Monday, 31 August 2015

I Could Live In Sweden

I blame it on Ikea.  I think they started it all.  The Scandinavian influence on all things is what I'm talking about.  I remember watching a lot of the Lillyhammer Olympics and thinking I could live there.  Norway seemed so much like Canada, but maybe it was just the winter scenery which tends to have a sameness about it and therefore was familiar to me.  But whoever or whatever began it all, the scandinavian influence is turning up across our culture.  It is all hugely popular.

Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland make up the Scandinavian countries.  Their designs are known to be efficient, well made, simple and beautiful.  If you've ever used an Electrolux or sat in a Volvo you have been using Scandinavian know how. 

These days anything to do with Scandinavian is referred to as Scandi.

 On the internet you will find links to anything you can think of from how to have Nordic floors (which usually means whitewashed) to how to knit a Nordic/Scandinavian sweater like this.  Actually this sweater is from Patagonia, which is one of my very favourite sites for neat clothes, however, expensive.  I used to order one item a year from them. And I just love this; perhaps it will be marked down at some point.


Patagonia Nordic Sweater - Women's

 

Here is a sweater pattern from Mary Maxim which they describe as having a Nordic yoke and you can check out ebay if you don't want to knit your own.  There is usually a page or two of these sweaters for sale there.

I love the images found in Scandinavian Folk Art.
 The Dala Horses are famous and represented in art, fabric, and all manner of household items.






Scandinavian folk art

Michael Miller's Birds of Norway

I remember watching the British t.v. series, Vera, and the young detective's wife saying she wanted to redecorate their house and have it Scandi Chic.  That was the first time I heard that phrase.   This is a style of home decorating favoured by condo owners and certain decorators, in particular. I confess I used to think it meant blond wood, but now I know it means much more. Clean lines, deceptively simple construction, and especially utility in form and function are hallmarks of the look. 

Scandinavian Home by www.rialnodesigns.com


Unbelievably trendy is Scandi Noir; the Scandinavians have always been famous for their crime and mystery fiction. We are seeing more and more of it here in Canada.  One of the local libraries has set up a special section just for Scandinavian fiction.







Welcome to The UK Home of Nordic Noir Drama and Beyond


This is a book I'm reading right now by Asa Larsson; I'm struggling with what I think is awkward translation.  Not all their books will be wonderful.  


  And T.V. Shows
We have been watching a slew of Scandinavian shows. Wallander Arne Dahl, The Bridge, and Dicte. We have to use subtitles which is not always what you're in the mood for and some of these are better than others..  What I love about their productions is the characters look like real everyday people; when they've been on the job all night, they look tired and frazzled as they should.  I also love how women play equal roles with the men and it's no big deal.  And they do the genre of murder mystery really well.

And Needlework too.

I've always liked Scandinavian designs in stitchery.  I found these images of cross stitch and embroidery  on Pinterest.


 
 







When I was in university, I remember working a piece like this onto a cotton tote bag. I eventually used it to hold my clothespins later when I married. 

 And I love some of the Scandinavian fare; Swedish meatballs,  marinated herring and smoked salmon are my favourites.  I also like Lingonberry jam. 
Yet another reason to admire these northern countries. They are among the greenest countries in the world.  Recycling is mandatory.
Yes, I do think I could live there.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Us Downtown

Last Sunday, we went downtown.  This is almost a momentous occasion for us.  Though we live only forty-five minutes away from downtown Ottawa, we can count on both hands the number of times we get there in a year.  It is usually friends who entice us and on Sunday we met up for brunch.
I always remind Hubby to drive like a little old man when we have to face the many laned highway with everyone doing over 100kph, but no, his instincts are strong to keep up and not be the car everyone is passing.  I don't share this view at all; I would like to just dwaddle along and ignore the speedsters.  I think it must be a' men and their car' thing.


I'm wearing my summer tunic.  It is made from some viscose/cotton blend and is cool and never needs ironing!  It is a special occasion because I'm wearing my shoes that have little bows on them and despite their prettiness are comfortable (always my first concern).  It was a sweltering day; I can tell  because I'd just gotten out of the car and already my hair is flat.  Hate humidity.
 And I forgot to practice my special side on stance so the camera would be fooled into making me look slimmer than I actually am.  LOL What's the good of knowing such things if you can't remember to do it.
We always go to the same place, Maxwell's, because they have a very long brunch and serve bottomless cups of a cappuccino style coffee.  I had my usual, smoked meat egg scramble but the main attraction was the conversation.

 The topics went like this.

-the weather (wouldn't be Canada without a chat about that, LOL),
.medical as in who's been to the doctor and had what test done with what result,
 -t.v. shows and Netflix viewing,
-books we are all reading,
 -the children and grandchildren,
 and this time, plans for the Labour Day Weekend, the last long weekend of summer which we seem to be facing way too soon...time is moving at a Herculean speed these days, it seems.
A good time all round and I came away with two new authors to look up.





 Returning home I'm struck again by how deep in the woods we are. The house is looking totally cushioned by the trees in this scene.
 Mostly sumac on the right there lining this laneway.  Don't know if you have that where you live.



Here is this week's bouquet from the garden.  A number of ornamental grasses are at their summer height.

 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Thrift Shop Finds

Daughter and I combed a thrift shop in Perth recently.  That's Perth, Ontario not Australia!
It was one of those old stores that went on and on, just as you'd think you were at the end there was another little room tucked away to browse.

 Here's what I didn't buy but looked at hard and long


2 sets of dishes
These were real china in patterns I loved and seemed to have all the accessories, settings for 8 for less than a hundred dollars.  And because they were someone's good china, not a mark or scratch to be seen.

A set of book ends that were china dogs

A hand knit cardigan with an Icelandic pattern in gray, rose and white colours

A stack of cross stitch magazines from the 80's

A little hand made wooden table big enough to hold your coffee cup to place by your chair

And this very special piece, a Hummel Girl With Umbrella with certificate which I just have to show you...

AE264.1L.jpg

She is large, over five inches, especially as the Hummels usually go and was priced at $495.00.  I was ever so tempted because I just felt this was a good price but especially because I love these figurines.  Anyway, I didn't and when I looked her up at home, found out her list value is around $750.  But then I know there are so many reproductions too and as well, I'm determined to keep my collecting days behind me. But I will think of her from time to time.

 I didn't buy any of these things though they are still in my mind, as you can tell. This is a non profit store with proceeds going to a specific charity overseas so that alone could have been a good reason to spend money there.

However, here's what I did buy.







What my mother would call a lunch cloth, this one with a woman at her spinning wheel design in cross stitch.  This cloth also has a pretty crocheted edging all around and is in immaculate condition. 



The Anchor Book of Crewel Stitches and Patterns.  Lovely little book with very clear and pretty diagrams. A great resource for choosing colours for stitchery as well.


Several bundles of old linens just the kind I like for my stitching projects and at a couple of dollars, well worth it.

It's always fun to scout out deals and real finds at these stores.  There was so much stuff in this particular store and so much of it good quality, I just don't know why everyone isn't shopping there.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Epic Cake Fail

I can count on two fingers the number of times I've had a cake fail.

 Today was one of them and it had nothing to do with the humidity this time.  We've had a lot of fresh food in the house lately including a large bag of oranges.  Sometimes it is hard for just the two of us to use up something before it starts to show its age and I was beginning to think the oranges would fall into that category.  Then it occurred to me to make a cake, an orange cake.

 I glanced around the web and found a recipe to use.  It showed a photo of a lovely lofty cake.  I had to make sure first that I had the three cups of butter it called for and sure enough, they were there in the freezer.  When I was beating the butter and four eggs, it seemed like an awful lot of butter in comparison to the dry ingredient which was two cups of flour.  Anyway, it all beat up lovely and creamy so I started to feel a little better about the butter amount. You had to use the juice of 3 oranges, boil that with sugar and make a nice treacly kind of mixture that got mixed in the batter with a little saved to pour over the finished cake.  This too worked well and tasted delicious.

All good, I thought.

  The combined batter seemed a little on the wet side, but then some are like that.  Moist is the word I thought would probably be describing my eventual cake.  Later on it came out of the oven lofty just like the photo, but alas, as it cooled it gradually sank till it was just a couple of inches tall.  Removing it from the pan in one piece was impossible. What an orangey mess!



But guess what.  It tasted delicious, buttery and orangey.   Hubby ate a bowl of it tonight and loved it.  I think he thought it was another pudding type cake I'd made and didn't  know it was really an epic cake fail.  But then, if it gets eaten up and enjoyed, maybe it doesn't matter it didn't hold together like a real cake.
However, I won't be using that recipe again.   

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Thoughts of Captive Unicorns

In 1986 I had the opportunity to travel to New York city and while there, spend a day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It was the most glorious day and what a feast for the senses...inspiration everywhere which is what you would expect from a museum ranked in the top ten in the world.

 For me, the real pleasure was visiting the area called The Cloisters and viewing the magnificent tapestries hanging there. I was in awe of these tapestries, the size of them filling walls, and the beautiful work each entailed. I imagined the people back in the fifteenth century who had to work out the designs, the dying of the threads and then the weavers themselves creating such masterpieces.  Rockefeller paid one million dollars for the group in 1922; I guess their value today is simply priceless.

One in particular was my favourite (and I understand it is the most popular), The Unicorn in Captivity.  The unicorn is sitting in a field of flowers chained to a small tree with a tiny fence surrounding him.  There are numerous plants depicted with such botanical accuracy that they have all been named and include orchids, carnations, thistle, pomegranates and lilies.  Many of these plants were not just loved for their beauty but also used for medicinal purposes in those times.  We bought a poster print of this tapestry and later had it framed; it was always a wonderful remembrance of the trip.



This wonderful picture is available in many forms for stitchers too.
  Below is a cross stitch pattern from  The Scarlet Quince. This is a wonderful site to visit if you like to work more detailed pieces.  They have a large catalogue of artists' works as well as beautiful contemporary patterns to drool over.



Perhaps the unicorn is more popular as a needlepoint project though.  The famous needlework artist, Erica Wilson, has designed a set of patterns labelled The Cloisters Collection all adapted from works in the museum.

 I remember eyeing one such kit in the museum gift shop and being very tempted.  We joked at the time that it would be a project to take me into retirement, such a far off time it seemed, something to laugh about.  Well, here I am! 

 This is Erica's needlepoint kit for a cushion.  Lovely shades.

 


 If you are interested in learning more, you can visit the  The Metropolitan Museum Web Site.  
I like to check it out from time to time and also love the gift store section.

 On  Youtube  you can watch this video  from Smart History that features two art historians, Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris, talking quite informatively about the tapestries. 

Monday, 24 August 2015

When Do You Stitch?

My mother still knits and crochets.  That gives me hope that when I am older and in my eighties I might be able to do so too.  I always think that Mom and I are so much  alike, especially in body but who knows.  It seems each life's journey winds up being unique.

Most of what Mom creates these days is dish clothes.  She claims to not have patience anymore for more complicated items though she is talking about tackling an afghan this winter.

When do you get to stitch?
 I treat my stitching time like it is a reward.  Usually the morning is taken up with chores around the house and garden. Because I've often been out of house for a day or two,there is always lots to do.  After lunch and Hubby is nap taking is when I can get to my stitching.  I like to start with the Strawberry Thief while the light in the living  room is at its' peak of brightness.  I love watching t.v. while I'm stitching whether its a bad movie, one of a series, Dr. Phil, Dateline, a documentary, etc.  I don't watch nature films or suspense movies because you've got to keep your eyes on them to appreciate what's happening.

It's great to be back on track with my stitching.  Block 2 is finished and I have a good beginning on Block 3.  Here are some shots of number 2.








I'm loving how the old sheeting is working out as background material.  It is firm enough to hold the stitches but soft enough to easily slide the needle through.  It irons up nicely too.

And my cross stitch Strawberry Thief is coming along.  I had to undo a couple more lines of stitches.  I think my problem is the pattern is in the book with the colour changes marked with a pastel wash so it isn't that easy to spy the wee little blocks to count.


These are a couple of purchases I made recently when I got to a Joann's across the border.  I decided to buy the magnetic board as a help for my cross stitch.  I'm using it in my book which means it isn't perfectly placed but the magnetic bars are a help to keeping on track with the lines of stitches.  I still have to count on my own. LOL


Do you notice birdy has two different coloured legs.  Another mistake of mine.  What am I going to do with myself?! More unsewing. Dateline must have had a good show on that day is all I can say as my excuse. 

