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!

    

Happy New Year!

~*~ For some reason, the large photos at the beginning of my posts are getting distorted. Until I can resolve the problem, if you click on the photo, you will see it the way it is supposed to be. ~*~

Happy New Year!!! Our first day of 2011 has brought rain~ lots of it!  I love rainy days & couldn’t be happier! It’s a wonderful way to begin the new year. So far, this winter has brought us a good amount of rain; hopefully enough to ward off the possibility of a drought and water rationing this summer.  Already the hills have turned a deep, lush, velvety- green that promises beautiful photographs for this season’s  note cards. 2010 was a good year, bringing the addition of two baby boys to the family. On January 26, my daughter’s third child, Colton, was born; a little brother for Grace & Sam. Then two weeks ago, on December 17th, my son & his wife had their first baby, a little boy, Henrik! With the new babies my attentions went to knitting, one of my very favorite things to do!

I knit a sweater for Colton, finishing it just weeks before his birth and I’m about to begin knitting a blanket for his first birthday. When my son & his wife announced that they were expecting a baby boy I decided to knit a blanket for him. Though I’ve been knitting since I was twelve, I’ve always chosen a pattern to follow. I have never tried  making my own design before. I started Henryk’s blanket from a pattern that I chose, but when I got to the middle section of the blanket,  I began getting different ideas about what I’d like to see in the middle of the blanket. I realized that I didn’t have to stay with that pattern , just because I’d started with it, I could actually do whatever I wanted to do with the blanket, and so I  ventured out to create my own design. I had a great time creating my own blanket. I enjoyed it so much that I thought I would love to start knitting baby blankets for my shop; blankets that, like my dresses, would be my own designs & creations and would be, like all of my handsmocked & embroidered dresses, one-of-a-kind! It took a month to knit Henryk’s blanket, so I’m not expecting to be able to make many blankets, but when I can find the time to work on them, I would like to be able to have at least one for sale at all times. Knitting Henryk’s blanket really whet my appetite for knitting. With Christmas quickly approaching, I decided to knit scarves for gifts for family members this year. I enjoyed doing that so much that it wasn’t long before I found myself thinking that I’d like to be able to knit scarves to sell in my shop too.

While looking through knitting patterns I came across  a pattern for a toy, knit lamb that I thought was adorable, and so I knit one for Henryk based on the original “Fuzzy Mittens” pattern.He turned out so cute & while I was knitting him, my mind was racing ahead to different ideas & variations that I might make to this pattern. I am currently finishing one for Colton for his birthday, and then~ yep! I’d love to knit some more to have in my shop!

And so, the new year is going to bring lots of new items to my shop!  My handsmocked & embroidered dresses, were  joined last year by my photographic notecard sets as well as by a few, one- of -a- kind, hand-embroidered onezies . I recently added a new hand-embroidered  onezie outfit to the shop & this year and plan on adding more. As soon as I am able to knit them, I’m very excited to be adding several handknit items in 2011~ baby blankets, scarves, knit lambs~ and whatever else I feel like knitting!

And last, but definitely not least, I’ve resolved to make a very concerted effort to post in my blog no less than once a week. I know I have a bit of a dilemma here, in that everything I’m planning on making requires a substantial time commitment. I don’t yet know where or how I’m going to be able to find the time to do everything~ and that leads me to say that surely 2011 is going to be a year of challanges! I thought I’d add a few pictures of some of the knit things that I’ve mentioned here so you will have an idea of what kinds of things you can expect to be seeing in my shop over the coming year!

Here’s to a wonderful 2011 for everyone!


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!)

Pascal; All Season Dog~ Fall

Fall Hat

Perhaps you are wondering as I am, where the time has gone~ It’s so hard to believe that Christmas will be here in a few weeks. It was just summer! Since we seem to be flying through the seasons, and I’ve been too busy to write until now,  I apologize for being a season behind in my Pascal stories. You may remember a story I posted in July titled, PASCAL; All Season Dog~ “all season dog” meaning, in Pascal’s case, no matter what season, he’ll find an excuse to NOT walk!  If you are wondering about the  photo above, I placed that large leaf on Pascal’s head one day while we were at the park to show him that leaves don’t bite; they’re really not scary things! Even more puzzled? Read on……..

I love fall. It’s my favorite season. I love the way the air is crisp and seasoned with the delicious scent of smoke-curls wafting from rooftop chimneys. I always look forward to our walks in the fall and I was eagerly looking forward to the many fall walks we were about to be taking.

If you were to ask Pascal, I’m sure he would tell you that our walks for the first part of fall were wonderful. The temperatures were perfect for brisk walking and there weren’t many days that were windy. We had great walks down to Heather Farms where we could watch the daily  changes in leaf color- or I could. I brought my camera and stopped in awe every few steps, to take a picture. Pascal thought that was great because it meant that he could stop and sniff around while I took pictures- one of his favorite outside occupations. He was as ecstatic with this freedom as I was with the potential to “preserve” every minute shade of the color spectrum. Our walks were mutually wonderful~ until about mid-way through fall-

One day  Pathway to Fall 11/2009

we started walking down the sidewalk, and guess what happened? The leaves were  falling off their branches and were headed straight for US!! Yikes!!!  All of a sudden Pascal  darted  in front of me, straight out to my side.   I almost tripped over him. They were  coming to get us, those beautiful leaves!

