Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tee Hee - We have our first egg...

Of sorts.

I haven't posted for awhile. I have to make use of every bit of cool weather we get here. Besides yard work, I have been canning tomatoes and other goodies that we are getting from our garden. It was a cool, wet spring so it flourished. That is quickly coming to an end. Every thing is getting burned up now so that chore is done for another year. Wait...maybe not. We are going to try to do some fall gardening for the first time. Supposedly that is one of the best times for gardening in Texas.

Now about our first egg:

The hens really aren't supposed to start laying for another month or so. But, we have one that has jumped the gun. Now...it is my understanding that when they first start laying, their eggs may be smaller than they will eventually be. Since the chickens we had before were already laying when we got them, I have no experience to fall back on. It is also my understanding that hens that start laying earlier than expected may lay eggs that are smaller still than those that wait until they are a little older...or within the normal timeframe, I guess.

The white egg on the left is a large egg purchased at the grocery store. That is the size all of our hens are supposed to lay. As you can see, our first little layer's egg hasn't quite made it yet. The one on the left is, of course, the very first egg we've gotten. You won't believe how really cute it is. She also laid another one the same size today.

We are still enjoying the heck out of them. They are so funny.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Spring is in the Air

Don't you just love it! It's almost as good as Fall.

The bees are out in mass and are really working the flowers. I am so glad to see them. They have been pretty scarce the past few years.

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

And then there is the poppies added to the mix!

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

We bought some baby chicks in March. I couldn't get pictures, or at least natural light pictures, because they were in a horse trough in my husband's wood working shop.
Even though it has still been a little cool during most days and, certainly, at night, we had to move them to their new home because it was just getting too crowded. I can't believe how fast they have grown.

This is the home my husband built for them. In an effort to discourage critters and snakes, he built the coop on stilts. He made a run that goes back all the way under the coop for when they need to be contained or when the weather is bad. We fenced in a much larger area for them to explore when they don't have to stay in the run. They are so funny!!
And, yes, that is flowers under the window on the side.

Chicken Coop

These are Ameraucana Hens. We have four. We have two like the top image and they are almost identical. I can't tell them apart yet. The other two have the same colors just in different configurations and are easy to tell apart.

Ameraucana Hen

Ameraucana Hen

This is a Buff Orpington Hen. We have two. They are so cute and very hyper.

Buff Hen

We also have some Rhode Island Reds and some Production Reds.

Production Red Hen

All total, we bought 14 HENS, but I think we have a rooster that managed to disguise himself quite well. We shall see! Good thing I am a morning person.

Then, of course, there is the other bird species that are nesting and getting ready for additions to their family.
I don't know what bird built this. I do know the barn swallows have returned to last year's nest and Momma is sitting on eggs as we speak.

Bird Nest

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Mystery of the Shrinking....



This is a photo of a project I did when Make-the-Cut was first released for the Cricut.
It is a Hershey's Nugget Wrapper and belly band.

For Easter, I bought some Nuggets to add to my baskets and decided I would "brush off" the old file and create some wrappers to fancy them up.
Since the file fit the Nugget quite well and cut beautifully, I just loaded it up and cut some.

Imagine my surprise when I added the recently purchased Nugget.


Is this indicative of...Charge you roughly the same...just reduce the amount you get for those same dollars?
Or did I miss the wording "bite size" on the packaging? It is long gone, so I can't check to see.

Anyway, it was easy enough for me to change the file to fit the new size.


It's cute and makes me laugh.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

So it begins!

I don't know what came over me, but I decided to change my business website to a craft site. I don't need the business one any longer so why not re-do it, right?
I started the coding right after the first of the year and was coming along nicely until I decided I needed new computers. Ya gotta know what a headache that is. I had already updated the graphic card as much as possible and the OS on my desktop all the way from Vista through to Windows 10. Still, it really was time for a major hardware upgrade.
Anyway, that all is mostly done, but my website was put on hold and is not completed. I just couldn't wait, though. I put up what I have finished and will continue to update it as time allows and when I am able to decipher all the post-it notes I have sticking everywhere.
It really is just in the start-up phase. I have so much more I want to do and share.


If you would like to see, you can go to Elsa.


I am a little late getting these posted.
I needed a new laptop. I don't use one a lot, but I do need one to cut to my cutter. The one I had was still running XP. It had gotten so slow that I could take a nap in-between screens, and it would no longer allow me to access the web or my cloud files. I had resorted to using a thumb drive to share files created on my desktop and moved to my laptop for cutting. Heaven forbid if I needed to make a correction to one of the cutter files.
While I was at it, I decided I needed a new desktop as well. Setting up a new computer is not my favorite way to spend my time...and it does take a lot of time. Thus the reason I am late getting these posted.

Both of these are very simple popup cards.
The first one took a lot of time to make because I created all the graphics, from the background paper thru the pop-cycles to the sundae glass, from scratch. I didn't have anything already done that I could borrow.


This second one starts off with a quickie garden scene that I had painted for a class. It is painted on a canvas board which was a headache to photograph because of the heavy texture of the board. I got 'er done though and used the digital file to create the background image. All I had to do then was make a bottom background that coordinated with the scene and create the individual letters. Much, much faster.


Not shown, are the labels I made to write on. It wasn't really necessary because there is plenty of lighter area to write on the bottom of the card itself, but I liked it.
They were done for a challenge on the Make-the-Cut and Pop-Up Card Studio Facebook page and I needed to get them photographed.

I really enjoyed making them which is what I am all about these days. Just having fun!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

I Took a Day Off.

My son and DIL host Christmas every year and my DIL's Mom does Christmas Eve. They're both always fun with plenty of excellent food and games. I managed to get all the gifts wrapped and the pies finished early on Christmas Eve so was able to enjoy those events without having to worry about coming home and finishing something.

Nevertheless, by the time Christmas Day arrived, I was worn out from 3 months of life's little surprises, including more eye surgery. I declared Saturday "MY DAY". A day when I was going to do absolutely nothing except what I wanted, including doing nothing. And it worked. My daughter and hubby left me alone all day. That really is rare, but it was much appreciated.

I spent a good part of the day playing with some old photos.

This is an old falling down adobe shack in Arizona. I've messed with this image off and on for a long time. I never could get anything that I was happy with. I kinda like this one, though.

This is the desert in West Texas. We were on our way to Big Bend National Park. The deserts of the west hold a fascination for a lot of people. I am not one of those but will admit in the right conditions they have a very unique beauty. I would like to go back.

One of my favorite states to visit is Maine. I've tried for years to get hubby to buy a vacation cottage there. I love the rocky coastline and all the working fishing ports. I had a ball pulling out, and exaggerating, all the colors that were in this "poster-like" image.

Back to the fog again. These were taken in Gloucester Mass. We had the very best New England clam chowder in a restaurant here. On this trip, they had an unexpected cold spell along with rain and fog which was perfect weather for the chowder.

A face only a mother could love. But, isn't it cute?

I think I have mentioned this before, but I really enjoy living museums. These photos were taken at Williamsburg, Virginia.
The weather was gorgeous, it was early in the morning, and the lighting was beautiful. The original image of the guys yakking by the cart is colorful and sunny. Somehow it just didn't seem right for this shot.


Out of the Dark into the Light. Standing in the shadows looking out across the brightly lit field, that's the first thing I thought.

I love both depictions of the same image . The top one is the original one. What I saw that day. The bottom one reminds me of some of the hand colored images of that era that I have seen.

I have been to several Revolutionary war battle sites, Lexington and Concord, Valley Forge, even Fort Ticonderoga and to several Civil War battle sites including, Vicksburg, Gettysburg and, this one, Shiloh. There are others, but this one, for some reason, affected me the most. I don't know if it was the early fall morning coupled with the solitude of no one else being there, the knowledge of the massive number of lives lost or just the beautiful, now serene setting itself. I just know it did.
Maybe it is because if I weren't a Texan, I would be a Tennessean.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

I really am...

working on my Christmas projects. They're fun and keep my mind focused.
In the evening when I am too tired to work on them and there is absolutely nothing to watch on TV, my mind starts to wonder.
So...I practice creating artistic works from some of my photos.

I've said it before; we don't often get fog. I love the atmosphere it creates and photograph it whenever I can. It can turn a rather mundane scene into something moody and mysterious.
We have a wash that runs across the front of our property. When it rains heavily, the water runs off the hill, across our drive way and into our neighbors tank. In order to keep the water from washing out the drive, we installed large culverts for the water to flow through. This is an image of the bridge my husband built to keep the gravel covering the culverts from being washed away by the falling rain as well.

This image of some elk was taken just outside of the Smoky Mountain National Park early one fall morning. I loved the way the crepuscular rays(sunbeams, sun rays or God rays) were streaming down on them.

Finally, this is an old cabin in the Smoky Mountain National Park.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

A Sad Time


So what does a squirrel have to do with sad feelings? Nothing. Except I can get lost in my own world while processing my photos and, regardless of any other circumstance, it makes me happy because I can equate the image to a joyful moment.

My Dad passed away on Dec.2nd at 7:10 am. He was 91 years old.

He loved photography. There were many different wild animals that lived around him, especially deer. He would sit on his patio and take picture after picture, year after year of them. He could tell from one year to the next by their markings if he had gotten a photo of one he had seen before.

I can remember as a child, when he got his first really good camera. Back then, light meters weren't built into them so he had to get one of those, too. I can remember posing for shot after shot while he learned how to use it. I must have gotten my love of photography from him.

I also remember as a child, raising baby squirrels by hand because their mother had gotten killed. We would feed them with doll bottles around the clock until they got old enough to feed themselves. More often than not, he would have one riding around in his shirt pocket. They would meet him at the door when he got home and hitch a ride. While they had the run of the house when someone was home, they also had cages. When they were able to fend for themselves, we would take the cage out to the garage, open it and let them run free.
The image of this squirrel was taken at a campground on Lake Livingston, Texas. He was so tame, that when we returned to our camp site after sightseeing, he would run up to the car and wait for us to open the door and get out so that he could greet us.
I must have gotten my love of nature and wildlife from him.

I also remember as a child, going camping in the mountains of Colorado. We went every year from the time I was 6 years old, and we camped out in a tent. Even after I was married, my husband and kids would go. My youngest daughter was 3 months old the first time she went. She slept snug and warm in a sleeping bag right next to me. We would go in August when it was really hot here. Outside in the mountains at night, it would get really cold, which I loved, and the days were cool and pleasant. We tried taking relatives along with us, but it proved difficult to tell someone from Texas to take a coat and enough warm clothes with them when it was 100 degrees outside. We usually lost them after the 2nd or 3rd night. I must have gotten my love of camping from him.

There are a lot of things, good and bad, that I got from him. He will be missed.