Showing posts from 2012

Winter At The Farm: A Photo Essay

Winter at the farm is difficult. Travel to and from is more difficult. The work is more difficult. Most of all, it's more difficult on the animals. Their water freezes, their produce freezes, the size of their pasture gets smaller, they have to huddle for warmth.  But despite all of these inconveniences, there is really no place more beautiful than a frosty morning at Heartland: (click to biggify)
 Beautiful snowy fields at 12°. Phil sees his breath when he crows! Did you SEE that??! Why it's cold enough for chickens to stick together and make one big chicken with two bodies and one head!
 Frances and Amy are thankful that we put hay out. Grazing through the snow is hard!
Gracie nestles down in a patch of sun to enjoy the morning. Pretty girl!
Mischievious Beatrice and Maxine dare you to put your tongue on the fence!
Happy New Year!

Christmas in Maine

Had a wonderful Christmas in Maine. We had a couple of storms along with some adventures in power outages and alternate heating, but aside from the glitches, it was so nice to spend time with Mum, Grammie and many dear friends. Marilyn stopped by one day to visit. We had a spaghetti and meatball supper one night with Elinor, Gail, and John and went to Art and Reneva's open house on Christmas Eve.  Gail and John went to church with us afterward and I read a part of the Christmas story during the service. It was different this year; read part of the story and then sing a related Christmas carol.  Silent Night by candlelight at the end. It was beautiful.

Flying home was an adventure with the big storm that hit the East Coast the day after Christmas. Bangor was beautiful, LaGuardia was dicey, but Detroit was a disaster. I met up with Steve at the airport. He was coming from Christmas with his family in Boston.  Our flight got cancelled and we ended up getting a room overnight and book…

Telling Yuletide Anecdote

Hmmm...I register that I have been under a fair amount of stress lately; what with the goings on at work, the food poisoning incident, the damaged shoulder, getting Christmas boxes out, and everything together so I can leave for a week etc., but I just had a very telling conversation with a couple of co-workers that brought home how it is truly affecting my state of mind.

I was expressing my woe at an annoying penchant that folks have of emailing me, 10 minutes after a meeting with them is supposed to start, to reschedule said meeting to a later time or another day entirely. As  many times as this has happened, I'm still not quick enough to catch on, so I loiter around the appointed meeting room for 15-20 minutes, waiting for the erstwhile person, before I think to check around to see where they are. Rude!  Rude! Rude! My coworkers' were having equally disrespectful annoyances hinder their day and so we were trading peeves.

Then one of the girls said, " There should be …

Happy Holidays!


Navel Orange in a Bikini

When I first saw Donna Hornsby's 'Keenies' pattern I thought of this....and happened and I didn't get around to doing anything about it until today.  I was reminded again when The Diva asked us to use Keenie's in the challenge this week.  A little backstory...

When I was young, there was no computer, barely any TV (we lived in the wilds of Northern Maine where nothing much would come in except PBS out of Bangor and CBC out of Nova Scotia) and lots of quiet time. My friends and I would draw 'Guess What' pictures for each other. Often ones we had seen in the newspaper's weekend comic section.  They were REALLY STUPID but our pre-teen selves thought they were amazingly funny and scoured the paper and our imaginations for new ones to amaze and amuse each other.  Here are some fine examples:

Told ya. Not exactly rocket surgery but it was a way to pass some time.

So when I saw Keenees, I had a 'Guess What' flashback to one of my fa…


This week's Diva Challenge is to use "Keenees" pattern in a tangle. It's the round balls with the triangle inside at the bottom of the the tangle.  If I remember correctly, it was named because the triangles look like bikini underwear. *Blush* Anyway, here is my attempt,

I thank The Diva for this challenge. I really needed a 20 minute break from the work of the evening.  Keep 'em coming Diva! You rock!

Diva Challenge: No Strings Attached

This week's Diva Challenge was to create a tangle without putting down a string first. Fortuitously, I worked on this all weekend and it started without a string.  I did a few spiral designs, then added starfish and sand dollars and filled the background in with the rock and seashell pattern. It's  called 'Cockles and Mussels' and was created by the fabulous Margaret Bremner.  It is one of my go-to designs.  Low Tide At Lincolnville I suppose it's kind of a cheat to submit something you did 3 days BEFORE you knew what the challenge would be, but so be it. Maybe I have precognitive abilities (or ESPN as my 5 year old nephew used to say)! Whoa! Yet another superpower!

 Thanks for another wonderful challenge, Diva!

Zinger Challenge

This week's Diva Challenge was to use Zinger (which is the plant tangle coming out of the shell).  I haven't done a challenge for a few weeks now so it was good to get back in the swing. I even used an official Zentangle tile! Thanks for the great challenge, Diva!

The Evolution of Zendalas


Too Much Fun

Is there any such thing as 'too much fun'?  If so, I think I'm having it. And my Mama always said that 'nothing good ever happens after midnight'.  I beg to differ.  My company has an employee art show in December. I am entering several Zentangled and Zentangle-Inspired pieces.  They always have an art challenge as well. One year it was to decorate a mask. One year it was one of those little wooden beaded human model sculptures. This year is to 'decorate a lab coat''. All of that pristine white space...and me with a Sharpie....a match made in Heaven. SSSSiiiigggghhhh.....
Fortuitously, I had just gotten a book by Mark Kissler about cartooning and shading that I had wanted to play with it, so I decided that rather than tangle the coat, I'd just 'doodle' it like I would a notebook during a meeting. There are birds, bugs, etc.- in no rhyme or reason of order. I don't even care if no one likes it, I am having so much fun with it. I've b…

Gettin 'Er Done!

