Thursday, 27 May 2021

Happy Purchases, Tumbling Blocks, Grosbeak Couple, Violets for Faithfulness


This is exactly what happened here!                         

Summer and a heat wave warning arrived simultaneously on Friday.  But it is the mosquitoes that are plaguing us; the worst I've seen here.  We have to smear /spray that awful stuff on us every time we walk or spend time in the garden.

 Enough about that - I'm here to talk about the happy small things that we have enjoyed since last posting. For starters I received stitching mail. 

I ordered two project bags from a lovely Etsy shop, MiniMadeMiriam does beautiful stitching on a wide array of affordable items and also enjoys collaborating to make her products customized.  In my case I loved this soft summer green and of course the bird fabric 
and I just loved this cute doggy print too.
 I am delighted with both my purchases and what a fun as well as practical way to corral stitching projects. 

I've been busy prepping more Tumbling Blocks to stitch in the evenings so here are a few more finished. These are 4 1/2 inch blocks, not very big.  Like I said, a thousand of these should do but that's okay. I never tire of hand work. And I love how they are making me not only cut into a few favoured fat quarters but also dig into my scrap bags.

You know I am developing a bit of an obsession with hand pieced quilts. I especially like dresdens which is proof I was born in the wrong era. But anyway saw this one at A Cloud of Quilt Patterns  and am totally in love with it.  At the time a new take on the vintage Dresden block- this one called Setting Sun which was a Laura Wheeler newspaper pattern many many decades ago.  The white corner pieces are clouds.  I've downloaded the information in my Dream On file.

I read that post just after I'd put out my Flower Garden Block quilt for the summer. It was a relief it went through the washing machine fine though having all those hand stitched seams. 
 This popped up on my Facebook feed...the male and female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks visiting the feeder at the same time. It was a pleasure to have them visit late afternoon for about a week years ago at the farm. Actually 7 Years Ago...is that possible!! 
It was not a good spring for trilliums or trout lilies on this property but these are amazing this year. Blankets of them everywhere we turn. Violets- a symbol for faithfulness.
I've been calling these wildflowers dog violets. The lines on the leaves look like pretty quilting lines.
I have lots more to share but will save it for next time.   Oh almost forgot, Lee Anna is stitching the most amazing colourful Tumbling Block quilt which you can check out at this Not Afraid of Color post  as well, she is hosting our Thankful Thursday group.


 




Thursday, 20 May 2021

Netflix Shows To Watch, Star Stitching, Cross Stitch House Building

 I have to mention how lovely the weather has been finally and how great it is to be outside digging in the dirt. The least bit of raking up the old leaves and debris makes a big difference to how neat and tidy the flower beds look. And enable me to spy this fellow returning to what might have been his winter lodging under the tree right in front of my kitchen window. 

I have cleared the beds in the front and to the side of the house. So nice to see all the green shoots poking up. Lots of growth thanks to the sun we've had for the last five days straight.  I now have the beds in the back to rake.  Ned has been helping by happily towing sticks all over the garden and his puppy antics definitely lighten the work load.
Ned the explorer
 I sprouted a load of seeds in dampened paper towels placed in plastic bags. These were just seeds from those little packets, nothing fancy. Usually about 40% will sprout so I was pleased with how many sprang to life. I'd kept them damp with spritzing and placed in sunny/warm windows in the small garage. Here is a short video explaining this way to sprout seeds indoors. 


  Littler grandson came over on Friday afternoon (his online schooling ended at 2) and helped me plant the seeds in soil. As soon as they grow, I'll replant them outside. Robbie told me he was sorry that he didn't know more about plants but will next year as they learn about them in Grade 3.  We had a marvelous few hours together outside roaming about watching the turtles and he found a huge ants nest in the base of an old tree. After ogling them forever being horrified/ fascinated with how many there were,  I liked how careful he was to be sure all the grass and twigs were placed back around the tree so the ants would remain undisturbed. 

Meanwhile inside, the flowering is continuing and I will finally get these outside after the May 24 weekend if this warmer weather trend continues.  

Yes, there he is, the little bandit who keeps opening the compost bin.  We wonder where he is living as not a sight of him other than this. Perhaps he has luxury accommodations there in the tree house. LOL

 And before I forget I must tell you about two series on Netflix we are enjoying. The first is David Attenborogh's Life in Colour; this one I don't stitch to as I don't want to miss any of the gorgeous images.  This series reaffirms for me my love of birds and admiration of their behaviours, stunning colours and features. Here the male flamingoes are all craning their necks trying to appear taller to attract the females. 

And this one, Surviving Death, which is far more interesting and well done than I would have guessed. I had no idea the world of the parapsychology was so legitimate and involved so many learned famous people throughout the decades.  Of course, there are many stories of folks seeing signs that their loved ones sent them from the beyond. There are even a few in my own family.  One of my grandmothers told me that if there was any way to get back after she died to visit me, she would. Other than her being very much in my mind with all the memories, that has not happened unless I was too unaware to notice.
I guess I'm a questioner when it comes to this subject matter. However, just for fun, I've had my palm read several times in my life, twice in the U.S. and once in Vancouver. I had the idea that the further away from home I had it read, the more of a challenge it might be for the reader. One of the three did say some interesting and accurate things to me. 

I've sorted my winter clothes and have a bag to go to the thrift store if it ever opens again.  I want it out of the house because if it stays, I've a tendency to bring out something again. Any of you do that?  I will admit I definitely upgraded all my fleecy, woolly clothes this past winter buying online much more than I usually do. I even bought fleece leggings which felt wonderful and warm. 

On the stitchy front, I've been cleverly building my cross stitched house from the roof down.  I'm not getting nearly enough concentrated time for this as I would like but that's okay. This is being worked on straw linen which means it has slubs, little knots of thread here and there. That makes it harder for counting and easier to make a one thread off mistake.
And on my mind with red being the monthly colour for the RSC at So Scrappy are my Solidarity blocks.  I got them out to have a look and wondered what or how to put them together. I dilly dally terribly about usual things like colours for bindings, borders, etc. Maybe having them on a wall will inspire me. I also found in that pile these star blocks below I made a number of years ago. I must have thought they should be worked in with this project.
As you can imagine, our time and thoughts have been occupied with our puppy. We are enjoying the experience very much and thank you all for the very sweet comments. 























   


Thursday, 13 May 2021

Welcome Neddy, Vintage Tumbling Blocks Quilt, Bird Watching

Our spring started with a bang warm enough to wear shorts for the shorts wearing crowd. Then it fizzled into these late weeks of weak almost nonexistent sun, low temperatures and chill bearing winds. It is just weather, though sad for us that it doesn't help to brighten our gloomy news on that other front. It seems our strict lockdown might have to continue into June. 

One morning the mallard on the pond was feeling the cold and kept tucking his neck in. From my great distance, I couldn't tell exactly what this was.

Another morning the mallards, male and a female, were taking a leisurely swim very much in sync. Interesting how different in colour even their beaks are. 

 I've been cutting into some of my Morris fabric instead of just taking it out from time to time to pet, LOL. Making a scrappy Tumbling Baby Blocks quilt has been on my bucket list for ages. So here I go.  The first few blocks. Since red is May's colour at So Scrappy, I figured I would stitch a few in reds.

I'm using EPP method and putting my cardboard collection to good use. A word about the cardboard...someone mentioned isn't it too thick to use for this. I'm using the kind of cardboard used in flyers and packaged material as well as old greeting cards, cardstock I guess you could call it. It is flimsy and just right for this EPP purpose.

  I also bought the diamond pattern from an Etsy shop that offered a PDF download.  Now I just need to make like a thousand of these and I should be good to go. 😀 I'm actually very happy about this, another in my lap project.

I  really enjoyed this YouTube video from Beth at The Sewing Room. How to make baskets using improv and scraps. I was intrigued as no applique was involved and the results are so pretty. Beth hosts a popular linky party at her blog Love Laugh Quilt as well.

Also happy news. We did adopt one of Abbey's Labrador Retriever puppies shown below. They are all adorable and received an outstanding report and glowing bill of health from the vet.



 Hubby narrowed it down to a chocolate one, a male we have named Ned/Neddy.  He is very affectionate and lovable.

  Ned is very tired these days with the training of these old folks he has undertaken.  Getting them to answer to his every cry and whim was easy but having them understand exactly what he wants is very tiring.  He loves that he has encouraged more exercise for them...three walks a day up from two and not nearly the sitting around they used to do.  

Here is Ned investigating what I was aiming at - a bunch of daffodils which have finally opened.

And then of course, the obligatory puppy taste test. Don't worry, we are trying our best to screen everything that goes in his mouth.

We have had him 11 days now and he and us are doing well. I've not been in the sewing room which is off limits to him at this stage of his life. That's why it's so good for me to have hand stitching projects too and if only the weather would oblige, veranda stitching to enjoy with him.  I'm so looking forward to some warmth.

Hope there is something new and interesting in your life too. 

You can check out what other bloggers have been doing this week at Not Afraid of ColorBrian's Home BlogAlycia QuiltsViewing Nature With EileenQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkMy Corner of the WorldKathy's Quilts and  Paying Ready Attention

 




Thursday, 6 May 2021

Mystery Solved, Tiny Stitching, Sawtooth Stars, Christmas Gift in May

 Can you spy her?

