A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: September 2011
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30 September 2011


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So...I have some kind of sad news. I don't think the Dresses of Romania party is going to happen. I'm so very sad, but there are a couple reasons why it is not going to work out.

1.  There are not nearly enough people coming to make a grand party and an un-grand party is just sad, so no party.

2.  I can sew a fair amount of things, but dresses are not one of them.  For the past 2 months, I've been sewing, sewing, sewing and every single dress has been a flop, THUS I do not feel right about sewing dresses, so I'm going to do the next best thing!  I am going to open my wallet and BUY something special for the 16 little girls (and the little boys too) in Romania.  It might be dresses, but it might be something more practical for Romania like gloves and hats in beautiful knits.  In any case, if you had planned on donating towards the project, you still can - just in  a different way.  You can certainly donate towards the cost, make a dress or accessory to add to the box or buy a dress or accessory (like I will be!!) :)

So sad...but not really compared to things that are happening to many many people across the country - across the world...

...so I'm sucking it up and announcing full failure :( 

26 September 2011

Sometimes you just have to share...

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22 September 2011

What is a Floral Frog?

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I have always kind of been on the lookout for floral frogs....you know the metal kind that Martha Stewart was showing off in her "good things" section to hold letters and postcards, etc. etc.  Well, I never found one, but I was happy to stumble upon a glass floral frog.  I really didn't realize they came in glass, but I think it is quite pretty, don't you?  It's true use is to place it in the bottom of a vase and stick the flower stems into the holes to keep them stable.  I assume the glass frogs are for glass vases and the metal frogs are for opaque vases??

Anyhow, I just kinda love it as is and will use it (maybe) for floral arrangements, but I'm kind of thinking it would be prettier holding a bunch of paintbrushes, or pens.  What do you think?

Have you found anything fun lately?  Please share!

21 September 2011

HOORAY! I'm crafting with the STARS!

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In all of the excitement surrounding the return of DANCING with the stars, I forgot to check my email obsessively for CRAFTING with the stars news, and thus found out a few hours later than most that I MADE IT!  

I will be on Crafting with the Stars this "season", repurposing, upcycling, painting, priming, creating, drawing, pinning, stapling and photographing 4 new, DIY designs.  Every week, readers will vote over HERE for their favorite design and the winners will move on in the competition.  The catch is - the contest is completely anonymous...meaning the best project truly wins!

Over the course of this contest, I will have a crafting mentor.  She will be giving me tips, tricks and advice as I craft.  You might wonder how you go about deciding which mentor to choose and I tell you, I kind of wormed around on the various sites, checking out projects, looking to see who I thought I would connect with the best, who has a sense of humor...etc, etc.  All of the mentors are brilliant, so I seriously kept going back and forth over and over, but I kept coming back to one.  Over and over and over again.  There was just something about Mandi that I totally loved...I think perhaps that she had me at Hello with her header...I mean seriously...see?

So up first up is a knock off design.  As soon as I saw the category I instantly knew what I was going to do and I want to share so very much with you, but I can't...that whole anonymous thing you know...but keep coming back and get ready to VOTE and meet a whole bunch of amazing talented crafty girls in early October!

19 September 2011

I heart faces ...and sun...and red hair...

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A touch of sun weaving its rays through her brilliant red locks;
A peak of smile through the haze of scrapers.
She is beautiful in every single way.

Join the party HERE!

Growing Orchids

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If you are anything like me, you balk at a price of 15 or 20 dollars for a plant, right?  I'm usually in the $1.00 or $4.98 range if it is edible (like a blueberry bush!) kind of girl.  So, orchid prices always turned me off.  I would walk through the orchid section and just kind of gaze at them and appreciate the beauty, but realize there was absolutely no way i would ever pay that much for one.

Then, I realized that I simply had to buy them after they bloom.  You see, the large majority of customers buy the orchids when they are in bloom (understandably).  Once the blooms fade, the orchids are marked down significantly.  Like to $1.00 each...in the cute porcelain or ceramic pots.  SOLD!  I bought 3...I should have purchased more :)  The catch, of course is that you have to care for the plants and wait for them to bloom.

Thankfully, orchids are quite easy as houseplants as long as you don't bug them.  First of all, you need to make sure to water them lightly.  A rule of thumb is two piece of ice a week.  That is it.  DON'T OVERWATER them or they will die a quick death.   They also like to have their roots quite squished and sometimes crawling over the top of the pot.  This is ok!  Orchids are epiphytes, meaning they grow on a larger plant (like a tree) and their roots are literally touching air.  Don't suffocate the roots by burying them deep in a huge pot of soil.  I have been able to leave my plants in the pots they came in for over a year with no problem.  My reward is now a year later with new shoots from the base of the plant.

Can you tell the difference between the old and the new?

Now, I simply have to wait for that new stem to grow strong, a flower stem to shoot up and beautiful blooms to unfold from my orchids.  Now, the question is - will it be worth the wait?  The pots have been sitting in this window for over a year now waiting for blooms.  They weren't any work at all really, and needed minimal care.  Was the year of waiting worth the $14 saved per plant?  To me - yes.  Perhaps it seems crazy to you to wait that long just to save a few bucks?

...but isn't that the way it is with anything in life?  You must wait or you must pay.  Nothing comes free or nothing comes without work.  It is simply a balance of whether you would like to pay up front or pay with your time.   I wonder at this sometimes with personal growth.  (what an awful phrase...but nothing says it quite better...)  Is it worth it to simply pay the money and get a degree, or is it worth it to save the money and learn a trade on your own over years and years of experience.  I am not sure.  I have done both and they both are useful, they both are difficult.  I do believe there is more pride of ownership and accomplishment from learning a trade on your own.  Learning everything from "scratch"  and teaching yourself everything inside out.   The question is whether or not it is better to buy the new growth or wait on it...

What is your strategy?
Do you buy?  Do you wait?
What are you waiting on?  Do you wish you could just purchase the wait away?
Is it better to wait?  Is it more fulfilling to dive right in? 

18 September 2011

Sunday Citar | Traps and Dreams

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A place to rest, a place to dream;
A trap of brown curved arms
Restrains the motion
of forward thought
and reins ambition to home.

More citar quotes can be found HERE~!

16 September 2011

Do you bloom at the right time?

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This hydrangea is weird.  It blooms in the late summer and early fall.  Doesn't it seem like is should be blooming in the beginnings of spring or perhaps in the height of summer with their giant clusters of cream and ivory, screaming of over abundance?  It doesn't seem like a fall thing to scream beauty.  Fall's scream is the last gasp of life...the wash of color as trees give up the ghost for winter.  Dainty and poofy white flowers don't seem quite right.

Of course, who is to say what should bloom when.  Clearly, this hydrangea are quite content blooming in fall.  It likes the weather and though they look a bit odd, those blooms certainly look beautiful when not much else is choosing to show its face.  If they were to bloom in the spring, or the summer, maybe they would simply take a backseat to the roses and lilacs.

In fact, i think I like the hydrangea's choice to be weird.  I like that it is to be seen simply because it  is different from everything else in this season.  I like that it is unexpected and then greatly anticipated in the years to come.

This hydrangea is what every starlet wishes to be - beautiful and treasured and vibrant and unexpected.
This hydrangea is what every girl wishes to be - appreciated and noticed and beloved and a bit cheeky.

Sometimes what is unexpected can be so much better, can't it?

Tickled Pink at 504 Main

15 September 2011

Tripped Up Thursday #7 | What to do about negative blog comments?!

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Hi girls!  First things first, a THANK YOU goes out to Sara and another anon. commenter for helping with my twist tie search!!    Sara found them HERE and the anon. reader found them HERE!  Brilliant - I tell you!  Speaking of anonymous comments, I would love to know who you are!!!  I really want to get to know commenters and readers, so leave your calling card please girlies!  Of course...if you are the mean anonymous commenter giving me grief on my NUT POST, well, you can just remain anonymous...I wouldn't want to show my face either after being a bit nasty.  My hands are very honest, thankyouverymuch! :P

So that is my trip up this week...  What do you do about negative or nasty comments?  The truly nasty ones are deleted, but I've been publishing the negative ones.  Do you answer them?  Do you just delete?  Do they replay over in your head too much and they make you feel badly?  I dunno...

What is tripping YOU up this week?   Simply put in your QUESTION or TOPIC in the text area...such as "What is this color called?"  or "Should I paint my toilet?", etc. etc.  Let's see if we can beat last week!  Link up girls!  Here are buttons if ya want 'em!

A Nest for All Seasons

A Nest for All Seasons

13 September 2011

Hop Hop Grasshopper

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He's kinda creepy isn't he?  ...then I look at all those little marking on him and wonder why.  Why is he so intricately colored?  Clearly god likes design...perhaps he is a fan of HGTV?  Pinterest?  Craftgawker?  Perhaps.

12 September 2011

An Empty Pod

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See that open space there inside the hibiscus?  That is where seed is supposed to be.  If the plant is fertiliaed, that little space morphs into a seedpod with lots of tiny black seeds.  Clearly, this one missed out and will simply wither away and die.  I could have hand pollinated it, but luckily many of the other flowers on this particular plant were pollinated and really, how many hibicus plants does one need?  Each seed pod has at least 100 seeds in it and if they all germinate, then that is a full hedgerow of hibiscus plants - clearly enough, right?

