Monday, March 6, 2017

How much wood would a wood duck chuck...?

Strange to think that, in early March, we're "late" into the flower season, but the camellias are rapidly browning and falling off the bushes.  We still have our jessamines...

A few of our azalea bushes have started blazing...

And oh, the redbuds!

The warmer weather has really brought out the birds.  For the first time in two years, I spotted a wood duck!

Beautiful bluebirds everywhere.  Here's a male and female pair (the male is the more brightly colored):

Robins have come in hordes to eat the berries from our bushes.

It's not just birds that are more active in the is our darling Clotilde, who loves to nap on our deck...

...or drowse in the back garden.

Tabitha is ever watchful for this intruder...

...well, most of the time.

In other news, I finished my grey gingham quilt...and I love it!!

It measures around 52" x 74" - too small for a bed, but larger than your average throw and perfect for snuggling under...I mean, if you live somewhere where winters are cold! :)  I decided on a very simple way to quilt it - to "stitch in the ditch," or directly over the seam where the blocks are sewn together, and then 1/4" out from that seam.  I had an abysmal time stitching in the ditch.  I was using cream-colored thread, so any swerve showed prominently against the grey fabric (belatedly, I've discovered that my work station is 4" too high for ergonomical correctness, which complicates finishing a quilt, and that I also need a side table to rest the fabric on so its weight doesn't drag against the needle and cause wonky stitches).  I was so disgusted with my quilting that I almost  - almost! - scrapped the whole project.  But adding the 1/4" line drew the eye away from mistakes, and washing it seemed to help too, and now I LOVE it.  I'm halfway through another quickie throw project, so my pile of homemade quilts is rapidly growing!

Incidentally, I would probably never scrap a quilt.  My big practice quilt is currently (and permanently!) a cat bed for Bosewichte.  It's on top of a cabinet by my desk where I store my construction paper, and he can generally be found there, enjoying the quilt more than I ever could.

Fancy baking for March is next week, but I did make a little funfetti cookie cake for a neighbor...

...and I discovered an AMAZING chocolate muffin recipe.  I'd wanted to make some healthy muffins for Todd, but wound up falling for them myself, despite the fact that they contain no butter and NO processed sugar.  Well, unless you count the chocolate chips!

They're around 175 calories each and very generously sized!  I made these with bananas, and even though I'm not a banana fan, I thought they were absolutely delicious...large, fluffy, moist, sweet, and flavorful.  There's a hint of banana flavor, so next time I'm going to substitute pumpkin puree.  Here is the recipe if you're interested!  I highly recommend it, and baking with raw honey in general.  I've had great success with it.

Enjoy your week!

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