Spring: Early Arrivals to the Bunny Garden

IMG_9258**(Be sure to click each photo to see it in full!)

I was so excited when I saw the two new arrivals to the Bunny Garden; the first this Spring. They’re a continuation of the ongoing evolution of my hand knit bunny creations that began a little over a year ago. Each bunny is one-of-a-kind & I never know who he or she is until they’re totally finished. I’m always  excited to see who emerges from the crossing of two needles and a ball of yarn.

The first arrival this Spring was Olivia.  As it turned out,  Olivia was just passing through the garden- (she sold immediately,)  Assembling her,  a little voice in my head said,  Hmm~  I wonder how she’d look if I attached her ears more behind her head- kind of like this-  and I held them about where I thought they should be…  They might look cute that way!  I’ve seen bunnies hold their ears like that before- and certainly if she was a lop her ears would be like that… but what if they didn’t look good? Once I sew them on I can’t take them off without ruining the bunny-IMG_9247

Then  another little voice sounded in my head~ Why take a chance? Just sew them on top of her head like the others, where you know they’ll look good-  Yes, but…  Back and forth the two voices went- until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I held the ears up to the back of her head one more time~ took a deep breath and began sewing them-  onto the back of her head.  Once I’d finished sewing them on, I looked at her and she seemed to have a little grin on her face. She looked back at me~  (I could swear I saw her wink~ )  with a grin that said, ” Yes!! I’m so cute now!”

That’s an example of the way my bunnies are constantly changing & evolving. I hadn’t planned on putting Olivia’s ears low on her head when I began to knit her. Each bunny is determined more by the shape of their head than anything else.IMG_9246

For some reason I don’t understand, every time I knit a new bunny their head shape ends up being different than any of the others that I’ve knit-  even though I do the same things when knitting them. Once I see the head shape that I’m going to be working with, ideas start coming to mind, guiding me on how to best sculpt the head and stitch the facial features;  my goal being to create a bunny that embodies the unique irresistible nature of live bunnies that I’ve known and  loved so much over the years.

Finished just yesterday, Rebecca is the second of the new Spring bunnies to the garden this year. You can see the difference in head shapes, between Olivia’s, pictured above, and Rebecca’s, (to the left.) Rebecca’s head has a shorter, rounder shape than Olivia’s did. IMG_9382 copyWith Rebecca, I again experimented with the placement of her ears. I also tried to fill her little cheeks out a bit to go with her more rounded head shape, the way real bunny’s cheeks appear. I once had a Netherlands Dwarf bunny that Rebecca’s  more compact, rounded face shape reminds me of. Soon I’ll be ready to begin another bunny. I’m curious to see what my next attempt with the needles is going to produce.
I wonder~ could this be the way a “real” bunny mom feels? Perhaps I’ve discovered the reason bunnies have such large families; they simply can’t wait to see who’s coming next-?
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Springtime In the Bunny Garden

Enjoying the sun

Enjoying the sun

Aha!  I managed to convince a few of the bunnies to hold still long enough for me to snap their picture!  It’s been so long since I’ve written that I thought today I would try to update my blog. I was surprised to find that even though it’s been so long since I’ve last posted, I’m still working on the same thing; knitting bunnies!

When I last wrote, I had just finished knitting the first few that I’d ever knit. To date, I’ve knit 16 ~ and just started on my 17th bunny! They are all one-of-a-kind and as you may be able to tell from the photos I’ll post; each has his/her own very distinct personality. I love knitting them and get so excited as I get close to completing one, because even I don’t know who they are or what personalities they have, until they’re totally finished. More than once,  I’ve stayed up all night working  because I was close to completion and couldn’t wait until morning to  find out who it was.IMG_6594 copy

The bunnies, as I’m sure you’ll notice if you look at pictures of the first ones  I made, (see previous post,)  have been gradually evolving. In creating them, my desire is to capture what I find most dear about rabbits and try to convey that essence in the bunny that I’m making. It’s definitely a challenge! The one thing that seems to really define the bunny, and make one bunny different from another, is it’s head shape and the size and shape of it’s facial features. When I say that they have evolved from the first few that I made, I’m referring to things about their heads and faces.IMG_6664 copy With each bunny that I make now, I’m sculpting their heads to make them closer to the shape of a real bunny. I have no pattern telling me how to do this it’s done purely by how I perceive it to be. The same is true with  stitching the facial features: it’s a process  mostly of trial and error, based purely on my perception at the moment~ about as far from an exact science as it could be and that’s what makes it so difficult to do.

