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Archive for April, 2012

Garden Update

Long time no talk!

Sorry about that, not sure where this week went or how it’s Thursday night…

Hmmm…. story of my life!

How is your week going?  Hope it’s going well and that it’s been restful, creative and productive!

Since I’m a little short on words tonight (brain=fried, allergies=in full swing), here are some pictures of our weekend gardening project!









Before- in all it’s tree glory.








Nekkid front… yard.








Ornamental evergreens, dwarf azeleas and daylilies…








Mini rhododendron and a nikko blue hydrangea…

I’m loving it!  I can picture some planter boxes on the front porch with wave petunias and spiky grasses cascading over, as the plants grow up and fill in the space.

We went the cheaper route and selected younger plants that will mature and fill out the space in the coming years, which was very kind to the wallet and will be a great long-term investment.

I am going to track down a walking stick tree for the front corner… will post pics when I find the perfect plant and placement!

Also have a great climbing rose for the along the fence.

I’m a little frazzled after a long week, so I’m going to turn off the technology this weekend and unwind/disconnect/regroup.

I’ll see you next week with some stitching updates- I’ve been busy (the only good part of stress?!).

XO, Mer


A work in progress!

I’ve been a bit scattered lately- in life and in stitching!

I seem to have … hmmm… about 10 projects in motion at once!

Oops!  Usually, I’m better about finishing one before starting another, but I seem to be going with my whims lately.

So, here are some updates on what I’ve been working on and what I hope to finish sometime in the near future!

And, if you want proof that I do finish, you can read about being framed…

I’ve been chugging along on my ‘Room For 1 More’ canvas-


What do you think about the bumper sticker that I added with my initials?  I wish that there was a bit more of a color difference between the bumper, but oh well..

I still have the black background around the dogs to stitch, and it’s slow going…

Then I’ll be back with some fun fibers and stitches with the dogs and lots of beading!

And, here are some other little projects that  I’ve been working on…

The first two canvases from The Cape Stitcher’s Nutcracker ornament series:



I love them!  I’m starting my third this week… and I’ll alternate stitching the ornament with this great Christmas canvas from The Painted Pony:


Oh yeah, those are some awesome Criss-Cross Hungarian stitches!  New stitch alert!  Thank heavens for the patience of my needlepoint class (oh, and their help with the compensating!!).  Can’t wait to see how the rest of the piece comes together!

And, since I’ve been on a mission to organize the house, check out my latest find for organizing my thread stash:

It is a jewelry organizer from Target for $9.99.  Now, I wish I would have bought a second one, since I think they could be stacked…

Hope you are having a good week and finding a little time to be creative!

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend!

XO, Mer



How is it already Tuesday?  Hmm.. and tax day!  Have you finished or are you scrambling around kicking yourself for not starting sooner?!

We’re all set and filed and (already!) refunded!  Woohoo, and it’s a good thing, because I’ve been a needlepoint machine this winter!

I realized that it’s been a while since I posted some of my finished needlepoint pieces!

The last few I’ve had framed- some for my office and some for our home.

Here is the “Keep Calm” piece:

The color is a little funky in the picture- I swear it’s a regal purple!  This is sitting on the cabinet behind my desk in my office, a great daily reminder!

You can read about stitching the canvas here

Needlepoint canvas painted by/purchased from: Needle Nicely

Framing by: The Frame Man

The next project that I finished was ‘The Social Drinker”

It never would have occurred to me to go with a red frame (I always end up playing it safe with neutrals!), so this was a wonderful surprise when it came together!  The owner of The Frame Man is in my needlepoint class, so she just takes my finished canvases away and returns them in their framed glory!

This was my first real canvas that I experimented with stitches, fibers and beading… you can read all about it: here, here, and here

Canvas from: The Quarter Stitch

Stitches/Fibers: The Wellesley Needlepoint Collection

Framing by: The Frame Man

When we were in St. Croix, I finished this canvas, which was painted by my mom:

Note: If you don’t know the story of the phrase, invite me over for a glass of wine and I’d be happy to explain ;-)

I LOVE it!  The canvas is fun, the colors are coordinated and the framing/texture is great!

Stitching post: here

Fibers: The Wellesley Needlepoint Collection

Framing by: The Frame Man


And, last but not least, one of my favorites!  Downward Dog!

Check out that ponytail and awesome stitching!  The only thing better is the bling frame!

For stitching posts, check: here, here and here

Canvas/Fibers/Stitch Guide: The Wellesley Needlepoint Collection

Framing by: The Frame Man

Oh, and while I was (finally!) hanging all of these around the house, I decided that it was time to fill the empty picture spaces on my jewelry box… finally, after two moves and about 5 years!

Time to get dirty…

… in the garden!  What were you thinking?! ;-)

I love winter because it means lots of fires in the fireplace, pretty snowy weekends and lots of time to sit inside and stitch… BUT, I get really excited when it starts to get warm and it’s time to play in the garden again!

Since we moved in ~1.5 years ago, Brian and I have spent lots of time on the inside of the house (goodbye, 3 layers of wallpaper in each room-only one more to go!), and this summer we plan to focus on the outside landscaping.  We’ve done some minor changes, but I thought I would give you a ‘tour’ and let you see what we’ve done and what we have planned!

Front/Side Yard:

This is the area that has gotten the least attention to date.  That all changes next weekend- bye, bye large evergreen, ugly trees!!  We will have a blank slate, ready for: this  or this or this

We’ll extend the bed a little bit on the side and likely remove the shrubs that you see on the far left, opening the fence up for a beautiful climbing rose.  When you can see the porch, I’ll add some windowboxes on the railings that will spill bright colors down the porch to add even more color…

We added this bed in the front last summer, with a mix of different daylilies.  This year, we will add a few hardy rose bushes to the back of the bed, adding even more color and height (and curb appeal!) to the yard.  Here are the roses that we ordered: Citrus Splash

Another angle of the side yard-

Last summer we added the corner bed and stepping stone walkway to the backyard.  The bed has two hardy rose varieties and both  a fall and spring blooming clematis, making it a pretty and colorful corner for many seasons.  Note, we have opted to go with smaller plants (yay for helping the budget!), which means that it will take a few seasons for the plants to ‘fill out’ the space!

We have (almost) added one more little bed to the side yard- where I am adding this climbing rose (when it arrives): Rose Night Owl

Now, for the Backyard:

So, one of the biggest accomplishments of last summer was exchanging the scalloped red brick edgers for a more natural looking grey stone.  All of the beds have been re-edged, weeded, enriched soil added and prepped for planting.

This particular bed is a bit of a challenge for me… I’ve got a few blueberry plants at the far end (by the hose), and a massive amount of parsley- that WILL NOT die (even if I pull it all out!).  I also picked up an un-labeled flower from the sale rack yesterday- it said it was fragrant and attracted hummingbirds (both requirements in my garden).  I got it home and gave it a good look- pretty sure it is actually a lilac bush!  There it is on the left, looking a little thirsty and unhappy in it’s new home…

Bed along the side of the backyard, and the back corner (photo reminds me I forgot to go and clean out the leaves in that back corner!).  The edgers and hydrangea (endless summer nikko blue) were added last summer.  This year, we’ve added a few additional lilies in the front, plus two strawberries and cream hydrangeas (thank you for overwatering them, Lowes, and then selling them for $5).  I always keep my eyes on the sale plants, as most of the time they are over/under watered and a little care can bring them back to life!  These were in pots with no drainage, and after a day in a different, draining pot and some sunshine, they perked right back up!  One was added to the back corner (not sure that blue hydrangea in the very back corner will make it this summer!) and one to the front, in the middle of the lilies.

I also picked up some salvia to add as a little border, the guy at the store assured me that they were great for attracting hummingbirds…

And, that brings me to my newest, desperate measure to attract hummingbirds this year…

A new hook to hold my two new feeders!  And, those plants that are popping up are guaranteed hummingbird attractors!  Mulch and feeders will be in place next weekend!

And, last, but not least, the dogs’ favorite place in the yard- the massive dirt hole that they have created!

It has gone from this:

to this:

Unfortunately, the lack of snow this winter, left our yard really ripped up with all the ‘dog traffic’.  So, we decided that if you can’t beat ‘em,  join ‘em and added even more dirt and disruption to the yard!  The end result is moving our vegetable garden bed to the back corner and regaining the space in the middle of the yard for grass growing, eventually a stepping stone path from the stairs and patio..

What patio, you say?

This new one!

Ok, patio might be a bit generous, but we wanted a ‘landing’ at the bottom of the stairs to make the yard a bit more appealing (and to give one more line of defense against muddy dog paws!).  Bri finished digging out the area and laying the pavers yesterday.  Next weekend, we will get started on the stepping stone path to the garden bed and then it’s all about growing grass and getting plants in the ground after the last threat of frost (I’m being cautious and waiting until mid-May).

So, those are really the ‘before’ pictures, and I’ll keep you updated on the progress throughout the summer!

Have you been working on yard plans?  What would you suggest for my new front garden bed?  Any ideas on how to grow grass with a small yard and 3 active dogs?

And, with that long update, I’m off to take a little cat nap before tackling the pile of laundry that is taking over our bedroom!

Happy Sunday!

Happy Easter!

Wishing you a Happy Easter filled with lots of love, family, friends (and Easter candy!)!!

Have a great day!




Hope you have a great day!  I’m off to prep Easter brunch and then spend the day stitching and playing in the dirt!

XO, Mer

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