Thursday, 17 June 2021

Hope and Feathered Things, Courthouse Steps Question, Fraktur Flowers

 Birds chirping early morning. Still lots fluttering about and to spy on. The second phoebe nest on the back wall of the house is active with both hard working parents bringing food. The young stay very quiet so I haven't a clue how many are there or were in the neighbouring nest either. They tolerate us now using the patio doors I notice. Phoebes are relatively easy to photograph because they take little rests between their frequent flights to capture flying insects. I read they eat over 700 such insects a day... if they are mosquitoes, all good.

Opening the pool and getting it heated with the wood stove has consumed a lot of my time since last week. I have to fill the stove every hour; it is a marvelous thing that generates a ferocious heat.
  Last summer I ran it for four days and did not need to fire it up again for the whole summer. As long as the temperatures remain hot, the pool is fine. And we all don't mind the water being slightly coolish either. Still warmer than any lake in summer is the way I look at it. 

Playing with, walking, training Ned is taking up a lot of my time as well. He has learned the name of his favourite toy, Duckie. And of course, he knows out, come and Tony.


I really enjoyed making a Courthouse Steps block for a little table topper a while back. I've finally received the heritage style red fabric I had in mind ages ago for a project featuring that block. An hour in the sewing room one morning gave me the opportunity to sew up two blocks as a trial. Like Log Cabin blocks, keeping the sides straight and even is a bit of a challenge. Probably more so for me with my crooked eye.  I copied the pattern from a book of vintage patterns I own and I'm wondering if the very central block should be smaller. I really appreciate your help/comments! Thank You!
When I get a chance I'm going to try a couple more blocks before I decide if this is a project I want to continue. Perhaps sewing it by hand would be better for me.  I can always hope I could get more accurate with a little more practice. We'll see. I do love how the contrasting light strips use up scraps quite nicely. 
I've also added a few stitches to Fraktur Flowers which is my cross stitch project to  advance this month.  The colours are soothing and the green, interesting. It has a teal cast to it. I'm enjoying them.  I will leave the bird, my favourite bit, till last. 
The province is out of lockdown- again,  People have not been going too foolish with the gatherings which they are apt to do. Still no in-library browsing allowed which I was hoping for. But no doubt that will come soon. Hopeful this will be our finale with this virus.
 Our sad, very old crabapple tree still sends out a few blossoms each spring.

Here's to hoping you are having an enjoyable week!

Linking with Not Afraid of ColorLife in the Scrapatch, Viewing Nature With EileenApplique Patchwork QuiltingKathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts and Paying Ready Attention






34 comments :

Brian said...

Such a pretty bird and that wood stove is really something. Ned sure looks most handsome and I like those courthouse steps. Thanks for joining our Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

LA Paylor said...

ned.... nnnneeeeeedddd so pretty and young. Your bird photos are always the best... makes me want to paint them. Milo knows and loves the words "go out?" then pants after the first fetch.

Timmy Tomcat said...

Our birds do so much for our environment. Love the work you are doing

Sherrie said...

Hi Jocelyn,
Love seeing your bird photos..do you use a long lens? We are still trying to get Bob to understand the word STAY...he gets very excited when someone goes outside...he wants to go too. Bob is about 3 years old...so not sure he'll ever get it. Love your colors for your Courthouse Steps...so pretty. Your cross stitch is coming along. I like the colors. I've got a Cherry Tree I'm hoping it will make it another year or two. If not, I'll plant another on. Have a great day!

Ruth Hiebert said...

I too hope that we can soon look at this virus as something in the past. Stay well.

Jenny said...

I didn't remember that you had an outdoor pool, how exciting! Do you both sit there in the eve sings with a cocktail in hand?
Beautiful bird photos, as usual, and it's always nice to see what projects you are working on.
Sweet Ned, I'm sure he is learning lots of things, including how to walk on a leash and not chase the wildlife.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Your phoebe photo is wonderful, Jocelyn! I would enjoy seeing those little birds. Ned looks like a sweetie and glad he is learning quickly. Your Courthouse Steps blocks look great to me! I have a hard time keeping narrow strips of fabric even as I sew them, too. Beautiful cross-stitch design!

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

Oh what a cute bird. I don't heat the pool here, but I will say once I got it fixed and refilled it warmed up quite quickly. My mom got a pup what they call an Australian Terrier and my mom has been lamenting all the work it takes with a pup. LOL Love your courthouse steps and your stitching. I am so thrilled that I no longer have to wear a mask at work. I still wash my hands like crazy and since I work early in the morning before there are many people in the store I feel pretty confident. When it gets busy I do put my mask back on.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

It's wonderful to have the phoebes nesting there. I am not sure how high the nest is but if you wish to count the young without disturbing them you can do it with a mirror at the end of a pole. We use those extendable inspection lights you can buy at any automotive parts store. They are around $10.00.

Linda said...

My husband and I are wonderstruck with your wood stove. What dedication to heat your pool! Ned is adorable. I love him. :)

piecefulwendy said...

