Friday, July 29, 2011


Today I've been daydreaming....about everything. I've been dreaming of what it would be like to be a photographer who travels the world to amazing places. I've been dreaming of what my farm will be like next year. I've been dreaming of a "perfect" life would be....and so on. Then it has hit me...I have been a photographer traveling the world, to some extent, and I have seen some amazing places. I know that my farm will grow next year, and that it is still growing this year. As for the perfect life, well I'm pretty much there. I know that nothing in life is perfect, and there is things that we would all change, but with the realization that you can only change so much makes me stop and see what I do have.

I have all that I have asked for. A large, happy family, I'm in Alaska, and I have my farm. It may not be what I pictured it as, and it may not be where I pictured it at, but it's mine. I'm not to the point that I am producing enough food for us yet, it's a work in progress. I have, however, produced food for us. I may not have us away from all of the things that I would like, but it's a work in progress. I have plans for what I want here. I have dreams for what I would like to see. I have hesitations because I don't know how long we will be here, and yet I have an inner voice screaming at me to go with it with all of my heart.

There are things that I would really like to see happen. I would like to learn to ride a horse...we have 2 and I've never been on one. I would like to see the 2 horses we have completely broken so anyone could ride them. I would like to halter train my sheep. I would like to have a bigger garden...which will happen. I know that in time these things will happen. I know that it's going to take more than me just wanting to get them done. I'm planning my winter reading/researching/studying already so that I will be ready to roll next spring. I don't know what we will find, but I know that bees, pigs, a cow, maybe even goats are all somewhere on the horizon for us. I want to have more than 2 sheep. I want to have the meat chickens. I want to see our heritage turkeys reproduce to that we don't have to continue to buy them each year. Those are things I'm starting to focus on more. I'm all about learning, and doing. I'm excited about what we are doing here. I'm excited about where we are going from here.

Again, just daydreamin'.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Simple Layout

It's that time again. It's time for a new week of challenges. This is part 2 of the mix it up challenge. The idea was to come up with a single theme, and see what we could come up with. Our group came up with a BBQ theme, since it's summer. We also added that we needed to use bright/bold colors, and at least 3 cricut cartridges. So make sure to check back daily to see how many cartridges we can use this week. It only gets better from here.

I created a simple layout for my project.

This isn't the typical backyard bbq. We had been camping and had actually cooked the majority of our meals over the open campfire. We had such a good time. It doesn't matter where you are at, and how you are cooking when the food is good and the friends are even better. It was an amazing weekend, we even got to scare away a brown bear. (He thought the food would be good to.)

So for the details of my layout. The papers are expressions bright papers in yellow, red and orange....the apron is coordinations red.
I made all of my cuts at 4 inches.
"BBQ" come from the cricut lite, block party
the frames come from accent essentials
"Get cooking & apron" come from country life
"Family and Friends" come from Gypsy wanderings

The stickers are K Marcella Dimensional stickers, and a few self stick gems.

I used the frames for my journaling and left it simple since it was a camping trip. If you wanted to jazz it up a bit you could always pop the words off the page, frame the pictures in more than one frame, or add glitter ;)

So that's it for my layout....please come back tomorrow to see what is next on , and see how many cartridges we can use this week.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears!!!!

Ok maybe not tigers, but sea lions and bears were seen.

Our camping trip to Valdez was amazing. We were definitely not disappointed with the wildlife, and the scenery. This was our second visit to Valdez. We were able to see brown bears, sea lions, harbor seals, eagles, otters, and fish. It is amazing to sit on the Prince William Sound, knowing that not too many years ago it was covered in oil, and see the life that abounds there. My sweet daughter has claimed that we need to move there. However I think that we will leave it as a vacation place so that it doesn't lose it's awe to us. We learned that it gets more snow during the winter than any place in the world, and that they have way too many bears for my farming taste. I would have to put a 6ft high electric fence around my entire property, and that isn't even a sure thing.

I'm looking forward to our next trip back, but I'm enjoying being at home as well. It is such a good feeling after you've been gone to pull into your driveway, see your garden is still growing, and hear the animals welcoming us back. I absolutely love my farm, and am enjoying watching it grow. I may not have lions and tigers and bears....but I have sheep, horses and chickens...and rabbits...and dogs...and cats...and kids ;) had to throw them in there.

