Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Walk in the Garden, first work

 It is time to clean out the garden to make it ready for planting! This stone wall is along my back porch. The bushes right here are lilacs taller than my house. I am hoping to get them cut down this year.
 Once this is turned over I am planting peas and beans here.
 Twenty feet of chives. It was a mistake the first year. Every year the garden (nicknamed the garden of war due to me planting 'take over the garden' type plants to work against each other) at the end of the chives - looks like we are up to three rows now - is a couple of horseradish plants.
 Front square will be squash and lettuce this year along with the Borage that comes back each year. The back one will be Brussels sprouts and artichokes. I am slowly putting bricks around each bed with the money I get from recycling our soda cans.

 This area will be the expanded herb bed and dye plants, I will be putting only herbs that I need to replant each year here. My basil plants were all overshadowed by mints and oregano in the established herb bed last year.
It is kinda hard to tell but this is the main herb bed. I have lavender, rue, thyme, lemon thyme, oregano, lemon balm, garlic, and peppermint here.
 Honest, there are strawberries in this shot!
Blackberries and rhubarb. I especially want to make this are neater and prettier.

That's it for before shots!~ Julia

Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday musings, restart

A while back, okay years ago, Nadja at Patch o' Dirt farms started Monday morning musings. It was a great way to focus your week and helped me to settle on plans and intentions in my work. She does appear to be posting now but I want to bring this back. Feel free to join me.

Right Now... I am sitting in my kitchen, cup of coffee at hand. The house is quiet as the kids are at school and my husband is on a business trip. He'll be back on Friday, Butterfly started crying she was missing him within about an hour of his leaving this morning. I wanted to join her in tears, but that would not do. With him working from home most of the time and me taking care of the kids and house and my business we are together - in the same space at least - most of the time. I like it and am spoiled. At the same time him being gone has allowed me to open the house up to the lovely weather and turn off all -nearly- the lights in the house. I can hear the birds and the wind. I think a wood pecker has moved into the neighborhood. As long as he stays out of my fruit trees he is welcome!

This Weekend... We mostly hung out with Jim knowing he was leaving. I had Spinning Guild on Friday and Mom is a member so I went down and got her, we had a nice day together at the meeting then did a bit of shopping and picked up dinner. I took her home and we ate takeaway Vietnamese and watched a movie with Dad. Beaver worked both days, he has a job at the local grocery store and just got his first promotion from bagger to clerk. He is doing well. We played board games, played outside, and cuddled. A little laundry got folded and put away. Dishes were done, meals were made. I got the hand-wash laundry out of the way and finally finished working on the spinning I was doing. I have decided to make the yarn into a hat to sell rather than sell the yarn. I really don't like anything other than the color. It will make a good waterproof cap but when selling yarn mostly everyone wants soft and nothing will make this soft. Mouse helped me mulch in the flower bed by the house door, boy did I not buy enough! I want to mulch all the beds near the house and thought it would go further. It looks nice though.

Some plans for the week... Buy more mulch. Plant the gladiolus bulbs in the under the window bed. Get the garden ready for planting - I feel like I am late but it only stopped snowing last week. Organize and post the stuff I have ready to sell at market this season - I'll be at the Harbor Market and the Westosha Market in Kenosha, WI. Skirt and wash as much wool as I can. Finish quilt for Cousin. Finish shower present for Ginny. Return books to the library, find at least one new author. Spend Tuesday with friend and her daughter.

If I find sometime for myself, I would like to... Start knitting rainbow grey yarn into tote bag to felt.

I am grateful for... My husband, and his work allowing him to be home with us most of the time. My kids who know mornings are not my favorite time and got up early without complaints and gave me extra cuddles.

Some prayerful intentions this week... Hold Seal in my heart, he is doing great but we just got to see his x-rays. Doctor is very pleased but given the size of his fracture he won't be out of the woods for six months.
Hold My sister in my heart she has a job interview this week and is waiting to hear on a earlier interview. Both jobs would be closer to us! Back in the Midwest is the goal - I can't help wanting the closer one, it would put them about two hours away - though whichever job will be better for her family in the long run is what I want for her.

One of the ladies at the guild meeting asked us all to make baby shroud wraps. Her friend is a Chaplin at the state's children's hospital and she needs these tiny little knitted wraps for preemie babies to be buried in. She says she gets lots of hats and quilts but never has enough people willing to make these shrouds. I have agreed to make up a few. Mom lost my elder sister and several babies between me and my sister, so I will hold the mommas and daddys who don't want to receive this knitting in my heart, hoping they get dust rather than use, but if they must be used maybe the hand-knit holding their baby will help them.

Some things that make me smile... My girls hauling fallen branches to a corner of the yard to make a fort. Despite having two house structures they never much use. Mouse thinking cuddling me would get him out of his chores. Open windows and made beds - I should go make my bed.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Quilting and other projects left too long!

 I started this rag rug years ago, from cut up clothing of the kids and me. I tucked it away and recently in cleaning the giant stack of unfinished projects I found it. I am now trying to get it done. About three rows inside of the pick circle was where I had stopped previously, so I am making great progress. The little pinkish spots outside of that row, were you to look closer are tiny bunnies. I want to find a blue or read shirt to cut up as the other ball of ready to go rags has tiny bears dressed as knights and kings in red and blue.
 Remember how I was going to make one quilt square each month for my mother in law and father, from the Fandom in stitch Hobbit series. These are them for January. I am way behind and these were and absolute beast, but they are done and I am told they are the most difficult in the whole series. I am turning my MIL's into place mats.  Now if I could just remember how big I made the first place mat...
I hope your creative space inspires you to try new and old things! ~Julia

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Yarn along ish

Joining Ginny and the ladies of the yarn along.

Two yarns I spun. The green is Targhee wool in pickle relish colorway, the other is the first self-striping yarn I have made.
No knitting. I have worked on Seal's prayer shawl, but despite it being easy, progress is show. My thumbs are hurting quite a lot and I am only able to do about three rows at a time (the rows are only 75 stitches). It is not going away, even with a full break so maybe this is the new normal. sigh.

Reading-wise, I stopped into my local library for a bunch of books you lovely ladies recommended and they had none. Not a single book I was looking for. In a few cases they had other titles by the same author, but mostly I struck out. Plenty of other books around but...

They had a table display to theme mysteries. You know the type a shop owner with other things to do happens across a murder and ends up solving it. I decided to grab a few different authors - people I had not before read but whose characters were interested in something I am. I pick a few duds, some I didn't even bother finishing (I used to view that as terrible but I got over it) and some I really enjoyed.

I have read and recommend for a enjoyable read - this is not heavy stuff in any way - Amanda Lee's Embroidery Mysteries (link) and Carol Ann Martin's Weaving Mysteries (link).

Amanda Lee inspired me for my own business. Want to see what I am working on? Check it out at MoonBound ArtisanShip.