Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rapunzel, Rapunzel

Let down your white terry cloth hair :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happiness is.........

Sharing a cool drink with a friend....on a hot summer day!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Dog Days Of Summer:

They're here! The dog days of summer have finally arrived. I can't complain, this summer has been a menopausal woman's dream, with temps not hitting over 90 since before June. Still, despite our low temps the humidity has crept in and is now at 95%!!!

Too humid to play outside which suits us fine. Teddy's hip has been bothering him and I think he needs a quiet week indoors. I'm about to cancel the grooming appointment he and Seamus had later this week until he is feeling a bit more himself (or the pain meds ease his discomfort). Ted is smiling in this pic because he likes the Irish music I have on the cd player now :)

To be honest, I don't mind these dog days, they are like snow days in midwinter. I'll get things done indoors like attack this huge pile of Sunbonnet Sue patterns. I'll probably get some sewing done as well and clean up the house a bit. What are you doing this week? Stay well and cool!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I thought I saw a pussycat..........

"I DiD! I DID! I did see a puttycat and it is George who has come to tease me!"

Poor Seamus, he just wuvs George and wants to make friends and George just comes by (nonchalantly) to torture Seam-bo. Finally the Seamus King gives up on his pursuits of friendship and comraderie while George smirks at the camera.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fairies in the Garden

Katie and Natalie were kind enough to include Helena in the fairy fest yesterday!

The "I'm so proud to be playing with the big girls smile" Helena wears everytime she plays with the older girls--er fairies.

The fairies had a wonderful afternoon of play, swings, hide and seek, kick ball and even t-ball!
Teddy (lower right corner) checks out the fairies.
Even Fairies and their friends need freeze-pop breaks! How lucky are we at 3P and N to have such wonderful garden friends!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Making Rainbows

Honestly.......... It takes so little to amuse me. Nothing like some grass seed, a sprinkler, and some sunshine to make me happy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Who's been sleeping in my bed?????

Dogs are funny; not unlike having kids. Okay, VERY MUCH like having kids. At Easter, we got a new rug in the living room and I bought new (bigger) pillows for the kids to sleep in. My mistake was throwing one of the little beds (from puppyhood) into the dining room while I was cleaning. It immediately became the favored bed of our two youngest. All night the two take turns (sometimes not so well) sleeping in the bed. The funny part? Their sleep positions accurately reflect their personalities.

Teddy for instance, is insecure, barkish, aggressive when frightened. He jumps at everything. He is determined to try to get his ENTIRE body in this little bed so he can be hidden from all and sleep well...
Then there is our youngest, Seamus. He is the biggest dog and the big baby. He is also the most secure: very loving, very VERY laid back; people have told us often that he should be a therapy dog. He just sprawls over the bed, conveniently ignoring the small dimensions of the bed because to him, size really doesn't matter.

And Paddie? She is just too dignified for this nonsense. She doesn't have just a bed, she has a WHOLE CORNER of the room and the most coveted real estate in the house (by the big window).


Calamity Kim is having a giveaway on her blog and her question got me to writing. What inspires you? I was actually thinking about this before I got to Kim's blog this morning. My favorite blogs list has become huge and I am always adding to it (about the only reason I take blogs off the list is because the owner stops posting). I love the family blogs; I love the kid-friendly blogs and the puppy friendly blogs; But I LOVE LOVE LOVE to read the blogs of you young crafters!
The young crafters are playing with different fabrics and colors--many which you can't find in the fabric stores--and they fascinate me with their ingenuity. Can't find the fabric they need? The design their own (check out spoonflower someday). I think it is easy to say that they are bringing back fabrics similar to the 1960s but they take them to new places, and couple them together in interesting ways. These young quilters, seamstresses, and crafter incorporate a variety of cultures and eras in their designs and make them work. They fascinate me.
Yes I love old quilts; I collect old quilts. These old beauties spark my passion and more than anything have made me more forgiving about my own work ( liberating to be sure). I love the history and the mysteries they convey. But I also love the new quilts. They make me excited for the future of quilting and sewing. They push me out of my comfort zone and make the quilting magazines appear outdated (which I think they know because I've been surveyed lately, I tell em to check out the quilt blogs).
So thanks you young uns' and keep up the good work :) Our craft needs you!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Very Full Day

It's been a very full day here at 3P & N! Because Brad was home and babysitting Paddie, I could work outside a bit. So I FINALLY got some grass seed down, and surrounded it with some small fencing to keep the dogs out.
And of course, I went to K-mart for some back-up to deter the dogs in the grass and some of the craziness they have been doing lately. K-mart was having a sale.... so I got me a super soaker. I don't' even have to use it, the dogs learned in 1 minute; they don't like to be squirted with the hose or anything else. So there is a new sheriff in the garden now.

I also got the sod up from the edge of the garden and Brad put the stone down.

He also moved the bench for me. Okay, it may look out of proportion with the sapling but gardening is all about seeing the possibilities....some day we will be glad that bench is there under our shady tree.
Also went to my favorite flea market to take some flyers for our quilt study group. Got one good bargain there! This sunbonnet (sorta) child's quilt. I collect sunbonnet sue patterns and I didn't have this one. I wondered if it was a kit quilt but I am doubting it now that I got it home. I still need to look it up in the big book of SBS patterns...
The arms are a bit off but I love the pattern and the details, like the curls on the girl......
The girl dragging the boy :)
Not sure what he is holding, maybe a bubble blower? Lolly? magnifying glass? Each figure has tiny buttons on it, you can see them on this one..
This is the unusual part, this quilt has pink binding and was made for a boy. It's been a very satisfying day. Brad made dinner for us and I am going to relax ...

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's a jungle out there!

Yippeee! I finally got my regular lens back from the camera repair shop! For over a month I have only been able to use the zoom lens.

Honestly, I wasn't kidding when I said the front yard is overgrow. Notice how lush the right side of the house is compared the left (drier bed due to a tree near the street). I meant to replace a soaker hose in that bed but never got around to it this year. I started to thin out everything but then Paddie had her surgery so now I am in the house with her until she is well.

Notice the larkspur? It's a testiment to how unusual and wonderful this summer has been. Normally it has gone to seed by mid-June and been yanked out of the garden by the 4th of July. It is still lingering.

Another example of our cool summer (with evenings in the 40s or 50s!) is the bugs. The Japanese beetles who usually greet the first of June are finally here. I have to wonder if we get cool weather again if they will fade off. For now, they are feasting on my roses......

Thursday, July 16, 2009

crafting in the garden

Helena and Katie were crafting in the garden yesterday! Making some awesome birdhouses for little birds.
They did a great job too! But they are little birdhouses---one of the funniest things I heard was Katie's big brother suggested her birdhouse hang aside of the bigger one he made a year or two ago. He said: "it could be the garage for mine" :D
The girls did a great job......

And as usual our little magpie, Helena, chatted the whole time !!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Going to the dogs.....

We love our dogs. That is all there is to it. So when we spend a small fortune on keeping them healthy, it is worth it. This month was a triple whammy month with one procedure for Paddie, Teddy's hip pain surfacing (he was born with hip problems), and another major surgery for Paddie.

Paddie appears to be recovering from her bladder surgery. She only gets me up once a night now (in comparison to every two hours). I am looking forward to her follow-up appointment next week. Paddie's wound is still seeping a bit and she has to be monitored all the time to make sure she isn't picking at her staples (although she has been AMAZING about that so far).

There is always something to be grateful for and for the 10-14 days she is infirmed, I am grateful that I can't really go anywhere or do much in the garden. I'M TIRED! My knee and hands ache from all the garden work I've done and I can use this break. Because I knew I would have to be in the house with her, I had Brad bring my sewing machine down. It looks good on this old singer sewing table that my friend Linda gave me, doesn't it?
Before Brad fell, I used to begin my Christmas present sewing in May. I've learned to start earlier, mostly because I never know what to expect and once the garden is open, the yard sales and auctions are in swing, I might not get much done in the summer. So I am glad for this time to catch up on some projects. Like the dogs---24 of em (two sets) I am making using Ami Simms "Dog Yeared" pattern. I love this pattern, it is VERY forgiving for me (I'm not the greatest quilter, I just enjoy doing it) and easy to embellish it and personalize the dogs.

Over the weekend, I got the machine applique stitching done (they have been fused for months!!). Now I just need to decide. Do I want to do one big quilt or make them individual wall hangings?

The reason I am debating this is because this is our present is for Brad's brother and his wife who have two labs. One lab--Jay--is just fine and dandy, typical lab. The other, Hank, makes Marley look like a saint. Not sure how to describe him other than the numerous eyeglasses he has eaten, the deer head he dragged home (imagine how mad that hunter is!!!), or when he got his head stuck in the closet kitty door trying to eat the litter box findings (ewwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

I tell you all this because I am worried about making just a quilt because what if Hank smells our dogs on it and well, that could be bad. So I am thinking of doing individual wall hangings for each month for them. Here are the blocks so far:
I also (finally) got moving on Anne Sutton's bunny hill BOM. Iam debating these too, should I do individual wall hangings for Nana's nursing home room or make her one nice quilt? I love Anne's quilt patterns and bought a bunch of them lately to make the baby's quilt. Also fused an bib for the little one coming in November....
Finally I got the ladybugs machine appliqued! I have to embroider the antennas on them this week and add a yo-yo to the center of the yellow tulip block. This will be a quilt for sure, although just a lap one. I just love the ladybug fabric and made the patterns a variation from the Piece O'cake book I have.
Well I am off to finishe cleaning up the house! Have a great day!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Recipe for Christina......

This recipe is at the request of my niece Christina who writes that she is very hungry for an oven pancake. This is one of our famiy's favorite breakfast/brunch treats. It isn't unusual to make 6-7 of these when our whole family gets together for lunch. What makes them wonderful is that that they are easy to make and taste wonderful with Nana's (mine) homemade strawberry jam. If memory serves me right, the family got the recipe from the Mike Douglas Show (remember him kids?) when Craig Claiborne was a guest. We have always called it Craig Claiborne Pancakes but the kids just refer to it as Oven Pancakes.
So here goes:
Oven Pancakes:
It is important to have a frying pan without handles or you can use a cast iron frying pan; you are going to bake the pan so you want to make sure there is no plastic that can melt.
1/2 C flour
1/2 C Milk
2 beaten eggs
dash of grated nutmeg
1/2 C of butter melted in a large (handle-less) frying pan
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Powdered Sugar
Jam or filling of your choice (we have also used a cinnamon/sugar mix too)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix milk and flour. Add beaten eggs. Mix but do not get out all the lumps. Pour into handleless frying pan that has melted butter in it. Bake for 15-25 minutes. Pancake will rise and be odd looking but golden.
Add juice of 1/2 of lemon to the pancake after it is baked. It will make the pancake fall. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Spread marmalade or jam/jelly onto it and roll it up. Cut the roll into slices and serve!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tomatoe, Tomaato...

This post is for my friend Molly who has been asking me about our Topsy Turvy tomatoes. (note garage where I have been ripping the ivy off). Brad hung them off the garage because there is literally no place else to hang them. I was not keen on doing this because our last batch of tomatoes (2 years ago) encountered squirrel challenges. Every time a tomato would ripen, the squirrels would pull it off the vine and take bites out of it.

I became so disgusted that I pulled all the mater plants. To add insult to injury, the squirrels then attacked our neighbors' tomatoes and brought the stolen contraband to our garden. So I was intent to not grow them again. But Brad longed for tomatoes so this is the 2009 experiment.......
The only challenge we have had is that we had so much rain in the beginning of the summer that we lost a lot of soil in the bags. We just replaced the soil yesterday.

The good thing is we have tomatoes already. I will post which maters turn out the best. This year we are experimenting with traditional, roma and
CHERRY!!! The first mater :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Paddie update

Paddie had her surgery yesterday and she is home resting. The vet said there was one big stone (which even inhibited her catheter!) and various smaller ones but their was some bruising to the inside of her bladder. She is on pain pills and holding her own, mostly resting. We'll be home with her for the next week or two until her staples are removed. Thanks everyone for your prayers and warm thoughts. It is hard for a 12 year old girl like her to have surgery but so far, she is holding her own!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.....

Dang. Sometimes you just can't win. I spent 5 hours working in the garden yesterday and today my knee is acting up. So I am on ice duty.

This is the year that we didn't get the garden mulched until after the Fourth of July. This has been such a transition year for the yard and I still don't have grass started in the backyard. No use lamenting about it, its just the way the summer is going.......

Paddie is having surgery tomorrow. She has stones in her bladder and they will be removed. Say a prayer she will be okay.....