Saturday, October 29, 2011


This is the beauty of autumn. Wish I could convince it to stay a little longer!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dark Morning Sky

We finally had two full days of sunshine! Even though that should make me happy, I was all set to sign on and grumble about today's dark and dreary skies. Got out the camera, took these photos, and realized how lucky I am to have the dark sky as a contrasting background to the brightly colored leaves still on the trees;
how lucky I am to have blooming plants in the yard and on the deck this late in the year;
and yes - how lucky I am to have all those wires out front bringing electricity and the internet right into my lap! It's actually a pretty day, when I think about it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Completed Sidewalk & Front Landscaping

The was finished about 10 days ago, but it took this long to have enough sunshine to take decent photos. It appears that Molly approves. (All photos should be clickable to view larger, if you're interested.) The only part of the project yet to do is some new path lights.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Finished Projects

A few months ago, I received a box of 12 pincushion mannequins, without explanation. The only thing I can figure is they were sent in response to my request for goodies for the Doll Gala LAST year. I handed them out to the gals in Cloth Souls, and we decided to make them into a challenge - to be completed for the October meeting, in some kind of holiday theme, any holiday.

Here's what they looked like before - some pink, some blue:
I made mine into a Christmas angel. The gold wires have crystals at the ends, and are the illusion of a halo. Don't you love those wings? I got them in a fabric packet when we visited Gypsy Pamela last June. The white clothing is all from cutter linens, with a stiffening agent.
Saw this Halloween candleholder at World Market, and turned it into a pincushion. Just a little bit of wool clippings inside the DOD fabric, stuffed into the candleholder. The pins are typical pearl-head florist pins, but have been pushed into the enlarged hole of some dollar store skulls. The hand is actually much more sparkly than the photo shows.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Iowa Retreat Doll

The Iowa Retreat with Sherry Goshon and Jean Bernard was wonderful again this year. Our project, a gourd doll, was an incredible learning session, full of new techniques and ideas.

The base of the doll is the gourd we colored. In addition, my doll has a "scrying bowl" made of the very top portion of the gourd. I knew what I wanted to do with it, but Jean is the one that figured the way to achieve what I wanted - actually, she achieved WAY more than what I thought possible.

The resin faces we used were provided; Jean's "Scarlett" mold was used to make the faces. The body, arms, and neck are sewn, gessoed, and decorated. I'm showing both outdoor and light cube photos, because the coloring of the outdoor photo - though more accurate - has distracting things going on in the background! The facial coloring doesn't contrast quite as much as it appears in the light cube photo.

Still working...

I know, I'm too impatient...

Friday, October 07, 2011

Front Sidewalk

When we bought this house six years ago, we were aware that the front sidewalk was "heaved" by the roots of the large maple trees in the front yard. We focused on other repairs and changes first, however, (like a new roof and a gas stove!) but now that we've taken the house off the market, we've decided it's time to do one more thing to make it our own.
One of the huge challenges with a disrupted sidewalk is the shock you get when the snowshovel hits the ridge of concrete. It was time, as you can see in the three "before" photos below:

Like all good home improvement projects, this one suffers from the "mushroom factor." You know how that goes - you start out changing a burned out light bulb, and end up rewiring an entire room. We'd gotten three estimates from Pirc Landscaping - minimal, moderate, and ideal. We started out with the minimal, upgraded our thinking to the moderate (mid project, no less) and are ending up with the ideal, because of the issues uncovered with the grade of the dirt around the house.
Here are some during photos:

I'll be excited to share the afters, if for no other reason than the "scree" is now tamped down in the new pathway, but the dogs are tracking it in through the entire house. Two vacuumings and one washing per day are not enough to clear it out. It's now 9:00 am here, and I can hear the equipment running out front at this very moment. I'm thinking we'll see some pavers before the end of the day!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Ute Vasina Little Folk Results

I've finished "Maude" from the Ute Vasina class I took a couple weeks ago. I pictured a female troll in girly-girl pinks, but Noooooo.... She wanted to farm and tend the grapevines. You will probably notice, however, that some of her lacy pink underwear is peeking out from the back of her pants around the tail.