Friday, November 30, 2012

Baby doll hat

 I had a custom order for a pumpkin dumpling hat for a baby doll, preemie size. that i figured that one out, maybe i'll make a few for Lola's American Girl dolls for Christmas...and maybe matching ponchos too!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Humphrey has a new friend

 Another special package arrived at our door this morning from Jess at Teddybearswednesday
 meet Otis, Humphrey's little brother! Otis was lovingly handmade by bear maker extraordinaire
Jess McCaughey . He is made of mohair, is fully jointed and has a special  Edwardian swimming suit, also handmade by the talented Jess.
 Humphrey and Otis were very happy to see each other again
and are currently catching up with Liam the lamb in the sun room here. Thank you again Jess for sharing your talent with folks like me! If you want to check out Jess' Etsy shop, click here, and read her blog here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Many Sisters- Julieta from Kiva

When i was a little girl, i used to love going to visit my Grandfather John at the local bakery where he was a baker. Ever since then, i have a soft spot for bakeries, bakers and for baking. Click on the picture of Julieta or here to learn more about her business loan thru Kiva.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Morning Treat Time

 Right after we all get up, the dogs go out and the coffee is made, the cats gather on the countertop and wait for their treats. They LOVE those "Temptations" treats in a bag. I tried more organic treats, all natural, and they all gave the thumbs down...Jack, our gentleman cat, is a Very Picky Eater, and will not even think about eating that stuff. But the girls love them...
 I know, i know...feeding them on the stove top like that is not the best thing, but oddly they only go up there in the morning for treats and after that they stay off. They need to get their special treats up high so the wolves...i mean dogs don't gobble them up.
 The dogs LOVE their cookies. I make them biscuits, or buy their favorites, but one of their most favorite treats is animal crackers.
 they get VERY excited at treat time and cannot sit still even for a minute. There is a bit of scooting around for a better position all the time the cookie jar is open.(thus some blurry faces)
And of course, Safou loves animal crackers too! He takes his time with his cookie and nibbles slowly, dropping a morsel here and there and watches the dogs scramble to lick up the crumbs. What a tease!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Taste testing has begun

 Thanksgiving morning i went down to the basement storage shelf and grabbed a bottle of my Honeycrisp cordial to strain and get ready for the big gathering. I collected two wine bottles of the liquid and packed up the apple bits that had been soaking in the liquor for the last 3 months.
Well folks, it was a HIT! Everybody liked it, even my Mom who is a tea totler! And if you were really brave and tasted the apple bits you got a big hit of alcohol! So i think my experiments with the old Polish recipes are a success! Now i need to start a whole lot of straining and bottling for Christmas gifts, and i will remember to save some for here too!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Snowbear and snowcaps

 Here's the newest little snowbear "Fuzzy" laying on top of two large wool blend crocheted caps, all ready to warm someone's heart and noggin...
They are waiting for you at Artcentric Gallery in time for the big weekend coming up. We have Troy Night Out this coming Friday and then right behind that is The Victorian Stroll thru the streets of downtown historic Troy, NY. I hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Animal Wisdom card of the day- Moose

Pulling this card today means a lot to me. This year, the true meaning of Thanksgiving really became so clear to me. The statement "Honor your right to BE" resonates strongly because this year i am so thankful to BE alive after suffering the cerebral hemorrhage in April. I am so grateful for everything. I am grateful i still have both of my Parents. I am grateful for my family-my husband ,children and grandchildren, siblings and extended family. Everything looks new and fresh and beautiful. This is the gift the stroke brought to me.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

(Lola waiting with her Daddy for the race to start)
Recently Lola has been interested in stories about her Poppy as an "upright"(our term for folks who stand and walk) She always loves to see photos of him standing, many of the pictures at races he competed in. And she always liked to admire and wear some of his race medals. So this year she decided she wanted to run in the local Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, just like her Poppy used to. Of course we were all very excited about this! So with the help of Poppy's nurse Tahira(Thank you so much Tahira!) we were able to get to the race location in downtown Cohoes in time for the race to start.

