Friday, 31 July 2015

First Tomato and Quilt Update

This was in our garden! I am so thrilled.

And I only have 18 more pieces to join but a whole bunch of names still left to be done (18 also)!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Nip and Tuck

It's nip and tuck as to whether I will get this done in time! I'm more than half-way done with less than a week to go. When the pieces are connected I will still have to edge it and embroider on the names. Not to mention  weave in the ends! Yikes!

Here is the current state of the quilt! I've outlined the parts that are joined in green.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Some Garden Photos

This won't be much of a blog - just a few images to indicate the state of the garden. First however I want you to see why I can not ever get anything accomplished! This is the table where I try to work.

He knows how to be sure to keep me from accessing my books, my knitting and the television remote!

The "front yard" has a red and white garden (which has been invaded by orange flowers.)  It has been blooming beautifully over the last few weeks!


There are some very large stunningly beautiful orange lilies that I will probably never move out of the garden because they do so well there (and the deer are too shy to bother them there.)


There are daylilies and daisies interspersed with the actual lilies. 

In the back yard the meadow colors have begun to shift from the pinks of the early season to the yellows of composite flowers.

The new garden where the oak stump used to be has been doing nicely (except the deer ate the phlox that are supposed to be in the middle of the garden for a focal point.)

This garden, based on a garden I saw in a magazine, has never satisfied me. It got overgrown, so I weeded it and transplanted some of the pinks that had become overgrown with grass so that they are more central in the garden, but it still doesn't look so good to me. Maybe it will grow into a better looking garden with a little time (?)

The wood chips help a bit, but it is shady and just doesn't quite look groomed.

I got 24 of those mini-solar lights and put them around the drive. The area is so large that there is no good vantage point to photograph them all.

Finally the shot of the day is this little face off between a grosbeak and a woodpecker. At least they got there before the squirrels did!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Quilt update

First a garden picture of course!

And here is the deck!

And here is an update on the quilt. It looks more put together than it is. Some of those squares are not yet seamed even though they look like they are. (I have to do 6 squares a day from now on to finish in time (and I did three today - hmm....)

Here is an overview of the entire thing - as you can see there is still a lot left to do!

Stitches 2015 Project

First I have to put up a picture of my daylilies. I hope to have more pictures later, but they are blooming so nicely that I just want to put up a photo!

Okay, so now a bit about my current knitting project! Every year for more than 15 years my sister and I have been going to Stitches Midwest. We take classes and shop and have a wonderful time.  We have taken lots of classes over the years, but of course in a three hour class one never finishes a shawl or a sweater. One makes a little sample swatch that exemplifies what one has learned in the class. Over the years I have collected a lot of little swatches! Some are interesting and some are boring little squares, but each swatch represents knowledge struggled with and sometimes gained and experiences made. This means I have not been able to make myself simply throw these little swatches away. Instead I stuck them in a place of honor - a plastic bag in the back of the craft closet where they lay around and multiplied until this year I finally had to clean out the closet. 

So after a bit of thought, I decided to do a kind of quilt out of all the pieces.  There is a sort of fashion show for the students at Stitches every year and I thought it might resonate with other students to see the swatches from classes they had also possibly taken, so my goal is to put everything together in a blanket in the next two weeks to show at the Fashion show.  Progress has been slow. I set out all the patches and swatches, but it is taking a very long time knitting all the pieces together. Here's what I did the first night.

I believe it is important to honor our teachers, so I am I'm trying to knit my teachers' names somewhere near their swatches. Unfortunately the knitted alphabet doesn't work very well.  Here is the progress for this evening. The left end is almost done. I still have one more strip along the bottom edge and I will have the first edge complete (except for an edging that will go on at the end.)

One of the squares was badly joined and I decided I would have to cut off the poorly joined part, but I'm lazy and I took aclass in steeking, so I think I will try and steek my work into the blanket. I'm not sure if it will work, but we'll see. I wonder if I can steek this (THe cutting has already occured!)

Monday, 20 July 2015

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Black Raspberries

I was transplanting my Empress Wu hosta out of the berry patch, because it hasn't grown much there and what should I find, but berries!! Beautiful black raspberries ready for picking!

Here's what I ended up doing with Empress Wu!

That is it on the right! (Yes, the tiny little hosta next to the 1.5 foot tree!)

Here is a blow up! You can see that it needed to be moved!

And here is my newly planted weeping spruce!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Pillow Cover Progress

I started a short row pillow case and here is how it is coming along.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

15 year old Seeds

Okay, so I don't know if you are like me, and hang on to things forever, but I have these left over seeds and it is embrrassing to see the planting year on many of the packets. So in order to finally clear out some stuff, I decided to just plant them. Amazingly a few things have actually come up!! TheBasil is growing fine and I have a couple of random seeds that have decided to germinate. Take a look.

They may just be weeds, but they are different weeds, so they might be poppies, or saffron or something exciting! The basil is definitely basil!

But wait, did you see what was growing in the tray next to the basil?

What Did You Do Today? I Poisonned My Dog!

So ever since I visited the Garden store 6 weeks ago, I've been dreaming of buying some of that heavenly smelling cocoa hull mulch. I got this great idea. I had this derelict herb garden and so I decided my next project would be to  revamp it and i owuld put cocoa hull mulch in the bed which would make it smell divine. A lovely idea in theory, but it turns out my dog loved the smell too. A few minutes after I had tossed the mulch on I noticed my dog scarfing down something in the garden.

And that's when it hit me! Dogs are morbidly allergic to choclate. I quickly pulled up Snopes to see if I was in trouble and it seemed indeed I was! It seems the mulch can kill dogs, although for the most part few dogs have died from the ingestion of the mulch. I do have to add that the jury is out. Some companies claim to have washed their mulch sufficiently that this should not be a problem for dogs, but of course nobody wants to take the chance when a beloved animal's life may be at risk.

For more information go here:

The bottom line is that it depends on the concentration of theobromine and caffeine in the mulch and the size of the dog, but these are variables that no one can easily determine - so when in doubt induce vomitting.

How to induce vomitting: For a 50lb dog give 1 tbsp of Hydrogenperoxide and a tablespoon of water. Repeat  up to two more times. You may want to bring your dog to the vet especially if any time has passed.
So take a look at my garden. It will never look like this again. I covered the cocoa bean mulch with cypressand sparayed with bitter apple to keep dogs from wanting to ingest any more mulch in the mean time.

Before Mulch:

After Cocoa mulch: (sigh) Of course the angles are completely different, so it is hard to tell that the garden looks better.