Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Wednesday Chicken Report

Our neighbors have several hens...
They are friendly, social ladies, and came running over to greet me.

Heart in Hand kit, Trilogy chart, and Heart in Hand chart

Could they be the inspiration for my recent purchase of the above "Chicken Charts"?  I am thinking my next stitch will be the cute kit on the far left of the photo.

There are four large hens, and one bantam hen. 
The bantam thinks she is every bit as big as the other girls.

Even though she is not.

On the plant front, my hens and chicks and echiverias are thriving.

I so enjoy watching the green growth.

My sedum / sempervivum collection is doing great!
Note the hen and chick clay planters on the ground - the middle one is a quail, but we do not discriminate!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Six Sweet Strands

While I was in Portland, I happened upon a new-to-me needlework store called The Playful Needle. The store is largely dedicated to needlepoint canvases, but does stock a small selection of cross stitch charts.  And of course, both needlepoint and cross stitch use many of the same fibers, so I had fun looking around.  I was taken with a line called Six Sweet Strands.  The line had 154 colors, but is no longer in production.  I fell in love with the soft pinks, lavenders, mauves, blues and violets - so I treated myself!

If ever you visit downtown Portland, there are four fun stores situated very close together.  The Playful Needle is at 11th and Alder.  It is right next door a very funky knitting shop called Knit Purl.  I don't knit a stitch, and I thought their windows were luscious! Also close by is The Button Emporium, and goodness knows cross-stitchers always are embellishing their designs with buttons.  Lastly, for the "generalist", there is Josephine's Dry Goods, a wonderful fabric store. 

This morning is a cool grey day (again!)

I had a male Goldfinch drink out of my fountain.  The hummingbirds also bathe in the very small pool at the top of the fountain.

The Audubon Society closely observed the finch!

 My ferns are happy in the cool weather.

And so are the fuchsias!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fly Away Home

Design - "Ladybug, Ladybug"
Designer - Heart in Hand
Fabric - 32 count French Lace linen
Fiber - Anchor and DMC
Started - 20 June 2010
Completed - 27 June 2010

I've flown - via Amtrak - back home from a long weekend in Portland, Oregon.  I had a great time in the Big City with friends. 
Now, it is good to be back home. 
I do have more Portland garden photos to share.

These are all from the Lan Su Chinese Garden.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Portland's Urban Gardens - public and private

Design - "Rendered By"
Designer - Little By Little
Fabric - 36 count Light Espresso R & R linen
Fibers - DMC
STarted - 31 May 2010
Completed - 24 June 2010
It's done and it looks great!  I simplified the border, messed with the alphabet, added the year, and my initials.

While in Portland, Oregon the past three days, I had the pleasure of viewing several public and private gardens. 
Pearl District

Sedum and Fescue - Pearl District

Pearl District

Planter Detail

Hotel Modera - Portland - Wall Garden

Wall Garden - Detail

Park Blocks 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Another Hen - From the Cross Stitch Archives - Saturday

Design - "Hens at Work"
Chart - "Spring Bunnies I" #182 
Designer - The Cricket Collection
Fabric - 30 count R & R Beached Plum linen
Started - 24 July 1999
Completed - 26 July 1999

And yes, every once in a while, I actually get something "Finished"!


Here are the two hens side by side.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Another Hen - From the Cross Stitch Archives - Friday Post

Design - "Hens at Work"
Chart - "Spring Bunnies I" #182
Designer - The Cricket Collection
Fabric - Don't remember
Started - Don't remember - maybe in 1999
Completed - Don't remember

And here is the framed piece!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another Start - Ready for the Weekend!

I'm off to Portland this afternoon for the 30th reunion of an overseas trip I took whilst attending Lewis and Clark College. Twenty-four students and two staff from the College spent five months in Ireland in the winter / spring of 1979.  The great news is that twenty of the twenty-six group members will attend the reunion.  Tonight we meet at a local Portland Irish pub - Slainte!

As I'm expecting to have a bit of stitching time on my journey up and back, I've kitted up a new chart by JBW designs - thought I'd "do" the alphabet bunny and add the row of cabbages as charted on the far left bunny.  

Stitching and gardening have much in common.  One of the rewards of both is "looking close" and noticing the details - I love the textures of my hebes, and the small blossoms on the baby's tears are a joy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ladybugs and Fuchsias

Here's an update on "Wee Ladybug". 
Very, very simple, only two colors of floss  - this
would be a good "learning / beginner" stitch.

Isn't this a cool fuchsia?
It's called Fuchsia procumbens - or Trailing fuchsia
and it is native to New Zealand.
It is very low growing type. 
If you look closely you can see the rather exotic
pink and yellow blossoms.
My "ordinary" fuchsias are all budded up... 
and should explode with blossoms soon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Chicken and Plant Report

Design - Wee Chicken
Designer - Heart in Hand
Fabric - 30 count 18th Century Stone R & R linen
Floss - GAST
Started - 15 June 2010
Completed - 22 June 2010

"Wee Chicken" is done, and I like it!  There is a companion piece too - a rooster - so I think that will be on my "To Stitch List" in the near future.

On the gardening front.  Late yesterday afternoon a doe came through the back yard as my sister and I were on the patio.  She worked on what passes for our lawn, and stray sunflower seeds from our bird feeders.  My sister had a flat of tomato plants out on the walkway, and the doe walked right over and grabbed one.  She waltzed off carrying the tomato plant pot and all!  My sister had to run after her shouting and clapping to get her to finally drop it.  Brazen!

I am still waiting for Clear Blue Skies, but the plants continue to grow under cloudy or partially cloudy skies.
The sedums and sempervivums are happy.

Will they bloom?  Maybe.

If the bugs don't get them first!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The First Day of Summer...Where?

It's been a while since I've posted about "Rendered By", and hey, it's been a while since I've worked on "Rendered By" as well.  Yesterday I got it out, and worked on it for a couple of hours.  I continue to obsess with all the color changes and I think that's why it sits untended.  I do love the use of color and know I will be pleased when it is done, but nonetheless, it is a struggle.


So far the new deer fence around the front porch is working well.  My replacement coleus, ferns, and hostas are all thriving.

I also like dianthus!

Yet another grey day - where is summer anyway?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ladybug, Ladybug - a Start and a Father-To-Be

It's another grey day - actually had a rain shower a few minutes ago.
While I spent the morning outside, I've now retreated indoors to the Craft Room for some inspiration.  I've decided to begin "Ladybug Ladybug" as my next stitching project.

I think these mosaic vegetables also work as inspiration.  I found the eggplant and pepper at Bloomer's Nursery when I was there on Thursday.

The last week or so, I've been in awe of the industry of a pair on barn swallows.  The parents-to-be decided to build a nest atop one of the columns on the back patio.  It is an amazingly complicated structure - made without the use of hands!  The female began nesting on Friday.   

While the father-to-be also helps out with nesting duties, he spends lots of time perched on a pole watching over his domain...

...and not without good reason!
Parvati and Cleo have been watching the nest building with great interest.