Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dixie Days Art Festival

 We now have our third art festival under our belts and it was a success! After jotting down some notes from the past two experiences we made some great improvements in our booth display and presentation. Though we love how our first one looked, it's better as a indoor display and did not handle the wind well. We had access to some old fruit crates and were able to build a display that is light to move and simply weighed down with some bricks from behind. We could even display from both sides once we develop the inventory. For now it is a great place to hide markers, cameras and some water.

We were able to use our pretty hemp with threads of blue metallic to hang Rachel's vibrant and playful illustrations. We love the look of them hanging and this way they don't blow in the wind as much and people were able to get a better look at them.

We were assigned at a corner for the art festival which gave us a great advantage with traffic. Our usual six foot tables were in a large "L" shape and we added a card table for the outer corner to utilize some space and draw more people in. 

So far, having booths art festivals have been one of my most favorite things I've decided to do in my life. I love people commenting on our creativity, throwing around more ideas on how to recycle or repurpose potential supplies for our art, and inspiring each other to do more creating with our lives. It all gives me a overwhelming high and I can't wait to put it to use. 

This experience at Dixie Days in North Webster Indiana was well organized, easy going, and so much fun. We will definitely be doing this again next year!

Next weekend is Art in the Park in Holland Michigan! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Skateboard Project

I'm in love with this kid. My son has a lot of very particular interests, one of which is skateboards and longboards. He is only two and a half so he doesn't quiet know his way around them yet, but he does find ways to entertain himself on them. His usual favorite is laying on his belly and he paddles his way down the road up the hill and back down. Not able to turn much yet we decided to get him some gear to go with the tumbles (still working on the helmet though). After showing so much interest in his fathers longboard my husband decided to give him a old skateboard we bought cheap at an estate sale. It's not in the best condition, but my son is completely attached now. 

We decided to spruce it up a bit and make it his. I took it upon myself to decoupage the underside of the skateboard with another one of my sons obsessions The Avengers. I scored a bunch of old comics at antique stores and garage sales and make things out of them for our shop. I used the scraps and a couple of my favorite pages to make a pretty great collage of characters for him. I've only finished the underside and painting the side and top a bright red orange. Next I'll be decoupaging more on the top, sealing the entire board with a clear gloss varnish and putting some grip on it. Soon we plan to take the board and it's parts to a skate shop and see what they can do to repair some of the broken items on it. Pretty exciting so far and my son has just been loving the process. He can't get enough of "chuaa bleh-bleh" and "chyen maaon" (Captain America & Iron Man)

 Hopefully I can post pictures of the finished project soon! 

First Canning Experience

The other day my sister and I had our first experience with canning. Neither one of us had much knowledge going into it, but with a little bit of research and all the supplies in front of us we went for it. Besides our garden that was bursting at the seams to be harvested, our first motivation was finding a interesting mix of pickling spices. After one smell the spices intrigued us. Inside our little container were cloves, mustard seeds, cumin, bay leaves, dill, allspice, and a ton of others I can't think of but I wrote them all around the container if someone should ask. 

My first goal was to make pickles, I mainly wanted cucumbers to use for my juicing, but my mom has a knack for buying every variety of vegetables and fruits she can find. So of course, we have a ton of picking cucumbers. I juice them sometimes, but we had so many in the fridge it was time to pickle. My sister and I just decided to do a sort of fridge ready pickling because we will eat them so fast, they don't need to have a shelf life. The pickles are so zesty it's fantastic and have the best crunch I've ever experienced compared to the store bought. We may have to make some with a shelf life after all. 
Pickling Spice from our Co-op Maple City Market
Pickling Cucumbers 
We also tried our hand at salsa making, but in the middle of peeling the tomatoes, we had more of a desire to create a fresh and light tasting pico de gallo. This is probably one of my most favorite creations yet. Even without a fresh onion (we used a little dried minced onion) this was great. For the last couple days I've been eating pico de gallo and some chips for lunch. I find myself nearly licking the salsa bowl clean before telling myself to stop. I'm very happy that this tomato season has just begun and soon we will be making some pasta sauce!
Pico de gallo with a wide variety of tomatoes, sweet banana peppers, sweet jalapeno peppers, onion & garlic chives, dehydrated cilantro, dried minced onion, and garlic powder.

Accomplishments from our first day canning!

Friday, July 13, 2012

2 year anni-anni

My hubby, Dylan and I celebrated our two year anniversary on July 11th!  Gee, time seriously has flown by!  So much has happened in just that time frame, and now that we have a lil' 3 month old, it makes me wonder what other adventures are in store for us.  
Our little lady is Cypress Joy, and she is growing so fast!  Everyone that has had kids tell me that time goes by so quickly, and I am now starting to realize that.  She laughed for the first time yesterday!  It was definitely one of my favorite moments so far.  I love every milestone, but there's really no hurry.  She can take her time.

Me and Dylan on our wedding day
Cypress, 3 months old


Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Family Garden

Out where I live there are a couple acres of property designated as a community garden. When I first moved in I wasn't sure how much I would actually be interested in utilizing any of the land. It took a year, but now my family is really into it. In fact, my family (three households of us) have a little over 5,000 sq ft all to ourselves! My mother has always had an amazing green thumb and has enjoyed gardening her entire life. I'm fairly new at this whole growing thing, but I'm in love with gratification of growing something so beautiful and being able to harvest it later for a fantastic meal. 

This year we have decided to try out a new approach to gardening called sustainable permaculture. A family member suggest we watch a film online called "Back to Eden" explaining the methods for gardening in depth. Their website even provides pretty extensive instructions, but it leaves room for you to figure out what works best for you in your location. By adding new covering to your garden you just keep adding more and more nutrients as the year goes on with no tilling involved at all! It's already really impressed us, especially the weeding aspect of it.

I suggest checking them out and get growing!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Garage Sale Hit

Who does't love a good garage sale? I was able to find two chairs, (I've been wanting some extra seating for when we have visitors) a traveling backgammon board for my sister, and another game for game nights with the family. Of all the items though, my favorite would have to be some vibrant silk thread!  There are a couple great yellows and pinks in the batch. I'm not too sure what to use them for yet, but I'm sure it won't take long to think of something. 


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Art Blast

Here are a couple pictures from our first booth at Art Blast in Syracuse, IN. We showed up bright and early ready to take on the world! Overall it was a fantastic experience that taught us what to improve for next time, and what to keep on keeping on. Cannot wait for Summerfest next weekend!

Rachel and I working on some finishing touches.

A beautiful sign my grandfather made for us. Soon we plan to stain it with some color!

My husband converted an old shelf into a wonderful display for my paper bead art.

Handmade bows from old comic strips.
retro cigarette holder made a perfect business card holder.
Rachel's husband also set up some items in our booth. Check out his etsy shop here.
Yeah, we handmade our business cards. Tutorial to come!

Our first experience was so exciting. Bring on the next weekend!