Wednesday, May 31, 2006

hobbit land

on monday, sadie and i took a short drive to hallowell for a walk in the vaughan woods. if you've lived in this area long enough (and i have all my life), it's most commonly known as "hobbit land".

"the vaughan woods are laced with a network of more than 2 miles of publicly accessible foot trails, built and maintained by generations of vaughan descendants and their families since benjamin and sarah vaughan first moved to their hallowell homestead in 1797. the woods are the vestige of the original kennebec proprietorship granted by the king of england to benjamin hallowell, grandfather of benjamin vaughan. by all accounts, the vaughan woods are outstanding for their unique combination of historical and natural significance. the woods are treasured by many residents and visitors of hallowell and surrounding communities, who walk the trails and pause for reflection along the waterfalls and artistic footbridges of Vaughan Brook. (from an old issue of the kennebec land trust news - good description though).

entering these woods is like stepping into a tolkien book, the lush forest, the moss covered rocks, the handmade stone bridges. it is one of the most relaxing places. despite being nestled between maine avenue and the highway, all you hear within these woods are bird song and running water, maybe the occational passerby and their dog. hobbit land is peaceful and serene; one of the best places to sit and eat your lunch, if you work nearby.

sadie was completely in her element here. i took a bunch of pictures, but some may be a bit fuzzy as i had a 50 lb dog pulling me in every direction, quite anxious to smell everything! she played in the water, she ran as far as the leash would allow, she tromped through mud. it only took us about 30 minutes to walk the loop on the hallowell side; the trails continue on the other side of the stone carriage bridge to the high school, but we just wanted a short walk. by the time she was done, her tongue was lolling and she was a little overstimulated by the amount smells in the woods. she spent the better part of the afternoon napping.

hobbit land is a most amazing place and if anyone visits central maine, i highly recommend seeking this place out. ask anyone in hallowell where to find it, they'll be able to point you in the right direction.

check out more hobbit land pictures on my flickr page, as i've detailed the walk through the trail a bit more in the descriptions of each picture.

The Dam @ Hobbit Land

pictures from hobbit land

the stone carriage bridge

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

how i spent my memorial day

having fun!
Originally uploaded by faerytreecreations.

so i had to come up with a gift idea for my friend fran. i called my brother, the plumber/metal artist and asked him if he'd make a fire pit for her. he said, "why don't you come over, use the plasma cutter and make it yourself." a chance to play with the plasma cutter...whoo hoo, you bet i snapped up that opportunity!!

it was soooooooo much fun! for those of you who don't know what a plasma cutter is, it is a tool used to cut steel and other materials; they work by sending an electric arc through a gas that is passing through a constricted opening, then the air blows the molten steel out of the way and cools it at the same time.

the design isn't completely cut out, it's connected to the tank in a couple of places and then the top of the tree is bent forward some. you can either put a small fire in it or one of those super huge candles with the 6 wicks, then the fire will show through the cut design and illuminate it! oh it was so amazing! so much fun! there are more pictures from yesterday on my flickr page, like that of the fire pit that i made for myself with stars and moons, so check those out.

my brother spray painted the outside, which will eventually burn off, but for now, it's so pretty!!

fran is going to love this!!

and i love getting to use the cutter, definitely something i will be bugging my brother to use again.

so the rest of memorial day weekend was great. i have a clean porch that i can eat lunch and dinner on, i planted, i read, i relaxed; it was glorius. i did do dye painting on fabric with my niece on saturday, but it got so hot that we gave up the ghost and headed to my parents place on the lake. much cooler, much more fun! i'll post pictures from the lake to flickr later as well as hobbit land pictures (i'll explain about hobbit land in another post, this one is already long enough).

Sunday, May 28, 2006

memorial day weekend

i was intrigued by shari's mind maps and had to make one. so here is the one i drew yesterday. as you can see, this w/e mostly centers around my home (my rendition of what the front of my house looks like). and the best part is, it's only sunday and i've already done many of these things!! especially relax, which i really needed to. and i thought up what to get fran for her b-day (which is friday! yikes!); since my brother is a metal artist and i happen to have a big metal storage drum in my backyard (don't ask), i'm going to have him cut it in half, decorate the top edges by cutting designs out of it and create a fire pit (or planter, depending on which she'd rather use it for) and since he'll be cutting it in half, i'll get him to cut stars out of the top half of the other one for me!! :^) see, there's method to my madness.

anyhoo, today is all about the creativity. yesterday was all about the work (vacuuming, dishes, cleaning the porch, grocery shopping); today i play.

well, must go take a shower and call my sister to see if she and my niece want to dye paint today.

enjoy the weekend!

