Tinker Verve

creating with spirit & enthusiasm…often with great results

Celebrating Autumn

Living in the country has so many benefits…for me!  I realize that I am so, very different from most people but I feel like it allows me to do so many of the things that I’ve wanted to do for years…

…like taking time to celebrate Autumn with family.

We did just that on Saturday.  There were 15 of us and we pressed 36 gallons of cider, the kids carved pumkins and played in the leaves and we ate wonderful food.

I’m hoping that we have just had our 1st Annual ~ Bowe Family Celebration of Autumn!

   Now that we have had our practice run {which was a fairly spontaneous happening} we’ll need to invite the rest of the family and really get it on!

My brother slipped away before, after and a little during to get the trusses up on the little barn!

October 31, 2011 Posted by | autumn decor, family, home life, my neck of the woods! | 12 Comments

country fresh…

a favorite charm…’country fresh’

I’m excited to pick apples tomorrow and make cider with the family. 

Is it possible that this might be the beginning of a family tradition?…hoping so!

October 28, 2011 Posted by | my neck of the woods!, soldered charms | 3 Comments

…what to do with salvage?

Do you love to take something and find a creative, fun, never-thought-of-before use for it?

I recently entered a ‘sale’ {in my neck of the woods} with a group of like-minded gals/friends who came out from the Spokane area to shop for great finds.  At one point I came upon two of my favorite junking life-friends, Celeste & Holly…they were standing there staring an item down with deep intent in their eyes. 

The definition of that look?: we making something out of nothingright here and now.

I just wanted to climb into their little heads.  I could vision an idea for that piece of junk, but what was their vision?  Certainly it was completely different than my own.

A couple of weeks ago I had a great fire going outside.  When I burn, I BURN…I start looking for anything and everything that can just….be GONE

I had two old chairs that really needed to be GONE!  Honestly, I probably could have put them in my booth at Farm Chicks and had somebody PAY me to take them off of my hands but I could see no vision for them….until I turned them over and saw the fun coils that filled the underside of them.  My first little coils.  You see them at all the sales but now I had my own.  {silly me}  I enlisted my Mr’s help {who couldn’t see my vision AT ALL…but willingly helped} and we cut all of those little coils out of the bottoms of those chairs before they hit the burn pile.

Yesterday I finally brought one inside.  If I have something sitting around that seems to have no use I can begin to envision many creative uses for it just by having it around.

It took just minutes to slip one of my green, jar flower vases {still sitting on the table from the weekend’s art retreat} into one of the coils…perfect fit!  Since my eye likes things in 3’s, I went back out and got 3 coils that were still tied together….voila!

Another one of my… sweet pleasures = simple joys

{and it was free….I know my Mr. can catch that vision…btw, he think this post should be titled, “Spring Flowers”…he’s such a clever one}

We have had our share of hard freezes so the blooms are looking quite sad but yesterday I was able to pick a lovely bouquet of parsley and included blooms of sage and oregano….beautiful and fragrant and untouched by the frost!

October 27, 2011 Posted by | Chic Rustique, garden, just plain fun, my neck of the woods! | 2 Comments

Oh, for the love of Autumn…

I seems that with everybody I talk to I say, “Isn’t this the most beautiful fall?” 

Since I don’t remember saying it here, I’ve just got to also share with you that I am in love with Autumn this year. 

It seems that so many of life’s sweet pleasures come in the form of simple joys!

Take notice of those simply joys in your life…and then smile!

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

– Albert Camus

October 26, 2011 Posted by | home life, my neck of the woods! | 4 Comments


photo was taken by Kelly Tareski                 thx.Kelly!

It’s time to do a re-cap on another fabulous weekend.

A few years ago I began to dream about the possibilities of hosting art retreats at my place.  I felt as though I had the perfect set-up here.  A beautiful country setting, cabins, a supportive husband and a home that, with a bit of transforming, would work for workshops and meals.

Now that I have completed four retreats I’ll say that it just feels right.  It is a bit overwhelming to know that these women, most of whom have never met me before, trust me with their time and their resources.  They take their drive out to my country home hoping that the food and accommodations and workshops will be all they hope for them to be…I carry that load, taking none of those ‘hopes’ for granted.

My personal hope and goal is to be all, to all!  Yes, it can get a bit exhausting but in the end it seems to work well and I love it!  🙂

My favorite retreat posts are the ones where I can use someone else’s pictures but for now I only have my own to work with.  Taking good pictures is always a challenge for me during these weekends because I’m so busy which I guess is why there are so many food pictures…those were my down times.

Fresh bread rising on the kitchen counter.

Oh, my…yummy cheese cake!

Mixed media…


I think that my silly dog Cash loves these weekends as much as I do…he seems to always find one or more girls who love him.  Here, Sheila is lovin’ on him!

A semi-early morning walk is on the schedule each day.  I generally have one or two gals who join me…another favorite time for Cash.

