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Alright ladies and gents, I’ve got it. I decided to name the new project “Worker Bird” (as in, busy as a bird). I’m not entirely sure how I plan to reconcile this space with the new space but I think it’ll all fall into place as I go. I think this blog will be used for general posts about the chickens, illustration projects, client work, life, etc. I think Worker Bird will be solely about the products I design and make under that name. We’ll see. Maybe in the end I’ll fold it all together under one umbrella.

Thanks to everyone for your ideas and suggestions. I need to get to work – Worker Bird will make its debut at Handmade Arcade on December 8.

Lastly, please visit Sweet Six to read a little interview that my friend Jenny did with me. And order some tasty hand-crafted candy while you’re at it.

I love to name things – Christmas trees, cars, plants, animals – but not anything of my own.

I am taking a leap this Fall. I am going to start – FOR REAL – making and trying to get an audience for all sorts of art and craft-related things that float around in my head but never see the light of day.

So I need a name. What should I call this venture? I welcome any ideas and thoughts and suggestions. The name I’m mulling over is “Beehive Crafted.” I love bees and their unwavering industriousness. Someone opined that this is a forgettable name (JERK) and someone else said it might be “too cutesy” (DOUBLE JERK) for the things I make. So…back to square one? Or not.

The first step in my giant leap was to apply to vend my wares at Handmade Arcade. I’ve done this show in years’ past at the L2 Design Collective table and I love every second of it. It draws a huge, selective crowd with great taste and to be accepted to exhibit is a pretty big deal. Fingers crossed.

I’ll be posting more in the coming weeks about the products I’ll be making. Of course I will feature my Love Letter to Pittsburgh series of prints on wood (along with bees, chickens, etc). But there will be other new things in the works. Standby.

And do let me know if you come up with anything magical.

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**UPDATE: My dear, sweet, best big brother pointed out that by calling people JERK and DOUBLE JERK for giving feedback might dissuade others from offering their thoughts. He’s so right. He’s always right about everything.

The chicks should be arriving next week and we’re so excited to see the wee things. Fingers crossed that they arrive safely. We’re busy prepping for their arrival and also planning the large outdoor “Chicken CUBE” that we’re building. We have pretty much decided to build a fully enclosed space and then site the coop – and all other hen-related things – inside the cube.

First we have to relocate the castle:

 

Then try to build something a lot like this:

Then put this little guy into the “CUBE”

 

(and finish staining the deck and rebuild the retaining wall and stack the firewood and and and)

This past weekend we took a quick trip to Chadds Ford, PA and spent a few hours roaming around Terrain at Styer’s in absolute awe of it all. I know where I want to be buried. Hope the fine folks at Terrain won’t mind. Every square inch was inspiring. Maybe we will face one side of the CUBE in funnels?

 

More on Terrain later. Headed to the incredible Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

 

Happy holidays, all.

I finally have my first working rainwater collection barrel. I took a class on this years ago but it took until now to finally take all the steps to make it happen. I love my funky barrel. I had planned to set one up and see how this Spring season goes and how much water I collect. But then we had a fairly rainy weekend (and I wasn’t ready) and I was collecting watering cans and then dumping them on a new baby Dogwood tree. I went through at least five gallons in the watering cans. This olive barrel holds 55 gallons. I think I may have to go ahead and set up the second olive barrel for overflow.

If you’re interested in some tips, start with this video and then find a really helpful dude (or lady!) in the plumbing department of your hardware store and ask some questions. I paid $15 for the barrel and about $20 for the rest of the supplies – hose bib, silicone, washers, adapter plug and mesh screen. So worth it!!!

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This new old house is filled with texture. Cracked plaster, new plaster, sanded wood, stained wood, cracked paint and on and on. Overall the feeling of the house right now is a little bit mayhemish but there are these tiny bits of beauty that I love. I think they keep me focused on what this place will be for us. I think it’s the first place we’ve lived in that we truly see ourselves living in for – well, a long time. Recently I clocked the distance to the high school (there are no buses here. Kids walk to school – gasp!) to make sure it’ll be manageable for the boy. He’s almost three. So we’re thinking long term for the first time. I love the calm I feel about this.

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