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Thursday, October 10, 2019

What Will Survive the Deep Freeze?

I saw this little lady bug yesterday as I was soaking up the sun.  It was 85 F and it was just beautiful.

Then, around 5 pm, a huge wind storm struck with 50 mph winds swirling everything from its base.

I saved many of my potted annuals.  I wish these beautiful impatiens could hang on the pot rack all year!!
More impatiens, a potted hydrangea and the potted sweet potato vine, which isn't very happy.

And then there was snow. The upper picture is my Catalpa Tree, a gift from my mom.  I love these trees because they smell like honeysuckle for a few weeks in late spring.  Freezing rain fell before the snow.  I went out to check on the tree and touched one of the leaves.  It fell to the ground, frozen.  It's going to be a long winter before I find out if this tree will make it.

Well, enough complaining.  The sun is out and, as is normal in Colorado, it will be warmer and the snow will be gone by the weekend.

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

More Autumn and then...........

With some success I have grown pumpkins this year.  All of a sudden, they appear with a surprise, then there are more hiding under their large leaves.  I planted them late, so they are not as large as I'd like them, but they will do.

Spaghetti squash, which I don't love to eat, but like pumpkins, are fun to grow.
This sweet potato is my favorite summer miracle.  It actually started growing inside because it sat on my kitchen counter for so long.  Then I placed it outside with my other plants for the rest of the summer.  I cut about 2/3 of the potato off and placed it in a pot to grow........hopefully.  The last few days have been HOT, but with freezing temps at night.  So I brought it inside.  The vine has weakened, but I have my fingers crossed.

I am not usually a fan of autumn.  I have gotten sick practically every year of my life at this time of year, with asthma and bronchitis.  I've often missed Halloween trick or treating, but I have fond memories of the few I was able to take part in.  But, this year is different because I am enjoying the changes; the cooler weather, and even the shorter days!!  Hmmmm.....

And because I've been enjoying fall so much, I have been learning how to paint pumpkins, courtesy of Emma Lefebvre (@emjlefebvre, Instagram).  She is the most amazing water color instructor! (Youtube:
I need a bit more practice, but I'm having fun.  Emma does loose watercolors, whereas I've been trained in botanical water color painting, which is very, very precise.  

A winter storm is headed this way this Thursday.  The high on Thursday may only be 30 F with a low of 13 F.  So I've covered as much as possible and brought annual pots in, as well as wrapped my new Catalpa tree, in the hopes that this very early freeze won't kill everything.

I haven't been knitting or crocheting much, as I've been so enjoying fall painting.  I tried my hand at Tunisian crochet, but my pieces keep coming out crooked!  Must research that.

Ciao for now!! 😍

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


School has started and it's so busy.  In my free time I have been painting.  Today, courtesy of arty_pea on Instagram, I painted an autumn leaf branch.  arty_pea made it look so easy.  My photos are taken with my iPhone, so not the greatest photo quality.

I started the day on the back porch with my lovely flowers, which I wish would last forever.  They make me so happy.

Ah yes, and coffee, of course.  Then it got hot, up to 85 today, but there have been teases of fall.  Which reminds me, I need to go turn off the sprinkler!!  Bye for now.  More to come soon!!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Painting and Garden Goodies

This summer I have just been obsessed with botanical painting.  It's a peaceful break from my barking dogs and other demands like cleaning, grocery shopping, worrying, etc.  I even got brave enough to enter my paintings into the Boulder County Fair, in which I received an honorable mention ribbon for an artichoke painting.

Sorry, not the greatest picture.  I was shocked and elated to get any recognition at all.  It just made my day and encouraged me to keep refining my skills.

I am also just loving my porch flowers.  It's taken all day to get this post done because of server problems somewhere out there.

Below is my tiny veggie garden.  Zucchini, pumpkins, sugar snap peas and purple string beans!!  A lot in a small plot.

Here is one grape vine.  There is another on the other pole on the porch.  It's been a very strange spring and summer here in Colorado.  Spring was cold and rainy!!  That never happens.  Summer has been mostly hot with more rain than usual.  When it's hot, like in the 90s or 100s, I have to water the plants twice a day.

Well, that's a lot of pictures!!!  More soon!  Bye for now.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Obsessed with Homemade Bread!!

This is such a simple bread recipe.  I've been making it a lot because I love the aroma of home made bread.  I got it from a friend last week. 

Here's the recipe:

Preheat the oven to 450 F
3 cups of white flour (preferably organic)
1 1/2 cups of water
2 teaspoons of salt, or 3 for more taste
1 yeast packet or 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast

Use a fork to mix the ingredients.  This recipe calls for using a dutch oven, but I don't have one, so I let the bread rise overnight or for at least 3-4 hours in a glass bowl.

Then grease a glass bread pan with spray canola oil.  Transfer the bread from the bowl to the pan and shape it so it lays evenly.

Place in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a knife comes clean after poking.

If you have a dutch oven:

  • Line the dutch oven with parchment paper
  • For rising, cover the dutch oven with a lid
  • Remove the dough from the dutch oven and put the dutch oven in at 450 F by itself for 20 minutes
  • Remove the dutch oven and place the bread inside with the parchment paper lining and cover and put back into the oven at 450 for 20 minutes.

I have not tried this method, so I cannot attest to it.  As soon as I do, I'll let you know!!

Happy Baking!!

Caio for now!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Painting Products

Here are a few links to products that I'm selling through TeeSpring and Zazzle!!

Take a look!!!


I have posted about this before, when I first started on this spring blanket.  Yes, I still love the colors/hues, but I'm getting more frustrated with what I call the "flubs" in the yarn.

I don't need this blanket to be perfect, but I really don't want blue in the orange area.  Yes, this is done by machine and most skeins go without a quality check.  I will continue on, even with the "flubs"  I thought that I'd crochet some daisies to attach to the flubs to cover them up.

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Yay for Spring!!!

Happy Spring!!!!  Well, tomorrow.....!  I love love love spring!!  The new life that comes into the trees and plants; bulbs that pop up that I had forgotten I planted and then realized they are in the wrong place!!  Ha Ha!!

I have been away too long with asthma issues and medication that makes me either feel non-productive or over-productive.  I've done a lot of paintings, but just a little crochet and knitting.

Isn't this little one cute??!!  I like painting birds and can't wait to start this one.  I got new paint brushes last week so that I can accomplish more details in my paintings.  I love them.  Also I got some liquid water colors as opposed to brick-like paints I have been using.  I am learning, though, that brand is everything.  My art teacher shared a red with me that is many notches above my paints, and wow!  It even seems shiny.  Well, soon soon.
Right now I am drawing a blank on the name of this plant.  I got it at the grocery store along with some pink tulips and a white hyacinth.
These are the tulips.  Aren't they beautiful....with that strip up the middle of each petal?!  Yes, I can't want to paint this one!!

Caio for now!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Knitting Needles Break??

This is my own design!!  I was feeling so excited about it and couldn't wait to blog it until......I leaned over to pat my dog and one needle broke into pieces.  No, my belly isn't that big!!  They are plastic, yes, but I loved them, and had just thought about how fast I could knit with them.  They have a tapered tip which made knitting with them a dream for me.

I got these needles and many others, including lots of yarn from a mom I met when my daughter was horse back riding, which helped a lot with her anxiety.  The mom brought in a huge garbage bag of many, many different types of yarn.  I was humbled.  She said she had arthritis and could no longer knit.  I felt so sad for her and I could tell that by giving me that bag, that she was ready to stop staring at her stash in sadness.

I think of her every time I use any of that yarn or a pair of cool knitting needles.  Oh, by the way, this is a beanie that I sorta made up as I went along.  I used the yarn I got in a Darn Good Yarn monthly yarn box subscription.  I think it was silk and recycled plastic.  The pattern for that month was a little knit pouch, but I didn't really want to do that, so I started this beanie.  The purple is Caron Simply Soft by Yarnspirations.  Yes, an interesting combo, but it just may work!!

Stay tuned!!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Spring Please!!!!

Oh spring, where are you?  It has been below zero for the last 3 mornings with just a few inches of snow.  The furnace isn't keeping up and the warranty company is giving me a headache.

These pictures are from Flower Patch Farmhouse.  I get their newsletter by email and I plan on ordering some seeds from them this year.  I have never been very lucky with morning glories, mostly because the Colorado soil is like mud/cement and really isn't conducive to much but drought tolerant plants.  The best thing to do is plant in raised beds with store-bought soil.

