But I have no illusions about this lovey routine because I know he's a terrible bully and I NEVER turn my back on him and I always carry a crook when I have to enter his pasture... He's big, strong, and dangerous even when he doesn't mean to be. He can push me over just by leaning into me for a backrub.The last two days he's always trying to climb the gate or ram his way through it... As soon as I do a little fence repair I will move him even farther away from the girls.
Funny thing though, the girls aren't missing him a bit. ..much to his chagrin.
Like many people who dream often and in color, I often resolve problems in my dreams... I love it when I know my brain is awake even when I'm not... I had been mulling over the ideas I wanted for the Alliance Quilt contest and wasn't happy with any of them....then at about 5am yesterday I dreamt the perfect solution... I awoke and jumped right out of bed and started making sketches. I haven't read the fine print but I imagine I will have to keep the progress secret until the judging...The deadline is May 31.... I can take it to Alaska with me mid-May and do all the finishing handwork there. It is funny because I had started with a central element I wanted to build around and in my dream I took that element away entirely and it all fell together.....
Daffodils are my favorite flower in the garden and I have hundreds....singles, doubles, miniatures, ruffled ones, and all shades of white, yellow, and gold. I love them because they love me... Deer don't eat the blooms, gophers don't eat the bulbs, they're winter hardy and they like a dry dormant period in the summer... my dream flower.... And if daffodils had wings, they'd be goldfinches....right???
Next I turned it over and stitched a button, actually 2 button one on top of the other......then I trimmed the felt away and using the buttons as a form I stitched the braid down for the sides of the crown
Then I took another piece of felt and stitched the same braid in a larger circle and then cut it out and then attached the "button" crown and a little flower and ribbon... If you click on the hat and enlarge it you can see quite clearly how I stitched it.. The hat is 3-D because the 2 buttons are still inside the crown!!!
I was able to finish the daffodil block while staying at Cathy's house... I'll post it soon.
Cathy and I did a LOT of serious stitching...along with having a lot of fun plus shopping at thrift stores, antique stores, a needlework shop and a bead shop.... plus a Home Decor fabic shop. I will write an entire post on Cathy sewing studio and her organizational skills... It was all great fun and just what I needed
And this morning I am on a jet plane at 5am for a special treat to myself from me!!!!
Thank you for all the kind words about Cobi's nest....All the comments made my day and my week and even the month!!!!!
The theme is "new from old" and I'm thinking I might give it a try... I've never entered a competition because they are usually a short lead time to work something up. But the deadline here is May 31 and I might make this if I start right away...
I had been wanting to do something again with my grandmother's photo and my granddaughter's picture.... to bridge the generations.....The original of my grandmother is full length and will have to rescan it but it is a nice picture to span a 100 years...
So yesterday I found this picture of lovely granddaughter Madison. I loved the pose and attitude but there was a young man in the picture... so I've just started to erase him.... My brain is going into overdrive on this one... The picture of Madison is wallet size
and wish I had a larger one to get better resolution..
But I love the juxtaposition of poses and color.
But now on to the nest... I done nests with all kinds of threads, velour, ribbons and beads... I want this one to be a little looser than I usually do nests so I dyed the felt with Adirondack Alcohol Inks.....and I dyed some cotton perle thread #3 to match... I will stitch in some beads and charms... I will do the same procedure....tight chain stitch around the perimeter and then fill in and cut out... Before I can put the nest on the block I will have to do some stumpwork branches...
I find myself repeating myself on some subjects.....but once again... Adirondack Alcohol Inks are the greatest for any surface...porous or not. And some genius named the colors. You have to love colors named stonewashed, pesto, sunset, cranberry, or lettuce...They all have names that nails their exact colors... I love that...
When I arrived she had them all bagged up ready to pop into my car....
All are very old and definitely for utilitarian home use. They were given to me by an elderly lady whose mother-in-law made them on a farm near Freeman, WA.. She is going to send me names and dates for the woman.. She was going to throw them away and I couldn't bear the thought of something so old going into the trash... Please give me some input....
Quilt #1 is full bed size and machine pieced but not quilted.. This quilt is quite subtle and pretty and has a wide border.
Quilt #2 is also full bed size and is a triangle pattern on the top and mismatched patching on the back...
There is a third small smaller quilt with no piecing....
To answer Laurie...it is not heavy as the hearts are small.... most being 3/4" or less...
But when I couldn't find a chicken yesterday but I could hear her, I followed her low chatter until I found her sitting on a mountain of eggs in a dark corner of the roost house... I found another pile in a thicket... I think they're getting broody..with spring and all... So I put wire on the underside of the roost to keep them from there and covered the nesting boxes with heavy black fabric and starting today... nobody gets let out to free range for bugs until they have produced MY eggs...
I was really glad to find the piles of eggs as without being fertilized they would have rotted and attracted skunks and raccoons. I have no live rooster but there is a picture of a very handsome rooster on the wall of their inner pen...maybe I should take it down as it may be getting the girls overly excited.... They are loving this unseasonably warm weather and scratching up a storm... Our new dog Molly thinks the chickens are in her keep and follows them all over the garden when they are running loose...standing guard....
I'll get going on it again as soon as I finish my beaded nuthatch.....
