I've got two patterns I've been itching to get out and try my hand at making. I am pretty sure both are above my skill level but not trying means I won't ever figure out how to sew well. I've got the Reader's Digest Book Of Sewing that has helped me quite a bit when I've been stuck while working on other small projects so I hope that will keep me going with these patterns.
The first I am going to try is the Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic pattern. It has pleats (!!) and sleeves so will be more challenging than I've tried on my own before. I will probably make a mock up version in cheap muslin first to get a bit of wind in my sails before I cut nicer (expensive) fabric for the real deal. I found this tutorial on the blog, Don't Fear the Ripper, and let me tell you, I'll be using it!
I find that I prefer really fluffy, ruffly, gaudy flowers. I find this puzzling because I am not typically a ruffly, fancy girl. My wardrobe is pretty sedate as I spent a good chunk of my adulthood in solid black during my years working as a hairstylist in a salon. It has taken me years to comfortably wear colored or print clothing and I still typically favor very neutral colors and classic styles. My home has some strong color but nothing is particularly fancy or "shabby chic" or anything along those lines.
So why do I like such outrageously gaudy flowers? I love roses, puffy phlox, hydrangeas, peonies and dahlias. I love zinnias and petunias and verbena. I always plant geraniums, euphorbia and sweet potato vine that creeps everywhere. I adore larkspur, double hollyhocks and showy daylilies. I could keep going but you get the idea.
I've been planning for two new beds that we will be putting in and planting this fall. One will have a crape myrtle as the anchor and then have a mix of peonies and roses. I've been pleasantly surprised at how much I really like the single blooms on Coral Flower Carpet roses, so I will be sticking with those. I am most certainly going with Coral Sunset peonies because they are pretty and apparently have strong stems to hold up the flower heads. I am trying to focus on structure over blooms and it is very hard for me. I need to find some solid evergreen plants to anchor the beds. Maybe I should explore ornamental grasses a bit more. I'm not really sure at this point, I just know that I need to continue to think and plan and consider plants that I wouldn't typically be drawn to.
Suggestions are appreciated!
As always, the garden is starting to look tired due to the heat, and frankly I am also getting rather tired of going out in the blazing sun to care for it. I've been watering, pinching back here and there but for the most part we've definitely entered the wild and wooly days of late summer. The catmint and agastache are desperate to be cut back hard and my Westerland roses are out of control. It is going to take a ladder at this point to prune and when I get around to it in late September, I am going to prune them back significantly.
There are a few plants that are still putting on a pretty good show and they are always troopers for me.
I found a small Buddha Board in a tiny eastern themed shop somewhere in North Carolina when my mother was still a professor at ECU. I am pretty sure I only had Ella at the time and I may or may not have been pregnant with Gabriel yet. My point is that this little toy was under $20 and has survived three kids and lots of play time over the last 5 years. This is one toy that I can highly recommend as being worth the money and space to store it. It has given my kids countless hours of fun and entertainment and they all are still as entranced watching the board dry so they can start over again as they were the first time they used it. Best of all the only added materials you need are a paint brush and water so it is virtually mess free.
This is one perfect toy for young toddlers and up.