Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Weather, Gardening and Fabric

Up to Saturday, February 21st we had great weather.  Sunday is was cloudy and somewhat colder.  Woke up Monday to rain, and cold.  At least all we had in my part of town was rain.  These were pictures from Monday and Tuesday:

The last picture, the snow usually doesn't fall often on these mountains and usually doesn't last, so I was surprised to see snow there for a couple days as well.  Parts of the city near the western mountains also saw some snow, as well as Red Rock.  Needless to say, I was a little worried about my garden.  We only dropped to about 40, so no freeze, and so far everyone survived, other than some bean plants and I think it was transplant shock for them.
Here are two of my strawberry plants.  They had already been trying to produce when I bought them.  They are doing fine.  Yes, those are small strawberries growing.  There is a flower on one tomato plant, and I see flowers starting to form on the pepper and chile plants.  Peas are starting to grow from their seeds, but I'm not sure about the corn.  I still have more corm plants waiting to go to the garden.  More pictures to come.


More fabric, this time from mail order:
More ties on the machine.  Didn't get the Velcro sewn in yet.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Slow Cook Friday: Beef Stroganoff

I saw a few recipes, but decided to go on my own.

Beef Stroganoff

1.5 pounds of beef (Stewed was the on sale)
1/2 Large Onion
2 small Jalapenos
Progresso Meal Starter: Cream of Poblano Mushrooms
Sour Cream

Brown the beef and put into slow cooker, leaving the leftover fluid in pan.  Brown Onions in same pan.  Place onion and next three items in slow cooker for 8 hours on low.

Place sour cream in slow cooker and cook on high for 30 minutes.  While cooking, boil pasta and serve.

Monday, February 16, 2015

GAL 31 of 35, Knitting and Sewing

The next square is Lord of the Ring.    It is my favorite movie for the location.


This is suppose to be a Mochimochi flower.  I left the eyes off, and use a larger weight yarn. Neither showed the colors as well as I wanted to.  The pattern is here.  I gave it to a friend Saturday.


Sewing is going well.  Thanks to another knitting friend, I learned a basic bow tie pattern.
Here are my first 3.  The left is my first one, after doing a practice piece.  The second is in remnant fabric I had.  The third was made for tomorrow.  If you weren't sure why, tomorrow is Fat Tuesday.  I wish I could be in New Orleans, but at least I can dream.

Fabric for my next big project is in the mail.  Hope it isn't stuck in the snow.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Garden filling up

This was from my visit to Moon Valley/Plant World and Home Depot.  These are:
  • Strawberries
  • Artichokes
  • Tomato - Phoenix
  • Tomato - Roma
  • Bell pepper - green
  • Bell pepper - red
  • Fresno chili
  • Anaheim Chili
  • Spinach 
  • Rosemary
 These are beans and peas a few days ago.  Some were so big, I had to move them to small pots already.
These are corn from a few days ago too.  They are needing to go to pots soon.
This was one of three potatoes from the kitchen.  They had to go into the bed or else.
This was the garden by the time I was done.  The small poys in the center are the peas, and lower right in the bed are beans.  There are onion bulbs in the planter below.


A few blog posts have been slipped in and back dated.  I have been busy and have not been able to type them in.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Garden Update

Over the weekend, I picked up two more bags of garden soil and placed them into the raised bed. The bed is now mostly full, which is were I wanted it to be. When I first built the bed, and moved compost into the bed, I found an onion that had started growing. I placed the onion in a pot with some soil and watered it. I now decided it was time to plant the onion into the bed. I tugged at the stem, but I had some resistance when I pulled. I decided to turn the pot upside down to remove the plants from the pot. I discover that the bottom of the pot was full of roots. There was a lot more growth than I had expected.
Monday morning, I though to look at the potatoes in the kitchen. I knew I had seen some growth. Previously, my potatoes started growing up into plants. This time, these potatoes were not growing up, they were growing downward. They looked like straight vines. They even had a few small things that looked like tiny potatoes, the size of a small seed. These went directly into the bed.
Two yellow onion bulbs went into small decomposable pots.i already have several peas and beans sprouting from just seeds started a week ago.

