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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

peek into the garden

J and I took advantage of the long weekend to dig into the garden and harvest quite a bit of produce. We focused primarily on our heirloom tomatoes, kale, and zucchini. We probably harvested 3 full boxes of kale, and 3 or 4 full boxes of tomatoes. Plus, a handful of zucchini, cucumbers, beets, and flowers (zinnias and snapdragons).

Kale

Roma and velvet red heirloom tomatoes

I feel like I spent all day yesterday cutting up tomatoes to dry! I love it, though, because there’s nothing better than eating our own produce through the winter. We blanched and froze a huge batch of kale and made some kale chips, and dried more tomatoes than I can count.

drying the tomatoes

We also did our fair share of eating the veggies– last night for dinner we had beets, fried zucchini, and a focaccia made with dried tomatoes, and home made tomato sauce to dip it in. And this morning, more zucchini bread!

Simon hangs out while we work in the garden and catches bugs.

Simon and the garden

Simon waits patiently

Time to head home!

time to head home

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One year ago today, J and I were married.

sparklers

sparklers

sparklers

We wanted our wedding to be a comfortable, fun, local, organic, vintage inspired party. To this end, J grew all of our wedding flowers in our community garden plot. Our bouquets and arrangements included zinnias, black eye susans, bells of ireland, snapdragons, and hosta leaves.

Justin with flowers at the garden

hanging jar of flowers

We used my grandparent’s cake topper for our chocolate cake. It was looking a little yellowed on the bottom, so I sewed it a little pleated skirt!

vintage wedding cake topper

We strung up photos from our time together, as well as family photos along the porch for people to look at.

Wedding Photos

Simon served as our ring bearer. He really knows how to steal the show! I also upcycled my wedding dress– it was the same dress my sister wore the year before, but I had it altered to look like a new (and different!) dress.

Playing with Simon at the wedding

Filmstrip quilt backdrop

I designed and made our save the dates and wedding invitations. They included sewn on mini bunting, and I made matching full sized flags to hang on the porch where we held our reception and over the outdoor altar where we held our ceremony.

Self designed save-the-date

Ceremony site

I made quilts for our friends and family in the wedding party, and used this as an excuse to sharpen my quilting skills!

Stack of wedding quilts

Stacked coins quilt

Filmstrip quilt

zigzag quilt

Striped Wedding Quilt

Striped Wedding Quilt

We used one quilt in particular as a backdrop for our outdoor photo booth. I love seeing this quilt in all of these photos! I want to make another like it. I’m also so glad we thought to have a dry erase board and markers available for guests to write us messages in the photos– these turned out to be my favorite of all of our wedding pics!

Filmstrip quilt backdrop

Filmstrip quilt backdrop

I really can’t believe it’s been a whole year! Time flies when you have a good partner. Love you, J! I’m so excited for the rest of our years together.

family portrait

*** Here are links to the posts I’ve previously written about the things we made for our wedding.***
Things we made, reused, and grew:
Save the Dates

Invitations

Vintage Cake Topper

Photobooth

Home Grown Flowers

Handmade Gifts:
* Birdie Sling bags can be found here and here
* Stacked coins quilt
* Filmstrip Quilt (which can also be seen as our photobooth backdrop, here)
* Striped Quilts can be found here, here, and here

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More strawberries

Last night J and I managed to squeeze in some strawberry picking. Our summer has been so full, we have something to do pretty much every night! Last night we realized we have plans every night for the rest of the week and through the weekend, so we had to go or we might miss the chance to pick strawberries this season!

Strawberry fields

Unpicked Strawberry

In less than an hour, we picked 16 pounds! We had some for dessert last night, and we usually freeze a whole bunch to use in smoothies throughout the year. Last year I made a strawberry balsamic jam that I loved, and I might try to make that again! My other favorite is a strawberry and tart cherry jam. I love making jam, and I hope we find some time to make some soon! I’m just so glad we didn’t miss the berry picking this year.

Strawberries

Also, it’s been a while since Simon has been featured on the blog, so I thought I’d leave you with this picture of him– it cracks us up how much of a “nester” he is. He will take any rug or pillow or towel or blanket and will make it into a nest and curl up on it. This week I found him laying squarely on the one pillow in the guest room (or, Simon’s room, as we sometimes call it).

Simon's cozy spot

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Simon's fang
(Simon, being silly. He’s been napping in the sun and making funny faces pretty much all the time)

Wow, the last month has flown by! I’m glad it’s June, because although May was fun, it was a whirlwind! J and I were out of town every single weekend, which severely cut into my sewing time! When we were home, we were often headed to our community garden plot to try to get the beds ready and plants in. The garden is coming along nicely, and we’re both very excited to have a weekend coming up that we’ll spend at home– we have big plans to relax and indulge in pleasures like a visit to the farmers market, planting more in the garden, and getting some quilts done!

My problem for the last month has been than I’ve been so busy during the week with work that I haven’t had time to keep up with all of our adventures on my blog! So, I thought I’d take some time to give a recap of where we’ve been and what we’ve been doing! And, now that life will be returning to a more normal schedule, I plan to have more sewing projects finished and will be sharing them as I get them done.