Rhoda, Kelly and Cash!

An un-invited 3-legged visitor…Kelly saved him and let him outside.


Chocolate fondue…

On Saturday afternoon we enjoyed a 3-course tea party…

Glass table-top journals…

Jennifer came for the weekend and cooked for us.  She did an amazing job and even sent each gal home with a bunch of goodies.  Thanks Jennifer for your cooking, baking, giving, serving and friendship…oh, ya…and the leftovers!

And thanks to each and every gal who came and participated this weekend.  You truly are the ones who make the weekend special.

My next retreat will be April 13-15, 2012.  It will be $380 [which includes all food, accommodations and workshops] and I have 2 [maybe 3] spots open right now.  A deposit of $100 can also hold a spot for You!

I also plan to have another Valentine Tea and Glitter Party in February which is a one-day workshop. 

side note…if there was enough interest I think it would be fun to have a one-day workshop for decorating gingerbread houses…it would probably be $75 and would include the pre-made gingerbread houses, frosting and some candy and a delicious lunch.   …maybe December 10?   {just thinking out loud here…}   …what do you think?

October 25, 2011 Posted by | ArtRetreat.CampFour | 1 Comment

You ought to try this…

This really is cool {and a bit groovy}!

Recently Mr T gave me a recipe for making our own laundry soap.  Have you heard about this?  It’s been around for a long time but we just discovered it.  For about $3.50 we can get approximately 180 loads of laundry washed in our top-loader.

It mixed up just like the recipe said it would and I’ve been using it. 

Now I don’t have to stand in front of the laundry soap aisle, shaking my head because I can’t believe how expensive laundry soap is.

You can find the recipe HERE.

October 17, 2011 Posted by | home life, sustainable living | 7 Comments

A refresher course…of sorts:

It seems that everything I do right now has something to do with getting ready for next weekend’s

Boho Art Retreat.Camp Four!    

I am so excited to have a new group of gals come in for another weekend of creative, crafty gloriousness!    {not to mention the over-the-top wonderful eating that takes place in, throughout and during!}  Oh, my!

It’s always wise for me to refresh myself on the workshops that I’ve planned.

This is a fun one because it seems that as I refresh I… get refreshed!

Creativity just does that for me!

I have so much fun with these creative clipboards.  Each one turns out so different but my common goal with each one I make is that is has function.

I live rural and it’s so important that I make each trip to town count.  I will use this clipboard for lists that I make on adding machine tape.  When I’m heading to town I take these lists and tape them inside a little notebook that I also take to town.

insert personal comment here:  this might just make it sound like I am a ultra-organized, type-A-kind-of-a-gal….not so!  I function best in the carefree state of mind and I’ve discovered that these lists help me with that!  🙂

Each board has a handy little peg for….whatever you want!

This upcoming art weekend is going to be GRAND…I actually have two spots open…won’t YOU join in?

October 14, 2011 Posted by | "the Board", Art Retreat, ArtRetreat.CampFour | Leave a comment

building a barn….{love}

I have wanted  my own barn nearly my whole life.

When I was young I loved playing in barns. 

I loved the loft. 

I loved the hay. 

I loved jumping from the loft into the hay.

But, I decided a long time ago that I would probably never have my own barn.

Then we got these funny little goats. 

Goats need a barn.

Since {at this point} we don’t plan to ever have more that two milk goats, we don’t ‘need’ a large barn so we are in the process of building a very small barn for our two goats and their spring kids.

The concrete truck just pulled away and I can’t wait to get it done.

We’re all pretty please with ourselves!

October 13, 2011 Posted by | farm animals, goats, home life, my neck of the woods! | 4 Comments

Loving the charmed life…

October 12, 2011 Posted by | solder, soldered charms | 4 Comments

As the seasons change….

This has been my trusty Market Shopper.  It’s accompanied me to our local farmer’s market and a variety of other happenings lately.

I think that this Friday will be the last Market of the season.

I generally have mixed emotions as each season comes to an end.  I know for some it seems like summer ended a while back but I’ve still been hanging on to remnants of it.  We did have a pretty good freeze this week {30°} so that helps me to make the official transition to fall…which makes me long for a hard, cold, snowy winter!

My own garden/orchard is winding down too but I still have [some] apples and pears and lots of potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and [hopefully] some tomatillos [just waiting for them to do their thing…I’ve been told that you know they’re ready when they drop off the vine…if they don’t freeze first].

I really love pear.

I don’t find it as versatile for my family as apple but I still love it.

It’s a beautiful fruit!

I made this Pear Custard Pie this week.  Oh, so Yummy!…and it just got better on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th day!  Next time I would make it a day ahead.

The goats and chickens are benefiting from the garden clean-up!

October 10, 2011 Posted by | garden, goats, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, market shopper, my neck of the woods!, news from home | 2 Comments