Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wow! Endless Summer Hydrangeas

Here is why I focus on flowers more that veggies in my garden. This year my faithful hydreangeas by my front door are getting more faithful care and nourishment.   I trotted out to the garden center and bought 8  two pound bags of aluminum sulphate, the silver bullet for achieving maximum blue blossoms.  I think it worked beautifully.  I apply the granules very liberally around the roots and water it in.   Caution, though. I did put too much on a miniature variety of Endless Summer and killed it.  That's a first for me. 
In the alkaline soil of Dallas, aluminum sulphate has to be applied several times throughout the growing season but it's worth.
What are your experiences with hydrangeas? 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

PS Elements 8: Tutorial for Me by Me

Photos:  I am determined to become much, much better.  Last week I sprang for a special offer on Amazon for Photoshop Elements 8 for my Mac.  Well, it's here, the rebate is off in the mail, and I need help!  For me Photoshop is remarkable unintuitive, but I hear it's better, so I trotted off to Border's last evening after a noisy hour by the pool with kids and grandkids ( note to self, don't ever go again to pool on afternoon of last day of school.  Total zoo.) and one margarita-rocks, found this hefty volume, Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows: The Missing Manual (Paperback), plopped down my 40% off coupon and purchased it.
I am prepared to read, study and practice.   Note all the study tools.
I'm a big fan of markers, highlight tape and all kinds of post-its.
Oh, and, People, I am open to any and all tips, suggestions, shortcuts, etc.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Coffee Break, Treasury screen shot practice

Ok, Main Etsy Treasuries are a little easier to snag these days with the opening of Treasury East where the treasuries can stay up indefinitely.  I seem to be stumbling on the Main "T's"easily recently.
I love exploring Etsy this way.  Type in a key word, say "coffee," or an Etsy team name, say "Etsy Knitters," and see what you get.
I think my screen shots are improving too.  This a keyboard feat for me try to hit command, shift, 4 and then move the mouse down far enough to get the desired area in the shot.  This time it took eight tries to get it right.  Practice, practice, practice.  Thanks for indulging me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Accessory Indulgence

Yes, that is a custom beverage holder on my Kromski Sonata Spinning wheel, and I love it.  I can see my spinning sisters turn a little green with envy when they spy it.  I found it on Etsy at FBN Plastics.  They make them to fit many wheels but still don't have one for my Symphony wheel.  That's ok.  I never take her away from her spot in the studio.  I am busy spinning up more yarns for the shop here.  Cordova Studios needs more handspuns!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chickens and Dolls

Yep!  I loved the gorgeous hens at Jacob's Reward Farm.  These ladies were peacefully pecking about their pen yesterday.  Isn't this gal regal?

Something happened to this girl's crest, but I don't think she minds.

This hen is a picture of serenity as she sets on her eggs maybe?
And then their were Gail's wacky, crazy, amazingly detailed dolls. This is Land Shark.
This pirate looks only medium friendly.
She's my favorite.  Look at all the tiny detail:  her facial details, boots, and green hair.  I bet she has on a fancy petticoat, too.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Thanks to follower Paradise Purls,
 LOOK!  A screen shot:

Here is the tip she left in the comments:
 "Ok, I have a mac, too, and this is how I get my screen shots. First, hit command, shift, F for a full screen. Then position the treasury pic on the screen so you see the whole thing. Then, hit command, shift, 4 which brings up the crosshairs. Click and drag to highlight the treasury. Let go and voila, screen shot perfection!"
Works like a charm.   I am so excited.  Even the guys at the Apple store couldn't tell me how to do this.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunny Day Treasury trials

I am failing miserably at getting screen shots off my Mac, but here is a portion of the Etsy Treasury I created today.
I love composing the treasuries but hate the part about sharing them, as I am such a klutz with the screen shot tools.  And, no, I don't have the GRAB tool on my Mac.  I want the whole treasury but can't get it to scroll down and get the bottom part.  Ugh.  Help out there, people, people???

Sock Dorkdom

Remember these?  The sock blank and the two-at-a-time socks?
Ta dah, here they are all finished and ready for my clogs next fall.  They turned out to be quite subtle.  The merino blend sock blank was a good size.  I had about two inches left over.  The bright orange ones below are from Spinderella's Shop.  Oh, and these are both superwash which is now the only way to knit socks as far as I am concerning.
Coming soon:  an ultra bright pair from a crazy sock blank.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dare I Say "Basket Weaving"?

