Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to the Machine

Making a small embroidery sample for an illustration
Yesterday I polished up the written portion of a magazine article.  Then I worked on making samples for some in-process photos.  It really felt good to be working at the machine again. I will let all of you know when and where it will be published later. Of course, Oreo heard the machine and came in to help with my project. Sometimes it is better to work without an assistant!
Here is Oreo pictured on a different project, she is always willing to share her fur with others    

 Ann Fahl

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Where's Ann?

Hello Everyone,
I'm still alive and kicking I mean digging.  It has been a very long time since my last post I just haven't been quilting, so I'm not sure how much non-quilting stuff you would like to read about.
Now a glamorous gardener, take note of the fashionable legwear she is wearing.  Ann is dressed for planting a small square garden
Since passing the Master Gardener exam in May, I have become a crazed gardener. My studio and sewing machine haven't been used since some time in April. Instead, I've been digging, weeding, planting, transplanting and watering.  Finishing the class material has given me the confidence to strike out and try new things, ideas and a variety of plants.
Here are 2 of the 5 flowerpots that I watch over at my fav Hardee's restaurant

I've planted and tended the flower barrels at my local Hardee's restaurant for 2 summers.  Since it is my favorite place for tea in the morning, I like to have pretty flowers to greet me each morning on my arrival.
Closeup. Hint the center geranium wasn't doing well, so I put it in it's own pot, and set it back in the center.  Now it gets more sun, and is getting ready to bloom again.

My first volunteer garden is a large perennial garden at the Racine Theater Guild.  A number of volunteers have helped with this site for many years.  I helped to plant hundreds of pansies in late spring and have been exposed to some varieties of perennials that I wasn't familiar with. Trollius is one flower that was new to me.  I also learned the importance of pinching off the flowers on the annuals before they are planted, so the roots grow larger to support the future flowers.  It isn't pleasant to pinch off the little flower heads, as they are so pretty and colorful, but it pays off in the long run.
Racine Theater Guild as it appears in August 2012

Here are some of the hundreds of pansies planted on my first day at Theater Guild.

My other volunteer site is Ridgewood Care and Rehabilitation Center. This garden area surrounds the building, and adds a great deal of color to the lives of the people living and working there. I've met so many interesting gardeners at both locations, and learned by working along side them too. Sorry no pictures yet.  This garden deserves its own blog!

The Mt. Pleasant Village Hall, WI  with the 2 small square gardens that I designed and planted

Still finding the digging and gardening to be invigorating, I have volunteered at my new village hall.  The building and landscaping is just over one year old, and needs a little love and attention from a gardener.  So I've been planting and transplanting, and due to the drought, watering something almost every day!  I'm getting tired, but the work really makes me feel good.  In June in I put annuals in two square gardens near the front door.  They have not thrived like I had hoped. Because they are surrounded by concrete they've never been able to cool off at night, and have to be watered every day.  Had they gotten lots of natural rain water, they would be in much better condition right now.
Because of salt use in the winter some of the plants turned brown.  I replaced them with two varieties of salt-tolerant sedum.
So, as my quilting studio collects dust, I continue to dig in the dirt!  Next year my village hall will have lots more color in the garden than it does now.  All winter I will be thinking of ways to add to it for 2013.

Make a quilt, or work in the garden, they'll both make you feel good.