January 2004 Archives

Plant bench #1

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The first plant bench is almost completed! We've painted it with porch paint in a color called Morning Meadow (sage green). The top boards need to be bolted on and then some touch-up painting needs to be done.

As you can see, my hubby builds things that won't ever fall apart. Lots of bolts and reinforcements.

Garden turtles

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I'm a sucker for turtles, especially sea turtles (love snorkeling with them in Hawaii!). I spotted these 5-inch long Resin turtles at Michaels Craft Store last weekend and had to have them. They're enjoying themselves in the front garden near the rose bushes.

Size: 51 1/2 inches x 78 inches
Colors: Navy, Claret, Rose, Cream (Red Heart Super Saver)
Pattern: Quilt Afghan & Pillow - Design by Ruby Schenker
Book: Ultimate Book of Quilt Afghans - 12 Afghans - Leaflet 872217 - Copyright 2000 - Annie's Attic
Date: January 2004

There are 16 abstract patterns, 15 for the blanket and 1 for the pillow. I did not make the pattern used in the pillow. I finished the blanket last Friday and immediately started on one of the two blankets I'm making for our living room.

Each square is just rows of single crochet. The color changes are the tricky part. Well, not tricky, just challenging to keep the yarn from tangling into one large knot.

The blanket itself is beautiful! I may never do it again since it was so time-consuming and a bit frustrating, but I would consider it for the right project, with the right colors, for the right person...

Paula returns from vacation (a week-long Mexican cruise!) on Monday so I'll give the blanket to her then.

New growth on rose bush

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Rose bush pruning day was also January 11. I'm not sure whether 1-2 of these new-growth shoots were already on this bush, but check 'em out! They're growing nicely. I found a few aphids on these shoots yesterday morning. Must. Kill. Aphids.

Flower seeds are up

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The hummingbird and butterfly-attracting flower seeds I planted on January 11 (almost 2 weeks ago) in the front garden are poking through the soil! Wow! 5 weeks earlier than expected. I hope this doesn't mean they'll die or become sickly due to the wet and rainy and coldish weather we'll still have for the next month or so. My car was frosty yesterday morning so it's cold - just not snowy cold.


I re-read the seed container: The first blossoms will appear in about 45 days. So, the plants should be popping out of the ground around now.

More pots!

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Because I had it in my mind that I wanted a few of the plant pots I saw workers bringing in on pallets as we were leaving, I asked Bill to stop by the pottery place yesterday to see what other pots he could find that were different from what we had already bought. Specifically, I wanted the white pots painted with flowers or flourishes of abstract colors. Well, those pots were gone! But! We now have 11 more pots (for $20.00) in styles and/or colors different from the 92 pots we got Wednesday.

103 pots for plants in the backyard...103 pots of plants. Fill one up with soil and seeds, 102 pots for plants in the backyard... (Sing it to the tune of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall!)

Bill calculated that about 8 large pots would fit on one of the 4-foot 2-level benches he's making. 8 pots. There will be 5 (maybe 6) benches in the backyard. 8 pots on each of 5 benches is 40 pots.

Now, replace some of the 8 large pots with smaller pots for an estimate of 12 pots per bench. That's 60 pots.

Use some pots on the front porch, some in the front yard, some on the deck and around the deck in the backyard. So, we'll have more than enough pots! Cool!

Plant pots galore!

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Bill and I visited Norcal Pottery in San Leandro just after they opened at 10:00am today. I stayed home from work this morning and he took some time off work mid-morning. A cartload of pots for $20.00 - not just three layers of pots but as much as you could fit onto a cart! Whew! Makes my head spin! Unfortunately, there were only six carts and all were in use when we arrived! We arrived only 10 minutes after opening too! The early people looked like professional gardener types who were looking to get a great deal. And one of them got all of the small pots I had looked at on the weekend and two of the three copperish pots I wanted. Harrumph.

We made two piles of pots on the ground - Bill on one side of the lot and me on the other - and then loaded them onto the first available cart. Large pots, medium pots, smallish pots. No huge pots or tiny pots. Self-watering pots. Pots with holes in the bottom. Pots without holes. Ceramic pots. Clay pots. Painted and unpainted, peeling and not peeling, dirty and not-so-dirty and clean. White, cream, bright blue, light blue, brown, beige, green, purple (1), dark rose, maroon... Textured, patterned, and smooth.

As Bill loaded the cart of pots into the truck, I surveyed the piles of "seconds" which were priced very low ($2.50 for small to $25.00 for huge) and selected about nine of those.

Workmen brought two pallets filled with more pots. I, of course, pointed to the flowered ones in the middle of the pallet indicating that I wanted them... But they weren't yet available to be purchased (needing to be checked over and priced first). Hmmm...I may just have to go back to get a few (they'll fit in the back of my car).

As Bill paid for the last few pots, he motioned at me and laughingly told the man "Don't let that woman come back here." The man got a nice chuckle out of it too! What a nice hubby! Harrumph. I'll have to go back and at least take a look! (Except I'd have to miss more work since the place isn't open evenings or weekends!)

So, for less than $49.00, we got a lot of pots... At first, I estimated 50, but after counting to 18 and having many, many left uncounted, I changed my estimate to 100. The actual count will be done later. We finished unloading the pots into the backyard around 11:30am - not bad for 1 1/2 hours!

