Monday, March 4, 2013

Passing Time

Waiting for spring can be quite tedious, can't it? We have to find things to keep ourselves busy when we are really yearning to get outside to play in the dirt.  Other than my school work, I do have hobbies that keep me amused.

Slowly I am teaching myself how to crochet something beside ripple afghans. I finished my last one (forgetting to take a picture) and gave it to my dear friend in Haxtun for her birthday. Needing a baby gift, I crocheted this little baby sweater. I had a bit of a struggle getting the size correct. I don't really understand how yarn and crochets hooks work when it comes to sizing, even by following pattern instructions. So I get pretty frustrated. The hats are for my granddaughters. I found a great pattern on Pinterest that gave 3 different sizes. I had made little beanies before, but never to the size correct. I think these will work. The pattern include instructions for the flowers. I have made flowers before too, but only one layer flowers. So I am rather proud that I was able to figure out how to add an extra layer of petals. And they say old dogs can't learn new tricks.

Don't we bloggers love to play with our cameras--and computers!

I am trying to learn how to get really good at using layers or textures. I follow Kim In addition to her online classes, she also offers free stuff. We all like free stuff. Each week she sends out a free texture to her email list. She also has free videos tutorials to learn how to do neat tricks with your photos. So today I tried to create my own texture. It is pretty basic and pretty raw. I photographed my shower curtain after a shower that a variety of botanicals on it: leaves, butterflies, shells, star fish, apothecary bottles. So today I chose two to work  with. I started in Picasa by creating a collage then using the overlay to create a layer. I didn't really like the look. So I fired up Photoshop Element II which I am just beginning to learn. 

And here is the final hurried up, a "just give me a minute to figure things out" attempt. I must get back to the Bittersweet lake to photograph the pair of swans that are now on the lake. This photo was taken last year. I'd like to think that this handsome fellow brought his bride with for an extended honeymoon in Colorado. So if anyone has any helpful hints about turning your own photography into textures, please, share your ideas.

I am revisiting the hen house here for my brother and his wife. Now retired, brother and his wife live on an acreage in the Texas hill country. I have teased him about getting chickens and I think they may be considering adding a few hens to their newly plotted garden. 

Last summer hubby (I get in trouble when I say "we") added a raised bed around the hen house. On the west end we planted strawberries. Around the front we will have iris and annual flowers.
Finally the potting bench is taking shape
Not quite finished, the bench will be a great addition as a work area. The dog kennel serves as a quarantine for the hens. Right now Snow our white hen is in isolation not because she has been bad, but because the other hens peck her. Raised together from the beginning, the other hens don't seem to like Snow. Removing her from the flock might help to reset the pecking order. Probably not though. Once her feathers fill back in, she will be returned to flock. 

For 9 hens we have 3 nesting boxes. Each box has a fake egg to remind the ladies where they should lay their eggs. Really. Otherwise we find eggs all over.

Taken through the window screen, this is a photo of the poop deck and roost when the hens sleep at night. The deck hangs by chains so that it can be easily cleaned.

The hens' door. The pen is a dog run that hubby purchased on Craig's List. It even has a top so that varmints can't climb in. Set on timbers, the fence is sturdy. To keep the fox--who does try from time to time--from digging under the timbers, wire mess has been installed a foot deep.
We had more snow today--a whoppin' 1/2 inch, if that much. But who's complaining? We need the moisture. Hubby attended a seminar on drip irrigation at Ft. Collins Nursery Saturday and almost came home with a "What's the point?" attitude since Colorado is still considered in sever drought. Perhaps March, generally our wettest month, will be just that: wet. Really wet. Drowning Wet.

Well, I've had fun today. Off to work tomorrow. We are now counting the days until Spring Break March 16th and the week to follow. We will plant peas and potatoes.

Have a great week everyone.


  1. Well done Ann, they turned out so cute!!! I want chickens again, but we travel too much, wish we could find a neighbor that would watch them when we leave.

  2. oh les chapeau et la veste sont tres beau !

    Bonne semaine!!

    xxx Maria xxx

  3. Your hen house is really neat...makes me want some chickens and a nice house like that. That should work even in Florida, where we have foxes, bob cats, opossum, raccoon etc. with the wire down in the ground and fenced even on top. The raised bed will be a great place for strawberries. I love those cute little hats with flowers you made for the girls and the baby sweater is really sweet. I have never tried anything but afghans and a few miserable doilies! You've been really busy!

  4. Ann... I love the post. The little hats are lovely..I like the colors you chose for them...Very pretty.

  5. The hats, oh cute. Adorable..and wow.

    Chickens, love them, wish we could have them also...allergies.