Where the heck has May gone already?! I feel like a big slacker for not posting about what I’ve been making, but there’s really not been much of that going on, due to what’s been eating up most of our time.

The Big Dig

This is the current time-sucker in our lives. It’s a retaining wall that’s been falling apart and pushing our neighbor’s fence over, and we’re digging the whole thing out and replacing it. The picture doesn’t give it justice though–the wall is 60 feet long, and about 4 feet deep. Then, after it’s all dug out, we’re replacing the wall with concrete blocks that are 70 pounds….each. Did I mention that it’s been 90 degrees here all weekend long?


But there is good news. I should have oodles more time to post, starting in two weeks when school ends for the year. I have tons of summer projects planned, and I’ll be taking pictures and writing so much more. I’ve missed posting in the last couple of months, and I have much to say that just hasn’t had a chance to get written down. Just thinking about all of it makes me so excited!

Time for a quick post before I head off to work for this evening (only 11 more days left at Fox, yay). I’m about halfway done with the blue scarf, and despite several finger sized holes where I’ve dropped and picked up stiches here and there, it’s not looking too bad. (I’ll post another picture of it when I finish it up.) I really like the soft boucle yarn I’m using, since it doesn’t seem to show my mistakes as much. I also picked up another ball of rosy colored yarn at JoAnn’s this week. It think it looks like a pink angora bunny all balled up right now.
I took a few shots of the parties going on out in my yard right now too. My sunflowers are huge, and doing really well. Aside from the wilted looking one in the front, they look great for planting them from seed earlier this year. I’m going to have to put them up again here next year too.

Sunflower Party

My Black-Eyed Susans are cool too. I spilt this plant this spring and gave half of it away, and it’s already grown back to as big as it was this spring.
They Won't Stop Growing!

Okay, I’m off to work. But my quilting is going with me too!

I’ve been cutting pieces for the next wedding quilt I’m making for several days now, and I was in the mood to take a break from that. Unfortunatly, it feels like it’s 90 degrees in the house today, and keeping a quilt on my lap to work on just doesn’t excite me too much. But I did pull out the Apple Core quilt that I’m making for my parents. I’m hoping it’ll be much cooler by the time I get home tonight from work to do some sewing. But I was pleasantly suprised by it. I hadn’t worked on in in some time, since I wanted to get Wedding Spectacularrr ready to go. Turns out, I’m on row 20 of 30. So with that said, I’d like to try to have the top completly pieced and ready to quilt by the end of October. I think that’s pretty reasonable.

Apple Core Quilt

But while my sewing isn’t loving the heat, my flowers sure are. I moved a lily that was in a weird spot next to the shrubs in the front of the house to along the side of our fence this year, and it just finally opened up. I was afraid I had hurt it when I moved it, but apparently it was okay. It’s now one of my most favorite flowers in the yard.
Pretty Pink Lily

I think all of my hard work in the yard is paying off finally. I went outside today to take a bunch of pictures of the things flowering, and there’s a lot more color than I thought I had. I was especially excited that there was a flower on the $1.00 lilly that I bought last week. Too bad for them, yay for me!

One Dollar Lilly!

It also looks like we’re going to get some use out of the raised beds that Ben made me for my birthday this year. The cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, and peppers that I started all look really good. Just in the last week too, my herbs have started to look a lot healthier. We’ll have a produce section in no time at all. The sunflowers are also growing like crazy. That bed looks like a party.
Sunflowers & Tomaters

I uploaded a bunch more new pictures of our flowers and yard at Avenue B. They’re fun to look at.
Oh yeah, tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2:30-4:00pm, think of me and send me good vibes. I have a big interview with the State of Michigan. I’m super nervous, so I’m going to need all the good thoughts I can get!

