17 October, 2014

Velvet Elvis




My newest plant lust: Velvet Elvis.
Latin name: Plectranthus

This one dropped into my cart last spring because of the plant label. It showed lots of little tubular flowers on stalks - somewhat like salvia.

I always buy a few filler plants for my patio pots in the Spring. This one grew and grew and grew some more. No flowers. But it was super happy to make my patio it's home so I watched it and watered it as it grew some more.

After a long hot, dry summer, in which it did nothing but grow, it burst forth with these delicious orchid-type flowers in October.

Oh my.


The leaves have a  nice purplish/blue undertone and I am now on a quest to see if I can get it to winter over.


Dahlia from my Mom & Dad's place. 

I am super lazy with dahlias. I do not dig them up to winter over. 
Four out of five years, they will survive our Oregon winters and come back better than ever. That 5th winter, they tend to freeze too long and turn to mush. Which most of mine did last winter - except for this one which is protected by an evergreen yew situated nearby.

These landscape roses are out front and they bloom wildly from late April to late November. I have a love/hate relationship with these. I love all the constant blooming but they have lethal thorns. Not just the usual rose thorns but double'O'7 thorns.

'Tis the season. Apple pie time.

My avocados.

Like most people, I've always heard you can grow your own grapefruit from seed, avocado from seed, etc. The reality is frustrating. There is the missing secret of getting them to work. I think I watched every youtube video to find out what I was doing wrong. The toothpicks, the careful scraping off the bottom of the pit, -- I must have spent 14,000 hours googling to find out how to do it.

Here's how; You pick a nice slightly ripe avocado and sit it on the counter for a few days to get it to that optimal 'ripeness'. You peel it, put it on your salad greens, wash the pit and carry the pit outside where you cram it down into the soil of one of your patio pots.
Forget about them.

Tada! they all grow.

I have four in this pot. This is their second year. Debating whether to re-pot before bringing it inside for the winter or leaving it rootbound......


13 October, 2014

Rocket Baby Quilt




I sewed this up yesterday afternoon. It's a baby quilt  for a friend of mine.
I was thinking she was having a boy.
She's having a girl.

oh boy!


So this will probably go into my etsy shop.
This first photo is outside - see how the orange is orange?
Next photo inside my sewing room - see how the orange went red?



When taking photos, quilters not only have to worry about lighting more, they have to figure out how to show that the seams are straight. Mine all  look catty-whompus  in these photos. I assure you all my little quarter-inch seams match.


I wanted a blue, orange & gray theme to my fabrics. Since I don't quilt (almost never), most of my prints  --are prints, not solids. It was difficult to find enough 'solids' to offset the definite airplane and elephant theme going on.

Just goes to show you that you can never hope to have enough fabric.






Testing out a binding material. This light and dark airplane material is all over the quilt top in the above photos. I don't know whether to use this fabric.
I'm not real fond of light-colored anything for boys but it seems to work.




This is more of the quilting I like as it was not monotonous figuring out fabric placement in my no pattern sew-as-you-go way.






It's a busy quilt, but then, boys are quite busy.
Right - off to start that girl's quilt....

Check out Gina's Etsy store - she makes the most amazing wedding treasures.






05 October, 2014

Needle Books


When my children were little, we had a little game we played when out shopping with all the pretties vying for their attention. I would give a quarter to the first one who spotted an airplane.

I got the quarter last Thursday.
After work, aka the shift that started at 4am, Creative Girl and I hopped in her truck to go find a garage sale.




 The black paper (at the top) is in there to keep the needles shiny (no rust). The black paper is cut with the center notch too.


These were all inside a vintage plastic sewing box. With threads, scissors, thimbles, lovely sewing notions.
The seller wanted $20 which could be considered high for a garage sale,  but it had a Pièce de résistance.








A needle book 'made in Czechoslovakia.   In 1914.
I didn't quite swoon, but I may have *sighed*.

And, of course, when I got home to look at things properly, there was the airplane needle book from the Army and Navy.




 I love these older books. Look at the design behind the needles.
A lovely random floral design.
Nowadays, we are so spare with our art.


Back side






Finally, taking photos with the waning September sun, here's some hydrangea blooms on my kitchen table. . . and their 'friends'. . .








30 September, 2014

Airplane Zippy Pouches













Teresa's
two grandkids (&family) are living with her and I thought these zippy pouches would be just the thing for them.

 This last Saturday, we met up at the Flock & Fiber Festival and both grand kids came also so it was good that I made these last-minute pouches Friday night after work.

The pouches are off this tutorial and measure almost 9" square.
The perfect size to store die cast cars or airplanes.

I added Stearman patches from airplane sign patch material onto the backs to make me smile.


It's just as easy to make two as it is one.

28 September, 2014

Flock And Fiber Festival Canby 2014




Yesterday, I met for the first time, one of my favorite Oregon bloggers, Teresa Kasner.
She writes over Corbett way with stunning views of Mt. Hood, Crown Point & Multnomah Falls - where she does volunteer work every week.
She is a gorgeous photographer and showcases a lot of iconic Oregon scenery.

She made some crocheted bunting that I just love. She used it on her annual family camping trip and it made the canopy very bright and happy.
She has shown Multnomah Falls in all seasons. This one is from last Fall.
She also likes to photograph flowers which I enjoy seeing.


She treks over to Canbyland for the Flock & Fiber Festival most years and I suggested we meet up.

The Flock & Fiber Festival is all about flocks of sheep, goats, alpacas, etc and their fiber.
How to spin it, dye it, knit it, crochet it, felt it.




Felted purses. I liked the felted 'leaf' flap with the burn outs.


Teresa coveted these baskets.


While I need to pull out my felting supplies and do some needle felting.




For the Bunting Queen, Benta,  over in the UK - apparently this trend has made it's way to Oregon. Quite a few booths featured bunting for decoration.

Vendors were selling wool, roving, felted creations, knitting paraphernalia - stitch markers, hand-turned needles - anything to do with sheeps, goats, rabbits, alpacas and llamas.
 

The Spinners were set up outside where the sun finally broke through the clouds and people in their wool jumpers suddenly got hot.

I rather liked the dude on the right with his hair-do.



Teresa brought her husband and two grand kids along. Her husband used to raise goats and told a few stories about how they get the horns off while still babies. These goats with the horns escaped that.
Her husband also flew helicopters in the Vietnam war and afterwards on the oil rigs and I enjoyed those stories too.

It was fun to watch the boys with the goats and alpacas. I miss having small children around.



These boys reached right in to pet these goats and alpacas.











This is for my bloggy friend Gene Black. The denim strips were woven along with some shiny silver  mylar and yellow ribbon to create this large shawl.





The Flock & Fiber Festival is a free event that comes to Canby each September at the fairgrounds. You can register for classes online or just come and watch the animal judging and vendor booths.
People come from far and wide with their creations to show off and talk to fellow fiber artists.


The spinner below in the video was telling me about the "2:00 pm   Spinner’s Triathlon Competition – Central Lawn" on Sunday.

 I've always gone on Saturday after work but next year, I think I'll make time for the Spinner's Triathlon - a fun way to show off your spinning talents.

If you've ever wanted to spin fiber into yarn....



27 September, 2014

Joann's Fabric Store

A friend sent me this:

Great discussion on how corporate america really works big box stores.

Did you read this?
http://thebitchystitcher.blogspot.jp/2014/09/behind-bolts.html


I work for the federal government and my job is run almost exactly as posted in the above.

My local Joann's is 20 minutes away. My best fabric store - Fabric Depot, is a good 30 minutes away. It's often faster to drive to Fabric Depot to get a few items than wait in line at Joann's. Of course there is that dreaded carbon footprint of driving more and longer distances....

25 September, 2014

Pendleton Pillow Time



I had a request by the nephew to make a U of O pillow ;'()


He was here in the summer and saw one on the top shelf of my sewing room. I used to do holiday bazaars and still had a couple of Oregon State &  University of Oregon pillows leftover - need to photograph them and throw them into the etsy shop.


I thought while I was at it, I might as well sew some new pillows for the son's new place.
I had one 24" pillow form in stash - the others are a small 16". The 24" is nice and big for three young men.
You have to have a matched pair of pillows  - I certainly have enough wool. I may even go for a triplet set.
It's a great excuse to go to the fabric store to buy another 24" form. 



 I sewed some Pendleton pillows last fall for a friend and repeated it on a larger scale.
 
 Her's came out at 18" and they look kinda puny on today's humongous couches.

I picked up the red plaid shirting at the Pendleton booth at SewExpo this spring. The rest of the wool strips are from my stash. I've been sewing for 2 1/2 days straight from my stash and has it decreased in size???
{rhetorical question - do not answer}{{unless you have a joke about the size of stashes}}

Here is the U of O pillow case (18") folded into a ziploc bag. This is how I am mailing it.
Yes, you can mail in a see-thru ziploc bag. Use the freezer ones as they are thicker. Tape well - no loose edges.
The recipient (and me, too) gets ridiculously excited to see the actual item inside the packaging they are getting in the mail. Smiles all around!


Usually at 18", the envelope back will pop open (exposing the dirty underside of pillow business). I incorporate zipper installations to keep things square. My stash did not include a green nor a yellow zipper so I did a wide envelope back.




One side is cotton, the other is soft polar fleece.