Friday, October 30, 2009

It's who I am

Most of the people who know me would say roses when asked to think of my gardens; and yes, roses have always been plentiful, even in New York, in a shady garden where they didn't want to grow.

But for me, it's daffodils that define my gardens; I put down roots with every bulb I plant. I have planted several thousand bulbs over the years that I have gardened; in each one, I have planted at least a hundred every year, until there are daffodils in every spot that they will grow. 

This is my first daffodil-planting season in this garden; we moved too late last year to put in even a few, they were completely gone from the stores. I'm making up for it this year; I planted 40 daffodil bulbs today, and have 100 more for next week. When those are gone, I might just pick up a few more on clearance.

But daffodils aren't the only spring color; I've also planted an already forgotten number of tulips, freesia and ranunculus in the raised bed under the living room windows. I will have a colorful spring.

Even though they bloom only once a year, and don't last but a few weeks, daffodils mark my years. I can't imagine my world without them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You know you're old when . . .

. . . Your idea of a booty call is popping over to Trader Joe's for Mediterranean Hummus and Tortilla Chips with an Identity Crisis.

Yup, my hubby is out of town today, and I'm partying down with chick peas.

Pretty scary, eh?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ho ho ho

Yup, it's time for crafters to start thinking about the holidays! I've added a holiday treat in my Etsy store; anyone who buys five tutorials will get a sixth one for free. Pop on over to my Etsy Store for details.

I've been working on developing a snowflake bracelet; I think it's getting me in a winter frame of mind, although it's still very warm outside. We won't see snow here in Central California, but I do remember it! We had many snowy winters when we lived in New York.

Wherever you are, and whatever you do for the holidays, I wish you all the best.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Be fruitful and multiply

Last spring we bought a dozen little strawberry plants, and tucked them into one end of one of the raised beds. They didn't fruit much; I think we had three or four berries, but then we didn't expect much from such young plants, so we weren't upset about it. We figured they'd take a year to settle in.

Well, they may have been too young to be fruitful, but they certainly got the message on multiplying. The new strawberry bed is finished; today I set up the irrigation for it, and hauled in a good load of manure and compost. The new bed is 42' by 3' and I figured I'd have plenty of room for the strawberries that were currently crammed into a 6' x 3' area. They looked very crowded, sure, but the new bed is seven times as big, so surely they'd spread out quite nicely. I even thought that I might have to buy a few more to sort of round things out.

*Pause for hysterical laughter.*

I began teasing out and cutting apart daughter plants; I stopped counting after the first hundred. I teased, cut and planted for hours, and I'm not done. The new bed is nearly full. The old bed still has plants in it. If they are as successful with fruitful next year as they were this year with multiply, we're going to be eating a lot of berries.

Shortcake, anyone?

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I've entered the Use the Muse contest again; this time I wanted to make something very different. Not that I don't enjoy making necklaces, but almost all the entries in previous Use the Muse contests have been necklaces, and I wanted mine to stand out from the crowd.

The handflower style bracelet has been teasing me for awhile now, and I thought that this contest might be the perfect time to make one. I can't show you all of the piece, because the Muse must remain a secret until after the judging is finished; but I couldn't keep it hidden that long, I just had to show off at least a little bit of it.

It is designed to be worn on the left hand; it is anchored on two fingers, covers the back of my hand, and goes up my wrist quite a ways. It's a very dramatic and fun piece. I love the color scheme; I can't take credit for it, of course, but I did expand it a bit. It reminds me of fall in the wine country.

Come to think of it, we'll be going to some winery harvest events in our town this weekend, I think I'll wear it. If you see me, be sure to say hello, but don't tell anyone what the muse is, okay?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reality based

That's me. Mired in reality. Some people are able to take a flying leap into midair, certain of flight; I am not one of them. I am always aware of the pull of gravity; I look, then look again, and almost never leap.

I believe in learning, studying, and hard work. I like to practice; I expect to fail many times before I get something right. Failure doesn't surprise me; success does. I don't tend to believe in it. People who expect to succeed quickly find me difficult to be around. Don't ask for my opinion; I'll always come down on the side of hard work and time. Lots of hard work, and lots and lots of time.

I know a young woman with a beautiful voice and perfect pitch. She asked me if I thought that she should try out for American Idol this year; I told her that I thought she should take voice lessons and learn to use her voice first. I also told her I thought she had one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard; she does, but it could be so much better if she knew how to use it. I would love to be able to sing the way she does.

It wasn't what she wanted to hear. Should I have told her to give it a go? Perhaps. But I couldn't. As pretty as her voice is, I don't think she'd make it without training. With training, she might. She's that good. But she has stars in her eyes; she wants to sing right now, she doesn't want to work.

Me, I work. I can't sing, but I can work.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Playing with fire

I picked up my torch today; it's been a long time. Nothing major, just a little pendant with a 3mm amethyst; it's been even longer since I've set gemstones. It showed. I've lost my touch, and I very nearly lost a very nice little amethyst in the process. Luckily, I found it when it went shooting out form under my fingers, and I managed to get it set . . . eventually.

I've been working on a contest piece with my beads; it's a fun piece, but it has been taking quite a lot of my time. I may have finished it this morning; I like it, but I'll reserve judgement until I've slept on it. I may photograph it tomorrow and see what the camera shows.

To celebrate, I hammered some wire, fired up my torch, and finished a pendant in one afternoon. After spending countless hours weaving beads into a fabric, it was fun to make something so quickly.