Monday, January 26, 2015

Snow Dyeing

Well, we have plenty of snow.  Plus sub-zero temperatures. The chickens, cats, dog, and humans won't go outside (other than my husband... he's cutting up beams!). A few weeks ago I decided to bring a little snow inside to do a dyeing project for the January Meanie Greene diaper store stocking. Snow dyeing works similarly to ice dyeing and although the effects aren't exactly the same I was able to get 3 unique color combinations for the hybrid diapers I made.

I started with this lovely lycra/cotton custom printed fabric "Cupid's Arrow" from Sew Opulent by Opulent Monsters. I am addicted to purchasing custom fabric online and it is a wee bit expensive but worth it for the quality and uniqueness of the prints.

I followed this snow dyeing tutorial I found on Pinterest. What I love about ice/snow dyeing is the fact I don't have to mix the procion dye powders, I can just sprinkle them on top of the snow and they mix/melt with the water created.  I did treat the fabric first in soda ash so the most dye was able to absorb into the fabric.  Don't skip the soda ash step and don't substitute with baking soda. They are not the same thing! I cut each hybrid pattern out instead of dyeing the entire yard of fabric. I wanted to have a little left over to play with later on that wasn't dyed.  I also added a wire rack to the bottom of the plastic tote instead of using a screen.

Fabric dye primary colors are a wee bit different than normal primary colors.  For fabric dyeing you use Magenta (instead of red), Turquoise (instead of blue) and yellow.  These colors will allow you to find purple, orange, green, etc.  In my batch I added Magenta, Turquoise and Crimson to give it a Valentine's feel. After I added the dyes I had to wait 24 hours to wash and dry the fabric. I loved watching the snow melt down to "reveal" more of the fabric.

After 24 I rinsed the dye out in cold and washed in my top load washer with synthrapol, which is a detergent made for fabric dyeing, then washed in a little regular detergent, and then rinsed. Since these are diapers that will go through many, many, wash cycles I wanted to make sure the dyes wear fix. Then I dried and sewed them up!  I love the results. They all sold at my stocking but I have a little bit of fabric left and may make Audrey an outfit or something, we'll see! 

Happy Monday!  Blizzard tonight, stay safe and warm :)

shelby g

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Snow, snow, snow! And more on the way.  Audrey seems to love eating all things snow and ice and has been enjoying the extra fluff outside.  The storm moving in should hit tomorrow afternoon leaving us, supposedly, with over a foot of snow!  Which means snowshoeing (finally)!  Mr. Meanie is busy snow blowing his lumber yard so he can continue to make beams for our kitchen.  He's up to 7 so far with many more to go and they are looking beautiful. More to share later this week.

Have fun in the snow!

shelby g

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Turning 30

The day is here! It's my birthday!  Thirty really isn't a big deal; I feel the same as yesterday and basically my previous 30 years of life. I scoured my facebook for images from the last decade or so and came up with a brief recap.

Awww; 21. In college; enjoying my first legal drink. My sister and her husband (or was he labeled boyfriend at the time? I can't remember!) took me out for drinks on this day 9 years ago! Twenty-one is a funny time. It's a significant milestone but you have almost no thought of the future (at least I didn't!), I was living from track meet to track meet, finishing up homework, hanging out with Jeff, worrying about the number of quarters I had so I could do my laundry.

In my late teens/early 20s I ran track & field and cross country for the University of Maine, Orono.  I wasn't the best but I wasn't horrible and it helped lay the groundwork for my continued running career. After college I continued to run; I have run countless road races, half marathons and one marathon. Since H.S. I have run for half my life; 15 years.

At 23 I became the executive director of the Eastport Arts Center in the tiny city of Eastport, Maine.  I stumble upon this job after spending some time at a job I did not like but felt I had to have one after college. I applied to the Arts Center on a desperate whim.  I stayed in Eastport for 3 years; met a lot of wonderful people, worked on fun projects and was able to connect with a variety of folks in the non profit world. I learned how to grant write and a bunch of other things but will stop writing about them since this is beginning to sound like a resume.

At 24 I married the love of my life, Mr. Meanie.  Looking back I wish that I had not stressed as much about the wedding day (Ms. Crafty thought she should do all of it).  I also wish we had taken my parents advice and eloped but alas! So far married life has been what I'd expected and better; more real and honest and full of understanding.

In 2008 the Moosehead Lake tradition was born and we have been going ever since; every few years adding a new member to the family.  We are on our 7th year and although we like to go in the water less and maybe go to bed a little earlier; the kiddos make it more fun with their antics.

We bought a house and made it a home. We've filled it will animals and a baby and junk!  After 4 years of living in our home we have held Barn Thanksgiving each year; countless other holiday and birthday parties; I started a business and this blog.  And now we are starting our kitchen timberframe rebuild. We've added Carlie to our family; our lovely laying hens, lost a few cats but gained a few. We've kept warm by the woodstove, enjoyed walks in our woods, and attempted a garden every year.

