Look! I have lettuce! Yay for lettuce!
You have no idea how worried I was that my lettuce would die over the winter. I meant to cover it. I meant to do the same with my strawberry plants. I never made it that far. Told you the “meant to” list was longer than I made it. Honestly, I wasn’t sure the lettuce would even grow at all. Is it an annual? Perhaps it’s a perennial? What do those terms mean, anyway? I should really add some gardening books to my “to read” list.
I really want to expand & improve my little garden. In the dream world where I work out of the home & can pursue all of my crazy and/or artsy endeavors, the garden I have is vast. I’ve got tomato plants like no one’s business because I can’t eat enough of the darn things. I grow 90% of all of my vegetables in this little fantasy. I’ve also become adept at canning in this little dream. Maybe someday it will happen. For right now, I should probably just concentrate on not killing the plants I have. Which means I should start learning more.
Like on the list of things I should be aware of, I’m told, is my hardiness zone. Zone 8a. This is my plant hardiness zone. Hardiness zones, from what I’ve come to understand, are based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature during a 30-year period in the past. So 10-15 degrees F is not the lowest temperature ever, but a good average. Ms Mouse has told me repeatedly that she is envious of my zone. I’m still trying to fully understand what it means. Have I mentioned I’m not the most plant savvy girl ever?
My patio garden after some much needed Spring cleaning
I’m also trying to decide whether to toss my hanging basket of cherry tomatoes. I know tomatoes are only supposed to survive a year. However when I pulled the basket down, because I left it up all winter (Don’t judge, I told you I lost track of time,) I noticed a plant trying to poke out of the ground. Could it be that my tomato plant survived? I know the chances are unlikely, but I can’t bring myself to throw the basket away. That has to be one of the signs that I’m a hoarder.
In addition to the potential need for a new tomato plant, I keep thinking of investing in a citrus plant – most likely lemons. The Boy looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. But I argue that if Ms Mouse can grow lemons in Wisconsin of all places, then I should have an easier time, right? Oh, yeah. We’re talking about me, aren’t we? Well, forget that. I still want to try it. How awesome would it be for me to use my own home-grown lemons?!
On the final note- I want flowers this year. But not just any kind of flower will do. No. I cannot make my life easy. I want edible flowers. I want them to be something for the honeybees to eat, and something for me. Yay for multipurpose planting!
Now taking suggestions for edible flowers… and Go!
I meant to craft more over the holidays.
I meant to write home to my family more often.
I meant to laugh more.
I meant to pick up my novel and begin writing again.
I meant to de-clutterfy my living space.
I meant to be more open & honest with myself.
I meant to sign up for those dance classes.
I meant to learn how to be a better seamstress.
I meant to love myself more.
I meant to part ways with 5 pairs of shoes that I never wear.
I meant to let go of some of the yarn I’m hoarding.
I meant to be happier with what I have instead of longing for what I don’t.
I meant to get up and exercise before my scheduled things on Saturday.
I meant to go to church on Sunday.
I meant to not be bitter about things beyond my control.
I meant to write a post to follow up on the small bits of crafting I have done.
I meant to write a post about how I’ve prepped my mini-garden.
I meant to find joy.
Wow. That’s a lot of things I meant to do, and that’s not even a full list. I’m sure I could come up with more. Like meaning to cook enough yesterday so I’d have leftovers for lunch instead of “having” to go buy lunch today. Anyone want to deliver to the Gray Cube of Doom?
To be honest I kind of lost myself a bit during the holidays, and I realize that I haven’t posted anything since before Thanksgiving. I’m sorry. I had one of those very real moments where I seemed to just kind of lose track of time. Today I’m suddenly realizing that it is the end of March. I have no real idea where I put January and February.
I understand I have to go back to scheduling time. If I don’t, I lose myself. My calendar has seen more action in the past few weeks. It’s a bit crazy. I’ve even got little random notes on there to ask me why I’m not doing certain things- like writing. I want to really cut my “I meant to” list. I’m tired of looking back and thinking that I might have missed something fabulous because “I meant to do it, but I just never made the time.”
No more. I’m going back to making time. I’m also going to try to do things for me. I’m not purposely being selfish, but if I can’t enjoy what I’m doing, if I’m only doing it because someone else expects of me, I don’t think I can find joy in that.
Wish me luck. Hopefully you’ll be hearing more from me again.
