"Everything should be made as simple as possible..but not simpler." Albert Einstein

developing an indoor garden

This is how it goes:

We have two cats.  They are indoor cats that want to be outdoor cats.  We have no houseplants because the indoor cats, upon seeing a houseplant, pretend that they are in the great outdoors and proceed to sit on, dig up and eat the plants.  I really like plants and since our winters are about 9 months long in Minnesota it gets to be a bit long to go without anything green.

In the last few years the resurgence of terrariums that are minimal and well designed (as opposed to the kind of cluttered, creepy ones I remember from the 70’s) had me thinking that that might be the answer to the cat/plant issue.  These terrariums designed by Paula Hayes pretty much blew my mind when I saw them.  So I started searching for a beautiful and interesting glass vessel.  And I found a few.  This one is perfect.  Except that it is $200.

Then I saw a glass cylinder planted with a single Sempervivum tectorum (hens and chicks) plant and it was so beautiful, simply showcased in the glass, that my terrarium idea got side tracked.  I’m not sure why I didn’t think about the fact that the glass cylinder was open on the top, but all of a sudden I was on a mission to find some similar glass containers and plants.  I easily found an inexpensive set of three at ikea.  Then a quick trip to the garden center for rocks, charcoal and cactus mix, and my favorite local flower shop, Spruce for cute little succulents (and a maidenhair fern), and I had a mini indoor garden.  Only after I finished planting them did I realize that this would be no deterrent at all for the cats.

Within the space of 5 minutes there was dirt and succulents strewn from one end of the house to the other.  I swept it all up, replanted, and now the plants and cats are under strict surveillance.  It’s kind of a lot of work and stress keeping watch, but damn if the garden doesn’t look pretty.  The chubbiness of the leaves are killing me.  The things we do for design….

One other geeky design thing – check out the cut glass edge on the container below.  I got this one at Spruce and it’s soooo much nicer than the ones from Ikea.  And it was only $7.95.

making a quilt

I’ve been wanting to try making a quilt for awhile.  I made one once, a long long time ago, without really knowing what I was doing.  This time I’d like to be really careful and make it in a way that will last like traditional quilts do.  I think I’ve finally decided on a design -a zig zag.  The pattern looks difficult but when you break it down into individual blocks it’s pretty simple.  There is only one block and you just rotate it.

I’m going to use this tutorial for a zig zag quilt over at the purl bee, but I will change the size of the blocks to be a little smaller and have the zig zag occur every row.  I will also be relying on my many quilting friends for moral support:)

I’m thinking about dyeing my own fabric too.  I like the more mottled, subtle colors you get from hand dyed fabric.

These quilts by Kim Eichler Messmer are the most beautiful quilts I’ve ever seen and they are made with hand dyed fabric.