Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sprouts & Storm

That title sounds like a law firm, doesn’t it? Even so, this really is about some sprouts & a storm.

Late this afternoon, my husband pointed out how one of our crepe myrtles had a few sprouts near its base . . .


that were blooming which I thought was kind of cool. They look like little itty bitty crepe myrtles for fairies.


And then when it was really late, about 10pm – and pitch dark as well, a thunder storm passed through.

It made a great light show before the rain came. I tried to capture it and of all my photos, this one came out the best.


And to all of you wonderful people who read here -


At the end of the day . . .

Just the other day, I pulled out the calendar and counted how many sewing days I have left before the show. I counted exactly but that was the other day so now the total is less. I don’t know how much less because I can’t remember which day I was looking at the calendar.

I have earnestly tried to make the best use of my time. I know you might find that hard to believe what with the weather, the Farmer’s Market, and not reading. Really, I have been practically glued to my desk – sewing, sewing, sewing.

For some, I suppose it could drive a person a little nutty – or crazy – or batty but that’s a normal state for me so nothing new there.

At the end of the day, how does one entertain oneself when the dark and the quiet have descended upon the house and even the dog is sound asleep? I picked up my camera, fiddled with a couple of settings and took this photo of my desk. Kinda colorful in a weird kind of way, you must admit.


If you had asked me before I began this journey what kind of tools you would need to make a teddy bear, I don’t think I would have said a socket driver, pliers, a metal file, and about a gazillion pairs of scissors.

I best be goin’ now. When things start to look a little surreal, it’s time to go to bed. Otherwise, I won’t be able to tell my dreams from reality and that really would be kind of bizarre.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What’s your weather like?

Everywhere we went this weekend, the subject of conversation was the heat. Strangers, neighbors, family – it was all about how stepping outside felt like a) an oven b) a furnace c) a sauna or d) all of the above. It’s true – the heat index was 110°F (43°C).

It didn’t stop us from going to the Farmer’s Market where everything looked fresh and delicious but still, we didn’t linger. It was just too hot. Did I say it was hot?

The fruits, veggies, and flowers thought so too. I wouldn’t believe it either except I heard them talking about how happy they were to be out of the sun for a change. Okay, well, I am fairly certain I heard them – or maybe the heat was getting to me and I only imagined it. Did I say it was hot?









Friday, July 23, 2010

Bull Durham & Burt’s Bees?


Have you seen the movie Bull Durham? It’s kind of a classic. It was filmed not far from here in Durham in the old Durham Bulls stadium.


This is the Durham Bulls new minor league baseball stadium.


Are you familiar with Burt’s Bees products? They have legions of fans. So what do the two have in common?


Last week I invited myself to have lunch with my husband near his office. He works in an office on the American Tobacco Campus – a registered historic site that goes back to the 1800’s. It has been carefully renovated and that water tower is now a very nicely redone landmark.


The office buildings on the campus are next to the new Bulls’ stadium – see there in the background? That arrow points to where my husband and his coworkers can see the games from their office. (Don’t you wonder how much ‘work’ actually gets done when there is a game?}

These are some of the things you see walking around the campus.


The headquarters for Burt’s Bees.


Nationally recognized public radio station WUNC – it often keeps me company while I sew.


This is a photo of the head of Old Bull River, a wonderful man made river that flows through the campus with some interesting features including several waterfalls


and this ‘broken’ concrete walkway across one section.


This is another view of the award winning design.  (You can just barely see the white base of the water tower on the right.)

There you have it – that’s what’s at the other end of my husband’s commute.  Bull Durham (and the Durham Bulls) and Burt’s Bees – all in one pretty cool place.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Teddy Clown’s Assembly

How much stuffing does it take to stuff a small sized teddy clown head?


This is the amount I started with.


This is what was left after I decided it was stuffed enough.


Then he needed a nose, some eyes, . . .


ears and a body.


One arm . . .


and then another.


One leg . . .


and then another.


Now that he has all his limbs, I think he needs a ruffle, some pompoms and a little jingle. When that’s done he can get in his clown car and drive to TBAI in New York. When he arrives and gets out,it would be nice if he had a carload of clown friends that kept climbing out behind him. Wouldn’t that be great?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hello Yellow.

One man’s flower is another bird’s lunch. It took me a moment to distinguish this small bird from the flower. These colors are amazing.

hy_1Poor flower.  Lucky bird.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Few Things Worth Celebrating

You know how it is when something good happens – you just want to tell someone. You lucked out today – you get to be my someone. Here are few things I am excited about, including a giveaway.