So after a month of heavy-duty gardening, we’ve actually managed not to kill anything yet. I say this, and I just know I’ll walk out tomorrow and see that our lawn is brown or something awful. Today we finished all of our beds, and that means that I’ve only got one more spot to finish up at. We have a tall fence that cuts off our backyard on a slope, and there’s nice plants mixed in with super-tough weeds. It’s going to be an awful time seperating that. I think that what I’d rather do is dig the stuff up along the fence, and just have grass growing. It’s too hard to seperate, and too much of a pain to keep it up there. I’m looking for low maintenance.
It’s been a wacky and wild week with me, and honestly, I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse. On the upside of the issues, my house is clean and my gardening is finishing up. On the downside of things, I’m preparing for an interview I’m not sure that I even have yet, and I’m freaking out. Really freaking out. The current job is only getting worse, and that’s causing more distress. I’ve got to get to the end of this soon.
Oh yeah! And the quilt for A&V’s Wedding Spectacularrrr isn’t even close to being done. I’ve gotta get myself into “so stressed out that I can’t stand it anymore” mode before I get it finished up. I’m stressed out with the fact that I’m not sure how to quilt it, and I’m stressed out that it’s not done. My quilting world is crumbling around me, and I’m freaking out, really bad!

I’ve been spending considerably more of my time outside doing gardening than inside doing sewing lately, and I think my quilt is mad at me for doing so. Last week I improved an area next to our fence, and yesterday we spent several hours digging up and moving around plants that needed a better home. This spring it was interesting to see where things started growing at, and the people who owned our house last had a bad sense of where to grow things. Then this morning, our dumptruck load of dirt was brought in, and I spent several hours filling my new veggie beds with dirt. I just know I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight.
I also started (but have not finished) reorganizing our spare bedroom/sewing storage room. I was inspired by an episode of HGTV’s Mission Organization and I ran to the room and started chucking things around. Did I mention that it’s still not cleaned up yet? It’s my plan for tomorrow morning since it’s supposed to rain, and I’m not about to move mud into my gardens.
And for the mean time, I’ve found some pretty interesting gardening tidbits at Backyard Gardener. I really don’t have much of a backyard to garden, most of my gardening is done on my side yard, but the either way, it’s still a pretty good site. They’ve got some really random links, but mixed in, there are some links that are good stuff. It’s at least worth checking out.

Yesterday we decided the side of the house needed some sort of flowering tree. Today we planted one. We went large shrub/small tree shopping, and brought ourselves home a hydrangea tree. It’s quite wee right now, but it gives me a good excuse to buy new plants to put all around it. I really wanted something like a flowering dogwood tree (they were everywhere when I lived in North Carolina) but I don’t think they’re the most hardy tree in Michigan. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the one we bought will actually live.
I’ve been outside for the last couple of days, since it’s been too warm to keep the quilt on my lap when I work on it. Maybe someday we’ll invest in an air conditioner. Maybe not. Tomorrow’s supposed to be cooler, but I’m working in the evening too. I wonder if anyone would notice me doing that instead of typing. It’s not like they ever give me enough work to do anyway.
Countdown until my birthday: a few days! And if anyone would like to give me a present, fabric and plants are always a thoughtful gift. I also like green candles, picture frames, and this coffee table from Pottery Barn.

I like to think that I have a pretty good handle on gardening and growing plants. I worked in a plant nursery for three summers in college, and didn’t manage to kill many of the plants (on my own watch, at least) through neglect. This year, I’m living in a house of my own with a pretty nice yard that’s perfect for starting a little garden. I think I may just be a failure at starting plants from seed though. Out of 10 or so seeds I’ve started so far, only my African Daisies have seen the beam of my grow light. Tonight I’ve been checking out the articles at You Grow Girl to see if there might be any hope for me. If nothing else, they have some of the coolest pictures of gardening related things there. I’m thinking I may have to invest in a “Garden Hoe” tool apron for my outdoor work this summer. One thing there did tell me to relax a little, and not be such a perfectionist about my garden, but how can I even have a crappy garden when I can’t get any of my plants to grow?
I mentioned yesterday about the “Many Deaths of Sunbonnet Sue” quilt that I came across at the Michigan State University museum a few summers ago, and today I actually found it at the The Quilt Index. It’s a really interesting site that serves as a database for quilts made during different time periods, for different functions in Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Turns out the quilt is actually titled “The Sun Sets on Sunbonnet Sue,” and was made in the great quilting state of Kansas. And if I didn’t think it was a great quilt to begin with, turns out the quilting was all done by hand! They’re quilters after my own heart.