Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thursday Photo Challenge: Spring

Spring Green Leaf

For more photos, go to spunwithtears

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Signs of Spring

Maybe it's just because this is the first spring in six years that I have lived in a community safe and inviting for birds (other than pigeons) to fly around from bush to bush, nestle in the budding trees, and chirp and trill to their mates, or maybe it's because I am taking my daily walks during the afternoons before sunset, but this spring I am noticing so many more birds. Or maybe it's because I'm always carrying my camera around and looking for opportunities to photograph anything that might be of interest to put on my blog.

Whatever the reason, I am seeing and hearing birds everywhere. It's another good reason to live in Ventura County, California. The birds are here, telling me it's spring.

Another sign of spring is the blooming of the jasmine bushes. I inherited three thriving jasmine plants along with the nine camellia bushes when we bought our home. All three jasmines are in full bloom now, their heavy, sweet scent filling the air all around the house, inside and out. As I walk through my neighborhood, I can smell the jasmine in other gardens before I see the plants as I pass by.

I remember the first time we walked through this house, almost exactly a year ago. When I visit an open house or do a walk through on a house for sale, I am always as interested in the yard and garden as I am in the state of the baths and the placement of the laundry and the size of the kitchen. My first impression was favorable--I smelled the jasmine and could imagine myself opening my door and sniffing that heady fragrance every morning. And so I do just that, this spring.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Iris Unfurled

This is how the mystery iris ended up looking in my back terrace garden. It popped up next to the compost bin. I am sure it has enjoyed the extra water and nutrients that it inadvertently received due to its location.

I would describe it as a mauve-with-traces-of-peach iris.
I must admit that irises have never been my favorite flower. Too showy and much too much floozy attitude for me. And they have no staying power.
However, I have decided to let it stay by the compost bin. If it continues to show up every spring, I'll admire its lavender frills for the mega second it is at its peak.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

An Overload of Sucrose and A Little Knitting

Are you all sick of seeing photos of The Boy yet? Not to worry. This post is REALLY all about knitting. Knitting for The Boy, it's true. But there is knitting content.

How to sell knitting patterns. Lesson 1.

Take one incredibly cute model. (He is incredibly cute. I am not biased.)

Make one Weasley sweater from the Enchanted Knits book and photograph the incredibly cute model wearing it.

Use left over cotton yarn from a maternity sweater his mama wore to knit a Pure and Simple top down raglan cardigan and add a hoodie. Take another photograph with the incredibly cute model. (This also counts as Using Up My Stash!)

Or maybe two photos.

As long as we have the incredibly cute model around anyway, quickly knit up an elf hat (Enchanted Knits, again) with the left over organic cotton used for his special blanket (counting additional brownie points for Using Up My Stash) so the ICM (incredibly cute model) will have warm ears while walking around a beach town. Photograph the ICM. Again.

And again.

Don't you just want to run right out to your local yarn shop and buy Enchanted Knits, Interweave Knits magazines, Pure and Simple baby cardigan patterns and knit up samples for your very own ICM?

Friday, April 25, 2008

The New Boy and His Uncle

It was a lot of fun hangin' with Uncle Mike. He taught me new things!

"Hey, Uncle Mike! What's that?"

"It's called a Rubik's Cube. It's really fun to play with and interesting to look at."

"This is how it works. See? You turn the blocks around and around until all the colors are lined up, nine on each side."
"Uh huh. Cool."

"You wanna try it?"

"Turn it like this, and like this, and then like this, and you're done!"

"Here! It's your turn!"

"I love playing with Uncle Mike!"

"Almost as much as I love my mama!"

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Photo Challenge: Earth

standing on my little piece of it.

For more photo challenge photos, go to spunwithtears.

Gardens at Getty Villa

The Gardens are just as impressive as the rest of the Getty Villa.

I can only give you a little 'peek through the windows' with my photos.

The outer peristyle (or open courtyard) has a large rectangular pool complete with fountains and replicas of statues found at the Villa dei Papiri. Meticulously trimmed boxwood hedges line the paths and emphasize the shape of the pool.

The grape arbor on the side provides shade for a bench.

There are irises blooming in the formal garden beds.

In the Herb Garden, many ornamental, kitchen and medicinal herbs grow in large beddings.

Lamb's Ears and, I think, Germander.

Is this Foxglove?

The olive trees are just now putting out their new green olivey fruits.

Rose bushes line the walk leading from the Entry Pavilion to the Arrival Balcony that overlooks the front of the museum.

There are several small ponds with grasses, water lilies and pads floating on the surface and among the ripples.

My favorite spot--the lavender-filled terraces stepping up the sides of the outdoor theater!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Getty Villa, Forms Large and Small

Because the Getty Villa specializes in displaying J. Paul Getty's extensive collection of Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquies, the museum has some permanent exhibits and some changing exhibitions.

This terracotta sarcophagus is part of the funerary sculpture exhibit. It is quite large and intricately carved.

There are two matching blocks of stone with elephants carved into them hung on the walls on either side of the hallway into one of the exhibition rooms.

These two small statues were in the Animals in Antiquity exhibit.
Woman feeding chickens

The coloring on this bird interested me.

In Women and Children in Antiquity permanent display cases, there were hair ornaments and jewelry. I found the intricate work on this comb brooch stunning.

No display of Women and Children would be complete without a painting or statue depicting the fiber work women have always done. Here is a statue of a woman spinning fiber. The pieces she is holding in her hands are missing, but it is obvious that she is spinning with a drop spindle.

Of course I would find the ONE piece in the museum that had a connection to FIBER in some form.

Tomorrow--Getty Villa Gardens.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Let's Meet at The Getty Villa

Yes, I had the day off from Kindergarten yesterday! So I took a trip down Highway 1 through Malibu to meet up with Sara and Ellen for a blogging, walking, photo taking visit to Getty Villa.

Getty Villa is a private (not government) owned museum funded by the Getty Foundation (compliments of J. Paul Getty). The Villa is a replica of a first century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri. The museum highlights Getty's collection of Greek and Roman antiquities.

The architectural details are stunning. I spent a lot of my time looking up at the dental decorations and the ornate columns.

I also walked around with my head down, admiring the many different mosaics on the floors. Like this one...

This ancient floor mosaic featuring a head of Medusa, snakes and all, hangs on a wall in the museum.

The courtyards and gardens were masterpieces.

After taking a quick tour through several galleries and pedometer-counting walk through the gardens, we ate lunch in the Getty Cafe. Don't our lunches look delicious?

There was so much to see that I am going to have to wait until another post to show you the gardens and a few of the museum pieces that I particularly liked.

But I have to ask you, "How would you like to live in a place where you woke up every morning and looked out on this view of the Pacific Ocean?"