Monday, January 31, 2011

And the Winner Is!

And the winner is:
"Spring Fling" a kit by Heart in Hand.
I've decided it will be my first February stitch.  Perhaps you remember that I recently completed "Winter Fling" - it was fun, so I thought this would be too.

With our continued mild weather, there are lots of birds about.

I've decided this guy is a Goldfinch in his drab winter-wear.

But if the birds are drab, the Pansies do their best to provide some color this last day of January.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

February Fussing

It's Sunday, come on in.
Sit down - take a load off your feet. 

I've been fussing...and that is often dangerous.

Playing or fussing or unearthing or excavating...maybe Excavating is the better term.
Anyway here is the result of "Romping Through My Stash" for February Treasures.
Twenty - yes twenty possible stitches...and only twenty-days in the month of February!  Obviously in the next couple of days I'll have to pick one, or two, or three as major contenders - kit them up, and see where we go from there.  This all would be of course, in addition to "The Printed on the Blog Sidebar 2011 Stitching Plan"....which has yet to have a "Finish" to its name...hmmm.
And Sunday is supposed to be a Day of Rest! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

BOAF Flocking Together

This isn't the best picture of BOAF "Alphabet Sampler", but it will serve to document my progress.  Five more letters to go!

I thought since I was posting a Birds of a Feather stitch, my photos would then all show examples of "Flocking Together". 

A Host of Sparrows

A Charm of Finches

A Covey of California Quail

A Dule of Doves

A Flight of Barn Swallows
(though these babies had not yet fledged when this photo was taken)

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Friday!

It's Friday and I have embarrassingly little stitching progress to share with you today.  My "Ta-Da Snowman" looks like nothing more than a red blob on a white least the Peoria Purple linen is pretty!

I do have a new piece of Garden Art to share with you.

Look what I got!  Isn't this a thoughtful Christmas gift?  

I wonder if he commissioned the sculpture?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

In and Out and About

I mentioned that the purchase of new charts would then probably require the purchase of new linen and/or new fibers...
It did.
I did!
 New-to-me WDW colors

And an array of GAST and Simply Shaker

I'll leave you this morning with some of the smaller denizens of Clos du Bois.
Black-capped Chickadee


Finch - I'm impressed with how much color this guy is sporting already.  Ususally the finches are "bland" in the winter.

Another junco.

Another chickadee.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Growing and Changing

Progress continues on "Winter Walk".  I finished up the scarf and now have about 20 more rows to stitch...and I'll be done.  I might be able to finish this up by the end of the month after all.  I must say, that as January winds down, having a stitching "To Do" list has helped me to focus and stay on task.   

Our mild weather continues a pace - the downside with lovely weather this time of year, is that it goes hand-in-hand with an "Air Stagnation Warning".  

Here's what I have to share this Outdoor Wednesday.  

The first buds have appeared on the earliest daffodils.

The clumps of wild iris are beginning to make themselves known.
They will bloom throughout the month of May.

Even on bucolic days, there are predators lurking about...
Hawks like that are why the juncos appreciate a blackberry thicket...Vigilance everyone!

More daffodils popping up by a Daphne. 
January has been so mild, it will be interesting to see what February brings.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm Hearing Some Grumblings...

I'm hearing reading that some of you from the NE and other excessive-snow areas are tired, tired, tired of snow and all snow-related items - including snowmen. Ouch! 
So I've resolved, in the spirit of cooperation, to stop mentioning that it is another lovely blue-sky day here, and the high is expected to be 57F.
I've also resolved that this Amy Bruecken "Tada Snowman" will be my last new snowman stitch for a while, and I will switch over to Valentine / Heartish type items for the next few weeks.

Jami over at An Oregon Cottage has asked for Garden Planning ideas as this week's theme.

