Saturday, April 26, 2014

Walk Home with Critters

Yesterday was my last day of class for the semester. As I walked home, I looked around me and realized that even though some days I really dislike the limitations of walking to school, it sure can be a pretty walk. Here are just a few of the critters that stopped to say hello to me on my walks home this week.


Monday, April 14, 2014

We Interrupt this Program....

Well, there's now two weeks of classes left. Finals week will basically be a breeze for me, but the next two weeks will not. In addition, I've started working again, I'm trying to keep a clean(ish) house, and watching my little peppers, tomatoes, and herbs grow. Basically - I'm swamped!! So, for the next two weeks, don't expect much from me. Maybe Pam will find some time to sit down and visit with you all, but otherwise - look for me in May! :)


I'll also be enjoying more of this beautiful weather :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I actually took these pictures back on St. Patrick's Day, but forgot and left them on the camera this whole time! I was doing dishes at the kitchen sink when I saw the little robin the the tree, and when I went on the back porch to take pictures, I noticed one of our bushes at the back of the yard was full of lady robins, and then a plucky little guy hopped up on the steps of the porch! I would like to get a bird bath set up in the backyard, and have cute birdies fly in and out all summer. :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to Wet Felt

This is by no means a comprehensive tutorial on wet felting, it is simply a chronicle of my wet/needle felting project thus far! (Read more about this in an earlier blog post: Outside My Comfort Zone) Honestly, I am still working out the design details. They are coming together...but very slowly. Actually, I'm better at the details than the big picture, so some details are coming together better than the overall design!

First I started with a very dirty fleece, which I then washed. I hand carded a bit of the wool, but left most of it in locks as I only have a hand carder - and this was a big fleece!!

Then, with the help of a fellow fiber enthusiast, I laid out the locks in a grid pattern. The bottom layer faces one direction, with the second layer perpendicular to the first, and so on. Time constraints meant we only put down three layers plus a little extra.

Then came the fun part (and my exercise for the day!!) Hot, soapy water is smished into the wool, deep down in so the wool is soaked through. Then, using some elbow grease, the whole piece was hand rubbed to start the felting process, covered with a clothlike shower curtain, and rubbed some more. She had a nifty little tool that you could use to really dig into the fiber! Then, it is rolled up, we used a pool noodle and some pool grade type of bubble wrap, secured with some rubber bands, and rolled up and down a driveway for a solid 10-15 minutes. Halfway through, the piece was flipped, rubbed and wet down a bit more before heading back out to the driveway.

The really scary part came in the rinse down - she rinsed it, then slammed it hard against the ground several times, just to make sure the felt would hold. It held, and the bubble imprints came out too!! Then a final rinse, a spin cycle to dry, and I now have a piece of felt I can hang on a wall, and needle felt. Part two will follow within the month!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Glamour Kitty

It is difficult to get a good picture of Norman, you always want to get his beautiful blue eyes, but if there isn't enough light or if there is too much light then the pictures just don't turn out. Here are two of my most recent favorites of him!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


It's tough to be unemployed and have grand garden plans. Early last week I ran out of potting soil, and with no extra money to buy more, my poor tomatoes have been languishing in their tiny Ice Cube Tray home. But yesterday I finally had some luck! A local couple contacted me about my pepper plants that are up for sale on Craigslist! They only purchased 6 (I tossed in two extra for them though!) but it was enough to free up more room under my grow lamp for the next round of seeds to be sown, and I now have purchasing power for soil! (And maybe a few cowpots for the pepper plants that desperately need a bigger pot!) I'm looking forward to this evening, when I get to transfer the rest of the tomatoes into their new paper pots. Yay!

While my tomatoes came up at an alarming rate, I fear they aren't as sturdy as the pepper plants. Then again, maybe time will tell and in two weeks I'll compare pictures and the tomatoes will be bushy and sturdy like the peppers! One can only hope!! (And cross their fingers that the snow melts and the greenhouse can finally go up!)
March 3, 2014 Pepper Plants recently put in Paper Pots

March 23, 2014 Pepper Plants and a few Tomatoes as well!

April 1, 2014 Pepper Plants and Tomatoes

This year has definitely been my most successful. I have been diligently bottom watering the plants, and have the fan blowing on them most of the day. I worry though that the fan cools the soil off too much, which would explain the slow growth of my hot pepper plants (they are still growing, but very slowly!!) so when I water them I turn the fan off for a few hours - hoping they will retain their heat for a while before I turn the fan back on again! Next year I hope to buy a heating pad for the pepper plants at least to keep their soil temperature up, and maybe save some on heating costs by not keeping the bedroom swampy!

Do you have tips or tricks to grow your seedlings? I'd love to hear them, I'm slowly gathering information to grow the best seedlings I can, and maybe in a decade or so I'll really be what my first customers called me yesterday - the Pepper Lady!