Thursday, April 29, 2010

~*Friday Finishes Time!*~

Hello Dear Friends! Oh goodness are there a lot of goodies to share with you! I'll waste no time in showin' ya...

From Nikki, a marvelous stitcher & new blogger, comes this very unique finish with the ~*Crow*~ freebie... It is AWESOME indeed!



Nikki stitched the piece ~ then made it into a pocket to mount it to the paddle. She then tucked in a little raw wool for extra~prim goodness. How darling!

Angela did a personalized finish of the ~*Valentine*~ freebie. Her friend Valerie is visiting from France for a few days. She instantly thought of her friend when she saw the freebie chart & asked if she could personalize it. Well, of course she could! She made this beautiful floss tag for her friend. What a special treasure it is!



floss tag back...



These next several sweets are from Becky... she must have needles for fingers! How do you get so many darling stitches finished dear Becky? Each is more lovely than the last. :) These are each stitched on 18 count Aida with Valdani pearl cotton floss.







The lil' bunny pillow in the shelf is super sweet too! I'm not sure of the designer for this one. Becky, do you know?






That is all I have for this week of ~*Friday Finishes*~... keep 'em coming though! You KNOW I LOVE to see & share 'em!

Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

~*A Little Trash~To~Treasure Maybe?*~

Hello Dear Friends! Some time ago, I had mentioned maybe having a weekly post of "Trash~To~Treasure"... well, if you have been reading... you know I sort of missed that goal. Yesterday, I worked on this fun project... and had hoped to post it before going to bed... but time slipped by and it didn't get done before my eyes shut down for the day. So... it is a late ~*Trash~To~Treasure*~...



We have been working to clean out our woods (just a small area, less than an acre really). There are many over~grown & dead trees and tons of poison ivy to clear... and a huge pile of rubbish. We would like to have it clean enough to have walking (and dirt bike) trails... and a small picnic area. While sorting through the trash pile, we came upon this old bike...



I had read on a blog a few weeks ago where someone (I'm sorry I forgot who) had painted a couple old bikes white & displayed in her garden. Well... I could do that with this one! So... I gathered up some cheap, white spray paint... and a few inexpensive baskets too.

The bike and baskets were painted... not worrying too much about perfection. Then came the fun!

I attached one of the baskets to the bike with plastic zip~ties... one at the top and one at the bottom. (The basket is white on the outside. I didn't worry too much about paint on the inside.)



Next, I grabbed some moss to line the basket. This will hold the potting soil in. You could line the basket with plastic instead... or even before adding the moss... but I didn't worry about it. I don't expect the basket to last more than one season anyway... and it was only a $3 basket.



Add a generous amount of moss. Be sure to line it up the sides of the basket.



Then plant some annuals. Mine is filled with a Geranium and Dusty Rose. Remember too... water well.



For added protection, I used some larger zip~ties to hold the bike to the tree... just in case it were to be bumped or the wind would get too wild. (wire would work too)

I have plans for the other baskets as well... but I didn't get them done yesterday. Pictures will be posted when they are.


Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Saturday, April 24, 2010

~*My Flower Bed*~

Hello Dear Friends! Formal gardens are beautiful & the love, hard work, and discipline amaze me. However... my favorite gardening is prim, relaxed, and old fashioned.

My Dad use to live in a small town named Willard, Kansas. Willard was too small to have much of any businesses... so folks would travel a short distance to another, although larger, small town called Rossville. Along the road that connected the two were corn fields and farms. One farm I remember well, had a large, white farm house... with a beautiful front porch and an even larger red barn. I remember lilacs, tulips, phlox, and iris blooming... quaint, old fashioned gardens spread thoughout the farm yard.

One garden that always struck my fancy was one marked by an old, white iron bed. It always made me grin & smile... a pure flower bed.

A couple years ago, I made my own flower bed using a rusty old headboard found in the barn when we moved in. However, it never took root as I had wanted & I let it go. This year, I am re~inspired to make it pretty. In the center of my flower bed... a newly planted dwarf apple tree. Strange maybe... but it is prim and relaxed. :)



Mr. Bean... our beloved kitty... has inspected and approved the newly, reclaimed spot.

This morning, I lined the bed with some inexpensive bricks and transplanted a few seedlings from around the yard and from the greenhouse.

~daffodils... Do you tie your's in knots too after they bloom? This is a trick I learned from a woman that lived down the street from my Grandma... she was always playing in her gardens. She told me not to cut the greens because the bulbs use them to gain strength to bloom next year. It must work, because mine keep blooming.~


~four o'clocks~


~morning glory... to grow up the headboard~


~nasturtium~


When I was cleaning the bed this morning, I found this...


A lone sunflower. I couldn't get rid of it... so it will grow here this year too.

