Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Guideposts - Week32

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived--in which case, you fail by default.
~J.K. Rowling

Makes risk-taking sound not so risky doesn't it?  I think I need to try something new, something hard enough that I just might fail.  And then I'll try again.  Because growth and change don't come easy, do they?

With a grin,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Guideposts - Week31


Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.

~John Lubbock

Take time to enjoy the beauty.

With thanks to Tracey for inspiring me (and others) to incorporate a weekly quote into my life.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Presto Change-O

I had another of those one-thing-leads-to-another days. I just couldn't wait to start the make-over on this one more minute.  Motivation strikes at odd times. Or maybe it's just that summer vacation is winding to a close (sob) way too rapidly and I have a gazillion things yet to do.  Maybe it wasn't motivation, maybe it was panic!
 
Did you notice the bun feet? And the little scroll-y detail on the bottom? Love it!

A little 80-weight sandpaper followed by a gentler 150 gave me this.

I love my palm sander.

The sides didn't look as great as the front.  The red stain residue sent me running to the store for some Kilz. The kind with primer, sealer and stain-blocker all in one.
 
I never prime my pieces, but I'm no fool. Yep, never say never.

Thankfully the Kilz dries quickly...
 
because from the pink undertones, this is gonna need a second coat.

While coat number one was drying, I decided to tackle our neglected workbench.
 
There really is a workbench under there. Truly.  And it wasn't all that long ago that I had it cleared off.  What is it about horizontal surfaces that attract so much clutter?

The various grits of sandpaper went into the sandpaper box, the seeds found their way into the seed drawer,  the tools were re-hung, the bike and automotive staples from The Big Guy got put away, and the chicken feeder received some finishing touches.  It really didn't take that long.
 
Much better, yes?  I told ya there was a workbench in there somewhere.

Since the chest needed a second coat(!) of primer I decided to spray paint the hanger while the Kilz dried.  This poor plant hanger started the summer ivory, briefly became white and but I think it'll stay red.  It's attached with just one screw because I couldn't get a starter hole in that knotty wood, but I hung the new chicken feeder up anyway and filled it.
 
Here, chick-chick-chick.

Miss Rita and her friends personally inspected every screw, nut, seam and wire.  Also the hammer, screwdriver, my shoelaces and my shorts.  Because you never know where some delicious tidbit might be hiding.
 
They might have consumed a little bit of chick crumble too.  Do you think they appreciate the fashionably galvanized finish on their new feeder?

Meanwhile, the second coat of Kilz dried pink too, but I put a test coat of creamy-white paint on top before I came in for the evening. We'll see what it looks like in the morning--I'm hoping for white not pink.

Fingers crossed,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Fabric Summer, Pt. 1--The Silks

I've been inundated with fabrics all summer. Unexpectedly, which is the best way, because each new find seems like a treasure that has fallen into my lap via a generous fairy.

A thoughtful friend from my now-defunct craft group (that's what happened when four of us stay-at-home moms re-entered the world of paying jobs) called with news that her newly-retired decorator-neighbor was getting rid of his fabric samples. Getting rid of as in "going to throw them in the garbage" and didn't I think we could perhaps use them in quilts? I did indeed.

I spent one afternoon carrying bag after bag of samples from her neighbor's home office up a steep walkway and loading them into my Forester until there was no room for anything but me and my driver's license. I didn't feel the need to hit the gym after being a pack mule--a bag of fabric is heavy! Then the two of us spent another afternoon sorting through endless swatches (she'd loaded her car too), keeping many and setting others aside for the Gospel Mission thrift store, while chatting merrily away and catching up, which just made me miss my craft group friends even more than usual.

This afternoon I finished sorting the "keepers" into piles by fabric content after I'd used the staple puller to remove the labels.  I had expected to find lots of cottons for quilting, instead I'm surrounded by linen and wool and silk as well.

Oh, the bliss of silks!  From Thailand and China and imported from France.  Velvets and damasks and taffetas as well as dupioni and raw.  Do you know how amazing a piece of silk taffeta is?  It's a little stiff and it rustles a bit.  There are stripes and damasks and geometrics and florals.  There's even silk that imitates cloth-of-gold and cloth-of-silver. So I snapped some photos and let Picasa put this collage together for you.
 
I wish you could feel the textures through the screen, but at least you can enjoy the sheen and colors of these amazing silks.

What will these become? I've never sewn on silk--it's slippery and I suspect a special needle is necessary along with lots of patience. There has to be something incredibly beautiful and wonderful to make from these magical fabrics!


Now taking suggestions,

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Now Harvesting

The hot weather finally paid some dividends!

See, my garden does have something other than flowers in it--like Gold Rush zucchini.
 
There's no way I can miss these babies growing so I end up with fewer gigantic zucchini. Although this year I could use them--the Bombshells apparently love the blimp-sized squash from our neighbor.

