Monday, August 30, 2010

Blossom Napkins

Two hand embroidered "Blossom Napkins" from Alicia Paulson's Embroidery Companion: Classic Designs for Modern Living for our fourth anniversary picnic.  Fruit and flowers are the traditional fourth anniversary gift.  My fruit gift to him was homemade blueberry scones using blueberries I had picked at U-Pick farm.  (More on that later in the week!)  His gifts to me were a beautiful bouquet of red roses that acted as a centerpiece for our picnic and handmade chocolate fondue with strawberries for dipping!

PS.  My 100th post is coming up very, very soon.  I'd like to do something special to commenorate the event perhaps a giveaway of some kind.  Any ideas?

Friday, August 27, 2010

at the fair

Last weekend my good friends Derek and Tatiana took me to the Island County Fair

It was perfect weather, not to hot, not to cold and beautiful sunshine all around. 

Each building on the grounds was filled with loving projects, animals, and unique displays ranging from food preservation, quilting/needlecraft, a cat barn, alpacas, llamas, goats, horses, rabbits.  You name it, it was there.  There were carnival rides too.  (I really wanted to ride the ferris wheel but I was thirsty and the line was long.  Maybe next year!) 

One of our favorite activities to do was participating in the people's choice awards.  We would head into a barn scope out a few of our favorites and discuss which was the best in our opinion.  Funnily enough we never agreed!  Above is my favorite from the Arts and Crafts barn drawn by a ten year old.  If only I could draw like that!

I had a tough time choosing my favorite quilt.  There were three that really caught my eye.  One was done with beautiful red work embroidery, another had amazing quilting that echos the roses in the fabric choices throughout.  But in the end I chose the quilt you see above.  (Sorry about the picture quality, hipstamatic app plus poor barn lighting does not a could picture make!)  The story is what sold me on this quilt.  It was hand pieced by a ninety-three year old woman .  This was the first quilt she had ever made!  Unfortunately she passed only a few weeks before the fair.  Her family had it professionally quilted for her.  The fabrics choices were lovely and looked so soft.  The careful hand pieced stitches shined with love.  I can imagine the hours and hours she must have spent hunched over this quilt dutifully stitching.  If only she could have seen the many people adoring it at the fair.

The dog arena was a fun sight to see.  4-H kids took their beloved dog through a series of discipline exercises while a judge looked on, scrutinizing every step.  It was so funny to me that often times the dog and owner resembled each other not only in looks but in temperament.  One young brunette girl was very aggressive with her brown pit bull who seem to have other plans then walking calming through the obstacles.   Another blond young lady was very timid with her golden retriever and the golden went along tentatively not quite sure what she was supposed to do.  My favorite was one young man a little heavy set, very quiet.  He had the cutest little dog who paid careful attention to every move his owner made.   We didn't stick around to see who won but I sure hope they did.  They were too cute!  (I had too much fun watching to remember to take any photos!) Next to the dog arena was a barn filled with old farm and logging equipment.  Above is a detail shot of an antique grain thresher. 

My favorite event of the fair was the 4-H horse riders.  There was barrel racing, a flag race, and a hilarious tandem riding event.  We sat and watched the horses for a couple of hours.  One girl had participated in nationals in barrel racing.  And wow that girl and her horse were fast flying around those barrels.  The horse riders reminded me much of my time I rode as a young girl in the Westernaires back in Colorado.  One day I will get some of my Westernaire photos scanned and posted for you to see.  I was a very cute cowgirl!

Thank you to Derek and Tati for taking me to the fair.  It was one of those pure bliss moments from start to finish.  The kind that you wish would last all day, every day.  It made me long for the days when fairs and entertainment of that kind were more prevalent.  I guess we must seek it out in little places where we can find it. 

What are your weekend plans?  Patrick and I are having a belated anniversary celebration.  Picnicking in the backyard!  I'm hoping to try out the Muscovado Sugar Cake recipe from Good to the Grain for dessert. 

I hope your weekend brings you moments of pure bliss and a little nostalgia!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

List ten: a picture list of flowers!

1. These flowers are in the his grandfather's garden in Davis.

2. A lovely medallion in the door leading in the garden, made by his grandfather!

3. A container garden of flowers at his aunt and uncle's in Carmichael.

4. Hipstamatic app shot of the hydrangeas in our backyard.

5.  His shot of the container garden using a borrowed SLR.

6. Another of his shots of a Stargazer Lily in our front yard.

7.  His version of the hydrangeas!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

List Nine: Hands


Hands live to caress and love.
Hands live to fight and die.
Forever living hands, forever exploring are hands.

Remarkable hands, storied hands.
Hands, hands can build.
Hands can mold, shape, and speak.
Hands can grasp for the heavens, touch it and believe in the make believers.

Through the fingers thoughts explode as pen touches paper.
Tones and melodies erupt from inner emotions becoming reality.
Heart and soul become one as fingers scrawl quickly, feverishly.
Pounding blood surges through the fingers forcing the pen onward, causing tears to fall from an eye.

Truth flows from the mind; the hand transports it into being.
Embracers of the brush, digits move carefully following intricate lines drawn on canvas.
Colors blend together, vibrant, beautiful, soaring to mosaics of sky and water.
The calming sense of touch slows the scene until order graces the fabric.

Forgotten til’ their lost.
Forgotten until they are crippled, hands are taken for granted for their life giving talent.
Bent and crooked they are silenced from the song they once sang.
Memories now distant are relegated to the wall or museums.
Dusty shelves house the books of the once pulsating, vital, movements that the hand generated.

Hands have saved lives and taken them just as easily.
They create the saviors of life as well as the purveyors of death.
Creating and destroying with a single move a finger can move mountains or search the unknown heavens.

Hands live to caress and love.
Hands live to fight and die.
Forever living hands, forever exploring are hands.
~Bruce Alan Humphrey

"Each finger is associated with a subtly different form of energy, and connects to a different emotion." ~
The Nia Technique: The High-Powered Engergizing Workout that Gives You a New Body and a New Life

1.  Thumb = Nurture

2.  Index finger = Desire

3.  Middle finger = Power / Balance

4.  Ring finger = Committment

5.  Little finger = Edge / Boundries

(From the dance practice of Nia)

Breaking Dawn

Monday, August 9, 2010

List Eight: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Some days Most days end with the feeling of "I wish I would've done (fill in the blank with a LONG list)."  Today is definitely one of those "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda" kind of days for me.  I wish I would have...

1. captured a picture of those kids playing on the playground.

2. actually taken out my sewing machine to play around for a couple hours.

3. had a chance to walk around the lake.

4. taken the time to figure out how that camera works first so I wouldn't feel so much like a failure.

5. pulled out the yarn and worked on those granny squares when I was just sitting there waiting for the phone to ring.

6. organized something instead of always complaining about the clutter.

7. cleaned the bathroom before it looks worse.

8. not eaten that bag of M&M's.  I certainly didn't need them.

9.  did something more productive then sit around and mope.

"As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost. And when that happens, I guess she has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda, buckle up and just keep going.” ~ Carrie Bradshaw

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Him and Her

(taken by him)

Friday, August 6, 2010

List Seven: National Parks I've Visited

In honor of my recent trip to two National Parks, Arches and Canyonlands!

1.  Rocky Mountain National Park It was here that I saw it snowing on the fourth of July some years back.

2.  Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park  A wonderful little side trip I did with just me and my parents couple years ago.

3.  Mesa Verde National Park In college I took an Art History class here where we camped and explored the park from an art perspective.  I remember writing my final essay paper by the campfire on the symbolism of the spiral.

4. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve  was visited as a girl scout.  I remember riding in the back seat of my mom's car as we drove along the bumpiest dirt road to a girl's family cabin where we'd be staying.

5.  Arches National Park amazing hike to the Delicate Arch!  I was very proud of myself for scrambling over to where I could actually stand underneath it.  It was pretty scary to get over there.

6.  Canyonlands National Park The thunderstorms rolled all around us while we were there.  We kept commenting on how the trees beside the rim's edge were blacked from being struck by lightening.  It made a breeding ground for some beautiful rainbows though.

7.  Yellowstone National Park  I went a few years back with my husband, mom, dad, brother and his dog.  This same crew went to Arches and Canyonlands this year!  All I can say about Yellowstone is you have to see it to believe it and even then its hard to fathom the amazing strangeness nature has to share.

8. Acadia National Park During our cruise last year with my husband's family we were fortunate enough to stop in Bar Harbor and visit this lovely park.  I wished I had realized the unique story of this park before I visited, I want to go back!

If you want to learn more about the National Parks I strongly encourage you to watch the PBS series 
The National Parks: America's Best Idea .  You can catch some clips from the series here.  It is beautifully filmed and brimming with well told stories.  Sunset's August issue is devoted to the National Parks.  NPR's To the Point did a segment on the National Parks today as well.  I only caught pieces of it has my husband and I drove to have lunch.  National Parks everywhere!!!

My dad got us The Passport to the National Parks where you can collect park stamps.  Most stamps are found within the visitor's center of the park.  The passport program is a voluntary program though most parks do participate.  Arches and Canyonlands were my first two stamps in the book.  Looks like I'll have to head back to the other parks I've visited to collect those stamps!  Such a hardship!!!

What National Parks have you visited?

PS.  Part of #5 on my 30 Things done!

Day Two: Playing with the my new Hipstamatic iPhone app

I've had my iPhone for a few months now and had vowed not to spend any money on silly, useless iPhone applications.  Two things changed my mind, first Susannah had mentioned the Hipstamatic app on her blog but it wasn't until I saw the "Back on the Bike" article in Martha Stewart Living this month.  The entire article was shot using the Hipstamatic iPhone app!  At $1.99 it didn't seem too bad a price to pay to have a little nostalgic photographs until I can get my hands on a real Polaroid camera. 

That book up there in the first photograph I just started reading on the plane ride home and it is a fantastic read full of mystery and enchantment!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day one: Along the Bear Creek Greenbelt

I'm back!  My Colorado trip was wonderful and I promise to share more about it later.  While I was away one of my favorite bloggers, Susannah Conway started the August Break and I've decided to give it a go and join in even though we're a few days into August already.  (I'm having a hard time uploading her little badge to my blog anyone have any tips This link is did the trick.) 

This photo was taken yesterday on my iPhone at one of my all time favorite places.  My mom and I walked along chatting and enjoying the sounds of the creek.  Everyone deserves to have a place like this as a retreat. 

Where is your favorite place to retreat to?