As I’m creating a bunny, I can feel it’s story starting to develop in the back of my mind. At that point, I just “feel” it. I don’t really “know” it yet. It usually waits until I begin writing a listing for it to be revealed. I have enjoyed so much writing the beginnings of each of their stories in listings, that I have a new idea in mind that will involve each bunny being accompanied by a little book that will have an expanded version of that particular bunny’s story in it, illustrated by photos similar to the ones I’ve posted in their listings. The small book and the bunnyIMG_6702 copy IMG_6709 copy will be sold together as a set and will, of course, be one of a kind. This is still in the idea stage, but I’m very excited about it and hope to be able to begin the project within the next few months! Below are a few photos of my most recent bunny, finished 3/30/13, and just listed. I am going to include the beginning of her story as I have it listed and that will give you an idea of the kind of thing I have in mind to do. If my idea were now in the finished stage, what you would see in my shops is the bunny and an accompanying little book with an expanded version of her story, illustrated with photos of her~IMG_6960 copy something similar to this abbreviated version about Peony~
Everywhere I look I see Spring! If Spring were a flavor,  it would most definitely be sweet. Think about it.  ~  The spring trees are abloom in cotton candy shades of pink and white that hug their branches like puffs of spun sugar. The spring sky is unpredictable; one minute sun, the next- showers. The clouds pulling sun minutes into  shower minutes are the puffy billowy kind; marshmallow clouds. Sweet again! Spring is also about babies~ and all babies are sweet. Spring simply is~  Sweet!
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Spring has definitely come to the bunny garden! Aahh~ take a deep breath. What do you get? Sweet! The air is intoxicatingly sweet with the scent of Freesia. Looking out over the garden I see bunnies hopping every which way, heels so high in the air it seems they’d pull a bunny right over in a back flip! Like Spring, bunnies are sweet and Spring is bringing new bunnies to the garden.Looking out over the garden I can tell the bunnies are extra excited. They’ve discovered the crop of new spring greens, always the sweetest of the year. A pretty, large, pink flower suddenly hopped into the air with the bunnies. Wait! A hopping flower?? I looked closely before realizing that what I’d been staring at and thinking was a newly opened flower, wasn’t a flower at all, it was a new bunny!!! This little one kicked her heels higher into the air than the other bunnies & because she happened to be in front of a tree, she looked just like one of the tree’s pink blossoms. No question about her name. This was Peony, the sweetest little flower bunny; Sweet as Spring, Sweet as a marshmallow cloud, Sweet as the flower-scented air-  Sweet—– as a bunny! Peony is the newest bunny in the garden, and Peony is a genuine baby bunny, Springtime Sweet as Sweet can be!!

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July/August~ Needles and the Bunny!

Bunnies, bunnies and more bunnies!! Taking a little break from making handsmocked & embroidered dresses, I’ve spent the past few months knitting; one of my favorite things of all, to do. I first learned to knit when I was 12; my teacher was my 13-yr.-old friend who was very gifted & knew how to do more than most adults did. I think of her with gratitude every time I pick up my knitting needles. I never would have imagined when I first held a pair of needles in my hands that knitting would become the much-loved activity in my life that it very quickly became. I’ve truly enjoyed the past two months that I’ve devoted to  knitting!

I started a few months ago knitting a bunny from a Debi Birkin pattern that I found in an Etsy shop and fell in love with. This was the first time in all of the years that I’ve spent knitting, that I knit a bunny doll. I loved doing it! I loved knitting the little bunny so much that I had to knit another right away. To date I have knit several bunnies, each one different. It’s always a wonderful surprise to see the unique personality that emerges with each new bunny.  After knitting the first bunny I started experimenting, making changes to the pattern; molding it to get the “look” that I’m after.

I have always loved bunnies. Over the span of several years, I had 4 house bunnies; all very sweet and very special. I loved to study their faces. There is a special & unique sweetness that even the mischievous ones had. It is that special “sweet” look, so unique to bunnies, that I’m trying to capture in the faces of the bunnies that I knit.

