Crafty Love! Geese

I am a closet animal lover. I’m closeted because I don’t really go for cute. I am not the type of person you are going to find squealing over a baby bunny. I will be squealing with delight on the inside, but you’ll never see that. There are several non-domesticated animals in particular I find most adorable: otters, elephants, squirrels, gorillas, raccoons, calves, goats, turtles, kangaroos, reindeer, bears, hamsters. Lately I’ve realized there’s a new addition to the list. Geese! There are many, many wild Canada geese in my city. I don’t know why. I grew up two hours from here and can’t remember ever seeing geese back home. I do live near a bird sanctuary, and there is a small lake in my neighborhood a couple blocks away (complete with Goose Crossing road sign). So maybe that explains it.

I LOVE THE GEESE! They show up in the oddest places, like in a gaggle on the corner of an intersection. The other day I had to wait a couple minutes to turn into my driveway while a family of five waddled slowly across the road. I love to see them up close because they’re so huge and amusingly disproportionate. They look like hockey-sticks on a beach ball. I love how you hardly ever see just one. I love the strangely funny honking noises they make. It always makes me laugh. I love to see them flying overhead, because it seems to defy the laws of nature that something so big and goofy could actually take flight. And I love seeing their formations. It makes me marvel at the wonders of science and nature that they all know exactly when to synchronize a turn, when to lift one wing just a hair. I like the fact that they waddle around with this complete air of narcissism. It’s like they think the entire world exists merely for their benefit. I’m really, really happy that we share a neighborhood.

And, um, have you SEEN the Larry the Goose SNL sketch? It’s the small things in life, people. This is still making me laugh, months later. Mainly because when I was telling my mom about how cool the geese in my neighborhood are, she said, “Isn’t that what flew into Captain Sully’s plane and made them crash?”

Here are some great goose-related finds on Etsy.

8 x 12 Photograph, Goose in Flight
$19 by Rebecca Kier

Handmade silver necklace, Migration
$60 by Camilla Luchesi

Fine art print, White Goose No. 3
$25 by Sharon Montrose

Greeting Card, Honk Honk Hiss
$3.00 by Rue Renee

Crafty Love! Random Stuff I Like

I am so excited to tell you guys that I’m moving in just a few weeks! Not across the country or anything — just around the corner. But I am going from a small one-bedroom apartment (which you’ve heard me complain about incessantly) to a wonderfully cute and quirky two-bedroom house. I have been fantasizing about the day I could have my own craft studio and a fenced yard for the Bird Dawg again. The house is in a great, walkable neighborhood, and it has hardwood floors, French doors, a fireplace, an apple tree, and a huge 1/3 acre yard for Birdy to run wild. It’s like her own personal football field. She has met it already. They are in love. So I really can’t wait to start decorating and making curtains and so on. I stumbled across these fine art photographic prints on Etsy today, and I think they are so beautiful. I’m thinking a series of frames behind the sofa. It’s time to abandon the ubiquitous Georgia O’Keeffe poppy print. It’s pretty and all, but I need something more unique. These colors are gorgeous, and I think they will look great in my new living room. $25 by Raceytay

I have a serious thing for stained glass. And useful art. And nature-y things. And candles. Oh, and what do we have here? A beautiful stained glass lotus flower tea light holder? Yes, I think this would look perfect in my new house, on an end table, or the mantle, perhaps. The artist has another one available in clear glass, which is also beautiful. But I think I like the colors more. $45 by Stephanie Burciaga

Jenny and I have been lamenting the early arrival of oppressive heat. Spring and fall are by far my favorite seasons, as I am not really a fan of extremes, and it seems as if this year winter is skipping right into summer. It’s April! It’s not supposed to be 85 degrees yet! Gah! This is one of the reasons I live in North Carolina — we have actual seasons here. But apparently we’re getting cut down to two. Hot and cold. Even when it’s super hot outside, I really don’t like to wear shorts all that much. Lightweight pants are my preference for comfort and style. You don’t want to see my pale legs any more than I feel like showing them off. Plus, my skin is really sensitive to the sun (thank you, Scots-Irish ancestors), so with too much exposure I basically turn a mottled red, which then itches. Not fun. I figure these Thai fisherman pants are just the ticket. They’re made from organic cotton, which is breathable and light and softens with wear. And it’s a traditional Thai garment. It’s pretty freaking hot in Thailand, right? I bet they know what they’re doing. $18 by Khao San Road

Cheap Crap

I am the type of person who enjoys things that last a long time. You would think that everyone would be, but you would be wrong. Here is a brief list of some things I enjoy primarily when they are long lasting.

