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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Blogtoberfest Wrap – Up

Blogtoberfest Day #31

This has been an amazing month for me. For starters, I was disciplined enough to post each and every day, even though we were away from home for a portion of the time. It required organization on my part, and that is NOT my strong suit! And follow through is not my strong suit, either, so simply completing it is a big deal for me!

My main hope for the challenge was that I would be inspired to pay attention to the creative aspects of my daily life, and that was realized in a big way. It amazed me how much creativity is involved in just living my life, but had I not been thinking about it on a daily basis, it would have passed by unnoticed. I don’t think I would have appreciated that even though I don’t necessarily “create” a piece of art every day, I approach most days from a creative perspective, seeing the beauty around me with an artist’s eye.

It’s been a pretty eventful month, as well. I learned to do a basic knit stitch and have 3 children’s scarves in the works, improved my photography, explored my artistic dreams and shared my love for the color red. I went to the farmer’s market in San Fransisco, my favorite vegan restaurant, and Disneyland. I took time to smell roses, drink some good wine, and a margarita or two, love my family and watch some extraordinary sunsets.

I discovered the joys of Hobby Lobby, worked in my garden, and shared a bit of inspiration here and there. I told a couple of stories,  decorated for Halloween, started and almost completed our Yellowstone scrapbook, and learned how to use a new tool for making custom acrylic “bubbles.” I harvested hollyhock seeds for the first time, watched a butterfly flit from flower to flower, made a vegan cake (from the recipe I tracked down on the internet – which was pretty killer if I do say so myself) and added a few items to my Etsy store.

I was present in my life. Asking myself the question was what I did this month worth the exchange of a month of my life, I would most definitely say yes.

Earth Box

Blogtoberfest Day #30

I’ve been wanting to do this post for a few days now, and finally got out to take  photos.

I am the flower gardener in the family, and Mr. Tattered is the vegetable gardener. I stay out of his area, and he mostly stays out of mine. I tend to be a little more easy-going in my approach to gardening, he a bit more anal. But when it comes to the results of his garden, I don’t care about his methods when he provides such a good outcome.

So, when he ordered “earth boxes” to supplement his space, I was skeptical, but kept quiet. And now that they’ve made their maiden voyage, I’m glad I didn’t voice my reservations!

We have really crummy soil here in the Sacramento area. It is clay…very dense and holds onto water really badly. In the garden area we’ve done a LOT of supplementing, but the bottom  line is, the drainage is poor. Here’s the picture of the chard and lettuce planted in out regular “in ground” garden area.

Here is the chard and lettuce planted in the “earth box” at the same time.

Can you even believe the difference?

Here’s what the company says about their product, and I can’t disagree with a word of it!

G-R-O-W…Grow, Grow, Grow! That’s exactly what your plants will do in an EarthBox®! Poor soil conditions and small backyards are no match for the EarthBox®. Now it’s easy to garden anywhere–even on balconies, porches, and rooftops! Anyone can enjoy delicious homegrown veggies, fruits, and herbs grown in an EarthBox®. A sustainable product that uses less water and fertilizer, the EarthBox® will grow bigger and tastier plants faster than a conventional garden–with virtually no effort and zero guesswork! Great results, no matter what color your thumb is.

So if you’ve felt like there is no way you could have a garden, think again. This system just may change that!

I’ve gone from skeptic to believer and can hardly wait to add more next year. We’ll be putting gravel on top of the existing vegetable garden space and doing ours above ground from now on!

A Little Inspiration

Blogtoberfest Day #29

A day for inspiration…

I was going through some of my stamps looking for birds to use on the ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) I’m doing for a challenge with my art group (more on that Tuesday when I’ll be doing a blog hop with my girlies) when I ran across a saying that stopped me in my tracks.

What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.

Think about it. Is what you are doing today worth trading for a whole day of your life?

Are you wasting time and mental energy being mad or annoyed with someone? Are you beating yourself up for some shortcoming or imperfection? Are you wishing your life away and filling your days with “I’ll be happy when…”

I’m pretty good most of the time staying away from that kind of thinking, but still, it got my attention.

It’s not just about not wasting time, because wasting time is not really a waste if you’re enjoying it.

It’s about living your life to the fullest, making sure that at the end of each day you go to bed with a grateful heart and feeling like it was a day worth trading off your life. Granted, there are days when we just HAVE to things we do not want to do because they are for the greater good… But on balance, are you happy with the exchange you’re making? Are there things you can change to make the exchange more acceptable?

I’ll be giving a lot of thought to this… how about you?

Nov. first I will have a list for you of others participating in the blog hop! If you get a chance, stop by to see them. I hang out with a group of incredible ladies and artists. I think you’ll enjoy their blogs.

And as if I don’t have anything else to do, I’m starting another blog challenge. This one is to create something every day the month of November and document it in our blogs. Now that I’ve gotten in the habit of blogging every day, I just need to make sure I’ve “created” as well! And since the criteria for “creating” is pretty broad, I should be able to do it!

To learn more about it, stop by Leah’s Blog.

New Goodies for the Garden

Blogtoberfest Day #28

During my first visit to Hobby Lobby I picked up a few new goodies for my garden, and got them out yesterday, along with taking a few pictures of the remaining flowers, and doing some much-needed weeding.

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I love the growing season in this area. For many of my perennial flowers I get a bloom in the spring or summer, then a bonus bloom in the fall. I keep forgetting it is going to happen and it always takes me by surprise! It’s kind of nice to get one last “hurrah!” before the cold weather sets in.

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The pyracantha berries are about ready for the birds to eat.

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The nemisia is really vibrant!

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The zinnias are at their peak.

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The rudbekia are gorgeous,

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and even the gardenia are giving an encore performance! Wish you could smell them!

