Sunday, May 07, 2006

Dirt and French Knots, an Out of Character Sunday.

Today I did something completely out of character.

Yard Work.

I am not fond of putting my hands, gloved or not, into dirt which is decayed stuff laced with earth worms. Yes, I love flowers and garden veggies. But, I also love it more when I do not have to mingle with the soil and face earthworms and bugs up close and personal.

This is not a genetic thing. My whole family likes to toss around garden dirt. I have a sister, Geri, who as a child would take earthworms to bed with her, in a container of course. She is still an outdoorsy one and loves camping. Geri is taking her Girl Scouts to Wildwood New Jersey this month to camp on the beach with a few thousand other scouts, sleeping in tents while the saner adults occupy hotel rooms.

Vince's family is heavy duty into gardening. But me, the desire passed me by. More proof I was switched at birth. And now that my Vince is not able to do the heavy duty stuff, I am the delegated digger. I guess it is not all that bad though. I love to complain and whine and make a big deal out of things and today I had a great opportunity to feed my desire. I should have been nominated for an Oscar. Even the neighbors came to watch me fling a shovel trying to dig up the hydrangea. It took me and two men to lift it once the digging around the thing was done.

It had to be moved.

It is further complicated by where I live. Mountaintop is famous for its lack of soil. You dig down a half a foot and hit rock. No matter where, you hit rock. Or water.

I moved dirt, planted strawberries someone gave us before they dried up into unrecognizable mulch, cleared an area of compost and ashes, dug out and moved 2 huge hydrangea bushes, moved more dirt, got rid of countless dandelions, dealt with the sod that was dug up from the areas where things were moved, vowed to get a decent shovel and a wheel barrow that you can push without getting your feet banged up by the legs.

Then it was time to make dinner. Poor Vince was exhausted telling me what to do and not too thrilled he could not do it. Dinner was a simple grilled dinner. The best part was the potatoes. I partially bake a few spuds, run them under cold water, and peel them.

They I take a large piece of foil. Butter up the bottom, layer the potatoes with thin slices of Vidalia onions, sprinkle with Morton's Hot Salt and throw in some butter. Then I wrap it all up into a pretty little aluminum foil package and toss it on the grill. Good stuff. Not really diet food but good. I usually make enough for leftovers for a diner the next day with sunny side eggs. The best darn home fries you ever had. We like to eat breakfast food for dinner once in a while.

So I sat watching the grill with feet up, (Vince does not cook) enjoying a few minutes to read a fun book, George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops, and enjoy a great cup of tea. Jerry Garcia Magic Herb tea. I love tea and this is a great tea. And I enjoy some odd humor once in a while. Carlin is a favorite of mine. Picked up this book in an airport to read on the plane but fell asleep instead. I sleep like a baby on a plane. Or should I say how some people wished a baby slept on a plane. Back to the tea. It is really good tea. I collect tea like some people collect wine. This company has some wonderful tea. You must try the Ginger Peach.

In between the gardening, I was doing French knots on a white poodle. Not a real poodle as a friend assumed, but on one of my canvases, MB39. You can see him here.

Over time, I am getting to like French Knots. However, a poodle in French knots will look a look a lot better than a poodle in Scotch stitch! So I grabbed some of my Gloriana overdyed silk stash and went ahead with the knots. I still have his butt to finish and one leg, then the beady eye and nose and his leash and collar then the background and border. I have no clue what I will do for the background yet. Need to get done with the knots so I can get back to some fun stuff. He is only a 2x3 canvas. I like the little 2x3's. You can finish one fast. I am having this one framed with a larger than normal mat.

I am getting into the mood to design my new line for the TNNA Summer trade show. I always love the pressure to come up with something different in a two week period rather than fretting about it for 5 months. I am thinking about 4x6 postcards of different landscapes. Maybe a few modern things. I enjoy doing those since I am not held into the bounds of realism. Who knows what else? My designs seem to simply happen.

I will post a photo of the poodle in a few days. I also want to post a photo of my Tuscan Cove which is almost done and say a few words about that canvas. I had to take a break on CT10, Tuscan Cove. Yes, the French knots caused me to set that one aside for a few weeks.

In the past few weeks of my cleaning campaign, I finally dug out a path in my Studio.

When they first hit the scene, I was into the Fly Lady routine. That was several years ago. I flunked Fly Lady 101.

So I rejoined and am having decluttering my home. I have been doing the "27 Fling Boogie" at least once a day.

Back to the French Knots, after I water the strawberries.