Friday felines

I’m probably going to regret this, but when I was at Walmart, I bought Burton a longer lead.

His old one was just a woven leash – four feet long at most. His new one… it’s 10 ft cable tie out.

He’s been taking full advantage of the extra leeway…

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He’s been exploring all the places he couldn’t get to before…. and of course….

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That means he’s smack dab in the middle of my gardens!

Bear tails

With the HSTs already prepared, it didn’t take long to finish the rest of the bear paw blocks.

IMG_6145This is the arrangement they will be in. They will have white sashing with a small corner stone (similar to Petals en Noir). I’m going to use it as a panel, and do a similar layout to Babe in the Woods. I got a nice chunk of flannel for the back, but I’ve got to do some stash diving to see what I’ve got for borders. I’m sure I can come up with something, without having to buy more. Wish me luck!

 

Socks on the rocks

Well… sock, really. I’ve only completed one so far…

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But it is, indeed, on some rocks! Those are the rocks the fence guys dug up last fall when they were putting in posts. I’ve yet to decide what to do with them. But back to the sock…

As you can see, it’s nothing fancy – just a simple 3-1 rib. I subbed in a complimentary blue-grey for the heel so I wouldn’t break up the striping. I was going to use it on the toe too, but by the time I got there, I changed my mind, and kept going with the main yarn.

Now it’s on to the second one. I don’t normally worry about matching the stripes, but I think I’m going to give it a whirl this time, since I like the way I broke the big blue stripe in half at the heel.

P.S. I finished Cascadas! She’s blocking now and will have buttons in time for Saturday. But you’re going to have to wait until next week for pics.

 

 

In, out, around and about

I’m sure fellow gardeners will agree, the majority of garden work is at the start and end of garden season. The work during the weeks in between is very light by comparison, just watering, weeding and maybe some deadheading.

I’m happy to say, after a weekend outside, the bulk of my garden work is complete. My gardens are fairly established, so in theory, they should require much more than a soil top up and mulching. This year is the first year I didn’t dig a new garden.. but I did unintentionally add some space with the changing of the garden border. And I rearranged the back patio (required with the addition of the big BBQ this year) .And those small changes added considerably to my workload. But its all worth it when I walk out and see this:

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Please excuse the grass that needs to be cut… we’ve had a lot of rain and the day after lawn maintenance was here, it was back to looking like it was never touched.

Now that you’ve seen the big picture, lets get into the details:

Dave generally does not get involved in my gardening… if he had his way, the whole yard would be concrete. I do all the hauling of soil, mulch and plants, all the digging, arranging, everything. Thought I did enlist his help to mount a few hangers for me.

First, that pretty basket used to hang on a shepherd’s hook in between the Little Bee Garden, and the Butterfly Expansion garden. But the birdcage has taken its place, so now it found a home on the new fence over the Big Bee Garden. This year I filled it with a big, beautiful Gerbera, some ivy and Creeping Thyme (leftover from the bird cage). In the centre, that lovely red basket is filled with a HUGE strawberry plant. I still have my pretty little strawberry pot, but as you may recall, I grow the world’s smallest strawberries… I’m hoping this pot will yeild bigger ones. And last… many of my garden plants are purported to attract hummingbirds, and last year, I did actually see one. I’m hoping the addition of a feeder brings around a few more and I can snap a picture or two.

In the backyard pic, you may have noticed a plethora of pots. A lot of my focus went there this year. I have glads and cala lilies. My first attempt at growing herbs was not successful, so I’m trying again – though it will be a failure too if I can’t keep Burton out of the pots.

In addition, there’s a little collection of annuals out front. These were actually meant for a three-tiered upcycled container, but it didn’t work out quite as planned. I’ll try again next year, but all the annuals I bought for it needed a place to go, so they now line the front walk (along with my broken pot faerie garden which has been completely taken over by Wooly Thyme.). Mr. Snail is back outside and has the sweetest purple Petunia with a little blue lobelia. And last… my luck with tomatoes has not been great since I took them out of the garden (in favour of space for flowers) and put them in pots. But I’m trying one last time with a really big pot, and my favorite Sweet 100 cherry tomato.

The Bleeding Hearts are in full bloom

The pink one out back never disappoints. Though it is smaller than previous years, there’s no shortage of flowers. The white one out front is very small, but it’s only its second year and it does not get as much sun.

