Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Spring Quilt Finsihed

This quilt took longer than usual to finish. I decided to add some embroidery to the outer border. After about two sides I was wishing I hadn't! But now that it's done, I'm pretty happy the with the way it turned out. 

When I finished this quilt, I was in the mood to work on something for fall, so I made this little table mat. 

This is a free pattern from the blog She has designed two blocks for each month. I loved this apple block, though I made a mistake and put the apples going in the wrong direction.  I didn't feel like picking it apart, but I'm happy to live with it as is :)

I spent last weekend getting out the fall stuff. It is such a fun season to decorate for. I'll be back with some photos soon. I have today off from work which is good because I've got a cold with a bad sore throat. Not a good thing when working with the public at a library! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Preserving Summer

Do you remember, back in March, those 80 degree days? And then the freeze in April? I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone that the weather this spring did a number on all the fruit grown in the midwest.
This is the sum total of our summer fruit harvest, except for one bowl of strawberries, which was gone before a picture could be taken.:)

For some reason the red raspberries did OK. Maybe because they flower and set fruit later than the other fruits. We gobbled them up as they ripened and I was able to save back enough to make these jars of jelly.

I did buy some strawberries from the grocery store to make our favorite strawberry jam. But it wasn't quite as good as the homegrown strawberry jam. I'm already looking forward to next summer's fruit harvest. I just know it will be a great one!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hummingbird Antics

Even though we have had this feeder up for a couple of years, this was the first year we have seen so much activity around it.

This feeder is hanging off the deck right near the pool. So for the last month we have spent a good part of our time in the pool just watching these little guys. They are so territorial that they spend most of their time trying to keep the other birds away from the feeder, to the point of ramming into each other. We can actually hear them bumping! I am surprised we didn't find a stunned one in the pool!

Since we live in Indiana, these are Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. The ones in these pics are females, hence no bright colors, but I'm hoping to get a pictures of a bright throat soon. I'll keep the camera close :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Still Here

  Sorry I've been such a bad blogger.  This summer has been a little unusual for us. First of all, this has been the first time in 31 years that I've worked outside the home during the summer months. A little bit of an adjustment for this gardener. Add to that the heat and drought, and I just could not keep up with the things I love.
   We also had some family issues that needed a lot of attention. I won't go into details. Let's just say, parenting is not for the faint of heart. Can anyone relate? :)

We did have some very good times this summer. Lots of swimming, going to the beach, and playing with our grandson. Of course, the highlight of our summer was the marriage of our oldest son, Justin and his beautiful Lizzie. It was a wonderful wedding, perfectly reflecting their relaxed, quirky style. I will post pictures soon.   

Once we got some rain and the temps were bareable, I couldn't wait to get out and play in the dirt. I love nothing better than to get down on my hands and knees and weed. Weird, I know! But if I didn't get up close and personal, I might have missed this guy under the tomatoes:

American toad
This is my weeding set up- towel to kneel on and bucket for weeds.
The pond was a welcome spot of cool in the garden.

Graham Thomas rose.
Creme de Cassis hollyhocks.
Butterfly not seen here too often.
I love looking across the backyard in the late afternoon light.
 Of course, I've done a lot of needlework this summer. I'm finishing up the quilting on a couple of quilts. I'll show pictures when they are done. And I've been inspired by some cross stitching blogs, and have enjoyed making a couple of small items. I love the new (to me) way that people are finishing their pieces. 

Pinkeep - pattern from Just CrossStitch Halloween issue.
Since Rick and I went to Lake Michigan on Labor Day and said goodbye to the beach until next summer, I'm ready to move onto fall and all the fun decorating, baking and crafting. In fact, I'm working on a witch's hat swap hosted by the creative Vivian.  Can't wait to show the finished product!