Sunday, November 15

Wedding introduction

As some may know, we are getting married this New Year's Eve. I haven't shared too much of our wedding yet - and it's not that nothing is going on in regards to it - so much is going on, on the go and yet to be started.  It's also the reason I haven't shared any of anything lately - because it has kept me so busy!

Being crafty, it was only natural that there are some DIY's in this wedding. I would be lying if I didn't say that I immediately began to search out all of the goodness on pinterest, and put together a secret 'wedding board' full of way to much to do. 

And then, as a bride I sit and look at this massive to-do list that I had created for myself, and begin to cross things off that maybe don't really need to be done, or a part of our wedding....really, would anyone even notice that super small detail? Probably only one or two. So, should I really 'waste time' on that? ....uhmmm.... I probably will. *Shakes head*

Thing is, I haven't shared, mostly because I want everything to be a surprise for those involved. So, after the wedding I will have some things to share. :) And, everyone will get to see how they fit into the whole scheme of the wedding.

 But for now, I have these beautiful engagement photos that we took earlier in the summer.  They demonstrate the most important part of this whole process - you just have to have fun ;)

Monday, November 9

Autumn Blaze Watercolour Painting
With all the changing leaves the past few weeks, I had to create a painting inspired by it. I saw this one maple tree that was turning from the outside in, the colour gradient was gorgeous! I captured it in my painting, Autumn Blaze.

It's been awhile since I have painted. It's just been hectic with wedding planning - not to mention my office is a tornado of wedding DIY's. It felt nice to open up the paint box again and get into the creative zone.

This painting is available for sale in my Etsy store, Jellybeans.

Friday, November 6

Quick Life Update

Just a quick update with all the goodness happening before I start posting some new art to share with you all! (Yippie!)

Our dear pooch, Chewie, went for the dreaded 'snip' this past week and has been sporting a fabulously entertaining cone around his neck. We love it, he doesn't so much. He's realizing with this cone, that he does in fact have poor body awareness, as he can't even manage to get through a doorway with it. Poor guy!

In the early fall, my poor car had a run in with a deer on my way to work. (The deer ran away after...) I was a little shaken up, but completely fine. My car had a bruised ego, and some (big) dents, but still ran. But it was old, and my insurance company didn't want to fix it, so they wrote it off and took it away from me. That left with without a vehicle for almost a whole month - and two shift workers trying to share one car. It was not easy at all, and nothing got done that was planned for the early month.

And since that could not go on forever:

We used what little time we had, and purchased a new vehicle - say hi to my new car: a Chevy Equinox AWD in a beautiful Tungsten Metallic! It's a little bit of an upgrade - and seems huge compared to my teeny tiny Cavalier, but we were thinking long-term, family-oriented. A car would not fit our huge dog and potential children in the future; this will. And it will be a lot safer for winter driving - especially with the shift work driving in the middle of the night on snowy roads. I LOVE driving it! 

And lastly, Halloween happened! We dressed up, as always, and this year we were skeleton flapper girl and gangster!

I had never had full face makeup on before, and thought it might be bothersome, but it turned out amazing and didn't bother me one bit! I made my costume from a thrift store dress, that I heavily altered:

I wish I had a before photo of this dress. The original dress was a boxy, short sleeve dress - I took the sleeves off, took it in, darted the front a bit and shortened the bottom (to add lace and add shape)...then because I'm not truly a sewing person - I grabbed my trusty glue-gun and glued on fringe and as much sequin and rhinestones that I could :)

Well, that's about it! Wedding planning is in full effect! I'm trying to keep track of all the things I have made for it, to blog about it after the wedding (of course). But even that has been a challenge. Hopefully I'll have something for you all after, and if not, I can link to other instructions that are similar. This wedding has turned into the biggest DIY project ever - it's stressful and so much fun at the same time.

Saturday, August 15

Oh She Grows: Garden Update

The garden has been growing wonderfully this summer. We cannot seem to keep up to all the food it is giving us! But, now it has reached a new phase.

The early crops - beans, peas and brocoli are all out and done now. So, I resowed 'short season' crops, and some frost tolerant crops, for another harvest. The lettuce all bolted (and got bitter) during the last extreme heat wave that we got. So I planted more here as well, and we should be seeing lettuce again shortly. Also planted: bok choy (I am watching out for those pesky ear wigs!!), carrots, beets, kohl rabi (haven't been successful with this yet), cilantro (my earlier plants have gone to seed) and choy sum. Along with this, a second round of short season green beans.

While those new seeds start to sprout, we still have plenty of good eating in the garden. The peppers are a little earlier this year - yippiee! We will have plenty of hot peppers to pickle, and maybe some prize winners for the fair in September! My chili peppers won 1st last year :)

The tomato jungle is just that - my wonderful tomato jungle :)

There is a bit more order to it this year - but not really, hehe. I have trimmed the lower branches to keep from touching the ground, and I trim out the dead branches. But other than that - it is a free-for-all, and it is growing wonderfully that way.

My Mountain Magic tomatoes have been the first to ripen. They are like oversized cherry tomatoes. James says they are the most delicious of what has come out yet.

The grightmire tomatoes were next - witha  ripe one here and there. These are so pretty - little heart shaped tomatoes.

They have dark shoulders when they are green, but then it all turned into a uniform red, with the slightest striping in it. So pretty!

My cumcumbers are sharing climbing space with my purple pole beans, and the relationship is going quite well. They seem to be able to 'grip' onto the pole bean plant better than the fencing, and have required less training to succesfully get them climbing. I have squished a few cucumber beetles here and there, but crops are still going well.

We have lots of flowers in the gardens too this year, and they have brought in so many bees! It was the smartest choice adding them in this year - and they just brighten up the garden so much!

We are getting food out every day. And trying to figure out what to do with it all. It's just wonderful to walk out to the garden and find dinner :)

Friday, August 14

Acrylic Landscape WIP (work in progress)

Last Saturday night was my 'change over' night - when I stay up as late as I can, because the next day I begin my night shifts at the hospital. I was trying to think up something to do as the night progressed, and inspiration hit me. I began a landscape painting on a longer canvas that I have. 

I really like how this piece started to come together quite organically. The drips from the sky shaping the tree line and giving hints of trunks.

I wasn't such a fan of the hard line separating the land and water, so I softened that up a bit.


The water still needs some work to create a sense of depth. I'm thinking pondering what to do there. I have definitely hit a 'block' with it. But hope to come back to it once all these tiresome night shifts are done. :)

Friday, July 17

Bloom Original Watercolour Painting

I have a new painting to share with you all in the online shop. "Bloom" is an original watercolour, with some beautiful 'natural' typography details in the limbs of the tree.

This summer, I have been focused on 'blossoms' in my day-to-day gardening -- ensuring that there are enough flowers for the bees, and encouraging bees to buzz into my gardens and pollinate my vegetables for a successful harvest. It was only a matter of time until they showed up in my artwork again.

The organic flow of the tree was perfect to incorporate words and emotions into this painting to inspire its viewers.
"Bloom" - Original Watercolour Painting
The original painting is available in my online shop, and it is part of a small painting mini-series 'Written in the Trees'.

Shine is also a part of this series:
"Shine" -Original Watercolour Painting

Thursday, July 9

Cherry Goodness!

I went to the local U-pick and grabbed up about 10 lbs of cherries this week (yummy!). I had originally went last week for strawberries, but it was bummer crop and just picked enough to do one batch of freezer jam. Cherries is where it is at this summer!

They were so plentiful, it was easy picking! I brought home my bounty, and processed a bunch of them into canned cherries. I had wanted to do this last year as well, but my canning supplies that I had ordered did not arrive by then. This year - I was all over it! I got about 11 jars, and made sure to leave plenty for fresh eating this week :)

I cannot wait till winter to have these summer time gems still available to us :)

Wednesday, July 8

Oh She Grows: Garden Update!

We have a lot of goodness going on in the garden right now! While the snap peas are almost done for now (saddening, I know); a lot of new vegetables are coming close to being ripe!

I pulled out my first carrot of the season. Isn't it so pretty! Totally planting rainbow carrots again next year! The earwigs, and other critters ate the tops of a lot of the carrot seedlings again this year, so again this year we have an 'okay' crop. It's not horrible, it's not fantastic. It's about half what I started with unfortunately. I was hoping to freeze some for the winter for soups, but I think there will be just enough to eat fresh. I guess we will know better as the summer progresses.

The zucchini is blossoming, and looks like it's about to set with produce. I can already count three potential zucchini - so folks be warned: the zucchini plague is closing in on us. But we must admit, it is wonderful to be so fortunate to get such bountiful harvests...I will just have to bestow this bounty on unsuspecting persons hehe.

