Friday, June 16, 2017

My June Veggie Garden

With the purchase of a tiller I put it to work. I tilled 3 times and added farm compost to the rocky soil.

Very easy Dahlias.

Mammoth sunflower for the bees and birds.

This I am proud of making myself. A composter out of old feed tubs. Using scraps and a drill I made this. It is full of weeds, kitchen scraps, paper and the like. It is right next to where I need it, the garden. I think I will make a 2nd one for the horse veggie garden.

Pumpkins and rubber snakes

Green beans and Zucchini.


My lettuce is covered to save on sun and water. Lettuce does not like heat and hot sun.
This is one of three mixed lettuce beds.

More bush green beans

beans and tomatoes

my cabbage patch

cedar chips to keep away the moths.

Dill grown from seed for my first time. Very pleased!

more green beans

my red dahlias.

Thyme came with the house.

Cotton keeping watch

My first veggie harvest, sugar peas

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Where I come from

I guess as we get older we like to see where we come from. Where do our talents, gifts, physical traits and skills come from? Photos help with that and memories of that. I remember my paternal grandmother showing me how to play on the electric organ. All those petals and keys. She also collected travel souvenirs in resin. She displayed them in a dark corner with back light. These resin encased seahorses, seaweed and shells came alive to me. She also raised exotic birds in cages that I to helped clean. She was a meticulous house keeper who loved her birds, Persian cats and tea cup chihuahuas. She was also a card shark. She was a tennis player and very active and taught piano until very late in her life. My paternal grandfather was a bartender. He was also of the discernment to place a good bet or two. He was an avid and prolific gardener. Both of them could read people very well. They had a knack for games.

Last guy on the right is my grandpa on my paternal side.

My grandma on my paternal side in the middle. Both photos taken in New Orleans, Louisiana

I got my music ability, long neck, cheek bones and long nose from the paternal side. I can play chess, cards and have a knack sometimes. I love to raise animals and enjoy their company. If you spent enough time in a bar the magic is lost. Bars and liquor bore me. I love dogs but outside is best. I have a soft spot for Persian cats. But my husband only like the short haired cat. So all of ours are shorties. I do love the sea and have sea shells that light up thanks to new LED illumination devices. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Labors of Love

When I took on the Agnes Dei banner project; I did visual research on sewing this type of artwork.

I realized that people have invested hundreds of hours creating these gorgeous crafted items. They also have limited distractions in their lives. My life is defined by distractions of various degrees.

I have escaped bulls in my yard, visitors stopping by, calls to make, machines to repair, deliveries, plantings and harvesting, 3 meals a day to make and house chores.

But when it gets calmer in winter, I'd like to make one of these. For my church a piece I create that will be seen by those who visit. To bring some beauty into their lives. We all have gifts and talents to share. Sewing is mine to share.

Satin Banner Sewing

About a month ago I had an idea to give our local priest a gift. He just celebrated his 25th year being a priest. As he was from India, he did not have his own church decorations. His chosen symbol is the Lamb of God. I thought a banner with this lamb would be a great project.

I had figured out the fabric and the time to complete the project. What I did not take into account was the flu, farm and floods. We had out of town visitors stranded, roads closed so no deliveries and I got sick, very sick. The deadline I created was 1 week away from the celebration. It was time to buckle down and create.

Bridal satin is not your friend. It has a mind of its own. Using the window to transfer the design.

Fleshing out the basic design on slippery satin. The secret to satin is using tissue paper under the seams as you sew. The fabric will not slip and you can wash or tear off the tissue paper after. I used holiday tissue paper I had around. The backing was navy blue batik with ivory stars. It was all I had on hand that was wide enough for the back.

Quilting down the parts of the applique and adding black rat tail for the flag. I decided this was too much work using the rat tail. I did a satin machine stitch in black instead.

Machine appliqued the banner 40 inches x 55 inches under my Janome. 

I added batting under the lamb for more body and machine quilted the fleece.

When I finished I needed to frame the banner. I was out of blue satin fabric. And after a practice run of sating binding I tossed out that idea, too much work. So I found some gold crackle cotton and I sewed the binding by machine. It came out flawless. The only part I had to hand sew was the rod pocket on the back after binding. I even got the cloth label on by machine thanks to my husband printing it off ahead of time. I got the banner done the day before. My studio is still covered in paper, satin and fabric scraps. Clean up has to wait until I get all the veggies planted.

close up 

Banner in place in natural light.

One more garden

This is one of the original gardens that came with our property. This year, thanks to our tiller it is bigger. Really bigger! I now have 3 lettuce beds, 3 bush bean beds, rotated tomatoes and a spacious cabbage bed. And I have room for all the extra flowers and herbs. My rabbits still have their mint/straw yard to play in with overhead cattle panel arch for hawk protection. This arch has sweet peas on it for shade and for the bees. The tiller gives us the chance to enlarge and break new ground quickly. I still have years ahead to condition the soil and amend it. But for this year I added compost and dirt.The fence is to keep my poultry out during the harvest. Chickens love to peck red tomatoes and dig up lettuce beds.

Bone Up

A year ago a trapper friend of mine gave me a pile of heads. I thought I could clean them and sell them.But life got busy so I put them in a cage on an ant bed to be cleaned. The cage was to keep other critters from eating the bones.

Then I see a local science teacher asking for carnivore skulls for her science class. Living in the Ozarks I thought she would have no problem getting these. But she did not get any, so I said I would help. 

After a week of soaks in gallons of Hydrogen Peroxide and cleaning and oh the smell I got the skulls clean enough. This one is an otter. I could have boiled them but did not have a good location as it rained a lot this spring. And I needed a pot just for the skulls only. My pots are for cooking food not cleaning skulls.

It took several weeks to get these skulls to dry. I put them in my greenhouse and it worked faster.

Matching jawbones and teeth took the longest

Jawbones and teeth. A glue gun is great for joining jaws back together.

my tools

matching coyote teeth

beaver on the left and coyote on the center

The teacher got all the carnivore skulls for her class. I asked that the students wear gloves as these were not sterilized skulls. Safety first when dealing with dead things.

My favorite skull the beaver. The teeth are deep and curved. Very heavy skull.



My June Veggie Garden

With the purchase of a tiller I put it to work. I tilled 3 times and added farm compost to the rocky soil. Very easy Dahlias. ...