Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Knitting, painting, and finishing The Wave.

 Hubby's away this week, all week, and I'm on a mission to finish up some projects while at the same time taking advantage of the freedom from meal making to relax a little. I am doing what moves me at the time while taking the time to breathe deeply, savor the moments and to just be. A good way to slow down is to pick up pencils and brushes.


Because it is done in my sketchbook, I'm not worried about the finished product. It's all about the process and maybe learning something new.

Last night, I took advantage of a lull in the rain to go out and pick a fresh bunch of flowers. I took this pic at dusk.My bungalow is small but it is cozy. I surround myself with the colors and patterns that I love at the time. The lampshade is a recent addition that I picked up from Home Sense. It is a soft gray with embossed trees.



Since I can't get around as much as I'd like (gardening is OK if I move slowly) because of my hip, I've been keeping busy with my knitting. I've finished 3 baby afghans all except for some end weaving.






When I'm ready to sit in my corner nest with ice packs or heat, I make sure I'm surrounded by everything I need for a while. The only thing missing below is my tea!


This is the Spiral Stairway shawl that I also started a few weeks ago. It's nearly finished. I love the variegated blues and greens. It is Borroco Baboli Lace.

Finally, I've taken  the time to get back to putting the finishing touches on The Wave which is based on a picture of my son surfing last winter on the south coast of Nova Scotia near where he lives.


Ha, I just noticed how the scarf colors match. All that remains is to add the batting and do some quilting lines. I struggled a bit with the water; I've not tried stitching it before. And I may have added more stitching than I needed to. Learning when to stop is an art. I'm pretty pleased with it though.

I'm linking to The Needle and Thread Network.










Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cafe curtains

I finished the runner for my daughter..


 This afternoon, I cut out the 1st valance for my sister's cafe. I'm not a technical sewer so it's a challenge! I've got one done, 3 to go. It took me about an hour.


I also took a few minutes to cut out some Angelina fiber swirls for the tulip piece that is waiting for me to finish. This is how it looks in the package.


One must pull out a clump maneuvering it into a flattish shape and press it between ironing sheets.


In the picture above, I've got swirls drawn onto fusible web and I'm ready to iron this onto the Angelina fiber, again using pressing cloths underneath and over top otherwise the fiber would stick to the iron.

It's very difficult to catch the sparkle with the camera. It is now fused to the piece ready for stitching. I felt that the fused fiber swirls needed a little more bling. The area also needed more interest.


I've got to get the valances and curtains done so I can get to the fun stuff. I always think things will be quick to do when it actually takes me considerable longer to figure it out.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Playing with scraps--bookmarks

Last summer, I developed the habit of doing small sketches with my tea at breakfast or lunch, of flora, fauna and flotsam that I'd picked up while on my walks on the trail or at the beach. I'm trying to get back into the habit. Today, I did a small one of a lobster claw picked up at the beach last weekend. My husband sighed when he saw me pick it up because he knew that the table would be gathering all these odd bits again. He complains, don't they all, but thankfully, he ignores it.


 After breakfast, I went out this morning to get the flat tire fixed and oh boy it is hot! I truly am happy to be able to retreat to my sunny, but cool, (thanks to A/C )studio with it's window onto the garden. I glanced outside occasionally while  I played with my painted canvas background and scraps. I noted but did not stop for photos when the robin siblings came to play in the fountain.

Instead of working on the runner and curtains that I should be doing, I've been playing with the fusible scraps that I cut out yesterday for the painted canvas background .

I arranged a small section and ironed the pieces down.



Taking this piece to the sewing machine, I proceeded to do some sketchy outlining of the flowers and leaves with black thread.


It really brings it alive doesn't it?

Next, I cut it into two sections about the right size for bookmarks. Then I decided it needed a little sparkle so I cut out some Angelina fiber bubbles that I'd backed with fusible.


The last step will be to attach a fabric backing (the blue) and zigzag the edges. Is it any wonder why I generally save these for gifts and don't sell them? They would be expensive book marks although they are fun to do--akin to cutting and pasting in kindergarten. very relaxing.

I just went out to answer the phone and checked the thermometer in the shade on the deck. 33.4C. I was my husband confirming our date for a quick supper at a family type local restaurant. Yay, I had more time to play today with no dinner to start. It's too hot to barbecue and he plans to head to the golf course afterwards.

I'm linking to The Needle and Thread Network.











Monday, July 13, 2015

The garden, a bedraggled chickadee, playing with fusible scraps

Well, we are having a run of sunny rather muggy, hot weather and I am so happy that we got the heat pump/air conditioner in last year! It is so nice to go out and do a few things in the garden and then be able to retreat to the comfortable temperature of the house. One big thing to be thankful for in my life right now.

This week, I am doing some sewing for my daughter and my sister-- a runner for a dresser that my daughter picked up at the second hand store, and curtains and valances for my sister's cafe. Pictures another day. I got the runner cut and pinned together with a backing, hence no pic yet, and the curtain fabric is hanging on the line.

So what else could I do but resort to a little creative fun? I'm justifying it because a friend asked if I had any bookmarks. I don't have any finished ones, but I did have a piece of painted canvas. I pulled out my box of fusible scraps and started cutting.


I will play a bit with the arrangement before ironing it all down and moving on to the fun part--some free motion stitching.

Then I'll cut it up!

While I was cutting, I glanced out at my raised bed and noticed that the beets were hanging parched over the side. I had to go out and do some watering.


I am using rain water from one of our 2 barrels that my husband set up.
I think the Swiss chard in the large pot is so pretty. I'm going to have to harvest soon and find some good recipes. I must see about freezing some.






I had to pick a few little flowers while I was about the watering, putting them in a glass salt shaker.





I caught this young chickadee in my fountain on the deck last night. They seem to like it more than the bigger bird bath in my garden.





They are so fun to watch!


There is so much going on out in my yard right now, I can hardly keep up. The sounds and songs of the birds, the gentle tinkle of the chimes, the changing light on the flowers and the garden as the day wanes. Much to tickle the senses and inspire creativity. I have to remember that and not get too frustrated that I can't bike or walk too far from the house due to the arthritis issues. I can at least get to the near part of the NB trail and I must be very thankful for that.

I over did yesterday (as I'm prone to do) and I'm going to try out a new massage place tonight to get some relief. I've been hearing a reports of studies on so many medications and their negative effects.

Oh darn, my husband just called and he has a flat out on the highway about 10 minutes away and its his mother's car. doesn't know oif there's a spare. I may have to go get him.

Gotta go!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

To market, to market, swooning

This morning, I went with two friends to two markets, a fabric shop and then for lunch. It is sunny and warm-- too warm for me to be out in the garden, and hubby has gone golfing. I picked up biscuits, homemade beans, an apple pie, a small pottery bowl (which I'm now eating fruit out of) and fabric that I'm hoping my sister will like for her Cafe.

A few blog posts back I showed my little sketch of wildflowers from the trail that I couldn't identify. Well, late last night - midnight actually-- I was finishing another sketch when I flipped again through the reference book. A commenter had written that it reminded her of Lily of the Valley which is true and I looked in that area and found it!

It's called Shinleaf because the leaves were often applied to bruises and cuts and most often on the legs or shins. It contains something similar to the drug aspirin. Interesting.

I did my latest sketch at the in laws place on the beach last night. It was so hot and humid here that my husband arrived home early from work, I made a quick chicken, cashew, pasta and strawberry salad with homemade dressing and we headed out.

At the beach it was slightly breezy, a bit cool and too rough for the kayaks, exhilarating though. There's always something to do.

I did ithis quickly out on the deck and finished it late last night when I couldn't sleep.

Last week, although we lost our swallow family thanks to a raccoon, I could not resist saving a few of the feathers from the clean up. They are so delicate and pretty. I'm sure they'll make it into my sketchbook one day even though I don't like to think of those little babies.

