Mom always says, "never cut a knot, always untie it. If you can't figure out how to untie a knot, you'll never figure out how to solve your problems."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

when the stitcher is away

the gardener will play:

This is basically my vegetable garden.  It's an overview from my front porch.  I've been spending a lot of time cleaning up and getting things going.  These are "raised" beds, 4x4, using loosely the square foot garden principle. The hoops that you see are pvc pipes.  I use these to add shade with shade netting, soon to go up as it's been so hot or to add a little warmth with a cover crop fabric when things get chilly! I use clips to anchor the cloths.  It works quite nicely.

I will give you a little tour:

front and center two (four) beds: 
lots of kale, collards at various growing stages, thyme, sorrel, golden oregano, few different lettuce, and a mix for salads called ovation from johnny's seeds. 

the back section: more young transplants of kales, chard, and a huge lovage and sorrel patch...and my newly sown beans...i will reseed the beans several times alternating the spots so they grow at different stages.

next section which is a couple of 3x6 beds without the hoops is for tomatoes and my lettuce the first seedlings. i have some of my old favorite tomatoes and a new one for me...the seeds here come from territorial seeds, seeds savers exchange and a few other vendors.  and of course a garden visitor checking out things. 

this section is my newest where i have my warmer weather (much earlier this year vegetables): cucumbers (5) different ones which are being chewed on. seeds here come from baker creek, seeds savers, and southern exposure. i am growing my zucchini in grow bags this year, giving a try to not have my vines invaded by the old squash borer.  also there is a bunch of new seedlings of more chard and kale waiting to be planted.  the top left picture is for deanna = my slowly and not moving indigo seedlings! (oh and yes, i like garden critters - rabbits here but i also collect frogs) 

last two days of my lunch.  all from my garden except the carrots.  the top picture also includes my sprouts, a collection of lentils and greens from the sprout people.  i grow sprouts mostly year round...i don't do wheat grass in the summer however as i don't have a.c. and usually i have problems with mold setting in from the humidity.  must better when it's cooler! can't remember cold and cool anymore since we've been so warm so early. 

and finally, yes i have been stitching.  this is my latest project not quite finished but a peek at the center panel. 

this might become a piece for the boro class project over at jude's or my june cloth or both!

hope you have enjoy my little walk through.  i love to garden.  i grew up playing in our allotment garden in England.  we grew a lot for winter storage vegetables.  we didn't have internal plumbing so we had to use an outhouse. i remember once the potatoes were picked and stored i didn't like going to the outhouse at night because it was near the potato shed...i was never sure if the things that moved in the night were the potatoes rolling around and down the pile or four legged critters (mice).  we had chickens, rabbits, frogs, and crayfish! as pets and for eggs...hence my garden critter collection.  the innocent and happy times.  my parents gave us our own set of garden tools (reduced in size) to help out...but mostly to imitate their actions.  my father was the vegetable garden and my mom the flower lady. 

i am still clearing a back section behind my house - it has overgrown with raspberries and black berries. that is my current project and of course i tend to my mother's garden too.  mostly a rose garden. so this next one is for her:

the kitten is a little girl born on my porch. cafe latte. she has a eye infection so i'm watchful of her. 
see you soon. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

threads on thursday - may days

I have been stitching and working in the garden.  It's that time of year - sowing and (sewing.) I have completed my May cloth: 

The cloth is rectangular.  I just think I hold the camera in such a way that I have a foreground that makes it appear lopsided!  

It took me a while to figure this one out.  New colors and commercial colored cloth made me look a long time before I thought about what I was going to do.  The story is the greening of the leaf. I worked through winter with the leaves that had fallen, dry and no longer producing sugars and photosynthesis, exchanging gases.  Here, lower right,  leaves start  thinly colored with green and become more saturated with color as the season progress.  There is still a little tribute to the old, dry leaves of last year, lower left.  Also, the addition of color is  a response to the blooms that have started popping up, two months ahead of schedule.  Lastly, top right, this is about as much of the super-full moon that I got to see since my area of the country was pretty much overcast during the last week.  

Following are the details:  


This is a close up of the center leaf.  Jude talked about needle weaving in her magic diary class so "ode to Jude:

The last thing I'll mention here are changing times.  

Before wheely luggage people use to carry their suitcases...manual labor.  Before plastic luggage there was leather.  Imagine, organic gestures. 

 I was born in England, Leicester.  We immigrated in 1961 by crossing the Atlantic in a ocean liner, the USS United States. February - it was a bit bumpy and we weren't allowed on deck because of the ice.  Portholes were covered to prevent the glass from being broken by the waves/ice! Not exactly Titanic mind you, but an experience. 

My mother still has the leather  luggage that we used to "come over on the boat."  She hand sewed covers for the luggage to protect it; leather is soft.  This cover is a very heavy canvas.  She was getting ready to throw it out but I rescued it. Washed it and will save it because I think it is part of my history.  I also found the original luggage tag.  All luggage had to be a assigned a letter, based on the travelers' last name.  When we arrived in New York, the luggage was sorted on a platform for retrieving by the letter assigned. It took us a long time to collect all our things because in fact, just like luggage handlers today, a little disorganized. They weren't all with the "z's." I'm amazed that the label  has survived over 50 years.  

Above, you can see how it was squared off.  Well fitted to the suitcase.  The corners are quite strong;  they are double layered. The opening, for the handle, is also re-enforced, two layers thick.  It was buttoned and also had leather straps to act as a second level of closure/security.  The staining is from the leather.  Quite a piece of engineering.  My mother was very skilled with her hands.  She now just talks about all the things she could do. Sews a little - mending mostly,  because  hand movement is very painful.  Her arthritis is one of the things that brings her down.  But she still tries. I'm keeping this too because my mother is part of this cloth.