Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Oh Happy Day!
I recently bid on (and won) the following Birds of a Feather charts.  I was so pleased as the final cost was around $10 per chart.  Very reasonable I thought as many of the charts had been selling for $25 to $40 each.
Now my problem is that several of the recommended fabrics are discontinued.
The Mouse and Lark call for 28 count R & R New England Granite; the Fox uses 28 count R & R Birch; the Goose uses 28 count R & R Golden Walnut; and the Bee uses Green Mountain 28 count Dark Muffin
Does anyone have alternate fabric suggestions?  They'd be much appreciated.  

It's Tuesday again - time for another Garden Party at an Oregon Cottage.  
This week the theme is "Favorite Garden Books". 

I bought the above book about one month ago, so have not had a chance to use it as it is meant to be used.  I am hopeful that come spring / summer 2011 I will find this an invaluable aid in identifying many of the native plants, shrubs, and trees that live on our property.  The acreage includes several different micro-climates: from full sun, to deep shade, to wetlands.  My project for next year is to photographically document and identify the flora and fauna of Clos du Bois.  This book should be a big help!   

These two are speciality books - one on coleus and the other on succulents.  I've found both to be very useful especially on the on-going care and maintenance of said plants.  I tend to fall in love with a type of plant - buy alot of different varieties - kill most of them - and then finally learn how to care for them so that they can grow and thrive.  The Succulent book has lots of great planting suggestions as well as zone hardiness information.  

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Frosty Morning And A Frosty Snowman

My stitching progress continues with "Let it Snow".
This morning though it would be better titled "Frosty the Snowman".

We had alot of rain yesterday, then sometime in the night the skies cleared and the temperatures dipped.  This morning everything (including the roads) is coated with frosty glitter. 

While it is lovely to look at, I'm sure it will make for an interesting morning commute - drive safe!   

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday Shopping

I am not one of those people who gets up at 3am to begin shopping on Black Friday.  I tried it once several years ago - the store was already out of the item I wanted by the time I arrived - I returned home sleepy and with a headache - I then slept most of the day away - a wasted day in my opinion.
But my sister and I did go out on Saturday.  I was so please to find a chicken pincushion, chicken tape measure, and small wicker chicken basket!

The Farmers' Market has moved indoors for the remainder of the year.

The booths were appropriately festive with lights and garland.

There were lovely paper-whites for sale...

and French Pastries...

and fun music from the "Blair Street Mugwumps".
They describe themselves as "a good down-home bluegrass band".
Here's a link to them playing "Jellyroll". 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Post-Thanksgiving Report

I've made good progress on "Let it Snow".  I love the colors, though stitching on a dark fabric is always challenging.

Yesterday morning I moved all the plants I'd stored in the garage, back outside as the temperatures had moderated.

The quail were not bothered at all as I worked around the back patio area.  

A couple of the quail decided to fly up and eat from the feeder tray.

The cats though were no help at all as the morning was grey, blustery, and showery!  
Tom-Cat, "Trying to sleep here"...  

Tom-Cat, "Sleeping"...

Parvati, "Want out, but the weather is awful."

Padma, "Sleeping...sleeping."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Before the Big Game

These five items arrived in the mail on Wednesday.
Three more snow-guys to add to my stash!

Thus far we've lucked out with the weather.  The extreme cold never worked its way this far south - my low was 28F rather than 11F - something to give thanks for!  Thanksgiving Day was a pleasant day too.

While all the snow on the floor of the Willamette Valley is thing of the past, it still lingers in the Coast Range to the west, and the Coburg Hills which line the valley to the east.  

This photo is of Saddleback Ridge - elevation around 2200' - still very much a winter wonderland!

And this is Buck Mountain - the tallest of the Coburg Hills at just over 3000' elevation.

Today the University of Oregon Duck Football team plays Arizona at 4:00pm - I am hope the weather holds though rain is forecast for later today.  Either way - GO DUCKS!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Count Your Blessings and Give Thanks

Design - "Count Your Blessings"
Designer - Bent Creek
Fabric - 26 count Alabaster Heatherfield
Started - 31 October 1997
Completed - 4 November 1997

Tom-Cat wants to thank all his admirers and wish everyone a Blessed Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Rime of Icy Snow

Design - Snowman Ornament
Chart - "Let it Snow"
Designer - Val's Stitchin' Stuff
Fabric - 25 count Navy Lugana
Fibers - GAST - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 22 November 2010
Completed - 22 November 2010

I was inspired by our little skiff of snow to stitch up this little guy.

