Saturday, December 23, 2006

Got Rocks?

What more could a girl want except a box of rocks??? Pipestone, Chert, and a Tabby Cat. Christmas is complete - well sorta.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

More Shelves

Hubby put up more shelves for me today, his perk is his woodworking books will now get to live in my library, where he can actually find them!

Of Men and Fish Head Stew

Or of Mice, Men and Chicken Feet Soup, either way I grossed my husband out to no end. My mother used to make fish head stew for us kids when we were little, and guessie what I've got cooking up right now! Yep fish head stew!

Anyway hubby was even further grossed out when he found out what chondroitan was really made of, various collagen bearing parts of chickens, cows, pigs and whatever else they can get their hands on. I'm thinking making chicken feet soup is a lot better, blanch the feet and peel the skin off first and then boil up with onion and garlic. Or turtle soup, boiled down until coagulating, to get the same exact affects, and at least you know where your collegan came from!

Friday, November 10, 2006


10/0 Medium Green - partial pattern on strike-a-light bag

10/0 Dusty Purple and a Federal Blue (shiny pearl medium blue in the middle)

10/0 Deep rusty purple or a maroon color - I'm not sure if they are a dark rust, chocolate with a hint of purple, burgandy or what.

Friday, October 27, 2006


There's a part of me that thinks I should do something with that piece that is on the frame first, but if I do it needs some paint, foil, possibly some dye and other surface design BEFORE it is stitched. Even then it may look different than the original. The fabric was already attached to the frame so I have to deal with that before I can put my fabric for beadwork onto the frame.

Embroidery frame of sorts

The back, the front and a closeup. I've been told that this may work very well for beadwork, if so then I have another one in the attic that came with the husband when we got married. I don't know if I will use that one or not as it's an antique. His former MIL had all sorts of interesting textile tools.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pantry Links

Some Links to get you started:

Essentials for your pantry

Stock a Basic Pantry

Must Haves

Buying in Bulk

Three Month Pantry

Now this doesn't have to break the bank. Unless of course you are the proud parents of 4 or more boys that eat like horses. I'm going to go with what I know best, a two member family, as it's just me and my hubby - who eats like a growing horse, and our four pets. I'm also basing my pantry on where I live - middle Iowa - so I don't have hurricanes to worry about. But we do have F5 tornadoes, massive floods, and some kick butt earth quakes from time to time.

When I got married my best friend, who is Mormon btw and whom any offspring we have will be left to, told me how to stock a pantry. It's very simple. Everytime you go to the store to get a can of corn, buy two. If the corn is on sale 4 for a dollar then buy four cans.

Something is wrong with the dsl so I'll will have to come back to this later.

Winter Survival at Home in a Blizzard

Hubby and I have discussed this, the only thing we don't have is a generator - someday. We are also sorta stuck because we don't have a fire place or a wood stove, we would like to move and live someplace were we can have the wood stove, if not two of them. We may be able to install one on the second story of our house, ideally we would like one that lives outside of the house and the heat is pumped in. We'd also like to be off grid with solar/wind enegery and a ground pump for heat. We do have a kerosene heater and a propane heater, both varities that are designed to be used in living quarters - or so they say - but they are only good as long as the fuel lasts and then too bad.

Ideal situation that demands survival sitaution: Mind you we both grew up in the country and there are times when a person just can't get to town. But if the blizzard/ice storm is bad enough then even townies will need this stuff.

Generator and fuel for electricity - to power the furnace and major appliances.
Note TV and Computers don't count as major appliances.
Source of Heat if you don't have the above and don't have electricity
Lighting - flashlights and fresh batteries. We prefer oil lamps to candles and have a few that mount to the walls making them pet friendly!

Food: You should always have enough food and water for every member of your family - including pets - for a minimum of three weeks - I'm thinking the ice storm of '78 here, and preferably 3 months. We could survive three months, would need water source, but anything beyond that is a crap shoot.

Water - You would be amazed at how much water you use, turn the water to the house off for a day and then note the number of times you need to flush or wash your hands and this doesn't even include drinking water. And I have noticed the pets seem to need more water when it has been shut off - twice this summer when the city put new water mains in.

Winter Survival Gear - A Partial Listing

This was being discussed on a list I'm on so I thought I'd post part of my list here. This is obviously going to vary depending on the part of the country you live in. NOTE: I own a truck w/topper and I'm a military brat so I am programmed, by my dad who was insistant on teaching us winter survival skills, to be prepared for every possible situation.

I also live in Iowa and my most likely winter survival situation involves being stuck in a ditch someplace, Lord willing my vehicle is not in water, upside down, and/or not on fire!