Friday, May 26, 2006

oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day

i forget how comforting the daily routine is. this week has been a sketchy, hectic, crazy week at work and every morning, i was dragging myself out of bed, exhausted and reluctant to take that morning trudge, i mean walk, with the dog. i skipped a lot of breakfasts because i was just too tired to make any and the morning shower was not invigorating, it was work that made me just want to go back to bed. the drives to work were fraught with construction and made me late most mornings.

today is friday and the sun was practically shining at 5 am and when my stereo came on, it was playing good music, enough to wake me gently and set me into a relaxed, calm mood. the morning walk was quiet, with warm sun and a very well behaved sadie! breakfast...oh, breakfast was leisurely and splendid. i roast my own coffee, so it brewed up a heavenly scent as i made a two egg and cheese omelet with eggs from melissa's chickens.

I don't often photograph my food, but couldn't resist. this was by far and away, the best cheese omelet i've ever made. oh how yummy! fresh eggs are infinitely better than store bought eggs. the size, the rich gold of the yolk; they make store boughts seem puny and inferior. i'm reluctant to ever buy store bought again. i think i need to start buying fresh eggs every week!

to continue my tale, the shower was perfect, i put on jeans to wear to work because its friday and no one will care. i left the house on time and the great gods of construction were working with me this morning rather than against me, as they really hadn't started working on the roads yet. i sailed through and to work with enough time to go get a smoothie. then!! then, since my boss isn't here today, i got to park in her spot right close to the building and 4 people are off today, while 3 are coming in much later! it is truly quiet and peaceful in here, giving me the opportunity to write this. today will be one of those rare "gimme" days, a freebie where no one really expects you to work and if you do, they're amazed! i love days like's a guilt free, wearing jeans to the office, slacker day!

well, i do have to work a little. make some scheduling phone calls, set up a meeting, do a memo regarding some study appointments, call my ever so wonderful boss (no i'm not being sarcastic, she's really great!!)...simple things that. maybe today will be a "leave at 4 and get a jump start on the holiday weekend" day! one can hope!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

furthering the creative endeavors through etsy

so here it is...i'm so excited! i have an etsy shop!! and i'm so psyched! click the picture and have a gander.

thank you thank you thank you to Jelene for the etsy banner. it is simply amazing and beautiful. i love it!

i'm still new to it, so i only have one item in it, but i will be working on others!


brand new day

so here i sit, trying to decide what to have for lunch, with my ginormous (giant and enormous - 1.5 liter) bottle of poland spring water (and even though the nestle company owns it, it's still bottled in maine and supporting maine products is a very important thing), listening to a funky cd i put together (sting, jack johnson, queen, peter gabriel, talking heads, bowie, the kinks, tristan prettyman, sara cox, the subdudes, robbie robertson, and the waterboys). late nights at the day job are done! yippee! yahoo! weeeeeee! concentration on fabric artistry can resume!

painted silk piece by newfoundland artist, Katherine Munro (she has some fab stuff and she's a newf - which is very cool, because both my grandparents were from newfoundland!)

so i had an idea...well, it's been an idea long since coming, but i haven't gotten my butt in gear and implemented this idea. i want to dye fabric and paint fabric with dye. i know how to do it and how to batik, but i just don't do it on a regular basis! and i want to! i love the way fabric comes out of a dye bath because it's something new every time, a different pattern, a different just makes me happy. and i did add it to the summer list but i think it needs to be a weekly event, because i really want to start using my own fabrics in my quilts, in my fairies, in clothing! maybe on top of porch clean up weekend, it will also be a fabric dying weekend. yeah. i like the sound of that. i'll have to make up a vat of chemical water on friday night and since saturday is supposed to be b.u.t.full, i can work on the fabric dying outside! i will make certain to take picts and post them :^)

and again i say, "yippee!"

batik piece by Lisa Kattenbraker

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

oh so NOT with it!

sleepy. oh so very sleepy. i didn't get out of work until 11:30 - a 15 & 1/2 hour day. yuck. i'm back at work now, working on 5 & 1/2 hours of sleep and we're preparing for another 15, 16, 17 or more hour day! This long holiday weekend cannot come too soon.

So i've been thinking of all the things that i want to do this summer and being the queen of lists, i've started a mental list (much like the mind maps). This is what I've got thus far:
  • bake more - especially bread and cookies and strawberry rhubarb pie
  • rip down the wall in mum and dad's old bedroom, then insulate, sheet rock and paint it pale pale sage (there is going to be a lot of green in my house!)
  • paint the upstairs hallway and mural the downstairs hall
  • clean out the ugly, rednecky backyard and make it pretty!
  • put up fencing so my little doggie doo can play in her backyard without running freely about the neighborhood!
  • create a garden, outdoor sanctuary in the backyard, complete with fire pit and tiki torches
  • get dear brother derek to make metal fire pit
  • swim at the lake as much as possible
  • go for more road trips and explore portions of maine that, despite living here forever, i have yet to visit
  • learn to make clothes
  • dye my own fabric
  • clean off the porch and return it to the sacred space it once was

