Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blogging buddies

As my four hundredth post nears, I can't help looking back over the years since my son turned my paper diary into a blog. I still keep my paper diary much as before, printing out a picture of each finish to paste on the page and writing in details like date and size and title or purpose. Sometimes I have added a snip of fabric that was used. That poor book as undergone countless repairs as it was never intended as a photo album. At one point in the not-to-distant future, I will need to find a second edition.

One thing that has changed is building a relationship with so many wonderful blogging buddies. It isn't just answering comments, but the exchange that goes back and forth between the posts. There are kindred spirits out there. A few I have been lucky enough to meet in person. Many more are never far from my thoughts.

This brings me to one of my longest friends,
Irene in Texas. Long ago we both belonged to the "Slowpokes". (and that will explain a lot about this post).

More than a year ago ... yes I am slow so these are not yet UFOs...I began to make blocks to represent each of my blogging friends. I call them "followers blocks"but they are really little reminders of my special friends.

It was a whole year ago that I received a note from my friend Irene, sending me these darling little hexie flowers. I was to use one on her block.  Now, I have been teasing her weekly for the past four years or so because on her "One Flower Wednesday" posts, she more often than not, shows more than one flower. Of course, with flowers this small and precisely constructed,  you would have to make more than one a week to get anything the size of a quilt.

Well, at first I was thinking in terms of a cute pink house. If you have visited her blog you would know why. That house is not just sitting there but is decorated differently for each season. Then, when the flowers arrived I began hunting up fabric with a number print. Finally, I found a pack of four cuts of numbered fabric. It isn't exactly what I had in mind and the #1 is a bit hard to find, but one year is enough for a slowpoke to make just one eight-inch block.

So ... one more block added to my little collection.

Thank you Irene for all these years of friendship and taking my ribbing. Maybe one of these days .....
we might meet in person.

Maybe the pink wasn't the best choice because the letters rather hide the outline of the triangles against the background.

Another interesting blogging aspect is the way my friends out there solve mysteries.

Growing up in Northern Ohio, I am pretty familiar with plants that grow in that zone but often find things growing in my own garden that I have no idea what they are or how they got there.

Last post I put up a picture of these mystery flowers in the hanging pot on my gate.

It is a mystery no more. Jean from All Points of the Compass knew what it was. Rhodohypoxis baurii , is native to South Africa.

I found out more information on line and even some advice as when to re-pot them. Thanks Jean.

Here is another mystery bloomer.

This has been planted from seed and has a small bulb.
There are multiple flowers on one stem and have begun blooming last week.

The rice store garden wall has a strip of them blooming in the three or four inch strip of dirt at the base of the wall.

They also grow in the dirt strip at the base of my wall (the one that was saved by the road-pavers) .

Finding information in English on the plants in Japan is not easy. Often I find a picture and the Japanese name and if the Latin name is included, I can learn more.

Years ago, I wrote a handbook for the Scouts to use for identifying plants, as it is part of the advancement trail and very little in English  can be found. Even in the "Park for Nature Study"(part of the National Institute for Nature and Science) plant names are only posted in Japanese. A few of my Troop's Scouts have done Eagle projects of putting labels on trees and plants in city parks in not only Japanese but with Latin as well as English common names. Since I grew up learning the Latin names of local plants, I find it fun to see how those familiar ones relate to their cousins in other parts of the world.

The above flower also comes in a white version.

These are such pretty blooms and thrive on neglect.

Who could ask for more. I'm glad they didn't get covered with asphalt.

 And, speaking of something thriving on neglect, these hen and chicks toss out flowers with gay abandon.

A few broken off runners found a new home in a vacant pot and seem to be celebrating.

So, my blogging friends,  though I may seem to be neglecting you, I hope you are thriving too, and send you this virtual bouquet of mystery flowers in celebration.


  1. I finally went through my scraps and organized those, now i need to go through my fabrics, but at least I can get into my sewing room easier, lol. Love the flowers, really beautiful colors.


  2. I too enjoy the flowers from the Hens and Chicks that grow in my garden. The flowers are very pretty and last a long time. Your garden flowers are very pretty. -Monica

  3. Nice blog post i was searching for this kind of blogs . Thanks for sharing online seeds india

  4. A lovely post, even though we are online these friendships are real and important. Can't help with the pretty pink flower although it looks kind of familiar. I call the hens and chicks "houseleeks" and have several shallow trays of various types around the garden. My favourite is one that looks to be covered with spider's silk.

  5. Thank you for the pretty bouquet - I don't know any of those flowers but am happy to meet them. Your quilt block and story are wonderful.

  6. Ah, Julie. I love my Friendship Block. You did such a fantastic job and of all colors for you to and turquoise are my favorite colors. You have learned a lot about me via our internet/blogging friendship. I cherish our friendship and am honored to be your friend.

  7. Another lovely block Julie. And as always I'm smiling as I look at your flowers. Here at the mission the four o'clocks bloom each afternoon and close up before morning. The daisies are amazing and the gardenias are heavy with scent. Just when I think the roses are through they have more blooms. It's been a showy spring here. blessings, marlene

  8. It is lovely to meet so many people in this way. It really is an interest shared.

  9. Such pretty flowers! I hope that the comparison of neglecting your blogging buddies to the hen and chicks doesn't bode any "chicks" in my life at least. :) Although my nephew and his wife had a baby last week. Love the block you made for Irene. Aren't those little hexies of hers sweet.

  10. Sorry for commenting late, I must have missed this post. What a blog friend, eh?!
    So you are nearing your 400th blog post, wow! Your blog posts give so much enjoyment to so many. Keep up the good work.
    You have made another unique block for your quilt.

  11. what a wonderful memory quilt this will be x I watched a film called Departures this week (with subtitles!!) and it made me think of you and the very different environment you have lived your adult life in compared to your childhood x

  12. I love your latest block! That flower in the middle is just gorgeous! You have great friends. :)