Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lasagna Gardening

I KNOW I have been a very negligent blogger lately - over a week without a post. It seems that life got in the way of blogging and I have barely been on the computer. I am here to fix that!

I have done a lot of applique, but I can't show you as I have been making wall hangings from designs my dear friend Anna has made, and they will be published, hopefully soon! Her and I work so well together, and our designs mesh so well.

In fact I do most things she suggests, so who was I to say no when she told me I must make a Lasanga Garden?! Now I am not much of a gardener. I made a nice one when we owned a townhouse but our piece of land was about 20ft x 20ft square. Not very big. Now we own a quarter acre and the previous owners were obviously not gardeners either, so I get to start from scratch. Anna, in addition to being a fabulous quilter, is also a fabulous gardener. It is right up there with quilting in her list of obsessions!

For anyone who has no idea what Lasagna Gardening is, (I didn't!) have a look here and here and here. Basically you put layers of materials on top of your sod - no rototilling, no digging, just layering! You can put down pretty much what you want, such as leaves, grass clippings, compost, manure, hay, whatever!

So I have taken pictures to show you my work so far. My bed is about 4 ft wide by 10 ft long.

First I put down a layer of flattened cardboard boxes. Wet newspaper layers will also do the trick. Sorry I don't have a better photo of this - I didn't think to take photos at this point, but luckily my daughter was playing with my camera! You can see it (and me) way off in the background). Then I put a layer of Peat Moss on top of the cardboard. The author of the method swears by it - Anna says it is not necessary as it has no nutritional value and really just holds water. So since I will be out of state for 6 weeks in the Summer (kids and I are flying to Utah to visit family!) and hubby will be responsible for watering, I figured my garden needed all the help it could get!!

Next I did a layer of chopped up leaves. I just used my mower to do this. We didn't have one with a catcher until a week ago and now I swear I will never rake leaves again - I will just mow them as the fall and plop them right into the bags ready for my garden.

Then I put down a layer of hay/cow manure which I collected from an animal stall at our local farm stand last year. It's been 'maturing' for a few months now and wasn't smelly at all. I was a bit worried to open that bag!

Then came the bag of grass clippings we got this last weekend with our new mower!

And next is a layer of hummus/manure which I am sad to say I had to buy. I would rather collect it from the source so to speak, but anyone I know with any animals lives so far away that it would cost me a fortune to get there with the way gas prices are right now. So for now it's the bagged stuff!

Next I will do another layer of leaves, since I have a TON of them - all the neighbors loaded me up last fall. Thank you neighbors! And lastly, for now, another layer of Peat Moss. Next time we mow I'll add the clippings to the top and that will be it.

Tomorrow, the plants go in. Tomatoes, melons, cucumber, basil, cilantro, all sorts of goodies! Yes you can put your plants straight in here. It will naturally compost itself and turn into beautiful rich dirt without you doing another thing to it.

I have no idea if this will work, but I trust my friend Anna - she has done this many times over. If any of you have done it, I'd LOVE to hear your experiences with it - good or bad! I will keep you all updated on this new project of mine. Hopefully it will work and we will have yummy things to eat this Summer and Fall. Either way, you will know! I am rather excited to be going away for 6 weeks and to see what has happened when I get back. Best case scenario - everything is growing and thriving. Worst case, dear hubby has neglected it and everything is dead! I hope you are reading this darling :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Two Cold Feet

You must head on over to Two Cold Feet - Stacy, the blog owner is my
"I-met-her-in-real-life-bloggy-friend" and she is having an AWESOME giveaway!!! Well worth entering! When you read about her giveaway you will see that she has put a lot of thought into it. I reallllllly want to enter, but she said she got me a pressie on her travels so I think maybe it's only fair that I bow hoo :( But I would LOVE it if one of my readers were to win! But the real treat is that Stacy has a great blog, with lots of fun things to read about.

I am coming up on my 100th post soon - I think I'm on my 90th now, so I'll be doing a giveaway soon too!

So what are you doing still reading this? Get on over to Stacy's blog and leave a comment!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hubby and I

Since one of us is usually holding the camera, Hubby and I don't often, as in hardly EVER, get a photo of the both of us. But after church today I got our 7 year old Sofia to give it a go. Since we had our Sunday best on and all!
Well here is Sofia's first attempt....Yes we weren't quite ready.
And here - much better!
I got sick of my blonde/too orange hair, plus my roots were annoying me too often - my hair grows very very fast. About an inch a month. So yesterday I got myself some "Light Brown" dye and now I am very close to my natural color, which is a lovely shade of mousy brown. I am considering getting it all chopped off, but like most men, hubby likes it long. Maybe if he had to live with it for a day he might change his mind!!

Now I know, it's not quilt related yet, but I can always turn anything into a quilt story! So look behind my hubby and you will see a house quilt. We had been married almost a year, and was pregnant with our first. Hubby's birthday was coming up and I wanted to make him a quilt. I quite liked the pattern for this house quilt in a magazine. But I wanted to know if he would like it or not, so I subtly left the magazine open to the right page in the bathroom hoping he would pick it up and notice it. Would you believe it actually worked??!! He came out one day raving about this quilt he really liked and would I make it? Sometimes men are just too easy to manipulate!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Applique at the Beach

Have you ever appliqued at the beach? I hadn't - until Wednesday! My hubby is on vacation this week so Wednesday we packed up the van and headed to Hampton Beach. It was a beautiful sunny day, but very windy and a wee bit chilly so while the kids played in their swimsuits oblivious to the cold, I wrapped a sarong around me and quilted to my heart's content. Hubby got burnt, I didn't :)
After the beach we went north about 20 miles to Portsmouth, a lovely historic town right on the border of New Hampshire and Maine. There is a quilt shop there which I have always wanted to visit, Portsmouth Fabric Company. They go to all the quilt shows here as vendors and I always drop a pretty penny in their booth due to their fabulous selection of Kaffe and Amy Butler fabrics. Well I walked into their store and nearly fainted. If I thought their booths at quilt shows were good, their store in person is AMAZING! They had every single Kaffe ever made - old and new, and every corner I turned bought more gorgeousness! I was completely overwhelmed and spent far too much money. I had hoped to spend around $30 but had to stop myself at $75. I also was told that Kaffe himself is going to their shop in the Fall and doing a class and a lecture. You better believe I added my name to the waiting list!

In non-quiting news, my lilac trees are in full bloom, so today I brought some inside and my whole house has the beautiful scent of lilacs.
There's a song which the children at our church sing, and it was always my favorite when I was a little girl. It talks about lilacs, so I'll finish this post with the sweet lyrics which I think of often at this lovely time of year...

Whenever I hear the song of a bird
Or look at the blue blue sky
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
Or the wind as it rushes by
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by a lilac tree
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heavenly Father created for me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day goodies

This is my Mum - she's the grumpy looking one on the left!

Yes I know I am late - I missed the Mother's Day bandwagon, but I'm here at last. My hubby is on vacation this week so I have had things to do other than blog. Amazing! Click on the photos to get a better look - there are some doozy's in this post!

I had a lovely weekend. We had decided that on Saturday we would either go to the beach or the Boston Museum of Science. Well it was cold and windy and yucky outside so the museum won! It was great fun, and I especially enjoyed the Planeterium. I can now tell you why Pluto is no longer considered a planet. (Actually I'm still a little confused on that one, but it seemed to make sense while we were watching it!) This is the kids and I in the Planeterium...

So on Sunday I was woken up at 4am by my daughter who had been just dying to give me the presents she had made at school. I sent her back to bed and opened her goodies at the more respectable hour of 6am! Yes I know, still early but she was about to burst if I didn't open it!

Here is a picture of the goodies that awaited me inside the bag....
Perhaps you are wondering what the rolled up pink paper is? This became the best part of the whole day...(you should definitely click on this photo to read it!)Oh yes bless her soul for declaring that I am 80 pounds! I have taught her well :) Oh and that I am 12 feet tall. Boy I must be some tall skinny chick!
And I am so glad she thinks I look funny when I run. This pink paper is a keeper for sure!

