Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Time to be in the Fresh Air!

March is definitely roaring in like a lion… we’re having severe thunderstorms today - with a clear day to welcome the first of March – then back to thunderstorms! 

I’m ready for spring, tho we certainly didn’t have much of a winter this year.  I don’t think I wore my coat even once.

January and February were my “working in the house” months.  I’ve gotten a lot done… painting the upstairs, giving Himself’s office a makeover (reveal tomorrow!) and a makeover for the master bedroom too (got a bit more to go on that… I have help coming on Monday to finish out those things I couldn’t do by myself).

March starts my yard and shed work.  To help motivate myself, I’m heading to the Nashville Lawn and Garden show in the morning.  If that doesn’t give you a case of spring fever, nothing will! 

I’ve already made some plans tho cause the front of my house is seriously boring.  I will finish the ‘courtyard’ area next to the front door, I’m going to put down some HEAVY duty weed barrier in several areas along the front walk, my herb bed is going in this year (!!!), the front porch is due a makeover, and I’m going to plant several beds in my ‘bird’ garden.
I’m going to have some curb appeal by the time I’m done!
Plus I’m going to clean out the shed (that is a scary thing!) and clean up behind it too.  
That will keep me busy for March and April.
Do you have any spring plans?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Brig

If you're a fan of "The Deadliest Catch" or the other shows set at Dutch Harbor, AK you might enjoy a peek into the calls handled by the Unalaksa police force.  The police officer who writes up the reports has an incredible sense of humor.  She cracks me up every time I read The Dutch Harbor Blotter.

Here's a sample of what's been going on in the Frozen Wild West the last couple months:

Theft, Jan. 5 — A commercial diver, while raising a sunken vessel, discovered numerous tools that had apparently been stolen from a local business. Under investigation.

Suspicious activity, Jan. 7 — Homeowner reported someone had gone to quite a bit of trouble to shovel a path to his shed and his absent neighbor’s home. Nothing had been burglarized, but the homeowner was concerned that the paths might be the first step towards the commission of a crime. It was later discovered that the U.S. Coast Guard had been shoveling snow for the local elders.

Motor vehicle accident with damage, Jan. 10 — A parked and unoccupied vehicle struck another parked and unoccupied vehicle after being blown across an icy dock by a strong gust of wind. Damage to the two vehicles was significant.

Roads, Jan. 23 — Buoy in the middle of the roadway.

Animal, Jan. 24 — An exasperated, exhausted immature eagle which had entrapped itself inside a crab pot was able to fly to safety after an officer climbed a stack of crab pots and cut a raptor-sized hole in the netting.

Assistance rendered, Jan. 26 — Officer observed an agitated man haranguing PenAir employees about not being allowed on the most recent departing flight, and advised him that yelling at the employees of the only passenger airline servicing the terminal might make his departure from Dutch Harbor a bit more difficult.

Public safety, Feb. 1 — A man who was peeved about the amount of snow pushed against his home by road crews vented his frustration by rolling large snow boulders into the roadway. An officer advised against this course of action and helped the perturbed citizen remove said boulders from the road.

Assistance rendered, Feb. 8 — Officer presence was requested while a man was terminated from his place of employment, due to concerns about the number of firearms in the employee's possession and his likely response to the loss of his job.

Ambulance request, Feb. 10, 2115 hours — EMS personnel provided care and transport for a woman with an injured elbow.

Ambulance request, Feb. 10, 2210 hours — EMS personnel provided care and transport for a man who'd been hit in the head with an elbow.

Ambulance request, Feb. 14 — EMS volunteers provided care for individual who had four fingers amputated while out fishing.

Traffic, Feb. 18 — Rotund rock reported relaxing in road.

Assistance rendered, Feb. 24 — Officers responded to the airport regarding a report of a drunken man causing numerous problems in the terminal. Investigation revealed that a single besotted man had roundly cursed airline employees and attempted to pick fights with no less than five people. His last victim, who told officers he was performing a community service, smacked the drunk on the head and then stood over him and told him not to be so rude. None of the victims wished to pursue charges, as they all felt justice had already been served.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Iron Crafter: Jewelry #1

I’ve been doing so many project the last couple months… and have projects lined up into infinity (thank you Pinterest!) … that I can’t keep up with showing them on the blog.  So I’ve decided to do my own little series that I’m going to call “Iron Crafter”.

Just like the “Iron Chef” TV show, there will be a ‘mystery ingredient’ (theme) that I will focus on for that post.  I think it will be fun!

So for my first Iron Crafter post the theme is “JEWELRY”.

I’ve been inspired by Pinterest and my jewelry workshops to break out my supplies and start using them again. 

A few weeks ago when Best Friend was over for our ‘Chick Weekend’, not only did we make terrariums and mixed media art… we made necklaces.

My Chick Weekend necklace.

Best Friend made two necklaces. 

Then there are the pieces I took to the Cultural Arts contest:

My Pinterest inspiration “Travel” necklace.  I don’t really wear single pendants anymore and that made me kinda sad since I have so many that I love.  Putting them all together into a fun large piece is perfect for me.  And I can add to it new things picked up in our travels.

This chunky necklace and bracelet set are something I like to wear with a turtleneck sweater.  It’s a heavy piece but it always gets compliments.

The wire wrap dichroic glass ring.  As you know, I love blown and dichroic glass things.  This is my first wire wrap glass and I will be doing many more wire wrapped pieces.  (Sorry for the blurred photo – I wanted to get it large enough to be seen but I’ve mislaid the ring!  So I used the photo from the contest. )

I was playing around with asymmetrical stringing with this necklace.  I made it to go with another 2 strand necklace I wanted to add some bulk to. 

This hematite necklace was made just for the 3 silver bells given to me by a friend.  He picked them up in a market in Saudi Arabia. 

And this one was made to show off the 3 large beads.  They are Kazuri beads ( ) from Kenya.  I bought a large mixed bag of Kazuri beads when we were in Kenya in 2006. 

A multistrand necklace.  I made this to go with a particular outfit I have.  I added the third strand in lower on the necklace as I didn’t want a lot of bulk up at my neck. 

This bracelet is made of Ethiopian crosses I bought in the market in Addis Ababa on our 2003 trip.  I came home with quite a few of them.   I’ve made a few things as gifts but have just gotten around to doing something for me.

Two single strand bracelets I wear together.  They look great with jeans.

These are what I have finished right now.  I’ve been having such a good time designing and making my various jewelry pieces that I’m sure I’ll have more to show later.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jewelry Making at Artifacts

This weekend I started a series of jewelry making workshops over at “Artifacts”   in downtown Clarksville. 

They are taught by Rachel and she is a fabulous teacher.  Very good at explaining what you are supposed to be doing… and at showing you how to fix it when you didn’t do what you were supposed to be doing!! 
My class on Friday was “Basic Wire Wrapping”. 
These are the tools we used (plus the wire).

We practiced making different types of loops and wraps.  And practiced and practiced and practiced…

Here’s one of the projects as it’s coming along.

We made swirls too.  I have all sorts of ideas on how to use these!

Basic wiring of drilled pendants was taught too.  

Do you see an earring project starting here??

Here is my finished wire wrap bracelet.  We even made the hook clasp.
On Saturday I was back for the “Hammered Copper Cuff” class.  I love cuff bracelets!
This is what you start with… copper tubing.

Here are the tools. 

And the stamps for embellishing your bracelet.

After a lot of pounding and a being taught a few “tricks” to make a nice product, I ended up with this fun cuff bracelet.  We also did the rings you see next to it. 

Rachel brought these pendants she had made for more inspiration. 
I got so much in these two classes.  It’s going to be so much fun making new jewelry with the techniques I learned!
I can’t wait for my other workshops!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Blue Ribbon Day

I am in an Extension Homemaker Club and every year they have a district ‘Cultural Arts’ competition.  There are all sorts over arts and crafts you can enter – almost 100 categories!  I usually enter in photography but this year decided to enter some of my DIY projects.

I put in 11 items and came home with 7 First place blue ribbons and 1 Second place red ribbon!   The first place items will go to state level competition in May.

My B&W photo of Highland Cows.

All three pieces of jewelry I entered.  I’ll be blogging more on these pieces in a few days. 

The felted silk scarf I just made. 

My button tree mixed media was first in “Autumn D├ęcor”.  

And my blown glass ‘sea globe’ I made in Tacoma with spring. 

My second was a beaded vinegar and oil set.  It was so plain when I started on it! 

I was so pleased with how I did! 
With my Sunday crafting I’ve started doing and the craft classes I’m taking… next year I’ll have a LOT more to enter! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Update on Office Makeover - #3

OK, my final update before I show you Himself’s office makeover! 

I’ve been working on his bookshelf. 
I’ve gotten it cleared off of everything but the books.  Now I need to dust and start putting things back together.  I’m going to have a busy week getting everything done!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sneak Peek at a Craftsman Remodel

I have been watching a house be remodeled for the last year.  It is right along my route into town so I’ve really been following its progress… especially once they started putting in Craftsman finishes! 
It is now finished and last Sunday there was an open house.  I went to get the details to share with someone AND I really wanted to see it! 

The front is fantastic and they have even made the side entrance pretty.

What a welcoming entry! 

Here’s what you see when you come thru the front door.

LOVE that fireplace!

The floors are an exotic oak.  I really like the grain (we’re going to put hickory in our house because of the strong grain).

The entry into the kitchen/dining area… and on to the deck.  I want that doorway!!

A small but efficient kitchen.

The backyard.

Master bedroom…   What a fabulous window seat! 

The master bath.  The house has 3 full baths.

OK… I am so doing this around our tub!

The stairs down (that is the front door at the top).  I really like the iron spindles. 

A huge rec room.  Oh how I wish my hobby room could look like this… starting with those windows!

Good idea having a little ‘entry’ to keep from tracking in dirt.

Another look at the stairs.

Like this shower!
There are so many great Craftsman features and colors; it really looks like an old Craftsman that has been updated.  I think the builder did a fantastic job.
If you’d like to see more, here is the MLS listing: