Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Iron Craft: Camp Craft

Years ago, I was into making things from twigs. Mostly all that I had made were some decorative hanging that I had hung on some of the trees at our Airstream retreat property. Like many of the craft projects I do, I developed dreams of taking it to a grander scale. I'd make twig baskets, twig furniture, maybe even an arbor. I bought supplies, I bought books.

Of course, those grand dreams never materialized. I can never stick to one sort of project. I'm always moving on to something else.

So this week's Iron Craft challenge was a good return to something I've done before. Except this time I had a glue gun to make the process go much quicker. I added some small crystals in the middle of the twig diamonds that catch the sunlight.

It doesn't look like much in the picture and of course, it would be much to have been had a tree to hang it on. The Big D usually climbs a ladder to hang these. It's much more exciting to see them from below.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Iron Craft: Something For Him

I wasn't going to post about the Iron Craft challenge this week because it's for Him. The challenge was to create something to honor the wonderful men in our lives. For me - there is only one. The Big D.

He has been in my life for over 18 years, we've been married for 17 of those years. I spent my twenties with him, my thirties and now I'm starting off the 4th decade of my life with this incredible man. We've grown together in every way possible. The last big growth spurt has unfortunately been on our bodies. But I think he gets better looking everyday, whereas me? Well, let's just say, bigger looking, ok?

I knew he would be a good father. And he is. More so than I could have ever imagined. The great thing is that I still feel he is a husband to me, meaning we haven't let the new addition to our family completely take over our relationship.

So I had to craft something for him, in addition to the Father's Day gift I bought. I had fun!

I found this fun, easy-to-make, cut-out frame here. The frame was really easy to make, however, getting the right size photos were a bit of a hassle. I just printed them on regular printer paper so there was virtually no cost. I recycled my mistakes.

After I had it all assembled, I decided I had to do another craft. Except this one was just sort of a funky, quirky little thing. Just a little something fun. Jeez. Have I said "fun" enough times yet?

This photo is intriguing, isn't it? Believe me - I made something out that discarded cardboard box. Yes, I admit, sometimes I make rice out of a box. It's only when I make some rice to go with burritos or tacos. I haven't found the right recipe yet. I sure am glad I did last week because that's the only box of that kind I'd ever have in my house. I pray that Lotus Bud doesn't get into a mac-n-cheese kick someday. Fingers crossed.

See? Fun. I found the idea here.

Oh, yeah, so I never finished telling why I wasn't going to post about this week's challenge. I didn't want him to find out. When I casually mentioned this to him, he assured me that he'd hold off reading the blog until Sunday. See how awesome he is?

The Big D. The man I love. The father of my child. Awesome!
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

24 - Another Flower

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Iron Craft: You Are Here

I have a ton of maps. I have maps in my Jeep, I have maps hanging on my walls, I have maps crammed into my shelves. This week's Iron Craft challenge was leading right up my alley and into my backdoor. Where it promptly got stalled.

I was really hoping this week's challenge would lead to some creative genius idea which would allow me to do something with all those maps I've been collecting for all these decades (yes, I have that many).

I don't know if it's the warm weather or the lingering daylight that's got me crafting much less these days. It just now (in this very moment) occured to me that it IS because of the change in seasons that has me occupied with other things. I've have all these plain white onesies waiting to be altered for the Lotus Bud.

You know where this is going, right?

Yep, I made another shirt for the Shunkins.

I have a deep, abiding love for Lake Superior. I've spent many a special occasion on the Lake Shore. I've spent many days and nights camping up there. Many weeks in vacation condos during the winter months. I have experienced the Lake from the Minnesota side, the Wisconsin shore and this last vacation of ours was spent on Michigan's Keweenaw Pennisula.

I simply had to something map-related with Lake Superior.

I do have many maps of the Lake. I have the circle driving map, a map of the depths of the Lake, a map of all the shipwrecks, etc, etc. However I could not use any of these. So, I found a map online and printed it on some iron-on transfer paper, then ironed it onto the onesie.

Next time I head to Lake Superior is going to really special because not only do I get to spend more time on that spectacular body of water, but I will also get to see this little girl run around on the lake shore.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

23 - Bright Columbine

Finally the April showers have brought about the June flowers. The neighborhood is a bloom with bright color!
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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout

This Rogue bottle of beer is a big ass bottle and it has been sitting in my fridge since last Fall. I have a small fridge. The big bottle took up a lot of space for far too long.

