Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Here We Go Again!

 Yup, more snow! The little juncos don't mind. I made sure to sprinkle some sunflower seeds on top of the snow. We have 3 inches or so, and it's still coming down. But at least the temps are mild. 

Micah and I are trying to declutter some more. She's much more into it than me. She likes the minimalist look and with all of her kids she really needs to keep things (toys and clothing especially) under control. I sent her a large tote full of paper photos and told her to see if she wanted any of them. I told her to pitch what she didn't want unless she saw some she thought her siblings might want. She sent the tote back with a little pile of photos for me to send on to siblings. I'm trying to get down to two large binders of paper photos so I have representative photos of people. That's all I need. With the thousands of photos on memory cards I shudder at the thought of trying to keep track of all of that. I'll probably have a small ziplock bag in my albums containing some memory cards so they can look at them if they want to, but I'm really trying to simplify. My main "photo album" is a collection of photos I have up on the wall in my bedroom. I can look at those any time, and smile and pray for my wonderful family. That's really all I need. Anyway, THIS was also in the tote Micah returned to me!

Adam's uncle gave these to him years ago and he hasn't used them much, so they got passed along to me. I've wanted to try this brand of watercolor pencil for a long time, but they're so spendy I never got around to buying them. Should be fun playing with them! And I love the cool wooden box they came in!

So, my attempts at minimalizing things may not be too successful. With my love of art materials and books, things will probably look cluttered no matter what. But I do want to keep digging into closets and drawers to get rid of stuff I don't really need or use. 

Oh, remember that object I showed you last time and asked what it was for? I put an update on the post, but most of you probably didn't see it. 
It's for holding sewing machine attachments. I'm pretty sure my mom had one and that's why I found it so interesting. I'm using it to hold my hand carved stamp collection. I recently bought a little vintage metal recipe box that I'll use to stash stuff in, too.
I practiced with a small choir of folks on Thursday before Easter with the intent of singing with them on Easter morning. I came down with a fever on Saturday night (just a couple of degrees) so thought I'd better not go and maybe spread something around. I watched the livestream instead and everything went well. It was a good service. When I went to "in person" church this past Sunday one of the guys in the choir ran up and had to hear the story of why I wasn't standing in front of him on Easter morning, ha ha. He's just a really extraverted guy and asked out of concern. It was nice to know someone missed me! :) We don't ordinarily have a choir at our church. It's usually a worship band, but our new worship director is trying to get more people involved, so there may occasionally be a choir song. I'm still on the list for future opportunities. I also got to have a good visit with my friend, who is also a widow. We hadn't seen each other for a few weeks because she's been traveling around visiting kids and had lots of company over Easter. So, it was a good Sunday morning! It's always a big event when I can get myself to leave the nest and go see actual people! :)

Something else I unearthed while cleaning out closets were these taekwondo medals that Jordan won almost 20 years ago! I packed them up and mailed them to him. He was excited that I found them. We weren't sure what had become of them, and there they were in my closet!
I don't recall the reason behind Josh and Jordan competing in North Dakota at the state championship when we live in Minnesota. There was some reason for it. 

My current book. I've enjoyed reading about the history of Israel's return to their land since I was a teen. Have you gotten your copy, Glenn? I thought you would like a good spy story! :) Happy birthday!

Okay. Let's see if I can dig through the weed patch that is my memory card and find some new artwork I haven't shown yet. I really need to delete a bunch of stuff. Maybe that's a project for today?

This swap was called Circles Around Us, and the cards just had to have some circles on them. Otherwise, open to interpretation.

The Ballpoint Pen swap. Only ballpoint pens allowed.

Hazel with her unicorn mask!

The Found Poetry swap. You take a square of text from a book page and then put boxes around some words and black out the rest of the page. Voila!

The Tiny People swap. Just make your people look tiny...

I bought this Venus Flytrap for the grands to enjoy. They think it's pretty cool. 

I also got a few more succulents which I hope I can keep alive. Couldn't resist this planter from the thrift store, lol. 
Can anyone identify this thing I used as a planter? It looks like a giant dried seed pod. Kind of woody and very light weight. I found it at the thrift store and thought it would make a good pot. 
Oh, came across a few more ATCs. Everything is WAY out of sync on my memory card. These were toward the bottom so I almost missed them. 

The Postage Stamp ATC swap-Space. You just had to include a space themed postage stamp.

The Background Music swap. Include some sheet music in the background somewhere. 

In bird watching news, a couple of Sandhill Cranes landed in our neighboring field a couple of days ago. And I heard my first loon of the season about a week or so back. Some robins finally showed up, so that makes it official!

Well, I think it's past my lunch time. Can't miss lunch! I hope you're all doing well. I'll be by to visit sometime soon!

Shalom and love to all! 

Thursday, March 25, 2021


 I must be getting old fast the way the weeks are flying by! We made it throught the winter! (Though there could be more snow. It just won't get down to sub-zero temps. Which is a good thing!)

I've been doing a lot of reading and art making. Just finished a Christian Regency Romance called The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep, which is even better since I'm getting to know her a bit through the Christian Regency Romance Facebook group I'm a part of. They have some fun little things going on. I'm currently reading Practicing the Presence of God by brother Lawrence. (See how I alternate novels and serious reading? lol) Oh, I also finished The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher, which I really liked. I'm also involved in numerous ATC swaps and am doing a free Sketchbook Revival workshop that lasts for a month. You get two free videos each day which are from 30-60 minutes long. Some of them are not that interesting to me, so I'm skipping around and only actually doing a few of them. Which is a good thing, since it could be a full time job otherwise!

Here are pics of the three I've done so far. The first one was called One Liner. You draw quick sketches of a subject without lifting your pen off the paper. Then you choose one of the quick drawings and make a more finished drawing.

The next artist lady had us carving rubber stamps to make a block print. I used erasers as my stamp making material. We were supposed to make 5 different designs and then stamp one on top of another to make a more complex design. Hard to explain, but it came out something like this:

My stamps weren't exactly square, so it was wonkier than it should have been, but you get the idea? (Each square has three different stamp designs on it.) She made beautiful, colorful fabrics and pictures with her stamps. Something to keep working on!

A third class was taught by a lady named Tamara Laporte who has a YouTube channel called Willowing. Maybe some of you have heard of her? I've watched her before and I love her art, so this was fun. We followed a tutorial of her painting an owl and this is how mine turned out.

I've done lots of swaps, so I'll just start hunting on my memory card and post what I find...

The Illustrate Your State swap. I illustrated the three states I've lived in, and made an Arizona card as a host gift. (She lives in Surprise, AZ!)

Postage Stamp ATC swap. We had to include at least one stamp that had a Celebration or Emotion theme.

May have shown these before. This is another Postage Stamp ATC swap with the theme of Sports. A gal in Australia is hosting this swap and it's ongoing with a different theme each month. Some of us like to collect stamps to use on these. I purchased a bag full from Amazon a long time ago and I still have tons of them left! (Plus I save the stamps from all the ATC mail I get.)

The grands came over for a few hours day before yesterday while Micah and Thatcher (aka Chuck) went to Micah's regularly scheduled midwife checkup, which is 1-1/2 hours away. The kids had been outside running around like wild animals and rolling in the dirt before these pics were taken. They settled into playing some video games, doing some art online and, in Della's case, art in person on the floor.

There was also a lot of running around and snacking. :)

And now, a "Do You Know What This Is?" riddle. I bought a few things at the thrift store a while back and I couldn't resist buying this item. It's been at the store for a long time and I knew I could repurpose it. It's made of a heavy metal and was used to store some sort of sewing items in. What exactly would it have been used for? (I really don't know and would like to.) I removed most of the felt lining because it was gross. I'm using it to store my hand carved stamps in.
Update: Mystery solved. It was for keeping sewing machine attachments in.

Sorry I don't have a prize for the one who guesses, but I would be curious to know what it was used for originally. :)

And a few other items I got at the same time.
A cool stamp roller with north woodsy images. It also came with three other rollers, but this is the one I bought it for.
What do you call these? Plant watering bulbs?
These were little hand carved wood things. I think the carver believed they would work for stamping, but they don't. Still, they're cool and hand carved.
I've never seen these before. Little pans of pastels (kind of like eye shadow!) that you use to color your stamped images.

A Greetings stamp with pine cone accents and a bumble bee (right side of photo).
I need some new ink pads! :)
That takes care of the memory card! One last bit of news. I've been watching a nice young gal on YouTube. Her name is Giselle Waldner, and her channel is all about life as a Hutterite. I love her sweet, obedient spirit and how much fun she gets out of life within the boundaries of the Hutterite faith. I must say, this particular group of Hutterites seem to have a lot more of the modern conveniences than most groups I've watched. (I do a lot of Amish, Mennonite and Hutterite watching, lol.) We used to live just a few miles from a Mennonite community and some I've watched seem pretty somber. This group seems more my speed. She's a lot of fun to watch. 

And with that I'll close for now. I think I visited most of you yesterday. Sorry if I miss a lot of posts. I just seem to run off in lots of different directions and then remember I haven't been over here in a long time! I hope you're all well and happy!

God bless all of you and your families! Shalom!