Tuesday, November 20, 2012
My small contribution? I donated a felted hat last year that was quickly adopted by one of the bazaar workers, so I was asked to make another one this time around. It was a near thing, since the bazaar is on December 1st and it the hat was still wet from the felting process and drying on its form last night! One of these days, I'll choose a yarn that actually *wants* to felt. My attempts always take about 15 full-length runs through the washer. Other people tell me that theirs felt in less than a single washing!! I did love this thick, purple yarn, though, so it was worth the extra trouble.
I'm also delighted to be contributing another round of my special bird cookie dough for filling log feeders (the feeders, themselves, will be made by someone who has the tools and expertise to create them based on my brother-in-law's instructions -- he made the ones in my yard that have been featured in earlier blog posts). The woodpeckers and chickadees will be happily snacking in few more yards this winter. Oh, and the form that I used for the hat? It was a great big peanut butter jar that I emptied while making the bird cookie dough. Everything is interrelated! Hee hee!!
I had grand plans to do so much more than I managed to accomplish (as usual), but I'm glad that I could help spread at least a little good cheer. :) Now, I just need to start in January and maybe I'll be ready in time next year -- I have some really cool ideas!! (I can dream about better organization, right?)
Friday, November 16, 2012
It's also nice to work with small, family businesses that do a good job and take pride in their work. Besides, I think well trained work horses are just awesome creatures.
While work was in progress, my siblings went out to the site to watch the process and my sister shared some pictures with me. I thought you might enjoy seeing a couple of them, too. :)
The team has a snack to get fortified for the day's work. Aren't they beauties? They're so solid and patient with the set-up, too.
I think they make a very handsome team. I wish I had gotten to see them in action with my own eyes, but my sister tells me that horses and human worked really well together, as well they might, since they depend on each other for their livelihood! I have the sense that there was also mutual respect, though.
Here are the veneer logs, all lined up in a neat little row by the side of the road, waiting to be hauled out of the woods and to the mill. There are different types of trees in the lineup, some of which were taken out ahead of disease progression in the area - no walnut or anything else of extreme value, just good, solid timber.
And there they go off into the woods. It sounds to me like they did a good job and we will probably invite them back to do some more work when the time comes. :)
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Don't you just love the expression of blackberry bliss? Munching with eyes closed and complete absorption. This first one one ate four blackberries without flinching before wandering off to do other turtle things. But when I looked up, I saw another, smaller turtle heading our way, so I offered it blackberries for breakfast, too. It was more shy and did the shell retreat dance before tucking in to a juicy repast.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
I left a pretty fair clue - or perhaps it could even be called a statement over on the Stampeaz Facebook page Friday. Interestingly enough, only one person cashed in. So, I figure that either everybody has all the PZ Kut they want or they're tired of playing my silly little games. ;-) Or, maybe they were just all out having fun (or hiding in their basements from the storms) and away from their computers over the weekend. We'll see.
You see, I've been trying to make space in the Stampeaz inventory room for a big pile of OZ Kut that will be landing in fairly short order. To do that, I have to find someplace else to put things (preferably at your house! LOL!).
So, now you've been given two clues. Was it Mama Cache in Adhesives with the Glue Pad? Was it Webfoot in Embossing with the Heat Gun? Was it ElectricMedic in the Accessories with the Magnifier?
Skill and luck.... :)
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Wild phlox are blooming in my yard. I like to encourage the wildflowers, so I carefully mow around them. My neighbors all think I'm crazy. Okay, maybe they don't just *think* that.
The white throated sparrows usually take flight by the time the first really warm weather begins, but this year they've stuck around in spite of unusually high Spring temperatures. I loved the image of this little rascal in the dewy grass.
And the dogwoods were just so beautiful this year, I had to share another picture before they're completely gone for the year. We're expecting frost for the next couple nights, so the few flowers that stuck through the early heat wave will be gone when the cold snap passes.
In other news, the next test run of carving material is officially scheduled for the end of the month and I am very excited to say that my beta tester, Electric, thinks it's very, very close to PZ Kut, so even though it's still going to be white instead of emerald green, it's going land us in the merry old land of OZ Kut. It's been a long, long journey back, complete with flying monkeys and wicked witches (well, maybe it just felt that way at times - LOL!). The journey has also been filled with kind helpers and absolute wizards, so the road really has been golden, if somewhat rough and uneven. It looks like good things are coming soon. Now, where did I leave my ruby slippers....?
When I get the sample carvings from Electric, I will post them here, as I did last time (with his permission, of course). I would post my sample carving, but it would be a spoiler, since I'm currently using my test as an invoice image! :)
Also, thank you to those who tagged the Stampeaz Facebook page with a "Like". I appreciate your support! I'll have to think of a good way to throw a little party over there! Hee hee!
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Yesterday, one of them had the three Jakes in hot pursuit. She was far more interested in finding bugs and seeds and things to eat than in holding court for her admirers, though. That might be part of the reason it's so difficult to get a good picture of the girls. They just don't hold still long enough. I finally got one that wasn't totally blurred by her pecking around or moving along her merry way. The boys, on the other hand, have been taking the time now and then to pose rather grandly as they swagger through the woods. After all, they have to make a good impression on the ladies.
Speaking of good impressions, the deer have been grooming to look their Spring best - and to get rid of the rest of their warm Winter coats. They are *very* curious about the turkeys. One of last year's fawns was following one of the boys around and trying to get a good sniff of the strange newcomer to the woods. And as a result, I was able to snap this next little juxtaposition, which made me laugh.
So, the hens are wandering around amidst the dogwoods, phlox and other early bloomers this year trying to decide where they want to nest and lay their precious eggs.
If you look carefully, you might find an egg hidden somewhere at stampeaz.com, too. HappPZEaster! Oh - and Im' guessing that the Easter Hen may lay more than one and that she may not hide them all in the same place. They're tricky that way, those clucking old hens! :)
One more thing I almost forgot to mention! Stampeaz now has a Facebook page! I am not sure yet exactly how it might be used, but I expect I will come up with something! LOL!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Or at least rewards for looking out the back window while taking a break from taxes and talking to my sister on the telephone -- which is what I was doing when I first spotted this handsome fellow.
I was unable to get a photo of him then, since he wandered out of range before I could snag my camera and get back to the window. When I had finished my call, I went out back to see if I could spot him anywhere in the woods, but he was long gone. I clucked a few times just for fun, and to see if I could get any reaction from him -- alas, nothing.
So, imagine my delight when I saw him wander back in the other direction an hour or so later, talking turkey and trying to find a sweet hen to woo. I don't know whether or not he heard me when I called earlier, but I got a big grin out of seeing him again. There haven't been any turkeys in the woods here for a number of years. I've seen a small flock about a mile from my house and from a distance across a big field, but not any closer than that.
I was totally amazed just a few minutes ago (these pictures were taken an hour or more ago) I saw a hen -- the very sort of sweet hen Jake had been looking for. She was walking through the woods (sans Jake) to the other side of the hill. She was too far over the edge to get a good picture by the time I realized she was there -- she was clearly intent on getting about her appointed rounds. Still, it was great fun to see that Jake had a potential lady friend.
I was also quite pleased that some of the beautiful golds and greens of his feathers showed up in the photos. It wasn't even sunny, so that made it especially nice to catch a little of the iridescence in his plumage. This guy does have a beard, but it's a pretty short one -- that's why I'm calling him 'Jake' - he's almost certainly one of last year's young. Next year, we'll call him 'Tom'.
I hope you enjoyed seeing him, too. :)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The pie featured here was my first attempt at a latticework top. My sister-in-law showed me how it was done and, even though it looks terribly difficult, her tricks made it a manageable feat of beautiful pie embellishment. It’s rhubarb custard inside. Yum! So, be sure and stop by stampeaz.com and say, “Pi!” (Or is that Pi-Z Kut???)
