Tag Archive | lace

Calgon, take me away…

My bathtub is back.

Ahhhhh…..

It only took four days for me to realize having the duckies inside was NOT going to work long term. It did get them past the worst of the cold, I think. And I am more confident now about keeping them warm when the temps dip down, as the forecast (if it can be believed) indicates will happen at least a couple of nights this week. I still have some things to take out to them in Chicky’s shed, but for now they are dry, fed, watered and very warm.

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As you can see, they’ve already grown. It’s quite amazing because every morning I could tell a difference in their size. In a day I had to go back to the larger water trough, as the smaller containers just weren’t working out. The large chick feeder also had to go. It was just too long and the duckies had the habit of going from food to water, food to water, food to water, so that the food was getting soaked and the water was, well, disgusting. I know the water will still be disgusting…ducks are messy…but I’m hoping keeping the food and water apart will slow them down a bit, give them a little of a journey so they exercise more (they are already tired of being cooped up in this tub and can you blame them?) and make less mess for me to clean up.

I know I can’t call them the duckies forever. I didn’t mean to name them. I didn’t want to name them. But, I ended up naming them, pretty much on the first day. Like most small things, anything can happen to them and I didn’t want to get attached by naming them, but, too late, it happened automatically.

When I thought of potential names, an old store that used to be here when I was a kid in the 70s popped into my mind. TG&Y it was called. Its nickname was “Turtles, Girdles and Yoyos” because you could get just about anything you were looking for there. I like the nickname and used it as an idea for naming the duckies. They are now: Myrtle, Gyrtle and Yoyo. (Turtle just wasn’t working for me.)

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Now that MG&Y are back in the shed, we will see each other less. To make up for the time away and to keep them used to me (hopefully) I decided to spend a little time every day reading to them. I’m not much of a talker, but I can read. Today they got to hear about crushing grapes at Cecelia’s place. They settled right down, snuggling into their grass and pine chips for story time. Yoyo (the one with the yellow band around its neck who I suspect may be a drake/boy) even fell asleep.

While in the shed I noticed the Asian lady bugs that wintered over there were up and swarming, trying to find their way out.

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I could have opened the window for them, but why deny MG&Y the fun? They love pecking at bugs. Maybe they will even eat a few.

On the sewing front, I had some fun with In Nature this weekend. I started adding lace…and couldn’t stop.

While playing with lace I was reminded of another time when I got to play with lace. I stopped by the home of a wedding dress maker I knew, back many moons ago when I was a 20-something and worked at Hancock Fabrics in Texas. This lady would come in and buy yards and yards of brilliant white satin for the gowns she made for new brides.

This night when I stopped by her house – it was so long ago I don’t remember why or even what her name was…Anne, I think – she was working on a dress and, so she said, wasn’t getting anywhere and what did I think. I looked at the lace pieces she had scattered about and began placing them in a dramatic yet orderly fashion. There was a lot of lace as it was a huge train she was attempting to decorate. When I was finished with my masterpiece, Anne said that looks great and thanks that really helped. I’m sure she was just being polite and had her own vision firmly in place, but it really was a lot of fun.

I really loved all these pieces surrounding the center square…and left them for a day or so just to enjoy them.

I was surprised how nicely the purple worked.

In the end, I decided to go with this one, although it’s not stitched on yet.

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We’ll see. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

P.S. H knows now. Nothing I do really surprises him any more.

Here I go again…

“You only need one friend,” a former best friend said to me when we were teenagers.

She said it as if it were a character defect.

I guess it didn’t matter to her that I had befriended her when she didn’t have any friends, and when no one else in our class liked her. Funny how we forget things like that.

I guess that was our breakup. She wanted to hang out with other people – namely, her former best friend who was now back in her good graces. I was content to only be friends with her. For the most part, I am still the way she accused me of being back then.

H is my best friend. I used to have many friends, women friends. Not many, but a few key players, people I could talk to. But over the last 5 years or so the ones remaining have slipped away. I never expected that to happen. The person locally I connected with the most, an avid quilter and just a wonderful woman, died in 2010. It’s only been the past year or so that I can think of her without painfully feeling her absence. H is my best friend, but he works a lot and for the past 3 years it feels like I’ve hardly seen him. I would like to make new friends, but most attempts have blown up in my face. The last one involved lawyers, if you can believe it.

