Thursday, October 18, 2007

Office Addition

I came home from work last night to find a bag filled with screws and miscellaneous bits. It was labeled Expedit. Did some catastrophe befall my beloved Expedit in the office? Nope, it just got a friend.

See, my office used to look like this:

Then my boyfriend moved in, with his enormous action figure collection. See them?

Now, with the addition of Expedit Junior which was assembled yesterday while I was at work by my wonderful boyfriend, the office looks like this:

Now we're both happy. He has an entire case to showcase part of his collection. And I have one that stays organized and uncluttered, just the way I like it. The entire office looks cleaner too. There are still some finishing touches to go. The bear and rocker need a new home (long story about those two) and as I don't love how this green turned out I really need to repaint. Someday.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day: Compost Just Happens

Confession time: I'm not a master-gardener, a raging environmentalist or an expert in ANYTHING related to gardening. But I DO compost. I compost because it's good for my wallet, my garden, my city's landfill, and my sense of guilt about my impact on the environment. I compost because I'm too cheap to waste garbage bag after garbage bag to throw away leaves and weeds, too lazy to pull bag after bag to the curb if I don't have to, and too cheap to buy tons of organic fertilizer. I compost because I have horrid clay soil and want to make it better.

Some articles and books make composting sound like a complicated process involving precisely layering ingredients, rigorous pile-turning schedules and strict rules. Maybe those steps would help you compost faster, but basically it all boils down to this: compost just happens.

This is my compost pile. As you can see it's not fancy. Like other garden bloggers, I don't layer ingredients. I throw in whatever I have, whenever I get it: leaves, coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, rotten or squirrel-eaten vegetables, grass clippings, planting clippings, weeds that haven't gone to seed, etc.

This is my fancy coffee can compost bucket. It sits under the sink and holds my vegetable peelings, egg shells, coffee grounds (I use unbleached filters so I can throw them in too), and tea bags until I have time to take them to the pile. When it gets stinky I rinse it out with vinegar, add some baking soda, or change to a new coffee can (which I save for paints cans and compost buckets).

I turn my pile rarely. Sometimes I water it, but more often than not I don't. There is always some finished compost at the bottom of the pile to help start the next pile. None of this seems to matter because compost just happens.

There are some things you shouldn't put in your pile: human, cat or dog waste; meat, and dairy items are some of the biggies. I also avoid weeds that have gone to seed since I doubt my pile gets really hot. This compost guide lists more dos and don't for your pile, but don't get too bothered with the rules (other than the things to avoid, I DO follow that one), because (say it with me), compost just happens.

Once you have some compost, just add it to your beds and pots. This bed received an application of compost in the Spring, and that's it, no other fertilizers.

This post is my contribution to Blog Action Day 2007.

What Blooming Now

I almost skipped this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day because things are winding down in my garden, but considering that thing are still blooming in October, I thought I'd better document it!

So here's what's still blooming:

My coneflower! I'm still pretty excited to finally have coneflower blooms, after I just planted it this spring.

My rose just keeps going and going, and I've never noticed how wonderful it smells before. Yummy.

And I have one lone correopsis bloom left.

Also blooming:
  • Veronica Speedwell
  • Lavender
  • Pinks
  • Butterfly Blue Scabiosa (Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue')
  • Catmint (Netpeta)
  • tomatoes
And that's about it. This just reminds me that I need to plant more. Good thing there's always next year.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Neighborhood Garden Inspiration

My small, in-progress garden is winding down, so I thought I'd share some other great gardens from my neighborhood. As I drive around my neighborhood, some houses catch my eye more than others, the ones with the best gardens, of course. I buying flower 'm debating purchasing flower boxes for my house. The best flower boxes around are definitely the ones at this house. These boxes are always bright, vibrant and overflowing, even in October.

But my absolute favorite house around is this little lovely. It looks quite cottage-y and definitely provides some great inspiration for how I'd like my house to look one day. These pictures don't do the place justice (I felt a little intrusive taking them), but it's obvious these owners love their home and love plants.

There are interesting plants, ornaments and setting to look at all around the house. I drive slowly every time I pass it to see what's new.

Maybe I'll meet the ones one day and be invited beyond the gate and into the cozy back yard.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Finally, a Coneflower

It may be October, but it feels like August. This is bad for the electricity bill (I had to turn the AC back on. Boo.) but it's good for the garden. The teeny, tiny coneflowers I planted in late April are all grown up and blooming now. It's kinda sad how excited this makes me.

The cosmos I planted from seed is blooming too. With lots more blooms to come.

This is one tall plant too, around four feet. We've got one more 90 degree day tomorrow before things are supposed to cool down. And we're supposed to see some much needed rain.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Inspiration a la Apartment Therapy

If you care about home design, but haven't visited Apartment Therapy (my favorite home/design blog), now's the perfect time to get acquainted. Apartment Therapy is currently hosting their Fall Colors Contest which means a virtual jackpot of house porn for your viewing pleasure. And you can vote on your favorites!

Personally, I'd like to steal Nina's dining room:

Catiaelizabeth's living room

Melissa's bedroom:

and Melissa's sunroom:

There's even time to enter (by October 15) if you're so inclined.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Great Sofa Dilemma

Picking out my first sofa shouldn't take as long as picking out my first house, but it's looking like it might. Those closest to me know that I'm terribly, painfully slow at making big decisions, especially those involving large amounts of MY MONEY. It's taken me months to find a serious contender for my new sofa. I've been to every major furniture store (and most of the smaller ones) at LEAST twice. My boyfriend is threatening to start charging my mother for all the time he's had to spend sofa shopping because "she made me this way" (his words mom, his words). Who knew it would be so difficult, almost impossible really, to find a comfortable tan sofa with clean lines, covered in a durable fabric, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? But finally, finally, I have two finalists.

The second runner up is Macy's Corona. The lines aren't quite my idea of perfection, but they're darn close. It's quite comfortable, surprisingly so considering how streamlined it is. The only downfall, and the reason why it's my second runner up and not already on order, is the fabric. The "acrylic, polyester, nylon blend" feels a bit bit scratchy, but worse yet I'm sure our three cats will scratch and snag the heck out of it. This is the kind of fabric that would irresistibly satisfying to sink your claws in, even I can see that. And while it comes in three fab colors, it isn't available in any other fabrics. So *sniff" it's no Corona for me.

The first place contender is Macy's Kensington. It's new, our friendly salesperson told us, and isn't listed on the Web site. It's made by Bauhaus, but I can't find it on any Bauhaus site either, or anywhere on the Web period. Hence my crappy pic with even crappier Macy's mood lighting. The Kensington is comfty, although a little too cushiony for me and comes in a wide range of microfibers. The one fabric pictured above is actually a small, tasteful herringbone (unlike the hideous herringbone couch my boyfriend loved at another store - gag), not a solid tan, which is what I'm leaning towards. So the Kensington seems to be the best combination of comfort, style, durability and price that I've seen, but it's still not quite perfect. :( I'd love to find a review from someone who has this sofa!

My second big decision is whether to get a loveseat too, a Kensington chair, or entirely different chairs. I grew up in a couch-n-loveseat household, and I inherited couch and loveseat sets, so I'm kind of nervous about bucking tradition, but the chair is really comfortable. Better than the couch really.

Decisions, decisions. Did I mention the Macy's saleslady said they get totally new sofa designs in every few weeks? Maybe I should just wait. The perfect couch might be just a few weeks away! Just kidding, honey, just kidding.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin