Still here!

So we bought our trailer, got our house on the market…..now, if we could just get out of here! My husband and I both have a tendency to think we can accomplish more than we really can. We were shooting to leave around early April. Each week we keep saying, maybe next week. So the end of April is rapidly approaching and we are still not leaving. Why?  Hmmmmm……good question. The trailer retrofit is coming along, but my husband is also working so managing both is tricky. I can’t put anything into the trailer until he is done making a mess. I have however, been sewing away. I have made sheets for the boys (mind you trailer beds are not normal sizes), throw pillows, black out curtains, regular curtains and next up is privacy curtains for the boys bunks. I think once we get on the road we will be glad we took the time to make some modifications and pretty the trailer up (why are trailers SOOO ugly?!) but in the meantime I am getting a bit antsy. I am however, enjoying spring and all the little things that seem to be emerging in our yard. Spring always puts a smile on my face!

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Etsy….finally Etsy

 

I have slowly but surely been moving in this direction, and finally it is here! My tiny Etsy shop is set up, my logo was created by the lovely Jupiter Street Designs,  and my printer was finally approved by Etsy Manufacturing. As a side note, the manufacturing approval process took about a month, which was way longer than I anticipated. I finally sent an email to ask if I could start selling or get an estimate on how long it would take.  Low and behold I was approved later that day! Just thought I would share that in case anyone else is in the same boat.

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I mentioned that lots of things have been going on here and getting my Etsy shop open was one additional thing consuming my time and brain. I only have a few note card sets and prints available now. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to get out and create more images as we head towards spring! So, please if you like my work, check back often as my inventory will change with the seasons. I am also ecstatic to explore new regions of the US and create new images from found objects as we travel.

Hello there…..remember me?

So I know I am not the first one to start a blog and then let it lie fallow….I have done it before and I’ll probably do it again! Ever since I started a Rock and Fern Instagram account, I haven’t felt the need to post here much. I was originally posting here to share my photography and creative endeavors and doing that on a simpler level on Instagram has been really rewarding.

That said, as of late, I have also been rather quiet on Instagram. Sometimes in life there is just a lot going on, and I tend to be a rather private person. I also don’t have a very reactive personality, I tend to let things simmer in my head for awhile before I make decisions, form opinions or share my thoughts. So, it has been awhile and I am now ready to share. In the past few weeks we have had a number of things happen. First I decided that being home with my two boys 24/7 was wearing on me and thus, them. I made the decision to put them in daycare for two days a week and work as a substitute teacher in my old school. This would give us a little space, time with people our own age, allow my older son to do some more formal learning and get me back in the school to see how I was feeling about returning full time. All in all, this has been a great decision, and I’m not really sure why I didn’t think of it sooner.

One of the reasons I probably didn’t do this sooner was that we thought we would be moving this winter/spring. However, just a few weeks ago we determined that the move to a suburban environment far from the mountains wasn’t going to be the right move for us. This was huge, as we had kind of been preparing for this and thinking it would happen since late fall. So all of a sudden we were back thinking about our original plan…..our original plan was to just leave. Sell the house, pack up a travel trailer and explore. All of a sudden, we seemed to have that option again, and we got excited. We have kindergarten and the school year looming in September, but if we leave soon we have a good few months of travel available to us. So, that is it folks, we have made the decision to do this. We want to see parts of the US that we have never seen. We want to check out areas we think we might like to live in. We are just ready for a change. Two weeks ago we bought a travel trailer, which my husband is retrofitting to work for us. We are continuing to finish up all those millions of small projects around the house, but did manage to get the house on the market last week!  In a few weeks we hope to push off and the only thing we definitely have on the docket is going south and enjoying some warmer weather.

Carnations

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So it has been a month since I snapped these photos and I am just finally uploading them so I can share. Ah, well. At least they are here now. I bought a bunch of carnations at the grocery store, since they seem to last so long. 2015-04-04 16.37.52

Before I arranged them for the house I took a little time to take some pictures. I was craving spring and tried to create my own flower buds above.

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I just love how they turned out. Might need to get one or two blown up for the myself. I did learn one important lesson however. I don’t tend to spend much time looking at my pictures while I am taking them, minus making sure they are in focus. I generally just take a bunch of shots and sit down to look at the photos afterwards. This final photo is probably one of my favorites, however it drives me bonkers that I didn’t notice that the piece of mica in the far left column is not in line. Ugh. Lesson learned!

