It’s still cold and snowy, but the dark time is almost over! Yea! Truly – light at the end of the tunnel. And the seed catalogs are appearing in the mail….
Seed catalogs have started to appear in our mailbox!! Yea! Spring is coming! I can’t wait to see dirt (outside dirt, of course. Sadly, we have plenty inside…). Well, of course, I can wait. I’ll need patience for another three months. (Four, if this winter holds on as long as last winter did.)
The Garden in January 2014
Still, I love when the catalogs start arriving. I’m going to have twice as much space for growing veggies this year, and no away from home job to interrupt. And last year the property gave us most of what we needed to make a green house. That will be going up as soon as we can remove a few small stumps. What’s that you ask? How did the property give us a greenhouse? Well…
We had been pondering how we could build a greenhouse cheaply. I’d seen a prefab one at Sam’s Club; it didn’t really look big enough or sturdy enough, but the price was decent (less than $200). Husband went to check it out and discovered the much larger carport for about the same amount. With some modifications and additional structural support, he thought that would make a really nice greenhouse for between $300 and $500 dollars. He thought he might even be able to use some old pipe he’d noticed half buried in the woods on the property to lengthen the carport, or as replacement parts, if needed. Turns out, the old half-buried pipe was all the pieces of a similar carport. Only a few were damaged, and of those, most could be repaired. And it wasn’t super old.
Pipes Laid Out on Driveway, Summer 2013
He got some new pieces to replace the few unusable ones and lengthen the structure a bit, and built the first end wall last summer. We already had most of the plywood for the wall, salvaged from remodeling the inside of our house.
Structure Complete. Sorta
This is a good sign, I think. It’s like magic. We have a need and the land provides. I’m tempted to go stand in the middle of our field and say, “Golly, I could really use someone to clean my house….”
April 24, 2013
Yesterday I almost got my hopes up that winter was finally over. I’d been working on a blog post, whining about the amount of snow that was still piled up all over my yard and gardens. The kids were impressed by the size of the puddles in the road (big enough to engulf a car in some places), and one of them yelled, “Oh, yeah! It’s almost summer!!” I felt a glimmer of hope. After all, it can’t stay winter forever. The sun is back (it even feels warm on my skin!) and there is liquid water outside. This year the snow has held on a bit longer than usual, but now that it’s melting, it is going pretty fast. Spring will come!
This morning, there were 3 new inches of snow on my porch, and more was coming down. Somebody, please send me some patience!
“Go wash up for dinner, ” I said.
“Why?” he answered.
“Because you’ve been playing outside and your hands are dirty. And it’s always a good idea to wash up before eating.”
(Off he went to wash up. When he came back, the conversation continued.)
“Let me see,” I said.
(He showed me)
“Ew! Still dirty! Go wash those hands again!”
“But Mommy, only my palms are dirty…I just need my fingers for food.”
I almost couldn’t argue with that.
Wow – have you ever had one of those mornings when you need coffee just to make the coffee? First I forgot to put the coffee in the maker – so I was just heating up water. Then I put in too much (I guess – it’s REALLY strong). Then I poured it on my cereal. Sigh.
Well, at least my cane making has been going better than that – WAY better! Long ago, I tried making a rose cane that, well, looked cool, but was not very rose-like. So, last Sunday I spent some time studying the lovely roses that Marcia Tzigelnik makes. It took a bit of concentration for me to get the idea of how to make these flowers look 3D, but I really like how they came out.
I used the scrap from my purple rose experiment to make some nice springy filigree pins:
And then, yesterday, I suddenly HAD to work on something I’ve wanted to try for a long while. The Kuna people (the women, anyway) of Panama wear beautifully vibrant reverse-appliqued fabric panels on their blouses. Here’s an example:
Check here for more fabulous examples!
Since I was introduced to this lovely craft (in a Piecework magazine article, years ago), I’ve wanted to make one. Thing is, although I love needlework of all kinds, I’ve never had the patience to try it in fabric. Somehow, I have more patience for fiddly stuff in polymer clay, so here’s my first pc mola (I decided to try one a bit less complex than the example above):
The small picture in the upper right is the image I was copying. Needs some work, but I’m really happy with it. Can’t wait to start the next one…but I have to go get some more clay first!! :-)
Here’s my Girl’s pretty new Easter dress, made by ME on my lovely NEW MACHINE.
Yes, it is displayed on snow. Yes, I did take that picture March 24th.
The pattern is from the book Absolutely A-Line, by Wendi Gratz. It’s great. She gives a basic pattern in several sizes, then show how to modify it to make 28 variations. Some of her variations are not my taste, though most are adorable. The dress is simple, sweet, and a really fabulous canvas for all sorts of embellishment.
I found the main fabric for next to nothing at Value Village, one of the resale shops in town. Then I went to Joann’s and bought the ruffle fabric and the ribbon trim at full price with no coupon. So much for frugality. Here’s a close up:
Pink with silver trim. My Pretty Princess will be pleased.
Here are a few other things I’ve been working on lately:
Baby Magnets (No not for attracting babies; for putting on your fridge!):
and a misplaced gecko on a mirror:
The babies and mirror are for sale in my Art Fire shop. I’m trying to stock up my online and simultaneously get ready for this year’s Tanana Valley Farmers Market, which will be opening for the season on May 8th. Drop by if you’re in town!