Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Funny

This was a little comedy show we watched this morning.

It has only been this year that we have seen squirrels in our neighborhood. The neighborhood is around 11 years old, and it has taken this long for our trees to mature to provide food and shelter. A cute squirrel discovered our bird feeder this morning.

He was happy to find a fresh breakfast and adeptly helped himself. We watched, entertained, and after my husband fetched my camera, I snapped a few pictures. My dogs, trained not to chase little creatures on my bird feeder, obeyed properly and sat close by. After about fifteen minutes we decided that the squirrel had enough of the birds food and told the dogs to get it. (I knew they wouldn't hurt the animal.)

So the play began....

First, dogs running and barking....

then the squirrel...

back to breakfast.

Then more dogs....

Then the squirrel,

back to breakfast.
Then more dogs, running and barking.

Then the squirrel,

back to breakfast.
We really didn't think we would win, we had to get ready for church.

We went in and, fourtyfive minutes later he was still eating. What a piggy little squirrel.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Troublesome Tomato

It seems every year one of my tomato plants goes crazy. Usually it is a grape tomato. I didn't find any this year (yes, I am a cheater and buy baby plants) so I chose another tomato. The stake is gone...don't know I can't tell you what kind it is. But what I can tell you is that as HUGE as this guy is, there is not one tomato on the plant. Not one!

There have been blossoms but they dry up and fall off. I water and fertilize this one the same as the other plants I have, but nope, no tomatoes. This is a first. Even though my grape tomato was huge it continuously produced fruit, usually more than we could eat.

(** as a side note I have to say how proud I am of my daughter. Every time they have free dress at school she chooses this shirt to wear. I'm so proud of her being happy and secure in her faith. okay, back to the tomatoes....)

Thankfully my other dear sweet plants are producing. I have a cherry tomato, see this lovely hiding way deep in the plant?

and the promise of more:

And a Roma tomato. This is the first time I have grown one of these, but this is our favorite tomato we buy from the store so when I found this little beauty I had to get it. It is producing lovely little gems, too.

Well, maybe it won't be too much of a giant before we get some tomatoes, unless it sprouts legs and starts ravaging the neighborhood!

(couple of little lovelies: this is my oregano plant blooming.

and a lovely little purple flower...don't know what it is..

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tutorial Play

I found a lovely blog this week. Rebecca Sower She has been inspired by red thread and has inspired me to create a few things of my own.

First, here is a little fabric bucket I made. I used my machine to embroider two little lines of red filligree. I have a very old machine so this was the only pattern I could get to work, but I thought it was pretty.

Second was the crocheted necklace. I love turquoise with red, and I had some beads so, here is my interpretation of her necklace.

She suggested to use lobster clasps as closures, but since I didn't have any, I started with a large bead and then, at the end, crocheted a loop for a closure.

I also made another with some vintage beads, vintage pearls, a few carved animals, and glass beads. I thought it would end up more shabby chic and feminine but it looks more tropical and beach-y.
but I still like it.

Please Don't let your Children Act Like Children...

Okay, that is said a little sarcastically. I just finished reading an article stating that Silly Bandz are now being banned in schools. The kids are (omg!) fiddling with them and (oh no!) trading them. And, worst offense of all the kids can (heaven forbid!) get their feelings hurt if they don't have the right ones!

PUHLEEZE! I am so tired of schools trying to make our kids into robots. Where they aren't allowed to be children. I am so tired of schools telling elementary kids...prepare for jr. high, and jr, high kids, prepare for high school...and so on and so on. Then we turn right around and tell them don't grow up too fast! EEK!

As a mother of one grown daughter, one almost grown, and a middle teen I can say, LET THEM BE KIDS! Let them fiddle, trade, and get their feelings hurt! It makes the grow, become better people, helps them to deal with others. No matter how we try to robot-ize the kids, once they get into a real job they are going to wonder why everyone doesn't play fair, why people don't like them just because, and why lots of other things!

