Kelly's Not So Green Thumb

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Old Feedsack Quilt???

I finally made it to the community thrift store in Dayton, Nevada where my Mom lives. Bruce and I always mean to pop in there, but always choose the wrong day to go, as the place is usually closed! Anyway, my Mom and I were out having fun shopping, picking out plants for her back yard haven that we were working on. On the way home I asked her to stop really quick at the thrift store. We did, and I found this old, very funky quilt. I understand the time that goes into making quilts and also, I love anything old and vintage, especially textiles, so I wanted it.

It didn't have particularly attractive coloring or patterning, for that matter, nor was it put together all that well, but it had a since of the area famous for being the first place of gold discovery in Nevada and the flavor of the historical old west, and the fabrics looked fairly old. I didn't have $10 on me though. I spent it all earlier in the day. Mom had spent all her cash too. I wanted it though. My Mom thought I was odd for wanting it at first, but realized at the same time that I have an eye for old things and the passion for the history of them, the stories behind them. She said if it was there on Monday, (they're closed on Sundays), then I was meant to have it, but I couldn't get it off my mind.

When we got home, I went straight to Tony and asked him if he had $10 I could borrow, and he did. Mom drove me back to the store that was due to close in 30 minutes and I picked it up. I was elated. I am going to give the quilt to Bruce, but with instructions to treat it kindly. He's going to love it! He'll be up next Thursday, and I can't wait to show him.

When I got home with the quilt, I placed it in the washer and dried it afterwards. The colors brightened and it has a puckered look, which leads me to believe that it has never been dried in a dryer. Ooops! Still, I believe there's no point in owning cool vintage/antique pieces if they aren't used and enjoyed!

Later that night I couldn't sleep. I studied the quilt and the fabric pieces and began researching on the Internet. I found out that the fabric was quite old in my quilt and that many of the pieces, which I originally thought were broadcloth were actually linen, and very likely from old feedsacks which were popular especially during the 20s to the 50s. The feedsacks held flour and sugar, for example, and of course the fabrics from the sacks were utilized after they were emptied. They found their way into garments, bedding, curtains, etc. In the old days, nothing was wasted.

As far as the date of this quilt, I have no idea. It could be quite modern and put together with a combination of contemporary and vintage fabrics. I'm guessing that perhaps it was put together in the 60s or 70s, but I'm really unsure.

Below are closeups of some of the blocks in the quilt. She seemed to have themes in each block. You can click on each photo to view the blocks up close.

Below is the fabric on the back. It is much more gold-yellow than this picture and it has forts, rifles, and swords on it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

On Vacation!

Hi! I'm on vacation right now, up at my Mom's in Dayton, Nevada. I left on Wednesday, and have been up here for about three days. I promised my poor husband Bruce, who can't come up until next Thursday, that I would send him a photo from our favorite place to get Bloody Mary's, Bonanza in Virginia City, Nevada. I just had to tease him. Here I am cheering him with my yummy drink. He wrote me back after showing everyone in the office. His response was, "You suck!" Hee-hee.

Here we are having lunch at the Bonanza. I had a fantastic Shrimp BLT salad, which was made with "field greens," tomatoes, fabulous bacon, crumbled blue-cheese, vinaigrette and fabulous creole style shrimp on top. It was so darn good! Anyway, here's my Mom Leslie, Grandpa Tony, Micaela and Chloe waiting for lunch!
The smoke up here has been pretty bad, which is a bummer, but it's cleared up a little bit. Still, it's not as clear as it is usually, which I really love. It's because of the fires in California. The smoke is blowing East to Nevada.

Friday, June 20, 2008

So What Subtropical Tree Did I Get????

That's right, I got myself a fig tree. I can't remember exactly how I came to the conclusion that I would get a fig tree. It really just happened. I think I read somewhere about growing trees in containers and a light bulb came on. I have always wanted a fig tree. I love figs. The trees are gorgeous, and I read that they grow very well in containers. They prefer a tight root ball, so tight spaces are good for them. I read that they have been known to grow even in cracks in the ground! And did you know that the figs are actually not a fruit at all, but an outside-in fleshy flower? That fact really surprised me!