Vegetables don't do too badly in cement soil.  Peas, carrots and kale actually do quite well.  There is a lot of clean up to do in the back yard and in the gardens.  It's overwhelming.  I spent most of fall in the hospital and wasn't able to get anything done.

I am making my way with the The Harper Wool Jacket.  On big needles with thick wool, I can only do so much at a time.  I've separated the sleeves and am now working on the body.  More updates soon!

It's been a quiet morning as the kids and the dogs have slept in.  Off to botanical painting class!!

Take care, Heather

Monday, February 4, 2019

Beautiful Colors for Spring Crocheting

These are my new favorite colors!!  I was so excited when I found this Lionbrand Mandela yarn called Pegasus.  I'm making a light weight blanket with this yarn to match my dream decor below!

Although there have been a few issues with this yarn, which surprised me.  First, if you enlarge the picture you can see that in the lightest peach section, there are a few blue stitches.  I am pretty bummed about that because it makes the blanket look like it's a bit dirty in that spot.

Another issue was that there was a knot where three pieces of yarn intertwined.  Once it got the knot undone, it was a 5 inch piece of yarn tangled on two ends of the yarn skein. I've never seen that before.

Then, as I was crocheting away, I bumped into a a section of yarn that had dwindled down to 1 ply.  Ugh.

I'm very attached to these colors and I like the yarn texture, so I will forge ahead!!!

I so love these colors by Ace Hardware and want to use them to freshen up my living room.  Ahhh, painting, not my favorite task.  I think I can stay motivated enough though because I love the color combination so much!!

Below is my winter hyacinth bulb that I had found at Walmart and brought me so much joy and aroma therapy whilst doing the dishes.  My mom said to "give the bulb a rest" and then plant it in the back yard.  I'm not sure how long to "rest" the bulb, I think a few weeks or so.

Please say hello, leave a comment or ask a question!!!

Back soon, Heather

Monday, January 28, 2019

Hello and Welcome New Followers!!!

I am so excited to have new followers!!  Welcome, welcome.  I have been terribly busy lately.  We decided to replace our old minivan with a relatively new one.  Wow! What a difference.  It got a ride in the snow this morning.  😊

Here are some botanical water color works in progress:

I am so challenged by these two flowers.  My art teacher teased me because I'm doing the leaves first and saving the hard part for last.  I joked with her, saying I am still contemplating my plan.  Ha ha.

But then I realized that that's what I am doing!  I'm thinking long and hard on how I am going to manage the hydrangea and the rose.  I will try not to be a perfectionist.😊😆

I was so lucky to find this hyacinth bulb already in a vase at Walmart a few weeks ago. It was barely in bloom when I picked it up and then within days it was in full bloom and full aroma!!  Ahhh the smell of hyacinth in January just made me so happy.  I spend a lot of time doing dishes and this is perfect aroma therapy for a boring task.  Next, I plan to create a painting of the hyacinth. I have taken pictures of it from different angles to get the most of the details.

I will be so sad when it stops emitting its incredible scent.

Next post will be about knitting, crocheting and other info!!

Have a wonderful Monday!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year!!!!

Hello, hello!!  Happy New Year!!

I made a new ear warmer for my niece, The Crochet Griddle Stitch Winter Headband by Repeat Crafter Me.  The pinkish purple one is for my sister, I can't remember where I got that pattern, and the scarf for her boyfriend, which I made myself.

It totally worked out that we didn't see each other on Christmas because I really wanted to add fringe to the scarf and create something new for my niece.  I had already made a beret for my niece for her birthday, which was in November. She had been traveling for a few months. I hope to get things to her this week.

The kids go back to school on the 7th and I can think of so many things I had wanted to do while they were off, but didn't get to.  Yet, I am proud of what I have accomplished.  My plan was to work on a new project, The Harper Wool Jacket.  I really like this pattern and hope to complete it before spring!!  Go take a look. It's so pretty and simple.  I emailed Sabina because it was hard to find Size 19 circular needles that measure 60 inches.  She said the 60 inches wasn't necessary; that she liked that length so she could try the jacket while in process.

Have a great, crafty day!!!

Love, Heather