Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Funniest video EVER!!!

I have NO idea how I found this...totally forgot what I was searching for after I watched this!! Now I can't stop laughing!

Hello Muddah Crop UPDATE!

For those of you watching the progress of the crop that I will be hosting in January 2011, Hello Muddah Sleep Away Crop I have a quick update:

You know if you've been following me on Facebook that checks have been arriving EVERY day. Literally! Every day I go to my mailbox and there are registration forms just waiting for me. Some days it'll be a few envelopes and others it'll be just one envelope (many times with multiple registrations inside!). You should see me do a little happy jig all the way back up my drive as I cannot wait to open the letters!! I have to tell y'all that in my wildest dreams I was NEVER thinking of a "cap off" number. But now I am.

This post is just a 'heads up' for those of you who are still fence sitting. You may have to jump off that fence sooner than later if you'd like to come! Just a little behind-the-scenes information-normally when a crop is announced you'll get a few registrations trickle in at first and then over 50% of the registrations come closer to the crop date. If this is true, and this is the "trickle in" then I'm gonna have to pick my maximum number of croppers SOON and stop taking registrations when I hit it. With that being said, I am half way there already and the crop is still 7 months away! See the need to jump off the fence and send your registration in? I'm thinking that this crop might just fill up faster than I imagined.

Here is the link to the original post: http://twopercentbutterscotchripple.blogspot.com/2010/06/hello-muddah-sleep-away-crop_08.html

Here is the link to the registration form if you know you wanna come:

Here are the basic facts if you need a quick reference:

Thursday, January 27th through Sunday, January 30th

Starting at 12pm on Thursday and going until 5pm on Sunday prevening!

Staying and Cropping at O'Leno State Park in High Springs, FL

-A huge cropping room with plenty of personal space!
-Accommodations for your weekend stay!
-All meals, drinks and snacks all weekend long!
-Games and shenanigans!
-Small goodies for everyone, with a unique twist on the "goody bag"!

Cost of the long weekend: $170 for Scout Cabin and $200 for Leader Cabin (just a couple left of these).

I take checks and money orders. There is a payment plan if you like. You can pay in full-easiest and you will be my best friend! Or pay $50 now and the rest in three installments. The fee will depend on the cabin type you get. BUT that payment is what holds your spot!!

Please contact me if you have any questions. Also, please let me know if you have sent in your registration and have NOT received a conformation email from me. My email address is: mavenjen@yahoo.com

This is going to truly be one fun event and I am thrilled that so many of y'all think so too!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

GREEN PUG RECYCLES! and changes lightbulb, carpools...

I saw this on my friend, Amanda's blog and just had to share. Super cute!

You wanna see a deer?

If you wanna see a deer in the wild, all you have to do is head to Liberty, PA! Since moving up here, I think I have seen a handful of deer around our property and cities, but EVERY time I head to Liberty I see more deer than I can count! In fact yesterday when I was headed home there were three deer grazing in a field with a horse and, get this, there was a lady mowing the grass very close to them and THEY WERE NOT RUNNING AWAY! It was so odd. If I see a deer in our yard all I have to do is breathe and they bolt, but in Liberty the just don't care to move. Well, at least it seems that way to me. So next time you wanna see a wildlife show, grab a lawn chair, some iced tea, find an open field in Liberty (or Morris is fine too!), plop down at dusk and wait.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Arty Summer Camp!

