Monday, December 17, 2012

Spirit Wisps

Wisps of spirit energy on a brushed, blended, and wiped background. 

Dogwood Painting

Painting of a Male Angel

Vickie and I have been painting again. She got an order for a commissioned work of a male angel so we decided that would be our theme for the week. Here is my completed piece.


There's just something irresistible about a man who meditates or does yoga. This male angel does both!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Painting Day with Vickie

On Friday,my friend, Vickie B. Majors, and I painted together again. We had a great time sharing our artistic energy.I completed the painting I started last week. It's called "Inspiraled."


And, I completed our tree of life themed painting. Mine is called "Orbit-Tree."


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Painting Day with a Friend

I admire the artistic talent of my friend Vickie B. Majors. I had the honor of painting with her last Friday. We decided to have a theme for the session.We chose spirals because they represent the never ending cycle of life and the ever-expanding consciousness of creation. Goddess energy!

Although my piece titled "Inspiraled" is not finished, I'll post it here as a work in progress.Vickie and I are painting together again tomorrow and our theme is the Tree of Life.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

While I Had the Paint Out . . .

I need art for the living room, which has been repainted teal and pumpkin. I bought canvases on sale at Joanne Fabrics and started painting. Here is the first of five new ones that I plan to hang over the mirror on the sofa wall. That wall is 18 feet in height and is perfect as an art gallery.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Now the Kitchen Has Been Repainted

Well, you know you can't paint one room and not the one that adjoins it. That's what my husband told me. I learned that he really didn't like the soft blue we had in the kitchen and was waiting for me to give him the signal to change it! Who knew?




Friday, August 17, 2012

And More of the Living Room Redo...

The front and back walls of the living room are Intense Teal SG 490 by Behr. The fireplace wall and sofa wall are marmalade glaze UL120-B also by Behr.




 
I made throw pillow for the sofa from the same fabric I used as a topper for the drapes.



I also used this fabric for the adjoining eat-in kitchen. Photos of the kitchen coming soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Living Room Redo

We wanted to repaint our living room for several years now but choosing a paint color and getting the inspiration for design kept holding me back--the actual labor of such a chore was also a factor. A few weeks ago I was writing in a journal my daughter gave me and noticed how lovely the pumpkin and teal are together. Kind of has a retro vibe yet modern too. So I had my inspiration. Next I had to convince my husband that these colors would turn out well and not darken the room too much.



 Here is the before photo. Very light and airy in 2008 when we installed the cutouts and the paint was still somewhat new. But the paint color was fading and showing wear, especially on the lower part.
BEFORE


AFTER














I'm not sure why it matters if a room is dark. We have lamps and electricity!The color is so vibrant in daytime and warm in the evenings.

I'll post more photos of the rest of the room tomorrow.

Oh, by the way, the blue is called Intense Teal SG 490 by Behr. The pumpkin color is marmalade glaze UL120-B

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Case of the Disappearing Red Worms


My red worms are gone!  Vanished! Vamoose!

My red worm compost had been established for three months or longer, and I had hundreds of worms thriving in the perfect situation. Two weeks ago I brought them into the house because the outdoor temperature was in triple digits and I was concerned that the plastic bin I had them in would get too hot on the back porch.

I fed the worms last week as I typically do on Fridays and everything seemed fine. I didn't dig to see how the worms were doing, but when I popped the lid, two soldier flies rushed out. I thought something might be amiss then, but I didn't dig into the layers to see what was going on. Wish I had!

Today I gently stirred the top layer as I added more food and noticed that the food I put in last week was still there. So, I stirred a little deeper and still didn't see any worms. I stirred all the way to the bottom of the bin turning and turning the layers and only found two worms--babies that had probably just arrived from eggs.

Since they can't get out of the snap-tight bin, I assume the worms died, but why? The food I fed them had been stored outdoors and I think it must have developed a bacteria that killed the worms. Either that, or they got a virus from the computer paper I used as bedding--get it? computer virus, worm virus. Not funny, I know, but I hate that I killed a thriving colony of red worms that I paid more than $30 for and had tended so lovingly for all these months.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Turtle Pond

We have a new critter in the pond today. Does anyone know what kind of turtle this is?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Good Morning Garden Goddess

Enjoying the morning sun in the garden again. I've enjoyed lemonbalm, mint, basil, stevia, sage, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, oregano, lavender, chives, and bee balm all season. I have dried enough lemonbalm and mint for tea all winter!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Echinacea Coming In!

Looks like I've got lots of echinacea to harvest! Sure will be good in tea and oil during the cold season.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Zucchini

Our zucchini has been prolific this year and so lovely and healthy looking. I love these raised beds. Little work, lots of produce!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Morning Stroll in the Garden

My favorite thing to do in the mornings is to take a cup of coffee with me to check on the garden. It's a great way to say hello to Mother Gaia and check on my plants to see who needs water.

Here is a photo I took of the raised beds, looking from the herb garden and pond area.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Raised Beds Are the Only Way to Grow Veggies!

We've tried several types of gardening—tilled plot of ground, straw bales, containers—but raised beds beats all choices. No weeding, less watering and fertilizing, compact space, aesthetically pleasing, I'm convinced this is the way to grow vegetables.

In these two 24' X 3' beds, we are growing lettuce, spinach, onions, tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, peppers, chard, and some herbs that are doing well in spite of not having sufficient rain in over a month. I have watered them from the rain we collected in the barrels and when that rain dry, I started using city water, which I don't like to do.

The initial expense to put in the beds was about $330 not counting the cost of seeds and plants (it took 120 bags of soil and composted manure to fill them!). Next year all we need to do is add some fresh compost, (which my red worms and I are making from yard and kitchen scraps), and buy the plants. Since I plan to collect the seeds from the harvest, that expense should be much less. I plan to cover the boxes with straw at the end of the season and allow that to compose during the winter.



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Manhole Vine Yard

This is what we call our "man-hole vine yard." We surrounded the plants with some flexible border strips we had on hand so we could add compost as needed. No worries that it will erode during a rain; it is contained in the circle that looks like a man hole cover! hahaha! Since the roots are in the ground rather than a pot, they can go deeper to reach moisture. I put straw around the plants to help them retain moisture; and it add nutrition as it decomposes. The containers we used last year didn't work out well.

We planted viney fruits and vegetables in this area: cantaloupe, honey dew melon, watermelon, and spaghetti squash. The little fence around it establishes a border that my dog recognizes as a "keep out" sign. It reminds me of a cemetery, but all the residents are alive so we call it the vine yard instead of a grave yard.

The moles are frustrated because they can't get to the surface. That's because there is plastic underneath the mulch. We used the bags that the mulch came in to save money and avoid sending useable items to the landfill.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Algae Pond Water

Algae ha taken over the fish pond. We have a sufficient pump and keep the filter cleaned almost daily. I've tried barely bales and they seemed to work earlier in the season, but once the weather got hot the algae got so thick it looked like pea soup. About three times a week, I remove as much as 30 gallons of green slimy water and refill with hose water. I pour the pond water around our flowers (but not our vegetables) to keep them alive. Nashville has not had sufficient rain in about a month and since the rain barrels are dry, I'm have to use the hose and city water (yuck) to keep the veggies growing.

Any suggestions on how to overcome this problem? I don't want to use chemicals to kill the algae because our dog sneaks a drink from the pond when my back is turned.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Eating Vegetarian

I've been eating a plant-based diet for six weeks. Why? Because I felt like crap and had to make a change to keep from being taken out with the garbage.

Processed foods are high in sugar and wheat flour. I have to avoid them or take them in limited amounts because according to my lab work, my body has decided not to process sugar. I thought chocolate was good for me! Ha! Meat is high in trans fats, cholesterol, contaminates, and acidity. Not good for anyone.