Today has been a torrent of emotions. I am thankful. I am stressed. I am pleased. I am angry. I am creative. I need solace. I am nervous. I am too energized.
We can leave all of those negative feelings alone in The Gray Cube of Doom for all I care. I’m trying to exorcise them. We’ll see how that goes. All I can say is I’m glad it’s a short office workweek, and I should be able to concentrate on some homemade goodness.
No Longer for sale, but one of my favorites.
In the mundane world where I secretly want to be a 1950’s housewife, I am gearing up to host Thanksgiving. This will be the first Thanksgiving dinner I have hosted since I moved to WA and my first as Mrs. The Boy. Every other year we’ve been invited elsewhere. This year, with The Boy’s work schedule being the complete mess that it is, I decided to invite the Chosen Family- the nearest & dearest- over to celebrate our thankfulness. It will be a rather small gathering given the room available, but I think I will be pleased. I have one more ingredient to buy and then I think I’m done. Here’s to hoping my planning skills are as fabulous as I like to believe they are.
I also started crafting Christmas cards last night. And I mean Christmas cards with nativities on the front. I am also working on some non-Christmas holiday cards because I know not everyone celebrates Christmas, but in most belief sets there is a winter celebration. I’m pleased with what I got done last night. The Boy also found my work acceptable. Which is good since he’ll be signing some of them.
Speaking of winter holidays, you may have noticed that I have sort of broken one of my rules. Rule number 1- We do not start celebrating Christmas/Yule/Etc before Thanksgiving. Rule number 2- We do NOT start celebrating Christmas/Yule/Etc before Thanksgiving or you end up dealing with an angry ginger. It has always been one of my greatest pet peeves since I enjoy celebrating each holiday as it comes. I feel like each holiday deserves its time. However, given that it is normally accepted that the Christmas/Yule/Etc Season begins at midnight the day after Thanksgiving my social media pages are bursting with Black Friday & Cyber Monday ads. However the one that made me smile today instead of scrunching my face to do a Grinch impersonation was the Small Business Saturday.
I’m a fan of shopping small. I find that stimulating the local business environment makes me feel better, and I know that is helps my neighbors. Add to this the idea of handmade versus commercial & I’m in heaven. Not everyone can craft something fabulous. Some of us don’t have the time, or we just don’t feel we would do the gift justice. I’m going to be looking into some trades with my fellow crafters, but if you are looking for awesome handmade Puget Sound local gift take a look at the list (largely complied by The Darling) below.
Dreadnaught Darling – Tacoma, Washington – Fabulous hair accessories by The Darling herself. Not sure what that someone would want? That’s okay. She does gift certificates as well.
Clover Creek Baby – Tacoma, Washington – Buy something for the baby in your life. She specializes in cloth diapers, diaper bags, nursing covers, wrap carriers, and some cute baby toys.
Suzi San Souci – Seattle, Washington – She offers stunning photo prints and custom watercolor portraits.
BSD Studios – Northridge, California – He makes leather covers for e-readers, leather masks, eye-patches, steampunk couture, and a myriad of other items.
Sweet Nothings – Tumwater, Washington – She makes a fabulous line of bath salts, lotions, body butter and body soap.
Ishtar’s Garden – Olympia, Washington – She does some pretty awesome wirework as well.
The Little Things Store – Bellingham, Washington – She makes wonderful soap & other body products.
AMR Woodcraft – He makes beautiful wooden mugs, boxes, tables and chairs.
Pip and Lola’s Everything Homemade – Tacoma, Washington- A storefront dedicated to local, handmade products. They offer everything from spices to soaps and knitting to knick knacks.
JezFashions – She does fantastic costuming and custom work
A few fabulous out of state places you might want to look into-
Lucy Latham Art – Lancaster, Pennsylvania – A phenomenal artist who just happens to be mom to the fabulous Eowyn of Clover Creek Baby. She does such amazing work.
The Rose of Stonestreet – Columbia, Maryland – My sister’s rad store. Check out her jewelry. It’s fabulous.
Enjoy your holidays, and if you think of a small, homemade seller I don’t have listed please let me know. I’d love to be able to add them to my list.
… Cause They Do.
