Junque if it's mine, Junk if it somebody else's!

One site defines "junque" as upscale treasures repurposed..... I not only have a barn full of junque, I have it scattered here and there throughout the abandoned part of the garden.  I am always trying to salvage it and find a spot that I can enjoy it.  Some of it, like old farm machinery, is too hard to move but this gardening angel needed a new home.  I brought her to the house last summer and then couldn't decide where to put her.

So Saturday I had to braced up the gate posts on my garden and decided that would be a good use for her.  With difficulty I drilled 6 holes in the sheet metal to ensure she was firmly attached to the posts.  I didn't want to open the gate and have her fall on me as she is very heavy...  I wouldn't want my tombstone to read "decapitated by an angel."

And in  one hand she has the wand with the star and in the other hand she has the word "grow"...  Oops!! after she was all drilled and mounted I realized the way I positioned her it was  backwards...  Oh well...

The gate itself has been in use there for years... it is the headboard of an old iron crib fortified with wire.

There will be few, if any beans, but the squash and tomatoes  are doing well and set to take off as soon as the warm weather hits.

I had covered my peas with shade cloth to protect them and it worked and I keep it tucked around the bottom just for safe measure.  I am getting a bumper crop of peas and each morning Morris and I go out and spend about 20 minutes picking and sharing peas for breakfast.  I should say I pick and he shares.

Morris loves his veggies...especially carrots and celery and now new peas....

He has matured into a most loving companion... We are having a terrible tick season and spend lots of time checking for ticks.. Morris thinks it's  extra loving and just lays back and enjoys it.

I am spending yet another day waiting in vain for yet another person to come and cut up my dead trees downed in last fall's storm.  And the phone number he gave me doesn't work.

  If it weren't so frustrating it would be comical.  They don't come when they say or they come and have equipment problems... Bigger companies think the job is too small and independents are undependable.. This big tree split when it fell and managed to miss the gazebo... There are about 9 big trees down.

We were out of town to visit some grandchildren and then other grandchildren came to visit....it has been a very busy month... And I had a terrible time with the shots in my eyes so very little stitching is getting done.  I did get the ribbon ruched to frame the cottage and it is waiting for me to get back to it...


A tip to file away!

Quite by accident I discovered you can modify the width of the end result of this ruched ribbon no matter what the width of the ribbon.  The book's instructions have you mark the gathering lines according to the width of the ribbon.... which I did (A) and the end result was too wide....

But if I narrowed the spaces between the triangles I got a much narrower end results.


Lace Cottage DONE!!

Didn't quite finish over the weekend but it is now done and ready to put on the CQJP2014 project.  I'll post when the cover is finished.

And as promised here is a guide to copy and use to follow all the steps I did.  It is the same I used but I did clean it up a bit....  My cottage was only a little over 3" high but I would recommend doing it larger....


The garden has begun - lace cottage tutorial - part 6

Well I "planting" my cottage's garden...starting anyway.  I have no plan and just grabbing colors as the spirit moves me.
 I dry brushed some dark green fabric paint where I want the back shrubbery... Adding the color will mean less French knots.

I also found a piece of inexpensive nylon lace and cut a strip for the lace and I will leave the lower edge raw.

I'm using the silk ribbon I dyed last summer.  I love it but don't have enough colors.  I am going to dye and overdye a lot of ribbon this summer.  Unfortunately the big storm last fall blew the top off my greenhouse so I will miss having the dry sheltered work space.  It is too expensive and too much work to replace it.

I'm also using perle instead of floss.

Remember these gardens by picket fences that were my inspiration...  One had the garden mostly inside the fence and the other had the garden mostly outside the fence.  I want my garden BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE the fence... like Bette Midler, I want it all.

We are going to Seattle this weekend to a granddaughter's graduation and this little garden gives me something relaxed and easy to work on.  Hope to have it done by the time I get back.  The whole piece is only 6" by 6"....


Lace Cottage tutorial continued...part 5

The actual cottage part of this piece is complete.  Besides finishing the door and the windows, I added a tiny lace along the left end of the roof and I did a chain to secure the lace on the corners of the house.  I wove a thread through the chain to catch even more lace...than I trimmed the lace close.  Any little fussies will be concealed by shrubbery later.

Now I can turn my attention to the fence in front... Visually I want the fence to cover the area in front of the house because I don't want to spend months doing French knots although the possibilities for a front garden area are great if I positioned the fence farther front.... I want to use a small lace for the top rail of the fence.  I want it to be rather bold to separate it from the lace on the house since they will be touching.  I want to bring the fence to the forefront and a strong lace could do that.

 This is my drawer of small laces from years of collecting.  It is very easy to overlook small edging lace  on ugly linens. You just see the stains and terrible embroidery and tend to put them aside.  But that's where I find some of my best small edgings.  You can also find some new machine laces that are cheap and fantastic.  Again I remind everyone not to be a lace "snob".   Not everything has to be handmade to be wonderful..
embrace them all.

So I start trying different laces and it makes it easier if I can see them all at once.  So I take photos so I can compare.
The bottom two were my final choice and the one bottom left won out as it was the laciest and I could envision roses spilling over it.  I am also trying out laces for the lane in the foreground.  Just as I wanted the fence to be heavier, I want the lace for the lane to be very delicate and unassuming...  This will be a hard one to find.


How a watermelon can strain a 40-year marriage.

Recently DH bought a watermelon the size of a large footstool and proceeded to try and fit it into a space in the refrigerator the size  of a gallon of milk...  When it wouldn't fit he gave it a shove.  The water melon didn't shrink but it did knock over a 1/2 gallon container of hummingbird sugar syrup.

The said sugar syrup splashed over the entire contents of the refrigerator, ran down into the veggie bin and out unto the recently cleaned floor.  When I happened onto the scene DH was smearing it around with damp paper towels in an ill-conceived notion he was cleaning it up....not working.  He had managed to track it all over the kitchen, and get it, not only on the counter top, but on the cupboard  fronts as well..  How I'm not sure, but he did.

Now I tend to be the silent angry type.... stewing internally and fantasizing a appropriate revenge. But on this occasion I lost it and found a whole new vocabulary to express my feelings at the moment.  From that moment on watermelon is not only not allowed in the refrigerator, it is not allowed in the house.  If he buys a watermelon he has to keep it on the porch in an ice chest.

Even though I spent hours scrubbing the kitchen and refrigerator and its contents from top to bottom, days later I would find a sticky spot in an odd place. Remember all the positive feelings I was getting from house cleaning therapy? ....well this incident managed to negate all that... no more warm and fussy feelings for my new mop...

Lace cottage tutorial continued...part 4

I spent most of last evening on the curtains and one window.
Tonight I hope to finish all the windows and the door.  I am anxious to get to the fence so I can start on the garden... the fun part.

I don't know how large this looks on your screen but the entire cottage is less than 3" tall...very tiny indeed.

The lace I used for the curtains is just a hair over 1/4".  It is a machine lace and very intricate.  I am using the band part of the lace as my guide for my shutters.  Notice I did a tight chain stitch around the door to secure the lace before I start stitching the door.

And remember all this narrow trim I gathered to show you..?   Well I put it in that famous "safe place" and I need it now and can't find it..

We seldom eat out except for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas eve... I hate paying for a meal that I could cook better at home and I love cooking it.  Yesterday I spent most of the day cutting up scrap wood for winter and working on bills and budget....both odious chores.  So I am treating myself to a day of play in the kitchen.. I splurged and bought a duck for company coming this weekend and am cooking the duck confit today.  It takes 11 hours in the slow cooker.  I will be serving duck crepes with a plum sauce.  I did it last winter and served them with bok choy and mango salad.  Also making kale, prosciutto , parmesan pin wheels with puff pastry dough.  You make them ahead and freeze...cut and bake and serve as appetizers.  New recipe which sometimes sounds so good but not...we'll see...  And I have a big batch of turkey minestrone cooking away for tonight. Next to a day of stitching, a day in an apron cooking is the best.

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