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Archive for May, 2010

I’ve been waiting to get the urns planted this year until after the May long weekend. I still don’t have them done because this week was such a scorcher it would

mini yellow roses in mini urn

have been a stress on the fresh transplants. The plan is to get them in early next week. What we did get done was to add to the urn collection. Mother found a pair of little ones that perfectly match the full sized trio. Modern roses are usually much more work than I like for a flower but I got seduced by a pair of miniature yellow shrubs. They were so pretty and perfectly in scale for the tiny urns that I had to go with them! The flowers open with a strong yellow and then fade to a pale lemon as they mature. I’m hoping that rigorous dead-heading will keep them producing new flowers. We have then along the edge of west cut in part of the parking lot, opposite the boxwoods. While they are going to need careful and often watering, they are small enough that it’s not too much of a chore and I love how they look.

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It’s shaping up to be a busy weekend. Saturday is both the hamlet-wide Garage sale and the day of the Forbidden Ride. (a motorcycle tour of Perth county)

soil and gravel bags

Part of the ride is that the participants have a bit of a scavenger hunt for places along the way. They are given a map and have to collect stamps from each town they pass through to win ballots for some great prizes. We’re going to be one of the stamp locations, so I expect we’ll have a bunch of bikers coming through! It’s a good thing they’ll be on bikes because we have about the equivalent of one parking space filled with these bags, at the moment. (not that we’re short of space, since we have lots, but it is a bit reduced) The lot is gravel, not paved and the construction work, as well as general use, have made it a bit sparse in spots so we’ve got lots of new gravel to spread around! We also will be using it to fill in the east lawn pathway, that we’ve been working on. One of the bags is full of soil and we’ll be using it to improve the gardens beds. I just wish it was a bit cooler, since we can’t work for long in this heat!

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Wow, it is really hot. Even with having the door to the store open, I was never really hot in here last year. The weather has been so warm already though that it’s starting to get less cool

peony flower, May 2010

inside. At this rate I may even have to bring in a fan or two, since there are no open-able windows to create a breeze. It just seems a bit unbelievable that we are already into this kind of heat, considering how last summer went. The good news is that the plants are really happy about it. I can’t believe how far ahead they are. Peonies before the end of May !?! (I’m cheating a little, since this peony is behind the house and not actually on the stores lot) It’s sheltered, south-facing location means that it runs a bit ahead of any of the others on both properties but the others are not much farther behind. Those in the front bed have completely covered their hoops and a ton of buds are moving towards opening. The east bed one is also looking like it may pop soon, but the buds seem a bit smaller than last year. That may be an effect of less rain and so much more heat, pushing them to develop faster.

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The Tuesday after a long weekend always feels a bit strange because I’m so used to having my Mondays off that being open on one makes me lose track of where I am in the week.

steampunk mask, "Tock'

That is another aspect of opening a store in a tourist destination area. Long weekends are no longer about an extended break, but mean you actually end up working more! I’m not complaining, but it is an adjustment in point-of-view. I spent part of my shop time this weekend getting a few more of the new masks up on Etsy. Now both the black and white feathered ornate Venetian masks are listed and I’ve got all four of the new Steampunk pieces up as well. A couple walk the edge of cyberpunk/Borg but this one is pretty purely in the Steampunk esthetic. One eye is made from a vintage watch case and the other from the date dial of one. The face is a lovely worn salvaged leather and the eyebrows are done with assorted small gears. I had kinda thought I would make him a bit more ornate, but once I got the eyebrows on I was so happy with the look that I realized he was finished. (it’s so easy for me to overwork things that I was thrilled to be able to tell so easily when to say “no more”!) I’ve called him “Tock”.

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So I finished the ornate Venetian pair that I showed in progress earlier this week. Both have their faces almost totally covered in lace which gives then a very traditional feel.

gold Venetian mask with black feathers

I’ve also edged the upper borders with open weave lace. I only like this kind of edging if I then put feathers behind it. Many of my Venetian masks are made in such a way that I can add feathers, but don’t have to. This style is one of the rare exceptions. I crowned one in the same white feathers I’d used on the last couple and then went with soft black on the other. The white is so elegant that it goes with anything as well as really showing off the luxuriousness of the gilded lace, which is likely why it’s been the most popular colour. The thing is, I just love the drama of the black! The feathers are also a slightly different shape and have a bit more bounce and movement. (they also have a soft iridescence to the tops of them which is so pretty) Either way, I’m happy with them both and have already listed the black one, Dauphine and will get Marie up later today and both will, of course, be on hand for sale and viewing in the store.

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I’ve been working on a new batch of masks and got the first one listed. 2/3’s of this group were made using some of my extensive stash of watch/clock parts and I was aiming

steampunk or Borg mask, Experiment #245

for a steampunk style. The thing is, I don’t always control where they end up. The clock that donated the eye piece is a bit more modern (1920’s or 30’s) than some of the parts used on the other pieces, and is steel, rather than the more standard steampunk brass or copper. I think the worn black leather also makes it seem a bit more like a vintage version of the Borg. I’m not unhappy with it. In fact, I really like the look of it, but I’m a bit unsure of how to label it, except “strange”. I’ve titled it “Experiment #245” and I hope that it speaks someone other than me! I’m going to try to get the rest of the group finished and listed over the weekend, so there are some more pictures to come.

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garden acquisitions

The May long weekend is the traditional time to really get started on the garden since you usually can’t count on avoiding frost before then. This year has been

black currant bush, May 2010

warm so early that we are a bit farther ahead than is typical. So far, I’ve been able to resist putting in any tomatoes (but we’ll be looking at them in the next couple of weeks) but I have started a number of other plants. The first flight of beans and peas are already in the ground and we’ve picked up a number of new plants that are establishing themselves. One of the biggest is this currant. We already have a large pair of red ones, but this is a black currant. We found it at a local church garden sale and Dad decided he liked the idea of making our own Ribena. (I was surprised at how much it already smells like the stuff!) I liked how it was so large and healthy so we’ve put it in on the east lawn. We’ll eventually fill in a bed around it, just like its red neighbor, but for now, we’ll give it lots of room to grow.

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