Today in the United States is Election Day. The day when U.S. citizens are supposed to care enough to get their vote on. Now here in Washington, I associate with very civic-minded people, and most of us have already sent in our ballots. However, there are still some in the fringes of my friend groups where I hear “I don’t vote because it doesn’t change anything anyway.” This bothers me. I was raised to believe voting was a civil liberty you should never take for granted. You can’t really complain about a system and how it does or doesn’t work if you don’t actively try to fix it. Be the change you want in the world people! I know that we call voting a “right” in this country, but it really is one of our greatest privileges.
One of my Facebook friends posted this as her status earlier today- “I voted. My father was finally allowed to vote in 1966, when he was 25. I think about that every time I look at a ballot: in my family, I’m only in the second generation of voters. It’s too early for apathy.”
How does that make you feel? To know that even 46 years ago there were citizens in these United States who could be drafted for war, but could not vote? Yeah, what would happen now if someone told you that you were required, no choice other than jail, to go fight in a war for the country you lived in but had no civic right in? Your response would be two words, you say? Yes, I’m familiar with those two words.
And even earlier in our history women couldn’t vote. On Nov. 5th in 1872, Susan B. Anthony attempted to cast a ballot after she registered to vote only four days prior. Two weeks later she was arrested and seven months later she was tried and convicted for “illegal voting.” The sentence was only a $100 fine to which she declared, “I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.” True to her words, she never paid the fine for the rest of her life! I say good for her, because that was some shady business. And Susan wasn’t the only one.
Thirty-five years to the day after Susan B. Anthony and 14 other women voted illegally in Rochester, New York, Alice Paul was placed in solitary confinement for two weeks and had nothing to eat except bread and water, (11-5-1917) Too weak to walk, she was taken to the prison hospital and began a hunger strike. When doctors feared she might die, they forced a feeding tube down her throat. Prison guards tried sleep deprivation to break her spirit by aiming lights toward her face and turning them on and off every hour, every night. One doctor remarked that the pro-life feminist had “a spirit like Joan of Arc, and it is useless to try to change it. She will die but she will never give up.”
Voting is important. People have given their lives & freedoms so that we have that privilege. Not everyone in the world can vote to help shape the world into the place they want to see; where they’ll feel happy & safe living. Do not take it for granted. Your ancestors fought long & hard to get to this point. Don’t spit on their hard work.
If you have not voted yet, please make sure you get to the polls today before they close, and vote for the candidates you feel are best suited for the position they are running for. PLEASE, vote for the best candidate, not along party lines. (I’ll tell you a dirty little secret- I do NOT vote a straight ticket.) Please vote. It’s one of the most important things you can do for your country…. If you need assistance or have any questions, that’s what your poll workers are there for. And if you’re in line, waiting to vote, and the polls “close” STAY IN LINE AND VOTE. They aren’t allowed to kick you out if you are already in line. As a side note, please be kind to the poll workers. They really are there to help and to insure an honest and fair election. I know. I used to be one.
This civic-minded rant was brought to you by the letter V and the number 4.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow is the day. I’ve been waiting for this for a month. I haven’t done all the planning I had wanted. I’m halfway there, but maybe it’s for the best. I have a beginning. I know where the end should be. It’s the middle part that’s still a jumble. Tomorrow starts National Novel Writing Month.
National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is a frantic dash of creativity. The ultimate goal is to write a (minimum) 50,000-word novel in 30 days. For those not good at math, that’s a minimum of 1,667 words a day. I’ve participated the previous 3 years and “won” 2 out of 3 years. There’s no huge prize waiting at the end other than the satisfaction that you set out to meet a goal & you did. Oh, and you can print a nifty certificate of completion. Your friends will also probably pat you on the back while telling you how crazy you are.
The Garden Mouse is the friend responsible for my participation. She’s been participating for as long as I’ve known her. One year, she finally won the debate & I signed up to participate. It’s fun. It’s a struggle. I might not always succeed, but I’ll always try.
This year I have a few friends who are participating in NaNoWriMo. I look forward to seeing them succeed. I haven’t heard if Mum is actually going to try writing this year, but she has in the past. She’s not a bad author. She just needs follow through. We all do.
The more I think about NaNoWriMo, the more I realize I’m kind of treating this year like every other craft I try. I have my basic beginning available. I’ve got the opening to my story running through my brain. In fact it’s been ruminating for at least two weeks, but because of the rules, I haven’t been able to write any of it down. I also know what I want my finished product to look like. I also know how the story should end, if my characters are willing to co-operate.
Wish me luck on my writing marathon.
