Tiny Tuesday #34: Field agents reporting for TINY duty!!!

Welcome back to Tuesday!
Here it is, one week week later
and here I am with a whole bunch of more TINY!!!

First off, shout out to my awesome field agents who are sending me the best and cutest TINY stuff! Seriously, keep it coming! If you see something TINY and cute then please do send it on to me!!

WITHOUT FURTHER A-DO:
here comes all the TINY fun that I’ve curated just for YOU!

TEENY!! TINY!! DOGGIE!!

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photo from sekaimusi

One of my favorite fiber artists, My Art of Hearts, sent me the link to this TINY little doggie! If you go to the Instagram page (linked under picture) you can scroll through a few more pics and see the TINY stitches that went in to the construction. I wonder how they got the dog so tightly stuffed?

It looks like sekaimusi is a second hand shop–at least that is what the page says when I click the translate button! I snagged a couple more adorable TINY things from them for this edition of TINY TUESDAY! Check them out below!

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TINY!! DOLLS!! via sekaimusi

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TINY!! BASKETS!! via sekaimusi

TINY!! CLOTHES!! PIN!!
{holding a sprig of rosemary on a cocktail!}

Just look at this glorious cocktail my pal Mean Jeenie got to drink on her vacation! I saw that TINY clothes pin and I just had to feature it today.  I LOVE TINY clothes pins. I mean, I love lots of TINY stuff (of course) but I think if I had to pick favorites, TINY clothes pins would be at the top of my list! {To be honest I also really love regular sized clothes pins}.

TINY!! KITTEN!!
{Patti Smith Cat, as a wee kitten}

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It is really hard to believe that it has been FIVE YEARS since little TINY Patti showed up on my grandparent’s back porch. These two pics popped up in my FaceBook memories during this past week and I could help but share them again. If you want to read more about Patti and how she came to be mine, you can read her blog post HERE: How Patti Smith came to be my kitten.

TEENY!T TINY!! GLITTER!! STARS!!

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So these TINY stars are actually the middle part that came out of middle of the red glitter stars seen below! These 2 got stuck on my hand and I had to look really close to even realize what they were! Gosh I really love sparkles.

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Hope you enjoyed this edition of TINY Tuesday!

See you next week!
same place AND same-ish time!
AND remember:
TINY CUTE TINGS ARE EVERYWHERE!!!!

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Tiny Tuesday #33: Finally recovered from all that teaching.

 

Hello! Happy Tuesday!

I hope this finds you in good spirits, drinking good spirits!
(Or at least planning the good spirits you’ll be into after work!)

On to the TINY!!

TINY!! MARGARITA!! GLASSES!!

I love thrift grocery stores. Do you have those where you live? Do you even know what I am talking about? I know they aren’t everywhere. Growing up in North Carolina we had local ones (like Jay’s Salvage in Rutherford County) and even regional chains like GO Grocery Outlet. The Asheville area has the incomparable Hopey Co which is basically like a discount health food store. When I lived in Missouri there was nothing comparable. Basically these are stores that are a bit like TJMaxx or Marshalls but for food stuffs. There’s nothing really wrong with the food, sometimes the dates are close to expired, but more like overstock. Anyway, I found these delightful TINY glasses at a local grocery thrift store in Denver, NC. Aren’t they perfect for soft drink tasting at Doll Party? The brand name is “Tiny Temptations” I MEAN REALLY.

TINY!! ORANGES!!

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These cute TINY oranges were sent to me by Field Agent DL Moon. How adorable are they!?! It’s funny because the TINY technology really has improved over the past few years. Look at the quality of miniatures then vs now. WHO KNEW?!?! (Now we do!)

TINY!! TOILETTE!!
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THIS GUY (Ryan Monahan) is one of my favorite current artists. His work in miniatures in beyond anything I have seen elsewhere. He takes the art of TINY to a level that is typically relegated to CUTE and KAWAII. Do NOT get me wrong–I ADORE cute and kawaii, but Monahan’s subject matter of gritty punk clubs, littered street scenes, and news stands is something that stands out. Definitely click over and check out his work.

(NOTE: While there is nothing overtly rated R or XXX, this isn’t really for kiddos and could be considered NSFW, just to be on the safe side. Don’t be scared off by the disclaimer–I just don’t want any surprises on my *mostly* PG-13 blog!!!)

NETFLIX!! ABOUT!! TINY!!

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Hello Kitty’s creator Yuko Yamaguchi!

A couple of weeks back ModMom told me about an episode of The Toys That Made Us featuring HELLO KITTY. Obviously, I LOVED (and STILL LOVE) Hello Kitty – like any girl child of the 1980s worth her salt in at childhood. During my youth there was a magical store at the Valley Hills Mall in Hickory that was called SANRIO. Some people called it “The Hello Kitty Store”. I called it “The Grandmother Store” because my grandmother would take me there and allow me to spend a little “fun money” (<—- her words) on pencils and papers.  If you have Netflix you MUST go watch this episode. It is full of all sorts of delightful TINY fun history!!!

TINY!! QUOTE!!
(and coffee cup)

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HOW AM I ALREADY HALF WAY THRU MY SUMMER VACATION?!?!?! 😦 😦 😦 I swear, this year’s summer vacation I have legit done the bare minimum daily and slept the maximum. I was just plain worn out. Going in to teaching is HANDS DOWN the best decision I have ever made. But y’all. It will wear your butt out. I saw this mug and it spoke to me. The humans I teach are no longer TINY but they still act like they are sometimes! All that being said, I think I have finally rested enough to start having some adventures with the summer that is left.

That’s all for this quick and ON TIME installment of TINY TUESDAY!

Stay cool as a cucumber and
I’ll see you back here next week-
SAME PLACE and SAME TIME (ish) 🙂

 

 

Tiny Tuesday #32: Another Accidental Thursday FULL-o-FUN!

Happy day after the 4th of July!
I hope you had a fun day off yesterday
AND
that today you’re bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and not sun burned!

I managed to mess up my TT post for a second week in a row. Good grief! I decided it would be more fun for y’all to post today, instead of yesterday so here we go!

Let’s start with a couple of friend shout-outs!

TINY!! GARDEN!! SHOE!!

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Check her out at Flourishing Roots

Look at the picture my field agent sent in!
OMG y’all she is GROWING doll shoes!

I absolutely adore this hilarious pic!!! Leah over at Flourishing Roots is an old school/old-school friend of mine from way back. She is an urban gardener, homeschool mom, and oil guru! Give her a follow on the ol instagram. She posts such fun pics of her life in Kansas. And if you are in the market for a DoTERRA rep, we have you covered!

KEYCHAIN!! FULL-o-TINY!! STICKERS!!
(one of my fav birthday gifts!)

This was actually part of my name-tag on my birthday present and maybe not really even supposed to be a gift, lol, but I just ADORE this keychain heart made of TINY stickers!! What a fun idea! I think Mr. Skittles should TOTALLY make these to sell at the Comi-cons where he peddles his wares. What do you think? Would you rock a keychain like this? Be sure to check out all his incredible handiwork AND his comic-com schedule over on his instagram and link-tree accounts!

(ALSO: check out that ladybug key! That’t my house key. When Mr. Smith and bought our house, this was one of the keys that came with the house. How wild is that? When Mr. Smith gave me my copy I actually thought he had made it for me! It’s so much cooler that the universe gave it to me instead!)

This totally isn’t TINY, but look at the PIE BAG from Mr. Skittles!!!

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Please excuse the fact that this is a HORRIBLE quality photo but I love that my mom’s new cat (one of my fosters!!!) Imelda STOLE my pie purse and was playing with it! This screenshot it a still from the video I took before I quickly rescued my adorable PIE BAG! Sorry, I just have to put that in caps every time because the PIE BAG is so stinking cool. If you want one of your own, holler at Mr. Grumpy! He will hook you up! You can choose your own fruit filling!!

TINY!! TATTOOS!!

I am smitten with these TINY tattoos by Charline Bataille. The colors are so vibrant and on the verge of clashing, which I love. Ever since I heard the news about the passing of Anthony Bourdain,  I have been thinking on getting some new ink. I’m not really sure why this has triggered my renewed desire for tattoos, but it definitely has. Aaaaaand I’m not saying I’m going to get a charm bracelet on my leg, but I’m not saying I’m not, hahahaaa! #sorrynotsorry, Mom! I do love these quirky TINY tattoos.

POEM!! ABOUT!! TINY!!

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This isn’t a haiku, but it is a TINY poem and I am loving it!
Goodness knows, I have grown plenty of TINY radishes…
…because I can’t leave root crops alone long enough to get BIG!

TINY!! HEART!! KEYRING!!

Alright you diamond painting fiends out there, you KNOW you want some of these for storing your bling!! Speaking of eveyone’s newest favorite hobby, most of my orders have arrived in the mail from all over the globe and I will be writing a post reviewing my purchases from the different sites. Have you started painting with diamonds yet?

Happy Tiny Thursday, everyone!
See you next time:
Same place, same time…ish!

Tiny Tuesday #31: It’s actually Thursday

Hullo and welcome to TINY Tuesday #31!
Which is extra special since it is actually TINY Thursday!

When I promised to be good and post a TT every week on time I must have clearly forgotten that I am taking online classes this summer that require me to look a computer for waaaaay more time than I am used to. I was just screen-burned out this week. So your TT is a TINY bit delayed. I hope you aren’t too mad.

Without further ado!
TINY!! THURSDAY!! YAY!!

TINY!! Thrifty!! Junky!! Finds!!

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My favs: Calico Critter kitty, praying Lambie, glow-in-the-dark Mary, and pink lotion bottle!

Have you ever been to the by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet stores? I know that Goodwill is kind of like the worst WalMart version of thrifting and I kinda avoid GW in general BUTTTTT y’all, the outlets are SO FUN and SO CHEAP. I went on a little adventure with my OG doll pal, Amethyst about a week ago and we scored some seriously fun junk. Now this stuff did actually come from the regular Goodwill that is right next to the Buck-A-Pound in Hickory. That store had a GENIUS idea (that is prolly not corporate approved idea so don’t tattle on them!!!) Right by the check out line, there was a big bin full of kid junk. You got a little baggie that was about the size of a sandwich baggie and you could fill it up for $3. Or you could buy individual toys for 25 cents each. What a genius idea to occupy and pacify a kid in the too long check out line? We would have gotten even more cool stuff from the bin (specifically some old Monster High accessories 😦 ) but there were some little girls shopping there too and I didn’t want to seem like an ogre. Even though I wanted to be an ogre.

My birthday was back in May but things were so hectic that we only just got to have my doll club birthday party about a week ago. Doll club has two kinds of events; Doll Party and Doll Work Day. Both involve food and cute TINY toys and DOLLS (of course). Doll parties are usually reserved for a birthday and have a theme particular to the member’s specific nerdoms (The theme they picked for me was Andy Warhol, YAY!!). Doll Work Day is where we work on face-ups, outfit & accessory creation. If you want more doll posts just click here —-> DOLL STUFF! I really should do a doll update! Anyway, below are pics from my Doll Party scores!

TINY treats from my belated 36th birthday party!!!

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I didn’t take nearly enough pics of the cute decorations 😦

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For whatever reason this pic REFUSES to rotate. Whatevs. The toys are so cute!!!

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Charm U! ❤

I really love these little charms. I just wish the whole collection wasn’t marketed to just girls. Meh. They are really fun and could easily be marketed more gender neutrally. Click HERE to see more about these TINY blind box treats.

There are a few more things from Birthday Doll Party…
…but you will have to stay tuned to see!

And now from some fun TINY stuff I have seen on the interwebz!

FANCY!! TINY!! CHAIRS!!

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Read more about these chairs here —–> CLICK ME and how you can even buy them (if you are that flush with cash) I especially love the “Rocking Chair No. 9”.

I haven’t had a TINY quote lately so how about this one:
TINY!! QUOTE!!

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I kinda can’t quit giggling about this.

And I will leave you with Schrodinger’s cookie tin!
Is it cookies or sewing supplies?!
TINY!! COOKIES!!

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OKAY!
That is all for this edition of TINY THURSDAY!
See you same time-ish, same place, next week!

Remember, I love when my field agents send me links to fun TINY stuff.
If you see something TINY you should tell me about it!!

TINY Tuesday #30: bulbs, bling & blind boxes!

Is this real?
Is this really happening?
Can it truly be TINY TUESDAY again?!

I tell you, truly, it is happening!

Tiny Tuesday has been THE most popular theme that I’ve ever done on this blog and I really want to figure out a way to make it sustainable, even through out the school year. Finding cute tiny things brings a lot of joy into my life and I think it must bring joy to y’all, too. If nothing else, I am hoping to make TINY Tuesday a regular thing through the summer and maybe I can prep extra ones to post for a little while after I return to school.

No promises, but I will do my very best.

Without further a-do, onward to the TINY stuff!!

TINY!! MISSING!! GARLIC!!

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If you read my latest blog post & watched my latest YouTube video, you’ll know I’ve been growing some bulb crops AND that they have been a bit disappointing. This picture certainly doesn’t make the bummer much better, but it does account for another five of the garlic bulbs that went missing. I can now say that I was able to harvest TEN out of 52 bulbs planted. I went back out the bed this morning and raked through the soil and was able to find these stragglers. Yeah. :/ Feeling so much better now (<—— dripping sarcasm) I’m still hoping that through posting these updates & videos that some helpful feedback will turn up and next year’s plantings will go better. I am certainly not giving up!

TINY!! DIAMOND!! PAINTING!!

 

HAVE YOU HEARD OF THIS ART FORM?!?!
Omg. I feel like a kid in a toy store with this new found hobby.

Do you like:
Jewels?
Cross-Stitch?
Perler Beads?
Puzzles?
Coloring Books?

If you answered YES to any of those questions
you will probably like this craft!

Instagram has an alarmingly good advertising algorithm that always seems to target me with JUST THE RIGHT stuff. I have been suckered into: a pair of fish head flipflops, a rocks glass with a bullet in it, a personalized Willy Wonka kid’s book, and now PAINTING WITH DIAMONDS. It’s creepy, but I’d rather see fun stuff I want to buy instead of stuff that makes no sense for me (like the exotic men’s underwear ad I saw on FaceBook–yikes!)

I’m not sure how there could be a more perfect thing to share and talk about on a TINY Tuesday than this stuff. Basically, you get a kit that comes with a sticky canvas, TINY packets filled with TINY jewels, and a stylus that you stick the gems on with. Then you stick the jewels on the color coordinated grid. AND VOILA! Art!! These pictures feature a sugar skull kit that was gifted to me by one of my favorite crafty pals from school. I have since ordered several more kits and am patiently ANXIOUSLY awaiting their arrival. Once they come in the mail I will do a tutorial video to show you how freaking fun it is.

I’m not going to link where to buy these yet because I am waiting to see the quality from several vendors. I ordered from three different places in hopes that at least one will be a high enough quality to be worth the prices. Stay tuned!

TINY!! TOYS!!

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I will have a post soon featuring all the fun tiny stuff I got at my Doll Club Birthday Party, but this is a teaser, featuring my current favorite blind box. Molang is a cartoon you can watch on YouTube (click here) which I did not even know about until I wrote this post! I have fallen for the cute little charm blind boxes you can buy from WalMart. Each box is $1.88 and comes with a little plastic bracelet, a Molang (rabbit) charm, a Piu Piu (chick) charm, and 2 accessory charms. This picture shows 2 boxes worth and I got a super rare one (the silver bead and the pink glittery jellyfish). Look at the TINY neon green banjo!

I’ve bought a handful of these blind boxes over the past few months. The bracelets are almost too small for my giant, erm, adult sized wrists, but they are perfect as doll necklaces. In case you are new-ish to my blog, the doll is a (fake) Blythe that I did a face-up on a few years back. Her name is MaryAnn and she is wearing a little set of overalls that I knitted.  Madame Alexander doll in the corner is yet unnamed. What should I name her? She is rather TINY, too!

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Are there any TINY things you have seen lately that I should know about? Please comment below or send me a message! I love seeing TINY things from my field agents 🙂

Alrighty! That is all for this edition of Tiny Tuesday!
I hope you enjoyed it!
See you back next week, same time, same place!

❤ ❤ ❤

Victory Garden 2018, Update #3: YouTube video tour & Garlic Harvest

Hello everyone!

It is that time of year where I switch from #teacherlife to #coonsmithsutlery !

While I adore my job it is EXTREMELY FUN to get to be a kid again during summers. I try to keep up with my passions even during the school year, but that is not an easy task…especially as a new teacher (just finished up my FIRST year woo-hoo) who is taking lateral entry classes. I am DOING fun stuff, I’m just not as good at sharing it with y’all.

I uploaded a new video to YouTube a couple of days ago — it’s a pretty in depth tour of my little garden. If you are interested in a blow-by-blow, please go check it out. Let me know how you feel about the content, length of video, information, etc. My mom ( ❤ ahem ❤ ) felt like it was too long. Let me know what you think.

ANYWAY!

I’ve done a couple of things in the ol Victory Garden since I posted the video.

GARLIC HARVEST!

Maker:S,Date:2017-11-15,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

 

This was my first attempt at growing any sort of bulb crop and I’m not really sure how I feel about the results. I’m a little bummed. I did grow SOMETHING and I do think in the end I will have learned some things, so it’s not a total failure. Let me back up and tell you a little background info.

This past fall I planted three types of seed plants, 52 garlic, 30 shallots, 30 onions. For the garlic, I soaked them in water with baking soda over night before planting. I planted each clove tip up, about 3 inches apart in rows about 6 inches apart. I then covered the plants with about 6 inches of straw. Honestly, about a month ago, as the tops began to brown and fall over, there were still about 20 grassy tops still visible in the garlic area. I decided to harvest them today because there were so few tops left. I was able to pull FIVE bulbs. 😦 Two were an okay size, three were very small. I don’t know what happened to the ones that were there only a couple of weeks ago 😦

Early this season, I discovered the onions that I planted had completely disappeared. There was no trace that I ever planted them. When the green shoots started appearing from the garlic and shallots, there was nothing coming up in the onion area. I dug through the dirt and could find nothing there. I guess they just decomposed because there was never any evidence of digging (from dogs or other critters). I went ahead and planted other plants in that bed.

The shallots are still very green and their flowers bloomed about a week ago.  I’m planning to wait and let those tops turn brown before I do anything with them. You can see more details of all of this in the garden tour video. If you have any insight please leave comments either here or on the video. I obviously need all the help I can get!

Garden Tour Video!
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT NOW!
Untitled

STARTING BASIL FROM CUTTINGS!

I feel like most everyone already knows this, but on the off chance that YOU don’t already know this trick I am here today to blow your mind.

 

All you have to do to get FREE basil plants is this:

1. Cut several stems of basil.
(NOTE: You can even use fresh basil that you bought at the grocery store!)
2. Put stems in a glass of water just like you would a pretty flower.
3. Leave stems in water for about 2 weeks, making sure that the water level stays high.
4. Plant your basil starts!

How cute is the teacup I used?! Mr. Smith’s little brother got married a few weeks back and these teacups were the wedding favors we got to take home. I love the idea, the teacups, and the NEWLYWEDS!!! Feel free to share both the teacup idea AND the basil cuttings idea with anyone you think might be interested!

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That’s all for now!

Be sure to check out the video and let me know what you think!

Stay tuned for more fun–the summer has only just begun!!!

Museum of the American House Cat: an Adventure to Sylva.

Welcome to Sylva, NC:
Home of the Museum of the American House Cat!

Visiting the museum has been on my to-do list since I heard the words “CAT” and “MUSEUM” in the same sentence. It’s actually only one of TWO museums dedicated to cats in the entire United States. This seems shocking to me given our collective love of cat videos on the internet!

