Friday, December 20, 2013

Sliding Into The Holiday Season


I got the last of my jewelry orders shipped out this week and the sign is up in my shop alerting buyers that future orders will not make it on time for Christmas. It's time for me to slow down. To clean and decorate. To bake (and eat). To enjoy the lights and be with loved ones.
Happy Holidays from Tennessee.....

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bringing Facebook Back


In between making jewelry, shipping orders, leaf raking and decking the halls, I came up with the idea to reopen a facebook page for my Etsy shop. You know, because I have so much extra time right now. Anyway, here's the link to my business page in case you want to like me, click HERE.

The above photo has nothing to do with this post. I used it for my cover photo on my facebook personal page. It's Crystal Lake in the snow a couple of winters ago. We have ice and snow in the forecast. Here's hoping it's snow and not ice!
Until next time.....

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday Sale


What better way to shop, than to be warm and dry. Curled up on the sofa. In front of the Christmas tree, lights on. Laptop in hand.
I'm having a Cyber Monday sale in my Etsy jewelry shop today. All items have been marked down 15%. Sale ends tonight at midnight. Hope to see you there.
Now to get back to some serious shopping. And staring out the window.
Happy Holidays!
Katie and Althea

Monday, November 4, 2013

November Garden










I love fall gardening. The weather is perfect and the greens grow like crazy. While putting most of the garden to bed for the winter, some parts are still alive and kicking.
From top to bottom:
Two of the beds ready to be turned and seeded with a cover crop
Parsley
Garlic bed, with Pak Choi to the left
Pak Choi
Cilantro
Turnips
Spinach
Nandinas. Very important part of holiday decorating!

This week is going to be a busy one.
Until next time.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hello November


The trees in middle TN are gorgeous this year. Mix a summer full of rain and a proper frost and freeze and the results are spectacular foliage color for all to enjoy. It's been a wonderful Autumn thus far. Time to enjoy the bounty of our harvest and slide peacefully into the holiday season.
Until next time.....

Monday, October 28, 2013

The 'H' Word


I can't believe that the holidays are approaching. Rapidly! I've been getting my shop ready for them. Sprucing up my listings. Listing holiday jewelry. Thinking about a new banner. So much to do. It's always kind of odd to be doing all of this and Halloween hasn't even passed yet.

Althea goes to the vet this Wednesday to get her blood checked. Needless to say, I'm anxious to see the results. She's been acting like a young cat lately. Eating a lot and wanting to go outside. Fingers crossed that the news we get is good news.

Look for the Christmas Key Necklace, below, in my shop. I will be listing it this week.
Here's to a fab week for all.
Until next time.....
 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Skeleton Key Obcession

  
I have always loved skeleton keys. I've been collecting them for years and haven't even realized it until I was rummaging through my paint brush tool box the other day and found a few. Then I found more in my 'nails, screws, what-have-you ' tin. Let's not forget the ones in the kitchen junk drawer and the key chain full in my studio. I once lived in an old farmhouse that had a skeleton key that opened the front door. I loved that house! I also have a tin of them that I use to make jewelry with. Every time I list them, I secretly wish that they don't sell. I recently came across a set of keys with shapes that I've never seen before. I kept one and listed the rest in my shop today. And yes, I'm secretly hoping that they don't sell. You can find my skeleton key jewelry here.
Have a fabulous weekend. The weather here isn't exactly fall-like. It's going to be in the 80's. 
Until next time.....

Monday, October 7, 2013

Where I've Been



I can't believe that it's almost been two months since my last blog post. Nor can I believe that it's October already! So, where have I been?
Taking a blog break. Sometimes you just have to walk away.

We've had a very stressful two months during the time that I've been gone. Althea went in for her annual exam: check up, shots, blood work. Since she is getting up in years, we do a senior screening. Her lab report came back and it didn't look so good.
Her thyroid levels were up, so her doctor put her on hypothyroid meds. She started getting and looking sick. We took her back in to have her blood checked again. This time her thyroid was fine, but the meds were messing with her liver and those numbers were up. So we took her off the meds and took her back after a few weeks to recheck her numbers. This time the white blood cells were extremely high. And yes, I have been researching online and know that this can mean a few things. We're waiting to see what the slide shows.
She looks and feels fine. She's eating as much as normal. She's going out to the garden with me. She's napping in the laundry basket, something she used to do years ago. To look at her, you wouldn't know that something is stirring.

The fall garden is in and growing. The weather is wonderful. It's the perfect Fall.
Almost.....

Friday, August 9, 2013

Eye on Autumn


Even though I'm knee deep in tomatoes and the summer garden is in full swing, I have my eye on Autumn.
It's in the air. Cooler mornings. Darker evenings. The landscape is changing rapidly and so is my choice in jewelry elements. I already have an Autumn section in my shop. Here. And a Clearance section. Here 
I need to clean the studio and get ready for the busy season that lies ahead. Oh yeah, it's coming sooner that you think. But I won't say that word yet. Here's to a wonderful weekend all around.
Until next time.....

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Rhythm of August




There's been a lot of doing and not a lot of picture taking this week. I've been putting up green beans, tomatoes and squash at least every other day. I've gotten into the rhythm of August. Wake up early. Drink a cuppa. Head outside and get the gardening done before the day gets too hot. Head indoors and put up the day's bounty.
I continue to have one eye on the Dixie Speckled Butter Pea bed after seeing a groundhog in the garden last week. The have a heart trap is set with fresh cantaloupe daily. We spring it at night because the last thing I want to wake up to in the morning is seeing Peppy (we name all the skunks that come around here that) sitting in the trap! I'll keep this up until the corn and peas are harvested or until the groundhog is caught.
Pictured above:
Cleome or Spider Flower. I've carried seeds from these flowers from house to house for quite a few years now. They were given to me by an old, old friend.
Celebrity tomatoes. Seven of the twenty three survived the July floods. We've been eating a lot of grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.
Roma tomato plant. I don't know how they grow for everyone else, but we average 100+ tomatoes per plant. We go through a lot of pasta sauce, tomato paste and plain Roma puree in a year.
Here's to a productive week for all and maybe a bit more picture taking for me.
Until next time.....

Friday, August 2, 2013

Late Summer


The morning landscape is thick with spiderwebs. I have always loved looking at them. I found this one this morning while feeding the birds. I think they're one of my favorites. I love the way they hover in the trees. They remind me of flying saucers.
  

 Look at the detail! If you look closely, it looks like a screen. Amazingly beautiful!


 And the scalloped edge! All of this woven in one night.


 Yesterday afternoon, I looked out the window and saw a critter in the back garden. I went to get a closer look and saw that it was a groundhog, sitting in the Dixie Speckled Butter Peas (above), getting ready to eat. A groundhog can do some serious damage. And fast. Trying to decide how to deal with my unwanted guest, I opted for the Have a Heart trap. I searched the Internet to see what was the best thing to put in the trap to attract them. There is a healthy helping of fresh vegetables waiting for the bandit, if it decides to return. (it will). But I'm worried that it will walk right by the trap and just enjoy the fresh vegetables IN the garden.


So today when I go to town, I'm going to pick up a ripe cantaloupe. I read that groundhogs can't resist them. We'll see how this goes. Hopefully I won't be sorry that I chose the catch and release method.
Until next time.....

Monday, July 29, 2013

Garlic Mystery


Here's the scoop:
We've been growing garlic for years. Never had a problem with it. Until now. The above garlic looks perfectly normal. And healthy. The other day, we grabbed a bulb to use for dinner. Peeled the cloves. Everything looked great. One thing was missing though. The cloves had NO smell. Well maybe they smelled a little green. But they did not smell like garlic or taste like garlic.
We opened a few more bulbs. Same results. Needless to say, we're confused as could be. Besides the fact that we don't have garlic to put up for the year, we don't have our seed crop. We replant cloves from our harvest. So now, I'll have to find a few good sources for garlic.
I'll also be browsing the internet for answers to this mystery. If you have any answers for me, please leave them in the comments.
Until next time.....

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Clearance Sale


I have a summer clearance sale in my shop. I think it will remain there until the end of August. Now, I realize that summer isn't over yet and I'm not trying to rush through it. The dog days lie ahead and can very well bite me in the azz with sweltering heat and dry weather. We've had an amazing July thus far, all things considered and I want to celebrate summer with a sale. You can find the section here.
I am beginning to put up tomatoes. It's a happy time. I'll be posting some tomato recipes and tips, so stay tuned.
Until next time.....

Monday, July 22, 2013

Shifting Winds







 


We woke up this morning to the sound of the wind. Rain was in the forecast for today which pleased us. We haven't had rain in a week and the garden needed a drink. I stepped outside. The wind wasn't a hot, muggy July wind. It was more like end of summer, Autumn's calling kinda wind. I grabbed the camera right before the rain came and snapped a few photos to remember this end of July day.

1. Watching the rain fall from the back deck.
2. Crepe Myrtle in full bloom towering over the tomato plants in the garage garden.
3. The corn blowing in the wind.
4. Black Eyed Susans in full bloom behind the tomatillo bed.
5. New squash bed, freshly mulched with grass clippings.
6. Thai Basil in bloom. I'm letting one of the plants flower for the bees. I've never grown this variety of basil before.
7. And finally..........tomato harvest! We have to pick them a little sooner than we'd like because the mockingbirds like to 'taste' them.

It's going to be a busy week ahead.
Until next time.....

Friday, July 19, 2013

National Ice Cream Month


Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? I discovered that a few years ago and I try to celebrate as much as I can. We keep our ice cream canister in the freezer so we can churn up a batch of ice cream on a whim. When the temps and humidity are soaring, like they have been this week, what better way to cool down than to have ice cream for dinner (or dessert).
Until next time.....
You can see more of the Dancing Cat's artwork by clicking here.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Strange Days Indeed








The weather continues to be all over the map. We're still getting rain, although it's more of a pop up shower in the afternoon and it's not enough to flood the gardens. I've done a plant body count and things aren't as bad as it looked at first (or so I keep telling myself).
We lost 21 out of the 29 pepper plants that we started. We were growing six varieties of hot and sweet peppers. Although this is a MAJOR loss for us, peppers are something that we can buy locally and won't cost a lot of money.
We lost 10 out of the 43 regular tomato plants and 4 of the 43 Roma tomato plants. At first more plants were shriveling up, but it looks like they're coming back. Fingers crossed.
This year, I decided to divide our tomato crop and plant it in different sections of the main garden. I also planted some in the bed behind the garage and in the bed next to the compost. I've never done this before and am so glad that I did.
The peppers are planted in a fairly new bed that obviously needs to be raised, since it's the one that flooded the worst. I'm in the process of building it up with compost and grass clippings. Lesson learned.

This week's round up:
1. Corn with Dixie Speckled Butter Peas in the foreground. Okra in between.
2. Vitex in bloom with happy bees and butterflies.
3. Tomatillo. Can you say Salsa Verde?
4. Cypress Vine and Morning Glory. Hummingbirds will be happy!
5. Cucumbers continue to shine.
6. Wave Petunias. I usually don't plant anything in pots in the summertime because it usually is too hot here. No matter how much I water, the plants rarely flourish. Not this year.
7. Corn tassels! Can't wait to eat my first ear of corn; fresh picked and raw.

Here's to a wonderful week all around.
Until next time.....

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