leaving colorado

Posted on March 20th, 2017 by mountain girl  |  7 Comments »

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We’re moving! The past month has been fast and furious, and we can hardly believe it ourselves, but we are bidding Colorado adieu for a new life in North Carolina.

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I’ve probably never mentioned how much I love Colorado (har har) and the Rocky Mountains, and our sweet, sweet home…so when David first looked into working at IBM in Raleigh, I practically groaned.

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But it’s funny how an idea can grow on you, and after a trip to Raleigh just over a week ago, we have all thoroughly warmed to the thought.

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We gave away our goats (remember that post?) after David accepted the job offer. We’ve sorted through everything in our house, and given away several loads of clothes, books, toys, etc. I also put my Etsy shop on Vacation Mode until the middle of April so we can move and get settled.

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Custom otter necklace I carved last week.

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We found a house to rent, about 40 minutes from David’s new job. It’s in a suburban neighborhood and will be a good place for the kids to play and for us to get to know the area.

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Our newly rented home-to-be in Fuquay-Varina, NC.

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Our new porch and little patch of Carolina earth.

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Friday we listed our home for sale. Within an hour of listing, we had a showing scheduled, and then five more. We received a full price offer after the first showing, and our house went under contract less than 24 hours after listing. Woo-hoo!

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And boo-hoo. It’s not every day you get to live in a house in the clouds!

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I’ve really loved the beauty here that saturates us from all directions. Although David and I have been very isolated living and working at home in the mountains, this past nearly-seven years in Colorado will always be a source of amazing memories for our family.

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The Continental Divide, from a vantage point of 9700 ft.–just above where we live.

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But we are ready for adventure, and we feel that God is definitely moving us into this new time, place, and season of our lives. It’s exciting to watch Him orchestrate the details of this move, from the job and all its opportunities, to the new house, to the sale of our own home here. IBM is even paying our moving expenses and sending movers to pack and ship our belongings! It all feels rather cush.

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We did work our little bottoms into shape, though, getting the house ready to show. We are living in a very, very neat house right now, and I haven’t even let Cash ride his tricycle in the house this weekend. I get lots of unforgiving glares these days. ;)

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The move is happening so fast that it’s hard to say goodbye to many of our friends in Colorado. But on Friday, we got to see Kristine, our midwife for Cash. He has grown a little since their first meeting, haha.

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Zia is on spring break from school, and she won’t be going back. It was a little sad for her to say goodbye to her friends and teachers, but she’s excited about the move, and there are a lot of good, progressive schools in our new surroundings. I know we’ll find one that is right for us.

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See you east of the Mississippi!

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dala horses

Posted on February 26th, 2017 by mountain girl  |  6 Comments »

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Several weeks ago, I posted pictures of these Dala horses in their raw, just-carved state. I’m excited to finally post the finished set of horses!

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After carving and sanding, I painted them in traditional Swedish designs along with a little twist–American flag designs on the saddles. The height of the tallest horse is 6″ and the smallest is a little under 3″. The horses (and American flag designs) were custom ordered by my childhood friend, whose mother is Swedish.

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While creating the horses, I learned that the first Dala horses originated about 150 years ago in the Swedish province of Dalarna. Woodcarvers made them as children’s toys, depicting horses because they were a common aspect of daily life. Dala horses eventually became an item of barter, and carving and painting them grew into a widespread cottage industry. The skill was passed down from one generation to the next, and modern day Dala horses are now a historic symbol of Sweden.

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goodbye, goats

Posted on February 18th, 2017 by mountain girl  |  3 Comments »

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Today we sent our three little goats off to a new home.

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After filling our lives with two years of pure goatiness, we gave them to a family with 6 acres of green pastures, two other little goats, and a couple of human kids.

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We really wished we could keep them, but we are going places this year where it would be hard to bring our goats with us. (More on that later.)

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It’s so hard to say goodbye to your goats!

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But taking lots of goat selfies helps you along the way.

