Monday, April 24, 2017

Closet Cleanup

It took most of two days, but was so worth it. I took everything out of the storage room and washed the floor and then dumped everything out of the half-empty bins, then condensed and consolidated until I ended up with only one bin of scrap yarn balls. It was a total surprise that the orange drawers fit in the space between the big unit and the wall. Neato! Just about everything here is yarn, and one bin of fused fabrics. The motive was to just be able to walk in the room but the result also gave me a better knowledge of what yarn was where and an ease of access. 

 On the opposite side of the closet, I have a much less crowded shelf unit, for art supplies. Since I haven't been using them, I left everything as is, until such time as I feel the urge to paint or collage again. Now there is a great amount of empty space which makes me happy. The basket of bags is jammed with all varieties of satchels and plastic zip-locks, and other things that I will need now and then. I have a huge container of batting scraps which I have been plundering regularly, since I am doing quilt as you go. Under that bin is a full selection of painting canvases. Then the surprise of the day. My back up sewing machine was not working right but I forgot why, so I re-threaded it and sewed for a while until whatever was wrong showed itself. Nothing ever happened. It sews smooth, quiet and trouble free,  so I guess it doesn't need fixing after all. Duh!

 The smaller shelf unit is nearly half empty, but a good space to find the art work that soon will be hung in my studio and bedrooms. Two empty shelves...oooooh! Sometimes empty is just as good as full.
The inside corner of the closet, behind the door,  is full of larger framed artwork, some of it from college days. A few large canvases, paper pads, and drawing boards are stacked there too. I could put them in the attic, but the minute I do, I'll want them again. The little drawer cart is messy but full of fused scraps. Perhaps I will get back to fusing, as soon as my current quilting phase ends.
I felt so good having cleared that storage space that I gave myself a 20 minute nap in the sun on the patio. 


Friday, April 21, 2017

The Gardens are In...this time I mean it.


Today I added an outdoor (plastic) carpet and while it has rained and left a puddle, it is still dry in that shady corner.
To keep the dawgs inside the patio and prevent them from running after cars in the alley, I made a quickie fence from concrete blocks and landscape timbers. The flag string is the thing that really keeps them from the edge, as it is confusing to them, as well as noisy, flapping in the breeze.

 New coneflowers in red, yellow and orangey yellow have been planted today and in the veggies, two new peppers, Poblano and Mammoth Jalapeno.

The first little Big Bertha pepper has formed. It will probably drop off before long, but it is encouraging nonetheless.
Dave power-washed the mats on the floor of the screened porch, so we are 'party ready' but too tired to have one!

All of this began because of the hosta, which we dumped there last fall, and whoda thunk we'd have such a nice set of specimens this year? Dave is digging in a trench for those bricks to form an edge to fill with more plants outgrowing their pots this year.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Adding a Veggie Garden


  The front flower garden is pretty much planted, with trees, annuals, perennials and seeds just sprouting. I still have energy, so I decided I could add one more bed, out behind the house in the four feet alongside our patio.

 Twelve feet by four feet, and snugged up onto the edge of the patio, so as not to infringe on our neighbor. Today I covered that weedy grass with woodchips (yay!) which I got free, since they were dumped in the weeds. I'll be filling the brick cubbies with flowers to make the bed prettier, and have started with Lantana and have zinnias and marigolds to add.
I have seeds for green beans and zucchini, basil and nasturtiums, plants include Marconi Peppers, Big Bertha peppers,
2016 --  Giant Marconi Pepper that I bought already started from Bonnie. It wasn't in the original plan... but we had to pick another plant for the best deal.... :):  
Bush Goliath and Celebrity tomatoes, both determinate varieties, meaning not huge trailing plants.
Bush Goliath Tomato
So I am going out to plant now. Woowoo!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

QAYG Progress

 Four of the six planned quadrants are quilted but unconnected at this time. Instead of keeping at this project until I finished it, I have been distracted by gardening, knitting and room rearranging. I am usually focused on completing one project, but not this time. And surprisingly, it is working for me. For example, the quilt gets the morning, the garden gets the afternoon and at night I knit, now that the furniture arrangement is set. Somewhere in there I shop for plants...but even that is almost finished, and it's only early April!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Girly Pink

 My new bed and the bedroom arrangement is finished. We got the mattresses last week and last night at 6:30pm the bed frames arrived (after happy hour was well underway). Undaunted, I set about assembling mine, and in 20 minutes, I had a bed! . . . I know, I know, where's the art? It's coming.

