gardening


Wow, it’s been a while since I put a lovely post out in the blogosphere… I have stitched a bit, had a wonderful holiday break from work in December, and have been back to the daily routine for a while now, like the rest of you.  I started a new piece on New Year’s Day… didn’t really need to (does ANYONE need to?) because I have soooo  many WIP’s.  But, I couldn’t help myself.  I started “Holy Moses” by Silver Creek Samplers over one on 28 count antique ivory linen using the DMC with a few cotton overdyes.  I was only able to work on it two nights in January, but I’ve made some progress lately.  It is slow-going though, and I’ve reverted to a couple of the WIPs listed below for some variety.

And, I spent a great portion of my holiday break enjoying time with family, playing on my new Wii (love that thing), and watching movies that I’ve never seen before, that I’ve always wanted to watch.  For instance, I finally watched “A Man for All Seasons”.  Loved it.  I also saw “Miss Potter”.  Loved it.  I’ve been really busy with work, and I’m teaching a class this semester as well, so that keeps me on campus six days a week.  But, I’ve tried to take at least a few hours a week to stitch and watch a movie.  And, now the Olympics are on!  I’m excited to see all the athletes compete, but I’m especially excited to see the women’s skeleton races.  Noelle Pikus-Pace is from my neck of the woods.  I’ve only been able to spend a bit of time with her, many years ago when I was a YW camp leader.  She joined us on a day hike, which was very eventful.  And, she came over to our part of the camp for our week-long camping event.  She was a lot of fun to have there, and based on what I learned of her personality then, I’m not surprised that she likes to throw herself on a little board and glide FAST down an ice-covered track! 

I also did a bit of organizing and tossing out over the holiday and since.  Can you believe it!  I can see part of the floor in my home office.  And the parts I can’t see are only stacked half as high as they were.  I purchased two new cabinets that will occupy part of the space, and hold….. drum roll please…. STASH.  Stitching and now knitting, some quilting fabric, some other projects, art supplies for finishing.  And, as the King of Siam would say in “The King and I”: Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

So, there is more organization and clearing out in my future.  The Deseret Industries is my friend (our local charity shop) because they like my clutter, especially when I get a hankering to clear some of it out!

So, here are some 2010 stitching and other goals that I am already working to accomplish:

– Track the projects I have (COUNT the WIPS – ouch!).

– Clean out the stash a bit!

– Complete 1/2 of Holy Moses by Dec 31.

– Stitch each LHN ornament as I receive it (I’ve finished the first one, and am half-way through the second… so I’m a bit behind on this one already!)

– Finish stitching on: LDD’s All Our Troubles, BBD’s ‘Tis the Season and Quaker House, and DT’s The Riddle.

-Frame, finish, or giveaway all completed pieces!

– Lose twenty pounds and keep it off (I’m already over half-way there!).

– Plant another big garden, probably expanding this year.

– Finish a few household projects that need that final touch before they’re really finished. (I got behind a few years ago when I was doing so much homework!)

– Get my genealogy files organized and start verifying information we have in our records.

Since I made these goals in January, and it’s now the middle of February (can you believe it?), I’ll report that I’m doing okay on most of them.  Here are some photos of some WIPS, and two ornaments I finished for friends for Christmas.  They turned out so cute, I was sorely tempted to keep them and buy my friends something!  I sttiched these Prairie Schooler bits from the chart “Let It Snow”, using DMC and Mocha Belfast linen, with a great backing fabric from the Roman Holiday fabric collection, which was a plaid brown, red and white (you can barely see it in the second pic), with a mini pom pom trim I found that looked perfect, if I do say so myself.  They almost looked vintage.

Edited this post to show this great plaid fabric!

And, here’s the WIPs:

BBD Quaker House

BBD ‘Tis the Season

 I did have an opportunity last weekend and this weekend to do a bit of shopping.  Of course a portion was dedicated to a bit of stash enhancement.  I picked up some items from The Craft Center.  I couldn’t resist the BBD July stocking chart.  I eventually hope to stitch all of them, but this one was calling my name that day, and I picked up a great BBD Loose Feather chart, with the linen and threads.  They also had some charts on clearance for $2.  Wow.  I didn’t have the Prairie Schooler chart, and the DT chart came with the thread.  Couldn’t resist that deal!  Then, we went to two knitting shops in the Salt Lake City area.  First, The Wool Cabin, where I picked up the Noro yarns and some turbo needles in sizes I didn’t have.  And, then Black Sheep Wool, where I picked up the Mission Falls wool and the Rowan yarn (green) for some headbands for the nieces. 

Yarn Stash Enhancement!

This past Saturday, I found some steal-deals on some shoes (the sensible, ugly kind… for that’s the only kind I wear) and picked up four pairs of pants at $10 each!  Do any of you love Keens?  I’ve discovered that my feet really love them.  I love bargains especially when they help to increase what I can wear to work.  Okay, the pants are mostly casual corduroys, which won’t necessarily work when I have lots of meetings, but they’ll do on less busy days and Fridays and they’ll stretch the life of the other items I do have.  And, the best thing about the 13 pounds I’ve lost is that I have found more to wear in my closet!  Bonus!

That’s it for today friends.  Stay safe and happy.

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At home, I have a really big garden. (thus the “farm” reference in the title of this post).  I’m thinking of hanging a plaque and calling it the “Lulie Blackham Memorial Garden” for a dear friend that always had a huge garden… Now that she’s left this spinning globe for heavenly pursuits, I’m sure she giggles a bit to know I’ve spent so much of my time this year digging in the dirt and wishing I had asked her questions like “Which varieties of corn do best in our area, and what in the world can I do about all these grasshoppers?” before she took her trip.

I have a great new cedar fence that divides my garden (street side of property) from the rest of my backyard thanks to some great youth in my area, so that I have some privacy, and can create an outdoor living space over the next year or so.  I have a vision.  I will accomplish it.  No matter how many good intentioned neighbors offer to help me just lay the whole backyard with sod.  (Why would I want to water and mow just as much sod in the back, as I already have in the front to take care of… in an arid, desert climate?).  I do hope to get a gate built before the winter sets in, and – cross my fingers -get the whole thing cleaned and stained… not sure I’ve enough time before the snow falls for that though.

We also had some wonderful friends come for a quick visit from Nevada.  David and Jane came calling on a Sunday, and left Monday night.  While it was a short visit, it was a whirlwind visit.  I think Mom’s still recovering.  We had a big barbeque with all of our family on Sunday night, then we talked until late.  I went to work for a few hours, and then we hit the road.  We went to the Cheesecake Factory in Salt Lake for lunch, and then to The Wool Cabin, and Pine Needles at Gardner Village.  That was fun.  I was pretty pleased with myself.  I only bought two hanks of Malabrigo worsted (a navy with lime, and a burgundy with green to light green), and two skeins of Happy Feet sock yarn at The Wool Cabin.  There were many things that tempted me though.  Jane picked up some really nice yarns, and I think she will have a great time making something out of them!  She also found some really fun things at Pine Needles.  I bought a few small items.  Since that little jaunt to Salt Lake, I’ve been back a few times, so my pride in having some self-control was short-lived.

I have had my job re-written at work, adding more umph to my role, so that I can be more empowered to do some things that need to be done… vague I know.  But, it’s a good, and CRAZY TIME GRABBER thing.  So, I’m glad the garden is about finished for the year.

I have made more time for stitching and just being creative most days.  There isn’t much time for that, but I have been working on several pieces that I’ll show you over the next few days.  And, I’m at the point where I create the heel for my first-ever knitted sock.  It’s been in that state for a bit, but Jane’s visit was fun, because she knits socks like a fiend, and actually brought several with her just for me.  Jane told my mom, “It’s probably a good thing Laura and I don’t live closer…we do too much damage to our pocketbooks together.”  It’s so fun for me when I find someone who loves fiber and needles (any kind: knitting, tapestry, sewing, etc.) as much as I do.

I’ll leave you with a couple of pics of my recently completed “Lo, How a Rose” by Brightneedle.  I used the Weeks Dye Works threads called for on Antique White Belfast, except I switched out the Chablis and used GAST Old Red Paint instead. LoHowARose_Detail1

Finished!

Finished!

 

That’s it for now.  Aren’t you glad?  This is getting to be a long one!  I hope you have a creative day!

I’m going to be in Portland, Oregon for a few days at a conference.  I’m going to miss my mom’s birthday, but we celebrated Friday and yesterday.  We went to Chile’s… but I just have to say, I’m not that impressed anymore.  It seemed everything on the menu was a spin off of something else on the menu.  Or maybe I just need some good old cold cereal for a change!  We did run up to Salt Lake yesterday to grab some threads I needed for the Lizzie Kate Boo! flip-its project that I’m starting for mom.  My friend also needed some charms and buttons to finish a few ornaments. She’s been stitching up a storm.  I’ll have to get some pics of her finishes and post those.

I’m almost done with “Lo, How a Rose” by Brightneedle.  I’ll have to snap a pic when it’s completed.  It’s too late to get good lighting.  I have put some stitches in LHN’s “Hearts of America”, Blackbird Designs’ “My Quaker House”, and my “Mary Busby” reproduction sampler in the past few weeks. I have also started my first sock!  Knitting it, that is.  It’s been fun so far, and I’m looking forward to mastering this, so that I can knit them up quickly!  I’m a sock fiend, so I’m probably more excited about these things than anyone should be…  I know, you’re just enamored with the whole idea too, right?

I’ve also been in a cleaning frenzy.  Well, as much of a cleaning frenzy as I get into.  It’s been so hot, but I love the fact that we have central air.  We can just sit in our icebox of a house and really get things done.  The garden has suffered just a bit.  I’ve watered and pulled a few obvious weeds here and there, but no serious work.  We did pick our first batch of green beans.  We got a gallon freezer bag full.  Anyway, back to the cleaning bit.  I am determined to de-clutter each of my rooms here in the basement of chez Busby before snow falls.  I figure that’s a reasonable goal (even though I’m including our laundry/storage room, which is totally UNREASONABLE in itself).  I still have tons of work to keep up with in the garden and yard, but while the heat is prohibitive for my lily-white (read that WIMPY) complexion, I’ve been sorting.  I know, “sorting” really isn’t cleaning.  But, it’s the precursor to cleaning.  And, I’ll think a lot about the “sorting” while I’m away.  So, really, I’m making a lot of mental progress.  And, I spent about six hours in my bedroom yesterday “sorting”.  You DON’T want to know what I found in there.  Sometimes I think I must be channeling my inner teenager.  Okay, it wasn’t really that bad, just dusty.  It’s a wonder I don’t have asthma or something.  And, I found the missing half of one of my favorite pair of shoes.  Wouldn’t you know it was in the closet!  I now have a healthy pile of items for Deseret Industries, I actually dusted some shelves, and all of my laundry, except for my pile of sweaters, is clean.  Not put away, but clean!  So there.  I’m calling the mission a success.  And, when the whole basement is ship-shape, I’ll tackle the upstairs.  That will take some planning, because there’s another person up there who thinks she runs the place.  Hi mom… 🙂

Well, enough of my exciting life.  I need to finish packing and sorting the remaining piles of paper in my family room.  Whew…  come to think of it, I’m really looking forward to having someone else clean my room and make my bed for a few days.  A good few days in a hotel, with at least one room service event, can change my whole view of the world.  It may be just what I need to face the rest of the basement and the upcoming harvest season…

Hope you have a great week wherever you are, and that you take time to be creative.

Well folks, it’s been a very interesting spring here.  I have my veggie garden in, but with the huge amount of rain we’ve had (for our area) it’s not taking off yet.  It’s growing, but slowly.  I expect that my tomatoes will shoot up quickly in the coming weeks. I have taken a few pics of my little garden.  But, I don’t have them with me.  I’ll post them later. 

I have also stitched a little bit on The Riddle, and have been knitting a scarf from some Noro yarn that is really fun.  And, I won a chart on Karen’s blog!  Wow, I never win anything.  Well, I take that back.  I once won a drawing at Ladies Night at Deseret Book, but that was a diet cookbook.  Really depressing. 

I’ve really been enjoying having a little more free time since I graduated.  Of course, the first thing my boss asked was when I’d be starting my master’s program.  We’ll see.  Some of my free time last weekend was spent at the Hidden Garden Tour to benefit IHC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  There were 14 gardens on the tour from Orem to Alpine.  We left the gardens in Alpine to the last, because we were more interested in things we little people could afford to do.  We got caught in a big thunderstorm at the Magleby home in Alpine, and had to call it quits.  But, here are a few snaps from one of my favorite gardens on the tour, the Nixon Garden in Lindon: 

Tri-colored Beech

Tri-colored Beech

 
Shed with bicycle and arbor
Shed with bicycle and arbor
Nixon Landscape

Nixon Landscape

Nixon garden architecture close up

Nixon garden architecture close up

Outdoor room vignette - Old door with wreath and window

Outdoor room vignette - old door with wreath and window

Outdoor room vignette - old screen door with clematis

Outdoor room vignette - old screen door with clematis

 

I call this tree the Phyllis Diller Tree.  Note the bowling ball... no it's not a "gazing ball"!

I call this tree the Phyllis Diller Tree. Note the bowling ball... no it's not a "gazing ball"!

 
I loved the little girl statue on the right

I loved the little girl statue on the right

The only problem with the tour was that it got me thinking about how to change my front yard… when in reality, I need to actually landscape my backyard!  More pics to come in my next post!

