Friday, November 27, 2009

Fair Fowl

My husband found this Eastern Screech Owl sleeping in the rafters of our tractor barn a few weeks ago. Sometimes our chores get put off so we can discover nature instead. This species of owl is 9" tall at maturity (this owl is sitting on a 2"x12"). They have a very eerie call that reminds me of the soundtrack from a scary movie. We once saw one sleeping peacefully in the top of a tree while the wind gusted at 35 mph. Read more information and listen to the calls of these owls here.
Female Ring Necked Pheasants have been rooting around for seed under our bird feeders recently. They get their name from the ringed necks of the males. We have enjoyed having them around the house. They strut in a way that resemble the walk of a chicken. Sometimes they chase each other around like kids playing a game of tag.

On another note...I am offering free shipping worldwide for anything purchased from my ShadyGroveStudios Etsy Shop through the end of December.

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving from the Shady Grove!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Giveaway Results

And the winners are.....

Congratulations ladies!!!

My thanks to everyone that participated. There we almost 200 entries. I had a chance to meet many new people and found some wonderful blogs that I had not seen before.

I am just returning home from a week away from home for work in Illinois. Taking the (long) way home I chance to meet my new nephew in Iowa. He was just two days old. What a cutie!!

I spent Saturday morning cleaning house and washing laundry for my sister and brother in-law so they can rest once they bring my nephew home.

I finally remembered to take some photographs of the stained glass items that I made for my sister over the years. She is a huge fan of Arts and Crafts period furnishings. I designed the lampshade with the art of Charles Renee MacKintosh in mind.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Quick Trip to Patsy's Retreat

I took a trip to my friend Patsy's quilting retreat a few weeks ago and this is what I saw along the way. Cornfields ready for harvest.
The big work horses getting fueled up for the job ahead.

Brilliant colors on the maple trees near the Homestead Cabin Retreat.
And a quick shot of Patsy as she rushes around to care for her weekend quilting guests.
For the next two weeks she has her days free to sew. Every year at this time she turns the retreat over to the men in her life. Patsy always changes her decorations with the seasons and hunting season is no different. Click here for a peek at her blog.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Welcome to my Dye Candy Giveaway. If you are new to my blog, I welcome you and invite you to look around. You have at least two chances to win a prize. Leave a comment here and enter a second time on my other blog You are welcome to copy the top picture of my dye candy sample packs and use it if you are creating a link to this giveaway on your own blog. If you create a link please leave me a note in your comment and I will enter your name in the drawing two more times.
If you are a winner you will have your choice of one of these prizes:
1 Gift Certificate for $25.00 for my Dye Candy Shop or
a half yard of Shibori Dyed Fabric or
6 step fat quarter gradation set.

Choose a piece of Quilt Block Jewelry or

a small Stained Glass Snowflake Sun Catcher Ornament from my Shady Grove Studios Etsy Shop.
Good Luck to you! Drawing closes at 6:00 pm on Sunday, November 22nd.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

At Long Last Blue Skies

After a month of rain and gray weather we have had a week of never ending blue skies and have been spending as much time outdoors as possible. The leaves are gathered and the outdoor chores are finished for the season. Time for hikes and watching the sun set.

Sunny days also make the best light to photograph my hand dyed fabrics. Indirect sunlight allows me to photograph the truest colors. Reds and pinks can wash out in incandescent light.
I was finally able to photograph my new snowflake ornaments and add them to my Shady Grove Studios shop. Gray skies do not encourage sales.
The fields have turned to straw and the white tailed deer have changed their coats to a dull brown. It is a good camouflage for the fall.
Lately we have seen this big guy chasing the girls around. Sometimes he is followed by young bucks that are no match for him.

Wishing you well from sunny Wisconsin! Chris

P.S. Check back on Sunday. I will be hosting another giveaway of items from my Etsy shops.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Around the Farm in Mid October

An old seed planter sits in the tall grass. It was left on our farm long ago by a previous owner.... Jack is more interested in the neighborhood cows.
A small organic dairy joins our property to the South.

The oaks in the forest were near peak on this day.

A view towards our farm from the "back 40"

A week later all the leaves were gone. Autumn is very unpredictable in Wisconsin. You never know how long it will last. We try to make the most of each day while we can.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Finish Line

My snowflakes are finished and shipped. It is finally time for sewing projects of my own choosing. Next on my to do list is to clean my studio so I can get to my sewing machine. I recently moved my studio to a room with a door. I can close the door and make all of my mess disappear. Poof, magic...I love it!
A few years back when I started making my quilt block jewelry I tried many different color combinations before settling on some standard product offerings. Each year I edit and make a few changes. Last weekend I reviewed my line to get my 2010 order form ready. I added a new section called "Sale Items" to my Shady Grove Studios Shop. This category contains many discontinued color combinations at a discount. All my pieces are foundation pieced hand dyed fabrics. The sewing can be seen on the reverse side of the jewelry. Stop by and take a look. Please note I offer free shipping worldwide on all of my jewelry.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Real Cut Up

I just found out one of my stained glass snowflakes is featured in an Etsy Treasury. Thanks Kaatirocketts! Click here before Tuesday at 8:00 am Eastern to see all the beautiful winter and summer inspired artworks listed in this Treasury.
This snowflake is one of many I have been working on for the last few weeks. By the end of the day today I hope to have 30 finished snowflakes and a few sun catchers ready to send to the Iowa Artisans Gallery for winter sales.

We have seen a few snow flurries around but nothing is sticking to the ground yet. Good news for me because I still have piles of leaves to clean up before the snow sets in. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend....Greetings from sunny and crisp, cool Wisconsin. - Chris