Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cuz I hafta post this everywhere...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Building 2011

Look at what she did.  Can you believe it?  She changed the background.  Again.  I would never have chosen this one.  I like the old one.  And up at the top.  She's already put 2011.  Who does she think she is?  Probably rubbing my nose into how organized she is.  Oh look at the line underneath.  40.  She is so old.  What's that last part mean?  Live better?   (squiggly lines squiggly lines...picture fade...)

The other day I was talking to Jace and we were discussing everything that happened this past year.  It's been a great year.  I don't remember having accomplished so much "quality" stuff in any other year.  Then the other, other day I talked to a friend about it and we both agreed it had been a pretty phenomenal year for her, too. 

Here's a recap:

Planted a spring garden and had tomatoes coming out my ears.
Started running.  Ran in a 5k and didn't die or come in last.
Started knitting and crocheting and crafting on anything that didn't move.
Helped start a business.  I'm still in business.  Volunteered at a craft show.
Read more than 12 books.  A few of them changed my life and sent me on new journeys.
And lots of other things I can't think of right now because it's late.

Now it's the end of the year and what most people want to do is come up with their New Year's Resolutions.  This is a bad plan.  Oh sure, the idea seems good but it's usually done without much forethought.  Something quick and broadstroked, like...I'm going to give up sweets, or lose a million pounds.  People mean well but it's not thought out.  The idea or resolution just seems to hang there in midair. 

A person should also ask themselves why.  Why am I giving up sweets?  Why am I losing a million pounds? 

I sat down and thought about the past year.  I asked myself what could I do this next year that builds on what I've already accomplished?  How will I live better?  And that's why I put that in the blog description up at the top, to be a reminder to me, and maybe you, to stay on track and do things that help me live better

Living better, for me, is not about having more money.  It's about learning new things, taking on new challenges, working hard to keep my family strong. 

Some things I'll be working on:

Read 12 books
Making a sock.  I could say "pair of socks" but I figure if I can make one then I can make the other and then it just sounds redundant.
Plant a bigger spring garden
Consume less.  Of everything.
Eating much healthier.  Working towards eliminating processed food.  Giving up soda. 
Learn more about nutrition, the food I eat and where it comes from.
Learn to can my own food. 
See how long we can go without a microwave.
Remake a piece of clothing.

That's my rough list.  Hopefully I've made you rethink how you want to build your 2011. 

 I'm looking forward to blogging another year of successes, mishaps, and miracles in 2011.  Hope to see you there.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let's Kick It...

Alright..let's kick it...It's time for a post.  And it's time for pics. Most people are wishing for snow or have snow or miserable rain or weather they don't want right now.
The other week we had a freeze.  Since I'm the only daring (dumb) person to try growing tomatoes I had a unique challenge.  How to ripen green tomatoes.  I decided to try this method...use a cardboard box with an apple in the middle and cover with newspaper.  We'll come back to the results at the end.

 I saw this place in passing one day.  I was curious.  How does a community garden work?  Beyond the obvious.  You hear about these things...mostly in California.  Does it work anywhere else?

 This is Thor Warhound....Actually I believe his name is Reggie.  He's the gaurd dog at this community garden in Austin.  He's very sweet and pretty much wants to entertain you and make sure you don't leave the garden.

 I spent most of my time talking with one gardener.  She had no idea I was coming that day.  She was a gracious host, refused to be photographed, and informed me to my fill of how the garden works.

 The beds were somewhat thought out.  I liked all of them.  It was a work in progress and all were bountiful gardens.

 These beds had been set up specially for people who could not garden low to the ground.
 This garden was the envy of all.  I want to copy it.  It was absolutely gorgeous. Very...bonzai to a garden I would like to have.  If I could do this for about 8 beds I would be happy...An excellent example of companion planting.  It also resembled a nice salad bar and I really want to just pick some leaves and eat it.

 Why all the pvc arches?  I want to say it's for covering the plants when it freezes or is too hot.


 There's a total of 70 plots for this garden.  This pic is beans with a bean pole or teepee.

Lettuces and greens





And then I went to my car and cried...Not really, but c' do they do it?

