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This weekend I avoided my chores with

Too little sleep
sunshine
antique shops
walking in the park
candy shopping
catching up with friends
sewing

here is a sneak peek at what I worked on in the sewing room

dress hem

This Thursday, April 15 is the last day to find new Irene Design updates at this website.  Please remember to switch your RSS feeds to http://irenedesign.blogspot.com

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April 15 is fast approaching.  Do you know what that means?

Your taxes are due. Well, they are, but I’m not really here to remind you of that.

April 15 is the day that Irene Design moves to its new home!

In an effort to streamline everything I am doing, I am moving my blog to a blogspot address.  Between now and April 15, I will double post on both blogs (so they will be the same).  However after April 15, I will only add new posts to the blogspot domain.

I thought long and hard about this because I do not want to add to anyone’s confusion, and I do not want to loose any readers.  If you currently have my blog bookmarked in your internet browser, or if you subscribe to my blog with a feed reader (RSS, Google Reader, etc.) please replace my wordpress address with this one:

http://irenedesign.blogspot.com

I value each one of you readers and want to make sure I don’t loose you in the move!! However with my Real Food blog, and with the ease with which I can customize using blogger, this move in necessary.

I would love to know that you are following me over.  Please check out my new blog (it’s got all new background, header, link icons, fonts, and all), and leave me a message letting me know you made it!

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The weather has been too nice to permit sewing. It’s perfect for exploring though!

baby hands exploring grass

baby hands in grass

My camera and I did a little exploring as well.

spring flowers dream

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Our weekend revolved not only around the Easter Celebration but also the celebration of a good friend’s wedding.  Besides the obvious importance-of-marriage highlights, my top ones include

Taking lots of pictures (I love family photos!)

The band.  Seriously, this bluegrass band was amazing.  They led the party all night at the reception (we square danced!) then back at the Inn (yes, I laid in bed listening to them play until 2am), and then on Easter morning the cellist played right outside of our window to welcome the morning. 
(that is a cello, right?!)


Sunrise on Easter Morning

Hiking at the Natural Bridge State Park in Eastern Kentucky

We really had a great weekend full of friends (we did go up for a wedding!), great food (our friends are farmers!), laughing, fresh mountain air, and enough dancing and hiking to make my calves ache again this morning.

To top it all off, we had an Easter morning celebration that included singing Down in the River to Pray and Amazing Grace, a message about the significance of the historical ressurrection of a man named Jesus, and reading a poem by Mary Karr.  We sat out on picnic tables over-looking a cliff and had nothing but our voices–no instruments, microphones, slide projectors, anything.  It was serene and beautiful, perfect to reflect on the significance of what we were celebrating.

Descending Theology: The Resurrection

by Mary Karr

From the far star points of his pinned extremities,
cold inched in—black ice and squid ink—
till the hung flesh was empty.
Lonely in that void even for pain,
he missed his splintered feet,
the human stare buried in his face.
He ached for two hands made of meat
he could reach to the end of.
In the corpse’s core, the stone fist
of his heart began to bang
on the stiff chest’s door, and breath spilled
back into that battered shape. Now
it’s your limbs he comes to fill, as warm water
shatters at birth, rivering every way.

Descending Theology: The Resurrection

by Mary Karr

From the far star points of his pinned extremities,

cold inched in—black ice and squid ink—

till the hung flesh was empty.

Lonely in that void even for pain,

he missed his splintered feet,

the human stare buried in his face.

He ached for two hands made of meat

he could reach to the end of.

In the corpse’s core, the stone fist

of his heart began to bang

on the stiff chest’s door, and breath spilled

back into that battered shape. Now

it’s your limbs he comes to fill, as warm water

shatters at birth, rivering every way.

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New Years Resolutions seem to be something you either love or hate.  For some people it is a time to set unrealistic goals that will be forgotten a week later.  For others it is a time of reflection on the past year and anticipation of the year to come.  I fall into the later group.

Why am I bringing this up in March?  And what does this have to do with surprises? Or food? Good questions!

Back in December and early January, I spent a decent amount of time reflecting on what I wanted for the year ahead.  None of my resolutions were truly groundbreaking or even life changing.  Not yet at least.  But I did want to continue, deepen, and strengthen one aspect of my family’s life throughout this year, that being changing the way we eat to keep up with our views of how best to treat farmers, the farm, the animals, and the earth.  With this in mind, I also realized that we work with a limited budget; although sometimes if you look at my grocery bill you would not believe that.

