Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Holy Crap

So, let us harken back to the days (ok, it was only August) when I blamed AfricanKelli for getting me involved in BackTack, blogging and just generally trying new things. What I'd like to do now is change "blame" to "thank", since I'm just a little overwhelmed with the goodwill and fuzzy friendship resulting from all of the above.

I mean, first of all, she got me to save my sewing machine from the dusty depths of the garage -- something to be thankful for in itself. Since the time she talked me into this project I've saved the aforementioned sewing machine, set up a dedicated space in the house for all my crafting supplies, started and maintained a blog, documented the progress of my garden and crafting projects on said blog, met a few new crafty folks through Backtack, muscled my way through a way-over-my-head chicken purse pattern, learned about Blackwork embroidery, received an incredibly lovely and generous backtack bag and, probably most importantly, created a new bond with my dear friend, AfricanKelli.

So there, I got all warm and fuzzy on your asses. But you know what, I'm weird like that. Plus, I'm a little cracked out on cold medicine right now and can't help it.

The only sad thing in all this is that the battery for my digital cam needs recharging before I can post pictures of the amazing Backtack bag I received today from Splityarn. Ugh, damn it. But wait till you see it -- it is pretty friggen cool. I am so using this bad boy for my laptop now. No more stuffy Timbuktu bag for me. I'll post pictures soon. Charge camera! Charge!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Mighty Broccoli

Just a few weeks after putting seed to soil, I have tiny sproutlets that are promising delicious winter stirfries, stews, salads and the like.

Aren't they darling in a succulent and alien way?
Broccoli, Cauliflower

Carrots, Onions

And let's not even get started on this guy -- what an awesome monstrosity! He'll be going on my porch for Halloween.

More seeds to go in the ground this weekend, along with a much more sophisticated enclosure for the beds. It appears that squirrels are not deterred by arched hardware cloth and can, in fact, find their way in just fine to eat the tender tops off my sprouting lettuce. Which is why you don't see any lettuce sprouts in these photos. Grrr...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Cluck You

I've finished my bag, packed it full of crafty goodness and shipped it off to my backtack buddy who I hope will appreciate it's poultrylicious nature.

Now, don't credit me with any undue creativity here -- my backtack buddy was the true inspiration for this beauty. If you haven't cruised by her blog yet, be sure to check out monstercrochet for unique creations involving eyeballs, crossbows, adhesives, an evolving doll series and, of course, all things poultry.

I just hope she likes the bag and its contents and perhaps it sparks a new wave of fowl innovations.

The final product:

If this post has put you in the mood for some wings -- here's a good spot to indulge your fantasies...

Friday, October 14, 2005

Promised Pumpkins

I was inspired to post some photos of my pumpkin harvest after reading AfricanKelli's blog this morning. Fairly good crop of Spooktacular pumpkins this year, and even a few big guys. Although, one went to the neighbor and the other one was eaten by the devil. (See previous posts). Also, a few pumpkins from a harvest festival I went to last weekend. Very Cindarella like.

Happy Fall/Halloween, folks.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Finally, a good book

With the recent creation of our book club, I've been really looking forward to coming across a good book. The first two were bad and ok, respectively, and I'd been doubling up on my book club reading with personal reading so that I could at least be reading one thing that I knew I'd like. But then, even the books I "knew" I'd like have been a little bit of a drag.

However, finally, a good book crossed my path. I'm sure it's no mystery to you that "The Kite Runner" is excellent -- seeing as it's in every bookstore window, all over Amazon and what not. But, honestly, I was skeptical because of the setting of the book (Afghanistan)and the propensity of publishers to release books because of their relation to current events and not necessarily the quality of their content. This is certainly not the case here, as the story of the book is riveting and the writing style is rich and engaging.

I finished this book in four sittings, one of which being a bout with insomnia, and was sad to see it end. His next book is coming out mid-2006 and I can't wait. Good, good read.

Lookie at that, I wrote a little book report. And unprompted at that. Wouldn't my third grade teacher be proud.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Let the broccoli begin...

Even with a thumping hangover I was determined to pull the summer vegetable garden and get the winter garden in the ground, irrigated and prepared for frost.

