Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why I am not a carpenter

Trent and I decided to build a vegetable garden. We bought books (because that's always the first step in new undertakings for Trent). We bought some seeds. We plotted and planned and studied seed catalogs. We shoveled a whole bunch of gravel out of the center of our courtyard. Then nothing happened for many weeks. I finally coerced Trent into going on a lumber expedition with me Saturday night. We learned that 10' boards do not fit into a Focus ZX3 particularly well, but if you drive slowly and carefully, it's doable.

Monday I went to Sky Nursery in pursuit of seed potatoes. I bought some plants while I was there (collards, broccoli, kale, and chinese cabbage). Having actual plants means that the raised bed needs to get built sooner rather than later. This is a crazy busy week for Trent, so I bravely hammered it together Monday afternoon.

It's lacking a certain quality of squareness that is ordinarily desirable in construction. However, it does possess a quality of doneness that I find even more desirable.

(If anyone is interested in the construction details: 2"x12"x10' and 2"x12"x4' held together with strong tie corner brackets and nails.)

Today I removed more gravel from the future raised bed and started working on the dirt. In the picture, the fluffy part is the bit I've done, and the smooth part is still covered in landscape cloth (it was under the rocks). I also worked on the future potato patch. It was a very pathetic flower bed, so I've ripped out most the plants growing there (the rest are scheduled for execution tomorrow, except for the rhododendron) and worked up nice fluffy soil.

For my gardening friends, here are the veggie specifics:
Potatoes: Satina, Calred, and yukon gold.
Kale: Lacinato
Collards: Vates
Broccoli: Packman
Chinese cabbage: China Express.

I can't remember the assorted seeds I've piled up. I know I've got Cascadia snap peas, but the rest is a blur. Some kind of spinach, some kind of pac choi (ching-chiang, I think), and a lettuce mix.

Our current issue is topsoil. If I'm reading the Pacific Topsoil price list correctly, it's going to cost around $140 to get topsoil delivered in a suitable quantity (1.5 cubic yards). That seems like a lot, but we certainly don't own a truck to go fetch it ourselves. Swanson's gave me the number for Viking Topsoil, which seems like it might be a smaller outfit, so maybe they're more reasonable for the relatively small quantity I need (calling them is on my "to-do when time permits" list). Alternatively, I suppose I could buy 40 cubic feet of topsoil in bags and haul it in the Focus.

There has been some knitting and sewing going on too, but I'm not finishing anything.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Sewing, and the terror of the runway

As I mentioned in my last post, I participated in a garment sewing contest that culminated in a fashion show at Sew Expo last weekend. I didn't win :(. But here are pictures from backstage before the show.

Eventually, there are going to be clips and pics from the runway show itself on the Bernina website. I'll let you know.

I thought I was going to be cool on the runway, but I kind of freaked out. I think I forgot to breathe, and I felt like I made funny faces the whole time. The show was well attended (maybe 100 some odd people), and the runway was very long and very tall. I could have given a speech in front of that crowd with no problem, but just walking back and forth while they looked at me gave me hives.

In other sewing news, at Christmas 07 I promised my mom a queen sized quilt for her bed. Because I lack common sense, self-preservation, and good judgment, I picked a kind of crazy complicated quilt block to use, and a size that required 90 of the blocks. Then I made my life worse by deciding to do complicated sashing. I'm chipping away at it. The blocks are all assembled into horizontal rows, and the sashing strips that go between are also assembled. I've got 4 out of 10 rows put together. My photography efforts were somewhat hampered by my little helpers.

Life has otherwise been pets, work, and cursing the weather. The usual, you know?

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