Friday, August 30, 2013

Monsoon Skies

My niece took these photos on our way home from Northern Arizona today.


I am not exactly sure how long Bearizona has been in Williams. I know I have been seeing billboards in the Flagstaff area for at least 2 or 3 years. My niece's birthday is next week. We both work on her birthday, so we are doing some birthday celebrating early. I was pretty sure this was something she would enjoy. So today Penny came along and we went to check it out.
The first part is a drive through animal park. You have to keep your windows up at all times. Not too hard today, as it ended up pouring rain a lot of the time. There is a similar park I have been to in Idaho called Bear world. We started with some mountain goats, and then dall sheep, burros and mountain sheep.

 We didn't get a very good photo of the bison. They were laying down behind some trees. Most of the animals seemed to be enjoying the rain.
 There were quite a few wolves.

 They had white Bison in a separate area.

 It really started to pour when we got to the bears. They were black bears.

 After the drive through section, there is an area where you can get out and walk through, like a zoo. They had quite a lot of young bears. They were all up in the trees. It was pretty fun to see them.

 Some foxes.
 A different fox.
They also have a raptor show, but it was too rainy for them to do it. I enjoyed myself. I would be willing to go again.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Camping at Big Lake

 My niece and I enjoyed a short camping trip in June and so we planned another one to Big Lake in the White Mountains. Deriicka and Lynnora from my work came along too. I picked the area, because I knew it would be cool no matter what, even in August. The highest temperature we had was 79 degrees briefly. It was quite cool at night, so we enjoyed the fire. The whole area was quite green and lush with grass. Even though there were intermittent areas that had burned in the Wallow fire a few years ago.
Big Lake was pretty to look at, but it was mostly a lake for fisherman.

 My new dog Giselle at the lake.
We went for a long drive on Friday, along the East Fork of the Black River. The water was beautiful. Dericka had never been camping before and not really at in the wilderness. She seemed to have a good time.

 Lynnora is an experienced camper.
 We saw beautiful flowers.
 Some of the damage from the Wallow fire. But it was still beautifully green there.

Dericka and Lynnora. A friend of Dericka's had her where a compass pinned to her shirt in case she got lost. I'm not sure where it would have taken her to.

We saw this herd of horses playing in the woods.

This store in Alpine kind of summed everything up. All you might want from Worms to Ammo to Elk jerky.

 And there was this shaggy burro.

We stopped at Hawley lake on the way home. The water was crystial clear and beautiful. I might want to go there to stay another time.

Lynnora and Dericka cooking hot dogs over the fire. Dericka had never had that experience.
 Lynnora is really a cat person, but she had a lot of canine time on this trip.
 Giselle slept in the bottom of my sleeping bag. She didn't want to get up this morning.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pillow Project

A while ago, I was given a bunch of pieces of upholstery fabric. Most pieces were really quite small. None of them were even big enough to be called a remmant. I thought, sometime, I need to see if there is something I can do with those.
I had stored them for two years and decided to drag them out. In one book, I had a pattern for something called a cuddle drop. It was quite cute in the book. My niece really liked them and so I thought I would try and make one.
Part of my thought process was that maybe I could come up with something that I could give as Christmas gifts or something. So above was the first one. It was made with some fleece I had on hand and a piece of the upholstery fabric. I had to buy felt to make the eyes and stuffing.
I posted the photo on facebook and most of the reactions were quite puzzled. What is it? What do you do with it?
Probably not the best idea for a gift.

My niece thought they were great and so with her picking out the fabrics from the upholstery pieces, we made all of the above between us. She made some and so did I. Most are for her. A few are for her family. We call this a crowd of cuddle drops. I had a request from someone at church to make some for her kids. So I did that. But I decided I was done with them. They weren't too exciting and I was wasting stuffing.
There are all kinds of odds and ends in the two boxes. I pulled out all the animal prints. I separated some by color and made these two pillows. They are on the smaller size, 12 to 14 inches. I think they turned out pretty well. However...I had to go to the fabric store and buy braid to dress them up a little. So now that has added about 13$ to my "free" pillows. And then a pillow form, at 40% off, was still about 6 dollars. So now they have cost me almost 20$ plus my time. And who is going to want these particular colors in their house?

I have a few other ideas for the scraps that I will try.
But why is it whenever I think I have a "great" idea to make gifts, it costs way more than if I just bought something?