Friday, January 27, 2012

Take a Trip With Me

Introducing Hoardica Proffit.
My alter ego.
Yeah, I'm freaked out too.
Should I be on medication,
 or just take the ride?

I am feeling adventurous today.
Come on along with me!
The bus leaves every Friday.
Get on board here.
Enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tea for a Sicky

Rebecca is having a sick day from school today.
She immediately requested a tray set with tea and nibbles, as part of her therapy.

Oscar appears to be attentive and sympathetic,
but it's a thinly veiled disguise for beggery.
He is not a very good actor yet.

Fish crackers in a pretty nut cup,
unlimited TV viewing,...

...And Raspberry Zinger, generously sweetened with honey,
in a pretty cup.
It's going to be an extended sickness.
Rebecca will never want to go back to school!
("Yeah, you're right," she says,
after I read her this post.)
For more Tea Tuesday posts, visit Kimmie's blog.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Cheery RED Tea Tuesday

Today is a chilly, wind-howling-outside day,

so I am drinking hot black tea by the mug full

(working on my second pot)

and dreaming of the cherry pecan muffins

I had at Amy's house yesterday

(I supplied the dried Michigan cherries and Missouri pecans).

I've also got the color RED on my mind.

RED dispells the January blues.

So, no surprise, it's the color I am happily filling my etsy shop with.
You can't have a bad time on a weekend get away if you pack red luggage.
This bon-bon of a figurine looks good enough to eat!

I sold out of these playing cards within a week (12 at a time),

but you may use this photo if you like

(sorry, it's low resolution, so won't print super crisp, but hey, it's free!

And so darned cute!)

Maybe a beautiful book will dispell your blues?


Aha! The sun is making a brave showing through the clouds.

I'm off for a tea refill and photographing more red things (in the cheery sunlight) for my shop.

For more Tea Tuesday posts, visit Kimmie's blog.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tea and After Christmas Shopping

I went to Walmart this morning for a bag of dog food.

I walked out with $344's worth of Christmas decor and candy for $37 (that's tax included).

Oh, and the bag of dog food.

All of the Christmas stuff was 90% off!!!!

It took me 3 trips from the van to the house to unload my haul, each time going up two flights of stairs, straight to the attic, to deposit bags of lights, silk poinsettas and Santa hats, etc.

The fourth trip was to haul in a 36 lb. bag of dog food.

I was so thirsty from shopping and unloading that the last thing I wanted was a pot of hot tea.

So I had iced today instead.

Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger.

Rebecca had insisted that I make her tea last night and then she never drank a drop of it.

All I had to do was pour it over ice.

So pretty!

I had to photograph it quick before I drank it all.

Feels good to have a jump on next Christmas already!

Hope your day is as productive!

For more Tea Tuesday posts, visit Kimmie's blog.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Modern Day Pioneers

Thursday, I finally got to visit my think-out-of-the-box, can-do spirited friends, the Harvey's, at their dream-home-in-progress on 8 acres of Missouri prairie.

The back story.

They lived in a small house in Independence, MO, tolerating suburban living while dreaming of acearage and an energy efficient home (their dream home).

Most people think of a dream home being sprawling, spacious and castle-like

(well, I do, anyway! ha!)

Not Amy and Robin.

Small footprint, efficient use of a small space and eco friendly materials.

The "big" part of their dream was land, animals, a vegetable garden and a machine shed for Robin's power tools and antique car tinkering.

Fast forward to last spring.

They sold their suburban home too quickly and suddenly found themselves moving to land that had nothing but a Morten shed (large metal clad barn).

They lived, er, camped in the barn for 4 months before they even broke ground for their house.

Remember the 103*(F) days this summer in Missouri?

They lived through it without air conditioning.

They are brave and insane.

But living the dream nonetheless.

The Pioneers (left to right)- Max (13), Amy (artist, experimental cook, health food devotee), Robin (photographer, jack of all trades)

When I visited with them, they were living in the basement of their Amish modular log cabin, bought as a kit and they had done the construction themselves, with the help of family and friends.

I was/am in awe.

I got a tour of their former barn apartment (now Robin's wood shop and general storage), the upper floors of their cabin home (studded in and waiting for wiring, some limited plumbing, plank flooring, a few windows and dry wall).

They are doing all of the construction debt-free, using Craig's list for builders' surplus (like the energy effecient windows throughout) and salvaged materials (wood flooring from houses slated for demolition).

I am in awe.

Their footprint is about 680 square feet and is all they will pay taxes on (according to the county they live in).

The upper floors are property tax free.


The upper floors will have spiral stair case and ship's ladder access so precious space is not wasted on grand staircases. The house is adorable inside!

Like a luxury treehouse.

Speaking of luxury...

... Here is the fancy accomodations for the chickens.

Three hens and a rooster.

Inside the walls are painted with words of affirmation to encourage happy fowls and good egg production.

"You are EGGcellent egg layers!"

And above each box of straw,

"deposit here"

(with directional arrows).

Their water trough is painted with their own patron saint (attached to the inside of the clean out door).

Amy lavishes her talents in unusual places.

The chickens are a blessed brood.

Lunch was simple but wonderful.

Sorry, all I am showing you is the empty dishes.

We had vegetable soup made from duck stock

(the poor duck was put out of his misery because he had a broken leg)

and home made bread generously spread with home made pesto, which I brought

(saved it, in my freezer, just for this visit, since July;

thawed, it tasted just like summer!)

With a bottle of Missouri wine- heaven!
The visit was too short and I was already planning my return trip even as I left.
I was totally inspired.
And I want to bring my kids next time so they can run around the 8 acres with Max,
in wild abandon.
I'll take more pictures next time.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tears in a Bottle or What I Made on my Christmas Vacation

My sister-in-law's birthday was December 28.

Before Christmas she had shared with me that she was turning the spare bedroom in her house into a room just for herself to read, pray and journal.

There was no time before Christmas to make her something, but after Christmas I was inspired to create her a very special birthday gift.


The Bottle of Tears.

Inspired by a scripture in Psalms (56:8-9) that has a bottle reference as a receptical for collecting tears. I used the King James translation because it's the most poetic.

I lettered "tears" using a flat headed paintbrush, dipped in acrylic paint, and held the brush like a calligraphy pen.

I figure I can never go wrong with sheet music and this piece happened to have some rare bars without notes so allowed for some lettering.

I used watered down Elmer's (PVA?) glue to attach the "label" to the bottle.

I created a small booklet, from a folded manilla tag, containing scriptures about tears.

I used the original, humble, cotton string that came with the tag, to hang the booklet from the bottle's neck.

Additional embellishments were an old key on a ring with fibers

(because I believe you can never go wrong using a key and fibers as an embellishment.)

The Psalm is one King David wrote when he was in hiding from his enemies.

He was a man after God's own heart and just knew that God was so involved in his life and knew his grief and struggles so intimately, that each of David's tears were collected in a bottle; his sorrows in a book.

I want to believe that for myself and want my sister-in-law to know that kind of intimacy with God too.

The cork was a stroke of divine serendipity, like the label.

I had this metal ornamental thing and the lacy edging allowed me to push 3 straight pins through to attach it securely to the cork.

I just don't trust glue for all things.

I filled the bottle with old buttons, pearls, faux mica flakes, polyester lace, a couple of ostrich feathers and even dirty old string (which actually looks quite sublime!)

This is a great project for using lesser materials that don't hold up to close scrutiny in other projects.

It just wouldn't do to stick this kind of art piece in a commercially made gift bag, so I hand painted a heavy duty lunch sack with gesso.
It took less time than rummaging for an approprate gift bag and made a bigger hit.

My sister-in-law got teary when she saw the bottle and flipped through the booklet of scriptures.

Mission accomplished!

"Those who sow in tears will reap in joy."
Psalm 126:5

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Teacups

Christmas afternoon, when all of the in-laws came over for dinner and the gifta-palooza, I spied this fabulous hamper placed under our tree and thought, "I am so jealous of the person who gets it!"

Ha! Wouldn't you know it, it was for me, from my mother-in-law, who is now infamous for finding the perfect gifts for moi.

(See my Magic Suitcase post for another super Christmas gift from my dear MiL).

Inside the basket were 7, yes 7(!) teacups and saucers (I have 6 pictured) and additonally, she also gave me this wonderful teacup stand. She owns a flea market so doesn't have to look far for the perfect gifts. I had exclaimed over these cups before (they were so reasonabley priced!) but buying for myself is rarely a priority, so I just admired them and let them sit for someone else to buy, little knowing that I would get them for Christmas! The hamper basket and stand were the frosting on an already rich gift. Yum!

So come on over for tea at my house! I'm equipped with cups for a crowd!

Footnote: The art stuff happening in the background of the photo is my oldest daughter customizing a paint box she bought with Chritsmas money. Our dining room table always has something going on! Paint water and beverages share the same space so we have to be careful where we dip a brush! :)

For more Tea Tuesday posts visit Kimmie's blog.
Happy New Year to you!