Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A trip to Bountiful - via the garden

In my last post I mentioned a busy life, there is always something that needs doing and I think we have that in common. We all have our own busy and pressing matters, to-doing, running hither and yon, etc. Part of my busy this Summer was the garden, not bad as pressing matters go really. Ultimately satisfying and very delicious, still sometimes you just can't figure out how to get it all done. You see, when a garden comes on, it often comes on all at once!

This Summer we had record breaking heat, which resulted in our first bumper crop of tomatoes in years. So far we have harvested about 50 pounds of heirloom tomatoes from 3 plants. Amazing and so tasty, yet a bit overwhelming. Oh but look at those beauties! Nothing like a fresh tomato from the garden. Oh, and the chilies, good gravy we have roasted a lot of chilies this summer!

We also grew tomatillos, An experiment really - that ended up combining nicely with the chilies to make some tomatillo salsa. Oh Summer in the garden...

And now we have figs. So many figs! Our tree is drooping under the weight of their sweet soft goodness. I have been inviting passers-by to help themselves as I still have fig preserves in the larder from last year. Figs coming out of my ears I tell you!

Lastly, our new brood of backyard chickens have at last laid an egg! A teeny tiny egg sure, but no less exciting. I haven't sussed out which one is the layer of said egg yet. So looking forward to having fresh eggs again. Hooray!

So concludes this episode of "In The Garden." Are you growing anything?

In my next post you might actually get to see a spot of sewing, will wonders never cease?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Once More With Feeling!

Hello Friend,

I've missed you. It's been ages since we've hung out and chatted... or rather, since I rambled on to you. It's funny you know, how hard it is to break bad habits, and yet so easy to let the good habits fall by the wayside. For instance, that good habit of typing away in my shiny space here, getting out my "real" camera and taking pictures of interesting things, and sharing what's going on in my little corner of the world.

I know that you know how busy life can get. A hundred reasons to fall away, and the longer you go, the harder it is to start up again. I have an admission though, I was feeling a little slump, my spark wasn't sparkling quite as bright and I lost a bit of the passion for my blogging life.

Truth is, I write this blog and do what I do because I love it. Not to have thousands of followers, not to have comments in the double digits, and not to be a big time blogger. This year was the the 7th anniversary of me starting this blog, way back when I had no idea what I was doing (not that I have much of a clue even now). I have been blown away over the years by the friends I have made, the community I have found, and the endless inspiration out there in the world. Still, - and I'm sure you have heard this conversation before - things have changed in the blogging world and I was having some trouble changing with it.

I had a moment recently, a real doozy of a moment in fact. I'd lost that loving feeling, I did. It led to a conversation with The Engineer and whether or not I should chuck it in, say so long it's been fun and go on my way without looking back. Fortunately, The Engineer knows me well and told me that I had better give it a real go again, that I should really throw myself into it and fall back in love with Lola Nova, otherwise I would regret. Regrets are the worst. After all, I am Lola, well at least part of me is, and I need to give myself another chance.

This is my shiny space where I can find a moment of peace, a little beauty, no small amount of fun, all while connecting with like minded, kindred folk. This blog helps me to record my gratitude, it keeps me going and making and holding on to that little bit of youthful anarchy that I never completely outgrew.

So, I'm back. I will keep on keepin' on, me and my rambling and making and finding my weaving way home. In that spirit I am linking to my first ever blog post, because it's good to remember.

Wow, I guess I haven't lost my ability for a good long ramble after all.

Thanks to you all for hanging in there with me.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Back from the land of tall trees

Welcome to the photo show of our Summer Vacation

After a long vacation during which magical things were around every corner, it's hard to get back into the daily routine. We had an amazing trip, with only one little hiccup in the way of a breakdown on the hottest day of the year. Still, on the whole, there's nothing like a good road trip to inspire and feel free!

The Redwoods were stunning. No matter how many times I have walked under those majestic old growth trees, I am awed every time!

We hiked and played and saw herds of Elk, the ocean and waterfalls and places that make you stare in wonder.

San Francisco was a blast. So fun to visit my old stomping grounds and see the sights of the city. Taking my family to see The Palace of Fine Arts was definitely a highlight. It is one of my favorite places.

The roads we traveled are so familiar to me, every curve and bend of the highway are part of my life, It was so special to share that experience with my sweet little family.

Time spent with my California family was precious too. If you ever find yourself in Monterey, CA; go to the aquarium, it is amazing. My favorite exhibit were the giant tanks of jellyfish.

