Sunday, March 19, 2023

Succulent Head Planter


Here’s the fun project that I mentioned in my last post. If you regularly follow my blog posts, you know that I watch a whole lot of Youtube. I enjoy flosstubes, quilting, music, gardening, decorating, crafting, antiquing, and many other subjects. I follow Friesian Horses - Follow the Herd, “The History Guy,” watch old episodes of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, heck, I even follow a young couple in Oklahoma who raise bison. Why? Who knows? There is always something fun and interesting to watch.

One of my new favorite Youtube channels is “Garden Answer.” Last week, the lovely young gardener on that channel showed how to create a succulent head planter, and I couldn’t resist making one, too! 

Amazon has a number of head planters: some lovely and some others somewhat strange. I paid $16.99 for this small Greek maiden head planter. This concrete planter has a drainage hole which is important. It is filled with a blend of succulent and cactus soil, and I purchased the succulents at two local big box stores.

Here’s a view from above. I believe that her planter was more tightly packed, but some of my succulents were small and will fill in the spaces as they grow.

Right now it is sitting on my kitchen counter where it simply makes me smile, but I will move it to the sunporch when things warm up a bit.

Isn’t she sweet? If you, too, wish to make one, go to ‘Garden Answer - Planting a Succulent Head Planter’ for a step by step tutorial and to get tips on how to water it.

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring; let’s hope Mother Nature doesn’t have any mean surprises up her sleeve.

Have a wonderful week.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

This sweet colleen is a cross stitch design by Diane Williams for Little House Needleworks. The name on the chart is “Calendar Girls - March.” This wooden display piece from Hobby Lobby allows me to easily switch out pieces.

I added a bit of lace along the border since she is after all Irish. :-) 

No quilting finishes to show yet, but fingers crossed I may do some quilting tomorrow.

In other news, family and friends attended the Arlington Children’s Theater production of The Sound of Music last Saturday night. My young cousin Miss T enjoys acting, and her performances each time get better and better.

Plans to get together with friends on Tuesday were postponed by a nor’easter. While we ended up with wind driven rain, some folks in the western part of our state received twenty-four inches of heavy, wet, ‘heart attack shoveling’ snow. 

That’s it . . . short and sweet. In my next post,  I’ll show you something fun that I worked on today. 

Monday, March 6, 2023

Lulu et Ses Cactus and Casablanca

Here’s a recent cross stitch finish, Lulu et Ses Cactus by Jardin Prive which I started back in March 2021. I had originally seen the piece on someone’s flosstube and thought it was cute and colorful. (This photo doesn’t quite do it justice as it is much more colorful in person.) It was in my stitching rotation and probably eighty percent done when I decided to make it my 25/7 focus piece and just get it finished. 25/7 means stitching on the same piece for twenty-five minutes each day of the week until a piece is completed. I’m here to say that that strategy works! This was my after breakfast stitch to start my day. 

My plan was to purchase a narrow metal frame matching one of the bright colors in the piece, but I was unsuccessful finding one. Happily, I found this perfect size piece in the wood section of Hobby Lobby.

I’m making steady progress on my current 25/7 piece and cannot wait to see it completed. It’s amazing how allocating a set amount of time daily can help you accomplish things. Maybe I should thus allocate two hours a day to quilting??? H’mmm, that’s a thought.

Yesterday afternoon I went to see Casablanca on the big screen at the Showcase Cinema in Randolph. I’m partial to movies from the 1930s and 1940s, and Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergmen was brilliant. This is a movie that I have seen many times through the years on tv but seeing it on the big screen was like seeing it for the first time.  I wish showing classic films such as this was a regular feature of this cinema, but there are no more vintage movies on the schedule.

Lastly, I am happy that the Alex Murdaugh trial is over. Though I never ever watch any of the true crime programs on tv or follow any such podcasts, I found myself drawn in to watching far too much of this trial. What an horrific  crime. If I had been on the jury, I, too, would have voted him guilty. 

Let me leave you on a brighter note.

This amaryllis had been a Christmas gift and had already put up two stalks with multiple blossoms. I read a few articles and watched a number of youtube videos showing how to get your amaryllis to rebloom next year. The first step was to cut down the stalks and treat it as a houseplant. I moved it to my sewing room and after a few weeks another stalk emerged!!!  The first set of blooms had been in January. The steps to follow to get it to rebloom next year seem simple enough, so I am going to give it a try. :-)

Here’s looking at you kid and have a lovely week. :-()

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Where Did February Go???

I’m having friends come for dinner tonight. The house has been cleaned, the St. Patrick’s Day decorations are up, dinner is in the oven, the table is set, and now I’m just waiting for everyone to arrive :-) So, I thought that I would take a few moments to start this post. 

I had intended to post sooner as it has been quite a while since my previous post, but the month somehow got away from me. I did manage to do some cross stitching. The first piece is “Welcome Winter” by Primrose Cottage Stitches and the second is “Valentine Bird” by Heart in Hand.

On the quilting front, there are no finished pieces to show although one project is nearly finished.

Book Recommendation:

Though I read two other books, the only one of the three that I am recommending is HORSE by Geraldine Brooks. It is about Lexington one of the greatest race horses in history. It’s also a story about Race. Though you might not think you would be interested in reading about a race horse or perhaps even about Race, trust me on this, this author is a masterful storyteller and this novel is well worth your time. Definitely put this novel on your must read list.

  - - - - -           - - - - -         - - - - - 

Well, my friends have come and gone. We met many years ago at the now closed Quilters Compass quilt shop in Quincy and were part of a group that met there one evening a week. When the shop closed, we saw no reason to stop getting together so we take turns hosting. In the beginning, we actually did bring our sewing machines, but those days have passed. Now it’s purely a social gathering with maybe a bit of stitching thrown in. Tonight after dinner, one friend was knitting, another was sewing down the binding on a small quilt, two others were measuring yardage to be donated for an upcoming guild auction, and you guessed it, I was cross stitching. It’s always a lovely evening and every so often my home gets a darn good cleaning!  :-)

Are you a fan of classic movies? The Showcase Cinema in Randolph is screening Casablanca on Sunday at 1:00 and 7:00. You can find more information on the Cinema’s website. I can’t wait to see this wonderful film on the big screen. 

By the way, Happy March!!! I’ll try to do better posting this month. :-()

Sunday, February 5, 2023

“Counting on Ewe” and Books in Bloom

 The old piano doesn’t get played often, but it makes a swell place to display pieces such as Counting on Ewe from The Woolen Needle. I had purchased this fun pattern a few years back and finally got around to stitching it. I find wool applique to be as relaxing as cross stitch, and I have my next project, a large one,  already picked out.  

Temperatures today returned to normal after two days of a a bitter arctic blast. We have not had a cold spell like this for many years. As folks around here might say, it was wicked, wicked cold. Fortunately, I have a super warm, knee length LL Bean coat that I have not had to wear for a few years. Each time I briefly took Emma out, we were well bundled up. She had to go out twice Friday evening, and let me tell you, it was brutal.  

The Weymouth Garden Club held its annual Books in Bloom exhibit at the Tufts Library on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Mindful of the impending weather, I visited the exhibit on Thursday afternoon. It was so lovely to see the book-themed displays throughout the library that I thought that I would share a few photos that I took. 

The displays in the children’s section were equally enchanting.

I couldn’t include all of the displays, but kudos to the talented gardeners who created these wonderful pieces.

Let me share one more treasure on permanent display in the library.

 Ten years old . . . 

Well, that’s all for now. Keep stitching, keep smiling, and have a great week. Remember: spring is right around the corner. :-) 

Thursday, February 2, 2023

SAHRR 2023 - Rounds 1 and 2

As I wrote in my previous post, I’ve been working on the Stay at Home Round Robin 2023. The prompt for round #1 was spools and stars for round #2.  You are free to interpret the prompts in whichever way that you may wish. It may not be clear from this photo, but the fabrics in the second border all feature stars and the colors are brighter than they appear here.  The prompts are released on Mondays, and so far, so good . . .

The other day the weatherfolks said that January was within the top five all-time warmest Januarys in this area. Tonight we are preparing for some of the coldest weather that we have had in decades. There are three words you never want to hear in a forecast “bitter arctic blast,” but that is what is heading straight for us. It is supposed to be “9 below” on Saturday morning. Yikes!!!  Make that double Yikes!!! We have been instructed to let our faucets drip which is unprecedented for us. They have also stressed that this is not the time to try to save on the heating bill, but we should instead turn the thermostat up to 72 or 74 to keep up with the cold. Fortunately, things will warm up by Sunday afternoon. In fact, the weatherman just said that from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon the temperature may possibly go up fifty-four degrees!!! Crazy!!!

Except for when I have to briefly take Emma out, I will stay inside and spend the day stitching. ;-) 
My friend Laurel sent along this meme.

Stay warm and keep stitching. ;-)

Thursday, January 19, 2023

SAHRR - Stay at Home Round Robin 2023

 Someone needs to tell the daffodils that it is far too early to be poking up their pretty heads. I’m as eager as anyone to see spring arrive, but we are not even through January yet. Don’t they realize that February and March are still ahead of us?  We have had a mild winter thus far, but who knows what Mother Nature has in store for us next month?

One of the many blogs that I follow is Needle and Foot and the other day Bernie wrote about a project that she was taking part in, SAHRR 2023. You may learn more about it at her blog or atQuilting Gail. From  what I have you read,  you begin with any center block that you wish, and then starting January 23, a designer will provide directions for the next row. That will happen for six weeks. This is the third year for SAHRR. Please go to the Quilting Gail blog for more information.

I’m going to give it a try starting with this patriotic themed block. If I stay with it, fingers crossed I’ll then  be able to donate it. 

Covid numbers are down, so I did join friends for lunch at a restaurant today . . . a touch of normalcy. Let’s hope it continues.

That’s it for now.  Keep stitching and smiling.