Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pillow Finished & Other News

I meant to post this yesterday, as I finished my frou-frou pink rose block into a pillow. Here's how it turned out:
It is now sitting on the daybed in our guest bedroom, with a couple other CQ'ed pillows. I still have one more in my UFO pile, but too much other stuff on my plate for now. I never did publish the rest of the pictures from our bike ride to Wheeler Farm last week, so I'm going to include some more today. My friend Adele and I now have a regular routine of riding there twice a week, and a set course that takes us around the entire park once, then on the trails inside the park. It's about a 40 minute bike ride with hills, but I don't know how many miles that translates to. Regardless, it's good exercise, and it's amazing to see nature awakening before our eyes!

This shows some of the wild area of the farm, and the walking/riding path. There are picnic tables scattered here and there and even a fire pit. It is my burning desire to get the family together here one very snowy winter, to play "Major League Snowball Fight". I envision dividing into two teams, each with a "safe" home base which we all stake out ahead of time. Then we make our snowballs and foray into "enemy territory" to attack with snowballs!! We'll run, hide, raid, play, laugh......... ahhhhhh..... then relax and make hot cocoa and make S'mores by the firepit as we warm up before heading home.......... Another view of the creek. This picture was taken a week ago, and the park is already so much more green and spring-like. And the best news - I've been hired as a Summer Kids Camp Counselor at Wheeler Farm!! I'll work mornings for the 11 weeks of Camp, playing with the kids, taking them on hikes, teaching them about nature and the Park, and conducting arts and crafts, games, music, etc. I'm really excited!!

And finally - my favorite picture!!! I call this one "Dancing Lessons". Can't you just hear the ducks talking?? "No, Ralph, it's not the LEFT foot! First you put your right foot in, then you put your right foot out....."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Roses Block Finished

Several years ago I started a roses-themed block (for a contest) that I never finished. Today I was in a stitching mood and finished it. The colors of pink and green are perfect for one of our guest bedrooms (we have a frou-frou one and a masculine one, LOL). In a way, I'm glad I waited until now to finish; back when I started it, I couldn't do ribbonwork roses.
This will be made into a pillowtop. I'll probably tackle that in the next couple days.

Below is a picture of some of our tulips in the backyard. The trellis area to the right of the tulips is where those grapevines will grow. Wait until later this summer - they get so laden with fruit that last year one of the trellises broke. We're going to sturdy them up a bit for this year.
And now I'm off to start a new book, but don't know exactly which one yet. Last night I finished The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith. I've read all his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Books, which take place in Gabarone, Botswana, and find them all so gentle and relaxing. His main characters are lovable, quirky, simple and full of integrity . As some of you may know, I'm really "into" Africa (the masculine guest bedroom I talked about above is decorated in an African theme, and I completed an African-themed crazy quilt last year). I highly recommend Mr. Smith's books!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yikes! - I've Been Tagged

My friend Gerry (or should I say "soon-to-be FORMER" friend) (just kidding!!) tagged me with this game.

How it works: SCATTERGORIES...It's harder than it looks! Erase my answers, enter yours, tag 10 people (HEY - I'm changing it to 5. I'm new at this!), post it to your blog, and then notify them, including the person who tagged you.

Use the first letter of your first name to answer each of the following.
They have to be real places, names, things..nothing made up!

Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question."












Car broke down

Crap! (it could've been worse....)

OK, so I'm going to tag..........

Melissa (Honey Bee's Bliss)
Wendy (Wandering Rose)
Donna J (Chez Boo Rae) (who will never forgive me, LOL)
Leslie (pinyoncreekstitchin)
Kerry (kerrykatiecakes)

Will post more later this weekend.........

