Thursday, June 26, 2008

If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere... Vincent Van Gogh

Every time I see something this beautiful, I fall in love with Nature all over again!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fire Sun

This is how last night's sunset looked due to the brush fires burning in our area. One is burning less than ten miles east of us, and today the air is so foul we can see no more than two miles in any direction. I've been keeping my asthmatic self inside and the air filters running 24/7, and I'm still having difficulty breathing.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Isn't She Lovely?

She was sitting all alone on a nearly empty shelf in the nursery at Safeway, looking thirsty and unloved. Though she's not a cat, I just had to rescue her anyway. A few days of bright sunlight, water, humidity and classical music have made her happy again!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Un-fond memory...

Here's today's "inchie". Kind of reminds me of Gilmore, my lamentable second husband. Pore, pore Gilmore... Oy, such a victim he was. Scheesh...

#@%&?!$ Weather

Today is the third day in a row of 100 degree weather. Enough, already!!! This is coastal Northern California, fercryinoutloud! Now, I'm sure there are plenty of folk out there who are saying, "Only 100... whatta wimp..." Okay. I admit it... I'm definitely a weather wimp - don't like it too hot... don't like it too cold. That's why I live HERE. I may hate this #@%&?!$ weather, but my roses obviously love it - there's been a rose explosion going on in my front garden this week. Glorious to behold, but if I could behold it without this #@%&?!$ weather, I'd find it a lot more glorious. By the way, did I mention I hate this kind of #@%&?!$ weather? Anyway, here's my Queen Elizabeth enjoying the hell out of the #@%&?!$ weather and struttin' her stuff.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Postcard for Annette

This is my two-color postcard, made for Annette in the Textile Challenges Yahoo Group. Each participant was assigned two colors, and we were allowed to use one extra color of our choice. My colors were blue and yellow - a combination I dislike intensely, and, most likely, the reason it took me so long to get it done. I added chartreuse because it's one of my favorite colors, and was the only decent match I could find for the other two after trying plenty of options. I decided to see just how small I could piece, and this is absolutely The Smallest pieceing I've ever done. When I worked for Seams Like Art in Vallejo, I used to sell packs of 1/2" Thangles triangle paper, and would think, "What sadist would ever want to work with these???" Well, dang... I tried them and they weren't crazy-making at all. In fact, I'm going to use them again for another idea I have simmering on the back burner. For now, however, making a dozen of those tiny little doohickies will hold me for a while.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Another Late Bloomer

I sure wish I knew what's going on in my garden this month. Two weeks ago the pink calla lilies were toast, so I cleaned out the pot. Then, after the dusty construction work was finished, I hosed things down and gave all of the pots a good soak. A few days later stalks popped up, and things started all over again. I'm certainly not complaining, mind you... in fact I'm delighted - two Springs for the price of one this year! I wonder what else is going to surprise me?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Best "Princess and the Pea" Imitation for Thursday

I washed a shitload of cat blankets this morning, folded some of them, set them down on the table on my way to the linen closet, turned my back for 3.14159265 milliseconds and Beverly found them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Having the Last Word

The tenacity of plants always amazes me. Weeks after I thought I'd seen the last of the Iris for this year, this beautiful lady sent up another bloom to remember her by. She's one of my favorites, though I can't remember her name because her little plastic name tag got blown away during the last rain and wind blitz. (Maybe one day I'll keep better records of what's growing where, but, more likely, maybe not...) I expect she'll be around for a few more days, before fading away into next Spring. She doesn't know it yet, but she'll have a surprise awaiting her rebirth next year... she and all of her Iris friends, along with a few crocus, tulips, daffodils, narcissus, lilies, and hyacinths are going to be moved to the giant new bulb planter in the front yard of the lower house, where they'll all be in bed together and present a traffic-stopping show when they wake up next Spring!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Working Small

Thanks to my involvement in a couple of Yahoo! groups, I've started playing around with fabric art projects that are microscopic compared to what I've done in the past. Postcards (4x6"), Arches (4x8"), Artist Trading Cards (ATCs - 2.5x3.5"), and Inchies, or Plus-size Inchies (1.5x1.5"). One thing can be said for these little guys - they're so quick to finish they don't ever wind up as UFOs (Unfinished objects)! I've found Inchies to be a good "warm-up" project. I usually make one every day before I start working on other stuff. Sometimes they come out fine, and, sometimes, my lack of dexterity gets in the way. It's always puzzled me that I can be so dexterous playing the piano and organ, and then be such a klutz when I try to do applique, or beading, or other seriously detailed work in my attempts to make art. Creativity isn't the problem - I have so many ideas swimming around in my brain it often gives me a headache, but when I try to turn those ideas into reality, I'm slowed up by my fumble-fingered-ness. I keep plugging along, though, and do my best to work with the aphorism I use so often when working with my music, "Practice makes permanent." Not "perfect", - nothing's perfect, and I don't want to go there because you can get in a whole shitload of trouble when you start thinking in terms of "perfect!" Above are some Inchies I've made recently...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mom's Little Helper

I hate doing the laundry, but it's an act of charity I force myself to perform with some regularity in order to keep the few friends I have. During the folding stage, I can usually rely on some help from at least one of the resident furballs. Today it was Nikolai.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My Arch for Carole

Here's the arch I made for Carole in the Textile Challenges Yahoo group. I've never worked "small" before, so I had waaaaay too much fun doing this project! In the process, I used up a few buttons and beads from my outrageous stash. Very well and good, but now I perceive a hole in my stash, so I'll probably have to buy more, like, real soon now. PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) is coming up in October... I'll try to contain myself until then...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New Kid in the Family

Here's my newest World Wildlife Fund "adoptee" - a Golden Lion Tamarin. Their habitat, which is being threatened by deforestation, is located in the lowland coastal rain forests of southeast Brazil. Goldens are one of the most endangered primates in the world with only about 400 remaining in the wild. In the past, many were captured for the pet trade, but that practice has, mercifully, been nearly eliminated. Due to a captive breeding program and successful reintroduction into the wild, the population is slowly increasing.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

May Arch from Annette

In my first swap with the Textile Challenges Yahoo Group, I received this beautiful arch from Annette in the UK. I love the colors and the super-delicate beading around the purple wedges.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Another chunk of the unending landscaping madness is complete...

Following four days of creating a mess to rival the Dust Bowl of the '30s, George and crew finished the hardscape construction on the east side of the upper house on Friday. The new fence, retaining wall, stairs and gravel path are in place, while I save up for yet another trip to Mid-City Nursery for the next round in the endless outlay of cash for more plants!