Sunday, 18 August 2019

Life in the Garden

As I make my way about the property, I'm so happy not to be colour blind. This would be the saddest season to be unable to see all the pretty colours, each it seems more vibrant than the one before.
Wild Canadian Thistle
Living in a wild garden, for that must be what this really is, as from my kitchen window I watch hummingbirds at the feeder, a chipmunk run under the rose bush, two red squirrels uncivilly(chasing each other about) taking turns drinking from the pot of water I put out, and the surrounding spruce trees, interspersed with many brightly blooming things.  A sight this morning I'm going to try to hold in my mind's eye for later when I know summer will be a dream.

I have finished a couple of projects so it's time to pick up some new ones. No shortage of ideas in my notebook thanks to the constant inspiration I get from you folks!
 I've been getting a new scrappy project up and running in the sewing room this past week.  I found inspiration for this idea at Pinterest and followed up at Sew Delicious (where Ros hasn't posted for a while).
                                                       
 Small corners of colour reminding me of flags representing all the colours of the rainbow in one quilt. I was influenced by the gorgeous blue of that flower below to begin with blues. I don't have that many low volume fabrics for the backgrounds so there will be repeats.

I don't know enough about photo editing on Windows 10 yet so this is its true blue colour...electric.
Viper's Bugloss, sometimes Blue Thistle
 Lucky because blues are my biggest stash as well.  A messy process though as all the fabrics must come out for an airing and look over. But a great way to get to the bottom of the pile and always find something I'd forgotten about.
The result has a restrained kind of look yet there is such freedom to choose any and all colours of fabric. You can tell I enjoyed stitching the first batch of blocks very much.

I have all the papers removed from my Spring Strings and the hand stitching held up. It feels softer and is ready to be a sandwich. This bundle of wool, the Debbie Bliss Andes, has been with me for a few years now. I wrote about it in this post way back in 2015- I Love Debbie Bliss Andes Wool. It is so soft and needs to be used-another crochet project. With the blanket finished I can start this one...guilt free. More about that later.
And an equally brilliant shade of yellow.
Birdsfoot Trefoil named after the seed pods
Today I'm going to be stitching on my cross stitch Summer Storm piece. I am listening to this audiobook (second time I've tried it). Still not really grabbing me but I'm hoping it will.
                                                       Women Talking
Karen at Quilts...Etc. is listening to a John Grisham novel, The Litigators; I just might have to look for that.

It's leftovers today for supper. I made meat loaf and baked potatoes last night with enough meat loaf left over for today. I knew the weatherman was promising high humidity to arrive by Sunday here so I would not want the oven on.  I've had this recipe from Simply Recipes bookmarked for a while, so today's the day to try it out.  I'll be using one of my most useful small appliances, the rice cooker.
Spanish Rice


2 tablespoonsolive oil (can use up to 1/4 cup)
1onion (finely chopped, about 1 cup)
1garlic clove (minced)
2 cupslong-grain white rice (or medium)
3chicken stock (cups, or vegetable stock if vegetarian)
1 heaping tablespoontomato paste (or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained)
add pinchoregano
1 teaspoonsalt

So that's all that's cooking here today.  No outings planned so a quiet day to putter about.
Btw, if I've mislabelled these wild flowers, please let me know. I am absolutely an amateur at this.
This post will be linked with Kathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than Housework and  So Scrappy

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Flowers Everywhere

The weather has been-dare I say it- sublime.
We have enjoyed many ideal weather days in a row...sunny, warm temps and no humidity.  My weeding has slowed and now the cone flowers and sunflowers are blooming...and competing for space with those hydrangeas. They were definitely not crowded out like this last year. (Sorry didn't have time to do some photo cropping.)

This is the provincial bird of my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Atlantic Puffin. (About 95% of North America's puffins breed around the coasts there.) And the photo was taken by Candace Mugford near where my dad lived and distributed by CBC. He is holding wild iris we called Blue Flag growing up.  These birds have such a permanent cute expression, don't they.
See the source image
This was interesting. I've mentioned sighting the little fox around the pond.
 He was there one morning getting a drink when I did my early walkabout and I got a couple of photos...albeit from far away.  I think it is the same fellow who took a nap in our driveway.  Look at how much of the pond dried up in July's heat.
I've been chicken watching for daughter and sil while they were on their annual trip to Newfoundland.  My reward was fresh eggs which are so good. We've thought of having a few here, something |I always wanted.  But with so many fox I'm not sure they would fare well unless we had a substantial enclosure for them.

