Thankfulness Thursday: Fluffy White Cattails!

I would have published this on Thursday, like it should be… but WordPress was being weird. So – better late then never, right?

A few days ago, in the morning I went walking in the woods. I went with most of my family and my good friend and her mother. We went to see the last of the autumn leaves, but besides seeing some lovely fall colors, we got another little delight – cattail fluff!

And that is what I want to feature for my Thankfulness Thursday! (Or Monday… doesn’t quite sound as good though!)

The picture below shows how we found these simple little delights, on the stock and ready to play with. Little did we realize how fun they were going to be!

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I’m sure, if you’ve ever played with these funny little things, you know how much fun you can have. Pinch one end a little and what looks like half an inch of compact tan colored semi-solidness then suddenly and softly explodes in your hand and becomes a practically weightless white cloud of fuzz!

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Personally, it was rather nice to get away from the political weirdness of the world and the other stresses of life, and I was very thankful to be able to enjoy one of the simple pleasures of life, that of my senses – and my imagination – being tickled by the joys of fluffy cattail clouds.

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Sometimes you don’t need that much to be entertained.

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My good friend, Addie, who had a lot of fun playing with the silly whiteness!

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We all got covered in the fluffiness – it got everywhere!

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They got on Abigail’s new red cape! (Abigail, you need to show the whole outfit later to all of our readers! I can’t wait to see it all together!)

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Also – I can’t help putting more than one thing for my Thankfulness Thursday post – I’m so thankful for my friend! Addie is very dear to my heart, and almost as close to me as my wonderful sisters! All of my sisters – both blood and sister in the Lord – I am very thankful for!

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The wonderful, fun, sweet, lovable, patient and dependable Sarah!

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Abby, the delightful and kind, the generous and wise, the thoughtful and caring! Both such an amazing abundant blessing to me! I love you too!

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So there you go! Take a walk in the woods with family and friends and enjoy the simple things of life! There’s so much to be thankful for in just these things alone!

Hannah

 

Cogs & Gears: Play

I was going to name this post “All Work and No Play,” but on consideration decided that that might conjure images of a really crazy Jack Nicholson, which would be regrettable.

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Not this crazy Jack Nicholson (though – yikes!)

 

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This one! (Haven’t actually seen this movie, but you get the idea)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And anyway, I think I’d rather examine the idea of play all by itself.

It’s my Ladybug Week again! As Sarah was saying recently – a planned time to step away from all Etsy stuff before it totally overwhelms me, to step back and get some other stuff done, to relax and not worry about things like business: Sort of an every-seven-weeks vacation.

Now, I’ve always had trouble with the idea of play and recreation – an occupational hazard for someone whose work is what they love: I like crafting – but should I stop making stuff this week? I love writing – but having just finished July’s CampNaNoWriMo with a lot of hardcore writing time, should I take the week off? What do I do instead?

I came up with a very depressing list of things To Do every day this week:

  • Yard work for 2 hours – weeding, digging, bug control, etc. – even if its 90 degrees outside.
  • Attack the mending pile.
  • Clean and declutter an increasingly chaotic house, for 2 hours.
  • Study really hard for 2 hours, to get back into regular schooling.

This excellent program is probably something I actually should do some week, to kick-start several projects that need doing. But, while it would be different work from Etsy-listing and novel-editing, it would be anything but relaxing and restful.

What makes this Ladybug Week harder is that, 1) I feel like I didn’t get that much Etsy-work done in the last few weeks, and 2) CampNaNo gave a lot of momentum to my writing that I don’t want to lose. However, 1) I did manage to establish a routine of listing a new item on my shop every day almost – and that’s quite the accomplishment, if you think about it! And, 2) I generally find writing very recreational.

I was telling my helpful sisters about all of this, and that helped me realize that I should make this time off into a restful thing and not fill it up with extra stressers and hard labor. I do need this, to put myself back together or keep from falling apart, to get some perspective, to refocus on where I’m going rather than floundering about, and to enjoy some random things!

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So, here’s an actual list of the fun things I want to do this week:

  • Put some music on my phone (which is smart! yay!)
  • Create some art, which I began last year. It’s time to bring it together!
  • Sew a purse for myself out of some very fun Parisian fabric (again, I’ve had this project hanging around for a while, and it’s a little daunting – so it’s the perfect time to take it on!)
  • Figure out and blog my goals for the month
  • And blog about what our theme this month will be (spoiler: it’s gonna be fun!)
  • Watch some “Daredevil” (probably while sewing)
  • Continue writing – this chapter is exciting!
  • Play some Taptiles and other games

There you go! It still looks busy – but it should be fun rather than arduous work! Bonus: the New Mexican monsoon season has begun, so it looks like it’ll be gloriously stormy for the next few days.

What are your plans? Do you have any fun-and-frolicsome ideas that might spice up my relaxation?

-Abigail-

I did it! 30 Items in My Shop!

Hello everyone! I said I would be back – and with the good news I hoped to deliver! I made it!

30 items in the shop! Want to see them?

Another painting! Like I said earlier, the first one had to have a bit of company!

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What about another painting? More pumpkins? Yeah, I like pumpkins!

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But what about a painting that isn’t a still life? Something that’s totally different!…. Oh dear, I just realized I can’t give you a picture of that one… You’ll just have to check it out for yourself right here! 🙂

Oh, and what about the card? Oops, I can’t give you a picture of that either. But here’s the link to my new card.

And the last thing, another hat, the teal one that I finished the other day and showed you a picture of. Here’s the link to that one. Oh look, I actually do have a picture of it! And I’ll tell you a secret -it’s not washed and blocked yet, since I didn’t have any time today to do that, and we girls don’t do any work on Sunday. But maybe I’ll show you how I block the hats sometime soon! 🙂Teal Hat (2).jpg

Well, I was all excited all day long, getting everything done that now I’m kind of tired. I’ve got to go now, but I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

~Hannah

22, 23, 24… 25 Items!

Well, I don’t really have time to be doing a quick post right now, but I’m all excited! I just reached 25 items! I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but I think I will actually!

Just 5 more items and I’ll reach my goal! Woohoo! Totally excited right now! 😀

Let my show you the items that I listed since the last time I wrote a blog post…

First there are the two hats, the cotton (or maybe cotton candy!) one:

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And then I did a wool slouchy hat! Which I have totally fallen in love with… I might have to take it for myself if someone else doesn’t like it! 😉

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And now I come to the painting… I blogged about this one before, and I was all excited about it, but after having it on my shop all alone, the only painting on the shop, I just had to take it down again. It just looked too lonely! But it’s back again! And it has some company!

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Here is my other painting that I have up, which you might remember seeing before from a previous post, but I’ve decided to put them both there now, and they’ll be all one big happy painting family in just a few hours!

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So there you go! A couple paintings, a couple hats, and in no time at all, I’ll be having more…Hopefully I can post again and show you the last of the 30 items on my shop! But till then, but dash off and do a bit of Saturday household stuff and more Etsy listings!

~Hannah

Running out of time!

Oh boy! I am so running out of time! Only 4 days left!

I meant to give you guys an update before now! I did get onto here about a week ago, but then a couple things came up and I never finished the post… But here I am, back again from the vague unknown of the non-blogging world. But just for a quick update, because I really have to get back to making new items! 😉

I just put up a new listing! Woohoo! Which officially makes my shop have a grand total of 21 items! Yup, didn’t even break my own record. But that’s ok, because I have quite a few items lined up, just waiting for me to put the listing together.

Here’s a picture of the newest item – and this time it’s a scarf!

And here are pictures of a few things that have been happening with me lately…

Me at Starbucks (thank you Sarah for the mini photoshoot! :D)… I’ve been thinking about it – I go to Starbucks a lot, and I love trying out they’re new drinks, so why not combine a couple of the things that I do? So you might be seeing a few more pictures of me a Starbucks – with some of my very fun-to-wear hats! 😉

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Three hats that I washed and blocked… but only two of them are going to make it to my shop, because the other one – the maroon one – I made as a commission for a friend of mine. And the blue one pictured here is wool! It feels soooo soft!

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And here I am, working on another hat! It was almost complete here, and now it’s finished and waiting to be all washed up and blocked! So fun to block it – I’ll have to do a blog post on blocking things to show you all.

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Well, that’s all for now. But I promise you, more items will be coming soon! I’m off to knit a little head scarf!

~Hannah

 

 

 

Cogs & Gears: Holiday!

Happy Independence Day!

It’s a day late, not all of our readers are American, and this isn’t even exactly a “Cogs & Gears” post. But it’s a time of celebration – so have some fun anyway!

