Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Part 2- Name that Goat contest!

Well hi there! Glad you could come back for Part 2 of our story from Monday.

So I was at the wonderful show in Virginia Beach all excited about meeting Jeri and seeing my friend Sharon and....secretly on a mission for some gifts for myself! Yep! You see last year I found these wonderful folks at Augres Sheep Factory, who create all kinds of handmade critters from wool! The wool is from goats, sheep and alpacas. Oh how I fell in love with everything they had!

I saved my pennies all year so I could get myself  and my friends some gifts. These are the ornaments I purchased.
Bunny! (uhhhh...ya knew that one was a given. hee,hee,hee)

Sheep! I love the little bell around his neck.

Squirrel! His tail is sooooo soft.

Aren't they just too cute!?!

But remember... I was also on a secret mission. You see last year I really, really, really wanted this!

A BIG GOAT! He is made from wool from a New Zealand goat, who's wool is better known as mohair. Isn't he fabulous!?!

While David went to the Bunnymobile to put away my purchases from Jeri, I hopped over to get my goat! hee,hee,hee.

I didn't get him last year as I just didn't have the money and David would have killed me, but this year I saved enough for him.

David just stood there shaking his head as I smiled really big and hugged my goat. He just didn't "get" it. Plus, he thought I was totally nuts when I said I was trying to figure out a name for him. Then David said, "you knew you were gonna get that thing before we left the house this morning didn't you?"
I replied, "I knew I was going to get him when we left the show last year without him!"
Again, he stood there shaking his head and laughing at me. Twenty years of marriage and he know's when I get my mind on something, I find a way to make it happen. :)

So now, this is where you come in! Since David won't help me pick a name for Goat, I'm having a Name that Goat contest! Ok...so yes, I am nuts, but it's fun in my little world! hee,hee,hee.  Anyway, just leave a comment on this post as to what you would name him. I will look through all the entries and choose the winner this Sunday, December 4.

Of course the winner will receive a prize as you know I love prizes! The winner will receive this 2005 (brand new copy) of Country Marketplace magazine. This magazine is no longer in print, but I love to find older issues of my favortie magazines to collect. When I found this one, I was able to get an extra copy as a prize for you.



Goat is now residing in my office next to The Rabbit Herder (made by my friend Jules). They've been having many wonderful conversations. ;)

Well, what should we name him? I can't wait to see!

xx, Michelle and the Bunnies

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friendships and the Gifts we give Ourselves - Part 1

Well hellooooooooo! How was your Thanksgiving? Yummy and good I hope! Mine? Well let me tell ya. It was FABULOUS!!!

While many people have lots of friends on Facebook, it just doesn't come close in comparison to the friends you meet through blogging. These friends are true kindred spirits. Needless to say, when I learned that a blogging friend, not to mention one of my most favorite artists was going to be at a show only 3 1/2 hours away, I knew I had to make the trip to meet her!

So on Saturday morning, David and I hopped into the Bunnymobile (what I call my Honda CRV) and made the trip to Virginia Beach. I could hardly wait to get there and meet...


Jeri Landers of Hopalong Hollow!!! OH...MY....GOSH!!!!  Not only am I a huge fan of her art, but I simply adore her blog as well. Jeri is a critter lover and such a wonderful storyteller. She weaves her stories and her art together in the most charming way!

My first order of business, after I got done hugging her, was to purchase her book. There are certain gifts that I like to purchase for myself and, as many of you know, art is one of them.


This is the inside cover. Jeri creates the most incredible paper cuttings. She showed me how she starts out her sketch on parchment paper and then how she begins cutting out all the little tiny details. Beautiful!

Here Jeri is getting ready to sign my book while her wonderful husband, James, packs up all my other goodies. More on those in a minute.

You see the look on my face as she's signing my book? I'm totally about to burst with excitement. Meanwhile, David's thinking to himself,  I hope she doesn't do the happy bunny dance in front of all these people and embarrass me! It was totally hard, but I maintained composure until I got to the car and then jumped around and did the bunny happy dance. hee,hee,hee.

Here's what she wrote.

Of course, there we lots of other goodies too! It was so hard to choose! I knew I wanted a few of her cards, so I selected these.




Then I just had to have this print! I'm going to get a frame for it today as I have the perfect spot to hang it.

