Monday, March 19, 2012

totes over gardens

The weather has been so unseasonably warm and inviting that even I thought it might be nice to garden this weekend.  The dogwoods are in bloom, including these massive giants that I can see outside my bedroom window.

our GIANT Dogwood trees. LOVE!

So there I was, trying to enjoy the good weather and do some much-needed work in our flower beds.  After the glow wore off, I believe I muttered "I hate plants" more than once.  It's a feeling born of desperation, my response to the reality that I cannot win out there.  The weeds just keep coming back.  The wrong plants grow everywhere and the right plants wimp out.  Who am I, little old me, to stand alone against mayhem in all those many beds?

Besides, I don't like it - darn it!  I want to.  But, I don't.

Our home is 50 years old.  The garden represents 50 years of rambling from someone who apparently enjoyed gardening.  I've lost count of how many random lawn decorations and decrepit bird houses we've discovered and trashed over the years.  On Saturday, while I was weeding so despairingly, I decided we needed to remodel the yard.   Simplify.  Have less to do.

On Sunday my mom came over to lead the charge.  She's a total green thumb. I showed her the area I wanted to change, getting rid of one flower bed and shrinking another.  She gave it too me straight - I needed to declutter.  There was a lot more we should take out before working on those beds.

So, we moved rocks.  Moved furniture.  She single-handedly pulled down a metal fence post (ok, it was rusted).  Dug up countless weed trees and briars.

no more crumbly cement pad

This used to be a crumbling cement pad.  Randomly placed.  Brandon and the kids tackled that.

no more leaky plastic pond

This used to be a plastic-lined pond that no longer held water.

Basically, we demoed all day. There's not much to show for it, but some new open spaces.  That and a lot more work to do.  Grass to plant.  Oy.

baby tomatoes

Hey, but there's this! Before my mom left, we put in the tomato plants, each in her own cage.  It's hard to see, cause they're just babies. This is my favorite moment of the vegetable garden.  New plants (none dead yet) with no weeds (because we just tilled and mulched) and all sorts of promise.  I have other things to plant in here, like onions and then melons and pumpkins later on.  But, for now, it's looking respectable, at least.

So.... I didn't get to sew ALL weekend.  Humph!  (And, yes, the fact that I'm not sewing occurs to me over and over again out there in the garden.)  Today I have been sewing to make up for it, instead of cleaning the house.

Pezzy courthouse steps

Here's the back to the Pezzy tote!  It's a courthouse steps arrangement made with leftovers.

Pezzy tote... back?

Except I like it so much, that I'm not really sure that it's the back anymore.  I worked and worked away on this until it. was. done.  See, I can win with fabric.

Pezzy tote on linen

On this side, I created the black grid (which I promise is even in person) and used Steam a Seam Lite II to fuse the squares in place.  The edges are secured with a zigzag stitch and the blank squares are quilted with an "X" in each.  I likey. 

Pezzy Tote

Totes over gardens, for sure.

45 comments:

  1. Very, very cute. I agree with totes or any sewing over gardens any day!

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  2. i love the idea of gardening and having a beautiful manicured lawn and an abundace of fruit and vegetables... the reality is i suck at watering. i can weed and plant like no other but the watering, gets me every time. love the tote, it is really nice.

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  3. We have a ton of work to do on our yard as well if it makes you feel any better! I'm sure yours will be beautiful in no time :) I love love love that Pezzy tote! Both sides are equally awesome!

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    1. Well, ours might be beautiful in 10 years. Fortunately, we do actually plan on staying here that long, so maybe...

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  4. persevere with the tomoatoes: nothing tastes better than home grown ones! Love the tote

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  5. I'm so with ya, sista! I really WANT to like gardening and I really WANT the end results, but I hate the entire time I'm out there digging away. It is futile.

    It gets worse as the summer wears on too - I tend to fall back on a little selective Darwinism (the plants can get their own water, dern it!)

    The early spring means we'll be whining for a long time this summer too!

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    Replies
    1. It IS futile. Why oh why did we ever try to domesticate yards?

      Ok, because it's pretty. But still.

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  6. Totes would win, any day. ;)
    That is a fabulous tote bag! It's nice that your family chipped in, and it sounds like you made real progress! I'm not much of a gardener, but I am hoping to plant a few fun things in my new (!) backyard.

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  7. I am stubbornly ignoring my garden this year ;)
    Totes over gardens any day!

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    Replies
    1. Yay for garden denial!!!! That's my favorite tactic. But, we have 7 acres, so it's hard to maintain that posture.

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  8. I'm not much of a gardener either. I do like to plant some vegetables, but I'm definitely not one of those people(my Mom and sister) who just love digging in the dirt. I'd rather sew any day! Though, I must admit, I am often surprised at how much I can get done in just one hour. I'll have to try to remember that :)

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  9. Great work on the garden. Getting it cleared is always the main thing. Luckily I have hayfever so my father is nice enough not to always call my name....though I do enjoy gardening quite a lot!!!
    You think you can whip me up one of those totes?? It looks FABULOUS!!!!! Those pezzy prints are really eye catching....I may need to get my hands on a few!!!

    I'm holding a small swap over at my blog if anyone is interested please pop over for a look =D

    http://ibescheraldine.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/anyone-want-to-swap.html

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  10. Definitely totes over gardens! I hate gardening almost as much as I hate housework. I want a tattoo that says, "I'd rather be quilting". The tote is fabulous!

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  11. I love the tote!! I'm a fan of making bags, too. I have several planned in the upcoming months, including my next tutorial for Riley Blake. I love the rainbow of Pezzy's together!!

    My husband is the big gardener in our family, but I do enjoy it in small doses.

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  12. Yes...totes over gardens. Stupid weeds just keep coming back. It's kind of like dirty dishes or laundry. Doesn't matter how many times you do them, they just show back up.

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  13. A girl can't have too many totes, and that one is a keeper!

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  14. I adore the tote! You are tempting me to buy Pezzy

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  15. I spent time at our little volunteer garden and walked around the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. So many pretty wildflowers. Some nice blue bonnets this year since we had rain. No sewing for me either but the weather was wonderful.

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  16. I. Completely. Agree. Beautiful tote!

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  17. OH you do make me laugh. You sound just like me, and I used to love gardening till I moved to the south. Now I am looking for ways to streamline this acre of weeds so I can spend more time in the veggie garden and in my studio quilting. I want shrubberies for backbones, and little perennial bloomers, and no more futzing with the annuals anymore! Something to bloom for every season, you know a little surprise, and then mulch and mow all the rest of it? Glad your mom was there to help you sort it all out. :)
    ~ Lynda

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  18. Ha, your mom sounds like a hoot! I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree.....for sure.
    Tote wins again. Yes!
    I would like to garden but I'm all fingers......no green thumbs to be seen. Not even one.
    Tomatoes are a good thing.....you've inspired yet another thing for me to try.......a few garden items to grow. In garden beds.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, vegetables are so worth growing..and bulbs. I do love a pretty bulb.

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  19. I'm like you. Gardening is NOT my thing. I can't grow plants to save my life. Black thumb lady here.

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  20. In love with that tote! Love the Pezzy prints :D

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  21. Your tote is adorable and I agree with the gardening. I want to like it, I really do, but I don't. I've been procrastinating getting my garden started.

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  22. Heh, think you deserved to skip the housework after all that!

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  23. Ooh! love the tote bag with the bright colors and the grey square in the middle. I'm sure allot of us readers can't possess enough bags especially hand made quilted ones. Being a novice I'm just making cell phone covers and ipad and nook covers with cute little frogs, penguins, cats and owls on. It started with me carrying my little $15 Tracfone SVC phone for seniors round my neck for emergencies. I like this phone because it's got bigger keys and letters on the screen and I don't have to use my reading glasses to make or receive calls. When my book club friends saw my little penguin cell phone cover, they couldn't wait to get nook covers from me. I'm having so much fun.

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  24. I love your tote, especially the small squares with linen.

    Blame all your gardening woes on the GA red clay and try some veggies in large containers of mushroom compost mixed with potting soil. The roots will have room to grow and the weeding will be very manageable. You will need to water but it will be rewarding!

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    Replies
    1. I really think that would much more suit my personality than what we've got going on in the ground. If only I'd known that before we invested so much in our current set up...

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  25. Ah, gardening! My father was an excellent gardener. I didn't get that trait. I love the harvest from the garden and the look of full, green and colorful beds, I just don't enjoy the process. Since we live in zone 3, our growing season isn't even long enough for tomatoes to ripen on the vine (unless you buy the really big plants already producing fruit). Oh well.

    I, too, LOVE that tote!

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  26. I have never seen dogwood trees in full bloom--we are too far south, and when we have been up north it's always summer vacation and we catch the tail end. *sigh* they look gorgeous.

    We bought our house when it was 53 years old. My parents helped us rip out the 8 hugest oleanders you can imagine (on their vacation!). They went up into the wires, and had huge stumps. We have had an ocean breeze ever since! Yay for your mom!

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  27. Oh, I am so with you on the gardening thing! I want to like it so bad, but I just don't. Every year we plant a vegetable garden and every year I swear I will work it better, but I never do. I'm good until it gets blasted hot, and then it just feels buggy and weedy and itchy and HOT out there, and I no longer care that I can quite easily grow my own healthy food...I say keep sewing!

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    1. Oh, thanks for that confession, Valerie! Last year we got a vegetable co-op memebership where we're buying directly from a local farmer. It totally fits the bill ethically and healthwise... but growing my own still has merits. Sigh. I just do the easy stuff - tomatoes, onions, pumpkins.

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  28. I sort of enjoy gardening but we have close to an acre at the new house and it's very overwhelming to even think about...and we want to do some major work on the yard. But first we have to get the house ready and actually move in. I can't wait to simplify yet beautify!

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  29. Just think of how amazing the garden will look when you're done, plus all the exercise you got. Hard to work those muscles sitting behind the machine all day! I love your tote and agree it will be difficult to decide which side to face out. You'll just have to wear it one way when you leave the house and turn it round when you come back!

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  30. Yep the garden has been very neglected here since our third daughter came along!! I am glad we invested in lots of natives and large trees in our yard many years ago so it pretty much takes care of itself now and the chickens love to do the weeding so all good for me and my sewing machine!!

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  31. I can't even say how much I can relate to that "I can't win out here" sentiment. Although I do enjoy the digging and seed-starting and all that. But I HATE the battle against weeds that I feel like I can't get the upper hand in. People always say "why don't you just spray it with something?" and I groan because I wish I could take that easy road out. But no, my dang principles keep me from a life of ease. Stupid principles.

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  32. I know what you mean about the gardening/yardwork-- sometimes it feels like it could go on forever! I love the block on the front of the tote-- great use of the pezzys!

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  33. Oh, I love your pezzy tote. It looks so pretty, and springy. I will take sewing over gardening any time. At least nothing dies when I sew, our plants usually look good for a week or so and then it's only downhill. No green thumb in this house, that's for sure. Good luck with your garden.

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  34. The tote is darling!
    I'm glad to see you're making your yard and garden low-maintenance. I think we need to simplify things around here too.
    Honestly, I'm in such a sewing slump and have preferred being outside and gardening (except for the other night when I happened upon a snake while cleaning out the berry bushes!) I'm sure I'll be frustrated come summer, when it's so hot out---but right now, it's therapeutic.

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  35. I totally (haha no pun intended) hear you about totes over gardens! I've never really enjoyed getting my hands in the dirt, I'd rather create something with fabric. Thanks for sharing both your garden and your tote!

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  36. Yes, you can win with fabric. Totally! Love to see the back that really might be the front after seeing the other side on Flickr. Gorgeous!

    Your posting was particularly appealing to me today because I spent the morning on a steep hillside in our yard, muttering as I ripped out ugly ground cover. And I agree that fresh-planted tomatoes are very satisfying...

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