So I got on this little kick that I had to get myself a fig tree. I had many concerns, such as how well would it do on my hot, third level balcony, and what if it gets too big to move it? I decided I would start by looking at them at Armstrong Nursery in Glendale, CA. They had several varieties: Brown Turkey, Kadota, Panachee (a nifty yellow green striped variety), and the White Genoa. I didn't buy the tree at that time. I was disappointed in what the nursery man told me, saying that he didn't recommend growing them on my balcony because of wind and heat. Still, couldn't I work around this some how? I have shade cloth and it's rarely windy on our balcony. I decided I would read about each variety and about figs in general, then I would decide.

I tried to talk myself out of it, but was unsuccessful. The idea of growing a fig tree filled my heart with joy. (It still does, so I know I made the right choice). There's something amazing about nurturing a beautiful tree such as a fig tree. So I picked one up at Armstrong's. I chose a White Genoa a.k.a. officially as: Ficus carica higo. I kind of wish I had chosen the Kadota, but the Genoa tree looked much healthier, and the kids thought I should pick it. I got home with my beauty; I was glowing with delight. Then I read some more about it and found out that it was a fast growing, large tree. Oops! I guess I missed that point. I must have been thinking about the Kadota, which would have been a great choice too. Well, I love the tree, so we'll see how it goes. I can keep it trimmed down. I will be reading up on pruning trees next. Above is the picture of it the day I got it. All the rest of the pictures were taken today.

Aren't the figs and leaves beautiful? I'm in love. This particular variety has what they call a "breba" crop. What this means is that it typically has two fruit crops; one in Spring and another in Fall. The Spring crop is called the breba crop. The "breba" crop grows on last season's growth, while the Fall crop grows on the new growth.

I think the leaves have grown a bit in the 8 days since I bought it. I repotted it in a big plastic pot, that would hold moisture much better than a terracotta pot, plus it would be a lot lighter. I sprinkled some pebbles on top to hold in moisture a bit and for decorative purposes. It's looks beautiful. can grow a lot of trees indoors too! And there are many trees that can be grown in containers. Anyway, I'm so thrilled with my new subtropical tree!

P.S. I have three new posts today, so don't miss them below....

My Baby's a Teenager!!!!

Okay, where the heck did the time go? My baby isn't my little baby anymore! Today she is a teenager, 13 years old! She loves to take random pictures of herself. Funny ones, silly ones. Above and below are pictures of my new-teen, Micaela.(Chloe's sitting in the back in one of Micaela's random shots!):

She's a great kid, who works hard at school, (brought home straight "A"s this year), and is an amazing, talented singer and dancer. Here's a picture of her below, center stage in front of the microphone. This was taken at the Disneyland competition this April. She's having a blast. I love this picture of her, because she's having so much fun up there with all her friends!

Happy Birthday Micaela! I love you!

"Baby Toes" Flowers Have Appeared!!

What a surprise! My first experience with the flowers of Baby Toes a.k.a. officially as: Ficoidaceae-Aizodaceae fenestraria, was a simple white, daisy-like flower, but boy was I surprised by the delicate shade of pink and yellow flowers that appeared on this one! You never know what you're going to get. I wrote about this recently here, and so far three flowers have appeared. In the picture below I only show two, but since then another has appeared, and if I'm not incorrect there will be a fourth one appearing shortly! Click to enlarge the pictures. The colors are unbelievable! Fairy tell like, if you ask me!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My "Baby Toes": Ficoidaceae-Aizoaceae fenestraria

Remember me whining a while back about how terrible my "Baby Toe" succulent plant was doing? Or maybe I only whined to Donna about it? Hmm.... Anyway, here's how it looked in between the bad stage, including a picture of the pretty white flower that had bloomed. Not too long after this it started going down hill. Probably due to overwatering. I was so bummed out, 'cause my plant was getting all "smooshy" and I really loved my Baby Toe succulent plant. After that one started going down the toilet, I decided to pick up a couple of others, just in case I lost the first one. Well, I left the plant alone and believe it or not it recovered. Here's a picture of it now, with lots of new "toes":
Okay, so that's great, right? But what really got me wanting to blog about this excellent succulent specimen was the fabulous flower buds that appeared on one of my other plants. Three buds, to be exact! I was really surprised when I noticed these the other day. Here's a pic that shows the new flower buds growing on the plant on the right:

And then here's another great plant I have that's doing fabulous:

Anyway, I just had to share this. I've got another post coming up real quick! I'm excited to share with you my latest purchase, which I'm really excited about. Someone better get me a nice big yard, real quick like!). I'll give you a is subtropical and it bears fruit. Any guesses???

