Thursday, August 27, 2015

How Does Anything Grow?

Today we drove to the ranch where my daughter takes riding lessons.  It was 105F outside and incredibly windy, even more so than usual.  The hot wind was stirring up the dust and sweeping it along the valley, depositing it in a thick film over everything.  I totally get why cowboys in the old wild west movies always wore bandanas.  I could have used a bandana today.  

On the way, we did slow down and take a picture of the pumpkin field but the leaves are, unbelievably, still green and hiding the pumpkins!  How is that possible?  Look how dry the ground is.  The pumpkins are going to be really big ones.  You can't tell from these photos but they are the ones you can hardly get your arms around and pick up.  The ones you can carve into elaborate designs for Halloween.  I love pumpkins.  

Usually I park in the shade at the barn and sit in the car and sew while my daughter rides.  I don't run the engine because I don't want to spook the horses.  Even when it is hot outside, it is usually ok in the shade with all the windows open to catch the gusting afternoon breeze.  Today I tried because I have those little hanging pumpkins I'm enjoying working on but it was unbearable.  Eventually I gave up and went and hung out inside the barn and watched the lesson from there.  I think it was even hotter in there but I made myself useful getting drinks of water!

Seriously, I think this horse has a magical, invisible unicorn horn.  He is so beautiful!  

I'm still working on these.

"Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning....." right?  Ever the optimist!  I'm so looking forward to crisp, cold Fall mornings. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pumpkin Season

There are pumpkins beginning to appear everywhere now.  Over the last few weeks, on our way to the stables where my daughter rides, we have been watching a field of pumpkins slowly ripen.  Last week there were lots of large, mostly orange globes peeking out from the foliage. I'm guessing this week, the leaves will have died back a bit and we'll be able to see the pumpkins in all their glory, enjoying their "TaDa!" moment.  I'll take a picture.  

I've been sewing pumpkins this week, lots of them.  Last year, I sold lots of these little hanging pumpkins both at the quilt show and in my shop.  They are a nice project to work on.  I love the cheerful, warm colors and I use lots of hand dyed felt for these with different woven patterns and textures.  I get all my hand dyed wool from this etsy shop.

As well as these embroidered pumpkins, I'm doing some with little appliqued flowers and leaves and I'm liking how they are progressing.  Such happy colors, sigh!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I'm Still Sewing

It's been a while since I've posted any sewing pictures but I've still been sewing!  I finished off the hedgehog and antique clock pincushions that I started during my England trip and I've been working on some UFO pincushions............keep reading!  

It's no secret that I enjoy science fiction and as I was thinking about objects that are round (my pincushions are round and I'm always looking for things that could make a good pincushion design) it hit me, UFOs are usually round.  It was hugely entertaining looking for UFO images on the internet and I passed a happy hour or two searching and sketching.  After photographing my UFO pincushions I absolutely could not resist playing with the photos in my favorite photo editing software Picmonkey.  These photos are my tribute to all the wonderful UFO and alien sighting photos out there.  

I'm saving these pincushions for the quilt show in September.  If I have any left after that, I will list them in my shop.  As I begin to think about the quilt show, I have been looking at the pincushions I have and what I still need to add.  

Monday, August 17, 2015


It's good to be home after being in England for about 5 weeks.  I've been home for nearly two weeks now and it has taken that long to settle back down.  I was clobbered by jet-lag and a puffy foot that wouldn't feel better and necessitated an ultra sound to make sure there was no blood clot.  There wasn't and it's better now.  

I've come home to a California that is hot, sun bleached, and dusty dry.  For the last few days we've been gently covered by a layer of smoke from the fires burning north of San Francisco.  The particles filter the sunlight and obscure the hills on each side of us.  We're told to stay inside if we are sensitive to it but it is over 100f and not pleasant to be outside anyway!  

I woke at 3am this morning, too hot and unable to go back to sleep.  At 7.30am, I'm showered and eating breakfast outside by the pool trying to decide whether to read the copy of Country Living that arrived on Saturday or  my book.  The book wins out, "Garlic And Sapphires - The Secret Life Of A (restaurant) Critic In Disguise" by Ruth Reichl , and I enjoy my greek yogurt with local berries and figs whilst reading about Reichl's experiences in New York.  Soon it will be too hot to be out here and I will head back indoors and start my Monday.  

Stitch-along part 6

  Stitching the ridge tiles to finish the ornament Take one ridge tile and wrap it over the ridge of the roof as shown below.  Using two str...