After making sure the garden was ok in the hot sun and repotting one tomato plant, I retreated to my cool sewing room where I finally finished my Swoon block!
 

 

 

 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Gardening and jam making

Yesterday, my son's fiancé's mom, Glenda, gave me the idea to try making jam the old fashioned way with no pectin. I came across a recipe that calls for the juice of a lemon plus rind with 1/2 - 1 cup of sugar and 4 cups of berries. I tried it with 2 cups of strawberries first.

Today, after doing some gardening, I picked rhubarb and made it with 2 cups of rhubarb and two cups of berries.

We don't use a lot of jam so this, plus a couple more batches of something different later on will do. I like that it is quite tart? I did some weeding and adding of compost before picking the rhubarb and coming in for lunch.
The raised bed is growing wildly. Next year, my husband wants to build up the area around the deck to make it easier for me to access. Is this not a happy scene with the line of clothes behind my veggie patch and deck?

It's a pretty small garden space; however, all the little areas, plus the pots along with the raised bed provide plenty of veggies for us. I get a lot of satisfaction from that and I feel content to be out on the deck and in the yard puttering about in the mornings.

Can you see that pot of lettuce on the bottom left above? I need to pick some.

Results from the nerve impulse testing that I had done on Monday showed that I have a pinched nerve in my back. Add that to that the osteoarthritis hip and knee problems, and I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself. To top it off, the ortopedidic surgeon needs more up to date X-rays, so I'll have to wait until late August to see her again. Then, I discovered that booking at the hospital didn't get the referral for the cortisone shot that I've been waiting over two months for. It's not likely that I'll get it before vacation as I'd hoped.

My usual activities of walking, hiking, biking, and swimming are mostly out, so puttering, however laboriously around the yard is a balm to my soul.

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The left hand pot has peppers and Swiss Chard is on the right.

After lunch, I cooked the jam and I'm now sipping an oolong tea while writing this. Shortly, I'll head into the sewing room where I'll progress a bit more on the Swoon block. It took me a while; I almost got it put together yesterday. Wow, lots of pieces!

While I was in PEI, (1 very quick night and a morning) , I visited my sister's cafe with my daughter and my mom for lunch.

It's a lovely quaint space with something for everyone on the menu: vegetarian, gluten free, and regular food. The meat for the burgers comes from a farm just up the road. Everything is cooked or baked rom scratch.

 

On the way home, I stopped at a concrete place and picked up a couple small pieces for the garden. I think the Bhudda will be happy here.

The gremlin hasn't found his spot yet.

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I'm still knitting on my 3rd baby afghan while I rest my legs. I love the soft colors.

Well, my tea is long since finished and I really must move as I'm getting sleepy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer weekend

My son, his fiancé and two dogs were here for the weekend. We were lucky to get a nice day for the beach yesterday. The dogs love the water which according to my husband was lovely. I didn't get in, but did get out with Josee for a bit of a kayak.

While the boys went golfing, Josee, her mom and I finished off the day with a simple supper of salads and lobster rolls.

Now it feels like summer!

The kids and dogs left around noon. Later this afternoon, I went for a short bike ride, coming home with my usual collection of wildflowers. I always manage to find something that I've not seen before.

And hubby found a tiny nest when he cut a dead branch out of the honeysuckle hedge. Perhaps a goldfinch nest. They seem to always be flying out of there.

The tiny pinkish flower is new to me, and so far, I haven't found it in my reference book.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Moncton for a doctor's appointment. Afterwards, I'm going to PEI for the night to visit family-- planning to take my mom and daughter to lunch at my sister's cafe, The Thoughtful Squash. It's quite a unique place built in an old service station a short drive from Charlottetown and not far from the Trans Canada Trail. There's a real variety on the menu, gluten free, vegetarian, burgers made from meat butchered just up the road. Everything made from scratch. Pictures when I get back.