Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Final Hooray to Valentine's Day

Design - "Be Mine Valentine"
Designer - Ewe & Eye & Friends
Fabric - 32 count Flax Belfast linen
Fibers - GAST - 1 strand over 2 threads
Started - 26 February 2013
Completed - 27 February 2013

A funky color for a heart - this used GAST's "Hyacinth".  I like it.

I thought I'd have one last Valentine "Hooray".

This candid shot is for my maternal grandparents whose marriage I celebrated in a blog post back on February 14th.  I love their body language.  She has her hand on his leg, and he has his arm around her shoulder.  They face the world as one unit - united.  After 60 years of marriage they are very much a team.  

And now let's return to the world of plants.  
I admire the artistic nature of the plantings at NW Garden Nursery.

This area is bursting with a colorful range of Hellebores.

Here's a close-up of one that looks almost like apple blossoms.

The earliest of Spring bulbs are used to great effect.  This is Winter Aconite (Eranthis).

A variety of Iris reticulata


Snowdrops (Galanthus)

More Iris reticulata

This rose was covered in hips.

The distinctive spotted leaves of Arum italicum.
This Snowdrop look-alike, is a larger bulb commonly called Spring Snowflake (Leucojum vernum).
Oh I do love blue.  This tiny Siberian Squill (Scilla) is just precious.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Purple Heart, Frosty Morning

Design - "Purple Heart"
Designer - Ewe & Eye & Friends
Fabric - 32 count Purlpe Iris linen
Fibers - Anchor - 1 strand over 2 threads
Started - 23 February 2013
Completed - 25 February 2013

What a fun heart to stitch!  I love the color of the fabric and the bright pink and purple floss.

This morning dawned with a frosty sparkle.

This morning dawned with a frosty sparkle.

I find the frost serves to delineate shape and form of the most mundane of objects. 

Now the sky is still gray, but it is very mild.  Let's go for a walk.
This time of year the mosses and lichens dominate the landscape.
Once the Ash trees get their leaves, the look along the banks of the creek will be very different.

It is fascinating just how many different kinds of lichens festoon the trunks and branches of the trees.

I think this is Cetraria Orbata Lichen (Cetraria orbata-Thallus).  It Ranges British Columbia to California, inland to Montana in low elevation moist forests.

This is Xanthoria Elegans Lichen.  An orange/rust color it stands out.

We have lots of Lungwort Lichen (Lobaria pulmonaria) in the forest. 

Most of the Hazelnut catkins are a gray/green, but this group is brick red.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hearts and Flowers - NW Garden Nursery - Part One

Design - "Give Love" (freebie)
Designer - The Little Stitcher
Fabric - 32 count linen of some sort
Fibers - DMC - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 25 February 2013
Completed - 25 February 2013 

Each February NW Garden Nursery, a world famous hybridizer of Hellebores, holds a Hellebore Open House.

It causes a frenzy in the gardening community.  People come early, no matter the weather, and the line to pay for purchases is long.

I like to attend to look at the Hellebores, but also to admire the gardens that Ernie and Marietta lovingly maintain on their property. 

Their passion for plants and horticultural knowledge means that there is plenty to see and admire even in February.

Witch Hazel

Garden Art Girl

Witch Hazel

I think the glowing yellow tree is a "Chief Joseph" Lodgepole Pine.
Isn't it gorgeous on a gray day?
Witch Hazel

Note the 'real' clippers in the pocket of this Garden Art Guy.

This is truly a specimen tree.  The size and form is outstanding...

...and this time of year it is awash in catkins.

I have still more photos to share, but I'll save them for another day's post. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Four Hearts and Two Birds

Design - "Baubles - H is for Heart"
Designer - Sam Sarah Design Studio
Fabric - 28 count Zweigart Newport Red / Natural linen
Fibers - GAST & WDW - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 21 February 2013
Completed - 23 February 2013

What this on my most recent list of "Things I Must Stitch" posted just last Monday?  I think not.  Any yet, here it is - done.  I fond myself enamored of the the red and green color combo.  Usually that just screams Christmas, but in this case I think it hints of a Spring yet to come. 

Sunday morning while some of us were still resting...

Two Pileated Woodpeckers began conversing and flew into the trees nearby.

I've often wondered how many of these magnificent birds hang out here.

Now I know we have at least two.
Here's #1.

And here's #2.
I wonder if that bodes well for Baby Pileated come Spring...   

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Rodents Return

The cats have mentioned an increase in rodents lately,.
and they assured me that they are on the case.

They've spied two Gray Squirrels working the bird feeders off the Back patio.

Suspect #1

Suspect #2

At the same time a third Gray Squirrel was down at the Big Bird Feeder.

And if that were not enough, they've lost track of the number of brown bunnies hopping around at the edge of the berm.

The cats of indicated that the Douglas Squirrel requires further study as historically, it has been an infrequent visitor.
They also noted the presence once again of chipmunks.
Really, what is a cat to make of all of this?  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

How to Spend a Rainy Day

I've heard from several different furry people lately that this blog has become entire too 'bird-centric'. 

With that in mind, we'll take a 'bird break' today, and discuss how best to while away a rainy day.  

Catnaps are highly recommended!

Sleep in a cat-tube on the floor.

Sleep on a comfy bed.

Sleep on a couch.

Sleep in a cat-tube on a couch.

Feel free to take these ideas and run with them as you will!