Big Spender November

I am sad to report, that No-Spender November has been a total bust.

It all began with a chair.

It might be hard to tell from the picture… But it’s not an adult-sized chair. It’s toddler-sized…. or as I thought when I first saw it – KITTY-SIZED. It was at our favourite used shop and was just $15.

And… all I could see was how cool it would look in the patio. So it just had to come home with me.

Dave’s already painted it in our signature green. I can’t wait for spring so I can put it out amongst the plants. And yes, I’m totally going to make a little cushion for it. Nothing but the best for my babies.

After buying that… it was just all downhill.

A few days later, I finally gave in a bought a basic metal bed frame. Our bed frame broke years ago, so we just made do with our box spring and mattress on the floor. But lately. Dave’s been complaining about the bed being too low. So a new bed frame was in order.

Of course, once I got the bedframe (which I ordered from Amazon – super easy to put together!), I decided I need to make a new quilt. There’s nothing really wrong with the ones I have – they just don’t hang over the sides as much as they should. Dave and I share a lot, but we don’t share blankets. And with the bed off the floor, my short blankets just look silly.

So… I went shopping for fabric.

I love the colours in my disappearing hourglass quilt, so I wanted to keep to something similar. Fat Quarter Shop had the above Fat Quarter bundle. Naturally, other things hopped into my cart so I could get free shipping.

The above fabrics (border and backing) were among them. Though there were several “just for fun” things including some cute cat fabric.

I managed to avoid the Black Friday Sales, but finally caved to Old Navy’s Cyber Monday.

And these two cute cardis are on their way to me now. And I know… I knit… but not fast enough and not for less than $30 a cardigan.

I’d like to say next month I’ll do better… but it’s December, so what’s the point?

January is going to be super thrifty though!

Kermie’s new threads

I am happy to report, that Little Kermit’s jumper knit up in a flash. I even surprised myself and had it cast on and cast off in just one evening.

I used this pattern: Pebbles Dog Sweater. It’s a very nice little pattern – simple and easy to follow. And like I said – knit up super fast.

It’s a pattern designed for a chihuahua, and since Kermit half chihuahua, I thought it would work well. I tweaked it just a bit to make it work better with the measurements Krista sent me.

And I learned an interesting fact: Apparently, many Chinese Crested dogs have allergies/sensitivies to real wool. So I made it out of some Patons Canadiana I had kicking around the stash.

Sadly, they aren’t the best pictures… but I don’t have a dog to model it on. (And I didn’t think the cats would volunteer)

I popped it in the mail last Thursday, so Krista should get it sometime this week. I’ll shared modelled pictures as soon as I have them.

Fetch

You may recall that our boy Burton isn’t just handsome, he’s talented too. And his biggest talent is playing fetch.

His favourite way to play is to have me throw the ball down the stairs. At the old townhouse, that was a lot easier, as the upstairs hallway was small, and both my studio and bathroom had a straight line to the stairs. He loved it when I was in the bathtub – that was his absolute favourite time to play fetch.

This house, of course, isn’t set up quite the same way, so we stopped playing fetch as much. Every so often, when I was working in office, he’d bring me a ball. But the game never lasted very long. After a few months, he stopped playing all together.

But then Lemmy came along… and all of a sudden, Burton started bring my toys to throw again. Last weekend I was working in the sewing room, and he came sauntering in with his sparkly ball. If you look closely in the picture, you’ll see Lemmy lurking behind him.

I threw the ball for him several times, and every time, Lemmy was hot on his heels. I never taught Burton to play fetch, it was just something he did on his own… but I started to wonder if Lemmy might pick it up by watching him.

Eventually, Burton tired of the game and went off to nap. But Lemmy was still a little ball of energy. So I tossed another ball for him. And not long after…

I don’t know if it’s something he’ll keep up as he grows, but it was certainly cute!

Let the indoors bloom

When I showed off my cool, blooming cactus last week, a couple of you mentioned that, with the size of my indoor plant collection, I must have a few other “bloomers” over winter.

And you’re right!

I have five different shades of African violets. Pink/white, solid pink, purple/white, light purple, and dark purple.

Only the pink ones are blooming right now. But when they are in for the winter, they stay under my grow lights, which really keeps them happy. At any one time, at least one is in bloom, all year round.

My goldfish is blooming. I don’t know if this plant has a “season”, but it always seems to bloom in winter for me. It was on the sun porch all summer and didn’t bloom once!

My white Anthurium has a couple nice big blooms. I have a pink one too, but it’s not blooming at the moment. I need to add a red one to my collection.

This mottled crown of thorns is also in bloom. I have a solid white one (not blooming at the moment), but I kind of prefer this one – there’s something so interesting about it’s greenish petals with the little pink blotches.

The pale yellow orchid I keep in my kitchen window is thriving. This is it’s second bloom since I bought it. It surprised me by putting up a bloom stem almost immediately after the first one died off. I was planning on re-potting it as I think it needs a bigger pot, but I’ve had to put it off. I don’t want to disturb it while it flowers.

I have seven orchids in total (all Phals), and I was very excited to discover that TWO more are getting ready to bloom.

I have no idea what colour these will be – I didn’t mark the pots, and I can’t remember what I had. I think one of them might be pure white, but I’m really not sure on that! Regardless, I am thrilled they are blooming again. My “trick” is to put them in north or east facing windows. I discovered this a couple years ago with one I had at my office – and so far it’s worked to give me these re-bloomers!

And last… these two aren’t bloomers, but I recently potted them and they just make me so happy. They were both candles that I bought specifically so I could put plants in them after the candles burned out.

Naturally, I put my String of Turtles in the turtle pot!

But for this grand lady, I bought this succulent specifically – I thought it would look so cool – like wild and crazy hair coming out around her crown.

Friday felines

As you can probably imagine, it’s been hard to get a picture of all four cats in one place. But the other day, I finally managed it.

Of course, it was in the bed I was about to make… but what can you do.

And no… Rupert was not thrilled about Lemmy’s proximity to him. The bed is 100% Rupert’s territory. Unless it’s nice outside, you can pretty much count on finding him there. Happily, Lemmy hasn’t shown much interest in the bed… unless, of course, I’m in the bedroom. Then his favourite thing to do is jump up there and dive bomb poor Rupert.

Happily, this time I managed to keep him distracted long enough for him to settle down. Still he insisted on being as close to Rupert as he could get.

Rupert kept a wary eye on him, but refused to give up his rightful spot. And eventually…

…there was peace in the land.

Yes… Lemmy is almost as big as Rupert, even at this young age. Rupert is a little taller and longer, but not by much and not for long. Rupert is a very small cat, and it’s not going to take long for Lemmy to outgrow him.

Gone to the dogs

Back in early summer, Samantha and family had to say good-bye to their beloved Labrador boy, Dozer.

And though he was ancient by Labrador standards, and lived a wonderful, happy, spoiled life, it’s never easy to say good-bye to a family member.

Especially for her youngest son Ethan – he was just a toddler when they got Dozer as a puppy. They were pretty much litter mates.

When Dozer passed, I asked Samantha if Ethan would appreciate a special “Dozer quilt”. She said he’d be ecstatic, so for months, I’ve been designing, planning, and gathering fabric.

I knew I would use this puppy dog block :

I finally had a chance to Dozer-fy it this past weekend.

It was tricky, because Dozer was a very special yellow lab. He was so light, he was almost white. And he didn’t have a dark brown nose, but a very light, almost pinkish one. I think I managed it with these fabrics though. I am going to do some stitching around his ear and belly make them them stand out a little more. But I’m very pleased with the result.

I have some bone and heart blocks to make, but once I get them done, this one should go together pretty quick. It probably won’t get quilted before Christmas, but will be one of my first finishes for the new year.

Walkabout Wednesday

While I think it’s a little too early for Christmas decorations (I’m a firm believer in no Christmas until December), I have to admit a little snow makes the neighbour’s decorations look a little less out of place.

This house is just a few doors up from us. It looks much more impressive at night (they have a lot of lights), but I do love the way they wrapped the pillars with red ribbon.

They also have these cute little guys on either side of the walkway.

A little further up the street, the welder has decorated the flag pole at his ship. Again, this is much more impressive at night. The lights go all the way to the top of the flag pole.

This house with two units has a really nice display set up (though I do find those bright yellow doors a little distracting).

And I love how this house decorated their front door. (But look to the left… they still have some Hallowe’en decorations out… lol).

Around the corner and down the street, this house has filled their barrels. This is similar to what I plan on doing with my white planter boxes…. though on a much smaller scale of course.

And last, I think this house is of a mind with me. They put up their decorations when the weather was milder, but are keeping them under wraps until closer to the actual Christmas season!

Next month, I’ll have to do a walkabout a night to get you some pictures of all these houses lit up and lovely!

Being sew-cial

Two more block have been added to our collection in the Sewcialites quilt along.

Lemmy seems to enjoy sewing days just as much as Burton.

Though they spent most of their time wrestling on the sewing room floor behind me.

Eventually they settled down into separate baskets and let me get some work done.

There’s 24 blocks in this series, and we’ve got five done so far.

Lemmy can’t wait to see what the next block is!

Under the snow

The snow melted, and the snow returned. Large parts of the province got absolutely dumped on the last couple of days! Thankfully, we don’t live in those parts.

But we did get some snow. And yet… there are still flowers…

Despite the fact that the nights have been below freezing, and the days are lucky to get above freezing, there’s still a few mums in the porch planters. In a couple of weeks, I’ll clear them out to make way for some Christmasy decor in the planters.

And these snap dragons are tough! This isn’t the only bunch with flowers still on them. There’s two or three that are still hanging in there.

And while his petal have looked better, this coneflower is still strong and upright – even with his little snow hat!

And though these guys are being stubborn, it’s safe to say the gardening season is officially over. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing growing.

I have my extensive collection of house plants to keep me going until spring. And one of them gave me a wonderful surprise this week.

Back in mid-summer, I bought this neat cactus (Hairy Rhipsalis)

It’s not spiky at all but soft and hairy.

It hung in the centre of the catio until I brought the plants in. Then I hung it in the sewing room window. It seemed really happy there, and it looked like it was growing lots of new shoots.

But I went in there on Friday and noticed…

They weren’t new shoots… but flower buds! And it was covered in them.

And such pretty little flowers they are….

Like beautiful little indoor snowflakes!