Flagstaff to Colorado

North of Flagstaff, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

I'm taking advantage of a break in my schedule to visit the family in Colorado! I left Flagstaff yesterday evening. The sky and clouds were beautiful and our recent rain has caused the landscape to green up a little. I drove up through the reservation and across Monument Valley, past Canyonlands NP and Arches NP in the dark of night. Just as I entered Glenwood Canyon, the sky was starting to turn light and I could see the Colorado River glimmering alongside the highway.

Edwards, CO
At Edwards, Colorado, the alpenglo was beginning on the peaks and I was able to stop and take this lovely shot of some of the snow covered peaks.

Aspen in morning light
After crossing Vail Pass, the rays of sun were just beginning to shine into the valleys. I loved the way the spring leaves of the aspen glow in the morning light! (forgive the smudges on the car window!)

Arriving at my parents home, I was greeted with the sight of my Mother's beautiful Alliums blooming in the morning light! So lovely!


My Sister's Greenhouse

Watering the plants, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Here in Flagstaff, the growing season is very short. While the rest of Arizona bakes in hot temperatures, Flagstaff's last frost date is June 15th! My sister loves to garden and a few years ago, her hubby built her a little greenhouse to help her cope with the short season.

Hollys Greenhouse
Right now, the little greenhouse is filled to the brim with several types of tomatoes, grown from seed. Several houseplants enjoy the greenhouse too! Right now the Peace Lilies are blooming and the oxalis plants are lush and full.

Hollys Greenhouse
It's just a tiny space, but my sister keeps it neat as a pin and makes terrific use of the space!


Spring Rain

Spring Rain, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

We've been enjoying spring rain here in Flagstaff. I love the deep black of the tree trunks with the bright new greens of young leaves. Today, drops of water drip from leaves and branches like tiny jewels hung by the fairies! So beautiful!

Spring Brooch
While searching for embroidery ideas on Flickr, I came across the lovely handiwork of Jennifer Hall. I fell in love with her Spring Leaf brooch and ordered it from her Etsy site. How delightful it was to open the package yesterday and be able to touch and see her exquisite handiwork in person!


Rhubarb Pudding

Rhubarb Pudding, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

At nearly every house I've ever lived in, there was a clump or two of rhubarb. Each spring and early summer brought the pleasure of pulling deep red and green stalks, trimming off the large leaves and making various yummy treats. One of my favorites was Rhubarb Pudding ~ a real old fashioned pudding with soft under-crust. When I found fresh stalks of rhubarb at the grocers, I knew just what to make! If you try it, keep in mind that this isn't a "crisp" or a "cobbler" but rather a pudding and the soft, almost under cooked crust is the pudding part!

Rhubarb Pudding
9 or 10" square GLASS baking pan
heat oven to 350 degrees F

Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In bottom of pan, place:
- 2 cups rhubarb (cut into 1/4" slices) ~ approximately 4 medium stalks
Pour over rhubarb:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

In a medium bowl, cream together:
- 1/2 stick butter or margarine
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg

Stir in and mix by hand:
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder

Mixture will be stiff, you may need to mix with your hands.
Spread evenly over rhubarb. (I usually crumble it over with my hands ~ it won't pour!)
Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes ~ this recipe doubles easily into a glass 9x13" pan! Serve it warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream! Yum!
~ A glass pan is called for when cooking rhubarb as it contains enough natural acids to corrode or discolor metal pans!


Linen and Lace Collage

02 Collage start detail, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Over the years, I've gathered many wonderful bits of linen, lace, mother of pearl buttons and antique trims. When I look at these things, I feel so lucky to have them because they were stored in virtually the only place in the house that wasn't terribly damaged or destroyed when we had the house fire in 1999. At times it has been hard to contemplate using them because they are survivors and my tendancy is to want to tuck them away for safe keeping. But I've been learning that things tucked away in boxes tend to become a burden, so for the past few months, I've been thinking about a project to showcase these lovely bits. Inspired by several women's work on Flickr and various blogs (skblanks, Pam Garrison, Rebecca Sower and Suzanne Duda among others), a collage quilt seemed just the thing!

01 Collage start
This morning, I've been arranging and rearranging the center section. It is about two feet square and eventually I'll add a crazy quilted border with pieced fans in the corners. I'm working on some small pieces of embroidery that I also hope to incorporate, so the layout will undergo some changes before it is complete. I'm including some of the crocheted and tatted lace from my Aunt Lois, tiny crocheted medalions from the great aunt of my Uncle Jake, pieces from some old linens that were damaged in the fire, bits of French lace from Corey Amaro, an assortment of old mother of pearl buttons I've been collecting since I was a girl, antique trim, ruching and cording that dates to the Victorian era and a bit of embroidery from a worn out pillowcase that I embroidered for my hope chest when I was in high school. I'll keep you posted as I make progress on it!


Meet Fred!

Fred Sheep 03, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Eli at Flutterby Patch posted a knitting pattern for a cute sheep that I just had to try! The result was Fred! His body is knit of some leftover generic brown knitting worsted but his coat is knit of the loopy wool!

Fred Sheep 02
Fred is enjoying the mottled shade under the Gold Dust Croton. He was lots of fun to make ~ and surprizingly took only two or three hours from start to finish! I think I'll have to make him a couple of different coats and maybe a companion or two!

