Monday, March 27, 2017

Seven spring things


One: it's daffodil time and I've been buying a few bunches every time I shop. They smell wonderful. I love having them in the house, looking cheerful and bright. I put them all over, a few on the table, a few on the counter, a few on the coffee table in the living room so you see them as you come in the front door.


Two: there's a mama dove in the juniper on the side of the house where we keep our trash cans. We think this is her second egg. There were shells on the ground under the tree a few weeks ago. Then we saw this egg and noticed she was back to sitting on the nest. We're trying so hard not to disturb her. We put out the trash on tiptoe.


Three: I'm enjoying our new paint so much. This is the back porch (the sliding doors go into the breakfast nook). It looks so clean and fresh. Now I just want to replace that old, dated light fixture. In my excitement about the paint, I was inspired to buy a new patio umbrella. We haven't used it yet, but it's bigger and sturdier than the old one and I'm really excited to have our first meal of the season on the patio, hopefully soon.


Four: our rosemary is blooming more than it ever has. I'm so pleased! We have two large rosemary plants along the front walk. I don't know if we did anything differently, but it's been on a steady course of improvement for the past few years and it's better than ever this year. I might even try cooking with it more now. It's completely edible, I was just afraid to remove any when the plants weren't as robust. I've been eating a piece here and there when I'm out there. We all do.


Five: the new chickens are growing like crazy! Oh my goodness. We think they'll be able to go out to the coop by this coming weekend. They're still very sweet and funny. They're also becoming noisier and more rambunctious all the time. We love having them in the house but they're just about ready for the real hen life.


Six: I'm making very slow progress on an amigurumi crochet project, the Dutch Rabbit stuffed toy by Kati Galusz. I love the look of this toy so much, and Dutch rabbits are my favorite kind, so I bought this pattern in the hopes of making one or two (potentially as Easter gifts for my children). I'm finding it so difficult, though - like really agonizingly so. The feet were easy; I could make those little front feet all day long. The head, though - holy moly. So hard. I've made the head three times so far and it's always wrong. I don't think it's the pattern, for what it's worth. My amigurumi skills are pretty rudimentary. I plan to keep trying, but these are some tough bunnies!


Seven: a bit more promising is this sewing pattern, the Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts. I've never really sewn a garment for myself, aside from some stretchy-waist skirts, so I'm looking forward to trying this top. I really want some tops that aren't t-shirts, much as I love those. Pattern-wise, I also have my eye on designs from 100 Acts of Sewing. For now, I just need to find fabric for the Sailor Top. I spent some time at Jo-Ann over the weekend and was disappointed. I really want something light, like cotton voile, or maybe double-gauze, but there wasn't much to choose from. I'll probably order something online. I'm pretty excited to make something for myself!

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Thanks for your lovely comments lately. I was in total spring-break mode last week and wasn't keeping up with blogs, but I hope you're doing well. The weather went back to normal springtime patterns here, but it was gorgeous for a couple of weeks. You'll be proud to know that I resisted buying annual plants FOUR different times! Some neighbors down the street made up beautiful urns full of geraniums and other annuals for their yard and every time I pass by, I cringe a little thinking about all the plants I've killed by putting them in too early. I hope theirs make it but I'm jaded now, I can't help it. My big rosebush has buds now, and my tulips are about to bloom, and my little ivy houseplant is going like gangbusters, so I'm satisfied. And just think of all the money I'm saving on annuals by not buying them twice! These are the things I tell myself as I stroll past the carts of geraniums at Lowe's...and the edible herbs in the vestibule at Trader Joe's...and the impatiens beckoning from the sidewalk at Smith's...

23 comments:

  1. those are some lovely things!!! this is the second time I am seeing rosemary in bloom via social media, so neat!!! I just finished reading Elizabeth Goudge's _The Rosemary Tree_ and it's neat to see it now in pictures (the tree that is!).... wise to budget plant $ as you do!! that paint job is so very nice!!! I would be so pleased with it also!!! Have a great week and day!!! :) God bless you!!!

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  2. What a lovely post. Spring looks good in your corner of the world. All my geraniums from last year died (frost - I forgot to cover them) and I'm desperate to buy more and plant up my pots. Perhaps in the Easter holidays. You wooden trim looks really, really good, very smart and fresh. X

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  3. Oh I always have plant impatience at this time of year as well. Love your new paint, it's beautifully done. Eating outside under a big umbrella sounds blissful. I always love the sound of your climate. Proper chilly winters but good warm (too hot?) summers too. And I love, love, love the rainy season when the clouds roll in in the afternoon, I'd adore that. I was looking at some amazing rosemary earlier on this afternoon at the littlest boy's guitar teacher's house, just covered in flowers. I always love to squeeze it and smell it. I have a small plant, but no flowers at all. No doubt it's great for bees at a time when there aren't too many other blooms. Hope you have a good week Jennifer. CJ xx

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  4. Spring is great, just love that first warmth, it is always very welcome after a long dreich winter. Your house paint looks lovely, it is a warm welcoming colour. The Sailor top is great, I make one or two every year. Funny that you mention this top, I have started writing a post about this year's version. If I can give you one tip for your first one it would be to choose a fabric that is not too slippery, the gathers are a bit tricky to get 'just right' with a fabric that tends to have a life of its own. I also hand baste the gathers in place. I like cotton lawn. I now always make a toile (muslin) with a new pattern. Old sheets are great for that. I buy almost all fabric online, quite often in the U.S. You have great fabric retailers. Happy Spring! xx

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    1. Hi Christina, thank you so much for the tip! I thought I remembered that you have made this top. I really appreciate hearing what you like to do with it. I was thinking about using cotton lawn too, it seems like a really light material for a summer top. Thank you again!

