Upcycled dog toys

After going through closets I discovered tons of t-shirts that could no longer be worn. Since I already have a huge stack of rags I decided to put on my thinking cap and come up with another idea.tug toy collage

Doggie tug toys…chewies or whatever you’d like to call them.  You may or may not know this but the pet supply industry is booming. People love their furry companions…they are family.  Now we may not have a dog as a pet, though Gracie tries her best to imitate one at times. tug toys

I’ve managed to make a pretty good stock pile of them for the holiday craft sale season.

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T Tuesday: growing up edition

T stands for Tuesday_200Good morning and welcome to another edition of T stands for Tuesday. Our hostess with the mostess, Elizabeth (along with her furry companion Bleubeard) is not a stickler for any sort of rules…she asks that we share a virtual beverage of your choice and whatever else you’d like to share for the week.

horse cup

As I sat in the quiet this morning with my coffee I was thinking about all the changes that will be happening for the kids in a couple weeks. Both into new schools…High school and Middle school. I’m no longer an Elementary school parent. Then I look over at my coffee and see Playmobil horses and realize that they really are still just kids. Don’t grow up too fast…

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Home canned spicy beans

Between our CSA and our garden, we’ve had a plethora of beans. I was afraid we might not be able to eat them all before they were past their prime. My neighbor had made some spicy beans last year and raved about them. I borrowed her Blue Ball recipe book and got to work.spicy beans

They look pretty…I guess time will tell how they taste. I modified a recipe from the book as far as the spices and such.  I used cayenne, garlic cloves and red pepper flakes to season the green and wax beans. Makes me want a beverage just thinking about it.

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The right track

A couple days ago I sat down to journal. The train image literally fell into my lap as I bumped a stack of papers while reaching for something else. I often take that as a message. “Use this…you won’t be sorry.”  20140803_6728

An unexpected thing happened to the bright shiny image as I applied it with liquid matte medium…the image “aged”. I love it when things work out like that!!


I went in search of words and “the railroad tracks” were on the second page I picked up. Again…meant to be.

Last night I was perusing Pinterest and came across this Will Rogers quote:

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

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T Tuesday: Roadtrip edition

Welcome to T stands for Tuesday.T stands for Tuesday_200

I’m going to warn you ahead of time… you better grab a fresh cuppa whatever you’re drinking today because I’ve got a lot of photos to share.

We traveled 1318 miles (2121 km), crossing two states, in 4 days. We spent a total of 25 hrs in the van. Remarkably there were no fights or bickering until we were within 5 miles of home.1-windfarmWe saw numerous wind farms we saw along the way. This one is in SW Minnesota.2-SDCrossing the boarder in South Dakota. Kind of a boring sign if you ask me. We honestly almost missed it.3-wall signNext stop Wall Drug. This is just one of hundreds and hundreds of signs along I-90.

Actually we made a couple of stops before Wall Drug, such as a drive by of the Corn Palace in Mitchell even though it is closed while some restoration is done on the domes.  At least we saw it.4-wall drugWe ate a very late lunch in Wall. It was super busy since it was the week preceding the Sturgis Bike Rally. We had hoped that we’d miss all that traffic but they started showing up about a week early.5-camp disappointmentThis sign sort of said it all for the Wall Drug stop. Camp Disappointment. Too busy, poor service, and no paper in the restrooms…none. Lovely. But if in SD you have to stop at Wall! Just not near Bike Week. :) 6-cabinWe finally made it to our home away from home. We were fortunate to have the other side of the duplex empty the entire time we were there.7-coffee and ducksLittle J and I fed the ducks early the next morning before we left for Mount Rushmore. Note my coffee cup on the picnic table.
Two days later we saw a sign on this side of the lake asking people NOT to feed the wildlife. Whoops.

