Nest Feathers and Twine - Formally Artist's Block Studio

The things that make a house a home and the stuff that holds is all together.

Years ago I started this blog with a mindset and goals that I have found have changed direction over time. I am excited to say that this blog has a new name.....Nest Feathers and Twine. I hope you come by and visit often. Feel free to get comfortable and kick off your shoes and join me on this journey of metamorphosis.

Friday, February 18, 2011

on her journey of 2 miles she thinks of shakey birthday wishes, stopping to smell the roses of love and where to find 20 bottles for a great many queens crowns

15 years ago on the 13th of this month my youngest was born.

as with each of my kids, he has brought so much love and happiness. 

max is such a beautiful, kind, thoughful, loving goofball. 

 snapping a photo of the oh-so-ever-elusive max is nearly impossible. 

i have lots of photos of his hand blocking my view through the camera lense, or blurry photos,  so for now these will have to do.

 max is now over 6 feet tall...a smidge taller than his daddy.  he has his grandpa's big ears that fit his large c.z. stud earring perfectly.

 blonde hair, blue eyed and freckle faced. 

he has my off the wall goofy sense of humor and his daddy's work ethic.

a layer cake that did not become a cake-tastrophie....mainly because we finally have a proper set of cake pans. 

i have discovered a new love....dark chocolate cake.  i love anything dark chocolate and never knew a cake mix of this kind existed until the hubs brought it home from wal-mart.  yellow use to be my favorite, but no more. 

one of the requests of the birthday boy was a shake weight. 

max wanted the manly version.

we bought the girly version, and we are glad we did. 

everytime the commercial comes on we all become immature teenage boys and make goofey comments and giggle...but wow...this is really a workout. 

we all have been using  this muscle inducing gadget and i love it. 


i just love is a gift.  and although diamonds, chocolates, and a huge expensive bouquet of beautiful flowers are wonderful.  being loved and having someone to share my love with is wonderful too.

i am so fortunate to have a  man that loves me unconditionally. 

my honey surprised me with a heart shaped, strawberry topped favorite, huge chocolate covered other favorite, and a large bouquet of some very beautiful, but very sad looking red, yellow and white roses, and they were just perfect and beautiful.

i shared bites of cheesecake and chocolate covered strawberries and then began dividing the roses into several bottles and jars to be scattered throughout the house so that everyone can admire their beauty.

the time on the antique clock that no longer works is set to our wedding date.

over the last couple of days my idea for my piece and part of the adorning crowns swap has evolved.

just one problem.  i need 16 of these.....

this is a watkins brand vanilla bottle.  the recently switched over to plastic bottles.  sigh.....

this bottle is a wee one, one about 2 1/2 - 3 inches tall. 

with fingers crossed i am hoping that a local teacher and art supply recycling center called leftovers will have the quantity of these small bottles that i need to complete my artsy endeavor.

a corsetted bottle.....

this week steph and i started taking walks again.  it has been quite awhile since we walked.  the past summer was hotter than hot and this winter has been quite a nasty one.

she and i have taken advantage of the beautiful weather and started walking again. 

the first day...a  mile and a half.

from there on it has been 2 miles.

i had quite the ah-ha  moment, as oprah would say last year when it came to walking after a trip to the mall one day.

after spending a day at the mall i was pooped when we got home, but not dying of exhaustion.  the next day steph and i went for a walk and i felt myself stiffen up making the walk more difficult and tiring.  the walk of 3 miles seemed to take forever and was miserable.  then it hit me like a ton of bricks.....we probably walked 3 miles easily at the mall the day before...what was the difference??????

the difference was my mind set, my beliefs. 

i view the mall as fun, exciting, pleasurable....i view my 3 mile walk as a workout, exercise, hard and miserable.....because that is what exercise is, right?

i have since learned to change my focus to being more positive.  it is not a workout.  it is good health, fewer meds and dr. visits.  (i often thought of these things when i was viewing my walks as execise and it did not help previously)

  i took this as time to spend talking with my walking partner and spending one on one time with them, be it my hubby or one or two, or all three of the kids. 

i began to view this time as one to breathe the fresh air, hear the birds singing, soak up some good ol' vitamin d...with sunscreen schmered skin that feel the breeze, to wave hi to a neighbor, to get out of the house. 

it also helps to visualize a bit less lumps and bumps and more healthy curves, a smaller pants size, or just plain feeling like the sludge has been sweated out of my body. 

i feel healthier, lighter, prettier,  more energetic. 

in a short time i will be addicted to the endorphins that are released when being active and i will be out there walking in the cold, the heat, the rain with no problem.  this week has been a hard one though. 

i traded using my walking pole for one of my arm crutches and have become quite good at using it this past week.

my vertigo is stirred up by the walking, but i have had a wonderful two weeks of being not quite vertigo free, but about as close as i have been in awhile.  everytime this happens i hope that maybe, just maybe this time it will behave on a permanent basis.  time will tell. 

loading and unloading the dishwasher put me in a spinning and balance challenged tizzy last night, the up and down movement mixed with the back and forth motion of putting clean items in their proper place just does this girl in.  but i hope that maybe someday it will go for good....

well, the hubs has just walked in the door so it is time to say bye for now. 

nighty night.


Friday, February 11, 2011

crown me the queen of spring as i pick the blackberry seeds from my teeth and mike the dog steals a snack from the cat box

shall i explain.....or does the title say it all? 

after a bit of hesitation i decided to join in on a crown element swap.  i have not swapped for awhile and this is something new. 

the minute i saw the announcement on facebook and followed the link to the blog Adorning Crowns i knew i just hadda join in........but i didn't......and i went back to the blog....and left it again.

i already had a few ideas clanking around in my head and even sketched them out

 the sketch above inspired by a previous venture involving pearls of the acrylic kind and  antique quilt scraps

maybe a poofy word pillow? 

but my favorite idea.....the one fit for any queen of spring......

a mini vase in which the queen of spring would display her heavenly scented pickings. 

the queen of spring thinketh she needeth a bit more time to decide. 

speaking of spring....i could just hug the weather guy.  i seem to have the same feelings of love for him as i did the epidural dude back in the day!   warmer weather is coming.  spring really does exist.  winter really will not last forever and a day!

we should be seeing less and less of this stuff on the ground.....

and that makes me one happy girl!

the ice we had here, there and everywhere made these almost impossible to use without skis

this arty girl might be tired of the slush and ice and cold outdoors but.....

smoothies....oh i so love these cups of fruity brain freeze inducing yummy-ness. 

so far my favorite...the banana split smoothie.   banana, pineapple chunks with  strawberry yogurt poured into a cup that has been swirled with a bit of chocolate syrup.   

we all love the blackberry smoothies with one exception.    those darn seeds!   they are awful.  they get stuck in every nook and cranny of your mouth and they are hard as rocks. 

mike....mike mike mike mike mike mike.......that dog.  i have bragged on his intelligence.   i knew i should have bit my tongue.    he is not a prodigy.  he is just a dog. 

mike can sit on command, he uses the potty pad better than any other puppy i have known, but we can not seem to get mike to understand that cat poo is not a snack food! 

we had been planning on moving moan-uh's cat box  anyway since she is getting quite elderly and does not seem to be able to leap and jump like she could years ago. 

as you can see by the look on her face she does not care much to be photographed.

mike also seems to have a problem with hoarding.  you may see him on the next episode of hoarders if it gets any worse.  

last week we bought the puppies inexpensive dog beds.  the blanky on the floor was becoming a problem. 

can you guess which one is mike's? 

molly is to dignified to mess around with toys.

mia is too afraid of everything, including toys.

mike loves them.

mike also loves trash, dirty socks, wash cloths and dryer sheets.  oh, and cat poo.  so at any given moment of any given day you can find an assemblage of these items in his bed. 

 trying to find a more artful angle for this photo became impossible.  mike wanted to eat the camera.

i love this little guy to pieces though.  he has more fun and personality in him than any other dog i have known. 

i almost gave the hubs the boot out the door when i found out he decided to bring this guy home.  but i am thrilled to pieces he did. 

i have giggled and smiled till my cheeks are in charley horses because of this little guy.

ok, so just one more thing  to say then i will back away from the keyboard already.

so, you know a week or so ago i made my first sale on my etsy shop....the buyer left such a kind comment.  i sent her a 'convo' as it is called in etsy terminology to thank her for leaving such wonderful feedback.  

she convo'ed me back with this!

by flyawayjewelrydesign profile shop contact

Your very welcome. it's the truth. i used to make jewelry and i can tell when someone puts love into their work. i was also very impressed that you took the time to bond all the jump rings together so that they don't open up over time. i will make sure to check your store every so often for more things to buy, because i like buying from people like you.

hope you have a great day too,


that made me feel so good.   someone took the time to notice the extra umph, that extra mile i put into my work.

with that said, as i promised i am backing away from the keyboard.  i could easily gab a bit longer, but i think i shall wait and save it for another time.

see ya again real soon,


(they are not furry, but they are just as cute when they are sleeping!)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

ice/snow storm of 2011

I have to say that we are blessed.  and for that I am so grateful.

we were looking at up to an inch of ice possible and up to 2 feet of snow at one point of this storm.

we now have at least 4 inches of sleet, and just a bit of freezing rain fell. 

they thought the worst was to come this evening into tomorrow.   it seems that the storm is not going to whip around to give us the larger amount of snow accumulation originally called for.  i secretly hid my disappointment in this change in snow accumulation expectation, only to find later that others here in household also felt let down. 

keep in mind we all groaned with great disapproval over the news of this same impending storm a few days earlier.

sunday evening we ran to walmart to buy groceries, a couple of boxes of fire logs, flashlights, and a few more candles.  the store was stripped bare and the parking lot looked like black friday part II. 

this evening bill and max ventured out, not with my seal of approval.  i can live without milk for a day or two.  the roads are pretty much a mess, but on the bright side walmart is fully stocked again.

before the storm began the predictions were beyond scary.   all the what ifs seem to race through my mind.

what if.....we lose power, the trees come crashing down, bill does not make it home from work in time.  what if, what if, what if. 

all you can do is prepare the best you can.

yesterday was the end of the  month.   the hubs works first shift, but on the last day of the month he can work as late as midnight.  that is past the clock out time of second shift. 

last night when bill was on his way home he came across a homeless gentleman.  he gave the man some money and the man was genuinely grateful.   over the weekend bill and the boys saw several homeless people in the city when they went to a car show. 

my thoughts have turned repeatedly to those who are not so fortunate to have shelter, and warmth, and food, and for that matter knowledge of what was looming in the near future.  how many did not know what was coming, therefore not giving them time to find proper shelter.  

the thought of losing power seemed a bit less concerning, we would still have shelter and a means of creating warmth. 

in an effort to document our experience in this 'history making storm' as it has been called for days now i began snapping photos, and it seems a shame to let them go to waste. 

 monday 3:30 freezing rain

 tuesday 1:30, sleet, sleet and more sleet

 a splash of color....our yard cardinal came out of hiding long enough for me to snap a photo.
 steph's foot prints in the sleet.  as of tuesday at 4:30 we have a 4 inches of this firmly packed stuff.

 with the threat of freezing rain no longer i can relax and take a minute to appreciate the beauty of icy branches.

they are still calling for a few inches of snow overnight and through out tomorrow.  originally we were expecting up to 2 feet, so i guess time will tell what it to come.

this grateful arty girl is off  to go do and be arty.

be safe and warm.


sleep tight.

Quote for the moment

"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."

Harriet Beecher Stowe

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