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Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Beatles are so "Yesterday"!
And that is just what we did yesterday evening, attend a tribute to the Beatles performed by the group called "Rain". The audience was pretty subdued compared to what the reactions were to the real Beatles 50 years ago!!! It was fun though! [and "Yesterday" was one of the songs they performed!]

These guys put on a great show and we saw the music and culture evolve right before our eyes! We were out of our seats and singing before it was over! Then they gave us 3 encore songs, including "Imagine"and "Let it Be" !

Just outside my sewing studio door is the backyard, and my garden experiments. The latest (as of this morning) is planting two tomatoes in a $5.00 bale of wheat straw. The idea is to make a hole for each tomato, put in some potting soil and Epsom salts (I added egg shells) then the tomato plant. WELLLLLL....It took a lot of work with a few good tools (thanks Andrew!) just to budge the straw....I never got much of a "hole"....just lots of blisters on my palm...finally, I planted them anyway...we'll see how they are looking when I get back from Georgia next week.
It may work or not.

As you can see in the next photo, the "lasagna" garden is transforming, the tomato plant which had the spotted leaves is still doing fine, after I removed the bad leaves. I made bamboo wigwams over the cucumber and zucchini...(hmmm...does zucchini climb????) just in case they need to grow UP.

See the lucky (rusty) horseshoe which was dug up near by? Below, the garden angel and the pink astilbe coming back from the last 2 years. [It is in a container.]

Another view of the little layered garden. I added the large basil plant from my sun porch last week. When I pulled out the radishes (which were only leaves and no radish, by the way) in order to plant the herb, the rich layers of earth and peat moss were full of wriggling earth worms. So I was happy to see that they have taken up residence here!!!
We've had a few sunny days...still cloudy, cooler than usual so the pansies are OK as are the lettuces and kale. Soon, the hot weather and different plants???

Sewing studio reality??????

this is my sewing studio this morning. As usual, the camera doesn't work well indoors..but the funny thing is, I sort of "see" this way usually myself, being near-sighted and all!

I won't be getting to this clutter today either, it is a day off, but I am flying to Georgia to see daughter Laura and her family! Maybe next week?????? [for gettting this organized???]

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sewing studio dream....
this vintage looking desk/sewing table has my interest. It would be so nice to get my studio organized....but now is not the time. It's time for a cookout inspite of a rainy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I took my morning coffee out the back door to watch the morning sun on the layered garden.
Having a day off, I had time to enjoy it. Just BEING there.

Things are growing better this week, as the 3 weeks of rainy days are now over! Here (below) is a red bell pepper plant, verbena and cilantro.

Here is the tomato (Beefmaster) which was having trouble last week. It seems to be better now that all the bad leaves were removed (a week ago). My little marigolds brighten every place they are in!

Gardening, for me, is now about having the little garden to watch and wonder over....more fun than just "counting" on the possible harvest. We have harvested some baby lettuce so far....This is a good attitude for me, as below you can see that my radishes, inspite of having more than 35 days and not being too crowded made lovely leaves, but no radish "bulge" on the root. [ See that skinny shadow???]

I'm off to buy some fish emulsion. I do hope I eventually harvest some tomatoes...and I might pick up a zucchini plant while I'm out.

This afternoon, I have a tiered skirt to finish sewing. Also a rice pudding to bake! No end to the projects here! [Thank goodness!]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

During the rainy days, I began reading this mystery novel. The latest in the Inspector Lynley
series. It is excellent...set in Cornwalll and very contemporary. Her characters are very believable and interesting. Her descriptions wonderful. I think I found 6 new vocabulary words on the first page alone!


Finally, we are heading into our 3rd day of sunshine. I will be at work, but things are improving in the layered garden. The damaged leaves removed, the tomato plant is remaining healthy.

I need to build something for the cucumber to climb on....we have lots of bamboo so that will be easy... my pansies have perked up though it is time to move on to warm weather flowers, so I have added marigolds, verbena and geraniums. The leaf lettuce is doing well also as long as it remains cool.....maybe some photos or sketches later.

Friday, May 15, 2009

After so many rainy days and not much sunshine, the tomato plant from my kitchen garden["lasagne" or layered garden] is turning yellow green and coming down with something (see scanned leaves below). I can't diagnose it for sure....maybe leaf mold, bacterial spot or "target spot"? I am not anxious to be running out to purchase fungicide....maybe I can just pull it up and plant a marigold there....first I'll try removing all the spotted leaves. It has been so damp that the mushroom compost on top of the garden is now growing mushrooms, but of course I don't feel that they are safe to eat....


Today I read in our newspaper that a local bakery uses a recipe for a high protein bread developed by Cornell University in the 1930's.....that intrigued me.... searching the Internet, I quickly found the recipe....and other trivia!

I think this is interesting as it shows how people were encouraged to cope in other stressful times. Perhaps I will continue looking for the bread machine version of the Cornell bread recipe....or just get busy with a quilt! LOL!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Making tunics again! [I notice Matha Stewart is wearing tunics a lot lately!]

I use McCall's pattern 5628 I make the shorter version (mine even shorter) with the 3/4 sleeve. They are loose fitting and comfortable. I prefer 100% cotton in a light weight.

I decorate the front with shiny machine embroidery threads, some metallic and some rayon.
Seeing the lovely yellow tunics in "Slumdog Millionaire" inspired me this year, as well as seeing Robin Roberts wearing a coral tunic in her visit to Mombai, India.

[The scanner makes these look more wrinkled than they are. my malfunctioning camera may work to get a photo later....]

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The guy who keeps the flower beds in great shape....and makes the yard look good even after the ice storm damage this year.....Here working in the late afternoon, early evening sun.

The bouquet from the on the coffee table. Note the dark purple spot on the hosta leaf. It is not a bug! This spot of color has dripped from one of the deep purple iris. This would make a great dye, I'm sure!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Saving the flowers....
(softly out of focus as the camera only works in sunlight these days.....)

In May we have our most abundant and beautiful flowers in the flower beds. This morning the sky has grown VERY DARK (no sunlight for my photograhpy!). I know these blooms might be beaten down by winds, rain and hail when the storm gets why not pick them for my very own bouquet for Mother's Day weekend! I will even be able to paint them in watercolor and acrylic.....back later with the paintings!

Here is the watercolor!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Just the most wonderful afternoon ever! I got off work two hours early to come home and paint in the garden as the sun was out for a bit! The rain had stopped!

Here is a watercolor of the garden "map" at the moment...the layered, "lasagna" garden.
I must say it has drained well and is not waterlogged inspite of more than a week of heavy rains here!

These watercolor sketches are from a garden in our front yard.

Here is my "Gertrude Jekyll" English rose. It has a wonderful fragrance and always blooms for Mother's day!

Nearby, a peony is about to open. It will be the first time this one blooms...I can hardly wait!

A watercolor sketch and the "real thing" of my "pets", a Japanese painted fern. It dies back in the winter then comes out again!
"Lemon sugar" marguarite...still doing well in the corner of the lasagna garden!

Lettuce and new "babies" in the garden!

My sister (and her English Shepherd puppies) with some of her grandchildren!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A page from the book I ordered. I love it!

This is the "May" chapter from the book "Painted Garden" by Mary Woodin. She has a year of watercolor and gardening notes from her English garden. My iris are in bloom now, too....must get out there with my paints!!!!!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A page from my watercolor journal.

Mom had these peach iris blooming against the weathered gray fence in her backyard. She sent some of the same iris home for me to plant!!!!

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