Sunday, August 7, 2016

Guinea Pigs, Jewelry, and Magazine Covers!


MARIGOLD IN HER CROWN

There are certain unforeseen things that have happened to me in the last few weeks. One of those things led to me getting guinea pigs. 

It all started when I found some little pink forest creatures on the ground. I'm still not quite sure if they were Douglas squirrels, wood rats, or large mice. Their mother, whatever she was, never came back to claim them, so I took them in and bottle-fed them. I've done that before, with baby birds and bunnies, later releasing them into the wild. It didn't seem like such a big stretch, but sadly this time, despite my best efforts (and 'round the clock feedings, every 2 hours for 10 days) my little woodland creatures did not make it. There were, of course, lots of tears, which made Mr. Bees feel sorry for me, sorry enough to go down to the animal shelter and take photos of all of the small and furry creatures that were waiting for homes. 


VIOLET AND MARIGOLD


I ended up rescuing a single guinea pig and then I bought her a companion on my way home. I named them Violet and Marigold. What can I say? I'm a Downton Abbey fan. 

The last time I had guinea pigs was over 10 years ago. They pretty much ended up with store-bought toys and hideouts, nothing too exciting. Well things have changed around here. 


I MADE A DIY GUINEA PIG HAMMOCK

Yesterday I made them a hammock. The cage is about 18" wide. I hand-sewed a couple of 19" X 7" pieces of black-and-white mattress ticking together, with a piece of heavy felt in between them. I taught myself to use the eyelet setter that I bought at the St. Mary's church bazaar last year, and set eyelets into the corners of the hammock. It turns out setting fabric eyelets is very easy to do. Then I attached swivel clips to the eyelets, using large split rings. The whole thing took about an hour to put together, even with the hand-sewing. It's pretty big, about 4 times bigger than the ones you can buy at the pet stores.



I ADDED A FAUX FUR THROW

I added a leftover faux fur scrap to the hammock. I also put some faux fur inside one of the tubes that they like to hang out in (you can see the tubes to the left in this photo.)



MARIGOLD LOVES THE HAMMOCK!


I've heard that most guinea pigs don't like hammocks, but Marigold is in love with this one. Violet, on the other hand, had another idea.



VIOLET STEALS THE FAUX FUR TO MAKE HERSELF A COZY HIDEOUT


Violet took all the faux fur out of the tubes and off the hammock and dragged it underneath. She has actually made a very cozy bed for herself. She even put all the fur right-side up. She is the rescue pig and is a lot more shy than Marigold. She has been hiding inside the tubes most of the time, so I'm glad to see her actually hanging out somewhere where we can see and talk to her. They're both still babies and although the cage is quite large, they will eventually outgrow it.





WEIRDLY, MARIGOLD SEEMED TO ENJOY WEARING THIS CROWN


I have a lot of crowns. I used them as display props when I was doing tons of jewelry shows. I remembered that I had a tiny crown and wondered if I could get one of the pigs to wear it for a photo. Weirdly they both seemed to enjoy it. Maybe "enjoy" is not the right word, but neither of them really seemed to notice. Since Violet mainly hangs out under the hammock, I decided that Marigold should be wear the crown for the photo. Next I want to make hats for them. 

Here's a second thing, also a little off the topic, but our garlic crop came in. I braided it and hung it in the kitchen.




A MESSY BRAID OF GARLIC


THE ELEPHANT GARLIC IS ON THE RIGHT

We eat a lot of garlic (we're totally safe from vampires in this house, I think.) This might last us 6 months. It's convenient because it's right there when I need it.

I've also been making some wonderfully fragrant things for Willow & Sage magazine. These Valencia orange linen sprays are super easy to make, and they're really pretty too. The recipes are going to be featured in the next Willow & Sage magazine, or I would print them here. Really though, even if I didn't have work in Willow & Sage, I would buy it. It's one of the most beautiful magazines on the stands right now. 



VALENCIA ORANGE LINEN SPRAYS


VALENCIA ORANGE, LAVENDER, AND EUCALYPTUS BLEND LINEN SPRAYS

I made a lavender spray, and then a recipe that smells a little like Vick's to me. I used to be a Vick's Vapor Rub junkie. Now I make most of my own bath and body products. These recipes are going to be in Willow & Sage, as are these:


SOLID PERFUME: ENGLISH ROSE




LEMONGRASS AND SAGE BATH SALTS




LEMONGRASS AND SAGE BATH SALTS




HOT COCOA PEPPERMINT MELT & POUR SOAP



DIY bath and body projects are so easy and so much fun to make. Speaking of Willow & Sage, my little autumn orange soaps made the cover! Yaaaaaaay!!!!!


MY AUTUMN ORANGE SOAPS!

I get so excited when my work ends up on the cover. It's absolutely ridiculous. I jump around the house like a little kid. I am always so surprised. It makes Mr. Bees laugh a lot. 


This month there are TWO COVERS! I'm a little blown away actually. Very exciting stuff. My spoon herb markers are also on the cover of GreenCraft this time!


MY SPOON HERB MARKERS!


...and here are some of the other projects I've been working on:



CRINOID FOSSIL AND ROMAN GLASS EARRINGS




CRINOID FOSSIL, STONE  AND ROMAN GLASS NECKLACE




FABRIC BOOK NECKLACE WITH VINTAGE IMAGE




ANOTHER FABRIC BOOK NECKLACE




SIDE-VIEW OF FABRIC BOOK NECKLACE




HERE'S ANOTHER ONE




...AND ANOTHER ONE...




...AND THE LAST FABRIC BOOK NECKLACE




CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS MADE WITH CHILDREN'S BOOKS
(THE BOOKS WERE A GIFT FROM MY DEAR FRIEND BROOKE BOCK)




EARRINGS MADE FOR BLUEBERRY COVE BEADS!



There's a ton more, but I'll save it for another post. Thanks so much for stopping by!



Leaving you with this quote:

"The boldness of asking deep questions may require unforeseen flexibility if we are to accept the answers." - Brian Greene



11 comments:

  1. I always love your articles and Willowand Sage. they're my favorite. What brand of bay rum frangrance oil do you like. I'm going to make your soap.

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  2. Thank you so much Dawn! I use Brambleberry's bay rum fragrance oil. You can find it at brambleberry.com. I would love to see photos of your finished soaps!

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  3. For sure. Love all your recipes. They're the best ones.

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  4. Congrats on your two magazine covers. They are beautiful. I loved seeing pictures of your guinea pigs - the hammock makes me happy.

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  5. Thank you so much Ann! Having the guinea pigs makes me really happy!

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  6. I love the things you share on your blog...I look forward to your posts.

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    1. Thank you Brooke! I need to post more!

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  7. Absolutely fabulous work! I especially love the vintage charm of the ornaments. The guinea pigs are utterly adorable. I had quite a few as a child.

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    1. Thank you so much Linda! I am quite smitten with mine!

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  8. So beautiful Melinda! I always look forward to seeing your work. :)

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  9. So beautiful Melinda! I always look forward to seeing your work. :)

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