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An easy craft to learn, needle felting is a satisfying hobby that can result in many varied creations. No sewing skills are needed and it’s a great craft for someone who considers themselves non-crafty.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1607153/a_beginners_guide_to_needle_felting.html

I visit and review Stones River National Battlefield, the Carter House, James K. Polk’s former residence and the Athanaeum Rectory.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1565236/middle_tennessee_popular_historical.html

Name That Tune!

Still feeling out of sorts thanks to getting food poisoning this week. Ugh. In the spirit of feeling better though, here’s a tag/meme thing I found on Facebook. Comment and see how many you can get right!

1. Choose 20 of your favorite songs.
2. Post a line of the songs.
3. Have others guess the name of the song.
4. Bold the song when others have guessed it
5. No cheating by using Google etc.

1. I’m like a letter with no address
2. take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
3. too young to hold on, and too old to just break free and run
4. her cheeks are rosy, she looks a little nosy
5. there ain’t no room in my bed as far as i’m concerned
6. would I die for you? I live for you, you know i do
7. we were just in time, let me take a little more off your mind
8. this fire is out of control, I’m gonna burn this city
9. every breath that is in your lungs is a tiny little gift to me
10. finding myself making every possible mistake
11. there she was, just walking down the street
12. lack fourteen dollars having twenty seven cents
13. if our love was just a circus you’d be a clown by now
14. Yoko brought her walrus
15. if I was walking in your shoes, I wouldn’t worry none
16. when he picks up trash he puts it in a garbage can
17. so just call on me brother, when you need a hand
18. give him his guitar, and he’d be happy all the time
19. I see no sense in this crying and grieving
20. I search the skies, desperately, for rain

busy little bee…




busy bee ACEO

Originally uploaded by Quack the Wooley Duck

Going to school full time and working on top of crafting and trying to have life is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. Most of the crafting lately has been for swaps and not much else.

Work has been interesting. I took a chance and there’s a possible good development in store as far as work goes. I won’t say more lest I jinx myself. School is going ok, I guess , but it’s hard to say yet. I may have to drop my 2 online classes since the bookstore doesn’t have the book I need for one class and because I’m already a bit behind in them and trying to find the time to actually do them. I am, of course, finding my history class fun, and I think psychology will show itself to be quite an interesting course.

Unfortunately, what all this means is that I’ve been neglecting this blog and not updating as often as I’d like. I’m going to try updating on a specific day of the week and see how that goes. Probably either Fridays or Sundays. It’s funny how the more things going on in your life, the more things you have to write about, the less often you have time to write. I’ve been neglecting a lot of things lately, really.

I think part of the crafty block I’ve had recently is because it’s been so long since I’ve made something just for me. I want to try to remedy that soon. Assuming I can find the time! I’m inspired with the swaps but once I’m finished with working on the projects for those I’m a bit blank for anything else to do. I need badly to add some things to the shop but that’s difficult to do when there’s nothing to add.

Speaking of craftiness and the shop and being busy – I am wanting to travel abroad this summer if at all possible. There’s a group that does a 4 week volunteering thing (technical term, right there) and one of the things you can do is go to Thailand and work with an elephant sanctuary. This would be, pretty much, a dream come true. The problem is that it’s waaaay more money than I can probably afford. Now, I’ll be able to pay off a couple of big bills when I get my student loan for this semester so I can make some headway into debt but I still don’t know that I could manage to do this. So, I’ve decided I’m going to try to get out of this craft rut and make things for the shop and put as much as I can from that into making this a reality. I don’t know that I’ll do it through this particular organization, though their package sounds amazing, but I want to do something similar through something. I don’t think I have the guts to do it on my own necessarily, I’d prefer to have some kind of group but I don’t know. Right now I’m going to focus on seeing how to afford it regardless of how I wind up going. It’s going to be several thousand dollars including airfare and such so it will be a big goal.

I’m also hoping the new development on the job front will help with this.

Wish me luck!

feet first

Have you heard of the 101 things in 1001 Days Challenge?

Well, I’m attempting it and have been for a while. I actually began this list on 1/2/08. The end date is 9/29/10. I’ve changed a few goals a bit since then and considered starting over but I’ve decided to keep the date because otherwise I feel like I’d have to ignore the things I’ve already done. Besides, a goal list should be a bit fluid, I think. Priorities change over time.  (Also, I need to update totals on some of the goals.)

I plan to donate a dollar to SuperCheers on the 43things website for every goal I don’t accomplish in the time frame. Right now it’s about 6% complete not including partially finished goals.

