6/2/13

Crazy Sunday


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Today's post is a crazy mish mash of different things I have to tell you about.  I'm hoping to get some sewing in today, but first I need to drive down to Newberg to pick up some sulfur dust for my tomatoes.  One of them is severely afflicted with leaf curl, and some of the others are showing signs of it.  As I wrote those words, I decided I should really go down and take some pictures of it so you could see.  Maybe one of you knows what to do.  I have done some reading on the internet, and from what I can tell, this can be caused by a variety of factors.  I'm hoping it's not a virus, because that could spell doom for the plant.


Mike seems to think that sulfur dust will do the trick, for a lot of different reasons.  He learned tomato farming from my father-in-law, who grew the best tomatoes ever.  He was a tomato farmer during the Great Depression.  I sure could use his advice right about now, but I'll have to take it from the mouth of Mike.  (Sure do miss you Old Dad.) 

Here's how it looks close-up.  Ugly, huh?


Does it seem I'm always telling you about the most recent reason my tomato crop will fail?  Actually, they're looking pretty good.  These are the largest among them.


Then there are these in smaller pots that I'm planning to transplant into larger pots today.


Look at all the flowers on this one.


They all have flowers now.  Being greenhouse tomatoes, we maximize their chances of pollination by fondling them often with a soft make-up brush.  Also, we leave the door and window open as much as possible to encourage bug fly-throughs.  I've read that just shaking the stems on tomatoes is enough to pollinate them, but we give them every opportunity for tomato love.

These are my dill and basil plants.  I'm growing the basil for fresh pesto, which I could eat by the bowlful.  No bread or anything else required.  Just a big spoon.  The dill is getting large enough that I can begin to harvest small quantities.  I love fresh dill.  I have a really good salad that uses fresh dill that I will tell you about next time I make it...and that should be very soon. 


Finally, after much gnashing of teeth and disappointment, we have red leaf lettuce.  It's still tiny, but at least it has germinated.  


We've been harvesting the butter lettuce below.  This variety is called Butter Crunch, and it's a new variety for us.  I've always planted Esmerelda in the past, and we loved it.  I wasn't able to get that seed this year, and so tried something different.  This is at least as good.  Sometimes I think garden lettuce is a little too floppy, and so I like a nice firm leaf.


When I left the greenhouse, I noticed the dianthus has started to bloom.


Smitty stopped to smell the flowers.  The sun has been shining and so Smitty is spending almost all of his time outdoors.  When he comes in at the end of the day for his dinner, he is a pooped pup.


Gracie stopped for a little nip.  They're keeping the nip pretty well trimmed back.


Speaking of Smitty and Gracie, they're getting along pretty well these days.  Last night, they sat at the window together for a good half hour.  Smitty is learning to curb his enthusiasm a little, and she's becoming a little more appreciative of his company.  She likes being outside with him.  When George disappeared, she really missed him as an outdoor companion.  She's a fearful cat, and she's much more willing to go outside when she has another cat with her.


Let's see.  What else?  Oh yes, I finished off my chive blossom vinegar.  The bottle in front is for my friend Sue.  She gets another bottle this year in exchange for returning her bottle from last year.  The other two small bottles will be for other friends.  The large bottle is for us.  We still have tons of chive blossoms, but since I poured out some from last year, I don't think I need to make any more.  One can only consume so much vinegar.  Although if one is weird like someone I know, one might be known to drink vinegar straight from the bottle.  Now, who would do such a thing?


Incidentally, if you'd like to know how to make chive blossom vinegar, you can read my mini-tutorials here and here.  It's the simplest thing you'll ever do.  Oh!  And I think I'll link up to:


So that's about it for the non-sewing related stuff.  Next I want to tell you about a tip I read in Creative Machine Embroidery magazine for keeping sewing machine needles organized.  I use different needles for different applications, and sometimes the needle is still good for another round of sewing when I'm ready to switch it out again.  I don't necessarily want to put it back into the little plastic case with the new needles because I like to keep my used needles separate.  So here is the idea.


In the magazine, they used a metallic ruler for this along with some little magnets that were labeled.  I found this little magnetic strip bulletin board at The Container Store (which is a store I love almost as much as I love fabric stores).


I paid $6.99 for this one and the magnets came with it.  It's 2 x 14 inches, which was plenty large enough for me.  You can get larger ones, and you can get them in different colors.  You can even get them with little slots for storage.

The magazine tip showed it with the little magnets (smaller than a dime) labeled, but I kind of like this post-it note method.


I have it on the wall right next to my sewing machine.  No more poked fingers for me!  None, today, anyway.  As for tomorrow, who knows?  I'm sure I could figure out some way to injure myself with this arrangement.

Also, yesterday I made three more petunia blocks for the Quiltmaker's Garden quilt.  It takes about 40 minutes to make each one of these.




I still need to make one more yellow one, and then I'll be ready to move on to the sky blocks.  There are 12 of them.  They use the same block pattern, but they are made with three different blues.  I'm a little tired of these, however, and so I think I will set this aside and move on to the blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  

http://superscrappy.blogspot.com

I totally neglected my little ladies last month.  I didn't make the blue ones yet.


And now we're on to the yellow ones.


I'll make both blocks at the same time, and then I'll add them to the little ladies I have so far.  Blue and Yellow are just what they need.


Also, I'm making progress on my Quilted Snowlady.  This project has been neglected a little bit over the past week as well.  I've felt too busy and distracted to do embroidery in the morning, but I'm determined to get back at it and get her finished.


