Sunday, December 25, 2011

Photo of the Week - Week 41 - Girl Day

Week 41 of 52

Location:  Florence, AZ
Subject:  Mother-Daughter-Sister-Aunt-Daughter-Niece-Cousin Day

Yep, long title.  But it is THEEEE most awesome day.  I miss being so close to my sisters and nieces.  It was great spending the day with them and doing a little photo shoot.  As usual, serious pictures were quickly abandoned.  These are better anyway, they show the true us.  These pictures are courtesy of my big sis.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Arizona or Bust!

Today is the day.  Seems like it took forever to get here but today finally arrived and now we sit and wait for Rachel to get off work so we can hit the road and head to Arizona.

As always, complications have arisen!  Yesterday I took a break from packing and checking off the list to check e-mails and whatnot.  Oh yeay, there is a HUGE storm covering most of our travel route.  Snow.  Lots and lots of snow.  So now I am nervous about the drive, nervous about other drivers on slippery roads.  Good news is this morning it looks as though it is breaking up and more rain than they expected instead of snow.  Whew!  But that just added to the getting prepared.  Making sure we have blankets and warmers in the car just in case.

And starting Saturday my little guy decides to be sick.  Not just sniffly nose sick, full blown, high fever, nasty throat sick.  The kind of sick where he doesn't really move all day.  My poor baby.  I hate when any of them are sick.  This morning as I woke him up in the wee hours to administer more medication he started to cry.  When I asked him what was wrong he said "I don't feel any better than I did yesterday."  I tried consoling him, telling him getting better takes time but it didn't work.  Tears kept flowing.  Finally he said "I want to go to Arizona!"  His dad was joking with him yesterday that if he didn't get better he would just have to stay home with him.  I guess he took him seriously and was really upset thinking he would have to stay home.

So this evening we will hit the road with a sick child and worries about what lies ahead of us on the interstates.  *sigh*  what fun is a roadtrip that goes perfectly as planned right?  Yeah right!

Wish us well and we will see you all in a few days!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Naked Trees - Week 40 Photo of the Week

Week 40 of 52

Location:  Somewhere along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee
Subject:  Naked Trees

That's all we got around here.  Naked trees.  Or tree skeleton's.  This is definitely not my favorite time of year.  Everything is just, well, blah!  All the leaves are gone, the air is cold, but no snow.  What good is cold if you don't have snow?  Next week we will be in Arizona.  Hopefully by the time we get back there will be snow.  The kids will be so happy.  They are so afraid we won't have any snow this year.  Silly kids, it will be here soon enough and then they will be tired of it and begging for spring.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Photo of the Week - Week 39 - Flowers

Week 39 of 52

Location:  Mecosta, MI
Subject:  Flower

I know, I know, technically this is supposed to be week 40.  But I skipped out last week and I really am just in no mood to make it up to you all.  So we will just say this is week 39 and we shall all be happy.  I declare it and so it shall be!

I really did not have my camera out much these last couple of weeks.  I did a little mini photo shoot with A. and her buddy but there was snow on the ground, it was freezing, and well just in general it was not a good day so I haven't gotten around to having them "approve" any of them so I can post for you all to see.

Today we were all grumbling that it is cold but there is no snow to have fun in to go along with that cold.  So we are back-tracking a little to at least bring you this happy little summer flower all sprinkled with a little summer rain.  I miss the flowers!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Let the List Making Begin!

Are you a list maker?  I am, like a crazy, mad woman, I totally am.  So in light of all the crazy that has now become normal around here, I have lists.  Everywhere. 

Arizona trip is officially two weeks away.  YIKES and YEAY all at the same time.  But that also means more lists.  List of clothes for children to pack, list of don't forgets, list of items that can go in the car, list of items that must stay in the trunk, list of things to get done before we go, list of what we want to do when we get there, list of important people to visit while we are there.  See what I mean - lists!  Ugh!  On a side note, when I began the list making for the AZ trip I almost put "Michigan Trip".  So weird that I am doing things in reverse now.  So totally weird.

And with winter now here (although kids are complaining because we are into December and still do not have mentionable snow) that means work has slowed down a little for Cameron so that means work begins again on our house.  So that means another list.  Two actually.  One for items that need to be finished up and another for work that needs to begin.  Oh wait, three, I also have a list started for materials we need to do all said work.