So– here’s what we’ve been up to! (warning– this may be my longest post ever! But, it includes lots of pictures, so it’s really not so bad).

Justin running

First, in early May, J ran the Cleveland marathon. It was his 4th marathon! I am so impressed by his dedication and fortitude when it comes to running.

ohio baseball showdown!
(Please excuse our racist mascot. I really wish they would change that!)

The following weekend, we were back in Cleveland to catch the Indians-Reds matchup. I grew up in Cleveland, and J is from the Cincinnati area, so we like to give each other a hard time when our teams meet up. Well, mosly J likes to give me a hard time. I relied on my sister Olivia to help me with the smack-talk comebacks.

baseball fireworks

indians day game

We saw some great fireworks after the night game, and went back the next day for the day game. The Indians were on a tear, and beat the Reds in both games!

The next weekend, I we drove down to Washington, DC so I could attend a conference. After that, we continued on to Richmond, Virginia where my sister and brother-in-law live. We went to a crawfish boil hosted by friends of the family for memorial day. It was HOT out, but we had a great time sitting in the yard by the river and eating lots of yummy food!

Relaxing at the crawfish cookout

memorial day cookout

the dock at the river house

The crawfish boil was really quite impressive!

Crawfish boil

Our family friend, Jim, is originally from Louisana. He taught us that you can’t have too much spicy seasoning in your crawfish boil! (also, check out how big that pot is! It held a lot of food!)

Jim at the cookout

crawfish on the table

When the crawfish was ready, it was dumped right on the table, and everyone dug in with their hands (well, almost everyone– J is vegetarian, so he stayed clear of the crawfish table).

me and bucky!

We also had fun playing with Bucky, our friends dog. Bucky loved hunting for dropped crawfish, and by late afternoon she was a bit tired (or, possibly drunk on crawfish).

After leaving the cookout, we drove down to Colonial Williamsburg. J and I had never been there, and it was such a cool little town.

We saw horses and old building and lots of plants!

williamsburg horse

williamsburg street

brick building in williamsburg

williamsburg gate

I took the following photo for my friend Karen– Shields was her maiden name, and is now her middle name! (Karen, here’s your tavern– I imagine you’d eat here if you were in Williamsburg!)

shields tavern in williamsburg

brick fort in williamsburg

One of the highlights of Williamsburg were the gardens.

Williamsburg gardens sign

There were gorgeous plants, like this arichoke.

Williamsburg gardens artichoke

And this light and airy asparagus plant.

Williamsburg gardens asparagus

We also saw these amazing beds, that had old windows that could fit over the bed to create a built-in greenhouse. I took a few pictures of these, because this is something I’d love to build someday! I even have some old windows tucked away for this sort of project…

Williamsburg gardens window greenhouse

Williamsburg gardens window frames

Can you spot my sister in the following photo?

Williamsburg gardens

She loved the flowers on this tree– she was busy taking photos like this:

Williamsburg gardens flower

J and I loved the gardens– they gave us lots of ideas for building our own someday!

Williamsburg gardens

We spent a few more days in Richmond before heading home that weekend. And this past weekend we were out of town for a wedding. Phew– I am glad we’re done with the travel for a while! And I managed to do a *little* bit of sewing during this time and started some new things I’m planning to share soon!

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flowers on the kitchen table, being made into arrangements

For our wedding this past summer, J and I decided to grow all of our own wedding flowers. It was a big undertaking, and I know it’s not for everyone, but we decided to take it on because it was in line with what matters to us. We didn’t want to spend a lot of $ on flowers, and we wanted them to be grown locally to reduce the amount of fuel needed to ship them. We also didn’t want flowers that had been covered in pesticides and chemicals, so growing them ourselves seemed like the way to go. J has been getting a plot at the community garden to grow his organic veggies, and this year he got a full plot instead of a half plot so we’d have plenty of room for flower beds. He researched which kinds would look good together in bouquets, and which would thrive in our environment. He chose zinnias, snapdragons, and bells of Ireland. We also tried to grow some dwarf sunflowers, but something else thought they’d be a tasty snack, so they didn’t make it to the wedding.

Here’s a photo of J with our buckets of harvested flowers a few days before the wedding.

Justin with flowers at the garden

We brought them home, and with the help of my mom and sisters, turned them all into bouquets and arrangements for the tables.

bouquets at the wedding

We used shepherds hooks to hang small jars of flowers along the aisle for the ceremony. We were lucky to be able to borrow vintage blue glass canning jars from my sister’s in-laws to hold all of the flowers. It was the perfect blend of local, fresh, and vintage that we were going for.

hanging jar of flowers

Plus, we have had bouquets all summer long– in fact, we harvested the last few flowers this past weekend. It was sad to see the plants go, after all the time and energy we put into them this year, but I know we’ll be able to grow them again, and J is going to try to harvest some of the seeds, so our wedding flowers will be their own sort of heirloom.

family portrait

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