Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday night

We are back from our small trip across Florida to Sarasota. We went over just for a little get-away. We ate, and mostly checked out the area. We visitied this neat shopping area on St. Armands Key just off the coast of Sarasota. We ate at Barnacle Bill's. I had crabmeat stuffed rainbow trout and it was heavenly! We were going to visit Ringling Museum of Art, and MOTE Aquarium, but talked ourselves out of it. We did drive out to an Amish and Mennonite community of approximately 3000, in east Sarasota, and attempted to eat lunch at one of several Amish restaurants, but discovered they were closed on Sundays, which made perfect sense once we thought about it...
We also drove through Ringling College of Art and Design, and was hoping to inspire was a lovely school...closed until August...I got a pic of the entrance, but my e-mail is not recieving for some reason (I am waiting for pics from my cell phone), so can't show you anything yet.
It was a fun trip, and we hope to go back soon. Oh....and in case you are wondering, the Amish there do not ride horse and buggies, they use three wheeled bikes! You can read about this Amish and Mennonite community HERE.

It was fun, but we are glad to be back home.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hotel time wasting...

I am using my new phone to post a little sketch done in hotel the style of Gustav a book about him and his art on the way here...amazing man. Love his work!!! I am home now and got the picture rotated. Yeah. If you can make it out, the hotel pad of paper has in small print in the top left side the words "Catch Wandering Ideas". I thought that was a really cool pad of paper!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Blast From The Past on Cactus Monday!

I got a very pleasant surprise when I sync'd my new phone to Google, and it brought all the photos, even from my past blogs that had been deleted long ago, into my gallery! The photos from my first blog, which had been called "Succulents By J", showed up...and I was so amazed at the beautiful succulent photos I had back then! I had my pretty succulent tires all arranged with shiny glass pebbles or shells...and they just looked so colorful and fun. Now, they are all looking frazzled, worn and tired. I need to make a commitment to update them when the weather cools down here, for sure...

In honor of CACTUS is a little look back at the past (I believe it was approx. 2008):

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Few Highlights of the Past Few Days!

I got two new plants...Melampodium paludosum, or otherwise known as Medallion plant, Butter Daisy, or Star Daisy. I found them at sweetly sitting there begging me to take them home and add to a bare spot in my tire gardens! So now, they are home, and I love looking out the kitchen window seeing them all yellow and cheery!


I made some homemade bread. It started out in the bread machine, but it looked like it was going to overflow before it even started to bake, so I poured it out on a cookie sheet, let it rise again and baked it in the oven. Delicious with just old margarine!!!

The best thing of all though, was that today my old flip phone went dead, and I actually moved into the 21st century and got a smart phone!!! It is an Android, Galaxy S. That's about all I know. It was a free upgrade on my ATT plan. I was a little jealous of my kids abilities on their IPhones, so I splurged for that gosh darn data plan. What can you do??? Now all I have to do is learn how to use it. The kids are showing me how, thank goodness for them!!!

And here are a few pics of things blooming out in the yard:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pole Beans A Risin on Cactus Monday!

My little pots of pole beans are rising up!!! After just 4 days!!! Maybe we will have some to eat after all!!! They look good and sturdy/strong too!!! I will be a little scared of losing them all the way up to harvest! My fingers are crossed!!! Wish me luck!

AND...just for the pleasure of our Cactus Monday leader, Ms. Teri I, sadly am unprepared for CM, but would like to share a little OKRA story!!! I know how much pleasure she gets hearing about my okra adventures!!!

I found out that my dear sister-in-law, Lynn is someone who has been buying from and working for (for free vegies) this organic fruit and vegie group out at the greenmarket, where I had found those RED okra...well, she worked this past weekend for free radishes and carrots (for herself)...and guess what??? She brought me two bags of red okra!!! Pic below!!! Enjoy TERIII!!!!!!!!!
xoxo- Julie And seriously, a happy Cactus Monday to all who participated and I will be stopping by to see your cactuses!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Grands at the Beach Today!

