were going to throw them out (since they had flown there from Florida and weren't able to bring the flowers back with them on the plane).  So Rachel and Tricia's Dad decided to bring them home and plant them in front of their porch (there were six plants in all).  No sense wasting perfectly good hydrangeas, right?  I guess there was a LOT of stuff that people threw out after the display stuff and even furniture.  Gah!...such a waste!  If I'd known, I'd have called my brother (he lives in NYC) and had him go down there with his truck.

Back to the flowers.  The question is...will they remain pink or turn blue? (Hydrangeas change color depending on the acidity of the soil.)  Either way, they are really pretty!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

30th Birthday Guest Book Idea

I've been brainstorming for ideas for my 30th birthday party.  Yes...I turn the big 3-0 on June 21st this year and have decided to have a big party at my house.
I've also been reading a creative/artful journaling book I got from the library.  One of the chapters talks about a "guest book" art journal. 
This has resulted in an idea that has been swimming around in my head for the past few days...I want to make a guest book for my party.  And not a typical guest book where people simply write in artsy one where people can draw, paint, and collage in it (as well as write).  And my plan is for this guest book to not be solely for my birthday party, but my 30th birthday will be a starting point for it.  

My plan is for it to be similar to "The Book" my family wrote in at "camp" (aka: the house my mom's family owned in the Adirondacks)...that sadly burned down a few years ago.  I'm not sure why we called it "Camp"...since it was really a house and staying there was much more comfortable than camping.  It used to be a boarding house and had a lot of bedrooms.  So "Camp" was a lot more than a little cabin in the woods. 

After the fire, when we were picking through the charred rubble, seeing what we could salvage, my cousin found the book for my mom (Mom was the one who bought the book in the first place and left it at camp for people to write in).  It was a bit charred on the edges and waterlogged from the firefighters, but we could still read a lot of pages.

And as you can see, we didn't just write in it.  We drew, painted, doodled, and pasted things in.  There was a summer when my family (Mom, Dad, my brother, and me) would bring friends up with us almost every weekend.  And we would "make" our guests write in the book.  We would use the book to journal about what we did over the weekend, and also for lots of quotes and inside jokes that were created while at Camp. Mom's 2 older brothers, my cousins, and grandma would visit and write in the book as well.  

All this to say that I want to recreate my own version of  "the book" for my house.  My house isn't quite as much fun as Camp was (Lyndonville just can't compete with the Adirondacks!) but when my family and friends get together here, fun is definitely had...and we can write about it in a book just like we used to.
My idea for the "title" of this guest journal is "30 and Beyond"...since I am starting it at my 30th birthday party and will be using it beyond that.  I wish I had more pictures to share with you, but I haven't actually gotten a book or started decorating it yet.  I want to just get a sketchbook and decorate the cover. (I saw this idea using Washi Tape today)  Part of me would love to use a Smash* Book...I've been seeing them in the craft stores and have been wanting an excuse to buy one.

It's essentially a scrapbook for the lazy scrapbooker.  But DIYer part of me rebels at the idea of buying a pre-made book (have I mentioned I suffer from "ICanDoThat-itis"?).  But I like that the pages are made with pretty paper.  Oh what to do?...what to do?  There's a cool tutorial I found about making your own Smash inspired book, but I don't have the required binding equipment.  I may just stick with my original idea of using a plain sketchbook and just having all my scrapbooking stuff and art supplies on a table for people to use at the party.  I'm sure my crafty friends will have a ball with it!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pets' Pastimes & Birdwatching

Ever have one of those weeks where you know you've been busy, but feel like you have next-to-nothing to show for it?...and can't even really remember what you did this week?  I feel like I'm having one of those weeks.  Just trying to keep up with everyday life.  But let us pause and contemplate the simple life of pets...

 Luna has been enjoying walks in the backyard...and wandering over to the neighboring abandoned house's overgrown backyard...annoying to live next to, but good for taking pictures of a little dog bounding through the high grass and dandelion puffs.)

