Friday, July 1, 2011

Busy Bee

I've been AWOL lately because we've finally had good enough weather to get the garden in. It was either torrential rain or disgustingly hot weather over my 82 degree limit which makes me stay in the basement and sew my little heart out.
Here's some of what I've been up to:
I made a batch of strawberry rhubarb and a batch of strawberry w/strawberry coriander tea. They have less sugar, so they are a wee bit tart, but still tasty. The recipe called for 2.5 cups for 8 cups of strawberries. I think I'll up it to 3 next time. I don't like it overly sweet.
I finished the top and back of the More Serengeti quilt. Now I just need to suck it up this weekend and layer and pin it. It's 88x88, so I don't relish the pinning. It was so large, I couldn't get a place to photograph the entire top at one time.
I'm doing a really simple quilt with this fab Chicago fabric. I was going to make a bag or two with it, but I had a request for a throw, so that's what it's going to be now. I added the red ric rac a last minute though. I really like it though. It pops. This is another project I hope to finish this weekend. (chuckling to myself right now at my  ambition)
 I repotted all of my indoor plants. I did these 3, plus split whatever this crazy growing plant is into 2 additional pots. I also got a new indoor basil plant from Trader Joes and replaced my dead one. It's completely beyond awesome to have an indoor basil plant at your culinary beck and call in the winter.
 I also replaced my rosemary because my 6 year old one had two trunks on it and one died off, leaving it all lopsided, so I decided it was time for a new one. It lives outside in the summer. I used to plant it in the herb garden and dig it up every fall, but last year never got around to replanting it. It seemed to like the pot outside just fine, so I decided to see happens with this little guy.
 My blackberry thicket is thriving. I'm so excited. I see batches of blackberry/Darjeeling tea jam in my future. And pies.
 The red raspberry I planted last year is also looking good. Now if my year old blueberries produce, I'm going to have various mixed berry items to make come end of summer.
This is a gratuitous Fairy Rose shot. I just think it's really pretty.
 I also finally got my vegetable garden in. I downsized it a tad, only two beds this year instead of three. And only five tomato plants, down from my usual 8-10.
 I have plenty of squash planted. 8 Ball Zucchini, Yellow Crook Neck and my all time favorite, Patti Pan (or Flying Saucer) squash. I planted seeds of that, so I'm not sure what color I'm going to get. The packet contained yellow, white and green.
The trellises have English and Pickle cucumbers. I always struggle with cukes, so we'll see how they grow this year. I'm determined to make totally garlicky pickles one day. If anyone has a good recipe for them, let me know. I want the super garlic kind like you get in a good Jewish deli.
 I know it's silly, but I totally love my little moss garden. I had to replace some Irish moss this year, it died off for some reason. Irish moss is the darker green, Scottish moss is the bright green.
 I finally tacked down the binding and washed my Fruitcake quilt from last December. I absolutely love how it gets all wrinkly and quilty when you wash it. It really made the ornaments and sprigs pop out too. And funnily enough, the metallic thread is more noticeable since washing it.
 I tried to show how the motifs popped out, but I don't know if it translated in the photo.
 And my MacTavishing and lines really look cool now too. I love how this quilt goes with the chair I bought from my friend Kelly. I think I need to make one out of the Fruitcake with little bitty squares, so you can't tell it's a Christmas fabric, and keep it on the chair the rest of the year.
 And my little bicycle embroidery is also coming along nicely. I'm so proud, These are my first Lazy Daisies! They are totally fun.
 Here's my wee little bee. I'm debating on filling in the black body parts and the white wings with sparkly embroidery floss. What do you think? Fill him in more, or leave it as is?
Here's a reminder of the whole panel. I just love that bike!
And this week I found this panel, also by Pearl Louise Krush for Troy. It's called 'Bliss on Blossom Street' I'm not sure if it's new or not, but I think it will be adorable hanging with the bicycle. Apparently there's more embroidery in my future.
 Love the flowers around the windows!
 And that bistro set and flower cart! Too freaking cute! I want to live in this building!
 And last but certainly not least, we have a foster dog, Koda. He's a sweetheart when he's one on one, but he doesn't care for other dogs which is a problem, since we have other dogs. Unfortunately he really, really doesn't like my old Abbey girl, so he's going to have to go back to the shelter and sit in his pen until he's adopted. He's been at the shelter for a really long time.
So if anyone out there in the Chicagoland area knows of an all adult, no other pet home who would like a Husky Malamute mix, please let me know!
Have a happy and safe 4th of July everyone!