Monday, July 21, 2008


Dock on the pond at the ATK Ranch, Promontory, Utah

I bounced out of bed early Saturday morning to meet the Audubon group and go birding in Box Elder County (the next county over). Okay, maybe I didn't bounce exactly, considering that I was up until 1:30 the night before, but at least I managed to drag myself out through sheer anticipation LOL There are several places in Box Elder County that I have always wanted to go, but have never had a vehicle able to get there. Since we were carpooling, this was my BIG CHANCE. Unfortunately, we didn't end up going anywhere my car couldn't have gone, but we saw some great things anyway!

One of our first stops was an empty grain silo with nesting Barn Owls. We were given STRICT instructions to make as little noise as possible, and only stick our heads in the silo one at a time. I was patiently waiting my turn when the owls decided they had had enough. Out they came, right out the bottom of the silo we were sticking our heads in! It was SO AMAZING!!! Juvenile owls were flopping around at our very feet, running into people's legs as we all ducked to get out of their way! They are incredibly beautiful, and I really wish I had brought my camera over to the silo with me. After the owls (at least 4 or more) flew off to quieter perches, we all felt so guilty for disturbing them. I hope they all made it back home safely!

Our next stop was Golden Spike National Historic Site, where the transcontinental railroad met. A couple of birders in the group had found a Burrowing Owl nest site around there a few days previously. I have never seen a Burrowing Owl, so I was really excited about this stop! As we approached the nest site, there he was, sitting calmly on the fence, right next to the road. Unlike the Barn Owls, he was completely unconcerned about us staring at him. Barn Owls are beautiful, but Burrowing Owls are just plain CUTE.

Burrowing Owl
We continued on down Promontory, where we were blessed with a rare glimpse of a Common Nighthawk perched obligingly on a leafless branch in broad daylight. I've never actually seen one perched before, much less in good light where you can see all his lovely camouflaging. Usually I see them as shadows with white wing bars zooming around parking lot lights.

My other great bird for the day was a lifer Say's Phoebe. This bird was hanging out on a farm with the cows LOL

While we didn't see a LOT of birds on this trip, and none of them will count towards my "200 bird" list, as they were not in Cache Valley, really the best part of the trip was getting to know the other birders. I really enjoy riding with Dick and Dorothy, and had wonderful discussions with them about not only birds, but wildflowers, which Dorothy know a lot about! And Dick had some really great field guides, like Butterflies of the West and Dragonflies of the Southwest. They are great people, and I look forward to birding and wildflower watching with them again! They even took the group a little out of our way, just to show me a Blazing Star wildflower. Unfortunately, it wasn't in bloom at the moment, having spent flowers and unopened buds on the stem. But I should be able to locate it again another time. I love how my hobbies have allowed me to meet many wonderful people!
Desert Whitetail Dragonfly on marsh grass
When I got home, I discovered that dh had gone to the thrift store without me! And he got this great desk, to replace the monstrosity that I am currently using. A great deal for $15. Now I just need a LOT of primer and white paint to fix up all the goodies accumulating around my house LOL


This is my latest project. While visiting the Oh Merci blog (this is such a great blog, you really must visit it) I found the instructions for this project. Check out her June 26th post for the instructions and her example. It's beautiful! I really loved the project and wanted to make one, but I couldn't decide what letters to do. In the end, I decided to do a "W" and add a little "welcome" in a book plate. It's done in the colors of my living room; blue, aqua and greens. I've had the silver ricrac for a while now, trying to find just the perfect project to use it on. This was the one! And of course there are sparkly rhinestones in the center of the flowers. Can't forget the bling! LOL This was SO much fun to make! I'm going to have to find some more places around my house that need to be graced with a monogram :)
Note: I used the end of a paintbrush instead of Q-tips to create the dots.
This little plaque is hanging up in my back entry way. I got the wooden plaque at JoAnn's (a craft and fabric store), painted it, and added a bunch of STUFF. I love collage art, but I'm still not very good at it. I have a tendency to think in straight lines; it's hard for me to throw stuff together LOL But I really like having it hanging on my wall, kind of covering up a bad spot on the wall LOL Haven't gotten around to painting that part of the house yet.
If any of you end up making a polka dot monogram, please let me know! I'd love to see it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More shopping...

