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Stansborough LTD Woolen Mill – Loom Working in Slow Motion [Video] (0:28)

September 4th, 2017 Comments off

Stansborough LTD Woolen Mill - Loom Working in Slow Motion

On our recent (August 2017) trip to New Zealand, we made a special point of visiting Stansborough LTD, maker of fine woolen fabrics used in the costumes for The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

This is slow motion video of one of their turn-of-the-century looms at work. What you can’t hear and feel is the vibration of the floor and the slamming of the shuttles from one side of the machine to the other. This is truly a beast of another age.

If you are in Wellington, New Zealand, I highly recommend you visit and take their tour. It is like stepping back into an earlier age.

Stansborough LTD Web Site

Creating artisan woollen treasures

Introducing the Stansborough collection of sustainable designer woollen textiles.

​100% New Zealand, pure, natural and chemical free.
Cocoon yourself in timeless, environmentally friendly heirloom treasures.

Breathable textiles that warm and protect, made with passion and integrity

Luxurious blankets, throws, rugs, babywear, accessories and Licensed Movie Costuming, traditionally created by artisan craftsmen, on historic 1890’s looms.

 



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New Zealand Trip August 22-24, 2017 (Day 1) [62 Photos]

September 3rd, 2017 Comments off

New Zealand Trip August 22-24, 2017 (Day 1)

Photos from our recent (August 2017) vacation to New Zealand with stops in Wellington and Dunedin.

Sculpture Detail 2 4x size sculpture Gallipoli Exhibit Te Papa Museum

Lock Bridge Wellington Harbor

Click to view entire album

 

 

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A family selfie of our last moments in New Zealand. More photos coming soon.

September 2nd, 2017 Comments off

Do It 2017 #10: A gentle nudge can work wonders

July 20th, 2017 Comments off

It is a simple fact that, when it comes to productivity, we can all use a gentle nudge every so often. Our latest nudge came in the form of our new, young, neighbors. After renting the house next door for a long time, the owners were finally able to sell it outright to this couple. This has meant a lot of change…for the good…on both their property and ours.

We have been wanting to replace out south fence almost since the moment we moved in 21 years ago. At that time, our neighbor had some issues that made him reluctant to replace the fence. Then the new owners were not living in the property and so the fence was not a priority item for them. Over the years it descended further and further into disrepair — completely falling over in some cases.

Enter the new neighbors. They needed to dismantle the worse parts of the fence in order to complete their mortgage funding and we were fine with that. Even better, they wanted to replace the fence immediately. One of the reasons we hadn’t simply replace the fence ourselves was the cost. Paying for it all by ourselves was going to be expensive. Luckily, they were willing to split the cost. Just like that, workmen were on-site and 3 days later we had a nice, vinyl fence between our properties.

Moving, Moving, Moving

For me, it was a bit difficult to suddenly jump into action on such a long wanted project, but I also knew that this was the best time to get it done. It was amazing to have the young energy about giving us a push in the right direction. I have always sought out opportunities to work and hang out with younger people, especially as I crossed the threshold of 40, and this is one of the biggest reasons why. As we age, we can get a little too settled and a little too comfortable in our lives and having someone to push and challenge you a but can be a welcome change.

I know that our neighbor’s energy and excitement has certainly rubbed off on us. We have been working in the garden more lately — especially with Rosanne finally on break from her teaching for a few weeks — gotten our large tree trimmed and tidied, and we are getting our living and dining room paint refreshed after 10 years. As I often say, movement begets more movement. Action begets more action and that has certainly been the case here.

In return for all this added energy from next door, I am enjoying sharing any wisdom I have gained after 21 years of home ownership. We talk about their trees, what they want to add to the property and just general life stuff. They are free to ignore any advice I give, but it feels good to be able to offer some insight. 21 years ago we were the, relatively, young, folks moving in. Now we are in the position of being the “older” neighbors. I hope to be as good a neighbor to them as ours were to us.

Seek out energy and movement

So where can you turn and who can you turn to reinvigorate your thinking, your energy, your activity and your life? Is there a group that could benefit from your experience? Are there activities you can find that being you in content to younger folks who still have that amazing level of energy and excitement? There is nothing wrong with using a bit of that energy to add some fuel to your own fire. In fact, I think it is critical to seek out new thoughts, new places, and new adventures, especially as you grow older and more settled. Even better, you’ll find this new energy affecting parts of your life that are entirely unrelated. The simple act of being around more, good, energy means that you’ll be more inclined to do everything in your life. I know, for myself, the simple act of having these new neighbors has me re-energized to do a number of things — including returning to writing these regular blog posts.

