Each season always brings a renewed effort to spruce up the house and garden.  It is always fun to change things up a bit without major investments.  The first thing I turn to is moving my accessories from room to room and changing up the combination of items. This exercise always makes things look fresh again and each time I do it I think I have found the right combination. But soon, it will change again. The space above my china cupboard in my dining room is always the first place I start and is the most fun to do.  I know have shared  this view a number of times, but items are a new combination.

I have been dabbling a bit painting with acrylics and this past month did two new paintings for spots in my house that needed a change of pace.  This of course means the other items in those locations got moved elsewhere, starting an avalanche of new picture placement about the house.  The trick always is to make the same nail placement in the walls work.  It can be quite the puzzle, but when I figure it out, everything looks new and fresh again.  Here are the two new paintings I have added.

In my last post, I shared my idea of using embroidery floss and the trusty zig zag stitch to create a fun pillow.  I enjoyed the process and end result so much that  I made another pillow. This time I used a scrap of decorator weight beige gingham check for the base and again  stitched on a grid using embroidery floss.  I changed up the thickness of the floss by using a different quantity of floss strands…sometimes just 6 strands and sometimes 12 and some in-between.   I experimented on a scrap of fabric and whatever I tried seem to work.  the last two pictures show the final result.  And guess what….I still have a lot of floss leftover.

At the beginning of this last week, we had a brief encounter with cold rain and even a few snowflakes.  Even for Minnesota, this is not a fun surprise on a Monday morning on May 1st.  On May 5th, it was 75°, which is pretty much perfect as far as I am concerned.  I spent the whole day in the garden.  All the perennials are up and are at the perfect state for splitting and moving.  This is much like the same process I just went through in the house, moving things I have from room to room to refresh without getting new things.  Now this dose not mean I won’t be heading off next week to purchase the annuals for my pots, but dividing plants is so good for the individual plants and when I do it now, they don’t skip a beat and “free” plants are always fun for a gardener.  This is the time of the year when the garden looks so tidy and all the plants are at their best even if they are not blooming…no high winds, hail, drought or bug infestation has yet happened.  It is also the time of year that gardeners are hopeful it will be a good year and we over buy and over plant, setting us up for a lot of maintenance for the rest of the summer.  And the cycle goes on year after year.  I know some of you might be curious about the plants pictured.  They are all appropriate for zone 4.

Lemon Drop Spirea with Rosy Return Daylillies, Lady’s Mantle, Montana Hosta (one plant has now become ten plants), Lamb’s Ear from my friend  Marilyn, Variegate Daylilly (one plant has now been split into seven plants), Sprite Astilbe, Mugo Pine with lots of new growth, and Climbing Hydrangea (slow growing but now taking off).

We are opening the cabin this weekend which kicks off the summer in a traditional manner that we have been doing since I was a preschooler.  Lots of memories at that place and now that we have grandchildren, more are being made.  Things change very little out there, which I guess is the charm.