Saturday, March 26, 2011

waiting for spring

A week ago we were finally able to see some uncovered earth and then we got dumped on with more snow. This is not unusual, but always disheartening this late. Our growing season is short enough as it is! This is the year I tackle the front yard. I put in my fruit bed in the back in the one sunny spot and the rest of the back yard is lots of shady beds. Very little lawn left back there which is great. I have always thought any expanse of lawn was a waste of space so this year the front yard is going to be all raised beds and garden areas. Plenty of sun and since my neighbor's yard has an entire row of black walnut trees the raised beds should be a good way to handle that problem. As you can see I have bought plenty of seeds as the raised beds are going to be a mix of vegetables, herbs, fruits, annuals, and perennials. It's time to get the gardening magazines out for inspiration!

I love the look of these raised beds- all the leafy lettuces make such nice foliage accents.
This year I plan to start with 3 raised beds each measuring 4' by 8'. The perimeter of the yard has already been planted in a variety of shrubs- bridal veil, amur maple, and hydrangeas. This will be the privacy fence from the street. Once those have filled in I want to bring that border in some more with additional shrubs, ornamental grasses, and perennials.
While I am waiting to get started I have been getting ideas for climbing structures for peas, beans, malabar spinach, morning glories,etc.
They are trimming trees right now at the arboretum- I might see if I can take a few straight branches off their hands!
The magazines have some great ideas for all the fresh flowers to come. I especially like the use of this old bulb planter- just slip a glass votive or small vase inside. Such a pretty centerpiece!
The little bird cage with the tulips - another great idea.
Sunflowers and canning jars-simple and stunning.
And I don't know how many times I have come across an old oil lamp that is missing the chimney- this adds such height to an arrangement.
And for the kitchen table- sunny yellow blossoms in a glass juicer!
Cosmos in a wire egg basket:
Great ideas to be looking for at all the upcoming sales and antique stores. Hurry up Spring!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

photo shoot

It's nice to come across something that is not only beautiful but also useful. Last fall while I was dropping things off at the Textile Center shop I noticed this great day planner/journal devoted to local fiber arts. Not only is it practical but so interesting and beautifully photographed. The shops and artists included are mostly within driving distance of the Twin Cities- Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and northeastern Iowa.
It is a nice resource book for many things- I was glad to see the hand dyed wools with the resources listed in the back.

It includes rug hookers, quilters, knitters, and dyers. I am so pleased My work will be in the 2012 edition! I met with Jenny this past week at a local coffee shop to take some photos. The cafe had some wonderful old cupboards and tables to use for props.
Before the shoot I finished some applique pillows I wanted highlighted. This is the red one I was working on before.

Then I decided to do a geometric one using more of my batik stash. I sold a number of these non floral pillows when we had the shop- a bit more contemporary feel.

And, of course I needed to include the 'bread and butter' items: pincushions and
eyeglass cases. It was a lot of fun watching the staging process and from what I could tell her photos will be quite a bit better than mine!