I received a letter today, see?
I love mail – that’s no secret. I usually enjoy getting just about anything. Even junk mail is fun to look at (sometimes) for a moment. When this one arrived though, it made me completely stop what I was doing and really live inside a moment of pure awe and amusement. I still don’t think I’m quite over it, nor will I ever be.
As I’m sure you have already guessed, there is something different about this letter I received today. Perhaps you noticed that the background of the photo is different – It’s not a table, a book, another stack of mail. Nope! You’re looking at the details of my hand… because this letter I received is TINY!
Super duper, duper, duper TINY. It even came with a magnifying glass! (I have really good up-close vision though, so I found that it was actually easier to read the letter without the magnifier.) My BFF Jackie sent it to me. She wrote up the cutest little tiny-letter-appropriate story for it too. I don’t really want to type out the whole thing because it’s my special piece of mail, sharing it all would make it somehow a little less special, but here are few excerpts:
“…I made the mistake of stepping inside a fairy ring and found myself instantly shrunk down to fairy size…”
“Yesterday I went sledding on an acorn cap while David was fencing with pine needles. Afterward, we had a snowball fight with snowflakes.”
Pending the unfortunate possibility of losing such a tiny piece of mail, I plan on cherishing this letter forever. I just love it.
(Thank you Jackie!)
PS – I did some research and found that it came from this shop. (Neither my friend or myself are in any way affiliated, I’m just being nice and sharing the link in case anyone is interested in sending out something this cute to one of their friends)
I’m in Minnesota and it’s been a very, very cold winter. One thing I like to do at this point (end of January, the thick of it!) is look at some photos from spring/summer and remember what it’s like to feel really warm while standing outside. I offer you a little ray of sunshine…
A few days ago I purchased some new house plants, pots and dirt too. That helps the winter blues! I’m also trying to make as much new art-stuff as possible so that when the weather does warm up I’m more able to be out in it.
I’ll start off with some BIG items!
First off is this wood slab table. I want to make a table sort of like this some day. (Note: My dad made the tables I grew up eating on! My brother still uses them, dents from years ago and all)
This couch makes quite a statement, doesn’t it? The purple and the details… lovely!
Now some smaller items..
This shop really figured out how to make some awesome journals. This one is so detailed.
Watercolor world map in cool colors. WANT!
Needle felted luna moth! She did a great job.
Amethyst crystal soap has been interesting to me for a long time. I would love to try and make some but it looks complicated!
Needle felting is something I have enjoyed since I first picked it up well over 3 years ago. Over this time I have made many things! One of the first things I ever made was a rabbit with real cat hair on the outside, followed by owls. I am continuing to make owls, snowmen, woolly worms, bees, mushrooms, custom cats, mice and more. It is a goal of mine to make more new needle felted characters this year. This last year I did some really neat projects so I feel the need to keep the ball rolling. I want to share with you a couple of the new snowmen I felted this month, as well as some of my all-time favorites. (New owls at the top of the post!)
Snowmen – January 2014
Custom creation – July 2013
Woolly Worms – Spring 2013
Mushroom Cluster – Spring 2012 * Favorite
Sammy Cat with Real Cat Hair – June 2012 * Favorite
Owls – December 2012 * Favorite
I do have a walrus started
This sculpture of an oak leaf is designed to be decorative as-is or used as an incense cone burner. I made it by hand by cutting an oak leaf shape out of sheet copper, carefully bending the leaf a bit and then I soldered on a wire stem. Each time I make one they get a little better. I am looking forward to making more!
I was walkin’ along at a good pace out on some Missouri conservation department trails and, out of the corner of my eye, who did I see? This guy! A snail! Perhaps a brown garden snail? I have seen more slugs on land than snails in my time so I considered spotting this guy a real treat. We are both lucky that he did not meet the bottom of my shoe.
Later on, down the path, I discovered a turtle. A thought entered my mind… to go get the snail and put it on top of the turtle for a photo (“Weee!”)… but I figured that the snail had somewhere to be and the turtle looked like he was hungry…. so I let them be.
I love getting out for spring time nature walks and appreciating the little things.
This blue vintage copy of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll has been transformed into a hollow book box – a superior stash spot for things important enough to keep tucked away. If I could keep it myself, I would, but it’s my job to pass all of these awesome things on. I dearly love Alice in Wonderland. Did you know that it’s available to read for free online? This time around I added textured, decorative paper to the bottom of the stash spot that really accents the vintage blue cover of the book. It’s really been around, but hopefully soon it will find a new home with someone who will enjoy it as a box for a long time. View the listing for this in my Etsy shop.
A few years back (2007) I created an orchid planter pot out of copper tube, copper sheet and wire because I desired a beautiful and super functional new pot for one of my dendrobium orchids. It needed to drain fully between watering since orchids are epiphytes. I used the first planter pot that I created for a good 2 years. My orchid was very healthy and re-flowered during its time in the pot. I got many compliments from those who saw it. In all this time I still have not found any other orchid pots made like this either! This design is so unique! Since that first pot I have created many more of these one of a kind handmade orchid pots. I can make them in many sizes, with or without leaf details. Another really awesome thing about them is that you can pull them apart in places to make them taller or smoosh it down to make it shorter. The copper wire is wound around throughout the coils to help keep the substrate contained. They are designed to be used with a substrate like coconut husk and rocks.
I really do love making these orchid pots, as well as all of the other copper sculpture that I do, because it’s so different from the other forms of art that I do.. I like variety! My brain really likes engineering and problem solving ways of achieving the desired end results. The tools I use are pretty simple – a torch with a flexible tube, mapp gas, copper to copper soldering sticks, pliers, heavy duty scissors, tube cutter, and rocks or bricks for heat protection.
If you are interested in getting one of my handmade copper orchid planter pots for yourself or a friend… Check the copper metal sculpture section in Etsy shop for availability! Or email me – GingerHalverson at Gmail.
My water kefir grains arrived in the mail today! I named them Keith.
(in a plastic bag, the way it came.. from Yemoos)
I didn’t hesitate to jump right in to the project, especially since I got my first batch of kombucha tea going the day before. First, I filtered out some of the liquid that came with the kefir grains and drank it. Yum! Then I ate a couple grains! They had a very interesting texture, a cauliflower-like jelly is one way to describe it. After I did some research I figured out that I wanted to start with a recipe of 4 cups water, 4 Tbsp sugar and 4 Tbsp kefir. Plus one dried date since I had it handy. So I washed my jar, put in the water, put in the sugar, stirred it around to help it dissolve a bit then I put the kefir in and finally the date.
Every ~24-48 hours the kefir needs to be strained away from the liquid and given fresh water and sugar (plus additives if desired). The liquid can be consumed right away or bottled and allowed to “get more fizzy” in the ‘fridge. I can’t wait to try a strong batch that has been bottled for a few days.
A couple of weeks ago I got to stare at and drink a glass of my friend’s water kefir. Before then I had only ever contacted milk kefir through some store-bought salad dressing which barely counts. My friend’s interest in it really got me spurred up! Sometimes a little encouragement goes a long way. I’m hoping that is the case with my home brews since I am encouraging them to grow with lots of positive energy.
As with the kombucha, watch out for more posts in the future about my experiences with water kefir!
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that is believed to have many health benefits and, I think, tastes great. It becomes effervescent naturally which makes it even that much more attractive since I like to avoid carbonated drinks that most people enjoy. It is made with a live culture – a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria & Yeast – aka SCOBY – so it is really alive! I am kind of treating it like a loved pet. When I was preparing its home (a clean jar with cooled down organic green tea and organic cane sugar) I was singing and talking to it. I have already told it that I love it. Yep. I have wanted to brew my own at home for at least the past 4 years but have not attempted it until today! It’s an exciting thing for me… So, without further ado I would like to introduce..
SCO.oBY the kombucha SCOBY!
In about 5-7 days it will be ready, maybe longer. I will bottle the liquid for drinking (perhaps allowing a 2nd fermentation in the bottle) and then take the SCOBY out along with about a cup of the liquid, “prepare another home”, and put the SCOBY back in for another round. Kombucha is an amazing ongoing project! I could eventually have as many batches going at once as I desire and share with everyone that wants one since the SCOBY creates another little “baby” SCOBY during each batch.
Is this amazing or what? It is so fun to learn and experiment with new, healthy things like this! Expect to see more posts about my kombucha experiences in the near future and perhaps even into the distant future. I am expecting live water kefir grains in the mail any day now too.