First of all, I can now say that all of my children are gainfully employed. Ain’t it grand? Two are working at Disney World, so you know where we’ll be heading sometime before the end of the year, and the other at a coffee shop near her University so we might be sipping coffee, um mochas, with a whole new outlook. All of a sudden those tip jars on the counter are looking like rent money. Ha ha!


Next, I was looking at the calendar and whoa! TBAI is less than a month away. Oh my! Oh my! I have to do some serious sewing before then, but the anticipation of this great event will keep me on track (I hope!). Just let me show you the dessert at the banquet from a previous TBAI.

ftwc_2Also yummy!

Onto my next celebration, my friend Kelly is having a Once-in-a-Blue-Moon giveaway. I’d love to have this blue bear come live in my blue studio in my blue house. I don’t know how lucky I will be but I just had to tell you all about it because – well, because – you guys are the best readers around and you deserve a chance at a wonderful teddy bear friend. Go on over to Kelly’s blog and sign up. I hope you win – that is – if I don’t!

ftwc_3Sweet, huh?

Lastly, speaking of giveaways, I feel that it must be nearly time for me to have another. Just between us, I think the heat has gone to my head. Surely that is the reason it hasn’t yet happened. I’ve got to put my thinking cap on and hope that it’s not that hot wooly one because my brain cells are surely toasty enough at this point. Now remember, if you entered my last one, you will get an extra entry.

I’ll be thinking, really, I will. Thinking. Thinking. Not reading. No, thinking and sewing for TBAI and crossing my fingers for good luck in Kelly’s giveaway and celebrating and smiling because all my kids are employed.

ftwc_4This isn’t what it looks like – really.  Not reading.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Do you believe in dragon breath?

Late last night I was thinking about the summers of my youth. Specifically, I was thinking about those hot summer nights we experienced before air conditioning became standard fair in the South. With all the lights off and the windows wide open, we would lay down in bed with the sheets thrown back hoping for even the tiniest breeze. We would have whispered conversations in the dark because it was way too hot to sleep.

If a storm arose, it would most likely bring cooler temperatures and they always seemed exciting. There is most definitely something thrilling about a storm on a hot summer night. You might hear some noises you don’t quite recognize. Who or what could be out there in the rain on a dark summer night?

My sisters and I could create all kinds of scary stories about what might be lurking just beyond our window. That’s imagination for you.

Recently, I ran across this article about a repair to a local street. At the end was a bit that made me smile. I hope it brings a grin to your face too.  What a cool grandmother!


I’ll say adieu with these few lines from the song “Pure Imagination”.

You will find in your mind
There's a world of endless fascination
No more fun place to be
Than in your imagination
                                    ~ Bricusse/Newley

Friday, July 9, 2010

Welcome to the Woods Box

It has taken me a while but I have finally completed the bear for a box that had been waiting for an occupant. I showed bits and pieces of this box in an earlier post which you can find here.

Now I can show the entire piece completed.

The inspiration came from photos I took when we went on a hike to Mount Mitchell about a year ago. I like photos of paths. Here’s one I photographed on our trek down the mountain.


For this box, I wanted to see if could use my own photos throughout. It was a fun challenge. Here’s the front of the box.


The gravel near the gate was an interesting endeavor.


Here’s the box opened.


This is the left side. The tree came from my back yard and the dangling leaves were in my bead stash. I’m glad I didn’t have to go on a wild goose chase for some of these things. I’d probably still be hunting, getting distracted along the way, I’m sure.


This is the right side. My resourceful husband helped me create the bench from another discovery in our back yard. The images in the slide frames were taken in both Raleigh and Asheville. You might recognize some of the photos having been on my blog at one time or another.


The inspiration for the bench came from this one in the botanical gardens in Asheville.


And what do you find when you go traipsing through the woods? I found a forest fairy.


Here she is standing at 5” tall . . .


with her slightly tattered wings.

As for what’s next on my list – I am still working on the blue colored box as well as some bears. I guess I better get back to them.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

How hot is it?

hhii_1  On my desk at the moment.

Today it was a record breaking 102°F (38.8°C) here. It was like being in an oven if you spent any amount of time outside. Thankfully, the humidity was lower than it has been lately. Still it was hot – being-in-the-news hot.

I was outside with my pooch for a few minutes and I was thinking about the heat. I looked at my car sitting in my dad’s driveway and thought about how it was probably unbearably hot inside.

Then I began to think about cold things – like winter and snow, and how when it is very, very cold we dash from the warmth of being inside to the freezing car outside. Of course, we want it to warm up and warm up fast- very fast. At times like that we like to use my sister’s phrase: “Turn it on melt.”

Looking through last winter’s photos, I came across this one. I can assure you, there is no snow on this garden bear now. In fact, if he could make a request, he would probably ask for an umbrella and a tall glass of iced tea.  Hang in there buddy.


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