Wordless Wednesday

Texture Tuesday

Most mornings the sun shines in so sweetly on this plant.  I decided to catch the sun flares in a photo the other day.  The plant is episcia and I've had it since about May. It's doing so well!  I bought it at the same plant sale that I mentioned here.  I've found out it's is related to African Violets. I'll post more pictures of it soon, it's really a neat plant. 

I textured the photo with one layer of Kim Klassen's "vintage teal" on overlay blending mode.  It really brought out the pretty sun flares.  

Linking with:

Pictures From Our County Fair

Our fair is quite small.

Dorito Face

But, it's still fun to walk around, eat in the grand stand, and see the entries.

The walk through the barns is always good.

Can a pig be cute?  Only when they are little or when looking at their tail.

This fella had been crowing.  Must have been a bit confused as it was about 8 at night.

Our county fair changed from a  carnival on the midway to big blow up play on toys for the kids.  It's cheaper and entertains them longer so I've come to appreciate it after adapting to the change when it was made quite a few years ago.

I don't know this couple but I thought they were cute.  And, they typify a small fair.  I imagine they have come to sit in this grandstand for a lot of years.

This ribbon was awarded to some really beautiful flowers.  (not ours)

Plates of ribbon 'taters were seen being carried around every where.

I have such good memories of our fair growing up and I hope my kids take some good ones away too.

This fair had to have gone on record as one of the coolest (temperature-wise) ever.  At least since they've bumped up all the fairs to July anyway.  We could see our breath when we left late on Saturday night!  Crazy, but I loved it.

Balloon Sticks--A Great Find!

A number of months ago I came across balloon sticks at Hobby Lobby.  It was a light bulb moment as they say.  I make what we call "Happy Day Bouquets" as gifts and realized that these balloon sticks would be perfect to add a balloon to a bouquet.

This is from my daughter's 8th birthday celebrated this summer.

And, here I used them to make a simple balloon bouquet from another party.

And, of course they are reusable!!
Although, I often use a dot of hot glue to hold the cap in place that hooks the balloon to the stick.  You can still reuse it.

Now, recently when making a Happy Day Bouquet for some reason I grabbed a sharpie and drew a face on  one of the balloons and a stick puppet was born!!

Meet "Grandpa".

And, "Grandma"

Who lives on the other side of Grandpa.

Then I realized that these would be perfect puppets for the little girls to take to the fair.  

The youngest girls are "Clover Kids" and their projects aren't judged yet.  The puppets can have two personalities with faces on both sides.

My 13 y/o got in on the fun too.  Doesn't this look like a teen ager's puppet? 

A little ribbon collar finishes the puppets off.

If they pop, oh well, make another.  Balloons are pretty cheap!  

These are seriously so fun!  But, I'm a big puppet fan.

Balloon sticks~definitely a good find!

Linking this post up with:

The Shabby Nest

Wordless Wednesday

Texture Tuesday

Happy Tuesday :)

The Psalms which include the words "Sing a New Song" come to us every once in awhile here.  Do you ever find yourself wallering in the same thoughts?  the same fears?  the same ol' same ol'....

I'm pretty sure we aren't alone in this.  Which is probably why God gives us the encouragement to sing a new song.

Maybe you don't sing the new song very well and can only hum a few bars until you're back to the same old song, but give it a try. It's a start.

So what's a new song sound like?  
It may be words of affirmation, words of praise, a new way of seeing something or someone.  
Thoughts that are positive.  
Thoughts that are different from the ones that weigh you down. 
Very small thoughts of forgiveness that open the door just a crack and it lets in just a tad bit of light.  

A new song may be thoughts that are just plain happy.  
Choose a happy song.

Your new song may feel so good that you sing it just a tad louder the next time. 

I used Kim's textures Canvas Back and Stamped Softly on the above image of a zinnia from my tank garden.
Linking up with Kim for Texture Tuesday.

Photographing Family Gatherings

About a week ago, we helped my sister in law celebrate her 60th birthday.  

We had such a nice time visiting and eating!  My brother grilled burgers and there were stuffed mushrooms, pico de gallo, salads, oven roasted veggies, and four cakes.  We were full.

One picture that I really like to take is of our family dining.  Whether extended family or just our immediate family,  I just love to capture the dining room table.

Over the years I began shying away from taking the "everyone look at the camera and smile" type of pictures.  It seems to stress some people who don't like to be photographed and I've had small children for so long that it seemed that inevitably one of them would not want to look let alone smile.  The "everyone look.." pictures just became too stressful.

I usually prefer candid pictures anyway.  So over the years I have started to take more candid photos in group settings.  

I have realized four things.  

1. I need to take a lot more candid photos in order to get keepers.
2.  When taking candids, I need to not worry about being conspicuous. 
3.  The formal "look at the camera and smile picture" is still important and I need to take more of them and spend the time getting everyone to "look at the camera...."
4. I want both types of photos when I get home from a gathering.

