Ahhh, Spring

Ahhh, Spring

The sun came out along with the new month, something we all need to see and feel.

The robin was singing in the new day.

Part of my social distancing routine is to get out into the garden each day, walk around, check for new growth, listen to the birds and basically get some fresh air.

spring 2020 fence garden at craftygardener.ca

With the sunny day I was able to start the garden clean up – one garden area at a time. The fence garden was the first area tackled. I love making ‘piles’ as my husband calls them, and the first big pile of the season was made by raking all the debris off the fence garden. Later I moved this pile to the back area where it can compost away. Lots of new growth was discovered here.

hyacinths in the garden at craftygardener.ca

The hyacinths had been uncovered on a previous walk but now I was able to clear much more away and hopefully the sun will encourage these to grow more.

shady tree garden April 2020 at craftygardener.ca

The back shade garden, started last year got a couple of new additions. One of the big Stumpy family got moved there. It used to be in the honeysuckle garden but the squirrels had decided to use it as a launch pad to jump to the feeder pole, so it got moved to the back of the tree garden. The other addition was al old birdhouse that is falling apart was placed on one of the other stumps.

Chippy munching leaves at craftygardener.ca

What fun to watch Chippy munching on some leaves, probably to reline his/her nest.

robins at craftygardener.ca

The robin was spotted on one of the solar lights about a week ago on one of my garden walk about. Do you think he/she was looking for the light at the end of the tunnel?

With social distancing most of the parks for bird watching are closed, but do not fear, spring migration has not been cancelled.

April showers wreath at craftygardener.ca

The boots and bumbershoots have been put outside for a little spring cheer.

sky watch on April2, 2020 at craftygardener.ca

This cloud formation was amazing on April 2, 2020 and if you look really close you can just see the moon peeking through on the left.

Gardening is – growing food and flowers, a lifestyle, nurturing, exercise, learning, addictive, relaxing, therapy, hard work, and lots more

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

There’s a new theme for my website. If you see anything that looks drastically different, please contact me and let me know what it was and where it was and I’ll check into it.

There is a new way to get email updates to my website. Why not click the email icon below and try it out. Be sure to set how you want the notifications to look.

If you are already a subscriber you might get an email asking you to verify the new service. It’s up to you, but I hope you will give it a try. You can always unsubscribe later on. Your emails are not accessible to me, so I have no way of knowing who has received the messages.

lens friends at craftygardener.ca

I’m sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday,  I’d Rather B Birdin’ and Saturday’s Critters.

Re-reading a Favourite Series

Re-reading a Favourite Series

I am starting to re-read a favourite series of mine by Mike Martin. I’ve been enjoying the Sgt Windflowers books since they first came out.

The Sgt. Windflower series by Canadian author Mike Martin

This series is set in Newfoundland RCMP officer stationed in Grand Bank. I really enjoy a story that gets you hooked right at the beginning .. and this one does just that.  Visual descriptions of locations give you an feel for Newfoundland.

the bookshelf at craftygardener.ca

I’ve finished all the library books I have signed out and since libraries are closed have been borrowing ebooks to keep me going. I’ve also been doing a lot of cleaning and the set of bookshelves was one of the jobs. While taking down books to dust I decided to restart this series. Reading an ebook on my iPad is okay, but I love the feel of an actual book in my hands.

Sgt. Windflower Books:

Above is the list of books by Mike that I’ve reviewed and I can’t wait to get started again and get reacquainted with the characters in these books.

The Walker on the Cape by Mike Martin

The first one is off the shelf, The Walker on the Cape, and ready for my afternoon reading times. I love the lighthouse on the cover and had to photograph it with a sand lighthouse that was purchased many years ago from the south coast of England and filled with coloured sand. I love lighthouses and have lots of display in the house and in the garden.

During this period of social distancing we have set aside a time each day to read. It is important to have a routine. I exercise each morning, walk around the garden, have some computer time, do jig saw puzzles, paint rocks, craft, and knit. What is your routine?

What are you reading at the moment?

book line by craftygardener.ca

There’s a new theme for my website. If you see anything that looks drastically different, please contact me and let me know what it was and where it was and I’ll check into it.

There is a new way to get email updates to my website. Why not click the email icon below and try it out. Be sure to set how you want the notifications to look.

If you are already a subscriber you might get an email asking you to verify the new service. It’s up to you, but I hope you will give it a try. You can always unsubscribe later on. Your emails are not accessible to me, so I have no way of knowing who has received the messages.

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

According to the calendar spring is here. However the first day of spring isn’t always the first spring day.

crocus in the garden March 2020 at craftygardener.ca
crocus in bloom March 25, 2020

Spring seems to be overshadowed with the spread of this world wide virus. While we are in self isolation during this scary, unknowing, unusual, bizarre, difficult time (I’m sure many more adjectives could describe it) I’m keeping my mind occupied with reading, crafting, relaxing, and working on my website.

pussy willows at craftygardener.ca
some pussy willow branches brought inside March 15, 2020

How lovely to bring a bit of spring inside, just because.

daffodils beginning to grow at craftygardener.ca
daffodils March 15, 2020 in the north facing garden

I try to spend time each day walking the garden and looking of promising signs that the garden is awakening after its winter nap.

hyacinths in the garden at craftygardener.ca
hyacinths March 29, 2020

I frequently have to look carefully and move old leaves and branches away to reveal new life.

sorrel growing at craftygardener.ca
red veined sorrel/bloody dock/rumex showing promise March 30, 2020

The crocus, tulips, daffodils, day lilies, rhubarb, bloody dock, garlic chives, pussy willows,hyacinth, iris and Egyptian walking onions are showing new growth. Clicking the tags at the bottom of this post will take you to more information about each plant.