 
 
 

Judith has let me know that she received her birthday exchange package from me.  I decided to participate in Edgar’s Stitching Bloggers Birthday Club this year.  It was really fun to put together some items for Judith and she likes them!  I’m glad she does. So, I can now show pics.  I stitched a portion of Country Cottage Needleworks’ “Summer Garden” over one on 32 count water lily linen, using the DMC the pattern called for. After selecting the pattern I would stitch, I wanted to carry the garden theme throughout the package. So, I used the stitched piece as an insert in a little padded stitching/sewing envelope and stuffed some little items in it.  I also added a little strawberry needle  emery/fob, that I created using the pattern on the Martha Stewart website. I had some scraps of coordinating pink fabric and overdyed wool felt for the leaves. I’ll make more of those little strawberries, it was so quick and fun.

judith1

judith2

As you can see, I added a few goodies, and most fell in that garden theme. The pocket contained some needles, a skein of Thread Gatherer silk (which I think was named something with roses in it?), and two skeins of Gentle Art Sampler Thread: rhubarb and sweet pea.  Judith took better pictures of the additional items, especially the chartpaks/kits.  But, since Judith said she likes Shepherd’s Bush, and I live 45 minutes away from the the Shepherd Bush shrine, I thought a few things from their shop would be good.  I included the pansy needleroll (one of my favorites), a shop exclusive kit called “A Garden Gentle”, and a Little House Needleworks/Crescent Colours chartpak called “Quilting” because she also quilts a ton! When Tina and Teri came to speak to the Swan Guild, they brought a fun little project of wool felt flower scissor fobs.  I was able to make mine at the guild meeting, and I just love it, because it’s lightweight, yet I can always find my scissors.  When I was at the Bush, I was really happy to see those little fobs on their counter, with scissors. So, I couldn’t resist putting a pair in the package also.  And, Judith had some beads on her wish list that I found.  I’m realy glad she liked everything and that I happen to live close to the shop of one of her favorite designing teams.

I also took a few pictures of the stitching in progress, so I could remember the size of the piece:

0531

I haven’t had much stitching time really. But I stitched last Sunday on “Lo, How a Rose”.  I’ll get some daylight pictures of that for my next post.  I really like how that one is turning out. But, I’m afraid that there won’t be much stitching for the next several weeks. I’m trying to put the finishing touches on the Swan Guild website changes, have some homework looming over my head, some big projects at work, family and church things and meetings, AND a garden to prep and plant the early veggies in.  Oh, and two new cherry trees to plant!  I love spring.

Thanks for stopping  by!

I really think that the weatherman is a bit confused, befuddled… or whatever you want to call it. Here’s why:

1) I purchased about $300 worth of petunias, perennials, soil, concrete curbing, berry canes, veggie plants, seeds… you get the picture. Everything for the yard and garden. I really am going all out this year.

2) I took last Friday off to extend my Memorial Day weekend holiday so that I could put said items into the ground.

3) I prepared my grubbiest of grubby clothes so that I could dig in the dirt and pull weeds.

4) I told Chloe the wonder dog we would be spending quality time together in the sunshine. She was really excited!

5) It rained last Friday and most of the day yesterday (Memorial Day).

So, I was able to get some things done on Saturday, but then came that Sabbath thing. Really. I think the apostasy really began when the weather was finer on Sunday than the other days of the week. Okay, I love the sabbath day, but sometimes have a wee little wish that I could steal some Sunday rays for things like yardwork. And, I could. But, I know how that goes. I’d really have a worse back injury, the weeds would grow faster, and yes, I would be spiritually un-fed and un-rested.

I also spent a few hours in the rain yesterday digging holes and planting new perennials to add to my corner perennial flower bed. I then collapsed, because you know I am not as slim as I used to be (okay, WHEN in the world was I ever slim?) and I’m a tad older (let’s not talk about that). And, I lifted six yard-long pieces of concrete curbing from the Camry/Truck on Saturday and felt that lovely little disc thing bulge out. I’m thinking between L5 and S1 again, or perhaps I was lucky to do this to another disc and hit the L4/L5 thing. So, a nap was required especially since Chloe collapsed with me. I figured that would be really no problem, because what else besides laundry did I have to do that day because it was really raining outside. The petunias would have to wait yet another day.

Chloe and I woke from our nap and saw the bright sunshine just as it was waning. I’m sure the sun came out as soon as I collapsed.

Today’s weather you ask? While I spent the day at work, inside a building looking at a computer, taking my Tylenol and wishing for something stronger… the sun is shining brightly. Figures.

So, although there are meetings and young women activities tonight, I think I’ll be able to plant some of those pretty petunias by the light of my headlamp once I’m home for the day.

Stupid weatherman.