Saturday, July 29, 2006

Dyeing to Show You

Here's some of the fabric I managed to dye this week.

The orange to brown mini set of gradations was done with a specific project in mind. I'm trying to match a color, and never having taken Carol Soderlund's highly recommended class means a little trial and error up front. The other colors are serendipitous, inspired by Melody's post on neutrals. Sometimes I feel like I've dyed an awful lot of orangey/rusty colors, but then I look at my lilies and understand it a little better.

This demonstrates the difference between leaving fabric in the dye, and removing it after wringing it out. After dyeing the blue run above I still had dye left, so I threw in this children's tshirt. I was surprised to see that the tee came out darker than the lightest fabric.

During the dyeing I found a use for all those baby wipe boxes - perfect for small pieces of fabric (these are 1/2 yards, they could easily fit a yard).
We have a houseguest for the next 2+ weeks, so my posting may be even more sporadic than usual during that time (as difficult as that is to imagine!).

I leave you with a shot of one of my lilies yesterday morning after a big rain. I love the water droplets - it kind of reminds me of an octopus!

Friday, July 21, 2006

What's Up?

I can't say I've been doing very many quilting/knitting/crafting activities. I did make it to a fun Knit Night in Columbia on Monday. Laura and Lolly provided details (and photos!) on their blogs. It was great to get out of the house and commune with fellow fiber enthusiasts.

Last week I was surprised when 10 yards of 120" wide Tyvek showed up in my carport. It turns out that my husband and I are making a car cover for his new-to-him car! (And I didn't remember coming up with this project ...) Here's one of my sewing machines nearly buried in Tyvek during the process.
I tried to take a picture of myself beneath the tyvek, but I really need slightly longer arms for that.

Otherwise it's been lots of summer. Berry picking out back ...

A spider web in the fence

Nasturtiums from seed

Sunflowers near Poolesville, Maryland
I am dyeing some fabric as I write this, so there is hope for fiber related activities. Plus, next week two of the boys are in camp all week(!!), so I have some plans for some quilting then.

Thanks to everyone for their skunk suggestions. The skunks seem to be either keeping to themselves, or have moved on, so I got worked up for nothing.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Finished Object

Ever have a project that nags at you? It keeps you from working on other stuff because you don't want to abandon it, and have another UFO/WIP or whatever you want to call it? Here's mine!
"Retro Bag". Made completely from fabrics on hand, primarily vintage ones discussed in this post. (I hand dyed the orange and red tidbits last summer.) Finished today. I made up the pattern as I went along.

Though not quite as flat as I wish they were, I like the prairie points, and I think the handles class it up a little.

In other news, yesterday we made our annual pilgrimage to Brookside Gardens for their Wings of Fancy exhibit. I've taken the boys every year for about 5? Maybe 6 years. Here's one of the butterflies, who was the best poser of the bunch.
Finally, here are some turtles we found sunning themselves over towards the Japanese style pavilion.
"Stay Cool!!"

Friday, July 07, 2006

Wild Kingdom

At the risk of becoming a nature blog, I'm going to have to give you a wildlife update. First, though, two gratuitous pretty pictures.

I've mentioned previously how great lilies grow behind our sunporch and deck. This year I've been an extra bad gardener, and haven't weeded much. As a result rogue morning glories have climbed the lilies, and somehow they've caught my eye more than the lilies this year.
A visitor this morning

Note tiny morning glories in the background

OK, on to the wildlife update. On the Fourth we saw a wonderful fireworks display over Lake Kittamaqundi. I was very impressed. Later that evening I looked again at our wonderful natural display of fireworks, the fireflies out back. As I stood there the numerous frogs out back went silent. I heard a rustling noise. After fetching a flashlight, I discovered a mama raccoon and three babies! As soon as they were gone the frogs continued their concert.

Next night, 11:00 PM, it started to rain very, very hard. I encouraged my husband to go put a car in the garage in case of hail. He was gone a very long time - too long. My imagination was running wild (as in rabid skunk). When he came back in here was the conversation.

Me: You were gone a long time. Is everything OK?
Husband: Well, there wasn't any hail.
Me: I almost came out to make sure you were OK.
Husband: You would have found me crouching on top of the Civic.
Me: Huh?
Husband: Three skunks came into the carport, so I climbed on top of the car.

OK! I suggested we get a flashlight and investigate. Sure enough, three baby skunks were under the Civic. I truly failed as a blogger by not getting pictures, but I wasn't willing to push my luck. Apparently they live under our deck, and came out because there was too much water flowing under the deck. I've allowed myself a 24 hour freakout period (OK, 48 hours), and accepted the fact that if we don't bother the skunks they probably won't bother us. The one my husband saw on Saturday was probably a baby, and seeing it during the day doesn't mean it was rabid, maybe it was just exploring the world.

Best skunk related quote to date was from my older brother, whom we'll call "Trapper Bob" due to his outdoorsy nature.

I tried to sell Bob on the idea of coming over to help get rid of the skunks. When I described the opportunity to him he first thought I was referring to deer. When I said no, it was a family of skunks, he said "That stinks!"

Next time on Animal Planet: hopefully something fabric related.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth!!

Alternate titles for this post could have been:

Outside My Comfort Zone!
Rabid Skunk Saturday!
One Sock, Two Sock, Pink Sock, Blue Sock

Summer marches on. I can't believe it's already the Fourth of July.

Saturday started off lazily, but I spent much of the afternoon on the lookout for a potentially rabid skunk.

Is there a rabid skunk under this deck?

My husband glimpsed what he thought was a skunk disappearing over the edge. Since daytime activity is a sign of rabies in skunks we were very concerned, but whatever it was has disappeared.

When the all clear was sounded I decided to sneak out to the tree fort and knit at 7:00PM.

7:02 PM Those are not my legs. I hadn't managed to sneak very well.

7:04 PM. Note the additional set of feet on the left.

7:05 PM. They all found me!

Even my Barbie Dream Date showed up. He did blow all the debris off the deck, so that was nice.

Eventually the kids got caught up in using the slide, so I had a little peaceful time. The pink sock on the chaise is now ready to be kitchenered. I have another sock (a blue one) that's ready for the toe decreases, as well as a striped grey one.

As far as being out of my comfort zone goes, it was on many levels. The air conditioner died on Sunday. It was fixed on Monday, just before the power went out for several hours. And I did this.
I didn't paint the lovely house on the upper right, I painted the less professional house on the bottom. It's supposed to be ours (though I didn't put any of the trees, as they would have obscured the house completely). My friend Chris had a great idea that I can't reveal because it's a surprise, but I will say that this is glaze painted on bisqueware, which I've (obviously) never done before. I'm going to try and keep myself from obsessively pursuing painting on pottery.

Last night I saw an amazing display of natural fireworks. There are several acres of trees behind our house, and they were filled with fireflies. It looked like Christmas lights twinkling on and off.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Independence Day!