Spring Break has been a great escape from the snow of Minnesota.
Day One: MSP – MIA – SKB
We left behind the snow in our front yard…
…and after settling into our villa, we awoke to sun, sand and beautiful landscape.
Day Three: Tour of the Island
Overlooking the Southeast Peninsula of St. Kitts
Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Ocean, Frigate’s Bay and Basseterre.
Basseterre’s sites and Wingfield Estate.
Romney Manor and Caribelle Batiks
Brimstone Hill Fortress
Lots of Sheep
My Birthday – Time to relax in the sun
Sunset Dinner in Frigate’s Bay
Day Five: More relaxation in the sun
And some really cute cats to play with.
Ferry to Nevis
First Hotel in the Caribbean and Bathhouse (the water was really, really hot!)
Montpelier Estate – really quaint hotel!
Hermitage Plantation Inn – another really nice hotel.
Lots of old churches – all still active.
Back in St. Kitt’s
We have one more day of sunshine before heading to back to Minnesota.
Hopefully Spring will arrive soon.
Several years ago, my mother made a lovely swirl scarf for me. The scarf was one that she made without using a written pattern. At the time, I asked her to describe the pattern. It’s fairly simple, just remember to relax to keep your yarn tension very loose.
Knit Swirl Scarf
Color A: Tan Worsted Weight Yarn, 100 yards
Color B: Variegated Worsted Weight Yarn, 50 yards
Color C: Fur style Yarn, 50 yards
US Size 9 circular knitting needle
US Size H crochet hook
Using color A, cast on 100 stitches.
Row 1: Knit across, keeping tension very loose.
Row 2: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (200 stitches).
Row 3: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (400 stitches).
Row 4: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (800 stitches).
Row 5: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (1600 stitches).
Row 6: Attach color B and knit across (1600 stitches). Cast off all stitches.
Edging: Attach color C with slip stitch. Sc in each stitch along edges of the scarf. Weave in all yarn ends.
Yesterday, I decided to make a hat to match the scarf. The pattern I used was one I have had in my pattern collection for a while. However, I revised the pattern by removing two of the 5Shell rows in the white section of the pattern and completing the the final SC row with fur style yarn.
Pattern: Flowered Shells Hat
Designer: Melissa Frank
Together with the scarf, it makes a nice set.
What a difference a week makes!
Last Sunday, I was in Arizona visiting my parents. With a high temperature was 102 degrees, I was wearing a skort, sleeveless shirt and sandals.
Today, back in Minnesota, the temperature is 51 degrees. I am wearing a sleeveless shirt this week, it’s just accompanied by a sweater, slacks and warm socks.
My week off of work started by spending a few days with my parents. Having recently relocated to a new retirement community, I went to Arizona to see how they were doing. Glencroft Retirement has many nice features – fountains, library, exercise room, etc.
After spending a few days with my parents, I returned midweek to Minnesota.
The later part of my week was spent on fall yard projects. After picking apples, I spent countless hours making applesauce and dehydrated apple slices – 36 cups of apple chips and 39 pints of applesauce!
I also cleaned up some of my flower beds and planted about 400 bulbs for spring flowers. It will be nice to see how things grow!
I guess it’s back to work tomorrow 😒.
Our neighborhood is called “The Woodlands” and, true to the name, has a lot of trees. Along with the trees come wildlife – squirrels, rabbits, deer and even a rafter of turkeys. Over the years, I have learned what plants I can and cannot plant to avoid the damage caused by these animals.
This year, we have several additions to the neighborhood wildlife – triplet fawns and about a dozen baby turkeys. While these young animals are really cute, they do like to eat plants, even ones that the full grown animals have learned they should stay away from.
Two motion sensing sprinklers have helped to chase the turkeys out of the backyard. However, the fawns treat the sprinkler as a play toy, each taking turns triggering the spray while the others run and jump in the water. Luckily I found an ultrasonic repellent that the fawns do not like. So, in addition to the sprinklers, I have added one of these in my back yard. My backyard plants are now safe and are reviving.