The bunnies aren’t at all easy to make, in fact I find them more difficult than any sweater I’ve  made. It’s not the knitting itself that’s difficult, it’s the assembly; particularly the heads & faces.  To capture the bunny look that I want, requires much more than knitting an oval, bunny-shaped head. I start with that knit shape, but then I need to put a lot of filling into it so that it’s very firmly stuffed so that  I can squeeze the face to make indents where the eyes belong and make it pouffe-out in the cheeks and over the mouth. Once I squeeze an area to be the way I want it, I have  to stitch through the head from one side to the other;  back & forth, to hold the shape permanently.  Sculpting the face in this manner is a slow, difficult process, but one that I love doing, as this is where the bunny is formed as an individual. This is where its personality emerges.  Once the head and face are shaped the way I want them to be, I hand stitch with embroidery floss, the eyes, nose & mouth. Work on just the head/face alone, is very intense and takes several hours. This is the part that I find the most difficult in making the bunny~ but it is also the most fulfilling.

Assembling the rest of the bunny is easier than shaping the head & stitching the face, but it too is difficult. (The details are too long for this post, but perhaps in a follow-up post I’ll describe what that involves.)

Once I’ve created a bunny, it’s time to knit something for them to wear.  Usually I haven’t an idea what it will be until I’ve created them & seen what their personality is. For the first few bunnies, I knit sweaters,  but as I knit more bunnies I felt like it would be fun to knit whole outfits for some of them, so my more recent bunnies are dressed in coordinating outfits; sweaters & pants or sweaters & a skirt- or overalls. I like to hand embroider a little flower~ or vegetable, on their clothes, it’s sort of become my signature.  I will definitely continue with bunny-making in the future, as they’ve become one of my very favorite things to knit. I also knit lamb dolls and have a few patterns of some new animals I’d like to try; an elephant, a mouse, and a puppy, so keep checking back and you may see these in my shop soon.

In addition to my animal menagerie, I’ve knit a few baby poncho & pants outfits that I enjoyed knitting and I just started a new outfit, so it should be in my shop, in about a week. And THAT’S what I’ve been up to!!!

August has started off to be horribly hot. I’m really hoping that this isn’t an indication of the remainder of the month. I’m trying to keep in mind that Fall, my favorite season of the year, is just around the corner~  Trying to knit on a hot day can be a challenge. I find if I imagine Fall outside, with it’s wonderful crisp, refreshing air and brilliantly colored leaves that ride a breeze with the grace of a surfer riding a huge rolling wave, I can almost forget about the 100` plus temperatures outside. Almost!

I hope you’re enjoying your summer and are able to stay cool!

June, 2012

It’s hard to believe it’s summer already. I feel as if I’ve just taken a giant leap into June from January, 2012. The past several months have been very busy, presenting surprises,  not all of them welcome-  but also, lots of exciting and challenging projects for me to try. You may have noticed my website was down for a while~ that’s because it got hacked. A lot of work on my son’s part, set me up with a new website.  Unfortunately, I’m having problems uploading my photos onto the site. A listing with no photos,  doesn’t work-   but my items, (currently 96 products,) can always be found here, at my Etsy shop. Please come and take a look and as soon as I’m able to get my website working smoothly, I’ll let you know with a new blog post. I’m hopeful it will be soon!

I’m very excited about the recent completion of one of my newest projects,  a hand smocked, hand embroidered decorative throw pillow. This is something I’ve wanted to try making for a few years now- you may even remember me mentioning it, many, many blogs ago. It took a long time to summon the courage to give it a try, but I finally decided to jump-in and tackle it. I found it extremely challenging, taking weeks to make since it’s almost entirely done by hand. It’s one-of-a-kind, and I think you’ll agree, definitely unique.  I’m very pleased with the results. Here is a picture,  and other views can be found in my Etsy shop~

Most recently, I’ve been spending all of my time knitting. I just finished knitting a baby blanket for my nephew’s soon-expected, baby boy. I created this blanket  without a pattern, designing it as I knit. It was a lot of fun to make! Here are a few pictures of the finished blanket- 

  I learned to knit when I was 12 from a good friend whom,  it seemed, could do everything. She was 13!  Little did I realize then, how invaluable her teachings would become. I have now been knitting for most of my life and it’s absolutely at the top of my list of favorite things to do.