This means I am now vegetarian (almost vegan) and practically gluten free. I would be vegan if there was a health food store near where I live. Soy cheese, yogurt, sour cream, coffee creamer are hard if not impossible to find in a traditional grocery store.

My entire kitchen cabinet and refrigerator are in shock! One, because of the change in the groceries I bring home: quinoa, chia seed, millet, amaranth, teff, and other whole grains very high in nutrients--even protein. Lots of green veggies, soy products, legumes, and strange things like buckwheat flour, polenta, and almond meal. And, two, because I'm in there cooking—something I had not done since I learned that my husband would do it for me. :)

At home, my new eating regime is not a problem. In fact, I now love cooking because it’s creative like art! And, I'm never hungry because the foods are so nutritious, I stay full. Besides, I can always have a snack such as an ice pop make from the remainder of my morning smoothie!

If we go out to dinner, it requires going to extra lengths to find a restaurant that offers a nutritious menu. If I’m at someone's house and can’t eat what they prepare, I hope they will not take offense. Going on vacation in May will require some extra planning but with a positive attitude I can manage.

I think I'll share some of the new recipes I've been making. Every day is a new experience and I love it!

Asparagus sautéed in garlic oil, tomato topped with fresh parsley and feta cheese, purple cabbage slaw, and grain mix of quinoa, amaranth, and millet.


Spaghetti with marinara sauce and pinto beans, tomato topped with feta and quinoa, spinach with artichoke salad, corn fritters with quinoa, chia, and amaranth!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Beauty Abounds

My irises are blooming beautifully. I have loved the iris since I was a child and saw it growing in my grandmother's garden. Here are some in my garden this year.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening

This year we decided to fore-go the straw bale garden and put in something more permanent. Raised beds was our choice. Once we get them built and the dirt purchased, the major expense will be out of the way and these can be reused year after year. We plan to save our seeds so we won't have to purchase them again next year. In fact, much of what we will plant in April (when we can count on the weather to stay warm) will be the seeds we harvested from last year's crop.


So far, we have planted lettuce, spinach, turnip, mustard, and mesculun (mixed baby greens for salads). We plan to create a second box like this one and put it on the left behind where Randy is standing. There will be a mulched path between them so we can access all sides of the garden boxes.

LATER: April 4, 2012 progress


Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Fairy Nice Resort

I got this idea from someone on Pinterest and had to make my own. I had a clay flower pot that was cracked so I tapped it with a hammer and chisel to create a larger surface for fairy "real estate." The glass "rocks" came from Dollar Tree store. Since it is early in the spring season, Home Depot had a limited choice of outdoor plants. I got a pansy to drape over the front of the cracked pot, a strawberry to trail off the back, hens and chicks for shrubbery, and aloe plants for trees. By the way, these are all safe if ingested, which is a great thing since my grandsons will probably find this creation irresistible.


Here it is from the side view.I brought it inside because the overnight temperatures are still in the 50s. The aloe plant would appreciate a warmer climate so I'll have to move it in each night until the weather stays warm at night. I don't mind; I get to see it more often! And, it makes a nice centerpiece for the dining table.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Crochet Project

Here are some of the items I crocheted as gifts for St. Patrick's Day. These can be used to sit hot pans on and they look nice as a decorative mat underneath a candle or other centerpiece.

The smaller Shamrock in the middle is detachable

You can add candy, tea bags, or other goodies and draw the string to close the shamrock like a bag.

Trivets or doilies

Monday, February 20, 2012

Deck and Pergola

In 2008, my husband and I tore off the old dilapidated wooden deck of our house. We expanded it and put an open rafter roof on it. Here are a few photos of the process and final product.

Old deck and rails
Tearing out the old decking
Pouring footings
Setting the upright structure
Rafters in place
Lattice "roof"
Floor joists going in

Laying the deck floor

Steps are done

Completed project from the backyard

Ready for relaxing