A Rejuvenating Day

It's too easy to become a hermit these days.  There's always plenty to keep me busy at home.  Without work obligations to add order to my days, I find I need to make a concerted effort to spend time away from home.  Hearing that Trail Ridge Road had re-opened after a Summer solstice snowstorm, was incentive to get out for the day and take a drive to see the banks of snow remaining!  I remember the first time our family visited here in July of 1964, and asking my parents if it ever snowed up here in the summertime.  While I don't remember their answer, it wasn't long after that we had to pull off the road near this same spot as a storm blew through and dropped about 2" of snow!  Winter is never very far away on the high peaks and alpine tundra! 

This view of the "Never Summer Range" is one of my favorites.  On this day, the wind was blowing well and the cloud shadows moved quickly across the peaks.  It's been cold and snowy enough, that the tundra plants have not yet started to green up and bloom ~ definitely late this year!  

After making my way back down from the high peaks, I headed for a quieter corner of the park.  Upper Beaver Meadows is off the beaten track and offers a lovely vista of Longs Peak.  It's also a great spot for birding and observing the wildflowers as well as an assortment of wildlife.  There was a wedding taking place near where I usually park however, and it kept me from doing the small hike I had hoped to do.  What a gorgeous place for a ceremony though!  

A little ways down the road, I was able to stop and take in the beauty of these Rocky Mountain iris!  The dresses of the bridesmaids at the wedding echoed the lovely deep purples of the iris buds! 

So beautiful!  

Along the roadsides, the Locoweed was blooming beautifully!  It ran from shades of white, to this soft lilac, to a light violet shade depending upon the clump.  

I love the sunlight streaming through the trees and highlighting the contrast of the red tree trunks against the green grass.  All the late snow this year means everything is much greener than is typical.  

I headed for yet another quiet corner of the park.  Usually the only folks in this area are hiking to and from the Fern Lake Trail.  But if you get there early in the day or later in the afternoon, there are often open spots to park along the road.  It's one of my favorite spots in the park with a lovely aspen grove and tall grassy undergrowth.  

It was the perfect spot to do a little plein air painting!  Loved being out of the hot sunshine and under the shade of the trees, yet enjoying the brilliant light on the little meadow and trees in the middle ground, all accompanied by a lovely view of the peaks in the distance! 

Here's a better shot of the painting I did.  Plein Air painting is more about capturing a sense of a place, the light, the feel of it, rather than being a refined painting of a place.  I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out!  Using water mixable oil paints makes it easy - no volatile mineral spirits to carry and worry about spilling - just a container of water and some baby wipes for cleanup.  Better for the environment, better for me!

By the time I was done painting, the light was getting lower in the sky, sending long shadows and shafts of light through the trees.  I love the way it filters down and illuminates small areas, turning this branch of Rocky Mountain maple into an exquisite sculpture.  

While driving out of the park, I spotted this glistening little rivulet tumbling down the hillside.  Just magical!

There's something about getting out and enjoying a beautiful place like this that brushes away the small worries of life, restores hope, and lifts one out of the doldrums.  It's as though my soul can breathe again.  

As I neared home, the sky turned soft in the lingering light.  It seems that evenings like this come only in June, and I am so grateful to have witnessed this one! The perfect ending to a lovely and rejuvenating day.   

One last note:
The upcoming episode on my YouTube Channel will be about making these little ribbon flowers!  In it, I mention two books and wanted to give you the links to them.  (Please note that these are affiliate links, and while I may make a small amount if you make a purchase through them, they are at no extra cost to you) Thanks so much for visiting my YouTube Channel!  



Crazy Quilt Challenge Project and Travels to Connecticut

The current topic on my YouTube channel, is the Challenge Project that I did for the 2019 Windsor, Connecticut Retreat in April.  You can find my YouTube channel by going to YouTube and searching for "Ivory Blush Roses" or through the link below, which will take you to Episode 2 - Planning, of the Challenge Project series:

Despite the cool wet spring weather, I had a lovely trip back east.  I decided to drive so that I could explore more of New England than I had previously seen.  I'm so glad I did!  I took 4 days to drive from Colorado to Connecticut, stopping overnight in both Des Moines and the Cleveland area to visit cousins and a good friend. On day 3, I stopped for what I thought would be a quick 1 hour visit to Niagra Falls.

The falls were amazing.  I had been there as a child, but somehow, the true scale of them had been forgotten.  When you see the people standing on the far side, it gives you a bit better idea of just how massive these falls are!  Though there was sun, it was a chilly day, about 45 degrees.  I walked all along the American side and ended up spending nearly 4 hours there.

After a night in Schnectedy, NY, I made the last bit of the journey to Hartford/Windsor, CT.  Along the way, I passed by two different covered bridges.  A bit more modest scale than the ones I've seen in Iowa, but lovely none the less!  This one also has the dubious honor of being the "Site of the first UFO Incident officially inducted into the US as historically true" I wouldn't have noticed the signs for it had it not been for another visitor to the bridge who was there because of that designation.  I just thought it was a pretty covered bridge!

I think this bridge might have actually been the gateway to someone's property, or maybe an exclusive neighborhood.  Sure was pretty!

Once I made it to Hartford, CT, I spent the afternoon at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, one of the oldest art museums in the country.  They had a nice collection and a lovely building.  I loved this painting by Edouard Manet. So striking and so much said with so few brushstrokes!

This was my favorite - an oil sketch by William Merrit Chase.  So simple, and I love that it has his notes.  Like the Manet painting, it says so much with so little.  And I love how it leaves much of the canvas uncovered!

2019.04.26WindsorCT01Once in Windsor, CT, I met up with the other crazy quilters.  We had 3 lovely days stitching together, but it rained nearly the entire time!  But with great company, and beautiful crazy quilting to view and work on, I don't think it particularly bothered us at all!

The cherry blossoms didn't seem at all bothered by the damp!

And neither did the birch!


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 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!

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!

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!


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!