My kids just cringed when I told them I was going to learn to make this basket in a "basket weaving" class.  Something about senior citizen centers was mumbled.  One had no comment.  Personally I think this "Spinner's Basket" is not just your basic basket.  Spinning friend, Peggy, has arranged for her friend, Nancy, to teach about ten of us how to make this beauty.  We will be in her backyard today twisting and  turning wet reads to make our own.  I am definitely taking the Canon SLR  to document this adventure.  It could be hilarious.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sun! Another Garden Digression

Sun!  I now have a sunny place in my yard for perennials, more roses and flowering vines.  Dallas's crazy heavy winter snow storm took out a tree that was shading this part of the yarn.  I had  gorgeous azaleas and hydrangeas in the shade there.  Well, all those had to be relocated to more friendly shade sites, and I got to plan with Peggy, of Peggy Tapp Landscaping,  a whole new bed.  The collaboration has been a blast.  With her design sense and fabulous crew I now have this new garden feature to feed my lust for hardy perennials,  Knock-out Roses,  iris, and even colorful annuals.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Collages, at Last!


I have been trying and trying to figure out how to make photo collages for here, Ravelry and Facebook.  Finally got a tip from a friend on Ravelry about Photobucket.  Photobucket is the ticket for sure and it's FREE.  You will be not be disappointed. 

Here you are seeing my hand-painted rovings of Gelatos and Heathers that I have done so far for Cordova Studios.  The heathers are dyed on corriedale/merino morrit (taupe) rovings I bought at the Kid 'n Ewe last November.  The Gelatos are dyed on lofty, dreamily soft superwash merino.  I am striving for paler, softer colors for summer.  What do you think?  Paler?  Too pale?

Oh, I have not figured out how to center this on the blog yet.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Two Treasuries

Sometimes I venture out and create Treasuries on Etsy.  These are promotion tools but as a bonus I get to discover all kinds of nooks and crannies on this huge site.
Color always has me.  I love it, sooooo here is a treasury I created yesterday with just that theme.

Then, on Etsy I belong to this very energetic team, ESST, Etsy Supply Street team where you can find any and all things to implement any craft of which you can dream.  This Treasury is just a tiny peak into what they have to offer. 

Of course, I always get to add an item or two from Cordova Studios. That's the point after all, isn't it?  I am so bad.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Garden Diversion: Peonies, Iris, roses, hydrangeas, clematis

I love spring and all the fresh green colors and shades, but mostly I love all the blooming beauties in gardens here in Texas before it gets' hotter than the hinges of h---.

This week I went with six dear old friends (read from high school) down to a friend's amazing ranch in Central Texas, near Hico.  Before we got there, we stopped at to walk the amazing garden's of Ellen McS.  The peonies were glorious and abundant.  Her iris come from an iris farm in Hondo, New Mexico, down near Roswell.
This "Beverly Sills".  Isn't she stunning?

Here is the perennial bed full of Dephinium and Foxglove.  Heaven.
I wish Foxglove wasn't just an annual in sweltering Texas

My ranch friend, Janet's, Penstemons are a prize that are difficult to grow in Texas, but she did it.
And now to my backyard by the lake:  here is my Jackmanii Clematis and red Knockout roses.
To die for!!
First "Endless Summer" hydrangea of the season.  I'm mad for the blues in these.
Daughter, Kathleen, gave me this little "Fairy" rose for Mother's Day about six years ago. I dig it up and moved it from that house to this house four years ago.  It's thriving beautifully here by the lake.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shelter Pets get there own Stamps

My daughters and I devoted five years to our animal rescue, Pic-a-Pal, here in Dallas so I have a soft place in my heart for abandoned dogs and cats everywhere.  The US Postal Store released these stamps April 30.  Truly easy for you to buy on line here.
I'm placing my order now.

A Mother's Day Slide Show to Share.

Click to play this Smilebox greeting: Mother's Day!
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize a greeting

Team ESST (Etsy Supply Street Team) has super talented folks with a plethora of items for supplementing your craft ideas or for just great gift giving.  Enjoy!

P.S.:  FancyFibers from Farmersville is in it!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Socks: a New Way for Me

I think I have mastered two-at-a-time socks with the Magic Loop method.  Sorry if that sounds like some uber secret knitting code.  It might as well be, as I cannot explain how to do it.  I just figured out a way to make it work for me.  Anyway, the next step into today's knitting geek-dom was to dye my own sock blanks.  Joanne T. buys the wool,  Liz, super geek of everything, knits the blanks up double stranded  on her knitting machine, then I dye my own.    As you can see, I have a ways to go with that technique.  Right now I could be a 70's hippie tie-dyeing t-shirts.  However, I am rather liking how subtle the socks are turning out.  This may mean I never buy commercial sock yarn again.  Well, maybe never, anyway.
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