2014~ A New Year~ New beginnings….!

And here comes Lamb Dog #2!IMG_8356 copy

(This is an introduction to an ongoing series of posts about adventures with my new puppy, Pippin, that I plan to include in my blog whenever possible.)

If you’ve read my blog before you may remember that I often wrote about the antics and quirks of my funny beloved best companion; my Bedlington terrier, Pascal. Pascal came to me when he was 4 1/2 months old and I was fortunate to have him with me for fourteen and a half years! Though that’s considered a nice long life for a dog, compared to a human life it’s way too short! Pascal died on November 7,2013. On November 13, after spending a very sad week desperately searching for a Bedlington pup, I was at the cargo drop-off station of the Oakland airport to pick-up my new puppy! I was so excited anticipating seeing him for the first time that I felt like I was about to burst with impatience. Fortunately, my parents offered to drive me there. The way I was feeling I think had I been driving I never would have made it~  or if I did, it would be with a streamer of traffic violations  waving like a flag from the antennae of my car.  (to be cont.)

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It’s been awhile since my last post, but in my last post I wrote about the goings on in my Bunny Garden. I have continued making bunnies for the garden and over the past several months, little lambs have come to join them. The little guy pictured here is Wooliam. He is the result of my own design and experimentation with combining knitting and embroidery. Wooliam’s head consists of two days of embroidering individual layers of French knots over his knit head- a painstaking job, but one with very pleasing  results. I wanted to make a knit lamb that had the gentle warmth and loveable quality that’s commonly associated with lambs.~   More on the happenings in the bunny garden in my next post!

Where Did Summer Go?

Enlightened Looking at all of the beautiful flowers in everyone’s gardens, it’s hard to realize that we’re mid-way through  the last month of summer! Where did it go? It seems like it was just spring and everyone was excitedly anticipating the arrival of summer-  I remember as a child, I thought the year was divided into summer and winter and that each was an equal amount of time. It seemed as if summer vacation was just as long as the school year! I don’t enjoy the heat and my favorite seasons have always been fall and winter, but there’s no denying that with summer comes gardening and all of the beautiful flowers that I love so much. Each of the seasons brings its own special beauty and even though I  have my favorites, there are things I enjoy about all of them. Right now, it seems like I could use at least another run-through, (’cause that’s what it does,) of summer to get my garden in shape!

Lately it seems like every day I hear people talking about being ready for winter and Christmas! My brain is still filled with flowers and sunshine and water~ and summer, yet with all of the daily reminders, I realize that fall and winter really aren’t far off. At least the calendar says they aren’t-  So it’s with a lot of difficulty that I’ve forced myself to realize that and start putting long sleeves on my dresses. In all but the extremely cold places the short-sleeved dresses are wearable year round, since a sweater or coat along with a pair of tights can always be thrown on for outside. A long-sleeved t-shirt can also be slipped under the dress for added warmth, but I know that some people prefer to wear long sleeves in fall and winter.

With this in mind I cut out my first long-sleeved dress of the season yesterday. This dress will be a size 2 100% cotton with a deep-teal blue background and a print of white mini-hearts and leaves. I have no idea yet what I’m going to embroider on it, s0 you’ll  have to wait a bit to see, but I’m trying to think “winter” for the design. Hopefully I’ll have it ready for you to see in a few weeks! Until then, savor the last weeks of summer~ It’s going to be a long time returning!

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Beware! Garden Giants

Dahlia~ giant

Life is full of surprises~ and of course,  being their nature, you never know when or where they are going to pop up!!  With my latest surprise I literally mean, “pop-up!”   Like this,  above-   the first, and most visible thing to see in my garden.

A few weeks ago I received a call from my mom saying  she had bought a large bag of Dahlia tubers, but hadn’t enough room in her garden to plant them all, would I like what she had left? (I have become known as the one to ask if someone has a plant to get rid of , because I can’t refuse them.) I have had a few dahlias in pots for several years and they do very well, so the thought of adding a few more , pleased me. Sure! I’d take them! Did I say a few more? That was my first surprise-

The bag of tubers I was given was about 95% full! I think my mom planted all of 2 tubers! Oh my gosh, I thought, when I looked into this very large, very full bag. Where am I going to plant all of these, and,worse yet, when am I going to find the time to plant them?

Somehow I managed to find a way to get  80% of them planted, (so far.) Most of them came up immediately, but many had already started sprouting in the bag; impatient, I guess. My first flower to open is the one  pictured. I watched the plant’s leaves grow from large to larger. The flower stems seemed to shoot up  4 ” per day!  I never saw small flower buds. I looked one day when I didn’t think the stalk could get much taller, and there was a fist-sized flower bud!

