Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lazy Rivers and Not So Lazy Days

Boy, I love summertime. I love the sounds of cicadas in the trees, the drone of air conditioners, and the light golden glow of color my arms take on each year. And I love water. So I was delighted when yesterday, the esteemed Mr. Howes arranged for the family to engage in a canoe trip along the Green River in Cave City, home to Mammoth Cave National Park.

Located in the heart of Kentucky, we pulled up to Mammoth Cave Canoe & Kayak at roughly noon. By 12:30 we had been driven about 2 miles down the road to a Mammoth Cave National Park water entry point. From there we were launched into the Green River for a 7 (seven!) mile water cruise that would bring us to the exit 3.5 hours later.

Now, I've been canoeing before but never on the Green River. My earliest canoe experience was on the Merimac River when I was very young and all I recall from that trip is my parent's canoe tipping over in a strong current and my mom yelling "SAVE THE BEER!" to anyone within earshot. And I also remember dear dad's gushing laceration as a result of saving the beer. So to me, canoeing always was associated with excitement, and the occasional beer.

Unfortunately, yesterday's canoe trip wasn't expertly captured on camera because I experienced a lot of "operator error" on the camera (one with which I'm unfamiliar), however Mammoth Cave Canoe & Kayak has been gracious enough to allow me to use some of their photos.

While the Green River is truly the epitome of a lazy River, the trip was enjoyable as the river passes right through the Mammoth Cave National Park. We saw deer, duck families, woodchucks, a chipmunk, and several turtles sunbathing on logs. There was a small cave we entered where the water was quite chilly, and at the end of the tour there's a waterfall you can walk. I was wonderful to set work aside for several hours and enjoy what pleasures there are to be had in the heat of the Summer.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How to Make a Stunning Glass Tile Pendant

I've always had an affinity for glass and the way it enriches any environment with it's water-like visual quality. I love glass with texture and distortion, in blues and greens, and I love how glass reflects onto other surfaces creating what we call around here "lightbugs".

Naturally, I've fallen in love with glass tile pendants. I've found these beautifully handcut clear square tiles that have been fired in a kiln to smooth the edges so they're all as smooth to the touch as any curve would be. I've created a slew of these gorgeous necklaces using a wide variety of beautiful patterned papers, from scrapbook papers to fine Japanese Chiyogami papers, and I'm currently developing a method to offer them customized with your photo.

I may not have my pendants in my stores just yet (I'm reserving them for an upcoming arts & crafts fair) I do have a fabulous Do-It-Yourself kit available in both and! Each kit comes with a basic tutorial on how to make a stunning glass tile pendnat!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

I don't really know what that means, but I thought I'd share this photo my 9 year old took of our Toy Rat Terrier, Angus. She took this photo about 2 weeks ago on the hill behind our house where our vegetable garden is.

I also want to share that I'm participating in my first ever Arts & Craft Fair which is being held in Campbellsville, KY on July 3 and 4. It's the town's biggest event of the year and I hear the place is hopping during the 4th of July. I'll be right on Main St. with the rest of the area's creative folks. If you're in town, please do stop by to say "hello!"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Eyeglass Crisis Fundraiser! 20% off in BOTH shops!

What is a person to do when her eyeglasses are completely ruined by 6 pounds of pooch? Why, have a sale!

Or a fundraiser.

Glasses are not exactly inexpensive to replace, my friends, particularly if your most recent vision exam is over a year old. I think any optician is obligated to put my eyes through the Spanish Inquisition with my vision after 12 months, and it's been closer to 24 months.

So, in order to afford a new pair of glasses (and to ensure continued tight quality control on your orders), I'm having a 20% off sale in both my shops through Friday, June 13, 2008! If you're ordering through, simply put optician in the discount code box at checkout to receive your 20% discount. If you're ordering from Annie Howes on Etsy, put "optician" in the notes to seller box at checkout. I'll send you a revised invoice. This includes all custom orders.

Here's my pitiful attempt to repair them using E-6000 and a little creativity.

Why, Hello Dolly!

Friday was a very interesting day around here as days go for those of us in Central Kentucky. With school being out and my husband's work schedule finally giving him weekends off, Friday is a real day to celebrate.

However, this past Friday we really had reason to celebrate: our daughter was finally graduated to riding Dolly, a beautiful 16+ hand 3 year old Mule. For those of you "not in the know", Red Bud, a 4 year old mammoth donkey, had been our daughter's trusty mount for the past 8 months. Susan, a highly skilled competition-level equestrian and trainer, assured Bridget that if she could control Red Bud, she could control anything.

I'm so thrilled to have Susan in our lives to give Bridget a solid and safe equestrian foundation. Through Susan we've learned to love and understand these beautiful and affectionate creatures who are so dog-like in their personalities, and so much less flighty than their horsey friends (we adore horses, too :o).

I just wanted to share some photos of Bridget on Dolly. The expression on her face is priceless. Enjoy.

Friday, June 6, 2008

And the Winners Are...

Andrea Baker & Carlie Morgan!

Despite not having the correct number, Andrea Baker was the 4th person to post, and using the highly scientific method of asking my 9 year old daughter to "pick a number from one through eight" to select the winner, and she selected number four. The fourth post was made by Andrea Baker.

Now, becuase there were actually 100 matchbooks, I feel compelled to declare Carlie Morgan a winner, too, because she correctly guessed the number of matchboxes!

Congratulations to you both! If you haven't heard from me please contact me through Annie Howes on Etsy!

Thank you to everyone who played!

Monday, June 2, 2008

All You Need Is Love. And A Light.

Love is in the air and to celebrate the completion of this large custom matchbox order, I'm having a small contest! If you can correctly guess how many matchboxes are in this group that I photographed you will be eligible to win $5 off in either my or stores!

To enter, simply guess how many matchboxes were in the original photo and leave a comment with your answer! The contest ends on Friday, June 6, 2008. Have fun!