Saturday, August 3, 2013

The County Fair. An Assault on the Senses.

The County Fair.  I mean, really, how much closer to America can one get?

The Fair in my little part of America is this Fair.  The Douglas County Fair.  The sights, the smells, the tastes, the noises, the feel of fur and dirt and heat.  All there. 

We like to go see the animals.  My favorite ones are found in this particular building.
Yes, the rabbits have their own building!  I take photos of the rabbits to use as "reference materials" when I happen to have a rabbit to hook in a rug.  That happens often.

This big guy was absolutely gorgeous.  There were signs posted all over that said "We Bite", so I resisted the tremendous urge to reach in there and hug him.  He is a "Satin".  He looked more like mink to me.

 Just minding their own business...  very curious about me.

Here's a pretty little Dutch Rabbit.

We're all EARS!
 I must be interrupting nap time.

 Your basic chicken.  I think there is something very prehistoric-looking about chickens.

 The feathers are so interesting.

The Fair is a learning experience.  I learned that chickens are very hard to photograph.  They hardly ever stop moving around, especially their heads!  I took at least 25 photos of this beautiful black and white chicken and this is the best one - even though he has no feet!  What I was trying to capture was his wonderful punk rock hairdo.

Here's his girlfriend (I am making that up based on my limited knowledge of birds.)
Again, their heads are in constant motion... but I think you can still get the idea here! 

These three amigos were my favorite chickens.  Chicken One has pushed his head through the bars of the cage in an effort to peck and possibly eat my camera.  Chicken Three looks a bit judgmental about Chicken One's behavior. 

I can't even imagine what has captivated them at this moment.  Someone may have entered the barn eating a funnel cake.  Whatever it is, they WANT it.

Always ready for action at a moment's notice.

The Three Little Pigs were there.  They were little hams.  Love.

One of the barns had sheep in all stages from very wooly to sheared smooth.  Even though the temperature was in the 90's, the sheared sheep all had on blankets!  This was the most beautiful one.  This sheep was so proud of its beautiful blanket that it jumped right up and walked over to me when I came up to the pen.

This one was not so recently sheared...  no blanket required.  I really love how the animals are so willing to look right at me (hence, look right at the the camera).  Most are very willing photo subjects (chickens excluded).

The Crested Duck.  Perfect name.  Don't you wonder how this evolved?  I'm just happy it did.

I also wonder what they think of us.

Under normal circumstances, I tolerate pigeons, but I'm not a big fan.  These pigeons are beautiful and stately and curious and smart, well at least smart-looking.  Who knows.  They're pigeons.     

I thought this was the most beautiful pigeon.

Check out the polka-dot goat!

Oh Hogwash!!!

In the food building we saw luscious tomatoes, onions, peppers, cucumbers, corn, potatoes, everything!

This is a prize-winning sunflower, and that's my prize-winning hubby adding a touch of color at the bottom!

Last night was the Demo Derby.  It is even harder to photograph than a chicken.  My favorite moment in the Demo Derby was when the siren when off and the officials waved their red flags and everything came to a screeching halt.  Over the loud speaker came the explanation:  "There is a safety issue."  Ha!  The whole thing is one gigantic over-the-top safety issue!!!  Someone quickly removed a wayward tire from the field of play and off they went again smashing into each other with reckless abandon.  Wreck more abandon is more like it.

 Today is the last day of the fair.  I would love to go over there are volunteer to be a pie judge, but I bet they already have that covered. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Few New Beauties

I'm out there every morning before breakfast - even before coffee - checking to see who has arrived on the daylily scene overnight.

This morning's arrivals...

Cameo Cupcake.
Check out her 8 petals!!!  This is pretty rare.  I usually have 1 or 2 daylilies all summer with 8 petals, and here is one on the very first bloom of this variety!  I was excited.  

Brand New Lover...  
Sure to be more photos of her later.  She is very photogenic, especially with other perennials blooming around her.

Blonde is Beautiful.

Anna Blocher... just a nice old standby in the garden.  She makes lots of blooms so she is good "en masse".

Who will arrive tomorrow morning???
I'll be out there to see.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Early (but late) Daylilies

It is daylily time here in Kansas again.  But they are so LATE!!!!  
We had such a weird Spring; everything seems to be a bit behind.  

This is my last summer to be "Chief of Weed-Pulling Operations" in my garden.  We have sold our home, and by this time next year, the garden will be someone else's responsibility.  I still can't quite wrap my mind around that... 

Here are the lilies that have made an appearance so far... 

 Sweet little "Lullaby Baby" is always early and always lovely and always one of my favorites.

"Saucy Lulu" is also an early one and can be counted on for a very bold stroke of color.

"Pistachio Mint" has those delicious pastel pink ribs on her baby yellow petals.

My most favorite daylily of all is Classy Cast.  
She's early, and fortunately, very prolific.  She'll be around for quite awhile getting all her buds open!

 Here's Classy showing off her gorgeous green throat.

 A different Classy Cast bloom (on a taller scape) showing a bit different shape.
Early morning bugs on Classy Cast.  These bugs have great taste!

 This is "Celebrity Elite".  Brilliant color especially early in the day.

 I use Celebrity Elite to line one side of the screened-in porch.

 "Ming Toy" is another early red.  She has an almost spidery shape, but she's small.

Just started to rain out there...  no weeding today!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Wedding Rug

I have a friend, a dear friend, who got married in May in beautiful Dana Point, CA.
It's a long story, the story of the road to this wedding, a story full of its own stories.
Let's just say the happy couple is a "" made in heaven!
And now, they are livin' the dream in their beautiful beach house - three minutes from the beach!

So, the Wedding Rug... 
(In truth, this did not start out to be a Wedding Rug.) 

The idea for this rug got into my head and I pretty much dropped everything else and started it!  The initial inspiration came from an area rug I saw on the CB2 website.  If you haven't heard of CB2, you have probably heard of Crate & Barrel (that's where the C and B come from).  CB2 is clearly younger and hipper than Crate & Barrel.  I first heard of it when my younger and hipper son took us to their store in Chicago.

It measures a little over 25" by 40".  Each square is 5"x5".  
I would say the rug is a little less bold than it appears this photo, just a little bit softer-looking. 

I was about a quarter of the way through the rug when the following conversation took place:  

Mike:  "That doesn't look like the colors you usually use.  Why are you making that?"  
Me:  "I'm not really sure, but I feel strongly compelled to make this."                     

Later that evening I spread it out to see how it was looking.  There were about 9 or 10 squares finished out in the middle.  My immediate reaction was that the rug reminded me of the beach. The colors were sand and shell and sea glass and water and sunset.  I laughed out loud - there was my answer to Mike's question.  I finally knew why I was so compelled to make this.  This rug was going to beach.  At that moment it became a Wedding Rug.

The wedding was in mid-May.  I knew it was totally possible to get it finished in time so that was not an issue.  I planned to ship it out there in advance, but then got nervous about that.  So, I rolled it up and put it in my suitcase and off we flew to Dana Point.   

One square below the upper left corner you can see their monogram.  Luckily their initials were easy to work in the straight line design.

The wedding was a whole weekend event!  How many couples plan a beach hike for the morning of their wedding???  Here we are ready to hit the beach.  That's the bride in the blue t-shirt that says "Pray for..." on the front.  She happens to be standing right behind the groom, so it looks like... Pray for... Marc!

Here's what it looked like on the way down to the beach.
 And there were guys like this...

 The wedding was at their beach house.  Romantic, funny, emotional, beautiful, unforgettable.

 The Wedding Rug has found a home... at the beach. 
Now I may have to make one for myself.  I kind of miss it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trees in Threes and Trees in Snows

I finished my little Karla G design.  It is called Three Trees.  I loved the color treatment she used on her painting so I stuck pretty close to it for my rug.

It was fun to hook, although leaving all the tails on the bottom was a nuisance.  I started hooking normally, with tails on top, but going "across" on the trees resulted in MANY tails!  My plan is to mount it and frame it, so the tails on the back will not be a problem.  The finished rug is 10" x 19" (which happens to be the size of the design on the paper pattern). 

Karla sells paper patterns on ebay.  Search for Karla G or Art by Karla G.  She sends a photo of the way she painted the design (which I used!!!).  She also sends written permission saying you may legally copy and enlarge the pattern to make your rug the size you want.  There are hundreds of images of her art on Google images and lots on Pinterest too.  Lots of inspiration!

Another winter wonderland today.  It is beautiful.  So far we have not lost power... keeping fingers and toes crossed!


At least the snow is moisture.  If it snows another 50 feet or so, maybe we'll get caught up!

Happy Snow Day!