Friday, 21 August 2015

Forgetting Can Be Funny Too

The other day I could not think of a word I wanted to say.  I meant to say "he dodged a bullet there", referring to a friend who found out he had had a stomach upset, not a coronary.  I said "he budged a bullet there" and try as I might, I could not come up with dodge.  This has happened to me several times lately.  Hubby who is perpetually dismal about health matters, says it's serious.  Poor word retrieval is the first sign of dementia, he helpfully offers.  I countered by saying at least I knew I was saying the wrong word; surely with dementia you don't know you're using words incorrectly.

 Besides that, I am a woman of a certain age and am seriously missing my estrogens.   He's a man who is convinced of his own continual bodily decline so I guess he would love company.
I know everyone has a  story about forgetfulness and 'senior moments' don't just happen to seniors.  Here is an article about The Ten Everyday Things We Forget.
This proves that most of us are forgetting something just about all the time. Sometimes it's little things like turning off the iron and sometimes it's big, really big things like our kids or our wedding day...yes, I heard the story of a guy who forgot to go to his own wedding. 

The Huffington Post has a compilation of  Hilarious Stories of Forgetfulness. I found them funny and brave too, to share them with the world.  Read them if you want reassurance about your own sanity.

 This topic came up out of the blue the other day at the library when the young librarian told me how she couldn't remember how to spell 'wrestle'; she kept starting with 'r' and stopping because she knew it wasn't right but just couldn't get the  'w'.  But then, she's eight and a half months pregnant so has a good excuse... she has pregnancy brain, which is a real condition.  It even happened to Meryl Streep; she tells the story of how during each pregnancy she suffered brain freeze and would have trouble remembering her lines, and in Hollywood her memory for scripts is legendary.
 Of course, I had to tell this to the librarian.

Meanwhile, we are still coping with high temperatures and humidity.  Very bad for working outside,  my curly hair and the poor pups but if it extends the feeling of summer then it's good. It is a great excuse to sit inside stitching.  Everything has its up side.

Hope your weekend has something you love in it.   

 Rosebud Geraniums and Marigolds


Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Doctor Said

So I finally got to see my doctor to show him my bad hand.  It didn't take long.  He jiggled my finger, felt the bump on my knuckle, held both of my hands in his while studying them and said "arthritis, I'm afraid". The osteo one caused by wear and tear and old age.  But it wasn't the knuckle bump per se that confirmed it, it was the way my pointer finger is drifting over towards the other fingers.  Apparently this is a telltale sign.  I did not know that.
There is no arthritis in my family tree so I was a little surprised.  However, I am faithfully taking the glucosamine and finding it effective. Hallelujah.  I am not in any pain except when  I lift something heavy, do repetitive  motions, try to wring out wet clothes, try to unscrew stuck jar lids.... so the bottom line is, don't do that stuff!  That's what I've got Hubby for, LOL.
Happily, I don't notice any extra soreness from an afternoon of stitching.
 Fingers of good hand crossed....

Meanwhile, pleasanter things.
 I wanted to share with you some of my fabric stash with an eye to choosing which I might use for the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt (which I'm wanting to begin so badly).

                          These floral reds have a sort of vintage feel to them, do you think?

                                           More florals...pinks and creams.

                                   I must be floral crazy...I had no idea.

                Here is a Kathy Schmitz fabric I didn't know I had and I seem to have a lot of it but it is so pretty the way it mimics back stitch embroidery.  I just love her designs.

I have lots of pretty fabric in blues and greens but I think I'm leaning toward the reds. It would definitely be a cheery colour to work with throughout the winter. Just have to check in my neutrals to see what tone on tone I might have in abundance.
 I really shouldn't buy more fabric for this project; I really really should use what I have.  If not, I risk major guilt setting in.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Embroidery Forever

Quietly hunkered down this morning.  Checked on the garden and refilled the bird bath.  We have been having a heat wave.  With a temperature of 34 degrees C yesterday, it felt like stepping into your oven when venturing outside.
 Needless to say the dogs are fed up with all the panting.  And now Day 4 of no big walks.
But they aren't suffering....


So you don't have to feel too sorry for them.