These are my last basket blocks...a few of the yellowish ones. They are freezer paper appliqued if you're wondering and l last count I had made over 60. Time to think of getting them joined up.
That's my summer caftan I wear most mornings. I just love the sunflowers and the shades of colours throughout.  Tula and Kaffe would approve. :)
August redwork block from Kathy Schmitz  features sunflowers too. I'm now spying them blooming reaching atop fences, such a happy country sight.
Our August everyday living has been quiet and enjoyable here in the wooden house, festooned outside as it is by all the green and blooming things.
 We too are lamenting the back to school signs...it is all such a rush out there it seems.
                              See the source image
I hope your veil is affording you views of happiness.
So happy as always to link up with Not Afraid of ColorNeedle and Thread NetworkMy Quilt InfatuationThe Jesh StudioBusy Hands Quilts,  Floral Friday FotoViewing Nature With Eileen and My Bijou Life


Sunday, 11 August 2019

Pretty Things

The fun and joy of having pretty things in our lives...and by pretty I mean whatever is attractive to you. I think they help us slow down and enjoy life in a way the big things can't.  Here are a few pretty things noted around here lately.
 Hubby with a visual display of how large our pretty hydrangea blooms are this year...bigger than his head! And yes this is his amused face. :)
Pleased with how my new tough little point and shoot camera is working out. Loads of pretty colours in the garden.




A Little Golden Book...The Golden Book of Birds available here at Amazon with its pretty pink cover.
See the source image
All things April Cornell including the table linens...I always had a few of their skirts and jumpers but I've weaned myself away from them.  Check out the pretty things here.
                 See the source image
 Antique jeweled thimbles from Germany.

Image result for jeweled thimbles



Christmas Wishing
A bank of free patterns is available here including this lovely Christmas cardinal.

                        Free Cross Stitch Pattern
I worked on the tiny quilt on my Summer Storm piece and had a struggle during which I doubted my fingers' ability to stitch. I just couldn't get the white threads to lay right.  I moved over to the pretty little house and the stitching seems to be working out okay (but not what I want it to be) and my confidence is improving.
It is our monthly SAL meet up time over at Avis's Sewing Beside the Sea.  Lots of pretty stitches to see at our participant's sites, that's for sure.
AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayley,MeganDeborah, Clare, Mary MargaretReneeJennyCarmelaJocelynSharon
My mother accumulated lots of pretty things in her life time and one of her few regrets in life is that she did not use them enough thinking they were too "good" to use.
|Hope your Sunday involves all that you enjoy.
Linking up with Kathy's Quilts.








