Thursday, June 30, 2011

Garden Photos: Part VII

After a week off, garden photos are back!!

I'm not going to bother sharing the state of my roses with you, it's become really sad. I'm fighting what feels like a never-ending battle with Black Spot. :-(

In happier news, the daisies are in full bloom:

And the clematis by the hydrangea is beyond ridiculous:

Crazy, right? If you look carefully, you can see where the hydrangea is finally starting to bloom.

And here's a close-up of the clematis:

I'm really looking forward to 4th of July weekend. I'm taking a half day at work tomorrow to spend time with some friends from college, going to see my husband perform in a comedy show on Sunday (if you live near Bethlehem, PA, you should go!!), and on July 4 my nieces arrive from Colorado to spend the week with my parents!! Also, there will be much reading, gardening, and spending time outside with Elvis.

What are your plans for the weekend??

Sunday, June 26, 2011

All That Jazz

First of all, let me apologize for the lack of garden photos this past Friday. I was just too darn busy to get them posted. I'll have them up this Friday, I promise. ;-)

This weekend was incredibly busy, but also lots of fun. The highlight of the weekend was attending the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island. Getting there was quite the adventure - we drove about an hour to Jersey City, took the PATH to World Trade Center, walked about a mile to the Battery Maritime Building, and took the ferry to Governors Island. It was about a 2 1/2 hour trek.

And naturally, when we passed an old abandoned library on Governors Island, I had to take a picture.

I still can't decide whether it was cool or just sad!

Here we are, all dressed up:

We packed a picnic lunch:

While we were hauling that thing from World Trade Center down to the ferry, buying lunch started to sound like a good idea. Then we found out that the line for food was 1 hour + long. Packing a picnic lunch? Best. idea. ever.

There were a bunch of cool old cars along the side of the park:

And live music and a dance floor:

It was a pretty amazing way to spend such a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. :-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I can't believe it's already summer!!

After a very long, busy day that consisted of going to my day job, hitting the gym, watering the plants, doing dishes, dusting and vacuuming, I finally managed to fit in some time on the hammock with a book and a beer.

In case you were wondering, the book of the moment is Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner.

Not a bad way to celebrate the summer solstice, huh?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Garden Photos: Part VI

I can't believe I'm already 6 weeks into this whole garden series!

Here's some threadleaf coreopsis I got from my mother's garden, it just started to bloom this week:

Dianthus are to the left, impatiens are to the right.

The rozannes are getting huge!

Every day I have to push them off of the sidewalk. They should be easier to train as they get more vine-y.

Hey, remember all those weeks I kept promising gloriosa daisies, and then failed to deliver on that promise? Well they're finally here!!

And you can see the little vincas next to them are finally getting bigger. To the right, out of frame, is our out-of-commission hot tub. Unfortunately it blocks afternoon light, so the set of vincas to the left aren't growing quite as well. Hopefully we'll be rid of the hot tub soon though. Hopefully.

The clematis are getting out of control. I love it. :-)

I don't think I've shared this next plant yet. I didn't know what it was until I came across some for sale while buying a new fire pit cover at Lowe's yesterday:

It's called May Night Meadow Sage, or Salvia nemorosa. No, it is not the kind you can smoke. ;-)

(And if you look carefully, you can see a black and white blur that is Elvis, just beyond the salvia.)

The next area I want to tackle is the fire pit. Maybe next week? (The long wait for gloriosa daisies has taught me not to make promises!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Slightly Morbid Sunday Afternoon Field Trip

So I may not have taken pictures of any of the residences on the garden tour my mom and I went on this past weekend... BUT one of the locations on the garden tour was the Easton Cemetery. We ran out of time on Saturday, but decided to check it out on Sunday and I DID take pictures of that.


Maybe a little, but there was some pretty neat stuff there!

At the entrance to the cemetery, you could pick up little booklets with maps and information about graves/monuments/buildings of interest. The place is pretty massive, almost 100 acres with more than 29,000 graves!

Of course the librarian has to take pictures of the headstones that look like books:

George Taylor is buried here. Here's a photo of the monument, and a cute little chapel:

Here's the Grand Army of the Republic Cannon. Most of the grave stones immediately to the right are those of soldiers who fought in the Civil War:

A mausoleum, built in 1910:

This next one is pretty awesome, at least in my opinion. As you may already know, I play the clarinet in the Easton Municipal Band. Well, Thomas Coates (aka the "Father of Band Music in America"), who directed the Easton Band more than 150 years ago, is buried in the Easton Cemetery:

This next picture is from, rather than of, the cemetery. Just as we were leaving I realized I could see the cupola of the courthouse where I work from the cemetery entrance. It was a cloudy day, so it doesn't stand out against the sky as much as it would if the sky was clear, but still a pretty neat photo:

So tell me, have you ever spent the afternoon frolicking around a historic cemetery for fun, or are my mom and I the only weirdos?? ;-)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sand Art

As I'm sure you've figured out by now, one of the highlights of my week is my Saturday morning trip to my local farmers' market.

