Before turkey day

I’ve not often taken a video of myself doing anything…or even many stills, for that matter…and with good reason. It took 25 tries to get this 90-second video. That’s not an exaggeration – I looked at my phone and counted them all. Sigh.

This is me weaving two complete circles on a towel warp. The draft is from Susan Poague. She and I became acquainted online several years ago, and I was a *tiny* voice making comments as she developed this draft. I first wove it in 2016, and I’ve used it several times since then. So I have no idea why I was struggling to get the treadling order into my brain, but I was. That was part of the reason for so many video attempts – I’d throw the shuttle a few times and realize I’d made a treadling error. I had to unweave and start again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Then I realized I didn’t want to see my face in profile with double chins in full view, so I repositioned the stand and camera. Then I wanted to be able to show my feet as well as my hands, and see a bit of the shafts raising and lowering, so more repositioning.

I’m currently weaving towel #7 on the warp, and since I typically make warps long enough for 8 towels, I’m nearing the finish line, and glad of it. Although I got in the groove for treadling correctly, I’ve found that I need to focus enough that I can’t listen to an audiobook while I weave or I mess up. Ditto listening to music that will tempt me to sing along. So I’ll be happy to be done with this warp.

I’m making decent progress at making my planned Christmas presents, but can’t show you any photos yet or it’d spoil the surprise. 😐

Jumping around, you’ll be pleased to know that Jack healed well. He’s back to his usual pleasant and mellow self.

On a completely different note, my local library was offering a 1-hour free program that I found enticing, so I signed up and learned how to make a paper dahlia.

I think there were 7 of us plus the teacher, and I was the only one who chose to use several colors in my flower. I like it. She had the paper all pre-cut for us. This was made from 3″ squares and the flower is roughly 8″ square & 3″ high. I’m sure it could be done successfully with 2″ squares. I think I’d be hard pressed to get my fingers to manipulate papers any smaller than that well, but maybe you have experience and know it’s not too hard.

Moving on…The large bay window in my kitchen had issues with its seal so was getting cloudy, causing me to have it replaced. After months of waiting for the window to be made, it finally got installed last week. It’s beautiful with lovely hardwood molding. The new molding didn’t quite cover the space of the old molding, especially since I had them remove a bit of gingerbread that just wasn’t my style. No problem, I had the wall paint so could paint those bits without a problem. Or so I thought.

Above the window the wall had previously been papered. I had the wallpaper removed a few years ago and the wall painted, all well and good. But now a new section of paper was exposed. I was on my 3-step stepstool with a razor blade and tweezers trying to remove the inch or so of remaining paper. This was not my idea of a good time. I was cranky. When I was finally done with this task I looked out the new window and saw this. A lovely little rainbow was poking out of the clouds. Brightened my whole outlook.

So I wasn’t nearly as unhappy when I learned that below the window there were sizeable bits of missing plaster where screws or something was removed that had to be patched. Not something I’d done before. The next morning I went to the local hardware store and bought the patching plaster they recommended – I could have gotten a half-pint and had plenty, so can patch any remaining holes I happen to make or find for years. The job wasn’t as hard as I feared. But then again, my standards aren’t high for something that I have to get on the floor to see. 😉

Next up was to stain and then seal the wood. Years ago when we were building our house, my hubby made me stain or paint whatever wood we’d be using for finish work before it was installed. I thought this was a royal PITA and unnecessary. Well. It turns out he was 100% right. It was not easy to stain the molding all around the windows. Some was wide, some was narrow, some was over my head, some was closer to the floor. The ‘ceiling’ of that bay window meant I had to work on a flat surface parallel with the floor, but upside down. I did the best I could to apply that stain evenly. A professional could surely have done a better job, but again, I did the best I could.

My intent was to apply the polyurethane today, but that didn’t happen. It was a lovely sunny day, and that window faces south, so I’d have the sun in my eyes the entire time I was working and that would only make the job more difficult. It’s supposed to be rainy and/or cloudy tomorrow, so I’ll aim for then. Not looking forward to this task that will require a calm, steady hand with the brush. That made weaving those polka dots sound much better. 🙂

And then what?

Life. How did my life get so busy in my retirement? Or perhaps the appropriate question is how did I ever find time to work, especially knowing that I rarely worked *only* 40 hours/week? I don’t have the answer, but I do know that I am indeed busy. For the most part I am busy doing things that I enjoy: gardening, reading, spending time with family (including four-legged), dancing, and weaving. But somehow the days just fly by.

This is what Jack looked like on the afternoon of October 30.

Poor little guy had dental surgery – 13 teeth had to be removed. This after he had 14 removed a few years ago. Since dogs have 42 teeth he still has several left. I’m hoping that after he heals he will allow me to begin brushing what’s left to try to save them. IMO teeth brushing needs to begin young in order to get the dog to adapt to it. Jack is so easy-going you’d think I would have taught him how years ago, but since I don’t like to do it, I simply let it go when he resisted. Bad dog mom.

The vet said he didn’t think a soft cone was advisable because he thought Jack would still be able to scratch/paw at his mouth when it itched as it healed. Once I saw how sad he was with that hard plastic cone, and how difficult it was for him to navigate (with just one eye he kept ramming into things which could not have been comfortable), I decided to use the soft cone I had anyway. Not as good as no cone, but much better.

I realized I had it on upside down in the photo and corrected it. Anyway, the follow morning a vet tech called to ask how Jack was doing, and told me that as long as I was with him he didn’t have to wear the cone at all, but he did need it at night. So that’s what we’ve been doing and will keep it up for 4-5 more days.

This was the scene out my front door on Wednesday, November 1…the morning after trick or treating. I found it beautiful but chilly. Especially since just a handful of days ago the temperature was in the 70s. Yep, I live in western New York alright.

Back to the time-gets-away-from-me theme, I thought I had two+ weeks between the ArtFest show and the Guild show. Not really true. I had to submit my complete & detailed inventory online just three days later. So that was when I had to commit to what I was going to put in the show. Several things weren’t yet made, and I had one week after that to get things made & tagged. Given the very well organized sale, with consistent label formats for all 50 artists/crafters & UPC codes, just creating and affixing those tags takes hours all by itself. So I had to really make my fingers fly. I was beaming this warp for towels on a Monday, and the towels had to be woven, wet finished, and hemmed by the following Tuesday.

I did make that happen, but didn’t get any photos of those towels. I also sewed up eight microwave bowl cozies. Actually nine, since there were problems with one of them so I knew it wouldn’t be accepted and I had to re-make it.

I had made four of these wrapped ornaments for the ArtsFest show, and although they drew little attention there, I was hopeful for the Guild show so made two more.

So. I submitted 50 items for the Guild show. All were accepted. That nubbly cream jacket and coordinating shawl, another shawl, and three scarves; the felted slippers, the above bowl cozies and ornaments, and 29 towels. I worked two shifts as cashier at the sale yesterday, so I know that several of my towels, two of the scarves, and some (four?) of the bowl cozies sold. I’m not working there today but will be back tomorrow afternoon, and then will get the final count on what I’m bringing back home with me.

Maybe I’ll have time now to plant my garlic and dig the glad and canna bulbs for storage. Mow the lawn and shred the leaves that have landed on it. Clean the bathroom and mop the kitchen and studio. You know…the unending tasks that life requires.

Meanwhile, I’m keeping my fingers busy making Christmas gifts for family & friends. I have four things identified and the beginning made; seeking inspiration for more, especially gifts for men and for children. I hope if you have any ideas on those you’ll leave me a comment with your thoughts.

Life is good

I have been busy. I have 2 shows coming up and find myself a bit stressed over them, so I’ve been creating. The first show is just one day. I haven’t done it before, but I’m hoping it works for me. I know from the indoor show I did last year that I need to have a few big pieces along with my many smaller pieces.

poster for show at Temple B'rith Kodesh

Way back in July I showed you the jacket I made using a nubbly cream cotton and several inclusions of browns and blues. I’ll have that at the show. I am deciding – I may sell the red one I made for myself as well, because the reality is my social life is such that I have occasion to wear it just once or twice a year. My tentative plan is to wear it to the show, and if someone wants to buy it, to let it go. We’ll see about that.