These little cherry tomatoes have successfully hidden from our tomato-seeking missile (aka Sophia).
 
We have some yellow mini-pear tomatoes coming on too. They always remind me of being a kid in the summer so I usually call them "Bug Light" tomatoes. Sounds yummy, right? (Do they even make yellow bulbs for porch lights anymore?) Sadly the Black Krim heirloom tomato doesn't have one flower on it much less a tomato.

And ya gotta love volunteers. Obviously there was one at least one tomato that didn't get picked last year. I'll have to look back in my garden journal, but I think these are Early Girls.
 
My pickling cukes are starting to climb and blossom. The butternut squash vine has possibilities--I'm dreaming of delicious winter soup everytime I see it.

Come join the Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage (where Jami's already planning her fall garden) to see what's happening in gardens around the country.


That's my veggie tale and I'm stickin' to it,

Monday, August 16, 2010

Future Eggs 4 Sale

Although I'll take a dozen fresh brown eggs when I visit the Queen Mother this morning, I know I'll come home to four even fresher eggs. The Bombshells are laying fools! Right now, we're keeping up with their production via scrambled eggs and deserving neighbors who chicksit and provide yummies for our girls.

But the day will soon come when we'll need to hang up our official "shingle" announcing we have eggs for sale. I wasn't kidding when I said I had a spare signboard thanks to the Habitat ReStore.  (Ignore the unfinished chicken feeder and the paint destined to transform Kharma's unpainted doghouse into a charming abode and the glass pumpkin waiting for a faux mercury glass spray job.  So many projects...so little time.)
You may think of it as a drawer front, I think of it as a sign-in-waiting. Ummm, do you think I may have been planning this all along?

Of course what should the sign say:  Eggs 4 Sale? Fresh Eggs? Fresh Eggs 4 Sale? Fresh Eggs Today? Fresh Organic Free-Range Brown Eggs? Ack! Too many possibilities.

Avoiding brain overload, I seized the excuse to audition fonts (I'm a font addict) to complement the script used on our Meadowsweet Cottage sign. Some were too heavy. Some were too modern. I settled on Accord Light. It's easy to read and fairly lightweight. Somehow the simplicity of just plain old "Fresh Eggs" turned out to be the right choice with the font. What do you think?
 
I think it fills the space well, but is too large compared to the size and delicacy of the Meadowsweet font.

I printed up another mock-up, this time reducing the size a bit.  Me likee.
 
I'll stretch out the space between the two words, but I think I've got a winner.  I'll print it out in "outline" and transfer it onto my sign blank.  Then guess what I'll be doing this afternoon?  I might not need it for a while, but it'll be ready when I do!

Craftily,


p.s. "Fresh" begins to look misspelled and very strange when you type it over and over different fonts.  Just saying.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Guideposts - Week30

When was the last time you did something for the FIRST time?

Oh. My. Gosh!  I love this inspiring challenge!

I'm happy to report that a week ago I stood on the summit of South Sandia Peak, enjoying the company (that's the Disney Princess in my photo) and the view--and I have a piece of lichened limestone from the summit to prove it.

South Sandia's not the highest peak I've summited, but our nine hour hike with strenuous thirteen percent grades was definitely the longest and most challenging one I've attempted as my quads can attest.  

For the rest of our Albuquerque visit, I'd look way up at that peak and marvel.

Joining Weekly Words of Wisdom.

Queen of the Hill,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Baker's Dozen

Look what greeted me when I opened the fridge to look for dinner fixings after our flight home.  Lots and lots of eggs!
Don't you love Rita's mini egg? (It's the fifth from the left in the back row.) It barely pokes up out of the egg holder!  Rita was the smallest chick by far, so I'm not surprised she was the last one to start laying.  Her hey-I-laid-an-egg cackle is more of an oh-my-gosh-look-what-just-came-out cluck!  The other three Bombshells were not impressed with her fuss.  I, however, am completely impressed with their collective egg-laying capacity.

The Big Guy was in charge of livestock while we were away and was regularly reporting how many eggs he would find each day. He found it a challenge to use them fast enough. That's a problem I was happy to come home too.  Smoothies, neighbors and the Queen Mother are our current solutions.

I think I need to paint a "Fresh Eggs 4 Sale" to hang below our Meadowsweet Cottage sign!  Oddly enough, I just happen to have a signboard in the garage that's ready to paint...


Proud chicken mama,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Little Comment Love

I love comments. We bloggers ALL love comments. They reassure us that someone out there is not only listening but also enjoyed a post.

I love comments so much that I don't make anyone prove they're human not a bot. Fortunately, no trolls have lurked beneath any of my blogospheric bridges and I've seldom been subjects to spam attacks.

I do get the occasional "Anonymous" commenter who's completely off topic. I admit to enjoying their somewhat fractured- but-still-understandable English essays on Acne or Web Hosting and I feel a bit guilty for sending them to the circular file.

Guilty enough that after I deleted Mr. Acne, I decided to share a little bit from Ms. Web Hosting with you...

"companies contribute space on a server for take via their clients as artistically as the internet accessibility required to bag on the web."
  I think web hosting should be artistically accomplished and I want to know how to bag on the web.

(Truly I'm not poking fun at anyone, my Francais is barely passable and I am in awe of the English-speaking abilities of my Turkish, Serbian, Spanish, and Chinese friends.  I feel completely uneducated in comparison)


"So how do you grasp what to use and who to take it from?"  No language problem here, just go for the throat and the quick kill, standard business operating procedure.
.
"The earliest item you want to settle on is if you want a Windows web manageress or a linux trap host."  Getting a little kinky here.

 "However if you eat unambiguous software..."  Mom always told me to watch my diet.

" If you demand a sphere prestige.." I'd love to have me some.

"A very trendy election."  No thought needed, just vote for the trendiest candidate.  Convenient.

And a little comment on karma in Webland...if you demand some participation and scorn a database you will then distress. No. Kidding.

I appreciate Blogspot's free services, but I  guess there are other options..."There are also varied other freebies convenient such as instinctive hand (software) swearing-in. Blogger needs to seriously consider this, don't you think? 


And finally..."It is important to do your homework to bump into uncover the first lone with a view your website."  I couldn't have said it better myself.

Probably some computerized translation program generated these gems.  I prefer to think of an English teacher in another hemishere requiring his/her students to write an essay or attempt a conversation via a blog comment with this charming but fractured result.  


Anonymously yours,

Sunday, August 08, 2010

My Guideposts - Week29

It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
~Walt Disney

I say believe in yourself, pursue your dream, live with passion--it's funny what can happen when you leave the crowd behind. You might be the one leading the parade. At the very least you'll have one heck of a story to tell.

Have I done the impossible? No, but I do trust my instincts and I have delighted in confounding common wisdom a time or two!

This week I'm visiting family and am surrounded by all things Disney in every room (Mickey spoonrest, Pirates of the Caribbean version of Life, Goofy poster in our room, Cinderella collection and Mrs. Potts in the china cabinet, etc. And Dumbo is a special little girl's favorite). My current address: Casa de Canciones, Land of Enchantment.

Enchantedly yours,


Joining Weekly Words of Wisdom party.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Song and Dance

I always get a positive feeling watching the latest flash mob that pops up on YouTube.  Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry, but I always enjoy...
All the practice and organization, the passion and love, that go into a successful flash mob--wow! 

Can I just say that I love my followers and readers and I believe YOU'RE amazing times a gazillion!

Celebrating the power of the female spirit,

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Scrambled

It wasn't easy, but I made myself crack three petite little eggs.
The yolks were a gorgeous yellow-gold.
A quick stir in the pan.
Lunch!
Yum!

I think they might be addictive,

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Enormous!

Impressive! Outstanding! Huge!  It's impossible to describe the size and impact of my brand-new perennial hibiscus adequately.   I guess I'd better let the photo speak for itself.
The blossoms last only one day, but they overshadow everything else in the garden while they bloom.

We were exiled to SoCal for thirteen long years--at least I got to dabble in semi-tropical plants while we were there.  We had three carefully chosen hibiscus that were thrilling to watch bloom.  Our new Strawberry Swirl is cold-hardy to minus 30--no tropical tendencies except for the gorgeous blossoms.

Just a side note to visitors from Jami's Tuesday Garden Party...

I do actually have veggies too--golden zukes, cherry tomatoes, blueberries (okay, so they're a fruit), onions, potatoes, etc.--but they are lowly pawns.  All hail the hibiscus queen!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Five for 5

Five days, five eggs!

(I have the feeling that buying eggs is a thing of the past.)

Now if we can just bring ourselves to actually eat them rather than gaze admiringly...and did I mention that I found number four when it was still warm?!

Eggily yours,


Sunday, August 01, 2010

My Guideposts - Week28

What need has he of clocks who knows when highest peaks are gilt and rose day has begun?
~Mary Hunter Austin

I think there's nothing lovelier than waking up early on a summer morning.  The air is enticingly cool after the heat of the previous day.  You can almost hear the dewy flowers and trees sighing with pleasure. Our chickens are bawking softly as we step out onto our patio bricks to stretch and greet the day--I'm glad to say we've had no more six o'clock clarion calls, but we do have three lovely little eggs in our fridge waiting for us to have Sunday breakfast.

Have a lovely summer Sunday,

Check out more quotes at Tracey's Weekly Words to Live By!