 August here in Ontario and many vegetables are being harvested.  There are several farm stands near us and it's great to get such fresh food.  When I was at Hudson's stand the other day, the son  pulled in on a quad towing a trailer of tomatoes and cucumbers that had just been picked.

                                                   Lots of hay being cut.

                                    It's all farm land around me and on my drive to daughter's.

But at home today, with morning coffee and no errands to run, feeling thankful for lots of stitching time.  This is the finish up of Block 2....


I hope there is time for some leisure and enjoyment of a simple love in your day too.                                    

 Embroidery forever,  housework whenever.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

What Was On My Night Table

"Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed."

This was a quote by Sylvia Plath and I've had it written in any number of journals since the 80's as I so identified. Smile

 I honestly thought everything that could be written about Sylvia Plath had been and truthfully, this latest book, American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath by Carl Rollyson did not add much new detail to her life and work. There was a great deal of retelling the story of her life and the people who figured largely in it.  However, Rollyson did confirm how difficult it has been to deal with those entrusted with her estate, namely her sister-in-law and husband.  Even her own mother had problems getting permissions from them to publish anything relating to Sylvia.
 I always feel a little sad about this...Sylvia apparently did not like the sister-in-law and the feeling was mutual; at the time of her death she was separated from the husband, yet they had total control over and benefited greatly from her literary estate.


Sylvia was a master of images.  I will share one of my favourites; it is from Morning Song, a poem she wrote about her baby daughter. The opening line goes

                                  "Love set you going like a fat gold watch."

I love the way a baby could be compared to an intricate mechanism such as a clock and of course being a gold one, it is of the highest value.  I wonder did she think of the phrase we often use with children....'good as gold'. 
Ticking and clocks are prevalent in her work and I always think how she ultimately controlled her own ticking clock.  Would modern day medicine have helped her?  Who knows.


 Just finished Joseph Boyden's Giller Prizewinner, The Orenda.  It was well written and interesting as far as the topic went. However I had to push myself to finish it.  I found the anticipation of reprisals lengthy, the violence a little gratuitous, and the three main characters a little flat and lifeless.   I just didn't find it all that compelling. Obviously well researched but I really didn't empathize with anyone as much as I should have.  It was me not the book, I probably think.




I must share with you a book I did enjoy very much, Mary Lawson's Road Ends.  Yes, finally a book I can say I read to the end without having to prod myself to keep reading.  In fact I read this book in two days.
 The story is about a family whose parents totally lack parenting skills and the way the children adapt and cope in such a household.  I loved both of the older children, Megan and Tom and in the beginning felt so much frustration with the parents.  However, that lessened as Mary's wonderful story telling led you to view them in a completely different and more understanding light.  This is a story that while showing the struggles facing certain families, reaffirms what life, love and family is really all about.
Probably what a book should do.



Monday, 17 August 2015

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt

The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt


This pieced quilt has been around for decades, well since the thirties, anyway.  It has enjoyed a revival several times thanks to these days of internet sharing.  I've looked at it often and thought if I were to begin a quilt with the possibility of many little blocks, the Farmer's Wife Quilt would be the one I would pick.  I looked at the Dear Jane quilt too and admired the little blocks very much, but kept returning to the Wife's.



I ordered my copy of the book from Amazon and it was here in no time.  I'm looking at this as a future winter project; I hope I'm not being fooled into thinking it would be easy because you can complete a block here and there and in no time, voila, a quilt.
 But I am serious about this.  So on to the next part, deciding on the colours and fabrics.  You can be assured I have a range of fabrics of each colour already resting in my basement stash, so I really, really don't need to go looking for more. ( Convincing self here.)

You don't have to look very far around the web and you will see this quilt completed in just about every shade of the rainbow.
All so pretty and inspiring.

Farmer's wife sampler quilt

  In pinks, browns and black.  From http://nath1306.over-blog.com/2015/02/farmer-s-wife-sampler-quilt.html


The Farmer's Wife, 84 x 95", by Carroll Stephens, quilted by Sharon ...

In just about every colour with a dark coloured border by Carroll Stevens at Quilting Inspirations.





In pretty pastels as this one on Pinterest.



 In shades of greens and blues, also found on Pinterest.



Or what about this one worked in reds, pinks, burgundies and white.  Especially striking in a snowy background, heh?  Looks Canadian, that's for sure.

