Crafty Author #MFRWauthor


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Welcome to week 6 of the 52-week MFRW blog challenge.  Each week will be a new topic. Isn’t that fun? 

This week’s prompt:  My hobbies.

I have more hobbies than I have time for, but I’ll share just a few in order of time actually spent doing them.

  1. Bullet Journaling – OK, technically this may or may not be considered a hobby. It’s a productivity tool but it’s also an outlet for artistic expression. I haven’t shared any of my pages for a while because they tend to look alike. For the most part,  my daily entries consist of my to do list, maybe a quote or scripture, and a few personal notes. There are days when I have a lot more on my mind and my journaling can be long winded.
First bujo cover - This is the 33 cent comp book. Notice the tabs, these are necessary for me.

First bujo cover – This is the 33 cent comp book. Notice the tabs, these are necessary for me.

From my humble beginnings last year, a 33 cent clearance  5 x 8 composition notebook, to the current one – a  dotted Leuchterm that was received as a gift, my bullet journal keeps me on track, allows a little artistic expression and allows a place to enter my thoughts.

A few pages are fancy schmancy, artsy fartsy but most are repetitive dailies. You can make your journal however you want. This is mine and I do what I want with it. I can color the page entirely black if I feel like it. I don’t see what that would accomplish, but I could if I wanted to.

Below is a quick gallery of a few pages. The cover is red, not sure why it looks pink in this photo.

2. Crochet – I have a multitude of projects from quick cup cozies to lengthy projects like afghans. I am currently working on 2 projects – a manghan – basically an afghan in charcoal grey for my husband ‘that is larger than a regular afghan so that it will cover his feet and still be able to tuck in  under his chin, in a basic design that doesn’t have big holes that  his toes can go through and not in some god-awful color that looks like someone couldn’t decide’ was his request, and a market bag which I am freestyling. I have to admit, I’ve ripped this one out a few times already. It’s currently about a third finished.

 

3. Furniture refinishing/repurposing. I haven’t been as diligent in taking photos of my before and after projects, but I do have a few. We find odd pieces at auction or yard sales. I can’t ay that I look for any specific style, it’s more a matter of what grabs my attention. 20160305_123147

This metal framed vanity chair was literally on the side of the road. Most people would look at that and say good riddance. No, not me. I look at that and see the bones of something more. So after a little bit of work,  and a lot of elbow grease to polish the metal, I transformed it into this:

20160314_174857I’m not a fan of orange, but the fabric popped and it sold for $40.00. Not bad for a scavenge, using up a bit of leftover padding, and a half yard of fabric.

Here are a few of my finds:

4. Crafts – all of the crafts that don’t easily fit within crocheting, refinishing, or journaling.  This includes sewing which I will do again when I can replace my sewing machine that died after twenty some odd years. As part of my office space that I am going to carve out in our basement, a craft area is going to be part of that plan.

I’ve been scouring Pinterest on the best way to handle storage in this area.  I need an area for items that will go into a resale shop, and an area for handcrafted items also. I have to admit before I can get the clean, tidy work area that I desire I will have to purge my stash and start over. It’s difficult to create a clean area when you are overrun with stuff.

5. Gardening –  I didn’t do much last year, and I really missed it. I love having fresh produce from the garden. I love planting the seedlings and watching it grow. I can’t deny I love the fresh produce that I know is organic as well. This month is the planning stage of gardening. I’m plotting out on graph paper to plan what seeds and starts I will need for my garden area. Yes, I’m a geek.

Managing time for all of these things however, that’s another story.

I wonder if there are hobbies that don’t cost money. It seems everything I do ends up costing money in some way. At least the refinishing/repurposing is getting a return! Do you have any hobbies?

Don’t forget this is a blog hop. Anyone can join at any point in the MFRW 52 week challenge…  Click here. Make sure you check out some of the other authors.

Other posts in this series:

  1. Raindrops on Roses
  2. They’ll Survive – I Guess
  3. Binge Watching #MFRWauthor
  4. Thank God for Grace in Editing!
  5. #MFRW Best Friends

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

I Once Had a Farm . . . Guest Siggy Buckley


My family always had a garden when I was a child.  Nothing beat my dad’s home grown corn, vine ripened tomatoes or the fresh green peas in the spring.  It’s also a great way to  save on the grocery bill while providing fresh nutritious foods for your family.

We never had livestock, but we raised poultry. At one time my father raised chickens, turkeys, pheasant, and quail.  By the time I was in grade school we only had chickens and I was terrified of the rooster we had – a big Rhode Island red named Charlie.

I enjoyed the garden much more than the chickens, specifically the strawberry patch.

My guest today has experienced the full farm life. Something I don’t ever wish to go back to, but see the value in.  Please welcome  my guest today,  Ms Siggy Buckley.