oh how i miss lounging on my screen porch on the futon, the gentle summer breeze blowing through, reading a book, drinking ice tea. it was pure relaxation. now the porch is home to a whole bunch of stuff packed in boxes. the futon mattress is at the lake and even then alex wants to trade me his bunk beds for it. he's 14 now and, like me at that age, has a penchant for changing, rearranging and switching out furniture in his bedroom. he likes the idea of being able to turn the futon into a couch. and being the loving aunt that i am, i told him okay, besides once the bed is out of mum & dad's old room, i was moving the futon up there anyway...and i was really dreading that! he hasn't mention it to his dad yet, though. we'll have to see (my sister's cool with it, it's just the hubby we have to run it past).

i think the porch is this weekend's project (nothing like getting a head start on the summer list). i'm craving my porch space and cringe every time i look at it. piled high with boxes, remnants of potting season and the futon frame. it's not a big porch but i really would like to be able to sit at my little table on warm mornings and eat my breakfast or cool evenings with my dinner. since the futon will be going, i also have an old papsan chair (from the late days of high school) that i can stick out there. tallulah will be pleased, it was her favorite chair in my old apartment when she was a kitten. somewhere i have picts of her as a baby. she's 7 now (or will be in july). i bet once it's set up, sadie will claim it (if she can get into it). she and tal will fight over it. they are much like little kids! tally has a catseat attached to a window in the living room and sadie sits on the back of the couch and looks out another window in the living room, but lately tal's been sitting in sadie's spot and i think it's on purpose! sadie gets so mad - she whines and barks at the cat and looks at me like, "mumma, she's sitting in my seat! do something!!!" eventually she gets up on the couch, the cat (who is 30 lbs lighter than the dog) hisses and swats and does her version of running away (which is waddling as fast as her fat butt can waddle).

  • oh, make more smoothies!
  • learn to make fruit leather in the dehydrator
  • read...lots! catch up on guilty pleasures robert b. parkers and jim butchers and charlaine harris and maryjanice davidson (it's kind of funny, for all the "literature" i read at university, i am all for the paperback sci-fi, fantasy and detective novels - they are total escapism for me. and though i love hemingway, his simple depiction of extraordinary lives in places i've never been...his characters just don't hold my attention like spencer & hawk, harry dresden or anita blake!)
  • take sadie swimming at tyler pond more often

if i think of more things (which i will), i'll be sure to list them!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

aspiring artist with a day job

so i've never wanted to be a starving artist; i've been a starving college wasn't fun. i've also been a waitress, a substitute teacher and worked in retail - all jobs i've experience, gained insight from and moved on from with no wishes to return. i want to be a financially stable artist and if that means working a day job to afford my creative endeavors, i'll do it...but only if i enjoy said job.

that said...i love my job, but it's pretty well the opposite end of the spectrum from my creative's politics oriented. i don't consider myself politically all! but i pretend (obviously very well to do be able to do my job :^) and unlike many i work with, it does not consume my life. i have no interest in fund raisers, calling people for support, or going door to door bothering people with political information, but my job gives me the opportunity to help advocate for maine's creative economy, for the environment and for research, development and innovation! it also allows me to write. this makes me happy. growing up i wanted to be an artist or a writer (there was also that short stint when i wanted to be a marine biologist and study sharks, then i realized that science wasn't my strong point). my job lets me write, my life outside of work lets me create. it is a very nice compromise. and this is what i create (mostly), among other things:

i'm happy with my creations and will be putting them on etsy soon as they don't seem to have a market on ebay (my guess is that there is just so much on there that they get overlooked), besides i like etsy better, it's all homemade creations.

so anyhoo, aspiring artist with a day job...which, this week, seems to be a night job too! a late night job.

Monday, May 22, 2006

the green mile (aka my downstairs hallway)

"Kiss my grass"

"Below the Stairs"

bowdoinham library's annual plant sale

saturday was a fabulous day! my mother and i trekked down to bowdoinham for their annual plant sale. this was the first time we'd ever been. i just happened upon it while looking at an events calendar online. it was perfect. the weather was sunny and warm, the amount of plants they had were just...blow your mind - wow, and the prices couldn't be beat! basically they get volunteers from the town to dig up and separate plants from their yard or that they've grown from seedlings and donate them to the library for this sale. i bought a forsythia, a hawthorne tree (that will have little white flowers in the spring and red berries in the fall - but it also has ruthless spikes!), rhubarb, cherry irises (which are a dark purple), cranberry colored bee balm, lavender and rosemary. i spent $33; best money i've ever spent! this is what they will look like eventually, now they are but little bits of green!