There were so many children ready to run in Lola's age group that they decided to let the girls run first and the boys would follow. For this 1/4 mile race, the focus isn't on your time or placement, but the fact that you ran and had fun. Here's the girl's group taking off. Lo was wayyyyy in the back of the pack. 

Here she is heading to the finish line
 and as soon as she crossed the finish line, she and all participants were awarded their very own Turkey Trot Medal!!! She was so excited! She now has her own medal...

 Here she is with her good friend Abbey Rose posing with their medals

And as soon as she saw her Poppy she ran and gave him a great big hug
and she posed for a photo with him

and with me
and with her GG(Great Grandmother Honey, my Mom)
and with her Bepa(my Dad). It felt so good to be rooting for a loved one at a race again! We were all so proud of her! Let's hope it is the first of many more races. What a great way to start our Thanksgiving Day together. We had a wonderful day...

Many Sisters- Shairkul thru Kiva

When i saw her sweet smile, i just had to invest in Shairkul's business. She works very hard on her farm in Kyrgyzstan. To learn more about Shairkul and her farm, and her loan thru Kiva, click here

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

From Our House to Your House
i send my Love, and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving....

Handknit Huggy Bears

These guys are all ready for the Holidays and are looking for a spot underneath somebody's Christmas tree. They are hand knit with love of soft easy care acrylic yarn (perfect for those who have allergies) or wool and stuffed with polyfil fiber. Two of the teddies,(left to right) Goldie and Coco bear have hand embroidered faces and are safe for children of all ages(Of course their jingle bell necklaces will have to be removed for children who still put their toys in their mouths) Charlie bear(on the right) will probably be the last bear i make with plastic safety eyes. These bears are about 14" to 15" tall, and are very hugable and squishy. The more you hug them, the softer they get! Every bear is one of a kind. You can find these guys and many more wonderful handmade and fair trade gifts for sale at Artcentric Gallery o n River Street in downtown Troy, NY.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's a Dirty Job (but somebody's gotta do it!)

 It's been on my mind for quite some time now. I knew i needed to do this, but...but...but...Today i just plunged right my worm bin that is...

This is my hand covered in composted material from leftover greens, coffee grinds, tea bags, egg shells, left over veggies and fruit, pits, name it. I've been vermicomposting for quite a few years now, and of all the things that makes this partnership work, this is my least favorite part. Cleaning the bin. After about a year of feeding the worms, there was barely enough room in the tub for the poor things to do their work.

This type of worm is best for indoor composting. It's called a red wiggler. They break down the food scraps, in partnership with all the other little microscopic critters that appear in the bin, and turn it into something garden and plant enthusiasts call "Black Gold"

Here's a big old handful of Black Gold(worm castings). It can be added to your garden soil, or sprinkled on top of your house plant soil, or you can soak it in a bucket of water and make "Liquid Gold" to feed your plants with-indoor or out. But in order to collect that Black Gold, you've gotta roll up your sleeves and separate the worker worms and their babies from the composted material. Some people just dump the whole bucket out and let the worms dry up with the castings. Then every year, they start fresh with new worms.But after all that hard work they've done for me, i just can't do that to the little guys...So, after all the separating and collecting, (2 hours plus) i tore up some newspaper into shreds, added some food scraps to the tub and re-established the worm colony so that they could do their thing once again!
Here's the finished bin..It ain't pretty, but i like it, and so do my little worm buddies!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Knitted Snowbears

Little 8 inch Snowbears, complete with their Christmas scarves, wreaths and trees, ready for the big Black Friday/Troy Night Out Holiday sale at Artcentric Gallery on River Street in downtown Troy, NY. These little ones were mere scraps on the work table just yesterday morning...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Knit and crochet- Work on the table today

There it is, sitting right in the middle of the kitchen table. Today i am making myself sit down and get to work on finishing these projects! I've been very busy making the pieces, but haven't taken the time to put them all together. Wake up Mare! The cold weather and Christmas is coming!!!! SO, we have little teddy bears and bunny buddy blankets to sew, stuff and embellish, and hats, cowls and scarves to sew loose ends up. This should keep me busy for the bulk of the day...What are you doing today???

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bird watching...

(This is a post i forgot to post! I wanted to share the photos with you anyway...)

