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    Pattern for the Ormen Lange bargello quilt

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Hexagon Season Again

In spite of having had very nice weather for a long time, – and nice means sunshine on this usually very wet coast, – spring is still some way off, it seems. As soon as the sun dips below the horizon, temperatures drop and the frost bites again.

sewing hexagons outside

But there are moments, – like this afternoon, – when it is possible, even enjoyable, to sit outdoors and sew.

I am working on my “let’s-find-out-if-it-is-possible-to-join-hexagon-flowers-without-folding-the-paper-templates” project. I have cracked the code on how to, but have not written up the instructions yet.

Since this is my out-of-doors project, it is slow going.

april13

If the nice weather continues for some days, I should be able to get some more sewing done, as it is too early to do any gardening.

april13b

A bunch of snowdrops are blooming, plus three crocuses, – the rest is still under the snow at the moment.

The sunshine is nice, though, and if it could just stop snowing and freezing in between, we could have real spring in quite a short time.

🙂

Eldrid

Spring Report

Every year I take photos and post a report on the progress of spring on or around May 1st. This year we were travelling on May 1st, so the photos on that exact day shows the spring progress on Iceland, which varied a lot even within quite short distances.

The photo above was taken at Jökulsàrlon, a lagoon created by a retracting glacier. Icebergs break off the glacier and float round and round in the lagoon till they melt, as the opening is too narrow for them to float out into the ocean. They are quite a sight.

A few miles from the iceberg lagoon, we stopped to look at this old church, – the last one to be built in the old Icelandic manner with turf covered walls and roof. The dandelions were blooming on the roof, sheep and lambs were out and about nearby, so this was infinitely more spring like than the icebergs.

This primrose was blooming on one of the turfed walls of the olde houses in the photo below.

And this low bush similar to pussy willows was also in bloom:

I am not sure what the correct name of this bush would be.

As for the home scene, I will have to make do with before and after photos this year.

The two photos above were taken on April 26th before we left.

And here are the after photos of the same views….

… taken on May 6th.

We seem to have moved backwards into winter instead of forward to spring.

Eldrid

Spring Status Report

Last year I posted my first May 1st report on the progress of spring.

Spring was very cold and rainy then, – even snowy, – so there was not much greenery to be seen when May arrived.

This spring seemed to be progressing along the same lines for a while, but the last week’s fine weather has boosted everything big time.

Suddenly the woods were all green almost from one day till the next. My narcissuses in the photo above have all come out during the last two days.

This morning the ones in the shadiest corner had not come out yet.

However, this evening, just after sundown, I took the photo above, and they are nearly all out here as well. With this kind of weather, they will all be finished in a week, I think.

I’ll just have to enjoy them while they last.

The earliest rhododendron bush will soon open up completely.

The tulips by the south wall have been blooming for a few days already. In the photo they look like they are a red and yellow mix due to the direct sunshine, but in reality they are only red.

I love the way the narcissuses brighten up the garden even when it is nearly dark.

So in conclusion, this year spring has behaved itself much better than it did last year, – so far at least. The last week has been excellent, – even better than most of last year’s summer.  🙂

Eldrid

Promises

This time of year there are blogs all over which are filled with crocuses and other lovely signs of coming spring. When we still have snow and cold weather, they make me a little envious.

However, crocuses have finally appeared in our garden too, and each time I walk past and see them, they are a personal promise that spring is on its way, at last.

The photos were taken a few days ago when there was no sun, so they had not opened up yet. Yesterday was a very fine day, however, so when I arrived home in the evening after a trip to visit family, most of them were in full bloom. It was a lovely sight, but sadly, it was too dark by then to get any good pictures.

While I was browsing around the garden taking the photos above, I also came across this collection of shells nested in a hollow in one of the tree stumps left from the trees we chopped down a couple of years ago.

They are the tangible memories of last summer’s visit from the grandkids, and a successful foray on the nearest beach on a fine August day.

The boys enjoyed themselves immensely. . . . .

. . . . collecting lots of small treasures to carry home…..

. . . .  to play with in the sand.

Then some of them ended up on the tree stump as well, where they have spent all winter underneath the snow and frost.

