Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hometown Swap

I was so very lucky and excited to receive this wonderful package from Shelley, of the blog At Home in Rome out of the Hometown Swap on Create a Connection.
She sent me a bag of coffee,and a recipe for Coffee Granita (you make ice slush out of coffee, sounds yummy!),

some reaalllly strong (stronger than Altoids!) mints,

photo-cards that she made out of picture she's taken in and around Rome,

a printed tea towel with a map of Italy and all the locales of Italian Vini e Pasta (wine and pasta), all wrapped up in a Rome newspaper. Which I made a point out of reading out loud to my boys. "Mom, you don't really speak Italian, stop it!" I really liked the weather maps in the newspaper.

Ahhhh, it was just like being back in Rome. Watch out Shelley, next time I come, I'll meet you for some Granita! Thanks!!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Recent Dyeing

I recently got my dyes out of storage and did up some blues, purples, and the orangey/pink fabric above. I had to re-read the dye books I have since it had been a while and I knew I was mixing up some of the recipes and ingredients.
As part of my wardrobe refashioning I overdyed several shirts that had unfortunate and stubborn stains. This embroidered tank top was just white. I like how the embroidery threads dyed the nice deep navy. The construction thread and bow stayed white, not sure if I like that, or if I'll Sharpie over it...
This was one of my favorite Land's End shirts, a nice heavy knit, 3/4 sleeve, in a beautiful yellow. Somehow it got blue/green stains on it? So I decided to just go with it and over dyed with blue and green. The stitching stayed yellow, so it is a nice contrast.
This was a really faded Land's End t-shirt that started out as a fairly bright orange, which quickly lost it to a pale peach (bleah!). With some red and yellow overdye, I like how it looks now, back to vibrancy. And maybe wearable to a San Francisco Giants game.
This was my favorite purple t-shirt, I really like the keyhole neckline, but it too was faded and splotchy. Now with some grape dye from Dharma Trading, it looks intentional!

So with just a little effort, and a some water and dye, I've got some new looking shirts to wear. And I don't have to break them in!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

War, What is it Good for?

Gerrie's got a great collection of photos going over on Flickr, of this bumper sticker on cars, houses (including the White House), and people. I was really glad to see the Dems make the Repubs stay up all night to explain themselves earlier this week. It seems the smallest sacrifice they could make before taking the month of August off on vacation (must be nice, huh?!). I don't know why they're sticking with this failed presidency to prolong this unjust and unnecessary war. Hopefully enough voters in America are paying attention and have long enough memories (til the next election!).

And then the Dave Matthew's Band is trying to get people to pay attention to what happens to the veterans of our wars once they arrive back home. They have a petition on their website that they plan to send to the Secretary of Defense.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Retro Pillow

I made another pillow covering out of some vintage 70's fabric, a remnant from Crate & Barrel (the ombre orange to green), and a contemporary print. I didn't measure, just started sewing and piecing together the puzzle of the shapes and how they would fit together.
So now that is two pillows done, out of my old ones that needed new covers. There are about four more of those.
And also four more brand new ones to go. Those will be out of a nice thick chenille with fringe trim.
You can never have enough decorative pillows! Especially for those epic pillow fights we like to have.

Plant of the Century

Here is something you don't see everyday in the middle of the redwood forest. In downtown (such as it is) Boulder Creek near my acupuncturists', a gigantic Century Plant (agave americana) or American Aloe. All of a sudden here it sprouts, up up up. Such a strange plant, it is boring for so many years, and then it gathers up all its reserves and sends up this huge trunk with blossoms and seeds. I wonder if the owners were surprised? I know I was when I drove by and noticed it!

Spider Detail

Some details of flowers and my favorite garden spider for Photo Thursday on Create a Connection.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ottoman Empire Re-do

I purchased an ottoman from Goodwill, it was covered in a bright pink girly butterfly flannel, which I promptly removed and found this!

I pulled out a couple of fabrics from my upholstery stash, but they weren't quite right somehow. The floral was too floral, especially since the chair the ottoman will go with is on my husband's side of the bed. Plus the background was too white, the chair is more grey. And as my brilliant husband pointed out, white is kinda silly since his feet and shoes aren't 100% guaranteed to be clean. The plaid wasn't quite the right purplish that I needed either.

I ended up finding a piece of fabric that I liked at Goodwill (on another trip), and used the legs of my husbands old Dockers for the backing underneath. All in all, it cost me $11, and I think it matches the chair (seen behind the ottoman) very well.
What do you think? Does it count as a wardrobe refashion? Since I only thrifted and used old clothing to boot?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Elemental Daisy

I composed this photo to show my connection with the element, Earth for the Self Portrait Challenge. I'm always being accused of being an Earth Mother, as if that is a bad thing to be! No way baby.
It was fun taking this picture, which involved taking off my sandals and getting into the nitty gritty of the garden. Being mindful of the rose bush, dog droppings and hidden construction debris. The daisy felt so soft between my toes, I wanted to keep it there all day, but it jumped ship when I started walking around again.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Deerly Beloved

Did you know that our deer herd is on the increase? I don't have a picture of Bambi yet, her spots help her blend in so well that I haven't gotten a good shot. She sleeps under the trampoline during the day (a nice shady spot). This picture is taken out the back door onto our hill. Just over the hill is the undeveloped forest/underbrush which they dash into whenever they're alarmed.
They really do come right next to the house. The roof you see is the floor of my bedroom, and with the windows open at night we hear them munching and crashing around. Soon there will be a deck coming out from this spot, and I may have to put in a deer fence on the second story deck as they'd be able to leap over. And since I am planning to have roses up there, they will probably be tempted to try it!
Check out the leaping cat in the foreground. Spike was "hunting" the deer. I don't know what he would do if he ever caught one!

Our names for these two are Deer Leader and Dearie. Tre's creative, no?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Tshirt to Tank

Using this book that I checked out from the library, Generation T - 108 ways to transform a T-shirt, I performed quickie surgery on my favorite worn out t-shirt.

It had gaping, unfixable holes under the arms and a big one on the lower back. Here's the before picture:

And after a little cutting, the sleeves sliced off, the neckband too, and a scallopy uneven bottom (that was my innovation), then a very easy small hem on all the edges, here's what I've got:

The ultra low scoopy armholes are a problem for showing off the side of my bra. I'm too modest for that, so I'll wear one of my workout bras that is supposed to be a top too. I think it will be a good shirt for the hot days of summer.

The book has tons of great ideas, unfortunately for me, too many involve wearing teeny scraps of tshirt material without any supporting undergarments. Um, that ain't happening here, but for all you skinny types, you'd probably be able to get away with it! There are several others that I plan to try, so stay tuned for that.

So that's my wardrobe refashion for the week!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Flower Power

A tour through my garden to see what is blooming these very hot days (over 100F today!).

Pincushion flower which regrew from last year. These are so cheery and cute.

A shady daisy.

These old-fashioned flowers are some of my favorites in the garden. Acanthus (or bear's breech). They're so tall and stately, and the enormous deep green leaves look like something from back in the dinosaur ages.

I love how these roses grow in a bunch like this. They keep getting pruned back in this area, so grow really close together as if they've been assembled in a bouquet.

The enormous butterfly bush is swarming with butterflies these days. It is about 10' high now.

These columbines start out much more colorful, then fade away as they age. I love how they reseed themselves.

Look at the closeup of this picture, I love the repeating structure of this flower.

Happy 4th of July!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Elemental Wondering

As part of the July assignment for Self Portrait Challenge, we're supposed to show the elements, air, fire, earth, water, how we relate to them, which is our favorite, etc.
I couldn't decide on my favorite, and I'm not sure I do have a favorite, one that I'm drawn to or destined for, or whatever. I'm a seeker after balance, and part of balance is having all the elements at once, in a balanced manner. This is hard when you aren't aware of it. I always thought of myself as a really fiery, tempestous type of character. But after a lot of inner work, I discovered that I'm really quite grounded to the Earth. But I am happy with water, and spend a lot of time in the air too. So working towards a balance of elements is what I am striving for really. I'm glad I got the prompt to think about this!
Which element are you most drawn to?