Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eat – Sleep – Craft

I woke up to a winter wonderland here in Western ND this morning. It was snowing and the sun was out and I felt like I was in the 80’s movie Labyrinth (you know the one, with David Bowie?) with glitter constantly falling from everywhere. It’s a sun-flurry or a snow-shine…I will have to work on my name for this beautiful spectacle. Whatever it is, in all of its loveliness, it slapped me in the face and brought me back to reality.

Here's a visual for you of the movie Labyrinth hahaha

You see, I have been a busy little bee…working away on pieces to fill my virtual shop with. In the process I have been neglecting nature, laundry, my blog, my favorite TV shows and even manfriend. (Sorry manfriend!) But things are finally happening and falling into place better than I had imagined. I think I might even be obsessed now, more than usual, with making things. It’s getting out of hand. I have had super glue where no person should ever have super glue. Okay, that came out wrong, but you get my point.

I now know I would be the creepiest looking bee in the crafting hive...

I have to force myself away from my card table work station to go to the bathroom for Pete’s sake! I mean come on, it is an imposition when you’re right in the middle of carving leather! Yes, if you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a little over-the-top.

My petite jewelry/leather crafting work station...yes that is a gnome reading a book.
If you were wondering, his name is Ole.

I just can’t wait to share with you what I’ve come up with. I think I have enough jewelry stocked up…so it’s time to move on to leather!!! Can I get a YIP YIP YIIIIPPPPPEEEEE!!!! I’m pretty much just flying by the seat of my pants, working on whatever project pops into my mind. But once it’s there, I have to make it. HAVE TO. It’s all I think about. I have been dreaming of turquoise beads off and on for about two months now. I don’t want to know what leather is going to do to me…

Anyways, here are a few snapshots of what I’ve been working on. Hopefully I will have the shop up and running soon so I can share everything!

Sunday Morning Earrings

Wild at Heart Necklace

Aim High Leather Bracelet

County Fair Earrings
Back in the Saddle Leather Pendant Necklace
Some hand stamped bracelets
Ready for the shop!

P.S. - I'm thinking of doing a giveaway contest in celebration of opening my online shop. What would you most like to see as the prize? A necklace? Some earrings? You tell me! Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Life for Me

What do you think about reincarnation? I just…I don’t know. Maybe I’m just really strange, well I already know that, but sometimes I feel like I was born way too late. Like I come from a different time. (Now I probably confirmed your thoughts of my weirdness too!)

Is there a reason I have two aprons in my Anthropologie shopping cart that are haunting me to buy them? And why have I asked for this hat for two years in a row for my birthday:

The "Ike Clanton" hat from the movie Tombstone!

Maybe these strange urges come from my unfortunate experiences with my present way of life. When things happen like this morning…I went to open my bottle of orange juice and had to squeeze so hard on the cover that I got a bruise. Which caused me to curse the day plastic was ever invented. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE PLASTIC. I mean I couldn’t live without it these days. But drinking juice out of a glass tumbler would have been much easier.  I always have those kinds of thoughts about the way we live now. I constantly wish for the ‘walked uphill both ways’ days. You know, way back when….wait a minute…I can’t possibly know what it was like way back when, because I wasn’t even born. Heck, my parental units weren’t even born then.

So you can see my dilemma. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched too many westerns, too many 31 days of Oscar movies on TCM or read too many pioneer women stories. I don’t know. But I always have this kind of longing, to do things from the past. Like plant my own garden or make rag rugs or buy books that are titled "Lost Lore: A Celebration of Traditional Wisdom" or "How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew".

But I know I probably would’ve never been able to do what those pioneers did, I would’ve never survived! I like to think I would, but I’m too soft. Too soft from Taco John’s drive-ups, Google, and washing machines. I think I just love the thought of living back then because you actually worked to survive. If you didn’t go milk your beautiful Brown Swiss cow (yes, I want a Brown Swiss!), you wouldn’t have milk. If you didn’t give your garden tender love and care, you’d go without vegetables. You were working for yourself, for your life, and your family’s life, and that made the fruits of your labor so much sweeter.

So maybe it’s not only the past way of life I want, maybe it’s the way people were on the inside. Strong and good morals and not afraid to dig in and help. Unbelievably brave and not scared to do what had to be done. Sheesh I’m a mouse compared to a pioneer! They braved the unknown west for a better life and here I am, barely able to call and make a hair appointment because I would actually have to talk to someone. WOW. I should probably work on that before I develop agoraphobia.

So I should really be happy about my strange revelations about the past, even if they make me a weirdo. I will feel better the next time I think “W.W.G.G.D.?” (What Would Great-Grams Do?) because I know the answer will be the right thing to do. And my conscience will take over, and make me do that right thing, even if I think I can’t or don’t want to. Writing this has made me have another revelation…of how lucky I am to be tied to the past this way, so I’m not caught up in present day debauchery! Like Potato Ol├ęs—completely wicked and sinful! (Okay that was a bad example because I can’t live without them. But you know what I mean.)

The old photos shown are from the ND State Historical Society. Go here to search their archives!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our love's like honey...


It's true! Happy Valentine's Day, friend!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Wild West Weekend

It must’ve been a sign, me talking about my brother in the last post and his obsession with trapping. Because this weekend, things got even more extreme!

It was a normal Saturday, I was up watching a little Pride and Prejudice (of course) when I got a call from my bro who was ‘out in the field’ trapping. When he started talking I remember thinking to myself…he hasn’t been this excited since he was 5! (He’s a teenager now you know…can't show emotion.)

“You’ll never guess the luck I had on my trapping line! I caught a coyote AND a mountain lion!”

Now when we call western ND the ‘wild west’ we are usually referring to the recent influx of people but I think we need to start including wild animals! There have been many sightings of big cats around this country but I never thought I’d see one. So I was very excited to get the chance to be up close and personal with such an allusive beast!

Of course, trapping mountain lions isn’t legal in ND so we had to call the game warden. But first we had to get the cat out of the bottom of the coulee so he could come pick it up! Haha you should be glad you weren’t there to see that struggle…it seems my brother and I are always in these awkward situations!

I also want to state, that once you climb that hill out of the coulee, you are right by my parent's new house they are buildling. So basically this means when any of us go hiking we will be packing our pistols. And large dogs. And maybe some chainmail. I guess it's something you have to deal with to get a view of the Badlands out your living room window.
After about half an hour we made it out of the coulee to the pickup. He weighed a ton! Well, it felt like a ton and I'm still sore!
The mighty hunter had to pose...boys (insert eye roll)...I definitely wouldn't want that kitty hunting me. I also forgot to mention that we went to the movie The Grey the night before this. Yeah...that did not help at all carrying that cat through the trees. I swore I heard howling...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A foxy fable: Fur real or faux?

Do you have a little brother? I do. Sometimes we are the best of friends and sometimes we are at each other’s throats. Usually when we aren’t out to get each other, we go hunting. Or I go with him to check his traps. My bro is an intense trapper. It’s his ‘job’ he says. In truth he just likes to pet anything made of fur I think.

Packin' all his trapping gear

Lure doesn't smell that bad...

OKAY! Maybe it does...

He has tons of movies and books on trapping. Movies that even I’ve seen at least three times…that’s how much he watches them. And the only way to get him to read is if it’s a book on how to catch any little furry critter under the sun. One night he told me a story from one of his trapping books, about a fox who was being hunted.

Apparently this fox climbed atop the back of a sheep and rode on it to safety, leaving behind no scent or tracks for the hunters and hounds to follow. Now me being an ‘adult’…completely took the bait and believed the story! How smart is that fox!?!

If you have seen the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox, you should believe this story too. (If you haven’t seen it, get to it! So good!) I couldn’t get that clever fox out of my head, real or not, it’s such a cute story. That night I had to draw a little visual for myself…

Today I was looking through my phone and saw this picture I took of my sketch. So I decided to make something that I could look at all the time and remember the fable.

Time to bust out the polymer clay again! Here is my little DIY clay figurine of the fox and sheep…a fun little project for kiddies or yourself--if you're an 'adult' like me!

To make the texture for the wooly sheep's body, I rolled the clay on the kitchen's textured wall.
I decided on a black faced sheep, they are my favorite! Poke holes for the legs, makes it easier to attach them.
I had to mix some clay to get the right color for my foxy.
This pic shows skoring. To make a strong bond between two pieces of clay, scratch both pieces where they are going to touch and then attach them.
They are ready to bake @ 250 degrees for 15 minutes.
I made some grass for them to bound upon, trees would be fun in the background too!
Here they are, baked and glued to the wire and ready to escape the hounds!

Now I can always remember this foxy fable, true or not...it's still a fun story!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The little things…

Hello dear reader! I just have to share this with you…

Look at that! In the background you can see my Christmas present from
Manfriend...yes he got me a trunk...yes he is the best!

People always tell me that I’m amused by the smallest things…well maybe this proves it. I was very excited when I looked down after my first bite and Mr. Pickle was smiling up at me! What a cutie!

I just couldn’t keep him to myself! I would also like to gush about breadless sandwiches. My big seester reminded me of these little morsels and I have been eating them ever since. If you’re looking for a quick snack, wrap up a pickle in ham and cheese…either swiss or provolone, which my sister also told me about. Yum!!!! I hope Mr. Pickle brightened your day like he did mine!

Toodaloo for now!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Farm Sweet Farm

What is it with getting old? When you’re young all you think about is the future, and when you’re old all you think about is the past. What you did as a kid, what you would change if you could go back…all of your memories and regrets and dreams swamp your brain.

My mind is a traveler but my heart is a homebody so I’m always all over the place. Thinking about the future but at the same time reminiscing about the good days, and wishing they would come back! That’s why I’m so ambiguous when I hear Are The Good Times Really Over For Good by Mr. Merle Haggard on the radio. Because…well...they are over in a sense. And although I’m not exactly a snowball headed for Hell, I still get very sentimental.

Thanks for that Merle...

Everything’s changing and it will never be like it was when I was growing up. I have to pound this into my head a lot. I mean some things I can manage without… like scrunchies, looking like a swamp person with my missing teeth, or only eating cottage cheese and hotdogs.

I was a very, very picky eater…

But then there’s everything I miss. Like my Grandparents. My Mormor and Morfar. I didn’t get to know them as much as I should have…they passed when I was still quite young. But the time I did get to spend at their farm was brilliant!

When we got to visit the farm, my siblings and cousins and I basically ran wild, because that’s what we got to do…

…in the good old days…sniff sniff…okay, enough of that!

My mom where she grew up...on the farm!

Ahh what adventures we came up with…lava suddenly appeared under the swing set and the propane tank was a gigantic pig we could ride anywhere! Literally, it had a face and tail and once we got our scrawny bodies shimmied up on top of him, we’d spend hours on his back. It didn’t matter that he was stationary, we had our imaginations to take care of that.

My Grandparent's barn

We could venture to the barn and try to catch a glimpse of an untamed kitty or we could explore the wild forest of a tree row and talk to Grandma’s deer statues (okay maybe that last part was just me). Of course while inside there were plenty of things to amuse ourselves with, like the Fisher Price farm set. I will never forget that barn, with the door that moo-ed when you opened it and hayloft where the rooster resided.
Photo from Etsy

Isn’t it funny, the things you remember? Back then I didn’t know which politicians were running, I didn’t know how the economy was, but I can remember the color and feel of the farmhouse’s carpet, and exactly where to find the Chinese checker board, and the way my Grandpa looked after he let us fix his hair.

Thinking back on my childhood, I recall tons of days spent on that farm where my mom and aunt and uncle grew up. When I think about the house I want to live in some day, it’s always a farmhouse. When someone asks me what kind of house I want, that’s all I can think of. I can’t explain it, except old, but not too old, and little, with nooks and crannies. And I realize now that I’m talking about my Grandparent’s house. The vision I have in my head is vaguely similar to that little white house we visited and played in as youngens. Never in a million years could I have imagined that that little farmstead would mold me into the person I am today.

So as I get older, and my life changes (as much as I try to fight any change, it will happen…something else that I have to pound into my head), I will always be able to carry with me those good old times, those sweet summer days spent at the farm as a child. And I won’t be sad anymore, I will be glad that they happened and that I get to relive the amusing memories those days have bequeathed me.

And I will live in a farmhouse. Someday…

My cousin Chelsey & me visiting the farm.
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