Their lovely blue gradated colours caught my eye;  – they are as decorative as the crocuses, in their own way. . .

. . . and hold as many promises too.

Spring is a lovely time.

Eldrid

Spring?

Today is spring equinox, and in some places we see signs of springlike activities, like snowdrops popping their heads out of the ground. But in other places, it may take some time yet before spring arrives.

Last year I posted some winter photos which were taken at our daughter’s place. I also took the photo above of the same playground that was posted here, but from a slightly different angle. Also, snow like this was to be expected in January.

A few days ago we visited again, and I took the photos below. It is the same playground, although you can hardly tell because of the snow.

The structure sticking out of the snow is the top of the swings.

You can just glimpse the top wire of the fence in the path our grandson made when crawling through the snow.

It snowed when we were there, and it has snowed since.

The ground has been covered since October, so everyone is weary of snow, although the children are having fun from time to time.

– I’ll better pop  out and check if spring is on its way yet.


– Naaaah, doesn’t look like it.


– I think spring needs some help.


– WE WANT SPRING NOW!  WE WANT SPRING NOW!

 

– Let’s go and do something else while we are waiting.

 

Today it is raining, so there is hope. 🙂

Eldrid

Spring again

Since this blog is the closest I will get to a diary, I will post some spring photos to be compared with last year’s spring, – and then hopefully next year and many years after.

May 1st will be a good date for comparison, – easy to remember.

Yesterday I took some photos of the woods.

There is just a hint of green about the woods, approximately as in the photo I posted on April 15th last year.

Only my very earliest small daffodils are out (close to the tree trunks). The others have yellowing buds. No leaves on the fruit trees yet, – or what is left of them after the havoc wreaked on them last autumn by the deer.

Last year a friend brought a bouquet of narcissus and a branch of pear tree in full bloom on my birthday.

It has been snowing both yesterday and today, but luckily it is melting at once. By law, we should have had the winter tyres off the car nearly three weeks ago, but we did not change them till this weekend. The roads have been snowy more than once during that time.

Not much greenery on the trees, but the pussy willow is in full bloom. Looking out of the window, it looks so nice with the sun shining in between the spells of snow, but the air is bitterly cold, so there is no going out without a winter jacket on.

Now we want some warmer temperatures soon.

Eldrid

Spring, and New Project

I have been neglecting my blog sadly the last three weeks. During this time, the snow has been gradually disappearing from the fields and gardens.

The day after the snow withdrew from this patch, it was already filled with snowdrops, having done most of their growing while under the thick layer of snow. Amazing!

A couple of days later, the temperatures were good, the sun was shining, and everyone could enjoy a nice day out:

The crocuses also started popping their heads up among all the dead grass and leaves:

It is a good thing that they are hardy plants, as it was not long before they were all covered in snow once more:

Spring is an unsteady visitor, but luckily he decided to come back. Today was another fine day, so the crocuses can continue their blooming, adding lively colours to the drab and flattened grass bed, which goes by the name of “the lawn”.

I have of course been doing other things besides watching the spring unfold, – such as finishing the commission I have been working on. That means I am now ready for new projects.

On the way to fetching my husband where they delivered their catch after his latest fishing trip, I got the chance to drop in and see my mother. She had been cleaning and tidying, and I got a stack of my father‘s shirts, which nobody else wanted, or could make use of.

I had previously hinted that they could perhaps be made into patchwork-something, and the timing was perfect, as I can now start working on them right away.  With this mix of colours and fabric qualities, I think I will go for a simple pattern, such as squares, or maybe something log cabin-style.

The fabrics are cotton, cotton/polyester mix, rayon and silk. I hope I will be able to show off some of the wonderful textures which appear in some of the silk and cotton fabrics.

I have already started cutting apart some of the oldest ones, – removing seams, cuffs, collars and pockets, and making as much “flat” fabric as possible.

Naturally I find myself going back in time, remembering, while I am working on this.  In addition to personal memories, I also see from the labels that some of the shirts were made in local factories, which were abundant in the area many years ago. Most of those factories have long been closed down, but judging from the state of the shirts, closing down would not have been due to lack of quality, as these older shirts are in fact in excellent condition.