My other embroidery projects are getting impatient waiting their turn.

And I'll be linking this post to Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts.


The wind turbine crew is here to raise the tower back up again, and Mike is here to lend a hand.  It'll be good to have that back online.

So, time's awastin'...not that it's ever a waste of time to talk with all of you.  I hope you have a crazy Sunday planned.  Crazy in a good way, of course.



19 comments from clever and witty friends:

beaquilter said...

nice plants! and love your projects.

BTW I did drink STRAIGHT vinegar when I was pregnant, it helps against heartburn, which was terrible then, just a spoonful of it, it burns if you drink it straight but heartburn is gone within 5 min!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

The farmer in the dell - or is it go tell it on the mountain? I don't know about the tomatos, so hopefully someone else can help. Those flowers are lovely - doing a partial seam on such a tiny center - 4-letter words.

sophie said...

I couldn't believe it when I moved here and found NO container stores (nor IKEA) in New Mexico. I miss them both for all the smart,w ell-deisnged LITTLE things.

Kate said...

Since I have black thumbs, I'm not much help with the tomatoes. Hope the sulfur does the trick.

Hope your Sunday calms down enough for some stitching. Looking forward to seeing your next set of fashion forward ladies.

Tami C said...

Hubby and I both like eating greens with apple cider vinegar on them. I had never heard of chive blossom vinegar before. Sure wish I had back when I actually had a garden that I could try making some with. But alass, my poor knees made me give up gardening. I do have one tomato plant sitting in a sunny window. It's not as large as yours and doesn't have flowers yet, but I have hope for it. It's leaves look really healthy. Good luck with the sulfur, sure hope that helps yours. It's great that Gracie is getting along better with Smitty. Everyone needs a best friend! Your purple petunia block looks really good! You've got some of the best fabrics for those flowers! Your little ladies are looking good too. Are you making a quilt out of them? I guess I must have missed them before. Have a great day!

Quilting Babcia said...

That magnetic strip for the used needles is a great tip! We'll need to rig up something similar since I'm always forgetting which needles I've stuck into the pincushion when the time comes to retrieve them for another project. Great petunia blocks too!

OzzieDash said...

Your comment about your father-in-law reminded me of my friend's Dad. Alfie had a small suburban block in a mostly industrial area, so his house had had a factory next door and one behind him. He had transformed his back yard into a mini farm, over the years so that every available inch was given over to raised beds for vegies. Loved going to visit him, and he was always generous with a box of fruit & veg. He in his turn was always rewarded with a jar of something when I visited them. Nellie was your architypical granny, always with a tray of scones in the oven and a pot of tea brewing. Miss them....
Dasha

Sheila said...

Wow. You have been busy. Beautiful fabrics. Love your blocks!

Sherry said...

Thanks for the tip for the needles, hope your tomatoes come off the sick list soon and am loving those petunia blocks oh I'm weakening I really can't start that quilt right now, hehehe.

Brown Family said...

My tomato plant is blooming. I may have to shake it to get it to pollinate. How ever it is outside and has access to natural pollinators. You gave been very busy.

Nan

quiltzyx said...

Sorry the Poisonous Wolf Peaches are ailing. Hopefully Mike's sulfur suggestion will work for you. The basil & dill look great, as does the butter lettuce. I'm not sure I've ever had that, but I do like red leaf lettuce!
Yay for Gracie & Smitty getting along better - give 'em some pets from me. :D
My friend Mary Ann took me out to Knott's Berry Farm for brunch this morning (I'm still full!) and then we went to M&L Fabrics in Anaheim. I posted a couple of pictures on F'book. I bought some nice flannel to make some napkins with & broadcloth to attempt making boxers for my great-nephews. They are SF Giant fans - there seems to be NO SF Giants cotton fabric, only FLEECE. Somehow I don't think fleece boxers would be very comfy! So I got some solid orange & solid black & will applique the "SF" on one leg for them. Cross your fingers for me!

Diane Wild said...

Gad-zooks. I get exhausted reading and keeping up with your posts. My Sunday was a day of rest but now it's Monday and I'm off..more ways than one. Have a good week.

Ray and Jeanne said...

Wow - you are just full of information today! Thanks! I love the tip about the magnetic strip for the needles. I'll be looking for a magnetic strip of some kind on our next shopping trip - no Container Store here ;( ~Jeanne

Quilter Kathy said...

There's so much going on at your place!
You need some time for slow stitching :)
Love the little lady blocks!

Vicki W said...

Thanks for the needle storage idea. I needed that one!

Teresa in Music City said...

Wow, what a great post full of interesting fun things :*) I especially love that sweet photo of Gracie and Smitty together - they may just end up best buds before all is said and done. Your tomato plant woes remind me of why I do so little gardening. Every time I try to plant, something comes along and destroys it! Bugs, mold, fungus - you name it and my plants get it! Plus, I have never, ever, in my entire life taken a makeup brush to a plant :*) You just never know what crazy hi-jinks you can learn about by following blogs!

scraphappy said...

So many fun projects! Looks like you have lots of irons in the fire right now.

Vivian said...

Great needle storage idea, I have the same kind of strip with those magnets on the door of one of my kitchen cabinets to hold recipes while cooking. I'm with you about the Container Store, that's almost as dangerous a place for me as the quilt store!

madebymeinred said...

Amazing. What an easy needle storage and quick to use as well. Like your projects too.