Monday, February 29, 2016

Art Show At The River Valley Coop In June

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After having my application to have an art show at the River Valley Coop hand-delivered (and helping them discover several other applications lost due to technical issues) I get to have a show of my work for the entire month of June!

It was a bit nerve-wracking to submit the application in the first place back in December. Because it's been two and a half months since then, the anxiousness has worn off.

Now I get to hustle to get everything framed and wired and ready to display!


This will be my first solo show, and the first time I've had my work on display since the student shows while I was taking Ceramics at Manchester Community College, in Connecticut, five years ago.


There will be a reception, coordinated with Northampton Arts Night Out, June 10th from 5–7 pm. 

Mark your calendars and see you there!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Play house, Play Mat, Play Hats - WIP Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

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Creating is my passion, my sanity, my sense of being "up to something", my way of contributing a little bit. I always have a few projects going, many left to the side for months or even years before I pick up the best and carry on. Here's some of what I'm working on this week:



Almost a month ago, C informed us that her house was going to be RIGHT HERE.


This week we started to make to make it happen! We've had to pause our efforts for snow and rain but we can pick right up where we left off.


I've gotten to do a bit more work on a needle felted play mat for the girls and their lovely wooden animals. Being unfinished hasn't stopped them from playing with it, but it feels great to do more.

Some features (grass) go very quickly and then little things like stones and stumps take ages. So excited to see it come together.



A's little Wren has been wishing for a hat, ever since Willow got one for Christmas. In an emergency crafting session (oh the frustration when NONE of the hats would stay on Wren's head) I quick made a new hat. Phew! 


What are you working on? What are you excited about attempting? What are you proud to be working on? Take a picture or two and share it with the rest of us by leaving your link in the comments.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Silence Is Golden, Unless You Have A Toddler

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Silence is golden, unless you have a toddler.


10 Month Old A

We discovered that A could climb stairs because we couldn't find her - until we spotted her sitting proudly at the top of the stairs kicking her leg off the top step. She learned pretty quickly that if she did things silently, she'd get to do it a bit longer. 

Many people long for silence. 

Parents of toddlers may find themselves relaxing for a moment before the realization crashes down that we can't hear the little one. Then we sprint.


Note the pen on her legs, and the holes cut into her favorite shirt.


"Helping" feed the cat.

One of my husband's mentors, Chaplain Nutt relates a story from when one of his kids was little. He came down in the morning to find all the cups out on the table and orange juice covering everything, some in cups, plenty on the table, lots on the floor, and his kid carefully pouring.

The child looked up, beamed with pride and declared "I helping!"

We all want to contribute, to be useful. We all, even adults, sometimes find ourselves, in spite of our intentions, in situations where we can declare "I helping." 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ice Crystals, Sewing, Clearing Out the Freezer - WIP Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

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Creating is my passion, my sanity, my sense of being "up to something", my way of contributing a little bit. I always have a few projects going, many left to the side for months or even years before I pick up the best and carry on. Here's some of what I'm working on this week:

With looming zub-zero temperatures we drained the not-yet-working hot tub. An amazing collection of ice forms had started building on the surface of the water. One by one we pulled some out and stood them up in the snow on the railing.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Spending Time Together and Doing What We Actually Like

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This weekend my husband and I were blessed with the gift of a date. (Thanks mum!) 


After relaxing at The Florence Pie Bar (two pieces, one fork) we were at a bit of a loss with what to do with ourselves. 

We had a couple more hours before the clock would really be counting down. It being 11am, evening date ideas were out. 

We went to the grocery store. 

Yes, we teased ourselves and each other for "doing errands" with our first date in a year. But, as Gretchen Ruben says to herself (in her book The Happiness Project) "Be Gretchen" 

What's something we love to do? We love to cook. One way we treat ourselves is with really great meals. 


We got fruit, tulips (not to eat but still a treat), whipping cream, crab cakes, steak, asparagus, and lots more things that are rare and revered in our lives - expensive, out of season, out of range, or impractical for regular consumption. 

We cooked, we celebrated, and we feasted.

Lean times are balanced with celebrations. Frugality balanced with freedom, and extra days off and special time together balance the extra evening meetings and weekends apart.

