30 October 2009

Nouveau Flowers

I saw this beautiful and very simple art nouveau pattern in a pattern book I purchased at JoAnn Fabric. It was one of those impulse buys. I was waiting in the world's longest line, which was not moving, for no apparent reason. But I amused myself by browsing through the book rack next to me. Always dangerous. I have a serious book addiction. But this was a seriously good pattern book, so I bought it! I used a really nice set of pillowcases that I ordered from J.C. Penney, in yellow, which doesn't show up very well in these pictures, does it? The quality is great, and the pleated ruffle is adorable, but the fabric was a bit too stretchy for embroidery.
I did this set for Nanny, and I had her choose the colors she wanted. I'm not in love with the peachy color for the flower, at least not against the yellow pillowcase. Actually, it looks better in the photos than in real life.

I used DMC floss for these, but I have no idea what colors I used because I didn't write them down. Besides, I wouldn't use that particular color combo again, so I guess it doesn't much matter.

27 October 2009

Garden Evidence

See? We really did have a garden planted this year, honest. Here was one of my nightly bean harvests. I love, love, love string beans. I will definitely be planting more beans next year.

26 October 2009

Vibrant Whimsical Butterflies

This kit is called Whimsical Butterflies and it is from the company Dimensions.
I love how each of the critters turned out, so full. But I did have a little difficulty getting started with the contrasting edges. I couldn't figure out if it worked best to do the edges first then the fill, or the other way around. I don't think I ever decided. The puffy satin stitches makes such a neat texture. A lot of work, but worth it. I think these would be perfect for a little girl. I don't have anybody in mind at the moment, so I just have this set stashed away for now.

By now you know I didn't use the recommended colors, mostly because I didn't have them, and partly because I liked these better. I love, love that green. This time I used regular embroidery floss.
Dark purple- DMC 3350
Light purple- DMC 3835
Bright pink- DMC 154
Bright yellow- DMC 728
Bright green- DMC 581

25 October 2009

Summer Flowers

We had a lot of gorgeous sunflowers this year, as well as some other really nice flowers. The garden got started so late because of all the rain, then I neglected my plants because of the major life upheaval. The plants were lucky mother nature was looking out for them, raining a bit almost every day for most of the summer.
Unfortunately, since I was too tired to tend, weed, or even water the plants, I also didn't get around to taking any pictures of the garden this year. I wish I had realized this a few weeks ago, because the front bed looked really nice all planted with tomatoes, zucchini, swiss chard, marigolds, basil and cosmos. This was my first year of making a concerted effort at companion planting, too. Oh well. There's always next year.

I did take a picture of some cut flowers Lewis brought into the house for me one day. Pretty red sunflower, some cosmos, calendula and a black-eyed susan.

24 October 2009

More Sidewalk Talk

Ta da! There it is, all shiny and white, making all the sidewalk around it look bad. John and Bart really did a good job. The town inspector said it was one of the best in town, and you know he has seen a lot this season! Many of the sidwalk repairs were done by professionals, too.The guys put a shiny 2009 quarter into the cement before it set. See that little smear on the right there? That was supposed to be an imprint of Oliver's paw, but they waited a little too long and Oli was slightly less than co-operative.

23 October 2009

House Numbers, Finally

At long last, we finally got around to mounting the new house numbers on the front porch!
We've only had these pretty metal numbers for the last four years, and since we installed the new old door last August we've been completely without house numbers. This became a big problem a few weeks back when I was expecting guests who had never been to my neck of the woods.
So, my friend Marc got roped into helping me put these up one day a few weeks ago. He's such a good sport. Please forgive the bug dirt, dust and pencil markings. Actually, does anybody know what will remove those pencil markings from the metal siding?

22 October 2009

Pretty Posies

This set of pillowcases was a kit from Bucilla called Pretty Posies. Posies! I always think of my grandma Gloria when I hear the word posies.
I used DMC cotton perle #8 again. I have so much of that kind of thread, I'll never use it all! In fact, three of the four colors I used on this project were new. I'm trying to use the old stuff up, but the colors just weren't right. I'm so pleased with how this set turned out. The pattern is simple, but so pretty. I had intended to do this set for myself (a first) but when it was done I couldn't help thinking about how much my grandma Gloria would like this set. She was very pleased when I gave them to her. Now I just have to do another one for myself!
Medium green- DMC 703
Pale green- DMC 369
Yellow- DMC 726
Pink- DMC 899

21 October 2009

Sidewalk Saga

Let's take a trip back in time a few months, back to May. You might recall that we had the front sidewalk all torn up. The guys had leveled it, added the 2B stones, the wire grid, and had the frame in place, ready for the cement to be poured. Then the sky opened up and dumped more than 4 inches of rain on us in May. Then another 4 inches in June. We just couldn't keep up.It rained buckets almost every day for weeks, and every time I came home I had to check on the basement, mop up as much water as I could, put the fans on the water to dry it out. I even had my two little space heaters running down there. Of course, none of these fans could be left running when Oliver was home alone. I'm too afraid of something happening. I'm also very afraid of mold, so it was a major effort to get the house dry. Every. Single. Day.
We think the reason we had so much water in the basement was because of the gaping hole where there should be sidewalk. Which was prepped and ready, but of course cement could not be poured in that kind of weather. Couple that hole with the fact that we had much more rainfall than normal. The water table was saturated. I know I shouldn't complain, really, because there was so much flooding in the area, many people were far worse off. But still, it was a pain.

You see, normally the rainwater runs down the street past the house, the low spot being between my property and the factory. But with the sidewalk unfinished, well, the water had a new low spot. And it could hold lots more water!

As you see, when we finally figured out this connection (geniuses that we are) we made effort to create a mini sand wall, to encourage the water to flow right past the inviting hole in our sidewalk. These pictures were taken during a "light" shower.
Eventually, more than two months after this project began, the weather cooperated for a few days, and we were able to finally pour the cement.
Then Lewis borrowed the camera, so I don't have any pictures of the finished product right now! I'll take some tonight and post them tomorrow.

20 October 2009

Alright, Where Did We Leave Off?

We're back. We are fine, just adjusting to the new job, schedule and routine. This has left us with very little energy. Feel sorry for Oliver, he hasn't been going on as many walks as he would like. Wait. Actually, that's not new. Some nights I get home and all I have the energy for is about an hour of television with cheese and crackers for dinner. Bad, I know, but what can you do? Anyway, this has put blogging on the back burner. Forgive us. How can you not forgive us when we give you sad puppy eyes like these?
More tomorrow. Promise.