Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I've been distracted lately - too many projects (which I will be sharing, hopefully in the near future) but even more so by spring having finally arrived, making it just too tempting to be outside.

There's new growth bursting out everywhere you look and there's just something so enticing about those new greens:

We've had a bumper crop of trout lilies, the flowers are so cheerful, but it's the namesake leaves that I find very interesting:

The trillium have come into bloom in just the past couple days, dappling the forest floor with bright white:

The beauty of the blossoms draws us to them, but the real purpose is to entice the proper pollinator, thus allowing the plant to reproduce itself. This is potentially a future wild strawberry .

This last one isn't a wildling, but a carefully cultivated magnolia, tucked away in a sheltered corner. The blossoms look as if they could take flight and float away if they weren't tethered to the tree.

Surrounded by such delightful distractions, is it any wonder I'm having trouble keeping myself on task?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to Wallow in Your Food: A Tutorial

Step 1: Locate an abundant food source.

Step 2: The Approach

Step 3: Evaluate the Possibilities

Step 4: If it Looks Good, Go On In!

Bonus Points for Checking Out All Angles!

Step 5: Move On to the Next One

Disclaimer: No photographers were injured in the making of this tutorial, despite having irritated the bumblebee!

(However, several tourists probably have questions regarding the photographer's mental well being)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sister Dresses (Sort of)

Some projects just seem to go on and on - one problem/solution leading to another and this pair of dresses is a good example.

I didn't intend to make two dresses, but that's what happened.

Here's my inspiration:

This is a portion of project "Dressing Diamantina", that I discovered on the fantastic V and E Historic Costuming blog. There are over a dozen patterns for a variety of children's outfits including underpinnings and they are all free!

While I loved the style, I was not making this dress in white - the young lady it's intended for is a bit too rough and tumble, she needed something a bit more utilitarian. I was gifted with a length of pink/black/green plaid and I have yards and yards of green cotton wavy braid in my stash - perfect for this project.

So I printed the pattern, cut my fabric and sewed it up (it went together beautifully), but...

It was way to small for the seven year old in question.

Time to size up the pattern, and now I'm running short of fabric. The bottom ruffle and the bias binding have many, many places where it's been pieced.

In the meantime, my husband makes the observation that the first dress would probably fit another little one in our group - so now I'm finishing two dresses.

The wavy braid took a fair amount of time too; I intentionally trimmed each dress a bit differently and neither is done as the inspiration dress.

But I'm left without enough fabric to bind the edges or to add a ruffle to the little dress:

Thus the contrasting binding and the fake "ruffle".

The "stash" yielded some really cute glass buttons made to look like thread buttons.

I had a set of black glass buttons I has intended to use on the larger dress, but I did not like the way they looked at all. So now I had to make buttons - the full button story is here.

I'm pleased to finally be done and pleased with the final result(s). I'll be seeing the recipients (who aren't sisters) in a couple weeks and I hope they'll be pleased too!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The wildflowers are finally starting to bloom...

As well as the not so wild:

The geraniums are arriving by the drayload...

And the wild life is waking up - this guy was not pleased with me raking out the garden!

Even the birds like the blue skies and the blue water... and so do I!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bead Journal Project - February 2011

Finally!!! February is finished.

Here's the inspiration image:

I'm using the same image but varying the beading technique each month - this time I used square stitch. Superficially, it looks the same as January's loom work but the techniques are quite different. With loom work, an entire row of beads is added all together, with square stitch each and every bead is added individually - one by one by one by one....

Square stitch is great for small projects and there are no warp threads to finish, but I will never do a piece this large in square stitch again - it just takes too long and it's difficult to maintain proper tension and spacing.

Some additional changes from January's project are the size of the beads, this month I used size 11/o, which results in less detail. I also used a deeper toned color palette.