Lists, lists, lists, story of my life.  I have always been a list maker.  Helps me stay focused on what I need to do and also helps me feel like I accomplished something when I see all those items crossed off.  You know when you have those days when you do a thousand little things but then at the end of the day it feels like you haven't really accomplished much?  Write them down, cross them off, then you can look back and say "Whew, look at all those things I did today!"

It used to drive Cameron nuts that I made lists.  Until he found them beneficial.  Until he decided one guy trip to tell me not to make him a list.  Then came back stating all the stuff that he forgot.  Now Cameron is a list maker too.  Well more like a list dictator.  He dictates and I make the list.  The kids caught the bug too.  When I am cleaning I find little lists all over the place.  A whole family of list making monsters I have created!

Happily my list today is steadily being checked off, but I needed a break, so I came to check up on blog land and see what was happening in the big wide world.  And now I am off to get back to those lists.  Can not wait to see you all in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Photo of the Week - Week 38 - Farm Fresh Eggs

Week 38 of 52

Location:  Mecosta, MI
Subject:  Farm Eggs

Just a sampling of the eggs we have been getting from the chickens.  They are delicious!  I will admit though that getting used to cracking the extra hard shell took some getting used to.  And then when you plop said cracked egg into the pan or a bowl and see a somewhat orange yolk instead of the bright yellow you are used to, well that took some getting used to also.  But always having plenty of fresh eggs on hand, nope, that is not hard to get used to at all.

Actually this fall it has been great to go to the freezer or the pantry and pull out something that was either grown here in our yard, Reuben and Aubrei's yard, or close-by our house has been pretty much awesome.  Awesome and delicious.  Want to sample some for yourself?  Well then, I guess you will just have to come and visit!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Photo of the Week - Week 37 - For the Love of Horses

Week 37 of 52

Location:  Mecosta, MI
Subject:  For the Love of Horses

Before the fall colors disappeared we headed out on a fall color hunt with our cameras.  There is a little farm right outside of the little town of Mecosta that had some new little colts (wow - that is a lot of littles).  That was one of my first destinations.  There are so cute.  And of course are always closer and more photographable (is that a word?) when I do not have my camera with me.  And no it does not help to always have it with me because after they first arrived I carried my camera with me every time I left the house and they were never out.  I finally gave up and took the camera out of the truck and Whamo! there they are all close to the fence.  *sigh*  I guess it should just never come out of the truck.

And just because.  Coco was extremely happy that day because we let her ride along.  So she got her picture taken too.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Felt Flower Frenzy

This weekend we tried a new craft.  We went over to a sisters house and we all tried out making felted flowers.  So. Much. Fun!  And, surprise, surprise, A. said she finally found a craft that she WANTS to do.  You do not even understand how much I hope this works out.  This girl NEEDS something to do in her spare time.  And we have tried many, many different crafts.  Drawing, quilling, jewelry making, sewing, pastels, etc., etc., etc.  Hopefully she loves this one.

We scoured the internet and found a plethera of tutorials.  We loved Mrs. Priss' tutorials the best and she is hilarious.  So without further ado, here are our flowers:

A's flowers:

Rachel's Flowers:

and mine:

Rach had this genious idea of creating a "pocket" in the back so you can use one clip with multiple flowers.  Genious!

There they are in all their glory.  Lots of fun to make.  And the pink and cream flower designs may be coming to a tutorial near you soon.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Photo of the Week - Week 36 - My Girl

So after using my daughter as a model this week, I snuck in a couple shots while she thought I was photographing the jewelry around her neck.

Week 36 of 52

Location:  Mecosta, MI
Subject:  My Girl

We were playing around with textures and overlays and she fell in love with this one.

Photo of the Week - Week 35 (a week late) - Friends

For the friendiversary weekend, the girls wanted a photo shoot.  I still didn't have my new lens so I grabbed Dad's camera and we headed out.  It is hard taking photos with a camera you are not used to.  These are NOT being shown to you as great photos.  These are being shown to you to show you how silly my girls are.

So this was right before Dad's camera died, but the girls were being more goofy than photo shooty (is that a word?).  Right after this shot I told them to channel their inner model, to feel it, feel the wind blowing through their hair.  The response?

Oi!  Goofy girls.  At least one of them held her composure.  Well until this was snapped anyway.  Such a fun day.  Photos didn't quite turn out that day, but there is always tomorrow!