Thursday, 8 August 2019

In My Head, It's July

I feel like summer has turned into a runaway train or horse...something running at high speed and will be out of sight way too soon. And I'm some sort of looker-on just watching this thing fade into the distance. And this is with me trying to be mindful every single day, out with my camera noting all the growing things or on my knees weeding those growing things. Hanging out on the veranda whenever it's livable out there, swimming every single day, wearing my caftan and the couple of linen things in my closet. Yes, trying to soak it all up. But in my head, it's still July.
We have been busy too so besides not being long, this summer has not been lazy either.
Our old fellow, Rex, hanging out with me on the veranda.
 I had littler grandson with me for a day that we spent mostly outside planting seeds, cleaning out an old bird house, making a new bird house, and gathering sticks which we added to the wild small animal house I have over in the far woods. I was so happy a little red squirrel popped out right when we were there.  I had him help me plant my new additions to the garden. I always add a bush and a couple more perennials each summer. This year it is a purple clematis
and three more day lilies that I've planted near the new steps we had built at the far end of the veranda...just about the only place left that needs more colour.  I love my little green wagon, btw.
I have my Spring Strings piece sewed together; it is now a flimsy! I like it better in its entirety than I did as individual blocks.
Here is what is left of the shirt I used for the sashing. I even saved the buttons which were faux wood but looked nice. The white bits are the collar interfacing. This was a satisfactory process to me as during the 'deconstruction' I could see just how the various shirt parts had been sewn. And was impressed by the cleverness of it all.
I made a turmeric/lentil curry soup and extra healthy muffins.  I admit I love seedy, grainy foods and will eat these not just cause they're kind of healthy but because I like them. And on that, recently I bought a loaf of probiotic bread...it was so like eating cardboard I just couldn't do it. The spirit was willing but the body was weak, LOL.  On the right there is my leftover vegetable mixture I had been saving in the freezer and boiled up to make a broth. Looks good but it was very tasteless so I don't think I'll be bothering to continue that.  Just add those bits to the compost bin instead.
Older grandson, who is a recent Tarantino fan, and I went to see this movie.  I enjoyed it very much, perhaps because I have my own memories of the last bits of the 60's. I especially liked the ending which has been called a valentine for the tragic Sharon Tate. I admit I teared up as I always had a soft spot for her story. Margo Robbie who played Sharon in the movie even wore her jewelry.  That Leonardo is quite the actor.
See the source image
I've been doing some stitching on this little kit, a woolen floral pincushion that has been my summer take along project.
Wool is so nice to embroider. I'm testing out a blanket stitch to border it in this photo.
My little table runner is up next on my summer to-do list; I received my fabric last month. I find all the online fabric shops so good and am so thankful for the convenience they provide.
I'm thankful too that our political news this week was the leader of the opposition party criticized our new Canada Food Guide...he's got the nutritionists all riled up apparently. Yes it is boring which is what Canada is often labelled but I'll take it.
And finally ❤ to my friends across the border; what affects you affects us.
Linking as always with Not Afraid of Color.  Also linking with Confessions of a Fabric AddictBrian's Home Blog|My Quilt InfatuationWendy's Quilts and MoreSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts and Creations-Quilts, Art...Whatever.


























Thursday, 1 August 2019

What I'm On Top Of (Sort of)

Some days I think I'm very on top of this aging thing.  Then other days not so much and a bit of uncertainty creeps in.  It is treading into unknown waters, I guess, but tread we must.  We also waver between the two of us, one up, one down.  Do you know what I mean?  Aging is a gift we keep reminding each other, but it is not always a beautiful thing. With the swimming, I'm aware of my arms suddenly. They are so scrawny...why can't my thighs be like that.  I'm like a snowman melting from the top down, especially in this continued heat. There have been heat warnings for most of July which the thriving corn loves far more than me.

Thank you all who had clothing suggestions and I followed up as promised.
The Dress Barn does not ship to Canada but American friends, right now they are offering 40% off their already reduced items which looks like a deal to me.
Sadly Christopher and Banks also will not ship to Canada and they presently have everything 50% off.  Soft Surroundings also does not ship internationally.
But Chico's, JJill and Overstock do.  So lots for me to explore.

Getting on top of Windows 10, sort of. Boring but necessary.  I finally broke down and bought a new laptop as my last was flashing it needed a new battery for over a year now.  I bought the same one but this one has Windows 10 so there is a little learning going on.  The keyboard is faster which I like.
The strawberries were ripe by the first week in July and we got to pick a week or so later when they were huge! And so sweet.
 Littler grandson had a ball. |We teased him that they would weigh him on the way out to figure out how much he had eaten.
We enjoyed this Netflix docuseries called The Last Czars very much.  It is really a fascinating story of how the revolution in Russia evolved to the point the Czar and his family were assassinated. Did you know that Czar Nicholas and his chosen wife, Alexandra, were a true love match? I had heard of Rasputin of course but it was also interesting to learn more about his role in their downfall. Woven throughout was the mystery of the woman claiming to be their daughter, Anastasia, who had somehow survived the massacre. Well acted and cleverly mixed with historians providing background, this was not dry at all and left us wishing more of history could be presented in such an entertaining way.
                                  With his new German bride Alexandra by his side.   Alexandra is played by Susanna Herbert
Figuring out what was disturbing things in the garage workshop.  Hubby has been noticing for some time that things looked disturbed in his outdoor workshop. I keep my gardening stuff there and saw one day that the birdseed bin had the top partially removed, no mean feat as it is one that locks.  I heard a noise further in the garage, peeked around the door and spied this.  Just so happened to have my camera with me.
Can you see him?
Yep a raccoon.  Hubby thinks he's been living in the attic part of the garage for a while now.  It was cute how he held this "hands up" pose not moving a muscle for all the while I was there.
However, we are really hoping he has moved on.  They can wreak havoc with buildings.
I have my Sweet Pea trellis stitch afghan almost finished, just crocheting an edging all around. It is now big enough to cover arms and feet at the same time, the role of an afghan.
Christmas Wishing
This wonderful project which I know will appeal to many of you is called Sleigh Bells by Jan Patek . I think I've mentioned before how much I like Jan's attitude to quilting...have fun with it, enjoy, etc.  She only ever includes the simplest of blocks to piece. |It would be interesting to see this made with more modern style fabrics.
I've made headway on other stitching so a few photos next time...have that shirt I used for reclaimed fabric pretty much down to just the buttoned placket!
 I feel like I've been really busy-for me, and today I'm off to the Outlet mall for some retail fun. Hope there is something fun in your day today too!
It is always fun to visit the blog list at Not Afraid of Color.  Also linking with It's A Small Town Life, and  Viewing Nature With Eileen.



