Friday, August 27, 2010

Cool Weather August

Well the warmth seems like it's all gone for the summer, though looking at the forecast it is supposed to return over the next week. We shall see.

I even actually found some trees with leaves already changing! I'm not sure I'm ready to give up summer but I have to admit I do rather enjoy those cooler breezes and bundling back under a blanket to go to sleep.

Isn't it funny that September always seems to be about beginnings even though it is technically in the middle-ish of the year? Is this just because we have all developed that back to school attitude that we carry even into adulthood? I kind of like thinking of September as beginning a new phase and I've intentionally over the years started major changes in my life in September because I kind of like it starting then. Weird? maybe but it makes me happy and feel young, like buying all those fun back to school shiny new crayons and binders and cool new outfit.

Tim is jumping into a new phase and is now working with Rene at Scout Design. We are both of us thrilled about this and it's awesome that Tim has some great creative people to work with and interesting jobs to play with. It will be a real change having Tim working out at an office rather than in his studio in the house. Today was the first day of that and it was really quiet, especially since Quinn and Leah also where off to their Grandma's for a visit.

This transition will be interesting to see where it takes us and how I'm going to fit in my teaching around the Galloping Goat Gallery schedule. I love the teaching but it will be nice to have a little less financial pressure off of me and trying to squeeze in more work into already busy weeks of the store and the schools.

Life is never dull or slow around here. Life is just good!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

No Dig Gardening Method

This is seriously the best idea I have heard of in a very long time! For those of us who don't enjoy the thought of tearing out sod and trying to start a new garden this is brilliant!

The idea is that you just use those bags of triple mix or top soil (personally I would go with the triple mix since it is a much richer bag of dirt for nutrients and such) and place them on the ground and cut an opening in the top and a few drainage holes in the bottom and garden directly in the bag! No weeds since the bag is not allowing them to come through!

My Mom read an article about this idea and then I found this one online at the Vegetable Gardener

For me I need to move our very large vegetable patch to a different area of our yard. The problem is that the trees shade it for a good part of the afternoon. I imagine that our veggie garden was there from the beginning in this spot behind the barn a hundred years ago but someone planted trees about 20 or 30 years ago and the are now very big! The thought of trying to dig up a decent sized patch is a bit daunting so I thought that getting a few bags each year would be a good start on the move.

My plan is to lay out a thick pad of newsprint and wet it down on the grass to keep grass and weeds growing between the bags. Then lay about 9 bags of triple mix 3 x 3 on the newsprint with drainage holes punched through the back. I know the plastic isn't going to look all that nice but it will be great to kill the grass in that area. I'm going to plant in the bags this year and then next spring I will remove all the plastic and leave the dirt on the decomposing newsprint for the new garden. Each year I will add a new section of newsprint and bags so that eventually I'll have the veggie patch the size I would like.

I love the idea that you get the rich soil and not have to try to remove all that sod and eventually you'll have a great garden without serious back injury from all that digging!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Count Down!

Well this is it my last offical days off until after Labour Day weekend! Ack, that sounds awful but the perks are good. I get to be home and at work at the same time but of course that means there is no escape unless I leave the property.

It's been fun in the barn/shop that last few weeks since all my regular customers and friends have all been stopping in to say hi and check out all the new garden stuff that I collected up over the winter. It always feels like a reunion when people come in after not seeing them since before christmas.

It's fun too meeting the new people just visiting "The County" and telling them all the great places to see and places to eat. New people are often amazed that the County has been hidden from them all this time considering it's only 2 1/2 hrs from Toronto and 3 hrs from Ottawa. I guess all the advertising of the wineries and restaurants is starting to pay off.

It's hard to believe it is the first of May this Saturday and the start of the busy season. Boy is it going to be busy. Tim and I just finished up our after school Art Club programs, though Tim has the kids animation they did to download to DVD's for them still. Tim wasn't too sure about doing the Art Club teaching but he ended up really enjoying it and the kids had a great time doing stop motion animation. I'm looking forward to seeing the DVDs of their work when he finishes putting it together on the computer.

Now we are starting to ramp up the Summer Art Camp for kids and flyer the neighbourhood, schools and libraries. I'm also putting together a press release, which I admit intimidates me a wee bit but I'm pushing forward and going to do it anyways. Our local papers are pretty laid back so I probably have nothing to worry about. The only problem is I don't have hardly any pictures from the summer camp last year. I guess I was too busy teaching to keep the camera at ready. Also you have to be so careful about not having the kids faces in the pictures when using them for online stuff or advertising, this tends to make for some unexciting photos!

Off we run to keep the wheels turning and creating our own employment. I wonder do you think the government counts Tim and I as one of the unemployed or employed? Neither of us have been an employee of another company in a very long time, although those benefits people get sure do sound nice and weekends off, wow! I mean seriously that would be awesome!
We've been freelance so long now and it's become 2nd nature to be constantly looking for creative ways to pay the bills. A "real" job, or should I say a normal job with normal hours and scheduled days off would be a real luxury but I imagine both of us would end up walking away from that because I think we are basically nuts!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hats, Hats and more Hats!

I love the colours in this green hat, it was a surprising mix that just seemd right to me. A bit of tangy orange, fizzy purple, magenta and a real sage like green. A lady bought this hat in the fall for her daughter, I hope she loved it as much as her mom did. I should try and make this hat again or at least follow the colour palette, there was so much attention paid to it!

This red fizzy hat was another good colour combo. The turquoise just popped on this. It's funny how certain blues next to a certain colour that leans to the orange will make it vibrate and then you can't hardly look at it! This blue seems to almost do that, nothing like giving people eye strain when they are checking out your hat!

This blue hat is very similar to the red hat in that I used the same boucle only in blue rather than red for the ear flaps. I've heard alot of people complain about knitting with this yarn since it tends to split apart on them. Personally I haven't really had any problems with it. I like because of that bit of sheen and it's rather woolly so it knits up nice and quick. It is also fascinating to me how the same hat style with a different topper, as in a pompom or a tassle looks completely different when you wear them. Certain people look way better with the tassle and others need the pompom. I'm more of a pompom wearer, the tassle doesn't suit me as well, no idea why that is.

This hat just seems icy, shivery and reads coolness, as in the temperature though I'm sure you would look cool in the other respect as well wearing it!
I love citrus lime green with turquoise together, my favourite colour combo these days. I even painted my house using those colours. The colour of water and spring and bright days, love all of those things so to live in the middle of that is the best. Especially true on the grey days of February!

Here is Leah wearing Hanna's Christmas present from her mom that I whipped up for them. Hanna is 9 and opposed pompom's quite vigorously so I decided to do a twist tail on a hat that was in the store and Hanna saw that and was in love with that style. Her mom emailed me later to ask for me to make a similar style in pink with a touch of grey to match her snowsuit. Unfortunately I couldn't quite get Leah to tilt her head right so you can't see the pearly grey in the hat. It turned out to be a beautiful colour combo that I'm glad I was asked to play with. I'm definitely going to do that again!