Friday, August 11, 2017

If you plant it they will come


Over a year ago I ordered seeds for
milkweed since I heard there was a shortage
of it.  I had never seen it in a garden shop
but apparently they do have it,
as I bought some more this year.


Then I waited.  I wondered why I didn't see
a bunch of Monarchs flying around my garden.
I know that I had heard they are
endangered due to habitat being depleted.


Then I saw a page on FB for SE Michigan Monarchs
and I joined the group.  I saw everyone
posting about eggs they found on their milkweed.
So I thought I'd go take a look and....


And what did I find.... tiny white eggs the size of the head of
a pin on a few leaves. So the Monarchs were there. I just
had not seen them.  I put the eggs in a container and
waited and these tiny guys hatched. ~not sure
if that's the right term, but you get the idea.




How amazing that the eggs are put just
on the exact and only leaf that they must eat
to survive.  They then emerge
and begin eating and growing.


As they grew larger I moved them
out of their plastic food container
in which I had poked tiny air holes.
The one with the red lid to the left.


into to my
son's old frog habitat


Their container has to be cleaned often.
Since they eat a lot ....they poop a lot. 


So why might you ask am I bringing them inside.
Well as you can see by their size...
they would make a delicious bird meal. 
By bringing them in we are kind of helping
to give them a helping hand in
the hopes of increasing the population. 


As they get bigger I am super excited...
like a kid!  I am hopeful that
I will get to see transformations.
I have also learned caterpillars facts.
For instance caterpillars that
transform this late in the summer will
most likely take part in the big migration
from Michigan to Mexico.




I have 6 caterpillars in different stages


Fingers crossed all goes well
and all develop healthy and I can
release them to head out to Mexico.
I have learned that apparently
like anything they can get diseases & die.


Two have gone up to the top to start their transformation


Good luck guys!


~Natascha~

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Creative lessons


Not  everything always goes as planned.  I have learned a few
things by trial and error. Just a  simple painted plate, but
I learned with this one that the white glaze
no matter how thick doesn't show up well over dark colors. 
In the future I will pay closer attention to my light colors.


Not sure why the color pulled away from
the edges of the flower petals.
I will apply thick coats of dark
color if I want the solid effect
I do like the tan glaze with the green flecks in it though.



This one has a copper color metallic flecks along with green specks.





Hmm this one... all I can say is I do like the green
glaze with the blue spots.


Kind of cool, I think.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On to my next inspiration
Many ideas... just never enough time!

~~Natascha


Monday, August 7, 2017

Sharing Pond Flowers

The pond plants were getting over grown
in the pots so I was sort of
dreading separating and repotting them.
Mainly because it's a messy job.


I had a few barn friends ask me if I
had any extra pond plants to share. 
These are water irises that get pretty blooms



Dividing them up...


and I ended up with all these to share.


My pond plants are all nicely contained.
As I put them back in I set them on
bricks to keep the lip of the pot just above the water
level and this has greatly helped us with
having to clean the pond filter.


We don't buy Koi, as a Heron came by one
year and ate all our beautiful giant fish.

So now we buy feeder fish that were destine to be
some big fish's dinner.  Instead they came to our
little pond to live out their little fish life.


They seem happy!

I hope you have a great day!

~Natascha~




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My first Glaze Firing


I'm excited to show off a few of my first glaze firing.
This is my favorite...I think.

I love the green glaze pattern on the bowl!


As you can see below when they go in to fire
the colors look nothing like when they come out.


Many things can go wrong as the glaze heats up to
1800 degrees.  All items are put on stilts so that they
do not permanently bond to the shelves
that they sit on. The shelves are pricey, so  I just prayed I did
everything correctly on my first go around.


Thankfully all came out great.  Including my
9 year old nieces creations. 
I will brag about her bowl later as it's a birthday gift
for her Mama and I don't want to ruin
the surprise!


Cute little daisy bowl


This post can't express how excited and thrilled I
am to have my own automated kiln at home.
It's a dream come true and  sometimes I have to pinch
myself.  I am in awe and so thankful
of how Blessed I am.


This little violet bowl, I experimented with washing the
glaze thinly.  I wanted to see if it would
replicate a kind of water color effect.


I am pretty happy with my first run.  I will share more pieces later.
All these take  quite a few hours per bowl. 
Especially when you are experimenting and trying new things.


~Natascha~

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I do love books,


One of my goals this year was to read more and
get thru some of the many books I have bought
at book sales.  I just prefer paper books.
  It's always nice to find a good book at a
mark down sale. This is just a few of them
and I have cut myself off from buying any more
until I read some.
 

