Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

I didn’t forget! I swear! Yesterday and Today have been bizarre days to say the least.  My project for yesterday was another food project but I didn’t get started on it until after 8:00 last night.

Richie and I decided to go to Little Rock yesterday to do some clothes shopping for the upcoming school year.  Monday was our first “teacher day” of the year.  We don’t have to go back again until next Tuesday but when we do we are in it for the long haul so Monday was a stark reminder of why we look forward to summer break and that it was once again coming to an end!

So after hitting the gym we hit a few highly-overpriced boutique stores and then the mall.  We grabbed lunch at BlueCoast Burrito where I DEVOURED a Veggie Burrito! YUM!  I had to pick up something at Micheal’s for my day 5 bit of creativity and then we stopped at Sam’s Club.  We also needed to stop by Walmart to pick up a tube for my bicycle tire and some canning jars.  We finally made it home around 5.

Did I mention that after a summer of unseasonably cold temperatures(80’s) and amounts of rain for Arkansas that we finally hit upper 90’s with typical high humidity? Well it was a scorcher and I was ready for the pool when we got home.  I spent about an hour floating around before it was time to get out and take care of my farm chores and fix my bike.

Well it turns out the problem with my bike is the actual tire and not the tube so that project is tabled until I can get to a bike shop!  It was just after 8 when I finally went inside to relax.  And then I remembered 30 Days of Creativity/Trying something new and realized I had yet to do anything for the day.

I wracked my brain and all I could come up with was Zucchini Bread.  I know, LAME!  But I have 4 HUGE Zucchini left over from the farmer’s market that I need to use.  So I perused the internet and found a suitable recipe for two loaves which called for TWO CUPS of grated Zucchini.  I thought “GREAT, this’ll get rid of my Zucchini!” HA! Think again!  My huge zucchini are so huge that ONE alone yielded 3CUPS OF SHREDS!!!! Yeah!  So now what?

Well I made the bread and threw in the extra cup of shreds which proved to be fine.  The bread is delicious.  I ate a piece last night and one for breakfast.  I froze the extra loaf.  But now the dilemma is what to do with the 3 remaining gigantic zucchini!

But my night didn’t end there.  I’m finally relaxing on the couch and there is NOTHING on TV!  Finally Richie puts it on the WE network which is airing some bizarro show about Mail Order Brides.  The show end and a new episode comes on this time about “Free Love”.  TOTALLY WACKO!  Had to be the weirdest thing I have ever watched!

Anyway, 12:00 rolled around and it seemed like going to sleep was the thing to do.  Only when I got in bed I couldn’t sleep.  The moon was full and right outside my window and even with the shade down it was seemingly light enough to read a book.  After tossing and turning for and hour I went into the living room to sleep on the couch.  I watched a rerun of Friends and two reruns of That 70’s Show only it was the dumb ones after Eric leaves.  Finally around 2:30 I got back into bed.

5 seconds after I fell asleep I was awoken by my dog Lily nudging at my feet.  Now here is the thing about Lily.  She HATES thunderstorms.  But as long as she is inside and not out in the storm she is content UNLESS there happens to be a Tornado Warning.  She is like our own personal Doppler radar unit!  Seriously, every time I wake up with her nudging my feet there is a warning. 

The satellite was already on the fritz from the torrential rain so I pulled up the Weather Channel App on Richies iPhone and discover that there where TWO Tornado Warnings piggybacking our area until 4 AM! SO, I am back out of bed, gathering pillows and blankets to put in the bathroom, consoling, the dogs and cats, looking for shoes and flashlights, and trying to convince my husband to get out of bed and come “cuddle/huddle” in the tiny bathroom with me.  He opts to stay in bed stating that he should have time to make it to the bathroom if he starts to hear the ROAR! MEN!  So I “cuddle/huddle” with the cat and play games on Richies iPhone until just after 4 when the storm finally slows down.  I crawl into bed now realizing that it is Farmers Market day and I have to get up at 5:50!

At 5 am I am awoken once again to torrential rains and thunder.  Lily isnt at the foot of the bed so I figure I am okay so I toss and turn until the alarm goes off at 5:50.  I shut it off and decide to lay in bed for two more minutes.  Well as you can imagine that didnt happen and I didnt wake up again until 10:54!

I’ve missed the market, I slept horrible and I cant breath.  I decide to go blog about day 4 when I come in to find that DSL is down due to widespread power outages in most of the state.  So instead I veg on the couch for a few hours.

And that brings me to now! I know I live such a sad pitiful life!  My camera battery is dead so I have no pictures yet of the Zucchini Bread (day 4) or of my wine glass charms which are the project for day 5. 

I knew all of you mysterious people out there in cyberland were just dying to know what happened to me.  I have reported and HOPEFULLY later I will be back with pictures!

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This year I decided that I really wanted to try to do more handmade items for Christmas gifts.  I always try to include something handmade but I just wanted to try to do more this year.  I began working on several gifts back in September and finally got everything done just in time for Christmas.  Since all the gifts have been opened I can post pictures now.

For my mom I made a doily.

My mom and sister both got wellness bags.