I am really excited! I just signed up for a 12-week, on-line class by Claudine Helmuth called, "@ Home with Claudine". She described the class as an "arty summer camp for your creative soul." I think that just sounds wonderful. This class is going to be full of massivly cool techniques using gesso, watermark resist, faux batik, image transfers with paint and TONS more. We'll be making t-shirs, necklaces, canvas projects, mini album, cards and lots more. I really cannot wait!! If anyone is interested in taking the class right along with me and learning some great new ideas just click on over and see what you think.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

P365 Photos

These are pillows that I had Miss Linda from Bearly Enough cover for me. In my old semi-hoarding days one of the things I held onto was a really cool, old blanket that used to be on BrotherDoug's bed (the checked one). I loved the colors, but the thing was ripped up pretty good. My plan was to "do something" with it. For years it sat at the bottom of the linen closet waiting... Well, on one of my Toss Ten days, I noticed three big pillows that didn't really match anything we had-they were geometric patterned-so not me. So I was gonna donate them to Goodwill. But then I had a light bulb moment. Pillows...blanket? Blanket...pillows?! Viola! I took them all down to Linda, my expert seamstress friend and a few weeks later picked up three new pillows that not only match my style more, they have a cool sentimental touch. Go me!

Our old burn barrel was rusting at the bottom. We knew we had to get another one, but where? Us city slickers didn't have a clue. My first thought was the Internet. You can find everything there. I did find a super fancy burn barrel for $45! We kept looking and asked around and finally our mechanic, Scott, told me "Fat Albert Jr.'s" Sounds promising. We found a whole bunch of 'em there for cheap! I really wanted the pink one, but Charles said that there was no way he was burning trash in a PINK barrel! So we got the brown one. Little did we dunces know...one burn and the paint is all burned away! Duh.

The charming downtown/Main Street area of Towanda from across the river. We went there for First Friday this month and besides leaving my ATM card in the machine we had a fantastic time!

Peonies and Strawberries! I had very little to do with these blooms. The peonies were here when we moved in, only I didn't know that they were peonies. The strawberries came from Lowe's. I put them in a pot and made sure they had sun and water. That's it. But lookie at how cool they are!

I bought an ice cream maker because I have been wanting to try to find my favorite gelato recipe-sea salt and caramel. They were on sale at WalMart, so I couldn't resist! I tried my first recipe for a girl's scrapbooking day with Julie. I roasted some bananas in brown sugar, toasted some cashews and bashed them up with a couple of Heath bars. Then I mixed up the gelato recipe with all kinds of bad stuff like egg yolks, heavy cream and sugar. Followed the directions and in about 20 minutes we had the most yummy gelato!

Late one evening, actually very early morning, I heard a big 'ole "yowling" coming from outside. I thought we might have accidentally let one of our cats out, so I went to find out. There sitting on our back deck was a tiny kitten. With the number of bears that have been in our yard, I knew it wouldn't last outside crying like that, so in he came. He turned out to be a very sweet little boy, who is quickly making himself at home!

Bears everywhere! Foot prints in the mud behind the house. Visiting the yard quite a bit. Turning over the burn barrel. Leaving HUGE prints in the long grass in front of the porch. Oh my! This makes the bear sighting score at: Charles-2, Jen-8! All in our yard!!

The parade today at the Laurel Festival. Such wonderful, charming, small-town Americana! The parade lasted about 1 1/2 hours with tons and tons of floats, marching bands, THREE bagpipe groups, antique tractors, local politicians, etc. We sat in the grass on a blanket under a tree. We chatted with tons of people-chihuahuas are FANTASTIC conversation starters! After the parade, we went to the festival/carnival. There were booths of great crafts and artisans. Food vendors where we had classic funnel cake and an amazing veggie crepe. It was a most wonderful day!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Life's details.

Last night after everyone had gone to bed, I was standing at our large white sink finishing up some dishes. The house was quite and dark and was cool from all the windows being open. Brother Iz was playing his ukulele and singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow . The soft sounds of Ginger snoring from her over sized bed combined with the crickets outside. There was a lingering aroma from the sweet gelato that had just gone into the freezer. I looked out the open kitchen window as I soaped up a bowl and saw the fireflies skipping around the yard. A beautiful sight indeed. Just then a cool, night breeze swept into the window and I thought, "This is it. This is one of those moments that life is all about. Peace. Contentment. Happiness in the small details." I realized that not only was I perfectly happy, but that I was over the rainbow. And that's a good place to be.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Encouragment! We don't need no stinking encouragement! Oh, wait! Yes we do!

