Friday, 31 July 2015

LIFE: The Small Things

Small Things

Wow two of these in two weeks, I'm spoiling you. That and I'm impressed I've remembered to do another one. There's hope for me yet. Plus it's another excuse to dump a load of random photographs in a pretty display. It's all about the visuals.

So 14 days and some happy things;
  • Doing the all American tradition of hiding from the crazy heat by going to the cinema and seeing both Ant Man and Amy Schumer's Trainwreck. Both are well worth watching. The latter just making my day and being so much better than I had hoped. Tears from all the laughing. Amy Schumer just gets it spot on. 
  • Tennessee Whisky Cake at TGI Friday's - enough said (kinda made up for the slow service and just okay entree). 
  • Scoring a new (to us) computer desk for $20 - one that doesn't rock, wobble, slide like the old one. Yey.
  • Finding an old blog post about my first ever visit to an estate sale back in March 2012, oh the fun we've had since doing them weekly! 
  • Marking six years of blogging - thanks for all the comments!
  • Messing around with a new phone camera app - complete with mirrors and leaky light features. I'm easily amused. But amused enough to ditch VSCO for Lidow. 
  • Vanilla cream drinks from Tim Hortons <3
  • Picking seeds from the cilantro plants in hope of turning it into some coriander powder for curry making. Fingers crossed!
  • Bulb catalogues for spring 2016 dropping in the mail box, not that I'm wishing time away but gimme all the flowers!
  • Self seeded sunflowers from bird seed - free flowers!
  • Studying this obsessively detailed map Emma found all about amazing places to visit on American roadtrips - any roadtrip that gives a mention to Michigan (which is most often missed off) is a winner in my book.  
  • Falling in love and adding far too many more cross stitch projects after coming across The Sunflower Diaries (great xstitch freebies if that's your thing).
 What's been rocking your world lately?

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

OHIO: The Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo fast became one of my favorite zoo's, and I've been to a far few over the years. Not only because of those penguins. But there's great natural exhibits, encounters, great landscaping and it's huge. And it's not just a zoo, it's also a botanical garden and, as a result, offers a beautiful blend of gardens and flowers as you wander around between the exhibits. Plus gives the animals that all important privacy if they want to keep away from the crowds.

Cincinnati Zoo Cincinnati Zoo Cincinnati Zoo

From rain gardens, a green (low input plants) garden and a conifer garden to name but three, the flower borders are also filled with plants butterflies and pollinators love are bright and bold. My favorite, the Pollinator Garden is found on the main loop by you guessed it, the insect building. Borders are crammed full of nectar rich, long flowering plants and shrubs perfect for butterflies, bees to birds. If you're anything like me, a wannabe butterfly garden gardener, you'll leave with so many ideas and plant names.It's all certainly a great approach to landscaping and wildlife and I wish more places would follow suit.

Cincinnati Zoo Cincinnati Zoo Cincinnati Zoo Cincinnati Zoo

The Cinci Zoo is rather historic too - opening in 1875 it remains America's second oldest zoo. While located in the heart of Cincinnati's Avondale district you'd be forgiven thinking you were miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life with how peaceful and green the zoo is.

Cincinnati Zoo Cincinnati Zoo Cincinnati Zoo

It's home to over 1,800 animals over 500+ species. From the huge Elephant reserve, the new African exhibit (more on this to come) special night creature exhibits to gorillas and manatees, there is so much to see. We even managed to spot some baby flamingos which I have to admit, after the penguins came close to being a favorite. There's also a great mix of inside and outside exhibits, so if you're visiting on one of those hot summer days like we were, there's plenty of ways to cool off. 

While it might be a three and a half hour drive from Detroit, I think we'll certainly be popping back for another day trip, it's well worth a visit. 


View Larger Map  |  Get Directions  |  View Bird's Eye
 Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens
3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, Ohio


Monday, 27 July 2015

CREATIVE: A Garden Party Stitch Along #6 & #7

Our late June roadtrip through me off course with sharing the updates on the old Cross Stitch Collection Garden Party Stitch Along. With feeling like I'm running out of things to say other than hey look more stitches, oh look I'm still avoided stitching the faces ... hate stitching faces, so here's June and July's update all in one post. 

I thought we'd take a step back and see how it was looking in May;
SAL

So June rolled around which involved a lot more stitching outside and soaking up that all important natural light. Apparently I got a lot of stitching done in June. Marvellous.

SAL

June also started becoming the month that I started avoiding stitching faces. It's not that I can't do them, I just have a strong dislike for stitching one stitch of one shade, then two of another because I find it a little wasteful. My biggest issue is with back stitching faces. Like I mentioned with trout pout in my last update. Yeah she still doesn't have her lips back ... or her eyes for that matter ... no cross stitching for her.

SAL

But as June rolled to an end with me being ill and our road trip so the stitching was actually set aside for a couple of weeks. I actually picked up working on a Dinobot Transformers piece for Joe and now being distracted by that old sampler project.

SAL

Knowing I had a stitch along check in a couple of weeks ago got my arse back into gear and I've been working on all the background pieces. So much that the last two figures on the left side are looking rather ghostly.

SAL

My goal for August is to finish off this last page on the left side and perhaps complete/catch up with the backstitching.

SAL

May through to July

Oh yeah and tackle those faces ... urgh.

Come share what you've been crafting lately!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

BLOGGING: Six Years

Zoo

I'll be honest, I've started and stopped, deleted and retyped this post a couple of times. While I want to mark my little blog's sixth birthday, everything I had to say about blogging I shared last year alongside things we as bloggers shouldn't assume about our readers. Nothing much in my mind has changed, although I've taken a considerable step back when it comes to the promoting, sharing, engaging in twitter chats.

Somewhat of a blogging fail perhaps, but for me it's worked. My stats haven't really decreased. I'm enjoying blogging more than I have in a long time. There's less stress, less pressure to make it perfect, to be scheduling tweets out constantly. I don't have the time or the energy for curating that perfect look online or offline.

More then ever my blog is just a reflection of me.

An old lady with an aching back, gardening, crafting, collecting old stuff in a 28 year old's body.

Six years on any hobby is pretty neat. Until I remember I've been cross stitching 22 years but that's another story. Six years doing something so publicly, sharing so much, making many loyal readers that I call friends. 

From an attic bedroom in my student days back in Newcastle, England to being a homeowner in Detroit, USA. Life has changed a bit over the last six years. It's nice to have this place to reflect on it all.

So thank you, thank you to those of you that have ever read my rambles, shared a tweet, talked to me, come back time and time again.

Ta muchly.