She froze and I moved close enough to get this photo; I really didn't want to disturb her foraging.
That's a little snow on the ground on Monday early morning. I took this photo of the marsh frozen over.
The Canada Geese have moved in and several always settle in on the little pond for a short while. 
I got my Christmas gift from Hubby recently. This book, The Bedside Book of Birds by Graeme Gibson. that I wanted had been out of print and it took this long to get a reprint copy. It's simply beautifully illustrated with lots of well written prose and such a legacy to Graeme's lifelong love of birds.  Graeme was Margaret Atwood's husband and died of dementia complications in 2019. 
I've been stitching umbrellas on the Hawk Run Hallow April block very suited to May with all the rain and cool, gloomy days we have had so far.  
A couple more of the Sawtooth Stars have been sewn. Honestly can't remember if I shared these or not. 
Almost time for me to think of what to do with them, eek.


 On my list to try sometime...frozen phyllo pastry. It pops up from time to time in recipes and looks so easy and delicious. I think I tried it once for a salmon recipe but I forget.  I make my own pastry but why bother if I can just buy this much flakier version.  Any suggestions for using it that you've tried??

Lastly MYSTERY SOLVED! Those of you who guessed raccoon were right!  He's still at it actually as the lid is on the ground again this morning. Clever little beasts!

So happy as always to share this post with the following link up parties:- Not Afraid of ColorLife in the ScrapatchesViewing Nature With EileenMy Corner of the WorldSo ScrappyKathy's Quilts and Paying Ready Attention.


Tuesday, 4 May 2021

The One Where You Learn More About Me Than You Wanted to Know

I was doubly blessed as two very kind ladies nominated my blog for an Outstanding Blog Award, a little fun thing circulating blogland these days. 

Firstly, kind Kathy at Sewing, Etc.  nominated me back in March. It was lovely of her to think of me and a huge surprise for me! Kathy does what I think of as "real sewing" i.e. clothes. For instance in this post, she deconstructed a shirt and restitched it to a smaller size and it turned out beautifully. She also knits, quilts and cross stitches. She is just starting to cross stitch one of those big Christmas stockings. You can check out her beautifully stitched  prayer book finish HERE (Jenny Elefantz design).  If all that wasn't enough, Kathy is a gardener too, grows real produce so includes gardening news in some posts.  So thanks Kathy for maintaining a lovely blog and sharing all your talents with us. 

Here are my answers to the questions Kathy posed.

How do I learn best?  I'm a visual learner so love the videos that our talented friends publish showing us exactly how to do something...a quilting block, knitting or crocheting pattern. YouTube is my go to these days where books used to be.

Did you do post high school training to prepare for a career? I am a retired teacher and have a couple of university degrees. I always thought I'd be a nurse or teacher and since I was too young to get into nursing when I finished high school at barely 17, I went to university and that led me to teaching. My favourite thing about teaching was enjoying that very special energy children bring to everything and also getting to celebrate all the occasions throughout the school year with them. 

What do you look for in a friend? I'm not a great friend myself as I am a true loner which I think I learned to be. For many decades of my life, someone else mostly decided on the friendships and socializing and we also moved around a lot.  I learned to let people go but I remember them all very well and have quite a store of memories. These days in a new province, my family fulfill the friendship roles in my life. I also get a lot of satisfaction from the blogging community and the online connections we maintain. 

Early bird or night owl? These years I am an early bird which I think happens as you age. 

Favourite instrument? I love to listen to violin or piano music especially early morning as I start my day.  

And kind Cathie at  Cathie's Craftworks also nominated me which made me feel doubly blessed!

 Cathie is also one of those multi talented folks who can turn her hand to anything as we say at home. You can see her pretty crocheted Bobble stitched blanket HERE  and she also is cross stitching an amazing Santa for one of those gorgeous Christmas stockings. Cathie shares her delicious baking and recipes with us too like this one for  her own Mom's recipe for Sour Cream Coffee Cake as well as  photos of her neck of the woods. Thank you Cathie as well for maintaining such a lovely and interesting spot to visit in blogland!  

Here are my answers to the questions Cathie asked....

Do you do anything else while crafting?  Huge yes to that one! TV, audio books, podcasts, YouTube, etc. all accompany me while I work.  I find it hard to sit and do nothing. One of the things I like about bird watching is it is teaching me the patience to just sit and watch and do nothing else. 

Do you prefer crafting alone, with a buddy or in a group? I stitch alone but would love to have a stitching buddy. I have belonged to two stitching groups here and though I never got much stitching done during the meetings, I loved the conversation. I would love to join a group again and I keep searching to find one that I can easily drive to. 

Ideal Vacation?  I would love to go anywhere right now. LOL  We've talked about buying a cottage on a lake since we both love boats and water. But a weekend in Montreal or New York would be fun. I love museums, antique stores and art galleries. I don't have an ideal vacation in mind but they all should include walking/hiking and especially good food. 

Favourite Music Genre? I have eclectic tastes in music. It is easier for me to say my least favourite which is rap. 

Thank you ladies for thinking of my blog!  What a treat it was for me to write this post!