Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Oh, it's May? Already?

The last 7 months have been a bit of a whirlwind, but things seem to be calming down a bit and once I'm past June 8th, I'm free and clear for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, what's been up?

  • Well, I attended Craftcation in April and loved it.
  • I'm getting bees.
  • I'm almost through with loquat season, which, unfortunately this year has not been nearly as productive (entirely my fault)
  • I've planted, but not nearly the spring garden I was hoping for by this point
Over the next couple of weeks I'm planning on replanting my cucumbers as SOMETHING (I suspect squirrels) ate the plants right out of the ground, roots and all. When I told the owner at the garden shop, he barked; 


"All of them?" I asked. 


OK then.  Apparently, I am to encircle the cucumber plants in these spices, which I have now purchased in bulk to sprinkle throughout my garden. I have to replant 2 artichokes as one just died a miserable quick death and another one stuck around looking runty until one of the chickens scratched it right out of the earth. Damn chickens.

All the chickens are doing well. Gave their coop a nice, thorough scrubbing this weekend after attending the UC Pathology lecture on backyard chicken diseases. Frankly, I'm used to medical slides but the necropsy slides from the pathologist...well, I needed to clean the coop. Thankfully, I'm not going to post any pictures.

As for the bees, I'm going to be hosting two hives of my very own at a sanctuary up north a bit near Westlake Village. I'll post photos as I put the boxes and frames together and get them painted up all pretty.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Countdown to Hallowe'en - 23 days

This year I barely held on until October 1st to start decorating and I had a ton of fun. Here's some proof.

I had pumpkin oatmeal and pumpkin coffee for breakfast.  Yum.

I've so far taken down the first two of the bins from the garage and started emptying them out onto the craft room floor to see what surprises are inside.

This year, especially as I'm completely reworking my theme, I'm getting rid of a lot of props from years past. There are so many props that, maybe I put out, but I don't give much thought to. Also, I have some that are wearing a little thin.  This is also the last year I will use my cemetery columns.  I had a ton of fun building them, but they take up SO much room in my garage and I am on the verge of inheriting a very fun tool called a ShopSmith.

Those of you who are haunters and know about the Shopsmith are probably insanely jealous. I would be if I wasn't the one inheriting it!!! My in-laws are moving out of their home and my father-in-law has used his for more than 50 years and it is in excellent condition. The Mr. is certain I'm going to take off a finger, but as my father-in-law and my grandfather both lost fingers, I am determined to be the first in the line to die with all fingers firmly attached.

Anyway, the Shopsmith is coming and props will be built for 2014. I am especially eager for a new fence next year that can be stored against the wall of the garage and will surround the whole yard to keep out eager little hooligans.  I've only had one item broken in the past, but I've also gotten some more expensive props in the last couple of years and am a little more worried.

Back to Hallowe'en 2013 though, I'm going to work up a quick chain across the columns for this year to keep out the wandering hoardes.

More to come tomorrow.

I love Hallowe'en!!!! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hallowe'en spell check

Oh Target. Why?  Do you not have spell check?

Did you not have a dictionary that was from this (or last) century? I mean, if you were going for archaic, then fine, but I don't think you were.

In this particular century, it's spelled venomous.  With an "O". Just saying.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The page has turned

It's officially October and time for the Countdown to Hallowe'en to begin!

Being born and raised in Los Angeles, I've never been anywhere else for Autumn, but I hear all about bright orange and red leaves and apple cider smell and crisp cool mornings.

Here's my ode to Autumn in Los Angeles.

There's nothing like the smell the Santa Ana winds coming in and setting all of the foothills ablaze so that the sky is pumpkin orange and cobweb gray and store-bought tombstones floating down the street with each gust of wind.

The sight of teenagers wearing their Ugg boots and shorts and a plaid scarf, pretending that the mornings are crisp and cool, but it's actually 88 degrees and they're just desperate.

Pumpkin "patches" popping up on deserted corner lots with petting zoos and $30 pumpkins because they had to be trucked in from Central California. The lots will shortly turn into Christmas tree fields filled with flocked and bedazzled trees of every sort and then back to dumping spots for torn couches and stained mattresses.

Trader Joe's shelves emptied of their "This pumpkin walks into a bar" and pumpkin cake mixes. Every denizen ready for the onslaught of pumpkin spice lattes on another warm Hallowe'en night.

I personally love all of this. It is my favorite, my sacred time of the year.
I wish you all a very Happy October all!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

6 weeks!!!

I'm getting super-excited about Hallowe'en this year. I've spread out some of my boxes and unpacked one or two of them. I'm getting nervous about having everything done in time. You know, grand plans and all.
As I wrote earlier this month, my theme for this year is "Something Wicked".

I got the cauldron I was looking for and I'm waiting until next weekend, the 28th and 29th to unbox a couple of fun props I bought last November in the post-Hallowe'en sales. Yes, they've been sitting under my desk, still in their wrapping for almost a year.  I'm a very patient woman.

I also got some eyeballs in the mail this week.  Fun!

As you can see from the sidebar on the right, I am participating in Countdown to Hallowe'en this year for my 4th year. I am represented this year by Post's Yummy Mummy!  Throughout the countdown, I am going to try to post 3 times a week throughout the month of October. We'll see how that goes. I recommend searching through the rolls over at Countdown as there are some super fun Hallowe'en bloggers over there.

In the meantime, I have had my first pumpkin spice latte of the year, though I have not yet indulged in any pumpkin snacks.  We'll see how long that lasts!

Also, in garden news, these are my 4 latest gleans. Aren't they just gorgeous!

Friday, September 6, 2013

The cutest problem

I have a problem.

I can't get anything done when I get home in the afternoon anymore.

Used to be, I would get home and start working on Hallowe'en props. Sewing. Knitting hats.

Now, I can't do any of that.

I can't even read email.

Why? You ask.

Scratch my belly, mommy! Both hands!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September is here!

And you know what that means!  It's almost Fall!

And you know what that means! It's almost Hallowe'en!

So, of course, the craft room is full of styrofoam and detached hands groping for the sewing machine and the garage is full of spray paint, glue, caulking and all manner of toxic fumes.

The theme this year at Bluestocking Farm is "Something Wicked".  First project on the docket for September is a Book of Shadows, the witches' personal cookbook of spells. I'm also embroidering a number of spells on linen.

On my current wish list is a large copper cauldron. I have a few smaller ones, but the large one will be a centerpiece.

My really big goal for this year is to get the lighting right.  Over the years I've been using solar lighting and frankly, it has sucked. First, it dies by 9 p.m. and second, it's not terribly strong. I'd love to learn how to do the LED spotlights we learned at Scare L.A. with the So. Cal. Valley Haunters, but I'm not sure I'll be able to figure out how to set it up in time.  After all, there's only 56 days...

So much to do, so little time.