Now for the list! (in no particular order)

1. get new contacts and glasses

2. give blood again

3. join DeviantArt and post at least 10 new pieces of work

4. be able to walk a mile in 16 minutes or less

5. Vote in the 2008 Presidential Elections

6. get a passport

7. learn to crochet

8. get my ring appraised

9. get laser hair removal

10. keep a job longer than 6 months

11. take at least 6 classes outside of college courses

12. get my rolls of film developed

13. beat Aaron at Scrabble

14. pay off at least 3 credit cards

15.Visit the Grand Canyon

16. visit 2 new states

17. complete project 365

18. participate in 100 words for at least 2 months (doesn’t have to be in a row)

19. get my bra measurements professionally done and then buy myself at least 3 pieces of well made lingerie

20. go on a road trip with no predetermined destination

21. play skeeball at least 20 times

22. Get my wisdom teeth taken out (if at all possible I may change this goal. dreading the very idea.)

23. fix my bicycle tire and then paint the bicycle

24. get my Ursula Vernon artwork framed

25. visit all the state parks in Tennessee

26. Make a quilt

27. handspin a full skein of yarn

28. reduce how much storage space i use/need by at least half

29. learn how to properly build a campfire

30. learn to tie at least 3 new kinds of knots

31. learn to swim

32. release at least 30 books into the wild through bookcrossing

33. read at least 101 books

34. Level a WoW character to 70

35. learn to play at least one song on a new musical instrument

36. Volunteer

37. sell at least 25 handmade things on Etsy

38. get an AA degree or an AS degree

39. join a CSA

40. get straight A’s for at least one semester in college

41. get the headliner in my car fixed

42. knit a hat

43. make a blanket for Project Linus

44. go to at least 3 church services of various religions

45. plant an herb garden

46. wear red lipstick (in public) at least 10 times 1/10

47. write a fully completed story or book

48. make at least 2 new real life friends

49. go see at least 6 plays and/or ballets/shows/concerts

50. travel outside the country

51. go camping

52. Sell a painting

53. fund a loan through kiva

54. make a dress, an apron, and a set of pillows using my sewing machine

55. run a mile in 10 minutes or less

56. join a group

57. build something

58. learn how to do 2 new crafts well and finish a project from each learned embroidery & needlefelting

59. draw every day for 60 days

60. take the 100 things drawing/photo challenge

61. visit my grandmother’s grave

62. have a real picnic with my picnic basket and a blanket

63. drink no soda for 60 days

64. eat no fast food for 60 days

65. get a professional massage

66. ride in a paddleboat

67. eat no red meat for 30 days

68. have 3 months of living expenses in savings

69. try at least 8 new dishes at restaurants 2/8

70. visit at least 3 locally owned restaurants that I’ve never been to 2/3

71. learn to identify ten native trees and plants

72. get all the proper licenses/legal/trademark stuff for my business

73. have flowers delivered to my mom for no reason

74. learn to identify 3 new constellations

75. keep a gratitude journal for at least 30 days

76. write a sonnet

77. keep a scanner daybook for at least 30 days

78. balance my account every night and stick to a budget for at least 90 days

79. grow my hair down to at least mid shoulder blade length

80. get a professional manicure or pedicure

81. go on at least 10 hikes

82. put the birdfeeder on a pole in the backyard and keep it filled for at least 60 days

83. donate at least $275 to charities and groups that I believe in

84. learn to mat and frame artwork and frame at least one piece of work

85. make paper and use it to mail letters to 5 people

86. buy an even better digital camera

87. eat in a Gordon Ramsay restaurant.

88. go without a computer for 14 days (allowed to check my email twice)

89. start a retirement fund

90. learn to cook at least 3 full meals

91. write/call my friends at least once a week for 8 weeks

92. make a new 101 in 1001 list to begin once the first 1001 days are over, including any items that I may not have accomplished from this list

93. buy the cats a water fountain

94. make a terrarium

95. make my mom a scrapbook

96. Donate 1 million grains of rice at Freerice.com 1690/1000000

97. participate in 100 swaps on swap-bot 38/100

98. put together a recipe book

99. lie in the grass and watch the clouds at least 10 times

100. open ended

101. open ended

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They’re banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we’ve seen in decades. I’d like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren’t originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children’s books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there’s always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it’s passed testing. It won’t even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can’t sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can’t even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children’s items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you’ll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you’d better start buying now because it’s all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren’t certified as safe.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123189645948879745.html

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.html

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law
http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

A Quick Article on Reuse

You can save money and do your bit for the environment by reusing household items rather than sending them to the landfill.

How to Creatively Reuse Items – 5 Quick & Easy Ways