This is a blog post I’ve been meaning to write for quite some time. Life as we all know happens, and sometimes prevents us from following through with our plans. Life is always throwing curve balls at people, and I try not to let that bleed over into these postings. Really, we all know life can be rough.
Preliminary Christmas gift tags
When I originally started the Twisted Bird Studio blog I had intended for this to be only an outlet for crafting. It was going to be a place for me to babble about all my crafting, all the time, 24/7, and nothing else. We have all seen how that has worked out. My major problem is that my crafting goes in waves given the toll The Gray Cube of Doom takes on my life and the other craziness I’m involved in.
So the question I’ve been wrestling with is that while I’m not idle, I’m not crafting, so what do I post about? Or if I am crafting, it seems a lot like more of the same thing. How many blog posts do you, dear reader, want to hear about cards I’m making? Do you enjoy hearing about the miscellanea that occurs in the Studio?
All of that aside, I have slowly been working on Christmas stuff. My tree obession will be making an appearance both in gift tags & cards. Once I’ve got the final products done I’ll post them for you to see. With these in process projects the idea of craft fairs has been coming more to the forefront of my brain. Etsy, as much as I love it, just doesn’t seem to work for me as much as I’d like.
As always, your comments are always appreciated. And, again, I’ll try to do better with my posting.
Hope you have a fabulous Monday!
Today is the birthday of my most favorite Leo. She has been a part of my life since before memories can recall. She’s stuck by me through everything; every choice I’ve made whether she agreed with it or not, she stood by me. She really is one of the best mother’s in the world.
This is the only picture she might not kill me for posting. I think she’s lovely.
As with most Leo’s I associate with, Mum & I have had some serious blow ups. I’m sure it doesn’t help that she’s my mum and is “always right.” My brothers can back me up when I say that the saying “When momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” was a very appropriate phrase in our house growing up. As a true lioness she ruled her home and cubs with an iron paw, but that’s what mothers are supposed to do.
Mum, I am pleased to say, has become my distant anchor and a very close friend since I’ve become an adult. I’ve come to understand why she used to do and say things that would drive me crazy as a child and teenager. It wasn’t easy. I’ve got a rather stubborn personality, but in the long run I’m grateful because I like who I am today.
Mum has always encouraged me in whatever I’ve chosen to do with my life. She always made sure I had whatever I needed for my dancing. She encouraged my singing & my acting. She supported my failed attempts at sports. She even gave her blessing when I chose to move 2500 miles away from the only home I had even know.
What my mum does for me goes beyond words, and it’s so hard to tell you all about her without rambling like an idiot. So long story short- my mum is awesome & I love her.
I didn’t craft Mum a gift. She’s not huge into jewelry, even though I’m sure she’d wear anything I’d make for her. I did, however, create her birthday card. I have a picture of it. I’m very proud of it. She hasn’t received it yet, so I’m not posting the picture. I’d like to hear what she has to say first. Once she receives her card, I’ll share the picture.
Happy Birthday, Mum. I love you.
Since my computer ate my original blog post I thought I’d share random life events with you until I can recreate my original post. So, I’ve been trying to get some select family members to move out to Washington.
Wait. I should back up. In case you didn’t know, I’m a transplant. I grew up in the Hall of Fame City in Ohio. Spent the first 23 years of my life there, until one day I decided I didn’t like it anymore so I was moving far, far away. 2,500 miles away to the state of Washington and a little city known by the name of Olympia. I had visited once and decided that it was as good a spot as any to begin anew. Plus there was The Boy I thought deserved further investigation.
The infamous Reason #56
So six years later, I’m still here enjoying my life. I’ve also been trying very hard to get some of my most cherished loved ones out here as well. To that end I send them pictures, tell them how awesome it is, and also send them links for potential jobs. Well right now, Ohio is dealing with a heat wave that is making it, from what I’m told, rather unbearable. So when a local news station posted a picture of our delightful forecast, I decided to share it with my sister and inform her that this was reason #56 of why she needed to move.
She then responded that she was already sold with moving, but was waiting on my brother to come around. She also questioned me as to what reasons #1-55 were. So here I present 55 reasons (more tailored to my sister moving to Olympia) to move to Washington.
- Family should be close
- I’d like to get to know my nephews better.