As the "Accidental Gardener" that I am, here's how the cardboard box ripening has worked out.  Everything is turning red and ripe!  I've managed to save most of my tomato crop from the freeze.  They don't smell the same as sun ripened but the taste is satisfactory compared to store bought.  Some of these are Black Krim which accounts for the darker color and also red with green coloring. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Repost from Just Another Mommy Blog

Occasionaly I come across  a post that makes me want to grab my pitch fork or torch and join a disgruntled mob.  I usually come to my senses when realizing I'd have to walk 15 miles to get to the disgruntled mob or drive to the disgruntled mob in my minivan filled with pitchforks and torches. 

This post from Just Another Mommy Blog had me right there...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Craft Riot Part 2 and The Plague

Alright, after an unplanned illness by Rowan, which includes reams of toilet paper, a running faucet for a nose, non stop cough, and needing to pee every 5 seconds, I'm back.  I had the Mother Guilt where I thought if she didn't stop the coughing I was going to put her outside with the dog, but then thought they'd make a movie on the Lifetime channel about a woman who would do that, played either by Valerie Bertinelli or Shannon Dougherty, and was now on the run from the sheriff...Instead, Rowan was taken to the doctor and got to pee in a cup.  She also stole the entire Advil coupon display.  Her dad is taking it back today.

 Above is the one pic I did a terrible job at researching.  I forgot to find out who it is and the name of her shop.  I highly regret this and if anyone can comment and let me know I would be very thankful.  I can tell you this is the one booth I bought something from.  She makes all kinds of jewelry from scrabble tiles.

 I couldn't resist this ring.  I think this is why I forgot all the pertinent information necessary for this post.
*EDIT* I have been saved a crafter's death.  The booth above belongs to AmeliaBeth.  Thanks to Craftiness' wife for being so knowledgeable of the Austin craft scene.

Now this booth was fascinating to me.  This is Reigruche Studio.  The artist is Alejandra Grunauer.  She makes jewelry by crocheting metal...Shut it!  Is that even possible?  Wonderfully delicate, intricate looking pieces.

" I love painting and making jewelry for myself and for other people. After getting my BFA in Studio Art- Painting (as well as continuing to learn new things on my own/other artists), I thought I'd spread the love around some more...Colors, textures, and patterns evoke feelings, memories, and moods. Upcycling, reconfiguring, and recontextualizing is fabulous. There's nothing like combining all sorts of art disciplines and crafts in order to create interesting frameable/wearable art."

My last picture is of Bailey Tucker.  This experience is all her fault.  Not really, she was my contact person for volunteering.  Her booth was Lovely Lotus Designs.  She makes really cool fabric flowers.

"I am a Seamstress and Fiber Artist from Austin, Texas. I love being able to make what I imagine. I have been an avid crafter all my life. My grandmother taught me how to sew, weave and spin wool when I was a child. I was taught by her that I could make anything, and boy did we...Since then I have taken a variety of Art History and Studio Classes ranging from Sculpture, Painting, Ceramics, Drawing and Photography. It brings me so much joy to be able to do what I love and have others love what i do!...I have been sewing seriously for about 9 years and over the last few years I have been dyeing and embellishing my own fabric. I love exploring with colors and textures. I am inspired by working in my organic garden beds, the forest, music and all my crafty friends here in Austin."

Some other things I liked were from Swish Productions, Funky Finds, Devil Girl Design, and the Fold.

If you want to see what my shop is up to come visit Natural Julie.  It's a small collection of things I sell at the farmer's market.  I'm adding more items when the plague is fully gone from the house.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Craft Riot and New Changes

After a few months of trying, and not succeeding, to write on 2 different blogs, I've decided to consolidate all my personal and business activities here.  On the tabs bar you'll notice a new Product Line tab.  I'll post pics and descriptions of products I'm making.  It will also give you, reader, the chance to order.  I'm not quite to the point of having all that set up.  Currently there are candles cooking and I need to pay attention to those.  I'll also be keeping the site up and will make necessary changes there, too. 

Now that all that boring stuff is out of the way, here's what I did last Sunday.  I had volunteered some time to help work on whatever was needed at Craft Riot!  This is an annual event held by EtsyAustin crafters. 

