We have a chain of thrift stores in Arizona called Epic Thrift. I am new to these, if they aren’t new to our community. (They either popped up overnight, or I just haven’t been paying attention.) Depending on the store, they have a pretty incredible collection of fabrics, which are really, really inexpensive. My favorite find so far is the blue rose pattern. It was five yards for $.99. I have made a couple sets of pillow cases and plan on putting together some curtains with the remainder.
This makes my thrifty, recycling self very happy.
The new craft I’d like to learn is applique. Specifically, I’d like to make a dresden pillow. And then a log cabin pillow. It’s fun to have these bright fabrics when considering how to put one of these together. I know the basics of quilting, but this is a new animal entirely. As such, I’m considering my first Craftsy course. Have you ever taken one of these? And buying this book, which I hear is great for learning applique and quilted pillows.
I love the idea of a neutral couch full of different pillows, with their bright colors. (And of course, one of my mama’s quilts on the back.)
I really miss college. For now, these crafty courses and challenges in patience will do. A big thanks to my buddy Nic for her help in guiding me to the right resources!
Apparently, we also make candles now. Also — I’ve become a regular camp counselor on the weekends when it comes to arts and crafts. I am enjoying having several kids in my life who want to spend this time together, and are very creative. I foresee a lot of Thanksgiving and Christmas glue gun shenanigans in our future.
This weekend, we tie dyed. (Not a very well kept secret: I LOVE TIE DYE. I am fairly incapable of buying t-shirts at restaurants, for example, if they are tie dye. Also: I frequent restaurants that sell t-shirts. I am a classy dame.)
Back to the topic at hand: Guys — tie dyeing is easy and so fun! (And not expensive. We made five shirts and two aprons for less than $30 with all the supplies.)
We will be making more of these.
I don’t mean to jinx things around here, but you guys — I am wearing sleeves. Okay, okay. I am wearing sleeves first thing in the morning when I walk the dogs. Not all day. The afternoons are still in the 90s, but this is sweet progress! The mornings are crisp and cool enough to open windows. My electricity bill is likely to be halved this month.
In a nutshell: this is the best time of year.
The garden, on the other hand, doesn’t look so swell. These babies weathered July and August. Troopers, really.
Thankfully, I was gifted a handful of great new gardening books for my recent birthday. I’m using them to draft plans; my beau is building garden boxes at his house for winter vegetables and herbs. This is very exciting news! I have never gardened when watering was easy. These boxes will be on a timed drip.
My love of weird succulents continues too. Check out these odd balls that were recently added to my collection:
Love it. So thankful our outdoor season has finally arrived!
These poor pumpkins were cooking in the heat. The edges were browning and the flowers weren’t doing great. Even though I planted the native seeds when I was supposed to, I am not sure we’ll see gourds before Thanksgiving.
Regardless, I knew they needed some shade. In the spirit of using what we have — I repurposed four tomato stakes, a yard of heavy canvas fabric from the thrift store and the grommet tool.
Voila. Does a good enough job to keep the sun off during the hottest part of the day. The plant has flourished since. And, when we get those freak rain storms, that canvas dries and can be easily replaced.
Are you planting a fall garden? What are you planning?
When I saw this paper mache deer head at the craft store, I knew I wanted to paint it. I wasn’t sure why, but I loved it. And so, for a few bucks and a couple coats of paint…
The first Christmas decoration is up. (Because, you know. In Tempe we see lots of deers.) The simplicity of this does delight me, however.
Because sometimes it is the little things that make me crack up:
The last two are to prove it isn’t all torture. He occasionally gets walks and belly rubs too.
I’m sure I’ve bored you to pieces with all of these photos. Here are a few of the remainders I love:
Who knew the Colorado looked like chocolate milk? This was the only time we really saw the river.
More falls. You cannot tell from this vantage, but that is a 25 foot drop.
See that trail down there? Yep. Walked it.
Done! Sweaty, tired, and DONE! Some three days and 30 miles later. Woo!
Loved it. Can’t wait to go back. Have I mentioned this?
Rather than camp at Bright Angel, the group made reservations a year in advance for Phantom Ranch. There are a dozen or so small rock cabins, full of bunk beds. The accommodations are simple, clean and very comfortable. (Real toilets, hot running showers) The main canteen offers breakfast, sack lunch and dinner with reservations. Otherwise, they are well stocked with snacks and drinks. Long tables hold 12 people; meals are a tight fit, but it feels like adult camp.
How do they get those supplies down there? The same way they run the mail and trash up the canyon: by mule. I’m fairly certain this is the last remaining mule mail service in the US.
I loved being there. We did yoga one morning on our bath towels outside, stretching out the previous day’s hike. We eyed the board games, drank bad boxed wine, watched a bit of wildlife, took side hikes and sat in the river — again, trying to ease the soreness.
The meals were the same from day to day. Breakfast was coffee, pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs. Lunch was a sack of snacks. Dinner was cornbread, chili, salad and cake. We ate it all with gusto.
Pretty incredible supply chain, someone is managing — all via UMS. (United Mule Service)
Also of note: apparently they do not like you to touch the mules. Even if they are adorable and wiggle their ears at you and basically BEG to be nuzzled. Coincidentally, I got scolded by a cowboy, and that was not all bad.
Perhaps my favorite part of the trip was the side hike to Ribbon Falls. Just south of the Cottonwood campsite, Ribbon Falls are a brief .5 mile hike off the main trail. We were able to easily climb up the falls and stand behind the water, watching it pour down on years (centuries?) worth of limestone and moss. The water was a refreshing break after 10 miles of hiking from the north rim. And simply gorgeous: