Friday, May 9, 2008

More from the Garden & More Fiber Fun

My Star Magnolia was spectacular this year!

It bloomed about 2 weeks ago, and all last week it dropped its petals while getting wind-whipped during our storms. Now it's completely devoid of bloom. Glad I got photos!

My puppy posing under the pear tree. It's raining white petals, and is so pretty this week! This is where I usually catch some zzzz's when I come home for lunch during the summer. You can see the grass is no longer growing there. In fact, we had to put down that temporary cement block walkway in early spring, so the dogs would quit wading around in the mud and tracking it into the house! We hope to extend the reddish block patio in the lower corner of the pic, to surround the tree. Then I can put the bistro table and chairs in the corner, for a great place to snack and read. And I can plant impatiens and spring bulbs around the base of the tree. We have our grill on this patio, if you pan right, as this is just outside our kitchen door. I can't wait to get this patio finished, it's been in progress 12-14 years! :)

We also need to get a plumber to put an outdoor faucet here. Shouldn't be too hard, as the kitchen sink is located on this house wall (to my doggie's right). Our only outdoor faucet is on the opposite side of the house, making flowerbed maintenance on this patio difficult during summer! It would be so much easier to water dogs and flowers with a spigot, than multiple trips in and out of the backdoor to the kitchen sink. Ya know?

This pear tree was a great find! I got it for $15 as a 6-foot sapling. It's a Bradford Pear. Very beautiful flower display, and with no nasty fruit to drop and spoil the patio in the fall! Only caveats with this hybrid:
  1. It is prone to splitting as it ages. We lost the north 1/3 of the tree in a windstorm 2 years ago. It's just now filling out on that side. The reason? We had hung a seed-heavy birdfeeder on that limb, and it was just enough strain to weaken it. Our neighbors planted their Bradford Pear one week after seeing me plant ours (and hearing about the bargain price), and theirs has not split.

  2. It's flowers smell like piss! No kidding. As the flowers age, the smell diminishes. Still, it's a funny thing to plant outside your kitchen window! "Throw open the windows wide and welcome spring, cough, gag!">

This soft green makes me want to log-roll down the hill! I guess I can restrain myself though, LOL :)

My apple tree, blooming away. I still don't know what kind of apple this is. It was labeled 'Granny Smith' when I purchased it from Home Depot for $7, but last year it looked like crabapples when it fruited. Don't know if that's cuz cross-pollination is not happening, or if it just got mis-labeled at the store. I don't really care WHAT kind it is, it smells delicious, and wafts into the window where I sit at the computer :) Aaaaaaah. The original aromatherapy.

And now for fiber fun. After yesterday's massage, I stopped by the Goodwill store to try my hand at scoring cheap wool sweaters to re-purpose. (I felt kinda creepy in there. I don't know why.) I got two nice sweaters to felt and one to recycle yarn from! For felting, the striped one is wool and cashmere, the brown cabled one is "100% Lambswool."

Before felting.

After felting.

The blue one is a ramie/wool/silk/nylon blend that I fell in love with. It is very soft,and a lovely variegated indigo color. It just so happens it's seams allow for recycling the yarn! So excited, I hope to get started with unraveling it later today. :)
I will be using this tutorial on recycling yarn from a sweater!

And, these are really cute labels to use for keeping track of recycled balls of yarn! I'm all over that :)

It should be a fun Fiber Friday! Maybe I'll spin on the patio, too. I don't have anywhere to be today, and then I can go to knitting tonight! What a fine end to my vacation week, sigh. I'm feeling like life is good again :)

(I came back 2 days later to post pics of these.) And, it wasn't much of a fun fiber friday, although the felting got done. The striped sweater didn't want to felt, I had to put it through the machine 3-4 times--is it because of the white yarn in it? I've heard that lighter colors felt less for some reason....And, I haven't gotten around to unraveling blue sweater yet.

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