Thursday, March 30, 2006

flowers are in the air


No matter where you look you see flowers... it's an explosion. As the plum flowers fade away the pear blossoms are quick to fill the void. It is amazing! Some trees a few weeks ago were bare twigs now have lush green leaves.



Everything I planted has sprouted. The last ones to stick there little green heads up are the sweet peas... The slugs have not found them yet. I should be careful and put out bait anyway before everything is gone. I thought my primroses were gone because of the cold weather, but I put out some slug bait and I swear the next morning the flowers were perfect.

Today with my scissors in hand I intended to cut some of my lettuce starts. The rows are packed with fresh little sprouts.



I need to thin them so each plant has room to grow. It's best to nip them at the base that way you don't disturb the root system. To let you know I wasn't able to cut any. It's hard! What happens if I cut some and then the ones I left die. Also when doing a mix it's hard to decide which ones to cut- some might come up later or grow slower... Maybe I will let them go another week and then transplant some to another location...

This weekend I have to get my second sowing of peas, beats and chard into the ground. I also need to get a trellis going. My peas are starting to grow fast.



Here is my lost little daffodil... It just showed up in this pot on my deck. I am not sure how it got there.



and the blueberries have blossoms as well.



Do you like this photo? I finally figured out how to use my camera and take close up's and not have them be blurry. It took me long enough.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

cupcakes YEAR-ROUND

50 Recipes for Every Season and Celebration... by Sara Neumeier



Since I have not been able to make it to Saint Cupcake I decided to buy a cupcake book and make my own... Can you guess which one's I am making right now??? Red Velvet with cream Cheese Icing!

I love this book, it has a built in easel so it stands up nice while you are using it and it also makes a great decoration in the kitchen. I have been eyeing it the past few times I went into New Seasons- I broke down today.
I just looked on Amazon.com and I could have saved some money, but then I would have bought the other cupcake book I was fondling (Cupcakes!) + shipping- I would have spent way more. Cupcakes! doesn't have as many fun pictures.

One batch is done and cooling. 24 total- perfect.

It's funny the craze for red velvet cake. I remember my mom making it when I was little. It seemed like this way out there thing. Now it's every where.

I think I need a small muffin tin so I can make mini ones.

Felt It!

I spent the morning finishing my bowls. Half way through felting the green one I realized I didn't take a photo of it before. Luckily I didn't go crazy and felt both at the same time. I have before and afters of the little pink one.

Before-


Felting is really not that easy. At this point the bowl had been in the hot cycle of the washer for about 10 minutes.



You can see where part of it has started to felt and part is still the knitted stickes.




By hand I rubbed the fabric to get it to mesh together. I let it soak in hot water and then by hand scrubbed and rubbed the fabric together until finally it completely felted.



Here are the two together


I turned the edge of the little one over- I think I like it this way better.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cupcakes

I cannot get them out of my mind. Must go this weekend and fill the need. Saint Cupcake is my destination place. At first I didn't think they were all that, but after sampling a few and finding my favorite one I realized they are all that and more! RED VELVET is the ticket or maybe a dot depending on how many others I want to sample. A dot is a small one- just enough to give you a taste and leave you wanting a big one. The best is I am going to have them for my wedding cake. Their website notes they are getting stands- I found a place in Ohio that sells the stands, but I would rather give to the locals. Josh and I will have to drag ourselves down there soon and pick out which tasties to order.

Today my peas are starting to poke up and my spinach has broke through and has two little leaves showing. I am happy, I was beginning to think something ate them. Still no sweet peas, beets or chard, it might have to warm up a bit for them. I have to get some compost this weekend and get a second planting started. The grass I turned over is starting to find it's way to the surface, that means light weeding to get it under control. I also need to decide on something for my peas to climb up. Last year I did string for my sweet peas, but they will need something a bit stronger. Greta made a nice frame out of plastic pipe and mesh she got at home depot. I might have to stop over and see how she did it.

As for knitting I have been listening to a Knitting Podcast while at work. If time allows this weekend I would love to felt the bowl I finshed and finish the small one. If they turn out they will make great easter baskets. Is it Friday????

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

I just found out that tonight is a lunar eclipse and that this full moon is called the Full Worm Moon. The Farmer's Almanac sent me their newsletter this morning at 11:51 and I just now read it. I didn't miss much because throughout most of N. America observers find the eclipse already in progress as the Moon rises tonight and no eclipse will be visible from westernmost N. America (British Columbia, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California) since the event ends there before the moon rises. I found this info on NASA Eclipse home page. They list all the eclipses for 2006.

I just looked out back and caught a quick glance at the moon- slow clouds going past it and then it was gone. The NW is not the best place to live if you want to be an avid star gazer.

6 days until Spring...

* Vernal Equinox (March 20)

Spring begins at exactly 1:26 P.M. (EST).

Wind northeast or north at noon of the vernal equinox, no fine
weather before midsummer. If westerly or southwesterly, fine weather
till midsummer.


St. Patty's Day-



Cabbage seeds are often planted today, and old-time farmers believed
that to make them grow well, you needed to plant them while wearing
your nightclothes.

and for a tasty St. Patty's Day breakfast here is a receipe for Murphy's Irish Toast

8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup Irish Cream Liquor
16 slices cinnamon raisin bread

Combine all ingredients (except for bread). Keep refrigerated if made ahead. Dip bread in batter. Fry on lightly oiled griddle until just crisp. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup.

A toast to you..

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I know St. Patty's day is next weekend, but I was at the store today and decided to go for it. It's in the crockpot and since I got a late start it won't be ready until about 8pm tonight. I guess I will have it tomorrow for lunch.

Poked around the garden today. The only thing growing are my salad mixes that are in the planters on the porch. The seeds in the ground have done nothing.

See the little sprouts??



See the two messed up spots in the middle that is where Miles decided to jump when he got up on the porch... Ugh. I tried to fix it, will have to see how it turns out.



Changed my hummingbird feeder and there was little honey bee on it. I guess I am attracking something.


This Vinca (periwinkle) is growing next to the house. I recently had a tree taken down so I am not sure if it will be able to stay there once it warms up.

My herbs are loving the laundry room. The scented Geranium is getting leggy.




We had some crazy weather last week. The west hills had some snow and we had some flurries in the air but nothing stuck to the ground. Just when we think spring is here we get snow. I think I saw that we might have a little snow again tomorrow. I keep thinking I will wake up and be snowed in. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Blooming in the NW Neighborhood

I went around my work neighborhood the other day on my lunch and this is what's blooming.

I found this tree (flowering Quince) while walking to work from the bus stop. I had to bring my camera the next day to snap a few shots of it.




Next to it in the same yard is this lovely. They did a nice job training them to grow up the house.


The Star Magnolias are going crazy. In one block there are at least 5 trees.


And the Peonies are starting to show some life. Peonies remind me of my Grandma. She had the light pink ones, a small patch that my Grandpa would have to carefully mow around. I cannot wait to see them at the farmers market. Buckets and Buckets of them- all shades.


Speaking of the Farmers Market

Saturday Market at Portland State University
SW Park between SW Montgomery & Harrison
Opening Day
April 1, 2006
8:30 am – 2:00 pm

The rain has been a constant the past few days. I haven't ventured out to check out the garden. I hope my seeds are not floating away. I guess the birds won't be eating them like I worried, because they still haven't come to the bird feeder that is full of tasty treats.

Knitting is going slow. I need to finish some projects and dedicate a day to posting before and afters. Maybe this weekend....

Monday, March 06, 2006

new blog to check out

I was looking for Lint's phone number and stumbled upon their Blog

Check them out.

A great thing about them is they are one of the few Yarn Stores open on Monday. I know a lot happens on the weekend but a lot happens on Monday as well.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Daphne odora- Winter Daphne


It's that time of year when you are walking down the street and you smell the sweetest smell. It makes you stop and start looking around and usually not to far from where you stand there it will be- A Winter Daphne in full bloom. Most of them I have seen around town are variegated with flowers that are pink to deep red outside and creamy pink inside. The Oregonian did a nice write up on Daphne's in their home and garden section. I didn't realize that they had a species that bloomed in the summer and also a species for rock gardens. I only think of the Winter Daphne.



For as popular as they are they are unpredictable. Not the best plant to move around and likes some afternoon shade. Can be pruned lightly- Shape by cutting the late winter flower clusters. Another crazy thing about them is all parts especially the fruit are poisonous.

I was able to take the photos of the Daphne and this plant this morning while walking Miles around the neighborhood. I wasn't sure what this plant was- maybe a Lenten Rose or a Euphorbia... What do you think?



Maybe this will help a bit more. You can see the foliage in this one.



I am going with Euphorbia- not able to determine exact species. There are a lot of them out there and most look like a cactus. Anyway I thought it was pretty. I like the pink around the edge of the flower.

Today was a good day. I was able to do some knitting. I have a purse that I am about done with. The original patter doesn't call for felting but I think I am going to felt it and see what happens. I will show you a before and after once I have it sewn together and felted. I bought another color of the Lamb's Pride yarn- Oregano. Now I have 3 colors to make the felted bowls with. A dark pink, light pink and green. I cannot wait. I am sad to say the Olympic sock is still sitting in my knitting basket. I hope to pick it back up soon and finish. I have been in the kind of knitting mood where I don't want to think while I knit. I usually knit a scarf when I am in that mood, but I feel I have branched out a bit.

Natalie and I met at Lint. Here she is with the fun sushi knitting kit


They have a lot of fun kits right now- The felted sushi handbag and felted flower kits. This is my favorite place to meet up and knit.

I did get to finish my garden as well.



A bit closer



You can see the new bird feeder that is not being used. The birds are not liking my backyard. I have that feeder and a finch feeder with Thistle seed and not one bird has come in. I even have a couple of bird baths and still no one. I put some seed up on top of the fence post maybe that will draw someone in and the others will follow. Maybe tomorrow I will make up some hummingbird nectar and put out a feeder for the little guy that comes around. He was out there again today. It took me a bit to find him.

I got tired of picking out the weeds so I had a crazy spell where I just turned the weeds over. I hope they are smothered and won't poke back up. I did some detailed weeding around the end where the flowers are. My back was getting sore and I wanted to be done with it. I did make the bed a little bigger so that will be nice when I start planting. I think in the morning I will pop out and get a few bags of compost and plant some more peas along the fence. That way I will have a second batch started. I am going to wait on the other seeds until I see some sprouts... So far nothing.