Sunday, June 30, 2013

A fresh look

Last night I doodled some in my sketchbook in order to make a new header and side bar for the blog. I've been separating a lot of my art posts and life posts into two separate blogs, which honestly is silly. I'm not an artist separately from a mother, I am both rolled into one. That is a realization I've just recently been able to come to and I'll write up a post in more detail about that soon.

 From now on, I'll be posting everything here and for those that are only interested in my art posts, there's a handy little button on the side of the blog that you can click and will guide you to all of my art posts specifically. I will keep my art blog up and update it from time to time, but it will be used as more of a portfolio space.

I hope everyone likes the (slightly) new look and and feedback is more than welcome.

beach days, rainy days

Summer means we get to spend all day outside. Rainy days are a little harder on the weekdays because I'm usually entertaining at least 2 one year olds, but if it rains it means Papa gets to come home early from work. That makes the rainy days just as lovely as the sunny beachy ones.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

our garden: an update

I haven't written about our garden in quite awhile, so I'll give an update. Odin is asleep at my breast, so apologies for any one handed typing typos. We've been working very hard to create a successful garden and next year our garden will be absolutely breathtaking, but we've faced a few difficulties this year. We started a little late with our seedlings and such because we moved during prime garden beginning time. Our focus was on moving and cleaning out our old house before the lease ended. And then for some reason, many of our tomato seeds never sprouted. Luckily we were given many lovely heirloom tomato plants from my dear friend Kaity over at Fare Isle to add to our (very) few successful sprouts. I am so thankful!

We harvested all of our radishes yesterday as the weather is beginning to grow too hot for them. After harvesting them, Odin would gently bring them up to his nose and then lower them into his mouth. He enjoyed them, although he was not very fond of the greens.

Our tomato plants are beginning to flower and a recent bout of rain and some organic compost has helped them to double in size overnight. Zak and I were in shock when we saw the difference from one afternoon to the next, we sat next to them in awe wondering how it was possible that they had grown so much so quickly. I'm very excited about the tomatoes. Our local farm (the one we recently picked strawberries from) offers tomatoes for 1$ a pound at the end of the season and you can go out and pick your own. Thanks to Kaity, we may not need the extra tomatoes this year! We canned the tomatoes from the farm last year which was loads of fun and I can't wait to do it again this year. It's beautiful to have an abundant and fruitful summer that lasts through the winter. Nothing makes me feel more successful than our ability to depend on ourselves, that we can create our own food without need of a corporate grocery store. 

I'm reading Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins, and I'm not sure there's any other way to adequately explain my feelings about beets without quoting him:

“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.
The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip...

The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.” 

This book is excellent, by the way. Highly Recommended. 

Our strawberries are beginning to bear fruit and our herb spiral is proving successful. We have a wild bed for medicinal herbs that is also proving to be quite strong, we've even been able to put some of these herbs to use already (I recently dropped our quite large kitchen knife on my foot).

Odin is loving his time in the garden. His papa carries him around and sits him nearby. Odin will mimic all of Zak's moves. If Zak is planting, Odin will throw dirt to help. If Zak is weeding, Odin will take the recently weeded weeds and throw them in the same fashion as his father. It's really beautiful and I'm so glad I can share this adventure with them.

Our bees are also wild and seemingly content. We've been offering them herbal water in addition to their daily foraging to keep them happy and full. Zak will be opening up the hive this weekend to check on them and make sure they're successfully beginning to make and store honey as well as checking for any intruders in the hive. 

Life is very good right now and I'm so very lucky that the stars have given me this one.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

saving our pennies.

My first job was as a babysitter for family when I was pretty young, I did this throughout my life and still do. My next job was helping my aunt file paperwork for her stay at home business. In middle school I had my first real job as an attendant at Dairy Queen, which only lasted for a month because my boss wasn't the nicest guy (he was really awful actually, especially when it was busy) and I remember thinking very responsibly about my decision to quit. I walked into a local pre-school, asked if they were hiring and filled out an application on the spot. An hour later I was called and I immediately headed over for an interview and was hired on the spot. I quit DQ and worked at Building Blocks for years. Even after going away to college, I spent my first summer back home working there. In college, I started to work retail and continued to do so at a store in Sarasota, Fl (where my college was, I was attending Ringling College of Art and Design) because retail paid more, so I could work a little less and focus on school a little more.

I've also always been a little bit of a business starter. I bought myself a Japanese ball-jointed-doll made from resin for $550 in high school. I was like 16! But I knew it was an investment. I drafted some clothing patterns and began to make doll dresses. My first doll dress sold for $20 and the last one I sold was for $250. I only did this for a few months because I have a tendency to do something creative like this until I feel fairly accomplished and then it sort of bores me and I move onto something else. It's ridiculous, honestly and I really wish I could stay focused on one thing for a longer period of time. Since then I've also made paper dolls, paper toys, hand-bound books, clothes (people clothes!), plush dolls, and now I'm making portraits and will be making more plush dolls in the future. I also have tons of ideas for other things I'd like to make.. Toddler clothing being one of the adventures I'm about to begin.

Throughout my working life, I have saved every penny. Especially in high school. I managed to pay for a roundtrip guided tour of Japan with my savings from high school as well as my first car and still had some extra savings for college. I saved less in college (partied more). Now that I've graduated, I'm back to saving. I love making things so I'm playing around with that and hoping to produce a successful online store as well as continue advancing my photography work (I keep getting jobs!) so that next year I won't have to nanny or babysit or dogsit to earn the money I want to earn.

Since moving to our new place, we've started to save our change in a big carboy. When it's completely full, Zak and Odin and I will use the money for an international trip. I've been dying to go to Australia since I was in primary school and had a fantastic penpal from there. Now, I seem to have made tons of Instagram friends from Australia (I adore all of you!!!) and they've made me want to go even more! So maybe, when this jug is nice and full, that's where we'll go. It's one of the many places we'd like to visit so we'll see when the time comes (I say we'll have it full by winter 2014!).

How do you fund extra trips or adventures? Where would you visit if you had the means?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

over the weekend

This past weekend we definitely celebrated the onset of summer. Warm middle of the day naps next to the breezy open window covered in an extra salty layer of skin. Spending time at the brewery, which is loaded with people and their dogs, all seeming to love Odin (and Odin loving the attention). Trips into town to visit friends while they work or just to visit friends, to watch the boats and waves roll in to our little island. Late night birthday dinner parties followed by bonfires. This weekend, we definitely celebrated the summer solstice. This is how we'll spend our summer and I'm so excited.