Monday, April 30, 2012

What Day of the Week Were You Born? - Challenge

A new challenge is going on at Inspiration Avenue.  Click on this link to join the challenge.  Here is the deal:
The challenge this week is  "The Days of the Week"  from the age old nursery rhyme that was written to help children to learn the days of the week.  The challenge is not specific to the days of the week, but rather to the actual day of the week that you were born according to the nursery rhyme. 
If you don't know the actual day of the week you were born, I have included a link to a handy dandy birthday calculator that will help you make that determination. 
Here is the Link to the Birthday Calculator to find your day. 
And here an example... of just a few possibilities for each day! Use your imagination according to your day and any medium is a go!
Since I was born on a Thursday, I had "far to go"... my husband was born on a Saturday, and he had to work for his living.  So true for both adages!

So, since it took me a period of 44 years of schooling (off and on, between pregnancies, jobs, health issues, etc.), my challenge incorporated schooling and rough times into my theme of "far to go"... And after those 44 years, I still lack the doctoral degree.  Anyway, since school was always a theme in my life, I took the images of the little girl with an umbrella against the wind,
(Morton's Salt)
(Good Housekeeping)

 and school books, combined them together with a computer cord and came up with this altered image:

... click on this link to join the fun.

Thanks to Kim from IMGIRL for hosting this at Inspiration Avenue Challenge.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Letter to the Dormouse Regarding Carrot Soup

Dear Fat Dormouse Getting Thinner:

Thank you very much for the recipe I found here on your blog.  I did want you to know that it was quite delicious.  But somehow, cooking times did not equate at high altitudes.  Your recipe called for cooking the vegetables for about 20 minutes after the liquid came to a boil.  I was extremely hungry when I began soup preparation, just so you know.

So after cooking the onions, carrots and sweet potatoes for 55 minutes in the chicken stock, and flavoring with a Tbsp. of orange marmalade (the grocery shopping elves had not picked up any orange juice by noon today), I hoped it was ready.  I zuzzed it all together, and put it in my favorite poppy mug.  Can you see the steam?  No?  It was there, believe me.

(knitters please note that those are Hermione's Everyday Socks on the needles)

I was too hungry to make it pretty with a little parsley on top for garnish.

Anyway, thanks again Dormouse,

P.S.:  the roof of my mouth got burned while sipping the soup because I did not want to wait for it to cool (did I tell you I was hungry?)

P.P.S: I drank the soup and had Weight Watchers popcorn with the soup and it was extra delish

Friday, April 27, 2012

KnitCompanion and the Holden Shawl

Here is a shawl I finished yesterday, with the help of a new app for my iPad.  The app is called KnitCompanion and can be found here, or on iTunes for a download.  There is a Ravelry group where you can get lots of help, and it is here.  I tried it out, and will definitely use it for all my pdf knitting patterns.  The learning curve was fairly fast, and I went through the YouTube videos in one morning.

Now for the Holden Shawl, a free download by Mindy Wilkes found here.

KnitCompanion allows different crops and ways to put knitting instructions together in the manner YOU want, making reading instructions easier by far.  Try it.  You will probably like it.

(above photo from It's About Time)

Participating in Paint Party Friday found here!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Husband's Weekend Work

Bark and a lot of it: 17 square yards that had to be spread out over the front and back areas between grass, shrubs and flower beds:

Before and after pictures with at least 1/4 of the bark still remaining after the work of the weekend.

And on a lighter note, the iris are blooming in our flower beds!

What's blooming in your yard?

(image from art in red wagons)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

P.S. Post Card Swap

Post Card Swap

What  is it?  Just what it says, Swap A Postcard!
  • You make five postcards and mail them. 
  • You will receive five postcards from five other people in the swap.
What do you provide?
  • Five handmade postcards
  • You can draw, paint, cover with fabric, use rick rack, copy images, whatever!
  • Anything that will go through the mail will work.
What do you get?
  • Five unique postcards from five different members in the swap
How do you sign up?
  • Just let us know you are joining the swap by mailing your snail mail address to:

Sounds like fun to me! I am in. It starts TOMORROW! All details can be found here TOMORROW!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

National Poetry Month and a Creative Challenge

On Inspiration Avenue, and in conjunction with National Poetry Month, we have a weekly challenge.
April is National Poetry Month and in honor of that... a challenge to revolve around poetry, but also include other forms of the written word, a favorite quote, or novel, or perhaps merely a special word. What inspires you, and how does it make you feel? Pour out those feelings artistically! Whether in oils, collage, watercolor, mixed media, photography, digital art... anything goes, just express it!
Iris are fun to paint, and inspire me.  So I decided to find a poem about iris and then paint one or two.  Here is a poem about iris written by Edith Buckner Edwards in 1961:

Iris, most beautiful flower,
Symbol of life, love, and light;
Found by the brook, and the meadow,
Or lofty, on arable height.
You come in such glorious colors,
In hues, the rainbow surpass;
The chart of color portrays you,
In petal, or veins, of your class.
You bloom with the first in Winter,
With the last, in the Fall, you still show;
You steal the full beauty of Springtime,
With your fragrance and sharp color glow.
Your form and beauty of flower,
An artist's desire of full worth;
So Iris, we love you and crown you,

