The Etsy shop formerly known as CooksCntryConnection, has been changed to Pajari Girls. I (Laura) am now using it as an outlet for my jewelry, suncatchers, and other art. Please stop by www.pajarigirls.etsy.com and let me know if there is something you’d like to see there!
I’ve been experimenting with ice candles and ice suncatchers for a couple years now, so it wasn’t a huge jump to making solar-lighted ice candles.
First, I took all the molds outside and then filled them using pitchers of water. (This idea came to me last summer, so every time I saw a Bundt-shaped mold at the Thrift Shop, I snagged it. I’m happy to report that even the plastic ones worked great, and have yet to crack.)
Then I did it all again so there were two of each design.
To release them from the mold, I ran a little hot water in the kitchen sink. They pop out after a few seconds. Sometimes, if the water freezes too fast, there will be a bulge in the ice. You can chip it off carefully, use a warm cookie sheet to melt it flat, or if you’re not a perfectionist, just build up the other side with snow later when you put the two halves together.
Now here is the genius part: Solar garden lights will work, depending on their size and the diameter of the hole in your mold, but this Halloween, I found these awesome solar-powered jack-o-lantern lights at K-mart for $5. They change color, so I didn’t have to add food coloring to the water to color the ice!
Now, of course you could use a real wax candle, too; but dang, that’s a lot of candles. And, you’d have to go out and light it. Solar lights come on automatically! Even regular white garden solar lights work, but they aren’t as bright as the one above.
Mr. Wonderful even admits this is one for the “Nailed It” File, so please Like, Share, & Pin away!
Another fast, cheap, and easy craft idea brought to you by the Pajari Girls. If you’d like a few more ideas, check this post out:
Ok, so all my ice-cream buckets are toast. The ice pushed through the bottoms instead of the tops. 😦 And I have yet to master the five gallon bucket or garbage can methods. However, I did have one experiment that turned out great…an ice candle ring.
You will need:
A bundt pan
about three quarts water
3 drops food coloring (optional)
winter or a freezer
votive or tealight candle
long fireplace lighter thingy deal
This is almost too easy. I should check the Thrift Shop for more bundt pans and jell-o molds… Anyway, I just set the pan outside and filled it with water. If you want to add food coloring, rock on. The first ring I made popped right out of the pan, but the second one was tougher, so I asked myself,” What would Lois do??” She said to place the pan in a sink of hot water for a few minutes. It worked like a charm :).
Add a tealight or votive candle, and it’s probably best to light it with a long grill/fireplace/candle lighter. Unless you like burns and frostbite at the same time. (We usually have the candles, food coloring, balloons and lighters at The Barn if you’re local.)
Short video clip of candle flickering here. It was COLD out (-15 F), so it’s a short video. I recommend placing ice candles away from your house, yet visible from a window. It’s very possible they will freeze where they are placed, so make sure it’s not a tripping/shoveling hazard. Safety first, people! Or top five, anyway.
If you think this is a GREAT IDEA, like, comment, pin or share it. Please? If you know a way to make this idea even GREATER, let us know that, too! Loveyabe, Laura
Hey folks, it’s been a while. I hope this finds you as well as can be, considering the shitshow of a year we’ve all had.
Because I’m in a high-risk group, I am still basically sheltering in place. However, our four adult children work in health care and Mr. Wonderful’s job is essential, so I have plenty of time and reasons to stress tf out. I needed to do something to feel less powerless, per my therapist, stat. I decided to sew masks.
Before this year my only sewing experience was a brief obsession in the sixth grade. I recieved a nice Singer that Christmas, and Aunt Martha taught me the basics. I made a nightgown and a quilt and that was about it. I loved flooring the pedal, but the meticulousness of patterns, pinning, and ironing was beyond me and my machine ended up rusting out in the basement.
My first masks were sewn entirely by hand, including the ties, which took hours.
Then my cousin Shanna in California added me to Facebook group called Stitched Together. They match mask needs with sewists, entirely free, all over the country. I’ve learned so much about sewing in general and masks in particular from those amazing sewists.