I did finally finish the ‘extra’ length of fabric from the cream jacket. I tried a few different options and decided to leave it basically as is, not make it into a mobius or anything, but I had to remove all the dangling threads and decide on finishing the ends. I chose something I’ve almost never done, which is a line of machine stitching for stabilization and relatively short, unfinished fringe. That required some unweaving by hand to create the fringe the same length on both ends, but didn’t take forever.

cotton scarf/shawl with loose fringe

But….I’ve also decided to sew up some pieces of handwoven yardage I made years ago but never did anything with. I’ve gone as far as getting a few patterns that might work with it, but not beyond that yet. Scary, and takes time.

Although not big pieces, in the never-ending quest to use up stash, I decided now was the time to use up one of my favorite hand painted yarns that I purchased some years ago. Poinsettia rayon chenille. I had enough to warp for three scarves and set to weaving. After using that same yarn for weft on the first scarf (on the left in the photo) I decided I wouldn’t use the one remaining skein for warp of a second, instead opting for solid color wefts to hopefully highlight that beautiful warp.

handwoven poinsettia rayon chenille scarves

The middle scarf has mostly a burgundy warp with a few stripes of pink & red. The scarf on the right, my personal favorite, uses a deep cranberry warp. I’m hoping they sell at the October show.

Remember those slippers I felted? I’ve decided to sell them as well. Again, I won’t really wear them as I have 2 pairs of slippers I love and wear all the time. (Plus, truth be told, I can’t wear them barefoot as this type of wool – Bergschaf – is too itchy for me.) So after I sewed on a non-slip bottom, I decorated them to make them more desirable.

decorated felted slippers

Despite the fact that the white needle felting isn’t completely symmetrical on the two, I’m happy with the designs. (I’ve added the missing turquoise French knot since this picture was taken.)

I know from experience that my handwoven towels will do best at the Weavers’ Guild Holiday Sale in early November. My towels usually do pretty well in my Etsy shop too, so I don’t have a lot of them in my cupboard. So I’ve been trying to get more towels woven, too. I had another…interesting…experience with them. I had a warp I’d hand painted a few years ago. It’s autumnal colors called to me. I had to add some solid color stripes to make it wide enough for towels, but did that smartly this time, having learned from my last experience. Here it is during the beaming process.

beaming Autumn towels #1

The orange and yellow stripes are a rick rack/zig zag cotton. I assumed they were the same grist (yards per pound). Nope. I knew I had to sett them farther apart than the rest of the warp as they were larger yarns. After beaming, threading, and tying on I tried my first warp. Absolutely no good. As you can see in the photo the yellow looks…BAD. I walked away from the loom for a day while deciding what to do.

previewing Autumn towels

I ultimately knew I had to replace the yellow with something else. To be most successful, that meant pulling the whole warp forward, adding in the replacement threads, and winding it all on the back beam again. Maintaining tension on those threads the entire time, that was merely time consuming. Here I am beaming it again, with the yellow replaced by burgundy/cordovan/some other color I can’t name but is part of the autumn leaves of my oakleaf hydrangea.

rebeaming Autumn towels

I also had to unthread the reed and some of the heddles, because I had to add in more 4 heddles for each of the two burgundy stripes. This was a less onerous process for me than making string heddles. I’ve now woven 3 of the 8 towels in this warp, all successful. I haven’t had time to do more yet.

In addition to embroidering the slippers, I sewed more bead bags (no pix this time). I missed September completely so it was important to me that I get 10 made for October.

Unrelated to fiber pursuits, I had to snap a photo of this interesting take on decorating with pumpkins that I saw in my neighborhood. They used skeleton parts to add arms & legs to the pumpkins, which I hadn’t seen before. But most appealing to me was the eyes & eyelashes – hand prints! What a great idea!

skeleton hand print pumpkins

And now for SSSid. Here are the last 10 rocks placed by neighborhood people. They didn’t all come on the same day, nor clearly were they by the same person. Varying degrees of artfulness, friendliness, and types of paint used.

the last 10 painted rocks

I’d already thought about the fact that SSSid would probably have to go away before the mischief-making day of Halloween, especially since we get lots of people coming to the neighborhood for trick or treat who don’t live here. Then the stake for the SSSid sign rotted at ground level and broke off. Would I find a new stick and replace it for a few weeks? I decided not. So I made a new sign.

SSSid brumation sign

That sign has been up for a few days now, and so far only 3 rocks have been taken. I expect several more to be brought home in the next week or so. I also wrote a thank you to the community for their participation. SSSid grew to 91 rocks! More than I ever expected!

SSSid thanks

I’m at an age where I really must do what moves me – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Dancing does it for me for sure. So I’m doing more and more of that, and made the bold decision to take a big step back from the Weaving Center. I’ve been the (volunteer) General Coordinator of the Center since 2016, and I have now told everyone that I won’t do this forever. If someone steps up to replace me I’ll be done at the end of this fiscal year (May 31, 2024). If no one come forward by then, I will stay until December 31, 2024, but no longer. Fingers crossed that it’s sooner rather than later, but I can see the light at the end of that particular tunnel.

In that dancing vein, tomorrow is a line dance party in Buffalo. 15 people from my group are attending, with lots of carpooling going on. The theme of this is trail ride/barn style. Easy to get a ‘costume’ from the closet – jeans, a plaid flannel shirt, and a bandanna. I wanted a cowboy hat so went to a few thrift stores to find one. Got a plain black fake-velvet hat and decided it needed to be ‘blinged up.’ I still have literally thousands of beads in my basement from my jewelry-making days, so I added a decorative rim to my hat.

decorated cowboy hat

Going to head out in the cool, Autumn sunshine to do some more garden cleanup. Or will I head immediately to the loom and work on those towels? At this moment your guess is as good as mine.

Late September

Days and weeks seem to fly by. I know it’s not just me, but I find it troubling nonetheless. And yes, the older I get the quicker the clock and the calendar seem to tick. It takes longer to accomplish things than it used to. I have less patience or motivation for doing things that annoy me, that I simply don’t like to do, or that I find rather useless. I want to spend my time doing things that bring me joy. So I do things like housekeeping even less than before. Don’t like my dust bunnies? Don’t look at them.

In keeping with that, I realized that although it’s not a huge time demand, I no longer have the interest and desire to spend time every month volunteering at the Weaving & Fiber Arts Center. I know how things work, and know it will take time for someone else to step up to the plate. So last week I let the other members of the Management Team know that I will step down in the foreseeable future. If I can find a volunteer by the end of this fiscal year (May 31), great. If not, I’m done by December 30, 2024 regardless. I’ll announce it at the next Weaver’s Guild meeting and we’ll see who might come forward. I believe I’ve held this role since the middle of 2016, and while I know several members of the Team have been there far longer, I just need to step aside.

Changing to something fun, here’s a Ssssid update. Many additions, which continues to make me really happy.

I’ve learned a few things since the last post. There’s a woman who has now added several rocks. 🙂 She and her hubby did #26 – the rock with the mini gemstones on tops. She has now started painting a rock each weekend. 🙂 She did the great Bills logo – #55 and the ladybug – #56. (She has now painted more of the Bills logos and placed them in various locations in the neighborhood.) Next of hers was #60 – the Cowboys logo; she likes both teams. Rocks #61 & 62 came on the same day. Nice and colorful. The next four – #63-66 – also showed up together. I’m assuming they came from the same household. I hope their colors hold up.

Rock #67 came from one of my grandsons. It’s a little rock statue that he picked up somewhere. Can you guess where #68, the owl, came from? Same woman as the team logos and the ladybug. Over the next few days we got that sweet little heart, #69 and the semi-smiley face, #70. I really like rocks that clearly came from little kids who wanted to add their own artwork. I happened to see the woman as she placed #71, the blue & yellow rock. She was startled and not necessarily happy that I saw her put it down, so we chatted a bit so I could put her at ease. She told me where she lived, and I told her I thought that the woman she lived with had painted #23 & 24, but she assured me that was not the case, that a neighbor of theirs had done it but she wasn’t sure which one. A few days later #72 arrived in all its green and flower-y glory. So bright and happy. Then #73 offered a little hello.

A few more days passed before we got the sort of impressionistic colors of #74. Then I walked out one morning to find that Jennifer Loves Robert – #75. Another sweet sentiment! When I saw the black cat of #76 I guessed that the woman who’d done the several other rocks added this one, but I was wrong. Don’t know where it came from. Nor the flowers of #77 or the tiny witchy #78.