These bags included hot and cold therapy packs, eye pillows, some lavender bath salts and a foot scrubber.  I made these based on this tutorial that I found over at Sew Mama Sew.

I also sent my grandmother and my aunt Sue one of the eye pillows.

My dad got a bird house.

My mom and dad own and run the Orchard House Bed and Breakfast and the Apple Blossom Farm House so I made my dad the Apple Seed Bird House!  The bird house was store bought but I painted it.

For my nephew Silas I made a mat that he can play with his toy cars on.  I designed the mat after the town that they live in and included their house and street and the buildings and landmarks in the area.

My mother-in-law got a pair of lounge pants I made from a pattern in an Amy Butler book.  I know I took a picture of them but I can’t find it.

Richie got a waffle maker which isn’t handmade but since he doesn’t cook and I will be making all of the waffles that come out of it I think it counts!

I also handmade all of the gifts I made for the staff at the school where I teach.  Everyone got a Christmas ornament made from a recycled aluminum can lid.  I found the patterns in the Dec/Jan issue of MaryJanes Farm Magazine.

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Charted Crochet

A friend recently taught me about Charted (not filet) Crochet. Apparently it is really popular in Europe and Japan.  We decided to do a crochet-a-long and make a series of doilies.  This sort of frightened me at first becuase doilies are so dainty and I didn’t think I could ever do it.  Debi emailed me a pattern, answered my questions and amazingly I found it to be quite easy!  I was working with a tiny hook and tiny thread so it took quite a bit of time to do.  My finished doily measures about 12 inches across.  I kind of imagined myself as a pioneer girl sitting in my cabin during the long winter and making things for my hope chest.  It was really fun! Thanks Debi for teaching me!  Here is my finished work:

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I have just listed a fresh handmade lavender wand.  I will have more available soon in other ribbon colors.  Come take a look!

Visit my shop HERE!

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The week 5 topic of the Farmgirl Blog-a-thon is “getting crafty”.  I am all about crafty but something always seems to happen during the months of April and May and I do VERY LITTLE crafting!  Maybe it is because things get so hectic at school, maybe it is because it is warmer and I spend more time outside.  Last night was the first night I came inside before 8:30 PM and that was only because it was raining!

Of course I have my own crafting “business” through my website www.willowtreecreek.com.  I make a variety of different things for that.  I also make and sell Wine Glass Charms to the Orchard House Bed and Breakfast in Lovingston, VA! (In light of full disclosure I should mention that the Orchard House is owned and operated by my parents!)

Last summer I was filmed for an episode of “That’s Clever” for HGTV.  The episode will air sometime in 2009!  I made a toy tote and an MP3 player cover for the show.

I teach K-12 art so I am constantly doing “Crafty” things at school.  My second graders are in the process of making Chilean Rainsticks right now as part of our year long look at “Art Around the World”.

Personally, 2 projects have been consuming my life in the last few months and I guess they fall under the category of “getting crafty.”

Project #1 – Prom “Lost in Paradise”

As Junior class sponsor one of my duties is to help the students prepare for the prom.  That includes decorating and as the art teacher often includes MAKING decorations!  Most of March and part of April was consumed with building things for Prom.  Our theme was “Lost in Paradise” and the dance, along with a dinner baquet, was held in our school cafeteria.  Here are some pictures of the things we made.

In this picture is the “Tiki Hut”. I designed it and the Agri Classes actually put it together.  We painted it and added the grass skirts to the top.  The plants at the bottom came in a kit but had to be assembled.  I painted 2008 and the Hibiscus on the window in the background.  One of the Juniors boyfriends made the surfboard.  The little swimming pool held the drinks.

In this picture you can see the beautifully decorated tables.  Each setting had a brightly colored imprinted napkin, a program which I designed on my computer and a little tropical umbrella.  Each chair had a flower lei draped over it.  I the center of each table were candles and little fish bowls with real live goldfish!

The waterfall kit was a pain to put together. It took a team of about 6 of us over 5 hours to assemble!  You can see more of the grass kits in this picture as well as one of the four palm tree kits we built!

As the students came in they crossed over the “swinging” bridge.

Flowing from the waterfall was this river.  It snaked across the cafeteria floor.  We even added real rocks to the water!  The Prom was REALLY nice but was quite an undertaking!  I was very thankful to the 6 kids that actually showed up to help decorate!

Project #2 – Chicken Tractor

I have been wanting to get chickens for a while. I finally convinced my husband it would be cool and set out to build a chicken tractor.  A chicken tractor is a movable chicken coop and hen house.  It allows the birds to be “free range” while still confining them enough to protect them from predators (like my dogs!).

I built the chicken tractor almost completely by myself! I drafted my own design and then purchased all the supplies.  I measured all the pieces.  Learned how to use a skill saw and then put the whole thing together!  My mother in law nailed the roof on the hen house because I hit my thumb with the hammer on the first try and got “gun shy” after that!  The rest was done by ME!!! I am really proud of myself!  All that I have left to do is paint the hen house, build a roost and get the chickens!

To learn more about the Farmgirl Blog-a-Thon please check out http://gardengoose.blogspot.com/.

To learn more about being a Farmgirl please check out www.maryjanesfarm.org.



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