It can get dangerously cold here (Windchills of -60F or greater which can freeze you to death in minutes) in the winter. If your vehicle is trapped in snow STAY with your vehicle it makes for a much bigger target when searching in the snow! And buy a car color other than white for Pete's sake!

So that being said here's my list: (And if you are good little kiddies I'll take pics of it for you later)

TOOLS (The big Stuff for your vehicle):
Shovels - two differnt species: large scoop shovel and a flat blade shovel (Make sure the handle length is appropriate for YOU and this will make shoveling easier and faster producing the least amount of sweat).
Ice Scrapers and Snow scrapers
Tow Chain/Strap - A TOW CHAIN because someone like me might come along and can pull you out of the ditch!
Chains for your tires
Kitty Litter/Sand for those slick icy situations that don't require a tow chain/truck
Spare Tire, and tire changing tools - you know this should probably go without saying but you should ALWAYS have a spare tire in your vehicle - I carry two, for my truck, in the winter and 6 when I'm pulling my tandem trailor!
Hammer, Screw Drivers, Ratchet Set, Wrenches, Channel locks, Vise grips (all in a small tool bag) -whats that you don't know how to work on your vehicle - well someone may come along and can fix it for your if you have tools!
Jumper cables - Make sure you have a new battery for your vehicle every few years.
Flashlights with fresh batteries
Flares/Emergency placards you put on the ground
Oil - 6 quarts and this one comes from personal experience
5 Gallons of Gas - If I'm going on a really long trip and I'm not sure about the area, better safe than frozen to death!

NOTE: Most folks end up stranded because they have run out of gas - so fuel up before you head out.

Thin wool Hat and Gloves
Insulated wool Mittens that fit over thin wool gloves
Sheepskin bomber style hat that fits over wool hat
Down Parka with hood
Thin wool sweater
Down vest
Thin winter coat that fits over sweater and under the vest and under the parka
Carhart overalls - the insulated variety
wool long johns
wool scarf
Wool Socks a thin pair and a thick pair to go over the thin ones
Boots rated to -40F
Cleats (boot cleats) for walking on ice - you'll have to go to the bathroom eventually

Wool removes moisture from your body and doesn't allow it to freeze on your skin. Cotton and other fibers promote hypothermia!!! Wet and cold equals a quick death if one is not careful. In extreme colds a lot of the fashion fibers will actually break and they can catch on fire easily - nylon being one of those fibers that burns easily. Wool doesn't burn so easily.

Peanut butter crackers - well if you are allergic to peanunts then substitute accordingly - can be bought in bulk at Wal Mart for very little money
Snickers Bars
Beef Jerkey or those sausage rolls

Extreme cold means you burn a LOT of calories protien is the way to go!

If I'm traveling with my dog I put a bit of kibble in the truck for her as well.

TP (Ok not food but I'm including it here anyway)
Handwipes - well you know, do I really have to explain???
Charger for cell phone - might be wishful thinking here but it can't hurt.

TOOLS: The necssary stuff!!!
Gerber multi tool (tis what I have)
Big knife (not sure what the brand name is)
Trowel/small hand shovel - for bathroom breaks (see TP above)
water proof and wind proof matches
instant light mini logs - if you need to make a fire
Those pocket/glove/boot heaters in the sporting goods section

Down Sleeping Bag rated to a minimum of 0F -40F would be better and is attainable with a down insert (Mine is Mountain Hardware)
4 Season Tent designed to withstand high winds (Mine is a Mountain Hardware)
the tent is in case you have to leave the vehicle!
2 wool blankets

MSR Stove and Fuel Bottle
Water purifier (I think mine is a MSR) & tablets - btw ditch water isn't all that yummy
small pot for melting or boiling water
Head Lamp (Flashlight on a strap that you can put on your head) these are great when you need to change that flat tire in the middle of the night.
Fishing pole and small tackle box, small hand net
Edible plant book (small pocket variety)
Walking Stick with pointy end - gives you extra balance on the ice

plenty of band aids & butterfly bandages.
Kotex (heavy duty pads) - can be used to absorb blood from major wounds (lets say your hunting and get hurt and then end up stranded due to an injury) each heavy pad holds approximately a half pint of blood and this lets emergency personnel know how badly you are bleeding!
Styptic pen (men use those for shaving) stops bleeding on small wounds.
Small mirror

I'm sure I will add to this later on - it's time to go winterize my truck as we went from summer like temps to winter like temps in a heart beat.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Winter is Coming!!!

Count me as odd but I love this time of year, it'll be warm again this weekend, but it's COLD outside!!! The only thing that would make this weather perfect is snow!

I brought in the last of the chili peppers, tomatoes, and the basil. My hands smell wonderful now. We didn't have much in the way of ripe tomatoes this year so what I have is green and I have plans to fry them up - yummy. For dinner tonight I am making chicken vegetable soup.

Here's a pic of the boys, they think it's really cold out but what do they know??? Pepper has taken to sleeping in this basket, and Barley aka old man of the woods has found himself a pile of wool blankies to sleep on. He is old and cranky and about a month ago has taken to sleeping under the blankets with me, I'm assuming it's to keep his boney old hide warm.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Ok I'm part way into this dvd, I thought I'd watch it first you know for safety purposes - right. Anyway I gotta tell you a lot of these stretches look a lot like the ones we did in PE back in high school.

Yoga Yoga

I checked out a dvd from the library called Yoga Conditioning for Weightloss. They use real sized women in this video! I need to get a yoga strap, I t hought it was just for tying up the matt. Oh well. I'm not sure how long the strap is I may be able to sew one up if I had the dimensions.

More later from the land of breathe and stretch.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Girl Can Dream Right

A little bit of the Prairie & a little bit of the Plains.

Somewhere between the edge of the prairie and the plains

Lives a land of cows, horses, and sheep

Amongst the big bluestem and a riot of flowers.

I spent the better part of today sitting in at a craft show, I had a lot of looky loos but no takers. I did give a few business cards away though. Next year I will have a tent outside and can sell my wares out on the street with the rest of the vendors. Of course next year I plan to participate in the Octagons Open Studio Tour as well.

40% Off Business Reduction Sale

40% off Storewide Sale at The Prairie Fibers Company this percentage does not include online classes or artwork.

I'm wanting to get back into my studio and my students (which I dearly miss), and move away from the retail side of the business, I'm selling off my remaining invetory, when it's gone it's gone, so come on by and take a peak. Some one-of items have been further reduced to help move them along to a good home.

Please note that because this is a one woman business orders can be slow in being filled.

Thank you - Kimberly

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Potential Possibles Bag

Here's an in progress bag (possibles bag), I have visions of embellishing this baby, or it may just end up being my proto-type as I was unable to find a pattern. The bag measures about 10" w x 7.5" tall by 2" deep. It was a bear to sew this on my machine, I'll be bringing dad's old gear driven Singer into the house - it's in the garage right now - it's designed to sew leather. Both of my Janomes need to go into the shop, the 6500 has decided to stop working all together now - not good.

I made this late last night, instead of sleeping, so it does look a little wonky today. The fringe needs to be wetted out and twisted so it has that softer look, and I still haven't decided on the strap. It's a commercially tanned elk hide(buck skin?), has that smooth suede feeling on both sides. The next piece will be from brain tanned buck skin - much easier to work with.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Inspire Me

Check out my new blog and soon to be new webstore Cowgirl-Chic

The Move

I moved all of the family information over here, and here you can keep up with my brisk house remodel! I'm hoping to have the kitchen floor ordered and soon, I've chosen a black and white Armstrong commercial lineoulem tile (the color goes all the way through making it a dog friendly tile). John and I will install it ourselves, after we gut the kitchen out!

Today I cleaned out the north bedroom, I can sit in there again, John is right it's a really peaceful room. Plus Brenda now has a place to stay while we are out of town. The downside is I put everything in my studio, which is an incentive to go through it and give away the stuff I don't need, or failed to pitch earlier.

I'm almost done painting the bathroom - ok this is a once a year occurance which seems to coincide with a really deep cleaning of said bath. I painted it a pale apple green color, John needs to finish cutting in the area above the bath tub for me.

I'll be sure to take pictures.

This weekend I'm working on our bedroom - starting with vacuuming everything and then getting the stuff that goes on the walls hung up again. I have one and a half walls that need painting yet.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sweet heart of a husband

He's been bringing my goodies upstairs to me, and without complaint or doing so grudginly. For some odd reason I have lost the muscle control of my left thigh - I'm seeing the doctor in the morning about this. Anyway this is making it nigh impossible to navigate the stairs.

I'm not sure what caused it, I spent the better part of the day filling orders, I missed my dental appointment because I was so engrossed in filling orders, and I'm only an eighth of the way through the orders, but I'll get there most of them are fairly simple.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


I draw the line at letting a guy work on his bike in my kitchen, but I'll store a log in there any day of the week. A girl has to have priorities you know. After all wood has to cure properly and at a controlled rate if at all possible.

Friday, July 21, 2006

What your name means

Click here to see What your Name Means

This is what my name meant:

There are 22 letters in your name.
Those 22 letters total to 100
There are 7 vowels and 15 consonants in your name.

Your number is: 1

The characteristics of #1 are: Initiating action, pioneering, leading, independent, attaining, individual.

