Friday, July 20, 2007

The Flower Post - It's time to order bulbs!

I love, love, love bulbs!

If you haven't already discovered Van Engelen's for bulbs, you should check them out! If you plant bulbs in your garden you already know that planting the packs of 10 that you get at the nursery makes very little impact in the garden. They're nice in a pot, though. However if you, like me, aspire to those blowsy, flower-filled, English gardens you know that it takes a lot of flowers to get there. That's why I love Van Engelen's - they sell to the public at wholesale prices and quantities. And, if you don't think you want 50-100 tulip bulbs you can always split an order with a friend. Although I have to say that after I did that the first year I realized that I really just wanted all them - 25 tulips that only bloom early in the season only take up about one square yard of flower bed.

Also, if you haven't yet discovered the beauty of shade-loving Fritillaria, now is the time. That is a Fritillaria Acmopetala at right. How sweet is that? On the left, above, is a Fritillaria Meleagris, or Checkerboard Lily. The petals really are checkered, so odd and so cute. They often come in a mix with the white Meleagris. The other great thing about these is that animals don't like to eat them! They're safe from deer and squirrels don't even eat the bulbs!

Also very cool and often high-impact are Allium. The blue ones on the left are Allium Azureum. They're short but verycute when massed. For high visibility, the 4 foot tall Allium Ambassador, below right, towers over most regular plants and they don't need staking. I have about 5 or 6 different Alliums and they're so fun.

I also have a great love for Lilies. The Asiatic lilies don't have the scent that Oriental and Trumpet Lilies do, so they're easier on my allergies. Last year, though, I decided the possiblility of suffering from allergies might be worth it and I tried some Oriental and Trumpet Lilies and so far my allergies haven't been any worse that usual.

The Lilies at right are Tigrinim Lily Pink Tiger and they've gotten so tall! Two of the plants are 4 feet high! I have to say that either they need a little staking or they should be planted near some dense, shorter plants to hold them up. But how gorgeous are they??? The other ones that look fabulous and have a nice cycling of bloom (I made that term up, I mean that they don't all bloom at the same time so I get a nice long period of looking at pretty flowers) is a Lily Mix. There are many types, here is a nice Oriental Lily Mix. I have something similar in my yard, except that my mix is Asiatic (there wasn't a picture for my specific mix, although you can look at the picture below, from my yard, and see them right at the beginning of the blooming period).

The other great thing about all these bulbs is that they are plant-them-and-forget-them flowers. All the ones I've mention so far come back year after year and I don't need to do anything to them.

The ones that don't come back year after year, necessarily, are the Parrot Tulips that I love. Many of those species are one to two year bulbs only, unfortunately. There are tulips that "naturalize" or come back year after year - they're just not the ones that I'm interested in! The tulips at right are Parrot Tulips called Tulipa Green Wave. Aren't they amazing? The other tulips I like to get are the Parrot Tulip Mixes, you just won't believe how fabulous a whole bunch of Parrot Tulips look - and they bloom before other flowers do, so you get that nice spring hope. You know what I mean?
Gotta dash - more later, on non-flower related topics and my Gratitude Journal.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Crowded House-Don't Stop Now

I wanted to share this Crowded House video with you guys because there's some incredible collage art involved in it. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Banner, Yes or No? And a contest!

Well, I worked for the better part of a day on this #$!*&#$*! banner and it still doesn't quite fit! Is there a trick to sizing these things? I finally shrank it down (and considerably simplified it) to about the size of a large postage stamp (strangely, that's what it took) and this is what I got. And, on top of that, this was supposed to just be a quickie thing. So all that work didn't really go into much designing. Much of it, of course, was operator (my) error. If I'd just done a blank test rectangle to check for size, I could have saved myself loads of time. Didn't think about that until I was all done of course. Oh, well. Live and learn, right? I'll have a go at making a better one some other time. In the mean time - what do you think? Should I leave this one up there or just put the blogspot standard banner for this template back on? Please leave a comment letting me know! (You can't hurt my feelings, I love constructive criticism - when I ask for it! ;-D)

Hey Robin! This one's for you!

Here are my top ten favorite movies (posted at the request of Robin - btw, do you have a blog? I would link to you but your comments don't have a link)in no particular order except for #1. The photo at the right is from my favorite movie of all time, "Wings of Desire."

1. Wings of Desire
2. The Usual Suspects
3. A Room With a View
4. All That Jazz
5. Charade
6. Persuasion
7. Breakfast at Tiffany's
8. Best in Show
9. Auntie Mame
10. Election

Oh, okay! I can't stop at ten! Here's 5 more...

11. The Unbelievable Truth
12. Existenz
13. The Professional
14. Swingers
15. Four Weddings and a Funeral

And here's a contest for you! I will randomly pick a correct entry to win a plump, prize package of ephemera and stuff! (I was going for alliteration but got stuck, I decided that "plethoratic" wasn't a word...)

Here are my 15 reasons for liking the above movies - can you match the reasons to the movies?

a. "Oh, they always jump."
b. When is the last time you could say you loved a hit-man this much?
c. The whole movie is about flirting with death.
d. Did you know that every single song in this movie is a variation on the main song?
e. I agreed to go on that 1st date with my husband because he said he had a "Hal Hartley" sense of humor.
f. I love this because it reminds me of my single years and the great group of friends I hung with then.
g. I love a good plot twist - whenever it occurs.
h. Could Cary Grant be any more attractive???
i. Every expression that emerges onto Tracy Flick's face is priceless.
j. "Poor Charlotte!"
k. The look between Anne and Captain Wentworth when they finally realize they love each other makes this better than the Oscar winner that came out the same year and that was of the same ilk.
l. I knew these guys - and that answering machine scene, yikes!
m. This entire movie is a plot twist - at the end you have no idea what was real.
n. The most poetic movie ever, it uses actual lines of poetry by Peter Handke.
o. "We need a little Christmas! Right this very minute!"

Some easy clues, some hard ones; I promise the prize package will be worth the work you may have to put in for a couple of these.
And lastly, a movie that's just goofy fun: The Zero Effect, it stars Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller and it's just great. I'm not sure why it never caught on. Everyone that I've forced to watch it has loved it. :-D

I hope this was helpful and fun for you Robin - and everyone else!

On the art front, I have exciting news!!! My husband has a brilliant idea for making one whole wall of our dining room into cabinets and a fold-down table that I can use as a pseudo-studio in this smallest of small houses. I'm thrilled! It'll be a slow-go project, I'm sure we'll still be doing construction at Christmas, but I'm so excited at the prospect of all that storage and organization! It will be slow because it's not like we're going to give up our 900 hobbies to do this, we're just going to cram it into the schedule! We've already started clearing out the dining room so we can pull up the carpet and expose the hardwood floor. Now I know this sounds promising, but have I mentioned our furniture adoption agency? AKA as our house? There's not actually anywhere to put the things we take out of the dining room. In order to shift one of the (yes, one of them) vintage china cabinets to the hallway we had to move the vintage dental cabinet from the hallway to the middle of the living room/dining room. And in order to move the dental cabinet we had to move Rexy's gigantic easel-on-wheels/toy shelf, the vintage 50s side chair that we found on the side of the road, the faux Eames lounge chair, and one of the stripped down, vintage, metal bar stools that we use as cocktail tables. Needless to say, moving one piece of furniture (after emptying out the shelves and drawers) took all day. That just leaves the other china cabinet; the antique child's desk; the vintage, wooden, card table/art supply repository; the double-decker, red metal tool chest that holds a couple hundred pounds of beads; the vintage, triangular, 3-legged footstool (Or, as my DH refers to it, "the Death Star" - there was a little incident...); three cardboard boxes of art supplies; a wooden chest of art supplies; a vintage, metal occasional chair precariously topped with art supplies; a large dining room table (piled high with art supplies); and six chairs (2 of which have- what else - art supplies on them).

You can see our problem.

Oh, boy. It's late again. I'd better sign off. I'll talk more later about my ZNE Book Club projects and my other doings.

My Gratitude Journal:

1. Vacuums
2. Electric Fans (it's been hot here!)

3. Spray nozzles for garden hoses

4. Hot Dogs (went to a fire pit party last night!)

5. Music

Rexy loves those hats...