I liken my life to a crazy quilt. You never know what size or color the next block will be, what print or fabric it will be made from or which stitch, ribbon or charm it will be adorned with.

Welcome to my crazy-quilt life. Hopefully my blog is a reflection of that & me!

Enjoy your visit.

Check out my farm blog too! http://serenitysheepfarmstay.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 30, 2011

More Nuts to Share!

I've been shirking my duties here on my blog, not that anyone is paying attention anyway. One other nuthead is for sure! I had promised some nut ornaments and here they are!
The first two I found in a local thrift shop. I can't tell you the joy these little buggers give me. First that someone would go to all of the trouble of making such tiny ornaments in the first place and second because they rarely cost more than a quarter!
Not a creature was stirring......

The next one I must apologize for the picture quality. I tried and tried, but I do love this little nut shell full of yarn balls and knitting needles!

And last, but by no means least, is one of my very favorites! I found 2 of them in Portland when I was there, so Linda got one and I got one. Can you believe the Nativity made of peanuts? And Jesus in a nutshell with a popsicle stick creche. I love the child-like simplicity of it. So endearing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another Treasure to Share

When I was out looking for that illusive teapot, I happened across this adorable little tea cozy. I originally bought it for resale, but when I put it on my little 3-cup tea pot, how could I resell her? She was a steal at $3.00, don't you think? I guess the lack of desire to take tea in this area has its benefits!

Friday, December 16, 2011

And Another Nuthead Joins the Family!

So it's a week before everything needs to be done here and I decide to go shopping. Not that there's not a ton to do here. Oh, there's plenty. No tree up, no decorations. Walk away from it all and go on a treasure hunt. I really only had one specific thing in mind today and that was a Christmas teapot. I got this wild, hair-brained idea and went on a search. I didn't want to waste my whole day, but wound up wasting a good part of it. Nix the idea. It's not flowing.
But do you want to see what I did find?
Yup! She's a nuthead! Pecan to be exact! He arms and legs/shoes are raisins and prunes! Crazy, but at $4.50 I had to have her! I couldn't just let her sit in that big mall all alone. She came home to join the rest of the nutheads here. Did I tell you I am the Queen?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

As I had promised, this is another nuthead ornament I found at the bins when I was visiting Linda! We walked in and there was a Christmas tree set up and the first thing I saw in the whole warehouse of bins is this crazy little nuthead/pinecone ornament! I had to have it! Such fun. It is shown in this picture hanging from a peg on one of Linda's shelves. The square wooden thing around it is not part of it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

St. Nicholas Day

My family traditions did not include St. Nicholas Day. Our Dutch neighbors, however did so quietly. As kids we never knew they put their wooden shoes out for Sinterklaas to fill. Santa came to our house, but on Christmas Eve. I don't remember it being a competition or even comparing notes of who received what. We celebrated quietly amongst ourselves.
It wasn't until I joined the Take Peace list, a group of like-minded folk who all admire Tasha Tudor, that I really discovered Dec. 6. We have an ornament exchange each year and have tea and a treat to celebrate the beginning of Christmas. This year the theme was anything from a Tasha book, so that left the field wide open.
Melinda had my name and she admitted she forgot about the theme, but I think it fits in perfectly with all of the lovely borders Tasha is so well-known for in her books. Melinda volunteers at the Tasha Tudor museum, so I was gifted with a couple of wonderful items from there as well.

You can't quite see the TINY glass mouse coming out of the box. I thought I had gotten a good close-up, but I apparently deleted the wrong photo.
The itty-bitty cross stitched Noel and stocking are for Annabell. I can't get over the tiny perfectness of them. Thank you, Melinda!

I had Kristen's name and as soon as Suzanne mentioned a theme, I knew exactly what I was going to make. I had started this project a while back with good intentions, but as I often do, it was set aside. Timing is everything and I was able to go right to this project, add some details and get this little fella in the mail! I wrote to Kristen that she may well have the ugliest ornament of the exchange and on her tree, but one must know Tasha Tudors work to know what he is!