I'll take more pictures to share how the bed grows this year. I'm excited to see it! Aren't you?

Wishing you all warm smiles...
Betty

Friday, April 23, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

Hello Dear Friends! Happy TGIF to ya! ~*Friday Finishes*~ has rolled around again. Here are a few delightfully, sweet ones to share with you made by my buddy, Sharon...



From left to right ~ ~*Spring's Tweets*~, ~*Tea Thyme In The Garden*~... both patterns are available for purchase... and "Home Tweet Home"... a needle punch make~do pattern by Brenda Gervais. Sharon always does fine work & these are more proof of that.

For ~*Spring's Tweets*~, she stitched with 2 strands of floss over 1 on prairie cloth... making the finished pillow 4 by 5 inches. For ~*Tea Thyme*~ she stitched 2 over 2... with the finished pillow about 8 inches square. Both have been filled lightly with cotton. Have you used cotton for filling? It is wonderful & one of my favorite stuffings. You should give it a try if you haven't. You will like it! I'm sure of it!


Thanks for stitching & sharing, Sharon! :)

I don't have a personal finish to share... once again. However, I do have another sneak peek...please forgive me, I've been playing around with the photo editor ~ I don't want to give it all away yet... :)



It does feel good to be stitching!

Wishing you all a day filled with warm smiles...

Betty

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

~*A Look In The Greenhouse*~

Hello Dear Friends! I must apologize to you for not posting more often. There really is so much I could share, show, and tell... if only the hours in the day would cooperate. I did get out in the greenhouse today with the camera.

Some glimpses into the greenhouse...

~*Sweet Peas*~


We have only had the greenhouse for a few weeks. To really get a jump on the Spring growing, seeds for our area should have been started in February and March. Next year, things will be started much earlier... at any rate, there is green popping out of the potting soil...



I have started some 'decorating'... slowly collecting my vintage treasures and finding new spots to display them...




This wooden crate has been sitting behind our barn for close to 4 years. I couldn't bare to throw it out, but didn't have a use for it until now. Well, the other day when I went to get it... the bottom dropped out of it ~ completely rotted. However the sides were still fairly sturdy. Hmmmm... I put my creative senses to work! Living on an old farm (even if we aren't farmers), there seems to be lots of scrap metal here and there. We are forever trying to gather it & take it to the recycling center. I happened to find an old, oven rack in all the mess. It was the perfect size for the box bottom. I also found some rusty bailing wire. It was just what I needed to hold the oven rack to the bottom of the box. In the box are many of my various gardening tools. Make~do prim for sure!



Trinity has been playing in the greenhouse too. He started zucchini, watermelon, and carrots. We worked together the other day to move his zucchini. Because we don't have a large garden spot tilled, ready to plant... (again, something to work on for next year)... we decided to plant the starts in an old horse trough that I normally use for flowers. As we were moving the starts, I kept telling him that we were planting too many & explaining there wouldn't be room for them to grow. He kept insisting we put them all in the trough. His comment... "I want to be a good farmer, Mom." :)


(I'll be sure to keep you posted on what becomes of the zucchini... we will see how wild the vines get!)

My stitches are showing influences of Spring too... a little sneak peek...



Wishing you warm smiles...

Betty

Friday, April 16, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

Hello Dear Friends! It is that time again... time for ~*Friday Finishes*~! I'm delighted each week to see these... as they are always such a treat!

Enjoy!

From Nancy... there are bunnies hopping into Spring!

She has stitched up ~*Strawberries & Bunny*~ (a pattern available for purchase) using over dyed floss and constructed this sweet pillow using a new fabric from Blackbird Design. How CHEERY!



She also had a crafty~party with a few friends. Together they used the freebie doodle ~*1857 Bunny*~ and made this sweet box...



They used wool to make the bunny patch, painted & stained the inside of the box, and used two different cottons for the outer part of the box. DARLING!

Doesn't Nancy do quality work? She is new to blogging. Swing by & give her a 'Hey'. Her blog is as beautiful as her work.

Thank you, Nancy, for working with the patterns & sharing.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Things have continued to be crazy busy around here. I finally made time to weed & dead~head the flower beds. Plants are growing nicely in the greenhouse... and will soon be transplanted. Last night, I managed to get a few stitched in. I decided to work on a little piece... to hopefully get something crafty finished. More about this one later... with a picture too.

Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Thursday, April 15, 2010

~*Something Funny*~

Hello Dear Friends! I just HAD to share this with you! Last night, Trinity and I went to a fund raiser at our high school. It was Donkey Basketball. I had never heard of such a thing... and let me tell ya... it was a total HOOT!



I'm not sure most every school would allow this... but they actually did have donkeys on the court. Rules were limited... there were only two. 1 ~ the players had to be on a donkey to play and 2 ~ when they fell off, they had to make it look good!



