01 May 2015

Back in the Grind of it All

Hello Readers!
Long time, no see! :)  I'm back amongst the living. I've felt pretty good for a few days now but just getting around to taking pictures of finished projects.
I went on a short road trip earlier this evening and took some pictures while out and about. I'll tell you about that later and show you some pretty green wheat fields in my neck of the woods.

Better get you a cuppa somethin' and settle in. I've been away for 20 some days. I slept a lot of those days away and not a thing was accomplished on those, other than my old body trying to rid itself of pneumonia. We fared well! I think the side effects of the antibiotics were actually worse than the pneumonia. I won't tell you about those side effects because it simply was not pretty and I don't care to relive them for you all! LOL Let's just say, "Whew! Glad to be over that!"

I really didn't get a whole heck of a lot of projects done since I was here last. I wasn't near as productive as usual but I did finish a fair number of little books and a few other things.
Let's take a look at what Donna's been up to:

Now that I have downloaded the pictures, there are a very fair number of little books to show off. While I was under the weather, I did try to work on at least one thing each day. That didn't always work in my favor. 

This little book is about 3x4 inches. It has drawing paper pages. Fifty pages or so. It's sewn with blue embroidery thread and has a blue cloth covered button for a closure. I really like the color of this leather. It's a bronze color, shimmers in the light. It was once a jacket.

I sewed it in the long stitch so it would lay open flat.

Ma and I were on our way home from town a couple weeks ago. My cupboards were bare and a trip to town couldn't be avoided regardless how awful I was feeling. On the way home from town one day, Ma and I stopped at the dumpster by the electrical supply place at the edge of town to pick up a ratty old metal chair that was sitting there. We looked in the dumpster and found some other metal bits and pieces for the junk pile and a box full of these boxes that light covers of some sort came in. I saw book covers!

And darned if they don't work beautifully for book covers! I covered this one with some brown kraft paper that I had painted with acrylic inks. The finished book is 8 inches square and about 1/2 inch thick. I put thick drawing paper in it. If memory serves me correctly it has 6 sheets of paper, sewn in the long stitch so it will lay open flat.

Where the opening in the box was, I had to reinforce it with some chipboard. In the next book I make from these boxes (I got about a dozen of them.) I will put a larger piece of chipboard to cover the entire surface of the cover, not just over the holes in the center of the covers. And I will use heavier paper to cover the covers so the chipboard does not show through the paper.

I sewed another postcard cover book together. The pages and covers were all ready to be sewn the day I finished this book. It's 4x6 inches with 3 signatures of copy paper. 30 pages.
I painted the covers some months ago. They are matboard painted with acrylics.

This is the back cover of the book in the picture above. The insides of the covers are painted with flowers as well. No picture of the insides.

This one too is a postcard cover book. I made the collaged postcards back in 2010 and the pages were already cut when I put this one together. It's sewn in coptic stitch, has 3 signatures of copy paper, 30 pages.

Ma brought me some raisins one day last week. Six tiny boxes of raisins. I ate the raisins and then made a little book out of one of the boxes. I covered the inside of the box with scrapbook paper. The book is about 3x2.5 inches and about an inch thick. It has about 60 pages of copy paper. It's a right cute little book and a perfect size for a pocket or purse. 

I should have shown these books after the ones that follow these. These are all matchbook notebooks made from remnants of painted newspaper and painted chipboard. With the exception of that one with circles on it. That one is chipboard with marker doodles all over it. These are little books. The tallest of them is only 3 inches and they're either an inch and half wide or two inches wide. They all have copy paper pages. I didn't count the pages in any of them. I just picked up a stack that wasn't too thick to put a staple through. Somewhere around 20 pages in them though.

I told you all about the painted chipboard I made some weeks ago in the last post I made. I've turned five of those pieces of chipboard into day books. They have scrap paper/junk mail/one side used paper for pages. Each full sheet of paper was folded into a little booklet with 8 pages and seven of the little booklets make up each day book stitched in that lazy stitch I don't know the name of. I use one of these each week for my journal/daybook. I keep track of my daily things in them.
I get 8 pages for each day of the week. That works out great for me.

I made another embroidered wool ball. I took Mel's advice and did the embroidery in only shades of blue. I love how it turned out! That bone colored background wool looks wonderful with blue.

Not sure why those two naked balls look bigger than the embroidered one but they are all pretty much the same size. The two naked ones had their covers sewn on in the last two days. I'm planning on sewing a few more covers on balls before I embroider any more. 
I think the next few I embroider will have one color on them like the blue one has. I have an over-abundance of some colors of embroidery thread and that will be a good way to use up some of it.