While I was slaving away today at work, 2 cute little kids were playing at the beach with their Mom and friends...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Baby Gift Box Decoration

Early in the evening tonight my DIL announced she would be stopping by a baby shower for a friend (a different one) tomorrow. She had bought a gift already, and I asked if I could make a personalized gift box decoration like the one I am already making, but about 1/4th size of the original. She said yes, so I spent a couple of hours and here is our finished product! The individual letters are strung on a lime green rope from a gift bag handle (one of my favorite crafting items)...and I had wanted to sort of drape the thing like a banner, but we had a few obstacles. One was that the box was just a tad too small, and the other was that it had a ribbon and sticker dead center from the store it had been bought from, which would have shown if it had been hung in a draped fashion. Finally we opted for straight across on a diagonal. It is cute, I must say...and covers that sticker in the middle. How do you like this cute baby name...Coral??? Isn't that sweet? I heard that she has an older sister with a "C" name also. Very cool.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Baby Banner Making!

I found a banner online, over at Creative Jewish Mom's blog that inspired me to make one for a baby's room decor. Colorful cards or cardstock, crocheted around the edges, with a ribbon strung through the top to hang on a crib, wall or over a curtain.

My DIL's best friend is due around November, and I wanted to make something handmade, so this was a a sort of perfect fit for me. I hope she will like it. It's always fun to have personalized decor for a baby. I think so anyway!

I bought this pack of baby girl themed cardstock, called Nanna's Nursery, and cut each card in half, which was the perfect size! Then I punched holes evenly around the edges, and crocheted a border with a variegated baby yarn.

I bought a pack of rather large glittery green letters...the are kinda puffy and self adhesive. Nice and motto!!!

I am making each card a different background card, with a letter on each to spell out her name which is CHARLOTTE.

The crochet and the letters unify the whole project. I will run a ribbon through the tops of the crocheted edge of the cards to make the banner. I am thinking I may get that sheer, shimmery ribbon to make a few simple pink bows... I am trying to decide if a bow between each letter would be too much, or just go for a bow at each end?

I like how she will be able to move the letters farther or closer together to make it fit any space. I may have to make a few more banners...some for birthday's around here!!! It is fun and easy...I just make a few letters each night, or whenever I feel like it.

Here is what I am thinking of giving her for the rest of her gift. A giant box filled with nothing but diapers and wipes!!!!! Wouldn't that be fun???

Sucky Seed Situation

Out of 24 pole bean seeds planted, so far (after a week and a half) only 6 have come up! I just tried the Jiffy Quick Soil Mix in 4 inch pots and placed three more pole bean seeds in each cup (total of 15 more potential plants)....they are on a strip of double thickness aluminum foil on my kitchen windowsill and I am giving these babies another go. I will not quit till I have some pole beans!!! Go beans, go!!!

The Jiffy Soil is really great to have around for seed sprouting emergencies...which could hit you at any given moment!!! These things are so cool...just soak in warm water and in 5 minutes you have soil!!!

I am off today, and my hubby took the day off too, so we could have some fun. Gonna take the kids and grands to a little fun rehab hospital/zoo locally, go to lunch and play all day. I'm happy!

Hope you all have a great Thursday too!
xoxo- Julie

Monday, July 11, 2011

I've Been Chipmunk'd!!

Seems like Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor have taken over my house!!! Here is their ring leader! Just doodlin around with the kids tonight!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

EDM # 26 - Draw anything you like. If you want to draw a vegetable, that's fine, too.

