Pineapple princess

As you know, Miss Rowan spent most of the week with Mom. The sewing gene has been passed down to both girls, and apparently a few months ago, Rowan made herself a skirt without a pattern. It ended up being too short, but she was still proud of herself.

Mom suggested that while she was visiting, she try making something from a pattern. So a dress pattern and fabric were chosen, and after a long afternoon…

 

Rowan has made herself one pineapple of a summer dress! (And yes, she did her own styling – complete with Grandma’s hat and sunglasses). I think this girl deserves an umbrella drink!

And…

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Midge got a summer update with the leftovers!

Slippin’ away

Here we are, just a little more than halfway through August… and fall is definitely on the wind. Oh the days are still nice and warm, but the nights are getting cooler, with just the first little crispness of autumn. And in the garden…

The colours of the changing season are apparent.  From left to right – Foxglove leaf, blooming Sedum, and golden Bleeding Heart foliage.

Still, we’ve got months of blooms ahead of us.

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The roses always perk up as the high heat of summer begins to wane. It’s funny, most people think of roses in June, but in my experience, they are usually at their best in late summer.

The Susans and Coneflowers are just spectacular this year – a wonderful reward for a few years of patience as they filled out.

The sunflowers are only four feet high, but they are blooming and I’m getting a wonderful mix of flowers!

The purple Bee Balm has struggled a little bit this year, but it’s finally starting to get some decent blooms. And the purple Speedwell in the sidewalk garden is finally starting to bloom. Better late than never, I say!

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The herbs I started from seed have also struggled, but these past few weeks have really seen the Basil perk up. Now I just have to find something to cook with them!

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One of Mom’s friends gave her a pile of Cana Lily bulbs, and she gave most of them to me. I shared some with neighbour Krista, and both of us are getting pretty red blooms.

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And last… maybe another week or more, and I’ll be enjoying big, juicy blackberries. I love mid-August!

Friday felines

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I’ve mentioned before that Rupert is a really small cat, and that Relic is a really big one…  and I’ve finally got a good picture of just how much of a difference there is! (Rupert is 6.5 lbs, Relic is over 20)

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The relationship between these two gets a little better every day. They still snark at each other, but as you can see, they are also content to just chill out (especially outside).  There’s even been a few brief games of chase around the house.

I don’t think they will ever be best friends, but they are definitely learning to like each other, just a little bit.

An overnight guest

When we left Sauble on Friday, we brought the girls back with us for a stay at Grandma’s. While Rowan is staying the whole week, Paisley had to work Monday (I still can’t believe she’s old enough to have a job!!!), so could only stay for the weekend. While Mom drove her back home on Sunday, Rowan came to hang out with me and spend the night. Naturally… I put her to work…

Because all that yarn is not going to dye itself. You may recall, that when the dye studio was still at Mom’s, the girls always dyed a few skeins during their visits. But that hasn’t happened since the dye came here (and Mom’s studio got converted to Quilting Headquarters). When I mentioned it to Rowan, she was thrilled, exclaiming “I miss dyeing yarn!”

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As usual, she did all the work – I only mixed the colours she picked out. In the end, she did 14 skeins of Alley Cat, six of which are self-stripers.

I’m going to have fun knitting these up!

She stayed the night and on Monday, after my work was done, we took a trip to a local nursery where she helped me pick our some succulents for some special planters I had.

We got a succulent for her too, but I forgot to take a picture.

Since then, her and Mom have been sewing up a storm (more on that later), but I think someone is missing the extra company….

Rhonda’s fish

You may have noticed in my last quilt update, that the fish quilt had and official name… I’ve called it A Fish Called Rhonda, and I thought I better explain…

First, Rhonda is Mom’s name… and since she passed on her love of all things quilting, and we both love the movie A Fish Called Wanda… well… it just worked.

Now onto those fish….

I’m currently banging them out, two at a time (One fish, two fish?), and I thought you’d like to see how I’m doing it.

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You’ll need:

  • Three 5″ squares in background colour
  • Two 5″ squares in a fabric for the fish body. (I’m using charm packs, which is why these particular squares are 5″, but if you are cutting, you can cut them 4.5″ right away.)
  • Two 5″ squares in fabric for the fish fins
  • One 5″ square in fabric for the fish tail
  • Four 6.5″ squares in background colour, cut on the diagonal, giving you eight triangles.IMG_6655

Step 1: Pair your three background squares with the fin and tail fabrics, and create two half square triangles out of each set using the 2 from 1 method. This will give you four fin blocks and two tail blocks.

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Step 2: Trim your fish body, tail and fin blocks to 4.5″. (If you cut your body blocks, instead of using charms, you won’t need to trim them.)

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Step 3: Arrange your blocks to look like a fish, and sew together like a four-patch.

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Step 4: Starting with one side, centre the long side of your background triangles and sew to your fish (corners will extend pass the edges). Press back and repeat on other sides. (I do opposite sides first.) Tip: Don’t trim the dog ears until you are finished – it can be tricky to get them positioned, and you may want to rip back and resew.

And voila… you have two matching fish that can be arranged in any way you like. I currently have six completed which means I need another 24 to finish my quilt top.

I guess I better keep fishing…er… sewing.

 

The dragons are flying

I told you those Dragonfly socks go fast…

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Here’s the first one already done and the second is well underway.  I’m very happy with the yarn I paired with the pattern – they play so nicely together.

With this pair so close to being done, I’m already thinking about what to do next. I have two more pairs of socks on the gift list – both are man-sized, but both are worsted weight (more heavy boot socks for the guys). So do I plow ahead and finish them all, or take a break from the gift knitting and do something for myself…? Some decisions are hard!

Sauble sojourn

On Friday, I took the day off, loaded up Dory, picked up Mom and hit the road. We were headed north to visit our favourite trio of ladies, and reunite the Johnson Five.

Our final destination was Sauble Beach.

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Not my picture… I forgot to take one while we were there.

Sauble Beach is a beautiful beach on the shores of Lake Huron on the west side of the Bruce Peninsula – about 30 minutes from where the girls live. My grandparents used to live just outside Owen Sound, and our summer visits always included a day trip to Sauble. I haven’t been since I was about 18, which I’m sad to say is more than 20 years ago!

The sky was clear, the temps were just perfect, but boy those waves were high! Admittedly, as a kid, those were always the best days to visit, especially with our inflatable pool mats.

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Rowan brought her boogie board, but we had to keep a close eye on her. At 11, she’s got no fear and those big waves also meant strong currents. It doesn’t take long to drift from view.

She would have stayed out there all day if she could.

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For the rest of us, soaking up the sun punctuated by the occasional dip was more than fulfilling.

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And I was happy to stand on the shore of my favourite beach and feel like a kid again!