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May 2011

The Salad Bowl - and a little bonus, too!

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Our CSA started deliveries two weeks ago. 

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A bit meager to start with. . . it's been a tough spring all around . . . but oh-so-tasty!  Just a hint, really, of what's to come as the season unfolds.  And perfect for a salad!  Which brings me to this week's Ten on Tuesday topic: Ten Things to Put in a Salad.

I love a good salad -- and I love to experiment.  Here are my favorite ingredients (although. . . not all at once, mind you!):

  1. Greens -- Arugula, Spinach, Spring Greens, and Romaine Lettuce are my favorites
  2. Dried Michigan Cherries
  3. Grapes (cut in half)
  4. Toasted Nuts (especially pecans, but walnuts are also tasty)
  5. Feta Cheese
  6. Sunflower Seeds
  7. Beets
  8. Mandarin Oranges
  9. Raisins
  10. Cherry Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Peppers, Radishes, and any other fresh garden produce!

Mmmmmm!  I can hardly wait to pick up this week's CSA share this afternoon!  I'm certain there will be a good salad involved.

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And, in honor of today - our last day to celebrate RED in Project Spectrum - I want to share with you my favorite RED bloom of my garden . . . opening up just yesterday!

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My Scarlet RED Clematis Rebecca!  So lovely. . . and such a perfect way to end the month-long celebration of RED!


The Merry Month of May

Looking back at May. . .

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from here at the end of the month. . .

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gives me a little perspective.

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Yeah, the weather has been - for the most part - crappy.

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And it seems I've been scrambling to complete the most basic tasks.

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But there have been some big things in the works.

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Beginnings.

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Endings.

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Growth.

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Beauty.

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Unfoldings.

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May tends to be like that!

(The photos in today's entry are from my May postings to my 365 Project - the entire month devoted to MacroMay.  To see the entire collection of May photos, click on the 365 Project link in my sidebar.)


Guess Whoooo's Sewing?

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Well.  Me!

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I used to sew all the time.  Clothes.  Curtains.  Bags.  Little crafty things.  I have a beautiful sewing table (that my Dad custom made for me), a lovely "sewing room" (which doubles as a "knitting room"), and a great sewing machine.  I'm set up for sewing.  But I just don't do it much anymore.

I've decided to let Project Spectrum inspire me to sit down at the sewing machine again!

I visited my favorite local fabric store earlier this month, and found some wonderful red fabric -- and an irresistible, aDORable little pattern for owl potholders.  Color me . . . inspired!

The owls go together quite easily, thanks to fusible web.

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It's fun to play with color as you build the owls.

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The inner layer is an insulated batting product called "Insul-Bright" -- so these potholders are completely functional and can be used to pick up any hot pot or cookie sheet.

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The pattern is adorable.  But not detailed.  It says things like "bind all edges with bias tape."  It does not give you any hints, tips, or suggestions.  And you do have to make your own bias tape (but, again, it doesn't tell you how).  I've sewn a lot (and I know how to make bias tape) -- but if you haven't, this might not be the pattern for you!

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This adorable little flock of owls will be going with Erin next week when she moves to Pittsburgh.  (She loves owls -- and her kitchen "decor" is red.)

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These little guys were so much fun to make.  You can be sure that more of them will be flying out of my sewing machine soon.


In the Mailbox

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Years ago, my mailbox was inundated with catalogs.  Stacks of them.  Some companies seemed to come out with a new catalog every other week.  I couldn't begin to keep up!  At first, I liked getting catalogs in my mailbox.  My kids were little and shopping time was scarce, so I enjoyed flipping through catalogs at my leisure.  And doing some shopping occasionally. . . which, of course, brought MORE catalogs.

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Ridiculous amounts of catalogs.  Even . . . catalogs of catalog highlights.

Times have changed.  The Internet and Google have made online shopping easy -- without catalogs at your fingertips.  

Over the years I have made concerted attempts to remove myself from catalog mailing lists.  (Take a look at the tips from this site if you want to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive in your own mailbox.)

