Friday, May 14, 2010

Garden Progress

I planted a few pots of annuals outside my front door.  I'm hoping that if I plant things that bloom all summer long, it will motivate me to weed and take care of my beds.  Its a problem I have- its called burn out...
I planted impatients and cosmos in my back garden under the pine tree. 
I have some tomatoes and some lettuce in my garden. 
And a little green pepper that could that's waiting until it gets a little warmer...

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of many exciting things, or nothing at all, whichever you prefer.  I am leaving, once again, for Florida.  I'll be gone next week and no blog for me.  Be good while I'm gone:)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Accidental Bug

I was just fooling around this morning taking photos of my plants and took this one of my california poppy but had no idea there was a bug perched on a peddle.  It was a funny little surprise when I opened it on my computer and I thought I'd share....

Peonies are in Bloom!

This morning I was pleasantly surprised to find giant pink peonies blooming across my side path.  The plant sends its buds well into the walkway even though we have a fence to keep them upright, but I'll gladly move into the grass for these.
And my knockout roses are blooming too.  Seems all my flowers needed was a good long drink of water, two days of solid rain.... of course, I had to cut a few...
I searched for some simple mixtures to keep my cut flowers looking fresh longer and here's what Ed Perry of the University of California- Davis had to say:  "One simple vase solution is made by mixing one part of any of the common lemon-lime sodas with three parts of water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of household bleach per quart to keep the solution clear. Do not use diet drinks or colas, because diet drinks have no sugar and the colas contain too much acid for flowers. Another vase solution can be made by mixing 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or bottled “Real Lemon”, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of bleach in a quart of warm water. Add another 1/4 teaspoon of bleach to the vase water every 4 days."  He also suggested that you clean the vase well and cut any leaves off the stems that will be submerged in water.  I think I might give it a try...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Super Secret Project- Revealed

I have been madly working on a project lately but haven't been able to share it because, well, it was a gift for my friend's bridal shower.  A friend who actually reads my blog... 

I started this project in the depths of winter after I came across a blog post by Ich and Chi that knocked my sox off.  She talked about a website you can use to print your own designs on fabric.  Genius.  Simply genius.  I thought.  The website, you ask?  Spoonflower.com  I wanted to start simple.  If you haven't noticed, I'm not trained in graphic arts.  So the fact that I could pull this off should tell you, ANYONE can do it. I would recommend, if you don't have Photoshop, that you download a program called Inkscape.  Its free and I've found it easy to use.  I used the old "sitting in a tree"  nursery rhyme in a repeating pattern across the fabric.  I guess I think the song is good luck since the children I cared for at the dude ranch (where I met my husband) used to tease us by singing this song over and over and over...  No, 21 is not too old to be embarrassed by this song- I can attest, it works on all ages.  At that time, I had no clue what I would do with the fabric but I knew I'd make use of it somehow.

I decided to make a pillow somewhere along the way and sketched out a pattern to applique.  My first attempt.  Luck or maybe something else brought a very kind woman named Rose to my house sometime after I decided to do this.   She happens to be an expert in applique.  We sat down and had an impromptu tutorial and I think this pillow never would have happened without her.  If you're out there Rose, thank you for all your help!

Then went to the store to pick out some fabric (my favorite part!).  Her wedding colors are black and pink.  
 I cut out my pattern,
 
agonized over how to put it together. I didn't end up using any of these options.  Jason gave me the konk on the head I needed when he told me the flowers were too big.  Good call, man.
Then, I put the iron on backing on all my cut outs.  Word of advise:  if you ever try to do this, iron the backing on BEFORE you cut out your pattern.  It will prevent the fabric from fraying.  Plus, its kind of impossible to get it on perfectly.  I didn't learn this until it was too late.
Last but definitely not least, I sewed it all on the pillow using a "special" stitch.  I say that because I have no idea if I was doing it correctly (Rose showed me how it is supposed to be done and I tried my best to remember some weeks later) but it looked ok and everything seems secure.  So, I'll go with it.
The final product feels very much like folk art to me...
Pictures taken by Leslie Clay.

It took a village to make this pillow:)  Literally.  I happen to like that very much. I wish you all the happiness in the world, Les!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why Must Movies ALWAYS Make Me Suffer?

Yes, I know, I'm dramatic.  I've heard this before.  But I'm green with envy at the moment.  I watched It's Complicated with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin the other night and haven't been able to get her house out of my head.  Have you seen it?  It is spectacular!  Everything I've ever wanted.  So I went searching for photos to share with you and apparently, I'm not the only one who feels this way.  Cote de Texas has also done a great post about this very subject. 

This photo doesn't do the house justice.  Its 1920's Mediterranean.  I said to Jason- "that's what I want" and he said- "well, we'll have to move then".  I suppose a house like this in Ohio might stick out a little, but I don't really care!
This kitchen is superb.  A marble top island that also happens to be open underneath (good for small spaces).  I love the chairs at the dining table as well.
Super cozy living area with mismatched chairs.  The mantle is actually a green black and doesn't show up well in this photo.  I'm obsessed with this color lately and think it is so sharp in a room.  In my opinion, every room needs a little black to ground it.  I don't remember the walls being quite as brown in the movie and I'm not really crazy about the color.  
I love the throw on the end of the bed and the dresser.
So peaceful!


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