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 Is In The Air~ (trite~ but true!)

What a difference in a weeks time!  Not a speck of fog this morning when Pascal and I left the house!  According to my computer the temperature was 53`. I still needed my jacket ~ over a sweater & a sweatshirt,  but the air was noticeably warmer than it was earlier in the week.  We haven’t been to Heather Farms in a few months. In the winter when it rains it gets too muddy.  Besides being muddy, it’s not the best time to go, as most of the geese and the ducks have gone elsewhere,  and hardly any of the plants in the gardens are blooming-  buts that’s Winter.

Springtime at Heather Farms is always spectacular, and an ideal place to bring the camera.  I am so looking forward to getting new photos  for my notecards-  Hmmmmm-  it’s really NOT actually spring yet. But it FEELS like spring.  I look over at Pascal who’s looking out the window of the car.  Do I turn left & go to town for a walk, or do I turn right and head for Heather Farms~? I really, really, don’t want Pascal to get muddy. But it’s been two weeks since we’ve had rain. How muddy could it be now?

I turn right. We’re going to Heather Farms!!

We have about a 20 minute walk down a paved road before we actually get to Heather Farms and I’m happy to see along the way that there are several clusters of paperwhites ~ and even a few early daffodils, in full bloom;  Spring was in the air!  

Arriving at the path to Heather Farms we stood at the top of the hill for a few minutes, surveying the fields and the canal below us ~   The crisp early- morning air seemed so still~ and so quiet!  The ground definitely was still wet, but if didn’t look too muddy. Okay, Pascal! Let’s go!

We had just barely started down the hill when I heard the familiar sound of geese squabbling.  All right! Surly I’d get some pictures today!  Rounding the curve in the path, we arrived at a clearing beside the pond that the geese & ducks have made their beach. This morning,  with the exception of the ducks swimming in the canal, the pond appeared empty. But the beach was packed~ packed with geese! Mating season must have begun. The beach reverberated with squawking, reminding me of a political convention.  One goose would get right into another’s face,  squawking & nipping  with wings extended,  until the other goose backed away. We stopped to watch “the show” for a few minutes. I was anxious thinking that Pascal would bark at them and disrupt everything, but he didn’t make a sound; in fact, he looked bored~  so after taking a few quick pictures, we moved on.

On the opposite side of the path, just a bit beyond the noisy beach, it was quiet except for the light sound of water splashing. The canal at this point,  was overgrown with reeds  so at first I didn’t notice the pair of mallard ducks floating among them. Getting closer I saw a large white shape-  Excited, I reached for my camera. At first it was hard to tell what I was looking at, as all I could see were two stick-like, long legs extending from a large, white, headless body-  The head was buried under the water, but I had an idea of what it was. Last fall I was lucky enough to come across a beautiful, graceful bird, the Snowy Egret. Standing alone on the beach that today was populated with geese, it looked so elegant & magnificent set against the backdrop of trees in their fiery red orange & yellow, fall-leaf attire.  This, I discovered, was the origin of the splashing sounds I was hearing.  When the egret lifted his head from the water, he started a strange sort of stamping “dance” in the reeds. With one of his large feet he’d stamp the reeds continuously, now & then submersing his head below the water. The stamping must have been a way to make insects, or whatever he was eating that was in the reeds, come out so he could catch catch them in his mouth! I took several pictures of him but he seemed to be in constant motion so it was difficult to get a good one.  I  feel rewarded to have finally gotten this one good picture of him~   We walked just a bit further down the path , and there,  standing directly in front of us was a beautiful mallard duck. He stood very still as if he were posing. “Click” – gottcha!  It may not have quite been Spring yet, but it was definitely in the air!                                                                                                                                                                                     

I’m excited to add these new photos to my growing collection for new notecard sets to be added to my shops soon. Last week was a busy one, but I was able to complete and list my fifth lamb, Amelie~ and I listed two new sets of note cards,  Glistening Orange, and Bench of Poppies.  I’m currently still working on the baby blanket I’m knitting for my grandson who turns 1 this week.  I haven’t worked on a dress since before Christmas. I thought it would be a nice break to work on my knitting and notecards and while I love doing both of those,  I hadn’t realized until a few days ago, how much I miss working on my  dresses, so this afternoon,  guess what I did!  I cut out a new dress! All that I know right now is that it will be a size 2 and it’s a beautiful shade of light, light, pink.  Mainly I need to concentrate on finishing the blanket,  but if I have a dress all pleated; ready to smock & embroider, I may just be able to work on it a bit this week too.  I’ll let you know~ Have a great week!

