Saturday, July 13, 2013

Enjoying Summer Crochet

 Good morning. 
It's been a lovely, (although strange), summer here in the valley. Normally by this time each year we are very dry and brown with loads of heat. This year has been much cooler and instead of heat, we have had loads of rain. I mean gully washer, downfall kinds of rain. It's really made it nice to spend more time outside, when it's not pouring, of course!

See this lovely chair?  Our wonderfully kind neighbors gifted us not one, but TWO sets of this wrought iron patio furniture.  I didn't know what to think when Hubby came home and unloaded all this furniture into the yard.  It's nice to have good folks who think of you, isn't it?  Major thanks are headed their way.  I only wish I knew what to give them in return.  What do you give people who have everything? 

This sweet pillow was found at a local consignment shop.  Another handmade goody full of gorgeous colors!  It looks very at home in this outdoorsy setting, don't you think?  I wish I had a set of these.  Maybe, just maybe, if I was really good with needle and thread I could make a copy of this beauty...  I can assure you I'm not all that good with needle and thread, but if time allows I may take a chance.
However, yarn is a different story.  I know exactly what to do with that!
I adore summery crochet apparel.  Sometimes I make things up as I go along, but very often I find a pattern that has something about it I love. 

Then I tweak it a bit to make it more 'me'. 

This is the Airy Lace Shell from Lionbrand. 
It's a free pattern, but you do have to sign in to access it. 
In pure Christina Fashion, I added a border all around to give it a little something more.  This is just an alternating scallop and 3dc cluster. 
I made it using Knit Pick's Comfy yarn.  It's a very soft, cottony yarn that feels wonderful!
So today, I hope to grab some time for patio crochet.  I need to work on a baby blanket for a nice couple's first baby.  I think I'll sit out by my lavender pots with my yarn and enjoy my cracked paint.  I love to make a hot cup of tea and snip a bit of lavender to pop in my cup.  Divine!  And then I sit there sipping and smelling the most amazing, calming aroma.  Yeah, I need calm.  And I think about how if this cracked paint patio were in Europe, it would be very fashionable and romantic.  Lol.  Thankfully the house does NOT have this paint problem, but whoever did this particular courtyard did not quite get things right in this area. 
When people come over and step out onto this patio I often hear comments about how they feel they are in Italy or some other lovely place.  Yes, it does have a slightly different feel due to the softness of this old look...  Funny how most folks would be running to buy paint to cover this up immediately, yet I hesitate and enjoy it.  No, it's not Italy.  It's just a tiny spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  But it's pretty special, too.  In fact, it's kind of a big deal to me.  
Happy weekend, folks! 
 Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Summer Scene at the Hearth Room



Birds and blooms, playtime and puzzles, swimming and summer food eaten outdoors are some of my favorite things. 
Just add some evening patio crochet and I'm all set. 
Since I did not take the time to plant seeds this spring, I'm thrilled that the birds helped out with the sunflowers and zinnias that are popping up all over!
The kids are really enjoying some reading and puzzle time outside, too.  There is something special about the warm, summer nights.  I think we feel like we're getting away with something by staying up past our bedtimes while it's still light outside!
Woody is getting loads of exercise and is showing off his handsome lack of aging.
Everyone gets to have their favorite pancakes on slow weekend mornings.  Peach and strawberry pancakes topped with confectioners sugar and chocolate filled crepes (ok, they're only once in a GREAT while...). 
Grilled chicken atop healthy greens and roasted sweet potato fries.  Yum.
Seriously, peel and cut up those sweet potatoes.  Toss them with olive oil and garlic, sea salt, or whatever grabs you.  Roast them for 30 or 40 minutes.  Instant happiness.
Summery, beachy colored yarn taking on the shape of a triangle for a new blanket. 
I'm hooked.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Landscape Changes

The Hearth Room was surrounded by severely overgrown vegetation, which was mostly removed during the first year here.

Time was spent putting in a 1st year garden, (ugh)... and planting some little pots of color here and there. 

But actual landscaping took a little longer than I had planned.  If you know me, you know  I'm kind of an all or nothin' kind of girl.  I like to do things BIG and do them well.  So as Sweet P. was small and her primary goal in life was to be attached to me, I didn't worry so much about my barren landscape.  I complained about it.  I groaned about it.  I sighed a lot and found that sitting on any patio around this house was a great source of agony for my normally engaging, eager-to-achieve brain. 
So this summer I am learning to be patient and much kinder to myself and decided to take some baby steps and get in there and do it, (hopefully well...), even if it's not BIG.  Since Sweet P. is no longer permanently attached, but instead runs ahead most of the time, I figured here's my chance.  And hey, with Young Man being almost the same size as me I realized I may just have a Planting Partner, too.  And I did. 
A couple before and afters:

Still waiting on fairies to move in. 



Even the blue milk crate looks so much better with all the landscaping!  I'm telling you, deep down, anything functional that stands out like that milk crate does makes me crazy like a cat with a clothespin on it's tail.  But unless I want to have to remember to move it every week in time for the milk man's visit, it will remain outstanding in it's own way. 
This pretty phlox is a nice splash of color, but it's located in another area that I haven't taken pictures of yet, so maybe more to come.  I certainly don't have lush, mature, colorful flower beds yet, but I am enjoying the freshness of the new, cleaner look.  I especially like the softness provided by those left over pavers I repurposed.  

All in a day's work, with a little elbow grease, some good mud boots, and a bit of help. 
Thanks, kids.


 Now let's get back to some serious play while I ponder what's next.

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