Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Found Another One

We had a friend who came to stay with over the weekend. He mentioned he had not been able to locate his worker for a year now. We told him I can find things and people. He was not convinced and after a bit decided he did not want to bother. But the next day he had a dream about his friend and gave me some details and left. By the time he got back to our farm I had located his friend. His worker had been arrested and was a guest of the state for a over a year. The crime he committed  meant he would be a guest of the state for up to 10 years. Our friend was not thrilled to hear this news. I thought it was better than being dead. At least you can visit a person in some jails.

This is one of the reasons I do not find people for a living. Most do not want to be found and the families do not really want to find them. It is always about money. Money owed, money from an inheritance, money missing, money expected. I have heard and witnessed the "reunions of the lost"and it is rarely a happy event. Old grudges, old wounds, feelings are brought up when that person is found. And most get mad at the messenger- me. Even though they are warned, they think I can't do it.
There was only one time I could not find something, a ring. It was not the car the owner swore it would be. I told her to look in her office. That was were the ring was, she found it there.

But finding lost people and things is not rewarding and I only do it for friends. I enjoy fiber puzzles and discovering how something was created and then recreate it- better. I am looking forward to robots and hopefully will get to make my own thanks to 3D printing. The technology is getting so much better and affordable for home use. Automatons and dolls are just the shell I want to create for robots. I like the soft robot styles created in the Blade Runner movie by J.F. Sebastian. I think in the future our elderly in nursing homes or living alone would benefit from these kinds of robots. A strong 'bot around but also soft and friendly with replaceable and changeable skins.

We now have our very first flying 'bot and it has been very useful. We can see for miles and can track our farm. We can check fences in minutes instead of all afternoon. We can find our herd in seconds instead of calling them in and we can check them over easily. We can get to a fire and see what we need before we head out the door. There was one just across the highway. It was a controlled burn and was of no concern. Having a flying robot is just for first step but a wonderful way to find things.

January Un Crafting

Yes, it is that time. Time to clean, purge, organize my studio.  I moved my large oak table to the windows along with two of my sewing machines instead of the middle of the room. I have natural light along with the bright new LED bulbs. Moved the saddles and tack out of my studio.I had a ton of horse, kitten and farm vet supplies taking up space. I can't move my huge piano but that is just fine, she is happy where she is. So happy I got an upright.
As I go through a ton of forgotten patterns, fabric scraps piles, notes, catalogs, forgotten tools I find I no longer want to pursue some things I had once thought to. I am also making room for my leather crafting. I am looking forward to tooling and creating in leather. But that takes room and organization.
I have found I love certain brands of thread. I have to throw out all the old half saved spools. Connecting Threads has a very nice selection of cones and spools. I have them all with in reach and can depend on them.
I still collect buttons, eyes, yarns and silks for restoration. But I no longer need the patterns as I can create my own. My studio is still an animal hospital, kitten foster home, winter dog zone when it needs to be. But now I can put that stuff way until it is needed. 
While purging the basement I found a lot of food stuff given to us by a previous neighbor along with prepper grains I bought for "just in case". It had all spoiled and "gone over" even though it was all stored well. It will become chicken food. I had hoped I would have time to grind and bake my own breads from these grains. But life got busy on the farm. And we got older and do not eat as much as a young family might. We also do not eat that kind of food. We eat more Asian vegetables and rice now. So now a large part of our basement shelving has been cleared. It is funny how you live with things you do not need. While it is a lot of work this organizing was needed for our farm. Time to out the round bale and feed the horses. We have a strong winter storm headed for the Ozarks again this Saturday. Time to split and stack more firewood. 

Melon, boots and the wood stove.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Icy Night

We had a guest stay over for two days picking up equipment we stored for him. While here the ice storm came and coated everything in half and inch of ice here in the Ozarks.

We got up before dawn to make sure our guest made it on to the pavement and highway. Then got busy feeding the farm early. The ground was crunchy but easy to walk on. 

A mantis egg case in the bridal veil.

Our copper patio light with a blue flame LED bulb. Hanging heavy with ice.

Our pasture every blade was coated.

Sunflowers from the summer

buffalo grass

 my poor southern magnolia 

fallen branches heavy in ice fell on our truck

Chicken wire coated and fallen down with the weight of the ice

Friday, January 4, 2019

A fine eulogy

One of the couples we attended church with for the last 10 years had a loss. The wife of 58 years died from Alzheimers. Her husband took care of her at their home. She went fast in the last two weeks and on Christmas day she died. She was well taken care of and never had to go into a nursing home. He had friends and nurses and eventually hospice. But in the end it was just him with her and close friends. It is something we have dealt with a lot this past year. While so many live to a ripe old age, around us many are dying of Alzheimers and cancer. And I always listen to what might be a common reason/causality/evidence for this. Her mother had Alzheimers but none of her 4 sisters have been afflicted. But her adult sons came to the church to give a great eulogy about their mother. How kind she was, meticulous, feisty and how family was most important to her. She was very Catholic and remained so until her death. Her huge family of sons, cousins, grandchildren all came to show how much they loved Rose. It was nice to visit with them and hear their stories about the woman we only knew in her decline. 
What I took away from this was enjoy what you want from your life. Do what makes you happy. While I do not have any family except for my husbands to share with. I do have a handful of friends. And one day I might not be able to do what I enjoy. So seize your life and make it yours. And hopefully we will meet again on the other side in Paradise.

Gearing up

I have been listening to several piano genre and weeding out my favorites to play. I have always loved the ragtime and even the new styles like "Variations on Solace"by Dick Hyman. And my go to bed song Claire de Lune classic. I have piled up crafting over my piano and it is time to get her cleared off. I chose not to push playing this holiday. I took time off to bake and be with other people. I'd much rather starve and play music than socialize. But it was fun to hear others play.

I am moving our saddles and horse tack out of my studio as we do not ride them anymore. A friend wants to have a foal from our fox trotter mare Maple this year. So we will be shipping her off our farm for a while.
With the horse tack moved out I can put my instruments in my studio instead of the guest room. I will be able to get to my music and computer at the same time. I have been thinking about moving things around for a while now. Hard to have a studio and tack room at the same time. With winter on I do not have to deal with gardening yet.
Our guest room has seen a lot of use lately. So I will be clearing that room again instead of just for spring storage. Which I need to do as we have a guest this week. I still have a ton of holiday things to put away. My holiday baking ended up with balls and breads only. So I have a lot of unused flours and spices to store.
We are hoping to spend time out on the rivers again. We did none of that last summer and I missed it.
So with the new year there are plans in place and space to make for others. I will be turning 50 this year and plan to have fun!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Out with 18 and in with 19

Woke up with a pumpkin head full of sinus. Fed the farm and went back to bed as it rained outside. Husband got me up for lunch and a nap. Then we watched some movies and 
back to farm chores and sewing.
I got a memory bear finished for a friend who's wife died on Christmas. He has family coming in and we are the away team for church preparations. Everyone is traveling or out of town. Our tiny Ozarks church is shrinking with each passing year.  
But it was a good last day of the year. Taking it easy, lots of napping and creating as the sun set on the cold rainy day. Tomorrow will be very cold and no more rain. Hopefully my sinus will abate and I can have a clear head again.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Beautiful Fantastic

Watched this movie "This Beautiful Fantastic". Very nice to see this good story, British actors with an English garden. It has Gaelic, ducks, gardens, library and OCD. A refreshing break from all the crappy movies out there. This one will make you warm inside and make you yearn to plant roses.

2019 Doll Projects

There are a ton of handmade dolls thanks to the internet. I am amazed and in love with all the ideas I have seen. So much talent out there.

Who does not love an angry Cephalopod?

How about these?

Gonna make one of these for my sofa. This is just too much fun.

I am restoring this handmade Japanese doll. I love her details, costume and hair.

Found Bearings

Here is the easy pattern I like to use for memory bear making. You can find this at Walmart, Amazon and ebay. I paid more than the original price but it is worth it. Plus there are a ton of online vids about making these bears. I also make plastic and cardboard copies of the pattern for longevity. And get a ton of lightweight interfacing, you will need it.

Christmas day happy clients.

Christmas 2018

It was a very busy Christmas with dealing with feline and human deaths both at home and with friends. This is Puff preventing from making some jelly cookies. I had big plans to bake a variety of cookies this year. But I ended up baking 20 loaves of cranberry walnut bread and a shitload of whiskey balls for gifting in one day. It was the perfect amount for gifting this year thanks to my poultry, plastic bento boxes and the local liquor store.

Church was the usual crazies of decorating and a yet another new priest. This is the 4th priest in 3 years. And each one has their own opinion on how and when to decorate. I stepped away from the whole thing and let others dive into this. I have enough on my life plate.

In all this death, dying and baking we got a real tree. We walked all over a tree farm and selected this one. They cut it for us and loaded it in my truck. Turns out I am allergic to these trees now. I broke out in hives after moving the tree inside. I ended up decorating the tree with long sleeves and gloves and taking a colloidal oatmeal bath after. So worth it though.

Our winter village of musical and moving ornaments. We celebrated with Christmas dinner with one friend over and open invitation for others if they wanted a hot meal. It was a full day of cooking a bird, ham and sides, feasting then Rummikub gaming.Then we had to return to our farms and clean up. We took the rest of the week off and split firewood when we felt like it. One friend died on Christmas day, one slipped into a coma, one was run over by a truck and lived and I thought wow, I got a lot to be thankful for. And I am. Life can change on a dime. I am sad for those left behind who grieve and are in pain. I know that pain. But when you stop and think about it, remember that person or pet, and then you get it- life is one hell of a ride.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Bear in Mind

Here are some fun bears I made from old shirts for a client. She wanted 4 bears from 4 shirts. It worked out well except for the fact the men's shirts were a bit smaller than the normal XL. But I added some extra fabric from my stash. The other sister wants to be a veterinarian so I found a doctor patch and added the V to it. The Walmart patch was where their grandfather worked for many years to provide for his family.

Two of these bears have special patches added. One little girl is a big NASA fan and wants to get into space. As my husband worked for the space program he had a few patches to spare.

Adding stash fabrics for the backs. One is velvet and the other is flannel. I also added weighted plastic filler to help the bears sit better on a shelf. A note that light fusible interfacing is so worth it and a must do. It is mentioned once in the pattern directions but you really have to interface all the bear parts for stability of your stitches in the shirt fabrics.

The pattern I used was Simplicity A2115 It's so easy. You can still find on ebay for around ten bucks even though the original price was $2.00 at Walmart. It is worth it as the pattern is easy. Plus, several people have posted their technique on youtube to show you how to make one. Like a second copy of the pattern using plastic sheets for multiple bear cuttings.
I did add baby proof plastic eyes and flocked noses from my collection. They have a whole community of DIYers that make just custom eyes for costume and hobby crafting these days. I ended up buying some clear glass eyes to make my own after the holidays are over.

Poppy Passing

From my husband about Poppy, our barn cat:
A cat story:
When we first moved to Missouri in 2009, we had another month before closing on a house, so we moved into a hotel and all our pets were boarded at a vet. On the second day, we stopped at Walmart for some supplies. As we got out of the car, a kitten ran under the car. Ruthlynn wanted to rescue it, but I protested saying that we didn't even have a home yet.
We compromised, deciding if it was still under our car when we were done shopping, we would take care of it. After shopping, it was still there. When she pulled it out, she noticed that it was covered in oil and its intestines were hanging out of its rear end. Evidently, it had been run over (not by us).
We hurried it to the vet who popped the intestines back in and stitched him up. We named him "Poppy" because of that. The vet kept him next to dogs for the next month, until we moved in.
When we moved in, he spent more time with the dogs than the cats and acted like a dog. He spent as much time as possible outside. Whenever we walked out of the house, he would run up, meow to be pet, and escort us around, even to the far corners of our woods. He was our pasture pal. He would even climb the trees and meow until we acknowledged him.
When we fostered kittens, he would spar with them and teach them to fight. We have a rug called the "Poppy Dojo" where the male cats would entertain us with their sparing.
About a year ago, Poppy became a bit less responsive. His appetite decreased and he started losing weight. When he started to get really thin, we brought him to two separate vets who could find nothing wrong. Poppy continued to lose weight and eventually quit eating and drinking all together. That was a week ago.
We've been watching him decline, checking on him throughout the day and night to make sure he was comfortable and alive. At one point, when he could barely stand, he headed outside and disappeared towards the woods. We hoped he was going to die on his own terms. But, he showed back up around dusk, ready to come back in.
Tonight he fell down the stairs, was yowling in pain and twitching. We didn't want him to die in pain, so we decided to have him euthanized while the vet was still open. Ironically, it was the same vet who put his intestines back in nearly a decade ago.
Losing a pet is the hardest part of owning one. But, we are thankful for the time we had with him and we feel good that we gave him a good life. His passing teaches us to value the time we have in this world.

Neat Noren

This is a Japanese noren or doorway curtain. It is used indoors in doorways with a tension rod. We use one in our downstairs to keep the heat out of our bedroom from our wood stove. It also lets our cats get into the room while still keeping privacy with the door open. So messy unmade beds are not seen and the cats can still roam freely. These noren can be use also to keep drafts down and flies out. I love that they are floating art you can use instead of a closed door. In New Orleans the old homes had these in every room for almost the same reasons. But I like these light washable Japanese ones more than the heavy velvet of the South.