Thursday, 25 July 2019

Favourites... YouTube, Potato Salad, Daisies

Yes, the chandeliers at the Hilton, Lac Leamy are the exceptional work of Dale Chihuly.  His remarkable glass blown creations are completely new to me so thanks to all who commented about it.

This photo has a number of my favourite things in it.

 Veranda stitching, my pretty robin cup for keeping drinks cool (or hot) and my latest viewing on YouTube.  The Last Homely House in the East is the title of this video channel featuring Kate and her cats, chickens and ducks on a small farm near Hexham, Northern England.  She shares her cooking, baking, crafting, knitting and quilting and chatters on in a very engaging, interesting manner.  In the video I'm watching above she shares how she makes her Kaffe Fasset Trip Around the World block.  Below she is making something completely new to me, a Nut Roast which consists of nuts and loads of vegetables.  Btw, does anyone recognize the reference in the title of her vlog?
A favourite of Hubby's and the quintessential summertime dish is potato salad.  I am always on the look out for a great potato salad recipe.  What I've learned during my search is that a lot of folks claim one or all of the following....
their recipe is
- the best in the world
 -their grannies' recipe thereby more authentic than all the others
-sure to be a crowd pleaser so the best to bring to pot lucks
- has a secret ingredient that will make it the best you've ever eaten
 I've visited many sites and here are the links to three that sounded very good to me.  Hope you try one and come back and let us know if it was the best.
At Susan Branch's very pretty site she shares her family recipe for Old Fashioned Potato Salad.

                                


Here is Stacy Lyn Harris' World's Best Potato Salad recipe . A mother of 7 children, Stacy Lyn knows a thing or two about feeding people. I've made her Cowboy Cookies and they were so good!  Too Good!
                                          Finished bowl potato salad
As Heidi says on her blog, Foodie Crush, this is not her first potato salad rodeo.  She has shared several different recipes before but thinks she has hit the potato salad jackpot with this particular recipe.
                                           How to Make the Best Potato Salad
Oh writing about this and looking at these photos is making me hungry.
I guess the inclusion of certain things is a distinguishing feature of each recipe.  I'd never had celery in my potato salad till I went to my mil's and she wouldn't make it without it.  Probably the prize for most colourful potato salads would go to myself and my fellow Newfoundlanders who make mustard and beet potato salads.  |I know sounds a bit weird but is very tasty.  Here is Bonita cooking in her Newfoundland kitchen showing just how this is achieved.  I must admit hers are even more colourful than I'm used to.
Something that is bound to be a favourite is the latest autumn fabric collection called Plum Garden from the team at Tilda's World.  If you like dreamy florals, this is sure to please. Also at that link, you can find a selection of very nice free patterns.
                                    Image result for plum garden fabric
Still a favourite of mine, my wall of baskets keeps on climbing.  If  I just keep making them, I'll never have to face the putting together part which is my least favourite bit.

Favourited by so many, the daisies are in bloom.  Pretty green beetle there, some kind of weevil?? Ahh July. And summer, the second favourite season for most especially loved by extroverts apparently, which is not me but I'm thoroughly enjoying my gardening/outdoor time which is definitely a favoured pastime of mine.
So have I struck on any of your favourites?  Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this post and those past...especially the recent clothing suggestions. To be chatted about next time.
As always linking to Not Afraid of Color where you will find a list of bloggers also sharing wonderful, fun and interesting things on a Thursday.
Also linking with It's A Small Town LifeKathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than Housework and My Quilt Infatuation.