The expression or destiny for #1:
A number 1 Expression denotes the skilled executive with keen administrative capabilities. You must develop the capacity to be a fine leader, sales executive, or promoter. You have the tools to become an original person with a creative approach to problem solving, and a penchant for initiating action. Someone may have to follow behind you to handle the details, but you know how to get things going and make things happen. You have a good mind and the ability to use it for your advancement. Because of these factors, you have much potential for achievement and financial rewards. Frequently, this expression belongs to one running a business or striving to achieve a level of accomplishment on ones talents and efforts. You have little need for much supervision, preferring to act on your own with little restraint. You are both ambitious and determined. Self-confident and self-reliant must be yours, as you develop a strong unyielding will and the courage of your convictions.

Although you fear loneliness, you want to be left alone. You fear routine and being in a rut. You often jump the gun because you are afraid of being left behind.

The negative attributes of the 1 Expression are egotism and a self-centered approach to life. This is an aggressive number and if it is over-emphasized it is very hard to live with. You do not have to be overly aggressive to fulfill your destiny. The 1 has a natural instinct to dominate and to be the boss; adhering to the concept of being number One. Again, you do not have to dominate and destroy in order to lead and manage.

Your Soul Urge number is: 6

A Soul Urge number of 6 means:
With a number 6 Soul Urge, you would like to be appreciated for your ability to handle responsibility. Your home and family are likely to be a strong focus for you, perhaps the strongest focus of your life. Friendship, love, and affection are high on your list of priorities for a happy life. You have a lot of diplomatic tendencies in your makeup, as you a able to rectify and balance situations with an innate skill. You like working with people rather than by yourself. It is extremely important for you to have harmony in your environment at all times.

The positive side of the 6 Soul Urge produces a huge capacity for responsibility; you are always there and ready to assume more than your share of the load. If you possess positive 6 Soul Urges and express them, you are known for your generosity, understanding and deep sympathetic attitude. Strong 6 energy is very giving of love, affection, and emotional support. You may have the inclination to teach or serve your community in other idealistic ways. You have natural abilities to help people. You are also likely to have artistic and creative leanings.

If you have an over-supply of 6 energy in your makeup, you may express some of the negative traits common to this number. With such a strong sympathetic attitude, it is easy to become too emotional. Sometimes the desires to render help can be over done, and it can become interfering and an attitude that is too protective, rather than helpful. The person with too much 6 energy often finds that people tend to take advantage of this very giving spirit. You may tend to repress your own needs so that you can cater to the demands from others. At times, there may be a tendency in this, for becoming over-loaded with such demands, and as a result become resentful.

Your Inner Dream number is: 4

An Inner Dream number of 4 means:
You dream of being a very solid citizen that people can depend upon. You strive for organization and predictable order. You want to be recognized as a person with a plan and the discipline to make that plan work like clockwork

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Silk Bag - Partial

Now that the tomato bag is resolved I'll finish this bag. Silk thrums machine stitched. I have more embroidery to put on the surface, silk threads, and then I can attach it to the body of the bag. I may add some seed beads as well. Deciding on the style/type of strap or handle is always the biggest obstacle towards finsihing the bag.

Tomato Bag Again

The threads I used for stitching are wool threads, glass beads sewn down with a waxed cotton thread.

Oh yeah another important lesson learned, do all of your hand stitching first, then put the fringe onto the bag! I didn't tear up the fringe, but it was difficult pulling threads through for my french knots, because it was there.

The bag doesnt' look so bad now, it was pretty lifeless looking in the beginning, but there are better cuts of leather to work with, cuts that have more soul to them.

Tomato Pouch

So named because the recipient loves tomatoes and gardening, and because of the tomato green button.

I learned some valuble lessons, even on a scrap practice piece use good materials! I used commericial upholstery leather, yuck! What can I say I didn't know any better, but I do now. The piece is much nicer than when I started out.

I have a few beads to put on the flap, and maybe a few more french knots, and then I need to add the strap, which I still haven't figured out yet.

Radio Stations

If you know of anymore "different" radio stations let me know. I really enjoy the smaller stations, they have a strong hometown flair to them. Smaller stations are getting harder and harder to find, the big corporations are gobbling them up like bass eating minnows. The big canned stations don't do much for me. And unfortuantely I cannot figure out how to get some of the Iowa stations (especially public radio), that are online to play on my computer, though I have all of the right programs.

Oh well it's their loss I guess, though I'd really like to listen to the Wild Rose Cafe in my studio, and there's just not enough space in here for a real radio, I'm doing good to have space for my computer speakers!

Quill Sizes

Here's a close up with a ruler for a better evaluation of the quill sizes. The bulk of the quills are 1.5 to 2.0 inches in length, with a good chunk of longer fatter quills thrown into the mix, it's going to be a LOT of fun seperating these - NOT. I actually like the long thin ones that are more hair like, they are fun to play with.

