Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Outdoors Wednesday

Lately it seems as though all of the pictures posted here have been of the flowers in my yard. I do love all the flowers, but I have some even more prized possessions and those are my trees! This is a red Japanese maple on the side front yard. It needs shade in the afternoon. I can't tell you how long I have wanted Japanese maples, especially the red ones...and now I have two!
Here are some of the lovely girls on the side of my house. The are multi trunked birch trees. I can look out my kitchen window and see these lovelies all the time. In fact, I leave my blind open all day so I can glance at them whenever I desire!

Here are a couple more birch trees and another red Japanese maple. It is not quite filled in yet. I love the way the colors contrast with each other.

This is the view from under my apple tree. This is the biggest and oldest tree in my yard. We planted it the first year we moved here, over 26 years ago. This tree is my best friend and worst enemy depending on the season or day of the week. Right now she is loaded down with apples, which is so much work. But the apples make the best apple pies and crisp...oh are they juicy and just the right hint of sour and sweet! This tree gives us fruit in the summer, unlike most apple trees. She is a bit of a high maintenance girl, but I have to say very worth it. She is filled with all kinds of birds in the daytime and shades so much of the house and yard. I guess today she is my best friend....but oh when my husbands shakes her and all the apples fall...

I am trying to link up with other Outdoor Wednesday sites and have had a bit of difficulty, but go check out Suzanne and she'll give you the scoop.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Floxgloves are finally blooming...

When I got up this morning the sun was shining, although it was still on the cool side. If the sun is out... I must garden! That's a fact, I just can't help myself. I have been watching this foxglove in my backyard for a week or two. It is getting really big and now it is blooming. There are about 10 shoots on it although you can't see them in this picture. I moved a yellow one from another area yesterday and planted it next to this one because it wasn't doing very well. I think it was getting too much shade.

This one is on the side of my house and gets some sun and some shade. It is another pink one. I think all of the pink ones started blooming first this year. It's pretty tall and there is another one next to it, but it hasn't sent any shoots up yet.

These two are on the other side of my house in the front yard. The front one is yellow. It's a very pale yellow, like butter.As you can see, this area has been taken over by violas. I scatter the seeds all winter long when I dead head, and save them for next year as soon as it starts warming up. I collect all the viola seeds in a big bowl and then I start scattering them each Fall. I never know what colors will come up where. This year I got a ton of purple.

It is starting to cloud up again, but I wanted to get a shot of the mountains by my house to show the snow that fell over the weekend. You can see it is still there. It has been cool the past couple of days so it could stick around for a bit.

Here's another shot from my yard. That is Big Bear right out to the right. Our friends live up there and they said there was quite a bit of snow still from the weekend. That view is one of my favorite parts of my neighborhood.
Well, off to ride my bike!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I feel like a kid again...

Pretty exciting day for me yesterday. Don and I went bike shopping and look what we got! We haven't had bikes for so many years and decided that this would be a good time to get them. Now that I am not working I can ride my bike to run errands around town. I still have to get a basket. They didn't have one I liked so I will head downtown to the local bike shop and see what they have to offer. I think the pink girly bike suits me very well.
Don opted for the blue manly mountain bike. He liked the knobby tires and all the gears. Not that we will be tackling mountains any time soon. We live near the mountains, but the car gets us up there just fine.

We were all ready to go out for a ride, but this is what the sky looked like this morning. Actually at about 4:00AM, we were awakened by the sound of pouring rain on our roof! So riding will have to wait until the weather clears up.

I looked out my window a few minutes ago and I couldn't believe my eyes. There is snow in the mountains in front of my house! This isn't a very good picture because by the time I got my camera and walked outside the clouds had shifted and covered the view. But if you look in the area just above the trees you can see where there is snow. It started raining again, so I will wait until later and see if I can get a better picture. I can't believe last week I was complaining about summer coming too fast. Other than not being able to ride my new bike, I'm glad for the rain.

Here's a shot of the sky behind my house. It looks like it is clearing up back there.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Babysitting Stella and other randomness...

Yesterday afternoon I got the privilege of babysitting my great niece for a couple of hours. Isn't she the cutest thing ever....this is how she feels about her Aunt Linda!
I was holding her here and holding my camera out trying to judge where to point. It took some doing but I got some good shots, don't ya think? She is getting so big! Actually, she still very small, it's just that she was sooo very small to start out with.

We watched Bones together...I think she liked the program. She looks very interested! Anyway, I had a great time playing with Stella...thanks Chelsey!!

Here's a picture of the latest bag I finished. I love birds and I love to embroider so I thought I'd add them to a bag. This one was fun to make!

Here is some yummy fabric from Quilter's Coop in Temecula. Some of it is for a bag for my sister...the rest will be for more bags....the ideas are in my head. I just need to get them onto paper first.

Here's some wool gotten while in Temecula too. At "The Wool Lady" we were able to stuff as much as we could of the smaller pieces into a Ziploc bag. I found some good small pieces to use in future projects, as well as the much sought after blues. I can't wait to get busy making something out of this!

I also scored this cute table cloth in Temecula. I will use it as a table topper on my kitchen table because it is a bit on the small size. I love the hand embroidery on it. Quite the find!
Today you will find me out in my yard gardening. It is supposed to be a bit cooler than yesterday. I sure hope so. Summer comes too quickly around here and lasts way too long for my tastes. This is my first summer not working in over 30 years so we will see what mischief I can get myself into!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A trip to Old Town Temecula

It started out as a drizzly, gloomy day on Tuesday when my sister, Debbie and I left to go to Old Town Temecula. Soon after we arrived the sky started clearing up and it turned out to be a cool beautiful day after all. We had been talking about driving down there for some time. It is such a cute downtown with so many shops. We really didn't even get a chance to see them all.
We decided to concentrate on a few of our favorites and a new one that I think you will like.

This is the new shop.It is called "The Wool Lady". We met the owner and she was so nice. The shop has been open for a month.

I thought the outside was so cute when we walked up, but the surprises inside were even more wonderful!

Look at all the hand dyed wool!

This place was so charming and the owner told us she loves to applique wool. I am just getting into wool myself and I share that feeling. It's so much fun and easy too!

Here's more wool. And she had very good prices! I will write more later about the rest of our trip and pictures of all the goodies...I have been away from my blog for a week trying to get things done around the home front but I will make every attempt to be here more often. You can also visit my sister, Debbie, at her blog to see more our our day trip.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday gardening

I must be honest and say that gardening at this time of year is not my favorite. So many areas of the country are just now beginning their Spring, and in my neck of the woods, Spring is on the way out. This is the time of year when the rain stops and the heats starts. It hasn't really been too hot yet, but the cool weather annuals are going away, and I notice my summer perennials starting to show their faces. This is also when I notice there is a fine line between a lovely cottage garden and a jungle!
The coleus are back...they like the heat as long as they have afternoon shade.

Trying to weed in this can be difficult at best....hmmm, where do I put my feet?

Everyone is fighting for space. I spent the better part of the morning trimming and dead heading. I need to be out of the yard by noon at this time of year or I will melt...

Even this guy is trying to stake out some space...hey, can someone trim these flowers down here before I am smothered...

Gardening also inspires me. I love to watch the birds in my yard. I notice right now so many are still making nests and so this inspired my next is a sneak peek.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What do you think?

As promised, here is my latest creation. As I told you before, my sister gave me this striped fabric and that was the starting point. I love to embroider, so I thought adding that to a bag would be fun, so I made a patch pocket for the front. The pocket is lined with the fun polka dot fabric.
Here is a snap shot of the inside. There are plenty of pockets to hold all kinds of things we like to carry around. This bag was a lot of fun to design and make.

My son, Stephen, has been over for a couple of days to visit us, so I haven't gotten much sewing or gardening done. We did take a nice 4 mile walk this morning around town. We even stopped in a new coffee shop on our walk. Then it was off to Lowes to buy some materials to repair the drawers on a dresser we had bought on one of our thrift store adventures.

I'm off to start another project...

Thursday, May 6, 2010 smells

Some would say I'm a little obsessive when it comes to my lawn. Well, maybe...but the thing is that I just love the smell of a fresh cut lawn! My old lawn mower and me have been together 20 plus years now and the two of us just enjoy mowing the lawn.
Another fragrance that I love in my yard is jasmine. I have it on an old fence the whole length of my driveway and right now it is just starting to bloom. Another sign that summer is on its way.

This rose reminds me of my Grandma. She had beautiful sweet smelling roses thanks to my Grandpa. I remember fondly gardening with my Grandpa in their back yard. So why is it that I think of my Grandma when I smell this rose? Maybe it's just the love I smell.

This pot of chives has been around for probably a good 10 years. It just keeps re-seeding itself. I love the smell of the fresh cut chives. These are pretty tasty too!

Now some people may think I'm a bit weird for loving the smell of this plant. It smells like garlic! Actually, it is an ornamental garlic plant. I love garlic and the smell is wonderful to me! Maybe not the greatest garden smell you might think, but I do!

These don't smell, but I thought you might like to see a couple things I've been working on. I am just waiting for some hooks I ordered to finish this one. I love the colors. Simple and fresh.

Here's what will be next. I embroidered the little heart and some how I will use it with these other fabrics and rick rack. My sister, Debbie, gave me this striped fabric and the tan was a great remnant find. The others are scraps. I hope to get going on it later today.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo

This morning my day started out like most mornings lately...gardening. I had a great batch of compost to spread around, so that's where I started. I love this old bucket, and I especially love it when it's filled with good smelly compost for my garden.

I picked up this Argyranthemum yesterday. It is called Spring Bouquet. I just love how the flowers are so many variations of colors. I had a great old pot in my shed, so it found a new home on my front porch, ready to greet my visitors.

My Hostas are starting to really get big!

Here are a few of the ones in my back yard.

This one is right next to some Lambs Ear.

The artichokes are getting big as well. I have one plant that is almost as tall as I am! I should get Don to take a picture of me standing next to it. This is our second year growing artichokes and they taste much better this year. I don't know if it's been the milder weather or just that the plants have matured. Whatever the case, we have been enjoying them!

I can't wait to taste my first tomatoes. These ones are getting quite large.
It got pretty warm early today, so I gardened only for a couple hours.
I'm off to sew now!!