Saturday, August 29, 2015

something to crow about ....

We're having some wonderful weather these days  and would you believe that the smoke from the Northern Washington forest fires has landed on our doorstep!

I haven't decided how I'm going to finish this rooster  -  a fabric tray, a candle mat or ......

This little critter is a white crab spider and it's about ¼" in size - it's
amazingly small. 

Here are a couple of cozy corners at the cabin ....

Thursday, August 20, 2015

finally ...

Thankfully the heatwave is over and it's a pleasure to be outdoors again.  
I finally have a finish to share with you -  a matchbook needlecase, instead of a card,  for my sister's birthday.  Since she sews it seemed appropriate and it's more useful than a card.  ^^  It's not an original idea but one shared by Claire .
The design is from Lesley Teare.  There's an "oops" -  did you spot it?

We now have a new batch of Million Dollar Relish. 
 I've been making this one since I was a young married (and that's a
very long time).  ^^


Thursday, August 13, 2015

5 minute dill pickles ....

We're in the midst of a heatwave that's been enjoyable since the humidity is low and there haven't been any wicked storms either!  ^^

With the weekend coming up and cucumbers in the garden being plentiful here's a quick and easy recipe for dill pickles courtesy of Chatelaine .  These are delicious and don't last long in our fridge.  Best part is they can be made from the mini cucumbers that are available year round.

 5 Minute Dill Pickles
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoon kosher (pickling) salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 mini cucumbers sliced into quarters lengthwise (I use 4)

Boil vinegar with water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Pour over cucumber spears and dill in a large bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, August 10, 2015

more foraging .....

We returned home from cottage country early this morning.  Hadn't planned on being up quite so early but some idiot decided to set off fireworks at 3 a.m., then 4, then 5 at which time we said, " to 'eck with it let's get up and go".  But the early start didn't get us home very early because we ran into dense fog for part of the trip.  Just one of those mornings that we should have stayed in bed except we couldn't for the racket. :D

'If it weren't for bad luck there'd be no luck' was how our July went - bad news goes in threes and it took the entire month to get all three, lol.  We did a happy dance August 1!

The goldenrod was/is in full bloom early this year and that makes me wonder if autumn is going to be early. For anyone who is not familiar with goldenrod it's a wildflower. I did some research to learn what it could be used for other than decorating - it makes beautiful dried arrangements.  Lo and behold it's edible and I even found a recipe for jelly so that I didn't have to experiment.  The flavour is  mild - wild with a faint licorice taste .... not sure if I'll make it again - this one may have to grow on us.   You'll find the recipe here.

the jelly


We recently had some dry weather and took advantage of it to re-stain the deck and when it dries up again we'll re-stain the verandah.....the sun and wind are taking a toll on the wood.  The goslings are almost as big as their parents and are airborne already. And we have a juvenile skunk that visits now and then; he's as cute as a bug's ear but we don't want him setting up house .....
 The geraniums are blooming like crazy just now.....

We originally purchased this geranium as a hanging basket about 5 years ago - each winter they go into 'storage' and in late winter I bring them out and slip them to make more plants (3 big ones this year) .....they've never let me down.  The colour is called watermelon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

fireweed jelly ....

Thanks to Desertskyquilts pointing me in the right direction I've discovered why I cannot leave comments on some blogs - even ones that I used to comment on.  It's good to know the reason why but I cannot remedy it.  :(

It's raining here today - we don't need it.  Yesterday a black hornet took a dislike to me ... 

For some reason Fireweed was plentiful this year and I took advantage of that to make some jelly .... I'd been wanting to try this out for a very long time.  It's delicious and the flavour is a cross between chokecherry and crabapple. 

 the finished product

 Fireweed plant

 the flowers that made the juice

 You'll find all sorts of information on Fireweed here and here; the jelly recipe is in the first link. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

cottage country pix

July has seen a mixed bag of weather from hot and humid to a haze (sometimes thick) of smoke from the northern forest fires.  Then the rain began and it has the poor manners of not knowing when it's time to leave.  :(

I assume Blogger has been making changes again since there are several blogs that I can no longer leave comments on - this began when I tried leaving comments using the laptop and I assumed it was something to do with that but the same thing is happening with the desktop now.  I've checked and re-checked settings and mine are the same as they've been since I started blogging.  So, if I'm not commenting on your blog post - that's the reason;  I assure you that I'm still reading your posts.

We have a resident tree frog who resides on the inside of the door of one of the sheds.  Most days it's the colour of the shed door but I was lucky enough to catch it in full colour - a beautiful shade of green!  There is also a baby tree frog who is a bright green but it's not around when I have the camera out.

One morning there was a flotilla of geese (Canada Goose) and we counted 45 goslings!  Soon they'll be learning to fly and that's always very entertaining since there is much squawking and flapping of wings to begin with.

What we saw ......

Reflection of the smoke haze pink-orange sun.

River mist.

A carp (fish).

Red sky at night sailors' delight
 Red sky in the morning sailors' take warning

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Christmas in July

Usually I do a lot of my Christmas stitching over the summer but sadly, I've only made two items thus far ...

Tag design from Elizabeth Coughlin.

Homespun ornie from Annie's Keepsakes.