Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Barbara and H. Bernard

 For me there is nothing more beautiful than the miracle of Mother Nature.  Each season she puts on a show and when you consider all of the below came from a tiny seed, it really is incredible!  I think this is why I enjoy gardening so much - seeing each plant evolve with the seasons.

Here is Barbara Clematis -- named for Mr. Squash's sister.  Well, I'm not sure it was specifically named for her, but we planted it in her honor.  Barbara gave me the nicest compliment when they were here last year - she said if our garden was in the area where they have their yearly garden show that she would ask me to enter it!
This is H. Bernard Clematis, which also happens to be the name of Mr. Squash's brother-in-law, married to Barbara! Actually, Bern doesn't have an H in front of his name, but that's OK.  We planted this in his honor as well.  He climbs clear up and over the trellis here and blooms the entire length!  The flowers are nearly dinner plate size!  See that cool rock underneath?  Mr. Squash carried it a couple of miles back to the car when we were fishing "Rambo-style" one summer - and it is really heavy!  We do love collecting unusual rocks on our fishing adventures.
This late-blooming azalea was pining away in our front yard the first year.  We moved it to the back in a more shady area and it now thrives.
 The specialty garden shop owner who delivered our espaliered pear tree recently was quite taken with this Geum - it measures about 3 feet around and was just a tiny plant when I put it in the ground last summer.
Mr. Squash is doing his shuffle-hoeing behind the raised beds.  Check out the fluorescent Dianthus in the foreground!
This Rhody was in sad shape last summer having survived a couple of moves and a terrible early freeze 2 years ago.  With Mr. Squash's gentle care and lots of fertilizer look at it today!
My lettuce and radish bed is going great guns!  I'll be picking some this morning.
 I just love our Japanese Hakuro Nishiki Willow we planted last summer.  It's difficult to see in this light, but the lighter parts of the branches are green and pink variegated!  Sadly I'll need to trim it back into a ball in a day or two or it will quickly get out of control.  Below are some incredible carnations just getting ready to burst with bloom. 
The other day Mr. Squash called out that there was a horse and carriage coming down the street!  By the time I got out there with my camera, all I could see was the tail end!
If you click on the photo you can just see the white horse!  These folks give rides around town, but it's the first time we've seen them come down our street!

In case you're wondering, I AM sewing, just nothing I can show you right now!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Visit and Goodies

After Mr. Squash and I said goodbye to Stephanie and Mr. Creations in Bellingham, we headed a bit south to were we used to live.  I got a much needed haircut and color from my former hairdresser while Mr. Squash had a nice visit with the folks at his former office.  We spent the rest of the day shopping and then drove out east of there to have a visit with our dear friend Vicki.  Your might remember Vicki from this post.
Vicki lives on 20 acres about six miles from where we fished for years prior to moving.  Sadly her husband passed away 4 years ago, but with help from her son and his family who live nearby, still manages to keep up the property beautifully.  A few years ago she had this gorgeous pergola built and installed.  It has a fire pit right in the center! We spent most of the afternoon sitting there catching up on all the news.  If you click on the photo you can see just a bit of snow left on Mt. Pilchuck in the background.  It can also be seen in full splendor from all the windows on the back of the house!
This is looking to the right of the pergola.  That's Vicki and Mr. Squash checking out the swimming pool which her granddaughters just love!
A couple of years ago Vicki and her son decided to put some of the pasture to good use and purchased steers which they raise for beef!  They are a special breed called Pinzgauer which produce wonderful meat.  She said they are really friendly and you can walk right up to them.  Seeing as how I only had sandals with me, I decided not to go into the pasture (wink).
This is looking back at the house.  She lives in a truly picturesque setting!
Before driving down to see Vicki, when we first met up with Stephanie and Mr. Creations, she handed me a rather large, ribbon tied bag.  Here is what was inside!  An absolutely gorgeous, vintage, completely hand-sewn quilt!  Stephanie found this in her favorite antique mall back home and knows how much I love 8-pointed stars!  She even washed it for me!  It's perfect in every way except for 2 holes that can easily be repaired.  If you click on the photo you can see one near the front edge and another on top. I was totally blown away!  Thank you so much, Stephanie, for this wonderful, unexpected gift!  I plan to repair the holes and quilt it so it can get the use it deserves!
One of the quilt shops we visited in Lynden is called Tangled Threads.  I saw this sewing caddy as soon as we walked in.  Well, Mr. Squash (with help from Mr. Creations) looked through them all while Stephanie and I were fabric shopping and picked out this one for me!  Check out the gorgeous, burled maple handle!
The caddy is made locally by Joel deWaard.  I already have it filled and sitting right next to my chair where we watch TV!
In one of the antique malls we visited I found another of these wonderful, vintage coffee jars.  I love the art deco design on this one.  And once again, I have Mr. Squash and Mr. Creations to thank for pointing them out while Stephanie and I were, yes, checking out fabric - this time the vintage variety!
We visited another great little quilt shop in Lynden called Folk Tales.  Mr. Squash found the cutest, embellished Christmas panel and asked if I could make it.  Not only did they have the panel, but up front I found the embellishing kit!  I'll surprise you with it once it's made! I think the Squash and Creations fellows make a great team and they are welcome to go shopping with Stephanie and I any time!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Special Supreme Meeting!

