Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's going to be a white Christmas!

We here in New England have been having quite a time the last two weeks.  First an ice storm that devastated my area.  We lost power for 2 1/2 days, but others are still without water and power 10 days after the storm!  We are still worried about friends that are still waiting for normal life to return.  There hve been power companies from all over the eastern US here to help with the damage.  
Then mid-week we had a small snowstorm and received about 4" of the fluffy stuff.  Two days ago started a larger storm which slowly wound down yesterday, and we got about a foot of snow.  Today it is snowing yet again and we are expected to get another foot by the end of it!  It is pretty, but the worry about other people and so many branches that are still hanging, or weakened from these storms, is putting a bit a damper on the holiday spirit.  I am trying to stay cheery and get into the spirit of giving.  We have helped out other families with warm food and offered our house to stay or get warm.  This is truly what Christmas is all about!  The idea of going out shopping for things no one really needs just seems silly.  
So today we are sitting here watching the beautiful snow come down, have fed and watered the animals out back, have shoveled once already, and are making crafts for gifts.  My husband is needle felting, my older son is making friendship bracelets, and make 14 yo daughter is making lunch for the others.  My two wishes this Christmas are that we find out why our youngest daughter has been sick and how to fix her, and that those around us without power get it back soon!

I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday (Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas) and New Year!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Spirit has arrived!

I have just finished taking a look at the gifts I have been collecting for this Christmas.  I usually start no later than July!  I am in better shape than I thought.  This is helping with my stress level.  I have finished more craft projects and am having fun making things for friends and family this year.  Being creative is also blood pressure lowering!  I finished my needle felted Dala Horse (see picture below!) and it came out better than I expected it too.  You know most things you make come close, or end up looking very different than you what you thought at the start.  There are those rare projects that exceed your expectations.  This is the one.  I have always loved these horses.  They are normally hand carved and painted, and are absolutely beautiful.  I have never owned one, but my mother and sister do.  I have decided to keep this one instead of sell it because I like it so much.  

My daughter is still ill, but the Prilosec her Pediatric GI specialist has given her is helping.  She and my husband are off today to meet with the doctor about where we go from here.  I just wish we could get an answer about what is making her sick.  The not knowing is very hard on the whole family.  No one is sleeping well, and everything else in life comes second to making sure the ill one is taken care of.  

The sun has just come out again.  It started snowing yesterday afternoon for the first time this season, but then changed to rain overnight.  I would rather have snow!  

Peace!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving week!

Hi there,
It's been a little while since I have had a chance to write.  My 8 year old has been very sick and we are still looking for answers.  She has been through a battery of tests, and will have more to come.  Meanwhile, my life is pretty much on hold with needing to care for her, be there to help her get caught up on school work she has been missing, and trying to keep some of this house running relatively normally.  Everyone in the house is overtired and stressed-out worrying about her.
I have been trying to get a couple of needle felted projects done, but nothing new finished yet.  I am working on a Swedish Dala horse, and a ball ornament with snowflakes on it.  Both are looking really good but I don't know when I'll be able to finish them.  
Due to my daughter being ill, she and I will be staying home on Thanksgiving day, and my husband will be taking the other four kids to my dad's on Cape Cod.   It's a 3 hour drive and I know my daughter would not make that ride.  The other side of the family is having Thanksgiving together here in town, so we will probably plug into that gathering.  Then we are planning on starting to get out Christmas decorations!  I love the holidays and decorating.  I have a collection of angels and a village scene that are my favorite this to set up.    
Well, off to get her to bed for a nap.  She only made 2 hours of school today before her belly hurt to much to focus on her work.  I hope a rest helps!

I am thankful for everyone in my life, family, friends, and neighbors.  Our family is truly blessed!  I hope one and all has a wonderful holiday!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A new treasury on Etsy honoring New England!

Good evening!
I just set up a treasury at Etsy.com titled "N.E. Fall By N.E. Artists".  It includes some beautiful creations by very talented New England folk.  Our fall colors have just gone by here but these items remind me of just a couple of weeks ago.  

I have finally had a week without any kids home sick (knock on wood!), and been able to get to some other projects.  Tomorrow I will be listing more items on my own Etsy site.  

I am starting to get into the Christmas mode and mood.  Starting to think about items to sell and things to make for gifts for family and friends.  With the financial problems in the air right now I think we will be making more gifts than usual.  I have always baked for neighbors and friends anyway.  As well as make some gifts.  

Do something nice for someone else today.  It's amazing how it makes you feel better to be alive!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy and Sad Weekend!