I arrived early so I could spend some time looking around.  La-La's had one of the most eye catching displays.  It was original and you have to admit they got stationed with really great back lighting.

When you meet you can see why she does this.  She's extremely passionate about her craft and it shows in her work. 

"Inspired by my late grandma I started sewing November of 2007 and I enjoyed it so much that now I just can't stop. I love mixing new and used fabrics to create all kinds of things ranging from clothing and accessories to home decor. Recently I have ventured into the world of knits which is very exciting, but the list does not end there, and since I don't have the typical slim build my goal is to eventually offer cute but classy fashion for other girls with the same fitting challenges. In the meanwhile as I sew my way there I hope that you are able to enjoy some of the fruits of my labor."

One of my next stops was talking to Debbie of Debbie Carroll Designs.

"I've been artsy all my life and finally found a great way to channel some of that creativity!I love anything vintage, and that includes not only the variety of vintage beads, findings and other goodies I use in my work, but extends to clothing, furniture and other "junque". I love playing with shapes, colors and using unexpected pairings to keep my jewelry fresh & hopefully, a little bit different!"

She's also very open to talking about the climate of the craft world and gives very helpful advice to newcomers (me). 

I like less ostentatious jewelry and her's had that perfect bit of flair without being overwhelming.

I had fun talking with Becka of Baby Bolt Striking Kidswear.  Her creations made me giggle by catching me off guard.  It's not your usual teddy bear on a baby blue background.  

"In addition to BabyBolt's crazy-cute clothes, you'll also find plenty of functional items to make life easier for parents and kiddos. Pacifier Bibs keep drool in check and the pacifier nearby. Crayon Rolls keep your little artist's tools on hand whether inspiration strikes at a restaurant, car trip, or the doctor's office. New-Baby Gift Sets, available in custom combinations, are the perfect, stress-free gifts that will stand out at any baby shower. "

I'm going to do a part 2 to this topic.  I realized I have a little too much for one post.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I posted over THERE..not HERE

I wrote a post over at Mad City Chicks tonight. Since most of it would be duplicate I decided to just link to it and then we'll just say we're all caught up.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2 Sentence Update

I survived the race. I hope to do an update on Thursday.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pre-Race Ramblings

Well, as we all know, since I've been drilling it relentlessly into everyone, tomorrow is race day.  Tonight is when I get to feel nervous and fret.  I've decided to make a list of all the worst things I can come up with and maybe it'll help me have courage not be a sissy

*  I don't know what you're supposed to eat the night before a race, but I'm betting it's not powdered doughnuts and milk. 

*  I've never actually run...outside...on the ground...where people are staring at me.

*  What if it's uphill and downhill?  Or a squirrelly pebble that I slip on.

*  What if I run 10 steps and feel completely exhausted and have to walk the rest of the way?  And people are staring.

*  What if something itches in a spot that it's not ladylike to scratch in public?  And it starts right when I start the race. 

*  What if I have to use the restroom?  I'll look so stupid stopping and ducking into a skid-o-can. 

*  What if I don't get enough water?  Does one fall to the side when fainting?  Hopefully not onto my face. 

*  Lastly, I really hope my running does not resemble something that looks like a seizure and people send the paramedics out to rescue that poor lady having a fit.  Hurry or she'll swallow her tongue!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Update On Life At the Homestead

O.k. here's where I'm at with the running in preparation for the big race on Sunday.  Today I ran the 5k in 52 minutes and 50 seconds.  Yes, it is slower than my last 2 times.  It's still faster than a turtle and under an hour.  I ran slower just to make sure I wasn't overdoing it and beginning to loathe this running thing.  It also makes me feel sick and want to jump off the roof of the house and end it all when I run too fast.  There's lots of rocks here so I would probably do myself in...easily.  One more run tomorrow, rest on Saturday, race on Sunday.

After the race we'll scrape my body off the ground and we'll have a few hours to rest and do some other things before heading to the Celtic festival.  I finished everyone's costumes and I'm looking forward to drinking some Guinness and letting Jace say things like, "wench, grog, I can throw a telephone pole further than that..."

