narcissus painting 8″x24″

I’m not entirely sure these really are narcissus. The people who lived in my house before me planted very few flowers, but these are some that came up this spring. They were mixed in with traditional yellow daffodils, so I thought they might be a variation, with bulbs possibly all purchased at the same time. These bloomed two flowers per stem.

narcissussmall

I particularly like how the vase turned out.

8″x24″ oil on stretched canvas.

Available in my etsy shop. Thanks for looking. 🙂 SOLD, thank you.

odds and ends

A few random photos I’ve taken recently, of interesting things.

A lady out of town owns a small garden nursery. She has plants the Walmart does not sell, plus it’s nice to support someone small. She had these blue Balloon Flowers, which I had never seen before, so had to buy.

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I took the photos on a rainy day, so the flowers were hiding their faces. Between the photos above and below, you can see the blossom stages which give the flower its name.

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We bought an assortment of chickens, with no idea what the breeds were. We call the lady below Fluffy Legs, although it appears we should be calling her Fluffy Feet. I’m hoping she will get the full pantaloons, in time.

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Dog was barking her head off, so I had to take a peek. Could that be the very rare quill-less porcupine*? It was thirty feet up the tree, although you can’t tell from my photo.

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No, it’s a ground hog. Who knew ground hogs climbed trees?! A little bit later, it was fifty feet up the tree. I wondered if it was confused how to climb down, but by evening it was gone.

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Lastly, we had to buy the bread. Just because.

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*There is no very rare quill-less porcupine. You were right.

lovelies in the mail

I won a giveaway from the lovely blog, Happy Cottage Quilter.

Aren’t quilting people the best?

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I thought I’d be winning only one pattern, so I specified the one on the left, because I can see me making those potted flowers for sure. But then I won BOTH patterns, and I can also see me making the square rosette (is that a thing?). These will translate well into summer and spring wall hangings for next year.

Good thing we’ve all got so much time on our hands, right?

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I’ve never used fabric fusing, so this will be a treat. I’ve seen projects that call for it, but just sort of always muddled along without it. Having real tools to do a job right makes it all so much more pleasant, though, and hopefully much less frustrating.

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Look at that seam ripper! It has so much blade exposed, it’s quite unusual. I’ll bet it zips right through my mistakes, though. And who can ever have enough needles on hand? What a charming case in a great color!

Lastly, Jocelyn included the pretty fabric below. I just know it will find its way into a project soon….

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Thank you so much, Jocelyn, for choosing me as a winner! I’m so happy with my prizes.

😀

iris note

I bought this kind of iris bulbs through a fancy mail order catalog fifteen years ago. I loved them, each bulb produced a single flower perfect for cutting. In the catalog, it was called a “Japanese Iris,” and I thought maybe it was special since it has a bulb rather than a rhizome. Perhaps not a true iris? I’m not sure. But then year over year, the bulbs dwindled away, until finally I had only one bloom the last year.

I don’t know if it’s because I was in zone five, and the winters were just too cold. I do suspect that’s it. Every winter, people would say, “This year is a lot colder, for a lot longer, than usual.” After fifteen years, I concluded that the winters must be normal, and everyone just forgot quite how cold it could be.

This year I found my fancy bulbs at the Dollar Tree. Yep, four bulbs for a dollar. I don’t usually have much luck with Dollar Tree seeds–but when it’s four packages for a dollar, you can’t really go wrong, either. I took a chance on the bulbs, and then bought some more. I could see emerging growth on about 25% of the bulbs, so it seems likely they will produce flowers.

iris

This is my public service heads up, because this is a lovely flower I’d like everyone to have a patch of in their garden. Especially if you like to cut flowers for vases. I’m very happy to have found them again, and especially so reasonably priced.

evening knitting

To keep busy in the evening, when there’s a spare moment, I’ve been knitting a pair of mitts.

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I made up the pattern, fifty stitches on size 2 needles, and I really should have made them 40 stitches. I’d prefer them to be just a little tighter.

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I’ve never successfully knit those little bobbles before, so this was a first. I’m not sure I did it right; as usual, I just winged it.

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The yarn is from Hobby Lobby, it might be called “Honey Bee” brand. It had a little bee on it, anyway. I’d prefer the color changes weren’t so regular, but that’s of course personal taste. The texture is very soft, and it’s an acrylic/wool blend.

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Overall, the mitts are probably longer than usual, but I had to accommodate the tree pattern–I couldn’t stop knitting halfway through a tree, because that would have looked weird.

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I’m still plucking away, and nearing the finish line.

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Anything on your needles?

improv quilting

This is a longer-term quilting project. I’ve made a lot of half-square triangle quilts in the past, and thought it is time to expand my range.

I started with triangles, to make the background star. The flower in the center is 3-dimensional, and hand-sewn.

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This will be an improv quilt; I’m looking for new techniques to learn as I go along.

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I’m envisioning there will be an above-average amount of hand sewing. I enjoy the detail of it, and don’t mind putting in the extra time.

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Already I’m questioning my color choices. Too much aqua all at once?

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I don’t know how large it will grow–small, for a wall hanging? Large, for a bed?

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We’ll see. It will be a year-long endeavor, I’m sure. Do you have any long term goals for this year?

flirty little Christmas trees

A brand new year. 2020. I intend to get a LOT more projects finished this year. When I put together my photo compendium of last year’s projects, I noticed there was not one quilt completed.

That’s a little disheartening, you know? This year–well, fingers crossed I’ll have more time for projects. I’ll have to carve out time, if I have to. Remember there’s that quote, “Getting old is realizing you’ll never own all the dogs you want to?” I adjusted that a little bit to, “Getting old is realizing you’ll never make all the quilts you want to.”

The best we can do is fit in as much as we can.

 

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I’ve wanted to make this Christmas quilt for the last two years. Not so much the process of making it, but just having the finished project hanging on my wall. Sometimes projects are for enjoying the process, and others it’s for the finished product.

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Cheery colors to add a splash of holiday pizzazz to a wall. Or maybe as a table cloth, if it turns out large enough. But my intent is to hang it on the wall.

 

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I think 80% of the fabrics are Walmart pre-cuts. I picked them up because they were just right for the trees. And those moose look holiday-special, too.

 

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Not quite finished because I don’t have batting, but it came together in one day. Which, for me, is pretty phenomenal. Every time I thought I’d put it aside, I told myself, “Just one more step.” And then it was all pieced and I was so happy. At least I know I will have ONE quilt finished this year, even if it’s a small one.

I used this free tutorial. The blocks were 7-1/2×9-1/2 and trimmed down to 6×8.

Happy New year, everyone! Here’s to getting things done!