Once we got back home, we took off again for some cabins in the woods next to a river with great friends and family. What a summer we've had so far!

How about you? What have you been up to?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Road Trip

Oh goodness me! The last month of school had me jumping and jiving with all the activities and meetings and so on. Haven't had much time for this happy place. And now we are getting ready to hit the road for a much anticipated vacation. The packing has started, lists have been made, camping gear double checked and we are buzzing with excitement.

I'm taking along the finally finished Doll Couture Commission to deliver. I've been snipping and stitching away in small scale. While it's been a really fun job, I think I might take a break from sewing for wee dolls for a bit.

I'll be back soon with tales of our adventures! Until then, you can keep up with me over on Instagram under lolanova.

Happy Summer my friends!

Monday, June 1, 2015

For the love of Jam

Yes, it's that time of year again. The annual making of The Jam took place this weekend. Fortunately we have a well seasoned team that makes it all the more enjoyable.  Just open the windows to release the steam, crank up the tunes, and get to work!The 3 of us all did our jobs with great efficiency and mostly joy. Notice I said mostly, near the end I admit to getting just a wee bit cranky due to overheating and low blood sugar.

We ended up with 37 jars of jam in total. Nice work team! This morning I baked a batch of biscuits. I then cracked open a fresh jar of strawberry jam and slathered a biscuit with it. I devoured it in less than a minute. So good!

The yearly making of the jam together began way back when The Engineer and I first moved into The Little Green cottage. Now the whole family is part of the tradition. Here's to 11 years of sweetness and kickin' out the jams!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Salad Days

This last week has been dedicated to the garden. While we planted a lot of vegetables and eagerly await the Summer months to help them grow, but right now we are up to our elbows in lettuce. This is a good thing, fresh salad nearly every night is a very good thing.

Next the Swiss Chard will be ready to harvest, The potatoes are starting to poke their leaves above the surface. I love growing potatoes. Later in the Summer we'll go treasure hunting for golden and ruby treasure buried in the soil.

A barrel full of mint is close to the kitchen door. it smells so lovely.

It is a lot of work and the weeds are always mocking us by spreading faster and growing taller than would seem possible, but at the end of a full day in the garden, it is absolutely worth it. To see our future dinners growing in our own back yard is pretty cool.

Oh and check out this handsome fellow, he and his friend came to visit after the fountain received a good cleaning. The first time we've had a Western Tanager in our garden. Hooray!

Happy weekend all!

Monday, May 18, 2015

The New Brood

Well, let's all cross our fingers that the sickness has left the building. I swear, this has been the ill-est school year in history, for the whole family. I am well and truly Over It! Ah, but let's talk of more pleasant things shall we?

It occurred to me that you were not formerly introduced to the new Brood in the coop. Last November we lost our other beloved chooks to some vicious critter, so a couple of months ago we began again with 3 wee baby chicks.

Pictured up above is Starr, a Leghorn, and so far seems to rule the roost.

This here is Loretta, an Australorp. She follows Starr around constantly, though she seems quite good at scratching up worms.

This is Van Zandt (named after the late singer/songwriter Townes), a Silver Laced Wyandott. She is independent and wiley.

Now this particular group of little hens is nothing like any other brood we have had. They are far more skittery than past chickens, even though we had the same routine as the others and handled them often. They are also contrary, they do not do what we expect them to do, what others have done. We shall see how it all works out. Meanwhile we are all happy to have chickens again. I am looking very forward to September when we may start getting fresh eggs again!

Oh and check out this video of The Engineer's brilliant automatic coop door opener that he created to keep the little ones safe.

Monday, May 4, 2015

More Adventures in Natural Dyeing

Yes, I've been at it again, I just can't stop! The most amazing results and surprises have come about, a few disappointments as well, but that is all part of the learning process.

The biggest "Wow" moment came from dyeing with black turtle beans. Depending on the fabric I used, I got deep blues to bright purple. My neighbors must have though I was a bit crazy when I was exclaiming over the results. Oh let's just face it, the neighbors thought that already.

I also tried dyeing with some Madder root and played with folding and clipping techniques. This is really fun and creates the most interesting designs.

The Blueberries on vintage kimono silk was another surprise, I didn't think that the color would be so saturated and delicious looking!

An experiment in over-dyeing created the loveliest green.

I'm even dyeing embroidery floss and loving the results.

Now, if I could just stop dyeing everything I can get my hands on and actually make something from my experiments! All in good time.

Happy Monday everyone!