Sunday, August 23, 2020

August 2020 in Review

 I know there is still a week left in August...lets just say I expect that week to get past me and will be September.

The forecast is rain so I have high expectations of getting lots of quilting might happen.

First...a little travelogue. Hubby said it was time for a flight excursion so we did a 50 minute flight to Talkeetna for lunch. I had forgotten someone mentioning there was a quilt shop in Talkeetna until we had finished lunch and were strolling the main street...there is only one street...but it does make a turn and just past the turn was a quilt shop! Oh Yeah! 

It is so adorable! Lots of Alaskan themed kits. 

I usually restrain myself with panels but had to get this set of Santa's Siberians. And of course the strips that have Santa dog mushing.

Looks like I have my first project for the Material Girls October quilt retreat.

It has been months since my last shopping trip to a quilt shop...probably in late March. (Trying to keep politics out of this post.) Anchorage and Eagle River have lots of rules for quilt shops about number of shoppers, time spent in shops, one shop even required appointments for shopping...didn't work with my spontaneous nature when it comes to shopping. Meanwhile the only restriction for shopping in a big box store is wearing a mask. It really doesn't make any sense to me how these rules are applied. 

And really...I have so much fabric in my stash I had no trouble just shopping from my shelves and not messing with pissing someone off if I took too long or got too close. 

Rules take the fun out of shopping.

The quilt retreat is in Wasilla where there are no restrictions...fully our retreat schedule isn't threatened. Not sure how many of the ladies will feel comfortable attending but I am looking forward to it. I have dates reserved to board all the critters. I was planning to attend the Houston Quilt Show this year but it got cancelled several weeks ago.

A few rainy days have been regularly sprinkled throughout our summer. I am getting closer to finishing this scrappy wall hanging. 

Landscaping projects always take priority on the summer schedule. I found a great deal on mulch at Home Depot and decided to try it to outline my rock borders with it.

I am also using the mulch on my front beds where my border mimics a stream...I have lots of rock in the soil of my yard. Every time I place a shovel in the ground I come up with all sizes of rocks...mostly rounded. I really did find most of these rocks in my yard that I am using in my front yard to make the "stream!" The super small round rocks that sit on top of my "stream," are leftovers from rock my septic installer left a pile of by my front door. 

Garden soil was also marked down at Lowe's so I stocked up on it for a raised bed in my front yard. I would like to help camouflage my neighbor's chicken coop.  Love my neighbors but a little more privacy with some great landscaping is needed. And you can really see my yard got decimated by the installation of a new septic tank last fall. I won't touch this area until next summer so I've laid down heavy sheets of black plastic to retard unwanted weeds or grass growth.

Gee...I really hope I get this part of my yard tackled next really needs some spiffing up! My perennials in the backyard have hit that phase where they need to be split so I need a place to move those off shoots. 

I feel like my landscaping progress has been slow this season but it really has been overwhelming just to figure out where to start...where the next step is...and what I can realistically accomplish. And for some crazy reason...I like to do all the work myself. I cleared a lot of wooded area that borders our lot...I was beating back the wild! Even got my husband to drag out his chainsaw for a couple of days and rented a wood chipper. We cleared so much brush that shrank to a little pile of mulch. 

But with all the bears that visit I feel like I now have a better chance to see them coming.

 I found lots of many huge ostrich ferns. Hopefully I can get some great photos of them next year. Some of them are almost as tall as me. There were boulders hiding behind overgrown know I like big rocks! There were icky plants to kill like Devil's Club and Cow Parsnip. I hate those plants so much even though they have the most gorgeous huge leaves...prehistoric huge.

This was also a summer I was deterred by wasps and hornets. A bad sting on the 3rd of July had me visiting an ER on the 4th of July because no urgent care clinics were open. The wasps and hornets were making their nests in the ground this year...all in the roots at the base of the trees in our yard. Very different. Usually the nests are up in the branches of the trees, in wood piles or underneath the deck. That radically changed my plans for landscaping my front yard. I had a few wasps chase me away from areas I wanted to clear. 

I always wonder if my neighbors gets a good laugh now and then from my antics in the yard.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Kicking Off August

A few days of rain does a lot for a quilter's time in the studio. 

I completed the quilting on Spumoni Spin #2. I might not get the binding on until the next rainy day...because it is pretty outside. Don't even know why I am on my computer when the sun is shining!

It is because I have been a little obsessed with the scrappy Half Square Triangles (HSTs) that are left over from the two quilts I made from the Spumoni Bali Pops.

No matter how many HSTs I piece together...there are always more!

I can't seem to stop thinking about what to do with this little suckers.

In July I finished a set of Sandra Cozzolino Santas

I know you are may of these Santas are there left to make from this designer? 

Every time I think I have that figured out the final tally...I find more vintage designs. Sandra Cozzolino has a Facebook page where even she admits she doesn't know the final count.

I am now starting her new designs for 2020.

No wild critter pics to share though I did see a lynx cross our street while working in the yard last week. The lynx was as tall as my dogs...who were very confused when they saw it. I'm sure they thought it was a dog. It made for a nice conversation piece that evening at dinner. 

My big cat, Eli, was safely tucked away inside. He is only allowed to go in the dog run for outside adventures since there are just too many wild animals that would like to eat him...lynx, foxes and coyotes are all in the area.

He would make a good-sized meal.

Time to get on with more gardening tasks.

All of the annuals are hitting peak performance.