Nature's little gifts

Friday, September 21, 2012

I've already professed my love of acorns with their sweet little caps that crunch under my feet as we stroll around the neighborhood.

Now I want to try to make a wreath with them. I think I would like it a little more flat with the acorns lying end to cap. Maybe even spray painted? The construction seems to be easy, it's the collecting that is more of a challenge I think. So you'll know what we'll be doing on our weekend walk.

I also stumbled upon a picture of this twig leaf that I am dying over. There are sticks everywhere right now since the heavy rainstorm brought them down last week.

How great is it that nature gives us such good materials to work with?

Have a happy first weekend of Fall!

Life is too short to waste your passion

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A few months ago a great couple from church, Jordan and Erin, asked if I could help get them in to local venues where Jordan's vocal talent could be showcased. Music is a passion they want to pursue. Of course without thinking, I said "sure!" And in return, Erin would design a logo for me. Again, "Sure!"

I never really know how to go about anything but I don't think it's ever too hard to figure out. And in a small town, you can always find people who are willing to help get an idea off the ground. That's one thing I love about small towns.

So I knew just where to start for this concert promoter thing - the local Library. They have a coffee shop and are always looking for ways to promote it which helps sustain the library. States are notorious for cutting those budgets. And since I help out the library with a few other things, this was an easy task. They were game!

The first concert he gave was in the quaint coffee shop but I felt we would quickly run out of space another time. So the unused courtyard in the back of the library came to mind and thus, the outdoor concert was born. It was fun being out in the cool autumn-like air and listening to music under the stars. Who doesn't love that??

A happy present

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future;

it is something you design for the present.

~Jim Rohn

I like this quote. It really is up to us to be happy. Sure, others can make it more difficult at times but ultimately it is something we are responsible for and have to decide to do. I have talked about this before and have compassion upon those who find it more challenging to be happy. I've witnessed that up close but I know there is help and there is no shame in getting help.

Sometimes in our quest to be healthy, we only look to diet and exercise to see that our physical bodies can meet the demands of the day. But a big part of being a healthy, well-rounded person is to make sure our mental health is in good shape. The demands on it can actually be more challenging and taxing, which in turn, affects physical health.

It all works together which is why we have to as well by helping others design their happy present. Off to go jot down ideas on what I can do!

In a nutshell - crafty acorns

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The weather has a crispness to it in the mornings. You know what that means - Autumn is near.

Trae and I took a walk to a church in our neighborhood so he could play on their playground. I heard the crunch underneath our feet as we walked along. The acorns are beginning to fall - one of my favorite times of the year. We picked up a few little specimens. They were still green and some were too small but soon there will be more to look for. There is one house that we like to walk by because they have a huge tree that drops the larger acorns.

Every year we gather them, put them in the freezer to kill any worms (which still elicits the question from whomever opens the freezer, "Why is there a bag of acorns in the freezer??") Do they not know me at all??

I always end up putting them in a glass vase for a little decoration. I also get a branch and hot glue the leaves and acorns back on it and put it in the vase full of acorns that act as a filler.
It's exactly what my mom would do except she'd send us out to gather filberts and walnuts that fell from the trees lining our driveway.

Maybe this year I should switch it up and make some felted wool acorns?

Some are just so cute you could eat them.

How about painting them?

Or maybe I should send acorns to heads of state like John and Yoko to plant as a symbol of peace?

Whatever their use, they sure are cute little suckers.

Which acorn project would you try?

(The heads of state thing might not work but the others are promising!)

Friday finds - Guarding the pencils

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sometimes I'll spy something thrifty and have a very specifc purpose in mind, assuming whomever I use it for will like it too. But that can be a miss at times.

So when I saw this 50-cent-pot-bellied-thrift-store owl, I thought it was perfect to hold Reese's precious colored pencil set. He loves to draw with real art pencils.
But I also thought this owl looked a little scary so the plan was to spray paint it. I put it up in his closet to safe keep until then. I spent the entire afternoon on Labor Day cleaning out his room. Entire afternoon. Boys can quickly destroy a room with all their antics and what Reese calls his "Karate chop incidents."

After I cleared his dresser, I rotated some of his decorative things. Even boys like to display their precious items. His glass/rock frog collection took its turn in the drawer and all of the Beyblades went back in the minnow bucket. I pulled out the owl, plopped in the pencils and put it on his dresser. I was surprised that when I told Reese I wanted to paint it he said "Noo. I like his blue tie!"

So now he proudly sits guard over the pencils and its colors and strangeness all seem to work, don't you think?

Here's to those simple things that can make you happy.

Leaves of green

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A month ago I cut a big Elephant ear leaf (Colocasia) from the planter boxes at Jon's work. (I sought permission from the boss.) The large single leaf with a long stem looked great in the vase.

It lasted a whole month and up until last week, still had a nice shiny color. When it decided to finally give up I went back for another. They had grown a lot over the summer so the smallest one I could find was still too overscale for the vase.

The stem was so thick I had to cut it short just to fit in the narrow neck of the vase. That meant filling the pot-bellied vase full of water so the stem could reach. After I did that I remembered I had a large cylindrical vase that would have been perfect. But at least the littler kids won't try to pick it up. If they could they would be the world's strongest kids.

All this for bringing in some green...