I haven’t taken enough pictures of Pixel. Here he looks so sweet and innocent, doesn’t he? We just started going to training classes, and he’s catching on, I just need to work harder at being consistent with him. As I’ve been sitting here editing his photo and writing, he’s been barking at Winston for stealing his chew toy. Ahh, puppies.

I’ve still got a lot of cleaning up to do, but I’m happy enough with the site as it is for now. I still have all the pictures from my missing posts, so I may try to duplicate some of them. Things have looked a little messy around here lately, though, so I think I’ll look on this disaster as a chance to start fresh. I might even go through and delete some of the more whiney posts from past years.

p.s. I used the apricot glow action from besotted blog on the photo. I like what it does for my little guy here, isn’t it pretty?

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a simple thing

I had so much creative ADD this weekend, I just kept flitting from one project to another. There were hexi-puffs and leather bracelets and a trip to the thrift store where $9 worth of treasures were bought. I sawed down some boards to make a background for food photos, and made some fabric napkins out of a blouse from the aforementioned thrifted treasures. And then there was all the laundry, cooking, cleaning, and errand-running that I also squeezed in. I'm getting tired again just thinking about it all! I need some longer weekends to do everything I want to do. Anyway, there will be more on all those things as I finish them (except not the laundry or cleaning, that was all very boring, and it's never done, anyway). 

image from www.flickr.com
I did manage to finish a very little porch project, however. After my succulent in a teacup, which still looks as good as the day I planted it, I had a hankering for more succulents to dress up the dining table out there. I found this perfect little tin planter at my favorite nursery, and picked out some pink, green, and white succulents to fill it up. I probably could have squeezed in another plant or two, but I can live with a little space between plants for now. I'd write up a tutorial, except it would be very short: get a container, get some cactus mix, and get some plants, arrange the plants pleasingly in the container, adding cactus mix as necessary. 

image from www.flickr.com
Isn't it so photogenic? I could become a crazy succulent aficionado, I think. They are weirdly addicting. It's a simple little thing, but so pleasing to look at.

image from www.flickr.com

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the porch, summer 2011, so far

One of the best places to spend a summer evening is on our porch. This is just a corner, but it's coming along nicely. I have a few projects planned for the coming months, like sanding and repainting that chair 🙂 Our house is little, so I want to use more of the porch, it's really like having an extra room or two. Yesterday I took a lunch hour trip to the nursery and picked up just a few little plants. The largest pot was already planted with mint, sage, and a lemon scented geranium.

image from www.flickr.com

We have lots of bits of wood around the yard from our oak trees that all died and had to be cut down. One log in particular caught my eye the other day. It was completely hollow in the middle. A squirrel had used it as a hiding place recently, driving the dogs crazy, since they couldn't reach inside to get it out. I put it outside the fence to allow the little bugger a chance to escape with his life, and wouldn't you know it, he was still there the next day. We have a few grey squirrels and some of their homlier brown cousins living in various trees in the yard. They're cute, but they torment and tease the dogs, and eat my tulips, so I am not a huge fan. I didn't feel too bad about turning one of their little hideouts into a planter for my porch. 

image from www.flickr.comMost of the bark was already off, to I just pulled off the remaining bits and gave it a quick sanding to smooth away some of the roughness. Then I just popped a little pot of lemon thyme in it. I love it!

image from www.flickr.com

I've also been cleaning out our shed, and found that little green basketweave California pottery piece. I like the contrast with the golden oregano.

image from www.flickr.com

The other pot has a rue plant that I hope will fill out and blossom soon. I also added a little straw flower for some color, and a succulent in a broken teacup to my bright yellow table.

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
I like the mismatched look of all the different pots and plants. My next woodshop project will involve a planter for more succulents to sit atop the table on the other side of the porch. I hope it works out so I can show you that soon!

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spring and inspiration

I've enjoyed the cold winter weather these past few months. Handknits and boots and sweaters are nice. But spring is my favorite time of year. I can't get enough of spring flowers, and I love the green hillsides, the buds on the lilacs and Easter and my birthday. The longer days boost my energy, and I want to soak up as much fresh air and sunshine as possible, despite spending eight of those sunny hours indoors at work five days a week. 