Week 35 of 52

Location:  Mecosta, MI
Subject:  Goofballs

Thursday, November 10, 2011

And the Bookmarks

Do you read?  There is a lot of reading that goes on in this house.  A lot!  Cameron keeps asking me if I want a Kindle.  My answer?  Nope.  I love the feel of a book, the smell of a book, the turning of the pages... yep, I guess I am a nerd.  I remember when I was younger and got my little fingers on some actual cash.  I would head to the Hallmark store and spend it on bookmarks.  Loved them.  So now, I am making them for others to enjoy.  Say booo to technology and yes to a good book.

So the first batch of bookmarks are complete.  Many lessons learned so the next batch should be even better.  And I am thinking I like the short, wide ones better than the more traditional size.

Then again, I kinda like this standard width but shorter size.

Product Photos and a New Model

Well, not new really.  I have known here for what 14 years - YIKES!

A couple of the new necklaces I made did not photograph well on their own.  And since I have seen suggestions that some like to see the "merchandise" modeled on a live human being, I asked A. to help me out today.

Please pardon the interruption for some random ramblings gushings, from an in awe Mom.  You see, I am not sure when this happened.  But it has been slowly happening for some time now.  I even mentioned this to Rachel the other day.  But somehow this gorgeous creature that came into my life a little over 14 years ago:

Has turned into this gorgeous creature today:

Not sure I like this at all.  Scratch that - I DON'T like it at all.  Why can't they just stay little?  Like for FOREVER!  Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled blog.

So here are the latest necklaces being modeled by A.  They have not been posted to my shop yet because I can't decide if these photos are what I want to use yet.

So there they are - what do you think?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

For Dad - The Gravesite Has Been Exhumed!

Before you all freak out and wonder what has gotten into my crazy head, let me explain.  As mentioned before, the previous owner grew and sold flowers.  So there were lots of flower beds around here.  Some were taken out to make way for the garden, some to make way for the pole barn, and some are begging to be redone but that is a project for next year.  This one out front though, is well, hmmm, an eyesore of sorts.  The flowers in it were not bad, more day lillies and some interesting ones smattered throughout, but its shape more than anything is what we didn't like.  It was a big long rectangle out in the front, covered with flowers.  Therefore, it has been known as "The Gravesite" since we arrived.

So before the snow arrives, we set to work removing it.

Cameron brought up the trailer before he left to go chop wood with Z.  J was our hauler after that.  Then us girls got to work filling the trailer with the lovely broken up concrete that served as the border.  Why someone thought it was attractive in the first place is beyond my comprehension.

When we finally were rid of all the ugly concrete we started saving the nice dark soil that filled the flower bed.  We discovered that there wasn't quite as much as we thought.  Buried in the soil were logs.  Hmmm, go figure.  I am sure there is probably a logical explanation.  But it made a somewhat easy job that much harder.  The lillies that were growing in there had penetrated all that wood.  So we couldn't just grab the logs out, we had to chop away at the roots until they let go of the logs.

So now, the gravesite is no more.  Just a bare patch of ground as a reminder.  Hopefully next year it won't take too long for it to be overgrown with grass.

I apologize for the blurriness of this photo.  Not sure what was going on with the camera or the operator but something wasn't jiving.  We were showing off our dirty hands as proof of our hard work.  Notice Z is NOT showing his hands :o)  And another youngster, who shall remain nameless, was wearing a white long sleeve shirt, and a comment was made towards the end of this whole event that it was still pure snow white.  A few quick minutes later it was not.  When Dad asked what happened to the shirt the reply was "Mom said it was still white so I wiped my hands across it to make it dirty".  MmmmHmmm, not sure THAT was the point I was trying to make.

Big pile of leaves is next on the cleanup list, if it ever stops raining that is.  Any volunteers?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Winter Must Be Close

Must be because my snowbird parents have flown south.  Mom and Dad left in the wee hours of the morning yesterday.  With a truck so loaded down one would think they were not ever coming back.  To see them go was sad, but we know they will be back.  The house seems so quiet today without them here.

But winter is for sure coming.  Days are getting shorter and colder.  So many things to get done before the cold really sets in.  We plan on making the dogs a little more comfortable this year.  We have to make sure the snow plow is up and running, get the wood furnace installed and operational, clean out the garage so both vehicles fit so I don't have to scrape windows every time I want to go somewhere, and the list goes on and on.

So with all that list to do one would think I would get busy on one of those items.  Instead I have been busy on new jewelry and new bookmarks (coming soon to an etsy shop near you).  Much more fun than actual work for sure!

