Sunday, March 29, 2009


Hello all....
Well, I have been up to no good lately and I haven't been able to blog about it because it has been a complete surprise. As you all know, my hubby turned 40 on Thursday and I just couldn't have a little ol' thing for him...I had to continue it for several days, each with just a little surprise.
Friday night I surprised him after his soccer game with a decorated table in the bar and a mexican dip for him and his teammates. This was to throw him off if he had any idea of what was in store for him on Saturday.
So backtrack a little has been really hard to not let him know what was up...VERY HARD!!! I had to create the invitations, which BTW the online printer screwed up and never sent them to me. Todd came home to my tirade of being on hold for 45 minutes and then finally got a hold of someone in customer service only to find out that they wanted ME to pay extra (which I had already done) to get them shipped out. Todd didn't understand why I was so upset about my "business cards". That is what I had to tell him about that scenario...
THEN...Friday I decided to make a little road trip for myself because Todd didn't have to go to work until 12:00 and I had all the food to buy. Then it turned into 1:00 and then into 2:00. Meanwhile, I am up in Ithaca killing time with groceries in the car so I didn't get home with all the party stuff in my car while he was still home. Note: I still had to prepare most of the food!
Todd finally leaves, I get home, shuttle all the stuff into the house and started preparing all the food...AND I got it done in record time!!! Then I had to get rid of all the evidence so now load it all back into the car and head to my in-laws to drop off everything for safe keeping!
Saturday morning - I got up early and started cleaning the house. It was already pretty much cleaned up but dusting, running the vacuum and cleaning the bathrooms needed to be done. So here I am running around trying to get things done while Todd was home. I had to lie again and say that friends might come over later to celebrate his birthday and have pizza and wings. Todd FINALLY leaves to go golfing with his dad and I kick it into HIGH gear. Platters out, napkins, plates and etc in coolers with ice, cups and soda and wine out...decorate a little outside...shower, get dressed, get Graydon in the shower....then 1:00 food out, friends arrive (Thanks Kathy for your help), Todd comes home and festivities begin.
He was very surprised and when he asked who was coming I told him he would just have to wait and see. Tons of people came and it was quite loud in our little farm house but it was so much fun!! All the kids had fun playing outside and everyone conjugated into the kitchen for good food and drinks!! A special thanks to the friends who helped out and brought food!!! P.S. dummy me forgot to take pics!! What was I thinking?
So THANK YOU EVERYONE for helping me keep such a GREAT secret and also in celebrating my wonderful husbands 40th birthday!!

Friday, March 27, 2009


OK, I may be CRAZY for posting these pics but I just have too, because they are so funny. People in the restaurant must have thought we lost our mind last night! Of course it was a nice white table cloth and napkin restaurant and here we are in hysterics but here it goes.
Notice the above photo of Larry the Cable Guy, well sad to say we like his comedy. It is red-neck humor all the way and maybe deep down there is a little red neck in all of us! Come on, admit it! Well, my in-laws gave Todd a camo Virginia Tech hat last night and he posed for a couple of nice pics in it, but then upon my prompting of "Get-R-Done", this is what he did...
It's not pretty....
Close your eyes....
Take a deep breath......

Ta-Dah....Larry the Cable Guy has a TWIN!!!
Todd the Camo Guy
Oooo boy am I gonna get it for this....

Thursday, March 26, 2009


to my
Also to my brother-in-law, STEVE!!! Happy Birthday too!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sap to Syrup

Well I did it!!! I just made maple syrup from the sap I have been collecting all week long. Due to a low temperature and lack of time, today is finally it. Throughout the week I collected from two trees 2 gallons of sap. While you might all think that is a lot, let me just tell you it is not!!! Two gallons of sap turned into 3/4 cup of syrup but say, I will be enjoying it tomorrow morning on homemade waffles or pancakes!!!


The above photo was obviously taken before the process. The canning jar on the left was crystal clear sap while the jar on the right was slightly yellowish in color. No biggie, just sap from two different trees but it did make me wonder a bit.

