Sunday, May 31, 2020

May Is Over

Though still observing social distancing, May's temperatures are making being outside not the joy it was during March and April. And sad news of more than 100,000 deaths in the US and chaos in cities following the inexcusable murder by police makes watching TV news a punishment. So I must look outside for beauty.
Today is Pentecost Sunday when Christians celebrate the Holy Spirit. We certainly need to be reminded that God is with us. On my front porch one of my favorite plants is covered in tiny blue flowers (Blue Daze). I have this in two other places in flowerbeds. My angel wing begonia (also in a pot on the front porch) is growing and sporting large leaves.

Last week I was surprised by five tiny tomatoes showing color on a plant I have had for a couple of weeks. I bought three plants and have high hopes for little sweet tomatoes. All five of these were a delicious snack.

I decided to change a few of my pieces of fiber art hanging in the guest bedroom. This Interleave Symphony shows up nicely on the pale yellow wall. Improv Music is on the other side of the room.

I found a package of postcards with line drawings ready to color or paint and started a little bit of the color and then sent to friends with the message "Don't worry; be happy; make art"  hoping they would enjoy finishing the art. Of course, they may wonder why I sent a partially done painting!

A little stitching occurred on this green damask-type fabric. More on this later. It seemed a much better use of my time than making ruffle doggie collars for nieces and granddaughters in Texas. But  making the best use of time isn't always the goal.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Mercy Loves Her Ruffle Collar

The collar arrived and Mandy reports that Mercy loves it. She even color coordinated her toy. I thought if she likes to wear pretty things she would need some choices so I made her a couple more. I had Elizabeth try them on before I sent. This Texas fabric was put to good use.

 Here is the Elizabeth wearing the Texas-themed fabric collar.

This harlequin collar is reversible, with large polkadot fabric on the back side.
Elizabeth and I finished the cat puzzle. It was fun to work, and she seems quite pleased with it. The white paper under it helped so much on the dark table.
On my front porch I have an angel wing begonia with beautiful green/silver spotted leaves. I don't know what to expect in the way of blooms, but don't care whether it blooms as long as it makes these lovely leaves.
In the back by the garage, my Maidenhair Fern is putting on a show. There is more in a flowerbed that is fluffy and full, ready to share with a friend.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Dog Collar Adventures for a Cat Lady

Some days you just need to forget the seriousness of a pandemic. Puzzles are good for this. Also sewing something entirely different helps.
     My niece Mandy in Austin posted a picture on FB of her dog Mercy wearing a little blue ribbon. She seemed to love wearing this and would bring it to Mandy to put on her.
Mercy Merryweather (who lives in Austin TX)
   I had made a Texas A&M collar for my granddaughter Christy's Stella and thought I would make a ruffle collar for Mercy. Of course, Mandy cautioned me against any Aggie stuff (I knew that!).  I can't find a picture of Elizabeth modeling it, but here she is on her way to Texas after being adopted in Hattiesburg, MS.
Stella movng to Bryan,Texas from Hattiesburg
So I made Mercy a colorful stripe and checked collar. I enlisted Elizabeth and Tarbaby to model it before dropping it in the mail. I should have asked if I still had the correct address, since all our visits are on FB, but I did not.

    When I didn't hear from Mandy that Mercy's ruffle collar had arrived, I asked about it and learned that she had not lived at the address I used for ten years. (I don't go to Austin often and our contacts are mostly over the Internet!) My bad. . . so having plenty of stay-at-home time on my hands, I made a new collar for Mercy.
    I got Tarbaby to model it reluctantly, Rahrah to model it briefly before escaping from it and leaving it under the bed, and Elizabeth (my almost perfect cat) to sweetly wear it for pictures. Just in case the original collar comes back from the dead letter office, I used a different fabric for the new collar, and also made it with only one ruffle instead of the double. 

    I caught Rahrah on the hall bathroom countertop and managed to get the collar on her. She was in panic mode and quickly escaped, hiding under furniture until she could leave the collar under my bed.

   Here is Elizabeth on the back bathroom countertop. She says, "What collar? Oh, you want to take my picture? Okay, fine. Whatever."

   I hope Mercy gets it (sent to her correct address) and likes it.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Mid-May Safe at Home

I am working on a lavender/purple ghost quilting piece at the sewing machine. I call it "ghost quilting" because I am stitching in what I think would be in the unknown area outside the center floral fabric. I start with a black foundation, apply a square/rectangle of floral fabric, and thread-paint the flower, imagining what is in the outer black "ghost" area.
A new puzzle is on the table. First I unrolled white paper before emptying out the pieces--voila! Thanks to Linda Ginn for this suggestion to help with visibility. Elizabeth is very possessive of the space and often waits for me there. Rahrah tries out the box, but it is only big enough for sitting--no curling up and sleeping. The puzzle is cat-themed and is going together nicely. Tarbaby isn't interested. He'd rather nap in the empty office chair.

Meanwhile, I've gathered more interesting grasses and enjoy noticing how different they are from place to place. The spiral Lady's Slipper seems to only grow in one yard on my walk, and I hope I don't steal so many that they disappear. 

I had a large dogwood tree blow down during Katrina in 2005. It left some roots at ground level, and lately I am seeing little rows of mushrooms growing from the dead root. Interesting!

Friday, May 8, 2020

May Happenings

Another week of stay at home. After the mouse in the house adventure, I'm glad there are no critter adventures to report. Having the candy jar jigsaw puzzle on the table was a nice diversion from thinking about the troubling COVID-19 news. Elizabeth took lots of naps in the box even though it was too small for her.

The puzzle is finished

In the studio I finished the second large thread-painted flower (12" x 12") and mounted it on gallery-wrapped canvas. Worked on a few little landscapes. 

On one of my walks in the neighborhood I found this interesting grass flower head growing in a twisting spiral motion. My friend Georgia Kay Carter identified it for me as Slender or Spring Ladies'-tresses (Spiranthes gracilis or S. vernalis). Sometimes we miss the beauty in the ordinary, but perhaps our current situation will cause us to pay more attention. I brought several grasses in to enjoy on the kitchen windowsill.

My cats and I enjoy the flowerbed with coleus, blue daze, firecracker, dill, rosemary and oregano. I'm still hoping to attract butterflies to lay eggs. Parsley is growing well for the caterpillars to eat.