Now, please don't think I am cutting down teachers. This couldn't be far from the truth! All of the teachers I know (I have tons of friends who are teachers) feel the same way that I do, but the institutional system, teaching to the test, everyone be the same, comes from administration. I know it.

So, my rant now over here is the site for Silly Bandz and I encourage you to buy your kids TONS of them! Encourage generosity, encourage collecting, encourage creativity...these are tools your kids can really use in their lives. But, if your school is banning them, make it a fun neighborhood activity!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Heat Wave in my House!

Our downstairs A/C unit is out, of course, and we are having August like weather here. Does the A/C repair guy show up on time? No. Hes an hour and a half late (mind you this is AFTER MY 9-12 window I spent sitting around waiting) When he shows up, does he fix it? No, he says the coils are frozen so they need to thaw. He'll be back in a couple of hours. Was he back in a couple of hours? No. It's been four.

And, when he shows up I know what he will say to me. The same thing every other A/C repair guy has said about every A/C unit in every house I have ever lived in. "There is no freon so there is a leak somwhere. You need a new A/C unit".

Now this brings up two points for me. 1. This has happened to us many many times and we always have them charge the system with freon and it usually lasts about two years with no trouble. AND THE BIG ONE..

2. Does he REALLY believe I am going to pay a company $6000 (we have two units) to replace my units that can't show up on time, can't call when they are going to be late, tells me it's my fault my A/C went out on the weekend and acts like he is doing ME a favor? Does he really expect me to pay his company that kind of money when they have AWFUL customer service? Really?? Really?

I hope I get the chance to tell him so. I'd say I'll go cool off, but I can't because my A/C is out and the repair guy is NOT HERE!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Winner and another Giveaway

The winner of my first bookbag is....
Amy Nicole/RubyMtnBeads ~ Congratulations~

I'll contact you through Etsy and you can give me your address~

Now, for my second bookbag, here it is.
It's a quilted bag from the same book. It is made with cute little shabby chic fabrics. The buttons are covered with the same fabrics. It's the same size as the previous one, but with a little different styling. It is also lined.

Leave me a comment with your guess to what my shop name (ThirtysixTen) means. I'll randomly pick a winner later this week. If you aren't a follower of my blog, please become one.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Book, Project and a Giveaway!

I've been on a book buying binge lately. Not your novel type books, not educational books but books for their pure entertainment value. I told you about my latest lovely book titled Sisters on the Fly (here) and here is another book I'm really loving.

The New Handmade ...simple sewing for contemporary style. Its a fun book with simple yet really cute patterns. It has easy to read instructions as well and pictures (which is a must for this visual learner). I use sewing/crocheting as a way to stay productive in the evenings because I'm not a sit and watch T.V. kinda gal and my metal studio, being in the garage, is a no-mans land in the hot afternoons and evenings. (yes, it is hot here now).

Anyway, my first project out of this book was this cute little book bag. Simple to make, and a fun little carry-along to take to the park or local coffee place. The handles are long enough to put over your shoulders, a must for me, and big enough for several books, phone and wallet.

So, I am offering this to one of my lovely blog followers. There aren't many of you out there :-) so your odds are good.

Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite summer read, either one you have read or one you are looking forward to loosing yourself in this summer. Please leave me a note where to get in touch with you (as my last giveaway winner still hasn't claimed her prize) and I'll randomly pick a winner this weekend.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sisters on the Fly

I received a new book yesterday titled "Sisters on the Fly" by Irene Rawlings. It is about a group of women who camp together in vintage trailers decorated in their own kitchy, cowgirl and unique personalities.
A few years ago I had seen a story either in a magazine or on a show (maybe Martha?) about a group similar to this. I don't know if it was this group or not. It interested me so much, mostly because of their fun and unique trailers.

I was so excited to get this book! It promised information on vintage trailers, tips for renovating and decorating as well as general information on these wonderful trailers. I opened it as soon as I got some time to myself and found it was that plus something else I didn't expect.