You captured that Phoebe really well, such a pretty bird! I'm so sorry that you are still locked down. I sure hope that changes for you all soon! Your stitching is lovely, and those little courthouse steps are so pretty in red and white. I've seen those blocks with small center, and with larger ones like yours, so if you like it, I'd stick with it.

Deb A said...

Oh, I hope you are able to go browse in the library soon. Beautiful photo of the birds.

Jackie said...

Same thing with our library here. Hopefully it opens very soon for browsing.

While we have had some restrictions lifted we have a very few percentages left before we open up fully. Still told to wear masks in stores though.

Very lovely stitching happening.

God bless.

PaintedThread said...

I hear the phoebes all the time here! Ned's a cutie! You're always working on such interesting cross stitching projects.

Susie H said...

The birdies are so sweet! I love watching the birds too. How cool that you can warm up your pool like that. I didn't even know that was a possibility! I like all La-Di-Dah patterns and that one will be so pretty! Good job!

moosecraft said...

Fraktur Flowers is looking great! What is the fabric you are stitching on?

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jocelyn,
Your Phoebe is pretty, I hope you will see the babies soon. Ned sounds like a smart dog, they learn quickly and are eager to please. Your quilt and cross stitch both are beautiful. I will look forward to seeing bird stitched. The blossoms are pretty, it has been a beautiful spring. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend! PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

Shiju Sugunan said...

Certainly a pretty little bird.

Rain said...

Hi Jocelyn! :) Your stitch work is beautiful! I love how you heat your pool, I've never heard that before, very cool. And...I'm ALL FOR any bird that will eat 700 mosquitoes a day lol! :)

Yvonne said...

Hopefully your life will be back to normal soon. We will be getting back to more normal life next week. They even will allow us to go shopping without a mask. I think I will be using it for a bit more. We are getting our second shot in 10 days.... better safe than sorry.
Looks like the weather is good in your area since you are filling up the pool. Beautiful cross stitch and courthouse steps.
Enjoy your weekend!

R's Rue said...

What a beautiful little bird. Hopeful of normalcy soon. Have a beautiful day.
www.rsrue.blogspot.com

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love the pretty little Phoebes and they have such a pretty song to sing! Love seeing your projects too! You are a busy lady!

Rose Marie said...

What a neat idea with that woodstove. First time learning about that. Your stitched flowers are lovely. Have fun with Ned!

TerryKnott.blogspot.com said...

I know what you mean about browsing in the library! Our library opened last week for browsing. You know what? I found myself feeling uncomfortable after being inside for more than five minutes! We've been able to pick up books on hold and I've been thankful for that service! What an interesting way to heat your pool! Ned looks like a bundle of energy. I can imagine him looking for his Duckie! As for your question about the courthouse steps center. . .either the center the same size as the outer section or larger than the outer section can be seen in courthouse steps patterns. I personally like the way you made your blocks. I love the red!

Angela Tucker said...

Birds chirping? I wish mine would chirp. They start with loud, very loud, too loud NOISE every morning at 5:15 am. I'm not sure what they are but they are not my favorites. LOL I didn't get any nests in my spider plants this year. Kinda sad, I do love taking pictures of the babies. Your stitching is lovely. I haven't been to the library for years. I just don't read these days. I was the kid that finished most of my elementary school library. Now that I have time again, I just seem to forget! LOL Have a great week.

Karrin Hurd said...

Lovely picture of the Phoebe, and I love the stitching project you are working on. I would love to have a pool. Hope you have a great week!

Frédérique said...

Lovely photos, and your courthouse Steps blocks look wonderful!
Thank you for linking up today ;)

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

I really like your courthouse steps blocks. That is usually how I make mine I think. They are great for using up those scrappy strings. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

QuiltGranma said...

A couple years ago some Phoebes planted a next on the beam of our covered front porch. They sure squawked when we went in and out, but finally got accustomed to us. We love that they and the swallows are bug catchers! Love the Court House Steps blocks, I have that keeping them straight problem with my log cabin blocks as well. Guess I have to straighten up/trim them every go round.

K Reeves said...

A grand week for sure. Girl #1 was married Saturday, so we have been busy, busy! Got home Sunday late afternoon, and finally slept WELL! Today is for resting before I start my teaching week (Tuesday - Thursday in the summers). I have enjoyed catching up!

gladiquilts said...

Hi Jocelyn. So good you are out of lockdown! I think the log cabin center looks fine as is. I make my log cabin designs using foundation paper piecing so they easily come out perfectly and I have never minded having to remove the papers while I watch something on TV. What a great cross stitch design!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Great photo of the phoebe - I've heard them many times but rarely have caught even so much as a glimpse. No in-library looking here either but at least we can use the 'hold' system and they call for us to go and pick them up in the lobby - safely distanced. Works for me.

Angie said...

Jocelyn - your photo of the phoebe is so pretty! We have a swallow nest in the peak of our roof, and I get tired watching the parents flying back and forth!!! The weather forecast here calls for a heat wave next week - I might be jumping in our local lake to cool off!

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

Well, better late than never Jocelyn! Love the bird picture. Your courthouse steps blocks are interesting.
The cross stitch is so pretty! AND THEN there is NED! What a pretty dog! Enjoy, Hugs