Lots of laughs indeed!

After the games, they gave donkey rides. The smiles were priceless!



It was a fun time!

Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

~*Workin' Wednesday & a Question*~

Hello Dear Friends! Mid~week has rolled around again... and again I'm trying to catch my breath. This past Friday was the last chance I have had to craft on anything... finished the hooking part of my lollipop rug though...




As you can see, it still needs bound. Maybe I'll get to it soon?

Garage sales last weekend were slim~pickin's, but I did get this cute Noah's Ark birdhouse at the Goodwill store for only $5.




I didn't waste any time getting a couple of hooks & a wire on it... and hung it in one of my favorite trees ~ a flowering crab apple in the backyard.

I've been working in the greenhouse & the yard. Last week I bought a bunch of plain, solid concrete blocks to build some simple raised beds on the either side of the greenhouse. My question is... Do you have any suggestions on giving them a quick patina? My Mom suggested painting them with buttermilk, but she has not tried it before. Have any of you? Do you think it will work? Will it be worth the smell of sour milk?

I put in a couple of tomato and pepper plants on one side and have Zinnia seeds planted on the other. Let me tell ya... moving the blocks was hard, but moving wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow full of dirt was tougher! At least I had a good workout!


We have to cover the tomato and pepper plants at night with large buckets... either that or feed the rabbits.




Seeds inside are sprouting lots of green... getting closer to moving outside.

I had trouble sleeping last night... thoughts of flowers, stitching, hooking, and needlepunching were keeping me awake. I'm inspired!

Wishing you all warm smiles,

Betty

Friday, April 9, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

Hello Dear Friends! It is that time again... time for ~*Friday Finishes*~! I look forward to Fridays! Don't you?

Here is some really YUMMY eye candy to share...

Nan has stitched up the lateset ~*Crow*~ freebie... using overdyed flosses of Onyx and Palomino. She had read that I was going to be putting my stitched piece atop a box... and she has beaten me to the punch. (mine is still unfinished) Didn't she do a lovely job?


She even stitched up a matching strawberry. Just LOVELY!



Another darling ~*Crow*~ finish comes from Becky. She told me she hadn't cross stitched in over 10 years... but after seeing all the delightful finishes by others, was inspired to pick up the needle again. She stitched on tea~dyed 18 count Aida with #12 Valdani thread... using a shade of multi~colored brown. She mounted her finish in a 4 x 6 frame that she painted black with a gold base coat. She says she is HOOKED & will be doing lots more stitching. That is GREAT!



While watching the news this morning, I heard the local weather guy say this weekend could be the best one of the year. Lots of sunshine & comfortable temperatures. I would like to wish that for all of you too... but if you don't get the nice weather, you can enjoy Michelle's ~*Spring*~ freebie finish...



Isn't it cheerful? She says it was a quick stitch. Quick or not... it is just DARLING!

Thank you to all of you for stitching & sharing! Please keep those needles busy & keep sharing your stunning finishes! I LOVE to see 'em!

I've been working on my lollipop flower rug... and have it almost finished. Hopefully a finished photo of it will be posted soon... along with a few other finishes that I need to keep plugging away at.

Because it is going to be a lovely Spring weekend... I'm thinking of loading up my pocketbook with some loose change & a few dollars... and hittin' some garage sales! Doesn't that sound like fun? Hmmm... maybe I should browse the classifieds and make a list of some to hit in the morning!

Wishing you all warm smiles...

Betty

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

~*Spring Pleasures & Progress*~

Hello Dear Friends! Yesterday we had some whopping thunderstorms roll through, but the sun is shining in all its glory today...

Green is popping out of the potting soil in the greenhouse...




And there has even been a little bit of progress on my lollipop~flower rug...


The ground is still somewhat soggy, but that only make it easier to pull some of the weeds that are trying to beg their way into the flower beds. T'is a good time to work in the gardens with the Spring Sun a shinin'...

Wishing you all warm smiles,

Betty

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

Hello Dear Friends!

We started off with Spring rain showers today, but now the sun is out & lookin' so pretty! I hope you are enjoying the first sprouts of Spring!

For ~*Friday Finishes*~ there is only one to share this week... but it is a dandy! Rebecca, goodwool on Ebay, has made a delightful lil' box using the ~*Tulip Time*~ freebie and my tutorial for covering boxes. Honestly, I don't feel I can take credit for this ditty. Maybe some inspriration came with a little of my help, but Rebecca has really made some wonderful artitist changes.



Isn't this wonderful? I love how the tulip falls off the side of the needlepunch... but I also adore the zig zag cut on the fabric lid... and I am marveled by the staining. Just AWESOME! Thank you Rebecca for playing with the freebies and for sharing.

Wishing you all warm smiles....

Betty