Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Spring Blooms

What a treat to find the transplanted cactus pad held its buds, and decided to bloom:

The hummingbird that guards our yard loves the ocotillo:
The rose is sending out new growth and bursting with blossoms:

We're supposed to have our first hot day of the year today - potentially 97 by 4:00 pm.  Things are going to bloom and fade fast.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Plants and Flowers

This past weekend, my Oldtimer and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary.  To celebrate with something lasting, we picked up a few shrubs and plants for the yard.  Not sure this was a fair thing to do, as my Oldtimer spent the weekend digging, re-arranging, and other back-breaking work.  My entire offering to the project has been to chose the plants, and do some freshening of the pots.  Here are a bunch of random photos from around the yard.  (All should be clickable to view larger.)

















Sunday, February 09, 2014

Gone Gourding

Friday afternoon, my Oldtimer and I went to the "Running of the Gourds" at the Pinal County Fairgrounds.  It's a small fairgrounds, waaaay out, even further out than we live.  Nice drive, though, with beautiful vistas.  When we pulled into the parking lot, we were amazed at the license plates from EVERYWHERE.  This event has quite a following, obviously.  There were cute little outdoor displays, put out by the gourd farm that sponsors the event, a building full of fine art gourds from many different levels, a building full of vendors of art gourds and the materials to do your own, bins of unfinished gourds for sale, and - of course - expensive fair food.

We both took a photo of the display outside the little educational building, called Kindergourden:
Unfortunately, we didn't think it appropriate to take photos inside the fine art display (although one person seemed to be taking photos of everything, with her iPad - she did a fine job of holding up the line).  And many of the vendors had signs up asking that you not take photos, so we didn't.

So...despite all the beautiful things we saw, and there was a lot of exquisite artwork, much of it with a southwestern theme, the only other photos I have to share are of me seeking gourds from the bins.



I came home with five gourds, two of them warty.  More projects-in-waiting!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Round Robin Comes Home

I've been working on some personal things the last few days; yesterday I spent a good amount of time in the "treehouse," journaling and working on some personal symbols while listening to Clarissa Pinkola Estes' "Untie the Strong Woman."

It more or less slipped my mind that the fabric collage round robin that we started back last June was coming home this week.  The last person to work on it delivered it to my doorstep while I was out this evening.

As a reminder, this is my starter panel:


And this is what it looks like now:


This shows the colors a little more accurately, though not all the way to the edge:


It's up to me to decide how to finish it off and get it ready for display.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

DIP (doll in progress)

A couple of years ago, I downloaded Sherry Goshon's free pattern, Goddess of Love.  The local doll group has taken it on as a February challenge/project, so I've been working on her, a little at a time.  In progress photos...

Basic body shape, on the painted and glazed base:


Working on her heart-shaped vest, a couple embellishments, and she'll be done:

At last month's meeting, we made a quick project of driftwood, wrapped with fibers and fabric, with molded faces.  These are the two I put together, though I still need to do the final embellishing - I'm thinking a couple beads and something that dangles (of course):


I'm also practicing free-motion work on my newly acquired "Bernie."  I feel very lucky to have some good online coaches - so far, my shoulders are not stuck to my ears, and my tangles have all been small enough to sort out on my own.  Here's Bernie, the way she looked the day I brought her home from my rendezvous with a Craig's List seller in a parking lot:

I want this to be the year that I not only try techniques and mediums that are new to me, I want to focus more on making things I want to make, just for me (with the exception of soap and lotion products, of course). I think I'm off to a pretty good start.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Still about the tree...

Some birds think this latest tree configuration is fine - quite the lookout spot.




Work continues today. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Inspired by Carolyn

Inspired by my friend Carolyn (who was inspired by a doll she'd seen at another friend's house, plus an article in Sew Somerset about a doll named Lu-Cee by Linda Trenholm), I made this funny little, easy pointy headed doll.  She doesn't have a name yet.



What a fun way to use up a few home dec fabrics, and do some easy embellishing.  Her face is a face stamp (I have no clue where I got it) which has been colored with watercolor pencils.  The shoes are those inexpensive little clear ones you get in the wedding area of craft stores and sometimes even the dollar store.  I used Mod Podge and paper napkins on the exterior, and painted the interior over the Mod Podge that was inside.

Goodbye to the Sissoo

When we first made an offer on this house, we were made aware that the tree in the northwest corner of the lot was a potential problem.  Our neighbor was worried about it compromising his wall, and the sucker roots into his yard sending up shoots, for starters.  Others told us that the aggressive roots would cause a problem with the swimming pool.  My Oldtimer and I both opted to try to make it work.  It didn't.  It has been growing very rapidly, with the roots heaving up the ground at an amazing rate.  Since it's our only tree, we didn't mind the mess too much, but it does go through cycles of continuously dropping stuff - spent blossoms, fall leaves, and seed pods.   Still, it housed lots of birds - I called it my bird tenement house.  But no more...

Here's the before shot:

Here's an early during:

And a later during:

Here's a picture of my Oldtimer, saying "don't take pictures of me when I'm grunting":

And here's how it looked when we finished all the branches (today we have the world's largest slingshot in our yard, plus the biggest pile of brush I've ever seen):


The brush you see below the slingshot is about one-fifth of the stack.  Before we finished up for the day, all the brush was stacked in a different part of the yard, the pool was skimmed, the patio blown clean, and tools put away.  Guess who did it?  (Hint - not me.)


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Trees and Lights

We've gone all out, at least for us.  This is the most decorating we've done since before we bought the store in Warrenton (and that happened in 2001).  I think being in retail during the holidays takes a lot of the decorating desire out of you.

My dear Oldtimer has been in charge of the exterior, and I'm doing most of the things inside.  In fact, just four days before Christmas, and I'm still decorating! 

 
The tree in the window at top is an interior decoration meant to show from outside, so we both get credit for that one.
 
Counting the tree in the garage window, we have four trees this year.  As I said, the most since Warrenton!  (One year there our house had three trees in the living room alone, plus one in the front entry, one in the upstairs window, and one in "Alec House.")
 
This is the sentimental tree in the family room, filled with mis-matched ornaments and things the kids have made:
 

This isn't really a tree, but the dried bloom stalks from the plant out front, which got stuck in a bucket of sand, bucket wrapped in burlap and sticks got lights and ribbon:

This is the tree in the loft, showing to the outside, and matching our red and white theme there:

And this is what Oldtimer calls my Martha Stewart tree, in the living room.  I bet Martha Stewart would have had someone make her some tiebacks for the drapes by now:
 
We are finally enjoying settling in and making this place our own. Solstice blessings!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Early Evening Visit

Just before starting dinner last evening, I sat on the patio with a cup of coffee and a book. Heard the whirr of wings, and a familiar chirp sound, and realized I had a visitor. I really enjoy the hummingbird visits.