Featuring more than your average amount of Elmer's Glue, this lovely Turkey came to live at my house on Tuesday. Axel brought him home after a morning of pre-school, a Thanksgiving Feast of "Stone Soup" and apparently, as Axel reminds me, another long morning of "PROJECTS." While many projects simply get handed over, Turkey has seen quite a bit of play time...meaning he's quite proud of this one.
In the first Thanksgiving after my HUGE loss last April, I've decided to think more globally than locally. I am always Thankful for family and friends, but because I need a slight diversion from all things close to home, I choose this year to be most thankful for:
- 4 seasons that keep Minnesota interesting
- a global effort to protect our planet and increase kindness
- teachers who "show up" every day to spark interest in our children
- the invention of "Holiday Store"-brand Fruit Slice Candy (ok, a bit selfish...but I know y'all agree)
Hope you all make it to your "Thanksgiving Feast" safely, and eat plenty of treats (both nutritious and naughty)!
Etsy has started a NEW coupon code system! It's super rad and a quick way to give an all around shop SALE!
For Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings...shop my Etsy store and upon checkout...enter this code:
Happy shopping...no worries, my shop is open all day, every day, so although you may be tempted to wake up at 3am to get the best deals...they'll be there, but the OOAK items are always first come first serve. (Actually, I have a little secret...the coupon is active as of...NOW!)
It's becoming well known that the wooded property surrounding my parents home is a safe haven for wayward animals. Aside from human neighbors (also related to us) who insist on "thinning the herd" contrary to my strong opinions, many non-deer species have found their way into the area in search of salvation.
Until last weekend we felt it was a solo mission...saving the animals...that was until we came across something we simply didn't know how to save. Originally tagged as a Muskrat because of it's size, thanks to my $100,000 degree in Biology, I later identified our new stray as a baby Beaver. For the second week in a row, Jahred, Axel and Oscar came across this poor soul. On their first encounter, Jahred simply placed him back in the river with instructions to "find his family". Last Saturday, in the early a.m., Oscar came across this little guy again, trying to climb the bank in the opposite direction of the water...RED FLAG. This little mite needed help...and help we found.
Immediately I got on the phone and discovered that the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center was the place to bring your average abandoned Beaver. Jahred and Tyler set off on the thirty mile trek to meet the welcoming staff at the center. Amazing heart is poured into this selfless organization. Really, if you need a non-profit to add to your X-mas list, this would be it! They welcomed our friend, tail wound and all, and honestly gave him the best care they could. Here is their blog post about our little guy.
Sadly today as I called to check on him, the volunteer who answered the phone relayed the message that things didn't end well for our friend. The way she handled the fatal news can be appreciated by true animal lovers...she was extremely kind, I could tell that she too was grieving. Yes, we were invested in this little guy, yes, it is a heartbreaking loss and yes, his life did make a contribution.
For all of you in the Central Minnesota area who come across a member of our wildlife family in need, don't hesitate...every bird and beast is worth our effort.
Beaver Age: unknown
On Tuesday, November 23rd
our beloved forest friend died
peacefully, surrounded by tree
hugging friends and care givers
alike. He will be missed by the
dog who tried to save him, the boy
who had never met a Beaver,
and the family who only knew him
for a short time. He is survived
by mammals big and small.
So before the snow fell, we found ourselves at a park. From across the playground, Axel spied an older girl, black jeans, vintage t-shirt, shy smile . . . skateboard. I watched as he jogged over to her.
Axel - [smile with teeth, excitement in his voice] "I like your skateboard!"
Girl - [shifting her weight, touching the edge of her upturned skateboard slightly, slight smile without teeth] "Thanks."
Axel - [reaches out to touch her skateboard, eyes wide, awkward pause]
Girl - [fidgeting] "Here, you can have this." [twisting a silly band loose from the stash on her arm]
Axel - [immediately slinging the band around his own wrist] "Oh...um...thanks!" [big grin, runs back to me, glancing
over his shoulder at his new friend]
Axel - [to me] "She gave that to me, to be my friend, she haves a skateboard."
What's better than your child being accepted by other children? I was under the impression that this "Silly Band" trend was just that...silly. What can be so exciting about rubber bands that have a shape? Really though, they're just the lazy kids friendship bracelet, and anything promoting friendship can't be all bad.
He was more than happy to pose for this picture when we got home. (sigh)
The first Snow Day of the year came a bit early. With nearly 10 inches of wet messy snow, and being without garage and shovel this year, we took the opportunity to decorate for the Holidays.
Because the usual "decor team" is out on "leave"...along with the kitchen staff, cleaning lady and the accountant who has yet to return from a three year vacation, good old Mom had to shine up a new approach. When Jahred and I discussed the "tree budget" for the year, we decided that FREE is the max we can pay.
We do have an artificial tree purchased several years ago for $9.99, but have decided it's too sparse and sad looking to ever be our main tree again. So, using the following materials I whipped up a rather Dr. Seuss looking X-Mas Tree.
- 2 wrapping paper cardboard tubes
- 40 plastic grocery/target bags
- 1/2 of a large roll of Tin Foil
- plenty of scrap paper, newspaper
- tape (the clear packaging sort)
- 1 spool of ribbon (optional)
- 1 strand of green lights (optional)
- 1 empty box approx. 2 ft x 2 ft
- summer shoe collection (sandals)
It began with the wrapping paper rolls. I taped them end to end to create the height of my tree. Just for good measure, I stuffed a plastic "Olive Garden" kids drink cup where the two rolls met to ensure extra stiffness at the joint.