I’m excited to try some new patterns that I got for some knit animals that will join the lambs and bunnies, of which I now have several,  in my shop. Currently I’m in the process of completing a little knit outfit, size 12mos., consisting of hand knit long pants & a little hand knit poncho, so that will be the next new item you’ll see in my shop~ as well as in my blog.

The past year’s been kind of a tough one for Pascal, who turns 13 July 4th. Though he no longer hears or sees well, we try to continue our walks as much as possible- weather permitting. Although yesterday’s 102` heat didn’t motivate either of us to even walk out the front door! I try to bring my camera on most of our walks, constantly looking for new pictures for the note cards that I love making. Within the past few months I’ve listed several new sets of cards with lots of fun and beautiful images to see, so if you have a minute, and enjoy looking at pictures, please feel welcome to stop by my etsy shop and have a look~

I hope you are enjoying summer, with it’s beautiful flowers and long, carefree days. I hope to be back soon with news that my website is fully working-  and with lots of new listings for you to see~  Until then, Enjoy!

    

Hello Again!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra set of arms & hands? So many times I find myself wishing for that. I could accomplish twice as much as I do now. That would be wonderful!

It’s been a long time since I’ve written~ too long! I feel bad about it. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, I’ve just been so busy with my work. Unfortunately I’m not one of those people who are good multi-taskers. There are so many things I’d love to make, but they all require a lot of time. In the interest of trying to get more items made, I decided to concentrate my efforts for a while~  and that’s why I haven’t been here. There is still  so much that I want to make,  so I can’t commit to a regular writing schedule , as I hope to be able to do someday,  but I intend to pop in more frequently and let you see some of the things I’ve been working on.

I recently finished a custom order Christmas dress for a customer that was probably the most difficult order I’ve ever worked on. It was a real challenge,  but I was determined to do it. I worked on this dress for a month, twice even staying up all night working because I had to see what it looked like~ and if I’d captured the scene pictured in my head.  In spite of the difficulty I have to say that I really enjoyed the challenge this dress presented. Creating it helped me learn a lot about perspective & how to fit a lot into a small space~

The order was for a Christmas dress in green fabric, smocked & with an embroidered scene that included a Christmas tree with colored lights, a little girl, a basset hound & a chocolate lab. Once the sides are smocked there is only about a 3 1/2″ x 3″ space left in the center to compose a scene. That’s really not much room at all. Most of my scenes usually have 1 or 2 major figures in them. That is usually what fits the most comfortably. This request was for twice as many figures as I usually have, so the major problem it presented was how to fit everything in and still have it look nice- and the figures be identifiable. When I thought about the scene, what appeared was an outdoor picture. When it came to actually embroidering the scene I pictured, I realized quickly that I was also going to have difficulty with the snow- and how to show that some of the figures were in front while others were further back. These were the two major problems that kept me up all night~ and taught me a lot. I have never been so totally engrossed in a dress as I was with this one,  and I’m happy to say that I was pleased with the results~ (the scene pictured in the upper left corner.)  If you look closely you will see that the string of tree lights begins in the little girl’s hands & extends down to the basset hound at her side. The basset hound holds a section in his mouth while the chocolate lab, having wound the lights around the branches a few times,  is standing behind the tree with his end of the lights held in his mouth~ and so the title, “Three to Light the Tree.”

Just before beginning work on the order for the Christmas dress I made a dress for my shop that is my personal favorite. When shopping for fabrics,  I like to buy cuts of whatever I see that I think would make a nice dress- without having any particular dress in mind. I bring them home, wash them & put them away until I’m ready to begin a new dress. That way I build an adequate supply of fabrics so that when I’m ready to start a dress, I can look at them & choose whatever I’m in the mood to work on. The fabric for this dress is fabric that I’ve had longer than any of my other fabrics. Every time I went to choose fabric for a new dress I’d pass this one over~ it just never seemed to “grab” me~ until recently. I think I even surprised myself when I opened the cupboard where I keep my fabrics,  spotted this and said, “Yes!” I never would have guessed that it would turn out to be my very favorite dress,  but that’s exactly what happened. Once I saw the fabric I knew exactly how I wanted the dress to look. It’s always a bit scary to me to combine fabrics as I’ve done here, with the collar & sleeves in white and the body of the dress in a small print, giving the dress a “jumper & blouse” look. It’s difficult to visualize which fabrics will look good in that style & which won’t. It’s definitely not fit for every print. This is only the second time that I’ve tried embroidering on the “puff” part of each sleeve, but I really like the way it ties the print of the fabric  together with the white sleeves, although it’s not an easy thing to do. In fact it’s very difficult to embroider from inside the small area that is available in the sleeve of a baby dress,  but I think it’s worth the effort and contributes to creating a dress that’s both unique and very special.

