Back on the block

This weekend was my first one at home in almost a month, and I made the most of it. It was a hot one (almost 30 Celcius), so while I spent the mornings and the evenings out in the garden (more on that later in the week), when it got too hot in the afternoon, I hung out in the studio and finally got some sewing done.

I had a fair bit of work to do to catch up on the Blockhead blocks.

Naturally, I did it all under the watchful eye of my feline overlord. And doesn’t he just look so proud of our blocks. I admit, I am too. I’ve said before I’m not a huge fan of sampler quilts, but working with these kitty fabrics makes it just so much fun.

When we were done, we laid them all out to see how things were shaping up.

Pretty darn good if you ask me! We still need several more blocks to make a quilt, but at least I’m not falling behind any more.

Tulip time

I have sad news to report. Dave’s Grandma passed on Wednesday night. We’re glad she didn’t linger in pain, but her loss will definitely be felt for many years to come. As you can imagine, the mood around the house is on the gloomy side. It makes me extra glad spring is moving along, and things are picking up outside. Dave’s Grandma loved flowers just as much as I did, and I know she’d be happy to see things in bloom in our yard..

There’s several pretty “bonus” tulips, as well as ones I brought from the townhouse

I just love the light frilly cream ones, and the pale yellow with just a little blush. Neither of those were mine, but a pleasant surprise from the previous owners. When they are done blooming, I’ll be digging the bulbs up to plant more strategically this fall.

And I don’t know about you, but I just the inside of tulips.

So neat.

The daffies are still blooming nicely, and I’m happy to see my frilly fancy ones survived the move.

Though I think I lost the small ones with the single peachy centre.

I’ve brought my seed trays outside to soak up some sun during the day

They still have to come in at night to avoid any potential frost, but they are doing well. The lupin are probably doing the best – you can see them just starting to form their signature star-shaped leaves.

My grocery store does a weekly promotion where if you spend $250 on groceries (not hard these days) you get a free item. Every week is different, but I was THRILLED when last week was a free hanging basket.

I chose this fiery begonia with a spider plant. I’m keeping it on the sun porch for now, but once we are past the danger of frost, it will hang on the porch at the side door for a nice pop of colour.

And last… I finally discovered why all those grape hyacinths in the catio haven’t bloomed.

And it’s not because Rupert likes to roll in them. It’s because they aren’t grape hyacinths at all…

They are Star of Bethlehem flowers. And as pretty as they are, they are also terribly invasive. These one in bloom are at the side of the house under the maple. It’s pretty dry under there, so I think that keeps them a little more in check.

The ones in the catio though – have absolutely taken over. If I can get the time this weekend. I’m going to start digging them out. There’s a lot of digging in my future…that’s for sure!

Friday felines

You all know that Burton is a bit of a particular cat. It’s probably my fault for giving him a grand name and title… but one of the things he’s VERY particular about is the desire to drink his water from a drinking glass. I’m forever fighting him off when I have a glass of water.

Well for some reason, I got the brilliant idea to give him his own glass he could drink from on the upstairs bathroom counter. There I could easily fill it up with fresh water for him, since he insists on accompanying me to the bathroom almost every time I go.

I worked out well, and he quickly learned that he could find water up there at almost any time of the day, as I’d refresh it whether he came in there with me or not.

And it was all good until one day, the water level got too low for him to drink and he decided to let me know by pushing the glass into the sink where, naturally, it shattered into a billion pieces.

I decided he wasn’t getting another glass glass, but I had to find something that wouldn’t break, but still appease his delicate sensibilities and look like a glass.

It cost me $10 for just one, but I found the perfect plastic glass at the grocery store.

Since then, all as been hunky dory. Oh… he still smacks it into the sink if the water gets too low…

“Excuse me…. my water cup is empty, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I just dumped it in the sink…”

Please note the water dripping down the side of the cabinet.

And Burton is not the only one enjoying this second floor refreshment bar. I’ve come into the bathroom and seen both Rupert and Relic up there getting a drink.

And sometimes…

There’s even a line-up!

FO: Bosnian booties

Finally, I finished the booties to go with the cardigan and hat for my coworker.

The pattern is Bosnian Booties. I’ve made it a couple of times, and it’s pretty much my go to now. I was even able to make them almost perfectly matching.

Vera suggested I make itty bitty pompoms for the booties to go with the hat…

I’ve ordered a mini pompom maker, but it hasn’t arrived yet. If it doesn’t come tomorrow, The booties will remain pompom-less. My coworker had her baby on the weekend – a little girl. I want to get this and the quilt in the mail as soon as possible.

Walkabout Wednesday

Regular walks have resumed!! And it’s sooooo nice to see the town in bloom.

For some reason, it seems to be only yellow and red tulips around here. I think I’ll cause quite a sensation when I have a whole rainbow of them in my gardens.

There’s one house here that appears to have as much enthusiasm for flowers as I do – the yard is almost all garden. And I was delighted to see hellebore!

This flower is on my to-get list. This is actually the first time I’ve ever seen it in person. They actually had several different colours, but I didn’t want to trespass all over their yard to get good pictures. These ones were fairly close to the sidewalk. Aren’t they stunning? When I get mine, they will go in the “woodland garden” I plan on making!

I loved the charm of this little pansy planter plunked on top of the old milk can. It looks like the frost got to the pansies, but it’s an idea I’m probably going to steal as I have TWO milk cans for the garden now (Dave’s Mom gave me one on the weekend).

And last, this is a house on the corner of our street. It’s evident that it once had border gardens beside the path and across the front of the porch, but they have been removed and seeded with grass. You could tell because there is a slight variation in level where the garden used to be.

It must have been filled in the summer or fall, long after the spring bulbs were done and forgotten about….

But the bulbs don’t care about the grass! What was it they said in Jurassic Park?… Nature finds a way!

Tiny Needle Tuesday

Thank-you for all your kind words about Dave and his grandma. Waiting really does make it harder. And on top of that, the ward she is in went on lockdown because of a COVID outbreak, so they are limiting her visitors to just two people.

We probably won’t see her again before she passes, so I’m thankful I took Dave both days this weekend, and he spent as much time with her as possible. But as he said, it’s the time he spent with her when she was living, not dying, that really matters – and he’s covered in that department. Not just lots of time, but quality time.

Anyway, as you can imagine, there wasn’t much time for tiny stitches this weekend. I was too tired on Saturday after we got home, but I managed a little bit Sunday night.

I’m a little over half done the final border. I really wanted to finish it all this weekend, but I had to remind myself, other things are more important and it can be finished later. In all honesty, I’ll probably work on it tonight instead of waiting for the weekend. I’ve already got my next project lined up and I’m itching to start…

I found the kit on the Joann website when ordering some fabric and I just HAD to have it. I mean Burton on a vintage sewing machine?… how could I not? Obviously, when completed, it will hang in my sewing room!

Knitting and waiting

I hope you all had a wonderful mother’s day (and thank you for all the well wishes for my Mama!). My brother and fam popped in to see her and had a wonderful day.

Unfortunately, things weren’t so grand for Dave and I, or his family. I can’t remember if I’ve told you, but his grandma had been in the hospital for the past couple of weeks. On Wednesday, we got the news that she wouldn’t be coming back home. Unfortunately, she would be moving to a hospice, the hospital was just waiting on an opening.

Friday, things took a turn for the worst. She stopped eating and drinking, and now it’s just a matter of days. The hospital is doing everything they can to keep her comfortable and pain-free, but there is nothing anyone can do but be with her and wait.

It’s almost a three hour drive for us, but both Saturday and Sunday, we made the trip to spend as much time by her bedside that we could. Dave played music for her and talked, while I sat by with my knitting.

This sock was actually finished before we went. While there I knit 3/4 of the second sock, but I haven’t taken a picture yet, so this one is all you get. It was helpful to have some cheerful colours to work with in such a gloomy situation.

Hug your loved ones tight, and stitch every stitch while you can.

Mama’s day

I’d like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mama’s of every kind and colour out there, but especially to mine… who proves day after day that she’s some kind of amazing wonder woman!

She’s healing from surgery quite nicely (staples are already out), and while she’s not able to be down in her studio as much as she like to be right now… she’s still crafting.

She’s been hand sewing these pretty little hexie flowers. I tell you, that woman is UNSTOPPABLE!!!

Bringing the sun

Our weather has still been mostly cool, cloudy and rainy, but there have been a few bright sunny days. I took one of them to clean out the weeds around the perennials I have inside and outside the catio.

It’s just small green things for the most part, but what you see there, are Lupin (both the old ones I brought from the townhouse and the new ones I bought last summer); Oriental poppies (I’m very happy about this, I thought I’d lost them and my seeds didn’t take); Liatris (purple and white); Chrysanthemum (I did lose a couple of the new ones I planted last year, but at least three came back); Tickseed; Coneflower; and Black-Eyed Susans. Not pictured I also have Bellflower, Sedum, and Speedwell coming back as well

With the majority of the weeds cleared away, these small green things can really soak up the sun and become big green things in no time.

I still have to clean out the weeds on the fence garden but I should be able to that this weekend.

Elsewhere…

The bulb box is blooming nicely. The tulips in there are just getting buds, but I expect to see full blooms next week if the weather stays nice. I’m really enjoying my daffodils.

And while the tulips in the bulb box may be slow, I got some surprise tulips elsewhere in the yard that are already blooming.

These ones are along the fence by the maple tree on the left side of the house.

One of the plans this year is to take down that fence, which was kindly, but hastily put up by our neighbour to keep people from easily trespassing on the property while the house was empty.

We are going to replace the fence, but we will put it up in front of the maple, which will give us another “room” to the backyard – and one with shade in the summer. But in the spring, it will also be the perfect place for a wonderful “woodland garden” with snow drops and hellebore, and lily-of-the-valley! Of course, that will be dealt with later in the season.

And last… prep has begun on the landscaping out front!

Ok, admittedly, it doesn’t look like much. Before we even knew of Alvinston, the house hard large cedar hedges in the front yard. At some point (probably not long before it was put up for sale), they were cut down. Only stumps remained. I’ve managed to get rid of the majority of stumps and the ones that are left, I can work around. This area is all going to become a garden ,but its just chock-a-block full of weeds. So… I took some heavy contractor grade trash bags, cut them open, and staked them down. Now, I just have to let the sun heat them up. That and the lack of light should kill 99% of the weeds beneath them. Then I can get out there, even out and amend the soil, lay down some landscaping fabric, and create the perfect canvas for a beautiful perennial garden.

That’s the theory anyway. Here’s hoping it works!