Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A surprise in the mail, and Gloriosa City!!!

I got a box in the mail today!!!!! It was a nice surprise, in the middle of baking a loaf of bread (my latest obsession)! Mandy from A Few Of My Favorite Things sent it to me, with some of her sweet succulents! Her Donkey Ears, some beautiful Haworthia, some Flippin Flapjack Kalenchoes, and some of the cutest Sedum I've ever seen...almost all rooted too! Thanks, Mandy...I really appreciate them! I really wanted to see the Donkey Ears...can't wait to see what happens with them! I will get them planted up tomorrow!!!

Now, in random order, I present my Mom's Gloriosa Lilies, which have grown all in and around her front garden! Just wanted to share a few pics of all this lovliness! You have this to look forward to Claude!!!

xoxo- Julie

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

White Ibis visitor and a sketch!

One of "the girls" came by to dig around in my yard yesterday morning! She had such a gorgeous tomato red color to her beak and legs/feet, I just had to try a photo shoot with her.

She must be used to people trying to get close, because she didn't seem too nervous at all.

My neighbor came out and we stood there talking, and slowly moving closer to her, and she was a good girl for me.

Not trying to move away too quickly. The closest I was able to get to her was about 8 ft. away.

I had to take fairly repetitive shots to get anything worthwhile.

Cute poses, girly!!!

Thankyou very much!

I decided to try a little sketch, and then I used the pastels my lovely SIL found at a thrift somewhere...and are they not a gorgeous array of colors??? 48 'Conte A Paris' pastels!!! They are really neat. Thankyou, Lynn!!! I love how they are round and not square! Kinda sexy.

I think pastels are definately something you could become addicted to!!! So soft and forgiving. I need as much of that last part as I can get!!! I'm all about allusion! LOLOL!

Happy rest of the week to you all!
xoxo- Julie

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Cactus Monday!

Well, I had my first attempt at gelatin printing. It was not good. Seriously. NOT GOOD AT ALL. The teal color you see sort of in and amongst the moon, cactus and right hand side of picture are done on the jello using acrylic paint. I waited for it to dry and then added more color and background with pastels. It is a conglomeration of weirdness! I would only show it to my closest friends!!! LOL.

If you want to see how a real gelatin print is made (and looks awesome...I will get least I really want to) this video!!!

To join us on Cactus Mondays, please see my sidebar for the link to Teri's Painted Daisies, our host.

Kalanchoe viguerii ???????

I have had this succulent for years, and it had grown too tall, so I cut out the top and laid it in my kitchen window waiting to replant a few days.

The interesting thing that happened was that it developed a brown edge to the leaves (making me think of Kalanchoe tormentosa), and it gave me a clue to at least the fact that it was probably a Kalanchoe I finally found what looks like a match.
Kalanchoe viguerii. If anyone has a better I.D., I would appreciate it. I found this pic (and many other Kalanchoes I had not seen before at Cactus Shop. If you go here, do you like the Kalanchoe 'Pink Butterflies' ???

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday morning garden work and yard walk

Good Saturday morning everyone (or whenever you view this)! This morning I went out because I had soaked okra seeds to get in the ground. They were sprouting! I planted about 12 of them. They love heat and sun, so they should do very well. Below is a pic of some of the pink-eyued pea blooms...they are just so darn cute!

And marigolds in the peas.

A few shots of the succulents in the tires!

And lookie what I found this morning (only cause I haven't looked in the past week or so)...GLORIOSA LILIES coming up!!! My husband had sprayed some around this area with Round Up (I KNOW)...and I thought he had killed the gloriosas altogether, since my Mom's garden is chock full of them...but here they are...back again! Maybe they are really hard to kill. Yeah!!! I am so happy, because as you know they are a cheery orange and yellow and they make me extremely happy!!! It is almost worth the torture of summer to have them! Almost, I said...

Mr plastic pelican peeking out from his permanent home amidst the Oyster Plants! Are they not just so cool with the purple and green bad selves! I just adore them. Most people, as I have said before, around here regard them as weeds, but not me...I find them growing in other areas of the yard and move thmem in here for a gorgeous bed. I love to find huge beds of them...they are so striking!!! The best part is that they stay pretty year round, basically in sand!

Now, just in case the heat completely knocks out my tomato plants, I just wanted to show you the 4 fruits I have right now. I pray these will at least ripen so I can say I got something out of this whole darn experiment.

Here is a variegated jasmine on the fence and it is developing a few all white areas of leaves...I love, so sweet!

Morning glories are all over the jasmine fence...

Here is a long shot of the vegie darden, sux tires and then beyond that are my flower filled tires! I love this view cause it makes me feel like a gardener! LOLOL! Such a small little plot, and not all that much work really...just a little here and there, but such fun! I would encourage anyone to start a small plot and just go for it.