Terra has been enjoying looking out the window at the birds on the birdfeeders.  It's been almost as much fun watching her watch the birds (doing her little "chatter" at them) as it's been watching the birds themselves.

I've been getting lots of goldfinches...just like last year.  I've started trying to keep the camera on the table so I can get pictures of "new" birds.  I've been getting a lot of goldfinches, house finches/purple finches, and sparrows.  

I got a rose-breasted grosbeak one day, which was trying to get to my "squirrel-proof" bird feeder (above). (the "squirrel proof" feeders have a cage around the tube feeder that keeps squirrels and large birds out, but lets small birds in).  I didn't know what kind of bird it was when I saw it, and had to ask my bird-expert Grandma what it was when she happened to visit a few days later.  I'm pretty sure I saw a female oriole one day (but my camera was in the other the time I went to get it, she was gone).  A woodpecker with a little red cap was out there a few days ago, but he was too fast.  By the time I clicked the shutter, all I got was a shot of the feeder and a blur of a wing in the corner of the frame.  I've having fun seeing all the "new" species that have found my feeders this year!

Still no blue/indigo bunting.  Although I swear I saw one a few weeks ago in my friend's driveway before it fluttered away! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What's-On-My-Work-Table? Wednesday: More Mercer Mayer

I was recently commissioned to make some more Mercer Mayer inspired Nubbins from someone who saw the Professor Wormbog inspired Nubbins I made for my husband's co-worker 2 years ago, and is a BIG Mercer Mayer fan.  This time, I have been challenged to do Little Critter! Luckily, I have a ready supply of my own Little Critter books from when I was a kid! No trip to the library was needed this time!

Preliminary sketch...

 Cut-out pieces...

 Placing buttons to get a feel of how the eyes will look with pupils.

I embroidered the pupils of the eyes to get that "illustrated" look... 

I still have to figure out how to do the hair and sew the buttons onto the straps of the "overalls", but I am so satisfied with how his face came out!

My next challenge that is a part of this commission is to do the "Little Monster" character (a character I was unfamiliar with until I got the book "Little Monster At School" at the thrift store!)  He's going to be much more of a challenge, since Little Monster's face is usually in profile...but I have a plan!  You'll have to stay tuned to see how I pull it off!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy (belated) Mother's Day!

We took my mom out to a belated Mother's Day dinner tonight.  

And I was finally able to give her the spoon pendant I got for her!

Back when I bought my own pendant from Sunshyne Silverwear, Mom told me the pendant I got was the one she would have chosen for herself.  So I had the idea to commission Erin to make a similar one so I could give it to Mom as a Mother's Day gift.  I had her make it purple, since Mom wears a lot of purple.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lilac Festival 2012: My Favorite Booths

I usually am too busy enjoying the experience of going to a craft show to take a lot of pictures, but I was able to take a few yesterday when I went to the Lilac Festival! (next weekend is the last weekend this year!)

First up is my friend and fellow RNEST member, Erin of Sunshyne Silverwear!  I really love her recycled spoon pendants!  If you go to the Lilac Festival this weekend, you should check her out! (as well as RNESTer Francesca DeCaire, who makes beautiful lampworked beads & jewelry!)

I bought another pendant for myself.  It's made from a spoon handle.  I have a thing for the leaf skeleton design.  I also like the pieces she has with feathers embedded in the resin.

These are some spoons my mom gave to Erin (FYI: Erin gives discounts on her jewelry when you give her spoons!  Especially if they're real silver!)

This silver spoon is my Dad's "birth record spoon".  Mom is having Erin make her a pendant out of it.  I can't wait to see how it turns out!

This booth (I think the company name is Blue Gecko?) is one I go to every year to buy my annual summer dress.  I like the tie-dyed smocked dresses.  I wear them all summer.  I used to buy sarongs until I had acquired too many and decided I really liked the dresses!  The hardest part is deciding which one to buy!  The lady recognizes me every year (since I am usually wearing a dress I've bought there!) and usually gives mom and I some sort of deal on what we buy, since we are annual repeat customers.