It really is hard to decide and so much depends upon the all important colour choice.  I'm tempted to go with all colours and that way my stash would get more of a workout.  But yet there is something so appealing about those reds and I've never done a quilt in reds.

How do you choose the colour scheme for your bigger projects? 

I have built up a supply of special fabrics and a lot are floral.  I guess I must naturally be drawn to them. I know I have lots of prints in reds but don't think I have much solid.
I'll have another patient look through my bins before I commit.
 That's the beauty of a PIM, it still is in my mind.



Friday, 14 August 2015

What This Photo of Me Says


First of all, I am wearing the glasses my 10 year old grandson made for me.  They are my Ninja Turtle glasses representing Donatella.  Why Donatella I asked him? Because he's smart and you're smart, he said.  Yes, I'll take that.  Nana still has enough clues to get by a 10 year old.  The day he gave them to me I started out to wear them on our outing and he told me I didn't have to do that; just around the house was fine. Smile  So here I am sporting them in my kitchen.
Behind me you can see several of the small appliances I am fond of.  The rice maker has made my life easier; I can't believe how long it took me to buy one.  Also there is my popcorn maker.  Truthfully I would not have this but our microwave is a large, very old Panasonic that lacks the power to pop corn.  You can see a corner of it there by the toaster.  This side of the fridge is where I tack current coupons.  I am always full of good intentions to make use of these but more often than not they run out.
See that cupboard door slightly ajar over my left shoulder.  It won't stay shut.  I jokingly say it is the deceased first woman of the house letting us know she is around.  I close it carefully several times a day but when I come back, it is ajar again.  I don't mind at all; she was a fabulous gourmet cook so the kitchen is a logical place for her to hang out. LOL
 There were spices still in the cupboard from her day when I arrived-things I'd only read about.  She had a mandolin slicer and pans for baking all kinds of special cookies and this was back in the 70's - pre Martha Stewart and cooking shows. I unearthed a lovely photo of her standing right where I am and the kitchen island was lined with her beautiful baking. And she grew all her own herbs and vegetables; as you can tell, I have nothing but admiration for her. So if she wants to visit her old stomping ground, she is more than welcome.  If only she could lend a real hand....

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Did You Ever

Did you ever?

Eat something just because or with the excuse that you wanted to fair up (even up) the sides?  I found myself doing that with Hubby's giant strawberry/rhubarb pie from Costco. When I cut out a piece it left a very uneven side and I had to fix it so I wound up with a sliver  piece for myself that I didn't set out to get.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  LOL

What about this?  Did you ever finish a tub of ice cream because there wasn't enough to justify putting it back in the freezer.  My grandmother loved ice cream and this was sometimes her excuse for that extra scoop.  She particularly loved orange-pineapple ice cream; I don't think you can get that flavour anymore.

 Meanwhile, just recently I finally got my tomato plants thinned and put about half of them into a dozen pots.  The seeds I planted had a successful sprouting and I'm hoping for lots and lots of tomatoes.  But my plants seem to be a little behind, calendar wise. 
This is one of my sets of tomato plants.  You can't really see here but I have cages set up for those still in the ground.  I'm curious which will fare better, those in containers or those in the ground.





These pots benefited greatly from the dirt I retrieved from our compost bin.  I was thrilled with how much dark, rich soil I found when I turned over the top layers and dug in.  There is lots more too for more plantings.

It's wonderful to see the Tiger Lilies in bloom much to the delight of the hummingbirds as well.  I wanted a couple for a bouquet but didn't want to deprive them of another source of food. 




I have lots of pink begonias that are at their peak now.  But I can see some are starting to lose their vibrancy already.  Next year I think I will plant these in containers as they kind of got lost in the flower beds.

I'm a perennial lover that's for sure.  This property is living proof of the staying power of these wonderful flowers. Most were planted at least two decades ago and they have multiplied and flourished all these years later.  Better Homes and Gardens just  published Top Ten Perennials,
a great guide to help decide which to choose for your garden.  I was pleased to see how many are here and I've made note of the blue pin cushion flower to track down for next year.   Here is what it looks like.




I think a flower named 'pin cushion' would be perfect for a stitcher's garden.Don't you?