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Jul 21, 2016

Squash Plants Still Dead, Tomatoes Are Definitely Not.

Now all the squash plants are gonners, even the replacement zucchini plants I purchased shortly after my last garden update are dead. I'm a little bit sad that I won't have dozens of pumpkins this fall, but I've decided to give up on the squash and focus on my overgrown tomatoes and the other plants that are still alive.

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One of my sunflowers is blooming and there are several more buds that are getting ready to pop! I was disappointed earlier this summer by the low number of sunflower seeds that germinated, but I care less now and am excited to save the seeds and grow even more next year!

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This pumpkin plant is one of the few squash plants that are still green, but the likelihood that it survives to my next garden update is very low. One of its neighbors is an absolute survivor, perhaps doing too well since I moved them to a different location and the left behind roots made more plants than I moved away. These are a few of my milkweed plants:

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Two other plants (or plant types) that are doing AMAZING are all of my tomatoes and the Crenshaw melon I planted. Below are pictures of some Reisetomate tomatoes and a fuzzy baby Crenshaw melon. The other tomatoes look like regular tomatoes, but the Reisetomates look so funny!

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My sugar baby watermelons are growing, but not nearly as well as the Crenshaw melons. And the strawberries are making baby plants like you wouldn't believe! Plus I'm still getting a few strawberries! You can see more photos of my garden on my flickr in my garden 2016 album.

How is your garden growing? Do you have any gardening updates you're planning on for next year? Over the weekend my dad helped me make an L shaped raised bed for some Honeyberry plants I recently purchased. I'm also planning on making some changes to the longer raised bed along my back fence (where the dead squash plants and milkweed are); I want a cold frame and my mom has given me a good idea where I can modify that bed slightly and not have something big and hard to store during the summer.

Jul 19, 2016

Star Bank

I've made the star bank described in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for my Craft Book Club project!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Star Bank DIY

To make this, first you must use a can of sweetened condensed milk. I made Kool Aid Pie because I had never heard of such a thing and how could I resist making something called Kool Aid Pie? Once you have used the sweetened condensed milk, wash out the can and let it dry.The rest of the steps are as simple as the previous ones; using a pair of tin snips make finger tip length cuts around the top of the can and fold back the flaps you created.

Next you will make a slit on the bottom of the can (now top of your star bank) large enough to fit coins through and try to bend the sharp edges inside so the outside is smooth. My coin slot is wiggly, but functional.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Star Bank DIY

The last step is to secure the 'star' flaps to the floor in the corner of your closet (or a piece of scrap wood because we aren't living in 1915 Brooklyn) with nails. As you can see, I haven't gotten to this step because I didn't have a large enough piece of scrap wood on hand.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Star Bank DIY

That's it! Now save your pennies to buy a plot of land!

Our next book is Charlotte's Web by E B White. Obviously I have plans to make a 'terrific' spider web.

Jul 14, 2016

July Photos Part I

I decided I need to take a photo every day this month and since it's almost half over I'm going to share some of the pictures. July has been an okay month so far; I've eaten four snow cones, but have also attended two fish funerals (more on that at the bottom of this post). Here are some less sad photos I've taken.

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first snow cone of the year. shawl blocking. Faji the marimo had his baby! new dice for my car.

The fish funerals:
Chloe, my sister's nine year old goldfish that has been in my care died last week. She had a very large tumor on her side for (I think) a few years. Anyway, when I got home last Tuesday her normally smooth lump was partially gone and rough in that area. I think she must have scratched it on the rock and Cynthia, my other fish, began eating it. (She would eat poo straight from Chloe's bum, animals are disgusting.) Later that night she was floating belly up and died. 

Over the weekend I decided Cynthia needed some tank mates so I went to the pet store and asked for two goldfish. When I got home I realized that one didn't have an eye. (I've never seen a one eyed fish before!) Unfortunately, Lefty didn't make it through the night so I had his fish funeral Monday morning. Now it's just Cynthia and Paulette in the tank and I'm not sure if I should get any more fish, maybe in a few months or if someone else dies.

Jul 12, 2016

I am knitting a purse

My latest yarn order arrived last week so I started a new knitting project this weekend! I am knitting a purse! Here is my progress so far:

Netherfield Knit Purse WIP

The pattern is Netherfield Evening Bag by Anna Cole and I sized up the needles and yarn to make a larger across the body bag. I decided to knit this in the round because I prefer it to knitting two pieces and stitching them together.

Netherfield Knit Purse WIP
Netherfield Knit Purse WIP

It's turning out pretty good, I will need to figure out the type of strap and closure that will suit it. Any suggestions?

Jul 7, 2016

Gradient Air Shawl

It's finally finished! My kitchener stitch attempts were likely just too tight, but I decided to work the join from the other side and it looks perfect!

Knit Gradient Air Shawl
Knit Gradient Air Shawl

The shawl pattern is Air by Erica Jackofsky, part of an elements collection. It was a mystery knit along, I bought my yarn before the pattern was released, but didn't start knitting until all the parts were released so I did know what it was going to look like and how to work my color change/gradient before starting.

Knit Gradient Air Shawl
Knit Gradient Air Shawl

I do still need to weave in my ends (I hid them for these pictures), but I'm finally finished!