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Easter Baskets

Fabric bins have been on my to do list forever. Just something I wanted to try, interfacing and all. When I realized I had no Easter baskets for the boys this motivated me to give it a whirl. After the bins serve their purpose as an Easter basket, we can put them to use in their rooms. I pulled out some fabric that matched their room decor and asked the four year old to pick his fabrics. The baby on the other hand had no choice, I picked what I liked. Sorry baby!

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I found a tutorial that I liked via Pinterest on the Birch Fabrics blog. Side note, if you have never checked out their fabrics, you are missing out. They are beautiful. The Charley Harper and Feather River prints are my current favorites! I made the large bin and found the tutorial easy to follow. For the blue and yellow bin I followed the directions about putting the interfacing on the inside liner fabric and then I had trouble making the two bins (inside and outside) line up perfectly….it might have just been operator error. So on the second bin (the Riley Blake road trip fabric) I attached the interfacing to the outside fabric and did not have any trouble with the sizing of the inner and outer bins. It is possible I was just more careful. There is nothing more irritating than having to have fold overs to account for the inner liner and outer bin not matching up properly. Anyway, this was my first time using interfacing and I think all in all it was a successful project (minus the fact I busted a needle-oops!). Note to self, switch to a heavy duty needle before sewing interfacing!

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Overall, very easy and quick….I cut out the fabrics and was able to sew them during the day while my 4 year old did a craft project. This is almost unheard of.

Yesterday we dyed our eggs. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Easter.

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Minerals

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I found an old bag of minerals that I had collected from mine tailings a few years back. The ones in these photos are all from Mount Mica in Paris, Maine.  Quartz, tourmaline, garnet and beryl. The one on the far left below may be lepidolite, but I’m not positive on that one. Minerals_2

I used to teach my middle school kids about minerals, and it is one of those topics that I did not realize I would be so interested in, until I started teaching about them.  They are beautiful and it is such a treat when you unearth one that speaks to you. I would come home with just a handful, where my students’ pants would be falling down, because their pockets were full!

Minerals_1I took some photos with my iPhone (top and bottom ones) and some with my Nikon CoolPix (two middle photos) and I got much better closeups with the iPhone. I haven’t figured out why I can’t seem to get clear closeups with the Nikon. Ideally I’d love a fancy DSLR with a macro lens….but that will have to wait until another day. So for now I’ll do my best with what I have!Minerals_3

Birthday Presents

My sister’s birthday was this month and she was visiting us for her birthday weekend!  I had leftover fabric from a pillow I made last Christmas that I knew she liked. After looking around Pinterest awhile I did not see a pattern that worked perfectly for what I was thinking. So I used this basic tutorial for a lined zipper bag from Design Sponge. However, I made the shape more triangular.

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I like how it turned out. The only thing I wasn’t satisfied with was where the zipper get sewn together.

minibag-sideI had trouble lining them up perfectly. I have seen some folks who cover the zipper ends with fabric before stitching them to the sides, and wonder if this might work with this pattern design? I have a few more zippers, so maybe I’ll try it out next time! Truth be told, this is actually the second pouch I made. I liked my sister’s so much I made one for myself. Merry unbirthday to me.

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Inspiration Weekly

There is so much inspiration out there on the web. Here are a few things that I loved this week.

Instagram-I know this is nothing new. However, I have only been using it for my personal use, so I have few followers and it is set to private. I basically just post pictures of the boys for my family who live far away. This week I set up a Rock and Fern account (see side pics!) and started to look for other folks to follow. WOW! The following three folks post beautiful things!

Maura Grace of Folk Fibers, beautiful hand dyed fabrics and quilts.

Bookhou makes gorgeous bags. Very similar to the one I have been sketching out to make myself someday soon!

Hawthorne Threads, my favorite online fabric shop. They send out a great email newsletter which I always look forward to getting. They also do fabric giveaways. Someday I’ll win! Lately I have been loving their new indigo prints, like this one.

My sister just sent me a link to this article about the emotional benefits of knitting and other handicrafts. This does not really surprise me, focusing on one thing like this (or exercising) I found has major brain clearing benefits.

Hope you have a wonderful and healthy weekend!

Winter Garden

Awhile back I started to notice that some of the flower seed heads were poking through the snow. While the boys and I were out playing I managed to collect a few things to photograph.

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I love winter, but am so excited to see the color green. It just makes me happy. So while I wait to get my hands dirty in the garden I will enjoy this winter bouquet.

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