When you drive up, this is what you will see:

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You’ll enter the museum through the old school building. I should have taken a picture of THAT door and of the counter where you buy tickets but honestly I was so overcome that it did not cross my mind. Once you buy your ticket you’ll walk down a hall reminiscent of Replacements Ltd (see THIS link for more about THAT wondrous location). Be sure to allow time to peruse the antique mall when you finish your Cat Tour!

As you approach the end of the hallway, THIS door will appear on your left. You put your raffle ticket in a box and then the door opens, and you will feel like you’ve been transported into the cat version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

{If you don’t know the movie reference
CLICK HERE!}

PS: With your admission ticket there is a monthly raffle for a major prize –that’s the ticket stub you drop off in the box!

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Once inside we were greeted by The CatMan2 himself, Dr. Harold W. Sims along with his female associate whose name I immediately forgot. (I am sorry! She was a really nice lady & great tour guide but again, I was OVERCOME.)

The museum is really well organised, well lit, and strangely clean…I don’t think I saw a single cat hair! There are no cat residents on site BUT there are plenty at the shelter that CatMan2 runs with funding from the museum! It is definitely worth noting that almost ALL the items in the museum are things that Harold himself has collected. There are a few donations, but overall it is all him!

NOW FOR SOME PICTURES!

I’m basically going to give you a double handful photo dump of my favorite feline finds! I’ll include a little caption telling a bit about what is in the picture. I invite you to click on each picture and really look at all the little bits, almost like a Where’s Waldo!

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Black & White vintage cat photographs and tintypes.

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Black & White vintage cat photographs and tintypes. Also cat patches.

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Wind up toys!

(extreme Grumpy cat on far left)
I think he looks like the famous Grumpy Cat from the internet!

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More wind up toys!

I especially like the little hot pink & orange plastic one in the middle on the right.

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I think these look a bit like bears, but regardless, they are very cute.

I love how each of them is doing a mundane household task;
ironing, knitting, and even grinding coffee beans!!

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And even more wind up toys!

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Totoro’s cousin thrice removed?

For some reason, this one reminds me of a character from Studio Ghibili!!!
{Click HERE if you don’t know what I’m talking about!}

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Halloween Cats!

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Guinness Advertisement from Ireland!

Now for some cat art!

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Here are cats involved in drinking!

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More cats drinking!

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A very floofy cat named Butch!

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Cats in advertising…AND WITH STALIN.

Read the zoom in to read more.
{Not sure the truth of this, but I love it as a story!}
BEWARE OF WILD VARMINTS!

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A very handsome tabby cat smoking a cigarette!

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CatMan2 tee shirts & merch!

OKAY.

Now go ahead and prepare yourself for possibly the raddest part.

.

.

.

ANDY WARHOL CATS.
To be honest, I’m not 100% sure they are authentic, BUT I DON’T EVEN CARE.
They are so fun as part of the collection!
(And I desperately love Andy and therefore love these paintings.)

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And now here is me!
I had on as much cat stuff as possible!
Earrings — thirfted
Stone Necklace — Carolina Renaissance Festival
Shirt — Amazon (a gift!)
Sweater — Target brand via Goodwill
Gray hair highlights — NATURE/my mom 🙂

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A FEW ADDITIONAL NOTES:

Admission notes: $7.50 for adults–not sure about children. It shows as $5 several places online but we paid $7.50 as of 4/3/18

HOURS: Open 10am-5pm Tuesday – Saturday.
12noon-5pm on Sundays
CLOSED ON MONDAYS
Winter months the museum is open by appointment only.

*SIDE NOTE: You might want to pack a little pick-nick lunch and make a day of it. There are no places to eat terribly close by. This trip would be great for a rainy day. You could tour the museum, eat lunch in your car, and go back in and look at the antique mall. This would make an excellent date for adults. If you have smaller kids (ages 5-10ish) the museum will still be great but maybe bypass the antique mall part.

Click HERE for all the info you need about the CatMan2 Shelter!

HERE is an article about the museum from The Smithsonian!

Be sure to tell the folks that CoonSmith Sutlery sent you!

 

 

Quick stop for the POTATO SALE at Sow True Seeds!

ATTENTION!!!
This is not a sponsored post!
Neither Sow True nor Baker Creek sponsored this post…
…but…
…you better believe they could if they wanted to!
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

I’m a big fan of Baker Creek seeds as y’all well know. I’ve been meaning to go and check out a pretty famous hometown store that makes for excellent BC competition–Sow True Seed Company!!! A couple of days ago Sow True posted on Facebook that they were running a 50% sale on seed potatoes. I had not yet bought my seed potatoes so this was in perfect time! I was already headed up the mountain for the cat museum adventure (STAY TUNED!) so the timing was spot on!

Sow True See Company is located on the fringe of the heart of downtown Asheville. While it is not a huge store, it is extremely well stocked and carefully curated. The company has been open since 2009 & features 500+ seeds–many that are organic, heirloom & sourced from small farms. So much to love! I clicked a few pics for your viewing pleasure to highlight some of my favorite bits of the place.

BONUS: the store has shop dogs AND it looked like there was a working mother there wearing her baby while working in the back. How dreamy is that!?

I digress.
Back to the store.

As an AVID life long lover of libraries I am not a big book buyer (so much accidental alliteration)…for the most part. I rarely buy books (novels, etc) unless I am going to use them more than once. More often than not, if I buy a book it is a cookbook, crafty book, field guide, or a well loved book of poems.

But y’all. This book section had me drooling so hard.

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Sow True has a whole book nook of doom. The best kind of doom. The “I-want-to-take-it-all-home-with-me” doom. Just look at it. (You can click the picture & zoom in for a closer look and more drooling doom.) DOOM.

The two books I wanted the most were Drink The Harvest (on making and preserving juices & wines, etc) and Put ‘Em Up (a beautiful canning book). These are the kinds of books that should be bought and kept for generations!

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Seed Wall.
(featuring inadvertent model couple, browsing/drooling)

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Seed Collections!

This is one of my favorite offerings from Sow True. Each can has a collection of seed packets that go with a theme. Each can ranges in price from $22.95 down to $6.95. The ones I was eyeballing the hardest were the Three SistersChildren’s Garden, and the Culinary Herb Garden. <—- You can click on each of those to go straight to the website to read about the collections. What a cool gift idea for like EVERY garden friend in your life! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Here is what I brought home!

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Black Seeded Simpson, Drunken Woman Lettuces. Dill seeds.

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Patti Smith poses with Potatoes.

Above you can see Patti Smith posing with the 3 varieties I picked: All Blue, Red Gold, and Rose Finn Apple Fingerling. And yes that is a pizza puzzle she is posed on. I call this picture, “Pretty Patti Poses with Perfect Potatoes on Pizza Puzzle.”

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of my new favorite seed place — Sow True Seed Company!!! Be sure to check them out in person if you live near Asheville, or order online! If you read this in the next few days (April 4, 2018) you can still get in on the potato discount. Just use the coupon Code POTATOES50 if ordering online!

Stay tuned for more soon
AND
keep growing stuff!!!

Victory Garden 2018, update #2: Starting Seeds & Setting up Shop!

I am soooooo behind with updates on the garden so here is a little sneak peak at what has been going on over at the ol back 40 homestead! I’ve officially got all my seeds started, and even have a few things transplanted. I’ve had a few kerfuffles, but overall things seem to be going smoothly.  Knock on garden wood.

Circles in circles!
Seed starting pods on my Bopla! china that was in the sink.
{I didn’t leave them there–it was just too pretty not to take a picture!}

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Notes in the first official garden notebook.
(and a beer of course!)
{MORE DETAILS ON GERMINATION LATER!}

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A week later…LOOKIE!!!

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These are the 3 kids of dirt I mixed together for the raised beds!
I use a mix of the first two types (3-4 each) with one bag of the last.

First Dirt Manicure of the Year!

Beginnings of the garden in the yard!

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The raised beds are some I salvaged from an old green house that I got a tip about last summer. I put the beds on cinder-blocks that bring the beds up to the perfect height to save my back. The stepping stones in the aisle are from the yard at my old rental house. I dug them up from under years of leaves and weeds! They’re one of my favorite yard decorations. I was inspired by this video by Bumble Bee Junction — I love their set up and hope that someday my garden can be as epic and polished as theirs!

By the way, here are some YouTube channels that are inspiring me right now:
Keeping It Dutch
Arms Family Homestead
Appalachia’s Homestead
Deep South Homestead

And OF COURSE be sure to check out my channel…
Coonsmith Sutlery

…AND a walk around!
Seedlings Starting

Stay tuned for more…as soon as I can!

 

Victory Garden 2018, update #1: It’s getting to be THAT TIME!

Hello there!!!
Welcome back to the Victory Garden!
I dunno about y’all, but I am chomping at the bit to get my hands in the dirt!

Here are some tidbits I thought you might like to look at as you plant your own garden. I am getting a little seed swap organized with several of my like-minded local pals. You have enough time to do the same! Share! You’ll learn a lot and have some fun, too!

Here is a list of the seeds I have so far.

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Last year I tried some different planting methods, some of which worked and some of which DID NOT. I had pretty terrible luck with growing large tomatoes in pots. The small or cherry varieties did *okay* but not great. Potatoes in pots did AMAZINGLY WELL! Since I’ve had a whole year to track how the sun moves, I am ready to put some plants in the ground. I’m still going to do pots for some things.

Scene from a snow day!

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Here are some varieties I had great luck with last year and plant to grow again.

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Since I do live in the foothills of North Carolina, it is getting close to time to start seeds indoors.  I am going to start my tomatoes (all small varieties) and peppers (mostly HOT) inside near the first of March. I’m going to direct plant lettuce, spinach, radish and carrots around the same time outside. I planted garlic, shallots and onions at the end of October. Like I told y’all last year: after growing potatoes, I am convinced I can grow anything!

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Here are some tips from this VERY AMATEUR gardener:

KEEP A NOTEBOOK. Last year I kept notes on bits and pieces of paper that I then put in a portfolio folder. This worked okay, but I’m sure I ended up losing a few of the notes. This year I am using a regular old marble composition notebook. I’ve got pages dedicated to planting & harvesting dates, plus pages for gardening notes and tidbits. It has already been a help to look back over last years info as I plan for this new season.

KEEP A SEPARATE CALENDAR. I tried to keep garden notes in the same calendar as the rest of my life last year and it did not work for me. I have some friends from my Missouri days (Hi Trevor & Lisa!!!) that put out a little zine-style calendar each year and send it to folks in lieu of those stupid life update letters (they include one of those, too, but it comes with this practical gift). It’s big enough to keep dates, but small enough to keep with my  note book that has lots of details. I went ahead and with the help of my planting guide (see below) put dates on the calendar for when I need to prep/plant/potentially harvest. I hope this helps me be a little more organized this year.

INVEST IN A PLANTING GUIDE. I got one of these free with a Baker Creek gift a few years back and really didn’t pay that much attention to it until this year. I watched this video from Off Grid with Doug and Stacy was like OMG I have that thing! (Be sure to watch the video AND follow the channel–it’s a funny & very knowledge couple that you can learn a lot from!) The “thing” is a planting guide for planting and it works all over the globe. I know you can DIY them, but for a mere $4, you really can’t beat this one from Clyde.

LOOK AT GARDEN BED PLANS. I get really overwhelmed thinking about what to plant near what. I love reading about companion plants and who plays well with whom and who has drama…but then I don’t really know what to do with the information. This year I looked up actual garden plans to figure out where to plant. I’ll share more about the process once I nail down my own. There are tons of great free resources online AND in books at your local library.

Here are some of my “just for fun” seeds!
{milkweed, snap dragon, Job’s Tears, luffa, marigold}

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Share with me!
Tell me what you are planning for YOUR garden!
What advice do you have for me & our readers?