Sunday, May 22, 2011

wooo hooo!

love it when exciting stuff is in the mailbox!!!!

I am tickled to share the good news that I have an article
"Appliqued Anecdotes-Storytelling with Paint, Paper & Stitch" appearing in Art Quilting Studio-Summer 2011 issue
there is a ton of cool art & techniques in this issue - go grab a copy! :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

the year of the Cucurbits

i am ultra excited about the new addition to my gardens this year - a good old fashioned melon/squash/gourd/pumpkin patch.  In case you were wondering...Cucurbitaceae is a plant family, also known as gourd family, which includes crops like cucumbers, squashes (including pumpkins), luffas, and melons (including watermelons). 

We will begin digging this weekend - luckily my hubby sweet-talked our farmer neighbors and we have use of a small bobcat and rototiller - wooo hooo!  Definitely will be a huge back-saver as this garden will be large so the plants have plenty of room to spread out.
We will be trying all sorts of varieties including...
TONS of interesting winter squash & specialty pumpkins

photo-Johnny's Seeds
Rouge Vif D'Etampes
photo-Johnny's Seeds

Marina Di Chioggia
photo-Johnny's Seeds
photo-Johnny's Seeds
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Musque de Provence
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Long Island Cheese
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Speckled Hound
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Blue Hubbard
photo-Country Living
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Waltham Butternut
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Vermicelli Squash
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Buttercup Squash

plus a big crop of summer squash as well
photo-Johnny's Seeds

photo-Park Seed
Horn of Plenty

Friday, May 6, 2011

garden experiments

for some reason I just adore the look & feel of hay and straw
it just instantly gives me a warm, down-home farm feeling

so when I saw this gardening technique I was smitten
it is called of course STRAW BALE GARDENING
It is important to grow in straw, not hay, because you will have far less weeds plus straw sprouts are the easiest things ever to pull out.  It is not a new technique but I had never stumbled across it before
since I grow only organically, I will amend the conditioning process of the bales but other then that it looks like an easy-peasy project!
I am always open to creative garden experiments
read this past post and this one as well

Are You Trying Anything New in the Garden?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

 Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn

Sunday, May 1, 2011

the pantry project

over the long, cold Maine winter my hubby built me a new pantry...
it is a work in progress...
the shelving was built from old barnboards
I found the stark white walls, even in this small space, very boring so decided to add some fun
I decoupaged old baking recipes from a vintage book I had that was falling apart - it had wonderful graphics as well
I also had some beat up, but colorful, sugar and cornmeal sacks that were perfect for the whimsical farm look I was going for...a dash here & there of fabric, lace & trim and the space perked right up!
I needed a smaller shelf for spice jars and realized the perfect addition was the small type tray I had been kicking around for over a year trying to find the "perfect spot" - it has found its home and the green was a match made in heaven

I enjoyed every bit of this project but the really, really fun part has begun...scouring my treasures for small kitchen items, old tins and containers.
I was surprised with some beautiful pantry jars as gifts and I love them intermixed with canning jars & repurposed ones.  Simple labels were created on the computer or handwritten.
be creative when repurposing jars & containers but make sure they are clean & food safe!  I've taken giant pickle jars, cleaned throughly to get rid of the "pickle scent/flavor" and then wrapped in scrap fabric.  also try oatmeal or baking powder containers for dry goods (see photos above)

as I mentioned, it is definitely a work in progress - we will be adding screen doors, more storage containers for bulk goods and of course more food :)
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