A Happy Garden

Warning: lots of pictures in the post! 

My garden is beautiful. Thanks to my awesome friends at my “Help Jenny With Her Garden” party, my garden is simply flourishing out in the front yard. I had a beautiful, bountiful harvest all during fall and winter, and I’m sad I didn’t document it very well. Here are the few shots I did happen to get on my iPhone:

Beautiful tomatoes all winter long
Baby carrots
Peas in a pod
Zucchini in December
Luffa gourds to luffa sponges

Now it’s spring and I’m waiting to harvest the last round of winter planting:

Oregon Sugar Pod Peas
Little broccoli offshoots
Red Creole Onions
More carrots :)
Cherry Tomatoes

New spring arrivals:

Tomato, eggplant and pepper seedlings
Rattlesnake bean blossoms
Sweet peas
Green-striped Cushaw squash seeds

New friends (due to an aphid problem):

How many ladybugs can you spot? (pun intended)

And lastly, flowers from the back porch that were just too beautiful to ignore:

Midnight-Velvet petunias
Sunflowers amidst weeds in my old garden area

I love my garden.

Project of the Week

Actually, make that “Project of the Past Two Weeks”.

Tada! In case you’re wondering what it is, it’s a combo trellis for my garden (cucumbers and squash, specifically) and shade for our front door/window, which get quite toasty in the summer. I got the idea from here. Phil’s sister sent me that link last year and I found it tucked away in my “Projects” folder in Evernote. See, you just never know when you’re going to come back to something.

I started building the frame last Monday when Phil was out of town. Now while I enjoyed the freedom to do it completely MY way and not his super logical way, I did have to go back and undo things quite a few times. My biggest mistake, probably, was building half the frame indoors. Maybe.

At the time it made total sense to me. It kept me in the nice cool house. It was a bit warm outside, and I was being sun-cancer conscious and staying out of the harmful UV rays. But then I need to move it outside. All by myself. A big 7 foot by 8 foot frame. And no, I did not break anything. That was Phil’s first question when I told him my process.

Then I had to add on the other half. Many other “Oh crap, I should’ve done it that way” moments came to me during the rest of this. But I will save those for a conversation over wine.

Next step was painting a color that matched the house. It didn’t really turn out looking any different than the original wood color, but it does give a little bit more finished look to it. Then the rain/snow came last weekend and halted my progress. But Friday was beautiful outside so both Phil and I went to staple down the metal fencing wire mesh stuff. This was the whole point of this entire project – a trellis for my garden. The cucumbers and squash I plant are vining varieties and so will eventually climb and provide shade. Phil had the great idea of adding the shade cloth though. So back to Home Depot I went to get shade cloth. Then back another time to get those special fasteners for shade cloth that I thought I should get but decided I didn’t need them because we had a staple gun. (I was wrong, btw). And then back a 3rd time to get another pack because, again, I ignored that little voice of logic in my head that said, “Hmmm, maybe you should get two just in case”. Damn logic gets me every time.

Side note: We both, even in all Phil’s logical glory and super translucent skin, forgot to put on sunscreen. We totally fried. Now you see how genius it was of me to build the thing indoors.

Anyway, many more hours ensued between putting the entire thing into the ground, attaching the cloth, deciding to attach it up to the roof, perfecting it, etcetera, etcetera. Phil is still not done perfecting it, but I’m happy. I’m loving the shaded front porch and added privacy!

And here is a teaser for a very overdue garden post:

Red Creole Onions

Project of the week

My goal is to do my blog post on Mondays. Let’s pretend it’s last Monday, ok? I definitely was NOT ignoring my goal and playing Skyrim and sipping tea all day while it’s rained/snowed outside.

So my project of the week is actually three different projects. Three very simple ones that were on my list. I also think that doing three in a week is building up my karma for a future week where I’m too busy or uninspired.

Simple project #1:

I saw these cute ballet flats on Free People and thought, “Easy DIY!”. Mine turned out close, but not exact. I need to tweek the ribbons a bit still, but they are still cute!

It was a simple as buying black and nude ribbon (the nude looks a little golden in this pic, but it’s really not) and gluing them on my black ballet flats. I also took the little black bows off the front of the shoes after this pic. I wore them to dinner that night at Zemam’s with Mike and Bri. We have made this delicious Ethiopian and BYOW restaurant a monthly event.

