Sunday, August 30, 2015

Travel Theme: Feet

Every so often you find yourself in a place where having nothing to do is a wonderful gift.

There is nothing on the horizon.

So what's to do?

Just kick off your shoes a bit...

... and look up at the sky.

Let the wind tickle your toes.

And tickle the toes of someone you love.

A perfect afternoon.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Her Crowning Glory

The birthday crown I made Little Bird was fairly easy to do.  No sewing whatsoever!

I bought felt at Hobby Lobby and fusible interfacing (the type that sticks two fabrics together) at Hancock Fabric.  Sis measured Little Bird's head and I took 3 inches OFF that measurement for the length of the crown.  I think the bow looks prettiest against her hair.

I cut the fabric to that length and a bit more than the height I wanted for the top peak.  I then fused them together with the interfacing.  This gave me the thickness to make it stand up right.  A floppy crown is a sad thing!

The hardest part was figuring the proportions and heights.

I used some contractors paper to make the pattern.  Played around with it a bit to make up a pattern I like and that would work with the decorations.  Do make sure you figure in the height of the ribbon against the pattern.  This one is 2".

For patterns, look at coloring books or clip art.  If you can make layers, all the better.

I used the fusible interface on everything, even the ribbon.  A bit of ironing and it was done.

So easy!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Little Bird's Equestrian Birthday Party

Little Bird turned SIX last week... then a few days later started kindergarten.

It's just NOT possible!

She's still horse crazy, so this year the theme was real horses.  Her bunting was blue ribbons stung along a silver ribbon.  

Each side of the center rosette (which read 'Little Bird' Is Six), was a rosette with her riding ponies. I bought up a few of my model horses for the decorating.

As usual, the birthday buffet was impressive.  

The savories.

The sweets.

After feasting (Big J made the BEST smoked turkey and pork tenderloin!), it was time for the presents.  Not a moment too soon was Little Bird's opinion on that.

She loves her cards.

Barbie AND a horse?  Score!

Auntie Teri and Uncle Himself gave her a Classic size Breyers horse.  (Her favorite colors are white and "Clydesdale".  LOL)

Then it was time for the cake... cupcake, that is!

Make a wish!

(I know that wish has hoof beats...)

As soon as she was done, it was time for a barn raising!

Auntie was enlisted to help.


Cruddy directions and a few too small pieces led to some frayed nerves.  Breyers... I expected more from you!

After the barn raising, we had a barn relocation... back to her bedroom.  Then it was time to look over what other horses we might just be in the market for.

Breyers Classic size model (white Selle Francais) and Traditional (bay Peruvian Paso).

Happy Birthday, my Not-So-Little Bird!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Those Are Some Huge Leaves!

The other day Himself went for a walk to the lake and when he came back, he plopped this big old tree leaf down on my computer!

As you can see... it is really, really BIG.  That's a yard stick, not a ruler.

The surface was quite fuzzy and soft.

And the stem was hollow.  He said it snapped off very easily.

Here's how it was connected to the trunk.  (Don't you just hate auto-focus sometimes?)

Looking up through the canopy.

The trunk at the base.

And here is the whole thing.  His walking stick is about five and a half feet high.

I had no idea what kind of tree it was.  So I Googled "TN tree with huge leaves".  Right away I found it.  It's called a Paulownia Tree; also known as a Royal Empress Tree.  Very interesting tree.  It is native to Asia.  It grows crazy fast - like 15 feet in its first year!  (It is also considered somewhat invasive).  It likes to grow in bad soil and full sun.  In the spring there are beautiful purple flowers after its third year.

There was a smaller one close by.  We're considering transplanting it to our yard.  

Has anyone ever had a Paulownia in their yard?  What did you think of it?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Norman Rockwell's World

A couple of weeks ago I surprised Himself with an outing to the local museum to see the 1972 documentary film "Norman Rockwell's World:  An American Dream" (which was excellent).  

(Please excuse the wonky angles in my photos.  There was so much glare and I did what I could to get the best shots I could.)

Then we visited the gallery in the museum to see an exhibit of photographs and memorabilia of Norman Rockwell.

The display was SO interesting!  Yes, that is John Wayne with him in the center photo.  And on the far right is Frank Sinatra.  

In his hometown of Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  

A very chilled out Norman Rockwell!

OK... how awesome would it have been to get a Christmas card from the Rockwells?

Surrounded by some of his wonderful portraits.

There was also a display of many of his Saturday Evening Post covers.  A lot of them were well known.

And a few of them I'd never seen before.

Of course this iconic cover was on display.

Along with this photo of him working on it!

One of the things he said in the documentary was that people tried to get him to paint 'more realistically'.  He told them all 'no'.  That he painted the world as good and kind... as he wished to see it.

And aren't we glad he did?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Travel Theme: Gleaming (Vicksburg National Military Park)

On a gleaming sunny day in May, Himself and I visited Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi.  There are approximately 1300 monuments here... incredible pieces of sculpture and architecture.

This is the Minnesota Monument; which is made of granite and stands 90 feet tall.

Wisconsin infantryman monument.

"Cavalryman" statue

The Ulysses S Grant statue stands at the site of his battlefield headquarters.

The Rhode Island memorial.  This statue is of a soldier who has retrieved a fallen unit battle flag.