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Archive for the ‘Marvels of Nature’ 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!

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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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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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Most people have a great aversion to rats and mice. (I’ve met a few who look upon them fondly…bless their hearts.) For years mankind has attempted to build a better rat trap only to fail in his efforts. The best simply cannot be improved upon. A few weeks ago our calico female bestowed a litter of kittens upon us…a litter of lean, rat-killing machines. Since welcoming a couple of feral felines onto our property we don’t worry about rodents.

Meet the latest generation…

In all truth, this furry little kitten had nothing to do with the demise of the rat. His mother proudly carried it onto the back porch and dropped it. I had to wonder if this was a lesson in “how to earn your keep”. Mama is a beautiful calico cat who disappeared before I captured her with my camera.

There were five beautiful kittens in this litter. Two have been placed in a loving home…three remain with us. Hopefully we will be able to place them in good homes, too.

This little fellow is solid black and has a ferocious hiss…

A wee bit less hissy…I call him “Oreo”.

And “Goldie”…this one will be hard to give a way. It has such a sweet little face.

Just as I finished taking pictures of the kittens another subject showed up on the porch. This guy is our boss hog rooster. Both of our red roosters avoid his wrath.

There is still time to get in on my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway…but not much.  Entries must be in by midnight.  The winner will be announced tomorrow.  That unnamed person is in for a real treat!

Until next time…

Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. Deuteronomy 13:4

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Each Sunday my pastor gives a “happy” to anyone who searches for a mystery verse and finds it. A new verse without the reference is printed each week in our church bulletin.   I’ve always been a lover of puzzles, and unless it slips my mind, I play.  I try to determine which book the verse comes from by the wording.  Sometimes I use my Strong’s to search key words.  I usually read the whole chapter after I’ve located the verse…just because.  This past week our verse was found in the book of Zechariah…chapter 9…verse 12.  The “happy” for finding this verse was a snowman with a story to tell.  Most of us have heard the legend of the candy cane, the dogwood, and the passion flower, but the Snowman’s story was new to me.  I figured if it was unique to me, it may be to others.  For that reason I am sharing…

The Meaning of the Snowman

The white snow represents God’s forgiveness of our sins.

The circular snowballs show the everlasting life God promises us.

The carrot nose shows us that God has given us the Earth and all living things.

The black coal mouth reminds us to give God praise.

The scarf keeps us warm just as God’s love does.

The top hat reminds us to honor God above all things.

The twig arms are open to hold us the way God does when we need Him.

And there you have it…the snowman’s story and a timely reminder of our Heavenly Father’s abounding love.  I’ll never look at a snowman in the same way again.

Until next time…

For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth, likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.

Job 37:6

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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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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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Southeast Mississippi is blessed with glorious spring weather today.  Days are gradually growing longer; trees have begun to bud and bloom.  Hypothetically speaking…spring is knocking at the door. 

The sun is hiding behind thick clouds this morning, but spring’s emerging beauty is not hidden beneath them.  One needs only to look around to see God’s amazing handiwork.  After feeding our outside critters I took a few minutes to capture just a small bit of the beauty that greeted me when I went about my work. 

Just outside our back door a huge sand pear tree is beginning to burst into bloom.  The blossoms are delicate and white.  They remind me of fine Japanese art.  If our area gets another heavy freeze we won’t harvest many pears…if any.  Here’s hoping our pears survive the early bloom.

Longer days mean increased egg production.  With hens still about the business of producing the day’s offering, I was able to collect  ten beautiful eggs that were already laid. 

The flowers of this bush are not fancy and showy.  It has no flashy foliage to catch a passer-by’s eye.  If you are in a  hurry as you pass this “Plain Jane” by, you  might not catch a whiff of its sweet aroma.   Therein the “treasure” of the Sweet Olive lies.  This particular bush is especially special to me, because my dear dad gave it to me years ago.  Today is a sweet reminder of him.

These are just a few of the wonders of spring I encountered as I went about my outside chores.  Time for sharing has passed too quickly this time around.  I will share more later.  Break time is over and housework summons me.  A young friend will arrive soon to be measured for a colonial costume, and I’ve still got work to do before she knocks on the door…not hypothetically speaking.   We have company coming for supper, too, and I need to get that started for before I get busy with my young friend.

Until next time…

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.         Genesis 8:22

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