Monday, June 1, 2015

Garden First


 It's planted. I have a vegetable garden, and I can now take care of it myself. No surgery or injuries. My darling husband helped me do the hard stuff. He amended the soil, and turned the dirt over for me. He even fixed a big leak in the hose. We can't have leaks of any size. Every drop of our water is like liquid gold and must be saved and protected. If you could see how empty the reservoirs are around here, you would believe me. Anyway- I'm not going to waste a bit of water, and I'm hopeful that I can keep my garden alive and well. I've planted zucchini, green beans and tomatoes. I have one blueberry bush, a volunteer corn plant thanks to a bird, I think. I am going to have sunflowers and one patch of purple corn flowers. The fruit trees have some fruit on them this year, and if the birds will save some for us it would be perfect.

Our garden is also blooming with foxglove, peony's and rhododendron right now. It's a perfect place to take a glass of iced tea and a book. Not too hot and not too cold. It's just right. There are so many birds singing, and I can hear little frogs from the neighbors pond when it's quiet. Ducks are flying over. My favorite spot.

I went to the Farmers Market Saturday and came home with three of these adorable little bouquets. I couldn't resist.

Friday, May 29, 2015

It's True

I know. You are wondering if I'm alive, and I'm here to tell you that I am. I read blogs everyday, Every. Day. The same ones and new ones. If it's a blog I love, and there are many, the blogger had better post frequently. I need to know what they are doing. You know, If they finished knitting that difficult lace border, or finally got the binding on that perfect quilt. If they learned how to paint and ink the bark of a redwood, with their watercolors. I apparently could go on and on...

Today we will be looking at the before photos of my vegetable garden. I haven't planted a garden in two years. We are on pretty severe water restrictions, so I'm not convinced that I'll be able to maintain this until the rain starts, but I'm going to try. I'm only growing three tomatoes, and one zucchini. Oh, and I bought a packet of green bean seeds for bush beans. My husband planted the seeds for giant sunflowers for me, and I hope they reach for the sky!

I need to add bags of amendments to the soil, and use the spade to turn the soil over. The last time (two years ago), I ended up in the emergency room when I tried this chore. I'll let you know how it goes. This being in my sixties keeps surprising me. I feel like I can do everything that I used to do, until something goes wrong. Injuring my shoulder badly enough that I needed surgery did make quite an impression though. I think I learned my lesson.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

This That and The Other

I've been missing again, but I've been here for all but one fun filled week.

We were having the best time ever. A very special trip, filled with fabulous food, a fabulous hotel, and the happiest place on earth. I was also with my favorite people. What else can I say?
When I got home, I had to make the hardest decision of my life, and send this happy boy onto heaven, to wait for me. I just can't get over it, and I don't want to. He was truly my best friend. He was always happy to see me, and he knew all of my secrets. If I was sick, he would not leave my side. When he was obviously in pain, I let him go, but Montana will be in my heart always. I will love him forever.
Now on to the reason for this blog. I completed the Birdsong quilt. It's pretty bright. Quite frankly, it's a bit outside my comfort zone, but I like it. It is needle turn appliqued, and hand quilted.

 Finally, I had a annoying virus of some sort and had to stay home, so I used the time wisely. I think I was chained to my sewing machine, because I sat there for hours and days and weeks. The good news is that the paper piecing is done on the fan shapes for my Gypsy Kisses quilt. Lots and lots of paper piecing.

Now I'm appliqueing the center on. At least this doesn't mean time at the machine.

So back to applique and a cup of tea. Hope to be back soon and thank you for your patience.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pickle Progress

I have spent a few afternoons working on the Gypsy Kisses paper piecing, fan shapes. I'm not sure if I have enough fabric. I have a lot of fabric, but not these bright Kaffe Fassett style prints. Most of neutrals are not on white backgrounds either. They are mostly ecru backgrounds. I think this might require more shopping... 


The other good news (besides shopping), is that I have figured out the paper piecing. It really isn't difficult at all after a little practice. I did have to throw away one. After un-sewing one fan that I had done wrong, the paper fell apart and the fabric was trimmed to match the wrong shape. It's a little bit of a learning curve, but nothing difficult.
Now for the best news-- I won't be sewing for about a week. I'm off to Disneyland with my Son, Daughter-In-Law and Grandchildren. We will be staying in the Disneyland Hotel. One of my "bucket-list" items is going to be crossed out. Done. I love Disneyland with the kids, and staying in the Disneyland Hotel is the cherry on top.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Party Time


I belong to a great book group. We each take a turn once a year to be hostess. As hostess, we get our turn to select the book that we all read and discuss. We have one rule in our group, and that rule is this: the book must be paperback. Well, I broke the rule. I took my selection with me to the September meeting and was given permission to select a perfect book for me. A hard cover perfection of a book : A Fine Romance
by Susan Branch. I love, love, love this book. I sure hope my friends love it too.

We drink a little bit of wine while we chat, and for this special book we are also having pear cider. We absolutely must have pear cider as Susan and her Joe drink it throughout their trip to England. They had it on picnics and in pubs. We are having it in my little house in the woods.
I've also baked an orange cake, not Susan's orange and lavender polenta cake. I tried it, and mine just wouldn't do what it was supposed to. I tried and tried. So, we are having a very nice orange cake. Keep your fingers crossed that my friends like it, please. Cheese and crackers too. Oh, and chocolate shortbread.

Before my party, though I'm going to a cooking class. I'll be home in time to put on the finishing touches, so wish me luck.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Not My Kind Of Sewing


I love to sew, as you know. I have for as long as I can remember. Well, I love to sew everything, but sewing knit pieces together. This sweater has been knit for a few weeks, but I couldn't make myself start stitching.
I knit this striped sweater to be my "wear around the house sweater". As you can see, I have an issue with the yarn. It's knit with Cascade 220. One of my favorite go to yarns for everyday knits. I love the feel of it, and it's the perfect weight for me. I bought the Cascade 220 tweed yarn a few years ago, for another project. I changed my mind and decided that I needed an everyday sweater, so pulled the brown and off-white yarn from the stash. Well- I didn't have enough to knit the sleeves, and Cascade has discontinued my favorite. No more tweed. So, since I already had a large part of the body of the sweater knit, I had to order yarn that was similar in color.
The brown is very close to the tweed, and the off-white, not so much. The buttons are cute though, don't you think? Maybe they will distract anyone from noticing the difference in color. I hope.
I'm going to finish sewing it together this weekend. That's my story anyway...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pickle Dish

I spent a rainy, blustery day watching the Grammy Red Carpet, and starting the first pieced quilt I've done in years. I'm perfecting my rotary cutting techniques and seam ripper skills. I have an excuse for the un-sewing, however. This pattern is paper pieced, and I've never done that before. If the shape I'm piecing wasn't fan shaped, I think it would be a piece of cake. It's like trying to do something using a mirror. Upside down and backwards... Just wait until I try to sew everything together. Lots of curved piecing and "Y" seams. It will keep me out of trouble.

I realize that these photos are not the best. It's pretty dark outside because of the storm we're having. I had to resort to some bright lamps. They don't make for the best images.. In fact, one of the fabrics in the photo below looks white, and it has a green and blue print on the white background.

I'm using a lot of Kaffe Fasset fabrics. I'm really stretching myself by not using my safe, muted color palette. The background on the lights is white, and that's unusual for me as well. I sure hope I like it.

This whole thing could have turned out very badly, as I am trying to function on three hours of sleep and a dose of steroids. Maybe it explains the use of the seam ripper. That's what I'll go with.