The Magic of Snail-Mail: Gjeometry Crafts

Who doesn’t like finding personal mail in their mailbox?  Nobody I know, that’s for sure!  It’s become a rare commodity, so much so that many postal services are going broke.  I’m happy to report that we bloggers are doing our part, one wonderful note, card or parcel at a time.

Through my blogging community and Craft-it-Forward projects, I’ve received numerous goodies in the mail.  Last week was no exception.  Catja, over at Gjeometry let me squeak into her pay if forward list, even though I was number six and the cut off was five.  You can read a bit more about it on her blog. (Thanks once again, Catja).

Look what arrived in the mail.

gjeometry apron collage-188

Catja sent me this beautifully sewn, dual-toned apron sporting three large pockets and several tabs for holding tools.  The body of the apron is an incredibly soft rayon tweed with a subtle pattern, a cross between herringbone and check.  The face of the apron is a sturdy, floral canvas, trimmed in brown.   I *love* it!

Catja included a thoughtful note written on a card embedded with annual and perennial seeds.  I’ll be able to keep the card, and slip out the seed insert for planting next spring.  What a treasure.

embedded seed card

Bloomin’ Flower Card

The spoiling didn’t stop there.  She also sent a volume of essays called The Roots of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden.  I can’t wait to dive in.  Here’s a quote:

There’s a mystery at the heart of gardening: Why would any sane person spend hours on hands and knees, courting aching joints and a ruined back, just to raise a bunch of plants? He simple answer, of course, is that gardening is an obsession that cannot be conquered or abandoned, only indulged.  The richer, more complex and more human answer can be found in the pages of The Roots of My Obsession.

I see joyful reading ahead.

gardening essays

Personal essays on why we garden

On the subject of spoiling, our resident felines received a treat as well.  It seems, Catja’s mom is also crafty.  She knit this wooly purple octopus for the kitties.  It arrived with a small opening for cat nip, with a length of yarn attached to sew it closed.  Our catnip plant is just now dying back for the winter. I pinched off a few of the leaves for their new toy.  Here’s a shot of Mighty Mouse checking it out.

knitted octopus

Tiny octopus

Mighty Mouse loves the new toy

Mighty Mouse loves the new toy

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Catja, for your thoughtfulness.  I admire your style, your grace and your creativity.

You can check out Catja’s blog at Gjeometry.  Her kitty features prominently in most of her posts. Here are a few of my favorites:

Blogging vs. Facebook

facebook snip 2013Do  you have a Facebook account? I have a handful of friends who are hold-outs, but the number of account holders globally is staggering.  Many of my readers land here as a result of Facebook. More and more though, other social platforms are sharing the love.

When I sit down to write Gardening Nirvana, I’m generally armed with photographs, possibly research and the seed of an idea.  Writing a blog every day is hard work, but it grows on you…just like gardening!

Some days my blog “writes itself,” but more often than not it takes work. While I’m busy procrastinating, I leave a window open with Facebook. You never know what might inspire you, right? WordPress is all business, offering editing prompts such as “Save Draft” or “Add Media.”  I’ve noticed lately that Facebook is much more touchy-feely:

facebook snip how are you feeling

How am I feeling?  Well…I made the mistake of reading a comment in my Spam Folder.  Honestly, I really ought to know better. Most of the “comments” are advertising ploys but this one had the sense of legitimacy.  Here’s what it said:

“The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you’d have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.”

My Facebook tribe set me straight while at the same time piling on the loveliest comments.  Most of my blog readers are the same. I’m feeling better with all that support. I’m also sorry for anyone with so much negativity in their heart.

facebook snip what's happening

Let’s see…well, the broccoli is looking really good.  It’s dark green, pest free and almost ready for harvest.  The cauliflower didn’t survive the frost, so I finally yanked it out and tossed it into the compost heap. I tried an orange from our tree today, but it wasn’t as sweet as I would like.  I’ll try again in another week.  I see a gallon of fresh-squeezed juice in my future.  Be sure to stop by for a glass.

One of the tulips is popping up between the potted cyclamen. I’d forgotten all about it.  Otherwise, is sure looks like winter out there.  Brown, cold, dry, repeat.  Not a drop of rain in sight, either.  [heavy sigh]

Note to self: I hope no one interprets that heavy sigh as whining.

Gardening Nirvana reader. What’s happening?  How are you feeling? I’m so glad you stopped by.

Thanks to you: Where The Journey Takes Me

Thank you so much to Where The Journey Takes Me, for including me in her list of Very Inspiring Bloggers. I’m touched.

Vivien writes: “I live in a small old mill town nestled into the Pennine hills in Yorkshire with my long-suffering husband of thirty some years. I have two beautiful daughters who have flown the nest (most of the time!). I paint and draw (a little) when time allows, make and bake sometimes but not often enough and garden and grow things as much as possible. I recycle and up-cycle, hate waste and I couldn’t live without my time planner and lists.

Follow my journey with me and do let me know if you stop by I would love to hear from you.”

Please forgive my shameless rule breaking, but since I follow (and am inspired by) so many wonderful blogs, I couldn’t begin to limit my list to ten. I hope my love, respect, admiration and loyal following speaks volumes.  I’m inspired daily by the creativity each of you brings to the blogging community! Thanks once again, Viv.

blog-award 3

Look Ma, No Ads!

A little housekeeping was in order at gardeningnirvana.  First up, no more ads!  When I started this blog I had two to five “hits” a day, so I guess WordPress couldn’t be bothered.  Then my following grew.  Hurray and thank you. At some point, ads magically appeared at the end of each post. I never saw the ads, and didn’t know they were there until a friend pointed them out.

