Popular Posts

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Making Progress, Making/Growing Stuff

Making progress, on the clutter but it's slow. Wish it didn't take me so LONG to do things. I always think I can accomplish a task in about one third of the time it actually takes!!

   Worked lately on a Little Free Library (see littlefreelibrary.com and they have a FaceBook page, too--a couple of them, actually, because the builders have a page of their own.) It was a group project, as Mark built it, I painted it, and Gary is in charge of engineering the placing of post in the yard and the library on the post. In the picture, some of my creations thought it would be fun to play inside it.  Sorry guys, but that is NOT for you!!

These are two cloth bags that I've crocheted lately. I've put three other over at Six Rivers Gallery, but these two will be kept as samples for a class I'm teaching there later in the summer. These bags are crocheted from fabric strips one inch wide, give or take a few millimeters. I never measure the strips that I cut myself and others were given to me by other quilters who had them left from trimming quilts. Any strip that is 3/4" or wider, I use. The thing I like best about these bags is that they can be made from scraps, really UGLY fabric, old bed sheets, and even from old tee shirts cut into strips. You can also make old-fashioned looking rugs; the only thing you do differently from the bags is that you continue to increase in the corners, as you do for the bottom of the bag. It is only when you stop the corner increases that the bag starts to form sides. 

Here is a rather forlorn rag doll that I am making; I don't know why she's looking so sad, but I think the dolls turn out the way they should, even if I don't always understand why they look the way they do. I forgot to mention above that the smaller bag was made with a P hook and the larger with a Q hook. I have made many bags as big as the larger one with a P hook, too. The size of the bag isn't determined by the size of the hook, unless you use exactly the same number of stitches for both bags--if you did that, the Q bag would always be bigger. But I use however many stitches I want on each bag, and most I make are shopping bag sized. I made the smaller one to use as a sample bag for the class so that students could complete one in a one-day class.

This is my "work station" and the dog there is Grace. She is in her favorite evening sleeping place.  She does divide her time between my husband's lap and my chair. My husband is tall and so he has a lap suited to our three LONG dogs.  They like sitting on his lap. When Grace gets in the chair with me, usually she is there just to sleep and doesn't want to visit with me. Occasionally when I pet her, I see her upper lip quiver a little and I know I am annoying her, so I am nice and stop. Sometimes, though, she wants to give me a kiss--it's all up to her.
The little brown guy there is an experiment to see what happens when I paint cloth without using gesso first. I bought a doll from another dollmaker last year and her doll was painted but had a different look than my painted dolls had. So I was trying to duplicate the finish on her doll and I did it, so that answered my question. Her doll was called the "Keeping Fairy," so this little boy may be her baby--I'm not sure.
Last year I grew lettuce on my backporch and it worked very well. We are just a family of two now, and so we don't need a lot of lettuce. This is one of two containers and last year I just pulled off a few leaves every time I wanted some. It's not only convenient, but the ever-present slugs don't usually bother it.  They CAN climb stairs, though. I work very hard from spring through fall to do everythng I can to decimate the slug population in my yard. Pans of yeast-water set out at night are one way to entice the slimey critters to death-by-drowning, but if you do that, you need to go out there in the morning before your dogs, so they won't drink the disgusting stuff--it wouldn't be good for them, I'm sure.
Another way I dispatch slugs to the Happy Hunting Ground is to spray them with a mixture of ammonia and water--I use it 50-50, but I've heard of using other ratios.  This mixture is especially good for killing very tiny slugs that can be hard to cut with scissors, etc. or even pick up (with gloved hand, of course!). People will tell you to use salt, but I never do as salt is poison to plants and will not only kill slugs but anything green that it touches. If you read history, you will notice that armies often salted their enemies' fields so that nothing would grow there for a LONG time. So, no, don't use salt.
Sometimes I just poke slugs with something sharp, or cut them with scissors, but I squinch my eyes shut when I do this, because it's pretty contrary to my nature to be that violent with something. I wouldn't even kill the slugs if they'd just stop eating my plants, but they don't so I have to kill them. I'd really rather not, but I have to.
Here is my snowball bush in bloom. It's so pretty but the blooms don't last very long, so as soon as I see it blooming, I run for the camera. I had to prune it a lot during the winter, because it was getting too big and getting tangled up with that clothesline you see behind it. I managed to start a new one last year but I'm not sure which propagating method I actually used. I think I used the  "air layer" method.  This is done by placing a pot full of dirt under a low lying branch on the bush. You scrape a little of the skin off the branch at the point where it will make contact with the dirt in the pot, and make a U shape from  wire and push it over the branch and into the dirt so that it will force the branch to stay against the dirt; after several months, you can cut it free. The hardest part is keeping whoever mows the grass from disturbing your careful arrangement. But I think that is the method I used. A less sure method is to stick cut off branches in the dirt and then beg them to root. Sometimes that actually works!
I am so happy with this poppy this year. Last year, the mowers kept cutting it down!! But this year, I grabbed the mower I am related to and said, "This is a flower!!! Do NOT cut it down!! And he remembered and didn't (although he did whack my striped grass plant) . This is the second bloom on the poppy, and there are several more to come.  The slugs do like this plant, though. I try to buy stuff they don't like, and when I have one they just don't seem to be able to leave alone, I try not to buy that kind ever again. They ate a couple leaves off the poppy so I'm keeping an eye on it. I have another flower they like too, that I have to watch. It's the tiny slugs that actually do the most damage, and they are the hardest to see, of course, too.
Well, that's it for now. Sorry I didn't post for so long. At least this spring, the reason wasn't illness in the family like last year was! This spring has been good to us.

No comments:

Post a Comment