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Mar. 30th, 2015

Pictures make a post...

Recent garden blooms-

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And recently made things-

Gaming bags-

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Mini Bags, Available Here.

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Full sized bags, Available Here.

And I made myself a lap throw, which was promptly taken over by the cats-

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There's more, all of which are listed Here.

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Oct. 31st, 2014

Preparing for winter...

Today, I went out and finally dug out a 1ft x 1ft trench around the new Crepe Myrtle planted by the driveway, added good dirt and covered it back over with the hard gravel. All in an attempt to help it settle its roots in better before winter really gets going, since it's pretty hard packed where it is.

Then I moved potted plants on the porch that will overwinter there, up against the house, well sheltered with the heavy pond liner up against them. I need to get burlap or something to cover them with and then, hopefully, they'll be ok there.

Everything that needed watering, was thoroughly watered. Cut back the butterfly bush to well below the front window for the winter, it'll come back fuller and better next spring. Cleaned out the bird bath and refilled it- the sparrows are enjoying it. Added dirt to that bed and the side bed.

Moved metal edging back around front where we will build a new raised bed for vine like veggies against the fence next year. The new gate works extremely well. Swept up leaves off the front walk and against the fence where they'll mulch in.

I think I'm as prepared for the wintry weather they're calling for this weekend as I can be right now. And now I can go back to weaving a new winter scarf for listing.

Hand dyed some 100% wool yarn last weekend, let it sit for several days and got a varigated reddish brown shade to much of it, with hints of black. Lovely color, if I do say so myself. May overdeye the finished product with a dark red, to bring out the red tones more, not decided yet.

I'm about 2/3rds of the way finished with weaving the scarf. It's a straight forward, standard weave, no fancy stuff. Trying to do some simpler, less expensive, warm scarves for the winter. It's roughly 12" wide right now, but will shrink when washed, to between 10.5" and 11.5". Not sure on the length, but generally between 5.5' and 6.5', good for wrapping around the neck, head AND shoulders, I think.

Hope to get it listed by next week and several more over the course of November, with an eye towards a good sale in December (thinking 40-50% off to move some stock and catch last minute shoppers who need stocking stuffers, etc.).

Anyway. Back to work I go.

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Oct. 28th, 2014

Catch up post of sorts

I really need to get back to blogging here again.

Feline Standoff

So this happened late last week. Neither would get out of the window for about 5 minutes. Sassy has the old lady glare down perfectly. Morrigan still runs from her, but she's learning to stand her ground more. They've started more or less with the ignore each other phase. Random hisses here and there, a few growls when one or the other gets too close, but fewer as time goes on. Will they become best of friends, let alone friends at all? I doubt it. It'll be more of a tolerate each other type of truce, I think.

This weekend we finally got the gate up that leads to the backyard.

Garden Gate

It's a lovely TARDIS-esque blue (as close as we can get anyway, but taking Mark's BBC official TARDIS mug to Lowe's and paint matching it, Valspar Stained Glass Blue in High Gloss Exterior. ) It matches the front and back doors and will be echoed in a couple large pots that will be put out on the back patio once it's built next spring- we're taking the winter to gather the needed materials for said building. We also put down landscaping cloth and spread the 4 bags of pea gravel we had, figured we need at least 6 more bags to finish this stage of the pathway that'll lead from the front to the back. So far we like how it looks. WE haven't decided whether we're going to go ahead and place stepping stones or leave it as is yet.

Last Sat, we spent with the BiL, SiL and niece, since it was the weekend of the SiL's birthday. They'd gotten some very nice club chairs for their family room from the ReStore, so we went by there to see what they had in terms of a couch and came home with a really nice bench that we got for $30.00.

New bench

It'll be sanded, the metal repainted a gloss black and the wood (cedar or possibly teak) will be restained a rich mahoghany and sealed. Then it'll go out on the patio next spring. Then all we'll need is a nice fire pit and a couple more chairs and our outdoor space will be set up. It's a good, solid bench, not sure if it's actually vintage or made to look vintage- there's a tag on the back I couldn't read in the store and needs cleaning before it'll be legible. Not bad for $30.00 from the ReStore if you ask me.

And now, I have yarn to rinse and dice bags to sew/weave.

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Sep. 8th, 2014

Catching up...

Last weekend we went up to the cabin for a nice get away.

While there, I worked on the most recent project, getting past the halfway point at the very least. It was fun, nice, serene and not too hot.

The bear had been back since the last time we were there. Fresh scratches on the pole out back, with hairs stuck in it and Mark found bear scat on the trail- it wasn't fresh, but was at least a week old. Lots of frogs in the pond and baby fish. Lots of raccoon and deer tracks too.

A couple of the maples up there had hints of color, so I expect by the end of this month when we go up again, more will have color on them.

This last week, we got the materials to finally start on the patio out back- the landscaping cloth, the metal edging, and a couple bags of pea gravel to start. Also picked up a can of Kilz to prime the gate sections and get them painted. Picked up a good sized watering trough for next year's tomatoes. 2ft deep x4ft long x1 ft wide, it'll be large enough for 4 plants and give them excellent root room and such.

And I finished the wrap. It's lovely, very sunset color like, and although it's not exactly how I planned, still very lovely. All that's left is the fringe which is in progress. Mark says it's so not my colors, but it is definitely very warm.}:P It'll be listed in the shop by the end of the week.

Found another Black Diamond crepe myrtle- the kind with the purple-black leaves and deep red flowers. Potted it up in a deep navy blue pot, 3 times it's size- it'll sit out on the patio when it's built as a nice plant grouping along with the 2 red barberries I picked up and need to get blue pots for as well. 3 more barberries were planted today in front of the 2 dwarf Alberta spruces and white crepe myrtle in the next bed over. That fills out that bed nicely and gives it a variety of colors and textures. Behind everything, the daylilies will fill in too.

Mark had his last- for now- major dental appointment. He's still getting used to his new teeth now and is very selfconscious about them because he's still having issues with speaking (and he's still very tender).

His mom is doing about as well as can be expected. No worse, but obviously, no better.

Today, I also trimmed up the big crepe myrtle again- it's on it's second blooming, moved bricks to make room for the gate when it's put up and finished the raised bed by the garbage can where the clematis is, trimmed dead flowers from the geranium, pulled all the dead leaves and stems from the daylilies, picked a half dozen banana peppers- lost one to critters, picked one anaheim pepper and several pequito peppers. Trimmed the tomato plant- when the tomatoes left on it are ripe, it'll get pulled.

Now, I'm going to sit around and be lazy for a bit before I go do last night's dishes.

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Aug. 19th, 2014

Garden projects...

Since it's not pouring down rain today- not yet anyway- I decided to get to work on the next phase of the garden reworking.

The panel on the left was thoroughly scrubbed, the one on the right is what both looked like before scrubbing. Yeah. And I have 2 more about the same size to scrub down too. It makes a huge mess too, so much so, that I had to spray the entire porch down. Glad I closed the window by my desk earlier.

These two are exactly the same size and will be placed back to back, thoroughly attached together with hinges down one side and used as a gate. They'll also be primed and painted with exterior paint in what has become one of our garden accent colors- Tardis blue. (Ok, so it's really Valspar Stained Glass Blue in high gloss, but it was an almost exact match to the BBCA authorized Tardis Mug Mark got for his birthday a few years back from his sister. It is also the color of both the front and back exterior doors.), the other color(s) being shades of greens with a varying accents of cream and burnt orange.

All four panels will be primed and painted. Then the other two will be opposite the gate, with a nice pebble patio area between and my living wall of Wisteria on one side, the house- which is a cream color- on the other. They'll be in front of the cement block raised bed and help disguise it while still being able to be moved for access from that end.

But first I need to scrub the panels and then prime and paint them when they dry, hopefully by next weekend. They're on the porch, so should dry as long as the weather holds.

Oh look, it's raining again. *headdesk*

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Aug. 13th, 2014

A new day...

Today is definitely a better day. The sun finally came out, after 5 days of cloud cover and almost constant rain. I actually had to go dump excess water out of a few potted plants, as they were starting to drown.

Today, since it's such a lovely day, I plan to start reworking the front raised beds. To that end, the first to be moved will be the Spiderwort my dad gave me a few years ago. It's never been fully happy in a full sun spot and now, the Thyme is starting to encroach. So it'll be moved to a nice, shady spot under the Crepe Myrtle. I also need to go ahead and trim up the Thyme anyway and prepare the resulting hole for a new, smaller Crepe Myrtle. Hoping to find one of the Black Diamond ones again, they have such gorgeous purple- black leaves and I think it'll make an excellent anchor on the opposite end of the bed from the red Japanese Maple.

In a day or so when everything has thoroughly drained, I'll start lifting the irises in the front beds, removing much of the soil, amending what's left with bone meal, blood meal and organic fertilizer as I add fresh dirt back into it. They've been declining in recent years, so I think maybe lifting them and refreshing the soil might do them some good. And it'll make it so I can fill in empty spots where some have completely died out on me.

This means all the Irises in the side bed, along the drive way, will also be lifted and I can turn that bed, fully, into a perennial Herb bed. It already has the Greek Oregano, the Thyme and a small spot of Chives. It'd be a perfect spot for a new Lavender and possibly even a place to transplant the potted Rosemary. The existing Yarrow will be transplanted into it as well, possibly the St. John's Wort, though that may be transplanted into a large pot as it doesn't seem to overwinter very well.

The bed along the fence will be completely reworked, turning a good 7'-8' section into a raised vegetable bed for next year. We think it'd be a great spot for climbing vegetables, like sugar snap peas, cucumbers, zucchini, etc, as it's almost entirely full sun all day and with the fence as a back drop, perfect for stringing vines up on. Danger Garden has given me lots of excellent ideas for ways to build a really neat raised bed- seriously, they have an awesome garden, I'm a bit jealous.

But first, it starts with transplanting that Spiderwort...

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Jul. 29th, 2014

Various and sundry

Did some gardening stuffs yesterday- pulled the tomatoes out as the vines had stopped producing or, in the case of Jersey Devil, never even produced at all.

That was a big disappointment there- lots of vines, no flowers, which meant, no fruit. Despite well amended soil with bone meal, egg shells, coffee grounds and even blood meal, as well as pre planting compost. The cantaloupe are proving a trial too. It sets fruit, then drops them almost to the day after we spot them. Hrm.

The green beans, however, are going gangbusters. And the peas have finally starting blooming. Had to put in talerl stakes for the peas to climb.

The pequin chiles are going nuts. Have a few more sweet banana peppers coming on, as well as anaheims, so that's good there.

Repotted quite a few plants into larger pots. The Anthurium is happier now, as is the rosemary Got a second Catnip pot going- that one will go to my niece when it's a bit bigger. The wandering jew got a haircut and repotted into a slightly bigger hanging pot. That'll keep it until I can find a bigger one next spring, hopefully. Started a new pot of the cuttings, also to be given away.

Need to repot the aloe vera and the small Christmas Cactus, and Easter Cactus still. Mark got himself a cactus plant. He named it 'Snortblat'-

Mark's cactus

Meanwhile, Sat, I bleached my entire head for the first time ever. It took a good long while. Then, on Sunday, we dyed it. Yes, we. Mark helped. He helped again on Monday when we realized the deep emerald green was neither deep nor emerald , in fact, it completely washed out of entire sections and redid it. The blue came out nice, but the green is proving problematic. I think I may have gotten a bad batch or something. I've never had this many issues with hair dye. Hrm. At this point, I'm not sure if I'll try the Splat Deep Emerald again, or go back to the InkWorks green instead. But the blue came out good, even if it's not as 'vibrant' as the box shows and claimed it would be on pale blonde hair. Now to see how long it lasts. That'll be the deciding factor in whether I use this brand again.

Got a head start on this year's christmas gifts. 3 dice bags shells are woven and waiting to be sewn into, well, bags. Need to finish the scarf on the loom and I can work on my uncle'sd scarf that my aunt commissioned. Then make something for my dad and my MiL. Need to figure out what to get the FiL and my mom this year as well.

Need to go cut the sage and basil back again and dry some more. They're going nuts and I'm trying to keep the basil from going to flower. Need to do the same with the catnip, again. It's in a 12" pot and you can barely see the pot. Heh.

Next week, I'll start lifting the Irises in the front bed, amending the soil and replanting them. It's past time I did that for them.

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