cranberry colored
bee balm

cherry iris

white flowering

after that, we took the back roads through farm country to topsham. it was sunny and so pretty outside and air was filled with the scent of lilacs. we went for brunch at a great little breakfast/lunch nook called the fairgrounds cafe. it looks like a little hole in the wall, but the food was amazing! i swear that my ham and cheese omelet was almost 6 inches high stuffed so full that i could only eat half of it. it also came with a plate full of oniony, peppery homefries and 2 slices of wheat toast. soooooo yummy. i was stuffed after half of it and brought the rest home. definitely a place to visit often. their prices were really good too, but they are only open until midafternoon.

the rest of the day (weekend) was spent cleaning maple saplings from the raspberry patch, planting bulbs and my newly aquired beauties from the plant sale, as well as playing domestic goddess inside when it rained!

i did get to start working on my downstairs hall. i had painted it this odd green and wasn't convinced i liked it until my mother pointed out the fact that i could mural it with a garden scene and make it completely out of the ordinary, so i started working on the grass. i'm not the best artist, i only dabble in painting. i'm more of a fabric artist, quilt artist. but i love the way the grass started coming out. so now i need to paint a birch trellis and morning glories trailing up that, paint a couple of trees, some flowers on the ground. i still need to repaint the trim and base-board and replace the ucky linoleum. of course i don't really have the resources for new hardwood flooring, so linoleum that dad has at the lake will replace the crappy stuff that's there.

soon my house will reflect my style, so very soon!

Friday, May 19, 2006


so my home is the house i grew up in. i've lived there for almost 30 years (save the few years when i went to university and lived in different dorms or apartments and even then i still had a lot of stuff at the house), but my parents moved out and let me rent it. me and my furry roommates. eventually i want to buy this house that is somewhere in the vicinity of 150 to 200 years old.

i love this house. it's a 2 story cape with an "L" on the back. it does need a lot of tlc but it's home. the archways and many windows, the scary stone and dirt basement, the equally creepy tiny attic with it's threat of spiders and wasps, the creaks and moans of the floors and stairs, they are all so familiar, they lull me to sleep at night (well, not thoughts of the cellar or the attic and the bugs). the floors (which are covered in carpet downstairs) are maple, the upstairs - pumpkin pine, all need to be sanded and refinished. the place needs insulation in many walls and under the downstairs floor, the wallpaper needs stripping, the whole place should be rewired. the whole backroom and garage need to be insulated and sheet rocked. lot of work, i know, but i still love it!

i started on the kitchen, but need to finish painting the lower cabinets, put down the flooring and nail the base boards back in. then it's done. the downstairs hallway is something that called to me, so i've started painting it. it's green, like grass, with odd striations from the way i painted it and i've been wondering if i really like it. i made curtains for the stained glass window and door, they're very kitschey, flowery and donna dewberry-ish, normally not my motif, but they really seem to work in that area. we'll see.

my parents are still moving their stuff out of the house and into their house on damariscotta lake. mum just cleaned out her closet and soon their bed at my house will go, opening up their room for me to rip out plaster walls, re-sheetrock, paint and put down carpet (love the hardwood floors but they are so cold that carpet is needed in that house). then that will become my room. my room right now is the old master bedroom at the front of the house. my parents put a wall in the center of the room to create 2 bedrooms for my sister and myself (we shared a room until i was almost 3 - she was 11). i took the wall down and opened the master bedroom back up, but i want a craft room/office - a place where the sewing machine and the ironing board can stay up all the time, where i have wall space to put the quilt wall, where i can just roll across the floor in my chair to my desk to print out a design for a quilt or doll or whatever. i have the space for this! i have a 3 bedroom house all to myself, no husband, no boyfriend, no children, no human roommates, just me, the cat and the dog. but some of this space is still cluttered with my parents stuff. they downsized to a 2 bedroom ranch with not enough space for all of their stuff, which means it remains in my house until they can decide what to throw or keep.

i'm a patient person (sometimes) and i love this house, so i can wait for the parentals to get rid of their stuff and let me do my thing to that house to really make it mine!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

comfort sounds

is it weird that the sound of chickens is comforting? i never realized this until my friend melissa got chickens. any major encounters that i have had with them were primarily at fairs, where the chickens are all in cages in a long hall and they're making such a cacophanous sound that you just can't wait to get out there. but when it's just a few, out scratching around the yard, without any roosters to stir the pot, they make this very mellow little "buck buck brauck". it really is relaxing!

Chickens are cool.

Bunch o' chickens Megan still feeding the ChickensOh the Chickies Brooke and her Chickie

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

my furry roommates



with whom i share my house, my food, my bed (unfortunately) and my space. not such a great pict of sadie, i'll have better ones later. this is typical tallulah though, always on the wrong side of the door!

rambling the roads

documenting life through pictures and thoughts.