I had to take a closeup of that last section so you could see all the detail of #78. That rock is roughly the size of a quarter, so someone took a LOT of time painting with a VERY fine brush. Or more probably paint pens. I admit that I added #79 – one of my kindness rocks. I’ve learned through experience that sharpie doesn’t hold up well to sunshine, but probably should have chosen darker colors of the paint pens. Oh well. And those 2 unpainted rocks – #80 & 81? Clearly they were placed there on purpose. As a message that the painting should end? I choose not to think that. By someone leaving them for someone else to paint? Maybe. By someone who wanted to participate but doesn’t have paint? Perhaps.

Moving on. Despite the fact that I’ve woven a lot in the last 15 years, there remain many things to learn. I had a hands-on example recently.

I purchased two pre-wound warps within the last year, I think at a Guild event. In my never-ending quest to use up the stash, I figured now was the time to use them. The warps were clearly labeled with number of ends and approximate length. I knew that neither had enough threads to make a warp wide enough for a project and they didn’t work together, so I set about planning what I could combine with the longer one to make an attractive towel warp. I measured out my needed warp ends, in 3 separate bouts: red, blue, and white, expecting to be able to weave 5 towels from the warp.

Then I started messing up.

I see people online mixing warps all the time. Overwhelmingly (always??) they are warping front to back. While that is something I can do, I’ve not done it enough to be comfortable with the process, so I opted for my typical back to front warping. Mistake #1.

At that point I should have used two sets of lease sticks, one for the purchased warp, one for my three bouts to be added. Even that wouldn’t have solved my entire problem, but it would have made it better. But I didn’t do that. Mistake #2.

Instead I painstakingly placed the planned number of each color of threads in the one set of lease sticks I was using. I was careful and didn’t lose the cross on any of the bouts. Yay! I spread the warp in my raddle and proceeded to wind on.

YIKES! I quickly had quite a mess. Threads from 4 different bouts crossing in front of the lease sticks ALL OVER THE PLACE. They were sticky and unhappy, with lots of tangles happening. And just to add to the challenge, I had about 30 extra ends in the purchased warp that weren’t being beamed at all. Needless to say, things were a mess. (I didn’t take any photos.) My patience was wearing quite thin and decided to make things better by cutting off those 30 extra ends and get them totally out of the way.

You can guess what happened, right? I didn’t cut the correct threads. AAARGH!!! Mistake #3.

So now I had no choice…simply beam what I could and when I got to the end, cut off all threads at approximately the same length. So that’s what I did. I didn’t really know how much was left or how many towels I’d get from the warp.

I threaded with a draft I used before and liked and moved forward. I had about 10″ woven when I realized that something was wrong with the threading near my right selvedge. Mistake #4.

I decided to fix it by cutting out the wrong thread and needle weaving in the replacement thread in correct places while on the loom. Ok. Proceed with the weaving.

Nope, not ok. Mistake #5.

What I fixed was only part of the problem. The mistake would not affect the usefulness of the towel, so I decided to weave this first towel, then do the bigger fix before I started the second. That all worked. Although as you might guess, I am most definitely not enthused with this warp. Nothing about it has made me happy.

I wove three more towels and was playing warp chicken at the end of towel #4.

Finally got all 4 off the loom, did my bit of machine stitching by the seams, and into the washer & dryer they went. When I was doing the hard press after that, I saw that I had a mis-treadling on one of the other towels. DRAT!! Mistake #6.

So now I know that the first towel, with the partially-corrected threading error, and the third towel, with the treadling error, won’t be accepted into the Guild show in November. Sigh.

I’ve been invited to a birthday party for a line dance woman who I think is turning 80. She will get one of those towels as a gift. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with the other. Here are the 4 towels…the one at 9:00 isn’t yet hemmed in the photo but showed up for the picture anyway.

So let’s move back to more pleasant topics. How about a bunch of nature shots. Here’s my Japanese dogwood in full fruit. Wow!

I knew that the squirrels love those fruits. I’d forgotten that someone else does, too. Jack. When they fall on the ground he just loves to gobble them up. Like the only time of year when he’ll ask to go out in the backyard when I’m not there. I don’t let him stay out there too long and they don’t seem to wreak havoc with his digestion, so I let him enjoy them. The season doesn’t last long.

