Saturday, May 8, 2010

Just thought I'd share...

Last week while looking for more twisted branches for the walking staffs and more firewood for my little camp area, I came across the biggest grapevine I have ever seen. It's about 50 feet from the top of my dads property line and almost directly in the center. I had Mike snap a picture with my cell phone, so it isn't the greatest quality, but you can at least see the size of this giant thing. Remember that in comparison, I stand 6'3" tall. It's hard to see in this picture, but it goes upward from me and turns almost completely horizontal (to my right) before going straight down into the ground. (where it's kinda hidden behind the brush and saplings) At the base, it's at least 10 inches in diameter. I've seen lots of big ones in those woods, but this one definitly takes the prize! WOW.

When we were there, I gathered a few more twisted pieces for staffs and then cut some others to make a display rack for at the flea market. It didn't take long to put together in the garage, though a few days later I added pegs along the top bar so they didn't fall over. If the staffs don't take off and sell well, at least we'll have an interesting garden tool holder, LOL.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

There isn't really anything happening around here all that blog-worthy. The garden is tilled and ready, but it's not quite planting time yet. We always get at least one or two more good frosts in May, so we never plant much of anything until after Memorial day rather than chance it. I do have some greens in the small beds, but that's it. I do have the two new straberry beds marked out and ready to pull the sod and till, and the herb bed is almost ready for planting. I'd love to find a source for stones to border the herb bed and around each variety inside,but so far I have none. It'll take a lot of stones to border a 30 foot circle, around the rose of sharon, the azalea (sp?), and around each different herb. I'll just gather little by little and eventually have enough, even if it takes longer than this year. We're in no hurry.

There is still no luck on the job front. I had my hopes up for a job with the local park system but never heard back after sending a resume and making 2 e-mails. (no calls allowed) I filled out an application at a cemetary a few weeks ago, but when I called back I was told they hired someone with previous experrience. I recieved a reply via e-mail later and was told once again that I am "over qualified" for mowing grass and digging holes. UGH this is so frustrating.

We're trying a few different routes with making some extra cash and setting up at the big flea market on Memorial Day weekend. (Friday and Saturday) Lisa has been making some awesome looking jewelry from my lure making supplies that she raided, and I'm making walking staffs and wands. (yes wands) For those that don't know, Lisa is pagan and we visit a few stores now and then that cater to that comunity. The last time we were at one, I was looking at wands with a $30-$80 price tag, saying to myself " I can make those!". Afterall, it's a sanded and finished stick with some woodburned designs, stones, and some other embellishments. Right now I have around 16 ready to finish. Some are sanded, some are stained, but they'll all be ready very soon.

A few weeks ago when I was in my parents woods gathering more vines, I found one small tree that had a vine wrapped around it and had grown with it like that. The trunk had this beautiful twist to it from growing into and around that vine. I cut it and looked for another and managed to find 8 total. They're getting the same treatment as the wands, and I'm also doing some minor wood carving on a few. The pagan community would again have an interest in wands, but also there is a bit of a market from people who walk the local parks. I'll gather some more twisted ones soon, but also look for some straighter ones I can make plain for the park people to stick the little pins in that they get for attending an event and hiking a certain distance.

Lisa is making the fishing lure jewelry, (which she has named Reel-a-Luring Jewelry!), hand dipped candles, and what she calls "treasure candles) with earrings inside that you can wear once you burn the candle. She's also making clay figures, candle holders, and incense stick holders. Though she tends to disagree, her clay work is amazing. I tried once and managed to make the most beautiful little clay ball you've ever seen, LOL. I have no artistic talent like she does. I'll have to take and post some pictures.

Our friends Mike and Chrissy are going to set up with us. Mike has been making some really awesome stone carvings at home using his Dremel tool. He's very big into his family lineage, which he's traced WAY back to early Irish/celtic roots. Most of what he is carving has been along those lines, written in Oogum language. (oh-gum) He's also making leather and stone necklaces with the same similar designs carved in them. They're in the same boat we are, actually worse, since Mike lost his job and Chrissy only makes $7.75hr. We're all trying to find our little niche and a way to make extra cash when and where we can. This flea market is a start, just to see what kind of reaction our stuff gets. We're planning to get a booth and set up at the Mabon Festival this year too, but thats not till September. Lisa has opened an account on Etsy too, so now we just have to get some good pictures of what's made and start posting them for sale. Sure none of this is or will be a steady income, but right now anything will help. I'll take and post some pics of everything we're all making sometime soon.

For now, I'm off to take Lisa to work and go visit my uncle. He called me last night and told me he just found out his best friends wife was given till the end of the month to live, and his friend's doctor pretty much told him to get all his "affairs" handled soon. He's taking it pretty hard. I'll go see my folks while I'm there since they're 3 minutes away. Mom has to have minor knee surgery on Monday, which is an outpatient thing now, but they're still stressed out like she's having brain surgery.

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