Friday, May 29, 2009

Sun Is On Vacation

I guess. It has been raining for days here. Don't get me wrong. I love rain. It washes away most of the pollen in the air, and give us a little break from the allergy. I love the smell of the rain, so fresh and clean. And all my plants are happily soaking up the rain, it must taste much better than the tap water. And all the trees and grasses are just loving it too, showing off their lush green leaves. Cannot believe they were almost all bare branches just a short month ago. But it did stop me from gardening for several days now. Heard the weekend is going to be better. Cannot wait to transplant my tomato and eggplant seedlings into the garden. The tomato plants Karen gave me this year are mostly orange and red cherry, plus a couple of whatever big ones. I was kind of diappointed, since I love the yellow ones much better. But saw several volunteers in my garden the other day, just hoping they are yellow ones. I will have to gave some seedlings to my girl friend, since I am running out of space. Have to do lot of rearranging this weekend in the raised beds to squeeze all the rest of them in.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two More Custom Orders!

Finished two new custom orders during the long weekend! Really love how they turned out. You know sometimes, these customers give me great design ideas, by choosing different color combinations, choosing a new knot for a certain design, etc. I really appreciate these very creative customers, they are my motivation and inspiration for new designs, and they open my eyes to some new opportunities. I just want to say "Thank You!" here to all my customers, from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Late Spring Harvest

Checked my vegetable garden on Sat, and noticed the radish probably is ready. And some of my ShangHai Choy started bolting, so have to harvest them too. I sowed the seeds in the asparagus bed early spring, thought I might get some extra use of that soil before asparagus grow big and block all the sunshine. Growing some radish and Shanghai Choy are definitely better than letting weeds to take over. And my chive and Chinese chive (garlic chive) are growing nicely too. Cut a big bunch of chive for AK, and some Chinese chive for DH. I love it, but cannot eat it, since it will definitely trigger my terrible heartburn. The Chinese chive in the red basket is just half of what I harvested, the other half went to AK's bag.
And here are some pictures of my early summer flowers, aka. my Columbines. They grew stronger every year. I started them 3 years ago from seed, and ended up with 8 gorgeous plants, in 3 different colors, red, purple and white. I planted them in different spots in the yard, sunny, semi shade, and shady, and amazingly they are all doing great.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ready For The Long Weekend

I am so tired these days! My legs and feet have been swollen for a couple days, and couldn't get some decent sleep during the night. Getting up every 2 or 3 hours is just exhausting. But at least I don't have any big plan for this long weekend, maybe I can get more rest. The raised bed is fixed, cucumber seedlings has been transplanted and survived, Beans are germinated, The Chinese eggplant seedlings are still too small for transplanting, and I am going to pick up some nice tomato plants from a coworker next week. No more asparagus to harvest, and the strawberries are still blooming, no fruit to collect yet. So, not much yard work to do. Guess I will just relax on the deck, put my feet up, and nap. Wonderful plan.

Oh, We trimmed our two big oak tree several weeks ago, and I planned to clean some of the long branches and use them as tomato supports later. But yesterday, our landscaper came to mow the lawn, and thought they will do me a favor, so they took all the branches I have been saving on the driveway, along with all the rotted wood board from the old raised bed! I was totally surprised when I got home at the end of the day. Guess they are going to make them into mulch or compost or something. Well, at least they are not going to the landfill somewhere. Just need to figure out what I can use for the tomato plants.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Busy Day

I was quite energetic yesterday, found time to post 7 items, 4 new ones and 3 renew! I actually made lots of stuffs before I got pregnant, just didn't have the energy or time to photograph and list them. Now I just take pictures of several new items at night, and post them the next day. Here are the 4 new items I listed yesterday.

Red Stone Chime Knot Wall Hanging / DecorationBlack and Silver PanChang Knot Keychain with Metal "Journey" CharmMidnight Garden PincushionPurple PanChang Knot and Purple Hearts Bookmark
And here are the 3 renewed items.
Blue Panchang Knot Keychain with Longevity BeadLavender PanChang Knot Zipperpull with Smily FaceRed PanChang Knot Decoration with Porcelain Gourd

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kitchen Tour Continued

Yesterday, I showed you all the kitchen cabinets and the island. Today I will show you what I did with my freezer and how I organized the drawers in the china cabinet. There are not as many pictures, so I can show you the before and after. Hope you are not bored already.