Rosie loves to sit in the windows and watch the birds at the feeders

and every once in a while, there is an added bonus of a fly buzzing around that needs to be caught and eaten

I am so fortunate to have such beautiful beings share my home with me...


Adam Oates-the Hockey Hall of Fame

Many years ago i had the honor of watching a young Adam Oates play college hockey for RPI, and semi pro for the Adirondack Red Wings. Since then i have always followed his career. He is the reason i like hockey! He played with grace and integrity, and everyone respected him. When he was signed with his first NHL team in Detroit, i read that he was homesick and sent him notes and a box of homemade cookies. Bill bought me a new hockey jersey with his name and number on it every time he signed with a different team. I collected his hockey cards and team pins. This was so strange and exciting for me, because i had never followed a sport or an athlete like this before...or ever again. We used to take overnight trips to the closet NHL hockey rinks to watch him play whenever he would come near our area. I would write to tell him we were coming and wish him luck. Then i would go down to the ice before the game while the teams warmed up and if he saw me he would flip a hockey puck over the glass for me. When Bill got hurt, we could no longer travel to see Adam play. But there was always television and the news. I just loved this person. (still do) He has just been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and I couldn't be more proud of him...Congratulations Adam...Your forever fan, mare

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Many Sisters-a Kiva loan

I thought i would share some photos of some of my "sisters" thru Kiva from around the world. Every time i get a notice saying i have payments from my previous loans in my Kiva bank account, i go to my page and start looking for potential investments. Sometimes i make investment choices based on the business, sometimes the craft. This time it was both. And when i saw this colorful photo with these beautiful women working at their craft, i couldn't wait to help them out. To learn more about this loan and these women, or to find out more about Kiva, click here 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Windowsill Kitties

 My window sills used to be chock full of beautiful house plants, bonsai, cactus.... That is, until the kittens came. The fact is, the kitties love to sit up in the windows and look out on the world, and in doing so, have culled quite a few of my plants..
It's ok...I have plenty of time to get new plants someday. For now i am just enjoying having my sweet kitties here making the windowsills look even more beautiful...

My Girls...

Love, Love, Love

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Walk-11/12/12

The weather yesterday was....wonderful...It was so warm, i got to take my jacket off and walk in short sleeves, letting the sun and wind touch my skin, probably for the last time now for the next 5 or so months. The weather was actually balmy...intoxicating...and totally NOT normal for this time of year. Honestly it was more like a late Spring day than a late Autumn day. Still i enjoy each little gift as it is given to us.

the bittersweet is still beautiful on the vines growing in the woods. Whenever i see this plant it reminds me of my Grandmother Mary and my Aunt Mary, who are both in Spirit, and both also loved bittersweet.. They used to cut it and wrap it around wreaths, or put it in vases around their homes... I am leaving this to the woods, as my little cat Hannah Pearl would probably chomp on it....

and i took a self portrait, with dog and chuckit ball.....
my trusty walking stick in my hand....
Anyway, i am so glad i got out and walked my 3 miles yesterday because this morning i woke up and it was so miserable out, even the dogs didn't want to go out there. Heavy chilly rain with slushy snow mixed in...What a difference a day makes. It's the exercise bike for me today!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Animal Medicine- Butterfly

Butterfly 9
Observe your position in the cycle of life transformation
Is this the egg stage--------just a thought?
Is this the lava stage---------Do you need to make a decision
Is this the cocoon stage-------Developing and doing-reality?
Is this the birth stage------------sharing you completed idea.
Butterfly gives clarity to your mental process. You are ready to undergo a transformation.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pumpkin Heads and Apple Heads

 The weather has grown chilly around here, so the girls are wearing their hats. Lola chose a pumpkin hat this fall
 and baby Zoey wears an apple hat
 (this picture has absolutely nothing to do with hats, but look at those cute little tootsies!)
 Zoey all snug in her little hat
and this little apple dumpling is my goddaughter Breanna's baby Avery, in her little hat. If you have a little one who needs a nice warm dumpling hat, you can get them, handmade with love by me at 
Artcentric on River Street in downtown Troy NY.