March 25, 2012

I am a Hobbyist

I recently discovered that I don't know how to not do. 
I enjoy making things.
I love the feeling I get when I finish a project.
I am always trying new crafty ideas.
Could this be one meaning of being made in the image of a Creator? 
Hobby: a regular activity or interest that is undertaken for pleasure, typically done during one's leisure time.

Some current hobbies:
1. Gardening (or rather learning how to garden)
2. Quilting
3. Scrap booking
4. Card making
5. Crocheting
6. Cooking
7. Embroidering
8. Jewelry making
9. Pen and inking
10. Painting

My 'craft' room is always a mess.
Jo Ann's and Hobby Lobby gift cards are always a winner.
I like the challenge when people ask me, can you fix this? or can you make this?
Many people have said that I am very crafty, but I think I just enjoy following instructions and problem solving. If there is such a thing as a left-brained creative, that is me.
 I don't really know what I am doing half the time but if I can make it systematic I love it. 
Quilts involve math, charts and precise measurements.
All of my drawings are full of lines and details.
Gardening has been an experiment in scheduling and charting. 

So to all the list making, control loving, organized, type A, administrative people out there, you can craft too!
Take a Saturday and conquer one of your Pinterest pins.
 If you mess up, try it again. If you hated it, try a different craft. 

And then take Sunday and learn to rest and not do. 
I would say I am working on it, but then that wouldn't be resting, right? ;) 

March 15, 2012

How does your garden grow, Part 2

Here goes for composting. 
So much to learn...
We went to a thrift store and bought these canisters. One is for eggshells, veggie and fruit scraps. And the other for coffee grounds.
We were going to build a compost bin of sorts but my parents had this composting container that they weren't using.
They had some extra compost in the bottom so we didn't have to create the foundation. All though it looks disgusting, those are just food scraps and coffee grounds on top of old compost and straw.
So I found tons of charts telling me what to compost and what not to compost. And how there has to be a certain part green (nitrogen) to brown (carbon).
I was starting to get overwhelmed. And then I realized that it will all decompose and become dirt. Hopefully it is not that hard. I found this great blog from Young House Love. Here is their experience composting
My personal handy man making frames for the garden beds. 
The beds are now framed and the garden is starting to come together. Michael built a cute little gate we will add once the chicken wire is all up. 
I found some bricks behind our fence and I plan on elaborating on the pathway.
Some sunny weekend I will level the pathway and get the pavers and bricks in their place. 
First round of seeds have been planted! My sunflower, marigolds and bell peppers are the first to plant. Next week I will start the cilantro, dill and basil. I had to create a chart to keep up with when to start planting seeds, when to buy the plants, when to transplant the seeds and when to plant the plants. So much to figure out. But I love it!

More to come next week....

March 6, 2012

How does your garden grow, Pt 1

So Michael and I decided to plant a vegetable garden...
Over the next few weeks and months you will get to witness what a beginner trying to garden looks like.
I had no clue so much was involved in this process. I looked at soil type, USDA hardiness zone, I had to consider rain run off in the yard, amount of sunlight, what plants need what amount room, which plants grow well together, which ones need rows and which ones need something to grow on, which ones to plant from seeds and which ones would be better to plant from an existing plant, when to transplant the seedlings, etc. So much to consider...My goal is to plant: Rosemary, basil, mint, cilantro, dill, sweet potatoes, squash and zucchini, corn, a blackberry bush, tomatoes, strawberries, red peppers, string beans, lettuce, sunflowers, marigolds, and lavender.
 Any tips you have will be much appreciated!! 
 I spent a few hours outside mapping out what I wanted it to look like. With the help of some scrap wood, sticks and yarn, I could "walk through" my future garden plot. I am visual person and I had to see what 20 feet by 12 feet looked like.
I spent hours planning and reading and researching and googling and blog reading...
 And I drew a nifty diagram with all veggies and fruit I want.
 I learned something about myself today. I don't know how to use a shovel. I was completely useless. I guess I don't have the weight to really make a difference. I broke a few blades of grass and suffered a minor injury. Oh well. So Michael dug up 10 pound clumps and I hauled them out of the garden. 6 hours of digging and lifting wore me out!! Muscles I didn't even know I had were hurting so bad!
Thankfully, Michael's parents came over and brought a second wave of energy and we managed to clear the plot before dark.

 We placed pavers and boards where they will tentatively go.
We ended the night with Lauren and Evan over for sweet potato fries and black bean quinoa burgers (like the ones at Burger Up). Delicious.
And I went to bed at 8pm. I was exhausted.

I will start my plants from seeds next week and start planting in the soil mid April. By the beginning of May I will have all the plants in the garden. Until then I will learn all I can about composting so I can have nice, rich soil by May!