Monday, March 12, 2012
The purple finches pass through twice a year and sometimes stay for the cold months. They're wonderful little splashes of fuchsia in the branches and at the feeders.
Flickers are year-round residents, but they're more frequently seen on the ground in the warmer months, poking around for bugs. When it's cold, or until the bugs really get on a roll, they absolutely love the peanut butter dough I make for them. Well, everybody else does, too. It's like peanut butter cookies for the birds. :)
Yellow-rumped warblers surprised me with their taste for peanutty (is that a word?) goodness. They flew in with a flock of goldfinches and some pine siskins back in October and decided to stay for the season.
Yellow-bellied sapsuckers (sorry about the slightly blurry photo here) weren't as much of a surprise with respect to peanut butter, since all the woodpeckers love it, but the bluebirds love peanut butter cookie dough, too, and even learned how to pretend to be clinging birds so they could get at it! I'll try to get a couple pictures of them holding on for dear life - they're so cute - and they're absolutely stunning sitting on a limb in the sunshine. They remained with me all year this year, too.
A large contingent of goldfinches moved in for the Winter, and now all their cousins are flying up from their snowbird stomping grounds and having a snack and rest before flying on their merry way - they're eating me out of house and home. I won't have too much longer to enjoy them because they never seem to stick around to nest in my yard. They're also moulting and looking a bit motley these days. Patches of olive and yellow can be sort of comical - camo gone wrong. Perhaps they want to get all the awkward, transitional plumage taken care of before they move on to set up territories and go courting. Everyone wants to look their best on a date!!
Here's another warbler - it just tickles me how it learned to cling to the side of the feeder. At first, I would just stick some dough on top of the feeder log and they would fly down and eat that, but they decided they wanted more and learned how to do avian gymnastics.
And another flicker - I had seven or eight of these guys flitting around the yard last week. Pretty soon, they'll disappear into the woods to nest and won't come back until they're trying to keep up with their fledglings' appetites.
Bluebirds and finches don't mind sharing treats. I've seen three bluebirds and as many finches all foraging together. The cardinals share nicely with the finches and juncos and sparrows, too.
The downy woodpecker doesn't share quite as well. She doesn't want the bluebird to move into the bluebird house. She roosts there every night and has been known to toss other birds' nesting materials out the door when they tried to move in - this photo is pretty grainy because I took it really early in the morning. Madame Downy was surveying the world from her parlor window before going out for breakfast. That sleepy little striped face makes me chuckle every day.
What great entertainment -- way better than anything they've got on cable! ;-)
Friday, March 9, 2012
We can also celebrate Middle Name Pride Day today. Never heard of it? Well, I hadn't either. Barbie's middle name is Millicent, just in case you needed a little bit of trivia to share with some poor, unsuspecting soul. They'll shake their head - just like you're shaking your head at me right now. There's a reason for all this, though.
Because anyone who knows anything about dressing and playing with Barbies knows just how important it is to accessorize. :) Right? Oh, and if you place an order at stampeaz.com today, mention Barbie's birthday and you'll get the LTC I made a couple years ago for her 50th birthday - I still have a few. She was originally sent out for a Pin-ups swap, but I've opened her up to everybody, so you don't have to be a member of that group on AQ any more to see her listing.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
If you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about, St. David is the patron saint of Wales and it's a celebration for the Welsh and the Welsh-at-heart. The daffodil and the leek are traditional symbols of Wales, so it's a day to celebrate with a lovely bowl of potato leek soup and a daffodil on your lapel and a song on your lips. After all, Wales is a land of singers and poets -- it even says so in the national anthem.
My daffodils aren't blooming yet this year, but they're going to soon, if the weather holds. This is how the ones in my front yard looked in the second week of March last year. I thought the folks who got hammered with snow yesterday and today would appreciate the hope of Spring in the snow.
Yes, I'm celebrating - my lapel is adorned with a pretty little leek pin and I'm having a small party. You're invited, of course!! :)