The start of the process...note time 4:00PM (it says it takes 8 hours to complete)

1. Large Pot

2. 2 gallons of sap

3. Hood vent ON

4. Crank the baby up to high and let her go!

About half way through...notice the color has now changed and the amount also by half.

Three quarters of the way through...changed to smaller pot and color has deepened.


3/4 cups of goodness!! Note time:


I've always done things fast!! Who wants to watch a pot boil!
Graydon has a friend spending the night tonight and he will be enjoying breakfast with us tomorrow...I almost can't wait!

On another note, I started my seeds today...maybe a week later than I should have but I needed to clean off my rack that has all my grow lights. It has been a couple of years since I have started seeds and last year made me sad not to have any home grown plants. So today I planted 3 different varieties of tomatoes, black-eyed susan vine (one of my favs), coleus and 2 different types of marigolds for my veggie garden (helps keep critters out and adds color too ;} ). Tomorrow I need to get more soil and plant more and more!!


Here is a trick for all you seed starters (Nancy):

take cheap mini blinds and cut them up to create
inexpensive labels!!!

I also finished my necklace yesterday afternoon. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out and tomorrow I'll post a pic of it since I forgot to take one with me all blinged out. Now I just need the ring I saw at "Tom's" to add to my collection.
On another note my hubby and I went to a benefit yesterday afternoon for a girl my sister knows and Todd also plays soccer against her in his league. It is an amazing story so check her out here . The benefit was incredible! So many people came out in support for her and her family. There was gift baskets, raffles and silent auctions galore. The "Team" that organized it all did such a FANTASTIC job creating it, they should be so proud. I can't wait to meet her some day, she really truly is an inspiration!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Itchin' Twitchin'

Boy my hands are just itchin' to create right now.
As previously posted, I have started to work in porcelain clay and am loving the outcome. I just picked these little beauties up from the studio this morning and I am very pleased with how this adorable bunny design turned out. Just in time for Easter too!! I will hopefully have a berry wine color if the glaze isn't too picky...maybe even a light pink!! I do have to say that I am starting to put my rubber stamp collection into good use!!

A new color the studio has just introduced...Blueberry!! Just look at the earring dangling off the rim!! The earrings are from MetalsNGems. All of these will be listed tomorrow morning if you are interested in them.

I even created them in white too!!

What's this you might ask...well it's a lot of goodies that I collected to create a one of a kind necklace for myself. My head is just brimming with fun stuff and mama needs some new BLING!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tree Tapping

I picked up a cheap book from our local Agway that gives you step by step instructions on tapping trees and making syrup. Pretty self explanatory but I needed to read it anyways. I purchased two white taps that were about $1.12 and used some plastic milk jugs that we were recycling. The thing with this is, is that out of two gallons of syrup I think you only get 1/2 cup- 1 cup of syrup. Pretty time consuming but at least it's worth a try!!
The day was absolutely gorgeous out today so this afternoon we decided to give it a go. First thing first, drill the hole at a slight angle up...I guess this gives it better flow.

Then Graydon cleaned the hole out before we stuck the tap in. At this point the sap was flowing out of the hole already!!
Todd tapped the spout in and it started flowing pretty good...
After about a 1/2 hour we started having an accumulation in the bottom of the jug. Can't wait to see how much there will be in the morning!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Pretty much uneventful here today. Off to work this morning and then to the doctors for some yearly check-ins. Everything seems AOK, I have to do some fasting blood work on Monday but that is just for cholesterol and thyroid. Check that one off my list for 2009!
While I was browsing the Internet, these goldfinches were having a ball at the feeder. The above photo was by accident catching this little female in mid-flight. The bottom photo was pretty funny to watch. This little male was so mad that other birds were trying to eat as well, he had is mouth open trying to bite them as they got closer. I love this time of the year...the birds are starting to migrate back and their sounds fill the air.
Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Giveaway at Chocolate and Steel

I want this ring so nobody follow the instructions ;)
A beautiful ring from Chocolate and Steel. I just discovered her blog today.
Word has gotten around! You must check it out and her beautiful Etsy shop too :)

Life and Nutter Butters?

Where am I going with this you might ask...well here's a story about last night. I worked a full day yesterday and was pretty darn exhausted by 4:00. For those of you who do not know what I do during the day when I say "work"...well, here it is.
I clean houses...yup that's me with a bucket and mop in one hand and a vacuum in the other. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy working for myself and I love the hours I have. I have been doing this for almost 10 years now and wouldn't trade it for anything since I can be home to get Graydon off and on the bus and spend some quality time with him. Well I would trade it for something (art) but it just isn't so profitable. So back to my story...4:00 hit, Graydon was home I closed my eyes for about 10 minutes, got up, dinner ready, fed the kid and myself, got him ready for soccer practice, Todd got home, shipped them off to soccer practice and I left to go and clean an office that I take care of once a month.
After 2-1/2 hours on my feet working my arse off, I started driving home. Mind you now it is about 8:45 PM. I get a phone call from Todd asking for me to stop and pick up Nutter Butters, "we are craving them" he says. Just what I wanted to do after all of this, BUT I love my family so I obliged. I had to stop and pick up some frozen berries for my shakes I have every morning so I figured that "Maines" store would have Nutter Butters. Scouring aisle after aisle I finally found where they hide the cookies...last aisle in the store. Guess Nutter Butters. Crap...well now I see a package of no-name peanut butter cookies so I grab them and some small apple pies and head home. I was NOT about to stop anywhere else as now it is 9:00PM and past Graydons bedtime. I get home, Todd comes out and pulls the cookies out of the bag and gives me a dirty look. After the dirty look he said "what the heck are these". I tried to shush him because I figured that my child would not no the difference. Needless to say Graydon took one bite and threw the rest of the cookie away. I should have known that he wouldn't like them because this kid can pick out from the smell what I am making for dinner as soon as he gets off the bus.
Soooooooooooooooooo.....for a good half hour I had to hear him complain that there is nothing in the house to eat and WHY COULDN'T I JUST GET NUTTER BUTTERS. I was about to loose my mind, Todd was trying to get him to get ready for bed, I was laying flat on my back on our bed trying NOT to loose my temper when I heard Todd say to Graydon...
"Get over it...
Life is not all Nutter Butters!"
I thought I was going to pee my pants laughing so hard!!
So when life gets you down...remember this Todd-ism!

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Week in Review

Here is my week in review in photos...
I was very pleased with the gas kiln firing and was able to retrieve lots of great pottery from this firing. In the above photo is one of my newest creations (within the last year) called conversation blocks. They can be displayed individually or together to create different word phrases. A very popular seller as I have sold out of all of them that I have had at craft shows. They even have small bits of clay on the inside to make them a rattle. Each has a different pattern on the sides and come in a great stain color.
Spoon holder anyone???
A favorite glaze combination of verdigris and deep blood red!

Are you ready for spring yet???
If so, you gotta have one of these berry bowls. Another favorite color, spodumne with a hint of red on the rim.

Thursday morning I glanced out the front window to see these deer enjoying the mild temperature and warm sun. It must have been a sight to in my pj's crouched down taking this photo...
I love deer...can I have one as a pet???

And last but not least...snowdrops.
The first flower of Spring!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Carving Away...

On Thursday during my day home I was able to get some throwing done. I made two shallow bowls, one larger than the other in hopes that I would be able to get some carving done on them. Today was the first day I was able to trim the bottom and sit for approximately one hour carving. I have made several of these over the years but the time invested in them makes me really not want to create them THAT often. An hour isn't too bad carving but it is the cramping of the hand for several hours after that is the pain.
Notice the pile of shaving accumulated after carving...

Here is the very first one that I ever did. It is a gorgeous rich green that breaks a little tan. Perfect for highlighting the carved areas. A personal favorite color of mine.
On another note, I am off to the studio to put some hours of work in. I do hope that the gas kiln was run and that it wasn't unloaded because it is like Christmas when you crack open the kiln and see all the goodies. I get so excited thinking about some of my pottery that I hope got into this firing. If all goes well I will be posting a bunch of pottery on etsy tomorrow!!