Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Works in Progress

I’ve been out in my garden (finally) for the past few days. Last year, I didn’t have a lot of interest in it, mostly because we were infested with wasps and I got stung too many times. This year, I decided not to let the wasps keep me away and bought some nasty spray to eradicate them. I don’t like to use chemicals around here because of all my animals who free-range but getting stung and not being able to enjoy the spaces I have built just didn’t make sense either. Happily, the wasps aren’t around too much this season. I’m ready for them if they start to multiply.

I've been digging and weeding. Two years of growth without weeding surely isn't a good thing. It is good exercise and hopefully I will keep interested - maybe even enough to actually have friends over for a garden party. It is so hot though that if I don't tackle it early enough it isn't pleasurable.

Every year I plant a lot of zinnias for bouquets in the house. Usually I order seeds from Johnny’s up in Maine. It goes like this: I order too many seeds. I put them in the ground too close together. Then I fail to weed and thin them quick enough and I end up with a disaster. I always get blossoms but it ends up looking a mess by the end of the season. At least we live at the almost end of a road and I don’t have to worry what the neighbors think. I really love that about living here. No neighborly peer pressure for a perfect lawn or a neat flower bed – so totally unlike where I grew up in NJ.


Back to the blossoms. This year, I decided to purchase plants from the fine folks at Walker Farm in Dummerston, Vermont. They grow lots of varieties of plants I really like. I'm hoping that by putting in larger plants, they will get a head start and I won't have the mess I usually end up with. Stay tuned. Walker Farm is a fabulous place - they were featured in the NY Times a couple years ago and if you are going to Green Mountain Spinnery and like to garden, I highly suggest a visit.

There really isn’t anything I don’t like about zinnias. The colors are bright and cheerful. They give me lots of blooms with relatively little work and once they get going, they don’t stop until the frost kills them.


At the end of last summer, I was contacted by the folks at Mary Englebreit’s Home Companion. They told me they were doing a feature on zinnias and asked if I would make up some zinnia inspired embroidered things for the feature. I was overjoyed because I have been trying to get in there for years with no success. I made up some zinnia colored bookmarks and espadrilles with embroidered zinnias and sent them off. When you do stuff for magazines, it is always a crapshoot. Things can get pulled at the last minute because they need a page for an advertisement or because plans change. But if you do get featured, magazines such as these stay around in people's houses because they are beautiful and have lots of fun decorating ideas in them. I didn’t hear back from them until March when a writer called and asked a few questions. Good sign – maybe it would happen. Fingers crossed until......

Yesterday in the mail, I received the August/September issue of ME Home Companion. No note or anything – but there they were on pages 54 (small photo of my espadrilles and page 58 (a full page of my bookmarks). Those sweet people even called my book Colorful Stitchery a how-to bible. Boy, am I flattered.


So, if you subscribe, look for the photos. The pictures here I snapped before sending them off to be photographed just in case the projects were never returned (happily, they were).


Thanks to everyone at ME Home Companion – for writing about embroidery and letting me contribute a couple projects to inspire your readers. Congratulations on your ten years of publishing this inspiring publication.

17 comments:

Lora said...

I look forward to my issue even more now. I love it when people I "know" appear in the magazines I subscribe to...it's like seeing a friend get a huge award!

Felicia said...

I am so living vicariously through you and your garden. I'm not having one this year as I'm watching to see what comes out of the ground this first year in the new house. Next year though, watch out! LOL

mary lou said...

i love zinnias, too. the only thing not to love is the powdery mildew, but i can live with it.

Willow said...

I enjoy zinnias, too. But this year, the neighbor's dog dug out the pots I'd planted the zinnia seeds in and buried her bones!

Congrats on the ME article! I'll alert my sil to watch for it as she subscribes.

Kathleen C. said...

Congrats on the ME photos! I really like the magazine and look for it whenever it comes out. I definitely will pick up this issue.

I love zinnias too. In fact I love all kinds of those colorful mutli petal type of flower. I'm so late planting anything this year though (because of a move) I don't know if I'll ever get to it.
I guess I'll have to live vicariously through your flowers.
Oh, and I'm still trying to get my entry to the stitch-a-long ready to post... I'm still doing it!

K. said...

I plant lots of zinnias every year for the same reasons you do. And compared to other flowers, they last forever. If a vase full of zinnias can't cheer a person up, what can?

knittingiris said...

There just isn't much better than a bunch of zinnias, or even just one, for that matter. Unfortunately we don't seem to get enough heat here for the bigger, taller ones to do much, maybe one or two blossoms before the first frost. The smaller ones do OK some years, though. Maybe I'll try again by starting them early inside and once there's a fence to keep the deer out, hopefully next year.
As for the embroidery, it's beautiful! It's funny, because just last night, I embroidered some rather similar flowers up the legs of a pair of knee high socks, but in blue and yellow tones.
I'll have to keep an eye out for the new ME issue. What a nice surprise for you.

Peg-woolinmysoup said...

Congratulations! Beautiful work!
Zinnias are there for me, along with Cosmos!

Anonymous said...

As for weeding....once you get things cleared out (my next-door neighbor and I used shovels a few years ago to GREAT success!)...I recommend a shuffle hoe...some people call them stirrup hoes or dutch hoes....they cut the weeds down just below the surface of the dirt....you can leave the remains as they fall. The suffling also creates a fine layer of dusty dirt on the top of the ground....my mother called this 'grey mulch'. They are a wonderful tool for the gardener who doesn't want to be nose-to-nose with every weed in her garden!

Lee in Iowa

Kathie said...

Those bookmarkers are lovely! Simple yet so pretty. I don't know if I could ever come up with projects "on demand" - I'd probably go blank. Congratulations on getting into the issue!

Lisa W said...

How nice for you. I think I see a lot of zinnia inspired colours in your work.

Kathie said...

Congratulations on more characteristically colorful press coverage. I was first introduced to your work (and to your terrific home) when you were featured in County Home back in 2004. Still have that issue--so inspirational to me. May this ME exposure bring you lots more fans.

Brigitte said...

Kristin, the magazine's people are quite right. "Colorful Stitchery" is a wonderful how-to bible. And it doesn't surprise me that you also love zinnias! :-) They're as colorful as your stitchery or is it the other way round??

Peggy said...

Is there another flower that gives and gives and gives like zinnias? I usually always plant them from seed and yes I end up with the same mess you spoke of. But it doesn't stop the zinnias from being beautiful and continuing to give wonderful cut flowers to adorn the home.

martha said...

For three years I've held onto the 2004 July/August issue of Country Home because of the pictures of your beautiful home. Your use of colors and texture is inspirational. The idea I copied from that issue was putting a vase of flowers (you used zinnias) on a stack of plates in a cupboard. I look forward to checking out ME HC.

farmerjulie said...

Hi , congrats on Home Companion. I will have to get that! I love zinnias too. I also love fever few, and sunflowers, ans cosmos. so easy to grow for summer bouquets!! I planted green zinnias this year. they have not bloomed yet though.

susan b anderson said...

Those are beautiful projects, Kristin. How exciting. I subscribe to ME and I can't wait to see your work in there. Congratulations.