Fred Sheep 01


Under the Sea...

Lauri Bs block, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
Under the Sea is the theme of the last two round robin blocks that I have worked on. For someone who has never lived near water and only been to the ocean a handful of times, I sure do love these themes!

When Lauri B's blocks arrived, her booklet said that they will become part of a larger work that features lots of mermaids, a few mermen and other fantastical sea creatures. At first, I was thinking about doing another mermaid, but then I thought about Jelly fish and could not get the idea out of my head. The body is made of two layers of organza appliqued down. The tendrils are made up of organza ribbon, a few strands of the curly wool I dyed on Saturday and strands of rayon embroidery floss. I love the way it turned out! May have to make one of these for myself!

Simonas Block
For Simona's block, I couched down some lovely aqua green ribbony yarn with a fly stitch to make a patch of seaweed. The pearl button angel fish were inspired by Meg's work on the previous block which used buttons as the bodies for crabs. I added another little crab to this block as well to carry the theme through. The little starfish was my first attempt at needleweaving loose "petals". I love the effect and will definitely try this again!


A Rose for Mother's Day

A Rose for Mother's Day, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Wishing you all a
Happy Mother's Day
filled with the love of your family!

Wool Fancies
I've been playing a bit with some loopy wool. I needed something a bit different for a crazy quilt block I'm working on. Since I didn't need a lot of it, I used alcohol inks to dye a few strands. Now I have just the right touch to add to the block!


Getting things done...

Pink Inchies Framed, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Today was spent completing a few projects that have been in progress for a while. First, I finished framing the set of pink inchies. I was able to find a frame I liked, but it was black, so last week, I painted it white. Today, I basted each inchie down to a piece of white linen backed with a piece of white felt to give it body and then mounted it to a piece of mat board before framing it. I'm quite happy with the way it turned out!

Inspiration board
Another project was finishing up an inspiration board. I've wanted a nice one for ages. The frame was honey oak, which I had orginally planned to put an oil painting in. It didn't go with anything I had, so I never used it. For this project, I white washed the frame and put a linen covered board in it. Now it will hang in my study/studio room where I'll pin up the bits and pieces that inspire me and it will also act as my design board when I'm creating a new project!

White Rose topiary
While getting the board cut for the inspiration board, I spent some time perusing the garden area too and ended up coming home with a white rose topiary to plant in a pot on my patio! It's still a bit cold at night here, so for now, I plunked it in an empty pot in my living room. I must admit that I love the way it looks here!

White Rosebud

White Rose
How lovely to have rose buds and blossoms in the apartment!


Nests of Pleasant Thoughts

Inspired by today's entry in "A year of Beautiful Thoughts" by Jeanie A. B. Greenough.

May 4
"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me-- practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." ~ Phillipians 4:8,9

Fairy Palaces
Make Yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts. None of us yet know what fairy palaces we may build of beautiful thoughts, . . . houses built without hands, for our souls to live in. ~ John Ruskin


Delicate Beauty

Delicate Beauty, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The ranunculus are so lovely right now that I had to share their delicate beauty with you today!

For flowers that bloom about our feet,
For tender grass, so fresh and sweet,
For song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in Heaven, we thank Thee!
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Blushing Ranunculus


Day Three ~ Bryce Canyon

On the third day of my trip, I drove north from Kanab through an area known as Long Valley. Like Kanab, it was beautifully green and spring was making her presence known. Seeing the lush green fields was a lift to my heart! The road is dotted with small towns with cute litte old houses, lovely gardens and flowering trees making it a delightful journey!

Red Canyon hoodoo
The road into Bryce Canyon first travels though an area known as Red Canyon. Here, the road winds between the red hoodoos. What fantastic formations some of them have!

Red Canyon tunnel
The road passes through two tunnel arches carved through the red rocks of Red Canyon. Quite picturesque!

Sunrise Point
Still a bit tired and sore from hiking in Zion the day before, today I kept my explorations to primarily an auto tour, stopping at the various overlooks in the park. This view is near Sunrise Point. Like Zion, it's hard for photographs to convey the size and true perspective of these amazing landforms.

Wall Street
At Sunset point, you can look down on the trails winding their way amongst the formations. This trail is the Navaho Loop trail wending its way though an area known as Wall Street! Look closely and you can see people on the trail, which gives a bit of an idea of the scale of things!

Sunset Point
From another view at Sunset Point you look out over the top of hundreds of hoodoos. What a fantastical landscape! The Paiutes believed that the hoodoos were people and creatures who had been turned to stone and that if you looked closely, you could still see the paint on their faces.

From Bryce Point, you can see the Grotto. To me it looks like a cut-away view of a great cathedral complete with worshipers inside.

Inspiration Point
Further along the plateau rim, other formation jut out. This one makes me think of a walled fortress with windows and decorative battlements.

Natural Bridge
One of the most spectacular formations in the park is this arch, known as Natural Bridge. It was fun to listen to people's response as they first saw it! Lots of oohs! and ahhs!

After spending the day enjoying the fantastical scenery of Bryce, I made my way back to Parry Lodge in Kanab. The grass had just been cut, filling the air with a delightful smell. Flagstaff has very little green grass and I hadn't smelled fresh cut grass in close to three years! The robins were singing and I spent a delightfully relaxing evening enjoying the spring air!