Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You Talked Me Into It

I had several comments suggesting that I stitch both of the "Maggie Bean: Harvest" pieces.  Don't ever say that I can't take a hint!  It's a work in progress at this point.
 
It's fast approaching December.  Our weather, while foggy and gray, has been mild and rain-free.  Let's go take a walk.

I like the structure of the dried Queen Anne's Lace seed head.

We are getting into the Christmas spirit with Douglas Fir cones artistically draped with white sap.  Nature as a Decorator!

There are new buds on a Hazelnut shrub - it seems a bit premature to me.

If moss and lichens were Christmas mandated decorations like holly, ivy, and mistletoe, I'd be set.

This tree had at least three kinds of lichens growing on its bark.

In this quiet time of year, nature makes small intimate collages.

Blackberry vines - I like the mix of green and yellow leaves.

This colony of mushrooms found a home on the side of a moss-covered, decaying stump. 
I hope you've enjoyed today's walk.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Monday Surprise



Design - "Tiny Tim Turkey"
Designer - Bent Creek
Fabric - 32 count Lambwool linen
Fibers - WDW & GAST - 1 strand over 2 threads
Started - 28 November 2011
Completed - 28 November 2011

The background is supposed to be stitched with WDW's Beige - I'm not sure but what I like it better with the fabric showing.

Everyone is still working on left-over right? 
Consider this a Stitching Left-over.

Monday morning was damp, gray, and foggy.  I'd been told that Tom-Cat was outside, so I grabbed my camera and headed out in search.  It turned out to be a great morning for wildlife.

I had multiple bunny sightings...


Gold Crowned Sparrows were out and about...

...as was Chip the Munk.

I've noticed that my "Big Bad Boy" bunny has a small white blaze on his head.  That will make it easy to identify him in future photos. 

These two female California Quail were all puffed up in response to the cold, wet morning.  They look like little feathered powder puffs.

And here is my 'Monday Surprise' - a male Evening Grosbeak.
I was outside Sunday morning for about an hour, and I thought I heard the clear chirr of a Grosbeak or two, but did not see any.  Now I know my ears were not playing tricks on me.  I don't think that we've ever had Grosbeaks around this time of year before.  I read online that in some northern locations the females migrate south, but the males will hang around if there are feeders of black oil sunflower seeds.  Yep, we have that going on.  

This guy was a 'No Fear' bird, so I was able to take several pictures.

BTW - Tom-Cat was warm and dry - sound asleep in a cat-tube tucked underneath my bed!   

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Rain Returns

Design - "Maggie Bean: Harvest" 
Designer - Shakespeare's Peddler
Fabric - 36 count Buttercream Lakeside linen
Fibers - Crescent Colors Belle Soie - 1 strand over 2 threads
Started - 27 November 2011
Completed - 27 November 2011 

What with a football game taking up much of Saturday, Sunday morning was devoted to sleeping...and chores.  So I didn't start stitching until Sunday afternoon when the rain returned.  I think it's very soothing to stitch and listen to the rain as it falls on the roof and gurgles into the downspout.

I did go outside for a bit in the morning.  I needed to water all my plants which now reside on the front porch and under the eaves.  I also refreshed all the birdbaths and topped off the feeders.

I had two bunnies waiting in the Brier Patch.
This small one...

...and this big, bad bunny!

Lately the Hairy Woodpecker are at the peanuts morning and evening - just females though - no males for whatever reason.  

We had some leftover rolls from Thanksgiving dinner - the Steller's Jays appreciated the handouts.

The deer will eat stale bread, but they turned up their noses at the rolls.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Last Project for November

I decided I had time for one more November themed stitch.
I chose a Shakespeare's Peddler piece - "Maggie Bean: Harvest".  I'm going to stitch the design on the left. 

With milder weather, I seeing more Hummingbirds.  My mother caught glimpse of three near the feeders.  I wonder how many we have this time of year. 