Egyptian walking onions at craftygardener.ca
Egyptian walking onions March 19, 2020

This is the first of my garden journal entries for 2020. I hope you are able to get out and explore your garden and look for new growth. I’d love to hear what is growing in your garden.

Gardening is – growing food and flowers, a lifestyle, nurturing, exercise, learning, addictive, relaxing, therapy, hard work, and lots more

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

Catch a smile, share a smile

catch a smile, share a smile at craftygardener.ca

There’s a new theme for my website. If you see anything that looks drastically different, please contact me and let me know what it was and where it was and I’ll check into it.

There is a new way to get email updates to my website. Why not click the email icon below and try it out. Be sure to set how you want the notifications to look.

If you are already a subscriber you might get an email asking you to verify the new service. It’s up to you, but I hope you will give it a try. You can always unsubscribe later on. Your emails are not accessible to me, so I have no way of knowing who has received the messages.

Bags with Purse-onality

Bags with Purse-onality

~

The reusable bag collection is always growing, usually with bags from stores/organizations with their own advertising on them. I’m not a fan of being a walking advertisement so I came up with a way to cover up what I don’t want to see with things from the Dabbling Room. I add some purse-onality to my bags.

crazy quilt blocks at craftygardener.ca

These crazy quilt blocks have been in the craft closet for years. A couple of years ago I used some to make some doll blankets for our granddaughter.

doll blankets made at craftygardener.ca

Now a couple of the remaining blocks have been used to cover the advertising on some really good quality black bags.

covering bags at craftygardener.ca

The blocks just needed pinning onto the bags and then sewn on with the sewing machine. A quick and easy project.

covering bags at craftygardener.ca

I’ve used the bags numerous times when out shopping and received lots of compliments.

covering bags at craftygardener.ca

Next up is to cover some more bags.

covering bags at craftygardener.ca

Bags with purse-onality

Have you upcycled any bags lately?

Really Crafty Featured button

I’m sharing with:

Catch a smile, share a smile

catch a smile, share a smile at craftygardener.ca

There’s a new theme for my website. If you see anything that looks drastically different, please contact me and let me know what it was and where it was and I’ll check into it.

There is a new way to get email updates to my website. Why not click the email icon below and try it out. Be sure to set how you want the notifications to look.

If you are already a subscriber you might get an email asking you to verify the new service. It’s up to you, but I hope you will give it a try. You can always unsubscribe later on. Your emails are not accessible to me, so I have no way of knowing who has received the messages.

The Lighthouse Repair

The Lighthouse Repair

~

The claypot lighthouse that was made a few years ago has been sitting in the garden and the weather has deteriorated the paint. It was knocked over a few times and some cracks developed. This past winter was the time to do some renovations.

First it got a couple of coats of fresh white paint.

making a clay pot lighthouse at craftygardener.ca

This lighthouse originally was cream with green accents but I have changed it to white with red, perhaps inspired by lighthouses we have visited while we were out and about.

Fishguard Lighthouse on Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Fisgard Lighthouse, Victoria, British Columbia

The windows were square on the old version but I used a cork to make round windows on the updated one. This was also a way to incorporate a small round hole that was about half way up the lighthouse.

making a clay pot lighthouse at craftygardener.ca

I also added some rocks around the bottom clay pot. These are rocks collected over several visits from Wicklow Beach.

making a clay pot lighthouse at craftygardener.ca

A new solar light has been added to the top, a coat of Mod Podge to seal everything, and now it waits for nicer weather so it can be put outside. It will get a spray coat of sealer when the weather is nice enough to do it outside.

Look at the original lighthouse from 2014.

lighthouses at craftygarygardener.ca
Whiffen Spit, Presqu’ile, Mariners Museum, Wellington Beach, Pacific Rim lighthouse, Fisgard Lighthouse, Sidney Harbour,

I love lighthouses and have a series of framed prints in the house. These are the favourite photos of the numerous lighthouses we have seen.

the lighthouse collection at craftygardener.ca

There is also a collection of various lighthouses on display including a lighthouse birdhouse that was found at a thrift store.

my lighthouse doodle at craftygardener.ca

I have even completed a lighthouse doodle.

decoupaged shells at craftygardener.ca

And there there is the decoupaged shell I made with a picture of the Fisgard Lighthouse.

Yikes, am I lighthouse obsessed?

Other winter renovation projects:

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

I’m sharing with:

Crochet Socks

Crochet Socks

~

Recently I found a pattern for crochet tube socks. As my arthritis in my hands is getting worse I find I can only knit, especially on smaller needles, for a short period of time. Mind you I do persevere as exercise is good for the fingers.

Crochet is always a bit easier, so I tried the crochet sock pattern as there is still plenty of sock yarn left from the yarn crawl.

crochet socks at craftygardener.ca

The pattern, Footloose Lacy Tube Socks, uses three different size crochet hooks, 3.75 mm, 4.25 mm, 5 mm, smallest for the toes, then the mid size hook for the foot and finally the larger hook for the remainder of the sock. I have switched to using ergonomic hooks and I love them. Read how I made the hook case.

making a crochet hook case at craftygardener.ca

It worked up much quicker then knitting, for me at least. I did keep track of the rounds with my row counter. Here are some more knit/crochet organizers I’ve made.

crochet socks at craftygardener.ca

I’ll be calling them my curling socks as the majority of the crochet was done while watching the Canadian Scotties Curling games (ladies). You can also find the pattern on Ravelry.

socks at craftygardener.ca

The crochet socks work up a bit looser than the knitted socks.

Have you crocheted any socks?

Some of my completed socks:

I’m sharing with: