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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Creativity From a Fancy Napkin

Now that my studio is finally functional, I can start creating!  But... it has been so long since I've done anything I have a bit of 'creative block'.  A challenge from one of my creative groups for a post card swap using decorative napkins was just the kick start I needed.

Do you remember back a while when I did some swapping of sea charts for decorative napkins to use in my Bible journaling?  I got TONS!  And maybe 25% are not what I'd use for Bible journaling.  So it was a perfect project to get started back up with.

I try several different layouts to see what pleases me.  (This set is to do a post card for the 88 year old cousin in MN.  Himself was telling her what I was making and she wanted to see one.)

Here are the 2 napkins I decided to use for her.

Time to get the post cards created!

This is one of the finished cards for my swap.  Three were made to trade and one for me to keep.

And here's the one I made for the cousin.

That got the creative ideas going... time to start my Bible journaling again!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Here's the beef

In looking over the papers I picked up at the learning center at the Bluegrass Stockyards, I realized it was really good information.

If you like a better view of the info on the top chart, go to:

In fact, I'd recommend exploring the whole site.  There is a lot of really good information there! 

Monday, September 17, 2018

It's Still Raining and They Are Already There!

Help is rolling in...

Samaritan's Purse disaster relief team is already at work in coastal North Carolina.  They are repairing roofs, removing fallen trees, clearing debris, and doing 'mud out'.

If you want to help folks recover from Florence, donating to Samaritan's Purse is a trust worthy way.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Collect Rocks Day~ My Suiseki

As I mentioned last month, although I didn't have a tree ready for the Nashville Bonsai show I did have my kusamono (accent plants) and my suiseki (viewing stones).

"Viewing stones" originated in China (gongshi) and then came to Japan.  To put it most basically, it is 'rock hounding'  turned into a fine art!  The stones are even sorted into categories.

Classification by shape~

Landscape Suiseki (Sansui keijo-seki): in the form of a mountain, island, waterfall, shore- or coastline, cave, canyon or a plateau.

Object stones (Keisho-seki): representing a person, animal, boat, house or bridge.

Classification by surface~

Celestial (Gensho-seki): with patterns resembling the moon, sun or stars.

Plant (Kigata-ishi): with patterns picturing flowers, fruits, grasses, forests or even Bonsai.

Weather (Tenko-seki): resembling rain, intense sunlight, lightning or snow.

Abstract (Chusho-seki): with surfaces similar to animal prints, tangled nets, etc.

While suiseki are most often seen accompanying bonsai in displays, they are also displayed and shown in their own right.  There are many ways to display the stones.  Below are some photos from suiseki shows.

Formal with complete emphasis on the stone.

Traditional display of just the stones (my favorite).

And a complete display showing all elements.

Suiseki shown with a bonsai display (from the Nashville show).

Here is a display as you'd see in a home.

I'm been a 'rock hound' almost as long as I've been alive.  As I learned about suiseki I realized I was already half way there with the stone and mineral collection I own.

These are my first batch of stones I pulled from my collection.

There was a lot of scrubbing and polishing that had to happen before I could exhibit any of them!

Some of the finished results:

Third row, second from the left.
(From granite from North Dakota)

Third row, far right.
(From Alaska)

Second row, first on left
(Iron ore crystals from Missouri)

(Basalt from Scotland)

There are many different types of stands to display suiseki on (none of these stones are mine)...

The most formal are the individually carved 'dais'.  They can also be made from clay (pottery).

Some are set on a table type stand.

A piece of drift wood could be a stand (here sitting on a tray).

A shallow pot/bowl filled with sand makes a nice display.

Or you could fill it with water to bring to mind an island.

Another method of using sand.

Here a decorated plate displays a stone as an island.

Stands can be simple object like this cutting board.

A clever stack of plates.

A bonsai pot filled with sand.

Or a simple coil of rope to hold the stone upright.

Since trees grow slowly, I'm putting some energy into my viewing stone collection and display stands.

Instant gratification!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Persia and Her Pillow

Remember the photo of Persia supervising from a pillow in C's chair?

Well, C sent it home with her!  This silly cat who likes no one other than Himself and me absolutely loves S & C!  And they are delighted with her.

So now Persia had her very own goose down pillow in her favorite chair.  (The towel keeps the shedding mess manageable.)

She is VERY happy with it!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Fast Trip to Minnesota

In mid June, Himself received a phone call from his elderly cousins in MN.  They are some of the family we visit every year on "The Pilgrimage".  He (S) is 94 and she (C) is 88.  This sibling pair (neither have ever been married) have lived in their home for 75 years... since their parents moved there.  

They decided it was time to move into a Seniors apartment and sell the house.

The world of real estate and estate sales is completely foreign to them.  So they asked if we could come up and help them.  They also asked that we not tell around that we had come up to do this until they were both moved into the apartment.

In less than a week we were in their small town.

We cooked the suppers and they treated us to lunches out at their favorite cafe.

I set up appointments with the real estate agent and with the ladies who are cleaning out the house AND doing the estate sale.  Then I wrote out everything in layman's terms so they could easily understand it.

There was a lot of sorting to be done.  I love these built in China cabinets in their Arts & Crafts home.

Yes, they still have a wringer washer in the basement and used it until a couple years ago when the motor gave out.

C and I went through some of the heirloom dishware.  There are pieces that were her grandmother's.  She told us to take whatever we wanted.  I asked if I could pick out some pieces to offer the other cousins.  She liked that idea.  Here we are sorting thru as she tells me about the pieces.

S gave Himself one of his 78 rpm records.  (That's the leavings of a meatloaf supper still on the table.  LOL)

In sorting, we found all sorts of awesome family history.

From this recipe of C's mother...

To this 1885 wedding document.

We did as much as we could to help in the time that we had.

Persia supervised from her new favorite place.

After a bit it was time to head back to Tennessee.

(S & C are now in the apartment and adjusting to the change.  It's been hard on them.  We are so grateful we could help them with this.)

We drove home through Iowa; down to Des Moines then slanting east across the state.  We hit really nasty scary weather going through.

Why do I mention that?  Exactly one month later this very area was hit by multiple tornadoes.  We had driven through several of the towns.  Wow.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Odette Electric Kettle Review

In our home we use an electric kettle a lot.  Several times a day a lot.

For 10+ years we used a Hamilton Beach kettle; white, simple, and fast.  It quit on us in June.  It was practically a day of mourning.  And of course that type is no longer made.

So I headed over to Amazon to see what they had and to check the reviews.  We found a winner is style, reviews, and price...

"Odette Fast Boil BPA-Free Cordless 7 Cup (1.7 Liter) Black and Red Electric Kettle with Auto Shut Off, Boil Dry Protection and Double Layer Handle for Cool Touch."


It is so fast that by the time you get you cup ready with its tea bag... the water is boiling.

It shuts off automatically after about 30 seconds of boiling.  The separate base means no chance of burns from picking up a plugged in kettle.  It holds way more water than our old kettle.

And might I mention that is looks WAY cool when it is working?

Look at it boil!!  LOL

I bought it for $22 on Amazon and we've been using it for 2 months.

Worth every penny!