So what was my resolution?  To keep our budget under $100/week but to continue to incorporate as many local, fresh, organic, and sustainably-produced items on our receipt as possible. Of course that incorporates a pretty big ambition and a lot of buzz-words, so to keep myself accountable, and to help the many others seeking to do the same,

I have started a new blog.


Actually, my friend Megan and I are starting this blog.  She is knee-deep in boxes in her new apartment in Texas (which she shares with her husband, dog and two children) so she’ll be posting a bit later this month.  Megan is amazing when it comes to planning, using coupons, and basically sticking to a budget.  I’m looking forward to seeing all that she offers in that department.  She is also transforming the contents of her kitchen, so she’ll have plenty to offer there as well!

It is of course a “work in progress”, but after several weeks of thinking about this and brainstorming ideas, I am so excited for you to see it! We will be posting recipes, recipe reviews, shopping tips, and of course chronicles of our own experiences.  I hope this is something that will be of value and not just “another blog”.  Feel free to let us know if you have any questions, ideas, or comments.  We would love to hear from you!

And for those of  you who actually read this far down, I’ll let you in on one more tidbit: today’s post is a little how-to for Chocolate Covered Pretzels!

What are you waiting for?  Check it out!

http://questforrealfood.blogspot.com

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from tonebastianse on flickr

There are times when I set the auto focus on my camera but it goes in and out of focus attempting to determine where or what the object of focus is.  Sometimes I need to make a few adjustments before the camera can actual focus itself on the composition of the photo.

That is how I feel right now. Term 1 of Indie Business 2.0 has come to a close, and my brain and heart seem to be going in and out, trying to determine where or what the object of my focus is.

Do I focus online or locally? Craft shows or consignment?  Produce singular items or multiples?  Children’s clothing or home décor?  Blogging or personal networking?  Do I stick with Irene Design or think up something catchy and slightly more original?  Am I a hobbyist or a business entrepreneur in the making?

Do you all know what it means to DTR?  (Define the Relationship).  Back in my college days (I went to a Christian liberal arts school and loved it by the way), when a couple started to get serious about actually being a couple—or when one person wanted to let the other person know that they weren’t really into taking that next step—one would approach the other and hold a DTR chat.  The relationship was defined, boundaries were set, and usually within a few hours everyone at the school knew what the outcome had been.  It was a big deal.

I need to hold a DTR with myself.  That’s half of why I took this course—to determine what I even needed to discuss!

The reality is, as much as I push against this, choices must be made. I cannot have it all; boundaries and limitations must be set.  As I continue trying to determine where and what my focus is, my immediate reaction is against any kind of binary either/or.  I want it all! But this is reality.  I have just a few hours a week that I am able to devote to Irene Design, and that limitation must be kept in view or focus will never be achieved!

These questions do not mean that I am not enjoying the course or getting anything out of it.  To the contrary, this is exactly what I wanted!  I needed a little nudge, some adjustments, to get me to a point of being able to really focus on what matters.

How do you keep your focus, especially when it seems difficult?

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At one point during our 2 1/2 years of long distance dating, Brandon sent me a text message with a picture attached.  I don’t have that picture on my phone (that must have been 4 phones ago), but it’s still in my mind.  He had been shaving his beard but saved the mustache because he knew how much I loved (read: very strongly disliked) the mustache.

Now, four phones later and much to my dismay (and yes, I’ll admit it, amusement), mustaches are in.  Not just in like “Hey look that Uncle Rico wanna-be” in, but in like “I just found a mustache salt and pepper shaker” in.  No joke.

In fact, the craze right now seems to be the “‘Stache Bash” or “Mustache Bash”. Now, as much as I dislike mustaches, I really do like parties.  I also like music and I like female art.  Combine all of the above, and you get something as stupendous as the Female Art Collective’s Mustache Bash coming up this weekend (Dec. 5) at the New Albanian Brewing Company in New Albany, IN.  And there is even going to be some kind of a prize for the best mustache.

Get more (and more accurate) info here:

‘Staches from starting from top left:
Mustache glass by BreadandBadger also found at FAC
Mustache earrings by Lindsaylou
Mustache light switch cover by julietew
Mustache espresso cups by UptownAveHandmade

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