Wilhelmina wrote to the list that being a part of this makes her feel like a kid again! She nailed that one. Thank-you Kindred Spirits!

Friday, November 25, 2011

I Can Dream!

Black Friday schmiday! I am sick of it. Not only are the stores opening earlier and earlier, they are not even closing for Thanksgiving these days. Some are opening at 10:00 pm for all-night shopping. I can't tell you how much I abhor this fact, but it has come to be. I wish the media would tell the sheeple there will be no Black Friday this year. The day after Thanksgiving is about family and friends and spending time with those you love. Slowing down and enjoying life.
I can dream, can't I?
I was reading another blog about a woman who made a pact with her sister and mom long ago to not only celebrate Thanksgiving on that day, but the day after as well. They spend the day crafting, eating leftovers and enjoying each others company.
I can dream, can't I?
I know this will never happen in my lifetime unless my nuthead friends and I move closer to each other.
I can dream, can't I?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving.
Reflecting on all I have to be thankful for.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Yup! I love 'em. I always have. Although I was a bit of a tom-boy as a child, I still loved my dolls and always played with them. I still do.
I found this lovely lady in a thrift shop today. She was priced at $6.50, a steal, if you ask me. But wait, everything in the shop was 1/2 off! I bought her for $3.25. Can you imagine? Just look at her clothes alone!
Her face is fabric over a mold of some sort and her facial features are lovingly hand-painted on. Her hair appears to be real human hair. One thumb is broke off, but that matters not to me. Even her shoes are lovely.
If you know anything about this type of doll, please comment. She's a new one to me! I love the fabric over the face though. I've seen this type in books, but she's the first one in my collection.

Friday, November 11, 2011

For My Nuthead Friends

You know who you are!

I went to the thrift store yesterday and guess what I found in the Christmas ornaments for a quarter?

Could it be? Away in a walnut Manger? Do you hear what I hear? I am going with it! This doesn't top the nut ornaments I found in OR with Linda! I will post more as the Holidays approach! I have found a new love for Christmas ornaments made out of nuts! I know, but face it.....it's why you love me!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Peace and Thanksgiving

I've been pondering about this subject for the past week or two. It all began with my hay prices. Due to out-of-state demand for good, Montana hay, my hay prices doubled from last year. I was paying $75/ton (a great bargain, I might add) and this year it jumped to $150. I typically go through 10-14 tons, depending on the amount of mouths I feed. You can do the math. I almost sat and cried and my first response was, "I'm going to have to sell my sheep!" I fretted and worried and didn't like the angst inside me. After a week of stewing about it, I let it go. I prayed. I asked some friends to keep me in their thoughts and prayers and if I was meant to keep doing this, everything would work out. The relief was immediate. I've experienced that before. Sometimes it just takes me a while to remember I am not in total control and when I surrender it all, peace comes and comes quickly. Why can't I keep that notion in my pea brain?
Since then I have had an amazing turn of events. I've gotten phone calls about lamb, sold one yarn CSA and have another order for one for a Christmas gift. I've posted my lamb for sale on the net and had several orders. I had an increase in wool sales in my etsy shop. I taught a needle felting class with my wool and had a "full house". What can I say? I feel very blessed and it only affirms that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I am grateful. I love this farm life. I am thankful. It is the season of Thanksgiving. I am at Peace.
Thank you.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Autumn Exchange

One of the things we do on my "Tasha Tudor List" is a fall exchange. We try to keep it simple and have a theme of some sort. This fall we were talking a lot about bunnies and mice. I am not sure how that conversation got started, but that's where we ended up.
Kaye had my name and here are the lovely treasures she sent me.

The little bunnies look like snow bunnies, which is perfect for a Montana Fall.
The potholder has 2 little pockets and inside each is a tea bag. Fun! And she made the knitted hat. What a fun exchange this was.

I had Terrie's name. Both of these ladies are new to the group, so it was fun to exchange with someone totally new. While I was at Linda's in Oregon, we had a craft day and spent one day making mice out of my wool for our exchange. Hers flew off to France!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Felted Corgi Tutorial

I am happy to share a tutorial I worked long and hard on that was featured on the Living Crafts Magazine blog.
This project was something we did in Vermont when I was there to visit Tasha Tudor's garden. You can read more about that in my Tasha Tudor Day post.
Anyway, I wanted a place to preserve this tutorial in time, so I am posting it here.
I will also add that I have kits available in my etsy shop.
Enjoy the tutorial.
Make a needle felted Corgi!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

More of Tasha Tudor

I wrote before about rarely finding anything Tasha-ish around here and baited you a bit with the books I found. Well, I went to an estate sale and had the time of my life. I found some wonderful treasures there. Some for resale, some to keep! I spent so much time and money there, I had to write a check. Luckily I know the daughter and she let me! I was so giddy, I almost couldn't write it.
So in this box of books I spotted this little treasure.

Copyright is 1958. It was written for children and inside is just the purest form of Biblical scripture. It is a delight to read and view the images Tasha so carefully thought of and drew to match the Bible verses. It's very reassuring.

So if that were not enough, I drive back by this house the following week and their signs are up again. (No, I wasn't stalking or dumpster diving.....this house is on the main street into town from home!) They had very little left and were actually showing the house to a few people at the sale. I just wandered around and found a few more treasures. Apparently I had not dug deep enough in the book box the previous week because there staring right up at me was this one!

I have to admit that I already have a version of this book, but it's newer and the dust jacket is not the same. Needless-to-say, I love this dust jacket with the little sheep! The book itself is a real treasure. It's got the old-fashioned fabric cover in red. A Tasha drawing is on it as well.

So two fun finds in one week and at very reasonable prices. Just a dollar each.
What fun!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tasha Tudor, Continued or Gone to the Dogs!

Living in Montana, one does not come across another person all that often who knows who Tasha Tudor is. It's always a delight when I mention her name and someone else knows who I am talking about. The same goes for her books and such. Few and far between in this state.
This past Saturday at a garage sale I was greeted by 2 Corgis. Of course I thought of Tasha as well as my friend Cat. Take a peek at the newest litter of Corgi pups on her blog! She has been through a lot and lost some of her precious dogs last year, so this is a very special blessing for her. Corgis are happy, intelligent and just fun to look at with those short little legs.
Having just lost Kirby, our Airedale, I know what Cat has gone through with the sudden and unexpected loss of a pet. Kirby was the light of this house. It seems so odd to say that, but it makes me realize what a bunch of dead-beat sad sacks we are. He was always happy, always there to greet you. Always. There is a big hole now and I've been very blue about it. I realize I need to pull myself out of this slump, but it's not easy. We still have Scooter and he's always in my lap if I am sitting down. And Ruger. He's trying very hard to fill the hole, but I am sure they miss Kirby too.
I have been researching herding dogs for several years now and my research has led me to English Shepherds. These are the old-fashioned "Shep" kind of dogs you see in pictures with shepherds and their flocks. They are a working dog, but loyal to their masters and smart as well. I've put a deposit on a pup and he will join our family in early Oct. He comes from a ranch in Idaho, Orchard Hill Ranch. His current name is Hickory.
Somehow this post went from Tasha Tudor to dogs, which seems natural to me. She always had a dog, and sometimes many, from what I've read. I was going to post about a couple of books I found lately, but that will just have to wait for another day.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tasha Tudor and What She Means To Me

August 28 is the birth date of a children's book illustrator by the name of Tasha Tudor. Although she has been gone for over 3 years, there are many fans of hers who choose to remember her in some small way on her birthday.

I lay no claim to the day, as no one should. It is her day. The day of her birth. A day for us to remember her for what she has brought into our lives.

I first knew of her books when I saw them on the shelf of a home I was cleaning back in the 90's. The first one I saw had been on the coffee table. It was "Corgiville Fair". The homeowners had a Corgi, so that was fitting. It was nice, but I didn't go ga ga over it. Then as time passed I noticed other books about Tasha, not necessarily by Tasha. The one that stands out in my mind is the book about her heirloom crafts. As I thumbed through the pages, I was transported to a wonderful place. Soon after that I began searching out my own books and discovering more of them about her charmed life. Then someone told me about these groups on the internet where people with the same likes hook up and discuss things. Nothing short of an online fan club, but I had to check it out. To make a long story short, I met some very wonderful people in that group and we met to tour Tasha's garden several years later. It was the trip of a lifetime for me. Because of Tasha's failing health, we were not able to meet her or even enjoy a short photo-op appearance, but here we are all together in front of the Rookery. We were told that we were the first American private tour.

We had several things planned back at the motel, with one of them being a needle felted Corgi class that I taught. I brought all of the necessary supplies and we all made little Corgis.

Another project we did was making wool owls and bunnies like Tasha made. They are basically pom-pom animals and Suzanne led us through the process using wool yarn I brought from Montana to share. I thought it would be special to have them made from my wool. What a mess we made, but it sure was fun. I really need to mention the chicken feathers too. I had a Barred Rock die in the barn yard just before I was to leave. I spied her feathers and knew her death was not in vain! I plucked some and took them along on my trip. I know Tasha would have gotten a chuckle from that.

Linda worked her magic in the tea party department. A lovely spread was laid out for all of us and we enjoyed a time of tea and goodies as well as show and tell. Many of the ladies brought items to share from their collections.

We oohed and aahed over all of the treasures, but our biggest aah was when our beloved Kristen, aka Dr. Dolly, came walking in on her crutches, straight from the hospital. She had fallen at the airport while picking Linda and I up. She had ridden along with Suzanne and we only briefly were able to say hello and send her off in an ambulance. Poor dear. She really got shorted and had put so much into that event.
Her dolls and things arrived at the motel and we were able to enjoy her work, but missed her. It was good to see her, although briefly, in pain and pretty medicated!

So what is all of this about? This is about the life-long friendships I have made with true Kindred Spirits. Other women, and as it turns out, 2 men in the internet group, who love a lot of the same things I love. We share ideals, morals, a love of God, family and home. We all came together for different reasons. Some love her art, some love her lifestyle, some love both. No matter the reason, we are Kindred Spirits and without my facination of her life, I would have never met my dear, dear friends.
More than anything, getting to know more about Tasha Tudor taught me that you never have to grow up. It's ok to play with dolls, have tea parties and laugh. She gave me back my childhood as an adult.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Glass Garden Totems

That's what I call them anyway! My dear friend, Linda, was given one of these as a gift for her garden. I had seen them in a magazine or somewhere, so I emailed Linda on the specifics of hers and went from there.
I love glass. I love clean glass. Besides the thrill of the hunt, it's fun to spiff this glass up and come up with varying design combinations.
Here's what I've been up to!

The one I made for Juliana.

This one I made for a friend's birthday. It's shown incomplete.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In Times of Need

Recently, one of my former high-school teachers posted a link on her facebook page about a ranching couple in Ryegate, MT who not only have their farm land under flood waters, but also lost over 200 head of cattle in a freak storm. As it turns out, this ranching family is her sister and brother in law. As I read the story about the cows being spooked by a hail storm and subsequently running to their death over a cliff of rimrocks, my heart and stomach both ached. I immediately wanted to help out knowing cattle are rarely, if ever, insured. My husband quickly did the math and told me their loss amounted to over $200,000. I can't imagine! Not only did they lose their cattle, their livelihood, but my mind went straight to the clean up. You can't just leave it to Mother Nature. My heart ached for them as they looked at that loss square in the face. Such overwhelming sadness.
Time will lessen their grief, but in the meantime, an account has been set up for them at Citizen's Bank in Ryegate, MT 59074. You can send donations for Jay Streeter there.
If you'd like to read a bit more about this, here is a link:

I have set up an etsy sale of my wool yarn with 100% of the proceeds going to this cause. I've sold 4 skeins already and have 4 more to sell. If they sell quickly, I will put another 8 skeins up for the same cause. Every little bit helps.http://www.etsy.com/listing/76104823/2-skeins-wool-yarn-procceeds-of-this


Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter & Spring

It seems I either don't have time or don't make time to blog these days. I need to get back into the swing of things. I love reading what my friends are up to and need to make more of an effort.

I wanted to share my exchange gift from the Take Peace list. Robin had my name and I didn't think to take a picture of it right away. The candy is gone! LOL! There's a tiny little doll too for my Annabelle doll. It's in a sitting position and has no clothes. I have the perfect bathtub for it, so he's currently bathing. I will try to get a pic soon.
This is from Robin. So fitting for spring and Easter! Thank-you, Robin!

Friday, April 22, 2011


My apologies to my friends who have commented on my posts recently. I wasn't paying attention and I didn't know there were comments. I've changed my settings so now I will be notified. I don't like being in the dark! :-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011


My head, that is! So much outside work to do and that will just have to wait for now. I am off to 3 classes today. One at Hawthorne and 2 at Longfellow. I get pretty wrapped up in these felting projects I am teaching and have a strong desire to just take them over and finish them, just out of want, not out of need. That's how my head works. If I start something, I want to keep going until it's finished and see what it's going to look like. HOLD ME BACK!
I haven't been very good about blogging lately. Not sure I will have much time with summer coming on, but I REALLY need to be better on the farm stay blog.
Happy Spring everyone. I hope it's peeking out your way!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wound Tight

I get a little wound up at times. Things bug me. There are times when everything seems to bug me, or maybe I am just being sensitive and it seems that way. I am currently in one of those phases.
I hear and read such bizarre tales about people these days. I have to wonder what this world is coming to. I have come to the realization that there is no normal and the normal I think of as normal had gone by the wayside. There are more crazy people in this world than normal people, whatever that is.
I have been dealing internally with the 8th commandment of the Bible, "Though shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor." With the Internet now the world is so small. We are able to put ourselves out there to the world like we have never before. We are able to control what the rest of the world sees and doesn't see. We are able to show the world just what we want them to see of ourselves and hide the rest. Is that then bearing false witness? Is it wrong to make yourself look like one thing on the Internet and live quite another? I've really been struggling with this lately and a lot of it comes from Facebook. I see so many preaching one thing, including quoting scripture, and then living quite another, including getting drunk on their butts in the local bars. Is that what they want their friends to think Chritianity is about? No wonder those people chase others away from it.
I have always been a "what you see is what you get" person. I even had a sweatshirt that had that on it when I was in high school! I've always tried to be an honest and sincere person. I just don't get all of the phoniness and it really bugs me. I guess I never will.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Day That Will Live In Infamy

December 7, 1941. The day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. And then in August of 1945 the United States attacked Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I am not old enough to remember WWII, but my father in law served as a Marine during that time. He doesn't tell many stories. All we need do is read the history books to know what happened. We must not forget, but we can can forgive. Is this not what we are taught? Forgiveness, no matter whom or what you believe in.
Who would have known that some 69 years later Japan would be suffering such a great natural disaster and we would come to their aid? As it should be.

My heart aches when others are suffering. Compassion, empathy, call it what you will. Some humans are incapable of either one. I even feel sorry for them. Empathy is what unites us as a human race. It saddens me so that something bad has to happen in order for folks to pull together. Is that just human nature? Why must it be that way? Why can't we practice kindness, compassion and empathy on a daily basis in our daily lives? I see such division each day everywhere I look. It's gay or straight, black or white, Democrat or Republican and the list goes on. Frankly, I don't give a rat's patootie about any of that. What it boils down to is we all cry the same tears and shed the same blood. We are all of the same race, the HUMAN race. We need to start finding some middle ground or we will destroy ourselves and each other.

Please consider kindness.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Yes, stuff. My life is filled with it. I must admit I like stuff and at times (most anymore) there's too much stuff around here. I am picking away at it, but always manage to bring more stuff in. Take this past weekend for example. I came across this wonderful jar of stuff. I couldn't pass it up. It was just too intriguing to let slip by me. How could I resist?

Then I brought it home and much to my delight, my son had to sort through it with me! Then the next day my daughter spotted it and flipped! She said it was like a real eye-spy! She promptly had to open it and sort through all of the treasures. This jar 'o junk cost me $10. It's the most fun I've had for $10 in a while! Well worth every penny. It's just now I am not sure if I should be pleased or concerned that I've passed this on to my kids!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why do you blog?

Honestly, I'd like to know. Why do you blog? I've been blogging since November of 2006. That's almost scary to me to think about. I LOVED my old blog, as most of you all know, so I won't bore you with those details. When I first started blogging my adult children had a fit. They told me blogs were for people who liked to talk about themselves. I was offended. I feel my life is pretty much an open book. I wade around here knee-deep in well, shit, most of the time. Literally and figuratively. Life is not perfect and I refuse to pretend that it is. Some bloggers do, but I guarantee you, I am not one of them. I have been told by many people over the years, "Well, at least I know where I stand with you!" I like it that way. No pretenses. It is what it is, so why try to pretend you're something you're not?
I blog because I can't seem to keep a journal and I'd like to think that when I am gone from this world, my children might have an online record of my thoughts and goings on.
My 5th grade teacher, Evelyn Peterson, complimented me on a story I had written in her class. I was reading out loud in front of the whole class. We all know how never-wracking that can be. She complimented me in front of the whole class for using the word "meanwhile". I am almost 49 years old and I've never forgotten that. She didn't have a clue that one little compliment would give me the courage to keep writing, even if it's just for my own personal release, which most often is my main reason for writing. Thank you, Mrs. Peterson!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Personal Accomplishment

Just chiming in here to say that today is my 3rd anniversary for my etsy shop! I took a leap of faith of leap day of 2008 and opened my shop. It was intended to be an online selling venue for my wool and yarn and it has turned into so much more. I am a packrat by birth, just ask my mom, and I've decided it's time to let go of some things. Besides that I love to "junk" and find many treasures for resale.
I am having a 20% off sale today to celebrate. Use coupon code 3RDANNIVERSARY for 20% off store-wide!
Thanks to all of you who have helped me along the way! 642 sale to date!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Rag By Any Other Name.......

Rags. It's a simple subject, or so you thought. Same with my family. They have to ask me to use a rag around here for one of their projects. Their answer is generally met with, "Don't use one of my good ones!" Huh? A rag is a rag, isn't it? That's what you think. It's a family joke around here, me and my rags!
I think this is a genetic thing because I recently came across a rag that belonged to my Aunt Marie. It has a patch on it! Can you imagine patching rags? She also hid money in her house, but that's a whole other post. My point is, she came from a different era. One where you didn't have much and what you did have you took care of until it was so worn out, nothing was left. She kept everything, including the styro meat trays she got her meat on. A little bleach and she was good to go. I don't know what she ever reused them for.
Back to the rags. You see, over the years I've spent a good deal of time cleaning. My first cleaning job that I actually got paid for was a 4-year stint at the Holiday Inn during the summers when I was in high school. I learned a lot about cleaning from that job, and more from the picky inspectors who came in behind you! It was done right or it was redone. I don't have any fond memories of special rags from that job, however.
Somewhere along the line I learned that linen is awesome for window washing. No lint and streak-free! These rags should not be used for any other purpose, however, since the oils from some cleaning products can remain in the fibers and mess with your window washing.
Bar rags make good overall rags. Old towels are the best absorbent rags. Dish rags are just that and should be bleached periodically. Under NO circumstance should a dish rag be used on a face, even a child's face! YUCK! Go get a wash cloth, which some people like to use as rag rags once they are worn down to nothing. I prefer a nice, substantial rag for cleaning. I was thrilled when I found a bundle of them at Costco!
Then there are shop rags. UGH! My least favorite rag. They get so disgustingly dirty and greasy that I rarely allow them back into the house. They are typically burned in the burn barrel here. I don't want that yuck in my washer!
So, are you still convinced a rag is just a rag?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another Fiber Fun Day!

Spent the morning getting ready to teach needle felting! I was pretty worried about having enough needles and foam since my order had not arrived even though I placed it quite some time ago. Makes me want to do a search and figure out where to buy them direct so I can bypass this current source. Her prices are good, but SLLLLOOOOW! That would drive me crazy personally. When I make a sale, I have to get it ready and out of here preferably in the same day, if not the next. I don't want it hanging over my head that I have to ship an order.
So, off to Hawthorne School to help the kids refine their birds. I am so amazed and impressed with their work! Their pieces will be put up for sale and the proceeds go back into the art dept. I know their work will do well. On the way home I saw a Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Pheasant, King Fisher and a turkey (my own!) It makes you look at them in a whole new light.
Chris went with me today so he could run errands while I was at school. Then we came back home so I could finish the kits up for another class at tart tonight. I was so relieved to arrive home to the foam and needle shipment waiting on the back step.
Homemade pizza for supper and off to Bozeman again to teach an owl class. I had 7 in the class and we all had a great time. I am always amazed at how different each one turns out. They bought lots of wool to take home and create some more. It's always fun to introduce folks to a new passion.
Long day and I am pooped, but a good pooped!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Full Week!

It's been a full and busy week for me. Besides the shop, Chris and I took a farmer vacation yesterday. That's gone and back in the same day. We drove over to Butte and then to Helena. I've only been on that road once in my life. It's a pretty drive, but there was some snow blowing across the road in places.
I stopped in Helena at Mountain Spun, the yarn shop that carries my yarn. What a darling little shop and the owner, Adrienne, is such a nice person. It was great to see my yarn on display and to see an awesome sweater she had made out of it. A treat at the Parrot ( a wonderful chocolate shop ) and then I hit a couple thrift stores. I did find a few pin cushion containers, but not a lot out there right now for the shop in town.
Today I was back at Hawthorne School in Bozeman and needle felting with the 4th graders. I get such a kick out of them. All different and unique and so are their creations! Then off to a Women of the Dirt gathering. Small, but nice. I stopped at the wool mill on my way home to pick up some yarn samples so I can be at the Farmer's Market in the morning to pimp my wool! Gotta sell those CSAs!
I think once noon rolls around tomorrow and I can come home, I am just going to put my feet up an relax for a bit. I just feel like I've been on the go.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Teaching Kids

Last Friday I had the opportunity to teach a 4th grade class needle felting. They have all chosen a bird and have drawn a picture of it. I am not sure if they've done reports on these birds, but there are some very interesting and unusual birds. Fun colors to dye so they have the proper wool to use! I spent the better part of Thursday getting that done and all of the other things ready.
Since I am such a huge thrift shopper, I really hate to pay full price for anything. I have known I'd be working with them since fall, so I was on the look out for supplies on my trip to Portland. Linda and I went to an interesting place called SCRAP . It's a non-profit full of scrap recycled items. I was able to purchase 20 pieces of the gray foam I needed for 50¢ ea. I glued and cut and came up with the 28 pieces I needed for the kids. It works!
I spent 2 hours in the classroom on Friday. That's a lot. Typically I just spend 45 minutes to an hour in a class, but we were able to get a huge start on the project. I had felted a green, wool blanket that was given to me. I cut it up into 8 1/2 x 11 inch pieces for their "canvas". Each child was given white wool roving to start outlining their birds. They went to town! Then I went around with a baggie for each and we picked out colors for their individual projects. I know they are going to be awesome. The kids are SO enthusiastic. They must have applauded me 4 or 5 times! Their excitment was contagious and I was flying high when I left.
This week I will go back and help them fine-tune their birds, adding depth and more color.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Latest Letter to the Editor

