Friday, July 29, 2011

Creating To Stay Cool!

Thanks so much for the sweet comments on Jim and Lily's books in my previous post.  Very much appreciated!

I've been riding out the heat in my studio, AC humming, while listening to books on CD.  Actually, I've been having the best time!  As a result of being forced inside, I created this sunflower tote.

Hooked with wool, and lined in a pretty soft teal plaid wool.  I have a wonderful collection of vintage buttons that I dug into for the closure and to secure the strap.  Found some really cute ones that work nicely.  This sweet little bag is 8"x10" with a 28" strap,  and is currently listed in My Little Handbag Shop.  You may notice it is now "My Little Handbag Shop" minus the patterns.  I'm going to concentrate on making one of a kind bags.... no two alike.  I really enjoy just getting into what would look interesting and sort of "WOW" for a handbag.  Choosing colors is my favorite part, along with construction and watching the whole piece come together.  I'm creating art bags that I would want to carry.  So, I may only have a new bag in the shop occasionally, perhaps two to three at a time at most.  No patterns for now.  I'll just see how it goes.

I've also been on somewhat of a knitting binge.  I was knitting a pair of socks, and just not really loving the wool.  So.... I purchased this nice and bright Alpaca from Peru.

 So soft to work with, and knits up like a dream....

I also bought this pretty yarn.  It's a cotton/nylon combo.  I love how it has these little bumpy things that give the impression of rosebuds, which is what it looks like knitted up.  I've got a pattern for a pretty swirly scarf that I'm saving this for.  I have an upcoming surgery that will keep me laid up for a bit, so this is a project I'm saving for my recuperation period.

These yarn balls look a lot like three luscious tomatoes!  Off topic, but Missouri tomatoes are like eating cake.  My current treat is tomato sandwiches.  I toast some bread, lay on the sliced tomatoes,   a bit of salt and pepper, and spread with mayo that I've mixed with fresh basil from my herb garden.  Oh my gosh.... summer heaven!

I'm still working with pastels, and am just about done with this heron .  Working with the blues and greens has been fun... and I really liked trying to get the feel of this sandy beachy sort of spot.  I'm hoping to start a new piece next week.

Well.... time to get outside and continue my never ending plant watering.  Everything is more or less hanging in there.  It's worth the hassle because once it cools a bit and fall comes on, things seem to pop back prettier than ever (I hope.....).  Stay cool, create, read, and enjoy a wonderful weekend!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Book Get-Away

My step daughter, Lily, is a photographer and also teaches photography at Columbia College in Chicago. This is a preview of her new book of photographs taken in and around Pavones, Costa Rica. Her sister lives there, and Lily has spent quite a bit of time in Costa Rica traveling and photographing. We've been to visit Pavones, and Lily gorgeously captures the beauty of the area and people. If you click on the book title in red, it will take you to blurb where you can see it full screen.

This next book was done by my husband, Jim Mayfield, for me for my birthday. You may have seen my previous birthday post about turning 60. This book is a tribute to our home and life together. Jim has been a photographer for 40 years. He currently free lances and teaches photography at Drury University.

Hope you enjoyed my little summer book get-away. And thanks for allowing me to show off my two most awesome professional family photographers.....

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Heat, Hawks, and Hooking!

I'm going to share with you a few odds and ends I've been working on here at the doorstep, but first I just want to take a moment to give all of you a huge "Thank You!" and an on-line hug.  I was a little bit apprehensive about posting all about myself turning 60 and such, but the comments you gave back  just blew me away!  It was like getting 27 awesome birthday cards......... very special to me.  I'm going to print off my comment page (if that's possible) to save and read when I'm feeling a little blue.

It's been very, very hot here!  I've been watering morning and evening, then try and spend the rest of the day inside.  As a result of the heat, I've gotten some studio time in this past week.  Last weekend we went to visit our friends Mike and Amy.  You may know Amy from Amy's Dusty Trail.

Amy has all her wool worms organized on specially made shelves by her husband, Mike.  She uses bread baskets for storage.  Its' all so organized and pretty.  So..... I perused Walmart yesterday and found five similar baskets on sale for $9.00 apiece.  I bought all five, and with a couple of others was able to become somewhat organized myself!

I was digging through plastic freezer bags, and it just wasn't working for me.  Now I can see what I've got..... so much easier.  I keep my uncut wool in the house in a cabinet I bought just for showing off the beautiful colors.  I keep it open, and looking at all the rich color every day helps to keep me inspired.

Here's what I've been hooking lately.....

It's sort of a totem piece.  Our home with the various wildlife that grace our property. I've prodded some clematis climbing around the edge.  I've been using all worms for this piece, so getting organized has saved a lot of time and frustration.

I've also been playing around some with my pastels.  I've been working on this heron which is a long way from being finished.
I'm so loving working with the blues and greens!

And since we're on the topic of large birds, here's a quick shot taken from my laundry room of two young cooper's hawks enjoying some time spent resting on our arbor.  
There seems to be four youngsters in this flock.  They whistle constantly, and you should see them try and fit in the birdbath!  My hubby got great shots of that that I'll post later.
That's it for now.  Stay cool, and have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July!!!!  Oh, and for those of you who don't celebrate this particular holiday, have a fabulous weekend!