Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A quilted Halloween

Happy October, everybody!

And look, I made my goal! The Halloween quilt is done, just in time.

I used up most of my orange, purple, green, and black scrap pieces for the flowers. The centers are stitched with a pebbling motif, then zigzagged on b/c it looked like some of the fabric was loose. I then outlined each flower and stippled the rest of the negative space with matching thread.

I still have to make the matching pillow case covers, and then with the leftover fabric, I'm making a new Halloween wreath. Keeping busy!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Monday, September 29, 2014

Crazy about composting

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend a composting workshop hosted for free by the City of LA. And whodathunk, I learned a little something...

  • Los Angeles has reduced its total waste production by 71% since 1989.
  • The benefits of composting include: saving money for the city; reduces water consumption in gardens/lawns; promotes soil fertility; and reduces the need for landfills.
  • Compost piles should be 50% green material, 50% brown material.
  • Compost should be moist like a damp sponge to prevent mildew growth.
  • Compost bins should be placed on dirt and not cement to help retain moisture and encourage worm activity.
  • Ingredients should be cut/shredded to the size of your pinky to ensure quick decomposition.
  • Compost can be used as mulch, soil conditioner, or potting mix.

    Slow compostingFast compostingVermicomposting
    Fresh compost in 4-6 monthsFresh compost in 4-6 weeksFresh compost in 1-3 months
    Reaches a max of 100 degreesReaches a max of 140 degreeesKeep in a cool place to not burn worms
    Mix once every 2 weeksMix once a weekAdd new bedded every month as needed
    Add ingredients as neededBatch composting; all ingredients added at onceAdd ingredients/bedding every month as needed

    What to compostWhat NOT to compost
    Greens (wet)Browns
    Yard clippingsDried leavesMeat
    Raw vegetable trimmingsPaper towelsOil/grease
    Egg shellsShredded cardboardDog/cat feces
    Tea bagsStrawDiseased plants
    Coffee groundsSawdustTreated wood

    Can't wait to get started!

  • Thursday, September 25, 2014

    A Wardrobe metaphor?

    I had the dream again last night.

    The circumstances of why I'm there is always different.

    The dream started with hanging out with friends at their house and staying too late. They invited me to stay the night because they knew I had to wake up early the next morning. By the time I was settled in, it was already 7am. 7am! I had to be at the zoo by 7:30! I jump out of bed and start searching my belongings for my zoo wear.

    And here's the familiar part. It's ended up being a recurring dream, so there must be meaning behind it, right?

    I'm suddenly in my bedroom from my teen years. I'm rummaging through my old dresser and closet when I find clothes I had forgotten about that I snatch up again. The end.

    The clothing items change each dream: sometimes it's t-shirts, like last night; sometimes it's work clothes or dresses. They aren't actually clothes I owned in real life. But when I see them, I get a Eureka moment like I just found gold.

    Interpretations welcome.

    But what does it mean?

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Surviving the heat with thoughts of Halloween

    Wow, what a hot weekend. Over 100° in some places. And though we're in a drought as well, I've had to soak my veggie garden as it's drying right up. Not sure if I'll have much of a summer crop for my first go-round unfortunately.
    But, even though it's blazing, it IS September, and just the thought of that puts me in the mood for fall. So this weekend I finished assembling the top of my Halloween quilt. Now it's time to pick up the backing fabric and batting. Who knows? Might even have it done earlier than I predicted!

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    End of Summer at the Bowl

    This weekend, we had the opportunity to see John Williams's conducting the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Granted, we've seen him before, but a friend scored free box tickets, so we had Garden Box seats - Seats four people with (basically) lawn chairs and large trays for food, as you're allowed to bring your own picnic yummies.

    They played music from different movies, primarily Williams's scores. And, for the Star Wars themes, it was always fun to look upon the crowd with a sea of light sabers thumping to the beat.

    Friday, August 29, 2014

    Laboring into the fall

    Here it is. The unofficial end of summer is upon us.

    Beach time, gardening, long walks, Comic Con, reading - I didn't let the summer go to waste, that's for sure. And though I've enjoyed this time, I'm sooooo looking forward to my favorite season. So much so that I've already started my seasonal projects.

  • A halloween quilt with dresdens. Only a few more to put together (though I'm running out of scraps!), sewing them to the background fabric, then assembling and quilting the blanket. Hopefully it'll be done by the end of September to it's all ready to use when I decorate.

  • Joe picked up some pistachios, and rather than letting them go to waste, I decided to make more pinecones and flowers from the shells with hot glue.

    So when do I break out the butternut squash?

  • Friday, August 22, 2014

    Pie makes everything better

    It's arrived - the last day of my staycation.

    I never ever take time off just for myself, so I finally decided to do it. Early this week, we spent time at the beach, eating out, going for walks. I also got started on my Halloween quilt and canned some peach salsa. Stayed up late, slept in late. Lovely relaxation.

    But yesterday I got notice that, because of the draught, our external hose taps in our community are being locked. So what's that mean for our garden? So a lot of time was wasted yesterday talking to the HOA office, coming up with ideas as there's only 1 key and 13 gardeners, discussing with the garden committee. It continues today, as well as getting some errands in, like an oil change.

    So I was in a bad mood yesterday as I got nothing fun or personal done that morning and afternoon. A waste. So, to make me feel better - I made pie.

    Appleberry pie

    Appleberry pie. Homemade butter crust with granny apples and mixed berries. With some french vanilla ice cream, warm pie makes all problems disappear, at least temporarily.

    Thankfully the end of my staycation isn't just ALL boring/annoying adult stuff. This weekend is also our local end-of-summer festival. Yes, it means summer is coming to a close, but it's always fun to be around screaming kids on rides, the smell of greasy food and sunscreen, and all the funnel cake you can eat!