The Big Update
OK, so I know that 2 months is a long time to go between posts, but life has been crazy.
After my last post the end of winter semester was approaching, which is always a wild time. Plus, summer term starts immediately after exam week, so I was getting prepped for that. We were also getting ready for Crown Tournament and the Kingdom A&S Competition. I also received a commission for some silk pennants that I wanted to have done to deliver at Crown as well.
I ended up teaching 4 classes for the first 7-week summer semester, two face-to-face and two online. While this was a lot of work, I am grateful for the extra money, since typically I only taught 2 classes in the summer. Those classes have ended now – I loaded the grades into the official system yesterday!
Friday of the Crown Tournament weekend, after we were already down in Kentucky, my mother called to let me know that my father was in the hospital. It turns out that he was having a stroke, but luckily they recognized what was happening and were able to get him medical care right away. He’s been in rehab for about the past 3 weeks and is scheduled to go home tomorrow. He’s doing fairly well, though it is a slow process and clearly frustrating for him.
So of course we did not progress as far in the Tournament as we would have liked. There’s always next time!
I received a second place on my embroidery project in the A&S competition – missed a first by that much (less than three-tenths of a point). I appreciated the commentary of my judges and I’m working with the Kingdom Minister of Arts & Sciences to update some of the criteria for my particular category.
I also had to put on hold the silk pennant project because I got a little too enthusiastic in applying the paint, so it started to run past many of the resist lines. I had to start over on a couple of the pieces to get an end result that I was happy getting paid for. I was able to finish them within a couple of weeks and delivered them at Northern Oaken War Maneuvers. My customer was really pleased with the pennants and even said he’ll probably have more projects for me after Pennsic!
I also taught a silk painting class at Border War this past weekend and I’ll probably be teaching it again at RUM this fall.
Last week I set to work weeding the flowerbeds we have in front of our house. There’s one immediately in front of the porch where we have a bunch of crocus, hyacinth, Japanese iris and tulip bulbs along with several hosta plants, a few gladiolas and a few Asiatic lilies. Then we have a second bed at the front edge of the yard where it slopes about 3 feet down to the sidewalk. A couple of years ago, we stripped the grass off the bank and planted a bunch of vinca as groundcover which is filling in nicely. Last year we made a long strip of a flowerbed along the top of the bank and planted some mums that our neighbor had given us.
Over the weekend (first one home in a month!) we went out looking for some petunias, but since it’s a little late in the season we had to look around for a bit. Monday we bought 3 flats of petunias and a flat of marigolds from Motman’s, a local greenhouse. Tuesday evening we went out and started planting. We had to wait until after the sun started to go down because it’s been HOT lately – Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were all in the mid-90s!
So Tuesday night, we planted 2 flats of petunias (72 plants) in the bed at the top of the bank between the mums. I’m looking forward to them filling in and flowering more. I bought what’s called the “Total Madness” mix – red, pinks, purples, white – so it should be really nice and colorful once they get going. Luckily, the temperature for the next 10 days or so is supposed to be more moderate so the poor things won’t be killed in the heat!
Wednesday evening I worked around the bulbs in the bed by the front porch and planted the last flat of petunias. The hostas there are doing pretty well, though I’m thinking I might need to move the one on the end that I think is getting a little too much sun. I’m also thinking of taking up all the bulbs and re-setting them so that there’s a space for perennial planting in the future and I don’t have to play the bulb lottery when I want to plant something else! I’m happy to see that the little “Dancing Stars” hosta I got as a freebie from Burpee a couple of years ago is starting to do a little better. It actually has about 6 leaves this year!
Finally, we planted the marigolds along the very top edge of the bank and among the vinca plants to add a little color and fill in there. I’m also thinking that doing a little digging will help some of the vinca tendrils start to root themselves in the bank as well. Of course, there’s one that managed to get up over the edging into the flowerbed, so that will have to be dug up and re-set at some point!
What’s next? Well, this weekend we will be at my parents’ house again since my god-daughter’s graduation party is on Saturday. After that, I have a lot of house projects to work on. I need to get my former sewing room cleared out so we can get that set up as the book room/guest room. Plus, it’s time to get ready for Pennsic! I can’t believe there are only about 5 weeks left to go. I’m not planning on much sewing this year. I have a dark green underdress cut out that’s been waiting to be sewn since Christmas and I have the fabric for a yellow-gold apron dress to go over it.
We also lucked out with a new in box food dehydrator on Craigslist last week and I’m planning on drying some meats to take to Pennsic for easy meals that don’t need to be kept cool.
More on those projects to follow…