Monday, April 30, 2012

Junk2Funk Art and Fashion Show

So, talked to my Dad today and he said, hey you did good yesterday. 

I thought, really?

I mean, I had fun. 

How can you not have fun when the winning exhibit is made out of coffee filters? 

(YES, those are coffee filters on the bottom of that dress and they are amazing!)

He said, well, I would guesstimate only 50 people walked through this show and you made money. That proves that you could go to a show with 500 and do quite well. Not to mention, nobody else WAS selling stuff. 

Oh, I thought. He's not even doing "parent math" and trying to be encouraging. He has a point!

So, anyhow, I think I will attend more events and bring altered stuff. I have to. See, I don't have enough room to just keeping making without getting rid of my altered items in some way shape or form!
And I'm certainly not stopping! 

Yes, I know. You want to see another shot of the winning entry...the back of the dress was covered in playing cards and this side view is the first hint you get....

And a tea bag dress? First Place in Fashion!

I know, you don't BELIEVE me. Hold on. 

Here is a close-up.

And, for all your girlies in Australia, you will be happy to know the Chooks were represented well with this chicken-wire and toilet paper cover dress. Sorry no full body shot. The photo was horrible. Looked like a zombie...raided a chicken tangled up....not in real life just my camera in a gym....did not reward me with a good photo. 

AND yes, I tried to win this lotto tree. I have big plans involving planes, a huge scrapbooking party in Vegas, and biscuits

One of my favorite altered item was this lamp made out of real live gummy bears. If you get bored while reading you can snack...

OR, this awesome container...

This was honestly one of my favorites...this bee with the straws...

In a close tie with this Red Neck Secretary..

How do you like this shoe? That is how my feet feels in heals...

Of course MY favorite booth was mine...

Yeah, I know. That is a lot of stuff! The window frame, my Happiness frame, and lots of Lexi's earrings walked out the door with a new family. Let me know if there is anything I should send you way...I will give you a great deal! ;-)

And next year? I totally will make sure I hit the chair massage. That is my Mom. She knows how to completely enjoy art shows to the best of her ability. 

 Have a relaxing Monday, if such a thing is possible. 

Back tomorrow with the new Another Freaking Scrappy Challenge!! Whohoooo!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Story: The Pin-ball Suburban by Bruce Mero

The Pin-ball Suburban
by Bruce H. Mero

          I'd taken a full week off work to settle into our new house and we needed every minute of the time to clear out the mess the previous owners had left us. That was just the house. The yard was several feet deep in junk all around and the two barns were chocked full of crap also, but our priority was to make the house habitable before we took on those issues. By the end of our second weekend, we'd hauled twenty years of accumulated junk away, ripped-out smelly carpeting, cleaned and scrubbed and polished, then settled into the place with our few worldly possessions.

          I'd promised my boss I'd only be away from work for a week to move and Monday morning was here and time to return to my job. Unfortunately, Sunday night it snowed. Nearly two feet of fluffy lake effect snow lay in the driveway and more at the road where town snowplow had wind rowed the snow another foot higher. Gretchen and I decided I'd beg for one more day off. The problem was that we had no phone in the house to call the boss with...the previous owners had not paid their bills, the phone company had cut-off their service and was very reluctant to turn it back on at that address without a hefty security deposit. That detail we'd not yet worked out, so we had no telephone to call into work with and no cell phones back then either. No problem, I thought, I'd run to the Quick Stop at Stokes Corners and use the pay phone. It was only two and a half miles to the store... I'd be back in ten minutes, I assumed. After a half-hour's effort to move enough snow in the driveway to get my little hatch-back Honda onto the plowed road, I was on my way.

          The town roads were pretty good. The plows had moved most of the snow off the driving lanes and in two minutes I was out to the intersection with the state road that would take me into Rome. There road conditions deteriorated. The last car in a row of slow moving vehicles was sliding sideways as it passed me at the intersection...a cue that I should have picked-up on instantly and turned around right there. Instead, I spun onto the highway and started towards Rome. I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw a red and white Suburban follow me onto the highway. I'd seen the truck parked in our neighbor's driveway during the week and made a mental note to stop there later to introduce myself.  

          Now for a bit of geography. Our new house was located on the southern edge of the Tug Hill Plateau. From our place the elevation increases a little until reaching the state road, then drops over 600 feet in just over a mile and a half, into Stokes Corners. The decent is gradual for the first mile, then the last half mile, at Stokes Hill, the road drops precipitously.
          Since it was my first trip to work from our new home and since the road conditions were terrible, I drove cautiously. My progress was slow. After the first mile, I had not yet caught up with the slow moving caravan of cars in front of me when I crested the top of Stokes Hill. With some trepidation, I tapped the brake pedal on the Honda to slow down just a tad. I looked into the rear view mirror just in time to see the grille and right headlight on the Suburban behind me. Instantly I felt a bump from behind and my Honda headed for the snow bank on the side of the road. I caught my skid and felt another bump. The Suburban was now along side. The bump spun me into the opposite direction and my front bumper hit the side of the Suburban, just behind the passenger door. That sent the truck spinning in a direction opposite from mine and we started a series of side-by-side pirouettes down the hill. We must have collided eight or ten times, I really wasn't counting. Each time either my front or rear bumper would strike the side of the Suburban, we'd both spin faster. With each 360, I'd smack the tall snow banks along the side of the road and that would send me back into another kiss off the red and white truck. The Suburban was doing the same with the tall snow banks. We pin-balled down the road like bumper cars, for what seemed, a very long time. Fortunately, I would later realize, there was no one attempting to drive up the hill while we were careening down. That would have been catastrophic.

          Near the bottom of the hill I was able to gain control of my whirling Honda and was able to slow down enough to allow the spinning Suburban to pass me and harmlessly rotate onto flatter road. The truck stopped a hundred or so feet short of the intersection. I drove up behind and got out. I helped the unhurt, but shaken driver out of her vehicle. She was ashen. I introduced myself to the lady as her new neighbor. She said her name was Annie and suggested that it would have been a whole lot better if we'd met some other way!

           It was only a few minutes before emergency crews were on scene and both drivers checked by medics for injuries, There were none, fortunately. Annie's Suburban needed to be towed away, it was no longer drivable. My little Honda was just fine. It had red and white paint scrapes on both front and rear bumpers, but no other damage was visible.
          The intent of my first trip down Stokes Hill was to telephone the office to tell them I was going to need another day off, but at that point I decided to just drive into Rome and go to work. Gretchen never heard of my exciting ride until my return to the farm that afternoon. We went next door after a glass of fortification to formally introduce ourselves to our new neighbors.

          Miss Annie is still our neighbor and we're great pals. Ironically, we all took a Driver's Safety course together last week.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Blog Land vs. Man Land and other random thoughts

So the other day, THE MAN was up in my office and I was putting this layout away. I wanted to put it in my scrapbook near the page I did with my kids and their school I was flipping through scrapbooks trying to find the right "spot" for it.  (yes, the date is wrong, I fixed that and wrote more)

My Sis in Law's kids are right around the same age as mine and I love getting school photos showing them bigger.

Of course I only see them once a year if I am lucky. It just is what it is. Distance, the cost of travel, etc. And then there are whether I get school photos or not. Some years I am sure my SIL thinks the same thing I do. Really? More things for me to pay for?

Anyhow THE MAN said, did you do that layout? Which was funny since it is thin enough to fit nicely into my book instead of layers, flowers, & bling. So, yes I can see why he was asking.

Which of course brings me around to Helen's post. What kind of scrapper are you? I think it's OK to be the 15 Minute Scrapbooker as she describes in her post. That is likely how long THIS page took me. OK, maybe 16 minutes since I am not the best fussy cutter and I had to cut the square frames out so I could lay the photos in behind...

I love that those people get into the scrap zone and make some pages.

Mostly though? For me? I love the layers, meaning, depth and time it takes to make something really special.
And then, I love to SHARE that with Blog Land.

It's about community to me now.

The other day Lizzy from Australia clued me in how to smash bottle caps. LIKE SHE WAS RIGHT HERE.  Plus she gave me her biscuit recipe. SERIOUSLY COOL.

I have gotten all sorts of lovely tid-bits from all over the world. From comments to flowers to advice, the list goes on! Some of it's tips on products, some of it's new ways to do something and more importantly?

This gives new meaning to my scrapping.

I wish I was the new lotto millionaire and then I'd fly all you girls who haven't seen snow someplace it snows (oh yeah, that is here) for a bit (just for two hours and I'm not getting off the plane!) and then we can fly somewhere warm and sip lovely drinks with umbrellas...and scrap with whatever products we want.  I'll hire Tim Holtz if you want...and maybe Taylor Swift can play us some tunes? Who here votes the garden at the Bellagio in Las Vegas?

Doesn't that sound like fun? And yes, we'll serve Lizzy's biscuits.

Happy Friday and thanks for making things much more meaningful BLOG LAND!

And Helen? I know it sucks about your phone but GREAT POST!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wizard of Oz Altered Stand

Just a quick little post about a new project I made! I found this little tart pan the other day and had it in my stash for a project. Randomly the other day I found a copper base. You can see it a bit better in the photo below.

Here is a shot of it from above so you can take a quick peek at the center of it.

Love how glossy it turned out. Lets not talk about how many coats of Modge Podge went on that! Love that Graphic 45 paper and the that copper color I sprayed my pan! I attached the tart pan to the stand with Industrial Strength E600 and was very happy with the results!

And just a shot of my decorations on the front.

Linking this project up to A Diamond in the Stuff.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Recycled Window Frame with Rainbow Knobs OR Invading THE MAN's SHOP

A while ago, I lucked into someone GIVING me two of these window frames. Actually, the dude was sneaking them outta his basement since his Mrs. thought she should hoard 30 of these bad boys. And I'm still not entirely sure whether I had a choice in taking them as they were in my truck before I knew it!

Anyhow, with the overall plan of getting my new little clay studio ready for clay, I figured it was high time this window frame was cleaned up and saw the light of day.

Now, I have my OWN window frame that I see every day and LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Mine was pretty simple. Smash out the glass over a huge garbage can, use a metal brush to clean it up, and voila! Love the imperfections. Oh. Left out scan second hand stores for these silver trays that seem to be cheap and only require some cleaning.

Check out that cutie pie frame I got there below. IT was a piece of ART and was in the second hand store. Broke my heart so I had to grab it.

See? I am not kidding. Someone made this by hand and took their time on it. And it was dusty!

Now this NEW frame was an adventure as I had to learn how to screw that top curvy piece onto the frame (it was originally separate and something my Dad passed along from his stash) and also, attach that little itty bitty molding on with an air nailer. Sooo, had to use a drill too to predrill the holes for the screws. YES. I am bragging. AND more importantly?

Yes, I am invading THE MAN'S shop AGAIN. 

The knobs involved more drilling of holes and actual measuring. 

And, you can see this frame has an overall consistently grungy look to it. That was deliberate and required massive amounts of gesso and then a nice brown inkpad. Easy Peasy.

And, a quick disclaimer as you are most likely working with Lead Based Paint on something this old. Do this project outside when you are brushing off any lose paint and NO LICKING the frame. OK? You got that?

Going to link this up to a few weekly back to do that in a bit.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Studio in Mayhem

Oh alright. As much as I was not excited about snow yesterday, I did get a good photo when I was out running and hacking on our trails yesterday. The ONLY reason I had my 'droid with me to grab this photo was I was attempting to stream music with it. I love the green against the white. There will be no answering the phone while running. Too much panting and hacking. Neighbor Shirley gets a gold star if she knows where this rock is.

And yes, I promised you MAYHEM and used the word Studio which makes the whole officey thing I got going next to two scrap areas sound romantic. I also fold laundry there too and eat at my don't get crazy.

THIS is what my husband normally sees. The more things are nuts, the more everyone stays away...shhhhh, don't tell them that....

Want another view that looks worse?

Yes, that is a pumpkin. Still thinking on that.

And yes, that is an exercise ball. The theory was once a day or so I'd replace that ball with my chair and you know, work on abs. I'll let you know when I start....

This is a more unlikely shot of what my room looks like. It's this way usually Monday am. I MAKE myself clean up so I behave while I work at my desk.

Most of my scrappin is done standing up.

So, the chair is for holding things sometimes and mostly just for looks.

That corner entertainment is the bottom piece of a tall tv stand and my hubby added the top in for me at one point. The piece of wood he used was an old drafting table he had in his family. I find it inspiring when I can actually see the top of it. Like, right now? There is a kit sitting out on it with another project. Like a visual reminder that I need to get to work!!!

And the official end of the tour is here....

You can get off the train. No just kidding.

Head over to Scrapbooker's Anonymous and link up some photos of your studio. Shhh, don't be shy.

Did you see my PHOTOS? For sure Better Homes and Garden's has a photo shoot planned for my house, NOT!

Happy Tuesday or Hump Day if you are reading this on Wednesday in Australia!

Happy Easter Scrapbook Page for Sketches with a Twist and the Scraptastic Challenge

Easter wasn't NEAR long enough! Miss those days of coloring eggs, shopping for just the right goodies for the baskets, and perhaps even a visit with the Easter Bunny....sigh.

Kids grow up so fast!

Luke still got a basket, which we hid in the dump trailer, LOL. His goodies got stuffed in a new bike helmet. His mysteriously went MISSING after he took it to school for skating.

Lexi lucked out and a bunch of people sent her candy.

Spotted this sketch over at Lizzy's Blog and thought maybe I should play along too at Sketches with a Twist.

And, also thought I'd play along with a Scraptastic Challenge that involves a layered flower since all this paper on this page is from this month's kit. Put it on top of a cutie pie top note die I cut out of my extra paper left over from my kit! Love using up scraps!

See my confetti up there, I am kinda loving that trend!

Back later with photos of my scrap area!

Anyone want to see more snow photos? It SNOWED yesterday. On my daffodils and tulips. No, never mind. We are forgetting all about Monday and moving on!!!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

At one point recently Lexi came home and was telling me about this place mat contest they were having at school. As usual, the details were a bit sketchy.

In fact, until she arrived home prancing I didn't get the actual story.

So, she won a lunch with teachers at Evan's Hearth due to her design! This was part of National Woman's History Month.

And, here is the winning entry on "Swift" as she refers to Taylor. Love the purples. That isn't one of my go to colors myself.

Of course, I sent her with a camera, which is why I got a photo of her dessert! Top left, hiding amongst the banners.

Used a sketch from Sketchabilities although I combined the bottom two photos into one.

And also, used up a bunch of paper from my Scraptastic Club.

We are hoping that I can forward my blog post to "Swift" and she will check it all out. Since I don't know Taylor personally, I am thinking it might be a LONG SHOT. Anyone out there know her?

Yeah, wish me luck! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Story: Great Rooster Round-Up by Bruce Mero

The Great Rooster Round-up

By Bruce H. Mero

Our vegetable garden has always been grown organically. Since moving to the farm in the late 70s, we’ve used animal manures and compost to further enrich our already incredible soil, companion plantings to discourage pests and applications of plant-based compounds such as Rotenone and Pyrethrum to keep bugs from damaging our growing vegetables. We’ve poured beer into shallow pans for the slugs to get drunk on and hand-picked Cabbage worms. We’ve encouraged beneficial insects, provided shelters for toads and tolerated spiders and snakes. Anything that ate aphids, cutworms and caterpillars was welcome in the veggie patch. For a time, that included free-ranging our chickens and ducks among the rows to eat the bugs and worms. Poultry is really very efficient keeping pests out of the vegetables if one is tolerant of an occasional missing leaf on the lettuce and the incessant dirt-scratching that chickens love to do. For us the benefits outweighed the negatives. That is, until we went a bit overboard with the chicken population. Then it became a problem. Here’s how the story unfolded:

Gretchen ran across the farmyard, stopping occasionally and changing directions to avoid the half- dozen cockfights underway between the chicken coop and the back porch. 

“Enough”, she proclaimed after reaching the relative safety of the back porch, “We have to do something about all of those roosters”.

Indeed, I had reached a similar conclusion a couple of weeks ago, but I kept my opinion to myself knowing she would soon come to see the futility of keeping so many fighting birds. The Bantam roosters given her by our friend Jaime a couple of months ago had once been considered pets. Reaching the conclusion that they now had to go was a milestone.

Jamie worked for a local veterinarian who was attempting to breed a docile, non-aggressive Bantam rooster. These particular birds are notorious for their fighting ability and often used where cockfighting is a spectator sport and upon which large sums of money are wagered. Jamie’s boss was making progress, or so he claimed, but those roosters that were hatched which did not fill the bill as docile required early removal from the gene pool.  Removal generally meant a call to a local butcher, but Jamie felt sorry for the latest batch of culls and asked if we might add a few new birds to our flock of chickens until she was able to take them off our hands. A “few” turned out to be nearly three dozen birds; all but a couple of them were roosters. They were fantastically beautiful birds; a riot of colors with their long, red neck feathers accented against golden breast feathers and long, arching tails of iridescent blue and brown. The several hens that came with the flock had already hatched clutches of eggs and fuzzy baby chickens scooted around the yard pecking at insects. They were striking birds, but in spite of the good Doctor’s intentions, the cocks were wicked fighters. Each had long spurs on the back of their legs and each had an ugly disposition. Within seconds of their release into our chicken coop, cockfights broke out. Our flock of domesticated Rhode Island Red hens all bellowed complaints and rushed out of the coop. Dust and feathers flew everywhere. Roosters flew at each other, spurs kicking. The water can fell over, then the grain feeder. The birds screamed at one another. We evacuated.  It was hours before things settled down, and only after most of the roosters had discovered the door to the chicken yard, left the coop and flown over the fence. 

The Bantams now free-ranged the farm. Most kept close to the chicken coop where they could pick-up a quick meal when grain was tossed in a few places for them to eat. Some headed for the back forty where they foraged on whatever they could find. Many found the tender shoots in the vegetable garden irresistible and the new garden was quickly in tatters. The roosters paired-off to fight as often as they could and squawked and kicked and disrupted the tranquility of the farm continually. They were funny to watch, actually, though they were deadly serious when they crouched, beak-to-beak with a rival. Neck feathers would flair, muscles would tense and they would leap at each other, flailing spurs ripping feathers from one another. A furious battle would ensue for a few seconds, the birds would part slightly for a couple of seconds and the next round would begin. Sometimes they would be several feet off the ground with wings flapping, spurs kicking and feathers and dust flying; all the time squawking and nearby chicken observers sounding their disapproval. This scenario would repeat a half dozen times or more before one would turn and run off, leaving the other the victor. Of course, the winner would crow about how great he was and then calm would return to the yard until the next confrontation started. Over and over this was repeated. From a distance it was safe. Step into the field of battle, however and one took one’s chances. Our Irish setter and both cats had been victimized by the roosters so many times that they had learned the warning signs and stayed clear of the combatants. Human forays into the yard to collect eggs or scatter feed were an adventure and one usually carried a weapon for self-defense. We hung an old ski pole on the back porch for just such a purpose, but shovels, pitch forks or lawn rakes were sometimes substituted. Inevitably we would step between birds just as they were squaring off, spitting epithets at one another and need defensive maneuvers to get away without harm as they flew at each other. 

One afternoon I stepped into the fenced yard where the domesticated chickens were kept to drop a handful of weeds I’d just pulled from the garden. Six feet into the space, I realized that one of the particularly nasty Bantams was inside looking for a fight. He stared at me and crouched. Recognizing the signs of impending trouble, I stepped back towards the gate. I was without defense and needed to escape. Keeping an eye on the rooster I took one more backward step and reached for the gate. The rooster’s neck feathers flared. I heard a snap and a giggle from behind me. My daughter, Mitra had locked me into the fenced yard. The rooster leaped and hit me in the chest knocking me back into the fence. Mitra laughed. The bird leaped at me again. This time I kicked at him and connected with his chest and sent him tumbling backward. Mitra roared. She was having great fun.

“Let me out of here,” I scolded.

She laughed. The rooster leaped at me again and again my sneaker-clad foot connected with his chest and sent him tumbling back. Again he charged and I kicked him back, all the time fumbling with the latch on the gate to escape from the yard. He flew at me and I parried. Again and again the bird leaped in my direction. With each encounter, Mitra laughed out loud. Finally I succeeded opening the gate and I made my retreat. The Bantam charged the gate, spurs flailing, but I was now beyond his reach. He charged the fence a couple more times, then settled back and gave his victory crow. The domestic birds, who had been cowering in the margins, emerged and congratulated the Bantam on his accomplishments. Mitra was doubled over with laughter. Tears were running down her cheeks. I started laughing, also. It was a comical situation. I outweighed that bird by 170 pounds, but he had me against the ropes. He had no fear. I had retreated as the vanquished.

Playfully I grabbed Mitra and picked her off the ground. She screeched with delight as I carried her, upside-down, toward the house. The Bantam rooster crowed as we departed. Mitra wiggled out of my grasp and ran to the house to tell her mother of the fun we’d just had.

So, after two months of living with the continual cacophony in the farm yard, Gretchen made a phone call to Jamie and set a date for her to pick-up her birds. Later that morning, Jamie called back and she and Gretchen talked a while. When she got off the phone she said that Jamie’s husband had vetoed the idea of taking the chickens, but he was agreeable to butcher the whole lot and split the bounty with us. A date was set. After that our attitudes towards the birds changed. Sometimes we felt sorry for them, knowing their fate; sometimes no sorrow, just relief that the madness was soon going to end and tranquility might return to the farm.

Judgment day arrived. The Benson van pulled into the yard at mid-morning, excited daughters Donna and Rachel spilling from the rear door. They’d been told we were going to catch chickens and they were ready for the chase. We adults shared a cup of coffee and discussed the plan for the day. Dan and I would dispatch the birds; Jamie and Gretchen would do the feather plucking and then back to the men for eviscerating. We had a fire started and a huge pot of water boiling to dip the birds in to loosen the feathers. Dan and I chose a stump in the back yard as the execution block. The kids were turned loose to bring us our first victims.  Donna and Rachel each caught a bird and raced them over to us. Dan and I each took a bird.

“Now what happens,” asked Rachel? She was smiling ear to ear with pride for having captured the first chicken.

I looked at Dan. He confessed to me that he told each of the girls about catching chickens, but had stopped the discussion at that point. He’d not told them any more. What happened next, of course, was not something either of the girls was expecting and it ended their chicken catching activities immediately. Both were flabbergasted. One of them screamed, both cried and ran to their mother. Jamie walked them away. Both were sobbing as they went into the house. She returned in a half-hour without the girls. They’d had quite enough.

Mitra, on the other hand was busy grabbing the roosters and bringing them to the chopping block, sometimes two at a time. She had been under no allusions about the day’s activity. She’d been harassed enough over the last couple of months by the fighting of the birds and was looking forward to a return to tranquility in the yard as much as we were. During the past few days, she’d been busy finding possible rooster hiding places around the yard and kept us moving along with her catches.

The process took us a couple of hours. We’d dispatched, plucked and cleaned 22 birds by noon. All were cooling down in a tub of ice in the shade near the house. There was, still, a half-dozen or so live roosters remaining, but they were now wary enough to keep their distance from Mitra. She was unable to catch any more of them. It was time for a break. Dan and I cleaned-up the yard while the girls made sandwiches for lunch. Donna and Rachel had calmed down by then, but refused lunch. They both wandered past the tub of ice, talking to each other in quiet tones. The rest of us ate our sandwiches in the shade of the Maple tree in the front yard. Both Mitra and her mother remarked on how quiet things were in the back yard. Dan and I drank beers, several of them. A conversation ensued and more beers were consumed, the ladies joining the men to toast two-freezers full of chickens. The toast was punctuated by a defiant rooster call from the roof of the chicken coop and our party was brought back to the realization that the day’s task was not complete. There were more birds to process. We’d need another method, however, to catch the remaining roosters.

I brought my ancient .22 rifle and a box of shells outside to the back porch and for the next hour Dan and I sat in lawn chairs with our feet on the rail, drank beer and picked-off the remaining birds one by one as they appeared. I was the better shooter, by far. Dan claimed he wasn’t used to the rifle and missed the birds continually. I think he drank far too many beers. In any case, by the end of the afternoon we’d managed to get six more roosters into the tub of ice and two in a pot on the stove in the kitchen. We’d dine on fresh chicken for dinner...or so we’d thought.

It didn’t happen. We called out for pizza.