What I notice about the quill color, and I'm getting much better at dyeing them, is many of them look blotchy, but when you put them together as a group they blend in and the blotchiness disappears altogether. Very interesting to say the least.

I'm using an alum premordant, I clean them with hot water and soap, lemon joy. I may need to use Dawn instead, the blotchiness may because I'm not getting enough dirt off of teh quill surface. I'm starting to think it's a lot like dyeing wool, the quills can handle more than you think, but there's a magical threshold between beauty and mush in a pot. I haven't been willing to push it too far to see what that threshold is, I've heard stories though, as the quills were expensive and the place I was getting them from went out of business.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Brain tan and quills

Quill work

I've decided to take the plunge and am going to start working with the quills. I'm hoping this week to get some greens and purples dyed up as I'll be renewing my indigo vat, probably on Monday.

I have two pieces of braintan, I"m not sure if it's deer or cow to be quite honest, one is smoked - the tan stuff, the other is not, the white piece. Anyway I'm wondering which piece might be a bit easier to work with for the first time. The white piece while quite thick is very soft and supple.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Latest Fascination X Post

Internet accessible radio! Here's a link to an interesting station KBRW AM/FM Barrow, Alaska. Click on the bouncing radio to listen live. Nothing like music from the top of the world huh!

Another station I like to listen to is KTNN AM 660 To listen live click on the Listen Live link on the left hand side of the screen.

I'm starting to collect a lot of radio stations, I'm still trying to figure out how to get them into Media Player, till then they are in my favorites folder.

I've also found a few with some celtic music, bluegrass, and mandoline music, oh and my dads current favorite southern gospel. I rotate them out depending on my mood that day. I also find Canadian radio to be a lot of fun CBC Newfoundland and Labrador My mom is from Newfoundland so it's nice to have the tie there, adn they play some pretty good Newfie jigs from time to time very reminescent of my childhood - mom was a pretty mean harmonica and accordian player.

Oh and I should also add CBC North This is for the far North Eastern part of Cananda.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The watering hole

This is the patch of water that we went fishing at today, I caught two large mouth bass, I was quite happy about that little feat.

If you don't be quite

I'm going to use you as bait!!! I'm guilty of saying this several times today - to someone elses child no less. I have no idea who the guy is, but he's a world class bastard in my book, he dumped his kid off on us while we were fishing. He finally came back and got him some four hours later. It would appear that he was more interested in walking the beach area and talking on his cell phone the whole time to impress the children over there - all the while his kid was driving me nuts talking a gazillion miles a minute. Hence the above statement.

I told my husband from now on whenever we are out fishing, hiking or camping if someone asks to watch their kid for a few minutes - supposedly so he could go change into his swim trunks but he didn't come back for a very long time - that we will do so but only with a $75.00 non refundable deposit, and my professional babysitting charges are 75.00 an hour - after all I was a professional nanny on the east coast for five years working for Americas finest blue bloods.

I've got this guy pegged as either a drug dealer or child predator - based on his behaviour and the need to hang out with all of the other "childern" on the beach. The beach was a good clip cattey cornered from where we were at so you couldn't hear the casual conversation. But it was obvious that he was not interested in his own child.

I was pissed because I wanted to fish in peace and quite and do some watercolors and some drawings. I didn't have babysitting on my plate today, and I think it's damned rude to just pawn your child off onto other people, especially when you don't know them.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Of Fish and Men

We just got back from fishing, it was horrible tonight nothing was biting and the lakes were packed with people wishing that they were biting. I did catch one croppie, that I threw back as it was a bit smallish. Unforunately that lake we were fishing at is in a public park and closes at 10:30 pm, and the fish were definately biting there.

So we will get up very early in the morning, when the sheltie alarm goes off, and try fishing again, when most folks are still in bed/camp sleeping. A few of the places that we'd go that close early in the evening open at sunrise, which is around 5:15 am right now. So if I'm going to get any sleep I'd best be going to bed.

Day Lilies

I think this is a day lily. I'm utterly confused as in Abundant Harvest, on page 301, the author describes the day lily as having no spots on it's petals, then shows a picture of a flower with spots on it's petals and the caption reads "day lilies".

If these are indeed day lilies I plan to munch on them and enjoy them!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dog Days of Summer

I gave both dogs a bath tonight. The next time I bathe the sheltie I'll have to take her picture she looks like a drowned rat every single time, and a pathetically cute one at that! J- and I groomed her a little bit ago, I saved the clean down undercoat for spinning, I'll spin it in with some icelandic and knit a scarf for J- with it, since he requested this.

