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Archive for the ‘Growing Things’ Category

Unbelievable!  If something major doesn’t stop me in my typing tracks I will have posted two times in June with days to go…not a lot of days, but since my last post in May I have unshared  crazy quilting just begging for equal time.  That’s what this post is all about…

Here is my work on Angie’s TAT (Turquoise, Aqua, Teal) RR block…

I could not resist stitching a spider web and a harmless little fantasy spider…I also stitched a feather stitch vine as a seam treatment and embellished it with seed beads.   The seam treatment on the right is made up of a base herringbone stitch with straight stitches, colonial knots and sequins secured with seed beads.  The little dragonflies are made with detached chain stitches (aka lazy daisy)and beads.

Angie's block after Judy Just a little spider close-up…he doesn’t bite.

Angie's block spider web

I also worked on Sue’s block.  On this block I used an embellishing technique I had never tried.  All in all I think I did ok. (I hope Sue does.)  The mermaid on Sue’s block was cut from a printed fabric and secured to the block with Heat n Bond.

SS mermaid

I worked on the final rotation block in the All Things Pretty RR and sent Molly’s blocks on the way home…full circle.  I love the fabrics she used!

2013-06-18 10.47.56

I also did some angel work for a round robin at World Wide Crazy Quilting.  It’s an encrusted RR and has been a pleasure to take part in.

Janie’s block…

Janie's whole block

Close up view of my work…I added the fan and embellished it, added the straight and colonial stitches to the lace in the middle, stitched the parasol and vine in the green patch and the purple stitching on the lace in the right corner.  I could have kept stitching, but I would have been a stitching piggy if I had.  I needed to leave a place to stitch for the other ladies in this round robin.  Janie’s block was a delight to work on.

Judy's work on Janie's block

Susan’s block…

Susan whole block

Close up of my work…keeping with the color scheme…I added the bullion roses and silk ribbon roses.  I also added the blue lace butterfly and the blue lace flower and green lace leaves.  Because there were several people left to stitch after me, I stopped there, but I could have kept going.

Judy's Work on Susan's block

Finally, I stitched on Debbie’s very elegant block.  Again there was not a lot of space left for stitching so I added a couple of small touches and sent it on to the next lady in line.  I added the feather stitch, bead and colonial stitch seam treatment.  It carried over into the adjoining patch.  I also added the straight and colonial stitches to the lace on the right side.  Just as with the other two blocks, I really enjoyed working on Debbie’s block.

Debbie's block

Final addition…I added the bow lace and embellished it with pearl beads.

Debbie2

I think that’s a wrap.  If there is anything else “crazy” I have not shared, it’s forgotten.  I leave you with some beauties from our yard…

allium….I love the soft lavender color.

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Yellow iris…I love them almost as much as purple iris.

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wasteland surprises…love, love, love the color…

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O, so happy petunias…

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A reminder of how much God loves us…

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Pretty peach colored daylilies…

lily

Moss growing under oak trees…

moss maybe

Beautiful mushrooms…

shrooms

More really cool fungi…these have gotten larger and more beautiful.  I’ll have to share new pictures when I upload them to my computer.

shrooms2

And I close with a really sweet gift from a special young lady…Rhyan…my grandson Eli’s girlfriend.  After knowing me for just a short time, she was thoughtful enough to remember me while she was in London and brought back this precious proof of that.  Tea and a tea bag holder from Harrod’s of London…I sure do appreciate the gift…but most of all her thoughtfulness.  She made me feel very special.  The strawberry tea is luscious.

sweet

Until next time…

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  John 14:13

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Eighteen years ago today my best friend and I married…one man and one woman…as God intended.  These have been eighteen years of what a marriage was meant to be…we’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve worked through them.  We’ve loved each other and grown together.  I thank God for my dear husband and look forward to our remaining time together…until death do us part.

Another month managed to slip past since my last post.  Bella, the German Shepherd puppy I got for my birthday last month has all but sapped my energy.  She’s not quite four months old, but she is strong as an ox.  Bella is a good puppy, but she is ALL puppy.  Unfortunately her breeder had already started “aggression training” before I brought her home.  We are now trying to untrain her and teach her the manners that will make her a valuable companion and best friend.  For my purposes she won’t need aggression training.  These pictures were taken at the vet’s office yesterday while we were waiting our turn.

3 and a half months

This one is a little blurry, but it shows how big she has gotten in such a short time…

bella 3 and a half months

Even now I am “forcing” myself to write a blog post.  My sweet friend Pam called me on the phone this past weekend to see if I was okay.  She had not seen me online for a while and just wanted to make sure something was not wrong.  We had a delightful visit, and I now feel closer to her than ever before.  I knew in my heart of hearts she is special and we have much in common, but our phone visit confirmed it.  It is because of her call that I am making the effort to update my blog.  (I appreciate you, Pam.)

While Pam and I were talking we decided to do a one-on-one crazy quilt block swap.  I’ll be making a block for her to embellish and return and vice versa.  I look forward to it and will share my naked block when I get it made.  We decided on an eight inch block.  It has been a while since I did a one on one swap and all my round robins have come full circle except for my blocks returning home, so I am ready and very happy to be doing this swap.  I am still expecting at least one more block I will be angel stitching on,  but I do not have a block in the round robin.  I also have one more one-on-one heart swap heart to finish and then all my commitments will be filled for June…for the summer, for that matter, so I am very glad to have the block swap with Pam to work on.

I have done some crazy quilting stitching since my last post.  Most of it has been on other people’s blocks.  I made my May CQJP block and called it finished although I may return to it and fill in some gaps.  Yellow is not one of my favorite colors and though I enjoyed working on it in spite of that fact, I tired of it and my ideas of what I needed to do next seemed to fizzle out.  I’ve started work on my June block and once finished I’ll revisit the yellow one.  Sometimes all it takes to come up with new ideas is a break.

Here is the May block…the corners are mighty bare.

whole block

A few close ups of detail…

Left upper…

Left top

Left lower…

Left lower

Right upper…

Upper right

Right lower…

Lower right

Center…

center

Because yellow is a favorite color of a very special friend, I made this yellow heart for Steph in a one-on-one heart swap.  She said she is pleased.  I sure hope so.  I enjoyed making it for her.

for Stephanie

I’m going to call this post to an end even though I have more crazy quilting updates to share.  Hopefully I will get back soon and finish what I started.  :)  My washing machine is making terrible noise, and I really need to check on it.  (Ugh…a new washer is not on my list of things I would love to have, but ours has some years on it so it probably won’t live much longer.)  Bella needs to go outside, and even though it is miserably hot outside I really need to answer her distress call.

But before I go…look how beautiful…

Savannah Debutant

Until next time…

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  2 Corinthians 5:21

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Summer wanes making way for the appearance of fall. Fall in southeast Mississippi is more a calendar event than a season. It arrives without the flashy show of colorful leaves so celebrated along the east coast. Brilliantly colored foliage is sparse and crisp, cool mornings few. Still beauty abounds. Summer blossoms linger as fall blooms appear. Here are a few of the blooms and other wonders around our place last week.

Lingering four o’clocks…soon they will be gone until spring.

Yellow roses remind me of my dad…

Wild ageratum

Purple Lantana

The Confederate rose hibiscus…it opens white in the morning and turns dark pink by evening time.

Confederate rose hibiscus later in the day…

An intoxicated bumble sleeping on a confederate rose leaf…

This dew-covered spider web shone like a string of diamonds in the early morning sunshine.

Pompas grass…

Brilliantly colored leaves are few, but beauty abounds. 

Until next time…

And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you. Mark 13:5

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This is a continuation of my last post.  If you love fungi and lichens, you may want to check it out if you missed it.  For a closer look, click on the pictures.

As I said in my previous “Mushroom and Lichens” post, we’ve had an abundance of much-needed rain in our area last week.  This week mushrooms and lichens are popping up all over the place.  I can’t resist taking their picture.  I’ve even braved the oppressive summer heat to search for them.   There may be a picture or two of moss, because as I’ve studied lichens I’ve learned the two  are not always easily distinguished. 

Here are a few of my finds over the past couple of days…

Mushroom 1…

Mushroom 2…

Mushroom 3…

Mushroom 5…

Mushroom 6:  This one reminds me of a portabella, one of my favorite to eat, but I’ll abstain.  :)

Lichen 1…

Lichen 2:

Lichen 3:

Lichen 4:

Lichen 5:

Lichen 6:

That last pictures ties it up for this time. 

Until next time…

I am…a mushroom on whom the dew of heaven drops now and then.
–John Ford, The Broken Heart (1633)

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As far back as I can remember I’ve had an admiration for all things growing.  In the days following ample rain I almost always go searching for mushrooms and lichens…fungi in any shape or size.  Last week southeast Mississippi was blessed with rain every day.  This week mushrooms and lichens are in their element.  They are so abundant I’m only sharing pictures of a few.

For larger views click on each picture.  I tried unsuccessfully to identify each specimen.   All the lichens were growing on dead branches or firewood.

Lichen 1…

Lichen 2…

Lichen 3…

Lichen 4…

Lichen 5…

Lichen 6…

Moving on to mushrooms…I will cut this post short with just a couple of mushroom shots.  I’ve not encountered so much hassle uploading pictures on my blog in a very long time.  Maybe the next post will  go more smoothly.  Here’s hoping.

Mushroom 1…I found this one peeking out from under a dead, lichen branch on my way to the mailbox this morning.

Mushroom 2…These were growing under a cedar tree.  Yesterday only the large brown mushroom was visible.

To be continued…very soon.

Until next time…

Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.  Proverbs 10:12

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Beauty abounds.  Some days beauty is harder to recognize than other days. Life has a way of getting heavy and our eyes get clouded by burdens, but all we have to do to find  beauty around us is slow down and take time to look for it. 

Here is some of the beauty God has provided for our pleasure. 

Tiny keets…soon they will be mature enough to set free.  They will be wonderful watch dogs.

Out in our yard flowers are blooming…looking at blooming flowers always raises my spirit and reminds me of God’s goodness.  Just think how bleak this old world would be without rich-colored flowers and delicate blooms.

Asters…

Daylilies…only here for a day, but Oh how glorious they are while they last.

Our Vitex bushes are blooming. Vitex is a natural source of estrogen…The lavender blooms make Vitex one of my favorite decorative bushes.

And a little red hen…

Coming soon…a very exciting Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway. Very exciting. Keep checking back. You won’t want to miss this!

Until next time…

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.  Psalm 34:8

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Right before serving supper I snuck into my sewing room and put together naked square #6 so my hands won’t be idle this evening.  I’m itching to get it started and see it take shape.  Here’s a preview of things to come…

While I was cooking supper my sweetheart peeked in the back door and told me to grab my camera and come outside.  Being the obliguing wife I am, I did.  He knows I love mushrooms and other assorted fungi, and when he spots unique ones he always lets me know.  Neither of us have ever seen these little “guys” before.  They are smut black and smooth.  The tallest is no more than two inches tall.  They are barely large enough for the tiniest pixie to hide behind.  :)

another grouping…

Until next time…

God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.  Job 37:5

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Summertime heat in the south is oppressive.  The humidity makes the air seem drinkable.  The sun beats down without respect of persons yet life thrives in the heat of the day.  The dog days of summer are upon us.  Shortly after noon I walked to our mailbox to pick up the day’s mail and found these beauties along the way.

Soon this lacy cypress vine will be covered in tiny, red, trumpet-shaped flowers hummingbirds will feast upon.  The heart-shaped leaf is also part of a vine that will be covered in similar flowers.

Shrooms thrive in spite of the heat…tucked away in shady places.  These are growing in an old tire where potatoes used to grow.

Very little else lives around this one…the recent rains we’ve had is all that has kept all our grass looking like this.  Yet the mushroom is happy.

After seeing this one on Facebook a friend commented she could almost see the pixies living under this mushroom.  I told her they took off as soon as they saw my phone pointed in their direction.  They are speedy little creatures.   Such rich color!

Just behind our mailbox in the edge of the woods I caught a glimpse of purple.  It was a lone sweat pea blossom…

Hummingbirds love these bright beauties…I’ve heard them called “lady’s jewels”.

I thought these were especially nice…

Our herbs are still thriving…thank you, Jesus.

Of all our gardens this one is least affected by the triple digit temperatures…:)

Until next time…

Be tuff ! The “dog days” of summer can be wuff !  ~ unknown ~

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I’m not bragging.  Really I am not.  Last week’s Tea on Tuesday overflowed with winter blues (greys) and blahs.  I wished I could send sunshine and warmth to each of you and lift your spirits.  For the time being Southeast Mississippi is being blessed with glorious, sunshiny weather.   Today I am sharing some of my warm sunshine.  This morning I worked outside with herbs until lunchtime and enjoyed a light lunch in the sunshine.  I stand amazed at what a good dose of natural vitamin D will do for a girl’s mood, and I hope you can visually soak up a little of my beautiful, not too hot, sunshine that promises to head your way soon in the pictures I share.  Most are pictures of the herbs I worked with…sprucing up this year’s new growth and transplanting new.