After boiling for over two hours on the stove the chickens were not cooked. They were still too tough to stick a fork into after another hour. We ate pizza and drank beer until 10:00. After six hours of boiling we were able to taste the chicken for the first time. It was like chewing on hot inner tubes. It smelled and tasted like chicken, but it would take a lot more boiling to make it edible. Our Irish Setter ate those two chickens that night.

It took Gretchen, Mitra and I nearly two years to finish the 14 chickens we’d put into the freezer from that endeavor. Stewing them for eight hours seemed to be enough cooking to make them into food, though it took cooking two of them at a time to make a meal for the three of us. The roosters were very small; very small and very tough.

Thus is the tale of the great rooster round-up. We ended-up with two surviving Bantam roosters after that day. Both died of old age years later. Until then they roamed the farm at will, including the vegetable garden where they were content to scratch for bugs unless the other appeared. They would fight like the dickens when they encountered each other. We put up with them. Getting rid of them just wasn’t worth the effort.

Friday, April 20, 2012

For Helen

So, by Wed. afternoon my jeep was heading South and I had plans of being in Binghamton, NY before it was dark. I managed to work just about the entire way. The best part of the trip was dropping the phone between the seat and the door giving me a whole half hour of peace. Hands free, no worries there!

Well, mostly. Had to use my finger to push the photo button on the 'droid.

Got there at 4:45 and by 5:00 had the laptop booted and was answering my first skype!

Those are days on the road. Thankfully few and far between. Lots of work, a smidge of play, less sleep, lots of talking....

It's always good to get there and see the people you talk to daily eye to eye.

Sorry for the blurry shot of the road, but Helen asked how our roads are here.

Due to our tax payer dollars, of which we give quite a few, we have nice highways that are pretty easy to navigate, provided it's not snowing!

SORRY for all the bugs! Spring is here and it seemed like every few minutes I had a splat on the windshield!

Can you see the hills? Those rolling hills are pretty much the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania into the Southern Tier of New York.

So, in times past, when travelling, I look forward to a nice meal someplace different.

This time, with the shopping opportunities here being SLIM and NONE (LOL), I decided to hit a craft store.

I had two to choose from.

Choose AC Moore since I had been in Michael's recently.

Helen asked for some photos of our craft stores. They are pretty amazing. I mean, when I was there I didn't feel like WOW, I have a huge selection....but when I look at the photos, I realize how awesome they are.

Here is a shot from the front door. Yes, I am sure they thought I was a freak taking photos. When you have been up since 5:30am, drove 5 hours while working, you really don't care!!!! :-) And did I mentioned I hadn't really grabbed supper yet?

The Jolees WALL of stickers. Would like to trade wall of Jolees for wall of Prima, which was LACKING!!!

And where would we be without some good Martha punches?

And a huge ole wall of adhesives. I always get too confused. Many to choose from. 

And some Tim. Never enough Tim. 

And what did I buy, you ask with all my many choices?



I am VERY excited about my wood molding. And those cool flowers are that are new to me. Made by Mark Richards....oh!!! Little fluffy balls of flowers. 

And I got a new Tim Holtz Rosette die, the smallish one. I cannot wait to play with that!

So, anyhow, here is your informal tour of a typical US Craft Store, but I'd much rather show you in person, Helen!!! When are you visiting?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Altered Treasure Cigar Box

So, last Friday night we were kid-free. As a rare opportunity, THE MAN asks what I want to do with my night. Too many left overs in the fridge to go out AND I really want hardware.

I suggest a trip to Lowes.

I know. I know. I need to live it up!!! BUT....

Do you see those white feet peeking out of the bottom?

Those are glass shower door rollers!


I was super excited myself.

And that little gold latch was there too!

Ok, so you can see them better here, the shower roller feet. They are super simple to attach. I couldn't use the fancy smancy ones Tim Holtz has because they wouldn't let my door open....and we all want to open the box to put the treasure inside!

And a quick shot of the back of the cigar box too, so you can see that is even pretty with a vintage article!

Thank you Lisa from Kansas for those awesome hinges! I certainly made good use of them here with the pearl "nails" and the crackle paint!

And, I'm off to the greater wilds of PA! See ya on the flip side!