Unfortunately, one thing I learned quickly was that mask-making supplies were almost as hard to find as other PPE. It took months to get my first order of elastic. Same story with bias tape, which can be used to make ties in a pinch. Getting aluminum nose pieces took even longer, so for a while I used wire. Also, my sewing machine was dead, so a friend lent me hers.
My productivity increased steadily. After spending a day at our house, Grandson Raiden told his mom, “Granny makes maskes. LOTS of maskes, really fast!! Buzzzzzzz!”
Now, over 900 masks in, I’ve decided to sell some masks to fund more donations.
If you would like to buy a cool mask and help fund more donations, here’s a link to my Etsy shop, Pajari Girls. All masks are 2 ply cotton with soft elastic ear loops and aluminum nose pieces. And of course, they are made with love. Most are $7 for adult size and $5 for child size, except the RBG tribute masks, which are $10 each since the lace is hand stitched on. And with every mask sold, we can donate even more to those who still need them. Thanks in advance, and stay safe out there.
Hi again! The summer was pretty busy at the farm (www.cookscountryconnection.com) , so Mr. Wonderful, Danny, and I took a Sunday off to make another hike up to Vermilion Gorge. The leaves were still beautiful, and the high temp was 88!
People often mistake Vermilion Falls with Vermilion Gorge. The Falls are the really short hike that was shortened a few years ago. It’s right before Crane Lake. Here is the USFS sheet on that one.
Vermilion Gorge is the 3 mile round-trip hike that takes about 3 hours “at a leisurely pace”, according to Vermilion Gorge USFS info sheet. Drive all the way through Crane Lake and park in the private parking lot for Voyagaire Houseboats on the left. In the fall and early spring, the lot is full of said houseboats, but there will be signs pointing you to the trailhead.
The hike starts in a birch/aspen (popple) forest, and the sky was perfect this day. Most of the maple leaves were on the ground, but the vibrant yellows popped with the deep blue fall sky. We spent a lot of time looking straight up.
As the trail climbed into the Norway pines, we noticed a million types of mushrooms.
Some kind soul had left a walking stick at the trailhead, so the Boy happily used it, returning it for the next person.
I could be wrong, but I think this is a glacial erratic. I didn’t get any good shots of it on this trip, so this pic is from last year.
We sat for a break (for me, not them lol), and Paul noticed this birdnest in a birch tree overhanging the gorge.
Yep, he has his device. But he got some awesome photos and is reading in this picture. No gaming.
It was during this break that I noticed cairns farther upstream. Paul and Danny did some scouting, and were sure I could make it, with help. I’m so lucky to have these two; I wouldn’t have attempted this hike without backup. Not that it’s super-difficult; it’s just too much for me, with bum hips, knees, and ankles. They were such troopers, helping me up and down stairs and steep sections of trail.
Anyway, I remembered being on the other side of the monolith with BFF Terri several years ago, and had pretty much given up the idea of making it there this time. Luckily the lure of getting photos with the sun hitting the gorge dead-on and a little encouragement from my family got me over the hump.
Would you believe that not counting the canoeists, we only saw two people on the way in, and a group of four as we were almost back out??
Hope you enjoyed the hike!
This was one of the prompts at our last Summer Writers’ Group, and it was a great one! Easy to write, and fun to listen to everyone else’s answers. Do you write? Why?
I write to make people laugh, and to help myself cry.
I write to educate, elucidate, enumerate and illuminate.
I write because in seventh grade, Mr. Durbin told me to never stop doing so.
Sometimes I write to reason things out for myself and others.
I’ve written a few moral inventories to save myself from myself.
Lately I’ve been writing to advertise, trying to build a dream and share it with the world.
When I was a child and young adult I wrote because I knew my brain would forget the important, terrible truths of life. Even at 5 I knew the inexorable nature of denial. It took many years to see denial differently; a tool the mind uses to protect itself.
