A week of fun & life-long learning at the library...

The past week has been busy...lots of programs.  We started off learning about stained glass and soldering at a Saturday morning workshop at my library branch.  Jean Barr did a wonderful job of explaining the process and allowing us to try our hand at soldering.  I found that I could have used an extra hand...

Tuesday afternoon was our final session of a Water*Paper*Paint class taught by Connie Walts.  We all enjoyed playing with color and using different techniques.

Wednesday--silk scarf tie-dyeing with Sharpie markers and alcohol.  Big fun at West branch. 

Thursday evening---bookbinding at Central Library, featuring Kimberly Jones of Serendipity Vintage Studio.  We selected a "discard" book, pulled out the book block, and inserted sketch paper in place of the old book pages.  The books were then re-bound using a Japanese stab stitch.  I love bookmaking!



Sometimes I can hardly believe how long I've gone between posts.  A few years ago I seemed to document things more often...now it is very hit-or-miss.  The sad thing is that I enjoy flipping through old posts, looking at pictures, and remembering the fun (or stress) of it all.  Not much to flip through the past few years.

FOLK Magazine, one of my new favorites celebrated their 10,000 "likes" on Facebook by offering $10.00 subscriptions (good until midnight tonight).  Go to their  blog page and click through to order your subscription.  The current issue is the best so far...great recipes, a section of Matthew Mead ideas and recipes, and so much more!  Updated...$10.00 subscriptions continue through Sunday 10/7 at midnight!  Individual issues are priced at $6.95, so $10.00 for 6 issues is a true bargain!


Artsy Friends

One of the things that I've come to appreciate most in the past year are the talents of my friends.  Sometimes their efforts just truly blow me away...an example:

These sketches and watercolors were a result of the Sketch Crawl we had in the historic area surrounding the library.  The artist is Ronda Haley, a multi-talented new friend.  In addition to her artistic talents, she's also musically inclined...she's been teaching a small group of wannabe dulcimer players.  I am among the wannabe's...and we're gearing up for a Christmas time performance at a holiday tea.  Ronda is also very crafty...she does paper beading and fabric beading.  Read more about her here, on Lynda Heines' blog BloomBakeCreate.

Lynda's gate sketch
Lynda is also a super-talented new friend. She features so many wonderful tutorials and demos on her blog. Here's a link to her article on our Sketch Crawl. There's always something new to learn at BloomBakeCreate!


Where did the time go?

I can't believe how long it has been since my last post!  This summer has flown by...for the most part, I hibernated in the air-conditioning---all of those 100+ degree days about did me in. 
We've had some fun programs at the library...a Sketch Crawl in the historic neighborhood surrounding the library, jewelry-making, paper bead making, dulcimer lessons (!), art journaling...it's been a busy, but fun summer inside. 

On a more personal note, my daughter has moved into her own apartment!  I've already started moving things around.  It's nice to have my space back!  Megan moved just down the street and around the corner...close, but not too close!

I hope to feature a few of my new projects soon...it's been a while.


Another Pleasant Valley Sunday...

It's a beautiful morning...cool and sunny.  The lavender is prolific this year.  I've taken two cuttings so far, and the plants are still sending out spikes.  I love walking past this barrel of lavender...it smells so good!
No big plans today...coffee and the newspaper on the front porch are the priorities right now.  Lettuce, basil, and cilantro seed-sowing, and that's about it.  Pleasant day...


ICAD2 Index Card A Day

Visit Daisy Yellow for more information.  One index card every day for June and July...anything goes!

Gotta love those Sharpy markers.  Mindless coloring on a Friday morning.


Tick tock...time rushes on

 It's hydrangea time again...this is the view coming down my stairs.  The hydrangea isn't mine, it belongs to the house next door, but no one, and I mean no one every pays attention to this plant...by the middle of summer, there will be all kinds of vines and weeds growing through the blooms.  I harvest the blooms...as many as I can cut, carry, and dry.  I love having a constant supply of fresh flowers...
The only other flowers blooming are the pansies...I'm anxiously awaiting the tuberose blooms and scents...and the colorful riot of zinnia and cosmos.


The weekend so far...

 Saturday was a 'dip your toes into Spring' kind of day...beautiful warm weather, sun-shiny skies, and fun things to do.  My friend Carol and I signed up for a wreath-making workshop about a month or so ago and have been anxiously awaiting the adventure.  We've heard about Timberview Farms and their workshops and open houses for years, but timing was never right...work interferes sometimes.  The workshop in the basement of the log home was amazing...filled with dried flowers, antiques, wreaths, and other arrangements.  We each made a wreath, and it was done almost assembly-line fashion...but that's a good thing for me.  In less that two hours, we had finished our wreaths and shopped a bit.  I bought some reproduction flower frog mason jar lids and tuberose bulbs.  We did a quick tour of the greenhouse area and then headed to New Harmony.  The scenery yesterday was so breathtaking...dogwoods, redbuds, magnolias, lilacs (yes, lilacs!), and wisteria (!) were in bloom and looking out over the hills and valleys of southern Indiana we saw a riot of color.
 I don't think I've ever been to New Harmony on an "off" Saturday.  Usually there's a town or holiday event going on.  Pretty quiet around town yesterday.
 On our way back to Evansville, we stopped at Hillside Gardens...I've wanted to buy pansies for the last month or so...and they had a huge selection of color at Hillside.
The warm weather makes it so tempting to buy more plants and get the garden going.  I'm restraining myself, knowing that maybe we'll still have dogwood or blackberry winter.


First Friday of Spring

 It was a beautiful day at the library today...the first "official" Friday of Spring, even though we've had summer-like weather for the past several days.
 There's a park adjacent to the library...it's quiet in the morning...not so much in the afternoon when school is out for the day.
 The weather is perfect for taking a break outside with a cup of tea and a good book.
Is anyone looking forward to the season 5 premiere of Mad Men on Sunday?  I finally caught up on the end of season 4 a few weeks ago via Netflix, and I can't wait to see what Don Draper and company will be up to in 1966!


Nothing new...just random thoughts

Photo:  Fresh Market website

 Last night after work I stopped by Sam's Club and then Fresh Market.  I quickly got what I needed at Sam's (a few magazines...Flea Market Style, Cottage Gardens, a bundle of romaine lettuce, and some Laughing Cow cheeses) and then proceeded to Fresh Market to pick up a quick meal instead of resorting to drive-through food or worse yet, cooking something when I got home.  Stopping at Fresh Market after 6PM is so different than stopping on a Friday or Saturday afternoon.  I wandered the aisles, not really knowing what I wanted but so sure I would find "it".   No crowds, just a quiet space to shop with soft classical music playing.  It was pure heaven!  I ran into an old friend from Newburgh...she had the same "glazed" look on her face as I did.  She said she had been wandering up and down the aisles for a while, just for sheer relaxation and entertainment.  We both agreed that FM is expensive, but all of the food is just so beautiful.  Feeding the mind, body, and spirit...next time I'm stressed, that's where I'm heading!
Photo:  Country Sampler

 Here's what we've been making in one of our library programs...paper mache bunnies!  We've scheduled three sessions to complete one of these cute figurines.  Thanks to the folks at Heart of Newburgh for letting me borrow all of those candy molds.  The ladies are having fun doing this, and we're all looking forward to next Monday's class where we'll prepare the figurines for painting.
Unknown source for photo
Lastly, this is a magazine page I've been carrying around for quite some time.  I have a yo-yo fascination and I love the way this bedspread looks...vintage-y pastels.  I've been making lots of yo-yos for a tabletopper I saw in the old Victoria magazine.  Doesn't this look like Spring?


The Week in Review...

