Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Little QUIP : A Little Quilt in Progess

I have been redesigning this little quilt that I blogged about before. I am making it to go on my round table so I changed the layout from the pattern since it was intended to be a wall hanging. Doing the redesigning has given me great respect for the people who make patterns. I used to feel they were a little expensive, but I have now spent a few hours calculating and recalculating measurements that only have to be changed again once I cut and piece sections, so I now appreciate the amount of time that is spent on making a pattern for sale. It is really fun though and I am really liking the way it is turning out. I have a few more strips to piece then will work on a fun border. I haven't even thought about the binding much yet though I will probably use the little red dotted fabric. I got a little concerned when I finished my aprons because they weren't really complimenting the fabrics I had chosen for the borders and the red was looking a little too much so I found some red ric rac and added to each apron and completely bordered each apron with a narrow red border and suddenly it was all seeming to go together perfectly. The fabric in yellow has the cutest little Jello molds, it is a Michael Miller fabric and the border will be the complimentary fabric by the same artist. It is a fun retro print with kitchen appliances from the 50's. Oh, to be a fabric designer...where do they come up with all these ideas? I only hope they keep sparking my imagination with ways to use them.

I think my next quilting project will be to piece the fish fabrics I have been collecting into a throw for my couch. I did manage to recover the couch cushions for the 3rd time with some denim and used a red fabric for the piping and I think the fish fabrics will look perfect with the denim. I don't have a picture yet, but will try to remember to take one. I think it is in some of my Christmas pictures. I am finally really happy with the way it turned out AND it is washable. I even put in a 36" zipper in the back. I used some of the techniques I have been learning from making bags and it made it oh, sew easy! I had made a little pouch from an American Jane pattern and that is the method I used to do the came out perfect!

We finally got a chance to go fishing with my son, Andy today. It was suppose to rain, but we managed to find a few hours before the rain came to get out. We knew that they had stocked some nice trout from Lassen on Thursday, but they weren't biting and the weather was so cold. We layered on some warm clothes and went out anyway and we caught 2 very nice fish! The 3 of us have been having some pretty bad luck with fishing lately so we felt very fortunate indeed! We also each shared a few fishing tips and had a really nice time. Can't wait to get some pink lemonade power bait! Thanks Andy!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Where has the time gone?

December is flying by which will mean the beginning of a new year. Where does time go? I know I am not alone in wondering this. When I was a child counting the days til Christmas time seemed to stand still, but that is no longer true for me. December has been a busy month at work so I try to relax a bit when I have time off. The bare root roses came in and many hours were spent pruning, dipping, and planting them. Then there is the putting away part that is also very time consuming. We organize them by color then alphabetically and, of course, the climbers are separated from the bushes and the trees and don't forget the minis. We had around 2000 roses to do this year. There have been more in past years. I can't wait for them to start blooming, but that will be a while yet. The weather has gotten pretty chilly here and will probably stay that way for a while, but people are anxious to start planting so they have been buying them here and there as we plant them. Some of the college kids that have worked here in the past have been helping or just stopping in to visit since many are home for the holidays.

We had a visit from Brian Steele who has left us to work driving an ambulance and taking people to and from the hospital. He works long hours and lots of stories. Chris Brookmeyer is home for the holidays and couldn't resist joining the comradery that comes with planting roses plus picking up a little pay check helps.

Here old timer Steve is showing the 'new girl' Maria just how much soil to put in the pot.

And last but, not least is Michael with the last rose of this season (there could be a few more coming in later, but for now this is it). This sad little rose has only one stem, but could grow up to be the best rose yet Michael tells us. If you would like to see what roses we have coming in check out our web site. We have gotten it set up with pictures for each one. If you are from out of the area though we don't ship them so you if you want one you might have to arrange a trip to San Jose or check with Jackson Perkins, Weeks Roses or Star Roses to where you could get one closer to home.

There are so many that are my favorites, but there are some new ones that I can't wait to see in person. And the names! Classic Woman, Passionate Kisses, April in! What fun it would be to be the person responsible for coming up those names.

One last fun Christmas gift idea...Heather who works at the nursery gave Michael the cutest gift...she put together this gingerbread house with a gift inside. He won't know what it is until he gets the nerve to take the house apart so he is waiting. I think this is the most creative gift idea of all!

To all who visit my post here I am wishing you a very Merry Christmas and I hope the New Year will bring lots of good things your way!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

They're here!

I have the job of ordering the Poinsettias for the nursery and most of them arrived yesterday. There are still more to come next week, but right now we are heavily stocked. They are beautiful and there are so many varieties, it is amazing. So I wanted to show a few pictures here. We have been having fun finding creative places to put them. Now I hope they sell quick so that we don't have to water them. Poinsettias really don't like to be over watered. Here are a few Poinsettia tips:

1. Watering - once a week should be enough, but you should always stick your finger in the soil to test before watering. If you feel any moisture don't water.

2. Don't place poinsettias in a drafty area. Also don't place too near a heating vent.

3. Poinsettias don't mind being on a protected porch here in Northern California. but remember that they are tropical plants so in colder areas they should be kept indoors in the winter.

4. Poinsettias are very fragile so keep them in a low traffic area where they are not as likely to be bumped.

5. Poinsettia leaves are poisinous so keep out of reach of children and pets who are prone to putting things in their mouths. They are not deadly unless eaten in large quantities, but should be treated with caution because no one wants to suffer a tummy ache during the holidays if it can be helped.

The picture below was painted by a local artist, Mollie Markel, whose work we sell in our gift store. It is a favorite of mine depicting Santa potting up some plants. I love the way it makes him seem so much like an everyday guy!

Well, the holidays are under way and that means that it must be my sons birthday! Poor guy has always had to share his birthday with mass hysteria that sometimes happens at the holidays. Planning a birthday party around everyones holiday parties was always a little difficult. I am hoping to be able to get together with Rob and some of his friends tonight to toast the glorious occasion that celebrates his birth 22 years ago today. Happy birthday Rob!