Haiku for the Weekend

Haiku for the Weekend

Newark New Jersey
Scranton Pennsylvania
Travel for work bites
Gardening

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

It’s been a month of highs and lows at my little hacienda. Ta da! Our first egg!

Finally! In all it’s tiny perfection.

We still haven’t ferreted out which of the Hogwart’s four is our layer.  I plan to stalk the henhouse this weekend.  I think it’s Jenny Weasley.

I know I should love them all the same, but Jenny’s my “bff” chicken.  She’s the only one who lets me pet her.  Either that or she’s scared of me and she’s dropping in fear…nah, I’m sticking with the first version where she loves me and lets me pet her.

On with the happenings.  Behold my beautiful garbage can potato plants

Blessedly, we’ve been getting a little rain over the last few weeks.  This time last year, we had already begun our 100+ degree heat and relentless drought conditions.  So again, I say, the rain is a blessing.  A blessing that pairs with oppressive humidity, which  breeds mold and fungus….

Fungus…aka early blight. So…darn…maddening! The potatoes had done so well! I was so proud.  And yes, I know I talking about them like they’re already dead and gone, but my optimism is strained on this one.  I cleaned away most of the speckled leaves.  I did everything I could figure out to do for them. If we can limp along a little, maybe I can salvage new potatoes?

I’m probably a little more upset about the potatoes than is rational because my favorite climbing rose is struggling with a brutal case of Black Spot, and my cucumbers look to have a virulent case of powdery mildew.  I don’t have a green thumb, I have a spotted fungus thumb! So sad…

This climbing beauty will soon be a nubby, aggressively pruned beauty.

But then, there are a few bright spots that balance the spotty victims in my landscape.

My Zinnias from last summer volunteered this year!  I love them!

They’re such a cheerful companion for the herbs and veggies in my raised beds.

My squash and zucchini threaten to overtake their companions…

And if I could get the slugs and beetles to chill on my Mr. Stripey, he promises some tomato goodness very soon. (I couldn’t bear to pull that Zinnia like it was a weed!)

Note the giant Tomatillo plant in the background of the next shot.  It’s been blossoming relentlessly for months.  The butterflies love it!  Unfortunately, they don’t bother to print on the packaging that Tomatillo plants need to cross pollinate in order to fruit.  I have only one…therefore, it will never fruit.

Really?  Don’t you think that might be good information?  To put on the stick with the growing conditions?  Just saying…

But really, who cares about the weird Tomatillo situation when you turn around and find this.

Crochet

Tunisian…Ta Da!

I completed the first panel of Jennifer Hansen’s Tunisian Multi-Garment!

It was fun.  Learning Tunisian has been very gratifying. These pictures  were taken after my first quick run at blocking.  I still have some perfecting to do with the structure.

I have a sneaky suspicion that I would have been happier with a slightly larger size.  I won’t know for certain until I’ve completed the second panel.  The sizes were based on bust circumference and I think I would prefer a little more length on what will inevitably be the “torso”.  Maybe I’m long-waisted….or maybe my tummy is a little more of an issue than my bust….

The color work is fascinating.  Let it be known, however, that it leaves a gazillion ends to be woven.  Hence the probable delay in starting the second panel for the garment.  I need a little time to forget what a pain those ends were.

All in all, however, I’m extremely pleased!  The Craftsy class on Tunisian was a great experience.  I’ve signed on for three additional classes since beginning the Tunisian.  I’m not sure that the instruction I’m seeing is the same quality that Jennifer Hansen provided in the Tunisian class, but I love the platform and  recommend it for anyone who struggles to find classes available in your location or that work with your schedule.

Crochet

Playing the Field..

I’ve been multi-tasking….burning both ends of the candle, if you will.  On the one hand, I am full steam ahead with my Tunisian Crochet class and the Multi Garment.

Simultaneously, I am “go” for my sewing “Do Over”.

It’s like dating two guys when you’re single.  You usually spend one date wishing you were on another.  Then you feel guilty when you’re on a date with a guy you really like, because  the other dude is more responsible and more stable.  Usually things fall apart with both of them at about the same time and you wind up with no date…but I digress…

Apparently the sewing “do over” is Mr. Stability.  The Tunisian multi-garment is the hotter Mr. Smooth. (This is a bizarre analogy, but let’s go with it.)

The stitch patterns are gorgeous.

Even though I’m using cotton instead of silk, the stitching still promises attractive drape. With the Tunisian, despite being in learning mode, everything is easier.

Sewing, not so much.  I’ve finished my first set of pillow covers.  I haven’t worked up the enthusiasm to photograph them yet.  They’re cute….that’s it.  Just cute.  I wanted spectacular…wow! But nope, they’re cute. Like I said, the craft equivalent to Mr. Stability.  I think I’ll wait and post them when I can add a few more for a grouping.

Until then, back to Mr. Smooth…

 

 

 

 

Sewing

A Sewing Do-Over

Sewing and I have a love/hate relationship.  I’ve always been fascinated by it in theory.  But it’s always fallen apart in practice.  As a kid, my mom put in a good faith effort to teach me to sew.  The poor woman finished every item I ever started.  Unfailingly, the projects were miserable experiences.  The detail…The jargon…The need for constant focus…all of it worked to my weaknesses.  Even then, I was a big picture girl-conceptual and broad in my focus.  Attention to detail has always been an “opportunity” for me.

After I began crocheting, however, my craft blog obsession led me to all that sewing can produce.  The adorable, the beautiful, the intricate, the awesome projects on the web beckoned….and I began to covet.  I began to covet the ability to sew.  Per my usual mode of operation, I made the decision to learn and immediately began collecting all the accoutrements needed.  Especially fabric….stacks of it.  That’s what I do-I collect…

Over the last three years, I’ve completed the following:

  • One apron
  • A handful of cup cozies
  • One skirt
  • Approximately 25 pair of pajama pants
  • Curtains
  • Monday’s  pillowcase

I enjoyed the curtains and the monkey pillowcase.  The others? Not so much.  I make so many stupid mistakes!  So I’m regrouping.  I can do this!

I’m starting over….that’s right, a sewing do-over.  First, the basics….pillows! I’m more than tired of the throw pillows in the living room.  I’m going to use some of this freaking fabric if it’s the last thing I do!

I’m thinking some combination of these…They make me happy.

I’m also going to look for a class.  I won’t let my past define me.  That’s right, I call “do over”.

 

Sewing

A little monkey business…

I spent a little quality time with my number one girl yesterday.  She’s developed a new obsession with stuffed monkeys.  She’s apparently in the middle of some kind of tween self re-branding and the monkey seems to be symbolic and key to her metamorphosis.  Anyway, the long and short of it is that she’s proclaimed herself to be a monkey collector and now she’s doing the Vulcan mind-meld on me and lobbying for new and more fabulous monkeys in her life.  I’m standing firm.  Her room is already a fall-out shelter for stuffed animals.  No new monkeys!

So, ever the rock, I asked her, “how about we find a pattern for a monkey?  Maybe we can make it?”  (Be advised, I carry much mother-guilt over how little time I spend with my craftiest child doing anything that could be characterized as crafting.) So I’m thinking, two birds-one stone.  I assuage the mother-guilt aka-the “monkey” on my back .  She gets a monkey.  She was lukewarm to the idea. None of the free patterns we found on-line really floated her boat.  I rejected the amigurumi patterns she liked.  I didn’t want to present her with a monkey.  I wanted her to participate in making a monkey.  Then she presented the solution, “Mom-how about we make a pillowcase like I did with Memaw (her grandmother) that time?  Then I can like, draw a monkey on it!”  Great idea, angel, but maybe we try doing the monkey in applique?  So here is the compromise.

Behold our first applique ever! He’s a cheeky rascal…

He’s just lightly fused with some iron-on strips pending stitching. I think he’s cute.  My crafty little diva did a great job picking fabrics, cutting and even doing some of the stitching.  She’s awesome!  We’ll finish him next weekend and place him in a position of honor and prestige in her sanctum, which is of course, a hot pink, black and zebra striped zone fit for a tween!