Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Catching Up!

  It seems like it has been forever since I've had the time or energy to sit down and catch up with what I've been up to over the last month.  It seems the Iowa State Fair (11 days),  my son's birthday, a couple of car shows, evening rides in the Camaro, doctor's appointments, exercise, getting ready for an out of state visitor tomorrow, and some time with my friends has kept me pretty busy. 

Here are some pictures I took this month.    The first is a hummingbird moth.  It seems to like my tall garden phlox in the front and hung around for about 30 minutes while I was waiting for my son's bus to get home.  I usually sit out on the front porch reading but went back in for my camera.  I got some really nice pictures.
As always, I can't resist taking pictures of the moon.  I took this one in the morning as the sun was coming up.  I just like the color of the sky and how you can be more creative with your photos when taking morning shots of the moon.  At least until I learn to take better night photos.

I spent quite a lot of time this summer wondering where these hornets that were around my flowers were making their home this summer.  Checked eaves, under the upstairs deck, etc. looking for their home this year only to be sitting on the swing on the upper deck one evening to spot it 40 feet up in the tree at the back of the yard.  It is quite large (about the size of a basketball) and shaped like a strawberry.  I was either very brave or very stupid to get underneath it to take some photos.  It is an amazing structure.  It is too far up for us to do anything about it.  Hopefully this winter we will have a heavy snowfall that will knock it out of the tree.

The Iowa State Fair was very enjoyable this year as the temperatures were in the 80's most days.  We managed to get out there on 3 occasions and saw something different each time we went.  Here are some photos of the Fair through my lens - and yes I do love ferris wheels.

 Here is Keith showing off our 3rd purchased plaque with donation going to the Blue Ribbon Foundation to maintain and improve the fairgrounds.
1st Place - Tabletopper/Breadcloth/Napkin
1st Place - Verse/Motto

2nd Place - Pic Under 15"
2nd Place - Afghan
3rd Place - Pillow

4th Place - Pic Under 15" Linen

4th Place - Sampler
I entered 7 items in Fabric and Threads this year and was stunned to have been awarded 7 ribbons.  I was equally thrilled that they were all 4th place and higher.  No honorable mentions this year so feel like I've elevated my stitching.  I was looking forward to reading the judges comments as they always help me to improve my stitching.  All very positive but on the pieces using 2 strands of floss over 2 threads I seem to have a tension problem at times.  I would agree with this comment which is probably why I prefer to stitch 1 strand of floss over 1 on 25 count.  I chose to stitch on larger count fabric this year with 2 strands so I could have some larger pieces to put into the Fair.  I am already thinking of how to improve in this area so I can still do some larger pieces on 28 or 32 count for next year and suggestions on how I can improve my technique are always welcome.
This lovely quilt was entered by my friend, Kathy.

This was my personal favorite on display.

This one just made me LOL!  So creative.

I'm thinking of branching out next year and trying this category.  Everyone is given the same fabric and you design a quilt block and enter it.  They take all the quilt blocks and make them into the quilt that is raffled away each year.

Who knew you could crochet an owl?!

Attended a few horse shows.

Saw all things made of butter.  The usual cow and this year they did a nod to the 25th Anniversary of the movie Field of Dreams.  You know the famous line "Is this heaven?   No it is Iowa!"  I still have my t-shirt purchased at the ISF the year the movie came out.

Enjoyed the architecture of the 100+ year old buildings.

Was amazed at how a cupcake could be decorated in such detail.

Always fun to see all the produce that has been entered and judged.  Congratulations to family friend, Tim for his 2nd place in grapes.

This is the Biggest Bull named Big Daddy weighing in at 3,012 pounds.

This is the Biggest Boar named Peabody weighing in at 1,273 pounds.

On Veteran's Day there was a parade as is tradition.

Always love to go the last day after the Dahlias have been judged.  Tables of beautiful blooms.

My guys enjoying their favorite ride - the Sky Glyder!  Just couldn't resist the photo of the bottoms of their feet as they went overhead.

As I said, I do love a ferris wheel.

Always fun to hear the screams of those on these 2 rides.  

The last thing we saw before leaving on the last day was the majestic Clydesdale horses.  I think they are the most magnificent animals and it is always a thrill to see them.

 I've taken to walking the trail put into the park last year behind my house.  It is such a peaceful place to walk.  I've only run into 2 people on the 3 times I've walked it this week.  I've actually seen more deer than people.  This covered bridge was built around 1875.  It was in 2 previous locations before Parks & Recreation purchased for $1 in the 60's and located it where it is now.
I'm am just about to finish Harvest Time by Prairie Schooler and can't wait to take it for framing.  I have in the back of my mind a couple of frames I think would look great.  As always, will have to wait until frame corner piece and stitched piece are together to decide.

By the way I wonder if any of the rest of you have your blogs make into bound books?  It is something I started doing back in 2011 after losing my blog on 2 occasions.  I so enjoy going back at different times of the year looking to see what we were doing as a family or what I was creating back then.  I also find it a great reference for when I want to use the same fibers or fabric from a previous project.  It is one of the reasons I try to include this information in my blog so I have an easy reference for future projects.

Looking forward to some stitching over the long holiday weekend!


  1. Your fair pictures are wonderful! I love the Clydsdales and the dahlias! Seems funny to give ribbons to something God designs?? Or am I missing something here?

    Congrats on all your ribbons! You deserve them! And that hornet's nest is amazing! A real architectural masterpiece--too bad the bees have to live there :)

  2. I loved your photos of the items at the fair, the moon, the nest, etc. Thank you for taking time to give us a glimpse of activities in your state. I enjoyed it!

    Pam in KS

  3. Wow, that hornet's nest looks terrifying!! I think I would stay as far away from that as possible! Congrats on your ribbons for your needlework. It's always nice to receive recognition for the hard work we put into a beautiful project!! Laura


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