The accidental gardener

Based on what is blooming in my yard,
my gardening attempts are either a failure or a success.
It's all in how you see it. 
(Be sure to click the photos to see larger views.)

This is my only wisteria bloom for the year.
It's also only the second one ever from the four plants
we planted at least 10 years ago.
I thought the plant it is on was a clematis...
Yeah, I am quite the gardener.

Here is the lone bearded iris from a clump near my driveway.
Not sure why more don't blossom, but then again
I don't ever do anything to them.

All in one day, it provided a great show.
The first photo was from the morning,
the second much later in the afternoon.

I wonder if there is any hope for me as a gardener.
Too many hobbies, not enough time, I guess.


A whole new me

If you noticed the new blog banner above,
you will see that I have finally gotten around
to working on Red Hen Studios redesign.

Most of the other places I can be seen on the Internet
have been updated and have ordered new business cards.

Up next is redhenstudios.com with an all-new blog.
Please mark the new link in your favorites
so you don't miss anything!


Unexpected surprises while thrifting

  I am in a bit of a quandary.
While thrifting I came across a garbage bag
with yarn, an knitting instruction booklet and
what I thought was an unfinished sweater.

I bought it all for $2 just so I could reuse 
the vintage Spinnerin wool yarns.

The sweater is actually complete.
And gorgeous, with cables all down the white.
I'd hate to take apart someone's handiwork,
but it has most likely been bagged up
for over half a century.

What would you do?

(PS, if you are interested in vintage knitting patterns,
I have quite a few books in my Etsy shop)


Before and After - First birthday edition

(Click image for a larger view.)

Here's another before-and-after transformation.
I said in the past that most editing to be done in the camera.
But when photos are taken in low light,
an editing program can be your best friend.

I am probably really late to the game,
but I have discovered how to better brighten a photo
by duplicating the layer, switching it from normal to screen
and changing the opacity for how bright I want it to be.


Newborn prop hats with rosettes

Before the pixie bonnets my habit was creating
adorable newborn prop hats with rosettes.
The Crystal Palace Yarns are from my local yarn shop.
 Each is referred to by its yarn color name.
All are ready to ship for $26 incl. shipping.
Send me a message if you would like one.
(Click on the photos for a larger view.)

"Rose Petals" 100% wool Iceland yarn.

"Flame" 100% wool Iceland yarn.

"Valentines" in wool blend tick-and-thin yarn.

"Picnic" in wool blend tick-and-thin yarn.

Wildflower on top, Misty Green at left and Pink Lady at right.

Sunflower on the left and Tulips on the right.


Pixie baby bonnets -- and a new model

Here are my latest crocheting obsession --
sweet little pixie-style bonnets,
most with rosettes and braided ties.

And notice how I have graduated from photographing
my hats on a ball of yarn to a baby doll head.
I found her on eBay and am on the search for more.
Not sure if I will find another one as cute as her.

Newborn size with rosette in pink acrylic.
$20 incl. shipping.

Newborn size with rosette in purple acrylic.
$20 incl. shipping.

 Newborn size with rosette in black-and-white baby alpaca.
$36 incl. shipping.

Newborn size with rosette in handpainted boucle yarn.
$30 incl. shipping.

 SOLD! But I can make these in any infant and toddler size. 
Babyweight acrylic with rosette, lace trim and extra-long braids.
$22 incl. shipping.

"Little Red Riding Hood" in red acrylic. Size 6-12 months.
$18 incl. shipping.


A reason to declutter

This furniture has sent me on a cleaning spree
for the last few weeks.

I visited the thrift store on a Saturday.
The set was then marked 25% off.
I went back the following Tuesday
and it was marked 50% off.

Even though I didn't have a place for it
I knew I just had to have it.

Who could pass up vintage toile for $90?
Not me, especially when I saw that the grimy surfaces
were actually custom-made slipcovers.

A quick run through the washer with a bit of bleach
and they now look perfectly shabby chic.
They just needed to come in from the driveway.

That was when my cleaning spree started.
My plan was to remove the dining room table and chairs
and move them in. Which I did.

But what about all the bins of fabric, trims, supplies, etc
that were taking up so much room in my work space?

I've been methodically moving things out.
Donating bags-full back to the thrift store, 
listing things on online crafters and garage sale sites
and getting rid of paperwork we no longer need.
I'm almost done.

Amazingly, I've made back more than enough
to cover the cost of my new seating arrangement.
And I am almost ready to enjoy the room again.


The nature of spring

Yes, I know I have been remiss.
I can't seem to post here on a regular basis.

I am working on a redesign for Red Hen Studios and
plan to launch a new website that will include a new blog.
It's been very slow going and I am,
therefore, unmotivated to post.

Trying to get back on track now.
See how beautiful nature has been this spring.
(Click on each photo for a larger view.)