I keep saying that I am looking forward to getting things from my garden, but I have already taken lettuce, raddishes, spinach, and a few strawberries, not to mention rhubarb. I've made pesto with my basil and parsley...and leafy salads, as well as just lettuce for sandwhiches. That is still amazing to me that I actually got something from my garden that I didn't kill. Maybe my thumb will start turning shades of green instead of gray and black. Wish me luck!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sweet Tooth

Hi everyone, it's Christmas in July. I love Christmas and everything that goes with it. I think a lot of us agree that we wish that there was Christmas spirit all year round....some of us like it for the candy ;) So when we were asked to design for this special time of year my sweet tooth really started working.

This card was so easy to make, and I loved the smile on the gingerbread as I was assembling the rest.

I gathered all of my supplies, and this time I used what I gathered. I didn't go looking for more stuff. Which is unusual for me.
I cut the card so that it is a 5x6 of DCWV Homemade Christmas Stack, red gingham (love homemade). I cut my gingerbread man at 3in...and the tag at 1 1/2 in. (they were from scrap paper).

I added some black self stick gems for eyes, drew on the mouth, used a white pen for the frilled arms and legs, and buttons for well buttons. I cut out a present again from the DCWV homemade Christmas stack and glued it to his hand.

I stamped the sentiment onto the tag added just a few drops of red glitter glue. I tied it with the twine, and a pop dot to keep it in place. I didn't have the little bells so I used buttons and a wooden star button for my center bow to add just a bit more color. Everything was inked on the edges to add just a little dimension to the pieces.

There it is a simply sweet card for anyone who has a sweet tooth. (like me)

DCWV Homemade Christmas cardstack
brown cardstock
ink (dew drop brown)
black self stick gems
red glitter glue
wooden star button
red/green buttons
cricut cartridges...Gingerbread and George

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer's in full swing!

Summer is in full swing for us finally. I have green in my garden, animals literally running all through my yard, a dozen different projects that are all started but not completed, and a constant draw to be outside.

We have made it hiking a couple of times this summer, which is unusual for us. The last one we went on we found snow. We were having a snowball fight in July. I've added some books and pull-outs to our backpack this year. Now when we are out we are identifying birds, berries, wild flowers and butterflies. There are some others that I want to get such as the nighttime sky, which does us no good until Aug., geology, wilderness survival and so on.

One of the things that I love so much about living here is the views that we can see. We don't have to go looking to hard for them, they are everywhere. We went hiking at an old mine (Independence Mine) and it was so neat to see how time works on things that have been left in ruins. It was also neat to get a glimpse of how things were here in the past. Then to hike along the old trails and see the scenery was breathtaking at times. It has inspired my son to make a documentory on the different places that we have visited, so that he will have them later in life.
The best part of all of that is when I come home and still have that same sense of awe. I love pulling into my driveway, it reminds me of driving down some road in the middle of nowhere. Everything is green right now, we have lupine, daisies, and fireweed in bloom. As I pull in I see my garden, my chickens, the turkeys and hear the sheep in the back ground saying hello. I've never had an actual garden so to see small veggies coming on is a huge accomplishment for me. To see the turkeys getting bigger, and the males are getting their big feathers, is exciting as well. I know that I won't have to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner this year, it's being raised in my yard.
Other than that we are building a riding ring for the horses. Which will be nice to have, less to mow. We are going to be redoing the front porch as soon as we are finished painting, and a sidewalk. Hopefully that will be done before winter.
In the meantime we are taking the littlest one on her first camping/fishing trip. We are going to take the kids for the Pink Salmon Derby. We have one other camping trip planned, but I'm looking forward to getting away a bit more than we have been. So I know for a fact that I will be trying my hand at making fireweed jelly this year...will definitely put that on here. We will be out berry picking hopefully soon, and I can't wait to pull veggies out of the garden. I have already used some of my basil and parsley to make pesto....and loved that it was so fresh. It makes me feel like I'm actually on my way to living the life that I've been dreaming about for so long. Hope you are all having a great summer as well!!!!