Why haven't I sampled it yet?

I stopped drinking beer last Fall in an effort to lose some weight - too many carbs. I still really enjoy beer and when we visit a place that brews beer I have to buy some. I've got quite a few varieties from our trip to the Keweenaw Pennisula.

Also, I admit I got a little scared. I picked a few microbrews from my local liquor store and I hit just one too many that were not to my taste.

And so the Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout sat in the corner of my fridge for months and months. Yet every time I opened the fridge there was Shakespeare tipping his hat to me as if to entice and seduce.

I resisted. Until tonight.

But I should say I only opened it because we have to simmer some uncooked brats in beer before they go on the grill for tonight's dinner. I forgot to pick up some cheap beer for this purpose. It being Sunday and all and since I live in Minnesota, there is no beer to be had on this sunny, warm June day.

Did I mention it's a big ass bottle? I don't need all that beer for the brats so I poured myself a glass, remembered I had this Lotus List, and decided to live a little.

The Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout is made by Rogue and they use no chemical, additives or preservatives. Yikes! I guess I got lucky that the beer is still fresh.

It was a beautiful, creamy pour with a tan, foamy head. We're off to a good start!

The beer is very dark, Rogue calls it "ebony."

I stuck my nose down into the glass but was not able to distinguish a particular aroma. The Big D claims he smelled something chocolaty, something nutty. I need to fine tune my senses here, for sure.

I had a smooth sip that coated my tongue. It left a slightly bitter, slightly nutty aftertaste, but then mellowed out meaning the bitterness was gone after a few minutes. That I like.

After about 5-6 tastes I caught hold of something very, slightly fruity on my tongue - ahh, me thinks that tis the character that names the beer well.

I found myself watching the bubbles gently on the surface. The remaining bubbles seemed to collect in the glass which at first seemed to me like a galaxy of stars. But after they settled, I looked down into the glass and saw islands. Seriously, no. I'm not drunk. Yet.

There it is - Friends, Bloggers, Beer-drinkers. The Rogue Oatmeal Stout was slightly bitter, slightly fruity, all good - exactly like Shakespeare to me! It was well named indeed.
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Friday, June 3, 2011

22 - Fluff

Should the dandelion be classified as a weed? While there are many medicinal and culinary uses for the dandelion, many people think of them as pesky and worrisome, spending many hours and possibly dollars extracting these yellow flowers. I like that it goes through stages and this last stage is my favorite.
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Thursday, June 2, 2011


Dear Lotus Bud,

I haven't managed to write my monthly letters to you. I've missed four months, I think. So perhaps I'll try a different format.

I should offer another apology. I'm so, so sorry that I hadn't taken you to the parks in our neighborhood. Well, actually, I took you to the parks, only I didn't introduce you to the true joy of the park.

You had your first taste of a swing. A swing in the bright sunshine of a late Spring day.

You were skeptical at first.

You looked at me like I was fool.

But I just knew you would like it...eventually.

I was ready with my camera to catch that first smile.

After that, you needed to inspect the situation a little more.

You looked very closely at every aspect of this swing.

Finally, the situation met your approval.

And then the true fun began!

We haven't missed a day since!
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Iron Craft: Al Fresco

I took the simple route for this week's Iron Craft challenge. I decided to do one of the craft projects suggested on the site, a craft featured on Dollar Store Crafts. Except I did something much simpler than what was featured. Go look at the pretty paper lanterns and be impressed. They are great, mine are not.

The only impressive thing I did was to use all materials I had on hand and so I managed to use up left over scraps of cardstock and the one remaining roll of ribbon in my home. I also used some of the glitter I bought for a previous week's project.

My intention was to take these paper lanterns and hang them in the trees at our Airstream retreat property in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, it rained when we were there and on top of that, our power kept cutting out because of all the humidity so we left the very evening on the day we arrived. Temps were going to dip down into the 30s that night and so too cold for the Lotus Bud.

We finally got a sunny, but windy day down in the City. The bonus of being home for the long holiday weekend was that I got to work on my garden/yard!

Looking forward to the next challenge and hopefully by then, I won't be so tired out and ready to something more interesting!
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