Welcomed cloud cover has dropped the temps a few degrees, which is always a relief in our dry mountain summers. Of course, Murphy’s Law was in play– friends were scheduled to visit last weekend, but with the temperature targeted to easily pass triple digits plus for last Friday and Saturday, we all agreed another weekend would be better for puttering about shops and tasting wine. Work week and no guests scheduled, the clouds have exuberantly rolled in providing spectacular sunsets.
Enjoy! The glow of sunset always feels as though the universe is trying to break through and say hello – I love it.
Be sure to stop by Unknown Mami’s Sundays in My City to see what others are sharing from their neck of the woods.
I’ve mentioned Dia de los Muertos is kinda a big thing here in Murphys California. Well, for you non-stitchers, there’s a whole world of sewing machines that embroider and one of the things they do is embroider lace onto a water-soluble backing. Things like lace skeletons you can make into earrings.
Upon spying the designs at Sonia Showalter, Dia de los Muertos was the first thing I thought of. But, there’s usually some color on those items and I got stuck in the plain white you see everywhere. My first thought was adding a design (like a small rose) or bling (was still looking at them as “white”). I’d edited to put a bunch on one hooping and set the entire design to white and started stitching (the little hoops stitch first) when the thought “variegated thread” finally hit me. I did have to stay by the machine to catch and stop it to change colors since I hadn’t set that up ahead of time, and I decided white bobbin thread on the backs was fine for this application. But, overall I’m thrilled. That one with a purple head and blue body is just a screw up. That particular purple thread was having problems and I decided it would be easier to just change out the thread color and toss it (or stitch a new head to glue on later).
You can also change out your whole “skeleton stitching” thing and stitch up some lace angels (also from Sonia here).
I’d received a question about stabilizers and decided to try something. So, know Sonia’s designs stitch beautifully – I push ‘how many items can you stitch in one hoop’ limits and play around with old stabilizers.
The first angel and the skeleton sheet were stitched on two layers of Vilene.
For the second angel’s hooping, I took two scraps of Vilene and basted them over the hole made when I cut out the first (just placed them on top and let the machine baste as a first step). This one also came out perfectly.
I use Solvy a lot but know some folks have trouble with it. There are two kinds of water soluble stabilizer (WSS). A plastic-y kind like Solvy and a more fabric like one like Vilene (Pellon also makes one that I use as do others).
For the third angel I grabbed two older scraps of Solvy (they get crinkly sounding as they dry out if not kept in a plastic bag or covered) . I was able to smooth them out – so thought “good enough”. Not so. Below you can see that the stitching is perforating the stabilizer on the lower right – it did it in few places – and pulling back. For dense Free Standing Lace designs (FSL), I’d recommend sticking to a fabric like water soluble stabilizer (WSS). I do successfully use “fresh” Solvy more than many stitchers and have used it on smaller Free Standing Lace (FSL) items.
For the finished angel, you can see the blank spot by her hem, an open space by her right elbow and that the upper left of the wing isn’t formed perfectly. She still looks nice enough – once I saw the tear, I floated a piece of Vilene on the hoop and that helped – but folks who do this would spot those bits in a heartbeat. And, if I’d kept trying to use the dried out Solvy, it would have been a complete mess.
For my Sundays in My City friends – I have been continuing to garden and gift veggies to my neighbors, but with our early heat wave the garden looks like hell. It’s just too sad to capture photos. This post is participating in Sundays in My City over at Unknown Mami (and, sorry about the hairs in the shots, between me and the cats – oh well. Lucky to have the time to get the post up without re-shooting it).
This post is participating in Unknown Mami’s Sundays in My City.
Given it is April and my last post says “Is it March already? – I guess you can tell it’s been a busy few months! Murphys Irish Days is always happening here and this year was no different. Often the audience is more dressed up than some of those in the parade. The Girl Scouts were out with their cookies, two roller derby teams (which I’d not seen before) skated by, Ken dragged out his kilt as he does each year, my faves the Bernese Mountain dogs were all dressed up (but hard to shoot as kids love walking alongside and around that group), the army jeeps were dousing the crowd with water from their mounted “guns” and the grocery store showed up with a gigantic (and noisy) hot rod cart. Thank you as always to our diligent “pooper scooper” group that does their best given the proliferation of well fed horses in the parade!
It was a beautiful day and we were packed to the edges of town.
Love the taps on the sneakers for one of the dancing groups!
This post is participating in UnknownMami’s Sunday’s in my City.
Decent weather + friends in town = great day to take Ironstone Vineyards tour.
This post is participating in Unknownmami’s Sundays in My City.
I believe I’ve mentioned that many trips – the dentist, doctor, shopping, or meetings – require a beautiful jaunt “over the mountains and through the woods” to get to the town of Sonora. It’s becoming the area superstore mecca boasting a Lowes, Walmart, Kohls, JoAnn, Orchard, Ross, TJMaxx, Staples and more. Murphys’ family owned stores (shop local!) provide the majority of what we need, but for things like specific HP Printer ink or one inch binder clips – a trek to Staples is called for. About 20 miles and 40 or so minutes of curvy roads and stunning scenery comprise the trip. I finally remembered to drag my camera along when bounding out to make my dentist appointment.
The Parrot’s Ferry Bridge takes me across the upper reaches of New Melones Resevoir (a~ 20 square mile manmade lake built by the U.S. Bureau of Water Reclamation with the installation of the New Melones Dam; extensive hiking paths, camping and recreational activities available).
Growing up on an ocean, I’d call these watermarks tide lines.
This shot and the opening shot were both taken from the same spot, same time – amazing how looking into clouds and the sun given a whole different feel to the day. (All shots were the same return trip, didn’t touch up the opening shot at all, added some saturation to the one above as it was a bit washed out from the sun).
As impressive as the trip is, I’m always so happy to relax back at home with a view of sunset from the back deck. (Above shot is also “straight from the camera” – completely nature’s colors).
This post is participating in Unknown Mami’s Sundays in My City.
For Sundays in My City, a short post. Storming here, with winds on the hillside as strong as I’ve ever seen it. I’m not the industrious sort to set up an alcove or suffer getting drenched for a photograph – just snapped a few quick shots then hustled back in to my warm dry home. The news crews are having a field day running about shooting fallen trees and street flooding with full river flooding in areas of Northern California possible this afternoon. For me, the main concern is power (it has flickered a few times, not a good sign).
Hoping Sunday sees my friends warm and dry.