early spring garden walkthrough

This weekend I took a walk through the gardens to see how things look at the beginning of our spring growing season. There’s not a huge amount happening, but there are signs of life returning!

The lilacs are looking good after we did the really big prune last year:

Lilac really doing just fine after hard prune last year

White Lilac rebounding after deep prune last year

I’ll be picking up more fruit trees from the Conservation District later this week, so I need to pick up some more mulch to go around them and get ready to dig some holes. I ordered probably too many trees, but as our goal is to have the yard be completely gardens (except the fenced in area where Coraline runs around, which will just be clover without much else), I’m pretty much fine with having a ton of petite fruit trees throughout.

Lots more pics on Flickr.


styling Blythe: sunny yellow spring dress

Last weekend I made a little time for sewing a new dress for my Blythes. It was nice warm weather again for a few days and all the sunshine and melting snow had me really craving spring.

Ash, wearing a new sunny yellow AnneArchy dress and an old but loved Katie Cardigan

It’s a basic empire waist dress for Blythe (modified version of the Pucci Collective pattern that doesn’t seem to be available online anymore). I have a template for the bodice that I modified from the pattern years ago, and I pretty much always just freehand the skirt these days. I did make the bodice a bit shorter than usual when I put the dress together this time. I was going for a more exaggerated empire style and I think it worked well. For this dress I used some fabric from my yellow scraps pile (have I mentioned that I have a rainbow of scraps piles? I can’t bear to get rid of fabric unless the piece is so small that I can’t conceivably find a use for it, and since I do so much small-scale sewing, a piece has to be truly tiny to not have a potential use!), so the fullness of the skirt was mostly determined by the size of the fabric scrap I chose. I neglected to take a close-up of it, but you can kind of see that I used a decorative floral stitch in an off-white/tan thread at the hem. This is one of the standard fancy stitches my machine is programmed to do.

Ash, wearing a new sunny yellow AnneArchy dress and an old but loved Katie Cardigan

I also added a couple of scale off-white/tan buttons to the bodice. Totally decorative, not functional, but in this case that doesn’t bother me.

My original goal when I started to make this dress was also to spend a little time styling Ash.

Ash, wearing a new sunny yellow AnneArchy dress and an old but loved Katie Cardigan

I tried a few different things but ended up with my standard trusty pair of lace tights, a pair of grey suede(esque) boots, a Katie Cardigan (in Pennyroyal Aloft by Knit Picks), and of course the new yellow dress. The color of the cardi is a light, silvery purple, but I think that it goes quite well with the brownish-based off-white of the buttons and embroidery on the dress. It’s not a pairing I would have picked without looking, but after putting things next to each other, it worked! I really need to make myself some more of these cardigans. I love this pattern and I could use one in a variety of colors.

I’m pleased with this overall look. It’s sunny and springy in the yellow, but the cardi and boots show that it’s still solidly winter here, and we’re just trying to feel the coming season.


stoic sunny gnome

It may be February, but we had some GLORIOUS spring-like weather last weekend.

After a lot of melting. Lots of crap the basement people did a shit job on that they will have to come back to fix.

Most of the snow and ice in our yard melted (but not all of it! I wish it was all completely gone) and it really did feel like spring. Our little gnome seemed to be basking in the sunlight, and I was surprised at how much green I saw in the planter he’s perched on. The pachysandra I transplanted (thanks, Mom and Dad!) last fall seems to have survived at least!


WIP Wednesday: spring is looking springy

My little art quilt is coming along! Fittingly, too, since it is really starting to feel like spring is on the way. Last I posted, I had things mostly figured out and pinned in place.

Sewing again! WIP: Regeneration art quilt

Looking pretty good.

WIP: Regeneration art quilt

I then got the butterfly crown arranged. I ended up using a fairly limited number of butterflies because I liked the final look better than a more crowded crown.

WIP: Regeneration art quilt

Then I started to figure out how I wanted to handle the eggs on the tray she’s holding. I was thinking deviled eggs and was toying with the idea of some embroidery techniques to create the deviled yolks.

WIP: Regeneration art quilt

I cut out a bunch of tiny eggs, but decided I didn’t like the way it was coming together, and I had a brainstorm of another angle I could take. More on that next time!

WIP: Regeneration art quilt

I also got the flower blossoms sewn on. I’ll likely go back and thread paint some stems and leaves on them in a fresh, bright spring green.

I’m feeling pretty good about this project! Being on a deadline has lit a little fire under me, and hopefully that keeps going.


I wanna take you to the dog park, dog park, dog park!

It’s a gorgeous day outside, so we decided to brave the apartment complex dog park (more of a run, really) even though it is super muddy and gross. (Apologies for the not-great photos throughout this post. My phone camera can only do so much with a wriggling puppy.)

Muddy, messy dog run

The minute we let Coraline off the leash, she took off running laps around the area, making sure to run right through the middle of the disgusting, stinky mud pit near the entry gate every time. Bits of mud were flying up everywhere, but it did not seem to bother her in the least. She mercifully did not manage to jump up on either of us.

First dog run visit of the season

There was, of course, all kinds of other fun to be had: poo to be smelled and shooed away from, leaves stuck in the mud to try to pull free, soggy limp sticks to try to shake, and many many spots to mark.

Beautiful sky

It’s so nice out! It feels like a reward for having made it through all the dismal days of winter.

The apartment dog run is a bit of a mess

Even before we got back to our apartment, it was clear that it was bath time.


We are not amused

While water is one of our favorite things, we do not like it when it is on our face.

Apres bath

We will put up with a good toweling off after bath, though, when it comes with kisses. Now she is all snuggled up under the exploding TARDIS blanket, happily worn out and ready to nap until dinner time. We are all very much looking forward to being able to go to the future Mount Pleasant Dog Park when it opens later this year!