Friday, July 23, 2010

fun versus fear

waiting in line - observing others - working up the nerve
enjoying the ride - making a big splash - conquering fear
fun wins!
happy weekend xoANG

Thursday, July 22, 2010

you capture::black&white

This week's challenge for You Capture is Black & White. Simple enough, right? I love black and white photos of people and landscapes. However, when I edit my own pictures to be black and white I'm never too thrilled. I tend to like vibrant color and crisp photos. I guess since I'm trying to learn how to use my camera really well it seems to defeat the purpose of capturing the perfect shot. Then I chose these photos and I really like them.

I do. The eyelashes, the frizzy hair, the tiny earrings, all stand out because my eyes are not distracted by the vibrant colors of such a sunny day.

Then in this last picture, I was practicing with macro and depth of field and I captured a new found skill of stick bending.

It takes a gentle hand and lots of patience to break a stick without actually breaking it all the way through. I love the result in black and white. To see more captures go visit I Should Be Folding Laundry. Happy Thursday. xo ANG

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

clothesline cool down

When the temperatures are soaring into the 90's and the humidity fills the air like the warm breath of a little kid whispering in your ear there is really no way to cool off unless you set up camp by the a/c vent. Not here, baby. When it's laundry day at the Clothesline and you are forced get to play outside all morning there is one sure fire way to stay amongst the freshly washed and hung laundry. The coolness of the damp sheets provides a little relief from the heat. And if you're lucky, the fitted sheets will be turned the right way and will make a perfect little hammock bed for your dolls and stuffed animals.Ah yes, a lovely cool down at the Clothesline, indeed.
Keep cool. Happy Wednesday. xoANG

Saturday, July 17, 2010

swim sisters

The girls have enjoyed their first week of swimming lessons this summer. It's been fun for them to be in the same class. Every summer it's almost like starting from scratch because we only go to the pool on vacation. So that's not very much reinforcement of their new water skills. I have found though, that they are encouraging each other to do more and to be more brave. I caught this sweet moment the other day when they were practicing back floats. They have a difficult time letting their little bodies relax enough to see that they can actually float unassisted...but holding your sister's hand sure does help.
happy hot weekend! xo ANG

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

last week...

before the deer came, the girls were playing with the tomatoes that were ripe. So, I guess playing with your food is okay sometimes.

I must say that this small bounty made quite the delightful gluten free bruschetta chicken dinner. I used this recipe but baked it in the oven instead of grilling. Also, during the non-tomato-growing months I use canned, diced tomatoes and it works just fine. What are you making from your garden this summer? Happy Tuesday! xo ANG

Monday, July 12, 2010

survivor::my quest... outwit any and all four legged creatures and possibly a neighbor with tomato envy.
That's right, you heard me. Let me explain though so you won't think I've gone completely insane. As you know already, the deer had their fill in my garden. I've also found evidence in the form of muddy footprints that a raccoon or two helped themselves as well. However, the neighbor, half-joking, said he didn't realize I had so many tomatoes growing and he would just come and get some of mine since the deer were eating his. Hmmm. Okay, okay, so it probably wasn't my odd neighbor, I'm just saying it's a possibility. Anyway, upon closer inspection of my already-producing tomato plants (celebrity, better boy, roma, and jet star) there is not a single tomato to be seen. Not one! *sigh* Several branches of the cherry tomato and lemon pear have survived and are still producing and the smaller plants that just began flowering are in survival mode. So how do I plan to outwit the four-legged creatures? Well, here, see for yourself.
Posted by Picasa
This lovely green garden fencing is my outwit plan. So far it's working against the deer. The raccoons, well, they could pull that fencing right off if they wanted more tomatoes. I hope they don't. Ah, yes, those orange 5 gallon buckets are my planters. They're only $2, and compared to the $15-$25 planters that were smaller, well, $2 wins. Plus, orange is my favorite color so I don't mind the brightness lining my driveway. My mature,already producing tomatoes are planted in the yard along the back porch. They stand unprotected. At this point I'm just trying to keep my younger plants in the survivor category.
Now, I've got a question for you. Do you know what this plant is? My girls had a packet of wildflower seeds that they planted beside the house. This quickly growing plant is the only survivor. Right now it's about 4 feet tall, but I have no idea what it is. It could be a crazy weed for all I know.
It just started getting some tiny buds so it should be flowering soon. I just thought I'd ask because I hate not knowing.

Happy Monday folks. We're off to swimming lessons. It's been blazing hot for a couple of weeks now and that the girls have to get in the pool, it's only 70 degrees and it's cloudy. I sure hope it heats up soon so the water won't be so cold. xoANG

Friday, July 9, 2010

survivor:the gardening edition

Last night we got rain. A lot of rain. A lot of much needed rain. It was nice. When I got up this morning the grass was already turning green again and my garden plants looked happy. Well, most of them did. While we ate our breakfast we saw a deer in the yard across the street. A happy, fat deer. I jokingly said that she's probably the neighborhood tomato thief. Then I saw them. My tomatoes. The young ones that I planted late were just starting to get baby tomatoes and lots of blooms. Perfect for a nice morning snack, fresh rain droplets still covering them and making them look extra juicy and delicious. Let me remind you that I live in the city, a mere two blocks from a major road, and I have a fenced in back yard with a gate that was closed!

Victim #1-chewed down and yanked off with only a string of evidence remaining

Victim #2 - chewed down to the stump with only a few leaves of hope left behind
Victim #3 - chewed all the way down to about 4 inches from the dirt then yanked completely out of the ground and left in the grass to mock me. (Ha Ha city girl! I will eat your tomatoes so that you have to buy tomatoes that were picked green and left to ripen in a crate on a truck on the way to the grocery store...said the deer)
Posted by Picasa
Then I saw them...the survivors. A few stems were missed by the hungry deer and these little gems were hidden amongst the leaves. Or, she probably ate so much of my other tomato plants that she just couldn't take another bite. Either way I've still got if I can just outwit and outlast the deer this summer I'll be good to go!
Any tips on how to keep deer away from my tomatoes? Do tell. I don't want to spray them with chemicals or anything and I don't have a problem with insects...just deer and maybe a raccoon or two. Any tips or tried and true concoctions are welcome.
Happy Friday xoANG

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

wordless wednesday

...well, almost.
Posted by Picasa
Today I'm 37. That's me with my girls. We're all a little silly looking and have frizzy hair. But hey, it's 98 degrees here, we have an excuse. xo ANG

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

one yard wonder...i'm a little biased

I have decided that I want to wear more skirts. Actually, I decided that last summer but I never did anything about it. They're certainly cooler in this heat. They're absolutely cuter than shorts. They're incredibly comfy with a t-shirt or a tank. They're casual but can be dressed up in a jiffy with a cute pair of shoes and a nice top. But man, go into a store and you'll see they're not cheap. Even the simplest of skirts are kind of costly. I mean, it's only two pieces of fabric, two seams, some thread....shoot, I can do that.
Solution :: One Yard Wonders....Bias Skirt! So simple, so quick, so perfect. Here's the first one I made. My grandma gave me this fabulous fabric, a light, airy cotton, and I've been holding on to it, wanting to make something for me with it. I was thinking a nice little dress, but that's time consuming and if I messed up then I'd be out of some great fabric. Then I remembered the Bias Skirt and I had to make it. Just so you know, if it's only going to take one yard of fabric it needs to be 60" wide...for this pattern anyway. I've got quite a bit of fabric in my stash but it's all the standard 45" width. No big deal, it'll just take about 1 1/2 yards instead. So, after washing the dinner dishes one night I got right to it and within an hour I had a new skirt! Normally it would not take that long but I wanted this skirt to be well made so I made french seams, which takes a little longer (and oh, so worth it), and the ironing and pinning of the hem took a little time because I was eyeballing it instead of measuring.

Here's the whole thing. Yep, that's me at the end of a very long, hot, summery day. Frizzy hair ponytail, no make-up (as usual), and a smirk on my face...pretty accurate self portrait there. I was getting my girls to bed...late, as you can see by the clock on their wall and I asked Mr. Clothesline to take a picture of my new skirt. I probably should have asked him to take the picture earlier in the day, in the sunlight, before my hair got so frizzy..oh, who am I kidding, my hair is always frizzy, but natural lighting would have been nice. Anyway, I've already made a second skirt with another fabric I was hording, and I've got a third just about done. I did add a couple of inches to the length because I like a nice sturdy hem. However, I forgot to add the 2 inches to the third skirt I cut out so if I hem it the way I like it'll be too short for me. My plan is to buy or make some bias tape to sew over the raw edge that way it'll be long enough still, and it'll have that extra detail. When it's done I"ll share more pictures.

Next, I'm working my way through Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. I checked it out from the library and there a few things I'd like to make before I have to return it. Since it's going to be nearly 100 degrees for the rest of the week it seems like the perfect time to stay inside where it's cool and do a little sewing. Well, between watering the garden and playing in the sprinkler with my girls, that is.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

you capture::green

There were choices for the You Capture theme this week. I chose green. I had grandiose ideas of being clever and capturing moments of being environmentally green, being green with envy, being green as in inexperienced at something...but alas, life took over and my ideas went out the window. I did manage to capture a couple of things are a actually just green in color. Not clever or exciting, but
First up my lovely and very fruitful cherry tomato plant. That red one seems to be showing off a bit, but at least it will motivate those green ones to get with the program.

(f/7.1, 1/200, ISO 800)

Next up, a beautiful Brown Eyed Susan. Yes, I know its yellow and brown. And no, I'm not trying to cheat and just say the leaves are green. If you look closely at the petal on the right you'll notice a tiny green insect. I didn't notice the little bug at first, but when I did see it I just had to include him in the theme this week.

(f/5, 1/2500, ISO 800)
We have been really enjoying the past few days here at the Clothesline. The weather has felt like fall and the sky has been unbelievably blue. The plants are thriving, the birds are singing, and the kiddos are soaking it up. Oh hey! Today is my sister's birthday. She's on her way down to Florida to enjoy the holiday weekend and scuba dive in her new wet suit. Yes, I know, she's cool. I'm the nerd...and I'm okay with that. Happy Birthday Mel! Watch out for sharks!!
Go to I Should Be Folding Laundry for more captures. happy thursday xo ANG