Update: Not only is the beans and peas growing, my corn is starting to sprout as well. Over the weekend, I plan to transfer beans and peas to small containers. Depending on the corn, it may soon go into pots too. I plan to visit a nearby gardening center and maybe another home improvement store to see what plants/seeds they have in stock.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Weekend update: Knitting, Sewing, Garden

 My latest Slipped Stitch Studios bag.  Since I don't have any big projects at the moment, I fit several projects bag inside.
My Second project
This one was done earlier this week.  The Teal didn't show up well in the picture.  This was a Pay It Forward gift to a friend.  The bag had two skeins of yarn that went with it.  I picked the two colors because those are the colors the recipient said she loved.

My 3rd bag.
I cut out the pieces while sitting on the patio Saturday Morning.  I was going to sew Sunday Morning, but had enough motivation Saturday Evening, that I did the whole thing in a couple hours, including help from Fiona the Cat.  This was my first experience with interfacing, which helps the bag stand up.  I'm already planning my next project, which I hope is a lunch bag.

Two more bags of soil, and the bed is nice and full of soil.  14 more bricks finish going around the planter.  I might do another row on the other side, but not right now.  the two plants you see in the bottom right corner is is an onion (green I think) that I had pulled out of the compost pile and planted into a clay pot.  I found a second one yesterday.  I was surprised with the first onion (I forget when I planted it, but it was sometime this winter) had a lot of roots already.  The bottom of the pot had a layer of roots, that were the put into the bed. 

Earlier this week, I stared putting seeds into the sprouter.  I am soaking more seeds to go into the second one.  Peas are already sprouting in the container.  More pictures to come.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


I called yesterday's weather "Distractingly Beautiful". The high was in the low 70s, with sunny skies. I'm starting to think we have seen the last of the winter freezes. This morning I put seeds into one of my seed sprouters. These are trays that are stacked, plus a drain tray at the bottom.. Water starts at the top and slowly drains into the next tray, until the water drains into the bottom tray. Later I will take the water and pour it into other plants in the garden.
I started chile, pomegranates, pea and bean seeds. I've had great luck with beans last year. I almost had peas. My chile plants only end up with one per season. I would also like to try potatoes, pumpkins, cotton and maybe other produce.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, February 2, 2015


It is the end of January. The Northeast is experiencing snow, measured in feet. Some cities are even closing down. At the opposite side of the country, in the Southwest, we are seeing warm temps. How warm? I have seen buds on tree branches, and one apple tree already blooming. The winter break this year was cold. We had highs in the 40s or 50s, compared to the previous year, which had at least felt warmer. Most mornings started in the 30s, which was not patio weather first thing, or most days.
The rain is relaxing, but while at work isn't as present. It will help the plants and the soil. I should get out soon and get soil put into my new raised bed. Right now it is some soil and a lot of compost.


Update. There is four cubic feet of soil in the bed. Each bag is 2 cubic feet, so one more should be enough. I also put down ten pavers or large walking stones that go around the bed. Although I have mostly dirt on the ground, some desert plants still grow including open with some small yellow flowers, but have a spiny seed. This is why I need path to walk on..

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Knitting, Sewing and Outdoors

Here is a progress shot from last week.  I have not taken a current update.

My first try at sewing.  I just got a Brother sewing machine, and want to work on a few projects, especially bow ties.
Many different stitches.  Enough practice for the next day.
Here is my first real project.  It is a draw string project bag.  I need practice with my cutting, but for a first project, I am proud of myself.  I'm using a online course web site called Craftsy.  I just watched the video, and away I went.

The weather has been improving between storms.  I've been putting off getting soil for my raised bed.  I got over there today, and got 4 sq. ft. of soil (Two large bags).  I also got ten pavers, so I can walk around the garden easier.  I have one weed that leaves seeds that are small spires, which is hard on bare feet.  Fifteen more and I should be able to circle the bed once, then I might get a second set.  Lowes is already stocking fruit and vegetable plants already.  I'm going to have to start the sprouter soon, and another layer of soil.  After that I can start thinking about buying plants too,