Friday, April 29, 2011

Shiny and natural inspirations

The other week, we were in Richmond selling our crafts.  We love going here and look forward to the time to relax and go to some of our favorite places.
There are a number of pretty interesting shops and restaurants in this area.
Kinsey always stops here to check out the hat selection and I usually end up "just looking" at the local bead store.  I'd work here in a second.

Here's my shiny selections.

I don't even really bead much anymore, but I fall in love with the selection here every time.

Another favorite is Maymont.  Tons of acres of plants, trees, gardens, and more.  Here's a shot of the Italian garden (with Kinsey).

I love these tulips!  We have a similar style in our backyard, only the pink and white are reversed.

Here's one side of the herb garden.  I'd love to have a nice herb garden in our yard.

And overlooking the back of the Japanese garden.
Such a peaceful place...even though it was spring break week and the place was packed with kids!  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My new favorite craftbook

About a month ago, I was reading a few different craft blogs and kept seeing the same book everywhere- Big Little Felt Universe.   The cover instantly caught my attention.  There's just something about apples and felt that makes me get really excited.  So I decided to look into this book.  

One of the first project pages I saw was the camping set.  Yes, that's a campfire and a lantern and a s'more made from felt.  Clearly, this was my kind of book!  
(above book photos courtesy of this great blog)

Then I laid my excited eyes on this photo.  Bamboo, african violets, and a cactus.  Really, who wouldn't want these lined along their windows?  No watering needed!  So I placed my order and waited for my book to arrive.  It took a week and then the package arrived.  The only downside was I was about a week and a half away from Spring Bada Bing. 
I really needed to focus on that show so I had to put my new favorite craft book aside.

Luckily, this past weekend, I was able to try my first felt project from the book.  I knew it would be a plant, I just couldn't decide which one.  In the end I went with the African Violet.

All the projects in the book are hand sewn, so you can really work on them everywhere.  Which is exactly what I did.  I took the leaves to work to sew during lunch, worked a little on the flowers outside, and constructed the pot in the wee morning hours in my craft room.

Oh, and did I mention that you can take the plant out of the pot?  This kills me.  How cool is that? 

Here's my newest plant soaking in a little sun in the bedroom.  

Up next, I'm leaning towards the cactus.  But first I'm planning on making two more of these for two lucky people for gifts.  I really loved sewing three dimensionally with the felt.  I usually do flat work, (with the exception of my owls) and liked the feeling of building something you could use or give to someone to play with or just feel. 
There's over 70 projects in the book and I doubt I'll make all of them, but it's definitely inspiring!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

spring cleaning

 The past couple days here have been so beautiful!  Temperatures in the 80's and sunny.  Perfect spring weather for outside gardening and cleaning, as well as allergies.  Headaches and runny noses aside, Monday marked the first journey of the lawn mower.  Our grass needed mowed before this but every time we had the day off, it would rain.  A lot.  We got our mower used when we moved to our current house and really haven't had any problems with it, aside from needing to sharpen the blade desperately.   

Here's a overlay of almost all the backyard flower garden (the right side is only half showing).  Right before we left for Richmond (April 16th) all the red tulips were just about to bloom and when we returned a few days later, they were in full bloom. 

 We have a number of different varieties in our yard.  I  like the ones that come a little later in the season.  I have no idea what their official name is, but the edges are sort of frayed and the flower itself is orange.
(This picture is from last year.)

Bleeding hearts in bloom.  These are actually planted in the pot on the top of the steps to the right in the picture above.  These along with the other pot (which contain tiger lilies) are from the previous owners.  I don't know why, but we haven't moved these planters.  I'd like to transplant the bleeding hearts to the right side along the fence, but haven't gotten around to it.  I love the shape of this flower!

More red tulips along the left side of the yard.  If you look closely in the middle right, you'll notice two smaller pink and white tulips in bloom.  These are some of my favorite flowers we have.

Here's a picture of my in the process of moving around some of our ferns.  I love ferns.  A lot.  But the right side of our flower garden is overtaken by them.  At this stage they are rather manageable- not too big, not too small.  Big enough to enjoy but not big enough to block the view.  Give them a few weeks.  Or as it seems after just looking at them, a few days.  They get really big and seem to take over.  My plan is to move most to the far right side and against the lower fence (which you can't see in this picture).  This way the ferns won't block the other flowers, but be more natural grouped densely together.