At the house I've been busy working in the garden and I'm really trying to get it in gear for winter.  I've got some nice green things coming up.  I don't remember what I planted a few weeks ago.  The tomatos are putting tomatos out everywhere and I'm just waiting for them to ripen.  Next week I hope to fill in another raised garden and get lettuce, spinach, or onions planted.  I'm not sure...

Today I cooked another pumpkin by steaming it.  I definitely think this is the way to go.  Lots quicker.  My next big project will be learning how to can.  Can you say "botulism?"

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Neighbor's Painted Plywood Cut-Out Treasure

A couple of posts ago there was a comment left.  I decided to get the picture proof to show you.  So this is for Will who said about country neighbors, "the slavering curs guarding their garden gnome and painted plywood cut-out "treasure.""

This is obviously some sort of Halloween display.  Want to know where it's located?  Right across the street.  Everytime I look out the door I get to see this.  I think someone's been watching too much Shark Week. 

And guess who else gets to see this?  Rowan.  5 year old Rowan.  Man eating sharks that come out of the ground...right next to her own front yard.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Good The Bad And The Ugly...Day 2

The Good is that I made it back onto the dreadmill for another 5k.  I managed to shave off almost 3 minutes from yesterday's time.  The little training books say I'm supposed to take a day off now. I guess I'l be back running on Sunday.  I can say that my friend said pain is weakness leaving the body.  I really thought the pain would be in my stomach, since that's where the weakness is.  For me it' in the hip and outter leg areas.  I'm using an all natural remedy to see if it helps. 

The Bad was not heard from today.  I know that this is their surgery day.  I didn't expect to get a phone call.  They won't be happy on Monday.

The Ugly was 07:13 this morning.  Thank you Rowan.  07:14 she starts nagging to take a bath.  07:14:30 Rowan is being told how I haven't even had coffee and she's already nagging me and we aren't taking no freaking bath till after I get some coffee.  07:15  BooHooHoo  as she runs to her room.  I'm thinking the voodoo doll won't work as well when they are slobbery wet with self -entitled tears. 

She returns within a minute, composed, and ready to join in family participation. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Good and the Bad...Day 1

Right now I'm chronicling two events for you.  For now they'll be called the Good and the Bad.  They could randomly switch places but I hope the Good doesn't become the Bad because that will probably mean I've injured myself. 

The Good is that I registered to run in the Race for the Cure.  The logo on the right will take you to the donation page for me, if you feel like doing that sort of thing.  When you go over there you'll notice that a big fat $0 has been raised.  I think they should have put the $30 I paid to register as counting towards the goal but whatever.  You'll also notice they take donations as low as $5, which I might have to contribute because I'm not going in with a big fat $0. 

This is my first official race.  It's a 5k, or 3.11 miles.  I've actually run this distance several times by accident.  For some reason I thought a 5k was 3.67 miles.  I'm an overachiever.  So if you donate rest assured that I can actually win finish the darn thing.  I've never actually done the running thing outside either.  I run on my treadmill in the security of my home.  Don't you live in the country?  Yes, I live in the country.  If I were to go running out by my house, I'd be running.  Running for my life!  The Dumb People think living in the country = I need to own 3 or 4 big, hopefully ferocious dogs to guard my land.  Because that's what a bunch of women joggers do, case out the joint to get their hands on your broken-down-lawn-ornament El Camino in the front yard.  Please.

Today I ran a 5k and my time was 50 minutes and 6 seconds.  I'll be running tomorrow and let you know how much I've improved.  Rowan also thinks I should not run this race because, "I might get hot so it's not a good idea."

The Bad is my nose.  Here's where I'm at now.  Had the appointment cleared and ready to go and then the radiology place calls and says they aren't in network, even though they told the doctor's nurse they were.  Now they're not. 

I call the nurse back today and she's all, "huh?"  And it's so weird because yesterday everything was fine.  O.k. she's calling the radiology place back and then she'll call me back.  She calls back and tells me they are out of network and I should call my insurance to try and find out who's in network.

I call my insurance who says the radiology place is out of network.  I ask well who is in network closest to my house so I don't have to drive 70 miles to the one place that I know is in network but trying to avoid because of the 70 mile freaking trip.  He tells me the closest place is the 70 mile one.  Then he reads me my coverage, "unless the facility is further than 30 miles from the residence."  AHA!  The For Sure facility is 35 miles one way from my driveway, residence, so I should get the upgrade to use to the original facility I wanted that's right in my town. 

He tells me that my town is only 24 miles from the 70 Mile facility.  I tell him but my house is 35 miles from the 70 Mile facility and he just said anything over 30 miles from a person's residence.  He's not sure because it's done from Google maps....Apparently it's 24 miles if I go off road, through the woods, streams, and cattle ranches instead driving on a state approved highway.

So now I'm waiting till Google decides where I live and which facility I'm supposed to use.  So instead of going to the facility by my house for a 5 minute procedure this morning, I'm still waiting to find out how to use my coverage I've paid all year for...

To Be Continued....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Warning: It's Gonna Get All Bloggy Up In Here

I spend a LOT of time reading other people's blogs and then whining that I don't have time to write.  Or there's nothing as interesting happening around here.  Face it, some of you can play a sweet tune with your words all strung together and fittin so nice. 

Luckily for me I have been blessed dumped with a couple topics I'll be excessively blogging about starting tomorrow.

I'm getting a nose job.  Not what you think and the red tape hoops will be many.  The aggravation will be large.  Expect to see lots of !#$$%%$ and cursing several generations of someone's family for any perceived slights.  You'll understand when I write about my love for insurance.

I'm registered to run in an actual race...with other people that run, like for real.  I'm hoping there will be at least one person pushing their 50 pound stroller with their 3 year old and then I'm guarranteed not to come in last. 

I hope to see you soon with progress in these 2 fortuitous subjects. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Decorating the Living Room

For most of us there is a mystique about decorating.  At least I like to think there is and I'm not the only bozo challenged person when it comes to decorating.  When I look in magazines or on blogs it seems like a very hard task and I will have to buy a lot of new stuff because my stuff doesn't look anything like the picture. 

I was inspired by Shiny Red Houses to do something, which I didn't do, except in my head.  She said to take everything out of the room.  I didn't do this because where was I going to put it?  And I would definitely be bringing the couch back in.  But I did mentally take everything out and save only the things I liked and started imagining them in different places. 

Next I had to come up with a color theme.  I didn't have a color theme.  Or I thought I didn't have a color theme.  You're supposed to have 3 main colors and then accent with 1 or 2 other colors.  They said this on BHG so you know it's true. 

I started taking pictures of the things I did like and weren't going to be going anywhere.

Notice anything?  All my favorite stuff has 3 colors with 2 accent colors.  Red, tan, and brown with accents of black and little bit of green.  In fact, this blog's background has those colors.  So if you're having trouble with colors, they are probably already all around you.

Now I could make a plan of attack.  This included wearing new ankle boots and pretending I had tons of money.
Something you hear on all the shows is how things "tie" together.  One thing that can really tie a room together is the rug.  This is the one thing I knew I should spend money on because it would get the most use, I would have it awhile really really long time and need to like it..a lot.  I like it because it has my colors and also has floral patterns with nice square ocd shapes.  This rug totally works for me!  Not to mention that it's soft as a baby's butt.  There's serious chastisement for putting shoes on it.

Something else I knew would change a look is throw pillows on the couch.  When I brought these home Jace said, "oh god, you brought home more pillows."  Pillows tend to breed like rabbits around here.  I don't know why I think just the right pillow will bring me pure happiness, but I've got about 20 pillows that will all attest they thought they were THE ONE.  I had the brown pillow already.  I bought a 2 pack of the solid red pillows and a 2 pack of the pillows with squares.  Each 2 pack was $12. 

Here are the remaining things I bought.  I needed a picture frame because I had a new picture to display.  The mirror tray is actualy a mirror that hangs on a wall.  It was on clearance for $7.  I left the hardware on the back so I can hang it later on if I want.  I have a soft ottoman so for now I'll use it as a hard surface to set things on like those candles.  I got the candles and glass holders on clearance for $.48 each.  My other most favorite purchase was this blanket throw.  It's super soft and the colors are gorgeous.  I could've made this but by the time I finish it would be next summer and no one wants a blanket in the summer.  I need it now.


Isn't she cute?  I'm going to eat her up.  It has the total "aww" factor because she's sticking her tongue out.  I let her pick out her clothes because I remember the horrendous outfits in my school pictures that were picked out by not me.

