Friday, May 26, 2017

Photo Greeting Cards - The SUCH Has Arrived!! - And Anglophile Friday



When I opened my Etsy shop, HomemadeSoapnSuch, in 2012, there were several possibilities of what the 'such' would be to accompany my natural, handcrafted vegan soaps. I made many different trial products such as massage balm, lotions, etc. but none of them was exactly what I wanted.

Then it occurred to me that it didn't have to be a bath and body product, and there was no reason that I couldn't include what I really wanted to include, which was photography. Once I got on Instagram, it was evident to me that people are crazy about barns. Living in Wisconsin all of my life thus far, barns are simply part of the landscape. But I have taken a lot of photos of barns simply because I know that although there are as many if not more dairy cows in the state now, most of the small dairy farms are no longer operating. And once the barns are no longer heated by those beautiful bovine creatures, the foundations begin to crumble and soon the barns are falling down.

I decided to make a collection of photo greeting cards with Wisconsin Barns pictured on them. I wanted a card of exceptional quality, so I settled for nothing less. 



It's pretty hard to stop with just Wisconsin Barns, so I decided to also create a set of four photo greeting cards with Wisconsin Farm Animals, pictured above. Of course I have more than four photos of farm animals, but these are really my favorites.

Each note card is printed on premium matte card stock and has a blank interior, comes with an envelope (always handy) and is enclosed in a cello sleeve, then all four in the set are wrapped with a cigar band label (pictured above). The back of each card has a mini photo of the photo on the front.


Besides Barron County, where I have lived most of my life (except for the year that I was riding motorcycle and shooting alligators in the Beni River in Bolivia), my favorite part of Wisconsin is the Driftless Area, southwestern Wisconsin. There is a huge Amish community there, and we happen to be friends with some of them. Although we also have an Amish community in our neighborhood in Barron County, Vernon County is where the larger community is and where the photos for my photo greeting cards were taken. So that's another set, as you can see: Wisconsin Amish.


AND NOW we move to England (not literally):


In 2003 I traveled to England for the very first time, with my brave daughter who rented a car and took me touring the country for twelve fantastic days, from Bath to the Cotswolds, to North Yorkshire, to Cambridge, and back to London.  Personally, I think it's nearly impossible to visit England once, and I certainly wasn't going to attempt it. So I have ended up with thousands of photos from various trips to that enchanting land, but I created three sets of photo greeting cards with an England theme.

North Yorkshire:  Pictured above is the photo greeting card set from some of my favorite photos of Yorkshire. (I know I use the word 'favorite' too much, but really I can't think of anything else). It is a magical place, and although some people seem to think that sheep aren't extraordinary, Scottish Blackface sheep most definitely are, and I managed to get a few photos of those beautiful creatures (my favorite is included in the North Yorkshire set).


England Favorites:  Pictured above is the set of four, which includes the fabulous York Minster, a scene from the charming village of Kettlewell in North Yorkshire, High Street in Oxford, and St. Paul's at Night (London). 





Last, and definitely not least, the Sacred Spaces England set (pictured above): This was the most difficult of all to narrow down to just four. But included are two that I took in Canterbury Cathedral (to include the apse and the Becket Flame), York Minster, and the dark and beautiful Ely Cathedral.

All of these photo greeting card sets are now listed and described in full detail in my Etsy Shop.


Of course, I still sell natural handcrafted vegan soaps too, don't forget. :-)

So be sure to check out my new photo greeting cards. I am thrilled with the finished product and I hope  you'll like them too.


***

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Perfect for Father's Day - coming soon!

Natural Vegan Soap


...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at
 
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Judy

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hodgepodging Neverland



Photos from our walk along Fifth Avenue
on Monday evening


Join Joyce and the Gang
for


From this Side of the Pond 

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and join in!


1. What color is prominent in your home?  Light brown or dark brown, depending upon how much gets dragged in on everyone's shoes. Are you glad about that or wishing you could cover it up or remove it? I can remove it, but it's a neverending job.


2. What's something you'll NEVER do again?



I will never again wallpaper a wall, unless I can't get this miserable wallpaper off. Then it will be my only option. Why is it that when you carefully follow instructions before applying wallpaper SO THAT it can be removed later, a mere 28 years on, it just won't come off!






3. Tell us a couple of ways you fit the stereotypes associated with your gender, and a couple of ways you don't.



a. I just can't believe the disrespect shown by the younger generation (I kinda think every generation thinks that, don't they.) b. I think that all the years and life experience ought to count for something besides getting one step closer to the nursing home.


a. I take responsibility for my own health and don't want to run to the doctor to give me a pill to fix whatever - well, except for putting in a hip implant, although I might just as well have done the first one myself. Thank goodness for the cream of the crop specialists at Mayo Clinic in Rochester who can fix almost anything.  b. I try to keep up with technology in communication, but I don't tweet and I don't do Facebook. Hmmm. Maybe I need to reconsider my answer.





4. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. Have you ever owned a motorcycle? I think I might have, years ago. Ever ridden a motorcycle? Yes, in the Bolivian jungles. If the opportunity presented itself would you hop on a motorcycle and go for a ride? Maybe, wearing full armor and driving on a road with no traffic, except perhaps for an Amish horse and buggy. I've often thought it would be fun to take scooters through the Driftless Area of Wisconsin (SW). It's gorgeous there - I'd want to drive something slow and quiet - but I'd only do this in the summertime, not on those scary, icy, winding roads in the winter!



5. If someone wanted to understand you, what should they read, watch, and listen to?



Read N.T. Wright, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton (and as far as I know, they're not lone gunmen assassins*, but I can't prove it). Watch British mysteries, documentaries, and historical dramas. Listen to classical music, Michael Medved, and Laura Ingraham.


Why is it so hard to remember a name like bellflower?
Bell - Flower. How hard is that??
And I think this is creeping bellflower - along Fifth Avenue.



6.  Insert your own random thought here.

From IMDB.com*  (Remember Conspiracy Theory? One of my all-time favorite movies)



Jerry: David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy, Richard Speck...

Alice: What about them?
Jerry: Serial killers. Serial killers only have two names. You ever notice that? But lone gunmen assassins, they always have three names. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mark David Chapman...
Alice: John Hinckley. He shot Reagan. He only has two names.
Jerry: Yeah, but he only just shot Reagan. Reagan didn't die. If Reagan had died, I'm pretty sure we probably would all know what John Hinckley's middle name was.


We missed this little guy when the family got together last weekend.
His daddy sent me the photo. But we'll get to see him next Sunday.

***




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Delicious Fragrance
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and at



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Judy

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Weekend Review, Last Week's Tornado, Grandkids




I hope everyone had a good weekend. The family was here, and I've got a few pics to show you. There are those who don't like the camera, so I'm not posting those this time, but the grandkids, that's another story. Oh my goodness. Everyone arrived Friday evening between rain showers, but it rained all day Saturday, preventing any outdoor play time or hay rides. Although the kids were able to play on the front porch a bit of the time, it was mostly Grandma's gymnasium with the running circle and other attractions, that kept the kids from going stark raving mad. It might have had the opposite effect on the grownups. :-)


Yes, I came upon the kids trying to give themselves concussions by riding (being pulled FAST) lawn furniture cushions down the steps to the living room. I finally had to put a stop to it, but they got several rounds in before I caught them. I can see that it's great fun, until somebody has to be rushed to the emergency room. I know, Grandma is SUCH A KILLJOY!

Upper right: Grandpa and a few kids taking a breather a.k.a. 'recharging.'




Anyway, it was lots of fun to have the family home. I always love it. 

***

I realized that I hadn't shown my Blogger pals the aftermath of the tornado that ripped through (3 miles from our home) Barron County  last Tuesday. Here are a few pics to show you some of the storm damage. One life lost and so many homes demolished by this terrible storm. Along Highway O and Highway SS, the tornado snapped off 25 power poles. I didn't get a photo of the destroyed turkey barns and confused, wandering (or dead) turkeys. And the odd thing about a tornado is that either side of the path there's no damage. So one place will be obliterated and the other, just yards away, will be left intact.

Life can change in an instant.

'After' pic of what had been a beautiful little barn (shown below)


I took this photo in January.
This was before the barn was instantly turned into a pile of kindling on Tuesday.
(see previous pic)






 What's left of a mobile home park,
just 100 yards from where our son and his family live.
Their home was undamaged, but 40+ homes were destroyed.

***







Bleeding heart, lilacs, and flowering crab in our back yard.
I think all the petals will be gone before we get another sunny day.

Such a minor concern.

A storm like the one that came through last week really helps put things into perspective.


***

Linking to MOSAIC MONDAY





***

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Balsam & Siberian Fir

Natural Vegan Soap
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and at


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Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning


Judy

Friday, May 19, 2017

Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls, WI



The other day we were at Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls. It was sunny and warm, and everyone seemed to be out picnicking at the park. Most were visiting the zoo there and some were walking the trails. What I wanted to see most was the waterfall. It's so beautiful and relaxing.

To complete the experience, you can click on the YouTube selection below to listen to beautiful Chopin nocturnes while looking at the photos. I had this music on all afternoon and I love it! I know that some of the pieces were used in various episodes of Poirot. I'm pretty sure this is Countess music, and maybe even the very last episode of Poirot.

But I digress.

If you look near the bottom left in the photo above, you'll see a speck of blue out on a rock. The photo below is what I saw when I zoomed in on it. I have no idea who it is, but because his head was turned, I figured it was okay to use the photo. I got such a kick out of this, such a kid thing to do: climbing out onto a rock and messing about in the water with a big stick. Great fun!