The times they are a-changin’  …..

Eldrid

This Winter

. . . . has been an unusual one here in our part of the world. All kinds of old records have fallen en masse, – or at least that is the impression we get from everyone who talks about it in the media and elsewhere.  It is also the impression we get from experiencing it personally, – to the extent that we might almost be tempted to misquote some state leaders and name it “the Mother of All Winters”, or perhaps “The Winter to End All Winters”.

We would not wish the last quotation to come true, though, – not really. We have to be responsible and consider the polar bears, of course. But other than that, one might be tempted, especially as the only sign of it ever ending, is the date and month on the calendar. And then I can almost hear in my mind The Winter snorting: “Calendar? What is that? Never heard of it, – not this year, anyway.”

Luckily, as January was on its coldest, and everyone scrambled to post photos of their digital thermometers showing record low temperatures, we had our trusty, level headed, meteorologists appearing on television and telling us that: “Oh, this is really nothing to be excited about, – it is just a good old winter like we had back in the fifties and sixties”.

I was very relieved to hear that, as it confirmed that my memory is perhaps not as bad as I have suspected it to be in recent years. I thought I remembered that we had lots of snow when I was a child, that we were skiing, tobogganing, kicksledding, and skating for months on end, that the ridges of snow along the side of the road were taller than me, (of course, that could also be due to the fact that I was not very tall myself when I was 4 or 5), and that it took  all of the month of May and the best part of June for the roads to dry up after the snow had melted.

However, on hearing this, my youngest daughter gently reminded me: ” – lots of people do not remember the sixties, let alone the fifties,  – some of us were not even born till long after the sixties.”

She is right, of course, – so at least half the population have a genuine right to be excited about personal lowest temperatures, personal deepest snow, etc.   And this winter has been lacking in neither.

Of course, it has also been very beautiful, and the weather has been very nice a lot of the time, – nice meaning a clear sky, cold, and just a little wind, if any. Almost no wind is a rarity in itself in these parts of the country, especially for the winter months.

The usual thing here on the west coast is for the snow to fall, then there is rain to wash it away, or partly away, – some cold to freeze the remains, if any, into ice, –  new snow, then the rain, …. and so on, – along with a lot of strong winds, of course.  Another variety that we have had quite often in recent years, is rain, rain, and rain, – and storms, – all through December, January, and February, and then one or two huge snowfalls in March.

People usually sigh and keep saying: “If only the snow could stay put once it has come down, and we have finished shovelling it!” (And some also wish it would come readily shoveled).

Well, this winter it did stay, – even if it had to be shoveled first.

We had one huge snowfall just after Christmas…

… which was not washed away by rain, – just sunk and evaporated, but not quite:

Then another quite large snowfall in February, – to top it up again:

And in between, the sun has been shining a lot.

The ground has not been clear of snow for nearly three months now, and that is very rare around here. People are now getting very tired of winter, – I am getting very tired of winter, – and we all long for the spring to come.

It is nowhere to be seen, however, – especially not today when a new snow storm hit us and we could barely look out of the windows:

While we are waiting, I plan to dump some more winter stuff on my blog here.  Then, if we have a heat wave this summer (and that is a big IF since there has been little rain for the past four months, and it has to come down at some time), I can look back and count myself lucky that I do not need a roaring fire to keep me warm.

Eldrid

Sun-day…

.. when the sun is due back at our house, was not quite successful this year. The sky was almost clear, just until half an hour before the sun was about to show its face above the mountain edge. Then the clouds gathered in that very spot. The photo below was the best I got.

But we’ll get over it. It would have been only a few minutes anyway.  From now on it is fast forward for a couple of months, – if we are lucky (no clouds) we will have 45 minutes tomorrow, and more than an hour on Monday. The sun will probably also make it very clear that the windows need cleaning.

Springtime, – here we come!!!

Eldrid

Sunset

Today was the very last sunset before winter, – seen from our house that is.

lastsunset

Because of the mountain to the south, the sun will not shine here till the 13th of February next year.

I am already looking forward to the spring.

Eldrid