Cynthia St. Charles Store

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yucca in Bloom

I rarely get a photo of our Yucca in bloom before the deer eat off the flowers, but this time I was successful. I've kept this one sprayed with my deer repellent concoction - a mixture of egg, garlic and water - it is pretty rank stuff!

The day after I took this picture - the rain washed away the deer repellent and the blossoms were all eaten off!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hand Made Paper

I have achieved one of my summer goals! Making paper!
Above, you can see some of the paper I made in this first batch.

I've been saving paper all winter. This spring, I ran it all through the shredder and stuffed it in this bag in anticipation that I would find a way to make my own paper this summer when I could work outside. I put about half my shreds into this large plastic box and covered it with warm water to soften it.

I picked up this set of adjustable window screens from Lowes. I think they measure 15 x 18". I wanted to make large sheets of paper!

Here is my set-up. Two banquet tables. A shallow slurry tub. The dedicated blender. We had just replaced two sliding door screens, so I had those to work with, also.

I floated the screens until I was happy with the consistency of the layer of slurry on them, then I let them drip a bit.

These were then inverted onto a piece of cheesecloth and laid out to dry on the screen.

The drying took a while, but otherwise, this was not nearly as time consuming as I thought it might be. A few hours hands on- maybe less.

I am delighted with my results! I am looking forward to working with my handmade paper when the cold weather arrives. I'll just put it away for now.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tom Miner Road

Driving home . . . .

These pictures are all taken from the road.

I loved re-visiting this area. I used to live in the Paradise Valley, along Tom Miner Creek.

I had not been back in many years.

I had never been here with Joe, so it was a fun outing!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tom Miner Trail

We made a loop, following a different trail back to the Tom Miner trailhead.

The wildflowers were wonderful.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tom Miner Basin Views

We took the time to soak in the views before we headed back down to the trailhead.

We enjoyed our visit to the Gallatin Petrified Forest!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Petrified Wood

We found pieces of petrified wood scattered all over this ridge.

Here is pretty much an entire tree trunk exposed on this ridge

Here I am next to the petrified log.

We picked up a few small pieces - they are very light and I am hoping to be able to attach some to future pieces of art. I have a few ideas brewing.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gallatin National Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

We climbed the hillside up to these rocky outcroppings where the forest was buried by volcanic ash again and again. There are many layers of petrified wood in these, and the logs can be see jutting from the rocky cliff.

The climb was moderate, and we saw a lot of petrified wood shards scattered on the ground at the top of this knob.
We climbed several higher knobs, each one took us deeper into the Petrified Forest, revealing more petrified wood and more rugged terrain.

The views were spectacular and the wildflowers stunning!

It was really fun being able to study the ground for specimens while basking in the beautiful views.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tom Miner Trailhead

Joe and I recently drove 12 miles up the Tom Miner Basin to the campground and trailhead at the end of the road. It was a beautiful day. Partly cloudy and temperatures in the low 70's.

I lived in this area for nearly 10 years (in the 80's), but had only walked this trail once before.

I was delighted to spot this wild clematis climbing a spruce tree. It is also known as Virgin's Bower.

After a while, we turned onto the Petrified Forest Interpretive Trail. It took us up the sidehill on a series of switchbacks.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ancient White Park Cattle

On a recent drive into Tom Miner Basin north of Yellowstone Park, we passed the B-Bar Ranch, where Ancient White Park Cattle are raised.

I grew up on a ranch and have seen a lot of cattle, but this was my first encounter with this breed. I was charmed by their striking black noses, eyes and ears contrasting with the sleek white hide!
They were curious about us.

This herd is quite stout. I am not sure whether they are last year's calves or they are just a short legged breed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chokecherry Inspiration

This little group of chokecherry trees grows just outside our windows to the east. This is a tree/bush that survives the tough environment we have here at our place. I am sure they were planted by Mother Nature. We hang a bird feeder here. The deer nibble the lower branches, creating a lovely silhouette.

This has inspired a series of tall narrow panels, which I am working on right now.
This group is planned for a large wall in my dining room.
The fabric is hand dyed and block printed with Setacolor fabric paints.
I have my sewing machine set up for free motion quilting and I am trying to get a bit done whenever I have a chance.
The birds are just pinned on. I really don't want Blackbirds - I have been trying to get a good picture of a Red Crossbill to use for creating a Thermofax screen.
Another cropped view of my inspiration.