The spinach has been done a while, and I've pulled up all the plants but a handful. I've let them fully bolt with hopes that I can get seed from them later. And, the blossoms will be good for the bees.

My broccoli is just about ready. Now comes the tricky waiting game - you don't want to wait too long and get yellow blossoms instead! My plan to plant two 60-day and two 80-day varieties also backfired, as they are all coming ripe at the same time. I will just have to freeze some of them. All of the heads are good, healthy sizes with the exception of one.

We also have the beginnings of tomatoes! Yippie! All plants are setting well. The indeterminates are growing like crazy (as they should), and the determinants are bushing out like crazy (as they should). Last year, I used an electric tooth brush to give the blossoms a 'buzz' to get pollination going - as a lot of blossoms dropped to poor pollination. This year, I've just been giving all the plants a good 'shaking' each time I go into the garden, and that seems to work just as well - and a lot less work. It is a tomato jungle again, but I don't care - I love it!

Tuesday, July 7

Rainbow Succulent Pastel Painting Progress

I bet most of you were wondering where this piece disappeared to? Well, it been sitting where it started this whole time - on my art easel just waiting for me to pick up a pastel again. This past week, I did and finished another succulent in the composition.

It was good to be using the pastels again - and even better just being in the art studio. Work and garden life have kept me super busy, and I was so happy to have a moment to sit, listen to music, sip some wine and work on some art. I'll openly admit: it will probably be another year or two till this slow-as-molasses piece is complete. Oh well ;)

Monday, June 22

Oh She Grows: Garden update!

The garden has been extra lively this past week - all that rain we got followed by a beautiful hot day of sunshine, really made things explode! Today is another sunny day, and I'm sure when I get home from work, things will have grown a whole bunch again. You can see I've moved my eggplant plant to this first bed, instead of the second bed. It needs a whole lot of sunshine, and it was just getting a whole lot of shade when the broccoli got bigger. It's in a happier place now :)

My purple mist peas have reached beyond the trellis / chicken wire and are breached over the fence and just doing their own thing. There are mammoth sunflowers in front of them, growing with them, and supporting them (preventing them from falling forward into the garden).

They are bringing the bees into the garden, which was super important to me this year, especially after last year seeing only ever one bee in my garden, and having tons of failed pollination. I tried to take a picture of a bumble bee buzzing around inside a blossom, but he ended up being quite territorial, and buzzed at me until I backed up, and then continued with its work. What a camera shy bee!

The purple flowers are gorgeous, and I especially love that they are giving way to purple peas! Something beautiful and edible!

Aren't those pods gorgeous! And so easy to find amoung the greenery! Just have to wait for them to plumb up with those precious peas! I will definitely grow these again next year - if not for the peas, than for the blossoms, and their ability to attract the pollinators in so well.

These little seedlings are a bit late - they took ages to come up - but I am most excited for them. They are watermelon plants! Nothing tastes better than home grown watermelon! As you can see, something has nibbled on them - I've seen earwigs, slugs and sow bugs around, so it's really any one's guess. Since I had given up on these guys germinating outside, I had actually started two seeds inside. I will just keep those ones inside a bit longer, protected from the bugs, and see what happens to these ones. But yea! Watermelon!....maybe....

Almost all my tomatoes are blossoming, and of the ones that are, most have more than one cluster set on the go. I have learnt my lesson from last year, and despite knowing there are bees around this time, I've been giving them a little shake everyday to get the pollen into the middle of the flower for more successful fruit setting. I've already notice a tiny, tiny tomato here and there.

The lettuce has gone crazy. Literally crazy. This is my fault. We had tons and tons of spinach, and I was so focused on using that before it bolted (which it is doing now in these hotter, longer days), that I ignored the lettuce, and now we have lettuce overload. Just means we will be eating tons of super healthy salads! Above the lettuce, are a row of beets that are doing wonderfully.

If you follow me on instagram, you'll also know my broccoli (the early variety) is coming up to head. It's just super small right now, but it will grow. Trust me. :)

With the newer vegetables that have been coming ready, we have gotten more varied harvests. I must say I am loving the bok choy, and will likely plant more of it next year (despite the flea beetles loving it as well).
Right now we are eating: bok choy, lettuce, spinach (finishing up), radishes (only a couple left), and snap peas. Yummy!