She's probably the owner of this car.
If you've never been to Highlands, North Carolina, put it on your to do list. It is not only a fantastically quaint yet simultaneously culture packed little town, but it is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside anyone could dream of.
Artists flock to Highlands more and more, and it is easy to see why. The southern Appalachians provide endless inspiration.
When Mother's Day came along this year I knew I wanted to create something personal for my Mom. Then, when I found this gorgeous hand carved Sant Anooka tray I knew it was the perfect vehicle for a scenic painting to honor my parents' thoughtfulness and love.
Thank Heaven my folks haven't gotten sick of getting paintings as gifts yet!
Here's what you'll need to make some yourself: synthetic fabric (wide ribbon works well, also), a pencil, scissors, a candle, a lighter, a bowl of water, thread, needle and some random beads or buttons Here's how:
First- Find some synthetic material. (Cheap Dollar Store scarves work great!)
Next cut out some circles to make the petals. They don't have to be perfect- look at any real flower and you find that petals aren't perfect- they're all different shapes and sizes.
When you've cut out as many petals as you'd like your flower to have, get out a bowl of water and light a candle.
Hold each petal just close enough to the flame to singe the edge.
Go all the way around, until the petal is singed all the way around.
Not only will holding it near the flame keep it from unraveling, but it will also cause the fabric to warp, making the circle look more like a real petal.
If you hold the fabric too close and it catches on fire, don't freak out- just dunk it in the water.
After you have all the petals singed around the edges, arrange the petals in the shape you would like them, and stitch straight through the middle. Make sure that each petal is securely attached to the others. Sew several stitches to make it stronger and more durable.
Next, find some beads or buttons that coordinate with the flower and cover the center stitches by sewing them on one by one.
Make sure to securely knot off the thread when you're finished sewing on the last bead on.
If you don't it's because you haven't talked to me in the past year or haven't read this blog post.
Well, BIG NEWS- I'LL BE TEACHING AT ETSY LABS JUNE 1ST!
IT. WILL. BE. AWESOME.
So, let's recap: Etsy Labs, 4-8 pm, June 1st. It's completely free and all materials are supplied.
If you're not in New York City, we'll be broadcasting live on the web here.
(Yes, you have to make a username to log in, but it's free and only takes a second, so don't be lazy.)
If you're not crafty, it's o.k.- my etsy shop is coming up roses!
It's my interest check.
Honestly, I wish they would've just mailed me an unused stamp because, really,
a check for $o.11?
Gosh, with logic like that I can't figure why a bank would fail.
Got to get to the bank!
Lo and behold; a farmer's market! I wandered around a bit stepping between the flats of herbs and crates of fresh picked vegetables.
I hadn't intended to spend a dime, but the proud owners of an orchard had figured out ways to incorporate apple cider into everything.
(rolled in cinnamon sugar to be sure... as if there were any other way to have an apple cider doughnut.)
I returned to the farmer's market today, since the weather was so lovely, in order to reacquaint myself with the delightful apple treats.
After completing my sugary mission I took a few minutes to listen to a man play a guitar more skillfully than anyone else I've ever seen.
It was simultaneously soulful and perky- the kind of thing that's perfect for painting to, or cleaning to, or really just anything.
I could've listened for hours, but after a few songs I felt the need to move on, so I went to put a dollar in his guitar case. I started chatting with him. Turns out not only is Alex Simon an extremely talented musician, but he's also a very nice fellow! Before I knew it I was walking away with a copy of his c.d.!
Pleased as punch, I continued my stroll to the fresh flower vendors. A single hyacinth stem lay on the counter, so I picked it up and inhaled it's gorgeous scent. The vendor looked over and said "take it! It's the last one, and no one is going to buy a single little stem of hyacinth- it's yours."
How is it that everyone in Manhattan is in a good mood today? I swear, more random people smiled at me today than ever before.
As I looked up on the subway ride home to see the old lady across from me flash me a smile, I realized why- I had been smiling at them! The beauty and generosity of the musician and flower vendor had put me in such a good mood that I hadn't stopped smiling throughout my whole trip home.
These thoughts were still with me as I boarded the bus and a man carrying a huge bundle of wholesale flowers sat down next to me. He grinned at me clutching my single blossom, (I smiled back, of course!) and said- "those are beautiful- I've never seen them that color!" "Why thank you," He replied, "they're the leftovers from a wedding my company did. He took my lone stem of Hyacinth and grouped it with a bunch of hot pink ones. "Here you go!"
Oh no, I couldn't!
I didn't think I could take three random acts of kindness from strangers in one day!
"Please," He insisted, "Enjoy."
Well, okay :) But please, take some of these delicious apple cider doughnuts!"
Worst. Month. Ever.
I didn't work a single day that month.
Not because I didn't want to, but because I couldn't find any work.
Come February just checking the mail was an open invitation for a stress induced stomach ache.
(I know Peter likes to say that what I earn is nothing compared to his student loans- cause they pay the rent- but believe me, utilities and food become a very big deal when there's no money for them.)
Toward the end of February I had a job, and was even earning some income painting- yipee!
But back to January- I put out over a hundred resumes in the city.
That was four months ago.
Now I am getting job offers all the time.
and I can't stop accepting them.
I worked 75 hours last week across three jobs.
I got another offer today.
I just can't decide what to do- each one has it's own benefits and disadvantages.
I guess I'm just afraid of saying no to a job, then losing the work I have and being right back in January again.
"What's wrong, Mom?"
"He gave me a two dollar bill."
"You know who uses two dollar bills, don't you?"
"Um... the French?"
"They think it's funny. Nudists love to use two dollar bills."
I guess it's true- you learn something new everyday.
And THAT is my favorite stereotype.
Nudists love to use two dollar bills.
It's my favorite 24/7 freakshow.
I've seen so much craziness there.
Everything from elderly women on Razer scooters to men wearing fuzzy pig costumes.
Last week there were lots of men with mega phones shouting frantically in Spanish to no one in particular.
But it didn't.
(But I won't allow myself to go back until I've altered and worn all my current clothes.)
It's been such a busy week.
So much is going on!