June 2009

  • Meet my friend Teri

    I had a birthday recently and my wonderful husband ordered two mugs from Teri's Zazzle Collection that I was eager to own!

  • Raspberry Blueberry Pie

    Raspberries are ripe at the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island!  K and I just got back from picking a year's supply of berries to freeze. This holiday weekend would be the perfect time to take the kids and go berry picking. How to get there? Here are directions!

  • Veggies in pots?

    Everything we grow in our garden must be grown in containers and for many years our containers have been planted with flowers.  This year, we are experimenting to see what, besides tomatoes and herbs, we can successfully grow in containers.

    Even if you have limited space - just a small patio or balcony - as long as there is sunshine and a little fertalizer, you should be able to grow a few veggies in containers.

    Tomatoes always do well in containers - ours are already over 5' tall and full of the promise of a great crop!  We always get a cherry variety called "Sun Gold" as it is a very reliable producer and the tomatoes are delicious.

    Anaheim peppers also do surprisingly well in pots.  I usually get two crops before frost.  Two plantswill yield about 12 peppers at each harvest.

    Right next to the peppers - my "Tabbouleh" garden!  Mint and Italian parsley grow like weeds and I have already cut enough from this one little pot to make three big batches of Tabbouleh.  I planted the little seedlings just four weeks ago!

    Greek oregano is a must and another vigorous grower! We grow it in a little flower box Kirby built and enjoy fresh Greek dressing all summer. This recipe is closest to the one I make, but use fresh Greek oregano instead of dried.  The recipe I use is from Pappas Art of Traditional Greek Cooking, a cook book I dearly love and highly recommend to anyone seeking to learn to cook Greek food. 

    Rosemary? Always.  I love how beautiful it looks in the garden, and the fragrance, and the focaccia bread I make in the fall.

    And, yes, that IS a blueberry bush growing in the big pot on the left. 

    Kirby gets a quart or more off this bush every year! 

    Potatoes?  Actually it is surprising how well they do in a container.  Use a fairly big pot so you get a good crop!  K planted a sprouting member of the "old forgotten potato gang" and just look at what a beautiful plant grew up from that sprout!  He tried this several years ago and we had the best potatoes ever!

    And that really IS corn growing in that little pot next to the potatoes!  Apparently squirrels hid kernels in this pot last fall and - well - Kirby just will not dispose of any plant that is growing.  If we actually get an ear of corn out of this - you will be the first to know!! I'm not holding my breath - but - I've learned not to bet against K's green thumb! 

    We rescued these from the $.99 table a few days ago.  Lovely Italian peppers to roast, summer squash, garlic chives and Cuban oregano.  We haven't ever used Cuban oregano as a seasoning, but it is a gorgeous plant and can be brought in as a house plant in winter.

    Feast your eyes on our not so successful strawberries! 

    And finally, a small patch of soil our neighbor has shared with us. We have planted cucumbers, butternut squash and pumpkins.  We'll see how they do growing in heavy clay soil completely riddled with gophers and moles.  May have to go the container route next year!

    But so far so good!  My first cucumber blossom.  Wouldn't if be fun if we grew so many our neighbors hide from us when they see us walking up to the door with our arms full of cucumbers? 

     

  • Beading Ojos de Dios (God's Eyes)

    I've been playing around with this idea of adding beads to a God's eye for a while now.  I used the the reversed weaving technique described in my previous post and then added strings of beads to the "wells".  If you are new to God's eyes or need a refresher, refer to my basic tutorial for weaving God's eyes.

  • God's Eyes (Ojos de Dios) are Beautiful Frames for Natural Treasures (Includes Tutorial for Reverse Weave Technique)

    God's eyes make great frames for displaying those treasures we all seem to bring home in our pockets from trips to the beach, forest or lake. 

  • Beautiful Country

    We are taking a short break soon!  And this is one of the places we are headed! Realto Beach, part of the Olympic national Park on the Olympic Peninsula.

    And this is where we have been this past week along the Clackamas River in Oregon. Gorgeous country!  Look closely and you will see two kayakers and a fisherman playing in the river.  Don't you wish you could join them? 

    Turning 180 degrees from where I took this shot...

    Basalt cliffs revealing basalt flows that occurred over millions and millions of years all over the state of Oregon and part of Washington and Idaho.

    We were there to look for zeolites, tiny nearly microscopic crystals that grow in cavities formed by gases in the molten basalt before it hardened.  It is a thrill to break into a pocket lined with crystals that no one has ever seen before.

    And zeolite crystals weren't the only thing we found growing in the basalt! Quite a contrast to the picture of the river not over 100 feet away.

    I will take lots of pictures of Olympic Park, I promise.  I want to share it with all of you.

     

  • Berry Delicious

    It is the beginning of berry season at our favorite local farm, the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island.

    We purchase almost all our produce from the farm from the beginning of June until the last day of October.  And sometimes we even u-pick our strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries!  Portland/Vancouver residents are so fortunate to have this family friendly farm located just a few minutes from downtown Portland

  • Punched "Tin" Butterflies and Other Creatures - Inspiration and Ideas!

    Butterflies are not the only creatures I make out of tin!  I just finished making this little sea dragon - a gift for my Mother because she happens to collect dragons!

    My favorite way to use "punched tin" creatures? Tree ornaments of course!  And it is my firmly held opinion that it is never too early to begin making for the holidays!

    So to help get your muse thinking about cool ideas for "punched tin", here are a few more ornament creatures to inspire you and get you thinking beyond butterflies.