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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Waiting for Springs Return

This winter in North Texas has gone on record as one of the coldest and wettest since records have been kept.  We are 'officially' out of our longstanding drought in this state, with one or two counties still looking for a little more rain, but most of us have had more than enough of this.  As Texans, we cherish the rains, but anxiously wait the sun's warm return.

This may look to you like a crummy dead hanging plant I should have discarded many months ago, but I can assure you this is much more than it appears.  This will be home to a pair of Mourning Doves that return every year to this spot to nest, and raise their young. 

The first year this unlikely spot was chosen, we were startled when we found the nesting birds settled in- after all, this is 20 feet from our back door, and adjacent to our grilling and fire pit area.  We have little dogs that hang out in the sunny warm spots of this patio- there is just a lot going on here!  But, they held steadfast to their choice, and it was wonderful to see the 2 small baby birds grow, and eventually take flight.   There were a few times we disturbed them unintentionally by bumping the pot, but overall, we got on okay.

The second year I really thought I would outsmart them, and I took down the hanging pot, and waited until I thought mating season was over- well into April.  The birds watched closely from their perch on my neighbor's roof until the pot came back- this time with a fresh, green plant.   Once again they chose this spot to call 'home'.  I was not able to water the new plant because of the babies in the nest, so it just withered and died, and I ended up having to replace it.

So, here we are in year 3 of the nesting bird saga, and I have left my old, withered plant out as a welcome sign to my pair of Mourning Doves, anxiously awaiting their return, and the promise of springs return as well.   The promise that the warm glow of the sun will once again shine upon us, and as the Beatles so aptly put it "Here comes the sun, and I say-it's alright!"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Distressed Denim Overalls- An Overall Success!!

Humble Beginnings

We all start out somewhere, and these humble $2 thrift store rejects were nothing special, but they were a perfect start for this distressing experiment.

I like the idea of taking an ugly duckling, and at least turning out an owl or bluejay.  These were not badly worn, and not expensive enough that I was worried about messing the whole thing up.  It was very freeing!  I have been wanting to try my hand at denim distressing for quite some time- this was a perfect starter project for me.

I used several different 'tools' on my project. I liked using a cheese grater the best, I could rub away the most fiber the fastest- however I also rubbed off a little of my knuckles as well! I used some 180 grit sandpaper to age the edges along the pockets and bib, and my handy seam ripper was great for adding tears.

I have been saving and cutting up my families old jeans to make a rag quilt, and I used some of the 'saved' pockets to add dimension to these bibs. The patches on the knee and vestback are from an antique 'cutter' quilt I have been looking to use on something- I love the worn out look of the quilt pieces with the distressed denim! On both the front and back quilt patches I set them from behind, so the ragged edges of the denim would add to the look.

One note on bleaching spots- I found that using a regular cotton ball worked the best. I could control the amount I squeezed out onto the fabric better than using a sponge. Anyway, it is what worked for me.

I made the Ticklish Moose applique patch out of some leftover creme-colored flannel, and added it after I bleached the denim and distressed the pocket.  The neat thing is that I know these will continue to wear and age and just keep getting better with time.   

All My Best

Telling People What I Think For 40+ Years!!

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