mspt: lavender wreath

For those who haven’t been reading forever, “mspt” is “make something pretty today.”

I used a wreath frame from the floral section in the dollar store, and ribbon and fresh lavender. You have to gather the lavender on just the right day–too soon, and it’s not fragrant, too late and it’s gone to seed. I think you have about one week to find just the right day, and then hope you get there before the bees.


This used a lot more ribbon than I expected, so I switched to perle cotton thread. Which I ended up liking better, as it’s less noticeable.

And yes, it smells heavenly.


grand champion

Daughter won a Grand Champion ribbon at the fair for her tea towel embroidery.  She spent 3 days working on it, in a last-minute dash to have something to put in the fair.



Yay, she really really really wanted to win a ribbon.  🙂

Wade figurines in the Red Rose tea

Do you collect those little figurines in the Red Rose tea boxes? I do. The tea makes decent iced tea, and you can’t beat the price. I wouldn’t buy it if they didn’t have the figurine in the box, though. The “prize” in the carton for adults.

They’ve released a new series, called American Heritage. My first “prize” in the box was a little White House. I’m so glad I got it–I bet it ends up being the hardest one to find.screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-8-11-54-pm

(image from the Red Rose Tea website.)

But then I visit the website and see you can buy past releases. D’oh! There’s two from the Calendar Year series I don’t have — the Christmas tree and the Easter bunny. Wouldn’t those be the two you really want? But they’re sold out of those ones, so I’ll have to look at antique stores and flea markets.

I’m excited to collect the new series. I’ll be buying a lot of tea. 🙂 I’ll bet I end up with 5 of the Tea Box figurines — which to me is the least-exciting figurine. I understand *Why* it’s part of American Heritage, but I don’t know, a bald eagle would make a better figurine.

I’m glad they have a new collection. I was getting pretty tired of opening a box and finding a Mariner’s Hat in the Nautical collection. You just don’t need more than one Mariner’s Hat figurine.  And I only ever got 1 mermaid. Could have used another mermaid.




2016 fun at the fair

D’oh, I forgot to download my fair photos!  There’s not so many this year, I went in the evening and the light wasn’t great. Good thing there’s another fair to go to tomorrow! Fingers crossed the light will be better, and the day not too hot.

I picked out a few of my favorite quilts. Some I like the pattern, others the colors. Others just look pretty.


I wonder if the person who made the later square quilt made this one–that olive green looks pretty familiar! I like the color combo, and how the straight lines fool the eye into seeing circles.  (Oh, and I had my flash off so everything has a yellow hue. I just didn’t get good photos this year.)



This is so pretty, and would look great either on the wall, or hanging over the back of the couch. Wouldn’t it be great to receive this as a gift?



This flag quilt doesn’t look so special in the photo, but in person it has been heavily machine quilted with metallic thread highlighting each firework pop. It had plenty of sparkle.


Imagine all the time that went into embroidering each square. This is a full bed-sized quilt, too, I just went in for the closeup here so you can see detail. Hours and hours of work.


Here’s that olive green I mentioned. I like this one, although it wouldn’t fit my decor. I guess I like it would look okay on a masculine bed–it’s hard to make a quilt that works okay for a man.



This one is huge! I had that little girl stand there so you can get an idea of the true dimensions. Thanks, anonymous little girl!


I like sampler quilts, and I’ve got in my mind to make something like this to use as a table cloth. Different colors, those red/turquoise I think about but never actually use. Maybe I will soon!



This string quilt I think is particularly successful. Dramatic contrasts between the bolds and lights. It’s hard to pull off when your stash is mostly middle ground colors (who me? says the fabric closet).



I find photographic prints hard to incorporate in designs, and this window pane quilt uses them well.



We just liked this pouf. I wouldn’t mind putting my feet up on that!


Last year I got a fantastic tiger photo I still haven’t painted, and this year the bobcat was a hit. I saw one of these once when I was mountain biking. I looked up the trail, looked down at my gears, thought, “What the?” and looked back up, and it had vanished. I used to see a lot of deer, but that was the only cat ever. Thank goodness. He might be a little guy, but not little enough for me!


at the parade 2016

We always start the parade with the flag!


Can you tell we sat in the wrong part of the parade route? I was thinking, “Oh boy, shade!” which didn’t work at all for the photos. Do’h!



I’m trying out my new camera with long distance zoom AND action settings. Some hits and misses. But I’m purposely blurring faces here, because it’s not fair to put someone up on the internet without their permission.


I love the above man and his horse every year. He really has his horse dance.


I focused on the beadwork. And fringe is always so pretty. I finally bought a fringed purse. Am I ahead of the fashion curve or behind? When you get to a certain age you don’t care anymore, and you just buy what you like.


I love the rosettes on the forehead straps, and the beadwork on the chest straps. There sure is a lot of time going in to decorating those. I was talking to someone who does beadwork for his art, and he says very few people actually do it anymore, and parents ask him to teach their children. Makes me wonder if those decorations in the photos are carefully kept now and handed down.




I focused on horse photos this year, and of course won’t share the best photos until they show up in paintings. 🙂


The below horse has a nice neck curve and interesting coloring that would be fun to paint.


When you hear about the huge loans farmers need to take out to stay in business, just picture owning more than one of these vehicles. I bet the cost is astronomical. Frankly, I don’t know how they can get our food to market for as cheaply as they do–not when you count in these tractors, employees, land, water, etc. Their expenses must be ENORMOUS.




I always love to see a vintage vehicle, don’t you?




3 days into the new year

I had a variation on my recurring dream, where the house or apartment I’m living in suddenly has a door I’ve never noticed, which when opened reveals a terrific new room making the current place twice as large. How had I never noticed the door? In my most recent dream, I’m staying at a retro 1970s hotel with orange and avacado decor (probably inspired by my just finishing season 7 of Mad Men), and as I travel through examining it, there’s two baths, two spacious bedrooms, a full bar and bistro area, a deck with a stuffed camel on it, and doors seemingly on every wall. As I travel back to the first room, this time I note the bar is really *outside* my room, but seems to be inside because glimpsed through a large door. Mixing drinks for a small crowd is the actor, Tim Roth. He smiles at me and goes back to mixing drinks. I walk through the rooms again, look through another door and see a very old Dean Martin with shocking white hair descending a spiral staircase, about to disappear. He looks up at me and smiles and I snap his photo and ask him if it’s okay if I post his photo on my blog. He said it was okay. I wish I had that photo.

This dream seems pretty easy to interpret: pay attention to what is already there, there is more than you are acknowledging. Take off the blinders and really see.

I guess that’s my resolution for the new year: See those doors and open them.

postcard 1 front