27 June, 2011

Nothing To Say, Really

 The Disappearing Car Prank. I tried and tried and failed at embedding it here - so you will have to click the link to watch it too.

21 June, 2011

First Day of Summer

. . .finally.

I don't have to be into work until a bit later but my sleep clock doesn't know that. I awoke to a beautiful first day of summer with the sun arising (covered with clouds until today) and the birds singing. I had time to savor my coffee amongst my flowers and peas.

Foreground: Iris, remnants of Forget-me-nots.
Middle: Cantebury Bells and Valerian (Jupiter's Beard).

Background: Towering Foxgloves.

 Before the sun hits the Rose Campion

 Another gorgeous Iris at dawn.

Love In A Mist- I remembered the common name of Nigella!
With the dew of summer.

Don't get sucked into this white Iris. I didn't want to take a photo of this nasty little rhizomes-down -to-china Iris but if I ever sucker you into taking this little beauty home, just know that the rhizomes are like a skyscraper underground. It eventually gets so incredibly rootbound, it won't bloom. Any part of a rhizome left in the ground will send up a shoot.

 These Cantebury Bells did not make the ruthless cut this Spring. The person who maintains this acre now has a new and more doable ruthlessness. Wait until the pretties bloom and then whack 'em.
So- these are a biennial flower. Growing the first season, blooming and setting seed the next.
Sometimes, they become Cup & Saucer's. The above photo shows the saucer. Below is just the bell.

I do, however, have three colors of Cantebury Bells in my yard. I have only found one plant with saucers so far this year.  I might have to keep her in the hopes that she will reseed true. . .(slap my hand now - there really isn't a good place in the new garden for these flowers. But if I only kept one. . . ) There is also a white which either hasn't bloomed this year or is about to.

20 June, 2011

Totally Impractical Inspiration

I have been struggling to find my creativity since March. I get that I am busy - with the spring yard work, my overwhelming work situation, and my health issues,  but I dislike the inability to create that has dogged my steps these last few months.
Then I checked out this library book by Clare Youngs, entitled, Scandinavian Needlecraft. Well - I put it in my library hold queue a month or so ago and the book finally appeared. (Probably because the person who checked it out prior to me kept it too long. . . hmmm. . . .)
My work situation has been steadily resolving itself in my favor and I think  -- by allowing some stress to fall by the wayside - this book was simply stunning in it's 'connect' to me Sunday morning.
I immediately wanted to pull out my embroidery thread basket. Visions of a pillow for the couch, a purse to make for etsy danced into my head, and I sat down and made a panel for my work apron.
This photo was taken today - after I finished work and either my embroidery stitches need to get tighter or, possibly, embroidery is NOT suitable to wear at work.

In any case, I did this 6" x 9" panel in about two hours.
It made me happy.
The birdies belly is cutwork. I figure washing the apron will fray the denim, showing the orange fabric behind. This bird is supposed to be expanded 250% to make a bag but I used the image at the size drawn in the book. Some of the detailing was omitted given the smaller size and two hours stitching a work apron!
I played around with the serger and some cool blue multi-colored woolly nylon thread and then zigzagged the panel to the apron. When the panel wears out, I can easily slide my seam ripper under the zigzag stitches and make quick work of a repair job.

Here are some of the other inspiring projects ideas:

 This house on this bag is inspired by Swedish town houses. The technique is all on the machine utilizing the different sizes and thickness of your zigzag stitch. Almost free-motion sewing. . . 

And the pair of reindeer. Made with boiled wool to get that furry texture. I once went to the reindeer races in Rovaniemi, Finland. Gorgeous lappi costumes with saddles and bridles to match.

A second photo of this tote bag with the zigzag outlining. There were several embroidery motifs that caught my eye and I'm just glad my creativity went Zing! yesterday.

I put this book in my Amazon checkout as well. I usually buy books a couple of times a year and my goal is to never pay shipping.

17 June, 2011

B-17 Crashes

The weather here on Wednesday and Thursday was overcast/cloudy and I didn't see the Collings Foundations' B-17 or B-24 at the Aurora airport. Figuring they were delayed by weather, I was belatedly told by my neighbor today that the B-17 crashed.
The Salem News reports this B-17, owned by The Liberty Foundation, crashed in Illinois.

Apparently not the B-17G "Nine O Nine" scheduled to fly in Aurora. I will have to check tomorrow after I get off work.
We did see the Collings foundation's P-51 fly overhead earlier today. The sky's were clear today.
With rain coming in tomorrow, these big birds are scheduled to fly up to Everett, Washington next.

13 June, 2011

Button Stars

Via Pendleton Woolen Mills; via Anastasia Zhuravlena

"We ran across this fun stop-motion video made by Russian animator, Anastasia Zhuravlena dedicated to all the buttons lost in the metro. Starring all the notions in your sewing kit, we can't help but watch it over and over!"

This video starring all of the notions in your sewing drawer;

12 June, 2011

The Busyness of June

 The June Garden. Full of hummingbirds, flowers and work. Everytime you step outside, there is another bud opening and another weed taking over. My long-time garden goal was to be able to pick a bouquet of flowers every day of the year. And that's possible in our mild Willamette Valley. And it takes a lot of work even as I profess myself to be quite the lazy gardener. I can cull the paltry performers  to make room for plants that work for me.
My new-ish goal is allow the garden to become even less work for me. There will be more evergreens and less perennials. (Someone's gonna have to get even more ruthless!)

My 20-year old Sasanqua Camellia. My husband said I could not tack a trellis to the siding (since replaced) nor attach any permanent supports. I had stakes in the ground for the first few years but this is one of my successes. 
This plant blooms red blossoms with yellow stamens all winter.

We had an odd, rainy, winter with sudden cold snaps and my five Montana Clematis's all rotted off at the ground.  My neighbor's Montana variety also succumbed, but another one of mine by the hedge is going gangbusters.
We tore down all of the dead vines off of the pergola and my husband spent quite a bit of time repairing the pergola and re-staining it. We had to replace two of the lattice panels. It's lasted 20 years and will last longer with this maintenance. The clematis's are coming back from the roots and we will train them up and over the pergola but there will no shade this year. (boohoo)

No sewing right now. 
About the only way I get close to sewing is participating in the primo garage sale season of June.
Here's my haul from Friday:

 This wallhanging which might be re-purposed into a purse.

 A basket of 6-inch wool squares.

 A few pounds of lace.
A ziploc of RicRac.
I went to this garage sale advertising sewing machines and fabric. What I found was fabric priced at two bucks a yard and fairly basic fabrics at that. Nothing outstanding and nothing worth (to me) two bucks a yard. The lace, though, was an outstanding bargain. The sewing machines ($200 each) were  basic, newer Singer's which you can buy at Target/Walmart.  

Which, if I am not mistaken, is within range of what you would buy them new for and the new Singer's have no reputation to speak of, 
let alone buying them at a garage sale with no warranty. . .

 More lace and iron-on transfers.

This gorgeous blue bowl. 
I will probably put this on the back patio and find the right plant to highlight that blue.


This odd iris variety.
It grows the sword leaves the first year and blooms the second. Multiple blooms up the stem. 
 This is Iris time.

 My fir tree mulch - grows a prodigious amount of mushrooms.

 Ahhh. The White foxglove blooms.

 Borage. You can candy the blossoms and eat them on your salad. 
Kind of a prickly plant. The blue-pointed stars are spectacular.


 Nigella. I've never heard a common name for this frothy foliage with beautiful blue flowers that dries wonderfully. The one-inch seed pods will pop, exciting young children, showering everything with tiny black seeds. They dry light brown with shades of rose and red. Makes a lovely winter bouquet.

One last image of our bare-naked pergola.
Framing our view of the runway and the farmer's field beyond.

***Thank God it started raining again. Time to go in.

*** Must be Rose Festival Time

11 June, 2011

B-24 Tour Stop at Aurora, Oregon

 B-24 Liberator (bomber), B-17 Flying Fortress (bomber), P-51 Mustang (fighter)

A return of the Collings Foundation's B-24, B-17 and P-51 to the Aurora Airport is this next week - June 15 - 17 Wednesday thru Friday.

An half-hour flight on the B-17 or B-24 is $425 this year. A definite once in a lifetime flight.
You can also walk through the planes while they are on the ground at Aurora.

B-17 - New York

06 June, 2011

Newts & Salamanders

It has been a wet Spring here in the Willamette Valley. Cold, as well.
 I planted my peas a few months ago, and they are now, finally blooming.
For the rest of the garden, I turned over the soil to help dry it out. Fortunately, over the years, I have added plenty of compost so my garden soil doesn't resemble one big mud ball. Even with turning it over a couple of times, it wasn't dry enough, nor warm enough until this week to plant the tomatoes.

Every tenth shovelful of dirt yields a salamander/newt. They have burrowed under the soil to hibernate and the giant human is disturbing their rest. They certainly look surprised to see the sky as I work in my garden. Since there are so many salamanders this year, it is inevitable that the shovel will slice and dice. Now, with earthworms and night crawlers, those will regenerate. But do salamanders? I couldn't find any thoughts or insight on this and I might be grossing myself out at maiming perfectly innocent salamanders. 

The real question is why are there so many salamanders in my garden? I know it's moist but it's just a bit disconcerting to dig one up. I found this blog post stating that salamanders eat slugs. Really? Lord knows I have slugs.

Newts & Salamander info here:
and also here; Northwest Salamander types

02 June, 2011

Doc Martin

Someone clued me into Doc Martin
I'm only on season one, episode two but I find it amusing, if not hysterical British Television at it's finest.
I'm watching it on Hulu TV.

01 June, 2011

Torn ACL

So the kid managed to completely tear his ACL in his knee. Playing soccer.
He won't be able to ever play soccer again at the risk of tearing his other knee up but he has been told he can play volleyball as this sport involves no twisting. You are looking ahead to play over the net. hmmm....

He is undergoing surgery in a couple of weeks and he sent me this 'animation' to 

uhmm. . . cheer me up?

The surgery will be done in Corvallis and then he is spending his summer recuperating - trying to get full extension back in his knee.
If you cut & paste this address into your browser (or maybe the link will work this time)  and then select 'KNEE' and then 'Torn ACL - Hamstring Graft' you can see an animation of what they will do to my child:

I thought the link was going to show me an actual surgery which is really too much TMI for me. But this is a G-rated animation and now we know.