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Happy Father’s Day!

Horatio and Hannah, Original One-of-a-kind Flying Pig Folk Art Dolls by Max BaileyHappy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! I hope you enjoy your day. I have a great dad myself, and I’m thankful for that. He’s been extra helpful this past week. I’ve had a flat tire and a dead car battery, one after the other, and he took care of both for me. Yay, Dad!

Here are Horatio and Hannah, Max’s only flying pig, father-and-daughter, original, one-of-a-kind folk art dolls…so far. They were, I think, Max Bailey‘s first sculpted dolls, and two of my all-time favorites. I twisted Max’s arm into trying doll making. I’d been trying it myself, and I had a feeling Max would be good at it and might even like it. I was met with some eye-rolling at first, but that never happened again. I think we were all surprised by just how good Max was at this. It was a perfect fit. Max has been an art-doll-making enthusiast ever since. Horatio and Hannah have been adopted, and I miss them. I think we might just have to collaborate on some pigs, and maybe a cow too. I think that would be fun.

Horatio and Hannah, Original One-of-a-kind Flying Pig Folk Art Dolls by Max BaileyI’ve been redoing a lot of the old web pages and re-editing doll photos, including Horatio’s and Hannah’s, on our Ruffing’s site. I’ve been redoing our blog as I go, getting it ready for a relaunch. I’ve still got the working copy on Blogspot. Update: The Ruffing’s blog is now on the homepage of the Ruffing’s site. I think I will put almost the entire site in blog format, and add more original art. I want it to be a real showcase of our dolls and paintings. I’d like to add more art quilts too. I know I keep saying this, but I am pretty excited about it. 🙂 And, I’ll be working on it all summer.

Yellow DayliliesMy mom and I were out yesterday, Father’s Day shopping, and we came across a daylily show, at the mall. They were giving out ribbons for all the pretty varieties. When we came back, I decided to take some photos of our own daylily show, which has been beautiful this year.

Red DaylilyThis particular bunch of daylilies are ones I brought with me from New York, when we moved. I bought them as a set, through the mail, from Jackson and Perkins. I can remember admiring them in their catalog and just having to have them. Luckily, daylilies thrive here in North Carolina.

Yellow DayliliesThis summer, I’m also going to try to stock up a little on toys for the next holiday season. Last year’s was crazy. I felt like I wasn’t able to leave the house for weeks. It was wonderful that so many people wanted custom-made handmade toys, and it was great fun to hear everyone’s stories. But, boy, was I a sewing fiend. I’d like to have more of a variety of ready-made handmade toys available this time around, so people can pick them out and name them themselves. I think that would make everything easier for everybody.

Pale Orange DayliliesOf course, I also want to get going on more original, art doll collaborations with Max, and those art quilts I keep talking about…

Red DaylilyI guess I’m going to be busy! Summer here is a good time to be busy with indoor projects. Today is supposed to be between 97 and 100 degrees outside! I think we will end up going for walks inside of stores for a while. Evenings are often hot too.

Yellow DayliliesI’m catching up on the Twilight movies right now too, via Netflix. I had no idea how much I would enjoy the first movie, but I really did. We’ve got New Moon right now, and I’m working my way toward Eclipse. More fun ideas for things to do while avoiding the great outdoors. Oh, but I do miss the great outdoors! I hope we have some cool hours coming our way.

Yellow Daylily

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Hiding from the heat

Elizabeth RuffingI have some toys, dolls, and figurines to show you, but honestly, I am just too hot to go out there and photograph anything today. I think it is about 97 degrees today, and humid. I’ve been moving slowly, even with the air conditioning. I’ve been inside, for the most part, sewing, but when I can’t see so well, I go out on the porch to hand sew, while I melt.

Elizabeth RuffingI’m still studying Aperture, in Apple class. I’m learning adjustments right now. I come back and experiment on myself, or rather photos of myself, like these. I rather liked this one, for it’s dramatic look. It reminds me a bit of an old-time vampire movie.

Elizabeth RuffingAny time we take photos of me, I seem to go through the same repertoire of expressions. Some of them are funny. I usually pick out the friendly ones to use, but I also have cranky, aloof, and goofy expressions, which appear just as often. I played around with some of those photos too, but for here, I’ll stick with the friendly ones, so as not to spook anyone.

Elizabeth RuffingOur kitty’s anole friend still comes to visit, but in the heat, Mr Kitty has taken to taking naps. He’ll say hello, and then go pass out on the bed. The poor anole climbs all over the window, looking in, trying to get his attention.

Anole looking in the windowOur vegetables are continuing to grow and ripen. I had to do something with this great big zucchini (those are a regular-sized steak knife and a large red flour canister for scale) before it grew to be Woody-Allen-Sleeper sized. That’s some giant parsley I picked too, next to the zucchini.

Fresh-picked zucchini and parsleyFortunately, I grabbed them just in time.

I picked more parsley than I really needed, and added a can of diced tomatoes (the ones in the garden weren’t ready yet), and some sliced onion.

Zucchini, parsley, onion, tomatoesI fried them all in some extra virgin olive oil, and put them over fettuccine.

Zucchini, parsley, onion, tomatoes, and fettuccineI think next time, I will cut back on the parsley and chop it up more finely. I’d also scoop out the seeds from the zucchini. This one had rather large seeds, due to its size. I’ve made fried zucchini slices before and not even noticed the seeds. So, I guess it depends on how long you wait to pick yours. Those Sleeper-sized ones though…I’d definitely scoop those out!

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Blueberries and a floral display

BlueberriesThe first of our blueberries are ripening. I haven’t tasted a fully ripened one yet, I don’t think. It seems, if I want to try one, I must grab it before the birds do. They don’t last long once they begin to turn blue. I’m not sure I’ve seen a dark blue blueberry yet. I’ve grabbed my fair share of almost-ripe berries though. I think once the bushes mature, barring an attack of Alfred Hitchcock proportions, we should be able to share nicely, but I’m not accounting for whoever else might be sneaking out of the woods when I’m not looking.

Orange daylilies with blue lace-cap hydrangeasThe perennials surrounding the house, are all opening up. The day lilies are mixed in with our lace-cap hydrangeas,

Orange daylilies with blue lace-cap hydrangeaswhich have all their petals fully open now, around their lacy centers.

Blue lace-cap hydrangeasThe cornflowers have invaded every formerly bare spot along the walkway.

CornflowersThe bees, butterflies, and moths have been milling in and out and through the forest of them.

Cornflower with beeAnd everywhere there is lots of pink, pink day lilies,

Mauve dayliliesand the airy blooms that cover the Mimosa tree over the deck. They look like plumage that should be on the top of some exotic bird’s head,

Mimosa Tree bloomsor pink fireworks, going off everywhere in a big, leafy sky.

Mimosa Tree in bloom

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Trying on some black and white

Elizabeth RuffingAfter sewing today, I played around with Aperture a little, and switched some of the photos my mom took of me to black and white. Aperture is my current subject for my Apple classes. I just thought I’d experiment.

Elizabeth RuffingAnd you can see my new haircut. I like it short like this.

Elizabeth RuffingI think I’ll take my camera in to class with me, eventually, so I can get some tips on using it too. My mom is more knowledgeable about cameras than I am. One more thing on my list of things to I want to learn more about.