These are just a few of the things that have kept me busy in recent months. I’ve also been knitting, as I’m trying to build a supply of knit items for my shops as well, but more on that in my next post. I’m working on a new dress right now and I’m close to being finished embroidering the scene. I’m looking forward to getting to the part where the dress gets sewn together. I’m sorry to say that my sewing machine which has served me so well over the past 25 yrs. has finally said,  “enough!”  It’s replacement is sitting, still in it’s box, waiting for me to reach the stage where it will be needed. I’m anxious to see how it will work. Hopefully I’ll love it as much as I’ve loved my old machine and,  (whisper-)  maybe even a bit more!  I’ll let you know how I like it, next time I write~ must return to work now!

I hope you enjoy the beautiful fall weather that’s either just arrived- or will be arriving soon!  Fall is my favorite season, so I’m looking forward to cool, beautiful days!

Spring~” Click, Click;” Catch it While I Can

Tree in full bloom

Spring! It’s everywhere I go, filling me with inspiration to create in it’s image;  things that are flowery & light as the breeze spreading its signature scent. Pulling weeds in my garden under the appletree, I was captivated by the subtle, sweetly-spiced scent of appleblossoms~ how to express that in a creation?

Pascal (my dog,)  and I, walk daily. Camera in hand, we alternate between downtown, with its beautiful fountains & planterboxes, and Heather Farms- ( several local acres of designated open space that’s been set aside as a wildlife preserve,  with walking trails, gardens,  ponds, meadows and a duck-filled canal.) Spring being such a short season, my camera clicks tirelessly as we walk, attempting to preserve the beauty Spring has scattered in its wake~

Currently, everything  I make reflects my experience of Spring.Bumblebee on Blue Looking at my photos I immediately Rose Garden, Heather Farms want to make notecards~ I’m excited!  Here in my hands, the  pictures enable me to hold onto Spring,  long after it has passed. On the trees, the wind & rain can destroy the beautiful blossoms, but  here on my notecards, they are saved;   preserved  in all their beauty – How wonderful to be able to have Spring always within reach!

As with the notecards, my handsmocked and embroidered dresses reflect my experience of Spring-  One  recently finished dress, A Dressful of Blooms, was totally spring inspired. Looking at it,  I recall the spicy-sweet scent of the apple blossoms on my tree. Perhaps looking at it , you too will have a sense of  the flower-scent~?        IMG_2747Dressful of Flowers

Today on our walk at Heather Farms, in addition to all of the new spring flowers, resplendent under water drops left by yesterday’s rain, we witnessed a very special spring addition~

**Duck & babies copy

Walking down the path beside the canal I saw what looked like something moving in the grasses on the far side of the canal. I stopped to see if I could tell what was there-  At first I saw the mother duck. Her dark coloring blended in so well with the hillside that she was difficult to discern at first.  She was standing very still looking back at us. Incredibly, Pascal didn’t bark! Watching her, I suddenly saw movement in the grass behind her and watched in awe as 5 tiny ducklings shuffled awkwardly to get close to her. After watching us for a while, I guess she decided we didn’t pose much danger, because she started walking down the bank towards the water, the 5 little ducks following close behind~ in one straight line! Down the hill they stumbled & into the canal,  gliding on the water, mom & her 5-  in one straight line,  swim masters already!

Mom & babies, crossing the path~ in one straight line We followed them a short way down the canal and then stopped and watched again as the babies followed their mom out of the water, up the bank and across the path towards the larger pond~ in one straight line!

These pictures, along with others taken that day will be available on sets of notecards in my shop. Spring passes so quickly that I’m so happy to have caught at least a bit of it before we move into summer~ which I know, is lurking just around the bend~

About “Winter”

WINTER

I’ve just finished this dress that I call “Winter”; my third in a series of four long- sleeved dresses that I wanted to add to my store.  My goal is to have at least one long-sleeved dress in each size available. I just finished cutting out my fourth one,  a size 4, so hopefully before much longer, there will be one, OOAK,  long-sleeved dress in each size in my shop!