From Today’s Perfect Moment

What would you do with a little energy boost? Take the first step and seek out those people and experiences that rev you up instead of those that grind you down. It can be a tough step to take, but it will become easier with time as each step leads to the next and the next. Like a snowball rolling downhill, it will gather its own energy and influence with just a little push from you.

 

Trip Planning and Prep Begins In Earnest

July 14th, 2017 Comments off

Trip Planning and Prep Begins In Earnest

Prepping for our first trip to New Zealand in about a month. This is just one piece in the travel puzzle. Many more to come!

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In Sarah and Paul’s Garden

May 1st, 2017 Comments off

In Sarah and Paul's Garden</p>

<p>Hanging candle holders in our friend's garden before dinner last night.
#garden #home #decor #accessories

In Sarah and Paul’s Garden

Hanging candle holders in our friend’s garden before dinner last night. 

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* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Noted: Your Cooking Rut Ends With This $9 Lentil-Sausage Stew

March 7th, 2017 Comments off

Buy and gift these “Marigold with Raindrops” Totes, iPhone Cases, Laptop Sleeves and More!

February 25th, 2017 Comments off

Share my memories of Sicily and our visits there with these “Sicilian Rose” Prints, Totes, Scarves and Much More!

February 14th, 2017 Comments off

Do It 2017!: #5 Creative progress So Far

February 9th, 2017 Comments off

Do It 2017#5 Creative Progress So Far

This week I’ll give you a few updates on how I am doing with my own creativity and creating.

First, as part of allowing more time for my own creativity I am trying to stick to a more normal 9-5 work schedule. This is always a challenge when you work for yourself. The computer is always sitting there, staring at you, and wondering why you aren’t working on something. I work in my home office, so unless I make some definitive movement from work to personal life, it all just blends together.

Watercolor Wandering

Since my wife and son have late nights at college this quarter, it has been a little easier to set aside my own time in the evenings, but I still had to nearly force myself to make some movement. First was clearing off the left wing of my desk and setting up my watercolors. Years ago I was able to get some professional training in watercolor painting — for free – and developed some skill in painting from nature. Unfortunately after years of disuse, it is taking me a while to get my skills back. That said, I did get things set up and even did 2 quick practice pieces. Movement is always the first important step, so I feel that this is a big accomplishment and it puts me back on the path of my own creativity.

Watercolor setup

Of course, it will be up to me to sit down at the desk and pull out my brushes, but having them open and available certainly helps in that regard. They also provide an easy excuse to move from work mode to creative mode as they site just an arm’s reach away and I only need to pivot my chair to change my attention.

One big help is simply seeing dinner time as my switch over time from work to creativity. After I sit down to dinner I remind myself that I need to work on something creative and not simply fall back into the computer as I might have in the past.

I have also been looking for watercolor tutorials on YouTube and have shared a few to the blog here. YouTube has a huge wealth of resources and it only took a quick search to turn up hours of watercolor demonstrations and tutorials. Make sure you dive into YouTube and see it has to offer in your creative area. I am sure you will find many resources to expand your own creativity there. Be sure to share your favorites with me and the other readers in the comments.

Youtube watercolor videos

Music Making

As I mentioned before, I now also have my guitars set up next to my desk again and I have been practicing 30-45 minutes each evening after dinner. It is a great time to work as often the family is out of the house, so I don’t have to worry about disturbing them (or embarrassing myself) (LAUGH)

At first I only had the electric guitar out of its case, but as we have put the home office back together after having carpet installed, it gave me a reason to set everything back up again. So now the electric, the acoustic guitar, tuners, music and such are all close at hand.

Guitars

What are you creating?

So, now the big question — how have you been doing with your own creativity over these last 4 weeks?  I love to hear your accomplishments, both large and small and I am sure others readers would too. Leave a comment here and let us know what is working — or not working — for you.

This week I plan on paying more attention to setting aside time for painting and playing to try and make it more of an easy habit to full into each evening. I hope you are making space for creativity in you day, too!

Previously on Do It!:

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