Sometimes now I write for posterity–hoping future generations will be a fraction as grateful as I am toward previous generations efforts, to capture the present for the future’s past.
Holy hell have we been busy!!
As you probably know, we had a “catastrophic loss” of the dollar store and retail/residential building we (mostly Lois) spent seven years nurturing. Click here to read that post. That was over two years ago now, in June of 2013.
My sister already had quite the menagerie of pets–mostly “needs a good home” types, and now she had to figure out how to feed them.She’d always wanted to do animal therapy, but the store and life kept getting in the way. Now we had the time, and some insurance money that needed to be put to good use, so we went for it, and Cook’s Country Connection was born.
Last Labor Day was our first day open to the public (we’d been shooting for May, but you know how these things go!). We got a few field trips under our belts and worked out many kinks in that first two months of operation.
I also became a grandma in October of last year!! My Middle Spawn Harley had a baby boy, and he is the seventh generation to be on the farm! She is an awesome mom, nursing him and using (not to mention MAKING) cloth diapers.
I love being a gramma, and helped a lot with babysitting his first few months while his mom worked midnights. Naturally I overdid it. Now we are easing back in, but wow is he faster and stronger than me some days!! The Toddler Corral is a great safe place to plop him when I am busy in the Farm Store.
My Eldest Spawn, Bethany is getting married later this month! She has always been the party planner of the family, so of course everything is ticking right along on schedule. Her step daughter calls me Gramma, too, so that’s been arip.
I spent the winter being an artist…photographing and making jewelry which we sell at the Farm Store and the gallery in town, and writing. I even joined a writers’ group at the gallery, which helps force me to make time to write. Youngest Spawn has attended the group with me all summer, and it’s been really good for him, too. I always tell him how talented he is, but sometimes it means more from strangers.
I also signed up to teach a couple of Community Ed classes at the farm. Making a bowling ball gazing ball, vermiculture, and yoga at the farm. Yoga. What the hell was I thinking??? I was thinking that since my yogini moved out east, we could still do yoga at the farm if I taught it. Ugh. My procrastination is in high gear on that one!! Not to mention Imposter Syndrome! My rheumatologist thought it was a great idea, so we’ll see!
What else is new??? Mr. Wonderful would like me to tell you I’ve also been busy making him sammiches. I shouldn’t have to tell you that is BS. I have, however, made lots of jelly.
Loveyabye! Talk to you soon, and hope to see you at the farm!
PS: You’re welcome, Dawny B!!!
I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much on http://www.pajarigirls.com lately; I’ve been a little busy!! Actually, ALL the Pajari Girls (and Danny, though he is not a girl OR technically, legally a Pajari he is definitely one of us! lol) have been super busy this last year!
I’ll be posting a little more detail soonish for those few “followers” of this blog that don’t live in Cook lol.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Rule of Thirds.”
Some of my favorites!
Ok, my hands are killing me, but I wanted this post done before Halloween’s over. Here’s the Cliff Notes version:
Back in September, I covered my sunflowers with old white curtains to protect them from frost. My neighbor thought I was just decorating early for Halloween! Which was a great idea; I’d already tried coloring eyes and mouths with Sharpie but was a failure. I was muttering about the problem when Paul (aka Mr. Wonderful) suggested using fabric. “But it hurts to use scissors!” I whined. Then I remembered the cutting board and rotary cutter I invested in a few years when Cook got a quilt shop (Thanks again, Susan Covey of Cabin Quilting!)
Sewing hurts too, so Paul suggested fabric glue. Woohoo! We were business. I have almost no range of motion in my wrists lately, so he helped position the ghosts, too. One of the best things about making Halloween decorations is that they don’t have to be perfect! Get a kid to help. Or someone with crappy range of motion. It could be therapeutic. 😀
Another Halloween craft project that’s fast, cheap, and easy. Like my sister. Just kidding! Please Pin, Like, Share, or comment this project, or better yet, do it yourself!
Just in case you haven’t subscribed to CCC or only follow Pajari Girls, here’s the newest post. Loveyabye!