This has been a really busy week...I can't believe it was just last Sunday at this time I was sitting in a chalet in Burdette Park, anxiously awaiting a delicious breakfast prepared by...and here's the important part...someone else!  The Burdette weekend went by way too fast.  Half of us were up until 1AM Saturday morning...now granted, I'm usually awake at 1AM most mornings, but that's because I fall asleep in my chair around 9 or 9:30, drag myself to bed, and then wake up around 1AM.  I'm just never continually awake all day and evening.  Here's the Burdette rundown...
  • Arrive at 2PM Friday, following a delicious lunch at Gerst Haus and a trip to the Quilters' Nest
  • Since my friend and I arrived first, we scouted out our areas for the weekend...you know, which room we wanted to sleep in, which area we wanted to craft in.  After putting away groceries and dragging in our supplies, we sat and knitted and had a cup of tea.
  • Two hours later, 2 more "happy campers" arrived, followed shortly by one more.  By then, we were thinking about happy hour.  I mixed up a pitcher of "Eddie Ross Sangria"...a recipe found on Pinterest...a bottle of wine, fruit, and 2 cans of Fresca.  Delicious, and not too "buzzy".
  • The last three guests arrived at nearly 7.  After a late dinner of Taco Soup and a Mexican Pasta Bake, we settled in to crafting again.  I finished a shawl and started on another one--my friend Peggy wanted one, and really...how many times have you been working on something and have had someone say "I want that" and you actually decide to make it for them?  It is now finished except for fringing.  Michelle worked on a wool applique Easter table-topper, Carol knitted...finishing her pom poms for long finished slippers, and her "continual" project of knitting prayer shawls for a local service project.  Debbie hand-quilted a baby quilt for a soon-to-be-born granddaughter, Roseanne and Mary knitted handwarmers, Peggy worked on hand-piecing quilt blocks, and Celestia just enjoyed herself talking to everyone.  She hadn't planned on staying for the whole weekend, so she didn't bring a project.
  • The rest of the weekend was spent knitting, jewelry-making, sewing, talking, and eating...big fun!
I watched as Michelle hand quilted her green and pink small quilt...it's next on my "to make" list...I bought some really pretty fabrics on the way to the retreat...turquoises and reds...I cut the pieces out yesterday, and hope to work on the top (it's small 20 x 20) during the Academy Awards this evening.

The rest of the week was filled with work, the field trip to Amazonia and the orchid show, meetings, programs, and the usual grocery shopping.  I'm glad I had the mid-winter getaway...we can't wait until the next one!

Next post...a recipe for the delicious waffles we had last Sunday...luscious lemon waffles.  So good.


Orchids at Amazonia

The Tuesday afternoon sketching class at my library branch took a field trip today to Amazonia at the Mesker Park Zoo.  The building is filled with a beautiful display of orchids.
I can't think of a better place to be on a gloomy winter afternoon.  The colors inside were so vibrant...and we were serenaded by the sound of the howler monkeys.

I want to visit again before the display ends...maybe the next cold and gloomy day.  It sure brightened my spirits!

 I'm glad the photos turned out...they're so much better than my sketching!

The weekend at Burdette was wonderful!  We're planning another retreat, possibly in the fall.  A good time was had by all...


Foggy Friday

Day three of my mini mid-winter vacation...my bags are packed and I'm ready to spend the weekend with crafty friends in a chalet located in a county park. We've been planning this for months...


Another Sunday Morning...

Winter temperatures have arrived, much to my dismay. This is a li'l practice post using the iPad Blogger app. We'll see how it goes. I saw the coffee bean/candle idea on Pinterest and decided to do it myself after finding a ziplock of coffee beans of unknown origin/age in a basket in my pantry.


Knitting for toasty toes...

Here's a project from yesterday.  The bodies of the slippers have been finished for a while, but I finally got around to sewing them together and making pom poms for them.  Super-quick slippers...if you ever get around to the finishing touches!


Gloomy Sunday

I love Sundays...especially when I have no big plans.  Today is going to be filled with puttering, movie watching... Ides of March, knitting, necklace crafting, and of course, laundry and getting ready for the upcoming week.  There's a roast in the crockpot, plenty of loose tea to be brewed, and maybe the promise of a small cake to be baked from a recipe from Miette.  Tea and cake while watching Downton Abbey...sounds delightful!

And here's the cake!
Yellow cake filled with Tangerine Ginger Curd, frosted with 7 Minute Frosting, topped with coconut.  Yum!


71 Days...the countdown begins

Woke up again this morning thinking "Spring"...the weather has been so nice for the past several days...so un-January like.  I know that there are 71 days until Spring...but looking out the window at that gorgeous sunshine makes me crave what I think Spring should be. 

 Photo:  via Miss Bee's Haven/Facebook

I saw this picture this morning on Facebook and absolutely fell in love with this boxcar/gypsy wagon.  Wouldn't it be great to step out into your backyard and have this?  What a nice little getaway!  Since the boxcar is wider than my backyard, I don't think it would work...and where would I find a boxcar to re-do?  It is charming though.
Photo:  Unknown source

Another bit of my Spring-thinking is garden related crafts for library programs.  Hypertufa, anyone?  I think we're going to be elbow-deep in Portland Cement, peat moss, and vermiculite. 


It's a whole new year...

It's a clean slate...a new year to accomplish our goals, fulfill our dreams, and just enjoy life! 

Baking and cheese making...

In the "learn something new" part of my life, yesterday I learned how to make mozzarella cheese.  Making and baking French bread w...