My freezer was like most people's, everything piled up and something always got stuck in the back and forgotten for a while. Not any more. I was inspired by Biggie, and decided to use plastic baskets to help me organize everything. I took out all the contents, sorted and grouped them, and put each group in its own basket. The right basket on the top shelf holds all the frozen dumplings, popcorn shrimp, chicken breast strips, all ready for cooking or baking. The one to its left holds all frozen vegetable, corn, green bean, etc. The basket on the bottom shelf holds all raw meat, chicken, fish and shrimp. And obviously icecream and frozen pizza occupied the rest of the space. Still need to label the baskets though. Inside each basket, you can pile things up pretty high without worrying some small ones falling into other basket/group. And when you want to look for something you can take the entire basket out and really dig in without keeping the freezer door open for a long time.
Still don't really know what to put on the freezer door though. The only stuffs on there are those ice packs. Any suggestion?
And here are some before and after pictures of the drawers in my china cabinet. Same concept here, some small baskets or containers divided each drawer into sections, and everything in its own group and in clear view. This first drawer was actually like a junk drawer before. This second drawer didn't need any help. I keep two sets of placemats in there, and not very messy.The third drawer holds all my napkins and aprons. I used to stack them vertically, which looked fine, but when I try to look for something, I have to dig through a pile, and you know what happens if you pull something from the bottom of the pile, everything else got flipped, and I sometimes have to fold them again. But recently, I found a better way. Tried this method in our dresser, and DH is no longer making big messes in his undershirt drawer. I stack items horizontally. This way, you can see all the color and design at once, and nothing else will be disturbed when you pull one from the back. I like it!
The bottom drawer holds all my candles and matches, and some candle holders. I didn't know candle wax can stain wood. But now, all the candles are stored in a plastic box, no more rolling around and no more wax stain.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kitchen Reorganizing, DONE!

My favorite part of the morning recently is to go to my kitchen, open some cabinet doors, and admire what I have accomplished. My kitchen is not fancy at all, just standard builder grade cabinets. But after this reorganizing, I feel so happy! We actually have some free space! We don't have tons of stuffs compare to other families. Of course, only two of us, and lived in small apartments for years before move in here, we tried to keep it down. But things got piled up, not horrible, but messy. You will see what I mean. There are so many pictures, so I am only showing the after shots here. To see all the before and after pictures, please go to my flickr account. Sorry about the light though, I only have time to take pictures after dinner.

First of all, is my pantry cabinet next to the fridge. It is much better now. Finally bought more baskets, and now I can see and reach all the way to the back.
Upper cabinet above the dishwasher, on the left side of the sink. It's kind of empty, since some of the bowls and cups are still in the dishwasher. But you get the idea. I did use some small baskets on the upper shelf to hold most of our tea.

Upper cabinet on the right side of the sink, holding most of our drinking glasses. But we actually only use the ones on the bottom shelf. The green set was from DH's family, don't really know the maker, but pretty old. I love the color, they look like jade. The set on the second shelf was from a yardsale years ago, I use them for dessert.
Upper cabinet in the corner. Lots of space, but kind of hard to reach the back. So we only keep big plates and bowls in there. The upper shelf is kind of empty, only holding some seasonal stuffs.
Upper cabinet on the left side of the stove. I keep all my seasonings there, most are Chinese.
The small cabinet above the stove and vent, holding all my plastic containers. Was half empty, but since I tried to switch to glass containers, ended up with more of these plastic ones in this cabinet. Probably will use them somewhere else in the house, maybe the basement.
Upper cabinet on the right side of the stove, next to the kitchen door. I keep most of my dry food in there, all kinds of dried beans, and Chinese herbs for cooking. Will need to buy more of those big mason/canning jars, so I can switch out all the plastic ones. And really need to label everything nicely, DH has no idea what I have in these jars. Oh, that's my radio/CD player underneath it, I like to play some music when I am cooking.
We don't have much lower cabinet space for pots and pans, so we bought an island with similar finish. The lower cabinet on the right of the oven, holds some big pots and the fire extinguisher.
We only have one drawer in our kitchen, I know, rediculous!
The lower cabinet in the corner was always a big headache. I cannot really put anything big on that lazy susan, and smaller things tend to fall out, and I was always afraid that something will stuck in there and I won't be able to open that door at all. Until I found some inspiration online. Bought some smaller baskets, and problem solved.
The cabinet space under the sink has always been like this. It works for me, so why change it.
Here are most of my pots and pans. I made the devices on the door to hold all the lids and some other big flat things that won't fit in a drawer, very convenient. Got the inspiration from a handman book I bought years ago.
We also bought a small microwave oven cart to save some valuable counter space. The cabinet underneath holds my recipe books, baking supplies and kitchen towels. All the baking pans and sheets are in the warming drawer underneath the oven.

OK, it's already a super long post. I will continue with the freezer (yeah, finally) and the China cabinet tomorrow.