Our walks became difficult. Pascal was convinced that we were under attack. There were a couple of really bad days. It got windy and the leaves became really aggressive-  and what was wrong with me, Pascal wondered as he sat down in the middle of the sidewalk with leaves shooting down all around him. Didn’t I see what was happening? How could I be so stupid as to consider walking at such a time. I called him towards me to make him continue walking, and gave a little tug on his leash. That only convinced him that I had become just plain lame and needed a more powerful message or we were both going to become victims of this ruthless assault from the sky- My second tug on the leash made him budge! He stood, turned around  so that his back was towards me and,  with all 18 lbs. of his little body tugged hard in the direction of the car. O.k~ I got it!

For the next two days I didn’t even try to go walking. The morning of the third day was sunny, warm, & perfectly calm. Great! A wonderful day for a walk. Surely the leaves must be off the trees now.  “Let’s go! I said, standing at the door with his leash in my hand. He came bounding to the door; unusual for Pascal- for a walk. He wiggled excitedly as I fastened his harness. All right, I thought. Two days without a walk. Now he really wants to go. I felt excited too. This was going to be a good one. I could feel it!

I just barely got him out of his car-seatbelt and he was off and running down the sidewalk, pulling me behind him.  This lasted just long enough to get us partway down the  block. Then he abruptly slowed to a walk. It was such a beautiful morning. The sky was sparkling blue and not a single leaf was falling.  They were lying in scattered  piles that covered the sidewalk. Like always when I bring my camera, I was looking  for the “perfect shot” and not paying much attention to Pascal.

As we continued down the sidewalk  I became aware of erratic little tugs from the other end of the leash. With the next tug I looked down at Pascal and saw one hind leg raised high in an attempt to hop over a leaf. I kept watching as we walked and when I saw what he was doing, I couldn’t keep from laughing. First it was one leg up high, &  then another. If he had been able to figure out how to do it, I’m certain he would have very quickly been airborn. As it was, he was doing what looked like a complicated jig down the length of the sidewalk, trying to avoid stepping on those evil leaves! Oh Fall, you most perfect of seasons, whatever has happened to you?

Looking out the window at the 5:00 darkness moving in to blanket bare tree limbs, I’m reminded that it’s Winter now! Somehow we made it through Fall! We actually survived our walks!  Now, I have a feeling, we are about to see how we fare with Winter. It snowed last night. It almost NEVER snows here-  We didn’t walk this morning. My decision. Too cold!  Hmmmm~!

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

Say Baaaa!

“B”stands for Bark– and it also stands for “Baaa”~

Say Baaa

To Pascal and I the distinction is pretty clear, but you’d be surprised at how many people are surprised when Pascal “Barks” instead of “Baaas”-  Really!

Over the years, we have been asked so many funny questions~ If I could only get Pascal to say “Baaa” when we’re asked, it would be wonderful! I keep working on it, but so far, Pascal’s clinging to his  “Bark;”  loud and proud!

If only-   Here-  just the other day is a wonderful example of how perfect it would have been  had Pascal responded, “Baaa”-

We were driving home, ( Pascal buckled into his seat belt in the front passenger seat,)  and  stopped at a traffic light. My window was open just a crack; just enough for the nearby sound of laughter to slip in and grab my attention. Looking in the direction of the laughter,  I looked up into the truck that was stopped beside me. The woman next to the window was looking directly into my car at Pascal and I could see just the top of the driver’s head as she craned her neck amidst her laughter, to see over her passenger and into my car as well. I smiled, (their laughter making it impossible not to,) and the first woman motioned me to roll down my window . I did, knowing full well what was coming~

“Is that a lamb in the front seat with you?” she asked. They were still laughing, but I could tell they both were serious about their question.  As has happened so many times in the past, all of these deliciously fun answers began competing in my mind………. pick me! pick me! Just as I was about to tell “the big lie,” Pascal decided that he’d answer the question himself~  “Bark! Bark”   That made them laugh all the harder! “We thought you were driving around with a lamb in your front seat!”  The light turned green and we continued on our way,  their laughter echoing in my ears.09

I tried once again-  “Pascal, say Baaaa”-  He looked at me-  “Pascal,…… Baaa!”  I looked at him, he looked at me,………

“Bark!”

In my last post I mentioned that I intended to add notecards to my shop. I now want to officially announce that they are here!!! To begin with, I have two series of cards, the first is called The Language Of Flowers and contains sets of 4 blank, white notecards and envelopes, measuring 5.25″x 7.25″. Each card is mounted with a different, glossy, 4″ x 6″ photograph taken by me. Each card in a set is a different card, and each set differs from the other set, so be sure when you look,  to look at all four cards in the set. I have many more sets made up, waiting to be listed, so be sure to keep checking to see what I’ve added- This is the kind of picture you should expect to see in the series, The Language of Flowers~Standing Out in a Crowd

The second series is called Notes From Rabbit Whiskers. These notecards are basically the same as the first series, except for the subject of the photographs. To anyone who knows the handsmocked, hand-embroidered girl’s dresses that I make, these might seem a bit familiar~  and very unique!

The next series is one that I  haven’t composed yet, but will very soon, so keep looking! This series will have sets with photos of beautiful scenery!

I Love making these cards and can’t seem to stop. I’m very excited for you to see them, so please come and enjoy! They are listed in both my website, and my Etsy shop!!!