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About the book:

A wheelbarrow, a cable drum, gardening tools, and a pickaxe are unusual items on a wedding registry. They are what Mac and Siggy, a German professional couple, need to fulfill their dream of organic gardening. When Chernobyl blows up a few years later, they are scared enough to undertake fundamental changes in the lives of their young family to seek a simpler and healthier lifestyle in an unspoiled country.

They buy a farm in Tipperary, Ireland. They give up their jobs, friends and home to raise their children in an unpolluted environment. Although Siggy shares her husband’s environmental convictions, she would prefer a warmer climate, maybe an olive farm in Tuscany.

A period of intense learning and acquiring new skills follows: how to raise chickens, pluck geese, breed cattle and sheep, and how to grow all kinds of vegetables. Soon they find out that farming means a never ending workload. They almost kill themselves ─and each other─ to produce healthy food.

I Once Had a Farm in Ireland not only gives advice for budding organic gardeners but it is also the story of a woman who sacrifices her own ideals for the sake of her family until she discovers her own dreams.

Endorsement:

“As the descendant of central Virginia agricultural families, I relate to the candor of Siggy Buckley’s words – “For almost ten years, we nearly killed ourselves — and each other! — producing healthy food.” Buckley’s book I Once Had a Farm in Ireland: Living the Organic Lifestyle is a ‘must read’ for any one who considers or views modern day homesteading as idyllic. For, enabling an organic life-style as Siggy found, can be an all consuming life altering experience.

Sylvia Hoehns Wright, an eco-advocate, challenges all to ‘Move from eco-weak to eco-chic – green life’s garden, one scoop at a time!” Sylvia Hoehns Wright is a nationally recognized eco-advocate, contributing writer and communications specialist; in her spare time she is a passionate historian and member of the American League of Pen Women.(www.NLAPW.org).

To learn more about Wright’s eco-legacy: Wright’s eco advocacy, visit web site http://www.TheWrightScoop.com

Review:

5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Magnificent Story, Straight From The Heart

May 28, 2015 Excerpt:”So what was I doing on an Irish farm? I was a German city girl and a high school teacher. My then husband — let’s call him Mac — was a CPA and accountant with a legal background and also German. We had strong leanings towards the Green party, sympathized with most environmental movements; we were both scared by news of deteriorating environmental conditions all around us at a time when we started a family. We cared about what was in our food, worried about the poison of the day, food additives, E-numbers, growth promoters, and chemicals — you name it, the whole shebang. That’s what a lot of German people did at the time, in the eighties. Like so many others, our awareness about the environment had been given a jumpstart by the nuclear disaster around Chernobyl and we were downwind. We had gone green as far as we possibly could. We had been members of Greenpeace and environmental activists for years. How much more can you do as an individual to achieve your goal of a healthy lifestyle? Escape to a remote island?”

siggy

 

Siggy Buckley, Hernibs1@comcast.net, http://www.SiggyBuckley.blogspot.com

Educated in Germany with a Master’s Degree in English, Siggy Buckley lived in Ireland for over 15 years, first teaching at the University of Limerick as an adjunct professor, while building up an organic farm. She later ran her own businesses in Dublin before coming to the USA in 2003. In 2005, Siggy married an American and pursued her life-long dream of writing.

Contact Information:

Website/Blog: www.NextTimeLucky.com;www

SiggyBuckley.blogspot.com

Email: Hernibs1@comcast.net (for contact purposes only)

Amazon author page

Facebook

Twitter: @Hernibs

Goodreads

Publication History

Memoirs:

Next Time Lucky: Lessons of a Matchmaker (self-published with Createspace 2011)

Next Time Lucky: How to Find your Mr. Right, 2 nd extended edition (self-published with Lightning source/Ingram) 2014

I Once had a farm in Ireland: Living the Organic Lifestyle (self-published May/June 2015, Lightning Source) and all books are on Kindle too.

Short Stories There is No Going Back (Selfpublished 2014) Kindle edition Mother Knows Best (Selfpublished 2014) Kindle edition Poems Special K, published on Akashicbooks.com

In the media:

My interview with Sylvia Hoehns Wright on Blog Talk Radio Book trailer on Next Time Lucky Book Trailer for I Once had a Farm in Ireland On YouTube

Interview with IT Matters Radio On TV on Dating advice; on Home Swapping Spreecast blog talk radio:

It Matters: on Home Swapping Siggy Buckley appeared several times on local NPR with Melissa Ross’ First Coast Connect and On First Coast Living (Local TV ─ NBC) and had numerous interviews on blog talk radio. Her experience as a former Irish matchmaker makes her a welcome guest for local paper interviews.

She also wrote articles for http://www.Opednews.com and http://www.Americanchronicles.com.

