Sunday, September 24, 2006

What a day!

I've been up since 3:30 am, thanks to a call from my daughter in the Minneapolis area. Long story short -- she had an emergency appendectomy this morning. I never fell asleep again, after the phone call, so I started laundry. Played my Fish Tycoon game, worked in the treehouse, put band-aids on Gerry when he needed them. He spent the day trimming hedges and working on the new pond. I still have some soap to wrap and lotions to ship, but I did finish my two altered fabric panels AND I made a treat for my friend, Phyllis.

We've been beading dolls a lot lately, and I keep shipping her bodies from a bulk buy from Monica Magness. Then I found some basic outline patterns that I saved YEARS ago,and thought I could make some bodies of my own.

I made one of these for each of us....took the pattern I had and reduced it by 50%, sewed and stuffed. I think she'll love it -- cats and hearts, all rolled up in one!

The fragrances I tested in soap yesterday don't seem to be holding up the way I'd like, so that was a waste. Good thing I didn't buy without testing, even though I was tempted -- one of them I really loved. Some fragrances fade out and then come back, so I'm hoping that will be the case in these cases, too.

Evicted another chipmunk today, hiding from all three dogs and the cat, under the china cupboard. Thanks, Cosmo!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A volunteer pond

Last week the sewer work on our property was completed. A good portion of our west lawn was dug up to lay the pipe. Because the septic tank and leach field have now been abandoned, we arranged to have a pond dug in the low spot in our yard. The workers started two days ago, scraping the top of the area, and removing an ill tree. Then it rained all night, and yesterday they couldn't work, because of the muck and mire. It does appear, however, that we chose the right started to fill in already! Here's the view from our deck rail.

I think they'll be able to work today. We have a lot of work ahead of us, to make sure that once dug, the water isn't stagnant, and lots of other landscaping and maintenance issues. Now, it looks like just about all of our yard has been dug up somehow!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Altered fabric panel for wearable art

For some ungodly reason, I woke early this morning, so thought I'd put up the pix of what I've been working on. Trust me, it looks better in real life than it does in the photo.

I'm in a wearable art panel swap, (altering a piece of fabric to make it new and artistic and of a size to be transformed into one panel of a vest). I've done a little bit of everything with this piece of vintage cotton. I've added angelina fibers bonded with Bo Nash, fun fibers under the angelina fibers, now I've torn rectangles, stamped the black and sprinkled with "red dragon" embossing powder, stitched them together, added them to the panel...and yet more.

The faces are UTEE with some pearl-ex colorants brushed into the molds before pouring the UTEE. I wrecked a few molds, but I really like the faces I got. The faces are glued onto little rectangles of the same fabrics, and I've beaded around both of them.

One face still needs some ribbons dangling, and then I think I'll do some random beading on the large panel as well. I see that I have to do some more pressing, as not all of the Bo Nash has melted and bonded. It looks like my fabric panel has dandruff!

When I complete this one, I have another to do for the other person in our little swap group. This person likes different colors...blues, greens, maybe a little bit of brown. I have this one planned already, so I just have to get to it!

View from the kitchen window!

We were sitting at our "breakfast bar" a couple nights ago, and this is what I saw outside the window. It's a little blurry because I was in a hurry to get a picture before it left. There were two in the yard. Now I know for sure who's been topping the tomato plants!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The rest of the story...

Here are the other six beaded dolls submitted for the swap I hosted. I wish I had the good sense to take a photo of all eight together -- it would have been easier to show the size variation. Isn't it interesting the difference in vision and execution?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Beaded Butterfly Goddess

As you know, I recently hosted a beaded doll swap on the CPS list. I've certainly posted enough about the one I worked on for months and months ;-) The doll above, made by Nina Owens of TX, is the one I got to keep for myself! I just love her -- love the concept of a butterfly goddess, and of course she is covered in all my favorite colors!

I thought the way Nina used those long, twisted black beads centered up the front was particularly clever, creating the look of strength and armor, on a delicate butterfly. As usual, the picture does not do justice to the beautiful work contained. It was a great group of 7 women besides myself, and a delight in every way!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

She Bead Done!

And winging her way swap partner. Guess I won't quite reveal who that is yet. There were 8 of us total, and the interpretation of a beaded doll to swap was quite different, even with minimum sizes and general guidelines. Once the new owners receive their dolls, I'll post the rest. For now, this is how mine looks, complete (front & back). Oh, and thanks to Monica Magness, known as girl_gone_thread_wild on eBay for beautifully constructed, well stuffed doll blanks. Terrific for beading and other art doll creation!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Cosmo Eyes

Our amazing cat, Cosmo, has two different colored eyes -- one light blue, one amber. And before you ask, he hears just fine. What's even more interesting to me is that his eyes are not only two different colors, the pupils are two different shapes, AND... as you can see, when photographed, his "red eye" is also two different colors! This photo was taken as he stretched and yawned, while monopolizing Gerry's desk chair!

I know it looks kind of weird, but isn't it interesting?

Edited to add...
My dear husband just thinks it's wrong that I showed you the weird picture and not the pretty one, the one that shows how Cosmo really looks, so here you go! Our pin-up cat!

Life Requires Flowers

I've always said that life requires flowers. It even became a bit of a battle cry as a struggling single mom. I often found a way to buy at least a simple bouquet at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market, to brighten the house. And while I love gardening, I don't seem to make much time for it lately, and am really unsure where I want to dig and what I want to change in this yard.

Thus...pot gardening, on decks and hanging from posts has provided the flowers for this year. It made me a little sad yesterday, the first day of September, to look around and see that all of our pots of flowers were full, lush, and at their best. In the past it was a guarantee that when I admired the peak of the outdoor flowers, a frost soon followed. I decided to grab a few shots yesterday, and retain the images of bright flowers and lavish foliage when frost and flurries take over.

This is a view of some pots on the railing, and the butterfly bush centered between two lounge chairs on our main deck --

These three different sweet potato vines in one pot grew so well, they obscured the New Guinea impatiens in the center --

These pots were to be primarily herbs and scented geraniums, but I couldn't resist adding some foliage plants and petunias for more color --

When we were in NC, we loved having a couple of palm trees on the porch, which provided a nice green arch behind our porch swing. This one didn't grow as large, but it still adds some nice texture with the fragrant petunias, and Gerry's big tomato plant nearby. I think the pot with the impatiens, caladium, and trailing chartreuse foliage is one of my favorites.

I love this old sugar pot that belong to my mother. We have planted it every year since I inherited it, and this is my favorite arrangement. The Kong coleus obscured the smaller standard coleus, but it's hard to complain when it makes such a vibrant display!