Monday, July 6, 2020

A Sedate 4th of July

This was a very understated 4th of July.  There wasn't the usual parade, although a bunch of locals put together an unofficial one with lots of trucks, tractors, firetrucks, bikes, and motorcycles.  We missed it but saw photos on Facebook.  The hydrangea is blooming, it survived being pruned by our 11 year old grandson.  :-)

This bush has delighted me each year since we moved here over 35 years ago.  I love it so that we've planted a few more recently and I'm watching them to see how they perform this season.

Dayle told me to look at the moon on July 3rd, it was just peeking over the hillside pasture behind our farmhouse.  I stood outside waiting for it to clear the trees to get a photo.

I went out later when it had risen higher into the sky and got this image.  It's lighter and clearer.

The moon was full on the night of July 4th so I went out and listened to the boom, pow and sizzle of illegal fireworks set off by our neighbors and took this one when it was 100% full - it's kind of golden due to the air pollution due to the fireworks.

Our first zucchini harvest!  We might use it for dinner or grate it and make some quick bread.  

We decided to persevere and make our traditional 4th of July fare for just the two of us.  We used a chicken recipe we saw on Giada's Food Network show - Honey Mustard chicken and it was a big huge dud.. TOO much stone ground mustard.  But the baked beans and potato salad made up for it.

I had to show you the wild cherry tree right now.  It's huge and is covered with bright red cherries.  The birds are happy.

Our grandsons are back are back with us - Hayden is going to pick some today.

Our son Shawn dropped by for a socially distant visit on the deck on the 4th and he saw a woodpecker, but by the time we got the big camera the bird was gone.. so I got some pix of Goldfinches instead.  "Are you looking at me?"

"I've got my eye on you!"

We captured a Hummingbird dining on Hosta flowers, but they are so fast and busy he's fuzzy.  Cute little things.

We have a pair of large raptors spending time in our forest, I've tried to identify this guy and have come up with either a Cooper's Hawk, Red Tail Hawk or even a Golden Eagle.  But I am just not sure.  Dayle mowed the pastures and I think these birds were dining on any mice or voles his mowing turned up.

Kristi and Travis had us over for dinner last evening.  She made a delicious meal of bacon wrapped chicken, mashed potatoes and herbed cream gravy with buttery biscuits.  YUM!  After a nice visit we went down to see how her garden is growing.  She is standing next to Caleb's sunflower.  

A shot of the whole garden.  She is happy to have her Dad's windmill and repainted it and put it amongst the corn which was her Dad's favorite veg.  Her Mom was an avid gardener and would be very proud of Kristi's veggie patch.

We brought the boys home with us for a few days.  We're going to make chocolate popcorn, a favorite of Dayle's as he was growing up.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Have a super week!

((hugs)), Teresa :-)  

Friday, July 3, 2020

Pincushion Reveal & Minnie Belle

I am happy to report that my pincushion project can be ticked off of my list of "things to do".  I have to laugh at how many hours I devoted to this little thing. :-D  But I am in love with it.

After working for a week on the cross stitch embroidery (yes a WEEK) it was time to get our my dear vintage Singer Featherweight sewing machine to sew the front to the cotton backing.  Meet Minnie Belle.  She's little but mighty. We have the most adorable member of Portland Women's Forum named Minnie Belle, she is African American and is 102 (or 3!) and has the best stories to tell.  So, when I got my cute little machine I named her after Minnie Belle.  I told her that I named it after her and she got a big kick out of that.

She is in her original carrying case and has all her fittings. There is an inset tray above the machine that holds all kinds of things such as the cord, foot pedal, bobbins, pins, etc.  I think she was built in 1946.

Here she is ready to go.  I have to admit it's been awhile since she's been set free from her confines and I had to hope I remembered how to wind a bobbin and run the thread through all the right places to the needle.  Dayle's mother was a professional seamstress and sewed for Jantzen for years.  So Dayle learned things from her about how to care for and use a sewing machine.  Which came in handy.. plus the book helped.

Minnie Belle has a lovely engraved panel on the front of it.

She came with two vintage oil cans.  The woman who we bought it from was wonderful.  She buys these darlings when she finds them, services them, replaces parts and test drives them for a month before finding a new home for them.  :-)

The book that came with it.  

 Can you believe I couldn't find a spool of white thread?  Well, if you knew how much crafty stuff is in our "office" you might believe it.  But I digress.  I would have to drive to town to buy one spool of thread.  Then I thought that maybe I could trade a dozen eggs for a spool of thread from my dear friend Bev who lives at the bottom of the same road we live on.  A phone call later and after catching up on the latest.. her husband Gary drove up and dropped off a bag and took the eggs.  When I looked in the bag I was amazed and so happy to see she'd gifted me with some fabric too!  I had mentioned I wanted to make some face masks but didn't have a fabric stash.  Bev is an absolute doll and so generous.  Thanks, BEV!!

So.. after finally embroidering in some more fireworks and fixing a few errors on the project.. I sat down in front of the machine, and sewed the backing to the cross-stitch.  After I was done I looked at it and OOOO MMMM GGGG!  I sewed the fabric on the wrong side!  Deep breath.  Pick, pick, pick..... I looked on in horror as the aida cloth was coming apart... lesson learned.. cut the aida wider when trimming.. sigh...

Pick, pick, pick.. almost done.

Let's try this AGAIN.  And yes, the back of it is pretty messy.

And then.. turning the work, stuffing it with raw cotton batting and getting out the needle and thread to sew the bottom closed.  My sewing box is a neat old Shaker box.. here's a fun idea, if you're a blogger, why not share your sewing box?

My needle holder is cute on the outside but pretty crazy on the inside.  I've had to tape down the foil holders with printed tape.  I have a new idea, I want to cross-stitch a new project and use it as the cover for a hand-made needle holder with felt pages.  I've googled my fingers off to find a kit or design and am coming up empty.  Suggestions?

I have collected several spools of this wonderful linen hand-sewing thread.  Heavy duty stuff.  I must tell you that I had a devil of a time sewing the bottom up as the aida had pulled out and I had to sew into the cross-stitches to close it up.  Not a pretty bottom.. but don't tell anyone.. I'm just glad it's done.  :-)

Betsy Ross is trying to take credit for all my hard work.  :-)


I am very pleased with my little pincushion.  Pattern by my blog friend Helen Philipps in her Etsy shop.  I did some changes - I made the flag more of an American flag and added more fireworks bursting in the air.  

Dayle brought in some fresh roses this afternoon.  :-)

And so.. that's it.  Now back to working on my purple shawl.  :-)

-:¦:-·:*'''''*:·-:¦:-* HAPPY 4th of JULY! *·-:¦:-·:*'''''*:·-:¦:-

((hugs)), Teresa :-)  

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

4th of July Pincushion Update

Ok.. so I fudged.  I am okay with the result.  In fact, being kind of a laizzez faire hippie type person (lais·sez-faire /ˌlesāˈfer/noun - a policy or attitude of letting things take their own course, without interfering.) I'm happy with it.  In fact, when I was doing Native American bead work I learned to add a planned mistake, or "spirit bead.  

"A misplaced bead in a piece of beadwork is called a spirit bead in many Native American cultures. ... The Native American women who have traditionally created intricate, beadwoven pieces intentionally string on a bead of the wrong color in a pattern. This bead is called a spirit bead and is a reminder that nothing that is created by human hands can be perfect."

I have a few more things to fix before I sew the work to the red cotton I bought for the backing.  Dayle got my Singer Featherweight sewing machine out for me and I will use it to do the sewing.  I'll show more of that next time.  I have cotton batting for stuffing it.  I've even wondered how I could add a crocheted lace around the outside.  :-)

We also found a few more of my patriotic decorative items to put on the table.  Kristi got me the cute Uncle Sam candle holder and I found the fun Statue of Liberty last year or so.  I also got this Betsy Ross doll several years ago to use in a display for "Constitution Week" for the Daughters of the American Revolution.  See her sewing basket with red, white and blue thread and a sewing needle?

