Cristy's Blog

Grey-headed Flying Fox enjoys a smoothie

Grey-headed Flying fox photo by Craig Borrow
Photo by Craig Borrow

Endangered Grey-headed Flying Foxes at the Ashburton Wildlife Shelter are served a special blend of fruit juices.  They are a bit pampered by Bev Brown who runs the shelter.  The Grey-headed Flying Fox is a megabat native to Australia that feeds on pollen, nectar and fruit.  They have cute faces. Fact. 


Dancing Baby Stingrays

One Bazillion Ways to Recycle Old Yoga Mats


Upward facing dog     Downward facing dog
Upward facing dog                                                    Downward facing dog

When your yoga mat starts breaking down and just sort of has lost it, don't throw it away!  I kept mine and was using two mats for the extra knee protection.  But there are a surprising number of functional ways to reuse that mat material around the house.  There are recycling and donation options too. Here are some of the ideas and if you want to go crazy there are lots of lists and ideas!

My favorite ideas:

  • Use two mats for extra knee protection!
  • Nonskid pads for carpet runners
  • Floor protector squares for under furniture legs
  • Waterproof non-skid mats for underneath flowerpots and heavy ceramics
  • Wall protector squares--super tiny  pieces behind picture frames
  • Garden knee pad

Other ideas: 

  • Bedding for animals
  • Cut to fit and use as kitchen drawer liners
  • Small squares as jar openers 
  • Leave one in your car (impromptu seating. bleacher cushion, roof protection when moving stuff on your roof, etc)
  • Child proof sharp corners, furniture, etc.
  • Make you own mousepad or laptop sleeve
  • Coasters
  • Dog or cat placemats (keep dishes from slipping)
  • Cut out cool shapes and use as hot pads (maybe with some Sharpie decoration added?)
  • Cut out lots of numbers and letters for the kids to play with
  • Sleeping bag pads or tent liners (maybe as a liner but not squishy enough to use alone as a pad)
  • Door mats or area rugs  (while all for the cushion in front of the is gonna look like never put away my yoga mat...)

Ideas I may not go for:

  • Wine cork (no. huh? no.)
  • Hair tie (wtw?)
  • Clutch (I am not that fashion conscious but I am going to go out on a limb and pass on this one.)

That is enough. You get the idea.  Recycle, donate or re-use it! 



See you soon at the Bandelier Bazaar!


It is time to start Christmas shopping.  We will be at the Bandelier Bazaar his year and hope to see you there!

Gandalf, the Great Grey Owl

Owl in window, Photo  by Mark Bridger - Rex Features
Photo:  Mark Bridger/ Rex Features

Apparently Gandalf is a bit agoraphobic and prefers to stay inside. 

The Colcha Tapestries of Villanueva, NM

Villanueva colcha- Enjarando la Iglesia
Large panel:  Enjaranado La Iglesia/Stuccoing the Church

Villanueva colcha - Spanish Fortification
Large panel:  Spanish Fortification

We recenty drove out to Villanueva, NM, a small village on the banks of the Pecos river.  It is beautiful there and you should check out the Villanueva State Park.   I have known about the colcha tapestries in their church for years but never made it there to see them.  Recently events have reminded me about them:  I took a colcha class and our neighbor went to see them and raved about them.  (What is colcha? ...more )

The embroidered tapestries are housed in the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe/Our Lady of Guadalupe church and wrap around the entire inner wall of the church. You first see them lining the main walls and then realize they are behind the altar and up the stairs to the choir loft.  Every wall is covered. In all there are 41 tapestry panels, all framed in cholla cactus branches.  The panels measure 265 feet in total.  Most of the tapestry panels are 21" high, except for those near the choir loft which are 13" high. The panels were created by 36 local women and completed in 1976 for the Bicentennial Celebration. 

Ladies at table- Villanueva colcha detail
detail-- love the variety of stitches used!

Devil -- Villanueva colcha detail
detail: anatomy is hard- this is impressive!  

If you go:  
Tours can be scheduled by calling the rectory, (575) 421-2548.  
I donated a small amount toward the maintenance of the tapestries (which was much appreciated).

Some recent work on colcha: 
NM Colcha Club.  Nancy Benson.  Museum of NM Press. 2008.
Stitching Rites. Suzanne MacAuley. Univ. of AZ Press. 2000.

Custom Portrait: Long Beach Livin'

I like doing custom pieces.  It is a challenge to capture the qualities that make that person who they are.  The image always changes a bit but hopefully the element that makes that person recognizable is still there. And, it can be a challenge to work through whatever photo limitiations you get (low resolution, dark picture, tiny image, etc.)  Each piece is unique and that makes it interesting.

Here is a bit more about the process.  

custom portrait WIP Long Beach Livin'

Old Bay Embroidery II

Old Bay embroidery, Cristy Davies

When you are self-taught and stubborn, it can take a while to learn things.  

Here is a good example.  I do not do counted cross-stitch. So, I beleived that I did not need the aida or even weave fabric used by cross-stitchers.  I wanted to do an embroidery of an Old Bay can.  I drew it and re-drew it and got it ready to transfer to fabric to sew.  I used the linen-like fabric that I have tons of (thrifted) and regularly use for all my stuff.  I liked it OK but it did not come out with straight lines and was sort of wonky looking.  It looked hand done, it looked interesting but it was not exactly what I had envisioned or wanted it to be.  

So, I realized that in my stash of sewing supplies I had some even weave fabric.  And, I decided to do a second Old Bay embroidery.  Being able to count the threads meant that the proportions never skewed.  I could ensure that the lid or the blue section stayed the same width all the way across. It was fantastic.  The fabric worked with me, not against me.  The right tools work to help you achieve the desired effect rather than thwarting you and making you curse every stitch.  And, I do mean that literally.  Who knew?  Well, lots of people actually but now I know it as well-- having stubbornly learned it the hard way. 

Side by side-- see what I mean?  

Old Bay I    Old Bay II
(Left) Original Old Bay on linen                 (Right)  Second Old Bay on even weave fabric

The Birds of Catherine Frere-Smith

Embroidered Fabric Blue Tit, Catherine Frere-Smith


Embroidered Green Woodpecker, Catherine Frere-Smith

I love the embroidered birds of Catherine Frere-Smith.  The detail is spectacular.  I love the feet!  I swear that any minute they will start warbling and singing and cock their heads.  

I also love her textile designs. If you look closely, you can see how well the fabric works with the stiching to create the depth of detail.  The fabric used is her own design. Side note:  it would make me happy to make something with the fabric that has badgers and sheep.   

She currently splits her time between making stitched and embroidered items, and more commercial printed textiles. Check out her Etsy shop!

One more, because I love owls! 

Barn owl, Catherine Frere-Smith


The Owl by Andy Harman

The Owl by Andy Haraman
Andy Haraman has created giant macrame owls.  The large owl is 35 feet long and 15 feet wide. 

Wow. That is some serious macrame.