Actually, we were thinking that maybe this month of July we will kick back and post a lot of Summer fun stuff: We have a few big and not-so-fun projects happening in our lives, so using our blog to have a little fun will be a good way to relax! Here (I hope) are some of the wacky and enjoyable things that will show up over the month:

  • Popcorn! We love making our own popcorn with an air popper and flavoring it ourselves. Lately, we have pushed it up a level and made themed mixes. Come back for exciting recipes!
  • Movies! ‘Tis the season for big (and sometimes a little mindless) action/sci-fi films. I kinda love it! We’ll run down some of our favorites – and why we don’t find them totally mindless.
  • Hannah’s Challenge! Hannah’s trying to get 30 items on her Etsy shop by the end of July: Check for updates, and help us cheer for her!
  • Abigail’s Earrings! I have some humorous and unexpected Ephemeral Earrings in the works, and I can’t wait to share them with you!
  • Saturday Random Recipe Fun Summer Food! No explanation needed.
  • Redesigned Blog! If we remember, we’ll change the look of things around here, and maybe put up a random quiz or two. And water balloons! (If I can figure out how to send them through the blogosphere…)

There you go! It should be fun, and crazy!

Any ideas for kick-back-in-the-sun stuff we can do?

-Abigail-

 

Cogs & Gears: Heatwave

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Happy first full day of Summer! It’s nice to see you all made it! For us, it’s been Summer since (around) early May, with lots of sun and warmth, butterflies and flowers, sun dresses and frozen yogurt.

But currently, it isn’t just summery – it’s HOT! The sun beats down through the longest days of the year from an unrelentingly cloudless sky, and temperatures soar to 100 F and above and drift along there until after sunset. “Ah!” says some poor soul who lives in a humid area, “but it’s a dry heat!” But, after a while, 100 degrees isn’t dry – all the fans, iced tea, and cotton dresses don’t make you feel any less sticky! However, the cooler is working, ice is in the freezer, and it’s time to think about business.

I don’t do very well in extreme heat; it makes me feel lethargic, slightly nauseated, and not at all creative. So, with an Etsy shop that still needs attention and plenty of projects to work on, I must implement a few survival techniques so that I won’t be totally unproductive over the next week or two:

How to Survive the Heatwave Apocalypse

  • Stay Hydrated! This is a basic necessity in the hot desert, so that you don’t die of heatstroke. But I also know that drinking plenty of water will help my body to naturally be cooler and my brain to continue functioning close to normal. So bring on the extra water (with added fruit or herbs to mix things up) and iced tea!
  • Keep Outdoors Activities to Early Mornings and Late Evenings! Especially walking the (very black) dog – who still insists on going out midafternoon to hunt lizards. Sigh! Avoiding extreme heat keeps me cooler through the day.
  • Wear Sunscreen! and Hats! Because sunburns just make you hotter.
  • Wear Less! I have a wonderful collection of cottony sundresses (Sarah and I even call them our “100 degree weather dresses”) which will take me through this time!
  • Eat Less! Heat lowers my appetite, so I might as well take advantage of the situation. Also – take advantage of the season and eat a lot of fruit and vegetables!
  • Do Small Bursts of Creative Activity! Sewing or crafting for too long, especially in a hot west-facing room, is miserable. But I can devote half an hour to earring-making now and then, and maybe get a little done over the day!
  • Sit Under a Vent! My desk is wonderful this way; the cooler blows on me, and I can get writing or whatever done in comfort! So through this heatwave I will definitely be focusing on putting listings up on my Etsy shop.
  • Don’t Try to Do Too Much! As you know, I tend to set myself too many goals. But if I keep them to a minimum – and especially avoid coming up with new ideas – I should be productive and maybe even enjoy this time a little!

There you go! I might not be able to get to everything I need to until this heatwave ebbs – but that’s ok. Patriotic items may need to wait! (By the way, check out Sarah’s new cup holdersvery cute!)

-Abigail-

First (New) Project Towards 30 Items

I’m already in the middle of a couple of new projects, but I felt rebellious today – just didn’t want to keep on working on my last one. So I started a new one today.

When to see movies, I usually come early so that I’m actually before the previews. I went with my family and good friend to Finding Dory! I liked it – it was really good! It made me laugh, it made me cry – yeah, I really liked it. I always loved Dory, and Pixar is almost always great, and is consistently good, so that was a no brainer to go this weekend.

Also, another reason to start a new project – it was blue. It matched so beautifully with the movie! 😉

Here’s a picture of the beginning of my new hat. It’s the same pattern as my Blue Star Burst Hat, which is kind of fun, because I totally forgot how fun it was to crochet. (Sorry about the dimness of the picture – it’s to give the general feel of how dark it can get in a theater. But actually, once it got really dark, I didn’t bother to continue crocheting!)

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Well, it’s getting late. Must go! Hope you all have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend.

~Hannah

 

It’s been a while…

I have to confess… I procrastinate.

*sigh* Got that over with!

Actually, it’s perfectly obvious – I just put things off. Like this blog! I put it off until it’s a nice big pile of  demandingness (is that a word?) and then put it off again! Very silly!