I Once had a Farm in Ireland: Living the Organic Lifestyle Author: Siggy Buckley Cover: Tayyana Bano Genre: Memoir ASIN: B00WVMQ3G0 Ebook $2.99 ISBN: 9781943274659 ; tradepaper pp.2 40 ; 5.5.X 8.25 List price: $12.80 Available from Amazon.com

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If you have any interest in hobby farming or on a larger scale,  you should check this out.

Write on my friends,  write on!

 

 

 

What’s In Your Garden?


Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.

We know she had a nice tidy little garden with flowers.  What does your garden look like?   A writer always has a garden, but it may not be the type you think.  While some have flower gardens, herb gardens, or even a vegetable garden, writer’s often have ideal gardens.

My garden is a year round ongoing venture.  Some ideals are just seedlings, while others are fully ripe and ready to harvest.  I’ve been neglecting my garden lately, and it’s bursting with ripe fruit.

My ideal garden looks like a vegetable garden that’s gotten out of hand.  I haven’t tended my garden properly, because I can tell there are weeds amongst my ripe fruit.  I have a strawberry bed, that’s in a similar state at the moment.  I’ve been limited in my mobility with my knee injury, and the weeds are about to outnumber the strawberry plants.  I’ve already harvested about five gallons of berries – yes  you heard me, five gallons.  You’ve got to have a lot of berries to make jam, not to mention the fresh berries and strawberry shortcake.

With the mild winter and early spring, my plants are doing their job, even though the dandelions and purslane are trying to choke them out.  Now that I’m able to get out there and do the weeding, the strawberries are just about done doing their thing.

My ideal garden has suffered the same plight.  I’ve been having a bit of a pity party for myself, mostly over this injury.  I know, you’d think with all the pep talks and self-help motivational stuff I listen to and repeat back to you I wouldn’t be such a pill.

This past weekend I did some assessment of my ideal garden as we are coming into a new month – tomorrow!

There were definitely some weeds in there.  Unfortunately, the biggest ones I planted myself.  Weeds of  excuses in several varieties.  Hmmm, somehow I think they may be related to the nightshade family.  Weeds of poor time management, bad habits, and past failures.  There were also weeds of the Inner Critic, that nasty little beastie that lies within me, ready to pounce at the first sign of weakness.

There’s the varmints to deal with – the critics that can’t wait to tell you what you’re doing wrong, and the ones that say you’ll never amount to anything.  Evidence of bunny trails crisscrossing my plants were noticed and residue of pests  were also detected.

In natural gardening there are beneficial pests, as well as benefits for certain animals in our gardening.  For example, a snake – as much as I loathe snakes – is useful to eat the mice and rabbits that are munching on your ripe fruit and veggies.  They also keep the poisonous snakes at bay.  Creepy, but useful.

I spent the weekend assessing the garden, seeing what I need to plant, what I need to tend, and what weeds need to be yanked out.  I gave the snake wide berth, I know he’s there, and while I may not like everything about him, he is useful.  It’s interesting, after pulling just a few weeds out, it was starting to look like a garden again.  I got excited!  some of those ideas have been in there for a long time.

Friday afternoon I felt defeated, my best laid plans were cast aside as  “life happened”, you know those parts of our lives like wife, mother, sister, employee?  Yeah, well I can’t very well cut out the paying job to “play” in my writing garden, as it was told to me.  I was ready to chuck it all, cry myself a river, and sit by the bank and watch it all flow away.  What would that get me? Not what I want, so I chucked that ideal – it was a weed after all.

Saturday, amidst the family stuff, I did some research, and organized my thoughts.  I planned  my attack for the next month, and planted a new ideal seedling.  Like a new baby, a new ideal seedling attracts a lot of attention, but I have to focus on my nearly ripe, so close to being finished WIP’s.

I’ve come up with a simplified gardening plan for my ideal garden for this next month.

  1. Do It!  Yep, just like the Nike ad, just do it.  1000 words a day adds up over a week, or a month.  During NaNO I managed to crank out 75K words.  Surely I can manage 15K over this next month.  That would complete Both WIP’s.
  2. Go to my Zen Den.  Mine isn’t an actual hard and fast location, it’s more of a state of mind where I block out all those other demands, and focus my best efforts.
  3. Post the Scarecrow You know what the purpose of the scarecrow is right?
  4. What If?  Every writer knows this is the Miracle Grow to our ideas.  This takes your ho-hum puny plant to be a producing giant with whopper tomatoes!
  5. Game ON!  this means I bring my A-game.  I pour my heart and passion into it the way I should.  Pursue my dream with passion, zeal and fervor.

 

That’s it. That’s the plan.  I’ve got a million and one more things I could say about it and you’ll hear them eventually – over the next few weeks, in progress reports, and updates.  I have some cool things planned for this next month, I hope you’ll stay tuned to find out.

Write on my friends, and write now!