Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Stamps

My Sister-in-law visited a few days this week and part of our visit included craft time. She is very supportive of me and encouraging, so it's not hard to be inspired to create. We stayed up late a couple of nights and these are some stamps I carved:

I love doing these rubber stamps, but still have a hard time figuring out what I should be doing with them. I like the designs of these three and will probably do some tags and mini cards. It will be nice to have some new designs on my Etsy site.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A New Treasury

I'm feeling especially fortunate today. I found out that I have been featured in another Etsy treasury! Wow! The curator is Lynchgirl - I hope you will take time to visit her Etsy shop and the shops of others in this treasury. It's so much fun to be recognized, isn't it?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bird Houses

Here are some of the birdhouses I've been working on. The one on the right is already spoken for. Once I figure out how to ship these things, I may add them to my Etsy shop.

I have so many unpainted birdhouses, just waiting for some color and design, that I could probably be painting them for several months. I'm a little concerned that I'm running out of design ideas, but I'll keep working on it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Etsy Treasury

I love to open my email to find a surprise message from someone. Whether it's someone I haven't heard from in awhile or someone who is purchasing from my Etsy shop. I love it. Today I got a message from Devi of Hippie Kingdom letting me know she had included some of my tags in her treasury. I'm really excited about this because I've only been in a couple of other treasuries and I've never actually gotten to see my stuff in a treasury. So thanks for letting me "toot my own horn" here by posting the treasury. I hope you'll take some time to check out Hippie Kingdom and the others who are included in this treasury.

Another Thing

This is one of the other things I've been working on and have recently come close to finishing. It's a wooden heart ornament. Who says ornaments have to be just for Christmas? Will be adding this to my Etsy shop as soon as possible.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Things Completed - Or Nearly So

My craft cave is full of potential projects, unfinished projects and things that will never, ever become projects (but I'm still pretending they might).   And the sad part is, I don't want to work on any of them. Fortunately though, I've made myself finish a couple of things and here is a photo of one of the completed projects. I must confess that these have been finished for awhile, I just hadn't taken any pictures yet. I know...I'm a slug!

I painted these candlesticks for my son's 1st grade teacher. Of course, I didn't get them to her, so she won't be receiving them until he's in second grade. Maybe that will be more of a surprise: "hey, here's your teacher appreciation gift from last year!"

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Some Fears About Farming

Tonight as I'm reading a little bit of, You Can Farm the Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise by Joel Salatin, I find that my mind is drifting toward "the dark side". You know the dark side...the place in your mind full of fear and insecurity. The place that calls to you when you are excited about doing something fun, wonderful, different. No matter how hard you resist, you can not help but walk a little too close to the dark side, so you hear it telling you all the things you are doing wrong. All the reasons why you're crazy or an idiot or how you're going to fail.

If you don't know who Joel Salatin is and you are interested in farming and food, you need to google him. He's very interesting and has very strong and unique opinions on farming. I'm sure I'll be mentioning his writing again, since he is one of the people inspiring us to take the big leap into farm life. He has worked very hard in his life and he has made many sacrifices to live the kind of life he lives. I've only begun reading his book, but in the beginning there was a phrase that really caught my attention:

"...accomplishing your dream is not so much about mechanics and opportunity as it is about character qualities: self-denial, perseverance, commitment, focus." (You Can Farm the Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise pg. 4).

I think his statement is true and that is why I think I ended up in the dark side of my mind. Do I have what it takes to be a farmer/farmer's wife? Can I really work hard enough to make this thing a reality? I don't know. I believe I want to, but I also know how I tend to be, especially if there is something I really don't want to do. I tend to be like a grade schooler who is asked to clean his room. I fuss, whine, think of 5 million excuses why I can't, won't, shouldn't have to do the task that is expected. I whimper, get angry, call people names, etc. Typical brat stuff.

If I would not throw a big baby fit and channel that energy doing the task, it would probably take less time to do it than to throw a fit about having to do it. So in the case of shoveling cow poo, how do you think that will go over? It's not like the cows will shovel it themselves and it's not like we're going to have any hired help or anything. So I'll just have to do it. On a regular basis. In all kinds of weather, under all kinds of conditions. Can I do that? Will there somehow be a place in my heart that understands this is one of many things that needs to be done in order to have a farm? Will I be able to focus on a goal and work toward it rather than fill some immediate need to not shovel poo? These are the kinds of things that are weighing on my mind right now. (that and the fact that it's 11:44 pm and I'm hungry. All I want to do is fix some huge snack to eat. This is another area where immediate gratification and keeping my sight on a goal are quite challenging).

The other day my husband mentioned that we should've had more kids if we're going to do farming. I suggested that perhaps he could have brought this up earlier, like 10 years or so. Because it's too late now. In my younger years, I may have been tempted to birth a few more babies, but now I know I was not meant to be the mom of more than two kids. I guess we'll have to find other alternatives to getting our chores done!

Guess Who's Going to be a Farmer?!

My husband and I are land owners. We recently purchased 50 acres of farmland about 20 minutes from where we currently live. I wanted to post some photos of our land, but I don't have any yet, so I picked some clip art related to farming. I wanted it to be obvious that it wasn't our property-I think this picture does the trick.

The land we purchased was part of a bigger farm that had been in the sellers' family for over a hundred years. Because there were so many family members who owned the property and who were spread out around the country, they decided it was time to sell. My man found it in the paper - it was being advertised for auction. 

I guess I need to be fair here and let you know that from this point on, we have conflicting sides of the story. Dan has a totally different take on the events that lead to the purchase of this land, than I do. I'm just going to tell you my side, because I'm pretty sure it's the closest to the facts and well, this is my blog. He's welcome to start his own blog and share his side if he wants to.

We have both wanted to buy land for awhile. Dan has always been interested in land ownership, even before I knew him. Recently, we had been talking again about purchasing land so we could plant a big garden, but decided now wasn't a good time to do that. We thought it would be best to wait awhile. That's why I was kind of surprised when one day, he said "Honey, I found some land that's going to be auctioned in May". I responded in my usual way, when I think he's talking about something I think will never happen: "Yes, dear. That's nice, dear. Mmmhmm." (By the way, he responds to me the same way when he thinks I'm being unrealistic. Like every time I tell him I'm going to make our millions selling my art work. I'm still working on that dream, so there is the possibility that it will actually happen).

One thing I told him is that I have absolutely no interest (none. zero. zilch. nada) in building a house. I've never met anyone who felt that building their own home (or having one built) was in any way a positive experience. It sounds like a big pain in the hiney to me and I'd rather live in a house that is already standing when I buy it. That way I can walk through it, look around, picture myself and my stuff in it, and decide if it's the right place. If it's not, I can move on.

Anyway, when Dan started talking about this land, I knew it didn't have a house on it. So we had some "interesting" conversations concerning it.

Dan: I drove by that land today. It's really nice.

Laura: Really? What kind of house does it have?

It's got some nice fields...

Is it like a 4 or 5 bedroom?

Some trees...

Room for a craft area?

gently rolling hills...

two car garage?

Did I mention there is a creek that runs through the property?

I think a few weeks passed and he would occasionally mention the land, but pretty much, I had moved on with my life and figured we were done with talking about that particular piece of property.

Then one Sunday after church he said, "you know, that land auction is tomorrow".  I said, "when are you going to take me to see this land?". We drove by that afternoon and there is no doubt that the property was beautiful. It really does have fields, trees, gently rolling hills and a creek running through it (and no house). It also didn't hurt that it was wonderfully sunny out. I asked him a couple of questions like "what would be your immediate plans for it, what would you want to do", etc. Then we drove home and that was the end of it for me.

The next day, I was visiting with a friend, when Dan sent me a text "the land is going for X amount, can I bid?" Since I figured there was no way on earth he was going to get it, I texted back "go for it, baby". A few minutes later he sent another text "I bid Y amount" and I swear to you, it wasn't two minutes later he sent me another message "i got it!" My response? "oh sh*t".

That's the story of how we acquired our land. One of the biggest differences in our stories is that Dan likes to tell people he had totally forgotten about the land and had let the whole idea go. I have to remind him that if that were truly the case, he would've been at work instead of being at the auction!

I'm happy that we have land and I'm excited to make plans and to get out there and do some work. But I'm also a little shocked, I think. I'm a city girl, not a big city girl, but a large-ish city girl. My husband is a city boy and we have no idea how to live the rural life. I believe we can learn and will learn. There are some strong reasons why we want to live in the country (which I will cover at another not-so-late-in-the-nite time). In some ways I just wonder if it's absolutely insane to consider beginning farming when one is in his/her late 40's? I guess we'll see, won't we?