Archive for April, 2011

* honeycomb

Posted on April 30th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Inspiration.


I gave the ol’ craftlog a much needed little design update today.  I got inspired after ordering this awesome honeycomb necklace from sora on Etsy.

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And then One Pearl Button posted this great thrift store afghan.

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So I combined the honeycomb theme with the color scheme and viola.

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* decorated bowls

Posted on April 29th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Art.


I spent a few quality hours at the San Francisco Airport last month, and they had a quite good art exhibit in the International terminal of Japanese ceramics.  I particularly liked these little bowls.

zigzag

hatched

So the next time I went to the Goodwill, I found a couple of plain bowls for 50 cents and went to work.  I even already had a Porcelaine 150 pen (which it appears is not totally dishwasher safe, fyi.  The pen says “dishwasher resistant.”)

bowls

The dotty one is inspired by a couple of old Martha Stewart issues.

Aesthetic Outburst has also posted a few cool porcelain/glass paint projects lately.

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* 2nd batch of starts

Posted on April 19th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Home and Garden.


I’m home sick today and took advantage of the beautiful weather and a theraflu-induced energy spurt to plant my starts outside (all except the tomatoes).  They mostly look pretty strong, so I’m hoping they’ll make it.  Since some of the cardboard is already starting to break down, planting the whole thing should be much more successful than last year’s disaster.  I’ve also been putting them outside on nice days to harden off a bit.  My direct sown seeds from a couple weekends ago also have started sprouting, so I’ll get plants one way or another.

That freed up room for new starts: squashes (pattypan, yellow, zucchini, spaghetti, and sweet dumpling), cucumbers (lemon, Armenian, and a “Pickalot” hybrid), pumpkins (Jack o’lantern, Jack be little, rouge vif d’etampes, and sigar & pie), basil, and peppers (should have started these earlier, but I forgot).  That’s going to be a lot of plants.  Hmm.

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* whatever, “Whatever, Martha!”

Posted on April 16th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review, Martha.


Tivo thought I might like Hallmark’s “Whatever, Martha!” which has apparently been around for a while but is new to me.  The concept appears to be MST3K on old Martha Stewart episodes (ha, I just found out that this is actually true).  The twist being that it’s her daughter, Alexis, and some friend of hers doing the snarking.  Unfortunately, they are just not particularly funny or interesting.  The show also featured a guest who had been on Martha and watched the episode with them.  That part was particular cringey.  Oh well, maybe people who actually like Martha are not the target audience.

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* doily applique

Posted on April 9th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.


Today’s Goodwill finds: some metal rings I intend to use for crochet frames and a 1970s craft book: Creative Crafts and Stitchery.  I pretty much knew I was going to get it as soon as I saw the cover:

bhgcover

My favorite project in it, and I mean that without any irony, is this doily flower applique.  I especially like the leaves.

doilyapplique

I almost got a second book that had a pretty great blackwork owl pattern, but I ended up putting it back.

(Ha, just was searching for a good photo of the front cover since my copy is torn, and found out that doe-c-doe and playcait have both posted about this book and also liked the doily applique.  Hive mind.)

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* garden planning tools

Posted on April 2nd, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Home and Garden.


Gardening in the intermittent sun today.  Seriously, it is alternating bright sun with drizzle every half hour or so.  Ahh Seattle weather.  Today I planted chives, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, broccoli raab, collards, kale, and scarlet runner beans.  I also did my second round of the beets, chard, radishes, mesclun mix, scallions, cilantro, parsley, dill, Asian greens, spinach, and fennel.  My first planting was not terribly successful.  I only got sprouts from the beets, peas, radishes, mesclun mix, kailaan, mustard spinach, and fennel, and all of the sprouts are still very small.  My starts from February have done better.  Everybody sprouted except for the artichokes.  That makes strike 3 for artichokes, so I will be buying them as starts from now on.  Today I thinned the starts and set them outside for a few hours to start hardening off.

I have a new Superior Garden Organization Planning System (TM) that has been working pretty well.  I found all these great books and pamphlets and websites that I’ve consulted for advice on when to plant what, but I was finding that every month I would spend all day going through them looking for the smallish number of plants I actually use.  So instead I organized my seed packets by the earliest date I could plant them (either as starts or by direct seeding outside).  Then I clipped them together with binder clips labeled by month.

seedpacks

They all live in a bin and I just grab the appropriate piles each month (for example, I planted from the February, March, and April piles today).  The trick is to only handle one month’s pile at a time so as to not re-mix them together.  As I monitor the results of each planting, some packets will get moved to later piles.  Obviously this is an imperfect solution for the over-wintering second planting seeds, but it at least greatly simplifies the spring and early summer plantings.

As a supplement (and just in case I get them mixed up), I also made a list of what to plant each month on graph-print index cards.  Indoor starts and direct sow get separate cards, and for some months I even have an “early” and a “late” card.  I punched a hole in the set and put them on a binder ring.  I also write up a card with all the varieties every date I do a planting round.  Then I can record the sprouting results easily.  I also make a little bed map to go with it.  These also all get put on a binder ring, with the plan eventually being to keep a set every year that is easy to scan through.

gardenplantools

My other favorite new tool this year is the grease pencil.  I found a cache of these at lab (they’re useful for labeling glassware), and wondered if they would hold up to the elements better than the inks I’ve tried.  Ball point pen disappeared practically immediately, and sharpie did not age well either.  The ones that have been outside for a month now are looking super, so I think this will work.  The ink from the stamped markers I made last year held up great too, but I like to write down the variety and that was taking too much space with the stamps.

As you can tell from my map, I am making sure to save some space for my tomatoes and cucumbers, but it’s otherwise getting pretty full!  Bed #3 is totally packed already, though I will later fill in the space from the guys that didn’t sprout with my starts.  My peas and runner beans are planted along the fence line this year to free up some extra space, and I’m putting all the squashes and pumpkins in a spot where they will have more room than in the raised beds.  I can’t wait for everything to grow!

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craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!