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Having our goats has been so much fun these past two years. We’re really sad, but we have a lot of great, goaty memories.

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And knowing our goats, I’m sure they will have a baa-a-a-ll in their new home. ;)

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bible story models

Posted on February 6th, 2017 by mountain girl  |  3 Comments »

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While I was studying illustration at Cazenovia College in upstate NY, I interned under Cheri Bladholm.  She is an amazing illustrator and a really sweet person–one of my favorites. :)

I loved working with her, and gathering reference photos for her paintings was one of my jobs. She was working on a book called Tell Me the Story of Jesus, and I photographed members of my family so she could paint them into the scenes. She gave me a copy of the finished Bible, which was really cool, since we were in it!

Fast forward 15+ years and I just made contact with Cheri again. She’s working on a children’s Bible right now. We were talking about it, and she said she wanted some redheads for a certain scene. I happen to know two quite well, so I was happy to get photo reference for her after so many years–and the reds were happy to pose–for a minute!

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The scene is the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. David stood in for a disciple, while Zia and Cash posed as kids gathering leftovers into the basket. We used sweet potatoes for little loaves of bread, and I got as many pics and poses as Cash’s patience held out for, LOL.

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Cheri just sent me a photo of the finished painting. The kids identified themselves right away, and even David looks like himself (before his haircut!) I love the color scheme she used, and I am really excited about having redheads in a New Testament story, since I don’t think I’ve ever seen any portrayed. Ruddy King David must have had some red-haired descendants, though!

We are so looking forward to reading this children’s Bible once it is finished. Thanks, Cheri!

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around here in the wild woods

Posted on February 3rd, 2017 by mountain girl  |  3 Comments »

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David is gone for a week and a half, first to Raleigh for three days, then Augusta. He’s getting a new place prepared for the Masters golf tournament in April…I think. I don’t ask too many questions because there are enough things in life I don’t quite comprehend–without throwing networks, switches and routers into the mix.

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Here at home, we’re just doing the usual. Feeding goats, baking banana bread, making bone broth, keeping the fire stoked. Cash is currently cutting a piece of Styrofoam into a million tiny pieces with a knife while Zia is making clay animals to sell. I should be carving and painting, but I’m blogging instead. Because I love you. :)

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Cash and I hopped in the truck yesterday and blazed down Golden Gate Canyon. It was 16 degrees and so beautiful–ice covered everything, creating an amazing winter fairyland.

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Work for my shop has been steady since before Christmas. Every spare minute has a place–mostly carving animals, with a little painting thrown in.

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These dala horses have been my main project through all of January. They are finished now, except for decorating them. I’m half dreading it, half looking forward to it–but definitely afraid to start. It’s the white elephant/blank canvas effect, I guess. I need to just splatter on a little paint and get started!

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Here’s my latest hairdo–just thought I’d throw in a pic, free of charge. I have it trimmed and the roots touched up 4x a year, and that’s when I have it straightened. It’s the only time I let heat touch my hair, but I revel in it and go a full week without washing my curls back to life.

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This redwood cord burning box was an order I received the other day–now finished and mailed out. The ivy is painted in shimmery inks.

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These are carved animal necklaces I’m working on now on my dining room table.  I’ve added a new, smaller size to my bear totems, and have sold a couple of them so far!

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Here’s our kitchen window with some animal carvings hanging to dry. I’ve been getting steady orders for bears, foxes, wolves, and now a pending raccoon. There’s also an eagle waiting in the wings.

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Here’s our boy, showing off a banana cake he baked a couple of weeks ago….

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and not long afterwards, in the dentist’s chair. He had a baby root canal and almost all of his baby teeth capped. It was a rough time, but he is back to normal and his mouth is healing well.

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Zia still has a steady little business among her classmates–taking custom orders for clay animals, sculpting, baking, and painting them. Here is a little Husky dog she made recently.

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An here she is cart-wheeling away. Hope you’re having a great February so far!

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