 All girly pink for me and in Dave's room, manly black and white. The dogs were with me all night, as per usual, and we were a Mel sandwich again.

 My ottoman, aka Doggie Launching Pad, got recovered and I made a new headboard cover and small decorative pillow. The chair cover is just an old table cloth, wrapped, since it needs washing often.

It's all very feng shui, facing the door and tv. 

 Tony loves his pillows and Chummy will get the bed when Tony leaves.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ah Spring!


 
It's that time of year when my constant thoughts switch from yarn to garden. I am willing to drive all over town in search of just the right color plant, and then come home with gobs of flowers that weren't on the list. 
One can see I've been planting because the back of my neck and the tops of my feet have gotten tan.
Today it is raining, glorious rain! We've had a perfect amount of rain vs. sunny days and that means occasionally I can turn my attention indoors to sprucing up the decor.
 I've decided to switch from queen size beds to twins, giving both Dave and me more room in our rooms. The dogs make a Mel sandwich out of me, so the rest of my queen bed never got used. I have tons of twin sized quilts, already made, so we are set! We moved the old beds into the garage and they will go to my sister and niece.
Tony refused to move so I could make my bed.
There was more furniture rearranging/room switching  this past week and now we have a TV room in the front former bedroom and some more space has been added to my sewing room, HURRAY.
And now, the laundry...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Already Obsessed


 Over the years I have posted a gazillion garden pictures and while this is my smallest garden ever, I am still going nutso for plants, seeds and dirt. Under the coral bark maple I have a ring of white Mambo petunias, and Riviera Midnight lobelia. But what really gets me excited is the new planting of gallardia, aka Mexican Blanketflower. I keep trying to grow these 'easy perennials' and give up each year that they have died out. I think I know the issue. I'm too nice to them. These are plants pulled up from the alley alongside the drainage ditch. They were growing in nasty clay and never watered.

 I noticed them last summer, thriving in the blazing heat, and on a recent doggie walk I looked to see if they were up and ready to yank. Yes! In the garden they went. 


 The bigger hostas have been transplanted above ground against the back porch wall, and are mulched and ready to take over the space. I also found some dumped Creeping Jenny and put that in the blank spaces by the hosta. I know this will spread and fill in the empty spots.


 In pots I have three bleeding heart plants and one is showing growth. This was a transplant from our last house. Also recurring, a pot of dianthus, hardy cranesbill geranium and beautiful blue lithodora.


The fig got a ring of petunias and lobelias and behind it are planted 36 or so corms of gladiolus. Never planted glads before so we'll see how they do. 

 More hosta in pots. They will no doubt get moved to a shadier spot once the summer heat arrives, in May.

 Two days ago I found a packet from last year, of Pinwheel zinnia seeds and wondered if they would still be viable. So my test is a folded up wet paper towel in a Ziploc bag and VAVOOM! they've sprouted. Into the garden they will go, today.

Zinnia, Pinwheel Mix,:  Future Pinwheels.
 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Early Garden Talk

 The new sod is in! Hurray!! The builder said they would re-sod the parkway and they came through. Last summer killed the original sod, as we had 90+ degree days and no rain at all. This time we BELIEVE we can get this started right by daily watering before it gets too hot. (That empty spot is a man hole cover).
I've been gardening already, by adding more top soil to our beds and transplanting the two trees we moved (in pots) from our last house. This coral bark maple got sun burnt, so it got a good haircut and is ready to live and flourish (or else!) in the front bed. New perennials were planted: two blue Baptisia and one yellow one, plus three pink coneflowers. 12-15 Stargazer lily bulbs are planted dead center and I have 50 gladiolus bulbs to add to this bed. The blue porch pots will get annuals and some shade loving flowers like impatiens, and begonias.

The long bed has the other Japaneses maple, red empress or something like that, and five white azaleas (on sale!) as well as a teeny tiny Chicago Hardy Fig tree. It will grow really fast, as I learned from experience, so I don't mind how little it is now. 

It's about 18" tall today. My hosta collection remains in pots or planted against the north wall below the screened porch, well out of the sun. I am gonna try not to buy any new ones...she says.
I'm pretty darned excited to be gardening again and can hardly wait for seed planting days to arrive. 
Nasturtiums, Larkspur (I should know better), Blue Bedder sage, Pinwheel zinnias and Basil of course.