Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer joys

and they were worth waiting for. I planted the bulbs for these last year and all I got was leaves. I think they are wonderful. Love the shape and I am inspired to make some art utilizing the shape.

I had to replace the hanging baskets in the front of the house with these because the others kept wilting. Any plant that requires more than a once a day watering is too needy and not for me. Besides I will need to hire a sitter for my plants while I am away for a couple of weeks beginning the first of July and I can not ask my 12 year old neighbor to water twice a day even if I am playing her to mind the planters and the gardens

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I haven't blogged in a while because I have been reclining in my chair coughing my head off since Friday when I gave up and went to the Doctor. Bronchitis, asthma, yuk!! Still coughing but am on the mends. At least by reclining I have the back and two sleeves done on Olivia's sweater. I started the front today. I plan to deliver it to her as I pass through Louisville either on my way to or on the way back from teaching in Natick, MA.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I've been working in the garden

planting stuff I remember from childhood, like Hollyhocks, only these are a dwarf variety and Bee balm oooooohhh it smells so good. I have fallen in love with cone flowers and my hoystas are blooming. Everyday in the garden has been delightful.
I know it is hard to believe, but I am beginning to get used to the worms.
We have had so much rain here that I have not turned on the irrigation system yet. Mind you, I am not complaining. I'd rather have the rain than a draught or the flooding and or the tornadoes that so many others are dealing with.
I know I am doing a lot to the garden when there is a possibility that we will not be in this house this time next year, but as my daughter Lyn says, you have to live your life and enjoy each day as it comes and we have decided that being surrounded by flowers is not just a good thing, but a great thing.
So she is at the nursery buying another tree, (a cork screw willow) to anchor the west garden; replacing the Bradford Pear that the deer found so tasty last fall.
I have finished the first sleeve on Olivia's (the grand daughter) sweater and have started working on the front piece.
And since you all check in to find out about my quilt making, I guess I should tell you that I have not given up that part of my life for gardening or knitting. I was just taking a breather, having just finished shipping off a collection of quilts for an exhibit that I juried and curated for the Ohio Valley Art League. That same collection will then travel to Kentucky State University in August. So if any of you are in Henderson, KY or Frankfort, KY this summer, maybe you can catch one of the two exhibits in your travels.
I am also in the planning stage for a three piece commission, someone wants to hang in their music room. Two of the three pieces will measure 3 feet x four feet with a horizontal orientation and the other 3 feet x four and one half feet with a vertical orientation. The line drawing is done. Now I have to go rummage through the fabric stash to find examples of fabrics and colors that I plan to use in the pieces. Of course I will have to dye more fabric since I know I don't have enough of any of the ones selected as references to do all three quilts. But the dyeing will begin tomorrow. Later today I have an appointment with the buyer so she can approves the line drawing and my fabric/color selections. If she does, I know this commission will be a big part of my life for at least 2 months. And when it is done, I'm certain I will be asking, "Where did the summer go?"

Monday, June 09, 2008

I thought I was going to spend my time

reclining in my chair, feet up, with a glass of soda at hand, in front of the television knitting a sweater for my youngest granddaughter (here is the making of the first sleeve. Don't ask me how many times I pulled it out and started over) while I waited for Hillary to acknowledge that she had lost her bid to become the Democratic Party's nominee for president. But no,there was no prolonged periods of sitting in my life on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.
A wedding my daughter was co-ordinating for a friend interceded and I became the resident fount of knowledge and general go to for answers and solutions to an ever increasing number of small and large issues that arose as the hours rapidly counted down on the final days before the wedding.
It was a good thing, I had been a Mother of the Bride once.
As it happens two of the brides maids dresses arrived and were too small. So with no time to send then back and get larger sizes, I had to devise a way to disguise the fact that the dresses would not zip up completely. I wished I had taken a picture of how creatively this problem was solved. The dresses were all too long and again, I the unofficial dresser of the wedding party came to the rescue. Stitch Witchery works wonders.

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The collage of picture shows the bride, her Mother who arrived the night before from Ecuador and spoke no English which left me searching my brain for words learned in High School Spanish class. There were not many left in the old noodle to retrieve, but hand gestures and pointing with a smile did wonders. The wedding party; the bride, the junior brides maid, the ring bearer, the flower girl, the maid of honor in green, and the mother of the bride, and three brides maids all crammed into Lyn's room as well as me to get dressed.
My dear daughter Lyn 15 minutes before she needed to get dressed looked like a deer caught in headlights. I don't think she will ever again volunteer to make the wedding cake (which came out spectacular I must say), or her house as a staging area,(because today it's a mess) or the use of the club house every again,no matter how much she loves a friends. (a carpet cleaner had to be called in on Sunday before she could return the keys to the association) The grass had been freshly mowed before the wedding and grass stains were very evident she said.
I didn't attend the wedding. I was the chief cook and bottle washer as my Father used to say of the person manning the kitchen and overseeing the prep and cooking of the wedding supper. The day of the wedding began early Saturday morning and because all was not said and done until late Saturday evening, on Sunday, I slept.
I slept so much on Sunday that I am now off schedule and here I sit at the computer at 4:30 in the morning.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The first year they sleep

and according to more knowledgeable gardener, the second year perennials creep and the third year they leap. Well I'm here to tell you that the stuff I planted last year and the stuff that was planted three years ago by the contractor when the house was completed is creeping and leaping like mad.
I am really happy with the look of the front gardens because of this and I added very few plants to the mix this year. Earlier this week I moved several plants to new locations within the front gardens because of vigorous creeping this year and realizing when the leaping happens next year they will be too large for their location.
Here are three looks at the the back garden area on the south and north side of the patio area. It gets the morning sun, but by noon is beginning to get shady as the sun moves over the house and to the west sky.
There is grass, green grass, grass, grass, grass grpwing in our yard at long last, yeah!!! I am celebrating this fact even though there are still some bare spots that will need reseeding in the fall.

My daughter gave me this gardening bench that flips over to become a padded kneeler for Mother's Day along with a vase of flowers and two bird baths. One bird bath is barely visible in the first picture. I love my bench/kneeler and the bird baths. She must have been reading my mind or looking at the sites I had visited on the Internet in my search to locate this type of gardening bench locally.
As you can see I still have a lot more garden to plant flowers in.
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I was out early this morning, thinking it was going to get to hot once the sun rose above the house roofs on the next street for me to work in the garden for long, but it has turned into a very cloudy day so after this brief rest and a late breakfast I will return to the garden for another hour of digging in the dirt.
Digging in the dirt .... I can not believe I am grinning about digging in the dirt. After all, there was a time when I said with some pride and glee that while I loved flowers, I didn't do dirt. But the other truth is while I find myself looking forward to a day of dirt digging, worms still make me go yuk!!!! And I have been saying yuk a lot in the last week.