I have a few different crochet projects in the works. I started this brown bag this morning. It will be a small bag with a long strap. I'll bling it up a bit once I get the bag itself crocheted. This brown 'yarn' is about the ugliest yarn I've ever laid eyes on. It's some kind of nylon string. It feels like nylon stockings. It's not too hard to work with but it snags up on the hook occasionally. And no the hook doesn't have anything to snag on to but this yarn seems to find the tiniest nicks in the hook. And as you can see that hook has been used quite a bit over the years!
You'll get to see this again sometime in the future. Shouldn't take me too long to finish it.

I started a plastic bag basket before the last post and ran out of bags to continue on with it. My brother did some rearranging out in the burnt house the other day and found all the other plastic grocery bags I couldn't find when I looked, so that basket will commence again soon as well.

I was dragged out of the house last weekend to attend my sister's birthday party at Ma's house. I drew her a flamingo duck hybrid for her card. He's done in markers and the background is acrylic ink. (I do LOVE the acrylic inks!) It was right after I woke up on the 18th that I drew this bird. He's not a pretty thing but sis loved him. She loves flamingos. Even wonky ones, apparently! 
I would be doing more drawing but I can't find the markers because they are buried under a pile of other projects sitting here on my desk. 
I keep telling myself someone needs to clean off this desk. 

I started these six pistachio flower magnets yesterday and finished them early this morning. Better make that yesterday morning. It's 2 am Friday right now and I've been awake since 7:30 am Thursday. These are made from a round of chipboard, hot glue, pistachio shells and fingernail polish. These aren't technically magnets just yet. They still need their magnets glued on the back.
They're about 2.5 inches across.

I planted some milkweed seeds on the septic tank mound this afternoon and then took a stroll around the yard. I don't often take many walks around the yard. My feet give me a hard time when I walk too much and the old body rebels big time so I avoid it mostly. It was such a beautiful day though and I was out there anyway. This is a picture of the yard man my grandson built for me last August. That little tree he's standing by hasn't leafed out yet for some reason. It has buds on it though. That red ball behind the yard man is a bowling ball. There's a large wooden post behind him and another wooden post behind it. The white speck across the road is my mailbox. The last time I showed off the mailbox it was black. Ma thought it needed a paint job. I woke up one day and it was white.

I had visitors one evening when I had the front door standing wide open. I thought I'd check out the capabilities of micro photography with the iPhone while they were here.

They weren't really welcome visitors but I made the most of their time here.

I was minding my own business, sitting here watching something on this pc...youtube, hulu, something. I don't remember what. My watching preferences have been mostly natural disasters of late. This little brown moth had been in the deskroom for two days before I took this picture of him sitting on the handwritten quotes taped to the bottom edge of my monitor. I love his antennae!
I'm not sure what kind of moth he is but I do know if he's on a tree, he will disappear because of his coloring. Well, this one won't be sitting in any trees. He went behind the desk and I haven't seen him since. I'm betting if I got down on my hands and knees and got under the desk, I'd find him on the floor back there. I won't be getting down on my hands and knees to see though, so we won't know.

This is a crane fly. I don't know if this is a female or a male. They look like giant mosquitos. This one had a wingspan of about an inch or so. They live world wide and are considered agricultural pests in Europe according to wikipedia. This one landed inside the lampshade above my desk and hung out for hours. I should consider myself lucky this one came to visit. They only live 10 to 15 days. Sometimes when these things get in the house they are a nuisance. They'll dive bomb you and drive you nuts! They're harmless, just annoying as all get when they do that. I usually catch the ones that are being a nuisance and send them back outside.

Then this guy came to visit. I looked at hundreds of moths on google images trying to figure out what kind it is but I was unsuccessful in that search. I don't know if it's a male or a female. It was about an inch and a half long. I wanted to pet it, it looked so soft!

He was a mighty handsome visitor. He was a nuisance. Dang thing kept dive bombing me while I was sitting here in front of the computer. He kept landing on the wall beside me where I captured his image. He was a flighty little thing. He'd fly across the room every time I tried to get ahold of him. And then he'd come flying back and run into me before he got his bearings and landed on the wall again. He's probably dead on the floor behind the desk too. I never did catch him to put him outside. It wasn't from lack of trying though.

I captured a yellow jacket in a peanut butter jar this afternoon and put his hide in the freezer. He was buzzing in my kitchen window. My brother is allergic to wasps so that mean ol' yellow jacket had to go. I put him in the freezer cause I intend to put him to use in a project. I'm uncertain just what that project will be but something will come to me. And others that come in the house will get the same treatment cause I don't want them building their mud nests in my laundry room like they have done every single summer! I have no one to blame but myself for mud nests in the laundry room. I leave the back door open and they just come on in.

The yellow jackets really are a pain in the patootie. My microwave died and I had to get a new one. (Thank you, RW!) The old one was a built in model, above my kitchen stove. My brother took the old one out earlier this evening. Back behind, attached to the cupboard wall was a mud dauber/yellow jacket nest with six chambers. That's a pretty big nest. It didn't have any little wasps in it thankfully. It appears they laid their eggs but nothing ever hatched. All the holes were still sealed and the little wasps were all dead. I crushed it to make sure there weren't any babies in it. I had no clue wasps had taken up residence behind the microwave! Those babies probably didn't develope because every time I used the microwave, they got nuked just a bit?

Fred dog gave me instruction on planting milkweed seeds. The whole time I was out there, he was barking at me like he was the boss. He's standing smack dab in the middle of the septic tank mound. Someone mowed all the tall weeds from last year. I'm glad they did! It was much easier to plant those seeds in short grass than it would have been in weeds three feet tall! Now it needs to rain so those seeds can grow into monarch butterfly food. The septic mound doesn't get mowed in the summer. We just let it grow wild. Less to mow and I insisted it didn't need to be mowed! It's my weed garden.

I took this picture of the soybean field on Monday. We were in a severe thunderstorm warning at the time. I loved how the sun was shining on the far side of the field. All pictures get bigger if you click on them.
Ma and I were sitting on my front porch that day and we saw a flock of pelicans fly over, headed west. We discussed how cool it would be if they all landed in the soybean field. They just kept on flying west. It has, at this moment dawned on me that pelicans eat fish, not seeds! LOL
I don't have any idea what the farmer will do with the ground this year. I'm still hoping for sunflowers. Sunflowers usually get planted in May, so there's still hope.

Pear blossoms. Not many blossoms on the pear trees this year. Doesn't look good for a decent pear crop.
 The forsythia bush didn't even bloom this year. It usually puts on blossoms before leaves. We got nary a yellow flower on that bush this year. 

Ma came over this afternoon to bring me two new coffee table books. Both of them about cats. We were sitting in the livingroom talking and she said, "What's that white tower over there on that hill? It wasn't there the last time I sat here." She was looking out the front door from the sofa. Sometime in the last couple days an oil derrick went up about 1/2 mile down the road, as the crow flies. We got in her truck and went to check it out. The sun was in the west so we couldn't see it very well once we got close enough to see it well. Everything was in silhouette, black as it could be. My youngest son, RW, works in the oil patch as a chain hand. I wanted to see if the rig going up was owned by the same outfit he works for. I still don't know that it is. 
But we had a nice ride in the countryside. We drove roughly four miles. Out my driveway to the east, turned north at the first mile road. The oil derrick is about half way down the north road. Then we turned west at the next mile road, which is G Road. We stopped at the old rock quarry on G Road.

An old stump at the entrance to the quarry.

This is the hill next to the quarry. Actually the top of the hill the quarry is dug out of. 

A burnt log at the old quarry. All those rocks are chalk rock. It's used to surface rural roads in my neck of the woods.
We walked around at the quarry to see if we could find any junk to bring home for the junk pile. Last time we were there, couple years ago, people were using it as a dumping ground for all kinds of crap. Someone's been there and cleaned it up a bit. There's remnants of old TVs, computer monitors and such but nothing like it used to be. People go out there and shoot guns. They've used the junk as targets. So the junk is in bits and pieces! There was very little metal junk to be found. We did bring home a few aluminum cans and couple of other random pieces of metal bits.
That burnt log has been there for a very long time. It was there the very first time I ever went to the quarry some 15 years ago.

A big old cottonwood tree on the right. Not sure what kind of trees those little ones are. Everything is a vibrant green out in the country.

This a rolling field of winter wheat. We saw a herd of cows on a field of winter wheat on this drive too but I didn't have the camera out when we drove past them. Darn it. I think this is looking north. The picture was taken about 7:30 p.m.

This is my most favorite color in the world! Beautiful!

Looking southwest over another winter wheat field.

Thanks for hanging in there. It was a long one! I hope you enjoyed the wheatfields, especially. I'll be back again soon with more adventures, creations and rambling!

be good one another!
It matters!

1 comment:

A Mynah Production said...

You still run circles around me in illness. Sounds like your on the mend,thank goodness. I love the raisin book idea...'Tis cool! Nut magnets...always a favorite of mine. Hello Fred "the boss" dog!

I think your moth is a White Ermine. Like what royalty wear on their red robes...