Simple Project #2:

Obviously, I have tons of burlap laying around from my purses. It’s so trendy right now to do all kinds of things with it. My favorites I’ve seen though are these planters, tulip root balls, and cute curtain-ring redo. Another idea I came across was an earring holder. So I decided to do that but when I finished it was too pretty to cover with earrings. Mostly because of the awesome frame (which I already had laying around, neglected). So I brought it into Phil’s simple, modernistic office (imo it’s BARE and needs color!!!), and he agreed it would look nice above the keyboard (the musical kind). He rarely agrees to let me put something in there. So there is hangs. I still want to make one for my earrings, though.

Simple Project #3:

A pretty, matching trash bag for my car. Ok, I know this may not be a simple project for everyone. But since I have a sewing room all set up with all kinds of fabric, thread, bias tape, etc it was simple for me. This fabric is one of my faves that I brought back from Hawaii last year. I followed instructions from this awesome book I found called One Yard Wonders.

Ok that wraps up last week. I’m still working on my big, secret project. I just don’t want to show it off until it all complete and installed. Hint: it has something to do with my garden :) Stay tuned for Monday’s post.

Make-it Fridays. Or Mondays. Whatever.

This name I borrowed from my awesome friend with electric blue hair, Amanda Roberts, owner of Geek Details. She holds weekly gatherings where it’s an open invitation for people to come over and make things. I think they started at Make-it Mondays, and then she switched it to Fridays (scroll down a bit on her page to read about it). Or the other way around. Whatever. I’m contemplating copying this tradition. How fun would it be to weekly get together and make stuff together?! Thoughts?

Moving on. Last Sunday I posted about my goal of doing a weekly project. I’m happy to report that I’ve completed that goal! And, my other goal of blogging about it, obviously. My sweet friend, Keeley, told me she was excited to see what I chose. So here we go! In my ridiculously overstuffed evernote folder of project ideas, I have this tutorial for adding side panels to too-small or armpits-are-yucky shirts. I had a bunch of cheap t-shirts from Forever 21, in various colors. I loved the bright colors, but in their cheapness, they had shrunk. This was all due to the fact that they were $4 each and nothing whatsoever to do with me gaining weight ;) Here they are, all in their wrinkly glory:

(The red one I had already re-fashioned for last year’s Jimmy Eat World Concert. I cut the logo from a too-big shirt that was a too-small shirt for Phil and sewed it onto the currently-fitted-me red shirt.)

Next step, choosing which fabric to use for the side panels. That was a hard decision. I was starting with the bright blue shirt and chose a fabric.

Warning: Kitties like fabric. And cameras.

Then I realized I didn’t want any white fabric bc then that would eventually lead to yucky armpits. So I changed my mind, and I’m glad I did!


This is a knit fabric that I rescued from my mom’s fabric supply. This is legit knit from the 80’s! Love the retro-ness of it! It turned out so cute!

It was perfect for wearing to the farmer’s market last Sunday when the weather, obvious by my shorts, was beautiful! I also kept going and did the teal shirt, and also the black one.

These ones had both shrunk up lengthwise. I didn’t realize that until I had finished the teal one, so I added length to the black one. I might go back one day and do the same for the teal.

So this kept me busy this week whenever I felt like doing something productive. It also gives me a nice addition to my wardrobe for free!

On to this week’s project! Actually, I’ve already completed it, but it was so easy that I don’t think it counts. So I might have two projects to blog about next week. We’ll see …

Google Reader, You’ll Be the Death of Me

One of my favorite things to do on my mornings off is to make a cup of coffee (I use the Peruvian from Adventure Coffee Roasting and the amazing, everyone-who-drinks-coffee-must-have Aeropress) and read my feeds on google reader. My list of subscriptions is pretty long, and they all have to do with cooking, crafting, or sewing. Any others are friends’ blogs, or just plain humorous ones. My system is to read and when I find a recipe or project I want to do, I clip it into my evernote. That way it’s tucked away for later, and I’m not overwhelmed by all the endless ideas.

I’m very good with actually following through on the recipes I clip. That makes sense. I love to cook, and well, we need to eat dinner, so that’s easy motivation. My projects, however, … yeah. I’m clipping way more than I’m actually doing. I’m not overwhelmed, just a little disappointed in myself for not taking the initiative to do them. I need that creative outlet. I have plenty of time (Sorry, not trying to rub it in for full-time working and/or mommy peeps!). Sooooooo, what’s the excuse? GOOGLE READER! I think I’m enjoying spending more time reading it and clipping ideas. Then I move on to something else, like cleaning, or errands, or laziness.

So, new goal. I will do something from my “projects” folder once a week. And then blog about it (Say what? Consistent blogging from Jenny?).

And I’m off! Right after I pick something first.

Ok, that took 15 minutes. But I have something! Stay tuned.