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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~

It’s Spring!

Pretty Tulips 2010

It’s Spring!!  Here, in Northern Ca. we ‘re experiencing the full tempestuous effects of Springtime.;  blue skies & billowy white clouds with temperatures approaching 70,   giving way to gray-sky windy days with temperatures in the 50′s, punctuated by rain storms-   and back and forth the weather shifts like the moods of a young child. Today with Daylight Savings Time,  I gain an hour of daylight to work in the garden, which is great because there is so much to be done to clean-up after winter & get ready for planting new flowers for summer.

*****Geese Today the sun is out and the temperature is perfect for working in the garden~ 63`. Pascal and I took a  long walk to Heather Farms this morning,  past fields filled with mustard flowers blowing in the light breeze. The air was filled with sounds of geese squawking and as we followed the path around the curve, we came to the spot of commotion. The pond was filled with geese & ducks, as was the small beach. They all seemed to be out this morning, like us, enjoying the beautiful weather.

My plan was to come home after our walk, write a blog post and  get to work embroidering my new dress so that hopefully Pascal & I could go out at the end of the day & work in the garden. A good plan, it sounds easy enough~  And it would be if my eyes weren’t constantly returning to the window, to the sunlight outside, to the flowers blowing in the breeze and the birds collecting twigs to build nests. Suddenly it becomes so difficult to be inside working!!

Reluctantly I avert my eyes from the window reminding myself that with Spring comes Easter, now just a few weeks away, soon to be followed by summer. Then I feel excitement about implementing my new smocking and embroidery ideas for the coming season. Right now my shop is filled with hand smocked dresses that are  hand embroidered  with bunnies, chicks, ducks, lambs and of course lots of flowers,  making them perfect for Spring and Easter . Here are my two most recent additions:Rosebud

I Am A  Lamb

In addition to the smocked & embroidered dresses, I thought it would be a great idea to embroider infant, onepiece bodysuits. I now have two of them in my Etsy shop, website, and 1,000Markets shop. Like the dresses, these are ooak. They are not only perfect for spring, but perfect for Easter as well, with 2 bunnies on one,  and a little yellow chick on the other~

IMG_2307 copy 1 **Flowers For Her Hair

I am excited for you to see all of the cute  handsmocked & embroidered clothes for little girls that I have in my 3 shops; Etsy, Rabbit Whiskers, & 1,000 Markets.

Spring dominates my notecard sets, as well. There are an abundance of cards with beautiful photos of spring flowers of all kinds as well as scenes of spring, such as the mustard flower field that I passed on my walk this morning. For anyone who loves spring & spring-related items, my shops are a must see! I hope you will enjoy browsing !

And now I’ve gotten excited to get to work on my latest dress. I’m going to put a spring scene on it~ perhaps the garden that I can’t yet plant outside! This dress is going to be a size 2 and it’s on purple & white gingham! Come peek in my shop in about a week- a week 1/2, and you should  see a brand new addition displayed!

Happy Spring to you!!!

Mustard Meadow

Cards ‘n Dresses ‘n This ‘n That

Sugar & Spice

Today, stormy- heavy winds and lots of rain~ perfect for staying in and working! After working on knitting a baby sweater and making and listing notecards for two months I finally feel ready to return to making dresses! I never intended to be away from sewing for so long, but I always seem to underestimate how much time something’s going to take. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. If I knew before starting how long  a project was going to take,  maybe I’d never start!

I’m not complaining. It wasn’t a bad two months. I have loved knitting for as long as I can remember. I find it very relaxing and enjoyed it even more because I was knitting it for my grandson, who’s birth will be sometime this week!  BabySweater

The notecards are a much newer project for me, as I began creating them just this past year.  I love photography and I love making the cards. It was very easy to spend that much time working on them. The hard part was pulling myself away~  but I love making hand- smocked & embroidered dresses, too, so it’s time to go back to dress-making,  but before I do, I’d love to give you a glimpse of a few of the photos you’ll find on the notecards I’ve completed.

I added a fourth collection of notecard sets that I’m excited to introduce. It’s titled, “This n That”and is simply an assortment of four photographic cards, tied together by theme, color, or in an obscure way. The photo above is from one of the cards in that new set. It is a photo of the artwork from the front of one of my handsmocked & embroidered dresses. It occurred to me that the scenes on my dress fronts would create very unique & fun notecards, and I’m pleased with the results.

