Thursday, March 22, 2012

Free to indulge

“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”
Mark Twain
Finished up  the 4 major pieces to the ensemble I have been working on. What a great feeling. Especially when I feel like it was definitely worth the time and effort. I still have one more piece that would tie in nicely that I can do. But haven't decided if I am going to do it or not. For one thing I have two ideas for it and haven't decided which one I think would look best. 2nd. I am not sure it is needed. So what I work on this afternoon is still up in the air.
I did take the time this afternoon after finishing up the piece to clean my house and find my desk top. So I am ready for a fresh start no matter what I choose to work on here.  Always nice when everything looks so clean and neat.
Think I will go indulge in my favorite pastime now that all my chores are done. Need to make up my mind what I want to work on. Maybe I will just indulge myself and do a little playing around and see what comes of it. Always fun.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Snow in them thar hills.................

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
Albert Einstein
Oh Sunday was a delightful day for me. We had a day filled with rain. I know most people don't like the rain. But I do. Especially down here where it isn't all that common.  So I thoroughly enjoyed the day.  I rained hard enough that the wash out behind the house had running water in it. Oh how I love a good rain storm.
We even got snow up on the Superstitions. I have pictures to prove it. Which I will share.
On the creative front. I am making wonderful progress on this design. Only have a few finishing touches on 2 of the pieces. There will be at least 4 parts to this design. Possibly a 5th one too. Just haven't decided yet if I am going to get that involved. I am very happy with how this is turning out.  It is such a joy when ideas meet or exceeds what one envisions. I should have this all done by the end of the week. Tomorrow if I only do the 4 parts.
Saturday we planted my 1st tree. I have wanted to put in a pine tree to help me not feel so out of place here. Well I bought 3 of them. We planted the 1st on Saturday. Want to make sure it is going to make it before I get too carried away planting the other 2, as I planted this one in the one spot I definitely want my pine tree. So it has priority.  So far it is looking good. I tried to time it so it could take advantage of the rain on Sunday to help seat it in good.  I know it will be a while until the tree is tall and beautiful. But I planted it in a spot where I can just go out and sit by it and smell the needles when I need a fix.
Well here are pictures of our stormy Sunday
This shot Marv took. We are about 4 blocks from our  house here.
Wanted to try and get the whole mountain range. But it socked in too fast.
We took these pictures in the car. It was definitely coming down.

Marv caught this shot earlier in the day from the house.
By the time I got out there with my camera you could hardly see the mountains.
One of my shots through the windshield.
If you look close you can see how hard it is coming down.
This shot we got later when it cleared off for a little while.
This shot is from our back yard looking a little further south.
Again the wash behind the house.
Pip checking out the new stream behind the house.
Hate to tell him it won't last......
This shot cracks me up. I was trying to get a close up of the Flat Iron.
I accidentally caught a bird in my shot. But he looks more like a flying fish.
And my lovely little pine tree.
Grow little tree. Grow!

Friday, March 16, 2012


“It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy. ”
Lucille Ball
Great day even though Marv ended up working. This was supposed to be a day off for him.
So we regrouped and made different plans. Since I needed to do a yarn run and Joann's is close to where he works we decided to meet for lunch . So I got to spend my morning picking out the yarns I needed and also some I want to try out.
Then had a nice lunch with Marv. It was kind of nice to have a date with my favorite guy.  It's good to break out of the norm once in a while.
On the way home I stopped at a couple Goodwills and picked up some silk foliage. My covered entry to the family room needed a face lift. I decided silk would be much easier to keep looking nice than trying to keep something growing in there. I have enough work keeping what is growing in my garden growing and my house plants thriving. Just didn't need anything else at this time that needed constant attention just to keep alive. Still learning to garden down here.
Though my garden is slowly progressing and I am learning. Give me a year or two more and I will have it figured out. I have figured out what I need to do to keep my house plant doing well. So I do have my greenery around me.
Must admit my entry looks a lot nicer. I had already picked up the plant stand and the wall basket at yard sales. I do love a bargain.
Elsie enjoying the view from the revamped entry.

Not bad for thrift store finds,

So now I am going to settle in and crochet for the evening. I can't think of a nicer day
The project is coming along so nicely. I think I am going to be very happy with this when all is said and done.
Just a little teaser shot.

And another teaser.
So now I am off to indulge in a hook therapy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

another one done

“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.”
George Lucas
I knew the project I have been waiting to do with my thread would not take long. And I was right. It is already on the blocking board. It is even all written up. As I stated yesterday I had it already planned and the kinks worked out. I was just waiting for the threads I wanted to use.
So now I can concentrate on the project I have been packing around with me the past couple of weekends. Won't take all that long now that it will be my major focus.
First though I think it's time to find the desk top once more. I always amazes me how cluttered it can get when I am in creative mode. Won't take too long to clean up. Mainly put all my lovely threads away until I need them again.
I promised pictures of our Sunday hike today so here they are.
We haven't had much rain this winter so the water holes are starting to dry up.
It was a pleasure to see this pool of crystal clear water

We were inspected by this Cardinal.
He didn't hang around long once he realized I was taking his picture.

We visited the old cattle station. You can see the old windmill in the back ground behind the loading chute.

Of course the 4 peaks posed for me. Love the shadow of the cloud on it.

Marv enjoying himself.

Marv caught the gnarl on this tree for me.

A Close up of part of the gnarl.

Pip enjoying his hike. He gets so excited when he thinks we are going hiking.

A Cave we saw on the trail. Big enough to stand up in.

Part of the old fence line of the cattle station.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oh the Joy

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
Dalai Lama XIV
I swear there is no sweeter joy than the joy of completion. Putting the last stitch in today on a large project made me want to do the happy dance. But I decided to wait until it was blocking to do my little dance. Well I have now made a fool of myself and danced around my living room and dining room with reckless abandon. Thankfully there was no one to see me.
If you can't tell the afghan is done.
It would have been done yesterday , But I didn't double check my foundation rnd for the final section and had one space too many. Of course I did not discover it until the last quarter of the final rnd. I was so close to being done and I had to frog the whole days work and then some. Needless to say todays joy was sweeter because of this.
Now I can indulge my self and break out the thread that arrived on Thursday of last week. I made myself leave it alone until I finished this project. It hasn't been easy as it is some delicious colors from Lizbeth threads. As soon as I am done here I am digging out my thread hooks for this project and immerse myself in this design. All the prelim work has been done so it's just do the final in the colors I wanted and write up the pattern.

As Promised here is the rest of the floral pictures from this weekend. Tomorrow will the hike shots.
Marv took this shot for me. I am enthralled with this color. I love the soft tangerine wish I could find thread or yarn in this shade. But alas what I normally find is too bright and gaudy to match this

I do enjoy these tiny blossoms.

When something stands alone it can be so beautiful.
Need I say more.

These Thistle are getting ready to bloom. but are still lovely at this stage too.

A close up of the tiny little blossoms that so intrigue me

Most of the desert is subdued shades of green. So the vibrant greens in this plant drew me like a magnet.

Of course I had to take a shot of one of the Fairy dusters
Another view of these small wonders.

And these are even smaller yet.
They do amaze me with there delicate and striking beauty.
If you didn't look closely at these you would never realize how lovely they truly are.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What a difference a hook makes.........

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”
Coco Chanel
My big project sat on the side lines this weekend. Should finish it up today.
Instead I was working on a more portable project involving bullion stitches. Well on Saturday evening I decided to revamp the whole design. Which meant starting over. Couldn't quite face it that evening so set it aside and just finished the night working on the big project.
Sunday morning we decided to go hit the big swap meet in Mesa. There is a yarn shop in there that I always visit when we cruise the meet. They are nice people that run it.
Well I noticed she had some older Susan Bates hooks so I snatched them up. The new ones I had bought a while back just didn't seem to be working as well for the bullion stitches as I remembered. OH MY! What a difference. Now the bullion stitches are so easy to do I don't even have to really think about doing them. So the project that I started over is going so much smoother and much faster.
It just amazes me the difference the right tool makes. It also makes me sad that the quality of the hooks being made these day is so much less than they used to be. It's not just the Bates hooks but the Boye hooks also. I now scour the yard sales and thrift stores for the older hooks so if I ever have to replace a hook I have a quality hook to use. Sad but true.

But I am such a happy camper and so glad I picked up those hooks. They will go in my special spot for my bullion stitch hooks and be jealously guarded. Because the right tool for the right job is essential......
Oh and I noticed that the yarn shop had a copy of my Irish Crochet book, So I asked the owner if she would like me to sign it in the hopes that it would make it more attractive as a sell able item. She thought that was wonderful. So I signed it and offered to put it back on the shelf, and she said NO WAY. The book was now going home with her...... Made me feel good.
Today I am going to pick a good movie or two and get this afghan done. 4 rnds and it will be done. the are long rnds  so it might take 2 movies.
Saturday we did spend a good part of the day having a good time. Bowling in the morning and hiking in the afternoon. Will be posting lots of pictures this week of flowers and the actual hike.  It always takes us a while these days to do our hikes as we are so busy stopping and taking pictures. But the desert has a short period of time that it blooms and it changes each week as to what it offers us. So we try and capture everything we see that inspires us while we can. I will have more flower shots the next time I post.
Marv took this picture. Talk about striking. I just love it.
Natures perfection at it's best

I am still enjoying my camera. Like how this one came out. Love the colors in this flower.

These are a small flower that you don't even realize how beautiful they are until you get up close and personal with them.
I was amazed that I could talk my camera into this shot.
We only found this flower in one spot of our hike. Down in the canyon sheltered from the elements.

Of course daisies are always a bright spot in the flower world.

I liked the contrast of the lupine against this rock.

Marv can capture the really small flowers so much easier than I can. These are so delicate.

Most of the flowers we find in the desert are small but beautiful. These are no exception.
Marv captured these

And another group of the same. I just love the colors here.

These are just starting to bloom and we only found a few that were starting to strut their stuff.
Marv caught these for me.

I love the shadows on this flower. You can almost tell it's late afternoon from the colors and the shadows.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Steady progress and distractions

“I like flaws. I think they make things interesting.”
Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever
I haven't posted for the last couple days. 
Tuesday was a play day.  Went up to Prescott to get together with the crochet group I belong to up there. The are so wonderful and I alway have such a great day. Definitely worth the drive.  It's great to chat with others of like mind as myself.
Yesterday I made myself knuckle down and put some serious work on my current project. I am bound and determined to get this done and the pattern ready to go by the end of the weekend. It's a doable goal as I feel I am on the home stretch.
Last night I did take time out and did a couple swatches of some ideas that floated into my brain while working yesterday. You know I seriously doubt that I will ever hit a point where I have nothing new to crochet. My stack of ideas just keeps growing and growing. I have added at least 4 to it this week and it's not over yet.
I did get my thread for my next project today. It's sitting here calling to me, but I am being good and ignoring it so far. If it gets to insistent I will stuff it in a drawer. That or hide my thread hooks. I am bound and determined to finish this afghan before I allow my self the pure joy of thread work.
I am posting the Flower pictures we took this weekend on our Sunday walk.
Marv caught the beauty of these delicate flowers. Love the blue

These were just beginning to open up. Can't wait to see one in full bloom.

More blue Flowers. My shot didn't turn out quite so blue as Marv's

Playing with setting gave the a purplish cast.
 But I love how you can almost see through the petals on these.

These were so bright and cheery looking

Of course the Lupine is in bloom everywhere.

The trees are beginning to strut their stuff also.

Marv's camera still works best for the really tiny flowers. He can control his setting so much more than I can. But then his camera is much more intense than mine.

Again another shot Marv had to capture.

When we got home I decided to catch a shot of my bougainvillea. It is finally starting to bloom.