Wednesday, August 31, 2011

technical difficulties

Well shoot. I'm having some trouble with my Goodness Recycled website and email. If you need to get in touch with me, please email me at groarkblankfamily[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Friday, August 26, 2011

painting freehand

We're getting Faith's junior high room ready complete with some brighter accessories/linens, a new-to-us desk and more. Faith has been away camping with her new class these past three days - teambuilding -(isn't that awesome?) so today I painted this one wall in her room.

I just dry brushed the designs and then filled in space as I went along. The white paint was just cheapo craft paint and it seems to be fading, so we'll see if I have to add another coat. I computer-enhanced the peacock feather in the corner in one photo above because it's not photographing well, even though it's easy to see in person. I hope she likes it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Upcycled discarded stool

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 is a new section in my blog where I show a "before and after" with four photos and little to no text. If you have a project you'd like to share, please leave a link in the comments! xo

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All talk

We have no fewer than 3 million cucumber flowers waiting to grow into cucumbers and then become Greek salad. We've watched these flowers every day for at least a month. And sadly, we're used to watching our cukes get eaten by beetles, but this year, we haven't seen beetles and there have been more flowers every day.
I don't think my photography skills are capturing what a monster these three cucumber plants have become. They've grown into our tomatoes, and all over our strawberries.
Weeks ago when the flowers began appearing we talked about how cucumbers and squash are like nature's magic show. One day you have no fruit, the next day you have a small fruit-let and sometimes the very next day (or at least it seems that way) you have a full grown fruit ready for the eating.
The next week we talked about what we would do with all these cucumbers. Should we give them to our neighbors? There will be so many [we thought], maybe we should just leave them out in our front yard for drivers by. How many meals can we make with cucumbers? Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. And no fruit - no magic show. 
Now it's almost September and everyone is talking about/blogging about Fall, slowing down, finding a rhythm, harvest. Us? Well, we're certainly not talking about least, not until last night. 
One cucumber! ONE! We'll take it, but we are very curious what the Fall will bring. Maybe we'll be the only family with home grown cucumbers in November. We'll see... xo

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Upcycled junk box

I love before and after photos! Of anything really...gardens, cleaning jobs, decorating, hair cuts, crafts. But they don't always require a tutorial, or an explanation. So I'm starting a new "subject" in my blog called 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 for those of you who love before and after shots like I do. I'll have little to no text and four photos showing what I found/bought and what I did with it. Hope you enjoy it and if you have a before and after project to share, please leave a comment and a link! xo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the good and the so-bad-I-don't-know-that-I-should-blog-about-it

Hmmmm...I'm not sure how to begin this post, so I think this first draft will just be chronologically accurate. David took the kids on our family's four-day escape to our favorite cabin in the woods last week. I didn't go and the decision was spontaneous...but glorious! I don't know if you remember in November when I posted that I spent my first night alone in my own home, but now I have had three nights alone, in a row, in my own house.

What did I do? I did what I'm always blogging about - I worked in my art room. Two days of work and then a night out and sleepover with a friend who I never get to see. Glorious. Really. If you are a mom and you haven't shoved your family out of your home so you could have it all to yourself, um, do it now. Today. Schedule this time for yourself. Today. Did I already say TODAY?

So then the kids, the dogs and the husband came home happy, sun kissed, filthy and my shift began on Camp Mama. We learned to blow bubble gum bubbles, we took walks, we learned Backgammon. Nothing flashy, but good days.

And then came the bad. Last Friday while we had two friends here and my 3-year-old niece, our dog got into Faith's rat's cage, chased him in a very dramatic and traumatic way down our stairs and killed him in front of everyone - six kids in my house. Five kids screaming in total fear and powerlessness. I'm not being a drama queen when I write that in hindsight I feel like I got a taste of what hell must be like in those three seconds of hearing the screams, racing downstairs and shoving everyone outside because our pet's death was inevitable. I've never heard my children scream in fear and powerlessness.

To those of you who don't "get" this because he was just a rat, I know. I know. But could you just stop reading and come back tomorrow because we loved this rat, we took responsibility for him and his life and even though this was an accident in the purest form...this death was preventable. And devastating. We only had him for five months and we didn't keep him safe. So we're mourning over here, over a rat no less and we're healing and walking gently with each other in this sadness. And Faith is working hard to forgive our dog for being exactly who he is - he's the least to blame really.

The comic relief in all of this was that my niece didn't really understand what was happening and she was absolutely fine - no fear, no screaming, no "processing" it when all was done. I got a very sweet email from my sister-in-law saying that my niece probably won't need to talk about what happened until she is sitting in class on her first day of school. This is still making me smile as my house heals.

Ugh. So I know I've written that this blog is meant to record the happy days, but it felt weird to come back to blogging without making note of our whereabouts. And this failure and death and sadness and bleh....


So there you have it. xo

Note: The photo is my fam's first attempt at light drawing. They loved it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Camp Mama-ish

Every year, the first week of summer is reserved for just our family. We call it "Camp Mama" and we are altogether all week. No matter what. Sometimes Camp Mama is completely organized with an agenda and activities and sometimes it is really loosey-goosey. This year, it didn't happen because I threw my back out.

Camp Mama is next week and it's going to start out weirder than ever. But it will be our family week and that will be great. So I'll be away from this space for a bit. Enjoy these final days/weeks of summer! xo

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Missing the ocean...

 I just noticed today that lavender flowers, when they die, leave the most amazing shells (shells? pods? skeletons?) behind.
 They're totally geometric and perfect - kind of like a coral of sorts, no?
Or maybe a barnacle is a better comparison. Have you seen Geninne's barnacle post by the way? She's amazing.
 I couldn't stop looking at them in their minuscule gorgeousness.
I also don't know what to do with them? I want to clip them all and save them in a vase, but fear they may crumble. And if I leave them outside, they just may blow away...
I'm working on a big etsy shop update and filling some custom orders (way fun). My journal-making photos are all starting to look the same to me, so it's garden photos for now. xo

Monday, August 1, 2011

Welcome August...

Have an iced tea, put your feet up, start a nice, long book. There is no hurry for you to go...