Friday, January 30, 2009

Ice Storm '09

Beautiful... yes. A pain in the neck and rather dangerous... even more so. These are the trees in front of my house in the early hours of the storm on Tuesday. All pretty and laced with ice. Later that night, though, all that ice compiled and that tree is now missing it's top half. This picture is from the next morning.

All night Tuesday, we listened to freezing rain, trees cracking, limbs falling, and transformers blowing. Our yard (and everyone else's) looks like it is covered in shards of glass. We were out of power from Tuesday night until Friday afternoon. Thankfully, we had hot water and a little gas log in the fireplace that we were able to huddle around and cook over. Nothing like camping in the living room! We took in my father-in-law whose house had no heat source at all and we all got some good quality time together.... just enough that we didn't kill each other. 
Anyway, I am really thankful for all the utility workers who got us up and running in what was really pretty quick considering that the entire city (the entire northern part of the state, actually) was out of electricity.  It is so good to be warm and back to normal!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Playin' with dolls

This is Ruby, and she is a special little surprise for Taylor's 5th birthday. 
You can find the pattern to make a Ruby doll from One Red Robin.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Trades, Lovely Trades

I love a good trade, and lately I have had some really really good ones. Several weeks ago, I traded Laurie (aka punkinhead) a wristlet from my shop for a set of these beautiful vintage fabric coasters.  They are so stinkin' pretty!

Just yesterday I made another awesome trade with Kiley of Kiley's Handmade Books. She is getting that cute elephant wallet and I am getting this gorgeous handmade, square, recycled leather journal. 

Over Christmas, my dad gave Taylor a very special silver dollar that his grandfather had given to him. He told her a really beautiful story about how his grandfather always gave him a dollar and handkerchiefs for Christmas (and how he thought it was rather lame, but whatever) and how his dad always took the dollar on the way home (even more lame, geesh). Then when his grandfather passed away, his dad gave him back all the dollars. So now I have Taylor's dollar and this great story. My plan for this journal is to write all of these kind of things down so that she can read them some day, and so that I won't forget them either.

Friday, January 9, 2009

So Not a Crafty Post

Today's a big day. Today, I founded the Northeast Arkansas Bicycle Coalition (or NEABC for short). It's an advocacy group that is dedicated to raising cycling awareness and making Northeast Arkansas a great, safe place to ride a bike. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while, but one thing after another has come up forcing me to put it off... stomach flu, then holidays, yadayada. But, today it was born - in sort of the unofficial official sense. I created an official Facebook page for it, contacted a few key people (there are real live members!), and will be setting the date and time for our first meeting of the minds. There are many many many details to work out, but the important thing is that they are being worked on and not a moment too soon as there are some really exciting cycling related projects in the works in this area that really need some community support. Like I said, this is so not a crafty post, but man I'm excited.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Very Tasty Chain Letter

A friend of ours gave us the tastiest chain letter ever for Christmas.... Amish Friendship Bread. I knew nothing of this bread before a couple of weeks ago, so I had no idea what I was in for. She presented us with a beautiful box with a loaf of the most delicious "bread" ever, a bag of starter, and some instructions. First, this is no bread... it's cake. Delicious cake, full of cinnamon and sugar. And, it's not terrible Amish, at least not this version it's not. I mean, it calls for using a plastic bag for storage and mixing and instant pudding mix as one of the final ingredients. For 10 days, you mush the bag of starter, add some stuff, and mush some more. On the 10th day, you add lots more stuff and you end up with 4 more bags of starter and enough batter for two more loaves of "bread". The instructions say that you are supposed to give away 3 of the starters and keep one for yourself because it's a secret Amish recipe that may never come back around to you again... dah dah dummmmmm.  Of course, a quick google and you'll have the recipe for the starter in about 2 seconds - along with a host of websites praising and complaining about the AFB. It hadn't occurred to me that not everyone would be as thrilled as me to get it. There were plenty of blog posts from people who weren't, including a not-so culinary inclined woman who had been given a starter that was several days along and it exploded on her desk. So, since most of the people I think would enjoy it live not so close by, I just gave one bag to my mother in law (she rocks at baking) and froze the rest. I could potentially have this stuff the rest of my life. Forever.

Friday, January 2, 2009

MacBook Gets a Home

First, Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. We had a very nice, relaxing time just hanging out. We did lots of cooking and baking and watching movies. 
Despite my complete apathy toward my shop lately, I was happy to take in a couple of custom orders this week. It was nice to do some work that didn't involve dishes or laundry.
Yesterday, I decided to do a little sewing just for the fun of it... imagine that! I made a spiffy new laptop cozie for the new MacBook (which I am in love with, btw). I used some thrifted wool blend fabric and some of the super cute fabric I won in last month's giveaway at Oh, Fransson. (In case you missed that post, I won a priority shipping box packed full of beautiful and fun fabrics!) The cozie is padded with some leftover batting from a quilting project that is in the works, but seems like I may never finish because I'm pretty sure that I got in way over my head. Anyway, now my 'puter will have a cozy/protective/cute place to stay when I take it around with me.  Sorry the pictures are so dark... I'm trying out new photo editing software and I haven't quite gotten it dialed in yet.