Archive for the 'In the Garden' Category

Early Summer Garden

Well, the end of the school year has come and gone. I had a sinus infection and then strep throat — not supposed to get that with no tonsils — Katie had two big dance performances, Tristan rode his first mountain bike race, Papa keeps working and the garden keeps growing. Here it is, newly planted, on May 14:

two new boxes

On the left there are two tomato plants, three hot pepper plants, and a lemon verbena. In the empty space in the middle of the left box there are 64 onion sets. In the right box are two more tomatoes, two more hot peppers, two basil, two eggplants, and two nasturtiums. We added the two boxes this year so we could plant a pumpkin patch inside the fence. You can also see we took the gate off the fence. We still are pet-less so we don’t really have need of the gate, especially since it doesn’t deter the rabbits. Here is a shot of the garden on June 13:


I moved the potato bins over between the blueberry bushes and the tops had really started to wilt and fade — they’re totally faded now, time to harvest. The plastic is up inside the fence since we had planted the pumpkin and squash in those beds that morning. Now you can see all those onions growing in the left bed and obviously everything has gotten much bigger. That photo was taken two weeks ago and everything is even bigger now. In fact this morning I picked the first two sungold tomatoes. All the squash seeds germinated but some of the pumpkin did not so I think we’ll re-seed, maybe even today.



Holiday Home Tour

Holiday Home Tour

I was recently talking with Grace about holiday decorating and I told her I would take a photo of a little vignette I always do on our front porch for her to see. It got me thinking about holiday homes and how much inspiration can come from seeing what other people do. Now don’t get me wrong, the images in magazines are really magical at this time of year but they often seem unattainable too. I certainly don’t have the budget or skills to create one of those kind of rooms. And honestly, I don’t want my home to feel like a magazine, especially at this home-y, cozy time of year. So this week I’ll be giving a little holiday home tour of the urchin house and I’m hoping you might want to join in. I’ll be posting every day but you can post as little or as much as you like. Let me know and I’ll make a list so we can all be inspired by each other’s holiday homes.


sorting onions

Just this last week we’ve started harvesting some veggies from our garden. It started with the onions, sort of on a whim, last Friday and we pulled them all. Weeds were seriously encroaching into the bed and the tops had pretty much died back. I bought two packs of onion sets back around St Patrick’s Day on a whim for something like $2. One was for regular sized onions and one for little ones. Ours definitely were on the small sized but hey, onions from our own garden! And tonight we dug out our potatoes. The tops had totally died back. I was very skeptical about what we would find since I forgot to order potato sets and had just cut up some organic potatoes I had in the pantry at planting time. We also discovered a fairly sizable zucchini and three ripe tomatoes. Many more tomatoes will be following shortly as well as a whole bunch of yellow squash. What’s growing in your gardens?


Making Me Happy Today

:: wearing matching outfits with my girl on Mother’s Day ::

Happy Mother's Day

:: first berries of the season, and consequently the first canning session of the season as well ::

First of the Season

:: herbs in pots on my deck ::

:: a vegetable garden that is planted and ready to grow ::

Vegetable Garden

Almost May


My goodness, where did April go? Seriously. The month is almost over and I don’t feel like I’ve finished much of anything. In fact I haven’t even started my mystery blanket — the project for April — from the Knitter’s Almanac. Enough bellyaching and time to get back at it. Hopefully on Monday I’ll have some finished stuff to show you. In the meantime, you can enjoy the fruits of another Mama’s labor. She’s been outside my study window and on Thursday that little guy hatched. I think his little brother might join us today.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day


In Like A Lion

I know in many parts of the US March is a big month for snowfall. Around here we get more in February and March usually brings the Spring rain. This morning though, we woke to this:

In Like a Lion

Looks like we’ll be enjoying a day of snowmen, hot cocoa, and time by the fire. I’m thinking of making shortbread if we have enough butter. In the meantime let’s take care of some business, shall we:

  • winners…. I know that’s what you want to hear about. They are comment numbers 9, 20, and 42: Melissa, Chilton, and Anina. Congrats and Chilton email me your address so I can get a box in the mail to you. I’ve got the other addresses already.
  • thank you to each of you who commented about my bloggy birthday. It turns out you like hearing me prattle on so I guess that’s what I’ll continue to do. Thanks for taking the time to let me know, it’s put a great big smile on my face.
  • it’s green week hosted by Emily and I’ll be finding spots of green — inside, given the current weather — to share over on flickr. Don’t worry I’ll share them all here at the end of the week.

Now it’s time to bundle up and build a snowman.

5 Inches

Autumn Is… Acorns

The kind the squirrels eat:


and the kind for us:

Acorn Cakes

Polka Dots with FOE

Polka Dots

You know, I’ve been meaning to try using fold-over elastic (FOE) for a while. Ottobre patterns often call for it and there’s no secret about Amy‘s and Melissa‘s love for it. I’m so lazy and I hate gathering — like at a neckline — so I often substitute a casing and pull some elastic through. I figure elastic in children’s clothing is a positive. The thing is though, pulling elastic through a casing is also on the list of things I get annoyed doing, it’s just generally less annoying than gathering.

Polka Dots

This outfit is all about the elastic. The pants are elastic waist with a casing. The bottoms are trimmed with crochet lace — I bought a whole bunch of it on clearance. The top is the same top as this one but with FOE on the neckline and sleeves. It’s super-fancy expensive seersucker FOE — the only brown at my fabric store — and has less stretch than normal FOE. That would be the reason the neckline is big. Oh well, this fabric has been hanging around for over a year, I’m just glad it’s finally in a wearable form. This morning we woke up to cooler temps so with any luck we’ll have wearable weather soon too.

Puppies for Tea

When Katie told me that she wanted some clothes like we gave Gabrielle it reminded me that I had a peasant skirt for her cut out from the same Heather Ross fabric. I told my mother-in-law, who was here visiting, that I had stalled on it because I loathe gathering. So she gave me a hint and guess what, it was no problem at all. After conquering that issue the skirt came together very quickly.

Puppies for Tea

Then yesterday while the kids were occupied I made a matching skirt and t-shirt for Katie’s recently acquired My Friend Jenny doll. I actually won a couple of lots of clothing patterns for this doll — one of the greatest things about the My Friend dolls — on ebay and should have them soon but I was just winging it when it came to this doll outfit. Katrina’s face when I showed her Jenny wearing the new outfit was priceless. So a puppy tea party was immediately planned and even though Onyx is far from a puppy, she got to attend too. Pip, pip, cheerio!

EDITED TO ADD: Okay, so what my mother-in-law told me was this… sew two lines of basting stitches and then on one line pull the top thread to gather and on the other line pull the bottom (bobbin) thread. Sorry I didn’t share at first but after she told me that it seemed so obvious I figured you all knew anyway!

flickr photos

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