But still.  There are a few catalogs I don't mind receiving. . . just for the "pretty" . . . or for ideas. . . and inspiration.  This week's Ten on Tuesday has us looking in our mailboxes for our Ten Favorite Mail Order Catalogs.  Mine are:

  1. White Flower Farms (Big "pretty" factor.  I use their annual catalog as a reference when designing gardens.)
  2. Gardener's Supply Company (I actually order from this one.  Frequently.)
  3. Sundance (Definitely for the "pretty"; on the pricey side.)
  4. Napa Style (Lots of "pretty."  Pricey.)
  5. Bas Bleu (Unusual book titles; great cards; unique gift ideas.)
  6. Acacia (I've never ordered, but always like looking through their offerings.)
  7. Ballard Design (Again, I've never ordered, but get a lot of decorating ideas here.)
  8. Title 9 (Love their athletic clothes - all designed for women.)
  9. Zingerman's (Mmmmmmm.  I do order from Zingerman's!)
  10. L.L. Bean  (The go-to catalog; has been in my mailbox since the beginning of time.)

Happy browsing!

 


Strings Attached

Soundtrack:

Knitting.  Knitting.  Knitting.  It's been a really long time since I've blogged about my knitting.  Although I knit almost every day, it seems I'm not really getting anywhere or finishing anything.

Back in March, I started this cardigan.  At the time, I had thought maybe I could finish it and take it on my trip to Paris.  And I could have.  But I didn't.

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I'm still plugging along. 

Last week, I was trying on the in-progress cardigan to check for length.  Tom laughed at me -- and commented that I looked like a marionette.  Lots of strings. . .

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There are lots of strings with this one.  The construction is unusual, so there are multiple attachment points and provisional cast-on edges . . . all with resulting "strings attached." 

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And the yarn I'm using (Knit Picks City Tweed DK) comes in small balls, meaning lots of add-on points when I run out of yarn . . . resulting in, of course, more "strings attached." 

And I use pieces of contrasting yarn to mark my increases and decreases (and this pattern has several of those going on at the same time). . . resulting in even more "strings attached."

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So, yeah.  Marionette.

But not for long.  I'm making good progress (I've finished the body and I'm a good way into the fronts/collar piece now - much further than these photos show).  Soon I'll be pulling out those marking "strings" and weaving in all the the other "strings."

I'll be finished soon.  (I just hope this wool sweater doesn't make its wearing-debut until fall!)

 


Garden With Passion

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Red means STOP.  Except. . . not in the garden.  In the garden, red is exciting; passionate; alive; fiery.

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I like to use red in my own garden.  Nothing adds a color-punch like red!

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This week, I'm working on a couple of garden design projects and doing a lot of looking-at-garden-books for inspiration.    What keeps drawing my eye?  Red!

And not just red flowers. . .

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and foliage. . .

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but the use of red in hardscape. . .

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and furniture. . .

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These stairs?  Oh, my!  I am completely charmed!

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Red just opens up the possibilities in gardening! 

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Red.  Garden with Passion!

(NOTE:  The first two photographs are of my own garden.  The poppy, the foliage, and the garden furniture photos are scanned from the book "Fearless Color Gardens" by Keeyla Meadows.  The wall, the stairs, and the hanging geraniums are scanned from the book "Backyard Blueprints" by David Stevens.)

 


No Crap on Tap

Now that Erin has graduated, I can't imagine we'll be making any more trips down to central Ohio.  While that doesn't bother me, really, I must admit that I'll miss my couple-of-times-a-year Amy Butler "fix."  Tom, though.  Tom will miss his visits to Brew's Cafe.

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Brew's, right there on the main drag in Granville, has a Most Impressive beer selection.  That's right, there's . . .

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Tom discovered Brew's when Erin was first moving in to her dorm, as a freshman, at Denison.  The doorknob was so inviting!

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The bar so comfortable!

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The beer selection so . . . fine!

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Many a happy afternoon was spent, hanging out at Brew's, over the past 4 years.

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Enjoying a cold one.  On tap.

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They only serve beer at Brew's.  No wine.  No margaritas.  No martinis.  Just beer.

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And they will gladly help non-beer-drinkers (like my Mom) find a beer they might enjoy. . . with sipping samples.

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Yep.  My Mom discovered Lindemans Framboise - a delightful raspberry lambic.  Bottoms up!

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So, Brew's?  Farewell.  We'll miss you!

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No crap on tap!


So Smart. . . and So Done

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College graduation. . .

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a lot of pomp. . .

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and even more circumstance**. . .

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a whole lotta sitting around and waiting. . .

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a whole lotta people - all in one place.

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(Kind of like Where's Waldo. . . can you spot Tom in the crowd?)

Why, there he is!

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For the graduates, it was a lot of work to get to this place.  Lots of deep thought. . .

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Lots of oh-my-god, can't we just be done????

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So smart. . . so done!

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Congratulations, Erin!

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(Next stop for Erin:  graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.)

**Thankfully, no "Pomp and Circumstance" (the song) at Denison's graduation!  Not even once.