May 29, 2012

A weekend of roses

White Rose

For Memorial Day weekend, SB and I headed to the windy city for a mini-break. Since visiting the Morton Arboretum last summer, I’ve had my eye on the Chicago Botanic Gardens, on the north side of the city. I’d heard that because of their proximity to the lake, they have a special microclimate, allowing plants 1 or 2 zone warmer to thrive.

This spring has been so strange, I’m not sure I really noticed that the gardens were much ahead of my gardens at home, but there was plenty to be inspired by in their highly sculpted landscape. I now need poppies, after seeing a whole field of icelandic poppies in full bloom. Also, we need to train some climbing roses on geometric trellises, to decorate our yet to be built fence. I’m already looking forward to returning to the Botanic Gardens later in the summer.

Last week we put in a new garden along the side of the garage and planted our herb garden. As I laid the seeds in the ground, I thought about how optimistic the act of gardening can be. It is all about the belief in the future potential of these little seeds. After visiting the Botanic Gardens, I was thinking about how gardening is also about dreaming of colors, shapes, textures and smells. Gardening, a future fantasy for all the senses.

Speaking of the future, on Sunday, we had a planned surprise visit to one of my favorite gardening friends, Rosey Cheeks, to celebrate the soon-to-be birth of her second child. I cut it very close with my blanket gift, sewing in the ends on the car ride to Chicago. The honeycomb blanket had a photo shoot in the botanic gardens before starting its journey with Rosey and family.

May 9, 2012

From Coast to Coast and Home Again

Cold and Rainy

I’m tired. In the past month I’ve been on Atlantic and Pacific waters, I spent thirty hours volunteering for the film festival and every other weekend has been filled with house projects and even an emergency shopping trip to Chicago. As I head into summer, there is just so much to do, it has been hard to find the balance between work, travel, projects and the rest and relaxation I actually need. On top of all that I’ve been battling some frustrating stomach issues, which just make eating a chore and totally contributes to my overall tiredness. Finally, I’ve decided that I’m done taking allergy medicine. I’m just going to soldier through this summer without any help, but already, waking up with a nose like a faucet every morning is such a drag.

Whine, whine, whine. This is all very tiring. Here are a couple things I’ve been enjoying recently.

We’ve been working our way through the documentary series Craft in America. It has really made me think about how one medium can really speak to you and another just carries no interest and to wonder how you discover those mediums that most resonate with you. I think trying lots of different craft forms is key.

One of the artists featured is a couple here in southern Wisconsin. They make amazing natural fiber baskets and jewelry. I’ve been pining after their necklaces and leaving the page open for SB to see. Loeber + Look.

I’ve also been reading a lot about bike commuting and I’m sold. Bike commuting looks fantastic! The irony is that I don’t have any commute, so I guess the message is partially lost on me. Check out this short video on bike commuting in Portland. A very nice, low budget documentary.




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  • Eating salted avocados with a spoon in Madison.
  • Blogging since 2003.
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