It talked mostly about "Sisterhood" and the relationships these women have with each other. It told of funny stories, scary moments and the support system they have created. The shared interests of these women have brought them together and, I was surprised to find out, they are around 2000 strong with "chapters" all over the country. Even here in Texas!

I want to share a excerpt with you that really touched me. Bear with me, its a little long but worth reading.

"A sister of the heart doesn't come from your family and is not related by blood ties or lineage. Instead, she 's someone with whom you have a connection that's deeper than friendship. She gives you a smile at the very moment when you need it most. She squeezes your hand unexpectedly when there are tears in your eyes, and frustration or grief is about to get the best of you. She overhears you telling someone that you love a certain kind of chocolate and, wow! a little box shows up in your mailbox without any explanation at all. She hears through the grapevine that you've had a bad week and sends you a funny email to say she is thinking of you. She doesn't need an explanation, she just reaches out to the ones she loves. She takes the time to send a note saying, quite simply, that she appreciates who you are and is grateful for your friendship. She hears the stress in your voice during a routine how-are-you phone call and asks how she can help. "

As my kids have grown I have found myself more and more isolated. When they were younger there were play groups, mother's day outs, volunteering at the school and I had many mom friends. With teenagers, however, we loose touch with those moms. To make matters worse, three of my closest friends have moved away in the past years. And, as my little business has grown, I spend more and more time working alone. I'm really tired of it. I think that is why this group appeals to me so much.

It won't be soon that I get my little vintage trailer and can go traipsing off somewhere on a weekend, (having a hubby that likes bigger and better doesn't lend itself well to renovating a small kitchy trailer. To those of you who know...can you imagine pulling up to and Aggie game in one of these! Not great for the male ego! :-) Not to mention a homeowners association that would NOT allow something like that parked anywhere in the neighborhood! They don't appreciate it's beauty!)

BUT, someday, I will find my little canned ham trailer, decorate it with vintage quilts and kitchy salt and pepper shakers, hitch it up and disappear over the least for a weekend.

*click on the pictures and they will take you to more info. Thanks for those that are allowing me to borrow their photos. If you don't want me to use your photo just leave a comment and I'll remove it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Progress of the blanket....

A few weeks back I mentioned I was beginning to crochet again just to be productive in the evenings. I get lost in cyber-land sometimes so I decided to pull myself out of that back hole and actually create something. Crocheting is pretty relaxing for me so I started on pretty basic granny squares. Soon though, as I do, I was distracted by the bigger, better and prettier things.

I would think most people, when starting a project would do a little research to see what options are available in a new project. Not me. I dive right in and then, well into the project, change directions.

Long story short, this current crochet project isn't what I started out doing, but is much prettier than my first attempt. I found a tutorial on While it is gorgeous, the tutorial is incomplete. I was able to figure it out by looking at the pictures. I'm afraid someone who didn't crochet would have a little difficulty with it. But, since it was so pretty I decided to jump right in (of course).

This is where I am right now on my project.

Since starting I have found other wonderful pictures, sites and tutorials with more gorgeous patterns, information on better yarn colors and where to get them. Here are two wonderful blogs that have loads of information: The Royal Sisters and Attic 24 Both contain lovely tutorials that seem easy to follow as well as places to get lovely yarns.

I haven' tried any of their tutorials yet, and am dying to! I need to finish this current project first. Maybe I can make them into pillows?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Stuff!

I got new tools in the mail today along with some thicker gauge silver and some little bags.

These are called Bezel Forming Punches, or Bezel blocks, I think. They taper the ends of tube settings to give a more finished look. I have tried it on a scrap piece and am excited to use them...if I ever get time.

The price of silver is unbelieveable! When I started metalsmithing it was $13 per oz, now it is over $19. This piece shown here is over $100 worth of silver. So, non metalsmith friends of mine, don't be surprised at the cost of a handmade piece of silver jewelry.

And then little bags, the cutest midnight blue bags for my rings. I love putting my rings in bags instead of in that awful faux cotton that comes in boxes.

Just some new stuff. I'm going to try to show you later how the bezel punches work. Hopefully next week I can photograph it.