Friday, April 22, 2016

Time for Spring

Native Pink Current blooming in the garden

Hello, Dear Friends - Happy Earth Day! 

I have been busy since spring has arrived, 
taking care of my little piece of this sweet Earth. 

Everything is blooming at once! 
We have had a long stretch of warm, sunny weather. 
One day it was in the low 90's here,
in the foothills near Mt. Rainier, 
breaking all records. 

That was a little too warm for me - I'm 
used to cool, misty weather. 

So on hot afternoons I kept busy inside. 
It was so nice to open all the windows wide,
with a light breeze blowing in the perfumed air. 

Today we are back to our usual weather, 
rain and cool temperatures in the 50's. 

Here are five things I have been doing on these 
wonderful days of spring. 


Bleeding Heart and Bugle-Weed are an accidental 
combination that I am enjoying right now. 

I had set a pot of Bleeding Heart here to plant elsewhere,
 but loved the combination, so here it stayed.  

This is a shady garden under the sweeping branches
of a large Hemlock tree. 

Hydrangea leafs out from the half barrel. 

This garden includes native deciduous Fern and Forget-me-not. 
A white Camellia blooms alongside the path cut into Yellow Archangel,
across from the Hemlock tree. 

Camellia loves it here in the acid soil and sun dappled 
conditions. This is also a sheltered spot from our 
sometimes fierce winter winds.

Camellia is very slow-growing and this one is 
over 20 years old. 

It is full of saucer sized, waxy blooms that light 
up the edge of the forest. 

Our parking area is right next to this little beauty, 
so we enjoy her blooms coming and going. 

Columbine enjoys the garden alongside variegated ivy
in a half barrel. 

I've made a note in my garden journal to purchase
more of these lovely plants, along with Bleeding Heart,
for next year. 

I've planted three more here. 

There were four, but one didn't 'take'. 

A low branch of a Crab-Apple brings out the 
pink Bleeding Heart against the old picket fence. 
The broken slats at the far left were caused
by a very large Black Bear climbing over 
for some bird seed a few years ago. 

We keep the patched fence as a souvenir :)

I also bought a wind-chime.

It's a family legend now :) 

Now that we're back up on the deck.....
This pretty Clematis is blooming through the slats. 

(I have to stain these this summer)

It didn't bloom last year and I thought I had lost it, 
but this year she has taken off and given us a show. 

This pretty evergreen Clematis is growing from a large pot. 

Looking out from the deck, we see Weenie Baby, 
my daughter's mini-dachshund. 

I have been doing a lot of pet-sitting :)
My dogs and I love the company. 

The lilac is peeking out from the left. 
It is very tall. 

Here you can see Kai and Peanut, 
Weenie Baby's sister. 

If you look close, you can see the little blue
Forget-me-not blooming everywhere. 

The lilac reaches to the second story. 

I can't tell you how wonderful the scent is. 

It fills the whole garden 
and floats into the windows with the slightest breeze. 

I planted two more right beside my deck this year. 
So far they seem happy. It will be a few years 
before I get blooms. 

Here you can see the lilac through my sewing room window, upstairs. 

My pet Cockatiel is perched on the curtain rod enjoying
the warm spring sunshine, while I enjoy the scent of lilac. 
He comes out every day to spend time with me while I sew. 

Chattering to the birds outside. 

This brings me to the second thing I've been doing, 

Playing in the Sewing Room

I've been working on a very special 
project for a little Grandson 
who is about to have his very first birthday. 

I can't give away too much....but let's just say
it involves a lot of planning, cutting, and sewing. 

I do enjoy working here in this bright and 
very feminine room. 

This room was where my two little girls grew up
before I cluttered it up with all my sewing 
and craft supplies. 

I have been doing a lot of cutting. 
I'm sure you can guess what I am making :)


Cleaning up..... 

Some home-made sachets keep things sweet. 

Waiting for the next session.....

Tucked away beside the cutting table. 
The sachets keep the cats away! 

Everything is a potential bed in the cat world. 
Am I right? 

Some of my buttons. The hand-painted trays and bowl
are used for sorting. 