Both the red and purple Pasque flowers are showing off, as they always do this time of year.

Other than the roses I showed the other day, not a lot new was added. Though I did need to fill in some space on the expanded gardens

I got this cute little Candy Tuft, perfect for borders. The rest I filled with annuals for now – mostly petunias and marigolds, thought I did add these pretty little pink allysum. I’ve never seen it in this shade (just purple and white). Allysum has a tendency to reseed, so I’m hoping it comes back next year too.

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The lilac is almost ready to bloom. It’s going to be spectacular this year.

Both my Globe Alium and Chives are about to burst.

And the Leopard’s Bane, Peonies and Lupin won’t be far behind!

I may have been a full weekend of work, but it was well worth… now it’s time for a little rest…

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FO: Cat fancy

Amidst all the garden excitement, I took a day off to finish up Cat Fancy. And here it is!

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As I mentioned before, it was from a Craftsy (now Bluprint) kit. Mom bought it with the intention of making it for my birthday. When she realized she wouldn’t be able to et it done in time, she decided just to give me the kit instead.

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It’s definitely the most complex quilt I’ve made so far. But taken step by step, it really wasn’t that bad. It helps that it’s not a big quilt – just the perfect lap size at 50″ square.

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The kit didn’t come with backing fabric. Normally,  I try to find something suitable on clearance, but since I didn’t need a tonne of yardage for this one, I splurged and got this cute kitty print from Missouri Star Quilts.

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Of course, now that it’s done, the quilt is no longer mine. It’s been claimed by someone else. Of course, it’s hard to argue with her – she does match perfectly!

The most wonderful time of the year…

  • My feet are filthy, there’s dirt under my nails, I’m a little bit sunburnt, but I am absolutely in my element. Garden season is here and I’m lovin’ it.

I’m still in the midst of working in the gardens, but here’s what I’ve accomplished so far:

  • Back gardens edged and filled in.
  • Winter sow seedlings planted
  • Perennials split and moved/shared with friends
  • Herb seeds planted
  • Summer bulbs planted (Glads, Calas and Canas)
  • Hanging pots planted
  • Patio furniture rearranged

I also got my antique birdcage planted:

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It’s a mix of Scotch moss, Creeping Thyme, Hens and Chicks, and another plant I can’t remember the name of. The Thyme will have tiny pink/purple flowers eventually.

I found these super cute stepping stones at Dollarama for just $3 each

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I bought two of each: Turtle, bunny and frog. They were a third of the price of the ones I was looking at at Home Depot. And three-times as cute!

I also planted two new rose bushes down the side of the house

White Lightning was the very first rose I bought when I moved here. Sadly, she didn’t survive her first winter. But she smelled amazing and I’ve been looking for another ever since.. And Honey Perfume just had to come too – not only because of the colour, but because of that fabulous name! She must smell wonderful!

More pics of all the beautiful blooms will come soon!

 

Pawsitively cute

It’s a long weekend here in Canada, and if the weather hold, I’m hoping to spend the majority of it in the garden. In the mean time, I thought I’d share my latest and greatest quilting endeavour.

I’d been waiting until I got the bulk of Fleurs en Noir and Mystic Maze out of the way before starting something new. Both of those use black thread and I was too lazy to be constantly changing back and forth.

But now that they are at a place where I can set them aside, I’m onto a project I’ve been envisioning for the last little while. I’ve been itching to make a baby blanket. There are no babies (that I know of) on the horizon, but one always comes along eventually. And baby blankets are just so fun to make. Small, quick and cute!

I’ve had a Bear Mountain (from Craftsy) charm pack kicking around for a while

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And I thought it would be fun to make another Bear Paw quilt. My first paw quilt was a bit of a sideshow, but now that I’m more practiced, I’d like to revisit the block with some honed skills.

The way I’ve paired up the fabric, I should be able to get a dozen 6.5″ paws out of this pack. Done in a traditional layout of four paws together, it should give me a nice starting panel to a blanket.

I had a few hours to kill the other day, so I got all my HSTs made for the claws, and paired them up with their paw fabric.

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The claws and paws still need to be trimmed to the proper size, but I’ll do that as I sew them together. Still.. before I put everything away for the day, I couldn’t resist sewing up just one block.

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Of course, now that I see it in picture, I noticed I sewed those poor green mountains upside down! I’ll have to fix that at my next sewing session.