I will have to groom her in a couple of weeks though in order to have enough fluff to do this. It's a lovely grey color that'll blend in with my icelandic beautifully. Once spun up I think I'll dye it with indigo and then overdye with osage orange for a drop dead gorgeous heathered green color. One xmas present down and several more to go!

She looks and smells really nice now, too bad it's so hot out this will last a day or two at the most - the smelling nice.

Monday, June 12, 2006


I have this narrow drawer that I decided to create into a shrine of sorts. In it I am putting my mothers slippers and her curlers, amongst other things. I really love the knob on the top of the drawer, so I'm planning to play it up somehow.

Mom was a world class scavenger, she told everyone she was a crow. Dad likened her more to a racoon, but she definately had an affliction for anything shiny. I'll have to go to the attic and get her antique bottle collection, that she found in the field behind their house, so I can include the bottles in the box.

She also liked pretty things, though you'd have never known it about her, too rough and tumble. You were more apt to find her on a lake somewhere fishing or hunting than at any prissy social function. So somehow I'll combine found objects, that she gave me along the way, and other items I have found with this piece. Unfortunately this is the only drawer I have like this, it came with printing blocks in it that I bought at a yard sale. I guess I purchased the drawer just for the blocks.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


I will admit it I have succombed! I turned the central air on about five minutes ago, it is SOOOOOooooooo humid here it's beyond belief, and the wind stopped. I really feel for those who don't have air conditioning. I'll probably turn it off on Wednesday as a cold front will move in late Tuesday night.

My studio while it is very cool, is growing mildew at a breakneck pace and I can't have that, on a multitude of levels.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Big Spring Clean

I'm not sure when and how it happened but up until last night we had five dressers in our bedroom, six if you count my little nightstand. I moved one dresser out last night, with the help of my husband. Hopefully I will get more stuff moved, in the spare bedroom that doubles as my husbands study, or he'd like it to be anyway.

If I have my way we will have only two dressers, both of which will hold his clothes, in our bedroom and my night stand, this will give us an enormous amount of floor space in our bedroom! If I had my camera up here I'd take pictures.

I'll have to work on that this evening though, right now I have encaustic work, gelating plate printing, and digital printing to go do. This is not a burden btw, I'm teaching classes on these topics, but came up with an idea early this morning, well you will just have to watch my other blogs and see what I came up with.

Then I have a ton of laundry to do, and wool fleeces to get washed, and asap! And I'd really love it if the yard was mowed and the rest of my plants in the ground or in their planters/hanging pots. I'm trying to spend one hour each day outside, it's amazing how many weeds one can pull in the space of an hour.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Altering Books

I have this old book here I was going to alter, simply because I love the name "The Rum Seller's Daughter or Woman in the Temperance Reform" It is really old, and like I said I was going to alter it, until I looked at the copyright date, 1874, and trust me it looks old enough to be from 1874. The book has prints in it, which once upon a time were probably black and white, they are quite beautiful. The pages are now brown, as is the cover which I'm sure th cover was orignally brown. So I'm keeping it for my own collection, I may photocopy some of it's pages for altering.

Life is in the Details


We went out the a local prairie marsh, no birds but there had been a controlled burn done recently.

The Love of My Life

making like a pez dispenser

Spring Cleaning

One thing about not having the housekeeper here bugging me on Fridays I actually got a very large section of junk cleared out. No this wasn't her responsibility, but since I'm stuck cleaning I took it the extra mile.

Oh the reason I had a housekeeper is I have degenerative joint disease adn really bad, I'm not supposed to pick anything up over 5 pounds. I'm going to have to get a smaller dog I guess, she weighs about 15 pounds.

Anyway... I have plans to clean out our bedroom later this week, the excess furniture is going to go to the attic. We have 5 dressers in our bedroom, three of which can go bye-bye. I'll put my dresser in the east bedroom, for the sake of not having clutter everywhere. I want a peaceful serene bedroom, and since my clothes are not in our bedroom closet anyway it doesn't really matter if my dresser is in their either.

Personally, speaking of our bedroom, I'd love nothing more than to rip out hte door and the wall going to our closet, it's huge actually, long and narrow huge, with the door at one end. This makes it impossible to get to anything that's any further back than the door jam. If I thought hubby wouldn't have a seizure I'd start tearing it out this week! Then we'd actually have some useful storage space in this house.

The house is a 1905 Queen Anne wanna be, it's goregous actually, but the closets in this house, well they are non-existant! And we have major major storage issues because of the lack of closets. And the ones we do have are most inaccessible, making my life miserable. I'd ask how a person could build a house with no closets but I do know why, they used to be taxed as rooms.


Mine quit, she said that I was talking down to her. Yep I'm guilty! 100% pure de guilty. I guess she never quite got the message that I wasn't paying her $15.00 an hour to stand around and gab all of the time. And one would think that after a year she would know to come in clean the bathrooms, the floor, vacuum and dust and not have to ask every single time.