Well, as it turns out, the Crayola Factory is right off of Centre Square (where the farmers' market is held), and this happened during the previous weekend.

Which means that while I was shopping for produce I got to see this:

My mom and I did manage to check out the garden tour, and while I didn't take any pictures (oops), I did come up with some awesome ideas. (There will be more on that in a future post!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Garden Photos: Part V

Fewer pictures than usual to share this week, and still no daisies!

The clematis on the front corner of the patio is looking quite spectacular though:

Out of all our clematis, this is the one that grows the most aggressively. And the flowers are such a pretty, intense shade of pink!

Here's a close-up:

I'm not sure what variety this (or any of our clematis, for that matter) is, but the flowers actually maintain that shape instead of opening the rest of the way. They sort of remind me of tiny lilies. :-)

Oh, and remember that big pot in the front yard with coleus and alyssum in it? Well in just over 2 weeks it went from this:

To this:

I took that picture almost a week ago, it's looking even fuller now.

In sadder news, I'm pretty sure I killed 2 of the 3 mums that I transplanted this spring. Oops? But they're the only plants I've lost so far this year, and I've spent a grand total of $13.15 on plants this spring (in other words: a lot less than I spent on the 20 bags of mulch I've used so far!), so I suppose I can afford to buy a couple of new mums.

As long as the weather is reasonably nice, my mom and I are planning on checking out this garden tour tomorrow. This will have two possible effects: Either I will come home inspired and full of wonderful ideas for my gardens, or I will feel horribly inadequate and embarrassed of my novice gardening skills. ;-)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Garnet & Pearls

As I mention in my last post, I spent this past Saturday afternoon at a bead expo.

There was a ton of cool stuff there, but sadly I could not find any more of the cute little carved coral roses that I used for this necklace and this necklace. *sigh* Maybe next time.

I did, however, find some really cool diamond-shaped garnet beads and some gorgeous cream-colored pearls, as well as seed beads in a dizzying array of colors. Since variations of this necklace seem to sell pretty well, I decided to use the aforementioned beads to make these:

I also finally picked up some lapis lazuli. It tends to be kind of expensive, and I was hesitant to buy it when I was first starting out. I didn't really know what I was doing, and this whole jewelry thing is really just a side business so I had no idea whether it would last. I already know exactly what I'm going to use the lapis lazuli for. It will involve butterflies and antiqued brass. :-)

And speaking of antiqued brass: Until now I've mostly been using steel in an antiqued brass finish, since it's inexpensive and it allowed me to experiment a bit without sinking a lot of money into supplies. On one hand, it's great because I can make these cute little bird necklaces and sell them for just $12.50.

If I made those same necklaces using brass instead of steel, I'd probably have to charge almost twice as much. But real brass looks nicer and will last longer, and of course I want to offer quality products!

So now I need to decide whether I want to offer both options, or just gradually abandon the steel altogether in favor of antiqued brass. If I go with the latter, it would certainly help keep my raw materials inventory under control, but the former has the advantage of offering products at various price points... Decisions, decisions.

Anyone out there want to offer their thoughts or experiences on the matter, either as a business owner or as a consumer???

Friday, June 3, 2011

Garden Photos: Part IV

Memorial Day weekend was an incredibly productive time in my gardens, both on my part and that of my plants!

The clematis burst in the flower bed in front of the dining room window burst into bloom:

There are lots of roses on the rose bush to the right of the aforementioned clematis:

My rozannes finally started flowering:

I finally weeded and mulched around the hydrangea:

And the two big feats of the weekend-

My mom and I weeded, laid down weed fabric, and mulched around the cherry tree in the back yard:

(Now Elvis has a new favorite place to hunt bees!)

And my wonderful husband installed our new pond pump:

(No more malaria breeding ground!)

I definitely lied last week when I said I'd have gloriosa daisies to show you. They aren't blooming yet, but I think they will be soon! (I just won't make any promises as to when this time, I learned my lesson the hard way.)

Tomorrow I'll be checking out the Innovative Beads Expo in Allentown... I'm looking forward to it, but I have a pretty specific list of items I'm looking for. Here's hoping I can stick to that list! ;-)
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