Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's Come to This

This week had us enduring 95 degree days with high humidity and gusty winds--we broke down and turned on the air conditioner.  We cooled off and the house dried out (it was so sticky!) Now this morning I am wishing the furnace was on. Sweatshirt, socks, hot coffee--all are needed for Saturday morning comfort; and mi esposo brought me toast (with coffee re-fills) on a platter, so all is well. Now I can do some thinking.....
...a decision has to be made. I'm finishing up the "Marine Quilt," which is the Boxed Blessings pattern by the talented Ingrid Barlow.  (As I've said before, I'm not really a quilter, so I'm sort of winging it at this stage.  And, I humbly suggest my photo doesn't do it justice; the fabrics combined for a rather attractive, quirky design.) I quilt it in straight lines running at 45 degree angles criss-crossing the entire quilt, neatly intersecting the blocks at their centers and corners; or do I quilt in a higglety-pigglety squiggly fashion all over the design, thus contrasting with the straightness of the fabric pieces?

Aaarggghhh.... more caffeine, please! 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

We Must Cultivate Our Garden

Ah, everything is so green and beautiful in the backyard--the triumph of spring indeed!  For instance, take a look at what our dormant fish pond looked like on a glum day in March....O, such a depressing site!  It all seemed a bit hopeless at this point...                                                                                                              
If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
                            --Percy Bysshe Shelley

A vast improvement wouldn't you say? Now the fish just have to migrate from the aquarium and a few more annuals have to be added; then all will be as it should!
We've spent a lot of time out here the past few days--much has to be done before gnats and no-see-ums arrive to make us irritable. Hostas have been split and shifted, Coral Bells with deep bronze-colored leaves have been added, and Sedum has  been transplanted hither and yon (locating them all for watering is something of a memory game). A myriad of different Coleus plants await their fate. Who knew there were so many different colors?--this is but a fraction of what was available!: 

While doing all this, we were repeatedly serenaded by some very melodic Baltimore Orioles, of which we seem to have many this year.  We often joke that Orioles sound like they're desperately searching for a tune--they pipe out a series of sweet, clear notes & trills, but it never quite forms a melody. We must have a very precocious flock this year, as I swear they are singing the first six notes of The Mexican Hat Dance.  (Go ahead, run that through your mind--but I warn you, it's an earworm.)  I know Orioles go south for the winter...I'm convinced this group goes South of the Border! Ole!

And on that happy note.....I shall literally & figuratively go cultivate my a Voltaire-ian sort of way.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Project # 6938 Progress and counting...

Make that indoor project # 6938 (see April 17th post).... because I could probably  come up with just as many outdoor ones if I counted! (More on those in the very near future.) It's been a fruitful week here at the hacienda, both indoors and out.  While the word "completion" isn't yet in my vocabulary, progress has been made on a number of fronts:  one of them being the flowery pink & black quilt.  I pieced together strips--worked feverishly, assembling 6 strips of 4 squares each and was about to add the seventh when I took pause....  "Hmmm...this doesn't look quite right...hmmm...?!"  So, instead of having essentially 5 blocks x 6 blocks (equaling 30 blocks), I was well on my way to having 4 blocks x 7 blocks (equaling a puzzling 28 blocks); making what would have been a rather peculiarly long bedspread!  The tip-off should have been those two seemingly unnecessary blocks lying innocently on the table. Ah well, at least it wasn't an irreversible situation!  And like my Mom would say, "No one will know how many times it took you to get it right!"  I should add a 21st century caveat to that:  "unless of course you post it on your blog!"  ha!
And from project # 6938 to # 6939:  On our way home from Washington, we bought this lovely fern stand at a Beckley, West Virginia, antique mall.  As you can see, it is painted a most comely shade of brown--yuk! By the style and the weight of it, we're pretty sure it's oak underneath that enamel veneer.  Now who in their right mind would cover oak (or any pretty wood, for that matter) with porch paint?! The brown has got to go--it will return to its natural state, oh yes it will! Look for an "after" picture...eventually.
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