Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Too Darn Hot

Here in NJ it's been brutally hot for the past few days.

So hot, in fact, that my normally-hyperactive dog is currently content to sprawl out on the slate floor in our entryway.

Despite the heat, I had a fun and very busy holiday weekend. I hit the farmer's market Saturday morning and got my first fresh strawberries of the season, along with some strawberry jam, rocky top lettuce mix, honey, and a bunch of radishes.

Fun fact: I never really ate radishes, but decided to give them a second chance. This was due in part to my love of Fraggle Rock. Also, this happened when I was in my mid-20s, not when I was 5. That's not weird or anything, right?

The rest of the weekend was filled with gardening (photos coming later this week!), cookouts, and playing an outdoor concert in a park in 90+ degree weather while facing directly toward the setting sun.

And to sneak in a bit of jewelry-business-related content (you know, the reason I originally started this blog!), Here's a photo of me at my booth at the craft show I did a week and a half ago:

The past two shows were the first time I was able to use the new price tags and earring cards, and while I like the way they look, now I feel like I need to do something a bit better with my overall display!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Garden Photos: Part III

So, do you like how my blog about starting a small business has somehow morphed into a blog about my gardens?? Oh well, it seems like everyone is enjoying the garden posts, and I enjoy taking the pictures and writing the posts, so I'll keep 'em coming! ;-)

Remember my last post, when I shared this atrocity with you?

Well, I decided to take Wednesday off, and after a full day of weeding (and with some help from my mom), here it is (albeit from a different angle):

No more weeds!! And there's mulch! Now we just need a working pond pump so our pond can stop being a breeding ground for mosquito-born illness. ;-)

And here's a close-up of the catmint by the pond:

The catmint is a transplant from my parents' house. Thanks, mom!

Here's the very first rose to bloom this year:

Between when I took this picture Wednesday evening and now, a LOT more roses have bloomed. But the rose bush is still lopsided. ;-)

Of course, there is even more clematis in bloom:

These guys are in the rear section of the patio area, around the corner from the clematis I showed you in this post.

And last, but not least, the very first of my teeny-tiny trailing vincas to get a flower:

It looks like next week I might have some gloriosa daisies to share with you, and the flowers on the rozannes are finally starting to bloom.

I'm hoping the weather will hold out this weekend so I can spend some time relaxing in the hammock and reading the latest installment of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! :-)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Garden Photos: Part II

My gardens are still looking pretty good! Well, at least the ones in the front and side of my house are.

The plants in the front are rozannes. They haven't bloomed yet, but by next month they'll be even bigger and have a ton of gorgeous purple flowers. Behind them is creeping phlox. I neglected this garden pretty badly last year, and this year I paid the price - I spent something like 4 hours digging up the grass that had started growing there. Lesson learned. ;-)

Climbing the trellis on the left is yet another of our many varieties of clematis. Eventually, this one will have pale, pinkish-purple flowers. On the right is our lopsided, slightly sad-looking rose bush. It wasn't in great shape when we first moved in, and I'm doing my best to get it looking better, or at the very least keep it alive.

A look inside the pot in the front yard: coleus and alyssum. I was absolutely convinced when I first planted the alyssum that at least half of them would die. It really wasn't looking good. But about a week later they were still alive and kicking!

The first of the clematis to bloom! This is a close-up of the middle clematis from this post. It's really something once they're all in bloom and climbing all over the lattice around the patio.

It's been so rainy that I haven't been able to work on anything in the back yard yet. Once things clear up a bit next week, I think I might take a day off from work so I can tackle this mess:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Happy Mistake

Hey, 2 blog posts in as many days! I'm impressed with me. ;-)

Anyway, last week I ordered a bunch of supplies from Fire Mountain Gems, and the order arrived over the weekend. Among the items I ordered were some small, silver, cotton-filled gift boxes.

Imagine my surprise when instead of a bunch of these:

I saw these:

Originally I was going to return them both, since they obviously weren't what I ordered, but the more I looked at them, the more I started thinking about what I could make with them!

Now, both bags o' beads together amounted to more than 130 feet of beads. In other words, WAY more than I need of something I had no intention of buying in the first place. I'm still returning one bag (they're sending me a return shipping label along with the boxes that I didn't receive), but they let me purchase the other bag at the same discount level as my original order. Despite the mistake on my order, I have to give the folks at Fire Mountain Gems a lot of credit for having awesome customer service! Every time I've spoken with them, they've always been incredibly friendly and accommodating.

And really, how can I complain when I got an awesome deal on a product I otherwise wouldn't have found?

Now I'm off to dream up some designs for these beauties:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Last-Minute Library Shift

I'm spending an unexpected evening at my library's reference desk. On one hand, it's a pleasant surprise since I really do enjoy this job, but on the other hand, my already-busy week just got even busier!

This past Saturday was my first show of the season, and it was strictly a jewelry show. I was intrigued as to whether having only other jewelry vendors as my "competition" would be a detriment or an advantage. After all, EVERYONE else was essentially selling the same product as I was, but all the shoppers at the show were specifically looking to buy jewelry.

Things got off to a bit of a slow start, but around noon or so things really started picking up. The funny thing is that nearly half of my sales resulted from custom-made ankle bracelets that I created on the spot! Needless to say, I've decided that I need to make a sign for my table to advertise that I take orders for custom jewelry. ;-)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Garden Photos: Part I

At the moment I'm attempting to simultaneously clean my house AND pack for tomorrow's jewelry show. One seems to be negating efforts at the other. I'll let you guess which is which. ;-)

And of course, in the process of packing I found a bunch of jewelry with old price tags, so now I have to put the new ones on, further delaying the packing.

But as promised, here are some photos from the gardens:

3 of our 7 clematis plants, climbing the fence around our patio. Also in this bed are gloriosa daisies and trailing vincas.

Blue flax! These guys are on either side of our front porch and they bloom almost all the way through the summer.

Teeny-tiny impatiens, also in the garden by the front porch. I've never had impatiens before... Here's hoping they live to see the summer!

Dianthus, also a first-time flower in the garden by the front porch, also in the teeny-tiny stage.

The beginnings of my herb garden - parsley, basil and dill. Today I made a grilled cheese sandwich with provolone cheese, fresh tomato slices, and a few basil leaves. So yummy!

Well, I'm off to finish packing, then hopefully indulge my introverted self in some down time so I can be well-rested and outgoing at tomorrow's show! If you live near Flemington, NJ, stop by my booth at the Elks Lodge on Rt. 31 between 9:00 and 2:00 and say hello! :-)

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's Farmer's Market Season!

One of my absolute favorite things about spring is that the Easton Farmers' Market starts up again. I spend the better part of November - April lamenting its absence and desperately hoping that my stash of Dutch Hill Preserves Triple Berry Jam holds up.

(For the record, I think there is about 1/2 teaspoon in my last jar. I've been afraid to use it, because I'm afraid of eating it all and then desperately wanting it and not having any left. My husband has compared my behavior regarding this jam to that of a drug addict. He's probably right, but it's just SO GOOD.)

Anyway, according to the farmers' market website, tomorrow marks the beginning of its 259th season - it's the oldest open-air farmers' market in the country. Pretty cool, huh?

All of the vendors there are super nice, and I frequently run into people I know there, and there's just something about starting my weekend out in the sunshine buying all sorts of delicious, healthy, straight-from-the-farm produce (and knowing that I'm supporting small businesses and the local economy!) that puts me in an absurdly good mood. :-)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Getting My Hands Dirty

Now that spring is here, I've been spending a lot of time digging around in the many gardens around my house. There are six separate garden areas, many of which were not very well maintained when I first moved in, and I've been trying to tackle them one at a time.

Unfortunately, one of them got pretty badly overrun with grass, and I'm still sore from digging it all up, which took about 3-4 hours. About half of the gardens now have mulch, and I transplanted a couple of perennials.

Yesterday it was time to pick up some annuals. My mom and I took a trip to Cierech's Greenhouse, and my purchases included:

Mediterranean Apricot Broadeye Trailing Vinca

Snow Crystals Alyssum

Accent White Impatiens

Elation Crimson Dianthus

I haven't had a chance to plant any of them just yet, but I'm planning to take Friday afternoon off to do so. Can't wait for them to join the Blue Flax, the Gloriosa Daisies, the Rozannes, and the many, many varieties of Clematis, among others.

I can't wait to share photos of my gardens once I have everything planted!

And no, it's absolutely no coincidence that so much of the jewelry I make involves flowers. ;-)

Do you enjoy gardening? What's your favorite flower??
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...