After a hearty breakfast we were on to Rushmore… 10-road to rushmoreWe ended up behind this motor home that had a long license plate such like one I associate with European countries. We lost track of it once before we even got through the gate.11-rushmore entranceWe saw plates from all over the country both here and on I-90. I’d estimate that we saw 3/4 of the states in the lower 48 and several Canadian Provinces in the 4 days were gone.12-Mt Rushmore

12a-closeupI’ve visited Mount Rushmore many times over the years but have never walked the Presidential trail before. We got so amazingly close. 13-Keystone bikesAgain with so many bikes…we decided to skip stopping in the tourist trap area of Keystone. Later that same day we visited Cosmos Mystery Area, Dinosaur Park, Black Hills Caverns,  Chapel in the Hills and stopped for groceries. Whew! No wonder we were tired. Plus the kids and I went in the pool at the end of the day.

The next morning we decided to head to Custer State Park. As we entered rounded the bend towards the visitors center we encountered a bit of a road block.

16-Custer state parkAbout 200 or so bison were hanging out on and along the road. Males, females and calves all together. The bison were in rut.

17-offical greetersThis one was very interested in sniffing all the vehicles as they went by.

We took a 2 hour Jeep tour through the park seeing areas that aren’t accessible to the general public.

21-Custer Jeep ride

I think this was probably my favorite part of the whole trip. Our guide happened to be the lady who owned the tour company. She was amazing knowledgeable. 22-prairie dogWe saw prairie dogs…

23-mountain bluebirdmountain blue birds…

24-big horn sheepand bighorn sheep.

After spending a lot more time than expected in Custer, we went to Rushmore Cave then back to our cabin for supper. We decided to explore the park that was on the other side of the lake  until it was nearly dark. It was a beautiful evening.

In the morning we packed up to head for home via the Badlands.


26-painted layers27-above the painted layersThere really isn’t a bad view in this whole park. 28-rattlesnake shakeNow why in the world would I show you this… Well, there is a story to this photo.  As we walked to the end of this overlook Mr. G had mentioned that he thought these raised boardwalks would be a perfect place for rattlesnakes to rest in the shade. As we got about half way back we heard the telltale rattle. The kids were gone like a shot and wouldn’t get back out of the van for the next few stops.  29-end of the journeyWe finally got them to emerge for a final little trek. Little J would go past the sign that said beware of rattlesnakes. I have to admit I wasn’t terribly excited about doing that either after hearing one. Blech…gives me goose bumps just thinking about it again.

I hope I didn’t bore you with our road trip photos.  We took about 900 photos with our 2 cameras plus a few videos.

Sorry that I never made it around to anyone last week….we were too busy traveling. I had my post scheduled and was able to use some wifi long enough to link up at Elizabeth’s blog.

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kira-kira journal complete

A little over a year ago I started work in a new journal. It was a book I’d picked off the free shelf at our local library…which incidentally is closing in a week or so. They’ve built a new building to fit with the character of the historic main street. I’m really excited about the new building but also a little sad. The old location is the library where got my very first library card.

OK…done waxing nostalgic…on with the original reason for my post. I’m done…completely finished…with my little kira-kira journal. Today, I added my title page….


…and gave a little attention to the covers, leaving the original title visible.


Here’s a little peek at the pages inside.kira-kira collage

For me, it’s always nice to put a check mark next to a project as DONE.  What about you…do those UFO’s call to you…finish me…or not really?

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July-August art calendar

We had a very busy July…not that I’m complaining one little bit. It was busy for all the right reasons. Activities, staycationing then vacationing through the end the month.

July 2014

I doubt August will be filled with quite as many trips and travels…unless you count trips to the store for back-to-school shopping. Yikes…the fresh air and sunshine made those kids grow like weeds! Nothing fits…


I used pressed flower stickers for the embellishment. My neighbor that hosts craft club passed a bunch of these stickers on to me last year.  They are really pretty but I haven’t found many places that they seem a natural embellishment. I believe these are meant as seals for envelopes.

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