Here are some prizes. Raffle prizes to be exact.

Here is a prize that I won.
Here is me winning a prize. (Yes, I know I look like a dork!)

I love those earrings. I love all the prizes that I win at these crops! I use my PC stone every week and I wear those earrings on special occasions and think of Jackie every time.

In case I forgot to tell you on that specific day, Jackie, I really appreciate all the hard work that you put into your crops. I, for one, know exactly what goes into making an event a success! If at any point you stumbled, got something wrong and got stuck in some "messy bits"-it's OK! Life is all about the messy bits. You learn. You adapt. You move on. I'm certain that at some point I have stepped on a toe or two, not made everyone happy or left tin foil in a plate of food! Oops! To err is human...to get understanding critiques and the opportunity to fix my mistake is divine!! My crop motto has always been, "If you enjoyed it, tell 10 friends. If you didn't, tell me so I can make it right!"

If I could run over and give you a hug right now I would, my friend.

OH! And PS-
Here is me stuffing a TON of tickets into the tub of the prize that I really, really, wanted to win!! That fire pit would have looked perfect on our back deck this past winter!

"We need to encourage one another, not discourage, backbite and be ugly!"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sometimes you just have to choose.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty bad when I woke up. I had gotten a massive headache the night before and went to bed hurtin'. I woke up hurtin' too. It has been quite chilly and windy here the last few days, so the windows and doors are all closed. But I guess when Charles left for work, he didn't shut the front door all the way. But the time I moseyed out of bed, the wind had blown the front door wide open. I shuffled my way to the door to shut it and standing in our yard, just a few yards from the front porch was two deer! My first impulse was to run and grab my camera, but with my brain rushing information at me, I couldn't remember where I last left it. The information my brain was full of was about what I had learned about the different kinds of animals I've encountered and how they react when they spot me watching them. Turkeys bolt. They do not look back, they run to the hills as fast as turkey legs and their neck pumping action will move them. All chipmunks but one will scamper away. There is one out there who will stop and pose on a nearby rock for me to take a photo. Barn kitties will come to you with enough incentive. Cows? Well if it is Lichtey's one black and white cow, she'll run to the fence and wiggle like an excited dog until Kiwi pays attention to her. Bears. Well, I just don't think they give two hoots if you are standing and watching them. They lumber wherever they please. That is their luxury for being at the top of the food chain! But deer, they are a skittish bunch. They can sense me walking around in the house and usually I just see them from behind as they rush back into the woods. Today though I caught them up very close to the house, so for them to make a solid break to the woods would have to be a good gallop. So there I stood, knowing that I had to stand as perfectly still as I could, debating on moving to find my camera. I shifted weight from one foot to another and they moved a bit away while watching me. I knew they knew I was there. And I knew that if I went for my camera they would be gone and I'd be taking a photo of their butts headed into the woods. Not really the shot I wanted. So my decision was to find the camera to photo document this encounter or to just enjoy the encounter all by myself. I chose to stay still for about two minutes while those deer took their time walking away from me. Checking on me all the way back to the woods. Watching critters never gets old for me. After they had disappeared, I sighed and saw something else move out of the corner of my eye. It was Luna on the front porch. She had been watching the deer too. Well, I didn't get that photo, but at least I had someone there to share the moment with!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hello Muddah Sleep Away Crop

Announcing for January 2011...

Hello Muddah Sleep Away Crop!!

Thursday, January 27th through Sunday, January 30th

Starting at 12pm on Thursday and going until 5pm on Sunday prevening!

Your long weekend will include

-A huge cropping room with plenty of personal space!
-Accommodations for your weekend stay!
-All meals, drinks and snacks all weekend long!
-Games and shenanigans!
-Small goodies for everyone, with a unique twist on the "goody bag"!

Cost for the long weekend:


(This is a long post with LOTS and LOTS of important information in it. Please read it all!!)

We will be staying and cropping in Florida's beautiful O'Leno State Park in High Springs.

