Monday, March 26, 2012

Garden plans!

The sun is beginning to tease us here in the Pacific Northwest. Just like the cool girl in high school, it'll show up to your party for a few minutes (just enough for you to bask in all the beautiful glowy-ness) and then leave for a cooler scene. It's just enough to keep us happy, though, with thoughts of the coming sunny weather.

With that in mind, garden plans have started happening! I am not productive enough to have tried cold crops yet, so the garden has been hibernating over winter. That isn't to say that I haven't been daydreaming about the next projects on the list, though. Oh yes, I have been plotting away (get it? plotting? garden plots? eh? eh?)...

I want chickens!
I want an espalier fruit hedge!
I want blueberry bushes!
I want more raised beds!

...the list of wants could go on and on and on.

First project on the list will be the espalier fruit hedge. Espalier is basically this super awesome way to train fruit trees to grow in a non-traditional way - think u-shapes, grids, freeform. We'll be training some apple and pear trees to grow along the side of our house by our neighbor's fence. We'll be able to get some privacy out of it, and some tasty fruit! The trees have been ordered! Whoooo!

Second big project will be the chickens. Our city allows people to keep backyard chickens, as long as they aren't roosters and as long as your neighbors are cool with it. I'm pretty sure our neighbors will be cool about it, especially if I offer up some eggs once the hens start laying. I've "chicken sat" for our friends while they were out of town a few times now, and that has created a gigantic obsession with getting a small flock of my own. Chickens are super rad.

The biggest issue I have is that we have a challenge in terms of space. Since we don't have a super huge yard, I am trying to be smart about the best uses of space. I recently picked up this book, which has a few cool ideas for gardening in small spaces by "growing up".

I've already seen a couple of ideas that I'd like to try and incorporate into this year's projects. We'll see!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Elephants and polkadots. A quilt for baby Van.

Well, it has friends are beginning to breed! This means crafting! This means quilts!

Evidence that I am alive and well and crafting:

A friend and I went in on this work together, which definitely helped with the whole "holy crap I need to work on this quilt" thing...well, that and a deadline of a baby shower! We used the "hopscotch" pattern from the book Super Simple Quilts #1 by Alex Anderson and Liz Aneloski. I have made one other quilt out of this book, and it has been very easy (as quilting goes) and full of any tips a beginner may need. Highly recommended.

I have to say, I find this whole quilting thing a very fun activity!