Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Christmas decor in the desert

Here are my outdoor Christmas decorations for my desert home -- red and gold ornaments stuck on the tips of my yucca plants! No worries about snow weighing them down. Instead, they'll sparkle in the sun every day!

I realize how incongruous it is to see my pink flowery bougainvillea at the same time I'm looking at my Christmas tree. Having grown up and spent most of my life in snowy winter climates, I'm still getting used to this summer weather in winter, but I love it.

I spent the day after Thanksgiving decorating, including bringing out the winter quilts. These three are wool appliqué with cotton backgrounds.

A lot of ladies in my Woolies group back in Gig Harbor made their version of the reindeer.

My Sew Day group made this red and green quilt, with each of us making a row using fabric that I provided. I think of them each time I look at it.

And this last one is a printed panel that I hand quilted when my kids were babies. I've brought it out every year since and it reminds me of those early family Christmases.

The next day, I got out in our glorious summery weather with friends and browsed through the furniture and home decor shops in a warehouse district called the Lost Barrio. There were a lot of Mexican and other ethnic pieces.

I love this purple cabinet and would have bought it on the spot except I wasn't sure where I would put it. 

Here are a few other photos from the trip.

We ended up having tacos at a restaurant's pretty courtyard in the university district, but I forgot to get photos. I can't tell you how much I appreciate being able to eat outside in sunny, balmy weather in November with friends!

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving gratitude

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! This year I am especially grateful for the new friends I made this past year since moving to Tucson. I'll be sharing Thanksgiving dinner with some of them, which sure will beat last year's lonely holiday when I didn't fly to family because of Covid and didn't know anyone here yet.

Besides new friends, old friends, and far-flung family, I'm also grateful for the everyday beauty of my Sonoran Desert home. Here's how fall looks!

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

    -- Melody Beattie

Have a colorful day

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Little projects

I don't have a big project going, so I sewed some little things this past week, starting with these little snow people made of felted wool circles. I'm giving them different hats to amuse myself.

They're designed to be hanging ornaments, but I think I'll make a bunch and stand them around the house -- again for my own amusement.

The pattern is by Primitive Gatherings.

Then I decided that I needed something to keep the tablecloth from blowing off my patio table, so I sewed little vinyl pockets at the corners and filled them with white rocks from the craft store. I got the idea from an art fair where a vendor sewed pockets filled with glitter, sequins and colored pebbles onto bright Mexican oilcloth tablecloths.

And here are some pictures of my daughter's little rabbits in tiny little crowns!


Have a colorful day 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Hiding the clutter and hiking





Eight yards of muslin and sticky-back Velcro took care of hiding the clutter that greets visitors as soon as they come in the front door or out of the guest room. I can't believe it took me 1 1/2 years to do it, especially considering that it only took a couple of hours!

This morning I went on my favorite hike, Canyon Loop at Catalina State Park, and enjoyed the crisp air and glorious sun. The desert trees seemed to float in the golden grasses, and the saguaros reached for the sky.

After hiking along a ridge and then down into a canyon, I rested at the creek near the petroglyphs that I told you about in an earlier post. My hiking friends are in Alaska chasing the Northern Lights, so I'm hiking solo this week.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, November 13, 2021

I found some petroglyphs

I was hiking on my favorite trail yesterday -- Canyon Loop in Catalina State Park -- and stumbled upon some petroglyphs! 

They were on a big rock not far off the trail near the creek. I don't know how I never spotted them before.

I couldn't find anything online about them, so I'll ask a ranger the next time I'm there.

The weather has been absolutely perfect for hiking in the morning lately, and I don't even have to start that early anymore to beat the heat. If I'm at the trailhead by 8:30 I can hike a few hours without getting too sweaty.

These photos are all from the Canyon Loop Trail, which I think is so beautiful no matter which way you look.

The lush grasses that grew during the summer monsoon have turned to gold and glow against the deep blue brilliant desert sky. This is why I moved here!

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sunrise, sunset

I've had some soft sunrises and spectacular sunsets the last couple of days. These first two were actually taken at sunrise facing west from my front courtyard, where the sky glowed in reflected color from the east.

This third photo is the same sunrise, but taken facing east from my backyard.

This next photo (below) takes the sunrise colors but transfers them to a sunset with the crescent moon and Venus visible in front of my house.

And following are sunsets from the last two nights that painted the sky in the west! Aren't they glorious?

We're also having heavenly hiking weather, with sunshine and morning temps in the 50s-70s under an absolutely perfect blue sky! I took this picture on a hike this morning in the foothills of the Santa Catalinas.

Have a colorful day