Monday, April 26, 2010

Mildly annoyed-

One of the S-hooks by which my seedling lights are suspended from their chain has fallen into the light fixture :(  This is what it's supposed to look like:

This is what it looks like now:

 This is very inconvenient.  I can't just turn the whole thing upside down and shake the hook out, so I'm hoping it won't cause any serious electrical shorts in there.  Now I'm going to have to find some other way of hanging this end of the light!  Right now it's propped on our defunct clothes dryer, but this has the light a lot farther away from the plants than I'm happy with.

Fortunately, my sage does not seem to be suffering much!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Getting back in gear

My first (and usually only) show of the year is coming up on May 8 - the day before Mother's Day!  This will be our fifth year at the Westville Artwalk!  If you live anywhere close to New Haven, come and see us!  There are always a lot of talented artists in a variety of media, plus live music and lots of fun activities for kids :)

I've allowed myself to get distracted by knitting and gardening these last few months since the December holidays, and it's time to start getting some real work done.  Last year I managed to acquire a lot of new stones, so this year I need to start doing something with them.  I've just finished this pendant (sterling, rose quartz and peridot) -  I now have to figure out the best way to hang it.  I always run into this problem, especially with large-ish pendants.  I have a choice of putting it on a commercial chain or making a chain/necklace for it myself.

Using a commercial chain would certainly be the fastest and easiest option, but I don't always have them on hand, and the snake chains that would be most appropriate for something with this weight really aren't that cheap, even for me.  I just don't have the buying power to buy enough snake chains at once  to get quantity discounts, which means I'm paying almost full retail for this particular supply, plus shipping!  Not really very good business sense.

The flip side of this is if I make a chain or necklace with materials I have on hand.  I wouldn't have to buy any new supplies, and they would have been bought at wholesale, thus bringing the materials costs down.  The trade-off is that it takes a great deal more time to fabricate a chain/necklace, which frequently increases the price of the finished piece to something that is more difficult to sell.  Even if people appreciate handmade work and think the price is reasonable, it doesn't mean they can afford it!

I know - I need to get my jewelry in front of people who value handmade and have money.  I'm just not there yet.  The higher end shows that attract that type of clientele are just out of my range right now.  I can't afford the booth fees (which would have to be paid up front), and my display isn't professional enough.  I've been adding pieces to my display in bits and pieces over the years as I needed them, so nothing really matches.  I haven't got the space or the capital to try and fabricate booth furniture myself, so that's not really an option for me.  What I really need is to win the lottery!  That way I can just buy everything I need all at one go.  It will all match, it will all look professional, and if any of it doesn't work the way it's supposed to, I can go complain to someone who will help me fix it!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Back again!

I know, I have been terribly remiss!  It's been ages since I updated this blog.  Nothing very interesting has been going on, and the light hasn't been good for photos.  Now, however, it's gardening time again! Yet again I have way too many seedlings and can't fit them all under my lights.

 At least a good number of them are cool weather crops, and I'm finally starting to get them into the ground, thus making room for the new seedlings.  I finally got a heating mat for my germination flat, and that's made a huge difference in my success rate with some of my warmer weather plants!  Peppers and basil especially have had much better germination rates for me this year.  I hope the growing season continues to be this successful once I get them in the ground!

I'm trying several new plants this year!  In addition to lettuce I've got Swiss chard and spinach in the ground!  My broccoli seedlings aren't quite big enough yet, so it'll be another couple of weeks before I can plant them out.

I've also got a whole bunch of herbs going this year that I didn't have last year.  I get really tired of swapping places between not having fresh herbs on hand when I need them, and buying them so I have them but not using them up quickly enough.  I really hope that I'll have planted enough basil this year, and that it does better than it did last year! 

My mint is coming up nicely, and much to my surprise and delight I discovered that two of my parsley plants survived the winter!  Yay!  I had piled all our dead leaves into the garden last fall, instead of bagging them, and I suspect that's what did it. 

My peas seem to be doing nicely as well!  This is what the first shoots looked like a few weeks ago . . .

and here is what they look like now!

I'm very much looking forward to fresh peas in a few weeks, and I'm definitely looking forward to mid-late May, when I can start planting out everything else!
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