I'm still loving the daffodils in our yard, and picked an enormous bunch today. With each new type that blooms, I declare a new favorite. Today I love the little apricot ones (center left).

image from www.flickr.com

Of course I can't forget the tiny grape hyacinth and snow drops with their green-dotted bells.

image from www.flickr.com
We don't have any ranunculas in our yard, but Trader Joe's was well-stocked the other day, so I brought these peach beauties home for just $4.

image from www.flickr.com
What are your favorite spring flowers?

While in Spokane, I got to spend a fun day browsing antique shops and malls with my sister-in-law (her excellent finds are here). I showed you the elephant pitcher I couldn't resist as we were checking out of our last stop, but that's hardly all I brought home. 

I also couldn't resist this tiny pink dress, not with it's $5 price tag (actually, the shop owner quoted me $6 and then lowered it as I got ready to pay). 

image from www.flickr.com

I've been wanting to start designing some knitwear patterns, and one of my first ideas is a sweet little baby cardigan. The details on this dress are providing all sorts of inspiration, and I am thinking I will document the design process here as I figure it all out. I hope you don't mind. 

I love this round, smocked yoke:

image from www.flickr.com
And the miniscule embroidered pocket:

image from www.flickr.com
I have a couple things to finish up, but once my needles are free, I have the perfect pink yarn and a head full of ideas to turn into a sweater.

I'm also enjoying playing around with the video camera on my phone, and I so loved the lodgepole pines surrounding my brother's house in Spokane. I'm still figuring out all the editing, but I rather like this brief glimpse of the wind bending the trees.

 Did you catch that brief glimpse of my nephew and his chip bag kite? I will have to tell you more about that, but in the meantime, here he is with his "smile for the camera" smile, curved lips just like a smiley face. He is the funnest 7-year-old I know, and I miss him already.

image from www.flickr.com

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Autumn to-do list

What are you planning to do this Autumn? Here's what I want to accomplish by the end of the year:

  • Finish Christmas shopping/making by the first week of December
  • Find the perfect  cream of mushroom soup recipe (I think I'll start with this one, Ina never lets me down!)
  • Bake a Ginger Pear Upside-down Cake
  • Bake a pear tart
  • Bake an apple cake
  • Make lots of pickles for gifts
  • Finish a quilt
  • Finish current knitting projects before starting a new one
  • Go on a hike
  • Clean up the garden
  • Plant some cold-weather vegatables (Kale, spinach, etc)
  • Plant pansies and flowering kale in pot on the porch
  • Make a desk for the guest room, so I can work there on my laptop instead of sitting in bed or on the couch
  • Chop wood for the stove and start building fires (I need to learn how to split wood, I think that will be a good skill to develop)
  • Move the mulch to the garden
  • Build another planting box


I can't wait to eat this cake again! 

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chicken thieves

Hey, hi! Remember me? I know, I know, it's been awhile. So. I mentioned this in passing on twitter, but in case you missed it, someone climbed over our fence last weekend and stole eleven of my chickens. Why would someone do something so terrible? I've been completely heartbroken over the whole thing, and not sleeping too much, worried that they'll be back for the remaining six. Those six, by the way, seem pretty traumatized by the whole thing themselves. They stopped laying completely for a few days. In fact I've only found four eggs the last couple days. Of my six newer chicks, they took four. One of the two has lost all her friends and wanders around the yard alone most of the time. I hope the thieves just fell on hard times and really wanted some laying hens so they could have eggs to eat, but I know the chances are slim that any of them are still alive. I feel sick just typing that. In the meantime, I've put a padlock on the chicken coop, and they get locked up tight every night now. The dogs were unusually agitated for several nights in a row, and I think the robbers may have come one night to case the joint, and then dogs may have chased them away before they could get all the chickens. We reported it to the sheriff, but I don't expect much will come from that.

Anyway, I haven't felt too creative lately, as you might imagine. I did have to make a couple quilt blocks for a co-worker who is having a baby. Several other co-workers organized a friendship quilt-a-long, which is so great! I got a square of blue gingham, which I cut up to piece together this little house block.


It's not too exciting, but cute enough I think.

I've also been writing app reviews for an iPhone blog called Appmodo. So far, mostly just games, but I hope to get to try out all sorts of different apps eventually. I want to work on building a portfolio of my writing, so this will be a good addition. Plus, free apps for me! Of course, I've been using all my writing mojo up, and haven't had any leftover for my own little blog. I'm starting to get more into the swing of it, though, so I should be back here regularly now.

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