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14 posts from January 2018

the garden grows

I finished the green bean teepee.  I glued on all the leaves I cut, then looked at it and said "this is good".

Now, I could spend hours plotting out the rest of the plantings on graph paper, or I could just start planting.  I planted.  I've stressful happenings going on at the moment and don't need perfect plant placement planning adding to my mind jumble.


Nancy:  Q is for Queen.  Because what else, really?

thank you, thank you, thank you

I was stuck on the carrot greenery until Elizabeth sent me a box of bits-and-bobs, with, whallah!, carrot tops.  Thank you, E.

The crepe paper for the beet leaves was sent to me some time ago by Jodi.  Thank you, Jodi.

Also, thank you, Fran, for telling me to paint the underside of my warped foam-core board garden base to flatten it.  It worked like a charm.


Nancy:  O is for obtenebrate.


M is for Milo

In August, in the midst of home renovations, I posted this picture and said  I'd tell you the story later.  It's story time.


Last July my daughter, Kate, had a feral kitten on her property, living in her garage.  It wouldn't let her come anywhere near it, of course.  Kate didn't want it to take up permanent residence, spreading disease to her two cats, so she set a live trap.  First she caught one of her own cats, Belle, then she caught a neighbor's ginger tabby, then Belle again, but finally, in early August, she caught the feral kitten.  The food had been disappearing out of the trap daily, we suspect it took a couple of weeks for the kitten to weigh enough to spring the trap.


Kate closed him in her bathroom for the night with some food, water, and a litter box, then went to work.      

In the morning, when she came home, she took him to her veterinarian, in anticipation of taking him to the Humane Society.  The vet pronounced him free of fleas and mites, healthy but underweight, and estimated his age as eight to ten weeks.  The kitten was surprisingly calm and cooperative.

Kate took him home.  He would hiss and run when approached, but once picked up was a calm, snuggling, purring ball of fur. Kate's heart was melting, it was going to be difficult to take him to the Humane Society on her next day off.  She installed a baby gate to confine him to the bedroom and bathroom, put a collar with a bell on him, and let him out of the cat carrier.  (That's Gomez, the other side of the gate.)


She asked me to come visit, to socialize him.


Two days later he was suddenly close to death.  He stopped eating and drinking, grew lethargic, then limp, breathing shallow and very fast.  Kate rushed him back to the vet, who diagnosed him with a respiratory infection.  She injected him with antibiotics and had Kate keep him wrapped in a cool, wet washcloth to bring his fever down.  He was not expected to survive.

He rebounded quickly.  Then, in swift succession, there was another trip to the vet for fly larvae removal in two locations Kate found while washing him, then one of the wounds from the burrowed larvae got infected.  There were also tapeworms, then fleas.

After all that Kate decided he wasn't going anywhere.  She named him Milo, her little soldier.


By late September he was friends with Gomez, who is gregarious and loves to play, but Belle was still giving him the cold shoulder.


Now, several months later, Milo is truly healthy, happy, and part of the family.  He's wary of people other than Kate, which disappoints Daisie, Kate's best friend and frequent house guest, but Daisie is patiently making advances.  Last week he let her pet him, but only because he was sitting against Kate at the time.


vegetable leaves

I'm not sure how small I can cut these, the carrot leaves don't look promising now that I've shrunk them down, and the tomato leaves are questionable.


I was right about the carrot leaves.


The others cut okay.  The tomato leaves need another test, the cutting mat I was using was on its last bit of stickiness so the leaves didn't stay put when I pulled the paper up.  The cantaloupe and sweet potato leaves need to be further reduced in size.  Crepe paper doesn't work with the cricut, I'll cut the beet leaves by hand.  I need to do some color tests with markers on the green bean leaves before I go crazy and cut a zillion of them.


The teepee is strung and ready for windy stems. 


Nancy:  K is for knurl.




I will not be able to plant the foam-core garden on my worktable, then transfer it to the project, as it's fairly warped.  I had to clamp and weight it down on my worktable to install the green bean teepee.  I'm going to have to weight it down when I glue it to the project base, which would be impossible if it were planted first.

Husband asked if I was planting mung, you know, I would have a teepee for my mung hole.  eyeroll


I've got a few leafy vegetables I bought at the Chicago show a couple of trips ago, and a wild rose from the deconstruction of le moulin.  I've also got a partly assembled clematis vine in my stash.  I've decided my garden time is going to be August.  My August.

My next step, which I can do while glue dries, is to design and cut some bean, beet, and carrot leaves with the cricut.

Do not go where the path may lead

The garden path looked good on graph paper, but crowded and unnecessarily complex in place.

Freddie will demonstrate...


The path is just barely wide enough to walk on.


 There is no room to kneel down to tend a plant.

I will reduce the paths to one.  No straight lines, though.  And I will keep it narrow, since it's not really going to need tending, because there isn't much planting area as it is.


Nancy:  B is for batrachophobia.


Beginning the garden

Every cottage kitchen needs a garden.


I built a gate, then started a woven fence.


The posts that support the gate aren't glued in yet, so they look crooked for now.  The woven fence works up quickly, though I have to remember to stop every few rows to measure, to make sure it's straight.


The garden is on a foam-core base, so I can remove it, to plant it on my work table.  I laid out pathways with sequin pins, which will be removed when I'm done planting.

I'm planning a different fence for the side, and a second gate for the back.

thatching concluded

I finished my edges differently than the tutorial, as I wanted to see the end of the thatch, not turn it under.  The layer of foam-core board I put on the top of the roof was to make the thatch look thicker than a layer of fur.  I saved the fuzz when I shaved the piece for the ridge cap, then glued it along the white edge of the foam-core board.  It worked great.


While the edges dried I gave it an initial trim, tested the ridge cap, which I decided looked fine, and played around with different "hairstyles".


After the glue dried on the edges I gave them a mild scrub with the bristle attachment of the shop-vac, trimmed the edges some more, then stained the thatch golden oak.  I brushed it lightly on the surface and used my gloved fingers to comb and tossle it in.  I didn't worry about even coverage, or saturating the fur down to the bottom layer.  I used the least amount of stain I could to achieve my goal.

I took a nap with Ester while the stain dried :)

After our nap I glued the ridge cap in place, trimmed the edges a bit more, then varnished.  I'll let it dry overnight, then unwrap the house tomorrow.


faux fur Friday

I had to order faux fur online because the local fabric store didn't have any with deep enough pile.  Does faux fur have pile like carpet has pile?  Is that the right word?  You know what I mean.

A couple people have emailed about the method; I am following instructions from Glorious Twelfth, as I did when I thatched the Chantilly.

I started by designing and cutting a ridge cap pattern with the cricut.



Then, per instructions, I shaved down a piece of the fur (I used double-stick tape to secure it to the paper template).


I started with a number three guide, thought it was still too long to show the detail of the pointed bits in the pattern, then went down a couple of steps to 1/8".   Now it might be too short and I might redesign the pattern, but I'll set it aside for now and move on.

 My lap is covered in hair...

Then I made patterns to cut the roof pieces....


...then cut, then glue, then wait overnight for it to dry.