This is what I want my whiskey barrel herb garden to look like.  (Photo from B&B link below) Last year, it did not. Last year, it attempted to breed mosquitoes, until I found them and turned the whole mess over.  (Sounds familiar doesn’t it.)  It seems, according to this blog, Backyard Farming, that all I needed was a few good holes.  Hmm. I’ll be trying again, without drowning my plants.  I found a bunch of great instructions about pot gardening that I hope to try this year at Baking and Books.

I am both amazed and excited that All of the munchkins have decided that

they can share a theme for their birthday parties this year.  I can not tell you how pleased I am.  Of course, dh says “Why do you need a theme? Make a cake and buy food.”  He does not think like me at all.  The littlest munchkin is dreaming of candy, candy, and more candy, so I know that dh is not far off the mark.  However, this does not deter me. This is an oportunity to decorate!  Naturally, details to follow…

Patty brought me this darling miniature basket from Africa.  She was on a survey trip with her husband and ran across these in one of her girlfriend’s homes there.  It’s full of the deepest scented beans I’ve smelled in a long time.  It’s customary to share a bean when your friends come to visit.  They chew them up and then spit out the bean when they’re done.  I’m keeping mine for the scent as a reminder of friendship and travel.

We are on to our next city in the art history class I’m teaching on Fridays.  I chose China and showed the kids this very cool clip from a documentary on China. This week I found a straight forward guide to making simple paper for their first time.  It’s by Denise Fleming and will be easy enough for them to do.  I took a papermaking workshop years ago and loved it.  This particular class of kids is very inquisitive so I think they will enjoy it too.



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The garden and a tea party



I was inspired this week by the artistic trailer of Tim Burton’s new Alice in Wonderland. (I haven’t seen the movie itself yet.) I just love films that have such an art center. Half the time I could simply turn the sound off and watch the art go by! (Shane Acker and Tim Burton’s “9”, case in point!)

Here is a link for a clip and photos from Alice at  I also found a few other blogs who enjoyed tea party themes, including carousel of crowns and afancifultwist by Vanessa Valencia on typepad.

I visited my yard and garden on purpose today, for the first time since our short winter began. I’ve come to the conclusion that we really didn’t have a true winter. We had only one day of snow. (All of the rest of the U.S. had it for us this year.)  I took pictures for you as I took stock of the landscape.  The Don Juan rose was too delicate to survive the winter (and my black thumb), so I now have the mystery of finding out what color of rose the original rootstock produces.  The original rootstock is alive, well, and taking over the pot vigorously.

I was attemping to grow mosquitos, quite by neglect of course, but derailed the project by flipping over the undrained pot.  Sage is taking over the pot with chives sprouting early, but the basil and rosemary couldn’t stand their ground.  Dh was kind enough to drill holes in my waterlogged whiskey barrels, so hopefully they will grow the rest of the herbs this year.



The poor rhodedendron and rhubarb have over wintered in pots and were begging to be properly planted.

The lovely potted lilies from last year surprised me by finding their way up to the surface without any help at all.  I had picked up some lily of the valleys, Siberian iris’, and gladiolus last week and when we opened them we found they were already sprouting inside their boxes.  They are all planted now. We will see whether the deer like them for lunch…



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Tiny art steps

As some of you may have been informed, this is basketball season for the small set. (If you don’t do the year round thing.) Personal confession: tennis is the only sport that ever interested me enough to play. Even at that, I was listed as the black sheep for defaulting a match because of blisters.

However, I married an athlete (charming) and am raising a brood of them (athletes all).  I find that when my own munchkins are playing, I can find fault with the referees from time to time.  I can also cheer loud enough to make the teen age girls in front of me turn around and see whose mom that was.  Therefore, I have taken to sewing at intense points in the games. Sewing? Yes, sewing. Here is the project from this week’s games.

This perky little guy kept his eye on me, but was much too interested in his lunch to move.  I thought I should show this other little guy (below) to you since he’s been showing up in my sketchbook all over the place.  I’m working on seeing what he looks like with different moods.

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Plum Beginnings

I finished my photography classes, so hopefully you’ll see better photos on here. I took the course to force myself out of using auto mode settings. It worked because he assigned homework, and I did my homework. (Unlike my 10th grade Algebra 2 class…)

I am continuing to teach my applied art history class, and this week we will be focusing on Johannesburg in the 1960’s. Were any of you there?

The blossoms have ignored my worries and plumped out.  Here is a photo of the ornamental plum, and the golden plums will follow on their heels next week. I haven’t been seeing much of the deer yet.  Their eyes have sparkled in my headlights as I’ve returned home late at night, staring across the field.  But by morning they are nowhere to be seen, and thus, no pictures for you.

My in-laws have been complaining about the cold, and this lovely blog  named KissKus shows you what they’ve been complaining about.  It’s not my sister-in-law’s website, but it is a Dutch one.

While looking for science clips for the munchkins, I ran across a new (to me) website for instructional videos.  It’s called 5 minutes, and proposes to show you how to make, do, or learn something new in only a few minutes.  They have an arts category, and the video clips on Digital art look like they could be useful.  I had my doubts on being able to learn much in the painting category in five minutes, but the ratings are helpful in sorting through them. One of the videos I appreciated was by the painter Alexander Shundi, on painting portraits.    What I didn’t appreciate was all of the ads!

I couldn’t recall whether I’d sent you to this lovely artist yet.  Her name is Jennifer Murphy and I just LOVE her studio space.  Her teddies and such are so cute too.


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