The Bee Hive

Sometimes it's honey; sometimes it's sting...

Friday, May 16, 2008


The altered cut-offs are done! Or at least they will be after I heat set everything. I didn't even think about stamping, until Rice put up her video of that today. I really had nothing to stamp on them, since I had, unfortunately, jumped the gun and handwritten on them. (Gosh, it would have looked SO much better stamped!) But I wanted to try out her method while it was fresh on my mind. I didn't have the same ink and all that, so I used what I had. I was amazed at how well it worked! Before, I have always made a sloppy mess of stamping, but not one out of place smear anywhere, this time! Now I just hope that my ink will be colorfast enough to stand up to washing. Only time will tell. The numbers? Since I couldn't think of a single thing to stamp - well, that didn't need the letters G and Z which are missing - I decided to put the prefix to my cell phone number there in hopes that I will eventually be able to remember it, if I see it enough. I have trouble remembering numbers usually, and since I almost never need to tell someone my cell phone number or call my own phone or anything, I have never been able to remember it, even using my various 'tricks for remembering numbers'. We'll see if this works.
Isn't that a neat lettering style? I found the letter stamps at Goodwill a few years ago. Not a complete set, but they were only 50 cents.

I cooked the first of the squash today. The boys were over this evening, and as usual Mathieu was anxious to check the garden for things ready to pick. I think it was about 5 squash today. Later, Ray Burris called and we were talking about squash, and Mat ran to the refridgerator and then back to me and said, "Tell him we have 14!" I was sure it wasn't that many, but when I counted later, that's how many it was. I had taken Ray and Becky some chard and some mesclun the day before. Ray said he is growing squash too, and also eggplant. He said he'd bring me some soon. I like eggplant cubed and sauted then put in spaghetti sauce.

There are so many birds in the backyard this year, it seems. Maybe it is just that I am sitting out there more than previously. I've seen a green jay on two different days. I don't know if it was two birds or one who was hanging around daily. I've also seen at least two different varieties of hummingbirds. They are around all day, getting nectar from the vitex tree blooms, the pineapple sage, and other flowers. They try the hanging pot of geraniums too, but I don't know if it has nectar or not. The nastursiams that Mat and I planted are blooming, and the zinnia are almost ready to bloom. Other than that, it's been (mourning?) doves, Mexican doves, grackles, blackbirds, sparrows, barn swallows, pigeons, and scissortailed fly catchers. I think that is it for the past few days.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Not bad! I could have cut more mesclun, but I wore out in the heat. I did cut all of the chard though. The squash are starting to come really fast, and the okra and bell peppers are putting more on, daily. The tomato plants have small green tomatoes on them, too.

A friend from church called me last night to help serve a funeral dinner this morning. Some of us always have to be there extra early to get things set up and ready, and to receive food as it comes in. So we tend to go and visit and enjoy our time waiting. I took my altered cut-offs to show and to my surprise, everyone seemed to really like them. I say, 'to my surprise' because my style is kind of off-kilter and funky.

Annie had her 4 year old grandson, Colton, with her until her daughter got home and came to pick him up. Meanwhile, he and I colored in his Spiderman coloring book.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I stalled out a few days due to busy-ness, but am back on track now. Here is the front with the decoratively patched holes. Rice suggested free-form machine stitching around the edges, but I didn't have the special foot and couldn't figure out how to lower the machine's feed dogs either. So they are just plain... sewn.
And here is a shot of the back of the cut-offs with the smaller holes by the pockets. Whoever these jeans belonged to before me must have actually used their hip pockets a lot, or put strain on them somehow.
After the patching came the painting. I used what I had, which was Marvy Fabric Brush Markers. I really needed white to color the eyes and highlight things, but didn't have it. I bought the two different sets that Walmart had at the time, and no white in either.
Mathieu and Zach were here this afternoon, while I was finishing up the painting. I did it while swinging in the porch swing and balancing the shorts on my leg. That accounts for the semi-off lettering. I am just glad that I got all the letters in....especially since I did it completely backwards, starting with the last word at the bottom, so as to not run out of room at the bottom. So anyway, Mat wanted to paint some fabric too, so drew a few pictures on his toy truck holding bag that he brought with him. He wanted Coconut to get in the photo with him, and he gathered and arranged the old rake head and the hoe in the photo, too.
Here is a better look at Mathieu's artwork.
I took advantage of the boys wanting to come over, and had Zachary sweep the living and dining room and Mat help me bathe Coconut. Mat was also thrilled to check all the garden plants and the chickens. No extra egg this evening, but he did pick some squash.