This weekend was about finishing projects so I could start new projects.  I spent all of Knit Night knitting brains for my 'thinking cap'. I am very nearly finished and will be able to start my next project, mittens, soon.  Friends gave me a beautiful yarn bowl  for my birthday and I already have it loaded up with the new project yarn. It killed me to not be able to start it last night but I should be able to finish with the brains tonight. 
We are having an art opening at work in December and the Employee Art Challenge is to decorate a lab coat.  I wanted to get it started, but there was the small problem of this guy...
I did this back in April all except for coloring in the border. It was so mind-numbingly tedious, that I put it in  time out and forgot about it. Since I wanted to put it in the art show, it had to be finished before the lab jacket got started. So I spent 6 hours finishing the border and then shading the giraffe, but I finally finished!  …

Put On Your Thinking Cap!

You know, you always hear people say, "If he had half a brain, he would... insert whatever it is he would do here ". I finally have the solution!

This is my cubie-neighbor Carl. As you can see, he's not in his right mind so he agreed to model  this 'thinking cap'.
From a certain angle, he looks like he's fully armed for a battle of wits...

 But upon closer inspection...not so much...
THANK YOU! THANKYOU! THANK YOU! to Knittin' Kitten over at Purl's Patterns for the endless giggles I am getting from knitting this hat and playing with it. I'll get the other half  of the iCord on this weekend, but I couldn't resist debuting it a little early! Have A Wonderful Thought Provoking Day!


I am SO EXCITED. I have been working on this sweater for over two years now. Poor Scott has been waiting patiently as I knitted and ripped the thing a million times. I finally finished it in time for his birthday. I wasn't there when he opened it, but he posted this pic (which I have shamelessly stolen) on FB and it looks like it fits great!
He looks like a male model! Not bad for only my third sweater and my first real foray into cables!!
 I made some grody Halloween treats this afternoon. These are bloody Band aids. They didn't come out so great but folks will get the idea.  These came out great but are so gross! Dirty Qtips! (Mini marshmallows on either end of a lolly pop stick, dipped in melted peanut butter chips.  I loaded them up with lots of 'ear wax'. On both ends! Ewwww!!!
Happy Halloween Tomorrow!

Odd Weekend

This weekend just felt really odd and surreal for some reason. For one, I didn't follow my little Rain Man schedules and routines, so time and chores were all out of whack and I saw some of the oddest things...
I covered a barn shift that I don't usually on Saturday. The volunteer who had been keeping Rosie at her home while her boo-boo foot mended brought her back to the barn.
We were awfully glad to see her and her ducky friends were ecstatic. They all huddled and talked over her absence before going out in the yard to go over any changes that had occurred in her absence. Saturday afternoon I went to Last Saturday Knitting with the Knit Chicks. although I swore I wouldn't do it, I started another secret project and ended up knitting iCord all afternoon.  My Knit Sisters made it more than tolerable! When I got home I put the finishing touches on my entry for the Decorate a Paper Pumpkin contest my dept is having at work.
Sunday morning it was gorgeous but only in the low…

Some Tanglin'

This week's Diva Challenge was a fun one for me.  The challenge was to use only stripes as your foundation 'string'.  I made my stripes into a sort of a 'log cabin' string.  You quilters know what I mean. It looks like this:
 Then I filled it in with new patterns from Genevieve Crabe's weekly roundup last week. There are some really cool ones (as usual). I love the flower border at the top, the coral, the water, the buttons, the coffee beans, the Celtic knot, the bow ties. the olives the one on the left I messed up and created my own tangle.......Uh...oops! That's all of them! Great work you tangle designers! You rock! After my Zentangle Retreat a couple of weekends ago, I decided to set down and do a piece that incorporated the techniques that we had learned so I'd have a record. The most valuable lessons for me were on shading although you can't tell that here because the scanner really makes a mess of it. The other thing I wanted to try was '…

Daily Zen

Last night's endeavor.

Zentangle Retreat

I spent the weekend in beautiful Mineral Point, WI at a Zentangle weekend retreat. The teacher was Diane Knaff from Madison. I encourage you to go over to her website and take a look at the beautiful things she's done.

It was a wicked rainy weekend so it was perfect weather to snuggle into a little studio at Shake Rag Alley School of the Arts and doodle away. I have pics of Mineral Point itself but will save them for another post. For today, I'll just show you the work we did over the two days worth of classes.

The morning of day one was a Beginners class where we learned the basics or tiles and strings and some different tangle patterns. In the afternoon we learned shading techniquest to make the tangles pop.
The last part of the afternoon concentrated on drawing with white ink and charcole on black tiles.
I love the way the jelly pen feels when it glides over the black paper.

On Sunday morning we learned how to 'deconstruct' the patterns that are all around us ever…

Doodlin' Around

I have been so excited about my upcoming art retreat, that I haven't been able to simmah down all week, Deah!. I have a lot of work stuff, and home stuff to do and doodling doesn't really fit into my schedule this week but it's all I can think about.  So I set aside 30 minutes (5:15-5:45) each morning this week to doodle. The rules are that there be only one doodle and that it be finished quickly.  If I finish in 10 mins, I'm still done... no fine details-just get it out of my system for the day. Here is Tues, Wed and Thurs' endeavors:

I've got my tote bag packed with more stuff than I'll be able to use in a month; sketch pads, cards, pen, pencils, books...I'll only be there one night but am looking forward to being in a place where there are no chores or distractions    and no TV...just focused,  unadulterated, self-indulgent doodle time! Squee! It's good to be me!