This park is located along the Santa Fe River and is full of natural charm. The park has a wonderful suspension bridge over the river that along with the cabins and surrounding buildings were constructed in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

We will be staying in a large cabin loop that is for our private use during our visit. Our area consists of 17 rustic cabins, one large arts & crafts building, a pavilion, two restroom facilities including one with showers and a very large dining hall. The dining hall has windows around the room and two very large fireplaces on either end of the hall. It also has a huge kitchen where all your meals for the weekend will magically appear from!

Speaking of food, it will be my pleasure to be cooking for you all weekend! Your weekend fee will include: lunch, dinner and late night snack on Thursday, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on Friday and Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. There will be drinks available all day long. If you are not familiar with my cooking style it is good, old-fashioned "make you happy" meals. There is no diet food at crops! (Unless you pack it in yourself!) I always have a vegetarian (not vegan) option at every meal, but cannot take "special requests" at meal time! There will be a menu posted ahead of time so that you can make other arrangements if something doesn't strike your fancy or doesn't meet your special dietary requirements. If you need a bit of 'fridge space, please let me know in advance. The park does allow alcoholic beverages as long as it remains in your cabin or in our rooms. Basically, our camping area. So you can feel free to BYOB! (And specific mixers your require!)

About the cabins! Yes, I know that some of you are worried by now about that word "rustic". I would love to paint a spectacular picture of these cabins, but they ARE "rustic"! They were built in the 1930's. They do NOT have AC or heat. (This is why this trip is not in the spring or summer time!) They DO have electric and electric plugs. The do NOT have bathrooms in the cabins. They DO have doors and windows! They have bunk beds. Most cabins sleep between 6-8 people. Depending on the number that I have sign up, I will assume that most everyone wants a bottom bunk. So unless this crop is extremely popular or you have a large group that wants to bunk together, I'm shooting for bottom bunks for all!!

About the bathrooms!
Again...y'all worry too much! There are bathrooms in our cabin circle. There are two bathrooms in the crop room. If you've ever been to a state park you know what the bathrooms look like. They are concrete buildings with men on one side and women on the other. One set of bathrooms have showers, this is the one closest to our cabins. The other is located just a bit away from us and has no showers. The one with showers has a row of sinks with mirrors and electric outlets. Then it has a row of private showers. They have bench seating just outside each shower stall. There IS hot water!

More about cabins and bathrooms! There are actually two types of cabins. "Scout" cabins and "Leader" cabins. There is a LOT of "scout" sleeping accommodations, but only a few "leader" beds. There are actually 3 leader cabins. Leader cabins do NOT have AC or heat either and DO have bunk beds, but they DO have their own bathrooms. I would like to offer these cabins up to those who are a) "infirmed", b) "old" or c) "sissies"! (I have just officially cracked myself up at those last comments!! Honestly! I cannot stop laughing...) But, if you feel like you would only be able to come if you had an indoor potty, then these spaces are a little more money and are on a first pay, first get basis! You can email me for room/bed configuration for you and/or your group. I will also take on a first pay, first get basis requests to be in the cabins closest to the bathroom facilities. There are four of those cabins, so once they fill I will move out from there! Unless you have something else you want to be close to!

About the weather!
I have no idea what the weather will be like come the end of January 2011! I CAN give you the last three years in weather history from that area according to Weather Underground. 2008: high 63/low 58, 2009: high 61/low 39 and 2010 high 68/low 53. Suffice it to say you will need cool weather clothes. The crop room, where you should be most of the time, will be heated with two giant fireplaces located at either end of the room. (I am looking for experienced volunteers who know how to start a fire to help me out here!!) Since the cabins are not heated you will need to bring nice warm bedding and/or a heater or electric blanket. Each cabin will only take one heater, so once we have cabins assigned you can talk amongst yourselves about who has a heater! (If you plug in more than one heater, you MAY blow a fuse! They draw a LOT of electric!!)

