Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Etsy Project Embrace

Today I learned from another blogger, Cat Ludwig, about a fellow Etsian named Laura Slocum, who is dealing with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. Etsy is an awesome community and here is an example of the creative innovative ways we can make a difference: Etsy Project Embrace is set up in honor of Laura, raise awareness of cancer, and fund cancer research.

It seems fitting for me participate by donating the proceeds from my Courage Tile (the one I blogged about a few days ago) to Etsy Project Embrace in honor of my dear Aunt Bev who passed away last January from Ovarian Cancer. If you purchase this tile from my etsy shop the proceeds will go to ACS via Etsy's Project Embrace.

You may also want to visit Laura's etsy shop or her blog.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Surprise Pictures

Are you ever surprised by what turns up in your picture once you view it on the computer? After cleaning the entire backyard, how did a beat up box end up in one of my photos? (Hint: look in the midst of the plant containers)

This week I was exasperated to see my son in several shots where I had not intended to find him. Getting good photos for etsy listings is always a challenge: I was so busy getting a close up of the stained glass panel, making sure flash is off, and the macro on...I didn't even notice a little boy going down the slide.

You gotta laugh. He will only be going down the slide for a few years, and this time is precious. That said, I asked him to go hide in the clubhouse for the retakes.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Courage As a Memorial

A customer emailed me to let me know the "Courage" Chinese Calligraphy tile he purchased on etsy was going to be a gift for his wife who recently lost a friend. While her friend was fighting cancer she would sign her letters "Courage, (her name)".

I pick the Chinese symbols I do based on their meaning and their beauty, but how rewarding it is to get such feedback! They are going to keep it in the garden as a memorial to their friend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Echinacea Expanding but Daisies Gone

Several years ago I planted Echinacea (Purple Coneflower), and as much as I wanted it to expand in the flower bed it never did. This year -boom! - it's all over the place. I see at least six new plants starting up, and a couple more already in bloom. Very cool since I've been diligent about scattering seed each year.

So apparently the clematis and echinacea did very well with the extra rain we've had this year. The lavender and shasta daisies, not so much. When I split my lavender 1/2 died. When I split my daisies 1/3 died. Humm. What am I doing wrong? I've divided lot's of plants but come to think of it I lost an ornamental grass trying to divide it into too many clumps. The daisies however were huge, each 1/3 division was a gallon size at least. At least 2 survived, but the one right in front of my house is gone. The mysteries of gardening.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Madonna of the Prairie

Last night, as were weaving our way across Kansas we drove by the statue "Madonna of the Prairie" in Council Grove, KS. I hopped out and took a picture because last week my mom had sent me an email regarding Madonna of the Prairie. What a coincidence!  We hadn't planned to drive this route; it just happened.

There are seven copies of this statue in the world - it is a tribute to pioneer women and their trip out West. Council Grove is along the Sante Fe Trail, I believe, and it has several fun landmarks like this.  I'll stop at another one next time, and maybe I'll take a picture of the covered wagon mural on the side of the grocery store.

I also enjoyed these architectural embellishments on the top of a former high school in Salina, Ks. I love the Art Deco flavor to the 1915 school building

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Okay, I admit it. I want my smoothies sweeter than my kids. My son even likes to make KoolAid with less sugar than they recommend (1 1/2 cups sugar for 2 packets), and he taught his little brother to do it the same way. Which I think is great, don't get me wrong...but I was raised on junk food and it seems to be harder for me than it is for the kids. Here's today's smoothie:

1 c strawberry yogurt
1 tray ice cubes
1 c milk
1/2 c mixed frozen berries

The kids love it, but I'm thinking it's kinda bland and could use some honey. I could add it anyway, but I don't want to train them to want it sweeter. If they saw me putting sugar or honey in mine, they would definitely want it in their smoothies, too.

Yesterday the writer of an article said one thing she loves about kids is having Hoo Hoos in the house - well for me it's the opposite. Now I don't have Apple Jacks and other junk food in the house. The sacrifices we make for our children. LOL

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of July Celebration

My mom's family makes a really big deal about the 4th of July. For starters, on July 3, everyone comes down to her farm for our own fireworks. We get there early for smoke bombs and kid stuff. My uncle swoops in right before dusk with a staggering amount of fireworks. We all ooh and ahh.

The next day, the actual 4th, we head out to the lake. The boys jump in swimming, riding the waves, laughing and giggling, and making up games. They spent 2 hours in the water. As soon as they were out of the water we went on a boat ride, had a picnic, and the boys made castles in the sand.

It was a picture perfect day. Of course, I have 50 photos of the boys, and this is the best picture I have of Shawn. None of me. Sigh. Will I never learn to get photos of the whole family?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quilt Pattern in Stained Glass

As I prepare for some craft fairs and farmer's markets my mom recommended a lower price point for some stained glass items. I'm not into cheesy suncatchers so trying to come up with something small, unique, fun, and reasonable to do was a huge challenge. So I walked around the house brainstorming.

Since I don't sew it's odd that I happen to have 4 books on quilts/quilting on my bookshelves. They have folded corners, post it notes, and notes tucked throughout. I had big dreams of lap quilting. Only problem: I didn't like doing it.

Solution to current dilemma: small quilt squares in stained glass conveniently using up my glass scraps. Hurray! It worked. I created my first two yesterday, and after this I'm headed down to my studio to finish "Garden Glen". Don't you love the quilt square name? I'm keeping the name for my stained glass.