Sunday, August 1, 2021

FFO - “I’ll Bee There for You” and The Buzz


This is “I’ll Bee There for You,” a pattern from Puntini Puntini. The chart came with two buttons: the bee and the tiny pink flower. I’m displaying it on the bee tray I found while visiting thrift shops with friends on a recent Cape getaway.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I love photographing flowers and butterflies and bugs. I plant a wide variety of flowers to attract butterflies and bees, but whether it has been due to the incredible stretch of rainy weather we have had or not, there do not seem to be many butterflies this summer. My butterfly bush is in full bloom, but sadly,  I have only seen an occasional flutterby. 

 
A bee spent quite a while resting on this yellow teapot. I have picked up a few cute thrift store teapots and hang them in my flower gardens. There used to be a string of clear beads hanging from the spout which created the appearance of water droplets sparkling in the sunshine. The beads have fallen off, so I must get around to replacing them. I'll put that on my list!


I was so captivated by the two bees on this coneflower that I didn’t even notice the spider.

 

And speaking of spiders, check out this tiny craftscreature  at work. Well, on second thought, check out this hunter at work. He/she will use this sticky orb design web to trap its prey. Say what you will, I find spider webs like this totally fascinating.

Does anyone know what type of tree this is? It growing in the strip of woods behind my house, and frankly, I have never noticed these green “balls” before.



One last thing. . . Do you enjoy DIY programs? Do you get a kick out of watching  Chip and Joanna Gaines? Then, you will love a new series on Youtube, “Dick & Angel Give It A Go Series.”  Angel and Dick Strawbridge are a British couple who had a series on PBS which followed their process of restoring a chateau in France. In this series, the focus is simple, practical home improvement projects: for example, recovering chair seats, building a raised planter bed, using a saw properly, etc. Even if you never make any of the projects, I promise you will enjoy Angel and Dick.

That’s all for know. Bee happy. Bee safe. Bee positive.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Yes, There Are Good People

 This will be a short post about something remarkable that I saw this morning. I was on I-95 heading south to an early morning flute lesson. Things were going smoothly until I neared Walpole where the traffic began to slow. There were signs indicating road work ahead, and I hoped that I wouldn’t be late for my lesson. Soon the traffic came to a complete stop. Next, I noticed a few cars pulling off either side of the road and a number of people running along the edge and across the road. Though I wasn’t able to see anything, I knew that meant there was an accident ahead. After a few more minutes, my lane of traffic began crawling forward. As I approached the accident, I saw one car off the road in a ditch and another car which had flipped and was now resting on its roof. The police had not yet arrived, but the driver of the overturned car was removing items from his car. His car was mangled and facing in the wrong direction. At this point, some of the people who had rushed to help were slowly returning to their cars though a group had remained with the drivers.

Then I noticed a car in the middle lane. Two ladies got out and began removing brooms and mops from their trunk. They then proceeded to sweep the glass and pieces of twisted metal off the highway. A man ran over and grabbed a broom to help. 

The whole scene was remarkable. . . the people leaving their cars and racing to help . . . the women sweeping the road to clear the debris. . . Yes, there are good people.


Later this afternoon, I stopped at the cobblers. I thought my fellow stitchers would appreciate seeing this machine.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

July Cottage of the Month -


 I finished stitching this Country Cottage Needleworks  - July Cottage about two weeks ago, but I didn’t FFO (fully finish) it until this past weekend. I love stitching these cottages, but I think I will pause working on this series. The August cottage pattern is lovely but the cottage is also blue, so perhaps I will stitch that one next summer. There are so many other cross stitch pieces that I am eager to stitch. I have definitely reached “sable” status. . . stash acquisition beyond life expectancy. At this point, I will have to keep stitching until I am 105!

Last Friday afternoon I decided to visit Eclectic Collection in West Bridgewater. Eclectic Collection is a large red barn filled with two floors of booths of antiques and vintage items. Remarkably, I didn’t find anything to tempt me, but it is always fun to look. I had not been there since before the pandemic. 


The sky was simply gorgeous, and I had to stop at Peaceful Meadows in Whitman to take this image. These cows always make me smile. Peaceful Meadows is a place to stop for an ice cream cone or other dairy delights. There used to be real cows grazing in this meadow, sadly no more.

Yesterday I went to lunch with another group of retired teacher friends. This was our first time eating in a restaurant in sixteen months. 

Recommendation: A reader of this blog sent along a Youtube site for you to check out. It’s Baumgartner Restoration, a fascinating look at the painstaking process of art restoration. Thanks, Cyndi, for suggesting it. 

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This morning (July 27th), I watched the first session of the House committee investigating what happened at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The testimony of the four police officers representing their courageous fellow law enforcement officers was gripping, powerful, and terrifying. 

The CDC announced today a recommendation that all students K-12, teachers, and staff in schools wear masks for the coming school year. The new Delta variant is raging in some areas of the country. The number of daily cases of infection has quadrupled since just last month. Unless the millions who have refused to get a vaccine change their minds, we may never get a handle on this as some experts warn that new variants will emerge. God help us all.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

FFO Fresh Cut and Friesian Horses

 After the rain . . . 

Today may be only our second day in July without a trace of rain. With the amount of rain we have been having, the weeds have been growing like . . . well . . . weeds! Still if you don’t get too close, this garden still looks lovely.

This rose of sharon which grows against my porch was not planted by me; it just appeared a few years ago. I notice there are a couple of tiny offshoots which I may transplant down back if we ever dry out a bit. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. :-(

Mind you, I am not complaining as there are parts of our country that are desperate for rain. The drought conditions are devastating. The wildfires are again raging in the West and Northwest. Heat domes are causing high temperature records to be shattered in some area as well. So, all things considered, I am happy right here in the soggy Northeast.  (Update: Driving home a little while ago I heard the announcer explain that our grey sky is due to all the smoke in the jetstream from the fires out west.

 I was driving home after meeting some retired teacher friends for lunch. We determined that the last time we had been together was December of 2019. I also met another group of retired teacher friends for breakfast last Friday. Yes, I know I am a lucky lady. Members of each group have a sense of foreboding about the rises in  Covid cases across the country and what that may mean for us in the fall, but we are determined to have fun while we can.)

Here’s my latest cross stitch FFO, fully finished object. “Fresh Cut” was the Fat Quarter Shop Stitch Quarterly from March. I actually finished it last month, but I only got around to framing it over the weekend. I had purchased the frame at Hobby Lobby during a 50% off frames sale. (Note: never pay full price at Hobby Lobby since if the item you want is not on sale, it will be in a week or two.) I try to frame as many of my pieces on my own as I can. The frame is a deeper green and the background fabric is white, but I was not able to get a  photo that records the colors accurately. Doesn’t it go well with my $2.00 thrift shop vase from the Cape? 

I laughed when I saw this in last night’s paper as it sums up the weather that we have been having.


Recommendations:
If you like Diane Keaton, check out Hampstead on Netflix. It is not a great movie, but it is a pleasant enough way to spend a couple of hours. I’d give it a B-, but then I always was a tough grader.

Also, let me tell you my secret Youtube pleasure. . .” Friesian Horses  Follow the Herd, “  short videos posted by a stable in the Netherlands. I cannot begin to tell you how calming it is to see these big, black, beautiful horses out in the meadow. This Youtube channel has extremely high viewership around the world. The other day the owner and the workers at the stable did a live question and answer session. Yvonne who films and posts the videos wondered on behalf of her coworkers why so many people view their videos. I can tell her. The horses are magnificent, the people all seem to love working with these horses, and in a world such as ours, it good to take a few moments each day to see something wonderful. Try it; you will like it. By the way, I now know more about horses than I ever did before. :-()

Question
Is it just me or do you think two of the richest men in the world might have found a better use for the money it took to send these would be astronauts into space for a few moments of weightlessness on their joyrides? Make that astronuts! Think what that money might have done to ease hunger around the world. This morning on one of the news programs it was suggested that this was just the first step in an attempt to commercialize space. Good grief! Just what we needed. . . 

Stay safe. Stay cool and dry and have a good week

One more thing: As you may have read on many blogs, Feedburner will no longer be sending out a notice of any new posts. I have added a Follow.it box in the top right column where you may sign up to continue to receive these posts. Fingers crossed that it will work. In any event, I would suggest bookmarking . . . 

                                   https://apositiveoutlook-janice.blogspot.com

so if you don’t receive a notice, you will know where to find my random ramblings. :-()

Monday, July 12, 2021

Rain, Rain, Go Away

 Rain, rain, go away

Come again another day.

Make that : Come again another week, please!!! We have had rain eleven of the first twelve days of July. This morning it was torrential. I put Emma’s raincoat on her, opened the porch door, and out she went. As I was  thinking how lucky I was to have a dog who didn’t mind going out in all kinds of weather, she turned around, and pressed her face against the door. Her face said it all, “ Let me in” which I did. If only we could share all this rain with areas of the country that need it.

Yesterday, there was a break with no rain until evening, and I was able to do a tiny bit of gardening and take a few photos. Isn’t this coneflower gorgeous! The photo doesn’t begin to do it justice as it positively glows in real life.


The daylilies are also in bloom.




On Saturday, I framed “Red, White, and Blue,” a cute cross stitch pattern by Priscilla Blain of  Stitching with the Housewives. I love this cute little Uncle Sam :-).



Stay dry. Stay cool. Stay safe. Have a wonderful week.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Wishing You an Early Happy Valentine’s Day




 Now that Independence Day has gone by, and Hobby Lobby is putting Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas items on the shelf, I wonder if it is too early to be the first to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day???

“Just My Type” was a cross stitch pattern featured on the Fat Quarter Shop’s flosstube back in February. I was drawn in by the happy colors which are even brighter in person. Anyway, I stitched on it faithfully all through February, but let me tell you, stitching the typewriter took f-o-r-e-v-e-r !!!  I stitched on it in March, April, and finally finished the piece in May. 

I mounted it on a canvas which I had painted previously for  a mini art quilt. I had never been pleased with the bottom of that piece, so I removed it from the canvas. (I had stitched the piece on to the canvas.) The painted canvas had been in my quilting/art studio ( okay, no studio, it was on a shelf in the basement)  as I figured I might be able to use this canvas again at some point.

When I finished the cross stitch, I thought of that painted canvas as I knew it would be just the right color. I purchased a bag of small wooden hearts at the Dollar Store and painted them in coordinating colors. Don’t tell anyone, but I needed something to cover up the holes from where I had attached the art quilt. 

Now you might think that I have packed “Just My Type” away until February, but you would be wrong. It took way too long to stitch without enjoying it for a while. :-)

Email Subscriber Box :

I have added a box from follow.it to my blog. Did I do it correctly? I haven’t a clue. As I wrote yesterday, if you enjoy these ramblings, I would suggest bookmarking this site. You could then simply check back once or twice a week to see if any new posts have been added.

Stay safe and stay cool.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

FFOs Patriotic Cross Stitch Pieces

I’ve been stitching patriotic pieces since May, and I haven’t even made a dent in my collection of patriotic patterns. ;-). Two of the small pillows are part of Lori Holt’s “Stitchy Stars” pattern. The pattern calls for stitching seven of the designs into a long narrow piece. I chose to only stitch two so far and put them on my tiered tray. Maybe I will add a few more next year. “Old Glory” was a freebie pattern from Pinker ‘n Punkin. “Land of the Free” is a pattern by Priscilla Blain of the Stitching Housewives on Etsy. Their patterns are positively irresistible! 



“Land of the Free” was stitched on 14 count blackboard aida. I used sparkly etoile floss for the fireworks which do not sparkle here, but they do in person.

“Liberty and Love” from Primrose Cottages was added to my trench bowl. Behind it on the right is a teenie quilt which should be draped over a mini wooden quilt rack. I had tucked the rack away in a “safe place” to make room for my trench bowl, and you guessed it . . . I had been looking for it for a week. It hadn’t been tucked away after all; I spotted it this morning in plain sight on the bottom shelf of my bookcase! Good Grief!



 I have another stitched piece that I haven’t framed yet, but it. will be done by my next post.



Handy Dandy Hummingbird Feeder Ant Trap . . .  Though my hummingbird feeder has a good size ant cup, I was still getting ants. So, I checked online to find a solution and came across many different ant traps. From all those ideas, I put together this simple gizmo which cost absolutely nothing but works great! I think the photo makes it clear, but if not, here is what I did.  Start with a plastic tonic, pop, or soda bottle. :-) Use an awl and poke a hole in the cap. Use an exact-o knife to cut a three to four inch section on the cap end. Once you have made the initial cut you may use scissors to cut the soft plastic. Cut a piece of wire about eight inches from a wire coat hanger. Thread the wire through the cap and bend one end into a small hook and the other end into a larger hook. Before screwing on the cap, fill the cap with E6000 glue. (E6000 glue is my go-to fix-it helper.) Let the glue dry/cure over night and then just fill it with water. . . no more ants.

Following by email . . . If you read other blogs, I am sure that you know that Feedburner is going away this month. Feedburner is the ‘service’ that sends some of you an email when I have a new post. I’ve been looking into Follow.it and Bloglovin, but frankly I do not know which one to chose. So, I am going to suggest that if you enjoy my ramblings, please just bookmark my blog and check in once or twice a week too see if I have put up any new posts. (I am seeing ads on some of the blogs I read, and these blogs never had ads before.)

Okay, that’s it. Stay safe and stay cool.