Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring Break - Where We Take on Ames

Today, after my lovely acupuncture appointment, the Dreams in Fiber Household headed up to Reiman Gardens in Ames.  The plants and flowers were just beginning to come up outside but the inside was full of lovely flowers and butterflies and moths.  I do like to interject a bit of science where I can!

They have a set-up where you can see the different chrysalises and, if you're lucky, new emerging butterflies.  We saw a couple moving and grooving, but that's about it.

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Then we moved on to the butterfly palace. Actually, I don't remember what they actually call it, but it's a very warm area with tons of natural light and a flurry of butterflies and moths flying around. If you're still long enough they start to land on you. I had one land on my head. It felt a bit weird, not going to lie. Here are some of our new friends.
 
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After saying our adieus to our flying friends, we headed to the conservatory.
 
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I need one of these, too. Here's a closer look. The orchids were out of control and everywhere. So beautiful.
 
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We were a little warm by that point so we headed outdoors to check out the grounds. If only they would behave...
 
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The outdoor area is going to be beautiful before long. Not a whole lot to see just yet. Little miss decided she had to have her picture taken with the scary bunny heads...
 
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This is Elwood. He's the worlds largest gnome going by his sign.
 
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I love how all the buds out right now look so different. You have to marvel at Mother Earth; she does her job well.
 
Someone is an Iowa State fan :)
 
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A nesting goose.
 
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The best part of our visit - aside from a few other random people, we were the only ones there!  Love that!!!  Next we were off to check out a few places, ate lunch at Hickory Park, and made our way to the cemetery to say Happy St. Patrick's Day to my Grandpa and Great Grandparents.
 
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I did promise a picture of little miss rollerblading yesterday. Here you go :)
 
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Tomorrow I will be getting ready for Saturday's vendor gig.  If you don't have anything going on and/or want to get out of the house, stop on by!  I'm sure we'll try to fit something in just for fun though.  Still no knitting but I will remedy that once I make stew.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring Break - Annual Trip to the Botanical Center of Awesomeness

Public Service Announcement:  I feel like I should warn you - there is no knitting content in this post.  The honest truth is that I haven't knit a single stitch in 5 or so days.  I know.  I'm not ill or anything so don't worry.  My eyelid is starting to twitch though (literally.  It's very annoying.) so I will be knitting tomorrow.  Also, this post is going to be mainly an onslaught of plant and flower photos with a bit of minion toward the end so feel free to skip to the end if you're only here for a taste of minion :)

Before we get on to plants though, I bring you bread. 

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I tried out a loaf of artisan no-knead bread which is just that.  It's so close to cheating I have trouble calling it bread, but it is.  I have an even harder time saying that I made it (since I did practically nothing), but I did.  It may not the prettiest thing but I made the dough last night, let it set overnight, popped it in the oven this morning, made my house smell terrific (which is saying something since I stunk it up with wet hot wool and vinegar for the past few days), and we tried it tonight at dinner - it's tasty and edible!!!  Score for me!  I should have taken a picture of the inner structure - it's pretty.  Maybe next time ;)

Here we go!  The minions and I sort of stumbled onto the Spring Break activities by accident several years ago now - I had just thought it would be something to do during Spring Break and was pleasantly surprised to find out that they do this sort of thing every year!  Past experience has proven that it is better to take photos first and craft last.  So we did.  In no particular order...
Also, keep in mind that they kept pumping in mist which created some fun effects in some of the photos :)
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One of the things I like about the Botanical Center crafts is that they vary every year. This year we took home some seeds, the minions made nature jewelry, did a bit of weaving, and did natural leaf stamping.
 
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Did I mention they have a fiber exhibit right now???
 
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They were all really cool in their own way; this was my favorite (love the scrappy feeling).
 
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The minions liked these the best.
 
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There are so many colors and shapes and lines and textures.. I love it! Every time I go I leave thinking I need to figure out a way to live in a greenhouse or open up a nursery so I can surround myself in it all the time. Don't know if I can handle the required humidity all the time though. Today the dome was 84F and 49% humidity. It's a good thing I don't really give two hoots about the 'do.
 
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But just think, I could have areas and things like these all over!
 
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Perhaps without the traffic cone.
 
After the Botanical Center Awesomeness the minions and I met my Mom and Grandma for lunch.  Before dinner, little miss got better acquainted with her rollerblades and I, in turn, got a nice upper body workout.  She did a nice job though, I'm proud of her.  I have photos on my phone - I haven't uploaded them yet so I'll show a picture of her in action next post.
 
The rest of the week holds a day trip and a vendor gig.  And knitting.  I.  Must.  Make.  Something.  Stay tuned for more photos from our Epic Spring Break Adventures.
 
And, believe it or not, I did try to edit somewhat so there are more photos on my Flickr page. 
 
Have a great week!