String of Birds

Bird Strand, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Do you remember these? Almost two years ago, I made lots of these birds. Since then, they've been sitting in my "unfinished" basket as I hunted for the right cord to string them on.

Bird Strand 1
At Michael's the other day, I found some nice hemp cord that had just the look I was after. Using wooden beads, I strung the birds about 6" apart and made a small beaded tassel to weight the end.

Bird Strand Complete
While I wanted to hang it from the ceiling, away from the wall, I could imagine that it would prove too much temptation for the cats, so I hung it against a wall near my entryway, hoping it would escape their attentions.

It wasn't long and before it attracted their attention anyway! At first it was all innocence.

New Cat toy
But then, Miss Mollie had to have a go at it. She'd have carted the whole strand away if I'd let her!

Look at them fly!
And then Thomas sent it flying!

Keeping the birds safe...
So for now I've looped it up against a nail in hopes of keeping it in one piece. I hope that with time, it won't attract quite so much attention! I must admit that as it hangs now, it's not quite how I'd imagined it looking!


Fall Knitting

Fall Knitting, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

When the weather changes and the days become damp and chill, the knitting needles that have sat idle all summer long come into use once again. In the stash of wool I received from my mother last year, there were 7 skeins of a lovely natural wool in a heavy worsted weight. I've been wanting to knit a small lap blanket and chose a simple pattern in a basketweave stitch. It is knitting up quickly on size 9 needles!

China Cabinet in Autumn
Some simple changes to the top of the china cabinet made it seem more fall like. A beeswax candle in an old brass holder, a couple of metal birds and some of my favorite ironstone pieces. The floral garland has been put away until the spring and the summery wreath has been replaced by one in fiery autumn shades.

One of the white bunnies from my collection resides under the china cabinet. I love this season of settling in for the colder seasons.


Why I Didn't Get Much Stitching Done...

Oatmeal Scones, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Once upon a time, I did a LOT of baking! Living on a small income when the kids were young, I made most of our food from scratch and baked most of our bread. Now that I'm an empty nester, I don't do much baking as I usually end up with way too much! But with autumn's cooler temps, I've been wanting to bake again, so today I baked a batch of our favorite Oatmeal Scones.


8 - 16 Scones
425 degrees F
12 to 15 minutes

Combine in a bowl:
- 1 ½ c. flour
- 1 ½ c. old fashioned oats
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 Tbls. baking powder
- 1 tsp. Creme of tartar
- ½ c. currants
(optional but this is my favorite way to have them!)

Add to flour mixture:
- 2/3 c. margarine or butter, melted
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/3 c. milk

Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Mold together into a ball with hands. Spread on counter top:
handful of oats
For large scones: Place ball of dough onto oats and press into 8" diameter circle. Cut with a large knife into 8 to 12 wedges.
For small scones (the way I like them): Divide dough into 2 balls, and press into 6-8” diameter circle. Cut with large knife into 8 wedges each.
Place wedges onto lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes or till light golden brown.

Serve with butter, jam or slices of hard cheese or as an accompaniment to a hearty soup or stew. Enjoy!

page for Paige
This past weekend, my sister and I spent 3 days scrap-booking at our local scrapbook store in Flagstaff, About Memories & More. It was the annual "Scrap Pink" weekend, with a focus on raising money for breast cancer, and this year, our focus was a local nurse and wife of a local firefighter who found out she had advanced breast cancer just a month after having her first baby. She wanted to make sure she got all of her baby's pictures in an album, so we each made a page for Paige. I wish I had a picture of all of the pages as they turned out so cute!

In spare moments, I've been working on various sewing projects, but Miss Mollie seems to think that I should be paying attention to her instead! Needless to say, I haven't done much stitching this week!


Autumn Jewels

Beauty, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The leaves are gorgeous outside my apartment. Had to share a few photos before I left for work this evening! Enjoy!

Fireworks of leaves


Nature's Bouquet

Golden Halos


Red, White and Black

Red, White and Black, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Not my usual colors! I am making a small bag and wanted to use colors that I know the recipient loves.

I was surprised at how many great red and black fabrics I had in my stash. Mostly small pieces, but when you are only cutting 1 1/2" squares, it doesn't take much! But the fabric that clinched the project was the black and white butterfly fabric I found at Hobby Lobby.

Variegated threads
How pleased I was to also find some nice variegated threads to match!

Red, White and Black Bag Sketch
I did a little sketch of the project in my journal. It's not nearly as big as my green bag, but should be just right for the recipient!

Woodland Quilt sketch
I've also been thinking about a new large project. Ever since I finished the Bunnies and Bluebirds bag, I've been thinking about doing a small quilt using a similar design. Something tactile and cozy to snuggle up with on cold evenings. Something functional that's not meant to be hung on a wall and observed from a distance, but rather something to be experienced! I'm thinking forested borders, bunnies and bluebirds, a few hearts and corners with four seasons of trees. The blocks will be pieced like the green bag and have lots of texture and stitching. The block borders will have vining leaves.

Can't wait to get started ~ after I catch up on a few unfinished projects!


Autumn's Arrival

One of the round robins that I'm participating in is the Autumn DYB (do your block). Cathy's blocks used lovely fabrics in autumnal tones that I hated to cover up. Instead I focused on seam treatments and only a few small motifs. The sunflower and lace were dyed at the CQI retreat. One of the tricks i learned there was to use a brush to apply the alcohol inks and also that they can be thinned with water. I love the more subtle effects you can get doing it this way! So much better than trying to control the color flow when using drops of ink straight from the bottle!

Gentleman Crow
At home, I haven't done a lot of autumn decorating yet, but I had to put out this Gentleman Crow that I picked up in Colorado! He makes me smile every time I look at him!

No Name Rest Area
Coming back from Colorado, I still wasn't feeling well, so my daughter came with and did most of the driving. It was lovely to see the leaves changing at the rest stop in Glenwood Canyon.

Flooded Arroyo
As we drove across southern Utah we skirted several large storms. Then we realized how much rain they must have dropped as the usually dry arroyos were churning with muddy water!

Monument Valley
The moisture in the air gave Monument Valley a mystical appearance. The colors of the desert saturate when wet, making it look almost unreal.

The clouds and light were amazing! It wasn't until we got back that we realized that there had been tornadoes near Flagstaff earlier in the day! My home was safe and sound, but I have heard of damage to several homes to the west of Flagstaff.

leaf jewels
At home, the leaves are still mostly green, but here and there a few changing leaves glow like jewels when the evening sun hits them! The days and nights have gotten cooler and the furnace has been turned on! All sure signs that Autumn is truly here!


An Autumn Morning in the Rockies

Road through the Aspens, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
This past weekend, I headed to Estes Park, CO for the CQI Retreat! It was so delightful to meet so many of these talented women that I've had the privilege of getting to know online over the past couple of years. How amazing to be able to see and hold some of their beautiful work! So inspiring to be able to sit and work with them in person! Unfortunately, I came down with a bad case of bronchitis on the second night there and had to cut my time with them short.

While in Estes, I was able to go out to Rocky Mountain National Park one morning with my room mate Connie to take some pictures. The early morning light was so gorgeous that the pictures need no words.

Morning Light in Moraine Park

Mountain Stream


Changing Aspen

Rose Hips

Autumn Grasses