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wheeler Farm in the Springtime

As promised (or threatened, depending on your point of view, LOL), my friend Adele and I went for a bike ride this afternoon. The destination was Wheeler Farm, a Salt Lake County Park that is all of two blocks from our home. Wheeler Farm is a working farm and is open daily except Sunday. Today was a busy day, but come join us on our ride....
Above is the barn as seen when we bike in from the west, heading east. This barn was built about ten years ago and serves as a gathering place for family functions (weddings or parties) and a polling place, in addition to all the official Farm functions. There are real, working barns all over the site. Below is the old Victorian House built in 1875 as seen from the same lane looking east. Later this year, I'll do more pictures of the house in detail.
Below are some shots of some of the animals we visited today. The calf was born last night and was less than 12 hours old when we took this picture!
GOT BREAD???? Of course we did!! I save all our old bread & rolls, etc. and bring the "duck bread" along every time I walk or ride over here.

This is one of three duck ponds. They are fed by the creek that runs through the park, which in turn is fed by the mountain snow runoff.
This is the creek as it looks today. It will probably get fuller as Spring progresses, probably reaching its peak with the snow runoff about late May to early June. Things are just beginning to awaken for the season. I'll do some more picture-taking when I visit in the summer. I want to get all four seasons. Meantime, I'll post more pictures of the Farm this weekend.

Now, I'm off to stitch. I'm almost done with a CQ piece; hope to post it tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Laces Finished

Today I wrapped up the final portion of my lace dying. It's something I've been doing on and off over the last ten days or so. My project this morning was to over-paint some of the laces I dyed last week with potassium permanganate. Here are some of the results of that:I really love how the "peacock" one turned out. It's really just one repeat of a very wide lace trim, but I'll be using it in the Peacock Round Robin I'm in. I tried a few different greens, pink, purple, aqua and peach. And really, I like them all. What do you think?

Next are the laces that I painted last week. I've sorted them in these pictures into pastels and brights.

The brights are above. I really like the flower in the center. Below are the pastels.So now I'm done with laces for awhile! My next project will be to start a purse design I've got rolling around in my head (there's a lot of room there, LOL). Actually, I've pulled enough fabric for 4 purses - each a different theme, so I may have to go on a pursemaking binge. I've also got a fan block from Jo in NZ to work on. It's started talking to me, so that's another project for this week.

Finally, this afternoon I went bicycle riding with one of my girlfriends (that's a funny word for us fifty-somethings to use). There's this huge county park about a block away from our home that is a working farm. The Victorian farmhouse was built in 1875, and they do tours. There are horses, sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and 2 duck ponds. Plus loads of trails for hiking and/or bike riding. Adele (my friend) and I are going back riding later this week and I'm going to take a camera so I can snap some pictures.

Must go fix dinner (stir-fry tonight) and then watch American Idol. We're rooting for our hometown boy, David Archuleta, who's also from Murray, UT. GO DAVID!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dyeing Lace

Yesterday I spent a happy morning dyeing lace with potassium permanganate, a compound used most often in veterinary medicine. I'm told it's used for horses hooves, but my DH also says some people stain wood with it. That's all well and good, but I prefer it to dye my laces to give them a golden sheen. It was a technique I first learned about when reading books by Jenny Haskins.

These are some of the laces I ended up with. You can see the un-dyed rayon Venice lace motif in the center bottom. The others are all dyed. Different fiber contents (and qualities) of lace take the potassium permanganate in different ways. You can also vary the color by soaking for shorter or longer periods of time. Here are some more laces and motifs. The P.P. really accents the sheen.

Most of these I'll use as is, but some I'll overpaint with a light color wash to glam them up. All told, I dyed about 30 yards of lace and a dozen motifs. Now I've got a stock to play with.

I've also been toying with the idea of opening an Etsy shop to sell this lace, among other things. But first a bit of research is in order. Must go stitch!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

Here I go..... blogging. Who'da thunk??? Right now I have no specific direction except that I want to include my passions, which are family, needlework (specifically crazy quilting), gardening and reading. So, we'll see what develops. I have a lot to learn about blogging, but hopefully I'll learn along the way, so I'd love it if you join me on my little journey!

Winter this year has been longer, colder and wetter than most here in Utah. So, signs of spring are particularly welcome this year, even though they're a bit later than usual. Here are some of my first daffodils. This picture was taken a few days ago and we have a lot more now. In a couple days I'll have some tulips.