Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Garden Life

Well that certainly sounds all green and eco friendly doesn't it? Well I guess it is.

Gardening has always been something that I have loved. Whether it stemmed from planting a gorgeous flower bed or 50 gazillion patio pots ( please note in the attached pictures the LACK THEREOF) or my vegetable garden, I have always loved it! There is something absolutely healing about getting your hands in that dirt and getting your fingernails dirty!

Well this year was no exception to my gardening foray. Again - I really need to point out the lack of flowers on the patio. Okay, don't really look too terribly close at all those weeds in the garden either. And yes, that ten by whatever size board that borders the garden is pulling away, and no that isn't dog poop on the lawn. Okay, so it is. And that little round dead spot on the grass - yep, you guessed it Maggie. So the garden.... ya, that was what I was talking about....
I planted 14 tomato plants (what was I thinking with?) 8 pepper plants (which totally bombed this year) two rows of green beans, 4 mounds of potatoes, crook neck squash (which actually turned out to be a GORD - I even still have that lying plant stick), mesculine/European lettuce mix, carrots, onions, basil, oregano, chives, marjoram, dill, cilantro. .etc., etc.

A few weekends ago I had NOTHING to do (anyone who knows me knows that is NEVER the case) so I canned 32 pints of salsa. This isn't just any salsa - it is fabulous salsa. A little bit hotter this year than what I normally make, but it was wonderful! I even canned some half pints to give away for Christmas gifts.

This weekend past I had nothing to do again. It was at that moment when I was cleaning, coring, and peeling my 1500th bag of tomatoes from the garden that I thought to myself, "What am I doing?" Do I really need 14 tomato plants? What about moderation, what about not spending the entire day cooking, canning and then cleaning up? Holy cow. I need to simplify my life in some way. But that was my fleeting thought for the moment. I then proceeded to cook this:

This marinara is totally the bomb! Everything in it is from my garden. It has tomatoes (duh), green peppers, onions, carrots, garlic, basil, oregano, and thyme. There is no added sugar or salt! When it started cooking the pot was overflowing. By the time that I blended everything and put it through the foley mill, this is how much I started my reduction with... By the time I was done and ready to start canning, the marinara had cooked down by half ~ wow.... Sixteen pints later, it was a done deal. Whew...

I may rethink the garden next year ~ maybe pansies, alyssum, verbena, salvia, and petunias are calling my name...


Saturday, September 13, 2008

The New Jewelry Adventure

Well, as my previous post said, I have been soooooo busy!!! It has been hard to stay above water sometimes, and other times it feels like I should just give up and sink! Wow!

But I am really excited about my new direction in jewelry. Because it is so divergent from my mainstay designs, I decided to open up a new shop on Etsy. The new shop is called SteamTrunkStudio. The shop is styled with a Victorian feel, but also employs an edgy sort of style called steampunk. Steampunk is kind of like industrial meets Victorian. Let me explain a bit more. Steampunk is reminiscent of the 19th century, and in terms of jewelry, steampunk translates into styles that are functional, but have an antiquated look. In my designs I use watch movements, pieces and parts of watches, cogs, keys, tags, and other miscellaneous bits and pieces. Don't worry, no working watch was hurt in the creation of my designs!

Here is a quick look at some of the items:

So, there you have it - this is what I have been up to in my new jewelry adventure. The items in this shop use a mix of silver plated, brass, antique gold plated and eventually some copper. It is really exciting and I hope that you will check it out!

If you are interested in purchasing something, you can use this code: LKO8 to receive a 15% discount. Mention this code in the note to seller box on Etsy and I will refund your discount through PayPal. I will also be posting an Etsy mini here on the blog!

Thanks all for your continued love and support!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Work, School, Jewelry, Garden, Kids

What do these all have in common? They make my life BUSY!!!! Wow, between work being amazingly busy, and the economy taking its toll in every sector, it makes me worry/wonder about my job status. Then mix a little bit of a surprise with my degree and having to rush to get 6 credit hours completed before the end of August. Add to that another jewelry adventure (more to come on that in a later post.) The garden has been abounding - - tomatoes out the wazoo and did I mention green beans? Kids - well each one of my kids' birthdays hit in July, August, and September. Issues/Excitement: J'Amy and Eric are pregnant - due in February. . .woohoo!!! Ashley turning 21 - Jake turning 17 and yes, you guessed it, another traffic ticket....

Hmmmm where did the summer go?