Here we are on February 1st. And let me tell you… my No-Spenduary was a complete bust! It started with that fateful trip to the Antique mall, and after that it was like I was just hemorrhaging money everywhere.

Whenever we went out, I spent money. When we stayed home, I spent money (damn you online shopping!!!)

I bought clothes, I bought plants, I bought fabric. I even bought a new pair of boots, and footwear is something I’ve managed to resist buying for a very long time.

I mean, I’m REALLY happy with them, but I totally didn’t NEED to get them this month. And I certainly didn’t need the clothes, plants, or fabric.

Especially the fabric…. one of the bottoms of the drawers on my stash dresser popped the other day from all the fabric shoved in there.

I certainly didn’t need this.

A little decorative shelf we found at the ReStore. As soon as I picked it up, Dave looked over my shoulder and said it was obviously meant for me. I’ll probably put it up in the studio and stick some plants on it. I certainly need more homes for my plants!

Now this last one… this I needed.

Remember, when I posted about the Antique Mall, I said I was on the hunt for a certain Blue Mountain Pottery fish? Well…

I got it! I found it on FB Marketplace before Christmas. But it was pretty far away – though not too far from Mom’s. I told myself, if it was still online the next time I went down, I would contact the seller. And I did just that. The Saturday morning of my visit, I took Mom out for breakfast, ran a couple errands, and picked up my fish!

It’s actually a vase, there’s a large opening between those upper fins. I plan to get some nice dried grasses and such for it. Doesn’t it look so happy swimming on top of my antique radio?

But, now that February is here, I’m going to start over! Frugal February all the way! It’s only 28 days… I can make… right?!?!

Tiny Needle Tuesday

Ever since the Christmas season ended, I’ve been trying to get back into my regular routine. Before the Christmas rush and bustle, during the weekdays I generally worked the day job during the day (sneaking in a little sewing between work projects when things were slow), and then knit in the evenings after dinner until bed (unless we had errands to run at night).

On weekend, I would sew during daylight hours, and evenings were reserved for cross stitching.

In an effort to get presents done (namely the sweater that didn’t actually get finished), I blew all that up. And I’ve been desperate to get back to it. I find having a routine makes things much less stressful, and much more productive for me.

So this past weekend, I committed to getting back on track. When the weekend rolled around, I dug out a little cross stitch kit I bought last fall, not long after finishing Sewing Kitty.

It’s from the same company that made Sewing Kitty. I’m not overly fond of the wool floss (I don’t hate it, just like regular floss better), but I do love the little card it all comes on. So easy to keep it all organized. And aren’t those foxes just adorable? I thought they were worth working with the wool floss.

I’ve already got one of the foxes mostly done. This one is going to go very quick. Just the thing I need to get me back on track

FO: Dozer Dreams

The last quilt I got finished while at Mom’s was the quilt I made for my best friend’s son, Ethan. If you will recall, it’s the top I made in memory of their dog Dozer, who passed last year.

Ethan is in high school now, so I kept the design simple. It’s really just a bottom border and then some 108″ gradient backing to do the rest of the work.

I tried to get the colours on the dog block as close as possible to Dozer as I could… and I think I succeeded.

I forgot to take a proper picture of the back, before I packed it up and put it in the mail, but happily, I snapped this one of Burton who tried to claim it before I got the binding finished.

Naturally, it’s flannel, because there’s nothing better than a flannel back on a snuggly lap quilt!

And that’s it for finished quilts for a while… I have to get some more tops done to take to Mom’s!

Chilly willy

Mid-week this week, we got a good dumping of snow. And it’s been snowing on and off since then so our world is a bit of a winter wonderland.

It’s probably about a foot or so of snow.

You can see from the foot prints around the catio yard, it hasn’t stopped the cats from going outside.

They do like to go out every so often and see what the birds are up to at the feeder. Though they tend not to stay out very long.

All except this one…

While Lemmy does run out on the porch when I go in or out, he STILL hasn’t figured out how the cat doors work. He’s watched the others go in and out since we brought him home on Hallowe’en, but he just hasn’t grasped the concept. He’s cute, but I’m getting the feeling he’s not the brightest cat we’ve ever had.

It’s just as well though. As you can guess with all that snow, it’s cold outside!

Yesterday, Dave and I were in downtown Sarnia (getting new flies and worms for Newt!), which borders the St. Clair River. The other side is Port Huron, MI.

The wind coming across the river from the American side was mighty chilly!

Garden structure

January and February are always the hardest months for me. The weather is usually cold and grey and it’s very hard to do anything outside. And you don’t have the distraction of the holidays like you do in December.

There’s so much I want to get started on, but the ground is too frozen for even the most basic of garden things I want to do.

One of the things I will be doing this year is adding a little “structure” to the garden. I’ve got a couple projects planned but I’m only going to share one today.

You’ve all seen the front of the house:

There’s no denying, it needs a little something. The gardens are helping… but we’ve still got a long way to go. While it’s not an English cottage, I want the gardens and front of the house to have that “cottage garden” feel.

And this will help

I ordered this pretty arbor from a place in Sarnia just after Christmas. It’s sitting in a box on the sun porch just waiting for the day I can put it together.

I think it’s going to look amazing over the front walkway. Especially when the roses I ordered as well start to climb all over it.

The rose on the left is called Eden, and the one of the right is Quicksilver. I’m going to plant one on either side and they can meet in the middle!

Oh spring… please get here soon!!!

Friday Felines

Today’s Friday Felines is a little different….

Remember this fun little cactus planter I have?

He came as part of a two-pack, with one green cat, and one white cat. I planted up the white one with a matching cactus, and gave it to Mom.

For a few months she’s been bugging me for help… she said her cat tail needed some attention. What kind of attention….?

Um… it’s just a wee bit overgrown for the planter. Honestly, I can’t look at that picture without laughing my butt off.

My cacti tail grew too… but not nearly as much as hers did. It’s probably less than half the size!!!

While at her place for the weekend, I popped out to Terra and picked up a new cacti tail.

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I got the smallest one I could, so it might take a little longer to outgrow its home.

And as for that monster…

I found this cute bunny planter on clearance when I picked up the new cacti. I had to erect a little bit of scaffolding to keep the giant upright, but once its roots get settled, it will be able to hold its own again.

FO: Jack Frost

It’s not deja vu… I wasn’t planning on it, but I managed to get the second snowflake top quilted and bound this weekend too!

Now, it’s not exactly the same as the first one (which already sold, btw!!!!). This one has different fabrics, which lean towards the more aqua side of the blue spectrum.

And the borders are a little different too, though they are the same size (making both quilts 58″ square)

The back, however, is the same navy snowflake flannel. That wasn’t the plan. But when I started sandwiching the first one, I realized I bought more yardage than I remembered buying. With a little creative piecing, I was able to get both quilts out of it. That thrilled me to no end. I had bought some fabric for the back (a black cotton with snowflakes, I found on sale), but it wasn’t flannel, and I REALLY felt like this design deserved flannel on the back.

So the cotton I bought has been packed away in the stash, and this quilt is now in the shop!

FO: Mod Cats

Next up in the finished quilt parade…

My big, beautiful cat-themed sampler made as part of the Moda Blockheads4 quilt-a-long. This top has been done for months so I was thrilled to finally get it quilted and bound.

It was made mostly with the Mod Cats fabric line, with a few other pieces from the stash thrown in here and there. Not all of the blocks were part of the quilt-a-long. The cats, paws, flowers, and heart blocks were all additions I made.

I’d originally planned to use some grey cat face flannel for the back, but I wasn’t paying attention and made the top to big for the amount of fabric I had. But… I was able to find this sweet chunk of flannel that was just purrfect, and priced right.

And now.. this one is in the shop too!

FO: Winter Solstice

The first of my snowflake tops was quilted and bound this past weekend.

And as you can see in the background, we even got a nice coating of snow in time for the pictures.

The top is made from a great group of beautiful wintery batiks. Even the black background fabric. The pattern is the Jelly Snowflake pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop (with a few minor modifications)

For the back I found a beautiful navy snowflake flannel. And the whole thing was bound up with more cool blue batik. This is a quilt I’ve wanted to make for over a year. I’m thrilled to see it come to fruition – and it looks even better than I imagined it would!

It’s available in the shop now.

Burton’s in the Lead

We’ve been diligently snow balling strips and sewing them together as our Leader Enders. We completed another pile of blocks, and Burton wanted me to lay them out and see how many we had.

The answer is 36. It’s definitely not enough for a quilt, so we’re back to snowballing more scraps. This one is going to be in the works for quite a while!