Spring Garden

One of the projects my dear husband and I started during March was our new garden! My dear husband has done a lot of research and reading and I did a lot of dreaming and on a sunny Saturday, we put those plans and dreams into action! One of the things we are doing is trying to make lots of little, medium, and big raised beds from various farm supplies that are no longer useful on the farm. So far we’re using a lot of tires and pallets with another bigger raised bed in the works.

Wanna see?

Old tire for flowers and a pallet of lettuce:

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One side has some buttercrunch lettuce plants and the rest is where we planted seeds:

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(and no, my handwriting has not changed… our nieces helped us plant things and the middle niece helped write out our plant names).

Then we have a few tires: one for flowers and three for potatoes.

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There it is! Our fledgling garden:

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Gotta love the awkward plant selfie:

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Longtime readers and/or observant ones may notice that this yard does not look anything like our current yard… And you would be right! We are planting this garden at our sister-in-law and brother-in-laws house because… We’re moving! Just down the road into their house. (They are moving out… we’ll be renting it from them). This house is much, much bigger than our current house and it will not only have an epic garden, but Glittering Eyes Studio will finally have an actual studio! We’ll have room for a craft room for me, an office for my dear husband, a piano, a few guest rooms, a library/formal living room… Let’s just say I’ve had a lot of time to dream about this and we’re really excited. So expect lots of pictures of our new house coming this summer.

In the meantime, we are planning more garden things: hopefully we can plant more things next week, but it is supposed to rain all week… We’re hoping to plant carrots, onions, tomatoes, beans, corn, melons, and more in a ginormous raised bed. Then my own personal favorite: a pallet (or 2…or 3) full or herbs and another pallet of flowers. Then a tire of mint and maybe more flowers. Herbs and flowers are my favorite, obviously. Oh! And corn.

What are you guys planting? House plants, porch gardens, herbs on the windowsill? Raised beds? Flowers? Yay spring!

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What March Looked Like

So… Today is March 31st. That happened kinda quickly… I’m going to spare you the hows and whys of a accidental blogging break and redirect you to this post: thriving vs. surviving. Let’s just stay we’re still working through all that.

But. But! Spring is coming! Spring is here! Then spring goes away and is a horrid tease… But I have faith it will stick at some point. Like this week, my weather app says it will not get below 40 degrees and the highs will occasionally be in the 70s! Sounds like spring to me! I am hoping and praying that a change in season is just what this blogger needs. Especially a season that encourages getting up, being outside, doing things, and a good dose of deep cleaning. Hear, hear!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some things I’ve been doing these past weeks. You know, in case you were curious…

Listening to (Music): There are currently 4 real-live, actual CDs in my car… Brand new ones at that! Meghan Trainor, Into the Woods, Peter, Paul, and Mommy Too!, and The Lone Bellow. All of which I love and recommend. (But as with all recommendations, don’t hate me if you don’t like it or think it is responsible for the moral degradation of society…) In general, I have been in a huge Peter, Paul, and Mary kick. Which was only further solidified when my Grama sent me the children’s album they did that I remember listening to as a kid with her. It’s a concert, so now I have the VHS and the CD. Good stuff.

Listening to (Podcasts): I’ve been loving podcasts while I knit. It helps me focus on knitting better than TV shows and therefore helps me work faster. In the first part of this month, I was bouncing around between Elise Gets Crafty, Here’s the Thing, Fresh Air, and occasional other random ones I found. Then, about ten days ago, I discovered Pop Culture Happy Hour. Since then, I have listened to approximately 50 episodes… Suffice to say I am a tad obsessed. But it’s so good! It’s four people talking about pop culture in really sophisticated and articulate ways that aren’t too fancy or pretentious. I am excited that I still have about 150 episodes to listen to, but I dread the day (which will apparently happen sometime next week…) when I run out. It is just so good.

You know what? I think I’ll save the other things I’ve been doing for another post. That way I don’t include all my ideas at once. Spread things out a bit… How’s that sound? Instead, I’ll give you some random pictures of my life recently.

I learned to make Grama’s Mac and Cheese after many, many years of being scared to try:
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It snowed… a lot. And then it snowed again. And then it snowed once more. It was fun.. and then it was not. So I’m glad we’re moving past that!

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My mom came to visit! We went thrift shopping, ate lots of yummy food, avoided a snow storm just barely, and then my dear husband played her in basketball:

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Speaking of thrift shopping, here are a few of my recent favorite finds. A kitchen island and a Disneyland candy bowl:

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I decided that maybe spring would come if I cut my hair… It kinda worked. As a loyal blog reader, you get to see not one, but two awkward selifes! Before… and After!

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This is a pile of cotton yarn I ordered recently. Expect lots of dishcloths and housewarming gifts sets to appear in Glittering Eyes Studio Shop soon!

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Speaking of the Glittering Eyes Studio shop, I also have more fun vintage things to list and a few things to re-list. Since this week is going to be sunny and warm, I think I can manage a photo shoot or two. So be on the lookout for that!

Tune in next time to read about what I’ve been reading (a lot!), what we’ve been planting (a lot!), and maybe some more photos. See you then!

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Shop Update!

In Glittering Eyes Studio news, I now have 24 things listed in my shop! (For those of you keeping track, that’s 13 mason jar sleeves, 8 dishcloths, and 3 vintage treasures). I am working on some new dishcloth ideas (because people seem to really like the double-yarn stitch I used…), as well as some other new products. And- of course- I’m still treasure hunting and will have a few vintage treasures to post next week. (Those are a bit harder to photograph, but I’ll figure something out soon).

So here are the most recent additions:
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These are extra-thick dishcloths (or washcloths or whatever you want to use them for!) knitted with two strands of yarn held together. This helps give is that extra thick texture as well as fun color combinations.

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(Pink and beige)

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(Yellow and beige)

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(Pink and yellow)

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So that’s what’s happening in my shop! Visit Glittering Eyes Studio on Etsy to check it out. And as always, feel free to convo me on Etsy or email me (glitteringeyesstudio@gmail.com) for questions, comments, or custom orders!

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February So Far

As my dear Grama so nicely pointed out, I didn’t blog last week… I fear I am having a bit of blogger’s block these days. My days are full of random activities that may or may not actually be “blog worthy” and I often don’t take my camera with me as I do my chores around the house.

As I sit here thinking about why I have blogger’s block, I think it may have to do with the difference between living and thriving. Now obviously I am doing fine: I have a dear husband, a good house, loving family and friends, plenty of things to do around said house, an Etsy shop, books to read, meals to cook… I could go on. But for me personally, I think there is a subtle difference between ” doing fine” and thriving.

When I’m thriving, I can muster up the motivation to work on a sewing project instead of knitting one more dishcloth. When I’m thriving, I write letters to my pen-pals the day the letter comes in instead of 6 weeks later. When I’m thriving, everything is a potential blog post. When I’m thriving, every meal is exciting and adventurous and from Pinterest or my favorite cook books.

I know I talk about rhythms and balance a lot (but I promise not to mention traditions this time!), but I do think one of the big factors in living vs. thriving is rhythms. I need a plan (that’s an understatement). I need structure. Like pretty specific structure. As in Monday is coffee shop reading day, Tuesday is knit all day, Wednesday is work on sewing project day…etc. And I have some of that now (double-punches on the free drink card on Mondays at the local coffee shop certainly helps!) But I need a bit more of that.

Unfortunately, the only thing stopping me here is me. And the only person who can make this happen is…me. Part of it certainly means imposing a plan and sticking to it. And part of it involves taking care of myself, doing the things I know I need to do, to make me a more motivated and balanced person.

I’m sorry I don’t have anything more exciting to say (or any more exciting pictures). And please don’t hear this as a complaint or as a negative thing. It’s just a thing. February has been a good month so far. I’ve made some yummy food, read some good books, worked on some birthday gifts, and posted some new dishcloths in my Etsy shop. I’m gearing up for Lent (which begins February 18th), looking for ways to incorporate more candles into my life, inviting new friends into our home for dinner, and keeping up with my current feed-the-family-in-law schedule. I have a plan to make Fridays (or maybe Saturdays) long-term project days where I watch Disney movies and work on the blanket I am making for myself. (And when I type sentences like that, I realize how blessed and lucky I really am!)

Just the simple act of typing this out this morning has given me a few ideas for what to blog about this week… And I just put a few more things in my Etsy shop, so be sure we’ll talk about that!

Life works in ebbs and flows. Motivation and creativity comes and goes. When it leaves for a bit, you just have to keep showing up, keep doing the work, keep making. That’s what I’m doing these days. And soon, inexplicably and unexpectedly, I will wake up one morning and decided that this day is a sewing day. And just like that, I’ll be thriving.

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5 Things

Dear Readers, it has been far too long since we have had a 5 Things Friday! My apologies! I know I always say this, but I feel like January was kind of a crazy month… Like one long attempt at recovering from Christmas and reasserting rhythms and balances. Suffice to say I am excited about February! There are some pretty big exciting things happening around here (which I’ll tell you all about soon…) and I think February is going to be a good one.

1) Watching my nephew learn to walk. He’s almost 11 months old and I love watching the wheels turn in his mind as he figures out what he’s doing. Also, he is super adorable, so that helps.

2) Finding handmade toys in a thrift store. There are a few toys in our house that seem a bit big or unnecessary, but I couldn’t say no! They are clearly handmade and I love them.

3) Trying a new recipe for family dinner tonight. I even had to buy a new pot! It involves roasting pork for a couple hours and ends with lots of Parmesan cheese on top. I’m hopeful.

4) Using my record player when I’m cooking dinner (Peter, Paul, and Mary) or cleaning the house (Creedence Clearwater Revival or Three Dog Night).

5) Finishing projects and feeling accomplished, starting projects and feeling excited.

Tag, you’re it!

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Shop Update

Good morning, dear Readers! I just wanted to show you what I put in my Etsy shop this week.

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I got this lovely yarn from my mom for Christmas and immediately knew I wanted to play with multi-colored mason jar sleeves. All of these colors worked so well together (thanks to the lovely lady working in my mom’s local yarn shop!). I worked these sleeves up and have a set of pint jar sleeves on their way to being ready for next week.

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I also have big plans for Glittering Eyes Studio in the coming months. I am taking a Craftsy class about how to make cowls and hope to get some of those in the shop this spring. I also want to make more dishcloths in various colors and patterns, as well keep up with the vintage treasure hunt.

So why don’t you visit my shop and see what’s going on over there? Let me know if there is anything special you’d like to see happen this year… I’m curious what you think!

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Spontaneity.

Yesterday morning, I said to my dear husband, “Oh hey, I was going to look up what plays our local university is doing in the next couple months. Maybe they’ll do something good and we can go see it.”
He replied, “Mmm.”
So I looked it up and then exclaimed, “Oh! They’re doing Peter and the Starcatcher! Oh, but we missed it. Oh! No we didn’t! Do you want to see a play this weekend? Oh, wait, they’re sold out. How about Thursday? Or maybe Tuesday?”
He replied, “Yeah.”
I looked around a bit more and found tickets for Tuesday night. “Is Tuesday at 7:30 ok? Is this price ok? Are you sure this is ok?”
He replied, “Sure.”

And that is the riveting tale of how we ended up with an epically spontaneous date night. Which I am absolutely thrilled about. I’m going to repost an entry from the archives to remind you why I’m so excited about this… Enjoy!

I grew up attending plays. The first musical I ever saw was Les Miserables. I was in middle school, I believe, and my parents took me to see this beloved musical. My parents saw the original Broadway cast and my dad fell in love with the story and the musical immediately. He saw to it that his children knew the musical well at an early age. (Early enough that one of my first memories of Les Mis is being confused about the girl whose name was Corvette).

My first stage play– not a musical– was A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 10th grade. We saw it in an outdoor theater as a class trip and I was transfixed the entire time. No one had mentioned to me how Shakespeare was meant to be seen and not read. It was magical and A Midsummer Night’s Dream remains my favorite Shakespeare play. In fact, when I was a senior in college and dating a theater boy, I got up the nerve to be a fairy in that play. It was a magical experience and I loved every minute of it!

Recognize those two crazy kids? I'll give you a hint: I was a fairy and that was my then boyfriend. And I've only ever had the one boyfriend...

Suffice to say I have always been a fan of theater. High school, college, Broadway, Shakespeare, New York, London, I love it all. I’ve been extremely blessed to see many things on stage (Les Miserables I’ve seen 6 times, for example). This isn’t to brag so much as it is to set up the next thing I’m about to say:

Peter and the Starcatcher is the second best thing I have ever seen on stage.

It ranks below Les Miserables, but only barely. Guys, I’ve seen Shakespeare plays performed in the Globe Theater. And don’t get me wrong: they were phenomenal. But if I had to chose between seeing that again and seeing Peter and the Starcatcher again… I’d have to go with Peter. (Unless the trip to London was the point of seeing Shakespeare… Because I really miss London. But that’s another story for another time).

I have seen this play twice now: once from the 10th row on Broadway and once from the nosebleed seats in Dallas. Both times, I laughed out loud more than once and was almost in tears by the end. It perfectly captures the spirit of Peter Pan without beating you over the head with references and allusions. It allows for talented actors to ad-lib, but not to the point where a new set of actors completely changes everything. The stage and props are sparse and creatively used, the writing to quick, clever, and well-done, and the whole story is simply brilliant.

After seeing the play this time, I really wanted to have the script so I could read through it and then just have a place to turn to when I needed to recite my favorite quotes from the play. I noticed they were selling the annotated script at the merchandise table, but I also realized my dear husband and I needed groceries for the week… I decided perhaps I should wait until we got home and add it to my Christmas list.

That was Friday evening. Monday afternoon I came home from a long day at work and checked our mailbox. We received a package from Amazon and I had no idea where it came from. When I opened it up, I gasped with glee:
IMG_0631Mom, who took my dear husband and I to the play in the first place, bought the book for us and sent it to our apartment. I was so excited! She said she was feeling spontaneous, a feeling she rarely gets, and I felt even more privileged to be the recipient of her spontaneity.

I flipped through the book and was even more impressed by what I saw: photos of the original cast, the script, and it is annotated by Rick Elice, Dave Barry, and Ridley Pearson, the creators of this story and play. It is marvelous!

I’ll share with you a few of my favorite quotes (since I know have the ability to do that!):

Molly, on describing what her spinster-hood would look like: “I’ll stay a spinster and pin my hair back and volunteer weekends at hospital. And I will love words for their own sake, like ‘hyacinth’ and ‘Piccadilly’ and ‘onyx.’ And I’ll have a good old dog, and think what I like, and be part of a different sort of family, with friends, you know?– who understand that things are only worth what you’re willing to give up for them.” (page 127).

Narrator Alf, after Molly and Lord Aster speak to each other in Dodo: “Known for its greedy appetite, slothful pace and sense of entitlement, the dodo was fearless of people and faced no real competition– an eerie mirror of the British Empire at its colonial zenith. Of course, those same traits were responsible for the dodo’s extinction– an eerie mirror of the British Empire after its colonial zenith– but thereby hangs another tale.” (page 15)

Suffice to say, I highly recommend this play. This was my adventure in September: the opportunity the see one of my favorite plays, to remember why I fell in love with it in January, and to now have the script to revisit whenever I want. This was certainly an adventure!

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