As much as I love fall, I’m a little sad to see it here because it means winter is right around the corner, but I am thankful for the cooler days so I can be outside more often, and of course, sleeping temperatures are REALLY nice. No more air conditioner and windows wide open letting the chill of the low 40 degree nights in… After a whole summer of just a sheet on at night, pulling up a blanket feels snugly.

Next Tuesday (11/1/11) is blog-hop day for my art group, and I’ll have a list of a bunch of my fellow flier’s blogs for you to peruse should you be inclined!

Whole Foods! Yep, I’m Shopping Again!

Blogtoberfest Day #27

Well, I thought I’d had my fill of shopping for awhile, but I was at it again today!

Today was the grand opening of the long awaited Whole Foods here in Folsom. Up to this point we’ve had to drive way across town a half hour to get to the closest one. I mean it wasn’t like a major chore…we had lots of errands we could do over there at the same time (including stopping by our favorite watering hole!) But, it certainly wasn’t convenient for just an item or two that can’t be found any place closer.

So, the night before the big opening, I get on Facebook and see pictures of people lining up in tents and sleeping bags to be the first of the 250 people who would get a free shopping bag filled with 365 products. Well, I like free stuff as much as the next guy, but not enough to spend the night, or even get up at the  crack of dawn…So, I get up in the morning, have my coffee, surf the net a bit, and now it’s 8:30am and I decide to go down and see what the zoo looks like, anticipating the store opens at 9.

I get there at 8:45 and surprise of all surprises, the line isn’t as long as I thought it would be. One of the employees is passing out numbers, and I get #243!

Woohoo! Free groceries! I find out the store doesn’t open until 10am, but what the heck…the line is no longer than the ones at Disneyland, so without knowing it, I had trained for the “wait in line” event!

By the time I get into the store, it is packed. Like sardines, packed. They were passing out samples all over the place, and there were times when it was complete gridlock.

But, I persevered, and an hour and half later I had taken some photos,

and filled a shopping cart full of kale chips, the ingredients for that chai coconut chocolate cake I mentioned a few days ago, some deli salads, and even a darling little knit “bee” cap for Bea (my bee collector.)

It was fun in a “I have more time than brains” sorta way, so I’m glad I went. Now to dig into those salads from the deli counter…

Day #2 of Hobby Lobby Wonderfulness

Blogtoberfest Day #26

Yes, I went back again today, in spite of my reservations, and I was very, very bad. Again.

This time I finished up my first run through the store. I will not suggest I looked at each and every display (that would take a week!) but I finished a cursory run through the departments I missed yesterday, tossing things into the basket as I went.

The art supply section seems good, and one of the first things I noticed was an end cap full of ATC supplies!

There was a whole row of canvasses,

papers,

…and paints.

The scrapbook section was awesome. They were out of the tools I was looking for already (thank goodness!) but I succumbed to a few pieces of paper I didn’t need. I bought enough at the show to keep me busy for quite awhile, which freed up more money for other goodies!

These metal monograms really lit my fire. I bought an F, then when I got home wished I had gone ahead and spelled out “FAMILY.” They are totally my style and in my colors…(oh no, I’m smelling a day #3!) And at 50% off, it would practically be criminal not to get them!

These two pieces reminded me of my art group. (we are the fly tribe) and several of the girls are whacko over owls…

I don’t know what I would do with another clock so I was safe in this aisle, but it didn’t stop me from lusting…

As you can tell, the Christmas section also lit my fire! Once again my cart was overflowing with lusciousness. But notice that at least I got the Artist Trading Card sleeves I went in for this time!

I was determined to put myself on self-imposed Hobby Lobby restriction until next pay day, but now that I’ve decided I NEED those letters, I think I’ll wait until after my next visit, and they won’t be on sale after the 29th, so it’ll have to be soon!

***Late edit: I didn’t wait. I went back this afternoon and got the rest of the letters to spell “family,” and then another set to spell “Love.” By then I realized I needed a new eraser and some page protectors, so got those, too. Then on the way home remembered another large plaque I want for my front porch. Crap. I may as well just move in.

After I get it, I’m definitely putting myself on restriction. Yeah, right.

Hobby Lobby (you think I’m kidding?)

Blogtoberfest Day #25

You’d think if I was blogging about a chain craft store, I must be short on things to blog about, but you’d be wrong. I mean, seriously, who blogs about Hobby Lobby?

Um, that would be me. It apparently just opened this weekend, without much fanfare, I might add. I heard about it at the scrapbook show I was at over the weekend. The people I bought the bubble tool from told me about it. When I rolled in at 1am Sunday morning I got on line to see if it was true. It was, but they are closed on Sunday, so I impatiently waited until Monday morning to make the twenty minute trek. It has immediately become my very favorite craft store of all time. Man,  just the sheer size of the place blew me away.

It was the shopping experience of the month. Maybe even longer. Sometime during my wandering I think I passed out from sheer joy, then when I regained conscientiousness I wondered for a moment if those “when Harry met Sally” noises had come out of my mouth or were just running around making a ruckus in my head. It was that good. And I wasn’t the only one. There were women everywhere with loaded shopping carts and euphoric looks on their faces.

I never made it to the scrapbooking, beading or Christmas sections, let alone fabric or yarn, before I ran out of time. And I didn’t even get what I went there for (ATC sleeves.) Every aisle was a new delight. It was as if their buyers had crawled into my head and bought everything at market that they knew I would just have to have.

They had lots of red…

…and chickens.

 

 

And that’s not the half of it! And every single thing I bought was either 40% or 50% off. I didn’t even get to use my 40% off coupon. Given another half hour, and I would have needed a second shopping cart. I’m so embarrassed.

Now I’m feverishly trying to figure out how and when I can get back over there as quickly as possible to do it again…I mean I need to get what I went there for…right?

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