Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sedum, Glorious Sedum!

We have a very hot and sunny garden along our house, since our beloved Silver Maple trees had to be removed in 2007. The moral of this botanical story is that when you get lemons (we LOVED those trees, until one fell on our house when Ava was 7 weeks old), you make lemonade. (I found some new, yet smaller lovies to take the sadness away)
And unto my heart, a love of sedum was born. These little babies can enjoy sandy, dry and hot conditions-perfect for the now exposed garden that once lazed in the shade of the 60+ year old trees. Sedum are a bit succulent, they squeeze a little, you know?!? Ava enjoys a daily gentle squeeze of their leaves as much as I do. One of her first "gardening words" was "sedum". If you ask her to show you the sedum, she will walk you along this long garden and point out each beloved one.
This one feels like a Muppet-it is fun to barely run your hands over it!
I have to do a little research because I have become smitten with some "Stone crop" varieties, and I think they may all be in the sedum family, or is it the other way around?
This is one of my absolute faves, it has tiny little juicy pink rosettes that open to variegated green and white, larger leaves.
And this gray-blue-purple sweetie? It reminds me of a giant blue hosta, only smaller and juicier.
This one is called "Voo Doo"-a fun name for this blood purple color!
Somewhere I have a "Dragon's Blood" sedum, I will have to go out and find it tomorrow-it may have been lost under something that has grown too tall...
This one has a wild tendency to turn upward at the tip of each spire and reach straight for the sky, though the rest of the spire is lying parallel and close to the ground.
I also have a few "Autumn Joy" varieties, that grow tall and silvery green. True to their name, in the fall, the entire top of them bloom in burnt red flowers-so pretty...
To anyone in Zone 5 in need of a sun loving, easy and delightful plant, I give 5 stars to Sedum!
And if anyone out there knows the relationship between "Stone crop" and Sedum, please fill me in!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Puppet Show Tunic

I got this pattern a while back at Alewives Fabric, while on a fabric outing with a friend. We make a special trip to this shop, though it is out of the way-there aren't many places in Maine to get certain fabrics. Sometimes you just have to touch the fabric and go home with it in your bag, you know? Online shopping is great, but real life, in person is better. Perhaps I have an instant gratification issue-what? Me?!?
These patterns come with a little paper doll on the cover- a real one! It has been a long time since I played with a paper doll. I don't know who likes them more, me or my one and half year old daughter.
I started this little tunic for Ava and quickly remembered why I don't love making garments. It is all so precise and measured and technical-it takes too much concentration and patience for me. But I kept at it, until I had to enlist my visiting mother to work on it-in hopes it might be finished before Ava grows out of it.
Alas, she only had time to assist with the collar & placket areas-and now I must face this mountain alone. I have made brides maid's dresses, skirts, and even a coat before, and I always have the same experience. Just because you can do something, doesn't always mean that you should.
I love the chocolate brown polka dot and auqa prints so much that I think I will find the time to complete this-somehow. Wish me luck and patience, I will keep you posted!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wait so Long

We wait so long for spring here. Too long. For the past 2 nights I have been out gardening, until after dark, once in the pouring rain, covered in mud in my trusty rubber boots. All of this just to be out there a bit longer, to smell the sweet, peppery apple blossoms on all of the trees in the backyard. There really should be just a few more hours in each day.
This feels like the first year I have taken real note of them. Despite their being terribly neglected from lack of pruning, I do love these trees. This year I am promising myself to prune them, to save them and restore them to their full glory.
The lilacs and honeysuckle just bloomed too, and ahh-the lily of the valley-I am so lucky to have such sweet smelling plants in my yard.
Spring was worth the wait this year.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy to Be a Mama

I hope all the mamas out there had a good Mother's day!
My husband made a mother's day brunch for my myself, my mother, my sister and my mom's friend. What a menu! Crepes with Ghiradelli chocolate sauce and strawberries, warm croissants with real butter and raspberry jam-then my fave: Cafe Maison. We always get this when we go to Quebec city; coffee and hot chocolate in a bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream-divine! Of course we had Mimosas and I made chocolate turtle brownies for dessert. No dieting at this meal.
My dear friend across the street brought over a sweet flower arrangement from her garden and a card that made me teary eyed.
I set the table with real silver and festooned it with my white milk glass collection, little cups with fresh strawberries and an assortment of my first garden flowers. A scrumptious morning.
I spent the afternoon installing a small garden for a friend who is about to be a mother herself and then came home and got my Mother's day gift: a child without hair in her face. Yep-we finally had to do it: cut Ava's bangs. I had long ago lost the barrette war-she pulled them out and put them in the trash can, so we trimmed her up-she looks like a little girl now, my petite bebe.
Let's just pretend that is mascara under my eyes and not tired puffs!
Happy Mother's day to all-though everyday is really mother's day I think...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another Knit for 2009

Among being way too over committed right now and having no significant time to do anything, I manage to somehow still do everything...sound familiar? I know so many of us are in this boat. In my obsessive and likely annoying effort to give my daughter a magical childhood, filled with creativity and hand made things, this little jumper was bound off the needles yesterday.
Despite being a bit frantic, and oh- so busy with a long list of things to do...The yarn came from that stash I built a while back. This may be knit # 5 for 2009, but I am not counting anymore really. (Okay, yes I am, #4 is a red diddy that I am a bit hung up on and have fallen out of love with, but I will forge ahead and finish it, as I am on the last 5 rows...)
I used Cascade 220 light blue yarn and a green wool I had from a previous yarn binge, but we won't talk about that one...the color switch came about because as usual, I got bored while knitting 9 inches of stockinette stitch for the base of the jumper and decided to switch colors. The buttons are pale blue from Joann's.
Then I got bored with the called for Garter stitch and decided to practice a few different stitches on the top: ribbing and seed stitch. The other modification I made was omitting the straps on the front piece, and knitting in button holes on the ends of the straps on the back piece-I am not one for ties on the shoulders. I can't even imagine how often I would be re-tying those in a day...
I promised myself I would take a knitting break and focus only on the camper (yes, the saga continues), but alas, since last night, I am already 5 inches into another baby garment. many cutesies to knit, so little time!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Smart Planner Interview

I am excited to have been featured on The Smart Planner blog-you can read the interview here. The author of this blog is an Arizona based wedding planner who started a consulting business for wedding professionals. Liene interviews planners from all over the country in a series called, "Meet the Planners". I enjoy reading about the other planners and hearing about their successes and that many of their obstacles are ones that I share. Being a one woman show has been isolating at times for me-and I admit I have not put forth the best effort at getting out there and being in touch and networking in the past two years-I am learning to adjust to being a business woman, a mother, a wife, and all of the other roles I fulfill every day... My mother is visiting from Illinois, my laptop was in the "shop" for repairs and I have been in a gardening fury for the past few weeks-I apologize to have been away!