Monday, March 30, 2009
Today was a mega domestic diva day for me. Instead of going hiking (I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep) I decided to spend the day cleaning the house. I starting with the kitchen (that took 5 hours) which is the biggest area in my house. After nine hours of cleaning, all I have left is my junk room, which will take weeks to sort out. :)
I didn't even look at my studio, which needs a little TLC too.
I will be on the trails again tomorrow trying out my new trekking poles. If I have enough energy after that, I will tackle the backyard and get our vegetable garden going.
This evening I helped my hubby add a wild swarm to one of his hives. They were not happy little girls but hopefully will like their new home up in the hills.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Nothing like flowers to inspire the creative process. I just finished making cards for several swaps and now working on another set using the the Penny Black floral stamps. During this time of year my front yard is now blooming with irises and tulips but I still like to have flowers in the house. Once they are done blooming, I plant them in my garden and hope to see them again next year.
On my hikes, the trails are filled with the daintiest purple and yellow flowers in a backdrop of dark green ferns. I don't pack my heavy camera to take pictures but it has inspired me to make more floral cards in a clean and simple style.
Another plus is that I'm now 4 sizes smaller in my pants. Being Japanese and having no butt helps but it still was very surprising when I went to try on clothes today. So back to my strict diet and planning my trip to Hawaii in six months.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
One of the goals when I lost 20 pounds was to have one piece of my favorite chocolate cheesecake. I don't think I can eat one whole piece at one sitting now. That much fat and sugar hasn't crossed my lips in months. :) Then it's back to no carbs or processed foods and doing 5 -10 mile hikes in the hills.
I've had to add some type of cardio to my diet and hiking hills is the only way to get my heart rate up. I don't like going to the gym (dirty, smelly and nothing to look at) so I'm taking advantage of the beautiful trails in my area.
Monday, March 23, 2009
An Organic Garden and honey bees move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
From the perspective of probably every beekeeper in the U.S., the first day of spring, 2009, should be one of the most memorable in decades. It was on that day that Michelle Obama announced that not only would there be a garden on the White House lawn, the first since FDR’s Victory Garden, but there would be, yes, BEE HIVES!
The chefs at the white house are looking forward to cooking with locally grown fresh vegetables (and sharing what they can’t use with a soup kitchen near the White House), and being able to use honey in some of their recipes. Honey produced right outside their kitchen door.
Mrs. Obama readied the garden plot on the first day of spring with the help of a couple dozen local fifth graders. They worked to remove the sod and loosen the soil in preparation of planting of the spring crops. The L-shaped plot will contain year-round vegetables once completely established, with vegetables, berries and other tasty edibles. All will be raised organically.
To complete the garden, two bee hives will be moved in early this week. They will be managed by a White House employee who is a beekeeper and lives nearby. The hives belong to the beekeeper.
We found out that the beekeeper was a subscriber to our magazine, so we had a contact and were fortunate to have a phone conversation late last week. But, of course, there has to be some preparation for all this, so everything we discussed had to remain off the record. He is, however, a three year veteran beekeeper and had a strong desire to keep bees and beekeeping in front of the folks who live where he works, and to keep reminding them of the importance of the pollination efforts their bees will be performing.
As far as we can tell, there’s never been a bee hive at the White House, so this first-ever apiary event is something that beekeepers everywhere are excited about. The calls and contacts received in our office once this broke exceeded any event in the 23 years I’ve been here.
At the ground breaking on Friday the kids, with the help of the First Lady removed sod and started the process. In a couple of weeks the planting will take place. The early spring garden, as with many early spring gardens will be red romaine lettuce, oakleaf lettuce, sugar snap peas, butterhead lettuce, radishes, shallots and shell peas, onions, chard spinach, kale, collards and a host of herbs including sorrel, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, marjoram, chives, chamomile, garlic chives and hyssop. There’s also carrots, dill, cilantro and parsley. Some mints and rhubarb will be going in too. Later, squash, tomatillos, some berries, and perhaps more, since the garden is to be a year-round source of vegetables.
The L shaped garden is 40’ tall, 40’ wide at the bottom, and the width at the top of the L is 20’. There are marigolds, nasturtiums and zinnas lining the two walkways through the garden. Several raised beds surround the garden.
An organic garden and beehives at the White House...it doesn’t get much better, does it?
This message brought to you by Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping http://www.beeculture.com/. Proud supporter of EAS 2009, in Ellicotville, NY. http://www.easternapiculture.org/
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I left the bottom of the card blank so the person receiving the card could add whatever they wanted. The mountains in the background are set into the card, which I cut out with my circle Nesties. I couldn't have a lot of bulk on top because the black circle frame is too narrow to cover three layers of card stock.
The other fun discovery I made was the blue highlights on the mountains are done with a Copic marker run along the back side of the paper. It bleeds through just enough to add a little color.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Eight weeks ago I went to the doctor's office for my sore shoulder. She was more concerned about my blood sugar levels and said I had to lose 20 pounds by my next visit. So today (on my scale) I've lost 18 pounds. I will get new blood work done and see where my numbers are at. The scale in the office is in the main hallway but I plan to strip down to my underwear, hey ever ounce counts in my world! I know I have to add more cardio to my daily life, but one mountain at a time for me. Wish me luck! Update: I got patient of the year 2009 from my doctor today! Even the nurse was impressed by my weight loss and blood test results. My glucose was down 25 points and my LDL (bad cholesterol) was down 90 points so a major victory for me. The bad news is that the doctor wants me to lose another 20 pounds but at least I have six months to do that.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
This is the card I will be doing for my "yellow" card swap on Splitcoast Stampers. Yellow isn't a color I work with, so it was a good excerise designing something outside my comfort zone. This week I'm in a bead mania mood so I whipped up six bugs for my swaps. I wanted to keep it simple so the ladybug would stand out. The flowers are from my Cricut machine.
Update: People have been asking about how to make the ladybug, bee and cupcake I use on my cards. I was also asked to do a card class that doesn't use any stamps (for those non stamp addicts) so I combined both ideas into one class. It will be a two part class and your choice if you want to learn how to bead the embellishments or just make the cards. Will post when we get the date and times set.
Friday, March 13, 2009
This is the time of the year (at least here in California) the bees will start swarming so if you see or hear of one, please call your local bee guild.
Along the fence (sort of blurry) is our collection of abalone shells. We use to go abalone diving all the time but now with the kids gone and hubby getting older, it's only once or twice a year. The shells are just to pretty to throw away.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I'm taking a break for cleaning and moving furniture around to have my lunch. Since hubby is out visiting some of his off site hives, I sat down with my very small salad (still working on losing those last two pounds) to do some blog surfing.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
To date this is the most expensive one I've gotten. They are getting harder to find. I had thoughts of selling it but I think I will live with it for awhile and see how it works out. Can't wait to pick it up!!!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Many people ask what is Alley Cats Vintage Treasures, one of my many side lines is all about. Heather Bullard (a blog I follow and love) did this great video. Here's the link to her blog. http://heatherbullard.typepad.com/heather_bullard_collectio/ Heather is an amazing photographer who captures the beauty of vintage items. She also has a "hot" hubby who makes nice eye candy when she post his pictures. So back to what Alley Cats is all about. I hunt through auctions house and other shadowy places to find interesting vintage pieces for my alter art work. Slowing I was building a mountain of found items at my house. Many time things come in what is called "lots" so I would have to drag boxes of stuff home to get the one piece I wanted. Sensing there were others out there that like this type of stuff but didn't have time to hunt (which is 90% of the fun) everything down, I started Alley Cats Vintage Treasures. The difference is that I've done the running around and cleaning up before you see it in my booth at Cottage Crafts. Heather's video is such a great visual for you to see what I see when I'm on the hunt.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I'm really working hard using what I have in my HUGE stash of paper. It's a Martha Stewart punch and A Muse stamp. The carrot was cut free hand.
This card was so fast to make, I think I will do a class called "5 minutes or less" for those people who don't have the time to spend hours making one card.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I will have all the parts ready (or ready to be cut or folded) to make 200 cards. It will be assembly line work with everyone doing some part of the card or packaging. Hubby is scheduled to be home, so I've asked that he cook up some snacks for us too.
It's all free but if you would like to bring some postage stamps to add to the package that would be appreciated too - it's a little hard to buy postage stamps in a war zone. Just email me if you can make it so I make sure to have enough room for everyone.
Monday, March 2, 2009
She is one of the reasons why we support "A Place to Bark and Purr" - see my blog roll for the link. If that kind hearted person did not take in Lucy's mom, we would not have our crazy little girl. Our fundraiser is moving right along. I hope to have the stamp images to the rubber company by next week. More on that later.
Today is also "Square Root" day 3/3/09 which doesn't happen all the time.