For the record: I didn't break any of the pots (yet!). Bill broke two when the bottom fell out of one of the five pots he was carrying into the backyard.

[7:45am 1/22/2004]

We took home 94 pots. Less the two that Bill broken means we have 92 pots to fill with soil and plants. Whoop! Busy, busy, busy... Hmmm, I will try to remember that they don't all have to be used this year.

[12:10pm 3/9/2004]

Website stats show people are looking for Norcal Pottery or low-cost pots. Here's Norcal's street address, phone, hours, and directions:

10:00am-4:00pm (I heard they have Saturday hours sometimes during the
summer - call for info)

Norcal Pottery Products, Inc. 2091 Williams St. San Leandro, CA 94577 (510) 895-5966
  • Take the Marina Blvd. West exit off Hwy 880 in San Leandro
  • Right at the first stoplight onto Merced St.
  • Left at next stoplight onto Williams St.
  • Norcal Pottery is on the left side of the street

Pottery for container garden plants

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After leaving Mom's this afternoon, I stopped by a pottery distributor in San Leandro. They're open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. I talked with the manager who was outside with some workmen. They're having a sale starting Wednesday morning...one cartload up to 3 pots high for $10.00, other pots for $1.00-$2.00, seconds with minor to major flaws for a few dollars, Italian clay pots, and more. Cool!

I've been looking at prices for pottery at Orchard Supply, Home Depot, and Michaels - most are between $10.00 and $25.00, and really large pots are even more. I was thinking I'd have to hit garage sales to try to find cheap pots...and I might for unusual planters (like a red wagon or old tin or other metal containers - I've gotten lots of ideas from the Better Homes and Gardens Container Gardening book I bought this weekend!).

Pruned the rose bushes

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Sunday was a very accomplished day! It wasn't rainy or as cold as it was last weekend - in fact, I ran around in short sleeves most of the time while gardening.

After my Wheat and Honey pancakes and scrambled egg breakfast (made by my lovely hubby!), I paid a visit to Orchard Supply to get a pair of long-handled pruning sheers that can cut larger than the 5/8-inch branches. Then, I pruned our 14 rose bushes down to a few leafless, short canes in the front and back yards. It took about 4 hours, including cleanup and some garden weeding (very few small green weeds).

I also raked the soil in part of the long L shape in the front garden and planted seeds for flowers that specifically attract hummingbirds and butterflies! Cool! I envision myself sitting on the front porch bench, reading a good book, drinking a Mocha Frappuccino or a Diet Dr. Pepper (or ice water - whatever!), looking up occasionally at butterflies and hummingbirds fluttering around my front yard! Hmmm, that is, after I get a comfy bench cushion for my tush!

I decided to leave the 9 backyard rose bushes where they are instead of moving them into containers. I was unsuccessful at finding information about whether regular-sized rose bushes would grow well in containers, how deep the container needed to be, etc. And, Bill hadn't yet made the containers...and it was time to prune 'em. I'll see how they do this year and think about moving them again later.

Hmmm, in the meantime, that leaves space in the backyard for containers filled with other plants! Part of me wants to just go out and get assorted plants and just see what happens with it all. Another part of me has a vision of a colorful and green backyard which means landscape planning...which I have no idea how to go about it (other than watching 2 landscape-related design shows on the TV recently!). We've no money to spend on a landscape designer. And, I'd kinda like to do it myself anyway. What's the fun in having someone else do the creative work of selecting plants? I also enjoy working with the soil (surprisingly considering I wasn't the type of kid to play in the mud...or play outside much at all!). I took multimedia courses in college with a woman who had had her own landscaping business in the past. She went back to landscaping during the dot-com bust after she got laid off. Hmmm, maybe she'd be willing to help me out with some ideas...types of plants, etc.

Nice quilting blog

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She touched a sewing machine for the first time 2 years ago! Very nice quilting projects at All Too Quilty (http://www.uncorked.org/alltooquilty/). Also information and good links. (I cannot find her name though!)

Hmmm, and wouldn't you know, I found a link to Electric Quilt software at All Too Quilty. Just the thing to go with my Pattern Maker for cross-stitch software!! That is, of course, if I ever start my first quilting project...and if I like it and think I'll do more (software for serious quilt designers at $110.00)!

Garden update

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I was a busy bee Wednesday last week during the holiday. The sun actually shown one day between rain storms so I headed outside to piddle in the gardens a bit.

I pulled weeds from the front and back garden areas and from around the edges of the front lawn. Then, since we had almost 2 full bags of redwood compost remaining from summer, I put another 2 inches or so of compost under the rose bushes in the front and back and under the flowering plants in the front. I'll be pruning the rose bushes either this weekend or next...so I need to decide whether I want to transplant the backyard rose bushes into containers which I can place against the wall of the house. I don't think they get enough sunlight where they are now.

The calla lillies didn't do very well on the front porch: In around September after I cleaned off all the black bugs that were making a home under the leaves, the leaves began dying faster. There wasn't much left when I cut down the remaining leaves last week. I'll try another type of plant in that pot next year...unless the calla lillies decide to bloom from what little is left in the soil...

In the hope that they will grow back (they're so beautiful!), I also cut down to stubs the coleous plants on the front porch. They were slowing losing leaves and looking the worse for cold air wear.

Sketch of Cheryl

About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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Cat playing with strand of yarn.


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