Photojournal: May 2011

 I thought I'd share a few photos from the neat stuff I got to see this month.

This is one of the Peacocks at the Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora IL. My mom and I went on a lunch date to see the tulips in the Sunken Garden, and stopped by to see the peacock, and he obliged us with a show. Isn't he gorgeous?

These super fuzzy looking bears are what I got the pleasure to hold in the Craft Mall in Wisconsin Dells. We were on our way to Mirror Lake to camp out, and I saw Craft Mall on a giant sign, and well, it called to me ;) These bears sold by Silver Creek Farm are made with Alpaca wool, and they are SO soft and I wanted to buy one so bad. One for me, and one for all my friends! haha.

This is the lake. It was a lovely day to paddle, and there was hardly anyone else out with us. We called the people who rent boats and they came out special for us :) It was so quiet and peaceful, and on our outing we got the pleasure of spotting the following list of creatures: Bald Eagle (I saw him dive through the binoculars!), Turkey Vulture, Sandhill Cranes, Blue Herons, Geese, Ducks, Muskrats, a baby Fox, a Doe, a LOT of swallows, and little funny birds with long beaks. I don't remember what Andrew called them. Definitely the best paddling outing as far as wildlife goes. Of course Mirror Lake has nothing on Canada as far as how clear the water was. But it was SO calm, which was super nice and relaxing as far as paddling goes.

This is the best shot I got of any of the birds. There were a couple roaming together on land, and I had to hold my camera up and over the ledge of grass and hope for a good shot. It was pretty cool to see them up close, but they started yelling at us after a while :)

On the way home we stopped off at the House on the Rock. I debated showing you one of the hundred creepy pictures I got from that place, but in the end, this is probably the prettiest picture of the whole day. It's in the girls bathroom on the 2nd tour. It's one of those hidden gems where if you didn't have to pee, you'd probably miss it.

May was pretty fun for me despite the fact that I missed Sons of Turner Tour 2011 this month. But if you want to see how that went visit any of the son's blogs, and you'll see adventures of lobster and ocean. :)  


Needle and Thread, Do you hand stitch?

Hey there! How's May treating you so far?
So this month usually marks a monumental trip to some corner of the country with the Sons of Turner, but this year, I can't go :( I'm really going to miss hanging with my favorite artists, and they leave on Monday. Have a good time in Maine guys.

In other news, I've been pretty busy getting caught up in a few ideas. On top of my ever growing project list (for sewing mostly) I've decided to take a detour with my painting and see about making some embroidery art pieces. It would look like a painting (maybe) but it'd be thread instead of paint. I'm not sure how this will play out, but I have a feeling I'll like it.

A few days ago Very Purple Person posted about her amazing backpack. The genius of this tote/backpack has got me mesmerized. I could probably easily (but more like, un-easily) figure out how to make it myself, but when I find a good pattern, I usually like to just use the pattern. :) Needless to say, I immediately went to the site to try and find the pattern, but it's out of print. This is where I scream in agony and my husband calls from the other room to ask what's the matter... (haha) But I don't let the 'unavailable' get me down just yet... It took me two days, but I found another place where they still sell the pattern: PurlSOHO. I love their blog, The Purl Bee, they always have a new cute pattern using one of their products, and usually have kits available in the shop if you want to recreate the project (plus tons of tutorials, how-tos, and projects you can create with your own materials as well). Well needless to say, I bought the pattern and I am seriously excited to get my hands on it. I'm thinking some embroidery will have to be involved...

Also, I've been hanging out on the Sublime Stitching website drooling over the awesome embroidery patterns. For some reason embroidery has been off my radar for (almost) my whole life. (When I was just learning to hand stitch when I was 6 maybe, my mom gave me a simple counted cross stitch to do, and that's all I ever did). But I was hit with the hand stitching bug after I tried some lattice smocking (or sometimes known as Canadian smocking). SO easy, you wont know why you never tried it before! :) Anyway, I tried making a dress with the waistband as smocking, but it turned out rather baggy and unflattering (the smocking was pretty awesome tho;) ). It was a huge disappointment all around, but I may try to do a thing or two to the dress to revive it.

Does anyone do a lot of hand stitching? Embroidery, smocking, or even constructing garments? How do you like it? What's your favorite methods?