July 29, 2008

Lounging About

Alex had to work for a good bit of this weekend, and with a chunk of free time on my hands I finally got around to making the lounge pants I've been wanting to make. (Seriously, I bought this book months ago strictly for this pattern. Yet, despite seeing them all over, I hadn't even drawn out the pattern.)

I love them. Seriously, these are the most comfortable pants ever and paired with a tank top they are the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon or after work wear. If I didn't have to get dressed for work, I'd probably never wear anything else. As it is, I'm coming straight home and putting them on. Which means its a really good thing I bought fabric to make a second pair. I should probably get on that, since I'm eventually going to have to take these off to wash them. (Or maybe the fairies will take care of the wash while I'm at work?)

Don't you love the picture with the sewing machine clutter? The camera flat out refused to take the photo against my black closet doors. Refused. Made strange beeping noises and turned itself off. Repeatedly... I lost a battle of the wills with an inanimate object. Maybe we need to re-think that whole having kids thing.
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July 27, 2008

A Garden Tour

July is always when summer starts getting unpleasant around here, and this year has been particularly hot and wet. (Hot and wet, despite what you might normally think, are not a good combination in this context.) As a result, this is also the time of year when my yard gets the barest maintenance from me.

And yet, a trip through the garden very early in the day always reveals some of my plants are simply a riot of flowers. It is always a great pick me up, so how about a mini-tour of what's happening in my garden this week?
Here's a Vanda hybrid - a low maintenance orchid that has been holding its bloom for a month now. It hangs in the grapefruit tree and greets you as you pull in to the drive. I love its cheerful yellow blooms peeking out of the tree.
And the Portulaca has sprouted in all the beds around the front drive, just volunteers from pieces the birds and squirrels broke off the plants I had in a basket last year. Its almost a weed, but since a weed is only a plant you don't want, we'll call it ground cover. I may even spread some more this fall, if the birds don't do it for me.
The Crepe Myrtle is still in heavy bloom by the drive, too, and though it makes a huge mess and keeps Alex's car filthy with spent blooms I love it.
Oh, here, if you come down by the street,you'll see the Penta still blooming in my butterfly garden. The white is almost done, but the red is so well established I think it may bloom well in to the fall. Isn't it lovely? I saw a butterfly flitting around it just the other day.
Come on around to the backyard, and you can see the sweet Cuban Buttercup blooms. Its a good thing you're here early; they close up to hide from the heat by mid-morning. I thought I might have killed it last year, but a ruthless pruning this spring has brought it back to life. Hopefully next year it'll be robust again.
The bromeliads are starting to bloom, and they'll stay out all day and night for sure. I'm excited to see all this pink emerging, since they didn't bloom it all last year. I took a chance and let a bit of fertilizer fall in to the cups this summer and it seems to have worked.
The Mexican Bluebells, on the other hand, have been reliable every summer and this year is no exception. They, too, are in better shape, though, thanks to the tip my father-in-law gave me about the drastic pruning they prefer.
The peppers, of course, I can't seem to keep up with them. They are pretty, but I don't know what to do with them all. Would you like a few to take home? I could even give you my vinegar pepper sauce recipe, if you'd like.

So, that's my garden in this mid-summer heat. Thanks for stopping by. And remember to take some peppers on your way out!

July 16, 2008

Chrysanthemum Purse

Leftover fabrics, a pattern from Bend the Rules Sewing and about 2 1/2 hours of less-than-diligent work in the sewing room, and I have a pretty little purse to take to work tomorrow.

July 15, 2008

Another Rainy Evening

Remember when I said I was hoping for the afternoon rains? Mother Nature has obliged throughout the month of July, but not with the brief monsoons I expected. She has brought us near daily rains that start with an electrical storm around 3:30 and last well in to the evening, often raining again during the night. This doesn't leave me much time to work outside, but since its well over 90 degrees whenever its not raining I don't really mind. Florida gardeners don't do much gardening in July and August anyway. And, with all this rain, my yard should be in great shape come September. If a bit overgrown.

July 13, 2008

Ta da!

I finished the shawl weeks ago, back when I said it would probably be done that week. But with everything going on, it took until today to get pictures of it.

I wear it alot. Its the perfect wrap for air conditioning. So, I used it at church today and finally had the presence of mind to get Alex to photograph it before I changed. (Please ignore the wild hair. The humidity is awful right now.)

July 11, 2008



I had oral surgery today and I'm still really stoned. I would like the world to please slow down and be very quiet. Do not ask me to even look at you and certainly not to do anything crazy like walk.


July 09, 2008

For the Dogs

I woke up early all through the long weekend, and with my extra hours on Sunday morning I made Gwen a big pillow for the living room. She expressed a preference for an extra large pillow when Lily brought hers to our house. The two dogs would share Lily's big pillow, leaving Gwen's pillow completely abandoned. I'd been saying for awhile that I wanted to make Gwen a pillow with a cover that could be washed, and Alex 'commissioned' me to make her a big one. My first prototype, while Lily was still here, came out too small and became her car pillow. But, this one is plenty big for cuddling. With Lily at home with her Mom and Dad, Gwen accepts me as a substitute and allows me to share her pillow. As long as I don't hog it.

July 08, 2008

I {heart} Mail

More happy mail!

This beautifully wrapped package arrived last night. (No owl post this time, but our friendly mailman.) It was fun to get a package at all, but then to find it was a bona fide present... What a treat on a Monday evening.

And a present that combines two of my favorite ways to spend my free time. Perfect.

Thanks, S!

July 04, 2008

Crafty 4th of July

Or, I could stay motivated and get the borders on today... Go figure. Like everything else about this quilt, it just kind of happened without any angst on my part. So, its done. I need to iron it again, and the backing, and I can baste it for quilting.

This means, the entire quilt top has been cut and pieced in exactly a month. Definitely a record for me. (And slightly weird that it would be to the day.) I'm not going to press my luck, though. That's it for today.
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Holiday Progress

I woke up early this morning and used the extra quiet time to finish the center of the 'Wandering Flamingos' quilt. It was really nice piecing along while listening to the Declaration of Independence being performed on NPR. A lovely start to the holiday.

I'm really happy with how its coming out. Perfect for the intended recipients back porch and oh so Florida.

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All I have to do is add the border and the quilt is pieced. Easy peasy, right? But, for some reason, the border is always my least favorite part of the quilt center. I think its because my wonky seams show up more and there's less visual interest to keep my attention away from them. But, I'm going to take the plunge and get started this morning. Hopefully, I won't just let it sit for weeks if I've got things started.