This was a weekend of happiness and sadness.  A dear friend, basically family to us, died in a horrible car accident late Friday.  He was the type to always make you smile.  Rarely did you see him in a bad mood or grumpy.  He was silly and just a big kid with a giant heart of gold.  When my mother-in-law was in the later stages of Alzheimer's he took a lot of care of her for our family.  He has always held a special place in my heart.  Since I heard the news of him passing, I keep thinking back a couple of Halloweens ago to a family party where he wore a cow costume.  Complete with udders on his belly!  It was so funny the memory makes giggle every time I think of it.  This is what he would want.  He was a dear man, with a sweet wife, and great kids and grandkids.  I will miss my friend.
The happier side of the weekend was getting to see my own father on his birthday yesterday.  The weather was perfect.  A sunny, fairly mild fall day.  We are just past peak colors here, but it is still a beautiful fall.  We went out to lunch, and then apple picking on a gorgeous hill overlooking the now yellow, orange, and brown hills in the distance.  Taking a hayride over to the orchard and then playing with some sheep and goats.  My kids went through the corn maze (again!), though it is now dry and pale, instead of green stalks of corn.  I will post a shot or two of the corn stalks below, if you would like to see them.
Today is the first start to a week with no kids home sick in weeks.  I am headed to my craft shed, going to start a fire in the wood stove, and get to creating.  I am starting to feel the early twinges of Christmas fever coming on.  I love Christmas, even all the stress.  This year I want to concentrate on making things for the people I care about.  Life is short, and I feel it's important to show, and tell the folks you care about how much they mean to you.  That can make all the difference!  Peace.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Walk in the woods to Recharge!

I had to get out of this house today!  I had another kid home sick yesterday, and one school is closing Friday due to a teacher's funeral that means at least one kid home).  Very strange start to the school year this year.  When this morning was looking like I would actually get some time alone, I readied myself to take off for the woods as soon as I dropped the last child at school.  I went straight for the woods at a nearby state park.  I was alone with my 35mm camera, extra lenses for close-up effects, and my son's digital camera as well.  I climbed around slippery rocks along the river, picked up a variety of interesting leaves, and just listened to the water run over the rocks.  The sun was just coming over the hill on the other side of the river and sending dappled sunlight to specific places.  These would change as I waited to see what other joys would be highlighted.  
I then went across the road and a short walk into the woods to a great spot with a beautiful waterfall.  Every time I go there it looks different.  I have photographed this waterfall so many times and it is always a new shot.   Today was no different.  With the fallen leaves sticking to the wet rocks and the shadows of the trees and leaves, it was gorgeous.  I think I might have even caught a shot or two including the mist around the falls.
The fall colors are at peak here and the leaves are at an almost constant show of falling to the ground, blanketing the entire area.  Truly a dreamland if you just look around and take it in.
I started off today in a bad mood and cranky.  After an hour and half in the woods I was recharged.  As I left the state park I decided to take the longer scenic route to the grocery store.  Now it's back to the mom grind, but with renewed energy.   

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Addresses to Etsy and Treasury

I am a little confused about how to get these to post so I hope this works.

Etsy Treasury List:
http://www.etsy.com/treasury.php

My Etsy Treasury:
http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=14531


Autumn is here and new treasury on Etsy!

Good morning,
       This weekend is just gorgeous here.  The colors of fall are in full pop!  The traffic through our town has been crazy with all the leaf peepers.  The air is crisp and slightly cool.  There are bright, orange pumpkins and big, juicy, red apples at every farm stand and orchard in the area.  We went apple picking last weekend in fact.  Taking a hay ride into the field of trees, each chock full.  After picking our fill, and taking lots of photos of the family, another hay ride back to the stand and baby animals.  The day was like today, a perfect fall day.
This morning I actually got a treasury put up on Etsy.  These are collections of items that you like and make a grouping for others to view.  You can check it out at the following address.  It is great fun to check out the different treasuries that others have listed as well.  My treasury is titled Birds, Branches, and Bees.  
I am having such fun seeing all the wonderful talent and creativity on Etsy.  I am so inspired to do more creative projects myself.  The fall colors I find inspiring as well.  I have taken a couple of walks in the woods with my family and found such wonders as blue heron tracks, a variety of interesting mushrooms, and beautiful waterfalls.  

Off to enjoy this day.  

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mom and kids home sick!

     Life as a mom is never dull!  I have two of my girls home sick today, and I am fighting my second cold in two weeks.  I have been trying to fight though feeling lousy and just putter along, getting misc. things done and even a couple of projects worked on.  I worked on cleaning on my craft cabin out in the back yard yesterday, and that felt good.  My husband and I build the cabin a few years ago because our house is so small there was no space for my ever growing craft supply piles.  We incorporated free windows, recycled boards, and a door we bought at a yard sale.  The cabinets inside were going to be thrown out from a garage across the street.  I love my own room!  I have lots of things hanging up on the walls and from the ceiling as inspiration to be creative.  Yesterday I worked a bit more on some gourd projects I started a while ago, until my Dremel got stuck, and it needs a little WD40.  So then I was down to sketching some ideas that I would like to carve into the gourds.  I also tested some wood stain that I had bought to see how it looked on the gourd surface.  I liked how it soaked deeper into the areas that were carved into the gourd and so gave two looks in one.  
With kids home today I am not getting anything creative done.  Instead I have worked on school paperwork (book orders, picture day forms, field trip forms, grocery slips that help the schools, etc.) and updating my huge calendar.  I have one that has 5 large columns.  One for my husband and I, and then one for each kid's school.  With five kids in four schools this year I am having to be even more organized than I have been in past years.  I am glad that it's the only year I have this many schools to keep track of.  

