Dear Friends,

I apologize for my lack of presence lately. December was… well… insane. Too much stress. Too much candy. Too much hyperactivity in my students caused by too much candy. Too much everything. It’s a time for gluttony and full schedules. Those full schedules kept me from this place that I love… connecting with all of you.

I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, but I am one for new beginnings and re-newed hope. It is my sincerest wish to make myself more present on ImaginAcres this year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and I realized over time I’ve steered away from my focus. ImaginAcres is supposed to be the place where art meets farm. Somewhere along the line I feel like it’s lost the art part.

Art is such a huge part of my life, but sometimes I forget to share it with others.

You see, I work full time as an art teacher. Most days I get home, reeling from the day, and the one and only thing I want to do is crack a beer, sit down, and zone out. Teaching can be very exhausting, especially for a major introvert like myself. At the end of a long day, it feels like I have no more to give. I can’t even think about hopping on the computer and putting more of myself out there in written form.

But I want that to change.

Many of the posts found on this site take hours and hours of thought, research, and editing to get to the point of publication (posts like this one). I love creating those posts for your enjoyment, but in the spirit of posting more often and being true to myself, I want to throw something else into the mix.

I’m going to start showing you some installations from my daily life.

These may be photos of my current artwork or knitting, or ridiculous things I’ve encountered in my day. They may be itty bitty stories from my week. It may just be some pretty chicken pics to brighten your day.  Whatever it may be, it will be me, 100%.

It’s time to bring the art back into ImaginAcres, so this is it.

Finding the center, the sweet spot between art and farm that I always wanted ImaginAcres to be.

I hope you enjoy…

Finding Center

I’ve been drawing inspirational quotes on the chalk board next to my desk. This chalkboard belonged to my grandmother, and she also used to write inspirational quotes on it every week. I love glancing over at it daily and re-discovering my creativity and motivation.

Amongst the craziness of December, we made the glorious discovery that butter is incredibly easy and fun to make! We found a wonderful local dairy and have been picking up ice cold, super fresh milk and cream weekly. I’ve been using my kitchenaid mixer to make a fresh batch of butter weekly, and soon we hope to move on to making some of our own cheese!

In case you were wondering, it’s not difficult to become completely and totally addicted to the glory that is fresh butter.

Not only is it delicious, we can make butter for much cheaper and produce much less waste than if we were buying it from the grocery store. I enjoyed the process so much I drew up a handy little graphic on how to make butter in a mixer and posted it here for you to enjoy and print.

 

I’ve been knitting up a storm lately. To the point where I’m giving myself terrible carpal tunnel, which obviously isn’t stopping me. I’m in the process of developing a pattern for muk luks, which are amazing knee high slippers that are oh-so-warm.

It’s taken me months to tweak and finalize the basic pattern, and now I get to the fun part: adding in colorful designs! I’m thinking the first pair will have foxes, mushrooms, and trees. The fun part is, I can keep using this same basic design and add new colorful patterns to it. So, you can probably expect to see a lot of slipper pics in the coming months!

For another creative outlet, I’ve also been attempting to break down the mystery that is watercolor paint. I’ve tried it in the past and become extremely frustrated at the lack of control I have over it. It kinda does whatever it wants and you better deal with it.

I’ve been practicing painting chickens on little scraps of watercolor and it is SO much fun! Once you let go of the need to control the paint, it’s easier to work with, and the results are pretty amazing. I love how the colors mixed and mingled. I frequently post little drawings and paintings on our instagram account, so if you want to see more, be sure to follow us there!

These are the incredible watercolors I’ve been using:

Dr. Ph. Martin’s Radiant Concentrated Watercolor Set

Prismacolor Watercolor Pencil Set

Speaking of chickens… our little ladies are doing great. Even though it’s been close to zero every day this week, they’re all snuggled up in their coop, enjoying pecking away at the Flock Block  I bought for them. Those little rascals have inspired me to write an ebook about the joys and insanity of raising a flock of chickens in the city. It’s coming out on March 1st, and you can be sure I’ll be updating you all along the way!

That’s all for today folks! I’d love to hear how your week is going in the comments! I read and cherish everything you share with me on here, so speak up!

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