Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Calling all die-hard die cutters...

My fabulous huz-band (henceforth he will be referred to as the Gnome on Little Leaf Lane) has been researching die cutters in hopes of finding one that will work with my Mac for cutting out any shape that my heart desires. The Gnome is a very nice one :) Every time in the past two weeks I have ventured the question, "hey what are you doing?" He replies, "looking at cutters." The Gnome has read many a forum trying to figure out what the best combo of software/machine would be for my wants, needs, and desires. I want to be able to design my own shapes on my Mac and be able to cut them out with said die cutter. The Craft Robo looks awesome, but we aren't sure about its compatibility with a Mac. AND what is the difference between the Craft Robo and the Silhouette?...from what we can tell, they seem to be the same machine. The Cricut would be a good option except that you have to drop loads of cash on cartridges and can't design your own shapes (or can you? I would like to know the answer to that question). In other/related news, my Wilton course instructor introduced me to the red, shiny new Cricut Cake the other day. It's fanc-y. Have you seen/heard about it? You can cut out fondant shapes with it...using any existing Cricut cartridges. They are compatible! Can you imagine the number of leaves I could cut out? I would definitely be surrounded in leaves. And you wouldn't be able to see the cake surface for all of the leafy goodness. Oh yeah, back to the die cutters...so I want a die cutter, and I want to use my Mac, and I want to design my own shapes...OH! and be able to cut out any true-type fonts. So crafty blog world...help a sister out! What do I get?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Basketcase...I mean, cake

Last night was the final night of Wilton Cake Decorating Course II. Unlike the first course, we only made one cake for this class. We spent three weeks fashioning flowers out of royal icing and butta-cream. We always have to take lots of supplies to class, and I pretty much have always forgotten something for each class. Last night, as I was driving in rush hour traffic (well, as much rush hour traffic as Roanoke, VA has), I realized that I'd forgotten my flowers. All of my hard work from the past three weeks was sitting on top of the dryer in the laundry room. Doh! Oh well. It didn't matter because it took me the entire class to put the dang basketweave pattern and woven rope border on the cake. Here is a before flower picture:

And to the right of the cake, you can see my arsenal of flowers. This morning, my mission was to put every single last one of these flowers on the cake in some cascading manner. I didn't use the 2D birds we made 'cause I didn't like the 2D-ness. And I did go a little crazy with leaves, but that is to be expected from me :) 

I present to you, my basket cake. Ta daaaaa!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Got mulch?

We sure did. And lots of it. We got 12.5 cubic yards to spread around our yard, and still came up a bit short. That's 10 scoops people, the max truck load they could transport. Here is our starting pile from 2 different angles:

The mulch was delivered at 8:15 am, and we didn't finish spreading until 6:30 pm. At around 12, I collapsed onto the ground and started whining about how tired I was already (the stupid meds I'm taking for my lovely case of poison ivy are bringing me down), but after some prodding with a mulch-covered shovel, I got back up and continued on for several more hours. I wish that the Hubs had counted how many wheelbarrows loads he schlepped around, but alas, I have no such figures. He wanted me to take a victory picture of him with his shovel, but we were exhausted after spreading mulch for 8 hours so that didn't happen. So the Before pictures will have to be enough. We are both exceedingly sore after all that, but the yard looks great. Perhaps I'll go out and take some pictures of the yard post-mulch today for your viewing pleasure. Happy Monday everyone!

P.S. I hope I didn't subject myself to more poison ivy in the mulching process because I definitely came across more in our yard. Which reminds me...to Lowe's for Roundup!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sneak Peek

Alright. So I've been working on a bunch of stuff to list in my new Etsy shop. It has been difficult to do these past few days because these meds I'm taking for my righteous case of poison ivy are making me feel very subdued and numby (is that a word?). BUT here are some pics of what I've been making. Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New favorite store!

Thanks to MintBasil, I now have a favorite new online store. They have a brick and mortar store in PA too so hopefully I'll be able to visit their wonderful merchandise in person. AND hopefully, that trip will be combined with visits to Longwood Gardens and Winterthur Museum and estate. Am I keeping you in suspense?

The store is terrain. I cannot express to you how much I enjoyed browsing through their wares yesterday. I am so hopelessly, totally in love with everything they sell. I especially love terrariums, and they have a terrarium section. An entire terrarium section! This is my favorite one: White Spring Terrarium
White Spring Terrarium

And I very much want to purchase some of their shea butter soaps. I definitely can't afford to buy some of the items in the store that I desperately want...for instance, their vintage section contains these Stone Topiary Finials recovered from the UK that (dare I say it) I am in LOVE with, but they are $1K for the pair. BUT they are beauteous :) 

Stone Topiary Finials

Enjoy browsing around their site if any of this strikes your fancy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Seeds (and Plants) have sprung!

Please enjoy this tour of some of the plants in our yard as well as some seeds I have sown for later residence in our yard :)

The Hosta rootstock (from a Sam's Club box) we planted last year have finally come up...well, two of the 10 have come up. Here's hoping there's more where this came from.

We didn't plant these, but I had to share. Pansies have popped up all under our deck. I am constantly reminding the husband to "NOT STEP ON THEM!" even though they are totally in the walkway.

And introducing...all of the seeds for container planting!

If I'm going to be doing all of this gardening, I am in need of these boots. I love, love, love them!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Weekend and New Stuff

For Easter weekend, we spent a lot of time in the yard. You may think, "oh fun, hanging out in the great weather." No, we were clearing brush and sticks and branches from behind our fence. We had to prune a bunch of trees and plant some perennials. I finally have hellebores in the yard! We now have four giant piles of yard waste. We may even have room for a compost bin now. We also discovered what we believe to be a skunk den beyond our fence. That explains why I keep smelling a skunk. I just hope we don't come face to face. 

We did take a little break on Saturday to go to a local winery (Valhalla) up on top of a mountain. We had some snacks and wine with friends enjoying the view. The road up there was crazy winding though.

In other news, I have been holed up in my studio working on various things for my shop. I've got cards, wine charms, hair clips, and a couple of purses. I need to take some pictures and write descriptions, and they'll be posted soon enough.