Inspired by iris, I got out the silk paints and spread them and all the paraphenalia that goes along with painting on silk, and began this painting with iris as the theme.  It took about a week to complete.  It is ready to frame in a convenient size of 16" x 20".  This is my answer to the Inspiration Avenue weekly challenge.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Back on the Knitting Front: Bitterroot Shawl and Hermione's Socks

From painting, now back to knitting.  I finished the Bitterroot Shawl and another pair of socks.  First, the Bitterroot shawl by designer Romi Hill.  She created this pattern, saying:
Legend has it that long ago, hunger swept through the Native American tribes. As time passed slowly and food supplies dwindled, famine beckoned disease and death closer and closer.  One day, a mother knelt in sorrow by the river, her children sick and dying. The Sun heard her cries of anguish and took pity on the mother, changing her tears to Bitterroot, that her people might never be hungry and sick again.
Now I did not quite understand how the shawl looked like bitterroot.  But it sounded like a nice legend, and it did have a methodical pattern to it, so I'll just put it together in my mind that way.  Here are some pictures, but won't bore the post with how many beads were put onto it or how long it took to knit.  All those details can be found here.

a close up:

The Bitterroot was finished just in time for spring, along with Hermione's Everyday Socks.

Now for Hermione's socks. I decided to knit these because podcaster Tina from Knitting Blooms likes this pattern a lot.  Designer of the pattern Erica Leuder (free pattern on Ravelry found here) says...
Hermione, as described in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series, is a rather smart and practical heroine. While she can dress up with the best of them, these socks remind me of something she might wear while practicing charms or transfiguration or reading up on Arithromancy in the Gryffindor Common Room.
 Well said.  So I can wear these in any Common Room.

The sock yarn is Regia, my favorite blend of wool and nylon for long wear.  The best part of the sock, IMHO, is the eye of partridge heel that is very sturdy and closely knitted.  My close up is not as good as designer Leuder's, so I'll just show her heel photo:

Thanks for looking.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Original Silk Paintings, now on Etsy

A few silk paintings are now available at my Etsy store.  GO HERE to ETSY for my listings.

Silk paintings, mixed media, hand painted, 12 mm silk material, Jacquard silk paints, all originals, steam set for three hours, gutta resist, and mounted on sturdy frames, sizes are all 8" x 10", easily frame-able.

...more sizes and more products will be on the way once the sleep fairies and the silk materials continue to wind their way to Colorado

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jacquard Silk Paints

They arrived, the silk paints, that is.

Their colors are varied and the maker numbers are 721, 745, 701, 722, 712, 730, 715, and 735 in addition to the 11 year old colors (number 717, 732, 706 and 701) that are just becoming depleted.  Love the vibrancy.

Works in progress that needed extra colors are this

and this

Finished works tomorrow?

Sunday, April 8, 2012


The tomb is empty.  

Easter blessings to you readers.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Inspiration Avenue

Inspiration Avenue.  What is it?  From the Etsy site, this is a brief description of this lively group:
Inspiration Avenue is an interest based global Etsy team wherein we promote, share, and encourage each other’s creative work through a positive environment utilizing the goals we set through our team blog, correspondences, and meetings. 
Our team members are comprised of a diversified selection of artists totaling no more than 25 – 30 actively participating members who work in a wide range of artistic mediums including but not limited to painting, collage art, paper arts, jewelry design, fabric & fiber arts, digital design, photography. 
Our goal is to assist our members in increasing visibility for their handmade creations. We accomplish this by mutually sharing helpful online tools with each other, promoting artisan creations through our weekly inspirational blog challenges, and participating in annual blog parties and charitable events.
Given the small size of our team all of our members are encouraged to participate by helping out with the upkeep of our team Twitter, Facebook, and blog activities, and by joining our administrative team when a position comes available. 
So if you’re looking to get involved with a small, fun, and active team that encourages positive relationships through an environment of artistic inspiration, look not further.
That being said, I am happy to become part of this team of talented individuals.  And I have even re-opened my Etsy shop with a small start.  I'll be adding more items in the near future.  My button, so kindly supplied by Jenn, a superb watercolorist and one of the team members, is on my sidebar and also here:
Jenn can be found here:
Jenn's Etsy Shop

The rest of the Inspiration Avenue members are listed on the right side bar of this blog.  Each person has a blog and an Etsy shop, displaying an amazing amount of diversity in their talents.  Visit them all!

And take on an art challenge weekly through Inspiration Avenue.  This week's challenge can be found here...

Inspiration Avenue Challenge Link
Every MONDAY a new theme is announced. Participants have one week to complete their submissions. Submissions MUST be added by the next  SUNDAY NOON, EASTERN STANDARD TIMEWe are a global team and we work according to EST so, please check our clocks on the front page (right sidebar) to make sure you submit by the deadline.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Potato and Farmer Sausage Casserole

Dottie: this is your dinner tonight.  We send with it our thoughts and prayers, and hope it brings comfort.

Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Potato and Farmer Sausage Casserole

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday

The Easter Season begins today.

Palm Sunday and what it means can best be found from the Bible.

The MennoniteGirls say it all here on their website today.  Not only can the Mennonite Girls cook, they also know how to live life to its fullest!