Friday, February 27, 2009

Wants vs. Needs

Where I want to be.
In the barn, painting, organizing, playing, junking, listening to music.

Where I need to be.
In the office, finishing farm taxes and bookkeeping, cooking, preparing for two weeks away from the farm.

I found another inspiring studio photo on flickr at LimonVerde - her photos are beautiful...this shot made me want to go find those IKEA shelves I have somewhere and get crazy with paints and paper scraps.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

PBS...or! maybe everybody else knows about this and I'm the last girl to the party but this is making me happy. is my new favorite site. Post a book, mail a book, get a fees, just the price of postage to mail off the book - usually a little over two bucks. What a groovy way to recycle books.
I love books, always have...and I buy books, it's one of my guilty pleasures. I need to have at least two books in my "waiting to be read" stash. It's the law, if there aren't any "books in waiting" this farmgirl gets cranky. I'm sure you're thinking "hey girl, ever heard of the library?", yup... I use the library too ;)
I read more in the summer than I do in the winter. So I'm posting like crazy...getting ready for summer. At this rate I'll have a giant stash of books here at the farm, and more at the cabin! We read like crazy at the cabin, no TV and no computers's great.

So far I've posted about 100 books, sent out over twenty, and have two in the stash.
I wish I had known about this years ago.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Raccoon Rascals

The mystery of the muddy pawprints has finally been solved. All winter I've been noticing muddy paw prints on the lawn furniture that is stored out in the barn, I couldn't figure out who the dirty rotter could be. The prints were too large for a cat..unless it was a verrrry large kitty. Possum? No. Puppy? No, if she's in the barn she's running around...not sitting on furniture.
Yesterday I was playing around on my computer and something caught my eye out in the front yard, two raccoons were running around like they didn't have a care in the world, last week it was a coyote, this week week?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

James + Carly = Ben

We went to see Ben Taylor Monday night at the Triple Door in Seattle. Truly one of the best concerts I've ever been to...and I've been to a whole lotta concerts in my almost 50 years. If you ever get the chance to see him. Go. Don't hesitate...just go.
Even if you don't know ever word to every James Taylor and Carly Simon song like this blogger... because she listened to them over and over again in the 70's, and never got sick of them....and yes...she still listens to them.
I played Ben's CD yesterday while I was in the garden...I'm pretty sure I won't ever tire of this one either.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cutting Back Ornamental Grasses

Every spring here at this old farm it's the same old story. When it's time to tidy up the gardens after the winter wind, snow and rain, I'm looking for shortcuts, I'm game for anything that whittles down the time it takes to get things done around this place. I don't trim back my ornamental grasses in the fall because I like the winter interest they provide, and of course the birdies like the seed heads. But when it's time to cut the grasses back, that's late Feb - early March here in the Northwest, they're pretty ratty and messy...quite frankly it looks like somebody threw a bale of hay into a giant blender and sprinkled it over my yard.
This time I thought I'd take a tip from another gardener and use tape to hold the clumps together before I got out the hedge trimmer and whittled away at the base of the plant. The idea was that instead of the grasses falling all over like pixie sticks they would be contained in a nice upright stack.

Yah...whatever. The tape kept breaking while I was trying to gather the bundles, so then I switched to string, not a whole lot of success there either.
So...we're back to the old tried and true grass rodeo. I wrap my arms around the clump, The Husband slices through the base with the hedge trimmer and tries not to nick my ankles or slice through the cord of the trimmer.

Here's a clump bundled with string,

and another bundled with painters tape.

Maybe next year I'll come up with the perfect solution...but for now it looks like we'll just stay with the old tried and true method of "hug and hack".
Anybody else out there have a good idea?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Calming Colors

Yesterday morning was spent painting out in the party barn studio, I'd been wanting to eliminate the colorful walls for quite a while...wanting to get away from the energy of reds and yellows and going for a simpler palette of greys. I love how it's all coming together, there is a mural of clouds up in one of the eves that I don't intend to change - it was my first attempt at painting a large scene and it was so much fun I doubt it will ever get covered up as long as I live here.
After a morning spent painting I picked up my baby sister and we headed to the big city for a concert and lunch with my darling niece. That's where I got into trouble, no...not the kind of trouble you're thinking. No car trouble, or money trouble or speeding ticket trouble.
Color trouble.
We went to Agua Verde for lunch, it's been on my list now for quite a while...and I absolutely loved the restaurant...but what I loved even more was the mural.
Ohhhh...the mural, the clouds, the color, the giant flowers!

Fire up those brushes baby...I feel a giant floral mural coming on.
OK, not really - but wouldn't this be cool?!?!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cooking by Committee

I love gathering with friends, making a meal together...we call it "Cooking by Committee". Give me a knife and I'm happy to chop, a pan and a spoon - I'll stir 'til you tell me to stop. It's so much fun to create a fabulous meal while chatting and catching up, unless I'm in charge! I had a dear friend who was a fabulous cook and she was always so relaxed in the kitchen, something I need to work on.
Multi-tasking in other areas of my life? No problem!
Cooking and chatting in my own kitchen? Problem! I get totally confused, lost, distracted...and something usually gets burned.
I think the trick is to just smile and nod...and keep my eyes on the stove!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Studio Inspiration

Cruising around flickr looking for some ideas while I organize things out in the party barn/craft studio.
Whoa ....some seriously overwhelming inspiration pics.
Bummed that I can't make the pictures larger.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Buckets of Fun

Photo of the veggie garden last week.
This week?
Beautiful sunshine, no coat... and seven five-gallon buckets full of weeds,
and a few blisters on my hands to reward me for my labor.
It felt so good to be out in the sunshine.
Next week?
The weather man says maybe more snow.
Oh well, at least I got a little head start and those beds are ready
for me to plant peas next month.
I have visions of sugar snap peas dancing in my head.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Champagne for Valentines Day?

If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion.
Bottled in New Mexico...but made with grapes from my friends vineyard in Washington.
Perfect for Valentines Day or anything else you might want to celebrate.
I'm turning 50 this summer...I'll be ordering a case...maybe two.
It's going to be a champagne summer.