I thought I’d speak a bit about “Winter, ” and it’s creation,  because its appearance was a surprise even to me. I know that seems strange. It’s not the first time that I’ve been surprised by one of my dresses. The whole process of creating something  has always been a bit of a mystery to me, and making this dress,  is a perfect example ~

Not always, but often, before I begin working on a dress,  I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do with the dress. I usually have a picture in mind. It’s not always a completed picture, but it’s at least a basic idea. What puzzles me,  like what occurred while making this dress, is what happens between the time I begin working on a dress with a particular image in mind, and the time I finish the dress—–and have created something entirely different from the idea envisioned when I began -

Finishing the dress before “Winter,” I began thinking about what I wanted to do with the size 1 that I planned to create next out of a piece of printed white cotton fabric.  I suddenly got an image of a white dress with green, or possibly white, smocking. The dress I envisioned had a very simple, pretty design  of smocked zig zags, interspersed with embroidered red, green, and white candy canes~  Yes!! That was it! I ran & got a piece of paper & a pencil so I could sketch a simple picture of what was in my head. I don’t usually write my ideas down, but this looked so cute the way I pictured it, that I wanted  to be sure it wouldn’t be forgotten.

I began the dress with my original idea, working  white smocking into a zig zag pattern on the white fabric,—– and somehow worked my way into the scene you see pictured in the photo above. It seems to have just “happened.” I don’t remember consciously making a decision to abandon my original idea, nor do I remember ever having visualized the scene that emerged on the dress. It’s as if my fingers just took over; as if they had planned the scene from the very beginning-  and I was there simply because I was attached!

Now that the dress is finished, I look at it and feel very fortunate. Though it was not at all what I had in mind when I began, I’m pleased with the way it turned out-  Fingers did a good job! Once again I’m left baffled by the creative process, but that’s o.k.  Sometimes it’s nice to just be surprised!!

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Beginners Luck

My third  series of notecards, As Scene by Rabbit Whiskers, consists of notecards with photographs of Treehouse copy 4various scenes that I have found to be pretty, interesting, or both; usually things that I see while on a walk with Pascal.

Many of my photos come from my favorite “haunt,” Heather Farms. This is a huge open space park with both natural, wild environments and carefully planted and tended, beautiful gardens; a photographer’s dream place! I could go there daily forever and still see different things each time.

While a majority of the scenes on my cards come from pictures taken at Heather Farms, we also often go downtown for walks and I always encounter something unexpected there, like the koi pond that I posted photos of a few posts ago. I haven’t used them yet, but I may decide to use some of the koi pictures on notecards in the future. There are also scenes taken from my own garden as well as scenes from other places that I walk.

Do you like this cottage in the picture above? It has a rather funny story to go with it. A year and a half ago my daughter gave me this wonderful little camera for my birthday. I was so surprised and excited,  I couldn’t wait to go try it out.  I quickly browsed through the manual, learning just enough to know where the button was to push for a picture, and a few other basics, but otherwise, I really knew nothing about using the camera. I took Pascal, and of course my new camera, downtown for a walk the following morning.

I parked the car a few blocks outside of the central downtown area and thought we’d walk into town from there. I had walked by this old cottage many times before, and each time wished that I had  a camera to take its picture. I love this cottage!  So- here I was, finally!  Me, Pascal, the cottage……. and my new camera! When we got to the driveway of the cottage I made Pascal sit while I pulled out my new camera  and “click, click-” just like that, took a few quick pictures and continued into town, taking  pictures on our way. Once home again, I downloaded the pictures to my computer and was pleased to see that yes, my picture of the cottage looked, well,  just like the cottage-

Several months before I got my camera I came across a photography site online, Zytu.org that had different daily slideshows of pretty and interesting scenes; photos that I enjoyed looking at, so I added them to my homepage.  After downloading  my photos to the computer I decided to post my photos on the web pages Zytu offered. Now that I had a camera I thought it would be a good way to keep track of my favorite photos and also thought it would be fun to see if anyone else looked at them. In the back of my mind I remembered reading something earlier about Zytu adding some photos to its daily slideshows taken from pictures they found on the pages on their site. I didn’t really think about that when I put my pictures on their site. I just barely knew how to use my camera. My photos wouldn’t be picked.

