Monday, April 30, 2012

Out of Town Visitors and Alpaca Fest

Friends, Aaron and Terri Browne, formerly of my building and now of Minneapolis, visited last week with my honorary niece and nephew, Noelle (8 months) and William (3 in a couple of weeks!).  No bias on my part when I say they are the most adorable, beautiful, brilliant children EVER!  I regret to say that I was so living in the moment that I forgot to take pictures. I got a couple  of  hasty ones of William at breakfast on Saturday

Someone explain to me why, with my limited photography skills, I insist on taking photos of children and animals, the two subjects who are always in motion.  Isn't William a sweetie? He's growing big and strong on the dog bones we feed him.  Just kidding, the bones in the picture were ones he was taking to his dog, Brinkley who was waiting patiently in the car....See?

Then it was off to the Alpaca show. I communed with the animals:
I so wanted to hug this guy. He was the most teddy-bear like guy in the show.

I liked these two on their carpet by the decorative grate.

 I even saw the rare and elusive Gelfling alpaca...

Same big brown eyes?  Check! Same Ears? Check! Same Nose? Check! Same Mouth? Check!

Some of the vendors had beautiful crafts including this needle felted alpaca wall hanging

And these adorable eagles and their nest. 

I watched the show for a bit ...

and then went to the vendor area where I purchased an 8x8' Weavette Loom... because I need another hobby.
A lovely lady named Joyce (?) in the demonstration area got me started with simple dishcloth cotton. 
 Then I went home and started honing yet another post-apocalyptic skill...
After the Rapture, Team Melinda's camp will have baked goods,  hand-spun yarn, knitwear, baskets, quilts, and now coasters! No getting voted off the island for lack of skills for me!  And no unsightly coffee cup rings on my end tables either!  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Molly Bee and the Asthmatic Orca Orchestra

I'm babysitting my friends' dog, Brinkley this week. Bentley LUVS his old buddy Brinks and the two of them have been having a blast since Brinkley arrived yesterday. They are play-pals and snuggle-buddies and do everything together. It wasn't until this morning that I realized that they are also cahoot-ers and I am woefully outnumbered!

Ben found SpongeBob Squarepants rubber ball in the garage a week or so ago. He has loved it so hard that it can no longer rightfully be called a ball.  It's more like some scraps of rubber loosely associated into a orb-like structure.  Pitiful as he is, SpongeBob has been the belle of the ball (get it?) as far as the dogs are concerned. They spent most of last evening playing 'Hey! Look over there!' and then stealing it from each other. At bedtime I put it away because, and Ben and I have had this discussion for a week now, Bob is, quite frankly, disgusting. I know sponges are supposed to be wet and gooshie, but waking up with it in the middle of your back in the night is no fun! I'm sure this doesn't sit well with Ben OR Bob but I have to get my way sometimes, don't I?

4:45 this morning came early. I heard the boys playing and scuffling in the 4 foot square area that is my boudoir floor. I peeked out of one squinty eye so as not to let anyone know I was awake yet, and discovered that Ben had somehow liberated Bob from the dresser and he and Brinks were having a fine old time playing with him. All was well until Bob made a break for it and sought asylum under the bed.  The frenzied pawing, high pitched squeals of frustration, grunting, huffing and sneezing made it sound and feel like a large pod of asthmatic orcas were trying to surface under my mattress ... during a rather sizable tsunami.

Sighing, I got up and wrangled Bob from his hiding place, threw him to the wolves...literally... and stumbled into the bathroom. When I came out a couple of minutes later, it was quiet....toooooo quiet.  I looked and both dogs were curled up asleep on the bed. I went to get my camera but unfortunately  the camera is dangerously close to where breakfast is served and so they got up for that! Here is a picture of them later on the sofa though...

I got them fed and walked and got myself showered and ready for the day.  When I went back into my room to get dressed, I found this guy snuggled in next to my pillows.

Well played, SpongeBob Squarepants.  Well played. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Diva's Challenge 67: Amanda Day

This week's challenge over at the Diva's blog was to do a design that represents Earth Day.  (Her adorable son calls it 'Amanda Day' so that's it's title).  Dig around for a picture over at her blog...both of her sons are absolutely precious!
Happy Earth Amanda Day!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Wonderful Weekend

I worked at the farm both Saturday and Sunday mornings so I got to spend lots of time with the newest resident, Lola:

She is the dearest little thing. She and Teddy followed us all around inspecting each chore we did and sampling the various animal foods. We would often leave pans of feed on the floor for the chickens, turkeys and ducks but that is a thing of the past with old Lola around!  She is a pig in every sense of the word! We have to really watch her or she will no longer be 'miniature'!

On Saturday afternoon I took Thor and Mick's (the llamas), Frances and Bert's (the big sheep) and Teddy's fleeces, which had been removed the following week,  down to Rainbow Fleece Farm  for processing. They will wash and card the fleece so I can spin it into yarn for the silent auction fundraiser Heartland is having in August.  They were having their 'Shearing Days' open house and it was cool to see all of their animals. Their peacocks are so beautiful. I wish I hadn't left my camera in the car!

On the way home, I meandered down to New Glarus and poked around a bit. The Cheese and Chocolate shop is closed until May 1st which is disappointing since I wanted to pick up a gift there, but the bakery was open so that made it all better! I love the Nordic feel of that village so much! Who needs a passport to experience Scandinavia!!?

Then it was off to Belleville.  I used to go to Belleville Park a lot and walk the loop around the lake and river.  It wasn't an awfully long walk, but it often filled my need for a 'water fix'.  I hadn't been down the last couple of years because, for some insane reason, they drained the lake and it was more like a walk through an mosquito infested swamp than a relaxing stroll by the water.  Imagine my surprise when I found that the lake not only has water in it again, but the city has divided the lake from the river with an earthen berm and put in a beautiful walking trail across the lake and up the river. I wasn't looking to break land speed records and was looking at all of the flora and fauna [Plus I picked up a dad and his two adorable sons on the way back. They were excellent walking companions and turtle spotters!] so it took a little over an hour to walk the whole thing. Absolutely gorgeous!
The dam.

 The lake

Spring greens everywhere!

The Sugar River (The river was loaded with spawning carp! Love was in the air! Flippers and fins everywhere!)

Snowy Egret

 Canoe Smile.

Backwater Bay

All in all it was a wonderful relaxing afternoon! Something I've had too few of lately!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tragedy At The Houdini Theater

Our department is having a Peep Diorama contest as a team building activity.  I worked this weekend on my entry: Hare-y Houdini: Magician of the Peeps.
The only thing I hadn't done yet is put Hare-y and his water tank in...

And hang the marquis...
I planned on doing those tasks last night in hopes of meeting today's entry deadline.  I left the theater on the kitchen counter...unattended... when I went to work yesterday and that was when...DISASTER STRUCK!

The Mighty Benzilla apparently crossed the Pacific from Tokyo and stormed the theater, creating general mayhem and devastation. After he had thoroughly tossed and terrified the occupants, he ate the Lovely Assistant Chick and two of the audience members before lumbering on to wreak havoc at some other venue.

I discovered the wreckage when I got home. I rebuilt the theater and hired a new Lovely Assistant Chick but had a hard time to convince passers-by to come see the show in light of 'recent events'. The good news is, the show was standing room only before but now there are seats available in the back if you'd like to attend!


I'd come see the show soon if you're interested though because rumors are starting to swirl about Houdini's scandalous use of Hare Remover in his disappearing act!  Call me for tickets!

Diva's Challenge: Auras

This week's Diva Challenge is to use auras. Aura's are outlines around the original design that can make new patterns themselves as they grow. I use them quite a bit in my tangles. This time around, I wanted to experiment with looser tangles with more white space. I tend to super cramp patterns into every square inch! So here are my entries.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Tangle Design: Katahdin

I've been working non-stop on my doodling. I wish I had found this stress outlet way earlier in my life! I was working on my art journal and stumbled upon this combination shapes and shading. It really appealed to me; the way the 'sunrises' when placed end to end, made a kind of faceted gem design. I call it' Katahdin' because Maine's highest mountain is the first to receive the sunrise in the morning and though I took it for granted when I grew up in its shadow, I know now what a gem it really is.
Use and enjoy! I'd love to see what you guys do with it!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Disney Day One

Mum has always wanted to go to Epcot at Disney World so after Gram's birthday, we packed our bags and flew to Florida to check it out. We stayed at the Boardwalk Hotel in the park and ate our first day's breakfast outside! In March!

 Then we took the boat over to Epcot and took off for the 'big ball' in the park.
HGTV was sponsoring a flower festival at Epcot so everything was blooming and beautiful; including lagoons full of floating tires filled with flowers....
And a butterfly garden

Our first ride was 'The Land 'where you get on a boat and they float you through the greenhouses where the newest methods in cutting edge aqua and agriculture are being developed. And then it was off to 'Soaring', a ride that makes you feel like you are flying over California.  When you fly over the orange groves, you can smell the oranges!

Next we tackled the dome to ride the Future World ride inside.  The line for the ride was over an hour long so I had lots of time to take pictures of the underside of the dome for future tangle patterns!

Then we stood in an even longer line to see Nemo.  The best part of this ride was the three gulls at the left of the sign out front who sporadically yelled 'Mine! Mine! Mine!' before settling down and looking around for a while.

After we had finished with that part of the park, we strolled around the lake to all of the international pavilions. One of my favorite sections was the British Isles. I blew this photo, but HGTV had flowers planted in big tea cups, complete with tea bag labels hanging down in front of the tea shop.
And animal topiaries all around. This is the Winnie the Pooh gang.

 I also liked the totem poles in front of the Canada Pavilion.

We had a long but fun day. The weather couldn't have been more perfect and we chuckled about the friends we had left up north in the cold and snow, until we later heard that they were enjoying 70° and 80° degree temps as well! What ta???

Day Two: Animal Kingdom and Cirque Du Soliel

Cooper and The Garden Guest

I discovered earlier this summer that finches aren't the only thing that like my thistle seeds. Even though there is a plethora of seeds...