Thursday, January 31, 2008

Yearning for warmer weather

Ay, the Minnesota winter is dragging on. It isn't the snow that is driving me crazy, but the cold! These two boys of mine need to do something physical every day. When the temperature is -10 and a windchill that will eat you alive, we haven't been outside much lately.

Instead, we've been reading. Lots of reading. A lovely trip to the library helped us find these treasures, filled with lovely images of plants, flowers and vegetables.

But this is the one that has really caught my eye.

In the past I've grown a few things, but always felt that I'll be a much better vegetable gardener when I have more space. More space, well, that's the farm. I've been thinking that I'll have to wait until we actually move there. Not with this book. I'll be able to take over the wildflower garden area that got a little TOO wild.

Fortunately, at the end of the summer I dug out all those pesky overgrown wild flowers, moved some, put some out for free on the curb, and composted the rest. What a glorious feeling to actually choose what I wanted to keep, not just because they were given to me or free somewhere. My garden matured that day. Hopefully my back will cooperate this year and I'll be able to make a few of the 4 x 4' squares that this Bartholomew guy discusses. What novel ideas... only plant what you can imagine eating. If you think you can eat 3 cabbages by the end of the growing season, well then, "Only plant three!" So many of us get excited about all the seeds in the package and then plant them all. No wonder we can't maintain all of the plants and our gardens get messy and weedy. We don't like to thin them out because we're wasting potential food. So this year... only what we can use. Fortunately for me, the boys will be out there eating sugar snap peas by the fistfull, so we can plant A LOT!

But it is still winter. Spring is a long time away. I can feel mostly satisfied by reading, drooling at the photos, longing for the sunshine.

The cleaning/organizing is going well in the office/craft room. I realize I didn't post the photos that were supposed to be in the last post. I think I'm embarrassed of how messy things really were. I'll add the before pics when I finally finish and can post the after photos too.

I haven't been crafting AT ALL since I started cleaning. A self imposed moratorium on crafts until it is organized. I'm impressed at my willpower on this one.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fine tuning the blog

I've been working on fine tuning the layout of this blog. It is intimidating to set up, with so many talented bloggers out there in the craft community. I've decided to keep it a secret until further notice, or shall I say, until I feel sufficiently comfortable with the way it looks.

Not much crafting going on here these days. Louise and I returned from warm and mostly sunny Atlanta after visiting college friends. What a nice treat-- an escape from the snow. I'm still finding occasional Christmas decorations around here, so I've been busy wrangling them up and putting away til next year.

I've decided that before I get started on any more projects, I MUST clean my desk and craft space. It is embarrassing. The issue at hand is a lack of time devoted every day to putting the mail in the proper place. My kitchen mail center works great-- when I take the time to use it correctly and not pile things up by the coffee pot. My filing system in the office works great-- if I stop to file things away. This does NOT work.

Nor does this. Suddenly my stash of craft supplies has morphed into a dragon needing to be tamed. Before I begin ANY other projects, I need to get to work. The problem? After being with the kids all day, at night all I feel like doing is resting, putting my feet up, talking to R, doing the necessary tasks to keep the household running. Cleaning the basement does not fit into that category.

One more thing... have you discovered the beautiful film "Once"? These two have so much chemistry in their music. Take a listen.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Finished projects

It was a successful Christmas in terms of production. I finished most of the projects I wanted to complete.

Here are a few pics of the t-shirts (although I still haven't finished Carl's or Louise's.)

And the granola was a hit too. Here's a pic of the bags before I set them out on the table getting ready for book club. When I returned from the park one hour later, Molly dog had kindly helped herself to one of my bags, ripped it apart, and took it to savor in the basement. What a dog.

(The fabric is a vintage sheet from an estate sale many moons ago!)

And here is the little monkey I made for my niece Annika's bday. I put him in a little box, included a photo album and a purse to carry him in, then wrote a little story about him.

(my inspiration is floresita )

Here is Louise with the monkey Lulu.

Lulu and her travel bag.

Lulu and her story, in her photo album. I should have written it down for myself too... for future reference.