This picture of the cottage was one of the first  that I uploaded to the Zytu site. A few days later I happened to walk by my computer which I had left on my home page. My eyes hit on the zytu slide show just as the photo of the cottage flicked past! I thought I was seeing things. It couldn’t be-  It must have been a photo of another cottage that was similar to the one that I took-  But I waited for the twenty photos to flick by so I could see  this “other” cottage again. There it was! It was no “other,”  it was mine!! I was so excited, I must have watched it flick by a zillion times that afternoon.

Zytu is fun because it keeps track of how many people click on each individual picture. Not only did I never expect to see my photo in their slideshow,  but everytime I think about it, it makes me laugh~  this photo of the cottage made it to their section titled, “Most Viewed Photos”-  It is not only in that section, it is the first photo on the fourth row of the first page of that section, where it has been for the last year and a half! To date, this photo now has 816,889 views!! If someone had told me this was going to happen, I would never in a million years have believed them. Sometimes I wonder what the people who own that cottage would think if they were to be told that 816,889 people from all over the world have seen their home. Do you think they’d believe it?

Anyway, this cottage is also going to have a place on one of my notecards, so if you like it, it might be something to watch for~

*****Water Window This photo was taken at Heather Farms and is one of my favorite photos of Heather Pond. This too will be on a note card,

as will

this

and this, all from Heather Farms. My next post will be a bit about my second series of notecards, Notes From Rabbit Whiskers~

IMG_8696Mustard Flower Field

A Few of My Favorite Things

#423 A Few of MY Favorite Things

I know. It’s been way too long since I’ve updated my blog. I have been working on this dress called, A Few of My Favorite Things and I’ve just finished it.

Making this dress has been the strangest experience! I felt as if a magic spell had been cast over me and I wasn’t able to put it down.  None of my other work, including a blog update,  got done. I was sewing until 1:00 A.M.- mainly because I wanted to see what it was going to look like.  I kept thinking, Oh I’m almost finished- might as well keep sewing so I can see-

You’d think by now, after having made close to 450 dresses,  I would know that what looks like just a small area  to finish, can take hours- sometimes days. You would also think that after making so many dresses, the thrill of seeing another one would have worn off. That most definitely wasn’t the case with this dress.   There is so much tiny, intricate detail sewn into this scene, that what seemed like it would take minutes to do, in fact took hours-  For example, if you look at a tiny head of cabbage, it seems like it’s so small, it should take only a few minutes to make one.

What happens is that yes, the area is small- until you picture the width of two strands of thread. It is the width, or thickness, of two strands of thread that has to fill that “small” cabbage space- a width probably about the same size as the width of one of the letters I am typing right now. In comparison, that cabbage space suddenly seems quite large. It takes lots and lots of stitches to fill up that small space- but then, it takes even more stitching to make it look like a cabbage.

If you look closely, you will see that the cabbage is stitched initially in a deep purple thread. Layered over that base is thread of a lighter purple shade to fill-in, and accent certain spots, giving the cabbage depth and more of a leafy look.  Layered on top of the two purples is some white stitching to better define the leaves. What initially looked like it might take a few minutes to complete, in fact, took a whole lot longer- There were many parts of this scene that required multi-layers and many hours, like the cabbages. But I can also say that although I felt  captivated by this dress, I thoroughly enjoyed creating it! I have just finished cutting out my next dress, again a size 4. This dress will be pink and I hope to get started on it this afternoon. I’m looking forward to working on it, but I do hope that I won’t be so captured by this one and will be able to work more realistically  on it, accomplishing other things in my life that need doing as well-

Last week Pascal had another grooming session which again inspired his “groom gloom” attitude and that reminded me that it has been my turn to talk for way too long. The next post is Pascal’s turn, so be sure to look again soon. I know there is a lot he wants to say!

With a Twist of Pink I don’t know what the weather has been like where you are, the past few weeks, but in nothern Ca. last week we had yet another week of beautiful spring weather and I was able to get some photos of the trees in beautiful full bloom. I’m not certain, but I think these trees on the left are plum trees, and the one on the right is a flowering crabapple-  Isn’t it gorgeous? This week it has rained all week which is wonderful because we really need the water, but I’m very happy I was able to catch photos of the trees before the rains came, because they probably knocked most of the beautiful blossoms off~                                                **Flowering Crabapple