These were definitely not the same variety of dahlia that I have been growing. It was only a few days after I noticed the flower bud, that it began opening. It took a full week to be fully opened as you see it today, but I measured it a few days ago when the outer petals were fully opened and the flower looked huge already-  It measured 6 1/4″ in diameter. I’ve watched it opening the rest of the week, and almost can’t believe what I’ve seen.  These flowers are probably comparable in size to some large sunflowers. I measured the flower again today, now that it is fully opened. It’s 9 1/2″ in diameter!!  I wouldn’t call it beautiful, but it is definitely spectacular-  Most amazingly, today the second bud on this plant is almost to the 6 1/4″ diameter that the first one was a few days ago, and two more buds are at slightly lesser degrees of development, but within a few days, depending on how long this first flower remains,  there will be 4 gigantic monster flowers in my garden- and that’s just on this first plant! My second dahlia to bloom is pink with a light yellow center and is halfway opened right now and showing signs of being equally as huge as my first . And I’ve just spoken of the two dahlias that are the furthest along. There are many more, some in the process of emerging and some beginning their flower stalks.

It shouldn’t be long now before I will be typing from somewhere deep in a freakin-tall, monster-dahlia-forest!

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I said in my previous post that I was going to talk about my second set of note cards, but I’m going to save that for next time. Before I go, I want to give you a sneak preview of the baby dress, (size 1,) that I’m working on and hope to have finished and listed,  soon~  (provided I have no more “free-plant” offers to distract me!)                               IMG_9858 copy Coming Soon!

***One last note~ Please excuse the little “spill” into the margin at the beginning of my blog.  My blog was updated to the latest version and we encountered a problem that we hope to be able to correct soon!

A Few of My Favorite Things

#423 A Few of MY Favorite Things

I know. It’s been way too long since I’ve updated my blog. I have been working on this dress called, A Few of My Favorite Things and I’ve just finished it.

Making this dress has been the strangest experience! I felt as if a magic spell had been cast over me and I wasn’t able to put it down.  None of my other work, including a blog update,  got done. I was sewing until 1:00 A.M.- mainly because I wanted to see what it was going to look like.  I kept thinking, Oh I’m almost finished- might as well keep sewing so I can see-

You’d think by now, after having made close to 450 dresses,  I would know that what looks like just a small area  to finish, can take hours- sometimes days. You would also think that after making so many dresses, the thrill of seeing another one would have worn off. That most definitely wasn’t the case with this dress.   There is so much tiny, intricate detail sewn into this scene, that what seemed like it would take minutes to do, in fact took hours-  For example, if you look at a tiny head of cabbage, it seems like it’s so small, it should take only a few minutes to make one.

What happens is that yes, the area is small- until you picture the width of two strands of thread. It is the width, or thickness, of two strands of thread that has to fill that “small” cabbage space- a width probably about the same size as the width of one of the letters I am typing right now. In comparison, that cabbage space suddenly seems quite large. It takes lots and lots of stitches to fill up that small space- but then, it takes even more stitching to make it look like a cabbage.

If you look closely, you will see that the cabbage is stitched initially in a deep purple thread. Layered over that base is thread of a lighter purple shade to fill-in, and accent certain spots, giving the cabbage depth and more of a leafy look.  Layered on top of the two purples is some white stitching to better define the leaves. What initially looked like it might take a few minutes to complete, in fact, took a whole lot longer- There were many parts of this scene that required multi-layers and many hours, like the cabbages. But I can also say that although I felt  captivated by this dress, I thoroughly enjoyed creating it! I have just finished cutting out my next dress, again a size 4. This dress will be pink and I hope to get started on it this afternoon. I’m looking forward to working on it, but I do hope that I won’t be so captured by this one and will be able to work more realistically  on it, accomplishing other things in my life that need doing as well-

Last week Pascal had another grooming session which again inspired his “groom gloom” attitude and that reminded me that it has been my turn to talk for way too long. The next post is Pascal’s turn, so be sure to look again soon. I know there is a lot he wants to say!

With a Twist of Pink I don’t know what the weather has been like where you are, the past few weeks, but in nothern Ca. last week we had yet another week of beautiful spring weather and I was able to get some photos of the trees in beautiful full bloom. I’m not certain, but I think these trees on the left are plum trees, and the one on the right is a flowering crabapple-  Isn’t it gorgeous? This week it has rained all week which is wonderful because we really need the water, but I’m very happy I was able to catch photos of the trees before the rains came, because they probably knocked most of the beautiful blossoms off~                                                **Flowering Crabapple