Monday, June 29, 2015

first round of Yellowstone photos

Morning Glory Pool

a section of bacteria mat formed by the runoff from a geyser
my favorite building, the Old Faithful Inn

Old Faithful Geyser.  I'll never tire of seeing her erupt.

bear track spotted at the Upper Geyser Basin, just a few feet from the boardwalk

De Lacy Creek with a glimpse of Shoshone Lake, the largest back country lake in the park

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Coming home

That is how I felt as I got closer and closer to Yellowstone.  It is how I felt when I checked in to start my summer job in the park.  Lots of hugs and "what are you doing here?!?!" comments from so many old friends who still work here, some of them having done so for decades.  My motor memory remembered the twisty, hilly drive up from the north entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs where I was happy to see the usual group of elk lounging on the grass.   More old friends, hugs and catching up.  Then on down to Old Faithful, spotting the occasional lone bull bison along the way.  Man oh man, it feels good to be back amongst the wilderness, the wildlife and the wildness.

Being here makes the long, at times stressful, 2200 mile drive across the country seem like a distant memory.  Aside from the sheer exhaustion I'm still trying to shake, that is.

Hoping for lots of adventure, outdoor time and great conversation this summer.  You know, the best things in life.  

One of my very good friends lives in a house where this is the view from her front porch.  Lucky her!  It's a guest ranch just north of Yellowstone.  This is where I spent the night before going into the park.
I have been thrown right into work so I haven't explored yet or taken any pictures.  I'll be sure to take some soon and post them.  Meanwhile, here are some lovely flowers from the rose garden in my hometown.  My aunt and I walked around and around, drooling over these beauties.  I'm so grateful the city workers and volunteers put forth the effort to provide something so exquisite for everyone to enjoy.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Epic (TV) inspired jewelry blog hop

Epic Inspiration Blog Hop badge
Today is reveal day for the Epic Inspiration Jewellery Design Challenge and Blog Hop hosted by Melissa Trudinger of Bead Recipes.  End of April, she proposed a challenge to look to a favorite TV show(s) and then create jewelry inspired by a character or clothing or the overall aesthetic of the production.  

Her words specifically:  

"Design at least one piece inspired by the series, by the characters or the setting, the costumes or the story, even a particularly inspiring line from the show."
Immediately, I thought of Downton Abbey and Mr Selfridge.  As much as I enjoy these shows for their interesting plots, characters, and historical references, I keep watching in large part for the clothing and jewelry.  Remember the fashion show Lady Mary attended in Season 5 where she said "Oh, yummy" about one of the dresses on a model?  That's pretty much how I have felt about both of these shows since episode 1, season 1.  Stunning stuff! 

I also thought of Grantchester and Vera and The Bletchley Circle and Endeavor and Inspector Lewis.  Then I went old school and thought of Little House on the Prairie and Facts of Life and, heaven help me, The Donny and Marie Show.  I know, I'm dating myself.  

In the end, these are the pieces I came up with:  

The pendant is actually a cluster clasp of glass beads from a vintage necklace I found at a garage sale.  The other beads are also glassThe rose is from my stepfather's garden.
Here's a close up of the back of the clasp / pendant.  The stamped letters read JAPAN.

This necklace was inspired by the character Hildegard Staunton (played by the lovely Pheline Roggan) in episode 1 of Grantchester.  I could see the character wearing this necklace in post-WWII England with a sweater set, wool skirt and shiny black heels. 

This pair of earrings was inspired by Mrs. Isobel Crawley (played perfectly by Penelope Wilton) from Downton Abbey.  They're kind of old-fashioned in that they are twist on earrings.  The faceted beads are much more shiny in person, and the silver / pearl flowers are rather feminine, I think.  I could see her wearing these on a social outing that is less formal than dinner at the great house.  Don't you love her relationship with the Dowager Countess?  God love Maggie Smith - Lady Violet is hands down my favorite character on the show.  She always has the best lines!

These were inspired by Lady Mary's character, also form Downton.  They are quite simple, but they're long & dark with a bit of sparkle & swing - kind of like Mary.  Michelle Dockery does such a great job portraying this character, from the sibling rivalry to the grieving widow to the woman taking charge of her heritage and romantic life.  I have moments when I think she is cruel, but her granny puts her in her place often enough to humble her.  (Remember the line "A lack of compassion can be as vulgar as an excess of tears" Lady Violet zinged her way after she insulted Lady Edith, AGAIN?  Love it.)

The connector is from Kabela Designs, and the chain came from Stinky Dog Beads.

Green-yellow pearls, garnet rounds, Czech glass, glass / brass chain, faceted glass seed beads,  faceted glass round as the pendant.
This necklace came about after looking at stills of Lady Edith, again from Downton.  I have a fondness for her character (could she please catch a break in season 6, Julian Fellowes???), and I adore the clothes and jewelry Laura Carmichael gets to wear while playing her.  Like her, this piece is delicate, classic, and feminine. 

For anyone interested, Downton Abbey's current costumer, Anna Robbins, has a Twitter account where she posts about the clothing & accessories used in the show.  It's rather fun to read.

Please visit the other participants to ooh and ahh over their creations.  The list is below:

Melissa Trudinger    (the hostess)
Karen Mitchell         
Andrea Glick            
Karen Martinez       
Lennis Carrier          
Lindsay Starr            
Mona Arnott            
Lee Koopman          
Shaiha Williams      
Veralynne Malone  
Elisabeth Auld          
Kelly Schermerhorn (you're here!)
Dini Bruinsma          
Jami Shipp                

Terri G                        

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

so long Hudson Valley, hello Mohawk River Valley

Hanging out in my hometown at my parents' place.  I'm in between our drafty farmhouse with the amazing bird life in the back yard and living the national park seasonal life.  I've a different kitten to play with, familiar green spaces to find respite in, and plenty of family to spend time with.  

Life is indeed pretty good.

these bloomed just before we moved out - lucky us!

My little sister's cat, Mula.  She's just started showing me her belly.  I've yet to rub it as she can be quite sassy.