Below are five more photos that appear on some of the cards just made. Each set is ooak and consists of a combination of 4 photographic blank cards. This represents just a small fraction of what you’ll find on Rabbit Whisker notecards.

Wh.Primrose copy ** Fall on the Pond Ducks 2

1 little bird ***

I hope you will come and enjoy looking through the different sets. A few of the sets have pictures of Pascal, some of which you may have seen in previous blog posts~

The wind outside is blowing sheets of rain against my windows, it’s steady beating reminding me that I still have lots of work to do, LOTS-  (no underestimating time here.) I’d like to be able to tell you a bit about the new dress,  but at this point, all that I know is that it’s going to be a size1. My next step is to go to the trunk where I store my fabric, and choose whichever appeals the most to me to be working on right now. Once my selection is made I’m hoping for an onslaught of design ideas. Other than knowing the size I’m going to make, the dress will be as much a surprise to me as it will be to you~  Hopefully by the next time I write I’ll be able to post a picture of a finished dress- or at least pictures of an, ” almost-finished dress- ” (if I’ve underestimated my time again!)

Where Did Summer Go?

Enlightened Looking at all of the beautiful flowers in everyone’s gardens, it’s hard to realize that we’re mid-way through  the last month of summer! Where did it go? It seems like it was just spring and everyone was excitedly anticipating the arrival of summer-  I remember as a child, I thought the year was divided into summer and winter and that each was an equal amount of time. It seemed as if summer vacation was just as long as the school year! I don’t enjoy the heat and my favorite seasons have always been fall and winter, but there’s no denying that with summer comes gardening and all of the beautiful flowers that I love so much. Each of the seasons brings its own special beauty and even though I  have my favorites, there are things I enjoy about all of them. Right now, it seems like I could use at least another run-through, (’cause that’s what it does,) of summer to get my garden in shape!

Lately it seems like every day I hear people talking about being ready for winter and Christmas! My brain is still filled with flowers and sunshine and water~ and summer, yet with all of the daily reminders, I realize that fall and winter really aren’t far off. At least the calendar says they aren’t-  So it’s with a lot of difficulty that I’ve forced myself to realize that and start putting long sleeves on my dresses. In all but the extremely cold places the short-sleeved dresses are wearable year round, since a sweater or coat along with a pair of tights can always be thrown on for outside. A long-sleeved t-shirt can also be slipped under the dress for added warmth, but I know that some people prefer to wear long sleeves in fall and winter.

With this in mind I cut out my first long-sleeved dress of the season yesterday. This dress will be a size 2 100% cotton with a deep-teal blue background and a print of white mini-hearts and leaves. I have no idea yet what I’m going to embroider on it, s0 you’ll  have to wait a bit to see, but I’m trying to think “winter” for the design. Hopefully I’ll have it ready for you to see in a few weeks! Until then, savor the last weeks of summer~ It’s going to be a long time returning!

sweetpeas**Beautiful copy

PASCAL; All Season Dog!

Haircut After our walk today, I have decided that Pascal is definitely a “Uniquely, All-Season-Dog!”

What’s that, you might be wondering~

The answer goes something like this-

I have taken Pascal out for a walk , 5 out of the last 7 days. Out of those five outings, Pascal has  walked 1 1/2 times!   Huh?  It seems that no matter what the season, Pascal can always come up with a weather-related issue to not walk!

It has been our routine for the last 10 yrs.,  to take a walk every morning. When I pick up his leash and call him,  he never comes bounding to the front door like every other dog I’ve had. This is what Pascal does-  From the comfort of his position stretched out on the couch, lying with his chin on his paws, he watches me out of the tops of his eyes, (although looking at this photo, I can’t figure out how he ever sees anything at all-).  They follow me over to the corner of the room while I take his leash from it’s basket, then over to the front door where I stand, waiting. “Come on Pascal!”  I urge. He continues to stare at me, so I say a little sternly, (at least I think it is,)  “Now Pascal!” He decides I really mean it, so he lowers his front two legs to the floor and with his back legs still  up on the couch and his butt in the air, he gives me a huge  yawn, accompanied by a long, slow stretch, then  slowly places his hind legs on the floor. “Come on, Pascal- hurry-up!”  At this his tail starts wagging and,  not taking his eyes off me,  he slowly walks towards where I stand waiting with his leash in my hand,  careful not to increase his speed. I wait,~  he’s getting close-  Just as he gets almost to where I can grab him, he veers slightly to the side and attempts to walk right past me!  “Uh uh, buddy,” I say with my hands on his collar. It clicks!~  There—-leashed!!!  His tail continues wagging as we walk to the car. His pace has picked-up considerably. I notice that he actually seems excited to be going . I strap him into his seatbelt, start the car, and we’re off.

