Friday, September 30, 2011

One of THOSE days....well, Kinda...

Yesterday was just one of those days where everything seemed a Oh, It started off fine, then our car overheated. ( don't worry Andy, It's fine.) I thought it sounded a little strange....and before I know it, the arrow is in the red zone! Well, Pull over, Search the back and add coolant. No leaks, but it still freaked me out so we limped it to the gas station and filled it ultra top off and no there is no problems. BUT then....there was the wind. Another VERY windy day in Iowa. I moved the cars away from the large tree for fear that it would fall on them. Sometimes a nice breeze is refreshing, but this was one of those ' kicks up all the dust and throws it in your eyes' kind of wind. Then the little things: The water supply was poisoned, the garbage man did not come, the wind blew the garbage all over the yard! The ONLY convenience store could not make any coffee or operate it's soda fountain because of the water ban. So....Cheryl and I decided to hole up and hide out and wait for the wind to pass. We were bums and tried to take it easy. I feel we made the right decision because it was not a truly TERRIBLE day....just one of THOSE days...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Coffee Ritualist....Me?

As I assembled my coffee at Panera at the coffee assembly station, I realized that the woman next to me was doing the same thing she did yesterday. She toasts a small slice of bread and pokes at it with a coffee stirring stick to keep it from getting too brown on one side. Strange....Or so I thought. She looked rather silly poking the toaster with a straw that could melt on her toast. But then I thought, It's a ritual she does everyday ( at least if she is as regular as we are here) where she carefully balances here skill with a straw to make the toaster get her toast to a perfect shade of Brown. Anyway...Am I any different? I never have coffee straight black. Seriously! Who does that? Coffee it meant to be enjoyed, not guzzled! It's like pounding down a beer just to get drunk! My ritual is to first add Ice then add cream. I add the coffee up to the top, then add sweetener. Depending on the size of my cup, I may add up to 6 packets! But usually I add three. I grab all three, shake them back and forth to get all the crystals to one side, Rip off the top then add them to the creamy brown beverage. I do this over and over again. I know it may take longer than most people, but I try to make room for them so I am not in their way. So that is it....any other ritual people out there? It is the small things that bring the most joy in life.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Say Goodbye to the Big Maple!

You know you are in Iowa when you consider it an "event" when they take a large tree down in your yard. ( That is a fancy way of saying that there is usually nothing going on here!) It is still fascinating whenever a crew of five guys tackle a job like this with all those cool toys! It took them all day yesterday to bring that monster down, with only a little damage to a fence and the roof of the building. Impressive when you consider the placement of the tree. And it's size! Now I know you are looking at that HUGE trunk and thinking," What is the Midnightcarver going to carve out of that?" Sadly, I waved goodbye as they carted it off. I realized that I was not really in that position anymore where I could just dust off the tools and start working on any stray log that drops in my area. Not that I have given up carving, just put it on hold for the moment. Besides I have been busy with Christmas Stockings as of late, and they have proven to be more profitable than the carvings ever where. SO who knows? I may dust off the chisels some day in the future when I have nothing going on and an opportunity presents itself. Don't think of the Midnightcarver as retired, just taking a leave of absents for the moment.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Origami Faces....An experiment.

So I finally messed around with one of my old books and decided to try these various action origami patterns. One is the gremlin, His mouth opens and his eye squint if you pull and push the mask in various places. Next is the Glancer. This small mask is not very good, but I made another larger one out of tyvek that looks much better....and works better as well. The last ( actually it was the first one) is the squinty eyes. I like it because I was playing around with the expressions. Cheryl laughs when I make a happy, sad, worried or angry expression with just the eyes. By the way, The stockings are beginning to sell, so head on over to the shop on the right to see what we have before it is too late and they are all gone! Just kidding, We will make more. But only before the Holidays!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Totally Awesome Mole Cricket....In Iowa!

I have read about them but never sen one personally until yesterday...A Mole Cricket! Perhaps the COOLEST Looking Cricket I have aver seen. It wold be difficult to compare it to other bugs, because they All have their coolness factor, but it definitely ranks up there. We saw him lumbering around on the road on our walk. They do not jump or run like regular crickets, Rather they just lumber along like a tractor pulling a trailer full of grain. The coolest thing was when he tried to dig a hole. He looked just like a mole pushing the little rocks out of the way. At first I thought he would be a little creepy, but he has a rather cute face. ( it's funny, I as a rule, do not like spiders, but the jumping spider is not as creepy to me because of his cute face. go figure.) Anyway, if you ever see one of these things, snap a picture and take a good look. They have really cool front legs that help them dig. Mother nature at work! And count yourself lucky for seeing another dimension to the world in your backyard.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Allenbrite Christmas Tree Skirt....FIN!

Ok! Finally! After a month of working on it for a few hours at a time to keep her sanity...Cheryl finished the Tree skirt! It looks AWESOME! But , of coarse, Cheryl thinks it is filled with flaws. I have to remind her that it IS hand made and it is WOOL felt with a cotton fabric backing. ( Meaning that one material is bulky and the other is thin). All you have to do is pick it up and FEEL it to see what the difference is compared to the stuff you get in the store. Cheryl is thinking about making another one with only 4 panels so the price can come down a bit and there will be a lot less work. Every time I see it I think it is going to be a big hit. We just have top price it accordingly.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Still Working On Tags.

Remember, I have over 3000 to make if I want to make the kind of sales I desire. So, in addition to all of the other types and colors, I have been adding the grommet to the punch to give it a finished look. I think it adds to the over all look. I know, By fuss with something so trivial? Well, why do they put garnish on your dinner plate at a restaurant? Because people eat with their eyes! We are going for the hand made look and not the "mass produced look" Hopefully it will pay off in the end. I know I'm counting on it and I believe our customers will appreciate it. Cheryl experimented with some epbroitery floss the other day, But it will require a lot of time and effort to put a name on it. I'm not sure if she will want to offer it in the end. But I do think it look good.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Beginning of Fall Means the End of FlipFlops!

It has been a while since I ranted against flip flops. As a matter of fact, I can't remember if I ever have on this blog. To those who do not know, Flip flops, ( or shower shoes) are my pet peeve when it comes to fashion. I know that people choose their clothes to say something about themselves, But flip flops represent the absolute LACK of caring. What they tell me is," I jumped out of bed and was forced to put SOMETHING on my feet or else they would not let me into the convenience store!" Lets Break it down: Foot Protection, The flip flop offers NONE! Ever walk on a gravel road in flip flops? Or dusty, muddy, puddly? If you want dirty feet, then you will enjoy the flip flop. Second: Style. NO ONE wants to see your big hairy toes! I have cute feet and I do not want to show the public. I swear that most of the men around here are related to BIG FOOT or a HOBBIT! As mentioned before, Dirty feet are not very classy. And unless you get a pedicure, you're yellow toenails are not going to be attractive. Some people wear white socks with flip flops. WHY? IF you are going to be a sloth, don't try to half do it. It's like wearing shorts with a suit! Third, Comfort. Flip flops are NOT comfortable! Sorry people, but you have to be Honest with yourself. My shoes do not require me to hold on to them with my toes or else they will slip off. I can run in my shoes. Ever see someone run with flip flops? It's like watching someone with swimming flippers! There is a reason why ducks don't run, and people do not have wings. I can only imagine that the shoe makers at Nike are scratching their heads wondering where they went wrong. They spend millions of dollars in research and athlete adds to get people to buy their most advanced shoes, Only to find out that if they had taken 10 cents of foam and cut it to shape with a leather strap, that they could have saved themselves billions! I know, The major foot manufacturers are not getting on board and offering "designer" flip flops! Designer is the way they get already ( think of a nice word here) people to spend MORE on a CHEAP shoe. How can you make a flip flop DESIGNER? Fancy foam? Genuine leather straps? ( notice the RACING STRIPE! AND NAME) Anyway, I guess my rant is complete. I wasn't even going to blog today, but these Iowa people motivate me from time to time. Next to flip flops is the leg cast, arm cast, and Full Body Tattoo....but those topics will have to wait for a later date.


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