Sunday, July 28, 2013

luray caverns, va

dream lake

fried eggs

although a bit blurry, this reminds me of a classic tourist photo!

On the drive back form NC my brother and I detoured to Luray Caverns.
I'm known for my call of "brown sign!" when I travel.
(Brown signs are used to denote places of historic interest or natural beauty)
The tour takes about an hour and the path is a mile and a quarter long.

The Dream Lake is only 20" deep but the still, clear water renders 
it almost invisible as it reflects the stalactites hanging from above.

I took some shots with people in them to give a sense of scale.
It's an amazing place and although I took many photos
looking back I wish I had taken more!
It's hard to believe that it's all real.

I'm packed for tomorrow's trip.
Just need to hem some pants (I'm impossibly short!)
and paint my toenails!

Have a great week.
xo, j

Saturday, July 27, 2013

beautiful surprises

There was a beautiful blue package waiting for me when I returned from my trip.
  Thank you so much Coco for the wonderful handmade drawstring bags!
One is for my knitting and the other for my embroidery.

The bracelet is very lovely...I'll wear it during next week's meetings.
And the little bird magnet and tea are perfect.
You are far too generous, my dear friend.
A little package of birds is flying your way right now!

The pears were on my desk this morning.
Jenny picked them from her tree and put them in this sweet heart shaped bowl.
What a pretty way to start my day at work.

Now it's time to unpack so I can pack again, Monday I'm off to Chicago!
It's a work trip so the most I'll see of the city is the view from the airplane.
Tomorrow, more vacation photos.

xo, j

Thursday, July 25, 2013

rainy north carolina

I'm back from my 1200 mile whirlwind tour of North Carolina and Virginia.
It was great to visit my older brother's new home for the first time.
My nephew was away at camp but his dog Joey was a great cuddle bug!
D is safely back in Florida...the apartment is quiet.

There was a lot of rain but that didn't deter the hummingbirds.
Such a beautiful countryside all lush and green.
The farmers' market was busy on Saturday morning 
and I picked up some delicious honey.

Letters need to be written and packages much to do before
I leave on a business trip to Chicago next week!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

road trip

Tomorrow morning my brother and I are heading out on a road trip.
I'm scrambling to get packed, it must be done before I leave for work in an hour!

One thing that I've been a bit obsessed with lately is this book
of illustrations by Charlie Harper.
We've had the book in the store for about a month now and I often 
found myself wandering over to the table for a quick flip through during the day.
Now I've purchased it and couldn't be happier, I highly recommend it.

The bold and simple renderings just seem to resonate with the embroidery
work and little paintings that I've been doing, we'll see what becomes of it!

So off to the mountains of Western North Carolina we go.
I won't be back for about a week but will surely have many photos on my return.

Take care and enjoy the 'dog days of summer!"
xo, j

Friday, July 12, 2013

green summer rain

Outside my window Common Sunflowers droop from the day's steady rain.
I wonder if they grew from seeds I threw out for the birds and squirrels this past winter?

Sorry for not posting this week, I've been impossibly busy.
The embroidery is all I've been able to work on lately, a little Day Lily sachet, not quite done.

Thanks so much for the kind comments and words of encouragement on the needlework.
They have lifted my spirits!

xo, j

Sunday, July 07, 2013

sunday handiwork

There was another heat warning in effect today
as the the heat index rose to the high 90's.

I stayed at home and did some very fast cleaning
so I could get back to my embroidery!
(Dave, leave the white gloves in Florida!)

The unplanned style of the garden required more time 
to work out but I kept reminding myself "this is just a sampler."
It's all very basic but now I have plenty of ideas.

I made a refillable cheesecloth bag and stuffed it with lavender.
It felt great to complete something in such a short amount of time

Hope everyone had a lovely summertime weekend.
xo, j

Saturday, July 06, 2013

should have been cleaning today...

...but I ended up in the woods again!
Another walk around the meadows of Jacobsburg SP.
This time I took a new trail and three hours later 
finally found my way back to the car.

The temperature was in the low 90's and still quite humid,
a typical summer day full of cicadas, crickets and bees.

At the end of the trail I took off my shoes and dangled 
my steamy toes in the cold creek water.

Trying my hand at some free form embroidery,
we'll see how it goes...I'm a bit tired.

Hmmmm, maybe I'll get some housework done tomorrow?
My brother is coming to visit soon so I can't put it off much longer!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

finally sun

There may still be some clouds but today the sun returned.
After puttering around the house 
I spent about an hour weeding in my friend's garden.

The other day I was at work chatting with a customer about 
my garden sitting opportunity and he replied,
"ooh...that's a tricky thing, what if something dies?"

Guess I never thought about it but now that it's been mentioned I'm wondering
 if I maybe took out a row of carrots and weeded around other weeds!
If you're reading this Jennifer, please remember I had the best of intentions!

The radishes were pushing their way out of the ground,
some of them beginning to split from all the rain,
so I pulled two out for myself.

It's the Fourth of July, the day our country declared its independence.
My thanks to all who have served to keep it that way.
Tonight fireworks will light up the sky.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

garden gnome

A friend of mine is on vacation and asked if I would watch her garden.
Earthworms, pincher bugs, ants and all!

Tonight I stopped over after work to do some weeding.
How eagerly we jump into tasks that are unfamiliar!

Pulling weeds is much like knitting to me,
a repetitive action that slows me down, smoothing away the day.

A regular garden gnome, I am!
Perhaps I should felt myself a little red cap.

The beautiful kale was my reward for topping off the wheel barrow.
Guess what's for dinner tonight!

Monday, July 01, 2013

when it rains...

...the mushrooms come out,
and it's been raining here for days.

I didn't get up to the mountains yesterday, feeling a bit tired.
So I curled up with magazines, books and yarn.

This issue of Kinfolk features all things Japanese and was a pleasure 
to slip into as the thunder rumbled down the mountain.

I picked up the yarns at Purl Soho.
The red is called Camper (of course!) and is from Brooklyn Tweed.
The green is a fingering weight from Swans Island called Tarragon.
It was  a pleasure to finally feel the yarns that I've been so enamored with!

A pair of Baltimore Orioles are nesting outside my window this year.
(Pictured second pair down in the field guide.)
The female is out and about more than the flashy male, 
but both are too quick for my camera.

I painted my kitchen the top green on the color card.
It's cheerful and brightens up the dark little space.

Now off to make a stir fry for dinner.
Hope all is well.
xo, j