Friday, January 30, 2015

Finishing What I've Started, Part 2

Yesterday I posted about Finishing What I've Started and today is a continuation of that post.

When I found the birds that I shared yesterday, I also found some linen strawberries I had cut out and sewn by hand but never stuffed and stained. I must have been interrupted at the time not to have finished them... or lost them in all the chaos in my room! The latter could very well be the case.

Anyway, I worked on them as well and now have a sweet collection of prim little strawberries... that could pass for hearts in a pinch!

If you are interested in them, I have them for sale here. Some have sold and I have a limited amount left.

It felt so good to get something else completed! Now I have to paint a trio of rabbits...


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Finishing What I've Started

I have a goal this year and that is to finish all the projects I have started and then set aside over the last few years. The rule is that if I no longer have an interest in finishing it, I will bag it up and give it to someone who wants to complete it for themselves and that I will not set it aside (again).

So, today I finished three fabric birds I had sewn up but never stuffed. I stuffed them, aged them with coffee and vanilla, and added amber glass bead eyes and whimsical wire wings. They are available here if you are interested in owning a sweet folk art bird to perch on a shelf or have watch over one of the nests you found in your yard. They are quiet and make hardly any mess at all! :)

Do you have any UFOs (unfinished objects) that you need to complete? Do tell!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Smoothies Again!

(photo from

One of my Christmas gifts this past year was a Nutri Ninja Pro... and I love it! I buy fresh fruit and vegetables, hoping we'll grab something healthy to snack on and I usually end up throwing half of it out. For some reason, it's much easier to down an apple or orange... or celery, cucumbers, and carrots... if they are in liquid form.

I previously owned another brand of juicer and was happy with it in general, although there was always so much pulp left over and I felt like I was wasting half the food!

Enter my little kitchen... the Nutri Ninja Pro. Seriously, I never thought I would love it so much! And this isn't even a paid advertisement, lol! I just wanted to share how great I think it is.
But if they ever wanted me to try a new product and review it on my blog, I'd certainly be open to it... hint, hint! ;)

I'll probably do more green juices later, but for now I am loving my morning fruit smoothies! Here's one of the blends I do, and sometimes I add all of this and sometimes I may leave out an ingredient or two.

Fill the cup with these ingredients:

apple (cored and chopped)
banana (peeled and sliced)
a handful of nuts of your choice
a pack of blueberry juice infused cranberries - I use these from Ocean Spray
coconut milk - I like the So Delicious brand
a few ice cubes

Attach the extractor blades and blend!
If it's too thick, just add more ice or coconut milk next time. Too thin? Use less ice or milk.
Once you're through blending, pop on the Sip & Seal lid and you're ready to go!

I'll be back in a few days with more blends to try. Do you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share? Just tell us in the comments!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Purpose - Word of the Year

I really never put much thought into choosing a word of the year. Just like resolutions, I figured I'd keep to it just about a month and then go on to something else. But this year is different. Maybe it's because I am just a couple of years away from 50 and I am wondering what purpose I have served. Have I done what I should or been what I could? No one is perfect and no one can do everything, but I am going to try to be more conscious of what I am doing, achieving, or sharing, not just spiritually, but in my every day life. I want to be more purposeful with my life. Now before you think I am getting all philosophical and going to be this new person... I am nowhere near that. I am just going to try to be a better me and share more good with those in my life, whether it be friends and family nearby, or all of you that I cross paths with online. But it all starts in me. It may not be that evident to those around me, but then again, maybe it will at times. We'll see what happens.

The last few weeks as I tried to settle on my word of the year, I'd hear someone talking about being more focused about their life or I'd read something about working toward an end result. At church I'd catch a phrase here and there that pertained to our purpose as Christians, and the bible has a lot to say about purpose. You can find several references here.

This afternoon I am sitting here with my laptop, watching an old movie I had in my Amazon watch-list, Three Sisters. The curtains and doors are open, the sun is shining, I am loving the beautiful day we have been blessed with... and so my mind is wandering back to my word... what will it be? And right in the middle of one of the sister's dialogues I heard the word purpose!

It is settled. PURPOSE is my word of the year. Now mind you, I may fall off the bandwagon, but I will try. I will make an effort to be more purposeful in my life.
Who's with me? :)

Have a blessed day,

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Work of Our Hands

Roger has been busy in his shop for months in the evenings and weekends, mostly working on a 1951 8N FORD tractor. It amazes me that he can take something like that apart (motor included), have hundreds of pieces scattered here and there, and then put it all back together and have it start right up. He's really something and I am blessed to be his wife.

He's also a talented woodworker and can build or make anything he sees or imagines in his mind. Last week he made this ~

a lovely lidded cedar box, freshly turned on the wood lathe. The lathe he uses isn't high-tech. As a matter of fact, it's one he built using motors and pulleys he rounded up from different places, and then assembled on a metal stand... which he also made. Did I say that guy has talent? :) 

It still needs a finish of some sort, perhaps a few coats of my handmade beeswax paste to bring out the gorgeous color and grain of the cedar wood.

Have a blessed day,

"And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it." Psalm 90:17

Sunday, January 4, 2015

& Again...

After I did the little watercolor of the bird on a stack of books, I wanted to paint the wisteria in my yard, so I began again.

Sketching and adding color...
(quite a mess!)
and more color...

(it'll look better, trust me!)

a bit of ink for detail...
(see, it's coming together)

and then the highlights, although I got a bit carried away on those!

Isn't it strange how you are ready to take a break from something and it just keeps calling you back?

I think I will have to keep my paints handy while I (try to) work on other things here at home this month. ;)

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I Just Had To...

Late last night I had this urge to do a little watercolor. So near midnight, I was out in my workroom, going through stacks of art pads and papers trying to find my watercolor paper.

I found a few pieces that had already been cut to size and stained, pulled one out, and began sketching. I combined a few things I have sitting around the house: a pretty little turquoise bird my sister bought for me a few years back, stacks of books (in every room), an old pewter vase, and a twiggy branch. I added leaves to the branch although the one I have is bare.

Next came a loose wash of watercolors. I used my little Koi Watercolor Travel Kit. It' so handy!

I went to bed and this morning I added details to the dry painting with a fine tip black pen.

The final step was to add highlights here and there with my Uni-ball Signo Pen. I can find no other that writes as well as this one!

And there you have it... the late night / early morning meanderings of my mind and fingers. :)

Oh, and this little painting reminds me of a favorite quote:
"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come." ~ old Chinese proverb

yes, I goofed on the year! :)