Monday, December 17, 2012

A bit of light..

The tragic events of last Friday keep hanging over me like a cloud, and today's rain isn't helping, so I thought I would simply try to spread a bit of beauty and light.  Because there is already enough ugliness out there....
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Dreary update

I sat in the cold for a long time waiting for this shot

Lest you think I've disappeared from the face of the earth, I thought I'd write a post on this soggy morning (I'm not complaining, we needed the rain but it's just so gloomy).  It's been a busy fall, filled with family, farm, fiber and photography (I like that alliteration, if you were to add in faith and friends, you'd have the core of my life in a nutshell!)

Felted hat that just sold at The Collective

I joined a new artists gallery/cooperative in Lexington called The Collective, and have produced tons of felt projects to display there and to keep my stock up at Damselfly Gallery in Midway, too.  I love the concept of the Collective- each artist pays a monthly "rent" (shared with the 19 other artists there) and instead of giving up 30-50% of an item's sales price in commissions, I keep it all!  It's been a lot of fun to meet the other artists and customers, and yesterday I taught the gallery's first class there (Felting a Birdhouse).  Having my work in a few regular, high-traffic areas has saved me the time of exhibiting at art fairs, for which I am truly grateful as I can spend more time with the family.

At the Woodford Hunt's Blessing of the Hounds

The Collective's other artists are painters, woodworkers, jewelers, mosaic and collage artists, vintage art creators and more- LOTS of great, diverse work.  I have a special feeling when I go to the Collective in Chevy Chase (in Lexington, KY), as I lived on S. Ashland Avenue less than a block away when I was single and teaching school in the 80's.  I reminisce about my unsettled young adult self, and how content I would be to know that one day I would be a happily-married artist, living on a beautiful farm with my family and tons of animals, and displaying my own artwork in a Chevy Chase gallery!  If you haven't been out to the Collective yet, there are two upcoming Open House/intimate evenings for which you have my personal invitation- Saturday, Dec. 15 from 7-9 and Thursday, 
Dec. 20 from 5-8.

One of my most popular prints

Throughout this year, especially since buying my new dslr camera, I have put more time into my photography and have begun to sell my prints at the galleries and in my Etsy store.  It has been very rewarding to get a positive response to the photos I've shared, but even better is the time that I take to SEE the world through my lens, often in the great outdoors with my trusty dog Hoss at my side.  These moments have truly helped me through some challenging times this year.  I am grateful.

Hoss, along the river trail on a foggy morning

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Lovely and Flighty...

It seems to have been a spectacular summer for butterflies!  This one was spotted in our backyard...

And these were on a trip to the Smokies, where we encountered lots of butterflies on our hikes.  Our son took it as a challenge to see how many he could pick up at once, and then to see if he could get them to stay on his face for a photo!

Naturally, our daughter had to rise to the challenge as well!

Yep, lovely and flighty... teens AND butterflies!

Fall is slightly in the air, and although I do love autumn, I'll miss the hummingbirds and butterflies of this past summer!

Next up... summary of the amazing felting class I took with Marjolein Dalinga in the Catskills of NY!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer's Hummers

Guarding the perch- There is a hummingbird on this spot nearly all the time!

... and no, I'm not talking about the alpacas and llamas (which DO in fact hum, if you're not familiar with them!) I'm referring to the ruby-throated hummingbirds that have been flitting around our home in increasing numbers and ferocity this summer.  My husband is the bird-whisperer, putting out 4 feeders for them this year.  They are such fun to watch, their territoriality seeming to intensify as summer progresses.

I am LOVING my new camera, a Canon DSLR (the EOS Rebel t2i), and trying to capture the maneuvers of the tiny hummingbirds has been a great challenge as I learn how to adjust the shutter speed, aperture and other settings on my new gadget!  I hope you enjoy these shots, some edited with photoshop, mobile apps, or Instagram....
Male ruby-throated hummingbirds have the characteristic red, and are smaller than females

 Sneak Attack!

 Some perch, some keep flying as they drink

Coming in for a landing

August has been beautiful and even green so far, making up for the brutally hot and dry weather we experienced in late May, June and part of July.  Our kids are happily back in school, and we're already anticipating fall.  I'm going to enjoy the hummers as long as I can, before they head back to Mexico and Central America... such amazing, tiny creatures!  Next time... butterflies!