I thought the rules were simple enough but apparently not. Wash the kitchen and bathroom floors every week, and the wood floors throughout the house every two weeks. the week you don't wash the wood floors you dust everything!

Too hard??? Apparently.

So now I'm looking for a new housekeeper, preferably a crew that can come in and get it done in two hours, instead of four like the last gal. Hubby told me to start interviewing businesses that advertise cleaning services.

Kitchen Floors

Both dog kennels are in the kitchen, the part that is just bare plywood. I'm tired of it being bare plywood, and since I am the one who has to wash it now, the housekeeper quit last week, I'm thinking of sanding and painting it, to get rid of the ickies. The mop and the broom both get caught on the bare plywood shards, I'm not sure how the pets deal with this issue, I always seem to get splinters when I walk on it barefoot. No I wish I could say that this is a temporary thing but it's been like this for about 10 years now. Husband can't seem to make up his mind on what he wants to do. We have the flooring, 300 square feet of maple. Why he doesn't plane it down so we can install it is beyond me. He has his reasons, I just don't agree with them. So, in the spirit of having a floor that is easy to clean I'm going to paint the floor, probably in May sometime, cause I'll be using an oil based paint, I'm going for durability here, and I'm thinking some catty cornered stripes might be in store!!! :-)

Warning never leave a wife with 65 gallons of mistints and a roller brush alone, it could cause vertigo!

Wet Dog

Well today I spent part of the afternoon bathing dogs. I didn't photograph silky, well because a wet weirmeraner and a dry weimeraner look pretty much the same, she's blue either way. I did get a snap of Angel, before and after. She's wet in the after shot. She doesn't know it yet but she's about a half hour away from a good combing/brushing. I'm waiting for her to dry off a bit more first. I also clipped her nails, she's very shy about this part of grooming, and washed her bedding and her dog kennel tray. John pulled the trays out of both kennels for me. Silky's tray is too big for me to handle by myself.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Exercise Hell

I went shopping, my first mistake, for exercise clothes. I've come to the conclusion that obesity in America is a myth that needs to be perpetuated so that we can have someone to discriminate against.

If it were truly at epidemic proportions as the news claims it is, then there would be more in the way of exercise clothes for fat people. That's right I used that word, FAT!!!

I'm fat, and I can't find a lick of exercise clothing that'll fit me, and by standards of fat I'm not as fat as some, but more fat than others. In order to wear the exercise gear I'm finding at Target, and the sports stores in town, I'd have to loose a hundred pounds, but by then I wouldn't be fat anymore, I'd be what is considered normal wieght for my height and age.

From what I looked at today only skinny people have the right to have comfortable clothes when exercising.

I'm wondering are these companies embarrassed by fat people?

Do they believe that only skinny people have the rights to feel good when exercising???

Personally I'm tired of wearing my jeans to work out in, it's still too cool in central Iowa to wear shorts outside.

So I'm proposing a campaign here: I want all the fat people who read this to write the various sports clothing producers and complain.

And I really mean complain.

Tell them you want exercise clothing in your size that fits correctly. Maybe there wouldn't be an obesity epidemic if we had incentives to lose weight, starting with proper fitting clothes and shoes! And if they don't see a problem then maybe it really is a myth after all and I'm sol on finding exercise clothes that fit.

Signed - your local fat quilter who doesn't want to be as fat anymore

Monday, February 06, 2006

Kitchen Cabinets Etc

Now that John has successfully installed counters in my wet studio I have full confidence that he can install cabinets and counters in our kitchen. I never doubted that he could do this, but it's nice to see that he is incredibly talented in this area. I'm sure he's not looking forward to the ensuing momumental task though.

I'll stay out of his way by focusing on the new zine, The Natural Surface, teaching my online classes, creating my artwork and filling orders for the business. Someday I have hopes to hire a personal assistant to help with the ever growing mountain of paperwork. Paperwork is a lot like rabbits, when you leave the room and come back there's more than when you had left.

Smart cookie that I am though I'm bringing a lot of talented people on board the new zine, I cannot do all of this by myself! It's insane to even try. I'm hoping we will have the website up and running by the end of the week. There I'll post all the info necessary for those who want to submit articles and artwork for the zine.

I'm off for a long winters nap.

Which Artist Should Paint My Portrait?

Who Should Paint You: Andy Warhol

You've got an interested edge that would be reflected in any portrait
You don't need any fancy paint techniques to stand out from the crowd!