(FYI, they are not in the "craft show" section of the festival.  They are in the Commercial/Not-for-profit section across the park, closer tot he food vendors.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's-On-My-Work-Table? Wednesday: Clearing out the Garden

My "work table" today was the great outdoors!

It was nice to have a nice, sunny day to work on my garden beds.  They've gotten really full of weeds and grass since the end of the season last year.  And this spring has been so wet, I haven't gotten much of a chance to work on them.  And the times it was nice and sunny were when I had to prepare for craft shows.  Luckily, my next craft show isn't until June, during the Albion Strawberry festival, so I have some time to focus on the garden a bit.

Speaking of strawberries...Bed #1 used to be herbs and lettuce, but I want to plant those closer to the house, since they don't need as much sun.  So I'm turning Bed #1 into a strawberry patch, since I've heard that strawberries need to be contained or they'll take over.  Last year, I tried starting strawberries inside from seed without much success.  One plant sprouted and I planted it outside, and thought it had died.  But I guess it survived, since I found a decently sized strawberry plant growing this spring!  I also bought some strawberry plants from Aldi...not realizing that there were 15 of them in the package! (Bonus!)  I'm not sure if I'll actually get any berries this year, but once I have the strawberry bed started, I should at least get some next year and the following years.

This is how it looked today when I'd gotten through working on half the cucumber/sugarsnap pea bed. (bed #2 of my 3 raised garden beds). Bed #3 will be tomatoes.  I'd like to build a 4th bed someday for raspberries (I've heard those have a habit of taking over too).  We already have wild blackberries along the treeline of the woods.

 Luna was content to plunk her butt down in the field next to our yard and look westward.  I'm not sure what exactly she was looking at...perhaps the clouds that were rolling in...or maybe keeping watch for squirrels?  Who knows?  But she was very content and happy while I got some work done!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Treasury Tuesday: Bunting!...Yes, Bunting!

Happy Treasury Tuesday!
This week's installment may be out! ;)

This treasury was inspired by a "conversation" via Facebook comments on the status of a fellow-crafter friend about pennant/flag bunting and her vow to "not allow bunting of any kind" while working on her new craft show display.  This is rooted in bunting's recent ubiquitous-ness in the crafting world (there's your vocabulary word for the day kids..."ubiquitous").  She is kind of anti-bunting* and regards it as right up there with "Put a Bird On It!" and moustaches on sticks. (EDIT: She has informed me that she does think it looks pretty, but wants to challenge herself to come up with something different)

*I'd like you to know that despite my friend's anti-bunting stance, she is still full of crafty awesome!

I, however, am pro-bunting. I can't help it, it's just so pretty!  (birds are pretty too!  The fact that some of the items I included in the treasury included both birds and bunting made me giggle!...there happens to be a kind of bird called a bunting.)   Ah...who knew a bunch of colorful triangles strung on a line could be so popular?    I think it's because of the colors and simplicity.  And also because it reminds us of festivals and carnivals...happy, colorful, and fun. The funny thing is that I'm actually wanting to order some custom bunting from fellow RNESTer FrecklesAndFrizz to decorate my craft show booth with!

The problem with popularity is that eventually, the thing is so popular that it becomes annoying to some people...while other people are still into the popular thing.  I figure "one man's trash is another man's treasure".   I'm not particularly fond of knitted "breast cancer awareness" boobs or the related "breastfeeding" boob beanies for babies (seriously, look it up on Etsy)...but some people think they're hilarious! To each their own, right?

What's your opinion on bunting?...Pretty or played-out?  What other crafting trends annoy you or drive you nuts? (I'm preparing for a barrage of  "Owls!  What's with all the freaking owls???".  Whatever man...owls are cool!)

Another treasury I made this week: New Items From My Favorite Shops: May 2012
And, as always, you can see more treasuries on the Treasury Tuesday post on the RNEST Blog!

Rest in Peace Maurice

I heard about Maurice Sendak's death today.

He is most well known for "Where The Wild Things Are" (which I paid tribute to in Nubbin form a couple years ago).  Somehow, I never had a copy of "Where the Wild Things Are" while growing up, but I had another book he wrote "Chicken Soup With Rice"...(which I just happened to read to my friend's kids the other day while babysitting)

The book I had when I was a kid came with a 45 record with a song where the lyrics were the words of the book.  When reading the book, I still hear the song in my head, even though I haven't heard he song for years and have no idea where the record is (it's probably at my parent's house somewhere).

It is a sad thing that there is one less writer in the world...but he left behind some of the most beloved children's books of our time.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Craft Show: Laura's Neat Repeats in Middleport NY

Here are pictures from this past weekend's show at Laura's Neat Repeats!

The weather was blessedly sunny...even if a little chilly due to the breeze.  I was thankful for the nice weather even if my hands were a bit cold.  These things aren't too fun if it rains!

This weekend was also Middleport's community garage sale, so while we had a decent flow of people stopping by, most were in "garage sale" mode, which is different from "craft show" mode.  So things were a little slow, sale-wise, at first.  Most people aren't interested in buying a handmade sweater monster for $20 when they can go get their kid a stuffed animal for 25 cents at a garage sale.  But as the day went on, things picked up a bit., and it ultimately turned out being worth my while...especially since it was a really low booth fee and was relatively close to where I live (so I didn't use a lot much gas to get there, as opposed to if I was doing a show in Rochester, which is an hour away from where I live).

It was a small show and we were kind of more spread out than a typical show.  (It was their first time hosting a show like this).  The booth on the right was "Dragonfly Candles".  She was the one that let me know about the show in the first place.  I didn't step back far enough, but the DJ and a soapmaker "Bubbles and Baubles" were in the booth on the other side of me.  It was really nice to have a DJ there!...especially when business was least we had music to groove to!  There were some other booths there that were a bit more garage-saley.

A new Robot Nubbin design!  I think I like the zig-zag mouth better than the straight line I was doing before.  I was afraid the zig-zag would look like angry teeth, but I think it looks like electronic "static" on cartoons when you see "static" on the mouth when a robot talks.  (I know it's not "static", but I can't think of the right word right now!)

Ninjas + Bunnies = Ninja Bunnies! 

The Ninja Bunny Nubbins were actually a suggestion from a friend of one of my friends on Facebook!

I recently started making the crochet flowers into hair clips too!

This kid was so adorable!  He was the son of my booth neighbor, Shannon of "Dragonfly Candles".  She bought him Farnsworth first, then later he convinced her to buy Finkleberg, Farnsworth's slightly taller "twin" I'd made from the same sweater!  He was running around with at least one of them always in his arms...and sometimes both!  I ran into Shannon today while out grocery shopping, and she said he's still carrying them everywhere at home!  Stuff like that always makes me so happy!  I love it when kids really LOVE the monsters I've made.  And these two were some of my favorites, since I love the color combination as well as the soft texture of the sweater.

This girl was so excited about the "Avatar/Na'vi" doll.  I made him last year and have been surprised no one has bought him.  But I guess he was meant just for her!

Craft Show: Mayday Underground Spring 2012

Realized that I forgot to post pictures from Mayday Underground!

My "garden" of flower pins!

Someone finally bought Beatrice!   I made Beatrice a long time ago and no one has wanted her.  She used to not have hair and I gave her orange pigtails the week before Mayday.  I have a theory that has worked before: If I have a monster for a long time that no one has bought, I'll give them hair.  And soon afterwards, at one of my next craft shows, someone will buy them!   Beatrice continues to verify that theory!

My booth neighbor and fellow RNEST member "Freckles And Frizz"

Fellow RNESTer, John of "Jackbear Stamps"

Fellow RNESTer, Heather Vitticore

Fellow RNESTer (and my second cousin!), Kristin of "The Stitching Studio".

A view of the upper mezzanine of the Village Gate, where the show was held.  This is my favorite venue for Mayday Underground.  I like the natural light and the mall-like feel of it has funky art installations that fit the artsy, "indie" feel of the show. But it is not always available and, unfortunately, is more expensive for the organizers to rent than the Main Street Armory.  The next Mayday show will be at the Main Street Armory on November 3rd.