Isn't that just the kind of thing you would do, given the chance?




Some people got into the photo above because they'd followed a different trail and ended up sitting on the spillway, or close to it.


From www.chippewacounty.com:

The Sunny Valley School House was moved to Irvine Park in 1965. The School House was originally located in the Town of Wheaton adjacent to Highway 29. Then the town school district merged with the Chippewa Falls School District in 1964, the Town of Wheaton gave the school house to the Chippewa Falls Lions Club. They in turn donated it to the City and moved it to Irvine Park. The Sunny Valley School House was built in 1903 and was used by the school district from January 1904 until 1964. 

 Just in case you missed this one on Wednesday. :-)
The Rutledge Home. Not in the park, but nearby.

 The Rutledge Home

 This photo was taken in August of 2012.
Good grief! How those grandkids have grown!



Another August 2012 photo at Irvine Park
Okay, I guess this is where we switch to Tchaicovsky's 1812 Overture. LOL

Hope you all have a great weekend.




***


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No harsh chemicals
No animal products
Moisturizing with a great fragrance
Labeled and wrapped,
Ready for gifting!


...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at
 
HomemadeSoapNSuch


and at


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Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning


Judy

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hodgepodging the Dust Collectors

 Flowering crab in front of the
old Rutledge home in Chippewa Falls, WI


Join Joyce and the Gang
for


 She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and join in!


1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm...

Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.

Did my daughter suggest this question? Huh? 

My kitchen is almost always tidy and the counters clean unless I'm in the middle of a project (or something). But it's true that I still have an ultrasound pic of pre-born Lucy (who's now three years old) hanging above the sink and I have grandkid art on the doors of the cabinets, etc. I promise to take it down before they graduate from high school. And you saw my desk last week.

But, it's this kind of thing:

(contained in a box, upstairs)

and this kind of thing:


that kinda gives it away. I'll have you know, however, that all the knickknacks you see on the shelves above are now in boxes upstairs (but might leap back onto the shelves at any moment).


2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?

1. Drive in Big City traffic. And it's not that I don't know how, but that I won't. Just thank me.


2. Dive.


With 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin, you'd think I would have learned, but no. The thought of going headfirst into water...


3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

I only crave sugar if I've had even a microgram of it. Once I've tasted it, it's all over. But if I stay away from it completely, no, I don't crave it.  BUT, when you're at a Mexican restaurant on Mother's Day and choose the steak & chicken fajita (to split with Mr. C.) so you have 1 1/2 little, teensy weensy tortillas and meat/veggies, all goes well UNTIL the cheerful waiter brings a surprise dessert and exuberantly  announces, 'Happy Mother's Day.' I have never learned how to deal with that kind of situation, so of course I ate it even though it was DAIRY and WHEAT and SUGAR, it was nothing I would ever have ordered, and I felt horrid afterwards.

So my advice to slay the sugar dragon is to not even have a speck of it, and if someone kindly offers you a luscious dessert, say, 'Oh, that's very sweet of you, but please keep your stinking dessert!'  (No, don't say that, I'm kidding.) :-)   But if you have any advice on how to gracefully decline, let me know please.

I think I'll pass on dessert, but thanks anyway.

4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?

Maybe Instagram. I'm sure my kids can't imagine living without all my Instagram messages to them. :-)

I wish Tommy & Smokey would learn to make their bed.


5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

I can think of no song (except Love Potion No. 9, which I told all about in an earlier post) that reminds me of anything except when I hear the Barber Violin Concerto or Bach's French Suites, it reminds me of our daughters playing piano/violin and that reminds me of their music lessons and our older daughter at Geneva College in Pennsylvania and the times we spent at Barnes & Noble in Minneapolis while our younger daughter took violin lessons at MacPhail. Those were fun times, at least for Mr. C. and me. Well, at least for me. An afternoon in the Big City with maybe Brit's pub after. And I love visiting the city, as long as someone else is driving.  But I want to live here (not in the barn, of course).


I love how the pretty yellow flowers pop right back up after Mr. C. mows the yard. :-)


 The last of our daffodils and the flowering crab
which just opened up yesterday after a big rain
with sunshine and nearly 80 degrees following.


6. Insert your own random thought here.

It's not exactly random, because it's been on my mind all week, and that's that I'm hoping to get around to visiting all my blog friends. I'm sorry I've been so remiss.  As Calvin said, 'The Days are Just Packed!' (the other Calvin.)

 Winter's in Springtime


Who would plant a spruce tree right in my line of vision??
Beautiful little barn and wood silo south of Bloomer, WI

***

Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE

'Enchanted'
Oakmoss & Lavender
Natural Vegan Soap

with essential oils

Luscious fragrance!

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at
 
HomemadeSoapNSuch


and at


Our ETSY Shop


Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning

Judy

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