Let me off the grid! A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Potions, anyone?

Here is my take on the "I've Been Zettied" challenge over at Three Muses    

Professor Snape probably would not be amused, but I surely was.  This was fun to do!

Summer Camp

I'm excited to be participating in Carla Sonheim's Summer Camp Classes (click the badge on the right for more info).  Here is the "test" worksheet that I completed for the first class, Imaginary Creatures.
Class begins on Monday, so it's not too late to sign up if you're interested.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mother Nature

I ordered a statue of Mother Nature a couple of weeks ago and it arrived yesterday.  I think she is beautiful.
I've placed her in the "morning room" (a.k.a. front yard) in the niche I originally created for Murnie.  Of course, once I formalized the place where she always snoozed, she no longer cares for it and has chosen a different location.  So I created an altar to honor the Goddess.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sketchbook Project 2012

Here are two spreads I've completed for this project.

Palma ( was talking about how disappointed she was in the quality of the sketchbook, and I have to agree.  It's difficult to layer or even add paint of any kind without it bleeding through to the other side and getting wrinkly.  Since I've not done this project before, I have nothing to compare it with, but it does make me a little grrrr-ish.  I will press on with it though, as the whole idea appeals to me and also because I've already paid for it.  But I will most likely not play again in the future...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Murnie the Dog

This is Murnie, my 10-year-old long haired Dachshund.  She's usually got a great sense of humor about things, as you can see.
However, there is one thing about which she does NOT have a sense of humor.  This is Murnie after I suggested it was well past time for her to have a bath:

Apparently, she'd rather be in jail.  We got her upstairs into the tub.

These show her "oh, woe is me" face to great effect, I think.  I must add that all of this was closely supervised by Sophy, who made sure we didn't do permanent damage to her dog.  After the bath came the toweling off and blow dry.  Definitely not amused:

But now she's a beautiful, fluffy girl, ready for her treat!
Afterward, I went upstairs to clean the tub, and look who I found, waiting for HER bath!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Morning

Quite a few things have gotten done around here lately.  The husband and I finally moved that ugly dirt pile and I added another garden bed and walkway:
 Not the best picture, because it was (of all things) cloudy this morning.  You might recall my ambitious plan to reclaim all that old gravel from the corner of the yard to make room for a firepit.

 Yeah.  That was a colossal pain in the butt.  So I decided to throw a hundred bucks at it and had some new gravel delivered.  The wonderful husband spent an entire morning shoveling it into a wheelbarrow and moved it into the yard.  (The gravel guys only drop it on the street, not where you want it on your property.)  Now it looks great, but it's too hot outside to have a fire.
Perhaps a small one for Lughnasadh...

 Remember the corn and pumpkins from not too long ago?

                                                                  Here they are now:
Every time I walk by them, I swear they've grown an inch.

And finally, I've picked up my knitting needles again after a long, long hiatus.  I have an inordinate amount of unfinished projects lying about. This year, one of my resolutions was to get some of them finished.  One of these is a shawl that I began I don't know how many years ago (really, I don't) based on a pattern from Elizabeth Zimmerman's book.
I got the shawl itself made relatively quickly.  The problem was in how to finish it off.  At first, I thought a lacy, crocheted edging.  Started that, didn't like it, pulled it out.  Then, aha! It's done in fall colors, so why not knit little leaves all around the edge?  Hmm...did about 40 of those and couldn't stand it anymore.  How about knitting a separate, leafy border and then attaching it?  Got about 20" of that done and abandoned it.  Really, this project has been the source of unending harassment and derision on the part of all my knitting friends for, well, seems like forever.  (How's that leaf shawl coming?  Whatever happened to that shawl you started ___ years ago?)  Last night, while watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I pulled it out and took off all the leaves and unraveled the separate border.  Then I went back to Elizabeth and found that she had directions for a perfectly acceptable, simple garter stitch border that you knit on and bind off the shawl at the same time.  Why didn't I do this in the first place???  I'm now about a quarter of the way around and feeling so happy that I will actually be able to wear my shawl this fall instead of having it be my burial shroud.
I know it looks rather much like a pillow cover because it's on circular needles.  But once finished, it will spread out into a lovely circular shawl.  Here is a close up of the garter stitch edging:
I have decided that I'm working toward simplicity and completion.  Time to get all these things done so I can use them, rather than have them lying around collecting dust!

Coming soon:  pictures from my sketchbook project.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What the heck?

What have they done to Blogger in Draft???  I just got on to type a new post and it's a mess.  I can't find anything.  Most annoying.  Grrrr....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weirdness in the Garden

Imagine my surprise when I went out to the garden this morning and found this in my tomato bed:
 What IS this???  Some sort of weird fungus thing.  Out of nowhere.  Overnight.  It freaks me out.

Word of the Day...

PEACHES.  I got 25 pounds of them from the co-op on Saturday.  Yesterday, I made peach pie (wonderful with vanilla ice cream) and 13 pints of peach "honey".  Today I'll be drying, freezing, and making peach ice cream.  And I won't forget to hold back a few just for eating!
                                     About half are left...

                               Mmmmmm....(about half is left!)

                                      Peach "honey" in the pot

                                              And in the jars.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

The BEST fireworks came last night in the form of a huge thunderstorm that moved through the valley.  I haven't seen so much rain and lightning in years.  The best part was that it occurred during our drum circle.  Having Mother Nature drumming along with us was an incredible gift.  The worst part was the drive home.  The streets were dangerously flooded and there were several times I was tempted to turn back.  Flash flooding is nothing you want to mess with around here.  But we all moved slowly and cautiously and everyone got through without mishaps -- at least where I was driving.  This morning there is a delightful humidity in the air and everything looks so green.  Thank you, Mama!

My corn is not knee high (anyone else out there grow up with the "knee high by the 4th of July" saying?), but it is holding its own, along with the pumpkins:

May your celebrations of independence bring you profound appreciation of freedom and what it means in all areas of your life!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I can't wait...

...for July 15th!  You'll need to scroll down to the bottom and pause the music before you watch the trailer above. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Woman with heavy machinery...

I decided it was time to do something about the copper pinwheels I started a while back.  So off I went to Home Depot (my home away from home) looking for a soldering iron.  Once I explained to the woman in the tools department what I wanted to do, she said I didn't need a soldering iron, I needed a
Well.  That was a little daunting.  She explained how to use it and that it was much more versatile than a soldering iron.  I mentioned that after I'd soldered the pinwheels to the copper tubes, I could then make creme brulee and she said indeed, I could.  So I got it.  I've always wanted to make creme brulee...

I finished adding wires to the pinwheels,
then sallied forth into the yard, torch in hand to attach them.  And you know what?  It worked!

 They aren't super-fancy, but I can always add to them later.

They even twirl in the breeze :)

And the really great thing is, THEY'RE OFF MY DINING ROOM TABLE AND IN THE GARDEN!

Now all I need is a good creme brulee recipe...

Free at last!

After watching her curl herself up into a little ball and leverage the cone against her belly so she could reach her incision, I decided to remove the dreaded/dreadful cone.  After all, if she could reach the incision with it on, there's really no point to her wearing it.  Poor little thing!  What a relief to be able to scratch her neck and wash her face, as well as the rest of her body!  She was so happy.  And this morning, her incision looks clean and healthy.  No more conehead!  Here she is sitting on the monster rug that I finally finished last night:
I got the idea for the rug from a book called Mason-Dixon Knitting.  It's made from those loops that are used to weave potholders (remember, on those square looms?)  I had a bunch of them that wouldn't stretch enough to fit the loom, so I figured, why not?  The rug ended up being really thick and it weighs a TON.  Heaven forbid if I ever need to wash it.  It measures a little over 2' x 4'.  I could have made it bigger, but it was so heavy that it became uncomfortable to work on.  I have no idea where I'll put it (a giant bathmat?  indestructible kitchen rug?)  And I can make more because my supply of potholder loops is inexhaustible!  But I probably won't...