An Integrated Approach

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a bit on growing

I am proud to announce that the Troy House has a garden! Meg came home two weeks ago and said she was thinking about planting a few things this summer and would I want to help or was there anything I thought she should plant? From that question it turned into a much bigger, but so far manageable, project. Last week we consulted books and gardening aficionados to figure out of the things we initially wanted to grow what was still possible this late in the season.

We settled on spinach, mesclun, green beans, and tomatos. Armed with diagrams, lists of supplies needed and questions to ask the staff at Home Depot we set out on a very rainy Sunday afternoon to buy our garden supplies.

After an hour and a half of debating organic fertilizer, types and materials of stakes. whether or not we should “bird/squirrel proof” the strawberries,we packed up my brother’s awesomely huge trailblazer and headed home!

After we got home , Meg tackled the tomato and strawberry re-potting while I saturated the seedling pods with water. We then planted a couple of seeds in each pod. They are all lined up on the window sill, soaking up sun. We will transfer them to out door troughs in a week or so.

The windowsill garden, guarded by Gnoma

It hasn’t even been a week and we’ve got sprouts!

Meg and I are really excited to have fresh greens this summer, and its fun to test our hands at gardening and growing. Both of us always seem to be talking about sustainable living, shopping locally/organically; its about time we started participating not just as consumers.


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a birthday present

I have always loved making things. But recently, creating has taken a backseat to the rest of my life.

That is, until I met Lauren.

She has a wonderful eye for possibilities. Just look at her blog! She and her husband Alex have “Crafternoons” on Sundays after church. They are both incredibly talented. At first when I met them, I was in awe of how together they were—newly married, real jobs, and both had a shared value for the aesthetic and physicality of their home.

As I got to know this fantastic couple, my awe turned to inspiration. If Alex and Lauren can make cool stuff, I could too?

But when it came time to getting a real, grown-up present for my dear friend’s birthday this weekend, I was at a loss. I’m not exactly rolling in dollars these days. However, I do have tons of junk and random craft stuff squirreled away throughout our apartment. So, last night I sat down and thought: What would Lauren do?

Something clean, simple, elegant. Less is more. And with the Handmaden blog fresh in my mind I set out to create something beautiful for my friend.

I had the drawing below in a frame, but had never found where to put it in my apt. And while I didn’t want to part with the drawing, I could use the frame. Below is result of yesterdays attempt at creating with the materials I have.

on the left, a drawing from an old art text book.
on the right, my painted rendering on glass.