Just a peak at a day in the life of a stay-at-home mom!

Take care!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Fall Morning!

Good morning,
Today we finally woke up to the sun shining.  This whole week we have had grey, wet days.  I don't mind the rain.  In fact I love to run and splash in the puddles.  Yes, I taught my kids to enjoy the rain too, but to also respect when there is thunder and lightening.  So back to today, which is also cool and crisp.  The way fall should feel.  I am so happy the weather changed because we are planning on going apple picking tomorrow.  I just can't go to the apple orchard unless it feels like fall.  We tend to take a family picture in the apple trees for our Christmas cards.  We go to this small but beautiful orchard called Windy Hill in Greenville, NH. It sits on the top of the hill with spectacular views of the fall colors all around.  Fall foliage in New England is worth the humidity in the summer!  I really love living here with the change of seasons and always something new around the corner.  

I am planning on listing more needle felted items today at Etsy.  I have a variety of pumpkins that I think came out really well.  I don't usually like to do the same thing over and over, but these have been a lot of fun to make.  Next I am working on some winter and Christmas ideas.

Take care.


Monday, September 29, 2008

New Crafting Site!

Hi again,
     I have started a page at Etsy.com to sell some of my crafts.  This is uncharted territory for me, both exciting and nerve wracking.  I make things that are inspire by our natural world.  Hence, my title!  I have always been intrigued by branches, trees, and leaves.  Nature is incredible with the variety of colors, shapes, and patterns.  I love photography and playing with light.  In the last year I have begun needle felting and instantly loved this craft.  I like to try different crafts and really like it when a friend can show me what they are up to.  This is how I learned about needle felting.  
     I started off listing 8 needle felted items yesterday and will add more as I go.  I am also hoping the sun will come out today so I can get some good shots of my photo cards to put up as well.  I have been trying my hand at carving gourds.  When I finish a couple of projects I intend to add them too.  I hope you will check me out.

Introducing MA Naturally Inspired

Hi,
I am very new to this blog thing but felt it was time.  Just yesterday I started a page at etsy.com, a crafters community.  I am so excited and nervous at the same time.  I have always enjoyed being creative, but mostly made things for gifts.  A friend started with Etsy and she inspired me.
     I am a mom of 5 kids, ranging in age from 7 to 14 years old.  Yes, I was pregnant a lot for those 7 years!  I loved having babies.  I have enjoyed every step from learning to walk, talk, eating for themselves, etc., except potty training!  Now I am loving my bigger kids.  Yes, having a teenager is a challenge, but I see signs of the wonderful adult she will make.
     I have been married for 16 years next month to my friend.  We were married on my birthday, in the gazebo on the common, in the town he grew up in and most of his extended family still lives in.  I like my husband and love him.  We like to work together in the garden, on craft projects with the kids, and take care of our chickens, cat, angora bunny, and 4 hives of bees.  My husband is the local 4-H leader.  I am the behind the scenes helper.  
     The motto for our marriage is "We can get through and do anything Together!".  This has been tested through two miscarriages, our house fire in 1996, lead paint problems in our 3rd child in 1998, this same child putting a toy in her ear at age 3 (2000) and is now legally deaf in that ear, and my husband's mother dying of complications to Alzheimer's disease in 2004.  
      This year is just hectic with 5 kids in 4 schools.  I am trying to balance taking care of the house, all the school paperwork and volunteering, and crafting for myself.  I think I am a better person, mom and wife if I get time to be creative in one form or another on a regular basis.  Currently I am liking needle felting, have always loved nature photography, and I have started carving gourds.  Other creative outlets for me are scrapbooking, genealogy research, and gardening.  I love to cook and bake too.  
Fun thing we do as a family are nature walks, letterboxing, extract our bee's honey, make maple syrup, and build things, like the many sheds in our yard.  One of the buildings is my creative escape.  Complete with recycled cabinets (going to be thrown out across the street), windows (free), and door (yard sale).  My husband is great at making something out of nothing. I have learned a lot from him about not "needing" so many things and appreciating what I do have.  
Both my husband and I have teaching degrees, but he is the teacher outside the home.  I am amazed at what a wonderful teacher he is.  The type of students he works with are not the easiest and more than I could handle.  He makes a difference!  I enjoy helping on the kid's classrooms, and on field trips.  I find it fun to work with the teachers and the kids are always fun to observe.  The ones that really enjoy learning are a joy to work with.
     Anyway, I guess that's a good place to start off.  Talk to you again soon.  Thank you for reading!