Friday, July 29, 2011


This post is a bit top heavy with photos. Digital, so easy to just snap off a few hundred at a time.

I started out the year telling myself, no more yarn! and I have been pretty darn good about it all. Then I got cranky and said, "Finish your UFO's!" so naturally, I started sewing up a storm. The bad news is that I haven't been knitting much but the good news is that I'm getting around to making a lot of things I'd thought about for years.

Like a new apron. My old one was beyond description. It was pretty bad. I went to take a photo but then I though, " I really want to show the web what a yucky apron I've been wearing for YEARS?" Answer: No.

This one was made from a hand drawn pattern (on butcher paper no less stored in a manila envelope with a hand drawn illustration) that I picked up at the Sew-in"s RuMAge sale. Not bad at all. I altered it just a bit since I did not need adjustable apron ties. Easy peasy. I would like to make a few more.

One of my knitting friends is expecting her first grandchild, a boy so I just had to make some bath blankets. The last photo shows it mostly unfolded. You wash your child, put the little hood over their head and wrap them up. Dry. When they get older they run around and pretend they're Superman. It's a win-win situation.

Then I wanted another J Stern top. You can crank out one of these puppies in a few hours. I had a few things I wanted changed from my first try such as taking in the top of the front and back just a smidge. I folded a little dart in my pattern pieces and that took care of the gap that bugged me. Since it didn't affect the rest of the garment there were no other adjustments needed.

While I sew I get to gaze out and enjoy the view. I really do have an amazing sewing room with glass on three sides. Olive, the little homebody of the household has her special spot right in front. She has some flat rocks to enjoy the dappled sun and lots of unsuspecting critters rooting around in the ground cover to stalk and torture. She is a cat after all. They don't take prisoners.


I am experimenting with making gherkin pickles. I have a vintage book that is really wonderful. The main challenge is reducing the pecks and bushels down to what I'm working with, a couple of pounds of cucumbers at a time (heirloom French).


Whatever the birds leave me after they've worked over the sunflower heads I harvest and start up the next year.

The white gladiola just doesn't want to hang out with his buddies.

The Russian Sage has finally come into bloom.

A volunteer cosmos nestled down in the artemisia ('Sea Foam', if I remember correctly). I think the cosmos is called 'Bright Lights". I grew them years ago and they come up every year. Sometimes I transplant them but generally I just let them grow (usually in the middle of a path) where they germinate.

One of my stranger hydrangeas.

A heirloom hard shelled squash.

A trailing geranium.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Tis the season to have lots of little pots of flowers around the house.


(at last)

First out of the gate: one delish little Sungold.

Friday, July 15, 2011



Recently I have been on a sewing jag. I love knitting, and I love my garden but heck, I feel like sewing. With a little gentle nudging from The Enabler I am again trying knit fabric.

First off knit fabric, like knitting garments, is different each and every time. You need to come to terms with just what the properties are of the fabric you're working with and adapt. More or less stretch. Stretch one way? Both ways? Drape? Once you get the details worked out knit fabric is wonderful to work with.

At the sew-in The Enabler made up a very cool t-shirt that I deeply wanted to try for myself. So, off to the ether to order the pattern; it's an independent line (J. Stern Designs) so the local store did not carry it. It came flying into my mailbox then it was a matter of finding stash that would work for fitting purposes. As is my want I had various problems but they were resolved with relative ease. Now I need to find some super special fabric to make it up in again.


(It may never actually end)

I covered a piece of foam board with fabric to make the a/c window a little less utilitarian.


I recently became a little older and I had promised myself that I'd treat myself to some yarn. I've been A.Very.Good.Girl and staying on my yarn diet. I came across a pattern that I really liked, Soay, (a Ravelry link), that I might do a KAL with a girlfriend. I mean, sooner or later I'll turn back into a knitting demon. It's just going to happen.

Then again, I also treated myself to three new sewing feet for my machine, Lily. A pin tuck foot, a blind zipper foot, and a free motion quilting foot. I expect to get a lot of use right away from the last one. I have a Patrick Lose design I want to make up as a wall hanging along with three baby bath blankets, a placemat for Omar to eat off of, and a larger placemat for the cat food area. I'm on a roll here folks! I may need to get less sleep.

Sports weight, superwash merino from Madelinetosh, colorway, "Byzantine"

I bought it from Eat.Sleep.Knit and what a fun place to shop. You get little gifts (1st mile of the Yarn Marathon is now complete!), and I won a skein of Squooshy with the included lotto card. It just makes you feel special.


The Garden!

There are vegetables galore growing and ripening. I already have a bag of zukes looking for homes. Email me, I'll send you some - they're organic!

The just for the joy of it part is doing very nicely too.

Hanging begonias.


Another type of rudbeckia. Love the green centers.

The pond area. Sadly, Mr. Frog has moved on. I suspect he went looking for love. That or the heron who comes around now and again ate him. I'll go with the first part, he was a very careful bullfrog. I miss him and his big croak.

The daylilies are out in force.

A Western bluebird is feeling broody. Good luck. Watch out for Opal.


She is just worn out watching me sew.

Friday, July 08, 2011



Yes, it was time to flap my arms and fly over to Cactusland to meet up with The Enabler and sew our little hearts out for four days with 80 other like minded individuals. This year we had one extra day because we took a very cool class on how to make banners and mini quilts. Think gorgeous, bright wall hangings. I have plans to make up at least one for the newly minted bedroom.

I learned quite a lot and now have several new tops and one princess seamed dress added to my wardrobe.

I brought my two little dresses to add to the other 98+ that the overachieving Ladies Who Sew made up for the One Dress charity. It was stunning to see the collection grow with each and every one a delight of style and color.

The Enabler and Prince Charming had a new addition to their household. Meet Phred. A little furball of lip chewing, ear tip biting, snuggle down and purr for all he's worth tiny bundle of charm. I am a big lover of kittens, and I've seen quite a few, yet I have to say, Phred is something Very.Special. He started out hitting the ground hard being born feral and left behind when his mother moved her litter. He was bottle fed (and folks that means someone stayed with him or took him with them constantly because he had to eat every few hours) until big enough to go home with what is probably the best household for cats in Cactusland. I was glad to meet your Phred!

After the dryness of Cactusland northern CA seemed very lush. Things had grown visibly in the six days I was gone.

There are enough flowers to make up bouquets at will. The vegetable side of the garden has started gaining momentum. There are lots of tomatoes setting, and flowers on the beans. It seems a very long time since I ate a fresh tomato out of my garden. Soon, very soon.

You were with OTHER cats?

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