Category Archives: Around The House

The Dog Days

Well, I think I was on a little break again, only I didn’t take a trip this time LOL.  I keep hoping something exciting will happen around here so that I’ll have something to blog about.  But then I tell myself that these boring Dog Days are good.  Very Good.

After a really busy May and June, July has been slow and wonderful.  Our weather has been beautiful.  Stunning, actually.  The hot muggy summer days have been replaced by cool, perfect temps.  I’m missing most of it while I’m locked away at work during the day, but I’m sure enjoying it when I get home in the evenings.  We’ve had quite a bit of rain this summer and I think that’s why my flowers are doing so well.  I’ve been slowly replacing a “vegetable” patch with a flower garden and it’s finally starting to look fairly decent.  My favorite flowers are these pretty phlox.  I have my gardener extraordinaire friend Pam to thank for these lovelies — I’d never really paid any attention to this variety of phlox until I saw her beautiful phlox when SweetiePie and I visited with her a few years ago.

Thimbleanna: Flowers

My garden will never be as beautiful as Pam’s, but if these flowers look like this every year, I’ll be a happy camper.  My little garden has taken a lot of experimentation — it’s hard to figure out what the rabbits won’t eat.  So far, so good on the phlox.  The asters and sweet william haven’t fared so well though — they’re mowed down regularly by the bunnies.  Nasty Wabbits.  These pretty little coreopsis are doing well too — I didn’t think I’d like this flower because they’re so little and wispy, but I love them!

Thimbleanna: Flowers

In addition to little bits of gardening and pulling weeds, there have been lots of routine boring jobs around the house.  We’ve cleaned a few closets and done some long overdue painting.  And I’ve managed to sneak in a little sewing.  I made myself a shirt from the Rifle Paper Co. fabric that I used to have in my little shop.  The pattern is Simplicity 1279 — I took my time, enjoyed the process and I’m really happy with the results — it fits just right.

Thimbleanna: Shirt

I also finished up a little throw quilt just for me and the tv.  A year or so ago, I saw this adorable deer fabric at Hawthorne Threads (I was going to link to the fabric but I don’t see it listed anymore) and I HAD to have it.  I LOVE deer.  Among my best childhood memories are watching Bambi at the movie theater and sobbing while I read The Yearling, one of my very favorite books.  Now I have a little quilt and I can cuddle some deer!

Thimbleanna: Deer1

For the rest of the fabrics, I raided my little etsy shop and used the japanese dots for a border, some cuddle for the backing, and that fun japanese stripe for the binding.  I think that stripe is just perfect — it matches those cute little black deer noses.  The quilting is just some random machine quilting — easy peasy.

Thimbleanna: Deer2

So, that’s it for an update — just wanted to check in.  I hope you’re having a great summer!

XOXO,
Anna

The End of the Weekend

{Sigh} Another weekend is over. Why do they always fly by so quickly? Did you have a good one? Mine was pretty quiet. CuteNiece2 turned 18 so I went to her Hot Yoga class on her birthday with the other girls in the family. I’d been avoiding hot yoga like the plague, but it wasn’t so bad and CuteNiece2 is a great teacher.

I also did a bit of sewing — I even dusted off Hester’s embroidery parts and made some seasonal breadcloths for a friend. It took me three times as long as it should have — boy, am I ever rusty!

Thimbleanna: Breadcloths

In between working on the breadcloths, I decided it was time to clean up the mess I’ve made in other parts of the house. Since I started the Aunts’ Quilt, most horizontal surfaces in the house have been covered with fabric. The dining room table, the kitchen table, the couch . . . I make a big mess while I’m making choices for all those little flowers.

Thimbleanna: Aunt's Quilt

Part of the problem has been dragging the fabrics from room to room, so I decided I needed a helper. Can you tell what it is?

Thimbleanna: Ikea Cart

If you guessed one of those little Ikea carts, you’re right. I know you’re used to seeing them in aqua in blogland, but I decided to get the cream colored one. The trays are the perfect width for the way I fold my fat quarters.

Thimbleanna: Ikea Cart

Hopefully, after the current block I’m sewing, I can narrow my fabric choices. That way I’ll have room for the actual block and scissors and thread in the top tray.

So, that was the weekend — I’m pretty sure you don’t want to hear about the cooking and cleaning and more boring stuff. I hope your weekend was fun — and have a great start to your week!

XOXO,
Anna

Trees

When I was a little girl, MeMum gave me this antique picture and I’ve had it hanging in my bedroom ever since then.

Thimbleanna:  Trees

Trees

by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain,
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

So, I’ve always loved trees. MeMum, the English major, saw to it. That’s why it always kills me when we have to have them cut down. We’ve been in this house for 15 years and up until now, we’d lost about 18 big trees due to wind damage from a wall cloud and that nasty ash borer a few years ago. This week we added five more big trees to the list.  (Which means, we’ve lost about half of our trees.  And I know this is probably boring most of you to tears, but this blog is a record of parts of our life and I want to remember my trees.  ;-(  )

We lost three sugar maples to verticillium wilt.  I’d never even heard of that *(&(^*@#% and the loss of these three really make me want to cry  —  they provided our prettiest color in the fall.  The picture below shows the one that was in the best shape of the three — it’s hard to tell with the trees behind it but all the leaves are shriveled up.  The first two completely lost all of their leaves a few weeks after the shriveling started.

Thimbleanna:  Trees

We also lost what they said was a hickory, but I’m not convinced.  The top half of this tree completely died out.  We debated topping it out, because the bottom was still lush and pretty, but there was a lot of bark damage so it was best to let it go.  The tree guy thought this was due to root damage.  Here it is after the guy had cut all the bottom branches away.  I had big plans to get up early and take pictures of the trees before they started cutting, but they beat me to it.

Thimbleanna:  Trees

And the fifth tree.  Remember this ash that we treated and tried to save?  This was my favorite tree because it was so unique — no branches until the very tippy top.

Thimbleanna:  Trees

It took two years, but the treatments didn’t work and this is what it looked like the morning of our sadness.  (That’s what I’m calling it haha.)

Thimbleanna:  Trees

Another shot of the tree cutters — the foreground is the best of the three maples and the background is that tall ash.

Thimbleanna:  Trees

While they were here, we also had a few trees trimmed.  At one point, I ran into the house to get something and I heard a bunch of screaming.  It scared me and I thought maybe someone had fallen or been cut by one of the chainsaws.  I went outside and all the guys on the ground were laughing.  The guy up in a big oak tree had a little fright.  On the way up the tree, he poked at a squirrel’s nest and nothing happened so he assumed it was empty.  When he got higher in the tree, up next to the nest, two little squirrels jumped out of the nest and into his lap.  He wasn’t very happy LOL!

The other tree we had trimmed was a paper-bark birch, another favorite.  (I promise, they aren’t all favorites!)  It’s really susceptible to breaking during ice storms and the branches were hanging too far over the house.

Thimbleanna:  Trees

Here’s a picture of the afore-mentioned squirrel guy who is part monkey.  This guy was amazing.  I was a little worried that he was going to drop a branch on the house, but they all hit the ground.

Thimbleanna:  Trees

Poor little birch tree had a pretty severe haircut.  It still looks pretty from the front though, and I know all too soon it will be grown back out again.  In the meantime, the roof should be safe.

Thimbleanna:  Trees

So, a sad week here — I hope yours has been better! I’m off to contemplate which of our remaining trees will become my new very favorite tree while I work on my trip around the world — it’s almost time for our next set of instructions and I’m just 1/2 row from being all caught up.  A progress shot next time!

XOXO,
Anna

Poppin’ In

Hey Kids.  Just a quickie update.  It’s still really busy around here — I’m hoping it will start to slow down a bit next week.  I’ve barely been home this week, but I’m making the most of the time I am here.

Thimbleanna: Gardening

I was a machine tonight — I think you would have been proud LOL.  I rushed home from work after yoga and in three hours I made two different casseroles, planted 2 flats of begonias, ate dinner with hubby (it was quick), ran to get a haircut, and packed for market.  (Oh yes, boys and girls, it’s quilt market week! )  And the best part is that I did it all in my yoga pants.  I blame them for my increased productivity!

Thimbleanna: Gardening

Sadly, there’s tons of yard work left.  I’m hoping to get to it sometime next week.  Most of the beds look like my happy little oregano plant (it survived the harsh winter!) above — full of leaves and weeds.  Oh well, it will all get done eventually.

Thimbleanna: Gardening

And, just for documentation purposes, I thought I’d show you my little garden . Another moment of productivity — weeded (it was full), three tomatoes, three squash and lots of zinnia seeds planted and covered in an hour.  Aren’t gardens fun?  So full of hope and promise.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.  I’m hoping for a no hail spring this year.  Oh, and no yoga pants were involved. There may or may not have been jammy pants at 7 a.m. in the morning though.

I’m looking forward to my little market break. Anything you want to see while I’m gone?
XOXO,
Anna

I’m Dreaming …

…of a White Christmas and it’s looking pretty iffy out there. We finally have snow, but we’re expecting a little warm-up on the weekend.  Fingers crossed that it won’t all melt! I loooove snow and we got a nice little storm over the weekend. According to the weatherman, we got 7″. It’s so pretty out the back window.

Thimbleanna: Snow

Well, how’s your holiday prep coming along??? We’re in the single digits now — only 9 more days until Christmas! I finally have a little decorating, a lot of shopping, and a little wrapping done. It’s a mess, really. Super Secret Sewing took several weekends but that’s been conquered now — Yay! And yesterday was the annual gingerbread baking day. I learned a few years ago that the gingerbread needs to be made earlier than the day before the competition to allow the gingerbread to dry out a little. That seems to help with all the cave-ins.  (Btw, here’s the link to our recipe — you still have time if you’d like to do your own gingerbread houses this year.)

Thimbleanna: Gingerbread

So, not much to show, but there has been a LOT of work going on around here — around your house too, I’m betting.  And, I’m thinking, if you’re getting tired, you should treat yourself to a little surprise!  ;-D  I’ve put a few Moda precuts into my little shop just in case you decide to treat yourself.

Thimbleanna: Fat Quarter Towers

(L to R:  Printemps by 3 Sisters, April Showers by Bonnie and Camille, Color Me Happy by V and Co and Le Bouquet Francais by French General)

I also have some charm packs of April Showers listed just in case you need a last minute gift for a quilty friend or two.  Or (it goes without saying) YOU.  Did you buy yourself a gift yet this year?  I haven’t bought mine yet, but it’s almost certain to be fabric LOL.

Okey Doke.  Must run.  Still a little secret knitting that needs to happen.  Good Luck with the next week — Be Good  to Yourself!!!

XOXO,
Anna