I managed to resist for 3 days, then I broke down. It never would have happened if I hadn't have HAD to go to the library. I got in the van, headed to the library, and it just automatically drove to the thrift store. Totally not my fault, right? :D

So I ended up with MORE milk glass. You should have seen dh's face when I got home LOL I got the little bowl, which is propped up on a book so you can see the pattern better, and a vase-looking bowl. Love them both. I also got a REALLY CUTE RED train case! I can't wait to get it cleaned up! Not sure if I'm going to try some fun decoupage, or just leave it as is. It even has the mirror and toiletries bag in it, and the inside is in perfect shape. I wish there had been 2, because my sister really loves it too. Guess I'll just have to keep looking for another one, means many more trips to the thrift store! I was happy about the flower frog too. I've wanted one of those for a while, but I'm too cheap to buy a new one. Of course, this one looks so cute in the package, that I don't know if I'll be able to use it anyway LOL I got a shelf for my living room wall too, but I'll show you that if I ever get it hung up :)

By the way, I checked out several Depression Glass books at the library. Gotta learn about my budding collection, right?

by the inch

I have seen "inchies" mentioned on some paper crafting blogs, but wasn't entirely sure I understood the concept. Well, today I discovered the Inchy By Inch blog! Yippee! A whole blog dedicated to a new-to-me art form. And there are challenges, which means I will be inspired! The challenge for this week was to create an inchy with a travel theme, and then use it on something, like a card. I made three little inchies: "journey", using a gold sequin leaf, a tiny shell, a date stamp, handwritten journey, and a paper scrabble tile "j"; "explore", using a hand image cut out from a Stampin' Up! catalog (after being a demo for 5 years I have a LOT of catalogs, so I figured I'd cut them up LOL), handwritten explore, paper scrabble tile "e" and a months stamp; "wander", using green jewels, a shiny copper stone bead, a date stamp, paper scrabble tile "w" and handwritten wander. That big stamp on the card is a foam stamp I got from Micheal's. I think the patterned paper might be scissor sisters, but I'm not totally positive.

The inchies were really fun to make, although I think I need more practice LOL It's quite a challenge to create something so SMALL! Give it a try! And check out the Inchy By Inch blog for some inspiration.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Paper crafting tags

I found a blog called Weekend Taggers/Tag You're It. They post a challenge every week (I think LOL), and the challenge for this week was to use red, cream and brown on a tag. Well, since I really wanted to create something, and I always do better if I have a challenge or a deadline, I decided to give it a try. Here is my creation...

And then I decided to make another goodie, just for fun. The argyle background paper was actually the packaging for a stamp I bought, and I decided it was way too cute to throw away. So I added a few embellishments and a quote (seriously LOVE quotes), and here it is! The butterfly and the flowers in the tea cup and in the metal embellie in the top left corner are cut from a flower catalog, and then embellished with rhinestones. I have this sitting in my white basket with a bird's nest and a glass jar full of bird's eggs. They make a nice little tableau :)
Now, just as soon as I get my desk cleaned up AGAIN, and find another challenge, I'll create something else! Check out the Tag You're It link for more red/brown/cream tag ideas!


Saturday morning started nicely with a garage sale down the street. I actually DREAMED about this garage sale all night, because I had been told there would be some milk glass LOL So I headed over there, found the milk glass and decided it wasn't really what I was looking for. Of course, after spending the day online looking at milk glass prices, I wish I had bought it LOL But I came home with things I loved even more. The reason I spent the day looking at vintage glassware was to see if I could find more information on the pink glass compote. I couldn't find anything, so if anyone has any ideas about it, let me know! I also picked up the little vase (I suspect it might really be a toothbrush holder LOL) and the bowl. And a black metal shelf, just like the one I had hung up the night before in my bathroom! Except the bathroom shelf is cream, but the black one will look really nice downstairs. And then, I discovered the sweet little case, buried in a pile of things that hadn't been priced yet. I asked about it, and my nice neighbor lady let me have it for $3, including all the Fisher Price Little People stuff it was full of. I told her I didn't need the little people, but I ended up with them anyway. I'm glad though, as my mother-in-law has the matching house and circus train, so I'll be sending them to her.

After the garage sale, we took the kids to a get-together up the canyon at the Stokes Nature Center. It was a lot of fun, and the temperature and weather were perfect. We learned about different trees and plants, saw some fun birds, held snakes (yes, I really do like to hold snakes LOL), and had a nice picnic.

On the way home, dh turned to me and said, "How about a visit to the DI?" (the name of our local thrift store). Are you kidding me?!!! Of course I was more than happy to go! I managed to find a few things I had to have, including yet another black metal shelf! Now I'll have a matching pair downstairs. I was REALLY happy to find the little vintage bird pictures. I just about jumped up and down LOL I'm going to paint the rough wooden edges white. I was happy about the hobnail milk glass bowl too. I also picked up some craft books and a pair of, believe it or not, PURPLE Sketchers hiking boots. I'll be hiking in style now! LOL

Ahhh... I love thrifting.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A New Love, A New Hobby

Do I need one more hobby? Umm... no. But the long, cool, wet spring has turned into a summer that is overflowing with a riot of wildflowers! And I can't resist them. As may be apparent from earlier posts, I am a birder. I love birds, and this year I am making a serious effort to see as many as possible. In fact, I am at 137 species seen in Cache Valley! Plus a Great-Horned Owl in the 2 adjoining valleys and a life-bird Sage Thrasher in Wyoming. It's been a great year! Anyway, when you are out looking for birds it's hard to not notice all the OTHER wonderful things surrounding you, like millions of wildflowers! I've been checking out every available wildflower book from the library, and I recently bought a nice book called "Plants of the Rocky Mountains". And yet I STILL cannot identify the majority of flowers I have pictures of. It's SO frustrating! Much easier to ID birds LOL
So my new love, my new hobby is photographing and identifying wildflowers. Be prepared... there are probably a lot of flower pics coming :)
Colorado Columbine at Tony Grove, Utah
Small-flowered Woodland Star, one of my most favorite wildflowers. It is so tiny and delicate that it is easy to miss.
Phlox species, Limber Pine Trail, Utah I also saw a lot of these at Fossil Butte, Wyoming

More flower pictures coming soon!

Like I Need More Stuff

In theory, I am decluttering, simplifying, unburdening... In actuality I am collecting yet more STUFF. Because now I am in love with thrifting. Which means that instead of cleaning out MY stuff, I am now adding OTHER PEOPLE'S stuff to my already overflowing house! AHHHH!!! But it is seriously fun, so what can you do? LOL
Anyway, I got to go to the thrift store with my sister when I was visiting her on one weekend, and then to my local thrift store when she was visiting me the next weekend. She, of course, found all kinds of wonderful stuff (she is a cool stuff magnet LOL). I found some great stuff too, and here it is!

We have a Martha Stewart soap dispenser that I am going to use for lotion in my room. J (my sister) has lotion dispensers all over her house, and I love how luxurious that feels. There is a little blue bowl with snowmen painted on it, perfect for Christmas snacks (my Christmas decor is blue/white/silver). All of my vases are really boring, so this white vase will be a welcome addition. The little pie tin is to make a "tart" pin cushion. I love that white metal shelf. Yet another little metal basket (dh definitely rolled his eyes when he saw it LOL). Antique Copper-finish napkin rings, just cuz someday I may use linen napkins :) And the best item: a vintage drawn-work hankie with a crocheted lace edge. It reminds me of the beautiful handkerchief given to me by my great grandma, with drawn-work and a tatted lace edge. And in the background, don't you just love my vintage unpainted baseboards? LOL

This second pic is of my three most recent pretty little plate purchases. I have no idea why, but I LOVE pretty little plates. I even use them occasionally! I make up reasons to use them :)

Darn, just realized I forgot to take a pic of the cool tall glass jar that J found for me to put the HUGE amount of shells that we brought back from Bear Lake in, and the pretty silver lace-look cake rack thingie. Next time I guess.

Now, just have to wait until payday until I can hit the thrift store again!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Been There, Done That

I can't believe how long it has been since I've posted! So sorry! This has been one long, busy month. We went backpacking, spent a week in a condo at Bear Lake, went to cub scout day camp, then off on a quilt shop hop for 3 days. It was a really fun, great month, but I am so happy now to just relax. Well, maybe next week anyway LOL This week I am trying to get my poor neglected house cleaned up for my son's baptism on Saturday. So check back next week for a whole LOT of PICTURES!!!