I typically have zero tolerance for whiners who complain about what they don’t have and that someone else, i.e. the government, should do for them. I was taught to work for what you want. Sometimes that work isn’t easy or even enjoyable. Pretty basic. Not much common sense needed there.
I realize, however, that there are times when you’re dealt a little more than you can handle and rather than a hand-out, you need a hand-up. The current homelessness issue here is one example. I have my theories on it and unless someone proves them wrong, I am sticking with them.
Panhandlers, for the most part, are not homeless. They don’t want food, they want money. I know this is true. I have seen food left behind at the intersection of 19th and Valley Center. Those people probably make more in a day than most of us, all tax free and without a business license. The city of Bozeman should consider making them get a license and reporting their names to the state and IRS. Why should they live tax-free when the rest of us are paying?
Too many in this county suffer from ostrich syndrome. Maybe it’s because we live in a beautiful area. We choose not to see the ugly side. Pretending there’s not a problem or shipping those problems to a neighboring town does not make the problem go away. It’s time we deal with our own issues. The Greater Gallatin Homeless Action Coalition is doing this in a very dignified way. Raising $18,000 in a few short months is admirable. It is extremely disturbing for me to turn the newspaper page and read “Bobcat Stadium expansion exceeds $10M goal”. Ten million dollars, really?
Priorities and freedom of choice. That’s America!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back to normal, whatever that is!

The day Christmas vacation finally ends and life resumes. I always feel a bit like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon. When my kids were little and they finally went back to school, it was a bit of a relief to just get back into a routine again.
Hopefully you've set some goals for 2011 and have already begun working on them. I know I have. This blog is one of them. I have some posts rolling around in my head (sounds painful, I know!) and I am very excited to jump back on the blog wagon, so to speak.
So many things to look forward to in the coming year!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Theme For 2011

Thankfulness & gratefulness, are two words that have been crossing my path of life of late. When something keeps gently popping up in front of me or hitting me smack in the face, I don't call it a coincidence. They come to me for a reason, so I have chosen "gratitude" as my personal theme for 2011.
I recently read somewhere (and wish I could remember where) that once this person began to give thanks for what she had, she finally found peace & happiness in her life. It makes perfect sense to me and seems so simple. We shall see.
I was given a journal for Christmas. It's a very sweet old book cover, spiral-bound with blank pages and a few of the old left in. This shall be my gratitude journal. I am excited about this theme and project for the new year.

I will leave you with this quote. Try to keep it in mind in the coming week.
“Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.” - Alfred Painter

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Beginnings!

I wasn't going to post a Happy New Year blog post, but I am very excited to have a new blog. I can't not!
So many of my friends had very trying years last year. Lots of losses, parents moved to extended care facilities, homes and lives to sort through, lots of memories, tears and joy as a lifetime gets sorted. I guess that's what comes as we get older and slip into the "next generation".
We had our own trials here with getting the farm stay up and running, Chris out of work and finally finding some, and the loss of 2 wonderful friends and an Aunt I loved and admired very much.
We take these things as they come. Somehow when it's all said and done, we hope that we are better people because of the trials we've been through. Life can never be easy, but I will tell you, I am thankful for the days and moments that are.
The last few years I have had a theme for each year. 2009 was kindness. 2010 was simplify. I am still working on that one! I haven't chosen a theme for 2011 yet, but there's once recurring word that keeps popping up in my life. Stay tuned.......

For 2011 I wish you enough.