Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Progress ... indoors and out.

No peeking Jon ... come back in a week!

Yes, I have actually kept myself on task. 

The advent calendar made lots of progress once I got serious. After all, it needs to reach the states by the beginning of December to be much use. 

I really should have started sooner. Have I noted that lesson? We shall see.

Last week I used time at meetings ad on the train to sew those fiddly numbers on to the pockets, line the pockets, and quilt the numbers.

I wasted a lot of time hunting for fabric I "thought" I had left from last year. It was a piney-looking print in a more yellowish green. I finally did find some but it wasn't as much as I had expected. I guess that is good because it may mean I am using up stash faster than I thought.

I went back to the green bin and found a few large pieces of green prints to try. This is the candidate I selected and it looks fine now that the hooks and yellow balls are in place.

I found a dark green star print that tends to fade in the sun but worked well for the backing. Now the binding is all sewed on and I have turned it half way. I think the train ride to choir practice will be just the right amount of time to finish it up. 

The wooden pieces are all cut and I have begun to whittle the details. That is a messy job but the floor is covered in dog hair anyway so I may as well sweep up wood chips at the same time when I clean. This weekend we will have a bit of family time. Our family blog has been filled with wonderful pictures of the west-coast gang and two east-coast siblings. Now it will be our turn for a photo op. (but sometime before then I will have to clear some space to sit) 

I love the toad lilies along my back walk.  They have somehow survived with less sun that they were getting at our last house. These were rescued one day when a house in the neighborhood was torn down. I had been enjoying them along the street for years, and when I saw the bulldozers turning the area into a parking lot, I went home and got my trowel and a bag and went back. I dug along the border where I knew those roots were, and ssure enough, was able to rescue a good bit... some of which went off to my daughter's house. I suppose even a dark garden is better than rocks and gravel.

The Biwi tree is full of promise in the bud.

Last year there were several bud clusters but this year almost every limb has a bug clump.

This tree is growing out of a very small pot tipped on its side and I have had to trim it regularly because the leaves are big and leathery and I don't want them to annoy the neighbor to the south. Some people consider this a "junk tree" . This one is only six or seven years old and I don't want it to get out of control.

 A few nights with temperatures hovering around 2 c, got the attention of the maples. Now we are getting a bit of color outside the gate.

Three kinds of maple, and all are showing color.

The Enkianthus is turning dark red as well.

The pavement is brown from dirt washing in from the construction site every time it rains.

And, up in my little greenhouse - laundry room - bedroom, the step-tansu  is decorated with a cute little yellow flower on one of the succulents and just peeking out from among the leaves in the plant behind you might be able to spot two red spiky flowers on this strange orchid... it's second year to bloom. I also notice buds on the Christmas cactus.

I have also been surprised to see that without doing anything, my picture arrangement has returned to left and right display. Maybe the computer thought it had given me enough frustration for one post. Am I happy? you bet! Happy with the progress, happy with the blooms and colors, and happy with my laptop.


  1. Such pretty plants and blooms. You obviously have the green thumb. I kid around and claim a black thumb as my plants always die. Good job on the advent calendar. I have never seen on hung sideways, interesting arrangement (haha)

  2. An advent calendar sure to be treasured!!

  3. Julie I brought my Christmas/Thanksgiving cactus in a couple of weeks ago. It had not one bloom on it so I was worried...but now it's covered with buds and I'm hopeful that it will bloom in a couple of weeks. Or maybe it will actually wait until Christmas. :) blessings, marlene

  4. Your calendar came out beautifully. I have not gotten much done lately and giving up trying, lol.
    Watching the baby when I am sick is not a good idea. I did get new meds and it is definitely working, but I have to go through the worst today, so I am thankful that he is taking a nice long nap now and I can rest.


  5. It is amazing to know that the flimsy numbers I saw in your tinned sewing box at the quilt show at Yokohama have worked their way onto the calendar - you are so quick!!! You can do more magic, too, all those plants thrive in your care. If I were a Toad Lily and had been rescued from the bulldozer by you, I'd present you with all my bloom, every season without fail.

  6. Lovely flowers and leaves in color. We are all done with autumn color - it hasn't been above freezing for three days now - which is quite unusual for this time of year for us. Usually we are in the low 50s. I can't wait to see what you are caving for the cute advent calendar - you sure do quick work.

  7. That tiger lily is cool looking. I have a hard time growing any plants.

  8. Julie - I always enjoy your posts - beautiful calendar - beautiful flowers - and your computer seems to behaving itself. I am so happy that you are happy - ;))

  9. It was so much fun to see your advent calendar and to see what the fall looks like around your home! We have snow here!

  10. Great to see the progress on the calendar. Isn't it odd that we always leave things like this to the last minute. We should know better each year but we do not change. Have to laugh!

  11. Mom, you got lucky! I was super busy on the run up to the holidays that flat out missed your posting from Nov. 20th onward, so your secret was safe, even as publicly posted as it was. I'm so lucky to have this. I hope you know that this will be a family treasure for as long as we can keep it! Much Love and many thanks, Jon