Thought I would show you my butt-ugly wild Sansevieria hyacinthoides (????) fields! LOL. They are just scraggly looking, but have started looking some better. I often think of trying to relocate them and make a bed of them, and I think it may be something to conquer in the fall when it gets cooler. I think I would like that.

A shot of my beautiful, full, lush and totally stunning (to me) huge ferns in my front planter along front of house! All transplants from the back yard one day many years ago...and they need NOTHING...they just stay purdy year round with rain and no fertilizer at all. Perfection on a stick!!! :)

3 shots of this really sweet red and white hangs downward and it so delicate. I have no idea of it's name, sadly. It surely needs to be trimmed again...maybe this evening when it cools down I can force myself to do it. I need someone with a big whip to get me out there!!! LOL.

And last but not least, the Vincas are getting ready for the 4th! I have two of these pinwheels, and sometimes I look over and see them both spinning full force. A very happy garden and gardener!

Any of you with aches and pains, illness, or just feeling kinda low, I pray my garden pics have perked you up a bit, and you will have the best weekend EVER!
xoxo- Julie

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bees on cactus!

A new blogger (to me), named Candy, over at Sweetstuff's Sassy Succulents has taken some great photos of bees on her opuntia blooms! She has a lot of succulents!!! Check her out. I have invited her to participate in Cactus Monday, so hopefully she will join us!
xoxo- Julie

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bread making and attempted EDM # 7.

This morning, my husband requested homemade French bread as he was leaving for work! He surprised me so much, I really didn't have the heart to disappoint him. I had to run to the store for some new flour, and then came home and made a Rapid Rise recipe, which you can find HERE! I got out my 15 x 10 jelly roll pan to use as a guide for size. You have to roll out your two loaves to this size, and I used it as a visual to know when I had sorta gotten it to that size!

I did knead it for 10 minutes on top of the upside down jelly roll pan, and that worked out OK, but I knew I would have to roll them out (after they rested 10 minutes) on the counter. I read this tip about using plastic wrap to roll on. You just wet your hand with water and rub it on the counter and then lay the plastic wrap out and it will not move as you roll your dough out on it. This is invaluable to me. Let's just say "LOVE IT"!!!!! You know you have a completely clean surface to work on. Yes!!!!!

Here are my two loaves all ready to go into the oven! They looked wonderful. (They are shiny because I just put the egg wash on top)!!! I cannot recommend this Rapid Rise recipe or the whole darn technique highly enough. What used to take 5 hours, now takes 2 hours from start to finish of the bread making. I was quite amazed. I searched Google for "Rapid Rise bread recipes", and found many and only picked 5 star ones!

They turned out just perfectly! Soft inside, and crusty outside, it was a huge hit.
I gave a loaf to my son and his wife. One was for dinner. We had salad and this lushious loaf with olive oil, and italian seasoning, salt papper as a dipping. Delish!!!

I just got home from the health food store, where I picked up a bag of mixed 10 grains to use for my loaves tomorrow. HERE ...Mary Lou's Honey Multigrain Wheat Bread! I am so excited to keep trying all these Rapid Rise recipes! Such fun....boththe crafting of the loaves and the eating part too!

I tried to make a few tries to bottle or jar from my kitchen (EDM # 7)...and found out this is not anything I am capable of!!! I ended up just doodling my name over top of all tries, and let's just say I will leave it at that. Moving on to the next EDM (Everyday Matters) which you can find HERE. I just realized that drawing a jar or bottle from your kitchen is #7. Somehow I thought it was #5!!! LOLOL! Guess I will go back now and do # 5, which is to draw your bed!!! No easy challenge! Yikes.

Have a nice Thursday tomorrow! xoxo- Julie

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Leaf walk with Doozey!

Can I go for a leaf walk, Momma??? Please?

Right around the corner, we saw this lovely croton!

Ooooh, this is fun...what will we find next Mom?????

Another Croton!!! Look at the colors in this one? My Mom, Julie, is crazy over this one!

Yikes...this scary guy made us jump...the shadows from his leaves made a haunted appearance and he seemed to come out of the dark suddenly!

Pretty little ficus leaves.

Some elephant ears?????

Could this be a Palmetto???

Giant Sea Grape leaves. Look at the size compared to my Mom's hand. She really likes these, except they are very messy and blow all around constantly from the neighbors yard. Year-round too. Unendingly. She still likes the neighbor though!

Who could resist the shiny new little leaves on the Sea Grape??? Sweet!

Look what is nestled here amongst the Lantana leaves! A bloom in the dark.

A "Mexican Sunflower" leaf.

That was fun I can sleep in peace!