May 31, 2006

The lure of paper

Just when I was happily settled back into working with fabric, quite content with my resolution to focus on being a quilter, I had to go and make this little journal cover. Ahh, the paint, the paper, the layers!

May 29, 2006

Been a long time since I...

a. sewed/created anything

b. cooked dinner

c. didn't have a headache

d. exercised

e. all of the above

If you picked e, you are correct and you get to go have a frappucino. That's one thing I have been doing a lot of lately. As always happens in May, I got caught up in track and sort of lost track of everything else (groan, I can't believe I just wrote that). So I'm taking advantage of this lovely long holiday weekend to do a bit of e, all of the above (oh, I'm just SO clever this morning ).

I was supposed to spend large portions of the weekend working here:

but we're having typical Memorial Day weekend weather: cold and wet. This is the ONLY angle that the garden looks halfway decent. Stop looking at the weeds!

I'm not very interested in cold and wet, so I've been staying inside (with the heat on!) doing lots of this:

Yep, I've been goofing off with paint and ink and water soluble oil pastels and embroidery thread. There were too many projects competing for my attention, so I chose to ignore them all in favor of playing. I think I made an excellent choice.

May 22, 2006

Ultimate Bliss for May

I love the monthly Bliss Lists that Deb at Red Shoe Ramblings posts. And I always think "oh, I'm gonna post a list!". And obviously I never get around to it. But this month is different because I had several moments of ultimate bliss Friday night. So here it is, not a whole list, just one of my favoritest, bestest things ever:

1. Watching my sweet, funny, beautiful, gutsy stepdaughter AshLee grit her teeth and find that extra gear she needed to pull out a win in a very close 400 meter race at the state championships. And running down to the infield for hugs and pictures. And seeing that huge smile on her face as she was introduced as the new state champion:

And later, watching her come from behind in the anchor leg of the 4x400 relay to win her last high school race. And watching the sheer giddiness as she celebrated with her teammates. Yep, that's my ultimate bliss.

May 16, 2006

Planting day

Mom and I celebrated Mother's Day in the garden again this year. I took a trunkload of plants and pots out to her house and we enjoyed the beautiful weather and her beautiful yard while potting up lots of flowers.

We start with pinecones for drainage. Mom has lots of resident squirrels and they very kindly pile the pinecones up in whatever pots Mom leaves sitting out. So helpful!

Here's one of the garden helpers getting a drink from a garden fountain.

Here's another garden helper.

Here's mom busy potting impatiens.

Here's mom's handiwork for the day.

And here's mine.

We made grilled garlic and lime marinated chicken, salad with homemade croutons and freshly baked french bread for dinner. And cherry cheese cake for dessert. It was an all-around excellent day.

May 12, 2006

List Friday - Flowers

I love the topics Loretta Marvel over at pomegranatesandpaper chooses for her List Fridays. This week's task is to list your favorite flowers. Wow, flowers are one of my very favorite could I resist playing along?

I tend to like old-fashioned flowers, perennials that come back year after year, spreading and spilling over, filling up the garden with exuberant splashes of color. Here, with illustrations from my garden, are just a few of my favorites:

Bleeding Heart

Purple Coneflower. I love anything that looks like a daisy.

These iris go back at least as far as my great-grandmother's garden in the 1950's. I love that something so delicate and beautiful comes from such tough, hardy stock.

Lupine is a common wildflower in the Cascade Mountains in Washington. They remind me of backpacking with my grandparents.

I'm a June baby so roses are always my favorite. This is a shrub rose, much less fussy than the fancy hybrids. Also one of the first things I planted, this was a housewarming gift and it has grown to enormous size.

Violets are so delicate and so purple. These ones are a serendipity plant - I didn't plant them, they just appeared on their own. Not sure if they tagged along with some daylilies from my grandma's yard or if they just blew in on the wind. Either way, they make me happy.

May 7, 2006

Not much going on around here...

There hasn't been any sewing this week. There really hasn't been anything creative happening this week. Here's what there has been this week: lots of sleeping, lots of reading, lots of juice drinking and pill taking. I am sick sick sick with an ugly sinus infection. I haven't even WANTED to do anything other than lounge in bed and read a book. Or sleep. Ugh.

At least I've managed to consume a few good books. Besides the usual fluff like How to Marry a Duke (yes, this is a real title of a real book I read this week) there have been some little gems like The Village Bride of Beverly Hills by Kavita Daswani. Sort of chick-lit with an Indian arranged marriage/culture shock twist. It was sweet and funny. I also read For Matrimonial Purposes by the same author but didn't like it nearly as much. Which brings me to Barbara Kingsolver. I read Prodigal Summer last year and really liked it, so then I tried to read The Poisonwood Bible and hated it and didn't even finish it. Two weeks ago I decided to try The Bean Trees and I LOVED it. I stopped reading it except in little tiny bits because I didn't want it to end. Usually when I like something by a particular author, it's a good bet I'll like the rest of their stuff. So I'm a bit puzzled by my reactions to Daswani and Kingsolver.

I finally read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd which I thought was quite nice. Also tried an Elizabeth Peters book from the Amelia Peabody series and liked it.

Last week was more interesting. Here's me with my Carload O' Plants from the annual Liberty Park plant-buying frenzy with mom. This year we power shopped - no dithering about what to get and how many - if it looked good, it went in the wagon. Now I have to plant all this stuff...

And here's a little postcard I made as a birthday gift for Sarah, one of the law clerks in my new office. Fun with markers and alphabet stamps! I finished the edges by hand with an overcast stitch using embroidery floss. I love the look of this kind of finish, but man, it takes forever to do.