In the fall of 1998 I saw a tiny ad in the newspaper for a guided group tour to China. It was $999 a person for 9 days and included airfare RT from Seattle, all transportation in China, visits to Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, and Suzhou, all hotels and all meals.. We went in January and this was the best travel bargain of our lives. We were the only ones signed up for January (and it was a bit cold) so we had a van, a driver and a guide just for us.. And because we were the only ones there was extra time so we got to see lots of extra stuff. We were flown from Beijing to Shanghai but the rest of the itinerary was cross country in the mini-van...
Walking on the Great Wall was one of my life's ambition and it was so overwhelming. You can see that there weren't many tourists in January and the ones that were there were Chinese.
I know, I know.....it doesn't look very encrusted yet. But there are a couple of fans, noisemakers and ribbons on the masks to add but I should finish it this weekend.
What I learned working on the three leather masks? I didn't need to couch and then trim. I could have trimmed to size and then couched. Leather is very forgiving when working over seams. It is a absolute dream to paint on. I will move my little leather stash into my CQ stash and keep an eye out for more fine leather.... definitely a keeper as a technique. (See posts from 2 days ago)
I also used the technique I learned from Robin Atkins for attaching a cabochon by making "bead stacks" and lacing them together... It's great and will use it a lot. Would be great for the little mirrors, odd shaped stones. etc. also This would be a great demo for the retreat..
The sculpted head of my garden good witch is quite small... maybe 3-3 1/2".... I must add I saved a photos of Susan's foliage fashions ( http://plays-with-needles.blogspot.com/2010/01/abundance-reprisal.html )which tweaked an idea for my garden good witch...
You can see one is a very soiled white glove but most of the glove had lovely useable soft leather... Definitely something to keep in mind when I'm doing the stumpwork... The red leather has a lovely texture and will be beaded after it is attached and faux feathers added to it...These have been fun.
My guiding force was shrewd, wise, cunning and had a warped sense of humor so I finally decided that I had a Garden Good Witch..
When I was making dolls I sculpted her head as I envisioned her. Unfortunately I stopped making dolls just before I would have started on her body... I do keep her head sitting around where I can see it and often imagine how I would costume her..... I don't often ask you questions, but can you see her as a good witch as I described her?????
The very last doll I worked on was one of my favorites and had the theme "Arsenic and Old Lace"...all she needs is shoes and her head glued on but she has been sitting like that for years. It was the costuming, not so much the making of the dolls, that I enjoyed.
Off to be Gerry Good Wife today and play duplicate bridge with HWCH and have Lamb Shanks with White Beans in the slow cooker for supper... Remember all those darling little lambs from last spring?..............well organic grass-fed yum yum!!
"The New Plan"
To make a new plan I had to assess what I had that was positive…. and it was heavy clay soil which holds lots of moisture when wet but also dries to cement… so mulching was an absolute. Low volume drip systems were just coming on the market, which meant I could use water at night when it wasn’t needed in the house. Long-term water supply, even with drip, wasn’t feasible so once a plant was established, it was do-or-die… This also meant I couldn’t become attached to any plant…if it lived – great!.. If it died – plant something else! “Love what loves me” became my plant mantra!!! And most importantly, this garden was going to have to go “wild” at some point.
Plants had to be hardy to zone 4/5, drought tolerant and natives…not hybrids. They had to be very small plants, preferably 6-18” seedlings. I also needed to learn to propagate plants from ones that were a success. I began with trees and shrubs because they take longer to grow. Everything planted had to provide habitat for birds…. either dense cover or fruit, seed heads, etc.. Most anything available at conventional nurseries would require copious amounts of water to get established…so I began a search of classifieds in garden magazines for sources for native plant seedlings.
I found several small ones which I used. But a marvelous thing happened changing my life even more and turned a search into a treasure trove. I discovered a tiny ad for a new nursery, ForestFarm. A young couple, Ray and Peg Prag, started a native plant mail-order business in hopes of providing income while living in the mountains of Oregon... The first catalog was only about 50 pages (no pictures) and teeny, tiny type. But it was packed with exactly the plants I needed and I became one of their best customers. Not only did they have what I needed, it was inexpensive…about $2.25-$2.75 a plant so if a plant died I wasn’t out of a lot of money. But the best thing, absolute icing on the cake, was the fact they sold their plants in paper-like biodegradable tublings… I am happy to report that their business became a huge success and they are now online with pictures!!! http://www.forestfarm.com/ In addition to their online site, their printed catalog is available and includes thousands of plants and once you master their abbreviations it is a superb reference source.. And they still sell their plants in biodegradeable tublings….. Hooray for ForestFarm!!!!!
Now I had to step out into my future garden and begin… and that was overwhelming…so much space and so much nothing! Watch for next installment…”Let the Mulching Begin”
Hellebores foetidus -It's very name, foetidus, means stinking. You don't see it often in gardens because it isn't very showy but it loves me... It likes heavy clay soil, is not eaten by either deer or gophers, and self seeds and spread, had lovely foliage and is evergreen. It thrives in sun or shade and is fabulous in bouquets of daffodils... You can buy hybrid varieties but they just aren't as tough...
Remember the soutache jewelry from the other day... Well I have a huge hug and thank you for Jocelyne Ausseil who found this fantastic tuto...
Pigtails and Quilts is having a "Crazy Quilts are Quilts Too" celebrating crazy quilting and I'm pleased to be participatin...
When I signed up for the artist RR I never expected modern artists... My tastes are firmly in the art nouveau, art deco, and impressionist ...
Margreet's blocks arrived today and they are such warm forest colors.. I haven't read her booklet yet so not sure if she had a prefe...