Anyway, I wanted to give you an update for a few things that I’m doing. First off, I was planning on this week being the Big Etsy Making Craziness and Creativity Time, because I was doing a boutique/summer craft fair thing this Saturday. But then, after a few bumps in the road, it suddenly came to a stop.

But I don’t want it to completely bring me to a stop. So I’m going off after this to create. And do this study thing for something I’ve been putting off (procrastination again!). But I’m squeezing in more creativity, as much as I can, because I’m really in a creative mood. And an Etsy mood – which is nice, because, honestly, it can be a little exhausting trying to promote things.

And I want to get back to blogging, my dear readers! I like blogging, I really do. So I will try to keep blogging. They might not be very long posts, or very pithy, but I’m going to give it my best try anyway!

I just posted a picture (the one bellow) to my Instagram account, and wanted to show it to you. I’m going to try making compilation images like this one more in the future.

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Recently I’ve been taking this bag of my crochet stuff, one or two projects at a time, to random places. I can work on it in the car, or when I’m sitting, sipping my Starbucks iced coffee, or waiting for the movie to begin. I may not get very far, but I’ve been surprised that I have been getting through a few of my projects this way! 🙂 Oh, and Artiste, from Hobby Lobby, is totally my new favorite thread!

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And recently, I’ve had to get prescription glasses. Not so happy with that at the beginning. But now I’m not only getting used to them, but kind of enjoying using them!

WP_20160429_15_57_24_Pro.jpg Abigail made this beautiful pen for me, same style as her beautiful earrings, as a clip to put onto one of my headcoverings. I like how it looked on my pink scarf! 😉

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And one last picture. I love our hikes in the mountains – and one of my favorite hikes too! And here I am with my two beautiful sisters!

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And that’s all. For now – I promise I will be back. Maybe I’ll do a whole post about my twice-over shipment. But for now, I’ll sign off!

~Hannah

Cogs & Gears: Whatnot

Ever have one of those times when you get busy doing this and that, manage to accomplish a lot, get distracted a bit by new tech or a holiday – and then look up to discover that you’ve totally neglected something that was kind of important? That’s what my last couple of weeks has been like! (Has it really been two weeks since I posted anything?!)

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Anyway, here’s a little glimpse of what we’ve been up to the last 10 days:

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One of our favorite place in the mountains. It’s called Capulin, and what it lacks in trails it makes up for in beauty

 

 

  • We went hiking Memorial Day! Hence all my beautiful pictures. Yes, recreation is relevant to crafting and running a business; it helps to get a little perspective and a bit of a challenge.
  • Sarah shipped one of her adorable mug cozies, to a happy customer!!! Hannah ran into a couple of problems with her shipment, but tackled them with strength and determination (and perplexity and outrage). Success all around!
  • Our wonderful smartphones got new operating systems, thereby generally causing trouble and upheaval to carefully arranged apps and stuff. Ah! technology!

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    A black dog learns quickly that shade is her friend!
  • I finished off some cards and earrings for my Etsy shop, and photographed them all! It took a while. I may have gotten carried away in the “Fairy Tale”-earring making…
  • And, the “Shopping Boutique (and Summer Fun)” that we were planning on participating in fell through. It’s a pity, because it seemed like just the opportunity that we needed to show off our shops and products and hopefully gain some more clients. But we’re praying that something else will open up instead.

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    Hannah! (I always forget to take pictures of people…)
  • Making an opportunity out of that disappointment, the next few weeks we will be focusing on polishing up our shops, making new items, and probably giving this blog a bit of an overhaul! It should be exciting. Sarah is making some patriotic cup-holders, Hannah is whipping out summery hats (like this one), and I am conjuring up some summery and playful earring designs (probably patriotic, too!).

And in the meantime, I’ve decided that I’ve

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New growth

reached frustration-point with Etsy shops and listings and products and promoting and…! One ought to forestall this by well-timed breaks: So, this week will be my Ladybug Week (so dubbed by Sarah – it’s a brilliant idea), and I will deliberately plan another down time seven weeks from now and start up a regular system of it.

I have two extremes in using down time: Either I meander and do nothing (unsatisfactory), or I fill the time with all the other things I could be

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Angle experimentation!

 

doing and end up busier than ever (exhausting). So for this Ladybug Week, I’ve decided to focus my time into one or two things only: Writing – I’m typing up my finished novel, and it needs some hardcore work! And, when I need a break from sitting around and fixing grammar, there’s some personal sewing to do. Let’s see… I need new walking shorts, a maxi-dress, that purse that I cut out, maybe a jeans skirt – No! Stop, Abigail! Limitations are good!

So – off to ignore crafting and business, and instead introduce the Shardovans and how they got into their recent dire straits!

-Abigail-