Monday, May 30, 2011

Huge Gardening Project

As you might have guessed, I haven't been working on the Figs and Ginger quilts because this garden has taken a lot of my (our) time lately.  We work so hard, sometimes it's hard to get moving the next day, because my muscles are stiff from working out there and by evening, I just want to sit and work on something small with my feet up.

Luckily, the tractor is doing the tilling, because there are so many rocks in this field.  I think we have picked up enough "large" rocks to fill the large front scooper at least 3 times.  Some are small boulders, others are smaller, but they are large enough to have stalled the tractor several times.  I also found 2 large pieces of bent up sheet metal in the field.  Now I'm not talking small pieces, they must have weighed at least a couple pounds each!

I think we have all the vegetable beds ready for this year, and I've reserved a couple rows to plant later, to help spread out the harvest, but we're still working on the watering system.  Since it's the first year of our garden in this area, we're learning about the soil and nutrients needed and hoping the warmer space with more sun will bring us more tomatoes, melons and squash, which weren't as happy with their old location.

The plants had to go in the ground before the seeds, but everything I wanted to plant is in the ground! Later I'll plant more lettuce, beans and other short growing crops, and then fall crops will need to be planted in the summer.

Earlier this year I bought some strawberries, grapes and blueberries, but didn't get them in the ground until this weekend, so I lost some of the strawberries and am crossing my fingers that the rest will still be ok since I kept them cool in our garage.  A couple of the grapes have new growth, so that's a good sign.

Some of our young fruit trees looks like it will have fruit this year and we're hoping we will get to taste the fruits of our labors, after patiently waiting for a few years!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fancy Stained Glass Box 2

It took a bit of fiddling, but the second box from class is now finished!  I love making the curls, but tried making zigzags as well. The fused glass decoration was given to me by the teacher, and I must say that if I didn't already have so many interests, I'd love to try fused glass - maybe someday......

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fancy Stained Glass Box

Last night was the last stained glass box class and I finished decorating one of my boxes!  The teacher let me dig in his bag of sea glass and I found these two interesting shaped pieces for the top of my box.  It's hard to tell in the pictures, but some of the glass is iridized, which makes it glow from within.  These boxes are like art quilts, in that any mis-cuts or pieces that don't work for one, end up being the start of another, and now I have a collection in progress!  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More Jewelry

I'm still practicing my wire working skills, along with some other projects, even though I know I need to get back to the Figs and Ginger quilts which have been waiting for me.  I think I've finally learned to make decent eye pins, jump rings and beads with eyes at each side! 

I sorted my furnace glass beads by color and used all the odd ones in this necklace.  The mix of colors goes with most of my clothes, so I could easily wear it every day! 

The donut bracelet was probably started over a year ago, but I ran out of donuts and finally found more that would coordinate with those already wired onto the bracelet.  My large donuts had been lost in the house for a long time as well, and I have no idea what made me put them where I found them, I'm just happy I finally found them and had a large donut that would coordinate with my bracelet!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Trying something new

I've said it before - I love to learn new things!  Last week, I stopped by a stained glass shop that's relatively close to my shop, looking for a patina gel that I might use on the copper jewelry with parts that shouldn't be dipped in liver of sulfur.  As I was chatting with one of the ladies that work there, I asked if there were any books to learn more about copper foiling on glass.  Although they couldn't suggest any books, they told me about a three week class that started the next night, making beautiful glass boxes.  Newbie me, who had aspired to learn to cut glass, foil and solder it, signed up, thinking it was a beginner class, but finding that it wasn't really for beginners, so I'm working a bit harder than the other students, and making some progress in catching up in the techniques department.  All this reminds me of new quilters signing up for classes that are a little over their heads, trying to keep up, and like a new swimmer trying to keep their head above water!

Between a little extra help from the teacher and suggestions from some other students, I've learned to cut glass, and am practicing my soldering skills, even with a few setbacks - things like my soldering iron quitting on me, which meant waiting until the shop opened on Tuesday, so I could purchase a new one.  I did manage to cut out, foil and solder (the areas the teacher told us to solder) two boxes, and have another cut out.  My boxes are a bit wonky, definitely far from perfect, but I know I just need more practice just like I did when I learned to quilt!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Sometimes you need to look up close to see how beautiful something is, and other times the beauty is within.  Fruit that looks past it's prime may be sweeter than those that look perfect.  All the rain we've been getting has taken it's toll on my tulips, but when I take a closer look, the water drops make them more interesting than they would have been if they were dry and still standing tall.

Here's the big picture, not what I'd call a pretty picture, but they are the same tulips that are seen above.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Hot off the Loom

The grey scarves are finally off the loom! There is even a bonus 4th scarf, because I had made the warp longer than I needed for 3 scarves, and it turned out to be long enough for a scarf, but will need to be hemmed, because there is no yarn for fringe at the one end.  I always try to weave the remaining warp to save as fabric, and this time I'm grateful to have had enough to make an extra scarf!  Now, I'd better sit down and start twisting fringe, because I still have the previous 3 scarves to twist as well, making 6 scarves that need to be finished!  The good news is that I'll have some that can be set aside for "instant" gifts:-)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Wirework pin

Yesterday, I made this wire work shawl pin out of copper for my sister-in-law, because she needed a closure for a shawl that she made.  Not the best picture, just a quick one (sorry), so that I'd have one before gifting it today.   The pattern is on p. 109, in Contemporary Copper Jewelry by Sharilyn Miller.

Since I'm still relatively new to wire working, each project teaches me something new, and my skills slowly improve, which is a good thing!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Hydrangea Fair Isle Hat - visible progress

Progress is slow, because I only work on this hat when I can work without being interrupted, and really concentrate. I think I'm around the halfway point now, I've tried it on, and it fits, so I can keep knitting!