At 28 I ran Sugarloaf Marathon and loved/hated it. This had always been a running goal of mine (sort of) and I was happy to find an excellent training partner who put up with my whining.  Although I have decided to not run a marathon this year I will in the next few years.

And last but not least I became a mom. This is my crowning achievement from my 20's and we are so happy to have Audrey in our lives. A day doesn't go by where I don't marvel at her.  When Mr. Meanie is gone, Audrey is an amazing companion and I feel like she is an old soul. I am sure all mom's feel this way!

THANK YOU! To everyone who made my 20's wonderful. Looking forward to the next decade!

If you've made it to the end; congrats! Sorry for all the rambling and sentimentality!

shelby g

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015


I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions.  Although time does exists, the way it is set up (months/days/hours; etc) is mostly a human invention.  The new year did start today but it is not a special "reset" button on my life so I feel that resolutions are silly attempts to control our lives and the passage of time.  I feel like if you have a goal in mind you just need to tackle it instead of waiting for the most appropriate time.

That said here are a list of "to-dos" that we have lined up for 2015:

1.  KITCHEN PROJECT. This is a MUST for 2015 and we are well on our way to making this a reality.  Mr. Meanie is involved in EVERY aspect of the building project including making the beams, building the frame, cutting boards, (and way more than I can comprehend). I am also in charge of some things: finding/contacting electrician, plumber, make pegs, helping design the kitchen, hunting down hackmatack, and reorganizing the house. We need to move my sewing room upstairs along with all my fabric/supplies, move the kitchen into the living room and move the laundry room into the bathroom. 

2. Our crazy garden will have a rest year, I do believe.  I hope to cover with cardboard to kill the weeds and then add seaweed and new soil in the Fall. We've need a garden-building year since we started and I think this year is the perfect year to create a healthier garden.

Along with food production on the farm the meat birds were a success in 2014 and we hope to raise 10-15 in the Fall of 2015.  It is so lovely having a freezer full of plump chickens and although slaughtering was less than fun; it was worth it.

We are also adding 10 or so more laying hens to our flock of 20.  Our older ladies are entering their 4th year, youngest in their 3rd so it is important for us to add new birds to keep the eggs coming. Plus we lost 5 laying hens in 2014 to random deaths and that was a bummer!


Winter 2015 we want to get outside! I've had my nieces over for a few days and we've managed to go on a walk in the woods before the temps plummeted. Not a spot of snow anywhere! We've had RAIN and temps in the 50s for most of December. Which is fine. I guess. Of course our family present this year was snowshoes and a lovely wooden sled for Audrey. I hope that we are able to use them sometime!

photo by Kim Beal
I'm on the fence about running the Sugarloaf Marathon again.  This year I'll turn 30 and perhaps running a marathon will be more constructive than dying my hair blond and getting botox treatments (just kidding!). If I am to run in May I will have to start training next week.  I'll have to think about it...

I hope that you have some awesome goals lined up for 2015!

shelby g

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

We decided to dress up in our "princess best" to celebrate New Year's Eve.  This included everyone wearing princess costumes (A.J. in "Sassy Elsa", Cami in "Anna Traveling", Audrey in "Merida" and me in a random medieval inspired dress from my closet). We served appetizers (those kids can eat chips and dip!!), bubbly sparkling grape juice in champagne glasses, wishbone wish, and an 8pm balloon toss before the kiddos went off to bed.

Happy New Year!

shelby g 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Yesterday I decided I should probably start and finish the girl's costumes for Christmas. Of course I had a majorly long list of things to do including cleaning the house and cooking Christmas dinner (along with the guilt of having 3 custom diapers unfinished...) and voila! It all pulled together (minus the custom diapers). The nice thing about doing projects in the last minute is the creation of shortcuts. Instead of cleaning the whole house, I piled everything into the bedroom and vacuumed the other rooms. Instead of 6 different hors d' oeuvres how about 2?  Unfortunately because of the last minute sewing I had to skip Audrey's costume (but I'll come back to it... maybe!). 

Caminea requested an Anna outfit and Aurelia asked for a Rapunzel outfit.  Both of these costumes were fun to sew up. I do need to work on puffy sleeves... but overall the Rapunzel dress looks great! The girl's will be down for a visit so hopefully we'll be able to get out and take some photos with the costumes.  I would love to see some snow for the photoshoot (it is in the 50's and raining right now). 

Well I think I am going to have another eclair and curl up on the couch and watch TV. And then an early bedtime!

Merry Christmas!

shelby g

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Winter Solstice!

We enjoyed a lovely Solstice evening at my Aunt's house. We had a great time catching up with family and of course we entertained ourselves by taking selfies.

Happy Solstice! Looking forward to fractionally longer days!

shelby g