Starting at the top of the tree, I wrapped plastic grocery bags and old newspaper around the "trunk" and covered them in Tin Foil, scrunching and gathering to look "authentic". Working my way down, I increased the amount of stuffing under each wrap of Tin Foil to give the tree a triangular shape. I tried my best to roll the ends of each foil section together as I went as to avoid gaps and separation (I wouldn't want the shopping bags to show, now that would be tacky). Where necessary, I taped the stuffing to the trunk so it wouldn't slouch as I erected the tree.
Eventually I became happy with the bulk and the shape of my tree. I stood her on end to see how she looked. Beautiful. Next I took the box and cut a hole in the center of one of the sides the same roundness as the trunk. I slid the trunk inside making a "tree stand" if you will. To make sure the tree wouldn't lean, I used some of mine and Axel's summer shoes (we won't be needing those in 10" snow).
The only thing left was to decorate and give the top some personality. To enhance the reality of it, I strung some green twinkle lights down the back of the tree for a little "back-lighting".
There you have it, a Seussical tree, suiting both the "Bah-Humbug" in you and the "Magic" within your child. Axel's vote of approval was making his own Tin Foil Tree and letting me know mine was "Beautiful Mom!"
Benefits to a Tin Foil Tree:
- cost (especially if the tin foil was left behind by previous renters): FREE
- totally recyclable when the Holidays are over, better yet, wrap the Christmas left-overs with a piece of "tree"
- it weights literally 3 pounds and you will never lose your child to tree toppling
- not a fire hazard
- moldable and flexible to any size room
- truly OOAK (one of a kind)
So, the Resident Artist Art Show Opening was last night. We had a fabulous turnout. Literally all of my Mankato friends were there and of course an excellent show of family. With the show displaying until December 8th, there is still plenty of time to come and see my piece as well as the MANY beautiful pieces by fellow artists. What an eclectic bunch we are!
Axel showed up to the opening with pizazz and was so completely thrilled that all those people came to "his studio." He did a few victory laps through the crowd wearing only his socks and managed to snag a few treats from the table. Most of the art was hung above his eye level so he didn't get to appreciate the fine culture, and quite frankly is just as happy with the drawing Jahred did of "Woody" earlier this week.
The piece I entered is called "If Ties Could Tell Stories." I constructed it using a few of Papa's ties. Seeing it hung up for the first time yesterday, I could honestly hear generations of Papa's stories coming from every coffee stain and wrinkle. I'm more than pleased with how it came together and was incredibly honored as it inspired people to share their own "tie stories" with me.
With Jahred approaching the end of Nursing school and finally seeing the light of day/a normal schedule, I can't help but feel we are moving forward.
Today I put the finishing touches on the piece I will hang in the Emmy Frentz Gallery this week and I couldn't be more in love with it. Now, I'm not about to give anyone a sneak peak (I will certainly post pictures after the official opening) but it really represents what in my heart I know I should be doing with my talents. Creating from scratch, sculpting with textiles, using word and image alike.
Because of all this forward progress I've decided to clear the studio, making room for an expected evolutionary blast. My need for a clean slate is your gain in my Etsy shop this Holiday Season. Literally EVERYTHING is marked WAY DOWN! I made a promise some time ago that when Jahred graduates, I'll be celebrating with a "Massive Sale" and that's just what it is.
For the first time as well, I am offering the Exclusive Licensing Rights to several of my original designs. By purchasing these rights, you are purchasing the right to have your name on the pattern and to sell or distribute the pattern and it's product for your own personal profit. I've had so many offers from overseas companies and bulk producers alike, but I'd really like to offer my designs to a fellow Etsian! It will be a GREAT earning opportunity for whoever purchases them!! All patterns have been tested and sold for some time now and are only gaining in popularity!
So, as we near the "most wonderful time of the year" I look forward to more moving on, moving up and moving forward!
So recently I've been made aware that "trunk or treating" doesn't have to be a creepy "man in a van" experience. In fact, unbeknownst to me, it happens in church parking lots. Since I've never received an invitation to such an event, I assumed the worst...thus, I am partially retracting my trash talk of the "trunk or treat" kit from Walmart.
Having been a Halloween "scrooge" for the past few years, 2010 brought on "dress-up as a family". In a not completely original theme (however...originally executed) my parents, brother, Jahred and I were the rescuers from the recent "Chilean Mine Entrapment". I have to say, complete with the Fenix rescue capsule, my Mom (the initiator) did a bang up job bringing together thrifted costumes, and thus receives an A+ in the "Halloween Creative Vision" category.
Finished with one Holiday and on to the next, I have spent the better part of this week enjoying the Holiday love at a local boutique that Axel can practically call home...Sweet Peas. I am lucky enough to have a "volunteer" position where my ideas are praised and I can come and go as needed. Seriously, it's because of the Sweet Peas Mamas that I'm still a somewhat-sane stay-at-home-momma myself. This week I was asked to create Santa's Fireplace! How fun it was to sculpt with felt and know that my "home and hearth" original will be in the background of many Santa pictures.
With my first Gallery Show Opening as a resident artist next week, I feel the need to anchor my feet to the earth so the creative winds don't take my "high on art" self away!
A busy week...and in our free time we adopted yet another puppy from Ikea.
NEW - I'm searchable!
Grab my button: