last weekend


We headed out to Ice Box once again. This time, however, it didn't live up to it's namesake. The higher spring sun kept us warm the whole hike so the cooler area near the falls was quite welcome. The beautiful colors we saw on the trees and bushes were signs that spring has definitely hit the desert. I love how the colors just seem to pop so much more when they are surrounded by the stark rock. I particularly love the tree growing sideways from the rock. (also noticed that basically every hike you can do at the desert ends at a water source, coincidence?)

Also, this dog. This fat, lazy princess of a dog. She needed a lift for the last half of the hike. It was hilarious watching the guys switch off carrying her and lifting her over the boulders like a search and rescue team. I think now she needs a puppy pedicure.

*On another note, have you ever noticed how sometimes photos don't seem to do a place justice while at the same time framing or featuring things you couldn't even notice at the time?

my latest fabric purchase

I recently got into quilting. It's endlessly creative in that there are always new fabrics, new designs, new ways of putting things together that it's led to me constantly dream up new things I'd like to do or try. The best part: it satisfies my need for pretty while still staying useful. I love all that creative DIY stuff, but I find it hard to implement most of it in my own home because it doesn't serve a purpose (except looking pretty, which I guess qualifies, but I would prefer form and function - picky, I know). Don't remind me that I live in Vegas and my need for quilts spans about 3 months a year at most and, as my husband likes to point out, we only need one. I conveniently put this in the back of my head where I keep other things I'd like to not be reminded of - like how good cheese really is or that my baby brother will be in high school soon.

All that to say that I joined a quilt guild. And this next month, we are doing a fabric swap for the upcoming challenge. Pantone's color of the year is "Tangerine Tango" - a fiery reddish orange that is awesomely attractive and very bold. So, the guild decided to have an orange quilt challenge and I couldn't be more thrilled. I think I might be one of those weirdos that likes loves orange because it seems many people don't as I found out when searching for orange fabric to contribute to the swap (it is not an easily found color with much variety).

Today, the lovely UPS man arrived at my door fabric in hand. I ran upstairs afterwards and tore open the envelope to see it. It's lovely. I ordered extra because I love it so much and even though I'm not sure what I'll do with the remainder, I am so glad I ordered it. I know I have to cut this down into strips for the swap, but I'll put that off a little longer so I can just stare at it some more.

I also picked up these pretties. For some reason I am loving elephant fabrics recently and can't get enough.

natural egg dyes - success and failures

 This year, I wanted to give natural egg dyes a try. I read tons of recipes online that used a variety of different fruits, vegetables and spices. None of these sites, however, had any actual examples of dyed eggs (except one, which was a super done up mag photo - i question it's authenticity). It seemed people loved posting recipes for natural egg dyes, but no one actually bothered to post the eggs. Did they suck? Did the recipes work? I tried seven this year. Here are the successful attempts (all of these were left in for about 20 minutes, except for the cabbage, which was left in the dye for an hour):

 As for our not so successful attempts: carrots (for orange) did nothing, spinach (for green) - nada, cranberries - nope. Next year I think I will get some dollar store paprika for orange (I thought about it this year, but didn't want to run out and definitely didn't want to use our good Penzey's stuff for egg dyes). I'd also like to try and mix maybe the turmeric and the red cabbage to see if I can get a green egg out of it. And possibly, although only if I can find inexpensive frozen berries, raspberries for a more red-pink.

For now though, I'm happy with our little egg experiment. I think they are cute, pastel, soft colors and don't have any weird ingredients. It was kind of interesting though in that they didn't come out in the same colors they dried:

blueberries: these came out more purple, and as they dried they turned this deeper blue hue.

turmeric: they came out more gold, but once dried ended up as a nice, soft yellow

red cabbage: this surprised me the most. it came out much more purple and dried this lovely robin's egg blue.

beets: came out pink, as i imagined. the eggs i pulled out quickly dried more slight purple pink. the ones i left longer in the dye, assuming i would get a darker, more vibrant pink, ended up drying a reddish-brown.