Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Twist, Turns, Delete.

Well, I finally did it.  I deleted a big chunk of my posts.

I took a year off from this here blog, which was a good thing; however, when I returned I just wasn't in the same mind set as I once was.  I couldn't find that thread I had let go of.  For me, this meant it was time to move in a new direction, use new thread.

Since all of the photos on my posts prior to January 8, 2013 were eaten by a vicious computer (not mine), I thought that a good place to begin the deleting.  The text was still there, but without photos, everything just felt flat.

I took some time to read over a few posts that had particular meaning to me, but I discovered those posts no longer touched me.  Delete!

Onward I go, and onward I sew!

This makes me giggle.
(photo source: Click HERE)

Sewing, quilting, gardening, baking, writing:  These are my true loves.  It is exhilarating to have so much time to spend on my hobbies.  I continue to search out new hobbies, too; I have picked up the knitting needles yet again, hoping this is the time I figure it out!

And hey, if you're local, come sew with me!  If you're not, virtually sew with me!

As an aside, my first born turned 20 yesterday.  I'm not feeling it yet.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tablet or Phone Stand

My husband has this funny little thing he does with his tablet to get it to stay upright while he is reading it.   Imagine stacked books, magazines, and often a fork! While it is comical to witness, it really isn't practical, and he refuses to buy a stand for it.  

To remedy this silly situation, and to create a fun little stocking stuffer, I decided to make one.  I found this pattern on the web.  My daughter picked out the fabric (Elementary by Sweetwater, because "Dad is a math geek") and I spent a few minutes whipping it up.  Really, it only take a few minutes!

Pattern source: Click HERE.

The button is mostly for the cute factor, but it does serve as a way to hide my less than perfect hand stitching.

That is my fantastic dreamland (aka Sewing Room) reflected in the screen!

This certainly qualifies as instant sewing gratification!  They are incredibly easy and quick to sew up, stuffed with a combination of fiber-fill and rice.  My daughter has already requested one for her iPod.

I hope your holiday preparations are coming along nicely and you're enjoying every moment of it.  I sure am!  Now, on to the birthdays, there are two in my household this week!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Cards

Do you send Christmas cards?

I've mentioned many times before that I adore writing letters. Just this morning I wrote two letters, one going to Chicago, the other to North Carolina.  I prefer letters to email, there is just something much more connecting and soulful about a letter.  I love to write, and this increases exponentially when the recipient writes back!

Now, letters are just like other forms of communication; sometimes what we write in a letter isn't understood and we ourselves can misunderstand what is written for us.  Alas, we grow in spite of it, and often because of it.

It should come as no surprise that I still send Christmas cards, writing personal messages inside each one. No form letters! Some years I send dozens of cards, other years I send only a handful.  The number of cards sent depends upon my life, my husband's life, and those we have current contact with.  But the list always seems to grow. There are so many wonderful people who touch my life and I want them to know! Shake the hand that feeds you, and send them a holiday card. The world has gone digital, but I don't have to. (ahem, the irony of that statement isn't lost on me)

As we are all aware, and sometimes painfully, people come in and out of our lives.  I felt the void this phenomenon leaves in my heart as I missed those faces I could see in my memory.  I always miss my mom and grandparents, but I also miss those folks who have just slipped by.

If for whatever reason I don't send you a Christmas card, please know I wish you a delightful Christmas season, one filled with love and light.  My heart is so full of Christmas spirit this year that I can barely contain it.  I hope it continues, I hope I can share it.

God bless you, and oh how I mean that!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Tree Garland

For many years now Christmas spirit has been rather thin for me.  I have had my suspicions as to why and have come up with some theories to test.  Of course, the aforementioned religious matters have had an amazing affect on my Christmas spirit, causing my spirit for the season to grow, which in turn inspires me to test out a few other things. 

First up, a Christmas tree in the kitchen!  

Our tree has always been big, but it was hidden in the basement. Out of sight, out of mind?  I do have another small, three foot tall tree in the piano room that is decorated with my Mom's German ornaments, which I love, but I still thought it would be nice to have something I could see all day, something that was me.

Goodbye big tree, hello two little trees! 

I wanted to keep the decorations simple, and mostly cost-free.  The only money I put forth was for the oranges to dry.  I had everything else floating around the house.  

Here are several photos (taken with my mobile phone, so the quality isn't as grand), showing the process of the new garland I made for my kitchen tree. 

I am thrilled with how they turned out!  I made several smaller garlands, measuring about 9 feet in length.  These old spools can get rather heavy, so keeping them shorter kept the weight manageable. 

I love the Christmas tree in the kitchen!  

Monday, November 10, 2014

New Chicken Fence

We said goodbye to the "chicken ghetto" and finally built a much nicer fence to surround the chicken coop.  While I am always happy to reuse things from around the yard, the old fence was cobbled together in a rather haphazard fashion and was completely pointless since many a hen (probably every hen) was escaping.  

My only prerequisite for the new fence was that it be far more cute than the last one.  So far, so good! We'll need to build the permanent door in the spring, but even the make-shift door looks better than before.  Not to mention I can open it, unlike before.  

The fence is about five and half feet tall, which is perfect because try though she might "Damn Chicken" cannot fly to freedom anymore.  Sorry, that's her name, and she named herself.  

You can see the compost bin located inside this little paddock. I am hoping to reduce the size of the bin come Spring, it's currently a bit too deep for me to turn with the pitch fork, my arms only reach so far. The chickens are often lounging inside the bin, pecking for bits of kitchen scrap, turning the top layer as they go.   

I have a plan for spring planting around this here fence!  I already have a Clematis growing up the side of the coop run, but with this sturdier fence, I hope to grow some roses up the south side.  Also, springtime will herald a new a fence for the garden area as well.

Regardless of the time of year, I seem to always be dreaming and making plans for my next homesteading project.  I dream of goats!  And little sheep, and milk cows . . .