It's a good thing I like Warhol!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Purging Again

I'm pruging unwanted fabrics, fibers and other miscellaneous crap because it's like a noose around my neck. The truth is I'm probably never going to use those batiks I amassed, mostly because I'm visually exhausted from seeing them in everywhere. My friend Brenda is concerned that I may get bored. She may be right but I doubt it, the stuff is so buried that I never see it anyway. My thinking is it's time to focus and I've narrowed it down to surface design, art quilts, collage/bookmaking and weaving. Plus for kicks and giggles I make my own jewelry, knit and spin on the side. If anything I feel I could be even more focused than this.

I've come to the conclusion that all of this other stuff is keeping me from producing works of any real substance. And it just keeps me from producing period.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Life, Studios & Purging

The older I get the more I learn, and this past month I learned that loyalty means nothing. I also learned that I'm loyal to a fault, to my own detriment. No my husband isn't stepping out on me, sides he knows what I'd do to him if he did!

No this has to do with old friends and what I thought was a trusted ally, one who bitches about those who use others to get ahead in life, yet she had no problems using me. I told my husband that all bets are off, in business, friendship, etc... I've come to the conclusion that I owe these two women nothing.

I'm cleaning out my studio, I called my friend Brenda and asked her to come over after work. I have stuff for her to go through whatever she doesn't want I'm pitching tonight. I'm tired of this stuff owning me, I don't own it anymore. And that is the said reality of life, objects own people and more often than not it keeps them from moving forward in life. I don't want that to happen to me again. I can't say that it has never happened because here I sit in a house filled with stuff, more stuff than you could ever imagine, and it's dominating our lives.

As a friend from church said "it's all going to burn in hell anyway"! So true. My dad is famous for "have you ever seen a luggage rack on a hearst"? No I can't say that I ever have.

Spring cleaning, gotta love it. The house needs a deep cleaning I'm ready to get back into the gardens, do more pruning and ridding them of last years vegetation.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Birds & Gardens

Well I got the new bird feeder up, it holds a 2 pound suet block that has all sorts of seeds in it. I went ahead and bought the starling baffler so that the block hangs upside down. I'm doing this as I want to encourage woodpeckers and the like, not starlings. I filled the thistle feeder back up, spilling about a cups worth on the ground, I should have thistles like mad there this spring.

I spent the better part of today cleaning the garden on the eas side of the house. I cut back the grapevines until the trunks were about 2 foot tall with only a few braches on them. I cut all of the large brush down and will rake it really well tomorrow. I had about half of it raked when John and I decided we still had enough light to trim out our trees. I did both of the cherry trees, and the neighbors crab apple, and John did the Red Oak in the front yard, we both worked on the Amber Maple which looks ridiculous right now but will look great in a year or two.

I still ahve the front gardens to do, and the garden - especially my poor herb garden - on the west side of the house. The north side of the house is hopeless at this point, but I hope to remedy that and soon.

I'll take pictures tomorrow, I had hoped to trim out my clematis vines as well but that grape vine thing, WOW was that a lot of work. And we still have the blackberry bushes to cut back hard, they are taking over everything!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Studio Mess

Here's a shot of my rather messy studio.

Here's another shot for kicks and giggles.

Spring Cleaning

I'm doing a pre-emptive strike on spring cleaning. My studio and my house for that matter are absolute chaos right now. I just spent a half hour cleaning the north bedroom, which has hit critical mass at this point. I have a couple more hours of cleaning in this tiny room in order to actually use it as a guest room. that's not the purpose of cleaning it though, I need at least one room in my house that doesn't look as if a tornado went through it, and it helps to find all of my artwork and put it away properly. Plus I have a huge stash of fabrics in there as well.

I plan to clean out my studio closet, no more office supplies in this room, nada, el zippo, it's all going. I plan to use the smaller shelves, attached to the wall, to store my fat quarters, smaller yardage pieces and all of those containers of beads, threads, etc... This doesn't include what's already in my plastic cart units that will stay as is. Then I can put large pieces of yardage, quilt battings and the like on the big wooden, free standing, shelves.

Now to just figure out what to do with all of my fibers, wool fleeces, silk top, etc...

I've come to the realization that one of the reasons I'm so pissed off all of the time is I am not creating art anymore, and that is the very core of who God created me to be, an artist. The fact the artwork also helps to drive sales for the business is another perk.

So from now on, or at least until I can get a store front or a studio outside of my home, I'm scaling back the business, and am upping studio production time. The first key to upping studio time is to get all of the junk out of my studio and get my house in order, so I can actually function.

John is busily building me a screen printing table for my studio, under which will live lots of storage. This is good, it means that the stuff currently living on the south wall of my wet studio (I have two studios) can now go live under the table, and he can the put in a sixteen foot long counter top with shelves underneath, for more storage.

I'm seriously thinking of just getting warehouse space for the business and scrapping the whole storefront idea. Now to just find such a space.