Sunday, June 14, 2009

Inspiration Corner

I should have taken a "before" photo...but I think I can explain. This little wall is just one section of a fairly large room that serves a variety of purposes. My desk, filing cabinets, computer, printer, etc. take up nearly 1/2 the room. A TV, VCR, DVD player and toy chest create an area for the grandkids to enjoy. One tiny spot is the workout center - for the treadmill. And the closets are filled with out-of-season clothing, wrapping paper, craft supplies, and so on. Needless to say it can be a bit distracting for someone (namely artsy daughter) to focus on her jewelry design, sculpting or paintings with so much going on. So, I encouraged her to make this spot her own. I didn't have to say it twice! Naturally it had to be done on a bare-bones budget. Not a problem for a junk-savvy kid with plenty of imagination.

A small dresser-turned-cabinet hides shelves for storing her supplies. The little table was a freebie from her brother's roomie - rough enough to be charming and allows her to work without concern for damaging the finish. Great space for bigger tools, paintbrushes and a lazy susan.

The window frame was 25 cents at a garage sale - it was horrible! Someone had sponged it with purple and green paint and glued plastic flowers to it. It's now a warm chocolate brown with cool pale green highlighting the openings. Old white porcelain insulators attached across the top ($1 yard sale find) serve to hold the necklaces she creates. An old porcelain doorknob (25 cents-yard sale) attached at bottom center will be useful as another hook of sorts.

The oak box with gold tone handle and corners, to the left of the table, is a wonderful little tool chest found at a yard sale for $7.50! It is even lined with felt, and holds some of her more delicate and treasured tools, as well as some finished earrings.

Brown curtains and rods ($34 total at a liquidation store) hide the closet openings. Robin's egg blue paint ($15) provides a calm, soothing cool background for the creation process.

Even across the room, deep in thought, clicking away at my keyboard, I find myself turning to gaze at it. Definitely a great spot for dreaming up new ideas and then bringing them to life.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Planting and Harvesting

My kitchen garden still looks a little empty. I've been sowing and planting for weeks, but there is still lots of blank space while I wait for everything to take off growing. Most of the peppers, tomatoes and tomatillos are gaining steadily, with some even starting to bloom. Others, like this little okra seedling are still in the very early stages of growth. And I still have a few seeds I need to sow, like the edamame and corn.Of course there are some things we are enjoying right now - like leaf lettuce, pea pods and the green onions shown below. On either side of them are carrots and beets - I've never grown either one before - but I'm thinking I won't be harvesting from them for a few more weeks. The Magenta head lettuce is new to me. It's very pretty with it's ruffled, red-tinted leaves, and looks to be doing well as far as I can tell. I thinned this tub and transplanted the thinnings into the kitchen garden and I think they are going to grow for me. I'm tired of buying lettuce - hoping these will be ready to harvest in another week or so.
And beyond the garden is the mulberry tree. I loved those berries as a kid and still do today. No thorns to keep you from picking as many as you can reach! Unfortunately this is probably the last year for us to enjoy these. The big windstorm nearly 4 weeks ago broke this tree so badly it probably won't survive. Funny thing is, the fruits on the most damaged limbs ripened first. I wonder - is that some sort of survival mechanism?
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