After a week hiatus, the Faerie is back. But what with all the other activities on the agenda, I have to admit that the poor dear is just limping along. When last seen it looked like this.I only managed an hour or so on this project, stitching in the evening. Unfortunately, some of that hour was spent frogging and restitching that last little bit of scarf to the right. Poor counting resulted in it being stitched a full three rows higher than it ought to have been. I had seriously considered just leaving it that way and fudging over the area where it is supposed to meet the skirt. But I knew it would irk me everytime I saw it. And it is intended as a gift and gifts should represent our best efforts, oughtn't they? So all I managed to get done on Section III was a start on the leaf in the lower left corner and the back-stitching on the inner circular border. But I plan to work on it a bit more on Thursday and Friday. I'd really like to see a substantial amount of Section III done before May 1st and the entire project finished and beaded and ready for the framer by May 31st. The Queen of the unrealistic goals strikes yet again.
I did manage to finish the stitching on Martina's Easter Rabbit freebie. I have to admit all those tiny flowers in the border, with five color changes for each, got to be a bit of a drag toward the end. I plan to do the sewing finish tomorrow evening at which time I will post a photo. After going through my rather extensive sewing/quilting fabric stash, I decided on using a plain black cotton backing for the pin-pillow finish. I like this chart enough to revisit it, though, I believe I'll stitch just the central rabbit as a scissor fob next time out.
Day light was reserved for gardening and working on the front of the house ... with just a short trip to the hardware store to get all the supplies for working on the retaining wall in the backyard.
The weather here has been most strange: more West Coast than East Coast. We start off each morning with a pre-dawn drizzle, then a fog that burns off about mid-morning and finally, sunshine and somewhat humid low 70s. So, the weather isn't exactly cooperative. Yesterday, I purchased all the plants for the front planter box. I spent a very pleasant hour at the nursery with my new gardening guru, Tina, picking out plants that will work in a very sunny, warm space. They are all perennials and, while initially rather expensive, they will pay for themselves over the years as they return each May and June with lovely blooms. There is still enough space left to plop in a few annuals in mid-June for some July and August color. And the six mum plants I put in last year survived the horrid winter and will provide some color in September and October. I have several types of dianthus, some coreopsis, some lavender, some creeping phlox and some foilage plants. The main colors will be white and pink. It should all make a splendid showing through early summer. Here is a "before" photo of the general set up for the box. Since the vile contractors, who found every way to cut corners last year, used the back fill from excavating and leveling the area for our backyard patio to fill the planter box instead of the top soil as promised, I took delivery of five bags of top soil and 3 cubic feet of peat moss this morning. Next, it was a matter of emptying out at least half the poor soil and replacing it with decent soil that holds moisture. Then, and only then, could the planting begin. As I said, The weather isn't exactly cooperative. It has been unseasonably warm and humid, making physical exertion that much more taxing. It slowed me up a bit. Okay, to be honest, it slowed me up considerably. I console myself with the thought of how many calories I must have burned off. The word for the day was rehydrate. Tomorrow, I hope to finish setting in all the plants and spend some time raking all the dead leaves in the backyard and scrubbing the retaining wall so I can apply the concrete sealant before on Friday. With any kind of luck, I 'll have time to apply two coats of white paint as well before returning to work on May 2.
And, apropos of nothing, I must shake my head in mildly disgusted amazement at the gadget obsession that has overwhelmed this consumerist society in which we live. A housewares online shop that sends me e-mails sent me a real winner the other day, offering me a great bargain on ... get this ... a banana slicer. I can't imagine why anyone would want a gadget solely for slicing bananas cluttering up one's kitchen when everyone with a kitchen is quite likely to own a knife! Voila, bananas sliced quite neatly. Are we so obsessed with saving time that we must have a gadget that slices the entire banana in one operation. I mean, really, just how long does it take to slice a banana? Less time than it took to write this paragraph, I am sure!