Before getting started playing with rich soil and fragrant herbs sheets hit the line to flap in the warm sunshine and gentle breeze.  There’s nothing quite relaxing as the smell of linens that hanged on the line to dry in the fresh air…thinking about it makes me want to go crawl in the bed and take a nap.

Catnip is one of the herbs I grow to use in medicinal infusions and blended teas.  Of all my catnip plants from years past this one looks the happiest today.  It’s growing in a chicken waterer that leaked and would have been discarded without my intervention.  My favorite containers are unique.

Another new growth plant that seem thrilled to be alive is my garlic chives.  They look so perfect I hate to start cutting them, but they’ll taste wonderful chopped on a hot baked potato and in salads  and add delicate flavor when cooked into so many dishes. 

Of all my periannuals my most beloved are stevia plants and lemongrass.  Both are desparately difficult to obtain in this area.  They also both take a VERY long time to grow from seed. 

Stevia is hardy in southeast Mississippi, but lemongrass is not.  Each spring I keep an eye out for the stevia to peek out when our weather begins to warm, and I shelter it during any cold snaps we have.  It’s not uncommon for our temps to drop back down below freezing until after Easter so tender plants are easily lost up until then.  Throughout the growing season I give stevia plants good haircuts and dry all I cut for use in tea blends. 

The first year I grew lemongrass I set one plant out in the ground and a second in a large, deep pot.  The one in the pot over-wintered in the laundry room and just barely made it.  After a year of “recovery time” it boasts only a few blades.  I covered the one in the ground with a thick bed of pinestraw and all was well through the winter.  When the weather warmed early like now it emerged, healthy and full.  During the first deep cold snap I lost it.  Thankfully my favorite local nursery gets a few plants a year, and I managed to make a visit while they still had three.  I bought them all even though I felt really greedy and almost guilty as I claimed them.  Lemongrass adds nice lemon flavor to tea  blends and recipes.  I won’t overwinter these in the ground and will make sure they are happy with their indoor winter home.   I’m hoping we can add a greenhouse to our place before the end of this summer growing season.

While I played with herbs and soaked up the golden rays I took several pictures, but since I waited so late in the day to post my tea Tuesday, I’m fast forwarding to my much needed lunch break.  My tea selection wasn’t fancy, but it was perfect paired with fresh, Louisiana strawberries.  Lemon Lift is one of my favorite afternoon/evening teas.  The rich black tea flavored with natural lemon lives up to it’s name.  I’m enjoying a second “mug” as I compose this post.

These bad boys have enjoyed their day, too.  It would just be wrong not to share them with you.   Aren’t they gorgeous?

I know reading my tea post is not quite like “being there”, but I do hope it renews your hope that spring really is just around the corner…If you enjoy tea, check out Kimmie’s blog Art In Red Wagons home of Tea on Tuesday and follow the links to read more wonderful tea posts.  You’ll be glad you did.

Until next time…

I got nasty habits; I take tea at three.   ~ Mick Jagger, Live with Me ~

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This post is a continuation of “Look Who’s Knocking”.  Our weather continues to be spring-like…complete with a line of thunderstorms passing through during the night leaving the morning air fresh and crisp.  It’s a perfect spring morning in Southeast Mississippi.  Even though I spent yesterday in bed fallen victim to a nasty bug, I could not resist a brief walk outside to see what another day’s growth and warm sunshine revealed.

Rufus knows this day is something to crow about.

This is the day the Lord hath made.  We will be glad and rejoice in it.  Psalm 118:24 

Nothing says spring like daffodils.

Keeping an eye on me…I think he heard a rumor about chicken and dumplings being on Sunday’s menu.

Pear blossom bouquet…

Honey bees a buzzin’…

Stevia emerging…how sweet is that?!  Of the three plants I grew last year all are coming back.  Woot, woot!

There’s one off-topic thing I’d like to share.  A young friend needed an outfit for colonial day at school.  Her mom asked if I would make her a long skirt.  Of course, I did…here’s a pic of Ashton trying her new “old-fashioned” skirt and apron on.  Isn’t she a doll?

It’s time for me to get busy.   Housework is calling (after a downtime day it’s screaming) and as much as I’d love to stay and play, “it’s time to go now”.

Until next time…

It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!                                                                                                       ~ Mark Twain ~

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