- Washington has awesome sushi
- Washington also makes some pretty darn good wines
- Washington sushi & Washington wine make an awesome dinner
- Washington public transportation is way less scary than Ohio’s
- Olympia is set right at the base of Puget Sound in the shadow of the mountains, and is therefore a spectacular sight
- Olympia is less than two hours away from the ocean
- Olympia is less than two hours away from the mountains
- Olympia is less than two hours from Seattle
- Olympia is less than three hours from Portland
- Less sun-burning occurs in Washington
- Washington is more environmentally conscious than Ohio
- We have Jimi Hendrix. No really, he’s buried here.
- We had Nirvana
- We have the Space Needle
- We have a very prominent art scene
- We have three local coffee roasters just in Olympia
- We have tea shops out the yin-yang
- We have an awesome farmers market that runs more than just on Saturday
- I miss you
- Fresh salmon
- Good, local butchers with good pricing
- The local, organic produce available is bountiful & affordable
- You can have your local organic produce delivered to your door.
- Orca whales regularly visit Washington.
- From Washington, British Columbia, Canada can be a weekend trip without having to deal with New York
- Seattle Art Museum
- Experience Music Project
- Hands-On Children’s Museum
- Batdorf & Bronson Tasting Room- oh yes, taste delicious coffee
- Pike Place Market
- Mt Rainier state parks
- Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park
- Tumwater Falls & old Olympia Brewery
- Gravity Beer Market
- Swing Wine Bar
- Bonjour Cupcakes
- Teatro ZinZanni
- Because I said it’s awesome
- We get snow in Olympia for maybe one week out of the year
- There has been one tornado, in Tenino, that I am aware of in the past 10 years
- Washington is more accepting of GBLT, and even has outreach programs for children
- The Paramount in Seattle
- Snowboarding & skiing
- Because Ohio’s rivers catch on fire
- Our trees stay green all year
- Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
- Bite of Seattle
- Lake Faire
- Arts walk, both in Olympia & Seattle
- Theo Chocolates
- Pacific Science Center
- Because I’m awesome & I said so
Hope you have a fabulous Monday, and I’ll see you soon.
The ladybug living on the orange mint
Good Monday morning to you!
*The scheduled blog about crafting has been cancelled due to author’s in ability to type because she’s too busy with her urban garden.*
I can home Friday to find a Ladybug on my orange mint. And then Sunday, I ended up coming home with a hanging basket of cherry tomatoes and two cherry tomato plants. Wish me luck with them. I also picked up some aloe vera. I’m thrilled.
My newest (first) hanging basket.
I did manage a bit of crafting, but not much. With the weather being so nice I have been avoiding staying inside as much as possible. It’s just been so fabulous! Maybe I should move my crafting supplies outdoors…
Hope your Monday is pleasant!
My version of a Victory Garden
Well, if you live in the U.S., I hope you had a fun, yet safe & sane, Independence Day. And if you aren’t a U.S. citizen, I hope you’ve enjoyed your week so far. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that it’s Friday, and I get two days to relax. This week has been crazy with its awkward work schedule. The Gray Cube of Doom is in more chaos than normal.
A post by Dreadnaught Darling on Wednesday made me feel like I should supply you with an update on my gardening endeavors. There’s good news! I haven’t killed my lettuce! In the past three months my patio garden has expanded so much that I’m trying to figure out the logistics of space.
In addition to my lettuce I have 4 types of mint, a rosemary bush, cilantro, sage, oregano, and thyme. I’m just missing the parsley before I can head to Scarborough Fair. Oh, come on. You chuckled, right? I just showed my age, didn’t I? Oh dear. Moving on.
With the confines of an apartment, I’m trying to budget space. While I have more space than some overall, my patio is not huge. It was recommended to me by The Garden Mouse to look into a tiered plant stand. Most of the ones I’ve seen are decorative, meant to be kept indoors, and pricey.
I’d like a stand like this. Let’s see how I do.
I don’t need it to be decorative. I plan on keep this outside. Office Manager Marti likes investigating everything, and eating anything that smells appealing. This will not due. Not that any of my plants would harm him, but I’d rather not have them all trashed in a half an hour of him being left to his own devices. My plants will stay outside. So my plant stand will need to be able to withstand the elements.
I also don’t want spend almost $100 for a plant stand. Now, I haven’t done any amateur carpentry in ages, but I think it’s time to refresh my skills. I don’t need it to be stunning. I need it to be functional. Which means I’m going to be looking for easy “build your own” designs on the internet. I also want to look into reusing materials when possible. Wish me luck!
Hope you have a fabulous weekend! I’ll be brainstorming.