So why do I care if this one flower does not produce seed?  Does it make any difference?  Sometimes I want everything, all the time.  I want every single blossom to produce seed, even though there is no conceivable way for me to use all of the seed provided (unless I eat it...but I don't know how to prepare hibiscus seed...yet?  Is it edible?).  Anyway, this little empty pod reminds me not to want too much...I can't use it all...it could just be wasted.  Better the bees go pollinate the apple blossoms or the strawberry blossoms to produce fruit than focus on making an abundance of flower seed.  Better I give time to producing what is needful, not simply abundance.

10 September 2011

Our Everyday

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It always starts off the same...a little coffee...a little art...a lot of teeth brushing, hair slicking and yogurt eating -- those are the themes of our mornings.  The bigger boys now wait eagerly for and skip off to school while wee one and I have an unprecedented amount of time alone together.  After the whirlwind of kiddos in the afternoon, the stampede to meet Daddy at the door, the rush to get the entire dinner on the table before the boys have finished their plates, the kids play for hours until the sun sets.  Hours of dirt and sand and sweat and water and hopefully no poo (critter, creature of bebe).  There were days when we could skip baths and simply have a "pool bath" this summer, but those days are no longer and the nightly baths are essential if our home is not to smell like a cattle barn.  So I clean the kitchen while Alex bathes the kids and we both think we have the better part of the deal.  Of course, after bath is night time, but those bigger boys can never quite go to sleep at 9:00, so there are many escapes, many little feet running across the floor, many announcements of what new structure has been built, of notes they have written and of noises they have heard.  This night, the escaping was encouraged and we made true photography - we wrote with light.  The day ends and I start to look through the photos of the day...and the one that makes the most sense...that says everything about our life in these days is of me, my dirty white tank top on that I slept in, holding a naked baby bum with the news of flooding on in the background.  That was our day...our 10 on 10...our everyday...

Check out more of my Project 52 posts HERE!
Check out 10 x 10 posts from other authors and photographers HERE!
Check our Project 52 posts from other authors and photographers HERE!

08 September 2011

Let me introduce you to a few nuts...

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SO...Alex bought a nut bowl at a THIS AUCTION.  I laughed at him.  ...but then I wanted nuts to attempt planting and I bought this big bag of various nuts still in their shells and there was no better place to put them than in...you guessed it...the nut bowl.  voila.

The really cool thing about this little experiment, whether the nuts grow into trees or just wither in the soil, is figuring out what various nuts look like in their shell.  I was clueless about most of them.  take this...it is a walnut - am I the only one that never pictured a walnut being HUGE?

...and this almond...it makes sense in its shape and size, but I had never seen one before...

Next on the list was the Brazil Nut...which didn't taste all that awesome...

My favorite was perhaps the pecan.  Say that 50 times...sounds funny...perhaps the pecan!
Anyway, it was quite delicious fresh out of the shell and even though they can grow to 100 feet tall, 
I planted a few (and ordered a couple, but that's another story altogether...  ;)

Last, but not least are the hazelnuts.  I planted 5 and ordered 3 and if they all grow I will be pleased as punch.  I bought a small (horrendously overpriced) bag of chopped hazelnuts at the grocery store and they are delightful in salads.  Truth be told, they are quite delightful in chocolate as well...

SO...I am excited to plant these nut/tree bushes and start harvesting in about 3 years.  They are small and produce nuts far earlier than other types of trees because of their diminutive size comparatively.  I ordered 2 Arbor day Hazelnuts (you can check out the hazelnut society HERE) and one American Hazelnut bush for variety.  They should be here quite soon!!  In fact, if you are at all interested in hazelnuts and have room to grow a few trees/bushes (they max out at 10'), you should become an Arbor Day Charter Patron.  You pay 20 bucks and are a member and receive 3 Hazelnut bushes.  (I am not sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, but we spent 5 years in Nebraska quite close to them, I've ordered trees from them thrice over and we went to the apple festival every year and it is just a fabulous organization :)

...now be honest...you learned something, didn't you?  Please tell me I am not the only one who had no idea what most of these nuts looked like in the shell?

07 September 2011

Tripped Up Thursday #6

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 OK, my trip up this week is kind of random.  Here goes...when cleaning out the shed, we found these twist ties.  It is one large roll and you pull the ties to the length you want and then there is a small blade on that white contraption that cuts it (like floss).  The little thingamajig is fabulous - do you know how great it is to have extra long twist ties?!  My trip up is how to replace it...when the ties are gone, I don't know where on earth to find another - help please?!  Has anyone seen these for sale anywhere?

Ok, so what is tripping YOU up this week?  I know Laura has a good one this week and can't wait to see the rest of them!  This week, I am trying text only linkups.  Simply put in your QUESTION or TOPIC in the text area...such as "What is this color called?"  or "Should I paint my toilet?", etc. etc.  Let's see if we can beat last week!  Link up girls!  Here are buttons if ya want 'em!

A Nest for All Seasons

A Nest for All Seasons

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