Sunday, July 26, 2009

sabbatical craftiness

It's been lovely to have extra time for making things (including, Matt will certainly tell you, a crafty mess of our house...). Having decided a while ago that I like imagining projects almost as much as actually making them, I have also realized that I respond well to deadlines.

So, these past weeks have included some crafting of decor and supplies for my dear neighbor, Marian's expected twins, and some preserving of the cucumbers that just keep growing in the front yard.

Marian brought me the fun challenge of a tattered old family quilt, material for upcycling into new things for the babies.
I also finally acted on my schemes of clever diaper bags, making this one out of some beautiful fabric her husband brought from travels in Asia, and from a thrifted pair of orange pants.

And, though it's 'cause I left them on the vine a little long, I think the yellow colors in these cucumbers look awfully lovely in their dilly brine. (Props to Lea and Marian for pickle assistance.)

my (very) brief career as a wedding florist

When Matt's sister was married earlier this summer, I convinced her and myself that it would be fun to be her florist.
I learned that I had no real idea what kind of work it is to get flowers together for a wedding. Especially one with 7 bridesmaids and 9 groomsmen... It's a lot of work.
But, thanks to training, advice and tireless help from my friend Jay, who is a real florist, it all worked. And, with flowers from a Vista grower (through the Farmer's Market), greens from my yard and the Parker family home, and many helpers, we made it a local, homegrown affair. (And all that's not to mention the tasty, homemade cupcakes and custom-drilled cupcake carriers others provided...)
While it's delightful to play with beautiful things, I can't quite imagine that busy-ness every weekend.
So, now I can add another item to the list of cool-sounding jobs I don't really want. And I have some new skills at arranging flowers for around the house. :)
Anyone need a boutonniere?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

little and unexpected

I'm currently enjoying the blessing of an 8-week Renewal Leave. It's lovely to have some time of sabbath. Perhaps I'll even take time to fill in some of the lovely things since my last blog post.

For today, though, I have just this little, unexpected thing to share: a wild orchid found this past week in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park.(Fingers included for scale.)
I'd hoped this would be the rare Calpyso Orchid, namesake for the Calypso Cascades near which I found this beauty. The internet tells me it is not; it is a Spotted Coralroot Orchid, lovely in its own right.

I'm still marveling at the realization that orchids grow wild in the Rockies. And that something so small can be so intricate, that something so lovely can thrive out of decaying wood, and at what worlds become visible to me when I take time to look.