Look at all the wonderful details!




Finally, I simply had to have one of her original paper cuttings! It was sooooooo hard to choose, but I decided that Tea Time would be mine. I love how the trees look and the quilt hanging on the line. Isn't the frame cool too? It's made from leaves!

Then, wouldn't ya know it, but the fire alarm went off and the entire building had to be evacuated!! Hundreds of people and not to mention over 400 artisans had to clear the building until the fire department said it was OK to go back in. All was fine and I hopped back in to do more shopping.

While we waited outside, I gathered to have a picture made with Jeri and another dear blogging friend, Sharon of Corgi's in my Garden. Sharon loves Jeri's work and blog and she too made a long drive just to meet her! I met Sharon in person this past Spring when she happened to be visiting my little town.

Sharon, Jeri and Me. Amazing that these are two people I would never have met if it weren't for blogging. I drove back home with a smile on my face and thought about friendships and the gifts we give ourselves. Oh how I love blog land!


So hop over and visit Jeri at the Hollow. Tell her the bunnies and I say hi! Then be sure and join me back here on Wednesday for Part 2 of this story and a fun little contest. Why yes, there will be a prize!

xx, Michelle and the Bunnies

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful



We wish you a beautiful and bountiful Thanksgiving! We're Thankful for your friendship!

Love, Harrington and Hannah (oh and of course, Mama too)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sneaky Peeky! I'm so Excited!!

I just can't stand it! I'm so excited that I have to give you a little sneaky peeky of the first block in "The Adventures of Harrington and Hannah" BOM starting January 15th!

We have Harrington in wool...

We have Hannah in wool...

We have stitchery too! Woo hoo!

My Valdani 3 strand floss shipment arrived and I'll be working over Thanksgiving getting the kits put together. Aren't the colors pretty? There will be a matching wool kit too! Oh and a fabric kit for the stitchery! Oh and a fabric kit for the borders! Yippeee!!!

I'm so excited! Remember the 12 patterns will be FREE cause we love you! Pass the word to your friends!

xx, Michelle, Harrington and Hannah

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Dragon Year and Artist Joanne May

This is a bit of a long post, but sometimes you just have to tell the story. :)

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I have a deep passion for handmade things and art with meaning. These pieces just don't "decorate" my home, they "make" my home. Things made by some faceless person on an assembly line in China, I can sell in a yard sale in two seconds flat, while things created by the hands of my friends I can never bare to part with. They are my treasures.

The story behind the art...

Back in January, just for fun, I had my Chinese Astrology Chart done by Narrye Caldwell. I've always been intrigued by the magic of it all and wondered what the stars had to say about me. Well little did I know how much of an impact and how much I would learn about myself from this experience. It wasn't some horoscope reading in the newspaper, it was truly fascinating and incredibly eye opening!


Some of what I learned is that I was born in the year of the monkey. I learned that I am most compatible with rats. Guess what David is? Yep, a rat. Explains why we have been happily married for 20 years. The person I hold most dear and I'm closest to in my family is my sister. She too is a rat. I also learned that I'm very compatible with dragons and that monkey's and rat's together thrive in dragon years. As Narrye said, "They are very auspicious years and filled with good things."


I decided to go back and begin looking at past dragon years and was surprised by what I found. In 1988, I got my associates degree. I grew up very poor and my childhood was terrible. I worked very hard and put myself through college. Even though it's only a 2 year degree, I was very proud as I'm the only one in my family that went to college. Then 2 weeks after I graduated, I got a job as a payroll clerk where a dear lady named, Margaret Schnell, became my mentor and helped to shape my future. I learned more from her than I ever had in school or home. I also moved into my first apartment and.... I met David. It was love at first site. Yes, a thriving year indeed. A dragon year.

Next, the year 2000. I was working at a horrible and stressful State government job. I'm just not cut out to work in a place where everyone gets paid the same whether they do their job or not and where hard work and good ideas are never rewarded. I was miserable and felt trapped. Out of the blue came a job opportunity. I was hired on the spot and became a project manager for a custom home builder (where I worked until I was laid off last April). I finally had some freedom and was rewarded for my ideas and hard work. Then, David and I purchased the land where our home now stands. We always talked about building our dream home one day and now we had the dirt on which to place it. We didn't know how we would afford it, but somehow we did it. Then in November, my first niece, Laura Michelle, (yes named after me) was born. It was love at first sight with her as well. My little dragon.  :)


So now here comes 2012 knocking at my door. Another dragon year. Narrye told me that it is indeed going to be a good year. Into my head popped an image of a dragon with a monkey and a rat. The next thing to pop in my head was my friend and artist, Jo May. Jo's style of art was the perfect match for the image in my head. I have several pieces of jewelry from her that I simply adore and now I wanted to own an original painting from her.


I contacted Jo about making this piece for me. I simply told her I wanted a dragon a monkey and a rat. I explained a little about me being a monkey, David and rat and the whole significance of the dragon.  I didn't give her anymore details than that as I wanted the painting to flow from her imagination. If I were to state colors, style, etc., then it would be from my imagination and in my opinion that takes away from the artist. I wanted art from Jo, not me and I trusted fully that she could do it. I wanted her to have creative freedom. She was a little nervous about painting a dragon and a monkey as she had never really done so, but I knew she could do it and I believed in her talent.

Jo started working on the piece in March. I told her I wanted it by this January. She would send me little sketch updates etc. and ask me my opinion. Each time I would simply say, "Go with your gut. I trust you."  Well last month my painting arrived from England. I went to the post office to pick it up and then sat in my car and opened it. I was brought to tears. Thank goodness she had plastic on it to protect it! Jo placed gold rings around the necks of the monkey and the rat celebrate our happy years of marriage. How cool!


This is the beautiful piece that Jo painted for me. It's called, "Follow your Star in the Year of the Dragon." It couldn't be a more perfect title.




Thank you so very much dear Jo for making the imagine in my head more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. I knew you could do it!  :)

xx, Michelle

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Office View

I wouldn't trade this view for a corner office anywhere.



I love my job...

Happy Friday to you!
xx, Michelle, Harrington and Hannah

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 12 of Hearts Winner!

Congratulations to our friend Jess of Scrappy N Happy in Australia! (yes, we ship world wide as we love all our friends around the world!)



Jess, I think I have your address, but send it to me again just in case.

I'm working on my Christmas card. I can't wait to show it to you!!! I decided to do something totally different this year. I love to make my own cards and I love to send them to friends! Normally, I send close to 100. Do you still send Christmas cards?

xx, Michelle

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rabbit Hunting

Yesterday I went rabbit hunting.
   "What!?! Have you lost your mind?!?

Oh don't worry Harrington, you know Mama's a vegetarian.

I went with my friend, Bridgette, to some antique and flea malls in Selma, NC. I like to shop in stores like that to find gifts for friends and things for my home as there are so many unique treasures waiting to be found. Plus I think it's cool to give old things a new home.

So, here's my loot! hee,hee,hee.

First I found this! Isn't it cool? I've never seen a crystal dish with a bunny head on it before. It's perfect for keeping my rings in at night. (I can't sleep with jewelry on.)

Next I found this. I do love Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny! I'm going to put my colored pencils in this.
Then I found cute little dish.
It even has a carrot inside!
Then there was this sweet little ornament. She's just so cute in her bloomers!
This little fella was made in Russia! I liked his orange eyes and nose. He looks a little grumpy, but not mean. I don't buy rabbits with mean eyes.
How about a bunny paperweight?
I've seen lots of these bunnies that are blue, but this is the first green one I've seen.
And this fella is so cool! He's a Lefton. He was in a locked case with lots of dogs and cats. I betcha he as glad to get outta there! hee,hee,hee.
Isn't this such a fun pin? Love their tales! Bridgette found this for me.


Of course, I had to have this adorable ornament!

And finally, when I saw this piece, I just about passed out on the floor! I could hardly breathe! I kept saying, "oh my gosh...oh my gosh...oh my gosh!" This didn't come from the flea market though. I found this last Wednesday at Anthropologie. I was with my friend, Lyd, and she said I looked so funny when I was hugging it and walking around the store. It was pricey, but it's one of those pieces that I know I will have forever. It's a pretty big soup tureen, but I'm going to use it on my dining room table as a center piece instead of using it for soup. I luuuuuuuvvvvvvvvvv it!! Happy bunny dance!

I had the best time rabbit hunting. Which one is your favorite?

xx, Michelle and the Bunnies