Thursday, July 27, 2017

"Let firm, well hammer'd soles protect thy feet Through freezing snows, and rains, and soaking sleet." ~ John Gay

Normally these days, I post my blog on Wednesdays. While I knew that my post, intended for yesterday, would be later in the day, I did think that I'd get to it!

Some weeks, I have a couple of post ideas running through my head. Other weeks - not so much. When the ideas are not so plentiful, I often turn to what I'm knitting (did that recently), what I'm cooking (not much these days) or I just grab my camera and snap some photos of what is going on around me. Yesterday I was headed to a lunch gathering with friends at the house of a woman who lives across the road from a lovely lake, so I threw my camera in the car before taking off.

Once there, we laughed, ate, and laughed some more. I never did make it across the road to take some lake photos on our rare, rainfree afternoon!

So, I am now offering up another, yet well-loved filler, the most recent (albeit several month old) Raw Craft video from Anthony Bourdain. These episodes never fail to inspire me. Craft comes in so many forms, and I love them all! Enjoy!

If video does not come through via email, please go directly to :

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"The most simple things can bring the most happiness." ~ Izabella Scorupco

Some things in my world are resuming their old rhythm. Making soap is one of them.  Since I usually do my soaping in the spring or summer, it has been two years since I did it last. I must say that while it is a lot of work, it has felt so good to return to it and to be reminded of how much I enjoy doing it.

My first round of soap-making this season is for the upcoming wedding of my niece Rachel. I have made favors for weddings before, but sadly could not do them for Rachel's brother Brian this past fall. The amount of time and the amount of equipment made it impossible to do this in someone else's home, and since we were vagabonds - no soap for his wedding. I'm glad that we are settled enough that I can now do it for Rachel's.

Into the molds - this scent is Rosemary and Spearmint

My HAPPY new purchase this year (actually it was an anniversary present) is a multi-bar soap cutter! I love this thing more than I can say! In the past, I have cut each bar individually. It is an exhausting process, and leaves the heal of my right hand red and tender. I now can cut 10 bars at once with little effort - what a huge difference in terms of energy and time! In the course of an hour this morning I cut what would have taken me an entire day to do before. I love it!

I often have people ask me about how I make soap. Five years ago I did a more extensive post on the process. If you are interested in finding out more, go to:

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"Shultz and Dooley Go To The Beach"

A couple of years ago I gave Bruce a card that said, "Men are from Jersey City. Women are from Paris". I would say that this statement still pretty much rings true. When I got home from a few days away late Sunday afternoon, I arrived to discover that he had done a little home decorating while I was gone. Over the years, atop the hutch that had belonged to my aunt and uncle, I have always put candles, seashells, coral, and shorebirds. I walked in the door Sunday afternoon and found that his Schultz and Dooley beer steins had  been added to the scene. I stood in front of it staring as he came and stood next to me. After a few moments of silence, he said "No huh?". To which I responded "Um, no."

This is the view that I came home to.
I did ask his permission to share this story in my blog, and being the good-natured guy that he is, he decided to get into the fun by dressing them up a bit. Yes, he really did create the beach scene by himself - really - in case you are doubting it - really.........

Always fall in love with someone who knows how to laugh at himself! I have dared him to leave it up for when he hosts poker later this week. He can laugh at himself, but he's not willing to take it that far!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on." ~ Havelock Ellis

I couldn’t get a decent picture of one of my old diplomas to upload – not sure why – but I’ve decided that it is further indication that it is time to get rid of it.

And so – the quest to divest continues. I have mentioned before that two of my sisters are also in the process of moving homes. For all three of us to be doing this at the same time – well – it is occasionally comical. Not only are we all going into new homes, we are also relocating to new towns. Actually, two of us are already in, but the work continues.

Yesterday, Bruce and I worked a bit in the garage (which continues to house my studio boxes - more on that in another post). I came across one of my diplomas and decided that there is no real reason for me to keep it. This was 41 years ago. I have never displayed it, it only gets moved from home to home, box to box. So, I took a picture of it and tossed it. When I told my mother what I had done, she was somewhat shocked (I won't tell you the things that she still has - no offense Mom - but some of that stuff has to go), but I assured her that I am very ok with it. There are a few other diplomas hiding somewhere, and I intend to do the exact same thing.

 It seemed that all three sisters who are in the process of moving were involved in the same thing yesterday, and we shared a series of texts as we each stumbled upon items from our past. One sister ran across the script from her 6th grade musical. She stopped what she was doing, and recorded her 58 year old self singing a song from the show, and then texted it to us.  It was a wonderful pause, and a good laugh as we unpacked our pasts, decided to jettison some of it, and hold on to the rest.

During the course of the day, I also had text exchanges with Alex. Would he like a certain rocking chair that had belonged his great-grandparents, how about bowl? I take great pleasure in knowing that family things mean a lot to him, and am gratefully passing them on.

I won't say that I'm getting rid of more than I'm keeping, but I am really trying to "let go". It is frankly, a bit easier for me than I thought it would be. This is a good thing - because the lion's share still awaits me!