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Exploring Succulent Propagation

As you know, I'm interested in propagating plants, especially some of my favorite succulent plants. I have a few plants that are actively reproducing themselves via fallen leaves and through offshoots.

My favorite "Blue Bird" Echeveria has a few little offshoots coming out, and I noticed little plants growing on the diagonal of it's lower base on two sides, where the leaves have fallen off. It was a happy surprise, as this plant is gorgeous and I would love to share it with my succulent collecting friends. I haven't seen this on any of my other plants. Here's a picture of the babies that are growing. Click on it to get a good close up of them.

You can see tiny little plants growing on the side, right? You can also see the little offshoot that is growing on the side too. Below is a bigger picture of it, which you can click to enlarge too. This plant is making it very easy for me to propagate new plants by simply cutting offshoots once they have matured a little more.

Below are some Kalanchoe leaves that are producing new plants. Because this is representative of asexual reproduction, the new plants will be exactly like the original plant. This makes it nice when you want to reproduce a plant that you really love.

Offshoots and taking cuttings from plants represents asexual reproduction too; The plant is basically cloning itself. Only with seeds do you see a change in the DNA of the plant, a new mixing or blending of genetic material/coding that gives you a unique and one-of-a-kind plant, not a clone from it's parent. It's amazing that succulents have come up with a variety of ways to reproduce themselves in order to insure their survival.

In the pot below are the following Kalanchoe common names: "Panda," "Chocolate Soldier," and "Lambs Ear." I found the chocolate soldier leaves laying at the bottom of the pot and they were already cloning themselves, however, I pulled off the Panda Kalanchoe leaf (big leaf on the left)and experimented with it, hoping for a new plant, and boy was I successful! The Lamb's Ear, however, hasn't done anything yet.

You know what's funny though? The Chocolate Soldier is growing as slowly as the original plant. In fact, the growth on the parent plant has been very minimal. The Panda is doing great, and has really only been growing for a short period of time, at least a couple of months less than the Chocolate Soldier. It goes to show you that they are definitely exact copies of their parents, mimicking even the growth patterns of their parents, and subject to the same diseases as the parents also. It's something to keep in mind when choosing plants and methods to propagate.

Kalanchoes are extremely easy to propagate from leaves. I've got all sorts of neat plants growing, some I started myself by pulling off leaves from the plant, and some just reproduced themselves via fallen leaves in their pots. Below are some leaves from Guinevere and Sir Lancelot with little plantlets growing on them. You can click on the picture to get a good closeup of them. I love these two plants (Guinevere and Sir Lancelot). They are growing beautifully, so I'm happy to have more of them. I pulled a leaf off of one and the rest started on their own. They are really beginning to take off!

Here's another nice picture to see how they propagate from leaves:

Here are some Echeverias growing from leaflets. Do you see the little plant with the wrinkled up dry leaf? I found it at the bottom of it's pot. I was happily surprised. I think that might be a tiny little Kalanchoe growing in the back towards the right. I decided to pull another leaf off (on the left) and see what would happen. It seems to be rooting nicely. I'm curious if those are little plants though or roots? Click on the picture to enlarge, so you can see what I mean. There's a lot of roots or plantlets growing on the edge that lies on the soil.

Below are two favorites that I'm propagating via cuttings: Sedum clavatum and "Kiwi" an Aeonium. I cut them from the plant, let them dry a few days and then put them in a pot. I check them here and there by gently pulling at them to see if they are rooted. If the plant gives away easily, I know it hasn't rooted. I wait a few more days and then try again. It's fun to create new plants from ones that you love.
Above is the Sedum clavatum I propagated from cuttings from the mother plant.

Above is the Aeonium "Kiwi" that I propagated via cuttings from the mother plant.