26 October 2020

No Flake Monday

I am not quite sure where all the time last week went, but it went, and I have no crocheted snowflake to share today. Thankfully, God is not stingy like me and blessed us with about eight inches as of bedtime last night. About four inches had fallen on the Troublesome Fire, which caused the evacuation of Estes Park, Grand Lake and nearby residences Friday night.

The forecast called for up to 20 inches, and so far, as of 10 p.m. last night, actual accumulation was not so generous, thanks in part to high winds and extremely hot termperature of the explosive fire in a severely droughted and beetle-killed forest. We continue to pray for the safety of the firefighters and those who've had to leave their homes, as well as plumbers who are volunteering to turn off water in evacuated homes to prevent pipes from freezing. The low for Estes Park was 1 degree on Saturday night, and was forecast for -4 last night. I hope the gigantic herds of elk (and all the beloved wildlife) I enjoyed so much were able to escape the rapidly advancing flames.

The Cameron Peak Fire did get a weather break and had received more than a foot of snow by 10 p.m. last night. This fire had been darkening our skies, roughly 90 miles south, for more than two months. People who live in Loveland and Fort Collins had it worse than we did and often described their sky as apocolyptic.

smoky September sunrise

Estes Park was my home for eight years. Living in the mountains was my paradise. Rocky Mountain National Park was my backyard for eight years. I cannot even fathom what the people living there must be going through now. This year's wildfires have devastated so many. My heart is broken.

I've always loved snow. But it takes on a whole new meaning now. Our mountains need snow, and lots of it.

22 October 2020

Stairway to Deaden

This gave me a GREAT idea for our ugly stairway.

Our house is a fixer upper. The carpeted basement stairway came with some less-desirable odors and stains. We pulled up and disposed of the carpet. We treated the stains and odors years ago. The stairway longs to be finished. (And my little neighbor always asks, every time she comes over, "When are you going to finish your stairway???") Too many other higher priority fixes waiting in the wind. Literally.

Including the flagstone stairway I recently built in the backyard as a very small part of a project to prevent the basement window well from flooding...

Now that part of the backyard is done, perhaps I can begin spending time on things that need to be fixed inside the house...

However, I still look for ideas every now and then, and I've found some really cute ones!

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The classic rainbow or a modified rainbow.

Just can't get enough of the rainbows!

Motion detection lights.

Simple instructions.

I've even wondered how difficult it would be to build each stair into an actual book cove, not just photos of books pasted onto the stairs.

Such a bookworm.

This would be me if I tried painting the stairs...

Not my bag of tea, but I know some kids who would love this.

Can't do this, but oh, how I love it!

Imagine this in crochet!

This could be inspirational, too!

With lavender bouquets drying on the rail!

20 October 2020


I did not expect to see the changing of the leaves this year outside of my backyard. Lizard's health situation (and what that blasted virus has done to the world this year) has kept me mostly at home the greater part of the last 10 months. No complaints, other than wishing Lizard didn't have to suffer so much. (He's very slowly improving!)

The autumn colors in my own backyard are not all that bad.

smoky skies

I started an Autumn 2020 gallery in September on my photo website hoping I could find enough color spectrum in my own backyard to fill it, even if only a handful of photos. By October, I was seeing some of the most spectacular color! And not just in the leaves! Our warm temperatures prolonged the beauty of my flowers.

Last week, Lizard was itching to get out of the house for a short walk. We'd been walking in the neighborhood, and I'd even been able to snap a few leaf photos without really leaving home. And without burning a drop of gasoline!

Last weekend, Lizard was ready to venture just a tiny bit further. We drove to a favorite state park, but it was already at capacity, and the wait to get in was longer than Lizard can spend in a car right now. So we went to the trail closest to that state park, which turned out to be closed for hunting season. By now Lizard was growing very restless in the car, and he needed to get out to wiggle his legs. I drove to the next closest state park, where we had biked and hiked a secluded trail not many people know about last April. This park wasn't too full, and we were passed by only two other people on our secluded trail. Lizard walked nearly half a mile! What a treat!

Walking short distances very, very slowly is helping me see things I might have otherwise overlooked.

The next day, we tried the first state park again, this time, this time right after it opened. We got in! It got too crowded for comfort within about an hour, but Lizard was able to slowly walk a bit again, and we both thoroughly enjoyed the magic of autumn!

19 October 2020

Snowflake Monday

Today's snowflake is in honor and support of Nancy in her battle. You got this, Girlfriend! Stay strong! Our prayers are with you!

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 3.5 inches from point to point Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

A Snowflake for Nancy Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in ring, [ch 3, 3 dc in ring] 5 times; ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round. Don't pull magic ring too tight.

Round 2: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), [1 fpdc around next Round 1 dc, sk next dc, 1 fpdc around next dc, ch 3, 1 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 5, 1 dc in same tip, ch 3] 6 times, omitting last dc and last ch 3 of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 5. If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 3: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 fpdc around Round 2 starting ch 2 that counts as dc, [1 fpdc around each of next 2 Round 2 dc, ch 3, 1 fpdc around next Round 2, dc, ch 3, 1 fpdc around same Round 2 dc, 1 dc in next ch 5 tip, ch 5, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (picot tip made), ch 2, 1 dc in same ch 5 tip*, 1 fpdc around next Round 2 dc, ch 3, 1 fpdc around same dc] 6 times, ending here * on final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 5; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

15 October 2020

Short(s) on Time

A couple of quilts need to be finished, and one needs to get in the mail as soon as possible, but for a few hours, it was time to make something for me.

For about three years now, I've wanted to finish some new shorts for summer. I even had a few pairs cut out and ready to sew. They take less than half an hour per pair! Something always gets in the way.

I'm a little late for summer this year, but I finally finished all but one pair of shorts that were already cut out and then made two more pairs from scraps! I couldn't finish the last pair of already cut-out Hawaiian shorts because, alas, I ran out of waistband elastic, darn it.

The shorts that were ready to sew are from fabric I bought in Hawaii in 2004. I bought about 20 different fabrics I intended to make into dresses. I think I've actually used three for dresses. I made three or four pairs of shorts and one pair of (slightly too narrow, but not intentionally) house pants to (so far unsuccessfully) encourage weight loss. The rest of the tropical stash has been languishing in my stash all these years. Now my tastes have changed, and I wouldn't wear a dress from most of these fabrics!!!

But shorts?!? Shorts can be fun from just about any fabric!

I even made a pair of shorts using the remnants of two dresses that went into the scrap pile a couple of years ago because they'd worn thin in a few places. One was my hexie dress.

We're getting overnight freezes now, but the mercury was still soaring into the 80s during the day until today. Now I may not get to wear my newest and favorite pair of shorts until next year. But I'm excited to have a favorite pair of shorts! This pair took quite a bit longer than half an hour!!!

I thought it would be fun to craft a pair of shorts from the leftover strips I cut myself for Turtle Sherbet. After I got started piecing, I realized I wouldn't have enough for all four shorts segments. So I threw in some leftover black strips I cut myself for Little Boy Blue Batiks. I still didn't have enough strips, so I made one of the back panels solid black. Because that's the fabric I had enough of to finish the shorts and the pockets.

Oh, my gosh!!! How neat these shorts turned out! I cannot wait to wear them! It MIGHT be warm eough for shorts on Saturday... Maybe I'll wear them and just not go outside if it's too cold. Ha ha ha!

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

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