The summer veggies took it pretty well. They gave up a few final surprises in the process:

Overall, the pulling went well and we have a giant mound of debris to compost. Then, after turning some organic fertilizer into the soil and giving it a good watering, we installed a few new sprinkler heads, spread some seed, labeled the areas and created the Anti Freeze Space Station, which my husband is referring to as Moffit Gardens. Take a look at this handy invention which simultaneously deters evil squirrels, hungry birds and, once unveiled, becomes the Anti Freeze Dome capable of protecting all manner of vegetation from the deadly frost...


Oh the efficiency of it all. Next step, close the ends and install hinging wire doors on the top to allow for easy picking of delicious winter greens.

Now let us all thank the gardening gods, goddesses, nymphs, fairies, moon maidens or whatever else so that we may have a respectable harvest this winter and so that my neighbors don't laugh in my face. They've already given us the wild eye at the sight of our mini-Area 51, so we can't give them too many more reasons to think we're insane.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Alright, I admit it, I gave up. I had one last project to finish and I flat ran out of steam. I couldn't get the yarn in the right color, no matter how hard I tried to find it, and I wasn't satisfied with any of the "alternate" projects I'd started to replace the original teddy bear that I set out to make.

So, I did the unthinkable, I bought a baby shower gift. I know, I know, its very uncrafty and impersonal of me, but I am able to justify it because the gift comes very highly recommended by all the mommies at my office, it comes from a nice small online retailer and I think that my friend will really like it. I'm also tucking a "tiny" version of my original teddy bear project into the bag to add some type of handmade touch to it all. For those of you out there who might need to resort to similar measures -- here's a great alternative baby shower gift when your handmade projects just don't shake out.

Oh, and some bastard animal/insect has destroyed one of my big pumpkins. I was going to include a photo of the massacre but the sight of it sent me off the deep end and into the garage looking for my pick ax. Instead, let us enjoy the last remnants of an intact vegetable garden, shall we...

Little LemonCurvy Cucumber Mini Melon Hydrangea

Monday, October 03, 2005


For anyone who's been following my blog lately, you know I've been stressing about completing my first BackTack project. Not because I don't have enough time, although I don't, but because I got myself in way over my head with an ambitious sewing pattern.

Well, it's done. I can't believe it's done, but it is. It's not mangled, it's apparently functional and it is just the right amount of weird and cute to suit me and hopefully my BT buddy as well.

I was so charged up by this accomplishment that I went on to finish two more of my projects -- the October Birthday Surprise for a birthday someone who will remain nameless (this is so transparent) and the Teddy Bear turned Pig for my friends little girl. So productive!

The only thing I have left to finish is, ironically, the project that actually needed to be done first. However, the aforementioned "crap" yarn I was using is suddenly MIA at all retailers, and I just realized that I ordered the wrong color online. All I can say is that this may be one freaky patchwork quilt of a teddy bear since I'll prob have to finish it with mismatched yarn. Cute? Eh, maybe.

What is my next project you ask? Well, aren't you quite intuitive to know that as soon as I finish one project I'm off to find another. And now that I've finished 3, well, there must be SOMETHING in the pipeline, right? Maybe this little number or some zippered or tissue pouches from all the scrap fabric I've managed to accumulate. I've also had my eye on the Nappy Bag pattern that keeps floating around, and since I managed to conquer the evil BT pattern, I'm feeling brave with the machine.

I'll be sure to add it to the project list as soon as I get started on anything. For now, I need a nap.

Oh, and a photo of the completed pig project:

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Garden of Evil

The end of the vegetable season is clearly upon us. The vines are turning yellow, my canteloupes are stunted at softball size, bugs are feasting on the decaying plant matter. It's all just a little gross out there. And so I lay my critical eye upon the garden and hack crap off.

In the hacking process though, I found a few gems:

My big pumpkins are also coming along nicely:

I'm trying to take notes as I go, so that I'll know what works and what doesn't for next years mad spring plant-a-thon. For sure, we're doing the Spooktacular pumpkins again (if not only for the name) and I'll try growing some gourds - just because they're weird looking. Hopefully I'll be able to get the rest of this garbage out of the beds soon and plant the winter garden.

With any luck I'll soon be posting pictures of wee cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, onions and carrots. BTW, if anyone wants a watermelon dropped on their doorstep, lemme know.