Monday, April 27, 2009

Beautiful Bonsai

Sorry I have not posted in while. I have been very busy getting ready for spring planting. I will try to post some updated photos of the strawberries soon.

I tried to learn Bonsai when I was a kid and it failed miserably. Even though I was completely unsuccessful, I always wanted to try it again. Than, a few weeks ago, I found a book on Bonsai at the thrift store. I decided that I should stop putting it off and just do it. I went to our local nursery and asked if they had Bonsai trees. The owner took me to see all the trees they had. When I told him that I actually wanted to learn how to make and care for them not just take home a little tree, he became very excited, told me to hold on and ran off. He came back with a box full of trees, soil and pots. We went up to the front of the store and he gave me a Bonsai training lesson right there on the checkout counter. He showed me how to choose an appropriate pot, pick the correct soil for the tree, wire branches, properly prune the roots, leaves and branches, etc. It was great!!

Here are some pictures of the trees that I have potted so far.

This tree will have either a cascade or semi cascade form when it is finished.


This tree will be an informal upright.


This tree just looks cool. It will not have any of the traditional Japanese forms.


This is just a group of small fig trees with a pretty piece of blue calcite.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Strawberries and Rhubarb

Last week, while Brian's mom, sister and step-dad were here, we built a raised garden bed. It was a lot of work, but it looks great! It measures 5' x 6'8" Today I planted rhubarb and 30 strawberry plants. I still have a little space left. I am not quit sure what I am going to plant there yet.

The flower pot is about 8" around for scale.


This is the bed after planting. The strawberries are the very small green plants on the left part of the bed. The rhubarb is planted in the back right corner. The front right section is still empty.


This is a cherry blossom that is just opening. They are beautiful and have a very subtle sweet scent.


Here is my little helper! He sat on the edge of the bed with me while I was planting. Of course, as soon as I got up to take a picture of him sitting there, he moved to the pillow.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hoorah!

Brian's mom got me a new SD card reader thing. Now I can post pictures!

Here is the new bedroom decorating scheme.


Here is the apple butter!


Brian's family is here so I have to run. I will post more after company leaves.



Friday, April 3, 2009

Apple Butter!

I made 4 pints of spiced apple butter! I used ground cloves, ground cardamom, ground cinnamon and ground allspice. Delicious!

I also finished with the master bedroom decorating. I love the color combination!

My USB SD card reader isn't working. I have to get a new one and then I will post pictures of the latest projects.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Food!

I spent most of yesterday canning. I have this great book called "The Complete Book of Year Round Small Batch Preserving." It is great for me because I have very limited storage space. I made pickled Jalape├▒os with garlic. There are 1 1/2 pints extra spicy with Haba├▒eros and 2 pints of regular. Brian will love them (as he sits there with tears pouring down his face while eating them.) I also made 3 pints of Tomatillo salsa. It is absolutely delicious. Right now I have apple butter on the stove and the house smells wonderful.


I finished decorating the office and moved on to the master bedroom. I decided to use red, white and pale blue. The red a pale blue make a great contrast and the white keeps it from becoming to tacky. It does not necessarily look patriotic because the blue shades are too light. I crocheted one valence and am working on the second. I bought a cheap white lamp at Big Lots and then spray painted it bright cherry red. It looks awesome. I found a cute little pale blue lamp at the thrift store and I added a red and white gingham shade. I also made a light blue duvet cover for our quilt. I bought white fabric, sewed the duvet and then died it with RIT die. I am actually surprised how well it turned out. I will try to put pictures up in the next few days.