About Me

My photo
i am a creative person. mother to a daughter who is an active young woman and a constant blessing in my life. i hope that you enjoy your visit here and that you will return often.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

this morning brought an unexpected visitor to my garden. i don't think i've ever had a pigeon here before . . .
he(?) stayed quite a while, hanging out by the bird feeders but never partaking, and then went on his way.

the sky was mostly blue this morning and the sun shone brightly for a while.

this is the first year that i've had any success with artichokes. they require a long growing season and so this year i started them in the cold frame and hope to erect it back around them this fall while they finish up. i actually really like the look of dried artichoke flowers so i'm not sure yet if i'm going to eat them or just dry the flowers and keep them around to look at . . . maybe i'll get enough of a harvest that i can do both.
i am beginning to wonder if they are going to grow too large to get back inside the frame . . . the plants are huge~! it might be a good thing that i only planted two of them.

the Japanese eggplants are beginning to show some fruits and are full of promising buds. these are one of my favorite summer time treats: grilled with a little olive oil and salt & pepper.

there's something about a pear shape that is just gorgeous ~ even when it's actually a tomato~! these will turn golden as they ripen. it's the first year that i've tried them so i'm quite interested in how well they do and how tasty they might be.

shortly after getting these morning shots it got quite dark and the thunder and lightening commenced and we had a downpour of a shower. very nice. since i was rained out of the garden i went into my studio.

i'm working on a postcard for my daughter. her birthday is in august and i thought i would "bake" up a celebratory cupcake for the front of the card.
still working on it but it's coming along nicely.

i've managed to get these broken dishes blocks all sewn into rows. tomorrow i will sew all of the rows together and the body of my next charity quilt will be done. then it's on to deciding on a fabric for a four inch border to go all the way around.
the blocks were made from scraps that i've both accumulated myself and traded with others over a 20 year period of time . . . some of them seem quite dated and as i look at them i realize that i really have to do more to get rid of all the scraps as they make me feel old. i have made a dent but only a small one. sometimes i wonder what it would be like if i just gave them all away and started over . . . would i suddenly feel like a spring chicken again~!?!~

after the thunderstorms were past i went back out into the garden and shot some more photo's. the light was much better and everything was all moist from the rain.

this very tiny tan grasshopper was enjoying the newly freshened and cooled garden too.
i think it thought that it was well hidden under that small leaf . . .

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

come sit a moment and watch my summer garden grow.

this is a new combination of plants i'm putting in: liatris (the purple) and coreopsis (the yellow). i'm finding them a wonderful pairing and really like their contrasts in color and form. the tags optimistically put their cold tolerance at -40 degrees. we'll see . . .

the daisies are happiness incarnate.

the peppers are going gangbusters which isn't usually the norm . . .

so far just a few tiny green tomatoes so i won't bother showing those off just yet.

but the snow peas are yummy and plentiful . . .

i love this rose. it's a climber called jacob's coat (i think) and is new to our garden this year. i hope it does well and survives the winter (aka: hardiness test) to come back next year. i figure if a plant comes back three years running it's here to stay. only the toughest make it.

i'm getting little else done.
other than watching the garden grow . . .

Monday, July 12, 2010

this morning i spent some time learning about and experimenting with aperture. taking the camera off of the "granny green" button is challenging me but i do like the range of creative possibilities that are opening up to me when not shooting in the manual mode . . .
this first shot is straight out of camera except for the square crop.

once again i'm behind schedule with the TAST (www.pintangle.com) project/challenge. the stitch was an Up and Down Feather Stitch and not one that i was familiar with. the first attempt was while i was away from the computer and i tried to do it from memory . . . it turned out fine but i did it wrong. i used a heavy cotton thread in green. if looked at upside down i thought it could be peas growing on a vine . . .

the second attempt was done correctly (i think) and does appear slightly different when looked at closely. i worked this one in a heavy variegated green thread.
i may go back in and add some bullion "flower buds" between the two prongy bits . . . maybe in red . . .

the third attempt was worked with a red hand dyed silk ribbon and i liked the way that turned out too.

i found this stitch charming and packed FULL of possibilities.
all of these stitches were worked into fabric postcard blanks; each attempt on a different card.

Monday, July 5, 2010

i've recently been feeling like life is a racehorse that has gotten away from me. i'm still hanging on but it's ugly: having rolled to the underbelly and now desperately clinging on as i try to decide if it would be better to just relax and let go . . . churned into dust . . . ashes to ashes. dust to dust. and all that. or should i continue to hang on within a tangle of furiously fast legs and attempt to regain my seat . . . is there even a choice really? as i said it's ugly.

i'm late for the TAST (www.pintangle.com) challenge. this weeks was the wave stitch and i was completely caught off guard with how challenging it was for me. it looks simple and yet i could NOT seem to get it to look like the sample on pintangle no matter how many times i started over and tried again (and it was quite a few)~! i tried turning it various ways to work it and i tried working it on various fabrics. nothing was working and i ended up feeling totally dyslexic so finally gave up. the sample that you see here was the most interesting of my failed attempts. i worked it in a heavy variegated cotton thread on a piece of hand dyed 14 count aida cloth. i still have no idea how to make a proper wave stitch . . . if there's help out there; i'm listening.

i try to send my daughter weekly mail but i'm even failing at that lately and have missed at least a week since my last letter/card. so this morning i had another art session out in the sunshine and made her this postcard.

i used a watercolor paper based card that i had previously prepared as a background.
some of the elements include a fortune from my last fortune cookie, an old tag off of i know not what, some metal (fruit and vegetable) charms that i painted with adirondack paints, various cutouts from a discarded magazine and other bits, stitch, gesso, etc.

my daughter is a vegetarian so i thought she might like this one. i even managed to find some postage stamps that had tropical fruits on them for the actual postage.

i'm feeling both photography starved and challenged. i want to be able to learn much faster than i seem to be able to and i think in part it's because i don't find enough time to practice. lately getting the camera out feels like quite the guilty pleasure. this is one of my most recent shots that i actually liked:
~Life's A Killer~
i love the way that rust and peeling paint look and happened see this safety pin lying on one of my outdoor cabinets which has been "peeled" by the elements. is it just me or does it look absolutely decadent~!?!~

within a past post i showed this quilt that i made for a local raffle/fundraising event. i found a set of Curious George board books and a sock monkey from Etsy and tied it all up in this neat little bundle. the fundraiser is now over but i have not heard how this item did.
the little monkey did not want to get tied up within the quilt . . .
the compromise was to leave his head and arms out . . . hopefully he didn't end up wiggling completely free and there is some child somewhere enjoying him, the books and the quilt.
i have started making scrappy broken dishes blocks for the next charity giveaway quilt but am not too very far along just yet. i better get busy with it though as it is due to be going to a children's hospital in november. seems like a long way off but i work so slowly and would like to have it done in time to give my long-arm quilter plenty of time to get her thing done too.

out in the garden today the moss rose are doing their version of the happy dance.

and within the same bed the very first cactus bloom is opening up to the warming summer weather. isn't it interesting how similar the blossoms from these two plants look?
i think they create a great pairing within the garden. the nice thing is that when the cactus have completed their riot of blooming, lasting roughly two weeks at most, the moss rose will continue on throughout the summer.