10 June 2019

Hello Friends!

Hello Friends!  I'm back!

It's been a long break from blogging, but I'm ready to post regularly once again!

Me
My exciting news is that I have started a YouTube channel, Ivory Blush Roses, Crazy Quilting & Beyond, which I am so pleased to be able to share with you!  There are a few videos up so far, and many more to come!  There will be at least one new video a week uploaded, and occasionally there will me more.  I've been filming for a couple of months, and hope you will be forgiving of my learning curve, both for being on camera, as well as the technical aspects of filming and editing!  I have so many things to share with you, from projects I've done in the past, to things I'm working on right now, project tutorials, in-depth looks at various supplies, and especially, all those fancy embroidered seams!  I started off with a set of really basic crazy quilting videos; supplies, piecing, making a template, and simple seam stitching.  I'd love to hear from you about what you'd like to see me cover in these videos!

After a long break from stitching, I'm finally back to crazy quilting regularly again!  I have so many projects in the works as well as a few that I finally completed, that I want to share with you!

View From Monet's Garden
In January, I embarked on a serious study of oil painting. It's something I have loved since I was a girl, but have never really had the time to devote myself to.  It's been tremendously enriching to see my work growing and improving over the past few months.  I won't be posting too much about my paintings here, but you can find them featured on my Lisa P Boni Art Facebook page, and on my Lisa P Boni website, where many of the paintings will be available for sale.

Stitching Friends!
In April, I had the pleasure of attending the South Windsor Crazy Quilt Retreat in Connecticut.  What a joy it was to spend time with this talented group of ladies!  There were 20 of us there, but this particular group  pictured above first met together in 2015, and this retreat was born out of that fun gathering! I hope they'll forgive me for posting this photo, but I think it shows what a fun time we were having!

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I wish we had an opportunity for a full group photo, but as it rained nearly the entire time, we never quite managed, so these shots will have to do.  I can't say that I got to do a lot of stitching in our 3 days together! Truly, the best part was renewing friendships and making new ones, and being inspired by the amazing work that everyone was doing!

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There was quite a bit of sharing of stash, some selling of various supplies, and best of all, Jan from Delectable Mountain Fabrics in Brattleboro, VT brought part of her store down to us to shop from!  Truly, she has the most exquisite fabrics!

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There was a Challenge Project, which 10 of us participated in. Here we are, standing near the pieces we created with everyone else coming to check them out. Each piece was wonderfully unique and creative!  We had fun trying to figure out who stitched each piece as well as voting for a winner.  Truthfully, they were all winners!  Shirley Fassell won the prize, and her piece really did have some creative use of the materials and her technique was lovely.  I managed to win the prize for guessing the largest number of who stitched each piece!

I'll be posting a series of videos on my YouTube channel about the creation of my Challenge Piece, so I won't share it here just yet!

So, I hope you'll visit my new YouTube Channel and subscribe to it.  Click on the bell next to the subscribe button to be notified of new episodes.  I'd love to hear your comments and questions as well , and as I asked earlier, please do let me know what topics you'd like to see videos on!

It's good to be back! 

08 November 2018

White Sands National Monument - 14Feb2018

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White Sands National Monument has one of the prettiest visitor centers.  An old adobe building with lovely wooden vigas and timbers. After our long day driving the day before, we were off to a slow start.  The cloudy cool weather promised a bit of rain later in the day as well.  It didn't seem like an ideal day to visit the sand dunes.  

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The valley floor is flat and covered in brushy grass.  The sand dunes rise off of this plain in scrubby covered dunes that form a wall around the perimeter.  

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White sandy paths lead up onto the dunes in various places.  The sand is white enough to look like snow and isn't any easier to walk on!  

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Once up on the dunes, the vista changes to one of white with mountains in the distance and pockets of dry vegetation.  

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While the sand appears white as can be, up close it's more of a cream color.  So lightweight though!  It's formed in a process of selenite washing down from the mountains, gathering and then evaporating from shallow pools of runoff  in the spring time, which then dry through the summer, and then wind picks up and erodes the mineral crystals blowing them east where they gather in this expanse of dunes.  

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It's an amazing landscape.  One would swear it was a snowy landscape, but it is all sand.  

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Ever shifting and changing, the roots of shrubs help give form to some areas, while the shifting sands expose roots and cause plants to collapse in others.  

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Any wood in this environment quickly bleaches to white.  

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Preserved by the dry, eroded by the wind.  

