Friday, May 29, 2015

Garden Bells or Wind Chimes

Finally I found time to string some of my garden bells or wind chimes this afternoon. We've been deluged with rain and dark skies so photos aren't the best. I've took a close up of each bell to show you the glaze and detail. Here's a large blue bell with a scalloped bottom. The bell portion is about four by ten inches. I think this one has the nicest sound. Gary said it sounds like a cow bell, which I took as an affront till I heard this.

The deep sound of the larger sized bells can be heard quite a distance away. For the two large bells I may restring them with wire rather than jute because of their weight.

Here's a red beech leaf bell with a higher pitched sound due to it's smaller size and perhaps due to it's shape. This one sound more like a goat or sheep bell, have a listen.

I have quite a few more bells to string which takes a bit of time. For example this bell has five hand made beads and a ceramic wind sail.

This large golden beech leaf bell again has a much louder sound because of it's shape and large size.

Here's a closeup so you can see the subtle color of this bell.

This black and white bell is a bit narrow for a good bell sound but the glaze is wonderful. This one makes more of a tinkling sound.

I'm really loving my garden bells or wind chimes. Several distractions and detours have put a damper on my studio energy but I'm hoping for a renewed enthusiasm very soon. We finished the potting bench and also made another table for our back deck so stay tuned for those details. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Promise of Seedlings

There is nothing better than the promise of seedlings. Recently I planted seeds of the North Georgia Candy Roaster squash which grows 18 inches long and weighs about 10 pounds. This is a winter squash which stores well and is very sweet. I didn't know if the seeds would be viable since I saved them from the squash I bought at the farmer's market last year - and yippee they are. 

I also planted Cherokee black bean seeds (Trail of Tears seeds). I got the seeds from a farmer last year at the farmer's market. So far only one has come up. I wonder if I should soak the hard seed overnight before planting. If other's don't come up, I'll try that.

I bought a packet of sunflowers Autumn Beauty and started those seeds and they're coming up well.

Planting and watering seedlings led me to make a row cover for the plants  so they wouldn't be over watered by all the rain. Then bending over to spritz the seedlings had me dreaming of a potting bench. Today we looked through our lumber pile to see what we could build. Stay tuned for a rustic potting bench.

Every day Barney (below - a true manx) meows to come in to see if Butter is here. He sniffs everything in the middle bedroom and even looks under the bed for him. Then he wants to go back out. Even though the two were stand-offish I guess they loved each other. The need for companionship is universal in animals and people. Poor little Butter.

Betty (below-part Maine coon cat) wants to go out in the morning before the sun rises but I tell her no. She has to wait for the sun to come up.

Oh the news said big cats are getting canine distemper and it makes them not have a fear of humans, so be careful of mountain lions, pumas, or whatever you may call them. They may attack humans which isn't their normal behavior. Tomorrow is the Trash to Treasures sale so I'll be busy getting ready for that and hopefully be able to get those bells strung up so show you. Spring is a busy time of year I guess. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Red Potato Salad with Fresh Dill

For the Memorial Day party I made red potato salad with fresh dill. Fresh dill really adds to the flavor. If you don't have fresh dill you may use dried. I used new red potatoes and I left the skins on which helps hold the potatoes together. I cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces before I boiled them. I find the cut potatoes cook more evenly and tend not to fall apart as much. I boiled them for less than ten minutes (don't over cook) drained them and immediately put them in an ice water bath to keep them from cooking any further and getting mushy. Once the potatoes are cool drain them out of the ice water.

Before I cooked the potatoes I hard boiled four eggs and chopped them medium fine. I chopped one cup celery, one red bell pepper, a small bunch of green onions and of course the fresh dill (about 1/8 cup loosely packed). When the potatoes are cold gently toss them with these ingredients and set aside.

For the dressing I used 3/4 cup sour cream and 1/4  cup mayonnaise to which I added two tablespoons grey poupon mustard, a tablespoon each of white balsamic vinegar and sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the dressing in a separate bowl and then gently fold into the potato mixture. You may have to adjust the amounts for the dressing because I made an extra large amount of potatoes for the party. It takes about an hour and a half to prepare this salad. Refrigerate the salad for at least three hours or over night before serving. The morel mushroom cheese board has nothing to do with the salad. I just wanted to show you the redo. The one I made previously had a crack at the edge. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fortuitous, Strange Topper, & Vandals

The other day when I was working at the gallery the woman I was working with mentioned she had some tomato cages and since she is moving to near Savannah she didn't want them. She asked if I wanted them and I said yes, how fortuitous. We didn't bring ours from Florida since they are so awkward to pack.

I got the tomato cages put up just in time because three of the plants are already two feet tall. In the picture above you can see we have wired the cages to the retaining wall to keep them from blowing over. When I heard all the rain that Texas and Oklahoma had was coming our way I thought, oh no, the tomatoes are going to be over watered. I rigged up some plastic tops in hopes they only get a small amount of rainfall. This clay soil really holds the moisture.

 Here's the Black Krim tomato already setting fruit.

 Here's Mr. Stripey with a couple of young fruits.

Here's one of my strange plastic toppers for the tomato cage, hope it works. It's been pouring rain all night long and more rain is expected all this week.

After our jeep club party yesterday we learned vandals poured nails at each driveway entrance all along the road. We all went out and picked up as many nails as we could. But several of us got nails in our tires anyway. We were one of them and our tires are brand new. The sheriff was called and came to make a report and he sent out the road department to see what they could do. Why would anyone do such a malicious thing? Thanks for reading and for all your comments.