Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Beach BathRobe

The latest and greatest in wardrobe additions for Strapping Young Lad...
I got the pattern for this over at MADE.

I love the idea of slapping this on after a swimming lesson or a dip in the creek.

You can see that it is very green here and that we're land-locked.

Nevertheless, I gave a nod to the high seas and ships, with the flannel fabric I chose for the hood liner.  A little pirate-y touch never hurts as far as Strapping Young Lad is concerned.

I wanted to get this done before the Fourth of July weekend, because if the weather cooperates, I anticipate that the Wee Ones will be spending  a great deal of time in the cold, mountain creek.

I liked this pattern;  it's full of many creative options and I anticipate using it many times.  (Baby Girl already has a store-bought robe, or else I'd be cranking one out for her now too.) 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Show Curtains

Yes, that's "Show" not "Shower" curtains.

The last few posts have mostly been thoughts-on-life posts, not crafty posts.  And not because I haven't been sewing.  But I find that I have a difficult time taking pictures...good pictures, anyway, of my sewing creations.  And I finally took some pictures.

At any rate, I recently whipped up these 8-9 feet long curtains, which will be our backdrop for a family performance that we'll be doing with trick riding and rosinback this fall.  Won't show the dirt, a little rustic, and a bit gypsy too, I believe.

 I hung these on the clothesline to help Pucchini, our rosinback draft horse, acclimate to billowing curtains, while he grazed in our backyard. (He didn't mind,  by the way.  I was a tiny bit disappointed; I can always enjoy a good show..from a distance lol)

By the way, Pucchini has the intellect, massive power, and athletic ability to be a war horse if we lived in that kind of an era.  It occurrs to me that I ought to have taken his picture too, since I'm going on to talk about him. :)

Meanwhile, I have seen him use these talents to be very naughty.  Fortunately, due to a lot of hard work and the help of "family-horse-training" (ie translates into Strapping Young Lad running and screaming like a banshee while flapping a towel, when Pucchini is being schooled in the ring), he is gentling into a mutually trusting relationship with us.  Which means a lot to me as I contemplate hanging upside down on him, in a variety of semi-stressful situations.

And do you want to know the real reason why this massive beast has gentled?  Why he comes like a dog when the command of "Pucchini, Come!" is issued?  Why he finally puts his head down and relaxes in our presence?  Why he perks his ears at sight of us because he's glad to see us?

Because he just wants a cookie.

The mighty and fierce war horse just wants a tasty treat.

My pockets are full of them.  All for him.  He gets a ton of praise and cookies for all the things that he does right. 

We still have a long ways to go.

But we do have plenty of cookies.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Sincerest of Compliments

So the other day, Strapping Young Lad and I were strolling up the lane after feeding the animals.  It was late in the day, and the sun's rays had already begun to slant, and a soft wind blew through my hair.

Strapping Young Lad smiled up at me and said with great sincerity, "Mommy, your hair!'s like a guinea pig's!"

Slightly taken aback, I said, "Oh!"
Then, "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"

And he laughed and said, "It's a good thing!"

I've never been compared favorably to a rodent before..but as far as compliments and sincerity goes..I'll take it.

And there it is.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Appalachian Sophistication

Hubby surprised me with this the other evening... :-)
It's my favorite wine.  Not too sweet, not too dry.  And I like that it's from NY...supporting "local" (definition of "local" being somewhat broad) vineyards.

Interestingly, we tried this the first time, because I liked the picture on the bottle.  Yes, I'm one of those.  I have been known to choose a wine based on the merits of the picture on the bottle.  Sophisticated, hhmm? In this case, nevertheless, it was a great choice.

Love my Goat Red Wine, Bully Hill Vineyards

We joke that we should spend our evenings, after the Wee Ones are in bed, in the kiddie pool in the cabana-style corner of our porch, with some sophisticated wine that was picked through our ultra-selective-and-discerning-wine-choosing method.

Add the horse-water-trough-heater and some forced air bubbles via the air compressor... and we'd be all set for a romantic evening.  Who says you have to spend alot of money for a good time...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dragon Birthday Cake

Originally, Strapping Young Lad requested a spotted pig birthday cake.  No sweat.

Thus far, I have made a cow, monkey, and tractor cake.  The latter one fell apart, but still tasted good. You really cannot mess up a two layer, round cake made into an animal face, and I thought I'd be making a pig one this year.

At any rate, the requested birthday cake changed from a pig to a dragon. 

I found some pictures here that were detailed enough that I could figure out how to construct a dragon from only two round cakes.  (I didn't purchase the download instructions for this cake; the free pictures are enough to figure it out.)

Here's our dragon!  He even breathed fire. :-)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tea, Anyone?

I planted some chamomile last year, on the left in the above picture. Hubby thoughtfully "deadheaded" it for me (cough cough) last year ...

That little detail charms me and it's such a small thing, but I laugh everytime I think of it....

Yes, in case you did not know, the flower head is the part that is used for tea and other good things.  This was news to me.

I was delighted to see this year that my chamomile plant had come back and multiplied.  I looked it up (google) and it's an annual that reseeds very easily.  There is so much of it!  So if you'd like to have a rather carefree herb that gives more than it takes (ie work), try chamomile.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Kitchen Herb Garden

 Laziness has reached new heighths around here.  Or perhaps new "depths" would be more appropriate.
What I mean by this is the new location of my herb garden.

Previously, the herbs were a 30-second trot from the kitchen, down to the big garden.  This proved to be inconvenient when I would decide, in the midst of hot burners, sizzling, and etc, that the particular dish I was cooking could really use some fresh basil, parsley, chives, or etc...

Now, until this year, the area directly under the kitchen window has been a bit of an eyesore.  Hubby has been trying to talk me into turning it into my herb garden.  On the contrary, I had wished to landscape it with some fabulous Something-Or-Others.

Wise Man that he is, Hubby dropped the subject and this spring I said to him, "Hey, why don't we plant my herbs there?!!"  (At some point, I remembered it was his suggestion, originally...) 

The herb garden looks nice and I love dashing out to snip this and that as inspiration-whilst-cooking strikes.  The only thing to suffer is the hardy little chive plant.  I'm a potato kind-of-girl, sometimes I even have a baked potato for breakfast...And with fresh chives so conveniently located right outside my front door, I've hit it pretty hard.

Hubby says I should leave the chives alone for awhile... (Looks like there is enough there for one more snipping though...)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Doily Skirt

I made this skirt for my etsy shop.  It will physically pain me to list it, because I love it.  But, again, Baby Girl has very many lovely things to wear; though I still feel that I do her a small injustice by depriving her of this little number.

It was tough-going to have a photo shoot with Baby Girl, and to get a picture that she held still long enough that the skirt wasn't all balled up. :-)

Pictured below, you can see that she is rapidly becoming displeased...with me and my annoying photo shootAnd she's gearing up to tell me about it...

My catch phrase for her right now is, "So stinkin' cute!"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tricksters and the Art of Being Tricky


So I do this thing on my ridiculous draft horse, Pucchini, called a "shoulder stand."  The above picture is of me doing a similiar "trick" on my equally ridiculous first-trick-riding horse.

We did a lot of practicing this winter inside on our vaulting barrel.  Not One to be limited by the constrains of equipment or inclement weather, the picture below is Strapping Young Lad demonstrating his version of the "shoulder-stand-excuted-on-a-baby-walker."  We have yet to be hired for any jobs on the basis of this particular approach to trick and fancy riding, but we may be on to Something here...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mother and Daughter Aprons

Baby Girl already has so many luscious things to wear for the time being, that I felt free to take a break from crafting things for her, and to make something for my etsy shop Blackberry's Shed.

I didn't put this picture in the listing, but thought I would put it in the blog because..inevitably, one or more dogs ends up in any given picture being taken.

Anyway, the aprons are made from a vintage, embroidered table runner.  I had a nice time making them, actually.

I'm ashamed to say that the above picture is evidence that I was slopping through the muddy horse pasture, before attempting my modeling session. (Without the apron on, of course.  And yes, I used this picture in the listing.  Shameless..)

Anyway, both versions (adult and wee-sized) can be tied loosely in the front, or in the back with a large bow.

For the Wee One/Daughter apron, I put in a few pleats.

Very simple.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Redneck Windchime

I bought this at a yard sale for $3, when I was pregnant with Strapping Young Lad. 

Hubby is not fond of it. 

I make many repairs on it throughout the year, as the fishing line wears out that suspends the silverware .

I was so breathless with admiration when I saw it, that I did not even haggle on the $3 price tag.  I personally felt that they should've charged more.  I forked out the money and went merrily on my way. 

The old bicycle tire rim that is used for this..evokes the same imagery and feelings of the song "Busted Bicycle" by Leo Kottke (I love Leo Kottke's music).

The story behind this chime is also endearing.  The lady selling it said, that it was labor intensive to make and she had all the guys, while up at their cabin, drilling holes in the silverware for it.  I didn't ask her why she was selling it, for fear she might change her mind...

At any rate, my redneck chime charms me daily. 
Dancing silverware suspended from an old bicycle tire rim, glinting in the sunshine.

Anyone else have a "favorite thing"?