Tuesday, June 29, 2010

cooling down

doing a little tweaking to the blog. I'm manually editing the image size pic by pic, so I'm not sure how far back in history I'll go with it. (this is where an intern would come in handy!)

it's been a rough few days for the garden- high temps and no rain. I've been misting the plants as much as possible, which seems to be helping. lesson learned not to plant herbs from seed directly into a bed with full sun exposure. the tiny, young plants are too fragile to handle such hot sun. when the basil started getting thick I divided a few plants out and put them in a seedling tray. they're on a table which gets sun only part of the day and they are faring much better than the ones in the bed. the poor dill is having a really hard time of it. thankfully it started cooling down tonight and the next few days should be in the low 80's. I hope the weather holds out while the plants are in this state and they'll get a chance to grow a bit. there are also some tiny plants which I think are oregano (damn, I threw the packet away) and they're struggling too.

the zucchini is doing fine- gigantic leaves, hardy plant. I even have a small squash growing which should be ready in a day or so. the rest of the plants are hanging on with a lot of attention, and the tomato even seems to enjoy the heat- the larger of the two plants has its first yellow flower.

there are a few plants which have yet to find their home, still hanging on in their plastic pots from the garden center. I had been working regularly late into the evening as to avoid the mid-day sun, but now the mosquitos are making their presence. Citronella candles are on the list.

when I'm not working in the garden.... I'm coming up with a new collection for Old Hollywood. not only is their Limelight location going gangbusters, but they're moving their Greenpoint location to a larger spot, on Franklin Street. I'll try to take some pics of the new work tomorrow.

ciao for now.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

beans and eggplant

we got to eat our first beans today! okay, there were only three, but the flavor- wow. I don't really think the variety is haricots verts (literally french for green bean) as our neighbor had told us, or they would be very skinny. the skin has a velvety nap which feels smooth in one direction and spiky in the other. anyone know what bean variety this is?

it's a little hard to tell from the photos, but the eggplant is tiny- barely as big as half of my pinky. these will be ichiban eggplant- the skinny, thin-skinned variety. my favorite!

today we went back to Liberty Sunset (made the rounds of all three Red Hook garden centers- this one's my favorite) and got more topsoil and some compost. the mosquitos are becoming ridiculous (having a next door neighbor that neglects its yard doesn't help) so I looked up plants that would repel them. apparently they hate anything that has a lemon scent (thus the use of citronella as a repellant) so I bought a couple of bunches of lemongrass. plus I can cook with it! also a wandering jew, the name of which I think the L.S. employee was embarrassed to say. I sprinkled the patch with compost and filled it with topsoil and was able to finish just as it started to rain. love what the rain does to the garden- we're having a near- perfect spring into summer.

I asked the woman who helped me at Gowanus Nursery (from them I bought tall echinacea flowers, Coleus inky fingers and fava beans) about the birds attacking the Sedum. She said that they were going after aphids on the leaves- so it's a good thing! she assured me that the aphids have their life cycle and in due time I won't need to worry about it. in the mean time my plant is chewed to bits. I hung old cd's (was saving them for some special project) from fishing line. the sun's reflection on them is supposed to scare birds away. but as soon as I was finished hanging them and went inside, three birds flew right over to the plant.

I found out later that fava beans are a cool weather bean, to be planted in spring or fall. b suggested keeping them on the shady side of the garden till fall. don't know if they'll produce in the fall, but it's one more thing to learn about.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

red hook mercado

b and I made a nice little display with some of the ebmerc and molliedash merch at our own neighborhood mercado in early june. thought I'd share a few photos of the market and our cool neighborhood. you can view the whole set of pics on my flickr page.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

squash blossoms

I went out early this morning to photograph the open squash blossoms. they close as the day wears on and the sun gets brighter. a few have been dropping, so that's a good sign. I read somewhere that the male flowers blossom first and drop, before the female flowers bloom and fruit. all's going according to plan!

the eggplant is blossoming too.

see that? that's a tiny green bean! (click for a larger view)

the lavender is blooming!

morning glory is pretty, but extremely invasive. I probably spend half my gardening time plucking it out of the garden. this is one section I let go.

something is making a feast out of my stonecrop. not sure it's snails because it's on the upper leaves. it's the dang birds. caught them in the act this morning!

the lamb's ear is doing well though.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

big rain

this is my secondary compost pile, composed only of weeds and garden clippings. I went to check on the garden last thursday after a day and half of rain and found the pile covered with dozens of snails. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to transfer the pile further back in the yard, away from the veggie patch. I pulled 36 baby slugs out of the patch and moved them to the ivy-covered back fence. I then sprinkled the garden liberally with crushed eggshell and coffee grounds. we looked up other snail and slug prevention methods and found that they are adverse to copper. so next I will wind copper wire round the smooth wooden fence and frame. the strawberries ended up being a sacrifice- I hadn't bothered removing dead leaves and weeds from their bed, and the snails were madly attracted to the space. by the time I cleared it out and added fresh topsoil, it was too late.

but they're so cute!

basil and dill sprouting from seed! (the packet was a promo for no impact man's movie, given to me at the whole foods checkout last year.)

thyme, bought as a small plant.

the japanese eggplant is doing well- just flowered yesterday.

zucchini, getting big.

heirloom tomato, given to me by a neighbor.

haricots verts starting to flower, from same neighbor.

rescued this violet from the sun and snails, and now it's beginning to flower.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

flea market finds

mexican sheet silver earrings

faux turquoise pendant, heavy costume bracelet, anne klein snake chain, collection of mexican silver stacking rings, long gold filled rope chain

stamped mexican earring parts, heavy sterling drop, huge costume spangle earrings

gee-orgeous native american sterling silver and turquoise earrings

costume wing earrings

found yesterday at carroll park flea market!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I had an appointment to get my hair cut in Williamsburg (Hair Metal- it's the best. go there! get your hair cut!) so b came along and we made a day out of it. In fact hair metal is so good that I waited a full 14 months to get my hair cut after my last one. before I found the place, I was going from salon to salon, always slightly unhappy with both the results and the vibe (being rushed is not fun when it's your hair and your money) so sheesh- I'm so glad i found this place. this time I had the owner Ed, since the sweet woman who cut my hair last has since moved out of state. Ed is awesome. I always feel slightly uncomfortable in hair salons- he's the first stylist i've had who didn't give me that uneasy feeling. plus i love the whole *metal* concept- the place plays nothing but (at a comfortable volume) and has the walls painted in tattoo- inspired murals. I'm no metal head, but the salon somehow works for me.

after my cut we walked over to saint's alp for a snack. we had a few hours to kill until the next event, so I suggested we get b some new glasses. boy, does he need them! we wandered north into greenpoint and found the most awesome polish eyeglass place, right on the corner of manhattan ave. and meserole ave. the sort of generic name optical warehouse outlet doesn't do the place justice- b and I just remembered it being there since it's a few doors down from old hollywood. geared at the polish community in greenpoint, they have an amazing selection of frames and a very knowledgeable and helpful staff.

so then onto the L train and clear across to the west side of manhattan, for a visit to one of my favorite places on earth, the high line. the greenery is really growing in since it was planted last year, looking all full and lush. from 20th street we could see through the fence to phase ii, which is coming along and will add another 10 blocks to the park. heading down the stairs to exit, we were deposited in front of 7Eleven Gallery, which always has something fun going on. the current exhibition, make yourself at home, features installations of various rooms in a house, plus freestanding pieces, all made with funkified combinations of junk and found materials.

from there we walked along the hudson river park which itself has seen a huge transformation in the past year. so much beautiful landscaping has been added, along with improved walkways and grassy areas. near the chelsea piers we stopped by the new skate park, which was filled with (mostly) kids and some older folks on both skate boards and roller blades. too much fun!

then finally down to chinatown for ecoSalon shops! -sort of a covert, back-alley affair, only accessible by a human-operated freight elevator. I found out about it through feral childe's mailing list, but realized that ecoSalon was the same blog that had done a post on me months back, comparing my name to nancy drew! it was a really fun event, presenting eco-minded clothing and jewelry designers; purveyors of chocolate, vodka and tea; (all providing samples of course) and my personal favorite buddha nose, from whom I bought both their booster spray and heart spray. just the thing to freshen you up during the sticky summer!

and finally, finally, we grabbed a bite at our favorite chinatown vietnamese restaurant, nha trang.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

special request

remember Kate? you might think I'm making her up at this point- as if anyone could be that cool. so Kate came to me with an unusual request. her sister recently finished nursing school- and at the same time finished cancer treatment. so she requested that I design a necklace around her chemotherapy port. and this is what I came up with. I decided to go beyond the mixed chain thing I've been doing and accent the port with special treasures like coffee seeds and a sparkling piece of ruby. In this way I thought of the port as a talisman- something that had magical powers and had brought her sister good health and fortune.