Sunday, December 30, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: a free ebook on microgreens:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A friend has been screwed over by the fiscal cliff- her disability is being held up until after Congress gets it together and solves the crisis they've created. If anyone likes jewelry, she can sure use the sales right now! It's lovely and very reasonably priced. Some on her etsy site SkyBlueRose Creations  and more at her Live Journal:

I'd buy some myself if it wasn't for brokedness, and the fact that the husband would say "YOU make jewelry! Why do you need to BUY jewelry??" :-)
What happens when you forget to take the hummingbird feeders down in fall:

New article up at the Examiner: free ebook "How to Compost"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: a free ebooklet on preserving and using your garden herbs:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: two free gardening ebooks available to day, one on orchids and one on greenhouses!

Monday, December 3, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on the People's Garden Webinar schedule: Online streaming video gardening classes for free!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on the perennial Lychnis coronaria, aka rose campion, pink mullein, Bloody William etc etc

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

New article up a the Examiner: Purdue University has released an app for tree problem diagnosis:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New article at the Examiner: Fine Gardening magazine is having a holiday sale on gardening books and dvds!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on grape hyacinths (muscari), and easy and inexpensive spring flowering bulb!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on the unusual wingthorn rose: It's a spikey, gothy plant that shines in fall after the leaves fall!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on the differences between heirloom, open pollinated, hybrid and GMO seeds:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Steamcon 4- Bast skirt

I have finally- with less than three weeks to go- started on my costumes for Steamcon 4. Saturday's costume will be the Egyptian cat goddess, Bast, but with a Victorian style rather than see through, skin tight, Egyptian draping.

I found a heavy brown, ankle length skirt at a thrift store that looked like it would work. But it needed something that said "Egyptian" so I decided to put a decorative band around the bottom with hieroglyphs. So, after letting out the skirt just a little (thankfully, it didn't have a band, so a little unpicking, steaming, stitching and fusible web later, it fit), I took a narrow piece of ecru cotton and free hand drew hieroglyphs all around it.

Next, I went over the pencil lines with a brown permanent textile marker.

Then, I took artist's acrylics and painted the heiroglyphs in two shades of brown with a few touches of gold.

I pinned it to the skirt a couple of inches above the bottom, and top stitched it down.

I used a line of dark brown and a line of gold stitching on top and bottom. Then I unpicked the edges of the band, so it's rough and old looking. I can't decide whether to wash the skirt again before wearing it, to make the edges even more frayed. I also can't decide whether to try and antique it a bit with some dye sprayed on. For now, though, this is it.

New article up at the Examiner, on the colorful vine Virginia Creeper!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Got my flu shot Friday before work, so that if I had my usual reaction I could have it over the weekend and be ready to work on Monday. Sure enough, by Friday night I was feeling achy (more achy than usual) and slightly feverish. Yesterday I had the full effect of bone deep aching muscles and fever, on top of my usual fibro pain and joint pain and headache. Went back to bed midday and fell asleep while reading with a tea cup on my belly. You can guess what woke me up- yep, cold tea pouring all over me, the book, the bed and the cat. Talk about rude awakenings!

Did manage to get the fabric for the La Catrina costume dyed. Didn't turn out the color I wanted, of course, but then I had to mix colors to have enough. It's not as blue a purple/pink as I wanted- it verges on warm. Drat. And I forgot to take before and after pictures! That and writing one article was all I got done yesterday.
New article up at the Examiner, on using flowering kale for fall color!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on the hobo spider which makes its way into Northwest homes at this time of year:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: there is a free ebook on fall and winter gardening being offered at Amazon!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: there is a FREE gardening ebook being offered at Amazon today!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: review of 'Herb Gardening in Five Seasons' by Adelma Grenier Simmons.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The chicory was all in bloom this morning, so I took some shots. I wasn't the only one enjoying the flowers today, though!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Had to stop at the local nursery for some filler plants for a garden job, and they were having a sale so of course some plants ended up following me home. *sigh* They just won’t leave me alone!

Sweet potato ‘Tricolor’

Sweet potato ‘Sweet Caroline Yellow and Green’

Ajuga ‘Pink Lightning’

I also got an Oenothera kunthiana ‘Glowing Magenta’ (which, it turns out, is probably not hardy here) and an Anemone sylvestris, a white flowered spring bloomer. But they aren't in bloom, so no pictures!

No time to plant these yet; they'll have to live on the porch until we get through getting everyone else's gardens into shape!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on the hardy, fragrant and beautiful English lavender!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on the hardy, drought tolerant perennial Dianthus knappii 'Yellow Harmony'

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

There is a certain satisfying feeling, standing in front of a tree that's now about 12' tall, and saying to it "I knew you when you were a seed a few years ago"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: a sale on gardening products & books, and a garden design contest!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Look what I got!

'Graffiti Double Salmon'- I've never seen a double stellar geranium before! And the woman at the greenhouse said that last summer it bloomed constantly.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Quick new article up at the Examiner: there is a new FREE gardening e-magazine available!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Next time I buy a watering can, I'm not going to get one of those green, blend into the scenery like camouflage ones that seems to be the only color readily available. I'm going to hunt until I find one that's the most saturated, screaming pink around so I can find that sucker when I want it. I want it so bright that if I can't find it walking around the yard, I can go on Google Earth and see the damn thing.

New article up at the Examiner, on animal themed gardens!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

And this is why my roses keep getting eaten. Young stag, antlers still in velvet, and his twin brother that I didn't get a shot of. Twenty feet from the house.

And, ten minutes after running them off, a doe is out there. I can't win.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on creating your own garden getaway! (not to be confused with a garden that gets away from you)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Another clothing remake!

This black blouse is sheer rayon with embroidered vines. It's lovely fabric, but the blouse was at least 12" too big around and those style sleeves look awful on me. Do not like elbow length sleeves!

So I laid it out flat, pinned it together so that the fabric was even and unwrinkled from the side seams in, measured two inches in on each side, all the way down- including the armscyes. And cut the excess fabric, sleeves and all, off, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance.

I then sewed along the new sides, making the side seams open for about 3" up as the original seams had.

Then I tackled the cut off sleeves. They were almost elbow length, with a large ruffle attached. I wanted that ruffle back on, so I cut it away from the sleeve right against the seam line. This circle is what the ruffle was.

Right sides together, I pinned the ruffle, largest point at the top, into the armsyce. The narrow points didn't quite make it to the bottom of the armsyce, so after I sewed the ruffle to the armsyce I made a narrow, double turned hem along the bottom of the armsyce to finish the edge. I don't normally like to leave an opening like that without a facing, but in this case, with the transparent fabric, it was the best solution- and the easiest!

The finished top now fits me with a fair amount of ease, and the ruffles make cute cap sleeves. It dresses up a contrasting tank top nicely, and will be great for summer!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My hoya is blooming again. Last year I never got around to taking pictures, so I made sure to get some this time. I was given this plant as a tiny thing, and have actually managed to keep it alive- I have killed hoyas before, sadly. I had no idea who the plant was- I wasn’t even aware there were so many hoyas! When it bloomed with red balls instead of fragrant white stars, I was very startled. 

I don’t even remember who gave me the plant; I thought it was the woman across the street but she says her hoya is the white star one. So I ran through the entire gallery at and I think it’s Hoya kentiana; the flowers aren’t large enough to be Hoya weyetii. They do produce a *lot* of nectar, which at first made me wonder what was wrong with the plant (“It’s crying! Help it!”). I think it’s kind of cool that it’s a plant from the Philippines. I wonder if my mother ever saw this plant in gardens there?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Road hold ups that make you late for work:

New article up at the Examiner, on the floribunda rose 'Iceberg', one of the easiest roses to grow!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

An extra article today, on landscaping to conserve energy:

New article up at the Examiner, on violets! There are a lot more violets out there than just the sweet violets (although those are my favorites)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on garden related gifts for Mother's Day- and they don't all take money!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Creation of photography lightbox from cardboard carton: 1/3 done
Times cats were removed from cardboard box: 24
Scratches on hands from trying to measure and cut carton without removing cats first: 3
Scratches on hands from removing cats from cardboard box: 56
Number of band-aids used: 5
Times removal of cats from house was contemplated: 30

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: Fine Gardening is giving away tickets to the Open Days at the gardens in the Garden Conservancy network!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The swallows are here as of this morning! For some reason they always flap around the bedroom window, so it's impossible to miss them.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New article at the Examiner: gardening is the #1 simple act to sustain the earth this Earth Day:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I think I just heard the first hummingbird go dopplering by! Looked around a lot after, but didn't see it or hear it again. Still, little else sounds like that.

Also, got the last of the cutting back of dead stuff done in the garden. Didn't stop to do any weeding; that'll be endless, but at least the garden doesn't look like a trash bin now. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: free ebook on raising earthworms available for download at Amazon!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spent some time making some quick to make bracelets, hoping to come up with things that can be sold cheaply through the one outlet I've found in town. Apparently a LOT of her jewelry sales (as opposed to her expensive art glass) in tourist season is to kids and teens who aren't spending $45 on a bracelet. So far I've come up with these:

The two on the right are just strung seed beads & rice 'pearls', three strands that are then braided. The downside of these is that the 'pearls' are plastic so they would probably *only* sell to kids, and I'm not sure I want plastic shown on the same display as my more expensive stuff (and I can only have one display board)- and I can't find any inexpensive glass pearls in this shape.

