It seems I'm usually making and crafting for my Etsy shop, and sometimes gifts for others, but I don't very often make or sew for myself. But I made two plush koi fish just for me.
As I enjoy watching our koi and goldfish in our backyard pond, I can't help but admire the colorful spots and patterns. So I tried to duplicate the look by needle felting sweater wool to make soft plush koi pillows. I started with the orange koi with black spots and then made the "calico" koi, white with bright orange and black spots. They now reside on the back of the family room sofa.
All of our koi and goldfish are very happy in the new backyard pond. They have lots of room to swim and have all gotten much bigger in the extra space.
Some of the goldfish, the first inhabitants of the new pond, spawned when we first put them in the pond. Quite a few of the baby goldfish have survived and are about three inches long now!
After all of my husband's hard work on this project to dig, fill and landscape the pond, it's been so relaxing to sit and enjoy the beautiful fish enjoying their new home.
I love the extra flavor fresh herbs add to a dish and basil is one of my all time favorite herbs. Fresh basil pesto is deliciously fragrant added to your favorite pasta, served hot or cold. I've posted this recipe before, but it's so good and easy I thought I'd share it again.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts 2 cloves minced garlic Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1. Combine the basil in with the nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more. 2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Serve with your favorite pasta or spread over toasted baguette slices.
I finally found some small clay pots in just the right sizes to finish up a collection of plush cactus. I have a whimsical prickly pear cactus, a San Pedro cactus, and a barrel cactus all made from repurposed sweater wool in varying shades of green. I've added some not so prickly "spines" made from thread and beads. And I couldn't resist adding some small blooms to each one.
These make great gifts for anyone lacking a "green thumb", and are fun home or office décor, alone or in a grouping. I have a group of them on my coffee table right now!
It's almost time to start moving our koi fish into the new big pond. But the pond is already full of life. The new filter system is almost complete and the goldfish we put in already seem to be enjoying their new home.
The lotus is growing and blooming.
The newest resident is "Flip" the green frog. He likes to float in the shade under the lotus leaves.
A big dragonfly larvae.
A wonderful surprise. . . the first goldfish we put in the pond have already spawned and we have little baby goldfish! These tiny goldfish will be brown in color, for protection, until they get a bit bigger. They are able to hide amongst the rocks around the side of the pond.
Trap door snails, collected from a local garden center's big natural pond, will eat algae from the sides of our pond and act as nature's cleaners.
Welcome long summer days, short warmer nights, the sound of birds and flutter of butterflies. Welcome farm fresh produce, enjoying meals outdoors, concerts in the park, days by the pool or beach and all that summer means to you.
My prickly pear cactus is blooming in the garden, which got me thinking that I haven't made any of my plush cactus soft sculptures for a while. So I dug out some green felted sweater wool and set to work. I need to hunt for a few more small pots for my soft, wooly cactus garden and then I hope to have some of them listed in the shop by the first of next week. I'll let you know!