Saturday, February 22, 2014

Garden Saturday


















After music classes this morning, we went to the Botanic Garden in the Albuquerque BioPark. This is one of my favorite attractions in our city and I take the small Bears there frequently in nice weather. It's a lovely place to walk around. Today, they held an event I really wanted to check out, the Winter Wool Festival, which took place in the Heritage Farm area of the Botanic Garden. The Heritage Farm is my favorite part of the garden, so when I heard that they'd be holding a wool festival there, I was excited.

The wool festival was interesting. There were only a few exhibitions but they were fascinating to watch, and the demonstrators were knowledgeable and friendly. We watched a drop-spindle demonstration, which I enjoyed a lot. I've watched spinners working at the wheel quite a bit (my mother-in-law spins this way) but had never really seen a drop-spindle in action. The spindles themselves were beautiful, hand-carved and made from varied woods. We also watched a fiber-dyeing demonstration. I learned a lot from the dyers; they had lots of books to share and they were eager to discuss their craft. I think they were working with indigo while we were there. I loved looking at their dyed wool samples, especially the over-dyed types. I've never tried dyeing before but I think I would enjoy it.

There were also knitting and weaving demonstrations going on, and lots of chances to look at interesting natural fibers. I saw someone I recognized from a Ravelry group for locals; I introduced myself and we chatted a bit, which was fun. She has a dyeing business herself and I admire her work. It was a nice event. It all made me want to try using natural fibers more in my own work. I've been hesitant to invest much money in yarn, thinking I should wait until I was "serious" about yarn crafts, but I think I've proven myself...to myself. Nobody else was saying this, just me. I think there's real wool in my future.

We spent lots of time in the garden, just strolling around and enjoying warm sun and early garden-growth. We looked at the G (garden)-scale electric train display for a good long while; we all love this. I can really lose myself looking at the little model buildings and figures - people with luggage, dogs riding on the backs of cabooses, cars and gasoline pumps and flower boxes in tiny windows. We spent much of our time in the Heritage Farm. This is a recreated 1930's homestead of the type which once flourished along the Rio Grande. It's a working farm, with fruit orchards, a vineyard, farmyard animals and a wonderful recreated period farmhouse. I love taking the small Bears there for a walk and a little learning. We also walked through the Japanese garden, another family favorite, and watched people throw bread crumbs to the koi. We'd eaten our own sack lunch earlier, while watching a folk-music trio perform in the Heritage Farm. All we had left was a clementine, and no, we do not throw clementines to the koi, little people of mine.

It was a beautiful day for a family outing. We've finally reached the point where nobody really needs a nap anymore; at five, the GB does still have a "rest" after lunch most days, but it's not a necessity. We can get out and do more now that they are older. It's liberating. Now we're home; there are K'Nex all over the family room and the GB is getting an lap-harp lesson from her daddy. We have bread in the bread machine; later on, the Bear and I will have fresh bread with our date-night tomato soup (the fancy refrigerated kind from Costco). I've got a hot cup of tea and new library books. Saturday has been kind to us.

41 comments:

  1. Sounds and looks like a glorious day! I would so enjoy seeing the spinning how wonderful....and the fact that you all can enjoy the fresh air is something I am longing for! Have a great Sunday friend! Nicole xoxo

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  2. That place sound fantastic! I think you've earned yourself the right to buy some serious, grown-up yarn now, you deserve it.

    My Grandad used to have the most amazing model railway that ran around his "study" when I was a child. It was huge and my sisters and I were captivated by it. x

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  3. What a wonderful day for you and small Bears, so much to interest and entertain in a variety of ways. I say buy yourself a nice quantity of 'real' yarn and go for it, you deserve it m'dear! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful pics Jennifer! Hugs, Joy xo

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  4. Sounds like fun! I have one of my great grandmother's spinning wheels that she brought from Ireland. It's beautiful and I love it! She taught me how to use it before she passed away, which is one of my favorite memories :) Your day sounds like it was something I would enjoy, especially the yarn dying. Love the garden flowers, I'm still deciding what I'm going to grow this year!

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  5. Your day sounds lovely! And I really like the sound of your date-night dinner... fresh bread is always the best.

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  6. Oh what a lovely day! Everything looks so pretty, and I absolutely love live music. -Sometimes we make our way to local farmer markets here in Co, and they have live music. It's so wonderful. Your photos are beautiful, and I'm so happy you all enjoyed your time spent together.

    P.S.- I absolutely love the chewy ginger you mentioned on my blog post. When I lived in Arizona, I would pick some up at the Korean market. :) I honestly had forgot about them until you mentioned it, thank you so much! I'll need to go pick some up soon. I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

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  7. That botanical garden looks absolutely wonderful, I know me and the boys would love it there. How nice that your mother-in-law knows how to spin, I do love seeing things like that. I'm fascinated by natural dyeing, it's one of those things I'd try if only I had the time. A heritage farm is a great idea. We have a folk museum near here with lots of old buildings still in use in the way they would have been hundreds of years ago. They've been collected from all over Wales and rebuilt together as a collection. I hope you guys enjoy the rest of the weekend. CJ xx

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  8. Sounds and looked like a pretty perfect Saturday. I quite fancy learning to spin and dye wool but I'm not sure there are enough hours in the day! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. X

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  9. What a fantastic place and event, I would love to know more about natural dyeing maybe one more thing to my "Things I would love to try" list....It looks like you all had a wonderful time and that is good.

    Have a nice day!

    Lluisa

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  10. Hey Jennifer,
    What a great place to have on your doorstep. I have always enjoyed taking the boys to similar places here. Pops is also past the nap stage, and as long as we have rest he really enjoys days out now. Your Saturday sound similar to mine - a mx of home and away with the family.
    Have a great week xx

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  11. Lovely pictures Jennifer . I am glad you gad such a great Saturday x

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  12. Looked a really interesting and fun day out, and something for everybody, I'm so glad you all had great time!
    The natural dyeing and hand spinning looked really fun!
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
    Gill xx

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  13. Sounds like the perfect day out, with lots to occupy everyones interests x

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  14. It looks AWESOME! I want to go...Just need to get my flight money and accommodation sorted and I am there hehe! Look at all that history and the yarns! Oh the yarns! I understand what you are saying about the reluctance to invest, I was the same. Even know if I have spent a decent amount I want to be certain that I am making something great. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos of this trip. I loved it x

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  15. Everything looks so good, and it all adds up to one of those excellent days out you have when you have growing children. Introducing them to something new is so much fun, as you know. Love that Santa Fe railway, the carp, and the lovely tones in the wool. Thank you for showing us, Jennifer.

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  16. Just catching up, gosh looks like you've been having fun! That Tupperware set is brilliant :) x

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  17. I love the tour you gave us, very interesting. When the kids are free of nap time it is such a blessing and a curse, you can get out but your down time is much less. Glad you had a beautiful day, I hope you have one today too.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  18. Your pictures are stunning! For some reason I am drawn to the one of the black hens sitting inside the doorway. There is a haunting quality about it - as if it were taken in the 1800s! The composition is so serene!

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  19. What a great place and a fab event too. I love seeing demonstrations like this, it always makes me want to take up a new hobby, but I think I've got enough on the go for now.

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  20. This looked like a perfect family outing! Your kiddos are so cute -- definitely know they are brother and sister!

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  21. A whirlwind of a weekend, Jennifer, full of fun and whimsy and delight! Gorgeous photos of striking sunlight; love the sparkling orange fish!

    Poppy

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  22. Your shots are gorgeous! I love the wool dying, how lovely to see this. Spring is definitely on its way xx

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  23. What a fascinating place to visit and I can see why you are keen to visit there with the small bears, I know I would. Like you I find it really hard to buy proper and expensive yarn as I don't really feel I can justify it, but I know there will be a time when I will have a few more pennies to put towards it. I am thinking it might happen sooner than I think. Thanks for sharing this with us, I really enjoyed the trip! xoxo

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  24. What a wonderful time you've had! The photos look fascinating - I can understand why you were so taken with the wool exhibitions! Sounds like the rest of the weekend was equally lovely...your posts always have a sense of contentment and enjoyment that I can't adequately put into words but I so enjoy reading! Chrissie x

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  25. It looks as though you had a lovely time in a lovely place! I think that if you would like to try some different yarns you should go for it and see what you like and what different effects you get, as you will never know if you don't try! xx

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  26. This botanic garden looks like a great place to spend an afternoon wandering around. I would love to go to a wool festival like the one you visited. I learnt to spin on a drop spindle as a child but haven't spun any wool since then. I wonder if I should have another go? I love yarn, in particular sheep wool. The smell makes me happy. You should treat yourself to some wonderful special yarn Jennifer, you deserve it. Cx

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  27. That looks such a good p[lace for a family outing! It must have been so interesting seeing the yarns dyed those gorgeous colours. Sarah x

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  28. What a gorgeous set of photos of such a fun looking day, i'm glad Saturday was good to you, i hope the coming week is good to you and your family too. Cate, x

    p.s. i'm looking forward to seeing the real wool projects in your future! x

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  29. Oh Jennifer,
    What glorious interesting and colorful pictures! Such a great family outing and so educational too!
    Have a lovely evening~
    Jemma

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  30. Oh wow, I enjoyed your trip too! I love country stuff, as you know. We raised Nubian dairy goats for many many years, so I love goats. And I do hope you try spinning on a spindle, although it's easier on a spinning wheel! But wearing handspun is tricky as a lot of times it's itchy. What a great place!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  31. What a great place, looks like you all had a fabulous time.

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  32. Thanks for letting me enjoy some of your day, too, Jennifer! I LOVE going to fiberfests!!! It is wonderful you have a botanic garden you can visit frequently, and it is good to know you are finding folks with like interests as you are out and about. I enjoy miniature train arrangements, too, as did my husband. It is always a treat to see the interesting layouts others create. I got to spend a good bit of time drawing this weekend at two different workshops which I really enjoyed. Hope you and yours have a happy week :) xx

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  33. Sounded like a great day out and you all had fun by the sounds of it and all finished off with a date-night meal of homemade bread and soup. Wonderful.
    Patricia x

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  34. Yes! Wool. And plant dye. Embrace both m'dear ... you won't look back!

    And what a fabulous day you all clearly had :)

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  35. That would be my ideal way to spend the day. Just brilliant! Great photos too. I know what you mean about feeling the need to be "serious' about knitting to justify the expense (I feel like that too) but the nice yarn really does make the experience so much better and you'll just love knitting and crocheting even more, which is a good thing :-) Mel x

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  36. What a perfect family day! Interest and fun for the children and new horizons of craft opening up for you. Money spent of good yarn is never wasted. I really loved your picture journal.

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  37. Sounds like a great place - and I love the sparkly picture of the koi carp! Animals and homesteads and wool - something for everyone. Looks like we're having snowdrops at the same time too...
    Sarah :)

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  38. Looks and sounds like an amazing place to visit. Wonderful multi-sensory experience for sure... and a great place to acquire new skills. I think you're ready for your yarn investment. You're a pro!

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  39. What a wonderful day and such a fun place! Gorgeous photos too. Thank you for visiting my blog and saying hello. I'll be sure to come back and see what you are up to next!

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  40. What gorgeous pics! Looks like a wonderful day out, thanks so much for sharing :)

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  41. lovely photos looks like a great day out
    Clare x

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