For X-mas last year, I stitched what I like to call a, “Vegetarian Deer Head” for Todd’s Grandpa. You see, Grandpa was a hunter who didn’t have any deer heads of his own hanging on the wall. I thought I’d give him a gentler version of the traditional deer head by stitching one up onto some nice linen using Sublime Stitching’s Forest Friends patterns. I then encased it in a shadow box I got at Michael’s. Todd and I went down to Oregon last week (So I could visit the court house where I had to pay a speeding ticket – first one on my record in the 25 years I’ve been driving. I’m usually a very good driver.), so we stopped off at his dad’s house (where Grandpa now lives) to drop off Todd’s Dad’s Father’s Day present, visit Mira (their adorable new dog), and get a picture of the deer head. We got a side surprise because Uncle Don was there, so we visited with him, too.
Your Craft Assassins are hard at work making all kinds of crafty goodness! Summerfield Zoo in Belvidere, IL, which you know we’re CRAZY about, checked out our website and really liked what they saw. They asked if we’d make some stuff to sell in their gift shop, and we said, “Heck Yeah!” Amy’s been hard at work casting resin to make bottle cap magnets that feature the animals at the Zoo. Todd helped to spray paint the bottle caps he’s been collecting at work for a project just like this, then Amy re-sized and printed out pictures of the animals at Summerfield. So far, we’re working with 26 different images! After sealing the paper, she punched the pictures out using a 1″ hole punch, hot glued them inside the bottle caps, then poured resin inside. Once the resin is dry, we’ll hot glue magnets to the back. We’re not sure how we’ll package these, but we’ll probably put 5 or 6 together, and kids (and adults) can “collect” the whole set. As we get pictures of more animals, we’ll be able to add more magnets.
Amy’s also been working on more steampunk resin pins, rings, necklaces. Right now everything is cast in resin, and we’ll have to wait for it to harden before attaching them to pin backs, rings, and chains. We were very excited to pick up a TON of watch parts and watch movements from Sim’s Jewelers and Pawnshop the other day. We got all of this stuff for $22!
Here are the things we’re waiting to harden:
We’re pretty discombobulated right now, and our apartment is a MESS! Craft Assassins World Headquarters did not have enough room for all of these projects, so we had to move to the kitchen island, too.
Another thing Amy’s been working on are more Graffiti Rose Hair Clips. While the red with black trim ones are pretty nice looking, she wanted to try some more colors. Please note that I took these with my cheapo point and shoot camera instead of my fancy camera…the colors do not revel how awesome they are. Once they’re finished, you’ll be able to see how cool they are!
And last, but not least, I’m trying to make spray painting on glass work. Todd’s mom Barb and step-dad Sam recently came for a visit from the Land of Yuengling (Pennsylvania). You can’t buy Yuengling here, so when Barb and Sam visit, Todd gets a treat. According to Todd, Yuengling is the BEST beer he has ever tasted. So, this last visit they brought two cases. Todd’s been drinking them and sharing them with friends, and the empty bottles have been put back into the cases. I had a bright idea for a single flower vase. I took some contact paper, cut out a squiggly shape, adhered it to the bottle, then spray painted. Uh…didn’t work. The paint ran. So then I took my Crafty Chica white paint and painted two coats on, then spray painted. It probably would have worked if I had waited long enough between coats, which I’ll do in the future.
The picture makes it look good, but, believe me, it’s crummy. I think my idea is solid, but I need to have more patience and let each coat of paint dry before moving on.
So, that’s what we’ve been up to! After I post this I’m going to find line drawings of the animals that are at Summerfield Zoo so that Todd and I can stitch them onto tea towels. As a reminder, Summerfield Zoo is open this Saturday and Sunday!
Last night, Wednesday, June 9th, while tending bar at Kryptonite Bar in downtown Rockford, Todd was outside having a cigarette, talking with his customers when he saw a Red Tailed Hawk fly into a window of a building across the street and take a nose dive to the ground. He watched as the hawk attempted to take flight but was unable to do so. Like me, Todd is a BIG animal lover, and he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if he didn’t do something.
Todd decided to take action and capture the hawk so that it wouldn’t get further injured. A bar patron, Jim Canfield, gave him his button down shirt, and Todd followed the hawk for a bit before throwing the shirt over it and picking it up. He then held the hawk in his arms for over an hour while he and another bar patron, Chris Johnson, called animal services and 911. At about 2:25 am, a Winnebago County Animal Services worker came to get the hawk. All this time, Todd cradled it in his arms as if it was our puppy, Zuzu. The hawk didn’t make a peep the whole time Todd held it. It was when Todd was in the process of getting the shirt off of the hawk and putting it into the cage the animal services worker brought that the hawk became unhappy and tried to bite his arm.
The animal control worker reported that he would take the hawk out to Rock Cut State Park to see if it was able to fly again. If not, he would make sure it got to a hawk rehab center in the area.
Todd reported that this was a once in a lifetime experience, and he was in total awe the whole time that he was actually holding a Red Tailed Hawk in his arms.
Kudos most especially to Todd for having the wherewithal and courage to help a wild animal in need. Thanks also go out to the people at Kryptonite who helped out, the 911 operator who told him who he needed to contact, and the Winnebago Animal Services worker who more than likely got out of his bed to help this wild animal in need.
Northern Illinois has a gem of a zoo hidden amongst the cornfields of Belvidere called Summerfield Farms and Zoo. Since discovering it last year, Todd and I have tried not to miss a weekend that they’ve been open, and we sometimes go both Saturday and Sunday to visit with the animals. Our favorites are the Vervet monkeys Peanut and Lily. Last year a very kind volunteer at Summerfield named Sandy took pity on my love of monkeys (after seeing my chimpanzee tattoo), and took me over a couple of times to feed Peanut some dandelion leaves.
Summerfield Zoo is a not for profit organization. As a small zoo, they specialize in providing a personal and up close animal experience. Summerfield Zoo has been in operation since 1990. There are a variety of exotic animals, some of which I captured in pictures below. Here’s a short list of what you’ll see on your visit: Mountain Lions, a Zebra, Ring Tailed Lemurs (one just had a baby!), Reindeer (another baby!), Miniature Donkeys, award winning horses, Arctic Wolves, Giant Tortoises, Kinkajous, Coatimundi, Large Spotted Genets, Servals, Bobcats, Goats, Foxes, Wallabies, and more!
Here are pictures from this year and last year of the wonderful animals you can see at Sumerfield Zoo.
If you want to see some videos, you can go to our YouTube page.