Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday's Reflections and Saturday's Plans

Friday was a joyous and sorrowful day.  Both emotions were personified with Processions.
I so enjoyed watching the Royal Wedding.  The pageantry, the mix of centuries of tradition with a modern, personal stamp.  The joy and hope and love that are part of any beginning - any marriage - royal or not.  The Procession of Carriages and Military Bands and of "Common People" moving down the Mall to Buckingham Palace.
Later in the day I watched a Procession of another sort.  The funeral cortege of Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilcullen. 450 vehicles - Police - Sheriff - Firemen - National Guard - from the state of Oregon, SW Washington, and Idaho were in the Procession to honor the first Eugene police officer killed since 1934.  A very moving, stirring, and sorrowful event. 
When I lived in Ireland I was next door to a neighborhood church.  Often I would notice a wedding in the morning, followed by a funeral the same afternoon.  Life is like that - giving and taking away. 

I'm enjoying stitching "Sampler Bunny" - I expect to have it finished before the weekend is over. 

Outside our patch of Shooting Stars - Dodecatheon alpinum - grows apace.  They are located in a very damp, deep-shade location.  I hope to have pictures of the flowers shortly.

My large group of 16 California Quail have split up into couples and smaller units.  I now see no more than 6-8 together at any one time.   

And I'm not seeing the deer all that often, though they did manage to walk up on the back patio and heartily chomp on a new fuchsia - "Double Otto" that I bought a few days ago. 

The weather - finally - is supposed to be wonderful this weekend.  I need to get out and take a census of my plants - what has survived - what needs to be replaced.  May is a great month for local plant sales and nursery tours - I must get organized! 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wildflowers - Stitching and Outdoors

I'm more than a little sleep-deprived from watching "The Royal Wedding"!
My sister, mother, and I all got up at 2:00am to watch.  

Oh so close!  I do love "Bouquet for March".  I think my color change for the violets was the right thing to do.  Now one cyclamen leaf to go and some "branch work". 

And now, "The Wildflower Report"

Equisetum arvense - Horsetails
Horsetails do not produce seed. Reproduction is by spores. Ancient Romans ate young fertile horsetails as if they were asparagus, and also used it to make tea and as a thickening power. It is found in a wide variety of soils; in moist meadows, forests, swamps, fens and alpine seepage areas, from low to alpine areas.

Heracleum maximum - Cow's Parsnip
Cow's Parsnip is a common, late spring-early summer, perennial, from 3-10 feet tall.  It is erect and stout, strongly scented and covered with long hairs. The stems are single, hollow, usually branched. The leaves are quite large, maple-like, and the flower heads often more than 10 in. across.  It grows in streambanks and open or lightly shaded woods - moist places.

Heuchera glabra - Alpine Alumroot - Coral Bells

I'm not sure that I've correctly identified this plant - I do know that it is a native Heuchera - but most of the plant details for native Heucheras state that they reside in rocks and crevises, and this is growing quite happily along side a trail about 10 feet from a seasonal stream.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Your Questions Answered!

The great thing about a stitching finish is that I can allow myself another start!  I fell in love with Homespun Sampler's "Sampler Bunny" the minute it was released.  It was an easy choice for my next stitch.  I figure even though it is vaguely Easterish, it is also Springish enough that it makes for a nice end of April / beginning of May stitch. 

And it has "The Brown Bunny Seal of Approval"!

And Now...Your Questions Answered!

1. Several people have asked about the camera I use.  At the beginning of this year I bought a Canon SX210IS.  It has a very powerful zoom lens (up to 56x) and an auto-stabilizer that helps with "long shots".  It also does a more than decent job with floral close-ups.  If you Google it you can find more info.  It runs about $279 which is more than I'd ever spent on an digital camera before, but I think is money well spent.  I'm certainly no Ansel Adams and this camera has allowed me to take some nice shots.

2. My last stitching fabric stash - I will use the R & R Pilgrim Brown to stitch Val's "Have a Heart" and the R & R Fitzgerald's Red to stitch Prairie Moon's "Mistletoe House" from a Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue.  The Vintage Magnolia and Lilac fabrics were purchased "just because" never know!  

3. The Primroses are a new patented variety called Belarina.  They cost me $4.99 each (much more than the 89cent box store primrose), but I think they are worth every penny.  You can find out more about them here.

4. My "Tinker-Toy" Ornament Trees are actually a Hallmark product from 5-6 years ago, and are "out of production", but I expect you could make your own with a box of Tinker Toys.

5. Clos du Bois:  I am fortunate to live on a sizable piece of property.  The acreage includes many different ecosystems including: Wetlands with two seasonal streams, Forest with Fir, Pine, Oak, Ash, Maple, Madrone, Dogwoods, and Cottonwoods; Meadows, Deep Shade, and Sunny Clear-cut areas.  It is on a hill so there are also different levels of elevation - the house site is on top of the hill which makes for some nice vistas.

And now folks I've got to power up so that I can get up Thursday night / Friday morning at 2:30am to watch (live) The Royal Wedding! I so remember watching Charles' and Diana's wedding oh these many years ago. Now a generation's worth of time has flown by, and it is time for her son to marry.  I can't wait to see the dress!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lizzieland and Hostland

Design - "Flora McSample's Stitch Lesson Sampler"
Designer - Lizzie Kate
Fabric - 28 count Lilac Cashel linen
Floss - WDW & Crescent Colors
Started - 16 April 2011
Completed - 25 April 2011

Pretty cute and a nice piece for a youngster (pre-teen, early teen) to learn some new stitches - Rice Stitch, Fan Stitch, Rhodes Stitch, Eyelet Stitch, and Satin Stitch - and working with beads.
While the rains and cool weather continue, Spring nonetheless attempts to "March on to May".

How can you not be happy looking at this Pansy? 

And I am so pleased with my Hostas...

I over-wintered them on the front porch - just shoved the pots under an old picnic bench.

We had two or three spells of very cold weather - 10F-15F and I took no extra precautions...

It would appear that almost all the Hostas survived and are getting ready for another year's show.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Garden Grumble or Two

I'm in a Grumbly Mood...
Though you'd think this array of linen would perk me up!
R & R Pilgrim Brown, R & R Fitzgerald Red, WDW Lilac, and Lakeside Linen Vintage Magnolia... I guess they do, a bit... 

 Given how wet and cold this Spring has been, it's hard not to Grumble.  So I'll Grumble!  Saturday was nice, but Sunday the rain returned and Monday was cold, rainy, and windy - the rain gauge at 0.5" once again.  The forecast for the next few days calls for cool temperatures and rain showers.

So I guess for this edition of The Tuesday Garden Party, I should be extra thankful for the Front Porch, and my October Potting Efforts!
Protected from the wind and weather, Martinette continues to bloom.

And Bell Song has finally come into its own.

The sky-blue Muscari azureum too are happy enough.

I cannot overstate the wonderful performance of these Belarina Primroses.  I bought then in early March, and they've had loads of non-stops blooms since that time. 

This is another muscari - technically it is in the front flower bed, not the front porch...It has just begun to bloom - I think it's going to be a show-stopper!
And delicate Minnow - lovely!  I guess I have more going on than I'd originally thought, and not much to Grumble about after all!  Stay dry! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Morning Progress Report

Here's what I've done on "Flora McSample" - not much - a letter and a couple of sheep. I ended up taking it easy this weekend...not much stitching...
A little reading and alot of napping!  The perfect weekend truly.

Ironically, I did not see the Easter Bunny Sunday...
He must be a sneaky guy!

Chip the Munk came for an Easter Treat...

"Thanks for Sunflower Seeds!"  

"It's an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, right?"  

Working on filling up those cheek-pouches...


"Thanks Lady!"

"Hey! What about me!?!? I'm pretty cute too...and hungry!!!"

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

A Stitching Reprise for Easter.

Design - "Gingham Bunny"
Chart - "The Bunny Collection"
Designer - JBW Designs
Fabric - 28 count White Cashel
Floss - DMC, WDW
Started - 11 July 2010
Completed - 12 July 2010

And here are a few more bunnies from my collections...

The brown Easter Bunny!

Paper-Mache Bunnies

Debbie Mumm Bunny Mugs

Glass Bunnies.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

All Things Easterish

Design - "Happy Hoppy" (A Pocketbook kit) 
Designer - Lizzie Kate
Fabric - 28 count Spring linen
Started - 11 March 2008
Completed - 15 March 2008

Friday was all about the trees outside, but this time of year I have quite the Inside Tree Collection!

Pastel Eggs on a Wrought Iron Tree

Mini Eggs on a Small Faux Tree

Lime Eggs on a Tinker-Toy Tree

Mini Eggs on a Faux White Tree

Blue Eggs (my favorite color - note the wall color: Brazilian Blue)
on another Tinker-Toy Tree

Friday, April 22, 2011

Having a Good Friday

I'm proud of myself!  I rescued "Sweet Winter" from its less-than-benign-neglect and worked on it last night.  As you know I'm having issues with the whole "over one" thing...unnecessarily perhaps.  The stitching went very well. I finished up the alphabet, the numbers, and the swans are almost done too.  A couple more flowers to finish up and the flower pot - maybe I'll be finished with Winter before Summer begins!  

A Contemplative Walk is a nice way to observe Good Friday. 
Let's look at trees and shrubs...

I found the combination of moss and bark on this Ash tree to be beautiful in its own right.  The Ash on our property are some of the last trees to get their leaves in the Spring, and the first to loose them in the Fall.

Chartreuse is an early Spring color and the towering Cottonwoods down the Dorothy's Creek fit the bill.  In May we will be awash with clouds of white Cottonwood seeds.

American Pussy Willow - Salix discolor
 Before the male catkins of these species come into full flower they are covered in fine, grayish fur, leading to a fancied likeness to tiny cats, also known as "pussies". The catkins appear long before the leaves, and are one of the earliest signs of spring.  These have been out now for several weeks.

The flowers and new buds of a Big Leafed Maple - once again chartreuse is the color of choice!

And I love the combination of bright pink and green on the new growth of the Vine Maple - Acer circinatum .  Lots of people (including foresters) consider Vine Maple a pest as it grows in the understory of much taller forest trees.  But my Grandmother (the daughter and wife of loggers) asked the men in her family to bring her bouquets of Vine Maple. In the fall the leaves turn a brilliant array of autumnal colors. 

And this is Dorothy's Creek - it provides the moisture needed by the Ash and the Cottonwoods.