So, it's the last day of March already! "In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb"...as the saying goes, with winter and spring in a transitional tussle. Our weather, here in the northwest, was a mixture of hail and sunshine that alternated about every fifteen minutes for most of the weekend. I don't know how these flowers survived all the battering they got, but I'm glad they did. I know some peeps out there, that are just dying for a glimpse of spring too, so here's a little peek.
This group of Hyacinth emerge early from the ground in the middle of a 'dead zone' of other plants and shrubbery in the backyard, and are quite spectacular-looking standing out there on their own.
I appreciate these tiny grape-Hyacinth varieties too, the blues mix so well with the daffodils and other bulbs.
The Mister (bless him) cooked all our meals this weekend (with a little help), giving me time to (1) get caught up on some pattern orders, (2) dedicate time to the wool project book, and (3) get reacquainted with my beloved sewing machine. I've missed the long quiet interludes of contemplative sewing and had some new ideas I was excited to explore. (More about that later.)
Why is it that when you buy queen-size sheet sets you get standard-size pillowcases? I always end up having to find (similar) king-size ones that can be modified to fit our queen size pillows. These were a pair I found that had to be cut down. And while I had them on my sewing table I decided to give them a little flourish.
The monograms are from an older pattern available on the PatternBee web site called, Calligraphy ABC. I wanted to keep the letters simple and trimmed off the side flourishes before stamping them.
Sometimes I'm asked what's the best way to place a monogram or a motif on a pillowcase.
Here are a few tips: Find the center of the pillowcase by folding it in half lengthwise and press lightly with an iron to make a crease. Open it up to find the center line. Then fold your transfer design in half lengthwise matching the edges of the lines as close as possible. Unfold, and match it up with the crease lines on the pillowcase.
I placed my motifs about an inch above that bottom seam. Pin if necessary, and then stamp your design with a hot iron. Work the stitches in a diagonal direction, using a satin stitch, taking note of the natural flow of written letters and how they overlap. It didn't make any difference for the G, but was necessary for the V.
Note my stitches aren't perfect and yours probably won't be either. But it's OK. It's just a pillowcase. After a few washings the stitches seem to find their place and settle in.
The sun peeks out from behind the clouds illuminating the landscape of emerging green, reminding us that Spring is finally here. Flower bulbs pop up and wave 'hello'.
Birdsong is in the air.
Our kitty is enjoying a new bustle of activity outside the window too.
Our friend John, recently made bird houses from recycled wood (using crate packaging), and kindly gave us a couple of them. They are primarily for the preservation of the Western Bluebird, which is considered a sensitive species due to loss of natural habitat. They are darling little birds, part of the thrush family related to the Robin, and primarily eat insects--making them beneficial to the garden.
These nesting boxes are made with optimal specifications to attract them, but the English Sparrows sometimes take up residence too. There's a hatch on the side that can be opened to evict them if need be. I'm not sure I could ever do that though.
Within half-an-hour of erecting the first one in our backyard a pair of chickadees was already checking it out. I started getting nervous. Fortunately, and to my relief, they didn't move in.
Still, no sign of bluebirds, but we will keep watching.