This is one of the places I sometimes walk by. Those zinnias certainly put on a show this year.

I bought these two hybrid coneflowers this year and popped them in my front garden. They certainly seem hardy enough and I love the colors. Winners for sure.

Now for a not-so-nice nature shot. One morning in early September I put in my kayak at a little local park, planning to paddle down the creek. But the bay was so calm I decided to take advantage of this unusual occurrence and paddle on the bay instead. I hadn’t been in the bay all summer. I passed this rocky outcropping and was quite confused. Why were the trees all dusty/dirty? Had sand from that hillside blown up on them during a storm? Had they somehow gotten frosted? I pondered this as I paddled past it. Then I realized what it was and had to take a photo on my way back to document it.

The bay, along with the much of Lake Ontario and some of the Finger Lakes, have been totally overrun with cormorants. The birds like the trees – both the living and the standing dead ones – on this hillside. The leaves are completely covered with cormorant poop. My son tells me that these birds were once in a lot of trouble, one of the species whose eggs were particularly harmed by our use of DDT. Since that poison was outlawed, they have had a remarkable comeback. According to the NYS DEC, the number of breeding pairs went from 2,100 in 1985 to more than 10,500 in 2003 and have continued to rise. And since they have 6-8 eggs per hatch, their numbers just keep rising. So cormorants are now displacing many other water fowl, including herons and terns. And they live in colonies that can contain thousands of birds. Yuck.

Back to something fiber-y. Way back in February I dyed a sock blank. I didn’t keep a good count; this may have been the 4th sock blank I dyed. But this time I painted it with my colors on the diagonal. I was curious to see how it would knit up. I FINALLY finished those socks last week.

I have to say I had no idea what to expect, but I really do like these socks. Because of the many colors, I decided to knit in a very simple ribbed pattern for the entire sock (except the soles, of course).

And now for the close…here’s a shot of a recent sunset from my house. Totally gorgeous!

Now I’m going to go hem that last towel.

Missed it by a day

I THOUGHT I’d get another post done in August, but I guess not. A day late and a dollar short – could describe much of my life.

Anyway, you won’t see any weaving in this post. I’ve done some but don’t have pix yet, and if I waited for that, who knows when I’d get to the laptop to post? So what have I been doing that’s fun?

Well, my daughter lost her 13-year old Tibetan Terrier some months ago and was waiting to get another TT. Then suddenly, instead of a 2-month old, she got TWO 5-month old sisters. They had out-of-town overnight plans, so I’m sharing some puppy sitting with my son. I’m here from mid-day to this evening. Making tacos to enjoy with my son for dinner, then will head home with Jack while their uncle spends the night here. He has to leave in the morning for a commitment, and I’ll head back here for some hours tomorrow till the family returns.

They’re very cute and sweet. Already taller than Jack, but surely weigh a bunch less. Still definitely in puppy mode, with periods of zoomies and followed by heavy napping.

Interestingly, the smaller one (Dolly), who was the last born and a full two pounds smaller than Dee, who was born first, is most definitely bolder and braver. She’s the one leaping from the steps here. Maybe she had to be more assertive to get the attention and food she needed?

They definitely understood Jack. They were interested and did a lot of sniffing and checking him out. When he’d had enough he gave them a bit of a growl, and when they didn’t back off he gave a sharp, loud bark. They got it and have given him an appropriate amount of older dog respect.

In other news, I took a class at the Weaving & Fiber Arts Center on making felted wool slippers. It was a full day of lots of work, and I left with very wet blobs of wool that still needed quite a bit of work to turn them into slippers. Here’s a shot after I’d spent another 90 minutes or so at home – on the right slipper. You can see the big difference between the two.

After spending a similar amount of time on the left slipper, they’re once again the same size.

I’m guessing they’re about 80% done here. I have to re-wet them and do a bit more felting to both to make them just a bit smaller. Then after they’re fully dry – again – I can do my needle felting decorations. But I haven’t had another uninterrupted hour or two to spend on them in the past week. They’re not going anywhere, and as long as I let them sit in the open, they’ll be fine when I re-wet them.

This next bit didn’t take huge amounts of my time, but it brings me great joy. Back in June (I think) my son sent me a photo of something he’d seen on Facebook. I loved the concept and decided I had to do it at my house. Life intervened, and I didn’t get mine started until around the first of August. The concept? A rock snake. Here’s my sign.