Even more about the cabins!
You need to bring your own bedding and towels. Each bunk has a mattress pad (upgraded since the last time I was there!), but you will not, I repeat NOT want to use that as your only pad! I would suggest getting one of those egg crate mattress pads in a queen size. Fold it in half to make a super, thick twin size. Get a twin size flannel sheet set (I found a great plaid set at WalMart!)and bring blankets! You could even layer in one of those shinny emergency blankets between the layers!

About the area. I cannot tell you just how beautiful this area is. This crop will be a great chance to escape the everyday and recharge with friends, this hobby we love AND nature! There are great opportunities to just sit and be one with the beautiful Florida landscape. Hiking trails, the river, canoeing or just sitting on the porch in a chair and relaxing. This location doesn't disappoint... O'Leno State Park is about 30 minutes from Gainesville and about 5 miles from "downtown" High Springs. This is where the closest area restaurants, grocery, etc. will be located. You can come and go from the park but if you come back after dusk/the park has closed, you will need a gate entrance code to get back in. IF you should want to come to the event, but really cannot see yourself plunging into the camp adventure, you could check out hotels in the High Springs area. You will not hurt my feelings one tiny bit, but you will also still be paying the same event fee as well! But it is an option!

About the crop
. Before I settled on this location, I asked a bunch of y'all where you wanted the 2011 trip to be and what kind of crop you wanted. So, from my informal poll it was determined-O'leno State Park, add an extra day in and do it on a "budget". So this crop will be just that! I've added in a Thursday and kept the cost super low! As per the poll, there will be no lavish goody bags and no door prizes. No give-aways and no make-n-takes. There will still be games and fun organized things to participate in at your leisure! BUT! We have come up with a really unique idea on the goody bag/make-n-take notion. Actually Diane, Dianne and Kathy came up with this idea at my spring crop. I will set a theme, pick the colors (and possibly a line from a specific company) and the album size and anyone who wants to contribute a handmade goody for each of the croppers is highly encouraged to do so. You could make a tag, a page topper and embellishment, a title...whatever! You would just have to make enough for everyone. Then we will swap and hopefully we will have enough stuff to make a killer album! More on that to follow.
I am also opening up the big arts & crafts room to any of our croppers who want to teach a class! If you are interested in this, just email me and I'll get you the information. So that means if we have anybody who wants to teach, we'll offer classes at an additional fee. More on that as it happens!
If you are a direct-sale merchant (like CM, CTMH, SU, MK, PC, etc.) and want to be heard from, just email me quickly and we'll talk! There will only be one person representing a company, so contact me soon!

Just a few more tips.

-Socks and lap blankets.
-You can easily walk between your cabin and the crop room, but if you prefer, you can drive!
-This is the Florida "woods". You may encounter wildlife. Deer and raccoons are very common in that area.
-We have to respect the other campers and keep our party to a dull roar.
-If you bring extra lighting, you must bring your own extension cord.
-Hobby Lobby is on the way up from the Tampa/St. Pete area!
-Insects will be sleeping in January!
-More tips will come as it gets closer!

The registration form is in the following post, so if I have convinced you that this will be an unforgettable and fun adventure, then print out the flyer and send it in with your payment.
I take checks and money orders. There is a payment plan if you like. You can pay in full-easiest and you will be my best friend! Or pay $50 now and the rest in three installments. The fee will depend on the cabin type you get. BUT that payment is what holds your spot!! So if you want to get a leader cabin or a cabin near the potties, you must get that deposit to me ASAP. Once I receive your payment/deposit I will notify you on what cabin you got. So if you are making payments, you will know how much to send.

Crop cancellations-A full refund will be given if the crop is cancelled before January 1st. If you need to cancel the crop after January 1st then all but the $50 deposit will be refunded.

Please call, email or holler any questions you might have. (My personal email is: mavenjen@yahoo.com) I am REALLY looking forward to this adventure! We are gonna have a grand time and remember this...“Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure.” -Alfred North Whitehead

Hello Muddah Sleep Away Crop Registration Form

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I *heart* Molly!