And I'm seeing larger groups of Quail again.
This was part of a group of twelve.

Rain or shine, the deer are around most mornings.

They have nice, thick Winter coats, but I'm sure they are happy to have a rain-free day or two.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beginning to Think About Christmas...and Decorate

If the weather allows, on Thanksgiving weekend we put up a faux garland and string Christmas lights on our gate.

In the darkness that is December, it is cheery to have the white lights shining.

We have a faux wreath too, the better to withstand the elements.

We usually get comments from joggers and bicyclists as we decorate.
One year as we prepared to open a large cardboard box with the garland, the box began to move and shake!  As my sister and I watched, out popped a chipmunk making us both shriek.  

Our house is hidden from the road, so the lighted gate is the Christmas Spirit we share with our neighbors.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Day After

On Wednesday, as I was figuring out what to stitch next, the Hufflepuffs came by to 'help'.  Parvati (up on the table) and Padma (on the floor) decided I needed some assistance.  

As they were both looking forward to some Thanksgiving turkey, they felt that "Sampling Thanksgiving" would be an appropriate stitch.

Design - "Sampling Thanksgiving"
Designer - Lizzie Kate
Fabric - 30 count Straw WDW linen
Fibers - GAST & WDW - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 23 November 2011
Completed - 24 November 2011

As you probably can tell, I was not responsible for Thanksgiving Dinner.  I certainly could not have finished "Sampling Thanksgiving" if I'd had the meal to prepare.  I did however, contribute to the dessert spread, clear the table, and dry dishes. Many, many thanks to Aunt Mary for a wonderful holiday meal.

We had a few hours of blue sky Thanksgiving morning.

The Red Tailed Hawk enjoyed the sunshine.

While this bunny...

...and these Quail were safely hidden in the Brier Patch!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

HAPPY THANKSGIVING !

Design - "Pumpkin Pie"
Chart - "Rest & Be Thankful" #285
Designer - The Cricket Collection
Fabric - 30 count Carol's Buttercrunch WDW linen
Fibers - DMC - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 10 November 2011
Completed - 22 November 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Pre-Thanksgiving Constitutional

Design - "Thanksgiving" (kit)
Designer - Heart in Hand
Fabric -32 count Summer Khaki Belfast linen
Fibers - GAST & WDW - 2 threads over 2 strands
Started -
Completed - 22 November 2011

With a break in the storms, I figured I'd better take the opportunity to work off some calories.  Goodness knows I show no restraint when eating Thanksgiving dinner. So let's take a long walk.

In late November I look down as much as I look up to find beauty.

I like the structural nature of the Teasel this time of year.

We still have some color in the forest - this Vine Maple for example.

Looking down: How many different colors and textures are there in this composition of moss, mushroom, leaves and lichen?

A Cottonwood leaf - there's one large tree that is still full of color.

With the recent rains, both of our seasonal creeks are running apace.

Water droplets on an Oak leaf.

Small ferns amongst the moss.

The colors of the Turkey Tail mushrooms were bright on a gray day.  No, we won't be eating any for Thanksgiving dinner no matter how appropriately named they are!  I have no idea what the day-glow yellow growth is.

I love the color of this blue / gray lichen.

There are still a few Apple Oak galls on the Oak trees.

These last couple of storms dropped the remaining acorns...

...and most of the Oak leaves and smaller galls as well.

One of our cherries though still has 'shout out' color.

It was a nice surprise to find this cluster of rose hips.

Look carefully and you'll see that Mr. Gray Squirrel is looking back at you.
He was down by our largest seasonal creek.  We've not had any Gray Squirrels up by the house for 2 or 3 months now.  I don't know if it is because of the cats and hawks, or if this time of year they move down the hill to work the Oak trees during acorn season.    

I'll end the walk with the last apple on our wilding apple tree.
It looks like the top is splitting - the next wind storm and it will tumble to the ground to the delight of the deer.