Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Start and Finish Your Christmas Shopping Right Here

You could probably come close to finishing your Christmas shopping right there at your computer.   Done.  Finished.  All but the wrapping.  Wouldn't it be lovely to enjoy the holidays without rushing and crowds?

Why not?  The back-to-school rush is over and the holidays haven't started.  You've got lots of time. Amazon will deliver right to your door, in easy-to-wrap boxes.

And because you are my dear readers, I'm going to make it even easier for you!

I'm going to start your shopping list....

New college student who doesn't know what s/he wants to study:
500 Baskets: A Celebration of the Basketmaker's Art
Edited by Susan Kieffer ~ ISBN 1-57990-731-8
A gag gift that's actually cool--the baskets are amazing sculpture and there's a huge range of them.

Artsy Scandinavian
Lotta Jansdotter's Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style
by Lotta Jansdotter ~ ISBN 978-0-8118-6547-0
A coffee table book filled with artsy photos and a handful of DIYs and recipes

Gardener who has (or needs to develop!) a sense of humor
Garden Lunacy: A Growing Concern
by Art Wolk ~ ISBN 978-097297-303-8

For the busy mom-artist/crafter
Art at the Speed of Life: motivation + inspiration for making mixed-media art every day
by Pam Carriker - 143 pages

For the Fashionista 
Dreaming of Dior: Every Dress Tells a Story
by Charlotte Smith ~ ISBN 978-1-4391-8755-5
292 pages
I'll be reviewing it soon, but it's basically a picture book of an amazing vintage clothing collection complete with enchanting little stories about each dress or outfit.  A light, fun, easy read.
New York Fashion:The Evolution of American Style
By Caroline Rennolds Milbank
303 pages

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lettuce on the Ledge: Harvesting Seeds Part II

Remember when I saved those lettuce seeds?

Now we're going to see if anything grows....

Basically, you just have to shake the dried lettuce stalk.  Not hard at all!

The packet goes into the fridge along with the other seeds.
Half of the bowl was sown with store bought seeds and half with harvested seeds on September 20.  (Hint: the fuzzy side is the harvested one.)  We will see which side grows better….  [See my previous post--these got a bit out of order!]

Granted, lettuce seeds are 30 cents a pack, which isn't much of a savings.  But if we continually harvest seeds from the best plants year after year, we will gradually end up with plants uniquely suited to our soil and gardening style.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Thoughts

Sunday is a day of rest....

.... so rest.

If you don't have time, that's all the more reason you need to anyway!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Weekly Round Up

We dropped off one of Dad’s bookshelves at Out of the Box.  They will be selling it for him on commission—here’s hoping!

The lettuce on the window ledge is sprouting!  However, in the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that the 30-cent seeds from Wal-Mart are doing better than the ones I harvested.  I am undaunted!  Just somewhat chastened.

I want an étagère.  I didn’t even know they existed until I read Jonathan Adler’s
100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life, but I think one shaped like a Christmas tree would be the perfect way to display my Christmas ornaments for sale at the next craft fair.  I’d just add some little hooks for them to dangle from.  (Other than that, I didn’t really like the book.)
Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Operation Organize!

I did this on Tuesday because I couldn't stand it any more!

Yes, I cleaned my studio.  Again.

I can tell I'm making progress on getting organized, though, as it took me less than a day. That was mostly because I had places for most things.

(I also firmly resolve not to accumulate any more craft raw materials until I actually have room for them...)

Hopefully these pics will inspire you for your own organizing projects:



I feel so much better now!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Welcome to the Wild West

Throwing axes while barefoot = fun!

Saturday I went to my first Rendezvous.  No, not a clandestine meeting at a nightclub along the Seine to exchange microfilm, but rather a gathering of the Pleasant Hill Primitive Riflemen.

It's like a Ren Faire, only it's set in the 1840s in fur trapper country in the American West. 

And it's much more.... thorough.  For one thing, people camp for days, sometimes weeks, mostly using authentic gear....

We discovered that her dress matched my skirt so we had to take a picture.

Uncle Steve with a bone-handle knife that he put together.

Me in the chair I eventually bought

The guy who made the chair I eventually bought.

 Behind us is the tent Uncle Steve lived in for four days. 
 Making dinner over the fire that he kept going the whole time he was there.

 Of course, you have to have music....
Steve and some of his warm and welcoming friends.

I found the history quite fascinating.  Basically we are talking living in wilderness all winter long, trapping in freezing water, no towns, men only except for native women, temporary shelters since you moved every few weeks, very little communication with the outside world, and total reliance on yourself and the men in your group if you were sick or injured.  The rendezvous were in the summer, and that is where the trappers sold their furs, bought supplies, and often gambled or drank away what they had earned.  They would last around two weeks, and must have been the highlights of the trappers' year. 

I really enjoyed myself, despite the heat.  It was a glimpse into a bit of American history that I knew nothing about.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Unicorns and Tapestries

I just finished The Unicorn Tapestries in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The book itself includes quite a bit about medieval hunting and the subject of the tapestries is a unicorn being hunted, so I wouldn't recommend it as a gift for someone who is fond of unicorns!  However, it hints at the adventures of collecting and seeking to understand art.  The tapestries have a great many mysterious aspects to them, and they themselves had vanished for centuries and then had to be tracked down.  I want to note in this book here as I think I might come back to it some day for a bit of inspiration for some fiction.