Day Trip Time!

Day Trip Time!

Yesterday we were on the road most of the day. In the morning we dealt with gardening supplies, plants and coordinating someone to come look at the property.  In the afternoon we had fun.

We decided to drive the South Shore as far as Queensland Beach yesterday. We stopped in at the Red Wagon Art Studio in Hammonds Plains. They had a lot of excellent quality art supplies for a reasonable price, and Amy, one of the proprietors, was more than willing to show me around. They offer curbside shopping as well as shipping. I am keeping them in mind.

We also stopped at the Bike & Bean Café in French Village. Mind you, we actually trotted next door to Cavicchi’s for ice-cream!  The Bike & Bean Café is in front of the Rumrunner’s Trail. The trail literally runs behind their back door. Hubby is an avid cyclist and wants to bike that trail soon.

Next stop was the Hooked Rug Museum of North America.  I was there the day before they opened again, having closed it due to Covid. However, the marketplace was open for business!  I had a look around and purchased some lovely recycled plaids.  Then chatted up Sharon and Taylor out front.

Sharon was busy creating the new email about the finishing class coming up mid-September. There is a limit of fifteen spaces.  I hope to be one of them, but it depends on a lot of things.   I also heard about the “Rid the Winter Blues Hooking Retreat” in Rothesay, N.B.  It’s an interesting idea and, depending on our home situation, I might take part.

Taylor was showing me her hooking and we chatted about the AirBnB she rents out. It’s full for most of the summer, but into the fall there are longer openings.  It’s a reasonable price at $100CAD/night and two bedrooms – one with a queen bed and one a double. It’s on the coast near Blandford, N.S.  It looks like an ideal spot for an artist retreat!

I reluctantly left the museum to head for the beach. The beach was a bit of a disappointment. The tide was in, it was crowded, and no one seemed to be following the keep six feet away rule.  So we headed to a picnic table nearby, had a bite to eat, took photos of the ocean, and headed home.

Despite the disappointment of the beach it was a beautiful day!   In the evening we set to work in our yard, weeding a flower bed, turning up the dirt, tidying up.  Next up is to plant the annuals we bought and add mulch. Today’s job. Hopefully it will be finished by the time the rain comes this evening.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Better Late Than Never!

Better Late Than Never!

I missed writing a blog post for yesterday! Sorry to leave my readers hanging for a day or so.  My blog writing was delayed. More details below.

In the rug hooking arena, “Dancing Tree” found a new home!  I sincerely hope it gives joy and puts a smile on the face of the new owner for many years to come.

I haven’t progressed any further on “Gyeongju” or “Time” due to upcoming renovations.  We picked up the last of the kitchen cabinets last week.  This weekend and Monday we shopped for flooring and countertops.  Mission accomplished!  Everything should be on site in two weeks.  The guy removing our old kitchen and installing the new is thinking it will be four weeks before he gets to us.  However, we have a planning meeting with him coming up.

But before the kitchen renovation we have a front and side yard overhaul happening!  So if I’m a little scarce on here and don’t have much rug hooking to talk about, forgive me!

We are also talking about culling trees on the property.  We have a lot of mature trees between us and the neighbours.  But that and planting a new perennial bed between us and them won’t happen until late August into early September.

While I’ve been negligent on the rug hooking front, I’ve been busy preparing for the nature journaling conference, Wild Wonder.  It takes place next weekend.  It starts at noon Atlantic Time on the 23rd and continues through to 1:30 AM Atlantic Time on Monday, the 28th.  It will be 13 1/2 hour days.  Friends and family are taking bets how long I’ll last.  That’s a lot of Zoom time for me and a lot of sitting.  I will definitely be talking advantage of breaks to stretch and exercise.

I am also planning to squeeze an artist retreat in between the lawn renewal and the kitchen renovation.  So June and July will be busy.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I’ll keep you posted on the renovations AND any rug hooking. Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Review – International Nature Journalling Week

Weekly Review – International Nature Journalling Week

Good morning everyone!  I’m right in the middle of International Nature Journalling Week put on by Bethan Burton and friends. It’s quite good. It’s free, but there has been a request for donations. It’s seven days long with two sessions per day. I’ll have to miss a couple of sessions due to previous commitments, but overall I’ll be able to get the flavour of the week.

In other news, we spent the week in the yard. It’s been the first decent week of weather for planting since last spring. I took advantage of the situation.  All our seedlings are in the ground, and a good deal of seeds.

I’m having incredible luck with growing from seeds down here!  Everything seems to grow!  I gave a third of my tomato plants to one friend, and another third to another friend. Same with pepper and oregano plants. I still had twelve tomato plants of three different varieties to plant!  I had six  or seven pepper plants of three different varieties. Plus, leeks, onions, peas, Swiss chard, kale, two kinds of beets, radishes, lettuce, squash, zucchini, cucumber, turnip, carrots, and much more.

My pots and raised beds are going to be overflowing. We had too many tomato plants, so we planted them and the remaining marigolds in the perennial bed.  We’ll see how they do in the part shade.

The weather has been gorgeous, for the most part. I’m spending a fair bit of time on the deck, relaxing.  When I’m not pulling weeds. We have a severe goutweed problem here. So we’re busy dealing with that. We back onto a Municipal green space that has become infested. It’s spreading into our flower beds.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Misty Monday Morning

Misty Monday Morning

This weekend I pulled weeds, finished preparing the alpaca yarn for sale, and pulled more weeds. Hubby and I had several serious conversations about the yard. Something has to be done sooner rather than later.  We have a major goutweed (aka Bishop’s weed) infestation happening.

Our new mat for the deck gazebo came Saturday.  It’s gorgeous and it’s from Costco.  It was a very good deal.  We are pleased to have a nice place to read, rug hook and spin on the deck out of the sun.

Plans for this week include more weed pulling.  But also more creative work.  I want to get “Gyeongju” finished and off my frame.  I also want it steamed and blocked.  I’m stuck on hemming until I can either have my serger repaired or get to someone else’s serger to do the job. Right now no one is going anywhere due to Covid lockdown.

I’ve been playing around with the project management app, Trello, and one thing it shows me clearly is how many of my projects are stuck because of lockdown.  We aren’t supposed to go out except for essentials, and even then only one person is to go.  That’s Hubby. I can’t call repairing a serger or buying supplies for a hanging system essential.  And I certainly wouldn’t want Hubby to handle those transactions on his own.  So…I can go so far with “Gyeongju” and then I wait…

I am also hoping to enter all my projects into Trello to see how many years of work I have ahead of me.  I need to break it down into a reasonable workload.

Well, if you have been reading, thanks!  I hope you have a good week.  Take care everyone, and stay safe.

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

This weekend was spent rug hooking, talking with family, sewing a doll outfit and gardening.

I also sent an email to the photographer whose photos I am using as a base for some of my nature journaling. I wanted to make sure he knew I was using his photos and how. He was okay with it. His name is John Phillips. He’s a Nova Scotia photographer. Check out his website here!

I hooked more on “Gyeongju”.  I have one quarter of the border left to do – about four to five hours work.  I’m looking forward to finishing.

My doll now has a new sailor dress outfit.  This is my childhood doll and I’ve been meaning to sew her a new outfit for years.  I never really prioritized it though. But Saturday was the day. I sewed the hat, dress and panties.  The hat looks big, but actually just fits the back of the head.

My niece looked at it and commented the doll looked scary. Lol!  Poor doll is over 55 years old and missing a few eyelashes and a pinkie finger.  The missing lashes and discoloured face from age definitely give  it a different look! Lol!

This week I am pushing to finish hooking “Gyeongju” and blocking it.  I am also transplanting plants into pots for the deck garden.  I have extra plants to unload on friends.  I have a couple friends lined up already.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  I hope you have a great week!

 

Summer Oasis

Summer Oasis

Good morning everyone!  The weather was lovely this past weekend.  I confess I didn’t do much creative.  Instead Hubby and I spent it in the yard preparing for summer.

We had garden soil delivered on Friday. In our marriage I have the know how, having taken some courses and had some experience with gardening, and Hubby is the brawn, having a strong heart and back.  He also has experience in the gardening arena.  So I was able to look over the four different types of soil we had, give him directions for mixing them appropriately, and help fill containers.

The first container he filled was a long, narrow raised bed we built a couple weekends ago.  We built it with lumber we traded for with a neighbour.  The neighbour had some lovely 2x8s and 4x4s. We had fresh cedar from a tree we had to have cut down because it was growing in power lines.  Fair trade!  The planter was filled Friday and planted.

Saturday was another nice day. Hubby put together the second Adirondack chair.

Sunday we were busy.  We put up the gazebo in the morning, and put the deck furniture in it.  Then, in the afternoon, we took all the soil out of the 12+ pots, loosened up root balls of various plants that were growing, and added soil to top up and refresh the pots. I’m surprised and happy to report that mint, strawberries, oregano, tarragon, and lavender, and more have all come back up this year!

Hubby rewarded himself for a job well done by going on a bicycle ride. I enjoyed the deck with a cup of tea. Aaaah!  I can feel summer coming now!  Next weekend I hope to plant the rest of the containers.  For now, I feel the urge to set up my rug hooking on the deck!

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Talk to you all later.  Have a great week everyone!

 

Lockdown Plans

Lockdown Plans

So for those of you who don’t know, all of Nova Scotia (where we live) has been placed in lockdown. We’re talking a super tight, don’t go out of your house unless you have to, lockdown. One person per household is allowed out to buy essentials – food, gas and medications – and it has to be the same individual throughout lockdown. We are allowed to walk, masked and socially distanced. If we’re a 1-2 person household, we can team up with another 1-2 person household and keep them in our bubble. When we do go shopping for groceries, gas or meds, we are not supposed to leave our community. It’s a bit stressful here right now.

So…our soil delivery for our newly made raised bed was canceled.  The greenhouse staff called and said maybe next week, maybe not until the end of May.  So much for my early spring crop. But it is what it is, and people need to stay safe!

Instead of focusing on the outdoors, which is hard to do anyways with all the rain forecast, I decided to focus on indoors.  Saturday I spent all day picking up my studio.  It was a mess!  It still has a lot of extra stuff in it that needs culling and putting away, but it’s better than before.  I made an eight minute video of the current state of my studio here.  It’s middling.   There’s still a lot to do in there.  However there is progress.  Last year this time we were dealing with this.

I also took time to do a quick two minute video of my nature journal.  It can be found here.  I hope to work on sketching some flowers I received for Mother’s Day.  I’m also contemplating a Great Blue Heron page for my nature journal.

Today I’m sitting down with my hook and working on “Gyeongju”.  I am also doing paperwork for my business.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week!

 

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

It’s been a busy week for me. In between rug hooking, yard cleanup, sewing and gardening, there’s also been nature journaling. I’m really enjoying learning more about observing and recording nature, even though I struggle with the scientific end of it…primarily thinking of questions to ask about my observations. But, the drawing practice is invaluable!

I spent some time watching YouTube videos by John Muir Laws on nature journaling.  He uses coloured pencils outdoors.  Because I’ve been working from photographs indoors, I’ve been using watercolours.  You can use either in either location.  But I’m thinking I could use a greater variety of journals, at a more affordable price, if I learned to use coloured pencils properly.  So I put an order into Michaels craft store for curbside pickup of a few pencils and a case to hold them.

Here are more watercolour pages in my nature journal.

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In other news, I finally finished the last project for the L.L. Bean shirts that belonged to my dad when he passed away three years ago.  Dad loved L.L. Bean clothes – their shirts in particular.  He had white hair and blue eyes. He could wear just about any colour, and did!  The bright orange nylon one became a cushion cover for his widow. The rest I took and sewed into various projects – one for each descendant.  You can find “The Shirt Project” video here .

While all of the projects but one were finished within a few months of Dad’s death, one project in particular was vexing. One of my nephews wanted a knife sheath for a jackknife. The shirts just aren’t built for that. But I happened to have some tanned moose hide, so thought I’d try. Then we had to focus on moving. It wasn’t till last fall that I picked up the project again. I broke many needles and couldn’t sew the moose hide on my home machine, even with leather needles. So, after consultation with my nephew, I sewed this alternative gift. Here’s the final project for my last nephew.

Hubby and I also put together a raised garden bed to run along the side of our raised deck.  We traded our deformed cedar we had to have cut down (it was growing in power lines) for some milled lumber leftover from a neighbour.


We also put together a Muskoka Bear chair, which is really a type of Adirondack chair.  Hubby is working on the matching chair now.  It came in pieces.  Hubby sanded it, painted it and assembled it.  The colour is Aruba Blue by Benjamin Moore, and I just love it!

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a wonderful, productive weekend.  Take care.

Making time…

Making time…

This weekend I decided to rest and relax and just “be”. Funny thing about that. As soon as I made that decision oodles of possible activities and things to do crowded my mind and I ended up scheduling them in my planner on my ‘to do’ list. So in reality this weekend became a time for planning and doing.

What did I plan? Saturday I rested, tended to my deck garden, and put down everything I could think of to do in regards to my business in another mind map – a six page mind map. I also dried some peppermint.

I also connected with someone who wants to buy all my scrapbooking supplies. My goal is to deliver them before the end of the month. I’ll be truly dependent on digital scrapbooking after that.

What did I plan Sunday? My next retreat! I also finished drying the peppermint – there was a lot of it – and dried some parsley. Plus I made sourdough discard crackers.