Friday, May 09, 2008

THE GARDEN... and the Altered Cut-Offs

It is pretty tightly overgrown, isn't it? That half row of mystery vines (cucumbers? cantalopes?)that no one planted has spread out and taken over the middle, and consumed the squash plants, pretty much.
This is a sideways view. Pardon the tall grass. The man who mows our yard is sick, and has not been able to work for awhile.
Here is the view from the other direction. You can see the chicken tractor on the right, and the two small individual chicken tractors on the left. That area of plain dirt in the forefront is where the large chicken tractor was the previous two times. Don't they do a great job?! Tomorrow, I am going to put the chickens in their individual tractors again, up against one of the squash hills. The plants there are starting to look a little sick. I suspect the usual squash bugs or whatever they are called. Hopefully the chickens will take care of the problem, or at least not let it spread to the other hills. With the crowding, we may not be able to alieviate the problem(s), like dusty mildew or whatever it might also be, but with squash just days away from harvesting, this is the best it's done in the last few years.
Amy and Reagan came over and got some more mesclun today. That is still going strong. and so is the chard. I also put a straw mulch around the pepper plants today.

I forgot all about an updated photo of the altered cut-offs until just now. It's really overcast and too late in the day to get a decent photo, though. I will try to do it tomorrow. I got the patches sewed on, but after washing, the jeans and one of the fabrics frayed out a lot, so two of the patches are now unattached in places. Those spots will have to be done over.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


One of the many blogs I read regularly is Rice Freeman-Zachary's Notes from the Voodoo Cafe. Rice (I can't make the pronunciation mark over the 'e'.) makes gorgeous altered clothing of all kinds, plus painted, stamped, sewn, beaded wall hangings, and lots of other great things. Here is the address of her blog: She just started an easy project yesterday and invited readers to work along with her. So, finally, I am taking her up on one of these tutorials. It's not actually a hard-and-fast 'tutorial', more like just a craft-along type of thing. You do it however you want to.
First, I cut the lower legs off of a random pair of my Goodwill Store jeans. Seeing as how the holes they had were in a rather unfortunate place, I choose to patch them with the same denium, not a bright, eye-catching fabric.
Here is the inside shot of the patch before I trimmed it around the edges. Disregard the huge bump where it doesn't lay flat. Oh, well... More photos to follow. I should have taken one more photo of them from the other side, after the patch and the holes were trimmed neatly. I also didn't use the decorative freehand machine sewing around the patch like she did, in the interest of keeping the holes and patches as unnoticeable as possible down there. I do plan to make some new holes on the legs though, so those can be patched decoratively. Maybe I should get to that now, before I run them through the washer to fray the bottoms.
More photos later...
Also, what a difference two weeks makes. In looking at the previous photos of the garden, I realized how huge it has grown since then! I took update photos and will post those tomorrow, probably.

Monday, May 05, 2008


It won't be long until we have squash. So far, no sign of any kind of squash bugs. So far.
This bell pepper is still small, but it won't be long until it is ready to pick, too. Nissa is my garden buddy, so she came out from her cozy hidden den under the mystery vine, to pose with it. So far, this is the only pepper on any of the nine plants.

It rained again this morning, so all the plants ought to take another growth spurt. Maybe in a couple of days I'll have little tomatoes develop and the mesclun and chard will be leafed up enough, again, to get another cutting. I cut all of the remaining chard yesterday afternoon for a huge pan full for dinner last night, with enough left for another meal of it tonight. It will be a good while longer for the okra. The moon and stars watermelons didn't come up, unfortunately. I only planted one hill, because I was really short on room. I'll have to try those again. The onions are progressing, although they seem to be slowly 'digging' themselves out of the ground. Maybe they didn't get planted deep enough.


Sunday, May 04, 2008


I asked Zach to go out and cut some of the rainbow chard for dinner tonight. He came back with six leaves. I told him he sure was chinchy about it, but went ahead with just those, since I was already doing several things at once, including being in the midst of preparing dinner.
I cut up and sauted bacon about halfway, then added pressed garlic and the sturdier stems cut across into small pieces. When that cooked a little, I added the chiffonade... (chiffonade-d?) leaves, stirred to wilt them, then put the lid on and lowered the heat for 4 minutes.
Meager, but absolutely delicious! We divided the chard three ways. Next time, I will cut down on the percentage of bacon, so the chard stands out more. We also had an Amish tomato, cut into wedges and sprinkled with my fresh basil leaves (chiffonade, again!) and parmesan cheese.

Although I didn't get a photo, we had very small new potatoes, which I also bought from the Amish, when two friends and I went out to their farm on Friday. These were cut in half, sauteed and steamed with onions. The main dish was Chuck's pick - floured and fried cube steaks.

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