My second daughter is so good at getting us together for those photos and making everyone look.  It's taken the pressure off of me to be the pushy one.  But, she's not always there.  I miss the face pictures when I get back from a gathering and all I have are candids.

For sure one can ask for a group 'look at the camera' picture, but be prepared to accept 75% attention. Or less.  Especially when there are often 6 cameras on a group and no one knows which camera to look at!

I'd love to hear from all of you about this.  When photographing a group, are you pushy and/or patient enough to get everyone to look?  Do you know when to stop trying?  Do you have tips or tricks on getting good candid shots? While at a gathering, what shot do you prefer to take, the candid or the posed?

Saturday Digest

Cheese Puffs

I tried this recipe from Lorrie a couple of days ago.  YUM!  I used swiss cheese, oregano, and chives just like she did and we all loved them.  Next time maybe I'll try another combination of cheese and herbs to experiment.

  I told the kids we were having appetizers for dinner which impressed them. Appetizers beyond snacking on whatever we are making aren't common around here. 

The cheese puffs were  followed up by Tombstone hamburger pizza. 

We also thought these would taste good for brunch.  They would pair well with an egg dish, sausage, or bacon.  Maybe even put crumbled bacon in them?!

Thanks Lorrie for this great recipe!!

I found out through a reader's email that this tree in my tank garden is called Ailanthus or "Tree of Heaven" and was advised to take it out as it is a spreading type of weed tree.

I love it there and was thrilled to learn that it is known as the "Tree of Heaven"!!

However, further reading really does intimidate me about leaving this tree too long.  I have now seen more sprouting about our acreage.  They sound like they are as invasive and hard to control as Chinese Elms. 

Suzan at Old Grey Mare is 60 today!!  Stop over and tell her Happy Birthday!!

This class, Sewn, would be "sew" fun to take!  The video is inspiring!

Have a great weekend!!

Claire Makes

Last weekend we stopped at my Mom's for just a few minutes. She was sorting some sewing stuff and here was this pincushion.  Blast from the past!  I'm not sure if I made it or if one of my sisters did, but I remember using it and taking the layers apart.  I realized this was a perfect first knitting project for my 13 y/o.

I told her this would be cute photographed like the Mollie Makes Magazine covers.  So, we did!

What fun!

It's ready for pins and needles and yes, that is a thimble in the center!

This really is a perfect first knitting project.

Some Mollie Makes and Pin cushion links:

Wordless Wednesday

Texture Tuesday

A couple of weeks ago a tree fell down on the path that we have through our acreage.  My husband and son went out to move it away.  I caught them after the two big cuts.  Our chainsaw is medium sized and this job could have used a larger one but they were able to get through it pretty quickly.

You know I was thinking that more garden stepping "stones" would be neat. I was also reminded of this Mosaic Monday post.  But, not enough time nor enough sharpened chain saw blades handy!  This is a Cottonwood as opposed to Oak that the other tree was.

As soon as I get a chance...I have a number of photos from this night that will make a fun stop motion video. You could say I have a number of projects waiting for "when I get a chance..". Ha!

I used two of Kim Klassen's textures (vintage companion and the wall) on the above photo.

Linking up with Texture Tuesday.

Saturday Digest

One of my 13 y/o's 4-h projects in the works!  It turned out pretty neat, hopefully a picture of the finished project will follow.

The petunias renewed!  See this post for the tough love.  This picture was taken 3 weeks after the trimming.  Pretty soon they'll be ready to trim again.

Although I think I've over fertilized as the leaves are getting a tad yellow.  Oops.

Do you use Instagram?  I thought it was a silly thing months ago, just like texting.  Now, I use both and really think Instagram is great!  They have added the ability to Instagram 15 second videos which is kind of fun.

Have a great weekend!

July in the Tank Garden

On the list for next year...new soil in these pots!  Chamomile is pretty happy here though.

New to me this year, a Penta plant.

I don't remember what this plant is called right now, but I love it!  It's in some type of funnel/strainer which sits in a lamp shade frame.  Perfect plant stand. :)

Yellow, is my favorite color and favorite color of flower.

Liatris and Love in the Mist

Dahlberg Daisy volunteer.  Love these little happy surprises!

My Garden statue Ruth with her lovely crocheted stone sent to me from a friend.

Our cat, Runs With Wolves.  Yep, that's her name.  Not sure why my oldest named her that many years ago when she was a kitty.  Now, she would be more aptly named Runs Without a Tail as she had to have her tail amputated a few years ago.  She always joins us in the garden.

Heliotrope, it's growing for me this year!!!
Smells great!!!

The view from one of the chairs.  When there a time to sit with tea or coffee, it's a treat.

~Have a great day~
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