Just a fun little quickie today! I couldn't believe there was an EDM for a vegetable! Yeah!!! Do my red and green okra look a bit zentangly??? Sorry... I know I am a bit out of control here with my darn okra!!! Sorry. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Organic "Red Burgundy" okra

OMG...I have recently been wanting to try growing some red okra. There are a few different red varieties! Mom and I went over to a new greenmarket this morning, and an organic grower there had the variety "Red Burgundy". I bought all that she had, to taste it. There are a few green ones mixed in as well, but are they not beautiful??? I want to eat some raw too as several people there told me they are great sliced in salads! I am so excited!
UPDATE just a few minutes later: I just did a quick stir fry of these cut up in a touch of olive oil, with seasoned salt, and my husband and I both agree they have more flavor than the ones I grew last year! I am growing a new variety of green ones this year, so hope they will have the higher flavor level!!! Oh, and just to let you know, these turned a dark green when cooked!!!
Good morning Sunshines from around the globe!!! It's Saturday and overcast with off and on rain here. Kinda gloomy, but still wonderful to have the rain as we have been in a long drought! I have 4 bean plants popping up so far (after 3 days)...but planted 24 seeds, so hope more action soon follows!
Blooming outside are red hibiscus:

and some other things which I did not take pics of since you have seen it all my Mexican Sunflowers, hanging frilly red hibiscus, red passion flowers, white Vincas, and I have another good sized eggplant...but I'm waiting for it to get a bit larger. The tire gardens are so happy in this rain...even the succulents...they look perkier, and are in cactus soil, so they will drain fast anyway. They deserve a few good soakings.

I will show you the starts of an paper mache alligator Donovan is making,

and a rat I am making. If you can envision a long black tail (from the ropelike handle of a gift bag) hanging out the back end of this rat...he looks more realistic. My lovely wild child grandson pulled the tail out for a second time and has thrown it somewhere...remind me to give him a "what for" when he gets back from his Dad's. Why I decided to make a rat is beyond me, since I can't stand the sight of a pink tail on a white rat...uuuggggggh! This rat will be brown with a black tail for Halloween! Much more acceptable. I think I will find a way to give him whiskers too (not painted ones). My rat will have a cuteness factor about him! :)

The grands have gone with Dad for the weekend and we are planning a movie adventure to see the Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts movie this afternoon! Can't wait, as there are two of my favorite actors. Tom Hanks is just plain devine in my book.

We are halfway to Christmas, and is anyone already thinking about this??? I told my family we either have to find our gifts at a thrift store, or handmake them, and guess what...EVERYONE agreed!!! We have found some amazing items for the kids at the thrifts lately (stuff they really love and were wanting) great shape too. I am a huge thrifter...the only way to go in this economy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Here is a kind of optical my travels yesterday I found these 10 birds sitting along this stretch of fence. I had to take the pic with my crappy cell phone...When I first saw it on the monitor, I couldn't see the birds at all...I made the picture large, and I still had to stare at it a while to see them...some are nearly invisible because they are in the shade of the tree...but seriously...there are 10 visible birds sitting along the top of this fence!!! See if you can find them all.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday garden

Well, I accomplished what I set out to do this morning! I made pancakes of various colors and shapes. We have a set of three Star Wars character ones...Yoda, storm trooper, and Darth Vader. I made these in red, white and blue for Donovan...then I use the storm trooper mold to make a Power Ranger of sorts, for Emily, and hers were pink and purple. I made myself a rainbow, since it was rainy outside, of 7 colors, and my DIL got a red, white and blue pancake. I am sad I did not take pictures to share! Maybe we will have a repeat in the morning, and I will get a few pics.

But the bigger thing I did, was to set up my trellises, and get my 2 buckets ready for the Kentucky Blue Pole Beans!!!!! I did not find the Yard long beans, so I settled for some other climbers! This will be my first experience with anything that climbs!

I found these two trellises at Lowes this morning, bought two bags of organic compost, two already started bell pepper plants (one yellow and one orange),

and cleaned out my succulent tires as well as I could without a small shovel, or butter knife to remove the clump of grass you will see growing on the side of my CACTUS tire...and I cannot be stabbed to death to try and remove it with my hands, so I will go at it later today (when it cools down), or tomorrow.

I have my newest okra plants growing up nicely...and with gorgeous leaves (as always)...

And my eggplants, with my morning haul (2 good sized ones).

All is well in my world, and I am grateful for the time to get some things accomplished that stay in the back of my mind driving me nuts!!!