I do have several pictures to share for the Outdoor Wednesday Report.

Tuesday morning I awoke to a rime of icy snow.

Fortunately I'd filled all the bird feeders late Monday afternoon.
The doves came by first thing to eat. 

A bit later the California Quail dropped by.

The morning was grey, still and cold.

A little bunny came out of the brush to forage...

Closer and closer...

and closer still!

 The "formerly-feral" Tom-Cat had no desire to be outside.

He was wise enough to stay inside - warm and dry. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Ready!

As promised, my next project is wintry! I'm a fan of Val's snow-guys. I think I've stitched up six or seven of them, and have three or four more ready to go. This one uses Crescent Colors, and the sentiment, "Let it Snow" is timely as I woke up this morning to a skiff of snow on the ground and possible snow showers through this morning.  We do not get snow often, so I continue to be as excited decades later as I was as a school aged child.  There is a pristine beauty to a snowy landscape that is unmatched.

For the Tuesday Garden Party, the theme is "Gifts From the Garden."  I have nothing unique or crafty to share beyond a nice bouquet or two. My take is to turn the theme to "Gifts For the Garden".

Several weeks ago I ordered a small Juliana lean-to green house kit...a gift to myself and my gardening efforts.  The kit arrived in a skajillion pieces in one small box. Really amazing engineering and packaging.  The assembly guide though, was an incomprehensible Ikea-like nightmare.  Fortunately I was able to find some additional detailed assembly instructions on line.  Even then, without the help of my father, there would be no greenhouse.    

It took us several sessions to get the greenhouse put together.  But now with the cold weather having arrived, I have my fuchsias and some other tender perennials all tucked away warm and dry. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Done with Autumn - Ready for Winter - Maybe!

Design - "Little Pumpkin in the Patch"
Designer - Heart in Hand
Fabric - 32 count Summer Khaki linen
Fibers - WDW & GAST - 2 threads over 2 strands
Started - 19 November 2010
Completed - 20 November 2010

This turned out to be the perfect small project for a case of insomnia!
I woke up about 3:00am this morning, could not fall back to sleep, so finally got up and spent a couple of quiet, dark hours finishing this up. 

I think I was fretting about our weather forecast - SNOW today - and worried about protecting all my plants.  Which ones should I shift into the garage for a couple of days...worry, worry, worry. 

And speaking of the weather advisory...the snow is not really the problem. The Arctic Blast that follows is my concern. It is supposed to be cold tonight (27F/-3C), and colder still Tuesday night (18F/-8C),  then 26F/-3C on Wednesday night ...so... 

I spent four hours Saturday, and three hours Sunday putting all my container plants to bed for the winter.  This picnic bench has some pansies and a couple of pots of small bulbs.  I have more pots of bulbs under the bench.

On the other side of the front door, I have the hostas are tucked under another old picnic bench. On the bench I have more pansies and five pots of bulbs.

Despite the "Deer Guarding Chair Barricade", the porch looks pretty tidy.
A very spare look compared to the summer excesses!

On the back patio, I have yet more pansies, and one of my plant racks wearing its vinyl jacket as a test drive for the up-coming Arctic weather.  

I moved most of the salvias to a nook on the patio - they are protected from the deer, and I thought they might get an extra degree or two of warmth from the gravel base, and the two-sided concrete wall. But I think I need to move all these into a garage for Tuesday night's cold temperatures.  

All the sedums and agaves are tucked into another nook out of the rain and weather.

Lastly we had a totally organic crew tidying up the last of the tomatoes in the Kitchen Garden!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A New Week...A New Start

I promise, this is the last Autumn stitch before I move on to Christmas / Winter themed pieces.  I had this all kitted up and could not talk myself into waiting an entire year before working on it.

Today the plan is to find four or five Christmas ornament cross stitches and get them all ready to go.    

Friday morning as I put out bird-food, I was greeted by this bunny in the brier patch. 

The California Quail and Steller's Jays were also glad to see me.

As was Doris Deer - everyone enjoys an "All You Can Eat Sunflower Buffet"!