Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Swap happy

Earlier this month, KathyB set up a little discloth swap - and I got my package on Monday.
Three lovely cotton clothes. I just love the speckled yarn.
She also popped in a lovely card and these cute little magnets.
I sent my package off to her the other day, hopefully it makes her smile as much as this did for me!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Home for a gnome

I've mentioned in a a few previous garden posts, that the tree garden got a bit of a makeover this year. Actually, it started last year, when I stuck a few bits of leftover ground-cover sedums in it. When everything else was dying in the high heat of summer, they were still looking fresh.

While having the garden there is nice, it's tough to keep things alive in it for long. The branches keep out most of the rain, and the tree roots suck any avaiable water up so quick there's nothing left for anything else.

But it's the perfect place for the sedum to shine. By spring, the handful of clumps I'd planted were well on their way to taking over. So I pulled out the remaining non-sedums (some dianthans, campanula, etc.), and bought some stonecrop, some iceplants, and hens and chicks... all succulents that would do well with the sedum.

And they have done well - far beyond my expectations
The sedums absolutely took over, filing in every inch. Of course, with the sedums, it's a much smaller scale than the previous garden, so I thought it would make the perfect home for...
A little wee gnome. He is making himself right cozy - as you can see he's already got a little bird bath.
And this lovely little bridge to travel to meet his little frog friend (who, incidentally, the squirrels feel quite fond of as well. They keep stealing him and I find him half buried a few days later.) He also has a little toadstool and a wee wishing well. I was hoping to do more for him, but much of that fairy garden gear is quite expensive! (Especially considering how small it all is!) Maybe next year.

For now he's just enjoying being out and about among the sedums
 Especially this lovely dark stonecrop!
Definitely need a few more of these next year.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


The dishcloth blankie is growing... albeit slowly
Those rows are long, and it's getting heavy so it's a little tough on the arms after a while. But I've managed to add a couple of colours since the last time I shared it.  I'm about a third of the way through, so I've just got to put on some good TV and try to plow through it.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


There's always something going on in my little backyard, and as you know, I quite enjoy the comings and goings of our little visitors.

The White Cabbage Butterflies are regular visitors. 
While I wish we'd see a few different butterflies, I'm always happy to see these guys flitting about.

The raspberries have been a popular destination for a variety of pollinators including this Mud Dauber and his Bumble bee friend
We've had quite a few paper wasps too.. but thankfully they haven't been aggressive or bothersome.
Be careful when you lean into smell the roses
You never know who you're going to find in there (in this case, a yellow sac spider.)

And speaking of spiders
This fuzzy little jumping spider found a comfy spot under the mailbox.

And I didn't actually get to meet this last visitor
 But he left me his shell to let me know he stopped by. He and all his other Cicada friends have been spending the last few weeks serenading us. Sometimes there's so many of them out there, it sounds like there are rattlesnakes in the trees!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Felines

Uh... Rupert... Peno is NOT going to like that...

"No fair. She can't claim dibs on ALL the cat furniture."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Going.... going... still going...

The poor handspun cowl has been terribly neglected as of late.
 It's my lunch/travel project, but I've been working through my lunch hours, and other than the trip to Owen Sound, there hasn't been much travel.

I have managed to put a row or two on it here and there, but as I'm planning on knitting this until the yarn runs out, I've got quite a ways to go...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The beginning of the end

While the days may be hot and muggy, I know autumn is creeping up on us. Not by the calendar (September is only a week away!), but by the Sedum.
In a week or two it will be in full bloom.
And while my blackberry harvest was bust, I'm going to have a bumper crop of autumn raspberries. It's looking like there will be even more than we had in the summer crop.
My tomato harvest remains pitiful. We had about six yellow pear tomatoes and these two grape tomatoes. I think next year, I'll stick to my cherry tomatoes. They never dissapoint.
The bumblers have been out in full force, gathering up whatever pollen they can before the cold weather sets in.
They love the Foxglove too, which is blooming quite nicely.

While I don't generally like to rush summer, this one has been so hot and uncomfortable the last two months, that I have to say it - I'm really looking forward to fall!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Questions, answers and all that jazz

I have been knitting, but its all boring old garter stitch, so I've nothing interesting to show.
So here's some answer to KathyB's questions instead:

1- Have you ever won an award? 

As kids we entered the local fairs every year (baking and crafting), so I racked up quite a few ribbons. In school, I was rather studious so I got quite a few – notable ones include the Women’s Institute Speech Writing first prize (my speech was about the Lynx) in Grade 6; 
the French Award at “Graduation” in Grade 8 (this one wasn’t really due to me being exceptional, just that we’d moved across school board lines, and the board we’d moved into was a year behind the one I came from – so really, I’d already done all the work; and Grade 12 (high school graduation), I won the Art award.

2- Do you like the baby blanket below? 

Not bad, though I’m not keen on the colours, and all that garter stitch would probably make me a little buggy. KathyB said it reminds her of Charlie Brown’s shirt…. But for that you need this. :)

3- What's your favorite gauge to knit in?

I tend to prefer a fingering weight. Though every once in a while, a chunky is nice for instant gratification.

4- Where was the best cup of coffee you ever enjoyed?

I don’t drink coffee. BLECH! Every once in a while, I’ll have an ice cappuccino from Tim Hortons, but I get annoyed  when they go too heavy on the coffee part.

5- Do you have a favorite family recipe that has been passed down for a few generations?

Our chocolate chip cookie recipe. I don’t even have the actual recipe any more. Mom taught it to us when we were kids (it was one of the things that got us ribbons at the fair), and I’ve made it so many times, that I don’t actually use measurements anymore. I just dump stuff in until I get the right consistency. Dave thinks its magic (though he prefers our peanut butter cookie recipe, which has been around just as long.)

6- Did you know you can have a conversation in the message section of Facebook with someone out of the country?

Yep. I use messenger with selected friends, though none are out of  the country at the moment.

7- Is it harder to send the kids to kindergarten or college?

I don’t have kids, though I imagine it’s hard for both. Of course, college probably isn’t as bad when they are going to one close to home like I did. Though when I moved out a couple of years later, apparently Mom did have a bit of a cry on the drive home (and I was only 15 minutes away.)

8- I think pattern are so much better written now than years ago.  Do you?

I think it depends on the pattern. I’ve come across some indie patterns which were terribly written, though I guess the majority are better – I don’t often see vague things like “Reverse shaping on opposite side” any more. They usually spell it out.

9- Ravelry really changed our craft and our communication. Do you have an old pattern that a family member passed down to you? 
I have several old pattern books (most are from Patons) from the '40s and '50s. I found they were fantastic for learning basic things like plain mitts and baby booties.
 Mom has quite a few old books in her library and I imagine they will be mine one day.

10- When is the last time you traveled with your pet in a car?

Bringing Rupert home from the shelter two months ago. He was very quiet. That’s one thing I’ve learned about him. When he’s upset, he doesn’t make a peep. When he’s content, he doesn’t shut up!

Monday, August 22, 2016

FO: Handspun cardi

I know I already did an FO post for this one (you can read the details here), but Mom and I were finally able to do a proper photoshoot for this one.
We stopped at our favourite fish n' chips place, which has a lovely little park by a fast flowing river  - the perfect spot for some photos.  
I love everything about this cardigan.
I love the colour and how the handspun stripes.
I love the fit.
I love how it goes with almost all my dresses. Wearing this one again made me extra sad that the Alley Cat one is too small...
 But I suppose I can always knit another.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Little 'Bella

It's been a while since I've showed you the girls' cat, Miss Poubelle-a. But when we took the girls home, I got a chance to play with her and do a little photoshoot.
She loves the camera and happily poses. And she's got huge eyes for such a little cat!
She's made herself right at home and is now best buds with Zappa
Who's just as handsome as ever
But he doesn't like the camera as much as little Bella
though she's got quite the little playful streak, too.
It's just too bad I can't bring her home with. She'd make an excellent companion for Mr. Ru.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

On the road again

As you read this, Mom and I are likely on the long road north, returning the monsters to their monster cave.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a little project Miss Pee worked on while she was visiting. The local fair is coming up soon, and she wanted to make a quilt to enter. So with the guidance of Mom, she cut and pieced all her squares
Sewed them together for the top
And then put it together with the back and got to machine quilting
And look at that quilting...
Not a pucker in sight! Only 1/3 my age and already a better quilter than I am.... I've really got to up my game!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Felines

You asked for her.... you got her...
"I will play with him. I will eat beside him. I will even let him sleep with me. But let's get one thing straight. This is MY curl. MINE! If I catch him in it... he's one dead kitten."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Garden treasures

A few treasures from the garden this week:
The Foxglove, despite being pretty broken when I bought it, has bounced back and is performing beautifully now. 
It's sent up several new bloom stems, so I should have flowers right into fall.
Without Tux around, the catnip has flourished. It's blooming again too - such tiny little flowers. I had to cut it back because it was taking over the gardens.
The roses are all doing really well, but Chicago Peace is really showing off this year. Most of the flowers are a light peachy-pink, but the other day I came out to this vibrant beauty.
The surprise sunflowers are doing really well. Half the height of the fence now.
The Butterfly bush has started to bloom. It's not doing as well as last year, but at least it's blooming. I'm hoping it will bounce back next spring.

And while I lost most of the blackberries to a fungus...  I got a few, and they are ripening nicely.
 Another Anemone has bloomed - and this confirms it - I got some sort of weird double-blooming version. I'm not complaining - it's beautiful - just not what was advertised on the package.

Have you ever planted something that turned out different than what you were expecting?