I also managed to serge the edges of all the patterns I drew on linen during my retreat. Plus I colour planned a medium sized African Dream wall hanging. It’s about 10” x 16”.

I set up some books for my business. I had officially shut my business down the end of 2018, when we made the decision to move in 2019. Now we’re relocated I’m wanting to keep records for the taxman or woman. Plus, I’d like to know my income and expenses for my own general knowledge…and planning. I’m in the process of starting my business up again now.

After a walk Sunday evening I updated my plan. LOL! So much for sitting and just “being”!

It’s been a week!

We’ve been busy this week. Charlie put together furniture for the studio with my help. Lots accomplished, but lots more to do. Yes, there’s a big scratch on the builtin bookcase/cupboard unit. The shelf was a bit too big to fit in after painting. Charlie shaved them down after that fiasco. We’ll be fixing that this weekend.

I had to measure my studio again. Apparently the laser measure we took the original measurements with was off by quite a bit. My actual working space measures 11’x12’. The rest of the space is designated family room. It’s 11’x9’5”. For me that’s a small space to work with. I will adjust. I have to.

We had some friends stain our deck this week. They did a wonderful job! I put in the deck garden the last two days. We originally had a large gazebo on the deck. We would like to have it back in place. We’re thinking about how to do that and make sure the plants get enough sunlight.

We tried digging up and moving a rhubarb plant that wasn’t doing well, and found out why. The soil is gravel and a fine red dust – looks like clay. Whoever prepared the yard in the first place didn’t bring in topsoil after building and before planting anything. The backyard is a lovely meadow. Though there are a lot of weeds. We figure we’ll be bringing in wheelbarrows full of real soil and mulch to deal with the perennial garden issue. The backyard may just stay meadow for now. We’re focusing on creating a presentable front yard this year.

We also purchased a deck box to store all the garden supplies. That meant we could clear it all out of the dining area in the house, where they were stored previously. I’m hoping that means we can put together our new table soon.

Not much done on the creative front. Too busy trying to organize things in our new home. Hopefully things will be up and running soon, and I can start back at my creative pursuits.

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!

Good Monday morning everyone! Charlie finished painting the first studio wall this weekend. It looks wonderful!

I painted 37 year old cabinets and bookcases he’d made for me as a young wife. What a sweetheart! Those cabinets have been used in every home we’ve lived in. It was sad selling four of them for this move, but we had to downsize. They went to a good cause. A teacher wanted them for her classroom. The remaining four will be in our kitchen and my studio.

Bookcase by Charlie. Painting by Jean.
Cupboard made by Charlie. Painting by Jean. It needs to be cleaned up a bit on the hinges yet.

Today’s activities include putting together furniture for the studio wall that is finished, and filling it. That will, hopefully, empty a few boxes, giving us more room in the studio to paint more walls.

Other happenings around the homestead?

We are having the deck stained. Our friends were here Saturday and Sunday to work on it. Today is the last coat and touchups.

After the railing was done. We actually have the first coat on the decking. Looking forward to the second coat today!

I found wild purple violets growing in our backyard. I picked them and tried to make candied violets, but failed. I made a sourdough banana bread from YouTube later in the afternoon and tossed in the candied violets. It was delicious!

Wild purple violet

I’ve been checking out the yard and cleaning up flower beds – both front and back. We have an interesting backyard. There’s some grass, but not much. What we really have is a meadow. There’s wild strawberries, forget-me-nots, wild purple violets, and dandelions. All of these are in amongst moss.

The fringe benefit of not having just grass is that we see a lot of different insects and wildlife. This morning I woke up to a robin and pheasant eyeing each other warily from about ten feet apart in the backyard. Neighbours have reported deer in the area too.

I’ve been checking out the flowerbed situation. It’s quite overgrown. We apparently have a major goutweed problem. I’m sorting through how to deal with that now. If you have any experience please post in the comments below!

The deck garden is coming along fine. Seeds are up. In fact, everything I planted is up. I’m a bit overwhelmed. I had over planted because in the past I’ve had issues with germination and damping off. So far everything is growing quite happily. Hopefully I can get it all transplanted and onto the deck this week.

I have too many squash seedlings, so I’m contemplating planting them near the goutweed in hopes their huge leaves will smother it. But I don’t know if that will work. I think I’ll try several methods in different areas of the yard and see which method is best. Then next year I’ll settle on one method and try and get rid of the stuff.

If you’ve been reading till now, thank-you. I hope you have a great day and productive week! As always, keep an eye on my YouTube channel for more video about the studio renovation. Talk to you later,
Jean O.