I know a gal, her name is Molly. Molly is cool. Molly is fun & funny. Molly is a child of the earth and I believe she is blessed with healing hands. Molly is a thinker and shows great wisdom. I wish I could spend more personal time with Molly. But miles separate us and I have to make due with keeping up with her FB posts and reading her blog. Today I caught up on that blog reading and discovered this wise post. I loved it so much, I'm sharing it with my friends and blog readers...ENJOY!



Ooh ooh...that smell!

Imagine if you will...it is winter and I have to start parking my car in the garage so that it stays warmer and I don't have to scrape snow off if when I want to use it. One winter day I get into my car in the garage and notice a slight funky smell. I roll the windows down and air it out a bit which does the trick. Over the next month the funky smell doesn't go away, so I hang a few Yankee Candle car fresheners off of my rear view mirror. The smell of cinnamon mows down the slight funk. Yeah Yankee Candle! Now winter months turn to spring and the outside temps start to turn from "refrigerator" to "oven" and that slight funk is back. Hummm... After much debate Charles and I figured out that while in the garage for the winter some small critter had taken refuge from the cold in my warm engine. It had crawled up and up, couldn't get out and died. The cold air helped to keep the critter somewhat "preserved" and thus only created a slight funk that was kept at bay with the sweet smells of cinnamon. That was then...this is now. Now I return from my Florida visit. My car has been sitting outside of the garage and the temps are not as kind and preserving anymore. I get into the car to run some errands. OK, the funk is back, the Yankee Candle has dried up, so I spray some Febreeze around. I open the front windows and get the air circulating. All is fine. I get most of my errands done and am headed back home and I decided to "treat myself" to some good old-fashioned air conditioning! I hit the switch, hear a loud "thwack" and a gush of warm air starts to fills the car. Then I hear the unmistakable, smaller "thunk-thunk-thunks" of something caught just inside the vent being moved about by the air flow. And then...then...the smell hits me. The most rancid, eye-watering, putrid, throat-closing, musky, gagging, car-swerving, vomitus smell that has ever swirled through such an enclosed space grabs me and smacks me around!! I am stunned! I quickly turn off the AC and roll down every window, wishing I could find something to smash my windshield out with. I cough, pull my shirt over my nose and mouth and press the accelerator down and find that I CAN drive winding country roads at 60 miles per hour! Oh! And I imagine that with every bump I hit in that pastoral-view lined country road that it will be all it takes to dislodge aforementioned varmint and it will land on my flip-flopped feet as I am driving!

Take a minute here, if you'd like, to picture me on this bright and sunny day, sitting behind the wheel of my cute black Vibe, all four windows down, Lady Gaga coming out of the speakers, driving 60 mph past horses, barns, farmhouses, cows, etc. with my left foot up on the seat, my right big toe only pressed to the accelerator, my t-shirt covering my nose and mouth with my head stuck out of the window as far as I can manage....yes, you are allowed to laugh at me!!

I get home, call (in this order) Stacey to chuckle with, Matthews Automotive to make an appointment to de-mouse my car and Charles to share my tale of woe and ask if he can take me to Matthews for the appointment. The car has sat in the driveway with windows down waiting for today and the appointment with Matthews (God bless good mechanics!) But the real story is this...when Charles and I were leaving to go drop off my car, my wonderful husband, without any prompt headed to my car to drive it so I wouldn't have to. He knew that he was the one to brave that...that smell and not me. That my friends is true love! Not roses or diamonds. Not exotic trips or fancy clothes shopping sprees. It is when he'll get into a stinky car so you don't have to! *sigh*...my hero!

*Blogger's Post Script:
Just picked my car up from Matthews. The mechanic told me that yes there was a mouse in my car. Not only a mouse, but a mouse nest! AND (avert your eyes if you are weak-stomach-ed) that the mouse got chopped up when it went through the fan blades! GA-ROSS! Even the mechanic said it was gruesome!