digging in ...

Agapanthus or "Lily of the Nile"

My blistered hands bear the proof that I spent an unwise amount of time in the sun yesterday, hacking at our sun-baked front flower beds. Although our beds are brightened by the presence of the beautiful "Lily of the Nile" and flourishing azalea bushes, I wanted to add more color--and fill the large portions that go empty. Here's a look at "before" (but ignore the white flowers and two pentas bushes ... the true before shot would just include the two meager boxwoods in the middle of the bed) ...

before, perspective one

before, perspective two

I then added some of the following:

yellow coneflowers

pink pentas


red pentas

And here's the "after" ... these beds are so huge, it's kind of sad to see how empty they still look! But this satisfies me for now ... I want to invest in perennials, and this freshens up the bed while I research my options.

after, perspective one

after, perspective two

project spectrum air inspirations

a stormy sky [destined to become my first pair of socks]

a big, puffy cloud [wisp ... or mist lace scarf]

beautiful, bright blue sky [a tank top of some sort]

rainbow brite

Remember glimpses of a tote bag I was knitting, and nearly allowed Zoey T. Cat to annihilate? That poor project had languished, alone and forgotten, until I rediscovered it while packing for our big move. This project falls into the category of, "why did I abandon this project when it was so close to being done?" Seriously, all I really had left was binding off and making the handles ... oh well. It's done now, and happily gifted! I used Lion Brand Landscapes yarn ("prairie meadow" or something like that) and basically the same design as my pink dottie tote but with straps attached (and bigger needles and chunkier yarn). I wish I had taken a better close-up before gifting this bag, but when this yarn felts, the cloudy, mottled part of the ply melds together and the bright, vibrant part of the ply emerges–leaving bright colored flecks throughout the piece. I like the effect, but if you’re trying to avoid stitch definition, it would be difficult to achieve with this yarn. This yarn also takes much longer to felt (more wash cycles) than other wool marketed for felting projects, in my experience. I'm counting this project as my first contribution towards Project Spectrum - Air, due to the rainbow-like qualities of the finished felted fabric.

Now that it's done, I want to make another ... unfortunately, I have yet to locate a source of Lion Brand Landscapes yarn in my new locale. My local options include Wal-Mart (no luck there, ha!), a nice LYS within 30 minutes, and a Hobby Lobby within an hour (two thumbs up!). Of course I must now lust over yarn I cannot purchase locally! Sigh.

Before ...

and after!

bootie brigade

I am totally in love with Saartje's booties pattern (discovered on the ever amazing awesomeness that is Ravelry). They knit up sooo fast, and are so fun to watch come together!

Right after cast off.

All seamed up and ready for buttons ...

lantana love

It was love at first sight when I discovered these pretties in my new garden!

back in action

The Heads, 'nuff said.

We only had four days to drive 2,461 miles, but we made it to Mississippi! And we had plenty of fun taking in the sites, despite our much abbreviated trip. I had hoped to meander more, but instead of having our moving van arrive within the "six to nine days" estimate, it was early ... way early. Somehow our stuff was the last loaded, and the first off, so no relaxing cross-country tour for us. Oh well, better than sleeping on the floor of our new place waiting for it to arrive!

Night 1: Bozeman, MT (my favorite of the two Montana college towns)
Night 2: Custer, SD (along the way we saw too many antelope to count, and railroad cars filled with Wyoming coal stretch into the horizon)
Night 3: Kansas City, MO (yeah, we made up a lot of ground this day, huh? checking in with our driver to find out he was already in Kansas half way through the day scared us into action)
Night 4: Amory, MS (oh so close now!)

And the next morning? Drive some more, and finally, meet the moving truck at our new home! Instead of meandering, we stuck with I-90 across Montana and South Dakota (it was kind of depressing how long it takes to get across those two states alone ... seriously), I-29 south along the borders of Iowa and Missouri, I-70 east across the middle of Missouri, and then I-55 south for the final stretch. Phew! I'm tired again thinking about it all. Here's some highlights from our sightseeing stops.

Crazy Horse. This will be massive when finished--for perspective, the Heads fit in Crazy Horse's head.

Emily attempting to photograph the ever-elusive Prairie Dog.

My best shot, taken from inside my car, with a LOT of zoom.

The biggest bead collection I've ever seen, at Crazy Horse.

If I was more into seed beads, I would sooo replicate this display.

The Heads, Corn Palace version.

2021 year in review

  Who would have thought that the second year of a pandemic would be worst than the first, in terms of crafting mojo? Not I. But this chart ...