This afternoon Patrick & I did some planning for new flower beds in our front yard. While we were out there we noticed how pretty the acorns looked on our deciduous Oak. They're pleasantly smooth & soft to the touch, too.
On the other side of the path leading to our front door is an amazing Magnolia grandiflora or Southern Magnolia. It looks lovely right now with all of its fruit.
Pretty, huh? It's all pink & fuzzy! Upon closer inspection, we noticed something else hanging on this tree in addition to the fruit...
If you're squeamish about bugs, you might want to stop here.
Still with me? Ready for a closer look? Okay, here goes...
Cicadas have left their shells all over this tree! Clinging to the branches...
and hanging from the undersides of leaves. They were positively all over the place. On every branch we saw more and more.
They reminded me of childhood summers at my grandparents' house in Ganado, in southeast Texas. My cousins & I would have contests to see who could collect the most cicada shells from the trees. Kinda like Easter egg hunting, except slightly disgusting. Their shells retain all of the little details of the insects that molted from them. I am simultaneously grossed out & fascinated by cicadas. How about you?
If you want to see lots more pics of cicadas, hear their song, & even watch time-lapse photography of a cicada molting (it's pretty darn cool!), check out the Wikipedia page on cicadas.
I've started a new thing in my work room that I'm calling my "Sunday basket." The idea is that I will keep an ongoing project in this basket: sewing, painting, a photo album - anything that I am working on purely for myself. Or it could be a gift for someone else, but it is most definitely just for fun & not for my business. The projects that are stowed in the basket will be my Sunday projects. I can spend all day on Sundays working on them if I want to - I'm giving myself permission to do that, and promising myself that I will refrain from doing anything work-related on Sundays. I can work on them whenever I feel like it of course, but knowing how busy my weeks are, I probably won't. But at least by saving Sundays for these personal projects I can realize some of those projects I keep telling myself I'll get around to "someday." Someday is today!!!!!!!
There are tons of things I've wanted to sew for myself (I envision a whole new wardrobe of skirts, tops & dresses) & I'll even go so far as to buy the patterns & fabric, but then I have a really hard time completing them. And then there all of those cute little one-day projects I always see in my Craft newsletter, like making bags from vintage pillowcases. I have a beautiful vintage pillowcase I thrifted about a year ago for just such a project waiting patiently on the shelf of my linen closet. Lots of other stuff I've been wanting to do just for fun, too, like collage a wall of my work room or go to more art galleries & museums, but I always seem to find myself swamped with work for my various small businesses. But I'm learning lately that in order to stay happy & inspired I really need to make an effort to carve out time for these things that I want to do, even though I always have a list a mile long of the things I "should" do. So here it is, typed out & posted to the interwebs for all the world to see: I'm taking back my Sundays!
More about what's currently in my basket in a future post...
Have you heard of Yarn Harvest? It's Austin's own recycled yarn company, making beautiful yarn from second-hand sweaters! What a creative & eco-friendly manufacturing model. Here's what Yarn Harvest has to say about its nontraditional method:
"By finding a new use for a second-hand, locally-abundant resource, we are able to keep our costs low and our manufacturing local. By not having to make new wool, we are able to reduce the carbon footprint and negative impacts on the environment that making new wool causes. And by getting involved in the wonderful world of knitting, crocheting, and crafting in general, we know that what we make is both quality and a good value."
We [WonderCraft gals] love what Yarn Harvest is up to, and we're partnering with them to bring you Eastside Knit Night this November during the East Austin Studio Tour! On Tuesday, 11/16 from 5:30-9pm, you'll be able to hang out with creative knitters & crocheters, learn something new & share your skills at this fantabulous knitty party we're hosting at Starving Art Studios. There will be knit-tastic giveaways, the debut of Yarn Harvest's latest & greatest products & more! Mark your calendars & stay tuned for more details about this fun event.
Knitters & crocheters: Would you like to teach others your technique? We're looking for a few talented folks who want to share their mad skillz at this event. You'd be able to sell your handmade yarn-y creations as well. If interested, please drop us a line at getcrafty[at]thewondercraft[dot]com!
Greg, the friendly guy behind Yarn Harvest, shows off his goods.
A couple of weeks ago, we went camping with friends at Krause Springs, which is about 30 miles west of Austin. It's a wonderful spot with a spring-fed swimming hole & a beautiful garden with humongous wind chimes in the towering oaks. These are some of my favorite pics I took. If you want to see more images from the amazing gardens, check out my Krause Springs Flickr set.
This crazy cat was made for my friend who's having a baby girl. They're doing the nursery in an Alice in Wonderland theme. I was quite happy with how it turned out, this being the most ambitious applique project I've done to date!
And below is my most recently completed fabric sculpture. You may recall my post about the beginnings of this piece called, "Art Waiting to Happen." Well this is what happened: