Thursday, May 31


Congratulations Graduate!

And congratulations to me, I finished the graduates quilt just this morning. She graduated a few hours ago on this beautiful night. How is that for timing? There is nothing like finishing something in the eleventh hour!

Henry's sweet girlfriend graduated tonight with honors.  She is well rounded student and has been accepted at the college of her choice and will leave for college in August.  She will be an attribute to the college she will be a part of and surely a positive asset in the classroom, on the field, and amongst the young people she will become friends with.

I started her present, a chevron pattern quilt just over a week ago.  Due to the intense hot weather here, I have spent most of my time this week indoors sewing.  It all worked out really well actually. I did not plan to have the quilt finished by her graduation day, but had set myself a deadline for some time around the time she will leave for college.   You can image  my delight when it all came together completely this morning.   I hope she loves it as much as I do.  I was totally pleased with the outcome!

Again, Congratulations to all the graduates of 2012 all around the nation!  You all have worked hard and all that hard work has paid off. May your futures be bright and filled with challenges that will cause you to grow into sound, mature parts of society!

Tuesday, May 22

*busy busy little bees

Bees are buzzing all around!  You may recall if you have been reading for a while, that we added our first hive to our farm property a little over a year ago.  Here in our small town we have the blessing of a local bee supply store with a very knowledgeable gentleman who is excited to share and help new bee keepers get started.  Beekeeping has been quite fascinating for Eric and I.  We have fallen in love with the whole process of beekeeping.  Well I will speak for myself, I love it!  I feel most happy when I am working our hives. 

Early this spring, a year later we decided to split our hive (this is important to do to a strong, large hive - or they will split on their own).  We split our Rosemary Hive and then we had it plus the split, Lavender Hive.  I have never seen a live swarm. A swarm is when a over crowded hive naturally "splits".  Part of the bees and the queen will leave to find a new home.  One day I was out checking out our two hives.. and I look over head in a nearby tree and see a swarm of bees!  On that day I marked off one of the things to do on my "bucket list".  I captured the hive and that is the story of how we now have three hives, Sage Hive.   This year our goal was to add one more rich vibrant hive to our property.  We had added two hives, but they were all  just starting to thrive - our main that had been split, the split and now this swarm.   Early on in the year we had put in an order for a nuc of bees from the local beekeeper.  I did pick them up several weeks after I caught the swarm and we now have 4 hives on our little farm property.  I have named the hives after some favorite herbs: Rosemary Hive, Lavender Hive, Sage Hive and Basil Hive.

 Isn't their work just fascinating? Amazing!  One of our hives will be ready to harvest in a month or so maybe.  You see the frame above has the comb all drawn out and nearly full of honey.  They have started to cap the top part of this frame. This means it is done! Of course, the whole frame will need to be capped before we steal harvest it.

We are new to beekeeping, meaning before a year ago, we did not keep bees. Honestly before a year ago, I had not even given it thought.  We are novices with 4 hives, in one year. If we can do it, you can do it!  We have read, researched and read more. Digested it. Now we are putting it into action.   We have 6 acres of land and our bees sit on the back portion off to one side. However, I know a man in Ft. Walton Beach Fl who lives IN the city limits on a small lot with houses on both sides of him who has 4 hives in his little urban back yard.  Never a problem that he can report of.   Have you thought of keeping bees? Considered it?  As I have said before, you wont regret it!

Isn't he cute? This is my dear hubby.  I first worked the hive alone simply because my dear hubby was still in another state finishing up a job before he could join the family here in Florida.  I never work the hives now without him. It is one of those things we do together. I love that!  I can be a bit of a control freak.. so when he first started helping me, I didn't want to listen to anything he had to say.. as if I was a master?  That is not the case now at all, we now work together like the bees in the hive themselves. Just another benefit!

Monday, May 21

*seeing green

Good Morning! Yesterday I mentioned that I had started a new quilt project. I must be loosing my mind, because I am sure that I have counted the unfinished projects that I have in my sewing room and listed them here before for all to see. When I finished up the kaleidoscope "chicken" quilt, I was already thinking about which one I would pull out to finish. That was until I got this grand idea to make quilt for a sweet young lady who is graduating in a few weeks. I seem to have a habit of trying to pull off quilt making in a minimum amount of time. The quilt may not be done by May 31, in fact I am sure it will not be, but I am making it anyway.  Oh and in case you didn't guess..her favorite color is GREEN!

I recently had been thinking about a bloggy friends quilt that she made a year or more ago for her son and I have been wanting to make one since I first saw hers.   I love the way her finished product turned out but I am not a fan of working with triangles. Here is another peek of her quilt in the works.  I have always loved following Jenny, because she is so very creative in her quilting and using her scraps so beautifully.  After thinking about her quilt, I did a search on how to make a chevron pattern quilt hoping for another way besides triangles. Alas, I found one!  Be forewarned, a lot of fabric is wasted unless you plan to use the pieces you cut away in another project (which I plan to do). 

To make a chevron pattern quilt or zigzag quilt you can do it making half square triangles, HERE is the site that will help you along the way if you are interested in making this at some point. Go ahead, pin that page.  I decided that I wanted to use 5 inch squares, to make my pattern with, so my cutting began on Saturday and I got quite a bit of sewing done through the weekend. I was a very slow, quiet weekend around the farm this weekend.  It was a weird feeling to be sewing in the middle of the day on a weekend, just goes to show that hard work during the week pays off!

 Can't you see the pattern starting to form? I can hardly wait to get these sewn together. I am hopeful to get some sewing in this week before Thursday hits.  We are having a big cookout at our place this weekend in honor of Memorial Day so I have some work to do around these parts in preparation.  Speaking of that,  I put new covers on the little pillows that sit on our back porch area. 

 I love making new pillow covers for the little pillows on the back porch. It adds a bit of color and fun!  I start with a piece of fabric about one and a half inch larger than the pillow itself and slice it right down the middle.  I do this to a complimentary fabric as well and take one from each piece and sew it back together.  For the back I use two pieces that fold over each other so I can easily slip the pillow in and out when it is time.  Stitch right sides together, turn it inside out, voila!

 This is some scraps I had from a previous project and a pair of old cut up jeans. After piecing it together I used a marker to mark the edges of the "redneck side table's" edges and then took it to my beloved serger.  It is not what I had in mind, not sure exactly what was in my mind, but it will do for a 'table' cover.

 Have a great week! I think I might be back on track with this blogging.. I am feeling it! <3

Sunday, May 20

*finding myself and reporting a finished project!

A week has passed since I was last here. I have really enjoyed blogging and I have tried to get back into a rhythm but am still struggling. Sometimes I am simply too busy and have a bunch I can share, then when I finally do get to the point of sharing.. there is so much to share I don't know where to start. So, I don't. I enjoy that I have readers, some that I know and many that I don't. The fact is, I write for friends and family who wish to keep in touch with us and I am committed to pulling myself up by the bootstraps and get back on the blogging track as soon as I can!

 A week ago, I shared with you all in my excitement over setting in a quilt. I did get to the machine several times this week in the evenings and I FINISHED the kaleidoscope quilt.   This quilt was machine pieced, machine quilted and I also put the binding on with a decorative stitch on my machine.  It is really nice to have a project finished especially one that was started several years ago.   Can I get an Amen?!  I am off to pull out the next unfinished project. Oh wait, I started a new quilt today.. I will tell you all about that one tomorrow!

Sunday, May 13

*rainy days welcome in so many ways!

This time last year we had little to no rain water on the ground. In the past week, we had about 4 rain days, glorious rain. In fact, it has rained pretty regularly here for weeks now. We have had to do some watering on the gardens, but just a little. With sunny days, plentiful watering, weeds grow- well, like weeds! If I miss a day of weeding (which I have many times) it seems like things grow exponentially. Couple that with a day of rain, a day away from home, another day of rain etc. When I finally do make my way back out to the gardens I am in need of the tiller to help me dig my way back to beautiful clean rows!

On the bright side, sometimes when it rains I get an opportunity to sew, read, bake or something else fun. This past week when it was raining outside... I set in a quilt! This is a Kaleidoscope Quilt pattern that I simply love! I have been working on this quilt for several years now. The top has been finished and waiting for the right day to come along. Normally I set my quilts in with two layers of batting, but I only put in one layer of cotton batting for this light weight quilt. Since it is a lap top size, I will be done in no time at all! This narrows the number of unfinished quilt tops to ONE! Then I will have to start to work on the partially pieced quilts.

Friday, May 11

*april showers brings may flowers

These are a few of the potatoes we planted a few months ago.  We have had an abundance of rain this past week, so with this in mind I dug some of the potatoes to see if they were mature enough to dig.  I certainly did not want them to start to rot in the overly moist soil.  Turns out... they were ready!  I planted the potatoes (100lbs) over a course of a months, so we have some that are still producing.  I have decided that I like growing white potatoes better, because of the larger production per plant.  The white potatoes were also much larger then the red ones as well.
This is one of the many beautiful sun flower's that popped up in our gardens. This one had  about 7 blooms on the one stalk.  It was gorgeous.  Here are a few more that I have captured as well...

FIGS!  I planted this fig tree last year! Imagine my delight when I counted 18 little figs this year!
Lady bug, Lady bug thanks for visiting our gardens.
Once the beautiful golden colors have faded away, another beauty lies beneath. I really think the sunflower is beautiful with the contrast of the green around the edge of the flower with the grey seed heads. 

I have been quite busy. On some days I feel like a one legged man in a but kicking contest (one of my best friends sayings.. when I say it I feel close to her), anyway spring to late fall is a busy time around these parts. It doesn't matter if my thyroid is producing as it should (energy level up or down), or if I have a cold or any other aliment - plants still produce, grass and weeds grow exponentially.   As I said earlier, we dug about 1/4 of our potatoes, our first squash were picked this week, we continue to harvest asparagus daily (YUM) as well as snow peas. 

Happy Gardening!