One grandson painted his gorgeous head, and between the two of them they contributed the next 2 rocks. I painted rocks 4 & 5.

Rock 6 was one of my kindness rocks that someone moved from in front of their house to here. Then more rocks started arriving. It’s unfortunate that some of the paint/markers used really fade in the sun. Rock #8, the black cat, has Bruce’s name on it. Next to him, #9 is a pig that was just adorable before he faded to almost invisible.

FYI Falstaff is the next street over, and I love that Falstaff friends left me rock #10. I did #11 with sharpies, which clearly don’t last anywhere near as well as paint. #12 & #13 were very nice rocks that kids painted.

Several of them from #14 to #22 were done by kids. YAY! Emma was obviously proud of hers since she signed it.

I think I know who painted the sweet flowers on #23 & #24, but I haven’t bumped into her lately to ask her. #25 was another child, and #26, with all the little stones glued to the top and a found bracelet around it was a couple I see and talk to walking regularly. No clue where the nice tree #27 came from. I was walking Jack one evening, going up one side of the street. Coming down the other side was a little parade, 7 or 8 people, apparently at least 3 generations of a family. I said hello, and they told me they were headed to Sssid with their rocks. How great is that?! They placed the next 4 rocks, #28-#31, which must have been done with sharpie like my #11, because they faded quickly. One was a smiling face, one was a whale or shark, and I honestly don’t remember what the other two were, although they were clearly identifiable when they were placed.

#32-35 were more kids’ artistry. #36 was a decoupage leaf, so that was cool. #37-40 were done by my grands and my daughter.

I don’t know who gave me #41 & 42 – Love & Peace, but I love them. Then there’s #43 – that husky. O.M.G! That is quite a piece of artistry. I see several people walking huskies in my neighborhood, so first I asked the woman I thought was most likely. Nope. Then I asked the man who I thought was least likely and was surprised when he said yes. There’s a bit of a story with that one. The mother of a friend of his apparently paints beautiful rocks and just puts them around in various places in her neighborhood. He asked his friend if mom would paint one of his dogs for him, for a fee. No, mom won’t take orders or consignments. But then one day this beautiful rock husky showed up on his porch. And looks EXACTLY like one of his dogs. He said he held onto it for a few days before he brought it over; he liked it so much he hated to let it go. But then he realized he’d asked for it so he could gift it to Sssid, so that’s what he did. He sees it every day when he walks his dogs.

I don’t know anything about #44-47, but it appears they were a combination of kids and adults. They’re small so don’t show up well in the photo. Several days later #48 showed up. I’m hoping you can see it well enough in the photo.

It’s a pit bull wearing a pink tutu and a bow tie! SWEET! And I don’t have a clue who, and don’t see any gray pit bulls being walked in the neighborhood so it’s a real secret. Next to that is #49 – Eat your veggies. 🙂 Then comes a sort of scary bloody skeleton-type dude at #50. I can’t help but smile that someone put the next rock down – #51, a smiley face – right next to scary dude. #52 is another very cute dog, this one at play, that probably doesn’t show up well in the photo, followed by #53 & 54 – a stained glass window and a clown fish both placed the same day.

#55 & 56 also showed up on the same day – a very good rendition of the Buffalo Bills logo and a nice ladybug. #57 & 58 also came together; I think the green stripe is just a snake part that goes with Sssid’s head, and the brightness and happiness of that red smiley face is adorable. Last to date is #59 – Love your neighbor.

All of this happened in just under a month. Most days saw no new rocks or just one. This concept has generated more interest and more conversation than I could ever have anticipated. It is all WONDERFUL!!! Do feel free to start something like this in YOUR neighborhood – although now you may want to wait until spring if you’re in a northern climate.

I just made the sign, had Staples print & laminate it, and the community did almost all the rest. Oh yeah, I had to use my edger to create space between the sidewalk and the grass, and I have to manually remove the leaves that fall and do a bit of weeding to maintain it, but it is SO worth the time invested!

Time to get those 2 puppies back outside to go potty and get treats for same. Hopefully I’ll be back soon with some weaving. And some finished slippers.