Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt

I've found and photographed my first item for Rinda's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt!

#14  A Mosaic

It may be a very simple mosaic, but it is a very special one.  It sits on the ground under the grape arbour of the community garden at the United Church across the street from my home. It was created by young children who participate in a group called "Little Sprouts" which teaches them about plants and gardening.  I love the mosaic's simple design and it adds a lovely decorative touch to the garden!

This year I decided that I would like to join in on the fun that goes on over at the community garden and I requested a plot.  I've met some really nice people in the process and I'm enjoying watching my little garden take shape.  I planted beans, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, beets, carrots and lettuce.

Some of the raised beds at the community garden.

My gardening plot - 3 x 8 feet.

We've had lots of rain in the past month which was nice because we didn't have to worry too much about watering, although we could have used a bit more sunshine to help the growing process.  Things are picking up though and we've already been eating salads the past week made with lettuce fresh from my garden.  It's very convenient to live right across the street so I can just run over whenever I need something from the garden!
The only problem I've encountered so far is an ant infestation at the end of my plot. In the process of going about their daily routines, the ants have destroyed one of my tomato plants and nothing that I've seeded in that general area will germinate. I've been looking for a natural solution to the problem but nothing has worked so far.  I've tried a concoction of homemade rhubarb water but that had no effect at all.  I tried leaving them little piles of cereal (the kind that needs to be cooked in boiling water) because I read that when they eat it, it will expand in their stomachs and kill them.  Apparently cereal is not high on the list of an ant's favourite food because they are leaving it untouched.  My next attempt will be to sprinkle cinnamon which is supposed to drive them away.  I have my doubts but I'm willing to give it a shot.  If it doesn't work I guess the ants and I will just have to learn to live with each other - and as long as they stay in their one little corner I'm okay with that.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Friends at the Feeder...

We've had some new visitors to our backyard feeder.  We looked out the window this evening and saw this:

She lives in the complex just behind us and had brought a friend with her too - a beautiful white cat who was perched in the tree beside the feeder, but by the time I'd grabbed my camera she'd hopped down to come over and visit with me.

These are two of the friendliest cats I've ever met and I do enjoy when they come around.  I only hope that the birds are smart enough to keep their distance or fast enough to make a getaway if they need to.

Earlier this evening we heard a commotion and looked out to see two crows screeching and continually swooping down around the pine tree just behind our property.  We couldn't figure out what was going on until we looked up into the tree and saw the tabby cat sitting on a branch.  I don't even want to think about what might have happened there.

Seems there's lots of bird action around our place but unlike Jen, who gets lovely nesting swallows, all of my bird stories revolve around some sort of battle and survival of the fittest.  I wouldn't think of describing to you what happened the afternoon that a tiny sparrow met up with a magpie, except to say that the sparrow came out on the losing end.  That's nature at work I suppose but these incidents leave me feeling sad.

Here's hoping that the next time I have a bird story to tell it's a happy one...

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summertime Photo Challenge...

It's Summertime!  And although the day started out cool and gloomy, and the skies looked like they were threatening rain, it turned into a beautiful day for the first day of summer.  This year I've decided to participate in a summertime photography challenge.  While reading Sian's blog yesterday and the story of her trip to the museum with her adorably interesting nephew, Little E, she made mention of Rinda's photo challenge and I decided to see what it was all about.

The basic idea is that you have until the last day of summer to capture photographs of the following things on the scavenger hunt list:

1. Open air market
2. Theater for performing arts (not a movie theater)
3. City Hall, Capitol or other similar civic building
4. Airplane
5. A sunset
6. Someone or something taking a nap
7. A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny
8. A tower
9. A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn't belong
10. A bench that is outside
11. An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.
12. A cloud in the shape of something (please specify what you see)
13. A fence
14. A stained glass object or a mosaic
15. A fire truck or police car
16. A windmill
17. Candle(s)
18. Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop
19. A fisherman
20. A dinosaur
21. A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply

I think it will be a challenge to find some of these things but I love a challenge.  I think this will get us out and doing things this summer that we might not have done otherwise.  And I am a sad case when it comes to taking pictures (I'm still scrapping photos from a couple years back!) so this should encourage me to use my camera more.  It's a good thing, any way you look at it!  If you're interested in joining in on Rinda's challenge you can read all about it here

I'll leave you with some photos from my backyard garden - proof that summer is coming into bloom!

Happy Summer!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New in the Shop...

We've been having lots of rainy weather here lately, which in one way is good for the gardens but gardens need sunshine too and we could certainly use a bit more of that.  Amidst the gloom and rain yesterday, Jen and I got together for Scrappy Tuesday and did a bit of re-stocking in the Etsy shop, filling it with some lovely, bright and cheerful colours!

More dishcloths...

and summery embellishment packs...

And, on yet another gloomy day here, just looking at these colours makes me happy.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

More Than Just Sparrows...

We set up a bird feeder in our tiny backyard last month.  When we're sitting in the living room we can watch it through the window and there is always a flurry of activity going on out there from morning until sundown.  Even when we're sitting outside, the birds still come to visit the feeder.  I had hopes of seeing pretty birds like Jen gets in her yard but all we seem to have are sparrows.  Not that I have anything against sparrows but colourful birds seem like a bit more of a treasure to see.  Today - finally - as I glanced out the window I saw a pretty bird...

Yay!  I ran for my camera and got this blurry shot through the window.  I'm not sure what type of bird this is (possibly a House Finch?) but it sure is nice to look at and now I have proof that there are more than just sparrows in my neck of the woods.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Great Big Swap of Very Small Things...

I recently put my name on the list to participate in Sian's Great Big Swap of Very Small Things.  I love a good swap!  I used to participate in quilting swaps years back when I was an avid quilter but this was my first time joining a scrappy swap.

There's something very satisfying about choosing items for another person, packaging them up nicely and thinking about the enjoyment they'll have receiving them.  Likewise, it's fun to anticipate the arrival of your package in the mail, wondering what new treasures you'll receive.  Today was that day for me!  Waiting in my mailbox this afternoon was an envelope from Ginger of Ginger's Life of Spice.

Tucked into that envelope was a beautiful card and a lovely mix of items - paper (yes, paper!), tags & die cuts (packaged in a nice muslin drawstring bag which I forgot to photograph), ribbon, brads, buttons and lots of wood veneer pieces!  I love wood veneer and these will be a welcome addition to my stash.  And I love the fact that Ginger used washi tape (in my favourite colour of green!) to seal the glassine envelope that some of the bits were in so I can even use that on a layout. 

Thank you so much, Ginger, for everything you sent!  Tabby thought it was pretty awesome stuff too...

And thank-you, Sian, for organizing the swap. It was fun!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Lady - CSI Case No. 74

Well, it's my last week as Special Investigator (aka Guest Designer) over at the CSI site and this last challenge turned out to be a real...well, challenge for me.  A very girly palette and I don't do well with those!

I truly did struggle with this but in the end it was all good and I've got a nice page to document my love of Jen's cute little dog, Lady.  It was about time I dedicated a page to her!

I used a sketch from one of Kristine Davidson's eBooks.

Until next time...
Susan :-)