Everything toads

I haven’t seen Burton’s toad since the day I took those pictures… but there’s no shortage of toads around here!

This big whomper of a guy greeted Dave and I when we got home one rainy night last week.

Dave laughed at me, because I immediately took my phone out to take pictures.

But isn’t he a beauty? He’s the biggest one I’ve seen so far. And with all the crickets we have, I understand why he’s so well-fed.

But it’s not just warty toads we have. We also have beautiful toads…

Remember my Toad Lilies?

I brought them with me from the townhouse. According to the place I bought them from, they prefer mostly shade. At the townhouse, I had them in the front garden. I usually got five or six blooms every year.

When we moved here, I was a little worried about them. The only place I had to put them (by the steps inside the catio) got half a days worth of sun. At first, it seemed like they weren’t going to make it. But then they bounced back… with a vengence!

At the townhouse, each plant usually had two or three buds. Now as you can see, each little plant is COVERED in them!

I was supposed to have four different types, though only two ever bloomed at the townhouse. So far, it’s just the common spotted purple one (Purple Beauty) blooming here.

But they are just lovely! They will bloom right until we get a hard frost, so I look forward to many more blooms to come. Definitely one of my favourite fall flowers.

FO: Friendship blossom

It’s been a while since you’ve seen this one, but I was finally able to get it quilted while up at Mom’s

To refresh your memory, this quilt was made almost entirely from scraps leftover from my Welcome Home Jane quilt. (Jane is currently being raffled off to raise money for a local children’s charity).

It’s not as big as Jane, coming in a just under 60″ square, but it’s still a nice respectable lap size. I’m not usually a big fan of blue, but I love all the pretty, romantic prints in this one.

If I could go back and change anything, it would be to use a bolder pink for those friendship stars. The one I had is pretty, but it fades into the background more than I like. But… I was working from leftovers and stash, so I was limited in what I had to use.

The back may look familiar to you. It was a clearance bin find and I used it on the back of another quilt a couple of years ago. I had something like seven or eight yards of it, so I’ve really gotten some mileage out of it. I probably have enough left for another back on a small lap quilt.

The binding may jog your memory too. Another clearance find that’s really gone a long way. It was the back of a bee quilt, blocks in my SIL’s birthday quilt, nests on the chicken quilt, and now binding and blocks here.

And it can be yours, if you are so inclined. This beautiful quilt is available in the shop now.

FO: Glinda

Although my days have been tied up with work and house stuff, my nights have been dedicated to knitting. And as a result, Rowan’s Christmas mitts just slipped right off the needles.

The pattern is my Glinda mitts, and the yarn is Knit Picks Felici in Side Pony.

I’ve gotten good mileage out of the two balls I had of it. I made socks for Paisley, these mitts for Rowan, and I should be able to eke out a pair of anklets for myself if I used a contrast solid for heels/toes.

I didn’t worry about matching up the stripes, because like me, Rowan won’t mind them being fraternal.

Now I’ve got a pair on the needles for her sister, and I must say, it’s very nice to be checking things off the Christmas list!

Weekend warriors

First, thank-you for all the Thanksgiving wishes. It was a very good weekend. Dave spent half the weekend with his Grandma, helping out around her place. While he was gone, Dad came to help me around here on Saturday.

Dad hadn’t been here since the puppies were born, so it was nice to be able to show him some of the progress we’ve made. I got some trailer lessons, and we hauled a load of tree branches and brush off to the dump. They’ve been sitting in the trailer since July, so it was nice to finally get rid of them. When we got back, I bbq’d us up some lunch (just hamburgers) while he took a sawsall to the overgrown, neglected shrubs out front.

Come spring, that area will be completely revamped and replanted with perennials. Think coneflowers, and susans and more!

By Sunday morning, Dave was home. We ran out to Sarnia in the morning to buy a used snowblower. Come afternoon, while he fiddled around in the basement, I tackled the living room.

Yes! We are finally at the painting stage. That’s the only pic I’m going to share with you for now. You’ll see more when we get the floor in (which will hopefully happen this weekend!). I can tell you the colour is Frog Green and it’s just got me hoppin’. I love it! I’ve ordered an area rug, and a new curtain rod. Come payday I’m going to hop on out to Home Depot to get a mini blind for the front window. Let me tell you… it’s so nice to have this all finally coming together.

Of course, there’s still loads to do on the house, but Dave and I agreed, unless something is falling down, we are going to take the winter to get our finances back in order and then start again on the house come spring.

It’s not like I don’t have a million crafts to keep me busy on those cold, snowy days!

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving Day for us north of the border. I bought this little guy at the grocery store a few weeks ago and he’s still blooming beautifully. After the holiday, I’ll put the mums in the ground and they can join my ever-growing collection.

I definitely have a lot to be thankful for this year.

The biggest thing is obviously the house. It may need a lot of work, but given the state of the housing market (the bidding frenzy has cooled a little, but the prices haven’t come down at all) we are lucky to have a house at all. At the time we pulled the trigger, we were basically at the bottom of the market. A month later, in an effort to cool things, the government changed the eligibility rules, and if we didn’t have this place, we would have been knocked out of the market completely. I’ve kept an eye on listings since we bought, and it’s rare that a house even comes up in our price range now, and with the new rules, our price range would have been about 10-15% less which is a significant drop.

I’m thankful for all the help we’ve had with the house. From my brotherly moving crew, to Dad’s demolition days, to Mom’s nicotine scouring assistance, to electrician friends who saved us a bundle. We are a long way from done, but their helping hands have been huge in getting us this far, and I will be forever grateful.

I’m thankful to the three amigos who made the move with relative ease and adapted to catio life beautifully. And I think they are thankful for a much bigger home, more windows, and a safe space to enjoy the outdoors as they please.

And of course, I’m thankful for all of you, who come here everyday to join in our adventures.

To my Canadian friends, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. To my American friends, Happy Monday! I’d save you some stuffing, but I don’t think it will keep until November!

Stitchin’ away

With October closing in on half way over already, I’m knuckling down on the gift knitting. First up is a pair of birthday socks for my Dad. They are the only man-socks on my list, and his birthday is just before Christmas, so I thought it good to get them out of the way first.

I chose a skein of Lion Brand Sock-Ease.

I’ve knit with it before. It’s not the softest to knit with, but it is hard-wearing, and does soften up a bit with washing. As you can see, it’s a mix of dark olive, grey and brown, with pops of orange, yellow and white. And for some inexplicable reason, the colourway is called “Toffee”. If toffee looked that, I don’t think I’d be eating it.

Regardless, it’s a nice mix of colours. It’s probably a little busy for the pattern I chose: A variation of Walking with Emma.

The yarn is probably more suited to vanilla or plain ribbing, but Mom can whip those up easily for Dad on her sock machine. I wanted to do something a little different for him, so cables it is. You can see them better when the sock is stretched out.

Unfortunately, I’ve reached the age where I have trouble working with dark colours at night. I have a good work lamp, but with the way the livingroom is set-up right now, I can’t use it. I’m close to finishing the lower part of the livingroom, and once we get the furniture moved down there, I’ll be able to have my light again.

In the meantime, Dad’s sock is stuck as daylight only knitting. For the evenings, I’m working on something lighter and brighter!

I’m making the girls fingerless mitts this year. I had just one ball of Felici in Side Pony left, and I thought it would be perfect for Rowan.

The pattern is my Glinda, and as you can see, the first one is already done. I love little knits like this that just fly off the needles. They make gift-giving so much fun!

Burton’s got a new BFF

It’s only natural to think that Burton’s BFF might be Relic, or even Rupert. But while he gets along with them, I can tell you, they aren’t besties.

Burton’s bestie is a lot smaller, and less furry.

I kid you not. It’s Mr. Toad.

Don’t believe me?

Now this not the the same toad from under the recycling bin. (I compared warts between my pics), but he’s close in size.

At first, I was worried that Burton had hurt Mr. Toad, and that’s why he wasn’t hopping away. But I checked him all over, and moved him away from Burton. He could hop just fine, and in fact, hopped right back to Burton under the mulberry bush (which is where I took these pictures.)

Mr. Toad was just hanging with our little Lord Burton, gobbling up every bug that crossed his path (and there were a lot of bug – potato bugs seem to be a favourite). I sat there for about half and hour, just watching the two of them.

I hope I get more chances to watch their friendship grow.

FO: Colour me scrappy

The next quilt off the machine was those scrapalicious pinwheels

I absolutely adore this one! I had so much fun pairing fabrics, and pulling together the sashing and borders. And despite the fact it is 100% scrappy, it has such a coordinated feel.

There are just so many fun colours and prints in here.

I had just enough of that fun floral I was hoping to use for the back and I’m so glad. It really fits in with the cheerful theme of the whole quilt.

And did I show you the cute tags Mom had made up for our quilts?

It feels like we are almost professionals now!

This happy quilt is about 60″ square, so it’s a perfect lap quilt. It’s in the shop now if you feel you need something scrappy in your life.