Thursday, March 29, 2012

Garden 2012

The gardening season is upon us and I couldn't be more thrilled. Due to the mild weather over the winter, the garden was very easy to clean up- I even started during February vacation! A couple of weeks ago I amended the soil of the existing boxes with some organic fertilizer and this weekend I plan on making 3 new boxes.

Last weekend I started a bunch of seeds and some of them have started sprouting! There was a minor disaster with some sub-par pellets and when I knocked into the grow light, I knocked apart half the tomato pellets- hopefully they will be ok. I ordered the bulk of my seeds early in January from Johnny's Seeds, to make sure that I got all the important ones. I've been picking up other ones here and there and I'll continue to do so as I see interesting varieties.

The grow light is occupying a mostly out of the way spot in our living room for now. I think that next year we'll need 2 for all my seeds. ;)

The Gypsy broccoli seeds sprouted after a mere 4 days!

This year in our boxes, we are planting varieties of: lettuce, spinach, carrots, onions, kohlrabi, beets, peas, beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, peppers, squash, zucchini, garlic, horseradish, asparagus, maybe corn and definitely TOMATOES! For herbs, I'm going with rosemary, thyme (mine overwintered!), basil, dill, cilantro and lavender. I also ordered strawberry and raspberry plants for the yard. I'm very excited to try all of the varieties that I picked out this season; the peas, beans, carrots and onions will have at least 2 each, and the tomatoes will have many! I can't get enough tomatoes- I picked out a bunch of heirlooms and I keep getting more every time I see them. I think I'm a seed hoarder!

To make sure that everything goes well, I have been relying on two books that I got from the library last winter and liked so much that I bought them (secondhand b/c they are out of print). I flip through them at least once a week and used them to plan my plantings and boxes.

The New England Vegetable Garden is the best gardening book if you live in New England. I can't recommend it highly enough. Don Kerr is a cool guy and his writing style is very easy to read. After discussing general gardening principles, each fruit, vegetable and herb gets an in-depth treatment based on his knowledge of New England.

Crockett's Victory Garden is pretty famous; likely everyone has heard of it. His book is very smartly laid out- with a month by month list of everything that needs to be done for each fruit and vegetable and many flowers.

I write extremely lightly, but here is my tentative plan the for the Garden 2012!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bermuda 2011

Last autumn Janda and I had the luxury to go to Bermuda with some friends and boy was it amazing! We were only there for 48 hours, so we zoomed around the island on scooters and saw just about everything thanks to our tour guides Kat and Jeff, who had visited several times before. The sites to see were amazing and I snapped a lot of photos from the back of the scooter.

After we arrived in Bermuda, we stopped for lunch on the way to the hotel and had some great sandwiches on a deck overlooking the ocean. Then we checked in to our hotel and stopped long enough to drop off our bags, put on our swimsuits and check out the view.

We started out at this beach and then walked down the coastline along all the little beaches to Horseshoe Beach.

At some of the little beaches the waves were very strong. The sand drops off very quickly, so the waves are higher than they seem.

Overlooking the next little beach.

Doing a little diving off the rocky (coral) outcropping.

Horseshoe beach.

The view from the hotel deck.

The sunset from our room.

The next day we went to St. George.

In the stockades.

Janda loves to visit historical sites. This is one of the many forts on the island.

Out on the boat.

Love the water color!

The beach where we ate our lunch.

Speeding around the island.

We went snorkeling at this shipwreck. There were fish everywhere that would swarm you if you fed them pretzels.

Coming back from snorkeling.

On our way to Hamilton on the scooter.

Downtown Hamilton.

The hotel beach before dinner. The water was still awesome.

Relaxing before dinner.

Going out to dinner.

Dressed up for dinner.

Enjoying the beach the last morning.

The beach was very peaceful before breakfast. The water was warm even then! Janda and I had one more swim before we left around lunchtime.

The view that we had all weekend- our tour guides!

A market with glass blowing and traditional Bermuda products on King's Wharf.

On our way home. Bye bye tropical weather. :(

Bermuda was awesome and Janda and I hope to make it back some day- for more than 48 hours. The flight was less than 2 hours and the atmosphere is absolutely tropical.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Handmade Spring/Summer Plan

Even though I haven't finished my winter projects (since I spent the last week studying), I figured that it would be a better, I mean more fun, use of my time to plan out my spring and summer projects. Taking pictures and looking at patterns always trumps hand-sewing in my book. ;) So here's my tentative plan for Grainline's Handmade Wardrobe Spring 2012:

For the wedding that Janda and I are attending this summer, I splurged and got a couple of yards of Valori Wells Wildfield Voile. I can't wait to make this, although it might be the last project since the wedding is at the end of July. I chose Butterick 5491 even though it is supposed to be for knits. I'll just make sure there is enough ease and add a zipper.

I already made a wearable muslin of these pants in corduroy. It was interesting. I had to do a lot of alterations, which I made note of and transferred to the pattern, so hopefully the next go around will be easier. I'm planning on making a pair of jeans and capris with the cotton.

For the striped jersey fabric I'm planning on making a simple self-drafted maxi dress for our road trip this summer. I'm hoping to get more proficient with super stretchy knits and make some tank tops and t-shirts out of those rib knits.

These three cottons, an aqua batiste, a pinky-purplish eyelet and the purple floral will become those three dresses (in order): Butterick 5490, New Look 6067 and Vogue 8184. I've already made the Vogue dress once in a cheap fabric and loved the fit and style and look forward to making it in a better fabric.

These four fabrics, another Wildfield Voile, a Lisette cotton from Joann's, an aqua/blue seersucker and a cute quilting fabric called Scribbles, will become those two skirts. Which fabrics become which skirts depends on how much I can eek out of each piece.

Here are all my new projects, lined up and waiting with their patterns!

Is anyone who knows me surprised by these 9 fabric choices???

I guess I should go do some hand-sewing now.