Cheers to giving ourselves the gift of doing what we actually like to do.


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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentines Satur-DIY - healthy peanut butter cups

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A new series I'll be doing periodically here at Myrrhmade is going to be Satur-DIY posts - occasional tutorials, recipes, and how-to posts. 

This week we have Valentine's Day on our mind. While we stay away from store-bought and glitter-infested, we have been known to make our own chocolate treats.

These are one of the many cases where homemade is not only easy, but they leave out all the corn-syrup, artificial anything, and taste better than their mass-produced counterparts. I may have been told that the commercial versions have been ruined by the marvelousness of these homemade delights.

Here's how we make peanut butter cups:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Painting, Snacks, and Squirrels - WIP Wednesday, February 10th 2016

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Creating is my passion, my sanity, my sense of being "up to something", my way of contributing a little bit. I always have a few projects going, many left to the side for months or even years before I pick up the best and carry on. Here's some of what I'm working on this week:


Our newly beloved babysitter came again today so I was able to sneak in a bit of painting




We've unearthed the dehydrator, soaked some walnuts in salt water and dehydrated them. Soaking in salt water neutralizes some of the phytic acid (some of what makes them hard to digest), makes some of the nutrients more available and makes them even tastier! C may be a picky eater when it comes to many things, but she kept stealing these warm out of the dehydrator.




Every once and a while, a favorite treat is not only ripe, but on sale at the grocer. This week we had one of the best Star Fruit (Carambola) that I've ever had. And it doesn't hurt that they're beautiful!




And finally, our birdfeeder lost the battle to the squirrels. Last night I looked out and saw the hanging ring (but not the feeder) out on the hook. After I dug the pieces out of the snow and brought it in, We discovered that the squirrels had not only unscrewed it from it's hanger, they'd completely taken one of the perches. 


I'll have to dig out my box of wire supplies and see what I can do. :)



What are you working on? What are you excited about attempting? What are you proud to be working on? Take a picture or two and share it with the rest of us by leaving your link in the comments.


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Monday, February 8, 2016

Things That Are Saving My Life Right Now

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"Most of us know what’s killing us, and can articulate it, if asked. But few of us pay attention to what’s giving us life. "


Here are the Things That Are Saving My Life Right Now:


1.) Snow


I can handle the cold winter as long as there's snow. The crisp, clean beautiful, sparkling view from our windows and the serene motion of the flakes falling downward sooth my soul and add restoration to these cold dark days.


2.) Nap time 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Family Calendar, New Yarn, and Love of Linen -WIP Wednesday February 3rd, 2016

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Creating is my passion, my sanity, my sense of being "up to something", my way of contributing a little bit. I always have a few projects going, many left to the side for months or even years before I pick up the best and carry on. Here's some of what I'm working on this week:


Our yearly family calendar of celebrations, festivals, holidays, and dates to remember.


After a rough week last week, my husband told me I should go buy myself some yarn and watched the girls while I picked some out. *dreamy husband*


I also bought some linen yarn. I have a new found love of linen and have been slowly finding ways to add more of it to our lives. It's non-allergenic, antibacterial and antifungal (no funky sponge smell), and stronger than wet, among other things. More about that another time. 


We are also getting the ceiling painted! It's good to know a Guy. (Constantine)


What are you working on? What are you excited about attempting? What are you proud to be working on? Take a picture or two and share it with the rest of us by leaving your link in the comments.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Candlemas/Imbolc - and floating Walnut Candle Boats tutorial

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Happy Imbolc/Candlemas. 

According to Wikipedia: "Imbolc or Imbolg (pronounced i-molg), also called (Saint) Brigid's Day ... is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly it is held on 1 February, or about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

...Imbolc is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and there is evidence it has been an important date since ancient times. ...The holiday was a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring. Celebrations often involved hearthfires, special foods, divination or watching for omens, candles or a bonfire if the weather permitted.[1][17] Fire and purification were an important part of the festival. The lighting of candles and fires represented the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months.[4] A spring cleaning was also customary.[18]"

One after noon last week when both girls napped and inspired by the book All Year Round

 

I made Walnut Candle Boats. Here is how I did it.


Crack walnuts in half and pick out the nutmeat and papery bits from inside.