Not to be outdone, my 4 year old boy decided to get in on the act and quickly pulled together a present for me. I couldn't help but wonder what he had put inside the bag...(sorry about the blurry pic :) )
Aaaaahhh an old pencil with the lead chewed off. Perfect!! His thoughts certainly do count :)

And what would Mother's Day be without a loving card from your hubby expressing his appreciation for you?! He had told me I should go back to bed and lie down. I thought oh how sweet - he wants me to relax and he's going to take care of breakfast, and getting the kids ready for church, and I get a nice little break. So I got into bed and saw an envelope on my nightstand with the above card in it. THAT was why he insisted I get into bed, so I would find his card! And then I had to get up and do breakfast and get everyone ready. Gotta love 'em!! But the message inside more than makes up for his very man-like actions!
And as for my mother, she is so far away in New Zealand, but I did manage to call her and have a nice chat on her way out the door to dinner with the family. Boo Hoo yes I am feeling sad for myself - I miss the Sunday night family dinners they have! And now for a more natural side of my mother....Showing a bit of leg - woo hoo! Being a good woman catching fish to feed her family (hehe!) And jetsetting around the world (this was in Chicago) Doesn't she look fantastic for a 74 year old??!!
I love you Mum!

I hope you all had a wonderful day and took a moment to think of your mother.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Hot Dogs

So I just made the boys and I some lunch - they asked for hot dogs and it sounded good to me. It's shopping night tonight so the fact that I happened to have everything I needed to make them was a miracle in itself.

I made theirs, then mine, and got to thinking - what do you put on your hotdogs? For me, I love mayo, BBQ sauce and a little mustard. My hubby thinks it is the most disgusting combination he's ever seen - he has a very weak stomach when it comes to anything mayo-related though, so that may be why! If I were going all out eg hotdogs for dinner as opposed to just the kids and I for lunch, I would also cook up some onions and put cheese on top and throw them under the broiler for a minute. Mmmm!

Did anyone see the PBS special a few years back when they travelled around America finding the best hot dogs?! Oh it was so good - I remember we went out and bought all the fixin's for every kind of hot dog you can think of and it's all we ate for a month LOL!! I even saw on that show that I'm not the only mayo-on-my-hotdog-lover!

I know this post is totally non-quilt related, so I photographed my hot dogs on a quilt. See, I can work it in if I have to!!

So the question remains - what do you like on your hotdogs?!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Valori Wells Fabric Frenzy

Saturday was a great mail day! Last week, I think it was Tuesday, I visited the blog of Valori Wells when I saw it updated on my Bloglines subscription list. I started to get excited when I read that she had 18 packs of 8 fat quarters of her new fabric line, Olive Rose, to give away to the first 18 people to email her their snail mail address. I looked at the comments - only 13. I had a chance! But wait, what about the people who just emailed her and didn't leave a comment? And what about the fact that her post was done at 9.44 in the morning and it was now almost 4 in the afternoon here on the east coast? I had to give it a try anyway....and I was victorious! Woo Hoo!!

So here are the goodies I received - bundled up, and then spread out for your viewing pleasure :)
I have already used one of the fabrics, and have grand plans for the rest. It's lovely to work with - such a nice feel to it, obviously good quality quilting cotton. And best of all, the fabric is just perfectly suited to me - if you have looked at my blog then you know I'm not afraid of color - and that my kitchen is orange - so if anyone would be grateful to get orange fabric, it would be moi!

Thank you Valori!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hint of Spring

Finally there are some signs of spring around here. Though it has been raining all week, my Peonies are growing, my Lilacs have flower buds, and the Forsythia has bloomed. I even have a tree with pink blossom buds that I didn't know bloomed!

I couldn't help but go out in the rain just now and collect some Spring freshness to liven up the inside of the house.