There are a few places that we usually go to walk, all of them requiring under ten-minutes to reach. I try to rotate so Pascal doesn’t become bored with any particular one. He watches out the window the whole way there, probably trying to determine our destination. As I pull to the curb to park the car, he begins an excited, loudly- shrill,  barking, which, should anyone be around,  causes heads to whip to our direction. He continues,  his barking mounting to a wonderful frenzy,  while being temporarily oblivious to my pose of quiet. Finally it’s like he suddenly realizes that  the rest of the world isn’t interested that we’ve arrived, and that I’m sitting there, waiting for him to stop barking. He stops instantly and fixes me with a nonchalant stare, as if to say,  “So what are you waiting for, I’m ready-”  In the silence, with his barks echoing in my head, I open my car door and prepare to get out.

He’s wound-up another bark, but keeps it sitting, bubbling in his throat making funny sounds as he looks out the window and pretends that,  of course he’s going to sit quietly and wait for me to come  take him out. But I know differently. The minute I start to climb out,  a little yelp slips out his mouth. I turn and fix him with an angry stare. He immediately looks away as if he hadn’t just made that yelp~ and would never even think of barking at such a time . I get out of the car and slam my door,  his resumed barking following  me through the closed windows. I’ve tried leaving him in the car until he stops barking, but he doesn’t stop, or if he does,  it’s only momentarily. As soon as I grasp the door handle, the barking resumes. I never have the time or the patience to stand there forever playing that game – As I reach to open the car door he stands, tail wagging, excitedly ready to leap out the minute the door is opened, so I have to tell him to sit and stay while I open his door,  unfasten his seat belt and lift him out. (He’s already had one broken leg so there’s no way I’m going to let him jump out of the car-)

In case I haven’t painted a clear enough picture, let me just say, without a doubt, Pascal is now clearly excited about going for this walk. Once out, he pulls me to a few bushes, “the Chosen ” and then he’s off, pulling ahead of me down the sidewalk. This is what happened yesterday. This is what happens almost every time we go for a walk, with only slight, weather-related variations, (i.e.does he need to wear a coat today, or, do we need to get an extra-early start before it gets too hot? etc……)

I’ve decided to save the actual “walk” for my next post.  I hadn’t expected when I started writing, that it would take so many words to relay Pascal’s behavior from the moment I enthusiastically say, “C’mon Pascal, let’s go for a walk,” to actually beginning “the walk itself.”

You may be wondering why  I’m including the following photos ~  I always enjoy seeing beautiful pictures, so in the hopes that you too, enjoy them, I like to include some at the end of my post as a way of saying, “Thank-You” for taking the time to read. I hope you enjoy these~

And if you really, Really, enjoy them, they are all obtainable for you to have, either on a set of notecards, or if there is one that you’d particularly like to have enlarged to hang on your wall,  convo me, and I’ll see if I can do that for you~

*** copy 1

t.pinkrose copy

How Hot Are Your Squirrels?

IMG_9998

So how hot do you think it was today?

When I went down the hill to get the mail at 5:00 P.M. it was 103`!

Walking back up to the house I heard a little rustle in the tree and out of the corner of my eye thought I saw something move. I stopped for a second to look and this is what I saw. This little guy had slung himself over the tree limb and just lay there in the hot shade. He didn’t quickly run away like he usually does,  instead,  he lay there watching me & Pascal- who was either  too hot to bark, normally he totally “loses it,”  or he was pretending not to see the squirrel so  he wouldn’t have to bark~  It’s a rare occasion that Pascal forgoes an opportunity to bark-  That’s how hot it was!

I quickly put Pascal inside and grabbed my camera, feeling pretty certain the squirrel would be exactly where he was when I left him~ and he was!  Normally he and I are enemies, as he gets even more delight in digging up my garden and unplanting my flower pots, than he does lying on a shaded tree limb on a hot day, but today, with the heat on high, we seem to have called a truce. I actually felt sorry for the little guy. I could say he posed for me, but I can’t give him that much credit.  He did lay there and silently stare-  or was it glare-   at me while  the camera clicked back at him. Mission accomplished!

Too hot for me, I left him, hangin’ out on the tree, (probably mapping a new game plan for my garden,  once it cools off-)  and went back in to join Pascal in front of the fan. Having finally finished my baby dress, I needed to figure out what I want to make next!