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Tales of time and life gone by. 

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Yet life remains.  

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A history of the nights traffic across the sand left briefly until the wind etches it away. 

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The gray sky acted like a diffuser, flattening the light.  On the dunes, this meant that you could hardly see the detail of the sand ripples.

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It became just mounds of white, creamier where it was moist and the plows had moved it aside to make way for traffic. 

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The wind and cold meant the picnic shelters were void of people.  The structures looking other worldly somehow in the white expanse. 

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Every where we looked, the evidence of the wind was present, etched in the sand.  It was ever-changing. 

My friends and I were tired after our long drive of the day before.  We opted to return to our campsite for lunch and a nap before returning later in the day in hopes of better light.  When we returned to the site in the photo, the wind had nearly erased these  small cliffs of sand!  

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With the afternoon clouds lifting, the light was better and the patterns in the sand more visible. 

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It warmed up as well, which meant that we could actually get out onto the dunes to explore a bit.

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Such a large expanse of white sand!  

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I was fascinated with the ever changing patterns.  Here, where footsteps from earlier in the day were being swept away.  

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Ripples like water on the beach, but formed with just the wind.  

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Then a few sprinkles added variety to the pattern.  

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As the day came to a close, I sat atop a dune and watched the colors in the sky and the reflections of color on the dunes.  

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Laying on my back, looking up at the depths and heights of the sky.  

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What an amazing and glorious creation.  What a vast array of God's handiwork we saw on this trip!  Sitting on the top of a dune with nothing but the sound of the wind across the sand for company, the words of this hymn came to mind. 
Oh Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds they hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed. 
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!  
A perfect end to another lovely day.  A perfect end to a lovely trip with dear friends.  

Guadalupe Mountains NP - Take 2 - 13Feb2018

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Our first stop on this second time in Guadalupe Mountain NP was McKittrick Canyon.  

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We hiked the mile long nature trail, discovering that it was a bit steeper and more difficult than we had anticipated! Rocky and dry and in the full sun, which got a bit warm as the sun rose higher in the sky!

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We had been expecting to see a good sized spring on this trail, but it turned out to be a barely damp seep.  It was enough for the birds however and we saw not only this beautiful spotted towhee, but robins, western scrub jays, a hermit thrush, Townsend solitaire, curve billed thrasher, and lots of both mountain and western bluebirds!  

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Lovely cactus covered rock formations along the trail.  

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Perhaps the most interesting thing on the nature trail other than the bird life, were the variety of unusual rocks we saw.  There were these gray rocks embedded with golden nodules of flint.  

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This rock, which looks caked with mud, is actually the unusual eroding of one type of rock embedded in another.  

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There were textured rocks with white veining running through. 

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And this bubbly looking rock.  All of them from various reef formations that formed in the earths distant past.  Fascinating! 

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The trail gave us lovely views out to the south east across the vast open desert.  

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A lush spot looking west from a small protected spot, which seemed like an oasis after an hour or two in the hot sun! 

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Our second stop of the day was at Frijole Ranch.  What a beautiful spot!  A perfect little stone house, with a spring, lots of trees, an orchard and a lot of birds!  

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I've always loved the patina of old barn wood!  

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This pond is the reason that Frijole Ranch is located here.  A spring providing bountiful water in an otherwise dry landscape allowed the people who lived here to thrive.

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Truly a beautiful spot!  

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This ancient cedar had the most berries on it that I think I've ever seen on one tree.  

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We saw these shrubs with holly like leaves and teensy red berries throughout the area.  Everything is sharp and prickly in the desert! 

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A weathered post with both new and old wire on it.  

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The most amazing sight of the day was a flock of bluebirds flying up and down in the field adjacent to the stone cottage.  

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On closer inspection, we realized that there was a tiny irrigation canal running through, and a myriad of birds was taking advantage of the accessible water!  

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A lovely Cassin's finch with it's pretty red patch glowing in the sunlight!  

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After a lovely day exploring, and truly, I wish we could have stayed longer, we headed west, across the salt flat west of the park and then 110 miles to El Paso.  A road I might add, on which there are no services at all.  In truth, nearly nothing at all, for the entire distance, not even a bill board.  At El Paso, we headed north to Alamogordo, NM, where we settled in for a couple of nights.  

Hello Friends!

Hello Friends!  I'm back! It's been a long break from blogging, but I'm ready to post regularly once again! My exciting ne...