The sweet  and well-used pin cushion says it all. 

A-hem! Speaking of cats and beds......
Maggie loves mine. 

This brings me to the third thing I've been doing - 


Something beachy for a certain little someone. 

I usually put in a few rows here and there when I 
get the chance, then do some serious crocheting
while I watch late night comedy shows in bed. 

I am currently watching 'Frazier' on the Hallmark Channel. 

One of my favorites. 
Pomposity meets humility :)

I will keep you posted on the finished project soon. 

Since we are in the house now, I'll tell you
the Fourth thing that I have been doing - 

Spring Cleaning

Can you ever do enough housework? 

Yes and no. 

Right now I am washing rugs and curtains 
and all those things you do at the start of a new season. 

Some days it is like this, and you whistle while you work. 

Other days it is more like this. 

Isn't this the cutest? 
It was a greeting card sent to me. xoxo

This little bank is my incentive for finding loose change. 

Flowers are my incentive for a neat and tidy house. 

Somehow they just don't look as pretty if things 
are messy. 

From Ramblin' Man <3. 

A gift to myself. 


While we are in the kitchen, I
want to share the fifth thing I've been doing. 

Eating strawberries! 

This delicious salad has strawberries two ways;
sliced atop baby spinach and in a rosy-hued dressing. 

Here is the recipe:

Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola
Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

serves 4


1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup grape seed or canola oil

In a blender, puree' strawberries. Add honey, Dijon, balsamic vinegar and salt. 
Blend to combine. While blending, gradually add oil and blend until smooth. 


2-4 cups baby spinach, tough stems removed
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sliced, toasted almonds
2 oz. Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled. 



What are you doing this spring? 


Today I am linking with: 


  1. Hello Karen, I love your beautiful property with the pretty flowers and everything looks so green. Wow 90 degrees that is hot. I love your crochet project and the strawberry salad sounds wonderful!
    Hope you have a nice weekend.
    Hugs Julie

  2. What a wonderful post, Karen! I love seeing your garden, of course:) Columbine and forget-me-nots are two of my favorites. Columbine is short lived for me. So I try to start some from seed every year. I can't believe you have to deal with bears! I would be a little nervous. Are you making a quilt from old shirts? I've been wanting to do that and plan to buy some at yard sales this summer. I can't wait to see what you do! Thank you for the salad recipe. i'll try it. Have a great weekend!

    1. Oh, Cindy, you guessed....but I will explain in a future post...Yes, bears and yes, they make me nervous, but I have the 'early warning system' Kai, Whitey, Weenie Baby and Peanut. Any bear would not want to tangle with that mob! Lol! Thank you for stopping by, my friend. Hugs xo Karen

  3. I love your posts, Karen, I eat up every paragraph. I think we are very similar in the ways we like to share our lives and the beauty around us!

    I envy your head start on your blooms. We have a lot of the same things planted. You did jar my memory that my columbine didn't come back last year so I want to pick up a plant or two. I love how bleeding hearts spread, I think the seeds blow around because I keep finding new plants in many spaces in my yard. My clematis is just getting buds.

    I don't enjoy hot humid weather outdoors so I do things in spirts.

    Lastly, your sewn pieces are beautiful...will this be a quilt? The salad. We have a version but I like some of the things you do that are a bit different. Isn't blogging great for that sort of thing?

    Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!


    1. Hello Jane, so glad that you stopped by - sort of like a virtual visit - just picture the two of us sitting down for a cup of something and a treat while we gab! Yes, a quilt and it is my first one.....Many things could go wrong...Lol! And the salad - it is such a versatile combo - strawberries and greens. I might try a bit of kiwi in there, too, maybe, with a lime/yogurt dressing next time. Wishing you a happy weekend, too, dear friend. Hugs xo Karen

  4. It's lovely, Karen. You have got amazing Garden. Happy weekend...

  5. Dear Karen,

    So lovely to come over and visit you and all your beautiful things, house, garden, animals and all. Your garden is gorgeous with the Spring blooms and as for your sewing room - love it.
    Look forward to seeing the quilt for your grandson.
    Here it is Autumn and some of the leaves are turning golden.
    Happy weekend

  6. Such a beautiful garden with so many beautiful plants. I loved the sewing room, a real delight such a pretty place to work. Looking forward to seeing the end result of your quilt?!?! Have a great weekend.

  7. Isn't strange how we can have such extremes of temperature at this time of year. What a beautiful garden. Yor sewing room looks very organised too. Have a lovely weekend. B x

  8. I always love taking a tour around your yard and seeing the plants that do well there. The camellias, bleeding hearts, and clematis look especially pretty. You've also been very busy with sewing, and crocheting for baby boy, who will be having a birthday soon. Flowers are a just reward for all that cleaning! Happy weekend, Karen!

  9. We had a few crazy-hot days up here too. Everything is 2-3 weeks earlier than normal.
    The salad sounds delicious. The strawberry puree is different!

  10. beautiful post and lovely pics ,happy earth day to you too dear

  11. Hello, Karen! I do not know where to begin, so many beautiful photos. You have a lovely place there, gorgeous flowers and gardens. I love the bleeding hearts and camellias. Your furbabies are so cute. Your cockatiel is pretty! The strawberry salad looks and sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  12. What a wonderful post. You have a beautiful house and garden!

  13. Karen, your gardens and flowers are so beautiful! I enjoy seeing all that you are doing outside and inside. Such a lovely post. I love your sewing room too. It's so pretty and bright. I hope you have a lovely weekend. Blessings, Pam

  14. Karen, I would agree 90 degrees is way too hot (for any time of year), but especially early Spring. You've got lots on the go ... and such pleasant things to put your hand and mind to. It's a beautiful life you be living!

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

  15. I loved reading about all that is going on there. You live in a beautiful place inside and out.

    Happy Creating, Gardening and Living ~ FlowerLady

  16. Lovely photos, beautiful garden and home. We have had a week of extreme temperatures here in the UK, sun tan cream for Monday's gardening, a fleece for today!

  17. The tour through your flowers is lovely. So many pretty ones. My purple lilac bush is blooming and now the roses and rhodies are too! I'm planting my strawberries today, finally. Our weather has been warm then rain and today, like yesterday, a bit warm but manageable. As your commentor lady above said, it's almost like that here in Oregon! LOL! Happy weekend!

  18. The flowers are lovely, Karen. How sweet that your cockatiel visits with you while you sew. I am intrigued by your project. The sewing room is lovely, and it looks like there must be a quilt in the works for the grandbaby! Every lovey touch in your home is always a joy to see. We are having temps in the 90s. Too hot for me too, and we are just getting started. :-)

  19. OH this post was so fun Karen!! You have been a busy Gal - and with such delicious delights! WArm perfumed weather heady with flowers. Gardening, sewing and crafting, eating yummy fresh Spring salads. Aaahhh- does life get better???

    Such fun and I can't wait to see the secret projects revealed! ;) Hope you get warm lovely weather back again soon. Very cold here this weekend and lots of rain coming the next few days. Boo!!

    Thinking sunny thoughts though! Blessings on the rest of your weekend Sweetheart blogland Friend 'O Mine. xoxo

  20. Karen, oh I would love to spend a day in your garden. The fragrance of all the flowers must be heavenly. So sweet to see pictures of your home.

  21. Dearest Karen
    What an enjoyable walk through your lovely garden.
    I have to admit I felt the hairs stand up on the back of my neck at the words "big black bear"!
    Because we don't have such wild animals in New Zealand and I'm not used to them.

    I love the combination of that pink Soloman's Seal with the Purpley Blue Bugle weed - just gorgeous.
    I had noticed your blue Forget-me-nots as I ran through your photos first. They are such a simple flower and one of my Spring favouites too.

    Your sewing come craft room is a gem - I would love one of those but our little townhouse doesn't allow for one - if we ever built I would definitely have one too - I've got some good ideas from Pinterest!
    Yes I can guess what the measuring and cutting is for - your precious little grandson is so worth spoiling!

