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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

You Dog





Going to the dogs lately.  Here is a look at how my little dogs come alive.  The top photo shows a  'litter' (?) of pups, arms, legs, bodies unstitched.  Next photo shows legs and arms pulled through to sew up the sides and bottom (ouch), then (next photo) they are pulled right side out (ahhh)!   At last a DOG -- a nose, a pair of eyes, a mouth and a bow-tie -- perfect!   These little dogs are made with recycled wool scraps and some of my hand woven pieces.  They are all special, all one of a kind.  You will be seeing them in my ETSY shop.  I am making kats as well - find them in the shop as they are 'born'.
If I'm not back here before Christmas -- have a wonderful holiday season.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boise Curbside, Idaho Natural Beauty and Chicago Cityscapes

Boise's Linen Building

I tried to find out the history of the Linen District in Boise but all I've come up with so far is that this area of Boise is a recent success story in the city.  Storefronts, restaurants and hotel businesses have gotten a facelift and a renewed life.  We stayed across from the Linen Building in an updated travel lodge called the Modern.  Very cool newly refurbished rooms, restaurant/bar and office.  I highly recommend it if you find yourself in Boise, Idaho.


One of the mosaics attached to the Linen Building under windows facing the street.  Beautiful in the east facing light.


Local artists work hangs on the fence walking from the Linen Building to the



Big City Coffee Shop.  Boise, in my humble opinion, has the best coffee shops and this one is tops in my book.  Besides coffee they serve the yummiest, buttery-est muffins.


Boise Botanical Gardens, love the colors - especially the lavender posts!


Snake River Canyon




An Idaho mountain stream, we sat a spell in the hot springs found along this river.






From the canyons of Idaho to the canyons of downtown Chicago.  We took an architectural tour on the Chicago River.  There is beauty and wonderment in both the natural and man-made - 
how can buildings be this tall?  The natural grandeur of the Idaho mountains is breathtakingly beautiful and you want it to stay that way.  The Chicago skyline has a splendor that is stunning and awesome, a tribute to what humans can do.  Both have value, serve humanity and we need both - in their places.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Touring in Wisconsin




The Wisconsin Concrete Park, created by Fred Smith in the years between 1950 and 1964 is located just off Hwy 13 near Phillips, WI.  Fred's occupations were listed as a lumberjack, barkeep, and self-taught artist.  He must have been a character and one with a vision.  I had heard about this place from friends and finally got to take it in. The individuals in this rustic garden have lots of charm and personality - Fred's??  They are rough, whimsical creations, unpretentious and way out of the ordinary.

The next day we made it to the Porcupine Mountains in the Michigan Upper Peninsula, the destination of our trip.  The trees were in full autumn glory.   The sunny warm days made our motorcycle trip easy and fun.  We camped in a yurt at the Union Bay campground, it sat just above Lake Superior.  We had stunning Lake Superior on one side and flaming color scattered all over the 'mountains' on the other.



Looking out over Lake of the Clouds

                                                               
                                      A fallen giant in the old growth forests near Mirror Lake.




                 We had just spent a night camping in a tent, so this yurt camping was pure luxury!
From the outside a yurt is not much to look at - inside it was cozy and homey -- except for the flies, which -- I'm not going to talk about, except to say there were a few, quite a bothersome few ...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Close to Home




The wild garden updated.  The fringed gentians began appearing about 3 or 4 years ago
on a hillside behind our house.  They are beautiful.
The solomon seal reigns over the planted wild garden next to the back door.


From the domestic garden --- red gold!!  


Bamboo chimes cast a ghostly shadow on the screen.  The chimes hang off to the left of the door,  the sun at that moment was just right for them to appear on the screen.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Omaha Fashion Week


I was privileged to go to the Omaha Fashion Week Finale last weekend.  My niece, Emma Erickson was showing her work again this year,  it was even more gorgeous than last year.  My sister and I hung out with the designers and models and even put our hands on some of the fashions - finishing hems, etc.  Fun to be part of the energy.  The weather for the event was beautiful.  Lots of paying customers and plenty of lookers hanging over the bridge to view the event.



The Designer

By the way, if you want a challenge, try walking in those platform shoes for any length of time.  

The next day, in a fundraiser for HELP in Omaha, we had another fashion show with Jane RoundEmma Erickson,  Megan Hunt and me.  The photos below are of the designers wearing their dresses and my vests - my first experience using models other than my daughters (who are excellent models as well)!  I am impressed by the work these young designers turn out.  Impressive models too, they work many hours designing and sewing and still end up looking fresh and beautiful. 







This all took place in the studio space of Camp, a co-working space for business start-ups in Omaha.
We had a good turn out and my sister raised a respectable amount of funds for HELP.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Butterflies and Something Else . . .

Before the butterflies, a bumper sticker recently seen -


not much to argue with there . . . except to include 'working woman' .

So many Swallowtail Butterflies visiting the milkweed and purple coneflower this year, the Monarchs have just arrived.





The golden days of late summer.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gone for Gold



Any one of these handwoven scarves with this dress 



Imagine having an occasion to wear it . . . just dreaming ... big.
why not??

husband says ... but - a scarf would cover up her assets
well, I say . . . it could bring more attention to one's assets.

The scarves are woven with Tencel, silk and gold lurex.



Friday, July 1, 2011

Threads of Gold

I couldn't pass up this cone of gold at a friend's moving sale that happened close to a year ago now (remember this Colleen??)  It's been a real conversation piece on my shelf.   I've looked at it and thought about what use I could put it too . . . it's very fine thread.   I wonder what it's intended use in the beginning was?  Curiosity and my practical nature finally got the best of me, I pulled it off the shelf and started wrapping it on the warping wheel along with two shades of while silk.  It broke only once but it was hard to hang onto.  I did get it on the loom without going completely out-of-my-mind - whew.   Here is little photo journal.   I think the woven scarves are looking almost as pretty as the cone itself!





  
       
One done 


Another started, see the gold thread - it's there -- really.

 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

This ISN'T pretty .


Today we are on the wrong side of this river.  Our driveway is under that water somewhere, we are happy we can see the bridge that crosses the river up to the house.
Amazing, 5 inches of rain can cause the river to rise about 4 ft.


Same view as above, now standing on the ground.
The constant lightning and a powerful flashlight made it possible to see that the bridge was under water early this morning, round about 3 am.  A restful, dreamy sleep not possible after seeing that, we had to look . . .?



The pounding rain finally stopped about 4 am (maybe) and we dragged ourselves once again off to bed to try sleep.  About 4:30 am or so I heard voices -- thought they were coming from the road, they were in the driveway stopped just at the bridge.  Two guys, one was out of the car sizing up just how difficult it would be to get across the bridge.  He got back into his car and inched his way toward it, as we watched
from the upstairs porch thinking 'no - don't do it' the other guy in the car was really hollering
"NO" --- "NO" !!  They turned around, I hope they made it back home -- I'm thinking they may be nursing hangovers today...



This is pretty.  Walked up the hill to see how the woods were looking and came across a 
Monarch caterpillar - seems early to see these guys but there it was snacking on a very wet 
milkweed.  Well he was snacking before he fell off, I had to put him back so I could take the picture,
that's why he's curled,  it could be a she ?