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Modern Nuno Baby Quilt!

Painting by Paul Klee
It still feels strange to say it (since I feel so young and all!), but I'm going to be a grandparent soon! My stepson and his wife are expecting their first child, and I wanted to make something special that they'll hopefully use and keep.  I decided that a quilt-like, lightweight blanket would be fun to make with felt, and I was inspired by the painting above...

First I died some big pieces of silk paj in varying shades of blues and green, along with two huge pieces of hand-dyed silk chiffon that I overlapped slightly before laying on fine merino wool and tussah silk.  I cut and tore the silk paj into 5 x 5" pieces (132 of them, to be exact!), and laid them out so that the colors varied randomly.  I then wet it out and used the tumble-dryer method to felt it, then threw and scrunched it to full it.  The turquoise tussah silk seemed to run forever, but I finally got it to rinse clear!  (Turquoise always runs for a while, and my hands sure showed it!)
Silk pieces laid out on the base of chiffon, merino and tussah silk

Back of finished blanket

Close-up of finished blanket

The final product, a modern nuno baby quilt!  I sewed on a little tag, and tied on one of my sheep cards.  I think they liked it, and I can't wait to see that new little bundle of joy wrapped up in this!

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Monday, July 23, 2012

A Long Summer....

I haven't felt much like writing this summer, and I've been pretty busy with the kids, but since I'm tired of looking at that last post I thought I'd at least put up some photos!  These are a little self-serving, they'll be a good reminder to me of some of the past few months...  

I've been a bit tied down, and have especially enjoyed playing around with photography this summer...  there is always a lot of good content here on the farm, and I have gotten addicted to Instagram (you can follow me- I'm Alpacalindy) and various mobile photo apps, so fun!  I recently bought my first DSLR camera, a Canon Rebel 550D 2ti.  I'm loving it, and I hope to improve greatly on the photos I post here!  

I've also done quite a bit of felting, and I plan to share some of recent big projects soon, including a couple of butterfly shawls and a special baby blanket.

Mirian with Plum Pretty at AOBA Nationals in late May- she is available for sale!  (PP, not Mirian!)
We've had a lot of good family time.....
I've gotten some trail riding in despite the horrible heat! It's been fun to have Hoss come along.
We got to meet my new grand-nephew! Robert is practicing to be an uncle soon (and Paul and I are going to be grandparents!)
Nearby horse farms provide great subjects for playing with photo apps!
Jeffrey the lamb is finally off his bottle!
Everybody is growing... kids, lambs, and Hoss who is almost not a pup anymore!

We've had quite a few llama treks, despite the hot weather!  Here, Bob and Leo...
I've been making some big art shawls!

I hope that you have had a good summer, too!  

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Friday, May 18, 2012


One of the healthier things that I do for myself is to walk regularly around our farm with the dogs.  I am also doing a lot of reading, praying/meditating, listening to inspiring music and other things to try to stay centered.
The woods are so pretty right now that I decided to take a second round on our circular river trail.  I was about halfway through the second time, and looked for a log to sit on for a few minutes of peace.  I took just a few steps off the trail, and my eyes focused on this beautiful sight.....
A tiny, perfect new fawn curled up tight and still, it never even blinked the entire time I photographed it. The other thing that was so amazing is that Hoss never smelled or sensed it, coming within about ten feet on a few occasions (I was ready to grab him!)
I've had a slight smudge on my lens, which shows a bit in these photos but I hope you enjoy them anyway.  Here is a little video that shows the setting of this little 'fairy-fawn a bit better.  I had to wonder just how close momma was, and if she would have done anything if I had decided to touch her baby (which of course I didn't).
The nature that surrounds us here is one of my most beloved blessings, and I have been very consciously counting.  I came across this quote, a twist on the famous poem which quips, "Count your blessings, one by one...."

Count your blessings instead of your crosses
Count your gains instead of your losses
County your joys instead of your woes
Count your friends instead of your foes
Count your smiles instead of your tears
Count your smiles instead of your fears
Count your full years instead of your lean
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean
Count your health instead of your wealth
Count on God instead of yourself
-Author unknown

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life is Beautiful....

We've had some challenges keeping me from blogging lately... nothing I can talk about or share much (which of course makes it all the harder).... I've decided instead to just share photos of the beauty around me for a while, as a way of counting my many blessings.

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