If you've read my blog for a while, you know that I am passionate about small hostas.  And now I've found a book to feed my passion.  I expect to get lots of great ideas, and a big old "Want List" after reading this book. 
For many reasons (deer, and deer, and more deer) I am still limited to gardening on the front porch and the back patio.  With limited space, words like small, tiny, and miniature are all melodious to my ears.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Musings

Design - "Snowman Two" - Be Jolly
Chart - Snowman Trilogy
Designer - Val's Stitchin Stuff
Fabric - 28 count Flax linen
Fibers - Crescent Colors and Wildflowers
Started - 17 January 2011
Completed - 22 January 2011

I think this turned out to be a little cutie - I'm very pleased with the color selection and the final product.  Just seems wrong somehow to be stitching snowmen when it is 57F and sunny outside (and no, I do not live in southern California!). 

I am always amused at how our Gray Squirrels are able to defy gravity as they navigate up and down the big, old Douglas Fir trees.

Sunday morning, I looked up to see this Gray Guy coming my way...

"Are you passing out sunflowers?", he asked.  

"Cuz if you are, I could eat several dozen!" 

"Thanks - sorry for talking with my mouth full!"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Additions to an Out of Control Stash

So yes, I've made a few recent purchases.  Two main themes - winter with Snowmen and Santas, and Valentine's Day charts.  Of course this now requires additional purchases of fibers and linen...Does it ever end?  Do we want it to? 

The other morning I caught this Spotted Towhee on a blackberry cane.  I was impressed with how carefully he placed his claws around the needle-sharp and large-to-him thorns.  Truly a delicate balancing act!

As most of the east coast and the south of the United States hunkers down in preparation for yet another snow storm, in the southern Willamette Valley we have no rain forecast for the next several days, and temperatures in the mid-50's(F).  It's a good day to take a walk around the property and see if winter is reluctantly seceding its hold.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Picked Door Number Two...I Mean Snowman Number #2

As you can see I chose to work on "Snowman #2".  I love the two Crescent Color greens used for the words "Be Jolly" - Lettuce Leaf and Meadow Green.  They are inspired choices I think.

When I was outside Friday morning, there were birds most everywhere.

Up, up, up, high, high, high - I first heard, then saw, this skein of Canada Geese.

Tip-top of a young Douglas Fir tree perched this Steller's Jay.
I'd not noticed before the "quilted" look of the wings when at rest.

And under my feet, a group of California Quail came out of the thicket to eat.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Walk - Borderlishiousness

Borderlishiousness - that's my new made-up word to describe the
ultra-magnificence of "Winter Walk".
The border is done, the border is done!  Hurray!  Hurray!
Truly a lovely border - well worth all the colors changes and effort. 
Now just the pedestrian filling in of alot of Snowflake for the snowman and Cranberry for his scarf.

Parvati was on the lookout for a Snowman, but reported at 54F, there was not a Snowman, much less a snowflake in sight!  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

As January Moves Along

As January moves along, so does my stitching on BOAF's "Alphabet Sampler".  I found I was suffering from Abecedarian fatigue, so I stopped with the letters, and moved on to the ribbon border.  The ribbon is now done, but I have 23 blossoms (yes, I counted!) to stitch along the edges - I stitched the first in the upper right corner.

Signs of Spring continue to make themselves known - this is an early variety of daffodil. 

The gray squirrel is a year-around sign of plenty of food for everyone to enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Wednesday Report - Indoors and Out

Design - "Winter Fling" (kit)
Designer - Heart in Hand
Fabric - 32 count Natural Belfast
Fibers - GAST - 2 threads over 2 strands
Started - 11 January 2011
Completed - 14 January 2011

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on my "knotty" dilemma.  I ended up with two pretty-perfect French Knots for the eyes and then left well enough alone. 

First off, it's 50F outdoors so still no snow! 

Indoors my Paper-whites have begun to bloom - they are so wonderfully fragrant. 

Outdoors these two funny faces amused me!

Then when I next looked there was Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail...
So where is Peter anyway?

Several people have complimented me on the Chickadee photo that currently using as my header.  Thank you all so much! 
I'd like to be able to tell you that I'm a stellar photographer with professional grade equipment - NOT!
Instead that photo is the result of Beginner's Luck.  I "borrowed" my sister's new Canon SX210IS one frosty morning and wow - a truly wonderful shot!
Since then, I've been unable to replicate it in composition, quality, detail, or any of the other myriad ways in which photos are judged.
The good news: with digital, it costs nothing to keep on trying!