We ran some errands yesterday and when we returned home I snapped some photos on my walk into the house.  I am in love with these Hot Lips Salvia.

The orange-y red Lantana is looking lovely.

The fun speckled Begonia that Kristi gave us is thriving.

An exotic Lily is in bloom.

Kristi's Angels Trumpets are doing well.

The Jasmine is scenting the air near the pond, if you look close you can see all three of the waterfalls in the creek.

We love the Creeping Jenny in this pot.

I'm thinking this may be a banner year for our Bonfire Begonia Boliviensis and it will be fun to see how the new pink one keeps up with it.  :-)

I'm also loving the variety of colors in the mixed pots of Lobelia we put in this pot.  

I have my work cut out for me today.  I look forward to using my adorable vintage sewing machine.  I would like to buy more fabric and make some of our own masks to wear.  The one I have was made with very short elastic and it pops off my face which is not good.  But that will mean a trip to the craft warehouse for fabric and elastic.  I wish I had a stash of fabric like many crafters have!  OK.. stay safe my friends.. it's a wild and dangerous world out there!  

-:¦:-·:*'""*:·.-:¦:-·* HAPPY 4th of JULY! *·-:¦:-·:*'''''*:·-:¦:-

((hugs)), Teresa :-)  

Monday, June 29, 2020

4th of July and Cross-stitch Oops

4th of July is in 5 days so I put my stars and stripes tablecloth on the table yesterday and put my cute little figurines out.  I think they're so sweet, she even has a hat made out of a miniature newspaper with real crepe paper poufs on top.  

I found an interesting recipe for Hawaiian Banana bread that has a little can of crushed pineapple, coconut, pecans and ginger in it.  Chef Dayle made it for us last afternoon.  It turned out delish!

We were running low on honey so Dayle walked across the road to buy a quart of local honey from Ginger Bates at her lavender stand.  

The hives are next to her fields of lavender but the honey is also from wildflowers in a 2 mile radius around us.  How cool is that?  I can't wait to try it.

He took a dozen eggs for her and she gave us a 4 ounce bottle of this blend of essential oils and suggested we rub some into our neck before we go to bed as it aids in sleep.  Cool!

Dayle brought in a Dahlia and we were amazed at how well it matches the color in the Double Delight rose.  He also informed me that there are flower buds on one of our new Dahlias and I can't wait to see what it looks like.  

As you can see above, I got the center done on my 4th of July pin cushion cross stitch project.  Thus I began working on the checkerboard design across the top.  The finish was in sight.  I was happy.

Mocha, fresh from the groomer, asleep on my lap, keeping me company as I stitched away.  

And then.. EGADS!!  SHOCK!!  HORRORS!!  I obviously mis-counted.  The squares were supposed to go to the end of the blue stripe and I came up one short.  WAHHHHH!!!  Now what?  I'm so bummed out, dispirited, depressed and unhappy.  

I started in the middle with the house, and apparently I should have started with the checkerboard top.  I thought I counted everything right.  Sigh.  What would you do to fix this?  Or do I start over?

The Dahlia is still opening up.. so pretty.

A closer shot.

I had to show you this.  Every time I leave my easy chair and come back, this is what I find.  Mocha has taken over my spot and expects a belly rub.  But even if I do give her a rub, she still won't get down.  I have a wooden spoon in my magazine rack that I have used to scoot her off the chair.  Now when she won't get down I reach for the spoon.. sometimes she leaves and sometimes she doesn't.  Then I take the handle of the spoon and rattle it.  Then she'll reluctantly get down.  Sheesh.  If you have a pet.. do they have a bad habit?

And so.. I am thankful every single day for our cozy home, some land around us, the garden, being able to order our groceries for contact-less pick-up, my dear husband, my cuddly dog, my kids and grandkids and my friends.  And I am thankful for this blog and the friends from around the world I've met here.  So, thank YOU for the comments that keep me going and your friendship.  πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’›πŸ§‘πŸ’πŸ’œ ((hugs)), Teresa :-)