Sadly I haven't had the time to read like I'd like. 
Too many things to do outside in the garden,
plus my animals and art end up taking my priority after work. 
  My thought was a couple nights a week read before going to sleep.
 The problem is by the time I lay down to do this
I end up reading 2 pages and my eyes are so tired I can't focus.
  I don't seem to be making any progress on my many book piles.
  Maybe come winter... 
 
What I have been doing instead is
I use the Overdrive app and check out audio library books
to my phone and I can listen to them while I
drive or when I take my lunch walks.
 This way I can listen to a book while I do something else.
Multi-tasking....plus
it calms my road rage in hectic traffic and it's FREE.
 
So these are the books  I have listened to:
 
 
Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She's never even been on a romantic weekend away—to anywhere—before. Traveling abroad isn't really her thing. But when Nell's boyfriend fails to show up for their mini-vacation, she has the opportunity to prove everyone—including herself—wrong.  Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed: independent and intrepid. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life? Funny, charming, and irresistible, Paris for One is quintessential Jojo Moyes—as are the other stories that round out the collection.
 
At the time I hadn't seen the movie Me Before You so
I had no idea about the author's style.
Previews just looked so sad and depressing I opted out of seeing it
at the movies.  I did see it later as a rental.
It totally won me over and she
is now one of my new favorite authors,   I love her
British humor and  she has me laughing out
loud for real.  So after watching Me Before You I got this one.
 
 
How do you move on after losing the person you loved?
How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.
 
I liked it, and was glad to find out what happened to her.
I like when good stories continue on.
 
Then on to this one.  Like I said she is my new
favorite author.....
 
 
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the
Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.
 
The women in her books seem to be hard working,
down on their luck and I enjoyed seeing their pleasant endings.
This one had parts that made be laugh and I did
well up.  I loved it.
 
and lastly....
 
 
2009: When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it's a joke. She hasn't been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six, an event she remembers only in her nightmares. But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house―with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas―bits of memory start coming back. And then she discovers a pre-Raphaelite painting, hidden behind the false back of an old wardrobe, and a window onto the house's shrouded history begins to open...
1849: Imogen Grantham has spent nearly a decade trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, Arthur. The one bright spot in her life is her step-daughter, Evie, a high-spirited sixteen year old who is the closest thing to a child Imogen hopes to have. But everything changes when three young painters come to see Arthur's collection of medieval artifacts, including Gavin Thorne, a quiet man with the unsettling ability to read Imogen better than anyone ever has. When Arthur hires Gavin to paint her portrait, none of them can guess what the hands of fate have set in motion.
 
This book kept me going the ending was satisfying.  I just wish it would have went a bit further.
 I can't really say without giving it away, but all in all I was happy with it.
 
I am on to another audio book at the moment and we'll see if it's a good one.
 
So even if you don't have time to read, go online to your local library's site and see
if they have downloads.  You never have to leave your chair to check it out, down load and return books all with a click.  Can't get any easier than that!

Natascha
 
 
 
 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Growing Pretty Things


Thought I would share some of my July garden.
This year we have been plagued by tree diseases
and had them treated but a few trees still look sick.
They say next year it will be better.
My roses have a funguses and my veggie
garden isn't doing too great.  My raspberries also didn't
produce their normal quantity.  I don't know. 
I gave them good soil and fertilizer.
Just must not be a good year weather wise.


I was happy to find the red pillows
on clearance and added them to my chairs.
Can you tell my favorite color is RED??


Cartuu really loved sitting out on
the deck while visiting
with us.


I like the red & purple combo, but I am not a fan of these super
purple almost black petunias  above and won't be planting them
again in my boxes. 


This is my favorite flower box on my kitchen window.
I love the wildness of it.


The vines in the planters on the posts didn't do
what I thought they would but the flowers made up for it,
so they still look pretty.



My most favorite thing in the garden is my green house.  Love it!



A lot of the plants around my seating area
 on the deck are for privacy
and the annuals in the pots to attract
humming birds. I have a couple of feeders hanging up on the
post in the middle of the picture.
I was kind of disappointed because I only saw one,
once coming up to the deck.


The other day though, I was weeding and spotted not one,
but two buzzing in and out of my flowers.  They were flying around
each other like they were playing I was excited
to be able to get this pic.




Veggies and flowers are all mixed together in here


This year I did impatients in front of perennials for
the first time and they seem to be doing great.


 The gold fish pond is in there.  I like that the plants
are large they shade the water which makes it
not grow algae and also disguises it from predator's.



My really big pots out front with 3 yr old geraniums that
I winter indoors.  When in full boom they are as big
as a shrub and have well over 50 blooms on them.
That's the benefit of saving them.  They
get bigger and better. 


I love having a yard to grow pretty things.
I had a nightmare this week that my husband decided we
were moving to a condo.  I
was so upset.  I was like, but I won't have room
for my animals and I won't have my garden!!!
and then thankfully I woke up and it wasn't real. 

Have a great day!