You've probably noticed that I've been absent from Blogland again.  This time I have a very good reason!  Most of you know I'm one of Stephanie's Supreme Pattern Testers.  Well, after months of planning and anticipation, Stephanie and I got to meet in person!
We traveled to Bellingham early Monday where we were to meet Stephanie and her husband Dave at the hotel we all stayed in.  She'll tell you all about why she was there over at Loft Creations.  We had dinner the first night at The Big Fat Fish Company in Fairhaven.  (Sorry for my goofy hair, but I was in desperate need of a haircut which I got a couple days later!)
Here are Mr. Creations and Mr. Squash who got on famously.  The next day we visited several quilt and antique shops in the little town of Lynden just north of Bellingham.  What fun that was!  I must say Mr. Creations and Mr. Squash were wonderfully patient while Stephanie and I had fun shopping! 
That night we had dinner back in Fairhaven at a great Italian restaurant across the street from Big Fat Fish Company.  We had been having so much fun that we didn't get any photos taken until then, which is why you see us all in the same clothes at both restaurants!

It was sad to say goodbye to them both the next day as they headed back to Ohio, but you never know when we might meet up again soon!  Stephanie and Mr. Creations are truly the nicest people!  If you ever get the chance to meet personally with any of your blogging friends, I highly recommend it!

Stay tuned tomorrow for some of the great goodies I got along the way!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Morning Coffee and Something for Woolies!

This morning Mr. Squash and I had our coffee (latte in my case, made fresh at home) on our the patio along with.....
...these!  Yes, our 38th annual Balloon Stampede is in town.  Last year the weather wasn't good enough for them to fly so we crossed our fingers is would be good this year, and it is!
We have some friends from our old house in town for the Stampede.  I served brunch here after yesterday's balloon flights.
Today we're having them for dinner.  How nice of Mother Nature to oblige us with such incredible weather!  This coming week the temps are expected to soar into the high 80's!
This poor balloon was having trouble with altitude.  We were hoping they would make an emergency landing at the Squash House, but they finally got airborne!
Last week at the quilt show in Pendleton, I had an opportunity to meet a new exhibitor thanks to a tip from a fellow blogger.  This is Cathy Ware of Wild Hare Fiber in her booth.  Not long ago Cathy was laid off from her regular job.  She knew she had to do something, so she dove right into the wool business!  And I must say she is doing everything right!  Not only is she a delight to talk with, her booth is colorful, well designed and full of the most gorgeous, hand dyed wools along with patterns and other needfuls!  Cathy and her husband hand dye most of their wool.
Cathy designed this wool bag and will soon have a pattern for it!  If you're going to Sisters this summer for the quilt show, be sure to look for Cathy.  She'll have a shop there during the month of July!  You "Woolie's" out there will love the quality of her wool and the absolutely yummy colors!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring Fever!!

I guess I have a bad case of Spring Fever.  I can't seem to get my act in gear to post, but I did want you all to know I'm still here!  What have I been up to?  Some sewing - but nothing I can show you, unfortunately.  I'm just beginning a Supreme sewing job for Stephanie which I should be able to show you in the early Fall.  I'm also doing some applique for a dear friend, but can't show you that either. 
What to about show you some of my recent baking? I tried my hand at homemade hamburger rolls and they were a complete success! The recipe is from King Arthur Flour.  They were quite easy and so tasty!  I did have to buy a specialty pan, however.  I couldn't find a pan just for hamburger buns, but this pan for large muffins tops worked just the same, I do believe!  Give them a try - you'll be amazed at the difference between these and store bought!

Mr. Squash and I traveled to Pendleton last Saturday for the Krazy Horse Quilters show.  It was terrific!  Mr. Squash made all the ladies laugh - he said he thought he was going to a gun show when asked how it was I managed to get him to come with me!  The quilts and workmanship were exquisite all around!  Here are just a few of the many wonderful entries!

This was all hand quilted!

Everyone was so taken with this one I couldn't get a photo without a person standing there in awe!

Another completely hand quilted beauty!  This is also done by a man, and from my guild, no less!
The featured quilter was Peggy Gelbrich.  I just loved this house quilt!

I also met a new exhibitor at the show.  I'll tell you all about her in my next post!