Here is the result of my hard work.  $150.  I was having unclean thoughts about the chair in my bedroom.  Mostly that I wanted to move it to the living room.  I'm still looking for the perfect slip cover for it and the ottoman.  For now we will just have to live with it.  There's other furniture on the other side of the room and I can say that the rug really did tie it all together.  It created a smooth transition all the way across the room.  There's a couple of other things that I will do/add to the room soon.  I need bookshelves as you will see there is no t.v. in this room.  Shelves are kind of like pillows in this house.  They keep showing up...everywhere. 

I am really happy with my results.  I love the colors.  It reminds me of really good pasta sauce and fried food.  It makes me feel cozy.  So thank you BHG and blogosphere for helping me understand decorating and figuring out I already had most of the stuff I needed. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Fake Grandparent, i.e. Not the Same Dad I Grew Up With

It has come to my attention that there's some funny business going on around here.

For this school year, my Father has volunteered to pick up Rowan once a week from school.  He lives right around the corner from her school.  So it didn't bother me when he said he was going to need a booster seat for the  Papa truck, the pink one, not the brown one.  Pink seat, not pink truck.  His truck is silver.

Now, he comes to see me at the farmer's market every week.  It's a mixed blessing.  It's good to converse but not about putting the old ladies in his apartment complex into slavery crocheting hats for me.  It's also not good to come see me and let everyone know he's arrived by hitting the metal pole  with his truck.  Don't worry, the truck barely goes over 5 miles an hour...downhill.  He is the slowest driver on Earth. 

I thought it was cute that he came to see Rowan and they would do a little handshake and she would say, "I love you Papa."  And he would say, "oh that's nice."  My dad does not say I love you to anyone.  And he gave her money.  I know.  Shock and Awe.  The dude didn't run his air conditioner ALL SUMMER. AT.  ALL.  In Texas. 

Anyway, Jace casually mentions this final nail in the coffin evidence to me.  He went to pick up Rowan, who by some unseen force is sitting on the floor quietly coloring and my dad is reading a magazine.  But on the counter there is a small plate with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into perfect little squares.  With no crusts....Let it sink in.  I may need therapy for this.  For you see, growing up with my dad was not crustless square tea sandwiches.  The sandwich was made with both ends of the bread.  The whole sandwich was a big crust.  What is this guy doing?

I'll tell you what he's doing.  He's turned into a semi-sweet old guy with a secret handshake and secret tea parties.  It's very sweet to see Rowan get excited that she'll get to see Papa.  I have a slight smile on my face that she has this relationship, but I'm left to ponder why he didn't do these things when I was growing up.  And I have acceptance that that's how the parent-grandparent transition works.  I will probably do the same. 

But crustless sandwiches?  Really, dad...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Henna My Hair


The other day there were these gray hairs peeking out at me.  What to do? 

I saw a lady with raging red hair and it was beautiful.  Not for me but still an awesome color.  I told her.  That led to a conversation and my journey into henna.

The only really bad review I found was something about all your hair falling out preceeded by the sounds "sizzle and pop."  That was hardly going to deter me.  I need something way worse like "head fell off." 

Now where to get it.  The flaming red haired lady told me she had to order it off Amazon because they don't sell it at the Sally's anymore.  Fine, I look on Amazon for 2 days before finally deciding.  I order.

Two days later I'm in the local health food geek store and what do I see...the same henna hair color I had ordered from Amazon...cheaper.  So you know what I did.  I bought some more.  This time I had a chance to really study the box and make an informed decision.  The store had several brands of natural hair coloring, who knew? 
This is the brand that I chose but I picked Swedish Blonde.  Turns out henna comes in a variety of colors.

Now you're asking how does it work?  The short version is that it's temporary, coats the hair with this new color instead of stripping the old color and replacing it with a new color through chemicals. 

I'm not sure about the old stories of henna.  Like the sizzle pop stories.  The brand I bought has been making it for 10 years and almost all of the ingredients are from organic farming.  It's made mostly of essential oils and plant extracts. 

I asked Jace what he thought.  He asked if I was from Sweden.  He said I didn't really look like the girl on the box, and for that matter he didn't resemble the guy on the box with a cinnamon bun on his head.  All this means is he likes it.  What do you think?

*on a side note:  I've been busy crafting stuff for a festival which is why the posts are not here so much.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Scum-Sucking Carnies

We've been reading a book with Rowan every night about a carnival.  Mainly it's a story to teach kids not to blow their money on the games and have fun going on the rides.  Lucky for me I found an ad for a carnival in a neighboring town and I opened my big mouth and said we should go.

I did think this was a pretty good carnival.  I was also spying on the arts and crafts booths to get ideas for an upcoming festival I'll have a booth at.  In case you're not aware, you do not take pictures of other people's art and crafts tables unless you want to get beat up.  You also do not blatantly take notes or sketches.  You hold your phone just right and pretend you are texting and receiving a really funny text from your friend and snap the pic quick, then continue chuckling as you pretend you are texting them back while walking away. 

There's was lots of carnival food.  And lots of long lines.  I did wait in one line for the funnel cake.  It was huge.  It was worth the wait.  Next time we'll take a 5 pound bag of sugar and just give Rowan a spoon. 

Next and mostly there were the rides.  I buy the bracelet for unlimited rides.  When I grew up I didn't get an unlimited ride bracelet.  I also didn't get funnel cake.  By God I will not let Rowan live a life of torture!
So that I could do all that sneaking around the craft booths, Jace got an unlimited ride bracelet, too.  And that's where we should have stopped.  But part of the book we've been reading was about the games.  So I coached them both about how this was going to go down.  Let Rowan lose or win a dinky prize and we walk away.  Right?  Easy plan. 

We walked up to the balloon game.  A cigarette smoking, half toothless grin, twinkle in his eye carnie knew just what to do.  We paid for 3 darts.  Rowan threw her's at the balloon but it landed on the ground.  Jace took the other two and popped the balloons.  The carnie gave him another dart "on him" and Jace missed.  I said to stop.  The carnie smoothed talked him a few more times but was talking so fast and LYING to a little girl about which was the large size prize...We lost $15 at that dumb game.  He convinced Rowan she was getting the giant prize and then handed her a medium one.  Then I was mad.  Jace took Rowan on some more rides and was thinking it might be good idea to stay on the ride till the next day when I would be in a better mood.  I fumed and hoped the carnie's trailor would explode in a ball of flame that night.

I have 2 more festivals coming up.  One will not have a carnival and I will have a great time.  One will have a carnival but I will eat my money before I give it to any scum-sucking carnie running a scam game.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mah Bling!...or how to repurpose a hubcap

The other day on Facebook this guy posted his pics of artwork using hubcaps.  He said he had some extras and I could have one or a billion if I wanted.  I told him one would be fine.  I already knew what I would do with it. 

During the creative process I usually do things from ending to beginning..i.e...all wrong.  You can look in my craft hallway and see the half dead projects strewn about like a once loved stuffed animal, now relegated to the back of the closet. 

I have learned that I do best with short projects, i.e. instant gratification, and I must start them and work till I finish.  It's not uncommon for me to have 5-10 projects swirling in my head, all waiting to take the number one place.  By the way, my laundry is swirling in the dryer and way past done.  Blog, laundry, blog, laundry?  You see the kind of pressure I'm under.

Today I went to Hobby Lobby and got my supplies.  Two bags of glass beads/pebbles/gems and a tube of glue.  Is it the right glue?  Probably not.  It says it will work on glass and plastic and the surface of Mars but it generally means that I have the wrong kind and will forge ahead anyway.  Total cost for my project:  $10 and one donated hubcap.

I got to work right away, after I played with the other things I got at Hobby Lobby.  It was easy, not necessarily fast, but I was done in under 2 hours.  I managed not to glue most of myself together and the pebbles seem to be securely attached. 

I now have a new bling hubcap.  I almost wish I had four of them and could really put them on my car and pimp out my ride.  But Jace says he won't ride with me in the gangsta van.  But Rowan would...if I painted the van Barbie pink. 

Anyway, here's my original vision of how to repurpose a hubcap.  Glue glass pebbles to it, seat it like a paver stone and voila! a new stepping stone in the garden.