Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Some vines of note.

I love flowering vines.  I've always had a soft spot in my heart for these delicate beauties.  I'm amazed at how they can transform most objects into a impressionist painting.  Here's a quick tour of the vines I have growing this year.  This one is a morning glory.  Forgive me, I don't seem to have the variety name.  Carnival something-or-other.  What I really love about this are how each flower is different.  Some have the inky stripes all over, while others are completely white.  They are beautiful, and grow rather fast, normally.  Since our weather has been so weird this year (no real summer, and as I am typing this I am in a hoodie and jeans), they aren't covering as much as they normally do.  I have faith though, since they bloom until frost, and that's a good three months away.

These are Creeping Canary vines.  This one grows super fast.  10 feet +.  It also blooms continuously, and I haven't had to deadhead, or really, do anything to it, other than watch it grow.  The tiny flower look like little birds.  Cute!  It's related to nasturiums and the plant is edible.  Speaking of nasturtiums. Look at these guys!  I've never seen Nasturtiums vine before.  They always behave themselves and stay in cute little mounds.  Not these though.  They have thrown caution to the wind and have decided to wind their way through a couple of dogwood shrubs.  The humingbirds like this act of rebellion, and so do I.
And lastly, the Sweet Pea.  If you get the chance to smell these, do it!  They smell like the sweetest roses.  Amazing.  Look at that color too.  Very swoon worthy.  I think they look like little bonnets. 
I hope you enjoy your garden today!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Party Dress and Bean Planting.

I've been sewing a lot, lately.  I had these grand notions that I would completely sew all my summer clothes this year, both in an effort to be thrifty and also to keep pace with my changing, after baby physique.  I've realized  a couple of things.  1: sewing your own clothes is about the same as buying clothes, if not more expensive, once you buy the pattern, fabric, and account for your time. 2:  I don't have much in the way of down time.  Imagine that!  3 kids (one being an infant), kind of make it impossible to get a ton of extra curricular activities finished.  I still have a quilt that needs to be completed.  Scratch that, 2 quilts.  Argh.  However, I did manage to finish this lovely.
I love this fabric.  Nani Iro.  Cotton double gauze.  I had never seen, touched, or worked with this stuff before.  It's dreamy.  It drapes so well, without being clingy, and it's light and soft.  Most assuredly not thrifty, so while I would like to have an entire wardrobe of this stuff, I can not.  I got this at a local fabric store Bolt.  They have some crazy beautiful things.  Once I saw it, and fell in love, I wondered what I could do with it.  I had already made a sundress using this  pattern.  Originally, I used some quilting weight cotton that I had gotten on super sale.
That fabric worked, but it was a little stiff.  This cotton gauze, though, is perfect.  The good thing about this pattern (other than it being mostly free), is that it works up fast. Blazingly fast, if you are experienced with shirring (which is not hard).  If you were determined, and had no distractions (say, like a baby and two toddlers), you could probably finish this in 3 hours.  For me, it took 3 days.  Additionally, it doesn't take that much fabric.  Two yards or so, depending on what length you want. The pattern calls for it to be way longer than I typically like my dresses to be.  On me, it would have been mid-calf.  So I made it shorter, to knee length.  I omitted the pockets and made ruffles.  I love it!  It works with my ever-changing-after-baby-body since the shirring makes it very forgiving in the size department.  Did I mention how comfortable it is?  The fabric dressed the pattern up so, to me, it looks like a sweet garden party dress.
It was a busy week in the garden, as well.  Out came the old sugar snaps and garlic, and in went the bush   and pole beans.  We planted rattlesnake beans, which are beautifully speckled, and some type of bush bean that are purple.  I dream of many jars of dilly beans come September.  Hopefully, our new pressure canner is up to the task.  I guess, just add that to the list of summer projects.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Originally uploaded by SweetBee43

Really? It's summer time already? Sheesh. Although, here in the Pacific NorthWest, it has done nothing but rain since April. A wet, cold, gray spring for us. Which means my garden is ridiculously lush and overgrown. The sugar snap peas love it. I could pick them everyday and still have to give some away. The tomatoes, cucumbers and squash do not like it, however. They are petulantly sitting in the spaces that I popped them mid-April, refusing to grow. Jerks. Due to the weather, I have not had time to garden. Oh, I've done a few things, like plant a wildflower garden out by the girls playhouse, weed, prune the Camillas, pull out a ton of oregano. It was choking out my actual flowers. That stuff is pretty set on world domination, followed closely by Lemon Balm. Things that have done well are my geraniums. Theses aren't the potted type people buy ever year for their patios. These are the 'wild' type. Very beautiful.