    Lovely flowers and our strawberries are finished now although I buy a pack of frozen Mixed Berries to have on my cereal and the flavour is quite good.

    Such an enjoyable "Five" today Karen.
    Wishing you a happy Spring weekend in your neck of the woods and watch out for something black beginning with B.


  22. Love your blooms and your sewing room!

  23. You have a great garden. I have many of those plants in mine, too. I have seen a pattern for a quilt that is made using cloth quilt pieces put together by crochet rather than sewn! It was pretty. Think I saw it on pinterest.

  24. This post makes me want to hang out with you at your lovely home for the day! It would be a lovely getaway day for me. The salad and dressing sound wonderful!

  25. voila un billet ou on ne s'ennuit pas une seconde
    une ballade dans le jardin parmi toutes les fleurs
    puis la maison
    et puis de la cuisine
    vous faites du patchwork
    une vie bien agréable
    bonne journée

  26. What a lovely post to look at and read.
    Your home and garden look so lovely.
    Spring is such a great season - full of growth and energy.

    I do hope you have had a lovely weekend and all good wishes for the week ahead.

    All the best Jan

  27. So much beauty as always! Thank you for joining Five On Friday, I hope you had a great weekend! xx

  28. Hi Karen,
    Your garden is thriving ~ love especially your camellias ... Such a beautiful flower! Crocheting is relaxing ~ those pleasant blue tones in cotton ... I wonder who is the lucky one to wear something pretty in blue soon?
    Enjoy those strawberries, and this lovely season,

  29. Hi Karen,
    Spring has been so fast this year!! Your garden is gorgeous... I hear the thunder booming I think up your way tonight??

  30. I really enjoyed my time here today. You know number 15 photo image today is my favorite..beautiful! You mean it's almost a year since your grand baby boy was born... that means it will soon be one a year in June since my sweetheart had his heart surgery. Gee whiz time seem it's moving faster and faster.. Yum salad and dressing!

  31. Hello Karen , what a beautiful post. Yor garden if most definately in bloom, what gorgeous colours. I love forget me nots and your lilacs are way ahead of mine. I would love to have acid soil to be able to grow camelias, they always look so exotic.
    Your home is so homely and can't wait to see your finished projects. Loving your cockatiel.
    Thank you for your recipe, I can never eat too many stawberries. Have a wonderful week :)

  32. What a bountiful post Karen!It has everything! And those live in an enchanting land I think.
    Enjoy spring time, it must be amazing!
    Happy new week

  33. Oh my you do have a lot of Beautiful blooming plants right now, how wonderful and to have such great weather to open the windows and let all those scents poor in, just magical. I do agree with you that the 90's is just too hot, especially for doing any work outside. I look forward to seeing the project your are making for your grandson, wow doesn't time just fly by almost one already!

  34. Just wow. Your post shared so many wonderful things I think I'd be writing a novel just to address all the awesomeness. So I hope "wow" will suffice. You have been a very busy, talented and wonderful worker bee, Karen! :-)

  35. Your sewing room is so enchanting, Karen. Lots of interesting things to play and work with and be the creative person that you are. It looks like spring is showing its beauty around your neck of the woods, wonderfully so.

    Have a nice break, and I'll be here when you return. :)


  36. Dearest Karen,
    that was another refreshing trip to your world. Love your Picture, love your style, everything is so cozy.
    The Lilac already blooms in your garden? Wow and this beautiful red Columbine, in Germany we call it Akelei.I have so many in my garden but no red one. Maybe you can send me some seeds?

    Have a nice break with many time for new inspirations.
    Lots of love Barbara

  37. Dearest Karen,
    What a showcase is your garden in the spring! And yet it goes so fast... blossoms are there only for a fraction of time.
    Oh, I have to catch up on so many things still... But I will get there!
    Sending you hugs,

  38. Viajei nas suas fotos! Que lindeza e riqueza, amei!!!

  39. Thanks for the comments, you are right the Government is just Broke, but why do they send so much money on other countries. Broken in system and broke because of wasting monies. The Frontline is a great show. yvonne


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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