Saturday, October 15, 2011

Unexpected Buttons

A view from the end of the garden:

Newly installed in the back of the garden, a Droll Yankees Ultimate Pole System, one of many gifts for my birthday (the 13th). I've been trying to feed the birds since the end of the deck reno this past July, but I was finding the birds too rough for my "adorable" bird feeders. Between the squirrels and the blue jays, there were two wooden bird feeders broken into pieces within three weeks, and there was always a terrible mess of grocery-store-bought birdseed all over the garden. So, after checking the phone book, I headed out to The Preferred Perch in south St. Vital and purchased the lovely and sturdy tube feeder you can see in the photo (it's the largest feeder), and was told that the grocery-store-bought birdseed is mostly filler of wheat, which most backyard birds won't eat, except for ducks.

***no ducks allowed, that's an inside joke for immediate family members.***

Anyhoo...I bought plain black sunflower seed, which I was told to try, and if it attracted the neighbourhood birds, it was a good place to start, though, they told me, the sparrows prefer white millet and may be angry at the change. I was also told it could take days or weeks for the local birds to adjust to the change of feeder and feed. Well, in less than an hour nuthatches, chickadees and squirrels were all happily feasting, however, when I turned 'round the side of the house, there were about twenty sparrows perched on the fence in a huff.

I went back to the shop the next day and bought a big bag of white millet and appeased the sparrows by setting handfuls down along the garden path - apparently sparrows prefer to eat off the ground. I also bought a bag of peanuts (for the squirrels) and the corn feeder and cobs of corn (for the blue jays and squirrels). Everyone seemed very happy - and now with the installation of the "Ultimate Pole System", everything is central and can be viewed from any of the back windows. Joy!

And now for a few finished projects...

Stitched from a kit from Button and Needlework Boutique in Victoria, a bookmark of thistles.

I've already sent it to Mum, seeing as she's Scottish and likes to read. I love these little cross-stitch bookmark kits, they're quick and easy and pretty, made by Textile Heritage, they have lots of choices... perfect little Christmas gifts... for me... hint, hint....Nigel? Elly? Hello?

Another project, out of the knitting basket, finally, are the Harvest Mice by Alan Dart, started way back in February. I would have never guessed that I wouldn't get around to finishing them until the day after Thanksgiving.

The knitting was easy enough, that can be done in an evening, but it's the sewing, stuffing, embroidering, constructing of props, gluing, etc., etc...

Mine are nowhere near as cute as Mr. Dart's, I suspect I make the mistake of using bits and pieces of beautiful, sumptuous DK merinos, rather than the brutal acrylics that Dart uses. My Dart toys are always too floppy and soft. I keep meaning to learn that lesson, but forget every time I'm assembling yarns for one of his patterns. Perhaps next time.

Also off the needles recently, is any easy, peasy garter stitch stole.

Made from two skeins of Bamboo Bloom using 15mm needles. Yup, 15 mm, those are one and a half centimetres diameter. Very big...and awkward.

It gives an interesting overall effect, the spun and unspun sections of yarn make for a lot of textural interest, and the choice of black gives it a decidedly Haloowe'eny look (which was what I was after). I'm fairly happy with this project.

Also recently off the needles, another Storm Water Shawl, knit up in Swiss Silk by Handmaiden. I made one back in 2008, from this post, and had always intended to make another.

***I find it amusing that the first lines of that old blog post are apologising for my laziness in blogging - have you noticed I'm even too lazy to apologise now?***

The Swiss Silk yarn is very lovely, the colourway I used is called Orchid, which to me should be pale purples, but this blend is a beautiful mix of pinks and creams. This yarn doesn't appear on the Handmaiden website yet, even though I purchased it back before Christmas. I suppose I'm not the only lazy updater out there!

Lastly, off the needles, three Trekkie Dishcloths.

Worked up in Cascade Ultra Pima, in the classic Star Trek colours of gold, red and blue, and edged all around in black cotton. I'd like to point out right now that the edging was crocheted! Yes, that's right, all by me! Swish! These little lovelies are winging their way to Jane and family in Toronto, as I know they're fans of the series.

I've finished another knitted project recently, a pair of gloves, but I'm going to refrain from posting about them until later in the month, in order to tie-in with another post on another website...are you intrigued?

I'd like to share a :::Friday Find::: which was found on a Friday (the 7th of October) and intended to blog about yesterday (which would have been Friday, but the day ended without me blogging, but I'm not waiting until next Friday, when I'll be out of town anyway, blah, blah, blah - let's just look at this new treasure...)

Lotto, found in a local antiques store (Black's, if you want to know), a fabulous board game I suspect from the 1920's or earlier.

Amazingly, all the tiny numbered discs remain, after all the years this thing has been kicking around!

I suspect there originally would have been a cloth pouch to draw the numbers from, which has since gone missing, and only a few of the original plain wooden markers are left, but what did someone long ago replace them with?

well, buttons of course!

Buttons, light and dark. How perfect a game is this? Love!


martiangirl said...

Oooh I love the mice, so adorable! So how do you play this game, Lotto?

Nigel said...

What!?! We're not presenting the Trekkie Dishcloths to William Shatner when he's in town later this month for the Western Canadian Comic Con?

Jane said...

well I LOVE the trekkie washcloths. Thank-you Anne. I'm sure that my family will appreciate them WAY more than William Shatner.

The mice are adorable! The shawls are gorgeous and I love the birdfeeder - tres chic.

noricum said...

For some reason, that game looks familiar. I wonder if it's one we used to have at the lake? I love that they used buttons! (Especially for you!)

Your mice are adorable. :)