Thursday, June 30, 2022

I Like #261

 Welcome to another week of things to like!

This was a hard hard week society wise, the news about Roe v. Wade being overturned dinged at me when I got off the airplane in Bismarck.  I was so sad and angry I started crying in the parking lot when my sister picked me up at the airport.    I just don't know what to do.  I'm so scared for the future of our democracy and women's rights.  It's horrifying.

On the upside though, Lisa Walton graciously interviewed my for her Quilt Stories YouTube Channel.  We talk about my dimensional work and my liturgical pieces.  It was really fun and I'd love for you guys to watch it if you have some free time!

I'm never sure if the video embeds work, so if you can't get it to work, just click here.  I'd also encourage you to watch some of her other interviews, she's talked to tons of wonderful creative people.  You can find her channel here.

The other wonderful thing this week was a trip to the International Peace Garden in North Dakota (on the Canadian border) for a wedding for a very close family friend.  It was a moving and special wedding.  Northern North Dakota is very rural and farmland-y.  It was fun for me and my mom and sister- we're from rural New Mexico, so the miles and miles between anything felt familiar, but the environment was so different. So so green, with tons of farms and ranch land and verdant open space.  No shareable pictures from the wedding, but here are a few from the trip.

Our AirBnb was on this farm, it was a very pretty location

We enjoyed watching these two sheep who just wander around the property.  In case anyone wonders where Fisher Price got the inspiration for its barnyard set, it's totally northern North Dakota.  We past dozes of very traditional looking bright red barns.  We have lots of barns on farm/ranchland in New Mexico but they aren't usually this traditional red color.

The Peace garden was lovely in itself, we didn't have a ton of time to explore it, but we did wander around a little.

The giant lupines were just gorgeous.

We drove to Art Alley in Bismarck on our way back to the airport.  It's fun alley in downtown that's covered with tons of murals.  The cow was super fun.

I also really loved these two.

The dahlias are still going strong, here's a cut cluster from this week.

These are the cactus karma pink I mentioned last week.  Not enough stems to cut but they're pretty in the garden.

This week's winner though are the penhill watermelon.  They were starting to bloom last week, but I had a few come to full potential this week.  You can't tell from this picture but they're very big.  The flowers are about 7" across and the plant is as tall as I am. I had to hold the phone way up high to get the picture.

And, my little baby cacti are starting to grow again after not doing anything for several months!  They're about an inch tall mostly, and it's fun that some have sprouted arms?

The dogs are fine, and I also got to visit the Guinea Pigs since I drove to Dallas for the flight (my brother-in-law kindly agreed to watch the dogs).

Click over to LeeAnna's for more folks sharing positive things!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

I Like #260

 Welcome to another week of things to like!  This was a good week just at home, and productive time at work, so consequently most of the things to like are as usual for this time of year, namely, dogs and flowers.

I worked from home on Monday, and Spooky and Blue wanted me to stop to play, but alas.

Blue absolutely did not want to get down off the couch for me to straighten the cushions and put back on the couch cover. 

Brett and Cash came over to play last night, and they had tons of fun rumpusing.

This morning they did not want me to make the bed. 

The flowers are still looking great.  It's gotten really hot here now, and my garden is adjacent to my metal studio which radiates heat, so some of my zinnias have just completely withered no matter how much I water.  This happens every year and sometimes I can rescue some by reorganizing the pots.  I did that, but some I think got too crisped up, so we'll see.  But new dahlia varieties keep blooming and it's so fun that they've been staggered.  This frilly one was a great new one this week  (it's behind the zinnias in the bouquet below).                                                                                                

The deep purple ones are still going well, and there were also some pink and yellow stripey ones that looked good this week (no pictures of those I guess, but I shared them last week).

Referring back to my longfield garden orders, I think I have the following varieties:

The yellow pom poms are Boom Boom Yellow (below on the right, producing tons of flowers, lots of long stems)
The deep purple, yellow and pink stripe, and orange yellow all came from a mixed bag called Sugar Plum Mix (these have been great, very pretty nice long stems for cutting).

I have another variety I haven't shown pictures of called Cactus Karma Pink, it's blooming, but the blooms are really tightly packed and have no stems to speak of so they're lovely but pretty impossible to cut for arrangements.  I'll try to share pictures of them at least next week.

And the frilly ones are one of my favorites, Penhill Watermelon, and they were actually the first I overwintered in the ground!  It came back great this year. I only have one plant of it, but I love it.

And then the most recent one to start blooming were these lovely ones, all orange and yellow.  So fun!  I don't think there are any more varieties left to bloom yet, but 

I love my flower beds!!

I hope there are good things to like in your life this week, to see more, click over to LeeAnna's!

Thursday, June 16, 2022

I Like #259

 After many weeks of chaos, this week was very much appreciated at-home catch up week.  I've managed to get fairly caught up at work (if such a thing is possible), and even had some time at home to work on an almost-overdue quilt I hadn't started yet.  It's nice to have a week where I feel like I can catch my breath. 

I love my garden.  No tomatoes yet although my plant is huge.  I'm wondering if the fact that I only have one means it isn't pollinating properly?  It's weird, but everything else is flourishing.  I spent two hours this weekend (unsuccessfully) trying to fix a leaking outdoor faucet, but at least I still have water- it's gotten to the hot time of year where I have to give the flower garden a good solid soaking twice a day otherwise all the things in pots get really crispy.

The zinnias are still going gangbusters (and last better than anything else when cut) and the big purple dahlias are just wonderful.

The giant magnolia trees near my work are also blooming, I love seeing them every year too.

The pups are doing great, lots of snuggles.

This was a good week for books, I discovered (clearly later than everyone else) that there are two sequels to one of my favorite travel books Dear Bob and Sue.  The two sequels (Dear Bob and Sue Season 2 and Season 3) were available at my library on audiobook and I very much enjoyed them.  They are about a couple's adventures traveling around to public lands (National Parks, National Forests, etc.) in the US.  Definitely recommended if you need a charming light read.

And finally, I liked getting to work on a new quilt project this week.  It's based on all the different crystal structures of ice.  I'll write more about it later, but you can see a quick sneak peek of the piece in progress.

I hope everyone is finding some things to like this week, and for more encouragement, click over to LeeAnna's!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

I like #258

 It's been a crazy few weeks; after dropping the dogs off with my parents over mother's day weekend, I had two back to back work trips, one in San Antonio and one in Glasgow.  Both were lovely, with good weather and interesting science, but very chaotic.  The travel associated with the Glasgow trip in particular was wretched, as was traveling internationally while COVID cases are again on the rise.  But I'm home now and have my beloved dogs back, so it's time to get back on track with things to like!

I liked being on the riverwalk in San Antonio.  It was fairly touristy, but so pleasant to walk around, with big mature trees providing shade and so many beautiful flowers.

After the San Antonio trip, I had an unexpected weekend back again with my folks in New Mexico (I had to go to El Paso to sort out a passport problem), and so I got to see my dogs for a couple days before heading back out for the next trip.  Always lovely to see my folks too, and my favorite red hot pokers were blooming there.

The Glasgow trip was great, but short- I lost my only sightseeing day to travel delays, but we did skip one conference afternoon to take a wonderful visit to the Kelvingrove art museum and walk around Kelvingrove park.  It was a lovely museum and the park was filled with lots of beautiful blooming things.

And now I'm just grateful to be back home with Spooky and Blue.  I missed them and was done with the chaos. There's always a lot to do catching back up, but that's just life.

And it's been very wet and rainy here but also that means not quite as hot as usual and it means that my garden is going gangbusters.  Lots of lovely things flowering in it, including zinnias and the first dahlias.  I loved tracking this first big dahlia this week as it opened up.

I hope you guys are having some things to like! For more things to like click over to LeeAnna's!

Monday, May 16, 2022

Embroidered Doll Ornaments


Hi everybody, I just wanted to jump in today and share about some hand embroidered doll ornaments I just finished up.  These were kits for embroidered dolls put out by kiriki press, and they are all adorable.  I don't usually buy kits, but one of these was a present a friend gave and one was one my mom bought for Anna to make, but she wasn't interested.  If she gets more into hand sewing later, I'll definitely get her another one.

The kits are great, all adorable little animals, and the kit includes everything you need to make the doll except a needle, scissors, and embroidery hoop.  In addition to the materials, each kit also includes an instruction sheet and little colored card with photographs of the finished doll.

The instructions don't have directions for the individual stitches, so if you're new to embroidery, you'd need to go online and find instructions.  However, the kiriki website has a good downloadable stitch dictionary and of course there are many online.  The kits are staged by level based on the amount of the doll covered in stitches and I happened to have a level 1 and level 3 kit.

The dolls finish at about 4.5" high, and I like that the shape to embroider is printed on a fairly large piece of fabric so it fits well in a 6" embroidery hoop.  I hate when the fabric is too small and you have to stitch on extra bits to fit it in the hoop.

Here you can see the otter in-progress.

Here's the finished koala. You can see he isn't too covered in stitching, and he stitched up pretty fast.  They are meant to finish up as stuffed dolls, but I don't really need any dolls so I added a little hanging ribbon so I can use him as a Christmas ornament.

The backs are just plain, but I decided to stitch the year since I like to have that on my ornaments.

And here's the otter.  You can se he's entirely covered in stitching, so of course he took a bit longer, but even so it wasn't difficult.  None of the stitches were particularly complicated and the instructions were clear.  I'm not that great about sewing smooth curves (during assembly) but that's just me.

These were fun to work on, a good evening project while watching TV.  I am glad to have made them and not have unused kits for things in my studio!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

I Like #257

 Welcome to another week of things to like!  I drove home to New Mexico this weekend to return my mom's car to her after finally getting mine back.  She was glad to have it and it was great to see my parents and other family.

Lovely sunset on the drive home.

It was a short trip, but we still had time for a morning hike with the dogs.

My parents always have the best flowers; right now that means wonderful iris and some flourishing and fragrant lilacs.

I helped my mom plant the rest of her container garden; unfortunately the wind there is so bad right now I'm not sure anything we planted will survive.  Hopefully the stuff from seeds will be ok at least.

We transplanted and separated this barrel cactus.  It's one of the ones I started from seed and then gave to my mom.  It really really loves the room where she has it; hers is at least five times bigger than any of the ones I still have growing.  It was bursting out of the pot; I hope it survives having been transplanted.

I was thrilled to get to go down and see my Grandma; my Aunt hosted a lovely Mother's day lunch for the family and it was good to visit and catch up with everyone.

Blue and Spooky are staying in New Mexico for a few weeks while I have some work-related travel.  They love it there (more than at home for sure), but I really miss them.

One final exciting thing, I received this wonderful fish sculpture from the "Fresh Fish" exhibit that was part of SAQA's annual conference.  I'm so excited, it's called "Mermaid Snack" and is by artist Karen-Eve Bayne, from North Carolina.  It's so delightfully fun and there are so many wonderful things to see the more you look at it.

It was lovely to see family this week, and I hope there have been good things in your life this week too. Click over to Lee Anna's for more things to like!