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  5. What pretty spring photographs. The one of the dove's egg looks so perfect. A couple of years ago we had a collared dove start making a nest on top of the outdoor light right outside our front door. I immediately started making elaborate plans to stop using the front door all summer, direct visitors right round the back of the house etc, much to the bemusement of the family. However the collared dobe changed her mind within a day and abandoned the nest, choosing a quieter spot elsewhere in the garden x

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  6. A lovely post of spring things, Jennifer. Good luck with the bunny heads! :o)

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  7. You're right to hold back on planting annuals if there's still a chance of frost. Garden centres start selling them far too early here too. But when the sun is shining and it feels warm they're very hard to resist!

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  8. You're having lots of springtime fun! Hold off on those annuals until Mother's Day. It's so hard!

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  9. I think we've been too hasty with a few new plants to brighten the tubs. When our neighbour puts a frost blanket on her car I get nervous for the plants! Those bunny faces do look hard, I had similar struggles with a fox face. I hope you crack it Jennifer, they are really cute! ��

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  10. and we are entering autumn although apart from a brief hint of it last week you'd never know ... well done with the crochet I've only attempted argarumi a few times with no success

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  11. I love your Spring things! That egg photo is awesome!

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  12. What a wonderfully fun post today Jennifer. I loved everything about it. I'm wishing you good luck with your little crochet bunnies and also with the bird egg hatching. It looks like the chicks are a success, and I admire your sewing. I love to sew but my back doesn't let me be around my machine very long right now. Have a wonderful week and I hope it stays nice and warm in your part of the world so you can soon plant your flowers!
    Blessings, Betsy

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  13. That pattern for a top is lovely, and looks easy to put together. I hope you enjoy sewing your own garments. The dove egg looks so special and perfect - do your doves usually lay two? In our previous house there were doves about who always laid two eggs, never more, and never only one. There was always such consternation when an egg fell and broke. I love the colour of your rosemary flowers, a beautiful deep blue. Ours is rather pale and insipid in comparison :)

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  14. The bunnies are cute, but I know what you mean about the amigurumi. I know I should be able to do it, but I just get lost in the middle.

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  15. What a cheerful spring post, Jennifer! Your newly painted house is looking wonderful. Rosemary can be a touchy plant, at least where we live. It can survive the winter, but only if it is mild. When we lived in Kamloops I had to put in a new rosemary plant every spring. Where we live now the one I planted when we first moved here is still alive, but it took a real beating this past winter. The Sailor Top is a great pick to start sewing yourself some clothes. It is a very straightforward pattern, and looks really cute when worn. My suggestion would be to go back to Jo-Ann's and find some very inexpensive material, but something you would be happy wearing if it turns out, and make your first one out of that. That way you can figure out the fit, and practice sewing on material that doesn't matter, and at little cost. Then use the fabric you find online to sew #2.

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  16. That little egg looks like a pearl, very pretty, I hope it hatches. I love the idea of being able to slide back the doors and go to eat breakfast on the patio xx

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  17. Hey Jennifer,
    I get annual fever at this time of year. Like you, I have resisted this year. My father in law taught me the art of geranium cuttings, so I have lots of freebies growing away in the greenhouse. I also have lots of seeds in trays for the garden. I did buy 6 hollyhock plants today though. They're perennial, and I hope to gather seed later this year.
    Thank you so much for my birthday card! Marc hid it until Sunday. How kind and thoughtful of you.
    Leanne xxx

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  18. A lovely spring post Jennifer. Lots to enjoy like daffodils, fresh paint, sunny days and new sewing! I love the bunny pattern very much but know I wouldn't be able to make it! I hope you get on better with the next try! Have a happy week.
    Helen xox

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  19. What a lovely spring post! The first thing I noticed in your outdoor photo (of the new paint job) was how blue the sky was. That's not a common site here in IL. It's always so humid here in the warm weather, that we have a lot of puffy clouds. And in the winter and spring, so much gray skies and gloom. In fact, it's been cloudy and rainy for days on end...with no end in sight. Depressing!

    Amazing how quickly chickens grow and change. And can you believe I had no idea that rosemary bloomed?! I've never seen flowers on rosemary before. So pretty.

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  20. Chicks are looking great. I think that pattern will be lovely on you so I am expecting modelling pictures under you new umbrella! I painted our bathroom a soft terracotta colour 3 weeks ago and it has grown on me now - we all like it. have a good weekend, I will be catching more lambs! Jo x

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  21. yay to fresh paint!
    We are still in our winter coats.. but the sun is coming out and I can almost feel the warmth..
    I am growing mint and cilantro right now.. and am waiting for strawberries to come into the nursery so I can plant those too.. right now the plants are all indoors just waiting for it to be nice enough to put them outside.

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