I bought a sewing machine at the end of November and managed to surprise myself and sew a few things for Solstice gifts (I'll show those later). Recently, though, I've been itching to make some drawstring bags (they're so cute and charming, I figure you can never have enough) and made these for the kids. I followed Amy's great tutorial at Happy Things for the "Better lined drawstring bag" - she makes it so easy! After I got the hang of it, I changed the dimensions to accommodate the kids' requests. These are all lined, some with flannel and some with muslin.
These are all photographed with my new "desktop photo studio". Light is such a problem this time of year that it's frustrating taking photos and I generally don't like how my flash photos turn out. So, I'm excited about the possibilities with this new "studio". This is what it looks like, but I didn't purchase mine here; I picked mine up at a camera store. I'm happy with it so far and am having fun playing with it. Wondering about my new sewing machine? Well, take a look-see...
This little baby has already earned it's keep. Over the holidays I made two quilts, four pairs of pajama pants and an assortment of other stuffies and pouches. VERY happy with this purchase!
I spent the early part of the season trying to collect photos of all the wildflowers in our area. I managed to identify a little over fifty of them. Here are a few of my favorites...
Swamp Black Gooseberry
The adventure of geocaching! I'd read about it a few times and seen other bloggers enjoying it and figured it was time for our family to give it a try. We found several caches over the summer and next year we want to make a few of our own.
Out and About
We went on lots of hikes (this one at Fox Creek)...
Although human subtlety makes a variety of inventions by different means to the same end, it will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple, or more direct than does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous. ~Leonardo DaVinci
"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." ~Marie Curie
We were off on another treasure hunt yesterday. This time, however, we were looking for mushrooms. The Wood River Land Trust hosted a Mushroom Walk at the river preserve where mushroom expert Kathy Richmond explained how to identify edible and non-edible mushrooms. Morel hunting is a hot topic around here this time of year and we wanted to learn some tips from those-in-the-know! The woods near the river are damp with recent rain and the leaf-covered floor is thick and spongy. Just the right environment for young mushrooms.
After Kathy's talk, we headed down the trail...
But, we knew we had to forge our way into "the jungle" if we really wanted to find anything. Boy, it wasn't easy! Fallen trees and tangles of branches, but we persevered ;)
Of course, I got a little side-tracked with all the loveliness...
Ah hah! There's one! No name for this one. I found several mushrooms, not any morels however. I think this area is pretty picked over, we were told to come back in about two weeks for a whole new crop.
Cassi saw this one growing on a fallen log. We found out later it's an Oyster mushroom. She also found the only morel out of all of us.
I love this photo of my husband and a few of the kids ahead on the trail.
Little Brother forging ahead on his own. His competence in the woods has really improved since last year. (I think he does amazingly well for the limited vision he has.)
We all had so much fun and can't wait to do it again. We were told that the next year after a fire is typically an abundant year for mushrooms, so we're looking forward to driving a little north and trying again in the burn area.
"Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made." ~Roger Caras