I suppose I’m not alone in reaching out to people online, hoping to find kindred spirits. It is hard, though, when you become who you are as an adult and see things the way you do. And things that happen to you change you in ways which make it impossible to connect with others who have not changed, have not had similar experience. I have the most trouble with old friends rooted in particular beliefs, usually of the religious kind, but also other categories. And it seems like many adults value their beliefs more than people. That’s my experience any way. A few weeks ago I told myself, “I need new friends.” I am working on that. I’m also working on allowing others to have their own experience, their own expression. Although I find even though I’m willing to overlook strongly held opinions in others, that sentiment is not often reciprocated.

Today I’m feeling emotional again, and a bit lonely. I found myself laughing as some young man sped by the house, windows open and blaring music. I could hear his voice over the radio “(Like a drifter)…I was born to walk alone.” When I realized what I had heard, I felt sobered. But, it was still funny. And, just a reflection of my current thoughts.

One of my solitary fall activities is picking pecans. H thinks I’m crazy and doesn’t have the patience for it. I had made several trips to the local parks to gather pecans when he kept saying, as usual, “you have enough!” I got a 5 gallon bucket from the garage and began pouring my booty into it. “I’ll stop when I get to 5 gallons,” I told him. Then I stopped and looked at the bucket.

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Nearly full!

Yesterday the wind was blowing like crazy, which is the perfect time (or just after) to pick pecans because the wind dries out the hulls and blows the pecans to the ground. I couldn’t resist and drove back to the park where this happened…

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Probably another TWO gallons! Pretty amazing.

I’ve also been gathering walnuts and drying them in the driveway. I love how the pavement gets stained.

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I want to be sure I have a good accumulation of hulls for dyeing fabric – and my hair. I’m going to dye it again, although it’s been several years since I’ve done it. The nuts I’ll use for cooking.

In about 3 weeks I’m going to Colorado where I’m going to take a week-long workshop. I won’t say what it is because it’s not fabric related, but I know it will be life changing. I am gearing up for it, without really knowing how to prepare. Maybe I will do some journaling about it, get some thoughts out on paper, help myself process and prepare for what’s to come.

In the meantime, I am enjoying fall. I would enjoy it even more if the dratted mosquitoes would go away. What a pain they have been.

The cats are a constant pleasure. Since I’ve been feeding him lots of mackerel these days Chicky has almost refused to leave the porch. He is happier and more contented than I’ve probably ever seen him. His skin crud is nearly gone with the addition of apple cider vinegar and cod liver oil to his food, and his coat looks great. The result is now I can pet him without getting the heeby jeebies. He still has some blemishes, but with his fur fully grown back in he is looking so gorgeous and fine.

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Chicky and Matty have been greeting each other so sweetly of late. I was so happy to capture this shot.

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In other news…I finished the little work I mentioned in my last blog, the one where I just decided to do what I know and throw in a few different things into the mix. Here it is:

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Love…in smoke and cherry.

My plan is to work on finding myself in cloth, learning more, and selling my creations. I don’t have a shop open yet, but last night was toying with the idea of entertaining offers for my little works. I like the idea of that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dip it in Brown!

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I couldn’t resist posting another marigold photo.

After pruning the marigold bushes of mature blooms earlier this month, the plants exploded, putting on more flowers than I’d seen so far. It was quite impressive. The amount of petals I harvested from the blooms was easily 4 or 5 times that of my first harvest. The dried petals produce a nice yellow dye. I’ve experimented with just a small amount of petals and the dye was pale. I’ll try more seriously another time.

I had some leftover walnut dye and dunked these items in yesterday. I left the pot simmering on the stove for quite a while.

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I have quite a stash of ribbon, lace and tatting, mostly left over from my crazy quilting days. I hardly used any of it because most of it was white, and I wasn’t into dyeing. I had tea dyed a bit here and there, but not much. The walnut dye is very easy to make and so far I am really loving the shades of brown it produces. Many items turn out quite similarly to a tea dye while others come out a rich, earthy brown or even pinkish-brown.

One of the best lace dyers I know once told me if you don’t like the color of something, dip it in brown! (My friend doesn’t have a website to link to, but here’s a link to a story I did about her.) I didn’t like the color of several items, including the tatting on the left and the (now) pinkish rose lace, which were both garish pinks, so, I dipped them! I love the way they turned out.

I also had some very ornate trim I’d never used, also because the color never went with anything, so I dipped it, too, along with a plane lace leaf. This was when the dye was a bit stronger before I added more water. I love the way they turned out. The trim is nicely antiqued and the leaf looks almost like copper.

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Anyway, I’m going to have fun with these.