The left two are glass pearls and seed beads in simple RAW. They make a nicely heavy bracelet that is quick to work up.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on what all those letters and numbers on the tomato descriptions mean!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I was actually able to get outside for a bit and do some spring cleanup; pulling weeds, cutting back things that didn't get taken care of last fall, pruning. Miles to go, but the ground is still so wet that I have to stay on the paths and only do what I can reach from there- I don't want to compact the soil in the beds. As it was, I sank down about two inches in one spot just stopping to cut some things- I was only there a couple of minutes! I hate to think what would have happened if I'd been there longer- I'd most likely have gone right down and disappeared.

Some plants are showing little green noses at ground level, and one clematis has fat buds on it. One of the primroses has color showing in its buds. Spring may actually be arriving- although I think it's going to snow again tonight.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's officially spring. People all over are posting pictures of beautiful plants: daffodils, forsythia, hyacinths. People are posting about having eaten things from their gardens already. Us? About all we could do in that area would be melt some snow to drink.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Something that's not a bracelet!

A stone donut (not sure what kind... it has gray veining in it) in a net of transparent dark red seed beads, branched fringe with glass leaves on the ends, and a herringbone bail.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I have succumbed to Pinterest. Spotted two contests in two days that required having a Pinterest account, so it happened. It does seem kind of useful, for collecting images, although I do that on my hard drive anyway. And it's not useful if the 'net is down.

I amazes me; I put up three boards with only a few pins on each, and they have been repinned like crazy within a couple of hours. It was like tossing a pig into a tank of piranha, I swear, the kind of frenzy that apparently surrounds this web site.

My page is at if anyone is interested; if you have a page, I'd like to follow it
New article up at the Examiner, on the benefits of vegetable garden beds vs. rows:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, about the Backyard Makeover contest that Fine Gardening is having:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pearl collar: Two needle RAW in two shades of gray pearls in 6mm and 4mm, #11 & #15 silver/gray Charlottes, and just a few black #11s. Husbands opinion? "I guess it looks okay"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New article up  at the Examiner, on growing grass indoors for your cats (wheat or oat grass, that is)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Skirt from a dress

Because I didn't feel like cleaning the bathroom, I remodeled a yard sale dress into a skirt. It's rayon batik fabric, princess seamed, with buttons up the front. The bottom part fit my bottom part, but the top wouldn't button.

Also, photobomb by Silver.

Measured from the bottom and cut the top off. Getting this measured evenly turned into a nightmare, as the fabric is really stretchy- might even be cut on the bias.

The waist was now 6" too large for me. Happily, there were six seams so I took an inch in on each of them, tapering it to nothing 4" down.

I was going to put a facing at the waist, but there wasn't a big enough piece left over without crazy piecing it. So I did a narrow double turn down, and it worked fine. The top button that was left was only an inch down from the top, so all I had to do for fastening was sew a snap at the very tip top to keep it from sticking up, and I was done!

I'm pretty sure these buttons are coconut shell, to complement the tropical batik!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Latest bracelet: cobalt blue hex #8s in peyote stitch with a dark silver ruffle and decorated with moons and stars!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: Horticulture magazine, through it's shop site, is having a sale on books & CDs:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Is everyone sick of bracelets yet? Tough. Here's another one; another Russian spiral, but this time mixing bead sizes and types.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Another bracelet! This is tubular herringbone, like the green one a few days ago, but it alternates bugles and seed beads and I didn't put a spiral on it. The brilliant colors combined with the black makes me think of 1970 black light posters!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Warm, sunny day, so I hung the laundry out to dry for the first time this year. I had to dance around in the snow under the clothesline, but the clothes *almost* dried and they smell so good. There is hope for spring!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This is the latest bracelet: my try at twisted tubular herringbone. I couldn't figure out how to make it spiral at first, hence the straight section at the end; to keep from pulling it apart to fix it I just made the other end straight tubular herringbone, too!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: a new Timber Press contest. This time the prize is all about growing your own food!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This necklace has the same history as the butterfly vest: I started it to wear at Steamcon I in 2009. Didn't get it done. I had no idea that branched fringe took so long to do- or used so many beads. (I came very, very close to running out of the beads that make the main branches of the fringe)

It started as a simple band of (I think) brick stitch, with the fringe put on at the same time as picots along the top edge. The band is #8 bright purple seed beads, the bugles are bright purple 4mm, the #11 seeds are reddish purple with some sort of finish on them that makes them appear different colors from different angles. And it's *heavy*
New article up at the Examiner, about the fragrant daphne shrubs:

Friday, March 2, 2012

New article up at the Examiner; Baker Creek Heirloom Seed is having a giveaway of two of there vegetable growing books!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I've been making a few things, trying to create a little bit of stock before I open my Etsy store. First, another Russian spiral bracelet, this one in red, black and purple. I will have a hard time getting rid of this one, because those are *so* my colors! Actually got the clasp attachment done correctly this time.

Next, a couple of cat dolls. One is made partly with Oriental cottons, a beady fire breathing dragon, vintage button eyes, and Siamese cat coloring. The other is a celestial one similar to one I made earlier, but this one has a tail.

Today I have a blinding migraine that actually sent me back to bed (while I hurt most of the time, very little sends me back to bed) and I am creating nothing.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: Timber Press is hosting a giveaway of a container gardening package- book, seeds and container!

Monday, February 27, 2012

New article up at the Examiner: a review of "The Foliage Garden", a book that is both beautiful and full of good information!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New article up at the Examiner, on the beautiful herb perilla (shiso, beefsteak plant)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I’ve made a terrible, terrible mistake.

I was looking for something to watch on TV while I beaded, and saw Downtown Abbey was on. Like a fool, I clicked on it, to see what all the fuss was about. I am now doomed.

New article at the Examiner, on stellar geraniums!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I have begun my assault on the pile of clothing that needs to be altered before I can wear it. I started with the easiest one: a culotte? skort? dress. It fit around me just fine, but my long body made it difficult to wear without being cut in half lengthwise.

So I cut the crotch out of thing, trimmed the excess fabric, ran the center back and front seams on down to the hem, and rehemmed it. New dress for me, as soon as spring comes and it's warm enough to wear it!
And one less thing in the pile!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I started this vest in 2009. I was going to wear it at Steamcon I. Steamcon 3 has now passed, months ago.

The fabric was kind of the fabric from hell. It's a synthetic brocade (jacquard? Can never remember which is which) from Mulewart. It frays if you so much as look at it. It's thick and doesn't fold or bend well.The fact that I picked a princess seamed pattern was blindingly foolish with this fabric.

The pattern was supposed to be a lined vest. I have a fear of linings, so I decided to flat line it and cut facings for the front. Fine, except that this fabric needed to have all edges enclosed. Crap. I ended up binding a lot of the seams, all the edges that weren't faced, and the princess seams I overcast and prayed for.

Buttonholes? Right. Fear of them, too. No way could this fraying stuff have regular machine buttonholes, plus, the buttonhole setting on my machine doesn't work right. So I made a foray into the wonderful world of bound buttonholes. I'd made them exactly once before, about 37 years ago. And they weren't great. But watching a Project Runway marathon and having Tim Gunn's "Make it work!" ringing in my ears I bulled my way through. They aren't pretty; they look like a 12 year old made them. But they function. Barely.

So, after two and a half years, I present the butterfly vest (the brocade pattern is butterflies):

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New bracelet!

This is the pattern is the one for the Seedbeadsters January Beadalong:

Almost matt teal #8s in peyote for the base (which you really can see from the top side, except along the very edge), silver and matt teal #11s on either side of a 4mm pearl, and aqua and lime #15s as picots along the edges.

Sadly, I screwed up and put the lobster claw clasp on upside down, so it's kind of hard to put on. Do-able, but awkward. Pooh.

New article

New article up at the Examiner, on the wild flower fireweed!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New bracelets

First up is a pattern I've used several times now, just in different colors

Next is a sort of Frankenpattern: I tried to follow a new pattern, and couldn't get the hang of it. I ended up making a base of right angle weave, then adapted the ruffle to it. Finally I embellished it with a vine and crystal 'flowers'

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

All I got done today was making the base for a new bracelet. The pattern called for even count peyote in #11 beads; I could not figure that out for anything. Decided that was for a day when I don't have such a nasty headache, and decided to make the damn base in #8 beads (much easier to see!) in RAW (much easier to do!)

Friday, January 13, 2012

A friend sent me this link:

Glass jellyfish, made in the 1880s by a pair of brothers. They're beautiful, and some would make great lamps!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Put the newsletter together and sent it; wrote tomorrow's article today (because we are going to a resume/job seeking class tomorrow); made a bracelet in just under three hours including snack time. New record for me, but it's a pattern I've made a couple of times before.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New photos!

New photos at Flickr of some of my Christmas projects!

Okay, I see that Blogger is still having issues with uploading pictures. So, there are art dolls and beaded things there at Flickr, lots of pictures!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New article

New article at the Examiner; there is a free PDF from WSU on 'Backyard Forest Management'- the information in it is useful to any gardener.

Monday, January 2, 2012

And so it goes....

Today’s epic fail: get a bracelet 2/3 of the way done, and realize that the reason it’s not working right is because *triangular* #11 beads are longer than regular #11 beads, not just differently shaped. Not enough to notice while working with them, but enough to throw the pattern way off.

Abort, retry, fail.

New article

New article up at the Examiner, on the Norway maple: