The Doubtless Guest

When my gorgeous gerbera asked for water this morning I noticed that her stem had become irreparably bent. I did what was only natural - I invited her in to live with me.I had originally wanted to set her up in my Studio, but it is so steamy up there these days I fear she would positively wilt at the prospect. She's now resting quite comfortably on the buffet (a stylish Danish Minimalist affair,) lounging in an elegant jar that once held capers.

Here at Pittsworth, caper jars (along with borage and fine pieces of twine,) are sacrosanct. Never underestimate the beauty - and duty - that a fine decorative - or plain - little jar can afford in a pinch. Just look at today, for example. My unexpected houseguest has a new unexpected home. Welcome, Daisy!

Dear Stupid Neighbour

Dear S.N.,

Thanks so much for picking up that broken decorative clay pot that was sitting out behind your back fence - it's not like I hadn't composed an ENTIRE BLOG POST in my mind about adolescence + genre fiction + my experience of both as I weeded my William Blake garden - but I needed a picture of that pot to make it all make sense. In the five minutes it took me to pop inside and grab my camera you had pulled up with a trailer and hauled off the offending pot (which was actually quite pretty in its ruined state.) You have impeccable timing, S.N. - simply ace. It's just as well - I probably would've upset people with my views on genre fiction anyway.

I remain your neighbour,


ps--> I leave you with a picture of the first onion from my back garden.pps--> I shall not be discussing my views on genre fiction, which are probably not as controversial as I think they are - I quite like the stuff, actually. ~j

Lion on the beach

While we're on the subject of Antique Things Spied in Shop Windows (that Jane Covets but Can Not Afford,) here's another one:This fine fellow is one of a pair of bronze recumbent garden lions that I met last month at the auction house in downtown Detroit. They are expected to fetch between $5000-$7000 USD at auction - this (regrettably,) far exceeds my budgetary constraints where garden statuary is concerned. At least I got a picture - I do love lions and these are particularly handsome specimens.

Perhaps this lust for lions will have a happy ending akin to that of The Great Foo Dog Hunt of 2009 - I will have to tell that story sometime soon.

New Mittens + a few other things

Just got back from the antique shop on the corner where I finally priced the Scary Vase - he's a bit more than I wanted to spend. Hm.People who are planning return trips to London probably shouldn't drop that much money on a Victorian reproduction of a Pre-Colombian(?) vase just because he's pleasingly creepy. Being priced that prohibitively means that I can go get creeped out whenever I like - for free.

In other news, I am happy to announce that the Persnickety Mittens are now available!
Get your copy by clicking the wee button nestled up there between the pictures or stop by Ravelry or my Etsy shop, if you like.

Inspired by tilework, these mitts are a lot of fun to work - I buzzed right through them. Of course, that may have been because I am in love with Sunday Knits' Angelic and Eden 3-ply, respectively. That Red is the most perfect, perfect shade of red I've ever laid eyes on - and I know red. Of course, I am more into yellow these days - but still. It is gorgeous.

And lastly (but by no means leastly,) I would like to congratulate Kate Davies of needled fame for publishing the inaugural edition of her new digital magazine Textisles. I'd also like to thank her for her kind words about my Bacon Mittens in the first issue. If only I could be so pleasantly blindsided every Friday morning! I'm sure I'm not the only one looking forward to the next issue.

There are other delights on the way - stay tuned.

Sooner than you think

New mitts, soon.
And you need to hear this - It's The Real Tuesday Weld's Tear Us Apart from the forthcoming record The Last Werewolf. It's soaring and gorgeous and absolutely lovely. You will love it - trust me.

Tear Us Apart by MuseBox

Bacon Mittens, right this way

Maybe you have heard about these or maybe you haven't - regardless, things are about to get...bacon-ier. The (in)famous Bacon Mittens have arrived.
Yes, they may be incorrigibly silly and a wee bit garish, but c'mon - it's bacon - it's the very essence of over-the-topness in protein form.

But yes, the mitten pattern - which comes complete with a fingerless option - is available here on Ravelry and will be up in my Etsy shop very, very soon. Of course you could always click that little green button to get your bacon right now. It's up to you.

Happy Summer

A proper sun-baked SW Ontario weekend - I met a baby barn owl, a beautiful barn cat and spent some quality time with our resident Great Lake - Erie.
I finally mananged to make a picture of the Scary Vase that Lives in the window of the antique shop on the corner:He gives me the creeps...and every time I walk by he's in a different spot. But after two years, we've acheived a certain rapport.

Later I enjoyed supreme commensality and perogies under tent lights. Oh, and paczki, too.
In the back garden, Heritage - possibly the heart-meltingest of my English Roses - puckers up for a kiss.
All of which signifies the advent of Summer. Welcome.I leave you with the perfect musical accompanient for days like these, which also happens to be by a fellow Southern Ontarian - Dan Snaith, aka. Caribou. I can't help but be reminded of the...individual I met out on the front drive this past Friday - right before he/she lumbered under my porch.

Any guesses?


With the final marigolds and heirloom tomatoes popped into the front cottage garden, 2011's planting is officially Finished. Whew.And now we wait - and tend and weed and water, when needed. Ultimately we will profit by fruit and flowers but there is still work to be done. As always.

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers...

...for especially in the month of June.

A thank you goes out to Eleni for pointing out that in yesterday's picture Golden Celebration (aka. Goldie) resembles the singing flowers' conductor in Alice in Wonderland - she does, but for the colour, of course.

Not convinced? Have a look for yourself:

I went out to have a peek at Goldie this morning - she had had a rough day yesterday, what with the 42 degree heat and all - and this is what I found:She had not only opened fully but had miraculously recovered as well. Sometimes a good drink is really all that one needs.

And then, not an hour later a chance glance out my window revealed another great surprise - my Winchester Cathedral's (Winnie's) buds had burst.She reminds me of the lovely soloist rose from the aforementioned Alice sequence. Winnie is loaded with buds, so I fully expect that the show will go on (and on) for quite some time. I will keep you abreast of her various performances.

Hot stuff

The past couple of days have been almost ridiculously hot and humid - even for SW Ontario - and though I'd be at my happiest outside my Manor I've been spending the better part of my days on the inside. While I do love being out in the sun I am no fan of the extreme heat.Fortunately (unfortunately?) for me, my roses do fancy a spot of the warm stuff. Inevitably they manage to draw me out of my air-conditioned cocoon long enough to revel in their beauty, take note of exactly just how ridiculously hot it is outside, make a few pictures and then pop back in before I start to wilt.

Unsurprisingly there's been lots of action in the rose bed these days. Just have a look.

Evening Star's first long, slender bud opened the other day to reveal this beauty:
Parade has been blooming her little hot pink heart out. She is, of course, at her prettiest when her buds are first starting to open, but her blown blooms aren't too bad either:
Honey - perhaps my favourite plant impulse-buy of the season - has been giving us quite a show with her apricot blossoms that fade to bright pink:
And - today's crowning glory, by far - Golden Celebration. Her first flower is nearly all the way open and I am over the moon about it.
As for me, I'm trying the make the best of this entire self-imposed "stuck inside" situation by diving headlong into my own work. Lots of loose ends are in serious danger of getting tied up. Today's Loose End is the long-awaited Bacon Mittens. They will be out before this week is, I promise. You will be notified.

In with the new...

...or, at the very least - new to me. There have been lots of new acquisitions around here of late.

This, for instance, appeared on my doorstep late last week (blessedly before Canada Post decided to strike):These lovely skeins of fingering-weight were generously sent to me by Stephanie of Dirty Water DyeWorks. Thank you so much Stephanie! I knew I was in love as soon as I saw colourways named "Pumice" and "Pompeii Red." Something Roman is bound to come out of those two.

A quick jaunt to my mum's house found me leaving (quite unexpectedly, too) with several antique and vintage objects. First off, these delightful RCA Nipper dog salt and pepper shakers:Next up is a vintage glass lemon reamer (with holes to let the juice through but catch the seeds):Rounding out the trio is this lovely Depression glass sugar and creamer set. The pattern is Madrid and whether or not they are reproductions - I checked and I'd like to think that they aren't - they are still golden and pretty.
Of all these New (to me) Things, this one is by far the most delicious. I know that one can not - and should never - judge a cheese by its wrapper, but I could not resist when I saw the packaging on this domestic Saint-Paulin:
Luckily the cheese on the inside was just as charming as the mid-century monk on the outside. A creamy, semi-soft affair, we offered it up as a snackrifice this past Saturday night on Anna's patio. That same evening I enjoyed my Annual Glass of Wine. It should feel odd to say that, but it doesn't - now that's odd.

And finally, a treat for all of you Flamingo enthusiasts:It may not look like much now, but this is the cuff of the Flamingo Socks - the sock-equivalent of my Flamingo Mittens. Yes, it is on the way - it should be here shortly, in fact.

Three days

The past three days that I spent in Toronto (in the sun) offered me the chance to do some work al fresco. I wish I could say "lots of" instead of "some," but I can't (unfortunately.) When confronted with that kind of sunshine I can not help but bask.

And so, the work (in progress, still):
And select pictures. Life, on the move.
It's good to be back home.