mandag, mai 30, 2011

Sanctuary


I am lucky enough to have a little studio of my very own, one that I am truly fond of. This little outbuilding started out as a garage, but after a bit of work ended up as my sanctuary.


I spend a lot of time here sewing my patchwork quilts, but I probably spend an equal amount of time just daydreaming. Like I have done today.


I do love this little space of mine regardless the seasons, but I think I love it most in the summer. It is almost like being in a treehouse, with lovely dappled light, now that the surrounding trees have grown bigger.


Yet as much as I love this sanctuary of mine, I am about to leave it (and you, dearest readers) for a little summer vacation. "The Emerald Isle" beacons, and I am about to spend some time there.


I plan to leave my trusty Mac at home, so there will be no blogging from this end for a while. But I will be back before you know it, and normal service will resume.

søndag, mai 29, 2011

The garden at the end of May


I can hardly believe it, but May is already coming to an end. Like I have told you before, this past winter was a particularly tough one. But with April spring really arrived, with warm temperatures and sunshine, making everything turn green at record speed.


So in April I had very nearly forgotten (well, at least almost...) the past winter. And really looked forward to a lovely early spring. But spring at our latitude is a fickle one, and come mid May it changed its mind and decided to turn chilly again.


And chilly it has remained, not to mention windy, making gardening an activity for the brave only. I am a fair weather gardener, and since the weather has been anything but fair these past weeks, my garden has more or less been left to its own devices.


Though not completely, as I have finally managed to sow all the seeds, both veggie and annual ones. A few brave ones have even germinated, but you really need a magnifying glass to see the small seedlings. Now I pray for fair weather, so that the little ones will not completely bowl over in the chilly wind.


On top of the few seedlings (LOL!) I do have quite a good number of perennials, and a few roses, in my garden. But not many of them are in bloom yet. I do wish I had more early flowering ones, so I will probably have to do something about it till next spring (then again, this is what I say every spring...)


In the photo below you can see the newly planted May Bush (spiraea cinera?) hedge, either side of the flower beds. They were actually planted last summer, but the bushes are still ever so small (we needed a large number of them, and were lucky enough to get a good deal at the nursery for these small ones), so you might need a magnifying glass to see them too...


As for the apple blossoms this spring, I do not know what has happened to them. It may be the chilly winds, or it may be the fact that they blossomed well and truly last year, and have decided to give it a miss this year....? Either way, May is coming to an end, and as much as I love spring, both my garden and I are ready for summer, I should think...

onsdag, mai 25, 2011

Lilac love


I do love the changing season, and all the things that are unique to that particular season. And I love to record them in my blog... e.g., the first snowfall of the autumn, the amount of snow that winter, and come spring the first wood anemones, not to forget the lovely lilacs.


I do love, love lilacs... the scent, the colour. And the fact that they really are the harbingers of summer. So I pick them by the bucketful to bring indoors, so that their lovely scent can spread though the house.


I have yet to master the art of making the lilacs last in a vase (I am aware of the trick of boiling the stems, crushing them with a hammer and so forth, but to no avail). So I indulge in a fresh bouquet of lilacs every day, if need be, for the season is a short one...

tirsdag, mai 24, 2011

"Everything is coming up roses..."


I wish that were the case... that everything really were coming up roses. Literally. Alas no! No roses to be seen in my spring garden yet. And some roses are never to return, as they did not make it through the winter.


So what is a "material" girl to do? She has to find her roses elsewhere. And what better source for roses than pretty fabrics and china.


For the past few months I have been in a "blue period", favouring all things blue (and white). But now I really long for roses, and for a bit of "romance" in my life.


This pretty Greengate fabric fits the bill, so today I have spent a few happy moments in my studio, making these cushion covers (while a gale strength wind, more suitable for autumn than the fair month of May, was blowing outside).


I am quite pleased with the way these cushions turned out. And now I want more roses... How about a lovely new patchwork quilt entirely made up of rosy fabrics? I better start collecting...

mandag, mai 23, 2011

Another weekend at Kathrine´s


Another bunch of lovely ladies chose to spend a weekend with me at Kathrine´s. And what a delightful group they were.


Most of the ladies were new acquaintances to me, but it was also lovely to find a familiar face in the group. Last time it was Yvonne, this time Ragnhild.


All the ladies in the group chose to start working on a nine patch quilt. In addition some even gave "the denim love-quilt" a go.


All the ladies were fond of the colour blue, together with white and beige, so all the quilts were worked in this colour scheme. Though in delightful variations.


Some even shared my fascination for the humble blue and white teatowel. This quilter arrived with a basket was full of this lovely material, which shows in her work :-)


Recycling was also popular, so material as diverse as old damask, embroidered tablecloths, children´s outgrown clothes, not to forget the forever useful old worn out pair of jeans, was used.


But not everything was blue and white... as a bit of red was allowed to creep in. It is fascinating to see the diversity of the work, though all based on the same theme.


Thank you, lovely ladies, for attending my workshop. The pleasure was all mine. New workshops at Kathrine´s have been planned for the autumn. More about this later...


Also, a big thank you to NIB, for including me as one of the nominees in the "country style"-category. It is an honour!

onsdag, mai 18, 2011

A rainy day in May


Initially I did welcome the rain, when it finally started pouring, after a long dry spell. But now I would not mind a sunny day or two, so that I could finish sowing all the veggies and annuals in the kitchen garden. Obviously it was not to be today.


So I picked a bunch of lilacs instead, to bring indoors. They are not quite open yet, so their lovely scent is still a hidden secret. Lilacs are not the easiest of flowers, as they do not keep well in a vase. But I do hope these will, at least till they open up properly. If not, there is more where these came from...

søndag, mai 15, 2011

Sew!


I bought this inspirational book "Sew!", by Cath Kidston, last autumn. It is full of delightful small projects (and a few larger ones) to make. Now I do not usually "do" sewing books, or follow instructions as such, as I prefer to do "my own thing".


This book, though, caught my eye with its pretty photos of lovely projects. And then there was the bonus Cath Kidston fabric, ready cut, to make into a little bag. But the book, including the fabric, has been laying about my studio for the past half a year, without me giving it as much as a thought.


But now that spring is here, and summer fast approaching, it was about time to do something about the bag. The original bag instruction did not include lining, but I decided otherwise. A pretty matching fabric (alas, not from Cath Kidston) would do the trick.


Seeing that I am no good at following instructions, I omitted the hand stitched button holes for the shoulder straps, and just used the buttons for decorations. Apart from these little changes, I have tried to be true to the original design. And now I am the proud owner of a "genuine" CK bag, label and all.


This bag has been a pleasant little project for a rainy day in May. Not that I mind the rain at all... quite the contrary. Rain is something we really need, or rather my garden does, since we have not had any rain to speak of for over a month. But now I am ready for more sunshine, as I am keen to take my new summer bag for "an outing"!

fredag, mai 13, 2011

May garden


Firstly let me tell you how much I appreciate your kind words in response to my last entry. Unfortunately due to some Blogger hiccup all your comments seem to have disappeared "into thin air" (I do hope this will be rectified soon). Secondly I wish to tell you that my closed blog for the past 24 hours was not my doing, but due to the aforementioned Blogger hiccup.


Now that all that has been sorted out, let us talk about more pleasant matters (than Blogger hiccups), like Spring in my garden! Last year I really dispaired about the slow progress of Spring. But this year Spring is an altogether different matter.


The wild cherry trees have started to bloom, and soon other fruit trees will follow. The bird cherry tree is a vision, full of fragrant white blossoms. And the lilac trees are about to start their Spring show. I can hardly wait!


As for the perennial borders, they are coming along nicely. Like I have told you before, my garden is unfortunately not a spring garden, sadly lacking in colourful spring bulbs and the like. But at least it is green and lush, full of promise of things to come.


There are always plants that did not make it through the tough winter, like some roses. These will need replacing (forever optimistic I opt for new roses, and turn a blind eye to the cold winters to come). While others, like the newly planted hedge, will need extra attention. But all in all things are looking pretty good, and I look forward to yet another season in my garden. How about you?

torsdag, mai 12, 2011

Back already...?


Back already... before you even had time to miss me? (Well, some of you actually did... thank you for your e-mails of concern). A couple of days ago I decided to close my blog in order to take a break. A looooong break, seeing that I had been quite busy of late. All the while feeling that I had "lost my voice", leaving me with nothing more to say.


After four and a half years of blogging I suppose it is not the least bit surprising. What I did not expect was to miss blogging, already after such a short while (despite the "lost voice"). I have now given the whole business of blogging quite a bit of thought... why I do it (and have indeed done so for such a long time)?


The conclusion is that I enjoy to record the daily goings on here on our smallholding. To record the changing seasons, what I am up to craft-wise, what my garden looks like throughout the seasons, how I change the decor of my home seasonally, and so on. So the reason for blogging is a selfish one, for my own enjoyment.


But to make the blogging experience a less time consuming one I have to make a change. Which is to write in English only. To write my blog in two foreign languages (my mother tongue is Finnish!) takes the joy out of writing. And since I seem to have a fair few foreign readers it makes more sense to write in English.


So I am back (already!) and plan to continue blogging for some time to come (or so I wish). Even though I do it first and foremost for my own enjoyment you are most welcome to the ride...