Unfortunately, my front yard has not been so lucky. The baby turkeys nibble away at any plant they see. I have tried several different spray animal repellents but without success. These young turkeys seem to like to eat anything!
While the motion sensing sprinkler did work for the turkeys in the backyard, I did not want to set this up in my front yard because it would spray anyone delivering packages to the house. I tried the ultrasonic deterrent, but the setting that worked for the turkeys was audible to the human ear and quite annoying.
A few years ago, when I planted apple and pear trees in my back yard, I had read that most animals do not like the smell of Irish Spring soap. At the time, I cut a bar of soap into four pieces, tied the pieces in an old nylon and hung them in the trees to keep deer from damaging the new trees. This seemed to work well at the time. My trees are large enough now that I no longer have to worry about the deer eating them.
With the plant damage I was experiencing in my front yard, I decided to try the Irish Spring soap to keep the animals out of my flower beds. I tied a piece soap in a nylon and hung in in various places in my flower beds. This really seemed to work. The young turkeys and deer were no longer eating my flowers and plants.
Unfortunately, I did not like the way the nylons looked and wanted to find a better way to place the soap pieces. In my garden shed, I had some old copper pipe. I just needed to make or find something to add to the end of a pipe that could hold the soap. After much thought, I came up with the idea to add a copper “flower”.
I purchased a rain chain made of copper lotus flowers, separated the chain into individual flowers, added a copper cap to the end of a 2 foot piece of pipe and soldered one flower to the cap. The other end of the pipe was hammered flat, the pipe was pushed into the dirt and a piece of soap (1/8 bar) was added to the center of the flower.
Now I have a decorative way to keep the animals away from my flowers. And, the soap is creating a nice verdigris affect to the copper.
Another gift recently given was to my younger brother. He grows Dahlias in the summer and they are gorgeous.
Living in Wisconsin, these beautiful blooms are only around at his house for a few months each year. With his birthday coming up, I thought I would make him some sun catchers to bring some color to the winter months.
The background was a single sheet of clear glass, with strips of the same glass used as the hanger. The stems were green noodles, the leaves were scraps of transparent green glass, and the flowers were various sizes of glass frit. The project was fired following a Contour Fuse schedule. Quick and easy project with a lovely outcome.
Last week’s post reminded me that I have not posted about a another four pane glass project that I created for my sewing room. This project was ultimately inspired by two different items.
The first was an image of flowers that I saw when looking for ideas to embellish for one of my landscape quilts. The image was a collection of four canvases each with a white daisy painted on a different colored background. I really liked this and thought it would make a good glass project. However, since I had just finished my four seasons tree (shown at the end of my previous post), I wanted to try something other than four panels side by side.
About that same time, I received a birthday card from a friend. This card had only part of a daisy printed on it. This gave me inspiration for how to display my daisy idea – four corners in different colors.
I found a four section frame at Michael’s that looked like a window. After purchasing it, I removed the hardware and spray painted it white.
Since the leaves were green and the center of the daisy was yellow, I decided to use the other colors of the rainbow for the background (orange, purple, red and blue). Originally I was considering hanging the project in a window, so the background glass is transparent. When the project was finished, I realized that it would look better hung on the wall. The transparent glass still looked really nice even though no light is shining through it. Maybe someday I will add some back lighting to it.
For each background, I cut two pieces of glass the size of the individual window pane – one piece of clear glass and one piece of colored transparent glass. These were fused together using a Full Fuse schedule.
The daisy petals were cut from white opaque glass. To add texture to the center of each petal, I sprinkled almond colored opaque glass fine frit down the center of each petal. The petals were Heat Polished (maximum temperature 1300) to round the edges.
The leaves were cut from Uroboros glass – Oasis Green on Dark Green. Each leaf was scored with a curve near the middle and split into two halves. The resulting pieces were then Heat Polished.
One set of leaf pieces and three daisy petals were placed on each background and Contour Fused. The center of each daisy was Tack fused and each pane was secured to the frame with E6000 adhesive. Due to the size of project, each color pane required four separate fusings for a total of sixteen kiln cycles.
Very colorful addition to the wall of my sewing room!