Sultry Almost-Summer

Hello, lovely readers! Sometimes, it’s just fun to give the run-down on everything happening in the Xiane Universe, so that’s mostly what this post will be about today. I hope that June has been kind to you so far! Here in usually humid Baltimore, the Spring has been unusually rainy and mild, which has my garden and other plants so freakin’ happy they’re practically glowing with it. Everything has been shooting up and spreading out and looking lush, which makes me so happy.

For those who aren’t close followers of the Adventures of Farmer Xiane and her annual container garden o’ doom, let me give you an overview. I have this big thing called a VegTrug [Vegtrug Medium Plantersย if you want to check out one for yourself] and it holds a LOT of plants in a set up that is great for people who don’t want to bend over when gardening. It also keeps the veggies away from ground critters – like our local bunnies and groundhogs – and is easy to keep weed-free, so bonus!

 

Currently in the Trug I’ve got three kinds [four? I have forgotten!] of tomatoes, including cherry, small yellow pear-shaped, an a traditional slicing tom of some sort… Calabash? I need to check my garden notebook. I keep details there, so I know what to get again next year or forget about, like carrots. NO success with carrots. They all stay small and take forever to grow!

I also have three types of radish: Watermelon [SO HOT], French Breakfast, and Sparkler. Only the Sparkler have been really reliable but all of them are delicious. There are also four heads of Black Seeded Simpson lettuce going wild in there – we have been eating daily off of those and they are happily making more delicious leaves constantly. I recently added four jalapeno plants, and a yellow squash. There is actually plenty of room for more things right now, but I figure that the squash will end that soon enough. One of my resolutions has been to grow something new every year, and the squash is something I’ve never grown.

 

 

You’ll notice that I also grow things in buckets. These are inexpensive, heavy-duty five gallon buckets from a hardware store, nothing fancy… I put empty plastic bottles, like water bottles, in the bottom to fill about 1/3 to 1/2 the space in the bucket. This does two things: it makes the bucket lighter to lift, and it creates reservoir space to fill with water in the bottom of the bucket. A five gallon bucket filled to the top with soil and plant isย heavy, y’all. And the plants appreciate the extra water at the roots when we get into the scorching months of July and August. I can usually manage to water every other day with this system.

In the buckets I’ve got two tomato plants and two cukes in one bucket. Cucumbers have been a source of frustration for me – they start off great then go yellow and sad. This is my attempt to fix that – I’ll keep everyone updated.

Also included are the indoor plants, especially the always-favorite succulents! I have lavender, basil, oregano, parsley, marjoram, and lemon balm in the herb department, and a variety of house plants, including a new mini rose that is adorable! Our local greenhouse has a whole section for bonsai and I found that there – it will be interesting to see how it develops under our care here.

The succulents are still making babies and flowers like mad. I did screw up a little, because I missed their “cut back on watering” signals and overwatered a little. One plant told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to roll it back with some droppy leaves. Opinion noted, little one. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

And in fibery news – well, the store is overflowing because I went overboard prepping for MDSW and I have fiber and yarn left over from that, yet somehow I keep making yarn, la la la…

I actually have been working on a group spinning project lately, which has been SO fun. I am part of a group under the guidance of FiberyGoodness, called FiberyGoodness Evolution. It is a team project, organized by Suzy Brown of Fiberygoodness, and it is FREE to join and be a part of challenges! The teams are comprised of people from all over the planet, which means that you get to work with interesting fiber artists from very different locations – it brings great energy and flow to the collaborative parts of the challenges.

 

The project we are currently working on is a yarn that is comprised of a strand spun by each team mate; we came together online to discuss our inspiration, then put together our fiber and spun a yarn based on our concept. Now we are breaking that yarn into parts for each member and mailing them off – once all strands are in every hand, it’s time to ply them together in a way that represents the team. SO FUN.

 

This was carded up from a variety of fibers, including Merino, Falklands, Corriedale wools, Faux Cashmere [a fine nylon], real Cashmere, a variety of silks, viscose, Angelina, and Tencel neps. There are a variety of colors happening here, but the primaries are the blues and greens and browns of the Chesapeake bay and the skies above, with red and yellow for the Maryland flag and red and blue to represent our blue crabs… and a touch of purple for the locally much beloved Baltimore Ravens, orange for the Baltimore Orioles, and pink for the favorite lawn ornament the Pink Flamingo. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Bobbin of yarn with Pullip doll for added fun. ๐Ÿ˜€

These photos were taken in my newly claimed work/photography area in my room. The knitting needles and crochet hooks in the basket with the bobbin of yarn were just yesterday found by my mom while doing some cleaning in the basement – they are from the 70s and a testimony to the fact that I’ve always been surrounded and interested by fiber arts!

 

So what have you been creating lately, dear readers? I have some other projects percolating that I still can’t talk about but I GUARANTEE you will be excited about when I can… and other than these things, I totally cleaned out/up the basement studio and will have a bunch of things for destash soon… I have been going to the gym/doing yoga pretty consistently… eating too much sticky rice, going to museums and other enriching fun with Christopher… you know, the usual.

Do tell all about your Spring-into-Summer crafting/arting in the comments! I wanna hear alllll about it!

 

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