This weekend was busy too.  Last minute things to go with Mom and Dad, and Sunday was football.  Not watching, playing.  There was a pretty good size group met up to play football.  The brothers played, the sisters visited, the kids played on the playground.  Tons of fun and met some new people from a different congregation.

When we arrived home Dad led us into the living room to examine the fireplace.  I thought something had gone wrong but inside was this little guy.

Thankfully he went outside without protest and without flying all around the house!

Sunday night ended blissfully with the ordering of a replacement lens for me!  YEAY!!!!  It will be like being reunited with an old friend.  I can't wait for it to get here!

UPDATE:  Mom and Dad made it safe and sound to Arizona.  But sadly they forgot to take some very important little packages so (insert big dramatic sigh) I guess that means I will have to drive down there to deliver them myself.  What do you say my Tucson peeps?  Should I come?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Photo of the Week - Week 34 - Hunter Hayes

Week 34 of 52

Location:  Grandville, MI
Subject:  Hunter Hayes

So if you will remember back in July I went with the girlies to a Taylor Swift concert in Grand Rapids.  It really was fun and they had a blast.  Well . . . one of the opening performances was by the young gentleman seen in the photograph above.  Hunter Hayes.  Since that fateful day in July I have heard at least one of his songs on a daily basis and hear a string of facts daily by Miss A.

Then she announced that he was holding his own concert and wanted to go and would spend her babysitting money on tickets.  Tickets were cheap enough and the venue small so, off Rachel and I went with A. and her buddy L.

The concert place was pretty small which was nice because as A. and L. stood in the crowd up front Rachel and I could sit at the tables in the back and still keep an eye on them.  A. made those cute little #1 fingers so we would watch for them to pop up and know exactly where they were.

After the concert Hunter Hayes announced that he would do a meet and greet and stay until everyone in line got to meet him.  Uh Oh!  Yep, we spent more time waiting for the girls to get through the line than we did for the concert itself.  As the girls were waiting in that line, his band members came out and were meeting people on the opposite side of the room.  I did something I have never, ever done before.  I grabbed two of A.'s #1 fingers and took them over for the band members to sign.  I shocked even myself but A. didn't seem too surprised.  They all asked where the #1 fingers came from and seemed impressed that A. had made them.

Then they finally made it up to see Hunter himself and he was equally impressed with the #1 fingers and said they were awesome, which of course only caused more swooning from the girls.  The designated employee snapped the photo above and the girls walked away limp with the biggest smiles.

The only sad part of the night was sitting at the table in the back realizing that I am now an old Mom waiting at the back of the room while my teenager (YIKES!!!!) is up with her friends.  I consoled myself with the fact that at least I am an old mother who takes her daughter to concerts, and the fact that I have an awesome sister who goes and sits with me.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Photo of the Week - Week 33 - Does

This past week we have opened the front door a few days and discovered deer across the road.  They are munching on the fallen apples.  The other day it was a big buck and a lady friend.  This day it was these two sweet little does.

We tried to be as quiet as we could but they hear everything

Week 33 of 52

Location:  Mecosta, MI
Subject:  Apple Munching Does

Friendiversary Gifts - Complete!

Whew, since today was going to be such a busy day, I stayed up late last night and finished up the rings and the pendant.  So now, officially, we are finished with the gift making!

The rings turned out pretty cute.  These flower rings were purchased as separate pieces at Joann's and A. glued them together.

This pendant and rings we selected from my photos and glued them to glass tiles.  One of the girls really likes old cars hence the old truck photo.  And the small one is really hard to photograph because it is so round every angle I tried it at the light hit it too brightly.  Which in retrospect might even make it not such a great option for a ring in the first place.  Oh well, live and learn.

So there they are.  A. is excited for her big day, and was glad to see the rings already completed this morning so less work for her.  Silly girl.

Oh I forgot the other part of their gifts.  Rachel is crotcheting hair flowers for them.  She will have to post pictures on her blog for you to check them out.  They are really, really cute.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pillow No. 2

Pillow number two is complete.  Turned out pretty cute but I have decided those rolled flowers are a pain in the patoosky!  But we liked how they are neat and pretty but a little rustic too.

Tomorrow is crunch time.  We have rings and pendants to finish and cards to make.  Going to be another busy day.

If we have time tomorrow I will snap some pictures of the rings and pendants for you.  And if A. lets me, I will snap pictures of them opening their gifts.  Oh to be young again and giggling the night away with your best friends. . .