Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gardening, scrapbooking/papercrafting, renaissance faire plans.

I took a couple of large pots and made "teepee" trellises with tall thick bamboo stakes, and planted some more of the Rich Sweetness 132 melon seeds in them. So far the seeds I have saved from the spring crop of melons has had at least a 75% germination rate. It's the first time I have successfully saved seeds, so I'm all kinds of proud about it. If all goes well, I'll have 8 more vines, the same as I had going in spring. Next spring I am planting the entire side driveway gate with them, enough to cover the entire gate in vines. They grow well, don't require a lot of fertilizer, are drought tolerant, and heat/humidity tolerant. I have more than enough saved seeds to do so!

I also got my cucumbers planted, three varieties. Japanese long cucumber (which has already sprouted) and will be ready to thin seedlings by next weekend. And a smaller planting of Lemon cucumbers in front of a decorative trellis on the side driveway, 12 vines total. And something new, a miniature bush or short vine type cucumber called "Picklebush" in 5 gallon buckets, 3 vines/plants to a bucket, with 3' tall bamboo stake teepees for the plants to latch onto and be supported by. It'll be 18 plants total for those.

And so far one long oversized windowbox type container of kohlrabi seeds, mixed purple and green.

By the end of the week, I'll have the first of my bush bean seeds planted. Some Roma 2 flat beans, and some Dragon Tongue bush beans. They're like a green bean but kind of pale green/yellow with burgundy-purple streaks. I have read nothing but rave reviews about them, so I am looking forward to seeing what they do for me. I'll have 15 plants total of Roma 2 and 12 total of Dragon's Tongue. I'll also be planting some plain old green beans (Blue Lake variety) and burgundy beans too. But I'm staggering my bush bean plantings out for the next month or so to make sure I have plants maturing and producing at different rates.

I had intended to get my zucchini seeds going this past weekend but ran out of soil, energy, and time. I'll have to buy a couple bags of soil for their containers and get them going sometime this week.  And then the rest of the stuff gets planted a bit by bit, as the temperatures cool off.


On to scrapbooking and paper crafting. I joined two Halloween/Fall themed gift swaps on a large scrapbook forum I belong to. One is more of craft supplies with a few gift items, the other involves handmade stuff and mostly gift items. Halloween is my favorite holiday and Fall is my favorite season. So I really wanted to get in on something fun this year. I used to belong to a Yahoo group that did monthly swaps, and I really miss the shopping and planning and packing. And then getting something fun in return.

The first swap, I'm done shopping for and will be shipping out after the 15th when I have more spending money. The second swap is more about crafting so I have a lot of work to do. For that one, we're giving a container (altered box, paint can, candy bucket etc.. ) and filling it with Fall/Halloween themed craft supplies, decorative items, candy, accessories, and a handmade or altered decorative item. I've got her container about halfway finished, got her candy bought, one of her decorative items, and most of her accessories. I just need to finish the container, get the rest of the things to finish the altered decorative item, finish it, and pick up a few more goodies. I'm really striving to get that one out as soon after the middle of the month as I can, as it has to go all the way to Canada.

Until I get my swaps out in the mail, other craft projects are on hold. Which is fine, I really didn't have anything that needed to be urgently done. I have a couple peasant tops cut out to sew, but it'll be warm enough to wear them for quite a while still.


The one big thing my husband and I do every Fall, is to go to the renaissance festival that takes place north of Houston in October and November. We usually go one of the last weekends, when it's cooler and more pleasant to be outside all day long (unless there is a freak early October cold front, then we might go twice).  We're really hoping to get comp. tickets again this year. Last year a family member was able to pass a couple along to us, as he gets all kinds of event tickets and passes through his job. If not, it's okay. But if so, that will save us a good bit of cash that we can spend at the festival. Money is tight right now, so we don't have a lot to just go out and blow on fun stuff. Now that my Halloween swaps are pretty much all bought for, I've been saving for the festival. I pay cash most everywhere, and I take all ones and coins from my change and put them in the "fun kitty". When I have a bit extra above ny change after all the necessities are shopped for, it goes into the cash stash as well. I've got two more months to save, so we'll have plenty to spend, even if we do wind up buying tickets.

I like to have enough cash on hand that we can have plenty to eat, plenty to drink, plenty to tip performers with, and a bit extra to buy something from the shops before we leave. It adds up fast too! 

Most years, we dress up in costume. This year, if we want to do so, I have my work cut out for me. My peasant underdress neckline is way too big, as are the sleeve elastics, and the bodice/corset vest is looser than it should be and in bad condition. I can  make do with the dress just fine by taking in the neckline and sleeve elastics. It's in great condition and just needs altering. But the bodice may pose a problem. I took it in several inches for last year and didn't reinforce the new armhole cuts and it ripped a little. I'm thinking I can patch it from the wrong side to reinforce it. I really don't want to sew a new one. They're tricky to fit and take a while to do right. I've got fabric from when I wanted to make a new costume a few years ago and decided to make do with altering what I already had. I may just wind up making the new one after all. It won't be a peasant wench costume with a bodice, but rather an Italian renaissance type costume consisting of a high waisted jumper-style overdress on top of a basic peasant gown. I already have a simple white peasant gown, it just needs smaller elastics too. So, we'll see what winds up being the easier option. Thankfully husband's pirate shirt and pants just need to be re-dyed with fresh black dye and maybe taken in a little bit at the waist and hips. Easy enough that he can probably do it himself!

When I go, I go mainly for three things:  Musical acts, Peoplewatching, Food/Drink. I want to say that since 1989, I have only missed one year. And that year I was just having too much trouble with my back to manage it physically. The one thing that makes it challenge for me is the walking. The grounds are huge and spread out. Fortunately there are concrete benches and big sturdy stone planter rings around the trees to sit and rest on. And they are *everywhere*. But there is literally more than you can realistically see in a day, and when I'm stuck sitting more than walking, I have to plan the day very carefully to be able to see and do everything I really want to. I will even do reconnisance work and look at the performance schedule online before we go and map out a route around the grounds, That takes a little bit of fun and spontenaity out of it, but it's what I have to do to get by. I am more mobile this year than last, so I should be doing more walking this time.

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