Chemical highs
*Addicts are essentially people obsessed with trying to make fleeting things last a lot longer.
Pay checks
Clean dog
Toilet paper
Light bulbs
Camp fires
Dog treats
Hippie style
Thrifted furniture
Every season except winter
Intimate conversations

Last, but not least, I enjoy it when electronics last a long time. Sadly, I’ve come to realize recently that the “cheap crap” marketing ploy is built into every affordable, tiny gadget now. I am gaining a new understanding of why people get all “retro obsessed,” and only use appliances produced prior to 1960. Because they actually work.

We live in an era when the most advanced technology ever is available to consumers in easily absorbed form, and it’s driving us to the poor house because it’s shoddy. Now when you buy a cell phone or a digital camera, you enter into the relationship already knowing that this piece of equipment has a life expectancy of two years tops. Only five or so years ago, you could buy gadgets that would last several years. Why is the quality of technology declining as we become more advanced? Is it because the mere connotation of quality implies a small run of something? And now that everything is so widely available, it has cheapened due to various bottom lines?

“Well, the only problem with this prototype is that all internal functions will cease to perform within 24 months.”

“That’s okay. That means they’ll buy the new model then.”

Maybe it’s the conspiracy theorist in me, but I tend to think it’s logical. Everything is manufactured to break within a given time frame. So you spend more money when you really shouldn’t have needed to.

I just got a  new digital camera that I had to buy because my old one broke. The new turquoise Samsung is sleek, thin, glamorous, and beautiful. She has a freaking huge screen, man. I mean, where has she been all my life?

That Kodak Z700 — it was so clunky, and the zoom was for shit. And that was before it had the problem with the battery compartment that I read on the internet is the most common symptom of its demise. Kodak’s freaking Socialist software is for old people who don’t know what drive they’re saving to or why. But “Beach,” as I”m calling her, is amazing and has granted my every techno-defficient desire. Even her user’s manual is so “green” that it’s completely digital. No book included.

I think we’re going to have a very long connection, Beach and I. I would say, best guess, at least for the next year or so. Then I might be forced to explore other options.

World Travel Wednesday: Kanawha State Forest


Our drive home from Indiana was really long, so as usual we decided to stop for a hike on the way to break it up and stretch. We chose Kanawha State Forest in Charleston, West Virginia, because it was about halfway and was supposed to be close to the interstate. It is only seven miles from I-64, but they are seven of the most twisty-turny, convoluted miles you’ve ever seen, and it probably took at least 20-30 minutes to get all the way there. The route involves several turns on very narrow roads through a residential area, but it is well marked with signage.


Swamp was leery of the place from the start because he read somewhere that it was very crowded in the summer (people = bad). And as we drove into the park, we passed a lot of what looked like families gathered for picnics or family reunions or something, eating potluck under the long shelters, fishing in a seemingly stagnant pond. We just kept driving until we didn’t see people anymore.


The trails were not very well marked, and of course it was a Sunday and we didn’t have a park map. As Swamp would say, “Eh, who needs a map?” AHEM. This, from the person who was airlifted out of the wilderness twice. So, we just picked one randomly not knowing if it was long or short, hard or easy. It was not terribly long, but it was also not very easy. It was basically a series of switchbacks straight up the mountain. I couldn’t make it the whole way up. I probably went about three quarters of the way, and then I told Swamp to run to the top and see if there was some awesome overlook or something that I shouldn’t miss. I stood and caught my breath while he ran to the top and ran back to me. “Nah,” he said, bouncing towards me, hopping from rock to rock. “Nothing spectacular. Just the top. No view or anything.”


So we went back down. As the world’s least athletic person, I was pretty happy with making it even that far on that trail. I love hiking and being out in nature, but I normally prefer hikes of easy-to-moderate difficulty, where I can enjoy the scenery and take some pictures, instead of fighting for breath, unable to focus on the beauty around me. I was able to take some pictures on the lower part of the trail both ways, but not on that ridiculous switchback part, so what you see below doesn’t reflect that. I promise — it was hard!


If there is a creek/stream/drop of water anywhere around, I will take a picture of it.


Swamp is checking out some massive hemlocks and commenting on how they are bigger than any he has on his property.


This is right about where it started to get bad. Although you can’t tell from this picture.




What is it about trees that is so comforting?


This is a good example of what Swamp does in the woods. Zoom! Swish! Blur! Incidentally, this is his favorite picture of himself from the entire trip.

Crafty Update: Win Free Stuff!

Hop on over to my friend Jen’s blog, Great Little Stories, where she is hosting a giveaway featuring some products from my Etsy shop. You could be the winner of a photo print and a set of recycled map stationery.