Simply Irresistible

This is the dress  I just finished~  the one that I started too long ago-  I wanted to make a plain white baby dress for summer. Some people gasp at the thought of a white dress for a baby, but if you stop to think about it, what difference does it make if it’s white or any other color; if it’s going to get dirty, it’s going to get dirty. Whatever shows up on white will also show up on light pink, blue, green or yellow; all of the classic baby colors.   Actually white has an advantage over the other colors when it gets dirty because with white, you can usually bleach out a stain, whereas with a color, you don’t have that option.

So~ I wanted it to be white and I wanted it to be intricate and soft, but appear simple and elegant. Most of all I wanted it to say, “baby!”   I’m happy with the results and I hope you like it too. The smocking on the side panels is a double wave design that’s easy for the eye to follow, yet at the same time,  notice the gathers the smocking has created. They add the degree of intricacy that I wanted the dress to have. The central panal,  smocked in a white diamond design, gives a nice background for the brown hand embroidered bunny to stand-out against,  and the blue bow tied around her neck,  ties-in the blue smocking from the side panels. The white, diamond design of the smoking holds the background flat.  To add dimension, I hand embroidered several  flower stalks in both baby-blue and white that give the scene a 3-dimensional effect.

To me this` dress says,  “Baby”~  it is baby-fresh;  soft & delicate, feminine & sweet, and most of all, like every baby~  totally unique!!

Beware! Garden Giants

Dahlia~ giant

Life is full of surprises~ and of course,  being their nature, you never know when or where they are going to pop up!!  With my latest surprise I literally mean, “pop-up!”   Like this,  above-   the first, and most visible thing to see in my garden.

A few weeks ago I received a call from my mom saying  she had bought a large bag of Dahlia tubers, but hadn’t enough room in her garden to plant them all, would I like what she had left? (I have become known as the one to ask if someone has a plant to get rid of , because I can’t refuse them.) I have had a few dahlias in pots for several years and they do very well, so the thought of adding a few more , pleased me. Sure! I’d take them! Did I say a few more? That was my first surprise-

The bag of tubers I was given was about 95% full! I think my mom planted all of 2 tubers! Oh my gosh, I thought, when I looked into this very large, very full bag. Where am I going to plant all of these, and,worse yet, when am I going to find the time to plant them?

Somehow I managed to find a way to get  80% of them planted, (so far.) Most of them came up immediately, but many had already started sprouting in the bag; impatient, I guess. My first flower to open is the one  pictured. I watched the plant’s leaves grow from large to larger. The flower stems seemed to shoot up  4 ” per day!  I never saw small flower buds. I looked one day when I didn’t think the stalk could get much taller, and there was a fist-sized flower bud!

These were definitely not the same variety of dahlia that I have been growing. It was only a few days after I noticed the flower bud, that it began opening. It took a full week to be fully opened as you see it today, but I measured it a few days ago when the outer petals were fully opened and the flower looked huge already-  It measured 6 1/4″ in diameter. I’ve watched it opening the rest of the week, and almost can’t believe what I’ve seen.  These flowers are probably comparable in size to some large sunflowers. I measured the flower again today, now that it is fully opened. It’s 9 1/2″ in diameter!!  I wouldn’t call it beautiful, but it is definitely spectacular-  Most amazingly, today the second bud on this plant is almost to the 6 1/4″ diameter that the first one was a few days ago, and two more buds are at slightly lesser degrees of development, but within a few days, depending on how long this first flower remains,  there will be 4 gigantic monster flowers in my garden- and that’s just on this first plant! My second dahlia to bloom is pink with a light yellow center and is halfway opened right now and showing signs of being equally as huge as my first . And I’ve just spoken of the two dahlias that are the furthest along. There are many more, some in the process of emerging and some beginning their flower stalks.

It shouldn’t be long now before I will be typing from somewhere deep in a freakin-tall, monster-dahlia-forest!

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I said in my previous post that I was going to talk about my second set of note cards, but I’m going to save that for next time. Before I go, I want to give you a sneak preview of the baby dress, (size 1,) that I’m working on and hope to have finished and listed,  soon~  (provided I have no more “free-plant” offers to distract me!)                               IMG_9858 copy Coming Soon!

***One last note~ Please excuse the little “spill” into the margin at the beginning of my blog.  My blog was updated to the latest version and we encountered a problem that we hope to be able to correct soon!