I hope you enjoy the ad-free experience.

Next up, I created a new page featuring my various iterations of a fairy garden.  I started one on a whim, and had so much fun, that I’ve kept it up all year.  It’s a terrific creative outlet.  It’s also a way to garden on a smaller scale.  If time or space is limited, you might want to give it a go. You can see photos of the miniature garden evolution at Fairy Garden Frivolity.

Thanks for reading, commenting and liking my posts. I look forward to logging on every day.

Fairy Garden Collage

Boomdeeada: One Lovely Blog Award

If you haven’t stopped by Boomdeeadda, you’re in for a treat. Boomdee’s clever and creative blog covers eclectic topics ranging from animals to vintage.  She loves the color aqua and weaves it throughout her posts. I look forward to reading her blog daily. It’s always upbeat, personal and informative.

Among my recent favorites:

Boomdeeadda CM Page

Continuing the One Lovely Blog Award Tradition:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog in your post.
  2. Share seven things about yourself.
  3. Nominate seven bloggers you admire.
  4. Leave each blogger a comment letting them know they’ve been honored here.

Seven Things

  1. I love dancing. I don’t do it enough.
  2. The spelling of my name Alys dates back to the 1600s.
  3. I love the smell of the earth, the sprout of a seed and the joy of a changing garden.
  4. I never get tired of holding babies.
  5. Things I’ve done in spite of my fears: scuba diving, para-sailing and holding my cat as he slipped away.
  6. I used to cover my short, red, curly hair with my mother’s black slip so I could pretend I was Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet.
  7. I enjoy the sound of a purring cat, fizzy champagne and my husband’s laughter.

Seven Super Bloggers

  1. A Detailed House Blogging about architectural details and design symmetry.
  2. A Nature Mom “Playing outdoors and exploring the wonders of nature…every day.”
  3. As Time Goes…Buy Fashion and fun, all rolled into one.
  4. David Hobson’s Garden Humour “To boldly grow where no man has groan before.”
  5. Pillows-a-la-Mode An education writer who loves to make pillows and crafts in her free time.
  6. The Pyjama Gardner.  PJ blogs with humour about her spacious and inspired garden.
  7. Romancing the Bee  Making urban beekeeping beautiful.

Thank you, Boomdee.  It’s been a joy getting to know you.  Thanks to all my readers for making this a special place.

Versatile Blogger Award: A Flower for my Blog

VBA Button

The origins of the Versatile Blogger Award are a  mystery.  I’ve seen the award on other sites, but can’t  trace it back to its start.  One clever blogger created this site with instructions for award nominees, but the guidelines seem to vary from post to post.  What I do know is the “button” comes in my favorite color and it has a flower in the lower corner.  Pretty cool, eh?

The nomination/award is a gesture of goodwill and an opportunity to support fellow bloggers.  Many thanks to My Botanical Garden (intergenerational) for the Versatile Blogger Award.  What a nice surprise and a gracious gesture.

If you are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog.  I’m honored and flattered.

In turn I’d like to pass the Versatile Blogger Award to the following five bloggers.  You inspire me:

  1. What’s Green with Betsy?!?: Betsy is “passionate about good health and protecting the environment since the early 1970′s and is eager to share her knowledge.”  Please take a look.
  2. Mini Manor Blog: Ashlee “Believes life can be simple, organized, functional, beautiful and green. She blogs about just that, on a one income budget, in a two income world.”  Her blog is full of beautiful photos and great ideas.  A fun, light, enjoyable read.
  3. Purple Pixie in Dixie: I admire her spunk and appreciate the day-to-day tone of her posts.   She writes, “Every day Kentucky is feeling more and more like home.  I have been blessed to be able to stay at home with Violet.  I am blessed to be able to explore my creative side.  I love to scrapbook!  I like to try different crafts, and now I’m learning how to sew.  I love to cook, too, and I am starting to do it more often.” Pop on over and see what she’s up to.
  4. Compassionate Citizen: New to the blogosphere, she writes eloquently about, “…doing my best to live a life of compassion and non-violence.  I often speak out for victims of abuse who cannot speak for themselves, including some of the most under-served: the world’s animals, especially those used by humans for food.”  Please show her some love.
  5. Christine Schoenwald: Adventures in Nutland: Christine is a fabulous writer.  Her posts are as insightful as they are hilarious.  She’s received several “Editor’s Pick” on Open Salon.  Take a look, and let me know what you think.

Honoring  the final request: seven truths about gardeningnirvana:

  • I’m tall (5’10”)
  • I like to sing in the car at the top of my lungs
  • Even though I organize for a living, it remains one of my favorite hobbies
  • I lived without a TV for five years and didn’t miss it
  • I’m not a morning person at all but I still get up at 5:25 three days a week to attend a fitness camp.
  • I love Rooibos tea
  • I’ve been collecting tea tags for over 30 years

Tea Tag Collection
30 years later and it still fits in one jar

Happy St. Patrick’s Day: Garden Limericks

I composed a few garden limericks in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

As a gardener I find much to love,
even weeds at the end of my glove.
I once kept a log,
then I learned how to blog,
hence combining two hobbies thereof.

In my garden I learned how to sow,
tiny seeds laid all in a row.
Then I wait for the pests,
snails and rats never rest,
hoping one day something might grow.

“May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.”Irish Blessing

Weeds, Masquerading as Clover

The Long View